A book by Mark A. Kelly ’59
In the mid-1950s, credit hours cost $12, men significantly outnumbered women on campus, and war veterans were commonplace in first-year classes. That was the world 21-year-old
Kelly inhabited when he enrolled at the University after his Korean War service. A refurbished carriage house on Dayton’s north side served as his home base. Kelly packed plenty of fun into his first year while living at “The Mansion,” while somehow remaining on track toward graduation, and he writes about it all. Recent visits to the University remind him of how much has changed, but one quality remains constant — Kelly says students are just as friendly today as they were back then.
A book by Karen Hutzel ’99
An education career was not in Hutzel’s plans after she graduated from the University with a visual communication design degree, but her AmeriCorps year in a Florida high school shifted her perspective. Running a community arts program in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood as a University of Cincinnati graduate student further cemented her interest. “I really started thinking about the role schools play in urban environments, not just in the arts,” says Hutzel, a professor of art education at Ohio State University. In this anthology, Hutzel — also the book’s co-editor — and other contributors explore the influence of art on urban education reform and community engagement.
A book by J.F. Spieles ’98
In fall 1864, 12-year-old Georgia orphan Henry Akinson deserts his Confederate army post shortly before Union Gen. William T. Sherman marches to the sea. Akinson faces more danger while carrying out missions for a plantation owner in exchange for protection, but he later finds refuge with a slave family, forcing him to re-examine his beliefs about slavery and equality. “I’ve always looked at storytelling as a teaching methodology,” says Spieles, a fifth-grade teacher in Englewood, Ohio. Through his fictional Civil War tale and accompanying teacher’s manual, Spieles aims to engage middle-grade students as they study this crucial juncture in America’s history.
Leo Schulte ’78, who may or may not be the author, called our attention to this mystery for young adults, the first of a projected trilogy. The title page claims it is presented by Hamish De’Lamet and Chandral Ramon, who may or may not exist and who claim to live in Lynchburg, which may or may not be in one of several states. And who knows about the anonymous author of the journals those two found? One very real Edgar Award-winning writer describes the book as “Sam Spade (with overtones of Holden Caulfield) … a can’t-put-it-down-once-you’ve-started-novel.”
A book by David J. Ulbrich ’93
During World War I, the size of the U.S. Marine Corps reached 75,000. Following the “war to end all wars,” Americans had little interest in preparing for war, let alone victory. By 1936, the size of the Corps had shrunk to barely over 17,000, less than a quarter of its 1918 strength. During Holcomb’s tenure as commandant of the Marine Corps, the service grew 22-fold to 385,000 in 1943. Ulbrich’s book is the first to document the role of Holcomb — a man with vision, managerial ability and the art of persuasion.
A book by James W. Yanosko ’89 and Edward W. Yanosko
For James Yanosko and his father, Edward, it started simply with some old photographs of their family and its roots generations-deep in the neighborhood lying across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh’s tourist-filled downtown Strip District. Then they gathered more and more photos from the area until James Yanosko said to himself, “I think I have a book.” So, too, did Arcadia Publishing, publisher of the Images of America series, which celebrates the histories of cities and neighborhoods.
A book by Christine M. Grote ’79
Grote’s sister Annie never walked or talked. She lived to the age of 51. And she deeply touched those around her. Grote tells the story of her sister’s death interspersed with the story of her life, her smiles and what she meant to others. Grote is now beginning work on another story — the Depression-era childhood of her father who, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, himself no longer talks. In the words of one reviewer, Grote writes of “inescapable pain, unpredictable joy.”
In his second book, Black Hole Blues, Patrick Wensink ‘02 balances physics and country music.
The novel explores themes including fear of death and a search for identity, all while making readers laugh.
Main character J. Claude must fulfill his covenant to Nashville: write a love song for every woman’s name on Earth. He’s stuck on Zygmut. His guitar and forgotten club sandwich would tell you it’s not going so well for Claude. But he’d never admit that. He’s too busy taking down Kenny Rogers.
Join Claude on his unexpected adventure and, in the mean time, discover something about yourself.
A book by Chris Blewitt ’95
Blewitt wanted to write a novel about what he knows: golf. It wasn’t until the night of his 30th birthday that he dreamt the book’s inspiration. Drawing from his years of playing the sport, Blewitt tells the history behind the secretive Augusta National as he weaves a tale about a man who tries to fix the Masters Tournament. His goal is to tell a story that had never been told. University of Dayton alumni will recognize another source of Blewitt’s inspiration: the handful of references he makes to Dayton, including a street called Evanston. “My experience [at UD] was excellent,” he says.
A book by Karen Klein Mallender ’78
When shy 7-year-old Karen moved to St. Louis, she had never played baseball. So, in gym class, she took a position far afield so the ball never came close. During the years — and more than 14 moves, so far — she has learned what it takes to be the successful new kid in town. Fictional Ann Taylor helps show us the way in Mallender’s debut children’s novel. One lesson: Stop wishing you were part of something; come out of the outfield and participate. An accountant near Detroit, Mallender also has advice for adults who wished they had tried something new in life. “Look, I’m writing books,” she says. “You can do it.”