Tayler Lord and Anna Weir are publicists at UNP who share a cubicle and cannot stop talking about books (or caffeinated beverages, for that matter). Today they also share their thoughts about a few upcoming titles they’re particularly excited about as readers. The books in this discussion will be published in September.
Tayler Lord: It’s officially Fall 2017! Even though it’s still about a million degrees out and we’re just celebrating the Fourth of July, we’re already thinking about the Fall. My first pick for the Fall season is White Gold: Stories of Breast Milk Sharing, the latest in our Anthropology of Contemporary North America Series. Author and anthropologist Susan Falls takes an ethnographic look at the breast milk sharing community in the United States. Falls is also a participant in this community, so she weaves her own experiences into the book.
I’ll confess that I read a lot of “mommy blogs” and am fascinated by motherhood in general. I was surprised when we first started talking about this book because I’d never heard of breast milk sharing! I had no idea that there was such a huge network of people connected through sharing “white gold.” It’s been fascinating to learn about what I think is a very beautiful practice.
What’s first for you this Fall, Anna?
Anna Weir: I am excited to be kicking off the Fall season with Glory Days. The bright lights and new commerce of the theme park Glory Days casts the residents of ailing, unimportant Ingleside, Nebraska, in a dark shadow. (I haven’t read many stories that take place in Nebraska!) The reality of twenty-first century culture has invaded the land—along with something fantastic and strange. In the wake of these changes, Teensy and daughter Luann struggle to make sense of their place in a community no longer interested in what it once was, and uncertain of what it will become.
So, first, how different and innovative does that sound? Secondly, author Melissa Fraterrigo is both an experienced writer and a teacher of writers. She founded the Lafayette Writers’ Studio in Indiana, where she teaches and encourages writers of all ages to write their best possible work. I got my start as a writer at a workshop like this (Shout out to the Nebraska Writers Guild workshops at the Ralston Library!), so it makes my heart happy to know these workshops are thriving in other states as well.
What’s next on your list, Tayler?
TL: Next for me is Glenn Miller Declassified by Dennis Spragg. Spragg tells the story of Miller’s military career as commanding officer of the Army Air Force Band during World War II leading up to his disappearance over the English Channel in December 1944. Spragg is the senior consultant of the Glenn Miller Archive, so he’s had unprecedented access to the Miller family records to show the importance of Miller’s legacy and military career.
Another confession: I really didn’t know who Glenn Miller was before working on this book. Our manager called him the Beyoncé of the swing era, which put things in perspective for me. Since then, I’ve learned what a musical legend Miller was, and how important his work was to big band music and the industry as a whole. Glenn Miller Declassified is a great combination of military history and pop culture which makes for a unique addition to the Potomac list.
What else are you working on this month?
AW: Another book I’m looking forward to working on is Shai Held’s The Heart of Torah. This two-volume collection of essays, two for each of the weekly Torah portions read in synagogues across the globe, takes a serious and seriously applicable look at what it means to be a religious person in the modern world. Though his primary audience is Jewish, Held draws on many Christian sources as well, and references both ancient and contemporary commentators. Ultimately his message highlights (to paraphrase one of my favorite Christian writers, Brennan Manning) the furious love of God, and what that love means for us individually, within our families, and within our communities, each and every day. That’s a message I think we so desperately need right now.
Tune in next month for more exciting titles from your friendly neighborhood publicists!