2014 - 2015
Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty that Sparked a National Debate
by Sister Helen Prejean
For the Fall 2014 semester, the Common Reading Experience book selection is Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty that Sparked a National Debate, by Sister Helen Prejean.
In her book, Sr. Helen, a Roman Catholic nun, describes what it looks and feels like to walk a man on Death Row to his execution. As spiritual advisor to several men convicted of vicious crimes, Sr. Helen comes to know them well. She is horrified by their crimes; she is horrified that they themselves will be killed. But she accompanies these men to their death so they will not be alone. Equally important for Sr. Helen, is to be sure the victims’ families are not alone. She founded SURVIVE a support group to help each family survive its unimaginable grief.
Full Body Burden
by Kristen Iversen
"Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman, Kristen Iversen, growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated “the most contaminated site in America.” It’s the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and—unknown to those who lived there—tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium."
In this astonishing true story, award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounts the unforgettable odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.
The Beast in the Garden: The True Story of a Predator's Deadly Return to Suburban America
When residents of Boulder, Colorado, suddenly began to see mountain lions in their backyards, it became clear that the cats had returned after decades of bounty hunting had driven them far from human settlement. In a riveting environmental tale that has received huge national attention, journalist David Baron traces the history of the mountain lion and chronicles one town's tragic effort to coexist with its new neighbors. As thought-provoking as it is harrowing, The Beast in the Garden is a tale of nature corrupted, the clash between civilization and wildness, and the artificiality of the modern American landscape. It is, ultimately, a book about the future of our nation, where suburban sprawl and wildlife-protection laws are pushing people and wild animals into uncomfortable, sometimes deadly proximity.
Three Cups of Tea: One man's mission to promote peace -- one school at a time
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
In THREE CUPS OF TEA: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time, Greg Mortenson, and acclaimed journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the unlikely journey that led Mortenson from a failed attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully building schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.