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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.

The hot-blooded passion of love is as mysterious and powerful as the magic promised by this modern fairy tale. The 3 generations of powerful, independent, & unique women of the Owens family are both masters and victims to desire. Men want them, women want what they can promise – and the women themselves ceaselessly look for quiet love and happiness.

Reviewed by: Jocelyn
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Practical Magic Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425190371
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 5th, 2003


Bleak House, in true Dickensian fashion, explores the divide of classes, the false hope of wealth, & the hypocrisy of the legal system, while exploring the travails of a cast of characters as compelling as any found on primetime. Esther stumbles into secrets far-reaching and personal, testing her and others’ resolve for honor in the quest for happiness.

Reviewed by: Jocelyn
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Bleak House Cover Image
By Charles Dickens, Nicola Bradbury (Introduction by), Nicola Bradbury (Notes by), Terry Eagleton (Preface by), Hablot K. Brown (Illustrator)
$13.00
ISBN: 9780141439723
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - April 29th, 2003


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.

Reviewed by: Andrea
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Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey Cover Image
$16.00
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.

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


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.

Reviewed by: Erin
We: New Edition Cover Image
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown (Translated by), Clarence Brown (Introduction by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780140185850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - August 1993


“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!

Reviewed by: Erin
The Scarlet Pimpernel (Dover Thrift Editions) Cover Image
$6.00
ISBN: 9780486421223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dover Publications - August 6th, 2002


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.

Reviewed by: Nici
The Long Ships Cover Image
By Frans G. Bengtsson, Michael Chabon (Introduction by), Michael Meyer (Translated by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781590173466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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.

Reviewed by: Cesar
The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey (Che Guevara Publishing Project) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781920888107
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ocean Press - September 2004


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.

Reviewed by: Erin
The Alchemist Cover Image
By Paulo Coelho, Alan R. Clarke (Translator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061122415
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: HarperOne - April 25th, 2006


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.

Reviewed by: Kat
Hitchens vs. Blair: Be It Resolved Religion Is a Force for Good in the World: The Munk Debates Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781770890084
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: House of Anansi Press - March 15th, 2011


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