The Winter Reading Program has begun! We're challenging you to read three books (selected from eight possibilities chosen by Bookshop) by March 31st, 2019. Those who complete the program will earn a Bookshop Santa Cruz gift card, a "Doonster Flight" at the Bonny Doon Vineyard tasting room, and a cupcake from Buttercup Cakes.
We had a great time with you on January 8th at 6:30 at Rosie McCann's in Santa Cruz for our Kick-Off and Mixer, where our book buyers and booksellers were on hand to talk about the books we've selected for this year's program.
See this year's selected books below, with reviews from our staff. Download a Winter Reading Program bookmark, or stop by Bookshop Santa Cruz to pick one up in-person.
"This history book was written for anyone who loves true crime or scandalous drama. The narrative follows Nicolas de la Reynie, the man appointed by Louis XIV to clean up crime-ridden Paris as the city’s first chief of police. La Reynie’s investigation into the twisted “Affair of the Poisons” takes us deep into a thrilling story of murder, witchcraft, intrigue, sex, and revenge." - Clara
"On the day I turned 2, Chernobyl was struck by disaster. Three days later, hidden among the news and chaos, the Los Angeles Public Library was in flames. Two thousand degrees, more than a million books destroyed or damaged, and the source of the fire unknown. Susan Orlean centers her book on the fire and then moves outward to include librarians past and present, the role of a library in a community, and our own relationships with books. Like Orlean’s other books, there is some crime, some travelling, fascinating people, and an amazing tangle of details." - Rachel
"I am thrilled that this book is here! In The Cooking Gene, culinary historian Michael Twitty traces his ancestral roots as well as the culinary history of the South—from Africa to America—with passion and urgency. Deeply compelling, provocative, and important—if you are interested in the true history of our country, read this book." - S.B.
“The drought is on in rural Western Australia and it is laying bare the many secrets of a small town in Jane Dry’s award winning debut. Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns home for the first time in twenty years, not because his childhood best friend has died, but because he receives a note: “Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.” So begins a slow burning thriller that delves into two crimes, that of his friend Luke’s death and the one decades earlier that drove Aaron out of town. Radiating atmosphere through the intense landscape and the many characters who struggle to survive within it – I thoroughly enjoyed this book.” - Melinda
"I devoured this beautifully written story, and literally can't stop talking about it with everyone. Zumas inhabits her five disparate characters so fully it'll leave you breathless, and with each twist of their lives you'll feel as gutted as they are. But Zumas won't leave you broken at the end of the book, as she manages to find the beauty within the mess." - Kelly
"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
"A comet is coming to end the world and only Junior knows about it. Told in Vonnegut-like short chapters and bursting with dark humor, Currie tells the story in such a unique way (in the first half, the chapters count up to 100, and in the second half they count back down) as the world begins and ends. The book is a chain letter; once you finish, you hand it to someone else." - Jason
"This is a little book that packs more punch and imagination than some novels I’ve read recently, delving into themes of identity, discovery and empathy with great skill. Not only do you feel the scope of this fascinating world, but, astoundingly, author Nnedi Okorafor connects the reader to the main character Binti so swiftly, so effortlessly, that I teared up at the conclusion to her 90-page story. This is the definition of bang for your buck." - Jax