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THE SOUL OF THE MATTER By Bruce Buff W’81 (Howard Books, 2016, $25.00.) Former cyber-intelligence analyst Dan Lawson gets a call from his estranged friend Stephen, a renowned geneticist who claims to have discovered proof of God’s existence, and who wants Dan’s help protecting his findings. When Stephen is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Dan begins investigating, and soon finds that Stephen’s efforts to find a cure for his daughter may have driven him to desperate alliances with cunning and powerful forces. Buff has worked as a management consultant and information-technology executive. Buy this book

A NEW LOOK AT HUMANISM in Architecture, Landscapes, and Urban Design By Robert Lamb Hart GCP’62 (Meadowlark, 2016, $30.00.) Throughout his career, Hart has worked to bring the insights of the human sciences into architectural education and practice. In this book, aimed at those entering the profession, Hart has joined with scientists, designers, and educators to formulate an updated, science-based humanism that can be applied in the day-to-day practice of design. Buy this book

NEXT GENERATION JUDAISM: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations By Rabbi Mike Uram (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2016, $18.99.) Uram, the executive director and campus rabbi for Penn Hillel, outlines a new kind of leadership that focuses on reinvigorating Judaism and building stronger communities rather than on serving institutions. His methods for connecting with Jewish millennials have been tested on college campuses and in Hillels across the country. Buy this book

BUDDHA’S DIET: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight without Losing Your Mind By Tara Gottrell and Dan Zigmond C’94 (Running Press, 2016, $16.95.) The Buddha sought a “middle way” between unhealthy overindulgence and unrealistic abstinence. Buddha’s Diet ties these ancient eating practices in with modern research to help readers lose weight and stop obsessing about food. When he is not advising startups and venture-capital firms about data and health, Zigmond teaches at Jikoji Zen Center, a small Buddhist temple in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Buy this book

A PSYCHIATRIST’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL RETIREMENT AND AGING: Coping with Change By H. Michael Zal C’62 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, $38.00.) Retirement isn’t just about managing one’s finances. Our expectations of retirement and aging are rapidly changing, and Zal, a retired psychiatrist, lays out coping skills, offers treatment options, and deals with the spiritual and emotional challenges encountered after leaving the workplace. Buy this book

VULTURE IN A CAGE: Poems by Solomon Ibn Gabirol Translated from Hebrew by Raymond P. Scheindlin C’61 (Archipelago Books, 2016, $18.00.) Through his translation, Scheindlin brings the most extensive collection of Solomon Ibn Gabirol’s poetry ever published in English. Obsessed with the impediments of the body and the material world, the 11th-century Jewish poet from Andalusia dreamed of breaking through corporeal constraints and launching his soul into the realm of the intellect. Scheindlin is a professor of medieval Hebrew literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Buy this book

THE POWER OF MEANING: Crafting a Life That Matters By Emily Esfahani Smith LPS’13 (Crown Publishing Group, 2017, $28.00) Research indicates that chasing happiness, rather than meaning, actually makes people unhappy. Smith, who writes about culture and psychology for various national publications, structures her book around the “four pillars of meaning”—Belonging, Purpose, Storytelling, and Transcendence—and tells the stories of people who have found meaning by building up those pillars in their daily lives. Buy this book

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