lifelong learning

2019–20 UW Alumni Book Club Archive

Personal stories, timely topics, transformative fiction… We love to dig into amazing books together! Below is an archive of the books and related events from the 2019-2020 reading season. The UW Alumni Book Club is a collaboration between UWAA, the UW Libraries, the University Book Store — and passionate readers like you.

How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haims

From the publisher:

In “How to Raise an Adult,” Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.

Recorded Event


July 2020“No-No Boy” by John Okada, ’47, ’51

This historical novel tells the story of a Washington state Japanese American in the aftermath of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Novelist Ruth Ozeki declares in her introduction that the main character’s obsessive, tormented voice subverts Japanese postwar “model-minority” stereotypes, showing a fractured community and one man’s threnody of guilt, rage, and blame as he tries to negotiate his reentry into a shattered world.

Recorded Events and Article

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb

Every year, nearly 30 million Americans sit on a therapist’s couch — and some of these patients are therapists. In her remarkable new book, Lori Gottlieb tells us that despite her license and rigorous training, her most significant credential is that she’s a card-carrying member of the human race.

Recorded Events

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee” by David Treuer

This 2019 National Book award nominee for nonfiction, recommended by Nancy Pearl, is a sweeping history — and counter-narrative — of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present.

A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

In this mega-bestseller, Alexander Rostov lives under house arrest in the Metropol Hotel. He encounters Nina, a precocious and wide-eyed young girl, who introduces Alexander to an absorbing, adventure-filled existence, despite his captivity.

“Glittering…filled with snappy dialogue, sharp observations and an array of terrifically drawn characters…Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change.” —

Recorded Events

Book Cover: In Cold Blood

In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy.

Sabrina & Corina: Stories” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit. Set against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado — a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite — these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

American Spy” by Lauren Wilkinson

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club, and her career has stalled out. So when she’s offered a spot on a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso, she says yes, even though she secretly admires the work Thomas is doing for his country.

Inspired by true events, this novel knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice.

Recorded Events


UW Alumni Book Club is presented in partnership with

University Bookstore logo
UW Libraries logo