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Bookmarks

Bookmarks includes new works by UMass Amherst alumni and faculty authors. To have your book or audio recording listed, contact us.

Jump!: How I Rose from Poverty and Anti-Semitism to Become a Tech Sector Pioneer and a Mensch
Jack Roseman ’55G, cowriter
CreateSpace

Brother murdered by Nazis in the family's native Ukraine. Raised in abject poverty and tormented by anti-Semitic bullies. Held out of school because he spoke no English. With such a horrific childhood, it's no wonder little Yonkil Roseman was haunted by a recurring nightmare: his domineering mother commanding him to jump down a flight of stairs, then turning away as he lay in a heap at the bottom. In real life, Jack Roseman jumped as well—jumped out of poverty and self-doubt to become a pioneer in America’s fledgling computer industry. Later, as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, he was a beloved teacher and mentor for aspiring business owners, putting his stamp on the next generation of entrepreneurs. Above all, as he advanced the computer industry, founded businesses, and coached entrepreneurs, he became the mensch he promised his father he would be.

 


 

Figures in a Landscape: People and Places
Paul Theroux ’63
Lost Horse Press

In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux’s latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams. An extended mediation on the craft of writing binds together this wide-ranging collection, along with Theroux’s constant quest for the authentic in a person or in a place.

 


 

Seacoast Plants of the Carolinas: A New Guide for Plant Identification and Use in the Coastal Landscape
Paul Hosier ’69G
UNC Press

An update to the 1970s classic, this completely reimagined book provides a new reference guide to plant life for nature lovers, gardeners, landscapers, students, and community leaders. Includes detailed profiles of more than 200 plants (with color photographs and information about identification, value to wildlife, relationship to natural communities, propagation, and landscape use), backgrounds on coastal plant communities (including the effects of invasive species and the benefits of using native plants in landscaping), a section on the effects of climate change on the coast and its plants, a list of natural areas and preserves open to visitors interested in observing native plants in the coastal Carolinas, and a glossary that includes plant names and scientific terms.

 


 

The Temptation of Forgiveness: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
Donna Leon ’75
Atlantic Monthly Press

Surprised, if not dismayed, to discover from his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, that leaks are emanating from the Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is surprised more consequentially by the appearance of a friend of his wife’s, fearful that her son is using drugs and hopeful Brunetti can somehow intervene. This is the 27th novel in Leon's bestselling Brunetti series.

 


 

Mapping the Bones
Jane Yolen ’76G, ’06H
Philomel Books

It’s 1942 in Poland, and the world is coming to pieces. At least that’s how it seems to Chaim and Gittel, twins whose lives feel like a fairy tale torn apart, with evil witches, forbidden forests, and dangerous ovens looming on the horizon. Filled with brutality and despair, this is also a story of poetry and strength, in which a brother and sister lose everything but each other. authenticity and power of her words.

 


 

Down the River unto the Sea
Walter Mosley ’80G
Mulholland Books

Mosley's 53rd book introduces Joe King Oliver, who was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island. A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Running in parallel with King’s own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers. The Washington Post said, "this is as gorgeous a novel as Mosley has ever written."

 


 

All the Best People
Sonja Yoerg ’81
Berkley

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else. But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her 11-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power. An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.

 


 

Boston History for Kids: From Red Coats to Red Sox with 21 Activities
Richard Panchyk ’94G
Chicago Review Press

The book spans 400 years of history, including many of the major events that have occurred—from witch hunts to an unexpected earthquake, from the Tea Party to the Great Fire, from the Civil War to the Boston Marathon attack. Also included are a time line, a list of online resources, and 21 engaging hands-on activities for kids to get to know the city better.

 


 

All the Beautiful Lies
Peter Swanson ’96G
William Morrow

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “otherworldly” way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years. Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.

 


 

The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War
Jane Rosenberg LaForge ’98G
Amberjack Publishing

A great war, a great love, and the mythology that unites them, this book is a lyrical adaptation of a beloved classic. Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacher—dynamic and imaginative—and an Irish musician, homeless and hated—who have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage. Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the making—one that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.

 


 

Cursed? Biologic and Cultural Aspects of the Menstrual Cycle and Menstruation
Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, faculty, editor
Nova Science Publishers

This collection of essays and original research articles offers a comprehensive perspective of the importance of the menstrual cycle in women’s lives. Historically a taboo subject, the menstrual cycle has had a profound impact on women’s lives throughout history. This book explores in detail how menstruation and the menstrual cycle affect the lives of girls and women around the world. All editor proceeds from the sale of this text will be donated to Girls Inc. of Holyoke in support of their mission to promote girls’ reproductive health and wellness.