Book Notes: November-December 2001


The Lucky Gourd Shop

By Joanna Catherine Scott A.M. '77.

Washington Square Press, 2000. 295 pages. $13, paper.

When an American mother's three adopted daughters reach their teens, they grow curious about their Korean heritage. A much-anticipated letter provided by the children's Korean orphanage fails to satisfy their curiosity and conflicts with memories. In an effort to give her adopted children a history in which to situate themselves, the American mother creates a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of their birth mother's life. The author herself raised adopted Korean orphans with her husband while living in the Philippines.

An Improper Profession: Women, Gender, and Journalism in Late Imperial Russia

By Barbara T. Norton and Jehanne M. Gheith, editors.

Duke University Press, 2001. 321 pages. $19.95, paper.

Norton, a history professor at Widener University, and Gheith, associate professor of Slavic and Women's Studies at Duke, have collected the writings of ten scholars who explore how early women journalists contributed to changing cultural understandings of women's roles, as well as how class and gender politics meshed in the work of particular individuals. Covering the period from the early 1800s to 1917, this compilation examines how female journalists adapted to--or challenged--censorship as political structures in Russia shifted.

Pumped: Straight Facts for Athletes About Drugs, Supplements, and Training

By Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson.

W.W. Norton & Co., 2000. 190 pages. $14.95, paper.

For every athlete, from the weekender to the pro, this thorough reference book of advice is the latest from these researchers and teachers in pharmacology and psychology at Duke Medical Center. The trio's first book, Buzzed, covered the gamut of the most used and abused drugs. Pumped provides the latest scientific information in a clear, accessible style.

Weather Boy: A Story of D-Day

By Steve McCoy-Thompson '84.

1stBooks Library, 2001. 165 pages. $13.98, paper.

Written for seven- to twelve-year-olds, this novel is about ten-year-old Frankie Brown, an unlikely World War II hero. While fighting over the radio with his sister during a weather report, he receives an electric shock that gives him the ability to forecast the weather. When General Dwight D. Eisenhower learns of the "Frankie phenomenon," he sends for him, with his mother and sister, to help with scheduling the invasion of Normandy, which has been impeded by unpredictable weather. Frankie's father is already in England, a paratrooper preparing to land behind enemy lines.

Durham's Lincoln Hospital

By P. Preston Reynolds '79, A.M. '81, M.D. '85, Ph.D. '87.

Arcadia Publishing, 2001. 128 pages. $19.99, paper.

A century ago, Lincoln Hospital opened its doors to all patients, but primarily to meet the medical needs of the city's African-American population. Its construction costs were met by Washington Duke, who gave $5,000 for an endowment. Lincoln offered a nursing school and a program for medical internships and residencies. It closed in 1976. As part of the Black America Series, this book provides a pictorial record--more than 200 photographs--of the people who contributed to its history as a center for patient care and medical education in a changing South.

Getting Ready for Baby: The Ultimate Organizer for the Mom-to-be

By Hélène Tragos Stelian '85.

Chronicle Books, 2001. 200 pages. $14.95, ringbound.

Newborns don't come with instructions, so Stelian, mother of twins and author of Oh Baby! A Journal, provides them in this informative handbook. Organized chronologically, from first trimester to the daycare interview process, it includes pages for personal and medical contacts; to-do, baby-proofing, mom-to-be, and new-mom checklists; and tips on shopping for maternity and baby clothes, interviewing obstetricians, baby-shower responses, nursery planning, and health-insurance needs.

The True Path: Western Science and the Quest for Yoga

By Roy J. Mathew.

Perseus Publishing, 2001. 290 pages. $25, hardcover.

Mathew, a physician, psychiatry professor, and associate professor of radiology at Duke's medical school, is clinical director of the Duke Addictions Program and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Butner, North Carolina. He explains how the latest brain research supports the idea that quieting the neurons that take care of everyday activities allows for a more spiritual contemplation of life. With scientific evidence that this "pure consciousness" truly exists, he shows readers how to use meditation, yoga, and other traditional Indian methods of contemplation to achieve this spiritual state of mind.

Around Quitting Time: Work and Middle-class Fantasy in American Fiction

By Robert Seguin Ph.D. '94.

Duke University Press, 2001. 211 pages. $17.95, paper.

The author, a visiting assistant professor at the State University of New York at Brockport, analyzes the works of Nathaniel West, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, John Barth, and Theodore Dreiser, modern writers who were acutely sensitive to the American web of ideology and utopic vision. He argues that a pervasive middle-class imaginary is the key to the enigma of class in America, the supposed classless society.

The Journey is the Reward: A Year of Teaching and Traveling in Rural Hungary

By Mike Taylor '88.

New Tricks Publishing, 2001. 178 pages. $9.99, paper.

This first book is a humorous account of leaving Corporate America for a modest job abroad. Whether swimming in the thermal baths of Eger, backpacking through Budapest, or sneaking through the secret passages of Dracula's castle, the author shares his adventures of far-away places and strange-sounding names.

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