Good Reads: September | October 2014

New Books of Interest to the Longhorn Universe

Above the East China SeaAbove the East China Sea
By Sarah Bird, MA ’76

The 82-day Battle of Okinawa claimed the lives of at least 12,000 Americans, 70,000 Japanese soldiers, and 100,000 civilians. Numbers like those are hard to fathom, but in this new novel from Sarah Bird, MA ’76, two young women bring the battle and its legacy into vivid focus. Tamiko is a Himeyuri, or “princess lily” girl, one of many Okinawan high schoolers forced to work in dangerous military hospitals during the war. Then there’s Luz James, a modern-day teenager and military kid whose mother is stationed in Okinawa; their family is reeling from the combat death of Luz’s sister in Afghanistan. Tamiko and Luz’s lives overlap in surprising ways—and they will change the way you think about the consequences of war.

 

 

Curiosity's CatsCuriosity’s Cats: Writers on Research
Edited by Bruce Joshua Miller

If you’ve ever pulled long hours in the library for a research project, you’ll appreciate this book of essays on the research process—with all its attendant delights, agonies, and dog-eared pages. UT history professor Alberto A. Martinez contributes an essay on the myths surrounding Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, and in “Comanches, Cowboys, and a Political Rock Star,” Texas Monthly senior writer Jan Reid, MA ’72, reflects on a research process intertwined with a colorful life—from his friendship with Gov. Ann Richards to a near-death experience in Mexico City and adventures at Native American historic sites.

 

 

 

 

Thunderstruck and Other StoriesThunderstruck and Other Stories
By Elizabeth McCracken

National Book Award finalist Elizabeth McCracken, who also teaches in UT’s Michener Center and the Department of English, took a 20-year break from the short story genre—and Thunderstruck and Other Stories is well worth the wait. Vividly drawn characters grapple with love and loss, growing up and growing old, and staying together through family catastrophes. These are bittersweet stories punctuated by surprising bright spots and memorable one-liners like “The weight of Pamela’s bag was like the stones in a suicide’s pocket.”

 

 

 

Age of GlobalizationAge of Globalization
By John Hoberman

More than 36,000 people around the world participated in Germanic Studies professor John Hoberman’s massive open online course, or MOOC, on globalization last fall. Now you can join them by reading this collection of course materials. From transportation issues to the globalization of sports, international crime to agriculture, the accessible lectures included in this e-book examine dozens of contemporary issues through a global lens.

 

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