Reading in Common Program Honored

Posted on January 24th, 2011 by

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was the Reading in Common book for 2010.

The Reading in Common program at Gustavus Adolphus College and its community partner, the St. Peter Reads program, will be awarded the 2010 Human Rights Award from the Saint Peter Human Rights Commission on Feb. 28.

The award is being presented in recognition of the impact the two programs have had on furthering human rights in the Saint Peter community during 2010. Megan Ruble, Director of Student Activities and Coordinator of the Reading in Common program, will accept the award at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28 at the beginning of the regular Saint Peter City Council meeting.

“From its early beginnings, the Reading in Common program has been a very successful endeavor at Gustavus,” Ruble said. “Our partnership with St. Peter Reads has allowed the program to grow in terms of scope and influence over the years and this award recognizes that. It’s a tremendous honor.”

The Reading in Common program at Gustavus has been in existence since 2000. All first-year students are expected to read a chosen book during the summer and then meet with faculty members and upperclass students during New Student Orientation to discuss it. New Student Orientation is also loosely based around the themes found in the book.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by author Jamie Ford served as the 2010 Reading in Common selection. Ford’s historical fiction novel is set in Seattle during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history as Japanese immigrants were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. Past Reading in Common books have dealt with justice themes such as immigration, oppressive government, environmentalism, and war. A committee is currently in the process of selecting the Reading in Common book for 2011.

Here is a complete list of past Reading in Common books:

2010: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

2009: Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

2008: Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China by John Pomfret

2007: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

2006: Honky by Dalton Conley

2005: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

2004: When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

2003: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

2002: The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill

2001: The Chosen by Chaim Potok

2000: The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

For more information about the Reading in Common program at Gustavus, go online to or contact Ruble at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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