Join Bookshop's Fall Reading Challenge! Read any two of the eight great books below (which are featured on the first page of our Fall Reading Guide) by October 31st and Bookshop will donate $5.00 on your behalf to our Keep Kids Reading Fundraiser benefiting Santa Cruz Pride and Santa Cruz Office of Education.
Finished reading your two books? Click here and let us know. Bookshop will donate $5.00 to our Keep Kids Reading Fundraiser for every completed entry. THANK YOU!
There is almost nothing quite as potent for storytelling as a big, Irish multigenerational family drama. Although by sight, the Brennans are a close knit New York family, the novel explores the fissures that are created through a lifetime of secrets in love, money, and family and the forgiveness that is required in a messy, complex life. For those who love deep, character-driven books, this debut brings a new voice to the likes of Ann Patchett, Celeste Ng, and Brit Bennett. —Casey
Inti Flynn, an accomplished wolf biologist, is the head of a team attempting to release wolves back into the wild in the Scottish Highlands, thereby restoring ancient forests and stabilizing the ecosystem. Inti also has mirror-touch synesthesia, a condition that forces her to feel everything she sees. Inti’s condition has led to a deep compassion for animals and an intense weariness of other people and as she struggles to simultaneously win the hearts of the local farmers, nurture her wolves, and care for her ailing twin sister, she begins to lose grip on her bearings. Another beautiful, poignant novel from McCohnahy, Once There Were Wolves is at once a murder mystery, an homage to the bond between sisters, and an urgent call to assuage climate change. —Jade
Enticing scents and exotic perfumes permeate this evocative book. Timothy Schaffert transports you to the cabarets and brothels of WWII Nazi-occupied Paris. Clementine is a 72-year-old queer American ex-pat, a reformed thief. Her perfumery caters to the city's marginalized LGBTQ+ community. She runs a dangerous con game to protect her dearest friends. Espionage, deception, love, and betrayal are all a part of the story. This is a well-written, unique tale of historical fiction. —Trey
Jaime Cortez’s lively debut collection is set in the farm camps and communities of Watsonville and San Juan Bautista in the 1970s, and is explored largely through the singular, earnest, and endearing voice of Gordo, a young boy discovering his own identity amidst the pressure and antics of his peers and the love and expectations of his community. Cortez grew up in Watsonville and speaks lighthearted, unerring truth to the area in these often funny, always heartfelt interconnected short stories. —Melinda
In her latest work—a perfectly distilled elixir of maturity, fondness, and truth—Sandra Cisneros somehow knows my soul, pinpointing exactly how it feels to grow up. This is a novella of sorts, but it defies categorization, except to say it is essential. In it, middle aged Corina reminisces over a series of letters, looking back on her youth when she lived in Paris with two girlfriends, waiting for her life to begin. In her iconic lyrical style, Cisneros immerses us in this past and present, and we will live lifetimes before coming up for air. It is magical. —Melinda
Upon receiving a letter in the mail, all descendants of Orquídea Montoya return to the magic-infused home in the illusive town of Four Rivers for what feels like the last time. With a diverse cast of characters, alternating perspectives, and vivid imagery, it’s easy to get lost between the pages. Zoraida Cordova artfully ties together family, legacy and the human desire to make a lasting mark on the world. —Andrea
Qian Julie Wang’s memoir is transportive, immersive, her childhood rendered with such a natural hand that each particular pain and joy feels as intimate as one’s own memory. This acuity is strangely healing—Wang pulls no punches when recalling moments of shame—even as the remoteness of her position as an undocumented immigrant, isolated further from her peers by poverty, is a devastating revelation. Powerful, nuanced, and tender, Beautiful Country is essential reading.
Most of us have heard America referred to as a “melting pot” or a “nation of immigrants.” While these self-congratulatory phrases paint a rosy picture of our past and present, they obscure or downright ignore some of the core tenets of this nation: white supremacy, settler colonialism, and capitalist exploitation of land and bodies. True to form, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s latest work combines incisive criticism with unmatched clarity to provide a comprehensive history of both immigrants and xenophobia in America. — Travis