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September 2023

Picture of CaseyDear Readers,

Last night, a group gathered at Bookshop for a team building event for their workplace. They were each asked to pick out a book that meant something to them. At dinner that night, they would share the book and gift it to someone else on their team. It reminded me of what my book group does every December—we each bring a book that is meaningful to us in some way and do a white elephant exchange with time to reflect on each choice.

Of course, since reading is such a personal experience, books serve as a perfect way to showcase your identity. It can be a book that someone shared with you at one time therefore revealing something about an important relationship in your life, or a book that you learned from or helped guide you in some way that impacted the direction of your life.

I wish that would we do this more often, and in various ways. Can you imagine a presidential debate where they would have to share a book? Not only would that identify if a candidate doesn't read (hint, hint), but it would be an important way to cut through practiced lines to something of meaning. I have always thought that the best way to understand whether you want to date someone is to see their bookshelves (new idea for a dating app?). Book language is a form of love language and sharing that can only increase our understanding of each other. 


Happy reading (and sharing),

Casey Coonerty Protti
Owner, Bookshop Santa Cruz

Books I'm loving now:
North Woods Daniel Mason
Mason (The Winter Solider) brilliantly captures hundreds of years of personal and ecological history through intertwining stories of the inhabitants of one home deep in the North Woods of New England. From an apple farmer to a seance reader, from a true crime historian to a beetle - the cabin acts as a refuge and a convergence point for the personal desires of generations of occupants, as well as a vessel for the push and pull on the identity of a country. An epic accomplishment.
Wellness by Nathan Hill
Nathan Hill's new novel is a laugh-out-loud, full-of-heart satire about modern life. When two young, artistic people meet and fall in love in Chicago, they would never guess who they would be 20 years later with a child living in the suburbs. Grappling with their connection to each other, Hill dives into the full spectrum of our frenzied existences, including health, family history, sex, parenting, friendship, and fads, ultimately quieting all the noise to help us understand what is real and valued. This is a much buzzed-about book that deserves all the hype.
Don't miss our in-store event with Hill on November 6th at 7:00 p.m.
Happiness Falls by Angie Kim
The science of The Martian meets the suspense of a mystery, all beautifully encased in a powerful family drama. When a father goes missing and his non-verbal son becomes the main suspect, a family works to understand what happened and what it means for their sense of each other. Smart, insightful, and heartfelt, Angie Kim narrates an evolving dynamic between husbands and wives, parents and kids, and siblings with each other, ultimately driving a nuanced and compassionate narrative of how our perceptions and beliefs are shaped, nourished, and changed by those around us.