“Genius” Grant Winner Matthew Desmond on Eviction, Poverty and Profit in the American City

9780553447439By Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown, March 2016)

Request an advanced reader’s copy: email rhacademic@penguinrandomhouse.com with your name, college and course information.

I began this project because I wanted to write a different kind of book about poverty in America. Instead of focusing exclusively on poor people or poor places, I began searching for a process that involved poor and well-off people alike. Eviction—the forced removal of families from their homes—was such a process. Little did I know, at the outset, how immense this problem was, or how devastating its consequences. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Essay, Hear it from them!, One to Watch - New books on the rise!

The Hidden Opportunities of Rejection

9780804141383By Jia Jang, author of Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection (Harmony, April 2015)

We all fear rejection, no matter where we are in our lives. Some of us get used to it eventually, and some of us never lose the fear. Yet for college students, after they leave the protective comfort of their families, rejections start to have a real impact on their lives. Whether it’s social rejections within peer groups, romantic rejections from dates, or career rejections from potential employers, the experience of rejection can all leave long-lasting pain and effect. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Essay

The Power of Facing Uncertainty

169051_holmes_jamieBy Jamie Holmes, author of Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing (Crown, 2015)

One of my favorite college professors once offered a bit of wisdom. The best moments in life, he told me, are those where you’re so challenged and engaged that you can feel your capacities growing in real time. In my own life, these periods—some of the most precious—have also been the most overwhelming and bizarre: moving to the south side of Chicago, being thrown into a German school at 11, or teaching high school in Romania. It always felt that I wasn’t so much living these experiences, as that they were somehow invading my life, disputing the way I saw the world, and changing me forever. For many students, freshman year feels that way. It certainly did for me. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Essay

Author Ron Suskind reflects on A Hope in the Unseen: a common reading classic, now more relevant than ever

9780767901260By Ron Suskind, author of A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League (Broadway Books, 1999)

Two decades ago, I went to the toughest school  I could find in America. It happened to be in my hometown, Washington, DC, where I was the national affairs reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Bill Clinton was President, an economic boom was beginning, and despite the OJ Simpson verdict and Rodney King’s plea to “just get along,” there was reasoned  optimism that progress in race relations was underway, slow but steady, with a growing African-American middle class and opportunities borne of affirmative action. I found a young man, a big dreamer with a dad in jail and a struggling mom, and followed him, his family, and an ensemble of characters, several of them white and privileged, for four years. The yield-a Pulitzer  Prize­ winning series and then best-selling book, A Hope in the Unseen-were works that I hoped would last, and they did. Like The Other Wes Moore or Bryan Stevenson‘s Just Mercy, Hope was a favorite of the common reading experience and went on to sell a half-million copies. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Essay

Each Of Us Is More Than The Worst Thing We’ve Ever Done: Just Mercy With Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson -- credit Nina SubinBy Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau, October 2014)

My grandmother was the daughter of people who were enslaved in Caroline County, Virginia. She was born in the 1880s, her parents in the 1840s, and the legacy of slavery very much shaped her and the things she would say to me. When I visited my grandmother, she would hug me so tightly I could barely breathe. After a little while, she would ask me, “Bryan, do you still feel me hugging you?” If I said yes, she’d let me be; if I said no, she would assault me again. I said no a lot because it made me happy to be wrapped in her formidable arms. She never tired of pulling me to her. “You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance, Bryan. You have to get close,” she told me all the time. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under about us, Author Essay, award winners, One Book, Top Adoptions

Northern Arizona University Creates Exciting Materials for Common Reading Program

9780812984965When members of the class of 2019 arrive at Northern Arizona University in the Fall, they will participate in conversations on Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson’s intimate and unforgettable narrative journey into the broken American criminal justice system.

NAU has created robust materials to augment discussions: A bubble chart to explore key themes such as “doing uncomfortable things”, “protecting the hope dynamic” and “changing the narrative”; Chapter map to parse out topics and connect them with text; and a bookmark complete with author appearance date.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under about us, In the News, Top Adoptions

Shifting Our Perspective on Rejection with Jia Jiang

Rejection Proof guides us to think differently about what we can accomplish.

Rejection Proof shows us how to think differently about what we can accomplish

Rejection Proof (Harmony, April 2014) author Jia Jiang

Jia Jiang











Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. But despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed, and spiraled into a period of deep self doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis and learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under In the News