Based on faculty, staff, and student nominations, the Rambler Read Book Selection Committee reviews a number of fantastic books before choosing the Rambler Read. Below are the finalists from year's past:
Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in.
The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui. An evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape from Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele. Sheds new light on American social phenomena, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Moore. Shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city's South Side; with a memoirist's eye, she showcases the lives of these communities through the stories of people who reside there.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. An unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.