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.

Vote for the Next UCI Great Big Read at https://www.menti.com/npf8id2eyr

(book descriptions below) 

Book Descriptions

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (2017) by Hanif AbdurraqibWhile discussing the everyday threat to the lives of Black Americans, Abdurraqib recounts the first time he was ordered to the ground by police officers for attempting to enter his own car. In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world.
Signs Preceding the End of the World (2015) by Yuri Herrera; translated by Lisa DillmanYuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back.
God in Pink (2015) by Hasan NamirA revelatory novel about being queer and Muslim, set in war-torn Iraq in 2003.
Becoming (2018) by Michelle ObamaIn 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 will be asked to purchase on own.
The Hate U Give (2017) by Angie ThomasSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when witnessing the interaction of her best friend and the police. NOTE: readers will be asked to purchase on own. NOTE: readers will be asked to purchase on own.
There There (2018) by Tommy OrangeTommy 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.

Tools For You!

Read the virtual Library Guide

View events at: UCI Great Big Read webpage.

Join Us on August 6

Noon-1:00 p.m.

UCI Great Big Read presents Julia Alvarez

The author of Afterlife and several novels, including How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, joins to discuss her themes of identity, family, hope and navigating cultural divides. A recipient of a National Medal of Art, Alvarez also has received a Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature.

RSVP to receive links to this free and public virtual event.

Learn More About the Books

First Selection
Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979; 2004)

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

Second Selection
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (2020)

An immigrant writer, recently widowed, examines hope

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