TSU Book Group


William Sydney Porter (1862-1910) wrote classic short stories such as The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of Red Chief, and more.  O. Henry's prolific writing period began in 1902 in New York City, where he wrote 381 short stories.*  For our December selection we will read The O.Henry Prize Stories 2016. 

We will meet at Coco’s Italian Market, 411 51st Avenue, right off Charlotte, at 11:30 on December 9, 2016.  A menu may be found at their website of the same name.  The TSU community is invited.  If you plan to attend please notify Lynetta so reservations may be made.

Copies will be interlibrary loaned and will be available at the Brown Daniel Library on second floor.   At this writing there are also copies at Nashville Public Library.

This year the  NashvilleREADS choice is March:  Volume One by John Lewis, member of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and Freedom Rider.  He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1981 and is serving.  Books will be provided for our March 31, 2017 meeting.

For information call Lynetta Alexander at (615) 963-5201 or lalexander@tnstate.edu



The New Jim Crow:   mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness , by Michelle Alexander, will be the focus of the TSU Book Group on November 18, 2016, at noon in the Brown-Daniel Library conference room.  We will gather at noon and the TSU community is invited.  Feel free to bring lunch. 


“As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status, much like their grandparents before them, who lived under an explicit system of control.--Book jacket.”  (from the record in the TSU library entry for the book)

An electronic version is available at the TSU Library.  Some copies will be available from interlibrary loan on the second floor of the Brown-Daniel Library. 

For more information contact Lynetta Alexander  (lalexander@tnstate.edu) or 615 963 5201.

We shall meet on September 25th at noon in the library conference room with a brown bag lunch to consider a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. 

She wrote

The autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.
Shelf 1st flr - Main E807.1.R48 A3 1992   AVAILABLE at the TSU library  

Or Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote:
No ordinary time : Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt : the home front in World War II / Doris Kearns Goodwin
Goodwin, Doris Kearns.
Shelf 1st flr - Main E807 .G66 1994   AVAILABLE

If the group prefers one over the other please so state.  Otherwise it might be interesting to contrast the content of the two.
Recent books we have enjoyed as a group:

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher, a satire of academics having to write letters of recommendation

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, the tale of aging parents and the house in which their family was raised.

For more information call Lynetta Alexander at 615 963 5201 lalexander@tnstate.edu or Barbara VanHooser at 615 963 5206 bvanhoosser@tnstate.edu

The rebirth of our book group is off to a great start with the excellent discussion we had on The Invention of Wings!  I would be delighted if we could maintain the informality and the excitement!  The acting Dean of the Library, Dr. Murle Kenerson, has said we may have an entry on the TSU website.  This post is to encourage you to engage as much as your time and inclination allow to help in setting up parameters for this website to make it useful to our group and the larger community.    After these details are set up our web guru, Phil Yan, will add the material.

In the past we have read widely, including classics, fiction, biographies, history, science fiction, mysteries, and it has worked well.  Before finals, of course, we have read a light work, such as a mystery.   I will be the first to admit I would not have read several works had it not been for this group.  Robinson Crusoe comes to mind, and I enjoyed it. 

Barbara VanHooser and I chatted today about some ideas.  Please feel free to submit suggestions and improvements as well as constructive criticism to me and I will be glad to summarize.  We will do all we can by email and put it on the agenda to clarify any details at our lunch/Adventures of Sally at noon on Monday, December 15 at the Italian Market and Restaurant.

  • It would be good if we could come to consensus about books to read for several months, which, in my opinion, should be the first item on the web site.  In the past we have had a work for Black History month in February.  Opportunities abound.   Around the Southern Festival of Books time _I_ think it would be wonderful to have a book by a speaker there.  If we have upcoming lectures our group could be tied to their presentation. 
  • In addition, if teaching faculty have their schedules, setting up dates and locations would be excellent.  I will reserve the conference room in the Brown Daniel Library if that is convenient.    If anyone wants to be the discussion leader of a work for a particular month let me know. 
  • Some have said they would be interested in a summary if they did not get to attend the meeting.  What is your opinion on this? 
  • Several people sent me lists of works either enjoyed or on the “to read” list.  Should these be posted on this web site, or kept among ourselves through email?  I am glad to post mine publicly. 
  • There are OODLES of lists of books.  I first learned of The Invention of Wings in a doctor’s office and Oprah’s magazine.  Amazon already has a list of the best books of 2014.  Would you like to see a link to these?  Neil deGrasse Tyson has eight works he recommends “should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet.”  Interest in this?  I personally don’t particularly want to put current best sellers there, but it is a possibility.
  • The Internet also makes it possible to have discussion guides.  We have always had a low-key (vs. academic) and pleasant chats.  If there is a study guide would you like a link?
  • Are you already on Goodreads?  I have been a member for a long time (to me) and enjoy looking over other’s reviews. 

This is our group and, within reason, can be whatever makes the most sense and brings the most camaraderie.  Obviously this may stay as a brown bag meal.   I would be personally remiss if I did not mention how much I enjoy shared meals.  If there is ever interest in a potluck meal, I shall be delighted.  However, again, my own perception is that this group should be the minimum possible pressure for the maximum enjoyment in our busy lives.

Lynetta Alexander

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