UC Davis

Authors’ topics vary from nut bread to climate change

By From page A1 | August 11, 2013

arneson book

Here’s a look at a selection of new works by UC Davis authors — and one book about one of UCD’s best-known art professors:

* “Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen” by Judith Newton (Perfect Paperback, $16.95, 322 pages). Already an accomplished writer of fiction and nonfiction, Newton illustrates in this memoir how she used food to sustain personal and political relationships, mourn losses and celebrate victories. Storytelling is seasoned with real recipes for such things as salmon mousse and “Death Valley Date Nut Bread.”

Newton is a professor emerita, having directed the Women and Gender Studies Program for eight years and the Consortium for Women and Research for four years.

* “The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World Together in Commerce” by Anupam Chander (Yale University Press, $28, 296 pages). With real-world examples such as Google’s struggles with China, the Pirate Bay’s skirmishes with Hollywood, and the outsourcing of services to India, this cyberlaw expert analyzes the difficulties of regulating Internet trade as today’s electronic silk roads ferry information across continents.

Chander lays out a framework for future policies, showing how countries can dismantle barriers while still protecting consumer interests.

Chander, a professor of law, will hold a book-signing from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, in King Hall Room 1001.

* “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism” by Karima Bennoune (W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., $27.95, 416 pages). News coverage of religious extremism and terrorist attacks overtakes stories about the global community of writers, artists, doctors, musicians, museum curators, lawyers, activists and educators of Muslim heritage who tell a different story in the fight against Muslim fundamentalism, says the author.

Bennoune draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews to illuminate inspiring stories, including that of Omar Belhouchet and his team of journalists who struggled to put out their newspaper, El Watan (The Nation), in Algeria, the same night that a 1996 jihadist bombing devastated their offices and killed 18 of their colleagues.

The author is a professor of international law, and the book will be on shelves this month. She will present themes and anecdotes from the book at a World Affairs Council event Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the UCD School of Law.

* “A Troublesome Subject: The Art of Robert Arneson” by Jonathan Fineberg (University of California Press, $60, 270 pages). Touted as the first major monograph of the life and work of internationally acclaimed artist Robert Arneson, an icon of the UCD art faculty, this book proceeds through Arneson’s career, chronicling his early life, his “formation of a personal style and finding a unique subject matter in his famous post-1970 turn to self portraiture,” says the publisher.

Arneson — perhaps best known on and around campus for his emblematic “Egghead” sculptures — taught at UC Davis for 29 years, and died a year after he left, in 1992. Fineberg is a professor of art history emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

* “You Only Get Letters from Jail” by Jodi Angel (Tin House Books, $14.95, 286 pages). Angel’s second story collection chronicles the lives of young men “motivated by muscle cars, manipulative women, and the hope of escape from circumstances that force them either to grow up or give up,” writes the publisher.

The book opens with the viewpoint of Philip, an adolescent who has just lost his mother to a drug overdose, telling his story from a dark and draped house with a television flickering Robert Redford movies. Angel earned a master’s degree in English from UCD in 2006. Her first collection of stories, “The History of Vegas,” was published in 2005.

* “The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America” by Molly McCarthy (The University of Chicago Press, $30, 280 pages). Anyone who has ever found and read an old desk diary — of their own, or that of an older or deceased relative or friend — will immediately embrace McCarthy’s “biography of a book.”

The book explores not only the types of diaries themselves, readily available in Montgomery Ward’s catalogs in the 1800s, and before that as best-selling almanacs, but also the people who wrote them and what they said. McCarthy is associate director of the Humanities Institute. She will sign her book from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17,  in the Memorial Union store lounge.

* “Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States” edited by Gregg Garfin (Island Press, $49.99, 528 pages). Those wondering if the hot temperatures outside are affecting the environment will be curious to thumb through this tome, one of 10 regional technical contributions to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. The NCA provides input to the U.S. president and Congress on the status of climate change.

“Projected increases in temperature and changes in precipitations in the Southwest — from the California coast to the plains of eastern Colorado and New Mexico — will present challenges for managing ecosystems, water, agriculture, energy supply and delivery, transportation, and human health,” the book reports.

Garfin is deputy director for Science Translation & Outreach, Institute of the Environment, at the University of Arizona. Multiple UCD researchers contributed to the book.

* “Progress or Collapse: The Crises of Market Greed” by Roberto De Vogli (Routledge, $29.95, 272 pages). De Vogli, a social epidemiologist, writes that “psychological and political inertia trap us in a world of climate change, water shortages, food scarcity and peak oil, from which we may have lost the ability to escape.”

De Vogli said in an interview that anyone who “cares about humanity” should read his book. He is an associate professor in the department of public health sciences at UC Davis.

— UC Davis News Service

Karen Nikos

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