Tag Archives: Big-Read

Book Club reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

On Thursday, July 31, the Library Book Club will discuss The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain’s timeless novel of boyhood set in the 1840s in the author’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, which includes Tom Sawyer on its list of Big Read titles, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is not merely a literary classic. It is part of the American imagination. More than any other work in our culture, it established America’s vision of childhood. Mark Twain created two fictional boys, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, who still seem more real than most of the people we know.”*

The discussion will take place at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room at 12:00 and is open to all readers, age 10 and up. Off-campus readers are invited to join the discussion live via Google Hangouts. For more information, please contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu.


*National Endowment for the Arts: The Big Read, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. http://www.neabigread.org/books/theadventuresoftomsawyer/

The Big Read Festival Kicks Off at the Library

Written by Harold Henkel, Assistant Librarian

Dear Friends & Readers,

The Big Read is here! Our festival offers a program of entertaining and stimulating events that will introduce participants to the richness of Russian culture, and in particular, to the genius of Leo Tolstoy by focusing on his late novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Please stop by the Library for your free copy or contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu. The Regent University Library invites all interested readers throughout Hampton Roads to take part in our Big Read festival and discover the pleasure of reading great literature with your friends.


  • Essay & Video Contests

    The Library is sponsoring video and essay contests, with separate categories for contestants under and over 18. Top prize for each category is $150. The deadline for all entries is midnight, January 31, 2009. For details, click here for essay and here for video contest rules.


  • War, Love, Repentance: A Festival of Russian Cinema
    Dates: January 16, 23, 30
    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Library Auditorium
    Regent film faculty Prof. Andrew Quicke and Dr. Dennis Bounds will host a festival of Russian cinema on three Friday evenings. All showings are free and open to the public.
  1. January 16: Dr. Dennis Bounds will host Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)-Sergei Bodrov’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s short story, “A Prisoner of the Caucasus.”
  2. January 23: Prof. Andrew Quicke will host Anna Karenina (1967)-Alexander Zarkhi’s classic film of Tolstoy’s masterpiece.
  3. January 30: Prof. Andrew Quicke will host Ostrov (2006)-Pavel Lungin’s powerful film of guilt, repentance, and holiness set in a Russian monastery in the far north.
  • Faculty Lunch Symposium: Ivan Ilyich’s Problems
    Date: January 27
    Time: 12:00 p.m.
    Location: Library Atrium
    A panel of Regent University faculty will discuss The Death of Ivan Ilyich from the perspective of their disciplines: Dr. Rosemarie Hughes, School of Psychology and Counseling; Dr. Michael Palmer, School of Divinity; Prof. David Wagner, School of Law. Also joining the panel will be Dr. Maria Grise, Department of Russian, Old Dominion University and Fr. James Pavlow, pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Virginia Beach. Lunch will be served. The event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. Harold Henkel (harohen@regent.edu) by January 23.


  • Book Discussion in Russian
    Date: February 5
    Time: 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Library 1st Floor Reading Area
    The Library will host a discussion in Russian of The Death of Ivan Ilyich for native Russian speakers, speakers of Russian as a second language, and students of Russian. For more information, contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu or 757-352-4198.


  • A Taste of Russia
    Date: February 10
    Time: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Location: Regent Ordinary
    Chef Dan Murphy will present two classics of the Russian kitchen, Ukrainian Borsch and Salmon Kulebyaka. The event is open to the public.   


  • Give War and Peace a Chance: How Tolstoy Can Change Your Life
    Date: February 10
    Time: 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Robertson Hall, Moot Courtroom

    Dr. Andrew Kaufman, scholar, author, actor, lecturer at the University of Virginia, and Russian literature expert for Oprah’s Book Club will discuss how Tolstoy’s works confront the essential questions of life: What does it mean to lead a good life? What is necessary for true happiness? Is suffering beneficial? How does one truly live by the teachings in the Gospels? Dr. Kaufman (aka Professor Andy) will explain how Tolstoy’s books can inspire, challenge and change you and why the works of a 19th century Russian aristocrat are the best self-help books on the market. A reception will follow in the Robertson Hall Lobby.


  • Big Read Kick-Off
    On January 9, our festival of Tolstoy and Russian culture kicked off in the Library with remarks from Dean Sara Baron, Dr. Carlos Campo, librarian Harold Henkel, and a dramatic reading by the Library’s systems manager and resident thespian, Mark Zillges. Click here to view the photo gallery from the kickoff.
  • Library Book Club Discussion
    On January 13, the Library Book Club hosted its best-attended meeting to date with Russian refreshments and lively discussion. Click here to view the photo gallery from the book discussion.
    Tolstoy at the Plough by Ilya Repin, 1887
    Tolstoy at the Plough by Ilya Repin, 1887

Don’t seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness. 

Leo Tolstoy

University Library Receives Big Read Grant from NEA

Written by Harold Henkel, Assistant LibrarianBig Read logo

Last April, the National Endowment for the Arts selected the University Library to participate in The Big Read initiative. The purpose of The Big Read is “to restore reading to the center of American culture.” The Library will organize a community read in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Williamsburg of Tolstoy’s novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. To reach the widest possible audience, we are forming partnerships with a diverse group of academic, civic, governmental, and church organizations.

Besides group discussions of the novel, we are putting together a program designed to foster appreciation for Tolstoy as well as Russian literature and culture. Some of our events will include:

  • A symposium on Tolstoy and The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
  • A full Russian meal at the Regent Ordinary.
  • A guest lecture at the College of William & Mary on the role of Tolstoy in European culture.
  • A film series at William & Mary dedicated to adaptations of Tolstoy’s works.

A distinguished speaker will kick-off our Big Read in early January 2009. Discussions and events will proceed for the entire month.

Book cover of Death of Ivan IlyachThe Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the most powerful treatments in literature of life’s most inescapable fact. At the same time, the novel is short (only 128 pages) and written in the spare, clear style of Tolstoy’s late style, making it not only profound, but unusually accessible. We hope that the entire Regent community will be able to participate in this opportunity to read together one of masterpieces of world literature.

For more information about the Big Read at Regent, contact Harold Henkel.