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.

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
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
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
ISBN: 9781501161377
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
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
ISBN: 9780316382199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 5th, 2017

In this beautifully produced book, interspersed with color reproductions of letters, photographs, articles and journal entries, Yamashita mines her own family’s history to explore the Japanese American experience through World War II, the internment camps, and the rippling effects on younger generations. This is not, however, straight history, but something much more meaningful, a celebrated fiction writer considering and attempting to make sense of her family’s past and of our own. - Melinda

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Letters to Memory Cover Image
ISBN: 9781566894876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 12th, 2017

What do you get when you put poet genius Eileen Myles together with a dog book? Nothing categorical, that’s for sure. An experimental delight, also certain. Afterglow explores the relationship of a beloved sixteen year old pitbull named Rosie and her devoted owner, but also expands well beyond to sex, politics, spirituality, life, loss, the whole gamut. Playful, heartbreaking, true and not, this is the most real book about life with a dog that I’ve ever read. - Melinda

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Afterglow (a Dog Memoir) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127099
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 12th, 2017

It’s hard to imagine a memoir about one heartbroken single-ish mother’s struggle through the medical system to save her infant daughter being warm and joyful, and yet this book is exactly that. Harpham writes with such grace, honesty and humor, it is easy to follow her through the harrowing moments of her journey with her daughter Gracie and to discover with her the many different ways love and support can manifest and lead to outright joy. - Melinda

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Happiness: A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250131560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt & Company - August 1st, 2017

To my mind, Greenblatt writes the gold standard for nonfiction. In his new book, he takes the story of Adam and Eve and looks at it from every possible perspective: its many origins, its use through history and its cultural effects through time. This is the story behind the story, and a fascinating, intelligent, well researched kaleidoscope of ways to think about it.

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The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393240801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 12th, 2017

Kassabova returns to the land of her childhood, Bulgaria, to explore the complex Balkan borderlands it shares with Turkey and Greece. Through extensive research, interviews with townsfolk, and personal reflection, she examines the forces that continue to shape this intriguing region. Lyrical and rich with stories, this book is travelogue, political history, and folklore all in one. - Natalie

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Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017



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