Common Reading Experience Accepting Nominations for 2024 Book  

Submit suggestions for next year's selection by Nov. 10 

Dave Isay (right), radio producer and author, poses for a photo with Hanny Zermeno, a freshman English major from Hattiesburg, during a book signing following the annual Fall Convocation. Isay’s book ‘Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work’ was selected as the 2023-24 Common Reading Experience book. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Every new student in the 2024-25 class of the University of Mississippi will have the same first homework assignment: Complete the Common Reading Experience.

Since 2011, students, staff and faculty have suggested the book that will be delivered to incoming freshmen and transfer students ahead of their first year at Ole Miss. The chosen book is integrated into classroom discussions and in EDHE classes throughout the school year, and the author invited to speak at Freshman Convocation.

Nominations for the 2024-25 Common Reading Experience are open through Nov. 10. 

The purpose of the Common Reading Experience is to help unify the campus around a piece of literature and to provoke thought on important topics like dedication, purpose and perseverance, said Stephen Monroe, chair of writing and rhetoric and co-chair of the Common Reading Experience Steering Committee. 

“For more than 10 years each fall, our campus community has selected and read a common book,” Monroe said. “The University of Mississippi is, first and foremost, an academic endeavor. We value scholarship and learning, and the Common Reading Experience is one way to celebrate these values.

“We invite faculty, students, staff, and alumni to forward nominations. Please help us find a great book for next year.” 

Recommended books should be fewer than 400 pages, written by a living author in the last five years, accessible in paperback to readers of all reading levels and written by an author who is available to visit campus and interact with students.

In August, author and noted radio producer Dave Isay visited campus to speak about his book, “Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work,” the 2023-24 Common Reading Experience selection.

Previous authors on the university’s reading list include: John Green, author of “The Anthropocene Reviewed”; UM professor Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of “World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments”; Matthew Desmond, who penned “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”; and Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat, with his memoir “The Education of a Lifetime.”