“Whatever you is, Onion,” he said, “be it full.”

The_Good_Lord_BirdJames McBride’s The Good Lord Bird was the focus of the most recent Brown Baggers discussion. As always, we kicked off the discussion with a short overview of the author’s life and works. Although this is McBride’s first novel, he is a prolific journalist. Many group members had previously read his autobiography, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, published almost twenty years prior. Continue reading

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”

The Brown Baggers pick each year’s book selections in December of the previous year (stay tuned — this is coming up soon!), so it was good luck and good timing that October’s selection was I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. You may remember JMRL’s recent blog post about books by Nobel Prize winners. Mere days before our discussion, Malala Yousafzai was named as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi from India, another advocate and activist for children’s rights. Continue reading

There is no story that is not true … The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.

things fall apartThe Brown Baggers often begin their discussions with a quick overview of the author’s life, work, and other pertinent details. Even the most well-known names are often accompanied by an interesting fact or two, and this refresher helps ground the book’s authorship to a particular time and place. Many group members instantly associate Chinua Achebe with Things Fall Apart, September’s selection, but our collective knowledge did not extend much past this seminal work. It was interesting to learn more about his writing career as a whole. Many group members had read the book once long ago and appreciated the chance to revisit it. Continue reading