Previous Selection

Common Reading Program selections from the past.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen has been selected for the 2011 Summer Reading Program at Appalachian State University.

Christopher McDougall's bestseller follows the achievements of super athletics, such as Mexico's Tarahumara Indians, considered among the world's greatest distance runners, to answer his personal question: Why does my foot hurt?

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

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The book will be provided to all incoming freshmen at Appalachian and Jordan will speak to members of the campus community and others during Convocation Sept. 16 in the Holmes Center on campus.

"Appalachian's Summer Reading Program provides an important common experience for entering freshmen, helps develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduces them to the academic rigor of college," said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock in announcing the selection.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

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"Three Cups of Tea," coauthored by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, follows Mortenson's evolution from mountain climber to humanitarian.

"This book illustrates the power of one individual to change the lives of many," said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock in announcing the selection. "This book will surely inspire all who read it."

The book will be read by all incoming freshmen at Appalachian as part of the university's First Year Seminar Program. Mortenson will speak to members of the campus community and others during Convocation Sept. 10 in the Holmes Center.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

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"The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls has been selected for the 2008 Summer Reading Program at Appalachian State University, announced Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock.

In her memoir, Walls weaves an almost unbelievable account of her mother and father's unorthodox approach to parenting, the family's unconditional love for one another, and Walls's and her siblings' ability to prosper in spite of the obstacles, including homelessness and alcoholism, they faced growing up.

A Home on the Field by Paul Cuadros

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"A Home on the Field" is published by HarperCollins. Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book was, "A worthy social commentary and biographical portrait. . . . the author's description of (the team's) victories is nicely balanced with a broad overview of Latinos' relatively recent migration to the American South, with a conclusion infused with cautious optimism."

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

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The most brilliant young economist in America-the one so deemed, at least, by a jury of his elders-brakes to a stop at a traffic light on Chicago's south side. It is a sunny day in mid-June. He drives an aging green Chevy Cavalier with a dusty dashboard and a window that doesn't quite shut, producing a dull roar at highway speeds.

But the car is quiet for now, as are the noontime streets: gas stations, boundless concrete, brick buildings with plywood windows.

Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman

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Salzman captures post-cultural revolution China through his adventures as a young American English teacher in China and his shifu-tudi (master-student) relationship with China's foremost martial arts teacher.

A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind

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At Ballou Senior High, a crime-infested school in Washington, D.C., honor students have learned to keep their heads down. Like most inner-city kids, they know that any special attention in a place this dangerous can make you a target of violence. But Cedric Jennings will not swallow his pride, and with unwavering support from his mother, he studies and strives as if his life depends on it--and it does.

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

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Essayist and cultural critic Barbara Ehrenreich has always specialized in turning received wisdom on its head with intelligence, clarity, and verve. With some 12 million women being pushed into the labor market by welfare reform, she decided to do some good old-fashioned journalism and find out just how they were going to survive on the wages of the unskilled--at $6 to $7 an hour, only half of what is considered a living wage. So she did what millions of Americans do, she looked for a job and a place to live, worked that job, and tried to make ends meet.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The Things They Carried cover art
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They carried pictures, love letters, malaria tablets, Bibles, dope, a rabbit's foot, and each other. And, if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a controversial war that history is only now beginning to absorb.