The UC Santa Barbara Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor are pleased to announce the selection of the 2022 UCSB Reads book, Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang.

Now in its 16th year, UCSB Reads brings the campus and Santa Barbara communities together to read a common book that explores compelling issues of our time.

Exhalation is a collection of nine science fiction short stories written in spare, dramatic prose that addresses essential questions about human life, including free will, fate, bioethics, time travel, virtual reality, cyborgs, and artificial intelligence.

Chiang combines speculative fiction and philosophy to imagine morally complex worlds with characters and dilemmas that (in the words of Joyce Carol Oates) will “linger in the memory the way riddles may linger—teasing, tormenting, illuminating, thrilling.” 

He has won more than two dozen prizes, including four Hugo, four Nebula, and four Locus awards, and has been featured in The Best American Short Stories. The Oscar-nominated film, Arrival, was based on a novella by Chiang called Story of Your Life.

UCSB Reads will launch in January with a book giveaway for students. From January through May, the Library will sponsor talks, panel discussions, film screenings, book clubs, and other events to explore the book’s themes. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate Exhalation into their winter or spring courses.

On May 10, UCSB Reads will culminate with a free, in-person lecture by Ted Chiang in Campbell Hall. This public lecture is presented in partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

If you wish to teach the book, participate in UCSB Reads programming, or support UCSB Reads 2022, please contact Alex Regan at

See details about UCSB Reads events, sponsorship, and more.

Thank you for reading, teaching, and learning along with us.

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. UCSB Reads is presented by the University Library, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and additional campus and community partners. 

If you are interested in sponsoring the UCSB Reads program, contact Heather Silva, Senior Director of Development at (805) 893-5732 or

For more information about UCSB Reads, or to participate in campus or community programming, contact Alex Regan, Events and Exhibitions Librarian, at or write to

Click here to subscribe to our e-newsletter and have information about upcoming UCSB Reads events delivered directly to your inbox.

To suggest a UCSB Reads 2023 title please use our online form.  

UCSB Reads Books:

2021: When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele
2020: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
2019: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
2018: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
2017: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
2016: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
2015: Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman
2014: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan
2013: Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
2012: Moby Duck: The True Story of 28,000 Bath Toys Lost at Sea, and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools--Including the Author--Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn
2011: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2010: Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
2009: Ethics for the New Millennium by Dalai Lama
2008: The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli
2007: Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert

UCSB Reads 2022 Advisory Committee:

Graduate Student, English
Lupita Barragan UCSB Alumni
Ines D. Casillas Faculty, Chicana and Chicano Studies
Brian Donnelly Faculty, English
Jackson Eddy UCSB Undergraduate Student
UCSB Undergraduate Student
Allison Gray Director, Goleta Valley Public Library
Michelle Grue Faculty, College of Creative Studies and Writing Program
Emily Jacobs Faculty, Psychological & Brain Sciences
Aaron Jones Director, Educational Opportunity Program
Faculty, Bren School
Dylan Martinez UCSB Undergraduate Student
Patrick McCray Faculty, History
Maria Napoli Community College Programs Manager, Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships
Erin Nerstad Associate Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
Sharleen O'Brien Director, UCSB Health and Wellness
Caitlin O'Hara Senior Publicist, UCSB Arts & Lectures
Sameer Pandya Faculty, Asian-American Studies
Behrooz Parhami Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Kathy Patterson Faculty, Writing Program
David Pellow
Faculty, Environmental Studies
UCSB Librarian