The Lewis Common Reader engages students and faculty across the entire campus in reading, research, and discussion about pressing issues facing our campus community and society. Each year, lectures and workshops related to the Common Reader allow faculty to share their expertise about issues raised in the Common Reader and students to share in-process research related to the Reader.

The 2020-21 Common Reader--Texts on Social Justice in Our Times--is a compilation of faculty-selected texts that invite the Lewis community to live our mission value of Justice in a time of quickly-evolving social, political, and environmental circumstances. Those texts are available here.


The goals of Lewis University’s First Year Common Reader Program were adopted by the Common Reader Committee in December of 2006:

  • Create a sense of community
  • Promote discussion
  • Set academic expectations for students
  • Provide a shared intellectual experience
  • Encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue
  • Increase faculty-student interaction
  • Promote critical engagement with ideas
  • Encourage reading among first year students
Year Title Author
2020 Texts on Social Justice In Our Times An anthology of texts submitted by Lewis faculty
2019 Educated Tara Westover
2018 Saving Lives in Auschwitz: The Prisoners’ Hospital in Buna-Monowitz Dr. Ewa Bacon
(Professor Emerita of History, Lewis University)
2017 Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists Courtney E. Martin
2016 Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream Joshua Davis
2015 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon
 2014 The New Kings of Nonfiction Ira Glass, Editor
2013 The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros
2012 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot
2011 Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream Adam Shepard
2010 Garbage Land Elizabeth Royte
2009 The Devil in the White City Erik Larson
2008 Persepolis II Marjane Satrapi
2007 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon
2004 & 2005 Life of Pi Yann Martel

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Lenaghan
Library Director 

Dr. Tom McNamara
Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum and the Writing Center