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MSU Denver Alumni Book Club: Roadrunners Read

We invite you to Read with Us!

Get ready to read and discuss an exciting variety of books with fellow Roadrunners when you join the Roadrunners Read Book Club! The books we choose may be related to ongoing campus initiatives or events, and some may even be written by MSU Denver Alumni. 

The concept is simple: we choose a book, read it and discuss it with our Roadrunner family. All discussions will take place online, allowing alumni from around the world to participate! We will host optional in-person events for Roadrunners who live nearby. 

Book Club Details:

  • Timeline
    • Book 1: August-September
    • Book 2: November 1-December 15
    • Book 3: January 15-March 15 (Classic)
    • Book 4: April 15 - June 15 (Award Winner)
  • We have chosen the first book, but all future books will be selected by the members!
  • Discussions will be held online in our Roadrunners Read Facebook Group. Once you sign-up, you will receive an email with a link inviting you to join the group.
    • In-person options will also be made available!
  • All members will receive an MSU Denver bookmark and MSU Denver t-shirt.

Do you have an idea for a future book? Email us your suggestions at

Book 2: In Order to Live

Our second book chosen by the members is In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park.

Roadrunner Reads book discussions will take place in our online Facebook group. We will share our thoughts about In Order to Live in an ongoing discussion from November 1-December 15.

In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.

Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country.

Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.

Book 1: Living and Dying in Brick City

Our first book is Living and Dying in Brick City by Dr. Sampson Davis. This book was selected by the alumni relations staff, in conjunction with Dr. Davis' visit to campus on September 26, 2019.   

Roadrunner Reads book discussions will take place in our online Facebook group. We will share our thoughts about Living and Dying in Brick City in an ongoing discussion from August 1-September 19, culminating in a live 1-hour online discussion on Thursday, September 19, at 6:00 p.m. MT.

All book club members are invited to attend an in-person lecture and reception with Dr. Davis on Thursday, September 26, from 2-5 p.m.

Living and Dying in Brick City can be purchased on many websites, including:


Better World Books

Tattered Cover


A riveting personal exploration of the healthcare crisis facing inner-city communities, written by an emergency room physician who grew up in the very neighborhood he is now serving. 

Sampson Davis is best known as one of three friends from inner-city Newark who made a pact in high school to become doctors. Their book The Pact and their work through the Three Doctors Foundation have inspired countless young men and women to strive for goals they otherwise would not have dreamed they could attain. In this book, Dr. Davis looks at the healthcare crisis in the inner city from a rare perspective: as a doctor who works on the front line of emergency medical care in the community where he grew up, and as a member of that community who has faced the same challenges as the people he treats every day. He also offers invaluable practical advice for those living in such communities, where conditions like asthma, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and AIDS are disproportionately endemic.
Dr. Davis’s sister, a drug addict, died of AIDS; his brother is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair as a result of a bar fight; and he himself did time in juvenile detention—a wake-up call that changed his life. He recounts recognizing a young man who is brought to the E.R. with critical gunshot wounds as someone who was arrested with him when he was a teenager during a robbery gone bad; describes a patient whose case of sickle-cell anemia rouses an ethical dilemma; and explains the difficulty he has convincing his landlord and friend, an older woman, to go to the hospital for much-needed treatment. With empathy and hard-earned wisdom, Living and Dying in Brick City presents an urgent picture of medical care in our cities. It is an important resource guide for anyone at risk, anyone close to those at risk, and anyone who cares about the fate of our cities.


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