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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.

The Bird King by G. Willow WIlson

The Bird King is so many things at once. It plays with love, power, religion, freedom and what those words mean to different people at different times. You will be swept away in this gorgeously written historical fantasy. I have been a fan of Wilson’s ever since Alif the Unseen and she doesn’t disappoint here. In fact, she’s only gotten better as an author. - Karena

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The Bird King Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802129031
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 12th, 2019

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Eerie in the best way with character relationships so well developed you forget the novel is pared down to just two voices. The Luminous Dead follows Gyre's solo journey through empty caves in deep space, with only the voice of her handler over the coms as back-up. Of course neither Gyre nor her handler are as they initially appear, and are the caves truly empty? Starling plays with universal human fears to ratchet up the tension for thrills and chills. - Clara

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The Luminous Dead: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062846907
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - April 2nd, 2019

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl

With an incredible collection of stories ranging from the fantastic to the macabre, told by established and emerging authors alike, New Suns is a book that you’ll have a hard time putting down. From the first page of the introduction by Lavar Burton to the afterword by the collection’s editor, Nisi Shawl, the reader will find tales of intergalactic tourism, interspecies erotica, and creative retellings of fairy tales. A fun read for all fans of Sci-fi and Fantasy. - Aric

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Eolo, a transgender warrior, accompanies his prince, Mawat, to claim his role as Lease of the Raven, leader of their people, only to discover a death, a betrayal, and a mystery. As Eolo searches for the truth, an unseen narrator relays his own ancient history, the two tales combining for an epic of politics and gods, power and revenge, loyalty and friendship, in an engrossing fantasy world and story unlike any being written today. - Jocelyn

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The Raven Tower Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316388696
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Orbit - February 26th, 2019

Icing on the Cake by Tessa Huff

Icing on the Cake is the perfect mix of charming design (love the curved corners!), the sweetest looking desserts, and delicious recipes. From Garden Cupcakes to Peanut Butter Eclairs to Caramel Apple Pear Pie, the baked goods are approachable enough to give them a try, but interesting enough to make them special. Huff’s first book, Layered, showcased her teaching skills, beautiful decorations, and creative flavor combinations, and her latest picks up right where she left off. - S.B.

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Icing on the Cake: Baking and Decorating Simple, Stunning Desserts at Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419734632
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Abrams - April 2nd, 2019

Liquid Rules by Mark Miodownik

Miodownik is back with the same delightful formula as Stuff Matters, my all-time favorite material sciences book. This book tackles liquids: the unstable, ever-changing force in our lives. Each chapter is framed around a liquid experienced onboard an airplane. From jet fuel to complementary tea to display screens (yes, liquid too!), this is for the daydreamer fascinated by the world around them. - Clara

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Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544850194
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - February 19th, 2019

Sissy by Jacob Tobia

Non-binary (NB), gender queer, and gender fluid folks have long been left behind as the queer community has grown louder. Here, shouting at the top of their fabulous lungs, comes Jacob Tobia. Their story is one that many other NB folks have had, and one that needs to be heard just as badly as any other queer experience. No journey of self-discovery is an easy road, but Tobia manages to shepherd us through their ups and downs with immense narrative grace. This book belongs in every queer studies course, and I hope it inspires other NB folks to tell their stories. - J

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Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735218826
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 5th, 2019

Skeleton Keys by Brian Switek

God, I love this book and the absolute nerdy adoration and fascination the author has for bones (yay a kindred spirit!). It reads as a favorite professor's lecture, the one who made the concepts real and fun and tricked you into learning at the same time. Starting with the minute process of bone growth, the book ranges from how bone repairs itself to newer research being done on how Instagram is enabling the legal and illegal bone trade. It's that perfect blend of science, history, and pop culture, including nods to Jurassic Park and the use of highly technical terms such as "whumpfed." - Rachel

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Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399184901
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - March 5th, 2019

See You in the Piazza by Frances Mayes

In her latest book, Frances Mayes encourages her reader to travel with an open mind. The best parts of Italy, she urges, are found when you least expect them. Arranged geographically with authentic recipes sprinkled throughout, this is a book to to open at random and explore leisurely. A great way to get ready for your own Italian adventure--whether it's in a few weeks or many years away. - Emma

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See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451497697
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Crown - March 12th, 2019

How to Know the Birds by Ted Floyd

Floyd, editor of Birding magazine, offers a more holistic approach to birding than the traditional field guide, pairing each species with personal anecdotes and practical birding advice, beginning with the basics of bird identification and moving on to the realms of conservation and philosophy. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is an excellent introduction to the art and science of birdwatching. - Katherine

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How to Know the Birds: The Art and Adventure of Birding Cover Image
ISBN: 9781426220036
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: National Geographic - March 12th, 2019


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