Past Book Discussions

2017 - 2018

  • Activating Democracy: The "I Wish to Say" Project, by Sheryl Oring.
    Discussion led by Sheryl Oring of the Art Department. (September 25, 2017)
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo.
    Discussion led by Jenny Dale of the University Libraries. (October 24, 2018)
  • The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead.
    Discussion led by Dr. Noelle Morrissette of the English Department. (March 1, 2018)

2016 - 2017

  • All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr.
    Discussion led by led by Dr. Chuck Bolton of the History Department. (March 21, 2017)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson.
    Discussion led by Dr. Saundra Westervelt of the Sociology Department. (February 13, 2017)
  • Looking for Palestine, by Najla Said.
    Discussion led by Dr. Jeff Jones from the History Department. (October 10, 2016)
  • Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay: Reflections on Art, Family, and Survival, by Christopher Benfey.
    Discussion led by Dr. Emily Stamey, Curator of Exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. (September 19, 2016)

2015 - 2016

  • Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People Who Make Our Clothes by Kelsey Timmerman.
    Discussion led by Jenny Dale and Lynda Kellam of the University Libraries.
  • Being Mortal: What Matters at the End of Life, by Atul Gawande.
    Discussion led by Emeritus Professor Dr. Janne Cannon of UNC Chapel Hill and Dr. Rob Cannon of the Biology Department.
  • Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis, by Timothy Egan.
    Discussion led by Dr. Bob Gatten, Emeritus Professor of Biology.
  • Behind the Scenes, or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House, by Elizabeth Keckley.
    Discussion led by Karen Weyler of the English Department.
  • Black Dogs, by Ian McEwan.
    Discussion led by Keith Gorman of the University Libraries.

2014 - 2015

  • The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited by Richard Florida.
    Discussion led by Keith Debbage of the Department of Geography & the Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism.
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.
    Discussion led by Anne Hershey of the Biology Department.
  • The Member of the Wedding: The Play by Carson McCullers.
    led by Keith Cushman of the English Department.
  • Regeneration by Pat Barker.
    led by Keith Gorman of the University Libraries.
  • Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher Browning.
    led by Karl Schleunes of the History Department.

2013 - 2014

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.
    Discussion led by Dr. Steven Cureton, Sociology
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.
    Discussion led by Dr. David Wharton, Classical Studies
  • The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman.
    Discussion led by Dr. Janne Cannon (Microbiology and Immunology, UNC) and Dr. Rob Cannon (Biology)
  • Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves.
    Discussion led by Dr. Ron Cassell, History
  • The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West.
    Discussion led by Dr. Keith Cushman, English
  • Serena by Ron Rash.
    Discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, English

2012 - 2013

  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
    Discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Rosklely, English (September 17, 2012)
  • The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore White
    Discussion led by Dr. David Olson, Political Science (October 29, 2012)
  • The Match: "Savior Siblings" and One Family's Battle to Heal Their Daughter by Beth Whitehouse
    Discussion led by Dr. Terrance McConnell, Philosophy (December 3, 2012)
  • When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God by T.M. Luhrmann
    Discussion led by Dr. Bennett Ramsey, Religious Studies (January 28, 2013)
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
    Discussion led by Dr. Keith Cushman, English (February 25, 2013)
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson
    Discussion led by Dr. Karl Schleunes, History

2011 - 2012

  • No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan
    Discussion led by Dr. Omar Ali, African American Studies (September 26, 2011)
  • Straight Man by Richard Russo
    Discussion led by Dr. Richard Barton, History (October 24, 2011)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    Discussion led by Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, Biology (December 5, 2011)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    Discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, English (February 6, 2012)
  • Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser
    Discussion led by Dr. Ken Snowden, Economics (March 26, 2012)
  • The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard
    Discussion led by Dr. Spoma Jovanovic, Communication Studies (April 23, 2012)

2010 - 2011

  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
    Discussion led by Bill Hamilton, Liberal Studies (October 4, 2010)
  • My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. Discussion led by Gwen Hunnicutt, Sociology Department (November 1, 2010)
  • Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. Discussion led by Hephzibah Roskelly, English Department (December 6, 2010)
  • The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. Discussion led by Janne Cannon, Microbiology and Immunology (UNC Chapel Hill) and Rob Cannon, Biology (January 24, 2011)
  • Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis. Discussion led by Christopher Hodgkins, English Department ( February 28, 2011)
  • Children of Dust by Ali Eteraz. Discussion led by Jeff Jones, History Department (March 28, 2011)

2009 - 2010

  • The Innocent Man by John Grisham. Discussion Led by Saundra Wetervelt, Sociology (September 21, 2009)
  • Stoner by John Williams. Discussion led by Michael Parker, English (October 5, 2009)
  • The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. Discussion led by Patrick Lee Lucas, Interior Architecture ( November 9, 2009)
  • This One and Magic Life by Anne Carroll George. Discussion led by Bill Carroll, School of Music (January 25, 2010)
  • Abraham Lincoln by James McPherson. Discussion led by Mark Elliott, History (February 22, 2010)
  • Olive Kittredge by Elizabeth Strout. Discussion led by Hepsie Roskelly, English (March 22, 2011)

2008 - 2009 Theme: Sustainability

  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    Discussion led by Dr. Greg Grieve, Religious Studies Dept. (September 29, 2008)
  • The Crystal World by J.G. Ballard
    Discussion led by Fred Chappell, Professor Emeritus of English (October 27, 2008)
  • Essays by Wendell Berry & Thomas Berry
    Discussion led by Ann Berry Somers, Biology Dept. (November 24, 2008)
  • Native Hill by Wendell Berry
    Print copy in The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, edited by Norman Wirzba.
  • The Meadow Across the Creek by Thomas Berry
    Electronic copy available here. Print copy in The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, by Thomas Berry. NY: Crown Publishing Group, 2000.
  • Animal, Vegetable and Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
    Discussion led by Dr. Anne-Marie Scott, Nutrition Dept. (January 26, 2009)
  • The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
    Discussion led by Dr. Hepsie Roskelly, English Dept. (February 23, 2009)

2007 - 2008 Theme: Journeys

  • After This by Alice McDermott (October 25, 2007)
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (January 28, 2008)
  • The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (February 25, 2008)
  • Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (March 31, 2008)
  • Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism by former professor Bill Link
    With presentation by Bill Link(February 27, 2008)

2006 - 2007 Theme: Books Worth a Second Look

  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    Discussion led by Dr. Saundra D. Westervelt, Associate Professor of Sociology (September 25, 2006)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    Discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, Professor of English (October 30, 2006)
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
    Discussion led by Dr. Parke Rublee, Professor of Biology (November 27, 2006)
  • Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz
    Discussion led by Dr. Peter Carmichael, Associate Professor of History (January 29, 2007)
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    Discussion led by Dr. Colleen Kriger, Associate Professor of History (March 26, 2007)

2005 - 2006 Theme: Award Winners

  • Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
    Discussion led by Mr. Jim Wren, Professor of Theater (September 26, 2005)
  • All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
    Discussion led by Mr. Stuart Dischell, Associate Professor of English (October 24, 2005)
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
    Discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, Professor of English (November 21, 2005)
  • Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire
    Discussion led by Dr. Mark Smith-Soto, Professor of Spanish (January 23, 2006)
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
    Discussion led by Dr. Henry Levinson, Professor of Religious Studies (March 27, 2006)

2004 - 2005 Theme: The World We Live In

  • The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter America Community by Mary Pipher
    Led by Hepsie Roskelly, English Department (September 27, 2004)
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman
    Led by Ann Fitzmaurice-Russ, Chair of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussion Group Committee (November 22, 2004)
  • The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly
    Led by Ken Snowden, Economics Department (January 24, 2005)
  • Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
    Led by Dr. Charlie Headington, Religious Studies Department (March 29, 2005)

2003 - 2004 Theme: Different Lives

  • A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
    Led by Hepsie Roskelly, Professor of English (September 15, 2003)
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
    Led by Russ McDonald, Professor of English (October 20, 2003)
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.
    Led by Allen Trelease, Emeritus Professor of History (November 24, 2003)
  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.
    Led by Loren Schweninger, Professor of History (February 2, 2004 [rescheduled from January 26])
  • William Wilson by E.A. Poe
    Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by R.L.Stevenson.
    Led by William Finley, Special Collections Librarian (March 15, 2004 [rescheduled from February 16])
  • Catch Me If You Can by Stan Redding and Frank Abagnale
    Led by Michael Frierson, Associate Professor of Broadcasting and Cinema (April 19, 2004)

2002 - 2003 Theme: American Journeys

  • Towns Without Rivers by Michael Parker
    Discussion led by Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board of Directors members Ann Russ and Beth Sheffield September 23, 2002)
  • Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose
    Discussion led by Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board of Directors members Ann Russ and Beth Sheffield and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Robert Gatten, who is a nationally recognized expert on Lewis and Clark, a founding director of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council and Past President of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation (November 18, 2002)
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
    Discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, Professor of English and Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board of Directors members Ann Russ and Beth Sheffield (January 27, 2003)
  • The Last Girls by Lee Smith
    Discussion led by Lee Zacharias, Associate Professor of English and Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board of Directors members Ann Russ and Beth Sheffield (April 21, 2003 [rescheduled from March 17, 2003])