What are Common Readings?

“Common readings” play a strong role at many universities across the nation. Common Readings connect students to their peers and their campus. They promote critical thinking skills and discussion capabilities, and can be considered a “common intellectual experience,” one of the high impact educational practices recognized by AAC&U to benefit college students from many backgrounds (Kuh, 2008).

MSU Denver’s own common reading program, 1 Book/1 Project/2 Transform, was developed in 2010.

Mikkilynn Olmsted from the English department speaks about her experience.


María Rey-López from the Spanish department speaks about her experience.


Past Common Readings Featured At MSU Denver

The 1 Book/1 Project/2 Transform program has featured the following books and authors:

  • The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez
  • Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homelessness to Harvard by Liz Murray
  • Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
  • Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe
  • Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World by Doc Hendley
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
  • Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets by Carissa Phelps
  • The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, & Communities by Will Allen
  • Little Three Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
  • In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
  • The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Better Planet by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
  • Sabrina & Corina by MSU Denver alumna Kali Fajardo-Anstine
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
  • Good Talk by Mira Jacob
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
  • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Luong Ung