The following originally appeared as an online exclusive on the W&M Alumni Magazine website. A listing of books published by W&M faculty in 2023 may be found here. – Ed.

As the days of summer gradually give way to the crisp embrace of autumn, students return to campus and the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air. There’s no better time to cozy up with a warm cup of cider and indulge in the literary offerings that have graced our shelves this season from William & Mary alumni.

Thinking about Thinking: America’s Yeomanry and Cognoscenti by Thomas Christ ’66

“Thinking About Thinking” applies a general sociological theory of ideology to today’s politics in order to explain the political ideological divide between supporters and opponents of former President Donald J. Trump. Christ adds a theory-based and evidenced explanation of this deep divide to the national conversation.

Central Park West: A Crime Novel by James Comey ’82, LL.D. ’08

Federal prosecutor Nora Carleton’s case against a powerful mobster takes an unexpected turn when a note is passed to the prosecution offering up information about the assassination of a disgraced former New York governor, murdered in his penthouse apartment just days before. It’s enough to blow the case wide open and to send Nora into a high-stakes investigation of conspiracy, corruption and danger. This gripping legal thriller draws on Comey’s law enforcement background, blending real experiences with captivating characters, shocking twists and authentic courtroom scenes.

The Unusual Cure and Untold Story of Dr. John Langone, Dr. of Psychiatry by Vernon Michael Dechastaigne Craig ’73

This fictional romance, described by the author as “an attack on atheistic Freudian psychology,” tells the story of a depressed psychiatrist who contemplates suicide — until he falls in love.

Raising Empowered Athletes: A Youth Sports Parenting Guide for Raising Happy, Brave, and Resilient Kids by Kirsten Schimke Jones ’93

A down-to-earth guide for parents navigating the difficult decisions and pressures of youth sports, “Raising Empowered Athletes”is for parents who want to help their kids reach their true potential on the playing field while also ensuring that they are well-prepared for a successful life.

Toward the Real: Poems for a New Reality by Angelo Letizia Ph.D. ’14

Angelo Letizia’s poems examine the everyday for answers to life’s big questions — What is truth? What is real? How can we know? They explore the importance of meaningful relationships and being comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is the fourth collection of poetry from Letizia, who is a professor of education at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

A Madman’s Will: John Randolph, 400 Slaves, and the Mirage of Freedom by Gregory May ’75

Historian Gregory May investigates the compelling legal case of U.S. Sen. John Randolph’s will, which unexpectedly freed 383 enslaved people, revealing how madness, scandal and prejudice shaped Randolph’s complex attitudes toward slavery. The investigation spans from the contested will’s legal drama to the freed men and women’s difficult journey and tragic reception in Ohio, offering a moving saga of freedom’s allure and its limitations. Read a review of May’s book in the New York Times.

The Last Drop of Hemlock by Katharine Schellman ’09

In Prohibition-era New York, Vivian Kelly works at the Nightingale, a jazz-filled speakeasy where the employees look out for one another. When her friend’s uncle and bouncer at the Nightingale dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian joins the search for truth, uncovering a web of secrets, missing money and a menacing blackmailer targeting her community. In a city ruled by mob bosses, they unravel mysteries that could save lives.

Seeds of the Pasha by Louis S. Shuntich J.D. ’71

Before World War II, an exceptional young man from a modest background meets a Jewish family in Vienna. Amidst the war, their bond persists, giving rise to a foundation advocating for freedom, education and democracy. Both families, spanning three generations, fund the foundation by proving the innocence of wealthy individuals charged with serious crimes, leading to intricate detective work, unexpected twists and tests of character.

, University News & Media