The First-time Gardener: Growing Plants and Flowers: All the know-how you need to grow and tend outdoor areas using eco-friendly methods

Allison and Sean McManus ’01 Hort.,’04 MS Hort.

Cool Springs Press: 2021

Gain a basic understanding of plants and flowers, and learn what to grow when in this easy-to-follow introduction to gardening. A practical and approachable guide, The First-time Gardener offers hopeful green thumbs a crash course in plant growth⁠—from composting to avoiding common problems and mistakes. Allison McManus was a middle-school science teacher and her husband Sean owned a landscape maintenance and consulting company. Now, they run The Spoken Garden podcast and blog at


Field Guide to Grasses of Oregon and Washington

Richard Brainerd, Barbara Wilson, Nick Otting, Cindy (Talbott) Roche (’78 Forest & Range Mgmt., ’87 MS Forest & Range Mgmt.), and Robert Korfhage (’72 Forest & Range Mgmt., ’74 MS Forest & Range Mgmt.)

Oregon State University Press: 2019

Identifying grasses⁠—from rare native species to invasive weeds⁠—can be difficult. Differences are often subtle and minute. Macrophotographs in this 488-page comprehensive field guide show otherwise hard-to-see features up close. Detailed descriptions, range maps, field photos, and identification keys for the 376 species, subspecies, varieties of both native and introduced grasses that grow wild in Washington and Oregon are also useful. Last fall, their effort won the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries’ 2020 Annual Literature Award, recognizing “a work that makes a significant contribution to the literature of botany or horticulture.”

Watch author Cindy Roche talk about the book on KVTZ.  Check out Cindy Roche and Robert Korfhage’s website.


Contemporary Technologies in Education: Maximizing Student Engagement, Motivation, and Learning

Olusola Adesope and A. G. Rud

Palgrave Macmillan: 2019 

This volume outlines the uses of various technologies in education⁠—from social media and wikis to serious educational games, massive open online classes, and more. It also offers an overview of the current state of learning analytics as an emerging technology in education and discusses key theoretical, methodological, and practical issues in the field. Olusola Adesope, a professor of educational psychology, and A. G. Rud, a distinguished professor of cultural studies and social thought in education, won the Society of Professors of Education’s 2020 outstanding book award for the effort.


War and Fire

Richard E. Miralles ’50 Forest and Range Mgmt.


Richard Miralles is 17 when he enlists in the US Navy, serving in the South Pacific during World War II. He’s shot down over Guadalcanal and survives subsequent crashes, missions, and bomb and kamikaze attacks. This slim autobiography, written with help from daughter Kathy Olsen, documents one life of the fast-disappearing Greatest Generation⁠—from childhood in foster care in California to boxing at Washington State College, hitchhiking across America, riding through Europe on a motorcycle, and enjoying a 30-year career with the California Department of Forestry before retiring in 1980 as head of the Siskiyou Ranger Unit.

Watch “Dauntless Dick” Miralles talk about his World War II experience in a short documentary film.


All in a Garden Green

Paul J. Willis ’80 MA, ’85 PhD English

Slant: 2020

Piano lessons were never like this⁠—at least not in the twenty-first-century life of thirteen-year-old Erica Pickins, who walks through a door and into an accidental adventure in Elizabethan England in this lively young adult novel. Suddenly, it’s 1578. Queen Elizabeth I is slated to arrive at Hengrave Hall, and Erica, an American teen in the present living abroad with professor father and family, becomes a key player in a prominent Catholic family’s attempt to entertain the Protestant queen. Author Willis, an English professor at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, visited Hengrave House in 1992 when he taught a semester abroad, accompanied by his wife and two children.


Scout the Mighty Tugboat 

Charles Beyl ’84 Fine Arts 

Albert Whitman & Company: 2020 

This playful picture book, written and illustrated by Charles Beyl, follows Scout the Mighty Tugboat as she pulls ships into port and pushes them out to sea⁠—all by herself. When an oil tanker is too heavy for her to pull alone, she learns an important lesson: It’s OK to ask for help. This charming story, aimed at 4- to 8-year-olds, is Beyl’s first kids’ book.


Spreading Sprinkles

Kelsey Kennedy ’08 Elem. Ed.,’09 Teach. Cert., Illustrations by Brad Dinsmore ’09 Fine Arts


“Everything is better with sprinkles on top!” cheers Mrs. Donut in this delightful children’s book, written and illustrated by a brother-and-sister team. She’s a teacher and reading specialist, he’s a community college art instructor, and they combined their two passions in their debut book, inspired by the generosity of loved ones. Mrs. Donut spends her life blessing others with her hot pink sprinkles.


Pharoah’s Shadow

Tasha Madison ’03 Comm.

Author Academy Elite: 2020

This novel honors the author’s distant ancestor by exploring the conspiracy to murder Ramses III. A recent DNA test showed Tasha Madison belongs to the same haplogroup as the ancient Egyptian king’s paternal-line descendants. Each chapter in this suspenseful story of power, greed, jealousy, and betrayal in ancient Egypt is told from a different point of view.


Donny Finds His Forever Home

Maura (Flynn) Ward ’87 English, Busi.


Ward tells the true story of their family beagle, Donny, who started life in a six-foot enclosure at an animal testing lab in South Korea. The poignant story follows Donny’s journey from illness and rescue to his forever home with the Wards in Arizona. A portion of book sales goes to dog rescue through the Beagle Freedom Project.


To Protect a Predator

Todd A. Vandivert ’79 Forest and Range Mgmt.  2020

In Vandivert’s third novel, Washington state fish and wildlife officers Lisa Bennington and Joe Ramirez, along with biologist Sunny Hagen, get tangled in a conflict between a new mine and protecting two predators, Canada lynx and gray wolves. The tension heightens when the biologist goes missing after death threats.