'This I Believe' chosen as Berks Common Read

Penn State Berks has chosen “This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women," edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, for its Common Reading Program for the 2014-15 academic year. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read the book and come together for several events based on the book’s philosophies and themes, including a lecture by Gediman on Oct. 15.

Based on the NPR series of the same name, "This I Believe" features 80 Americans – from the famous to the unknown – completing the thought that the book's title begins. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

Featuring many renowned contributors – including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates and John Updike – the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells Yellow Pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on Rhode Island's parole board.

The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them reveal the American spirit at its best.

Gediman is executive director of This I Believe Inc., a nonprofit organization that engages people in writing and sharing stories describing the core values that guide their daily lives. He will give presentations at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The Berks Common Reading book is selected by faculty, staff and students of the campus. The criteria for selection includes that the book address issues relevant to new college students; prompt inquiry, reflection and discourse; differ from usual high school reading assignments; contain multiple themes for discussion; and bridge the gap between students and faculty members.

This book is available for purchase in the Penn State Berks bookstore.

Last Updated August 05, 2014