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Go Big Read seeking submissions for 10th year

November 15, 2017 By Käri Knutson
Photo: Rebecca Blank handing book to student

Chancellor Rebecca Blank distributes copies of the Go Big Read selection for 2015-16. A review committee reads and discusses each year’s submissions and the chancellor, whose office sponsors the program, makes the final decision. Photo: Bryce Richter

Go Big Read started nearly a decade ago and has grown to be one of the largest college common reading programs. It has gotten the Madison community reading and discussing timely topics, all with a goal of gaining a better understanding of each other and the issues.

Book submissions are now being taken for the 2018-19 year, which will celebrate the 10th year of the program. Title suggestions will be accepted through Dec. 15 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 ideal 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 spend a month reading and discussing the suggested books before making recommendations to Chancellor Rebecca Blank, who will make the final selection.

Previous Go Big Read books include “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, “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.