How the Book is Chosen

How the Book is Chosen

Each year, the Common reading program solicits suggestions from the campus and area community as we begin our search to find the next year’s reading selection. From there, a committee of campus partners, faculty, students, and program administrators work to narrow the choices to create a shortlist of finalists. Some years, the choice for the book from that group has been a unanimous decision. In other years, we seek the input from our campus community and the public to help decide what book will be at the center of the next year’s conversation.

Have a suggestion? Submit your nomination by clicking the link below! Each nomination is considered for how well it meets each of the following criteria:

  • Appeal to both faculty and first-year students (i.e., have a strong narrative or narrative voice that pulls readers in and builds empathy)
  • Focus on a subject of timely, topical relevance
  • Provide a strong intellectual hook, offering multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary jumping-off points for discussion and teaching, inquiry and research
  • Are accessible (in print, of readable length, etc.)
  • Fits the annually selected theme
    • The biannual theme for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 is “Climate Change: Justice & Resilience.”

What do you recommend as an important book on this theme that the entire University of Oregon should engage in reading?  Offer your suggestion here:



Past themes:

Prior to the 2018-2019 academic year, the Common Reading program did not set specific themes for selection of books

The biannual theme for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 is “Transborder/Transnational.”

  • This theme considers problems, issues & concerns that transcend national borders or have a global political, health, economic, or other impact.
  • This theme might consider questions ranging from “What does it mean to be a citizen¬† in the contemporary changing landscape of identity, nationhood, and cultural exchange?” or “How do we recover from or adapt to changing circumstances?”
  • This selected theme is a rich opportunity for programming, curricular enhancement, research and inquiry, community building throughout campus, and nominations of books by prominent faculty & authors to highlight their research on these themes.
  • This theme includes areas of interest, research, writing & creative practices such as global health; migration, immigration, and belonging; leadership; environment; public policy and disciplines related to the humanities; political science; history; philosophy; ethnic studies; education; business; law; economics; environmental studies; psychology; sociology; art and design; political science, among many others.