Tag Archives: Freshman Reads

Author Interview: Marja Mills

Books In Common recently interviewed Marja Mills, author of The Mockingbird Next Door, about her memoir. In 2004, Mills moved in next door to Nelle Harper Lee and her sister Alice and spent 18 months developing a friendship with the iconic author. She learned about Alabama, the Lees and the influences that shaped the beloved To Kill A Mockingbird.

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BIC Book Reviews: April 2015

We’ve identified these books as particularly well suited for your Community / Campus reading event!

Posted in Adam Shepard, All Campus Reads Programs, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Issue #11, Maria Andreu | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

A Look At: Edgewood College

Lisa St. John Allaman, coordinator for Edgewood College Siena/Common Reads, explains how the program is organized and the lessons they have learned to increase participation.

Posted in Issue #11 | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Heavy Hitters vs. Lite Lit: Selecting A Common Reads Title for Students

For many Common Reads program coordinators on college campuses, First Year Experience departments, and in public/private high schools, the pressures of meeting upper administrative demands while keeping students enthused and engaged can be daunting. Sometimes it may feel like these closed-door committee members are out of touch. Other times, tension originates from over-enthusiastic coordinators who prefer beach books to the literary canon.

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Author Interview: Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author of Under the Mesquite and Summer of the Mariposa, discusses the inspiration for her books and experience with speaking engagements. April is National Poetry Month, so start planning now to book Guadalupe for next year’s celebration.

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A Look At: Club Book, Minn.

David Katz, Club Book coordinator, discusses how Club Book came about and how it enriches the participating communities in Minnesota through literature.

Would you tell us a bit about your program?  For instance how long has Club Book been coordinating literary events, how did it get started, and how has it changed over the years?

Club Book is a unique player on the Minnesota literary events scene. We collaborate with all eight library systems in the Twin Cities to bring bestselling and award-winning authors to library audiences in all corners of our metro area. In effect, this positions us to host big names in suburban communities that might otherwise not have this kind of cultural opportunity.

Posted in Issue #10 | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

A Look At: Grand Valley State

Brian Jbara from Grand Valley State Community Reads explains how his community comes together for a common book.

Would you tell us a bit about your program?  For instance how long has Grand Valley State been hosting the Community Reading Project, how did it get started, and how has it changed over the years?

The program is in its 11th year, and is focused on including all of campus and community (unlike first year read, per se). It was started specifically to provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities across campus, and to this day, it has stayed true to that. Each year we try to select a different themed book that addresses big issues or ideas, is accessible, and is “sticky” in nature – we want discussions to entail multiple perspectives.

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Joining Forces: Opportunities to Come Together

For many of our friends in library and university communities, 2015 will see some of the most significant budget shortfalls in recent memory.  As program resources increasingly diminish, even successful and longstanding Common Reads initiatives are left hanging in the balance. Worse still, these challenges come at a time when building common ground among students, citizens and diverse cultures is more important than ever. But it’s not all doom and gloom – sometimes the very challenges that threaten to divide us become opportunities to bring us together.  And that’s where Books In Common can help!

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Author Interview: Denise Kiernan

At the height of World War II, thousands of civilian women were recruited to work in a secret city, where they were told their efforts would end the war. Few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed in the hulking factories amid the Appalachian Mountains. Denise Kiernan, author ofThe Girls of Atomic City,rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity.  Here, she discusses how her book has resonated with students across the United States.

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