August 9, 2020

Book Nominations Now Accepted For 2013 UM Common Reading Experience

Faculty, staff and students are now able to suggest a book for the 2012 UM Common Reading Experience.

“The purposes of the Common Reading Experience support the goals of our university: building community around academic inquiry, introducing students to the ways in which different disciplines approach problems, broadening perspectives, and increasing awareness of the unresolved conflicts and history that make up our culture,” said Robert Cummings, director of the Center for Writing and Rhetoric.

This is the second year that the university will participate in a campus-wide reading program. The first Common Reading Experience was very successful. The campus read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by award-winning author Rebecca Skloot, who spoke on campus at Freshman Convocation in August.

“We have had widespread participation and support of the Common Reading selection and related events,” said Leslie Banahan, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. “Faculty, staff and students have engaged in wonderful discussions about the many themes of ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.’ Related events have been well attended, and there are still events to come. For our first effort, I think we’ve done very well.”

To submit a nomination, visit A desirable book is one that is in paperback and less than 400 pages. The book should also have multiple themes, should have been published in the last five years, and written by a living author who is able to speak and interact with students on campus in the fall of 2012.

“The criteria were formed by looking at successful first year experience programs across the country, and conducting research in to the literature of first year experience programs,” Cummings said.

Banahan and Cummings both encourage members of the university community to make recommendations.

“We are a community of readers, and when we read a great book, we want to share it with others,” Banahan said. “Nominating a book for next year’s Common Reading Experience is a wonderful way to participate in the program by advocating for a favorite book.”

“Let your voice be heard, Cummings said. “Almost everyone I have met on this campus shares a passion about a book or a topic.”