Join the debate as we review each month’s book selection. The Alumni Book Club usually meets the fourth Thursday of each month (see schedule below) at 6:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 4864 211th St, Matteson, IL (corner of Cicero and Rt 30).

Sign up today – it’s free.

  • Schedule

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    We currently meet at 6:30 pm. at Panera Bread (Lincoln Highway-Rt 30 and Cicero Avenue)

    Thursday, July 26, 2018 - The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

    Thursday, August 23, 2018 - Hillbilly Elegy - A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

    To join the Alumni Book Club, please email alumnirelations2@govst.edu to be put on the notification list.

  • Summaries of upcoming books

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    Thursday, July 26, 2018 – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

    Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

    In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

    After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

    A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

    Thursday, August 23, 2018 - Hillbilly Elegy - A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

     

    From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

    Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

    The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

    But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.

    A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

     

     

     

     

  • Past Books Reviewed

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    June 28, 2018 - River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
    May 26, 2018 - Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
    April 26, 2018 - The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
    March 22, 2018 - The Nightingale: a Novel by Kristi Hannah
    February 22, 2018 - The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama Desond Tutu and Douglas Abrams
    January 25, 2018 -   Run by Ann Patchett
    November 16, 2017 - The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
    October 26, 2017 - Dragon Teeth by Michael Creichton
    September 28, 2017 - Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr 
    July 27, 2017 - Morning Glory by LaVerle Spencer
    June 22, 2017 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
    May 25, 2017 - Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shatterly
    April 27, 2017 - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

    March 23, 2017 - A Town Like Alice by Nevil Schute
    February 23, 2017 - The Whistler by John Grisham
    January 26, 2017 - Children of Men by P.D. James
    November 17, 2016 - The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
    October 27, 2016 - Headhunters by Jo Nesbo
    September 22, 2016 - Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
    August 25, 2016 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Cards
    July 28, 2016 - You Before Me by JoJo Moyes
    June 23, 2016 - The Fifth Gospel  by Ian Caldwell
    May 26, 2016 - The Monument Men  by Robert M Edsel
    April 28, 2016 - The Witches: Salem, 1692  by Stacy Schiff
    March 24, 2016 - The Martian  by Andy Weir
    February 25, 2016 - Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR's Polio Havenby Susan Shreve
    January 28, 2016 - Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  by Mildred D. Taylor
    November 19, 2015 - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullough
    October 22,2015 - A Country of Strangers by Susan Richard Shreve
    September 24, 2015 - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    August 27, 2015 - The Secret Lives of Bees by Susan Monk Kidd
    July 27, 2015 - The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
    June, 2015 - Love in the Time of Cholera  by  Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    May, 2015 - NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
    April 2015 - The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman
    March, 2015 - The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick
    February, 2015 - American Sniper by Chris Kyle
    January, 2015 - The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
    December, 2014 - No meeting
    November 20, 2014 - Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
    October 23, 2014 - The Alchemist by Paulo Coeho
    September 25  2014 - The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
    August 28, 2014 - I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    July 24, 2014 - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    June 26, 2014 - Divergent by Veronica Roth
    May 22, 2014 - One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
    April 24, 2014 - The Poisenwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    March 27, 2014 - The Firm by John Grisham
    February 27, 2014 - The Stranger by Albert Camus
    January 23, 2014 - Devil in a White City by Erik Larson
    December, 2013 - No meeting
    November 21, 2013 - Where are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark
    October 24, 2013 – Revolutionary Road  by Richard Yates
    September 26, 2013 - Native Son by Richard Wright
    August 15, 2013 - Native Tongue by Carl Hiaason
    July 25, 2013 - Life of Pi  by Yann Martel
    June 25, 2013 - The Kite Runner  by Khaled Hosseini 
    May 23, 2013 - Unbroken  by Laura Hillenbrand
    April 25, 2013 - The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones
    March 21, 2013 - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    February 28, 2013 - No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer
    January 24, 2013 - Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
    December, 2013 - No meeting
    November 15, 2012 - Nop's Trials by Donald McCaig
    October 25, 2012 - The Other Wes Moore  by Wes Moore
    September 27, 2012 - The Host  by Stephanie Meyer
    August 27, 2012 - The Pacific Vortex  by Clive Cussler
    July 26, 2012 - A Tale of Two Cities  by Charles Dickens
    June 26, 2012 - The Lucky One  by Nicholas Sparks
    May 24, 2012 - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    April 26, 2012 - The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    March 22, 2012 - The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
    February 23, 2012 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    January 26, 2012 - Mountain Windsong: A Novel of the Trail of Tears by Robert Conley
    December 22, 2012 - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    November 17, 2011 - High Five by Janet Evanovich
    October 27, 2011 - The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Stockett
    September 22, 2011 - The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    August 25, 2011 - The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
    July 28, 2011 -The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
    June 16, 2011 -The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

     

     

  • Celebrating GSU Alumni Authors

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    GSU applauds its manyalumni authors.  If you have authored and published a book, please let us know.