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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.


Death & Co. Welcome Home by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, & David Kaplan

Calling all bartenders, both professional and amateur! In Welcome Home, the founders of Death & Co. give an expert class on creating cocktails and understanding the mindset and habits that make them great. I really enjoyed the pieces where they write about creating a positive work culture, as well as the suggestions for tastings to do at home (or with friends) to refine and expand one’s palate. As complex and delightful as any of their cocktails, this one is sure to please.—Jax

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Death & Co Welcome Home: [A Cocktail Recipe Book] Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984858412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - November 16th, 2021

World War C by Sanjay Gupta

A fascinating and in-depth look at the Covid-19 pandemic, Gupta gives us a look at what is needed to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. He writes with compassion and lively curiosity, so that even those without a science background will be engrossed. I came out of this book with more hope than I expected, and the certainty that if we can only take preventative measures, we have the power to keep future generations safe.—Jax

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World War C: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982166106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 5th, 2021

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Some books linger with you after you read them, shifting the way you view the world and making you feel as though you’ve come through the experience changed. Starling’s latest has done just that, haunting, if you will. She’s woven a story of beauty and horror, ghosts and corrupt magicians, that is as much Jane Eyre as it is House on Haunted Hill and I dare say as well crafted as either. Just take care not to read too long in the dark…. —Jax

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The Death of Jane Lawrence: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250272584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - October 5th, 2021

MAO: Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi

The legendary creator of Inuyasha and Ranma ½ brings a new series with mystery and a gothic sensibility that surprises and intrigues. Nanoka is an average teen with a tragic past who stumbles through a mysterious arch that leads to 1920’s Japan, where demons roam and where one day Nanoka meets a salty young man named Mao, who complicates everything she knows to be true. Takahashi mixes her elements effortlessly in this fun and funny, creepy and fascinating comic you won’t want to miss. —Jax

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Mao, Vol. 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781974720521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: VIZ Media LLC - September 14th, 2021

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead is one of those authors who seems to always be changing things up on you, keeping you on your toes and eager for what comes next. This is exactly that, an ode to the New York neighborhood dressed up like a string of criminal vignettes with plenty of action and nail-biting close calls. At its heart is Ray Carney, our beleaguered protagonist, and the tension between his desire for stability for his family, and his family, who push him into situations with ever-higher stakes. —Jax

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Harlem Shuffle: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385545136
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - September 14th, 2021

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

This is an incredibly fun and funny romance that will teach you a lot about the life of a research PhD student and her love life. Olivia has never had much luck with love, and prefers to focus on her work and her friends. But then a dating situation goes awry and she finds herself pretending to date the department’s most ornery (and sexiest) professor. Perfect for someone looking for a little fun—and chemistry!—Jax

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The Love Hypothesis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593336823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - September 14th, 2021

Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories by Dan Sasuweh Jones

In this collection, Jones finds a perfect balance between scary and fascinating as he shares the spooky stories he has collected from tribes all over the country. While I didn’t find any of the stories blood-curdling—which makes sense for a book geared towards kids—they still managed to send a chill up my spine. I think this is the perfect book for a kid who is ready to level up their horror collection or a class learning about Indigenous legends. —Jax

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Living Ghosts and Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338681604
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Scholastic Nonfiction - September 7th, 2021

The Quest for Snacks by Susie Yi

This little book is full of so much magic, good-hearted lessons, and delicious snacks you won’t be able to resist taking these cats home with you! Squash and Ginny are on the hunt for ingredients to make a potion for never-ending snacks. Along the way they make new friends, learning a lot about themselves and each other. The art is adorable and the storyline was fun, but what I most enjoyed were the lessons of kindness and responsibility these kitties learn, making this a perfect addition to any child’s library. —Jax

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Cat & Cat Adventures: The Quest for Snacks Cover Image
By Susie Yi, Susie Yi (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780063083806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperAlley - September 7th, 2021

Everyone’s Table by Gregory Gourdet

I love Gregory Gourdet on Top Chef, not just because his cooking is beautiful and inspiring to watch, but also because his generous and kind spirit shows through as he talks about what food means to him. Here he offers kindly advice, and patiently explains the method and reasoning behind his delicious, paleo-friendly dishes. He walks the reader through every step of the preparation and gives tips on the best products. Anyone looking to cook decadent food that is good for your body will absolutely love this. — Jax

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Everyone's Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062984517
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Wave - May 11th, 2021

Shang Chi, Volume 1: Brothers & Sisters by Gene Luen Yang

Wow, what a fun and enjoyable read! Shang Chi has spent a long time running from the legacy of his supervillain father, only to discover that some things cannot be outrun. This series reminds me why I love comics—action and witty banter interspersed with fantastic characters and truly touching emotional beats. Told with a love of the genre and an eye to keeping things fresh, Shang Chi is a superhero whose stories you won’t want to miss. — Jax

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Shang-Chi by Gene Luen Yang Vol. 1: Brothers & Sisters Cover Image
By Gene Yang, Dike Ruan (Illustrator), Philip Tan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781302924850
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Marvel - April 13th, 2021


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