Jayhawk Book Club

Calling All Bookworms!

The KU Alumni Association has partnered with KU Libraries to create the Jayhawk Book Club, open to all alumni, students and friends of KU.


Each semester, KU Libraries staff will select a book and create discussion questions. The discussions will take place in a closed Facebook group, and you can participate as much or as little as you like.


Not on Facebook? You can still participate! We’ll send monthly emails that will include the discussion questions, and we will also schedule online chats to discuss the book.

Two Ways to Join

Fill out this registration form to receive Jayhawk Book Club emails or join the Jayhawk Book Club Facebook Group. Discussions will be posted here.

Two Ways to Join

Fill out this registration form to receive Jayhawk Book Club emails or join the Jayhawk Book Club Facebook Group. Discussions will be posted here.

KU Alumni Members

Use your KU Bookstore discount in-store and online to buy the book: add your 10-digit alumni ID number in the “special instructions” box in the last step of the checkout process. KU Bookstore will cross-check your current membership and will then apply the discount on all eligible items on the backend. 


In addition, all KU faculty, students and staff will receive 20% off in-store when using their KU ID. Discounts may not be stacked or combined. 

Current Selection

Summer 2024 Book Selection
The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club
Helen Simonson

A timeless comedy of manners—refreshing as a summer breeze and bracing as the British seaside—about a generation of young women facing the seismic changes brought on by war and dreaming of the boundless possibilities of their future, from the bestselling author of “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”.

It is the summer of 1919 and Constance Haverhill is without prospects. Now that all the men have returned from the front, she has been asked to give up her cottage and her job at the estate she helped run during the war. While she looks for a position as a bookkeeper or—horror—a governess, she’s sent as a lady’s companion to an old family friend who is convalescing at a seaside hotel. Despite having only weeks to find a permanent home, Constance is swept up in the social whirl of Hazelbourne-on-Sea after she rescues the local baronet’s daughter, Poppy Wirrall, from a social faux pas.

Poppy wears trousers, operates a taxi and delivery service to employ local women, and runs a ladies’ motorcycle club (to which she plans to add flying lessons). She and her friends enthusiastically welcome Constance into their circle. And then there is Harris, Poppy’s recalcitrant but handsome brother—a fighter pilot recently wounded in battle—who warms in Constance’s presence. But things are more complicated than they seem in this sunny pocket of English high society. As the country prepares to celebrate its hard-won peace, Constance and the women of the club are forced to confront the fact that the freedoms they gained during the war are being revoked.

Whip-smart and utterly transportive, “The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club” is historical fiction of the highest order: an unforgettable coming-of-age story, a tender romance, and a portrait of a nation on the brink of change.

 

Get your copy of the book from the KU Bookstore! KU Alumni members, don’t forget to use your membership discount.

Past Selections

Spring 2024 Book Selection
The Wishing Game
Meg Shaffer

Make a wish. . . .

 

Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, who was left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability.

 

But be careful what you wish for. . . .

 

Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest at his home on the real Clock Island, and Lucy is one of the four lucky contestants chosen to compete to win the one and only copy.

 

For Lucy, the chance of winning the most sought-after book in the world means everything to her and Christopher. But first she must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, the illustrator of the Clock Island books. Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.

 

. . . You might just get it.

Fall 2023 Book Selection
The House is on Fire
Rachel Beanland

It’s the height of the winter social season, the General Assembly is in session, and many of Virginia’s gentleman planters, along with their wives and children, have made the long and arduous journey to the capital in hopes of whiling away the darkest days of the year. At the city’s only theater, the Charleston-based Placide & Green Company puts on two plays a night to meet the demand of a populace that’s done looking for enlightenment at the front of a church.

 

When the theater goes up in flames in the middle of the performance, Sally, Cecily, Jack, and Gilbert make a series of split-second decisions that will not only affect their own lives but those of countless others. And in the days following the fire, as news of the disaster spreads across the United States, the paths of these four people will become forever intertwined.

 

Based on the true story of Richmond’s theater fire, “The House Is on Fire” is a “stunning” (Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle), “all-consuming exploration” (E! News) that offers proof that sometimes, in the midst of great tragedy, we are offered our most precious–and fleeting–chances at redemption.

Spring 2023 Book Selection
The Light Pirate
Lily Brooks-Dalton

Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels gradually wreak havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker; his pregnant wife, Frida; and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds to search for them. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

 

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Fall 2022 Book Selection
Wrong Place Wrong Time
Gillian McAllister

Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?

Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your seventeen-year-old son. He’s late. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.

 

You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody. His future shattered.

 

That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost. Until you wake . . .

 

. . . and it is yesterday.

 

And then you wake again . . .

 

. . . and it is the day before yesterday.

 

Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime—and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .

Summer 2022 Book Selection
Woman on Fire
Lisa Barr

From the author of the award-winning “Fugitive Colors” and “The Unbreakables”, a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece—forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.

 

After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual—and very secret—assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.

 

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.

 

A thrilling tale of secrets, love, and sacrifice that illuminates the destructive cruelty of war and greed and the triumphant power of beauty and love, “Woman on Fire” tells the story of a remarkable woman and an exquisite work of art that burns bright, moving through hands, hearts, and history.

 

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, “The Sweetness of Water” is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.

Spring 2022 Book Selection
The Sweetness of Water
Nathan Harris

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

 

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

 

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, “The Sweetness of Water” is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.

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