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Community Reading

We begin with a book.

Every summer,  incoming students are encouraged to read a book in common that serves as the basis for several events when the term begins in September.

In preparation for that discussion, they are encouraged to read  the chosen book in anticipation of a formal discussion. We also hope that the book will stimulate conversation and questions throughout the fall; some courses will incorporate the book into the syllabus.

Henrietta Lacks

The latest book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. There was a panel discussion, open to the public, held on Sept. 12, 2013 at MCLA's Church Street Center.  The book, a No.1 bestseller by the New York Times in 2010, was named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of that year as well, according to Skloot's website.

Below is a list of past Community Reading speakers:

  • 2012 -Sonia Nazario, "Enrique's Journey"
  • 2011- Soledad O'Brien, "The Next Big Story"
  • 2010- Laura Ling and Lisa Ling, "Somewhere Inside:One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home."
  • 2009- Paul Rusesabagina, "An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography"
  • 2008- James McBride, "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother"
  • 2007- Karen Shepard, "Don't I Know You"
  • 2006- Elizabeth Royte, "Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash"
  • 2005- Tracy Kidder, "Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul "
  • 2004- Sarah Erdman, "Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village" 

Enrique\'s Journey 

The Next Big Story

Somewhere Inside 

An Ordinary Man 

The Color of Water 

Don\'t I Know You 

Garbage Land 

Mountains Beyond Mountains 


Nine Hills to Nambonkaha