Alumni Authors

The Bird Saviors

by William J. Cobb, MA ’84

Cobb, who directs the creative writing MFA program at Penn State, has had bylines in some of the nation’s most elite periodicals: the New Yorker and the Mississippi Review, among others. His third novel, The Bird Saviors, imagines a dystopian new Old West where secretive teams are killing birds to fight bird flu and a young woman in Colorado is struggling to find her way. Cobb masterfully explores themes that include immigration, environmental crisis, and political instability.



 Bats of Texas

by Loren Ammerman, PhD ’93, Christine Hice, and David Schmidly

“No other group of mammals has been so shrouded in mystery, myth, and misinformation as bats,” laments the preface to this thorough field guide. Despite Halloween lore, bats generally get a warm reception in Texas—as anyone who’s ever been to Austin’s Congress Bridge at sunset can attest. At least 33 species of bats call the Lone Star State home; all of them are well-represented here.



Let the People in: The Life and Times of Ann Richards

by Jan Reid, MA ’72

This is the definitive biography of larger-than-life former Texas governor Ann Richards, who led the state from 1991 to 1995. Author Reid—a longtime writer for Texas Monthly—blends research and primary source documents with human details gleaned from his own friendship with Richards, who died in 2006. The result is a compelling portrait of an improbable leader whose fearless vision took her far.



Breakthroughs for Success: Nineteen Examples of Success Achieved by Real People

by Edward Gideon Jr., BA ’72, Life Member

Business coach Gideon specializes in helping business owners achieve their full potential. Here, he shares his sensible advice on topics such as setting goals, overcoming fear, and finding focus. The book pairs short anecdotes with easy exercises and techniques that readers can apply to their personal or professional lives. If you’re looking for a motivational speech you can carry with you, this is it.



Political Malpractice: How the Politicians Made a Mess of Health Reform

by Stanley F. Hupfeld, BA ’66, Life Member

Longtime hospital CEO Hupfeld cuts through the politics of Obamacare to address big questions about the labyrinth of health reform in America. Instead of taking sides, he asks: Do the usual rules of economics apply to health? Why are some doctors paid so much more than others? Is care a privilege, a right, or perhaps both? A refreshing, independent look at a too-often-partisan debate.



The Advanced Oenophile

by Denman Moody, BA ’65, LLB ’68, Life Member

This book is a world almanac of wine. From Napa to South Africa, Chile to New Zealand, wine expert Moody provides a clear overview of which wines come from where. Our favorites, though, were the extras—such as a primer on what to buy for a cheap yet delicious wine-and-cheese party (try Little Penguin shiraz and goat cheese). Chipper and lighthearted, Moody defies the stereotype of the pretentious oeneophile.




Collaboration Nation: How Public-Private Ventures are Revolutionizing the Business of Government

by Mary Scott Nabers, MBA ’89, Life Member

“Government and business desperately need each other,” author and consultant Nabers argues. The recession has severely impacted public funding, so the public and private sectors are working together more than ever before. Nabers covers everything from historical context (how World War II changed the picture) to practical tips (skip the slideshows when meeting with government officials—they find them tedious).


Journey in the Sun

by Pink Brown Lindsey, with Billy Jack Hogg, BS ’51, Life Member

Author Lindsey died in 1993, but his friend Billy Jack Hogg promised to publish this book, which Lindsey worked on for a decade. The novel traces the journey of a young man named John Templeton and the four Rankin sisters as they travel from East Texas to Utah, fleeing an abusive father. Set in 1932, Journey in the Sun transports readers to an era when dangers lurked at every bend of the road.



The Large Cap Portfolio

by Thomas Villalta, MBA ’03, Life Member

Conventional wisdom says that large-cap stocks—those for huge companies with values of $10 billion or more—don’t offer worthy opportunities to most investors. Villalta begs to differ, pointing out ways that big-money stocks have hidden value for small-scale investors. Don’t be intimidated by the occasional equation or Greek symbol; Villalta’s writing will appeal to amateurs and finance professionals alike.




Lessons Learned on Compliance and Ethics: The Best from the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog

by Thomas Fox, BA ’78, Life Member

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials. Like any issue related to international business law, FCPA compliance is complex. This isn’t exactly beach reading, but professionals will find much to value, thanks to Fox’s in-depth knowledge of compliance and ethics.



The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying

by Jeffrey P. Bishop, BA ’88, Life Member

Physician-ethicist Bishop, who chairs Saint Louis University’s Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, is well-equipped to write a book at the intersection of philosophy and medicine. Bishop connects Foucault and Aristotle, among other philosophers, to modern-day practices surrounding end-of-life care. Popular audiences may struggle to follow Bishop’s dense prose, but students of philosophy and medicine will be engrossed.



The Greatest Generation: As Reported in the Weekly Bastrop Advertiser During World War II

by Shudde Bess Bryson Fath, BBA ’37, and Betsy Fath Hiller, BJ ’90, Life Member

Bastrop native Fath calls this book “a love letter to my hometown.” Shudde and her daughter, Betsy, have collected 727 newspaper articles about 390 Texas men and five women who served in World War II. Despite Bastrop’s small size, the local newspaper documented the war more thoroughly than did many other small papers, the authors say. A recommended read for history buffs and genealogy fans.



My Success Journal

by Jill Hickman, BA ’79, Life Member

Hickman, a leadership development coach and business consultant, has kept a journal since childhood. Those of us who lack her dedication can turn to this book. Hickman urges readers to form a personal “advisory board” of trusted contacts who can share life wisdom. The journal includes plenty of blank space, plus templates for goal-setting, prioritizing, and affirming plans.




Freedom and Happiness: A Philosophy for All

by Jack E. Reinhard, BS ’71

Alarmed by the recession and worried about the future, Reinhard has penned a personal philosophy. He draws from multiple sources, including the Ten Commandments, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, and even Rotary International. Libertarian readers will agree with Reinhard’s political and economic ideas, such as eliminating the Federal Reserve.




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