Winter 2020 Books

The following is a list of books published by alumnae and faculty, or about alumnae, and received at the Alumnae Quarterly offices since the publication of the fall 2019 issue. To submit your work, please email quarterly@mtholyoke.edu.

Cover of Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from A World-Class SommelierWine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide from A World-Class Sommelier

Penguin Random House

By Aldo Sohm and Christine Muhlke ’92

This essential guide begins with the fundamentals of wine in easy-to-absorb hits of information and pragmatic, everyday tips. Readers with then learn to take their wine knowledge to the next level and evolve their palate. This visual, user-friendly approach will inspire readers to have the confidence, curiosity and enthusiasm to taste smarter, drink boldly and dive headfirst fearlessly into the exciting world of wine.

Christine Muhlke ’92 is the executive editor of Bon Appétit and the author of “On the Line: Inside the World of Le Bernardin with Eric Ripert.” A former food editor and columnist for the New York Times Magazine, her writing has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Food + Wine and other publications.

Cover of Sunrise in FlorenceSunrise in Florence

Koehler Books

Rose Maning is ready to begin a new life in Florence, Italy. Just as she’s about to relocate, she’s offered a major promotion and her first love, Ben Pierce, returns to her hometown of Charlottesville. But this schoolteacher longs to wake up every morning to a view of the Duomo and terra cotta rooftops dancing in the sunrise, so Rose flies across the pond with her best friend for a fun-filled house hunt. For the first time in her people-pleasing life, Rose uses her savings to do exactly what she wants to do: buy an apartment and pursue painting. She experiences her own personal renaissance abroad as she embraces everything Italian, including Lyon, a sophisticated and adventurous man who challenges her to see herself in a new light. Suddenly, a mysterious discovery reveals the character of the men in her life and changes Rose’s destiny.

Kathleen Flood Reid ’86 is a fiction author whose books have been featured in USA Today, Good Housekeeping and Southern Living Magazine. An art enthusiast, she has written for VCUarts and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Reid lives with her family in Richmond, Va.

Cover of Arrival 2020Arrival 2020: A History of Women and Men in America Starting in 1620 and Yielding a Provocative 2020 Message

Self-published

Readers follow the fictional main character, Joy, and her bird companion, Shadow Seagull, as Joy gathers sixteen women from throughout American history on Clark’s Island in Duxbury Bay to share their stories of being a woman in the United States.

Laura Emerson Dunn ’70 entered Mount Holyoke College with the class of 1970 and finished her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Stanford University, later earning her MA in psychology from JFK University in 1984.

Cover of Soul Knows No Bars: A Writer’s Journey Doing Poetry with InmatesSoul Knows No Bars: A Writer’s Journey Doing Poetry with Inmates

Olive Trees Publishing

“Soul Knows No Bars” is a memoir of Schwartz’s 14-year sojourn inside the Auburn Correctional Facility, a men’s maximum-security prison in Auburn, NY, as a weekly volunteer facilitating a poetry workshop. The prose memoir is accompanied by poems from both inmates and Schwartz.

Patricia Roth Schwartz ’68 is a poet, a fiction and memoir writer and a workshop leader/teacher. She has published seven volumes of poetry and a full-length collection of short fiction. Schwartz is a co-founder of The Literary Guild of the Finger Lakes, a grass-roots organization dedicated to creative expression through the arts.

Cover of The Darkness Rising The Darkness Rising (Daughter of Fire #2)

Ylva Publishing

Aeryn, a young student war mage from an isolated land of ice, has the powerful gift of fire. To save her world, she must draw around her a small group of fellow mages and allies at Windhall University. At her side is the beautiful healer in training, Lyse, who holds her heart. In front of her is nothing but questions, fears and impossible decisions. Conspirators are everywhere, shifting shadows that she can barely see. The longer it takes for Aeryn to find the answers, the more people who will die. Her choices might cost her everything. Does she have the strength to do what needs to be done? Can Aeryn protect a kingdom she may not even want to save?

Karen Frost ’08 is an armchair pop-culture pundit and blogger whose articles have been spread internationally by actresses, production companies, directors and news outlets. She loves YA high fantasy and wants to introduce more lady knights and mages in the literary world. Karen is particularly interested in writing LGBT characters. She lives just outside of Washington, D.C.

Cover of NOBODY: Vestine Bryant Tells Her Own StoryNOBODY: Vestine Bryant Tells Her Own Story

Self-published

Born in the Jim Crow days of the South and raised in circumstances of extreme poverty and adversity, Vestine Bryant’s story shows how God can change a life. With little formal education and seemingly no prospects of success, she eventually rose to the top of her field, earning honors and recognition as a successful business owner. Vestine’s amazing life is proof that nobody – no matter the skin color, family background or personal circumstances – is forgotten by God.

Joyce Putnam Eblen ’71 received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, a Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from The Union Institute. Currently, she is enjoying life as a stand-up comic while continuing an active writing and speaking career from her home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Cover of Choices: From Great Neck, NY to Yaounde, Cameroon, a Young Woman's Challenge Making ChoicesChoices: From Great Neck, NY to Yaounde, Cameroon, a Young Woman’s Challenge Making Choices

Self-published

Before instant communications, before e-commerce, before 9/11, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, before gender equity, there were thousands of people who cared for others and for the little planet we all share. This is the story of one such person, Cleo, a young woman from Long Island whose vision goes back to the mines of West Virginia and stretches to the depths of Africa and the riches of Europe. This is the story of her battle with choices.

Tatiana Androsov ’68 is Advocacy Chair Emeritus, United Nations Association of Dallas. Androsov has held various positions in the United Nations, including assignments in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. She also led the New York-based Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders, a globally acclaimed non-governmental organization with UN observer status, as program director for seven years.

Cover of Meditations to Ease, Calm, and Inspire: A Collection to Activate Your Mind and SoulMeditations to Ease, Calm, and Inspire: A Collection to Activate Your Mind and Soul

Jewish Girls Unite

This book is a collection of guided meditations that can ease your mind and soothe your soul. Author Susan Lowenthal Axelrod followed her own golden rule: Get OK with being OK! Get OK with yourself and things will be OK in your life. These guided meditations offer a start towards your calmer and easier self, and getting OK with it.

Susan Lowenthal Axelrod ’84 is the author of “Your Job Is To Be.” She is a writer, professional speaker and consultant in philanthropy and creating a legacy. Axelrod works with organizations to help them build life-long loyal donors and with individuals to create meaningful legacies

Cover of Put It On the Windowsill: An Italian-American Family MemoirPut It On the Windowsill: An Italian-American Family Memoir

Dark River Publishing

Sharing stories of her extended Italian-American family in this personal memoir, Brennan shows how cultural histories can be deeply interwoven with the magic of blessings, curses and other forms of creation. The book draws on rich details of cultural history to evoke the intimacy of spirit presences. These presences extend from the memory of previous generations to encounters with sacred objects, near-death experiences and transcendent visions.

Marcia Brennan ’88 is an author and professor of art history and religious studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Brennan also serves as an artist in residence in the Department of Palliative Medicine at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Cover of Bead Jewelry Making for BeginnersBead Jewelry Making for Beginners

Rockridge Press

“Bead Jewelry Making for Beginners” walks you through the process of creating nearly two-dozen different designs. Master everything from picking the perfect beads to making your own findings. You’ll even get helpful advice for starting your own jewelry line.

Cecilia Leibovitz FP’06 is chief designer, maker and owner at Ceci Leibovitz, her wedding jewelry brand. At age 21 she founded her first business, a mail order catalog specializing in natural baby products. Since then, she has founded, run and been involved in several businesses supporting artists and hand makers. She has created jewelry for April Cornell, worked in the Ralph Lauren Home Collection and served as a founding member and president of the Handmade Toy Alliance. 

Cover of Serendib: Scenes from Colonial CeylonSerendib: Scenes from Colonial Ceylon

Off the Commons Press

Since antiquity Ceylon — long known as Serendib, now Sri Lanka — has been renowned for its beauty and its wealth. Shipwrecked on its shores, Sinbad the Sailor found it a land of “unrivaled splendor and magnificence,” the air filled with the fragrance of spices and rare gems glittering in the streams of a lofty mountain. He returned home loaded with riches, as many were to do after him: Portuguese, Dutch and finally, in the nineteenth century, the British. “Serendib” tells the stories in the voices and through the eyes of those who ultimately made and lost fortunes not in the cinnamon and pearls that first lured them but in coffee and tea. It tells the stories, too, of those who came to govern, to convert, to hunt, to unearth the island’s antiquities and simply to delight in its natural wonders.

Eugenia W. Herbert is Professor Emeritus of History at Mount Holyoke College and the author of several books, including “Twilight on the Zambezi: Late Colonialism in Central Africa.”

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