Find your new favorite read with 9 Birmingham-Southern book clubs—register by Oct. 4


Little Professor Bookshop
Pick up a hard copy of these reads at Little Professor Bookshop. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

With the start of Fall, it’s the perfect season to curl up with a good book, and thanks to Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) you can have a great read and discuss it with others through one of their nine virtual book clubs. Keep reading for all the details on how to sign up by October 4, and start reading your new favorite book from Birmingham-Southern’s book club today.

About the Book Club + how to join

Little Professor Bookshop
Some of the BSC book club featured books at Little Professor Bookshop. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Get ready to get reading with books you won’t want to put down. With nine different novels that will be a part of Birmingham-Southern’s book club, you’ll have plenty of options to pick from. So, go find the story that piques your interest the most.

This fall, Birmingham-Southern’s book clubs will focus on BSC authors, including alumni and faculty. It’s not often you get to discuss a book you read with the author who wrote it, but now you can. Almost all the featured authors will make an appearance in the book club discussions, along with a number of interesting facilitators from the Birmingham-Southern College community.

These clubs are completely free to sign up for and open to anyone who wants to join, no matter your age or relation to the college. All you have to do to participate is sign up, choose a book from the list, purchase it and finish reading before the virtual discussion.

Here are the dates you need to know:

Now onto the books.

1. Family Law

Birmingham-Southern book club
One of the books featured in Birmingham-Southern’s book club
Birmingham-Southern book club
Author Gin Phillips. Photo via Gin Phillips website

Set in Alabama in the early ’80s, an ambitious female lawyer becomes the victim of harassment. She must decide what’s more important: her family’s safety or the rights she’s fighting for. 

You’ll follow a journey of self discovery and struggle as this lawyer faces the dangers of helping other women escape unhealthy and unsafe marriages.

  • About the Author: Gin Phillips BSC Class of ’96—Born in Montgomery, Gin graduated from BSC with a degree in political journalism and worked as a magazine writer all over the world before moving back to Birmingham. She has written five novels and her debut work won a Barnes & Noble Discover Award.
  • Facilitator: Dr. Fred Ashe—Retired BSC English Professor
  • Sign up

2. Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: My Life in the Music Business

Birmingham-Southern book club
Explore the exciting world of the music industry. Photo via The BSC Blog

This is the autobiography of Miles A. Copeland, a maverick manager, promoter, label owner and legend.

Travel through the Middle East with Miles and his CIA agent father, then to London in the late ’60s to the beginnings of his music managing career. You’ll discover the ups, downs and exciting in-betweens of a life in the music industry.

  • About the Author: Miles Copeland BSC Class of ‘66— An American music and entertainment executive, Miles managed The Police and Sting. He is also the co-founder of I.R.S. Records label: producing R.E.M., The Bangles, Berlin, The Cramps, Dead Kennedys, The Go-Go’s and more.
  • Facilitators: Andrea Paschal—General Manager at Think Indie Distribution/Coalition of Independent Music Stores and Scott Register—The host of Reg’s Coffeehouse on Birmingham Mountain Radio and father of Mitchell Register, a first-year student at BSC.
  • Sign up

3. Surfing the Waves of Alzheimer’s: Principles of Caregiving That Kept Me Upright

Birmingham-Southern book club
Another great read for the Birmingham-Southern’s book club. Photo via Renée Harmon website
Birmingham-Southern book club
Author Renée Harmon. Photo via Renee Harmon website

Follow Renée down the eight year path of her husband’s time with Alzheimer’s. She uses the structure of a memoir to tell her and her husband’s incredible story.

This is a great read for those wanting to get an inside look on what it’s like to live through loving and taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s

  • About the Author: Dr. Renée Harmon BSC Class of ’83—Renée earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and completed residencies at the Medical University of South Carolina in family medicine where she and her husband were co-chief residents. They returned to Birmingham to open a private practice together and worked until her husband’s disease forced him to retire. Renée is now also retired and focuses on her writing, speaking and hiking.
  • Facilitator: Mike Chappell BSC Class of ’82—Retired from 31-year career in teaching in 2015 and began a career in real estate at Weichert Realtors – The Space Place
  • Sign up

4. Bay Boy: Stories of a Childhood in Point Clear, Alabama

Birmingham-Southern book club
Grow up in Point Clear, AL. Photo via The BSC Blog
Author Watt Key
Author Watt Key. Photo via Watt Key Website

Enjoy this funny, colorful coming-of-age memoir chronicling Watt Key’s boyhood in Point Clear, Alabama. You can look forward to following the Tom Sawyer-like journeys of an outdoorsy childhood in Alabama as Watt encounters curious characters and experiences Gulf Coast traditions.

  • Author: Watt Key BSC Class of ’92—Watt is an award-winning author from Alabama who has gained raging success with young reluctant readers. His debut novel, Alabama Moon, won the 2007 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award, the 2006 Parent’s Choice Gold Award and is listed on the ‘100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time’ list by Time Magazine.
  • Facilitator: Rev. Evan Garner BSC Class of ’02—Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas 
  • Sign up

5. Madness Rising

Birmingham-Southern book club
Read Madness rising for a thrilling space adventure. Photo via The BSC Blog

If you love science fiction and a little bit of a thrill, this is is the perfect read for you. Robots, aliens and the last colony of humans are all elements this story revolves around.

  • Author: Keith Parker BSC Class of ’86—Keith is a novelist who likes nostalgia, adventure, romantic-adventure, coming-of-age stories, speculative fiction and whiskey. His favorite authors include Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft and Ernest Hemingway.
  • Facilitator: Dr. Duane Pontius BSC Class of ’81, T. Morris Hackney—Professor of Physics and Daphne Powell— Director of Donor Relations
  • Sign up

6. The Newspaper Boy: Coming of Age in Birmingham, AL During the Civil Rights Era

Newspaper boy
A great read to add to your fall book list. Photo via BSC Book Club

This is the memoir of young Chervis Isom as he grows up working as a newspaper boy in the midst of the racial strife happening in Birmingham. Follow along with a young boy’s journey as he tries to make sense of the world he’s living in.

  • Author: Chervis Isom BSC Class of ‘62—Chervis has worked extensively throughout the South with developers and real estate professionals from all walks of life. He serves as the Senior Counsel in the Birmingham office of Baker Donelson Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, and is the former Chair of the Real Estate Practice Group.
  • Facilitator: Lars Porter BSC Class of ’04—Technology coordinator at Mountain Brook Junior High School
  • Sign up

7. A Family Place: A Man Returns to the Center of His Life

Birmingham-Southern book club
A Family Place is a great read on the Birmingham-Southern book club list. Photo via The BSC Blog
Birmingham-Southern book club
Author Charles Gaines. Photo via Inkwell Management

Read about one couple’s decision to buy a piece of land that would lead to building their saving grace. This is perfect for those looking for a heartwarming story about growth in middle-age and the importance of family.

  • Author: Charles Gaines BSC Class of ’64—Charles is the 2020 Truman Capote Award winner for non-fiction writing. He moved to Alabama at age 10, and is best known for his work about the sport of bodybuilding. His novel Stay Hungry focused on the subculture of bodybuilding during the early 70s and was made into a movie filmed in Birmingham.
  • Facilitator: Sue Dill Grogan BSC Class of ’73
  • Sign up

8. Shopping Bagged

Join Birmingham-Southern’s book club and read fun stories like this. Photo via The BSC Blog

This is a go-to book for mystery lovers. What secret did shopping center developer Beauregard Henry bury under the fountain in his mall? Everyone is trying to find out, but maybe you’ll be able to first to figure it out when you read this novel with Birmingham-Southern’s book club.

  • Author: Maury Levine BSC Class of ’91—Maury is a Birmingham call center manager by day and drummer for musical theatre productions by night. Shopping Bagged is his debut novel.
  • Facilitator: Kyle Bass BSC Class of ’86—Executive Director and Founder, Homewood Theatre
  • Sign up

9. If I Were the Boss of You: A Southern Woman’s Guide to the Sweet Life

A great pick for Birmingham-Southern’s book club. Photo via Melinda Rainey Thompson Website
Birmingham-Southern book club
Author Melinda Rainey Thompson. Photo via Melinda Rainey Thompson Website

Prepare to laugh, cry and stay up reading all night with Melidna Rainey Thompson’s depiction of a modern-day, Southern women’s perspective on life. Every woman will be able to relate to aspects of this novel detailing the nagging concerns we all have about our day-to-day existence.

  • Author: Melinda Rainey Thompson— Melinda is the bestselling author of five books and her work has been reviewed by the New York Journal of Books and many others. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Tulane University and a Master of Arts in English from The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). When she’s not working on a book, Melinda freelances and speaks at venues all across the country.
  • Facilitator: Alexis Barton—Senior Communications Consultant at BBVA USA
  • Sign up

Learn more about all of theses books and authors at the BSC Blog.

Which book will you choose to dive into for Birmingham-Southern’s book club? Once you make the hard decision, remember to sign up and get reading!

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Miranda Shaffer
Miranda Shaffer
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