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

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.

ISBN: 9780062184856
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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.

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 YearWinner 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ISBN: 9780062060624
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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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

October 2012 Selection: Winner of the PEN/Faulkner AwardFor FictionNational Book Award and "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize FinalistA "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.

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.

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.