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a.c.'s Reviews

A ladder against a wall of books has two books placed cover-out on each of it's rungs. A woman with long, loose brown hair is hanging from the ladder, looking at the books and smiling.Bookseller Goodbye

Home is where your books are, and none of us ever really say goodbye to Bookshop Santa Cruz. My coworkers, this place, the community surrounding it and the very shelves of it have been home to me for the past four years. I’m braving a new challenge, soon, but I do so in the knowledge that huge pieces of my heart are stored safely in the stacks here. You may notice it sometimes in the rustle of certain pages: the spirit of booksellers past, like me, who never fully leave.

In the skylight room where we host events, and where the rain sounds exquisitely beautiful on winter days, there is a ladder which I have scrambled up over hundreds of times to adjust the sound before author talks. I said goodbye to it this Saturday! And goodbye to my books. Every title in this photo is one that once stopped my heart suddenly, raised my spirits, made me cry, made me pause, made me think or made me hope. I leave them with you! Please take them home. Don’t leave them to linger too long on these shelves, unread. Pass them around. Leave pieces of yourself between the pages.

My love to you always, Bookshop!




Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles

Takashi Hiraide fans will recognize the "manic pixie dream cat," a stray kitten who drops like a spark into the life of a reclusive professor and teaches him to value everyday wonder. The lost cat spurs a visit to the neighbors, the neighbors spur a trip to the world, and the rest follows in a playful torrent of quirky characters, strange coincidence, and human connection. —a.c.

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Love in Lowercase: A Novel Cover Image
By Francesc Miralles, Julie Wark (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780143128212
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Books - January 26th, 2016

Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel

Abel's comic timing made me a coffee-snorting spectacle in public, because I laughed through every page. In unveiling the creative process behind hit nonfiction podcasts like This American Life, Abel makes something incredible: a graphic novelization about radio storytelling that is, itself, effortlessly enjoyable to read. Ideal for anyone responsible for telling a good story well. —a.c.

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Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385348430
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Crown - August 25th, 2015

The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin

Your brain was built exceptionally well for the everyday challenges of centuries ago-- just like the TRS-80 was built really well for the computer information needs of the 1980s. Time for an update! Whip-smart and incredibly relatable, Levitin shares current research along with practical suggestions to simplify modern living, so that even the naturally disorderly among us can survive the information age. —a.c.

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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147516312
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - September 1st, 2015

Erratic Facts by Kay Ryan

Ryan’s finesse in Erratic Facts floored me. Using short, simple language, she upends the entire world to better view just one small piece of life with startling clarity. Extraordinary wisdom; no artifice. Ryan leaps effortlessly between joyful and sad, creating something ethereal that spans the human condition. The resulting poetry is both profound and fleeting—“as though constellations/ fretted something/ to existence” to “produce brief real things/ in real places.” I was stricken.  —a.c.

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Erratic Facts Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802124050
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Grove Press - October 6th, 2015

Felicity by Mary Oliver

Oliver’s poetry repudiates cynicism—hers is too clearly a willing heart, which shines in this collection about love. Felicity pulses with playful mischief and the ringing joy of true abandon. In new romance, Oliver writes, you can take it slow, “But bless us,/ we didn’t.” Life may bruise us before we meet, yet in love, “Everything that was broken has/ forgotten its brokenness. I live/ now in a sky-house, through every/ window the sun.”  —a.c.

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Felicity: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594206764
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 13th, 2015

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Exciting sequel! Three books in, Robert Galbraith (otherwise known as J.K. Rowling) continues to write intelligent mysteries with incredible entertainment value. In Career of Evil, Galbraith introduces a compelling dynamic: not only is private dick Cormoran Strike’s strong-headed “secretary” now doing detective work, but the pair stumble upon a unique case which forces the very reserved protagonist to examine his own past. The grisly riddle delivers itself straight to Strike’s office in the form of a packaged, severed limb.  —a.c.

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Career of Evil (A Cormoran Strike Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316349932
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Mulholland Books - October 20th, 2015

Only What’s Necessary by Chip Kidd

This art collection, a comprehensive examination of Charles M. Schulz’s most beloved characters from the early days of Li’l Folks to the daily Peanuts cartoons that ran for half a century, is a tribute to the powerful creative impact of “Sparky” on the field of comics. Clean lines, innocent characters, and startlingly precocious philosophical humor mark the simple and powerful genius of the Peanuts comic strip, which turns 65 this year.  —a.c.

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Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts Cover Image
By Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear (By (photographer)), Jeff Kinney (Contributions by), Jean Schulz (Contributions by), Karen Johnson (Contributions by), Paige Braddock (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9781419716393
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Abrams ComicArts - October 20th, 2015

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

After a fire destroys not only her home, but her entire family and her young lover, June Reid describes the scene: “there were no survivors.” Not her family; not herself. This quiet, beautiful novel examines the darkness of individual human loss in order to arrive at something honest and redemptive. Incredibly empathetic writing: I almost felt the creak of each narrator's bones as I lived through their part in the tale. —a.c.
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Did You Ever Have a Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476798172
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - September 1st, 2015

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Readable, smart, and easy-to-implement, Sethi gears this book towards everyone because finance should be understandable. My favorite line: “Why does just about everything written about personal finance make me want to paint myself with honey and jump into a nest of fire ants?” —a.c.

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I Will Teach You To Be Rich Cover Image
ISBN: 9780761147480
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Workman Publishing Company - March 23rd, 2009

The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey

Paddy Buckley, charming Irish undertaker, finds himself on the wrong side of a beautiful, elderly Dublin widow, two severe gang leaders (one dead) and, to sweeten it all, one very unfortunate crematorium mishap. Watching Buckley’s professionalism and decision-making deteriorate spectacularly over the course of his last four days is, at all times, a delight. Funny, uncomfortable, smart and engaging, this is a winning debut mystery novel from Jeremy Massey. —a.c.

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The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633447
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - May 12th, 2015


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