Patricia Sullivan Common Reading Program

Cupola atop a building on the Molloy University campus

Patricia Sullivan Common Reading Program



The Patricia Sullivan Common Reading Program at Molloy University:

  • Involves students, faculty, administrators, and staff, reading and discussing a book chosen by a college committee because of its important theme and its relevance to contemporary life.
  • Revolves around a book that is required reading for FST 1000, The College Experience, a course all First-Year students take during their first semester.
  • Serves as the subject of the University’s Opening Convocation each fall. The book’s author comes to campus to talk about the book.
  • Is the catalyst for Inspired Works, a contest sponsored by the Patricia Sullivan Common Reading Program Committee to reward creativity in student writers, artists, or musicians.

Current Book and Author

Jamie Ford The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford


About the Author

Jamie Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Hoiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name Ford, thus confusing countless generations. His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Jamie’s latest novel, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy, was published August 2022 by Atria. Jamie Ford keeps an active blog where he writes about books and some of his personal adventures such as a family mission trip to Africa, mountain climbing, and his library adventures. He is also active on Facebook. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and a one-eyed pug.

About the Book’

From Simon & Schuster website:

Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living. As Washington’s former poet laureate, that’s how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.
Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.
As the painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period—a stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories. Can Dorothy break the cycle of pain and abandonment to finally find peace for her daughter and love for herself? Or will she end up paying the ultimate price?
“For Jamie Ford fans both old and new, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an unmitigated pleasure” (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author) and a lyrical love story unlike any other.

Faculty Resources

Molloy’s Common Reading Program 2009- 2022

2009        Hurry Down Sunshine: A Father’s Story of Love and Madness by Michael Greenberg

2010        Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin

2011        Outcasts United by Warren St.John

2012        Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

2013        Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

2014        One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni

2015        March Book One, March Book Two by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin,

                and Nate Powell

2016        Post Mortal by Drew Magary

2017        The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

2018        Tough as They Come by Travis Mills

2019        We Are All Called to Rise by Laura McBride

2020        What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha

2021        Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

2022        One Two Three by Laurie Frankel

2023        The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford

Inspired Works 2023-24 Contest Winners


Zoie Napolitano, First Place Winner for poem titled “The Mirror”

Ezekiel Babarinde, Second Place Winner for musical score and recording titled Lost Love

Alisa Biju, Third Place Winner for short story titled “If Only I Had Known”

Award Ceremony April 9, 2024

Patricia Sullivan Common Reading Program Committee


Alice Byrnes, O.P., D.A., Chairperson of the Common Reading Committee, Professor of English

Linda Albanese, M.A., Vice President of Enrollment Management

Madeline Craig, Ed.D, Associate Professor, School of Education and Human Services

Sarah Evans, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Program Director of New Media

Mary Gallagher, B.A., Administrative Assistant, Psychology and Interdisciplinary Departments

Donna Iucolano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Business

Janice Kelly, Ed.D., Professor, Program Director of Professional Communications, Chairperson of Interdisciplinary Studies

Laurie Hallick, M.S.Ed., Instructional Designer, Blended & Online Learning

Rebecca Martinez, B.S., M.B.A, Assistant Director, Career Center

David Nochimson, M.L.S. Access Service Librarian, James E. Tobin Library

Trisha O’Neill, B.F.A., Administrative Assistant, English, Communications, and Art

Cate Donato, Student Member

Emily McKenna, Student Member


Book Selected for 2024-25


Plant Hunter book jacket

The Plant Hunter by Cassandra Leah Quave

Cassandra Leah Quave will speak at Opening Convocation on October 9, 2024.


About the Author:

Cassandra Quave, Ph.D., is author of a science memoir The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines. Dr. Quave is Curator of the Herbarium and Associate Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University, where she leads anti-infective drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, microbiology, and pharmacology. As a medical ethnobotanist, her work focuses on the documentation and pharmacological evaluation of plants used in traditional medicine. Dr. Quave’s research is supported by the NIH, industry contracts, and philanthropy. She is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a past President of the Society for Economic Botany, a recipient of the Emory Williams Teaching Award, and Charles Heiser, Jr. Mentor Award. She is the host of Foodie Pharmacology, a podcast dedicated to exploring the links between food and medicine. Dr. Quave has authored more than 100 scientific publications, two edited books, twenty book chapters, and seven patents. Her research has been the subject of feature profiles in the New York Times Magazine, BBC Science Focus, National Geographic Magazine, Brigitte Magazin, NPR, PBS, and the National Geographic Channel.

Plant Hunter Author