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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.


Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

This is a little book that packs more punch and imagination than some novels I’ve read recently, delving into themes of identity, discovery and empathy with great skill. Not only do you feel the scope of this fascinating world, but, astoundingly, author Nnedi Okorafor connects the reader to the main character Binti so swiftly, so effortlessly, that I teared up at the conclusion to her 90-page story. This is the definition of bang for your buck. —Jax
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Binti Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765385253
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: - September 22nd, 2015

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

One might imagine a book about demon-hunting bartenders and cocktails that infuse the drinker with magical abilities to be fantastically fun and full of hijinks, and Last Call certainly is that. But it’s also about growing into the adulthood that has been thrust upon you and finding the strength to take control of your life. I became ridiculously fond of Bailey and her team of mixologists and can’t wait to share her story. Cheers!   —Jax


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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594747595
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quirk Books - June 7th, 2016

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman

First, let me say I was skeptical of this book about the pivotal captain of the USS Enterprise—so much could go wrong here. But I am so, so glad I gave The Autobiography a chance. It exemplifies everything I love about Star Trek: it’s fun and endearing, surprisingly poignant and intelligent while still being action packed. I enjoyed the heck out of this book and fell in love all over again with Starfleet’s favored son.  —Jax

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The Autobiography of James T. Kirk Cover Image
ISBN: 9781783297467
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Titan Books - September 8th, 2015

Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter

A book about the cultural tidal wave that is the musical Hamilton is here! There are photos galore, behind–the–scenes details, and more importantly, Miranda voicing his passion for Alexander Hamilton, a complex man who still speaks so deeply to our idea of America. If that’s not enough, Hamilton just won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama!  —Jax

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Hamilton: The Revolution Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455539741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 12th, 2016

See America by Creative Action Network

Creative Action Network has done a spectacular job in creating this compact book of art and history about our national parks. It can be so easy to forget about or dismiss these pieces of land held in trust, but See America inspires us to care more deeply for (and take greater advantage of) these priceless aspects of our national heritage. Take a look, I promise you’ll enjoy every page.  —Jax

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See America: A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452148984
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - March 22nd, 2016

The Summer Before the War: A Novel by Helen Simonson

This is the perfect book for those looking for something deeper, richer than your average summer read. Set in England on the eve of World War I, it hosts a fascinating cast of characters that worm their way into your heart and refuse to leave. It’s a novel about transitions: from peace to war, from innocence to adulthood. It’s about love and loss, and the ways lives are not only defined but also forged and refined by the hardships endured.  —Jax

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The Summer Before the War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812993103
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Random House - March 22nd, 2016

Rightful Heritage by Douglas Brinkley

This is a fascinating exploration of FDR’s life and history through the lens of land conservation. We are all so familiar with FDR’s politics and his wartime leadership, that it was refreshing to see a different side to this American icon. Lovingly written and painstakingly researched, Brinkley chronicles how the love of the outdoors was instilled in him, and how that sense of responsibility and stewardship carried him through the rest of his life.  —Jax

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Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062089236
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - March 15th, 2016

Fylling's Illustrated Guide to Pacific Coast Tide Pools by Marni Fylling

This is such a charming little book! It’s perfect for lovers of tidepool or really anyone who is fond of lovely illustrations paired with science. I love the local aspect, and that all of the creatures described herein can be found as close as Natural Bridges. Take a peek, who knows what you might find! –Jax

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Fylling's Illustrated Guide to Pacific Coast Tide Pools Cover Image
By Marni Fylling, Chris Giorni (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781597143028
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Heyday Books - June 1st, 2015

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

This gorgeous book exemplifies the best of science fiction, where a journey to a new planet is also a quest for meaning, for identity, for love. It asks, what would you sacrifice in pursuit of your dreams, or in service to your God? If you’re looking for a deeply moving book that will make you laugh, cry, and search your soul, this is the one you have been searching for. —Jax

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The Sparrow: A Novel (The Sparrow Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780449912553
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 1997

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer & Ann Bowers

This book is absolutely lovely! It has all the charm and wit of an Austen novel, and the characters are all marvelously endearing and enjoy discussing books almost as much as I do. At the same time, the backdrop of England recovering from World War II gives it a poignancy that only heightens the joyful moments. The epistolary style is also spot on, and it feels as though you are being granted a window into these people’s lives. I resisted this book for far too long, and I encourage you to show better sense and pick it up! —Jax

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 5th, 2009


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