Unglamored

Cheng_unglamoredCarroll School of Management student Jessie Cheng explores the mental health struggles and entertainment industry pressures faced by pop stars in her new novel, Unglamored. Rose B.D., a young Chinese American singer, seems to have it all. But when symptoms of an eating disorder become too much to ignore, Rose finds herself having to choose between the life she has worked so hard to build and the severe aftermath of neglecting her needs. Cheng’s novel shines a light on the need to have better conversations surrounding mental health and highlights the power of vulnerability, resilience, and meaningful human connection. More from The Heights | Carroll School News.

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Moments of illumination along El Camino de Santiago

Maggio_estrellasIn a new memoir, Boston College alumna Suzanne Maggio shares the story of her 500-mile trek along the Camino, Spain’s ancient pilgrimage. Although she wasn’t sure exactly what drove her to walk the Camino, Maggio felt the need for a reset as she contemplated the beginning of her 60th year. Estrellas: Moments of Illumination Along El Camino de Santiago (Adelaide Books, 2021) relates a journey that extends beyond the month of walking to one that brought Maggio inward to see the vital values of her heart. By writing about a handful of sparkling moments with the people she met along the way, Maggio challenges the reader to appreciate their own constellations of human connection. A licensed clinical social worker, Maggio is also a lecturer at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College. She is the author of The Cardinal Club, a finalist in both the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the 2020 IAN Book of the Year.

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White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege

racism and privilegeGrowing up white and middle class, Fr. Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M., was shielded from seeing persistent, pervasive racism, and never thought much about racial justice except for what he read in history books. In the spring and summer of 2020, U.S. cities erupted in protests and racial tensions ran high following several high-profile killings of Black women and men at the hands of white police officers. Like many white Americans, Fr. Horan watched and listened. In his new book, A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege, (Ave Maria Press, 2021), he shares what he has learned about uncovering and combating racial inequity and shows his fellow white Catholics how to become actively anti-racist and better allies to Black brothers and sisters. Fr. Horan earned a doctorate in systematic theology from the Boston College Theology Department and is the director of the Center for Spirituality and professor of religious studies and theology and philosophy at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.

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The writing life

bad choicesBad Choices Make Good Stories: Conversations about Writing is a collection of essays from writer Erin Dionne that offers a window into the craft of writing and the struggles that go along with the writing life. Dionne, a Boston College graduate, shares her experience—peppered with a healthy dose of humor—with readers in this practical, honest, and informative guide. Dionne is the author of several novels and picture books, including Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, Secrets of a Fangirl, and Balletball.

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The High 5 Habit

Robbins-high fiveMel Robbins, a motivational speaker and former host of the daytime talk show “The Mel Robbins Show,” has published a new book, The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit (Hay House, 2021). Using her signature science-backed wisdom, personal stories, and testimonials from people who have followed her advice, Robbins shows readers how to make believing in themselves a habit so that they can operate with confidence and achieve happiness and results. Robbins calls the High 5 Habit a simple yet profound tool that changes one’s attitude, mindset, and behavior. She was interviewed about her book on the Today Show. Robbins is a 1994 graduate of Boston College Law School and is the most-booked woman on the speaking circuit, according to Speaking.com. Her TEDx San Francisco talk has been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube, and her previous book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, is an international bestseller.

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Try a little tenderness

boyle-whole languageIn his new book, Gregory Boyle, S.J., shares moving stories he has collected from his experience as founder and director of Homeboy Industries, the largest and most successful gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 2021) challenges the readers’ ideas about God and about people, by showing how those at Homeboy Industries fight despair and remain generous and hopeful. Fr. Boyle provides a window into a world filled with fellowship, compassion, and the transformative power of tenderness. His previous books are the bestseller Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir. Fr. Boyle earned a M.Div. degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 1984; Weston Jesuit reaffiliated with Boston College as part of the establishment of the School of Theology and Ministry. Earlier this year, Fr. Boyle was presented with the School of Theology and Ministry’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award

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The price is right

Smith_price bookHow do leaders, managers, and proprietors go about the essential task of setting prices? What are some of the biases that drive decisions about pricing? In a new book, Carroll School of Management Associate Professor of Marketing Gerald Smith mixes the academic with the actionable for those in need of smarter pricing strategies. Getting Price Right: The Behavioral Economics of Profitable Pricing (Columbia University Press, 2021) is the first book to apply behavioral economics to managerial price setting. Smith pays attention to the soft skills of pricing (such as price framing, pricing strategy and “nudging”) as well as the hard skills (including value estimation and financial modeling). In Smith’s experience, the pairing of these skills leads to pricing that is more rational and ultimately successful—boosting not only revenue and profitability but also employee productivity and customer satisfaction. An award-winning instructor, Smith teaches strategic pricing management in BC’s MBA Program. He is the author of The Opt-Out Effect: Marketing Strategies That Empower Consumers and Win Customer-Driven Brand Loyalty and editor of Visionary Pricing: Reflections and Advances in Honor of Dan Nimer. Read more from the Carroll School.

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Challenging patriarchy in Pakistan

Hameed_steeringUrwa Hameed, who was accepted to Boston College at age 14 and will graduate this month with a degree in political science and international studies, has published Steering Towards Change: Women Politicians Challenging Patriarchy, Class and Power in Pakistan. Hameed was born in Pakistan, a democratic nation based on Islamic principles yet deeply rooted in traditional conservative cultural practices. The book is based on in-person interviews Hameed conducted with 45 female politicians in Pakistan. The politicians spoke to her about the role education, religion, and financial dependence played in their political journeys. Hameed was moved by the personal stories of women who had overcome poverty, patriarchal oppression, and abuse to achieve their political goals, and she hopes Steering Towards Change will serve as an inspiration for girls and young women. The book has been published in English and Urdu. Hameed plans to attend law school and envisions working as a global advocate for immigrant and women’s rights. Read more from BC News.

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One hiker’s exploration of the Appalachian Trail

Richardson-BreakfastOver the course of 11 years, Alan Richardson, a professor of English at Boston College, hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (AT), a nearly 2,200-mile journey that extends from Georgia to Maine. His approach was unique. Rather than hike from one end to the other, Richardson “jumped and danced around,” backpacking the AT in sections and out of order. From 2004 to 2015, he explored the AT via 47 different trips. He captured his experiences in the new book, Breakfast with Salamanders: Seasons on the Appalachian Trail (2021). “Hiking the AT in sections, rather than thru-hiking it from end to end allowed me to experience the trail in every season and in all weathers…seeing an unusual variety of mosses and wildflowers, birds and mammals, and nearly every atmospheric condition you can imagine,” he writes in the book’s preface. Breakfast with Salamanders is also informed by Richardson’s practice of Zen Buddhism. He notes: “I have tried to give a sense of what mountains and rivers and the footpaths that wander through them can still mean to us at a time when the concept of nature is being challenged and the natural environment itself has come under unprecedented stress.” An expert in British Romantic literature, Richardson has taught at BC for more than 30 years. He grew up in Washington State where he would backpack and mountain climb in the North Cascade and Olympic ranges.

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War diary of a Boston College Jesuit

foley ward diaryA new digital publication provides an eyewitness account of war from a Boston College Jesuit priest who served as a chaplain in the North Africa and Pacific theaters during World War II. John P. Foley, S.J., who temporarily left his post as dean of admissions and assistant dean of freshmen and sophomores at BC in 1942 to serve in the U.S. Navy, recorded his observations and experiences in a notebook. He documented horrors and heroism alike while chronicling the life and times of the young men he served, comforted, and buried. His journal has been developed into a digital work, For God and Country: The War Diary of Lieutenant Commander John P. Foley, S.J. Fr. Foley relates encounters and conversations—from the casual to the in-depth—with various officers and enlisted men and gives often vivid descriptions of the places he saw, such as the beautiful yet battle-ravaged Solomon Islands and the ruins of Tokyo. Other entries are of a more personal nature, in which he reflects on larger questions of faith and muses on the joys and sorrows of his job: helping an enlisted man sort out his complicated emotions about being in combat; giving last rites to soldiers for whom he had said Mass earlier that same day; writing letters to families informing them of a loved one’s death. For God and Country, which includes photographs and explanatory footnotes, was edited by retired Boston College Magazine Editor Ben Birnbaum and retired BC senior administrator Joseph P. Duffy, S.J., a devotee of 20th-century Jesuit history who discovered the diary in the Society of Jesus New England Provincial Archive. Read more from BC News

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