Bookmarks II: More books by Xavier alumni
Somewhere among the core curriculum classes, midterm papers, lab reports and final essays, Xavier alums learned how to write. And at least some take that knowledge and apply it to the world of books. The following are some of the samples of recent books published by Xavier alumni:
Women Are Defective Males
By Gail Holtmeier (writing as Grace Walker)
When Gail Holtmeier was earning her master’s degree in theology in the early 2000s, she began compiling a notebook stuffed with religious documents and historical information about how women have been and are currently treated in the Catholic Church. Those graduate notes became the springboard for Holtmeier’s saucy book, Women Are Defective Males: The Calculated Denigration of Women by the Catholic Church and Its Disastrous Consequences Today. Writing under the pseudonym Grace Walker, Holtmeier relentlessly tackles issues such as the lack of female leadership in the Church as well as sexual abuse topics—Holtmeier herself was recently a presenter at the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests in Washington, D.C. Starting with Mary Magdalene, she tracks what she calls a conspiracy and an “an organized protocol” to push down women. The title of the book is a riff off a quote attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas, and the tone of the text contains similarly challenging thoughts.
The book is available at Amazon.com or at www.womenaredefectivemales.com.
Pat Nixon: Embattled First Lady
By Mary C. Brennan
Mary Brennan (’82 BA, ’83 MA) is a former history instructor at Xavier who now teaches at Texas State University. In Pat Nixon, she tackles the life of a first lady whom many admired, but few—it seems—really knew. Touted as the first bio of Thelma Ryan Nixon to draw upon her private papers, Pat Nixon breaks the mold of “Plastic Pat” to profile her activism (she was the first presidential spouse to serve as an official government representative to foreign nations, as well as the first to visit a military combat zone). While stereotyped as a compliant housewife, Nixon actually worked outside the home for most of her life (as pharmacy manager, hospital X-ray technician and as an “extra” in the 1930s film industry), all this while raising two daughters. Nixon weathered Watergate and bridged two epochs: The era of the homemaker and the rise of the feminists. A quiet ERA supporter, Pat famously lobbied husband Richard to appoint a female Supreme Court justice, then gave him the silent treatment when he failed to do so.
Check out the book’s catalog entry, www.kansaspress.ku.edu/brepat.html, as well as Amazon.com.
Virginia Bakery Remembered
By Thom Thie and Cynthia Beischel
Cynthia Beischel (’74 MED) has always been a loyal patron of the Virginia Bakery, a Cincinnati institution. So little wonder Beischel is now truffling with our affections (or is it confections?), spooning up a cookbook laden with vintage press clippings and tastefully stocked with memorable recipes. The Virginia Bakery, a legendary culinary stop located mere blocks from the Xavier campus on nearby Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, first opened in 1927. Four generations of the Thie family have since presided over the outlet’s savory ovens, producing delectable apple ravioli and to-die-for butterscotch gems. Sadly, the landmark closed its doors in 2005, but this memorable memory book is chock-full of recipes you can recreate in your own kitchen.
The book is available at Target or www.virginiabakeryremembered.com.
Thea’s Song: The Life of Thea Bowman
By Charlene Smith and John Feister
Writer John Feister (’83 MA), a director of periodicals at St. Anthony Messenger Press in Cincinnati, has joined with Franciscan Sister Charlene Smith to paint a portrait of Thea Bowman, the inspirational African-American nun who grew up in racially charged Mississippi, converted to Catholicism at age 10 and later joined a convent of white Catholic sisters in Wisconsin. As an early heroine of the Civil Rights era, Bowman battled prejudice all her life—as an educator, speaker and gospel singer—before losing a struggle with cancer at age 52.
The book is available at Amazon.com or www.orbisbooks.com.
The Marriage of Silence and Sin
By Jacqueline M. Lyon
You’ll forgive Jacqueline Lyon if she sets her first thriller novel, The Marriage of Silence and Sin, at “a small Midwestern college.” After all, Lyon teaches literature survey and writing courses at Xavier, where she earned her master’s in education in 2002. Lyon’s protagonists, English prof Dicey Carmichael and attorney Gale Knightly, are two women investigating the alleged suicide of their troubled best friend, Elle. The two sleuths turn to Elle’s artwork to dredge up clues to the artist’s traumatic past and death at the hands of a diabolical killer. The book recently received a silver medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the mystery/suspense/thriller category. Learn more at www.jacquelinelyon.com.
The book is available at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Amazon.com and select Kroger groceries.
Apollo, Augustus and the Poets
By John F. Miller
A professor of classics at the University of Virginia, John Miller (’72 HBA) took a decade to research and write Apollo, Augustus and the Poets. After traveling extensively through Greece and Italy, Miller has pieced together a “very important but insufficiently understood moment in the history of ancient Roman culture.” His text interweaves how Apollo, long a central deity in Greece, became a major god in Roman religion thanks to the efforts and patronage of the first emperor of Rome, Augustus. Using fresh evidence from archaeological digs as well as numismatic, epigraphical and artistic sources, Miller details how poets of the age, such as Horace, Ovid and Virgil, contributed to the creation of this imperial icon.
Published by Cambridge University Press, it’s available at www.cambridge.org or Amazon.com.
A Long Farewell
By John Hagan
Author John Hagan, a 1972 MEd graduate and composition instructor at the University of Dayton, explores a range of topics in his new collection of stories, A Long Farewell. From coming-of-age issues to lost loves, Hagan’s voice and narrative is born of the Midwest. His fiction incorporates humor, romance and poignancy.
Published by Goose River Press, it’s available at Barnes & Noble and at www.gooseriverpress.com.