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K-State Book Network (KSBN)


KSBN’s purpose is to help guide the transition from high school to college by giving students a common experience around a book and guided academic and social activities that can be shared with professors, staff, administrators, and other students when they arrive on campus.

Nomination Process

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020-21 common book. We are looking for books that meet our criteria and fit the theme of “STEM Stories" - books that share the untold stories and/or underrepresented people in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The nomination form will close June 28, 2019.

All nominations will be posted on this page a few days after they are submitted. See nominations from the past years at the Past Nominations page.

How we pick books

The selection committee, made up of students, staff, and faculty, reviews nominations and narrows down the list of titles to one. Their work officially begins in the summer and ends in November.

Selection Timeline
Spring 2019Select a theme
Form a committee
Solicit book nominations
Summer 2019Review book samples and narrow to 12 
Fall 2019Read books and narrow to 3
Solicit campus feedback the top 3 books
Rank titles and get feedback from the Provost
Spring 2020Announce the book 

Nominated for the 2020-21 academic year

Semiosis - Sue Burke

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley's Masterpiece - Roseanne Montillo

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded - Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Leland Purvis

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb - Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

High Price - Carl Hart

The Optimist's Telescope - Bina Venkataraman

Memory of Water - Emmi Itäranta

The Water Knife - Paolo Bacigalupi

Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary - Linus Torvalds and David Diamond

Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines - Richard A. Muller

Educated - Tara Westover

The Unwinding of the Miracle - Julie Yip-Williams

Breaking Night - Liz Murray

How to Bake Pi: An edible exploration of mathematics -Eugenia Cheng, Ph.D.

A Country Doctor - Sarah Orne Jewett

The Book of Lights - Chaim Potok

The Radium Girls - Kate Moore

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II - Liza Mundy

My Brief History - Hawking, Stephen

Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism - Dawn Prince-Hughes Ph.D.

Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel - Jason Padgett

Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances - Leland Melvin

Flight Of The Gin Fizz: Midlife At 4,500 Feet - Henry Kisor

Fallout - Jim Ottaviani, Janine Johnston, Steve Lieber, Vince Locke, Bernie Mireault and Jeff Parker

The Andromeda Strain  Michael Crichton 

Losers in Space - John Barnes

WoolHugh Howey 

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First ComputerSydney Padua

Hidden FiguresMargot Lee Shetterly 

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach

The Good Food Revolution - Will Allen

The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight - Martha Ackmann

Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic Of 1918 And The Search For The Virus That Caused It - Gina Kolata

Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe Mike Massimino 

The Science Education of American Girls - Kim Tolley 

Alan Turing: The Enigma - Andrew Hodges

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

Autonomous - Annalee Newitz 

The Martian - Andy Weir

Lab Girl - Hope Jahren 

The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa

An Abundance of Katherines - John Green

The Three Body Problem - Cixin Liu