2011 Common Reading Initiative


About the Book

Greasy Rider by Greg MelvilleGreasy Rider: Two dudes, one fry-oil-powered car, and a cross-country search for a greener future.

Is it possible to drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump? Journalist Greg Melville is determined to try. With his college buddy Iggy riding shotgun, he sets out on an enlightening road trip. The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car. Will they make it from Vermont to California in a beat-up 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon powered on vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease dumpsters along the way? Their trip takes them to the solar-powered Google headquarters; the wind turbines of southwestern Minnesota; one of the first houses to receive platinum certification for leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); and a so-called "eco-friendly" Wal-Mart.

Part adventure and part investigation of what we're doing (or not doing) to preserve the planet, Greasy Rider is upbeat, funny, and full of surprising information about the many sustainable measures that are within our reach.


About the Common Reading Initiative

As a first-year student, you will be participating in the college's Common Reading Initiative, a program of lectures, discussions, exhibits, films and concerts that complement the book. Books will be provided to first-year students by the college during Summer Orientation.

History of the Initiative

We've designed the program to introduce you to the academic and intellectual culture of the college through a common reading experience. A committee of faculty, staff and current JSC students met over the course of the fall and spring semesters to choose a book for the entire incoming class to read during the summer. This fall, you will have many opportunities to share and compare ideas about the common book. Your Peer Orientation Leaders, as well as many faculty and staff, will also have read the book, providing a broad base for discussion and integration into the JSC community.


Previous Years' Books


Outcasts United, Warren St. John



How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America, Moustafa Bayoumi



1 Dead in Attic, Chris Rose



A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah