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.

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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


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
$19.95
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
$24.00
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
$27.00
ISBN: 9781250131560
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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
$27.95
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
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017


Joyce Maynard (bestselling of author of At Home in the World) has written a touching and sincere book about finding strength and life in the midst of hardship. In their late 50’s, Joyce and her soon-to-be husband, Jim, met for the first time. Each had been married, had children, and also then subsequently divorced. Neither Jim nor Joyce was particularly looking for love again, but there was a deep connection between the two, that neither could ignore. Maynard writes their story of reclaiming love and romance, getting married, and then dealing with the blow of Jim’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Praised by Anne Lamott for being full of “the tears and joy of life,” Maynard coveys with such clarity not just the honesty about the ugliness of illness, but also the unparalleled bond of intimacy and awareness that springs forth when life is on the line. - S.M.C.

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The Best of Us: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781635570342
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury UK - September 5th, 2017


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