Alumni book stack is a new feature here on The Post. Every month we’ll put together a new stack of interesting alumni books for your reading pleasure. If you’d like to be included in this monthly feature, please send us your book cover and a few lines about why you wrote the book to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share your accomplishment on our blog!
Check out these recent books by your fellow alumni:
- The Badia of Florence: Art and Observance in a Renaissance Monastery. Anne Leader 92C. “Santa Maria di Firenze, an ancient, venerable Benedictine abbey (called the Badia) located in the heart of Florence, is the subject of Anne Leader’s new book. In 1418, 17 Benedictine monks journeyed to Florence from Padua to save one of their order’s oldest houses from ruin.” Leader’s book reveals the renovated Badia as integral to the spiritual, political, and social life of early Renaissance Florence, as well as to the broader program of expanding Benedictine Observance throughout Italy.”
Love is Two People Talking. Dr. Charles H. Banov 51C. “Sam Geller is an independent, 80-year-old pawnbroker enjoying his life and freedom until he is diagnosed with a debilitating disease that forces him to move in with his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. In constant contact with his family, especially his granddaughter Peggy who suffers from a developmental disability, Sam realizes the importance of communication between family and friends. This heartwarming story examines a myriad of emotional issues including old age, alienation, physical illness, suicide and one’s relationship with the Creator.”
Cool for Cats. Andrew Ordover 85C. “Jordan Greenblatt deals with life the way he deals with music—-as a supporting player. Jordan is the bass guitar in the band of life—-steady, solid, able to keep his cool, emotionally detached. Even as a private investigator, Jordan keeps a low profile. He takes pictures of adulterous husbands and helps local lawyers with medical malpractice cases, but he rarely breaks a sweat. He lives a quiet life with his wife and his jazz musician friends in suburban Atlanta. Nothing about him says “private eye,” even his name. And then, one steamy summer day, Jordan agrees to look into an old hit-and-run accident that took the life of a girl he knew in high school—-a case in which he has a personal stake, for once in his life. The more he looks into the story, the more he is forced to question everyone’s assumptions. Bit by bit, he is dragged deeper and deeper into a mystery that he is not prepared to handle—-a mystery that threatens to uncover many closely-guarded and long-protected secrets—including his own.”
Memories of Haiti: Lessons in Coping. Edith Young West 54N. “This book will introduce the reader to a remarkable people who have much to teach us about the skills of coping in the world that confronts us . There are many life lessons to be learned through these glimpses into their daily struggles. In these pages the author hopes you will come to appreciate the joys of living and working among a people you can never out give despite their poverty. Though this work was originally written in 1999 from memories and from a 1977 personal journal, it now includes updates on the lives of those we have observed over the years. Knowing the Haitians , we may begin to understand how many are able to survive the most devastating of blows such as the recent earthquake of 2010. Though we bring much assistance and compassion to this land that is sorely needed we need also to learn the lessons its people can teach us of persistence, endurance and the value of people over things. Haiti will survive!”
Pretty Woman Spitting: An American’s Travels in China. Leanna Adams 02C. “Pretty Woman Spitting is a kind of love letter to China. Adams chose the title after hearing a particularly guttural noise (spitting is commonly heard all over China) and turned to find a beautiful woman in a delicate yellow frock hocking up a big one. Pretty Woman Spitting is the book Adams wanted to read before she moved there, filled with loads useful information like where to go to the bathroom and how you shouldn’t hug Chinese men after they fix your toilet. While living in the countryside teaching English and American Culture, even the most basic issues of hygiene presented complicated dilemmas for Adams. The reaction of the rural Chinese – who had seldom if ever seen a Westerner – to a curly-haired American woman ranged from pointed curiosity to outright inappropriate touching. The book is part memoir, part travelogue and a compelling and often hilarious account of an evolving Chinese society and a woman at a crossroads. Adams was nearly robbed, held her co-worker’s hand as she died in a filthy, smoke-filled hospital, bonded with many of her three hundred students and left part of her heart in Wuhu, China. Adams’s contrasting experiences highlight the differences that make the two cultures unique and the similarities that make all people human.”