Humor columnist Nancy Cochran Crochiere ’80 has published her entertaining debut novel, Graceland, and she takes you on a road trip you’ll never forget. Three generations of women in the Robinson family are headed from Boston to Memphis: one, Olivia, wants to visit Graceland before she dies; another, Dylan, is talked into driving her grandmother to Memphis with the promise of learning about the father she has never known; and the third, Hope, daughter of Olivia and mother of Dylan, is in pursuit with hopes of stopping them before they get there and discover the secret she has harbored for years. Between Olivia’s antics, Hope’s angst, and Dylan’s anger, the trip is anything but routine, with unexpected twists and turns revealed in each character’s life story. Heartwarming and hilarious, the novel explores family dynamics in all their complexity as each character struggles with facing difficult truths about their lives and how those have impacted their relationships. The ending is redemptive and satisfying and full of the healing power of love.
HITLER’S LAST HOSTAGES
Mary M. Lane
Adolf Hitler was obsessed with art, and art was central to his political maneuverings during the Nazi era. He considered himself an artist first and politician second, and his actions of preserving what he thought was ideal Aryan art and destroying the lives and art of “degenerates” changed the West’s cultural landscape. So postulates journalist Mary Lane ’10 in her prologue to Hitler’s Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich. Asked by the Wall Street Journal to write an article about the discovery in 2013 that a German octogenarian had been hoarding 1,200 works of art in his Munich apartment—works collected by his father for Hitler—she began to unearth information so startling and bizarre that she knew she had to dig deeper. The result is a gripping tale about stolen art, its disappearance after World War II, and the ongoing saga of Germany’s lack of action in returning the artworks to those Holocaust survivors or families who once owned them.
AND YOU AND ME
Corinna Luyken ’00 has charmed kids for years with her beautifully illustrated children’s books. In her latest project, she provides a unique take on the traditional ABC book with characters that twist and turn their bodies into letters. On the first few pages, she invites her readers to join her in creating the alphabet with movement. She then introduces a wide variety of people of all ages, abilities, skin tones, and body types who are doing just that. For added fun, she has included objects on each page that begin with the letter depicted. Children can try the various moves with their own bodies or simply sit and enjoy the playful illustrations. Parents and teachers alike will love the opportunity to use this delightful book to stimulate both the physical and mental capacities of kids. Engaging with this book is a win-win for all involved.
The genesis for the book Windows came to Mark Dornblaser ’84 while he was gazing out an airplane window at the world below. He is a photographer and poet, and he has combined the two in this thoughtful and engaging collection of poetry and photography. Looking out through the window of his own experiences, he writes about the universal themes of life that bind humans together, such as love, loss, regret, growing older, growing wiser, finding and keeping hope. We each have our own windows to look through from where we are in life, and it’s self-affirming to find our feelings reflected in someone else’s experiences. These poems are accessible and relatable, and the photographs add a beautiful visual component to them. The book is divided into the six chapters of Windows, Love and Loss, Evolution, Beauty, Moments, and Home, and readers will find reasons to connect to the thoughts and emotions presented in each, through both the written word and the images.