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Books

Fall 2010

Tree Top: Creating a fruit revolution

Book review

In the September 10, 1951, issue of Life magazine is a picture of a bulldozer mounding apples in the Yakima dump. Seven acres of apples worth $6 million dollars rotted as pigs rooted through them, the result of failing foreign markets and high tariffs. At the time, if Washington’s apples didn’t sell, orchardists paid $5 a ton to have their culls hauled off to rot.

Culls are rejected from the fresh fruit market due primarily to shape, size, or color, but they are perfectly sound for such traditional uses as juice. The photograph aptly illustrated the need for a processing company like Tree … » More …

Spring 2004

Poor farm kid makes good

Sherman Alexie likes to remind people that attending Washington State University presented him with a real challenge. As a Spokane Indian, a liberal, and a writer, he did not fit the prevalent mold of students attending WSU in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Regardless, on October 10, 2003, WSU president V. Lane Rawlins presented Alexie with the University’s highest alumni honor, the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Since leaving WSU in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in American studies, Alexie has published nine books of fiction and poetry and has written and directed two award-winning movies. Widely popular, his short stories appear in the nation’s … » More …

Summer 2003

A tale of many cities

As a boy Clint Borgen dreamed of having an interesting life, radically different from the humdrum sleepiness of Anacortes, Washington, his commercial-fishing-oriented hometown. He played spy games with a seemingly fearless older brother and best friend. At 20, Borgen became a firefighter. No small wonder that the next year (1999) he hopped a flight to Macedonia for a month of volunteer service, simply because he had watched television images of Albanian refugees and wanted to see the war zone for himself.

Returning safely to another somnolent community, this time Pullman, Borgen (’03 Comm.) published a book late last year about his four-year, 13-country marathon of … » More …

Summer 2003

Adjusting to life during college and after

By the time he graduated from Washington State University, Terry Arndt (’93 Horticulture) had accumulated $20,000 in student loans, $5,000 in credit card bills, and car payments.

Fortunately, he found a job right away, and a financial advisor. She suggested he pay off his high-interest credit cards first. Then he began making extra payments on his student loans, some with a 10-year payback period. There were other budget considerations. Health insurance premiums. Income tax. A vacation. A year after marrying Melissa Segars (’94 Music), he enrolled in the University of Florida’s M.B.A. program. More expenses.

Adjusting to life after college was not the smooth transition … » More …

Winter 2006

Book burden

It’s not news to anyone that textbooks are among a student’s biggest expenses. But some of us have figured ways around paying the high prices.

This fall, I coaxed my freshman sister, Kaytee, into sharing her book for the human development class we are taking together. The two of us were able to outsmart the system by buying just one heavy hardback for a steep $90. It didn’t take much to convince her: I promised she could keep it in her dorm room and explained that we were helping our parents, who usually pay for our books.

I’ve come a long way from my freshman … » More …

Winter 2004

The Extreme Survival Almanac

In many cases, those who survived made a commitment to just get through the night or day.

This book could save your life.

Your car breaks down in a remote area. You’re lost in the woods, not knowing which way to turn, or whether to stay or to go. You’re left with serious injuries after a plane crash on a mountainside. Your boat capsizes in rough seas, miles from land and shipping lanes.

Reid Kincaid’s book, The Extreme Survival Almanac, is intended for those who find themselves in such crises and want to get out alive. The author likens the book to a helpful tool … » More …