Hiram College

What better way to connect new students than through a common book?

Each year, a faculty committee selects a new Common Reading book that aligns with the year’s Ethics theme.  An electronic copy of the book will be loaded onto student iPads and will be an integral part of classwork during onsite orientation sessions. The book is then incorporated into First Year Enduring Questions and Urgent Questions courses.

A Common Reading experience is often seen as a great way for new students to embark upon the intellectual challenges of the college experience. 

The 2020-2021 Ethics Theme is Junk, Trash, and Waste:  What We Value and What We Throw Away. 

The 2020-2021 Common Reading is Trashed (2015). Backderf is a Northeast Ohio native and award-winning cartoonist known for My Friend Dahmer (2012). His new graphic novel Kent State will be released this April. 

Trashed Summary from publisher Abrams Books:                     

Every week we pile our garbage on the curb and it disappears—like magic! The reality is anything but, of course. Trashed, Derf Backderf’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed, award-winning international bestseller My Friend Dahmer, is an ode to the crap job of all crap jobs—garbage collector. Anyone who has ever been trapped in a soul-sucking gig will relate to this tale. Trashed follows the raucous escapades of three 20-something friends as they clean the streets of pile after pile of stinking garbage, while battling annoying small-town bureaucrats, bizarre townfolk, sweltering summer heat, and frigid winter storms. Trashed is fiction, but is inspired by Derf’s own experiences as a garbage­man. Interspersed are nonfiction pages that detail what our garbage is and where it goes. The answers will stun you. Hop on the garbage truck named Betty and ride along with Derf on a journey into the vast, secret world of garbage. Trashed is a hilarious, stomach-churning tale that will leave you laughing and wincing in disbelief.


List of Previous Common Readings