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.

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October Selection-Norwegian by Night   (SOLD OUT)
by Derek B. Miller

Oct 18, 2017
Presenter: Judith Steininger, Professor Emerita

Getting old is like traveling to a place you’ve never been before—but Norway? In this story, a widower, Sheldon Horowitz, moves to Norway to be near his granddaughter, Rhea. He’s old, he’s sad, he’s a Korean War vet, he has painful memories of his son, nothing is familiar and Jews are almost non-existent. What will happen to this former New Yorker? Read on.

Appetizer Norwegian Stuffed Egg
First Course Norwegian Dilled Cumber Salad
Entrée Pork Chop with Caraway Apples, Asparagus with Mustard, Jarlsberg Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Dessert Norwegian Rhubarb Pudding

November Selection-The Making of the President 1960
by Theodore White

Nov 15, 2017
Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff

This is the original, upon which the continuing series is based—the groundbreaking national bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the 1960 presidential campaign and the election of John F. Kennedy. With this narrative history of American politics in action, Theodore White revolutionized the way presidential campaigns are reported. Now back in print, freshly repackaged, and with a new foreword written by Robert Dallek, The Making of the President 1960 (Harper Perennial Political Classic) remains the most influential publication about the election of John F. Kennedy.

Appetizer  Cod Fish Cakes
First Course  Clam Chowder
Entrée  Corned Beef, Boiled Potato, Carrots, Cabbage
Dessert  Boston Cream Pie

January Selection-The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature 2008)

Jan 17, 2018
Presenter: Judith Steininger, Professor Emerita

Oscar’s life is a very different kind of immigrant story. He and his family from the Dominican Republic arrive in the U.S. Their life in a U.S. ghetto creates the tapestry of craziness you’ll encounter with both hilarity and shock. You’ll learn about Trujillo the D.R. dictator as well as Oscar the kid nerd, science fiction buff. Read footnotes as needed.

Appetizer  Chicken Croquettes
First Course  Plantain Soup
Entrée  Pastelon de Arroz (rice casserole), Arepa Salada (cornbread), Yucca Chips
Dessert  Honey, Cherry Rum Cake

February Selection – The Drifter
by Nick Petrie

Feb 21, 2018
Presenter: Dr. David Howell

Beneath the suspense-filled action of a homegrown terrorist plot, Nicholas Petrie’s debut novel, The Drifter, follows the compelling story of one former Marine’s struggle to re-acclimate himself to civilian life while honoring his commitment to a fallen soldier. That alone is a reason to keep reading, but Petrie amps up the stakes in surprising fashion, creating a story that is moving, thrilling and satisfying on every level.

Appetizer Homemade Wisconsin Cheese Curds
First Course Wisconsin Cheese and Beer Soup
Entrée Wisconsin Sausage Plate with Potato and Corn
Dessert Wisconsin Cream Puff with Chocolate Sauce

March Selection – The Man in the High Castle
by Phillip K. Dick

Presenter: March 14, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Farrell

It is America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award–winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it, Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.

Appetizer Assorted Sushi with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger
First Course German Schnitzel with Red Cabbage and Spätzle
Entrée Japanese Style Salmon with Teriyaki
Dessert Hot German Apple Strudel with Ice Cream

April Selection – The Snow Leopard
by Peter Matthiessen

April 18, 2018
Presenter: Dr. David Howell

In the autumn of 1973, the writer Peter Matthiessen set out in the company of zoologist George Schaller on a hike that would take them 250 miles into the heart of the Himalayan region of Dolpo, “the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture on earth.” Their voyage was in quest of one of the world’s most elusive big cats, the snow leopard of high Asia, a creature so rarely spotted as to be nearly mythical; Schaller was one of only two Westerners known to have seen a snow leopard in the wild since 1950.

Appetizer  Chicken Pakoda
First Course  Lentil Soup
Entrée  Roast Lamb w/ Potatoes, Eggplant and Curry Sauce
Dessert  Nepal Rice Pudding w/ Dried Fruit

May Selection – Maus 1 & 2
by Art Spiegelman

May 16, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Farrell

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in “drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust.” (The New York Times). Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.


Appetizer  Gefilte Fish with Crackers
First Course  Matzah Ball Soup
Entrée  Creamy Chicken with White Wine and Mushrooms, Rice, Green Beans
Dessert  Assortment of Kosher Cookies and Treats

June Selection – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
by Barbara Kingsolver

Presenter: Dr. Katherine Wikoff
June 6, 2018

Since its release in May 2007, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has helped launch a modern transition in America’s attitudes toward food. In this lively account of a family’s locavore year on their farm in Southern Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver and her coauthors (her husband and daughter) unearth the secret lives of vegetables and the unexpected satisfactions of knowing their food producers—and sometimes their dinner—on a first-name basis. The family’s year-long experience leads them through a season of planting, pulling weeds, expanding their kitchen skills, harvesting their own animals, joining the effort to save heritage crops from extinction, and learning the time-honored rural art of unloading excess zucchini. Barbara Kingsolver’s engaging narrative is enriched by husband Steven Hopp’s in-depth reports on the science and industry of food, and daughter Camille’s youthful perspective on cooking and food culture. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life, and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

Appetizer  Eggplant Papoutsakia
First Course  Summer Salad
Entrée  Chicken Recuerdos de Tucson
Dessert  Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Director of Alumni Affairs
cathy Varebrook Cathy Varebrook
Director of Alumni Affairs & Special Events
Phone: (414) 277-4523
Office: APC
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