User menu

Shopping cart

0 Items $0.00

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

It is 1918, and having survived the horrors of the First World War, Tom Sherbourne enlists as a lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock, the last point of land where two oceans diverge. Thawed by the seclusion and ritual of this life, Tom meets and falls in love with his wife Isabel on a trip to the mainland. The two return to the lighthouse and begin an intimate and almost sacred homemaking. But when Isabel suffers multiple miscarriages, the island’s seclusion starts to feel precarious and haunted. Until a day comes when a boat carrying a dead man and a screaming baby washes up on the shore. Isabel and Tom make a decision that enters them into that gray area when there is no clear right or wrong. The ripple effect of this decision becomes a pulsing force, and ultimately the novel questions life, the beauty and ugliness of it, the light and dark of it, and the shades in between.
Reviewed by: S.M.C.
Staff Pick Badge
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781451681734
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - July 31st, 2012


This vividly detailed book follows the lives of several slum dwellers, all with different positions and castes, whose lives intersect through one event. Boo completely removes herself from the narrative, letting the people pull you in, and the result is a fascinating look at a violently different culture that reads like a novel. This is non-fiction at its best.

Reviewed by: Flannery
Staff Pick Badge
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781400067558
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 7th, 2012


This ia a fast and enjoyable read with plenty of depth and emotional resonance. The backdrop of the Cultural Revolution shapes the lives of the three youths in this love triangle and Min's storytelling gives great insight into this chilling period.

Reviewed by: Nici
Wild Ginger: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780618380435
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - January 1st, 2004


I was floored by this novel. Told by Kevin, the blind protagonist, Touch and Go follows a road trip halfway across the nation to deliver a handmade casket to a dying grandfather in Florida. 

Reviewed by: Tracy
Touch and Go Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781609530617
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Unbridled Books - September 27th, 2011


Yes of course this book is funny, but it's also bursting with tales of a whole generation of comics and artists, not to mention Peg's own charming, raucous, and occasionally ridiculous history.

Reviewed by: Erin
Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy's Journey to Becoming a Big Kid Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781592407194
Availability: Backordered
Published: Avery - June 5th, 2012


I picked up this book and was immediately swept up in its story. In the small town of Fox Hollow (in the Smokey Mountains) a child wakes from a nightmare in confusion, gravely hurt, and suddenly mute. Her family must struggle to figure out if what the child manages to tell about what happened that night is truth, or a hallucination brought on by the child’s fear and injury. Doubt, miracles, loss and survival, hurt and forgiveness collide in this wonderful novel. Not wanting to give too much away, this is a story that warms—where the characters are lovable and we find ourselves rooting for this small town community, holding heart and hope—and ultimately the power of healing found in hard to reach places.
Reviewed by: S.M.C.
The Healer of Fox Hollow Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781936467358
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Vantage Point - July 1st, 2012


This is one of those reads that I picked up and instantly became wrapped up in, the whole time one small part of my brain being so excited that I had at last found that long sought perfect summer read. Mostly told through the point of view of high-spirited and fiercely determined 11-year-old Swan, one cannot help but fall in love with this vibrant young girl. As Swan's Arkansas family is exposed to their core after an unforeseen tragedy, Swan seems the only one who refuses to give up faith or spirit. It may sound cliche, but this really is that book that makes you laugh, hold your breath, and tear up. For fans of Fannie Flagg, this is that it summer read.
Reviewed by: S.M.C.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780385344098
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 10th, 2012


A child lost at sea, a shipwreck, a siege, a remote island, and a hard-earned chance for survival—all of these things are the premise for the beginning of Michael Parker’s new novel, The Watery Part of The World. Taking a true fact from history about a young woman lost at sea in 1813 off the North Carolina coast, Parkers weaves a tale that is lyrical and haunting. Spanning 150 years with two interwoven stories, this novel speaks to love and sacrifice--Parker has beautifully written a literary adventure story about the power of endurance and the bonds that form in make-shift places. A perfect read for fans of Toni Morrison or Ian McEwan.
Reviewed by: S.M.C.
The Watery Part of the World Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781616201432
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - June 5th, 2012


When I finished this book, I turned it over and read it all over again. Seriously. Every chapter of this early 20th century period piece left me with a hauntingly beautiful image of life at the turn of the century. From the perspective of a lonely laborer named Robert Grainier looking back at the events of his life, there is a feeling of wonder and discovery in the realization of the American frontier. Really, though, I loved this book.
Reviewed by: Tracy
Train Dreams: A Novella Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250007650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - May 22nd, 2012


This interlocking collection of short stories swept me up and firmly invaded my heart. Each story features women attempting to deal with serious experiences, and sheds light on the inner struggles that we don't always share and sometimes won't even admit to. There's humor here, lurking in the shadows of their hearts. Schappell moves you through their lives with ease, beauty and honesty.
Reviewed by: Nici
Blueprints for Building Better Girls: Fiction Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780743276719
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 10th, 2012


Pages

Make a donation to our Holiday Book Drive:

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS!