Cafe choice

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Forever Irish: Tailgating Songs in the Irish Tradition, Ken O’Malley. Dublin-born musician O’Malley joined forces with John Tabis ’00 for this 10-track CD. The music, says Tabis, “combines the mythology of Notre Dame football lore with the tradition of Irish pub/sing-along songs.” Except for the bonus tracks of “Danny Boy” and “I’m a Rover,” all songs were written by O’Malley and Tabis, from “The Horsemen Ride Again” to “Make Way for the Irish Guard.” To hear samples or to order, see

Directory of Devotional Prayer, Congregation of Holy Cross (Ave Maria Press). The prayers and texts used here are from the writings of Father Basil Moreau, CSC, founder of the congregation, and from those newly composed “in light of our Constitutions, charism, and spiritual heritage.” Included are prayers for daily meditation, an essential practice that, Father Moreau wrote, “determines the entire day, and without prayer and silence we grow negligent in the service of God.”

A Walk’s As Good as a Hit: Advice/Threats from My Old Man, Jamie Reidy ’92 (Lamo Jamo Publishing). “This may not seem like a love letter,” the author writes in his “For Dad” dedication, “but it is.” He shares stories both poignant and amusing on life from childhood through college with his tough-love father. That stance, Reidy admits in these at times R-rated essays, didn’t hide the fact that his dad loved his kids. Reidy also is the author of Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, which served as the inspiration for the movie Love and Other Drugs.

Two Million Bricks in 160 Days: The Construction of Notre Dame Stadium, William E. Reifsteck ’78 (Corby Books). The stadium that Coach Knute Rockne so desperately wanted opened in 1930. Yes, the stock market had crashed the previous year and the country was entering what would become the Great Depression, but University leaders also wanted to keep their coach. This account of the building of the stadium offers an inside look at the politics, financing and record building time of the structure, complete with historic pictures and drawings. Read an excerpt

An American Spectator in Paris, Joseph Harriss ’58 (Unlimited Publishing). The veteran international journalist, who has lived in Paris for decades, says he hopes this collection of essays originally published in The American Spectator will dispel some myths about France and its people and “shine light on the reality of France today.” He admits that he “find[s] it hard to resist the temptation to take a pin to the balloon of preening pretention that often surfaces in France,” but takes a serious look at such topics as French culture, politics and the euro.

The Boy Recession, Flynn Meaney ’09 (Poppy). The author of Bloodthirsty returns with another comedic novel for young adults, this one following the students at a small Wisconsin high school where the male population has taken a dive as families move to larger towns. Can the shy, down-to-earth Kelly beat the four-girls-to-one-guy ratio and land a date with her crush, the guitar-playing Hunter? Publishers Weekly calls the book “sassy and very funny. . . . rarely has a recession brought such enjoyment.”

Finding the Game: Three Years, Twenty-five Countries, and the Search for Pickup Soccer, Gwendolyn Oxenham ’06MFA (St. Martin’s Press). With movie-making grants in hand, the author, her boyfriend and two friends began to travel the world, playing pick-up games anywhere and with whomever they could — in a Bolivian prison, with women in hijab in Tehran and moonshine brewers in Kenya. A witty travelogue in the international language of soccer, the book also serves as a companion to the documentary Pelada.

Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, John G. Turner ’06Ph.D. (Belknap Press). As the disciple of Joseph Smith led members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints westward, he became involved in such issues as state’s rights, popular sovereignty and religious freedom. “I have sought to avoid the parochialism and polemicism that has been endemic to Mormon history,” the author writes, “by placing Young more fully within the context of mid-nineteenth-century American religion and politics.”

Clashmore Mike: Dublin to Dome, Susan Mullen Guibert ’87, ’93M.A. and Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93, illustrated by Andrea Pynaert (Corby Books). Clashmore Mike, an Irish Terrier given as a gift to Knute Rockne, and a subsequent line of terriers inspired fans for more than 40 years before the leprechaun. This book for readers ages 4 to 10 is a sequel to Clashmore Mike Comes Home. An old terrier in the Irish village of Clashmore recalls how he accidentally joined a family immigrating to America in 1924 and wound up as the original mascot of Fighting Irish football.

The Chapels of Notre Dame, Lawrence S. Cunningham, photography by Matt Cashore ’94 (University of Notre Dame Press). Notre Dame has chapels in every residence hall and a number of academic buildings. This large-format book celebrates those 57 sanctuaries with more than 200 photos. The text provides a picture of the worship in those chapels along with reflections on the traditions, history, architecture and artwork that adorns them. Cunningham is the John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Theology at Notre Dame.