Common Book Archives

2014-15 Book Selection
    • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, details the story of William's life in a rural village in Malawi, Africa and his experience as an elementary school dropout who builds a working windmill from spare tractor and bike parts to generate electricity and clean water for his village.
    • The themes present in this book connected with each of Auburn's schools and colleges making it an excellent selection as a common book. Additionally, this book was chosen to highlight the author's personal struggles and successes as an avenue to teach our student body about resilience, creativity, and perseverance.
    • The Office of Sustainability and the College of Engineering hosted programs on sustainable energy while the Honors College featured movies about hunger and green energy during their Film Series in the fall. The author and subject, William Kamkwamba, visited Auburn High School and Auburn University in November to discuss his story and sign books.
2013-14 Book Selection
    • Nobodies, written by John Bowe, examines three illegal workplaces in America and its commonwealths where employees are literally or virtually enslaved.

    • This book was selected to expose our students to injustices happening on American soil and to encourage informed discussion and action.

    • The Office of Sustainability and the campus chapter of the International Justice Mission provided programming about civil and human rights. There were many speakers and documentary screenings highlighting the plight of present-day slaves. The author, John Bowe, visited in September to discuss his book and talk about the steps the public can take to stop slavery.
2012-13 Book Selection
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot, tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cells, which changed the world of medical research.

  • Opposite of our previous selections, this book is about a woman and takes place in the US. This book was chosen because the many topics addressed in its pages provide ample opportunity for debate and critical thinking.

  • Anchored by programs in the Honors College and the Multicultural Office, there were many speakers, programs and films looking at the topics of race and bioethics. The year was capped off by a visit from Henrietta’s grandchildren, Kim and David, Jr. and the Director of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Ruth Faden.
2011-12 Book Selection
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains, written by Tracy Kidder, introduces us to Dr. Paul Farmer, an anthropologist and physician who has devoted his adult life to the medical care of the people in Haiti, Peru, and Russia who do not have access to adequate medical care otherwise.
  • The Auburn Connects! Committee selected this book because, like its predecessor, it provides a model of service for and encourages students to adopt a global worldview.
  • Numerous speakers led discussions on disparities in healthcare, Haiti, global service, and other related topics including a visit from author Tracy Kidder.



2010-11 Book Selection
  • Three Cups of Tea, written by David Oliver Relin, relates the story of Greg Mortenson's quest to build schools for both boys and girls in Pakistan and later Afghanistan.

  • The Auburn Connects! Committee selected this book because it provides a model of service for and encourages students to adopt a global worldview.

  • Campus enjoyed numerous speakers discussing education, service, relationships with these countries, and other related topics including a visit from Greg Mortenson, the subject of the book.


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