Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility

Common Reading Archives

The Common Reading Program is an established start-of-school tradition at SMU. The incoming class receives the book during the summer at AARO and reads it before arriving for the start of the fall semester. First-year writing courses use the book as part of the curriculum for the fall semester.

Here you will find information on some of our past Common Readings.


2018   Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
2017   Evicted by Matthew Desmond
2016   Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
2015   Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
2014   We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
2013   The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
2012   The Big Short by Michael Lewis
2011   The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2010   Zeitoun by Dave Eggers 
2009   Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
2008   The Devil’s Highway by Luís Alberto Urrea
2007   How to Be Good by Nick Hornby
2006   The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
2005   Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America
2004   Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business