Amherst Magazine

Short Takes

Compiled by Katherine Duke ’05

Culture as Comfort
By Sarah J. Mahler ’81 (Pearson)
Mahler’s book describes how we develop “cultural comfort zones” in childhood and how we can expand them throughout our lives.

The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town
By Robert H. Steele ’60 (Levellers Press)
In this novel, based on true events, leaders in a Connecticut town battle over the proposed construction of a tribal casino, and the main character sees the effects of an ancestral curse.

Identity, Invention, and the Culture of Personalized Medicine Patenting
By Shubha Ghosh ’84 (Cambridge University Press)
Ghosh provides an overview of developments in personalized medicine patenting, in which medical treatments are tailored to individuals based on race and other traits. The book questions the implications of such patenting and suggests ways to best regulate related policies.

Into the Gyre
By Scott Elliott ’98 (590films)
This documentary follows a team of scientists from the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., as they research plastic pollution in the remote Sargasso Sea.

Kaleidoscope: Live Grooves… Epic Tales
Album by Freddie Bryant (Hollister) ’87 and others (HiPnotic Records)
The 10 jazz tracks on this album include “Bo Diddley,” “La La, Ohh!” and “Boop Bop Bing Bash.”

North Coast Almanac
By Paul R. Dimond ’66 (Huron River Press)
This novel for young readers follows the Pippin family on an adventure of survival and discovery through a land turned wild by powerful forces of nature.

Rochelle
Web series written by Scott Turow ’70 (YouTube WIGS Channel)
Rosanna Arquette and Nazanin Boniadi star in this three-episode series about a woman who hires a call girl to break her ex-husband’s heart.

Tiresian Symmetry
Album by Assistant Professor of Music Jason Robinson, with the Janus Ensemble (Cuneiform Records)
Robinson composed the eight songs and plays saxophone and flute on this jazz album, influenced by ancient Greek myths of the soothsayer Tiresias.

Trash Backwards: Innovating Our Way to Zero Waste
By David Naylor ’77 (Island Press)
In this e-book, Naylor traces the paths of various kinds of trash and investigates a range of promising new waste-management and recycling strategies.

Under the Wild Ginger: A Simple Guide to the Wisdom of Wonder
By Jeffrey D. Willius ’67 (Bunker Hill Publishing)
Willius, who blogs at onemanswonder.com, offers meditations to encourage “fresh new way[s] of sensing one’s surroundings—with renewed curiosity, awareness, gratitude and the kind of wonder we experienced when we were children.”

The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market & State
Edited by David Bollier ’78 (Levellers Press)
Essays by activists, academics and project leaders illustrate the struggle against the private commoditization of shared resources and the generative power of the commons.