About Penn State Reads
Penn State Reads provides a shared experience among new students, encouraging intellectual engagement within and beyond the classroom, stimulating critical thinking, and fostering a deeper connection to Penn State’s mission and core values.
First-year students at the University Park campus will receive a complimentary copy of the book at New Student Orientation. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to read the book and participate in the related planned events. Several campuses are also participating in a pilot of the program using the same text.
First-year students are asked to read the book before returning to campus for classes in August. Throughout the year, they will have an opportunity to attend featured lectures, participate in class conversations, attend programming in Residence Halls, and engage with other first-year students in dialogue about the concepts introduced in the book.
The 2016 incoming Penn State class will join author Dave Eggers in exploring the impact of technology on modern life by reading The Circle, the 2016-17 common book.
This dystopian novel raises important issues about technology, privacy, ethics, capitalism, and big data, and will help students consider what it means to live in a world where so much of our lives are captured through modern technologies.
Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He is known for the best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, and for his subsequent work as a novelist and screenwriter. He is also the founder of McSweeney’s, a literary journal, and the co-founder of the literacy project 826 Valencia. As a passionate advocate for social justice and equality, Eggers is also the co-founder of the human rights nonprofit Voice of Witness and the founder of ScholarMatch, a program that matches donors with students needing funds for college tuition.