The Forest That Fire Made: An Introduction to the Longleaf Pine Forest

John McGuire ’93 Env. Sci., ’95 Biol., Carol Denhof, and Byron Levan 

Wormsloe Foundation Nature Books: 2023

The longleaf pine forests featured in this book are fixtures in the American Southeast. John McGuire’s studies at WSU Pullman three decades ago set him on a path throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. His well-researched but approachable guide describes more than 40 longleaf pine forests in those nine states, along with their flora and fauna⁠—including lots of birds, bugs, and berries⁠—as well as how fire fuels their unique ecosystem. The guide includes more than 300 color images and more than 40 detailed drawings. The Alabama-based McGuire is the director of the Private Lands Prescribed Fire Program at Tall Timbers, Inc.

Web exclusiveJohn McGuire talks about his time at WSU, forest conservation, and longleaf pines


The Sky and the Patio: An Ecology of Home

Don Gayton ’71 Agro. 

New Star Press: 2022

The seventh book from ecologist and nature writer Don Gayton melds personal insights with the geography and natural and human history of the Okanogan Valley in 25 essays that pay close attention to the interconnectedness and complexity of living things in the varied environment that shapes his backyard.


Surviving the Sand: My Family’s Struggle to Farm the Pasco Desert

Helen Lingscheit Heavirland 

Basalt Books: 2022

When they arrived at their new home, writes Helen Lingscheit Heavirland, “The land lay flat in every direction as far as I could see.” The only structures: a roofless outhouse, an 8-by-16-foot shack, and a sheep-and-goat pen. Her father had dreamed of farming. And, in 1954, he got a chance through the Columbia Basin Project. Irrigation provided opportunity. The author, seven at the time, chronicles the hardships of breaking ground and battling the elements along with simple pleasures such as fresh apricots.

Purchase Surviving the Sand at Basalt Books


Golden Ratio: Lost

Kady Nicols ’12 MS Geol.

Austin Macauley: 2023

This Albion sci-fi author, writing under a pen name, introduces the country of Miribeaux, where intelligence officers don’t know what to make of an unusual new prisoner. The confounding Lia, caught trespassing, claims to be an explorer. But none of what she says could possibly be true. Yet every other explanation seems even more dangerous. Will she be able to escape before being forced to share secrets that could cause two worlds to collide? Time is running out in this imaginative first novel.


The Cyborg Caribbean: Techno-Dominance in Twenty-First-Century Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican Science Fiction

Samuel Ginsburg

Rutgers University Press: 2023

Science fiction allows authors who span the Hispanic Caribbean and their respective diasporas to challenge oppressive narratives linking technological and sociopolitical progress. Writers⁠—such as Pedro Cabiya, Alexandra Pagán Vélez, and Rita Indiana Hernández⁠—explore legacies of historical techno-colonialism and techno-authoritarianism in this literary and historical study that traces four different technologies: electroconvulsive therapy, nuclear weapons, space exploration, and digital avatars. Ginsburg is an assistant professor of Spanish, comparative ethnic studies, and American studies at Washington State University’s School of Languages, Cultures, and Race.


Book cover of The Rise of Washington State University Football

The Rise of Washington State University Football: The Erickson & Price Years

Ben Donahue

The History Press: 2023

Coug football fans, this one’s for you. Spokane author Ben Donahue documents WSU football history with detailed interviews from former coaches Dennis Erickson and Mike Price as well as late coach Mike Leach. Erickson came to WSU in 1987; his second year, the Cougs finished 9–3 and won the Aloha Bowl. It was the Cougars first bowl win⁠—and only their fourth bowl appearance⁠—since 1916. Erickson moved on after two seasons, but his successor, Price, stayed for 14, compiling a record of 83–78, including five bowl appearances and three bowl wins. Each shares personal stories, mentoring players such as Timm Rosenbach (’05 Soc. Sci.), Drew Bledsoe (’x93), Ryan Leaf (’05 Hum.), and Gardner Minshew (’x18). The volume also details the 1988, 1992, 1997, and 2002 seasons.