Women We'd Like To Lunch With Book Club

The Women We'd Like to Lunch With Book Club
Selections include fiction (and occasionally non-fiction) by women or with a woman character as the primary protagonist, or representing the concerns of women.
 

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm

Books Inc. in Laurel Village
3515 California St
San Francisco


$15.00
ISBN: 9780307743763
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - February 3rd, 2014

October 2014 Selection: A "New York Times" "Book Review" Notable Book - A "Washington Post "Top Ten Book of the Year - A" Chicago Tribune" Noteworthy Book - A "Huffington Post" Best Book - A "Boston Globe" Best Book of the Year - A "Kirkus" Best Fiction Book - A Goodreads Best Book
Nora Eldridge is a reliable, but unremarkable, friend and neighbor, always on the fringe of other people's achievements. But the arrival of the Shahid family--dashing Skandar, a Lebanese scholar, glamorous Sirena, an Italian artist, and their son, Reza--draws her into a complex and exciting new world. Nora's happiness pushes her beyond her boundaries, until Sirena's careless ambition leads to a shattering betrayal. Told with urgency, intimacy, and piercing emotion, this "New York Times "bestselling novel is the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed, and abandoned by a desire for a world beyond her own.


$13.00
ISBN: 9781451692389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - February 3rd, 2014

September 2014 Selection: In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel, who are her keepers. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples.
Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the cross until her son died--she fled, to save herself), and her judgment of others is equally harsh. This woman whom we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Toibin's tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.


$15.99
ISBN: 9780062184856
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 21st, 2014

August 2014 Selection: A place out of time, Ashaunt Point, Massachusetts, has provided sanctuary and anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote, rocky shore. But in 1942, the U.S. Army arrives on the Point, bringing havoc and change.An unforgettable portrait of one family's journey through the second half of the twentieth century, The End of the Point artfully probes the hairline fractures hidden beneath the surface of our lives and traces the fragile and enduring bonds that connect us. With subtlety and grace, Elizabeth Graver illuminates the powerful legacy of family and place, exploring what we are born into and what we pass down, preserve, cast off, or willingly set free.


$15.00
ISBN: 9780307743954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - May 6th, 2013

June 2014 Selection: A "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Daily Candy" Best Book of the Year
Winner of the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize for First Fiction
Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize
The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface.
Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he's been eyeing since birth, he's also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne's beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia--recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival--is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson's best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.


$16.00
ISBN: 9780452297647
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume Books - December 26th, 2011

May 2014 Selection: The start of an affair, the end of an era.
Fans of Kate Morton's "The ""Forgotten Garden, " Catherine Bailey's "The Secret Rooms, "and TV's "Downton Abbey" will love this "New York Times "bestselling sweeping historical novel of love and loss. It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford's young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford--and Elise--forever.


$15.95
ISBN: 9780307475022
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - August 8th, 2011

April 2014 Selection: Claire, a composer and a new mother, has moved to Los Angeles so that her husband can follow his passion for writing television comedy. Suddenly the marriage--once a genuine 50/50 arrangement--changes, with Paul working late and Claire left at home with baby William, whom she adores but has no idea how to care for.
She hires Lola, a fifty-two-year-old mother of five, who is working in America to pay for her own children's higher education back in the Philippines. Lola stabilizes the rocky household, and soon other parents try to lure her away. But what she sacrifices to stay with Claire and "Williamo" remains her own closely guarded secret.


$15.00
ISBN: 9780307386304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - February 8th, 2010

March 2014 Selection: A sweeping and sensuous novel of a son's quest to recover his family's lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation.
Max Berenzon's father is the most successful art dealer in Paris, owner of the Berenzon Gallery, home to both Picasso and Matisse. To Max's great surprise, his father forbids him from entering the family business, choosing instead to hire a beautiful and brilliant gallery assistant named Rose Clement. When Paris falls to the Nazis, the Berenzons survive in hiding, but when they return in 1944 their gallery is empty, their priceless collection vanished. In a city darkened by corruption and black martketers, Max chases his twin obsessions: the lost paintings and Rose Clement.


$15.00
ISBN: 9781451643367
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - November 5th, 2012

January 2014 Selection: Exploring the way our choices and relationships are shaped by the menace and beauty of the natural world, Megan Mayhew Bergman's powerful and heartwarming collection captures the surprising moments when the pull of our biology becomes evident, when love or fear collides with good sense, or when our attachment to an animal or wild place can't be denied.
In "Housewifely Arts," a single mother and her son drive hours to track down an African gray parrot that can mimic her deceased mother's voice. A population-control activist faces the conflict between her loyalty to the environment and her maternal desire in "Yesterday's Whales." And in the title story, a lonely naturalist allows an attractive stranger to lead her and her aging father on a hunt for an elusive woodpecker.
As intelligent as they are moving, the stories in "Birds of a Lesser Paradise "are alive with emotion, wit, and insight into the impressive power that nature has over all of us. This extraordinary collection introduces a young writer of remarkable talent.


$14.00
ISBN: 9780143124634
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 30th, 2013

November 2013 Selection: The inspiration for a new film starring Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard, Steve Coogan, and Onata Aprile
After her parents' bitter divorce, young Maisie Farange finds herself shuttled between her selfish mother and vain father, who value her only as a means for provoking each other. Maisie--solitary, observant, and wise beyond her years--is drawn into an increasingly entangled adult world of intrigue and sexual betrayal until she is finally compelled to choose her own future. Published in 1897 as Henry James was experimenting with narrative technique and fascinated by the idea of the child's-eye view, "What Maisie Knew" is a subtle yet devastating portrayal of an innocent adrift in a corrupt society.


$16.00
ISBN: 9780143122647
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - November 26th, 2012

October 2013 Selection:

 

A vibrant new novel from Penelope Lively--a wry, wise story about the surprising ways lives intersect

 

When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage unravels after an illicit love affair is revealed through an errant cell phone message; a posh yet financially strapped interior designer meets a business partner who might prove too good to be true; an old-guard historian tries to recapture his youthful vigor with an ill-conceived idea for a TV miniseries; and a middle-aged central European immigrant learns to speak English and reinvents his life with the assistance of some new friends.

Through a richly conceived and colorful cast of characters, Penelope Lively explores the powerful role of chance in people's lives and deftly illustrates how our paths can be altered irrevocably by someone we will never even meet. Brought to life in her hallmark graceful prose and full of keen insights into human nature, "How It All Began" is an engaging, contemporary tale that is sure to strike a chord with her legion of loyal fans as well as new readers. A writer of rare wisdom, elegance, and humor, Lively is a consummate storyteller whose gifts are on full display in this masterful work.


$14.99
ISBN: 9781250023438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - January 28th, 2013

August 2013 Selection:

 

JASON PROSPER grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship. When a major hurricane hits the New England coast, the destruction it causes brings with it another upheaval in Jason's life, forcing him to make sense of a terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends.

Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, "The Starboard Sea"Amber Dermont is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.

 


$15.99
ISBN: 9780061928178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 2013

July 2013 Selection: From the moment it opens--on a rocky patch of Italian coastline, circa 1962, when a daydreaming young innkeeper looks out over the water and spies a mysterious woman approaching him on a boat--Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, Beautiful Ruins is gloriously inventive and constantly surprising--a story of flawed yet fascinating people navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.


$16.00
ISBN: 9781401341909
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hyperion Books - October 2012

June 2013 Selection: In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. "Arcadia" follows this romantic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, the charismatic leader; his wife, Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, Bit. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He falls in love with Helle, Handy's lovely, troubled daughter. And eventually he must face the world beyond Arcadia.
In "Arcadia," Groff displays her literary gifts to stunning effect.


$14.99
ISBN: 9780062116512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - January 7th, 2013

May 2013 Selection:

 

One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor--and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.

 

Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking.

The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises--where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety--and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence.


$14.99
ISBN: 9780062060624
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - August 27th, 2012

April 2013 Selection:

 

Achilles, "the best of all the Greeks," son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful-- irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

 


$20.00
ISBN: 9781608196975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 23rd, 2012

February 2013 Selection:

In 1772, upon the death of her second husband, Mary Delany arose from her grief, picked up a pair of scissors, and, at the age of seventy-two, created a new art form: mixed-media collage. Over the next decade, Mrs. Delany produced an astonishing 985 botanically correct, breathtaking cut-paper flowers, now housed in the British Museum and referred to as the "Flora Delanica." As she tracks the extraordinary life of Delany--friend of George Frideric Handel and Jonathan Swift--internationally acclaimed poet Molly Peacock weaves in delicate parallels in her own life and, in doing so, creates a profound and beautiful examination of the nature of creativity and art. This gorgeously designed book, featuring thirty-five full-color illustrations, is to be devoured as voraciously as one of the court dinners it describes.


$13.95
ISBN: 9780547737355
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - March 26th, 2012

January 2013 Selection: Margaret Drabble's novels have illuminated the past fifty years, especially the changing lives of women, like no others. Yet her short fiction has its own unique brilliance. Her penetrating evocations of character and place, her wide-ranging curiosity, her sense of irony--all are on display here, in stories that explore marriage, female friendships, the English tourist abroad, love affairs with houses, peace demonstrations, gin and tonics, cultural TV programs, in stories that are perceptive, sharp, and funny. With an introduction by the Spanish academic Jose Fernandez that places the stories in the context of her life and her novels, this collection is a wonderful recapitulation of a masterly career.

 


$15.00
ISBN: 9781250007575
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - March 26th, 2012

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November 2012 Selection:

Cool, eloquent, raising two fatherless children, Claire has emerged as the most visible of the widows who became a potent political force in the aftermath of the catastrophe. She longs for her husband, but she has found her mission: she sits on a jury charged with selecting a fitting memorial for the victims of the attack.


$13.95
ISBN: 9780307744425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 19th, 2012

October 2012 Selection: Winner of the PEN/Faulkner AwardFor Fiction
National Book Award and "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize Finalist
A "New York Times" Notable Book
A gorgeous novel by the celebrated author of "When the Emperor Was Divine" that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as "picture brides" nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, "The Buddha in the Attic" traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war. Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times.


$16.00
ISBN: 9781451617481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - April 2nd, 2012

September 2012 Pick:

 

Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman's novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael's mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker's wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior's daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.

The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets--about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.

 


$15.99
ISBN: 9780062049810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 7th, 2012

August 2012 pick: In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, "State of Wonder" presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, "State of Wonder" is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy.