User menu

Shopping cart

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.


Enchantments: Find the Magic in Yourself by Mya Spalter

Are you looking to add a bit more magic in your life, or have a friend who seems to be collecting crystals at an alarming rate but doesn’t seem to know what to do with them? Look no further than Spalter’s fun and warm introduction to all things witchy! Perfect for the beginners or those looking for a bit of structure in their practice. I especially like that she gives options for those not pursuing the Wiccan path, and the no-nonsense attitude about love spells (just don’t do it!). —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Enchantments: Find the Magic in Yourself: A Beginner Witch's Guide By Mya Spalter, Caroline Paquita (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mya Spalter, Caroline Paquita (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780525509677
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - August 30th, 2022

Probably This Housewarming A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore by Beau Ciolino & Matt Armato

As someone who only recently got into the concept of domestic bliss due to the pandemic, I often find myself lost when trying to make my apartment into a lovelier home. Thankfully, Ciolino and Armato (wildly popular on YouTube, #YourGayUncles) have my back, walking me through the basics of planning, decorating, and hosting in my space. I appreciate how they are cognizant that one might have a differently sized space (or budget) and give variations and accommodations for that. They have ideas about everything you need to make a home—and even some basic cocktail recipes that are sure to please!  —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Probably This Housewarming: A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore By Beau Ciolino, Matt Armato Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419754838
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams - April 19th, 2022

Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home by Eric Kim

I love Kim’s New York Times recipes, and his book did not disappoint! Korean American is an ode to the food and the people who inspire Kim, as well as a friendly, straightforward cookbook. For those new to making Korean food, Kim provides an outstanding guide to the staples, though there are a few dishes, like the Crispy Lemon Pepper Bulgogi, that don’t require a trip to H-Mart to be off the charts. Though really, the Gochugaru Shrimp and Roasted Seaweed Grits will make you glad you made the investment. Enjoy!  —Jax 

Staff Pick Badge
Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home By Eric Kim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593233498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - March 29th, 2022

Forest Walking Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America by Peter Wohlleben

Peter Wohlleben, bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees, does not disappoint in this new book, a practical guide designed to help us open our eyes to the wonders of the forest. I was amazed at how even a walk to the park had me noticing new things about the trees I passed every day. There’s a lovely section on how to get children excited about a walk in the woods, fostering good stewards of the Earth from an early age. A perfect companion for wherever adventure takes you this summer.  —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Forest Walking: Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America By Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst Cover Image
ISBN: 9781771643313
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - April 26th, 2022

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe, the incredibly talented musician behind the album Dirty Computer, has released a book of stories set in the dystopian world of that album. Monáe tells of the disenfranchised who rebel and revolt against a force whose very power is the core of its own demise. I enjoyed how every story had a different tone, though I now hunger for each to be expanded into its own novel. Perfect to spice up your summer and inspire you to set the establishment on fire.  —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer By Janelle Monáe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063070875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - April 19th, 2022

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher

I'm a sucker for fantastical quests, magical companions, and princesses who refuse to be the victim. This book delivered all that and more, with a darker spin on these tropes that I absolutely devoured. For some of us the perfect beach read takes place in a dappled wood where the vines get twisty and something magical or malicious (or both?) lingers beneath the leaves. If that sounds like a good time, Nettle & Bone is perfect for you.  —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Nettle & Bone By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250244048
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - April 26th, 2022

Eight Weeks in Paris by S.R. Lane

Fans of Red, White & Royal Blue, rejoice! Here’s something similarly steamy and full of all the feels; it hooked me immediately. Nicholas has doubts about his new costar Chris, but as the cameras get rolling and the sparks start flying, he discovers there’s more than fame and fortune on the line. I loved the chemistry between these two and the sweet supporting cast, and I found it almost impossible to put down. Delectable and delightful, this is a perfect summer indulgence.  —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Eight Weeks in Paris: The Perfect Beach Read By S. R. Lane Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335623928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Carina Adores - June 7th, 2022

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

I’m not really sure how to pitch this novel of a has-been (but still very gay) actor taking his young niece and nephew in for the summer after their mother passes away, but I can tell you that I haven’t read something this surprisingly sharp yet delightfully sweet in ages. I giggled, I gasped, I cried, and most of all I fell in love with this family that just won’t quit trying to be there for each other, despite everything.  —Jax

Staff Pick Badge
The Guncle By Steven Rowley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525542308
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 5th, 2022

Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-Yum by Drew Brockington

What a delight! Waffles and Pancake are two kittens looking to have a fun day with their Dad-cat, and boy does the planetarium deliver. From cool skeletons and exhibits to delicious tots at the cafeteria, this gem is sure to get any kid excited about a day at the museum. I really appreciated how they dealt with what to do if you get lost, and a small nod to the fact that the kitten’s parents live in separate households, normalizing it in a lovely way.—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM By Drew Brockington Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316500425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 26th, 2021

The Essential New York Times Cookbook edited by Amanda Hesser

I’m a huge fan of the New York Times cooking app, so I was excited to delve into more recipes from the Times. What I found was even better: one woman’s wonderful and wry journey through American cooking history. The Essential New York Times Cookbook is an atlas for the cooks who are endlessly curious and are interested in everything from the history of the gin fizz to the countless ways immigrants have shaped the food we eat. Happy cooking!—Jax

Staff Pick Badge
The Essential New York Times Cookbook: The Recipes of Record By Amanda Hesser Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324002277
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 2nd, 2021


Subscribe to RSS - Jax's Reviews