Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Common Reading Program Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Schools, Youth, and the Criminal (In)Justice System

Pullman, Wash.- The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts a lecture by John Lupinacci at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 17 in Todd 116.  The event is free and open to the public.

The session will accompany this overview of youth in prisons by posing questions for audience participants to discuss.  Often such presentations can leave us feeling powerless; however, this session will culminate by providing audience participants with opportunities to connect with regional and national efforts to reform and/or abolish the systemic incarceration of youth through the school-to-prison pipeline. » More …

“Prison State” film showing Nov. 9

Pullman, Wash. – The Washington State University Common Reading program is hosting a showing of the 2014 Frontline television documentary “Prison State”, Monday Nov. 9 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. in Heald G3.

“Prison State” follows four people caught up in Kentucky’s criminal justice system.  The two teenage girls and two adult men featured in the film liven in Beecher Terrace, a housing project in Louisville, where one out of every six people cycle in and out of prison every year.  Juvenile detention, mental illness, and addiction are highlighted as they contribute to the prison population. » More …

“The Current Evolution of Law Enforcement” presented by Pullman and WSU police chiefs at WSU Common Reading Event, Oct. 21

Pullman, Wash. – Pullman Chief of Police Gary Jenkins and Washington State University Chief of Police Bill Gardner will present “The Current Evolution of Law Enforcement” on Wed., Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE) room 203. The public is welcome at this free event hosted by the Common Reading Program. » More …

Issues of Food Waste Topic of April 14 WSU Common Reading Presentation by Local Restaurateur, Educator Jim Harbour

PULLMAN, Wash.—What happens to that meat gristle and vegetable clump left on your plate at the neighborhood eatery last evening? “Issues of Food Waste” will be addressed by Southfork Public House and Porch Light Pizza entrepreneur Jim Harbour at the final Common Reading Tuesdays lecture April 14 at Washington State University. » More …


Book Nominations

Nominations for a Common Reading

How to Submit a Nomination

The common reading book Braiding Sweetgrass is the selection for both the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years–the first book to be used for two years in this program.  Nominations for the next book will not open until closer to the end of the current use period.

Every Book Is a Possibility

Nominators are encouraged to submit any book that is felt to be of interest and academic relevance to our undergraduate students. Thus, as always, a good book is one that would be an excellent choice for freshmen and other students to read and use in classes and beyond. By providing the Selection Committee with some basic information, as well as your reasons for nominating a book, you will be embracing the potential to have made a huge impact on thousands of WSU students across many campuses.

Technical Difficulties?

If for any reason you cannot access the online form when it is open to submit your nomination, please plan to provide the following information and send it to by the deadline:

  • Book title, author
  • Number of pages, year of publication, publisher
  • List price
  • Available in paperback? Available for digital download?
  • What makes the book memorable and worthy of campus engagement?
  • What potential connections might this book provide to a broad range of disciplines?
  • How could this book promote intellectual and community engagement through campus events that exist or could be planned?
  • Does the book connect to or highlight existing university research or activity?
  • How realistic a read is this book for incoming freshmen?
  • What would you hope students take away from reading this book?
  • Your name, relationship to WSU (faculty, staff, student, alum, friend/supporter, unaffiliated), and email.

Examples of Nominated Books

Based on nominations, several types of books have been proposed for the Common Reading. Some examples include:

  • Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, by P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman
  • Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, by Elizabeth Rush
  • Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet, edited by Sosan A. Cohen and Julie Dunlap
  • The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, by Charles C. Mann
  • The Fearless Organization, by Amy C. Edmondson
  • What We Know about Climate Change, by Kerry Emanuel
  • Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, by Mary Robinson
  • The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized World, by Jeff Goodell
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah
  • Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, by Bill McKibben
  • The Bone Women, by Clea koff
  • The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • On the Future: Prospects for Humanity, by Martin Rees
  • World Peace: (And How We Can Achieve It), by Alex J. Bellamy
  • History and Hope: The International Humanitarian Reader, by Kevin M. Cahill
  • America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States, by Erika Lee
  • Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale, by Adam Minter
  • Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir
  • Global Food Futures Feeding the World in 2050, by Brian Gardner
  • Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, by David R. Montgomery
  • How to Do Nothing, by Jenny Odell
  • Red Notice, by Bill Browder
  • Educated A Memoir, by Tara Westover
  • Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, by Paul Greenberg
  • Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown
  • The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
  • Good Economics for Hard Times, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
  • Enough is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources, by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan
  • A Crisis of Civility? Political Discourse and Its Discontents, by Robert Boatright

Members of the Common Reading Selection Committee include:

  • Kelly Alvarado-Young, New Student Programs
  • Kristin Becker, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
  • Ashley Boyd, WSU Teaching Academy
  • Andria Donnenwerth, Global Campus
  • Erica England, First-year Librarian
  • Ken Faunce, Roots of Contemporary Issues (Common Reading Excellence Awardee)
  • Carol Fisher, WSU Vancouver
  • Nichole Goodwin, Residence Life
  • Gwen Halaas, WSU Spokane
  • Tracey Hanshew, WSU Tri-Cities
  • Andrea Jimenez, Global Campus
  • Morann Johnson, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
  • Dave Jones, Student Involvement
  • Josh Kane, Residence Life
  • Ella Kisor, ASWSU
  • Laura Kuhlman, English 101
  • Annie Lampman, Honors College
  • Thabiti Lewis, WSU Vancouver
  • Chuck Munson, Carson College of Business
  • Merrianneeta Nesbitt, Student Affairs
  • Anna Plemons, WSU Tri-Cities
  • Ruth Ryan, Academic Services and Career Center
  • Samantha Solomon, First-year Programs
  • Mike Varnum, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Margaret Vaughn, College of Education
  • Karen Weathermon, First-year Programs
  • Anna Whitehall, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (Common Reading Excellence Awardee)
  • Kara Whitman, School of the Environment (Common Reading Excellence Awardee)