Is Now A Good Time?, podcast produced by Bill Ehrlich ’09, Michael Benz ’09. Is now a good time to change jobs, get married, start a business, travel the world? What are you doing right now? What have you learned along the way? The 45-minute podcasts, produced in Oakland, California, check in twice a month with people in their 20s and 30s, including recently a food photographer, hatmaker and software engineer, as they share their journeys. Available at isnowagooddtime.com and through Soundcloud and iTunes.
Food for a Journey, Tom Gannon ’60 (Antrim House). Life’s mutable moments sparkle in this autobiographical journey of poems. The former priest, teacher, lawyer and associate editor of America magazine, who turned to painting and poetry after his retirement from a long-standing law career, here captures images of life’s many scenes: the Italian grandmothers of his South Philly neighbors timidly retreating to the kitchen, the dying football coach receiving Communion and the immigrants hunting scrap metal in the trash of suburbia.
The Runaway Prophet, Michele Dietz Chynoweth ’83 (Morgan James Publishing). In this contemporary spin on the Old Testament Book of Jonah, the novel follows ad agency executive Rory Justice as he unwillingly must help investigators rooting out a plot to destroy Las Vegas with an underground nuclear bomb. The third in the author’s line of Modern Day Bible Stories is preceded by The Faithful One, based on the Book of Job, and The Peace Maker, based on the story of David and Abigail in the First Book of Samuel.
Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama, Kenneth L. Woodward ’57 (Convergent Books). The author, who was Newsweek’s religion editor for almost 40 years, traces the story of Christianity in the United States over the past 60 years. His blend of memoir, reporting and historical analysis offers a look at how faith shapes American culture and politics and vice versa. He also presents portraits of such religious figures as Billy Graham, the Dalai Lama, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Dr. Sun Myung Moon.
Old MacDonald Had a Truck, Steve Goetz ’98, illustrated by Eda Kaban (Chronicle Books). The interactive, oversized, sing-along picture book features a dump truck, bulldozer and other big machinery taking center stage in the lyrics/story of the classic folk song. In this version, Old MacDonald’s farm has a woman helping with the chores. “Loads of infectious fun make this a read-aloud treat,” says Kirkus Reviews.
Win/Loss Analysis: How to Capture and Keep the Business You Want, Ellen Naylor ’77 (Park Hill Press). Do you know why that customer left your business? What attracted that other customer to sign on? And exactly who is your ideal customer and how do you identify and cultivate them? The book presents a 12-step formal process that allows managers to gain customer insight beyond guesswork so the company can win or retain business. The author combines theory and experience in her presentation of the win/loss analytic tool.
See the Good, Alex Montoya ’96 (Tate Publishing). Following the death of his sister and other challenges, the hard-charging motivational speaker found that life had left him less than inspired. Then he took to heart a sign he’d seen on a friend’s desk, See the Good, and decided he needed to adopt that attitude. This life philosophy of seeing the good in “your adversity . . . in every situation you previously cursed . . . in all difficult people,” he says, can lead to redemption and renewal. Montoya is also the author of Swinging for the Fences and The Finish Line.
Marsco Triumphant: Book Two of the Marsco Saga, James A. Zarzana ’85Ph.D. (Create Space). In this follow-up to The Marsco Dissident, insurgents realize escape from the solar system to another habitable planet may be the only way to gain freedom from the authoritarian regime of Marsco on Earth. But the corporation that controls computer access, commerce and most space travel may be facing its own war, which could lead to even more disastrous consequences for those living on Earth.
Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record, Robert Schmuhl ’70 (University of Notre Dame Press). Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, often made headlines when he served as Notre Dame’s president from 1952 to 1987. He was frequently interviewed by Schmuhl, the ND professor of American Studies and Journalism who covered him for various outlets and became a friend and confidant. This volume offers both excerpts and commentary from those interviews and a warmhearted view of the influential priest.
Monk’s Tale: The Presidential Years 1987-2005, Edward A. Malloy, CSC (University of Notre Dame Press). The final installment of Father Malloy’s three-volume memoir examines his leadership at Notre Dame following the long-term presidency of Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC. “I’ve tried to be truthful without being hurtful,” Monk says, as he details the rigors of overseeing a university, from meetings with various constituencies, journeys both domestic and international, fundraising, teaching and dealing with controversial issues.
Historical Style: Fashion and the New Mode of History, 1740-1830, Timothy Campbell ’00 (University of Pennsylvania Press). The University of Chicago professor surveys art history, philosophy and literary history in his investigation of the role of fashion trends in British perception of time and history. The burgeoning consumer society began tracking the traansformations, he says, which resulted in a new expectation of continual change.
Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth, Jennifer Chiaverini ’91 (Dutton). Through five woven narratives, the best-selling author of historical fiction here shapes the story of the once-celebrated actor who assassinated President Lincoln. Four of the five voices are those of the women who loved and were loved by Booth — his mother, sister, sweetheart and possible co-conspirator. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “Engaging, sweeping historical fiction that complicates politics by teasing out the domestic and romantic repercussions of treason."
Carol Schaal is managing editor of this magazine.