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Rico's Reviews

Rico has had a lot of different jobs over the years--carpenter, office manager, teacher, marketing copywriter--but he's spent most of his adult life selling books, first at Capitola Book Cafe and now at Bookshop Santa Cruz, where he manages the Fiction section. In his spare time he does a lot of birdwatching, backpacking, and woodworking. His short stories have appeared in dozens of magazines around the country--one was a Notable Story of the Year in the 2009 Best of the West anthology and two were nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. His essay, "Of Human Carnage," was selected for Best American Essays 2016. Though he mostly reads literary fiction, he also loves outdoor adventure, history and anything about Africa. Aside from being around books all day, his favorite part of the job is making recommendations and turning people on to authors they haven't discovered yet.

 

 

 

 

 

Special Deluxe by Neil Young

Following up on the first installment of his memoirs, Waging Heavy Peace, Young brings us more of his personal history and meditations on life, music, and politics, this time structured around the various cars he’s owned. (I guess we’ll call it an “auto” biography—sorry, couldn’t help myself.) Like everything he’s ever done, the book is soulful, edgy, and alive with his unique off-beat vision and spirit.
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Rico
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Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780399172083
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Rider Press - October 14th, 2014

Play On by Mick Fleetwood

In addition to their great songs and outstanding musicianship, Fleetwood Mac is known for their plethora of lineup changes and interpersonal drama—much, much drama. (The intra-band romantic couplings and uncouplings alone would require a heavily annotated flow chart.) Now Mr. Fleetwood himself, the only member to have never left the band, shares his stories—some triumphant, others tragic, most drug-fueled—of his nearly 50 (yes, 50) years in rock ’n’ roll.
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Rico
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Play On: Now, Then, and Fleetwood Mac: The Autobiography Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316403429
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 28th, 2014

A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry Brotton

I’ve always loved maps, but previously knew very little about the history of cartography, so I found this fascinating. While clearly delineating the technical advances of the great cartographers (Ptolemy, Mercator, Cassini, Google Earth, and others) Brotton discusses the political, economic, and/or religious objectives that, to greater or lesser degrees, distort all maps. This is a perfect book for map lovers, history buffs and fans of well-researched general nonfiction.
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Rico
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A History of the World in 12 Maps Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780143126027
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Books - October 28th, 2014

America’s Great Hiking Trails by Karen Berger

This lushly illustrated coffee-table book celebrates the best and most iconic trails in the United States, from the famous (the Pacific Crest and the Appalachian) to the lesser known (the Potomac Heritage and Natchez Trace). The author, who has herself logged more than 17,000 trail miles (!), covers hikes in 49 states and eight national parks, providing maps and descriptions for each. The photographs are awesome, underscoring the raw beauty and ecological diversity of North America.
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Rico
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America's Great Hiking Trails: Appalachian, Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, North Country, Ice Age, Potomac Heritage, Florida, Natchez Trace, Arizona, Pacific Northwest, New England Cover Image
By Karen Berger, Bart Smith (Photographs by), Bill McKibben (Foreword by), Partnership Nat'l Trail System (Contributions by)
$50.00
ISBN: 9780789327413
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rizzoli - September 23rd, 2014

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

For my money this is the best novel in the English language. Though the story is morally dubious Humbert Humbert’s deranged intelligence and erotic exuberance is hilarious, tragic and exhilarating. Mary McCarthy called Lolita “the only truly convincing love story of the twentieth century.” I agree; I’ve read this book ten times (at least) and I can’t wait to read it again.
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Rico
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Lolita (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679723165
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 13th, 1989

Selected Stories by Alice Munro

Alice Munro is quite simply the best short-story writer ever. The recent Nobel Prize in Literature is just icing on the cake. This book brings together the best stories from the first half of her career (1968-1994), including the masterpieces “Walker Brothers Cowboy,” “Friend of My Youth” and (my personal favorite) “The Albanian Virgin.”
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Rico
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Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780679766742
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Vintage - November 11th, 1997

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

Lerner’s literary gifts are many: a poet’s command of language, a brilliant eye for detail, and, above all, an open-hearted, essentially child-like compassion for his characters. Telling the story of a drug-addled and socially awkward American poet spending a year abroad in Spain when the Atocha train station is bombed by Al-Qaeda, the book is a grown-up Catcher in the Rye for our time.
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Rico
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Leaving the Atocha Station Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566892742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - August 23rd, 2011

Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt

This book is utterly depraved & also brilliant. Dewitt’s narrator is a bartender in a very unhip dive bar. As he shares his attempts to escape his circumstances, he captures the world of the bar and its inhabitants in all their dysfunctional alcoholic glory. Think Bukowski, but from the bartender’s point of view. You will be disgusted and you will laugh like a hyena.
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Rico
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Ablutions: Notes for a Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780547335711
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 8th, 2010

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

If it were up to me, Boyd would be as well-known as Steinbeck or Dickens. He does it all: amazing plots, wonderful descriptions and—especially—great characters. Written in the form of journal entries, this book tells the story of an art dealer and sometime-spy whose life is a kind of history of the 20th century. Both intimate and sweeping, this is simply a great old-fashioned read.
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Rico
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Any Human Heart (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781400031009
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2004

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

A novel in the form of recommendation letters? Sounds like a literary stunt but Schumacher absolutely nails it. While maintaining the book’s formal conceit, she perfectly blends satire and genuine human emotion, offering a hilarious commentary on modern academia through one professor’s tired pen and fading sanity. If you’ve ever needed a letter of recommendation or written one, you will laugh and you will cry. I unreservedly recommend (!) Ms. Schumacher for your reading pleasure.
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Rico
Dear Committee Members Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780385538138
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Doubleday Books - August 19th, 2014

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