Outspokenly Yours, Commentaries: 1993-2016, Samuel Hazo ’49 (Word Association Publishers). In his engaging, poetic voice, the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, plays and fiction gathers short essays that take readers on a trip through such topics as “The Glory of Sport”; “No Space Like Home”; and “A World with Nobody in It.” Ralph Nader calls this “a many-splendored book that, once digested, prods the reader to start conversations with friends about any hundreds of insights, witticisms, wisdoms and provocations.”
And There Was Evening and There Was Morning, Mike Smith ’01MFA (WTAW Press). The author’s article, “My Two Emilys,” was published in the winter 2013-14 issue of this magazine and is the first chapter of his memoir. His essays explore the themes of illness, love and loss, as he shares the stories of first his wife and, later, his stepdaughter, both Emilys, both battling cancer. The author, says poet Beth Ann Fennelly ’93, “is a clear-eyed and trustworthy guide through the harrowing kingdoms of illness and grieving.”
Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic, William M. Fowler Jr. ’69M.A., ’71Ph.D. (Bloomsbury). Shipping magnates Samuel Cunard and Edward Knight Collins fought not with ordnance but technology, finance and politics as they battled for control of the globe’s most lucrative trade route in the 1850s. The former director of the Massachusetts Historical Society brings to life the competition between Great Britain and the United States, as steam travel transformed the Atlantic.
The Stuff of Family Life: How Our Homes Reflect Our Lives, Michelle Janning ’96M.A., ’00Ph.D. (Rowman & Littlefield). The sociologist stocks her examination of American families with fun examples and intriguing analyses of how our homes and the stuff within them reveal more than we might have imagined. Following various stages of family life, including dating, marriage, parenting, divorce and aging, she discusses such topics as moving from childhood to adulthood, the household division of labor, and the intersection of home and work.
Notre Dame at 175: A Visual History, Charles Lamb and Elizabeth Hogan ’99 (University of Notre Dame Press). With its 175 images, from photographs and engravings to maps, paintings and documents, the two photo archivists present “the proud and the prosaic moments in the long, fabled history of Notre Dame,” says Father John I. Jenkins, CSC, in his foreword. These portraits of the University include descriptive captions that highlight an image’s historic and artistic significance.
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Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace, Brian Doyle ’78 (Franciscan Media). This collection of 58 essays marks one of the final books by “one of the most acclaimed voices in contemporary Catholic writing.” Here Brian Doyle offers observations on everything from mohawks and miracles to vigils, velociraptors and mercy beyond sense. His essay “Death of a Grocery Store” appeared in the summer 2015 issue of this magazine as “Closing Time.” https://magazine.nd.edu/news/closing-time/
Black Domers: African-American Students at Notre Dame in Their Own Words, edited by Don Wycliff ’69 and David Krashna ’71 (University of Notre Dame Press). The story of racial integration at Notre Dame in the post-World War II era is told through a series of 75 essays, beginning with the first African American to graduate from the University in 1947 to a member of the class of 2017. This is a revised edition of a 2014 publication, with a foreword from Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC.
It Won’t Stay Light Forever: Collected Stories, Ed Weyhing ’59 (Fathom Publishing Company). These short stories offer luminous moments of heartache, humor, fear and hope. Included here is the story “Condolences,” which was awarded special mention in Pushcart Prize XVIII, along with several new and previously published pieces. Weyhing also is the author of the novel Speaking from the Heart. He was preparing this collection for print when he died in June of 2016.
Shattered Shells: Reflections on a Seminarian’s Fall and Recovery: A Memoir, Frederick G. Giel ’75J.D. (Xlibris). When he entered the high school Holy Cross Seminary at age 14, becoming a priest was the childhood dream of young Fred Giel. By the end of his sophomore year, however, the dream vanished in a whirl of poor grades, misconduct and his own misgivings about his career choice. In his memoir, Giel recounts his story of lessons learned and the road that led him back to Notre Dame as a law student.
May It Be: Growing a Genuine Life, Chrissa Ventrelle ’97 (CreateSpace). The author says this collection of short blessings on creating a growing and giving life while celebrating along the way were her offerings to her son as he graduated from high school and stood on the precipice of adulthood. “Through visual prose and natural metaphor,” says one reviewer, “Chrissa gently transports us into the simple everyday truths, reminds us of our shared connections, of our continuous growth and our collective expression of life. It's a treasure.”
The Dance Dragon: One Man’s Reluctant Journey into the World of Ballroom Dancing, Dan Logan ’67 (First Edition Design Publishing). The author spent years avoiding invitations to dance at social gatherings, but he knows a dance with his daughter at her upcoming wedding reception is inevitable. Thus begins one man’s journey of self-discovery, as he sets himself the goal of becoming a good social dancer and along the way discovers that dance “is about feeling the struggle, freedom, and joy that is life.”
Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World, Brad S. Gregory (Harper One). Just in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Notre Dame professor of history presents a religious history of Martin Luther, the man who wished to address problems he saw in the Catholic Church. Gregory goes on to examine the unintended results and complications of Luther’s actions, ones, he says, the Augustinian friar would not have endorsed.
Sectarianism and Orestes Brownson in the American Religious Marketplace, Ángel Cortés ’08Ph.D. (Palgrave Macmillan). Although reformer and journalist Brownson (1803-1876) opposed religious sectarianism, the freethinker converted to Catholicism in the 1840s. The author, a history professor at Holy Cross College, here explores the diverse religious thought of pre-Civil War America and, says one reviewer, “allows us to grasp the coherent dynamic underling the apparent instability of this major American intellectual.”
Critical Thinking: Tools for Evaluating Research, Peter M. Nardi ’69 (University of California Press). How do you deal with the increasing amount of information available in our multi-mediated world? Designed primarily for undergraduate students in the social sciences, this guide offers tools to analyze the evidence that should either support or refute the validity of claims being made by the news media, academic journals and in social media. The website criticalthinkingtext.wordpress.com links to items that elaborate each chapter’s key concepts.
Seventy One: Growing up in Downtown Brooklyn during WW II and joining it before it ended, Gene Rossi ’49 (Sabini Books). In his memoir, the art director traces both personal and historic events, and pays particular attention to his work in the advertising and design fields in New York. “How much does religion play in one’s life or the absence of it? How important is attitude? The importance of ethics and philosophy?” asks Rossi, as he highlights memorable episodes in his life.
Think Right, Live Well: Daily Reflections with Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, edited by Bert Ghezzi ’69Ph.D. (Our Sunday Visitor). Inspirational words and short prayers from the man who hosted the radio show The Catholic Hour in the 1930s and ’40s, and whose 1950s TV show Life Is Worth Living earned him an Emmy for Most Outstanding Television Personality. The author of more than 60 books was known for his humor and apt phrasing, and the daily quotes here showcase his belief that “if you think right, you will live well.”
Jonathan Swift: Irish Blow-In and Jonathan Swift: Our Dean, Eugene Hammond ’69 (University of Delaware Press). The two-volume literary biography of Irish activist Swift (1667–1745), the author says, “does not aim to show how Swift’s life illuminates his writings, but rather how and why Swift wrote in order to live the life he wanted to live.” The comprehensive work makes liberal use of Swift’s own words, and, one critic, says, is “the most coherent, fluent, and proportional narrative of Swift’s life.”
Bambino Gets Into Mischief: The Adventures of Bambino, Thomas Jude Cypher ’87, illustrated by William A. Langley (Xulon Press). When puppy Bambino decides to break the household rules and listen to his friends, he finds himself in trouble with no one around to help him. This charmingly illustrated children’s book teaches about Christian values and virtues, including obedience, sacrifice, mercy and forgiveness. A section of Words to Learn adds to young readers’ vocabulary, and an ending chapter offers Bambino’s lessons about God’s mercy.
The Journey of Reconciliation: Groaning for a New Creation in Africa, Emmanuel Katongole (Orbis Books). The Ugandan priest and Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies explores the role that Christian faith has in reconciliation efforts and, he says, “what it looks like on the continent of Africa.” He also uses stories of peace activists in Uganda, the Congo and Rwanda to illuminate the spiritual and practical disciplines that sustain those who labor for reconciliation.
The Demise of American Democracy: Understanding the Crisis and Resisting the Threat, William Durland ’75M.A. (CreateSpace). A follow-up to the 2016 edition, which explained the crisis affecting the American ideal of representative democracy and what to do about it. Here the former civil rights attorney and retired professor of philosophy, history and government discusses the current attempt “to replace democracy with a conservative autocracy” and offers alternative to what he calls “a dystopian darkness.”
Carol Schaal is managing editor of this magazine.