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Books at Memorial

More Than a Mountain: One Woman’s Everest

By TA Loeffler

More Than a Mountain: One Woman’s Everest recounts the powerful story of Dr. TA Loeffler’s preparation for, and attempt to scale, the mighty summit of Mount Everest. With gripping descriptions and spectacular photos, the professor in Memorial’s School of Human Kinetics and Recreation invites readers into the extreme world of high-altitude climbing. More Than a Mountain is also a deeply moving account of how one woman overcame adversity to reach out to young people and show them the power of big dreams and big goals. We follow her intimate and inspiring narrative as she explores her own evolution as a mountaineer and as a practising Buddhist. The result is a candid look at places where most of us only dream to tread.

Dr. Loeffler is a unique combination of outdoor adventurer, author, filmmaker, photographer, educator, and motivational speaker, bringing a diversity of experience and expertise to everything she does.

In 2006, The Globe and Mail named Dr. Loeffler, A Class Act and she received the Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teaching Award. The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport named Dr. Loeffler to their 2006 Top 20 Most Influential Women in Canadian Sport and Physical Activity List. Additionally, Dr. Loeffler received the Memorial University President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2005 and the Association
for Experiential Education presented named Dr. Loeffler, the Outstanding Experiential Teacher of the Year in 1999.

Dr. Loeffler is currently making plans to return to Everest in 2010. For more, see

More Than A Mountain is published by Creative Book Publishing.

The Best Small-Boat Seamen in the Navy

By W. David Parsons and Ean Parsons

In the acknowledgements to this new book, co-author Dr. Ean Parsons, Discipline of Family Medicine, describes his father’s book as “a labour of love about a subject central to Newfoundland’s history. It is a project of remembrance and documentation to bring together diverse information, much of it collected by others and much original research.”

As the driving force behind this book, David Parsons gave his time freely to those with an interest in the subject. “We hope it helps those interested in the Naval Reserve,” writes Dr. Ean Parsons.

The book covers the inception of the Newfoundland Division of the Royal Naval Reserve during the period 1900-1922, with an outline of activities of some of the officers sand men who served, and how HMS Calypso (later renamed HMS Briton) was attained and converted to a drill hall and headquarters for training in St. John’s.

By 1914, more than 1,400 Newfoundland seamen had trained and were ready to serve on ships of the Royal Navy in case of war. During the First World War (1914-1918), and up until 1919, a total of 1,994 officers and men of the Newfoundland Division of the Royal Naval Reserved served on ships of the Royal Navy – 192 lost their lives. It was during the war that these Newfoundlanders earned the title of “the best small-boat seamen in the Navy.”
The Newfoundland Division of the Royal Naval Reserve was disbanded in 1922 when the British Admiralty decided there was no longer any need for a training ship and the HMS Briton was sold.

The Best Small-Boat Seamen in the Navy tells the story of these Newfoundland seamen and the ships on which they served. It is published by DRC Publishing.

Structure and Dynamics of Membranous Interfaces

By Dr. Kaushik Nag

With chapters contributed by pioneers and leading scientists in the field, this carefully edited work provides state-of-the-science reviews focusing on the structural and dynamic aspects of diverse membranous systems. In addition to learning the significance of the latest discoveries in membranous systems, readers also learn the most advanced techniques used to study these complex systems. Moreover, the text brings together a tremendous array of both published and unpublished data, offering an unprecedented reference and resource to fuel further research.

Integrating findings from computer science, biophysics, surface science, physical chemistry, nanotechnology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, and clinical physiology, this book offers a truly multidisciplinary perspective. Its 15 chapters are organized into three main sections: Membrane Structure, focusing on direct experimental studies to determine the polymorphic structures of model and natural membranous systems; Dynamics and Molecular Events at Membrane Interfaces, examining how membrane structures are formed and evolve into other superstructures; and Complex Membranous Systems, exploring bacterial and neural membranes, lung surfactants, and other colloidal systems

Structure and Dynamics of Membranous Interfaces offers researchers and students studying biomembranes a unique snapshot of what is known in the field, where additional research is needed, and where the field is heading. Furthermore, armed with a better understanding of membranous systems, readers are well positioned to make new advances in such areas as drug design, medicine, and environmental technologies.

Dr. Kaushik Nag is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry.
Structure and Dynamics of Membranous Interfaces is published by Wiley.

Scrabble Lessons

By Leslie Vryenhoek

In Leslie Vryenhoek’s debut collection of short stories, characters who have confined themselves to comfortable patterns are suddenly thrown off their games: a single man’s life is complicated when his sister shows up carrying all the old family baggage and a terrible new secret; the long-time cook at a home for pregnant women shifts from observer to instigator; a young mother who believes her PR work for a charity will lead to great good ends up fostering a tragedy.

These 15 stories focus on loneliness and longing, and explore the acute moments of clarity on which whole lives can pivot. In Scrabble Lessons, these fractures can be sparked by innocuous objects — a poetry chapbook, a stolen bicycle, a pricey tomato left on a windowsill. And in the title story, it is the ordered pattern of a Scrabble game – 225 squares, 100 wooden tiles – that becomes the anchor in a world tossed by grief and uncertainty.

Ms. Vryenhoek is currently the acting web editor in the Division of Marketing and Communications at Memorial, and is pursuing a Creative Writing Diploma. Her poetry, fiction and memoir have appeared in magazines and journals across Canada. Her work has won the Eden Mills Literary Festival competition, the Cahoots Fiction contest and the Dalton Camp Award, and placed in the Sheldon Currie Fiction Contest (The Antigonish Review) and This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt.

Scrabble Lessons is published by Oolichan Books.

The Architectural Uncanny

By Marlene MacCallum

Many of us have flipped through the pages of a book without giving much thought to our relationship with it. But how are we bound to it? How do the images and words make meanings with us? How do we relate to the book as structure, as architecture?

The Architectural Uncanny is the exhibition catalogue for an exhibition of the same name that ran at Sir Wilfred Grenfell Art Gallery in 2007. Published last year, the catalogue features the work of visual arts professor Marlene MacCallum.

Like the exhibition, The Architectural Uncanny features a comprehensive series of images of the exhibition, as well as of techniques used in her bookmaking process and photogravure images of Corner Brook’s “Townsite” house interiors. These houses have the same floor plan, having been designed for pulp and paper mill employees by the same architect. Prof. MacCallum has reflected on these house interiors as being “uncanny” or “strangely familiar.”
The catalogue also includes a poetic essay by Canadian writer Lisa Robertson. Titled Time in the Codex, the essay explores the notion that books are spaces in the same way that houses are – that books are the skin in which we live. She refers to the book as “codex” – “I see that I refer to a reader’s identification with a group of structural traits. I want the codex to remain linked to its material history. I want to claim each gesture the codex inaugurates in my body.”

Prof. MacCallum began to develop her photogravure printing practice in 1993, and is now internationally recognized for her use of the medium. Photogravure is a historical photographic process which combines intaglio printing and photography. In 1997, she introduced the book format and the use of text, and letterpress printing, into her practice.

The Architectural Uncanny catalogue was made possible through the support of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, the Canada Council of the Arts and Dalhousie University.

Birds of Newfoundland

By Dr. Ian Warkentin and Sandy Newton

Dr. Ian Warkentin of Grenfell College’s Environmental Science Unit has helped put together the first comprehensive field guide dedicated solely to the birds of Newfoundland. Designed to make identifying birds quick and easy, this new field guide to the birds of Newfoundland gives birdwatchers a one-stop reference to the species most commonly seen on North America’s easternmost island.

Birds of Newfoundland includes profiles of more than 170 birds, tips on where to look for each species, song, habitat, breeding, and range details, and nesting information. It features 32 full-colour plates by Roger Tory Peterson with additional images by John A. Crosby and Ralph Jarvis.

Dr. Warkentin said there hasn’t been a book focusing specifically on the island’s birds since 1951 when the provincial government published the Birds of Newfoundland. For that book, the government commissioned two biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Harold Peters and Tom Burleigh, to write the text and Roger Tory Peterson to do the illustrations.

“This book is both out of print and not terribly portable as a field guide, so there clearly was a market for a book to respond to the growing interest of amateur bird watchers here in Newfoundland,” he said.

Dr. Warkentin teamed up with freelance writer Sandy Newton on this book.

Birds of Newfoundland is published by Boulder Publications and is available at bookstores around the province, including the MUN Bookstore.