January|February Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe

SmartChangeSmart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others
By Art Markman

UT psychology professor and Smart Thinking author Art Markman is back with another how-to, self-improvement guide, this time focused on eliminating bad habits—from unhealthy eating to that pesky couch-potato syndrome. Markman offers up five easy steps to creating more positive behaviors, including identifying your triggers, managing your surroundings, and dealing with stress.  There’s also an entire section dedicated to instigating change in those around you, which can help keep your own habits on the up-and-up.

 

 

ThomasJeffersonThomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders
By Denise A. Spellberg

President, Founding Father, author, and … avid Qur’an reader? It’s true, says Denise Spellberg, an associate history professor at UT. In Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an, Spellberg investigates how Islam played a key role in the establishment of religious freedom in the U.S. Eleven years before he penned the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson read a copy of the Qur’an. Studying Islam, Spellberg says, informed Jefferson’s ideas about plurality and religious liberty that would characterize both his writings and his presidency.

 

 

FamousWritersFamous Writers I Have Known
By James Magnuson

In this novel by the director of UT’s Michener Center for Writers, a small-time con man by the name of Frankie Abandonato steals the identity of an antisocial author—despite being only semiliterate. Abandonato crosses paths with the world’s richest novelist, who happens to be dying, and quickly hatches a plan to get his hands on the man’s fortune. Part literary satire, part page-turning crime tale, Famous Writers I Have Known takes a surprisingly emotional look at two men at odds.

 

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