Books, Music & Film

Winter 2017

Information is provided by publishers, authors, and artists.

The Late Bloomer

Movie based on Man Made: A Memoir of My Body by Ken Baker ’92
(Momentum Pictures)

Cover of the book 'The Late Bloomer'Dr. Peter Newmans, played by Johnny Simmons, is a 30-year-old sex therapist who’s never gone through puberty — until now. When a basketball injury leads to the discovery of a benign tumor on his pituitary gland, Peter’s life changes in an instant. Once the tumor is removed, he goes through puberty in a matter of weeks, complicating his relationships with his parents and friends in raunchy, comedic fashion. The film’s stars include J.K. Simmons, Jane Lynch, and Brittany Snow. After its September premiere at the San Diego Film Festival and theatrical release in October, it is now available via video on demand.

An Angle on the World: Dispatches and Diversions from the New Yorker and Beyond

Bill Barich ’65
(Skyhorse Publishing)

Photo of the cover of the book "Ang Angle on the World"Bill Barich has thrown himself into new environments — from San Francisco’s homeless community to the conflict zone in Northern Ireland — talking to grocers, butchers, barbers, and others to get the real story. In An Angle on the World, Barich shares a collection of articles and dispatches from these adventures and talks about his 30 years of experience as a writer, 15 of which were on the staff of the New Yorker. These stories range from life-changing accounts to lighter travel narratives, all offering a new look at the world.

BALLS: It Takes Some to Get Some

Chris Edwards ’91
(Greenleaf Book Group)

Photo of the cover of the book "Balls"It was 1995, and the word “transgender” had barely even entered the national lexicon, but Chris Edwards knew what he had to do. His decision to transition from female to male was a simple one, but it also took balls.

Edwards tells the story of how he summoned the courage to come out at a company board meeting filled with middle-aged executives and braved his 10th high school reunion, finally becoming the man he was meant to be. With skills he learned in advertising, his sense of humor, and the support of family, friends, and a great therapist, Edwards was able to rebrand himself and help change perceptions. This memoir provides an important look at what it’s like to be uncomfortable in your own skin and how one man found the courage to be his true self. For more, read the Scene feature on Edwards.

The Railroad and the Pueblo Indians: The Impact of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe on the Pueblos of the Rio Grande, 1880–1930

Richard Frost, history professor emeritus
(University of Utah Press)

Photo of the cover of the book 'The Railroad"The history of the railroad conquest of the West is well known, but the impact of western railroads on Native Americans has largely been ignored. Richard Frost examines the profound effects that the coming of trains had on Pueblo Indians in New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley, which included destroying or damaging crops, livestock, irrigation ditches, community autonomy, and privacy. American colonialism abetted the railroads, so the Pueblos faced land and water confiscation, court cases, compulsory American education, and other problems. The trains also brought farm tools, clothing, and customers for Pueblo pottery, but these were comparatively marginal benefits, Frost asserts. This book spotlights how Native American communities responded.

Sunday Pasta: A Year Around the Table with Family and Friends

Edwin Garrubbo ’87
(Garrubbo Communications)

Photo of the cover of the book "Sunday Pasta"Edwin Garrubbo’s goal is to find the perfect bowl of pasta. He’s visited restaurants, cooking schools, and markets across Italy to find tasty cucina Italiana. He’s spoken with chefs and food artisans across the world, and he cooks a wide variety of Italian dishes himself. Following the success of his blog and website Sunday Pasta, this book provides recipes to last the entire year, a handy guide to pasta shapes and sizes, insights on the particulars of key Italian ingredients, and expert wine pairings.

This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton

Edited by Amanda Golden ’01
(University Press of Florida)

Photo of the cover of the book "This Business of Words"Overshadowed by the work of her contemporaries Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton is often sidelined in literary criticism. This book — the first to examine her poems in more than 20 years — reappraises Sexton and encourages further scholarship on her poetry and her life. With essays written by fellow poets and literary critics, this collection interprets her poetry in relation to photography, performance, and mid-century culture; her role as a public figure; and her continuing importance as one of America’s most influential writers. This Business of Words also analyzes Sexton’s teaching strategies — including notes from the course she taught at Colgate in 1972.

Beyond Ethnic Politics in Africa

Dominika Koter, political science professor
(Cambridge University Press)

In Beyond Ethnic Politics in Africa, Dominika Koter argues that a country’s social structures — such as the power of local chiefs or religious leaders among people of different ethnicities — play a key role in the way politicians attempt to organize voters. Koter concludes that ethnic politics can be avoided when the local leaders serve as intermediaries between politicians and voters, and that the strength or weakness of local leaders is what determines the degree to which ethnic politics exist across the African continent.

Town Called Patience

Photo of "Town Called Patience" album coverWaiting for Henry (David Ashdown ’91, Mike Chun ’88, Rob Draghi, Dave Slomin ’87)

Town Called Patience is a road map,” said Waiting for Henry’s songwriter and singer Dave Slomin. “If our first album was a homage to the ghosts we all leave behind us, this one is about listening to those ghosts so we can look ahead with as much wisdom as possible.” The opening track, “Musconetcong,” is described as a watery jangle to mimic its namesake river, which snakes through New Jersey, Slomin’s home state. Another song set in the Garden State is “Parsippany,” about Slomin’s coming to terms with the breakup of his former band, Mr. Henry, when he settled down to start a family.

“Their music draws from the archives of alt-country” and “incorporates influences from the heyday of the American underground,” noted Currents of Pop. The album was produced by Mitch Easter, who also produced R.E.M.’s classic albums Murmur and Reckoning.

Where Do Rivers Go, Momma?

Catherine L. Weyerhaeuser ’79
(Mountain Press Publishing)

Photo of the book cover "Where Do Rivers Go, Momma?"The children’s book Where Do Rivers Go, Momma? illustrates the water cycle, from mighty rivers rushing downhill to the sea to rainbows formed by sun shining on water droplets in the sky. Author Catherine Weyerhaeuser combines her talents as a geologist, educator, and illustrator to describe how water moves around the Earth. Her detailed illustrations of watery landscapes with lush ferns and aquatic creatures will thrill preschoolers, and straightforward explanations of the water cycle will satisfy the curiosity of elementary-age children. The final pages tell the stories of several well-known rivers and aquifers as well as the challenges we face in providing clean water to future generations. Beyond a simple teaching tool, Where Do Rivers Go, Momma? inspires its readers to become stewards of the blue planet.

A Season for the Ages: How the 2016 Chicago Cubs Brought a World Series Championship to the North Side

Al Yellon ’78
(Sports Publishing)

Photo of the cover of the book "A Season For The Ages"No doubt you’ve heard about the Cubs’ decades-long run of futility: no pennant in 71 years, no World Series for a record 108 years. But after a 100-loss season in 2012, Theo Epstein and his staff reversed the losing streak with the Cubs of 2016. The team earned the most wins for the franchise since 1910; and they defeated the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League playoffs before beating the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series. A Season for the Ages chronicles not only the 2016 Cubs’ rise to the top of the baseball heap, but the team’s — and the fans’ — long journey to get there. Author Al Yellon is managing editor of SB Nation’s Bleed Cubbie Blue website and co-author of the book Cubs by the Numbers.

In the media

“The objective facts very clearly show that she is innocent. We wanted to examine why people just don’t want to believe that.”
— Rod Blackhurst ’02 in a Glamour Q&A about his Netflix documentary Amanda Knox

“I think chronicling the drug war solely in terms of statistics and tales of big drug lords sanitizes the subject. It allows us to fetishize this violent world without acknowledging the true cost or humanizing the people in it.”
— Dan Slater ’00 in the Easton (Connecticut) Courier on Wolf Boys, his book about two American kids recruited by a Mexican drug cartel

“I just had this moment, looking at this beige wall, thinking: Am I doing what I love? The answer was no. I was fueled by the fire that was sparked by that question, and that’s when I decided I needed to leave, be bold, and try to write.”
— Broadway writer Caroline Sherman ’87, whose newest hit is Empire: The Musical, talking about her journey in a video for the Charles Schwab Corporation

“There’s $600 worth of gold in the medal.”
— Lauren Schmetterling ’10 in the Philadelphia Inquirer about paying taxes on the gold medal for rowing she won at the Olympics last summer

“Global average temperatures have now risen more than one degree Celsius since pre-industrial levels. This may sound benign or even welcoming to those of us facing another central New York winter, but the impacts are … devastating.”
— John Pumilio, Colgate’s director of sustainability, in an opinion piece for the Utica Observer-Dispatch

“When immigrants arrive, they create an opportunity for native-born workers to respond to immigration by working in more managerial and supervisorial kinds of work, which often pay higher wages.”
— Chad Sparber, economics professor, in a article, “Undocumented America: The Truth of Illegal Immigration”

“Growing up, I always felt alone as someone interested in the study of stars.”
— Jeff Bary, physics and astronomy professor, in West Virginia’s Register-Herald after speaking to high school students in his home state