The Project

The Common Book brings together the WSU community of readers in the discussion of a single work.

Each academic year, a new Common Book is selected and incorporated into the curriculum of numerous courses, including sections of ENG 111: College Reading and Writing, and it may be adopted by any faculty interested in the issues it raises.

Public readings, lectures, discussions, and other related events scheduled concurrently with each author's visit to WSU.

To date, nearly 20,000 members of the WSU community have joined in reading these common books:

  • Jamil Zaki's "The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World"
  • Dan-El Padilla Peralta's "Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League"
  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's "What the Eyes Don't See"
  • Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
  • Matt Richtel's "A Deadly Wandering"
  • Gene Luen Yang's "American Born Chinese"
  • Tracie McMillan's "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Wal-Mart, Applebee's Farm fields, and the Dinner Table"
  • Barry Estabrook's "Tomatoland"
  • Michael Kimmel's "Guyland"
  • Cheri Register's "Packinghouse Daughter"
  • Heather Rogers’ "Gone Tomorrow"
  • Kalia Yang's "The Latehomecomer"
  • Bob Morris's "The Blue Death"
  • Ruth Ozeki's "My Year of Meats"
  • Kent Nerburn's "Neither Wolf Nor Dog"
  • Fan Shen's "Gang of One"

A packet of teaching and contextual materials will be available to prospective faculty adopters.

For more information about the project or contextual materials, email April Herndon at