English Professors’ Passion Meets Expertise

New community event series highlights the joy of reading

Other than the thrill of experiencing great writing, the best part of reading a book you love is talking about it with friends. That’s the spirit behind the Department of English Language and Literature’s new Faculty Favorites Event Series premiering 7 p.m. Thursday, September 21 at Sleepy Dog Books in downtown Mount Pleasant.

In this new series of short, informal events, English Department faculty members will share favorite novels and poems and what they love about them. The department plans to host the series four times throughout the year. The first two faculty guests are Professors Mark Freed and Desmond Harding.

Freed will discuss the opening sentence of Italo Calvino’s novel, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, in which the reader immediately loses their ability to know whether they are inside the novel or outside. 

Harding will discuss two of his favorite passages in British author Zadie Smith’s 2012 novel NW. He says he chose to share these passages because they “conjure a seemingly realistic urban landscape through which the reader experiences the ‘same’ imaginary journey twice over.”

The Faculty Favorites Event Series is designed to be an informal dialogue and include audience participation, so grab a friend and come join the conversation. 

“This is all about passion for the books we love,” said Freed.

Founded in 2022 by two career educators, Sleepy Dog Books serves the Mount Pleasant community through literary offerings, community programs and local events. It is located at 120 E. Broadway. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Robert Fanning at or

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