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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

  • Philosophy, ethics, and three great outdoor trips
  • Pulls no punches!
  • Like going on a hike with your best friend
  • Both heartfelt & hilarious


Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Likes to Walk Outside By Nick Offerman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101984703
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - October 3rd, 2023

  • Calling all history nerds!
  • RIP to the dinosaurs but I'm different
  • Accessible, hilarious, and super-smart
  • From the Mesozoic Era to the modern day!


How to Survive History: How to Outrun a Tyrannosaurus, Escape Pompeii, Get Off the Titanic, and Survive the Rest of History's Deadliest Catastrophes By Cody Cassidy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143136408
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 13th, 2023

  • Relatable as hell
  • All-too-real feels
  • Perfect antidote to those "I hate the world" days
  • For the friend who, let's be real, is too cool for you 


Staff Pick Badge
Quietly Hostile: Essays By Samantha Irby Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593315699
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 16th, 2023

  • Cynical & irreverent
  • Learning to laugh about the pandemic
  • Poignant reflections on family, fame, and youth
  • Classic Sedaris humor & wit!


Staff Pick Badge
Happy-Go-Lucky By David Sedaris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316392433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - May 30th, 2023

  • The only gardening book you need for Bay Area gardening
  • Friendly, practical advice
  • What to plant for each season
  • Seasonal garden-to-table recipes


  • Perfect Gift for gardeners of every expertise level
  • Learn the fundamentals of garden design
  • Easy-to-follow DIY
  • Includes wildlife-friendly and sustainable practices


Staff Pick Badge
Encyclopedia of Landscape Design: Planning, Building, and Planting Your Perfect Outdoor Space By DK Cover Image
ISBN: 9780744084436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DK - September 5th, 2023

  • A must-have for Mystery readers
  • Meticulously researched
  • Beautiful illustrations
  • Fun, quirky, & informative


Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers By Marta McDowell Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643261126
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - September 5th, 2023

  • Beautiful gift for plant lovers, and mind/body/spirit enthusiasts
  • Includes a section on a Santa Cruz garden
  • Anyone-can-do-it gardening advice
  • For all sizes and types of gardens


Staff Pick Badge
Moon Garden: A Guide to Creating an Evening Oasis By Jarema Osofsky Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797219936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - October 3rd, 2023

  • For the literary gardener
  • Written by poet & scholar
  • Nature writing at its most welcoming
  • Weaves in motherhood, intersectionality, history, and more


Staff Pick Badge
Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden By Camille T. Dungy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982195304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 2nd, 2023

winner of the the Nobel Prize for Literature
his new novel
a character's literary quest to unite a fractured country
going mad over Peruvian music
huachafería and the triumph of sentimentality over reason


Le dedico mi silencio / I Give You My Silence By Mario Vargas Llosa Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644739563
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfaguara - October 31st, 2023