May|June 2016 Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe

good-reads-3Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century

by Daniel Oppenheimer

In his debut book, Oppenheimer—who is also a communications director at UT’s Hogg Foundation for Mental Health—profiles six political figures who became more conservative over their lifetimes. The stories of Whittaker Chambers, Ronald Reagan, Christopher Hitchens, and three other political flip-floppers are a way for Oppenheimer to explore how and why our beliefs are formed over time. The gulf between left and right may not be as large as we think, he argues—a welcome sentiment during a bitterly divided election year.

good-reads-4Another Year Finds Me in Texas:
The Civil War Diary of Lucy Pier Stevens

Edited by Vicki Adams Tongate

Ohioan Lucy Pier Stevens was visiting family in Texas when the Civil War broke out. She ended up stranded in the state for the next five years. Now UT Press has published her detailed diary—one of the few surviving Civil War-era Texas women’s journals, and the only one from the perspective of a Northerner in the South. From caring for the sick during a measles outbreak to venting her frustration over the difficulty of finding a decent cup of coffee in wartime, Stevens’ lively writing illuminates how the war affected women in Texas.

good-reads-1Beasts & Children: Stories

by Amy Parker, MFA ’02

The debut short story collection by Michener Center alumna Amy Park is drawing comparisons to the likes of Karen Russell and Lorrie Moore. Beasts & Children delivers on its title—the book teems with elephants, gibbons, seals, monkeys, and even a pangolin as it traces the childhoods of kids in Texas, Iowa, California, and Thailand. Parker’s prose veers from whimsical to ominous as children in one story reemerge later as adults with children of their own.



good-reads-2Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide

by Mary O. Parker, MA ’02, Life Member

Spring is one of the best times to be outside in Texas, and this travel guide will help you get off the beaten path. Nature writer Mary O. Parker highlights unexpected adventures, like walking through a sea of poppies in the Davis Mountains, hawk-watching in Corpus Christi, and canoeing in the swamps of East Texas. There’s a nice balance between lively description, 300-plus photos in vivid color, and logistical details.


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