Florida Tech Book Club - Summer 2021
Join your fellow alumni, Florida Tech community, and current professors for a virtual summer book club!
We'll be hosting virtual discussions for FOUR different titles on a range of subjects throughout the summer months, so take a look at the schedule below and sign up for the books that interest you most.
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.
Questions? Contact Cindy Berger: firstname.lastname@example.org
June Book Club Selection - The Holdout by Graham Moore
Discussion date: Thursday, June 17 at 7 PM EDT
Led by Dr. Vanessa Edkins - Head of the School of Psychology, Associate Dean, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, and legal psychology professor
It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.
Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.
As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.
July Book Club Selection - Speak By Louisa Hall
Discussion date: Wednesday, July 14 at 7 PM EDT
Led by Dr. Lisa Perdigao - Head of the Honors College and professor of literature
In a narrative that spans geography and time, from the Atlantic Ocean in the seventeenth century, to a correctional institute in Texas in the near future, and told from the perspectives of five very different characters, Speak considers what it means to be human, and what it means to be less than fully alive. A thoughtful, poignant novel that explores the creation of Artificial Intelligence—illuminating the very human need for communication, connection, and understanding.
Each character attempts to communicate across gaps—to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them. In dazzling and electrifying prose, Louisa Hall explores how the chasm between computer and human—shrinking rapidly with today’s technological advances—echoes the gaps that exist between ordinary people. Though each speaks from a distinct place and moment in time, all five characters share the need to express themselves while simultaneously wondering if they will ever be heard, or understood.
August 4th Book Club Selection - The Quiet Americans By Scott Anderson
Discussion date: Wednesday, August 4th at 7 PM EDT
Led by Dr. Angela Tenga, professor of literature
At the end of World War II, the United States was considered the victor over tyranny and a champion of freedom. But it was clear—to some—that the Soviet Union was already seeking to expand and foment revolution around the world, and the American government’s strategy in response relied on the secret efforts of a newly formed CIA. Chronicling the fascinating lives of the agents who sought to uphold American ideals abroad, Scott Anderson follows the exploits of four spies: Michael Burke, who organized parachute commandos from an Italian villa; Frank Wisner, an ingenious spymaster who directed actions around the world; Peter Sichel, a German Jew who outwitted the ruthless KGB in Berlin; and Edward Lansdale, a mastermind of psychological warfare in the Far East. But despite their lofty ambitions, time and again their efforts went awry, thwarted by a combination of ham-fisted politicking and ideological rigidity at the highest levels of the government. Told with narrative brio, deep research, and a skeptical eye, The Quiet Americans is the gripping story of how the United States, at the very pinnacle of its power, managed to permanently damage its moral standing in the world.
August 26th Book Club Selection - The Vanishing Half By Brit Bennett
Discussion date: Thursday, August 26th at 7 PM EDT
Led by Dr. Debbie Lelekis, professor of writing and literature
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.