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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.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff Written by Mac Barnett

Friends, we have hit my personal jackpot: the genius collaboration of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (think Sam & Dave Dig a Hole), the perfected hilarity of Barnett’s storytelling, the understated comedy of Klassen’s art, and goats! I am rich with love for this book, and I know I’m not alone, as the kids (my kid, my friend’s kid, all the kids!) are clamoring for it. The Three Billy Goats Gruff is a classic crowd pleaser, and this is definitely the version to have. 

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The Three Billy Goats Gruff By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781338673845
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orchard Books - October 18th, 2022

Still This Love Goes On Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie

Regardless of your familiarity with Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, you will fall in love with this gorgeous rendering of her song “Still This Love Goes On.” With simple phrasing and a powerful lyricism, she honors home and place, family and community. Combined with the vibrant and sweeping art of award-winning Cree-Metís illustrator Julie Flett, this book is a treasure, one for your bookshelf and those of your loved ones, young and old. 

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Still This Love Goes on By Buffy Sainte-Marie, Julie Flett (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Buffy Sainte-Marie, Julie Flett (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781771648073
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Kids - September 27th, 2022

The Keeper by Kelcey Ervick

The Keeper is one of a kind, a graphic memoir reminiscent of Nora Krug, Lauren Redniss, and Maira Kalman, a coming-of-age story, a soccer anthem, a look at Title IX’s place in history, and an expansive piece of literature. That a work can be so particular to a young woman’s experience as a goalkeeper in the 1980s and simultaneously speak so beautifully of the arts, the sport, and the human condition—Ervick wields magic beyond the goalposts. Poetic, honest, heartfelt—I love everything about this book.


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The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women's Lives By Kelcey Ervick Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593539187
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - October 4th, 2022

Men in Blazers Presents: Gods of Soccer by Roger Bennett, Michael Davies & Miranda Davies

It matters not whether you’re already a fan of Men in Blazers (you should be!), this is a perfect introduction to world soccer as we know it and an excellent addition to any aficionado’s collection. With their trademark personality and fun, the merry crew highlights their 100 greatest players and in so doing provide a comprehensive history of the women’s and men’s sport. While they may not have included some of my favorites (Tobinho!), I cannot argue with their passion and their own contribution to this beautiful game.


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Men in Blazers Present Gods of Soccer: The Pantheon of the 100 Greatest Soccer Players (According to Us) By Roger Bennett, Michael Davies, Miranda Davis, Nate Kitch (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797208015
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Prism - October 11th, 2022

Bay of Life: From Wind to Whales by Frans Lanting & Chris Eckstrom

Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom, the award-winning and world-renowned photographer/writer team, have brought their gorgeous work and editorial vision home to the Monterey Bay in this stunning collection that highlights the vibrant ecosystems of our area, from the waters to the redwoods. I have long admired Lanting’s wildlife and nature photography, so to have our own area, its inhabitants, and its changing dynamics so beautifully captured and honored, I cannot think of a better gift for Santa Cruzans everywhere. 

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Bay of Life: From Wind to Whales By Frans Lanting, Chris Eckstrom, Leon Panetta (Foreword by) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781647221430
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Earth Aware Editions - October 4th, 2022

Making a Scene by Constance Wu

In one essay of this remarkable memoir, actress Constance Wu admits that her first passion was writing before turning to drama, and thank goodness for us that she found she could do both, because she is an excellent writer and so much fun. This is more than an actor’s journey (although there's plenty of that here to satisfy); it’s a work of art and a call to arms for those who struggle to find their spot in the light. Her humor, intelligence, and empathy shine through this wonder of a book—one that is as important as it is enjoyable.


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Making a Scene By Constance Wu Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982188542
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 4th, 2022

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman by Alan Rickman

I am inordinately excited about this posthumous collection of Alan Rickman’s personal diaries. Between missing his iconic performances, dry wit, and delicious voice, I think I’d read his grocery list, but this book, the curated result of his 25-year passion project, promises to be a true gift, going behind the scenes and into his personal life, sharing his thoughts on acting, politics, his activism and travel, and his everyday life. I can’t wait. 

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Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman By Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson (Contributions by), Rima Horton (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson (Contributions by), Rima Horton (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781250847959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - October 18th, 2022

Maybe We’ll Make It: A Memoir by Margo Price

If you aren’t familiar with Margo Price or her music yet, let her gravel-pure voice be the background to this powerful memoir. At times hard and heartbreaking, always honest and full of life, the acclaimed singer-songwriter gets refreshingly real with the challenges (and joys) of the music industry, and the grit, love, and dedication to craft, family, and ultimately, self along the way. Her truths somehow make all our stories more real. For my HSBers and KPIGgies out there, this is for you.


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Maybe We'll Make It: A Memoir (American Music Series) By Margo Price Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477323502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Texas Press - October 4th, 2022

No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay by Julian Aguon

Julian Aguon is a lawyer and activist at the intersection of environmental and Indigenous rights, but more than that, he is a poet, a chronicler of history (particularly of his homeland Guam), and a bearer of hope. In the essays, poems, and speeches collected in this gift-sized package, he does not shy away from the ticking clock of climate catastrophe and disastrous effects of colonial might, but faces them with facts, love, and life. Which is surprisingly refreshing, and ultimately unifying.


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No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay By Julian Aguon, Arundhati Roy (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Julian Aguon, Arundhati Roy (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781662601637
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Astra House - September 13th, 2022

Prisoners of the Castle by Ben Macintyre

Before reading Ben Macintyre’s latest, I knew very little about Colditz, the German castle–turned– World War II POW camp, and now I’m fascinated. As a prison for Allied officers, it was largely protected by the Geneva Conventions and became a microcosm for the world warring beyond its walls. With his signature eye for detail and narrative, Macintyre brings the people of Colditz—its inmates, guards, escapists, traitors, and spies—to remarkable life, celebrating their indomitable spirit.


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Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis' Fortress Prison By Ben Macintyre Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593136331
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - September 13th, 2022


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