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OTHERWISE ENGAGED

By Lindsey Palmer C’05 (Skyhorse Publishing, 2019, $24.99.) For newly engaged New Yorkers Molly and Gabe, life is sweet—until Molly discovers that Gabe’s bestselling novel recounts a wild affair with an ex-girlfriend, who soon reappears to capitalize on the book’s success. Jealous, paranoid, and desperate, Molly spins out of control, only to be brought to her senses with the help of friends, in this smart romantic comedy that is written as a book within a book. Buy this book

 

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SEARCHING FOR ARMANDO By Noelle Sickels G’71 (La Sirena Press, 2017, $15.99.) Sickels’ search for her biological father began in 1976, when, after she confided in her mother about marital problems, her mother revealed a prior affair. Enchanted by the phantom of Armando, who died in 1972, Sickels started a decades-long search to learn more. Her resulting memoir is, available as an ebook, explores the lives of her mother and her two fathers. Buy this book

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ANGELS ON A TOMBSTONE By J. F. Foran WG’63 (Page Publishing, 2018, $20.95.) This historical novel set in the late 19th century traces one man’s life of exile from Dublin after he was convicted of conspiring with the Fenian Brotherhood to free Ireland from British dominance. He lands in Boston and is dispatched to a stone quarry, where he searches for meaning and opportunity as an immigrant. Buy this book

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EMPIRE OF NEGLECT: The West Indies in the Wake of British Liberalism By Christopher Taylor Gr’12 (Duke University Press, 2018, $26.95.) Analyzing plantation correspondence, political treatises, novels, and newspapers, Taylor contends that 19th century British West Indians reoriented themselves politically and culturally toward the Americas as a response to British “neglect,” as the empire divested economic capital, political care, and concern from its colonies. Buy this book

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TABLE FOR ONE: Essays from a Widow’s Journey By Deborah Spungen CW’58 (Franklyn Press, 2018, $12.95.) After losing her husband of 54 years, Spungen has to navigate the world as a newly single person, while she struggles with grief and searches for a new sense of self. From closing a business, to selling a home, to moving, and other routine aspects of life, she shares stories that are both touching and humorous. Buy this book

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SHARI’A SCRIPTS: A Historical Anthropology By Brinkley Messick C’69 (Columbia University Press, 2018, $70.) Focusing on early-20th-century Yemen, Messick offers a comprehensive view of the shari’a, or Islamic law, through a rich collection of historical documents. He closely examines instructional books from madrasa, or Islamic schools; formal opinion-giving by muftis and imams; court documents; and contracts. Retrospective ethnography and oral history, based on Messick’s extensive field research, supplement his intensive readings of the texts. Buy this book

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NONE LIKE US: Blackness, Belonging, Aesthetic Life By Stephen Best Gr’97 (Duke University Press, 2018, $23.95.) In arguing that black identity is constituted in and through negation, Best takes inspiration from an 1883 appeal from abolitionist David Walker, a leader in Boston’s black community: “I pray God that none like us ever may live again until time shall be no more.” With this book, he encourages a frank reappraisal of a black identity grounded in slavery and draws connections to the “unbelonging” of queer people. Buy this book

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MANAGEMENT UNLEASHED: Leadership Lessons from My Dog By Diane Hanson G’89 and Todd Cameron (Sandy Paws Press, 2018, $15.00.) Molding a successful manager is a lot like training a dog. Hanson and Cameron draw the comparison in this short fable starring Marti, a young manager learning how to lead her team, and Jenna, the trainer for Marti’s dog Dewey. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to the Brandywine Valley (PA) SPCA. Buy this book

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GERRYMANDERING: A Guide to Congressional Redistricting, Dark Money, and the US Supreme Court By Franklin L. Kury L’61 (Hamilton Books, 2018, $18.99.) Using accessible language, illustrative maps, and photos, Kury concisely explains the impact of gerrymandering on the political process. This thin volume relates current legislative practices to a history of court cases and provides readers with a “Citizen’s Toolbox” to advocate for fair representation. Buy this book

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BLACK CULTURAL LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA: Reception, Apartheid, and Ethics By Lily Saint C’97 (University of Michigan Press, 2018, $24.95.) In this study, Saint explores how popular culture shaped the ethical consciousness of black South Africans under apartheid. Examining historical evidence such as passbooks, memoirs, American “B” movies, fiction, magazines, and photocomics, she considers the relationship between ethics and aesthetic engagement. Buy this book

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