Brown Bag Book Discussion

 Brown Bag Book Discussion Group

Meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at Noon.

Book club is being held again in-person, but we Zoom as well for participants who are unable to make it in-person.

Books are available at the library's circulation desk.

 

 

 Tuesday, November 23 at Noon 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical.  But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything:  their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape.   The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.  Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined.  What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing.  Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

 

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 Tuesday, December 28 at Noon 

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien 

Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply? For more than twenty years, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien received letters from the North Pole -- from Father Christmas himself! They told wonderful stories of mischief and disaster, adventures and battles: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place, how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas's house, and many others.


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 Tuesday, January 25 at Noon 

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly 

Georgeanna 'Georgey' Woolsey isn't meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort. In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape - but only by abandoning the family she loves. Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.


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 Tuesday, February 22 at Noon 

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.