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Kat's Reviews

KatsronautKat first came to Bookshop Santa Cruz by winning the short story contest in 2008. She convinced the management to give her a job, and went on to become an event host, the used book manager and an avid connoisseur of fiction. In her other life, she is often found enjoying tacos. She now works for the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks managing their ParkStores.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

Six months after Hurricane Katrina, detective Claire deWitt arrives in New Orleans to investigate the disappearance of a well-known prosecutor. DeWitt is not your usual detective—her methods include divination, dreams, and omens, as well as a battered copy of Détection by French detective Jacques Silette, and to say she’s an unreliable narrator is to put it lightly. But the best part of this novel is New Orleans itself, reeling and wounded from Katrina and its aftermath. Dark, richly atmospheric, and highly recommended.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead (Claire DeWitt Novels #1) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780547747613
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 1st, 2012

Pirate King by Laurie R. King

Everyone loves a new Mary Russell mystery (at least, everyone I know). But a new Mary Russell mystery featuring pirates? Rejoice! Freshly out in paperback, the latest adventure of Russell and Holmes takes us to Lisbon, where Mary is investigating a film production company with a shadowy reputation. The movie they are shooting? The Pirates of Penzance, but of course. All seems well and whimsical until those prop knives suddenly turn real.
Reviewed by: 
Kat

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

I’ve now bought three copies of The Borrower, and I need to buy another, because I keep spontaneously mailing them off to friends and family. It’s one of those books that I feel a need to evangelize, with a powerful message about what it means to love books, and the many ways that literature can provide liberation and comfort. Read it, and grab an extra copy for the reader in your life. You’ll need it.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Borrower: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143120957
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 29th, 2012

Trapeze by Simon Mawer

This smart and compelling novel gave me a glimpse into a fascinating element of World War II—a group of young, seemingly ordinary women were highly trained in firearms, fighting, code breaking and parachuting, and then sent to work undercover in occupied Europe. Mawer’s fictional account follows one of these women, Marian Sutro, as she navigates a world of danger and intrigue. A highly realistic and well-researched novel that is addictive from first word to last.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Trapeze: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590515273
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Other Press - May 1st, 2012

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

I once came across a review that pegged The Leftovers as an agnostic take on the rapture, and I haven’t been able to get that out of my head. When thousands of people worldwide disappear in a single moment, there is no religious explanation, only confusion and grief. Perrotta’s characters struggle to move on in this strange new world, craving answers and meaning in the face of loss. A powerful and authentic meditation on the myriad ways we respond to tragedy.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Leftovers: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780312363550
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 22nd, 2012

Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman

Say Her Name is an autobiographical novel about the loss of Francisco Goldman's wife, Aura. I don't think anyone has ever loved anyone as much as Goldman loves his late wife - his devotion radiates from every sentence. I felt haunted by this book for weeks, and found myself thinking about Aura as if I had met her. It's a sad book, but trust me, it is well worth any tears.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Say Her Name Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780802145802
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Grove Press - April 10th, 2012

The Poet by Michael Connelly

I picked this book up on the recommendation of a friend, when I was terribly sick and wanted a distraction. It had everything I needed and more: an inventive and well-structured plot, lively characters, twists, turns and plummets, and a seriously creepy murder mystery. I also loved that the protagonist is a journalist, which gives the book a fresh take on your average whodunit.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Poet (Jack McEvoy #1) Cover Image
$8.00
ISBN: 9780446602617
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 1st, 1997

Heft by Liz Moore

I was swept up by this novel. It is one of the finest pieces of character work I've encountered, the kind of book that nests in the back of your mind and ruffles its feathers from time to time. It's the story of Arthur Opp, a professor who has exiled himself from the world for ten years, and the sudden intrusion into his life that brings him back. Hopeful but never sacchrine.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Heft: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393343885
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 4th, 2012

Women and Ghosts by Alison Lurie

I'm obsessed with ghost stories, and this collection is one of my favorite discoveries. It would not be a stretch to call this a book of feminist ghost stories - they center around women who are struggling with domestic duties, troublesome families, and romantic relationships old and new. I have an awful feeling it will go out of print before long, so grab your copy while you can.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Women and Ghosts Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780385518314
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Nan A. Talese - March 7th, 1995

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

This book reminds me of The Marriage Plot by Eugenides - both novels are concerned with marriage, obviously, but there's something about the slow unfolding of these characters and their relationships that brings Eugenides' fiction to mind. Don’t miss this quiet gem of a novel.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
The Newlyweds (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307388971
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Vintage - February 12th, 2013

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