Book in Common 2017-2018

book cover artA Deadly Wandering

President Gayle E. Hutchinson of California State University, Chico and Superintendent Samia Yaqub of Butte College jointly announced the selection of the Book in Common for academic year 2017-18: “A Deadly Wandering” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Matt Richtel.

“The book combines a compelling personal story with solid research on the science of attention,” said Yaqub, a 1989 alumna of CSU, Chico. “Many of us have heard of studies that show how bad most people are at ‘multitasking.’ This book confirms that in the important area of driving and cell-phone use.”

A Deadly Wandering is "a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.

In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.

In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against “distracted driving.” Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.

A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time—what is all of our technology doing to us?—and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need." -Harper Collins Publishers

“Every year, we try to choose a book that will make a difference in people’s lives,” said Hutchinson. “That is definitely the case with ‘A Deadly Wandering.’ This is a book that can save lives. Traffic deaths are up 14 percent in the last two years. Many experts attribute that to increased cell phone use while driving.”

2016-2017: My Life on the Road, by Gloria Steinem

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