One Book, One College

One Book, One College is a year-long, interdisciplinary program engaging the ICC community through the reading and discussion of a shared book.

Fostering interdisciplinary relationships through a shared reading experience.

2017-2018 One Book, One College Selection

The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy CoverTwo great spiritual masters want to teach you to live with joy, even in the face of adversity. In April 2015, Archbishop Desmond Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create this book as a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: how do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?

They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our times and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.

The book is a three-layer birthday cake: their own stories and teachings about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness, and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. It offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecedented week together, from the first embrace to the final goodbye. – from the publisher.

About the Authors

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and of Tibetan Buddhism. He travels extensively, promoting the message of kindness and compassion, interfaith understanding, respect for the environment, and, above all, world peace. The Dalai Lama has been a passionate advocate for a secular universal approach to cultivating fundamental human values. He lives in exile in Dharamsala, India.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In 1986 he was elected archbishop of Cape Town, the highest position in the Anglican Church in South Africa. In 1994, after the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, Tutu was appointed as chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate apartheid-era crimes. His policy of forgiveness and reconciliation has become an international example of conflict resolution and a trusted method of post-conflict reconstruction. He is currently the chair of The Elders, where he gives a vocal defense of human rights and campaigns for the oppressed.

Douglas Carlton Abrams is an author, editor and literary agent dedicated to working with visionaries who are creating a wiser, healthier and more just world. He has collaborated with Desmond Tutu as his co-writer and editor for more than a decade. He lives in Santa Cruz, California. — from the publisher.

Read more about Archbishop Desmond Tutu or the Dalai Lama in Encyclopedia Britannica.

View the ICC Library’s LibGuide to learn more about The Book of Joy.


Community Leader Presentations

A leader from the Peoria area is invited to campus to speak about the importance of the theme in their work and personal life. (45 minutes)

Faculty Presentations

ICC faculty members use their specialized knowledge and experience to present information about the One Book, One College theme and/or selection. (45 minutes)

Faculty Presentation Request

Have a presentation idea?  Tell us about it!

Event Archive

Watch recordings of One Book, One College Community Leader, and Faculty presentations.

TED Talks and Discussion

Offered on the first and third Fridays at noon, participants watch a selected TED Talk, reflect on the speaker’s message and share thoughts. (30 minutes)


Selections for One Book, One College are made by a team of librarians and faculty from several departments at ICC.

If you have a suggestion for next year’s read, please contact Amy Glass by email or call (309) 694-5748 or complete this online form.

Past Selections

2016-2017 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

2015-2016 March: Book One by John Lewis 

2014-2015 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Contact Amy Glass by email or call (309) 694-5748 for more information.