Shared reading: Shared Reading

Every year, all first-year students at Xavier read the same book and discuss and reflect upon it in their Freshman Seminar classes. Incoming students are provided with copies of the book when they arrive on campus. Throughout the year, all members of the Xavier community are encourage to read and discuss the book and the issues it addresses. These discussions are enhanced through our Reading Connexions series, through which Xavier hosts authors, speakers, and films screenings related to the shared reading. Through this shared reading, we gain not only a better sense of the book but a better sense of each other.

This Year's Shared Reading

Salvage the Bones

For the 2015/2016 academic year, the Xavier community has chosen Salvage the Bones, the award-winning novel by Mississippi Gulf Coast native Jesmyn Ward. In Salvage the Bones, Ward gives us the Batiste family: Esch, a pregnant fourteen-year-old, her teenage brothers, and their alcoholic father, who are watching Hurricane Katrina brew over the Gulf. Set in the twelve days immediately surrounding the arrival of the hurricane, Salvage the Bones is at its heart the story of four motherless children, trying to protect their home and one another against unimaginable disruption. Drawing on her own experiences as a survivor of Katrina, Ward offers a troubling but ultimately empowering tale of familial bonds in the face of overwhelming circumstances.

You can read more about the book and the author and find additional resources on our Salvage the Bones pages

Previous Shared Readings

Since 2007, Xavier has used the idea of a shared reading as a means of helping our first-year students make the transition to college life. Over the past five years, this project has expanded to become something that can help bring the entire university community together. Below are the books that have been read over the past few years. Click on the cover for more information about each.

The Paradox of Choice
Why New Orleans Matters
Dreams of My Father
Mountains Beyond Mountains
Fast Food Nation
The Other Wes Moore
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana