The Man from Beyond
By Gabriel Brownstein ’88
WW Norton, 2005

The year is 1922, and 22-year-old New York journalist Molly Goodman is stuck playing middleman in the real-life squabble between Harry Houdini and his friend and adversary, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle is trying to convince the world of the existence of ghosts, a phenomenon that Houdini chalks up instead to hoaxes and illusions. While trying to stay objective in her account of some seemingly spiritual occurrences, Molly winds up entangled in an incident that leads to Houdini’s disappearance.
Hooked! Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume
Edited by Stephanie Kaza ’68
Shambhala Publications, 2005

Why do people experience such intense yearnings for material things, only to feel frustrated and empty when they obtain them? Seventeen authors take a Buddhist viewpoint in exploring and combating our endless desire to acquire, which affects not only ourselves, but the world’s economy and environment. Kaza is an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont in Burlington.
Sounds of the Silk Road
By Mitchell (John) Clark ’81
MFA Publications, 2005

Drums made of human skulls used by Tibetan monks to ward off evil and oboes played at Turkish weddings are among the instruments of the Asian musical tradition. Lush with dramatic photos, each chapter focuses on the uses, sounds, playing techniques, and symbolism of instruments within a specific Asian country. Clark is a research fellow in the Department of Musical Instruments at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Conservative Debate Handbook: An Intellectual Armory for the 21st Century
By William Flax ’56
LeFevre Publishing, 2005

Flax, an outspoken and longtime advocate for traditional American values, initially designed this handbook as an Internet tool to hone the analytical skills of conservative youth. Beginning with a brief overview of Constitutional law, the book moves on to such fiery topics as the right to bear arms, feminism, immigration, socialism, abortion, and the problems of public schools. Each chapter offers arguments used in prior debates with liberal rivals. Flax is an attorney in Cincinnati.
Orphans: Essays
By Charles D’Ambrosio ’82
Clear Cut Press, 2005

In this pocket-sized book of essays, fiction writer and essayist D’Ambrosio inspects everything from a Russian orphanage in Svirstroy and an experimental ecovillage in Texas to the controversies of Native American whaling and convicted sex offender Mary Kay Letourneau. “Zesty and piercing, these finely crafted works are at once lush and direct, brainy and full of feeling,” writes Booklist. D’Ambrosio is a Seattle native whose fiction appears regularly in the New Yorker. His is a debut book of the Oregon-based Clear Cut Press, co-founded by novelist Matthew Stadler ’81.
Street Fighter
By Bill Kent ’76
St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2005

Philadelphia newspaper reporter Andrea Cosicki teams up with elderly obituary writer Shep Ladderback to investigate the death of a seemingly small-town accountant. They follow the trail through the fictional South Philly setting of Westyard to discover a shady real estate deal involving local politicians, illegal Asian immigrants, a local veterans’ organization, and a powerful private banker. The story’s charm lies in the author’s colorful depictions of unsavory characters in their backroom settings.
Wasted Beauty
By Eric Bogosian ’76
Simon & Schuster, 2005

A country girl-turned-New York fashion model begins a spicy romance with the married, middle-aged suburban doctor who treated her mentally unstable brother. For the doctor, the affair spells impending divorce; for the woman, an addiction to heroin. Bottom line? No one in Bogosian’s novel makes good decisions, despite the tale’s happy ending. This is the second novel by author and playwright Bogosian.

Also Noted:

The Art of Digital Music: 56 Visionary Artists and Insiders Reveal Their Creative Secrets
Kelli Richards and David Battino ’87
Backbeat Books, 2005

Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of this Ancient Tradition
Maria Giangiulio Blois ’92
Pharmasoft, 2005

Mystery, Violence and Popular Culture
John G. Cawelti ’51
Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2005

Untidy Origins: A Story of Woman’s Rights in Antebellum New York
Lori D. Ginzberg ’78
Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2005

Diary of a Drag Queen
Daniel Harris ’80
Carroll & Graf, 2005

Black British Writing
Ed: R. Victoria Arana and Lauri Ramey ’74
Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

Citizen Teacher: The Life and Leadership of Margaret Haley
Kate Bodine Rousmaniere ’80
State Univ. of New York Press, 2005

Spiritual Exercises: Joining Body and Spirit in Prayer
Nancy Roth ’58
Church Publishing, 2005

Mobilizing the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939-1958
Elizabeth Schmidt ’77
Praeger, 2005

The Fiction of a Thinkable World: Body, Meaning, and the Culture of Capitalism
Michael Steinberg ’72
Monthly Review Press, 2005

A Haiti Chronicle: The Undoing of a Latent Democracy, 1999-2001
Daniel Whitman ’68
Trafford, 2005