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stuartjrodriguez

stuartjrodriguez

Joined March 2016

Californian. ISFJ. Passionate about cycling, fiction writing, craft beer, semicolons, and the Oxford comma. Bookseller at Bookshop Santa Cruz.
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stuartjrodriguez
The Kingdom of Copper | S. A. Chakraborty
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Pickpick

This is a fabulous fantasy novel: S.A. Chakraborty continues the fantastic character development she began in book one, and continually antes up the stakes with expert pacing until this book reaches its stunning conclusion. The Kingdom of Copper is the best kind of second novel: it perfectly sets up book three while being absolutely satisfying in its own right. This is a tremendous novel, and I can‘t wait for you to read it starting January 22nd!

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stuartjrodriguez
Trail of Lightning | Rebecca Roanhorse
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This is a riveting novel that, while at points a slow burn, builds relentlessly to a brutal, heartbreaking climax. Rebecca Roanhorse has created a captivating world built from Navajo culture and mythology, and this novel shines with a superb story and gorgeously rendered (and devastatingly real) characters. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a captivating, highly original post-apocalyptic science fiction/fantasy novel.

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stuartjrodriguez
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I absolutely adored this quiet, intimate, and intensely introspective novel. Set in rural Italy during a 20-year period before, during, and after World War II, this story follows protagonist Maria Vittoria as she struggles both against Italian Fascist rule and her society's patriarchal stance towards womanhood and motherhood. Maria is a rich and beautifully rendered character—flawed and brave and incredibly human. Absolutely superb. Out June 12th!

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stuartjrodriguez
Trail of Lightning | Rebecca Roanhorse
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Holy hell I'm excited for this

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stuartjrodriguez
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I‘m loving the complete heck out of this novel. It‘s richly detailed and its protagonist is quiet and intensely introspective and it‘s beautiful to observe the world of early 1940s rural Italy through her eyes. She‘s strong and intelligent and incredibly compelling in a quiet and understated way. I *adore* novels like this!

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stuartjrodriguez
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
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I couldn‘t put this memoir down. Gripping and richly detailed, Tara Westover‘s clear-eyed account of how she achieved a Ph.D. despite the fact that her father‘s religious fundamentalism kept her out of school until she was 17 (and she and her siblings out of hospitals, despite some truly horrendous injuries) is a must-read.

9 likes1 stack add
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stuartjrodriguez
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
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Good lord, this memoir is *incredible.* It‘s tense, vibrantly detailed, and captivatingly told. Furthermore, Westover has characterized her family so incredibly well—they are sympathetically drawn, but she is also clear-eyed about their beliefs.

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stuartjrodriguez
Head on | John Scalzi
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John Scalzi writes some of the most fun and eminently readable SFF around, and HEAD ON, sequel to 2014‘s LOCK IN, is no exception. Agent Chris Shane returns, this time to solve the mystery behind the death of an athlete playing a gladiatorial soccer-like game for Hadens. Corporate intrigue, murder, and wisecracks abound. Scalzi‘s always a blast, and this is a super fun read!

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stuartjrodriguez
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Reading this to review for Bookshop Santa Cruz‘s spring newsletter, and loving the heck out of it. This is a first-hand account of the long and arduous journey to get mankind‘s first space probe to Pluto—little planet with the big heart—from the scientists involved. This book is proving super easy to read and understand, and provides a captivating look at what it took to get New Horizons off the ground.

2 likes1 stack add
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stuartjrodriguez
The Map of Salt and Stars: A Novel | Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
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Goodness, this novel is *beautiful* so far. Joukhader is an incredible writer: her prose is gorgeously detailed and lyrical, and her two heroines are so full of strength and heart. I can already tell that I‘m going to fall in love with this book!

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stuartjrodriguez
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When you work at a bookstore, you have to work hard not to spend all your money on the cool books you find. Sometimes, though, you just have to.

5 likes2 stack adds
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stuartjrodriguez
84 Charing Cross Road | Helene Hanff
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Goodness: what a sweet & lovely little book. I‘m a huge fan of the film, and much of the dialogue in that movie (starring the incomparable Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins) is quoted verbatim from their characters‘ letters. Both Hanff‘s and Doel‘s personalities shine through their letters, and it‘s wonderful to see their relationship develop over the course of their 20-year correspondence. If you‘re looking for a quick feel-good read, read THIS!

Aimeesue Fabulous read. Hanff is superb. 2y
4 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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stuartjrodriguez
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Started up a new audiobook ALC yesterday, too! Two period mysteries: this‘ll be fun.

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stuartjrodriguez
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Grabbed this off the ARC stack at Bookshop; was specifically looking for an eye-catching cover by a female author. Looking forward to reading something outside my usual genres!

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stuartjrodriguez
The Prey of Gods | Nicky Drayden
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Dang! Loved the heck out of this book. Super fun with lots of humor and heart; great heroes and a villain you love to hate; fantastic plotting and pacing. Enjoy your science fiction with a healthy side of the fantastic? Check this one out ASAP!

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stuartjrodriguez
The Salt Line | Holly Goddard Jones
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I enjoyed the heck out of this novel. It surprised me—in a good way—by subverting any expectations I had about a post-apocalyptic survival narrative. The characters aren‘t particularly original, per se, but I thought they were wonderfully rendered, and I cared deeply about them and what they were going through. Jones is a great writer: the plot is riveting, and the pacing zips at a great clip. Definitely recommended.

4 likes2 stack adds
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stuartjrodriguez
Grant | Ron Chernow
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Lord, this book was *superb*. Ron Chernow‘s meticulously researched and engaging history of Ulysses S. Grant makes for a riveting read, and Mark Bramhall‘s narration is outstanding. The audiobook is 48 hours long, but it was an absolute joy to listen to. Highly recommended.

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stuartjrodriguez
Grant | Ron Chernow
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I am absolutely loving the audiobook of Ron Chernow‘s Grant biography. I read and loved HAMILTON, and Chernow‘s ability to bring historical figures to life as living, breathing, relatable people is astounding. This is a triumph, and it‘s been so much fun to learn about Grant and about the Western Theatre of the Civil War, which I hadn‘t known much about.

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stuartjrodriguez
The Salt Line | Holly Goddard Jones
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Tfw a book on the unclaimed ARC shelf in the Bookshop break room grabs your eye and hooks you from the first line even while you're already reading two other books... Already digging this one. Solid characterization from the get-go and I love me some post-apocalyptic fiction.

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stuartjrodriguez
The Winter Station | Jody Shields
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Panpan

Dang. I really wanted to like this book, but I got 2/3 of the way through and realized that I still didn‘t care about anything that was happening or anyone it was happening to. This book had all the pieces to be a riveting novel, but goodness—and I hate to say it—it bored the heck out of me.

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stuartjrodriguez
The Winter Station | Jody Shields
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Now that I'm finished with The City of Brass, it's on to 1910 Russia! Looking forward to diving into this medical mystery novel!

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stuartjrodriguez
City of Brass | S A Chakraborty
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Oh my god, this book is so, so excellent. Great characters, fantastic worldbuilding, a rich, lived-in world. Easily the best-written and most exciting fantasy novel I've read since N.K. Jemisin's The Killing Moon. A superb debut from an exciting new talent.

5 likes2 stack adds
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stuartjrodriguez
The City of Brass | S. A. Chakraborty
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I'm absolutely loving THE CITY OF BRASS by S. A. Chakraborty. Her debut novel is set in 18th-Century Cairo and draws heavily from Islamic mythology. That by itself is a huge draw for me, but throw in Chakraborty's solid character development, fast-paced plot, and richly textured worldbuilding and you've got a great debut fantasy novel on your hands. Check it out when it comes out on November 14th!

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stuartjrodriguez
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I am loving the absolute heck out of this novel. Older is a great writer, and his characters burst with life from the page. I'm just getting into YA, but if you're looking for fast-paced urban fantasy YA that checks boxes as varied as music, magic, ancient power, and street art, check this out asap!

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Provenance | Ann Leckie
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So I now work for Bookshop Santa Cruz, and we're hosting Ann Leckie on September 28th and I could *not* be more excited. One of my coworkers overheard me talking about it and wondering about ordering her new book, and just GAVE ME MY FIRST ARC!!! I can't wait to dive in!!

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stuartjrodriguez
Time Salvager | Wesley Chu
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People who go to drinking establishments to socialize with strangers are weird imo

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stuartjrodriguez
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I read that Jordan Peele is producing Lovecraft Country for HBO, and then ran across the novel itself at @bookshopsc yesterday. So I had to pick it up. Enjoying the heck out of it so far.

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stuartjrodriguez
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The gf and I visited her hometown this weekend and of course I had to stop and support her local brick-and-morter. Looking forward to *finally* reading this! | Face In A Book bookstore in El Dorado Hills, CA.

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stuartjrodriguez
The Mothers: A Novel | Brit Bennett
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Picked this up @bookshopsc today as the final leg of their winter reading challenge. Thanks for giving readers the ability to pick three books by black women authors! I can't wait to dive into this one.

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stuartjrodriguez
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps | Kai Ashante Wilson
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Checking out Santa Cruz, California's newest coffee roaster, Cat & Cloud Coffee, with Kai Ashante Wilson's beautiful novella on this rainy Sunday afternoon. The prose in this story is *gorgeous*.

5 likes1 stack add
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stuartjrodriguez
Lock In | John Scalzi
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I read this much of this novel on the two-hour flight from San Jose to Denver yesterday. This novel FLIES (no pun intended).

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stuartjrodriguez
The Fifth Season | N. K. Jemisin
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N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season is currently on sale for $2.99 on the Kindle store! She's one of the best fantasy writers going, and I can't wait to dive in!

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stuartjrodriguez
Slow Bullets | Alastair Reynolds
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I'm the kind of person who goes to breweries and taprooms just to read or write. Beer goes great with space opera!

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stuartjrodriguez
Poseidon's Wake | Alastair Reynolds
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Another bookstore, another book buy, this time from San Francisco's Borderlands Books. Alastair Reynolds is one of my favorite SF authors, and this is the only book of his I haven't yet read!

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stuartjrodriguez
The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen
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New book pickup from Dog Eared Books in the Mission in San Francisco. Not only does this novel sound fantastic, but the author also teaches at my alma mater!

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stuartjrodriguez
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Anyone else ever add a book to their to-be-read list based on gorgeous cover art alone?

Liberty All the time. 😊 3y
SBoos Precisely why I bought this book! 3y
3 likes2 comments
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stuartjrodriguez
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Ted Chiang is a stunningly good writer. The stories in this collection are by turns introspective, cerebral, and poignant, and Chiang seamlessly weaves themes of science, mathematics, theology, love, and heartbreak throughout. This is SF at its finest: intelligent, heady, and heart-rending.

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stuartjrodriguez
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I'm torn on this one. Hernandez is an excellent writer, and I loved a couple of stories but found myself missing the human element in others. I did really appreciate the Latinx representation, though, and overall this is a well-written collection that I haven't been able to stop thinking about.

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stuartjrodriguez
Alexander Hamilton | Ron Chernow
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So after seeing @Liberty talk about how great this app is, I think it's time to try it—and what better way to start than by talking about Hamilton? Chernow's biography is fantastic: it's a fascinating exploration of A. Ham's life and is both academic and easy to read. Very much recommended!