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Summer 2024 Book Roundup

June 26, 2024
By Gabriela Trauttmansdorff ’26

Looking for your next book to read while sunbathing on the beach this summer? Or perhaps while unwinding in the air-conditioned comfort of your own home? If you’re in need of ideas, below is a list of newly released titles from W&M alumni: 

Chasing Shadows: Terrorists, Gangsters and Bankers and the Al Capone Method — The FBI in a Post 9/11 World by Peter W. Ashooh ’79, P ’13

In this firsthand account, retired FBI Special Agent Peter Ashooh delves into the demands he and his colleagues faced in the aftermath of 9/11 as they worked to prevent future terrorist attacks. After joining the FBI in 1979, Ashooh served as a firearms instructor, defensive tactics instructor and tactical instructor for over 20 years; he later worked as an undercover agent in more than 20 operations. Ashooh draws on his personal experiences to explain the investigations that led up to the attacks, including his efforts in identifying the activities of the hijackers. 

Conspiracy Ignited by Raymond Paul Johnson J.D. ’83

Johnson’s crime thriller follows Eric Ridge, a combat veteran and California litigator with post-traumatic stress disorder who is being harassed by a mysterious attacker who is demanding he drop a certain case regarding the wrongful death of a judge. Refusing to abandon his clients, Ridge forms a small, diverse legal team — including his investigator best friend and computer-whiz wife — to help him investigate. They soon discover that a dangerous, secret organization called the Raven Society has been behind the threats, and as the stakes rise, Ridge has to risk everything in an attempt to expose them.

My Time with General Colin Powell: Stories of Kindness, Diplomacy, & Protocol by Leslie Lautenslager ’85 with Bradley Harper

Lautenslager’s heartfelt memoir chronicles more than a quarter-century of working alongside Gen. Colin Powell D.P.S. ’88, P ’85, P ’87, P ’92. After her long career in politics as a government administrator and overseer of special events for the Battle of Normandy Foundation, Lautenslager found herself working for Powell, developing a close relationship with the noted military leader, diplomat and senior statesman, that she explores in the book. She provides glimpses into Powell's personal and professional life, showcasing new elements of his personality and humor. 

From Hoodies to Suits: Innovating Digital Assets for Traditional Finance by Annelise Tarnstrom Osborne ’96

In "From Hoodies to Suits," Osborne explores how digital asset technologies can enhance performance and returns in the regulated, traditional finance industry. Her book discusses how technological advancements unlock potential for new investments and markets. She also explains how examining the crypto industry’s successes and failures lead to valuable insights and lessons.

The Last Note of Warning by Katharine Schellman ’09

“Prohibition is a dangerous time to be a working-class woman in 1920s New York City,” begins the description for the third installment of Schellman’s Nightingale mystery series. But for Vivian Kelly, shop assistant by day and speakeasy reveler by night, things seem to be going just fine. That is, until a wealthy client’s husband is found dead and Vivian becomes the prime suspect, forcing her to choose between fleeing town and protecting those she loves. Never one to back down from a fight, Vivian decides to expose the real murderer herself as she dodges accusations from the police and the press.

Untangling Hope by Johnna Richard Stein ’85

This novel for children ages 9 to 13 tells the story of Hope, a determined 11-year-old who has lived in seven foster homes in three years. Now, she finds herself under the care of a surprisingly pleasant foster mother. As she struggles with accepting her new home, Hope manages to make friendships and even discover a love for cross-country running. As she makes plans to run away and live with a distant cousin until her father is released from jail, Hope must decide where her home truly is.

The Slope of Memory and The Woman Who Escaped From Sodom, translated by Roberto van Eyken ’74

These titles by the late Jose Geraldo Vieira, a critically acclaimed Brazilian novelist, translator and literary critic, were well known in Brazil, but had not been released in English until recently. Thanks to translations by his grandson, van Eyken, they can now reach a new, broader audience. Containing autobiographical references, Vieira’s stories weave in world events as they explore life’s complexities.