Alumni Book Club

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How to Join

Benefits of Joining

  • Read a variety of literature
  • Engage in personal and group discussion with an emphasis on critical thought and reflection
  • Meet other UMD alumni 

Current Book Discussion

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less


Please join Professor David Beard to discuss a very accessible book introducing us to one of the most significant puzzles of all of our lifetimes: the relationship between the government of Israel and the people of Gaza and the West Bank (and the relationship we have, as Americans, to this situation).  We will explore these topics through the eyes of Sarah Glidden, an American woman of Jewish heritage who takes a birthright tour of Israel. This book, and our discussion, will offer no easy answers, but we should have a good conversation about what we learn about Israel. We will also discuss what we learn when we travel to any faraway place -- how travel teaches us about other people and about ourselves, at the same time.

New to reading graphic novels? Here is a guide to help.

Finally, we will talk about the ways that Glidden uses comics to tell her story in ways that a traditional novel or short story could never do. David is a lifelong comics fan (with several thousand of them in his office, home, and garage, which is several thousand more than his sweetheart wishes he had).  David has used Comics to teach difficult topics for 25 years. As a comic, Glidden's work should be accessible, taking no longer than an afternoon to read, but it should open up very engaging conversations. 

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

Zoom Book Club Meeting 

Tuesday, December 13 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm (CT)

Guided discussion by: Dr. David Beard, Writing Studies BA Program Coordinator, Professor of Rhetoric


Facebook Group

Once you like the page, you will be invited to join the private Book Club Facebook group. The group is a safe space to share thoughts, pose questions, and meet other book enthusiasts. Keep checking back for book prompts and questions from our Facilitator, Dr. Evan Brier, Associate Professor of English.

Request to join the private Facebook group here.