lifelong learning

UW Alumni Book Club

Last fall, UWAA and UW Libraries launched the UW Alumni Book Club, a self-paced literary educational experience designed with the eclectic reader in mind. Personal stories, timely topics and transformative fiction have all found a place on our bookshelf.

Together, we read a book every two months. Choose just one or all six — whatever works for your schedule or speaks to your curiosity.

You’ll receive regular emails to help you get the most of your reading experience, from suggested timelines to moderated online discussions facilitated by Professional Book Club Guru.

During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to explore new ways of connecting with each other. We also might have more time to crack open a good book. Join the conversation and community of the UW Alumni Book Club.

Next up: two very different stories about the human experience.

Current Book Club Selections

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.

“Fun, clever, and surprisingly upbeat . . . A Gentleman in Moscow is an amazing story because it manages to be a little bit of everything. There’s fantastical romance, politics, espionage, parenthood and poetry.” —Bill Gates

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.

“Chapter after chapter, it’s like one shattered myth after another.” —NPR


Past Book Club Selections

Below you’ll also find conversations with UW alumni, faculty and staff connecting our books to the lives of Huskies on campus and around the world.

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.

“An addictive book that’s part Oliver Sacks and part Nora Ephron. Prepare to be riveted.” —People Magazine, Book of the Week

Keep learning

What issues are today’s students facing? Glenna Chang, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, UW Student Life, moderated a discussion with Natacha Foo Klune, Ph.D., Director and Counseling Psychologist, UW Counseling Center; Meghann Gerber, Psy.D., Psychologist, Mental Health Clinic Unit Head, Associate Director for Mental Health, Hall Health Center, UW; and Megan Kennedy, M.A., LMHC, Interim Director, UW Resilience Lab.

Danny O’Rourke, Ph.D., ’09 ’15, is a licensed psychologist and director of Training and Education at Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle. He talked about being a Husky Psychologist and how his UW training informs his interactions with patients every day.


“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.

“‘No-No Boy’ has the honor of being among the first of what has become an entire literary canon of Asian American literature.”
—Novelist Ruth Ozeki

We strongly recommend you purchase the book from the University of Washington Press. All UWAA members get 30% off at UW Press. Non-members can purchase “No-No Boy” with a 20% discount by using the code WABOOKCLUB.

Keep learning

English Professor Shawn Wong discusses his work creating the field of Asian American literature, his role in the publication of “No-No Boy” in the 1970s and his fight with Penguin Publishing when they illegally published the book this summer.

A conversation with Danielle Higa, ’07, and Caitlin Oiye Coon, ’02, descendants of incarcerated Japanese Americans who now work at Densho, an organization that works to preserve and share history of Japanese incarceration.

Professor Michelle Martin, Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor in Children and Youth Services and Chair of the Master of Library and Information Science program, talks about diversity and representation in literature and the importance of #OwnVoices writers.


Read the UW Magazine story on the book: “The legacy of ‘No-No Boy'” by Vince Schleitwiler

Attend the Friends of the Library Annual Lecture: “‘No-No Boy’: The Story of How a Novel goes from 1500 Copies Sold to 158,000 Copies” with speaker Shawn Wong on Jan. 30

How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haims

This book kicked off the UW Alumni Book Club around Labor Day. (Find the book at UW Libraries.)

“This is the stuff of the best parenting advice . . . . A worthwhile read for every parent . . . . Our children are engaged in the serious work of becoming an adult. With this book, Lythcott-Haims provides the missing user manual.”
―The Chicago Tribune

Keep learning

Listen to a conversation between author Julie Lythcott-Haims and UW Political Science and Public Policy Librarian Emily Keller:

Listen to Julie Lythcott-Haim’s Oct. 1 lecture at Kane Hall.

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