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Jax's Reviews

Jax Caldwell-Dunn is a bookseller and buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz who loves table-top roleplaying in addition to books. She cannot resist the urge to make something (like a staff profile) more nerdy when given a chance.

 

 


Never Met a Duke Like You by Amalie Howard

Sometimes I read a historical romance and it reminds me why I love the genre so. This charming story did just that and had me laughing and swooning the whole way. Amalie Howard deftly weaves Regency politics, more than a few nods to Emma, and a delightful cast of characters into something incredibly fun and sweet. Vesper and Aspen have a history that puts them at odds even as it drives them together. Perfect for fans of Bridgerton, Jane Austen, and Clueless and for anyone looking for something (or someone) to sweep you off your feet.  

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Never Met a Duke Like You (Taming of the Dukes) By Amalie Howard Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538737767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Forever - November 14th, 2023

Going Infinite by Michael Lewis

I confess I am obsessed with Sam Bankman-Fried, and while there are countless podcasts and exposes to devour, I still can’t wait for the brilliant Michael Lewis’s take. The author of The Big Short gives the reader a peek into the man behind FTX, and explores the economic background to explain why SBF’s fall was both entirely unprecedented and entirely predictable. Perfect for someone wanting a psychological profile or a deeper understanding of the madcap trainwreck of crypto.  

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon By Michael Lewis Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781324074335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 3rd, 2023

Radical Tarot by Charlie Claire Burgess

Although somewhat new to the practice of tarot, I feel in my bones the truth of what Charlie Claire Burgess writes, whether they are challenging us to consider tarot’s appropriative origins or encouraging the reader to approach the cards with a sense of play. Rather than be tied to a “right” way to read tarot, Burgess encourages us to get down and dirty with our own psyche and use the cards as a method of self-discovery. I’m buying a copy for everyone I know who reads the cards or has ever even hinted that they might!  

— Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Radical Tarot: Queer the Cards, Liberate Your Practice, and Create the Future By Charlie Claire Burgess Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781401971472
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hay House Inc. - September 26th, 2023

MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, & Gavin Edwards

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has, without question, changed the landscape of movies and movie making forever. But what is the origin story of the juggernaut that seemingly cannot be stopped? I guarantee the real story will surprise you and make you think of these properties in an entirely different life. Told in a ridiculously addictive and intimate manner through interviews and first-hand accounts, this book is perfect for the nerd or Hollywood buff in your life. 

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios By Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, Gavin Edwards Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781631497513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - October 10th, 2023

Sharp Notions: Essays from the Stitching Life by Marita Dachsel

Those who craft know it’s sometimes a lonely and solitary hobby. Community can provide information and help us remember we’re not alone, and that’s what I found in this collection of essays by crafters of all mediums. The diverse range of stories and experiences made me feel welcome while reminding me that our experiences are as varied as the crafts and materials we use. Great as a gift for the crafter in your life or to remind yourself why we do these madcap things. 

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Sharp Notions: Essays from the Stitching Life By Marita Dachsel (Editor), Nancy Lee (Editor) Cover Image
By Marita Dachsel (Editor), Nancy Lee (Editor)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781551529257
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - October 10th, 2023

Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair by Mercury Stardust

Rejoice, renters of the world! Whether you are new to Stardust or have watched her videos for years in awe, you may now reference her tutorials and sage advice with ease. She has such a caring philosophy toward learning new skills, which makes Safe and Sound a great gift for someone new to living on their own or maybe just someone who needs a little guidance on home repair. If you appreciated Nick Offerman’s kind, practical how-tos, you’ll love the Trans Handy Ma’am’s guide to caring for your space.

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair By Mercury Stardust Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780744079074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DK - August 22nd, 2023

Spice Kitchen by Sanjay Aggarwal

Sanjay Aggarwal has put together the perfect gift for the home cook! A collection of recipes all geared around various spice blends that are easy to find—like Italian seasonings and garam masala—and the dishes feel effortlessly delicious. I love how the quick recipes really are quick, but there are still show-stopping recipes that benefit from extra time and effort. Aggarwal also shows how to make his homemade spice blends, for those who want to go the extra mile. Happy cooking! 

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Spice Kitchen: Vibrant Recipes And Spice Blends For The Home Cook By Sanjay Aggarwal Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781787139398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quadrille Publishing - October 10th, 2023

Climate Resilience: How We Keep each Other Safe, Care for Our Communities, and Fight Back Against Climate Change

This book is part of our 2023 Fall Reading Challenge. Read more about the challenge here.

While most everyone knows that the planet is in crisis, it’s hard to know how to help when the task feels overwhelming. Flanagan’s book, a collection of essays from activists, community organizers, and climate experts, does not allow you to shy away from the responsibility we all owe to the earth and to each other. It does provide a lot of excellent history and background, and I especially appreciate the “action sections” that give a range of ways you, as an individual, can help. I went into this book hoping to be challenged, and while I certainly was, I also found hope and a wealth of resources.

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Climate Resilience: How We Keep Each Other Safe, Care for Our Communities, and Fight Back Against Climate Change By Kylie Flanagan Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781623179021
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: North Atlantic Books - August 1st, 2023

Play the Fool by Lina Chern

I didn’t know that I needed a noir novel with a hefty side of tarot, but boy am I pleased that this exists. Katie True is at a dead end in her job and in her personal life and her ability to change anything feels nonexistent. But then she meets Marley who, though far from a success story herself, makes Katie feel that anything is possible again. When Katie sees a picture of Marley dead, everything turns upside down. This is one for those who feel like they don’t belong, who are looking for their future in a deck of cards. 

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Play the Fool: A Mystery By Lina Chern Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593500668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam - March 28th, 2023

Translation State by Ann Leckie

I have been a fan of Ann Leckie’s for years now, and I am beyond thrilled to see her return to the Ancillary universe. Leckie asks hard questions and challenges our notions of gender, identity, and the nature of humanity. Oh. And she’s a master of high-octane space battles. This one is a standalone, so you can just dive in, but I do highly recommend you read anything at all by her. You won’t be disappointed. 

—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Translation State By Ann Leckie Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780316289719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - June 6th, 2023

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