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Common Reading Program Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Welcome to the Common Reading program

Nominate a Common Reading for 2022-23

Have you read a good book lately? We will be looking for nominations for a 2022-23 common reading in fall semester 2021. In the meantime, please keep in mind books that you think could spark Washington State University campus conversation around an important topic.

More about book nominations

About Tales of Two Americas

The 2021-22 common reading was published in 2017 by Penguin Random House Books. An anthology edited by John Freeman, it features non-fiction essays, short stories, and poems about class, socioeconomic, and racial inequalities across many regions of the U.S., including the Pacific Northwest cities of Boise, Portland, and Seattle. The 36 authors represent a spectrum ranging from the well-known to the emerging.

Faculty: Want a Digital Exam Copy to Consider?

If you’re considering Tales of Two Americas for use in your classes in academic year 2021-22, submit an online form to request a digital exam copy of the book.

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A note about the COVID-19 outbreak and the Common Reading Program: Common reading events and programming are being delivered in online formats, such as Zoom meetings and online recordings. Check the calendar page for details.

About Our Program

What Is a Common Reading?

A common reading is one way to create community connections among students, and between students and their professors, residence hall staff, and others. Topics in a selected book are examined throughout the year by members of the university community, sparking academic conversations in and beyond classrooms, highlighting WSU research and the diversity of ideas across disciplines, and introducing different ways to explore complex issues from a variety of perspectives.

Recent Program Impact

Robust programming includes expert guest lectures, stimulating events, film showings, and much more.  In 2020-21, for example, the Common Reading Program…

  • Hosted and collaborated with 20 other campus units system-wide to provide 80 virtual events, double the number of previous years.
  • Recorded attendance exceeding 1,600 students, faculty, and staff–42 percent attended more than one event.

Learn more about the Common Reading program >>