JSU Reads.....A Common Reading Program



What happens when a person survives a suicide attempt, and how does that individual move forward after such an event?  Suicide Notes, by Michael Thomas Ford, is a novel that answers this question in a series of journal entries, or “notes,” in which the protagonist, Jeff, recounts his forty-five-day stay in the psychiatric ward of a hospital.  As he comprehends his own motivations, he also develops a better understanding of his fellow patients, each of whom has a unique story.  These peers, the staff, and his family all play a part in helping Jeff come to terms with his decision and move towards recovery.

In this coming of age story, Jeff learns to cope with depression and suicide, while also learning empathy for those around him.  But, most importantly, Jeff must learn to accept who he is.  The same could be said about millions of first-year college students across the country each year, as they pack their bags and move away from everything they’ve ever known. Coping with stress, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts has become a dark reality on college campuses, and JSU is committed to bringing these important issues into the light.  Therefore, we are pleased to announce Suicide Notes, by Michael Thomas Ford, as the 2018 Common Reading Program book. 

Students will study and discuss the Common Reading Program book in English Composition and First-Year Student Experience courses. The goals of JSU Reads: A Common Reading Program are to unite first-year students and to promote thought and action on a variety of relevant issues by reading a common text during the first semester of college. In conjunction with this year’s selection, students will also enjoy a wide variety of events, including speakers, presentations, and service projects.