Books & More for Santa Cruz Readers...
"My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out."
— Dylan Thomas
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (Helen Simonson) is a charming story with likeable characters who form unlikely bonds. Major Pettigrew is a widower living in the small English village of Edgecombe St. Mary. Mrs. Ali is a Pakistani shop owner in the village. They become smitten and this is the story of how they overcome difficulties in their respective families, stand up for what is right, and develop a relationship. Simonson includes such themes as race, class, and family, but the main story is one of love. Ultimately it is a heartwarming story with a satisfying ending. These titles are similar to Major Pettigrew's Last Stand in that they are charming, endearing stories.
84, Charing Cross Road
by Hanff, Helene
Correspondence between a British bookseller and an American book lover. A moving story of a relationship between pen pals.
by Makkai, Rebecca
Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, camped out in the library after hours. Addicted to reading, Ian needs help smuggling books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in antigay classes with Pastor Bob. Desperate to save Ian, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked--and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip.
The Daughter of Time
by Tey, Josephine
One of the greatest detective novels, in which a Scotland Yard inspector is bedridden and embarks on historical research to pass the time. Was King Richard III really a cruel murderer? Or was it political propaganda?
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
by Allen, Sarah Addison
Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew--a reclusive, real-life gentle giant--she realizes that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life.
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Barrows, Annie and Shaffer, Mary Ann
In 1946, as England emerges from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey and his eccentric friends, who tell her about their island, the books they love, German occupation, and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.
Happy All the Time
by Colwin, Laurie
Guido and Vincent are childhood best friends--third cousins, really--living in Cambridge and dreaming about their futures. Guido plans to write poetry while Vincent feels confident he will win a Nobel prize for physics. When Guido spots Holly while exiting a museum, he can immediately sense that she will be difficult, quirky, and hard to live with. He loves her on sight. Vincent, open-minded and cheerful, meets Misty at work. Though she is a bored and misanthropic brunette, he finds himself desperate to know her. Through courtship, jealousy, estrangement, and other perils, Happy All the Time follows four sane, intelligent, and good-intentioned people who manage to find love in spite of themselves.
by Stevenson, Jane
A genre-crossing detective story full of wit, humor, and memorable characters.
The Magician's Assistant
by Patchett, Ann
When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow Sabine--who was also his faithful assistant for twenty years--learns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well. Sabine is left to unravel his secrets, and the journey she takes, from sunny Los Angeles to the bitter windswept plains of Nebraska, will work its own magic on her.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore
by Sloan, Robin
After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
by Solomons, Natasha
After escaping Germany during WWII, Jack and Sadie Rosenblum, together with their baby daughter, settle into a life of acting "English." In post-war England, however, no golf club will admit a Rosenblum. So Jack hatches a wild idea: he'll build his own. It's an obsession Sadie does not share, particularly when Jack relocates them to a thatched roof cottage in Dorset to embark on his project.
The Night Circus
by Morgenstern, Erin
Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by McCall Smith, Alexander
This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives." Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise
by Stuart, Julia
When Balthazar Jones is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower of London's walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then his wife Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise "runs" away.