uci great big read

Join us to #ActForInclusion by exploring ideas that support diverse identities, challenge our perspectives, and connect us as a community of readers

The UCI Great Big Read is a partnership initiative hosted by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, UCI Libraries, and Division of Student Affairs to foster engagement and social solidarity during a time when we may need to practice physical distancing.

This program is free and open to UCI students, faculty, staff, and community members.

UCI Students, Staff, and Faculty:

Register at the UCI Registration tab or here to access free reading links to our top-voted books.

Community Members:

Submit a registration for notifications about upcoming events and read along with your own books.

Tools For You!

Read the virtual Library Guide

View events at: UCI Great Big Read webpage.

Check Back for Upcoming UCI Great Big Read Events


Becoming (2018) by Michelle Obama

There There (2018) by Tommy Orange
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing a powerful advocacy for women.

NOTE: Readers are asked to purchase on own.
Tommy Orange's wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize.

NOTE: Readers are asked to purchase on own.


Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979; 2004)

A classic time travel novel about a heroine caught between two worlds

Events included:

June 24 Kindred as a Graphic Novel presented by Research Librarian Richard Minkyu Cho, UCI Libraries

July 2 Book Club presented by Reference Department Head Cynthia Johnson, Grunigen Medical Library

July 9 Special Event with Nnedi Okorafor – A recipient of Hugo and Nebula Awards, Dr. Okorafor won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature for her debut novel, Zahrah the Windseeker, and has written comics for Marvel that include Black Panther: Long Live the King, and Wakanda Forever. During her conversation with UCI Professor John Murillo III, she discussed themes from Octavia Butler’s Kindred and her co-written adaptation of Butler’s Wild Seed, as well as her masterful and stirring works that include the Binti trilogy, and Who Fears Death (developed as an HBO series).

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (2020)

An immigrant writer, recently widowed, examines hope

Events included:

July 23 Book Club presented by Chancellor’s Professor Jonathan Alexander (Department of English)

August 6 Special Event with Julia Alvarez – The author of Afterlife and several novels, including How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, discussed her stirring new masterpiece with UCI Professor Anita Casavantes Bradford.  Alvarez is a recipient of a National Medal of Art, a Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature for her vivid depictions of identity, family, hope, and navigating cultural divides.

UCI Great Big Read is brought to you by UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence, UCI Student Affairs, and UCI Libraries