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K-State Book Network (KSBN)

2014 Book Suggestions

Below are titles of books students, staff, faculty, and community members think would be a good common book for first year students to read in 2014. If you would like to add a title to this list read over our selection criteria and tell us your suggestion

TitleReason it should be considered

Our Daily Bread-
Noel Vietmeyer

The book would be an exciting choice for those with an interest in a global perspective on food, the Land-Grant University, the Green Revolution, and sustainability.

600 Hours of Edward

-Craig Lancaster

I stumbled upon the most amazing book…I think it should be considered for a future first-year reading text.  The author seems very accessible…this is an incredible summer read for you!

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

Travel as a Political Act

-Rick Steves











-Easy and enjoyable to read; good length.

-Ties in with the 2025 common element of internationalizing K-State and the K-State community; this is a way we can start to bring a type of international experience to those who cannot leave campus, and hopefully inspire students, faculty, staff to go abroad and get involved in international activities on campus.

-Can help connect K-State with its international student population, which is often over looked and often disconnected from the rest of campus.

-Interdepartmental - the book ties in writing, literature, political science, international relations, global business, health, psychology, intercultural communication, leadership studies, and more.

-It will be very thought and discussion provoking because of some of the topics it brings up, such as health care and social policies in other countries.

-It would also be easy to tie in other presentations, movies, etc about the topic.

-It also touches on perceptions of the Middle East, which is very relevant and a needed discussion to be had.

-Finally, I think that the material in the book (which could be considered sensitive topics) is handled in a respectful way that doesn't say what was is right or wrong.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator


-Michael T. Dolan

A day in the life of a college freshman, this novels tackles themes relevant to all across all disciplines. Plus, a highly entertaining read sure to spark lively discussions.

Nominator - Community Member

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

-Tiffany Baker

Fascinating story of multi generational family dynamics, community life, young woman born with acromegaly and in poverty faces ostracism due to appearance. A bit of mysticism, natural herbal and plant healer v. medicine...love and loss.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

A Sand County Almanac

-Aldo Leopold

The environment is currently a hot topic. This book is a great way to appreciate the environment without all of the politics. Although an easy read, it uses advanced vocabulary which would provide an academic challenge.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

-Farahad Zama

This book is charming and full of insight into how arranged marriages are selected. It was a fantastic read.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

The Fault in Our Stars

-John Green

I have not yet read this book, but everything I have heard about it makes me think that it would be absolutely perfect for KSBN. It is purportedly highly engaging and transformative. 

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

The Obesity Reality

-Dr. Naheed Ali

Just thought it would make a great addition to our library system. Thanks.


Enrique's Journey

-Sonia Nazario


Gives a world view of struggles young people face in Central America and Mexico and their fight to enjoy the American freedoms we may take for granted along with issues of debate surrounding immigration policies and family issues and cultural differences important to Hispanic and other cultures.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change

-Roger Thurow


This would complement our university-wide Global Food Systems initiative very well. It exposes students to the problems of hunger and poverty, but is appealing to a very broad audience.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

-Junot Diaz


Funny. Author of color who could come to campus. Pulitzer Prize winner. Funny.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator



-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 



"It is not a stretch to say that her finely observed new book, which combines perfectly calibrated social satire and heartfelt emotion, stands with Invisible Man and The Bluest Eye as a defining work about the experience of being black in America."--Ruth Franklin WOW! That is some high praise to put this book alongside Morrison and Ellison! National Book Critics Circle Award winner. Author of color.

Nominator - Faculty/Staff/Administrator