Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2015 (July 21, 2015)

General-Interest Books by Alumni and Faculty Authors

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July 13, 2015

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Discovering Beloit: Stories Too Good to be True?

By Tom Warren
iUniverse, 2014  

Tom Warren, a professor emeritus of education and a resident of Beloit since the 1970s, has crafted an imaginative novel that draws on the lore and personalities of his adopted hometown while it considers the demise of investigative journalism with humor and wit. 

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Tales From The Underbrush 

By Ian Semple’62

A geologist, forester, painter, and author, Ian Semple is something of a jack-of-all-trades. His book includes one chapter dedicated to his Beloit College experiences and the influence of Professor Emeritus of Geology “The Chief” Hank Woodard.

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Fanni’s Viennese Kitchen: Austrian Recipes & Immigrant Stories 

By (Linda) Genevieve Davis’73
October 7th Studio, 2014

Drawing on memories from childhood and authentic recipes from her Austrian grandmother, Genevieve Davis tells the story of a family trying to hold onto their heritage while simultaneously trying to assimilate. The book is illustrated with photographs and includes many recipes, from grape wine to streusel.

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Armageddon, Texas 

By Tommy Zurhellen’90
Atticus Books, 2014

In the third and final volume of his award-winning Messiah Trilogy, Tommy Zurhellen completes his modern retelling of the biblical account of Genesis and weaves it in with another ancient tale: the medieval poem Beowulf.

Armageddon, Texas takes place in zany, post-apocalyptic times after the second coming. It is a place where Sam Cooke lyrics and references to the Wizard Of Oz exist alongside appearances from fearsome dragons and characters who consume bourbon from sippy cups. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, including a dying hero, a dog, and a young boy who believes he is the last child left on Earth.

Zurhellen has taught creative writing at Marist College in New York since 2004. In addition to working on his own writing, he has hosted a popular podcast called Fiction School that tackles topics that affect today’s writers, from how to develop characters to how to apply to MFA programs.

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Slave Labor in the Capital: Building Washington’s Iconic Federal Landmarks 

By Bob Arnebeck’69
The History Press, 2014

In the late 18th century, the capital of the United States was a major construction site, with the iconic monuments and federal buildings we know today just beginning to take shape. Many of the workers who labored on these national landmarks were slaves.

In the early 1990s, Bob Arnebeck published Through a Fiery Trail: Building Washington 1790-1800, an account of the general history of the city’s founding. But the untold stories of the slave laborers and other workers kept calling him back to the source documents.

Slave Labor in the Capital is the rest of the story. Among the eye-opening facts Arnebeck discloses is that in 1798, half of the 200 workers building the Capitol and the White House were slaves. They quarried stone, felled trees, and formed and laid bricks. Arnebeck’s engaging prose pieces together a picture of the lives of these men, and amplifies the narrative with photos, floor plans, and documents.

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In Pursuit of Prosperity: U.S. Foreign Policy in an Era of Natural Resource Scarcity 

Edited by David Reed’70
Routledge, 2015

In this seminal study of nine countries and regions of strategic importance, David Reed and a team of experts identify emerging threats to U.S. national security and prosperity caused by global climate change and natural resource scarcity.

Reed, who is senior vice president for policy at the World Wildlife Fund-U.S., uses an evidence-based approach to recommend policy changes that respond to global environmental change. Running through the book is the thesis that changes to the environments of neighboring or partner countries proportionately increase threats to U.S. security and prosperity.

Adm. Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, writes in the book’s foreword that this book “constitutes what we in the military would call a ‘red flare’ – a bright warning, fired to alert all of us to an acute and present danger that requires urgent attention and mitigating action.”

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Beneath the Grid

By B. Iver Bertelsen’69
Lulu, 2014

Christopher O’Brian, a disgruntled Environmental Protection Agency staff attorney, is already plagued by nightmares and job insecurity when he learns that his chemist colleague, Ronnie Chapman, has been crushed by a train. Devastated by his friend’s death, O’Brian has no idea that Chapman’s unfortunate accident was actually murder but soon discovers that Chapman was about to reveal something huge at the agency. When another colleague is murdered, O’Brian and his coworkers band together with others to uncover Chapman’s secret and its connection to a powerful international conspiracy.

“I dare you to read one chapter and then put it down,” a reader wrote in a customer review on

Bertelsen is a retired attorney who worked for more than 30 years in the public and private sectors supporting worldwide efforts to reduce pollution from motor vehicles. This is his debut novel.

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