ISSUED: 12 February 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Voting is now open for Shepherd University’s 2020-2021 Common Reading book. Campus and community members can vote until March 31 for one of five books. The winning book will serve as next year’s common read.
The five semifinalist books are:
- Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel—At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel walked out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read “Walking to Listen.” He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn’t know how. So he decided he’d walk and listen. It would be a cross-country quest for guidance, and everyone he met would be his guide.
- Endurance by Scott Kelly—A personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station. The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Kelly’s humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career.
- Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush—Rising is both a highly original work of lyric reportage and a haunting meditation on how to let go of the places we love. With every passing day it grows clearer that climate change is neither imagined nor distant and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways. Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place.
- The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of a Slave’s Journey from Bondage to Freedom by David F. Walker, illustrated by Damon Smyth and Marissa Louise—A graphic novel biography of the escaped slave, abolitionist, public speaker, and most photographed man of the 19th century, this book spotlights the key events and people that shaped his life. The book takes the reader from Douglass’s life as a young slave through his forbidden education to his escape and growing prominence as a speaker, abolitionist, and influential cultural figure during the Civil War and beyond, The Life of Frederick Douglass presents a complete illustrated portrait of the man who stood up and spoke out for freedom and equality.
- Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow—From a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, this is the story of how a prominent white supremacist changed his heart and mind. College student Derek Black, the godson of David Duke, Grand Wizard of the KKK, eventually disavowed everything he was taught to believe at tremendous personal cost.
The books are available at the Scarborough Library behind the public services desk for checkout and are available through Four Seasons Books and other booksellers. To vote for the next Common Reading book, visit www.shepherd.edu/commonreading/. The Common Reading Program is made possible through the support of the Shepherd University Foundation.
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