A Novel Idea - Alumni and Friends Book Club

At Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, learning doesn't end when your diploma arrives in the mail. We are a community of lifelong learners, who continue to wonder, inquire, and grow beyond the classroom. A Novel Idea is a virtual book club for alumni and friends of Saint Mary's. An opportunity to enjoy and discuss books with your peers.

You can chat, participate, and add comments and questions on our private discussion boards. Join from your home or on the go. There's no cost to participate and discussions will take place on Goodreads. A virtual gathering/discussion will take place at the end of each reading period.

register for Summer 2022 Discussion

register on goodreadS

Attendee List






What books will be chosen for A Novel Idea?
Selected books will vary in topic/theme. Nonfiction and fiction books will be considered, and final picks will reflect the varied interests of our Saint Mary’s community. We will read 3 books per year, in spring, summer, and fall. The book will be selected by participants through a survey which will be available through Goodreads and will be announced 6-8 weeks before the online discussions begin.

How do I participate/register?
First, we ask that you register with us using the button above.

Then you can simply register online at Goodreads so we are aware you are reading the book. Once you register, you are welcome to participate in optional discussions in our A Novel Idea group on Goodreads and you will be emailed a Zoom virtual event link to participate in our recap of the book discussion.

There is no formal time commitment for the book club. You can spend as much or as little time participating as you would like. We won’t cause a guilt trip if you don’t finish the book on time—and certainly no quizzes or forcing you to share any opinions or perspectives on the book if you would rather just read.

How does a virtual discussion work?
Once you’re a member of the Saint Mary’s Book Club group, you’ll be able to participate by commenting, posing questions to your fellow readers, and reacting to others' comments. The book club moderators will help lead discussions, but all are welcome to chime in with their own questions and takeaways from the book.

Is there a cost to participate?
There is no cost to participate, but registrants will be responsible for obtaining the book on their own.

How do I obtain a copy of the book?
We invite you to purchase the book from wherever you typically shop, and in whatever format you prefer—purchased/loaned hard copy, e-book, or audiobook.

Can non-alumni participate?
Of course! The more, the merrier.

What is Goodreads and how will it be used?
Goodreads is a third-party online community of readers and book lovers. There is no cost to join Goodreads.
Goodreads is not an official partner of the SMUMN Alumni Association; it is simply a free platform to foster group discussions of A Novel Idea books. Participating in Goodreads discussions is optional and not a requirement.

Still have questions? Please email alumni@smumn.edu.