Bookshop Santa Cruz offers a great way for Book Groups to save 15% on the titles they read, get special invitations to Book Group mixers, and receive email recommendations on excellent Book Group titles.

Register your Book Group at our information desk or online and get 15% off your Book Group picks (when ordering 5 or more copies) and have us hold the titles in one place for easy pick up for all your group members! Browse our new Book Group shelves in the Fiction room for staff recommendations, local book group choices, and information on running Book Groups.

Below are some staff recommendations of great books for Book Groups.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

As I read the first pages of The Children Act, I found myself wanting to slow down, to soak in these words for a while. This novel is pure Ian McEwan—perfectly weighted and paced, with characters who breathe on the page. But the thing about a novel by McEwan is that you can’t linger; the story insists that you continue. The Children Act is the work of a master.

Reviewed by: 
Kat

The Children Act (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780385539708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nan A. Talese, 9/2014

Life Drawing by Robin Black

I am completely stunned by Black’s first novel. I have enjoyed a lot of books lately, but, until reading this, I did not realize how much I’ve been missing the whole body impact of a book. Beautiful writing, effortlessly pinpointed to emotion without being emotive, Black writes life itself, tackling marriage, grief, trust, art, inspiration, friendship, motherhood, all of it.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda

Life Drawing (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781400068562
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House, 3/2014

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Faber has written an incredible book, packaged beautifully—what a gift. I couldn’t help but be completely taken by it. Like all great storytelling, it contains a little bit of everything, but not too much of anything. It’s a moving exploration of relationships, faith, acts of grace and salvation, of humanity. Pick it up, read the description if you must, but then give yourself the book.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780553418842
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth, 10/2014

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

In An Unnecessary Woman, I found a best friend. Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in Beirut, in an apartment stuffed with books. She is neither religious nor married, which makes her an outcast. She is witty and perceptive and vulnerable, and I wish there was a way I might sit with her for just an hour, to share a cup of tea and talk books.

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780802122940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press, 11/2014

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This beautiful, sweeping novel captures the feelings of World War II from the vantage point of ordinary lives. Following a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy, Doerr evokes the terror of the war and the hope that continues to survive even in its midst. A true masterpiece with stunning prose and deeply developed characters, this is by far my favorite book of 2014.  

Reviewed by: 
Casey
$21.60
ISBN-13: 9781476746586
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company, 5/2014

In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno

Moreno's debut novel is absolutely stunning. Protagonist Piper Gallagher is an EMT driver living in Los Angeles, and violence is a normal part of her day. Her attempts to grapple with this while running from the demons of her past creates a striking and realistic portrayal of the complexity of trauma. This book will haunt you, and poke you in the places you feel most human.

Reviewed by: 
Mary
$24.00
ISBN-13: 9781940450261
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: McSweeney's Books, 9/2014

The Bees by Laline Paull

I was completely engrossed by this incredibly imaginative and thought-provoking novel. You are introduced to a society so alien, yet Paull gives her characters an incredible humanity. The blend of real-life bee behavior and the fictionalization of the characters’ emotions is incredibly alien, and yet familiar. This is a tightrope walk of literary genius and I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by: 
Nici

The Bees (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780062331151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press, 5/2014

Redeployment by Phil Klay

This terrific collection of short stories follows the lives of American soldiers fighting the Iraq War, both on the battle field and, once home, in their minds and souls. A former soldier himself, Klay knows his stuff. He writes powerfully and sympathetically about all types of soldiers, from the hardest-bitten combat vets to cynical desk jockeys. 

Reviewed by: 
Rico

Redeployment (Hardcover)

$21.56
ISBN-13: 9781594204999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 3/2014

Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce

There are a thousand ways to write a sentence and Merritt Tierce seems to find the newest, best one, unique, not all put together, and exactly perfect. It’s not the most uplifting tale, one of a young waitress struggling to find herself amidst the sex, drugs and poor decisions of early adulthood, and yet there is so much heart to Marie, so much hope in spite of herself.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda

Love Me Back (Hardcover)

$23.95
ISBN-13: 9780385538077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday, 9/2014

Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma

An homage to literary heavyweights like Hemingway and a playful satire of the writing process, Jansma’s novel details the coming-of-age rivalry between two writers travelling the world. Eradicating the line between truth and fiction, the unreliable protagonist shifts perspective to his own fictional creations, sending the reader down a veritable rabbit hole of narration.

Reviewed by: 
Dillon
$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143125020
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 2/2014

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

If and when the first rains of the season come around, you will want to have The Paying Guests on hand. This multifaceted book has many layers: It is a domestic thriller, a searing love story, and an absolutely terrifying crime novel. The characters are vivid and warm, and the tension just climbs and climbs—I can’t remember the last time a book kept me up as late as this one did. I just loved it. Save it for the darkest, stormiest night, and enjoy.
Reviewed by: 
Kat

The Paying Guests (Hardcover)

$28.95
ISBN-13: 9781594633119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 9/2014

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

A devastating superflu and the subsequent fall of humanity serve as the background to a meditation on our mortality and obsession with material meaning. The direct and indirect interactions of a Shakespearean actor, a young survivor, a paparazzo-turned-paramedic, and a budding graphic artist come together in a feat of masterful storytelling. I burst into tears when I finished the last page and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Reviewed by: 
Andrea
$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780385353304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf, 9/2014

Neverhome by Laird Hunt

Neverhome has stayed with me. This story of a woman who leaves her husband behind to fight in the Civil War is so exquisitely well written, so tense, that it took over my life for a few days. I looked up from the last page dazed, unsure of how to go about my day without Ash’s mad, beautiful voice in my head. If you don’t believe me, ask just about anyone else on staff—this book has stolen and broken the heart of almost every fiction reader in the store. Neverhome is certainly one of the best novels of 2014.
Reviewed by: 
Kat

Neverhome (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780316370134
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 9/2014

Zealot by Reza Aslan

Zealot is a must-read for anyone with a pragmatic interest in Jesus Christ. Reza Aslan intrepidly and clearly elucidates the radical nature of Jesus’ sociopolitical influence, which shakes up the established ideas about the person he was, and gives us a fresh perspective on both Christ and Christianity.
Reviewed by: 
Norbu
$18.00
ISBN-13: 9780812981483
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 11/2014

Selected Stories by Alice Munro

Alice Munro is quite simply the best short-story writer ever. The recent Nobel Prize in Literature is just icing on the cake. This book brings together the best stories from the first half of her career (1968-1994), including the masterpieces “Walker Brothers Cowboy,” “Friend of My Youth” and (my personal favorite) “The Albanian Virgin.”
Reviewed by: 
Rico
$16.95
ISBN-13: 9780679766742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage, 11/1997

Other Services:
All titles are subject to availability. Prices subject to change. Please call 831-423-0900 to confirm.
Copyright © Bookshop Santa Cruz
(831) 423-0900 · 1520 Pacific Ave · Downtown Santa Cruz · Santa Cruz, CA · 95060