Bookshop Santa Cruz staff recommendation:

The following books are recommended by our staff as great choices for book groups. Sign up for our Book Ends email newsletter to receive more great book group recommendations.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer Prize–winningauthor and refugee himself, has brought together a powerful collection of essays from writers with a myriad of immigrant experiences. Twenty pieces explore the complexities of leaving, of arriving, and of the barriers both seen and unseen that exist far beyond the actual crossing. Reyna Grande, Joseph Azam, Fatima Bhutto, Vu Tran—their stories demand that we see the refugee crisis for what it is, the real lives of so many affected, persevering and thriving in spite of it. - Melinda

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The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives Cover Image
By Viet Thanh Nguyen (Editor), David Bezmozgis (Contribution by), Thi Bui (Contribution by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781419729485
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Press - March 27th, 2018


Roxane Gay has put something together here that is almost indescribable. The very essence of rape culture has permeated our society so subtly that we often don’t think of rape other than in the most physical sense of the word. But in this collection of essays, writers of all backgrounds talk about how their lives have been affected by rape culture. It is a masterful collection, unflinching and relatable. - Karena

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Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062413512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 1st, 2018


Told in pieces of the past, present, and future, The History of Bees is is a beautifully written story about our relationships with each other and with the world we share. I will never again see a bee and have it not remind me of our responsibility to respect the balance of power in nature. Lunde’s novel has illuminated the path of the bees and in turn has given us a beacon of hope for our future. - Jenny

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The History of Bees Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501161384
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Touchstone Books - June 5th, 2018


Reading this book was like listening to a beautiful, heartbreaking piece of music. Prepare yourself for a full sensory experience as Jesmyn Ward pulls you into the lives of 13-year-old JoJo and his family in rural Mississippi. The reality of their struggle is palpable. This is a story of contradictions; we hit when we mean to hug, the hurts in our past have a place in our healing, a daughter’s best moment in her life is when she is present for her mother’s death. Despite the profound sadness, the last pages leave you with a lyrical sense of hope. - Jenny

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Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501126079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 8th, 2018


With Isadora, Amelia Gray takes the life of a great modern artist and turns it into breathing poetry. A novelized version of a key moment in Isadora Duncan’s tragic life, Isadora is a meditation on humanity, grief, and family. Gray is at her career best here, stringing a tightrope attached at one end to consuming sadness and another to irreverent vitality. In honor of her subject, perhaps, she doesn’t just walk it, she dances. - Jessica

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Isadora Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250183095
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 8th, 2018


In this tender and uplifting novel, set in a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian immigrants are trying to find their place and identity in American culture. “No One Can Pronounce My Name is a warm, life-affirming story of reckoning with past secrets, forging unexpected bonds, and finding the strength to be yourself. This bighearted, utterly charming novel explores immigrant experience and family life with humor and compassion.” —Celeste Ng

No One Can Pronounce My Name Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250112125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - May 8th, 2018


I didn’t want to lead this review with the fact that the author of this book is serving a life sentence for murder, because there is so much more to this book than that. However, it is precisely his perspective from the “inside” that makes this collection of short stories so raw and powerful. This debut is a tour de force, helping the reader understand unseen and painful realities through its lens of humor, insight, and common humanity. - Casey

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The Graybar Hotel: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501162305
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 8th, 2018


Tommy Orange’s debut offers a contemporary glimpse of Native lives through a wide array of characters. There There lifts the figure of the Native American off the shrine built of white America’s guilt and sins. This novel has horror and rage and sadness and banality—and beauty, too: Orange writes of the humanity of his people who exist now: urban, dynamic, less “other,” more real. - Chorel

Don’t miss our free event with Tommy Orange at Bookshop Santa Cruz on June 18th, 2018.

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There There Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 5th, 2018


Madeline Miller is back, this time with a gorgeous story of Circe, the witch of ancient mythology. The writing is so juicy and delicious that it’s hard to tell if I’m falling under Circe’s spell or Miller’s. In a world so brutal, watching a woman forge her own path despite all odds inspired me and made me think hard about what we accept to be true and what might be known if we listen harder. - Jax 

Don't miss our June 13th, 2018 free book talk and signing with Madeline Miller for Circe.

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Circe (#1 New York Times Bestseller) Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018


This deeply moving and gorgeously written narrative follows the intertwining stories of two young women: In 2011, Nour is a Syrian American girl who must escape the Syrian Civil War with her family, while 800 years earlier, Rawiya disguises herself as a boy and apprentices with the world’s best mapmaker in search of adventure. On the way, they find themselves walking similar paths through the Middle East and North Africa while they search for the meaning of family and home. - Stuart

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The Map of Salt and Stars Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501169038
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - May 1st, 2018


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