For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Book Circle


The Office of Equality & Diversity invites you to The Book Circle at the James E. Marks Intercultural Center. The Book Circle provides participants with a place to engage in a facilitated dialogue about various cultural, intercultural, and identity issues in a respectful environment that encourages openness and humility.

The Book Circle meets four times a year from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (A complimentary lunch is provided.)

A limited number of complimentary books will be available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Office of Equality & Diversity one month prior to the scheduled Book Circle. Copies of the books may also be available at Hagerty Library, Barnes and Noble Drexel and at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 215.895.1405.

For more information about The Book Circle, please call 215.895.1405

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Location TBA

In the Darkroom

by Susan Faludi


The Intercultural Book Circle will be meeting on Wednesday, October 11 at 12:00 p.m., location TBA, for a discussion of "In the Darkroom" by Susan Faludi. Lunch will be served. The first 30 people to RSVP to can claim a free copy of the book. A synopsis of “In the Darkroom” follows:

When feminist writer Susan Faludi learned that her seventy-six-year-old father―long estranged and living in Hungary―had undergone sex reassignment surgery, the revelation would launch her on an extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of identity in the modern world and in her own haunted family saga. How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images?

Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her suburban childhood and her father’s many previous incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest. When the author travels to Hungary to reunite with her father, she drops into a labyrinth of dark histories and dangerous politics in a country hell-bent on repressing its past and constructing a fanciful―and virulent―nationhood.


Faludi’s struggle to come to grips with her father’s metamorphosis takes her across borders―historical, political, religious, sexual―to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you “choose,” or is it the very thing you can’t escape?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
University City Campus
Skyview (6th Floor, MacAlister Hall)

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Center City Campus
Room 1021 of Three Parkway (1601 Cherry Street)

A Man Called Ove

by Fredrik Backman


The Intercultural Book Circle will be meeting on Tuesday, June 27, at 12:00 p.m. in Sky View (6th Floor, MacAlister Hall) and on Thursday, June 29, at 12:00 p.m. in Room 1021 of Three Parkway (1601 Cherry) for a discussion of A Man Called Ove, by Swedish author Fredrik Backman. Lunch will be served. “A Man Called Ove” is a novel about a cantankerous older man and how he is affected when a vibrant young family moves in next door. As we learn about Ove’s vivid interior life, we are called to question the snap judgments we make about others, and to consider the experience of aging in a culture that may come to feel increasingly unfamiliar. Equal parts hilarious and devastating, the experience of reading “Ove” will linger long after you close the back cover.

In an effort to be more accessible to the Drexel community, you’ll notice that Book Circles will be held back to back on the University City (UC) and Center City (CC) campuses. Please RSVP using this link, noting whether you intend to participate in the UC or CC Circle. The first 35 people to RSVP can claim a free copy of the book. Please direct any questions to

Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Skyview (6th Floor, MacAlister Hall)

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

by Sam Quinones


The Intercultural Book Circle will be meeting on Wednesday, May 03, at 12:00 p.m. in Sky View (6th Floor, MacAlister Hall) for a discussion of Dreamland, by acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones. Lunch will be served. “Dreamland” is a searing nonfiction narrative about the opiate epidemic that takes readers on a journey through impoverished old American boomtowns, rural ranchos in Mexico, the board rooms of pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and treatment facilities, and public health and law enforcement agencies.

Thursday, March 02, 2017
Location TBD

ONE BOOK ONE PHILADELPHIA:The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Mark Haddon

Image of the book cover for 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ' by Mark Haddon 

Our next Intercultural Book Circle will be held on Thursday, March 02, at 12:00 p.m. (location TBD, lunch to be served). This book circle is planned to align with One Book, One Philadelphia and will be part of an exciting series of events to be held on campus and citywide. We will be reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. This book tells the story of Christopher, who relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions, and sets off on a quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog. We are looking forward to talking about this wonderful novel, as well as neurodiversity in our families, classrooms, workplaces, and other communities. As usual, a limited number of books has been purchased by OED. If you are interested in a book, please and we will notify you when you can pick up your copy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Behrakis Grand Hall South

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Image of the book cover for 'Americanah' a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

On Wednesday, October 19, at 12:00 p.m., join the Intercultural Book Circle for a discussion of "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. "Americanah" follows Ifemelu and Obinze from their meeting as teenagers in Nigeria through their early adulthoods in, respectively, the United States and United Kingdom. Ifemelu confronts issues of race, color, and class as she pushes through the world of higher education and a burgeoning career as a writer, while Obinze struggles to make ends meet as an undocumented worker in London. The author, Adichie, attended Drexel, an experience which informs the depiction of Ifemelu's college experience in Philadelphia. Location to be announced. As usual, a limited number of books has been purchased by OED. If you are interested in a book, please email and note whether you prefer a hard copy or Kindle edition, and we will email you when the books arrive so you can pick up your copy.

2015 – 2016 academic year book selections: 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City


The Office of Equality and Diversitys next selection for its Intercultural Book Circle is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond.  Evicted takes readers into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where evictions are common, public housing vanishingly rare, and low-income families spending more than half of their meager incomes on substandard housing pervasive. Desmond explores the lives of the people he met doing field research, from a single mother raising a family on just two dollars a day, to an amputee trying to make ends meet once his disability check is gone, and the heartbreakingly common situation in which just one unanticipated expense can lead to a month of missed rent and, with astonishing rapidity, to homelessness. The Book Circle will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in the Hon. Ida Chen Room, James Marks Intercultural Center, 3225 Arch Street.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League

Book cover for the short and tragic life of robert peace  

2014 – 2015 academic year book selections:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Fall, 2014) - Thursday, October 23, 2014 (University City Campus) & Tuesday, October 28, 2014 (Center City Campus)

 Book Cover for the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.

Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times bestseller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells, from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of. Retrieved September 22, 2914, from

Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Copulsive Disorder by Fletcher Wortmann (Winter 2015) - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book cover for 'Triggered: A memoir of obsessive-compulsive disorder' by Fletcher Wortmann

In this brilliant memoir, Wortmann takes us on an intimate journey across the psychological landscape of OCD, known as the "doubting disorder," as populated by God, girls, and apocalyptic nightmares. Wortmann unflinchingly reveals the elaborate series of psychological rituals he constructs as "preventative measures" to ward off the end times, as well as his learning to cope with intrusive thoughts through Clockwork Orange-like "trigger" therapy.

But even more than this, the author emerges as a preternatural talent as he unfolds a kaleidoscope of culture high and low ranging from his obsessions with David Bowie, X-Men, and Pokemon, to an eclectic education shaped by Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, Catholic mysticism, Christian comic books, and the collegiate dating scene at the "People’s Republic of Swarthmore."

Triggered is a pitch-perfect memoir; a touching, triumphantly funny, compulsively readable, and ultimately uplifting coming-of-age tale for Generation Anxiety. Retrieved September 22, 2014, 

ONE BOOK ONE PHILADELPHIA: Orphan Train (Winter 2015) - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book cover for Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship. Retrieved September 22, 2014, 

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown (Spring, 2015)

Book Cover for Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities. Retrieved September 22, 2014,