New books from the Brown community:
The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe by Stephon Alexander ’97 ScM, ’00 PhD (Basic Books).
Alexander is a jazz saxophonist and a Brown physics professor who investigates the origins of the universe. In a book that’s partly a memoir about growing up in the Bronx in a music-loving Trinidadian family, partly a history of physics, and partly a meditation on jazz and improvisation, he argues that there are deep connections between the sound waves that make up music and the energy waves that make up the universe.
The Sun in Your Eyes by Deborah Shapiro ’98 (Morrow).
In this engaging debut novel we meet Lee and Viv, two former college roommates and estranged best friends, who, ten years on, decide to leave their lives behind and head out on the road to find the lost tapes for an album that Lee’s legendary rock star dad had been recording when he died. Told in keen, vivid prose, and largely from Viv’s point of view, the novel is ripe with humor, college flashbacks, and insights on both love and the twisting, evolving nature of friendship.
Changing the Playbook: How Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports by Howard P. Chudacoff (Illinois).
Here Chudacoff, a Brown history and urban studies professor, builds a list of turning points from 1950 on that have shaped today’s $16 billion-a-year universe of college athletics. One of those was the NCAA’s 1950 vote to abolish the Sanity Code, which until then had banned athletic scholarships. Other chapters center on Title IX and women athletes, integration, and how for many schools a river of media money became an indispensable revenue stream. A fluid and compelling road map, with a few tantalizing what-ifs, that shows how college sports have reached the state they’re in today.