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


  1. Aristotle and Dante is a very heart-warming novel about 2 Mexican boys growing up in El Paso TX. Among other interesting things to me is that even though both were 2nd generation they spoke and thought of themselves as Mexican, certainly culturally if not legally. Perhaps it’s a bit sentimental but not as much as his other novel, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. I cried all the way through that one and not from sadness! They are both very enjoyable reads.

    • These sound great – I wasn’t familiar with this author but have added both to my TBR list. Thanks for your comments.

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