Some books to keep you company this summer

Arts and Humanities
June 30, 2020

2020 Summer Reads

by Frank Garza

Tired of being cooped up indoors this summer? Here’s a list of Rattler reads to keep you company — books recently written by our very own St. Mary’s University alumni, professors and staff.

Frank Southers The Home Cover Art

The Home

Frank R. Southers (J.D. ’60)

Independently Published

Take a trip back to the 1950s in this novel by law alumnus Southers, when one penny could buy an orange, if you learned to shop around a bit. This novel follows the story of a young boy named Johnny Porter, who suddenly finds himself alone in the world after his father is forced to stay in a nursing home.

Who Is It? Cover image

Who Is It?

Kathryn Cervera (B.A. ’03, M.A. ’04)

Ebooks2go Inc

A relatable and heartfelt young adult fiction novel written by alumna Kathryn Cervera, which tells the story of a boy who meets his dream girl.

WARBLES cover courtesy of Alex Salinas


Alex Z. Salinas (B.A. ’11, M.A. ’19)

Hekate Publishing

Who are we? This debut collection of poetry penned by alumnus and staff member Salinas explores this existential question through a blend of seriousness and wit, through introspection and culture and meticulous word choice.

Diane Bertrand Taco Magician Cover

The Taco Magician

Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Visiting Lecturer of English Literature and Language

Arte Publico Press

Is there any greater magic trick than cooking a taco? In this future Rattler read (written in English and Spanish), Writer-In-Residence Bertrand paints vivid imagery of all the things children find relatable and important in their lives, such as a special blanket, a warm meal or a tía’s love.

Stacy Fowler A Century in Uniform

 A Century in Uniform: Military Women in American Films

Stacy Fowler, M.L.S., Professor, (with Deborah Deacon)


Fowler takes a deep dive into films featuring military women and examines the roles they played at home and in society as well as the status of military women throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Book cover for Slavery in the Southwest: Genízaro Identity, Dignity and the Law

Slavery in the Southwest: Genizaro Identity, Dignity and the Law

Robert William Piatt Jr., J.D., Professor of Law, (with Moises Gonzales)

Academic Press

The brutal reality of the American Southwest included Indians captured by the Spanish or by other Indians and kept or sold as slaves. Along with providing historical context, this book co-authored by Piatt analyzes legal approaches to alleviate the badges of servitude that still linger among descendants of the slaves, known as “Genízaros.”

Chicarra Chorus Cover Image

Chicharra Chorus

Eduardo Vega (B.A. ’99)

FlowerSong Books          

What comes to mind when you hear the ever-present chicharra chorus in South Texas? In his poetry collection, Vega writes about life, death and the struggles we face in between. But don’t be fooled by his casual tone. His words — much like a chicharra chorus — will ring in your mind with a deeper meaning.

The Internship: A Novel About Engineering Ethics

The Internship Book Cover by Rafael Moras

Rafael Moras, Ph.D., Professor of Industrial Engineering Services LLC

What happens when you’re faced with an ethical dilemma in the workplace? Will you compromise your integrity to advance your career? Moras writes about four university students who must face the daunting, gray areas of real-world problems when they embark on an internship-based senior project at a local company.

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