One Book, One College : Common Reading Programs

A number of colleges and universities having reading in common or summer reading programs. In many cases, libraries participate in choosing and discussing the book. In some cases, the library initiated the program and in others it appears to be either tied to a curriculum initiative (e.g. first year seminars) or to orientation (coming more from Student Affairs than from the academic side). In some cases, books are sent to incoming students; in others students are urged to purchase the book before coming to campus. For a literature review and analysis, see Andrew Twiton's report, "Common Reading Programs in Higher Education" (2007).

Several schools tie the program to a first year experience program or a new student orientation. (A list of summer reading programs like these is also maintained by the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina.) Some also are used in courses, but this is by no means standard and tends to be something teaching faculty choose to do on their own. Some programs offer public events, most often an author appearance, but most aren't formally tied to a wider community reads program (through, for example, public library and high school cross-programming).

For a state-by-state listing of what communities are reading, as well as programs in the UK, Australia, and Canada, see the "One Book" page at the Library of Congress's Center for the Book. The Beyond the Book project Website, a UK/Canadian research collaboration, has a lot of useful information related to community reading programs. For an excellent guide for first-year orientation discussion facilitators, see this handout prepared by Rebecca Taylor Fremo, prepared with The Kite Runner in mind. Feel free to adapt it to your needs, but please give Becky credit.

This list (and the previous year's list) is based on information gained from Web searches and from annual queries to the Summer Reading, ILI-L and COLLIB-L discussion lists. The year indicates when the book was adopted as a common book. If you'd like your institution added or information updated, please drop me a line. You may also be interesting in joining a Summer Reading Listserv group maintained at Appalachian State University.

In the news: articles in The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report and Educator's Spotlight Digest. See also an interesting 2006 article by Michael Ferguson in AAC&U's Peer Review.

What were we reading in 2007?



Acadia University (PA) - Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert (2008)

Adams State College (CO) - 
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Agnes Scott Collge - The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)


Albion College - Thank You For Smoking by Christopher Buckley (2008)

Amarillo College (TX) - All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg (2008)

American University
The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea (2008) 

Appalachian State University - The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (2008)

Atlantic Cape Community College (NJ) -
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (2008)

Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) - Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals (2008)

Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD) - Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Ball State University - Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert (2008)

Barton College (NC) -
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2008)

Bellevue Community College -The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (2008)

Belmont University (TN) - Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen (2008)


Bernard M. Baruch College, CUNY -
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008)

Berry College
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (2008)

Bluffton University (OH) -
Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America  by Ronald J. Sider (2008)

Bowling Green State University - The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen (2008)

Butler University (IN) - Listening is an Act of Love by Dave Isay (2008)

Cabrini College (PA) - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)

California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo - Montana 1948 by Larry Watson (2008)

California State University, Channel Islands - Southlands by Nina Revoyr (2008)

California State University, Chico 
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

California State University, Northridge - Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (2008)

California State University, Sacramento - Funny in Farsi: Growing Up Iranian in America by Firozeh Dumas (2008)


Carleton College (MN) -
The Travels of a T-Shirt in a Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli (2008)

Case Western Reserve University - The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen (2008)

Catawba College -
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2008)

Chaffey College (CA) - Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (2008)

Champlain College - The Torilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle (2008)

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ) - Garbage Land by Elzabeth Royte (2008)

Clemson University - One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash (2008)

Cleveland State University -
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)

Coker College (SC) - 
Saints at the River by Ron Rash (2008)

College of Charleston - more - Longitude  by Dava Sobel (2008)

The College of New Jersey - World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler (2008)

College of the Redwoods - Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (2008)

Collin College (TX) - All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald (2008)

Community College of Baltimore County - Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (2008)

Concordia College (MN) - Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert (2008)


Cornell University - Linoln at Gettysburg by Gary Wills (2008)

Dartmouth College - The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki (2008)


DeSales - Character is Destiny by John McCain (2008)

Duke University - What is the What by Dave Eggers (2008)

Eastern Illinois University
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (2008) 

Eastern Kentucky University - A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind (2008)

Eastern Michigan University - Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (2008)

Elon University (NC) - The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America by Jonathan Kozol (2008)

Emerson College - The Declaration of Independence (common reading and veiwing expience with the theme "Civility - Incivility") (2008)

Fairfield University - Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)


Florida Southern College - Colors of the Mountain  by Da Chen (2008)

Florida State University - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2008)

Foothill College (CA) - The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle (2008)


Fort Lewis College -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008) 

Georgetown University - reportedly has an agreement with the Man Booker Prize to read Booker prize winners

Goucher College - Chinese Lessons 
by John Pomfret (2008)

Grace College (IN) - Not for Sale by David Batstone (2008)


Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) - Chinese Lessons by John Pomfret (2008)


Hamline University -  
A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki (2008)

Huntingdon College (AL) - The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (2008)

Idaho State University
- Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario (2008)


Illinois Wesleyan University
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2008)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (2008)

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ismael Beah (2008)

Indiana University, South Bend - more - On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (2008)

Indiana University Southeast - Skull Wars by David Hurst (2008)

Ithaca College - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)

James Madison University - Federalist 10 by James Madison (2008)

John Brown University (AR) - The Chosen by Chaim Potok (2008)

Juniata College (PA) - Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande (2008)

Kalamazoo College - The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2008)


Kent State University - The Kiterunner by Khaled Homeini (2008)

Lafayette College (PA) - The Omnivore's Dilemma by Micheal Pollan (2008)

Lees-McRae College (NC) -
The Death of Innocents by Helen Prejean (2008)

Lehigh University - Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (2008)


Loyola Marymount University -
The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs (2008)
 
Louisianna State University - The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)


Marion University (WI) - Planetwalker by John Francis (2008)

Marquette University - Run by Ann Patchett (2008)

Mars Hill College (NC) -
Honky by Dalton Conley (2008)

Massbay Community College - Coyotes by Ted Conover (2008)


Methodist University (NC) -
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky by Alephonsion Deng, Benson Deng, and Benjamin Ajak (2008)

Miami University (OH) - Beyond UFOs by Jeffrey Bennett (2008)

Michigan State University - They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak wiwth Judy A. Bernstein (2008)

Michigan Tech
- Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Middle Tennessee State University -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Midlands Technical College (SC) - Duty A Father, His Son and the Man Who Won the War by Bob Greene (2008)

Mills College (CA) - A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (2008)

Montana State University - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (2008)

Moravian College - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (2008)


Mount Holyoke -
Caucasia by Danzy Senna (2008)

Mount Union College (OH) - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2008)

Murray State University - Clay's Quilt by Silas House (2008)

Muskingum College (OH) - Ectopia by Ernest Callenbach (2008)


Nazareth College (NY) - Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (2008)

Nebraska Methodist College - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2008)

New College of Florida -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

New Mexico State University -
The Devil's Highway by Luis Urrea (2008)

Niagara University - The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (2008)


Northern Kentucky University - Love My Rifle More Than You by Kayla Williams (2008)

Northwestern University - The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen (2008)


Occidental College (CA) - The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008)


Ohio State University - The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber and Moutains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (2008)

Okahoma City University - Colors of the Mountain by Da Chen (2008)

Owensboro Community and Technical College (KY) - Dismal Rock by Davis McCombs (2008)

Pace University
(NY) -
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (2008)

Parkland College (IL) - Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte (2008)


Pennsylvania State University, Berks -
The Alchemist by Paul Coelho 2008)

Ramapo College of New Jersey - The Canon by Natile Angier (2008)

Roanoke College - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2008)


Rutgers School of Arts and Science Honors Program
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Fall 2008); Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo (Spring 2009)

St. Ambrose University (IA) -
Light And Darkness Anthology (2008)

St. Bonaventure University (NY) - Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza (2008)


St. Francis University (PA) - Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard (2008)

St. Louis Community College - Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life edited by David Isay (2008)

St. Louis University - Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Saint Mary's Colleg of California - The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (2008)

St. Mary's College of Maryland - Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (2008)


Salisbury University (MD) - Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (2008)

Sam Houston State University (TX) -  
Affluenza:  The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, Dave Wann, and Thomas Naylor (2008)

San Diego State University
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

San Jose State University - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2008)

Smith College - Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey (2008)

Southern Mississippi - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (2008)

SUNY Brockport
The Bone Woman by Clea Koff (2008)

SUNY Oswego - Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elzabeth Kolbert (2008)

Sweet Briar College (VA) - Reading Lolita in Teheran by Azar Nafisi (2008)

Texas Tech University - The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea (2008)

Thomas College (ME) -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Trinity University (TX) -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

University at Buffalo, SUNY -
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2008)

University of Alabama, Birmingham - Field Notes From a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert (2008)

University of Arizona (Tucson) - blog - Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn (2008)

University of California, Santa Barbara - Travels of a T-Shirt by Pietra Rivoli (2008) 

University of California, Berkeleytwo films, The Ice Storm and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; see also the Summer Reading List of books recommended by faculty.

University of California, Davis
-
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (2008)

University of Dayton - Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea by
Mark Kurlansky (2008)

University of Florida - more - When Rivers Run Dry: The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century by Fred Pearce (2008)

University of Idaho - 1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina by Chris Rose (2008)

University of Louisiana at Monroe - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (2008)

University of Louisville - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)


University of Maryland (College Park) - War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges (2008)

University of Massachusettes, Amherst (Commonwealth College) -
Dean's Book Course - more - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Froer (Fall 2008) and Monique and the Mango by Kris Holloway (Spring 2009)

University of Montana - Missoula - Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia  by Ahmed Rashid (2008)


University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario (2008)


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Covering: The Hidden Assualt on our Rights by Kenji Yoshino (2008)

University of North Carolina, Wilmington - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2008)

University of North Texas - The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (2008)


University of San Francisco - 
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

University of South Carolina, Aiken - Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone (2008)

University of Southern California - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2008)

University of Texas at Arlington - The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (2008)

University of Texas at San Antonio - A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind (2008)

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia - My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (2008)


University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied ScienceAmerica, 1908 by Jim Rasenberger (2008)


University of Washington - The Devil's Highway by Luis Urrea (2008)University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh - True West by Sam Shepard (performance);
A Long Way Gone: Memories of a Boy Soldier by Ismael Beah (2007)

University of West Georgia - The Good Life by Erin McGraw; After the Lost War by Andrew Hudgins (2008)


University of Wisconsin, Parkside - The Pact by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt (2008)


University of Wyoming - Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak by Kenneth S. Deffeyes (2007)

Utah State University
A Long Way Gone: Memories of a Boy Soldier by Ismael Beah (2007)

Virginia Commonweath University - Covering The Hidden Assualt on Our Rights by Kenji Yoshino (2008)

Virginia Tech -
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (2008)

Wartburg College - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (2008)

Washburn University (KS) -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)
 
Wayne State University (MI) -
Y no se lo tragó la tierra / And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás Rivera (2008)

West Texas A&M - What is the What by Dave Eggers (2008)

Western Carolina Unviersity -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Western Connecticut State University - The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008)

Western Kentucky Community and Technical College -
Rocket boys by Homer Hickam; One flew over the cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey; Icy Sparks by Gwyn Rubio; Life is So Good by George Dawson (2008)

Western New England College -
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2008)

Western Washington University - The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything by Gordy Slack (2008)

Whitman College - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)

Winona State University (MN) -
The Blue Death: The Intriguing Past and Present Danger of the Water You Drink by Dr. Robert Morris (2008)

York College (PA) - The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2008)

Barbara Fister 11/09