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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, and now wears multiple hats including IT, Magazines, Marketing, and more. 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.

Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams

With Stacey Abrams’s legendary efforts on voter rights and registration and her historic turnout of voters in 2020, it is inevitable she’d be asked two questions: How did we get here? How did you do it? This book works to answer both in a comprehensive and accessible tour through voter suppression past and present, Abrams’s specific tactics, her guiding philosophies, and why the right to vote matters. As expected, an illuminating and inspiring read from one of our most effective and sincere leaders today. — Jocelyn 

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Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250798466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - June 8th, 2021

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta

Indigenous knowledge only recently started being recognized in mainstream Western civilization for its overlooked relevance. However, selectively exploiting information without understanding and honoring the source is just another continuation of colonialism. Instead, drawing upon yarns with Indigenous individuals around the globe and framed by his identity as a member of Northern Australia's Apalech Clan, Tyson Yunkaporta challenges his audience to experience a journey through an entirely different kind of thinking, certain to bend your mind, with hope to change the world. — Jocelyn

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Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062975621
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - May 18th, 2021

Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

While dark at times, Broken (in the best possible way) nonetheless had me giggling, if not outright laughing, for more than half the book, and reading entire chapters out loud to my partner, too good not to share. If you love Jenny Lawson already, you’ll continue to find her trademark hilarious, too-outrageous-not-to-be-true stories and more of her soul-searing honesty about struggles with physical and mental health. If it’s your first time, buckle up. You’ll be coming back for more. — Jocelyn

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Broken (in the best possible way) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250077035
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - April 6th, 2021

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performers by Hanif Abdurraqib

Funny, informative, thought-provoking, empathetic—and in addition to all of that, beautiful. Hanif Abdurraqib is a reporter, memoirist, and poet, eliding moment to meaning, emotion to word, shared experience to understanding. In A Little Devil in America, Abdurraqib educates on and analyzes moments and figures of Black performance, but to read this book is to relive and revitalize the feeling of their art. You will start this book surprised and entertained, finish moved and changed. Worth every page. — Jocelyn


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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984801197
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House - March 30th, 2021

Horizontal Vertigo: A City Called Mexico by Juan Villoro

A native chilango (denizen of Mexico City), novelist Juan Villoro uses meaty prose (translated by Alfred MacAdam) and a global pantheon of literary references for a stream-of- consciousness tour of his home municipality. On any page, one might find street vendors, anecdotes cultural or historic, autobiography, nihilistic bureaucracy, or eerily familiar traumas of epidemic and earthquake. I don’t know that I now know Mexico City, but I certainly know Villoro’s relationship and love for it. — Jocelyn

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Horizontal Vertigo: A City Called Mexico Cover Image
By Juan Villoro, Alfred MacAdam (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781524748883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - March 23rd, 2021

The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) returns with a new memoir that traverses the decades of a culture, a country, and life, showcasing a new facet of her own lived history. Framed by family, lovers, literature, philosophy, and the shifting US political landscape, The Secret to Superhuman Strength shows how Bechdel’s evolving relationship with her body has shaped her existential understanding. Her frank writing, which approaches the poetic, combines with her playful art to create an engrossing read, touching on universal questions of being. — Jocelyn

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The Secret To Superhuman Strength Cover Image
By Alison Bechdel, Alison Bechdel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544387652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - May 4th, 2021

Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems by Wanda Coleman

This posthumous collection edited by Terrance Hayes is a stunning introduction to the undeservedly underknown Wanda Coleman, and a vibrant review for those more familiar with her work. The poems Hayes has curated showcase the range of Coleman’s singular voice and agile, robust language. These poems are vignettes, deliriums, odysseys, and letters, ranging from the beautifully fantastic and deftly sexy to the poignantly matter-of-fact, with lines and images to hold and turn over and over. A powerful and lingering poetic experience. — Jocelyn

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Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781574232462
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Sparrow Press - March 23rd, 2021

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Zen Cho builds an immersive #ownvoices Malaysian fantasy, where the interplay of gangsters, ghosts, and gods acts as a compelling counterpoint to a modern-day story of identity, family, and self-determination. Cho’s protagonist Jess, drawn away from her home, career, and girlfriend, is real and relatable. Black Water Sister has a vivid supporting cast of family, frenemies, and supernatural entities, who will welcome you with a smile (and maybe a knife) to explore secrets and plots in the green heat of Malaysia. — Jocelyn

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Black Water Sister Cover Image
By Zen Cho
ISBN: 9780425283431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace - May 11th, 2021

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

London-based Nadine Matheson, a Black criminal defense attorney, has written an  engrossing debut procedural that features a number of familiar elements: the jaded veteran, the enthusiastic rookie, and a crime with eerie similarities to one years ago. But the strong, real-life touches—jury tampering, conflicts of being a person of color with the police, the pull between family and duty, the effects of PTSD on all of the above—make The Jigsaw Man stand out. An absolutely satisfying read. — Jocelyn

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The Jigsaw Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335146564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - March 16th, 2021

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

I devoured this #ownvoices Filipino American cozy, with its close-to-home (and heart) murder, its delicious food descriptions, and its palpably real stakes across multiple levels. Lila Macapagal is a bright and relatable protagonist whose journey of self-actualization—which leaves her dueling with familial ties, old friendships, and external prejudices—kept me thinking about her and her vivid community every time I had to (impatiently) pull away. Hungry for more, I can’t wait for Manansala’s next mystery. — Jocelyn

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Arsenic and Adobo (A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593201671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 4th, 2021


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