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Alumni Books


Why Simple Wins: Escape the Complexity Trap and Get to Work That Matters

by Lisa Bodell

Why Simple Wins book coverThe average person spends 28 percent of their workweek — 13 hours — dealing with e-mails. During regularly scheduled meetings, 80 percent of attendees bury their heads in their phones for at least some portion of the gathering. What could you do with the time you spend writing emails every day? What about the unproductive hours spent on conference calls or in meetings, going over updates that could have been provided in another more efficient way? Many of us yearn to do meaningful work but find ourselves paralyzed when we try to make it happen. We continually pledge to do things differently and shorten our “to-do” lists, but still we don’t make headway.

Globally recognized innovation leader and CEO of futurethink, author Lisa Bodell, BBA ’90, offers a “simple” solution. She recognizes that complexity is killing companies’ ability to innovate and adapt, and proves that simplicity is the competitive advantage of our time. She brings her compelling message to more than 100,000 people a year, showing them how to eliminate mundane and unnecessary tasks from their everyday routine so that they have more time for work that matters. Bodell has transformed teams within organizations like Google, Novartis, Accenture, and more. Drawing on her practical Midwestern upbringing and entrepreneurial background, she has used the power of simplification to launch three successful businesses, write two books, travel to more than 40 countries and 48 states, and sit on boards such as Novartis’ Diversity and Inclusion Board and the Global Advisory Council for the World Economic Forum.

Iconic Restaurants of Ann Arbor

by Gail Offen

See You in the Cosmos book coverWhat is an iconic Ann Arbor restaurant? Ask anyone who has ever spent time here as a student, traveler, or “townie,” and they are likely to name several favorites in an instant. From debating the best place to celebrate or console on football Saturdays to deciding where to eat after the bars close, the choices have always sparked passionate conversation. In Ann Arbor, people are known to have strong feelings about the best places for pizza, coffee, beer, burgers, noodles, and burritos. Although many of the go-to hangouts are long gone, a surprising number still thrive. And there are always a few newcomers coming along to win the hearts of the next generation of diners, nibblers, and noshers. Some are fine restaurants and taverns, and others are lunch counters, diners, carry-outs, and drive-ins — but in each and every case, they are unique and together make up a collection of iconic local eateries.

Author Offen, BGS ’78, is senior VP and creative director at the advertising agency Doner, in Detroit.

See You in the Cosmos

by Jack Cheng

See You in the Cosmos book coverAlex Petroski is a precocious 11-year-old who loves space, rockets, his family, and his dog, Carl Sagan — named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All Alex wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. So he sets out on a journey to make his dream come true, recording the sounds of life on Earth, his Earth, along the way. But his destination keeps changing, taking him far from his suburban Colorado home and bringing a series of unforgettable characters into his life, all of whom help him to make sense of our big, beautiful, complicated world.

Born in Shanghai, author Cheng came to the U.S. with his family when he was five, and grew up in metropolitan Detroit. A U-M grad, he spent nearly a decade in New York City working in advertising and tech before returning to Detroit to pursue new projects that integrate his professional experience with his passion for creativity and innovation.

Thirty Years on Two Wheels

by Julie Hatfield & Timothy Leland

Thirty Years book coverIn 1983, when a friend at a party mentioned she had just returned from a bike trip in Europe — “the best trip of my life” — Tim Leland and his wife Julie (Stockwell) Hatfield, BA ’62, were intrigued. Two weeks later they signed on for a guided bicycle trip to Bordeaux. So began a 30-year biking odyssey that took these two Boston Globe writers to eight countries on 12 different tours. The Globe travel section chronicled their experiences each time they went. This funny, beautifully descriptive book — based on those articles — captures everything unique about the joys of traveling on two wheels in foreign lands: the fragrances, the tastes, the sights, the sounds. You will fall in love, as they did, with the idea of slow travel down tiny vineyard lanes, far removed from the air-conditioned tour buses that keep you away from the real thing.

Hatfield was a fashion editor, lifestyle writer, and society writer for The Boston Globe before “retiring” to become a freelance travel writer for a variety of publications, including the Globe. Leland is a retired former managing editor and assistant to the publisher of The Boston Globe. During a distinguished 35-year career at the newspaper, he covered the first NASA space shots at Cape Canaveral, served as its State House bureau chief covering state and local politics, and founded the Globe’s long-running full-time investigative team known as “Spotlight.”

Burning Bright

by Nicholas Petrie

Burning Bright book coverFrom one of crime fiction’s hottest rising stars Nicholas Petrie comes the second thriller featuring the utterly compelling war veteran Peter Ash, whom The Lincoln Journal Star has called “an action hero of the likes of Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne.” In Burning Bright, the follow-up to Petrie’s critically acclaimed debut The Drifter, protagonist Peter Ash lands himself in trouble . . . again. This time, he’s found himself in the primordial forests of northern California, where he stumbles upon a mysterious rope ladder leading into the sky, a frightened woman on the run, and a piece of extraordinary technology that could change the world forever.

Petrie earned a Hopwood award for short fiction while an undergraduate at U-M.

No Such Agency

by Robert N. Chan

No Such Agency book coverWhen arthritic New York lawyer and failed novelist Jack Kahn is abducted and tortured by No Such Agency — which might or might not be connected to the NSA — he discovers that his novel, in which a billionaire investment banker is murdered, has been copied in real life. Retained in a major case involving cyber-security, Jack realizes that he played an inadvertent part in setting in motion a civilization-destroying conspiracy. But what can a lone lawyer and a sultry, sociopathic terrorist do to thwart one of the richest and most powerful families on the planet?

The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class

by Edward Conard

The Upside of Inequality book coverFour years ago, Edward Conard wrote the controversial bestseller Unintended Consequences, in which set the record straight on the financial crisis of 2008 and explained why U.S. growth was accelerating relative to other high-wage economies. He warned that loose monetary policy would produce neither growth nor inflation, that expansionary fiscal policy would have no lasting benefit on growth in the aftermath of the crisis, and that ill-advised attempts to rein in banking based on misplaced blame would slow an already weak recovery.

Unfortunately, he was right.

Now he’s back with another provocative argument: That our current obsession with income inequality is misguided and will only slow growth further.

Conard earned his BS degree in operations research at U-M in 1978. He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he was a founding partner at Bain Capital, where he worked closely with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

O Tomodachi (Friend): A Lush Depiction of Postwar Japan

by Dick Jorgenson

O Tomodachi book coverRepresenting the University of Michigan, Dick Jorgensen arrived in Japan in 1954 and spent the next two years teaching at the University of Hiroshima, founded in the wake of the atomic bomb detonation in 1945. Thus began an incredible journey for, as he describes himself, a “kid from the Midwest.”

It was the start of a lifelong love affair with travel in general and Japanese culture, architecture, and history in particular. While in Japan, Jorgensen met luminaries in the fields of history, politics, and education. He lived with two Japanese families and discovered new ways to reach his young students, all of whom grew up in a Japan ravaged by World War II. Jorgensen visited many parts of Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Sapporo, and Nagasaki. He treats readers to luscious descriptions of all those cities, while at the same time providing histories that deepen understanding and perspective.

As a work of history, O Tomodachi (which means “friend” in Japanese) provides a perspective on postwar Japan that is both historical and accessible. As memoir, it gives readers a wonderful sense of what it was like for a young American to go off to a foreign land, a place that had only recently been the enemy of the United States, and to open himself to new experiences and people. Jorgensen fell in love with Japan, and that love has lasted a lifetime.

Business and Conflict in Fragile States

by Brian Ganson and Achim Wennmann

Business and Conflict in Fragile States book coverLarge-scale investments in fragile states — in Latin America, Africa, the former Soviet Union, and Asia — become magnets for conflict, which undermines business, development, and security.

International policy responds with regulation, state-building, and institutional reform, with poor and often perverse results. Caught up in old ways of thinking about conflict and fragility, and an age-old fight over whether multinational corporations are good or bad for peaceful development, it leaves business-related conflicts in fragile states to multiply and fester.

Surveying a new strategic landscape of business and conflict, authors Brian Ganson and Achim Wennmann conclude that neither company shareholders nor advocates for peaceful development need, or should, accept the growing cost of business-related conflict in fragile states. Drawing on decades of experience from mainstream conflict prevention and violence reduction efforts, as well as promising company practice, they show that even acute conflict is manageable when dealt with pragmatically, locally, and on its own terms.

The analysis and conclusions of this Adelphi book will interest policymakers, business leaders, and community advocates alike — all those hoping to mitigate today’s conflicts while helping to reduce fragility and build a firmer foundation for inclusive development.

Co-author Ganson is a 1985 graduate from U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Under Minnesota Skies: John and Dorothy Hondl Family History and Farm Memories

by Bernadette Hondl Thomasy and Colleen Hondl Gengler

Under Minnesota Skies book coverArmed with a master’s degree in journalism from U-M in 1970, Bernadette Hondl Thomasy embarked on a long, successful career telling other people’s stories. Upon retirement she has crafted her own experiences into a memoir as one of three daughters growing up on a farm near Owatonna, Minn., in the late 1940s-‘60s. The book Under Minnesota Skies is a lively telling of stories from several generations that captures the sweat, tears, laughs, and daily challenges of a family making a living from the land.

Thomasy’s coauthor is her sister Colleen Hondl Gengler whose fascination with history uncovered details of the family’s Czech/German ancestors who purchased the land where the Hondl sisters grew up. The authors seek to preserve details of the family-farm lifestyle while gaining understanding of how working the land and their cultural heritage shaped them into the people they are today. They explore the vital role their parents played in raising independent daughters in an era dominated by gender bias.

The book’s fast-paced narrative, along with 60 photos, depicts the farm’s evolution from relying on horses to using tractor power and new labor-saving machinery. With no boys in the family, the daughters learn life lessons while loading hay and straw bales, feeding cattle and pigs, and pulling weeds. Gengler’s observations on a 2014 visit to the Czech homeland provide further insight into the traditions forgotten and upheld which connect the Hondl family to the Czech community in the Owatonna area — heritage they were unaware of while growing up.

Thomasy was an award-winning staff writer at The Blade (Toledo, Ohio), from 1970-79. After continuing for 25 years in communications/public relations in the Toledo area, she retired with her husband to Sacramento, Calif. Coauthor Gengler of Iona, Minn., enjoyed a 38-year career as an educator with University of Minnesota Extension.

How Deep is the Ocean?

by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

How Deep is the Ocean book cover The ocean covers almost three-quarters of the Earth, but how deep does it go? Put on your SCUBA gear and explore the ocean, from its shallowest waters to its deepest, most mysterious parts. As you dive deeper, you’ll discover glowing animals, strange creatures that don’t need sunlight to survive, and even the largest hunter in the world.

With beautiful illustrations and engaging text, How Deep Is the Ocean? will guide young readers into the deepest parts of the ocean. Featuring a find-out-more section with a water-pressure experiment, a lesson in making a sounding line to learn how scientists measure the depth of the ocean, a glossary of new terms, and web research prompts, this book will begin children’s explorations of the deep sea. Both the text and the artwork were vetted for accuracy by Dr. David Gruber, real-life deep-sea explorer and professor of biology and environmental science at Baruch College.

Author Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld received her MA degree from U-M in 1977.

Nuclear Lies, Deceptions, and Hypocrisies

by Mehdi Sarram

Nuclear Lies, Deceptions, and Hypocrisies book cover Published just days before the ink was dry on the Treaty with Iran, Mehdi Sarram’s book has captured the essence of this world debate as he shares his knowledge and experience in the atomic energy industry.

Mehdi holds a postgraduate degree from U-M. He is a professional engineer with 47 years of nuclear experience and has traveled to 38 countries, most of them with nuclear programs.

He was a U.S. Atomic Energy Commission senior reactor operator in 1965. In addition, he was a professor at the University of Tehran from 1968-74 and one of the eight directors of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran from 1974-79. In 1977 he organized the first International Conference on Transfer of Nuclear Technology in Persepolis, Iran, attended by 500 senior government and industry representatives from 42 countries. He went to Vienna in 1981 and worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency Department of Safeguards.

Medhi immigrated to the U.S. in 1982 and worked at Raytheon Nuclear until 1998. Currently he is an independent consultant.

Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain’s Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour

by Richard Zacks

Chasing the last laugh book coverChasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain’s Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour comes from the New York Times bestselling author of Pirate Hunter and Island of Vice. Author Zacks delivers the untold story of how in 1895 Samuel Langhorne Clemens — the highest paid writer in America — succeeded in losing his entire family’s fortune, only to win it all back and rehabilitate his reputation through the world’s first global standup comedy tour.

Twain delivered 122 standup comedy performances — the greatest hits of his career in a 90-minute one-man show — across the U.S. and on to Australia, New Zealand, India, Ceylon, and South Africa. The performances were funny, poignant, strangely thought-provoking, and wildly popular. No American author had ever talked his way around the world. And on the cusp of success, his family suffered a horrific tragedy, but Twain survived and returned triumphant to New York City in 1900.

Chasing the Last Laugh is the story of how with humor and perseverance Mark Twain rallied to repay his debts and restore his fortune. It is also the tale of how the famed author found himself caught in the middle between two powerful advisors: his honor-bound wife and his ruthless tycoon friend, H.H. “Hell Hound” Rogers of Wall Street, a vice president at Standard Oil.

Zacks introduces a previously unseen side of an American icon — Twain as expat — via new source material, including many of the artist’s previously unpublished letters and personal notebooks from the last decade of the 19th century, unlocking the key to some of the most serious writing and biting humor of his career.

Building Family Business Champions

by Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle

Building Family Business Champions book coverBuilding Family Business Champions provides a theoretically sound and practical framework for understanding the challenges that family businesses face. Drawing on three decades of consulting, their own experience running a family-owned firm, and sound research, Eric G. Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle explain that the success of these companies hinges upon the dual management of family functionality and company infrastructure.

After laying this groundwork, the authors attend to issues that uniquely pertain to these companies, such as succession and familial dysfunction. Finally, the book offers a set of short self-assessments that can be used in any family business. Richly illustrated with stories of companies at various stages of growth from around the globe, this book provides a comprehensive guide for building businesses that thrive from generation to generation.

Flamholtz is a graduate of the Ross School of Business.

Innovating Lean Six Sigma

by Kimberly Watson-Hemphill and Kristine Nissen Bradley

Innovating Lean Six Sigma book cover

If you’re a business leader, you already know that Lean Six Sigma is one of the most popular and powerful business tools in the world today. You also probably know that implementing the process can be more than a little challenging. This step-by-step guide shows you how to customize and apply the principles of Lean Six Sigma to your own organizational needs, giving you more options, strategies, and solutions than you’ll find in any other book on the subject. With these simple, proven techniques, you can:

  • Assess your current business model and shape your future goals
  • Plan and prepare a Lean Six Sigma program that’s right for your company
  • Engage your leadership and your team throughout the entire process
  • Align your LSS efforts with the culture and values of your business
  • Develop deeper insights into your customer experience
  • Master the art of project selection and pipeline management
  • Tackle bigger problems and find better solutions
  • Become more efficient, more productive, and more profitable

This innovative approach to the Lean Six Sigma process allows you to mold and shape your strategy as you go, making small adjustments along the way that can have a big impact. In this book, you’ll discover the most effective methods for deploying LSS at every level, from the leaders at the top to the managers in the middle to the very foundation of your company culture. You’ll hear from leading business experts who have guided companies through the LSS process—and get the inside story on how they turned those companies around. You’ll also learn how to use the latest, greatest management tools like Enterprise Kaizen, Customer Journey Maps, and Hoshin Planning.

Co-author Watson-Hemphill holds BA and BSE degrees from U-M.

Stack the Legal Odds in Your Favor

by Sara Naheedy and Tom Scott

Stack the Legal Odds in Your Favor book cover

This legal self-help book is the hybrid product of a lawyer and a non-lawyer author. It is packed with unbiased information about the current state of the legal system, why it is the way it is, where it is headed, and, most importantly, how to beat it at its own game!

This is the only legal self-help resource that

  • reveals clandestine rules, discusses unorthodox strategies, and propounds novel information
  • contains the broad insight of authors internal and external to the U.S. judiciary
  • provides ways to counteract the corruption within the system so crucial for the average person to successfully fight a legal battle

The authors cover speeding tickets, small claims, divorce, criminal defense, landlord tenant law, debt collection, and probate, wills, and trusts.

Co-author Naheedy is a 2003 graduate of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. She is an attorney in Irvine, Calif. More info:

Shmulik Paints the Town

by Lisa Rose Granitz Chottiner

Shmulik Paints the Town book cover

This picture book is about a painter who has to create a mural for Israeli Independence Day. He can’t decide what to paint and gets a little help from a very unexpected source — his dog!

Chottiner, who earned her BA degree from the School of Education in 1995, proudly reports that her book is now part of the PJ Library, which sends Jewish children’s books and music every month to families with children ages 6 months through 8 years. The PJ Library reaches more than 375,000 children and their families around the world.


The Drifter

by Nicholas Petrie

The Drifter book coverThis debut novel offers a trenchant exploration of the shattered lives of returning veterans, wrapped in the cloak of a riveting thriller. The literary page-turner pits Peter Ash, a damaged veteran of the wars Afghanistan and Iraq, against a criminal web in contemporary Milwaukee. Waging a different kind of battle within, Peter tries to put his own tenuous life together. In an attempt to tune out the noise in his own head, he offers help to the widow of his best friend from the battlefield — an act of expiation that turns deadly. New York Times best-selling author Steve Barry describes it as a “tangled tale of intrigue, action, and adventure with a battle-scarred hero who definitely rises to the challenge.”

Author Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington, won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and his story “At the Laundromat” won the 2006 Short Story Contest in The Seattle Review, a national literary journal. A husband and father, he runs a home-inspection business in Milwaukee.

Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis

by Andrew R. Highsmith

Demolition Means Progress book cover In 1997, after General Motors shuttered a massive complex of factories in the gritty industrial city of Flint, Mich., signs were placed around the empty facility reading, “Demolition Means Progress,” suggesting that the struggling metropolis could not move forward to greatness until the old plants met the wrecking ball. Much more than a trite corporate slogan, the phrase encapsulates the operating ethos of the nation’s metropolitan leadership from at least the 1930s to the present. Throughout, the leaders of Flint and other municipalities repeatedly tried to revitalize their communities by demolishing outdated and inefficient structures and institutions and overseeing numerous urban renewal campaigns — many of which yielded only more impoverished and more divided metropolises. After decades of these efforts, the dawn of the 21st century found Flint one of the most racially segregated and economically polarized metropolitan areas in the nation.

In one of the most comprehensive works yet written on the history of inequality and metropolitan development in modern America, Highsmith (who earned both his master’s and PhD degrees at U-M) uses the case of Flint to explain how the perennial quest for urban renewal — even more than white flight, corporate abandonment, and other forces — contributed to mass suburbanization, racial and economic division, deindustrialization, and political fragmentation. Challenging much of the conventional wisdom about structural inequality and the roots of the nation’s “urban crisis,” Demolition Means Progress shows in vivid detail how public policies and programs designed to revitalize the Flint area ultimately led to the hardening of social divisions.

The Book of Nonsense (Forbidden Books, Vol. I)

by David Michael Slater

The Book of Nonsense book coverThis fast-paced young adult adventure story follows a pair of twins who uncover and attempt to stop a centuries-old plot to unravel and re-form the world as we know it — through the discovery and use of the Words of Power from the First Tongue, the language that is rumored to have brought the universe into being. Reviewers have described it as “a meditation on the power of language” and a “cautionary tale about how the words and ideas contained in books can be warped and used for terrible harm in the wrong hands.” It also is a “celebration of the way those same words have potential to do great things in the right hands.” The book is currently being developed for a potential film.

Robert Lowell in Love

by Jeffrey Meyers

Robert Lowell in Love book coverRobert Lowell was known not only as a great poet but also as a writer whose devotion to his art came at a tremendous personal cost. In this book, his third on Robert Lowell, Jeffrey Meyers examines the poet’s impassioned, troubled relationships with the key women in his life: his mother, Charlotte Winslow Lowell; his three wives — Jean Stafford, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Caroline Blackwood; nine of his many lovers; his close women friends — Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Bishop, and Adrienne Rich; and his most talented students, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

Lowell’s charismatic personality, compelling poetry, and literary fame attracted lovers and friends who were both frightened and excited by his aura of brilliance and danger. He loved the idea of falling in love, and in his recurring manic episodes he needed women at the center of his emotional and artistic life. Each affair became an intense dramatic episode. Though he idealized his loves and encouraged their talents, his frenetic affairs and tortured marriages were always conducted on his own terms. Robert Lowell in Love tells the story of the poet in the grip of love and gives voice to the women who loved him, inspired his poetry, and suffered along with him.

Author Meyers earned his BA at U-M in 1959.

On this Day in Detroit History

by Bill Loomis

On this Day in Detroit History book coverLocal historian Bill Loomis covers the big events and remarkable stories of life and culture from Detroit’s founding to its recent struggles and rebirth. One day at a time, discover colorful Motor City moments in history spanning more than three centuries. Here’s just a few highlights: On Nov. 5, 1851, Voice of the Fugitive published a letter in support of escaped slaves. On July 3, 1904, Monk Parry became the first monkey to drive a car. on Jan. 16, 1919, the Statler Hotel menu offered whale meat for dinner. And the legendary Steve Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings on Oct. 7, 1986.

Author Loomis is the author of Detroit’s Delectable Past (2012), Detroit Food (2014), and numerous articles on culinary and social history. His writing has been published in The Detroit News, Michigan History Magazine, New York Times, Hour Detroit, and more. Loomis lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and children.

Is Mommy?

by Victoria Chang

Is Mommy book coverIn this irreverent, hilarious, and charming picture book, award-winning poet Victoria Chang and celebrated artist Marla Frazee show that all toddlers love their mommies — no matter what.

It is a joyous ode to hardworking mothers everywhere — who may not always be fun or organized or neat. But do their toddlers love them anyway? Of course! Marla Frazee’s colorful and humorous illustrations bring this simple text — perfect for reading aloud — to vivid life.

The New York Times Book Review writes: “Is Mommy? lobs an attack on perfectionism. When parenting blogs and social media edit out hot tempers, hangovers, the tedium of groceries, fearful obsessions with death, and eroding body confidence to suggest that parenting is all butterfly cupcakes, quilting projects completed in time for birthdays, and endless nonwage-earning hours spent biking to swimming holes or exploring museums, it can be difficult to remember that the only essential qualities required for parenting are kindness and courage. Chang and Frazee’s playful book reminds a reader that children love well and without reservation….”

Chang graduated from U-M in 1992.

The Winning Weekend Warrior

by John Charles Thomas

The Winning Weekend Warrior book coverThis book aspires to enhance the participation, enjoyment, and success of the reader in all sports. It focuses on strategy, tactics, and the “mental game” and is designed for the amateur athlete. It is one of the few sports books written by an actual winning weekend warrior who takes into account the average person’s working schedule, aging process, and wide-ranging skill level.

Thomas has enjoyed many sports including (in rough chronological order) baseball, badminton, soccer, table tennis, basketball, football, tennis, running, body building, golf, and triathlon. The Winning Weekend Warrior is constructed on the intersection of personal experience in a wide variety of sports, a long career in research and management, and an understanding of cognitive psychology. Links to some of Thomas’ professional writing can be found at

Thomas attended graduate school at U-M from1967-1971 and earned his PhD in psychology.

The Hidden Structure of Violence: Who Benefits From Global Violence and War

by Marc Pilisuk and Jennifer Achord Rountree

The Hidden Structure of Violence book coverActs of violence assume many forms: They may travel by the arc of a guided missile or in the language of an economic policy decision that contaminates drinking water, and they may leave behind a smoldering village or a starved child. The all-pervasive occurrence of violence makes it seem like an unavoidable, and ultimately incomprehensible, aspect of the human world, particularly in a modern era. But, in this detailed and expansive book, authors Pilisuk and Rountree demonstrate otherwise. Widespread violence, they argue, is in fact an expression of the underlying social order, and whether it is carried out by military forces or by patterns of investment, the aim is to strengthen that order for the benefit of the powerful.

The Hidden Structure of Violence marshals vast amounts of evidence to examine the costs of direct violence, including military preparedness and the social reverberations of war, alongside the costs of structural violence, expressed as poverty and chronic illness. It also documents the relatively small number of people and corporations responsible for facilitating the violent status quo, whether by setting the range of permissible discussion or benefiting directly as financiers and manufacturers. The result is a stunning indictment of our violent world and a powerful critique of the ways through which violence is reproduced on a daily basis, whether at the highest levels of the state or in the deepest recesses of the mind.

Because of its interdisciplinary approach, The Hidden Structure of Violence will be valuable for scholars and students in a range of fields, but especially psychology, macro-economics, sociology, international relations, history, journalism, peace studies, military science, community development, and social change.

Author Pilisuk earned his MA at U-M in 1956 and his PhD in 1961. He taught and conducted research at the University until 1965.

The Form of Finite Group Theory

by Stephen Odaibo

The Form of Finite Group Theory book cover Group theory is the language in which our natural world is expressed. Everything from Einstein’s theory of relativity to the inner workings of electrons, protons, and quarks are encoded in the language of group theory. This book on finite group theory is a great resource for both undergraduate and graduate students in the mathematical sciences. It will also be found indispensable by anyone serious about acquiring a fundamental understanding of our physical world.

Author Odaibo graduated from the Medical Retina Fellowship Program at the Kellogg Eye Center in 2015. He has dedicated this math textbook to his undergrad professor and mentor, Dr. James Robert Ward Jr., and all proceeds go to the Dr. James Robert Ward Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Memoirs of an Agent for Change in International Development

by Ludwig Rudel

Memoirs of an Agent for Change book coverIn this compelling book, Lu Rudel, AM ’65, describes his unique experiences with U.S. foreign economic aid programs during some of the most dramatic international events since World War II. These include Iran after the fall of Mosaddegh (1956-60); Turkey after the military coup of 1960 to the start of the Cuba Missile crisis; India after the death of Nehru (1965-70); and Pakistan following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1988. Rudel’s firsthand observations on Iran differ markedly from the description of events commonly espoused by some historians and journalists.

The author also provides a firsthand account of the political metamorphosis over the past half-century of the “Group of 77” nations as they employed the U.N.’s economic development agencies to press for a “New International Economic Order.” These experiences led him to draw significant lessons about the conduct and effectiveness of foreign aid.

Humbug Marsh: A Wetland Symphony

by Elizabeth Katherine Hartig; Illustrated by Sarah Schwendeman

Humbug Marsh book coverHumbug Marsh is the last mile of natural shoreline on the U.S. mainland of the Detroit River and now part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. The marsh serves as a vital habitat for 51 species of fish, 90 species of plants, 154 species of birds, seven species of reptiles and amphibians, and 37 species of dragonflies and damselflies, and has been designated as Michigan’s only “Wetland of International Importance” under the international Ramsar Convention.

Author Elizabeth Hartig was a student at U-M when she wrote this book. Her father is the refuge manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and oversees stewardship of Humbug Marsh. In 2004 her photo of Humbug Marsh was recognized with a Barbara Stanton Environmental Award of Excellence by The Detroit Free Press and Michigan Environmental Council. Illustrator Sarah Schwendeman has a BFA in art and design from the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design at U-M. She is passionate about holistic and sustainable approaches to the environment, as well as to human relationships.

Cattle Kate

by Jana Bommersbach

Cattle Kate book coverThey called her Cattle Kate. They said she was a dirty rustler. They said she was a filthy whore. And history said it was “rangeland justice” when prominent cattlemen strung her up with her husband in 1889 in Wyoming Territory — the only woman ever hanged in the nation for rustling.

But history was wrong. It was all a lie.

Her real name was Ella Watson. She wasn’t a rustler. She wasn’t a whore. And she’d never been called Cattle Kate until she was dead and they needed an excuse. She was really a 29-year-old immigrant homesteader, lynched with her husband by her rich and powerful cattle-baron neighbors who wanted her land and its precious water rights.

Some people knew the truth from the start. But the legend was stronger than the truth. For more than a century, newspapers, magazines, books — movies, too — spread her ugly legacy. Now, on the 125th anniversary of her murder, the real Ella comes alive in Cattle Kate to tell her heartbreaking story.

Apollo 13: How Three Brave Astronauts Survived a Space Diaster

by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Apollo 13 book coverAstronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise blasted off for the Moon on April 11, 1970. But after a disastrous explosion damaged their spacecraft, the three men had only one goal: to get back home safely. This informational text makes space travel exciting and accessible for younger readers and features illustrations, photographs, a map, and additional “story behind the story” facts.

This book is part of Steppingstone’s “Totally True Adventures” series for young readers at Random House Books. Author Weidner Zoehfeld graduated from U-M with her master’s degree in 1977.

Erna’s Life

by Janice Whelan

Erna's Life book coverErna Pauline Roberts was in her early 30s when she came to the U.S. as a Latvian refugee in 1949. Until recently she refused to talk about her experiences before emigrating. It was only when Roberts’ daughters gave her a tape recorder that she spoke of living under Soviet rule during World War II. Author Janice Whelan transcribed those recordings, and the result is Erna’s Life.

In this memoir written as biography, Whelan takes readers from Roberts’ idyllic childhood in Latvia through her immigration to America. During this time, Russia occupied her home country, then Germany, and then Russia again. As a result, Roberts’ extended family was split apart. By the time the Quaker Church helped Roberts and her husband leave for New York with their four daughters, she saw her mother, grandfather, and brother sent to Siberia. Her was held in a Nazi labor camp. And her own family was forced to live in overcrowded and unhealthy refugee camps.

“This is the story of how war shatters and destroys the lives of the innocent, especially the women and children,” Whelan says. “But it is also the story of one family’s struggle to survive and their ultimate triumph against what seemed like insurmountable odds.”

Whelan is a 1967 U-M graduate and recently told Michigan Today of a unique “Latvian refugee” connection here at the University. Professor Maris A. Vinovski is the A.M. and H.P. Bentley Professor of History in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and a professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He also is a senior research scientist in the Center for Political Studies, Institute of Social Research. Most pertinent to this story? He was a Latvian refugee as a child. Upon learning of Whelan’s book, Vinovski visited Erna and her daughter, and discovered many similarities between their story and his own. He then recommended that Erna’s Life be housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library. “He felt it was an important account of the Baltic peoples’ plight during World War II, which is not often told since at that time Russia was an ally of the United States,” Whelan says.

In yet another Latvian connection, Whelan notes that world-famous architect Gunnar Birkerts also was a WWII Latvian refugee. Birkerts was a professor at U-M from 1959-90 and designed the Allan and Alene Smith Law Library Addition at the U-M Law School. He recently saw his design for the Latvian National Library completed.

God is an Astronaut

Cover image: God is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster

As botany professor Jess Frobisher clears space in her yard to build the greenhouse she’s always wanted, her mind begins to wander. It wanders, as it always does, toward Arthur, her colleague in the botany department. Arthur, who never believed she’d actually start the greenhouse project. Arthur, who in the aftermath of their affair, has cut off contact, escaping to the subarctic to study the pines.

Jess’ mind soon snaps back to reality when she learns the space tourism business founded by her engineer husband has experienced the worst possible disaster: A space shuttle filled with commercial passengers has exploded. Jess’ husband is implicated, and she knows he is withholding information from her. As the tragedy unfolds and the investigations are launched, an increasingly isolated Jess writes to the only person she can be candid with: Arthur. This updated version of the “epistolary” novel unfolds via Jess’ emails to her former lover, freighted with longing, regret, and the old habits of seduction. And though the reader never hears from Arthur, Jess certainly does. Foster paints a vivid relationship via provocative email subject lines, unseen correspondence, and references to an intriguing past that predates the novel.

Foster earned her BA in creative writing at U-M; as a student she won a Hopwood award for her fiction. Foster lives in Washington D.C., where she works for the National Geographic library and writes for the National Geographic News Watch blog.

Historic Ann Arbor: An Architectural Guide

Cover image: Historic Ann Arbor by Susan Winesberg and Patrick McCauley

The Ann Arbor Historical Society recently released this guidebook to Ann Arbor’s most significant historic buildings and neighborhoods. U-M graduates will be pleased to find more than 40 campus buildings (Hill Auditorium, the Earl V. Moore Building, and the Power Center for Performing Arts, to name a few) among the 350 sites detailed in the book.

Style sections describe those of the 19th and 20th centuries including Mid-Century Modern. Superb examples of this style can be found in many parts of Ann Arbor, from residences to commercial sites. Architects include Albert Kahn, Eero Saarinen, William Muschenheim, and more.

Deadly Secrets

Cover image: Deadly Secrets by Robert Boris Riskin

A murder in the Hamptons sends wisecracking, Shakespeare-quoting sleuth Jake Wanderman on an international quest to London and Paris in search of the globetrotting killer. Deadly Secrets is the latest installment in author Riskin’s fast-paced mystery series about this colorful, albeit reluctant, detective. Other titles include Scrambled Eggs and Deadly Bones.

While at U-M Brooklyn native Riskin studied with playwright Kenneth Rowe; since then the author has traveled the globe and supported himself and family at a variety of jobs–from dishwasher to
factory worker, from busboy to hawker of low-price garments for high-fashion women–all while
experiencing the stuff of the human condition that feeds his writing. He currently lives in Sag Harbor.

Riskin’s work has appeared in a variety of literary magazines. Learn more at

The Path to Revenge

Cover image: The Path to Revenge by Wayne Pletcher

This new title is the third in alumnus Wayne Pletcher’s series of thrillers about global
terrorism. The Path to Revenge follows such previous titles as The Campaign of
(2010) and Held Hostage (2012). The books chronicle the adventures of a talented U.S. team seeking to outwit an enemy whose increasingly sophisticated arsenal includes everything from improvised explosive devices to biological and nuclear weapons. The fight is getting more complicated as some of America’s most formidable adversaries join forces to advance a devastating reign of terror.

Black Performance Theory

Cover image: Black Performance Theory by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Anita Gonzalez, editors

Black performance theory is a rich interdisciplinary area of study and critical method. This collection of new essays by some of its pioneering thinkers–many of whom are performers–demonstrates the breadth, depth, innovation, and critical value of black performance theory. Considering how blackness is imagined in and through performance, the contributors address topics including flight as a persistent theme in African-American aesthetics; the circulation of minstrel tropes in Liverpool and in Afro-Mexican settlements in Oaxaca; and the reach of hip-hop politics as people around the world embrace the music and dance.

Editor Anita Gonzalez is a professor of theater at U-M; her co-editor Thomas DeFrantz is a professor of African and African-American studies, dance, and theater studies at Duke University.

In Clouds of Fire

Cover image: In Clouds of Fire by Elaine Stienon

Love, violence, and death on the American frontier play a part in this story of the early Mormons and their search for peace and freedom from persecution. Nathaniel, a young man from a Shaker background, has promised to help Hannah and her brother get safely from Ohio to Missouri, where Hannah’s fiance Dan is building a cabin for them. As the arduous journey unfolds, Nathaniel falls deeply in love with Hannah, a complication with profound repercussions.

In Clouds of Fire explores the diversity of people who were attracted to this unique religion of Mormonism, and the groups from which they came, religious and otherwise. Based on accounts and journals of the time, the book brings to life an exciting portion of American history.

Author Elaine Stienon grew up in Detroit and attended U-M, where she earned a Hopwood award in her senior year for a collection of short stories. Since that time, she has had stories published in such literary magazines as Phoenix, South, the Cimarron Review, and the Ball State University Forum. In Clouds of Fire is her fourth published novel.

Dark Lady of Hollywood

Cover image: Dark Lady of Hollywood by Diane Haithman

This merry mash-up of Shakespeare and Hollywood’s television industry tells the story of Ken Harrison, 36, a VP of comedy development at a Big Three network. He’s right in the middle of TV’s most desirable demographic (men 18-49). But when misfortune enters stage left Ken’s comfortable world is suddenly fraught with shadows and uncertainty. Ousted from the network’s comedy department, Ken finds solace in his unread, undergrad’s copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare—and discovers Shakespeare’s mysterious Dark Lady of the Sonnets, a 16th-century enigma whose identity has baffled scholars for centuries.

The sly and cynical Dark Lady of Hollywood was a recent finalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition. Haithman, a 1979 graduate of U-M’s Honors College (psychology/English), won a Hopwood Award during her time at Michigan.

Wake-Up Calls

Cover image: Wake-Up Calls by Connie Gaertner

As the new employee at Watson’s Flowers, 17-year-old Krista knows she has to concentrate on her job and not on the party she is missing at Bayside Beach on Lake Huron. But all she really wants is to have a summer romance with Jeff Wellington, a fellow student, golfer extraordinaire, and well-known jerk.

As Krista ignores Jeff’s rather unsavory reputation and immerses herself in lively summer boating and beach adventures with him, she also gets to know her coworkers—Mario Watson, the owner’s son and a handsome college student who tests Krista’s feelings for Jeff, and Cheyenne, a bizarre and moody girl who seems to know everything about everyone. Even though she is crazy about Jeff, Mario’s eyes beckon Krista into his life. But it is not long before Krista realizes Mario is dealing with his own set of problems. Torn between two suitors with vastly different personalities, Krista must decide which one is right for her.

In this young adult story, a teenager must balance a new job with the possibilities of romance as she learns to trust her heart—and her intuition—to lead her to her destiny.

Full Potential GMAT Sentence Correction Intensive

Cover image: Full Potential GMAT by Bara Sapir

To be in winning form, it is essential to be mindful first, so that one can master the game. And if the game is achieving a top score on admission tests, then Test Prep New York (TPNY) has published the ideal playbook to conquer the GMAT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, MCAT, ACT, and USMLE, etc. TPNY is the only test prep company to utilize mindfulness techniques, sports psychology, and holistic modalities to optimize test-taking potential for every student who peaked and plateaued with traditional study methods.

TPNY founder Bara Sapir earned her BFA from U-M in 1991 and her masters in art history (Rackham) in 1993. Full Potential GMAT Sentence Correction Intensive focuses on what students will see on the GMAT, based on extensive research of real GMAT questions. There are more than 200 examples illustrating key grammar rules and hundreds of practice questions to build mastery of concepts, as well as over 30 exercises drawn from sports psychology, mindfulness, and holistic health to optimize test-day performance.

X-15: The World’s Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots who Ushered in the Space Age

Cover image: X-15 by Richard A. Passman and John Anderson

This exciting story recounts development of the iconic rocket plane of the Cold War space race. This experimental space plane was on the cutting edge of hypersonic aerodynamics, and its winged reentry from space foreshadowed the development of the Space Shuttle decades later. Launched from the wing of a modified B-52 bomber–again foretelling a concept that would be used decades later, in this case by Space Ship One and Space Ship Two–the ship rocketed higher and faster than any manned aircraft of the time. Designed to approach seven times the speed of sound, it was the first hypersonic aircraft ever created and was engineered to function both in the Earth’s atmosphere and at the edge of space.

Illustrated with period NASA and USAF photographs, as well as exclusive Smithsonian photography of the first of three X-15s built, the book captures the risks and dangers of the X-15 program as the writers follow the test pilots (including Neil Armstrong) who pushed the very limits of their piloting skills to master groundbreaking experimental technology. Even with the fatal crash of the third X-15, the overall success of the program helped pave the way for NASA to continue to the Moon–and this is the definitive, expertly curated, and beautifully illustrated account of its development.

Passman is a 1944 and 1945 Michigan graduate with degrees in mathematics and aerospace engineering. He is 88 years old and splits his time between Florida and Maryland. Co-author Anderson is curator of aerodynamics at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Immaculate Inception

Cover image: Immaculate Inception by Christopher Simmons

This apocalyptic thriller covers a lot of ground: When Judas Iscariot miraculously finds himself in the 21st century, he seeks to usher in the long-promised Kingdom of God. In a world of terror and hatred, Judas must unite Jews and Muslims into a single faith with the mysterious, powerful Arab Prince Sabah as its earthly king. But then Saturn goes missing. A massive tsunami destroys the beaches of Los Angeles. A new mother dies, but her newborn son, Elijah, lives–and he can hear what his mother hears in Heaven. Meanwhile, Father Calucci, an immortal Roman soldier cursed to walk the earth until the return of Christ, recognizes the signs: The end has begun.

Immaculate Inception is the first in the author’s “Judas Christ” series. Simmons, BSAE ’82, has timed the events of the novel based on the “physics-correct” orbital parameters—a skill he learned from his Aero department professor, the late Harm Buning. Two of the book’s characters are based on fellow aerospace engineering alums, Simmons says. “They play critical roles in the book’s climax, but they don’t know it yet.”

Secrets of the Seasons

Cover image: Secrets of the Seasons by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, Priscilla Lamont

The family from Secrets of the Garden are back in a new book by Michigan alum Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, MA ’77, and illustrator Priscilla Lamont. This time characters Alice and Zack explore the reasons for the seasons. Alice’s narrative is all about noticing the changes in the air as fall turns into winter, spring, and then summer. She explains how the Earth’s yearlong journey around the sun, combined with the tilt in the Earth’s axis, makes the seasons happen.

Alice’s text is clear and simple, and experiential. Two very helpful—and very funny—chickens give more science details and further explanation through charts, diagrams, and sidebars. Packed with sensory details, humor, and solid science, this book makes a complicated concept completely clear for young readers—and also for the many parents who struggle to answer their kids’ questions!

The Confessions of Frances Godwin

Cover image: Confessions of Frances Godwin by Robert Hellenga

The Confessions of Frances Godwin is the fictional memoir of a retired high school Latin teacher looking back on a life of trying to do her best amidst transgressions—starting with her affair with Paul, whom she later marries. Now that Paul is dead and she’s retired, Frances Godwin thinks her story is over—but, of course, the rest of her life is full of surprises, including the truly shocking turn of events that occurs when she takes matters into her own hands after her daughter, Stella’s, husband grows increasingly abusive. And though she is not a particularly pious person, in the aftermath of her actions, God begins speaking to her. Theirs is a deliciously antagonistic relationship that will compel both believers and nonbelievers alike.

From a small town in the Midwest to the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, The Confessions of Frances Godwin touches on the great questions of human existence: Is there something “out there” that takes an interest in us? Or is the universe ultimately indifferent?

Robert Hellenga holds degrees from U-M and Princeton University. He is professor emeritus and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and the author of the novels Snakewoman of Little Egypt, The Sixteen Pleasures, The Fall of a Sparrow, Blues Lessons, Philosophy Made Simple, and The Italian Lover.

Bluff City Pawn, a Novel

Cover image: Pawn, A Novel by Stephen Schottenfeld

Huddy Marr, the proprietor of Bluff City Pawn in Memphis, is good at what he does: He knows jewelry, he knows guns, and he knows guitars. But the neighborhood is changing. A blood bank is set to open across the street from the retail space he leases from his brother, Joe, and Huddy wants to move to a less seedy part of town. A pawn shop should stay right on the edge of seedy.

When a longtime client dies, his widow calls Huddy to come appraise his considerable gun collections. If he can buy up the guns, Huddy knows he can make a killing, possibly change his fortunes for good. But he needs cash up front, and for that, he needs brother Joe. Soon the youngest sibling, restless Harlan, gets involved—they could use the manpower to move the haul, after all—and slowly the brothers’ original family dynamics reassert themselves. Needless to say, a change of fortune can’t come easy.

This is Stephen Schottenfeld’s first novel. He is a graduate of U-M and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop; he teaches English at the University of Rochester.

The Heart Code

Cover image: Heart Code by Laura Matson Hahn

When 16-year-old Bertra Vogen fled Bohemia in 1870 for an arranged marriage to a New York City hardware merchant, she believed she had left behind her most egregious mistake. But 60 years later, now a widow living in Connecticut with her son and daughter-in-law, she feels compelled to return to her beloved homeland with her 16-year-old granddaughter, Celeste. Bertra hopes that her only heir will embrace the wonder of their Bohemian heritage and discover the wisdom of her own “heart code.”

But Celeste’s mother, Myrtle, an Irish immigrant, has other plans for that very same summer. The next four years do not unfold according to anyone’s plans as Celeste struggles to find her own way, torn between her mother’s social-climbing desires and her grandmother’s counsel to follow the yes in her heart.

Set in the 1930s, this heartwarming, inspirational adventure follows three friends, two families, and one unforgettable grandmother over two continents and four years as it reveals the map for discovering one’s own “heart wisdom” … and the secrets of the Bohemian Way.

Hahn, who earned a masters degree in communications from U-M in 1979, grew up in Glen Rock, N.J., and now resides in Bucks County, Pa.

Mind of Winter

Cover image: Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke teaches in the MFA Program at U-M’s Residential College. She is the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling poet and author of The Raising. Now she returns with Mind of Winter, a dark and chilling thriller that combines domestic drama with elements of psychological suspense and horror—an addictive tale of denial and guilt that is part Joyce Carol Oates and part Chris Bohjalian.

On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at 15, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic.

As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening … until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.

Rock and Roll Stories

Cover image: Rock and Roll Stories by Lynn Goldsmith

The story of rock lives in Lynn Goldsmith’s photographs. After coming of age in the Midwest in the tumultuous 1960s, Goldsmith (AB/ABEd ’68) crashed the music scene in New York and emerged as one of its leading image-makers. She chronicled Bruce Springsteen’s passage to glory, the Rolling Stones’ legendary stadium tours, Michael Jackson’s staggering ascent, U2’s arrival in New York, and the brooding force of Bob Marley. Culture heroes like Bob Dylan and Patti Smith became frequent subjects for her lens. The range of her work is staggering.

In Rock and Roll Stories, Goldmsith shares the best of this work. Her commentary takes the reader into the studio, the tour bus, the concert hall, and the streets where the pictures were made, offering revealing perspectives on her subjects and herself. A greatly expanded and newly designed edition of her book PhotoDiary (1995), this volume captures the story of a generation’s loyalty to rock and roll.

Gifts from the Poor

Cover image: Gifts from the Poor by Dr. Glenn W. Geelhoed with Patricia Edmonds

For more than four decades, surgeon and educator Glenn Geelhoed has taken medical missions to the poorest parts of the globe to treat patients at no cost. Gifts from the Poor takes readers along on his journey. Whether he is stitching wounds, delivering babies, mentoring younger colleagues, or challenging destructive cultural practices, Geelhoed constantly discovers the power and dignity of each individual. From solid, Midwestern beginnings, Geelhoed developed a profound drive to explore the world. What he found both thrilled and goaded him, and shaped a career in which he jousted with medical establishments, confronted corruption, and followed his own instincts. Geelhoed exposes the true mechanics of foreign medical aid and proposes a game-changing alternative: an approach to medical service in which those who would heal and treat in fact end up learning from their resilient, resourceful patients.

An inspiring tale of compassion, conviction, and grit, Gifts from the Poor is Geelhoed’s invitation to join him in promoting global health. All proceeds will be donated to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame Foundation.

In Search of the Christian Buddha

Cover image: In Search of the Christian Buddha by Donald S. Lopez Jr. and Peggy McCracken

In their comprehensive study of the Buddha’s appropriation by Muslim and Christian believers, In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage became a Medieval Saint, Donald S. Lopez Jr., the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, and Peggy McCracken, translator of Gui de Cambrai’s Barlaam and Josaphat and professor of French and women’s studies, trace the story’s circuitous pilgrimage and consider the duality that shaped its trans-religious appeal. Ultimately, the authors explore an unwitting dialogue between great religions, illuminating their surprising similarities as well as their stark differences.

Through a definitive comparison of the tale’s various iterations, spanning more than 2,000 years of religious and cultural history, In Search of the Christian Buddha reveals common human values but also details a legacy of conflict and intolerance. It is, in a sense, a story of missed opportunities, of a universal truth hidden in the potency of one ancient story.

Being Black in Vietnam

Cover image: Being Black in Vietnam by Donald Talbert

Being Black in Vietnam chronicles the experience of Donald Talbert, ’77, while serving in the military during a tour of duty in Vietnam. He provides a snapshot of various confrontations with his white counterparts and details how he was mistreated “by the same people who were supposed to protect me.” Talbert says he went from “hating almost all white people” to only hating those “who were trying to make life miserable for me.”

In the end, Talbert made the conscious decision not to be aggressive toward anyone “unless it was warranted to keep me out of harm’s way.” One thing that became evident, he says, was that it “wasn’t very many black people who came to my aid. It was mostly white people.” He also realized that most of the help he received was because he was willing to stand up for himself at all costs.

Dogs with Old Man Faces: Portraits of Crochety Canines

Cover image: Dogs with Old Man Faces by Tom Cohen

Your dog’s puppy days are long gone, but sometimes you think you love him even more for being an old fart. He looks at you with those big brown eyes, full of experience and widsom, and you can see the old man behind that furry face. You know he’s bewildered by these young pups today, and he wonders why they let their tails get all poofy, or why they insist on staying out all night capering around with the neighborhood cats.

Dogs with Old Man Faces is a photographic treasury of old salty dogs, accompanied by droll captions like “Pedro likes Old Spice and Sinatra,” “Jack enjoys a cup of hot Sanka,” and “Chet is still upset they cancelled ‘Matlock.’”

Now you can honor your whiskered old fogey and let him know you still care—even if he can’t jump the fence anymore.

Author Tom Cohen, LSA ’92, is a multiple Emmy-winning producer with almost 20 years in the TV business. He graduated from U-M with honors. In his free time as a student, he was very involved with U-M’s comedy troupe Comedy Company and started Michigan’s first improvisational comedy group, Highly Improvable.


Cover image: Something that feels like truth by Elizabeth Heiter

A depraved serial killer is on the loose, attacking unsuspecting victims and disposing their bodies in horrific fashions. But when the FBI sends in their most gifted profiler to shed light on the killer, the monstrous murderer decides to target her as his next victim and turn the hunter into the hunted. From debut author Elizabeth Heiter, Hunted is the spine-chilling first story in her edgy, heroine-led FBI thriller series featuring deadly villains and psychological twists.

As one of the FBI’s most talented profilers, special agent Evelyn Blaine solves unusual and deadly murders by getting in the heads of killers—understanding how they think, how they choose victims and why they kill. Evelyn knows what true evil looks like and she knows how to find it. But even Evelyn has never seen a murder scene like that of the Bakersville Burier—a killer who leaves his victims buried vertically up to their necks in the deep, dark woods of Virginia. Evelyn is convinced, however, that the killer is nearby, watching, and ready to strike again. She knows that for every minute he’s not found, his next target comes that much closer to death. But what Evelyn doesn’t know is that she is his next target.

Heiter graduated from U-M in 2001 with a degree in English literature. Her manuscripts have been finalists in Golden Heart®, Marlene, Daphne du Maurier, and Golden Gateway contests and she won Suzanne Brockmann’s 2010 Haiku Contest. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America and has volunteered for several chapters, including serving as the Greater Detroit area president.

Tocqueville in Arabia

Cover image: Tocqueville in Arabia by Joshua Mitchell

The Arab Spring, with its calls for sweeping political change, marked the most profound popular uprising in the Middle East for generations. But if the nascent democracies born of these protests are to succeed in the absence of a strong democratic tradition, their success will depend in part on an understanding of how Middle Easterners view themselves, their allegiances to family and religion, and their relationship with the wider world in which they are increasingly integrated.

Many of these same questions were raised by Alexis de Tocqueville during his 1831 tour of America, itself then a rising democracy. Joshua Mitchell spent years teaching Tocqueville’s classic account,Democracy in America, in America and the Arab Gulf and, withTocqueville in Arabia, he offers a profound personal take. One of the reasons for the book’s widespread popularity in the region is that its commentary on the challenges of democracy and the seemingly contradictory concepts of equality and individuality continue to speak to current debates. While Mitchell’s American students tended to value the individualism of commercial self-interest, his Middle Eastern students had grave doubts about individualism and a deep suspicion for capitalism, which they saw as risking the destruction of long-held loyalties and obligations. When asked about suffering, American students answered in psychological or sociological terms, while Middle Eastern students understood it in terms of religion. Mitchell describes modern democratic man as becoming what Tocqueville predicted: a “distinct kind of humanity” that would be increasingly isolated and alone. Whatever their differences, students in both worlds were grappling with a sense of disconnectedness that social media does little to remedy.

We live in a time rife with mutual misunderstandings between America and the Middle East, and Tocqueville in Arabia offers a guide to the present, troubled times, leavened by the author’s hopes about the future.

Something that Feels Like Truth: Stories

Cover image: Something that feels like truth

by Donald Lystra

Named a “Great Lakes, Great Reads” selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, the 16 stories in Something that Feels Like Truth take us on a page-turning journey from the American heartland to as far away as Paris. Reflecting the unique insights of an engineer who took up fiction writing late in life, Donald Lystra’s stories bring us ordinary people navigating life’s difficult boundaries—of age and love and family—and sometimes finding redemption at the risk of searing regret. The American Library Association’sBooklist called Something that Feels Like Truth ”luminous …. a stellar collection of masterfully crafted gems,” and the Kansas City Star said: “Lystra draws the bleak, beautiful landscape of the Great Lakes region in quick, sharp strokes, and brings its inhabitants to life with compassion and tenderness.”

Born in 1945, Lystra received degrees in electrical engineering (’68) and sociology (’75) from U-M. His first book, a 2009 novel set in northern Michigan in 1957 entitled Season of Water and Ice, captured both the Midwest Book Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award. Lystra has received writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony, and his work received special mention in the Pushcart Prizes. He and his wife divide their time between Ann Arbor and a farm in northern Michigan. He has two grown children.

Michigan Days 1957-1960: A Memoir in XXXVI Parts

Cover image: Michigan Days

by John H. Wilde

Michigan Days is a panoramic overview of author John H. Wilde’s time as a student at the University from January 1957 until October 1960. It covers everything from soup to nuts: academics, student life and demographics, University administration, sports. “You name it, it’s in there,” says Wilde, who earned his BA from the College of Literature, Science & the Arts in 1960. “I can’t claim to have been a ‘typical student,” he says. “I was a veteran who was older than his peers, I lived or boarded in a cooperative house, and I had full-time jobs. I’ll leave it to more more conventional students to write their memoirs.”

Wilde says he is happy to give away copies of the memoir “as long as they last.” Just email him at In return he asks that recipients consider contributing to the scholarship fundhe established in honor of his father, Edward E.H. Wilde, BEng ’25 (University of Michigan Endowment Account #570853), to benefit worthy engineering students from the Upper Peninsula.

Legends of Michigan: Cliff Keen

Cover image: Cliff Keen

by Dave Taylor

Clifford P. Keen came to Ann Arbor in 1925 to attend Law School and lead the upstart University of Michigan Wolverines Wrestling Program into Big Ten Conference prominence. In this compelling biography, former NCAA referee Dave Taylor captures Coach Keen’s story, even as he delivers the broader history of American collegiate wrestling. Keen holds the longest tenure of any head coach in Wolverine athletics history, which includes both wrestling and football. Included in this intriguing book are eloquent stories, summaries, features, and countless interviews of former wrestlers and football players who competed for Coach Keen. Read about interesting recruiting pipelines and learn about the “coaching tree” of legends with Keen being one of the true pioneers in American collegiate wrestling. Taylor chronicles the rise and fall of small college wrestling, the history of Olympic wrestling, the history of the Michigan high school wrestling tournaments, and much more.

The Colored Car

Cover image: The Colored Car

by Jean Alicia Elster

In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who’s Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, after boarding the first-class train car at Michigan Central Station in Detroit and riding comfortably to Cincinnati, 12-year-old Patsy is shocked when her family is led from their seats to change cars. In the dirty, cramped “colored car,” Patsy finds that the life she has known in Detroit is very different from life down south, and she can hardly get the experience out of her mind when she returns home—like the soot stain on her finely made dress or the smear on the quilt squares her grandmother taught her to sew. As summer wears on, Patsy must find a way to understand her experience in the colored car and also deal with the more subtle injustices that her family faces in Detroit. By the end of the story, Patsy will never see things the same way she did before.

Formerly an attorney, Jean Alicia (Fuqua) Elster, BA ’74, is a professional writer of fiction for children and young adults. She is the granddaughter of Douglas and Maber (May) Jackson Ford, whose family story is the basis of The Colored Car. Her book Who’s Jim Hines? was selected as a Michigan Notable Book and a ForeWord Book of the Year finalist. Additional titles include I’ll Do the Right ThingI’ll Fly My Own PlaneI Have a Dream, Too!, and Just Call Me Joe Joe. Learn more about her work at

Go Blue! Michigan’s Greatest Football Stories

Cover image: Go Blue!

by Steve Kornacki (with forward by Lloyd Carr)

The Michigan Wolverines have the most all-time wins and the highest winning percentage in college football history. Fans flock to Michigan Stadium in record-breaking numbers, and coaches and players are frequently honored with inductions into the College Football Hall of Fame. But that’s just what happens on the field.

Offering a complete picture of Wolverines football, Go Blue! Michigan’s Greatest Football Stories is an emotional and inspiring collection of anecdotes and stories that transcend typical sports journalism. Get an inside look at legendary upsets and triumphant victories—Ohio State in 1969, South Carolina in 1985, and Michigan State in 2004 en route to the Big Ten co-championship, among others. Read reflections from former players about beloved coach Bo Schembechler, spend 24 hours before kick-off with Mark Messner, and shadow Lloyd Carr during recruitment season.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

Cover image: The Telling Room

by Michael Paterniti

In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets—usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that former Zingerman’s employee Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong…

Hooked, Paterniti is soon fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzmán in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale-like place where the villagers converse with farm animals, live by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and make their wine and food by hand. But what he ultimately discovers is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined. Instead, he’s sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing.

Fannie + Freddie: The Sentimentality of Post-9/11 Pornography

Cover image: Fannie + Freddie

by Amy Sara Carroll

Materialist, feminist, queer, hybrid—channeling the sensibilities of Gloria Anzaldua, Rosario Castellanos, Mary Kelly, Teresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cecilia Vicuna, Patssi Valdez, and Bernadette Mayer—Amy Sara Carroll’s second collection of prose poems and “wordimages” contemplates the cost of living in an era of “cruel optimism.” Procedurally formalizing self-editing and indecision, Carroll undocuments the quotidian’s shades of gray/grey, the contingencies of post-Fordist relationality in the pre-Occupy window of time between Sept. 11, 2001, and the 2008 recession. Claudia Rankine, who chose the volume for Fordham University’s 2011-12 Poets Out Loud prize, sings its praises: “The intelligence, compassion, and dimensionality of this collection place it in a category all its own—it belongs to and is crafted out of the psychic anxieties of the 21st century. I, for one, was both exhilarated and humbled by Fannie + Freddie.” Carroll is assistant professor of American Culture, Latina/o Studies, and English at U-M, and the author of Secession.

Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance

Cover image: Border Crossings

by Charles Novacek

This award-winning memoir of U-M alumnus Charles Novacek tells his little-known story as a member of the Czech Resistance during World War II and the Cold War. Along with his father, uncle, and sister, Novacek helped the Resistance fight first the Nazis, then the Communists who moved into Czechoslovakia after the war ended. Novacek was responsible for many notable acts of heroism. He risked his life to hide Czech paratroopers who were on secret nighttime missions involving cargo drops of weapons and intelligence. He also stole a rifle and ammunition from a Nazi vehicle, then used the weapon to shoot a soldier who was intending to blow up an important railroad bridge. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright describes the book as “the well-told and dramatic story of a young man whose comfortable life is abruptly transformed by the savagery of World War II.”

A Squirrel’s Story—A True Tale

Cover image: A Squirrel's Story

by Jana Bommersbach

So how does a U-M alumnus and journalist who regularly tears apart politicians and investigates true crime write a heartwarming children’s picture book about a mother squirrel living in her parents’ North Dakota backyard? Arizona commentator Jana Bommersbach has a simple answer: “My mother told me to write it, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years, it is to do what my mother tells me!”

Bommersbach’s first book, The Trunk Murderess: Winnie Ruth Judd, was a national bestseller and was named Arizona’s One Book AZ selection in 2010. The author mines far gentler territory with A Squirrel’s Story—A True Tale. The children’s book provides a spunky, tender glimpse into the lives of Shirlee Squirrel and her children, Sammy and Sally. Retold in Bommersbach’s best “squirrel speak,” Shirlee’s story speaks to the heart as young readers learn about instinct, survival, and most importantly, a mother’s love. The book includes curriculum and activity guides which are perfect for home and classroom use.

A Squirrel’s Story—A True Tale won the 2013 USA Book News “Best Book Award” in the category of children’s picture book, softcover non-fiction.The book is illustrated by Jeff Yesh.

Alice’s Sister

Cover image: Alice's Sister

by Jessica Young

We have all imagined it—our daytime activities reappear, twisted, in our dreams at night. What, then, drove Lewis Carroll’s Alice to dream of bodily distortions and dangerous adults? What is happening in her waking life to cause this darkness? Reimagined using details from Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Jessica Young’s new collection of poems focuses on Alice’s older sister, Mary, and the trouble she faces—the quiet, shadowy disturbances—that affect everyone around. It seems the rabbit hole goes much farther down than we thought. Employing ambitious writing techniques, Young invites us in for the descent.

Veiling in Africa

Cover image: Veiling in Africa

edited by Elisha P. Renne

The tradition of the veil, which refers to various cloth coverings of the head, face, and body, has been little studied in Africa, where Islam has been present for more than a thousand years. These lively essays were edited by Elisha Renne, professor in the department of anthropology and the department for Afroamerican and African Studies at U-M. They raise questions about what is distinctive about veiling in Africa, what religious histories or practices are reflected in particular uses of the veil, and how styles of veils have changed in response to contemporary events. Together, they explore the diversity of meanings and experiences with the veil, revealing it as both an object of Muslim piety and an expression of glamorous fashion.

Judgment on the Front Line: How Smart Companies Win by Trusting their People

Cover image: Judgment on the Front Line

by Chris DeRose and Noel Tichy

In the U.S. alone, retail and service workers are estimated to total more than 15 million people, or nearly one-fifth of the domestic commercial workforce. Statistics and common sense tell us that the vast majority of workers are engaged in front-line positions—pharmaceutical salespeople, bank tellers, airline attendants, coffee-shop baristas, truckdrivers, factory line workers, and the like. Despite their vast numbers, most organizations don’t have a clue how to tap into the creativity of their largest group of employees. Judgment on the Front Line examines strategies by an elite group of companies that have enabled their employees to more rapidly address customer problems, anticipate unarticulated needs, and drive customer-facing innovation. Delivering a great customer experience is a fundamental that every company needs to practice, and this unique management book illuminates the organizations that understand the importance (and difficulty) of engaging an organization’s “front line” to deliver on customer strategy. Download Chapter 1, read reviews, and more.

Death of the Chesapeake

Cover image: Death of the Chesapeake

by Richard Albright


While military munitions sources contribute significantly to the pollution and degradation of Chesapeake Bay, they have been completely overlooked in many of the efforts to restore the Bay.Death of the Chesapeake, Richard Albright’s third environmental book, explores this important aspect of the nation’s environmental health. The book also recognizes for the first time that efforts to restore the Bay have failed because of the violation of a fundamental precept of environmental cleanup; that is, to sample the site and see what’s there. The Bay itself has never been sampled. Thus, this book presents a view of the environmental condition of Chesapeake Bay that is totally unique. It covers a part of the history of the Bay that is not widely known, including how the Bay was formed. It presents a mixture of science, military history, and novel solutions to the Bay’s degradation. In so doing, the author examines the military use of the Bay and reveals the extent that munitions dumpsites containing nitrogen and phosphorus as well as chemical warfare material are affecting the environment. The book concludes with the author’s own cleanup plan, which, if implemented, would go a long way toward restoring health to the Bay.

Notes author Albright: “In college I was a member of the Ann Arbor Amphibians SCUBA Club. One of our members was the American on the three-country team with Jacques Cousteau that developed the aqua lung during WWII. Whenever Jacques would come to the Great Lakes, we would be invited to see his latest movies. Cousteau introduced me to underwater munitions and environmental changes in the oceans. Also, while at U-M, I ran a dive boat out of Port Huron and was part of the team that found the Charles S. Price, a freighter that sank in the great storm of 1913, memorialized by Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Deadly Secrets

by Boris (Bob) Riskin

Shakespeare-loving detective Jake Wanderman is at it again. In this latest mystery thriller from Boris (Bob) Riskin, Wanderman takes on the Hamptons’ art scene, the local police, and a fiercely determined international drug ring. From Sag Harbor to London to Paris, Wanderman’s a magnet for trouble, all to save his best friend’s daughter from a bogus murder charge. He managed to survive his previous adventures with both his wit and physical skills. InScrambled Eggs, he went to Moscow and dealt with the NKVD.Deadly Bones took him to Jerusalem where he encountered the vicious Russian Mafia. Much like his character, novelist Bob Riskin also has traveled the world. These days he lives and writes in Sag Harbor, “where the bay and ocean are close enough to touch,” he says, “and the air is alive with stories.” His work has appeared in a number of literary journals, as well as The New Yorker. Learn more about his work at

Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Voices

by Dan Habib

Dan Habib’s latest film, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Voices, is now available for viewing at the Stop Hurting Kids campaign website. Dan is a filmmaker at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, and creator of the films Including Samuel and Who Cares About Kelsey? In Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Vioices Jino Medina, Brianna Hammon, Peyton Goddard, and Helena Stephenson describe the restraint and seclusion they experienced while students in public schools, and the devastating physical and emotional injuries they suffered as a results. There is no cost to view or download the 28-minute film, and it will be available indefinitely. Dan encourages people to use the film for public awareness, professional development, teacher training, or any other purpose that does not involve charging a fee. The free distribution of the film is possible thanks to support from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Rivka’s War

Cover image: Rivka's War

by Marilyn Oser

Can a woman fight successfully on the front lines?

In Russia, in 1917, when demoralized soldiers were deserting their posts in droves, one enterprising woman recruited an all-female battalion to set an example for the men. It was an experiment that combined the ideal of pure womanhood with the grittiness of trench warfare and the vision of a good death. Rivka’s War tells the story of this battalion—and more—through the eyes of a Jewish girl, daughter of a bootmaker.

Prize-winning author Marilyn Oser learned of the women’s battalion while researching unusual careers of women throughout history. The novel portrays the formation and destruction of this dedicated group, known as the Battalion of Death. “World War I was a disastrous war,” Oser says. “It ended in a disastrous peace, the consequences of which are still being felt today. Its effect on Jewish life at the time has not often been written about, yet in Eastern Europe and in Palestine that effect was profound.” Panoramic in scope, the novel follows 13-year-old Rivka from a shtetl in the Ukraine in the summer of 1914, to Eastern Front battlefields in the grip of revolutionary fervor; from there, across the steppes of war-torn Siberia; and finally to Palestine in the fall of 1918, site of history’s last great cavalry attack and first great air attack.

Marilyn Oser lives in New York’s Hudson Valley and on Long Island. A PhD in language and literature, she has taught English and history and has raised funds for arts, environmental, and community organizations. Author of the novel Playing for Keeps and the blog Streets of Israel, she is a recipient of the University of Michigan’s coveted Avery Hopwood Prize for excellence in writing.


Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around

Cover image: Directional Sense

by Janet R. Carpman and Myron A. Grant

Were you born with no sense of direction? Does the mere thought of navigating twisting hospital corridors, deciphering cryptic expressway signs, or fumbling with cumbersome maps fill your heart with dread? If so, you need this trusty guidebook, which explains that finding your way around is a learnable skill, not a mysterious instinct you’re doomed to live without. A lighthearted introduction to the ins and outs of wayfinding, it provides step-by-step guides to following signs, reading maps, recognizing landmarks, using GPS devices, and more. Along with anecdotes describing how everyone gets lost at times, and photos showing how being turned around is not always your fault, Directional Sense offers a wealth of practical advice to help you confidently get from here to thereMdash;and back. Learn more about the book and “wayfinding consultants” Carpman Grant Associates.

The Cineaste

Cover image: The Cineaste

by A. Van Jordan

This luminous new volume of narrative poetry takes us to the movies—from Metropolis to Blazing Saddles—and uses each film to meditate on issues of race, growth, identity, and memory. At the collection’s center is a sonnet sequence in the voice of filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, where Jordan struggles with the disjuncture between the ugly racism and powerful artistic achievements of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. Jordan is an award-winning author of three previous volumes of poetry in which he weaves multiple personnas, fragmented worlds, and multiple art forms together in a single voice that is entirely his own. In Rise (2001), winner of the PEN/Josephine Miles Book Award, Jordan harmonized with musicians: blues lyrics and field hollers infused and shaped his lines; jazz supplied a lustrous ambience via such heroes as Ellington, Davis, and Monk. In M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A (2005), which won the Anisfield-Wolf Award, he spelled along with 1935 teenager MacNolia Cox, the first African-American finalist of the National Spelling Bee Competition. In Quantum Lyrics (2007), the world of Jordan’s poetry became a multiverse populated by physicists and comic book superheroes alike. Jordan, who has also been awarded a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, lives in Ann Arbor and is a professor at U-M.

Held Hostage

Cover image: Held Hostage

by Wayne Pletcher

Al-Qaeda has taken over the Middle East and control of the OPEC oil that is shipped to the United States. With the goal of a nuclear-armed United Middle East, Al-Qaeda plans to hold the United States hostage for nuclear weapons technology in exchange for oil. Osama Bin Laden, as supreme leader, sets some other ominous conditions as well. America must abandon its bases in the region, and Israel must leave the Middle East forever. The clock is ticking. When the United States is slow to act and the oil supply is cut off entirely, the former L-REDD (long-range explosives detection and detonation) team of renowned scientist Bradford Tully and his brilliant and beautiful partner Zeneca Lang-Tully, along with resourceful and skilled Sam Elson and Aldora Klein, steps in to take on this new challenge. Held Hostage is the sequel to Wayne Pletcher’s, The Campaign of Fear.Using fact-based fiction to suggest ways to solve our country’s energy issues, Held Hostage offers an adept social commentary on one of the biggest issues facing the country today. Author Pletcher earned his PhD in chemistry in 1971. The book is available at Amazon in both paper and Kindle formats.

The World Without You

Cover image: The World Without You

by Joshua Henkin

It’s July 4th in the Berkshires and the far-flung Frankel clan has reunited for a weekend rich with unexpected revelations, long-simmering rivalries, and not-so-subtle complexities. Parents Marilyn and David are contemplating divorce after four decades, much to their adult children’s collective dismay. Their tenuous marriage has disintegrated in the year since their only son was killed in Iraq. Leo, a celebrated and charismatic journalist, commanded the spotlight in both life and death. Now, on the first anniversary of his very public funeral, the family has convened to claim the intimate memorial they were denied the first time around. While the rest of the nation glorifies the rocket’s red glare—which ultimately killed their beloved brother—siblings Noelle, Clarissa, and Lily negotiate a tangled web of family and political dynamics that is at once both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It doesn’t help that Leo’s widow, Thisbe, mother to his only son, carries life-changing secrets of her own.

Henkin is the author of “Swimming Across the Hudson” (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book) and “Matrimony” (a New York TimesNotable Book). His stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in Best American Short Stories, and broadcast on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” He directs the MFA Program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College and is the recipient of the James Fellowship for the Novel, the Hopwood Award, the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and a grant from the Michigan Council of the Arts.

Say Nice Things About Detroit

Cover image: Say Nice Things About Detroit

by Scott Lasser

Twenty-five years after his high school graduation, David Halpert returns to a place that most people flee. But David is making his own escape—from his divorce and the death of his son. In Detroit, David learns about the double shooting of his high school girlfriend Natalie and her black half-brother. As David becomes involved with Natalie’s sister, he will discover that both he and his hometown have reasons to hope. The racially polarized and economically troubled city of Detroit may not seem like a natural place for rebirth. But as David tries to make sense of the mystery behind Natalie’s death and puts back the pieces of his own life, he is forced to answer a simple question: If you want to go home again, what do you do if home is Detroit?

Lasser is a Detroit native and has worked for National Steel Corp. and Lehman Brothers. He is the author of three novels, including “Battle Creek,” and lives in Aspen, Colo., and Los Angeles, Calif.

Newt: The Father of Michigan Men’s Gymnastics

Cover image: Bought and Sold

by Colt Rosensweig with Newt Loken

Newt Loken was a coach like no other. He has been compared to Bo Schembechler and John Wooden for his highly honored place in the sport of gymnastics, but he had a style all his own. He was a champion gymnast, an innovative Navy athletic welfare officer in World War II, a dedicated father, a compelling storyteller, and a unique coach.

But those outside the Michigan and gymnastics worlds haven’t really had a chance to know this amazing man, one of the most likeable and successful coaches in Big Ten history … until now. “Colt Rosensweig’s ‘Newt’ captures the coach’s magical quality and infuses it into each chapter. Her chronicle of Newt’s life entertains as it preserves his memory for generations to come,” says Justin Toman, former USA gymnastics national team member and Michigan captain, 1999-2002.

Bought and Sold

Cover image: Bought and Sold

by Patrick H. Patterson

Yugoslavia was unique among the communist countries of the Cold War era in its openness to mixing cultural elements from both socialism and capitalism. Unlike their counterparts in the nations of the Soviet Bloc, ordinary Yugoslavs enjoyed access to a wide range of consumer goods and services, from clothes and appliances to travel agencies and discotheques. From the mid-1950s onward the political climate in Yugoslavia permitted, and later at times encouraged, a consumerist lifestyle of shopping, spending, acquiring, and enjoying that engaged the public on a day-to-day basis through modern advertising and sales techniques. In Bought and Sold, Patrick Hyder Patterson reveals the extent to which socialist Yugoslavia embraced a consumer culture usually associated with capitalism and explores the role of consumerism in the federation’s collapse into civil war in 1991.

Based on extraordinary research and featuring remarkable examples of Yugoslav print advertising and mass culture, this book reconstructs in often dramatic detail the rise of a culture in which shoppers’ desires trumped genuine human needs. Yugoslavia, Patterson argues, became a land where the symbolic, cultural value of consumer goods was a primary factor in individual and group identity. He shows how a new, aggressive business establishment promoted consumerist tendencies that ordinary citizens eagerly adopted, while the Communist leadership alternately encouraged and constrained the consumer orientation.

Abundance translated into civic contentment and seemed to prove that the regime could provide goods and services equal to those of the capitalist West, but many Yugoslavs, both inside and outside the circles of official power, worried about the contradiction between the population’s embrace of consumption and the dictates of Marxist ideology. The result was a heated public debate over creeping consumerist values, with the new way of life finding fierce critics and, surprisingly for a communist country, many passionate and vocal defenders. Patterson argues that consumerism was one of the critical factors that held the multiethnic society together during the years of the Yugoslav “Good Life” of the 1960s and 1970s. With the economic downturn of the 1980s, however, the reliance on expanding consumerism ultimately led to bitter disillusionment, stripping the unique Yugoslav model of its legitimacy and priming the populace for mutual resentment, ethnic conflict, and war.

Jewish Major Leaguers: In Their Own Words

Cover image: Jewish Major Leaguers

by Peter Ephross

Between 1870 and 2010, 165 Jewish Americans played major league baseball. This work presents oral histories featuring 23 of these Jewish major leaguers. From Bob Berman, a catcher for the Washington Senators in 1918, to Adam Greenberg, an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs in 2005, the players discuss their careers and consider how their Jewish heritage has affected their lives in and out of baseball. Legends like Hank Greenberg and Al Rosen join lesser-known players to reflect on topics such as the annual dilemma of whether to play on high holidays, efforts to rebut anti-Semitism on and off the field, bonds formed with black teammates also facing prejudice, and personal and Jewish pride in their accomplishments. Together, these oral histories paint a vivid portrait of what it was like to be a Jewish major leaguer and shed light on a fascinating facet of American baseball history.

The Great Bordello, a Story of the Theatre

Cover image: The Great Bordello

by Avery Hopwood, edited by Jack F. Sharrar

“The Great Bordello, a Story of the Theatre” is the heretofore unpublished work of Jazz-Age playwright Avery Hopwood (1882-1928), benefactor of the Avery and Jule Hopwood Awards Program at U-M, his alma mater. Hopwood was the most successful playwright of his day, with four hits on Broadway at the same time, and other hits peppering other seasons. Although Hopwood amassed a fortune writing these Broadway entertainments, his chief goal was to write a significant novel. “Something,” he once told a newspaper reporter, “which an intelligent man can sit down and read and think about.”

roman à clef completed only days before Hopwood’s early death, “The Great Bordello” was rumored to be “the most devastating exposé of the American theatre as an institution imaginable.” The story plays out in the early decades of the twentieth century, portraying the life of aspiring playwright Edwin Endsleigh, Avery Hopwood’s fictional counterpart. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Edwin heads for Broadway to earn his fortune and the security to pursue his one true dream of writing the great American novel. Shaping Edwin’s ambitious journey is his love of three women: the strong-minded Julia Scarlet; the haunting Jessamy Lee, and Adelina Kane, idol of the American stage; in the company of Edwin and his loves are a dramatic array of thinly veiled representations of theatrical personages of the time, amongst them Daniel Mendoza, the powerful impresario; the worldly-wise veteran of the stage, Ottilie Potter, who has gotten where she is because, “Men had what I wanted, and I had what they wanted”; and the huge, manlike Helen Sampson, chief among theatrical agents. In the end, “The Great Bordello” provides a deeper understanding of the human desire to accomplish something of enduring value amidst commercial success and ruthless realities of life.

Jack F. Sharrar is author of “Avery Hopwood, His Life and Plays” (UMI Press), and has adapted two of Hopwood’s plays, “Fair and Warmer” and “Just for Tonight.” He is Director of Academic Affairs for the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and holds a Ph.D. in theater history and dramatic literature from the University of Utah.

Innovation for the 21st Century

Cover image: Innovation for the 21st century

by Michael Carrier

In recent years, innovation has been threatened by the United States legal system. Much of the blame can be attributed to the antitrust and intellectual property laws. “Innovation for the 21st Century” seeks to reverse this trend, offering ten revolutionary proposals, from pharmaceuticals to peer-to-peer software, to help foster innovation. Rutgers law professor Michael Carrier (UM Law ’95) discusses how antitrust law could lower prescription drug prices. He explains how copyright law could be changed to create the next FaceBook or YouTube. And he proposes a system that would result in better patents.

Tales from the Tailgate: From the Fan Who’s Seen ‘Em All

Cover image: Tales from the Tailgate

by Steve Koreivo

Few can say they have seen every NCAA Division 1A football team play. Steve Koreivo can claim just that. “College football—what better way to spend an autumn afternoon?” As a boy, those words from ABC’s Chris Schenkel inspired Koreivo, who details his quest to see every major team (now Football Bowl Subdivision) in his book “Tales from the Tailgate: From the Fan Who’s Seen ‘Em All.”

Koreivo’s history of games involving FBS teams from Michigan includes Michigan State’s 500th win led by RB Tico Duckett; Michigan’s first Big Ten visit to Happy Valley with a big day from RB Tyrone Wheatley; and the “directional” Michigans in their struggles on the road. Central visits Syracuse, Eastern’s Eagles avoid a goose egg at Maryland’s Byrd, and Western’s Broncos get dumped on as does the author at Virginia Tech. His history also details Notre Dame games against Navy, LSU, and Washington State as each game added another team to his final goal.


Also included are Koreivo’s experiences with a lucky snag of Rose Bowl tickets in 1995 thanks to Kermit the Frog; an intense cross-country flight after 9/11; record-setting games of Head Coach Joe Paterno; and Marshall’s 1997 rebirth into 1A football years after a tragic plane crash killed most of their football players in 1970. Koreivo’s history is recorded on his website

The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South

Cover image: The House at the End of the Road

by Ralph Eubanks

In defiance of his middle-class landowning family, a young white man named James Morgan Richardson married a light-skinned black woman, Edna Howell. It was 1914 in south Alabama. Together they eventually built a house at the dead end of a road in a rural black community. If you came there to do the Richardson family harm, you faced Jim Richardson’s rule of justice, represented by a double-barreled shotgun. And at the end of the road, there was only one way out. “The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South” examines how one pioneering interracial couple developed a love and a racial identity that carried them defiantly through the Jim Crow years. Through interviews and oral history collected from both sides of the Richardson family’s racial divide, as well as archival research, The House at the End of the Road probes into the core of the issue of race in early twentieth-century America. At the same time, it takes the lessons of the past and places them under the scrutiny of a contemporary world adjusted to DNA ancestry testing, a more flexible sense of racial and ethnic identity, and a tolerance and acceptance of the racial ambiguity that laws prohibiting Jim and Edna Richardson’s marriage sought to eliminate.

The Nimble Men

Cover image: The Nimble Men

by G. Guilford Barton (MA Arch. ’81)

A bit of ancient Scottish folklore attributes the Northern Lights to a mythical tribe of creatures called the Nimble Men. “The Nimble Men” is the tale that myth inspired, one that weaves the colorful spirit of golf with the equally colorful legend. It’s a golf story. But like any good golf story, it’s about more than just golf. When a woman in a broken marriage enters an antique shop on a rainy day, she ends up getting more than she bargained for. Depressed and searching for answers, she hears the tale of two Scottish golfers from rival clans locked in mortal antipathy, and how a mythical being helps to reconcile them. She leaves the shop determined to seek a reconciliation of her own. It’s a story of love and hatred, friends and enemies, conflict and resolution, hope and magic. “The Nimble Men” is the first in a new series of golf stories: “Golf Is No Ordinary Game.”

Cyber Styletto

Cover image: Cyber Styletto

by Gian DeTorre and Mike Brennan, with Richard Stiennon

Super hacker Yvonne Tran, part of a secret government agency called CyberCom, is brought in to investigate a malicious network attack that caused the deaths of eight innocent people. She and her team follow the trail to Hong Kong and Afghanistan, and they must pinpoint the source before the next attack, which has the potential to kill hundreds of US citizens. It is for sale at, where U-M grads can receive a discount coupon.

Dancing in Puddles

Cover image: Dancing in Puddles

by Daniel Riseman

Jacob Feldman is a senior at the University of Michigan and is desperately searching for meaning in his life. He delves into religion, science, philosophy, and sexuality in an attempt to make greater sense of the world. Jacob’s inability to live a carefree life leads to his taking real risks. His first bold move results in his working as a nude model. Jacob begins to question his relationship with his long-distance girlfriend. She’s his first real love, and Jacob wonders about his lack of experience and need for other women. His best friend, a self-described nihilist, causes Jacob to think about life without her. Following graduation, Jacob moves out to Massachusetts to teach English. Even though the school is less than an hour away from his girlfriend’s apartment, he refuses to live with her. Jacob soon grows tired of his life in suburbia and heads to San Francisco to meet up with his best friend. It is there that Jacob finds his life’s real meaning.

Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector

Cover image: Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector

by Gary Snyder

Charity malfeasance is an addiction of epic proportions. Charity leaders and regulators, by their silence and denial, are enablers. Because the misdeeds were kept secret, there was no public outcry. The secrets are now being exposed. The sector needs a new paradigm, and “Silence” makes numerous suggestions as to how to turn it around. This exposé is based on the largest repository of charity fraud anywhere. Many trusted leaders are exposed including board members, presidents, superintendents, chief executive officers, accountants—and more. They embezzled, forged, extorted, and falsified records; they self-dealt, negligently managed assets, and had multiple conflicts of interest.

Maze in Blue

Cover image: Maze in Blue

by Debrah H. Goldstein

All Denney Silber wants from her senior year at the University of Michigan is to enjoy sorority parties, football games, and concerts – plans that go awry when she discovers her best friend, Helen, dead in the office of the faculty member Denney most despises. Compelled to solve Helen’s murder, Denney quickly realizes that her own life is in danger. She can no longer trust friends, teachers, or even the cutest guy in Poetry 331.

The Power of Paradox: The Protean Leader and Leading in Uncertain Times

Cover image: The Power of Paradox

by Nina Rosoff

Leaders’ actions can have consequences opposite to those they intend. These unintentional results are difficult to detect, understand, and change. Consequently, leaders’ actions tend to persist resulting in further unexpected outcomes. This can create a vicious cycle of leadership failure. Unaware, these leaders self-sabotage and sabotage others, no matter how hard they try. “Understanding the Power of Paradox” can empower leaders in uncertain times, giving them room to breathe and time to think, to become more resilient, adaptive and flexible, so they can create the consequences they intend.

Separate Kingdoms

Cover image: Separate Kingdoms

by Valerie Laken

Set in Russia and the U.S., these are stories of fractured, misplaced characters moving beyond the borders of their isolation and reaching for the connections that will make them whole. Reviewer Adam Eaglin calls it “a taut, beautiful book,” and Alan Cheuse hails its “fine craftsmanship and powerful insight.”

Suyama: A Complex Serenity

Cover image: Suyama: A complex serenity

by Grant Hildebrand

George Suyama began his architectural practice in Seattle in 1971. Over time, he developed an architecture characterized by a search for minimalist simplicity, a paradoxical architecture of intense, even exciting, tranquility. Suyama’s quest to eliminate what he calls “visual noise” has yielded not visual silence but a kind of visual music. “Suyama: A Complex Serenity” introduces the man and his work, and twenty of his built and unbuilt projects that illuminate the development of his remarkable art and craft.

Grant Hildebrand (’57, MA ’64) is professor emeritus of architecture and art history at the University of Washington, and author of seven books on architecture.

What is Life?: To Live A Controlled, Realistic, Happy Life

Cover image: What is Life?

by James C. Lin

Concise and to the point, What is Life? by James C. Lin, MD calls on his vast medical experience to point readers in the right direction to live their life to the fullest. With the goal to help others rediscover the real power of life, he offers this intelligent self-improvement guide that breaks the mold in empowering readers to apply a number of esoteric teachings to their lives so that they might become healthier, happier humans. In forty-six chapters he teaches the importance of daily “self-care” initiatives that directly lead to self-preservation and spiritual harmony. Beginning with understanding the need for change and the nature of life and living, the author’s “facts of life” unfold. With chapter titles like “Understand the Purpose of Life-to Live as Well and to Last as Long as Possible” and “How Can We Look Nicer, Feel Better, and Live Longer?” he leaves no stone unearthed in providing an invaluable doctrine of well-being in the modern world.

On The Other Guy’s Dime: A Professional’s Guide to Traveling Without Paying

Cover image: On The Other Guy's Dime

by G. Michael Schneider

Do you want to live the kind of life most people only dream about? Do you want to travel? See the world? Live and work in exotic locales without having to quit your day job? And do it all on someone else’s dime? Well, you can. For the past three decades the author has been doing just that on what he calls working vacations–short-term overseas assignments that do not require you to sell the house or quit your job. In this book he provides the reader with invaluable “how to” information such as locating the best working vacation opportunities, negotiating terms, renting your home, securing housing in the host country, traveling safely with young children, and much, much more.

The Campaign of Fear

Cover image: The Campaign of Fear

by Wayne Pletcher

The newly formed US Department of Advanced Technology, working in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, has stepped up emphasis on advancing bomb detection. Why? To counteract the growing terrorist threat by elusive al Qaeda operatives around the world.Renowned scientist Bradford Tully, striving tirelessly alongside his brilliant and beautiful partner, Zenica Lang, hopes to develop the ultimate defense against the radical framework of jihad, its Campaign of Fear. They will stop at nothing until they have bestowed a greater sense of security upon the people of the Free World by bringing al Qaeda to its knees.

How Warm it was and How Far

Cover image: How Warm it was and How Far

by Robert Kan, M.D.

This is an Anne Frank story with a happy ending; the author recounts his youth in Holland, a Jewish kid being pursued by, and hidden from, the Nazis. He finds himself orphaned at war’s end, his father having perished in a camp and his mother having succumbed to cancer, He is raised by an indifferent family, losing a leg in the process. At age twenty he leaves Holland for America where he has a successful career in chemistry (Michigan PhD 1961) and medicine.


Cover image: Amortals

by Matt Forbeck

The very best person to catch your killer—is you.Matt Forbeck arrives as the new king of high-concept—with a blockbuster action movie in a book. In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan “Methusaleh” Dooley is brutally murdered, he’s brought back from the dead one more time to hunt his killer, but this time those who wanted him dead are much closer to home.

Don’t Touch Me

Cover image: Don't Touch Me

by Donna Coleman

World renowned pianist Donna Coleman has just released “Don’t Touch Me,” comprising the complete solo Danzas Cubanas by the great Cuban composer Ignacio Cervantes, who lived in Havana, Paris and New York between 1847-1905. The music can be described as Cuba’s answer to Frédéric Chopin in sultry, habañera-infused miniatures that play like the precursors of Scott Joplin’s rags. Thirty-seven tracks that unfold like episodes in a steamy romance novel, steeped in Afro-Cuban rhythmic verse, Chopin’s pathos, Bach’s contrapuntal detail and voice-leading, sumptuous French harmony, and sensuality redolent of rum, cigar smoke, sea air, sweat, and tears.


Cover image: Men Can

by Donald N.S. Unger

How have American families changed over the past generation? Who does what at home? How? Why? For what benefit? At what cost? ”Men CAN” tells the stories of a half dozen families—of varied ethnicities, geographical locations, and philosophical orientations—in which fathers are either primary caregivers or equally sharing parents, personalizing how Americans are now caring for their children and illuminating the ways that popular culture both reflects and influences these changes in family roles.

A New York Memoir

Cover image: A New York Memoir

by Richard Goodman

“A New York Memoir” is about a life lived in New York City over a period of thirty years. The memoir begins in 1975, with author Richard Goodman’s arrival in New York, an intimidated newcomer. It follows him through the years as he encounters some of the remarkable people one meets in New York, while harkening back to the inspiration the city provides, especially for artists and young writers. The memoir follows the author as he witnesses tragedies and then ruminates on growing old in New York. It tells of the joys and the difficulties of living in this remarkable city. “A New York Memoir” is, essentially, a long love letter to the city. Like all great loves, this volume reflects passion, promise, hope, pain, regret and, ultimately, the author’s pride.

Fine art by Scott Redmond

painting of meadow with grasses and purple flowers

Scott Redmond was born in Michigan and works from his studio in Kalamazoo. He holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, studied Law at Michigan State University and pursued an M.B.A. in Finance at Wayne State University. He studied art at The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Western Michigan University and is currently pursuing an MFA at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. Redmond captures the feeling or mood created in a landscape, and he explores the relationship between the natural elements God has created and elements of human creation including buildings, docks, boats, and lighthouses. His work typically involves a sentimental or emotional theme intended to evoke memories in the viewer, or transport the viewer to the emotional state of the artist. He is intrigued by the technical aspects of painting, presented by combining color and brush strokes to generate the appearance of texture, light and shadow. Redmond completes his work on a variety of substrates including cotton and linen canvas, canvas and wood panels, and hand crafted art papers. For more information or for commissioned abstract and landscape work in oil and acrylic.

Island Light

Cover image: Island Light

by Katherine Towler

In the third volume of the Snow Island trilogy, Katherine Towler returns to her fictional setting off the New England coast, continuing the saga of two generations in two island families and her chronicle of the impact of war in the second half of the 20th century. “Island Light” is set in the fall of 1990, when the Snow Island community includes a Vietnam veteran, an aging lesbian, and a photographer seeking to redefine herself and her art, an unlikely trio who find their lives unexpectedly linked. Though the island remains a world away from the mainland, it is not immune to the effects of war. Old wounds and new uncertainties come to the surface as the United States prepares to go to war again, this time in the Persian Gulf. In the silence of a New England winter, former residents and prodigal wanderers return to Snow Island in search of refuge from wars both private and public. Through a rich collection of characters and a tightly-woven story, “Island Light” traces a path from the scars of the past to the promise of the future. This taut tale of love and perseverance evokes the isolation and connection at the heart of every community.

My Beautiful Leukemia

Cover image: My Beautiful Leukemia

by Jan Lucas-Grimm

Jan Lucas-Grimm was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2005. After undergoing traditional chemotherapy, she went into remission for a short time, then relapsed and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2006. A down-to-earth description of diagnosis and treatment, this is a realistic portrayal with equal measures of humor and hope, despair and fear. My Beautiful Leukemia unravels the intricate fabric of the illness and reveals the very bare, human fibers that remain. The book also contains some of the color illustrations that the author did while in hospital. The book is available online and in bookstores.