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Schedule set for the 2009-2010 Friends' Book Discussion Group

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussion Group is back! For the 2009-2010 academic year we will be discussing faculty favorites with some of our favorite faculty. Check out their selections below and be sure to register at for all the discussions you would like to attend.

First up--The Innocent Man, a non-fiction work by John Grisham. Saundra Westervelt of the Sociology Department, who will lead the discussion, is an expert on criminology and the sociology of law. In her current research, Professor Westervelt is conducting interviews with individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated. One of these exonerees, Greg Wilhoit, was a major source for Grisham's book. Join us at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 21, in the Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library for the discussion.

Michael Parker, a novelist and professor of English and creative writing, will lead the second discussion at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 5, on John Williams's 1965 novel, Stoner. Described in The New York Times Book Review as "something rarer than a great novel - it is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, that it takes your breath away," Stoner follows the life and career of English professor William Stoner. Meet us in the Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library to share your thoughts on this novel.

On Monday, November 9, 2009 at 7 p.m., Patrick Lee Lucas of the Interior Architecture Department will lead us in a discssion of Alain de Botton's The Architecture of Happiness. As De Botton describes on his website, The Architecture of Happiness "starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be - and argues that it is architecture’s task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential." We will be meeting in Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library.

We are starting out 2010 with This One and Magic Life, a novel by Anne Carroll George, who is well known for her Southern Sisters mystery series. In this literary novel that draws on Greek mythology (many characters are named after the gods), George explores the impact of the death of Artie (Artemis) Sullivan on her extended family and community. Bill Carroll, Associate Dean of the School of Music, and the author's cousin, will lead our discussion on Monday, January 25 at 7 p.m. in the Hodges Reading Room of Jackson Library.

From January 21 to March 5, the University Libraries will be hosting “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” a traveling exhibit organized by The Huntington Library and Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in cooperation with the American Library Association's Public Programs Office. We will be planning lots of events around the exhibit, and we decided to dedcate our February book discussion to Lincoln. Mark Elliott of the history department will lead a discussion of Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian James McPherson's new biography on Lincoln in the Hodges Reading Room of Jackson Library at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 22. At under 100 pages, McPherson's Abraham Lincoln captures "the essential events and meaning of Lincoln's life without oversimplification or overgeneralization."

Our 6th and final book is Olive Kitteridge, a 2009Pulitzer Prize winner. Hepsie Roskelly of the English Department will lead us in the discussion of Elizabeth Strout's novel on Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Hodges reading Room, Jackson Library. The thirteen linked tales of Olive Kitteridge veer between the quiet tragedies and comedies of everyday life in the Maine community in which the stories are set. Olive Kitteridge, a seventh-grade math teacher, looms large (both figuratively and literally) over the lives of her family, neighbors, and students. Professor Roskelly calls this novel her current favorite.

We look forward to seeing you at these discussions! Stay tuned for more information about the books and other Friends of the University Libraries programming.