The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House
Larry J. Sabato (Col ’74, Faculty)
Pearson Education Inc.

Larry J. Sabato brings together analysts and observers of American politics to examine the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Peeling back the layers of the political, social and demographic trends that helped thrust Obama into the Oval Office, the book debunks conventional wisdom and offers new interpretations of the events and environment that led to a landmark election.


Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory
Mickey Rapkin
Gotham Books

Pitch Perfect follows the 2006-07 season in a cappella through all its twists and turns, breathtaking display of vocal talent, groupies, rock-star partying and bitter rivalries. At the heart of the tale are three groups, including the UVA Hullabahoos, whom Rapkin calls the bad boys of collegiate a cappella.


Island in a Storm
Abby Sallenger (Col ’71, Grad ’75)
PublicAffairs

About 150 years before hurricanes Katrina and Ike, a great storm swept across the Gulf of Mexico resort,Isle Derniere, killing hundreds of the most prominent people of antebellum Louisiana and destroying every home and business. Island in the Storm is the true story of the people who faced that fierce hurricane in 1856—their bravery and cowardice, luck and misfortune, survival and death. It is also a cautionary environmental tale about the perils of a warmer planet and rising seas.


The Motel of the Stars
Karen Salyer McElmurray (Grad ’86)
Sarabande Books

Part satire of New Age philosophy and part commentary on a modern, fear-based era, this novel is the story of Jason Sanderson and Lory Llewellyn, who travel to the 1997 anniversary gathering of the Harmonic Convergence, a mystical alignment of planets and a portent of universal peace. For 10 years, both Jason and Lory have mourned the loss of Sam Sanderson, Jason’s son and Lory’s lover, and both emerge from grief into a new age of possibility and hope.


The Big Steal
Emyl Jenkins (Grad ’62)
Algonquin Books

Hired to assess the value of broken and missing antiques following a suspicious burglary at a Virginia manor house, appraiser and amateur sleuth Sterling Glass finds that her job is more complicated than she’d anticipated. The antiques, she realizes, are not always what they seem: Some are worth tens of thousands of dollars, while others are well-done fakes. The Big Steal is a mystery novel from a real-life antique expert.


Bad River Road: Poems
Debra Nystrom (Grad ’82, Faculty)
Sarabande Books

Bad River Road reanimates a lost way of life that once was much of America: the family farm, rural scarcity, animal life and death, weather that affects livelihoods and emotions unspoken. The reader encounters a dying mother, a father who drifts in and out and a brother who struggles to stay clean, sober and out of prison—the details of their lives set in relief against the expanse of the Great Plains.


When the Whistle Blows
Fran Cannon Slayton (Col ’89)
Philomel Books

This historical young adult novel explores boyhood—its Halloween mischief, its hunting-day mystery, its championship football game surprise and its nighttime adventures. Jim Cannon, son of a B&O foreman, grows up in a West Virginia railroad town in the 1940s as the age of the steam engine nears its end.