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Bookshelf


Alumni who would like to have their books considered for this listing should send notice to Stacey Himmelberger, editor of Hamilton magazine. 

<em>On the Scent of a Continent: Memories of Africa</em>

On the Scent of a Continent: Memories of Africa

Martin Baenninger ’67

(Conneaut Lake, Pa.: Page Publishing, 2019)
This book includes tales from the author’s travels to Africa in his mid-20s on behalf of a Swiss-based multi-national fragrance company and is as much a coming-of-age-story as a travel memoir. He tells of encountering (and doing his best to cope with) situations, people, and challenges that he never imagined and learning lessons that he did not even know were there to learn. According to the book jacket, “Interwoven in the text is also much aviation lore with absorbing and extensive background information about some of the airlines and airplanes of the mid 20th century. The diverse and eventful episodes recounted in the book are both charming and informative, and 74 illustrations bring the witty and lighthearted text even more to life.”

<em>Spiritual Java: Daily Cups of Inspiration</em>

Spiritual Java: Daily Cups of Inspiration

Chip Bristol ’83

(Self-published, 2020)
The author, who spent many years working in school ministry, shares this collection of spiritual meditations — one for each day of the year — that offers a creative and rich way to spark ideas and conversations. “Drawn from ordinary moments in life, the meditations are intended to point even the most spiritually reluctant readers to the sacredness of life,” noted Bristol, who writes about the spiritual life in unconventional ways, from blog posts to children’s books, a meditation book to a novel. “I use all means necessary to help my readers to see life from a new perspective,” he said.

<em>Bosses: True Stories of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly</em>

Bosses: True Stories of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Roger D’Aprix ’55

(ChargeStart Press, 2020)
As noted by the publisher, this book shines a light on an underreported issue — senior leadership’s neglect in preparing bosses to whom they delegate the task of managing the organization’s people. The author introduces readers to a menagerie of bad and ugly bosses, as well as exemplary ones who lead with concern and sensitivity — thoughtful and committed managers who have the wisdom to establish a clear mission, to provide feedback and guidance, and to build an integrated and effective team. D’Aprix is an author, consultant and former corporate communication executive with Xerox and General Electric. In each of his eight books, he has explored people’s connection with their work and the need to make workplaces more receptive to human talent and innovation, both for the individual’s and the organization’s benefit.

<em>Telling Stories Of Untold Feelings … And Other Stuff</em>

Telling Stories Of Untold Feelings … And Other Stuff

Chuck Cutolo ’73

(Denise Publications, 2020)
A self-described poetic-essayist, Cutolo shares 42 pieces that reflect both his own hopes, fears, loves, and loathings, as well as those of his readers. As one reviewer noted, “When the world feels darkest, and our perspective cloudy, unexpected stories have the extraordinary ability to provide us the exact kind of solace we crave and the right bit of impetus this life, in that moment, demands. Chuck Cutolo understands this and delivers. … His writing is a light for those who come across it and a refreshing bit of sanity in even the maddest of times.” The author, who formerly worked on Capitol Hill as legislative director for former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and as majority counsel for the Nassau (N.Y.) County Legislature, most recently served as the general counsel for governmental and media relations for Nassau Community College. This is his third book.

<em>Unlikely Angel – The Songs of Dolly Parton</em>

Unlikely Angel – The Songs of Dolly Parton

Professor of Music Lydia R. Hamessley

(Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2020)
Dolly Parton’s success as a performer and pop culture icon often overshadows her achievements as a songwriter. According to the publisher, “Hamessley’s expert analysis and Parton’s characteristically straightforward input inform this comprehensive look at the process, influences, and themes that have shaped the superstar’s songwriting. Hamessley reveals how Parton’s loving, hardscrabble childhood in the Smoky Mountains provided the musical language, rhythms, and memories of old-time music that resonate in so many of her songs. Hamessley further provides an understanding of how Parton combines her cultural and musical heritage with an artisan’s sense of craft and design to compose eloquent, painfully honest, and gripping songs about women’s lives, poverty, heartbreak, inspiration, and love.”

<em>Russia and Central Asia: Coexistence, Conquest, Convergence</em>

Russia and Central Asia: Coexistence, Conquest, Convergence

Professor of History Shoshana Keller

(Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2019)
A finalist for the Central Eurasian Studies Society’s Best Book Award for 2020, this work provides an overview of the relationship between two dynamic regions, highlighting the ways in which Russia and Central Asia have influenced and been influenced by Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. According to the publisher, “Cultural and social history are interwoven with the military narrative to provide a sense of the people, their religion, and their practices — all of which were severely tested under Stalin. The text includes a glossary as well as images and maps that help to highlight 500 years of changes, bringing Central Asia into the general narrative of Russian and world history and introducing a fresh perspective on colonialism and modernity.”

<em>From Hire to Inspire: How to Become the Best Boss</em>

From Hire to Inspire: How to Become the Best Boss

David Lahey ’83

(Toronto, Canada: ECW Press, 2020)
From the promo flyer: “North Americans work 90,000 hours in their lifetime. Wouldn’t they enjoy working in a job they love, with a boss who energizes them? With advice for all types of companies, From Hire to Inspire is a road map to becoming a better boss — maybe even the best boss — and to helping your employees achieve their potential.” Lahey specializes in leadership development, talent acquisition, change management, and productivity improvement across a variety of industries. He is an executive coach and consultant to more than 500 of Canada’s “Best Managed Companies.”

<em>Teaching in the Online Classroom: Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal</em>

Teaching in the Online Classroom: Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal

Doug Lemov ’90

(San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2020)
School closures in response to COVID-19 resulted in an immediate and universal pivot to online teaching. Lemov, author of the international bestseller Teach Like a Champion 2.0, and his colleagues at Teach Like a Champion spent weeks studying videos of online teaching and provide educators with real-life examples they can apply and adapt into their own online classroom. This guide explores the challenges involved in online teaching and guides educators and administrators to identify and understand best practices.

<em>The Coach’s Guide to Teaching</em>

The Coach’s Guide to Teaching

Doug Lemov ’90

(Woodbridge, United Kingdom: John Catt Educational, 2020)
The mark of a great coach is a constant desire to learn and grow — a hunger to use whatever can make them better. This book is designed to help coaches understand how to develop athletes more successfully by explaining the cognitive science of learning and applying it to sports settings. The author discusses how professional sports franchises, national sports federations, and other coaches he’s worked with have applied and adapted some of those ideas to develop talent. The author is founder of Uncommon Schools, a network of high performing schools in underserved communities.

<em>Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump’s Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington</em>

Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump’s Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington

Lachlan Markay ’09 and Asawin Suebsaeng

(New York: Viking Press, 2020)
The authors, investigative and White House reporters for The Daily Beast, share what the publisher describes as “an uncompromising account of the financial and moral degradation of our capital, told with righteous indignation and through the lens of key power players and foot soldiers whose own antics have often escaped the notice of the overworked press corps.” Markay, who covers money in politics, lobbying, influence, and corruption, formerly reported for the Washington Free Beacon and was the first investigative reporter for the Heritage Foundation.

<em>Ethnic Minority Women’s Writing in France: Publishing Practices and Identity Formation (1998-2005)</em>

Ethnic Minority Women’s Writing in France: Publishing Practices and Identity Formation (1998-2005)

Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies Claire Mouflard

(Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2020)
Part of the series “After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France,” this book argues that the identity politics surrounding the immigration discourse of early 21st century France were reflected in the marketing and editing practices of the Metropole’s key publishers, specifically regarding non-white French women’s literature. “Mouflard’s research highlights the discrepancies between France’s official discourse on immigration, and the actual identity formation processes created by the institutions and exploited by influential publishers, in the years leading to the historic 2005 banlieue civil unrest,” the publisher noted.

<em>Two Plays (“The Snow Queen” and “November Door”)</em>

Two Plays (“The Snow Queen” and “November Door”)

David Pratt ’80

(Ann Arbor: Hosta Press, 2020)
The Snow Queen is the story of a boy’s friendship with a lonely, ostracized woman who shows him the kindness and understanding missing in his life. Although he can’t fully understand the reasons for their connection, the boy realizes they are somehow alike. Set nearly 30 years later, November Door finds the two unlikely friends from first play reunited when the man returns to his childhood home. The reader learns what’s become of both characters who’ve carried their scars into adulthood and old age. Pratt is the author of numerous works, including most recently the novels Todd Sweeney, the Fiend of Fleet High and Wallaçonia.

<em>Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and the Errant Anthropologist: Fieldwork in Malaysia</em>

Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and the Errant Anthropologist: Fieldwork in Malaysia

Professor of Anthropology Emeritus Douglas Raybeck

(Long Grove, Ill.: Waveland Press, 2020)
The second edition of this book, originally published in 1996, recounts Raybeck’s adventures (and misadventures) while doing fieldwork in Southeast Asia. According to the publisher, the book includes “rich descriptions of Kelantanese society and culture” and “insight into the human dimension of the fieldwork undertaking.” Raybeck also addresses important considerations such as building rapport with research subjects and how to obtain reliable information. New to the second edition is an extensive epilogue. Prominent anthropologist Rosemary Firth calls it “a gem,” saying it is “beautifully written, dryly comic, and wryly self-mocking; at root it is a thoughtful and critical contribution to the aims and field techniques of our profession.”

<em>Stolen Identity</em>

Stolen Identity

Michael W. Sherer ’74

(Seattle: Cutter Press, 2019)
Described by Publisher’s Weekly as a “high-octane, compulsively readable thriller,” the novel features the plight of: Two men — a former CIA assassin in the Vietnam War now in his 60s and living a quiet life and a mysterious mastermind behind a number of major al Qaeda terror attacks since the 1990s. Two sons — a U.S. assistant district attorney and a suspected terrorist awaiting trial for attempting to smuggle explosives across the Canadian border. One grandson — kidnapped and used as leverage. Sherer is the author of numerous books and articles and is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.

<em>Maoist Laughter</em>

Maoist Laughter

Associate Professor of East Asian Languages Zhuoyi Wang (co-edited with Ping Zhu and Jason McGrath)

(Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong University Press, 2019)
This book, awarded Choice’s Outstanding Academic Title of 2020, features 10 essays that demonstrate that the connection between laughter and political culture during the Mao years was far more complex than conventional conceptions of communist indoctrination can explain. By examining a variety of genres ? including dance, cartoon, children’s literature, comedy, regional oral performance, film, and fiction ? the editors uncover many nuanced innovations and experiments with laughter during what has been too often misinterpreted as an unrelentingly bleak period.

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