Bookshop Santa Cruz staff recommendation:

The following books are recommended by our staff as great choices for book groups. Sign up for our Book Ends email newsletter to receive more great book group recommendations.

A father-daughter relationship like none other – but heartbreaking in many familiar ways. A memoir that took Alison Bechdel years to write, she chronicles childhood through adulthood through a lens of discovery of both herself and her father – a man struggling with what he was and was not. With frank exploration of mental health and sexuality, this book is a revelation and just may make you feel right at home. - Jocelyn

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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618871711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 2007

When a high school crush inadvertently ignites Rebecca Schuman’s love for all things German, she follows her passion and doesn’t recoil when things get weird. From illegal basement bars in East Germany to pursuing a graduate degree in German --and having to explain why-- Schuman is hilarious. Quirky and quick-witted, she dishes on Kafka, kissing, and everything in between. - Jade

I appreciated this chance to sit and listen to Vance tell the story of his childhood, and his concerns for those like his family that live below the poverty line. If the work of reading is imagining others complexly, then this will definitely make you work. He offers no easy answers, nor is this a comprehensive look at the poverty stricken population in our country. It is a window, and a very good place to start. - Jax

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062300546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 28th, 2016

This is a gut-wrenching, heart-opening memoir. As Glennon recovers from multiple addictions, and deals with her husband’s infidelity, she goes on a deep spiritual journey, and in so doing rediscovers herself and a new relationship with god. She is a living example of how to be a Christian, a mother, AND a feminist. Uplifting, and impossible to put down, my wife and I both read this book in three days. - Jason

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Love Warrior: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250075727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - September 6th, 2016

British travel writer Richard Grant and his girlfriend move from New York City to an old plantation house near the community of Pluto and immerse themselves in the beauty, charm, and insanity that characterize the people and culture that is the Mississippi Delta. This memoir provides an illuminating perspective on the complexities of race and relationships through the lens of a fascinating story. - Trey

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Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476709642
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 13th, 2015

Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain delightfully focuses on these three "primary food groups" of Spain. A regional (and illustrated) exploration of culture and cuisine, it is also a love story and more. It will make you want to at least visit, if not move. It did me.— T.S.

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Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062394132
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Wave/Anthony Bourdain - November 15th, 2016

In these pages, nature writer and activist Terry Tempest Williams intimately and gracefully shares her reflections on our national parks, piecing together personal memoir, history, social critique, and beautiful black and white photos. Take your time reading this book, as you may have to put it down to go take a road trip, picking it up again only when you're ready for another journey. - N.D.

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The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280093
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016

A powerful memoir that follows one family separated by the Berlin Wall and kept apart for forty years by the Cold War. Five extraordinary women across three generations all lead disparate lives — a matriarch, a dreamer, a rebel, an Army Intelligence officer, an Olympic athlete — but each exhibit incredible bravery and resilience to protect what matters most: their family. - Kelly

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Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062410313
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - October 4th, 2016

I picked this up thinking to escape the world I find myself living in, and while the French countryside and German villages are beautifully rendered, this was no easy escape. Werner’s struggles with being complicit in the madness and cruelty surrounding him ring painfully true, and Marie-Laure’s fight for survival is anything but restful. - Jax

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All the Light We Cannot See Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476746586
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 6th, 2014

What I love most about this haunting and beautiful fairytale from Ivey is the way she evokes the wilderness as her setting. Alaska, in all its harsh and terrible beautiful, is as much a character as the elderly couple struggling to survive and the young girl who appears seemingly by magic into their lives. I lost myself in this story, in the best possible way. - Jax

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The Snow Child Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316175661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Reagan Arthur Books - November 6th, 2012



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