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BookTalk at BSC

BookTalk at BSC is the Bismarck State College Library annual book discussion series and made its debut in 2000. BookTalk discussions are held in the library's 2nd floor conference room in LEA Hall, Room 204, and are free and open to all.

The books can be borrowed from libraries or purchased from local booksellers. For more information, call 224-5450. BookTalk is funded by the BSC Library and a grant from the BSCFoundation.

BookTalk 2022 -- Journeys...

"Life is a journey, not a destination." - Colson Whitehead

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek
Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Charlotte Williams
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Dr. Brian Palecek
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek

BookTalk 2021 -- A Cautionary Tale

“We warn children by telling them unsettling fairy tales. These tales are for the grown-ups.” – Tim Harford
*This year, we will gather virtually. The discussions are free and open to all.

A Cautionary Tale 2021 BookTalk Guide
BSC Booktalk 2021 a Cautionary Tale
Year of Wonders Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • Discussion leader: Rachael Southam
1984 George Orwell Book Cover 1984 by George Orwell
  • Discussion leader: Tayo Basquiat
Parable of the Sower Book Cover Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek

BookTalk 2020 -- Native Prairie

“The prairie is not a land to tell its story easily.” – Mary Taylor Young, Land of Grass and Sky

Native Prairie 2020 BookTalk Guide

Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears by Diane Glancy.
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek
Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek
The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber
  • Author was in attendance - a BSC First!
  • Discussion leader: Rachael Southam

BookTalk 2019 -- Off the Grid

BookTalk 2019 Flyer

“How many things there are that I do not want.” – Socrates, ca. 425 B.C.

Off the Grid 2019 BookTalk Guide

Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom by Ken Ilgunas
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Kimberly Crowley

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek

The Mosquito Coast: A Novel by Paul Theroux
  • Discussion leader: Michael Tomanek


BookTalk 2018 -- ...And Justice For All

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.BookTalk 2018 Flyer

BSC 2018 online guide

A Lesson Before Dying  by Ernest J. Gaines

  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek

The Round House  by Louise Erdrich

  • Discussion leader: Michael Tomanek

Men We Reaped: A Memoir  by Jesmyn Ward

  • Discussion leader: Dr. AnnMarie Kajencki

BookTalk 2017 -- The Prize That Wasn't: 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

BookTalk2017.pngThe Pulitzer Prize isn't an idea. It's a vote of confidence. Like literature, it exists purely in the mind. -- Jeffrey Eugenides, Winner, 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Middlesex

Train Dreams  by Denis Johnson
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek

Swamplandia!  by Karen Russell
  • Discussion leader: Tempe O'Kun

The Pale King  by David Foster Wallace
  • Discussion leader: Dr. AnnMarie Kajencki

BookTalk 2016 -- War Stories: Vietnam

HUM014A1215BookTalkFlyer8.5X11.jpgBut the thing about remembering is that you don’t forget. --  Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried  by Tim O'Brien
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek

Matterhorn: a Novel of the Vietnam War  by Karl Marlantes
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Perry Hornbacher

Going after Cacciato  by Tim O'Brien
  • Discussion leader: Dr. AnnMarie Kajencki

BookTalk 2015 -- Road Trip

Book Talk 2015 FlyerThe journey not the arrival matters. -- T. S. Eliot

Blue Highways: a Journey into America  by William Least Heat-Moon
  • Discussion leader: Clay Jenkinson

Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail  by Cheryl Strayed
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Janelle Masters

On the Road  by Jack Kerouac
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Brian Palecek