Cafe book briefs

Author: Meg Morrison '13

A Drive into the Gap, Kevin Guilfoile ’90 (Field Notes Brand Books). The author explores baseball, father-son relationships, memory and identity in this true story that the Chicago Tribune calls a “spectacular home run.” Part memoir, part mystery, the book focuses on the author’s father, Bill Guilfoile ’54, and his life in baseball and, later, coping with Alzheimer’s. For more information, see

Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer, William O’Rourke (Indiana University Press). This collection of short essays, written by an English professor at ND and previously printed in a variety of publications, covers U.S. life over the past 40 years, focusing on subjects personal, political and literary. Topics range from the aftermath of 9/11 and political makeovers to the author’s experience with rap and contemporary American writing.

Near + Far, Cat Rambo (Hydra House). The two-part collection of 24 short stories features tales of hope and despair in the near and far future. Filled with “talking cats, deadly mermaids, mind-altering technologies, live coats, [and] detachable limbs,” Near + Far offers sci-fi fans a glimpse at a number of strange and unsettling futures in what Publishers Weekly calls “strong, thought-provoking stories . . . [by] an undeniably talented prose stylist and world-builder.” The author, who uses a pseudonym, is Catherine Francis ’89.

The Event of Literature, Terry Eagleton (Yale University Press). Written by Notre Dame’s Excellence in English Distinguished Visitor, this book entertains as it delves into the nature of literature and literary study. Combining theory and philosophy, the author views all literary work as an attempt to contain reality, illuminating the place of literature in our culture in what has been called “Eagleton at his best.”

Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation, Thomas F. O’Meara, O.P. (Liturgical Press). Pondering good and evil, intelligence and freedom, revelation and life as they might exist in other galaxies, the author, professor emeritus of theology at ND, explores the possible impact the presence of other intelligent beings might have on Christianity and our understanding of God and the importance of Jesus.

Flesh into Light: The Films of Amy Greenfield, Robert A. Haller ’65, ’66M.A. (Intellect Ltd). The author explores the innovative work of Amy Greenfield, a pioneer and major artist who has developed a new language of the body in motion for film and electronic media since 1970, evoking primal inner experience and a woman’s representation of the body.

Remembering Notre Dame: Part I: The Dome (And the God Quad), Michael D. Ciletti, ’64, ’65M.A., ’68Ph.D. (Corby Books). The first of three volumes, this “memory” and “place” book offers readers a glimpse of the historic, central core of campus, helping recall fond memories of time spent at Notre Dame with beautiful photographs and brief descriptions of many campus highlights. The series is designed to help readers remember their time on Notre Dame’s campus as well as the influence of the people who have made Notre Dame special for them.

The Notre Dame Spirit, Kristin Lenhart ’00 and Julia Passamani ’00, illustrated by Katie Mountford ’06 (Corby Books). Written and illustrated by Notre Dame alumnae, this children’s book follows a determined boy who searches for the spirit of Notre Dame on a football Saturday. In his quest, he checks out the library, the marching band, student concession stands, the Grotto and the fans.

Mathematical Excursions to the World’s Great Buildings, Alexander J. Hahn, (Princeton University Press). This sweeping tour of the intersections of math and design, written by a math professor and director of the Glynn Family Honors Program at ND, covers the early geometric and arithmetic principles behind Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza through more contemporary engineering marvels such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Time Out for Monsters!, Jean Reidy ’81, illustrated by Robert Neubecker (Disney: Hyperion Books). A little boy turns his “time out” into an adventure filled with a fire truck, a monster and a great big pile of cupcakes, inviting anyone with an outsized imagination to join in the rambunctious romp about making your own world. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Expressive Intersections in Brahms: Essays in Analysis and Meaning, edited by Heather Platt and Peter H. Smith (Indiana University Press). Co-edited by Smith, a professor of music at Notre Dame, this collection of essays examines the intersection of structure and meaning in Brahms’ music from a variety of approaches. By comparing passages in one musical composition to similar pieces as well as literature and painting, this volume uncovers music’s power of expression.

Three Tastes of Nuoc Mam: The Brown Water Navy & Visits to Vietnam, Douglas M. Branson ’45, ’74J.D. (Hellgate Press). The Brown Water Navy, a combination of small coast guard cutters, minesweepers and Vietnamese Yabudda junks assembled by the U.S. Navy to patrol 1100 miles of coastline in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, is brought to light in this combination of personal narrative and cultural history. The author served as a lieutenant JG during the war and later returned to Vietnam as a consultant and tourist before writing this book.

The Christian’s Guide to Harry Potter, Leslie Barnhart ’93 (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). Intended to serve as a compendium of knowledge for those seeking for the deeper meanings in Harry Potter and their own faith journey, this book brings to life all of the history, Biblical passages and traditions that J.K. Rowling wrote into the series. Differences between secular magic, witchcraft and Christianity are also explored.

C.S. Lewis Goes to Heaven: A Reader’s Guide to The Great Divorce, David G. Clark ’75Ph.D. (Winged Lion Press, LLC). The first full-length treatment of The Great Divorce since its publication more than 65 years ago, this guide reveals important secrets that have puzzled readers for decades. The author introduces the reader to a host of fascinating historical and literary figures who play a role in the popular novel, illuminating the work with theological insight and devotional delight.

The Little Book of Talent, Daniel Coyle ’87 (Bantam). The New York Times bestselling author is back, this time with a practical-minded companion to The Talent Code. His latest work offers readers 52 simple, proven tips for improving at sports, music, art and business, taken from his research in talent hotbeds over the last five years. This is an essential guide for anyone who ever asked, “How do I get better?”

Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization, Ralph Martin ’64 (Eerdmans). Focusing primarily on the history of debate and the development of responses to the question of salvation within the Catholic Church, the author argues that the conditions under which people who have not heard the gospel can be saved are rarely fulfilled. This book, which has been called a “shot in the arm for bishops, priests and laity” by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, has strong implications for evangelization.

The Vegas Knockout, Tom Schreck ’83 (Thomas & Mercer). After signing on as chief sparring partner for Russian heavyweight contender Boris Rusakov in Las Vegas, New Yorker Duffy Dombrowski learns that the city and his partner have a dark side. Duffy befriends a group of Mexican boxers, saves one of their sisters from Boris and finds himself on the Russian mafia’s hit list. Only with help from a surprising source can Duffy get out of Sin City alive.

Getting Dunn, Tom Schreck ’83 (Thomas & Mercer). Soldier TJ Dunn is traumatized after a brutal ambush in Iraq takes the lives of her entire team. After she learns that her fiance has committed suicide in Afghanistan, she is discharged from the army and spirals into an emotional daze, working at a suicide hotline and moonlighting as an exotic dancer while channeling her anger into boxing. An anonymous phone call shocks her back to life, leading her to seek justice for those she loves.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy: The Last Masterpiece, Raymond Foery ’67 (Scarecrow Press). Like other works on Hitchcock’s films, this recounts the writing, preproduction, casting, shooting, postproduction and promotion of one of the director’s great works. Unlike other books, however, it goes into exceptional detail, combining a history of the production process with an account of how this film relates to Hitchcock’s other works, making it of interest to film scholars and Hitchcock fans alike.

Peace Economics: A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence-Afflicted States, Jurgen Brauer ’86M.A., ’89Ph.D. and J. Paul Dunne (United States Institute of Peace). Offering practitioners a concise but broad overview of macroeconomics in states afflicted by violence, this volume goes beyond economic principles into the wider realm of social reconstitution, social contract and social capital. Combining theory and practice, this book was written for policy makers, third parties working in conflict zones and students of conflict management and peace building.

The Last Chalkline: The Life & Times of Jack Chevigny, Jeff Walker (Wasteland Press). This biography of Notre Dame football great Chevigny follows the protagonist of the “one for the Gipper” legend through his years playing and coaching football, establishing Camp Lejeune as a football power while serving as an officer in the Marines Corps and, later, leading his assault team onto the eastern beach of Iwo Jima amid a rain of hot metal and artillery fire.

The Political Humanism of Hannah Arendt, Michael H. McCarthy ’63 (Rowman Littlefield). A critical study of Arendt that explores the sources and dangers of political alienation in the West from the citizen republics of classical antiquity to the consumer societies of modern liberal democracies. A sympathetic appraisal of the high promise and great perils of the political life, this book has been called “lucid, unpolemical and scrupulously fair . . . [and] scholarship at its best.”

You Know Who’s Awesome? (Not You.), Ted Fox ’02, illustrated by Ryan Hannus (Adams Media). Have you ever thought, “Everyone is just so awesome?” If the answer is no, this is the book for you. The author’s witty observations about some of the less awesome members of the human race are sure to make anyone who has dealt with such individuals laugh out loud.

Blind over Cuba: The Photo Gap and the Missile Crisis, David Barrett ’73, ’90Ph.D. and Max Holland (Texas A&M University Press). In the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis, a congressional investigation focused on the “photo gap”: five weeks during which the CIA was prohibited from sending surveillance aircraft over Cuba. Using recently declassified documents, secondary materials and interviews with key participants, the authors argue that the affair was a close call resulting from decisions made in a climate of deep distrust between key administration officials and the intelligence community.

Our Experience, Ourselves: How Experience Came to be Valued so Highly by People in the West, Lyn Relph ’61 (Smashwords). The idea of experience being important, born in ancient Rome, was lost until the 15th century. Since then, this notion of wisdom coming from experience has spread throughout Western civilization. This book traces the significance of experience from early Christianity through the Renaissance and Enlightenment up to the modern era.