Each year the Honors Program selects a text or texts to be read by all incoming first-year Honors students. The Freshman Reading Project (FRP) promotes community through the common experience of reading and discussing a thought-provoking text. We ask that all incoming students complete the reading assignment before arriving at Baylor in the fall.
This year, we are reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award finalist, and over two hears on the New York Times bestseller list, this novel has been described as “dazzling,” “majestic,” “beautifully written,” and a book that “takes language beyond mortal limits.”
Here is the story of a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and a German boy, Werner Pfenning, whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. As one reviewer noted, the book, “Intertwines secret radio broadcasts, a cursed diamond, a soldier’s deepest doubt into a richly compelling package.
As part of the FRP, new Honors Program students will attend the Honors Freshman Assembly on Wednesday, September 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m. This will be your introduction to the Honors Program, and we will begin the formal discussion of our text.
Immediately afterwards, entering Honors Program students will have a chance to meet with various staff and other, current Honors students. On the way out, you will sign up for a small-group discussion of the FRP text. After the small-group discussion (which will be offered at various times throughout the next couple of weeks in September), you will conclude the FRP by writing a brief critical essay in response to an assigned essay prompt. These essays will be evaluated by the discussion leaders and will be kept on file to serve as the basis for awards occasionally given by the Honors Program. Note: Successful completion of the FRP is required for continuation in the Honors Program.
You can purchase All the Light We Cannot See at the Baylor University Bookstore, but the book can also be found at many other traditional and online retailers.
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner, 2014)