The campus community is invited to help select a College Reads book for 2020.

The College Reads! is the College of Charleston’s campus-wide co-curricular common reading program designed to connect students, faculty and staff around a single book to promote the idea that liberally educated people read broadly and discuss with one another ideas arising from the books they share. All incoming students, peer educators and permanent faculty receive a copy of the book. Additional copies are made available for borrowing and sharing widely across campus.  

The 2019 program is successfully underway with Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, by Eli Saslow, who will speak on campus on Oct. 29, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center auditorium, room 101. 

Faculty, staff and students are invited to recommend titles for 2020 and to get involved by serving on The College Reads (TCR) committee and/or providing feedback on the titles recommended for selection.

In soliciting recommendations for books, the College welcomes works of fiction and non-fiction; several titles within a single theme; or other innovative ideas. Your book idea might support the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) on Sustainability Literacy, acknowledge the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, or celebrate the College’s 250thFounding Theme: History. Made. Here. Books from any topic area are welcome.

Use the following selection criteria when submitting your recommendations:

  • Intellectually stimulating – a book that stretches students’ minds, causes students to think about topics or issues they might not have encountered before, or a book that engages familiar themes in a new way.
  • Readable – a book that is enjoyable, engaging, and of a manageable length (typically <350 pages).
  • A living author – one of the highlights of The College Reads! is a public lecture by the book’s author and an opportunity for students who have read the book to meet with the author in small groups.
  • Provocative – a book that will provoke discussion across campus; one that will provide a way for multiple departments and campus constituencies to develop engaging co-curricular activities throughout the academic year.
  • Relevant – a book with a topic or theme that will resonate with the campus; a book in which students can locate themselves, their lives, and their futures.

To recommend a book, please complete this short recommendation form. This will allow the TCR committee to keep track of the submissions and give every book its full consideration. Feel free to forward this call for books to friends of the College in the community. You may want to consult the Past Books list to be sure your title hasn’t been featured in a previous year.

Please try to make your nominations prior to September 20. The first meeting of The College Reads Committee will be on Wednesday, September 25, at 9 a.m. in the Stern Student Center, room 201.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the selection process by serving on the TCR committee or by simply reading books from the list of recommendations and providing the committee with feedback. The committee maintains an open selection process designed to accommodate people who cannot attend weekly committee meetings by posting the list of books under active consideration with updates after each meeting on The College Reads website. You can read more about the process and view the committee’s timeline of selection on TCR website under the heading “Participate.” If you are interested in joining the committee or getting involved in other ways, please email