Full booklist

This is a full booklist of all titles read by PageTurners. You can also view only their upcoming meetings or, if you really like their taste in books, a printable list of authors and titles to use as a reading list.

PageTurners: Joseph Anton

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle • Newsweek /The Daily Beast • The Seattle Times • The Economist • Kansas City Star • BookPage On February 14, 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa . His crime?

PageTurners: The House of Medici, it's rise and fall

An account of the fortunes and influences of the great Florentine banking family, covering over three hundred years of soldiers, art patrons, collectors, builders, popes, statesmen, and scholars.

PageTurners: Where Underpants Come From

When Joe Bennett bought a six-pack of underwear in his local supermarket for $5.60, he wondered who on earth could be making any money, let alone profit, from the exchange. How many processes and middlemen are involved? Where and how is the underwear made? And who decides on the absorbent qualities of the gusset? Joe embarks on an odyssey to the new factory of the world, China, to trace his underwear back to their source. Along the way he discovers the extraordinarily balanced and intricate web of contacts and exchanges that makes global trade possible.

PageTurners: Churchill: the prophetic statesman

James C. Humes reveals shocking predictions made by Britain's most famous prime minister. Churchill didn't need a crystal ball to tell the future. Using his skills as a historian, he studied patterns of the past to make his eerily accurate forecasts, including the rise of European fascism, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the exact day of his own death as he entered his final years.

PageTurners: Nisa, the life and words of a !Kung woman

This book is the story of the life of Nisa, a member of the !Kung tribe of hunter-gatherers from southern Africa's Kalahari desert. Told in her own words-earthy, emotional, vivid-to Marjorie Shostak , a Harvard anthropologist who succeeded, with Nisa's collaboration, in breaking through the immense barriers of language and culture, the story is a fascinating view of a remarkable woman.

PageTurners: Walden and Civil Disobedience

Henry David Thoreau was a sturdy individualist and a lover of nature. In March, 1845, he built himself a wooden hut on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived until September 1847. Walden is Thoreaus autobiograophical account of his Robinson Crusoe existence, bare of creature comforts but rich in contemplation of the wonders of nature and the ways of man. On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience is the classic protest against government's interference with individual liberty, and is considered one of the most famous essays ever written.

PageTurners: Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough

The Bard meets "House" in this illumination of the medical mysteries surrounding 10 of the English language's most heralded writers, including John Milton, Jonathan Swift, and Jack London.

PageTurners: Constance: the tragic and scandolous life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde

In the spring of 1895 the life of Constance Wilde changed irrevocably. Up until the conviction of her husband, Oscar, for homosexual crimes, she had held a privileged position in society. Part of a gilded couple, she was a popular children's author, a fashion icon, and a leading campaigner for women's rights. A founding member of the magical society The Golden Dawn, her pioneering and questioning spirit encouraged her to sample some of the more controversial aspects of her time. Mrs. Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in her own right.

PageTurners: Freedom Riders

In this new version of his encyclopedic Freedom Riders, Raymond Arsenault offers a significantly condensed and tautly written account. Arsenault recounts how a group of volunteers--blacks and whites--came together to travel from Washington DC through the Deep South, defying Jim Crow laws in buses and terminals and putting their lives on the line for racial justice. News photographers captured the violence in Montgomery, shocking the nation and sparking a crisis in the Kennedy administration.

PageTurners: The Wives: The Women Behind Russia's Literary Giants

A biographical look at the intellectual relationships between some of Russia's greatest writers and their wives.

PageTurners: John Adams by David McCullough

Biography of John Adams portraying him as a brilliant, fiercely independent Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution and then rose to become the second president of the United States.

PageTurners: Strapless by Deborah Davis

Explores the story behind John Singer Sargent's "Madame X," a painting of twenty-three-year-old Amelie Gautreau which unleashed a storm of controversey when it was unveiled at the Paris Salon to show the young wife with one strap of her gown falling off her shoulder, and provides insights into the lives of the artist and his subject.

PageTurners: BossyPants by Tina Fey

Celebrated writer, actor, and comedian Tina Fey recounts her childhood and successful career. Filled with hilarious anecdotes from an otherwise normal childhood, Fey's memoir chronicles her meteoric rise to success, from her breakout roles on Saturday Night Live to the creation of the critically acclaimed television series 30 Rock.

PageTurners: Selling Sickness

Thirty years ago, Henry Gadsden, the head of Merck, one of the world's largest drug companies, told Fortune magazine that he wanted Merck to be more like chewing gum maker Wrigley's. It had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people so that Merck could "sell to everyone." Gadsden's dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth. Drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness, and the markets for medication grow ever larger.

PageTurners: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

PageTurners: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

A thought-provoking study of Andrew Jackson chronicles the life and career of a self-made man who went on to become a military hero and seventh president of the United States, critically analyzing Jackson's seminal role during a turbulent era in history, the political crises and personal upheaval that surrounded him, and his legacy for the modern presidency.

PageTurners: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Presents a reconstruction of the eighteenth-century empress's life that covers her efforts to engage Russia in the cultural life of Europe, her creation of the Hermitage, and her numerous scandal-free romantic affairs.

PageTurners: Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

In this sequel to 'Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight', Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family. In 'Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness' Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war- torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola.

PageTurners: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

In this readable narrative, author Larson (The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck) offers a real-life, eyewitness perspective inside the Nazi hierarchy as Hitler came to power. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered professor from Chicago, became the first US ambassador to Hitler's Germany in 1933. Dodd, his wife, their son, and their 24-year-old daughter Martha lived in Germany for about five years.

PageTurners: The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

McCullough tells the story of the American artists and scientists who studied in Paris, and changed America through what they learned there.

PageTurners: A Moveable Feast

Published for the first time as Ernest Hemingway intended, one of the great writer’s most beloved and enduring works: his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s. Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most beloved works. Since Hemingway’s personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now, this spe- cial restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author intended it to be published.

PageTurners

Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don't even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation.

Packing for Mars: PageTurners

After tackling such topics as the fate of cadavers, the existence of ghosts, and sex in scientific research, Mary Roach settles her gaze on the not-so-glamorous lives of astronauts, their training, and the quirky experiments performed in the name of space science. Roach's research sends her into the archives and into zero-gee flight in order to find answers to such questions as what happens when an astronaut vomits in his/her helmet, and whether or not it is feasible, or even possible, to have sex in a gravity-free environment.

Freakonomics: PageTurners

The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first. Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What's more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk?

PageTurners

One of the most influential and provocative books of its generation continues to attract and inspire readers of all ages with its intriguing blend of ancient and Eastern philosophy, cultural criticism, and scientific inquiry.

PageTurners

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the days after, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. But, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared.

PageTurners

Journalist Bartlett dives in to the world of book collecting much as Alice did down the rabbit hole. Her story begins with the loan of a seventeenth-century book that she fears might be stolen. It leads her to book fairs, antique book shops and a man named Gilkey who steals rare books across the country. Gilkey steals not for love of the contents of the books or the link to authors and centuries past, but because he believes that a fine collection will make him a cultivated person.

PageTurners

One of the most important and influential books of the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live and a meditation on how to live better. The narrative of a father on a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest with his young son, it becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life's fundamental questions.

PageTurners

Daddy is going to camp. That's what I told my children. A child psychologist suggested it. “Words like prison and jail conjure up dangerous images for children,” she explained. But it wasn't camp . . .

PageTurners: The Other Wes Moore

In 2000, Wes Moore had recently been named a Rhodes Scholar in his final year of college at Johns Hopkins University when he read a newspaper article about another Wes Moore who was on his way to prison. It turned out that the two of them had much in common, both young black men raised in inner-city neighborhoods by single mothers.

PageTurners: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine.

PageTurners: The Lost City of Z

In 1925, renowned British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett embarked on a much publicized search to find the city of Z, site of an ancient Amazonian civilization that may or may not have existed. Fawcett, along with his grown son Jack, never returned, but that didn't stop countless others, including actors, college professors and well-funded explorers from venturing into the jungle to find Fawcett or the city. Among the wannabe explorers is Grann, a staff writer for the New Yorker, who has bad eyes and a worse sense of direction.

PageTurners: House of Cards

A blistering narrative account of the negligence and greed that pushed all of Wall Street into chaos and the country into a financial crisis.

PageTurners: Angela's Ashes

The McCourts began their family in poverty in Brooklyn, yet when Angela slipped into depression after the death of her only daughter (four of eight children survived), the family reversed the tide of emigration and returned to Ireland, living on public assistance in Limerick. McCourt's story is laced with the pain of extreme poverty, aggravated by an alcoholic father who abandoned the family during World War II.

PageTurners: Julie and Julia

The author recounts how she escaped the doldrums of an unpromising career by mastering every recipe in Julia Child's 1961 classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," a year-long endeavor that transformed her life.

PageTurners - The Zookeeper's Wife

The true story of how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw--and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital.

PageTurners - The Black Swan

Taleb is concerned with black swans, i.e., unpredictable and improbable events that have great impact. Among the examples of these he cites are the rapid spread of the Internet and the 9/11 attacks. People endeavor to explain black swans after they occur, but they cannot do so in advance. Despite the crucial effects of these events, economists and other supposed experts in prediction fail to allow for them. Because of this failure, Taleb maintains that much business forecasting is useless. 

PageTurners - The Lone Survivor

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. 

PageTurners Book Club - The Billionaire's Vinegar

In 1985, at a heated auction, a 1787 bottle of Chateau Lafite Bordeaux - one of a cache of bottles unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson - went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? 

PageTurners Book Club - The Soloist

The true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a musician who becomes schizophrenic and homeless, and his friendship with Steve Lopez, the Los Angeles columnist who discovers and writes about him in the newspaper. Film released April 24, 2009.

PageTurners Book Club - The Tipping Point

Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. These are social epidemics, and the moment they take off, they reach their critical mass, or, the Tipping Point. Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends and the people who create the phenomenon of the word of mouth.

PageTurners Book Club: Escape

Choosing freedom from polygamy over fear, Carolyn Jessop flees her life within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now tells her harrowing story. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS.

PageTurners Book Club: Reading Lolita in Tehran

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi's living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov.

PageTurners Book Club: Omnivore's Dilemma

Pollan writes about the ecology of the food humans eat and why--what it is, in fact, that we are eating. Discussing industrial farming, organic food, and what it is like to hunt and gather food, this is a surprisingly honest and self-aware account of the evolution of the modern diet. 

PageTurners Book Club: The Nine

Journalist Jeffrey Toobin takes us into the chambers of the most important - and secret - legal body in our country, the Supreme Court, revealing the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land. Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and with a keen sense of the Court's history and the trajectory of its future, Toobin creates a riveting story of one of the most important forces in American life today.

PageTurners Book Club: Stiff

"Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. In her droll, intimate voice, Roach conducts an oddly compelling, often hilarious forensic exploration of the strange lives of bodies postmortem.

PageTurners Book Club: The World Is Flat

In this new edition, Thomas L. Friedman includes fresh stories and insights to help us understand the flattening of the world. Weaving new information into his overall thesis, and answering the questions he has been most frequently asked by parents across the country, this third edition also includes two new chapters--on how to be a political activist and social entrepreneur in a flat world; and on the more troubling question of how to manage our reputations and privacy in a world where we are all becoming publishers and public figures.

PageTurners Book Club: Three Cups of Tea

One day in 1993, high up in the world's most inhospitable mountains, Greg Mortenson wandered lost and alone, broken in body and spirit, after a failed attempt to climb K2, the world's deadliest peak. When the people of an impoverished village in Pakistan took him in and nursed him back to health, Mortenson made an impulsive promise: He would return one day and build them a school.

PageTurners: Founding Mothers

In the histories of the American Revolution, much has been written about America's founding fathers, yet the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters who supported, encouraged, and even advised them have been virtually ignored. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their husbands' businesses, ran the farms, and raised their children. These women who sacrificed for the fledgling nation spent months or even years apart from their husbands, at a time when letters were their only form of contact. 

PageTurners: Bringing Down the House

Welcome to the world of a group of audacious MIT math geniuses who legally took the Las Vegas casinos for over three million dollars -- and still found time for keg parties, football games, and final exams. The students were handpicked for a decades-old underground blackjack club dedicated to beating the system. While classmates worked long hours in labs and libraries, they traveled to gambling locales with hundreds of thousands of dollars from shady investors taped to their bodies.

PageTurners: Infidel

In this memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West. She recounts the evolution of her beliefs, her ironclad will, and her extraordinary resolve to fight injustice done in the name of religion.

PageTurners: Ghost Map

It is the summer of 1854. Cholera has seized London with unprecedented intensity. A metropolis of more than 2 million people, London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure necessary to support its dense population - garbage removal, clean water, sewers - the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease that no one knows how to cure.

PageTurners: Fire Lover

From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Onion Field comes the extraordinary true story of a California arson investigator and fire captain who was also, according to government profilers, the most prolific American arsonist of the 20th century.

PageTurners: Blink

Gladwell, a staff writer for The New Yorker, weighs the factors that determine good decision-making. Drawing on recent cognitive research, Gladwell concludes that those who quickly filter out extraneous information generally make better decisions than those who discount their first impressions.

PageTurners: Manhunt: the 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history - the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

PageTurners: Nickel and Dimed

Determined to find out how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, Ehrenreich left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time.

PageTurners: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between the Merced Community Medical Center in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy.

PageTurners: Shadow Divers

Two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery surrounding the wreckage of a World War II German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones.

PageTurners: Into the Wild

Admitting an interest that borders on obsession, Krakauer searches for the clues to the drives and desires that propelled 24-year-old Chris McCandless to leave civilization behind and head into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Four months later, McCandless's emaciated corpse was found at his campsite by a hunter. Mesmerizing and heartbreaking, Krakauer's powerful and luminous storytelling blaze through every page.

PageTurners: In Cold Blood

Two two-time losers living in a lonely house in western Kansas are out to make the heist of their life, but when things don't go as planned, the robbery turns ugly. From there, the book is a real-life look into murder, prison, and the criminal mind.