ALI Book Club

The ALI Book Club is a free program that aims to help international students practice their English reading and conversation skills. These informal 50 minute groups are led by native English-speaking USC students, are first come first served, and capped at 5 students per session.

This semester, we will read five different short stories, generally one story every two weeks of the program.

Free PDF versions of all the Fall 2022 short stories are available HERE! PDF hard copies are also available the ALI front desk.

To register for an upcoming Book Club, click HERE.

Please note that registration for any session will only become available one hour before the session begins. Registration does not guarantee a spot in the session. In an effort to keep group sizes small, the leader will only take the first 5 students who registered and arrived at the meeting location. For in person sessions, all attendees and leaders are required to wear a mask.

Fall 2022 Schedule

Running Sept. 6 – Nov. 18, 2022

Tuesdays1:00 PMAidenTCC 221
Thursdays1:00 PMMegTCC 221
Fridays1:00 PMJessicaTCC 221

Fall 2022 Book Club Reading Schedule

For the best experience, read the short stories before you join a session!

  1. Week 1 & 2
    • Sept. 6 – Sept. 9
    • Sept. 12 – Sept. 16
    • A Cosmopolite in a Cafe, written by O. Henry
    • 7 pages
    • Published in 1906, this story centers around a conversation between the narrator and a well-traveled man, a “cosmopolite”. This tale gives the reader a glimpse into the everyday interactions of people in New Work City, and how these moments shape the fabric of their lives.
  2. Week 3 & 4
    • Sept. 19 – Sept. 23
    • Sept. 26 – Sept. 30
    • The Proposal, written by Anton Chekhov
    • In this hilarious 1888 one-act play, a young man’s proposes marriage to his neighbor, but they both keep arguing over various topics.
  3. Week 5 & 6
    • Oct. 3 – Oct. 7
    • Oct. 10 – Oct. 14
    • Everyday Use, written by Alice Walker
    • 8 pages
    • A story from the early 1970s, this piece is simultaneously a realistic social commentary and a subtly satirical variation of the classic fable “The City Mouse and the Country Mouse.”
  4. Week 7 & 8
    • Oct. 17 – Oct. 21
    • Oct. 24 – Oct. 28
    • Tragedy at Marsdon Manor, written by Agatha Christie
    • 9 pages
    • Written by one of the most famous mystery novelists of all time, this short is the second story in the “Poirot Investigates” short story collection, a series which centers around Detective Hercule Poirot’s investigations of different crimes across England.
  5. Week 9 & 10
    • Oct. 31 – Nov. 4
    • Week 10: Nov. 7 – Nov. 11
    • Cathedral, written by Raymond Carver
    • 14 pages
    • Written in 1981, this story describes a man’s first interaction with a blind individual and learns to see without seeing.
  6. Week 11
    • Nov. 14 – Nov. 18
    • The Ones Who Walk Away, written by Ursula K. Le Guin
    • 4 pages
    • Written in 1973, this short centers around a utopian society where all residents live a liftoff prosperity and happiness. However, there is a catch.


If a session is cancelled, the word “CANCELLED” will be displayed by the session time. Sessions may be cancelled last minute and without warning so please check the calendar below to see these updates in real time..

If a group is not specified as cancelled but the group leader is late or absent, please call 213-740-0079 to report the absence.