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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.

Poor Man's Feast by Elissa Altman

I found Poor Man’s Feast during a search for a down-to-earth food blog with recipes that would still feel accessible after a full day’s work. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the tone and lyricism of the actual writing, but to my delight that’s exactly what happened. The book is a perfect distillation of the blog, a story about turning away from excess and embracing something simpler, in and out of the kitchen.  --Kat

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Poor Man's Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425278352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 4th, 2015

Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Birds by Laura Erickson

I often think about the world of nests above my head when I’m hiking, and wish that I could climb up and quietly observe one without wreaking human havoc. Enter Into the Nest, a beautiful book that allows you to do just that, with photographs that chronicle nest construction, egg hatching, and fledglings’ first attempts at flight. I love this sweet, intimate book and the unexpected, magical perspective it provides.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781612122298
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - April 21st, 2015

Sally Ride by Lynn Sherr

When Sally Ride joined NASA at the age of 26, she had never flown a plane. Unlike the military men who established the space race, Ride was a scientist with advanced degrees in physics and English literature, and she had to learn to fly. Ride took to the sky brilliantly, astonishing all of her instructors, and it is that verve and determination that made her the first American woman in space. I inhaled this book and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in American spaceflight.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781476725772
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 24th, 2015

Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean

We’ve come a long way since the dawn of American spaceflight, and accomplished the unimaginable (like robots on Mars!). But after the retirement of the last American space shuttle, the future of spaceflight in this country is being made even more vulnerable by budget cuts and public skepticism. Dean’s book is a literary elegy to the astonishing achievements of our recent past, and a critical, curious look at what may be to come.

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Kat
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Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977092
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - May 19th, 2015

Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland

Unlikely Friendships is one of those utterly charming books that you buy as a birthday present, but end up perusing yourself before putting the wrapping paper on. The book features beautiful photographs of animals who have found each other despite all odds—a hippopotamus and a pygmy goat, for example, and an owl and a cocker spaniel, even a dog and a dolphin! Alongside the photographs are the stories of how these animals came together, and how their oddly symbiotic relationships work. There is an undeniably cutesy aspect at work—the cover image of a baby macaque cuddling a dove is enough to illicit an “awwww” from the hardest of hearts—but there’s also a very educational side to this book. Each story contains information about the animals, from behavioral traits and habitat to kingdom, phylum, class, etc., and attempts to find a scientific explanation for their unusual relationships. The result is a smart and surprising book that might change the way you look at the animal kingdom. Even scientist and professor Temple Grandin is smitten; she calls the book “amazing.”  --Kat

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Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780761159131
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - June 21st, 2011

Ghettoside by Jill Leovy

Ghettoside is about the thousands of murders that go unsolved in poor communities across the country, murders that cause unceasing grief and are largely ignored by the media. Its scope is both enormous and intimate, taking on a monstrous, seemingly insurmountable problem by focusing on the people who live and work in these stricken neighborhoods. Ghettoside challenged so much for me, including my own ignorance and cynicism. I can't imagine a more important time for this book to be widely read and discussed.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385529983
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - January 27th, 2015

My Education by Susan Choi

My productivity tanked while I was reading this novel; I almost had to stuff beeswax into my ears to resist its call and get anything done. Susan Choi's coming-of-age novel centers around an affair between a student and her professor's enigmatic, sexy wife. I never knew where the story was going, and I never cared. The last page was surprising, satisfying, and devastating—I so wish I could read it again for the first time. This is the lush, brainy novel you've been waiting for. 

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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My Education: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143125570
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

I can't remember the last time I fell so in love with a narrator. Aaliya Saleh's intelligence and humor—sly and witty and contemporary—leaps off the page. She lives an unconventional life for a woman in Beirut; she is divorced, childless, and not religious, and this has both isolated her and allowed her the freedom to pursue her life's passion: reading and translating books. I would give almost anything for an afternoon in Aaliya's apartment. I would love to ask her what I should be reading.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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An Unnecessary Woman Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802122940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - November 11th, 2014

Belfast Noir by Adrian McKinty

I first became interested in Belfast after reading McKinty’s Troubles Trilogy. Those books sparked a curiosity about this bloody, complicated landscape, a curiosity more than sated by the excellent Belfast Noir. These stories look at Belfast from every possible facet, and each one is better than the last. I can’t remember a story collection this satisfying. 

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Belfast Noir (Akashic Noir) Cover Image
By Adrian McKinty (Editor), Stuart Neville (Editor), Lee Child (Contribution by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781617752919
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Akashic Books - November 4th, 2014

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

As I read the first pages of The Children Act, I found myself wanting to slow down, to soak in these words for a while. This novel is pure Ian McEwan—perfectly weighted and paced, with characters who breathe on the page. But the thing about a novel by McEwan is that you can’t linger; the story insists that you continue. The Children Act is the work of a master.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Children Act Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385539708
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 9th, 2014

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