You may have heard Hamilton is coming off the $10 bill, but, in response to the extreme popularity of ‘Hamilton’ (the Musical), Hamilton is here to stay. Did you know that Seattle University’s undergraduate library has the book that inspired the musical? Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow is available in the Lemieux Library on the 4th Floor at E302.6 H2 C48 2004. And if you like the musical and biographies of the founding fathers, you’ll love Originalism (the judicial interpretation of the constitution that aims to follow closely the original intentions of those who drafted it). Here are two books we have on Originalism:

Living Originalism by J. M. Balkin, Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4552.B35 2011)

Originalism: A Quarter-Century of Debate by Steven G. Calabresi, Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4749.A2O75 2007)


Recommended Books from the Recreational Reading Collection

The recreational reading (McNaughton) collection is located on the 2nd floor of the library under the staircase.

Oscar Hijuelos Twain & Stanley enter paradise (Grand Central Publishing 2015) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PS3558.I376T93 2015

When Hijuelos (The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, 1989, etc.) died of a heart attack in the fall of 2013, he had been working for more than a dozen years on this 19th-century epic concerning the unlikely but close friendship of two of the most famous men in America. They had met working on a riverboat, a couple of aspiring writers, well before one would travel to Africa in search of Dr. Livingstone and the other would become a beloved humorist under the pen name of Mark Twain. Since Hijuelos has long been known for voluptuary narratives of Cuba and Cuban America, filled with song and sex, the Victorian primness of the various tones he employs here stands in stark contrast (though a trip to Cuba proves pivotal). The novel encompasses long stretches of unpublished manuscripts purportedly written by Stanley and his wife, as well as extended correspondence between each of them and Twain. Stanley had been an orphan taken under the wing of a benefactor (whose surname the young man took), and there’s a sense throughout that the way Stanley portrays his life is not the way it actually transpired. With Stanley’s health and that of Twain’s wife in parallel decline, there’s a hint of romantic triangle, what Dorothy Stanley calls “some kind of autumnal infatuation,” though history left that attraction unrequited, as she remarried shortly after her husband’s death. The meditations on time and death in the book’s last third are particularly poignant given the author’s own untimely passing, but the whole of the novel is unwieldy, with awkward dialogue (“I am wondering what you can tell me about yourself”) and juxtapositions (a section titled “Clemens in That Time” follows Lady Stanley’s extended account of her husband’s death). An Afterword by Hijuelos’ widow explains that he was working on the novel up to his death, having written “thousands of pages that he attempted to winnow down to publishable size, even as he continued to expand upon the story.” This book is good news for Hijuelos fans, but considering its flaws, it’s tantalizing to think of what it would have been like if the author had managed to finish it himself. Review from Kirkus Reviews.


Featured Books from the Recreational Reading Collection

The recreational reading (McNaughton) collection is located on the 2nd floor of the library under the staircase

Toni Morrison God Help the Child (Knopf 2015) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PS3563.O8749G63 2015

A little girl is born with skin so black her mother will not touch her. Desperate for approval, to just once have her mother take her hand, she tells a lie that puts an innocent schoolteacher in jail for decades. Later, the ebony-skinned girl will change her name to Bride, wear only white, become a cosmetics entrepreneur, drive a Jaguar. Her lover, a man named Booker, also bears a deep scar on his soul—his older brother was abducted, tortured and murdered by a pedophilic serial killer. This is a skinny, fast-moving novel filled with tragic incidents, most sketched in a few haunting sentences: “The last time Booker saw Adam he was skateboarding down the sidewalk in twilight, his yellow T-shirt fluorescent under the Northern Ash trees.” When Bride’s falsely accused teacher is released from prison, there’s a new round of trouble. Booker leaves, Bride goes after him—and ends up in the woods, recovering from a car accident with hippie survivalists who have adopted a young girl abused by her prostitute mother. Meanwhile, Bride is anxiously watching her own body metamorphose into that of a child—her pubic hair has vanished, her chest has flattened, her earlobes are smooth. As in the darkest fairy tales, there will be fire and death. There will also be lobster salad, Smartwater and Louis Vuitton; the mythic aspects of this novel are balanced by moments like the one in which Bride decides that the song that most represents her relationship with Booker is “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” A chilling oracle and a lively storyteller, Nobel winner Morrison continues the work she began 45 years ago with The Bluest Eye. (Starred review from Kirkus Reviews)

Marisa de los Santos The Precious One (Morrow Harper Collins 2015) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PS3604.E1228P7 2015

Inventor/professor/entrepreneur Wilson left his first wife and their adolescent twins, Taisy and Marcus, 17 years ago, and he hasn’t seen them in 15 years, since the first birthday party for Willow, his daughter with his new, much younger wife, sculptor Caro. But when Wilson invites Taisy, now a successful ghostwriter in her 30s, to visit him after his heart surgery, she quickly agrees. As she travels, Taisy thinks about her high school boyfriend, Ben, and the way her father destroyed their relationship. What a coincidence that Ben turns up back in town, too. Realizing that her father wants her to ghostwrite his biography, Taisy decides to learn his real story. For all his genius, Wilson has warped almost all the lives he’s touched. As Taisy starts her research, she also begins to re-establish a relationship with the unbelievably sensitive Ben as if neither has changed in almost two decades. Meanwhile, Willow—who considers herself Wilson’s “true daughter”—is struggling. Despite appearing tall, beautiful and collected, she’s intimidated by her older sister’s visit. She’s also judgmental, assuming Taisy did something horrific to alienate their father, who’s shown his younger daughter nothing but affection. And she’s having difficulty adjusting to the private high school she’s begun attending while Wilson recuperates. Home-schooled by Wilson through her entire childhood, Willow has little experience of peer friendship or the outside world in general. Soon she has a dangerous crush on her English teacher, but waiting in the wings is a high school boy almost as perfect for her as Ben is for Taisy.


Faculty Books in the Law Library Collection

20160405_201256You may have noticed faculty publications on display in the library and near the Dean’s office. Duplicate copies of these titles can be found (and checked out) from the faculty publications shelving in the Reserve section of the library. You’ll find them on the shelves just to the right of the emergency exit.


New Books in the Law Library

20150712_140124Interested in seeing the new titles we’ve recently added to the collection? Look for them on the small display stand underneath the large mask artwork near the reference desk. You can check them out immediately.


Strange Books from the ABA

The American Bar Association is, among other things, a publisher. One series of books it publishes is the “Little Book” series about law as it relates to particular topics. Some of these seem relatively practical such as The Little Book of Boating Law. Others, however, are unexpected: The Little Book of Elvis Law? The Little Book of Cowboy Law? The Little Book of BBQ Law? You can see all of the offerings at the ABA’s website. Seattle University Law Library actually owns a few of these titles such as The Little Book of Baseball Law and The Little Book of Fashion Law.


New and Notable in the Library’s Recreational Reading Collection:

(2nd Floor of Library at the base of the stairs)

Claire Kells Girl Underwater (Dutton 2015) available at: LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PS3611.E4443G57 2015

A plane crash in the Rockies leaves more than physical scars on an up-and-coming competitive college swimmer. Kells expertly ratchets up the tension in her thrilling debut novel as she shifts back and forth between the frigid Colorado wilderness and chlorinated pools. Sophomore Avery Delacorte is excited to make her mark on the cutthroat college swimming circuit far from her native Boston and her controlling father. But when she takes a crowded flight back east for Thanksgiving, along with fellow swimmer Colin Shea, the plane goes down in the Rockies. After the first day, Avery, Colin and three little boys—Tim, 6, Liam, 4, and toddler Aayu—are the only survivors. It would be easy to keep readers in suspense about the group’s overall fate, but Kells makes the more interesting choice to alternate among the events leading up to the crash, the five-day wilderness ordeal and Avery’s bumpy recovery. It’s clear early on that the press’ version of the story and the truth are not one and the same, but Kells cleverly teases out exactly how the two accounts differ as readers come to learn more about Avery, particularly her complicated relationships with Colin and with the sport of swimming itself. The children, and their growing adoration for their surrogate forest parents in the wake of the crash that orphaned them, are integral to the story and as such are realistically depicted, much to Kells’ credit. With its subzero temperatures that will make you reach for a blanket and a wounded but never weakened heroine, Kells’ assured debut is a winner. (Review from Kirkus)

Garth Risk Hallberg City on Fire (Knopf 2015) available at: LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PS3608.A54827C57 2015

Rough-edged mid-1970s New York provides the backdrop for an epic panorama of musicians, writers, and power brokers and the surprising ways they connect. New Year’s Eve 1976: Sam, a fanzine author and hanger-on in the Manhattan punk scene, abandons her plan to attend a concert and instead heads to Central Park, where she’s later discovered shot and clinging to life. Why’d she head uptown? Who shot her? Thereby hangs a remarkably assured, multivalent tale that strives to explore multiple strata of Manhattan life with photographic realism. Most prominent in this busy milieu are William, the scion of a banking family who’s abandoned money for the sake of music, art, and drugs; Nicky, the coke-fueled head of an East Village squat who delivers motor-mouthed pronunciamentos on post-humanism and is curiously in the know about arson in the Bronx; Richard, a magazine journalist whose profile of Sam’s father, the head of a fireworks firm, leads to suspicion that there’s a bigger story to be told. With more than 900 pages at his disposal, Hallberg (A Field Guide to the North American Family, 2007) gives his characters plenty of breathing room, but the story never feels overwritten, and the plotlines interlace without feeling pat. One theme of the novel is the power that stories, true or false, have over our lives, so it’s hard to miss other writers’ influences here. At times the novel feels like a metafictional tribute to America’s finest doorstop manufacturers, circa 1970 to the present: Price (street-wise cops), Wolfe (top-tier wealth), Franzen (busted families), Wallace (the seductions of drugs and pop culture), and DeLillo (the unseen forces behind everything). That’s not to say he’s written a pastiche, but as his various plotlines braid tighter during the July 1977 blackout, his novel becomes an ambitious showpiece for just how much the novel can contain without busting apart. The very-damn-good American novel. (Review from Kirkus)


Notable Books from the Walkover Collection

Notable Books from the Walkover Collection (located on the main floor of the library on the south wall under the stairs)

Marilynne Robineon Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014) LAW-Walkover Collection (2nd Floor) PS3568.O3125L55  2014 (National Book Award Finalist 2014)

“We catch glimpses of the Reverend John Ames’ much younger second wife, Lila, in Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, Gilead (2004), the first in a deeply reflective saga set in a small Iowa town, the second volume of which is Home (2008). We now learn Lila’s astonishing story, which begins with a thunderbolt opening scene, in which an abused little girl is swept up by a strange young woman called Doll. The two roam the countryside as itinerant workers, settling down just long enough for Lila to learn to read and write. As life grows even more harrowing during the Great Depression, and Doll’s dangerous secrets catch up to her, capable and strong Lila fends for herself, ultimately arriving in Gilead. The wanderer and the minister embark on a wondrously unlikely and fitful courtship as Lila asks confounding questions about existence, belief, trust, and justice. Bringing the land to ravishing life, season by season, Robinson sets the tentative lovers’ profoundly involving emotional and metaphysical struggles within both the singing web of nature and the indelible stories of the Bible. Robinson has created a tour de force, an unforgettably dramatic odyssey, a passionate and learned moral and spiritual inquiry, a paean to the earth, and a witty and transcendent love story—all within a refulgent and resounding novel so beautifully precise and cadenced it wholly transfixes and transforms us. Robinson’s readers will be primed for the well-promoted third title in her cherished Iowa saga as the author tours the country.” Donna Seaman Booklist

Jesmyn Ward Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury 2011) LAW-Walkover Collection (2nd Floor) PS3623.A7323S36 2011 (National Book Award Winner 2011)

“An evocative novel of a family torn apart by grief, hardship, misunderstanding and, soon, the biggest storm any of them has ever seen. Set over a dozen days while awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, and then dealing with its consequences, Ward’s (Where the Line Bleeds, 2008) tale is superficially a simple one: Young Esch, barely a teenager, is pregnant. She is so young, in fact, that her brothers can scare her with a Hansel and Gretel story set in the Mississippi bayou where she lives, yet old enough to understand that the puppies that are gushing forth from the family dog are more than a metaphor. Esch’s task is simple, too: She has to disguise the pregnancy from her widowed father, a task that is easier than it might sound, since her father is constantly self-medicated (“Outside the window, Daddy jabbed at the belly of the house with his can of beer”) and, much of the time, seems unaware that his children ought to be depending on him. But they don’t; Esch and her three brothers are marvels of self-sufficiency, and as the vast storm looms on the horizon, building from tropical depression to category 5 monster, they occupy themselves figuring out what kind of canned meats they need to lay in and how many jugs of water have to be hauled from the store. The bayou has its share of terrors of other kinds, and so do the matters of life and death that children ought to be spared; suffice it to say that there’s plenty of blood, and no small amount of vomit, whether owing to morning sickness or alcohol poisoning. (When Esch admonishes her father for drinking while taking antibiotics, he replies, “Beer ain’t nothing…Just like a cold drink.”) Naturally, in a situation where the children are the adults and vice versa, something has to give—and it does, straight in the maw of Katrina. Yet the fury of the storm yields a kind of redemption, a scenario that could dissolve into mawkishness, but that Ward pulls off without a false note.
A superbly realized work of fiction that, while Southern to the bone, transcends its region to become universal.” Kirkus Review


Notable Books from the Library’s New Books Collection:

(2nd Floor of Library by the Student Publications entrance)

Harold H. Bruff Untrodden Ground: How Presidents Interpret the Constitution (University of Chicago Press 2015) LAW-New Books JK511.B78 2015

“Everyone knows that the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution. But in this magisterial book, Bruff shows that presidents have played the most important role in interpreting the Constitution over the course of the nation’s history—and have done so in a way that teaches us not just about the presidency but about the nature of the American Constitution itself. Bruff gives us an engaging account of how presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama have used the powers of their office, and anyone who is interested in the Constitution will learn from, and be challenged by, his original and subtle analysis of what our Presidents have done.” – David A. Strauss, University of Chicago Law School

Ian Millhiser Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted (Nation Books) LAW-New Books F8748.M465 2015

Center for American Progress senior constitutional policy analyst Millhiser assesses the damage caused by the Supreme Court to the Constitution, government and the citizens whose rights have repeatedly been curtailed or abrogated in arbitrary, capricious, bigoted and arrogant proceedings. The author’s historical approach presents justices and their cases in the context of the bloody disputes the nation’s highest court was called to adjudicate. He examines how the court helped undermine the results of the Civil War and Reconstruction, as well as its role in stalling the adoption of the Civil Rights Act and other significant political reforms over the decades. Millhiser delineates the tradition from which current decision-making by the Roberts court arises, and he looks at how the court has reversed protections like the Voting Rights Act and obstacles to district gerrymandering. Intriguingly, the author claims that these actions, which reasserted the political primacy of Congress, were more responsible for securing change than the court’s Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision of 1954. Millhiser shows that opponents of Brown were also enemies of the New Deal. He establishes continuity between advocates of enforced separation of the races—e.g., anti-Semite Justice James Clark McReynolds, who “refused to speak to Justice Louis Brandeis for Brandeis’s first three years on the Court because Brandeis was Jewish”—and pro-slavery Chief Justice Melville Fuller, an embittered opponent of Abraham Lincoln and former aide to Stephen Douglas. Fuller’s economic ideology helped produce such decisions as United States v. E.C. Knight Co., which limited the government’s ability to control monopolies, and Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company, which exempted earnings on capital from federal taxation. Other decisions have prolonged child labor and the oppression of women while expanding arbitrary rights of ownership. An impressive debut offering explanations based on coherence between people, cases and the events they adjudicated. – Kirkus Book Reviews.


Recommended Reading from the McNaughton Recreational Reading Collection

(2nd Floor of Library at the base of the stairs)

Amy Poehler Yes Please (Dey Street Books 2014) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PN6165.P64 2014

“In her debut book, comedian Poehler credits her approach to work to Carol Burnett, who was “funny and versatile and up for anything” and “a benevolent captain” on her eponymous variety show. The author’s successful career proves that collaboration, good manners and gratitude are assets in both business and life. She has written a happy, angst-free memoir with stories told without regret or shame; rather, Poehler provides a series of lessons learned about achieving success through ambition and a resolute spirit. She affectionately recounts her perfect-seeming childhood and adolescence, including making lifelong friends, waiting tables, and living and working in the rough, pre-gentrified Greenwich Village. Poehler is especially grateful to her proud, comical parents and shares their wisdom with readers: “Make sure he’s grateful to be with you,” “Ask for what you want” and “Always overtip.” With benevolent humor, she shares “Obligatory Drug Stories, or Lessons I Learned on Mushrooms” (“I’ve tried most drugs but avoided the BIG BAD ONES”) and explores why ambivalence is an important component of success in a chapter titled “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend.” Along with Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, Poehler has created a Web series, “Smart Girls at the Party,” to empower and celebrate women and girls who “chang[e] the world by being themselves.” The author conveys the ethos of this project in pithy statements and reassurances sprinkled throughout the book in large type—e.g., “If It’s Not Funny, You Don’t Have To Laugh” and “Everybody Is Scared Most Of The Time.” This is not a treacly self-help book or spiritual guide but rather motivation from a hilarious and kindhearted champion. A wise and winning—and polite—memoir and manifesto.” Kirkus Reviews

Aziz Ansari Modern Romance (Penguin Press 2015) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PN6231.D3A57 2015

“Long before Ansari was born to his Tamil parents, people got together and married the least offensive prospect in the neighborhood. Sometimes, they looked no further than their own apartment building. Over time, and if they were lucky, they managed to form an enduring bond that grew into something a lot like love. It was crazy by today’s contemporary Western standards, but Ansari’s incredulousness with this anachronistic state of affairs is tempered with such a high level of earnest intelligence and compassion that he immediately establishes himself as a serious investigator. The author has plenty of jokes, for sure, but he also did his homework, teaming up with noted sociologists—including co-author Klinenberg (Sociology/New York Univ.; Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, 2012, etc.)—assembling focus groups, and even comprehensively exploring the idiosyncratic dating cultures of Tokyo, Paris, and Buenos Aires. Ansari also examines real-time text exchanges between singles in the United States. Is there anything more anxiety-inducing than waiting for a potential partner to return a text? Has texting become the last refuge for weak-kneed dopes too afraid to dial a woman directly? Increasingly sophisticated smartphones and dating apps provide today’s singles with options their 20th-century counterparts could never have imagined. However, as Ansari cleverly demonstrates, those marvelous advances create their own unique headaches, as unlimited choices can leave the lovelorn paralyzed. Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today’s constantly shifting game of love. Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.” Kirkus Reviews.