Brought Together by Books

One of the practices that many schools adopt to engage students and faculty over the summer is to select a book that the entire community will read.

LMU's "Common Book" program, for example, is "designed to unite the LMU community in a common intellectual endeavor that goes beyond the classroom." LMU's Common Book for 2015 is Southland, by Nina Revoyr.

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For the 2013-2014 year, Seattle University chose Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. 

What have you read, of late, that you recommend as a "common read" for a high school or college community? What subjects or themes need to be included in a conversation that connects the whole community? 

I would choose a book that speaks to the issues and concerns connected to and with the widespread use of social media, especially as it relates to the blurring of the line between what occurs on and an off campus. I know that sounds deeply unoriginal, but I find that too many students and especially parents remain unaware of how the constant pull of Twitter and other sites and apps faciliate the perpetuation of false identities and harmful choices. Do any readers have a good recommendation?

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Joseph J Dunn
3 years 9 months ago
New forms of social media certainly promote communication that is faster and, as you indicate, more shallow than older forms. But for a great perspective on the current challenges, I would recommend Walter Lippmann's "Public Opinion." Written almost a century ago, it speaks well to our current problem. It should work well at college level or for college-bound high school students.
James Wermers
3 years 9 months ago
There are so many great books to anchor a common read, but a place to start might be the collected stories of J.F. Powers.

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