RUNNING THE TABLE: The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustler By L. Jon Wertheim L’97 (Houghton Mifflin, 2007. $24.00.) An overweight, alienated, bipolar teen from New Jersey becomes an overnight sensation in the high-stakes world of underground pool. The true story of the legendary Danny Basavich, also known as Kid Delicious, who dropped out of high school in the 1990s to learn the art of pool hustling with his setup man, Bristol Bob. In the course of four years, the unlikely pair (who often had to conceal their identities) made incredible appearances—and racked up big scores—at pool halls across the nation. Wertheim is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. Buy this book

THINGS ARE DISAPPEARING HERE: Poems By Kate Northrop C’91 (Persea Books, 2007. $14.00.) This dreamlike mosaic of poems, a finalist for the 2007 James Laughlin Award, takes readers through varying realms of consciousness in a subtly incandescent style. Northrop is an associate professor of English at West Chester University. Buy this book

UNTAPPED: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil By John Ghazvinian, faculty (Harcourt Books, 2007. $25.00.) As geopolitical relations affect oil prices and worldwide distribution, the rich reservoirs of sub-Saharan Africa offer a unique opportunity to avoid Arabian and Islamic conflict. Ghazvinian explores the cost of this scramble to the African people, as well as the obstacles and reasons for hope in this energy “hot spot.” Ghazvinian teaches in Penn’s critical-writing program. Buy this book

DÚN AILINNE: Excavations at an Irish Royal Site, 1968-1975 By Susan A. Johnston and Bernard Wailes (Penn Museum, 2007. $100.) Dún Ailinne, a ritual site in County Kildare, Ireland, was excavated by a team of Penn archeologists between 1968 and 1975. This book represents the first full, published report of their findings, from ancient artifacts and biological remains to new insights about how the site was used. The accompanying CD contains dozens of drawings and photos about the excavation team’s findings. Wailes is professor emeritus of anthropology at Penn. Buy this book

COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Ethics, the Patient, and the Physician Edited by Lois Snyder C’83 (Humana Press, $89.95.) The first comprehensive, multidisciplinary book to focus on the ethical challenges of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) faced by patients, physicians, and CAM practitioners. Snyder is director of the Center for Ethics and Professionalism at the American College of Physicians, and a former adjunct faculty member at Penn’s Center for Bioethics. Buy this book

THE BOY WHO KILLED CATERPILLARS By Joshua Kornreich C’97 (Marick Press, 2007. $14.95.) Kornreich’s debut novel brings readers into the world of a young boy who struggles to make sense of his parents’ divorce, his father’s sexuality, and the unforgiving world around him. Everyday objects—the backyard tree, the staircase, swimming-pool residue—take on new significance in the eyes of Kornreich’s bluntly sensitive narrator. Buy this book

AUTHENTICITY: What Consumers Really Want By James H. Gilmore W’81 and B. Joseph Pine II (Harvard Business School Press, 2007. $26.95.)For a business, the notion of authenticity is both vitally important and elusive. Offering case studies from business, nonprofits, politics, tourism, and entertainment, Gilmore and Pine show readers how businesses “fake it,” chart how they meet certain standards of authenticity, offer strategies for “appealing to the real,” and examine how successful enterprises identify themselves with their customers’ self-images and desires. The authors are co-founders of Strategic Horizons LLP, a “thinking studio” that helps companies design new ways to add value. Buy this book


ALL THINGS ORNAMENTAL : The Arts

ART Parting words from the Arthur Ross Gallery’s longtime director
BOOKS How to build a children’s museum. Design for Kids
EXHIBITION Gardens in motion at the Architectural Archives
Briefly Noted
Arts Calendar

POETRY

Lines
by Kate Northrop

 

The unluckiest among us fall in love

                  with such a thing as a line,

 

and from the beginning, it goes badly.

 

You can bring a line into your home

                  but your gestures so alarm it

it breaks into two, four,

 

                  sixteen lines and they keep

breeding, breeding. There’s no

 

maneuvering them. One line

                  escapes you

 

and appears years later

aimless in the garden. If you had been wise,

 

you would not have fallen for a nature

so given to infidelity:

 

Lines always go in two directions.

 

I myself was in love with a line.

                  I took it to a field

And lay down next to it

 

Whispering Relax, we’re alone

but the line would have none of it.

 

                  Soon night had fallen

and rising over the hill came cars, stories,

 

came windows through which I saw

                  everything as it must remain:

 

singular, burning, private.

 

—from Things Are Disappearing Here,
by Kate Northrop.
Copyright ©2007 by Kate Northrop.
Reprinted by permission of Persea Books.

©2008 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 01/02/08