Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall 2017 (September 15, 2017 at 8:00 am)

General-Interest Books by Alumni and Faculty Authors


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September 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm

 [F17] "Soldier Sister, Fly Home" Book Cover

Soldier Sister, Fly Home 

By Nancy Bo Flood’67
Charlesbridge, 2016

Author Nancy Bohac Flood’67 tests the bonds of sisterhood in her latest book for middle grade readers Soldier Sister, Fly Home, which details the lives of sisters Gaby and Tess living on the Navajo Nation reservation. The sisters are close until the death of their friend Lori, the first Native American woman to die in combat on foreign soil, prompts Gaby to leave her sister, enlist in the Army, and eventually deploy to Iraq.

A disappointed Tess was looking forward to their “big year” together without parents, but instead the 13-year-old is left dealing with a crisis of identity, wondering if she’s “Navajo enough” on the reservation yet being singled out and called “Indian girl” at school. Tess uses the summer to grapple with her feelings of abandonment and anger at her sister, while worrying about the danger Gaby may face.

For this book, Flood draws from her extensive knowledge of the Navajo Nation, where she taught for 15 years. With a special interest in folklore and traditions, Flood was a research psychologist who studied brain development at the University of Minnesota and University of London prior to becoming an author. The Tuba City, Ariz., Public Library, located near the Navajo Nation, selected Soldier Sister, Fly Home as its first One-Book-All-Read selection.


 "Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c." Book Cover

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. 

The 1874 Masterpiece of Colorful Typography
Edited by Esther K. Smith’76
Rizzoli, 2017

Esther Smith’76 says her latest book replicates “the most beautiful book in the world.” Smith and her collaborators have reproduced the rare 1874 William H. Page catalog of colorful typography and borders. (Only 1,000 copies of this remarkable book were initially printed.) After hearing about the rare book in 1998, Smith finally saw a copy for herself at the Newberry Library in 2013 and wanted to show it to everyone she knew. The intricate typefaces, bold ink colors and borders, and found poetry (formed when random words demonstrate the look and relationship of letters) are on full display in this reprint.

The colorful catalog features Page’s unique wooden typefaces that were sold to printers and production agencies and used to announce circuses, tent revivals, and other events. Eye-catching and inspirational, this 10 x 13-inch hardcover with 99 illustrations is a great addition to any collection of art books.

Smith is an artist and the author of several other books, including the best-selling How to Make Books. She and her husband, Dikko Faust’75, are founders of New York-based Purgatory Pie Press.


 [F17] "Diplomatic Tales" Book Cover

Diplomatic Tales 

By Lewis Richard Luchs’57

Diplomatic Tales is a memoir centering around author Lewis Richard Luchs’ experiences as a diplomat, husband, and father of four sons living in six different nations during his career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Luchs chronicles his work life in embassies as well as his home life in Madagascar, Mali, Singapore, France, Malaysia, and Australia from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s. His professional and domestic experiences ultimately intertwine throughout the book. While his job posts remained similar, the vast differences of the countries and their cultural norms keep the story moving.


 [F17] "Avoid Prepare Defend" Book Cover

Avoid, Prepare, Defend: 25 Essential Tips on How to Stay Safe from Crime 

By Ulrich Faircloth’12

This guide by Ulrich Faircloth intends to instruct readers on how to avoid being the victim of a crime. The guide encourages readers to avoid external threats, while also being prepared for worst-case scenarios. Faircloth says it’s an excellent resource for college students, women between 18-35, and those who live in areas with higher crime. Topics covered range from self-awareness to using force, providing useful guidance to all sorts of individuals to improve their chances of avoiding and resisting violence.


 [F17] "Roll" Book Cover

Roll 

By Darcy Feder Miller’03
HarperCollins, 2017

In her debut novel aimed at young readers, Darcy Feder Miller introduces an engaging narrator—an 11-year-old boy named Lauren (but please, call him Ren). He wears glasses, struggles in gym class, and enjoys reading comic books. One summer, his best friend has moved on to hang out with “the cool kids,” and he begins to notice something very strange in his neighborhood. Birds are falling from the sky. Turns out, a new neighbor is training Birmingham Roller Pigeons for competition. “A distinctive and memorable narrative,” writes Publishers Weekly. “Readers will cheer on awkward, quirky Ren as he, like the pigeons, learns to roll with it.”


 [F17] "Dancing with the Dead" Book Cover

Dancing with the Dead 

By Jameson Parker’71
BearManor Media, 2017

Dancing with the Dead is an epic novella set across two continents and told through the course of several decades. Author Jameson Parker’71 tells the story of two different worlds, weaving themes of class, wealth, power, and poverty throughout the tale. Protagonists Pamela and Tony couldn’t have come from more divergent backgrounds. Pamela is an Argentinian born into wealth and privilege, while Tony lived in poverty during the pre-Civil War racist south. Because of war and tragedy, both end up homeless on the streets of Los Angeles, Calif., where they find themselves and each other. Parker, an actor best known for his starring role on the 1980s television show Simon & Simon, has been publishing his writing for the past two decades.

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