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.

October Selection – The Island of Dr. Moreau,
by HG Wells

Presenter: Judy Steininger
October 5, 2016

A shipwrecked gentleman named Edward Prendick finds himself stranded on a Pacific island lorded over by the notorious Dr. Moreau. Prendick confronts dark secrets and strange creatures, and before long finds his own life may be in peril. While this riveting tale published in 1896 was intended to be a commentary on evolution, divine creation, and the tension between human nature and culture, modern readers familiar with genetic engineering will marvel at Wells’ prediction of the ethical issues raised by the practice. As a bonus, prior to book discussion, we’ll tour the department of Dr. Tim Herman, director of the Center for Biomolecular Modeling.

Appetizer Assorted Cheese Plate
First Course “Moreau’s Island” Green Salad
Entrée “Infamous Grilled Steak”, “Beastfolk” Vegetable and Potato
Dessert “Jungle Island” Pina Colada Cake

November Selection – The Girl on the Train,
by Paula Hawkins
November Registration Closed – Session Full

Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff
November 9, 2016

This best-selling psychological thriller by novelist Paula Hawkins is now also a film, scheduled for release in October 2016. Main character Rachel Watson has lost her marriage, her job and her sobriety. To conceal that she’s been fired, she takes the commuter train to London and back every day. Every morning the train pauses in the same spot, and Rachel has started looking forward to seeing an affectionate couple having coffee together on their terrace. When the wife goes missing – Rachel finds herself intertwined in the mystery of her disappearance. Rachel must discover what happened to the other woman—before the same thing happens to her!

Menu: A train ride to London
Appetizer Relish Tray w/ Red Onion Relish
First Course London Broil Salad
Entrée Chicken Coq-au vin, grilled asparagus and polenta
Dessert Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

January Selection – The Orphan Master’s Son,
by Adam Johnson
January Registration Closed – Session Full

Presenter: Judy Steininger
January 11, 2017

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. In this novel, we follow Jun Do, his friends and family in their daily lives, learning what life in North Korea is like. If you feel a lack of knowledge about this county, read the novel. You will be astonished how North Korea operates in the region and how its people survive. The Orphan Master’s Son is the Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Appetizer Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Wings
First Course Chicken Tofu Soup
Entrée Pyongyang Roast Duck, Kimchi, Buckwheat noodle
Dessert Green Tea Ice Cream

February Selection – Worm: The First Digital World War,
by Mark Bowden

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Farrell
February 8, 2017

The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November 2008 and within a month had infiltrated 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks were infected. No one had ever seen anything like it. By January 2009 the worm lay hidden in at least eight million computers and the botnet of linked computers that it had created was big enough that an attack might crash the world. An ad-hoc collective of high-level internet technicians formed what came to be called the Conficker Cabal, and began a tireless fight against the worm. Worm reports on the fascinating battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect it.

Appetizer Assorted “Spam” Delicacies
First Course “MS08-067” Tossed Salad
Entrée “Firewall” Strip steak, Vegetable and Potato
Dessert The Real “Morris Worm” Cake

March Selection – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,
by John Berendt
March Registration Closed – Session Full

Presenter: Dr. David Howell
March 15, 2017

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

Appetizer Savannah Oyster Rockefeller
First Course Georgia Chopped Salad
Entrée Southern Style Grilled Shrimp, Grits, Brussel Sprouts
Dessert Old South Warm Apple Bread Pudding

April Selection – The Martian,
by Andy Weir

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Farrell
April 5, 2017

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit, Mark steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Appetizer Assorted “Martian” Potato Chips and Dip
First Course Tossed Salad
Entrée Airline Chicken, Fingerling Potato, Brocollini
Dessert “Martian” Red Cake

May Selection – All the Light We Cannot See,
by Anthony Doerr
May Registration Closed – Session Full

Presenter: Dr. David Howell
May 3, 2017

This New York Times best-seller is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. In Germany, the orphan Werner is an expert at building and fixing radios who finds himself at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth. When the Nazis occupy Paris, Marie-Laure and her father flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, with the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. It is here Werner and Marie-Laure cross paths, but can they both achieve survive?

Appetizer Assorted German Sausage w/ Mustard
First Course German Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Entrée Schnitzel, Red Cabbage, Spätzle
Dessert Black Forest Cake

June Selection – Boys in the Boat,
by Daniel James Brown
June Registration Closed – Session Full

Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff
June 7, 2017

A New York Times best-selling nonfiction book from 2013, this compelling story by Daniel James Brown recounts the true story of the University of Washington’s rowing team that went to the Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin in 1936. The book chronicles the backgrounds of the individual team members, all boys from working class families during the Great Depression. Their coalescence as a team and improbable rise to victory, especially against Hitler’s own German team for the gold medal, stunned the world. A fascinating glimpse into the past and a gripping, inspirational adventure.

Appetizer Seattle Seafood Dip in Bread Bowl
First Course Hooverville Cobb Salad
Entrée Grilled Pacific Salmon w/ Wild Mushrooms, Green Beams, Wild Rice
Dessert Mt. Rainier Lava Cake
Director of Alumni Affairs
Cathy Varebrook
Director of Alumni Affairs & Special Events
Phone: (414) 277-4523
Office: APC
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