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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 are accepting book nominations for the 2022-23 common reading are through Monday, November 15, 2021. Please consider nominating a book 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.

Watch a recording of John Foreman's speaking about his book at the 2018 First-Year Experience® Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Resources about Tales of Two Americas »

First-Year Students: Redeem Your Free Digital Book Copy

In fall 2021, all incoming first-year students on the Pullman campus will be receiving a free digital copy of the 2021-22 common reading book, Tales of Two Americas. These copies are being distributed through Google Play redemption codes emailed to eligible students. Instructions for redeeming your copy »

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.

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 >>