Florida Tech Book Club - Summer 2022

Join your fellow alumni, Florida Tech community, and current professors for a virtual summer book club!

What makes our book club different is the group discussions are led by professors. We will have a discussion one evening of the month to discuss that month’s book selection.

This summer’s line-up features an art theft thriller, a war crimes discovery in the forest in Belarus with current consequences, and a look at the space race between the superpowers of the Cold War.

How Does This Work?

  • Register below for the discussions you're interested in. You will receive a confirmation with the Zoom link and discussion date.

  • Order your book(s) from your favorite local or online retailer, or check it out from your library.

  • Read at your own pace and be ready to discuss the entire book for the scheduled discussion date, during which a select faculty member will lead our discussion.

  • Can't wait for the Zoom discussion? You can discuss the books throughout the month on our Book Club Groups on Florida Tech Connect or Facebook. 

    Contact Gina Yates: gyates@fit.edu


Check out the selections below and sign up for the books that interest you most!


June Book Club Selection - The Last Mona Lisa  By Jonathan Santlofer

The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer June 2022 Florida Tech Book Club Selection

Discussion date: Tuesday, June 28th at 7 PM EDT 

Led by Dr. Lars Jones - Humanities Professor

Plot Description

The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia in August 1911. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now in the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.

Art professor Luke Perrone digs for the truth behind his famous ancestor. His search attracts an Interpol detective with something to prove and an unfamiliar but curiously helpful woman. Soon, Luke tumbles deep into the world of art and forgery, a land of obsession and danger.

A gripping novel exploring the 1911 theft and the present underbelly of the art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a suspenseful tale, tapping into our universal fascination with da Vinci's enigma, why people are driven to possess certain works of art, and our fascination with the authentic and the fake.


 Register for the June 28th discussion


July Book Club Selection - The Singing Forest  By Judith McCormack

The Singing Forest by Judith McCormack, July 2022 Florida Tech Book Club Selection

Discussion date: Monday, July 25th at 7 PM EDT 

Led by Dr. Kenneth Pike, Philosophy Professor

Plot Description

In a quiet forest in Belarus, two boys make a gruesome find that reveals a long-kept secret: the mass grave where Stalin’s police buried thousands of murder victims in the 1930s. In 1937, Stalin’s Politburo ordered a purge of "anti-Soviet elements" in society, targeting anti-Stalin Bolsheviks, former Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, priests, ex-White Army soldiers, and common criminals. At the same time, he also initiated "national operations," which meant the ethnic cleansing of non-Soviet ethnic groups. During these years, approximately 1.6 million people were arrested, 700,000 were shot, and an unknown number died under NKVD torture.

Across the Atlantic in Toronto, young lawyer Leah Jarvis finds herself tasked with an impossible case: the trial of Stefan Drozd, a man in his 90s, accused of torturing and killing any number of people decades ago in the Soviet Union, who lied about his identity in the 1940s to gain entry to Canada. Though Leah is convinced of Drozd’s guilt, she needs hard facts. Determined to bring him to justice, she travels to Belarus in search of witnesses―and finds herself piecing together another set of evidence: her mother’s death, her father’s absence, the shadows of her Jewish heritage.

Probably any time in history would be an unsettling time to read this book, but at this particular point in history - with Russia and Belarus invading Ukraine - this book offers both unpleasant history and a foreboding prescience.


Register for the July 26th discussion


August Book Club Selection -Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War  By Jeff Shesol

Discussion date: Tuesday, August 23rd at 7 PM EDT 

Led by Dr. Robert Taylor,  Dean, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts

Plot Description

If the United States couldn’t catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War – a perilous time when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the United States to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival – and America was losing.

On February 20, 1962, when John Glenn blasted into orbit aboard Friendship 7, his mission was not only to circle the planet; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re-creates the tension and excitement of a flight that shifted the momentum of the space race and put the United States on a path to the moon. Drawing on new archival sources, personal interviews, and previously unpublished notes by Glenn himself, Mercury Rising reveals how the astronaut’s heroics lifted the nation’s hopes in what Kennedy called the “hour of maximum danger.”


Register for the August 23rd discussion