Fantastic Fall 2011

Staff recommendations of great books released in Fall, 2011

One of the most talked-about books of the season is a debut novel by the cofounder and coeditor of n+1, the acclaimed magazine of politics, literature, and culture. But don’t worry; you don’t have to be an intellect or (it pains me to say) a baseball fan for that matter to be blown away by this book that is set around our national pastime. “Reading The Art of Fielding is like watching a hugely gifted young shortstop: you keep waiting for the errors, but there are no errors. First novels this complete and consuming come along very, very seldom.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom

Reviewed by: 
S.B.
The Art of Fielding: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780316126694
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 7th, 2011

This is a visceral account of three young boys growing up with a graveyard shift mother and temperamental father whose love is a dangerous, ferocious thing that simultaneously cements and fractures their struggling family. Together, these wild boys tear through childhood, creating and destroying; making this is an intense look at the childhood bonds that forever shape our lives. It may just be a slip of a novel, but it packs quite a punch.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
We the Animals: A novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780547576725
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - August 30th, 2011

Last year's big anthology release was My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, a book of smartly retold fairy tales. This year, it's Tin House's Fantastic Women, a collection of sublime and bizarre stories told by some of the best speculative and surrealist writers out there. Includes work by Aimee Bender, Miranda July, Karen Russell, and many more. A must-read for those who crave the gorgeous and the strange.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Logo
Fantastic Women: 18 Tales of the Surreal and the Sublime from Tin House Cover Image
By Rob Spillman (Editor), Joy Williams (Introduction by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781935639107
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - July 26th, 2011

New in paperback, this book is so much at once. A coming-of-age novel, a mystery surrounding family secrets, and a striking love story. Truong introduces us to ten-year-old Linda Hammerick, a young girl who has synesthesia—she experiences every word as having a taste. Not knowing that this is a neurological condition, Linda tells only her best friend about her odd capability. We watch Linda grow up and seek connection, but all the while keeping people at a distance because of the way she experiences life slightly askew. When a family tragedy forces Linda to return to her childhood home, Linda finds out that she has not been the only one in her family to keep aspects of them selves hidden. A quirky but poignant story well worth the read.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Bitter in the Mouth: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812981322
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 9th, 2011

I love love loved this book, and I think you will, too. It’s epic in scale with a whole cadre of characters to love and hate, and Follet weaves them together into an addictive story. Like Pillars of the Earth or World Without End, you feel immersed in history—yet drawn in to the intimate details of the characters lives. By balancing five families from all sides of the Great War, Follet paints a complex picture of the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780451232571
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 30th, 2011

Great House is one of the best books about writing I've read, though it's not really about writing. If asked, I'd have to say it's really about a large desk that manages to link together a cast of otherwise disparate characters. One of those characters is a writer, and her take on the habit and art of writing brings the story to life. This is a novel quite worthy of its National Book Award nomination.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Logo
Great House Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393340648
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 6th, 2011

A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. We think this is a great selection for book groups and for fans of White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Writer Jamie Ford calls it, “A deftly powerful story of finding your way home, even after you’ve burned every bridge behind you. The Language of Flowers took my heart apart, chapter by chapter, then reassembled the broken pieces in better working condition—I loved this book.” 

The Language of Flowers: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780345525543
Availability: Backordered
Published: Ballantine Books - August 23rd, 2011

Jane Hirshfield’s new poetry collection is a masterful blend of concise language and poignant questioning. Hirshfield pairs together emotions and images that take single moments and open them to realms that are infinite and lingering. I was struck by the way Hirshfield’s words again and again danced the duel of invitation and letting go:

      Love in August

      White moths against the screen in August darkness.

      Some clamor in envy.

      Some spread large as two hands of a thief

      Who wants to put back in your cupboard the long-taken silver.

Like Mary Oliver, this poetry collection is one you’ll want to have on hand for reading and rereading, always finding something anew.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Come, Thief: Poems Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780307595423
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Knopf - August 23rd, 2011

I get cranky if I go too long without a Mary Russell fix. God of the Hive was published a scant year and a half ago, but it feels like much longer since I've checked in with my favorite detectives, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. In Pirate King we are taken to Lisbon, where a mystery involving silent films and Gilbert and Sullivan awaits. King's dexterous plotting skills are hard at work in this novel, and surprises are in store. I can't wait!

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Logo
Pirate King: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780553807981
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Bantam - September 6th, 2011

“Far from being just another morose Nordic crime writer, Denmark’s Adler-Olsen creates a detective whose curiosity is as active as his soul is tortured. The villain is a monster and the crime horrendous, but readers will root for the victim and for the belabored Department Q. This absorbing psychological thriller is recommended not only for fans of Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø, and Stieg Larsson, but for true crime aficionados who might like to try fiction.” —Library Journal 

The Keeper of Lost Causes Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525952480
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Dutton Adult - August 23rd, 2011

Pages

 

Other Services:

 

 
 
 
 
All titles are subject to availability. Prices subject to change. Please call 831-423-0900 to confirm.
Copyright © Bookshop Santa Cruz
(831) 423-0900 · 1520 Pacific Ave · Downtown Santa Cruz · Santa Cruz, CA · 95060