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:


Brown Baggers Book Club Selections

canva-pile-of-five-books-MADGyOW_MYMThe Brown Baggers met on December 19 to select books for the upcoming months. Each member nominated three titles and voted as a group on their top picks. The winning titles are a mix of old and new, including some local authors. As always, upcoming titles that the group will read include both fiction and nonfiction books.

Here are the upcoming titles for June 2020 – May 2021:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
The Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Go Down the Mountain by Meredith Battle
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

If you’re interested in joining the Brown Baggers Book Group, you’re welcome to come to the Central Library on the third Thursday of the month from 12-1pm and participate in our lively discussion. You can call 434.979.7151 ext. 4 for more information or send an email. Also, check out JMRL’s wiki for the book club picks from previous years.

The Brown Baggers will meet again on Thursday, January 16 at 12pm to discuss Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan.

“It make one’s mouth hurt to speak with such forced merriment.”

holidays on ice.jpgBooks on Tap read  David Sedaris’s essay collection Holiday’s on Ice  at Champion Brewery on December 5. Originally published in 1997 the dated bigotry leaps from the page in 2019. Overall we found the humor crueler than we expected and liked his personal stories better than his fiction. While we didn’t all finish each essay, we did agree that the popularly staged “Santaland Diaries”  had the funniest moments, especially when performed by Sedaris with his Billie Holiday impersonation. We also recommend listening to Julia Sweeney’s  reading of “Season’s Greetings to our Friends and Family!!!” and seeing Sinterklass in action in the Netherlands. 

Sedaris’ favorite character is his mother, who appears in almost every personal story. His parents are awful in his recounting and we assume Sedaris is using humor to cope. But that is part of the appeal: the universality of the screwed up family and the relief in finding out that ours isn’t the worst. 

More Information:

About the author 

About the book 

Other works 

Other humorous authors book mentioned:

Ian Fraser

Woody Allen

Roz Chas

Jenny Lawson

Tina Fey

Dave Barry

Bill Bryson

Trevor Noah


 Books on Tap Information:

  • No January meeting
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (February 6)
  • Same Page Title TBA (March 5)
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (April 2)
  • There, There by Tommy Orange (May 7)
  • Clock Dance by Anne Tyler (June 4)


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Previous titles