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Casey's Reviews

A woman sits on a flying broomstick in a Quidditch arena, holding a Quaffle.Casey is the second-generation owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz. Her earliest memory is riding the rocking horse in the kids section when the store was located across the street. When not reading Harry Potter with her two kids, she is an avid reader of new works of fiction, history and politics and loves to read with her book group.

Smile by Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl, internationally acclaimed playwright, saw half her face become paralyzed with Bell's palsy hours after she gave birth to twins. In Smile, she chronicles her journey through both motherhood and the inherently demonstrative world of theater, wondering if the lack of expression on her face, especially as a woman, has a bearing on how people perceive her and how she perceives herself. A thoughtful, heartfelt, resilient yet realistic rumination on a journey of self-discovery, one that feels particularly relevant as we think about the effects of wearing our smile behind our mask.—Casey

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Smile: The Story of a Face Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982150945
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 5th, 2021

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Recently, I had the most remarkable experience. I spent an entire day conversing with Ann Patchett, just like old friends do, about life, friendship, family, dogs, and more. Trick is, she had no idea. Instead, I merely dove headfirst into her new collection of essays, These Precious Days, where she uses her unique storytelling powers to infuse each subject with humor, warmth, and honesty, just like an intimate conversation between friends. In these chaotic and overwhelming days, this book is everything we need right now. —Casey 

Don’t miss our virtual event with Ann Patchett on December 2nd, 2021.

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These Precious Days: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063092785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 23rd, 2021

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jamise Harper & Jane Mount

In Bibiliophile, a beautifully illustrated and meaningful showcase of underrepresented literature, Jamise Harper and Jane Mount feature groupings such as book people and legends, book group picks, award-winning books, books by genre, and books recommended by author. Each page highlights the stories (and the stories behind the stories) that have shaped how a diverse range books impact our world. I challenge you to read this collection and not walk away with a whole new reading list. —Casey

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Bibliophile: Diverse Spines Cover Image
By Jamise Harper, Jane Mount, Jane Mount (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781797211916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - November 2nd, 2021

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Can you judge a book on the way it makes you feel? If so, Anthony Doerr, author of the beloved All the Light We Cannot See, delivers one of the most potent novels I’ve read in many years, about the power of storytelling and our personal legacies. Epic in scope, the book follows characters during the siege of Constantinople, in present-day Idaho, and into the future in space. Ultimately, their stories connect through one ancient Greek manuscript, in what can only be described as a transformative reading experience, one filled with adventure, history, and a multilayered examination of our shared humanity. —Casey

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Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982168438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 28th, 2021

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

Anna is a mixed-race, middle-aged British woman who unexpectedly learns that her absent father is the leader of an African country and whose political record shines a light on both the best and worst of his radical approach. We follow her journey of self-discovery as she meets her father to understand her place with him, her family, and her racial identity. Deep in discussions of belonging, identity, and forgiveness, Sankofa is a captivating and intriguing story, filled with complexity in both the personal and political realms. —Casey

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Sankofa: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646220830
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Catapult - October 5th, 2021

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

If you read The Book of Form and Emptiness, the exquisite new novel by the author of A Tale for the Time Being, you won’t soon forget 13-year-old Benny or his loveable but deeply disturbed mother, Annabelle. After his father’s untimely death, Benny starts hearing voices in inanimate objects and seeks refuge in the local library, where other patrons and the books themselves transform his life. An inventive, immersive, deeply moving story about life outside the bounds of being “normal” and the ways humanity exists in each of us, no matter the form. —Casey

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The Book of Form and Emptiness: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399563645
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 21st, 2021

Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Canadian Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking and A Complicated Kindness, returns to her storytelling roots, celebrating the unique bonds and challenges of women’s relationships. She traces the journey of brave 9-year-old Sviv, who is in the care of her angst-ridden mother and her larger-than-life grandmother, and their unconventional ways of raising her. Toews uses humor and compassion to show us the way through this hard-scrabble world. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review says, “Fierce and funny, this gives undeniable testimony to the life force of family.” This book is a gift right when we need it the most.—Casey

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Fight Night Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635578171
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - October 5th, 2021

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

There is almost nothing quite as potent for storytelling as a big, Irish multigenerational family drama. Although by sight, the Brennans are a close knit New York family, the novel explores the fissures that are created through a lifetime of secrets in love, money, and family and the forgiveness that is required in a messy, complex life. For those who love deep, character-driven books, this debut brings a new voice to the likes of Ann Patchett, Celeste Ng, and Brit Bennett. —Casey

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We Are the Brennans: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250796226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - August 3rd, 2021

Steve Kerr: A Life by Scott Howard-Cooper

Although you would think that winning eight NBA titles as a player or coach would make Steve Kerr’s biography read like a how-to guide to stardom, Howard-Cooper instead demonstrates how Kerr’s setbacks—from the murder of his father, a diplomat, to injuries that might have sidelined his basketball career as a player and a coach—better define Kerr than any championship ring. In showcasing Kerr’s humility, emotional intelligence, activism, and perseverance, the book gives us a closer look at the drive of the person who would inspire so many players and teammates to reach the greatest heights in the NBA. — Casey

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Steve Kerr: A Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063001275
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - June 15th, 2021

Dedicated by Pete Davis

If you are a reader, I’d like to think that you are exactly the type of person that Pete Davis describes in Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing. Davis argues that we need more people who are stewards, builders, companions, and artisans, to bring depth and dedication to our communities and our lives. For what is our world if people choose open options over strong commitments? One where change, many times fought for over a significant amount of time, will not come or will not sustain. Maybe reading a book cover to cover is only the first step of a more dedicated life? If so, reading this book would be a great first step. — Casey

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Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982140908
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 4th, 2021


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