Readers sought for 2016-17 Penn State Reads program book selection

May 18, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Volunteer readers from the Penn State community are invited to take part in choosing the 2016-17 Penn State Reads common text.

The Penn State Reads steering committee collected book nominations earlier this year and narrowed the submissions to a short list of eight books, including:

— “The Good Food Revolution,” by Will Allen
— “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking,” by Susan Cain
— “The Circle,” by Dave Eggers
— “The Invisible Man,” by Ralph Ellison
— “Far From the Tree,” by Andrew Solomon
— “Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art,” by Lindsey Swindall
— “Warmth of Other Suns,” by Isabel Wilkerson
— “Covering,” by Kenji Yoshino

Anyone who would like to be a volunteer reader may sign out a book at the Education and Behavioral Sciences Library on the 5th floor of Paterno Library or 417 Old Main.

Readers are asked to complete a short survey online by Aug. 1 after they have read a book. Readers are not expected to read all of the books on the short list and may read as many books as they wish.

The Penn State Reads program runs complementary to Penn State’s New Student Orientation and supplies each first-year University Park campus student with a copy of the chosen book to facilitate a shared experience. Several other Penn State campuses also participate in the program.

Penn State Reads aims to encourage intellectual engagement within and beyond the classroom, stimulate critical thinking and foster a deeper connection to Penn State’s mission and core values. Concepts are introduced to incoming students at New Student Orientation during the summer, and events based upon the book’s themes, including a visit by the author, are planned throughout the school year. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read the book and participate in the events.

The steering committee is also welcoming nominations at any time for the 2017 selection. Nominations can be sent to

The Penn State Reads program chose “Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times,” by Eyal Press, to serve as the common text in the 2013-14 school year, the program’s inaugural year. “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — listed on The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2013 — was chosen for the 2014-15 incoming class, and “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World” by Russell Gold was chosen for the 2015-16 incoming class.

Last Updated May 12, 2016