The Hotel Alleluia is a story not just about racial identity but about the people and places that color our lives. With this second novel, reviewers are saying that Tech English professor Lucinda Roy has proven again that she is one of the most talented and original new voices in African-American fiction.

The book concerns the attempts of businesswoman Joan Plum of North Carolina to find her mixed-race half sister, who was left in war-torn West Africa when they were children. Joan finds Ursuline teaching in a convent, but before they can leave Africa, Joan is imprisoned. Ursuline fights a growing affection for Joan's ex-lover, who is trying to help them escape. The two women finally make it to the United States, but the luxurious American life, a growing tension between the sisters, and another attack on her West African village persuade Ursuline to return to Africa.

The book is published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.

Hell has changed since Virgil led Dante on a tour. According to James Ignizio's (industrial engineering '70, Ph.D.) high-tech parody Gone Awry, Hell has a recent addition that is wired into the information age.

Tortured souls of telemarketers, re-engineering consultants, and the inventors of ATMs and voice mail suffer at the hands of demons with smiley faces. Ignizio's vision of hell often closely resembles corporate America, except most of the permanent denizens wear white loafers.

Gone Awry is published by First Books Library, 2511 W. 3rd St., Bloomington, IN 47404.


"I may have been a casualty from the first wave, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I helped pave the way," writes Virginia Tech assistant professor of engineering Missy Cummings of her former life as one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy. Cummings has written Hornet's Nest, a ruthlessly honest memoir of her decade with the Navy that is sure to provoke controversy among military proponents and detractors alike.

Hornet's Nest begins with Cumming's graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy and continues through the notorious Tailhook conference, a disillusioning tour of duty amid the sexual jungle of military life in the Philippines, and her trial by fire at the hands of men determined to rid the Navy of women fighter pilots.

The book is published by Writer's Showcase, an imprint of, Inc., 620 North 48th St., Lincoln, NE 68504-3467.


In their book, Work Miracles, Stephen Hacker and Marta C. Wilson (psychology Ph.D. '93) take a new approach to organizational change. The underlying premise is that we all have the power to transform ourselves in many ways, including tapping into our spiritual selves and relationships. Once this is achieved, successful organizational transformation will follow. With contributions from Cindy S. Johnston (M.B.A. '86), Hacker and Wilson take the reader through practical steps to accomplish change on a deep level. Their insights take the reader on a journey that starts with awakening the spirit within, expanding individual potential, and ultimately adopting a discipline.

As one reviewer writes: "Work Miracles gets to the core of what it takes to create real and sustainable personal and organizational transformation."

The book is published by Insight Press, P.O. Box 1175, Blacksburg, VA 24062-1175.


Most people like dogs, but some become infatuated with a single breed. Susanne McCaffery-Saville (history M.A. '95 ) loves pugs so much she penned PugSpotting: A True History of How Pugs Saved Civilization.

From the first chapter on the history of the breed, said to be of royal Chinese lineage, through the influence pugs had on famed English painter William Hogarth in the late 1600s, to discussions on the temperament and personalities of pugs, this book is a loving look at the little snub-nosed breed. The book is illustrated with abundant photographs and drawings.

PugSpotting is published by Cliocopia Press of Boston, MA.


When the founding fathers ignored the influence of presidential spouses, they left open a door for tremendous influence to the highest levels of government.

From Edith Wilson's assumption of presidential duties after Woodrow Wilson's stroke in 1919 to Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for Senate, Robert Watson (marketing education '85) explores the politics of the un-elected office of first lady in his book, The Presidents' Wives: Reassessing the Office of First Lady.

The book recounts the history of first ladies and rates them on their stances on feminism, traditionalism, and other 20th century categories.

The Presidents' Wives is published by Lynne Reinner Publishers, Inc., 1800 30th St., Boulder, Colo., 80301.


What things in your life are not worth the worry? We all face risks in our day-to-day lives, from the food we eat to the air we breathe. In his book 20% Chance of Rain: Your Guide to Personal Risk, Richard B. Jones (aerospace engineering '70, M.S., Ph.D.) takes a practical approach to assessing and managing the risks that most of us confront. Jones helps us separate reality from our perceptions, providing a balance between our emotions and intellect.

This easy-going, yet focused view of our modern world presents such topics as regulation, measurement, and the use of statistics in understandable language. Jones explores everyday risks such as those related to health, food, air, water, and transportation and offers the reader a logical approach to making life's choices.

The book is published by AmityWorks, 12 Amadeo Drive, Bethany, CT 06524, and is also available at


Three siblings, Jon Fripp (civil engineering '89, M.S.), Michael Fripp (engineering science and mechanics '92), and Deborah Fripp have created Speaking of Science: Notable Quotes on Science, Engineering and the Environment, a reference book for anyone looking for the appropriate quote from the scientific world. The book includes thousands of quotations in many categories by scientists, politicians, and even Mickey Mouse.

The book is published by LLH Technology Publishing, 3578 Old Rail Rd., Eagle Rock, VA 24085.


For everyone who loved baseball from t-ball days, the memories of playing ball with friends are an intrinsic part of childhood. Garret Mathews (economics '71) compiled a collection of stories about growing up and playing baseball titled Baseball Days. His love for the sport was bolstered when former New York Giant Gail Harris moved next door.

In addition to Mathew's recollection of his own Little League days in Abingdon, Va., 70 notable men share their stories. Don Larson and Rick Dempsey made it to the majors; other contributors include humor columnist Dave Barry, game-show host Monty Hall, and actor Robert Goulet, to name a few.

Baseball Days is published by Contemporary Books, 4255 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago, IL 60712.


If you have published a general-interest book in the past six months, please let us know. Review copies can be mailed to: Virginia Tech Magazine, 102 Media Bldg. (0109), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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