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Book

Fall 2017

James Thayer on the craft of the novel

James Thayer reads from The Boxer and the Poet

James Thayer ‘71 reads the first chapter of his romantic comedy, The Boxer and the Poet.

 

 

Tips and Techniques

Thayer started teaching the craft of the novel about ten years ago as a creative writing instructor at the University of Washington. He’s also a regular contributor to Author magazine.

Thayer, a natural storyteller, absorbed his craft through his lifelong voracious reading habit. When he first got the teaching job, he realized he didn’t have enough to say to fill a 90-hour, year-long course. So, as is his wont, he read a bunch of books. … » More …

Fall 2017

Steve Smart reads from Whispers of the Greybull

Steve Smart ’75 had spent much of the hot summer day making the rounds of the various landscaping and construction projects his company had underway throughout the Inland Northwest.

Back at his office atop a commercial nursery just outside Spokane, he agreed to take a break and read a selection from his first novel, Whispers of the Greybull. He’d have preferred to stay out on the work sites but got cleaned up and took a seat.

The novel, which Smart wrote while recovering from a near-fatal accident, is set in the Depression-era Midwest and was a recipient of a Will Rogers Medallion for inspirational … » More …

cover of Honored and Dishonored Guests
Summer 2017

Honored and Dishonored Guests

Cover of Honored and Dishonored Guests

Westerners in Wartime Japan

W. Puck Brecher

Harvard Univ. Asia Center: 2017

 

There was little surprise when the Japanese military police arrested and imprisoned a number of British and U.S. citizens on their soil after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Some, like the Reverend Samuel Heaslett, were held and interrogated for a few months, then released and eventually sent back to North America. However, outside prison walls, Western … » More …

cover of How Plants Work
Summer 2017

How Plants Work

Cover of How Plants Work

Linda Chalker-Scott

Timber Press: 2015

 

Anyone interested in how plants do what they do will enjoy How Plants Work. Washington State University associate professor of horticulture Linda Chalker-Scott has brought the essentials of plant science together and made them entertaining for gardeners and the otherwise curious.

Chalker-Scott digs into the science of plants while keeping the narrative rooted in successfully growing a garden. Along the way, she evaluates a variety … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Summer 2017

Briefly Noted

 

Atomic Geography: A Personal History of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Melvin R. Adams

WSU Press: 2016

One of the first environmental engineers at Hanford recalls his two decades of study of both the toxic soil and water at the nuclear site, and the wildlife and plants that thrive on the 586 square miles of central Washington desert. Adams helped determine the initial scope of the soil cleanup at Hanford, among other projects there. He shares his perspectives on leaking waste storage, the obsession with safety, and the paradoxical nature of a place that’s a sprawling wildlife refuge and one of the most complex environmental … » More …

Hang Them All cover
Spring 2017

“Hang Them All”

Hang Them All cover

George Wright and the Plateau Indian War

Donald L. Cutler ’76

University of Oklahoma Press: 2016

 

Questions about the viciousness of Col. George Wright’s month-long war against Indian tribes of the Upper Columbia Plateau typically are filtered through a lens of historical and cultural context.

The cruelty of Wright’s tactics during the Plateau Indian War of 1858 are undeniable. He hanged 16 Indians, including some who had surrendered after being told … » More …

Swift Dam
Spring 2017

Swift Dam

Swift Dam

Sid Gustafson ’77, ’79 DVM

Open Books: 2016

 

Swift Dam pulls you in, drags you practically, sweeping you over the western landscape until you are ankle deep in Sid Gustafson’s world. The writing flows through the reader’s mind like water and entrenches the reader in the story. With each passing chapter, it becomes harder to discern if you are reading a published novel or a form of the author’s diary.

The story follows … » More …

On More Last Cast cover
Spring 2017

One More Last Cast

On More Last Cast cover

On the addictive nature of fishing

Dennis D. Dauble ’78 MS

FishHead Press: 2016

 

Fishing is serious business for anglers, and absurdly funny for everyone, a truth understood fully by author Dauble. His misadventures, fishing treks, and philosophical musings fuel this amusing and thoughtful series of short true-life stories by the retired fish biologist and WSU Tri-Cities instructor.

Whether he’s griping about his buddy Leroy’s vintage—and only marginally functional—outboard motor, … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Spring 2017

Briefly Noted

 

No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy

Thomas Dunne Books: 2017 

After Weihenmayer became the first and only blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest, he decided his next adventure would be to traverse the treacherous Grand Canyon by kayak. He and Levy, a Washington State University instructor, chronicle the turbulent whitewater journey, and the insights gained by Weihenmayer and other trailblazers he has met.

 

Unusual Punishment: Inside the Walla Walla Prison, 1970–1985

Christopher Murray

WSU Press: 2016

Murray was an employee of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services … » More …

John McCallum in his own words
Spring 2017

John McCallum in his own words

To immerse himself in the lives of those he wrote about, John McCallum would spend extraordinary amounts of time with them, their friends and their families. He collected numerous tidbits and observations along the way, many of which he shared in his 1969 autobiography, Going Their Way.

Here are a few excerpts:

 

On the miserly nature of Ty Cobb

The notoriously mean-spirited and confrontational baseball legend had invested his earnings wisely and was still worth millions of dollars nearly three decades after retiring, which is when McCallum began profiling Cobb for the first of two books he’d write about the Detroit Tigers star. … » More …