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Fall Reading, 2018

An illustration of the tops of skyscrapers and a tall tree shedding autumn leaves from below, with a sign that reads "Autumn Books" along the side of one of the buildings.Some of the best books of the season, recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff.








If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

Kim’s emotional debut explores one Korean family’s struggle to survive the civil war and its enduring aftermath. At the novel’s heart is Haemi Lee, a spirited teenager who flees to a refugee camp with her widowed mother and sick brother, and must make difficult choices in the face of unabashed youth. Although satisfyingly steeped in young loves and family loyalties, it is ultimately a tale of identity, how one country and its people endeavor to find their place in a world ripped apart by years of war and occupation. This is a story both well-loved and refreshingly new. - Melinda

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If You Leave Me: A Novel By Crystal Hana Kim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062645173
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: William Morrow - August 7th, 2018

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

Lucius, the awkward youngest son of a Polish aristocratic dynasty struggles for opportunity in the rigid and bureaucratic school for medicine—desperate to uncover the mysteries of the brain—until World War I erupts. He’s thrown from the classroom to a regimental hospital in the Carpathians drowning in both the physically and mentally wounded. There’s an underlying bleakness to this powerful and romantic work of historical fiction. - Clara

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The Winter Soldier By Daniel Mason Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316477604
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 11th, 2018

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize, Olga Tokarczuk’s latest work, Flights, is a novel for those who’ve traveled to an unknown world, unsure of what they might find there. Told through more than a hundred short pieces, Flights takes the readers into the minds of some interesting characters from the 17th century to the present. Full of ethereal asides and prose poetry, Flights is great for any reader looking for an escape. - Aric

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Flights By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Translated by) Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780525534198
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 14th, 2018

Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart

The trick of this book is that it stars a character so unlovable, so driven by greed and self-image, that you can’t help but loathe him… and yet! Somehow, you’ll find yourself falling for Barry, a hedge fund manager whose obsession with his past begins to unravel his present. Lake Success is set at the height of American turmoil—pre-election, 2016 ­—and it reveals the beating heart of our country with unflinching satire. - Jessica

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Lake Success: A Novel By Gary Shteyngart Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812997415
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Random House - September 4th, 2018

His Favorites by Kate Walbert

Sometimes the most satisfying reads are the ones that can pack a punch in short form. Kate Walbert’s new novel, His Favorites, is a telling novella of a #metoo moment in the hallways of an elite New England boarding school. The story of Jo, a young girl facing the fact that she accidentally killed her best friend before facing the attention and abuse of a teacher at the school where she flees to rebuild her life, showcases how women not only carry these injustices but also carry the weight of their inner lives through these moments. A relevant and powerful tale. - Casey

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His Favorites: A Novel By Kate Walbert Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476799391
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Scribner - August 14th, 2018

French Exit by Patrick deWitt

When a once wealthy Upper West Side widow and her emotionally childish adult son have, after years of spendthrift foolishness, finally burned through all their money, they head for Paris. They bring Small Frank, their cat, because the widow believes he is animated by the soul of her dead husband—an infamously immoral lawyer. The characters here are awful—narcissistic, cruel, warped by money and privilege—but their story is hilarious and strangely compelling. As always, DeWitt’s writing is crisp and dead-pan witty. He creates a world that is, shall we say, different from the one you and I live in, but still believable—in a totally crazy way. I happily tore through this in a couple days, smiling the whole time. - Rico

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French Exit: A Novel By Patrick deWitt Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062846921
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2018

Housegirl by Michael Donkor

Belinda is a housegirl in Ghana, facing life without her mother and as a steward for a younger housegirl-in-training placed under her care. When her employer family sends her to London to reign in another teen girl who is starting to push family and cultural boundaries, Belinda learns not only how she influences others but ultimately what she needs for herself. Housegirl is a moving story of female friendships and how those ties help or hinder the journey every woman faces to find their true self. - Casey

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Housegirl: A Novel By Michael Donkor Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250305176
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Picador - August 28th, 2018

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

After reading Circe by Madeline Miller, I was so ready for more Greek mythology from a woman’s perspective, and Pat Barker delivered. I appreciated the fact that Briseis is allowed to be angry. She’s allowed to feel rage and other very complicated feelings at being the concubine of Achilles. She is front and center in the war of Troy, a pawn between very “great” men, who gives a voice to the thousands of women who were in the Greek camps in all manner of occupations, from slave to nurse. - Karena

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The Silence of the Girls: A Novel By Pat Barker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544214
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Doubleday - September 4th, 2018

Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison

A good Western is all in the telling, and Jessilyn Harney, the young woman at the heart of Larison’s new novel has a voice made for stories. Newly orphaned, she disguises herself as a boy and sets off to find her outlaw brother, to bring him home, reclaim their father’s land and reclaim her sense of family. There are delightfully new threads in this riveting Western yarn, but the adventuring and seeking remain the same, song-like and enjoyable to the end. - Melinda

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Whiskey When We're Dry By John Larison Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735220447
Availability: Hard to Find - Believed to be Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Viking - August 21st, 2018

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

I think I’ve yet to dislike a book by Tessa Dare. She knows how to give us the romance we want and deserve. She gives us a bookstore meet cute, a heroine who is unafraid to take risks even though she’s a timekeeper not a governess (thank you very much), and a hero who is the kind of guy you can take home to mama, but also will kiss you blind as soon as she leaves the room. The very best part? His wards are two little girls whose hobbies include daily funerals for a doll named Daisy. - Karena

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The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke By Tessa Dare Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062672124
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Avon - August 28th, 2018


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