Melinda's Reviews

Melinda Powers is the head book buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz and is therefore responsible for choosing which of the 300,000 titles published each year will make their way to our shelves (not including the children’s section). Formerly at Capitola Book Café, she can’t seem to quit this wonderful community of readers, booksellers, and books. She is okay with this addiction.

Williams has been a wildlife biologist in Montana for the past 25 years, so one expects a wealth of information on the elusive mountain lions he tracks and studies. What comes as a welcome surprise in this gorgeous, photo-laden book, however, is the personality-rich narrative and the breadth of experience. As one of the only large predators whose population is actually growing, these great cats have much to teach us—both how they live and how we can live with them. Williams is a delightful teacher. - Melinda

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Path of the Puma: The Remarkable Resilience of the Mountain Lion Cover Image
By Jim Williams, Joe Glickman (With), Douglas Chadwick (Foreword by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781938340727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Patagonia - May 8th, 2018

Where is your hearth? What do you return to over and over, to ground yourself, to center your community? What happens when your hearth is lost or is endangered? What can we carry with us? This inspiring anthology explores these questions through pieces by Terry Tempest Williams, Pico Iyer, Luís Alberto Urrea, Chigozie Obioma, Sebastião Salgado, and more—each bringing their own truths to the table, to warm at the fire. What is created is sacred, hopeful, and communal, at a time we need it most. - Melinda

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Hearth: A Global Conversation on Identity, Community, and Place Cover Image
By Annick Smith (Editor), Susan O'Connor (Editor)
$26.00
ISBN: 9781571313799
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 11th, 2018

Tanya Tagaq is a musical artist in more ways than one. As a world-renowned Inuit throat singer, she has already stunned the world with her powerful songs and lyrics, but now in her first memoir, an explosive combination of narrative, poetry, myth, truth, and ferocity, she weaves the story of a young girl who comes of age in a small Arctic town, bound by boredom and violence, natural wonder and the spirit world. Life is a beautiful and terrifying thing, and Split Tooth contains all of it. - Melinda

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Split Tooth Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780670070091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 25th, 2018

Nicole Chung’s clear and introspective memoir brings new light to the search for identity and navigating both the past and the future when surrounded by the complexity of those who love you. As a transracial adoptee, the incongruity of growing up happy yet uncomfortably different leads her to search out the truth about her birth parents when she is on the brink of becoming a parent herself. This unique, difficult, and often surprising journey considers what one needs most in the world to belong. - Melinda

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All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781936787975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - October 2nd, 2018

Krug’s graphic memoir packs a powerful historical punch. As a German born two generations after the Holocaust, she struggles with her country’s atrocious past and the ambiguity of her family’s own involvement. Through vivid text and graphics, historical photos and documents, layering memory and story with poignancy, she seeks the truth and delves deep into her family’s history. Krug does the hard work to bring the personal past back to life and ask how one shapes one’s identity and finds one’s sense of home in its midst. Beautifully done in every way. - Melinda

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Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781476796628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 2nd, 2018

Gary Young’s prose poems feel like forgotten soulmates. Seemingly unassuming sentences, day-to-day observations, build upon each other, and then in an expert turn, enlightenment takes sudden, luminous flight. Each poem sits with me long after I’ve read it once, twice, more. His new collection, That’s What I Thought, comes out this fall, and I am so looking forward to dipping in and finding new companions. - Melinda

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That's What I Thought: Poems Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780892554942
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Persea Books - September 25th, 2018

I want to live my life through the lens of Limón’s poetry. Rooted in the very earth her fingers dig into, she writes her world like a garden full of living things that she carefully observes, naming each plant, each bird, each grief and trial and love. Moving from family issues to social ones, wanting life and watching death, her poems challenge us to see, to feel, and to soldier on: “Look, we are not unspectacular things. / We’ve come this far, survived this much. What / would happen if we decided to survive more? To love harder?” - Melinda           

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The Carrying: Poems Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781571315120
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 14th, 2018

Friends, this is it. This is the book we’ve been waiting for. And now I can’t get it out of my head, and the pit of my stomach, and my aching heart. It is that good, that gorgeous, that brutal, surreal, tender, enlightening, bitingly funny, and unbelievably truthful. And it’s short stories, so I urge you to savor them one at a time, if you can. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is here, and I say not a moment too soon. - Melinda

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Friday Black Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328911247
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 23rd, 2018

Kim’s emotional debut explores one Korean family’s struggle to survive the civil war and its enduring aftermath. At the novel’s heart is Haemi Lee, a spirited teenager who flees to a refugee camp with her widowed mother and sick brother, and must make difficult choices in the face of unabashed youth. Although satisfyingly steeped in young loves and family loyalties, it is ultimately a tale of identity, how one country and its people endeavor to find their place in a world ripped apart by years of war and occupation. This is a story both well-loved and refreshingly new. - Melinda

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If You Leave Me: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062645173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - August 7th, 2018

A good Western is all in the telling, and Jessilyn Harney, the young woman at the heart of Larison’s new novel has a voice made for stories. Newly orphaned, she disguises herself as a boy and sets off to find her outlaw brother, to bring him home, reclaim their father’s land and reclaim her sense of family. There are delightfully new threads in this riveting Western yarn, but the adventuring and seeking remain the same, song-like and enjoyable to the end. - Melinda

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Whiskey When We're Dry Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735220447
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 21st, 2018

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