Desert Island Book Club

The Desert Island Book Club returns to the island!
Meeting on the last Thursday of each month

To join call or drop by
Books Inc. in Alameda
1344 Park Street
510-522-2226

The 25th Hour (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780452282957
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume, 1/2002
May 2014 Selection: "Novels like The 25th Hour don't fall out of trees every day. The tone is dark and intense; its elegant style is cut on the raw side; and the characters come from places we've all been." -The New York TimesAll Monty Brogan ever really wanted when he grew up was to be a fireman. Now he's about to start a seven-year stretch in the federal penitentiary for drug dealing. With just twenty-four hours of freedom to go, he prowls the city with his girlfriend and his two best friends from high school-a high-flying bond trader and an idealistic teacher. As the minutes count down, Monty seizes one last chance to stack the odds in his favor.
Hurtling from the money pits of Wall Street to Manhattan's downtown lounge and club scene, from the enclaves of the Russian mob to the old immigrant neighborhoods, The 25th Hour evokes the pulsing rhythms and diamond-hard edges of a city in the raw, illusory hours between midnight and dawn. A taut and mesmerizing tale of an urban purgatory suspended between the crime and the punishment, The 25th Hour is a major player in contemporary noir fiction from the author of the bestselling novel "City of Thieves" and the short story collection "When the Nines Roll Over."

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780060569662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial, 3/2003
April 2014 Selection: "I spent five years of my life being treated for cancer, but since then I've spent fifteen years being treated for nothing other than looking different from everyone else. It was the pain from that, from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison."

At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.


$14.00
ISBN-13: 9781564788498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dalkey Archive Press, 6/2013
March 2014 Selection: Micheline Marcom describes her newest novel, "A Brief History of Yes" -- her first since 2008's scathing and erotic "The Mirror in the Well" -- as a "literary fado," referring to a style of Portuguese music that, akin to the American blues, is often melancholic and soulful, and encapsulates the feeling of "saudade" -- meaning, loosely, yearning and nostalgia for something or someone irreparably lost. "A Brief History of Yes" tells the story of the break-up between a Portuguese woman named Maria and an unnamed American man: it is a collage-like, fragmentary novel whose form perfectly captures the workings of attraction and grief, proving once again that American literature has no better poet of love and loss than Micheline Aharonian Marcom.

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780451416643
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NAL Trade, 8/2013
February 2014 Selection: When you're in trouble and sinking fast, whom do you call?
Piper Nelson is stuck. She can't quite stay away from the husband she divorced. She isn't always attentive to the high school students she teaches. And even she admits that she's been drinking too much and seeking out unsuitable men. Piper's mother, married to a celebrity evangelist, and her sister, who's immersed in plans to wed a professional football player and star in a reality TV show, are both too self-absorbed to sympathize with Piper's angst. They tell her to get a grip. But how can Piper ever really recover from the blow she suffered five years ago, when a car accident took the life of her young daughter?
When Piper's ex-husband announces that his new girlfriend is pregnant, Piper is forced to take stock. Realizing that it's time for a change is one thing, but actually making it happen is quite another. And despite what she thinks, Piper can't do it alone Lucky for her, a couple of crazy, funny new friends are ready to step in when she needs them most and show her how to live and laugh again.

Bait (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780142180259
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume, 8/2013
January 2014 Selection: No one is coming to your aid. We have ensured this.
Six strangers wake up on a remote island in the Florida Keys with no memory of their arrival. They soon discover their common bond: all of them are heroin addicts. As the first excruciating pangs of withdrawal make themselves felt, the six notice a yacht anchored across open water. On it lurk four shadowy figures, protected by the hungry sharks that patrol the waves. So begins a dangerous game. The six must undertake the impossible--swim to the next island where a cache of heroin awaits, or die trying. When alliances form, betrayal is inevitable. As the fight to survive intensifies, the stakes reach terrifying heights--and their captors' motives finally begin to emerge.

$6.95
ISBN-13: 9780345478238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Modern Library, 12/2004
July 2013 Selection: This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition combines the two most important African American slave narratives into one volume.
Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it. Like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery, and in 1861 she published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, now recognized as the most comprehensive antebellum slave narrative written by a woman. Jacobs's account broke the silence on the exploitation of African American female slaves, and it remains crucial reading. These narratives illuminate and inform each other. This edition includes an incisive Introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah and extensive annotations.

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780312426835
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 1/2008
May / June 2013 Selection:

The first major English translation of one of contemporary Japan's bestselling and most celebrated authors

From Akutagawa Award-winning author Yoko Ogawa comes a haunting trio of novellas about love, fertility, obsession, and how even the most innocent gestures may contain a hairline crack of cruel intent.

A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool--a peculiar infatuation that sends unexpected ripples through her life.

A young woman records the daily moods of her pregnant sister in a diary, taking meticulous note of a pregnancy that may or may not be a hallucination--but whose hallucination is it, hers or her sister's?

A woman nostalgically visits her old college dormitory on the outskirts of Tokyo, a boarding house run by a mysterious triple amputee with one leg.

Hauntingly spare, beautiful, and twisted, "The Diving Pool "is a disquieting and at times darkly humorous collection of novellas about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.


The Steel Spring (Paperback)

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780307744463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage, 2/2013
April 2013 Selection: Chief Inspector Jensen is a policeman in an unnamed European country where the government has criminalized being drunk, where newspapers are designed for reassurance, and where the city centers have been demolished to devote more space to gleaming new highways.
Recovering in a hospital room abroad after a liver transplant, Jensen receives a note instructing him to return home immediately, but when he reaches the airport he discovers that all flights home have been cancelled and all communication from within his homeland has ceased. One of the last messages sent requested urgent medical help from abroad. But what has happen? Has an epidemic taken hold? And why has the government fled the capital? To penetrate the silence and mystery that has fallen over the country and its people, Jensen returns only to discover the unthinkable.

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780062119049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial, 11/2011
February 2013 Selection: Shriver approaches the tragedy of a high-school massacre from the point of view of the killer's mother. Eva, in the letters she writes to her estranged husband, probes the upbringing of their more-than-difficult child and reveals herself to have been a reluctant mother. As the schisms in her family unfold, the story draws closer to an unexpected climax that holds breathtaking surprises and its own hard-won redemption.

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781566893091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press, 8/2012
January 2013 Selection:Heartbreaking, intimate, and at times disturbing, Hold It 'Til It Hurts is a modern-day odyssey through war, adventure, disaster, and love, and explores how people who do not define themselves by race make sense of a world that does.

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781566893091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press, 8/2012
October 2012 Selection: Heartbreaking, intimate, and at times disturbing, Hold It 'Til It Hurts is a modern-day odyssey through war, adventure, disaster, and love, and explores how people who do not define themselves by race make sense of a world that does.

$17.00
ISBN-13: 9780143118077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 8/2010

September 2012 Selection: The One City One Book Selection for 2012

The most startling thing about disasters, according to award-winning author Rebecca Solnit, is not merely that so many people rise to the occasion, but that they do so with joy. That joy reveals an ordinarily unmet yearning for community, purposefulness, and meaningful work that disaster often provides. "A Paradise Built in Hell" is an investigation of the moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid disaster's grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life. It points to a new vision of what society could become-one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local.

 


Aleph (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780307744579
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage, 6/2012
August 2012 Pick: Transform your life. Rewrite your destiny.
In his most personal novel to date, internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved "The Alchemist, " Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again--to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.
Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before--and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life's inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, "Aleph" invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.

Ghosting (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781935439479
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ig Publishing, 4/2012

July 2012 Pick:  A dying drug kingpin enslaved to the memory of his dead wife; a young woman torn between a promising future and the hardscrabble world she grew up in; a mother willing to do anything to fuel her addiction to pills; and her youngest son, searching for the truth behind his older brother's disappearance, are just some of the unforgettable characters that populate "Ghosting," Kirby Gann's lush and lyrical novel of family and community, and the ties that can both bond and betray.


With Just One Kiss (Mass Market Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780312536480
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2/2012
June 2012 Pick: Francis Ray "Bestselling author Francis Ray chronicles the lives and loves of the Grayson family and their friends--and friends-of-friends who just might have a change of heart..." "" Cicely St. John is not impressed by her friend C.J. Callahan's so-called passion in life: running a New York City bar that he inherited from his uncle. So why can't Cicely stop thinking about the dance they shared at their mutual friends' wedding--or the mutual attraction she felt in C.J.'s arms? As far as C.J. is concerned, Cicely is a snob whose "passion" in life--writing for fashion magazines--is as pretentious as she is. So why can't he keep his eyes off her? C.J. has a business to run. And Cicely has a job opportunity in Paris. Neither of them even has time to "think" about romance right now. But maybe, just once, the two could test their friendship..."with just one kiss."

Say Yes (Mass Market Paperback)

This Book Is Not Sold Online - In Store Special Order Only
ISBN-13: 9780758208538
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Dafina Books, 5/2012
May 2012 Pick: The national bestselling author follows up her acclaimed "If I Could" with this passionate, provocative tale that continues the saga of a woman who dared to say no to a loveless existence and now must deal with the consequences and pleasures of living life on her own terms. Original.

Gathering of Waters (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781617750311
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Akashic Books, 2/2012
April 2012 Pick: Following her best-selling, award-winning novel "Glorious, " McFadden produces a fantastical historical novel featuring the spirit of Emmett Till.

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780374532888
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: FSG Originals, 8/2011
March 2012 Pick: Welcome to heartland America circa right about now, when the union jobs and family farms that kept the white on the picket fences have given way to meth labs, backwoods gunrunners, and bare-knuckle brawling. Bill's people are pressed to the brink--and beyond.

The Dispatcher (Paperback)

This Book Is Not Sold Online - In Store Special Order Only
ISBN-13: 9780143120704
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books, 12/2011
February 2012 Pick: From the author of the award-winning debut crime novel "Good Neighbors" comesa white-knuckle thriller about the lengths a man will go to for his daughter.368 pp.