Coastlines Online, UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association


Spring 2016

Alumni Authors

Book cover: The Spoons in the Grass

Amelia Martens `02
The Spoons in the Grass are There to Dig a Moat

Amelia Martens’ debut poetry collection is the 2014 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature selection from Sarabande Books. Revealing expansive ideas in compressed language, Martens’ prose poems are brief vignettes in the form of prayers, parables, confessions and revelations, full of dark humor and beguiling observations.

Book cover: In the Shadow of God

Phil Maas, `67, MA `70
In the Shadow of God: The Philip Miller Story

Published under the pen name Samuel Nala, Phil Maas’ novel tells the story of Philip Miller, an American caught in the turmoil of Hugo Chávez’s 2009 Revolución in Venezuala. Unprepared for the chaos that ensues in the wake of political upheaval, Miller finds himself trapped in an unforgiving universe where he has lost control of his fate.

Book cover: Playing with Tigers

George Gmelch, PhD `71
Playing with Tigers: A Minor League Chronicle of the Sixties

In 1965, George Gmelch signed to play in the Minor Leagues with the Detroit Tigers. In this coming-of-age memoir, Gmelch applies his skills as an anthropologist as he recounts his “baseball education” playing in small town towns across the United States against the backdrop of social turmoil of civil rights protests, the Vietnam War and the emergence of counterculture. Playing with Tigers immerses the reader in the life of the Minor Leagues from the point of view of an accomplished social scientist. Link:

Book cover: Memory Diet

Judi and Shari Zucker, `83
The Memory Diet: More Than 150 Healthy Recipes for the Proper Care and Feeding of Your Brain

Sparked by their own mother’s struggle with dementia, health and fitness gurus Judi and Shari Zucker researched brain-boosting recipes to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The Memory Diet introduces plant-based, brain-boosting meal plans -- made without white sugar, processed ingredients and gluten -- that can help slow down and eliminate the chances of cognitive decline by as much as 53 percent. Link:

Book cover:Wartime Romance

Marilyn Hackett, `74
Wartime Romance: A Time to Remember

Marilyn Hacket shares a sweet, heartfelt story about love and life in the heartland during World War II in Wartime Romance, a novel based on her parents’ correspondence. For years, her mother Margaret Wolff wrote to Tom Johnson, a farm boy turned bomber pilot who yearned to return home. The pen pals married after the war, keeping their love story tucked away in a cache of letters in attic until their daughter found them…and wrote a musical AND a novel about their lives.

Book cover: Brain Tumor

Scott Norris, `88
The Brain Tumor Diaries: Impressions of the Brain Cancer Experience

Scott Norris shares his journey through diagnosis, treatment, recovery and beyond in The Brain Tumor Diaries, a straightforward memoir about surviving brain cancer. Norris takes us through his experience of MRIs, operations and seizures with powerful poetry and raw emotion. Link:

Book cover: Roadside

Elizabeth O’Black Gans `94
Roadside Geology of Southern California

Geologist-illustrator Elizabeth O’Black Gans joins awardwinning UC Santa Barbara geologist Arthur Sylvester in creating a dazzling compilation of maps, diagrams and accessible stories about the rocks and landscapes of Southern California. This book is your handheld tour guide to the gemstones and roadside sights of one of the most geologically dramatic regions in the world.