Books Galore

If you’re looking for a holiday gift—or a special treat for yourself—consider a book by a Penn State author. In addition to their scholarly and technical works, many PSU faculty members also write books with a general audience in mind. Here are a few we’ve heard about in recent months.


Steve Sherrill’s novel, The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time, revisits a character Sherrill introduced 16 years ago in his first novel. See the thoughtful reviews in the New York Times and Kirkus Reviews for details of the book’s story and style. Sherrill, associate professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona, has written three other novels and a book of poems.


For the southpaws on your gift list, try Laterality: Exploring the Enigma of Left-Handedness, by Clare Porac, professor of psychology at Penn State Behrend. Porac explores the advantage left-handers have in many sports, including tennis, fencing, and (sometimes) baseball, how handedness arises, common misconceptions about left-handedness, and more.


How are robots affecting our businesses and personal lives, and what changes can we look forward to as robots take on even larger roles in both? John Jordan, business clinical professor of supply chain and information systems in the Smeal College of Business, discusses our expectations of these mechanical, quasi-intelligent helpers in Robots.


If the natural world is more your cup of tea, check out new books on viruses and fish. In Virus: An Illustrated Guide to 101 Incredible Microbes, author Marilyn Roossinck, professor of plant pathology and environmental microbiology, provides a glimpse of 101 viruses, both deadly and beneficial, from all kingdoms of life. It’s illustrated by colorized electron micrographs showing the amazing variety and geometric beauty of the viruses.


The Fishes of Pennsylvania by Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology Jay Stauffer, aided by former PSU grad student Doug Fisher, photographer Robert Criswell, and illustrator Nevin Welte, is beautiful to browse through and an invaluable resource for anglers and anyone else interested in our fish fauna.


We featured six other faculty books in the Fall 2016 issue of Research/Penn State:

The Rise of Women Farmers and Sustainable Agriculture, by Carolyn Sachs, professor of rural sociology and women’s studies, and others

The Rebel Yell: A Cultural History, by Craig Warren, associate professor of English, Penn State Behrend

The Greatest Show in the Arctic, by P.J. Capelotti, professor of anthropology, Penn State Abington

Across Three Continents: Reflections on Immigration, Education and Personal Survival, by Katerina Bodovski, associate professor of educational theory and policy

Pesticides: A Love Story, by Michelle Mart, associate professor of history, Penn State Berks

On Obama, by Paul Taylor, associate professor of philosophy and African-American studies


This list is not exhaustive. For more books by Penn State faculty, visit a campus bookstore or ask your local librarian. Happy holidays!

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