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  • 2020-04-17
  • Anna Loria

Summer Must-Read Roundup: Books by Brockport

Hundreds of faculty members, emeriti, and alumni are published authors. Browse some summer reading material written by Brockport's own.

Heyen book cover

The Cabin Journal, 1964-1984

William Heyen '61
Professor Emeritus, Department of English

Since 1968, Heyen has kept an almost daily journal — a restless chronicle of creativity and the stuff of life. In this first volume of Heyen's collected journal, youthful ambition and drive rub up against the demands and pleasures of family life, professional duties, and sports scores. Additionally, the journal provides an interesting perspective on the literary scene of the late 60s and the decade of the 70s — magazines and books and writers weave in and out of these entries. Heyen's journals are essential — and compulsive — reading for anyone interested in the active pursuit of authenticity and satisfaction.


Kuntsler book cover

A Safe and Happy Place

James Kuntsler '71

“In the fall of 1967, a schlemiel named Don Bessemer from Short Pump, Virginia, got me pregnant. Well, okay, I got myself pregnant with his assistance. . . .” So begins the journey into adulthood of 19-year-old Erica “Pooh” Bollinger from Oyster Bay, Long Island. She’s a sophomore at NYU and nothing is working out there. She’s knocked up. She hates the city. The Vietnam War is making America crazy, not to mention the sit-com looniness of everyday existence on the home-front. Pooh desperately wants out. She hears about a magical place up in Vermont where you can leave all this crap behind, a commune called Sunrise Village founded by the mysterious, charismatic figure known in the hippie underground only as “Songbird.” Maybe she ought to go up there and check the situation out.

Martin book cover

Selling Beauty: Cosmetics, Commerce, and French Society, 1750-1830

Morag Martin
Associate Professor, Department of History

Martin’s history of the cosmetic industry in France examines the evolution of popular tastes and standards of beauty during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As the French citizenry rebelled against the excesses of the aristocracy, there was a parallel shift in consumer beauty practices. Powdered wigs, alabaster white skin, and rouged cheeks disappeared in favor of a more natural and simple style. Selling Beauty introduces readers to the social and economic world of cosmetic production and consumption, recounts criticisms against the use of cosmetics from a variety of voices, and examines how producers and retailers responded to quickly evolving fashions.

Monier book cover

How Life on Earth is Affected by Earth's Unique Placement and Orientation in Our Solar System: An Anthology of Current Thought

Eric Monier
Associate Professor, Department of Physics

This fascinating anthology explores how life on Earth has formed and been influenced by where Earth is in relation to the Sun and the other planets. Written by renowned scientists and published in esteemed journals, each article explores a variety of topics on the subject. How threatened are we by asteroids? Will our life source, the Sun, eventually kill us? Is there a possibility for life on other planets? The editor introduces these questions and many others that are both timely and timeless.


Guptill book cover

Food & Society: Principles and Paradoxes

Amy Guptill & Denise Copelton (with Betsy Lucal, Indiana University - South Bend)
Associate Professors, Department of Sociology

This popular and engaging text, now revised in a second edition, offers readers a social perspective on food, food practices, and the modern food system. The book highlights several paradoxes: how food is both mundane and sacred, reveals both distinction and conformity, and, in the contemporary global era, comes from everywhere but nowhere in particular. Each chapter begins with a vivid case study, proceeds through a rich discussion of research insights, and ends with discussion questions and suggested resources. In synthesizing insights from diverse fields of social inquiry, the book addresses issues of culture, structure, and social inequality throughout.

Hullfish book cover

The Erie Canal Sings: A Musical History of New York’s Grand Waterway

Bill Hullfish
Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre and Music Studies

Life working along the banks of the Erie Canal is preserved in the songs of America's rich musical history. Thomas Allen's "Low Bridge, Everybody Down" has achieved iconic status in the American songbook, but its true story hasn't been told until now. Erie songs such as "The E-ri-e Is a-Risin'" would transform into "The C&O Is a-Risin'" as the song culture spread among a network of other canals, including the Chesapeake and Ohio and Pennsylvania Main Line. As motors replaced mules and railroads emerged, the canal song tradition continued on Broadway stages and in folk music recordings. Hullfish takes readers on a musical journey along the historic Erie Canal.

Lebak book cover


Jane Lebak '96

Auto mechanic Lee Singer considers New York City her personal playground, with lots of big engines and big tools and the occasional car towed in because those "severe tire damage" signs actually mean what they say. It only adds to the fun when she pops the trunk and finds it full of styrofoam heads. It turns out the client isn’t a madman with a decapitation fetish. Instead, he’s a marine roboticist, and if you send foam objects down to the ocean floor, they shrink under the pressure. Wait, he builds robots? And he’s hot? This requires definitive action. Whether you’re new to the Adventures Of Lee And Bucky series or just teetering on the edge of a great fiction discovery, you’ll love this story.


Howe book cover

Song in the Dark

Christine Howe '77

Where do you end up when you have nowhere to go and no one to turn to? Paul isn't thinking clearly. After destroying a series of relationships — with his friends, his flatmates, his mum — he finally hurts the one person he cares about most of all. And then he runs away. An extraordinary and heartrending story of love, betrayal, addiction, and hope.





 For Children

Simmons book cover

The Boy Who Called 911

Kevin Simmons '90

Simmons wrote this book, a modern-day adaptation of one of Aesop's Fables, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, as a Brockport student in a children's literature course. The tale concerns a child who repeatedly tricks local emergency responders into thinking emergency situations are occurring in his neighborhood. When a real emergency situation does occur and the boy again calls for help, the responders believe that it is another false alarm. This story that dates from classical times has been updated to contemporary times.


McGlen book cover

Antonio's Impossible Dream

Tim McGlen '88

Antonino is a young artist who dreams of painting a masterpiece, an impossible dream he calls Friend. When he gets stuck, inspiration comes from an unexpected place. A dreamlike fable about the power of friendship and imagination, Antonino's Impossible Dream is a children's story told in timeless style, with captivating illustrations by Sophia Touliatou.



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Last Updated 5/26/21

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