Creative works

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales, John Burns ’03 (Ave Maria Press). A guide based on the 17th century spiritual classic Introduction to the Devout Life, in which de Sales presented 10 meditations as a path to holiness and loving God. Father Burns here adapts that spiritual roadmap for use by busy, modern readers. “My aim in putting these thoughts together is to help the next age of believers take concrete steps toward living the timeless gift of faith that has been so wonderfully handed to us,” he writes.

Need One! A Lunatic’s Attempt to Attend 365 Games in 365 Days, Jamie Reidy ’92 (HumorOutcasts Press). In this hilarious and touching road-trip memoir, the author admits his quest “fell shorter than a Shaq free throw,” but it’s fun to join him for the five months he spent at such events as inner-tube water polo, a 6-year-old girls’ basketball game and the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party before a Florida-Georgia football game. Along the way Reidy brought wounded veterans to games, which offered him perspective on what constitutes real problems.

The Infinite, Nicholas Mainieri ’06 (Harper Perennial). The intense connection between Luz, a New Orleans resident and undocumented immigrant, and Jonah, an orphan, is threatened when the pregnant Luz goes to live with her grandmother in Mexico. Jonah soon follows, only to learn that Luz has been thrust into the middle of a cartel drug war. Critics have called this thrilling coming-of-age novel “a politically urgent read”; “a marvelous book by a terrific new talent”; and an “engrossing debut about finding one’s place in the world.”

The Ragged Edge: A US Marine’s Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion, Michael Zacchea ’90 and Ted Kemp (Chicago Review Press). Sent to Iraq in 2004, the Marine and his team built, trained and led into combat an Iraqi army of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis against an insurgency that would eventually form ISIS. Here the author recounts the pitfalls, cultural misunderstandings and hope of that wartime collaboration. “An honest, revealing glimpse of the dangers inherent in acting on good intentions based on ignorance,” says Kirkus Reviews.

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child, Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta ’91 (Katherine Tegen Books). At age 10, Sandra survives a massacre at a refugee camp in Burundi, Africa. Her heartfelt autobiography takes readers from her childhood in the Congo to resettlement in the United States, where she struggles to fit into a new culture, to her activism on behalf of displaced people. “I wrote this book to show people, young people especially, that we can make our own choices when it comes to how we treat others,” she says.

Your Pregnancy, Your Way: Everything You Need to Know about Natural Pregnancy and Childbirth, Allison Hill, M.D., ’91, with Sheila Curry Oakes (Da Capo Lifelong Books). Dr. Hill, a mother of two and an ob/gyn who has delivered thousands of babies, discusses the pros and cons of various delivery options and medical protocols and rules. “The more clearly you understand what you want and the better you are able to adapt to whatever comes your way,” she tells expectant mothers, “the better your birth experience will be.”

Creative works extra

The Happy Jar, written and illustrated by Jake Frost ’93 (CreateSpace). The lively father-daughter book celebrates the little moments that can make lifetime memories. Full-color illustrations pay tribute to such shared times as reading a story, making blanket forts and decorating the Christmas tree. Frost is also the author of Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood to Encourage and Inspire.

Personal Pronouns, David Allen Edmonds ’70 (Snowbelt Publishing). After Joe Lehrer’s wife dies in an automobile accident, the grieving widower is rocked again by the suspicious death of one of his students. The novel follows the grammar teacher as he struggles to understand what appears to be a connection between the two deaths and uncovers a secret that traces to the governor’s mansion.

Prayer and Practice with Purpose: A Playbook for the Spiritual Development of Athletes, Anne Stricherz ’96 (National Catholic Educational Association). For five years, the author collected examples of how teams throughout the country, including Notre Dame’s, pray and practice in a way that fosters the spirituality of student athletes. Here she presents more than 30 ways that coaches, athletes and teams can achieve success in spiritual formation, based on what has been used by a school or community or team.

Steinberg’s Ear, Victor Emmanuel ’64 (Page Publishing). In 1977, a bomb explodes in a Buenos Aires restaurant, killing the country’s minister of economy and scores of customers. The event makes worldwide headlines and threatens Argentina’s tourism industry and standing with investors. The new economic minister quickly hires an international public relations team to put a positive spin on the nation’s image. This debut international thriller offers an amusing take on the work of PR firms.

Work of Love: A Theological Reconstruction of the Communion of Saints, Leonard J. DeLorenzo ’03, ’08M.A., ’14Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame Press). The communion of saints, the author says, “is vital to the life of the faithful as well as to the meaning and destiny of all creation.” He covers such topics as modern notions of death and how “communion extends from the dead to include the living.” Rev. Robert P. Imbelli calls the work “a most impressive piece of scholarship, in which theology and spirituality enrich one another.”

On Someone Else’s Nickel: A Life in Television, Sports, and Travel, Tim Ryan ’60 (Radius Book Group). In his 52-year career, the sports broadcaster covered 10 Olympics, innumerable basketball, football and hockey games; boxing and tennis matches; and ski championships — 30 sports in more than 20 countries. “The genius of Tim’s career lies not in the impressive range of sports he covered . . . but in the way each sport was, to Tim, the backdrop for riveting human drama,” says Christin Cooper, an Olympic medalist and NBC Sports ski analyst.

Paths in the Woods, Blair Pessemier ’76 (Amazon Digital Services). The debut thriller takes readers on a trip to Africa in the 1970s with U.S. undercover agent Steve Seidel. When the engineer arrives in Lagos, he struggles with cultural and business practices while tracking down possible Russian and Chinese involvement in the case he’s investigating. A dog, four African friends and a mysterious woman provide some help with his dangerous mission.

The Dream-Child’s Progress And Other Essays, David Bentley Hart (Angelico Press). “[P]rofessional golf is essentially evil,” the theologian and cultural commentator states in one of his delightfully wry essays. Hart, a fellow of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, here presents meditations on books, authors and other subjects of note, from “Mysteries of Consciousness” to “A Person You Flee at Parties” to “Brilliant Bad Books.” As one review notes, “This far-ranging collection is quintessential Hart, by turns provocative and hilarious.”

The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy, Robin M. Jensen (Harvard University Press.) In her study of the central Christian icon, the author shows how the cross and the image of the crucifix were regarded across the centuries. “Where some see signs of hope, healing, or the comforting assurance of divine love,” she writes, “others see an emblem of exclusion, intolerance, or domination.” Jensen is a Notre Dame professor of theology and concurrent professor of art, art history and design.

American Cheese: The Revolutionary Tale of the Red, White and Bleu!, John M. Rossi ’02, illustrated by Nathan Orensten (published independently). Want some history with your puns? In a book designed for children, the author and illustrator serve up the story of the founding of the United States through cheesy puns told in rhyming verse.

The Way of Catechesis: Exploring Our History, Renewing Our Ministry, Gerard F. Baumbach (Ave Maria Press). The founding director of the Echo Program at Notre Dame presents four characteristics continually relevant to the catechetical process: belonging, believing, discerning and living. This resource is designed to enrich the ministry of those engaged in catechesis and evangelization, as it offers a perspective on key issues throughout Church history that shed light on today’s concerns.

Old MacDonald Had a Truck: Bingo and Counting Cards games,  Steve Goetz ’98, illustrated by Eda Kaban (Chronicle Books). Based on the book Old MacDonald Had a Truck, these games for ages 3 and up combine colorful pictures of barnyard animals and construction vehicles to make learning fun. The bingo game includes double-sided truck game boards, cards and chips, while the counting cards feature punch-out number pieces.

Father Ted Hesburgh: He Coached Me, Digger Phelps with Tim Bourret ’77, ’78M.A. (Triumph Books). Richard “Digger” Phelps was Notre Dame’s men’s basketball coach from 1971 to ’91. During and after those 20 years, he was continually inspired spiritually by Father Hesburgh, CSC, who led the University from 1952 to ’87. Here he shares stories of his friendship with the man he calls “one of the most important Americans of the last 100 years.”

Treble at the Jam Fest, Leslie Budewitz ’84 (Midnight Ink Books). This fourth in the Food Lovers Village Mystery series continues to follow the adventures of Erin Murphy, foodie and manager of Glacier Mercantile. As the small town of Jewel Bay, Montana, hosts its annual jazz festival, the headlining jazz guitarist tumbles to his death into the Jewel River. Was it murder? Hoping to avoid the bad publicity that could ruin the festival, Erin becomes involved in the investigation, putting her life at risk.  

Breakthrough: Stores of Resilience, Tragedy and Triumph, Charles Thomas Jr. ’02 (WestBow Press). How can we deal with life’s setbacks, failures and disappointments? In this motivational book, the author shares the wisdom and advice of individuals of various backgrounds who triumphed over trials and tribulations to lead fulfilling lives. Hard work, resilience, leadership, learning from others and asking for help are among the principle elements discussed here.


Compiled by Carol Schaal ’91M.A.; email