User menu

Shopping cart

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

Where do our dreams take us when we decide to truly pursue them? Coelho's tale of a young shepherd off to seek his fortune may be set in the distant past but it feels surprisingly close to today.


I don’t do so well with plants, so I was delighted to find this book. It outlines common ailments in a clear, straightforward way, with plenty of helpful color drawings for easy identification. It also provides simple solutions for almost every problem you can encounter. With this book, even the most inept gardener (like myself) can keep a plant alive!

What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?): A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies (What’s Wrong Series) By David Deardorff, Kathryn Wadsworth Cover Image
$29.95
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780881929614
Published: Timber Press - December 2nd, 2009


The world lost a powerful and important voice with Hitchens’ passing. In 2010, shortly after his diagnosis with esophageal cancer, Hitchens went toe-to-toe with Tony Blair to debate the role of religion in the world. This is a truly electrifying debate that has now been printed for your reading and referencing pleasure. A perfect companion to Hitchen’s other indispensible books.

Hitchens vs. Blair (Munk Debates) By Christopher Hitchens, Tony Blair Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781770890084
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: House of Anansi Press - February 26th, 2011


I am the kind of person who pauses the movie when bookshelves appear in the background, so I can identify familiar titles. It’s fun! You should try it. So naturally I immediately adored this book, which features beautiful photographs of the bookshelves of famous writers, accompanied by interviews about how they collect and curate their books. A must-own for bookshelf aficionados.

Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books By Leah Price (Editor) Cover Image
By Leah Price (Editor)
$20.00
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780300170924
Published: Yale University Press - November 29th, 2011


Around this time of year we often find ourselves asking this exact question…why love? Whether single, attached, happy, or miserable—navigating the treacherous world of romance is an fundamental human experience. Grose blends her knowledge as a psychotherapist with wisdom from philosophy, poetry, science, and even pop culture to create a straightforward guide to love.

Why Do Fools Fall In Love: A Realist's Guide to Romance By Anouchka Grose 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: 9781935639008
Published: Tin House Books - January 1st, 2011


Michael Farquhar delivers what his title promises, and more. Filled with the kind of gossip that drives sales of Us and People, on the people you were bored by in history class, Behind the Palace Doors also offers an analysis of the historical and psychological ramifications of royalty, both in the past and today. A fun read and fascinating study.

Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain By Michael Farquhar Cover Image
$18.00
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780812979046
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 1st, 2011


Both a fountain of information and an invaluable guidebook to perfecting the tool of dance: the human body. Explaining which parts of the body are used in basic dance technique, with illustrations so you can see the exact muscles, bones, and tendons at work. This book also provides detailed exercises to strengthen and tone—beautiful, fascinating, and a must for any dancer. --J.S.

Dance Anatomy By Jacqui Greene Haas Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780736081931
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Human Kinetics Publishers - March 12th, 2010


I love this book. When I get stressed out or sad, I pick a random page or two, and let hilarity take me away. There are animals in ridiculous costumes, animals making fools of their owners, animals in odd situations, and owners making fools of everyone involved. It’s simply amazing. Just try to read it without laughing.

Awkward Family Pet Photos By Mike Bender, Doug Chernack Cover Image
$16.00
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780307888129
Published: Crown - November 1st, 2011


Hip-hop is misunderstood and so is Jay-Z. In Decoded, he immerses the reader in the world that he grew up in, the Marcy Projects. Located in Brooklyn, the projects transformed Jay from a hustler, to the king of the hip-hop movement. Along with amazing graphical illustrations, this book deciphers the inner meanings of hip-hop and its importance to musical history.

Decoded By Jay-Z Cover Image
By Jay-Z
$30.00
ISBN: 9780812981155
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: One World - November 1st, 2011


Chris Hardwick, now pop culture and nerd culture icon–through his nerd-hub website Nerdist, his podcasts, acting, stand-up, was a depressed, overweight alcoholic. Rather than a memoir on how he turned his life around, this is a guide designed for the nerd-inclined on understanding yourself and taking control of your life (with occasional personal anecdotes and name-dropping).


Pages