TSU Book Group
The TSU book group met during lunch at the Faculty and Staff Institute on Monday, August 17. In introducing ourselves we spoke of a book we have enjoyed lately:
Natchez Burning (2014) Greg Ile
Where Has Oprah Taken us (2011) Stephen Mansfield
Hitlerland (2015) Andrew Nagorski
Mistletoe Promise (2014) Richard Paul Evan
Dead Man Walking (1993) Helen Prejean
Our Souls at Night (2015) Kent Haruf
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.
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.
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.