The 2015-16 Common Book is

The 2016-17 Common Book is "A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention"

Winona State University Common Book Project will feature “A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention” by Matt Richtel as its 2016-17 common book.

About the Book

Richtel’s book recounts the story of 19-year-old Reggie Shaw after he struck two scientists in a fatal car accident. Richtel’s writing weaves together Reggie’s story, the police investigation into the crash, the state’s prosecution of the case, and research on the science of attention.

Richtel’s book provides multiple perspectives on the car accident and provides a look into the complex view of the ways in which society uses technology and its effect thinking, behavior, and relationships.

“A Deadly Wandering” was published in 2014 and was a New York Times bestseller. It has earned the title of Best Book of the Year by a variety of reviewers and publications. Richtel has worked for the New York Times since 2000, covering issues such as technology, gambling, identity theft, corporate espionage, and video games. Richtel won a Pulitzer Price for national reporting on his series on multitasking and driving in 2009.

He is scheduled to visit WSU at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, which includes a keynote address in the Harriet Johnson Auditorium.

“A Deadly Wandering” will contribute to the 2016-17 university theme, “Old Questions and New Tools: Our Digital Humanity.”

Your Assignment...

If you choose to read A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention, incorporate what you take away from the book into your life while at the university. The book will be adopted in numerous sections of English 111, College Reading and Writing, and may be adopted in other courses as well. Use this opportunity to learn more about the greater community and turn your knowledge into action.

Where to Buy

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention is published by First Second Books and will be available from the WSU Bookstore, The Book Shelf, and other booksellers. Additionally, a packet of teaching and contextual materials for prospective adopters will be available by midsummer.  Faculty adopters should simply list the book (ISBN 978-0312384487) on their book request form through the WSU Bookstore.  

Special Thanks

Funding for the Common Book Project has generously been made available by the Office of the Provost for Academic Affairs and the WSU Bookstore.  For more information about the project, please contact Prof. Elizabeth Zold at