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S.B.'s Reviews

Stefanie has been the cookbook buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz for over 25 years and credits her love of good food (and good times) to being born in New Orleans. Her favorite thing in the world is to cook for family and friends.

Vietnamese Food Every Day by Andrea Nguyen

You can't go wrong with any of award-winning author Andrea Nguyen's outstanding cookbooks which are often a deep dive into a particular dish or ingredient (tofu, pho, bahn mi, dumplings). Nguyen is a fantastic teacher who makes even the most detailed recipes doable, but Vietnamese Food Any Day is perhaps her most accessible yet. (My 12-year-old daughter is even cooking from it!) By using ingredients that are commonly found at local grocery stores, Nguyen makes it easy to incorporate delicious Vietnamese food into busy weeknight cooking. From Shaking Beef to Rice Paper Rolls to Shrimp in Coconut Caramel Sauce, Nguyen shares quick dishes that don't compromise on flavor. This cookbook is a game-changer at our house, and will likely be at yours, too. - S.B.

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Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors [A Cookbook] Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780399580352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - February 5th, 2019

Blowout by Rachel Maddow

Viewers of her nightly show already know that Rachel Maddow is both wicked smart and a great storyteller. She excels at tackling complex political situations and making them digestible for all of us who aren’t Rhodes scholars (like she was). In Blowout, Maddow takes readers on a global journey of the tremendous greed, corruption, and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas, which has led to weakened democracies, environmental disasters, and the Russian government hacking of our 2016 election. Filled with high stakes, intriguing characters, and just enough dark humor to make you not (entirely) lose hope, Blowout is required reading. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one or disappears.” - S.B.

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Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive  Industry on Earth Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780525575474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - October 1st, 2019

Fruit Trees for Every Garden by Orin Martin

Orin Martin, who has been the manager of UC Santa Cruz’s renowned Alan Chadwick Garden for decades, shares his wisdom about growing healthy, organic fruit trees in his excellent new book. Covering apples to peaches, citrus to figs, Martin advises on the selection, planting, feeding, and pruning of trees to produce a bountiful harvest. With stellar instructions, a foreword by Alice Waters, and Stephanie Martin’s lovely illustrations, Fruit Trees for Every Garden is an indispensable book that every gardener should own. - S.B.

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Fruit Trees for Every Garden: An Organic Approach to Growing Apples, Pears, Peaches, Plums, Citrus, and More Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780399580024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - August 27th, 2019

Flora Magnifica by Makoto Azuma

Dazzling, lush, and vibrant, Flora Magnifica is the result of a collaboration between floral artist Makoto Azuma and botanical photographer Shunsuke Shiinoki. Often evoking the opulence of a Dutch still-life floral but still clearly contemporary, these images are organized thematically by season. You will happily get lost in the layers of petals, unfurling fern fronds, and riots of color. - S.B.

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Flora Magnifica: The Art of Flowers in Four Seasons Cover Image
By Makoto Azuma, Shunsuke Shiinoki (By (photographer))
$50.00
ISBN: 9780500545003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thames & Hudson - September 10th, 2019

Reclaimed Wood by Alan Solomon & Klaas Armster

Secondhand. Salvaged. Scrap. Reclaimed wood once went by many different names and was used out of necessity; now it is extolled for its beauty and for the character and history it can bring to any space. This gorgeous new book about reclaimed wood covers everything from the history of wood in America to sourcing and design. Packed with inspirational photos of homes, furniture, and artwork that use repurposed lumber, it would make a great gift for any woodworker, builder, or designer, or anyone who appreciates natural beauty. - S.B.

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Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide Cover Image
By Klaas Armster, Mr. Alan Solomon, Michel Arnaud (By (photographer))
$29.99
ISBN: 9781419738180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams - October 1st, 2019

Down to Earth by Lauren Liess

Down to Earth features houses that are relaxed, effortless, and celebrate a connection with nature. Designer Lauren Liess draws upon her fondest memories outdoors to inspire her interiors, creating homes that have a simple and natural vibe and are meant to be enjoyed rather than designed to impress. With her use of durable textiles, rustic beams, and great tiles, Liess’s style reminds me of a cross between Justina Blakeney (The New Bohemians) and Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper), and no doubt fans of either would be delighted with this book. - S.B.

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Down to Earth: Laid-back Interiors for Modern Living Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781419738197
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams - October 8th, 2019

Planting the Natural Garden by Piet Oudolf & Henk Gerritsen

This seminal book started a gardening revolution, the New Perennial movement, when it was first published in 2003. Dutch designer Piet Oudolf (the High Line, Battery Park) champions a naturalistic approach to home and public garden design, emphasizing the use of hardy perennials and grasses that produce landscapes that look natural and organic no matter the season. This revised edition includes beautiful new photography and updated plant lists, making it more valuable and inspirational than ever. - S.B.

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Planting the Natural Garden Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781604699739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - November 12th, 2019

Great Women Artists by Phaidon Editors

This showcase of 400 artists from 50 countries of the past 500 years, the latest book in Phaidon’s Art Book series, is a stunner. From familiar names like Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, and Georgia O’Keeffe, to lesser-known artists, each painter, sculptor, photographer, and performance artist is celebrated with an image of their key artwork and a short essay. Even as an art major myself, I was excited to discover artists I hadn’t known before as well as to revisit old favorites. Any art lover will enjoy this beautiful book. - S.B.

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Great Women Artists Cover Image
$59.95
ISBN: 9780714878775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Phaidon Press - October 2nd, 2019

South by Sean Brock

Every year there is (at least) one new cookbook that both makes me really excited to cook and grabs a piece of my heart. This year South is that book. Chef Sean Brock is a champion of Southern food and makes a compelling case for why it should be considered one of the most important cuisines in the world. Highlighting the many regional differences of the South, he shares variations on recipes for classics, including cornbread, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken. Seasonal, accessible, and mouthwatering, South is a passionate collection of fantastic dishes that Frank Stitt calls “one of the most beautiful and powerful books on Southern food ever written.” - S.B.

Don't miss our event with Sean Brock for South on November 11th, 2019!

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South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781579657161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Artisan - October 15th, 2019

Canal House: Cook Something by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton

I have been eagerly awaiting this new book from the women behind Canal House. They love the everyday practice of simple, seasonal cooking. Cook Something features 300 unfussy recipes (including French Onion Soup, Classic Italian Meatballs, and Carrots Glazed with Butter) that are delicious and includes tips that will make you a better cook. I am always inspired by the ease and appeal of Canal House food, and know that this is a cookbook that I, and countless home cooks, will reach for again and again. - S.B.

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Canal House: Cook Something: Recipes to Rely On Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780316268257
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voracious - September 10th, 2019

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