Each year Notre Dame selects a book to read and discuss as a community of students, faculty, alums and friends. Books are selected that explore and deepen a core theme in the Education for Justice and Leadership initiative and engage our community in academic scholarship and intentional dialogue that reflects our Catholic identity.

In addition to reading the book and discussing underlying themes throughout the integrated school program, students and the community typically meet the author during a campus visit in the fall. Due to Covid regulations, this year's event is virtual. In the past eleven years, through this ND Reads program, our school community has touched on many topics.  We have traveled to Africa to study the Rwandan genocide, journeyed with a young monk seal and learned about climate change from his perspective, explored how to stand in kinship with gang members, and memorialized the 60th anniversary of integrating schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, just to name a few.  

16th Annual ND Reads

For the 2022-2023 school year we will be reading Gail Tsukiyama's novel, The Color of Air. We will welcome Gail Tsukiyama to our campus on November 16, 2022 for an author talk. The event is open to the public and free of charge. Please check back in October to register for this event.

National bestselling author Gail Tsukiyama returns with this captivating historical novel set against the backdrop of Hawai'i sugar plantations about a Japanese American family learning to accept the past and step forward into the future. 

It's 1935 in the small town of Hilo, Hawai'i and the Muana Loa volcano looms large. After a prestigious stint in a Chicago hospital, Dane Abe, a young doctor born in Hilo, is finally returing home to his Japanese America community in Hawai'i. But wehn Daniel's boat approaches Hilo, the volcano begins to stir.

On the island, his Uncle Koji is living in the past with memories of Daniel's mother, Mariko, the great love of his life. Daniel is like a son to him and his arrival is a welcome respite, despite the betrayal that Koji has struggled to keep from him all of these years. But as Daniel wrestles with secrets of his own, and gets closer to his childhood sweethear, long-held truths simmering below the surface will be unearthed.

Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, California to a Chinese mother from Hong Kong and a Japanese father from Hawaii. She attended San Francisco State University where she received both her Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in English with the emphasis in Creative Writing.  She is the author of eight novels, including Women of the SilkThe Samurai's Garden, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, and her latest novel, The Color of Air.  She has been the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence, and the Asia Pacific Leadership Award from the Center of the Pacific Rim and the Ricci Institute.  She was one of fifty authors chosen by the Library of Congress to participate in the first National Book Festival in Washington D.C. and has been a guest speaker at International Literary Festivals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, England, and Toronto.  A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has taught at San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley, and Mills College. 

2021/22

World of Wonders
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

2020/21

A Place for Us
by Fatima Farheen Mirza 

2019/20

The Color of Law
by Richard Rothstein
Reaching Out
by Francisco Jimenez

2018/19

The Monk of Mokha
by Dave Eggers

2017/18

Lessons From Little Rock
by Terrence Roberts

2016/17

Stealing Buddha's Dinner
by Bich Minh Nguyen

2015/16

The Odyssey of KP2: An Orphan Seal and  Marine Biologist's Fight to Save a Species
by Terrie M. Williams

2014/15

La Verdad
by Mary Jo Ignoffo & Lucia Cerna

2013/14

Tattoos on the Heart
by Gregory Boyle, S.J.

2012/13

I'm Not Leaving
by Carl Wilkins

2011/12

Enrique's Journey
by Sonia Nazario

2010/11

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

2009/10

The Distant Land of My Fathers
by Bo Caldwell

2008/09

Funny in Farsi
by Firoozeh Dumas

2007/08

Three Cups of Tea
by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin