Suggested Books for 2021-2022 Campus Reading Program

  1. A People’s Future of the United States by Eds. Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
  2. Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America by John Lewis
  3. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  4. Finding LatinX: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos
  5. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
  6. Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower by Damien Duffy
  7. On the Other Side of Freedom by DeRay Mckesson
  8. Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin
  9. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood by Janet Mock
  10. Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson
  11. Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation by John Freeman



  • Must be well written and engaging,
  • Must offer topics and themes conducive to stimulating thoughtful discussion, calling for critical thinking about ideas, issues, practices, values, traditions, relationships, or beliefs.
  • Must speak in a meaningful manner to our target audience (the entire campus community, but also newly entering freshmen we wish to win over to participating in and supporting a culture or reading).
  • Must provide connecting opportunities for cross- and interdisciplinary corollary lectures, activities, presentations, and/or performances to encourage integration across wide and diverse sections of the SJSU community (and perhaps into a range of different class assignment possibilities).
  • Must have received some critical praise or acclaim, with some evidence of popularity or the potential for popularity.
  • Must be published within the last five years.
  • Must be available in paperback by the time book orders for Summer Orientation sessions are due.
  • Must not be made into a film before or during the year of its selection.
  • Must not exceed 300 pages.
  • Might speak to a significant “hot topic” current social issue, might have a special or particular tie to our campus history or local city and area culture and history.

(NOTE– On issues such as date of publication or page length, if the selection is extremely strong in other areas and gets very positive support from a majority of the committee, these criteria can be waived.)