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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Jump to: March | April | May | June

March Selection: The Man in the High Castle

by Philip K. Dick
March 14, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
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
5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
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 Pakpda
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
5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
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
June 6, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Presenter: Katherine Wikoff, Ph.D.
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