Better Books for Next Year's Beaches

Ashley Thorne

Remember the Beach Books report on common reading programs? It showed that U.S. colleges and universities are generally picking lightweight, politically biased books as yearlong "theme" books for students. This morning NAS released a list of our own recommendations for common reading programs. Our picks range from Plato to William Least Heat-Moon, and include Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle, Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and the book of Ecclesiastes. We encourage colleges to consult our list when considering books for 2011. If you know of a college or university with a common reading program (see this list of colleges that do), please feel free to share our list and see if they have a comment. Next week we'll publish our updated database (with over 80 changes) of books colleges selected in 2010.

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