Get involved in The Great Read

We are delighted to announce that The Great Read will return for 2020 as part of our Liverpool Welcome, with events running during the new Foundation Week (5 – 9 October).

This year, all of our students and staff are invited to read a specially commissioned e-book containing an inspiring collection of four short stories, with accompanying essays from some of the University’s leading academics.

Find out more and download the e-book.

The stories are:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
with introduction by Dr Matthew Bradley

Doris Lessing
A Mild Attack of Locusts
with introduction by Professor Kate Parr and Dr Samuel Solnick

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Thing Around Your Neck
with introduction by Dr Lucienne Loh 

Arthur C Clarke
The Sentinel
with introductions by Dr Phoenix Alexander and Dr Steve Barrett

The stories are written by authors with very different life experiences but who are all shaped by their own experience of change, spanning boundaries of generations, gender, class, national identity and religion.

Once you have downloaded the e-book we invite all students to read and consider it, and to get involved in some of the related events being organised during Foundation Week.

About The Great Read

The Great Read began as a pilot in 2019, with 600 new students receiving a copy of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. In addition, all staff and students were given access to an e-book via the library and were invited to attend a Halloween film screening of Jordan Peele’s “Us” to explore the related themes, and engage in a discussion of the book’s literary and scientific elements with Professor Rodi Herzberg and Dr Matthew Bradley.

By reading the same book, the hope is that students and staff will be able to share their thoughts and experiences and have plenty to talk about when they meet, whether that be face-to-face or virtually.


There will be a series of events, open to all students, around the launch of the project from 5 – 9 October 2020 as part of the University’s Foundation Week.  The events will include a series of panel discussions on the four stories, drawing out their themes of race, gender, space, environment and colonialism. There will also be a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film which was based on The Sentinel, and a pop-up exhibition on Arthur C Clarke.

Share your thoughts about the stories on social media using #LivGreatRead.

For more information, please visit The Great Read webpages. If you have any queries about the project, please contact The Great Read Team at