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FRANTIC PANORAMAS: American Literature and Mass Culture, 1870-1920 By Nancy Bentley, faculty (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009; $59.95.) In the late 1800s, America witnessed a boom in mass culture, from sensationalist tabloid newspapers to Wild West shows. The literary writers of the day typically reacted with public disdain, but Bentley uses original archival research to challenge this narrative of opposition, and to show how literary culture grappled with and even drew inspiration from mass culture. BUY THIS BOOK

ABEL KIVIAT: National Champion By Alan S. Katchen C’59 (Syracuse University Press, 2009; $34.95.) A legend in track and field, Kiviat began as a teenage prodigy and would go on to become a world-record holder and an Olympic medalist. Katchen tells his story, from birth to death at age 99, and his biography also serves as a portrait of track and field at the height of its popularity. BUY THIS BOOK

AFTER YOU By Julie Buxbaum C’99 (Dial Press, 2009; $25.00.) Buxbaum’s second novel tells the story of Ellie Lerner, whose life is interrupted when her best friend is murdered. Ellie moves from Boston to London to be with her friend’s grief-stricken husband and child, and as the summer unfolds her own past begins to threaten the life she’s constructed. Revisiting many of the themes of her popular first novel, The Opposite of Love, in greater detail, Buxbaum explores the difficulties of friendship and past regrets. BUY THIS BOOK

THE EVERYTHING WILLS & ESTATE PLANNING BOOK By Deborah S. Layton CGS’71 (Adams Media, 2009; $15.95.) This comprehensive guide covers topics such as writing a will, estate planning, and charitable giving in an easy-to-understand format. In an introductory note, Layton, an attorney and freelance writer who retired in 2006 as the director of estates and trusts in Penn’s Office of Gift Planning, recalls the sense of accomplishment she and her husband felt upon completing their own estate plans. “My goal for you in writing this book is to help you make a similar gift to your family.” BUY THIS BOOK

REMEDIES By Kate Ledger C’92. (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009. $24.95.) This debut novel tells the story of a Baltimore couple whose outwardly perfect marriage is quietly crumbling under the weight of unacknowledged grief over the loss of their son fifteen years earlier. As a former medical writer for Johns Hopkins, Ledger draws on her experience to explore themes of both physical and emotional pain, and the traumatic healing of old wounds. BUY THIS BOOK

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