National Day of Racial Healing

Today, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is known as the National Day of Racial Healing. In honor of this day and Dr. King’s legacy, the Gordon Avenue Library is currently hosting a StoryWalk featuring Kwame Alexander’s The Undefeated. The StoryWalk is available through 2/28/21.

Related resources:

Booklists related to the StoryWalk:

  • Booklists featuring the individuals mentioned in The Undefeated for Adults and Kids 
  • Booklists on the Civil Rights Movement for Adults and Kids
  • Black American Picture Books for Kids
  • Black American Chapter Books for Kids
  • Black Power Booklist for Adults
  • Black American Athletes booklist for Adults 
  • Books by Black American authors for Teens
  • Books about Black American inventors and scientists for Adults
  • Books on the Black Lives Matter movement for Adults
  • Poetry by Black American authors for Adults and Kids
  • Biographies of Black Americans for Kids

Brown Baggers 2020 Holiday Potluck

The Brown Baggers met virtually on December 17 for their annual holiday potluck, and to pitch and discuss titles for the upcoming June 2021-June 2022 season. Votes will be collected digitally through January 10, 2021. All previous title selections, as well as our next batch of books, once picked, can be seen here. Festivities were slightly hampered by the inability to share food and chat in person, but there was plenty of excitement in looking ahead. Enthusiasm is high for December 2021 (which will hopefully be held in person). 

The Brown Baggers will meet again virtually on January 21 to discuss The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger, and will be joined by the author himself, a Charlottesville local. Email for details on how to participate via computer or phone.

Titles Suggested:

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

The Dutch House by Anne Patchett

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe by Brian Greene

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

The Cotton Kingdom: A Traveller’s Observations on Cotton and Slavery in the American Slave States by Frederick Law Olmstead

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre

Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson

Spartina by John Casey

Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

A Perfect Spy by John le Carre

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez

The Yellow House by Sarah Broom

Blindness by Jose Saramago

A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Last Friends of the Library Pop-up Book Sale this Sunday

The final Pop-up Bag of Books Sale of the year will be held on Sunday, December 6 from 10am-2pm at the Gordon Avenue Library lower level parking lot.

Hosted by JMRL’s Friends of the Library (FOTL), this is a curbside pickup of pre-selected bags of books for five dollars per bag.

From mystery to classic literature, there are a range of genres to choose from, as well as picture and board books for toddlers.

While there currently is no scheduled book sale for the spring, FOTL Manager Peter Manno said the group is still exploring ways to host safe and successful gatherings.

“Who ever imagined a year without the Friends Book Sale? While we didn’t hold our usual sales, we were able to contribute books, DVDs and books on CD to many of our area care homes; donate books to schools, early readers and preschools, and continue to send books to state prison inmates through the Books Behind Bars program,” Peter said.

“This Giving Tuesday, your financial donations are more important to us now than ever before. You can help us keep supporting JMRL and keep the home fires burning until the COVID clouds part.”

To learn more about the Pop-up Bag of Book Sale or how you can support the FOTL, visit

The Gordon Avenue Library is located at 1500 Gordon Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903.