The Stern Undergraduate Book Club
The Stern Undergraduate Book Club is an opportunity for students to explore new and interesting genres of the written word outside of the classroom. Meet new friends, and engage in thought-provoking discussions with faculty and peers!

Spring 2021 Book Selections

Check out what you could read this semester!
Image of Billion Dollar Loser Book

Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork

Date: February 25th
Time: 12:30-1:45pm
Zoom link available via SternLife Dashboard

With incredible access and piercing insight, New York magazine contributing editor Reeves Wiedeman tells the full inside story of WeWork and its CEO, Adam Neumann, who together came to represent one of the most audacious, and improbable, rise and falls in American business.

In its earliest days, WeWork promised the impossible: to make the American work place cool. Adam Neumann, an Israeli immigrant determined to make his fortune in the United States, landed on the idea of repurposing surplus Brooklyn office spaces for the burgeoning freelance class. Over the course of 10 years, WeWork attracted billions of some of the most sought-after investment capital in the world, while spending it to build a global real estate empire.

Moving between the worlds of New York real estate, Silicon Valley venture capital, and the very specific spiritual and intellectual force field erected by Adam Neumann himself, Billion Dollar Loser lays bare the internal drama inside WeWork, beginning with the breakneck speed at which its CEO built and grew his company.

Culminating in a day-by-day account of the five weeks leading up to WeWork’s botched IPO, Wiedeman exposes - thanks to more than 200 interviews - the story of the company’s Hail Mary pass to finally secure the funding that would make its business model work. Billion Dollar Loser is the first book to indelibly capture the highly leveraged, all-blue-sky world of American business in President Trump’s first term, and also offers a sober reckoning with its fallout.
Image of How Much of These Hills is Gold

How Much Of These Hills Is Gold

Date: March 25th
Time: 12:30-1:45pm
Zoom link available via SternLife Dashboard 

 An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape -- trying not just to survive but to find a home. . . . . Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and re-imagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature.
Image of Hidden Valley Road Book

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

Date: April 29th
Time: 12:30-1:45pm
Zoom link available via SternLife Dashboard

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?

What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.

With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.