Meet Millie Gogarty

good eggsIn her debut novel, Boston College alumna Rebecca Hardiman introduces readers to the quirky but lovable Gogarty clan: Kevin, who is unemployed and overwhelmed, his sulky teenaged daughter Aideen, and his 83-year-old mother Millie, who has just been caught shoplifting—again. Good Eggs (Simon & Schuster/Atria Books, 2021) is a warmhearted and humorous look at three generations of a spirited Irish family. In an interview about Good Eggs, Hardiman, a former magazine editor, said, “I wanted to show that family isn’t always easy and personalities will clash, conflicts will arise, but in the end there’s a lot of love there as well.” According to Publishers Weekly, “Hardiman’s endearing novel stands out for its brilliant insight into the mixed blessings of family bonds.”

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The librarian with a secret

personal librarianBelle da Costa Greene was hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. She became a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world. But the more her reputation grew, the tighter Belle held onto a secret: She was passing for white. In the new book The Personal Librarian (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2021), co-authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray tell the story of a remarkable woman, and the lengths to which she went to keep her secret. Benedict is a Boston College graduate and a bestselling author. Her previous titles include The Only Woman in the RoomThe Mystery of Mrs. Christie, and Lady Clementine, among others. The Personal Librarian was chosen as the July GMA Book Club pick. Benedict and Murray talked about their collaboration with the Washington Post

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Exhortation and advice

sacchini_cover-01Francesco Sacchini (1570–1625) was a much-respected rhetorician, biographer, and official historian of the Society of Jesus. At his death, he left behind two essays—The Protrepticon (“exhortation”) and the Paraenesis (“advice”)—valuable, ever-ready resources for those assigned to teach the younger students in the literary courses in the Society’s schools. Generations of teachers through the golden age of Jesuit education in the 17th century profited from Sacchini’s wisdom, and much remains quite relevant and useful today. Cristiano Casalini, Endowed Chair of Jesuit Pedagogy and Educational History at Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and Claude Pavur, S.J., associate editor of Jesuit Sources, have edited a new text based on Fr. Sacchini’s words. Exhortation and Advice for the Teachers of Young Students in Jesuit Schools, a publication from the Boston College Institute of Advanced Jesuit Studies’ Jesuit Sources, provides a window into a Jesuit spirituality of teaching. This annotated bilingual edition presents the first English translation of the pedagogical classic and is considered a great contribution to the study of Jesuit pedagogy and what it means to be a Jesuit educator. The co-editors discussed this volume in an Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies video.

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Key to student engagement

five pathsEducation experts Dennis Shirley and Andy Hargreaves have written a new book aimed at educators looking to promote active engagement in the classroom and improve student learning. Based on examples from seven years of research, Five Paths of Student Engagement: Blazing the Trail to Learning and Success (Solution Tree, 2021) integrates psychological and sociological perspectives and delves deeply into the what, why, and how of student engagement. Teachers will learn who and what the true enemies of student engagement are and how to implement practices that lead directly to students’ well-being, learning, and success. Five Paths of Student Engagement is featured by TES Research Review. | Shirley is a Duganne Faculty Fellow and professor at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. He is the author/co-author of several books, including The Mindful Teacher. Hargreaves is professor emeritus at the BC Lynch School and author/co-author of Collaborative Professionalism and the memoir Moving, among other titles. Shirley and Hargreaves have previously collaborated on the books The Fourth Way and The Global Fourth Way

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Chaos in the face of COVID

nightmare scenarioA new book co-authored by Boston College graduate Damian Paletta and fellow Washington Post journalist Yasmeen Abutaleb offers a detailed account of the White House’s actions from January 2020 to Election Day while the nation faced COVID-19. Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History (Harper, 2021) is based on extensive reporting and interviews with some 180 people, including White House senior staff members and government health leaders. Paletta and Abutaleb reveal the numerous times officials tried to dissuade Trump from following his worst impulses as he defied recommendations from the experts and even members of his own administration. And they show how the petty backstabbing and rivalries among cabinet members, staff, and aides created a toxic environment of blame, sycophancy, and political pressure. Even after an outbreak that swept through the White House and infected Trump himself, he remained defiant in his approach to the virus, say the authors. Paletta is the economics editor at the Washington Post and previously covered the White House for the Post and the Wall Street Journal. An excerpt from the book was published in the Washington Post. The authors discussed their book on Washington Post Live | Transcript.

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Alliance politics

power to divideAccomodative wedge strategy, a form of divisive statecraft and diplomacy designed to isolate adversaries from allies and potential supporters through inducements, is a powerful tool in the international politics aresenal. In his new book, The Power to Divide: Wedge Strategies in Great Power Competition (Cornell University Press, 2021), Boston College Associate Professor of Political Science Timothy Crawford looks at eight cases of alliance diplomacy from 1915 to 1941 and assesses the record of countries that tried an accommodative wedge strategy, and why ultimately, they succeeded or failed. Crawford argues that a deeper historical and theoretical grasp of the role of these wedge strategies in alliance politics and grand strategy is important for consideration of contemporary U.S. relations with China and Russia. Crawford concludes his book with a survey of China’s potential to use such strategies to divide India from the U.S. and the United States’ potential to use them to forestall a China-Russia alliance. Crawford wrote about the wedge strategy logic of U.S.-Russian dialogue ahead of last month’s summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. For more from Crawford about his book, read this Q&A from Cornell University Press.

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Faculty authors honored

Bernauer CMA 2021mccoy award








Faculty in the Philosophy and Theology departments have been honored for their work by organizations recognizing outstanding Catholic books, magazines, newspapers, and other communications vehicles. The Catholic Media Association (formerly Catholic Press Association) awarded Kraft Family Professor Emeritus James Bernauer, S.J., a second place CMA Book Award for his publication, Jesuit Kaddish: Jesuits, Jews, and Holocaust Remembrance (Notre Dame Press). The book was recognized in the category of ecumenism or interfaith relations. The CMA also awarded the Theology Department’s Michael P. Walsh Professor of Bioethics Andrea Vicini, S.J., an honorable mention for Best Writing – Analysis (magazine category) for his article “Reflecting on CRISPR Gene Editing.” The article appeared in Health Progress, the journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. The Association of Catholic Publishers awarded Professor of Philosophy Marina Berzins McCoy a first place prize in the category of general interest books for her publication The Ignatian Guide to Forgiveness (Loyola Press). Read more from BC News.

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Handing on the Fire

Handing on the Fire cover-01The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College is hosting a live webinar book launch on July 1 at 12 noon (ET) for one of its newest titles, Handing on the Fire: Making Spiritual Direction Ignatian. The book event will feature Handing on the Fire’s author, Joseph Tetlow, S.J., an internationally renowned spiritual director who served in Rome as Secretary for Ignatian Spirituality on the Jesuit Superior General’s staff, overseeing 250 Jesuit retreat houses throughout the world. In Handing on the Fire, Fr. Tetlow lays out the theology in action that must inform Ignatian spiritual direction: the principles, norms, and practices that characterize the robust experience of Ignatian spirituality in everyday life. The book contributes to this deepening spiritual formation—both for those who are already offering Ignatian spiritual direction, and for those aspiring to give it. To learn more about the book or register for the free book launch, visit the IAJS website.

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Love and baseball on the Cape

on the moundA new novel written by 1986 Boston College alumna Kristin Moyer Waring combines family, autism, baseball, and love. On the Mound tells the story of the daughter of a New York baseball tycoon who travels to witness a 19-year-old pitching phenom in hopes of telling his story to the world. The young man’s career ends that night, but the pitcher’s father takes hold of her heart. A Massachusetts native, Waring set her novel on Cape Cod, where she spent many summers. Waring also is the parent of a rising BC senior and 2020 BC graduate. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of On The Mound are being donated to the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, which helps people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest.

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Finding your voice

piccoloInformed by her 40+ years of experience as an educator and guidance counselor, Boston College alumna Cynthia Daigle Xenakis has written a book that teaches kids ages 9-12 how to deal with bullying through self-confidence, empathy, and the power of a strong voice. Piccolo & the Big Ol’ Cat tells the story of fifth-grader Monique Abbott, who starts at a new school after her family moves to another town. Monique, who has a stutter, becomes the target of bullying. Inspired by her dog, Piccolo, and her aunt’s cat, Bertha, Monique develops a campaign that helps her and other students stand up to bullies. Xenakis has dedicated her career to helping students navigate relational aggression/bullying and hopes Monique’s story serves as inspiration to students who have experienced bullying. Xenakis earned a B.A. and a M.Ed. from the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

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