Skip to content

Tanya Storch’s “The History of Chinese Buddhist Bibliography: Censorship and Transformation of the Tripitaka” is among the titles on the University of the Pacific summer reading list.

  • Print
Pacific News

Summer reading list ideas from University of the Pacific faculty

May 14, 2014

From a light history of nuts to a weighty translation of anti-capitalist Japanese literature, here are a few recent books by University of the Pacific faculty worthy of any summer reading list:

"The Crab Cannery Ship and Other Novels of Struggle," translation of Kobayashi Takiji's work by Zeljko (Jake) Cipris, University of Hawai'i Press, $25, 303 pages. This work by an associate professor of Japanese for University of the Pacific's Department of Modern Languages and Literature was recently selected by World Literature Today, University of Oklahoma's bimonthly magazine of international literature and culture, as one of the 75 notable translations of 2013. Zeljko (Jake) Cipris' book introduces to an English-speaking audience the work of Japan's foremost Marxist writer, a side of Japanese literature seldom seen outside Japan. It also provides a new translation of "Kani Kōsen," Takiji's anti-capitalist work first published in 1929.

"Ambition in America: Political Power and the Collapse of Citizenship," by Jeffrey Becker, The University Press of Kentucky, $50, 210 pages. Published last month, this book by Becker, an associate professor of political science at University of the Pacific, has been hailed as "engaging" and "groundbreaking." He looks at a contradiction in our political system: We admire ambition in business leaders, sports stars and artists, yet loathe it in our elected officials. Our political system essentially requires us to choose leaders from among ambitious candidates whom we also prevent from dominating the less ambitious through the separation of power detailed in the U.S Constitution and the structure of political representation. Becker takes examples from U.S. political history to highlight drama and deficits in our political system, and uses political ambition as a lens through which to understand the characteristics that at once threaten and strengthen our form of government.

"Nuts: A Global History," by Ken Albala, Reaktion Books, $18, 128 pages. Nuts are in nearly everything and this book tells the story of how they got there. Albala, a professor of history at University of the Pacific, looks at the delicious treat, tracking these fruits and seeds from cultivation to consumption in his latest book, published last month. Albala has written or edited 20 books on food, including  "Eating Right in the Renaissance," "Food in Early Modern Europe," "Cooking in Europe 1250-1650," "The Banquet," "Beans," "Pancake" and "Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food." Albala's book "Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese" was named the best foreign cuisine book in the world in 2012 by Gourmand International during the annual Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, which was held during the 2013 Paris Cookbook Fair.

"The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures," co-authored by Joel N. Lohr, Abingdon Press, $40, 380 pages. Lohr, director of Religious and Spiritual Life at University of the Pacific, co-authored this beginner's guide to biblical literature with Joel S. Kaminsky, a professor of biblical literature and Jewish studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Mark Reasoner, an associate professor of theology at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. The book, published in March, builds on Kaminsky and Lohr's earlier work, "The Torah: A Beginner's Guide." The latest work looks at religious writings used by Jews, Catholics and Protestants, providing a clear, concise and engaging introduction to the literature and its continued influence our lives.

"The History of Chinese Buddhist Bibliography: Censorship and Transformation of the Tripitaka," by Tanya Storch, Cambria Press, $110 (hardcover), 266 pages. Storch, an associated professor of religious and classical studies at University of the Pacific, has written the first English-language book encompassing the entire historical scope of the Chinese Buddhist bibliography. The book was published in March and includes an examination of the bibliography's historical foundations, textual classifications, criteria of authenticity, and collections made by individual catalogers.

"Great Shakespeareans: Welles, Kurosawa, Kozintsev, Zeffirelli," co-authored by Courtney Lehmann, Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, $133 (hardcover), 216 pages. Lehmann, a professor of English at University of the Pacific, was recently named to the editorial board of the Cambridge University Press series, "Shakespeare on Screen." As a contributor to the new book along with Mark Thornton Burnett, Marguerite Rippy and Ramona Wray, Lehmann looks at the interpretation of Shakespeare plays by Italian film director and producer Franco Zeffirelli. Published late last year as volume 17 in Bloomsbury's Great Shakespeareans series, the volume was recently optioned for paperback publication based on its early reviews. The Bloomsbury series looks at critics, editors, actors, filmmakers and others who have had the greatest influence on interpreting Shakespeare.

"The Most Excellent Book of Cookery: An Edition and Translation of the 16th-century 'Livre fort excellent de cuisine,'" by Ken Albala and Timothy J. Tomasik, Prospect Books, $40, 192 pages. Albala, professor of history at University of the Pacific, explains the historical context and significance of the little-known French cookbook, while Tomasik, associate professor of French at Valparaiso University in Indiana, provides the translation. The book, published in April, comprises about 70 pages of original French text with an English translation on facing pages. It represents the first modern printing of the book, which dates to the 1500s.

"Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy" by Alison Alkon, University of Georgia Press, $24.95, 224 pages. The work by Alison Alkon, an assistant professor of sociology at University of the Pacific, looks at race and class as they relate to farmers markets and the green economy. Alkon looks at two San Francisco Bay Area farmers markets - one in a primarily white neighborhood and another in an African-American neighborhood - and examines the possibilities for social and environmental change through farmers markets and the green economy.

Follow this link to view works by faculty, staff and alumni that were offered in our holiday gift guide.

About University of the Pacific
Established in 1851 as the first university in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy, and health sciences. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes a campus in San Francisco, which is home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. For more information, visit

Media contact:
Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (Office) | 209.470.3206 (Mobile) |

Tags for this article:

Join University of the Pacific on: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Youtube