May 2012


The Lotus Blossom

by David Kenyon ’81

Kenyon wrote this debut novel for his daughters. It explores the life of a suburban teenage girl who, after surviving an attempted rape, takes up meditation and becomes a martial arts master. Kenyon’s message emphasizes taking time away from the unending hustle of social and digital media overload to step back into the real world. A Michigan native, Kenyon is an attorney in St. Louis and blogs at

There is Only Plan A

by Klay Williams ’04

This self-help book uses real-life stories to teach readers how to discover their purpose and calling in life, or “Plan A.” Discovering one’s “Plan A” means finding the heart of negative personal issues that often stand in the way of an individual becoming a complete person.  Williams hopes these stories will revolutionize and awaken a generation. He is the co-owner of Harrison Williams, a lifestyle consulting firm based in New York City, through which he conducts personal client sessions, workshops, seminars and lectures nationally. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games

by Jeanne Hess, Professor of Physical Education

Hess has a deep belief in athletics shaping and sustaining individuals toward a more positive and peaceful ideal. People can attain peace, understanding, and joy through sports, and Hess encourages readers to use a journal and self-reflective questions to create “sportual” stories. No stranger to sports, Hess ranks among the top 30 NCAA Division III volleyball coaches in wins. In 2011, she earned her 500th career volleyball victory at K, one of only two coaches in Hornet history to achieve that level of success (the late George Acker, long time men’s tennis coach, is the other). Hess said her inspiration for the book came out of a self-study she did, and from her family, colleagues, students, and the teams she’s coached. Author, lecturer and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson was another important influence.

A People's Guide to Los Angeles

by Laura Barraclough, Assistant Professor of Sociology

This book is an alternative guide to the usual travel and tourist destinations in Los Angeles. A native of the city, Barraclough introduces readers to 115 little-known sites, where race, class, gender, and sexuality struggles have occurred. The struggles involved people and events that have not been covered by the mainstream media. Barraclough’s research interests are in urban issues, immigration, prisons, and all forms of inequality. She is currently working on a book about Mexican American charros (cowboys) living in the suburbs of the southwest.

Rebellious Histories: The Amistad Slave Revolt and the Cultures of Late Twentieth-Century Black Transnationalism

by Matthew J. Christensen ’92

Rebellious Histories is a testament to the human will to freedom. It tells the story of the 1839 La Amistad shipboard slave rebellion off the coast of Cuba. The ship was carrying captured West Africans into slavery. The author gives a unique perspective to the study of the cultural histories of both slave resistance and globalization. Using a wide-ranging comparative approach, the book describes the reach of international circuits of capital, commerce, judicial power, and diplomacy that structured and perpetuated the Atlantic slave trade for nearly 400 years. Christensen is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas-Pan American.

If I'm Only 22, How Come I'm 82: Tennis Is More Than Just A Sport

by Vic Braden ’51

Professional tennis player, coach, researcher, psychologist, and pro tour administrator Vic Braden recently put on his author’s hat to write about the great advantages of tennis. The book makes use of more than 200 photos from the author’s 70-plus year career in the sport, and Braden said he hoped the book will stimulate more people to play. He was a team captain at K and turned pro immediately after graduating, at a time when there were only a few professional tournaments.  He has served as ambassador for the sport on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Good Morning, Nightline, 20/20, and other national television news shows.

Taking Tea in the Black Rose

by Craig A. Combs ’91

Craig Combs’ poems articulate a passion for personal freedom and global equality. His book has been described as “an intriguingly candid exploration of the author’s own heart and soul.” An openly gay poet, Combs is living with HIV and has the virus under control. His story is of a person whose creativity and character have been formed because of his experiences, not in spite of them. His interests have taken him to New Orleans, Palm Springs, Hawaii, Brazil, Mexico and other parts of the world. Combs expanded his enthusiasm to include nature photography and he has published photo albums from his travels on his personal website

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