Book Report – Summer 2014

A Berkshire Boyhood

By Robert J. Begiebing ’68

berkshire-boyhoodIn this coming-of-age chronicle drawn from his own working-class roots, Robert Begiebing explores post–World War II family troubles, ethnic religiosity, and 1950s-variety adolescent sexuality. Neither celebrity-gawk “misery memoir,” nor confessional melodrama, A Berkshire Boyhood is reminiscent of such chronicles as Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, and Are You Happy? by Emily Fox Gordon. An award-winning author of thirty articles and stories, a play, and six books, Begiebing is founding director of the low-residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction at Southern New Hampshire University, where he currently holds the title of Professor of English Emeritus.

The Rook’s Guide to C++

By Norwich University Students
Edited by Jeremy Hansen

rooks-guidePenned by Norwich University computer-science and computer-security students, and edited by Assistant Professor of Information Systems Jeremy Hansen, The Rook’s Guide to C++ emerged in spring 2013 in response to student feedback about the limited choice of textbooks that teach the programming language C++. Hansen recruited two dozen students to participate in a marathon writing session, with the goal of completing the book in 36 hours. He led another student writing marathon in April of this year, and the updated edition is under way. The Rook’s Guide is a Creative-Commons textbook available free via PDF download at rooksguide.org, and on Amazon.

Principles of Biology Laboratory Manual, 7th Edition

By Lauren D. Howard, Virginia M. H. Kunkel, and Carol M. Martin

principles-of-biologyThe Principles of Biology Laboratory Manual, 7th edition, is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Lauren D. Howard, NU professor of biology, and biology faculty Virginia M. H. Kunkel and Carol M. Martin. The authors set out to create a modern lab experience for college students at any university, and their book is used nationwide. The current edition incorporates DNA electrophoresis, which allows students to use forensic science to identify DNA that matches a “crime scene.” The collaborators also updated taxonomy labs to include the new language used by scientists as they begin to categorize all living organisms by their DNA.

Sanctioning Modernism Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities

Co-edited by Vladimir Kulic, Timothy Parker, and Monica Penick

sanctioning-modernismIn the decades following World War II, modern architecture spread around the globe alongside modernization, urbanization, and postwar reconstruction—and it eventually won widespread acceptance. But as the limitations become more apparent, modern architecture has come under increasing criticism. In this essay collection—co-edited by NU’s Timothy Parker, an assistant professor of history and theory of architecture and art—scholars take a fresh look at postwar modern architecture by asking what it meant to be “modern,” what role modern architecture played in constructing modern identities, and who sanctioned (or was sanctioned by) modernism in architecture. Parker also contributed the chapter titled “Uncertainty and the Modern Church: Two Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Britain.”

Buck the System

By Randall H. Miller ’93

buck-the-systemBuck the System is a call to action and a kick in the pants for people who feel stuck in a rut—people with plenty of cool ideas and even more excuses for not making them happen: Not enough time. Still paying my dues. No credentials. And the all-too-common, It’s not the right time. A former NUCC regimental commander, Randall H. Miller ’93 presents Buck the System as a primer for people who want to see profits as a result of their work. The book provides tools for declaring independence and taking action, but it’s also about knowing when to bend the rules, when to break the rules, and when to throw the rules out the window.

Defend Yourself: A Comprehensive Security Plan for the Armed Homeowner

By Rob Pincus ’94

defend-yourselfYour home is the one place you should be safe, and you usually are. But a home invasion turns all that upside down in an instant. In his latest book, Defend Yourself: A Comprehensive Security Plan for the Armed Homeowner, personal defense expert Rob Pincus ’94 spells out precisely what you must know in order to survive this terrifying event. In addressing this crucial topic—the one you think can’t happen to you—Pincus takes self-defense mentoring to the next level. No matter who you are or where you live, this book is a must-read.

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