Some of the latest books with a UNH connection

Monday, October 1, 2018

Small Town, Big Oil

Small Town, Big Oil

The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the Richest Man in the World — And Won

David W. Moore, Diversion Books, March 2018

In the fall of 1973, when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced an embargo that tipped the United States’ concerns about oil shortages into a full-blown crisis, Durham, New Hampshire, found itself at the heart of an unlikely drama: Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis, with the backing of the state’s governor and its largest newspaper, was proposing to build an oil refinery on Durham Point. For some residents, the proposal sounded like salvation — new jobs, lower taxes and a guaranteed supply of gasoline and oil. But a group of Durham Point homeowners felt otherwise, and suspected that the massive refinery wouldn’t be the “clean as a clinic” panacea that Onassis, Gov. Meldrim Thomson and Manchester Union Leader publisher William Loeb promised it would be.


Moore, a senior fellow at the UNH Carsey Center for Public Policy and a former UNH professor of political science, captures the drama and complexity of a battle that riveted New Hampshire from the Seacoast to the State House and shines a light on three women who led the citizen effort to oppose the project: Phyllis Bennett, publisher of a fledgling Newmarket paper that covered the battle extensively; Nancy Sandberg, a “young housewife” appointed to head up the opposition group Save Our Shores; and Dudley Dudley, a first-term state representative from Durham who introduced the legislation that ultimately defeated the effort.

The Sovereignty of the Accidental

The Sovereignty of the Accidental

Michael Brosnan ’80G, Harbor Mountain Press, Dec. 2017

In his debut collection, Exeter, New Hampshire- based poet Brosnan draws inspiration from the natural world and the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, from childhood memories and adult sorrows. A faded dream of a bicycle is choke-chained to a lamppost; a flock of starlings is swept up on an invisible river of sky. “The Sovereignty of the Accidental” has been hailed as “a stunning book,” and “an impressive, deeply satisfying debut,” a showcase for Brosnan’s considerable talents for capturing the mundane and the personal, the metaphorical and the metaphysical.

Illustration of person rowing
Illustration by Molly Brosnan 

Lost Carson City

Peter Mires ’79, The History Press, June 2018

Set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Carson City is a quintessential Wild West town — and one of the country’s least-populated state capitals. Its contributions to Nevada’s history, however, are anything but small. Mires, a retired professor of geography and anthropology, explores the city’s many legacies — from the Comstock Lode and the Carson City Mint to the Carson City Opera House — brick by locally quarried sandstone brick.

This Bright Beauty

This Bright Beauty

Emily Cavanagh ’99, Lake Union Publishing, March 2018

Franci and Lottie may be identical twins, but they’re very different people. After years of taking care of Lottie, who suffers from bipolar disorder, Franci moves across the country — only to be pulled back when Lottie gets into an accident and is unable to care for either herself or the infant daughter Franci didn’t know her sister had. As Lottie unravels, Franci learns a secret her twin has kept since childhood that has the power to reframe the duo’s entire relationship and potentially change the answer to a compelling question: who has been protecting whom all these years?

Thank Your Lucky Stars

Thank Your Lucky Stars

Sherrie Flick ’89, Autumn House Press, Sep. 2018

From a woman sharing mixed drinks with a taxidermized deer head to a cowboy photographer down on his luck, Flick’s second collection of short stories serves up love and loss, longing and heartbreak, and cruelty and tenderness in poetic images.

Ash & Embers

Ash & Embers

James A. Zoller ’71, Cascade Books, April 2018

“Ash & Embers” embodies the inherent messiness of life’s journey. Taking his various roles — son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, teacher, citizen, believer, writer and reader — as narrative stances, Zoller, a professor of writing and literature at Houghton College in western New York, considers the details of life and its larger forces.

The Acadia Files

Book One, Summer Science


Katie Coppens ’01, ’02G, Tilbury House Press, June 2018

Acadia Greene wants answers. Who keeps stealing her blueberries just as they ripen on the bushes? Why is her hair curly? Why does the sun wake her up so early in the summer? Acadia doesn’t set out to do science, but her scientist parents refuse to feed her the answers, so she gathers evidence, makes hypotheses, designs experiments, uses the results to test her hypotheses, and draws conclusions. The first in a chapter book series organized by seasons, “The Acadia Files: Book One, Summer Science” teaches kids science through 10-year old Acadia’s curiosity about the world around her, using everyday scenarios to make scientific inquiry relatable and understandable.

Originally published in UNH Magazine Fall 2018 Issue