Books in brief

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Optimal Investing: How to Protect and Grow Your Wealth with Asset Allocation, Scott P. Frush ’99MBA (Marshall Rand Publishing). A step-by-step guide on how to build a financial portfolio. The author, a certified financial planner, discusses the theories and principles of asset allocation, then offers model portfolios for investors with different desired levels of risk.

Alaska Unsalted: Tales of Life and Death on the Last Frontier, Bill Miles ’65 (Bear Creek Press). A collection of eight stories set in the land of the midnight sun, with settings from funeral parlors to bingo halls, subjects from whale hunts to gay charity balls.

The Pureed Gourmet, Henry ’84 and Jane Evans (Scott Publishing). A massive stoke that left Henry Evans a quadriplegic also made the gourmet cook realize how dreadful pureed food can taste to someone who has difficulty swallowing. For more information see

Limbo, Sean Keith Henry ’96MFA (Akashic Books). An African-American man’s move from California to Norway triggers familial resentment in this novel of cultural dislocation.

T’ai Chi, the Sacred Way, Daniel Lally ’87 (Sun Publishing). A synthesis of fluid movements, interfaith scriptures and insight into human character are featured in this book and accompanying DVD. Artwork and images demonstrate the movements.

Someone You Know, Gary Zebrun ’76 (Alyson Books). A mystery thriller about a closeted gay man who finds himself targeted by a gay serial killer.

Never a City So Real: A Walk in Chicago, Alex Kotlowitz (Crown Publishing). The visiting professor of American studies offers a tour not of the city itself but of its people —from steelworkers to artists.

Love and Redemption, Edward Vasta ’52 (Xlibris). A scientist clones himself twice, first as a female and then as a male, in this fictional take on man’s attempt to overcome isolation. Vasta is a Notre Dame emeritus professor of English.

In Praise of Wisdom: Literary and Theological Reflections on Faith and Reason, Kim Paffenroth ’95Ph.D. (Continuum). An examination of wisdom as the ultimate expression of the joining of head and heart in search of God.

Pittsburgh Love Stories, edited by Jennifer Meccariello and David Griffith ’98 (The New Yinzer). Twenty Pittsburgh writers explore their relationship to the city they love. For more information see

American Catholics, American Culture: Tradition and Resistance, edited by Margaret O’Brien Steinfels (Sheed & Ward). The second volume of the American Catholics in the Public Square series. Included are essays exploring anti-Catholicism and the role of the church in popular culture. Contributors include Kenneth Woodward ‘57, Brian Doyle ’78 and ND professors John T. McGreevy ’86 and Valerie Sayers.

Shadows of War: Violence, Power, and International Profiteering in the Twenty-First Century, Carolyn Nordstrom (University of California Press). The author, a Notre Dame associate professor of anthropology, looks at the black markets and financial networks that underwrite wars today.

Will: A Novel, Grace Tiffany ’85M.A., ’89Ph.D. (Berkley Publishing Group). A view of what Shakespeare’s life could have been, including a fictionalized take on possible sources of inspiration for his memorable works.

Voices from the Council, edited by Michael R. Prendergast and M.D. Ridge (Pastoral Press). Interviews with and reflections from the men and women who participated in and observed the Second Vatican Council. Michael S. Driscoll, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, is among the contributors.

Creative Fidelity: American Catholic Intellectual Traditions, edited by R. Scott Appleby’78, Patricia Byrne and William L. Portier (Orbis). A collection of primary source documents offering a history of Catholics as they entered American life.