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""Detour 2020
Brad Herzog ’90

In the fourth volume in his “States of Mind” series of U.S. travel memoirs, Herzog chronicles a cross-country RV journey he took last summer. It was a fraught moment in American history, as the nation faced multiple crises: a global pandemic, crushing unemployment, seemingly endless wildfires, civil unrest amid protests against racist policing, and deep political divisions in advance of the presidential election. His goal, he writes, was to explore 2020 “not in hindsight, but in real time. Not from a lonely writing room, but through an expedition into the heart of America and its conflicts, its history, its tragic deviations.” A longtime CAM contributing editor, Herzog has penned dozens of books for children and adults including the previous series entries Small World and Turn Left at the Trojan Horse.


Daughter of the White Rose
Diane Zahler ’79

Set in England in 1483, Zahler’s latest young adult novel is narrated by twelve-year-old Nell, the daughter of a butcher in the kitchens of Westminster Palace—and best friend to Prince Edward, the heir to the throne. When Edward’s father dies and his uncle Richard III seizes the crown, both Edward and Nell find themselves imprisoned in the Tower of London. Offering a speculative take on the legend of the “princes in the tower,” the novel follows the brave and clever Nell’s efforts to free herself and her friend. “Zahler skillfully weaves historical facts and period rumors into a fabric richly embroidered with imaginative storytelling,” says Booklist, calling the tale “enjoyable fare for historical fiction fans.”


""Girls of a Certain Age
Maria Adelmann ’07

The characters in these works of short fiction are coping with myriad challenges: unemployment, loneliness, unplanned pregnancy, single motherhood, domestic abuse, a husband going off to war. “The stories in Adelmann’s debut collection feature women and girls adrift in the world,” says Kirkus. “From broken homes, broken relationships, broken senses of their own identities, the narrators of these stories explore worlds marked by a bleak sense of anonymity—in these largely urban tales, all faces seem to be faces in the crowd.” A double major in English and psychology on the Hill, Adelmann holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia and has been published in numerous literary magazines including the Threepenny Review and Epoch.


""Wild Vet Adventures
Gabriela Wagner ’12, BS ’11, DVM ’17

Known as “Dr. Gabby Wild” on various National Geographic platforms, Wagner is a globe-trotting wildlife veterinarian and conservationist. This colorful hardcover for kids (subtitled Saving Animals Around the World) runs nearly 200 pages, taking readers on a continent-by-continent tour of dozens of species, with full-page photos and numerous facts about habitat, diet, anatomy, potential threats, and more. In addition to telegenic species like elephants, chimpanzees, and giant pandas, Dr. Wild profiles a few lesser-known critters like pangolins, dung beetles, and a raccoon relative called the white-nosed coati. “Overall,” says School Library Journal, “the engaging text is sure to delight readers.”


""Blood, Powder, and Residue
Beth Bechky ’91

Subtitled How Crime Labs Translate Evidence into Proof, this volume from Princeton University Press offers a behind-the-scenes look at forensic science, based on the author’s eighteen months of fieldwork in a metropolitan crime lab in the Midwest. An ILR alum on the faculty at NYU, Bechky turns her sociologist’s eye on a workplace whose day-to-day activities (fictionalized in umpteen TV dramas from “CSI” onward) inform weighty outcomes in the realms of justice and punishment—be it analysis of DNA, bullets, illegal drugs, fingerprints, or other evidence. “The writing is crisp and jargon-free, and the text includes many interesting anecdotes,” says the New York Times, adding that the book “manages to be both scholarly and engaging.”


""Lost Restaurants of Miami
Seth Bramson ’69

A Hotelie and lifelong Miamian, Bramson has penned more than thirty books on Florida history, including those focused on its railroads, its Jewish community, and the evolution of various cities. Here, he revisits bygone eateries in the Miami area dating back to the late nineteenth century, from coffee shops to steakhouses, cafeterias to white-glove operations in luxury hotels. As everywhere, the region’s dining industry has been buffeted by changing fortunes—in Florida’s case, numerous hurricanes that destroyed buildings and economic downturns that destroyed livelihoods. The book also includes dozens of vintage photos of now-departed establishments that once flourished in what Bramson calls “one of the greatest food towns in America.”


To purchase these books and others by Cornellians, or to submit your book for possible mention in Cornell Alumni Magazine, go to cornellalumnimagazine.com/authors.

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