Reading Guide

Note for Reading The Ghost Map
For some this may not be the first book that you would pull from the shelves if you were wandering a bookstore on your own, as the subject matter leaves them a bit squeamish. Others may find the history and science absolutely intriguing. Whatever your initial reaction, we encourage you give the book a chance. This book discusses a variety of relevant topics such as science, urban development, sociology, and history, as well as life lessons that will interest readers with diverse interests. We encourage you to turn the pages, to challenge your thinking, and to discuss your thoughts and beliefs with others on campus.


Tips for Reading Critically

1. Immerse yourself in the book. Ask questions. Imagine yourself in the story. Search for personal meaning in the work.
2. Read with a pen, pencil, or highlighter. Make notes in your books as you read. Jot down your questions for discussion later.
3. Analyze themes. Make note of recurring issues. Compare and contrast passages to build your understanding as you move through the chapters.
4. Get to know the characters. Ask yourself, who are these people? How does my understanding of them develop? How do I relate to them?
5. Reflect on the reading. Relate the reading to your personal experiences.
6. Anticipate how it may relate to your future. Identify how the reading alters or reaffirms your values.


Small Group Discussion Preparation
• Quote - Bring your favorite quote from the book.
• Life Lesson - What life lesson have you taken away from the book?
• People – Whose experiences or perspectives most resonate with yours and why?

What happens after I read the book?

During Orienation two Macalester faculty members, Christy Hanson (the new Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship and a public health specialist) and Devavani Chatterjea (a member of our Biology deaprtment and the director of our concentration in Community and Global Health), will talk about the issues that the book raises in relations to their own research and teaching.  Following this presentation you will have the opportunity to discuss the book's major themes and questions in a small group setting with your peers.

This book will also be used as the foundation for your library and IT sessions during the first few weeks of classes.