Join us on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm
Books Inc. in Laurel Village
3515 California St
February 2016 Selection: Diana Athill is one of the great editors in British publishing. For more than five decades she edited the likes of V. S. Naipaul and Jean Rhys, for whom she was a confidante and caretaker. As a writer, Athill has made her reputation for the frankness and precisely expressed wisdom of her memoirs. Now in her ninety-first year, "entirely untamed about both old and new conventions"(Literary Review) and freed from any of the inhibitions that even she may have once had, Athill reflects candidly, and sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old the losses and occasionally the gains that age brings, the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. Distinguished by "remarkable intelligence...[and the] easy elegance of her prose" (Daily Telegraph), this short, well-crafted book, hailed as "a virtuoso exercise" (Sunday Telegraph) presents an inspiring work for those hoping to flourish in their later years. "
January 2016 Selection: A teenage girl encounters the shocks of first love at the height of the summer holidays in Greece. A young filmmaker celebrates her first moment of recognition by impulsively buying a Chanel dress she can barely afford. Both halves of a longstanding couple fall in love with others and shed their marriage in the space of a morning. In all of these sparkling stories, characters take risks, confront fears, and step outside their boundaries into new destinies.
Tracing the contours of the modern Italian diaspora, Francesca Marciano takes us from Venetian film festivals to the islands off Tanzania to a classical dance community in southern India. These stories shine with keen insights and surprising twists. Driven by Marciano s vivid takes on love and betrayal, politics and travel, and the awakenings of childhood, "The Other Language" is a tour de force that illuminates both the joys and ironies of self-reinvention.e talent.
November 2015 Selection: From the prizewinning author of"Mr. Fox," the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.
In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty the opposite of the life she s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.
A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy s daughter, Bird, exposes the Whitman family secret. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.
Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving," Boy, Snow, Bird"is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.
October 2015 Selection:
Luke is a young playwright--intense, magnetic, and eager for life. He escapes a disastrous upbringing in the northeast and, arriving in London, meets Paul Driscoll, an aspiring producer, and the beautiful, fiery Leigh Radley, the woman Paul loves.
The three set up a radical theater company, living and working together, forging a romantic connection in candlelit rehearsal rooms during power cuts and smoky late-night parties in Chelsea's run-down flats. The gritty rebellion of pub theater is fighting for its place against a West End dominated by racy revue shows and the giants of twentieth-century drama.
Nina Jacobs is a fragile actress, bullied by her mother and in thrall to a controlling producer. When Luke meets Nina, he recognizes a soul in danger--but how much must he risk to save her?
Everything he has fought for--loyalty, friendship, art--is drawn into the heat of their collision. Now everything Luke values, even the promise of the future, is in danger. Suddenly the fallout threatens to be immense.
September 2015 Selection: ONE OF THE10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR - "THE""NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"A Best Book of the Year: "The New Yorker," "The Boston Globe," "Minneapolis Star Tribun"e, "Vogue."com, "Electric Literature," "Buzzfeed"
In the beginning, it was easy to imagine their future. They were young and giddy, sure of themselves and of their love for each other. Dept. of Speculation was their code name for all the thrilling uncertainties that lay ahead. Then they got married, had a child and navigated the familiar calamities of family life a colicky baby, a faltering relationship, stalled ambitions.
When their marriage reaches a sudden breaking point, the wife tries to retrace the steps that have led them to this place, invoking everything from Kafka to the Stoics to doomed Russian cosmonauts as she analyzes what is lost and what remains. In language that shimmers with rage and longing and wit, Offill has created a brilliantly suspenseful love story a novel to read in one sitting, even as its piercing meditations linger long after the last page."
August 2015 Selection: After fifteen years working in East Africa, Frankie Rowley returns to the New Hampshire village where her family has always spent their summers. But the tranquility she s expecting proves short lived when, on the very night she arrives, a mysterious arsonist begins targeting the homes of other summer residents. As this seemingly idyllic community becomes increasingly on edge, Frankie also has to deal with her father s declining health and begins a passionate affair with the editor of a local paper that will yield its own remarkable risks and revelations. Suspenseful, sophisticated, and finely wrought, "The Arsonist" is an artfully nuanced and deeply emotional novel about a family and a community tested, about how and where one ought to live, and about what it means to lead a fulfilling life."
July 2015 Selection: A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize
Winner of the 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction
A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
A Best Book of the Year for:
"New York Times Book Review," "Time," NPR, "Washington Post," "Entertainment Weekly," "Newsday," "Vogue," "New York Magazine," "Seattle Times," "San Francisco Chronicle," "Wall Street Journal," "Boston Globe," "The Guardian," "Kirkus Reviews," Amazon, "Publishers Weekly," Our Man in Boston, Oprah.com, Salon
"Euphoria" is Lily King's nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the 30's caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, "Euphoria" is "dazzling ... suspenseful ... brilliant...an exhilarating novel. "Boston Globe"
June 2015 Selection: Winner of the Booker Prize
On the Battersea Reach of the Thames, a mixed bag of the slightly disreputable, the temporarily lost, and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the great river s tides. Belonging to neither land nor sea, they cling to one another in a motley yet kindly society. There is Maurice, by occupation a male prostitute, by happenstance a receiver of stolen goods. And Richard, a buttoned-up ex-navy man whose boat dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, a faithful but abandoned wife, the diffident mother of two young girls running wild on the waterfront streets.
It is Nenna s domestic predicament that, as it deepens, draws the relations among this scrubby community together into ever more complex and comic patterns. The result is one of Fitzgerald s greatest triumphs, a novel the Booker judges deemed flawless.
A marvelous achievement: strong, supple, humane, ripe, generous, and graceful. "Sunday Times"
May 2015 Selection: For years Joan has been trying to forget her past, to find peace and satisfaction in her role as wife and mother. Few in her drowsy California suburb know her thrilling history: as a young American ballerina in Paris, she fell into a doomed, passionate romance with Soviet dance superstar Arslan Rusakov. After playing a leading role in his celebrated defection, Joan bowed out of the spotlight for good, heartbroken by Arslan and humbled by her own modest career.
But when her son turns out to be a ballet prodigy, Joan is pulled back into a world she thought she'd left behind--a world of dangerous secrets, of Arslan, and of longing for what will always be just out of reach.
March 2015 Selection:
One of "The""New York Times"'s Ten Best Books of the Year
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a "Chicago Tribune" Best Book, a "Washington Post "Notable Book, a "Seattle Times "Best Book, an "Entertainment Weekly" Top Fiction Book, a "Newsday "Top 10 Book, and a "Goodreads "Best of the Year pick.
A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of "Half of a Yellow Sun."
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion--for each other and for their homeland.
February 2015 Selection: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014
Winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award
One of the "New York Times Book Review's "100 Notable Books of 2013 and named by "The Christian Science Monitor "as one of the top 15 works of fiction
The "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Jane Austen Book Club" introduces a middle-class American family, ordinary in every way but one.
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. "I was raised with a chimpanzee," she explains. "I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren't thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern's expulsion ... she was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half and I loved her as a sister." As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking. Then, something happened, and Rosemary wrapped herself in silence.
In "We Are All Completely beside Ourselves, " Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date--a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.
January 2015 Selection: From one of our most accomplished and widely admired historians--a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin's youngest sister, Jane, whose obscurity and poverty were matched only by her brother's fame and wealth but who, like him, was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator.
November 2014 Selection: This classic collection--now revised and expanded--is the perfect introduction to Nobel Laureate Alice Munro's brilliant, revelatory short stories, in which she unfolds the wordless secrets that lie at the center of human experience.
The stories in this volume span Munro's career: The title stories from her collections "The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; "and "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; "Differently," "from "Friend of My Youth; "Carried Away," "from "Open Secrets; "and (new to this edition) ""In Sight of the Lake," "from "Dear Life. Vintage Munro "also includes the text of the Nobel Prize Presentation Speech, given by Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.