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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.

Big Sex, Little Death by Susie Bright

Susie Bright has the kind of life that memoirs were invented for—and finally she has written one! Chock full of “did-that-really-happen” moments and the fiercely intelligent and empathetic insight that she is known for, Big Sex Little Death is not to be skipped. Perfect for book group or class discussions

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781580053938
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Seal Press - April 24th, 2012

Heft by Lizz Moore

This book is an early contender for my favorite novel of 2012, and even though it’s only March, I doubt it will be strongly challenged. Debut author Liz Moore has written a piercing novel that is perfectly weighted with sadness and hope. Arthur Opp is a 500 lb former professor who hasn’t left his home in nearly 10 years, and has no plan to, until a student from long ago calls him, asking for help with her son. Magnificently heart-felt and beautifully written—don’t miss this one.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Heft: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780393081503
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 23rd, 2012

You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

I started reading this on a lunch break, and ten hours later it had become my new favorite short story collection. Fallon’s stories take place around an enormous military base in Texas named Ft. Hood, and delve intimately into the lives of the women left behind when their husbands ship off to Iraq. The book manages to be neither political nor voyeuristic, but showcases incredible storytelling and character work. I cannot recommend it enough —and the New York Times loved it too!

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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You Know When the Men Are Gone Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451234391
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 3rd, 2012

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

I’m not much of a cook, but I adore a good memoir. Gabrielle Hamilton’s incredible Blood Bones and Butter sparked my literary and culinary appetite like few other books I’ve read. Hamilton is a spitfire and an amazing writer, and her journey from tedious catering gigs to creative writing classrooms to opening her first restaurant (the famed Prune in New York City) is un-putdownable from first page to last.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812980882
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - January 24th, 2012

Townie by Andre Dubus, III

Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog) has long been one of my favorite novelists. The pulse and threat of violence is a prevalent theme in his books, and his new memoir offers an illuminating glimpse into the way violence shaped his childhood. Dubus grew up in an entirely different world from his famous novelist father (Andre Dubus), in rough neighborhoods where fighting was commonplace. A thoughtful, electric memoir, and a must-read for fans of Dubus.

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Kat
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Townie: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393340679
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 6th, 2012

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier’s latest novel imagines a world in which pain becomes visible as a white light, shining out of cut thumbs, sore backs and broken limbs. Brockmeier follows a series of characters as they grapple with this strange new world, in which people diagnose each other at a glance and struggle to contain their secrets. My fellow bookseller Susan and I love this book so much that we argued over who got to write the review. Read it yourself and pass it on.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Illumination (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307387776
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - February 21st, 2012

Hitchens Vs. Blair: The Munk Debates by Christopher Hitchens

The world lost a powerful and important voice with Hitchens’ passing. In 2010, shortly after his diagnosis with esophageal cancer, Hitchens went toe-to-toe with Tony Blair to debate the role of religion in the world. This is a truly electrifying debate that has now been printed for your reading and referencing pleasure. A perfect companion to Hitchen’s other indispensible books.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Hitchens vs. Blair: Be It Resolved Religion Is a Force for Good in the World: The Munk Debates Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781770890084
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: House of Anansi Press - March 15th, 2011

Unpacking My Library by Leah Price

I am the kind of person who pauses the movie when bookshelves appear in the background, so I can identify familiar titles. It’s fun! You should try it. So naturally I immediately adored this book, which features beautiful photographs of the bookshelves of famous writers, accompanied by interviews about how they collect and curate their books. A must-own for bookshelf aficionados.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books Cover Image
By Leah Price (Editor)
$22.00
ISBN: 9780300170924
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Yale University Press - November 29th, 2011

Fire Monks by Colleen Morton Busch

This book takes a close look at an incredible story that happened right in our area. In 2008, a series of lightning strikes ignited hundreds of fires across California, and one of those fires threatened the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Big Sur, a place accessible by a single unpaved road and particularly vulnerable to fire. The story of how the center was saved by those who lived and worked there will leave you on the edge of your seat, as well as teach you about the many ways that zen teachings can prepare you for a wildfire.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781594202919
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Press HC, The - July 7th, 2011

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

If you love Eddie Izzard, Kate Beaton is your new soul mate. Like Izzard, Beaton loves to tackle subjects that most people think of as, well, kind of boring. Archaic Canadian history, Napoleon, Jane Austen...all are featured, and all are made hysterical by Beaton's sharp wit and creativity.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Hark! A Vagrant Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781770460607
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - September 27th, 2011

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