“Libraries were havens for everyone, he might’ve told her, not just the clean and productive.”

midnight book coverThe Brown Baggers met on Thursday, January 16 to discuss Matthew Sullivan’s novel, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore.  Sullivan, a short story writer and former bookseller at The Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver and Brookline Booksmith in Boston, pays homage to his bookselling days with this literary mystery set in a Denver bookstore. 

When Joey, a regular patron at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, commits suicide in the shop, the life of bookstore clerk Lydia is turned upside down. Bequeathed with Joey’s possessions, Lydia finds herself unraveling a series mysterious clues Joey has left hidden in books. As she gets closer to deciphering Joey’s message, Lydia must confront a violent memory of her own past with unanswered questions, including the identity of a murderer known as the Hammerman.

Many of the Brown Baggers noted that as a mystery, the book kept them on their toes. Like any good psychological thriller, Sullivan keeps his readers guessing as he balances two puzzles: Joey’s cryptic messages and the cold case from Lydia’s childhood.  No one was able to identify the murderer before they were identified, which kept them wanting to read on. As a “literary mystery,” however, the book felt too contrived and not as well written as others in the genre. Despite the intricate plot, or perhaps because of it, there were too many coincidences and the connections between seemingly unrelated characters too farfetched to be realistic. 

The Brown Baggers will discuss The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe on Thursday, February 20 at 12pm in the Central Library and newcomers are always welcome.

Other Books Mentioned:

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

 

Links:

https://www.bigbend.edu/7-questions-for-matthew-sullivan-author-of-midnight-at-the-bright-ideas-bookstore/

January Job Fair at Northside

The Northside Library will be hosting its monthly Job Fair with Virginia Career Works on Wednesday, January 22 from 2-5pm.

The Job Fair is a great opportunity for job seekers to sit down one-on-one with representatives from more than 20 local employers, including the University of Virginia, National Ground Intelligence Center, Boar’s Head, Goodwill, United States Census 2020, RMC Events, and many more.

two woman chatting

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

In the days leading up to the event, attendees are encouraged to visit Career Works, the Downtown Job Center, or the Albemarle County Job Center for help preparing or writing a resume.

Before the Job Fair begins at 2pm, don’t miss out on the job fair etiquette workshop at 1pm.

This event is for ages 16 and older. For more information, visit the JMRL website at www.jmrl.org.

The Art of Gathering

artofgatheringWhile there was not an official title to discuss, a small contingent of the Books on Tap group gathered on 1/2/20 at Champion Brewery to toast the New Year.   We also celebrated one member’s upcoming retirement and another member’s project that has been receiving local publicity.

 

But no Books on Tap meeting goes without recommending a couple of books, so here are a few that were mentioned:

The Art of Gathering

City of Girls

 

And here are the upcoming titles for discussion at Books on Tap: