2022 Memphis Reads: Noor by Dr. Nnedi Okorafor 

Memphis Reads, the Memphis community common reading program based at Christian Brothers University, is pleased to announce its book selection for 2022. A book is selected each year that engages Memphians in issues that are relative to daily societal topics and themes, and this year’s selection — Noor by Dr. Nnedi Okorafor — does just that by urging readers to “expect the unexpected”. 

Publisher’s Weekly says this about Noor, “Okorafor exposes the cracks in this technology-driven, highly surveilled society as each detour in AO and DNA’s route adds layers of intrigue on the way to a jaw-dropping finale…. This is must-read.” Dr. Okorafor is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus and Lodestar Awards and her debut novel ZAHRAH THE WINDSEEKER won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. She has also written an African-futurist comic series LAGUARDIA (winner of the Hugo and Eisner Award); comics for Marvel, including BLACK PANTHER: LONG LIVE THE KING and WAKANDA FOREVER (featuring the Dora Milaje) and the SHURI series; and her short memoir LAGUARDIA. 

CBU Welcomes Dr. Nnedi Okorafor 

Register today for your invitation to the livestreamed event!

Memphis Reads 2022 Events

  • Wednesday, October 26, 7:00 pm | Writer’s Talk
    Christian Brothers University | University Theater
  • Thursday, October 27, 6:00 pm | Writer’s Talk
    Rhodes College | McNeill Concert Hall
  • Thursday, October 27, 9:00 am | Writer’s Talk
    Manassas High School

2022 Partners and Sponsors

Memphis Reads Sponsors 2022 - Sponsors include SouthArts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, FirstBook, Follet, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sponsors include SouthArts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, FirstBook, Follet, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This Presentation is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee.

Community Partners

Memphis Reads is a community partnership between Christian Brothers University, Rhodes College, The University of Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College, Facing History & Ourselves, Memphis Public Libraries, City of Memphis, NOVEL Bookstore, Shelby Co. Schools, Whole Child Strategies, National Civil Rights Museum, and Momentum Nonprofit Partners.

CBU Reads (originally Fresh Reads) is CBU’s first-year summer reading program and is the basis for the Memphis community common reading program, Memphis Reads. The program gives new students a common academic experience and connects them with the campus community, as well as the Memphis community. First year students, upperclassmen, and faculty members read the same book and have numerous opportunities to discuss it throughout the school year at various First Year Experience events. 

CBU Reads

As you arrive at CBU and embark on a new chapter of your life as a college student, we hope that your CBU Reads book will move you to think about your life so far and the lives of those around you, motivating you to change, serve, respond, and consider. You will receive a rental copy of the book when you arrive on campus for Orientation. Other versions of the book can be acquired via the Plough Library, Dr. Nnedi Okorafor’s Website (Nnedi.com), or via our local partner, NOVEL Memphis (20% off when using the checkout code MEMPHISREADS online). 

The Essay Prompt

In addition to reading the book before you navigate CBU, first-time freshmen might also be inclined to begin writing – or at least considering – the essay required for their CBU 101 course, an assignment due September 23rd, 2022. Here are the three prompt options for this year:

  • Though a work of fiction, finding love, facing societal backlash, and even the Fulani Herdsmen are all very real. What other topic or theme within the book could you relate to reality? Also, how does this “topic” (positive or negative) affect society today? 
  • AO experienced a lot of “rebuilding” in her physical body and connection to the value of self. To achieve such, she braved both deserts and drones alike. Reflect on a moment in which you have helped to build up yourself or others through adversity and the effects on those involved after. 
  • Displacement from society affects more than we may ever realize. However, in unity, there can come community. Through open living spaces, community gardens, and constant trade, the “Hour Glass” presented an example of such. What other ideas could yield such community cohesiveness, and how would it work? 

Previous CBU Reads Book Titles:

  • 2021: Thick, and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom 
  • 2020: We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • 2019: Memphis: 200 Years Together by a collection of Memphis authors
  • 2018: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • 2017: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • 2016: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
  • 2015: What is the What by Dave Eggers
  • 2014: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu
  • 2013: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  • 2012: The Noticer by Andy Andrews
  • 2011: The Soloist by Steve Lopez


Justin L. Brooks
Director, Center for Community Engagement