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2007-2019 Books Read
1. June 28, 2007: (at Larry's)
Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close  330 pp. 
2. August 23, 2007: (at Vic's)
David Maraniss: They Marched into Sunlight - War & Peace, Vietnam & America, October 1967; 530 pp
3. September 27, 2007:  (at Ralph's)
Irene Nemirovsky: Suite Francaise; 430 pp
4. October 27, 2007: (at Robert's)
Thomas Ricks: Fiasco, The American Military Adventure in Iraq; 451 pp

5. Nov 29, 2007 (at George's)
Kiran Desai:  The Inheritance of Loss 384 pp

6. January 17, 2008: (at Ralph's)
Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals 415 pp

7. February 21, 2008: (at Vic's)
Richard Ford: The Lay of the Land  496 pp
8. April 10, 2008: (at Robert's )
Charles Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle
Rory Stewart: The Places In Between 256 pp
9. May 8, 2008: (at Larry's in Montclair)
Nikola Gogol: Dead Souls (recommended translation is new, by Pevear & Volokhonsky)
10. June 26, 2008: (at Ralph's)
Barbara Tuchman:  A Distant Mirror, 590 pp
11. July 23, 2008: (at Rich's)
Edward P. Jones: The Known World, 388 pp

12. September 4, 2008: (at George's)
Isabel Fonseca: Bury Me Standing, 336 pp

13. October 2, 2008: (at Robert's)
Junot Diaz: The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao, ~320 pp

14. November 13, 2008 (at Vic's)
Daniel Mendelsohn: The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million
15. December 11, 2008 (at Larry's in Montclair, New Jersey)
Jack Black: You Can't Win, 275 pp
16. January 15, 2009 (at George's)
Martin Amis: Money
  (other books considered: Michael Chaban: The Yiddish Policman's Union (Sitka Jewish state speculative fiction), John Pounfret: Chinese Lessons, Alan Wessman: The World Without Us, Jane Jacobs: The Death & Life of Great American Cities)
17. February 26, 2009 (at Ralph's)
Denis Johnson: Tree of Smoke, 702 pp
  (other books considered: Ann Patchett: Run; Carlos Fuentes: The Death of Artemio Cruz; Steven Pinker: The Suff of Thought; Robert Kaplan: Balkan Ghosts; Jacob Needleman: The American Soul)
18. April 3, 2009 (at Robert's)
Debra Dean: The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel , 256 pp
  (other books considered: Suketa Mehtai: Maximum City; Mark Aboden: The Guest of the Ayathollah; Peter Hasler: Oracle Bones;)
19. May 14, 2009 (at Vic's)
Richard Price: Lush Life, 455 pp.
  (other books considered: TE Lawrence: Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Salman Rushdie: Midnight's Children, Georgina Howell: Gertrude Bell, Queen of hte Desert, Shaper of Nations, Robert Wolke: What Einstein Told His Cook).
20. Jun 25, 2009 (at Rich's new home in Piedmont Pines)
Aravind Adiga: The White Tiger, 276 pp
  (other books considered: Chalon:  Yiddish Policemans Union, Goodwin:  Team of Rivals, VS Naipal:  A Bend in the River,  Paul Carter: Don't Tell Mom I Work on the Rigs)
21. Aug 6, 2009 (at Larry's)
Balzac:  Pere Goriot,  263 pp.

22. October 15, 2009 (at Ralph's)
William Styron: Confessions of Nat Turner,
  (other books considered beside Nat Turner:  Wallace Stegner: Recapitulation, Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Richard Grant: God's Middle Finer - Into the Heart of the Sierra Madre; Octavio Paz: The Labyrinth of Solitude; Gray Brechin: Impreial San Francisco - Urban Power, Early Ruin; Jim Harrison: Warlock; David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest).

23. November 19, 2009 (at Robert's)
Peter Goodwin: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
(other books considered: W..E Dubois: The Souls of Black Folk; William Vollman: Riding Toward Everywhere; Susan Jacoby: The Age of Unreason; Ann Salmond: The Trial of the Cannibal Dob: The remarkable story of captain cook's encounters in the South Seas; Elaine Feinstein: Anna of All the Russias: A Life of Anne Akhmatova)

24. January 7, 2010 (at George's)
John Williams and John McGahern: Stoner
288 pages
25. February 4, 2010 (at Vic's)
Richard Sennett:  The Craftsman 
336 pages

26. March 18, 2010 (at Rich's)
Walter Isaacson: Einstein: His Life and Universe, 700 pages
(other books considered:  J Lehrer: How We Decide; Mehta: Maximum City; Neil Gaiman: Anasi; David Remiek: Resurrection; Anatoloy Dobrynin: In Confidence)

27. April 15, 2010 (at Larry's)
John Updike: Rabbit Run, 272 pages
(other books considered: Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin, Johnathan Lethem: Motherless Brooklyn, Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose, Sandwass: Passing Strange)

28. May 20, 2010 (at Robert's)
Jonathan Lethem: Motherless Brooklyn, 311 pages
(other books considered: Rebecca Barry: Later at the Bar, Dr. Zhivago, V.S. Naipul: A Bend in the River, Suketh Mehta: Maximum City - Bombay Lost & Found (non fiction), Elizabeth Strout: Olive Kitteridge (won Pulitzer))

29. July 1, 2010 (at Ralph's)
Ian Frazier:  On the Rez, 320 pages
(other books considered:  Saul Bellow: Herzog, Jayne Anne Phillips: Lark & Termite, Daniel Alercon: Lost City Radio, Colin Turnbull: The Human Cycle, Bernard Henri Levy: American Vertigo)

30. August 2010 (at Andrew's)
Colum McCann: Let the World Spin, 350 pp
31. September 16, 2010 (at George's)
Mary Karr: Lit, 
(other books considered:  Lori Moore: A Gate at the Stairs, Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin, Ann Patchett: Bel Canto, Alice McDermott: Charming Billie)
32. October 21, 2010 (at Jim's)
Daniyal Muyeenuddin: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders,

Nov 2010 - no meeting

33. Dec 2, 2010 (at Vic's)
Hans Fallada: Every Man Dies Alone, 555 pp
(other books considered: Michael Krasny: Spiritual Envy, Pat Barker: Regeneration, Saul Bellow: Henderson the Rain King, William Shakespeare: King Lear, Peter Ackroyd: The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein, Matthew Crawford: Shop Class as Soulcraft)
34. January 6,  2011 (at Larry's)
Jim Harrison: The English Major, 230 pp
35. February 3, 2011  (at Robert's)
Gray Brechin: Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, 437 pages


36. March 3, 2011 (at Andrew's)
Jung Chang: Wild Swans-  Three Daughters of China, 538 pp
37. March 31, 2011  (at Rich's)
Alaa Al Aswany: The Yacoubian Building,  Egypt, 255 pp
38. April 28, 2011 (at George's)
Tom Rachman: The Imperfectionists, 304 pp
39. May 26, 2011 (at Ralph's)
Matthew Kneale: English Passengers: A Novel, 464 pp
(other books considered:   Manell: The Eye of the Leopard, Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian, Nathaniel West: The Day of the Locust, Jeffrey Toobin:  The Nine: Inside the Supreme Court;  Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana)
40. June 30, 2011 (at Vic's)
Vladimir Nabokov: Laughter in the Dark, 308 pp
(other books considered:  Stephen Batchelor: Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Charles Glass: Americans in Paris:  Life & Death in Paris under the Nazi Occupation, Peter Nada: A Book of Memories
41. August 25, 2011 (at Larry's)
Jonathan Franzen:  Freedom, ~600 pp
other books presented by Vic & considered:  Jennifer Eagen: The Goon Squad, Rohinton Misfry: Family Matters (multi-gen in Mumbai), Kai Bird & Martin Sherwin: American Prometheus (pulitzer, Larry: 'the best biography I've ever read'), Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose
42. October 22, 2011 (at Robert's in Geyserville)
Gary Shteyngart: Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel,   334 pp


43. December 8, 2011 (at Jim's)

Simon Schama: The American Future, 380pp.

Other books: Emma Donoghue: room; Aleksandar Hemon: The Lazrus Project; Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities; David Remnick: Lenin's Toomb - the last days of the soviet empire;  Edward Said: Orientalism;


44. Jan 19, 2012 (at Andrew's)

James Fahey: Pacific War Diary 1942-1945: The Secret Diary of an American Soldier, 432 pages

Other books:  Steinbeck: Grape of Wrath;  Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert; Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana; Finkler Question


45. Feb 16, 2012 (at Ralph's)

Tony Judt: The Memory Chalet, 240 pages


46. March 22, 2012 (at )

 Nathacha Appanah:  The Last Brother, 208 pages

As 1944 comes to a close, nine-year-old Raj is unaware of the war devastating the rest of the world. He lives in Mauritius, a remote island in the Indian Ocean, where survival is a daily struggle for his family. 


47. April 26, 2012, (at Larry's)

Ben Lerner: Leaving the Atocha Station, 186 pages


48. May 31, 2012 (at Robert's)

Eric Foner: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, 447 pages, Pulitzer Prize


49. June 30, 2012 (hiking in Pt. Reyes)   

Jeffrey Eugenides: The Marriage Plot, 418 pages

Other books:  Doestevsky: Crime and Punishment, Greil Marrs: The Shape of thinges to Come, John Santos: Ther Furthest Home is in an Empire of Fire, Isabel Wilerson: The Warmth of America's Other Sons, Jesmyn Wardi: Salvage the Bones


July - skipped a meeting this month


Alternatives to Swamplandia:  American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

   Mitchell Zuckoff: Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

    James Ellroy: American Tabloid

    Nicholas Carr: The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

    Karen Russell: Swamplandia!


50. Aug 16, 2012 (at Andrew's):  

Karen Russell: Swamplandia!, 336 pages

 Books presented by ?: Things I've been silent about,   Dennis Johnson: Train Dreams (author of Tree of Smoke), David Mitchel: Cloud Atlas, Vikram Seth: The Golden Gate, Bolkakor: Masters & Magharita, Jared Diamond: The Third Chimpanzee, Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending.


51. Sep 27, 2012 (at Vic's new home 636 47th Avenue between Anza and Sutro Heights)

Azar Nafisi, Things I've Been Silent About, 330 pages

Books presented by Andrea:  Manu Joseph: Serious Men, Cristina Carcia: The Lady Matador's Hotel, Candice Millard: Destiny of the Republic: A tale of Madness Medicine and the Murder of a President, Del Quentin Wilbur: Rawhide Down, Shanameh


52. Nov 8, 2012 at George's

Manu Joseph: Serious Men   310 pp

Books presented by Vic: Tony Horwitz: Midnight Rising, Michael Chabon: Wonder Boys, Philip Roth: The Human Stain, Julian Barnes: the Sense of An Ending, Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Sacks,


53. Dec 13, 2012 at Larry's

Tony Horwitz: Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War   384 pp

Books presented by George:  Ann Patchett: State of Wonder, Mo Yan: Big Breast and Wide Hips, Bone by BoneEAD?, Daniel Stein: Interpreter, Grossman: Sleepwalker, 


54. Jan 24, 2013 at Ralph's

Ann Patchett:  State of Wonder,   384 pp

Books present by Larry: Salman Rushdie: Shalimar the Clown; Tolstoy: Cosacks; Charles Portus (author of True Grit): The Dog of the South;  Carson McCullers: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter;  Atrock Flanery: Absolution;  Mark Cocker: Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Gold.


55. Feb 28, 2013 at Robert's

Salman Rushdie: Shalimar the Clown, 416 pp

Books presented by Ralph:  David Talbot: Season of the Witch: Enchangtment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love;  Paul Auster: Sunset Park;  Richard Ford: Canada; Andrew Krivak: The Sojourn;  Adam Hochschild: To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.


56. April 4, 2013 at Georges'

Richard Ford: Canada,  432 pp

Books presented by Robert:


57. May 3,4,5 at Geyserville at Robert's #2

Wolf Hall, 604 pp

George presented:   Jan Karski: The Story of a Secret State,

  Isabel Wilkenson: The Warmth of Other Suns (immigrant experience South to North US); Marsha Gessing: The Man Without a Face (Putin); L Wright: Going Clear (Scientology); Joan Didian: Where I was From


58. June 13 at Andrew's house - Jan Karski: The Story of a Secret State, 464pp

Everyone presented 1 book:  Toni Morrison: Home,   Timothy Gartner Ash: The File - the Stasi, Alan Moore: Voice of the Fire, Margaret Atwood: The Handmaidens Tale *, Anton Chekhov: Five Plays, Zadie Smith: On Beauty.



59. July 25 at Vic's house -Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale, 392pp

Everyone presented 1 book:  Nabakov: Lolita, Shelly: Frankenstein,  Jared Diamond: The World Until Yesterday,  Nathaniel Philbrick: The Last Stand  (custer)

Jack Levin: George Washinton: the Crossing


60 September 5, 2013 at Rich's - Keith Lowe: Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, 496pp

Everyone presented 1 book:  Nabakov: Lolita, Jack Levin: George Washinton: the Crossing, Orphan Pamuk: The Museum of Innocence, David Wallace: Brief Interviews with Hideious Men, Philip Roth: The Human Stain


61. October 10, 2013 at Jims -  James Salter: A Sport and a Pastime, 200pp

Robert: Nabokov: Lolita
Vic: Alice Munro: THe Love of  Woman  - nobel prize (short stories)
Andrew: Alain Mabanckou: Broken Glass
Ralph: Timothy Egan: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis
Larry: Katherine Boo: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Nick Hornby: How to Be Good
Kevin Powers: The Yellow Birds


62. Nov  7, 2013, at Larry's - Alice Munro: The Love of a Good Woman : Stories  - Nobel prize (short stories),    352pp

Castenada: A Yaki Way of Knowledge; Erik Larson: In the Garden of the Beasts; Ian McEwan Amsterdam; __?, __?, __? some books missing


63. December 12, 2014, at George's — Ian Mcewan: Amsterdam, 210pp

Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene; Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; Anthony Pagden: European Encounters with the New World; Andreas Stuart: Sugar in the Blood; Tracy Kidder: Strength in What Remains; Robert Kaplan: Revenge of Geography


64. January 30, 2014, at Vic's — Andrea Stuart: Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire, 384pp

Geoffrey Wolf: A Day at the Beach; Maria Semple: Where'd You Go, Bernadette; David Talbot: Season of the Witch; Russell Banks: Lost Memory of Skin; David Abrams: Fobbit


65. March 6, 2014, at Ralph's — David Talbott: Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love , 420pp

Books:  Zadie Smith: NW; Jess Walters: Beautiful Ruins (1962 Italy to present); Jennifer Egan: Visit from the Goon Squad; Kent Haruf: Plainsong; Sonia Sotamayer: My Beautiful World; Candice Millard: Destiny of the Republic


66. April 3, 2014, at Andrew's — Candice Millard: Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, 354pp

Everyone presented 1 book:  James McBride: The Good Lord Bird (about John Brown); Maria Semple: Where'd You Go Bernadette; Rachel Kushner: The Flame Throwsers; David Abrams: Fobbit;  Marilyn Robinson: Gilead; Adama Johnston: The Orphan.


67. May 1, 2014, at George's — Rachel Kushner: The Flame Throwers, 404pp


68. May 31-June 1, 2014 at Robert's in Geyserville — W. G. Sebald: Austerlitz, 320pp


69. July 10, 2014 at Larry's — Ari Shavit: My Promised Land, 464pp


70. August 28, 2014, at Vics, David Abrams: Fobbit, 372pp

Presented books: Mara: a constellation of vital phenomena Larry highly recs, Weismann: Countdown - science book latimes best- population growth, Author of The world without us, Enough- food sys distort ions. Bono, Graham Greene the honorary counsol, Super Intelligence by bostrom, Donna Tartt: The gold finch, Cynthia Rozik- the messiah of Stockholm, Famous for long story 'the shawl', Ivan Doig: the bartenders tale


71. October 2, 2014 at Robert's - Ivan Doig: The Bartender's Tale, 432pp

Presented books:  Zadie Smith: NW, Will Schwalbe: The End of Your Life Book Club, David Bezmozgis: The Betrayers, Ken Haraf: Pain Song, Louisa Thomas: Conscience


72. November 6, 2014 at George's, Zadie Smith: NW, 416pp

Presented books: Jared Diamon: The World Until Yesterday, Marily Robinson: Gilead, Anthony Marra: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (best book Larry's read this year), Victoria Sweet: God's Hotel; Hans Fallada: Little Man: What Now?;  Ant Jie Rog: The Country of My Skull (guilt & sorrow in South Africa); William Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom.


73. December 4, 2014 at Ralph's, Marilyn Robinson: Gilead, 250pp


74. January 24, 2015 at Robert's in Geyserville — Scott Anderson: Lawrence In Arabia, 500pp

Presented books: Bruno Schulz: The Street of Crocodiles (Polish author 1930's); Patti Smith: Just Kids; Elizabeth Kolbert: The Sixth Extinction, An Unnatural History, 320pp; Maria Semple: Where'd You Go Bernadette; Javier Marias: The Infatuations (the greatest Spanish writer); The Autobiography of Mark Twain (2000 pages hah hah)

Larry also recommends 'Life and Fate' as best book he read in 2014, written in 1950's (by vasily grossman), the War and Peace of 20th Century.


75. March 5, 2015 at Andrew's — Elizabeth Kolbert: The Sixth Extinction, 336 pages


76. April 9, 2015 at Larry's — Jayne Phillips: Quiet Dell, 480 pages


77. May 13, 2015 at Vic's — Fran Ross: Oreo, 240 pages


78. June 4, 2015 at Ralph's — Hermann Hesse: Demian, 128 pages


79. July 9, 2015 at Jim's — Murakami: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, 336 pages


80. September 17, 2015 at George's — Karl Ove Knausgaard: My Struggle: Book 1, 448 pages


81. October 22, 2015 at Andrew's — Nicholas Wade: Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors, 320 pages


82. December 3, 2015 at Robert's in SF — Carlos Ruiz Zafón: The Shadow of the Wind, 487 pages

83. January 14, 2016 at Larry's — Phillip Roth: Patrimony, A True Story, 240 pages

84. March 3, 2016 at Vics — Saul Bellow: Humboldt's Gift, 512 pages


85. March 31, 2016 at Ralphs — Rebecca Solnit: A Field Guide to Getting Lost, 224 pages


86. May 19, 2016 at George's — Elena Ferrante: My Brilliant Friend, 331 pages


87. June 23, 2016 at Robert's in SF — Joan Didion: Where I Was From, 240 pages


88. August 11, 2016 at Larry's — Mary Beard: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, 608 pages


89. September 22, 2016 at Vic's — Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Sympathizer, 384 pages


90. November 3, 2016 at Andrew's in SF — Whitehead Colson:  The Underground Railroad,  320 pages

91. December 15, 2016 at Ralph's in SF — Paul Beatty: The Sellout, 304 pages

Presented books:  Cloin Toubin: Norah Webster, Joseph Ellis: The Quartet; Richard Flanagan: The Narrow Road to the Deep North; Andrea Wild: The Invention of Nature (about Alexander Von Humboldt, the first environmentalist)


92. February 2, 2017 at George's in SF — Jonathan Franzen: Purity, 600 pages


93. March 9, 2017 at Jack's in Berkeley —  Theodora Kroeber: Ishi in Two Worlds, 304 pages 


94. April 22-23, 2017 at Robert's in Geyserville — Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel, 288 pages 


95. June 15, 2017 at Vic's — Svetlana Alexievich: Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, 496 pages

Other presented books: 

  • The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between – by Hisham Matar
  • River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West Paperback – by Rebecca Solnit
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • True History of the Kelly Gang: A Novel –by Peter Carey


96. July 13, 2017 at Larry's —  William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying,  267 pages 


97.  August 24, 2017 at George's — Edith Wharton: House of Mirth, 368 pages


98.  September 28, 2017 at Ralph's — Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt:  The Whites, 325 pages




125. December 5, 2019 at Robert's:  James Baldwin: Another Country, 448 pages

Presented books:

  1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Vic)
  2. Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo daVinci (Jim)
  3. Midnight in Chernobyl (Jack)
  4. The Lonely Polygamist - By Brady Udall (Andrew)
  5. How to Change Your Mind, What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, By Michael Pollan (Ralph)
  6. The Bridge On The Drina by Ivo Andric (Larry)



Creation date: Oct 1, 2007 10:54am     Last modified date: Dec 5, 2019 6:07pm   Last visit date: Feb 29, 2024 2:08pm
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