Campus Reads

Discover great picks for a campus common reading book, selected by RCL editors. Resources for College Libraries (RCL) features core titles for academic libraries, curated by Choice/ACRL subject specialists. In Syndetics Unbound, RCL Librarians recommend a selection of the 90,000+ titles available at

Updated January 4, 2024
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Braiding sweetgrass
Kimmerer, Robin Wall
A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member...
Caste : the origins of our discontents
Wilkerson, Isabel
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK * "An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The...
Poverty, by America
Desmond, Matthew
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted reimagines the debate on poverty, making a "provocative and compelling" (NPR) argument about why it persists in America: because the rest of us benefit from it. ONE OF THE...
The devil's highway : a true story
Urrea, Luis Alberto.
An account of "twenty-six men who in May 2001 attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadly region known as the Devil's Highway ... Only twelve of the men made it out."--Page 4 of cover.
Free speech : a history from Socrates to social media
Mchangama, Jacob
"The best history of free speech ever written and the best defense of free speech ever made." --P.J. O'Rourke Hailed as the "first freedom," free speech is the bedrock of democracy. But it is a challenging principle, subject to erosion in times of upheaval. Today, in...
How to lie with maps
Monmonier, Mark S.
An instant classic when first published in 1991, How to Lie with Maps revealed how the choices mapmakers make--consciously or unconsciously--mean that every map inevitably presents only one of many possible stories about the places it depicts. The principles Mark Monmonier outlined back then...
Man's search for meaning : an introduction to logotherapy
Frankl, Viktor E.
We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the...
The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world
Winchester, Simon
"Another gem from one of the world's justly celebrated historians specializing in unusual and always fascinating subjects and people." -- Booklist (starred review) The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to...
The refugees
Nguyen, Viet Thanh
Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer was one of the most widely and highly praised novels of 2015, the winner not only of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but also the Center for Fiction Debut Novel Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the ALA Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Asian...
Travels of a T-shirt in the global economy : an economist examines the markets, power, and politics of world trade
Rivoli, Pietra
The keys to global business success, as taught by a T-shirt's journey The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy is a critically-acclaimed narrative that illuminates the globalization debates and reveals the key factors to success in global business. Tracing a T-shirt's life...
Under a White Sky : The Nature of the Future
Kolbert, Elizabeth.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity's transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? RECOMMENDED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND BILL...
What is populism?
Müller, Jan-Werner
Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chávez--populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does...

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