Bookshelf: Summer 2011

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Two grads have showcased fine world cuisines in their recent books: Madisonian Ronnie Hess MA’69 has published Eat Smart in France (Gingko Press), while Sarah Marx Feldner ’98 of Shorewood, Wisconsin, has served up A Cook’s Journey to Japan: Fish Tales and Rice Paddies, 100 Homestyle Recipes from Japanese Kitchens (Tuttle Publishing). It was nominated as one of the top sixteen cookbooks of 2010 by food52.com.

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Despite his many years spent discussing Life’s Big Questions as a college professor, literary scholar, and the host of the daily, San Francisco-based NPR talk show Forum with Michael Krasny, Michael Krasny PhD’72 still found himself without answers to those questions. To wit, he presents Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest (New World Library): a “delightfully personal and wonderfully universal reflection” in which he “seeks not to convince, but to converse.” It includes a foreword by Krasny’s friend and fellow author Joyce Carol Oates (Smith) MA’61.

Examining a large shopping bag full of letters — hundreds written by her father to her mother — compelled anthropologist Nancy Oestreich Lurie ’45 of Greendale, Wisconsin, to write Love and Other Letters: a “special look at Milwaukee and the nation … roughly [during] the period of the gaslight era to the Jazz Age.” The Milwaukee County Historical Society published the work and receives all proceeds.

Captive! The Story of David Ogden and the Iroquois (Praeger Publishing) — the amazing true story of the capture, forced adoption, and eventual escape of a sixteen-year-old Revolutionary War soldier — was originally released as a pulp-fiction booklet in 1840. Co-author Jack (John) Harpster ’59 of Reno, Nevada, then corrected the errors and biases and added new, research-driven detail to make it one of the first works in the genre to receive that reworking.

Imagine the almost unimaginable: a boy born into a Dalit family of bonded laborers in India during the 1920s, taking his school lessons sitting outside of the classroom due to his “untouchable” caste status, arriving in the U.S., and earning a doctorate at UW–Madison. That boy became Namdeo Nimgade PhD’62, and his life story became In the Tiger’s Shadow: The Autobiography of an Ambedkarite (Navayana). One section is devoted to his mentor, the legendary Dalit leader Babasaheb Ambedkar.

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Dread it or not, most scientists must occasionally stand before an audience — and thus the title of co-author D. (David) Eric Walters ’74’s book: Scientists Must Speak, Second Edition (CRC Press). It’s designed to help those in the sciences to make their presentations more interesting, accessible, and effective. And Walters should know: he’s a professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and pharmaceutical sciences at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois.

The Reagan Files: The Untold Story of Reagan’s Top-Secret Efforts to Win the Cold War (CreateSpace) — based on recently declassified letters and National Security Council meeting minutes — is an unprecedented look at how former President Reagan managed the divide between two powerful nations. Its author, Jason Saltoun-Ebin JD’07 of Pacific Palisades, California, began researching Reagan’s presidency in 2001 as an archival research assistant to presidential historian Richard Reeves.

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Plants and trees are on the minds of four Badger authors. The latest from nature and travel writer Candice Gaukel Andrews ’77 of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin — Beyond the Trees: Stories of Wisconsin Forests (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) — blends contemporary observations with historical details, beautiful photos, archival images, and maps. Lifelong gardener Ray Rogers MS’79 of North Brunswick, New Jersey, has penned his fourth book, the Encyclopedia of Container Plants: More than 500 Outstanding Choices for Gardeners (Timber Press). Photographer and speaker Lynn Marquardt Steiner ’80 of Stillwater, Minnesota, has included several photos of the UW Arboretum in her book, Prairie-Style Gardens: Capturing the Essence of the American Prairie Wherever You Live (Timber Press). And Wisconsin Wildflowers in 3D (Planert Creek Press), by David Tank MA’80 of Menomonie, Wisconsin, comes with 3D glasses to make the flora practically jump off the page. Tank is a senior lecturer in journalism and mass communication at UW-Stout.

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“I understand that it can be queasy business to face this issue,” says Treacy Colbert MA’81 about Before It’s Too Late: What Parents Need to Know about Teen Pregnancy and STD Prevention (iUniverse), a book she’s co-authored to provide perspective and advice to parents. Colbert is a writer and editor in Long Beach, California.

Published in the Summer 2011 issue

Tags: Alumni, books

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