CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico and Butte College Jointly Announce Book in Common for the 2017-18 Academic Year

Date: 05-17-2017

CONTACT: Sean Murphy
TEL: 530-898-6492

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

A Deadly Wandering, a work of nonfiction, tacks back and forth between the compelling personal story of a young man’s tragic involvement in a fatal car crash, and the neuroscience of attention and driving. The book focuses on a wreck caused by then-20-year-old Reggie Shaw’s use of cell phone while driving. The book explores the profound impacts of this accident on Shaw, the families involved and, ultimately, the entire state of Utah as the various parties come to grips with this event.

A Deadly Wandering” is supported by scientific research that identifies why cell-phone use while driving is so dangerous, and explodes the illusions shared by so many that a quick glance at a phone or a few taps on a screen are harmless.

“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.”

The National Safety Council deems cell phone use while driving an epidemic. More than 3,400 people were killed in crashes involving “distracted driving” in 2015 alone.

“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.”

“This is a timely selection,” Hutchinson added.

The Book in Common is a shared, community read, designed to promote discussion and understanding of important issues facing the broader community. Each year Butte College and CSU, Chico work together with faculty, staff and community members to choose the upcoming selection.

Past community reads include “The Distance Between Us,” by Reyna Grande, “Unquenchable,” by Robert Glennon and “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson. The 2016-17 Book in Common, “My Life on the Road,” brought renowned feminist leader Gloria Steinem to Chico for discussions with students at CSU, Chico and Butte College, as well as a public talk at Laxson Auditorium.

Stephen Cummins, CSU, Chico’s director of University Public Engagement, said his office is working to bring the author of “A Deadly Wandering” to campus.

“We hope to have the date of Matt Richtel’s visit to Chico worked out when the schedule of music and cultural events at Laxson is released this summer,” said Cummins. “Matt Richtel’s presentation will be one of many outstanding events we hope to bring to our community in the months ahead.”

For more on the Book in Common see www.csuchico.edu/bic.


Founded in 1887, California State University, Chico is the second oldest of the CSU’s 23 campuses. The University has more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its seven colleges and five schools. Many programs, such as teacher education and nursing, are known for their innovation and outreach to the University’s 12-county service region, which is the CSU’s largest.