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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.

Looking for more book group recommendations? Find curated book lists for the following categories:

Surviving 2020: Books That Will Make You Believe in Humanity
Strong Women Through the Ages
Book Group Sleepers: Great Books Your Group May Have Missed

Mixed-race queer Jews of color, childhood summer camps, enemies to lovers, and a great group of friends? Sign me up! Debut novelist Katz checks all the satisfying boxes when Liyah and Daniel are reunited by a work project and forced to confront their own life challenges with the unexpected support of each other (and their impromptu friend group, the Speakeasy Survival Club). There is so much to learn about, swoon over, and love here. I can’t wait to share it with others.  

—Melinda

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Thank You for Sharing: A Novel By Rachel Runya Katz Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250888297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 12th, 2023


In this follow-up to her 2022 breakout novel Icebreaker, Hannah Grace returns to Maple Hills. Hockey goalie Russ Callaghan (aka “Muffin“) plans to avoid his dysfunctional family by spending his summer as a camp counselor. As fate would have it, Aurora Roberts (aka “the gorgeous girl who disappeared on Russ after a one-night stand”) had the same idea. This hilarious and heartfelt novel is so much better than any college romance has the right to be.  

—Lindsay

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Wildfire: A Novel (The Maple Hills Series) By Hannah Grace Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781668026274
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - October 3rd, 2023


Love Redesigned is the latest enemies-to-lovers romance from the author of the beloved Dreamland Billionaires series. Julian Lopez and Dahlia Muñoz have a complicated history. Family acquaintances. Childhood nemeses. They are perfectly content to ignore each other until they both die. Except Julian’s meddling mother triggers his savior complex, prompting him to help Dahlia. It had nothing to do with their unresolved sexual attraction…right?  

—Lindsay

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Love Redesigned (Lakefront Billionaires) By Lauren Asher Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781728292137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloom Books - November 7th, 2023


The first in a promised trilogy, Salt Kiss sets the stage for a compelling, steamy romance series. Tristan is a veteran, adrift in the aftermath of war. When he’s offered a job as a personal bodyguard for the owner of an infamous sex club, he jumps at the chance to shake up his stagnating life. It’s a queer, kinky remix of an old medieval chivalric romance.  

—Ivy

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Salt Kiss (Lyonesse) By Sierra Simone Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781728276656
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloom Books - September 12th, 2023


In Andie Burke’s Fly with Me, a charming romance unfolds between Olive Murphy, a flight-phobic ER nurse, and Stella Soriano, a type A commercial pilot. This book honestly has everything you could want in a romance novel: a fake relationship, a magical first date at Disneyworld, some sizzling dirty talk, and a heartfelt exploration of trauma. It adroitly and respectfully deals with some heavy topics. Please read the warnings at the beginning of the book.

 —Lindsay

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Fly with Me: A Novel By Andie Burke Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250886378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 5th, 2023


Calamity is a fast-paced, action-packed, high-stakes romance in space, with laser guns and doomsday cults and evil plots all atop a dormant volcano! Through it all, a small found family on a ramshackle spaceship fights to save the day, and the mysterious son of the man hiring them may turn out to be even more than an ally.  

—Zoe

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Calamity (Uncharted Hearts #1) By Constance Fay Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250330413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bramble - November 14th, 2023


The science of The Martian and the suspense of a mystery, all beautifully encased in a powerful family drama. When a father goes missing and his nonverbal son becomes the main suspect, a family works to understand what happened and what it means for their sense of each other. Angie Kim narrates an evolving dynamic between husbands and wives, parents and kids, and siblings with each other, ultimately driving a nuanced and compassionate narrative about how our perceptions and beliefs are shaped, nourished, and changed by those around us.  

—Casey

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Happiness Falls (Good Morning America Book Club): A Novel By Angie Kim Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593448205
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth - August 29th, 2023


In Murder by Degrees, 19th-century Philadelphia comes alive as Dr. Lydia Weston, a resourceful physician, delves into a missing persons case–turned–murder investigation. Mukerji’s meticulous descriptions of everything from anatomy to social classes provide a vivid backdrop as the book explores class divides, sexism, and Lydia’s journey to uncover a killer’s secrets. With an intriguing plot and an engaging protagonist, this historical mystery is captivating.  

—Kristina

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Murder by Degrees: A Mystery By Ritu Mukerji Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781668015063
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 17th, 2023


This is the story of Hardly, a perpetual stoner drifting from one day to the next. Hardly has somehow taken on the impossible task of rescuing two abused children, a mission that appears doomed from the start. He enlists his 16-year-old clueless amusement park coworker, an antisocial goth city worker, and a sexy 40-something former private investigator. This is a thriller with heart. Another well-crafted winner from Lou Berney.  

—Trey

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Dark Ride: A Thriller By Lou Berney Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780062663863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - September 19th, 2023


Baja California is full of contradictions. Deserts and oceans exist side by side. For Viridiana, Baja is cloyingly small. Acting as a translator for tourists is a way to touch the outside world without leaving, but her newest assignment may be more than she can handle. Can she take charge of her own future? Dark and twisty, this thriller will keep you guessing until the very end.  

—Ivy

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Untamed Shore By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593600528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - September 19th, 2023


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