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Good Reads: 5 Books You Won’t Want to Miss

By Laura Simmons '19

Spirit Student Worker
The Old School Advantage: Timeless Tools for Every Generation by Jim Whiddon ’82

Written for young professionals and experienced entrepreneurs alike, “The Old School Advantage” equips readers with “old school” communication and leadership skills that leave a lasting impression in a world dominated by technology. “It provides training on how to build instant rapport, become a master storyteller and make life’s big decisions with confidence,” said Whiddon. “I hope it helps create extraordinary leaders for generations to come.”

Science Fiction
Jumper by Steven Gould ’77

The first in a science fiction series, “Jumper” follows teenager David Rice as he learns he can teleport to escape his abusive household. The idea came to Gould after a series of late night conversations with fellow Aggies while he was a Texas A&M student. “When I sat down to write it, I realized that teleportation is a perfect metaphor for trying to solve problems by running away from them,” he said. The film adaptation of “Jumper” premiered in 2008 starring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Bell, while Gould’s third Jumper book, “Impulse,” is a television series streaming soon on YouTube Red.

Live from Aggieland by Rob Clark ’95

With a foreword by Robert Earl Keen ’78, a friend of fellow musician and former student Lyle Lovett ’79, “Live from Aggieland” documents the array of musical icons who have frequented Texas A&M and the Brazos Valley over the years. These legendary events included performances by Elvis Presley, Nat “King” Cole, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, as well as three memorable sold-out shows by Garth Brooks at Reed Arena in 1998. “My hope is that readers enjoy the flashbacks to these concerts and the first-hand accounts of these experiences,” said Clark.

Church of the Small Things: A Million Little Things That Make Up a Life by Melanie Shankle ’93

Tired of societal pressure emphasizing that monumental acts are required to make a difference, Shankle wrote “Church of the Small Things” to champion the small tasks of everyday life. From the simple, fulfilling acts of raising kids, working in an office and cooking dinner, this book encourages readers not to overlook the little moments. “I think the most important things in life are right in front of us,” she said. “Our friends, our families and our communities hold the pieces of our lives that ultimately matter the most.”

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert Gates

From former Texas A&M President and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, “Duty” takes readers inside the White House during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. This behind-the-scenes account offers a personal narrative of Gates’ battles with Congress, his efforts with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his support for American soldiers. With a refreshing perspective on our nation’s political leaders, “Duty” offers insight into two prominent administrations and the tumultuous times that defined them.


Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor