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.

When teenager Lucinda Hayes is found murdered in her suburban town, all eyes shift to her quiet and decidedly different neighbor, Cameron Whitley. But in this perfectly-paced, suspenseful novel, the reader is kept guessing of the true nature of their connection and helps us realize that what we see on the surface might not always be the truth.  Danya Kukafka’s breakout debut will grab you early on and propel you to the finish where you just want to re-read it all over again. - Casey

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Girl in Snow Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501144370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 1st, 2017


In a small town along the Mississippi coast, one American family struggles with the ebbs and flows of a roller-coaster life grappling with addiction, connection, imprisonment, belonging and multi-generational strife. Jesmyn Ward, author of National Book Award winner Salvage the Bones, writes with gloriously, lyrical prose – a true mix of magical realism and honest observation of human nature which fully demonstrates that she is one of the greatest American authors writing today. - Casey

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Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017


I look forward to each new Krauss novel, and for good reason. Her latest is an exploration of identity and belonging. An aging lawyer and a struggling writer travel to Israel in near-intersecting stories, each searching for something unknowable, and the not knowing is the prize. Add in some Kafka, some metaphysical philosophizing, oh and the multiverse, and you have an intellectual journey in want of a curious reader. Let it be you. - Melinda

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Forest Dark Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062430991
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - September 12th, 2017


Shamsie is a young author already lauded in England, so it’s a pleasure to break her out here with her latest novel. Home Fire is a modern retelling of Antigone, taking shape in the lives of two Muslim sisters and their radicalized brother, and in two families as they become intertwined by love, loyalty and politics. A powerful story, fast paced, light of touch and beautifully written – it’s an unforgettable introduction to Shamsie’s work. - Melinda

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Home Fire Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735217683
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 15th, 2017


Englander has tackled the intimate and the impossible, looking with a novelist’s eye at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the cycles of harm, and the notions of identity, loyalty, and possibility. An unnamed prisoner and his guard, an Israeli spy, a traitor, a conscience and a powerful leader trapped in a coma -- how they connect is both a simmering espionage tale, a bit of a love story and a parable for our complicated times. - Melinda

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Dinner at the Center of the Earth Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524732738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 5th, 2017


My Absolute Darling is a perfect combination of propulsive storytelling and languid observation, a hero’s journey in the form of Turtle Alveston, a meticulous near-feral girl who is at ease in the expansiveness of the Mendocino coast but lost to the violence in her own home. Gorgeous in its depiction of nature, human and otherwise, unafraid to tell the truth, even in its complexity, this novel both breaks your heart and patches it with hope. - Melinda

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My Absolute Darling Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780735211179
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 29th, 2017


This is a distinctly Irish story and one not often told. Until 1993, it was illegal to be homosexual in Ireland and we see the fear many faced through the eyes of Cyril Avery. In an era sweeping story, Cyril guides us from his dramatic birth to slow death touching many important parts of history on the way. I loved growing up and old with Cyril even with the hardship and I hope you will as well. - Ivy

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The Heart's Invisible Furies Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524760786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth Press - August 22nd, 2017


Told in pieces of the past, present, and future, The History of Bees is is a beautifully written story about our relationships with each other and with the world we share. I will never again see a bee and have it not remind me of our responsibility to respect the balance of power in nature. Lunde's novel has illuminated the path of the bees and in turn has given us a beacon of hope for our future. - Jenny

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The History of Bees Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501161377
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - August 22nd, 2017


There was nothing I didn’t love about this book. It follows five generations of witches, from mother to daughter, experiencing all the dangers of paranoia of the era regarding witchcraft and really female empowerment. I appreciated the way Morgan portrayed the mother/daughter relationships in all their complexities. This is Morgan’s debut novel and I’m impressed with how fantastic her writing is. This is a book that will draw both literary and fantasy fans alike. - Karena

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A Secret History of Witches Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780316508551
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - September 5th, 2017


The World of Tomorrow is a dazzling debut written with the same frenetic pace as the boozy jazz age in which it’s set. Three Irish immigrant brothers are reunited in prewar NYC—under terrible circumstances—right before the World’s Fair. Entertainment abounds as our rotating protagonists stay one step ahead of trouble. With a serpentine plot that never loses its thread, and a payoff worth the page count, it will thrill fans of Michael Chabon. - Kelly

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The World of Tomorrow Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316382199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 5th, 2017


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