ISSUED: 19 February 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Voting is now open for Shepherd University’s 2019-2020 Common Reading book. Voting takes place online and is open to the campus and community through March 31. The winning book will be announced on April 1. The five semi-finalists are:
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. A Princeton University sociologist and MacArthur genius, Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. The book’s unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
- Sapiens by Yuval Harari. From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a number one international bestseller that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be human.
- Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas. The riveting, unlikely story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional football players, a discovery that challenges the existence of America’s favorite sport and puts Omalu in the crosshairs of the NFL.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds—the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer.
- Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow. This book tells the story of how white-supremacist ideas migrated from the far-right fringe to the White House through the intensely personal saga of one man, Derek Black, the godson of David Duke, former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Black eventually disavowed everything he was taught to believe at tremendous personal cost. This is a book to help us understand hatred in America and to better understand one another.
The goals of the Shepherd University Common Reading Program are to provide a shared intellectual experience; create a sense of community; encourage reading; promote critical engagement of ideas; set academic expectations; create dialog between students, faculty, staff, and the community; promote interaction between Shepherd University and the community; and introduce students to community resources.
The Common Reading Program is made possible through the support of the Shepherd University Foundation. For those who would like to read the books, copies are available at the Scarborough Library. To vote, visit the Common Reading website at https://www.shepherd.edu/commonreading.
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