Monthly Archives: June 2013

How Shared Reading of a “Post-9/11 Novel” and an Author Visit Helped One School Heal

Let the Great World Spin JacketNew York Times writer Joel Lovell has written a thoughtful piece on Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin (Random House), which won the National Book Award, and a new novel, Transatlantic (Random House, June 2013).  Titled “Colum McCann’s Radical Empathy,” the profile is set in the recent aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy as McCann travels to the afflicted school to speak to the high school students upon a teacher’s request.   It delves into the value of Let the Great World Spin (which was added to the Newtown high school curriculum) as a transcendent history that can ease the pains of tragedy, “a book that,” Newtown teacher Lee Keylock says, “might help their students begin to make sense of their terrible shock and grief.”  From there, the article moves into McCann’s own life, crossing briefly into McCann’s childhood in Ireland, to his desire as a writer to work in “the blurred spaces between fiction and nonfiction.” Granting insight into McCann’s humor, gravity, and ambition, the piece permits a glimpse into the life of the man who writes, while “‘in the cupboard,'” about the magnitude of the world.

Colum McCann will be speaking at the 2014 First-Year Experience® Conference in San Diego, California.

Click here to read the full New York Times article

Click here for more information about Colum McCann

Click here for information about the author’s speaking engagements

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From The Inner-City To The Operating Room: How College Success Impacted Sampson Davis


By Sampson Davis, author of Living and Dying in Brick City (Spiegel & Grau, February 2013).  He will be speaking at the First-Year Experience® 2014 Conference in San Diego, California from February 14-18.

College—the beginning of a new frontier, at least it was for me. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, a school system with dropout rate at more than fifty percent, I knew the odds were stacked against me. Not only did I beat those odds and graduate college, but I also went on to complete a medical degree. While I certainly worked hard for my success, I could not have achieved what I did without the help of many educators along the way.

One of those individuals was Dr. Linda Hsu, my college genetics professor. I will never forget and will always be grateful to Dr. Hsu for her kind acts, but one stands out in particular. It was the eve before my first day of medical school, and I had yet to receive my loan funds to purchase books. The weather outside was horrible with downpours and flood warnings. The hazardous weather might have impeded the mail delivery, but it didn’t stop Dr. Hsu, who stood all of 4’11” with a powerful voice. She jumped into her two-door hatchback and drove to the dorm to deliver funds so that I could purchase my books the next morning. That act of kindness, and her belief in me, touched me deeply and cemented my view in paying it forward—“to whom much is given, much is required.” Continue reading

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Create Healthy Habits with a Handy Flowchart

95349960-How-to-Create-a-Habit-The-Power-of-Habit-by-Charles-DuhiggCharles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit (Random House, 2012), has developed a handy flowchart demonstrating how one can form healthy habits.  Duhigg’s diagram indicates that the first step to creating a habit is developing a cue to start a certain behavior, followed by a reward for that act.  By putting these together, a routine is formed that drives habit development.

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg’s debut, takes students to the forefront of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.  The book has already been adopted for Common Reading at Babson College.

Click here to view Charles Duhigg’s flowchart on how to create healthy habits.

Click here to view Charles Duhigg’s talk at the 2013 First-Year Experience® conference.

Click here to read an excerpt.


Click here for more about this book.

Click here to order a desk or examination copy.

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DePaul University (IL) To Host Enrique’s Journey With Sonia Nazario

sonia nazarioDePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, will host Pulitzer Prize winning author Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey, on Thursday, June 27 at 6pm.  Part of DePaul’s Facing History and Ourselves Collaboration, as well as the school’s second annual Summer Institute’s evening speaking event, Ms. Nazario will present on key issues in immigration and education.  She will additionally share the true story of Enrique, a Honduran boy who braved unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.  Her talk is free and open to the public.

Click here to register for the event.

Clear here to view an essay by the author.


Order a desk or examination copy here.

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Buzz Continues to Build for Ta-Nehisi Coates with Widener University (PA) Adoption

The Beautiful Struggle TRWidener University in Chester, Pennsylvania have chosen Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Beautiful Struggle for their 2013 Common Reading Program.  The book is an eloquently written coming of age story about violence, education and family during Baltimore’s Age of Crack.  Coates navigates his fathers’ attempts to carry his seven sons out of the inner-city—and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a former staff writer at The Village Voice and Time and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read an op-ed from the author.


Order a desk or exam copy here.

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Kristen Iversen’s Full Body Burden Now Available in Paperback

Full Body Burden TRFull Body Burden by Kristen Iversen, which was chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association, as well as being named a 2012 Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic, is now available in paperback.

A finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, Iversen’s narrative nonfiction about  growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant, has been adopted for Common Reading at Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Bonaventure University, Fort Lewis College, California State University at Sacramento, Madison Community College, and Michigan Tech University.  Iversen was recently honored by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in Washington, DC for outstanding contributions to communities living in the shadow of nuclear weapons sites and radioactive waste dumps.

Click here to view Kristen Iversen’s presentation at the 2013 FYE conference.

Click here to visit Kristen Iversen’s webpage.


Order a desk or examination copy.

More about this book.

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