Open Books - Open Minds

It's time to vote!

The Open Books-Open Minds Committee invites the campus community to select from these top three titles for the 2016-2017 Common Book.

Follow this link to cast your vote by March 1, 2016 
Outside Link

Fun Home
by Alison Bechdel is an unusual memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist, offering a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father, a historic preservation expert dedicated to restoring the family's Victorian home, funeral home director, high-school English teacher, and closeted homosexual. Apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home" as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.



My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism by Maajid Nawaz with Tom Bromley chronicles the life of the former high-ranking member of a London-based Islamist group. Nawaz was setting up satellite groups in Pakistan, Denmark, and Egypt when he was rounded up in the aftermath of 9/11 along with many other radical Muslims. After spending five years in an Egyptian prison, he came out completely changed. Convinced that his entire belief system had been wrong, and determined to do something about it, he began a campaign to reverse extremism around the world.



The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr is the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. Carr describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—interweaving a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways.

The Open Books-Open Minds Committee is pleased to announce that the 2015-16 common book is:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2007)

“Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú - the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss” (Riverhead Books).

Upcoming Events

Oscar Wao Game Night!

Friday, February 26, 2016, Student Union Ballroom, 4 - 11 p.m.

Lecture by David Espinosa, History

Thursday, March 24, 2016, Alger 110, 2 - 4 p.m.

The Fifth Annual Open Books – Open Minds Conference, inspired by Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Friday, April 8, 2016, Student Union, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Featuring keynote lecture by award-winning visual artist, Freddy Rodríguez. Outside Link

Adobe PDFCall for papers, panels, and poster sessions

The conference is a great opportunity for students to get involved with the intellectual life of the college, connect with faculty members, and gain experience presenting their academic work.

Reference Department student assistant,
Hector Nunez in the OBOM Book Nook

OBOM Book Nook

Stop by the library to browse in the OBOM Book Nook. We have the top three titles for your reading pleasure. The OBOM committee welcomes your feedback on these selections and your suggestions for future books.

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Page last updated: November 30, 2015