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Hardback Fiction from the 2013 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our <a href="http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/2013-winter-newsletter">2013 Winter Newsletter</a>.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Lowland is beautiful and emotionally rich—a slowly building crescendo to a final movement of complete literary bliss. Lahiri’s story tells of several generations coping with the tragedy of a young man’s execution and making very human mistakes while trying to heal. I love the depth of her characters’ emotional lives and the gorgeous prose. This novel is a wonderful celebration of that feeling one gets when one finally—finally—arrives at happiness.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
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The Lowland Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780307265746
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 24th, 2013

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

Each of Lamb’s novels have an almost effortless lyricism to them that allows the storytelling to deepen and take hold. Lamb’s newest novel (which opens with a poem by Adrienne Rich) is about the Ohs, a family living in the beginning years of Obama’s presidency. In the alternating voices of each family member, Lamb tells the history of their town and the race and class strife that has plagued it for generations. When a story of a flood that nearly destroyed the town in its founding years is unveiled, the desires and conflicts of the Oh family become extricable from the history from which they come. Lamb shows how the legacy of the human experience is based on the need and deserving of connection and acceptance. This is a wonderful book.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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We Are Water: A Novel Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780061941023
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper - October 22nd, 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I adored this wonderfully quirky love story. Professor Don Tillman’s brain works just a little bit differently (think Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory) and his systematic, rational procedure for finding a wife is totally thrown off-kilter by the entrance of Rosie and his own unpredictable and illogical emotional responses. Simsion combines a good dose of humor with a tender and authentic romance. It’s a genuine feel-good book.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
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The Rosie Project: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476729084
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 1st, 2013

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt (The Secret History and The Little Friend) is a writer who takes at least 10 years to write each of her books. The Goldfinch centers around 13-year-old Theo, a tragic event, and a historical painting that pulls Theo into the underworld of art. The research that went into this novel must have been extraordinary, and yet it is unnoticeable; the story is so infused with detail and feeling that you lose yourself in the characters and their experience. This is a novel about the orchestration of where we end up versus where we belong—the story of fate versus destiny. It is a work of art, one that must be personally viewed to be experienced. Read it. Don’t miss our event with Donna Tartt Thursday, October 24, at 7:00pm. See this page for details.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Staff Pick Badge
The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) Cover Image
$34.00
ISBN: 9780316055437
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 22nd, 2013

The Circle by Dave Eggers

“Decades from now, we will look back on our Facebook era and wonder why we ever handed over our most private moments and personal identities to overgrown children running the world from sunny California. Eggers does us one better and puts on his Philip K. Dick goggles to see what the future holds—how entrusting our lives to a Kafkaesque Internet company called The Circle might bring about the apocalypse.”
—The Daily Beast

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The Circle Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385351393
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - October 8th, 2013

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon

Bleeding Edge is one of those rare books that reads like a movie—it’s visual in character as well as literary. Thomas Pynchon, a well-known literary writer, is back in action with his tongue-in-cheek humor, dense historical landscapes, and complex, multifaceted characters all interweaving and creating a network of interesting plot points and twists. Perfect for the brooding literary family member or simply for someone looking for something off the beaten track, Bleeding Edge is one of those incomparable, unique reads that leaves a lasting mark.

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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Bleeding Edge Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781594204234
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Press - September 17th, 2013

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

This novel is simply amazing, as the title suggests. With The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan further demonstrates her already well-known ability to turn a simple story into something beautiful and heart-wrenching that also helps us look at ourselves differently. The story follows the main character Violet from her upbringing in a courtesan house in Shanghai to her topsy-turvy development into a young virgin courtesan. The novel is culturally enlightening, well researched, and extremely well written. A great read for the escapist in all of us.

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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The Valley of Amazement Cover Image
By Amy Tan
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062107312
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Ecco - November 5th, 2013

The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt

David Leavitt’s tightly woven tale of two married couples in Lisbon in 1940 (at the time the only neutral port in Europe) pitches the pressures of war against the strain of unhappy marriage. Surrounded by desperate refugees, Julia, Pete, Edward, and Iris meet at a café and strike up a quick friendship. But an unexpected affair erupts, war looms, and not everyone makes it out alive. A brisk, tense book, expertly wrought.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Two Hotel Francforts: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781596910430
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - June 3rd, 2014

The Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

This novel stunned me. At its end, I realized I would be forever haunted—truly, there is no better word to describe the vibration left behind after reading this book. Fusing fact and fiction, the book is based on a true crime that took place in 1931. It is not a sensationalist recounting; instead it delves into the inner lives and spirits of the crime victims and those close to them. There are photographs (lifted from real archives) of the characters and the settings that surrounded them, interspersed within the chapters that give the lost voice and breath. While this could be macabre in another writer’s hand, in Phillips’, the writing is filled with life.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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Quiet Dell: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439172537
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - October 15th, 2013

At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón

“Alarcón is a young, talented writer who is on the cusp of a breakthrough, a state of mind perfectly captured by the compulsively energetic voice of At Night We Walk in Circles, as it tells the gripping story of a young, talented actor who tumbles onto the other side of his breakthrough—and into trouble—after he becomes the star of a guerrilla theater troupe called Diciembre in a nameless Latin American country.” —The Daily Beast

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At Night We Walk in Circles Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594631719
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - October 31st, 2013

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