Alumni Authors, Part Two

Whether you want to expand your horizons through a deep exploration of a thought-provoking topic or need an escape to an imaginary world near or far, it’s impossible to beat curling up with a good book. That’s why we put together a reading list featuring books by alumni authors—add them to your own reading list and let us know what you think using the hashtag #DPUAlumniAuthors!

Interested in having your work considered for the next installment of Alumni Authors? Let us know at

Checked them all off your list? Head over to Part 1 of Alumni Authors for more reading!

For an inspirational sports story…

The Legend of the Death Race

by Tony Matesi (CMN ’11), Up, Beyond Publishing

The “Death Race” takes the precedent set by races like the Spartan series and Tough Mudder to the extreme, pushing endurance athletes to their very limit and beyond. Alumnus Tony Matesi, the former director of Spartan Endurance, chronicles his three-year journey to completing the Death Race and how he discovered the importance of “courage, power and wisdom” in overcoming all of life’s obstacles.

For the comic book fan…

The Modern Monarchy series

by Shemar James (BUS ’18), Lulu

A man of many talents, alumnus Shemar James has been feverishly writing the Modern Monarchy series, with three volumes published since December 2019. As an alumnus and a member of DePaul’s faculty and staff, James still finds time to innovate in the crowded comic book space. The Modern Monarchy series follows the denizens of the Goldleaf Kingdom in their efforts to defend their home against “ruthless giants, tyrannical aliens,” and the Caveman King.

For music lovers…

Light My Fire: My Life with the Doors

by Ray Manzarek (BUS ’60), Penguin Group

If you’re a music fan, you may already know that alumnus Ray Manzarek played keyboard alongside Jim Morrison in The Doors. My Life With the Doors, published in 1998, details his time with one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. You may not have known that Manzarek also dabbled in fiction writing. 2001’s The Poet in Exile is a novelization of the urban legend that Morrison faked his own death. And 2006’s Snake Moon is a Civil War ghost story. Who knew!

For a dose of literary sci-fi…

And Again

by Jessica Chiarella (LAS ’09, MA ’14), Simon & Schuster

In alumna Jessica Chiarella’s first novel, And Again, four terminally-ill patients undergo an experimental treatment to re-make their physical bodies into perfect genetic copies. At once a moving exploration of second chances and a meditation on the ultimate location (or loci?) of identity, Chiarella developed her debut during a novel writing course at DePaul.

For an emotional memoir…

The Distance Between

by Timothy Hillegonds (SCPS ’12, LAS MA ’14), University of Nebraska Press

The Distance Between is at once a memoir detailing the fallout from a momentous, life-changing decision, a tale of the damage caused by abuse and addiction and an exploration of toxic masculinity, fatherhood and violence. Alumnus Timothy Hillegonds’ first book defies expectation and categorization, which is one reason author Tobias Wolff selected it as series editor of the American Lives series from University of Nebraska Press.

For a motivational kickstart…

Get Off Your “But”: How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself

by Sean Stephenson (LAS ’01), Jossey-Bass

Alumnus Dr. Sean Stephenson (LAS ’01) garnered a number of enviable book jacket endorsements. From President Bill Clinton to motivational speaker Tony Robbins, Stephenson has won over some pretty impressive fans. Diagnosed at birth with the genetic disorder commonly known as “brittle bone disease,” Stephenson went on to live a truly remarkable life, interning for President Clinton, learning from Robbins and becoming a practicing therapist and sought-after motivational speaker. In 2009’s Get Off Your “But,” Stephenson recounts the lessons he learned in his own life and shares the stories of others who overcame a multitude of adversities to lead their best lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Built with

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: