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.

Smartly written, The Far Away Brothers chronicles the lives of two teenage El Salvadoran siblings as they become hermanos lejanos, or “faraway brothers.” Driven from their country, twins Ernesto and Raul brave the Rio Grande and Texas desert and make their way to their older brother in Oakland, only to face all the trials and tribulations of American teenagers, and with their debt to the coyotes constantly looming. - Aric

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The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101906187
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 12th, 2017


Women are frequently shunted to the side or ignored altogether in history, but they have often played a vital role in shaping our world. Alison Weir, with her signature meticulousness, puts the powerful women in the palace at the very center of history in this first of four planned volumes. I was more than happy to read about these important women and hope they will soon become household names, as they well deserve to be. - Ivy

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Queens of the Conquest: England's Medieval Queens Book One Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781101966662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 26th, 2017


When the author’s 80-year-old father decided to sit in on his college course on The Odyssey, he wasn’t prepared for how impactful the experience would be for the both of them. Poignant family memories, interwoven with a scholarly analysis of The Odyssey, make for a book that is part college lecture and part autobiography. The result is a truly lovely and unique father–son story. - Jade

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An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385350594
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 12th, 2017


Alice Waters opened the legendary Chez Panisse in 1971, and neither the cuisine of California nor that of the Western world has been the same since. Here in her first memoir, Waters puts together the pieces—female friendships and male lovers, childhood memories and adult journeys, music and art and France and the ’60s—that brought her to her legacy on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Lovely and nostalgic with the hope of the last century, it will whet an appetite for beauty and change. - Jocelyn

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Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780307718280
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - September 5th, 2017


Badass and gripping, this memoir feels like the most honest conversation you’ve ever had with a best friend about the important topics of your lives. Remember how that conversation changed you? This will, too. Captivating whether you know Union yet or not, I want to hand this to every feminist with a reading list. Union’s transparency, intensity, and grace merit both awe and a prodigious red wine toast. - a.c.

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We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062693983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - October 17th, 2017


In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer. “A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America’s finest storytellers and the story of his life is as fascinating ad delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us.” - Neil Gaiman

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Logical Family: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062391223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - October 3rd, 2017


Caitlin Doughty is a staff favorite, and I inhaled her latest book in one night. Traveling to experience how other cultures treat death, she finds a variety of practices, ranging from open-air pyres to walls of glowing Buddhas representing cremated remains. Her humor and respect make this a wonderful, inspiring read. Death should be a celebration of a life well lived, not something to fear, and Doughty opens up a world of possibilities about how death can be approached. - Rachel

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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780393249897
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 3rd, 2017


One day the most vulnerable will be given that which the most dangerous have. And the world will start numbering its days. Naomi Alderman has written a modern complement to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale that will grab you by the throat even as it gently slides a knife into your back. It will leave you gasping and bloody. So look, too, for the glimmers of hope that we can be better. That we might have that power, too. - Jocelyn

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The Power Cover Image
$20.80
ISBN: 9780316547611
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 10th, 2017


Ritter’s debut novel is a powerful study on how the present can be a recapitulation of the past. The nonprofit lawyer Abby Williams lives a tidy life, her past hidden, until an investigation in her hometown blurs the divisions between geographies and timelines, good and bad, right and wrong. Abby’s story strangely becomes familiar, holding you long past its final pages. - Karen

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Bonfire Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781524759841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Archetype - November 7th, 2017


It is hard to imagine Ng outdoing herself after the success of her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, but she’s up to the task with the exquisite Little Fires Everywhere. Each member of the Richardson family, living in the rigidly structured suburban Shakers Heights community, is inexplicitly drawn two new freewheeling residents, the artist Mia and her teenage daughter Pearl. Ng’s mastery is in her ability to develop characters in many layers and then, with perfect pace and nuance, remove each layer to reveal an emotionally resonant understanding around themes of family, identity, and community. This book is on the top of my best-of-the-year list. - Casey, Bookshop Santa Cruz Owner

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Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017


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