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Welcome to the Winter 2018 Authors Unbound quarterly Host Newsletter! We'll use this space to keep you updated on what other outstanding hosts around the country are up to, provide valuable information on event management and organization, and feature authors who we highly recommend for your next author engagement.

Host Spotlight

Pace University Common Reader Program

Lisa Bardhill Moscaritolo

Lisa Bardhill Moscaritolo

Dean Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo is Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean for Students at Pace University, Westchester Campus, in New York. Lisa serves as the Chief Student Affairs Officer for her campus and provides overall leadership and direction to the division. She loves working with students and her staff to inspire a great campus experience for each student. Lisa resides in Peekskill, NY with her husband, Joe, and their 6 pound Yorkie, Cinnamon (who visits the University often as well). When Lisa is not at the university, she likes to travel, read, spin, walk her dog, and dine out.

A|U: Can you share a bit about the Pace University Common Reader?
LBM: We have been hosting the program, which culminates in the First Year Convocation, for 12 years. Speakers such as Chris Cleave and Temple Grandin and some great tips for success from internal faculty Melissa Cardon, Hillary Knepper, and Robert Mundy. The student speakers in their sophomore year over the years have also been a highlight.

A|U: What kind of programming and activities do you have in mind for this year's selection, Behold the Deramers?
LBM: We did a book reading with Imbolo Mbue for Vox- student literary publication. In addition some of our U101 professors will continue to discuss the themes in their classes.

A|U: How will you get the word out about Imbolo’s visit this fall?
LBM: Posters, Orientation and emails from First Year Experience on the first class before Convocation.

A|U: What words of wisdom can you offer other One Book coordinators around the country?
LBM: I suggest using a team of faculty, staff and students to build momentum around a book. We also used the book as our common reader for the division of student affairs which provided momentum as well.

Event Ed

All Campus Reads - Picking the Right Book for Students!

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Do you have ideas or success stories about building an engaged readership on college campuses you'd like to share with hosts around the country?  We'd love to hear from you!


Imbolo Mbue

Imbolo Mbue is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Behold the Dreamers, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Blue Metropolis Words to Change Award, and was an Oprah's Book Club selection. Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post and a Best Book of the Year by close to a dozen publications, the novel has been translated into 12 languages, adapted into an opera, about to become a stage play, and was recently optioned for a movie.


Behold the Dreamers tells the story of Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem who lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers, in the fall of 2007. Jende hopes the new job will enable him, his adored wife, Neni, and his young son, to live a better life in America. When Neni is hired as a household help by Clark’s wife, their situation only improves. But in the course of their work, Jende and Neni begin to witness infidelities, skirmishes, and family secrets. Desperate to shield the fragile life they’ve built in New York, the Jongas protect their employers, even when the wealthy couple’s secrets begin to drive a wedge between Jende and Neni. Then, with the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, all four lives are dramatically upended, and Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers was selected as Simmons University’s common read for first year students by a committee of faculty, staff, and students, after a University-wide nomination process. Our incoming students read the novel over the summer and arrived at Simmons ready to discuss this important work. All students participated in structured discussions during a required first year course. Students in each section discussed the novel, looked at the Q&A included in the book, and discussed what makes a good question. Then, they wrote their own questions they would like to ask Mbue during her campus visit and each section selected the “best question.” “Best question” winners were invited to attend a dinner with Mbue after her keynote. Mbue’s visit was very special for all of us at Simmons. She visited a class, gave a keynote, and then attended dinner where she spoke with students, faculty, and staff. Students commented on how her talk was funny, insightful, and perfectly pitched to their age group. Mbue was engaged, passionate, and a pleasure to host for the day!
— Simmons College - First Year Read
Keynote speaker Imbolo Mbue, originally from Cameroon and educated at Columbia University, devoted time on the life of immigrants in American society. Reading extracts from her Behold the Dreamers: A Novel, she praised America for its values and contributions to modern society but lamented over a resurgence of racial and anti-immigrant attitudes in the country. She invoked America’s best ideals, citing the founding principle of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Based on that, she challenged the audience to return to the country’s most valued character of empathy, and individual and social responsibility. Imbolo lived up to her reputation. She was “fantastic.” And her message of human understanding, individual and social responsibility, and empathy was timely for our community. We thank you!
— University of Dayton Speaker Series
We were so happy to host Imbolo last year and our event was a raging success. We had two very well-attended book discussions leading up to her talk and our community was really engaged with the book and its themes. After the event, several area book clubs chose it as a title and as a result, it was a popular choice at our library for months after our author visit. Imbolo had some really interesting insights on class and immigration in the US, especially because she is a debut novelist and Behold the Dreamers was inspired by people that she saw everyday living in New York. We were so lucky to have her be a part of our One Book initiative last year and I highly recommend her to other libraries and institutions who are seeking a meaningful dialogue within their communities.
— Highland Park One Book