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Books & Recordings


Exploration: A Very Short Introduction

By Stewart Weaver

Oxford University Press, 2015

Weaver, professor of history at Rochester, offers a short history of a long tradition in human history: the quest to explore the unknown. Through the lens of natural history as well as the history of human civilization, Weaver chronicles journeys from the prehistoric trek across the Bering Strait to the mid-20thcentury deep-sea explorations of Jacques Cousteau.

The Crisis of Classical Music in America: Lessons from a Life in the Education of Musicians

By Robert Freeman

Rowman & Littlefield, 2014

Freeman, director of the Eastman School from 1972 to 1996, offers a critique of contemporary musical training based on his experience directing Eastman, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Texas’s College of Fine Arts. The book outlines ways in which schools of music can play a leading role in building audiences for classical and other genres of music.

The Poitier Effect: Racial Melodrama and Fantasies of Reconciliation

By Sharon Willis

University of Minnesota Press, 2015

Willis explores actor Sidney Poitier’s role as an icon of the civil rights era. Against the backdrop of racial struggle, Poitier’s characters displayed dignity and restraint—a “Poitier effect” that was a function of white wishful thinking about race relations, Willis argues. Willis is a professor of art history and visual and cultural studies at Rochester.

The Materiality of Language: Gender, Politics, and the University

By David Bleich

Indiana University Press, 2013

Bleich, professor of English at Rochester, argues that language is key to the formation of social and political relations, and is material that speakers should change and make flexible. The book won a 2015 Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Moral Agents: Eight Twentieth-Century American Writers

By Edward Mendelson ’66

New York Review Books, 2015

Based on the premise that “any important writer writes in response to an idea of the good life that is inseparable from the life the writer lives,” Mendelson presents critical biographies of eight writers whom he argues transformed 20th-century American literature and reimagined what it means to be a writer. Mendelson is the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia.

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands

By Eric Topol ’79M (MD)

Basic Books, 2015

Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, lays out his vision of a health care system in which patients use algorithmic and smartphone technology to access test results, monitor vital signs, and receive common diagnoses.

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

By Bruce Schneier ’84

W. W. Norton & Co., 2015

Security expert Schneier argues that we live in a mass surveillance society of our own making, and offers tips on how to protect personal privacy and push back against government and corporate surveillance.

Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women

Edited by Nina Gaby ’86N, ’90N (MS)

She Writes Press, 2015

Gaby edits and contributes to the anthology of essays in which women explore lost friendships. What happens when a friend suddenly, and without explanation, ends the relationship? Gaby is an author and a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Vermont.

Principles and Management of Pediatric Foot and Ankle Deformities and Malformations

By Vincent Mosca ’73, ’78M (MD)

Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014

Mosca offers a guide to assessment and management of foot deformities and malformations in children and adolescents. Mosca is a professor of orthopaedics at the University of Washington and chief of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Foot and Ankle Service.


By Brandon Plaster ’11

Brandon Plaster, 2015

In Plaster’s science fiction e-book, a small population of humans lives sealed in dome- covered cities floating above the surface of an uninhabitable Earth. Twelve-year-old Lena joins a revolution to liberate the populace from the tight control of a council and its masked leader.

Juicy Jack Adventures: Meet the Wild Pack

By Leigh Carrasco ’96W (MS)

Womeldorf Press, 2014

Carrasco presents the first book in a multicultural chapter book series for children. Jack, a pet guinea pig, travels to his abuela’s farm in Peru. Nothing goes as planned as Jack’s curiosity thrusts him into a wild pack of guinea pigs.

The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World

By Anthony Biglan ’66

New Harbinger Publications, 2015

Offering evidence that nurturing environments promote health and well-being, Biglan offers a roadmap for families, schools, organizations, and communities to help create more nurturing environments. Biglan is a senior scientist at Oregon Research Institute, where he specializes in child and adolescent behavior.

Other People’s Kids

By David Ragusa ’68, ’76W (EdD)

BookBaby, 2015

Ragusa’s e-book tells the fictional story of a high school assistant principal confronting problems at home as well as at school, where he contends with the Common Core, debates within special education, zero tolerance policies, and other challenges. Ragusa bases the story on his 33 years as a teacher and school administrator.

Love Your Enemies, Part One: A Musical Story of the Life of Jesus

By Linda Day ’90E

Self-published, 2015

Day presents a nondenominational story of the life of Jesus and his philosophy. A “musical e-book” in CD format, Love Your Enemies, includes narrated stories and original songs. Day is a retired section violinist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra.


By Joan Roughgarden ’68

Kauai Institute, 2015

Exploring the boundary between humans and animals, Roughgarden, professor emerita of biology at Stanford, offers a modernized retelling of the Hindu epic the Ramayana, featuring an Apple CEO, his kidnapped wife, and a team of humans and animals who attempt to rescue her.

Active Gods

By Michael Henry ’89

Conundrum Press, 2015

Henry’s third collection of poetry explores the subjects of parenting and middle age with “equal parts humor, gravity, and amazement.” Henry is cofounder and director of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in downtown Denver and teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at the University of Denver.

To Serve with Honor: Doing the Right Thing in Government

By Terry Newell ’66

Loftlands Press, 2015

Newell provides a practical guide for governmental officials confronting ethical dilemmas. Newell is a retired Air Force officer and civil servant and director of the nonprofit Leadership for a Responsible Society.

Key Concepts in Writing and Rhetoric

By Jennifer Ailles ’07 (PhD) et al

Fountainhead Press, 2014

Ailles, a lecturer in writing and rhetoric and English literature at Columbia College Chicago, coauthors a textbook accompanying a newly redesigned first-year composition course at the college. The book introduces a curriculum based on 10 concepts to prepare students for the 21st-century world of multimodal writing.

We’re Gonna Play Today

By Deborah Imiolo ’90E

Heritage Music Press, 2014

Imiolo presents poems and songs for preschoolers through third graders using the Orff instrumentarium and mallet technique. Imiolo teaches music in Amherst, New York.


The Hawthorn Tree

By Joyce Castle ’66E (MM)

Americus Records, 2014

Mezzo-soprano Castle performs work by William Bolcom to honor her 40th anniversary as a performing artist. Castle holds the title of University Distinguished Professor of Voice at the University of Kansas.

Furuya Sisters Live at Steinway Hall

By the Furuya Sisters Trio

Self-published, 2015

The trio including cellist Mimi Furuya ’01E, presents a DVD/CD of their November 2014 concert at Steinway Hall in New York. The concert was the final performance to take place in the historic building on West 57th Street.


By John Fedchock ’85E (MM)

Summit Records, 2015

Trombonist Fedchock presents a live recording from Havana Nights jazz club in Virginia Beach. Performers include drummer Dave Ratajczak ’80E, who died last October.

Books & Recordings is a compilation of recent work by University alumni, faculty, and staff. For inclusion in an upcoming issue, send the work’s title, publisher, author or performer, a brief description, and a high-resolution cover image, to Books & Recordings, Rochester Review, 22 Wallis Hall, P. O. Box 270044, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0044; or by e-mail to