Category: Community

University Libraries 2023 – 2024 Book Club

Join us for the 2023 – 2024 Book Club sponsored by the Friends of the Libraries, WSU Alumni Association, and the WSU Retirees Association.

When and Where:

Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. on WebEx. Registration is encouraged but not required.

What We’re Reading:

September 21, 2023: The Summers by Ronya Othmann, translated by Dr. Gary Schmidt

Book Cover Image of The Summers

Special guest, Dr. Gary Schmidt, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and translator of The Summers, by Ronya Othmann, will join this discussion.

The Summers narrates the coming of age of Leyla, who spends the school year in her mother’s home country of Germany but travels every summer to her father’s Kurdish village in Syria, near the Turkish border. There, with her grandparents and Yazidi friends, she comes alive. She knows the village’s smells and tastes; she knows the villagers’ stories. She knows where they keep their suitcases hidden, should they need to escape again.

As Leyla grows older, her sexual awakening takes a back seat to her cultural discoveries. She becomes increasingly disenchanted with her German classmates and friends’ indifference when ISIS troops enter the village, threatening the lives of her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Thoughtful and poignant, The Summers addresses issues of gender, sexuality, cultural difference, politics, and identity. Ronya Othmann draws readers into multiple worlds, ultimately revealing the hopes and dreams that bind us all together when forces threaten to tear us apart. (Description from the publisher).

November 16, 2023: Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah

Book Cover Image of Calling for a Blanket Dance

A moving and deeply engaging novel about a young Native American man as he learns to find strength in his familial identity. 

Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they face myriad obstacles. His father’s injury at the hands of corrupt police, his mother’s struggle to hold on to her job and care for her husband, the constant resettlement of the family, and the legacy of centuries of injustice all intensify Ever’s bottled-up rage. Meanwhile, all of Ever’s relatives have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother urges the family to move across Oklahoma to find security; his grandfather hopes to reunite him with his heritage through traditional gourd dances; his Kiowa cousin reminds him that he’s connected to an ancestral past. And once an adult, Ever must take the strength given to him by his relatives to save not only himself but also the next generation of family.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t given him a place to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle found his way to home.(Description from the publisher).

January 18, 2024: Lucky Red by Claudia Cravens

Book Cover Image of Lucky Red

It’s the spring of 1877 and sixteen-year-old Bridget is already disillusioned when she arrives penniless in Dodge City with only her wits to keep her alive. Thanks to the allure of her bright red hair and country-girl beauty, she’s recruited to work at the Buffalo Queen, the only brothel in town run by women. Bridget takes to brothel life, appreciating the good food, good pay, and good friendships she forms with her fellow “sporting women”.

But as winter approaches, Bridget learns just how fleeting stability can be. With the arrival of out-of-towners – some ominous and downright menacing, others more alluring but potentially dangerous in their own ways, including a legendary female gunfighter who steals Bridget’s heart – tensions in Dodge City run high. When the Buffalo Queen’s peace and stability are threatened, Bridget must decide what she owes to the people she loves and what it looks like to claim her own destiny.

A thoroughly modern reimaging of the Western genre, Lucky Red, is a masterfully crafted, propulsive tale of adventure, loyalty, desire, and love. (Description from the publisher).

March 21, 2024: The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winner for Fiction

More information will follow when available.

Book titles are available for borrowing from the WSU Libraries collection, click on book titles above to check current availability. Don’t have a WSU library card? Join our Friends of the Libraries for borrowing privileges and help support the Libraries’ collections and programs.

Summer Reading Recommendations

Image of books on bench at beach

The Book Club recently met at Eudora Brewing Company for a casual conversation about books they’re reading and to share recommendations with others. If you’re looking for a summer read and were not able to make it to the discussion, below are a few of the titles mentioned by fellow clubbers. We’ve linked them to our catalog or the SearchOhio catalog to make it easy for you to request them.

Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

When Women Were Dragons, by Kelly Barnhill

The Very Secret Society of  Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna

The Swiss Nurse, by Mario Escobar

The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder, by David Grann

The Sky Club, by Terry Roberts

Ma and Me, by Putsata Reang

Tastes Like War, by Grace M. Cho

Trust, by Hernan Diaz

Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

The Motion Picture Teller, by Colin Cotterill

Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

We’re also happy to share that registration is now available for our 2023-2024 Book Club discussions. Registration is not required but is encouraged. We’ll kick-off the year on September 21, 2023 with The Summers, by Ronya Othman, translated by Gary Schmidt (translator Dr. Gary Schmidt, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, will be attending). 

More information about our 2023-2024 book discussions can be found at Library News. The Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Libraries, the WSU Alumni Association, and the WSU Retirees Association.

We hope you enjoy your summer and happy reading!

The Genius of the Wright Brothers and Construction of the 1903 Flyer

Image of 1903 Flyer Replica in Library
1903 Wright Flyer Replica in Dunbar Library

Thursday, June 15, 2023

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Room 441 Dunbar Library

Register Now

Join us as Dr. Rubin Battino shares a brief history of powered flight including a discussion of the Wright brothers’ 1903 Flyer, the first machine to achieve controlled powered flight. He also will recount personal histories of the Wright brothers and their families.

Battino, an emeritus professor of chemistry, will present material showing how scientific the Wrights were in their approach to flying, even fabricating wind tunnels and other aerodynamic testing apparatus in their bicycle shop. He also will share what he learned by helping to construct the full-size replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer that now hangs in the atrium of the Dunbar Library.

Battino served on the faculty at Wright State from 1966 to 1995. He has given presentations on the Wright brothers and their mechanic, Charlie Taylor, in the United States and abroad. He was named “Speaker of the Year” by the Royal New Zealand Aeronautical Society and was a special speaker at Farnham in England.

The talk is cosponsored by the Wright State University Retirees Association and the Friends of the Libraries. The presentation is free and open to the public. Registration is required and must be completed by Monday, June 12.

The Friends of the Libraries Elect New Board Members and Appoint a New Officer

At the Friends of the Libraries Board of Directors annual meeting held of April 26, 2023, the Board elected the following new Board members and officer:

WSURA Retirees Representative:  Peggy Bott

Image of Peggy Bott
Peggy Bott

Peggy Bott was born in Pennsylvania and spent most of her childhood in a small PA town that did not have much to offer except for a good library. She shares that she can’t imagine what she would have done without that library. Libraries have remained one of her favorite places to be, so she’s really pleased to be part of the Friends of the Libraries.

Most of her adult life has been spent in the Dayton area and most of her professional life has been spent at Wright State University. In the late 1970’s Peggy started as an advisor in the Raj Soin College of Business and eventually became the Undergraduate Program Director until her retirement in 2004.

As soon as she retired, she joined the Wright State Retirees Association and got to know Gary Barlow who was then the retirees’ liaison to the FOL. As soon as Gary told her that the FOL was sponsoring a book club, she joined and never regretted it. Peggy shares that as part of the book club she has read some great books that she may have missed if she wasn’t a member of this group, and states she has learned so much from other members.

On a more personal note, Peggy has two adult children, a daughter in Columbus and a son in North Carolina. Each have two children, so she has experienced the joy that grandchildren bring.

Student Representative:  Emily Mancuso

Image of Emily Mancuso
Emily Mancuso

Emily Mancuso was elected to the FOL Board of Directors in the fall of 2022 as a non-voting student representative while shadowing student representative Christian Sanders who graduated in December. In January 2023, Emily stepped into the full role of student representative for The Friends of the Libraries Board of Directors. Emily has also served on the University Libraries’ Student Advisory Board since her first semester at Wright State. Emily brings her experience of working at a public library to her perspective as a student representative to the library.

She is a double major in English and International Studies. At the annual meeting, the Board appointed Emily to her first full term. Emily shares that she is looking forward to serving on the board this upcoming academic year.

Member-at-Large/Faculty Representative:  Lynn Hartzler

Image of Lynn Hartzler
Lynn Hartzler

Lynn Hartzler, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences where she also currently serves as chair. Lynn is a comparative physiologist, and studies how the brain controls breathing. She is particularly interested in how changes in body temperature alter the way the brain senses carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the blood. We use changes in ventilation to compensate for acid-base disturbances in the body and to deliver adequate oxygen to our cells. Her favorite class to teach is Animal Physiology where her students get to learn about different ways that animals’ bodies work and how many have interesting adaptations to varied environments. 

Lynn shares that she is delighted to have the opportunity to support the work of the Friends of the Libraries who have had such a positive impact on our students, staff, and faculty at Wright State University.

Community Representative:  Ellen Reinsch Friese, M.H.

Image of Ellen Reinsch Friese, M.H.
Ellen Reinsch Friese, M.H.

Ellen Reinsch Friese retired from Wright State University in 2021 after 25 years of service in research administration. In October 2017, she was named the Interim Vice Provost for Research overseeing the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Office of Technology Transfer, and the Office of Research Compliance and served in that role until retirement. During her tenure at Wright State, she earned a Master’s of Humanities degree, was a recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Human Relations, and served on numerous University committees.

Retirement has afforded Ellen the opportunity to pursue her interests in gardening, cooking, and reading. She previously served as a member of the Friends of the Libraries Board for six years and looks forward to reconnecting with the library community to support the important work of the organization.

Staff Representative:  Evan Mason

Image of Evan Mason
Evan Mason

Evan is a two-time alum of Wright State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2013 and a Master of Arts in History in 2015. Since 2019, he has worked for Wright State’s Office of Disability Services, where he is a case manager and co-director of the Raiders on the Autism Spectrum Excelling (RASE) program. Prior to returning to WSU, Evan worked as a Local History & Genealogy Librarian for Greene County Public Library.

Evan lives in Beavercreek with his wife Christy and son Eli. In his free time, he enjoys listening to audiobooks, watching Cincinnati Reds games, and working on home improvement projects.

Secretary:  Kathi Herick

Image of Kathi Herick
Kathi Herick

Kathi Herick has worked in the field of library sciences for over 35 years. Her love of books and research was evident in her time as a student at Wright State where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology and worked at the University Libraries’ Reference and Interlibrary Loan departments’ information desks as a student employee. She went on to work three years at the Miami Valley Hospital Library before returning home to WSU to work in a variety of positions, retiring as the Head of the Library Computing Services department in September 2016. She received her Masters of Library Science from Kent State University.  

Kathi is also a passionate supporter of public libraries as a vital community and information resource. 

In her spare she time she enjoys knitting, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughters, son-in-law, and her two adorable granddaughters.  

The Friends said good-bye to outgoing members of the Board: Gary Barlow, Natalie DeHorn, Stephanie Dickey, Glenn Graham, and Christian Sanders. We thank each of them for their many years of dedicated service to the Friends of the Libraries.