Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Announcing “Memphis Reads” Community Reading Program

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The Memphis Public Library, Christian Brothers University, alongside the Memphis Mayor’s Office bring you “Memphis Reads.” This program is designed to bring the Memphis community together to read. The program will choose one book annually to be read by the community. Free public discussions will be held alongside art events that relate to the book. Memphis Reads will also host interviews with the sponsors of the book, and a series of live presentations from the author.

Mayor A. C. Wharton commented on the program:

“For many years, I have been a strong supporter of literacy. This is why I am tremendously delighted about Memphis Reads. When watching events on television and computer screens has become such a mainstay in the life of the average American, calling attention back to books and words in print is a fantastic activity to bring a city together.”

“When watching events on television and computer screens has become such a mainstay in the life of the average American, calling attention back to books and words in print is a fantastic activity to bring a city together.”

This year the book will be The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu. Published in 2007, this book gives first-person insight into the life of an Ethiopian immigrant, who fled his country during revolution. The book uses both fact and fiction to describe what it is like to lose family, and the journey to find a new home. He plunges into important topics such as: family, race, immigration, and the split between wealth and poverty.

Mayor Wharton added

“In addition to the beauty of the narrative in the selected book, one of the more powerful things this program accomplishes is to create a universal model of literacy. We can never underestimate the impact of young people seeing a certain behavior modeled and showing youth a city reading as one is a truly powerful image.”

“We can never underestimate the impact of young people seeing a certain behavior modeled and showing youth a city reading as one is a truly powerful image.”

A partner with Memphis Reads, CBU’s “Fresh Reads,” promotes the read, discussions, and events throughout the school year for all incoming freshmen. The Memphis Public Library will publish the top ten essays about The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears on its Memphis Reads blog.

At the end of the community read, Memphis Reads will host appearances by Dinaw Mengestu. He will make an appearance at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center on November 4th at 5:30pm. After the “Fresh Reads” event he will give a speech at CBU’s University Theater at 8:00pm following a reception at 7:00pm. After the presentation he will be doing a book signing. On November 5th he will be joining WYPL FM 89.3’s “Book Talk” radio program at the Memphis Public Library. These events are free to all.

For more information contact at RSVP@cbu.edu r (901) 321-3270.