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

Dear Readers,

The summer solstice is not only the marker of longer days but a signal that half a year has passed. That's time for anyone passionate about books to think about the best books they've read this year. Our booksellers are no exception. It might be easy to recall all the books we loved but narrowing it down is always the hardest task.

Click here for the full list of what made the cut of our favorite books of the year thus far.

As for my list, you'll see a lot of familiar titles as I've tried my best to rave about them all year. My list includes the bitingly funny, innovative and relevant Gold Diggers, a stunning feat of defining our true history in Four Hundred Souls, an unforgettable character-driven family saga with Olympus, Texas, an epic, feminist historical narrative that spans the globe with Great Circle and a heartfelt rendering of what it means to call two countries home with Infinite Country. These were the books that grabbed hold of my imagination this year. What were your favorites? Did you take a chance and find new authors or voices this year? We hope to see you adding to your reading list with all of our booksellers' picks.

Casey Coonerty Protti
Owner, Bookshop Santa Cruz

Books I'm Reading Now:
Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin
A deeply felt novel about the commitment of a marriage in the wake of an Alzheimer's diagnosis and the ways we commit to each other even as our future changes before our eyes.


The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Recently named this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Louise Erdrich gives voice to the Native American fight against dispossession from Congress in the mid-1950's, based upon the experience of her grandfather.


The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
Picked for this month's Oprah's Book Club, this civil war drama charts the course of emancipated slaves in the moments after the end of the war. Richard Russo praises, "It's better than any debut novel has a right to be."