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Recharge with Reading - Welcome!: Reading Lists for each Group (2020-2021)


Reading Lists for Each Group 2021-2022

Banned Books Week

Theme: Banned Books

September 26-October 2, 2021

READ ONE Banned Book. Post it on Social Media, LionsShare, and tell your friends and family that you dared to read a banned book! ask for a Banned Books Week bracelet from the library. Tell us about your adventure in reading a Banned Book!

Suggested reads:

  1. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
    Reasons: banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author
  3. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students
  4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: racism
  6. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Viki Stoupenos

Theme: Community


Theme: Community – Sorority - Sisterhood

List of Books:

  • First Read begins October 7, 2020: Thank You, My Sister by Cari Oleskewicz featured in the 2016 Sandhill Review pages 60-61. Very Short 2-page story to begin reading group (will be read by group facilitator to group at first meeting)
  • Second Read beginning December 1 and lasting throughout the month: Silver Sparrow novel/fiction by Tayari Jones with Group discussion of the novel available at public libraries for check out
  • Third Read beginning January 27, 2021 (United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day)  & continuing through the end of February 2021:  Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (children’s.)  
  • Fourth Read beginning March 1, 2021: Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First One hundred Years – autobiography  
  • Fifth & Sixth Reads beginning April 1, 2021: The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman & Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters children’s folktale – available in many formats at most public libraries (also available in print at Cannon.) Book discussion at the end of the month.
  • Seventh Read beginning May 1, 2021 and through the month:  eBook available free in Cannon Memorial Library catalog – When the sun danced: myth, miracles, and modernity in early twentieth-century Portugal by Jeffrey Bennett with Book & Movie Discussion of 2020 film "Fatima."

Facilitator: Viki Stoupenos

Dr. Dan Dubois: Double Dog Dare You

Theme: Double Dog Dare You (to read this!)


The books I’ve chosen for this reading group are all examples of highly-acclaimed novels that have had lasting historical significance. They also each explore how power corrupts the hearts and minds of those who wield the most of it.


List of Books:

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe - Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the greatest-selling American novel of its time, outselling every book but the Bible in the 19th century. Its visceral exposition of slavery in antebellum America heightened national conversations about the abounding evils caused by the country’s “peculiar institution.” 
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - written at the end of the 19th century, depicts the nature of European colonialism in Africa and offers an unsettling psychological portrait of the delusions that power and corruption can cause. 
  • Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann - my personal favorite and likely the most challenging of the bunch, deploys a metaphor – the story of a gifted, ambitious composer – to explain why Mann’s fellow Germans allowed themselves to welcome in fascism and become obsessed with what he called the “phantasm of race.”  
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - the last in the series, Orwell's has had a recent resurgence in popularity, as authoritarianism has become more fashionable, propaganda more ubiquitous, and control over the role of history more contentious.  Orwell’s book is often misunderstood as merely a criticism of Stalinism and the Soviet Union – but that is far too narrow a reading of this classic. Like the other books in this series, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a reminder of how susceptible modern society is to extremism, demagoguery, and violence.


Facilitator: Dr. Dan Dubois

Keri Grant and Tiffany Nelson

Theme: Wellness

  1. James Clear. Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results.  Avery, 2018 (5 Star rating on, and a bestseller) Available as an Audible audio books.
  2. Shonda Rhimes. Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Simon & Schuster, 2015 (another bestseller on There is also a journal available.
  3. Matt Haig. The Midnight Library. Viking, 2020. (4.5 star rating on, and also another bestseller. Available as an Audible audio book.)
  4. Don Miguel Ruiz. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Amber-Allen Publishing. 2011 (4.5 star rating; 62,500~ people have rated this book. Bestseller on; available as an Audible audio book.)
  5. Brene Brown. The Gifts of Imperfection. Random House, 2020.  (4.5 star rating; 22,800~ people have rated this book; available as an Audible audio book.)

Facilitators: Keri Grant and Tiffany Nelson

Disabilities Awareness Week/Month

1. MOVIE: Autism Goes to College

2. Book: Judy Heumman's memoir Being Heumman: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.

Theme GRIT

Theme: GRIT (January-April Group)

1. Hey Kiddo (graphic novel) by Jarrett J. Krosoczk #1 on Amazon 

2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold in the 1936 Olympics

3. TBD

Dr. Ernest Luke McClees: Veterans' Experience

Theme: the Veteran Experience

List of Books:

  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger  - This book is a critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the many challenges today’s returning veterans face in modern society. However, the argument made in the book might not be what you expect.
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Half-time Walk by Ben fountain - Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, this book has been described as “The Catch-22 of the Iraq War,” a satire set in Texas, highlighting the national disconnect between the war at   home and the war abroad.
  • eBook War Flower: My Life after Iraq by Brooke King An honest and raw account from Saint Leo University’s own is an example of being a woman in recent military service and combat and the effects in post-service life. Ultimately, in motherhood, King notes that shreds of wartime trauma being absorbed by those around her. 
  • Redeployment by Phil Klay - A 2014 National Book Award winner is made up of twelve stories written by a former U.S. Marine in Iraq. The wide array of stories includes navigating post-service relationships, attending college after being discharged, and moral injury.
  • Fire and Forget by Roy Scranton, editor and Matt Gallagher, editor This collection of stories was assembled as part of post-combat healing exercises. This collection is significant as many of the stories make little reference to service and concentrate on life after the military.
  • EAT THE APPLE by Matt Young - This selection highlights a phenomenon that is widely misunderstood in the non-veteran community. One may be proud of the aspect of their service while simultaneously being horrified by their military service.  


Facilitator: Dr. Ernest McClees

TBD: Mujeres de Posibilidades: Mexican Authors

Theme: Mujeres de Posibilidades: Women Authors of Mexican Heritage


Women are possibilities and places. Places we know we belong and places we long to be. In this reading challenge, we will explore works by Mexican and Mexican American women who are concerned with contemporary language, roles, and struggles. And all the possibilities.


List of Books:

  • The Carrying by Ada Limón
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Selected Works translated by Edith Gossman
  • Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros
  • When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz


Facilitator: Amanda Forrester