Memphis Reads

CBU and the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, in cooperation with the Memphis Mayor’s Office, are partnering to present Memphis Reads, a city-wide initiative to promote literacy that officially kicks off on October 1.

The Memphis Reads program will select one book annually to be read by the Memphis community at large. This month-long community read will consist of discussions, interviews with the author and sponsors, and related arts events, all of which will be free and open to the public. Memphis Reads will culminate in a series of live presentations by the author of the book, which for 2014 is The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Ethiopian immigrant Dinaw Mengestu.

Memphis Reads is affiliated with the “Fresh Reads” program at CBU, part of the First Year Experience, wherein all incoming freshmen participate  in the read and hold discussions and other events throughout the school year. The Memphis Public Library will be publishing the top ten essays on The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by CBU freshmen on its Memphis Reads blog site at So far, they’ve published “Home” by Abraham Hsuan-Hsin Lin (Biomedical Sciences ’18) andHome is Where the Fridge Is” by Rosie Schmitz (Chemical Engineering ’18).

The Memphis Reads blog will also post other news regarding the October community read and additional events that may be scheduled as the month progresses. You can also keep up by liking the Memphis Reads Facebook page!

Memphis Reads will host author Dinaw Mengestu at the conclusion of the community read with appearances and presentations at both the Memphis Public Library and CBU on November 4-5.

On November 4, Mengestu will make an appearance at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center at 5:30 pm. The “Fresh Reads” event at CBU will follow with a reception at 7:00 pm and Mengestu’s address in CBU’s University Theater at 8:00 pm. A booksigning will follow this presentation.