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Brown Bag Books


This Library book discussion group meets at noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month and is always open to new members. The group selects the books for discussion, which are available at the check-out desk during the month preceding the discussion. Volunteers from among the group lead the discussion, with background materials supplied by the librarian. Bring your own lunch or snack; the Library provides beverages.

Titles for upcoming months are:

November 28

Hillbilly Elegy

by J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy

A moving portrait of rural Middle America, Hillbilly Elegy is equal parts memoir and social commentary.  Vance is a former Marine and a Yale Law School graduate whose familial roots are Appalachian.  Training a critical eye on the social problems and self-defeating mindsets that are at the root of the difficult life Vance came from, he is able to uncover long held believes that spread and infect like a virus.  Profoundly popular and equally controversial, Hillbilly Elegy is said to explain or enlighten much of what is being experienced politically in America today.  “[It] couldn’t have been better timed...a harrowing portrait of much that has gone wrong in America over the past two honest look at the dysfunction that afflicts too many working-class Americans.” –National Review



December 19

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

Mr Penumbras 24Hour Bookstore

Recently downsized Clay Jannon considers himself lucky to find a job in a late night bookshop.  It does not take long however for Clay to realize that the oddities surrounding the store are much greater than its quirky name.  There are few customers and even fewer who actually buy anything.  Clay soon discovers there is a code these patrons are seeking, hidden within books he was forbidden to read.  He and his friends find themselves in a kaleidoscopic quest that, with one foot firmly planted in dusty old books and the other in the hyper-connected cyberworld, will hopefully lead them to Mr. Penumbra himself.  “…eminently enjoyable, full of warmth and intelligence.” – New York Times



January 23

Before the Fall

by Noah Hawley

Before the Fall

Before the Fall is Noah Hawley’s fifth novel, but he is better known for his creative work on the television show Fargo.  Hawley’s suspenseful thriller is an Edgar Award winner, a special distinction for the best mystery or thriller of the year.  Eleven people board a private jet leaving Martha’s Vineyard for New York City.  16 minutes later the plane has crashed into the ocean and there are only two survivors, a destitute artist who was the guest of a wealthy couple, and a young boy who is the son a powerful media mogul family.  Subsequent chapters delve into the backstory of the eleven passengers in an attempt to discover who could have been the target of this “accident.”  Hawley will keep you guessing until the very end.  “Before the Fall is a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel.” – New York Times Book Review


February 27

The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead has accomplished the extremely rare, if not impossible, feat of crafting a novel that is both a major literary award winner (2016 National Book Award, 2017 Pulitzer Prize), and a bestseller - spending a remarkable 37 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.  Whitehead stretches the historical fiction novel to new heights and new realms by imagining the well-known “underground railroad” as a literal one.  The Underground Railroad extols a fresh and important understanding of the slave narrative as well as the American experience.  “Would that this novel were required reading for every American citizen.” – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

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