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About This Blog

This blog is a forum for the HSU community to share information and comments concerning news, events and resources relating to the HSU/CR Book of the Year. For 2011-12 the book is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help.

Tony López, HSU Librarian, is the blog owner.

HSU Book of the Year Committee 2011-12

Richard Bruce, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Administration

Prof. Mary Ann Creadon, Chair, English Department

Prof. Laura Hahn, Communication Department

Tony López, Arts & Humanities Librarian

Prof. Laurie Winter,  English Department & BOY class teacher


Humboldt State University Book of the Year Mission Statement (Draft)

Why a Book of the Year

Humboldt State University recognizes that a community that reads together shares a uniquely human experience. The role of the University as a forum for the free exchange of ideas is fulfilled by a literate populace who can read, debate, and think critically. The very definition of a culture is a group of people who share a language and a collection of ‘stories.’

In an effort to build community and a shared culture, Humboldt State University has embraced the idea of the Book of the Year—an agreed upon title to be thoughtfully read and discussed by all interested members of our academic family—students, faculty, and staff. Those of us participating in the Book of the Year do so because we recognize that literature, like all art, has the power to inform, capture the human spirit, expose the human condition, feed the imagination, grip the emotions, and allow us into the lives of others both alike and different from ourselves.

Criteria for Choosing the HSU Book of the Year

  1. The book chosen can be either fiction or non-fiction as long as it is ‘artfully’ written. Literature, like all the arts, relies on conventions determined by an educated community of readers to be accepted as successful.
  2. The book chosen should have the capacity to appeal to a wide range of readers; it should not be chosen for instruction in any particular course, but should reflect content, theme, setting, plot or events, and characters embodying universal concerns.
  3. The book chosen should have the ability to widen the readers’ world-views, and allow readers to learn more about themselves while discovering persons or characters from diverse environments.
  4. The book chosen should be suitable in length, difficulty, and uniqueness to readers from not only Humboldt State, but also College of the Redwoods, freshmen through graduate students, instructors, staff, and community members.

Previous Choices:

  • 2010-11   Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
  • 2009-10 Parable of the Sower by Olivia Butler
  • 2008-09  Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • 2007-08  A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines
  • 2006-07 Grand Avenue by Greg Sarris & Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle