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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.

Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke

If you are new to gardening but are excited to start growing some of your own food, this book is a great place to start. Written in a warm, you-can-do-it tone, it is also filled with really good advice and is tailored for a small-scale space like a yard or patio. I love that the author has a point of view, like her commitment to raised beds—which make it easier on your back, produce incredibly reliable results, and give your garden structure no matter how unwieldly your plants may get. And even though I’m an experienced gardener, I found some great new ideas (like growing tomatoes on arched metal trellises) and plenty to love in Kitchen Garden Revival. Pick up a copy and get growing!

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Kitchen Garden Revival: A modern guide to creating a stylish small-scale, low-maintenance edible garden Cover Image
By Nicole Johnsey Burke, Eric Kelley (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9780760366868
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cool Springs Press - May 5th, 2020

Natural Palettes Inspiration from Plant-Based Color by Sasha Duerr

This gorgeous, compact book features 25 color palettes from flora, food, and plants that will inspire artists, gardeners, and anyone working in textiles, fashion, or interior design. Jason Long, author of the beautiful book Make Ink calls Natural Palettes, “A poem, a guide, a swatch book and a manifesto for natural color awareness rolled into one. This is a book steeped in the past, useful in the now, and alchemized for the future. A beautiful and crucial map for those looking for an adventure that begins at their feet.”

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Natural Palettes: Inspiration from Plant-Based Color Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616897925
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - April 21st, 2020

24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid by Willie Mays, with John Shea

The legendary Willie Mays, known for both his Hall of Fame baseball career and his charitable work and generosity in spending time with young players, has given us yet another gift with this wonderful memoir. In 24 chapters (to correspond with his uniform number), the baseball legend shares stories from his life as talks about his philosophy on sports. As a huge Giants fan, I have heard for many years about the joy of listening to Mays tell tales about his career and share his advice about life and have always wished I could sit in on one of those conversations. This book is certainly the next best thing.

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24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid Cover Image
By Willie Mays, John Shea, Bob Costas (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781250230423
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - May 12th, 2020

Surviving Autocracy A Status Report by Masha Gessen

Having grown up queer in the Soviet Union and going on to cover the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, National Book Award winner Masha Gessen (The Future Is History) sounded the alarm about the trajectory America was on within the first 48 hours of Trump’s election. Her urgent book lays out the ways in which autocracy works and is also a guide to enduring and resisting the ongoing assault. Absolutely essential reading.

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Surviving Autocracy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593188934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2020

Wordslut A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell

Have you ever stopped to think about the ways in which your language informs your worldview? Have you ever pondered whether the patriarchy participates in forming the way you think about sex, politics, and identity? If you are curious about these topics, reach for Wordslut. Bet you never realized how sexist it is to hate vocal fry! Amanda Montell will tell you why.

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Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062868886
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Wave - June 2nd, 2020

The End of White Politics How to Heal Our Liberal Divide by Zerlina Maxwell

In her highly anticipated book, MSNBC analyst Zerlina Maxwell, who worked on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, challenges us to look at the problems not of the right, but of the left—including white privilege, income inequality, and racism. Most especially, she argues that the Democratic party’s struggle to engage women and communities of color because of its preoccupation with catering to the white male working class, is the flaw that prevents true progress from succeeding. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

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The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our Liberal Divide Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306873614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - July 7th, 2020

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
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
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
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))
ISBN: 9780500545003
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thames & Hudson - September 10th, 2019


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