About the Book in Common Project

President Zingg poses with members of First-Year Experience Program at the Book In Common Kickoff event

The Book in Common is a shared, community read, designed to promote discussion and understanding of important issues facing the broader community. “The Book in Common aims to create a community of readers and engender the kinds of dialogue that mark a healthy civic culture,” according to California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg. The Book in Common is chosen each year by a group of university faculty and staff and community members. The 2015-2016 Book in Common is Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson.

“Just Mercy” is a powerful and compelling account of Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal aid to Death Row prisoners. While Stevenson’s work is centered in Alabama, the issues raised by “Just Mercy” are relevant to California and across the nation

Past community reads include The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers, The Soloist, by Steve Lopez, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba, Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, Unquenchable by Robert Glennon, and last year's book in common, The Distance Between Us, by Reyna Grande.  As in past years, Butte College, Chico State, the City and County have sponsored a variety of events: panel discussions, lectures, and other public events, in celebration of the Book in Common. Author visits are also often part of the Book in Common, and Grande will be invited to speak in Chico during the coming academic year.

Book in Common Calendar

Previous Books in Common