The Fiction Book Group encourages its members to read and discuss together the fiction of the last several decades. We read recent winners of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Booker Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and other literary prizes. Members recommend books they have read, and the final selections are made by majority vote. Join us to discover some new authors and titles to enjoy. You’ll like the lively, informal discussions and the insights offered by the avid readers in this group. In June we will be discussing The Gold Finch, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. by Donna Tartt.
Class coordinator is Kay Moss.
Three sessions: Thursdays, 1:15 - 2:45 p.m., June 25, July 23 and August 27
Nonfiction ranges widely: politics to biography; history to natural science; adventure to psychology; sociology to business—we read them all. Members recommend books they have read, and final selections are made by majority vote. Come join us and surprise yourself by reading some titles you might never have selected or enjoyed - PLUS enjoy the wide range of stimulating discussions and viewpoints! May book selection: The Passage of Power: The years of Lyndon Johnson Volume IV by Robert A. Caro.
Class coordinator is Jim Basford.
Four sessions: Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., May 21, June 18, July 16 and August 20
The Classic Literature book group reads and discusses classic literature with the goal of challenging each other for new insights into old favorites. This class will meet in the library of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The class is coordinated by Judy Kidd, but participants take turns leading discussions. This summer we will again do one long book, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. For June we will read the first two sections Fantine and Cosette, approximately 200 pages.
Judy Kidd has been active in Oak Ridge arts since 1957 and taught English for twenty five years at Robertsville Junior High. She participates in most ORICL book discussions and literature classes.
Three sessions: Mondays, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m., June 8, July 13 and August 10
Those who read mysteries learn history, culture, and forensic information as well as development of characters. Of course, they also read about criminals, sleuths and the solution to the crime. There are categories such as cozy cottage and suspense. Come and discuss authors and titles. June book selection: One Coffee With by Margaret Maron.
Billy L. Smith retired in May 2012 from Roane State Community College after thirty-six years as a member of the mathematics department. She was named faculty emeritus upon retirement. She is a bookaholic who particularly enjoys the mystery genre. During her first retirement from teaching she was involved in the book group at the YWCA and enjoyed doing book reviews.
Two sessions: Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:10 p.m., June 23 and July 28
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we came from…. My fondest hope is that Roots may start black, white, brown, red, yellow people digging back for their own roots. Man, that would make me feel 90 feet tall.” Alex Haley
With the publication of the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family in 1976, Alex Haley changed the world view of the institution known as slavery. The book was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, was translated into 37 languages, and was adapted into a TV miniseries that reached a record-breaking 130 million viewers. Though he was born in Ithaca, New York, and spent the summers with his grandparents in Henning, TN, Haley was an East Tennessean at heart. He purchased a 125-acre farm near Clinton, TN, in 1984, with that being his primary residence until his death in 1992.
This mini-course on Alex Haley will take a peek into Haley’s life, the impact of his writings (Roots, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Queen, Mama Flora’s Family, and A Different Kind of Christmas), and his legacy. Film footage of interviews with Haley, as well as links to the Alex Haley Papers housed in Hoskins Library at the University of Tennessee, will be reviewed.
Theresa Evans Venable is the librarian in the Langston Hughes Library located at the Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm. She also serves as the program’s coordinator for CDF Haley Farm. Theresa holds a BS degree in Elementary Education and the MS degree in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has thirty-one years experience as an elementary and middle school teacher. Theresa was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston award, a citation given annually by the Reference and Users Association of the American Library Association to a librarian who actively promotes African-American literature.
Three sessions: Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:10 p.m., June 9, 16 and 23
"Oh wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!" As You Like It, Act III, scene 2.
The ninth play to be read in our series is the comedy As You Like It. This is Shakespeare's eighth comedy and was written during his most prolific period. Yes, "All the world's a stage," and you are invited to join the fun on this one in the Forest of Arden---especially since there are more songs in As You Like It than in any of Shakespeare's other plays.
The group reads (or sings!) orally in a round-robin manner, stopping for informal discussions as the group desires. Mispronunciations welcome! Bring your own unabridged copy of the play. Various editions pose no problem. Interested listeners are also encouraged to enroll and should also bring their texts.
Jane Williams and Nancy Burwell are retired educators who know that the best way to learn is to teach. They enjoy organizing the class and absorbing Shakespeare along with the other readers. They like to have fun while learning and have discovered that the more people reading the play to one another, the more fun!
Seven sessions: Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:10 p.m., June 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14 and 21
In the years 1820-1860 the American short story was just getting started, but several writers produced stories that are still read and enjoyed. Among the writers and stories this course will examine are Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, The Minister’s Black Veil, and Rappaccini’s Daughter; Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Cask of Amontillado and The Purloined Letter; and Herman Melville, Benito Cereno.
Allison Ensor retired after forty years of teaching at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Though his specialty was Mark Twain, he frequently taught a course in the American short story. A Tennessee native, he received his doctorate at Indiana University.
Four sessions: Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:10 p.m., June 9, 16, 23 and 30
Many critics have praised George Eliot’s Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1874) as one of the greatest English novels ever written. Virginia Woolf famously called it “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” Among other things, it’s a wise Victorian-era novel about romance, economics, longing, social order, science and the struggle to find meaning in one’s life. Not surprisingly, many lives, including mine, have been transformed by this book. In graduate school, I remarked to one of my Victorian professors that everyone should read Middlemarch at least once a year. But, alas, as time goes by, we tend to forget the lessons that we find there, so in this class, we will read Middlemarch and remind ourselves what it means to be human. Along with the novel, we will also read Rebecca Mead’s memoir My Life in Middlemarch, which Joyce Carol Oates calls “a beguilingly straightforward, resolutely orthodox and unshowy account of the writer’s lifelong admiration for George Eliot and for Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life.”
It would be helpful if class participants begin reading Middlemarch before the first class.
Dr. Deborah Scaperoth is a lecturer at the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared in New Millennium Writings, Yemasse, Number One, Migrants and Stowaways, Literary Lunch, Knoxville Bound, and others. She has taught at the University of Tennessee since 1994, the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing China, University of Memphis, Columbus State Community College, and East Tennessee State University.
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:10 p.m. June 3, 10, 17, and 24
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