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).

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  • Schedule


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

    Thursday, July 23, 2015 – The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 - The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

    Thursday, September 24, 2015 - Fahrenheit 451 by  Ray Bradbury

    Thursday, October 22, 2015 - A Country of Strangers by Susan Richard Shreve

    Thursday, November 19 (THIRD THURSDAY DUE TO THANKSGIVING) - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullough


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

  • Summaries of upcoming books


    July 23, 2015 - The Shack by Wm Paul Young

    Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever. [Amazon Book Reviews]

    August 27, 2015 - The Secret Lives of Bees  

    Tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed.

    When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina-a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love-a story that women will continue to share and pass on to their daughters for years to come. (by Amazon Book Review)

    September 24, 2015 - Farenheit 451

    Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

    Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family." But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn't live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

    When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

    October 22, 2015 - A Country of Strangers

    Set in 1942 in rural Virginia, this is the story of the relationship between two families, one black and one white, which escalates into violent conflict  

    November 19, 2015 - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

    With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

    Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published.  [Amazon Book Review]

  • Past Books Reviewed


    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


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