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Common Reading

In previous years a book was chosen each year by the Lilly Center and provided free of charge to all freshmen as well as to any interested upper class students, faculty or staff. Although this program has been discontinued, the books are still available in the Lilly Center's coffee house. The common reading is a work that supports the goals of the Lilly Center.

Many professors refered to the common reading during freshmen seminar programs. They were also used as a source of topics for faculty/staff retreats, for the Lilly freshmen retreats prior to enrollment, and as supplementary reading in other courses at the college. Student organizations frequently used the common reading as a basis for their own programs.

Feel free to come by and check out any of these books and many more in the Lilly Center Library!

Common Reading Selections

palmer.jpgLet Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
by Parker J. Palmer

With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leading toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.


Living a Life That Matters
by Harold S. Kushner 

kushner.jpgHarold S. Kushner (bestselling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People) outlines a common human struggle between the need to feel successful and the need to think of oneself as a good person. Indeed, he relates, the biblical Jacob wrestled with the impulse to succeed through cleverness and fraud, and "to become someone exemplary." While the subtitle might be challenged can't success be more a matter of dedication than ruthlessness? Kushner's wide-ranging, occasionally meandering book fortunately focuses more on the basic question of a meaningful life. Drawing on the stories of his congregants, on literature, and current events, and above all, the Biblical story of Jacob, Kushner addresses some of the most persistent dilemmas of the human condition: Why do decent people so often violate their moral standards? How can we pursue justice without giving in to the lure of revenge? How can we turn our relationships with family and friends into genuine sources of meaning? Persuasive and sympathetic, filled with humanity and warmth, Living a Life That Matters is a deep rewarding book.

The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days buechner2.jpg
by Frederick Buechner

The Sacred Journey reflects on key moments of the Buechner's early life, from childhood to his entering seminary, that reveal how God speaks to us in a variety of ways every moment of every day.