Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Read2Achieve book for 2017

A letter to his son about being black in America, Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me (2015) is a timely and necessary exploration of race, identity, and American culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Coates draws on his autobiography and takes inspiration from James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time (1963) to think deeply about systemic racism in the United States, prompting critics to hail his work as "extraordinary" and "essential, like water or air." A National Book Award winner, a New York Times best seller, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-Fiction, Between the World and Me is required reading for those who would do the difficult work of understanding the past, confronting the present, and finding a way forward. For a full book synopsis, visit

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

UTC's 2017 Read2Achieve Book Selection


Book Reviews of Between the World and Me:


About the Author: Who is Ta-Nehisi Coates?


I'm interested, how can I get involved?

Read the book!  We would like to start a campus-wide dialogue.  It is available at the UTC Bookstore, online, and at your local bookstores.  If you are on-campus (current students, faculty, and staff), look for emails in the spring semester that will direct you to book clubs and volunteering.  If you are not yet on campus (incoming students), we will have group discussions on the Friday before the start of fall classes. 


How was the book selected?

Books selections were submitted through our website early in the semester.  We received over 100 submissions and some of the books were duplicates.  A subcommittee reviewed all the submissions along with goals and spirit of the program and reduced the list to 15 books.  The entire committee reviewed the list of 15 books and reduced the list again to 4 books.  The committee members read all four books during the last 6 weeks of the fall semester. At a final meeting in early-December, the committee selected Between the World and Me.


Who selected the book?

The Read2Achieve committee is composed of students, staff, and faculty from across campus, 27 members!  There are representatives from academic departments including English, Chemistry, Management, Education, Integrated Studies, and Nursing.  There are 5 student members. Other offices include Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Orientation, Housing, Admissions, Athletic Training, Student Success, Library, Development, and Athletics Advising.


What other books were considered?

Other books that were considered included Amusing Ourselves to Death, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, and Salvage the Bones.


Are there other universities/colleges that have used Between the World and Me for a common reading program?

Yes, other universities that have successfully used the book for their reading programs including UCLA, University of Oregon, Gustavus Adolphhus College, Western Washington University, and Mount Holyoke College.


Thank you for supporting Read2Achieve!

The Read2Achieve Committee also encourages all members of the University and Chattanooga community to participate in the year's reading experience and the related activities.  Events and activities related to Read2Achieve will be scheduled throughout the year, and information will be posted regularly to this site.