Brewery Book Club

We meet every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7pm (with the exception of Thanksgiving week) in the tap room for this casual, no-commitment book club club.  Feel free to come every month or dart in and out depending on your schedule and interest in each month's book.  Everyone is welcome!  There is no fee, no purchase necessary, and no attendance requirements. We are very casual!

We are on year #2 of book club.  If you'd like to see what we read in 2017, click here.

History, science, agriculture, behavioral science, philosophy, romance, social issues -- the 2018 list has a little bit of everything, including a classic and lots of diverse contemporary voices. We stacked the deck in favor of prize winners, local interest, and slightly-under-the-radar books you might not find on your own. We go around the world (Ghana, England, India, Spain, and South Africa), and stay close to home (Austin, Minnesota and Des Moines). Choices reflect the likes/dislikes of the group from 2017 and take into account requests for more biographies/memoirs and less Charles Dickens. We hope to have a few "guest stars" (like we had for our military book in 2017) and lots of great discussions!

Jan. 17 - Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (behavioral science)
Feb. 21 - The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (WWI & WWII-era thriller) 
Mar. 21 - The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks (agriculture) 
Apr. 18 - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (historical fiction/international)
May 16 - For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (classic/fiction) 
June 20 - Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (humor/local interest) 
July 18 - Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (short stories) 
Aug. 15 - Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (science/memoir) 
Sept. 19 - Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (fictional Frank Lloyd Wright) 
Oct. 17 - When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (medicine/philosophy)
Nov. 14* - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (contemporary fiction) 
Dec. 19 - Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (memoir)

All the 2018 books are available in all formats (print, digital, audio) and should be easy to find in the library, book stores, or online (the Paul Kalanithi and Trevor Noah books are not available in paperback now but will be later this year). Sadly, Book World in Southbridge Mall is closing soon so we no longer have a discount partnership with them as we did in 2017.

Happy reading, everyone!

*November 2018's meeting has been moved up a week to Nov. 14 because of Thanksgiving Eve being the third Wednesday of November. A novella-length book was picked for that meeting to accommodate the slightly shorter reading time.


2019 is coming soon!

Book club has become so popular that we are expanding it for 2019 and adding double sessions on book club nights  -  one for nonfiction (5:45 PM) and one for fiction (7 PM).  Join us for just the fiction meetings, or just the non-fiction, or both, or bounce from one to the other - it's totally up to you.   

Our giant reading list this year reflects the feedback for books we've had in the last two years.  Our book club tends to love VARIETY:  light, heavy, local, international, slow and pretty, fast and thrill-packed, award-winning, crowd-pleasing, historical, modern, classic, debut name it!  Our book clubbers have a history of enjoying distinct contemporary female voices, hot topic social issues addressed in fiction, page-turning WWII history, science or behavioral science non-fiction, and memoir.  Short classics with clear modern-sounding language are preferred to any very old dense stuff where the author might have been paid by the word.  Reflecting all that, for 2019 we picked the "buzziest" titles on book Twitter, stacked up the prize-winners, and unearthed some dusty gems you might have missed.  We go around the world again (Iran, England, Mexico, Norway, etc.) and stay close to home (Keokuk, Iowa)...all while having a beer in our hand!  We hope to have a few "guest stars" (like we had for our agriculture and military reads in the past) and lots of great discussions. A list of our book titles are shown below here, or you can print out a year-long calendar for yourself by clicking here.


Jan  -      News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Feb  -      Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell  

March  -   Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward 

April  -    Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

May  -     Less by Andrew Sean Greer  

June  -    Endless Night by Agatha Christie    

July  -     Exit West by Mohsin Hamid      

Aug  -     Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan  

Sept  -    Arrowwood by Laura McHugh    

Oct  -      The Pearl by John Steinbeck           

Nov  -    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons  

Dec  -    Warlight by Michael Ondaatje  



Jan  -   The Year of Living Danishly by Hellen Russell    

Feb  -    Shoe Dog by Phil Knight  

March  -    Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

April  -    Shakespeare by Bill Bryson 

May  -      Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty  

June  -     Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi   

July  -     The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck 

Aug  -      Basketball and Other Things by Shea Serrano

Sept  -    Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion  

Oct  -     David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Nov  -    Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Dec  -    Educated by Tara Westover 

The next chapter...

Do you have ideas for 2020?  We're working on the reading list for the future already!  Please send us ideas if you have suggestions!  We have a few criteria:

-  not too long...we shoot for around 400/500 pages or less

-  not recently or will be a movie/tv show/etc  

-  not a book that EVERYONE has already read, like something that was required reading in high school or a very common recent best seller

-  is available in all formats:  print, digital, audio (and preferably at the library and is old enough to be already in paperback)

-  variety is key for us!  We pick a mix of fiction/nonfiction,  throw a classic or two, try to vary settings/time periods etc., and author ethnicity/genders


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