Badluck Way coverCommon Read

The Common Read Program at Rocky Mountain College is based principally on a shared reading experience. Through this shared reading and associated events we seek to develop community, encourage intellectual engagement, and promote connections among disciplines.

This year's Common Read is Andrews' memoir, Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West.

2015 Common Read Schedule of Events

Wolf Management Lecture and Q&A

  • Who: Abby Nelson, Wolf Management Specialist
  • Where: Fortin Education Center Auditorium on the RMC campus
  • When: 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 2, 2015

Film Showing: Never Cry Wolf (1983, dir. Carroll Ballard)

  • Hosted by: Luke Ward, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Environmental Management & Policy
  • Where: Losekamp Auditorium on the RMC campus
  • When: 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Common Read Keynote

Author Bryce Andrews will give a keynote address as part of RMC's 2015 Common Read. 

  • Where: First Presbyterian Church, 2420 13th Street West, Billings, Mont.
  • When:  6:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 10, 2015
  • Admission: The event is free and open to the public. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee seating for everyone. 
  • Book Signing: After the Keynote Address
  • Questions: Contact Steve Germic (

Badluck Way Panel Discussion

  • Hosted by: The Paul M. Adams Library at Rocky Mountain College
  • Who: Bobbi Otte (moderator), Tim Lehman, Precious McKenzie, David Strong, Amy Neuman
  • Where: Morledge-Kimball, room 119
  • When: 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 12, 2015

2015 Common Read Information

  • Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West, by Bryce Andrews 
  • Publisher: Atria Books, 2014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476710846

Editorial Reviews of Badluck Way:

“Andrews' … poetically rendered portrait of the wolf pack working the edges of the ranch provides a counterpoint to the humdrum reality of his daily chores. His extended meditation on the pack is also the scaffolding for the book's design. The wolves' tale is in italics, providing a visual voice.Badluck Way is a beautiful book.” (The Oregonian)

“A taut depiction of ranch life that balances ranchers’ concern for their domestic animals with his own appreciation of the wild ones nearby.” ( Seattle Times )

"Badluck Way is also a story about a search for an identity, one that readers can identify with even if their own adventures were not quite so gritty. It’s about labor, and finding one’s purpose in it… His story reaches its crescendo when a pack of wolves start to prey on the cattle he’s bound to protect… Andrews offers a fresh and complex perspective…” ( Missoula Independent )

“This book will make you have deep thoughts about our relationships with the land, nature, and animals.” (Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation)

“One could find no better guide than Bryce Andrews for a journey along the shifting border between the wild and the tame; a daunting frontier filled with unsettling truths, blood and beauty. His wonderfully crafted prose is lean, yet rich in the telling details of seasons spent on a Montana ranch overseeing a shaky co-existence between cattle and wolves. Andrews is a keen-eyed ecologist, a skilled ranch hand and, best of all, a self-examining student of life with a young man’s inclination to push past fear and caution toward an embrace of risky, life-altering experience. In  Badluck Way , Andrews shuns both cowboy romanticism and environmentalist sermonizing and illuminates the inescapable conflict between human economic imperatives and the compulsions of animal instinct. His book is a gripping tale of the West, raw and real.” (David Horsey, columnist and cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times)