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Books & Recordings


Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth

By Adam Frank

W. W. Norton & Co., 2018

Frank traces the history of human musings and exploration of alien life, from the time of the ancient Greeks to the present, when astronomical research shows “that we are just one of 10 billion trillion planets in the universe.” Drawing on evidence of human-driven climate change, Frank also poses the question, “What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate?” Frank is a professor of physics and astronomy at Rochester and a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Mindful Money Management: Memoirs of a Hedge Fund Manager

By Joel Salomon ’86

SaLaurMor, 2018

Salomon, founder of SaLaurMor Capital, offers tips to investors for eliminating stress and fear and incorporating mindfulness into financial decision making.

Social Studies in the New Education Policy Era: Conversations on Purposes, Perspectives, and Practices

Edited by Kevin Meuwissen and Paul Fitchett

Routledge, 2018

Meuwissen and Fitchett bring together a collection of essays as a facilitated conversation on issues ranging from curriculum standards and testing mandates to the appropriate roles of social studies teachers as policy advocates. Meuwissen is an associate professor and director of the social studies teacher pre- paration program at the Warner School of Education and Fitchett is an associate professor of social studies education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Patriotic Education in a Global Age

By Randall Curren and Charles Dorn

University of Chicago Press, 2018

Curren and Dorn join forces to examine fundamental assumptions about patriotic education—including whether and how schools should attempt to cultivate patriotism; what concepts of patriotism would be meaningful; and whether patriotism is essential to national unity or sustained commitment to just institutions. Curren is a professor of philosophy and of education at Rochester, and Dorn is associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of education at Bowdoin College.

Psychotherapy for a Democratic Mind: Treatment of Intimacy, Tragedy, Violence, and Evil

By Israel Charny ’58 (PhD)

Lexington Books, 2018

Charny—the executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust & Genocide in Jerusalem and a retired professor of psychology and family therapy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University—examines relational (couple and family) and individual psychiatric conditions through the lens of social and political forces and institutions. Charny is also the author of A Democratic Mind: Psychology and Psychiatry with Fewer Meds and More Soul (Lexington Books, 2017) and The Genocide Contagion: How We Commit and Confront Holocaust and Genocide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

Secular Lyric: The Modernization of the Poem in Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson

By John Michael

Fordham University Press, 2018

Michael explores the unique ways in which Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson adapted ancient and Renaissance conventions of lyric expression into a modern context characterized by secularization and heterogeneous systems of belief. Michael is a professor of English and of visual and cultural studies at Rochester.

The Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball and the White House

By Curt Smith

University of Nebraska Press, 2018

Smith—a former White House speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and a senior lecturer in English at Rochester—traces the historic relationship between the presidency and “America’s pastime.”

Introduction to Applied Ethics

By Robert Holmes

Bloomsbury, 2018

Holmes, a professor emeritus of philosophy at Rochester, presents an “all-in-one” textbook that integrates the introduction of practical moral problems with relevant theories and readings.

Alone and Content

By Gwenn Voelckers

Gwenn Voelckers, 2018

Voelckers presents “inspiring, empowering essays to help divorced and widowed women feel whole and complete on their own.” She’s the former director of health communications for the Medical Center’s Center for Community Health and Prevention.

Buffalo Dust

By George Hole ’60, ’68 (PhD)

Buffalo Arts Publishing, 2017

Hole’s collection of 23 poems, steeped in the imagery of Red Jacket, the Buffalo skyway, and the author’s own life experiences, “reflect his love of a blue-collar city, rooted in an industrial past.” Hole holds the title of Distinguished Teaching Professor in the philosophy department at Buffalo State College.

Ben Katchor: Conversations

Edited by Ian Gordon ’93 (PhD)

University Press of Mississippi, 2018

Gordon, an associate professor of history at the National University of Singapore, edits a collection of work by cartoonist Ben Katchor. In 2017, Gordon authored Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon (Rutgers University Press) and coedited The Comics of Charles Schultz: The Good Grief of Modern Life (University Press of Mississippi).

Selling Options . . . Simply Called and Simply Put

By David Skonieczki ’71

TheBookPatch, 2018

Skonieczki, retired from a 30-year career as a broker at Fidelity Investments, offers an autobiographical primer for investors on the often intimidating world of options trading. Presented from the seller’s perspective rather than the buyer’s, Skonieczki shares his own stories of learning to master arcane strategy.


By John Vanek ’74M (MD)

Coffeetown Press, 2018

Vanek’s debut novel, and the first in a three-part Father Jake Austin mystery series, tells the story of a priest returning home after a war only to face a series of murders which “force him to confront his own violent past, regrets over lost love, and his doubts about the priesthood.”

The Stone Building and Other Places

By Asli Erdogan, translated from the Turkish by Sevinç Türkkan

City Lights Press, 2018

Türkkan, an instructor of Turkish studies at Rochester, offers the first English translation of the best-selling 2009 work by noted Turkish journalist, author, and human rights activist Asli Erdogan. Erdogan, a physicist-turned-writer who was imprisoned for several months in 2016 for her work with the newspaper Radikal, explores the themes of exile, illness, and imprisonment in the collection of stories.

Urban Slavery in Colonial Mexico: Puebla de los Àngeles, 1531–1706

By Pablo Sierra Silva

Cambridge University Press, 2018

Sierra Silva, an assistant professor of history at Rochester, explores the ways in which enslaved Mexicans in the 16th and 17th centuries formed family and social networks to contest their bondage.


By Mario Sparagana ’51, ’55M (MD)

Pepper Tree Press, 2018

Sparagana offers 50 poems on the subjects of love, nature, and death.

Mad Mädchen: Feminism and Generational Conflict in Recent German Literature and Film

By Margaret McCarthy ’96 (PhD)

Berghahn, 2017

McCarthy explores trans-generational debates in modern German feminism, as a rising group of activists have come to challenge many of the movement’s strategic and philosophical orthodoxies. McCarthy is the chair of the German studies department and coordinator of the film and media studies concentration at Davidson College.

Speech of the Angels: Thoughts on the Theory of Music

By Max Stern ’69E

KTAV Publications, 2018

Stern, a professor emeritus at Israel’s Ariel University, presents a global overview of the physics and metaphysics of sound and music.

The Essential Guide to Western Civilization

By Nicholas Waddy ’01 (PhD)

Routledge, 2017

Waddy, an associate professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Alfred State College, presents an overview of European history designed for undergraduate courses in Western civilization.


One Lives But Once: A 90th Birthday Celebration

By Samuel Adler

Linn Records, 2018

Eastman students and faculty members perform on the three-disc recording of compositions by Adler on the occasion of Adler’s 90th birthday. Adler taught at Eastman from 1966 to 1995 and chaired the composition department from 1974 to his retirement.

Quantum Fields

By Nexus

William L. Cahn, 2018

Nexus, which includes Bill Cahn ’68E and Bob Becker ’69, performs three selections. The Eastman Marimba Ensemble and the Eastman Percussion Ensemble also perform on the recording.


By John Serry ’75E, ’91E (MM) SPCo Records, 2017

Jazz pianist and composer Serry performs original numbers accompanied by bass and percussion.

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, Box 270044, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0044; or by e-mail to