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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

The second installment in this wonderful series from Heyday Books should be on every Californian’s “to read” list. The wonderful range of voices and experiences in this collection is representative of the diverse and complicated nature of our state. Also included is an excerpt from the forthcoming Masha’allah and Other Stories, by Mariah K. Young, the first recipient of the James D. Houston Award.
New California Writing By Gayle Wattawa (Editor), David Kipen (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Gayle Wattawa (Editor), David Kipen (Foreword by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9781597141895
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Heyday Books - March 15th, 2012


Love biking but hate spandex? Peterson has put together a useful guide for both the experienced and the uninitiated, casual rider. Full of tips for anyone who loathes, laughs at, or is baffled by fancy frames, expensive accessories, and too many gears. Advice ranges from the tongue-in-cheek “your blinky light can kill you” to wisdom on crank length, chains, and—wait for it—rigging a bike stand from a tree.
Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike By Grant Petersen Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780761155584
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Workman Publishing Company - May 8th, 2012


A revised and expanded edition of the international bestseller, Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport, uses empirical analysis and witty, incisive commentary to change how we think about soccer. This new edition contains chapters on Spain’s 2010 World Cup win and the new era of financial fair-play rules.

Quilter Denyse Schmidt has countless devoted fans, and I am certainly one of them. Her gorgeous mix of modern and traditional styles is on full display in this beautiful new book. Schmidt pays homage to the quilters and quilts that came before her by reinterpreting 20 of her favorite traditional quilt patterns for the home crafter. Each pattern is accompanied by a lively overview of its history, lovely full-page photographs, and illustrated instructions.

Some plants just grow well together, and this gorgeous book—arranged by color, seasons, themes, and more—is the perfect guide to using a variety of plant combinations to create a unique, diverse garden full of motion and contrast. Ken Druse is a gardening expert and his knowledge, wit, and beautiful photographs make this book a pleasure to read or simply admire.
Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations By Ken Druse Cover Image
$45.00
ISBN: 9781584799016
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Stewart, Tabori & Chang - March 1st, 2012


Did you know that a 100-foot row of vines can yield up to 175 bottles of wine? If you don’t have a lot of space but want to try your hand at growing grapes, let Bay Area sustainable farmer Tom Powers walk you through the entire process. His new book explains how to design and build a vineyard, how to select and grow grapes, how to maximize yield and harvest for peak flavor, and how to store grapes for winemaking. Cheers!
The Organic Backyard Vineyard: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Your Own Grapes By Tom Powers Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781604692853
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Timber Press - June 12th, 2012


Julia Morgan, America’s first truly independent female architect, left a legacy of more than 700 buildings, many in the Bay Area. Her work spanned five decades, and the total of her commissions was greater than any other major American architect, including Frank Lloyd Wright. In paperback at last, this beautiful book tells her remarkable story and is a perfect prelude to Julia Morgan 2012, a six-week statewide festival honoring the architect, which will be held this fall.
Julia Morgan (Pb): Architect of Beauty By Mark Wilson, Monica Lee (Photographer), Joel Puliatti (Photographer) Cover Image
By Mark Wilson, Monica Lee (Photographer), Joel Puliatti (Photographer)
$30.00
ISBN: 9781423636540
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Gibbs Smith - March 1st, 2012


This is the first month-by-month guide to gardening with native plants in our beautiful state, which follows a unique, nontraditional seasonal rhythm. A great resource for both experienced and novice gardeners, it includes monthly tasks for growing, propagating, and maintaining plants, as well as inspiration for using natives in a wide variety of gardens, including formal, cottage, herb, and Japanese.
California Native Gardening: A Month-by-Month Guide By Helen Popper Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780520265356
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: University of California Press - March 26th, 2012


“I became a painter because I wanted to raise painting to the level of poignancy of music and poetry.” This first full-length biography of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, finally available in paperback, draws on exclusive access to Mark Rothko’s personal papers and hundreds of interviews with artists, patrons, and dealers. “Mr. Breslin’s book is, in my opinion, the best life of an American painter that has yet been written…a biographical classic. It is painstakingly researched, fluently written and unfailingly intelligent in tracing the tragic course of its subject’s tormented character.” —Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review, front page review
Mark Rothko: A Biography By James E. B. Breslin Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780226074061
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: University of Chicago Press - August 13th, 2012


The Social Conquest of Earth is a huge, deep, thrilling work, presenting a radically new but cautiously hopeful view of human evolution, human nature, and human society. No one but E. O. Wilson could bring together such a brilliant synthesis of biology and the humanities, to shed light on the origins of language, religion, art, and all of human culture.” —Oliver Sacks
The Social Conquest of Earth By Edward O. Wilson Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780871404138
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Liveright - April 9th, 2012


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