What is the Common Reading Program?
The Common Reading Program is a way of creating a common experience for SFCC students and promoting discussion
across disciplines around important historical and current issues.
How is the Common Reading Program Text Chosen?
We choose a text that students will find engaging and accessible, that engages a timely or thought-provoking issue,
and that applies to a wide variety of courses, programs, and disciplines.
What other activities support the Common Reading Program?
Once the text is selected, we choose our college theme for the year. This theme helps guide our programming of
co-curricular events—debates, lectures, films and discussions, college service-learning projects, and other events —
which expand and deepen our understanding of both the theme and the text.
What is this year's book?
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by science writer Rebecca Skloot
Skloot tells the story of poor black tobacco farmer Henrietta, whose cells, taken without her knowledge or
permission, have become key to modern medicine and genetics.
Henrietta’s story will frame our discussion of this year’s theme—Of Living and Dying: Profit, Politics, and
Power—as we delve into the worlds of medical research and health care, and the politics and economics that power
For more resources related to the common reader, visit the library’s
Henrietta Lacks page.