Creative works

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

The West of My Live, Mike Mahaney ’61 and Trailmix (Spur of the Moment Records). Recorded live at Boulevard Music in Culver City, California, the 17-song CD features Western, cowboy and Western swing music, from “Back in the Saddle Again” to “Cool Water,” “San Antonio Rose” and “Riding Hiding Teardrops.” The Glendale, California-based quartet includes Lynn Shipley Sokolow, Fred Sokolow and Bobby Bruce, a member of the National Fiddlers Hall of Fame.

From the Darkest Places Come the Brightest Lights: Reflections on Service, Faith, and Life from the Co-Founder of Open Arms Home for Children, South Africa, Bob Solis ’84 (Balboa Press). In 2005, Bob Solis and his wife, Sallie, co-founded a home in South Africa for children orphaned by AIDS. In this “compilation of thoughts, experiences, and reflections on one family’s journey of faith, hope and service,” the author shares poignant stories laced with wit, compassion and humor of the 55 children who now have a place to call their own.

To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach: The Essential Guide to Ministry in Today’s Catholic Church, Jared Dees ’06M.E., ’12M.A. (Ave Maria Press). The creator of the website The Religion Teacher presents practical ideas for applying the ministry of Jesus in parishes today, including a fresh approach to evangelization. Following the advice of Pope Francis, he writes, means, “We must return our way of ministry to our biblical roots and the example of Jesus himself by becoming ‘ministers of mercy above all.’”

Sublime Physick, Patrick Madden ’93 (University of Nebraska Press). The author received his bachelor’s degree in physics and his doctorate in English/creative writing. In this collection of essays he integrates his early love of physics into moving and often humorous discussions of such disparate subjects as family, forgiveness, a Canadian rock band and the act of spitting. His 2010 collection, Quotidiana, won the Independent Publisher Book of the Year Award and was a finalist for the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award.

The Advocate’s Daughter, Anthony Franze ’95J.D. (Minotaur Books). Attorney Sean Serrat is on the short list for a U.S. Supreme Court nomination, but that exciting news is overshadowed by the murder of his daughter Abby, a law student. When Abby’s boyfriend, a law clerk in the high court, is arrested, Sean suspects the wrong person has been charged. This suspenseful thriller from the author of The Last Justice looks at the cost of family secrets and the malevolent steps some D.C. insiders will take to protect their power.

The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich, Robert K. Wittman, David Kinney ’94 (Harper). Rosenberg’s diary revealed the vision of the Hitler aide who helped develop the genocidal philosophy of the Nazi regime. The diary vanished after being examined during the Nuremberg war crimes trial, until in 2001 someone tried to sell it for a vast sum. The authors tell the story of the diary’s disappearance and eventual recovery while also offering historical insight into the workings of the Nazi government.

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The Ministry of Peace and Justice, Michael Jordan Laskey ’08, ’10M.A. (Liturgical Press). Part of the Collegeville Ministry Series, this guide includes suggestions for starting or expanding a parish’s social efforts. It highlights “examples from parishes all over the country that are doing peace and justice ministry in creative ways,” the author says, and offers six educational sessions for peace and justice committees. The author is the director of Life & Justice Ministries for the diocese of Camden, New Jersey.

Greatness in the Shadow: Larry Doby and the Integration of the American League, Douglas M. Branson ’65 (University of Nebraska Press). Just weeks after Jackie Robinson joined the National League’s Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby broke the color barrier in baseball’s American League when he signed with the Cleveland Indians in July 1947. The All-Star center fielder went on to manage the Chicago White Sox. With this book, Branson argues that Doby deserves more credit for his place in baseball history.

The House Beneath the Damen Off-Ramp, William Claypool ’72 (Meadow Lane Press). In this suspenseful novel, a partially deaf-mute young boy discovers the bodies of his mother and siblings, and wanders the streets of Chicago in shock, not knowing a murderer is searching for him. When eccentric businessman JJ discovers the bloodstained boy hiding beneath an expressway ramp, he enlists his friends in an attempt to communicate with and protect the child, unaware that all their lives are at risk.

Living a Legacy that Lasts: Using the Success Mapping Process to Achieve What Matters Most to You and Your Family, Mark Casella ’04MBA with Jenny Luken (Coppertree). “What does success mean to you and what does a well-lived life look like for you and your family?” the author asks. Deciding what the important legacy for a family is — “Money? Power? Contributions to the world?” — and then working to make that happen is the crux of the mapping strategy detailed here.

Pragmatic Meditations on Learning Community Pedagogy, Andrew J. Weigert (Gordian Knot Books). Weigert, a Notre Dame professor of sociology, presents 32 meditations on the “community learning dynamic that empowers ‘students’ to become effective participants in participatory democratic dynamics.” The “natural joy of learning,” he writes, is aided by seeing the class as community, where professors and students work and learn from each other.

Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising, Robert Schmuhl ’70 (Oxford University Press). To those seeking an Irish Republic, America offered proof that one could have a national identity separate from England. The author, a Notre Dame professor of American Studies and journalism, focuses on four key figures in the Irish-American connection to the 1916 uprising: Fenian radical John Devy; poet and journalist Joyce Kilmer; President Woodrow Wilson, a descent of Ulster Protestants; and Eamon de Valera, the only leader of the rising not executed by the British.

Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation, Jonathan Den Hartog ’06Ph.D. (University of Virginia Press). As politicians and public figures struggled to define religion’s place in the new American society, it was the Federalists who held sway. The author focuses on such leaders as John Adams, John Jay, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Timothy Dwight as he details the contentious issue of religion and politics in the decades after the American Revolution.

An Angry God, Paul Snyder ’66 (Wicklow Media). As he witnesses the terrors and horrors of battle, a young man who entered the Army during WWII find himself wrestling with questions of the intersection of religion and war. This action-packed debut novel also looks at issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and concepts of right and wrong. The book’s publisher, Wicklow Media, is headed by Kevin Walsh ’79, ’82J.D.

The Language of Vision: Photography and Southern Literature in the 1930s and After, Joseph R. Millichap ’62M.A., ’70Ph.D. (Louisiana State University Press). In a look at Southern literature through the prism of photography, the author focuses on such authors as William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, James Agee and Ralph Ellison. He shows how their texts inform the visual medium to reveal personal insights and cultural meaning. He also traces their themes to the contemporary work of Natasha Trethewey.

Extended Syllables, Abdul Fattah Ismail ’01 (CreateSpace). The author’s debut collection of modern, contemporary poetry speaks to the wonders and mystery of life through such themes as music history, chemistry, the Cold War and food politics. Urbane, irreverent and inquisitive in tone, the poetry embraces “the magic between us as people, in places and things in our world.”

Gunpowder Percy, Grace Tiffany ’85M.A., ’89Ph.D. (Bagwyn Books). This work of historical fiction re-imagines the 1605 plot by the eccentric Sir Thomas Percy to blow up the House of Lords, kill the Protestant King James and return the nation to Catholicism. “It’s a thrilling story, vividly and skillfully told,” says reviewer James Shapiro. The author is a professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at Western Michigan University.

“The Bloody Fifth” — The 5th Texas Infantry Regiment, Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, John F. Schmutz ’72J.D. (Savas Beatie). With archival and battlefield research, the author documents the men, marches and battles of the fabled Confederate regiment. This first volume, containing original maps and photos, and subtitled Secession to the Suffolk Campaign, will be followed by a second installment, Gettysburg to Appomattox.

The Forever Year: A novel based on the real-life romance of George Gipp and Iris Trippeer, Bill Fuller ’79 (CreateSpace). Weaving fact and fiction, the author explores the love story of the legendary Notre Dame football hero, whose tragic early death inspired the “Win one for the Gipper” line, and the headstrong girl who captured his heart. Fuller is also the author of A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God, the first in The Mythmakers trilogy.

Murder, by George, Jeanne Quigley ’88 (Five Star Publishing). Following All Things Murder, this second book in the Veronica Walsh mystery series continues the story of the retired soap actress, now living in her Adirondack hometown of Barton, as she is drawn into the mystery surrounding the stabbing death of an architect and the disappearance of a valuable painting he had discovered at a flea market. Publishers Weekly called Veronica, “an entertaining, down-to-earth heroine.”

Compiled by Carol Schaal, managing editor of this magazine.