Virtual Engagement

Book Club

The Southwestern University Alumni Association invites you to be a part of the SU Book Club. Join us for our regular book club format, or for our ongoing series, “Let’s Talk About It.”

Participate in the SU Book Club

Register to participate in the SU Book Club.  Southwestern has an ongoing book club where participants play a part in determining the books that are read. Receive information about the books we will read and the meeting time for when we will gather to engage in discussions surrounding the books.  

Jan/Feb 2023


 

As we take a break from the book club in December, we are putting a plan into action for the new year. In an effort to give participants more time to read and prepare for our discussions, we are moving toward a format of selecting two books, two months in advance.

You will be given a total of five books to choose from, and this current selection will be for our January and February titles. At the beginning of February, you will vote for March and April. (etc.) We will also provide one Zoom link for every book club meeting throughout the year. The next two meetings will be on the following dates.

January 24, 2023, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
February 28, 2023, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Past Book Titles:

2022
  • The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez ’06
  • Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
  • The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
  • The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  • Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
2021
  • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  • Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
2020
  • Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb
  • Fall Poems and Family Traditions
  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek


Let’s Talk About It - Book Series

“Let’s Talk About It” is a discussion series within the Southwestern University Alumni Association book club. The series is meant to engage community members in conversations regarding a particular social theme. We gather a group of panelists who have read the book to drive the conversation. As a participant, you do not necessarily have to have read the book to engage in the discussion as the conversation tends to grow beyond the book. Past books can be found below and recordings of the past series are located on the on-demand streaming page


LGBTQ Titles

The LGBTQIA Community

  • The Book of Pride, LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World by Mason Funk
    • Jim Croxford ’83, Programme Manager, Southampton Cultural Development Trust
    • Van L. Davis, Ph.D. ’91, Chief Strategy Officer, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies
    • Kevin Moore ’99, Plano Independent School District
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
    • Craig McKinney ’91, Coordinator - Professional Learning, Plano Independent School District, President-Elect, Southwestern University Alumni Council
    • Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention, Southwestern University
    • Jim Croxford ’83, Programme Manager, Southampton Cultural Development Trust
  • Raising LGBTQ Allies, A Parent’s Guide to Changing the  Message from the Playground by Chris Tompkins
    • Chris Tompkins, author
    • Kevin Moore ’99, Director for Advanced Academics, Plano Independent School District
    • Sherri Haygood Babcock ’70, Alumni Council, Nominations and Awards Chair, and SU Vice President and Dean of Students (1992-2003)

Sustainability Titles

The Science of Sustainability

  • Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas
    W. Tallamy.
    • Greg Mast ’05, Garden Manager of the Central Texas Food Bank
    • Sarah Woolley Houston ’11, Associate Director of Education and Outreach, a research
      center at the University of Memphis
    • Patrick Houston ’09, Shelby County Firefighter
    • Rachel Blakeslee ’11, Manager, National Corporate Partnerships
  • The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living by Fritjof Capra.
    • Matthew Barnes ’06, Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University
    • Audrey Calhoun ’13, Sustainability Professional
    • Kira McEntire ’13, Assistant Professor of Biology at Queens University of Charlotte
  • The Story of More - How We Got to Climate Change and Where To Go From Here by Hope Jahren.   
    • Veronica Johnson, Sustainability Coordinator at Southwestern University
    • Molly O’Hara Pilarski ’12, Sustainability Manager Region Americas, Sika
    • Charles (Charlie) Stern ’04, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy at the Congressional Research Service

Racial Justice titles

Racial Justice and Inequity

  • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.
    • Kylin Lee Ph.D., Psychologist at Southwestern University
    • Isaac Bernal ’13, Alumni Council - Inclusion and Diversity Chair
    • Elizabeth Guillory Medina Ph.D. ’97, Alumni Council - Lifelong Learning Chair
    • Shannon Mariotti Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
    • Elizabeth Guillory Medina Ph.D. ’97, Alumni Council - Lifelong Learning Chair
    • Ebony Rose ’02, Sr. Learning and Development Consultant at TCU
    • Emily Sydnor Ph.D., Asst. Prof., Dept. of Political Science at Southwestern University
    • Ben Woods ’06, Local Alumni Chapter President - Greater Austin Chapter 
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. 
    • Elizabeth Guillory Medina Ph.D. ’97, Alumni Council - Lifelong Learning Chair
    • Melissa A. Johnson Ph.D., Chair, Sociology and Anthropology Department, Chair, Race & Ethnicity Studies Program, Professor of Anthropology
    • Jaclyn Suffel ’07, Vice President at Powers Solutions
    • John F. Lopez ’89, Travis County Assistant District Attorney