Book Cover: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. By Jonathan Haidt.

The One Book/One College Program is pleased to announce the 2020-21 common reading selection: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt. The book explores the question of how to live a happier, more fulfilling life using the lenses of psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, ethics, and morality. Truly a multidisciplinary study, The Happiness Hypothesis offers something for everyone, so we hope you will join us as we explore this book!

The One Book/One College program is also part of the First Year Experience program at CSN.  For those interested in the First Year Experience Connection Award (FYE,) see the events page below for events that will fulfill the requirements. 

FOR FACULTY: Members of the OBOC committee are hosting a virtual CAPE session on Friday, August 21, 10:45 A.M - 12:00 P.M.  "Pursue Your Happiness: Easy Plug & Play Assignments and Practical Suggestions from CSN's 'One Book--One College' Faculty to Help Students Pursue Their Own Happiness." We will offer suggestions and assignments for short critical thinking and engagement activities. All attendees will receive a copy of the ebook. 
One Book One College
About One Book, One College (OBOC)
One Book, One College. Exploration, Conversation, Community.

The One Book/One College program at CSN strives to foster a sense of community, creativity, and conversation through the mutual study of a common reading.  Our goal is to unite students, faculty, and staff from all CSN campuses in the contemplation of the selected reading. The committee is comprised of faculty from the library,  as well as from the English, philosophy, communication, history, environmental, and biological sciences departments.  We are also part of the First-Year Experience program, seeking to engage new students with relevant and accessible books.


About the 2020-21 Selection: The Happiness Hypothesis
Book Cover: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
"This is a book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world’s civilizations -­ to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives. It is a book about how to construct a life of virtue, happiness, fulfillment, and meaning." ~ Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom is an accessible and multidisciplinary journey into the topic of happiness. Haidt blends ideas from neuroscience, psychology, ethics, religion, and philosophy to explore ideas of happiness and practical ways to increase happiness in one's life. 

Library Guide and Resources
Books on a shelf
 Here you will find an extensive research guide to accompany your study of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Moden Truth in Ancient Wisdom.  The guide includes articles, videos, and books. (For library guides on previous selections, see the "previous selections" tab below.)
Upcoming Events and Hikes
Woman hiking on a mountain trail.
We seek to host events that encourage students and faculty to engage with the book on various levels. These free events include hikes, film screenings, lectures, and competitions.

OBOC Hikes in the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon

Due to Covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings, we will hold virtual "hikes" the first Saturday of each month until we can safely resume physical hikes. Faculty and students will hike or even take a walk around their neighborhoods, post pictures to a shared photo album, and meet on Zoom to share their experiences. It's a great way to connect with faculty and other students and to remember that you are part of a community. 

Zoom sessions will take place on the following days/time:

Saturday, September 12: 3:00-3:30 PM
Saturday, October 3: 3:00-3:30 PM
Saturday, November 7: 3:00-3:30 PM
Saturday, December 5: 3:00-3:30 PM

To obtain the link for the photo album and Zoom sessions, email: Contact Us

Online Discussions Featuring Topics from the Book

Due to Covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings, we will be holding discussions online instead of in person. These discussions will allow faculty and students to connect and discuss issues related to the book as they work together to interpret and apply the information to their lives. Discussions will take place in October and November. Dates and details to be posted soon!


How to Get Involved
abstract people holding hands in a circle

Our goal is to promote literacy and cross-disciplinary discussions, and we invite you to become involved as much or as little as you like.  Some ways to get involved:

  • Teach some or all of the book in your classroom.  Our committee provides resources to help you, including a library guide with research links and topics related to the book as well as teaching lessons and plans.  You can teach the book as part of a semester-long project or as a one-day discussion.  See our current guide for The Happiness Hypothesis here
  • Encourage your students to attend the events.  We have lectures, film screenings, hikes, and festivals, which can all be enjoyed even if participants haven't read the book.
  • Suggest your own event!  Maybe you don't have the time to teach the book in your course, but you have an idea that somehow links to the concepts in the book.  The 2020-21 selection is Jonathan Haidt's The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, which relates to concepts about happiness and well-being as well as psychology, sociology, neuroscience, ethics, and philosophy.  We’ll help to promote your event.
  • Be creative.  With all of us working together, we have an excellent opportunity to promote conversation, community,  and engagement with our students.  If you have an idea, please share it with us.
  • Join our committee.  Our committee currently consists of librarians, CSN staff and administration, and professors in English, communication, world languages, philosophy, and biology.   
  • Questions, comments, ideas?  Email us! Contact Us 
Previous Selections
The house on mango street by Sandra Cisneros
2016-17: The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

Book cover - The house on mango street 

2017-18: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

2018-19: Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, Sam Quinones

Dreamland Book Cover

         Library Guide:

2019-20: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? Alan Alda


Our Student Designers
Wire sculpture on yellow background
In Spring 2017, OBOC collaborated with Professor Dan McElhattan's Advanced Graphic Design class to create student designs for the new One Book/One College program.  Under Dan's expert guidance, students created poster and logo designs, which they kindly donated to the One Book/One College program.  The images below represent the student designs chosen by the committee.  Click on each design to learn more about each of these talented designers.  The link below will take you to a book showcasing all of the student designs.  The committee is grateful for Dan's and the students' contributions.
  • Picture of Holly Schwartz

  • Picture of Holly Schwartz

  • Picture of Amy Terry

  • Picture of Sabrea Lawrence

  • Picture of Therese Bautista

  • Picture of Amy Terry

Articles About the Program
Vintage typewriter next to vase of roses
Thank You
thank you word cloud

The One Book/One College (OBOC) committee wishes to send a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has helped to make this program a possibility. We wouldn't be here without you. Thank you to CAPE, web services, the publicity and events teams, hike leaders, and all administration and faculty who have participated. Thank you also to the students who continue to engage with this material and to add their voices to the conversation.
One Book/One College (OBOC) committee
Specials thanks to those who have put in extra time and effort to help us:
Ashton Ridley
Jann Carson
Carl-Jon Chun
Mike Fite
Eric Garner
Levia Hayes
Ayesha Kidd
Sue Mitchell
Kevin Seiter
Mike Spangler
Lester Tanaka
Michelle Word
Suzan Workman
LaToya Wright

Finally, thank you to Laura McBride and her GiVe group who have graciously supported the program:

One Book/One College (OBOC) committee group photo