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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

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist who also majored in British and American literature, which is the best kind of neuroscientist. Sum, his first book, is a beautiful oddity, philosophical and playful and best read out loud. If you’re unconvinced, pick it up and read the first story. It will take just a minute, and it might take you somewhere unexpected. 

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Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives By David Eagleman Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307389930
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 12th, 2010


Written even before Facebook and Google took over so much of our lives, William’s Otherland looks forward to a time where life is lived in the virtual. This epic journey travels not just through the landscape of our future, but through all the worlds of humankinds’ imagination, as ordinary people start noticing the secrets of the virtual Net, and follow them to the darker truths of humanity. 

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Otherland: City of Golden Shadow By Tad Williams Cover Image
$12.99
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780886777630
Published: DAW - January 1st, 1998


In the great tradition of samurai revenge films, Across the Nightingale Floor follows the story of 16-year old Tomasu, known as Takeo, who in feudal Japan is drawn into the complex game of politics and war. Samurai codes, marriage politics, secret ninja heritages, teenage true love and, of course, the over-whelming drive for vengeance for those dead. 

Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori Book One By Lian Hearn 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: 9781573223324
Published: Riverhead Books - June 3rd, 2003


Even in a small provincial French town, nothing is quite as simple as it appears. Vianne arrives as a stranger, mysterious and exotic, with a touch of witchcraft. Her presence, her beliefs, and her chocolate threaten to forever change the status quo of this community, as she fights against prejudice and persecution, offering honesty and compassion.  

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Chocolat: A Novel (A Vianne Rocher Novel #1) By Joanne Harris 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: 9780140282030
Published: Penguin Books - January 1st, 2000


Separated by time and space, from middle America to the coasts, Becca and Buckley grow up in the 50’s through the 80’s, connected tenuously by the strikes of lightning that changed their lives. This is not a love story, but the search for identity and understanding amongst the strangers that surround us, and the chance events that shape our lives. 


If you haven’t heard of Scott Pilgrim yet, hit yourself upside the head and pick this up. Scott is 23, with a high school girlfriend, an awful band, no job, and no motivation to take any responsibility for himself. Then comes Ramona Flowers. Interlaced with band battles, skateboard showdowns, and ninjas, are the real questions of who we are and how we get to be these people.  

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Precious Little Life By Bryan Lee O'Malley Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781932664089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oni Press - August 14th, 2004


I love what Christopher Buckley said about this book: "so good I had to read it twice simply to figure out how he pulled it off." It’s not quite a novel, but not really a short story collection either, but I don’t think that really matters. What matters is Rachman’s ability to form a character in two sentences and turn a whole story on a word. I’m still not quite sure how he pulled it off.   

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The Imperfectionists: A Novel By Tom Rachman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385343671
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - January 4th, 2011


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