Book source – common readings

Deciding what to read (next) can be a challenge! One source of books for me is the Common Reading (Freshman Year Experience) program at the college where I work. It’s not just that a book is selected each year. The selection process is excites me! Nominations are solicited from the entire faculty and staff. A committee whittles the list down to five, and anyone can comment or advocate. In a given year, one or two books may already be familiar, and I usually manage to read three or four on the list. After a few weeks of discussion, a committee makes the decision. One parameter is that the author must be available as a guest speaker (hence must be alive), presumably at a fee not too exorbitant. Other than that, the debate rages! What will Freshmen actually read? What should they read? Is 500 pages too long? Is a collection of short essays really a book? I love to hear what my colleagues think. Next year’s common reading is Spook – Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach. I’ve read it, and will post my journal entry on it another day.

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