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Fall Book Roundup

September 12, 2019
By Jennifer Hughes

From dodo bird detectives to Cold War espionage to illustrated poetry, William & Mary alumni and professors will keep your noses stuck in books this fall. Read all about their fun, thoughtful, nerve-wracking and enthralling titles in our quarterly book roundup.


Didi Dodo, Future Spy: Recipe for Disaster (Didi Dodo, Future Spy #1)

By Tom Angleberger ’92 and Jared Chapman

In the first book of Tom Angleberger’s new children’s book series, avian detective Didi Dodo stumbles upon her first case — Chef Koko Dodo’s secret fudge sauce recipe was stolen on the day of theroyal cookie contest. Will Didi find the recipe in time for Chef Dodo to compete? Find out in this funny book, full of hilarious illustrations.

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!

By Cece Bell ’92

Friends Chick, Brain and Spot learn about manners in the humorous first entry of the Chick and Brain book series, written by Newbery Honor winner Cece Bell. Beginning readers will appreciate the concise language, many illustrations and sense of whimsy as they practice reading this book to their parents.

Tripping: A Writer’s Journeys

By Mary Wakefield Buxton ’70

Mary Buxton revels in the humor and joys of her 56-year-long marriage to her northern-born husband, whose culture was quite different from her southern one. For more information about the book or to place an order, please email the author at

Eloquence Embodied: Nonverbal Communication among French and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas

By Céline Carayon, Ph.D. ’10

How did colonists communicate with Indigenous Americans? French colonists and explorers noticed that indigenous people from Brazil to Canada used signs along with their verbal languages to communicate. The French learned and used these signs to develop relationships and overcome barriers with the indigenous people they met. In her new book, Carayon explores nonverbal communication and its importance to the interactions between the French and indigenous Americans. In addition, it demonstrates how such communication was key to the two cultures developing relationships and maintaining them, even after the two cultures could communicate verbally.

The Chelsea Girls

By Fiona Davis ’88

Friends Hazel Riley and Maxine Mead dreamed of taking Broadway by storm in the 1940s, and they knew the Chelsea Hotel, haven to creative people on the rise, was key to their potential success. As the years pass, they learn that politics — in the form of McCarthyism —is a bigger obstacle to reaching their goals than even money or connections. This tale about 20 years of friendship and politics from national bestselling author Fiona Davis is a page turner.

Intemperate Spirits: Economic Adaptation During Prohibition

By Alice Kassens ’98

This book takes a broad look at the role math, economics and legislation played in business success during Prohibition. Criminals and law-abiding citizens alike weighed the costs and benefits of Prohibition to make decisions, taking advantage of legislation, incentives and opportunities to benefit themselves. Through their stories, Kassens brings economic lessons to life.

Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny

By Catherine Oliver J.D. ’05 and Dennis Frye

Using an exhaustive resource of primary and secondary historical documents, the authors commemorate the 75th anniversary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with a comprehensive look at Harpers Ferry's role in the nation's history, from natural disasters to John Brown and more.

New and Emerging Issues in Latinx Health

Edited by Scott Rhodes ’89 and Airín Martínez

Written by experts, this book provides a critical, updated look at the health status and challenges of the diverse LatinX community. It includes multiple perspectives on issues including mental health, chronic disease, the impact of immigration and immigration policies on health, research priorities and more.

Bright Burning Stars

By A.K. Small ’94

Former ballerina Angela Small’s fictional young adult novel follows friends and roommates Marine and Kate as they strive to remain at the top of the student standings at a Parisian ballet school. The two dancers at the top of the list at the end of the school year earn spots in a professional dance corps, so competition is fierce — and the teenage drama of boarding school life is even fiercer.

Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War’s Most Audacious Espionage Operation

By Steve Vogel ’82

Readers will be enthralled by the exciting true story of the Berlin Tunnel, one of the most immense espionage productions by the West in the Cold War. As exciting as a fictional spy story, the book details how a single Soviet mole brought down the entire operation.


By Andrew Zawacki ’94

In his fifth volume of poetry, Andrew Zawacki imagines a more global future, exploring the ways digital networks, international transit and more enhance and damage our world. The book features a series of poems from and for his young daughter, as well as the author's black-and-white images interspersed throughout the book.


Evaluating School Superintendents: A Guide to Employing Fair and Effective Processes and Practices

By Michael F. DiPaola, Chancellor Professor of Education; Steven R. Staples and Tracey L. Schneider

Those in education leadership positions will find this guide to conducting a quality evaluation of their school superintendents useful. It includes examples of contemporary practices from across the U.S. and explores the complex and unique aspects of this type of evaluation.