Cafe choice

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Pursue Me, Danielle Rose ’02 (World Library Publications). Danielle Rose Skorich recorded this CD “to encourage others who are also discerning a religious vocation.” It features 11 pieces written and performed by the singer with her Alison Krauss-like voice, plus “Gates of Heaven,” written and performed by her father, Daniel Skorich, for parents who have a child discerning religious life. The CD is available as a free gift through vocations directors for those considering a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life. It also may be purchased at

As a Comic . . . In All Seriousness, Eric Hunter ’88. Along with riffs about his Irish Catholic family and not-so-bright buddies, the stand-up comedian does an extended take in an attempt to impress the women in the audience. “I love to rearrange furniture for no apparent reason,” he says. “Maybe we could do some scrapbooking.” Recorded live in Boise, Idaho, with some studio bonus tracks, the 37-minute CD is available at

The Way We Get By, produced by Gita Pullapilly ’99. This documentary, which follows a group of senior citizens who gather daily at a small airport in Maine to thank U.S. soldiers departing to and returning from Iraq, aired on PBS and has won multiple film festival awards. It “unfolds with the care a war vet might show the flag at dawn,” writes Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post. The 84-minute DVD can be rented on Netflix or ordered from

May I Have Your Attention Please . . . Wit & Wisdom from the Notre Dame Press Box, Mike Collins ’67 and Sergeant Tim McCarthy (Corby Books). Football P.A. announcer Collins and safety punster McCarthy recount behind-the-scenes details of their work atop the Notre Dame stadium. The book includes a selection of Collins’ favorite games and McCarthy’s favorite safety quips. Tom Hammond and Pat Haden of NBC Sports wrote the foreword.

The Education of Jake O’Brien: A Novel, Michael Freeman ’64 (iUniverse). When a minor league player whose past is filled with tragedy gets a chance at the big league, he begins to discover that life should mean more than hitting a baseball. The author, who was an avid fan of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, celebrates the mythology of baseball and the quest for self-identity in a book Kirkus Discoveries called “a genial baseball saga.”

The Irish Way of Life: Stories of Family, Faith and Friendship, John Shaughnessy ’77 (Corby Books). A man in a pub in Ireland turns a simple set of directions into a grand narrative. A Saint Mary’s student studying in Ireland learns to make faith a part of her daily life. The owner of an Irish shop gets business advice from her deceased mother. Each short chapter here illustrates “the heart, the humor and the proud heritage of the Irish.”

You Can Do This! Surviving Breast Cancer Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Style, Elisha Daniels and Kelley Tuthill ’92 with Ann Partridge, M.D., M.P.H. (Andrews McMeel Publishing). The authors, who both worked through their cancer treatments, share tips on surviving the various challenges of medical therapies as well as those involving career, family, friends and image issues. Oncologist Partridge contributes her expertise.

Stained Glass: A Father Dowling Mystery, Ralph McInerny (Minotaur Books). The ND philosophy professor emeritus presents his 28th entry in the beloved mystery series. Here the priest struggles to keep his church, Saint Hilary’s, from being closed, while a family of wealthy parishioners finds death on its doorstep.

Voices of the Saints: A 365-day Journey with our Spiritual Companions, Bert Ghezzi ’69Ph.D. (Loyola Press). While the primary focus here is on the inspiring stories of the saints, the book also makes it easy to find a favorite. Saints can be referenced alphabetically, chronologically, by feast day or by theme. Each entry ends with a Scripture verse or prayer to help readers reflect more deeply on the saint’s story.

Bowled Over: Big-Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era, Michael Oriard ’70 (University of North Carolina Press). The sports historian and former ND and pro football player argues that various NCAA decisions have made college football a farm league for professional football. He traces the history and evolution of the sport and looks at the challenges inherent in calls for reform.

Carol Schaal is managing editor of Notre Dame Magazine.