UCSB Reads 2021 logo on top of book spines

The UCSB Reads Committee has announced its shortlist of titles under consideration for UCSB Reads 2021. This year, in recognition of the extraordinary and necessary attention to race in this country, all the titles grapple with race. The list includes memoirs, a novel, a book of poetry, and for the first time ever, a podcast.

UCSB Reads is an award-winning campus-wide and community-wide “one book” program. The selection committee includes UCSB faculty, staff, students, and community partners who convene to select an intellectually stimulating, interdisciplinary book by a living author that appeals to a wide range of readers and can be incorporated into UCSB curriculum. Their final pick will be announced in the fall.

The selections are (in alphabetical order): 

  1. 1619 the 5-episode podcast by Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times

  2. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates  

  3. Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

  4. Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey

  5. The City We Became by NK Jemisin

  6. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele

To share your input with the committee, vote for your top pick here. One winner chosen at random will receive a free copy of the final selection.

Now in its 15th year, the UCSB Reads program kicks off at the beginning of the winter quarter with a book giveaway and culminates in a public lecture with the author in the spring. A variety of free events, both online and in-person, will be held along the way to engage UCSB and the community-at-large around the book’s themes.

If you are a UCSB faculty member who is interested in teaching one of these titles, please contact Alex Regan at aregan@ucsb.edu. If you would like to support the UCSB Reads program, please contact Heather Silva at heathersilva@ucsb.edu