book jacket

Book Selection Process

selection committee members - John Lacko Photography

Reading Together Selection Committee's Hopes for 2008

As the Reading Together Selection Committee considered the list of nominated titles that met the broad selection criteria, they voted for titles that they felt met these additional criteria for the 2008 Reading Together program:

  • A multifaceted book that connects with groups we've not yet reached; new stakeholders; broadest possible audience
  • Good literature; beautiful prose
  • Applies directly to current events/news in our region
  • A topic we have not previously covered
  • An author who is available to visit

Nominated Books

Nonfiction

Silent SpringSilent Spring
Carson, Rachel
Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the ShamelessGhettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless
Daniels, Cora
The God DelusionThe God Delusion
Dawkins, Richard
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeedCollapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
Diamond, Jared
The worst hard time: the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowlThe worst hard time: the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl
Egan, Timothy
The weather makers: how man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earthThe weather makers: how man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth
Flannery, Tim F.
The edge of disaster: surviving terror and catastropheThe edge of disaster: surviving terror and catastrophe
Flynn, Stephen E.
The world is flat: a brief history of the twenty-first centuryThe world is flat: a brief history of the twenty-first century
Friedman, Thomas L.
An inconvenient truth : the crisis of global warmingAn inconvenient truth : the crisis of global warming
Gore, Albert
Infinite Love Is the Only Truth: Everything Else Is Illusion
Icke, David
Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach
Intrator, Sam and Megan Scribner, Editors
The 101 most influential people who never lived: how characters of fiction, myth, legends, television, and movies have shaped our society, changed our behavior, and set the course of historyThe 101 most influential people who never lived: how characters of fiction, myth, legends, television, and movies have shaped our society, changed our behavior, and set the course of history
Lazar, Allan
Mountains beyond mountainsMountains beyond mountains
Kidder, Tracy
Field notes from a catastrophe: man, nature, and climate changeField notes from a catastrophe: man, nature, and climate change
Kolbert, Elizabeth
There are no children here: the story of two boys growing up in the other AmericaThere are no children here: the story of two boys growing up in the other America
Kotlowitz, Alex
Under the banner of heaven : a story of violent faithUnder the banner of heaven : a story of violent faith
Krakauer, Jon
Burning Rainbow Farm: how a stoner utopia went up in smokeBurning Rainbow Farm: how a stoner utopia went up in smoke
Kuipers, Dean
A sand county almanac: with essays on conservationA sand county almanac: with essays on conservation
Leopold, Aldo
Last child in the woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorderLast child in the woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder
Louv, Richard
The undertaking: life studies from the dismal tradeThe undertaking: life studies from the dismal trade
Lynch, Thomas
The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living
Marshall III, Joseph M.
Please Understand
Peake, Marcy L.
The shelter of each other: rebuilding our familiesThe shelter of each other: rebuilding our families
Pipher, Mary Bray
Better together: restoring the American communityBetter together: restoring the American community
Putnam, Robert D.
Climate Change Begins at Home: Life on the Two-Way Street of Global Warming
Reay, Dave
Healing racism in America: a prescription for the disease
Rutstein, Nathan
The bookseller of KabulThe bookseller of Kabul
Seierstad, Asne
The Urantia book concordanceThe Urantia book concordance
Urantia Foundation
Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57
Weisskopf, Michael

Fiction

For one more dayFor one more day
Albom, Mitch
Pride and prejudicePride and prejudice
Austen, Jane
The sweet hereafter
Banks, Russell
The Book of FredThe Book of Fred
Bardi, Abby
Ender's gameEnder's game
Card, Orson Scott
A Trip to the Stars
Christopher, Nicholas
The red tentThe red tent
Diamant, Anita
The memory keeper's daughterThe memory keeper's daughter
Edwards, Kim
Silas Marner: the weaver of RaveloeSilas Marner: the weaver of Raveloe
Eliot, George
Invisible manInvisible man
Ellison, Ralph
Peace like a riverPeace like a river
Enger, Leif
MiddlesexMiddlesex
Eugenides, Jeffrey
So bigSo big
Ferber, Edna
The great GatsbyThe great Gatsby
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Extremely loud & incredibly closeExtremely loud & incredibly close
Foer, Jonathan Safran
The book of Ruth
Hamilton, Jane
I say a little prayerI say a little prayer
Harris, E. Lynn
The world to comeThe world to come
Horn, Dara
The kite runnerThe kite runner
Hosseini, Khaled
The misfitsThe misfits
Howe, James
The known worldThe known world
Jones, Edward P.
Broken for youBroken for you
Kallos, Stephanie
The mermaid chairThe mermaid chair
Kidd, Sue Monk
Animal dreamsAnimal dreams
Kingsolver, Barbara
The namesakeThe namesake
Lahiri, Jhumpa
Chronicle of a death foretold
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
Life of PiLife of Pi
Martel, Yann
The roadThe road
McCarthy, Cormac
Nowhere is a placeNowhere is a place
McFadden, Bernice L.
JudeJude
Morgenroth, Kate
SulaSula
Morrison, Toni
Nineteen minutesNineteen minutes
Picoult, Jodi
All quiet on the western frontAll quiet on the western front
Thomas, Richard
GileadGilead
Robinson, Marilynne
In Perfect Light
Saenz, Benjamin A.
HousekeepingHousekeeping
Robinson, Marilynne
PersepolisPersepolis
Satrapi, Marjane
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boyLizzie Bright and the Buckminster boy
Schmidt, Gary D.
The lovely bonesThe lovely bones
Sebold, Alice

Memoir

Too soon to say goodbyeToo soon to say goodbye
Buchwald, Art
Our town: a heartland lynching, a haunted town, and the hidden history of white AmericaOur town: a heartland lynching, a haunted town, and the hidden history of white America
Carr, Cindy
Made in Detroit: a south of 8 Mile memoirMade in Detroit: a south of 8 Mile memoir
Clemens, Paul
The year of magical thinkingThe year of magical thinking
Didion, Joan
A peculiar treasure
Ferber, Edna
The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around ThemThe Freedom Writers diary : how a teacher and 150 teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them
Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
Barefoot heart: stories of a migrant child
Hart, Elva TreviƱo
The woman warrior: memoirs of a girlhood among ghostsThe woman warrior: memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts
Kingston, Maxine Hong
The faith club: a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew: three women search for understandingThe faith club: a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew: three women search for understanding
Idliby, Ranya
Blackbird: a childhood lost and foundBlackbird: a childhood lost and found
Lauck, Jennifer
The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell
Loya, Joe
Unbowed: a memoirUnbowed: a memoir
Maathai, Wangari
Three cups of tea: One man's mission to promote peace...one school at a timeThree cups of tea: One man's mission to promote peace...one school at a time
Mortenson, Greg
A child called “It”: one child's courage to surviveA child called “It”: one child's courage to survive
Pelzer, David J.
A whole new lifeA whole new life
Price, Reynolds
Riding the bus with my sister: a true life journeyRiding the bus with my sister: a true life journey
Simon, Rachel
The glass castle: a memoirThe glass castle: a memoir
Walls, Jeannette

Considered Books (short list)

Selection Criteria Applied to Nominated Titles

  • treatment of universal social issues that are relevant to our diverse community
  • quality writing that fosters an appreciation of literature;
  • availability in at least three alternative formats such as large print, audio recording, foreign language, online, or film/play versions;
  • reading level, vocabulary, length and subject matter appropriate for and appealing to adults as well as high school and college students.

The following 22 titles met the selection criteria and were considered for 2008

For one more dayFor one more day
Albom, Mitch
Pride and prejudicePride and prejudice
Austen, Jane
The sweet hereafter
Banks, Russell
The red tentThe red tent
Diamant, Anita
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeedCollapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
Diamond, Jared
The year of magical thinkingThe year of magical thinking
Didion, Joan
The memory keeper's daughterThe memory keeper's daughter
Edwards, Kim
Invisible manInvisible man
Ellison, Ralph
MiddlesexMiddlesex
Eugenides, Jeffrey
The weather makers: how man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earthThe weather makers: how man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth
Flannery, Tim F.
An inconvenient truth : the crisis of global warmingAn inconvenient truth : the crisis of global warming
Gore, Albert
The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around ThemThe Freedom Writers diary : how a teacher and 150 teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them
Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
The known worldThe known world
Jones, Edward P.
Animal dreamsAnimal dreams
Kingsolver, Barbara
The namesakeThe namesake
Lahiri, Jhumpa
The roadThe road
McCarthy, Cormac
SulaSula
Morrison, Toni
Three cups of tea: One man's mission to promote peace...one school at a timeThree cups of tea: One man's mission to promote peace...one school at a time
Mortenson, Greg
All quiet on the western frontAll quiet on the western front
Thomas, Richard
GileadGilead
Robinson, Marilynne
The lovely bonesThe lovely bones
Sebold, Alice
The glass castle: a memoirThe glass castle: a memoir
Walls, Jeannette

Books Selected by Vote (top vote-getters)

Animal dreamsAnimal Dreams
Kingsolver, Barbara
Wide variety of themes and issues: aging, family and community, reconciliation
and forgiveness, environmental catastrophe, death
Hispanic and Native American characters
Dynamic female author
The known worldThe Known World
Jones, Edward P.
A completely new take on slavery, beautifully written, compelling
K College's 2007 summer common read for incoming freshmen
Invisible manInvisible Man
Ellison, Ralph
Brilliant and beautiful; sophisticated
Issues relevant to many minority communities today
The weather makers: how man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earthThe Weather Makers: How man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth
Flannery, Tim F.
Clear, well-written explanation of complex issue of climate change
Companion young-adult edition
The Sweet Hereafter
Banks, Russell
Accessible, good read by personable author
Issues of tragedy and safety
The namesakeThe Namesake
Lahiri, Jhumpa
Beautiful, thought-provoking writing
Issue of legal immigration and assimiliation; multiple generations

(no other title received multiple votes)