The International Book Club

The International Book Club is sponsored by the Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute, the Diversity Council and the Seminole State Library.

Fall 2012
Information about the Fall 2012 International Book Club selection is coming soon. Please check back later for details.

Previous Book Club Selections

Spring 2012
Breath, Eyes, Memory book cover Breath, Eyes, Memory
by Edwidge Danticat

Breath, Eyes, Memory tells the story of twelve-year-old Sophie, a Haitian girl who has grown up in Haiti with her aunt, but must move to the United States to live with her mother. Sophie does not remember her mother, because her birth resulted from a rape, and Sophie’s mother left her with family in Haiti as a newborn. The book tells of Sophie’s struggle with her identity as she tries to fit into her new family and country while still grieving the loss of her native Haiti and the family that raised her.

Fall 2011
Hibakusha book cover Hibakusha: Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
by various authors, translated by Gaynor Sekimori

This selection is a collection of memoirs from survivors of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The accounts are brief and striking as survivors relate their experiences on the day of the bombing as well as the effects they faced throughout their lives from this experience. The survivor stories are each moving in their own way and show the long-term effects of war, propaganda and prejudice.

Spring 2011
Teacher Man book cover Teacher Man
by Frank McCourt

Teacher Man describes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt's 30-year career as a high school English teacher in New York City. The memoir recounts McCourt's successes and failures in the public school system as well as the important lessons he imparted and received through his unconventional approach to teaching.

Spring 2010
Interpreter of Maladies book cover Interpreter of Maladies
by Jhumpa Lahiri

This reading selection is a collection of short stories that takes readers from India to America and back again. In her poignant literary debut, Lahiri conveys a universal eloquence that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

Fall 2009
Three Cups of Tea book cover Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea tells the true story of co-author Greg Mortenson's contributions to an impoverished Pakistani village. Mortenson, a mountaineer, drifted into the Karakoram village after a failed attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness, he promised to return to the village to build a school. Over the next decade, he did much more than that, establishing 55 schools for girls in the dangerous terrain that gave birth to the Taliban.

Spring 2009
Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves book cover Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves
by Kevin Bales

This reading selection focuses on human trafficking and offers a blueprint for eliminating it in the next decade. The author, Kevin Bales, joined the International Book Club's discussion on Jan. 16, 2009.

Fall 2008
Bliss book cover Bliss
by O.Z. Livaneli

Bliss is a fictional novel set in Turkey. It contrasts traditional and modern culture in Turkey and draws attention to human rights violations against women in the Middle East. Livaneli describes the intertwining journeys of three Turks: a young girl, raped and exiled from her home; her cousin, traumatized from war; and a Harvard-educated professor who is disenchanted with his life in Istanbul.

Spring 2008
Colors of the Mountain book cover Colors of the Mountain
by Da Chen

This novel tells the story of a young boy growing up during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution in China. Author Da Chen describes the hardships and triumphs of his family and friends, and tells the larger story of a country in political upheaval. Guest speakers for this International Book Club selection were Dr. Yulong Moy and Dodie Jerz, survivors of the Cultural Revolution.

Fall 2007
A Long Way Gone book cover A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
by Ishmael Beah

This book is about a child soldier who fought in Sierra Leone. Although the book is quite graphic, it narrates the horror and loss that befell so many during that time. Guest Speakers for this International Book Club selection were Pastor Gus Davies and his family, who survived the Sierra Leone conflict.