Summer Common Reading

Kalamazoo’s Summer Common Reading joins new students, faculty, and staff in a conversation about a novel they have read during the summer. The author of the chosen novel visits campus during orientation to augment discussion of the work.

It is an important first step in building a cohesive, dynamic, educational community. To share a book means we all begin “on the same page”–literally. We hope that, through reading this book attentively, discussing it with peers and faculty, connecting it to other academic disciplines at the college and making it relevant to students in surprising ways, the Summer Common Reading experience will be seen as a microcosm of, and a model for, a liberal arts education.

The Turner House book cover

Recent Summer Common Reading Selections

2000 Richard Ford, Independence Day
2001 Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life
2002 Ha Jin, Waiting
2003 Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
2004 Aleksandar Hemon, Nowhere Man
2005 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
2006 Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
2007 Edward P. Jones, The Known World
2008 Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2009 Rachel Kushner, Telex From Cuba
2010 Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor
2011 David Finkel, The Good Soldiers
2012 Bonnie Jo Campbell, Once Upon a River
2013 Vaddey Ratner, In the Shadow of the Banyan
2014 NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names
2015 Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams
2016 Angela Flournoy, The Turner House
2017 Eula Biss, On Immunity: An Inoculation
2018 Jennine Capo Crucet, Make Your Home Among Strangers
2019 Jaroslav Kalfař, Spaceman of Bohemia
2020 LaTanya McQueen, It Begins Like This