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In Print


Plain Heathen MischiefPlain Heathen Mischief
Martin Clark ’84
Alfred A. Knopf

Martin Clark used his own experiences as a Virginia Circuit Court judge to write his second novel, Plain Heathen Mischief, about well-intentioned individuals who “stumble or slip or backslide or break a promise on the way to better things”—just like some of the people who have passed through Clark ’s life on the bench. Plain Heathen Mischief ups the existential ante of the protagonist in his highly successful first novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, as Joel King, a defrocked Baptist minister, finds life even more bedeviling once he's served six months for a career-ending crime he might not even have committed. Now his incommunicado wife wants a divorce, the teenage vixen of his disgrace is suing him for a cool $5 million, a fresh start in Montana offers no hope for ex-cons of any religious persuasion, and the refuge provided by his sister turns as nasty as his parole officer.

Talk about a crisis of faith. On the upside, a solicitous member of Joel’s former congregation invites him into a scam that could yield some desperately needed cash, and soon the down-on-his-luck preacher is involved with a flock of charming con men, crooked lawyers, and conniving youths.

Kirkus Reviews says, “Big, boisterous and hugely enjoyable … Don’t miss it.”

Something Borrowed Something Borrowed
Emily Giffin ’97
St. Martin ’s Press

Emily Giffin’s debut novel is about 30-year-old attorney, Rachel, who decides her life needs a change. Her best friend, Darcy, seems to have everything: skinny, sexy, lucky, and a little bit wild, she is a model of perfection. When Rachel drinks too much tequila at her birthday party, she ends up sleeping with Darcy’s fiancée. From then on, Rachel’s life turns upside down and inside out. She is forced to decide what she really wants—then to fight for it. Rachel realizes that "perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it." A surprise twist at the end seamlessly wraps up this fast-paced, enjoyable read. Recommended for most popular fiction collections, according to Library Journal’s review.

Before moving to London to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, Griffin practiced law at Winston & Strawn’s New York firm. She now lives in Atlanta with husband Hartley Blaha and her twin sons Edward and George, born on New Year’s Eve.

My Wife and My Dead WifeMy Wife and My Dead Wife
Michael Kun ’88

Michael Kun’s third novel (after A Thousand Benjamins and The Locklear Letters ) is the story of a relationship from the perspective of a divorced man. The protagonist Hamilton “Ham” Ashe is a likeable but puzzled man whose domestic life takes a sudden turn for the worse when his live-in girlfriend Renee loses her job and makes him struggle financially to support her dream of becoming a country music star (despite her lack of talent). Renee has been with Ham for so long that she refers to herself as his wife, though Ham doesn’t agree and states vigorously that they are not married. Ham starts struggling with the financial burden of Renée’s ambitions and his discomfort with her new friends and interests. He takes it all in silent resentment, occasionally flashing back to memories of his ex-wife Shellie who grew up with him in the same small town. Other memories of a kid from Ham’s high school who was cruelly murdered, also come floating back to an important development in the story—a murder subplot involving Ashe’s ex-wife.

Additionally, Ham has a crush on a former coworker, which offers an emotional payoff. Kirkus Reviews calls My Wife and My Dead Wife an “endearing, bittersweet romance that reads like a comedy.”

Non Fiction

Demanding AccountabilityDemanding Accountability
Dana Clark ’92, Jonathan A. Fox, and Kay Treakle
Rowman & Littlefield
Publishers, Inc.

Dana Clark co-authored the book Demanding Accountability: Civil Society Claims and the World Bank Inspection Panel, a compilation of nine unique case studies that present insights into how local, national, and international civil society factors gather together to hold the World Bank accountable for its financed projects. It is an important resource for people who need to understand today’s emerging transnational civil society efforts to challenge potent international institutions. Dana Clark has been working as international human rights and environmental lawyer, and as president of the International Accountability Project in Berkeley, CA.

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Nonfiction (continued)

The Elements of Performance The Elements of Performance
Allen Saville ’73
Saville Consulting Service

According to this book, performance is the secret of success and Allen Saville demonstrates how the performance of each person determines their value to the company. On the other hand, the company’s performance establishes its position in the market and the satisfaction of its shareholders and investors. This is why the author suggests there should be a culture of high performance in the work environment. The book explains the elements of performance, assists leaders and managers in understanding and using the team approach, and teaches the relationship between performance and competencies. It can also be used to support particular performance improvement initiatives.

Environmental Law of New Zealand
Simon Reeves LL.M ’69
Kluwer Law International

Reeves’ New Zealand Environmental Law is a monograph in the International Encyclopaedia of Laws, published by Kluwer Law International. He recently published the 2nd edition, including chapters on such topics as basic principles of environmental law, the historic background to environmental protection, the role of government institutions in the shaping and administration of environmental law and policy, and the Resource Management Act 1991.

Gardening in EdenGardening in Eden
Arthur T. Vanderbilt II ’75
Simon & Schuster

After publishing several books, including Fortune’s Children, Golden Days, and The Making of a Bestseller, and winning a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Vanderbilt proves he is not only a well-respected lawyer and writer, but also a very experienced gardener. He has gardened for more than twenty years at his home in northern New Jersey, where he found the extraordinary and experienced delights, joys, and occasional disappointments. Gardening in Eden is a celebration of life and a journey through the four seasons of the gardening year. The book is rich in the details of a gardeners’ life, describing “the oppressiveness of endless winter days, the magic of an old-fashioned snow day, the heady, healing qualities of wandering through a greenhouse on a frozen February afternoons, the restlessness of a gardener waiting for spring.”With a touch of doubt and humor on each page, Vanderbilt shows that for those who are patient, attentive, and energetic enough to work in a garden, life happens right outside the window.

Laboratory of JusticeLaboratory of Justice
David L. Faigman ’86
Times Books

Suppose that scientists identify a gene sequence that predicts the likelihood that a person will commit a serious crime in the future. In the wake of the discovery, laws are passed making genetic tests mandatory, and anyone displaying the genes is sent to a treatment facility.Would the laws be constitutional? In this illuminating history, legal scholar David Faigman reveals the tension between the conservative nature of the law and the swift evolution of scientific knowledge. The Supreme Court works by precedent, embedding the science of an earlier time into our laws today.

In the nineteenth century, the biology of the day helped decide the “race question” in the Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson cases; not until a century later would cutting-edge sociological data lead to the end of segregation with Brown v. Board of Education. Roe v. Wade set a standard for the viability of a fetus that, just thirty years later, is outdated by the tools of modern medicine. And how does the Fourth Amendment apply in a world filled with high-tech surveillance devices? To ensure our liberties, Faigman argues, the Court must embrace science rather than resist it, turning to the lab as well as to precedent.—Forbes Book Club

Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will
G. Richard Shell ’81
Crown Business

The magazine CIO Insight summarizes Wharton School Professor Shell’s argument in a nutshell: He who makes the rules wins. And the best way to make the rules is to literally help write the law. In typical discussions of business strategy, it is unusual to hear the law mentioned. That’s a mistake, Shell argues. “Law is perhaps the most hidden of competitive strategy tools. Many in business fear getting tangled up with lawyers, lobbyists and bureaucrats, so they keep their distance from legal matters. But it is just this aversion that makes legal knowledge such a rich source of competitive advantage. Someone, after all, is going to make the rules. The only question is who.”