Loyola University Chicago

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Past Finalists

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.