Spring Reading, 2017

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

Reading The Silk Roads can be like standing in the middle of a planetarium and looking straight up while the universe spins around at high speed. This book will reorient you by placing connections between east and west back at the center. Covering, among other things, religion, trade, war, disease, and agriculture, Frankopan weaves an epic tale dizzying in its re-conception. - Dave

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The Silk Roads: A New History of the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101912379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 7th, 2017

Wow, wow, wow, what an incredible story. Christopher Knight walked into the Maine woods at the age of twenty and lived there without human contact for almost three decades. A hermit in the extreme, this is the story of a man who never wanted his existence known, and Finkel writes it with respect, honesty and great care, weaving the astonishing details of Knight’s life (he never lit a fire in 27 years!) into a classic nonfiction narrative. - Melinda

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The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875681
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 7th, 2017

I hadn’t heard of Lindy West before picking up this book, but after reading it, I felt like I’d known her all my life. Her hilarious but real take on pop culture, body shaming, social justice, and feminism puts her up there with Roxane Gay and Phoebe Robinson in my list of favorite writers with important things to say. - Karena

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Shrill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316348461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - February 28th, 2017

As far as celebrity tell-alls goes, this had way more history lessons than most, but was also much more hilarious (and terrifying). Youssef tells his perspective on Egypt’s revolution(s)/coups/turbulence in the last six years, and if you are at all confused at how all of those words apply, then you need to read this book. I promise it is funny, and painfully biting, as it always is with the best satire. - Jax

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Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062446893
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - March 21st, 2017

We all know what they look like, and some of us can even pronounce them correctly on our first attempt. From pop culture to scientific spats, the ink blot test has permeated the world over. The first full-length biography of Rorschach written, The Inkblots delves into his background, the creation of his experiment, and the uproar it causes to this day. A lovely mixture of science and art, just the way Rorschach would have preferred. - Rachel

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The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804136549
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - February 21st, 2017

Jenny Lawson is one of my favorite people that I don't actually know. I just feel like I know her because she writes terrific books and a great blog and she is funny as hell and she also happens to suffer from anxiety and depression and she's a wonderful artist and, well, that's a lot, but it's all true and you should go out and buy her books, especially this new one which is extra cool because it's filled with her doodles and drawings and also her thoughts, which are always very clever and interesting. You can color the pictures if you want to, or you can just look at them and get inspired to draw your own, or you can do nothing. No pressure. Enjoy. - George

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You Are Here: An Owner's Manual for Dangerous Minds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250119889
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - March 7th, 2017

Bless you, Jennifer Wright, for fulfilling my micro-history cravings with plague sociology. The conversational tone makes even the worst symptoms seem manageable (unless you're assumed a witch.) With detailed facts and snarky humor, Get Well Soon makes me grateful to be living with access to antibiotics, yet warily anticipating the future of plagues. - Rachel

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Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627797467
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - February 7th, 2017

Refugee stories are massively important right now. This graphic memoir of tumultuous memories explores how to connect the past to the present and the long shadow it can throw on the next generation. The Bui family sought refuge from the fallout of the Vietnam war, but never imagined the lasting impact such trauma would have on their life in America. Drawn in an intensely personal style, I couldn’t help but be pulled into their story. - Ivy

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The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir Cover Image
By Thi Bui
ISBN: 9781419718779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 7th, 2017

I gleefully tore through Mayne’s first two books about magician-turned-FBI agent Jessica Blackwood, and am thrilled to get my hands on a new one! Blackwood’s unorthodox upbringing in a family of magicians gives her unique insight into unusual crimes. In Black Fall, she finds herself pulled into two seemingly unrelated investigations that begin to converge, and may involve her nemesis, The Warlock. If you want a fast, fun thriller, look no further! - Flannery

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Black Fall: A Jessica Blackwood Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062491985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - March 21st, 2017

Will Keller, war photographer, is more than happy to get lost in Cambodia’s underbelly and forget his past. Despite his efforts, he is drawn into a search for a lost girl, a trip that takes him across the country and through his past. The author draws on personal career experience as a photojournalist to bring life (and death) to this hauntingly stark and brutal novel. I read this in one night, unable and unwilling to drag out the suspense. - Rachel

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Cambodia Noir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501106095
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - March 21st, 2017



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