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Mikaela's Reviews

<img src="https://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/files/santacruz/Mikaela.jpeg" align="right"> Mikaela has always been a book hoarder, so coming to Bookshop Santa Cruz after finishing up her politics and modern literature degrees at UC Santa Cruz in 2013 turned out to be the perfect career progression. In the past she has been most interested in classic fiction and literature, and some of her favorite authors include Virginia Woolf, David Sedaris, Gustave Flaubert, and John Steinbeck. She also has interests in food politics (and cooking!), yarn crafts and travel.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I'm not much of a science-fiction-fantasy fan, so when I picked up this book at the recommendation of several of my co-workers, I wasn't sure what I was going to think of it. It ended up being one of the best narrated and plotted books I have ever read. The Name of the Wind had me gushing for weeks about the well-constructed characters and the aptitude of the writing.
Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780756404741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DAW - April 1st, 2008

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

This coming-of-age novel follows Francie, a poor teenager growing up in the periphery of New York's slums, as she discovers what life has to offer—the small achievements amidst endless suffering. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn shows the world through a purer lens, and shows what it means to be connected to one another—as children, as women, and as human beings.
Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [75th Anniversary Ed] Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060736262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - November 6th, 2018

Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

This book is a delightful puzzle, a wonderful short read that left me surfing the internet hours after I had finished, putting the pieces together little by little. Philosophical and psychological, as well as literary, this book was one of the best I've read in a while. Full of questions with little regard to the answers, as in life!
Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
Staff Pick Badge
The Sense of an Ending (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307947727
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Vintage - May 29th, 2012

Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

Ina Garten, like Julia Child, is one of my all-time favorite cooking idols. She is the perfect blend of not-so-good-for-you and elegantly refined. Her dessert section of this cookbook, inspired by recipes used in her own store, called the Barefoot Contessa, is particularly worth mentioning. Delicious and mouth-watering, beautiful and not too complicated, I love this cookbook!
Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Cover Image
By Ina Garten, Martha Stewart (Foreword by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9780609602195
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter - April 6th, 1999

Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville

This book gives novices and experts (and every kind of knitter in between) the tools necessary to make really beautiful, modern knitwear. I' m a little obsessed with not only how pretty the pictures are (a plus) but also how much information is packed inside. Melville is a genius, and one who has honed her craft to perfection, and I am all-too-happy to benefit from the product!

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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Knitting Pattern Essentials: Adapting and Drafting Knitting Patterns for Great Knitwear Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780307965578
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Potter Craft - March 26th, 2013

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon

Bleeding Edge is one of those rare books that reads like a movie—it’s visual in character as well as literary. Thomas Pynchon, a well-known literary writer, is back in action with his tongue-in-cheek humor, dense historical landscapes, and complex, multifaceted characters all interweaving and creating a network of interesting plot points and twists. Perfect for the brooding literary family member or simply for someone looking for something off the beaten track, Bleeding Edge is one of those incomparable, unique reads that leaves a lasting mark.

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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Bleeding Edge Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781594204234
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Press - September 17th, 2013

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

This novel is simply amazing, as the title suggests. With The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan further demonstrates her already well-known ability to turn a simple story into something beautiful and heart-wrenching that also helps us look at ourselves differently. The story follows the main character Violet from her upbringing in a courtesan house in Shanghai to her topsy-turvy development into a young virgin courtesan. The novel is culturally enlightening, well researched, and extremely well written. A great read for the escapist in all of us.

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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The Valley of Amazement Cover Image
By Amy Tan
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062107312
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Ecco - November 5th, 2013

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

This book is a condensed history of the human aspirations of flight and love, of the distinctions between god and earth, of the limitations as well as the miracles of humankind. Tracing the invention of the air balloon to the first flight in space, and the eccentricity of the characters surrounding these groundbreaking events, Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending) reveals his version of the levels and meanings of existence with stark and often jarring clarity.

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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Levels of Life Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780385350778
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf - September 24th, 2013

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Never before had I read something so truly and heart-wrenchingly honest. Didion draws on personal experience recovering from the death of her beloved husband. She taps into raw emotion, and proves that writing is a process of healing. Even if you've never experienced something similar, this account leaves you with impressions of scars, and Didion leaves nothing out, sparing you not one heart-breaking detail. I loved it.
Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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The Year of Magical Thinking (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400078431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 13th, 2007

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Even if you're not a previously indoctrinated Sedaris fan, you will love this collection of essays in which Sedaris details seemingly mundane trials from his life in a way that makes you reflect a little differently on your own. With humor, wit, and sometimes painful self-awareness, this had me glued for hours. I couldn't put it down!

Reviewed by: 
Mikaela
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Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316154697
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 23rd, 2013

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