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Jocelyn's Reviews

Jocelyn began working at Bookshop Santa Cruz in 2010 after graduating from UCSC with degrees in Literature, History, and Theatre. She left in 2012 to attend graduate school in New York, but was happy to be able to return to work part-time during breaks. She has been working full time again at Bookshop after graduating with an MFA in 2015. You're most likely to find her reviews on nerd-things, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, as well as theatre, history, technology, and social justice.

Sing a Black Girl’s Song by Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange, author of the seminal for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, was one of our greatest writers, and this collection, curated by editor Imani Perry, is a feast for those who have loved her work and love the literary word. Sing a Black Girl’s Song collects essays, poetry, and plays taken from handwritten manuscripts throughout her life. Her essays are poetry, her poems songs, and all read with immediate, beautiful power, marking her loss but celebrating the wealth we can still enjoy.  

—Jocelyn

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Sing a Black Girl's Song: The Unpublished Work of Ntozake Shange By Ntozake Shange, Imani Perry (Editor), Tarana Burke (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Ntozake Shange, Imani Perry (Editor), Tarana Burke (Foreword by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780306828515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Legacy Lit - September 12th, 2023

I Must Be Dreaming by Roz Chast

Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast is already whimsical, but she hits another level when she dives into the world of dreams. While humorously tackling history and theories, most of I Must Be Dreaming is of Chast’s own dreams, illustrated in her immediately recognizable style and immediately recognizable as genuine dreams to anyone who has ever tried to describe their own upon waking. Read it through or open at random for a quick hit of humor and surrealism—any which way, it’s a needed antidote to everyday reality.  

—Jocelyn

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I Must Be Dreaming By Roz Chast Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781620403228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - October 24th, 2023

Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Ausma Zehanat Khan’s Blackwater Falls is an exciting, classic-feeling thriller set amidst the Colorado mountains and their diverse, sometimes clashing multicultural communities. Detective Inaya Rahman navigates a tricky balance of identities as police officer, Muslim, and woman, while trying to solve a horrific murder, trace a series of disappearances, and follow a trail of corruption. Unwinding the begrudging trust, small secrets, and bigger threats to find motive in a small town, this tense, fast-paced mystery will keep you turning pages til the explosive end.  

—Jocelyn

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Blackwater Falls: A Thriller (Blackwater Falls Series #1) By Ausma Zehanat Khan Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781250906410
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - November 7th, 2023

Opinions by Roxane Gay

Fans of Roxane Gay, rejoice! And if you are unfamiliar with her writing, what have you been waiting for? This new collection of published pieces from the past decade ranges from meditations on racial and sexual injustice to an analysis of the Fast and the Furious franchise to why TV food competitions work. Read them in order or pick your favorites—all are worth it. Sit back and enjoy the sharp wit, nuanced intelligence, and clear opinions of Roxane Gay.  

—Jocelyn

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Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business By Roxane Gay Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063341463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - October 10th, 2023

Legitimate Kid by Aida Rodriguez

Legitimate Kid is an engrossing memoir. Aida Rodriguez candidly shares the story of her life, and its love and trauma are the source of much of her stand-up comedy. Rodriguez immerses you in her experiences, as the Latine daughter of a teenage single mom; as a smart, shy, kid burgeoning with talent; as a single mom herself, struggling to keep the roof over her kids’ heads; and as a triumphant rising comedian. This memoir is a joy to read, and I can’t wait for more from Aida Rodriguez.  

—Jocelyn

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Legitimate Kid: A Memoir By Aida Rodriguez Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063241282
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - October 17th, 2023

The Lumumba Plot The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination by Stuart A. Reid

The title tells the tale of a singular assassination, but The Lumumba Plot is so much more. Stuart A. Reid, executive editor at Foreign Affairs and prolific journalist, has put together a detailed, nuanced history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Cold War politics that led to the assassination of its first democratically elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. With its vividly drawn characters and plot twists, this page-turner is perfect for anyone fascinated by modern history.

—Jocelyn

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The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination By Stuart A. Reid Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781524748814
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 17th, 2023

Emperor of Rome by Mary Beard

Dame Mary Beard (SPQR, Twelve Caesars), modern queen of the Western classics, is back with another trenchant exploration of Rome. For once taking (what some might see as) a more traditional route, Beard turns to Rome’s emperors—but of course with her own style, weaving a tapestry of individual personalities and reigns along with the culture, politics, and yes, history, that built the estate of emperorship, whose influence is still with us today. Another luxurious, fascinating dive for those whose preferred indulgence is yesteryear.  

—Jocelyn

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Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World By Mary Beard Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9780871404220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - October 24th, 2023

Falling Back in Love with Being Human by Kai Cheng Thom

Kai Cheng Thom’s letters are meditative poems to old foes, transgender children, sex workers, johns, and all in between, in turns gentle and comforting, celebratory and free, embracing of jagged edges and pleasures great and small. Fervent prayers of strength, forgiveness, and grace, balms between the spiritual and the activist and the simple aching truth of being human in this world. To be read one at a time or all in a rush, this is for those souls who need a moment of beauty in word and thought.  

 — Jocelyn

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Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls By Kai Cheng Thom Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593594988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - August 1st, 2023

Call You When I Land by Nikki Vargas

Nikki Vargas’s memoir would be a compelling enough, candid story of love(ers) and career, but Call Me When You Land is also vibrant travel writing. From Rouen to Bogotá, Vietnam to Argentina, Vargas brings places to life, not only with the sights, sounds, and food, but with the feeling of being there, a traveler’s wonder and joy. Whether your own passport is ready to go or you’re an armchair explorer, this will take you around the world, looking for your next adventure. 

—Jocelyn

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Call You When I Land: A Memoir By Nikki Vargas Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781335455093
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - November 7th, 2023

End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood by Patty Lin

You may or may not know Patty Lin, but you almost certainly know the shows she’s written for—Friends, Desperate Housewives, Freaks and Geeks, and Breaking Bad among them. Piercingly relevant in light of the current writers’ strike, Lin’s incredibly candid, personal memoir pulls back the curtain on the fascinating (often dysfunctional, at times toxic) world of Hollywood writing. While the stories of celebrity and drama are riveting, the question Lin explores is also so important: In a relationship or a career, when is love not worth the pain?

—Jocelyn

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End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood By Patty Lin Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781958506066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Zibby Books - August 29th, 2023

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