Books at the University of Idaho Library

Past Common Reads

2012 Common Read

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. 

Order The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks from the VandalStore (the University of Idaho bookstore).
Check out Rebecca Skloot's website and read more about the book.

2011 Common Read

"The Big Burn" by Timothy Egan
The Big Burn chronicles the largest forest fire in America, and how it made Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy as the president who saved our wild places. In August 1910, strong wind accompanied by drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, starting hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye.The Big Burn tells an epic story while painting a moving portrait of the people who lived it, and offers a critical cautionary tale.

2010 Common Read

"The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal" by Jonathan Mooney
"The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal" addresses the challenges all of us have faced regardless of ability; being different, yet wanting to be like everyone else. The book was well received, and the author, Jonathan Mooney, joined us on campus and presented to the university community during fall orientation activities.

2009 Common Read

"Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben
"Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben has been selected for the 2009 Common Read book for incoming students by a committee of faculty, staff, and students.

2008 Common Read

"1 Dead in Attic-After Katrina" by Chris Rose
"1 Dead in Attic-After Katrina" is a collection of stories by Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, recounting the first harrowing year and a half of life in New Orleans after Hurrican Katrina. This book was well received and over 600 students attended the 1/2 day discussion. The author Chris Rose also joined us on campus and presented to student, community and administrative groups.