book groups

Classes

Skirball Book Groups: What If?

Choose from four groups.

About the Program

Celebrate the power of imagination with this selection of books. Under the direction of a professional book group facilitator, participants examine the book together, analyzing characters, themes, and motifs and learning about the author’s background. Expect lively, interactive classes. Discussion questions are distributed in advance of each class session. Participants must read the book prior to each session.


GROUP 1: Tuesdays

February 14, March 14, April 18, May 16, June 13
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
5 sessions


GROUP 2: Tuesdays

February 14, March 14, April 18, May 16, June 13
1:00–3:00 p.m.
5 sessions


GROUP 3: Wednesdays

February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
5 sessions


GROUP 4: Wednesdays

February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14
1:00–3:00 p.m.
5 sessions


GROUP 5: Thursdays

February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15
7:00–9:00 p.m.
5 sessions


FEBRUARY

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
This historical thriller—by the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game—reimagines the 1888 battle between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison to be the first to electrify America. A look back at another period of rapid technological change, The Last Days of Night entertains, educates, and illuminates issues in today’s evolving world.

MARCH

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
One of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a midwestern car dealer believes his fiction to be truth. What follows is a murderously funny satire that examines war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America—a biting reminder of how to see the “truth.”

APRIL

The Door by Magda Szabó
Lauded as Hungary’s foremost female writer, Magda Szabó creates powerful prose and memorable heroines in this meditation on subjectivity. The Door tells the story of the strange and complicated relationship between two strong women of opposing backgrounds and personalities, one an intellectual and a writer and the other a mysterious housekeeper.

MAY

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award, this novel centers on a middle-class American family, ordinary in most ways, except one of the siblings is a chimpanzee. Delve into this tale of loving but fallible people in a work described by the New York Times as “readably juicy and surreptitiously smart.”

JUNE

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
In a Nigerian town in the mid-1990s, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. Seen through the prism of one family’s destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions, economic, political, and religious.


Instructor: Janet Bain Fattal holds an MA in comparative literature from UCLA. She has taught world literature and composition at many levels. A screenwriter, novelist, and book group facilitator, Fattal loves to share her passion for stories and ideas with others, particularly in an informal environment.

“The teacher was so much more than I expected. Our discussions were well led, lively, and informative.”—former Skirball student