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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.

I didn’t want to lead this review with the fact that the author of this book is serving a life sentence for murder, because there is so much more to this book than that. However, it is precisely his perspective from the “inside” that makes this collection of short stories so raw and powerful. This debut is a tour de force, helping the reader understand unseen and painful realities through its lens of humor, insight, and common humanity. - Casey

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The Graybar Hotel: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501162305
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 8th, 2018


Tommy Orange’s debut offers a contemporary glimpse of Native lives through a wide array of characters. There There lifts the figure of the Native American off the shrine built of white America’s guilt and sins. This novel has horror and rage and sadness and banality—and beauty, too: Orange writes of the humanity of his people who exist now: urban, dynamic, less “other,” more real. - Chorel

Don’t miss our free event with Tommy Orange at Bookshop Santa Cruz on June 18th, 2018.

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There There: A novel Cover Image
$20.76
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018


Madeline Miller is back, this time with a gorgeous story of Circe, the witch of ancient mythology. The writing is so juicy and delicious that it’s hard to tell if I’m falling under Circe’s spell or Miller’s. In a world so brutal, watching a woman forge her own path despite all odds inspired me and made me think hard about what we accept to be true and what might be known if we listen harder. - Jax 

Don't miss our June 13th, 2018 free book talk and signing with Madeline Miller for Circe.

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CIRCE Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018


This deeply moving and gorgeously written narrative follows the intertwining stories of two young women: In 2011, Nour is a Syrian American girl who must escape the Syrian Civil War with her family, while 800 years earlier, Rawiya disguises herself as a boy and apprentices with the world’s best mapmaker in search of adventure. On the way, they find themselves walking similar paths through the Middle East and North Africa while they search for the meaning of family and home. - Stuart

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The Map of Salt and Stars: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501169038
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - May 1st, 2018


I found a refracted reflection of myself in the lives of the four 20-something musicians at the center of Aja Gabel’s debut novel, The Ensemble. The alienation, hedonism, love, loss, and beautiful music in their lives is depicted with such ferocity that Gabel’s romantic yet sardonic prose began to whirl around in my head during the day’s quiet moments. If you liked Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere or Nell Zink’s Nicotine, you will like The Ensemble. - Gabe

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The Ensemble: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735214767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 15th, 2018


Set in the steamy, seemingly dangerous landscape of Florida, Lauren Groff’s new stories play on the boundaries of humanity and wildness, the contradictions within human nature, and the conflicts faced by women in the assumed roles of motherhood and marriage. They are dark, exploratory, and as always with Lauren Groff, a thing of literary beauty. - Melinda

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Florida Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594634512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 5th, 2018


What I love most about Curtis Sittenfeld is the sly truths she buries just below the amiable surface. These gems abound in her new short story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It. Whether she is exploring a wronged woman doing wrong and then dwelling on it or the insecurity of being a new mother around the assurance of other new mothers, Sittenfeld writes life that is honestly, refreshingly real, and enjoyable, too. - Melinda

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You Think It, I'll Say It: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399592867
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - April 24th, 2018


Quite simply, this is a most lovely book. One that will quietly soothe the broken parts of your heart. From 1950 to 1996, from a British working-class town to Italy and back, this is about finding reasons to start living again when everything seems to have been lost. About rediscovering the joys in your past and the hope that there is more to come. Keep this one close and in your heart. - Jocelyn

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Tin Man: A Novel Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780735218727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 15th, 2018


Trevor has long been one of my favorite short story writers. Like Thomas Hardy or Alice Munro, two writers he was often compared to, he could convey an entire life—its triumphs and sorrows—in a few deft sentences. When he died in 2016, the world lost one of its great artists. The stories collected here are the last he ever wrote. Each one makes clear the open-hearted, almost painful, compassion he felt for his characters. If you’ve yet to discover Trevor for yourself, this is a great place to start. - Rico

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Last Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525558101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - May 15th, 2018


The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging. “Fatima Farheen Mirza’s A Place for Us, out in June, is far too wise to be a debut novel; I’m not sure I know another book that measures so exactly and compassionately the lines of resentment and love that stitch together a family.” —Garth Greenwell, The Millions

A Place for Us: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524763558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: SJP for Hogarth - June 12th, 2018


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