THE SOCIETY OF MIDLAND AUTHORS
MEMBERS' NEW BOOKS
The Blizzard Voices
University of Nebraska Press, September 2006
64 pp. $9.95
The Blizzard Voices is a collection of poems recording
the devastation unleashed on the Great Plains by the blizzard
of January 12, 1888. Based on the actual reminiscences
of the survivors as recorded in documents from the time
and written reminiscences from years later, this new edition
features a new introduction by Ted Kooser.
The Mover of Bones
University of Nebraska Press, September 2006
176 pp. $23.95
In one hand, Jesse Breedlove holds a bottle of Cuervo
Gold—or what’s left of it—in the other, the shovel with
which he has just unearthed the bones of a small girl
buried in the cellar of a Catholic church in Omaha, Nebraska.
So begins Breedlove’s odyssey across the literal and mythical
landscapes of America.
Marlene Targ Brill
Barak Obama: Working to Make a Difference
ISBN: 0822534177 library binding
ISBN: 0822560569 paperback
48 pages; $25 library binding; $6.95 paperback
"Brill offers a warm, personal portrait of the politician,
beginning with his parents' disparate background and his
multinational upbringing and moving through his political
awakenings, higher education, and public life. . . . an
intimate portrait that is bolstered by her (Brill's) own
interviews with Obama's colleagues, schoolmates, and friends."
The Lost Brigade
Water Press and Media
70 pages; $12.95 www.waterpressandmedia.com
"The poems in this fine collection sing of soldiers who
return from the wars, stricken revenants from Grant to the
poet's father. Bruce Guernsey has given us an Odyssey
in small, lyric and elegiac, a lonely, haunted and haunting,
moving book forever homeward bound."
"More than just a book of poems, The Lost Brigade
is a document, a history to be read and remembered."
Waiting for Gautreaux: A Story of Segregation, Housing,
and the Black Ghetto
Northwestern University Press www.nupress.northwestern.edu
On his thirty-ninth birthday in 1966, Alexander Polikoff,
a volunteer ACLU attorney and partner in a Chicago law
firm, met friends to discuss a pro bono case. They talked
about the Chicago Housing Authority construction program.
All the new public housing, it seemed, was going into
black neighborhoods. If discrimination was prohibited
in public schools, wasn't it also prohibited in public
housing? And so began Gautreaux v. CHA and HUD,
a case that would roll on decade after decade, carrying
Polikoff and his colleagues to the nation's Supreme Court.
Sometimes Kafkaesque, sometimes simply inspiring, and
never less than absorbing, the story of Gautreaux
moves with ease through local and national civil rights
history, legal details, political matters, and the personal
costs--and rewards--of a commitment to fairness, equality,
Walt Hansgen: His Life and the History of Post-War
American Roads Racing
David Bull Publishing
$49.95 hardcover; 400 pages www.bullpublishing.com
The 1950s and 1960s were a time of tremendous change
in racing. In this exciting, fast-paced biography author
Michael Argetsinger shows how Walt Hansgen’s life encompassed
the conflict between amateur and professional racing,
the extraordinary advances in technology, and the joyful
ambition of his era. The result is a vivid account of
the remarkable history of post-war American road racing.
John F. Wasik www.johnwasik.com
The Merchant of Power: Sam Insull, Thomas Edison,
and the Creation of the Modern Metropolis
Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.
$24.95 hardcover, 288 pp. www.amazon.com
A timely rags-to-riches story, The Merchant of
Power recounts how Sam Insull--right hand to Thomas
Edison--went on to become one of the richest men in the
world, pivotal in the birth of General Electric and instrumental
in the creation of the modern metropolis with his invention
of the power grid, which fuels major cities today. John
Wasik, awarded the National Press Club Award for Consumer
Journalism, had unprecedented access to Sam Insull's archives,
which includes private correspondence with Thomas Edison.
The extraordinary fall of a man extraordinary for his
time is revealed in this cautionary tale about the excesses
of corporate power.
Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for
Scientific Proof of Life After Death
The Penguin Press, August 2006
$25.95 hardcover, 380 pp. www.amazon.com
The story of a small group of scholars who, at the close
of the 19th century, launched a scientific investigation
into the supernatural, seeking to use research methods
to answer questions of faith. The result was the best
ghost hunt in scientific history and experiments with
mediums and psychics that, even today, remain inexplicable.
Led by eminent researchers including William James and
two Nobel laureates, the ghost hunt became an exploration
of reality itself that still resonates today.
Michael Sheehan http://seniors.tcnet.org
On the Lamb in a Doggy Dog World: At Play with the
$16.95 - Paperback www.arbutuspress.com
A collection of both zany and serious essays on the
English language. Chapters include Student Bloopers, Nautical
Names, Bar Jokes, and Word Games of his own invention.
Sheehan's radio show, Words to the Wise, 5 years on the
air and counting, continues to retain and gain loyal listeners.
He begins each show with the introduction:
"This is Words to the Wise, where grammar matters, spelling
matters, and word choice matters—not because they’re sacred
cows, but because we need them to communicate accurately
and securely. Our language is meant not to confine us, but
to set us free. That’s why the motto of this show is: "The
limits of my language are the limits of my world."
Lori Andrews www.loriandrews.com
St. Martin's Minotaur, June 13, 2006
$23.95 - 288 pages amazon.com
Compared in reviews to Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell,
Lori Andrews has launched a mystery series featuring Dr.
Alexandra Blake of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
(AFIP). When a serial killer targets women near Navy bases,
Alex is pulled away from her genetics disease research to
cover forensics on the caseand finds her own
life in jeopardy.
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