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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

Through a unique oral interview style, a memorable cast of characters tells the story of Buster Casey: childhood prankster, venom addict, demolition derby driver, and small town legend. This unforgettable novel will make you think, laugh, and (in my case) almost throw up - that's some powerful prose.

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Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey By Chuck Palahniuk Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307275837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 6th, 2008


I never thought I would be one of those silly people swooning over Austen, but when I read this at 21, I was sold. What I really like about P&P is that it explores several kinds of relationships - the hasty, too young, head-over-heels kind; the long-married and perfectly understanding kind; and the new, heart-fluttering, "So This Is Love" playing in the background kind.

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Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen, Vivien Jones (Editor), Vivien Jones (Introduction by), Vivien Jones (Notes by) Cover Image
By Jane Austen, Vivien Jones (Editor), Vivien Jones (Introduction by), Vivien Jones (Notes by)
$9.00
ISBN: 9780141439518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - December 31st, 2002


"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." So begins my favorite King work, a 7 volume journey that will draw the reader across time, parallel worlds, New York, and Mid-World in a wake of blood and bullets. With inspirations from Arthurian legend, Tolkien, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, this series showcases King's masterful storytelling ability.


This is a marvelously written American family tragedy which follows a woman's misfortunes in 50s Niagra Falls. Ariah is widowed on her honeymoon and finds love years later, only to see have her new life engulfed by an environmental scandal. Her story is so filled with grief and pain that it is sometimes difficult to read, but Ariah's struggle for happiness drives her to the end.

The Falls: A Novel By Joyce Carol Oates Cover Image
$14.95
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780060722296
Published: Harper Perennial - August 2nd, 2005


Have you read an enjoyed A Brave New World or 1984 ? Do you love wacky dystopian societies that are just creepy enough to make you uncomfortable? Zamyatin did them first, and in my opinion, best. What is freedom? What is truth? And does love ensnare us, or free us as individuals? These are just a few of the questions asked here, you’re in for a heck of a ride.

We By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown (Translated by), Clarence Brown (Introduction by), Clarence Brown (Notes by), Masha Gessen (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown (Translated by), Clarence Brown (Introduction by), Clarence Brown (Notes by), Masha Gessen (Foreword by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780140185850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - August 1st, 1993


To really talk about Sandra Cisneros in a way that does her justice I have to use lines from her own poems. Her words are “beautiful as money and as brutal”, “backflips snapping open like/ A carpenters hinged ruler,” “parrot tulips and papayas”, a “helix of desire and vanity”, a “fleshy undertongue of sorrows”, a “mariachi howl”.

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Loose Woman: Poems (Vintage Contemporaries) By Sandra Cisneros Cover Image
$15.95
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780679755272
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 1995


“They seek him here, they seek him there…” so to reveal too much about this book would ruin the mystery. I can’t tell you the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel who rescues French aristocrats from the jaws of the Guillotine, but I can tell you his story is full of laughs, intrigue, romance, and surprises. My all time favorite swashbuckler!

The Scarlet Pimpernel By Baroness Orczy Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9780486421223
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
(Please note: This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Dover Publications - August 6th, 2002


If you think you know this story, and you haven’t read the book, think again. Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell are all here, but probably not the way you remember them. In a tale much deeper and darker than most people know J.M. Barry explores both the wonder and savagery of innocence.

Peter Pan By J. M. Barrie, Alison Lurie (Afterword by) Cover Image
By J. M. Barrie, Alison Lurie (Afterword by)
$5.95
ISBN: 9780451520883
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Signet - May 5th, 1987


From Scandanavia to Spain, to Ireland, and then some follow Red Orn as he tries to survive his  competely involuntary travels through tenth century Eurpope. Bookgroups will enjoy this epic historical novel rich in detail and pungent with authenticity, and it is made all the more enjoyable by the sutle yet pervasive humor and the action-packed plot line.

The Long Ships By Frans G. Bengtsson, Michael Chabon (Introduction by), Michael Meyer (Translated by) Cover Image
By Frans G. Bengtsson, Michael Chabon (Introduction by), Michael Meyer (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781590173466
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - July 6th, 2010


Before he was a revolutionary, a diplomat, or even an image on your
t-shirt, Ernesto Guevara was a young student in need of an adventure. In
1952 he and his friend Alberto Granado embarked on a journey around
South America, inspiring this excellent book.

The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey (Che Guevara Publishing Project) By Ernesto Che Guevara Cover Image
$16.95
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9781920888107
Published: Ocean Press - September 1st, 2004


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