Previous Books

Journeys Beyond Words, 2004-2022

We provide all incoming first-year students with a powerful Common Reading book related to the year's theme. Students discuss the book in University Seminar and other courses.

Book cover: This Book Will Make You Kinder, by Henry James Garrett

2021-2022 THEME:
COMPASSION

This Book Will Make You Kinder
An Empathy Handbook

by Henry James Garrett
New York: Penguin Books, 2020

Book cover: American Like Me, edited by America Ferrera

2020-2021 THEME:
DYNAMICS

American Like Me

Reflections on Life Between Cultures

Edited by America Ferrera
(New York: Gallery Books, 2018)

Book cover: What the Eyes Don't See by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

2019-2020 THEME:
TRUTH


What the Eyes Don't See

A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
(New York: One World, 2019)
 

Book cover: The Runaway Species by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt

2018-2019 THEME:
INNOVATION


The Runaway Species

How Human Creativity Remakes the World

by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt
(New York: Catapult, 2018)

Book cover: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

2017-2018 THEME:
THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


Just Mercy

A Story of Justice and Redemption

by Bryan Stevenson
(New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015)
 

Book cover: What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes

2016-2017 THEME:
A CENTURY OF CONFLICT


What It Is Like to Go to War

by Karl Marlantes
(New York: Grove Press, 2011)
 

Book cover: y no se lo tragó la tierra / And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

2015-2016 THEME:
BRIDGED THROUGH STORIES


...y no se lo tragó la tierra
...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

by Tomás Rivera
(Berkeley: Quinto Sol, 1971; Houston: Arte Público, 2015)

Book cover: Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

2014-2015 THEME:
EXPLORING DEMOCRACY'S PROMISE


Coming of Age in Mississippi

by Anne Moody
(New York: Doubleday, 1968; Bantam Dell, 1992)

Book cover: Behind Happy Faces by Ross Szabo and Melanie Hall

2013-2014 THEME:
MINDS MATTER


Behind Happy Faces

Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

by Ross Szabo and Melanie Hall
(Beverly Hills: Alegra, 2007)

Book cover: Where Am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman

2012-2013 THEME:
A GLOBAL ODYSSEY

Where Am I Wearing?

A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes

by Kelsey Timmerman
(Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012)

Book cover: The United States Constituion: A Graphic Adaptation

2011-2012 THEME: 
FREEDOMS

The United States Constitution
A Graphic Adaptation

written by Jonathan Hennessey,
art by Aaron McConnell
(New York: Hill and Wang, 2008)

Book cover: No Impact Man by Colin Beavan

2010-2011 THEME: 
SUSTAINABILITY


No Impact Man

by Colin Beavan
(New York: Picador, 2009)

Book cover: A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

2009-2010T THEME:
A Whole New Mind

Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by Daniel H. Pink
(New York: Riverhead Trade, 2006)

Book cover: Lyndon B. Johnson and the Transformation of American Politics

2008-2009 THEME: 
CIVIC RESPONSIBIILTY AND THE LEGACY OF LBJ

Lyndon B. Johnson and the Transformation of American Politics

by Dr. John L. Bullion
(New York: Pearson Longman, 2008)

Book cover: Goodbye to a River by John Graves

2007-2008 THEME:
THE WATER PLANET

Goodbye to a River

A Narrative

by John Graves
(New York: Alfred Knopf, 1960; Vintage, 2002)

Book cover: Zoot Suit and Other Plays by Luis Valdez

2006-2007 THEME: 
PROTEST & DISSENT 

Zoot Suit and Other Plays

by Luis Valdez
(Houston: Arte Público, 1992)

Book cover: If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O'Brien

2005-2006 THEME: 
COURAGE

If I Die in a Combat Zone

by Tim O'Brien
(New York: Delacorte, 1973; Broadway, 1999)

Book cover: Night by Elie Wiesel

2004-2005 THEME: 
HATRED

Night

by Elie Wiesel
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1960; Bantam, 1982)