“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”


Myth and memory: by all the accounts the last meeting of the Brown Baggers was certainly the stuff of legend, but these concepts were very specific to September’s selection, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  

While opinions on the book were mixed, a few readers admitted a growing appreciation after the group discussion. Many readers appreciated the examination of power, especially within families and experienced as a child. Continue reading

“Though the captives’ resistance was dangerous, through such acts, dignity was preserved, and through dignity, life itself.”

UnbrokenIn stark contrast to last month’s comic novel, the gripping narrative of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption was the focus of the Brown Baggers’ August meeting. Many group members reported that it was a difficult read, in terms of a taxing subject matter, but still hard to put down. 

We kicked off the discussion by discussing Hillenbrand’s style, bit of biographical information, and the intriguing intersection of the two. As a writer of narrative nonfiction, Hillenbrand uses facts gathered from thousands of hours of interviews and research. Continue reading

“Mr Wooster, miss” he said “is, perhaps, mentally somewhat negligible but he has a heart of gold.”

Thank You, JeevesWhat ho! I say, the Brown Baggers had a dashed jolly time discussing Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse. Summer discussions often call for a different sort of book altogether, as light yet satisfying as an Eton mess — and okay, the clumsy attempts at Wodehousian language stop here. Even so, this book proved a delight for most group members.

Only a small minority of readers had read any Wodehouse before, but most all the Brown Baggers enjoyed the book thoroughly. Many enjoyed sharing which plot points or quick turns of phrase they found especially amusing. While the plot points could be considered objectively absurd, the quick, witty language made the prose flow smoothly, from farce to farce. In Wodehouse’s capable hands, the reader just goes along for the ride. Continue reading