Great Books Dinner and Discussion Series

MSOE is proud to present a unique literary experience designed for every book lover. If you enjoy meeting new people, exchanging ideas, expanding your literary knowledge, and sampling gourmet cuisine, MSOE’s Great Books Dinner and Discussion Series is an adventure you must experience. Partake in a lively discussion, or simply sit back, observe and enjoy the haunting atmosphere of MSOE’s beautiful Alumni Partnership Center. Your reading experiences will spring to life as we gather once again! Whet your appetite in a delightful exchange of great books, great food and great conversation.

Register for Great Books

Click on the name of the event for more information.

September Selection-Planet of the Apes,
Pierre Boulle,

Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff
September 16, 2015

In the not-too-distant future, three astronauts land on what appears to be a planet just like Earth, with lush forests, a temperate climate and breathable air. But while it appears to be a paradise, nothing is what it seems. They soon discover the terrifying truth: on this world, humans are savage beasts and apes rule as their civilized masters. In an ironic novel of nonstop action and breathless intrigue, one man struggles to unlock the secret of a terrifying civilization, all the while wondering: will he become the savior of the human race, or the final witness to its damnation? In a shocking climax that rivals that of the original movie, Boulle delivers the answer in a masterpiece of adventure, satire and suspense.

Assorted Sausage Plate with Czech Potato Pancakes
Caesar Salad
Chicken and Coconut Served on a Banana Leaf, Sticky Rice and Root Vegetables
Bananas Foster

October Selection-Last of the Mohicans,
by James Fenimore Cooper

Presenter: Judith Steininger
October 14, 2015

Once upon a time it was really wild in upstate New York. Thanks to Cooper we have a filtered vision of that time. Perhaps no other book has bridged the terrain from Europe to America and solidified the American archetypes that still affect our notions of heroism, manliness, womanhood and races. Good and evil are tossed in for no extra charge. Meet Natty Bumppo as he roams the dense forests which were heretofore the purview of Chingachgook and his Mohican people. We’ve referenced this novel so many times in our Great Books discussions it’s time we read the original.

Fried Squash Blossoms, Figs and Dates
Mohawk Corn Soup
Grilled Wild Salmon, Acorn Squash and Wild Rice
Pumpkin Pie

November Selection-Journey to the Center of the Earth and From the Earth to the Moon,
by Jules Verne

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Farrell
November 11, 2015

A pioneer in the genre of science fiction writing, Jules Verne possessed an uncanny ability to imagine — often with startling accuracy — the future possibilities of science. In these classic novels, Verne’s vivid imagination and masterful storytelling ability has made these books popular choices among readers for more than 140 years.

BBQ Dinosaur Bones
Fiddlehead Fern Salad
Baked Tilapia (Dipteride) Potato and Vegetable
Stromboli Volcano Cake

January Selection-Crossing to Safety,
by Wallace Stegner – SOLD OUT

Presenter: Judith Steininger
January 13, 2016

People start out as young couples brimming with idealism and hope. Then life happens. Fortunately, every so often, a writer with profound experiences of his own, as well as writing abilities to express them, comes along, to whit Wallace Stegner. In his last novel published in 1987, Crossing to Safety captures the vagaries of life. Two young couples Larry and Sally Morgan meet Sid and Charity Lang in Madison, Wis.; their lives will take them all to Battell Pond, Vt. We will go with them through Stegner’s thoughtful prose. Before Stegner earned three university degrees, he grew up in the school of hard knocks, traveled during the Great Depression from Iowa to Montana among other stops, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Angle of Repose.

Potato Puffballs with Dipping Sauce
Grandma’s Homemade Vegetable Soup
Stewed Chicken Breast, Brown Rice and Broiled Tomato
Homemade Strawberry Short Cake

February Selection-The Women,
by T. C. Boyle

Presenter: Dr. David Howell
February 10, 2016

Having brought to life eccentric cereal king John Harvey Kellogg in The Road to Wellville and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in The Inner Circle, T.C. Boyle now turns his fictional sights on an even more colorful and outlandish character: Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle’s incomparable account of Wright’s life is told through the experiences of the four women who loved him. There’s the Montenegrin beauty Olgivanna Milanoff, the passionate Southern belle Maude Miriam Noel, the tragic Mamah Cheney, and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin. Blazing with his trademark wit and inventiveness, Boyle deftly captures these very different women and the creative life in all its complexity.

Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Plate
Beer and Cheese Soup
Grass-fed New York Strip Steak, Garden Vegetables and Wisconsin Fingerling Potatoes
Door County Cherry Cheese Cake

March Selection-The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,
by Tom Wolfe

Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff
March 9, 2016

Tom Wolfe, a journalist already widely known for his exuberant portraiture of the American Bizarre, plunged into the psychedelic world of the Pranksters and emerged with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a now-classic portrait of the coterie which gave the hippie world of the 1960s much of its philosophy and vocabulary. He recounts their romp across America in the first psychedelic bus, their alliance with the Hell’s Angels, their Beelzebubbling takeover of a Unitarian Church convention, their conversion of the biggest anti-Vietnam rally of all time into a freak-out, and their zany games of hide-and-seek from the law in two countries—all with a depth of exploration and a stylistic inventiveness which make The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test one of the most memorable journalistic odysseys of our time.

Hippie Cheese Fondue
Bell Bottom Wedge Salad
Flower Child 1960s TV Dinner (Grilled Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Carrots)
Tie Dye Surprise Cake

April Selection-American Gods,
by Neil Gaiman

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Farrell
April 13, 2016

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming—a battle for the very soul of America…and they are in its direct path. One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.

Shadow Sliders (Meatloaf and Grilled Chicken)
Czernobog Cobb Salad
Mad Sweene Blue Plate Special (Pot Roast, Carrots and Potatoes)
Hinzelmann Carrot Cake

May Selection-Deep Down Dark,
by Héctor Tobar

Presenter: Dr. David Howell
May 11, 2016

When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped 33 miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking 69 days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the saga of the miners’ experiences below the Earth’s surface—and the lives that led them there—has never been heard until now. Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.

Assorted Empanadas
Ensalada Chilena
Sautéed Chilean Sea Bass and Corn Chili Style (Milcaos Potato Pancake)
Churros with Honey and Sugar, Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche

June Selection-The Flick,
by Annie Baker

Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff
June 1, 2016

In a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35 millimeter film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on screen. With keen insight and a finely-tuned comic eye, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world. Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Assorted Snack Bar Appetizers
Spring Mix With “Sour Patch” Vinaigrette
Cherry Coca-Cola Roast Pork Loin, Broom Stick Broccoli and Movie Butter Potato
Whopper Bread Pudding

Director of Alumni Affairs
Cathy Varebrook
Director of Alumni Affairs & Special Events
Phone: (414) 277-4523
Office: APC