A Flicker of Hope

Boston College alumnus Chuck Abdella concludes his fantasy book series with A Flicker of Hope. In the Outcasts series’ fourth book, the heroes find themselves questioning whether the world is even worth saving and facing doubt about themselves and each other. But, according to the publisher, “the power of friendship endures. For beneath an ocean of darkness, there is always a flicker of hope.” When he is not writing, Abdella is teaching history at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Mass.

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The Master Plan

This summer, the Boston College Class of 2023 has been reading The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House, 2019) by Chris Wilson, with Bret Witter. Wilson grew up in violent circumstances and was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder. In prison, he got his diploma, earned an associate’s degree, and read hundreds of books. He focused on self-improvement and developed a “master plan” to turn his life around, and if he ever got out of prison, develop a business and help others. Listen to Wilson talk about his book on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Wilson will speak to the Class of 2023 at First Year Academic Convocation on Sept. 5. Learn more about BC’s tradition of the common read for first-year students and convocation in this video.

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Searching for home

The thread running through Michael Brendan Dougherty’s book My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search for Home (Sentinel/Penguin Random House, 2019) is the author’s spiritual development, which culminates in the discovery of his own vocation as a father. Boston College Philosophy Department faculty member Santiago Ramos, who received his doctorate from BC, reviews Dougherty’s book for Commonweal magazine.

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Portraits of the American West

Frank Bergon, a novelist, critic, and essayist who grew up on a ranch in California’s San Joaquin Valley, brings his intimate knowledge of the area and writing talents together in his new book, Two-Buck Chuck & The Marlboro Man: The New Old West (University of Nevada Press, 2019). Bergon’s book is a collection of essays about real-life figures from the American West, a diverse area of ethnicities and lives that straddle the Old West and 21st century realities. Their stories are often unheard and their region of the country often misunderstood. Bergon is a Boston College alumnus who has taught at the University of Washington and Vassar College and is a member of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. His other books include Jesse’s Ghost, Shoshone Mike, and Wild Game.

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The tale of Arthur the Theologian

Arthur the Theologian and his encounter with Burns Library’s copy of the Douai Bible, the first Modern English bible, gained some modest fame in 2013 thanks to a post in the Burns Library’s blog. Arthur the Theologian returned to the spotlight this summer when artwork from Burns Library Conservator Barbara Adams Hebard was featured in the Annual Print and Paper Exchange exhibit from the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. Hebard’s whimsical collage, titled “A Transformed Arthur the Theologian is greeted by St. Peter at the Gate of Heaven,” brings the tale of Arthur the Theologian to its conclusion.

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Amy Lynch mysteries

Paula Kane Norton, a Boston College alumna who worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, has tapped into that experience to create the character of Amy Lynch, an investigator for New England Casualty and Indemnity and star of Norton’s series of mystery novels. Writing under the name P.K. Norton, the BC grad has published her latest Amy Lynch mystery, titled Deep Secrets (Stillwater River Publications, 2019), which has Amy looking into the circumstances that put her friend Tom Griffin into a coma and a possible connection to a top-secret government project. Norton is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Cape Cod Writers Center.

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Zyratron

Zyratron is the main character in a series of sub-par black & white horror movies from the 1960s. The film’s producers tried to market a line of Zyratron figurines that went nowhere. Decades later, television studios desperate for programming broadcast the Zyratron films in the middle of the night. Soon a small but dedicated following grows and the Zyratron figurines become valuable collectibles. So valuable, that someone is willing to kill for them. That’s the premise of The Zyratron Affair, a mystery novel written by Boston College graduate Joe Nowlan. Nowlan is an author and freelance business writer and editor. His previous novel is Media Blitz.

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