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Campus Life at Cumberland

One Book, One College

The 2023 - 2024 One Book, One College book selection is
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.


Van Pelt in her debut and NYT bestselling novel sprinkles its pages with the magic that happens when human and creature connect. As author Kevin Wilson puts it, Remarkably Bright “is a beautiful examination of how loneliness can be transformed, cracked open, with the slightest touch from another living thing . . . [Van Pelt's] writing is so finely tuned that it's a natural element of a larger story about family, about loss, and the electricity of something found."​

 Meet the Author!

An Evening with Shelby Van Pelt is sponsored by RCSJ, One Book, One College​ and the Cumberland Campus Educational Foundation

​​​An Evening with Shelby Van Pelt​
Live​ and In Person
Wed., October 25, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Guarancini Fine & Performing Arts Center​

Shelby Van Pelt visits RCSJ-Cumberland's Luciano Theatre on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at 7 PM. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to RCSJ faculty, students, staff, and community. ​
This year's selection is sure to enthrall students, community, faculty, and staff alike and is already an extraordinarily popular book club pick.

Remarkably Bright Creatures is available at RCSJ B&N Bookstores and all major booksellers and is sure to elicit important conversations on family, friendship, mental health, and the human-animal connection.
For RCSJ Instructors:
The novel is easily relatable to the English, Women's Studies, Psychology, Biology, and Earth and Environmental Science classrooms. Science professors will find a perfect companion to Remarkably Bright in the documentary, My Octopus Teacher, available for free community screening for educational purposes through Netflix. Email Judy Cirucci for more information.

Those planning to incorporate the novel into their courses may request an instructor copy and/or a resource packet by emailing Judy Cirucci. Instructor copies are limited and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
What is One Book, One College?
Initiated in the 2004-2005 academic year, OBOC is a college- and community-wide reading program with the goal of fostering a reading community that encourages reading for pleasure, critical thinking, global awareness, and multicultural understanding.

Each year the OBOC committee chooses one special book to be read by students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. Workshops, discussions, lectures, and/or other related activities are organized around the selected book during the Fall and Spring Semesters of that year. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the "One Book" into their classes across the curriculum.

The program's highlight is the much-anticipated annual author visit to campus. Participation in OBOC is not limited to Cumberland's campus, however. OBOC invites community members to read its selection and welcomes them to attend the annual author visit and book signing on a first-come, first-served basis.

​Committee Members 
  • Karen Arenz, Instructor of English - Cumberland
  • Josh Austin, Assistant Professor of English - Cumberland
  • Erin Brabazon, Professor of English - Gloucester
  • Judy Cirucci, Chair, Sr. Instructional Designer - Cumberland
  • Anya Cronin, Professor of English - Gloucester
  • Yolanda Garcia Balicki, Esq., RCSJ Board of Trustees Member
  • Kelly Hayden, Librarian - Cumberland
  • Sharon Kewish, Past Chair, Professor Emeritus - English
  • Maria LeBlanc, Executive Director, Cumberland Campus Educational Foundation​​
  • Susan Nardelli, Special Assistant to the President-Institutional Advancement
  • Sandra Reid, Professor of Nursing - Cumberland
  • Meredith Vicente, Director of Special Services - Cumberland
Previous Selections

  • 2022 -2023 The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin​
  • 2021 -2022 The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
  • 2020-2021 Maid by Stephanie Land
  • 2019-2020 Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
  • 2018-2019 The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff
  • 2017-2018 The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  • 2016-2017 Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston​
  • 2015-2016 The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • 2014-2015 Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan
  • 2013-2014 A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls Lanier
  • 2012-2013 Faithless by Joyce Carol Oates
  • 2011-2012 Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
  • 2010-2011 The Soloist by Steve Lopez
  • 2009-2010 Strong Medicine Speaks by Amy Hill Hearth
  • 2008-2009 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • 2007-2008 Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell
  • 2006-2007 Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • 2005-2006 My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • 2004-2005 The Color of Water by James McBride

Gloucester; Cumberland