By Naomi Wyatt
Avid readers and literary junkies should consider joining the new President’s Book Club. For people interested in participating in a book club, having lively discussions, need book recommendations or who simply want to become more involved at SUU, the President’s Book Club might be a perfect fit. The President’s Book Club is a new group that just started in late October by senior communications major, Riley Beck. The purpose of the club is to explore some of President Wyatt’s favorite books and have an in-depth discussion with him outside of the classroom.
“As a student who loves to read, I was inspired by President Wyatt,” said Beck. “He has the goal of reading 50 books a year and we wanted to see what books make his list and learn from him.”
The first meeting was held on Thursday, November 3 with approximately ten people in attendance, making the meeting personal and comfortable.
“The idea came from students,” said Wyatt. “They wanted to know a list of my favorite books. Instead, we created a club so more students could participate.”
The first book was A Deadly Wandering by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel. It tells the story of nineteen-year old Reggie Shaw who decided to text while driving on his way to work. The result was a devastating car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.
According to the publisher, “Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.”
Members of the book club discussed issues of distracted driving, short attention spans and the influence of technology. Each person had something significant to contribute to the discussion. A few even confessed times they had texted while driving and made resolutions to break this habit.
Everyone came with their own opinions and left with many more. President Wyatt explained, “It’s fun to read a book. It’s more fun to read a book and then discuss it with a group of people who read it, especially in a setting where there’s no grading.”
November’s book is a River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. The meeting will take place in the Starlight Room on November 29th from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
“The best way for students to stay connected to the President’s Book Club is on our Facebook page,” said Beck. “There, we announce the books we are reading and times of the meeting. Anyone is invited to join, and even if you did not read the book we love for all those to come, participate or just listen.”