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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

My resolution this year is simple, and therefore, difficult: love myself more. Re-reading this is my first step. The first time I read it, I felt an immediate sense of overwhelming relief, because I finally understood that I’m not crazy, just biologically different. If you’ve ever felt that being highly sensitive is a negative, read this, and let it show you how positive your trait really is, and how to thrive in an overwhelming world!

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You By Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553062182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harmony - June 2nd, 1997


“S. Morgenstern. Great Florinese writer. The Princess Bride.” “Has it got any sports in it?” “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.” “Sounds okay.”
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure By William Goldman Cover Image
$10.99
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780156035217
Published: Harper Perennial - October 8th, 2007


Born to protect their planet, dragons and riders share an unbreakable bond. When a dragon dies, the man becomes a broken shell, when a rider dies, so does his dragon. Rider to the new dragon queen, headstrong Lessa learns to adjust to her new home and responsibilities, while also learning to open up to love, the love of her man and the unconditional devotion of her dragon, because together, they are the planets only hope.

Dragonflight: Volume I in The Dragonriders of Pern By Anne McCaffrey Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780345335463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - May 12th, 1986


Most people are lucky if they find love that will last them a lifetime. Daniel has been in love for millennia, over the course of dozens of lifetimes. He perpetually seeks Sophia, a girl he rarely finds, who never remembers him, but will always fall in love again. Death, time, even true evil – these are mere obstacles for the love that gives you a reason for living, the love that finds who you truly are.

My Name is Memory By Ann Brashares Cover Image
$17.00
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9781594485183
Published: Riverhead Books - June 7th, 2011


“If music be the food of love, play on.” Orsino is sick with love for Olivia. Olivia has no interest in Orsino—but is fascinated by Cesario, the page who woos on Orsino’s behalf. Cesario is secretly Viola, survivor of a shipwreck—who has, of course, fallen in love with Orsino. Mistaken identities, practical jokes, love that will not compromise—this is one of Shakespeare’s most lighthearted comedies, the one with the greatest hope for true love.

The Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare, Jonathan Crewe (Editor), A. R. Braunmuller (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: 9780140714890
Published: Penguin Books - February 1st, 2000


Can things get any worse for Judd? He just caught his wife, Jen, cheating on him with his boss, he no longer has a job, and now he finds out that his father has died. The death is terrible, having to meet with his family will be even more difficult. He hasn't seen them in years and he has no intention to fix any animosity with them. For Judd Foxman, love stinks.

This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel By Jonathan Tropper Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780452296367
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dutton - July 6th, 2010


Awaiting execution, Yelena is offered a second chance. To survive, she must use her wits and will, and learn to love herself, bolstered all the while by the strong support of her fierce friends and the man who adores her. This is a lush, vibrantly woven tale, full of magic and strength, about a woman coming into her own, facing her demons, and finding the joy of love.

Poison Study By Maria V. Snyder Cover Image
$9.99
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780778327110
Published: Mira - December 1st, 2008


Just broke up? This one’s for us! This beautiful book will make you cry and heal all at the same time. While this is an altogether exceptional book, what really strikes me is the amount of passion that went into making it. Every page, every illustration impresses upon me what a labor of love this was, for both author and illustrator, and that makes it a heartbreaking work of art.


Hazel isn’t your average 16-year old: goes to community college, recites T.S. Eliot from memory, watches marathons of America’s Next Top Model. And she can’t breath without the oxygen cart wheeling behind her. Augustus Waters, one-legged 17-year old virgin, may see a dead girl in her—or may be the one person to truly see her. This isn’t a story about cancer, or cancer survivors, but about love, in all its beauty, humiliation, pain, and ecstasy.
Staff Pick Badge
The Fault in Our Stars By John Green Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780525478812
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - January 10th, 2012


Oh, but for the wonder of dysfunctional families. When a family crisis calls these three sisters to return home, we are suddenly thrown in to the delightful, chaotic, and endearing Andreas family. Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia (three points if you can name the plays) are daughters to a Shakespearean scholar father who breaks into pentameter and a mother who is rightfully determined to live her life independently regardless of her failing health. With leaning towers of books and their own secrets and baggage to back them, we watch as this family yields, rallies, and surrenders to the bonds that tie them together and to the poignant realities that will pull them apart. As the Bard says, all the world’s a stage—and this one is well well worth the read.


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