Presented Online Live by Dr. J. Larry Allums

For the first year since 1998, the Dallas Institute’s book groups will not break bread together before partaking of the sumptuous literary repast to which we have become accustomed. Alas. But the alterations that Covid-19 has forced upon us have enabled many to read more than they would during normal times. Remember the pastime of naming the books you’d choose if you were sentenced to life on a deserted island. With Amazon, the supply can be endless. So as we cope and wait for a change, we’ll dine alone and order our own books, but meet for our customary rich discussions of a new novel each month.

Breakfast: 9:00 – 10:30 am
Second Tuesdays, February – May

Lunch:  12:00 – 1:30pm
Third Wednesdays, February – May

If you’d prefer that we order your books for you, just let us know.
Via Zoom

Per session: $25, Educator Members $10
Semester: $75, Members $65, Educator Members $30


Spring 2021 Book Group selections:

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

February 9 (Breakfast) or February 17 (Lunch)

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

March 9 (Breakfast) or March 17 (Lunch)

Sharks in the Time of Saviors is a groundbreaking debut novel that folds the legends of Hawaiian gods into an engrossing family saga; a story of exile and the pursuit of salvation from Kawai Strong Washburn.

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

April 13 (Breakfast) or April 21 (Lunch)

A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down—a magnificent leap forward from one of our most gifted novelists.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

May 11 (Breakfast) or May 19 (Lunch)

From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.


DR. J. LARRY ALLUMS is Executive Director Emeritus of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. He earned his M.A. in Literature and his Ph.D. in Literature and Political Philosophy from the University of Dallas’ Institute of Philosophic Studies. He came to the Dallas Institute in 1998 from the University of Mobile, where he was Professor of English and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has edited a volume of essays on epic poetry, The Epic Cosmos, and published articles on ancient Greek and Roman literature, Dante, and writers of the American Southern renascence, including William Faulkner, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Caroline Gordon. Under his leadership, the Dallas Institute continues to emphasize its commitment to urban issues and its longstanding work with pre-K through 12th grade elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and superintendents.


Looking for something to read? Try one of these books the book group has discussed! [PDF download]