Winter Reading Program


Join Bookshop's fifth annual Winter Reading Program!

We are challenging our customers to read at least three of eight books selected by Bookshop Santa Cruz over four months (December, 2017-March, 2018). Upon completion, adults will receive a $5 gift card to Bookshop Santa Cruz, a cupcake from Buttercup Cakes, and a "Doonster Flight" from the tasting room at Bonny Doon Vineyard. 

We hope you discover some great new books—we love to hear about which ones you're reading. 

Pick up an official Winter Reading Program bookmark in the store (or download one below), and pick one of our recommended books to get started! 



Winter Reading Program Mixer at Soif:
Wednesday, January 31st, at 7:00. Details here.

Thad Vogler Author Event at Venus Spirits:
Thursday, February 8th, at 6:00. Details here.


Download a printable Winter Reading Program bookmark.


Staff Pick Logo
Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455563920
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 14th, 2017

Most of the Baek's were born in Japan but their Korean blood makes them strangers in their homeland, a story many citizens of the United States are familiar with, but has never been told with such crisp clarity. Pachinko unfolds like a family tree. A couple generations back, often only a name and a few small things are known. As you meander closer to the present, the details expand rapidly building a symphony to show a complicated, interwoven whole. Min Jin Lee has constructed a gorgeous saga jumping from branch to branch of a Korean family as they struggle on a climb of their own against poverty and prejudice. It seems timely that a story of division and alienation in what, ostensibly, should be their own country should be told now. Lee has proven herself to be a master of storytelling and this is her opus.

Staff Pick Logo
Mister Monkey: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062397843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 17th, 2017

Mister Monkey should not be overlooked or underestimated. It is funny, awkward, loveable, serious, and playful in revealing its truths. It's a literary gem that is both hilariously within the world of a way-off Broadway children's musical, and thoughtfully above it. There is Margot, the middle aged actress dismayed with her career's trajectory, Adam, the confused 12-year-old star, his stage mother, the director, the audience, and so on, each becoming more intertwined, each with his or hew own story to tell. - Melinda

Raven Black (Shetland Island Mysteries #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312359676
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - June 24th, 2008

This atmospheric and haunting mystery set in the Shetland islands totally had me hooked. A local girl is found murdered in the snow, and her death reignites a mystery that has haunted the town for years. It's an interrogation of small town politics, and the ways we frame the stories of people around us. What I loved most was the setting, one that I can't wait to return to soon. Perfect to keep you guessing some cold winter night.

Staff Pick Logo
Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

It is hard to imagine Ng outdoing herself after the success of her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, but she’s up to the task with the exquisite Little Fires Everywhere. Each member of the Richardson family, living in the rigidly structured suburban Shakers Heights community, is inexplicitly drawn two new freewheeling residents, the artist Mia and her teenage daughter Pearl. Ng’s mastery is in her ability to develop characters in many layers and then, with perfect pace and nuance, remove each layer to reveal an emotionally resonant understanding around themes of family, identity, and community. This book is on the top of my best-of-the-year list. - Casey

Staff Pick Logo
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455540013
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - September 5th, 2017

Spoken of through folklore for hundreds of years, the Lost City was thought to be a myth by all who  searched for it. However, armed with new technology and stubborn resilience, a group of modern day  treasure hunters try to crack the rain forests' secrets, all while coping with  venomous snakes, protestors, and a silent killer. - Rachel

The Chimes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681445328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quercus Books - April 4th, 2017

It’s been ages since I’ve read such a gorgeous and thought-provoking story, and this one seemed to devour me a bit more with each chapter. The people of London time their lives by the morning Matins, that tells the Onestory of how the world came to be the dystopian reality it is, and evening Vespers when Chimes erases their memories of the previous day. Through this we follow Simon, who despite the memory stealing Chimes begins to remember pieces of his life, which propels him and the musical prodigy Lucian on a journey that will shake the world he knows. Music permeates every page of this book, and I especially enjoyed the dream-like pacing, reminiscent of Night Circus, brought up sharp against hard moments of realization and truth. It’s beautiful and romantic, while still challenging the reader to consider what truths are best left unknown, and what memories you would fight to keep with you. Excellent for fans of Station Eleven, or anyone looking for something that rings true. - Jax

Staff Pick Logo
By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399578601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 12th, 2017

I would say that I devoured this book about one person’s quest for spirits to stock his San Francisco bar Bar Agricole but I think perhaps it devoured me. Vogler insists on a farm-to-table approach for acquiring his liquors as well as his food, and travels all over the world to find that which feels worth bringing home. It reminds me of bookselling in that way, where you search for the perfect book that is worthy of your customer. I would give this one to someone who consciously labors out of love, who values enthusiasm over perfection, and who, of course, enjoys a good drink. - Jax

Staff Pick Logo
The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451678956
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 9th, 2017

Exotic animal drama microhistories are my favorite subject, and this fits the bill perfectly. In her hunt for arowanas, a grotesque, ancient-looking fish that can command up to $150,000 for a single specimen, Voight finds herself searching through dark jungles, convention halls, and New York apartments. - Rachel


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