TUPELO – Think of it as a citywide book club, where every Tupelo resident reads the same text at the same time.
It’s called “Tupelo Reads: We’re All on the Same Page,” and Mayor Jack Reed Jr. announced the new municipal program Thursday at the Lee County Library.
Participants young and old will read the selected book at their leisure this summer, then convene in September for a series of community events based on the selection.
The idea sprang from Reed’s volunteer-based Task Force on Education, whose members chose Mitch Albom’s nonfiction novel “Tuesdays with Morrie.”
The book, which topped The New York Times bestseller’s list a decade ago, recounts the last days of retired college professor Morrie Schwartz. The author was one of Schwartz’s former students and reunited with him during his dying battle with ALS.
“We couldn’t think of a better book, really,” said Lisa Reed, the mayor’s wife and task force member.
The Lee County Library will have extra copies of “Tuesdays With Morrie” this summer, and at least one bookstore – Reed’s – will offer the book at a discount. The city is contacting other bookstores in attempts to arrange similar discounts.
“Reading this book as a community will connect us, and it will connect us through the generations,” said Tupelo High School teacher Sharon Rogers, who will encourage her students to participate in the program.
Students also will get a chance to create videos and artwork related to the book. Videos will be shown during a public screening of the TV adaptation of “Tuesdays with Morrie.” And artwork will be displayed at the Gum Tree Museum of Art. Both events will happen in September.
Other events include a keynote speech by Vanderbilt University philosophy professor John Lachs, the Tupelo Community Theater’s production of a play based on the book, and a panel discussion about the novel’s medical, ethical and spiritual aspects.
If successful, the city will organize the program annually with a different book each summer.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to take part?
- For more information on “Tupelo Reads: We’re All on the Same Page,” contact the mayor’s office at (662) 841-6525 or go online to
Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal