U.S. News & World Report Recommends 9 Penguin Random House Titles in Their List of “10 Books to Read Before College”

By Spenser Stevens | July 19 2021 | College & University ReadsCommunity Reads

U.S. News & World Report, which publishes the most widely quoted annual set of rankings for American colleges and universities, recently shared their list of “10 Books to Read Before College.” Describing these books as “assigned texts [that] are regularly used in freshman-level classes and offer students a chance to come together to discuss a book they’ve all read,” the list includes nine titles published by Penguin Random House and Penguin Random House distribution partners, including:


Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 

Selected for common reading at: Northern Illinois University; the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor; Indiana University Kelley School of Business; Oklahoma City University; Syracuse University; Washington, State University; and many more


Educated by Tara Westover 

Selected for common reading at: Harvard University; New York University; University of California, Berkeley; University of South Carolina; and many more


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Selected for common reading at: University of California – Berkeley; New York University; Vassar College; Ramapo College; Georgetown University; University of Utah; Skidmore College; Chaffey College; Penn State Altoona; Pomona College; Connecticut College; Rhode Island College; Eastern Mennonite University; Muhlenberg College; St. Francis University; Smith College, and many more


How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Selected for common reading at: Skidmore College; Cornell University, Temple University College of Public Health, University of Denver, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and many more


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Selected for common reading at: Seton Hall University; Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University, SUNY Binghamton, University of Michigan, University of Mississippi, and many more


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Selected for common reading at: Duke University


There There by Tommy Orange

Selected for common reading at: California State University – Sacramento; Stanford University; SUNY Oswego; University of California – Berkley; University of California – Santa Cruz; University of Idaho; University of Montana; Vassar College; College of William & Mary; Cuyahoga Community College; Duke University; Lansing Community College; Manchester Community College; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and many more


They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Selected for common reading at: California State University – San Marcos; CUNY Queensborough Community College; San Diego State University, and many more


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Selected for common reading at: College of St. Scholastica; Davidson College; Northeastern University; Simmons University; Tulane University; and University of Wisconsin, Madison


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A Memoir
Selected for common reading at: 

Exit West
A Novel
One of the most anticipated and thunderously greeted books of 2017: an astonishingly timely love story that brilliantly imagines the forces that transform ordinary people into refugees and the impossible choices that follow, to the uncertain embrace of new lands.

Just Mercy
A Story of Justice and Redemption
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

Such a Fun Age
Reese's Book Club (A Novel)
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA REESE'S BOOK CLUB x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

There There
One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

They Called Us Enemy
New York Times Bestseller!A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

Transcendent Kingdom
A novel
Finalist for the Women’s Prize