Ninety-three percent of top universities assign a “common reading” to new college students, reports the National Association of Scholars in Back from the Beach: 100 New Books by Ashley Thorne.
President Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, selected by Quinnipiac University and the University of Washington in 2009, was dropped in 2010.
§ The book with the biggest leap in popularity from June to September is Outcasts United, a story about a group of refugee boys from different countries in Africa and the Middle East who settle in Clarkston, Georgia and are discovered by a Jordanian woman who forms them into a soccer team.
§ Two other top books had a spike in popularity: This I Believe (and This I Believe II), the NPR-assembled anthology that was already the most frequently selected book for common reading; and Persepolis, a graphic novel (comic book) about a girl living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The society/poverty/women category surged with a number of books exploring “social justice.”