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Michigan State University

Spartan Book Club

The Spartan Book Club encourages alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends to virtually connect with each other to read and discuss books on a range of topics. Participation in the online forum is free — simply purchase the book or borrow it from your local library. A new book will be chosen approximately every two months. You can join at any time and do not have to participate in every reading session.

How It Works

There are no meetings of the Spartan Book Club — you can participate at your convenience and from anywhere you have Internet access

  • The book club is entirely online and connects through a private forum moderated by PBC Guru. 
  • All discussions and networking take place in the forum. 
  • The moderator poses questions to the group, shares relevant articles and facilitates conversation on topics in the book based on where members should be in the reading schedule. Generally, you’ll receive a weekly email from the moderator throughout the reading period. 
  • Members are encouraged to post in the forum and share as well.  
  • Participation in the online forum is free — simply purchase the book or borrow it from your local library.
  • The book club reads a new book approximately every two months. We vote among several options each period and select a book based on participant interests.  
  • You do not have to participate in every book reading and your level of participation in the discussion is entirely up to you. 

Even if you’ve already read the book, you’re encouraged to still participate by contributing to the conversation — one of the most valuable aspects of this book club is the opportunity to discuss the book with others in the Spartan community. 

Benefits of Participation

  1. Connect with fellow Spartans. The Spartan Book Club introduces you to MSU alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends from various backgrounds, geographies, generations and professions. Meet new people and gain different perspectives while reading and discussing the book.
  2. Embrace lifelong learning. The Spartan Book Club will help you learn and grow with fellow Spartans as you enjoy regular discussions and share personal insights.
  3. Reading is good for you. Reading can reduce stress, help you sleep better and improve your relationships [1]. Did we mention it also makes you smarter? Reading increases your verbal intelligence, your emotional intelligence and your creativity [2].
Details

  

2021 Reading Schedule

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About the Current Book Selection 

“Hidden Valley Road” is a “feat of empathy and narrative journalism.” (Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times) Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. Behind the scenes, though, was a different story. By the mid-1970s, six of their ten sons, one after another, were diagnosed with schizophrenia. How could this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia.

“Hidden Valley Road” was named a Best Book of the Year in 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, TIME, Slate, and Smithsonian. Robert Kolker is a National Magazine Award finalist whose journalism has appeared in New York magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired and The Marshall Project. His previous work includes “Lost Girls”.

Spartan Book Club Online Forum Tips

For members that are newer to the online forum, check out the Tips and Tricks to Help With Navigating This Forum for assistance navigating and interacting in the forum.

Are You a Spartan Author

We’d like to hear from you. We're compiling a list of Spartan authors and their book to share with the Spartan nation. We intend to have our first edition of this list available at the end of 2021 on this webpage and in the online forum, and we’ll regularly update it thereafter. To share your information, email Elizabeth Wheeler.

In fairness to all Spartan authors, please understand that we currently do not plan to feature any Spartan authors as a book club selection.

You May Also Be Interested In

The Spartan Social Justice Movie Club encourages alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends to virtually connect with each other and discuss movies that matter related to social justice, history and societal issues. If you’ve enjoyed participating in the book club, consider joining the movie club. A new movie will be chosen every month. Our current movie is "Roma."

1 The Expert Editor, 2016, https://experteditor.com.au/blog/brain-books-benefits-reading/
2 Harvard Business Review, 2012, https://hbr.org/2012/08/for-those-who-want-to-lead-rea/