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‘Go Big Read’ seeking book suggestions for 2023-24

December 14, 2022 By Käri Knutson
Collage of past Go Big Read book covers

A collage of past Go Big Read book covers.

Clint Smith, author of the 2022-23 Go Big Read selection “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America,” took readers to his hometown of New Orleans, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Angola Prison to illustrate how some of our country’s most essential stories hide in plain view and how much we can gain, if only we take the time to notice them.

Where will the next Go Big Read book take readers? That could be up to you.

UW–Madison’s common reading program is seeking title suggestions of any book relating to contemporary issues of broad interest to the campus community. For next year’s selection, Go Big Read is especially interested in considering books that explore one or more of the following topics: free speech and contemporary society and politics; the effects of polarization in our society; and the opportunities for and challenges of creating community in a pluralist culture that values both free speech and inclusion.

Submissions can be made through Jan. 6 on the Go Big Read website. 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 Jennifer L. Mnookin, who will make the final selection.

Previous Go Big Read books include “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi, “Parkland” by Dave Cullen, “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan, “The Poison Squad” by Deborah Blum and “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond.

The Go Big Read program is an initiative of the Office of the Chancellor. It engages members of the campus community and beyond in a shared, academically focused reading experience.

Tags: Go Big Read