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A Note from Casey Coonerty Protti, Bookshop Owner, April 2021

Dear Readers,
A few days ago, my brother, Ryan Coonerty, announced that he will not run for re-election for his County Supervisor seat. This means that when his term ends, it will be the first time in 17 years that neither my brother nor my dad are in elected office. 
My father first ran for City Council after the 1989 earthquake when the City faced the daunting task of rebuilding downtown. My father worked to ensure that Santa Cruz committed to having a vibrant and robust downtown, instead of giving into the trends of building suburban malls at that time. He promoted that downtown should be open at night and that the City would prioritize small, locally owned businesses in order to ensure a strong, local economy.
From an early age, dinner table conversations in our house usually revolved around community issues. It was always understood that to be part of something larger than yourself, you had to give something to the community where you live. My brother, two years older than me, paved a path of involvement from working on political campaigns in high school to registering voters in college to ultimately deciding to return to Santa Cruz after graduate school to build a vision for the next generation of Santa Cruzans. Needless to say, as my older brother, he was always the example I wanted to live up to.
Although I never embarked upon my own political career, I have learned from my father and my brother's service at every turn in running Bookshop. Among many things, my brother taught me about how to be inclusive in creating community conversations, how to make partnerships to expand the reach and connection between downtown and the rest of Santa Cruz, and that trying, risking, and possibly failing in order to innovate and to serve a larger mission are the only ways to move forward.
It might be the end of an era for their elected service, but it is not the end to Bookshop's mission to build and sustain a sense of community in Santa Cruz. It is their legacy and it is our continued goal. Thanks, big bro—now go read a good book! Here are some books I've loved lately.
Casey Coonerty Protti
Owner, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Gold Diggers, By Sanjena Sathian: A coming of age novel unpacking the second-generation Indian American experience. Funny, smart, inventive (a perfect touch of magical realism) and incredibly relevant, this book is perfect for fans of Ann Patchett, Celeste Ng or Zadie Smith.
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, by Michelle Zauner: Michelle Zauner lost her mother to cancer but ultimately found her relationship with her as she cared for her during her final years. Striking right at the heart, this journey of self-discovery and connection centers on the food and rituals of this Korean American household.
Mary Jane, by Jessica Anya Blau: Mary Jane is a straight-laced teen in 1980's Baltimore who happens to nanny in a household where a rock star and a movie star seek refuge and treatment from the father's at-home medical practice. This cast of characters help her realize who she wants to be and the reader gets to laugh and cry all along the way. Available May 11th.