Adult Summer Reading

Welcome to the 2021 Adult Summer Reading Big Book Challenge! This year, for the first time ever, we’re exploring three thematically-linked titles with our reading choices: The Portable Frederick Douglass, a collection of autobiographical works by the abolitionist and former slave; the graphic novel The Life of Frederick Douglass by David Walker; and the National Book Award-winning tale of abolition The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.

As with 2020, all discussions and programs will take place online via Zoom. Make sure you’re on our Summer Reading mailing list by sending an email to These emails will include all Zoom invite links, so make sure “” is on your list of approved senders and periodically check your junk or spam folders of your email inbox. You can also find links to all of the emails at the bottom of this page. Please RSVP here to let us know which books you want on hold for you, and we’ll have them ready!

UCPL will still offer its Big Book readers the same discussions and scholar presentations — and informative blog posts — you’ve come to know and love. Keep up with us on our Facebook page and through our Adult Summer Reading blog. After all, UCPL is home to the best readers in the world!

Adult Summer Reading Events

Keynote Presentation with Bryan Jack
available online Wed., May 26

Portable Frederick Douglass
Online Discussion 1
7 p.m. Wed., June 23

Life of Frederick Douglass
Online Discussion with author David Walker
7 p.m. Mon., June 28

The Good Lord Bird
Online Discussion Parts 1 & 2
7 p.m. Mon, July 26

Portable Frederick Douglass
Online Discussion 2
7 p.m. Wed., July 28

Portable Frederick Douglass
Online Discussion 3
7 p.m. Wed., Aug. 25

The Good Lord Bird
Online Discussion Part 3
7 p.m. Mon., Aug. 30

Big Book Challenge Emails
Welcome to the 2021 Big Book(s) Challenge!
It’s Not Too Late to Join Us!
Summer Reading Has Begun!