August and September....

For August, we have chosen Wendy MacNaughton's Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in its Own Words.. From the copy:

Take a stroll through the City by the Bay with renowned artist Wendy MacNaughton in this collection of illustrated documentaries. With her beloved city as a backdrop, a sketchbook in hand, and a natural sense of curiosity, MacNaughton spent months getting to know people in their own neighborhoods, drawing them and recording their words. Her street-smart graphic journalism is as diverse and beautiful as San Francisco itself, ranging from the vendors at the farmers' market to people combing the shelves at the public library, from MUNI drivers to the bison of Golden Gate Park, and much more. Meanwhile in San Francisco offers both lifelong residents and those just blowing through with the fog an opportunity to see the city with new eyes.

If you want to get a jump on September, we'll be reading The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco by Marilyn Chase.
As always, we will be meeting the last Wednesday of the month (August 26th and September 30th, respectively) from 6p-8p to drink $5 cocktails and have a rolling conversation, mostly about the book/books we love :-)

June and July

Hi all:  So the book club has thrown down a gauntlet in terms of cocktail production with June's book...Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West, by Ethan Rarick.

From the copy:

Drawing on fresh archaeological evidence, recent research on topics ranging from survival rates to snowfall totals, and heartbreaking letters and diaries made public by descendants a century-and-a-half after the tragedy, Ethan Rarick offers an intimate portrait of the Donner party and their unimaginable ordeal.

And for July, one of my all time favs: Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune.

Happy Reading!


March's Read (and a preview of April)

Hi all:

The short February caught me off guard (as it does every year - at least I am consistent!).  But here it is at last, the March read: Jonathan Letham's Gun, With Occasional Music. From the description:
Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-there's a rabbit in his waiting room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a brave new world where evolved animals are members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage.

Metcalf has been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an affluent doctor. Perhaps he's falling a little in love with her at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the Inquisitor's Office and gangsters who operate out of the back room of a bar called the Fickle Muse.

Mixing elements of sci-fi, noir, and mystery, this clever first novel from the author of Motherless Brooklyn is a wry, funny, and satiric look at all that the future may hold.

If you want to get a jump on April, we'll be reading Fae Myenne Ng's Steer Toward Rock.
As always, we meet from 6p-8p on the last Wednesday of the month.  (3/25 and 4/29 in this case).  Please join us for a $5 thematic cocktail and much discussion.
Happy Reading!

Winter Holiday Read(s)

Hi all:

After woefully neglecting my duty to post our books here, I am committing to getting back on track! The book club has developed into a lively group, meeting the last Wednesday of every month from 6p-9p.  This year, as in years past, we are going on hiatus for November and December, reading a long(er) book and gathering again at the end of January (1/28/15 at 6p). 

The two month text we have chosen is David Talbot's Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love.

From the description:
In a kaleidoscopic narrative, bestselling David Talbot recounts the gripping story of San Francisco in the turbulent years between 1967 & 1982—& of the extraordinary persons who led to the city’s ultimate rebirth & triumph. Season of the Witch is the first book to fully capture the dark magic of San Francisco in this breathtaking period, when the city radically changed itself & then revolutionized the world. The cool gray city of love was the epicenter of the 60s cultural revolution. But by the early 70s, San Francisco’s ecstatic experiment came crashing down from its starry heights. The city was rocked by savage murder sprees, mysterious terror campaigns, political assassinations, street riots & finally a terrifying sexual epidemic. No other city endured so many calamities in such a short time span. Talbot goes deep into the riveting story of his city’s ascent, decline & heroic recovery. He draws intimate portraits of San Francisco’s legendary demons & saviors: Charles Manson, Patty Hearst & the Symbionese Liberation Army, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Bill Graham, Herb Caen, the Cockettes, Harvey Milk, Jim Jones & the Peoples Temple, Joe Montana & the Super Bowl 49ers. He reveals how the city emerged from the trials of this period with a new brand of “San Francisco values,” including gay marriage, medical marijuana, immigration sanctuary, universal health care, recycling, renewable energy, consumer safety & a living wage mandate. Considered radical when they were first introduced, these ideas have become the bedrock of decent society in many parts of the country & exemplify the ways that the city now inspires a live-and-let-live tolerance, a shared sense of humanity & an openness to change. As a new generation of activists & dreamers seeks its own path to a more enlightened future, Season of the Witch—with its epic tale of the wild & bloody birth of San Francisco values—offers both inspiration & cautionary wisdom.

 February's read is also a longer one, though rumor has it that it moves quickly.  If you would like to get a head start, it is Doug Dorst's Alive in Necropolis.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!
Hi all and welcome to the heart of the summer.  If you are elsewhere besides our fair city, you are (hopefully) enjoying the summer sun.  We are fogged in and in sweaters -- ahhh, summer in San Francisco.  For our July read we are reading The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer.  Described in turns as 'weird', 'mesmerizing' and 'so dark it makes Lolita appear almost gay' it is sure to warrant massive discussion -- Join us on the 30th to drink, discuss and enjoy. - M

May's Read

Hi all:

Its time to get back to some non-fictions.  This month we are reading Daniel Okrent's Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.  Here is a link to the NY Times review.  To get the Two Sisters Book Club review, join us to discuss Weds May 28th from 6p-8p.  Hope to see you there!

April's Read

This month we are reading Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue.
From the back cover: As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.

When ex–NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.

An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own, Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we've been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, triumphant, it is Michael Chabon's most dazzling book yet.
We've also chosen May's book. If you want to get a jump on it, it'll be Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent.*
As always we meet the last Wednesday of April (the 30th) at, enjoy, and join in the discussion.
*Text curtsey of Mairi Beacon