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Dear braintrust: Let's say that you are involved in picking a book… 
20th-Aug-2011 04:25 pm
book3
Dear braintrust:

Let's say that you are involved in picking a book for freshmen to read the summer before they start university, culminating in a discussion event the weekend before classes start. Let's further say that the school is:

- 2/3 female
- 14% GLBTQ (that's the number that actively self-identifies as such; my guess is that it's more like 20 to 25%)
- 25% African American, and only 60% white, with everyone else being distributed between all other categories, for undergraduates
- and that 75 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $6,332
(2005 numbers for the most part, I'm having trouble finding newer on the fly)

It can be fiction or non-fiction; what would you recommend?
Comments 
21st-Aug-2011 03:14 am (UTC)
The Help.

Fiction, insightful, an easy read, but with lots to think about. It grew my brain quite a lot about race relations in our nation's fairly recent history. One of the best modern fiction books I have read, possibly ever.
21st-Aug-2011 03:17 am (UTC)
That should have been,

The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

They are making a movie from it, which makes me slightly wary, but I really enjoyed the book.
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22nd-Aug-2011 05:54 am (UTC)
I poked my friend Mary Anne, who (among other things) is a professor in the English department & the Asian studies department at University of Illinois. Hoping she'll have time to pop over & recommend some titles!
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