Academic Core

Common Reading

The campus-wide Common Reading provides a touchstone for FYS courses and for events and conversation throughout the Marist community as a whole. The 2018-19 Common Reading is It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Story of an American School in the World’s #1 Failed State by Jonathan Starr (Henry Holt and Company, 2017). The book relates how an American hedge fund manager created a unique school in Somaliland whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Mr. Starr will be on campus in fall 2018 to deliver a lecture for all FYS students based on his book. Other events throughout the 2018-19 academic year will invite you to reflect on the questions raised by the book.

The Common Reading is chosen by a committee that includes faculty from across the College and a student representative. Past Common Reading selections include Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown, 2010), Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map (Riverhead, 2005), Wes Moore’s The Other Wes Moore (Spiegel and Grau, 2011), and Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us (Washington Square Press, 2013). Students complete an essay assignment based on the book during the first few weeks of classes.