The PLS Big Read

The PLS Foundation supports The PLS Big Read, an annual celebration of reading centered on a single piece of literature at all public libraries across the three counties in the Pioneer Library System service area.


The PLS Big Read 2017 : Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

  • In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

Check out the Library Catalog for available copies.

Sponsors

  • COMING SOON!

Partnerships

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Keynote Speaker

  • COMING SOON!

Scholar Panel

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The PLS Big Read 2016 : Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  • Ray Bradbury‘s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

Check out the Library Catalog for available copies.

Sponsors

  • Norman Arts Council
  • Friends of the Norman Library
  • Pioneer Library System Foundation
  • Pioneer Library System
  • The Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation

Partnerships

  • Cinema Centre 8, Shawnee
  • Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman
  • NAMRON Players Theatre Collective
  • Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee
  • Science Museum Oklahoma
  • University of Oklahoma, Norman

Keynote Speaker

  • Sam Weller
    • AUTHOR. WRITER. LECTURER. TEACHER.Sam Weller is the authorized biographer of the late writer Ray Bradbury. His book The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury was a Los Angeles Times best seller, winner of the 2005 Society of Midland Authors Award for Best Biography, and a Bram Stoker Award finalist.The companion book, Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews, was published by Melville House/Stop Smiling Books in 2010. With Mort Castle, Weller co-edited the anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (William Morrow Paperbacks, July 2012), winner of the Bram Stoker Award for “Superior Achievement in Anthology.” Weller is the former Midwest Correspondent for Publishers Weekly magazine.He has written for the Paris Review, the National Public Radio Program All Things Considered, and Slate magazine. His short fiction has appeared in numerous books and journals. Weller is a frequent lecturer on the life and legacy of Ray Bradbury. He has given over 250 talks worldwide. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. (www.samweller.net)

Scholar Panel

  • Bob French
  • Dr. Bill Hagen
    • Dr. Hagen is a retired professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University. He has published numerous articles on Joseph Conrad, Malcolm Lowry and film adaptations of fiction. He is a regular reviewer for World Literature Today. Active as a lecturer in the Oklahoma Humanities Council-sponsored “Let’s Talk About It” series in libraries throughout the state, he designed the “Oklahoma Experience: Re-Visions” program. He is an active member of the Friends of the Shawnee Library and past chair of the Pioneer Multi-County Library Board.
  • Dr. Sam Huskey
    • Dr. Huskey teaches in the Department of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Dr. Joey Senat
    • Dr. Senat has taught media law at OSU since joining the faculty in fall 1998. Among the other journalism courses he has taught are public affairs reporting, media style & structure, basic reporting, censorship, editing and the graduate-level ethics class.
  • Dr. Sidney Watson
    • Dr. Watson teaches all levels of English courses including Freshman English. She is currently the faculty sponsor for OBU’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, and also serves as the president on the national board of Sigma Tau Delta following her service for two years as vice president/president elect and four years as the Southwest Regent (representing Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Arkansas). Over the years Dr. Watson has won many awards including the Irene D. Elliott Award for Excellence in Teaching award from the University of South Carolina in 1995 and is active as a scholar in various literacy programs in the state. She is also a member of University Baptist Church in Shawnee.
  • Dr. Wayne Stein
    • Wayne Stein, Ph.D., is a Professor of the English Department at the University of Central Oklahoma. He was awarded the 2008 DaVinci Fellow from the “Oklahoma’s Creativity Think Tank.”  Dr. Stein has presented papers at international, national, and local conferences. He  teaches Asian American literature, modern world literature, and cyberpunk fiction and is interested in the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the paranoia of Thomas Pynchon, and the postmodernity of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Believing in excellence, he has completed training under the Oklahoma Quality Awards Foundation.  Promoting the benefits of technology, Dr. Stein has been the Liberal Arts Web-maintainer/master, the English Department  webmaster, and the technical advisor of the UCO OWL, Online Writing Lab.

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