Winter Reading Program
Thank you to everyone who participated in Bookshop's fourth annual Winter Reading Program! Thank you to our co-sponsors, Buttercup Cakes and Bonny Doon Vineyard for providing great rewards for reading!
We challenged our customers to read at least three of eight books selected by Bookshop Santa Cruz over four months (December, 2016 - March, 2017), to receive at completion adults a $5 gift card to Bookshop Santa Cruz, a cupcake from Buttercup Cakes, and a "Doonster Flight" from the tasting room at Bonny Doon Vineyard. We hope you discovered some great new books - we loved hearing about which ones you read and loved.
Brit Bennett’s The Mothers is a remarkable debut, a novel whose characters are so well developed that you will find yourself happily along for the ride in the emotional roller coaster of their lives. The book follows the path of three African American teenagers—Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey—growing up in Southern California, each of whom faces a disappointment or tragedy that propels them into their current situation. They make decisions that not only affect their teenage years but their relationships and outlook over decades, and Bennett exquisitely layers the emotions found deep within their friendships, their community, and their families. - Casey, Bookshop Santa Cruz Owner
Cisneros writes beautifully in any form, and she showcases her talent here in a colorful mosaic of essays, introductions, and speeches from her three decades of writing. Through her thoughts on place, art, and other writers, her remarkable life is revealed in ways more intimate than a typical memoir, taking us to Greece and Mexico, Chicago and San Antonio, and unveiling the smart, passionate mind of a poet and writer. - Melinda, Head Book Buyer
After a fire destroys not only her home, but her entire family and her young lover, June Reid describes the scene: “there were no survivors.” Not her family; not herself. This quiet, beautiful novel examines the darkness of individual human loss in order to arrive at something honest and redemptive. Incredibly empathetic writing: I almost felt the creak of each narrator's bones as I lived through their part in the tale. - Amber
The mix of political and historical details lends a depth to this vivid thriller. Locke plots a twisting path that has many subtle aspects as her main character, Jay Porter, tries to keep a murder from messing up his life. Set in the 1980s, the story also takes many trips back to Jay’s more radical youth as he tries to reconcile his past, his present, and his sense of morality. It’s part social commentary, part nail-biter, and altogether highly recommended. - Nici
Yeine is the leader of a people far from the center of civilization, but the death of her mother calls her to the heart of the empire and entangles her in more than a dispute over inheritance. I was so blown away by this book that I felt shaken and exhilarated by it. Even if you don’t normally read fantasy, this is one that is so meaty, you need to try it. - Jax, Science Fiction and Fantasy Head
Great both for beginners and advanced tree folks, The Hidden Life of Trees is an enthralling book, balancing solid introductory information with cutting-edge science. I knew that trees communicate, but finding out that there are fungi that distribute energy and food between young and old members through a root-driven, Social Security–type relationship blew my mind. This is the best type of science writing—the kind that asks new questions and is open to all the potential answers the world has to offer. - Rachel, Science Head
Who knew the search for a once-desired delicacy could expand into such a life-altering odyssey of self-discovery? This story has lingered in my mind, long after the final page. Paterniti becomes obsessed with a cheese, a man, and a story--moving his entire family to the highlands of Castile, dedicating years of his life, and becoming embroiled in a blood feud. Full of the big questions about life and agency and meaning, it's a book that holds your heart and your stomach hostage. - Nici
I was completely caught off guard by this book! I picked it up, expecting something light and silly, similar to his other novel Something Missing.* Instead, I found a beautiful exploration on the complexities of Autism, the power of friendship, and the burden of mortality. Insightful and compelling. *which you should totally read, btw. It’s lovely. - Kimberly