College Q&A: UHV invites community to join in common reading program

Aug. 6, 2011 at 3:06 a.m.

By Paula Cobler

I read the book "Isaac's Storm" by Erik Larson last school year through the University of Houston-Victoria's Community of Readers program. Is the university continuing the program for the 2011-12 school year?

With the success of the first Community of Readers program in 2010-11, UHV already has announced the novel for the upcoming school year.

"World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War," by Max Brooks, is the selected book for the common reading program. Community members along with UHV faculty, staff and first-year students are encouraged to read the book and attend a series of programs designed to explore the book's themes and connect its readers.

The novel was published in 2006 and is a documentary-style fictional account of Max Brooks, a historian who travels the world interviewing those who survived the Zombie War. The book is available for purchase at local and online retailers, and all UHV freshmen will be given a copy. Copies of the book also have been given to the Victoria College/UHV Library and will be donated to the Victoria Public Library so that community members can read it for free.

UHV's First-Year Experience Committee selected "World War Z" because it is a page-turning novel that mixes history, science fiction, psychology and politics. In addition, the committee hopes that by placing serious issues such as war and pandemics into a fictional context (a zombie uprising), readers will be able to take a new look at broad issues.

Activities related to the book during the school year still are being planned but will include film and video presentations, guest speakers and fun zombie-related events.

The 2010-11 Community of Readers book was Erik Larson's "Isaac's Storm," a book about the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. Featured guest speakers included representatives from the Galveston County Historical Museum, former newspaper columnists Henry and Linda Wolff, Mid-Coast Master Naturalist Ray Kirkwood and Jeb Lacey from the Victoria Office of Emergency Management.

For more information about the Community of Readers, visit or email

Do you have a question about the University of Houston-Victoria? Contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, at 361- 570-4350 or



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