SMU books for your reading pleasure

Enjoy a book by a member of the SMU community, including faculty, staff, alumni, libraries or museum.

Books by SMU

Compiled by Cherri Gann
SMU News

DALLAS (SMU) – Turn a new page in 2017 with a book by someone in the SMU community, including faculty, staff, alumni, libraries and museum. 

Need to satisfy a history buff? This list has it covered in genres from art to science to the Southwest.

Find selections for readers of poetry, personal and spiritual enrichment, young adult fiction and celebrity memoir. There’s a southern-themed cookbook for foodies, a literary Shakespearean riff in the form of a card game, and an arty crime caper filled with mystery and intrigue to the end. This collection has something for all reading preferences, from light to serious.

Some selections are available at the SMU bookstore, but all are available via online booksellers unless otherwise noted. Authors are listed alphabetically.

Books by Faculty, Staff and Trustees

  Gender and Migration Gender roles, relations and ideologies are major aspects of migration. Gender and Migration (Polity) by Caroline B. Brettell, University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director, Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, studies labor markets, laws, policies and models of migration to explore transnational motherhood, and how gender shapes the male and female roles in the construction of immigrant family and community life, as well as the overall immigrant experience for men and women.
     A Horse with Holes in It (LSU Press) is the third poetry collection by Greg Brownderville, associate professor of English at Dedman College. Among these poems: two method actors live as lovers in a wartorn city and take the stage in an empty playhouse; a poet confesses to killing thousands of Arkansas blackbirds via folk magic; a preteen boy, deeply involved in an underground religion, is pressured into marrying a dangerous demon. Brownderville’s inventive phrasing and vivid imagery construct a life marked by religion, confused by desire, dulled by alcohol, and darkened by death. His skillful humor softens what haunts the stanzas.
  Bard To be profane, or not to be? Bards Dispense Profanity (Why So Ever)is not a book, but a literary-based card game – which is close enough for us. Created by a team headed by Tim Cassedy, an assistant professor of English at Dedman College, the game comprises 100 mock-serious questions for our time and 375 answers copied word-for-word from the works of William Shakespeare. To play, each player receives seven quote cards, which they use to anonymously finish an open-ended prompt. A designated profanity judge chooses the best one. Then the next player serves as arbitrator and the ribald process begins anew.
  Reading John for Dear Life: A Spiritual Walk with the Fourth Gospel Reading John for Dear Life: A Spiritual Walk with the Fourth Gospel by Jaime Clark-Soles, professor of New Testament and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, takes readers on a dynamic journey deep into the heart of the fourth Gospel to be read alongside the Bible. Clark-Soles provides important historical and literary insights while illuminating the dramatic characters in John and emphasizing the Gospel’s unique themes and symbols. Readers will also appreciate the addition of prayers and questions for individual study and/or group discussion.
  Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectables for Gracious Get-Togethers Southerners adore their appetizers. In Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectables for Gracious Get-Togethers (Chronicle Books), by SMU Public Information Officer Denise Gee, recipes including smoked pecans for the sideboard, cheese straws on the coffee table, hot dips on the dining table, and pickled shrimp on the porch, prove that food is the life of the party. In addition to the delectables, Gee is generous with her homegrown southern hospitality advice on creating the ideal party flow, being a gracious host, arranging flowers, sending invitations and planning the perfect menu. Learn more about Gee’s previous southern-themed cookbooks at 
  Sour Grapes The e-novel Sour Grapes (Simon and Schuster), by Rachel Goodman, lecturer and undergraduate academic adviser at Lyle School of Engineering, presents Margaret Stokes, who is bitter. And not in the fine wine or dark chocolate kind of way. Recently dumped, fed up with her job and unable to abide one more veiled insult from her impossible-to-please mother, Stokes retreats to the comfort of her grandmother’s ramshackle bed and breakfast and its wide open vineyards. Ryan Camden, the aggravating yet-oh-so-tempting man who makes the shockingly delicious wine, takes an easy approach to life, and encourages Stokes to loosen up. She resists the urge to micromanage, embraces her surroundings and lets their relationship unfold. When a health scare forces Grammy J. to give up the bed and breakfast, Stokes begins to wonder if Ryan is the man he promises—and whether the problems she tried so hard to escape ever really went away. 
  Brown-Eyed Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Leaders Brown-Eyed Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Leaders (Information Age Publishing) by Frank Hernandez, Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair in Education Leadership and Associate Dean at Simmons School of Education and Human Development, studies a group of Latina/o leaders, focusing on the important relationship between racial and ethnic identity and requirements for today’s Latino/a educational leaders. As the racial and ethnic diversity of communities continues to rise, there is an increasing need for the diversification of school leaders who can improve student success, retention, engagement and successful academic achievement. This entails a deeper understanding about the role/definitions of leadership among communities of color, leadership succession, the importance of gender/ethnic differences, as well as methods for recruitment, retention and development of school administrators and other school leaders of color. 
  Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus There exists a deep tension between the biblical view of servant leaders and the status that today’s Christian leaders often desire and pursue. Many pastors and other church leaders struggle with ambition. In Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus, by Craig C. Hill, dean and professor of New Testament at Perkins School of Theology, shows how the New Testament can help Christian leaders deal with this problem honestly and faithfully. Hill examines such passages as the Christ Hymn in Philippians 2 to show how New Testament authors helped early Christians construct their identity in ways that overturned conventional status structures and hierarchies. Status and ambition, Hill says, are not often addressed forthrightly in the church, as Christians either secretly indulge those impulses or feebly try to quash them. This book will help Christian leaders reconcile human aspirations and spirituality, empowering them to minister with integrity.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: these words have long represented the promise of America, a “shimmering vision of a fruitful country open to all who come, learn, work, save, invest, and play by the rules.” Declining social mobility and rising income inequality, along with the extraordinary social, political, and economic developments of the Bush and Obama presidencies, have many convinced that the American Dream is no more. Cal Jillson, professor of political science, addresses these concerns in The American Dream: In History, Politics, and Fiction (University Press of Kansas). The book juxtaposes claims by political, social and economic elite against the view of American life consistently offered in our national literature. Great novelists from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville to Toni Morrison, Philip Roth and John Updike highlight the difficulty – if not impossibility – of the American dream, especially for racial, ethnic and religious minorities, and women. Jillson takes readers through the fluidity and reality of the American Dream from the seventeenth century to now, revealing a distinct, sustained separation between literary and political elite.

     The Rise of a Prairie Statesman: the Life and Times of George McGovern (Princeton University Press), by Thomas J. Knock, professor of History and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, is the first volume of a major biography of the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate who became America’s most eloquent and prescient critic of the Vietnam War. Knock traces McGovern’s life from a rustic boyhood in a South Dakota prairie town during the Depression to his rise to the pinnacle of politics at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago where police and antiwar demonstrators clashed in the city’s streets. Drawn extensively from McGovern’s private papers and scores of in-depth interviews, this book shows how McGovern’s importance to the Democratic Party and American liberalism extended far beyond his 1972 presidential campaign, and how the story of postwar American politics is about more than just the rise of the New Right. Knock describes McGovern’s harrowing missions over Nazi Germany as a B-24 bomber pilot, and reveals how McGovern’s combat experiences motivated him to earn a Ph.D. in history and stoked his ambition to run for Congress. When President Kennedy appointed him director of Food for Peace in 1961, McGovern engineered a vast expansion of the program's school lunch initiative that soon was feeding tens of millions of hungry children around the world. As a senator, he delivered his courageous and unrelenting critique of Lyndon Johnson’s escalation in Vietnam – a conflict that brought their party to disaster and caused a new generation of Democrats to turn to McGovern for leadership
  Failing Families, Failing Science: Work-Family Conflict in Academic Science Work in academia might sound like a dream – summers off, year-long sabbaticals, the opportunity to switch between classroom teaching and research. Yet, when it comes to the sciences, life at the top U.S. research universities is hardly idyllic. Failing Families, Failing Science: Work-Family Conflict in Academic Science (NYU Press) by Anne E. Lincoln, associate professor of sociology at Dedman College, with Elaine Ecklund, examines how the rigors of a career in academic science contribute to a difficult balance to family and work. The authors show how gender, individual choices, and university and science infrastructures all play a role in shaping science careers, and how science careers, in turn, shape family life. While both men and women face difficulties managing career and family, women are hit harder by the pressures of elite academic science. Early career academic scientists’ family and work struggles may prevent young scientists from pursuing positions at top research universities—or further pursuit of academic science at all. This comes at great cost to our national science infrastructure in an era when advanced scientific research and education is more important than ever.
  Lead Yourself Now: The Busy Leaders 30-day Guide to Personal Success  Lead Yourself Now: The Busy Leaders 30-day Guide to Personal Success (Perseverance Press) by SMU Trustee Sheron C. Patterson, Ph.D., is the busy leader’s rescue from personal mayhem and costly career missteps. In 30 days Patterson takes leaders through a calendar of relevant inner leadership skills that everyone should master, using daily challenges to provide fresh opportunities to appraise skills.
  Long Way Home Harold J. Recinos, professor of church and society at SMU’s Perkins School, lived on the streets of New York City from the ages of 12 to 16 after being abandoned by his parents. A Presbyterian minister eventually took Recinos into his home and family, helped Recinos kick a heroin habit and enrolled him in school. His poetry collection, Long Way Home (Floricanto and Berkeley Press), considers lives torn by the suffering shaped by anti-immigrant sentiment, American racism, classism, sexism, poverty, premature death, drug addiction, religious violence and impotence, and social alienation. The work draws attention to the Latino/a experience as an essential part of the American historical nation.
  Crossing Bridges Another new poetry collection, Crossing Bridges (Floricanto and Berkeley Press), Recinos equates to graffiti on the wall of public culture. Recinos uses this prose to embrace those rendered invisible and treated unworthy of being heard and touched, and to give voice to the overlooked world of Latino men, women and children at the edges of society. 
  Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead  Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Professor of English in Dedman College, is a moving collection of essays on aging and happiness. Drawing on more than six decades of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, Spiegelman reflects with candid humor and sophistication on growing old. When taken together, this discrete collection constitute the life of a man who, despite Western cultural notions of aging as something to be denied, overcome, and resisted, has continued to relish the simplest of pleasures: reading, looking at art, talking, and indulging in occasional fits of nostalgia while also welcoming what inevitably lies ahead.
  The Alchemy of Empire: Abject Materials and the Technologies of Colonialism The Alchemy of Empire: Abject Materials and the Technologies of Colonialism (Fordham University Press), by Rajani Sudan, professor of English in Dedman College, unravels the non-European origins of Enlightenment science. Sudan’s study of early 17th-century correspondence and scientific records traces the origins of British technologies — ice, mortar and inoculation — to roots in India, rather than vice versa, as historically taught. The scientific know-how was transferred through East India Company, a prolific trading enterprise facilitating Britain’s colonization of India. Sudan’s evidence debunks the notion of British exceptionalism, altering the modern trajectory of British and European science. 
  Another Year Finds Me in Texas: The Civil War Diary of Lucy Pier Stevens Another Year Finds Me in Texas: The Civil War Diary of Lucy Pier Stevens (University of Texas Press) by Vicki Tongate, lecturer in Dedman College, presents one of the few women’s diaries from Civil War-era Texas, and the only one written from a Northerner’s perspective. Twenty-one-year-old Lucy Pier Stevens, from Ohio, was visiting her aunt’s family near Bellville, Texas, when the Civil War broke out, rendering impossible her return home. Stevens’ chronicled thoughts and observations about weather, illnesses, food shortages, parties, church attendance, chores, schools, childbirth, death, slaves, and political and military news reveals how love for her Texas family, and the Confederate soldiers she cared for, blurred her loyalties as she continued longing for her Ohio home. Tongate’s insightful historical commentary provides a trove of women’s history, Texas history and Civil War history.

Books from SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies

  Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual and Political Freedom  Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual and Political Freedom (University of North Carolina Press) by Mireya Loza, Ph.D., curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, looks at the private lives of migrant men who participated in the bracero program (1942–1964), a binational agreement between the United States and Mexico that allowed hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers to enter the U.S. on temporary work permits. While this program and the issue of temporary workers has long been politicized on both sides of the border, Loza argues that the prevailing romanticized image of braceros as a family-oriented, productive, legal workforce has obscured the real, diverse experiences of the workers themselves. Focusing on underexplored aspects of workers’ lives – such as their transnational union-organizing efforts, the sexual economies of both heterosexual and gay workers, and the ethno-racial boundaries among Mexican indigenous braceros – Loza reveals how these men defied perceived political, sexual and racial norms. This work the newest in the David J. Weber Series in New Borderlands History, published in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Press in honor and memory of the work of the late David J. Weber, SMU professor emeritus of history and founding director of the Clements Center, explores boundaries and borderlands.
  Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women’s Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands

Legal Codes and Talking Trees: Indigenous Women’s Sovereignty in the Sonoran and Puget Sound Borderlands, 1854-1946 (Yale University Press) by Katrina Jagodinsky, assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska and a former fellow of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU, is an enlightening historical focus on indigenous women of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest, and how they dealt with the challenges posed by the existing legal regimes of the 19th and 20th centuries. In most western states, it was difficult if not impossible for Native women to inherit property, raise mixed-race children, or take legal action in the event of rape or abuse. Through the experiences of six indigenous women who fought for personal autonomy and the rights of their tribes, Jagodinsky explores a generally unacknowledged tradition of active critique of the U.S. legal system by female Native Americans.

  Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Er Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press), by Max Krochmal, assistant professor of history at Texas Christian University and former fellow of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU, is about the other Texas. Not the state known for its cowboy conservatism, but a mid-20th century hotbed of community organizing, liberal politics and civil rights activism. Beginning with the 1930s, Krochmal tells the story of the decades-long struggle for democracy in Texas, when African American, Mexican American, and white labor and community activists gradually came together to empower the state’s marginalized minorities. At the ballot box and in the streets, these diverse activists demanded not only integration but also economic justice, labor rights and real political power for all. Their efforts gave rise to the Democratic Coalition of the 1960s, a militant, multiracial alliance that would take on and eventually overthrow both Jim Crow and Juan Crow.

Evolution of the Texas - Louisiana Boundary: In Search of the Elusive Corner (William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, SMU) by Jim Tiller and John P. Evans, Jr., provide a fascinating compendium of historical sources illuminating the surveying and mapping of the Texas-Louisiana-Arkansas boundary from the early 19th-century to the present. This volume offers a treasure of riches for readers interested in locality and the technological, scientific, and hands-on business of geographic demarcation in a region of uncertain and often contested boundaries. To purchase this book, please e-mail


From the Meadows Museum

  Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo (Ediciones El Viso) is the catalogue for the landmark, eponymous exhibition at SMU’s Meadows Museum. The catalog presents full-color illustrations of the 97 works in the show and an extensive essay by the exhibition’s curator, Eugenio Carmona, an internationally recognized scholar of 20th-century art who has been integral to the development of the ACAC’s collection, the most comprehensive collection of modern art in Spain. The volume also includes introductory text for each of the exhibition’s five thematic sections, and object entries that include provenance, exhibition history, and bibliographies for the works presented. The catalogue concludes with full biographies of the 57 artists represented, making it an essential resource for the study of modern Spanish art. 

Books by Alumni

  I’m Talking as Fast as I Can, From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls

I’m Talking as Fast as I Can, From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) (Ballantine Books), by actress Lauren Graham ’92, the beloved star of television’s “Gilmore Girls” and “Parenthood”, shares stories about life, love and working in Hollywood.



  Pug Meets Pig    

In Pug Meets Pig (Beach Lane Books), by Sue Lowell Gallion ’80, an unlikely pair realize that it’s better to be together. Pug is a very happy pup. He has his own yard, his own bowl, and even his own cozy bed! That is, until Pig moves in and starts eating from Pug’s bowl, interrupting Pug’s routine, and, worst of all, sleeping in Pug’s bed. Will Pug and Pig ever learn to live together as friends? This sweet and silly story about a darling duo celebrates the timeless themes of embracing change, being kind to others, and finding friends in unlikely places.

  The Far Music

In 1947, when Earle G. Labor ’49 was a junior at SMU, he met and befriended World War II veteran P.B. “Pink” Lindsey. After graduation the two began an adventure, working their way from the Texas Panhandle to Canada, earning money by working the wheat harvests along the way. Their exploration came to an end just about a year later in June 1950, when the North Korean Army invaded South Korea. The Far Music (DeGolyer Library) is a memoir of that journey. Earle, a professor emeritus of American literature at Centenary College of Louisiana, is a noted authority on the novelist Jack London. Purchase The Far Music directly through the DeGolyer Library online retail store at:

  One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University

One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University (DeGolyer Library), by Darwin Payne ’68, is the first comprehensive history of SMU, tracing the University’s evolution from a fledgling regional institution into a university of national stature. The 591-page hardback begins with the debate among Texas Methodists that led to SMU’s founding in 1911 and concludes with SMU’s 2015 Centennial Celebration. With full access to SMU Archives, including more than 100 years of SMU Board of Trustee meeting minutes, newspapers, yearbooks, faculty members’ papers, oral histories and interviews, Payne presents an examination of strengths and weaknesses of SMU presidents, stories of influential faculty members and alumni, campus reaction to world events, and the highs and lows of intercollegiate athletics and student life. Payne taught journalism at SMU for 30 years. Purchase One Hundred Years on the Hilltop directly through the DeGolyer Library online retail store at:

  Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration

Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is navigating conflict nonviolently while preserving and respecting the dignity of employees. Peace in the Workplace: Transforming Conflict Into Collaboration (Goodmedia Press), by international speaker, peace-building trainer and mediator Robyn Short illuminates pathways to peace in your workplace and inspire you to become an agent of positive change. The book provides insight and guidance to help leaders and organizations understand that conflict does not equal inevitable negativity or disruption. Short explores the science behind conflict and human interaction to help leaders develop strategies to navigate disagreements, manage and celebrate differences and, ultimately, cultivate a work environment that encourages, enables and empowers employees to thrive and pursue a life of security, dignity and peace.


Books by Writer’s Path Students and Instructors

The Writer’s Path at SMU offers classes taught by published and produced writers in a noncredit writing program for Dallas-Fort Worth area adult writers who seek publication. The following selections are works by students of The Writer’s Path:

  Murder in G Major

Alexia Gordon’s Murder in G Major (Henery Press) has Gethsemane Brown, an African-American classical musician, stranded in a cliffside Irish village housesitting in the haunted cottage of the late composer Eamon McCarthy. The ghost of McCarthy begs Ms. Brown to clear him of false murder/suicide charges so he can rest in peace. Reluctantly she investigates. After stirring a dormant killer into action, Brown must race to prevent a murderous encore lest she star in her own farewell performance.

  The Golden Son

In The Golden Son (William Morrow), by Shilpi Gowda, protagonist Anil is the cherished elder son of a large family in rural India, and is expected to inherit the role of clan leader. Leena, his oldest childhood friend and closest companion, loves nothing more than the wild terrain they inhabit and her close-knit family. Their paths diverge when Anil leaves India for the U.S. to attend college – the first in his family to do so – and become a doctor. Back in India, Leena marries and leaves her beloved home to join her new husband’s family in a distant village. As adults, Anil’s and Leena’s rekindled friendship is complicated as they weigh the choice between responsibility and freedom, and between loyalty and love.


In Interference (Arthur A. Levine Books), by Writer’s Path instructor Kay Honeyman, protagonist Kate Hamilton, a Congressman’s daughter in Washington, D.C., gets what she wants, even by sometimes doing what some might call interfering. But when the Hamilton family moves to West Texas for her dad’s run in a special election, Kate encounters difficulties that test all her political skills. Her matchmaking efforts don’t work out. Her father’s campaign gets off to a rough start. And she slams the star quarterback’s hand in a door. Whenever Kate messes up, the handsome know-it-all Hunter Price is there to witness it. But with Kate’s good heart, political savvy and, yes, clever interference, she’ll figure out what it takes to make Red Dirt home.

  Dreams of the Eaten

Dreams of the Eaten (Solaris) by Writer’s Path Instructor Arianne “Tex” Thompson, is the final chapter in the Children of the Drought trilogy. After trials by fire and thirst, Appaloosa Elim’s quest to bring home the body of the crow prince is finally nearing its end. But the coffin is missing, the funeral party hopelessly scattered, and the fishmen hell-bent on revenge. Worse yet, the pilgrimage has disturbed an ancient power, the earth is crumbling in its grip. As the ground shakes and the crows gather, the final reckoning promises to unite the living and the dead in a battle for the land itself. One way or another, blood debts will come due. Elim will face his judgment. The world that is will be forever changed.