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Spring Reading, 2018

A pink background with white text that says "Spring Reading" and a photo of a woman reading amidst flowers in nature.

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

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

In David Grann’s latest book, he sheds light on the tragic fate of the Osage people, who, in the 1920s, were manipulated into giving up their immense oil wealth to white men. Those who got in the way were systematically murdered. The masterful prose of Killers of the Flower Moon hooked me by the first paragraph, and I hungrily devoured every subsequent word. The book is, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever read. - Jade

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307742483
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

Where the Water Goes by David Owen

I thought I understood the basics of water conservation until I read Where the Water Goes. As the author recounts his travels along the Colorado River and his conversations with experts, it becomes clear that no one really has a viable solution to the water shortage in the West. Written with a balance of humor and sincerity, this book is a wakeup call to anyone who thinks the drought is over. - Jade

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Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735216099
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 10th, 2018

The Prodigal Tongue by Lynne Murphy

As someone who grew up with a British father and an American mother, I was excited to read about “the common language that separates” them. Although some parts weren’t the revelations I was expecting but simply a confirmation, I imagine much of this book will provide fun insights into the language the reader uses every but perhaps haven’t given much thought since their school days. - Ian

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The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143131106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 10th, 2018

Disappointment River by Brian Castner

Disappointment River is a both an historical narrative and travel memoir. In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie traveled 1,200 miles by canoe—on the immense river in Canada that now bears his name—in a failed search for the fabled Northwest Passage. Join author Brian Castner as he tells the story of Mackenzie’s voyage while he personally retraces an epic journey of discovery some 227 years later. Travel by canoe has never seemed so exhausting, so dangerous, and so doable. - Felicia

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Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385541626
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Doubleday - March 13th, 2018

The Plant Messiah by Carlos Magdalena

While not a particularly religious person, Magdalena’s words give me faith in a world where it can be hard to come by, especially when it comes to its flora and fauna. Stating that he does not accept extinction as an answer, he goes on to prove that with his methods and approach to saving the world’s rare plants, some of which only have one specimen left. Even if you’re not a plant person, the story telling and adventuring within may convert you, or at least make you pause a little longer at the garden center. - Rachel

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The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385543613
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Doubleday - April 10th, 2018

Weird Math by David Darling & Agnijo Banerjee

The book cuts a large swath across the many fields of mathematics, tilling them for satisfying brain food. But the parts I enjoyed most about the book are when the authors take concepts they’ve broken down in mathematical detail—such as randomness and prime numbers—then philosophize about them and what they mean to our everyday lives. Are unknown digits of pi actually random? Does math exist outside of the observer? It’s a fun trip. - Ian

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Weird Math: A Teenage Genius and His Teacher Reveal the Strange Connections Between Math and Everyday Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541644786
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Basic Books - April 17th, 2018

The Not Quite States of America by Doug Mack

Everyone knows that America is 50 states—but what about the not-quite states? How did American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands become U.S. territories—and why are they often forgotten? (Say, after a devastating hurricane, or two.) “"An informative romp through the country's lesser explored areas, this book will engage history and political science buffs, along with travelers interested in the complete United States of America. —Library Journal

The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393355611
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 27th, 2018

The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater by Alanna Okun

Not just for crafters, Alanna Okun’s essays about life as a independent woman in the modern age are written from the heart. She explores timeless subjects from learning to live with yourself (literally and figuratively), to body image, facing fears and anxieties of all kinds, and (of course) fitting knitting and what it is to “be a crafter” into everyday life. Alanna is relatable and interesting, funny, and thoughtful. I like her and I think you will, too. - Megan

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The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater: Essays on Crafting Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250095619
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Flatiron Books - March 20th, 2018

Something Old, Something New by Tamar Adler

When I read Tamar Adler’s first book, An Everlasting Meal, I was taken by her lovely way with words. There is a timeless quality to her writing, which makes the focus of her new book—rekindling classic recipes—a perfect pairing. From Steak Diane to Peach Melba, Oysters Rockefeller to Shrimp Scampi, Adler muses on the original recipes for these dishes, then updates them with modern techniques and flavors. Nostalgic, but forward thinking, this is food writing at its best. - S.B.

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Something Old, Something New: Classic Recipes Revised Cover Image
By Tamar Adler, Mindy Dubin (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781476799612
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scribner - April 3rd, 2018

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

This is the Native memoir we need to be reading right now, one that does not look so much at the experience as through it, beyond it into a painful, poetic, grippingly real journey through struggle, breakdown, mental illness, relationship, abuse, shame, strength, motherhood and the perseverance to live. Mailhot’s writing is magnetic, propulsive, exquisitely crafted to pinpoint the intensity, confusion and complexity of each moment. - Melinda

Staff Pick Badge
Heart Berries: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619023345
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - February 6th, 2018


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