Everything I’m Cracked Up to Be: A Rock & Roll Fairy Tale
Harcourt, 2006

In the mid-1990s, after seven years of slogging it out in the Boston music scene, Jen Trynin took a hard look at herself and gave “making it” one last shot. It worked; after a folk-to-rocker image re-do, Trynin sparked one of the most heated bidding wars of the year, to the tune of millions of dollars in deals. She was the “next big thing.” And then, just as suddenly, she wasn’t. In a series of funny, heart-breaking snapshots, Trynin captures what it’s like to be catapulted to the edge of stardom, and then be plummeted back down to earth.

Saving Miss Oliver’s

H.H. Bonnell, 2006

The prestigious New England boarding school for girls is on the cusp of going under. Trustees have fired the beloved 35-year headmistress, who is derelict as a financial manager, and must now deal with angry alumnae and students who are distrustful of her smart, male successor. Anyone with a passion for education or a love of a particular school will find this a riveting and compassionate novel, written by an author who spent years leading and teaching in independent schools.

American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets

Oberlin College Press, 2006

This major anthology features generous selections of the work of 25 important, but perhaps lesser-known, American poets born immediately after World War II. Many of the poets take on major public issues of our era; others wrestle with spirituality or science. Included are Pamela Alexander; Bruce Beasley ’80; Robin Behn ’79; Mark Doty; Rita Dove; Linda Gregerson ’71; Carl Phillips; Susan Stewart; Bruce Weigl ’73; Franz Wright ’77; and more.

How the Moon Regained Her Shape

Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2006

People have used folklore to explain the events of nature for centuries. Here, influenced by a Native American folktale, Heller writes about the moon, who, after being insulted and hurt by the sun, disappears from the sky. Only when friends help to rebuild her confidence does she begin reappearing to her full size. Lushly illustrated by acclaimed artist Ben Hodson, the book ends with a chart depicting the moon’s phases and ideas for further exploration.

The Loss of Leon Meed

Scribner, 2005

In Emmons’ inventive and engaging first novel, 10 residents of Eureka, California, are brought together by a mysterious man, Leon Meed, who repeatedly and inexplicably appears—in the ocean, at a local rock music club, in the middle of traffic. Then, as if by magic, he disappears. Young, old, married, single, punk, and evangelical, each witness to these events interprets them differently, and all of their lives are changed.

The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibility

Harvard University Press, 2006

Stable family lives are vital to forming responsible and self-governing citizens, says McClain, who takes a liberal, feminist position in defending nontraditional marriages and families whose structures are at odds with conservative public policy. Examining issues in family law and policy, such as the denial of marriage to same-sex couples and welfare regulations, McClain makes a case for a political theory of the family that stresses equality.

God’s Silence

Knopf, 2006

In this luminous new collection of poems, Wright expands on the spiritual joy he found in his Pulitzer Prize-winning Walking to Martha’s Vineyard. He opens with “East Boston, 1996,” a powerful long poem that looks back at the darker moments in the formation of his sensibility. He shares his private rules for bus riding and recalls his first encounter with a shotgun as an 8-year-old boy. Throughout this volume, Wright continues his penetrating study of his and our collective souls.

Also Noted:

Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal
Anthony Arnove ’91
The New Press, 2006

Quilts of the Ohio Western Reserve
Ricky Clark ’54
Ohio University Press, 2005

The Making of a Civil Rights Lawyer
Michael Meltsner ’57
Univ. of Virginia Press, 2006

Battling Terrorism in the Horn of Africa
Edited by Robert Rotberg ’55
World Peace Foundation, 2005

The Flag with Fifty-Six Stars: A Gift from the Survivors of Mauthausen
Susan Goldman Rubin ’59
Holiday House, 2005

Absurdistan: A Novel
Gary Shteyngart ’95
Random House, 2006

When Less is More: The Complete Guide for Women Considering Breast Reduction Surgery
Bethanne Snodgrass ’75
HarperCollins, 2005

Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography
Ed: Christine Stark and Rebecca Whisnant ’89
Spinifex Press, 2005