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reed magazine logoSpring 2009
Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Prostitutes Writing on Life, Love, Money and Sex

David Henry Sterry ’78 is co-editor of Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Prostitutes Writing on Life, Love, Money and Sex. (Soft Skull Press, 2009). “Funny, terrifying, tragic, and inspiring, this collection of oral history, short memoirs, war stories, confessions, nightmares, social criticism, and poetry is unprecedented because it includes people from all walks of the sex-for-money world.”

The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel

Bill Bloch ’87 has published a prime number of research articles and a book on Jorge Luis Borges and mathematics, The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel. The book was well reviewed by Alberto Manguel and an honorably mentioned finalist for the 2008 PROSE award. “Artists as diverse as Werner Herzog and John Barth have enjoyed it, which is gratifying.”

Saint Louis

A translation of French historian Jacques Le Goff’s Saint Louis, by Gareth Gollrad ’87, was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in December 2008. Saint Louis, a biographical history of French king Louis IX, is a major historical work from one of the world’s top historians of the Middle Ages.

Ranches of the American West

Ranches of the American West, by Linda Leigh Paul ’87, MALS ’95, was published by Rizzoli in October. Linda’s newest publication showcases the finest American ranches, from century-old working ranches to rugged new compounds, and contains 300 newly commissioned color photographs of ranches in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Texas.

Israel vs. Utopia

Israel vs. Utopia, by Joel Schalit ’90, was published by Akashic Books in October. In this collection of essays, Joel distinguishes between the Israel he knows, and the image of it that exists in the imagination of Americans. For more about his writing and his music, visit www.joelschalit.com.

Amy Reed ’02 has published her debut young adult novel, Beautiful (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, 2009). “When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie’s chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who’s worth noticing. Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined…one moment, one choice, changes everything.” Intrigued? Find out more at Amy’s website, www.amyreedfiction.com.

What We're Reading Now

The Evolution of GodThe Evolution of God, by Robert Wright (Little, Brown, 2009), traces Western man’s ideas of the gods from hunter-gatherer societies through the age of chiefdoms, the rise of ancient states, and the invention of monotheism in the Middle East, into the present day. Always the properties ascribed to the gods are actually those of human beings, not ones that could reasonably be attributed to any actual author of the universe. Wright details how beliefs about gods reflect the increasingly wider view of human affairs that arise with the development of more complex societies. He suggests, moreover, that this evolution has tended towards a more comprehensive and compassionate idea of a god, and, in some sense, that unfolding itself might be said to hint at something which could be thought of as divine. I found it a delightful read.

—David Harris ’57

The Adderall Diaries

I’m reading about the end of the Newtonian worldview (the world as machine) and the rise of a new paradigm based on quantum mechanics (the world as a complex web of relationships at any level of investigation, i.e., a fractal life form). The Turning Point by Fritjof Capra (Bantam, 1982) is better on the science part, and Leadership and the New Science by Margaret J. Wheatley (Berrett-Koehler, 1999) brings dynamical systems theory to bear on organizations. Business and science and chaos theory all rolled into one. These two books have changed the way I view reality itself and how to be effective within it.

—Don Asher ’83

Half Asleep in Frog PajamasThe first thing you realize when you sit down to read Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, by Tom Robbins (Bantam, 1995), is that it is written in second person. You are Gwendolyn Mati, a Seattle stockbroker with an obnoxious boyfriend and a lust for wealth. When the stock market crashes right before Easter weekend, Robbins chronicles the hours you have to save your career, find your boyfriend’s pet monkey, and locate your disappeared best friend/psychic. You try to persuade an enamored former broker to help. You have to decide either to fall for him or to use him for all he’s worth. This is the perfect read for you, who are preoccupied by today’s economy. Beware of Robbins’ habit of exploring metaphysical, philosophic, mind-blowing mumbo-jumbo. This always happens about three-fourths of the way through his books. Also beware of amphibians. See you in Timbuktu!

—Jenny Leonard ’09

Read an interesting book lately? Tell your classmates! Send submissions to reed.magazine@reed.edu or Reed Magazine, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97202. Brevity essential.

reed magazine logoSpring 2009