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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.

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

Brockmeier’s novel links together a number of characters with a single dazzling premise: one morning, the world wakes up and discovers that pain has become visible. Headaches glow white, cuts shimmer, back pain flares and ebbs. Our pain can no longer be kept secret, and the effects of this phenomenon are startling and far-reaching. You must read this!

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Illumination Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780375425318
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Pantheon - February 1st, 2011

George Harrison by Olivia Harrison

George has always been my favorite Beatle (not that you have to choose, but still. I choose him). This beautiful book pays homage to a great artist, songwriter, and human being, and features a collection of photographs (many taken by George himself), as well as stories told by some of his closest companions. It’s a must-have for any Beatles fan, no matter who your favorite happens to be.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
George Harrison: Living in the Material World Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9781419702204
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Abrams - September 27th, 2011

The Orchard by Theresa Weir

This is a memoir that will surely have broad local appeal. Theresa Weir was only 21 when she impulsively married a farmer and moved into a small house on his family’s apple orchard, where she found herself horrified by the widespread use of pesticides. It was a time when most of those chemicals were not yet banned, and the toxins left their mark on Weir’s husband and family. A hugely brave story about love and loyalty.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Orchard: A Memoir Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780446584685
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing - September 4th, 2012

Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie

Pulitzer Prize–winner Robert Massie is a master of narrative biography, and his intensive attention to detail brings one of the greatest women in history beautifully to life. Brilliant, idealistic, and insatiably curious, Catherine rose from an obscure childhood to empress of Russia and ruled according to the Enlightenment philosophies that so fascinated her. There are few figures so worthy of biography as Catherine the Great, and few biographers as worthy of writing that book as Massie. We should all be grateful that the two have found one another.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780679456728
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Random House - November 8th, 2011

A Study in Sherlock edited by Laurie R. King & Les Klinger

There are a great many writers out there who are obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, and who can blame them? In this new anthology, writers such as Neil Gaiman, Lee Child, and Jacqueline Winspear share their own take on the greatest detective in the world. The stories are far-reaching and creative, including a modern-day take on Baker Street, and an alternative history that involves President McKinley. You don’t want to miss this stellar lineup of devoted writers. —Kat

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A Study in Sherlock: Stories inspired by the Holmes canon Cover Image
By Laurie R. King (Editor), Leslie S. Klinger (Editor), Lee Child (Contributions by), Neil Gaiman (Contributions by), Alan Bradley (Contributions by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812982466
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Bantam - October 25th, 2011

The Best American Comics 2011 edited by Alison Bechdel

Stuck in a graphic novel rut? It happens to the best of us, and there’s one surefire way out: Grab the 2011 edition of the Best American Comics series, edited by a titan in the genre, Alison Bechdel (of Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For fame). This year’s installment features the art of Joe Sacco (Footnotes in Gaza) and Jeff Smith (Bone), as well as many up-and-comers you’ll want to know about.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
The Best American Comics 2011 (The Best American Series ®) Cover Image
By Alison Bechdel (Editor), Jessica Abel (Editor), Matt Madden (Editor)
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ISBN: 9780547333625
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 4th, 2011

Blabber, Blabber, Blabber by Lynda Barry

Reading a book by Lynda Barry always makes me want to write. Her work is a celebration of all things creative, and she has a way of yanking inspiration up from the deep places it often hides and forcing her readers to make something. Blabber, Blabber, Blabber is something of a greatest-hits album for Barry fans, and includes her early work as well as the comics that landed her on the map.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781770460522
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - October 31st, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Harry Potter meets Aimee Bender, set in the early 20th century: That’s the best way I can think to describe this dazzling novel. I can also tell you that it’s about magic (real magic), a very strange circus, and star-crossed lovers, and that I honestly think you could buy this book for just about any reader and get them hooked. The buzz for this book has been building since spring, and for very good reason. Rejoice! It’s finally here.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
The Night Circus Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385534635
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Doubleday - September 13th, 2011

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides is the kind of author who inspires cult-like devotion, and it’s no wonder—his fiction is simply exquisite. It’s been almost 10 years since the publication of Middlesex, and his new novel is well worth the wait. It follows a love triangle between three students, beginning the day of their graduation and following them into years of post-college awakening, disappointment, and growth. I loved the entire book, especially the ending, which I don’t dare spoil here. —Kat

Reviewed by: 
Kat
The Marriage Plot: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374203054
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 11th, 2011

An Accident in August by Laurence Cosse

Laurence Cosse, well known for her Europa hit A Novel Bookstore, has written what could be called a thriller, if you're so inclined. The protagonist, Louise, is a young French woman who is sideswiped by a car on her way home from work. Terrified, she flees, and the next morning, she and the rest of the world learn the identity of one of the crash victims: Princess Diana. Cosse's skillful narration turns what we now think of as tabloid fodder and ancient history back into the present moment—she recalls the shock and grief of many after that fateful accident, and uses it as a backdrop to Louise's mounting fear that she will be apprehended.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
An Accident in August: A Novel Cover Image
By Laurence CossÉ, Alison Anderson (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781609450496
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Europa Editions - August 30th, 2011

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