Take a peek — and make a pick — for UCSB Reads 2024

Graphic for UCSB Reads Sneak Peek

Exploring subjects ranging from neuroaesthetics, poverty and disability, to animal senses, and California's natural and human history, the books under consideration for UCSB Reads 2024 comprise a diverse slate of selections. Which is why the program's selection committee is seeking help in making a final decision.

The group consisting of UCSB faculty, staff, students and community partners has released its shortlist for the upcoming season of UCSB Reads, offering a sneak peek of their favorites and inviting input from the campus community. The ultimate aim is to select an intellectually stimulating, interdisciplinary book by a living author that appeals to a wide range of readers and can be incorporated into the UCSB curriculum.

The titles in the running, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Alta California: From San Diego to San Francisco, a Journey on Foot to Rediscover the Golden State (2019), by Nick Neely
  • An Immense World: How Animal Sense Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us (2022), by Ed Yong
  • Poverty, by America (2023), by Matthew Desmond
  • Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body (2020), by Rebekah Taussig
  • Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us (2023), by Susan Magasmen and Ivy Ross 

Votes received by August 18 will factor into the final tally, and the resulting pick will be announced in the fall. 

Going into its 18th year, the UCSB Reads program will kick off at the beginning of winter quarter 2024 with a book giveaway and culminate in a public lecture with the author in the spring. A variety of free events will be held along the way to engage UCSB and the community at large around the book’s themes.

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