Common Read

The Common Read is a CSUMB program that serves the entire community, with a focus on first time freshmen. It is co-sponsored by Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, and is coordinated through the Common Read Committee. 

Selection Criteria

  • Be readable, relevant, engaging, and well-written
  • Appeal to students with diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Encompass sufficient depth and scope to generate discussions that include different points of view
  • Be conducive to teaching and learning, and offer opportunities for integration into academic programs
  • Lend itself to a variety of activities and programming

For questions, comments, and feedback regarding CSUMB’s Common Read, email orientation.

About the Book

Check out the book from the CSUMB Library or read the eBook here.

The war of kindness book cover

Zaki argues “that empathy is not a fixed trait we are born with but rather a skill we can strengthen.” He also says that “Empathy is in short supply. Isolation and tribalism are rampant. We struggle to understand people who aren’t like us, but find it easy to hate them. Studies show that we are less caring than we were even thirty years ago.” 


The Washington Post

Kirkus Review 

The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Jamil Zaki is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. Read his full author bio here.


Common Read Discussion

Date: August 22, 2024
Time: 4:15 - 5 p.m.

Join us for a discussion about the book and learn how to critically engage in conversations with peers prior to the start of your CSUMB academic journey. Guided by library staff and psychology professors, this is a time to meaningfully engage in intellectual conversations.