lifelong learning

UW Alumni Book Club

Personal stories, timely topics, transformative fiction… Let’s dig into some amazing books together! All curious readers are welcome at the UW Alumni Book Club.

Together, we read a book about every two months. Choose just one or all five — whatever works for you.

The free online forum has suggested timelines and prompts for online discussion. Join us for special events that take the conversation to the next level!

“So often we think of reading as a solo activity, but with discussion it improves and elevates the experience.” —Marilyn Conover Watt, ’76, ’81


Now Reading:

Portrait of Charles Yu next to cover of "Interior Chinatown" book

“Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu

January 6–March 10, 2022

From the author of “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe” comes this darkly hilarious novel that explores how pop-culture stereotypes impact our identities. Written as a screenplay, this playful and heartfelt book sends-up Hollywood clichés and explores what it could mean to break free. “Interior Chinatown” was the winner of the 2020 National Book Awards for Fiction!

“One of the funniest books of the year… a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire.” 
—The Washington Post

Get your copy:

UWAA Members save 20% on Interior Chinatown! Use code UWAAYU in-store and ubookstore.com.*

*Some restrictions apply; visit ubookstore.com/disclaimer for full details. Coupon code must be given to cashier to receive discount in-store; non-Pack Rewards members receive a 10% discount with this coupon code. Valid Sunday, January 1—Saturday, March 12, 2022, in-store and at ubookstore.com.


Book events:

Charles Yu: In-Person & Online

Tues. Feb. 15, 2022  |  7:30 p.m.  |  in-person and online

Portrait of Charles Yu next to SAL logoCharles Yu, author of “Interior Chinatown,” will be presenting at Seattle Arts & Lectures! This event, which includes a Q&A with UW professor Shawn Wong, takes place both in-person at Benaroya Hall and streaming online. UWAA members save 20% on tickets. UW Alumni Book Club participants can get their discount code in the book club forum.


Stereotypes in Storytelling

Thurs. March 3, 2022  |  5-6 p.m.  |  online

In collaboration with UW Alumni Book Club’s reading of “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu, join three Huskies to share a conversation about how stereotypes are often used in storytelling. Our conversation will range from issues around identity, representation of Asian Americans in storytelling and challenging these stereotypes.

Portrait of Shawn WongShawn Wong is the author of two novels, “Homebase” and “American Knees.” He is also the co-editor and editor of six Asian American and American multicultural literary anthologies including the pioneering anthology “Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers.” The award-winning film version of “American Knees” will be released soon. In 2019, he started his own book series at the University of Washington Press, reissuing notable Asian American books such as “Eat a Bowl of Tea” by Louis Chu, “Awake in the River” and “Shedding Silence” by Janice Mirikitani, and a new work, “Uncle Rico’s Encore: Mostly True Stories of Filipino Seattle” by Peter Bacho. Wong is Professor of English and the Byron and Alice Lockwood Professor in the Humanities at the University of Washington.

Portrait of Michelle LiuMichelle Liu is a Teaching Professor in the Department of English and Associate Director of Writing Programs at the University of Washington. She specializes in teaching writing and exploring ideas about identity, history, emotion, and storytelling in courses such as Asian American Literature. She has taught for almost 20 years, all with the goal of helping people interconnect their hearts, minds, and experiences in their learning. She currently is part of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau with a talk on Asian Americans and comedy. Liu earned her PhD in American Studies from Yale University.

Portrait of Xin PengXin Peng is a Society of Scholars fellow at the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington and the former Managing Editor of Feminist Media Histories: An International Journal. Her dissertation examines the ways in which racial and orientalist thinking informed the development and conception of media technologies in the interwar period of American cinema. She is the winner of the 2020 Transnational Cinemas Scholarly Interest Group Graduate Essay Award at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the 2021 Nancy C.M. Hartsock Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Feminist Theory. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Screen, Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, the Women Film Pioneers Project, and New Review of Film and Television Studies.

No spoilers! You don’t need to have read Charles Yu’s “Interior Chinatown” to participate.

This event is presented in partnership with the Humanities Division of the College of Arts & Sciences.


“Interior Chinatown” Book Chat

Wed. March 9, 2022  |  5–6 p.m.  |  online

Join the UW Alumni Book Club for a conversation about this innovative and satirical novel.


2021-2022 Reading List

When Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

Reading Period:
Aug. 5–Oct. 7, 2021

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Reading Period:
Oct. 14–Dec. 17, 2021

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Reading Period:
Jan. 6–Mar. 10, 2022

Reading Period:
Mar. 17–May 19, 2022

Readers' Choice Book

Reading Period:
May 26–July 28, 2022

 


Plan Ahead:

Portrait of Natalie Baszile with cover image of "We Are Each Other's Harvest"

“We Are Each Other’s Harvest” by Natalie Baszile

Author of the novel “Queen Sugar,” Natalie Baszile has created an immersive, polyphonic examination of Black people’s connection to American land. Natalie Baszile will speak at a Seattle Arts & Lectures event on Thursday, May 5. UWAA members and UW Alumni Book Club participants get a 20% discount on tickets!


2021-2022 UW Alumni Book Club Archive


"While Justice Sleeps" book cover

From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, “While Justice Sleeps” is a gripping thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court — where a young law clerk finds herself embroiled in a shocking mystery plotted by one of the most preeminent judges in America.

“[Abrams] displays her considerable talent for fiction in this gripping legal thriller. Shadowy figures… earth-shattering consequences… [a] deadly knot of deception…” —Booklist

Recorded Event


"Cloud Cuckoo Land" book cover

From Anthony Doerr, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” comes the highly anticipated “Cloud Cuckoo Land.” The characters include residents of fifteenth-century Constantinople, a library volunteer in present-day Idaho, and a little girl on a spaceship travelling between the stars — all of whom are connected by an ancient Greek fable.

“A wildly inventive novel that teems with life, straddles an enormous range of experience and learning, and embodies the storytelling gifts that it celebrates.” —New York Times

Recorded Event



Share Your Book Ideas!

Have suggestions for upcoming book club titles?
Submit your ideas to our Book Club Suggestion Form.

Check out the books that have already been suggested.


The UW Alumni Book Club is a collaboration between UWAA, the UW Libraries, the University Book Store—and passionate readers like you.

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