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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.

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

When Harper Lee learned of the vigilante murder of Reverend Willie Maxwell, the many deaths that preceded his, and the lawyer who both defended him and his assailant, she knew she’d found the story she wanted to write, a true crime narrative with an underlying complexity of race, place, and politics. Almost 50 years later, Casey Cep has realized the same in her first book, a remarkable work of nonfiction that distills extensive research into a broad, insightful exploration of not only the reverend and his lawyer but of Harper Lee, her drive, her demons, and the book she never finished. - Melinda

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Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781101947869
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

Long known as a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field, Abby Wambach expands her play to the rest of the world with Wolfpack, an inspiring rally cry for a new way forward, based on her 2018 commencement speech at Barnard College. Her presence on the page is powerful, joyful, and inclusive; her rules are ones we should all adopt. Abby has found a new pack to lead, and we are so lucky to run with her. - Melinda

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WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781250217707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - April 9th, 2019

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong’s gorgeous debut expands our notion of the Great American Novel, speaking to our shared experience through exquisite lyricism, unforgettable story, and the voice of the narrator Little Dog, who attempts to write the letter of their life to his mother, even as she is unable to read it. In telling their story, a bigger picture is revealed, one of war, survival, identity, sexuality, and addiction, all through the eyes of raw, bursting youth. The result is fierce, loving, and resplendent. - Melinda

Don’t miss our event with Ocean Vuong on June 17th.

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525562023
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - June 4th, 2019

The Travelers by Regina Porter

Regina Porter’s novel moves through time and characters with such agility and craft that it’s deliciously hard to believe it’s a debut. Playful in form and inspiration, at its center is the compelling narrative of two interweaving families, from the 1950s to the first year of Obama’s presidency, whose story also tells the greater American experience with an exacting, compassionate touch. - Melinda

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The Travelers: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525576198
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth - June 18th, 2019

The Sun is a Compass by Caroline Van Hemert

When ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert decided she needed to get out of the lab and back into the wild, she and her husband embarked on the journey of a lifetime, spending six months traveling four thousand human-powered miles from Bellingham, Washington to the Alaskan Arctic. What follows is this incredible book, part outdoor adventure, part travel memoir, part nature writing, all grit and heart, as they canoe, hike, ski and raft their own way into the wilderness. I am by turns inspired and stunned by the knowledge and willpower needed on the trail, and by the beauty and wisdom left on the page. - Melinda

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The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316414425
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Little, Brown Spark - March 19th, 2019

Horizon by Barry Lopez

What a treat we have been given by one of our finest writers and thinkers – this is exactly the book I have wanted from Barry Lopez. Horizon is a gorgeous tome that is a journey through his own life and travels around the world, as well as those who came before him, reflecting on a greater history of exploration, and offering thoughtful, fervent, hopeful ways forward for all of us in these uncertain times. Personal, powerful, important, this is narrative nonfiction that we both need and crave. - Melinda

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Horizon Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780394585826
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2019

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins

At the age of 30, Jedidiah Jenkins decided to “happen to life” instead of letting life happen to him and embarked on an 18-month bike trip from Oregon to Patagonia. The resulting book is both a delightful adventure and a thoughtfuljourney into his own soul. Travel frees him to make unencumbered relationships with his past, his spirituality, his identity, his family, and his sense of self in ways that leave me feeling alive, inspired, and ready to pack my own bags. - Melinda

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To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781524761387
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Convergent Books - October 2nd, 2018

Tigerbelle by Wyomia Tyus

Wyomia Tyus, a record-setting track and field Olympian (1964 and 1968), should be as well-known as Tommie Smith and John Carlos for her political activism or as Wilma Rudolph for her athletic prowess, but we are still challenged with broadening representation beyond iconic representatives. Now is the time to add Tyus to the pantheon of great Black women athletes and citizens, and this is the book, her enjoyable accounting of a remarkable life. - Melinda

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Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781617756580
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Edge of Sports - September 4th, 2018

Path of the Puma by Jim Williams

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 - October 9th, 2018

Hearth by Annick Smith & Susan O'Connor

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: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Milkweed Editions - October 9th, 2018

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