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

ISBN: 9780679732761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - March 13th, 1995

September 2014 Selection: Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has
continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel
by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen
weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph
Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator
of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South,
attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York
and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the
Brotherhood," and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement
lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a
passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S.
Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.

By Adrienne Reiter, Sharon Waechter (Editor), Kristi Johnson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780989975117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Adrienne Reiter - October 14th, 2013

July 2014 Selection: Rebecca Ashley (Becca) dreams in color, mostly
acrylic. It's current day San Francisco. Despite all odds, divorce,
eviction, and mounting money problems, Becca is determined to finish
school. Shortly after Becca has temporarily moved into her Professor
Sophie Anne's live/work loft, her professor is murdered. Becca discovers
that no one is who they claim and nothing is as it seems. Propelled
into the underworld of art and artifact smuggling, Becca has to decide
who to trust. Two of Sophie-Anne's business partners, a charming Brit,
Clark Wright, and swashbuckling Belizian, Antoine Palacio, reveal
Sophie-Anne's murder is tied to a blackmailer who expects a large ransom
from the sale of a mysterious French artifact. When the three fail to
relinquish his fee the blackmailer murders Sophie-Anne in hopes it will
scare the other two thieves into giving up the money. Now Antoine and
Clark are running scared. Only problem is Sophie-Anne was the only one
who knew where the object is hidden. Now Becca must find the artifact
and decide who to trust or suffer Sophie-Anne's fate.

ISBN: 9781932841770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Agate Bolden - August 12th, 2013

June 2014 Selection: Author and essayist Kiese Laymon is one of the most unique, stirring,
and powerful new voices in American social and cultural commentary. How
to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is a collection of
Laymon's essays on subjects ranging from family, race, violence, and
celebrity to music, writing, and coming of age in Mississippi. Laymon's
writing is smart, unflinchingly honest, lacerating, and unexpectedly
funny.In How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America,
Laymon deals in depth with his own personal story, filled with trials
(and reflections on those trials) that illuminate underappreciated
aspects of contemporary American life. As revealed in the book's title
essay, Laymon attended three colleges before earning his undergraduate
degree. He was suspended from the first of these institutions, Millsaps
College, following a probationary period resulting from a controversial
essay he published on campus. As the school's president described it,
the "Key Essay in question was written by Kiese Laymon, a controversial
writer who consistently editorializes on race issues." Controversy
seemed to follow this young writer, but as he himself puts it, "my job
is to ask questions, to broaden the scope of American literature by
broadening the scope of who is written to and imaginatively writes
back."Laymon's voice is something new and unexpected in
contemporary American writing. Mixing a colloquial voice with acerbic
wit, sharp insights, and blast-furnace heat, he calls to mind a black
21st-century Mark Twain. Much like Twain, Laymon's writing is steeped in
controversial issues, both private and public. From his biting
critiques of race politics to revelations of his own internal struggles
with American "blackness," Laymon taps into an ongoing conversation that
is played out consciously and subconsciously across all of our
artistic, cultural, political, and economic realities.This
collection introduces Laymon as a writer who balances volatile concepts
on a razor's edge, and who chops up much-discussed and
often-misunderstood topics with his scathing humor and fresh, unexpected
takes on the ongoing absurdities, frivolities, and calamities of
American life.

ISBN: 9780452282957
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume Books - January 28th, 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."

By Lucy Grealy, Ann Patchett (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780060569662
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Published: Harper Perennial - March 17th, 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.

ISBN: 9781564788498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - June 17th, 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.

ISBN: 9780451416643
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Published: New American Library - August 5th, 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.

ISBN: 9780142180259
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume Books - August 26th, 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.

ISBN: 9780345478238
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Published: Modern Library - December 27th, 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

By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (Translator)
ISBN: 9780312426835
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Published: Picador USA - January 21st, 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.

By Per Wahloo, Sarah Death (Translator)
ISBN: 9780307744463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - February 25th, 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.

ISBN: 9780062119049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - December 26th, 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.

ISBN: 9781566893091
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Published: Coffee House Press - August 27th, 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.

ISBN: 9781566893091
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Published: Coffee House Press - August 27th, 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.

ISBN: 9780143118077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 30th, 2010

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

ISBN: 9780307744579
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - June 25th, 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.

ISBN: 9781935439479
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Published: Ig Publishing - April 16th, 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.

ISBN: 9780312536480
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Published: St. Martin's Press - February 27th, 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."

This Book Is Not Sold Online - In Store Special Order Only
ISBN: 9780758208538
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dafina Books - April 30th, 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.

ISBN: 9781617750311
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Published: Akashic Books - January 30th, 2012

April 2012 Pick: Following her best-selling, award-winning novel "Glorious, " McFadden produces a fantastical historical novel featuring the spirit of Emmett Till.

ISBN: 9780374532888
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Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - August 29th, 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.

ISBN: 9780143120704
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Published: Penguin Books - December 26th, 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.