Go Big Read seeking book suggestions for 2020-21

November 6, 2019 By Käri Knutson
Photo: Blank handing book to student

Chancellor Rebecca Blank helps distribute complimentary copies of “The Poison Squad,” the 2019-20 selection for Go Big Read, at Convocation. Photo: Bryce Richter

Food safety was the subject served when Deborah Blum’s “The Poison Squad” was chosen as the 2019-20 Go Big Read Book.

What’s next on the literary menu? That could be up to you.

UW-Madison’s common reading program is seeking submissions for the 2020-21 year. Title suggestions will be accepted through Nov. 30 and can be made online.

Once again, the theme for Go Big Read is “contemporary issues” — topics such as technology, climate change, health care, or any other issue that’s spurring conversation.

Books can be fiction or nonfiction. The ideal selection should have the following qualities:

  • Be readable, relevant, engaging and well written.
  • Appeal to people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Encompass sufficient depth and scope to generate discussions from different points of view.
  • Be conducive to teaching and learning, and offer opportunities for integration into academic programs.
  • Lend itself to a variety of activities and programming.

The book might also have a subject or author with a Wisconsin connection, an author who may be able to visit campus, cross-disciplinary appeal, and promote the Wisconsin Experience by engaging “issues that matter.”

After the submission period ends, a review committee will read and discuss the suggested books before making recommendations to Chancellor Rebecca Blank, who will make the final selection.

Previous Go Big Read books include “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan, “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, “Evicted”by Matthew Desmond, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai and “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki.

The Go Big Read Program is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor.