On the Bookshelf

by Torchbearer Staff October 27, 2015

Take a look at some of the books recently published by our alumni.

TWO HEARTS MAKE A BRIDGE(2016)
Jerry Whittle (’80)

Ben Cook, a blind graduate student at the University of Tennessee, hires a reader who turns out to be a world traveler with much experience. They fall in love, and many crises ensue, particularly because they are so different. Interesting characters enter their lives, and they must deal with overwhelming odds in their relationship.

ARTIFICE HISTORICA (2016)
Joe King (’11)

Articfice Historica coverUnknown author Gregor Planks lives under the assumption that he is in control of the fiction he writes, but when a reoccurring character in the stori es he writes starts to manifest himself the boundaries of between fantasy and reality quickly disappear. As Gregor attempts to win the affection of a gawky woman and fends off his slumlord with a kaleidoscope of menial jobs, he finds playing God to a fictional world has a higher price to pay than he could imagine. Traversing a mock history of humanity, Artifice Historica provides both a hilarious and horrifying view of the world.

HUMAN ANTS (2014)
Joe King (’11)

Human Ants book coverCombining the daring of Beat Generation luster, a terse lens of Realism, and a mocking romp though Classical form with the experimentation of Postmodernism, Joe King’s Human Ants restores poetry to a world that had forgotten it. Bursting with dark humor, hyperawareness, and the universal enigma of consciousness, Human Ants is broken down into four thematic segments that incite a bitter conflict between insignificance and an ever-expanding world. Whether King takes on variants of a Sonnet, Sestina, Villanelle, Free Form, or Stream-of-Consciousness, his sharp wit and charismatic personas ooze from every page. As Poet Jessie Janeshek writes in the forward to Human Ants, “His work reasserts the belief that all writers try to keep believing; what we write on the page can become an agent of change.”

MY SUNSHINE AWAY (2015)
M.O. Walsh (’01)

sunshineThe narrator tells the riveting story of the summer of 1989, when he was a fourteen-year old boy in Baton Rouge and in love with the girl across the street, Lindy Simpson. Lindy was the girl with golden hair and perfect legs, who rode her bicycle to track practice every afternoon, leaving a trail of beguiled boys in her wake. Yet one late summer evening, a crime shattered everyone’s illusion of the supposed idyllic neighborhood, and nothing was ever the same.

COLLEGE IN FOUR YEARS: MAKING EVERY SEMESTER COUNT (2015)
Granville M. Sawyer Jr. (’86)

CIFY_Cover_ImageThis is not a traditional college guide full of directives and checklists but a collection of relatable stories that imparts timely and practical wisdom. In short and focused chapters, ending with quick “takeaways,” the book is organized into five easy to read parts that guide students through the entire undergraduate experience. Sawyer starts them off with the right attitude, then shows how and where to access the right advice at the right time. He helps students identify critical resources and shares key learning techniques and insights that help them understand that just going to class won’t earn a degree.

HOME IS A FIRE (2015)
Jordan Nasser (’91)

hiaf-coveronlyMost people would look at Derek and say he’d made it in life. A fun job, a handsome boyfriend, and an exciting life in New York City. But one night, staring at his reflection in the window of the subway as it barrels do wn Lexington Avenue, Derek realizes he’s fooling himself—and everyone else, too. Derek gets off the train and goes home. Only not home to his tiny Manhattan apartment, but home to Tennessee—which is definitely not NYC. At turns lighthearted, poignant, and surprising, Home Is a Fire is a delightful read for anyone who believes that whoever said “You can’t go home again” was mistaken. It’s just not exactly how you pictured it.

PRESERVING FAMILY RECIPES (2015)
Valerie J. Frey (’99)

9780820330631Heirloom dishes and family food traditions are rich sources of nostalgia and provide vivid ways to learn about our families’ past, yet they can be problematic. Many family recipes and food traditions are never documented in written or photographic form, existing only as unwritten know-how and lore that vanishes when a cook dies. Even when recipes are written down, they often fail to give the tricks and tips that would allow another cook to accurately replicate the dish. Unfortunately, recipes are also often damaged as we plunk Grandma’s handwritten cards on the countertop next to a steaming pot or a spattering mixer, shortening their lives.This book is a guide for gathering, adjusting, supplementing, and safely preserving family recipes and for interviewing relatives, collecting oral histories,
and conducting kitchen visits to document family food traditions from the everyday to special occasions.

 

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