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.

I have to admit that I have a weakness for family epics. There is something so powerful about connecting to characters’ lives in the place that is most emotional, complex, and personal. So when I read The House of Broken Angels I was not surprised that I fell in love with the extended cast of characters of the Las Cruzes family, but little did I know that their feelings of belonging, loyalty, and forgiveness would deeply permeate and change my own view of humanity. Dave Eggers says that it is “one of the most vivid and engrossing family epics of the last twenty years” and I agree. - Casey

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The House of Broken Angels Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316154888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - March 6th, 2018


This lovely literary debut takes you back to Portland in the 90s in all its raw and messy glory. It is an unconventional love story with one major twist: A lesbian has an affair with a man that leaves her pregnant and possibly ostracized from her insular community. The plot is simple yet powerful, deftly shining light on issues of belonging, what family means, and how to expect the unexpected—all with humor and care. - Kelly

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Stray City: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062666680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Custom House - March 20th, 2018


Richard Powers is an author of voracious curiosity and laser focused insight, gracing each of his novel’s topics with originality and breadth. His newest, The Overstory, is structured around trees, their own histories and our relationships with them, both on a personal level through the cast of diverse characters he builds and through the environmental activism that brings them together in unexpected ways. Gorgeously written, thoughtfully rendered, this is another intellectual feat by one of my favorite authors. - Melinda

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The Overstory Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393635522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 3rd, 2018


Bare, intense, and incredibly beautiful reading. Arimah has a kind of raw and obvious literary talent that seems almost unfair in the world of publishing. These concise and powerful short stories cut deeply without lingering too long over one image, over one characterization... a quiet and harsh exploration of violence, each story flashed like a photograph in the mind, using powerful words touched upon only briefly to vivid effect. Hard to read; worth every word. - a.c.

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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735211032
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 3rd, 2018


If you’ve ever struggled with who you thought you were in contrast to who life shows you to be, you will appreciate the stories of these three women. Set against the harsh and resilient sub-Saharan African landscape, Adrienne Benson uses this appropriate backdrop to illustrate the resiliency and courage of these women as they wrestle with cultural expectations, motherhood desires and disappointments, and the way we can use relationships to speak truth back to ourselves. - Jenny

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The Brightest Sun Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780778331278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - March 20th, 2018


Danya Kukafka’s debut novel ticks so many of my good-read boxes: Beautifully written; well-paced; great character development; and then, more specifically, multiple points of view and intertwining story lines. Told from three distinct perspectives, Girl in Snow takes different paths to the same ending as each character passes by, circles around, and eventually collides with the others as this small Colorado town deals with the aftermath of the homicide of a local teen. - Megan

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Girl in Snow: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501144387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 3rd, 2018


Recently graduated from Harvard, and with big dreams of changing the world, Kuo moved to the Mississippi Delta to teach. One child in particular captured her heart, a quiet boy named Patrick. Kuo’s writing chronicles her friendship with Patrick and the many lessons they taught each other throughout the years. Full of poetry and self-reflection, Kuo’s story tugs at the heartstrings—inspires and devastates. - Jade

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Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812987140
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - April 3rd, 2018


There is a world of experiences out there and we tend to hear only a very specific set of stories in our usual media. This collection of essays shares some of those little-told experiences. These women talk about race, gender, body image, sexuality, and being incarcerated with prose that doesn’t allow you to be impervious. They are flesh and blood and their voices are there for us to take heed of. - Karena

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All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom Cover Image
By Deborah Santana (Editor), America Ferrera (Contribution by), Natalie Baszile (Contribution by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780997296211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nothing But the Truth Publishing - January 30th, 2018


In David Grann’s latest book, he sheds light on the tragic fate of the Osage people, who, in the 1920s, were manipulated into giving up their immense oil wealth to white men. Those who got in the way were systematically murdered. The masterful prose of Killers of the Flower Moon hooked me by the first paragraph, and I hungrily devoured every subsequent word. The book is, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever read. - Jade

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307742483
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018


Tara Westover’s memoir is an incredible read, not just because she details a childhood foreign to so many of us, but because she writes with such generosity and honesty to the entire experience. Westover comes of age among religious fanaticism, government distrust (read: no school, no doctors), extreme paranoia and outright danger (read next: child labor in a scrapyard), and yet she rises above to learn herself into university and the world beyond, but always with an eye to her family, both beloved and estranged. - Melinda

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018


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