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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

Written by two former UCSC students with a passion for fun, this book is a fabulous guide for the theme park fanatic. With fabulous photos and some background information on the parks, this book explores twenty different parks throughout California. Check out the section on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on page 92!

California Theme Parks By Alex Miller Cover Image
$19.99
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780764334788
Published: Schiffer Publishing - June 23rd, 2010


When I first started flipping through this book I seriously began to cry. It's a park in the sky! My inner-kid's dream comes true. This is the most amazing innovative, creative and inspirational urban reclamation projects in memory. This model for an ecologically sound public space has a great backstory, too, filled with impossible odds and unlikely heroes.

High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky By Joshua David, Robert Hammond 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: 9780374532994
Published: FSG Originals - October 11th, 2011


The closest I’ve ever been to a gun is watching CSI, but I still found this to be an engrossing, entertaining read. Barrett adopts an approachable narrative style to detail the history of this iconic gun, from its invention by a curtain rod maker to its rise as a symbol of rap status, spy badassery, and utterly American coolness.


What a hard-core story! I can't imagine growing up with such violent and brutal expectations placed on you by the man who is supposed to care for you and protect you. The struggles with his abusive father are just heart-breaking but his spirit and his determination are amazing and the book provides a fascinating look inside the Romany Gypsy world.


Colin has two great fears: that he will never do something that matters, and that he will always be alone. Devastated after being dumped for the 19th time, by the 19th girl named Katherine, he and his only friend embark on his first-ever road trip, pursuing, finally, the idea that will leave his mark—an equation to accurately predict how long any relationship will last—while trying to finally let go of the idea of love.

An Abundance of Katherines By John Green Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780142410707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 16th, 2008


Troilus and Cressida, on opposite sides of the Trojan War, are star-crossed true lovers—or at least, so they think. Marrying in secret, cruelly torn apart by the warring factions, they’ve pledged to love one another and stay true to the end of their days. Of course, how true can you be expected to be when you’re young, and living in a war? Love’s a fickle bitch, crueler than any war.

Troilus and Cressida (Modern Library Classics) By William Shakespeare, Jonathan Bate (Editor), Eric Rasmussen (Editor) Cover Image
$8.00
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780812969313
Published: Modern Library - September 14th, 2010


Catherine is neglected, desperate about her inability to breastfeed, and the barriers her husband has put up to not see her unhappiness. She spends her days listening to the next room–where her husband helps other marriages, treating women’s “hysteria” by applying new electrical science in such a way as to induce “paroxysms.” Catherine, her husband, and the women in their house navigate dangerous waters of intimacy and sexual discovery, to seek equality, happiness– love.

In the Next Room: Or the Vibrator Play By Sarah Ruhl Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781559363600
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Theatre Communications Group - November 16th, 2010


Love is an infinite resource, and the more you love, the more love you will receive in return. This is the central idea backing The Ethical Slut. Written from the perspective of two polyamorous women, this book encourages and guides you to explore your sexuality and relationships to become more confident, building happier and healthier relationships, always rejoicing in the limitless human capacity for love of all kinds.


It’s the mid 90’s, and when teens Emma and Josh insert their America Online CD-ROM, up pops a page called Facebook, telling their future, 15 years on. As Emma tries to change her future, Josh embraces his, and they find their friendship strained as they test the waters of destiny and try to figure out what the heck love is anyway. A great story with lots of fun treats for us 90’s kids!


After finding a dusty book lost deep in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel becomes obsessed with discovering the authors’ fate. As he delves into the past, he finds himself uncovering a web of deception and lies, all the while falling in love for the first time. This lyrically gothic tale unfolds on the misty streets of Barcelona, and tells of the desperate, heartbreaking madness of love, and more importantly, the thrilling love of books.

Staff Pick Badge
The Shadow of the Wind By Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translated by) Cover Image
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translated by)
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143034902
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 25th, 2005


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