Love & Other Recreational Sports, John Dearie ’86 (Viking). After breaking up with his cheating fiancee, Wall Street banker Jack reluctantly re-enters the dating game, and readers of this novel enter a male perspective of women, romance, sex and life in general. Jack’s funny, philosophical friend Alex, who watches reruns of Oprah to find out what women want from a man; his co-worker Karen, who shares stories of her disastrous love life; and the happily married Ted, who says marriage is always a risk, round out this amusing view of relationships today. Jack, meanwhile, must decide whether an attorney named Sarah deserves a sporting chance.
Go Forth and Do Good: Memorable Notre Dame Commencement Addresses, edited by Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC, ’77M.A., ’80Ph.D., ’87M.Div. (University of Notre Dame Press). The 1849 commencement ceremony at Notre Dame was marked by six hours of speeches—including one on “Latin Discourse on General History.” Readers learn all this and more from Miscamble’s lively introduction to this collection of 24 graduation addresses at Notre Dame. A short note before each speech offers helpful historical and social context. The book moves from William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1865 speech to President George W. Bush’s 2001 appearance, and includes such noteworthy speakers as Joseph Kennedy, Condoleezza Rice ’75M.A., Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Andrew Young, as well as a letter from Mother Teresa. Miscamble is the rector of Moreau Seminary and an associate professor of history at Notre Dame.
Vatican II: Forty Personal Stories, edited by William Madges and Michael J. Daley (Twenty-Third Publications). Three Notre Dame theology professors—Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P., Lawrence Cunningham, Father Richard McBrien—are among those who share their stories about how Vatican II has affected their life and ministry. A celebration of the 40th anniversary of the convening of the council, the book also offers introductory essays detailing the historical context and major themes of Vatican II.
Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness, Thomas P. Slaughter (Knopf). Slaughter, a Notre Dame history professor, thematically explores the lives of the explorers who are known as the trailblazers to the West. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who crossed the country in 1803, are often viewed as heroes. Studying their journals and other writings of the time, Slaughter instead finds two men whose prejudices, motivation and actions serve as an apt reflection of 19th century Americans. The author also looks at other members of the expedition, including the woman we know today as Sacajawea. “We would honor her and be truer to our history by celebrating her accomplishments as a slave who transcended and eventually escaped her condition,” he writes, rather than mythologizing her as “a princess saving white men from savages.”
Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical: From Debate to Dialogue on the Issues That Separate Us, Father John R. Waiss ’79 and James G. McCarthy (Harvest House). The two correspondents believe in the same God, the same Christ. Their theology differs, however, and the priest and evangelical minister share their views of those disagreements in a series of balanced and thoughtful letters and conversations. The letters focus on six key areas that distinguish the belief systems of the priest and minister, including the meaning of the Last Supper and how one obtains salvation.