Bookshelf: Spring 2014

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A new edition of Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) celebrates the traditions, stories, songs, and words of the state’s Native peoples and engages the voices of Native elders and tribal historians to provide personal experiences and authenticity. Author Patty (Braga) Loew MA’92, PhD’98 chronicles the history of each tribe, from origin stories to current struggles. This second edition includes maps, photos, and new material covering the economic, social, and environmental advances of Native communities. Loew is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, a professor in the UW’s Department of Life Sciences Communication, and an affiliated faculty member with the UW’s American Indian Studies Program. For twenty years, she hosted news and public-affairs programs on Wisconsin Public Television and has produced numerous award-winning TV documentaries.

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As both a practicing Catholic and a feminist scholar, Toni McNaron PhD’64 notes that she “embraces the seemingly unresolvable and accepts the inherent paradox arising from her preference for conservative spiritual practices while remaining committed to radical politics.” This is what she ponders in her aptly named Into the Paradox: Conservative Spirit, Feminist Politics (Hurley Publishing). McNaron, of Minneapolis, is a distinguished teaching professor emerita at the University of Minnesota who taught literature and women’s studies. She also founded and chaired its women’s studies program, the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, and the GLBT studies program.

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Catastrophes happen. Sometimes they happen to you, or you may volunteer for a disaster-response deployment. In either scenario, the discussions of gear and equipment, lists of important follow-ups, and blank forms included in Lew Bornmann MS’69’s Disaster Deployment: What To Take When You Have To Go (CreateSpace) will enable more rapid recovery. “Deployment into a disaster area is not for everyone,” says Bornmann, “but the personal rewards are immeasurable. … May we always continue to place others before ourselves.” The Redding, California, author is donating all proceeds of this book to the Red Cross.

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How far would you go for your family, friends … or a plate of good lake perch? Margo Wilson ’71 considers this question in The Main Ingredient (Ramsfield Press): the story of three women who open a restaurant in their Wisconsin hometown of Weewampum. When it burns down, they must find the arson culprit or risk going to prison for the crime themselves — opening old wounds and unearthing secrets in the process. Wilson is a former newspaper journalist who now teaches journalism and English, and chairs the English department, at California University of Pennsylvania in — yes — California, Pennsylvania.

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Are the ancient philosophies of Confucianism and Daoism relevant to modern-day thinking about abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research, assisted suicide, education, crime, and more? Author Sam (George) Crane MA’81, PhD’86 thinks so. The touching, intimate, and profound insights in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dao: Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life (Wiley-Blackwell) outline how the wisdom of China’s great traditions of humaneness, duty, integrity, and non-action can provide fresh perspectives on familiar debates. Crane is the Greene Third Century Professor of Political Science at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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Arriving in mid-1970s Manhattan from laid-back Mexico, the rite of passage for a gifted, twenty-something artist includes “a love affair with art, men, alcohol, drugs, and music in the swirl that was the downtown scene in a radically evolving era in New York, but also a resurrection from addiction and self-delusion.” This story of a young woman’s journey from self-destruction to self-knowledge to self-respect is told in Linda Dahl ’72’s latest novel, Cleans Up Nicely (She Writes Press). The author — whose books reflect her interest in the arts — lives in Brewster, New York.

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Do you believe that public discourse and civility have been in decline? Then Let’s Talk Politics: Restoring Civility Through Exploratory Discussion (CreateSpace) challenges you to be part of the solution and offers approaches for reversing the trend, one person or one group at a time. Co-author Adolf Gundersen ’81, PhD’91 has devoted his career to promoting public discussion as a teacher, policy analyst, and social scientist. Now his work with the Parkersburg, West Virginia-based Interactivity Foundation (IF) — as a fellow, trustee, and research director — has added another career dimension. Gundersen lives in Madison, as does fellow IF fellow Peter Shively MA’92, JD’92.

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What would you say to a honeymoon of paddling seventeen hundred miles in a handmade canoe — from Lake Superior to the Canadian North — and then spending the winter on a remote island in a cabin with no electricity or running water? If you were Julie Buckles ’87, you’d not only do it, but you’d also write your first book about it: Paddling to Winter (Raven Productions). Buckles works in communications; teaches journalism at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin; and contributes regularly to Wisconsin Public Radio and Lake Superior Magazine.

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A book title such as How I Beat Coca-Cola and Other Tales of One-Upmanship certainly makes a potential reader curious. It’s the name of Carl Djerassi PhD’45’s new, witty, and richly detailed collection, described by its publisher, Terrace Books, as “comedies of manners, exposing the foibles of elite tribes — business executives, chefs, scientists, professors, musicians, and other clever characters. They spar in battles of one-upmanship using class, education, gender, or prestige as their weapons.” Djerassi is a prolific writer in numerous forms, a Stanford professor emeritus of chemistry, a co-creator of the birth-control pill, and the recipient of thirty honorary doctorates, many international scientific honors, and a 2012 Wisconsin Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. He lives in San Francisco, London, and Vienna.

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So, we missed the season just a bit with this entry, but The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) is still a good read. It’s the latest by rural historian and UW professor emeritus Jerry Apps ’55, MS’57, PhD’67, in which he recalls the frosty sights, sounds, and sentiments of growing up, keeping warm, reflecting, planning, and gathering together on a farm in central Wisconsin in the 1930s and ’40s. Wisconsin Public Television aired a documentary based on the book, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps, in December. The author divides his time between Madison and his farm near Wild Rose, Wisconsin. On Wisconsin published a feature on Apps in its Summer 2012 issue.

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Letters From Alaska: The Inside To The Outside reads like a collection of short stories because each chapter is a letter that Bill Hauser ’65 of Anchorage wrote to relatives in Wisconsin about his life, travels, and adventures in Alaska, where he’s lived for thirty-plus years. It includes more than one hundred photos and “loads of Alaskana.” He assures us that he wrote his other book, Fishes of the Last Frontier: Life Histories, Biology, Ecology, and Management of Alaska Fishes (both published by Publication Consultants), in nontechnical language for those who, unlike Hauser, are not fish biologists.

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“While at Wisconsin from 1964 to 1968, I majored in history and participated in the research and writing of this book as a direct result of the appreciation of history that I obtained at Wisconsin,” says William Hale ’68 about co-authoring Exxon: Transforming Energy 1973–2005 (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas-Austin) — the fifth volume in the official history of the company. Hale, a former senior adviser in ExxonMobil’s public-affairs department, lives in Southlake, Texas.

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Madisonian John McDermott ’69 is back with his second John Austin adventure, Say Three Hail Marys and Die (iUniverse). In it, four priests have been killed in the Miami area during the last six months, and the latest target — one who manages to survive — is the brother of Austin’s girlfriend. Crackerjack attorney though he may be, Austin’s theory doesn’t match the one the authorities have in mind, so he strikes out on his own to solve the case and win back his girlfriend, who may be drifting into the arms of a gorgeous billionaire.

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Arya (Nancy) Nielsen ’71 teaches East Asian medicine; specializes in classical Chinese practice, Gua sha; and directs the acupuncture fellowship program at Beth Israel Medical Center’s Department of Integrative Medicine in New York. She’s now published the second edition of her text, Gua sha: A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice (Elsevier Mosby/Saunders). This new edition expands on the history of Gua sha — a press/stroking technique used to treat pain, improve movement, and prevent and treat many illnesses and chronic disorders — and brings it alive for practitioners with clear how-tos, photos, and illustrations.

Recently edited, newly reissued, and available in e-book format: these are true of all of the novels that Gary Goshgarian PhD’72 originally wrote under that name (though these days, he writes as Gary Braver). These works include the marine archaeological thriller Atlantis Fire, based on Goshgarian’s own harrowing experiences on the Aegean island of Santorini; Rough Beast, which “plumbs the depths of genetic engineering and explores the consequences of a military experiment gone wrong”; and The Stone Circle, in which an archaeologist’s life is thrown into chaos after he discovers — and experiences the spooky powers of — a Celtic ritual circle. An award-winning professor of English at Northeastern University in Boston, he’s also written six textbooks about writing, as well as Skin Deep, Flashback, Gray Matter, Elixir, and Tunnel Vision as Gary Braver.

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Biblical Eschatology (Wipf and Stock Publishers) is a new work by Jonathan Menn ’74 of Appleton, Wisconsin. (In case the definition of eschatology is right on the tip of your tongue, what you mean to say is that it’s the branch of theology concerned with final events such as death.) He provides what is not found in any other single volume on the subject: analyses of all of the major eschatological passages, issues, and positions in a clear, but deep way, plus thoughts on how they’re relevant to modern lives. Menn calls his book “a perfect resource for intelligent Christians.”

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You’re no doubt familiar with the hormonal changes that adults experience, but did you know that they affect children, too? Christine Ann Keyes Gowey ’78’s Zip & Zap Take a Nap (Morgan James Publishing) explores the phenomenon of adrenal fatigue in a way that both kids and grown-ups can understand and discuss. Book-sales proceeds benefit those in domestic-violence shelters through Naturopaths International’s shelter campaign fund. Gowey, of Sparta, Wisconsin, has been a high school girls’ athletic director and track coach, as well as an elementary school substitute teacher.

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“After writing a dozen published nonfiction books and thousands of news articles as a full-time freelancer,” says Richard Mahler MA’78, “my first novel was published by Relham.” Titled How I Found the Best Sex Ever: A Sara Strong Mystery, it’s a murder mystery that introduces Sara Strong, a Los Angeles Times reporter — and sleuth — who gets involved (sometimes a little too intimately) with her writing subjects. Mahler lives in Silver City, a place he describes as “an arts-oriented mining town in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico.”

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When Milwaukeean Rose Ann Wasserman’79, JD’84 was a new lawyer, she wished for a reference book like the one she’s created herself: A Guide to Wisconsin Employment Discrimination Law (State Bar of Wisconsin/Pinnacle). The thorough analysis and citation of its first edition filled a void eighteen years ago, and practitioners in this complex legal field continue to look to the work — now in its fifth edition — as an invaluable resource. Wasserman is an administrative law judge with the Equal Rights Division of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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In The Mixtecs of Oaxaca: Ancient Times to the Present (University of Oklahoma Press), co-author Andrew Balkansky ’90, MA’92, PhD’97 proffers the latest research to show that the Mixtecs and their neighbors constituted “one of the world’s most impressive civilizations, antecedent to — and equivalent to — those of the better-known Maya and Aztec.” Balkansky is a professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

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Most Civil War histories depict the slavery struggle on large scales: North against South, free labor against slave labor, white against black. In Freedom’s Frontier: California and the Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press), Stacey Smith MA’01, PhD’08 examines the conflict as it unfolded in multiracial California. The state, despite its antislavery constitution, was home to African-American slavery, Native American indenture, Latino and Chinese contract labor, and sex traffic in Indian and Chinese women: “labor systems and workers not easily classified as free or slave, black or white.” Smith is an assistant professor of history at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

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Just Tell Me Where to Start! Insight on Blasting into Chiropractic Business (self published) tells Lona Cook ’06’s story: after majoring in creative writing at the UW, she earned her doctor of chiropractic degree, opened a practice in her hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and has now expanded it to include an office in nearby Hudson. Cook views her book as a chance to “pay it forward” by telling readers how to start their own chiropractic (or other) businesses. She’s also co-authored The Art of Being Healthy and will deliver an address in London this year for the United Chiropractic Association.

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How does the other half live — or, rather, eat — on its football Saturdays? Find out what Southerners cherish in The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: A Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football, & the South (University of North Carolina Press) by (Jeffrey) Taylor Mathis ’08. To write the book, he left his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, to travel across twelve states, documenting the full-menu array of foods and traditions embraced by fans in the South and adding preparation checklists, tailgate packing advice, food-safety tips, thoughts on attire, game-day greetings, and more. Mathis, a food and lifestyle photographer, blogs at taylortakesataste.com.

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“The book is a critical edition of one of the earliest ‘how-to’ books — a treatise full of practical information for the medieval shepherd,” writes Carleton Carroll MA’65, PhD’68 about the work that he’s co-edited and co-translated: The Medieval Shepherd: Jean de Brie’s Le Bon Berger (1379). It’s published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Carroll lives in Corvallis, Oregon.

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Patricia Gottlieb Shapiro ’66 is the author or co-author of nine nonfiction books who uses her training in social work to “understand the human condition, particularly women’s development.” Her tenth book, The Privilege of Aging: Portraits of Twelve Jewish Women (Gaon Books), shares the lives of women aged seventy-five to one hundred and two and explores their successes, challenges, longevity, and vitality. They are role models who remind us that “the resources for successful aging are within us.” Shapiro is a lecturer, writing coach, and yoga instructor in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Agatha Christie has a head start in the Belgian-detective category, but Christine DeSmet ’76, MA’87 is on her trail with female Belgian sleuth Ava Oosterling. The debut novel of DeSmet’s Fudge Shop Mystery series, First-Degree Fudge (Obsidian Mysteries), is set in Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers, Belgian Fudge & Beer shop in Wisconsin’s Door County. DeSmet, who’s half Belgian, is a writing faculty associate in UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. (Did you know that Wisconsin is home to one of the largest rural populations of Belgians in the U.S.?)

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Reaching out to the 2.2 million (and growing) homeschooling families in the U.S. that may have felt left out of existing fiction, Leslie Schultz ’81 of Northfield, Minnesota, has written her second children’s novel featuring homeschooled kids. Called And Sometimes Y (Do Life Right), it furthers the adventures of five best pals who call themselves the Howling Vowels of Sundog, Minnesota. This second book, however, is a full collaboration between Schultz and her fourteen-year-old daughter, JJM Braulick, each of whom has published prize-winning work separately.

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Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications) is an “original speculative fiction anthology” of twenty stories by twenty authors, co-edited by John Klima ’94, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, and launched in August at the World Science Fiction Convention with a glow-skating party at a roller rink. One of Klima’s fellow editors says, “We sought stories that would fit in a roller rink or a club: drugs, sex, glitter and debauchery, nightlife with a sci-fi/fantasy twist.” In Klima’s more mild-mannered day job, he’s the assistant director of the Waukesha [Wisconsin] Public Library, and he edits and publishes the Hugo Award-winning genre zine Electric Velocipede. He says he’s “very proud to be a UW alumnus,” but his graduation year “is so close to twenty years ago that it makes my old bones ache.” We hear you.

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Imagine a killer with an affinity for posing his victims as statues to recreate famous paintings: he’s at the center of Chris Hollenback ’98’s new thriller — the first novel in a trilogy — called Sleep When You’re Dead (Title Town Publishing and Beaufort Books). In it, this twisted criminal nabs the girlfriend of a narcoleptic reporter from the shadows of a pro football stadium in Green Bay, and the reporter teams up with an FBI agent to find her before she becomes … well, not a pretty picture. Hollenback did PR work for the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers before joining the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

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If you were to actually judge a book by its cover, then Hideki Nakazono ’04’s Seven Falls (self published) would promise an intriguing read indeed. It’s about Charles Erie: born in New Mexico to a “precarious life” full of often-hilarious misadventures from which, curiously, he is protected. But, after disaster truly strikes, an entourage of spirits assists Charles on his path to “understanding sex, love, life, death, and what it means to be human.” Nakazono, a contributing faculty member at the Santa Fe [New Mexico] University of Art and Design, is at work on his second novel.

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Mostar and Brcko are two towns in Bosnia that show marked contrasts in their abilities to surmount the post-war divisions that stymie the peace process. In Peacebuilding in Practice: Local Experience in Two Bosnian Towns (Cornell University Press), author Adam Moore PhD’10 opines that four factors explain the striking divergence. He considers the most important of these to be the practice, organization, and prioritization of international peace-building efforts, and he advocates shifting the culture that governs these efforts. Moore is an assistant professor of geography at UCLA.

 

Carly Syms ’11 isn’t very old, but she’s already written five young-adult novels, starting with Written in the Stars, Shipwrecked Summer, Cinderella in Cleats, and Cinderella in Skates. Now Syms’s Cinderella in Sports series has expanded to embrace her love of baseball with Cinderella Steals Home (all CreateSpace), in which a misunderstood boy meets a disinterested girl, and they both learn that first impressions needn’t last. Syms draws from her life’s experiences to create her plots and characters. “I’m a Jersey girl who spent a lot of time playing high school sports and cheering on my Wisconsin Badgers,” she says, though Scottsdale, Arizona, is now home.

Published in the Spring 2014 issue

Tags: Alumni, Arts, Business, Science, Social sciences

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