Monday, January 29, 2024

“The Road” and “Life As We Knew It” are MCC Reads selections


“The Road,” by Cormac McCarthy, and “Life As We Knew It,” by Susan Beth Pfeffer, are this year’s MCC Reads book selections. 

“The Road” is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a national bestseller. It’s a searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this “tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

“Life As We Knew It” is “a heart-stopping post-apocalyptic thriller that's absorbing from first to last page,” according to a Publisher’s Weekly, starred review. When a meteor knocks the moon closer to earth, Miranda, a high school sophomore, takes shelter with her family. Told in a year’s worth of journal entries, it chronicles the human struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all — hope — in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world. (Source: 

According to MCC Library Director Katie Arwood, the purpose of MCC Reads is to enjoy the same text across campus that allows for discussion and interaction as a group – it creates a community of readers. It also promotes reading, literature, and the value of libraries. 

“MCC Reads is celebrating its 10th year and along the way our reading selections have delved into a lot of different topics and genres, but we hadn’t explored dystopian or apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic writing, two genres that share the same shelf, and it seemed like the right time to do so. These are popular genres, with wide readership, and viewership too, but they have a harder edge than other areas of fiction so finding the right read took a bit of thought, and that’s why two titles were selected,” Arwood said. 

The books were also selected because of the quality of writing and there’s so much to discuss in them.  

“The MCC Reads program supporting these titles was organized around the overarching ideas in both books, that the world is sometimes experienced as an unexpected, unexplained place, and our connections to one another, our will, and our beliefs, serve as our guides through these times, and it is often hope that keeps us going,” Arwood said. 

A variety of events will be held at 12 p.m. in the library on the Sidney campus to go along with the MCC Reads selections. 

  • Tuesday, Jan. 30: Celebrate MCC Reads’ 10th birthday with cake and ice cream and an introduction to this year’s Pulitzer Prize-winning selection, “The Road,” by the late, great Cormac McCarthy. Library Director Katie Arwood will share the motivation behind selecting “The Road” and just enough of the story to get you reading. She will also take you on a journey through the varied MCC Reads titles from the past decade. Free books will be available for guests. 
  • Tuesday, Feb. 13: Artist, craftsperson, and all-around creative soul Debbie Bell guides guests as they put white charcoal pencil to black paper to create a night sky and landscape, and several other scenes, following her excellent drawing instruction.  Supplies are provided for this mini workshop. 
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27: Registered nurse, survival specialist, former combat medic, and 1996 MCC graduate Robert Shelley shares his talents and skills, along with his stories of adventure, during his fascinating discussion and demonstration of surviving in the wild. 
  • Monday, March 4: MCC’ Director or Instructional Innovation & Information, Kevin Wagenmaker will talk about AI and robots of the future, opening our eyes to the national and global implications of artificial intelligence in this far-reaching discussion. 
  • Tuesday, March 12: Bigfoot enthusiast and local expert Scott Schalow shares the mythology of Bigfoot and facts surrounding Bigfoot sightings and experiences. Scott’s captivating presentation explores the unknown in our world, giving space for all views on this creature, with an understanding that what is strange to some is believable to others. 
  • Wednesday, March 13: Join the MCC Reads community of readers to share your thoughts and hear from others about this year’s two powerful reads.  Discussion starters will be provided. 
  • Wednesday, March 20: This is International Happiness Day, so let’s all “get happy” together in the library. Dr. Lance Miller will share, in his uniquely wonderful way, philosophical notions on happiness. 


For more information, visit, email or call 989-328-1261. 


Media contact:
Shelly Springborn
Director of Communications and Public Relations