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The Story of North Texas: From Texas Normal College, 1890, to the University of North Texas System, 2001 book coverThe Story of North Texas: From Texas Normal College, 1890, to the University of North Texas System, 2001 by James L. Rogers, Professor Emeritus of journalism (UNT Press). Rogers updates and expands his 1965 publication, The Story of North Texas: From Texas Normal College, 1890, to North Texas State University, 1965, chronicling North Texas’ growth from its Denton founding by Joshua Chilton to its expansion into the UNT System with campuses in Dallas and Fort Worth. Illustrated with more than 80 photos, the book provides the definitive history of UNT. Rogers taught journalism at North Texas from 1953 to 1996 and also served as vice president of administrative affairs and director of university planning. He writes in the book’s final pages: “In the 48 years since this writer joined the North Texas faculty, he has spent much of his professional life believing in and being an advocate for the institution. He unashamedly believes that the 1894 forecast of President Menter B. Terrill has been justified by events of more than a century: ‘Our work shall prove our worth.’”

Run, Run as Fast as You Can: A Sheriff Jerry Valdez Mystery  book coverRun, Run as Fast as You Can: A Sheriff Jerry Valdez Mystery by Gene Wright, professor of English (Publishamerica Inc.). The author of three scholarly books and many articles on Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature, Wright has now produced a mystery novel featuring Sheriff Jerry Valdez of Kendall County in the Texas Hill Country. The murderer of Valdez’s young deputy threatens the sheriff and his family, and Valdez calls on his own skills and the help of friends to end the threat. Electronic surveillance, a helicopter search, military protection, breaking and entering, computer searches and hard work are all required to return order to his life.

School Choice Tradeoffs by Frank Kemerer, Regents Professor of teacher education and administration and director of the UNT Center for the Study of Education Reform, and Ken Godwin, former Regents Professor of political science now at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (University of Texas Press). The authors compare the policy that uses family residence to assign students to schools with alternative policies ranging from expanding public choice options to school vouchers. The book grew out of their comprehensive study of public and private school choice in San Antonio.

Hannah’s Gift: Lessons From a Life Fully Lived book cover

Hannah’s Gift: Lessons From a Life Fully Lived by Maria Housden (’84) of Woodstock, N.Y. (Bantam Books). Housden writes of the lessons she learned from her 3-year-old daughter, Hannah, in her last year of life. She shares recollections and anecdotes, recounting Hannah’s battle with cancer and the way she approached life with joy and courage. Housden has led bereavement support groups and spoken to organizations across the nation as an advocate for quality of life at the end of life.


Texas Sports Writers: The Wild and Wacky Years book coverTexas Sports Writers: The Wild and Wacky Years by Bob St. John (’60) of Mount Vernon (Republic of Texas Press). Before he became a feature columnist for the Dallas Morning News, St. John was a sports writer for the paper from 1964 to 1979. In this personal memoir, he recalls a vanishing era when writers didn’t take sports or themselves so seriously. John Anders, Gary Cartwright, Dan Cook, Randy Galloway and Frank Luksa are among the individuals he notes.

Sin Killer
by Larry McMurtry (’58) of Archer City (Simon & Schuster). In this first novel of a four-volume work, McMurtry presents the Berrybender family, English aristocrats traveling up the Missouri River to explore the American West of the 1830s. The story follows the family’s adventures, the cast of characters they meet along the way, and the developing relationship between daughter Tasmin and frontiersman and part-time preacher Jim Snow, known as the “Sin Killer” along the Missouri.

Poured Out: Preparing Vessels Fit for Kingdom Use book cover

Poured Out: Preparing Vessels Fit for Kingdom Use by Howard J. Olsen (’86 M.Ed.) of Fort Worth (Clear Stream Publishing Inc.). In this call for moral integrity, Olsen challenges Christians to live lives that reflect compassion for others and genuine humility and servanthood. He is also the author of Wounded Warriors, Chosen Lives: Healing for Vietnam Veterans, which discusses post traumatic stress disorder and the path to recovery.

Toru Takemitsu: A Bio-Bibliography by James Siddons (’70, ’83 Ph.D.) of Lynchburg, Va. (Greenwood Press). After completing his undergraduate work in music composition, Siddons spent two years at the Tokyo University of Arts. He returned to Tokyo in 1989-90 as a Fulbright post-doctoral researcher to collect information for this study of the scores, books and recordings of Takemitsu, considered Japan’s most important composer of fine arts music and film music in the 20th century.

Secret Recipe: Why KFC is Still Cookin’ After 50 Years book coverSecret Recipe: Why KFC is Still Cookin’ After 50 Years by Robert Darden (’78 M.J.) of Waco (Tapestry Press). Darden examines the success of KFC and the business philosophies of Colonel Sanders and Pete Harman, the first franchisee. Also out this year is Darden’s Corporate Giants: Personal Stories of Faith and Finance (Fleming H. Revell/Baker Books). The book contains interviews with some of the most successful Christian business leaders in the nation and includes not only their stories of faith, but also business advice for new and seasoned professionals. Darden is an assistant professor of English at Baylor University and senior editor of The Door, a magazine of religious humor and satire now in its 30th year.

Other Media

Come Away With Me cd cover Come Away With Me by Norah Jones (Blue Note Records). This is the first full-length album from Jones, who studied jazz piano at UNT from 1997 to 1999. Released in February, it blends her songs with classic tunes from Hank Williams, J.D. Loudermilk and Hoagy Charmichael as she crosses from jazz to soul to folk-based pop.

Reflections on Favorite Hymns cd coverReflections on Favorite Hymns by James Siddons (’70, ’83 Ph.D.) of Lynchburg, Va. (Major Recording Co.). This album by Siddons, a United Methodist minister, includes classic American hymns as well as contemporary religious songs. All are performed on an 1899 Steinway grand piano.




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