Reading Programs

Explorations of Faith in Literature

Religion has always been a critical element in establishing and defining our identity as Americans. In the novels of this series, we may come to see our world and ourselves with fresh eyes as we encounter faith differences and different faiths.

The Journey Inward: Women's Autobiography

The quest for identity often involves undertaking a journey, whether literally or figuratively. The autobiographies in this series tell of both kinds of journeys and will spur us to join the authors in attempting to make sense out of our lives.

Mysteries: Clues to Who We Are

Modern crime is not elsewhere and someone else's problem but is our own dilemma in the community where we live. Modern mysteries reflect the complexity of contemporary life. These books will encourage us to discover clues to our own identities.

Not for Children Only

Preeminent twentieth-century English poet W. H. Auden asserted, "...there are no good books which are only for children." While there are many reasons why great children's literature is "not for children only," the best reason may be that we, as adult readers, will enjoy and discover meaning in these books.

Sci-Fi Society: Humans and Technology

The pursuit of increasingly sophisticated technology has undoubtedly been a hallmark of human society.  This series examines the relationship between humans and technology, and asks participants to consider how human interaction with technology and the quest for progress can often lead to unforeseen consequences. It may even make us question what it means to be human.

Writers from North Carolina's Literary Hall of Fame

The shared past of these authors is the Civil War and its aftermath which gave North Carolina a distinctive history, literature, music, and lifestyle. We will find common motifs in this series including attachment to place as well as the effects of racism.

Myth-Making in Popular Fiction

Attempting to form generalizations about so broad a topic as "best-selling fiction" is tricky business. However, the mass appeal of many such works seems to come from the combination of mythic characters and realistic, historically identifiable settings.

Destruction or Redemption: Images of Romantic Love

In this series, we will explore one of the most puzzling features of the human condition - romantic love. Whether destructive or redemptive, romantic love has the potential to transform us in some way, however briefly.

Tar Heel Fiction: Stories of Home

Whenever Southern literature is discussed, North Carolina writers figure prominently. This series will invite us to deepen our appreciation for the South from the perspective of some of the strongest works of authors who call this state home.

Exploring the American West...Whose West?

The American West offers not one story but many. Together as we read these books, we will examine some of those stories - violent or nostalgic, tragic or heroic. This series will offer us a way of exploring a more honest creation myth, a story truly shared.