Read our interactive issue to see videos, links and more.
A book by David J. Ulbrich ’93.
A medium-length military textbook was needed to fill a void in the market, and Ulbrich met that demand, using knowledge from a history degree to cowrite a comprehensive overview of America’s military history. It can easily be covered during a 15-week college course, and the additional Web-based materials are convenient for classroom use, Ulbrich said. Since publication, it has become required reading in the U.S. Air Force Academy. “War is terrible,” he said, “but we use it to avoid things that are worse than war. Down the line, these students may look back to reading this book about the past and apply it to the present.”
A book by Emily Strand ’05.
Mass 101: Liturgy and Life outlines the basics of Mass and guides readers through the Catholic tradition of worship. “This book is written not for scholars but for average people who want to deepen their understanding of the Mass,” she said. As a campus minister and director of liturgy at UD for seven years, Strand was excited to put her knowledge and experience into the book. “I spent so much time, thought and prayer on how to prepare students for their participation in the Mass as liturgical ministers,” she said. “I was happy to use that again and put it all in one place.”
A book by Jeannette M. Adkins ’81
When Lily Lightning Bug has her glow stolen by two bigger bugs, she’s plunged into a world of fear and uncertainty — and that’s before she has to navigate the intimidating criminal justice system. Adkins, who has worked in crime victim services for more than 30 years, wrote her book to support children who are victims or witnesses of a crime, and victim’s advocates often read the book with children to help prepare them for the process of testifying. “The book references sexual abuse, but placing the story in the world of bugs makes the concept easier for children to understand and be interested in,” Adkins said.
A book by James Herbert ’63.
Full of letters from Herbert to today’s young adults, the author uses his lengthy career experience in New York City and Washington, D.C., to offer advice to the next generation. He’s been there, done that, and now he’s cheering them
on. Herbert wanted to write to young adults, not about them, he said, to explain what a liberal arts education is actually good for in the real world. “You know how to make good things happen in the world. You could choose to work against the system — how the work world works — or to conform to it, but you don’t have to make that choice,” he said.
A book by Mara Lohrstorfer Purnhagen ’95.What if you had ghost hunters for parents? What if the myth behind a ghostly game came true? These are a few of the questions Mara Purnhagen asked herself when writing her five-book series, Past Midnight. Those questions become reality for the main character, Charlotte Silver, who struggles to be normal in a paranormal world. In One Hundred Candles, the second book in the series, Charlotte encounters spirits unleashed from a weird party game. Although the series’ first novel was originally meant to stand alone, Purnhagen described the ensuing works as a great accomplishment. “The best stories always start with ‘What if,’” she said.
A book by Dan Baker ’78 and Gwen Nalls ’82.
Between 1965 and 1975, Dan Baker was a Dayton police officer, while his wife, Gwen Nalls, attended Dayton’s segregated public schools. Their book, Blood in the Streets, describes actual events following the Civil Rights Act in 1964: a 1966 drive-by murder of a black man by a racist serial killer, the violent riots that ensued and how reconciliation of racial groups within the city was reached. The authors pooled archival resources from the time as well as their own experiences. Nothing is sugarcoated, Baker said. “Many Dayton natives don’t know this part of the city’s history. We wrote the story in belief that history forgotten may be history repeated.”
A book by Julie Desloge Dubray ’88.
In Goodnight St. Louis, longtime residents Julie Dubray and co-author June Arthur Herman lead readers through a whimsical journey of their beloved city. With rhyming words and colorful illustrations, as well as an informational section on featured landmarks, the picture book’s appeal goes beyond childhood. The pair collaborated with the Visitor’s Commission to identify the top 25 landmarks to include. “We revisited our favorite places to capture the whole experience, and our kids would joke, ‘You’re not really working, are you?’” Dubray said. “We love sharing the magic of St. Louis with the world.”
A book by James Lindgren ’72.
In the third installment of his historical series, Preserving America’s Past, SUNY Plattsburgh history professor James Lindgren explores the past 50 years in the South Street Seaport district of Lower Manhattan, highlighting how the oldest neighborhood in the city has remained standing despite urban development, 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. “I’ve learned how very fragile the past can be,” he said. “America is so focused on the here and now, but preservation is a way to build a strong historical consciousness.” The book is dedicated to the late Edwin “Sandy” King, a UD professor who inspired open-mindedness and ambition in the author.
A book by William Ries ’59
Longtime educator William Ries was once told that he must have the easiest job in the world as an elementary school principal. Having spent his work days among students — on the playground, at the bus stop, in the lunchroom — instead of behind a desk, he knew that was not the case. “I wanted my seven grandchildren, and others, to understand the challenges that an elementary school principal faces,” Ries said of his book, which tells his experience as a principal in a light-hearted, inspirational way. “My favorite part of writing was saying pleasant things about many of my fellow principals and other strong staff members. Their dedication to children, staff and parents is admirable,” he added.
A book by Andrea Kiesewetter Hulshult ’00.
Andrea Kiesewetter Hulshult can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. With her first novel, Fighting the Fog, she hopes others will also appreciate the beauty of English composition. Highlighting the value of
hope, courage and friendship, it’s a story of a woman, her best friend and the struggles that come after tragedy strikes. “You shouldn’t let the fog of life keep you from living life to its fullest,” Hulshult said. “I hope people take from this book that they, too, can fight through the fog, and I hope it allows them to escape from reality for just a few minutes.”