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April 25, 2019

The 2019–2020 Adelphi Community Reads Book Selection Announced

Every year, the Adelphi Community Reads Committee chooses a book that is given to incoming first-year students, with the rest of the community invited to read as well. During the fall semester, the Adelphi community was asked to nominate selections. This year’s committee of faculty members, administrators and staff reviewed the 36 nominations and decided on a final pool of eight books.

“Each member of the committee read a number of the finalists and we met multiple times to discuss our thoughts,” said Peter West, PhD, associate dean for general education and academic operations in the College of Arts and Sciences, who was recently appointed associate provost for student success, effective May 2019.

This year’s winner is Educated, by Tara Westover. “This compelling and well-regarded memoir tells the story of the author’s unique, complex and violent upbringing in Idaho as part of a family of Mormon survivalists,” said Dr. West. “After being homeschooled—and often not ‘schooled’ at all in any formal way—Westover eventually makes her way to college at Brigham Young University, where, as she faces the traditional pressures of college life, she gradually awakens to what it means to be ‘educated’ in nearly every sense of the word—piecing together disturbing truths about her family as well as the ideologies that shaped her upbringing. For example, she learns about the Holocaust and the civil rights movement for the first time in a college classroom.”

The book was chosen over such contenders as Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, by Edwidge Danticat; The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity, by Kwame Anthony Appiah; and The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, by Michael W. Twitty.

“We believe Westover’s book is an excellent selection for a number of reasons, including the fact that it offers several intellectual entry points for first-year seminars and other classes,” Dr. West said.

Educated will be introduced to incoming students at Orientation. Since the book is not yet available in paperback, the committee is working out the details of whether the text will be distributed in hard copy or digital format.


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