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Spring Reading, 2016

Some of the best books of the season, recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff.

Born for This by Chris Guillebeau

If Guillebeau’s bestseller The $100 Startup was the guide on how to work for yourself, here’s a manifesto on making work meaningful. Even if your dream isn’t to launch a startup or break a record, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a brain-draining, crazy-making job. Born For This is intelligent encouragement toward figuring out what kind of work matches your skills, interests, and lifestyle needs—and gives you fulfillment and a steady paycheck.  —Julia

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Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101903988
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Currency - April 5th, 2016

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan

For four hundred years to be Irish in Ireland was a crime. Its people, stubborn to a fault, did not take to fetters gently. Thomas Francis Meagher ached for a free Ireland though he spent most of his life in exile. Just in time for the centennial of the Easter Rising, Egan writes about Meagher with a fervor to match the man’s need for freedom. Meagher’s almost unbelievable life lit a fire in me. I couldn’t put it down.  —Ivy

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The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780544272880
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 1st, 2016

Irritable Hearts by Mac McClelland

As a journalist for Mother Jones, Mac McCelland traveled the world covering high crisis politics and world events; she was used to seeing scenes that most of us never encounter. But after witnessing the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, McCelland returned home unable to “recover.” Plagued by nightmares, changes in perceptions, and uncontrollable crying, she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In Irritable Hearts, McCelland writes with candor about turning her journalistic eyes inward, struggling to research PTSD even has she is held in its grip. The result is an oh-so-readable memoir that is also a portrayal of human character.  —S.M.C.

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Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250053503
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 22nd, 2016

Eruption by Steve Olson

Eruption chronicles the 1980 explosion of Mt. St. Helens and documents the days, months, and even centuries leading up to it. It is an engaging read about not just volcanoes, but also the American logging industry, environmentalism, and people’s staggering ability to ignore what’s right in front of them. Olson offers up the deeply personal experiences of the people near the volcano when it burst, those who survived, and those who didn’t.  —Jade

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Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393242799
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 7th, 2016

Half-Earth by Edward O. Wilson

Fracking, extinctions, pollution, we've put our world through hell, and it's not an understatement to say that it’s in trouble. While efforts are being made to make amends, Wilson proposes an inspiring (and daunting) solution: put aside half the Earth to biosphere conservation.  —Rachel

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Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631490828
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright - March 7th, 2016

Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

In Smarter Better Faster, bestselling author Charles Duhigg looks at eight important concepts that help explain how some people are so successful. These concepts, backed with findings in neuroscience, psychology and behavior patterns, help the reader identify with each concept in a relatable and manageable way. Learn how to work smarter, faster and better with this quality study in how people do things so well.  —Kate

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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812993394
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - March 8th, 2016

Rightful Heritage by Douglas Brinkley

This is a fascinating exploration of FDR’s life and history through the lens of land conservation. We are all so familiar with FDR’s politics and his wartime leadership, that it was refreshing to see a different side to this American icon. Lovingly written and painstakingly researched, Brinkley chronicles how the love of the outdoors was instilled in him, and how that sense of responsibility and stewardship carried him through the rest of his life.  —Jax

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Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062089236
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - March 15th, 2016

Putin Country by Anne Garrels

I’ve recently become fascinated by Russian history, and wondered what it’s like to live under a ruler like Vladimir Putin, a question answered in this book. Garrels spent years doing research in the town of Chelyabinsk, getting to know the town and its residents. Using the town as a lens to show what life is like for everyday Russians, Garrels has created an eye-opening glimpse into another world.  —Flannery


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Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374247720
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 15th, 2016

Black Holes and Other Songs From Outer Space by Janna Levin

This latest work from one of the world’s leading astrophysicists explores the decades-long search for gravitational waves. The interactions of these waves create an eerie symphony among the spheres, and these songs have allowed scientists like Levin to better understand the dynamics of the universe. Levin recounts the fifty-year struggle to detect gravitational waves with a humanness and humor that makes Black Holes and other Love Songs from Outer Space a pleasant read.  —Aric

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Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307958198
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - March 29th, 2016

Stir by Jessica Fechtor

In the midst of a successful academic career, Fechtor experiences a burst aneurysm—and recovers with wit, wisdom, and food. Fechtor’s charming writing drew me in with her anecdotes, like when she met her husband-to-be (“he was totally annoying”), then pulled me back into the raw with her hospital tales. It is “the story of a broken brain—and oh, by the way, there will be recipes.”  —Sara

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Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101983638
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Plume - April 5th, 2016


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