SCC Common Read

 appalachian mountains with hillbilly elegy book cover 


From the SCC Common Read team …

Hello, fellow community of readers!

The SCC Common Read is happy to announce that Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance is the book choice for the upcoming fall and spring semesters, 2017-2018. Having just finished reading it myself, I wanted to convey my excitement about sharing this book with you! First of all, I’m not totally in agreement with the subtitle on its cover, which reads “A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”. True, Mr. Vance’s family was riddled with issues of the day, but it is not only apparent in Appalachian culture; I notice this trend across the nation.  We have become a nation battling drug abuse, joblessness, poverty, and family splintering.  It may seem worse in the south and the Appalachian regions.  But this is what I find in stories that are told of a people who struggle everywhere. The crisis is not unique to ‘hillbillies’ as Vance titles his people. So please do not take offense if you relate to living in Appalachia because it is a larger problem that speaks to an ever expanding region, in my opinion.  Instead, join me in reading about Mr. Vance’s colorful Mamaw, with a mouth that needs at least an R rating and his Papaw, his family’s rock, most of the time. You will find out about his mom, smart but plagued with a fickleness for the wrong men and addiction issues. But more importantly, you will gain insight about J.D. Vance himself and what he believes saved him from poverty and strife.  How did he learn to acquire the grit he needed for college? Was it the time spent in the Marines or was it his self-reflections on how to learn from his own family’s mistakes and to not repeat them? Well, join us in the discussions as we tackle real issues as Mr. Vance brings them to light in his memoir. Do you disagree with his thinking? Great! Then it is time to tell your own story and this book may just motivate you to do that!  I look forward to some inspiring, truthful and candid discussions with you!  Please “Like” SCC Common Read on Facebook and attend our events and discussions. Your input to the conversation is valued and welcomed.

Marci Randall, chair

for the SCC Common Read Team


Link to authors’ page:

photo of jd vance


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New york times best selling list badge 

As of 8/13/17 Hillbilly Elegy has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 52 weeks in a row! 
Check out the list here: New York Times Best Sellers List - Combined Print & E-book Nonfiction

letter about book from Dr. Jo marshall

Dr. Marshall's endorsement (pdf)



Course(s) at SCC Related to this Book

Appalachian Studies
College Reading
Criminal Justice
English 101
KY History
Political Science
Sociology 101

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Previous Common Read Books:

2016-2017 - Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton
- The Work by Wes Moore
2015 - All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg