UCLA's Common Book Program

UCLA's 2017-2018 Common Book

Thi Bui's illustrated graphic novel, The Best We Could Do has been selected as the UCLA Common Book for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Common Book experience was created for all new undergraduate Bruins as a way to be part of campus-wide discussions on compelling social issues. Distribution of the Common Book will occur at the start of Winter quarter. Students interested in reading the text can pick up their copies at designated distribution locations on campus. Please note, there will be a limited supply of this special-edition print.

During Winter and Spring quarters, students are able to participate in discussions of the book and related issues. We also encourage faculty and staff to incorporate themes and ideas from the Common Book in their courses and programs.



The Common Book in the Classroom

The Best We Could Do has been warmly embraced by UCLA's faculty. Thi Bui's novel has been included in several UCLA courses in the 2017-18 academic year, including:

  • Asian American Studies 10W: History of Asian Americans
  • Asian American Studies 30W: Asian American Literature & Culture
  • Asian American Studies 134: Vietnamese American Experience
  • Asian American Studies 187C: Special Courses in Asian American Populations & Communities - Southeast Asian Refugee Communities in the U.S.
  • Chicana/o Studies/Fiat Lux 19: The Immigration Experience Through the Arts
  • Chicana/o Studies M134SL: Engaging Immigrants and Their Families
  • English Composition 3D: Education, Access, & Equity: Graphic Narratives
  • English 4W: Critical Reading and Writing
  • English 85: The American Novel
  • General Education Cluster 20: Interracial Dynamics in American Society & Culture
  • History 13C: History of the U.S. and its Colonial Origins: 20th Century
  • World Arts 1: Introduction to World Arts and Cultures - Arts & Activism Stream
  • World Arts C258: Theorizing Arts Activism

Current undergraduate students have also connected the book, including Class of 2018 Bruin, Christine Pham.

The Common Book in the Community

UCLA's Common Book Program has reached beyond the campus physical boundaries, forming relationships with various reading clubs. These include the UCLA Lab School and the following UCLA Alumni Networks:

  • Bay Cities
  • Beachside
  • Central Coast
  • Chicago
  • New York Tri-State
  • Orange County
  • Rose Bowl
  • San Diego
  • Silicon Beach

 In addition, the Parent & Family Programs Office provided an opportunity for UCLA parents and alumni to experience the Common Book by hosting Dr. Victor Bascara (Asian American Studies Department), Steven Duong (Vietnamese Student Union), and Dr. Cynthia L. Alvarez (First Year Experience) in their February edition of Bruin Family Insights.

Our Common Books...Past and Present

  • 2009-2010

  • 2010-2011

  • 2011-2012

  • 2012-2013

  • 2013-2014

  • 2014-2015

  • 2015-2016

  • 2016-2017

  • 2017-2018

    The Best We Could Do...

Program Goals

  • Ignite campus-wide discussions on compelling social issues 
  • Inspire action