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Spring Reading, 2019

Some of the best books of the season, recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff. See our recommendations for young readers here.

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

In a remote Mennonite community in the late 2000's, more than 100 girls and women were sexually assaulted as they were drugged at night, and then told that it was demons who visited them instead of the real culprits—the men of the colony. Miriam Toews takes real life events and creates a fictional world in which the women—uneducated and without decision-making power—come together over two nights to decide whether to fight or flee in order to save themselves and their daughters. In quiet desperation, these women discuss philosophy, faith, relationships and their needs, and ultimately reclaim their agency as individuals and their role in a community of women. This is a book you will never forget. - Casey

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$24.00
ISBN: 9781635572582
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - April 2nd, 2019

Aerialists: Stories by Mark Mayer

Mark Mayer’s stories are astonishingly good, and Aerialists is a genuine pleasure to read. With absorbing characters and elegant writing, Mayer proves himself a richly developed, sensitive writer. Whether he’s writing in an adolescent voice or at the other end of the spectrum, with men looking back on their lives, the gems in this gorgeous collection will settle into your mind and heart, not to be forgotten. - Chorel

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Aerialists: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781635572179
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - February 19th, 2019

The Story Prize: 15 Years of Great Short Fiction ed. by Larry Dark

This collection is nothing short of essential for all lovers of fiction. The range in material is excellent, featuring longer pieces (“Memory Wall” by Anthony Doerr is a standout), classics of the canon (George Saunders’s “Tenth of December” and Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain”), and new discoveries from all your favorites; Claire Vaye Watkins, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Mary Gordon, Edwidge Danticat, and Adam Johnson are all here. The Story Prize deserves a place on your bookshelf, and is a volume you’ll return to for pleasure, study, and an immersion into new worlds of the human experience. - Chorel

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By Larry Dark (Editor), Anthony Doerr (Contribution by), Elizabeth Strout (Contribution by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781936787630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - March 5th, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A whirlwind inside account of the rise and fall of the 70’s legendary rock band Daisy Jones & The Six. Well written and believable as a biography of a real band, this unique and fun novel is hard to put down once started. The unusual interview style illuminates the complex dynamics propelling the band to stardom. This is an entertaining read for all fans of rock and roll. - Trey

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Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524798628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 5th, 2019

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

If you loved The Historian or People of the Book this should be your next read. Dr. Voth, a modern-day historian, faces relationship troubles and "mandatory unpaid leave" while researching a unique manuscript from 18th century London. Jack Sheppard is an indentured servant who is ushered into a life of crime when he discovers the freedom of a pair of trousers. Part counter-history, part rollicking historical-thriller Rosenberg tackles transgender history and incarceration in this deeply satisfying mystery. - Clara

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Confessions of the Fox: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780399592287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - March 5th, 2019

Naamah by Sarah Blake

Naamah is an erotic, embodied story of trauma. As I turned every page I was blown away by the boldness of Blake's storytelling in this retelling of the biblical flood. Trapped on the ark for months after humanity is washed away by the rains, Naamah grapples with grief, duty, loyalty, and identity. Blake brings a poet's language to every beautifully surreal sentence and image. - Clara

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Naamah: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525536338
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 9th, 2019

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Early reviews dubbed Candice Carty-Williams' fierce debut as a "black Bridget Jones Diary" which speaks to the book's unparalleled humor, raw look at relationships and sex, and the chronicling of the ups and downs of single women today. However, this book is so much more. It is one of the most honest looks at race while dating, sexual norms of men vs. women and the navigation of relationships carrying the weight of abuse and societal norms that I've ever read. This is one you'll pass to all your friends and then stay up long into the night talking about how Queenie changed your thinking about life and love.  - Casey

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$26.00
ISBN: 9781501196010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - March 19th, 2019

Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

This debut collection centers on Latina women living in Colorado, where their work is endless—from clocking in at Macy’s to kneading masa for fresh tortillas to trying to survive the men in their lives. These are stories of abandonment, addiction, and violence, but loss is the thread that connects each character to the last, as they reckon with the ghosts who have haunted their families for generations. Some of these stories will make you want to look away, but the stunning prose makes this book impossible to put down. - Kristi

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$26.00
ISBN: 9780525511298
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - April 2nd, 2019

Captain America, Volume 1: Winter in America by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates, the writer for the most recent and critically acclaimed run of Black Panther among many other things, tackles the Star-Spangled Avenger and boy what a ride this was. America is still reeling from a Hydra invasion that nearly stamped out freedom the world over, and though Cap wants nothing more than to be the hero, it’s not that simple. But trouble’s brewing that’s got Russia written all over it, and standing idly by was never Steve Rodgers’ strong suit. I can’t wait to see what happens next! - Jax

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By Ta-Nehisi Coates (Text by), Leinil Francis Yu (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781302911942
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Marvel - March 5th, 2019

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The tangled love lives of a school English department are rudely interrupted by a grisly murder in this standalone mystery. Fans of gothic suspense, British humour, and books rich with literary references will love this, as will those who, like me, have never recovered from their teenage fascination with what's really happening behind the teacher's lounge door. An excellent starting point to discover Griffiths' immensely satisfying style. Excuse me while I devour her back catalogue. - Ilana

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The Stranger Diaries Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781328577856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 5th, 2019

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