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Fall Book Round-Up

Fall into good books by W&M alumni and faculty

October 5, 2020
By Jennifer Hughes

From a thoughtful study of the role of enslaved women in America’s historic economy to beautiful poetry to a fun children’s book about dodo birds, William & Mary alumni and faculty have published a bumper crop of great reads this fall. Readers will find plenty to feed their minds and hearts in this fall’s quarterly book roundup of titles by William & Mary alumni and faculty.



Didi Dodo, Future Spy: Robo-Dodo Rumble

by Tom Angleberger ’92

All-you-can-eat cookies for a penny? Yes, please. Evil robot Robo-Dodo starts his own bakery selling cookies at incredible prices across the street from baker Koko Doko, which almost puts poor Koko out of business. Luckily, his spy friend Didi Dodo swoops in to help.


Kind Chemist Wife: Musings at 3 a.m.

by Sarah Bigham ’94

In her recent collection of essays and poems, teacher and writer Sarah Bigham discusses her journey as an average person living an extraordinary life. Part memoir and part social criticism, the book was inspired by the many nights the author stayed awake dealing with chronic pain.


Off the Beaten Path: My Search for Sasquatch and Self

by Curt Bradford ’95

After moving across the country and starting a new job, Bradford decided to face one of his biggest fears — the legendary Sasquatch. “Off the Beaten Track” chronicles the author’s search for Sasquatch and his new life out West.


Blizzard: Poems

by Henri Cole ’78

Poet Henri Cole follows up his memoir “Orphic Paris” with a new collection of poetry that looks at daily life, history and love. Cole’s tenth collection of poems illustrates his ability to watch and analyze the darkest corners of the human heart and soul.


The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel

by Fiona Davis ’88

Book lovers will rejoice in this novel about two family members — a grandmother and her granddaughter — who share a special connection to the New York Public Library. After starting a degree program in journalism in 1913, Laura Lyons is forced to reconsider her priorities when a major book theft at the library occurs. Eighty years later, her granddaughter — a newly hired curator at the same library — must deal with a different theft that exposes unexpected truths about her family.


An Intimate Economy: Enslaved Women, Work, and America's Domestic Slave Trade

By Alexandra J. Finley M.A. ’12, Ph.D. ’17

“An Intimate Economy” examines the role of enslaved women in the southern economy during the Antebellum era. By highlighting the stories of four women, the author illustrates how women, their bodies and their work were crucial to growing and maintaining the cotton and slave markets that fed southern society.



by John Gilstrap ’79

The newest title in the Jonathan Grave series finds the hostage rescue specialist handling a problem close to home when two students from the school he founded are kidnapped. As Jonathan and his team search for the kidnappers and trace the crime’s connection to drug cartels, they realize the problem may be larger than they anticipated.


Permanent State

by Brian Henry ’94

Brian Henry’s newest collection of poetry tackles the noise and worry of the current world by analyzing the environment, politics, society and other modern concerns.


Grand: A Memoir

by Sara Schaefer ’00

When Sara Schaefer turned 40, she celebrated by taking family members on one-on-one trips. This book is a memoir inspired by the last trip, a whitewater rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with her sister. As the author confronts one of her biggest fears, she reflects on the challenges her family faced and the death of her mother.


The World That Fear Made: Slave Revolts and Conspiracy Scares in Early America

by Jason T. Sharples ’03

Through archival records and data, Sharpe illustrates how colonial officials earned control and power by promoting conspiracy theories to stoke the public’s fear of slave rebellions. In his interesting analysis, the author shows why he believes that cycle of fear bound American culture together.


A Neon Darkness

by Lauren Shippen ’13

In the second book of the Bright Sessions series, Robert must learn to control his power of persuasion or potentially lose his newly found community of other young adults born with unique abilities.


Everyone Gets a Say

by Jill Twiss ’98, illustrated by EG Keller

Pudding the snail and his friends don’t agree on anything, so the group appreciates Toast the butterfly’s suggestion that they need a leader. What is the best way to pick leader? As the friends try to figure that out, readers learn important lessons about why it’s important to use your voice. During the election season, “Everyone Gets a Say” may be a useful book to read to the children you love to help them understand why elections and voting are important.




Equity in School-Parent Partnerships: Cultivating Community and Family Trust in Culturally Diverse Classrooms

by Katherine Barko-Alva, assistant professor of ESL/bilingual education, Socorro Herrera and Lisa Porter

Students tend to learn better in spaces that welcome them and their families, no matter what their families look like. How can teachers, counselors and administrators create such an environment? Based on research and the authors’ extensive experience, the book provides educators with the tools and strategies theyneed to create inclusive, accepting classrooms.


The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom

By Eddie R. Cole, associate professor of higher education

Based on archival information from colleges and universities across the country, Professor Cole’s newest book looks at how the actions of college presidents during historic moments in the movement for racial equity impacted the current movement in education today.


Conceptual Frameworks for Giftedness and Talent Development: Enduring Theories and Comprehensive Models in Gifted Education

Co-edited by Tracy L. Cross, Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education and executive director of the Center for Gifted Education & Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students; and Paula Olszewski-Kubilius

Geared toward academicians and educators who work in the specialized field of education for gifted students, this reference book investigates theories and models of giftedness and talent development.


The Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law

Edited by James G. Dwyer, Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law and Tazewell Taylor Research Professor

In this comprehensive reference text, leading legal scholars and practitioners analyze the laws related to children, including issues pertaining to reproduction, parentage, foster care, custody disputes and education.


Leading for Tomorrow: A Primer for Succeeding in Higher Education Leadership

By Pamela L. Eddy, professor of higher education, and Elizabeth Kirby

What skills do faculty need when they move into administrative roles? Readers will learn about what interpersonal and political skills they will need as new administrators. The book also offers helpful real-world examples that drive lessons home and best practices for management and administration.


Exporting Jim Crow: Blackface Minstrelsy in South Africa and Beyond

by Chinua Akimaro Thelwell, associate professor of history and Africana studies

Thelwell presents the history of blackface minstrelsy in the U.S. and around the world and argues that blackface is the first American popular culture to gain popularity outside of the country. Read an interview with Professor Thelwell about his new book.