Williams Reads is looking for suggestions.

The Williams Reads committee is looking for student input in choosing next years book. All of your book suggestions are welcome. To familiarize yourself with what kind of a book we are looking for, here are a few excerpts from the Williams Reads mission statement:

“to foster new connections among students, staff, faculty, and community members by exploring diversity through a common reading experience.”

“explore a book together that will help us to celebrate and deepen our appreciation of diversity.”

“select a book that will stimulate community engagement and challenging conversation.”

This is your chance to really challenge and provoke the Williams community by choosing a book that will make us think.

My comments are the same as usual.

1) I like the idea of Williams Reads, of bringing the larger community together in a shared intellectual event, a Mountain Day for the mind. Who came up with the idea? That Eph deserves some praise.

2) I worry that Williams Reads, instead of being just a shared book event, also tries to be centered around diversity issues. It’s as if the College required that Mountain Day feature a reading of “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” There is nothing wrong with knapsacks, invisible or otherwise, but it would be unhelpful to conflate Mountain Day with political issues.

3) There is nothing wrong with having any given Williams Reads use a diversity-related book. The problem is that, as best I can tell, Williams Reads requires the use of such a book. We have had three Williams Reads, featuring three non-white authors writing about three non-white protagonists.

But enough about me. What book would you recommend?

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