Books in print and books in brief

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Life on the Tenure Track: Lessons from the First Year, James M. Lang ’91 (Johns Hopkins University Press). Are the students even listening to me? Will this departmental meeting ever end? And how do I decide what grades to give? Through light-hearted stories and thoughtful analysis, the author takes the reader along on his spirited, nerve-racking trip as a new faculty member. This is not a guidebook, he writes, “though I hope you will find some guidance here.” Lang is an assistant professor at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Back to Earth: A Backpacker’s Journey into Self and Spirit, Kerry Temple ’74 (Rowman & Littlefield). A memoir of a man at midlife, as he ponders what has happened to the ideals of his youth and searches for belief and a renewed spirituality following the disintegration of his marriage. As one caught in the “currents of 21st century living,” he writes, “it was time to find redemption, time to go outside and fish.” The author is the editor of Notre Dame Magazine and an award-winning essayist. Read an excerpt from the book.

Squirt, Stacy A. Nyikos ’90, illustrated by Shawn Sisneros (Stonehorse). A children’s picture book featuring a cartoon-loving squid and his colorful adventures. The metered text follows Squirt, who at first is so captivated by a show on his “holocam” that he doesn’t want to play. “I do not want to! Can’t you see? I want to sit and watch TV!” Squirt tells his mother, who has brighter plans for him. Two pages of squid facts end the book. Part of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Oklahoma Aquarium.

A Brief History of Saints, Lawrence S. Cunningham (Blackwell Publishing). The Notre Dame professor of theology offers up a concise and readable guide to the roots, meaning and significance of the saints, particularly in the Roman Catholic tradition. He examines the complex tradition of sainthood, mixed with stories of saints from the “odd, outrageous or eccentric” to the luminous. The role of saints in other religious traditions and the relevance of sainthood today rounds out this historical view of those with a “capacity to do the ordinary in an extraordinary fashion.”

Corporate Catalysts: How to Make Your Company More Successful, Whatever Your Title, Income, or Authority, Dan Coughlin ’85 (Career Press). This book is written, the author notes, for those who want to “cut through the corporate cacophony and be part of the solution, not the problem.” The book debunks corporate myths and offers practical advice on developing leadership skills and building teams, using real-world examples. Coughlin leads executive coaching sessions at major corporations and teaches managerial leadership in the MBA program at Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri.

Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way, edited by Tom Morris and Matt Morris (Open Court). What’s the meaning behind those comic-book heroes and their bright spandex? Tom Morris, a former ND philosophy professor, and his son Matt put together several essays exploring how these pop culture icons “treat in vivid ways some of the most interesting and important questions facing all human beings.” Contributors include Jeff Brenzel ’92M.A., ’01Ph.D., and Jerry Walls ’89Ph.D.

Book briefs

In Darkness, Death, Dorothy Hoobler, Thomas Hoobler ’64 (Philomel Books). Winner of the 2005 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult novel. In this third book of the mystery series set in 18th century Japan, Judge Ooka and his adopted son Seikei investigate the murder of a warlord.

Legend, Barry Maher ’70 (Lindisfarne Books). A new edition of the 1987 fantasy novel. This allegory of mental bondage is set in a future where a crumbling city is run by a bureaucracy headed by the “Big Eaters” and the general population barely functions.

100 Seasons of Basketball: A Celebration of Irish Players and History (Notre Dame and Professional Sports Publications). A full-color magazine with lists, a time line and information about classic games. Includes essays by Austin Carr ’71 and Chris Thomas ’05. Available only through the Hammes Notre Dame bookstore, 800-647-4641.

Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething’s Guide to Seeking Adventure, Colleen Kinder (Running Press). A roadmap to unique post-college jobs, internships and travel opportunities. Some 15 ND alums, from Molly Kinder ’01 to Roger Loughney ’01, share their nontraditional experiences.

A Time of Predators, Joe Gores ’53 (Forge Books). A reprint of the author’s 1969 noir thriller, published as part of the Otto Penzler series of vintage Edgar-winning novels.

Parched, Heather King (Chamberlain Bros.). The author, a frequent contributor to Notre Dame Magazine and a commentator for NPR, talks of her alcoholism and spiritual thirst in this tragicomic memoir.

The Great Brain Book: An Inside Look at the Inside of Your Head, H.P. Newquist ’80 (Scholastic Reference). The lavishly illustrated science book takes young readers on a tour of the body’s most complex organ.

True Believe, Nicholas Sparks ’88 (Warner). The best-selling novelist returns with the story of a skeptical science writer from New York who falls for a librarian in North Carolina.

50 Weapons that Changed Warfare, William Weir ’50 (NewPage Books). As weapons evolved, so did tactics of warfare. From spears to nuclear bombs, most of the hardware described here is illustrated by historical photography.

Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome: A Step-by-Step Guide to Breaking the Cycle, Kelly C. Allison ’95, Albert J. Stunkard, M.D., with Sara L. Thier (New Harbinger Publications). Offers an overview of the eating disorder and tips on how to overcome the destructive pattern.

Essentials of Strategic Project Management, Kevin Callahan ’05MBA and Lynne Brooks (Wiley & Sons). Tips, techniques and examples geared to achieving the desired business results through the proper handling of company projects.

Patriotic Leaders of the Church, John F. Fink ’53 (Our Sunday Visitor). Profiles of civic-minded men who were, as the author writes, both good Catholics and good Americans. Civil War chaplains William Corby, CSC, and Paul Gillen, CSC, are included.

Celtic Fire, Joy Nash ’84 (Dorchester Publishing). A mass-market paperback of mystery, intrigue and romance set in second century Roman Britain.

John Paul II in the Holy Land: In His Own Words, edited by Lawrence Boadt, CSP, and Kevin di Camillo ’95M.A. (Stimulus Books/Paulist Press). A historical record of Pope John Paul II’s stunning March 2000 trip to the Middle East, with Jewish and Christian perspectives by Yehezkel Landau of Hartford Seminary and Michael McGarry, CSP, of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute.

The Heart Set Free: Sin and Redemption in the Gospels, Augustine, Dante, and Flannery O’Connor, Kim Paffenroth ’95Ph.D. (Continuum). An accessible analysis of the theological and literary works of the Christian tradition.

Music in Christian Worship: At the Service of the Liturgy, edited by Charlotte Kroeker (Liturgical Press). This look at music as sung prayer includes essays by Father Michael S. Driscoll, who teaches theology at Notre Dame, Father Michael Joncas ’78M.A. and John Witvliet ’97Ph.D.

Interpreting Data: A Guide to Understanding Research, Peter M. Nardi ’69 (Allyn & Bacon). Practical help on how to interpret tables, graphs and figures found in both popular and scholarly publications.

Fair Game: Open Season on Baseball, Bob McKenty ’56 (Doggerel Daze). Cartoon illustrations complement this gathering of poetry about the nation’s pasttime.

Negotiating for Georgia: British-Creek Relations in the Trustee Era 1733-1752, Julie Ann Sweet ’92 (University of Georgia Press). An examination of the relationship between Native Americans and the British settlers, with its collaboration and conflict.

We Are a Family, Bob Traley (Xlibris). Traley is the pen name of Bob Straley ’53, who showcases the history of a family from Germany and a family from Ireland.

Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health, Ruth Levine, What Works Working Group, Molly Kinder ’01 (Center for Global Development). Case studies of 17 life-saving health initiatives in developing countries, with a review of what it takes for such programs to succeed.

The Soul of Wit: Some Poems, Ralph McInerny (St. Augustine’s Press). Memory, distant and near, is the catalyst for these poems, as the writer tries his hand at a variety of forms.