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Michael Schwartz Library

The Common Reading Experience 2013-2014


Life of Pi book cover

Looking for a copy of this book? Check to see what's available in the Michael Schwartz Library.

First-year students enrolled in ASC 101: Introduction to University Life will share the common experience of reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The goal of this common reading program is to create a shared learning experience that fosters student engagement, retention, and personal development beyond the classroom.  In pursuing this initiative, CSU joins college campuses throughout the country that make this part of the freshman year experience.  Although directed primarily at freshmen, we hope to engage the entire campus in this reading experience through promoting the book in other courses and sponsoring campus-wide activities to highlight the reading and its intersection with different disciplines and issues.

This year's book, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, is the Booker Prize winning novel about Pi Patel, the son of a zookeeper who has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. He sets sail from India to America aboard a Japanese cargo ship with his family and their zoo animals, but when the ship sinks, Pi escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.

Books chosen for the Common Reading Experience in previous years include:

  • 2012-2013: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • 2011-2012: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • 2010-2011: No Impact Man by by Colin Beavan
  • 2009-2010: Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
  • 2008-2009: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  • 2007-2008: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Hadden