Book Club (and Beyond) Reading List

I was in a wonderful bookgroup on Potrero Hill from 1998 to 2010, was solo awhile, and am enjoying two East Bay bookgroups these days. I welcome your suggestions!

. get_the_title() . Imagine Me Gone
Adam Haslett
Beautiful book.
. get_the_title() . Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng
Gripping family drama set in Shaker Heights, Ohio (spoiler: family tie-in).
. get_the_title() . Less
Andrew Sean Greer
A poignant story of a not-so-successful author's 50th year; he never says the witty things he ends up writing down.
. get_the_title() . Calypso
David Sedaris
He's a powerful but still weird narrator of his kooky family's stories.
. get_the_title() . Mrs Queen Takes the Train
William Kuhn
Fast and fun what if about the Queen's escape.
. get_the_title() . My Struggle: Book 5
Karl Ove Knausgaard
College, and looping back to his father's death. Now I have to wait for the translation of Book 6 to come out!
. get_the_title() . My Struggle: Book 4
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Teaching school at 18 in far northern Norway.
. get_the_title() . My Struggle: Book 3
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Deep dive into childhood.
. get_the_title() . Manhattan Beach
Jennifer Egan
Great yarn about WW2 New York: shipyards, the mafia, and more.
. get_the_title() . My Struggle: Book 2
Karl Ove Knausgaard
A Man in Love. And changing diapers.
. get_the_title() . Autumn
Ali Smith
Poetic and moving.
. get_the_title() . My Struggle: Book 1
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Compulsively readable meditation on death, building a powerful intimacy in this first (of 6!) autobiographical novel.
. get_the_title() . Autumn
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Elegiac and simple, a gorgeous meditation on noticing things.
. get_the_title() . Mrs. Fletcher
Tom Perrotta
This empty nest drama goes nowhere you expect and I could only follow.
. get_the_title() . Slow Horses
Mick Herron
A group of misfits banished from MI5 uncover a plot that could destroy them.
. get_the_title() . Insomniac City: New York, Oliver Sacks, and Me
Bill Hayes
A lovely take on the joys of city life, and a very famous boyfriend.
. get_the_title() . Days Without End
Sebastian Barry
Gorgeous, funny, and brutal Booker Prize shortlist. Don't miss.
. get_the_title() . The Go-Between
The Go-Between
Reissued and newly popular strong book from a mostly middling writer.
. get_the_title() . Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)
David Sedaris
Not really introspective, but reveals a great deal about him through the oddball stuff he notices and writes down.
. get_the_title() . Lincoln in the Bardo
George Saunders
Gorgeous, elegiac poem about Willie, Abraham, and the Civil War. Powerful.
. get_the_title() . Bettyville: A Memoir
George Hodgman
Funny and touching memoir about caring for a parent.
. get_the_title() . Since We Fell
Dennis Lehane
Fun summer whodoneit.
. get_the_title() . A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles
This long book breezes by quick. Charming read.
. get_the_title() . The Mistress of Spices
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Beautiful, lyric writing and great setup, though it falls apart at the end.
. get_the_title() . Idaho
Emily Ruskovich
Lovely novel about the gaps in what we know.
. get_the_title() . A Little Life
Hanya Yanagihara
This is a tough book. Beautifully written but a kick in the guts.
. get_the_title() . Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi
Roots for a new generation.
. get_the_title() . Today Will Be Different
Maria Semple
Stressed out moms unite!
. get_the_title() . Moonglow
Michael Chabon
Fantastic read. He's back, after a disappointing "Telegraph Avenue"
. get_the_title() . Swing Time
Zadie Smith
What a narrative voice!
. get_the_title() . This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Ann Patchett
Engaging essays about writing and life.
. get_the_title() . LaRose
Louise Erdrich
I think my favorite Erdich.
. get_the_title() . Commonwealth
Ann Patchett
Sprawling family saga had me paying attention.
. get_the_title() . The Nest
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Fast, fun summer read!
. get_the_title() . The Sympathizer
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Difficult and painful; worthy of the Pulitzer.
. get_the_title() . The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins
. get_the_title() . Euphoria
Lily King
. get_the_title() . Undermajordomo Minor
Patrick deWitt
. get_the_title() . My Name Is Lucy Barton
Elizabeth Strout
. get_the_title() . After You
Jojo Moyes
. get_the_title() . When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi
Heartbreakingly beautiful. Read this.
. get_the_title() . The Portable Veblen
Elizabeth Mckenzie
The best squirrel book ever.
. get_the_title() . A God in Ruins
Kate Atkinson
Not sure about this one yet.
. get_the_title() . The Golden Age
Jane Smiley
Final book of the trillogy. Series is a knockout!
. get_the_title() . The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
Booker winning knockout whodunit set in Gold Rush New Zeland.
. get_the_title() . Early Warning
Jane Smiely
Book 2 in the remarkable trillogy.
. get_the_title() . NW
Zadie Smith
Bright, beautiful prose. A bit far-flung, but lovely.
. get_the_title() . Purity
Jonathan Franzen
Are our motives ever absolutely clear? Captiviating.
. get_the_title() . Americanah
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Beautiful, engrossing book.
. get_the_title() . The Rosie Effect
Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman is irresistible. Guilty pleasure.
. get_the_title() . This Is Where I Leave You
Jonathan Tropper
Wanted to like this more than I did...
. get_the_title() . A Spool of Blue Thread
Anne Tyler
Sweet read.
. get_the_title() . Funny Girl
Nick Hornby
I will ready anything Hornby writes. Great book, smart and interesting.
. get_the_title() . The First Bad Man
Miranda July
Hilarious, uncomfortable, and ultimately moving.
. get_the_title() . The Paying Guests
Sarah Waters
Kind of soapy, not sure I believed it.
. get_the_title() . The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Richard Flanagan
Beautiful and harrowing.
. get_the_title() . State of Wonder
Ann Patchett
Her narrators just reel me in. Page-turner.
. get_the_title() . To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Joshua Ferris
Hilarious, dark, and insightful.
. get_the_title() . Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
Roz Chast
Wonderful, heartbreaking illustrated memoir.
. get_the_title() . The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell
This book is unblurb-able, but a lot to talk about!
. get_the_title() . The Children Act
Ian McEwan
His stream-of-conscious narration always keeps me hooked.
. get_the_title() . At Night We Walk in Circles
Daniel Alarcón
Still thinking about whether I loved or hated it. Not neutral.
. get_the_title() . The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Funny and tragic fictional take on John Brown
. get_the_title() . Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
Have 1 - 2 hankies ready.
. get_the_title() . I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
Courtney Maum
Great summer book, a bit Nick Hornby-esque.
. get_the_title() . The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt
Couldn't put it down.
. get_the_title() . The Snow Queen
Michael Cunningham
One of my favorite writers.
. get_the_title() . And the Dark Sacred Night
Julia Glass
Beautiful read.
. get_the_title() . The Light Between Oceans
M.L. Stedman
Heart-wrenching, but rewarded the read.
. get_the_title() . Me Before You
Jojo Moyes
Sweet page-turner.
. get_the_title() . Mr. Peanut
Adam Ross
Too dark--should have believed the cover over the reviews!
. get_the_title() . We Are Water
Wally Lamb
. get_the_title() . Tenth of December: Stories
George Saunders
Dark! But wow.


. get_the_title() . Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Maria Semple
Couldn't stop laughing.
. get_the_title() . TransAtlantic
Colum McCann
. get_the_title() . The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion
. get_the_title() . Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead
. get_the_title() . The Interestings
Meg Wolitzer
. get_the_title() . Necessary Errors
Caleb Crain
. get_the_title() . Bad Monkey
Carl Hiaasen
. get_the_title() . Life After Life
Kate Atkinson
Great writing, weird deja vu.
. get_the_title() . The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Great three hankie read.
. get_the_title() . The Paris Wife
Paula Mclain
Fun historical gossip.


. get_the_title() . The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach
. get_the_title() . The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
Lovely meditation
. get_the_title() . Sweet Tooth
Ian McEwan
Even a minor McEwan is a big joy.
. get_the_title() . Flight Behavior
Barbara Kingsolver
. get_the_title() . Shantaram
Gregory David Roberts
Half as long would be twice as good.
. get_the_title() . Blue Nights
Joan Didion


. get_the_title() . Bangkok 8
John Burdett
. get_the_title() . A Gate at the Stairs
Loorie Moore
. get_the_title() . Ivan and Misha: Stories
Michael Alenyikov
. get_the_title() . Tinkers
Paul Harding
extra credit
. get_the_title() . Then We Came to the End
Joshua Ferris
. get_the_title() . Solar
Ian Mcewan
My favorite writer!
. get_the_title() . Zeitoun
Dave Eggers
One of Dave's best I think.
. get_the_title() . South of Broad
Pat Conroy


. get_the_title() . The Lacuna
Barbara Kingsolver
. get_the_title() . Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
Energetic and moving
. get_the_title() . The Lazarus Project
Aleksandar Hemon
A knockout
. get_the_title() . Case Histories
Kate Atkinson
Love the Jackson Brodie series!
. get_the_title() . One Good Turn
Kate Atkinson
. get_the_title() . Brooklyn
Colm Toibin
. get_the_title() . Little Bee
Chris Cleave
. get_the_title() . Bridge of Sighs
Richard Russo
Really a lovely book
. get_the_title() . The Song Is You
Arthur Phillips
About longing and pop music
. get_the_title() . Summertime
J. M. Coetzee
. get_the_title() . Alias Grace
Margaret Atwood


. get_the_title() . Eventide
Kent Haruf
. get_the_title() . The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein
Three hankie book!
. get_the_title() . The Outlander
Gil Adamson
. get_the_title() . America America
Ethan Canin
Bonus book
. get_the_title() . Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
. get_the_title() . Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout
. get_the_title() . The White Tiger
Aravind Adiga
. get_the_title() . Lush Life
Richard Price


. get_the_title() . The Echo Maker
Richard Powers
. get_the_title() . The Story of a Marriage
Andrew Sean Greer
. get_the_title() . Loving Frank
Nancy Horan
. get_the_title() . The Gathering
Anne Enright
. get_the_title() . Forever
Pete Hamill
. get_the_title() . Dirt Music
Tim Winton
. get_the_title() . Restless
William Boyd


. get_the_title() . The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold
. get_the_title() . The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Niffenegger
. get_the_title() . On Chesil Beach
Ian McEwan
Don’t put it off!
. get_the_title() . Shroud
John Banville
. get_the_title() . About Grace
Anthony Doerr
. get_the_title() . The Wonder Spot
Melissa Bank
. get_the_title() . March: A Novel
Geraldine Brooks
. get_the_title() . Palace Walk
Naguib Mahfouz


. get_the_title() . Zorro
Isabel Allende
. get_the_title() . Saturday
Ian McEwan
Really great novel
. get_the_title() . Last Orders
Graham Swift
. get_the_title() . Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
. get_the_title() . Giant O’Brien
Hilary Mantel
. get_the_title() . Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston



Vladimir Nabokov
December 2005

Orhan Pamuk
September 2005

China Boy
Gus Lee
November 2005

The Other Boleyn Girl
Philippa Gregory
July 2005

Will Ferguson
May 2005

Lying Awake
Mark Salzman
March 2005

A General Theory of Love
Thomas Lewis et. al.
A change-your-life sort of book
February 2005

The Confessions of Max Tivoli
Andrew Sean Greer
January 2005


The Stories of Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner
December 2004

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Mark Haddon
Wonderful read
November 2004

The Namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri
Two hankies
October 2004

Empire Falls
Richard Russo
September 2004

The Known World
Edmund Jones
August 2004

Motherless Brooklyn
Jonathan Lethem
July 2004

The Secret Lives of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
June 2004

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
May 2004

The Pieces from Berlin
Michael Pye
April 2004

Jeffrey Eugenides
March 2004

Where I Was From
Joan Didion
January 2004


The DaVinci Code
Dan Brown
December 2003

The Red Tent
Anita Diamant
October 2003

Educating Waverly
Laura Kalapian
September 2003

John Adams
David McCullough
August 2003

Caroline’s Daughters
Alice Adams
July 2003

Robert Mailer Anderson
June 2003

The Vine of Desire
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
May 2003

The Girl from Zanzibar
Roger King
April 2003

Pere Goriot
March 2003

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Dai Sijie
February 2003

Fall on Your Knees
Ann-Marie MacDonald
January 2003


Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Marriage
Alice Munro
December 2002

Martin Amis
October 2002

The Dive from Claussen’s Pier
Ann Packer
September 2002

How to Be Good
Nick Hornby
August 2002

Kitchen Confidential
Anthony Bourdain
July 2002

The Sea, The Sea
Iris Murdoch
June 2002

The Human Stain
Philip Roth
May 2002

Ian McEwan
April 2002

Second Hand
Michael Zadoorian
March 2002

The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
Eudora Welty
February 2002

The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen
January 2002


The Notorious Dr. August: His Real Life and Crimes
Christopher Bram
November 2001

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon
October 2001

In the Name of Salome
Julia Alvarez
September 2001

Prodigal Summer
Barbara Kingsolver
August 2001

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Dave Eggers
June 2001

The Bonesetter’s Daughter
Amy Tan
May 2001

The Vision of Emma Blau
Ursula Hegi
April 2001

Corelli’s Mandolin
Louis de Bernieres
March 2001

Girl with a Pearl Earring
Tracy Chevalier
February 2001


Kent Haruf
December 2000

Me Talk Pretty One Day
David Sedaris
October 2000

Bodily Harm
Margaret Atwood
August 2000

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Melissa Bank
July 2000

Paul Auster
June 2000

Different Seasons
Stephen King
April 2000

American Pastoral
Philip Roth
March 2000

Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri
January 2000


Murray Bail
November 1999

Harvest Son
David Mas Masumoto
October 1999

Lost in Translation
Nicole Mones
July 1999

Enduring Love
Ian McEwan
June 1999

Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
March 1999

The Sweet Hereafter
Russell Banks
February 1999

The Perfect Storm
Sebastian Junger
January 1999


A Civil Action
Jonathan Harr
December 1998

Toni Morrison
November 1998

The Color of Water
James McBride
October 1998

None to Accompany Me
Nadine Gordimer
September 1998

Into the Wild
Jon Krakauer
August 1998

The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy
July 1998

Sacred Hunger
Barry Unsworth
June 1998

Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Kate Atkinson
May 1998

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