Have you read a good book lately that you think could spark Washington State University campus conversation around an important topic? One that could be used in classes across several disciplines in addition to providing a base for campus-wide programming?

The Common Reading Program announces that nominations for the 2021-22 book are open through Sun., Nov. 15, and can be accessed on the nomination page of the Common Reading website.

“The next book will be the fifteenth in as many years,” said Karen Weathermon, director of the program. “Thousands of WSU students have benefitted from the program since it began, and from classroom discussions and faculty- and guest-expert lectures based on topics raised in each book.

“The common reading helps first-year and other students experience new ideas and create new and academically focused networks with professors and other students. The program is carefully designed to stimulate critical thinking and strengthen forms of communication around a selected single book.”

The Common Reading Program is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA). DAESA is in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

Nomination requirements

Faculty and staff nominating books must provide a moderate amount of information. How does the book apply to a broad range of disciplines and connect readers to, for example, existing university research, civic engagement areas, and global initiatives? How many pages does the book have, is it available in paperback, and is it a realistic read for freshmen? Additional questions are posed in the online book nomination submission form.

Selection process

Because the common reading is a WSU-wide initiative with every campus participating, selections will be made from a single list of nominations. Weathermon explains that each book is evaluated by members of an interdisciplinary, cross-campus selection committee. It narrows the list to a few titles and produces a short list just a few months later. In Pullman, the university provost, as the top academic officer, makes the final selection.

While the Common Reading Program organizes numerous guest speaker presentations and events, faculty from many disciplines plan how they will use the book in classes the next fall semester. Partnering units as well as departments, residence halls, and organizations line up events and presentations that run throughout spring semester, as well.

For more on the program, and to nominate a book, please explore the Common Reading program website. For anyone who might be unable to access the online form, the questions are listed on the nominations webpage.

Answers can be submitted by email to commonreading@wsu.edu, said Weathermon.