December 2, 2023

The Book

The University of Mississippi‘s 2023 Common Reading Experience will focus on Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work by Dave Isay.

Callings is a collection of stories about the jobs and careers held by a wide-ranging group of Americans. Isay and his team selected the contents in Callings from over 65,000 stories collected by StoryCorps, and the accounts run from street-corner astronomer to beer vendor to physician to U.S. Congress member, with so much in between. These stories illustrate the devotion the subjects have for their work and the journeys they took to their chosen fields. The book is a product of Isay’s StoryCorps project, the goal of which is to record and archive the stories of America’s diverse and fascinating population.


Previous Common Reading Experience Selections

2022 – The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
2021 – World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
2020 – What the Eyes Don’t See by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
2019 – Evicted by Matthew Desmond
2018 – Collected Stories by William Faulkner
2017 – Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
2016 – Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
2015- The Education of a Lifetime by Robert Khayat
2014- The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Won World War II by Denise Kiernan
2013- The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education by Craig Mullaney
2012- Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
2011- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot