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.

Advertisement

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?

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Joseph J Dunn
3 years 1 month 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 1 month 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.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Holy Spirit might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity.
James Martin, S.J.May 21, 2018
Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018
James Martin, S.J. discusses this groundbreaking exhibition with Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute and C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
America StaffMay 21, 2018
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi (Photo/Community of Sant'Egidio website)
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna calls Father James Martin’s book ‘Building a Bridge’ ‘useful for encouraging dialogue, as well as reciprocal knowledge and understanding.’
Matteo ZuppiMay 21, 2018