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Paperback Fiction from the 2012 Summer Newsletter

<img src="http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/files/santacruz/2012_Summer_Newsletter_... width="100" height="130" align="right">These recommendations were published in our <a href="http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/2012-summer-newsletter">2012 Summer Newsletter</a>.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The Art of Fielding is not so much about baseball as a game. Though the outward plot focuses on Henry Skrimshander’s rise (and fall) as a college shortstop genius and the resulting miraculous/calamitous season that ensues, this introspective narrative goes deeper than that. Baseball is simply a stage setting to the tiny soap opera of what it means to find one’s place in the world. Harbach’s subtle style of writing is hard to resist, regardless of one’s own feelings about our great American pastime.
Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
The Art of Fielding: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316126670
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 1st, 2012

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

I’ve now bought three copies of The Borrower, and I need to buy another, because I keep spontaneously mailing them off to friends and family. It’s one of those books that I feel a need to evangelize, with a powerful message about what it means to love books, and the many ways that literature can provide liberation and comfort. Read it, and grab an extra copy for the reader in your life. You’ll need it.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
The Borrower: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143120957
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 29th, 2012

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

When God Was a Rabbit is a unique and wonderful coming-of-age story that begins in Cornwall, England, in the late 1960s and ends around the time of the terrorist attacks in New York. Told mostly through the view of Elly (who we first meet at 5), the years traversed in this novel are simple and fantastical at the same time. We watch two siblings recreate magic through a rabbit they name God, we watch a best friend promise to witness unspeakable acts, we watch the world stretch and break as war and terror become common day. A beautiful, magical story that poses questions about saying yes and staying open to life when loss and longing are enough to make anyone say no.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
When God Was a Rabbit Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781608195374
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 24th, 2012

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is one of those authors you want to read for the first time again and again; you can’t help but be swept up with that wonderful feeling of seeing life from a new perspective. State of Wonder is an adventure story whose beauty lies in the description and, well, oddity of its setting, with deadly snakes, harrowing river rides, and malaria-induced nightmares, where breathtaking beauty stands side by side with wrenching loss. Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist at a pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down another elusive doctor who is working with a tribe in the Amazon to create a valuable new drug. There are images in this book that you will never be able to forget; there is a moral tug-of-war that will make your heart pound, and there is that incredible beauty that Patchett embeds in her writing.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
State of Wonder: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062049810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 8th, 2012

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This is a story about personal languages: how we create them and miscommunicate them. Diffenbaugh’s lovely, clear-eyed prose gives us a story of the small things that shape our lives, the decisions that haunt us, and how we slowly, often painfully, yet worthily, begin to learn the languages of others.

Reviewed by: 
Erin
The Language of Flowers: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345525550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 3rd, 2012

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka tells a story of Japanese picture brides who immigrated to the West Coast in the United States between 1908 and 1920, and their experiences up to World War II. Utilizing the unique, choral “we” to depict her characters, Otsuka may tread on dangerous ground (in generalizing an entire group), yet she pulls off a powerful demonstration of multivocality among group members, with lyricism and refreshing innovation. Nominated for a 2011 National Book Award and winner of the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Reviewed by: 
Steve
Staff Pick Badge
The Buddha in the Attic Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780307744425
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Anchor - March 20th, 2012

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is known for her lyrical style and novels that are dosed with magic and surrealism. But in The Dovekeepers, she breaks away from the world of fantasy and retells the story of the Romans’ siege of Masada in 70 CE, during which all but a handful of the 900 Jewish defenders were slaughtered. Using the voices of four separate women, who intersect in surprising ways, the story unfolds into one of determined strength, unity, and faith. With an almost biblical feel, Hoffman’s novel has a cadence and depth that makes it feel timeless—she has truly brought history to life—so perhaps there is a bit of magic in her telling after all.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
The Dovekeepers: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781451617481
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scribner - April 3rd, 2012

Trapeze by Simon Mawer

This smart and compelling novel gave me a glimpse into a fascinating element of World War II—a group of young, seemingly ordinary women were highly trained in firearms, fighting, code breaking and parachuting, and then sent to work undercover in occupied Europe. Mawer’s fictional account follows one of these women, Marian Sutro, as she navigates a world of danger and intrigue. A highly realistic and well-researched novel that is addictive from first word to last.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Trapeze: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590515273
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Other Press - May 1st, 2012

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Silver Sparrow is a quiet, impactful book, an almost meld of the writings of Alice Walker and Barbara Kingsolver. Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, it tells the story of Dana, the secret preteen daughter of James, who is married and has another family across town. Dana struggles with her shame and anger when she realizes that she is an illegitimate daughter. Dana becomes obsessed with her half-sister Chaurisse, who has no idea that Dana and her mother exist. And then one day, Dana and Chaurisse’s paths cross, and the secrets begin to unravel. The result is a disquieting novel that examines the bonds and the obligations that make up a family.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Silver Sparrow Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616201425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - May 8th, 2012

Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Get willingly lost in the Michigan backwoods as you join 16-year-old Margo Crane on her river odyssey. Running away from the violent death of her father at the hands of her extended family, she is forced to survive in the wild on her wits and her will. Yet enduring the harshness of the natural world is less difficult than surviving the intentions of some of the people she encounters. She’s a complex character, unashamedly sexual and yet somehow innocent, and her personal growth and self-realization make the novel a powerful piece of American literature.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
Staff Pick Badge
Once Upon a River: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393341775
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 4th, 2012

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