Covers of each book included in the course side by side


Skirball Book Groups: We the People

September 2022–January 2023

About the Program

Dive into five contemporary books that highlight the American experience through the stories of families and individuals—both real and fictional, from the 1800s to today. During monthly discussion groups, join fellow readers to share thoughts and discover new ways of thinking.

SEPTEMBER: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler—A fascinating portrayal of the theatrical family of John Wilkes Booth, the man who murdered Abraham Lincoln, giving a glimpse into America on the verge of civil war.

OCTOBER: Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe—The exceptional story of the legendary Vanderbilt family and its outsized influence as told by Cornelius Vanderbilt’s great-great-great-grandson, journalist Anderson Cooper, and historian Katherine Howe.

NOVEMBER: The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin—A spellbinding and emotional story chronicling three different paths taken by members of an Eastern European Jewish family at a cataclysmic time in world history.

DECEMBER: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones—A stirring love story set in the New South that looks at the ongoing consequences of history, gender bias, social status, and racial discrimination.

JANUARY: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner—An exquisite and powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, family bonds, the loss of a parent, and the search for self.

GROUP 1: Tuesdays, 10:00 am–12:00 pm—Sold Out

September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13, January 10

GROUP 2: Tuesdays, 1:00–3:00 pm—Sold Out

September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13, January 10

GROUP 3: Wednesdays, 1:00–3:00 pm—Sold Out

September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14, January 11

ONLINE GROUP: Thursdays, 1:00–3:00 pm (PT)

September 15, October 13, November 10, December 15, January 12

Facilitator: 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.

“[Fattal] was so much more than I expected. Our discussions were well-led, lively, and informative.”