PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Common Reading Program has opened nominations through April 3 for the 2024-25 book to be used in first-year and other courses.
“We are putting out the call well in advance of when the next common book will actually be in use because we want to give faculty plenty of time to evaluate the selected book and make plans as to how to use it in their classes,” said Karen Weathermon, program director. She said the book selection will be finalized by summer.
The current common reading book, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, is the first to be used for two years, in the academic years 2022-23 and 2023-24. It was selected in April 2022.
Nominations are submitted online and must provide a moderate amount of information. How does the book apply to a broad range of disciplines and connect readers to existing university research, civic engagement ideas, and global initiatives? How many pages does it have, is it available in paperback, and is it a realistic read for first-year students? Additional questions are in the online form.
All nominations are evaluated by members of an interdisciplinary, cross-campus selection committee. A short list of top candidates is forwarded to the university provost and executive vice president to make the final selection. The chosen book is often used at more than one campus.
The next book will be the 17th used by the program. Topics from each book are used in classes to stimulate academic discussions and add critical thinking and new ideas to the student-learning environment. Beyond classrooms, programming around each book allows for guest expert lectures, films, and a wide variety of special events to further the learning experience.