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Bookshop Santa Cruz - Spring

New fiction and nonfiction recommendations from Bookshop Santa Cruz staff.

Playlist Tags: Bookshop Santa Cruz season: spring bookstore-created

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Greek to Me

Adventures of the Comma Queen

By Mary Norris
Narrated by: Mary Norris
Length: 7 hours 3 minutes

Greek to Me

“What a pleasure to again spend a few hours with Mary Norris. The author of Between You & Me is back with a second book, and this time her subject is all things Greek — the language, the people, the mythology, and the culture.Greek to Me recounts Norris’ experiences learning Greek and traveling the country while putting her new skills to the test. As in her first book, Norris is excellent company, spinning tales and charming readers. Blending memoir, history, and travel, all topped off with heaps of wordy nerdiness, Greek to Me is a joy to read.”

Next Chapter Booksellers image David Enyeart, Next Chapter Booksellers
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The Sun Is a Compass

A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

By Caroline Van Hemert
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 9 hours 1 minutes

The Sun Is a Compass

“The Sun is a Compass is a biologist’s candid journey of self discovery complete with aggressive bears, playful humpback whales, feisty hummingbirds and scolding chickadees. Heading into the most remote areas of Alaska and Canada, Caroline Van Hemert and her husband Pat rowed, rafted, hiked, skied and canoed 4000 miles from Bellingham, Washington to Kotzebue, Alaska. How do two people have such resilience to survive dangerous situations – unpredictable storms, the threat of an avalanche, swimming across a frigid Arctic river, and a depleting food supply? This memoir and others such as Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path, will compel you to observe and appreciate the healing forces of your own natural environment.”

The River's End Bookstore image Mindy, The River's End Bookstore
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The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

By Emily Nagoski, PhD & Amelia Nagoski, DMA
Narrated by: Emily Nagoski, PhD & Amelia Nagoski, DMA
Length: 7 hours 1 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “This book is a gift! I’ve been practicing their strategies, and it’s a total game-changer.”—Brené Brown, PhD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Dare to Lead

This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize...
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Sea People

The Puzzle of Polynesia

By Christina Thompson
Narrated by: Susan Lyons
Length: 11 hours 39 minutes

A blend of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Simon Winchester’s Pacific, a thrilling intellectual detective story that looks deep into the past to uncover who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific, where they came from, how they got there, and how we know.

For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest...

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A Coming-of-Gender Story

By Jacob Tobia
Narrated by: Jacob Tobia
Length: 11 hours 20 minutes


"Transformative ... If Tobia aspires to the ranks of comic memoirists like David Sedaris and Mindy Kaling, Sissy succeeds." --The New York Times Book Review

A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it's like to grow up not sure if you're (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d)...
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The Raven Tower

By Ann Leckie
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 12 hours 1 minutes

The Raven Tower

“Reading a book by Ann Leckie is very much like trying an unusual new food; after a taste of it your regular meat-and-potatoes reading will seem plain by comparison. The Raven Tower is fantasy for philosophers, brimming with intrigue, nuance, and some absolutely fascinating mythological twists. Plus, the magnificence of the book aside, I would listen to Adjoa Andoh read a shopping list.”

Tsunami Books image Emily, Tsunami Books
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Daisy Jones & The Six

A Novel

By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by: Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer & Pablo Schreiber
Length: 9 hours 3 minutes

Daisy Jones & The Six

“Written in interviews given by various members of the band Daisy Jones & The Six and those they encountered, the novel is an engrossing look at a fictional band in 1970s Los Angeles. It reads like a rock memoir, so much so that you often forget they were not a real band. I highly recommend listening to this one on audio from it's read by a full cast that really brings the whole things to life. ”

Carmichael's Bookstore image Maggie, Carmichael's Bookstore
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The Luminous Dead

A Novel

By Caitlin Starling
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 14 hours 9 minutes

"This claustrophobic, horror-leaning tour de force is highly recommended for fans of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation and Andy Weir’s The Martian." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)


A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet...

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The Stranger Diaries

By Elly Griffiths
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott, Esther Wane, Sarah Feathers & Anjana Vasan
Length: 10 hours 31 minutes

The Stranger Diaries

“I love Elly Griffiths' series so was thrilled to see she had a new standalone and I was not disappointed. The book starts with the haunting reading of a Gothic Victorian ghost story called The Stranger by R.M. Holland. The main character, Claire, is a high school Eng. Teacher who teaches at a school which includes the old Holland house and R.M.’s study which has been kept as he left it. Claire is also researching Holland’s life for a possible book so is intimately familiar with his work. When people in the English department start dying a line from Holland’s book – Hell is Empty - is left at the crime scenes. Not only does The Stranger have a major part in this fabulous modern day Gothic style mystery but so do Claire’s personal diaries. I loved everything about this book – the way it was told from 3 perspectives, the way Holland’s story and Claire’s diaries kept coming into play and all of the creepy hints at white witchcraft and ghosts. And I especially loved the voice of the reader of The Stranger.”

Fiction Addiction image Nancy, Fiction Addiction
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By Candice Carty-Williams
Narrated by: Shvorne Marks
Length: 9 hours 45 minutes


“Positively brilliant. I was completely blown away by this debut, in which 25-year-old Queenie Jenkins is navigating a lot. She recently went on break from a long-term relationship, she can’t seem to find her stride at her job with a national newspaper, and she’s constantly trying to figure out how to navigate the various components of her identity. The biggest question of all: Can’t she be loved just because, without her blackness being seen as exotic or a caveat? Candice Carty-Williams’ debut is a completely fresh voice that shines light on a literary perspective frequently overlooked — that of young, black women. An absolute must-read.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
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Doing Justice

A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law

By Preet Bharara
Narrated by: Preet Bharara
Length: 10 hours 31 minutes

*A New York Times Bestseller*

An important overview of the way our justice system works, and why the rule of law is essential to our survival as a society—from the one-time federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, and host of the Doing Justice podcast.

Preet Bharara has spent much of his life examining our legal system, pushing to... Read more »

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Confessions of the Fox

A Novel

By Jordy Rosenberg
Narrated by: Aden Hakimi
Length: 10 hours 45 minutes

Recently jilted and increasingly unhinged, Dr. Voth throws himself into his work, obsessively researching the life of Jack Sheppard, a legendary eighteenth century thief. No one knows Jack's true story—his confessions have never been found. That is, until Dr. Voth discovers a mysterious stack of papers titled Confessions of the Fox.

Dated 1724,... Read more »

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Liquid Rules

The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives

By Mark Miodownik
Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 7 hours 16 minutes

Sometimes explosive, often delicious, occasionally poisonous, but always interesting: the New York Times best-selling author of Stuff Matters show us the secret lives of liquids: the shadow counterpart of our solid "stuff." We all know that without water we couldn't survive, and that sometimes a cup of coffee or a glass of wine feels just as... Read more »

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The Bird King

By G. Willow Wilson
Narrated by: Elmira Rahim
Length: 14 hours 8 minutes

The Bird King

“Fatima is a concubine of the sultan of the last emirate in the Iberian Peninsula to submit to the Spanish Inquisition. When her dearest friend, Hassan, a mapmaker who can map places he has never seen (and that do not always exist), is singled out by the Inquisition, she flees with him and a jinn, following the trail of the elusive and mythical Bird King, who may or may not be able to grant them sanctuary. Wilson’s latest novel is rich with the historical detail, lush description, and fantastical elements that we have come to know and love from her. A story of resistance, freedom, seeking, and strength, and a true fable for our times.”

University Book Store image Anna Eklund, University Book Store
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Sabrina & Corina


By Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Narrated by: Various
Length: 7 hours 19 minutes

Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. 

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they... Read more »

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What You Have Heard Is True

A Memoir of Witness and Resistance

By Carolyn Forché
Narrated by: Carolyn Forché
Length: 12 hours 16 minutes

2019 National Book Award Finalist

"Reading it will change you, perhaps forever.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Astonishing, powerful, so important at this time.” --Margaret Atwood

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman's brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one... Read more »

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How to Know the Birds

The Art and Adventure of Birding

By Ted Floyd
Narrated by: Graham Winton
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

Become a better birder with brief portraits of 200 top North American birds. This friendly, relatable book is a celebration of the art, science, and delights of bird-watching. How to Know the Birds introduces a new, holistic approach to bird-watching, by noting how behaviors, settings, and seasonal cycles connect with shape, song, color, gender,... Read more »

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Women Talking

By Miriam Toews
Narrated by: Matthew Edison
Length: 5 hours 57 minutes

Women Talking

Women Talking is an eloquent exploration of how a group mind coalesces — as a kind of vision that comes in fits and starts, arguments and digression — to finally arrive at a decision. Or, read another way, it’s a compelling examination of the opposing voices in our own heads as we wrestle with impossible choices between the known and the unknown. What’s most compelling about Toews’ novel is its lack of sensationalism and how it shows real people struggling through the aftermath of devastating violence. Grounded in a religious culture where suffering and obedience are an expectation, these women grapple with uneasy answers to what’s best for themselves and their children. Women Talking is the quiet, startling story of coming to terms with how, or if, we save ourselves.”

Scuppernong Books image Steve Mitchell, Scuppernong Books
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A Novel

By Sarah Blake
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 9 hours

"A dreamy and transgressive feminist retelling of the Great Flood from the perspective of Noah's wife as she wrestles with the mysterious metaphysics of womanhood at the end of the world." —O, The Oprah Magazine

With the coming of the Great Flood—the mother of all disasters—only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the... Read more »

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Skeleton Keys

The Secret Life of Bone

By Riley Black (Brian Switek)
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 6 hours 55 minutes

“A provocative and entertaining magical mineral tour through the life and afterlife of bone.” —Wall Street Journal

Our bones have many stories to tell, if you know how to listen.

Bone is a marvel, an adaptable and resilient building material developed over more than four hundred million years of evolutionary history. It gives your body its shape... Read more »

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