Community Read

The Simmons Community Read is designed to engage the campus community, generate robust discussions, and foster the exchange of different ideas and perspectives. The program takes place during the fall semester. The Community Read program typically includes a book club, thematic panels, classroom discussions, and an author keynote and Q&A. For more information, email [email protected].

Community Read Nominations

If you are interested in recommending a book for the Community Read, fill out the Community Read Book Nomination Form. Nominations should meet the following criteria:

  • May be fiction, nonfiction, or memoir
  • Has the potential to engage students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i from different disciplines and backgrounds
  • Explores themes and topics that may be relevant to first year undergraduates
  • Illuminates broad social, environmental, and/or cultural topics
  • Encourages reflection and discussion in a variety of courses and contexts
  • Invites readers to consider topics from diverse perspectives
  • Books written by women-identified or non-binary authors of color and/or otherwise underrepresented authors are strongly encouraged. We will not consider books with heavy partisan politics.

Spotlight on the Community Read

Photo of Author and Journalist, Catherine Price; Book Cover for "How to Break Up With Your Phone"

President Wooten’s 10 Takeaways from How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price

Check out President Wooten's takeaways from the Community Read, and join us TONIGHT for a conversation and book signing with author Catherine Price!

Headshot of Yaa Gyasi

Simmons University Hosts Virtual Conversation with Best-Selling Author Yaa Gyasi

Gyasi's sophomore novel, "Transcendent Kingdom," was selected as the fall 2021 Community Read and the event’s central topic. Assistant Dean Gary Bailey and Gyasi discussed several themes from her novel, including the complex idea of identity.

Photo of Yaa Gyasi and screenshot of her book, Trancendent Kingdom

President Wooten's 5 Takeaways from Yaa Gyasi's "Transcendent Kingdom"

President Wooten shares her takeaways from this fall’s Community Read, "Transcendent Kingdom." Yaa Gyasi's powerful novel serves as a moving portrait of a Ghanaian immigrant family as they grapple with faith, science, religion, and love.

Photo of Ibram X. Kendi

Simmons University Hosts Virtual Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi’s bestselling book, "How to Be an Antiracist," was selected as the Spring 2021 Community Read and the event’s central topic. President Wooten and Kendi discussed several themes from his book, including defining racism, intersectionality, and identity.