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Bookshelf: Summer 2010


The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister

This illustrated chapter book by Charlotte Agell '81 is the first in a series. India McAllister is a fourth grader who lives with her artist mother and her dog, Tofu, in a small Maine town. She was adopted from China as a baby—she is named for the ink, not the country. Her father and his partner, Richard, live in the next town over with the operatic Beatrice Straw berry Bird. India longs for adventures, and has some small ones with and without her best friend Colby and her worst enemy Amanda. Her biggest adventure is entirely accidental. Agell writes and teaches in coastal Maine, where she lives with her family. Henry Holt, 2010.

Agell's website

Series website


An American Type

The posthumous work of celebrated author Henry Roth (Call it Sleep), An American Type is an expansive portrait of 1930s America told through Roth's reprised porte-parole Ira Stigman, a young Jewish writer struggling to stand alone for his sophomore literary effort. Meticulously assembled and pared from Roth's sprawling two thousand page manuscript by New Yorker editor Willing Davidson '99, Roth's subject matter and Davidson's editing equally attest to American reinvention in the face of upheaval. W. W. Norton & Company, 2010.


The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire

Exploration and colonization in the Americas coincided with the Renaissance rediscovery of Graeco-Roman antiquity, and Spanish conquistadors and missionaries looked to the classical past to interpret an unfamiliar civilization. The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire explores parallels that were drawn between two great empires— the Aztec and the Roman. While many studies dwell on the Aztec gods and the bloody rituals performed in their honor, this groundbreaking book examines little-known episodes in which criticism mediated a dialogue both within and between Mesoamerica and span. John M.D. Pohl and Claire L. Lyons ’77. Getty Publications, 2010.


Beyond National Identity: Pictorial Identity as a Modernist Strategy in Andean Art

Indigenism is not folk art. It is a vanguard movement conceived of by intellectuals and artists conversant in international modernist idioms and defined in response to global trends. Beyond National Identity traces changes in Andean artists’ vision of indigenous peoples as well as shifts in the critical discourse surrounding their work between 1920 and 1960. By challenging the notion of pictorial indigenism as a direct expression of national identity, Michele Greet '93 demonstrates the complexity of the indigenists’ critical engagement with European and pan-American cultural developments and presents the trend in its global context. Through case studies of works by three internationally renowned Ecuadoran artists, Camilo Egas, Eduardo Kingman Riofrío, and Oswaldo Guayasamín Calero, Beyond National Identity pushes the idea of modernism in new directions—both geographically and conceptually—to challenge the definitions and boundaries of modern art. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009.


Brain Injury Survivors: Narratives of Rehabilitation and Healing

Through the intertwined narratives of three survivors of traumatic brain injury, Laura S. Lorenz '76 encapsulates the challenges and achievements of many while offering suggestions for renewed, nurturing medical and social systems in which these survivors might thrive. Her highly creative and personal approach to life and struggle makes accessible the formerly inaccessible, asking questions of health and society that become pertinent to us all. Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2010.


Doing Therapy with Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome

Diagnoses of Asperger Syndrome in children and adolescents are on the rise, and while a limited minority of clinicians has training and experience in this area, a majority does not. Doing Therapy with Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome by Richard Bromfield '74 is the only guide of its kind for doing both talk and play therapy with young people with Asperger Syndrome. It meets the growing need for practical clinical guidance in this area. Using vivid case material, it offers clinicians wisdom attuned to their need and the need of those young people they endeavor to help. Wiley, 2010.


The Essential Edwards Collection

To many, Jonathan Edwards represents the preeminent theologian and thinker in the American Tradition. Exploring this standpoint in a series of five books that cover Edwards’ life and major writing, authors Owen Strachan '77 and Doug Sweeney open a window into the mind of the man who kindled the First Great Awakening. All the while, Strachan and Sweeney emphasize and demonstrate the point that one does not need to be a great scholar to benefit from—and deeply enjoy— the writings of a profound thinker. Strachan is currently the Managing Director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Ph.D student in Historical Theology at TEDS. He has also worked for the presidents of Bowdoin College and at the White House. Moody Publishers, 2010.


The Gate of Horn

This collection by Pushcart Prize nominee Louis Asekoff '61 is full of surreally sensual, intensely lyrical, darkly tragicomic poems that conjure voices as disparate as Marquis de Sade, an Aztec warrior, a Korean woman, Holocoast historian, and a Vietnam veteran. Asekoff, writes John Ashbery, "is a superb poet at the height of his powers." Northwestern University Press, 2010.


Getting Started in Mutual Funds

The second edition of the celebrated original by Alvin Hall '74—"the moneyman with a wealth of advice"—Getting Started in Mutual Funds provides practical, applicable guidance for those ready to start investing. It's everything you need to know, in plain English, about making sound investments in the right funds. At the same time, Hall's book becomes an incisive primer to the history of economics—a history that provides clues and advice of its own. John Wiley and Sons, 2010.


Money Magic: Seven Simple Steps to True Financial Freedom

This new book of financial advice from Alvin Hall '74 makes up part of a QuickReads campaign in the UK, a national promotion of renewed education for adults seeking to improve reading skills or rediscover the joy of books. Hall, a frequent guest on NPR and star of multiple BBC TV series,, was invited to #10 Downing Street for the launch of World Book Day in the UK, and was asked to speak at a conference encouraging adult readership. Hodder and Stoughton, 2010.


Show Me the Money

Among rave reviews and great acclaim, this financial primer for children by Alvin Hall '74 was named a 2009 Best Children's Book of the Year by the Bank St. Book Committee and selected as the Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2009 by the National Council for Social Studies and the Children's Book Council. From sections like "Wh't’s In Your Pocket?" to "The Story of Money," Hall 'make cents' of economics, and his colorful, historical approach to money and trade supplies the education value—and sheer delight—demanded by young people everywhere. Show Me the Money is now available in over 20 foreign languages. DK Publishing, 2008.


Korean War in Color: A Correspondent's Retrospective on a Forgotten War

Korean War in Color is a collection of over 170 rare, high-quality color photographs that capture Korea at war. Most photographic records of the war are in black and white, but veteran war correspondent John Rich '39, H'74, P'78, P'80 used Kodak's legendary color film Kodachrome, producing images that, in vivid colors, give readers an unprecedented sense of realism. Rich, who covered the war from start to finish for US wire service International News Service and US broadcaster NBC, spent decades as a war correspondent and reported on many of the 20th century's major conflicts, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam and various African civil wars. Rich even covered the first Gulf War in 1991, at the age of 73. Seoul Selection, 2010.

From Bowdoin News
From Smithsonian magazine
From Bowdoin magazine, Winter 2009


Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich

This book addresses key questions about liberal democrats and their activities in Germany from 1933 to the end of the Nazi regime. While it is commonly assumed that liberals fled their homeland at the first sign of jackboots, in reality most stayed. Some even thrived under Hitler, personally as well as professionally. Historian Eric Kurlander '94 examines the motivations, hopes, and fears of liberal democrats—Germans who best exemplified the middle-class progressivism of the Weimar Republic— to discovery why so few resisted and so many embraced elements of the Third Reich. German liberalism was not only the opponent and the victim of National Socialism, Kurlander suggests, but in some ways its ideological and sociological antecedent. That liberalism could be both has crucial implications for understanding the genesis of authoritarian regimes everywhere. Indeed, Weimar democrats prolonged reluctance to oppose the regime demonstrates how easily a liberal democracy may gradually succumb to fascism. Yale University Press, 2009.


Memory Wall

This new collection of by multiple O'Henry Award-winning writer Anthony Doerr '95 contains six fictional stories that each have something to do with memory—its fragility, its importance, and how it creates meaning in our lives. The pieces are set all over the world: in South Africa, China, Germany, Lithuania, Wyoming, and Ohio. The San Francisco Chronicle said Memory Wall "lingers wonderfully over the details of individual lives and suggests the enormity of those billion things contained therein." Scribner, 2010.

Doerr's website


Microscale Organic Laboratory with Multistep and Multiscale Syntheses (Fifth Edition)

This is the fifth edition of this laboratory text by Charles Weston Pickard Professor of Chemistry Emeritus Dana W. Mayo, Ronald M. Pike, and David C. Forbes, "for the mainstream organic chemistry course taught at both two and four year schools, featuring both microscale experiments and options for scaling up appropriate experiments. It provides complete coverage of organic laboratory experiments and techniques with a strong emphasis on modern laboratory instrumentation, a sharp focus on safety in the lab, excellent pre- and post-lab exercises, and multi-step experiments. There is also another text available by the same authors titled Microscale Techniques for the Organic Lab, Second Edition which has more material on techniques and spectroscopy, but has no experiments." (From the Publisher.) John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

From Bowdoin News

Publisher's website


Numerical Relativity: Solving Einstein’s Equations on the Computer

Authored by Associate Professor of Physics Thomas Baumgarte and Stuart Shapiro, Numerical Relativity is the first published textbook in the burgeoning field of gravitational wave physics. Described by Matthew Choptuik, of the University of British Columbia Physics and Astronomy Department, as "destined to become an instant classic," it is lauded both for its presentation of groundbreaking research in computer simulation of galactic nuclei and its well-organized approach to advanced materials from the building blocks of classical general relativity. The book contains three hundred exercises to help readers master new materials as it is presented. Cambridge University Press, 2010. 


Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America

What will it take to change the lives of poor children, in large numbers, in a way that can be replicated nationwide? That’s a question Geoffrey Canada ’74 has been asking and trying to answer with the Harlem Children’s Zone, a program that provides comprehensive resources for both parents and children. According to Canada, what it takes is changing everything: not just schools, but neighborhoods; not just Harlem, but America. Paul Tough, whose initial reporting on the Harlem Children’s Zone appeared in 2004 as a New York Times Magazine cover story, provides an inspiring portrait of Canada (including his difficult years at a changing Bowdoin) that tracks his success through accounts of Harlem children and parents. A bestseller in hard cover, Whatever It Takes has been rereleased in a soft-cover edition. Mariner Books, 2009.

From Bowdoin News
Geoffrey Canada on The Colbert Report


The Wide World 1895

There are a lot of colorful characters in Vladimir Korolenko's Wide World, but only one villain—a shadowy bounty hunter like those who pursued slaves before the Civil War. For the 19th Century Russian writer, Vladimir Korolenko, America meant equality, opportunity, and the rule of law. Korlolenko visited the great Colubmian Exposition in Chicago in 1883. The recently completed Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge loom large over the life of his hero Matvei Lozinsky. Matvei's an immigrant from a peaceful village in rural Ukraine to Gilded Age Amercia, and is plunged into the insistent clatter of New York. His exciting adventures include an encounter with an iceberg crossing the Atlantic, and with some wary wolves in Central Park. Luckily, he has help from his wily sidekick, Puff, and falls in love with beautiful Anna. He survives, but just barely, and comes to understand America. In Russia, Korlolenko has an honored plance in the great pantheon of 19th Century Russian Literature. Translator Stanley Harrison '55 taught Russian at Cornell University during the Cold War. Xlibris, 2010.