March|April Alumni Authors

Short Boat on a Long RiverShort Boat on a Long River

By Jim Cockrum, BJ ’51, MJ ’55, Life Member

St. Paul, Minn., 1904: A boat race is about to begin along the Mississippi River, and 14-year-old Jimmy Oakley has his eye on the prize. While working on this lighthearted novel, freelance journalist Cockrum built and tested the same style of boat that his protagonist pilots—a small, lightweight wooden craft called a sneakbox.






The-Sulphur-King-1Herman Frasch: The Sulphur King

By William Sutton, BA ’64, and Russell Keene

Sulphur gets a bad rap. For most of us, the word evokes the smell of rotten eggs and a lurid yellow color. But compounds made from the element are virtually everywhere, from fertilizers to batteries to the coolant in your fridge. This biography tells the tale of inventor Herman Frasch, who pioneered a new method for retrieving sulphur from the ground.






Surfacing the RimSurfacing the Rim

By Venessa Kimball, BS ’99

In the second volume of her young adult series, Venessa Kimball delves deeper into the unusual life of Georgia college student Jesca Gershon. Elements of science fiction, fantasy, romance, and adventure come together for a one-of-a-kind story that pits a smart young woman against paranormal forces trying to destroy the universe.






River RoyalsRiver Royals Master the Mississippi

By Katie Clark and Sarah Wynne, BBA ’97, JD ’01

This playful children’s book begins with a premise every kid can understand: sitting in class, bored by a lecture. In this case, the lesson is on the geography and culture of the Mississippi River, and the kid is whimsical Eliza Jane, a little girl who daydreams of floating down the mighty Mississippi. Young readers will join her with enthusiasm as she learns about Mardi Gras, Elvis, the cotton industry, and more.




Last Death of Jack HarbinThe Last Death of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery

By Terry Shames, BA ’66

In the first novel in the Samuel Craddock crime series, former police chief Craddock came out of retirement to solve a mysterious crime. Now another unsolved murder case is calling his name—the death of a Gulf War veteran named Jack Harbin (Editor’s Note: no relation to the Distinguished Alumnus of the same name). In a small Texas town filled with colorful characters, there’s plenty to keep Craddock busy.





26milesTwenty-Six Miles

By Andrew Spencer, BA, BFA ’96

In 2010, a mysterious tragedy shook the island community of Nantucket: A man disappeared from a boat while his wife and two children slept on board. Author Spencer, who has spent 10 years living on the island and a lifetime of summers vacationing there, has written a novel loosely inspired by those events and filled with intrigue, fraud, and shifty characters.






Film DialogueFilm Dialogue

By Jeff Jaeckle, PhD ’05

Cinema studies conventionally focuses on visuals—so much so that dialogue often gets ignored, argues Jaeckle, who teaches film studies at Portland Community College. From pronouns to politics, classics to sci-fi, this essay compilation explores the language of cinema from a linguistic perspective. You’ll never listen to movie dialogue the same way again.






Grow Older with PeersGrow Older With Peers: Where Laughter is Contagious

By Ruth S. Shirley, BS ’48, Life Member

We don’t hear enough about the lighter side of aging, argues Shirley, who lives at the Texas Exes’ Longhorn Village retirement community (or, as she describes it, “a cross between college days with no exams and a cruising vacation”). Shirley applies her wit to topics like exercise, hobbies, and the community’s staff.








The YardmanThe Yardman

By Jim McMillen, ’55, Life Member

This thriller centers around a mysterious protagonist named Little Jesse, a drifter who owns a small yardwork business and lives off the grid in a tiny West Texas town. Unbeknownst to Jesse, police are close to arresting him for an unsolved murder case gone cold years ago. Is he guilty? You’ll have to read to find out.







Culture Without AccountabilityCulture Without Accountability: WTF? (What’s the Fix?)

By Julie Miller, BBA ’84, Life Member, and Brian Bedford

Husband-and-wife team Miller and Bedford, who co-own a business solutions company, make a strong case that companies need to focus more on accountability—from simply taking responsibility when a mistake is made to sharing useful feedback. Case studies from industries as diverse as airline travel and college sports make up the bulk of the book.






From Me to You.jpg 1From Me to You: A Letter to Christian Women About Covenant-Minded Men

By Bert Reece, BS ’94

Reece is a family man and devout Christian with a passion for writing about how faith can get people through hard times. In this short book, he addresses women who feel that men don’t take marriage vows seriously, writing from his own experience in 16 years of marriage.







Business Process ManagementThe Business Process Management Guidebook

By Forrest W. Breyfogle III, MS ’75, Life Member

Breyfogle, who owns a business solutions company, believes too many companies rely on the talent of a few top executives. It’s a risky strategy, he says, that can leave businesses in the lurch when a leader leaves or makes mistakes. Managers and CEOs will benefit from this guidebook’s concise recommendations for standardizing management practices, improving efficiency, and more.






Radical SabbaticalRadical Sabbatical: A Hilarious Journey From a Stifling Rut to a Life Without Boundaries

By Glen Tibaldeo, MPA ’94, and Laura Berger

Have you ever fantasized about ditching the rat race and moving to a tropical paradise? This married couple did just that and wrote about the experience in a book one blurb calls “a couple’s Eat, Pray, Love meets The Hangover.” Tibaldeo and Berger left their corporate jobs to live in the Costa Rican rainforest. The resulting book encourages readers to embrace change, even if it means facing down a boa constrictor in the jungle.





AstronomyBookAstronomy: The Solar System

By April Chloe Terrazas, BS ’10, Life Member

Learning about the solar system doesn’t have to be rocket science. With this fun and easy-to-read book, even you can learn the basics of the universe. It’s book four of the Super Smart Science Series, and according to the front cover, no one is too young or too old to enjoy it. From “sound it out” sections to playful pictures, you’re sure to become an astronomy whiz by the time you put it down.





LinuxBookLinux Utilities Cookbook
By James Kent Lewis, ’77, Life Member

The operating system Linux has been around for years and has a small and loyal fan base—one that could be larger if more people read this clear, accessible guidebook, which includes more than 70 tutorials that walk readers through how to do almost anything in Linux. For a novice, all the new jargon can seem a little overwhelming at first, but Lewis draws on decades of experience to break it down.


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