Black People Are My Business: Toni Cade Bambara’s Practices of Liberation

Thabiti Lewis With Eleanor Traylor and Linda Janet Holmes

Wayne State University Press: 2020 

This cultural biography examines the nationalist, feminist, Marxist, and spiritualist ethos of Bambara’s works, relying on her own voice to guide the discussion of her contribution to contemporary African-American literature. The writer, documentary filmmaker, and professor was active in the Black Arts Movement and rise of Black feminism. Bambara (1939–1995) interwove ethnic identity and politics with social justice and community engagement and responsibility in her works. Thabiti Lewis, professor of English, associate chair of English/American Studies, and interim associate vice chancellor of academic affairs at Washington State University Vancouver, specializes in Black American and multicultural literature.


1930: Manhattan to Managua, North America’s First Transnational Road Trip

Arthur Lyon, Edited by Larry Lyon ’76 MS Psych., ’87 PhD Psych.

George F. Thompson Publishing: 2020

This lively narrative details the epic adventure of Joe and Arthur Lyon, two twenty-something brothers who drove a 1929 Model A Ford Roadster 4,562 miles in 54 days from New York City to Nicaragua during the height of the Great Depression. The young men talk their way out of all kinds of scrapes, including landing themselves in jail after inadvertently blocking a presidential cavalcade in Guatemala City. The book is based on a 308-page account of the trip, written decades ago by Arthur Lyon. Nephew Larry Lyon edited the previously unpublished memoir, now a 224-page, cloth-covered, hardbound book with 38 black-and-white photos, annotations by geographer Denis Wood, and an afterword by journalist Sally Denton.


Montaigne: A Very Short Introduction

William M. Hamlin

Oxford University Press: 2020

Part of Oxford’s Very Short Introductions series, this paperback is intended for a broad audience, particularly those unfamiliar with the aristocratic French author and essayist Michel de Montaigne. A key philosopher of the French Renaissance and one-time mayor of Bordeaux, Montaigne penned essays on everything from prayers and drunkenness to sleep, solitude, age, anger, virtue, cruelty, and fear. Hamlin, a professor of English at Washington State University, offers an approachable overview of the influential writer’s life and works in the latter half of the sixteenth century while drawing on themes of interest to contemporary readers.


The Extrovert’s Survival Guide

Debra Yergen ’92 Comm.

Whole House Publications: 2020

Social distancing and stay-at-home directives have been particularly tough on extroverts, many of whom have been left feeling isolated and lonely. This quick guide aims to give people who best recharge through social activities the tools to help create a greater sense of order and feel connected and productive during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an easy read, featuring thirteen lessons⁠—one per chapter⁠—in short, approachable, well-delineated sections, including a recipe for peanut butter cookies.


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