Monthly Archives: October 2010

Chronicle of Higher Ed reports on campus friendship trends. What do you think?

In an article just published on the Chronicle of Higher Education website, Facebook weighs in on friendship trends on college campuses. Travis Kaya reports, “College freshmen are more likely to make friends with peers they share a dorm room or major with than they are to befriend those from similar racial backgrounds, a study on the Facebook profiles of first-year students found.”

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles and a paper on the study will be published next week in The American Journal of Sociology.

Read the entire article,  “What Facebook Tells Researchers About Friendship and Race”

Comment below and let us know what you think of the article. How does common reading foster and influence friendship among your students and community members?

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Filed under In the News, Resources

St. Bonaventure students love The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Students at St. Bonaventure University could barely contain their excitement while attending a book signing featuring Rebecca Skloot, author of the university’s “All Bonaventure Reads” 2010 selection The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The book signing was one part of a campus-wide event held on Sept. 29th, which included a free public lecture and small group discussions with St. Bonaventure students.

St. Bonaventure Freshman Elizabeth Johnson loves THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

St. Bonaventure Freshman Kayla Cronin shows off her Rebecca Skloot autograph

Elizabeth Johnson, Kayla Cronin, and Brooke Huebner pose after the book signing

St. Bonaventure Freshmen with author Rebecca Skloot

See a photo of Henrietta Lacks’s visit to St. Bonaventure!

Learn more about All Bonaventure Reads


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Filed under One to Watch - New books on the rise!, Photos, Uncategorized

Get a FREE advance reader’s edition of Griftopia

Griftopia tells story behind the most audacious power grab in American history: The financial crisis that exploded in 2008; the rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street and the grifter class—made up of the largest financial players and politicians—who had been transferring wealth upward for generations through increasingly complex financial mechanisms and political maneuvers.  In Griftopia, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi  unravels the whole story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications of the rise of the grifters.

CommonReads is giving away advanced reader’s editions of Griftopia. Comment below to request one! Offer only available to teachers, professors and school administrators in the United States.


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Filed under Announcements, Giveaways

All Souls an all-read at three universities

CommonReads is happy to announce three university common reading adoptions of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie. Students at Northeastern University, Northridge College, and Springfield Technical Community College  are reading Michael Patrick Macdonald’s memoir about growing up in “Southie,” the proudly insular neighborhood in South Boston with the highest concentration of white poverty in America.

Rocked by Whitey Bulger’s crime schemes and busing riots, MacDonald’s Southie is populated by sharply hewn characters like his Ma, a mini-skirted, accordion-playing single mother who endures the deaths of four of her eleven children. Nearly suffocated by his grief and his community’s code of silence, MacDonald tells his family story here with gritty but moving honesty.



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Filed under Regional Titles, This just in! - New Adoptions

Get a FREE advanced reader’s edition of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret is the story of the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. It is also a tale of the men with whom she traveled, from the obsessive naturalist and also her lover, Philibert Commerson; the fashion-plate Prince of Nassau-Siegen, who was often mistaken for a woman himself; and the sour ship’s surgeon, François Vivès, who despised Baret and Commerson, several different versions of the expedition emerge and many different tellings of Baret’s extraordinary achievement.

The book’s combination of science and gender studies issues along with high seas adventure make it a sure-fire conversation starter for your common reading program.

CommonReads is giving away advanced reader’s editions of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret. Comment below to request one! Offer only available to teachers, professors and school administrators in the United States.


Filed under Announcements, Giveaways

Checking in on Enrique’s Journey at Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College students pose with Enrique's Journey

Earlier this year, CommonReads brought you the news of Fort Lewis College’s adoption of “FYE favorite” Enrique’s Journey. Written by award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario, the book tells the story of a young boy who leaves his home in Honduras to search for his mother in the United States.

Now Fort Lewis College Assistant Dean of Writing and First Year Experience, Bridget Irish, is following up on the students’ experience with Enrique’s Journey and the author’s visit to campus:

 One of the main goals of our college’s Common Reading Experience is to light a fire in our students’ brains about an important subject that they will have the ability to impact in their lifetime. As immigration is one of those subjects, we chose to give our almost 900 freshmen a free copy of Enrique’s Journey this fall. Our students at FLC are reading all or part of the book in several classes. We invited the book’s author, Sonia Nazario, to give a public talk and to spend a full day with students, faculty, staff ,and members of the larger Durango community. While I am embarrassed that we asked so much of Sonia, she didn’t flinch. She understood that we are trying to get our students engaged in the topic of immigration, motivated to learn, and willing to act as responsible citizens. She dove in and lit that fire! All around campus, our students are saying: I had NO idea! Students are remarking on her ability to make a dense, complicated subject easier for them to begin to understand. They are impresses by her intelligence and her huge heart and passion for her work.

How has your common read been recieved this Fall? Have photos of your students and events to share? E-mail them to and they could be featured on an upcoming CommonReads post!

Learn more about the Fort Lewis Common Reading Experience program on their website!


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Filed under Hear it from them!, Top Adoptions