Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Alex Kotlowitz - The Author
Photo by Kathy Richland
2021-2022 WCU One Book
The mission of the One Book program is to engage first-year students, as well as the campus community, in a common intellectual experience that promotes critical thinking and interdisciplinary conversation
Previous One Books
The Big Thirst (2020-2021) by
Call Number: WCU General HD1691 .F55 2012
Publication Date: 2012-02-14
Praised as "an entertaining and torrential flow of a book" by Nature magazine, The Big Thirst is a startling examination of the passing of the golden age of water and the shocking facts about how water scarcity will soon be a major factor in our lives.
We Need to Talk (2019-2020) by
Call Number: WCU General BF637.C45 H425 2018
Publication Date: 2018-09-18
WE NEED TO TALK. They are, perhaps, the most dreaded four words in the English language. But in her timely and practical book, We Need to Talk, Celeste Headlee—a public radio host—makes the case that they are urgently needed.
The Book of Unknown Americans (2018-2019) by
Call Number: eBook & WCU General PS3608.E565 B66 2015
Publication Date: 2015-03-03
When fifteen-year-old Maribel Rivera sustains a terrible injury, the Riveras leave behind a comfortable life in Mexico and risk everything to come to the United States so that Maribel can have the care she needs. Once they arrive, it's not long before Maribel attracts the attention of Mayor Toro, the son of one of their new neighbors, who sees a kindred spirit in this beautiful, damaged outsider. Their love story sets in motion events that will have profound repercussions for everyone involved.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017-2018) by
Call Number: eBook & WCU General RC265.6.L24 S55 2011
Publication Date: 2011-03-08
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.
The Bright Continent (2016-2017) by
Call Number: WCU General DT352.8 .O46 2014
Publication Date: 2015-03-10
Africa is a continent on the move. It's often hard to notice, though--the Western focus on governance and foreign aid obscures the individual dynamism and informal social adaptation driving the past decade of African development. Dayo Olopade set out across sub-Saharan Africa to find out how ordinary people are dealing with the challenges they face every day. She discovered an unexpected Africa: resilient, joyful, and innovative, a continent of DIY changemakers and impassioned community leaders.
The Other Wes Moore (2015-2016) by
Call Number: eBook & WCU General F189.B153 M66 2011
Publication Date: 2011-01-11
The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his. Two kids named Wes Moore shared much more than a name, they shared remarkably similar circumstances. Both grew up fatherless and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other became a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question.
Serena (2014-2015) by
Call Number: eBook & WCU General PS3568.A698 S47 2008
Publication Date: 2009-09-29
Rash's chilling gothic tale of greed, corruption, and revenge set against the backdrop of the 1930s wilderness and America's burgeoning environmental movement was named a Best Book of the Year by more than a dozen national publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and Miami Herald. Serena is brilliant contemporary fiction that exquisitely balances beauty and violence, passion and rage, cruelty and love.