CSU, Chico News

10th Anniversary Of Book In Common Program Brings Widespread Community Interest

Date: 09-11-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s Book in Common program, now in its 10th year, has greatly expanded for 2008–2009 with community partnerships, local reading groups, book-related lectures and films and other activities.

Started in 1998, the Book in Common program provides one book for the campus community to read. It is especially used in courses for freshmen, with the goal of engaging them in a shared, intellectual activity that will enhance their first year experience at CSU, Chico.

This year’s Book in Common selection, “Three Cups of Tea,” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, is an award-winning nonfiction bestseller that describes Mortenson’s remarkable adventures building schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Three Cups of Tea” has been adopted as a Book in Common not only by CSU, Chico, but also by Butte College, the City of Chico, Butte County Public Libraries, the Chico Enterprise Record, and the Chico Unified School District for use in reading groups, classes and other events. Other Book in Common partners include Enloe Medical Center, Lyon’s Books and Barnes and Noble.

The first Book in Common activities take place later this month, with a kick-off event Thursday, Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Chico City Plaza. Mayor Andy Holcomb will read a proclamation from the City of Chico officially naming “Three Cups of Tea” as a common read for the city. Readings from the book will be presented by local actors Cynthia Lammel, Ben Allen and Jeremy Votava. Students from Chico High will also participate.

A showing of the film “Charlie Wilson’s War” will be presented by the Associated Students Monday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center 144. On Sept. 23, there will be a presentation on Pakistan by CSU, Chico religious studies professor Mahan Mirza, a native of that country, at 5 p.m. in Holt Hall 170. At 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, the first meeting of campus and community members interested in forming reading groups will be held in the Bell Memorial Union Common Grounds coffee shop. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Events, speakers and a wide range of activities are being hosted by all of the Book in Common partners, and the calendar will be expanded throughout the year. All Book in Common events are free and open to the public.

The Book in Common events will culminate in Mortenson’s visit to CSU, Chico April 21 for a public talk in Laxson Auditorium. Tickets for the free talk have already “sold out” through the University Box Office due to high interest.

CSU, Chico Dean of Undergraduate Education Bill Loker said there is no question “Three Cups of Tea” is an extraordinarily popular Book in Common. “The reason the book has caught fire in Chico is that it deals with an area of the world – Pakistan and Afghanistan – that everyone in the country is concerned about,” he said. “I also think the focus on education in the book is central to people in our area. With the University and Butte College here as well as the K-12 schools, this is an educational community in many ways. In addition, everybody is looking for a story about how they can make a difference – when they read a book about one dedicated person who has done that, it’s inspirational.”

CSU, Chico campus participants in the Book in Common program are the CSU, Chico Colleges of Agriculture; Business; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Communication and Education; Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management; Humanities and Fine Arts; and Natural Sciences; the School of Graduate, International and Interdisciplinary Studies; Undergraduate Education; the First Year Experience program; the Center for Regional and Continuing Education; the Peace Institute; Chico Performances; and the Associated Students.

Loker said all community members are encouraged to read “Three Cups of Tea” and become involved in events linked to the Book in Common. Lyon’s Books is organizing a book donation program; anyone with a book they have read can leave it at Lyon’s for distribution to the schools that are participating in the county-wide read.

Below is a list of Book in Common events. For more information, go to the Book in Common Web site at http://www.csuchico.edu/bic/, or contact Loker at wloker@csuchico.edu.

Book in Common Calendar of Events 2008-2009


Artifacts from Pakistan (exhibit)
September – October
CSU, Chico, Meriam Library

Book in Common Kick Off (event)
Thursday, September 18, 6:30 PM
Chico City Plaza

Charlie Wilson’s War (film)
Monday, September 22, 7:00 PM
CSU, Chico, Performing Arts Center 144

Book in Common Reading Group (meeting to form reading groups)
Tuesday, September 23, 4:30 PM
CSU, Chico Bell Memorial Union, Common Grounds

Pakistan – Land of the Pure, Mahan Mirza (lecture)
Tuesday, September 23, 5:00 PM
CSU, Chico Holt Hall, Room 170

Karakoram Stories, Bill Travers (slide show)
Wednesday, September 24, 2:00 PM
Butte College main campus, Center for Excellence, Library, Room 210


The Gangster’s Search for Meaning:
A Multicultural Interpretation, Tom Imhoff, Jesse Dizard, Michael Coyle, and William Stewart (panel discussion)
Wednesday, October 1, 7:30 PM
CSU, Chico, Performing Arts Center 134

Teen Reading Week
Sunday, October 12 – Saturday, October 18

Three Cups of Tea (panel discussion)
Thursday, October 16, 1:30 PM
Butte College main campus, Center for Excellence, Library, Room 210

Restorative Justice: A New Paradigm for Social Transformation, Azim Khamisa (lecture)
Monday, October 20, 7:30 PM
CSU, Chico, Performing Arts Center 134

Charlie Wilson’s War (film)
Thursday, October 23, 12:30 PM
Butte County Library Paradise, 5922 Clark Road

Charlie Wilson’s War (film)
Saturday, October 25, 2:00 PM
Oroville Branch Library

Anthropologists at War:
Human Terrain Systems and the War in Afghanistan, Jesse Dizard (forum)
Thursday, October 30, 4:00 PM
CSU, Chico, Ayers Hall 120


The Current State of Education in Pakistan: Between Literacy, Security and Human Rights, Amjad Noorani (CAPE Forum)
Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 PM
CSU, Chico, Performing Arts Center 134

Reel Bad Arabs (film)
Wednesday, November 19, 11:00 AM
Butte College main campus, Center for Excellence, Library, Room 210

Osama (film)
Saturday, November 22, 2:00 PM
Oroville Branch Library

January – April

Children of Heaven (film)
Saturday, January 24, 2:00 PM
Oroville Branch Library

Osama (film)
Thursday, January 29, 12:30 PM
Butte County Library Paradise, 5922 Clark Road

The Kite Runner (film)
Saturday, February 28, 2:00 PM
Oroville Branch Library

Kite Runner (film)
Thursday, March 26, 12:30 PM
Butte County Library Paradise, 5922 Clark Road

Hodgkins Peace Lecturer and Book in Common author, Greg Mortenson (lecture)
Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 PM
CSU, Chico, Laxson Auditorium
(This free event is “sold out” as all tickets have been distributed.)