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Go Big Read seeking book suggestions for 2021-22

November 11, 2020

A youth movement to address gun violence was the subject when Dave Cullen’s “Parkland” was chosen as the 2020-21 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 2021-22 year. Title suggestions will be accepted through Nov. 30 and can be made online.

Bucky Badger and Chancellor Rebecca Blank helped volunteers distribute copies of “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” in 2018, for that year’s Go Big Read program. Photo: Jeff Miller

Once again, the theme for Go Big Read is “contemporary issues” — topics such as technology, climate change, health care, inclusion, 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.

The 2020-21 Go Big Read events were virtual, in keeping with the requirements to keep the campus community safe during the pandemic. No decision has been made yet on the format for 2021-22.

Previous Go Big Read books include Deborah Blum’s “The Poison Squad” by Deborah Bloom, “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.

Here are some of the past books selected for the Go Big Read common reading program.