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California Bookwatch

Volume 1, Number 8 October 2006 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Donovan's Picks International Studies Shelf Native American Shelf
Psychology Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Human Sexuality Shelf Education Shelf Computer Shelf
World History Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Biography Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Transportation Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Parenting Shelf
Library Science Shelf Agriculture Studies Shelf Science Shelf
Military Shelf Social Issues Shelf Judicial Studies Shelf
American History Shelf Women's Studies Shelf Gardening Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Architecture Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Travel Shelf
Music Shelf Humor Shelf Comics/Graphic Novel Shelf
Sports Shelf Gaming Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Nautical Shelf Hunting/Fishing Shelf California Shelf
Language Studies Shelf Literary Shelf Business Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf Woodworking Arts Shelf
Art Shelf Photography Shelf Political Science Shelf
True Adventure Shelf Judaic Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf    

Donovan's Picks

Hollow Earth
David Standish
Da Capo Press
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306813734 $24.95

HOLLOW EARTH: THE LONG AND CURIOUS HISTORY OF IMAGINING STRANGE LANDS, FANTASTICAL CREATURES, ADVANCED CIVLIZATIONS, AND MARVELOS MACHINES BELOW THE EARTH'S SURFACE is for any who have loved Jules Vern, H.G. Wells, and imaginative history. From Sir Edmond Halley's 17th century theory of a hollow earth to account for magnetic pole flux to Hitler's search for an opening in the planet to use as a possible hideout, chapters chart speculations and manias from ancient civilizations to modern times, providing a lively survey not just of evolving beliefs, but of how they fostered changes. The forty illustrations include maps and movie posters and provide vivid accompaniment to a fun title that promises to reach a wide audience – and not just science fiction buffs.

Number Freaking
Gary Rimmer
163 – 3rd Ave. #108, New York NY 10003
1932857273 $13.95

You'd expect the topic to be statistics with a title like NUMBER FREAKING: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD WITH DELIGHTFULLY SURREAL STATISTICS: not so: in fact, it has nothing to do with accounting or statistics. It's a compilation of ‘absurd arithmetic' and covers everything from calculating how many people on Earth are drunk in a given moment to wondering if America will eventually collide with Japan, or how many lightning flashes there are every year. An engaging study.

The Art of Psychic Bidding And Its Pitfalls
Julian Pottage & Peter Burrows
Batsford/Sterling Publishing
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016-8810
0713488816 $15.95

Any with an interest in psychic bluffing's forms and applications shouldn't miss The Art of Psychic Bidding And Its Pitfalls. Psychic bidding is defined as bluffing calls to create an illusion of strength or length in a suit, or to hide weakness: this is the only full-length book on the topic to cover ethics, applications, and the experiences of famous psychs.

Complete Idiot's Guides
Lita Epstein, MBA
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014

The second edition of SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE (1592575196, $16.95) is a top pick any public library will want to include in their collection. It updates all information on rules, coverage, benefits and more, providing tips on everything from timing retirement benefits to understanding how divorce and death affects social security benefits. An ever-increasing population of baby boomers will find it useful. Dan Ramsey's CAR CARE AND REPAIR ILLUSTRATED (0028644328, $18.95) is for any newcomer to car repair and care – the perfect gift for the teen: it provides easy checks to maintain performance, step-by-step instructions for common auto repairs, advice on preventative maintenance and more. Both are excellent general-interest guides.

Beautiful Evidence
Edward Tufte
Graphics Press LLC
Box 430, Cheshire, CT 06410
0961392177 $52.00

This fourth Tufte title continues his themes of pairing image with text, focusing on how information can be transmitted graphically and focusing on ‘sparklines': data-intense, word-like graphics. Perhaps it's impossible to adequately describe this concept using plain print: for more, you need to see BEAUTIFUL EVIDENCE, blending cartography, diagrams, science and art in a winning survey of measurement-based images.

Blood and Religion
Jonathan Cook
Pluto Press
c/o University of Michigan
839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
0745325556 $24.95

BLOOD AND RELIGION: THE UNMASKING OF THE JEWISH AND DEMOCRATIC STATE comes from a reporter on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides an argument tracing the Jewish state's motives – to avoid a Palestinian majority in the region. Any interested in the history and progress of Zionism will find BLOOD AND RELIGION a thought-provoking survey.

Pointed Leaf Press
1100 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10028

Peter Schifando and Jean H. Mathison's CLASS ACT: WILLIAM HAINES, LEGENDARY HOLLYWOOD DECORATOR (0972766146 $95.00) tells of a 1920s Hollywood ‘decorator to the stars', who opened a new talent contest in 1922 and appeared in over twenty films as a leading man. When his film career faded, his decorating skills of the past emerged – and many of his costars became his first clients. Eventually he was designing the homes of directors, producers, and Hollywood's elite. CLASS ACT pairs an outstanding collection of black and white photos and drawings – many of which haven't been published before – with a discussion which includes gorgeous interior design insights. This has been reviewed earlier but deserves ongoing recognition as an unparalleled treasure and ‘must' for any serious interior design holding. Stefan Falke's gorgeous photos in MOKO JUMBIES (0972766138, $65.00) could've been featured in our travel or photography sections, but is reviewed here for its gorgeous artistic qualities which pair an oversized presentation with vivid color throughout. Seventeen years ago one Glen Souza founded the Keylemanjahro School of Arts and Culture on Trinidad to revive nearly-forgotten West African traditions of dancing on stilts. Today over a hundred Moko Jumbies practice at the school – and renowned photographer Steven Falke spent six years documenting them, the fruits of which grace a lovely, stunning collection. Both are highly recommended, top picks for art library holdings.

Egypt's Sunken Treasures
Franck Goddio & Manfred Clauss
Prestel Publishing
575 Prospect St., Lakewood, NJ 08701
3791335456 $49.95 1-888-463-6110

The price tag's a bargain for an oversized presentation of nearly five hundred pages perfect for both general interest public library holdings and those specializing in Egyptian history or archaeological discoveries. The ruins of not one but three ancient cities off the coast of Egypt have contributed important clues to the culture, life and sentiments of early Egyptian civilization, and author Franck Goddio as key discoverer of these relics is in a prime position to present images of the excavation process in EGYPT'S SUNKEN TREASURES. His survey not only documents the process of excavation and research, but Goddio's role as founder and president of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology in Paris lends an authority and background to the discoveries which is unique and well detailed. One would think this would result in a survey too weighty for general audience interest, but the extensive color photos and historical background is accessible to all.

Universal Beauty
Cara Birnbaum
Rutledge Hill Press
Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
1401602290 $29.99

If you want only one ‘beauty bible' filled with color and insights, it should come from an authority – and UNIVERSAL BEAUTY; THE MISS UNIVERSE GUIDE TO BEAUTY doesn't get any more authoritative. Contributions come from the former Miss Universe titleholders and pair advice from beauty writer Cara Birnbaum with the experts' insights. From choosing beauty products and understanding labeling to beauty secrets that helped win the crown, UNIVERSAL BEAUTY comes packed with expertise and plenty of color photos.

67 Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

The third updated edition of Lawrence M. Thompson's BASIC ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRONICS FOR CONTROL: FUNDAMENTALS AND APPLICATIONS (155617988X) has been class tested and is an excellent primer for either classroom or on-job use. It covers behavior, not design – and it provides the basics of electricity as it's measured and controlled today. Chapters include procedures to make successful measurements of electrical quantities and by minimizing the amount of math calculations, are very accessible by beginners at either the college or work world level – though it's been developed from course materials and is written with students in mind. William L. Mostia, Jr., P.E.'s second edition of TROUBLESHOOTING: A TECHNICIAN'S GUIDE (1556179634) is for any working with loops and systems, and provides a newly revised edition based on the author's experience as an electrical engineer. Real-world examples of typical problems illustrate troubleshooting approaches, pros and cons and covers not only beginning to advanced methods and strategies, but tips on safety, training and advanced skills development. Harley M. Jeffrey's LOOP CHECKING: A TECHNICIAN'S GUIDE (1556179103) narrows the focus to process control loops, defining loop checking and controls as they relate to plant start-up and maintenance. General methods can apply across industries and build a foundation of knowledge from the basics to factory accepted testing and performance checks. All are top picks for any in-depth electrical engineer's collection.

The International Studies Shelf

The Punishment of Virtue
Sarah Chayes
Penguin Press
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
1594200963 $25.95

THE PUNISHMENT OF VIRTUE: INSIDE AFGHANISTAN AFTER THE TALIBAN comes from an NPR reporter who arrived in Afghanistan in 2001, leaving reporting as the Taliban left to help rebuild the nation by heading a non-profit founded by the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Her reporting background, access to top players in the post-war government, and personal participation in the rebuilding of the nation makes for a powerful blend of insights.

A Land Without Time
John Sumser
Academy Chicago
363 W. Erie St. #7E, Chicago, IL 60610
0897335430 $17.95

Here's a first: the story of Afghanistan prior to and during the communist coup of 1979, told by an American who worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan. Only a handful of foreigners lived in the country at the time: A LAND WITHOUT TIME: A PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER IN AFGHANISTAN starts in the US with peace corps training and recruitment then follows a group of young men and women to the country, where they adopt to its needs and ways. A ‘must' for any who would understand Afghanistan culture and history and the peace corps perspective.

The Iraq War
Rick Fawn & Raymond Hinnebusch
Lynne Rienner Publishers
1800 – 30th St., Suite 314, Boulder, CO 80301-1026
1588264386 $23.50

From the major international and regional influences leading to the Iraq War to a history of issues relating to international law, foreign policy and foreign relations, The Iraq War: Causes & Consequences offers one of the best assessments in print. Chapters take a country-by-country approach in assessing the major players around the world, their interests in Iraq, and more. A ‘must' for any who would truly understand underlying motivations and forces in the region.

The Native American Shelf

Indian Yell
Michael Blake
Northland Publishing
2900 N. Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
0873589076 $21.95

Michael Blake is author of DANCES WITH WOLVES, and in INDIAN YELL: THE HEART OF AN AMERICAN INSURGENCY he not only reviews past practices but connects them to modern-day policies. Twelve significant conflicts receive survey in INDIAN YELLOW, a narrative which covers conflict between Indian and white man during the nation's expansion. The analysis dispels common myths and stereotypes of the Indian Wars, uses research to analyze both military and cultural interactions, and provides important connections to today's events and concerns among Indian nations.

A Song for the Horse Nation
George Horse Capture & Emil Her Many Horses
National Museum Am Indian/Fulcrum Publishing
16100 Table Mtn Pkwy #300, Golden, CO 80403
1555911129 $12.95

A Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures is edited by a scholar and a curator and includes a historical essay as it packs in photos of objects form the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian along with photos of North American Indians and horses.

The Psychology Shelf

A Mind of Its Own
Cordelia Fine
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
0393062139 $24.95 1-800-233-4830

A MIND OF ITS OWN: HOW YOUR BRAIN DISTORTS AND DECEIVES explores the mind's deceptions, methods, defenses and processes – and provides a special focus on how the brain tends towards self-delusion. Our brain wraps our perceptions and incoming data, Dr. Fine maintains: as an experimental psychologist she holds the background and technical insights to link everyday brain functions with understanding of ways in which the brain can deceive.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

101 Tips on Nutrition for People with Diabetes
Patti B. Geil, MS, RD, FADA, CDE & Lea Ann Holzmeister, RD, CDE
American Diabetes Association
1701 N. Beauregard St, Alexandria, VA 22311
1580402542 $14.95

This second updated edition of a diabetes fact book packs in nutrition details as did the first – with a difference. It updates common questions and answers diabetics have about best eating routines for diabetes control, provides both a review of basic nutrition facts and a survey of diabetes-specific issues, and provides not short but good-length answers to potentially confusing questions such as ‘can I eat anything marked sugar-free?' An excellent survey recommended above the prior edition for its detail and further depth.

Our Lady of Weight Loss
Janice Taylor
Viking Studio
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
0142005088 $19.95

Author Janice Taylor is a weight loss coach and has written much on her lifetime project of losing weight, so Our Lady of Weight Loss represents the voice of experience. She's now fifty pounds lighter and here shares her gospel truths on how to stop cravings, move away from weight gain routines, and use healthy recipes which taste good in place of more fattening choices. A fun, sensible set of routines are presented for any struggling with weight issues.

Edible Medicines
Nina L. Etkin
University of Arizona Press
355 S. Euclid Ave. #103, Tucson, AZ 85719
0816520933 $50.00

College-level collections, doctors, nutritionists and even the general public will find EDIBLE MEDICINES: AN ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY OF FOOD an important guide linking food history, dietary needs and culture. Plenty has been written covering the nutritional values of food, but relatively little on the pharmacological potentials of diet: EDIBLE MEDICINES focuses on the medicinal properties of foods in different cultures and blends history with underlying medical concerns and reflections on human evolution. A fascinating survey.

Crooked Angels
Carol Lee
Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
1902638670 $15.95 1-800-869-5677

Carol Lee's health journal is a vivid reminder to us all that good health can suddenly change at a moment's notice. Carol awakes to a world of pain – and it takes her two years to discover what's happened and why. Unable to move her arms, her condition defies diagnosis until an osteopath helps her uncover a history which leads her through Tanzania and a Middle Eastern desert. An intriguing story of extreme illness and recovery.

Dictionary of Pharmacy
Dennis B. Worthen, Editor
Haworth Press
10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
0789023288 $39.95

College-level health collections as well as public libraries with a strong health information section will welcome DICTIONARY OF PHARMACY – the only English-language reference to provide a comprehensive A-Z listing of abbreviations, weights and measures, ethics, professional associations, colleges of pharmacy in the US, and more. Students will find it packed with all kinds of details relating to the industry – an essential handbook.

A Social History of Medicines in 20th Century
John K. Crellin
Pharmaceutical Products Press/Haworth Press
10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904
0789018454 $39.95

The cultural insights on the daily use of medicines in modern times in A SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINES IN THE 20TH CENTURY; TO BE TAKEN THREE TIMES A DAY are not to be missed by any college-level collection serious about pharmaceutical studies. Chapters review institutional trends in choosing and prescribing formularies, consider the history of gatekeeping measures for drugs, and discuss clinical freedom and changes in a running history of changes in the medical world.

The Total Wellbeing Diet
Dr. Manny Noakes & Dr. Peter Clifton
New American Library
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
0451219228 $16.95

Two doctors join forces to provide a high protein, low fat diet plan pairing medical insights with easy recipes. Many diets are complicated matters: not so the ‘Total Wellbeing Diet': it's very simple and tells how to get the weight off, keep it off, and diet without complications.

Eat Right-Electrolyte
W. Rex Hawkins, MD
Prometheus Books
50 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023645 $28.00

EAT RIGHT-ELECTROLYTE: A NUTRITIONAL GUIDE TO MINERALS IN OUR DAILY DIET comes from an MD in private practice and provides evidence that the usual American diet does not provide for a healthy balance of electrolytes. The common results of such an imbalance: hypertension, osteoporosis, heart disease and Crohn's disease: all common problems of modern society. Nutritional research documents what makes harmful doses of minerals, what happens when there aren't enough, and advises on how to overcome dietary deficiencies.

The End of Medicine
Andy Kessler
10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022-5299
006113029X $24.95

THE END OF MEDICINE: HOW SILICON VALLEY (AND NAKED MICE) WILL REBOOT YOUR DOCTOR profiles the emerging new technologies which will change medicine from one which offers chronic care and after-illness detection to a proactive medical community which will emphasize early detection and quick cures. Author Andy Kessler discovered his cancer quite by accident, literally – his effort to discover new keys to self-help and emerging health tests makes for a lively blend of autobiography and health industry survey revealing the cutting edge of medical cures.

How to Talk to Your Doctor
Jane Williams
Principle Publications
4101 W. Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 305-585, Arlington, TX 76016
0976645629 $17.95

The author's a former pharmaceutical sales rep and trainer and has written a guide to the industry of pharmaceutical sales, so her medical background lends to teaching the average reader how to talk to a doctor. From misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis and understanding doctor language and concerns to lists of state medical boards and senior citizens help organizations, How to Talk to Your Doctor is filled with important resources average consumers must have.

Cleveland Clinic Press
9500 Euclid Ave. #NA32, Cleveland, OH 44195

Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, D.O.'s GETTING A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP (1596240148, $14.95) may sound like another guide to insomnia, but it's much more: it offers advice from the head of the Sleep Medicine Program at the Cleveland Clinic who comes with medical background and expertise to her name. From why you can't sleep and can't stay awake to different forms of sleep disorders, their risks, and treatment options, this is the only book anyone should need. Curtis Mark Rimmerman, M.D.'s HEART ATTACK: A CLEVELAND CLINIC GUIDE (1596240318, $14.95) covers the frustrating condition of a silent killer which often is only realized after a heart attack. The early symptoms of heart disease may be the same as common conditions such as indigestion, and the later signs may be fatal. Case histories blend with reviews of heart health and chapters dispel many myths about who is at risk.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Sourcebook
Sandra J. Judd, Editor
615 Griswold St., Detroit, MI 48226
0780808649 $78.00

The updated third edition of this survey of alternative medicine is a 'must' reference for any serious healthcare collection: it offers general readers tips on widely used CAM therapies, guidelines for their success and safety, and describes medical systems which have evolved from cooperation between traditional and alternative medicines. Public library holdings, too, will welcome it as a popular reference.

An Uncommon Dialogue
Debra J. Drake
Wakefield Press
1 The Parade West, Kent Town, S. Australia 5067
1862546797 $19.95

This could've been featured in our Autobiography/Biography shelf, but it's featured here for its many medical insights in a first-person account of her journey through therapy to come to grips with a past littered with unsuccessful therapies and failed relationships. The author's mother was aware of the abuse and failed to respond to protect her daughters: AN UNCOMMON DIALOGUE is as much a story of the therapeutic relationship as the author's past.

Let Them Eat Flax
Dr. Joe Schwarcz
ECW Press
2120 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ME4 1E2
1550226983 $15.95

Let Them Eat Flax: 70 All-New Commentaries on the Science of Everyday Food & Life could've been featured in our ‘Food and Wine' or ‘Science' section, but is reviewed here for its in-depth blend of science and history with food and health issues. From trans fats and vitamin supplements to pesticides and acupuncture, readers learn about the chemistry behind health, food, and related issues.

Learning to Smell
Donald W. Wilson & Richard J. Stevenson
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218
0801883687 $80.00

LEARNING TO SMELL: OLFACTORY PERCEPTION FROM NEUROBIOLOGY TO BEHAVIOR is written by a neurobiologist and psychologist and provides a new theory of olfactory perception, making it a recommended pick for any college-level health library holding. The major research in the area lies in determining how the brain identifies and separates smells: chapters reviews research approaches and propose that experience and cortical plasticity combine to play a defining role in odor perception. A review of the physiology of olfactory systems and mechanics of detection enhances this excellent discourse.

The Hundred-Year Lie
Randall Fizgerald
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
0525949518 $24.95

THE HUNDRED YEAR LIE: HOW FOOD AND MEDICINE ARE DESTROYING YOUR HEALTH pinpoints the dilemma of chemicals in everyday products which are affecting health – and tells what to do about it. It comes from a newspaper reporter and investigative writer who here attacks the lies perpetuated by the chemical, pharmaceutical and processed foods industry, offering an eye-opening view of real health issues.

The Self-Help Shelf

It's My Life Now
Meg Kennedy Dugan & Roger R. Hock
270 Madison Ave., New York NY 10016
0415953251 $18.95

The updated second edition of IT'S MY LIFE NOW: STARTING OVER AFTER AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE provides a blend of case histories and self-help advice and updates a 2000 winning publication which has long served as a working manual for survivors who are starting over. Updated resources blend with a new emphasis on safety assessment making for a simply invaluable presentation sure to save lives.

The Human Sexuality Shelf

Crossing Sexual Boundaries
J. Ari Kane-DeMaios, EdD, & Vern L. Bullough, Ph.D., Dsci, RN
Prometheus Books
50 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023882 $28.00

CROSSING SEXUAL BOUNDARIES: TRANSGENDER JOURNEYS, UNCHARTED PATHS compiles autobiographies of women and men who describe their difficult transgender struggles, whether they be bisexual, homosexual or heterosexual. Their life stories illustrate both social and biological gender issues and outlines issues from work to family. Readers receive a personal set of insights rather than the usual study on the issues involved, making this a valuable addition for social science holdings as well as general public libraries.

The Education Shelf

College Planning For Gifted Students
Sandra L. Berger
Prufrock Press
Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
1593631812 $18.95

COLLEGE PLANNING FOR GIFTED STUDENTS: CHOOSING AND GETTING INTO THE RIGHT COLLEGE is a top pick in its updated third edition, which helps students and their families plan for the best. From writing college application essays and requesting recommendation letters to visiting, assessing and selecting the right college, chapters are packed with tips on overcoming common barriers.

Schools and Data
Theodore B. Creighton
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412937337 $29.95

The second updated edition of SCHOOLS AND DATA: THE EDUCATOR'S GUIDE FOR USING DATA TO IMPROVE DECISION MAKING covers an area which is no longer optional for educators, providing analysis of statistics relating to data use in the schools of teachers and principals. Real-world examples accompany step-by-step procedures for collecting, organizing and using data to provide leaders with more effective decision-making tools. A ‘must' for educators and administrators in school settings.

Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance
K. Anders Ericsson,, Eds
Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10013
0521600812 $65.00

THE CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK OF EXPERTISE AND EXPERT PERFORMANCE gathers reviews by psychologists and computer scientists alike on the area of expertise, researching studies, providing a guide to the latest literature, and including essays on experimental, observational and analytical techniques. College-level students in psychology or the social sciences will find it packed with theories of expert performance that do an excellent job of updating and expanding the vast changes in the discipline. From math and history to memory and creative thinking, case studies often pair with research results to reinforce findings.

Cracking the LSAT, 2007 Edn
Adam Robinson & Karen Blemel
Updated by Mindy Myers and Robert Spruill
Princeton Review
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0375765557 $36.95

The 2007 edition of Cracking the LSAT offers a range of study options, from classroom courses and private tutoring to online courses and books – and enhancing all these methods is a book packed with proven techniques from experts. CRACKING THE LSAT reviews the major skills needed to ace the test, offers up a customized study plan with plenty of reviews and tests supplemented online, and includes six full-length practice tests. From approaches and variations to clue types and summaries, CRACKING THE LSAT is a ‘must have' for any serious law student.

The Computer Shelf

Pro Oracle Database 10gRAC on Linux
Julian Dyke & Steve Shaw
2560 – 9th St. #219, Berkeley, CA 94709
1590595246 $59.99

Any programmer or designer who wants a step-by-step tutorial to Pro Oracle Database 10gRAC on Linux must have this book: it surveys all details from installation to advanced administration and optimization, with chapters covering installations across multiple servers for all Oracle users. The book delivers RAC on Linux solutions through a series of explanations on configuration, tips on techniques, and more: it's eye to improving processes and manageability can't be beat.

Hacker's Challenge 3
David Pollino,
160 Spear #700, San Francisco, CA 94105
0072263040 $49.99

HACKER'S CHALLENGE 3: 20 BRAND-NEW FORENSIC SCENARIOS AND SOLUTIONS comes from too-tier security experts who offer 20 new real-world network security incidents to allow readers to test computer forensics skills and responses. From phishing and internal corporate hacking to wireless and Linux hacks, each challenge includes an in-depth explanation of the incident, how it was detected, and provides technical logs and network maps: everything needed for readers to test their skills at solving the incident. And yes, detailed analysis of successful results appear at the end.

Video Conferencing Over IP
Michael Gough and Jason Rosenfeld
800 Hingham St., Rockland, MA 02370
1597490636 $49.95

Simple, easy solutions for producing high-quality video conferencing are gathered under one cover in a title that covers the hardware needed for both business and personal use. Learn about requirements, protect privacy with firewalls and control systems, understand different set-ups and options, and integrate your system with the perfect choices with Video Conferencing Over IP: Configure, Secure and Troubleshoot.

1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472

AJAX is a hot programming technique web developers will already know – but they may not know about the patterns and best practices reviewed in Michael Mahemoff's Ajax Design Patterns: Creating Web 2.0 Sites with Programming and Usability Patterns (0596101802 $44.99). Tips range from the basics required for Ajax development to programming, functional applications, and development processes – Ajax users will find it loaded with time-saving insights. Chris Brown's SUSE LINUX: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO NOVELL'S COMMUNITY DISTRIBUTION (059610183X, $39.99) is a very user-friendly, accessible Linux guide progressing logically and easily from initial installation to hardware support. SUSE is installed daily and favored for its ease of use and versatility: SUSE LINUX examines the operating system through a series of easy lessons which teach all the basics of setting up SUSE as either a desktop or server operating system.

The Internet: The Missing Manual
David Pogue & J.D. Biersdorfer
Pogue Press/O'Reilly
1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472
059652742X $24.99

Everyone who uses a computer knows about the Internet: but how many know how to search with an eye to uncovering winners and avoiding junk? Learn how to use the Internet tools the pros use – and the ways they use them – with THE INERNET: THE MISSING MANUAL. Chapters cover everything from locating movies and music download sites to social networking and Internet telephony. All options are surveyed including common traps and tricks for overcoming them. A ‘must' for any who use the Internet regularly.

Computer Network Security And Cyber Ethics
Joseph Migga Kizza
Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
0786425954 $35.00

The second updated edition of COMPUTER NETWORK SECURITY AND CYBER ETHICS is out, and is a top recommendation fully updating the 2002 edition which won the Choice Outstanding Academic Title award, adding three new chapters on morality, ethics and technology and discussing security issues such as cyber crime, loopholes in the cyberspace infrastructure, and more. No comprehensive computer collection should be without.

424 Smith St., Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia

Ajax can create high-powered, responsive websites and Matthew Eernise's Build Your Own Ajax Web Applications (0975841947 $39.95) offers the key to unlocking this power, showing how to build interactivity to web site using JavScript and AJAX applications. Developers – especially those new to AJAX's potentials – will find plenty of tips on using its features, including those to minimize common problems and maximize gains. Learn how to use REST, SOAP and others in the process, and build arrays using the code and steps supplied here. James Edwards & Cameron Adams' THE JAVASCRIPT ANTHOLOGY: 101 ESSENTIAL TIPS, TRICKS & HACKS (0975240269, $39.95) compiles a range of solutions to the most common JavaScript questions and problems, offering up tested solutions, standards-compliant tips, and keys to ensuring JavaScript code is clean, accessible and logical. From the basics of making a drop-down or fly-out menu to making attribute tooltips display on focus, THE JAVASCRIPT ANTHOLOGY is a ‘must' for any serious Javascript programmer.

Blog Rules
Nancy Flynn
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814473555 $19.95

Nine million U.S. bloggers currently operate with some 80K new blogs appearing daily – but despite this proliferation of blogs, many businesses are missing the boat on their money-making potentials. BLOG RULES: A BUISNESS GUIDE TO MANAGING POLICY, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND LEGAL ISSUES covers both pros and cons of the blog revolution, clarifying threats, revealing opportunities, and covering both external bloggers outside the company with internal bloggers. Among the issues covered: keeping company politics and organization private, protecting confidential company information, and keeping track of the contents of official company blogs.

New Riders/Peachpit Press
1249 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710

Two powerful new titles are top picks which stand out from the computer books on the market. Bruce Fraser's REAL WORLD IMAGE SHARPENING WITH ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS2: INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES (0321449916, $39.99) goes beyond more general discussions of sharpening tools to pinpoint the kind of sharpening each image needs, and how to use Photoshop CS2's many tools to achieve perfection. Learn the range of these tools, their differences in application, and how to sharpen selectively in a book which comes form an internationally recognized authority on digital imaging and color image reproduction. Chapters assume a basic grounding in Photoshop but go further in describing the sharpening process. Dan Saffer's DESIGNING FOR INTERACTION: CREATING SMART APPLICATIONS AND CLEVER DEVICES (0321432061, $40.00) comes from an authority who's worked as a Webmaster and interactive media master for the past decade. His design savvy here offers beginner to intermediate designers a range of applications and shortcuts, from using controls and widgets to designing the better mousetrap. While his isn't strictly a computer book, it does provide a range of tips on brainstorming and creating smarter applications for hardware and software alike. Both are fine picks.

John Wiley
111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774

EBAY SIMPLIFIED: TIPS & TRICKS (0471933821, $19.99) adds to Wiley's Visual Encyclopedia series and is recommended for any potential ebay seller or buyer who wants plenty of screen shot examples. It's now in its third edition, reflecting constant evolution in ebay itself, and provides a 5-star visual learning system covering everything from listing in color and understanding listing fees to copyrighting auction photos. The only book you'll ever need on ebay's processes, pros and cons. Ellen Finkelstien's AUTOCAD 2007 AND AUTOCAD LT 2007 BIBLE (0471788864, $49.99) packs a cd-rom of drawings paired to exercises in the book with the latest features covering AutoCAD software, including the latest new 3D enhancements, commands, drawings and dimensions. Learn processes which streamline results, increase efficiency with hyperlinks, and customize AutoCAD with an excellent guide to all levels of its operations. Greg Harvey, Ph.D.'s EXCEL WORKBOOK FOR DUMMIES (0471798452, $24.99) provides easy step-by-step explanations and clear procedures for even the most complex of Excel workbook functions, including a tear-out cheat sheet, sheets with workspaces for working out problems, and more. From understanding and using formulas correctly to tricks and traps of Excel, hundreds of exercises provide a self-paced program building a logical foundation of knowledge. Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin's Search Engine Optimization An Hour a Day (0471787531, $29.99) provides a step-by-step guide to using search engines more effectively, from cutting jargon and avoiding common search mistakes to optimizing a website for search engines and understanding how pay-per-click engines work. Whether you're a search engine user or a website owner, SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION AN HOUR A DAY is for you.

Pivot Table Data Crunching
Bill Jelen & Michael Alexander
QUE Publishing
800 E. 96th St., Indianapolis, IN 46240
0789734354 $29.99

Excel users may already be aware of the power of pivot tables, which allow summarization of 50,000 rows of data with one click of the mouse – but many user's guides don't begin to touch upon its powerful features. PIVOT TABLE DATA CRUNCHING provides a tutorial which promises users and prior Excel fans the ability to get up to speed quickly, using real-world examples such as how to highlight productivity channels and produce meaningful reports. An excellent business guide.

No Fluff, Just Stuff 2006 Anthology
Neal Ford, Compiler
0977616665 $29.95

Articles by many notables – Scott Davis, Neal Ford, and more – pack an anthology covering all kinds of topics, from real-world web issues and applications to project testing, total object makeovers, and more, computer pros will find topics detailed, in depth and specialized to the computer geek world – and packed with logic and detail.

Agile Retrospectives
Esther Derby & Diana Larsen
0977616649 $29.95

Project retrospectives can help educate a team by providing a clear review of what went right or wrong on a project, and why – but usually they are held at the end of a project after its completion, offering insights for the next project only. Agile retrospectives are incremental during the course of the project and can serve to strengthen courses and identify problems along the way: AGILE RETROSPECTIVES explains and explores the methodology and techniques for producing such analysis through the life of the project. Project-oriented programmers must have this.

Charles River/Thomson
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210

Computer games are becoming more like Hollywood productions, requiring good plots and valued story lines which use good narrative styles. In Chris Bateman, Editor's Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames (1584504900 $39.95) are practical articles on how to do so, written by members of the International Game Developer's Association and covering all kinds of game writing, from comedy to plots. A ‘must' for any video or computer game writer. Neal Krawetz's INTRODUCTION TO NETWORK SECURITY (1584504641, $69.95) is for any working in the field of network protection, and for students studying network or computer security issues. Learn how to understand and identify potential threat, apply mitigation options, and react to attacks quickly with a title surveying all the fundamental concerns and including security terms, ethics, and issues. Examples are based on the latest network protocols and models provided are specific to common real-world scenarios.

The World History Shelf

Lodz Ghetto: A History
Isaiah Trunk
Indiana University Press
601 N. Morton St., Bloomington IN 47404-3797
0253347556 $35.00

LODOZ GHETTO: A HISTORY represents the first English translation of Isiah Trunk's study, originally published in Yiddish in 1962 which describes and explains the first major ghetto imposed by the Germans after they invaded Poland during the war. Lodoz once housed a quarter-million Jews: when the Soviets arrived they found 877 living Jews left. Trunk's purpose was to describe the course of events in the Ghetto: his blend of statistics and historical review is essential for any college-level collection strong in Holocaust studies.

London: A Historical Companion
Kenneth Panton
Tempus/Trafalgar Square Publishing
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
0752434349 $35.00 1-800-423-4525

Any who would study British history in general and London's evolution in particular must have LONDON: A HISTORICAL COMPANION in their collection: it synthesizes events of some 2,000 years into a study of events, buildings, politics and social life from Roman to modern times, using a dictionary reference format for quick at-a-glance details both students and travelers will appreciate.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Gregory H. Maddox
Box 1991, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1011
1851095551 $85.00

Sub-Saharan Africa: An Environmental History joins others in the ‘Nature and Human Societies' series to survey both positive and negative environmental effects of human activities from colonialism to modern urban pressures. Chapters link historic events to environmental impact and consequences, providing a running blend of details on history, culture, and lasting results. A fine pick for any college-level collection strong in either environmental history or African history.

Muslims in China
Aliya Ma Lynn
University of Indianapolis Press
1400 E. Hana Ave., Indianapolis IN 46227-3697
0880938528 $19.95

Early trade with Muslims in the Middle East brought Isam to China, and Muslims today have a strong influence in the country: that's why MUSLIMS IN CHINA has continuing and ongoing importance to modern readers even though it appeared several years ago. Presented in a bi-lingual English/Chinese edition, MUSLIMS IN CHINA is a top pick for college-level collections.

George Washington and Benedict Arnold
Dave R. Palmer
Regnery Publishing
1 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001
1596980206 $29.95

Does character define destiny? Here's a fine comparative biography of two greats in GEORGE WASHINGTON AND BENEDICT ARNOLD: A TALE OF TWO PATRIOTS, which contrasts personalities, objectives, lives and achievements. One rose above his enemies, the other joined them. Psychological and historical insights blend in an excellent overview.

A Short History of the 20th Century
Geoffrey Blainey
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636876 $26.00

Blainey's SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD was published in 2002 to become one of the foundation books on the topic: here he offers up another history which surveys the age of the 20th century in general and war and peace in particular. Also included are technological revolutions, cultural changes, and the impact of environmentalism: while all are detailed topics which have commanded their own books and genres, it's Australian historian Blainey's ability to weave diverse elements together in a smooth narrative which make A SHORT HISTORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY so inviting.

Servants of the Fish
Myron Arms
Upper Access Inc
Midpoint Trade, Distributors
Box 457, Hinesburg, VT 05461
0942679296 $24.95

SERVANTS OF THE FISH: A PORTRAIT OF NEWFOUNDLAND AFTER THE GREAT COD COLLAPSE isn't just a pick for Canadians or New Englanders: it warns that Newfoundland is a microcosm example of impending environmental disasters around the world – and its probe of why and how the fishery industry collapsed in the region thus holds plenty of implications far beyond Newfoundland's borders. The history of people and society and environmental consequences makes this a top pick.

Women of the House
Jean Zimmerman
15 E. 26th St., New York NY 10010
015101065X $26.00

Author Jean Zimmerman had passed by Philipse Manor Hall in downtown Yonkers many times and wondered who could have built the mansion: her investigation revealed it was the creation of a Dutch-born fur trader and ship merchant – a women named Margaret who set up her home in the then ‘wilderness'. Thus evolved an investigation which has led to THE WOMEN OF THE HOUSE: HOW A COLONIAL SHE-MERCHANT BUILT A MANSION, A FORTUNE, AND DYNASTY. No women's history collection – no matter where it's located – should be without.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

375 Hudson, New York NY 10014

Path of the Dream Healer: My Journey Through the Miraculous World of Energy Healing (0525949488 $23.95) introduces the healing techniques of one Adam, named ‘The Miracle Worker' by the international press. Adam is a college student with the power to heal – even across a continent. He can read auras and unblock energy. THE PATH OF THE DREAMHEALER continues a journey begin in DREAMHEALER and shows how this power is accessible to all. Sylvia Browne's INSIGHT: CASE FILES FROM THE PSYCHIC WORLD (0525949550, $25.95) comes from a best-selling author who here provides stories about her career giving psychic readings. Some fifty years of such readings contribute to a well-rounded survey of how she's changed lives, how her psychic gifts work, and how she has built a career based upon them. A vivid, memorable account of a long-time psychic.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft, 3rd Edition
Denise Zimmermann & katherine Gleason
Revised with Miria Liguana
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
1592575331 $16.95

Newcomers to Wicca and witchcraft will appreciate this latest update to the ‘Complete Idiot's' guides: it assumes no prior knowledge and teaches all the basics of walking the Wiccan path, from an introductory history of Wicca from ancient to modern times to a seasonal survey of rituals, discussions of spells and ‘bibles', and surveys of different Wiccan denominations. A pleasing, detailed survey explains all the beliefs and ideas – and how they evolved.

Faces of the Living Dead
Martyn Jolly
Mark Batty Publishers
6050 Boulevard E. #2H, West New York, NJ 07093
0977282732 $39.95

FACES OF THE LIVING DEAD: THE BELIEF IN SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY follows the history and products resulting from a fad popular from the 1870s to the 1930s. When the Civil War and First World War and influenza brought great loss of life and grief, spirit photography was there with its promise of loved ones not fully gone. The holdings of The British Library and other major British and American archives provide a rich array of spirit photos and their photographers, so FACES OF THE LIVING DEAD is as rich in example as in written history.

Enlightenment for Beginners
Chuck Hillig
Sentient Publications
1113 Spruce St., Boulder, CO 80302
159181040X $14.95

Unlike most titles on spirituality, this isn't meant to instruct or provide new insights: Enlightenment for Beginners: Discovering the Dance of the Divine is instead meant to steer in the right direction – and to remind readers about what they might have forgotten. As such, chapters offer very simple one-line reflections to encourage self-examination and understanding.

World Wisdom Inc.
1501 E. Hillside Dr., Bloomington, IN 47401

Donovan Roebert edits SAMDHONG RINPOCHE: UNCOMPROMISING TRUTH FOR A COMPROMISED WORLD (1933316209, $22.95), a treatise linking Tibetan Buddhist principles with concerns of the modern world. Rinpoche is the first elected prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile and has long contributed scholarly and spiritual thoughts to the world: he's professor whose convictions are solidly based on Buddhism – and his blend of reflection, experience, and self-insight pair well with a world vision acknowledging modern social pressures. Arvid Sharma's A GUIDE TO HINDU SPIRITUALITY (1933316179, $17.95) comes from a renowned scholar of Hinduism and provides a distillation of the essence and concepts of Hindu spirituality. From his outline of major schools of Hinduism to discussions and overviews of key philosophy and spiritual practice, A GUIDE TO HINDU SPIRITUALITY builds a non-limiting framework for discussions.

Chi Self-Massage
Mantak Chia
Destiny Books/Inner Traditions
One Park St., Rochester, VT 05767
1594771103 $12.95

The Western concept of massage concerns itself with muscle manipulation, but Chi Self-Massage focuses on both internal and sense organs and employs Taoist techniques which until recently have been closely guarded secrets. Master Mantak Chia pieces this system into a logical routine any can duplicate, using methods used by these masters to explore the theory and purposes behind Chi Self-Massage. Spirituality blends with practical application in an easily-followed guide.

Museum of Lost Wonder
Jeff Hoke
Red Wheel/Weiser
65 Parker St. Suite 7, Newburyport MA 01950
1578633648 $49.95

Take psychology and science, add a healthy spiritual/new age dose and then meld all with a graphic novel-style format and you have a truly special recipe with MUSEUM OF LOST WONDER, written by an exhibit designer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium who seeks to flavor non-scientists with the wonders of nature. MUSEUM takes the form of a walk through eight exhibit halls, representing the eight stages of the alchemical process, and covers subjects from museum history and zoological realities to examining the meaning of life. Sharp graphics and hands-on activities will appeal to entire families. Searching for something indescribably different? MUSEUM OF LOST WONDER is your ticket to adventure.

Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker St. Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950

Brian Cotnoir offers a step-by-step introduction to alchemy and its concepts in The Weiser Concise Guide To Alchemy (1578633796 $12.95), exploring its history and its modern applications from its roots in Egypt to modern times. Questions such as relationships between alchemy and chemistry are asked, with results revealing far more spiritual underpinnings to Alchemy than science alone could explain. The practical lab experiments enhance a fine presentation. Barbara Ardinger's Pagan Every Day: Finding The Extraordinary In Our Ordinary Lives (157863332X, $24.95) provides a spiritual practice book for those who live in the real world but practice pagan beliefs. Daily meditations include notes on world festivals, concepts of ‘green', flowers, the first UFO sighting – a host of pagan topics to encourage daily thought.

New Page Books
P.O. Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

Sister Moon's SPELL CASTINGS: PRACTICAL MAGICK FOR DAILY LIFE (1564148777, $13.99) tells how to use cosmic forces and provides over a hundred easy, practical spells to access these forces. Even novices will find these spells accessible, with specific procedures offering a step-by-step tutorial with no prior knowledge of ingredients or processes required. Patricia Telesco's KITCHEN WITCH'S GUIDE TO MAGICKAL TOOLS (1564148432, $13.99) tells how to build or make all the tools a witch needs, from an altar and travel amulet to a drum, broom and more. Tips don't stop at construction: also reviewed are spells and techniques.

Aromatherapy for the Soul
Valerie Ann Worwood
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1577315626 $19.95

Fragrances contain unique properties which can not only heal, but evoke emotions memories and even visions: while much discussion revolves around healing, Aromatherapy for the Soul: Healing the Spirit with Fragrance and Essential Oils focuses more on the psyche, with chapters exploring links between spirituality and aromatherapy. It previously appeared as THE FRAGRANT HEAVENS: its new title promises a wider audience.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Buddha or Bust
Perry Garfinkel
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
140008217X $24.95

It may surprise you to know a recent study revealed one in eight Americans say that Buddhist teachings or practices have influenced their lives: BUDDHA OR BUST: IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, MEANING, HAPPINESS, AND THE MAN WHO FOUND THEM ALL tells of a journalist's world-wide journey to understand why. His assignment for National Geographic led him to follow the footsteps of the Buddha, and in the course of his travels to sacred Buddhist sites and his interviews with renowned Buddhist authorities, he discovered many underlying influences on Buddhist beliefs systems – revealed here, in a lively blend of travelogue and spiritual examination.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Finding God Beyond Harvard
Kelly Monroe Kullberg
InterVarsity Press
Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
0830833870 $20.00

A satisfying blend of memoir and theology follows author Kelly Kullberg's search for God in Finding God Beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas. The Veritas Forum brings Christian principles to universities: it follows the author's love of God to the highest levels of understanding, identifying a group of Christian friends and scholars who are speakers, scientists, authors and lecturers. An absorbing and moving discourse blends Christian insights with university analysis.

Africa Bible Commentary
Tokunboh Adeyemo, General Editor
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
0310264731 $39.99

THE AFRICA BIBLE COMMENTARY represents the first one-volume Bible commentary produced in Africa by African theologians to meet the needs of African pastors and leaders. As such, it interprets the Bible in light of current African cultures and concerns, with section-by-section interpretations providing a useful guide of interest not just to African residents, but to world Bible readers who will here find plenty of different insights and ideas. Over seventy special articles handle key topics ranging from secularism and materialism issues to beliefs in witchcraft and Biblical interpretations of demons.

Jesus People
David Catchpole
Baker Publishing Group
Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
0801031605 $29.99

JESUS PEOPLE: THE HISTORICAL JESUS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF A COMMUNITY comes from a scholar in Jesus and Gospels studies and surveys not only the ‘real Jesus', but what made his movement a community with lasting impact into modern times. Judaism is the foundation of Jesus: Catchpole uses this to consider the idea of discipleship, attitudes towards Israel's holiness, and more. This isn't light reading for the religious followers but a scholarly survey of the historical Jesus idea and tradition: a recommended pick for any college-level religious institution's holding.

God That Did Not Fail
Robert Royal
Encounter Books
900 Broadway Suite 400, New York NY 10003-1239
1594031452 $25.95

Secular progressives have been predicting the demise of religion for over two hundred years; but even those who were to be liberated by such aren't agreeing: such is the message of THE GOD THAT DID NOT FAIL: HOW RELIGION BUILT AND SUSTAINS THE WEST explores both biblical faith and the rejection of its foundations, which has encouraged ignorance of its history as a central force in the development of the West. Readings of religion in ancient Greece and Rome, of Christianity and Judaism and through the decades offers strengthening conclusion to attest to religion's importance past, present and future.

Challenging Nature
Lee M. Silver
10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022
0060582677 $26.95

CHALLENGING NATURE: THE CLASH OF SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY AT THE NEW FRONTIERS OF LIFE could've been featured in our science section, but is reviewed here for its survey of biotechnology and spiritual clashes. Author Professor Silver is a hands-on scientist who has manipulated genes, but he doesn't stay in the lab –0 he journeys the world to bring science to the public and CHALLENGING NATURE probes both spiritual and economic impacts of scientific research.

Encyclopedia of Religious & Spiritual Development
Eliuzabeth Dowling & W. George Scarlett, Eds
Sage Publications
2455 Teller, Thousand Oaks, CA 93210
0761928839 $156.00

While the weighty price tag of Encyclopedia of Religious & Spiritual Development may limit this volume to serious spiritual collections, reference libraries – especially at the college level – will find it absorbing. Key short entries written by leading specialists from a range of disciplines and professions examine spiritual development within communities and traditions, with listings including themes (‘forgiveness'), biographical sketches, overviews of movements and more. A bibliography for further reading enhances each entry. A ‘must' for any serious religious collection.

On the Other Side Of Oddville
Dwight A. Moody
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Ave., Macon, GA 31207
0865549915 $20.00 1-800-634-2378

Dwight Moody is a columnist whose reflections on religion and American culture have been widely published in regional and national papers and journals: here they're gathered together under one cover at last, blending personal observation and experience with public insights which combine reflection with humor. Short essays reflect on everyday themes and move easily between such diverse topics as the Biography Channel on TV and medieval religion.

The Biography Shelf

The Busiest Man in England
Kate Colquhoun
David R. Godine
9 Hamilton Place, Boston, MA 02108
1567923011 $35.00

THE BUSIEST MAN IN ENGLAND: A LIFE OF JOSEPH PAXTON, GARDENER, ARCHITECT & VICTORIAN VISIONARY tells of an 1800s Victorian pragmatist who worked in horticulture, urban planning and architecture and solved everything from big problems to small design issues. At only 23 years he became heard gardener and architect at the Derbyshire estate of the sixth duke of Devonshire, changing it to one of the most extraordinary garden concepts in the country. Given his vast influence and local fame, it's surprising no detailed biographical sketch has been produced before THE BUSIEST MAN IN ENGLAND. Kate Colquhoun uses personal papers and extensive research to provide a well-rounded biography of the man's personal and public life alike – and amazingly, it's her first book. An outstanding, detailed production displays the prowess of a fine writer.

Babylon By Bus
Ray LeMoine & Jeff Neumann with Donovan Webster
Penguin Press
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
1594200912 $24.95

BABYLON BY BUS is for any counter-culture reader or autobiography fan who wants something different: a kind of Kerouac bus trip extended overseas to Iraq. The two young, directionless American men went to Baghdad in 2003 in search of truth and adventure, giving up their jobs selling ‘Yankees Suck' t-shirts at Fenway and becoming volunteers for the U.S. Government Coalition's Provisional Authority. BABYLON BY BUS recounts their eye-opening new duties as volunteers, which allowed them access to the streets of Baghdad and gave them insights unique outside of the occupying forces.

A Stranger on Earth
Jeremy Reed
Dufour Editions Inc.
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
072061273X $28.95

Readers of Anna Kavan's novels will want to include A STRANGER ON EARTH: THE LIFE AND WORK OF ANNA KAVAN on their reading lists: newly discovered material contributes to an analysis of an author who did everything possible to avoid biographical surveys of her life and works. From her lifelong addiction to heroin and failed marriages to her reclusiveness, discussions include a centerfold of the author's artwork, and are a ‘must' for understanding her writings.

Assembling My Father
Anna Cypra Oliver
Mariner Books/Houghton
222 Berkeley, Boston, MA 02116
0618619321 $14.95

In the late 1960s the author's father and mother joined a countercultural enclave in New Mexico, where their marriage floundered and Anna's father committed suicide. Anna was five years old at the time. Twenty years later the discovery of some old photos sends her on a journey to learn more about her father: her reconstruction of her past is charted in ASSEMBLING MY FATHER: A MEMOIR and provides a moving personal history which will also inspire any conducting their own family history search.

Rory Stewart titles
15 E. 26th St., New York NY 10010

The Prince of the Marshes And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq (0151012350 $25.00) provides an unusual survey of Stewart's time as an interim and deputy governor in Iraq's marsh regions. His THE PLACES IN BETWEEN (0156031566, $14.00) became a best seller and told of his walk across Afghanistan and encounters with the region's people; here he describes nearly a year in a remote, improvised marsh region in southern Iraq negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and developing an uncertain government leadership. Any who would understand the peoples and politics of Iraq must read The Prince of Marshes: it brings the politics and lives to the foreground as no professional politician's words could achieve.

Who's Who in Animated Cartoons
Jeff Lenburg
19 W. 21st St., New York NY 10010
155783671X $19.95

Here's the first biographical reference to detail the careers of nearly three hundred animation greats around the world, from producers and directors to animator artists. It's written in cooperation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and scientists and other major film and award groups, and provides an A-Z reference of biographical information, discussions of early film works and styles, key films, and character evolution. While this could've been featured in our arts or cartooning sections, it's reviewed here so nobody will miss its biographical strengths.

Sherwin B. Nuland
Schocken Books
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0805242007 $19.95

Students of ancient or Jewish history will find MAIMONIDES an important biographical study, telling of a rabbi, physician and philosopher whose works blended science with spirituality, and who has served as a model for Jewish doctors since the 12th century. Chapters provide a focus on Maimonides' works and perspective with an eye to drawing connections to the modern world, and make for an essential set of insights.

Fidel Castro
Clive Foss
Sutton Publishing
0750941758 $12.95

FIDEL CASTRO recounts the life of a charismatic leader and dictator who has led Cuba since 1959. While much has been written about his regime, FIDEL CASTRO goes beyond politics to survey his life as well, following his rise, struggles, and international politics alike. His history is one of Cuba as a whole, and should not be missed by any studying Cuban history and culture.

Mao Zedong
Jonathan Clements
Life & Times/Haus Publishing
1904950337 $15.95
Mao was a peasant farmer's son who became the ruler of China, fostering revolutionary changes which were to transform the country in one of the greatest experiments in history. His leadership and influence – which lasts into modern times – is told in a biographical sketch packed with politics and insights, and is a ‘must' for any student of Chinese history.

My Einstein
John Brockman, Editor
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0375423451 $25.00

MY EINSTEIN: ESSAYS BY TWENTY-FOUR OF THE WORLD'S LEADING THINKERS ON THE MAN, HIS WORK, AND HIS LEGACY could've been reviewed in our science section but is reviewed here for its detailed surveys by leading scientists, historians and contemporaries. These essays comment and reflect on the man, his contributions and how he influenced their worldviews and methods: even more than a legacy to Einstein's genius, they offer important insights into Einstein's lasting legacy and his life.

Audiobook Shelf

Secrets of the Immortal
Gary Renard
Sounds True
Box 8010, Boulder, CO 80306-9886
1591794447 $69.95

SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL: ADVANCED TEACHINGS FROM A COURSE IN MIRACLES provides 6 cds of detail which enables listeners to chart spiritual progress. Forgiveness is at the heart of such progress, and judgement affects ability to connect with the Devine – yet it's possible to reverse world thinking and personal paths, and SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL tells how.

Clipper Audio
270 Skipjack Rd., Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Clipper Audio's unabridged library-packed titles used to be very pricey: the prices have come down and now even 15-cassette packs are affordable. Libraries will find them solid picks, all unabridged, featuring British authors and fine mysteries and novels narrated by British voices. Sheila O'Flanagan's HOW WILL I KNOW? (1845054960, $64.95) pairs Caroline Lennon's sharp and revealing voice with the story of love, marriage, and a tragic accident which leaves a single mother with only one thing left to care for. Santa Montefiore's MEET ME UNDER THE OMBU TREE (1845055323, $67.95) includes a rare interview with the author to spice a fine story narrated by Juanita McMahon, who spices the story of an Argentine spoiled, willful girl who is punished by her mother and embarks on a love affair which will bring her exile from family and home. Bernard Knight's FIGURE OF HATE (1845055551, $54.95) receives Paul Matthews' smooth and evocative voice as it provides a historical story set in 1195 England and telling of a local jousting confrontation's lead to murder. Too many suspects muddle the investigations. Speaking of murder, Simon Beaufort and five other authors collaborate on the fine historical mystery THE TAINTED RELIC: THE MEDIEVAL MURDERERS (1845056179, $49.95), narrated by Stephen Thorne and providing five interlinked mysteries from the UK's best mystery authors. This is a treat indeed, set in 1100 and revolving around a priceless holy relic entrusted to an English knight.

Clipper Audio
270 Skipjack Rd., Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Carol Smith's HIDDEN AGENDA (1845055195, $49.95) receives Laurence Bouvard's warm and crisp style as it tells of an old school friend who faces execution for the murder of her children. London rabbi Deborah Hirsch is charged with proving her innocence. John Harvey's ASH AND BONE (1845058429, $79.95) benefits form Gordon Griffin's excellent style as it tells of a retired recluse detective's immersion in the violent crime of London and the problems of a willful daughter. All are excellent, recommended picks.

Twelve Angry Men
Reginald Rose
LA Theatre Works
1580813348 $24.95

A full cast of readers contributes depth to Reginald Rose's teleplay TWELVE ANGRY MEN, which evolved into an Academy-Award nominated film. The play received a Tony for Best Revival of a Play and the cd's readers come from movies and TV roles, so the 2-cd version covering twelve jurors who debate the fate of a young 19-year-old murderer is an exceptional production, and highly recommended.

Tell Me a Story
Amy Friedman
4160 Lyceum Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066
No ISBN $18.95

A wide range of listeners of all ages will relish TELL ME A STORY: TIMELESS FOLKTALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD, read by eight talented actors and covering tales from Africa to Scotland. From an African Anansi story ANANSI AND THE TURTLE'S FEAST to the frightening THE BOATMAN'S HOWLING DAUGHTER, over seventy minutes of vivid description pack a fine gathering which will be a ‘must' for folktale collections for any age group.

Barbra: The Way She Is
Christopher Andersen
1400102456 $39.99

She's a global icon, a diva, and famous – and here actress Ellen Archer brings her biography and personal details to life in Barbra: The Way She Is, a survey of a remarkable singer and actress who has made her looks and talents famous around the world. New insights into her marriage, failed loves, career and more make for a real winner.

Tantor Audio

Thomas Holland's ONE DROP OF BLOOD (1400102375, $37.99) provides a forensic thriller by the scientific director of the Department of Defense's Central Identification Lab, pairs this with a vivid narration by Patrick Lawlor, and tells of one Robert ‘Kel' McKelvey, who faces a particularly challenging case in the recovery of an Arkansas soldier who died a hero's death in Vietnam, until a link between him and an unsolved racial killing emerges. Plenty of tension comes alive in audio. Colin G. Calloway's THE SCRATCH OF A PEN: 1763 AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF NORTH AMERICA (1400102332, $29.99) receives a smooth and evocative voice in Simon Vance as it charts the story of 1763, when the Treaty of Paris would end war and change the world. Thomas Perry's NIGHTLIFE (1400102413, $39.99) pairs audio narrator Shelly Fraiser's warm and clear rendition with the tense thriller of two women pitted against each other: a lovely serial killer and a detective. An excellent story of suspense. Ace Atkins' WHITE SHADOW (1400102405, $39.99) pairs long-time audio veteran William Dufris' experienced and lively style with the story of 1955 Tampa's underworld, where the death of a mob boss leads to a probe of his secrets. Nicholas Wade's BEFORE THE DAWN: REDISCOVERING THE LOST HISTORY OF OUR ANCESTORS (1400102324, $37.99) receives veteran narrator Alan Sklar's clear and revealing voice to add to the lively nonfiction examination of how language began, how ancestors defeated the Neanderthals, and how races evolved. Marc Wortman's THE MILLIONAIRES' UNIT (1400102502, $39.99) reveals the nonfiction story of a generation of young privileged students who participated in the Yale flying club – and were prepared to give up their elite positions to join the war in France. Patrick Lawlor's award-winning voice brings events to life. Morgan Llywelyn's THE GREENER SHORE (1400102537, $34.95) pairs British actor Simon Vance's award-winning voice with the story of ancient druids in Celtic Gaul who face Roman invasion and exile in Hibernia. Fast-paced action comes to life in audio with these new winners.

Brilliance Corporation

These are key winners and powerful picks, standing out in the audio leisure listening world and highly recommended for discriminating collections. Kay Hoover's SLEEPING WITH FEAR (1423309456, $24.95) receives Kathy Garver's warm reading and tells of one Riley Crane, who wakes up fully dressed, covered in blood, and without memory. Even her clairvoyant powers and federal agent status aren't providing many clues. Terry Goodkind's PHANTOM (1596008768, $34.95) receives Sam Tsoutsouvas' unique and involving voice as it tells of one Kahlan, who remembers nothing but her name but discovers she's the central key in a variety of puzzles which converge on her life, from war to one man's vanished love. John Saul's IN THE DARK OF THE NIGHT (1423304411, $26.95) receives Mel Foster's vivid dramatization as it tells of a shadowy threat faced by teens who discover a strange cache of discarded objects and junk, recorded carefully in a ledger. Their fascination with their discovery will uncover a dangerous force. Joel C. Rosenberg's THE COPPER SCROLL (1596003146, $24.95) enjoys Jeff Woodman's quick and precise voice as it tells of a copper scroll which could be history's greatest treasure map, leading to the building of the Third Jewish Temple – if it's code can be broken. Carly Phillips CROSS MY HEART (1423312892, $24.95) receives Marie Caliendo's dramatic style which perfectly matches the classy New York story of one Lacey, a small business owner who has gone from rags to riches and who returns to her old life as an heiress, up against an uncle who wants to stop her. Marcia Muller's VANISHING POINT (142331204X, $32.95) receives veteran Susan Ericksen's excellent reading style and ability to bring passion and drama to the story as it tells of a marriage between a detective and a sexy fellow investigator which goes bad as a baffling case commands attention and dredges up long-held secrets. David Morrell's THE FIFTH PROFESSION (1597377678, $29.95) receives a full cast narration, which is the perfect accept to a high drama revolving around two protection specialists whose mission is to protect and retrieve a lovely American woman whose rich husband is out to destroy her. All are powerful listens, and highly recommended library acquisitions.

The Cold Moon
Jeffrey Deaver
Simon & Schuster Audio
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743552687 $49.95

A new Lincoln Rhyme novel brings the thriller genre to high tension, especially spiced with Joe Mantegna's readings. He's received Emmy nominations for his TV work and won the Tony Award for his stage work – there should be an award for his smooth voice which perfectly captures the tension brewing from the story of deadly murders in New York City and a renowned criminologist who comes to realize the killer's future plans. This is audio at its best.

Random House Audio
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Steven M. Gillon's 10 DAYS THAT UNEXPECTEDLY CHANGED AMERICA (0739333356, $29.95) pairs professional actor Stephen Hoyle's extensive 30-year experience and voice with the popular TV History Channel show pinpointing pivotal days which changed the nation and the world. From Shays' Rebellion of 1787 right up to modern times, these key events are recounted along with their long-lasting impacts. Frank Delaney's SIMPLE COURAGE: A TRUE STORY OF PERIL ON THE SEA (0739333682, $29.95) tells of a 1951 ship laden with passengers and tons of cargo heading from Europe to America which faced huge waves which about destroyed her. Her captain fought to bring her cargo and passengers safely to port: his courageous story is told on audio for the first time, and uses historical documents and modern accounts to spice true adventure.

Audio Editions
1133 High St., Auburn, CA 95604

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen (1572705698, $29.95) comes to life in a vivid rendition by actor and award-winning narrator Grover Gardner, who brings passion and enthusiasm to this story of Darwin. Darwin's own secret notebooks and personal letters provided the foundation for this coverage, which tells of the evolution of his theory. Stephen Frey's THE POWER BROKER (1572705590, $37.95) receives award-winning audio narrator Holter Graham's smooth and powerfully dramatic voice as it tells of one Christian Gillette, approached by a group representing vast influence and wealth who want to partner with his company. When politics intervenes, trouble evolves in this tense thriller.

The Inimitable Jeeves
P.G. Wodehouse
Audio Editions
1133 High St., Auburn, CA 95604
1572705426 $29.95

Jonathan Cecil has extensive theatre experience and it shows in his narration of another funny and pointed Jeeves classic in THE INIMITABLE JEEVES. When Bingo decides to marry one of his many loves, he enlists Bertie's help – and it's up to the practical Jeeves to overcome problems.

The Library DVD Shelf

Jinki: Extend
ADV Films
1413914497 DVD $29.98

Manga and Japanese anime fans will appreciate JINKI: EXTEND, the new anime series from ADV which features giant robots and lovely anime girls who drive them. It pairs soap opera action and romance with science, and promises anime fans much adventure.

Comic Party Revolution
ADV Films
1413914591 $29.98

Fans of manga will here rejoin Kazuki and Mizuki who are college students now: Kazuki is an amateur comic artist with an attention to girls even as Taishi plans world domination. A host of sexy manga girls and zany action ensues in a series of fast-paced encounters.

Poise Workout: Fullbody #1
Dr. Teri Jory
Poise Productions

Dr. Terry Jory's POISE routine comes from a professional ice skater, dancer and 2nd degree black belt, and provides a physical and mental fitness program developed by the author after the birth of her twins. Her development of varied movements and stretches embraces pilates, ballet, and martial arts alike with an excellent, vivid routine all levels will easily follow.

Desk Sets Workout
Sharyn Pak
Bayview Entertainment
8203 Westminster Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027
No ISBN DVD $19.99

This 54-minute workout DVD is for any office or computer worker, and offers quick, easily-followed routines that an be performed in the office or home using only a desk, chair and filing cabinet. These are 10 and 5-minute sessions which each target a different area of the body: the DVD offers specific examples of each, discusses common problems of office work including carpel tunnel, and designs exercises to stretch little-used muscles and avoid common office-related conditions. A top pick.

Christi Taylor fitness DVDs
Bayview Entertainment
$19.99 Each

Christi Taylor's exercise routines promise lasting, quick cardio results. CARDIO COLLECTIBLES provides 1/2 step and 1/2 high-low workouts packed with energetic music and inspirational dvd routine examples: fast-paced and energetic, it promises fun as much as exercise. MISSION: POSSIBLE provides a workout for beginners new to cardio fitness, featuring Christi and her ‘special agents' who illustrate step and multi-impact workouts for all levels. Both are top picks, especially for reluctant home exercises who might think routines tend to be dull. Christi is positively inspiring.

Combatant: Extreme Self Defense
$29.95 DVD No ISBN

Any interested in martial arts demonstrations – particularly from notable masters – must have COMBATANT: EXTREME SELF-DEFENSE: here four martial artists share their techniques for any who would use the arts for self-defense, offering real-life scenarios which are re-creations of possible hostile occurrences. Illustrations of the ‘Fast Defense' techniques are easily followed and are exceptionally well done on DVD.

Going Going Gone! 1

Shannon Holand's time-lapsed exercise video is designed for overweight and de-conditioned folks who need a special easy program with invigorating music and an easy program. The program key here is 100 beats per minute with a very simple choreography spiced with a variety of moves, making GOING GOING GONE! A perfect choice for beginning exercisers.

Samba Party Workout 2
Vanessa Isaac
Razor Entertainment
12031 Ventura Blvd, Suite 3, Studio City, CA 91406
159552181X $14.99

Brazilian samba sanding is the perfect sound for exercise, and Brazilian dancer Vanessa Isaac has developed a high-energy routine that uses live drums and inspiring pulses to get you moving. SAMBA PARTY WORKOUT 2 provides a hot cardio workout spiced with the best of Brazilian beats, and presented by a host of dancers in a video as fun to watch as it is to exercise with.

Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Dr., Troy, MI 48084

Anchor Bay's fitness entertainment DVDs are excellent offerings pairing powerful routines with lively multi-level choices. Each DVD in the ‘Pick Your Level' set ($14.98 Each) offers 3 levels for workouts for advanced, intermediate or beginner. WEIGHT LOSS PILATES provides half an hour of a Pilates program geared to weight loss, gathering the best of three types of Pilates – standing, side-lying and mat – in a set of 10-minute routines for each, and FAT TO FIRM FAST gathers four short workouts from experienced personal trainers for a program which uses multiple muscles and exercises. The '10 Minute Solutions' sets offer customization routines to 10-minute workouts to shape the body: FITNESS BALL WORKOUTS develops five such routines using the fitness ball to shape and tone; RAPID RESULTS PILATES focuses on toning buns, thighs, and more with a series of efficient workouts and stretches paired to body areas of concern, and FAT BLASTING DANCE MIX provides instructor Jennifer Galardi's professional dancing techniques and a load of personality and fun as it pairs dance routines to exercise. All are excellent exercise picks.

Family Disaster Preparedness: Terrorism Awareness
TotalSource Inc.
C/o 411 Video Information
Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
0974432512 $19.99

You can watch this on either a DVD player or on computer: either way, the entire family should watch FAMILY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: TERRORISM AWARENESS, which tells how to keep a family safe and how to survive disaster. From developing a supply kit and communication plan to knowing evacuation routes and saving pets, this dvd tells how to survive through advance planning.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

BL Publishing
1525 Hulse Rd. Unit 1, Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742

Black Flame's science fiction titles are top picks for discriminating readers: they produce strong action-packed adventures and fine reads. Among the latest picks: Aaron Rosenberg's DAY OF THE DAEMON (1844163660, $7.99) tells of a gothic Old world and a treasure hunter who returns to a war-shattered city, only to become immersed in a plot to summon a daemon prince; C.S. Goto's WARRIOR COVEN (1844163652, $7.99) presents the second novel in the ‘Deathwatch' series, this providing an excellent sequel to ‘Warrior Brood' and featuring more of the Deathwatch Space Marines; Dan Abnett and Mike Lee's REAPER OF SOULS: A TALE OF MALUS DARKBLADE (1844161933, $7.99) tells of a dark half-elf with a warrior's reputation and cruelty who is possessed by a demon and has to regain five magic artifacts to free his soul; Matthew Farrer's BLIND (1844163733, $7.99) provides anotehr in the Shira Calpurnia series, telling of an Imperial fortress where a law enforces faces a murder investigation; Mitchel Scanlon's RED SHADOWS (1844163776, $7.99) joins others in the ‘Anderson PSI Division' series telling of a unit of PSI investigators who combat dangerous psychic criminals; and James Swallow's JADE DRAGON (1844163784, $7.99) joins others in the 'Dark Future' set telling of a future America in a world ruled by corporations and paranoia. Andy Hoare's ROGUE STAR (184416375X, $7.99) tells of rogue trader Lucian, a starship captain facing declining family fortunes, unless he can aid an Imperial world's commander in war and come out on top. Mike wild's HELLO N EARTH (1944163865, $7.99) joins Canallistics, Inc. titles telling of a secret government department investigating the supernatural, now sold off to become a private company. Under the wrong hands it could either be a threat – or save the world. All are fine adventure reads.

Gotrek & Felix: First Omnibus
William King
BL Publishing
1525 Hulse Rd. Unit 1, Mt. Pleasant, NJ 08742
1844163741 $10.99

Pair a bargain price tag with a Warhammer omnibus of fantasy action gathering the flagship series under one cover and you have a fine pick for any serious fantasy collection. All three of the classics – TROLLSLAYER, SKAVENSLAYER and DAEMONSLAYER are included to provide a smooth, seamless introduction to a fast-paced, war-torn world which has since spawned a host of popular adventures.

Baen Books
Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor's VAN NEUMANN'S WAR (1416520759, $25.00) begins a new series of fast-paced action: Mars, the ‘red' planet, is turning gray, and a team of scientists suspects the worst when their probe is destroyed. It seems Mars is being used as the staging ground for an invasion of Earth – by a robot race. Excellent drama ensues and leaves readers hungering for more. Christopher Anvil's THE TROUBLE WITH ALIENS (compiled and edited by Eric Flint) (1416520775, $24.00) tells of bureaucrats and aliens, offering up the complete stories of the war with the Outs, gathered for the first time into a novel-length series of adventures and paired with more stories of human/alien battles. David Drake's OTHER TIMES THAN PEACE (1416420767, $25.00) is a pick for fans of military science fiction: soldiers in these stories battle space, time, and aliens in a series of vignettes about strategies and action plans which don't always include warrior survival. John Ringo's CHOSERS OF THE SLAIN (1416520708, $25.00) provides a sequel to Ghost and Kildar: here the Ghost is on a new mission, seeking relaxation – but when a U.S. senator faces a daughter's kidnapping, he's called out of semi-retirement and into the world of political intrigue and Albanian gangs. Paul Chaf'e DESTINY'S FORGE (1416520716, $25.00) continues the Man-Kzin stories first created by Larry Niven, here telling of warriors, diplomats, and starship commanders who all interact in an epic battle against a bid for power. All are exceptional, recommended picks.

Dragon's Fire
Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey
DelRey Books
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0345480287 $24.95

Readers who have long enjoyed Anne McCafrrey's Pern stories of a world of dragons and tenders will relish yet another new novel of Pern; this joined by her son Todd who also contributed to the prior DRAGON'S KIN and DRAGONSBLOOD. This is their second collection and tells of four abandoned youngsters whose entwined lives reflect inherited problems from their parents and very different perspectives on life. When the last remaining firestone mine explodes, the four will prove key to the ultimate survival – or dissolution – of Pern.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Fabulous Fakes
Carole Tanenbaum
708 Broadway, New York NY 10003
1579652921 $35.00

FABULOUS FAKES: A PASSION FOR VINTAGE COSTUME JEWELRY is much more than just another identification or pricing guide: it captures and shares the author's own enthusiasm for the history and background of costume jewelry, offering chapters spiced with numerous color photos. Her pieces accompany a running history of vintage costume jewelry from Victorian to modern times, offering excellent and vivid insights into show-stopping pieces. A ‘must' for any serious collecting library, especially those covering costume jewelry.

331+ Essential Tips & Tricks
Stuart C. Mowbray
Mowbray Publishing
54 East School St., Woonsocket, RI 02895
1931464227 $35.99

331+ Essential Tips & Tricks: A How-To Guide for the Gun Collector provides a practical approach to guying, maintaining, displaying and collecting firearms, going beyond most gun titles which focus on collection alone to show how the gun may be maintained under working or non-working conditions alike. Color photos of firearms pack tips on how to work on them, with large headers and bulleted points covering major tips such as being patient, looking for key points in an original condition gun, and fitting and refinishing. A ‘must' for any gun collector needing a comprehensive reference.

The Colors of Heisey Glass
Debbie & Randy Coe
Schiffer Books
4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA 19310
0764325078 $35.00

Colored Heisey glass made from 1896-1958 is explored in a series of fine photos - over five hundred color presentations – and provides colors defined with production dates and histories. From pattern numbers and names to measurements and values, The Colors of Heisey Glass is an excellent reference and recommended pick for any glass collector.

Collector Books
Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009

The 25th updated edition of the classic SCHROEDER'S ANTIQUES PRICE GUIDE (1574325256, $17.95) is out, and it promises to be just as popular as prior editions, updating values, providing information in full color, and charting some 50,000 antiques and collectibles. More than just a book of listings, it also provides historical background as keys to makers and production lines, as well. Mark Pickvet's COLLECTING PLAYING CARDS IDENTIFICAITON AND VALUE GUIDE (1574325248, $24.95) pairs an introductory history to the topic with a color photo gallery of playing cards and values, offering good-sized playing card photos and notes which make identification a snap. A solid guide for any who would collecting playing cards. National Cambridge Collectors, Inc's COLORS IN CAMBRIDGE GLASS II (1574325116, $29.95) is organized by sets and colors and provides a catalog of Cambridge glass from the 1920s to the 40s. Collectors will appreciate the clear pictures and value keys. Gene & Cathy Florence's ELEGANT GLASSWARE OF THE DEPRESSION ERA, 12TH EDITION (1574325140, $24.95) includes photo lends and covers Cambridge, Fostoria, Heisey and other glass makers' works, pairing photos with value charts for easy access. Are are top picks for collectors.

Antique Trader Book Collector's Price Guide
Richard Russell
Krause Publications
700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-2873
0896892913 $24.99

The expanded new edition of a classic book collector's market guide provides full color and plenty of detail, updating prices for over 5,000 books and using charts to help identify first editions -–which can be a tricky process, as publisher's marks vary from publisher to publisher. A new chapter on children's books has been added, while Top Ten lists of rarities and an alpha listing by author makes it quick and easy to use this as a take-along tote for flea market ventures.

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, 40th Edn
Ellen T. Schroy
Krause Publications
700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-2873
0896893170 $21.99

The 40th edition of WARMAN'S ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES PRICE GUIDE, edited by Tracy L. Schmidt, is a ‘must' for any serious collector: it packs in over two thousand small color images essential to proper identification of a range of collectibles, offers details on history, fakes and reproductions, and updates all price listings to reflect current market values. From jewelry and glass pieces to coin-operated items and scales, WARMAN'S ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES PRICE GUIDE holds it all.

4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA 19310

A. & H. Harding's VICTORIAN STAFFORDSHIRE DOGS (076432456X, $49.95) packs in over seven hundred color photos to display the varieties of ceramic dogs produced by potters of England's Staffordshire district during Victorian times. Also included are discussions of the potters that produced these figurines, along with tips on valuing a collection of piece. Notes on differences between photos and actual pieces are also important. Roseann Ettinger's POPULAR JEWELRY OF THE 60S, 70S & 80S (0764324705, $29.95) pairs some six hundred color photos and sixty ad pieces with discussions of fashion and social trends to explain the evolution of values in the popular jewelry world of modern times. Roseann Ettinger's background as a vintage jewelry and clothing dealer lends to discussions of patterns, trends, and valuation systems. Erin Henderson and Yvonne Barineau's COLORFUL VINTAGE KITCHEN TOWELS (0764323806, $29.95) includes designs from the top manufacturers of the kitchen towel from the 1930s through the 60s, showcasing and contrasting towels which have become a popular collector's item. Whether you know them as tea towels, dish towels, or hand towels, their variety and growing values are displayed in nearly six hundred color photos paired with previously unpublished details on the era's top textile artists. All are fine recommended picks collectors must have.

4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA 19310

Anita Yasuda's HELLO KITTY: FOREVER CUTE, CREATIVE & COLLECTIBLE (0764323520, $19.95) gathers Hello Kitty goods which originated in Japan and has since become popular internationally, introducing each chapter with correspondence between Kitty and her friends, including nearly six hundred photos displaying Kitty items from toys to jewelry, and adding photos from the Kitty 30th Anniversary exhibit. Even collectors may be astounded at the variety Hello Kitty has fostered. Hillary James' THE COMPLETE UNAUTHORIZED GUIDE TO VINTAGE BARBIE DOLLS (0764325124, $24.95) presents the dolls and their outfits for each, listing all pieces originally included with the doll or outfit packages, giving values for both sets and individual items, and pairing all with color photos and each item's stock number, date and latest value. The whole Barbie family is included here, and collectors won't want to miss it.

The Transportation Shelf

Air Accident Investigation, 3rd Edition
David Owen
Patrick Stephens/Haynes Publishing
Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Glous UK GL5 2BU

This post-911 new edition comes from a former aerospace engineer, who reviews aviation accidents and their causes, examining how each major accident was affected by weather, pilot error, metal fatigue or maintenance issues. Crucial incidents are reconstructed with an eye to solving puzzles and even those which received intense media profile reveal new angles in Owen's investigation. Add advice on industry changes and you have a pick aviation collections shouldn't miss.

Wolfgang Publications
217 - 2nd St. North, Stillwater, MN 55082

HOW TO BUILD AN OLD SKOOL BOBBER by Kevin Baas (1929133243, $24.95) is a fine survey of a classic American motorcycle and explains which engines fit which frames, which drives to use, and more. Over a hundred pages packs in over three hundred color images and teaches how to build basic bobbers, choppers, and how to use after market and factory frames. A fine pick for any intending on building a bike. Vince Goodeve's PROFESSIONAL AIRBRUSH TECHNIQUES (1929133286, $24.95) is the book to use to decorate your chopper: Vince here teaches how to set up his shop, mix paint, use colors and detail, with gorgeous photo displays on each page presenting artistic examples throughout. From materials lists to techniques, PROFESSIONAL AIRBRUSH TECHNIQUES is a lovely presentation.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Today in History: Musicals
Joe Stollenwerk
Emmis Books
1700 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206
1578602653 $14.95

TODAY IN HISTORY: MUSICALS offers a day-by-day account of the shows, stars and history of Broadway in a format which allows fans to flip to any day of the year to discover fun facts and trivia. From the birth dates of stars and major musical events to fun pop quiz queries, TODAY IN HISTORY: MUSICALS is a fine discussion for any fan of the genre.

Experimental Film and Video
Jackie Hatfield, Ed
John Libbey
c/o Indiana University Press
601 N. Morton St., Bloomington, IN 47404
0861966643 $27.95

Artists working in film and video today may not realize it, but the last forty years has seen a technological revolution in the materials of production, fostering many possibilities for experimentation. EXPERIMENTAL FILM AND VIDEO gathers key artists working in film, video and digital media to present a collection of philosophical reflections on the course of digital media and progress of narrative, performance, and theatre. A college-level, scholarly tone makes this the perfect guide for college collections strong in film media.

Peter Bart
Miramax Books
77 W. 66th St., New York NY 10023-5298
1401352162 $26.95 www.miramax/com

BOFFO! HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE BLOCKBUSTER AND FEAR THE BOMB comes from the editor-in-chief of Variety and co-host of AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout, and provides a vivid, experienced look at Hollywood, using nearly thirty hits from film, TV and theatre to examine the making of blockbusters and the lessons they hold for any would-be hit maker. From budget concerns to anticipating changes in audience tastes, BOFFO covers pitfalls as well as successes and is a ‘must' for any film director, producer, or Hollywood wannabe.

The Art of Superman Returns
Daniel Wallace
Chronicle Books
85 – 2ND St., San Francisco, CA 94012
0811853446 $40.00

Fans of the film SUPERMAN RETURNS must have this film book: it covers all the concepts and developmental art which served as the movie's foundation, pairing over two hundred works of art – costumes, locations, sets – with interviews with the director, screenwriters, artists and costume designers involved. Sketches and color stills accompany reviews of the plot's progression and choices in production. THE ART OF SUPERMAN RETURNS packs in the color and the depth and is the perfect accompaniment to the movie.

Johnny Depp: A Modern Rebel
Brian J. Robb
Plexus Publishing
110 Riverside Dr. Apt. 5F, New York NY 10024
0859653854 $19.95

Perfectly timed for the latest ‘Pirates of the Caribbean' blockbuster film is Johnny Depp: A Modern Rebel: a biography of the quirky actor whose good looks and lively adventures hide a rebellious young man whose drug-filled adolescence seemed unlikely to create a celebrity. From his volatile relationships and life to his evolving career and interest in independent, adventure-laden roles, is Johnny Depp: A Modern Rebel is revised and updated and comes packed with black and white and color photos.

Duncan Tucker
Newmarket Press
18 E. 48th St., New York NY 10017
1557047324 $18.95

Here's the official book tie-in to a winning movie about a transsexual woman about to take the surgical plunge to become full woman when she learns she once fathered a son – and the two meet. The complete shooting script here is accompanied by scene notes, two essays by the film's writer on making the film and on transsexuality, and production notes. Add nearly firth black and white still photos and you have a keepsake for avid fans of the film TRANSAMERICA.

Acting the Part
Lori Pauli, Editor
49 W. 24th St., 8th Flr, New York NY 10010
1858943280 $49.95

ACTING THE PART: PHOTOGRAPHY AS THEATRE provides readers with the first major history of staged photography, using many key works to provide a history of the genre from the mid-nineteenth century to modern times. It could've been reviewed in our Arts or Photography section – but any interested in theatre will also find it involving and not to be missed, discussing play-acting and Surrealism, sources of inspiration, and narrative strategies from cinematography and advertising as they influence modern performance art. A gorgeous blend of art and theatre evolves.

Michael Wiese Productions
11288 Ventura Blvd. #621, Studio City, CA 91604

Two excellent film guides are picks for aspiring actors and directors alike. John Badham and Craig Modderno's I'LL BE IN MY TRAILER: THE CREATIVE WARS BETWEEN DIRECTORS & ACTORS (1932907149, $26.95) is for directors who find the actor's personality and needs both puzzling and challenging. How can a director lead a stubborn actor, pairing temperament with the work at hand? How can directors modify behaviors that alienate actors? These and other common issues unique to the director/actor relationship and movie production are reviewed in chapters that offer solutions. John Gaspard's FAST CHEAP & UNDER CONTROL (1932907157, $26.95) tells how to stretch production dollars, handle tight budget constraints, and get the most from personnel and props to create a memorable film production. Lessons from low-budget mavericks serve as foundations for duplicating success, with descriptions covering everything from dealing with written scripts and hidden improvisation potentials to previewing results and achieving memorable films even when poor. Both are outstanding recommendations and ‘musts' for any serious film library holding, promising lasting lending value.

Backstage at the Tonight Show
Don Sweeney
Taylor Trade
4501 Forbes Blvd. #200, Lanham, MD 20706
158979303X $16.95

Author Don Sweeney was with The Tonight Show for nearly twenty years until Jay Leno took over in 1992, so he's in the perfect position to provide the celebrity vignettes and anecdotes which follow its peak years in BACKSTAGE AT THE TONGITH SHOW FROM JOHNNY CARSON TO JAY LENO. More than two dozen celebrities are profiled here form Bill Cosby and Frank Sinatra to Letterman and Stevie Wonder, with descriptions bringing the show experience to life. A recommended pick for not only The Tonight Show viewers past and present, but for any who enjoy celebrity exposes.

The 30-Second Storyteller
Thomas Richter
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598632264 $34.99

Is there a job in the world where you need work only 10 days to make $100K? It's real, all right, and is explored in THE 30-SECOND STORYTELLER: THE ART AND BUSINESS OF DIRECTING COMMERCIALS. Chapters focus on the position of a commercial director and while it's a tough job to get and keep, they focus on the rewards and challenges alike. From understanding common production problems and how to overcome them to creating a TV spot that works, THE 30-SECOND STORYTELLER is very specific and narrow in its focus, and will appeal to any interested in the world of commercials.

Allworth Press
10 E. 23rd St. #510, New York NY 10010

These fine guides will help film producers and animation artists, providing specific industry-tested tips and insights. Sara Caldwell's JUMPSTART YOUR AWESOME FILM PRODUCTION COMPANY (1581154003, $19.95) follows the steps necessary to turn the dream of a film into reality, using real-life stories from many filmmakers to review pros and cons, challenges along the way, and more. From creating a financial plan and locating and working with investors to making industry contacts and promoting a film, JUMPSTART YOUR AWESOME FILM PRODUCTION COMPANY is packed with great ideas. David B. Levy's YOUR CAREER IN ANIMATION: HOW TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE (1581154453, $19.95) tells how to break into the animation industry or move up the ladder in a career, and offers a blueprint for understanding the industry's players, strategies for advancement, and more. Chapters tell how to build an impressive portfolio, handle periodic unemployment, and network effectively: while these are common business practices in any industry, tips specific to animation also include lists of animation schools, societies, web sites and more.

The Parenting Shelf

The Mislabeled Child
Brock Eide, MD, MA & Fernette Eide, MD
1401302254 $24.95

THE MISLABELED CHILD: HOW UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD'S UNIQUE LEARNING STYLE CAN OPEN THE DOOR TO SUCCESS provides parents, teachers and educators a fine, clear guide to children who are different, how diagnoses often fail, and how to look beyond labels to find the basics of a child's problems. Flaws in current methods of evaluation and diagnosis, especially by non-specialists, accompany tools and information based on the latest research along with first-hand accounts by the children themselves.

The Library Science Shelf

Less is More
Donna J. Baumbach & Linda L. Miller
ALA Editions
Box 932501, Atlanta, GA 31193-2501
0838909191 $28.00

LESS IS MORE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WEEDING SCHOOL LIBRARY COLLECTIONS is for professional school librarians seeking a specific routine for weeding. All the basics are here; from getting started and understanding philosophy to breaking down weeding criteria by Dewey Numbers and using automation tools. School librarians – particularly newcomers to the profession – will find it filled with tips.

The Agricultural Studies Shelf

Handbook of Milk of Non-Bovine Mammals
Young W. Park & George F.W. Haenlein
Blackwell Publishing
2121 State Ave, Ames, IA 50014
0813820510 $199.99

Think milk and you usually think ‘cow', but the contribution of milks from secondary domesticated dairy species around the world is growing, and HANDBOOK OF MILK OF NON-BOVINE MAMMALS is the only authoritative, in-depth title to assemble dairy and nutrition experts from around the world to consider the milks of not just goat and sheep, but camels, yaks, reindeer, llamas and more. Methods of raw milk production, changes in processing technologies, and distribution around the world pairs with health information to provide a significant reference essential for any agricultural collection.

The Science Shelf

Murmurs from the Deep
Gilles Fonteneau
Arcade Publishing
141 Fifth Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010
1559707763 $25.00 1-800-759-0190

You may not readily recognize the author's name; but he launched his own expedition ala Cousteau in 2001 to measure the movement of the tectonic plates of the Caribbean – and indeed joined Cousteau's team and sailed with him for several years. So while his background is similar and influenced by Cousteau, he moved on to become a business executive for thirty years before returning to his first love, marine exploration. His goal was more than measuring plate movements: he wanted to make audio recordings of the fish of the Caribbean, and wished to study the erosion of local coral reefs. The blend of natural history and area political insights combine in a fine first-person survey of adventure in MURMURS FROM THE DEEP: SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURE IN THE CARIBBEAN.

Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology
Michael Newton
Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
0786420367 $95.00

Many journals have recommended ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CRYPTOZOOLOGY and it's easy to see why: it packs in the research material, adds reference and bibliographic notes, and features animals unrecognized by modern science in nations around the world. That said, it's also recommended as a pick for college-level natural history collections and public library holdings alike: it packs in over two thousand reference entries on particular creatures, providing history of human interactions, natural history, and comments on environment. While not many general-interest readers would initially pick up ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CRYPTOZOOLOGY, figuring it too weighty for leisure reading, its articles and listings prove surprisingly accessible to general-interest readers, once you get past the impressive, technical-sounding title.

Dictionary of Weather & Climate
Jacqueline Smith
Facts on File
132 W. 31st St., 17th Flr, New York NY 10001
081606296X $49.50

The revised edition of Dictionary of Weather & Climate offers high school and college-level collections over 2,000 cross-referenced entries defining and exploring terms used in meteorology and climatology. The previous edition appeared five years ago: this adds over 150 new entries and includes pronunciation symbols for over 800 uncommon terms.

Krieger Publishing Company
Krieger Drive, Malabar, FL 32950

John V. Rossi and Roxanne Rossi's SNAKES OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA: NATURAL HISTORY AND CARE IN CAPTIVITY (1575240319, $145.00) offers a natural history and captive maintenance survey of all species of snakes found in the U.S. and Canada. The Rossis spent years studying these species personally and have researched thoroughly in the course of their studies: evidence of this shows in species discussions which include name origins, identification challenges, habits of captive and breeding snakes, and much more. Color photos abound to compliment the many facts. Bob L. Tipton's SNAKES OF THE AMERICAS: CHECKLIST AND LEXICON (157524215X, $94.50) is a technical survey which will prove perfect for college-level natural history collections. Chapters divide by groups and families, offering species-level taxa, citations, remarks, and notes on range.

Coming to Life
Christiane Nusslein-Volhard
Kales Press
0967007674 $29.95

COMING TO LIFE: HOW GENES DRIVE DEVELOPMENT covers the world of biology and recounts groundbreaking discoveries that provide new knowledge of genetic functions and development influences. From resulting ethical conflicts over cloning and genetic therapies to issues affecting gene development and sequences of life forms, COMING TO LIFE is a primer science students will relish.

Silent Snow
Marla Cone
Grove Press
841 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0802142591 $14.00

The Arctic is thought of as the last unspoiled place on the planet; but mankind's influence is touching even this pristine wilderness and SILENT SNOW: THE SLOW POISONING OF THE ARCTIC comes from a top national environmental journalist who documents the degradation. Chapters survey new evidence of Arctic poisoning, its effects on ocean food webs, and why the Arctic people are among the most contaminated human beings on Earth. An eye-opening, frightening read evolves.

The Military Shelf

The Business of Civil War
Mark R. Wilson
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801883482 $45.00

THE BUSINESS OF CIVIL WAR: MILITARY MOBILIZATION AND THE STATE, 1861-1865 is a pick for any in-depth Civil War history holding, who will find it much more than the usual rehash of politics. Instead, American history teacher Mark Wilson provides his own structured analysis of the politics and economics of the large military supply project in the North which proved such a major influence on the war's events and progression. His research in Army and business archives alike documents this project with an eye to displaying the military economy it created and encouraged. A ‘must' for any serious student of Civil War history who would go beyond the usual statistics and battle events.

Thunder Bay Press
5880 Oberlin Dr., San Diego, CA 92121-4794
$29.95 Each

Two outstanding references are top picks, packing in pages of value for their price tags and providing a wide-ranging history. Chris Bishop edits ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TANKS & ARMORED FIGHTING VEHICLES FROM WW I TO THE PRESENT DAY (159223626X): an exhaustive reference that may appeal to general readers, but is a special pick for military collections. Over 300 tanks and vehicles are presented in a pairing of vintage and action photos and detailed drawings, with descriptions including extensive and in-depth service histories of specs and tanks. Jim Winchester edits ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN AIRCRAFT FROM CIVILIAN AIRLINERS TO MILITARY SUPERFIGHTERS (1592236286), using the same extensive format and packing in over 300 military and civil aircraft in service around the world. Color photos pack presentations that include specs, history, and many technical details. Both are top reference picks promising lasting value.

Duncan B. Campbell
Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South #806, New York NY 10016
1846030196 $24.95

BESIEGED: SIEGE WARFARE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD may be a specialty item for college-level holdings, but any collection strong in early history – not just military holdings – must have it. It covers the methods of siege warfare, examining history, politics, tactics and weaponry alike in a thorough coverage which includes lavish illustrations, photos and maps throughout. The evolution of siege warfare through nine centuries comes to life in a top pick for any ancient history library.

Once I had a Comrade
R.W. Byrd
Helion & Company
26 Willow Rd., Solihull, W. Midlands, B91 1UE EK
1874622582 $59.95

R.W. Byrd's ONCE I HAD A COMRADE: KARL ROTH AND THE COMBAT HISTORY OF THE 36TH PANZER REGIMENT 1939-45 tells of the author's German father-in-law Karl Roth, who grew up in the 1930s, and of his regiment. His eyewitness participation in campaigns in Poland in 1939, France in 1940 and Yugoslavia in 1941 before serving at the Eastern Front charts a division under siege and a fighter who saw much of the war's many battles. A vivid memoir of Karl Roth and his war encounters.

From POW to Blue Angel
Jim Armstrong
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Dr., Norman, OK
0806137649 $29.95

Raleigh E. ‘Dusty' Rhodes helped develop the Blue Angels, the world's most famous military aerobatic team – and was only the third fighter pilot to become its leader. Interviews, Dusty's scrapbooks and flight logs form the foundations of a survey which is part biography, part aviation history, and always interesting: fans of military history and aviation will find it a top pick. Mark Matthews' SMOKE JUMPING ON THE WESTERN FIRE LINE: CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS DURING WORLD WAR II (0806137665, $29.95) offers a fascinating and rare probe into a little-researched aspect of World War II history: the story of deeply religious young men whose beliefs led them to reject military service. Instead, some of them were paid a minimum wage to volunteer for the Civilian Public Service as U.S. Forest Service smoke jumpers based in Montana: this is their story, and uses extensive interviews with World War II conscientious objectors and original documents to recreate their stories.

What Caused the Civil War?
Edward L. Ayers
W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Ave., New York NY 10110
0393328538 $14.95

Historian Edward Ayers explores the South past and present in essays that blend his personal relationship to the South with a history of its culture and concerns. Don't expect a military history alone in WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR? REFLECTIONS ON THE SOUTH AND SOUTHERN HISTORY: chapters explore sentiments about the South both within and outside of it, argue its biggest problems are misconceptions held on all sides, and provide an excellent survey.

Love My Rifle More Than You
Kayla Williams
W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Ave., New York NY 10110
0393329224 $14.95

We reviewed this title in hardcover and gave it special recommendation for its gutsy, blunt tone and insights into the modern world of the army and the female experience in combat: in paperback now, LOVE MY RIFLE MORE THAN YOU: YOUNG AND FEMALE IN THE US ARMY will reach an even wider audience with its outstanding and riveting memoir.

Heroes: U.S. Army Medal Of Honor Recipients
Barrett Tillman
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
0425210170 $26.95

Heroes: U.S. Army Medal Of Honor Recipients provides a fine collection of battle stories behind the 100 Army Corps Medal Of Honor winners, pairing these stories with over a hundred photos and providing a military history which will please a wide audience. The Medal of Honor is awarded for outstanding courage and sacrifice in combat, and is the greatest honor awarded to a soldier: their stories are vividly brought to life here.

This is Our War
Devin Friedman & Editors of GQ
708 Broadway, New York NY 10003
157965309X $29.95

THIS IS OUR WAR: A SOLDIERS' PORTFOLIO: SERVICEMEN'S PHOTOGRAPHS OF LIFE IN IRAQ is simply outstanding: it offers powerful and personal photos all taken by the men and women serving in Iraq, thus going beyond a reporter's outsider impressions to provide nearly three hundred images culled from tens of thousands GQ collected from servicemen and women. From everyday life to combat, all aspects of the Iraq experience are illustrated.

Enough Blood Shed
Mary-Wynne Ashford & Guy Dauncey
New Society Publishers
Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1XO, Canada
0865715270 $21.95

Is war inevitable? ENOUGH BLOOD SHED: 101 SOLUTIONS TO VIOLENCE, TERROR AND WAR thinks not – and it provides an invaluable compendium of solutions for every sector of society, individuals to schools to media to cities and communities. It doesn't just provide plans – it pairs these ideas with nonviolent success stories for diffusing all kinds of volatile situations. A ‘must' for any who would do more than dream of peace.

Robert Hardy
Sutton/MBI, Dist.
380 Jackson St., St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
0750943912 $27.95

LONGBOW: A SOCIAL AND MILITARY HISTORY follows the evolution of the longbow: a 6-foot weapon with a long-reaching history from ancient to more modern times in Britain. It became the most important weapon in the English military arsenal and won many battles: black and white illustrations throughout chart its progress and evolution.

Enemy Combatant
Moazzam Begg
New Press
38 Greene St., New York NY 10013
1595581367 $26.95

The author was a second-generation British Muslim born and raised in England, and was seized from his family home in Pakistan in 2002, accused by the U.S. of being a terrorist, and held for over three years. His story of his imprisonment and detention including two years at Guantanamo Bay provides the first account by a detainee of life inside the prison. From his intense interrogations to his release in 2005, this account is co-authored by Victoria Brittain, former foreign editor of the UK Guardian, and provides an engrossing, condemning eyewitness account of the US prison system and civil rights pertaining to terrorist suspects.

Lt. General Thomas McInerney & Maj. General Paul Vallely
Regnery Publishing
1 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001
089526000X $16.95

Numerous books analyze the history and strategies of terrorism in the world – but too few tell how to win the war on terror. Here, under one cover, is an exit strategy for Iraq and a global blueprint of political and economic changes, as well as military tips, on how to win the war, coming from two military pros who lend their expertise to ENDGAME; THE BLUEPRINT FOR VICTORY IN THE WAR ON TERROR. Food for thought from the expert's table.

The Lyons Press
246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437 1-800-836-0510

Mike Ostlund's Find ‘Em, Chase ‘Em, Sink ‘Em: The Mysterious Loss of the WWII Submarine USS Gudgeon (1592288626 $26.95) could also have been reviewed in our ‘true adventure' section, but earns a spot here for being the first to recount the loss of the sub in a treacherous patrol area during the war. The author's uncle was aboard that ship, providing the impetus for a research project which involved patrol reports in both U.S. and Japanese naval archives, interviews with veterans of the ship before its last journey, and interviews with relatives. While it can't completely resolve the mystery, it does lend many insights. James P. Duffy's TARGET AMERICA: HITLER'S PLAN TO ATTACK THE UNITED STATES (1592289347, $14.95) argues that Hitler intended to bring war to America once he'd succeeded fully in Europe: for the first time Hitler's plans for worldwide offensives using his new secret weapons are revealed, with chapters recounting other Axis schemes for attack and how planners considered various options for conquest.

The Social Issues Shelf

The Decency Wars
Frederick S. Lane
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591024277 $28.00

THE DECENCY WARS: THE CAMPAIGN TO CLEANSE AMERICAN CULTURE doesn't come from a journalist like you'd expect, but from a First Amendment specialist who considers the country's changing attitudes toward decency, using newspaper headlines as a foundation for documenting cultural change. It's inappropriate for the government to regulate morality in this issue, Frederick S. Lane maintains, and his book packs in surveys of decency controversies from past and present years, charting how new media has fostered questionable issues on freedom and also fostered an answering flood of writings on whether decency should be regulated.

The Reaper's Line
Lee Morgan II
Rio Nuevo Publishers
451 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, AZ 85745
188789697X $25.00

Would you die to enter another country? THE REAPER'S LINE: LIFE AND DEATH ON THE MEXICAN BORDER comes from a U.S. Customs special agent who has spent some thirty years on the U.S.-Mexico border as a federal agent. His account of corruption, mass murder, gunfights and dangerous liaisons and interactions makes for a charged story of drug wars, illegal aliens and danger.

Alan Berger
Princeton Architectural Press
37 E. 7th St., New York NY 10003
156898572X $34.95

DROSSCAPE: WASTING LAND IN URBAN AMERICA is a top pick not just for architects and building designers, but for any homeowners or buyer who would understand waste landscapes and how they are handled. Landscape architects must learn to accommodate them – and homeowners need to learn about them. DROSSCAPE is for both, offering a radical new method of thinking about landscape and its problems. Ten cities are analyzed through aerial photography, maps and charts with an eye to surveying human needs, design challenges, and social issues alike.

How ‘American' Is Globalization?
William H. Marling
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-3263
0801883539 $24.95

College-level collections will find intriguing William H. Marling's analysis of the influence of American technology and culture on foreign societies. Marling is a professor of English and world literature: in his deconstruction of the myth of global Americanization he argues that in actuality the reaching effects of the U.S. are less than one might think from reading popular accounts – and he backs his contention with proof.

The End of Commitment
Paul Hollander
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636884 $28.95

How could modern intellectuals and thinkers become seduced by the promises of communism and its ideals: an idea that proved repressive in actuality? THE END OF COMMITMENT: INTELLECTUALS, REVOLUTIONARIES, AND POLITICAL MORALITY examples questions of political morality, belief changes, and commitments, examining the moral limits of individuals and why ideologies can seduce even the most reasoned. It's the first to pair a history of Communist systems with a social survey of how its ideology spread around the world – and it provides chapters powerful in social survey and insight.

Anti-Arab Racism in The USA
Steven Salaita
Pluto Press
c/o University of Michigan Press
839 Greene St., Ann Arbor, MI 48106
0745325165 $19.95

Anti-Arab Racism in The USA: Where It Comes From and What It Means for Politics Today provides a social analysis of Arab-American relationships, racism issues, and how America treats Arab citizens within its own borders. Chapters blend personal case histories with theory to examine how racism affects all aspects of American law and culture, and draws some intriguing conclusion from Arab-American conflicts.

Murder in the Model City
Paul Bass & Douglas W. Rae
Basic Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
0465069029 $26.00

MURDER IN THE MODEL CITY: THE BLACK PANTHERS, YALE, AND THE REDEMPTION OF A KILLER begins in 1969 and follows four members of the Black Panther party who committed murder in Connecticut and fled. Nine Panthers would eventually be tried with crimes from that night – and activists of all denominations descended on a small New England city to protest. Paul Bass and Douglas Rae recreate events, politics, and social issues during the stormy period, bringing to life the sentiments of all sides. A ‘must' for any who would understand 1960s black activism and its lasting legacy.

The Judicial Studies Shelf

David Feige
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
031615623X $24.95

INDEFENSIBLE: ONE LAWYER'S JOURNEY INTO THE INFERNO OF AMERICAN JUSTICE provides a description of an ordinary day in the life of a South Bronx public defender: a day which encounters murders, annoying fellow lawyers, and vindictive judges. Feige has been a public defender for nearly fifteen years: his blow-by-blow account of one hectic day is eye-opening and revealing.

The American History Shelf

Robert Shogan
Ivan R. Dee.
1332 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636744 $26.95

BLACKLASH: THE KILLING OF THE NEW DEAL is required reading for any who would understand the history and changes of labor in America, especially the spread of unions and the decisions which contributed to a public backlash destroying the New Deal – a decision sparked by FDR's scheme to overhaul the Supreme Court. American history and underlying political influences come to life in a vivid account.

Fire and Brimstone
Michael Punke
Hyperion Books
77 West 66th St., NY, NY 10023-6298
140130155X $24.95 1-800-759-0190

FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: THE NORTH BUTTE MINING DISASTER OF 1917 provides a ‘you are there' history of a disaster which began just before midnight on June 8, 1917, when a fire trapped over four hundred men underground. As they fought to survive below, politics and local changes intersected above in a book which covers not just the mining disaster's circumstances, but its lasting implications for labor relations.

Saddling Up Anyway
Patrick Dearen
Taylor Trade
4501 Forbes Blvd. #200, Lanham, MD 20706
1589792238 $22.95

SADDLING UP ANYWAY: THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF OLD-TIME COWBOYS uses actual stories from cowboys before the 1930s to blend tales with accounts of heroism and life on the early frontier. A glossary of cowboy language and terminology helps in understanding the accounts, while chapters discuss the duties and lives of the frontier hand.

Encyclopedia of New York State
Peter Eisenstadt, Editor
Syracuse University Press
1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210
081560808X $95.00 1-800-365-8929

If your library can only afford one definitive guide on New York State, make it THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NEW YORK STATE, packing in nearly 2,000 pages of over 4,000 entries capturing the entire history of the state and its peoples. Extensive listings cover all aspects of history and culture, including population charts, listings of the arts, colleges, bus lines, events, architecture – virtually anything having to do with the state appears here. Yes, it's a very weighty title – but as a specialty reference acquisition it promises long-lasting interest and nothing on the market compares to its size and scope.

The Women's Studies Shelf

Unaccompanied Women
Jane Juska
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400063191 $23.95

UNACCOMPANIED WOMEN: LATE-LIFE ADVENTURES IN LOVE, SEX, AND REAL ESTATE follows on the heels of Jane Juska's best-seller A ROUND-HEELED WOMAN, surveying women's fears of growing old, being alone, and never settling down. Stories of women who, like her, have yet to find love but are determined to find it provides insight, humor and irony and will make the perfect gift for any unaccompanied older woman still looking for love.

Lifelong Books/DaCapo
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

Kamy Wicoff's I DO BUT I DON'T: WALKING DOWN THE AISLE WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND (0738210129 $22.95) isn't just another book about wedding planning, but covers the way we marry. Many women feel their independence and choices vanish when they become a bridge: weddings often bring out the worst in individual and social expectations and brides may confront family and social tradition alike as they struggle to make choices. Humor blends with analysis in a survey of the modern bride's pressures and coping methods. Bridget Harrison's TABLOID LOVE: LOOKING FOR MR. RIGHT IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES (0738210447, $24.00) provides a hilarious story of a nearly-thirty girl who lives friends, boyfriend and her native England to come to New York as a reporter for the New York Post. She gets in with the right crowd and even lands her own dating column read by half a million New Yorkers: this is Bridget's own autobiography which tells of success at work and lack of such in romance, and will prove a winning story of dating and work which many readers will relate to.

I Feel Bad About My Neck
Nora Ephron
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0307264556 $19.95

Blend a healthy dose of humor with true-life reflections on women's issues and concerns and you have a very readable, involving account in I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK AND OTHER THOUGHTS ON BEING A WOMAN. The trials of aging provide the main focus in a survey by one who wrote When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, among others. Her blend of autobiography and reflection will attract a wide audience both because of her prior successes and because of her subject.

The Gardening Shelf

Cutting Propagation
John M. Dole & James L. Gibson
Ball Publishing
Box 9, Batavia, IL 60510
1883052483 $64.95

CUTTING PROPAGATION: A GUIDE TO PROPAGATING AND PRODUCING FLORICULTURE CROPS is for the serious college-level horticulture collection: it covers vegetatively propagated varieties and provides the latest information on cutting and rooting for optimum results. From stock plant management and nutrition to insect management, equipment and postharvest, CUTTING PROPAGATION's chapters hold all the technical specs the full-time serious grower needs.

Tales of the Rose Tree
Jane Brown
David R. Godine
9 Hamilton Place, Boston, MA 02108
1567923127 $35.00

TALES OF THE ROSE TREE: RAVISHING RHODODENDRONS AND THEIR TRAVELS AROUND THE WORLD goes beyond competing gardener's guides which focus on cultivation and natural history to provide a lively historical survey of the history of rhododendrons and their movements around the world. The plant's discovery, early cultivation and collection, and its fascination to botanists makes for a lively set of vignettes and reflections which pairs natural history with human endeavors. You may find other rhododendron specialty books on the market; but none as lively and packed with human history as this.

The Interior Design Shelf

7 E. 14 St. Suite 17-Z, New York NY 10003
$18.95 Each

Three fine ‘New Design' titles are filled with full-page color photos demonstrating contrasting designs for home interiors. NEW INDOORPOOL DESIGN (3937718273) covers a range of indoor pool designs, from wood-framed pools which dominate a living space floor to side pools and those with decorative waterfalls, NEW FIREPLACE DESIGN (3937718745) covers innovative fireplace features and designs, drawing from houses across Europe and around the world. NEW STUDIO DESIGN (3937718761) profiles in-home studio workspaces that fit into kitchens, living rooms, and living spaces. These function as idea books: color photos pair with location notes and the focus is on very modern, contemporary designs built in the last few years. Wonderful project idea guides – and fine profiles of interior design artists' innovations.

387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016-8810

Priscilla Hauser's BOOK OF PAINTING PATTERNS (1402714769, $35.95) comes from a popular painter whose designs have reached many students over the years. It packs in a treasure trove of patterns but doesn't stop there: it tells how to transfer and work with them, from blending and changing colors to applying shading to different pieces. The full-page, full-color patterns will delight artists who want to transfer them to home projects. Marie Proeller Hueston's HOUSE BEAUTIFUL DECORATING WITH BOOKS (1588164934, $24.95) goes beyond telling how to create and store a personal library: it tells how to combine bookcases, shelving on open stairways, and more to store volumes and shows how to use them as decorative embellishments. From dramatic mantel displays to books that serve as furniture, HOUSE BEAUTIFUL DECORATING WITH BOOKS is lovely. House Beautiful's READY, SET, DECORATE: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO GETTING IT RIGHT EVERY TIME (1588164993, $24.95) tells how to create a personable room, surveying common home decorator choices, pros and cons, and options from colors to patterns and hardware. The ‘Ready!' section covers the basics, ‘Set' reviews preparations, and ‘Decorate!' shows how to do it yourself and avoid common problems. These are winners no home decorator will want to be without.

Cozy Cabins Rustic Retreats
Jo Denbury
Ryland Peters & Small
519 Broadway, 5th Flr, New York NY 10012
184597087X $19.95

Lovely color photos by Chris Tubbs accompanies a fine survey of cozy cabin interiors and decoration schemes which make the most of small and rustic spaces in Cozy Cabins Rustic Retreats. The idea here is to customize a personal sanctuary: chapters are filled with insights supporting this concept and provide ideas for a range of styles and designs, from log cabin rustic to giving the illusion of airy expanse in limited places.

Creating Vintage Style
Lucinda Ganderton
Ryland Peters & Small
519 Broadway, 5th Flr, New York NY 10012
1845971264 $16.95

There are many ways antique fabrics, unique collectibles, and flea market finds can be used to decorate a house, and these twelve easy projects offer step-by-step directions for so doing, even embracing kitchen and garden in the process. Chapters in CREATING VINTAGE STYLE: STYLISH IDEAS & STEP-BY-STEP PROJECTS review key elements of style, cover basic materials and equipment, and provide plenty of color embellishment.

The Barefoot Home
Marc Vassallo
Taunton Press
Box 5007, Newton, CT 06470-5507
1561588075 $30.00

A ‘barefoot home' takes advantage of new consumer trends towards informality to pair a casual lifestyle with a home filled with open space, light, and texture. THE BAREFOOT HOME: DRESSED-DOWN DESIGN FOR CASUAL LIVING profiles over twenty homes that fit this concept: they're located across the U.S. and each contains elements of relaxed design and entertainment standards to offer home builders and homeowner/designers many ideas for creating such an effect. Color photos abound in an inspirational gathering.

The Architecture Shelf

St. Paul's Architecture
Jeffrey A. Hess & Paul Clifford Larson
University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Avenue S. Suite 290, Minneapolis, MN 55401
0816635900 $34.95

While ST. PAUL'S ARCHITECTURE: A HISTORY won't be for every collection, it does represent the first complete account of the architecture of St. Paul, surveying the extent of the city's architectural history and providing building insights perfect for any collection strong in either American architectural history or St. Paul history, in particular. Chapters consider the city's growth and evolution with an eye to exploring architectural trends and influences, with vintage black and white photos throughout displaying selected buildings.

Designing Paradise
Don Hibbard
Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th St., New York NY 10003
1568985746 $50.00

DESIGNING PARADISE: THE ALLURE OF THE HAWAIIAN RESORT defines the architectural style unique to the Hawaiian resort, adding a history of Hawaiian island tourism in the process. Chapters use drawings, archival images and modern color photos to chart emerging architecture in Hawaii, adding strong cultural notes on the emergence of tourist interests. An excellent guide not only for students of architecture, but for any interested in Hawaiian culture and history.

The Harvard Five in New Canaan
William D. Earls, A.I.A.
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
0393731839 $34.95

New Canaan was a household name according to a 1953 issue of House and Garden magazine: it referred to five architects who designed houses for themselves and their clients in New Canaan, Connecticut. An introductory essay provides the history, recounting how the town became the figurehead of a new modern movement in housing experimentation: chapters which follow analyze the structures and works of Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John Johansen, Philip Johnson and Eliot Noyes. Black and white interior and exterior photos abound.

The Stirling Prize
Tony Chapman
49 W. 24th St., 8th Flr, New York NY 10010
1858943213 $39.95

THE STIRLING PRIZE: TEN YEARS OF ARCHITECTURE AND INNOVATION charts one of the world's most prestigious architectural awards and is written by the RIBA's Head of Awards, gathering short-listed and winning buildings form its first ten years. Chapters divided by years offer up schools, corporate headquarters, stadiums, churches and more, with full-page color photos accompanying a fine historical and architectural survey of each.

Kit Homes
Rich Binsacca
Globe Pequot Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
0762731419 $16.95

Other books on kit homes provide building specs for all levels of newcomer, but KIT HOMES: YOUR GUIDE TO HOME-BUILDING OPTIONS, FROM CATALOGS TO FACTORIES is different. It offers a look at low-cost options and designs, pairing these to a homeowner's specific wants and needs and showing how parts of the kit can be tweaked for budget and aesthetics. Directories of kit home publishers and suppliers are included, but the heart of KIT HOMES are its pages of details on getting the most from what's available throughout the industry.

The Cookbook Shelf

Whisky Classified
David Wishart
Pavilion/Trafalgar Square
N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1862057168 $27.50

WHISKY CLASSIFIED: CHOOSING SINGLE MALTS BY FLAVOUR isn't just for the avid whisky pro: it cuts out the jargon and provides an easy survey for newcomers, too, identifying twelve dimensions to the aroma and taste of a single malt whiskey and covering the distilleries of Scotland. Each distillery receives a description, the author'' own tasting notes, and explanations of taste. A history of production methods rounds out a fascinating course for any who even casually enjoy whisky.

The Grill of Victory
William Brohaugh
Emmis Books
1700 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206
157860267X $16.95

In 2005 grilling teams from across the country descended on Virginia in hopes of winning the first annual ‘Smoke on the Mountain' barbecue championship. Author William Brohaugh was one of the judges, holding over fifteen years' experience on the barbecue circuit: his GRILL OF VICTORY explores the methods, materials, and ideas of pro grillers, offers insights on specific personalities' approaches, and provides a host of secret tips on great barbecue. The blend of travel, social and culinary history is exceptional and fun in this highly recommended pick.

Roger Yepsen
W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Ave., New York NY 10110
0393060314 $24.95

This isn't just another cookbook nor is it a gardener's guide: BERRIES is instead a lovely culinary history of usage which focuses on ‘neglected' berries which have all but vanished from American tastes, as well as common berries which were often used as additives to such unlikely items as Dr. Pepper soda. From native currants to historic uses and more, BERRIES is a wonderfully different survey offering fine history and insights on many elusive fruits.

South Wind Through the Kitchen
Elizabeth David
David Godine
Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
1567923097 $18.95

Elizabeth David died in 1992, but her books changed the world of food writing, celebrating fresh ingredients and elevating British postwar cooking. SOUTH WIND THROUGH THE KITCHEN gathers the best of her writings, so those who already have extensive David books might find little new here – but the majority of us who don't own her classic books will find the best of her works neatly under one cover, along with nearly 200 recipes.

The Little Saigon Cookbook
Ann Le
Globe Pequot Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
0762738316 $15.95

Southern California's Little Saigon Restaurant serves as the inspiration for a cookbook of the same name, providing Vietnamese specialties geared to home cooks. From Braised Eggplant and Tofu in Caramel sauce to Traditional Spring Rolls and Whole Salted Fish with Lemongrass and Chili Paste, THE LITTLE SAIGON COOKBOOK: VIETNAMESE CUISINE AND CULTURE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S LITTLE SAIGON brings a piece of Vietnam to American kitchens.

Oxmoor House
Box 2262, Birmingham, AL 35201-2262

Two kitchen-tested Southern Living recipe collections are top picks for cooks who like bright color photos paired with fail-safe recipes. Jane E. Gentry compiles and edits SLOW-COOKER COOKBOOK (0848731069, $24.95), a collection packing in over 200 tested recipes and eighty color photos. From bacon-wrapped Peppered Corn on the Cob to Creole Chicken and Okra and a range of chilis, there's a huge selection here, making it a pick above competitors. CHRISTMAS WITH SOUTHERN LIVING 2006 (0848731158, $29.95) isn't strictly a cookbook, though recipes are its core: it combines menus and time-saving holiday plans as well as party ideas with dishes which lend to entertainment and family gatherings. Many are fast, easy editor's picks, with chapters handily divided by type of entertainment: brunch buffet, office party, dinner party, and the like. Both are winners.

The Flour Pot Cookie Book
Margie and Abbey Greenberg
Running Press
125 S. 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
0762425954 $14.95

The Flour Pot Cookie Book: Creating Edible Works of Art goes beyond most cookie cookbooks in advocating taking a standard sugar cookie and making up new shapes, colors, and more. All skills levels will find these impressive, eye-catching cookie designs which feature the authors' own cookie dough and icing recipes – so you're unlikely to find anything similar elsewhere. From handling fondant to using themes, THE FLOUR POT COOKIE BOOK is a gorgeous, unique creation.

Christmas Cookies
Better Homes & Gardens
Meredith Publishing
1716 Locust, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
0695217198 $19.95

Over a hundred recipes pair with bright color photos to provide only the best results from the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen – but this book doesn't stop with recipes alone, as most do: it offers up over fifty ideas for packaging cookies to give as gifts, and includes complete patterns for four gingerbread houses.

A Real American Breakfast
Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison
William Morrow
10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022
0060188243 $34.95

A Real American Breakfast: The Best Meal of the Day, Any Time of the Day packs in a coast-to-coast feast of nearly three hundred breakfast recipes, offering up a centerfold of color photos and including historical notes, old menus, and variations on themes as well as traditional fare. The mix of innovative dishes such as Spinach Bread Pudding and Mixed Vegetable Hash and old standards such as Apple Fritters makes this a lively, fun cookbook.

Big Sky Cooking
Meredith Brokaw & Ellen Wright
708 Broadway, New York NY 10003
1579652689 $35.00

The authors experienced a frantic Manhattan lifestyle tempered by visits to Montana until they bought a ranch and become involved in the food traditions of the area. When passionate cook Ellen Wright discovered the area's blend of fresh game and ingredients, she joined them and BIG SKY COOKING WITH REFLECTIONS features a fine blend of full-page color photos, recipes, and dishes steeped in Montana ingredients. Sesame-Soy Venison Chops, Elk Pepper Steaks, and Bison Osso Busco aren't dishes you'll find many other places, either.

Great Dishes from Spain
Janet Mendel
Santana Books
29650 Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Spain
8489954488 $28.00

GREAT DISHES FROM SPAIN makes the perfect introduction to Spanish cooking, from an easy step-by-step review of how authentic paella should be prepared to making an unusual Farm-Style Fried Bread Crumbs or using blood sausage in a Lentil Pot. Add color photos throughout and you have a Spanish cookbook much more accessible to newcomers than most.

Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie
Rebecca Charles & Deborah DiClementi
Regan Books
10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022
006051583X $17.95

From chef and owner of New York City's Pearl Oyster Bar Rebecca Charles comes Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine. Family history and heritage permeate a fine gathering of family recipes, from Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon and Toasted Almonds to Blackberry Nectarine Crisp. The vintage black and white family photos are lovely embellishments to a blend of memoir and cookbook.

The Place Setting
Fred W. Sauceman
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Ave., Macon, GA 31207
0865549907 $25.00

Any interested in the foods of Southern Appalachia will relish THE PLACE SETTING: TIMELESS TASTES OF THE MOUNTAIN SOUTH, FROM BRIGHT HOPE TO FROG LEVEL. It's the first of a two-volume set which blends the author's personal journey in search of the region's culinary traditions with a memoir of culinary insights: as such, it's appropriately titled ‘First Course' and offers up a fine pairing of black and white photos of people and places to compliment essays on foods unique to the region. A ‘must' for any comprehensive regional American cookery collection; especially those strong in Southern history and cooking.

The Taste of Country Cooking
Edna Lewis
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0307265609 $22.95 1-800-726-0600

Edna Lewis grew up in a small Virginia farming community that had been settled by free slaves: here she shares some of the home cooking dishes of her roots, with seasonal celebrations of local fresh ingredients providing opportunities for dishes such as a Sweet Potato Casserole for a Sunday revival dinner, making Plum Wine from an abundance of summer plums, and using fresh-caught quail in Quail in Casserole. The blend of recipes with local history and color creates an intriguing, fun title that needs no color photos for embellishment.

The Red Hat Society Cookbook
Sue Ellen Cooper
Rutledge Hill Press
Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
1401602460 $24.99

Over a thousand recipes follow the credo ‘if it's not delicious, we're not eating it!', and come from the experienced kitchens of the over-50 Red Hat Society ladies. Unlike most cookbooks, desserts begin the introduction with dishes ranging from a low-fat Lemon Icebox Pie to Spiced Eggnog Cheesecake and a moist Pink Lady Cake. Soups, breads, salads and main dishes follow in a celebration of food, easy preparations, and growing older with culinary taste in mind.

Homemade in a Hurry
Andrew Schloss
Chronicle Books
85 – 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94105
081184899X $19.95

Over 300 shortcut recipes show how to bring home-cooked meals into the world of fast, hectic schedules with tips on how to streamline and improve the parts which take time – such as in a 10-Minute Vegetable Curry dish which remarks curry usually takes up too much time – but a jar of curry sauce does most of the work for you, leaving just chopping veggies and grilling flatbread for the ‘homemade' touches. Another plus: recipes are gathered from culinary traditions around the world, so there's lots of choice and variety, from Chicken with Candied Pecans to Couscous Stuffed Peppers.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Peter Haining
Peter Owen/Dufour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
0720612675 $25.95 1-800-869-5677

LASSIE: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF ERIC KNIGHT AND ‘THE WORLD'S FAVOURITE DOG' is a ‘must have' for any fan of the films or TV shows, and its publication coincides with the 2006 release of the new Lassie film. While much attention has been given to the dog and the TV show, few details – until now – have been revealed about the author of Lassie, Eric Knight, a sheep farmer who grew up in England but emigrated to the U.S. in 1912. Eric Knight's biography and the evolution of canine-centered literature as a whole is provided along with vintage color photos of various Lassie-Come-Home book covers to provide a vivid story of Knight's world. Changing images of Lassie, film histories, and more accompany the survey.

Voyage of the Turtle
Carl Safina
Henry Holt
175 – 5TH Ave., New York NY 10110
0805078916 $27.50

VOYAGE OF THE TURTLE: IN PURSUIT OF THE EARTH'S LAST DINOSAUR provides a fine natural history survey of the leatherback turtle and its evolution. Why the leatherback? It represents the single surviving species of its genus, is a reptile that behaves like a warm-blooded dinosaur, and has a complex life cycle which is increasingly threatened by human activities and environmental change. VOYAGE OF THE TURTLE traverses the world in search of nesting grounds and realities and is a ‘must' for any who would understand either the turtle or environmental degradation.

Dressage Masters
David Collins
The Lyons Press
246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437
1592286747 $29.95 1-800-836-0510

DRESSAGE MASTERS: TECHNIQUES AND PHILOSOPHIES OF FUR LEGENDARY TRAINERS isn't for the casual horse enthusiast, but for the neo-pro who wishes to learn from the masters. The trainers are Klaus Balkenhol, an Olympic medalist who coached the German team, Ernst Hoyos, who trained two Olympic winners, Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer, who also trained two riders and his son, all champions, and George Theodorescu, trainer of many top teams and riders. Interviews with these masters pair with photos of exercises and other teaching and competition techniques to provide an invaluable handbook of techniques for any serious about dressage.

Western Training
Laurie Truskauskas Knott
Alpine Publications
Box 120, Crawford, CO 81415
1577790650 $24.95

WESTERN TRAINING: BEYOND THE BASICS is for any equestrian who wishes to move to the next skills level. How can this be done via book instruction? Step-by-step photos and drawings tell how to finish training a western horse, from teaching bit pressure and leg commands to speed control and circles. The black and white photos and written directions compliment each other and emphasize correct technique and approach.

Communicating with Orcas
Mary J. Getten
Hampton Roads
1125 Stoney Ridge Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22902
1571744665 $15.95

Whale naturalist and animal communicator Mary Getten goes beyond what other research has achieved in the way of whale study and communication processes: in 1991 she studied the J-Pod, a family of whales off Washington State. Her contention that they use direct telepathic communication between themselves and can do so with humans also makes for fascinating reading.

Complete Whale-Watching Handbook
Ben Wilson & Angus Wilson
Voyageur Press
380 Jackson St., St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
0760325677 $19.95

THE COMPLETE WHALE-WATCHING HANDBOOK: A GUIDE TO WHALES, DOLPHINS, AND PORPOISES OF THE WORLD blends a focus on the biology of whales and their behaviors with a species guide, a regional guide to whale-watching opportunities around the world, and seasonal analysis of species which can be expected. Much more than just a listing of parks and outfitters, it focuses on the biology and science of the species and provides maps, color photos, and enough insights to allow whale watchers to fully appreciate and anticipate their experience.

Searching for Ropens
Jonathan Whitcomb
Bookshelf Press
1595940049 $15.00

In 1994 seven boys saw the giant ropen flying over a crater take: in 2004 an American foresnsic videographer interviewed them and gained more details of a creature with a wingspan longer than a village hut. Could a living pterosaur elude scientists and discovery for decades? A legal videographer examines the possibilities, sightings, and realities in SEARCHNG FOR ROPENS: LIVING PTEROSAURS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

The Gecko's Foot
Peter Forbes
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
0393062236 $24.95 1-800-233-4830

Bio-engineering builds intricate structures based on nature's properties, using ‘wet' self-assembly techniques of nature – and this new science is explored rarely for general audiences, making THE GECKO'S FOOT: BIO-INSPIRATION-ENGINEERING NEW MATERIALS FROM NATURE a winning discussion. From the origins of Velcro in the notorious spiny cocklebur to how self-cleaning leaves fostered self-cleaning surface inventions, THE GECKO'S FOOT draws direct links between bioresearch and consumer interests.

Watching Wildlife
Cynthia Chris
University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Ave. S. #290, Minneapolis, MN 55401
0816645477 $19.95

There's been a nearly overwhelming amount of televised wildlife programming which has captured the hearts of American viewers, resulting in an equal number of wildlife and science titles for general interest readers – but it's important to note that until WATCHING WILDLIFE, little has been written about the connection between reality-based animal wildlife programming and viewer interests. In reality the images are selected, edited, and revised according to underlying social and cultural concepts: WATCHING WILDLIFE identifies these interpretations and traces the history of wildlife genre programming. A pick for either nature or film studies collections.

Rescued: Saving Animals From Disaster
Allen & Linda Anderson
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1577315448 $16.95

Sixteen pages of color photos supplement inspiring stories of both individuals and organizations who saved animals during disasters and reunited them with loved ones after Hurricane Katrina. It's one of the most inspiring accounts in print – and besides offering action and adventure, it also offers pet owners important tips on keeping pets safe.

The Medici Giraffe
Marina Belozerskaya
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316525650 $24.99

Exotic animals have long inspired humans who marvel at them, and THE MEDICI GIRAFFE: AND OTHER TALES OF EXOTIC ANIMALS AND POWER explores this fascination throughout history, from Roman times on up. How did the introduction of such animals and knowledge of their existence change empires and perceptions? THE MEDICI GIRAFFE follows these accompanying changes, bringing to life stories from around the world and blending natural and human history. A fine, lively pick any library should have.

Blackwell Publishing
2121 state Ave., Ames, IA 50014

College-level collections with courses strong in veterinary medicine will find these indispensable references. Benjamin L. and Lynette A. Hart and Melissa J. Bain's CANINE AND FELINE BEHAVIOR THERAPY (0683039121) appears in its second updated edition to provide key points on behavior medicine, a rapidly expanding discipline in animal health care. This new edition has been long awaited and includes revisions reflecting major advances, new research, advice keyed to small animal practitioners, and descriptions of different behaviors and how best to modify them. Timothy B. Hackett and Elisa M. Mazzaferro's VETERINARY EMERGENCY & CRITICAL CARE PROCEDURES (0813823315) will also appeal to this specialized audience of veterinary medicine students, holding details for general practitioners and specialists as it breaks down key emergency and critical care procedures. Hundreds of black and white photos throughout illustrate the written word, which comes from two leading emergency and critical care specialists who have much clinical experience behind their words. Both are ‘must have' references for any serious veterinary medicine collection.

The Needlecraft Shelf

No-Pattern Knits
Pat Ashforth & Steve Plummer
250 Wireless Rd., Hauppauge, NY 11788
0764158929 $23.99

NO-PATTERN KNITS: SIMPLE MODULAR TECHNIQUES FOR MAKING WONDERFUL GARMENTS AND ACCESSORIES may offer a simple formula for success, but its polished results look quite advanced and professional. As the knitter moves away from using patterns and turns to geometric shapes instead, the no-pattern method evolves some lovely complex pieces produced using surprisingly few easy stitches. Add full color step-by-step photos and you have a winner.

Amy Butler
Chronicle Books
85 – 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94105
0811851591 $24.95

Designer Amy Butler's new modern style offers an illustrated collection of patterns for projects as easy as aprons and covers. Lovely photos are accompanied by easily-followed instructions which omit the usual sewer's terminology, making it especially appealing to new sewers. From planning seam allowances and handling vintage fabrics to taking on projects for bathroom and bedroom, INSTITCHES combines very easy projects with practical applications and no-fail directions.

KP Books/Krause
700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001

Over seven hundred color variations for a range of traditional and modern quilting and patchwork designs, from nine-patch to octagons, are packed into Celia Eddy's The Quilter's Color Scheme Bible (0896892743 $29.99), a handy reference which provides at-a-glance details for quilters who want to mix and match designs and colors. Arrangements focus on complimentary tonal variations and include choices of these combinations, each shown as a photographed fabric swatch. Comments include notes on mood influences, changes between combinations, how the eye perceives patterns and designs, and more. Quilters will find this indispensable. Nancy Zieman's SERGE WITH CONFIDENCE: 100+ TIPS, TECHNIQUES & PROJECTS ANYONE CAN DO (0873498550, $22.99) tells how to expand upon sewing machine basics to discover the projects possible using a serger. Learn the basics, then create many of the lovely projects profiled here in a detailed overview of the serger and its stitches and tools.

Quilts A to Z
Linda Causee
Sterling Publishing
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10015-8810
1402723180 $24.95

Linda Causee's name will be readily familiar to any avid quilter: she's written other popular quilting books but QUILTS A TO Z: 26 TECHNIQUES EVERY QUILTER SHOULD KNOW is more than a design guide: it provides specific instructions and tricks and tips for cutting, piecing, and assembling quilts. Each A-Z letter stands for a new quilting technique –and each featured quilt includes a materials list, directions, and easy color illustrations of both processes and finished products. Even quilters beyond the novice stage will find plenty of direction and insights, here.

C&T Publishing
Box 1456, Lafayette, CA 94549

From fabric folding and machine embroidery to quilting and knitting, C&T Publishing offers consistently good titles specific in topic and clear on direction, all packed with lovely photos. Kathleen Greco & Nick Greco's BEYOND THE SCARF: 15 SIMPLE & FUN FASHIONS YOU CAN KNIT (9781471203830, $24.95) covers stylish knitwear from sweaters and wraps to jelly beach bags and sweaters. The scarf is usually the first type of project a knitter attempts – but most knitting guides don't provide progressive direction to the next step. BEYOND THE SCARF does, making it a winner. Kathleen and Nick Greco also provide GIRL'S GUIDE TO FUN & FUNKY KNITTING (9781571203823, $24.95), an easy and appealing beginner's guide for the young beginning knitters. Young people's fashion and styles are the emphasis here, with chic photos of young people wearing each project paired with cartoon displays and very easy direction. Quilters will appreciate M'Liss Rae Hawley's ROUND ROBIN RENAISSANCE (1571203281, $26.95), providing projects for quilts, bees, neighbors and quilting groups. Five formats and thirty blocks promise creative one-of-a-kind results, while design galleries are accompanied by planning tips, forms, and directions groups can use. Patty Albin's CREATIVE BEGINNINGS IN MACHINE EMBROIDERY: INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR EXPERT RESULTS (1571203273, $19.95) tells newcomers how to use machine embroidery to enhance a project. All sewing machines with embroidery attachments can be used: different designs, special touches, applications and tricks accompany applied directions, so readers learn by duplicating projects. Rebecca Wat's A FRESH TWIST ON FABRIC FOLDING (1571203206, $24.95) offers new techniques and fabrics which create both traditional and modern looks. Newcomers to fabric folding will find plenty of easy lessons here, including plenty of step-by-step construction photos in full color to accompany a materials list and cutting directions. All are excellent guides for needlework collections both personal and public.

Landauer Publishing
3100 NW 101st St. Suite A, Urbandale, IA 50322

Lynette Jensen's THIMBLEBERRIES QUILTING FOR HARVEST (1890621161, $24.95) is the perfect Fall title, telling how to quilt twenty projects for the season. From table toppers to pillows, fabric designer and teacher Lynette Jensen packs in details on Fall Halloween themes, collectibles, and more which pair an eye for decorating with creative projects. Newcomers to quilting will enjoy FIRST-TIME QUILTMAKING: LEARNING TO QUILT IN SIX EASY LESSONS (1890621978, $21.95), a beginner's guide requiring no prior familiarity with quilting to prove successful. The first of four lessons starts out with shopping for fabric, understanding patterns and preparing it: other lessons use easy quilt patterns to build a step-by-step foundation of knowledge. It's one of the easiest quilting introductions we've seen, rivaling others on the market which assume prior general sewing knowledge.

Medallion Quilts
Cindy Vermillion Hamilton
American Quilter's Society
Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
1574329073 $24.95

Cindy Hamilton has made medallion quilts her area of expertise, and her gallery of such quilts is profiled in an outstanding gathering in MEDALLION QUILTS: INSPIRATION & PATTERNS. With plenty of sample borders, tips on how to customize, and photos of antiques from the author's own collection complimenting tips on yardage, sewing and techniques, quilters will find plenty to love in MEDALLION QUILT's pages.

Martingale & Company
20205 – 144th Ave. NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-8478

Emma King's FUN & FUNKY KNITTING: 30 PROJECTS FOR AN EXCITING NEW LOOK (1564776840, $24.95) offers some thirty trendy designs for hats, scarves and bags and accessories which knit up quickly and easily. It's the perfect guide for any newcomer to knitting, offering easy patterns paired with attention to modern style and charm. Louise Mabbs and Wendy Lowes' ORIGAMI QUILTS: 20 FOLDED FABRIC PROJECTS (1564776247, $28.95) provides a new twist on dimensional quilts: 20 projects for quilts, wall hangings and pillows which utilize fabric folding methods to add texture to designs. A range of folding techniques, from origami to tucks and twists, offers beginners step-by-step, easy directions. Both are exceptional picks.

The Travel Shelf

239 Great Places to Escape to Nature Without Roughing It
Constance Jones
Fodor's/Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400016703 $19.95

A further addition to the title in the form of a subtitle stating ‘Within the USA' would keep travelers from anticipating a world-wide coverage of such nature spots: be that was it may, any journeying within the U.S. will relish this gathering of romantic lodges, cabins, out-of-the-way scenic park areas and more. Don't expect a single paragraph of description here: each listing includes multiple paragraphs describing the lodging, surrounding areas, price range, and outdoors services nearby.

DK Publishing
345 Hudson, New York NY 10014-4502

Two fine new travel guides use the popular ‘Eyewitness' approach DK fostered in its children's books to provide adult travelers with clear, eye-catching and fun guides. AUSTRALIA (0756615690, $30.00) packs in the color photos, maps and illustrations and not only covers the usual places to go and stay, but adds tips on local foods, cutaways and floor plans of all major sights, town listings of sights and beaches, timelines of festivals and special events, and more. NEW ZEALAND (0756615712, $25.00) achieves the same for that country, packing all into a pocket-sized tote which is just easy enough to take along, yet compromises nothing in the amount of detail offered. From driving and walking tours to cultural insights, these books can't be beat and are top choices for destination-oriented travelers wanting visual excitement paired with practical facts.

A Sense of the World
Jason Roberts
10 E 53rd St., New York NY 10022-5299
0007161069 $26.95

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler tells of an early sightless adventurer who fought the slave trade in Africa, survived captivity in Siberia, and hunted elephants in Ceylon – among other things. He was an amazing explorer of the early 1800s – and a celebrity of his times – but died in obscurity that has lasted until now. A SENSE OF THE WORLD uses much research to recreate James Holman's life, times, and adventures and provides a vivid memoir hard to put down: any interested in adventure travel will find this a fine, absorbing survey.

River of No Reprieve
Jeffrey Taylor
Houghton Mifflin
215 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10003
0618539093 $24.00

Author Jeffrey Taylor used a custom-built boat to travel over two thousand miles to the Arctic Circle, recreating a journey first made by Cossacks over three hundred year ago, seeking a respite from the modern world. RIVER OF NO RETURN: DESCENDING SIBERIA'S WATERWAY OF EXILE, DEATH, AND DESTINY charts his journey, providing true life travel adventure at its best as Taylor comes to realize his guide is a bitter Soviet army veteran who hates all humanity – including Taylor. A vivid adventure comes to life in a compelling ‘you are there' story.

Hunter Publishing
130 Campus Dr., Edison, NJ 08818

These new arrivals are perfect take-along totes for any destination-bound outdoors or adventure traveler. Bruce and June Conord's COSTA RICA (1588435822, $13.99) is a pocket-sized yet thick tote which packs in details for those on the go; from hiking and the best outfitters to hot springs, historical areas, and more. Small maps accompany clear tips on where to go, what to do, and where to eat and stay. Harriet Greenberg and Douglas Greenberg's US VIRGIN ISLANDS ALIVE! (1588435849, $16.99) covers each island of the Virgin Islands chain, survey hotels, shops, and offbeat vacation opportunities based on the authors' personal experiences – which run the gamut from posh resorts to guest houses. Adventures range from deep-sea fishing to tennis, while shoppers receive plenty of tips on nightclubs and entertainment. Brenda Koller's CANADIAN ROCKIES (1588435733, $19.99) joins others in the ‘Adventure Guide' series, packing in details from an author who grew up in the area and has been exploring them since childhood. Adventures are easily accessed and cover all the region's parks; not just the famous Banff and Jasper. Top picks, all.

Hadrian's Wall Path
Henry Stedman
The Old Manse, Tower Rd, Hindhead, Surrey UK GU26 6SU
1873756852 $17.95

Any headed for Scotland – especially any hiker – will find Hadrian's Wall Path a fine survey of a 84-mile path which follows the course of northern Europe's largest surviving Roman monument. It was opened in 2003 so is relatively new, making Hadrian's Wall Path's maps, hiking tips, itineraries and details on where to stay and what to see a top take-along tote.

Cheap Bastard's Guide to New York City, 3rd Edn
Rob Grader
Insider's Guide
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
0762740639 $14.95

If ever there was a city where it pays to be cheap, it'd be in New York, one of the most expensive cities in the world – and from a native New Yorker comes a book which packs in over a thousand listings of free opportunities to be found there, from wine tastings and music to dance, games and fitness. From small clubs and select, limited events to low-rent, no-fee apartments, THE CHEAP BASTARD'S GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY is a must for any visitor or new resident on a budget.

The Music Shelf

Endless Enigma
Edward Macan
Open Court Publishing
140 S. Dearborn Ave. #1450, Chicago, IL 60603
0812695968 $49.95

ENDLESS ENIGMA: A MUSICAL BIOGRAPHY OF EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER circumvents most music group coverages both in price and in scope: a $49.95 paperback packs in over 800 pages of material on not just the band itself, but the progress and history of rock music from the 70s to the 80s. Fans saw ELP as a break-taking fusion of rock, jazz and classical elements, while critics viewed them as bombastic and confrontational. ENDLESS ENIGMA's candid rock history uses the band's progress and intentions as a foundation for analyzing rock music's history as a whole and is a ‘must' for any serious music library holding.

This is Your Brain On Music
Daniel J. Levitin
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
0525949690 $24.95

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC could have been featured in our Health Shelf section, but is reviewed here for its importance to musicians and any interested in music. It's the first to provide a comprehensive scientific analysis of how people experience music: chapters blend psychology, neuroscience, and musical examples from classical to rap to explain different facets of music and how they are perceived by the brain. Lest you think this overly scientific, it also provides many links between these functions and composer effectiveness and strategy.

A Place In the Choir
John Jacobson
Hal Leonard
Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI 53213
142340842X $22.95

A PLACE IN THE CHOIR: FINDING HARMONY IN A WORLD OF MANY VOICES provides essays and inspirational stories which offer would-be singers and harmonizers direction on living in a world which holds differences. From sample poems and songs to reflections on things which can't be taught in music class, and how to find acceptance of life through music, A PLACE IN THE CHOIR is an exuberant piece which could've been featured in another section, but which deserves a place here for any would-be musician.

Bob Dylan Encyclopedia
Michael Gray
80 Maiden Lane, New York NY 10038
0826469337 $40.00

So many books have been written about Bob Dylan that one would wonder at the need for another – but this isn't a reference book alone; it provides a fun ,readable text which packs in over eight hundred entries, over twenty pages of illustration, and everything there is to known about Dylan, including a searchable cd-rom to boot. Critic Michael Gray has written about Dylan before, but this is his most definitive work and represents the culminating achievement of a world authority on the topic: if there's only one Dylan reference your public library holding can afford, it should be this definitive guide.

Scottish Fiddle Encyclopedia
Bonnie Rideout
Mel Bay Publications
#4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 63069
0786675098 $19.95

Mel Bay's fiddle products have always been a strong part of the company's music holdings, but especially notable is Bonnie Rideout's SCOTTISH FIDDLE ENCYCLOPEDIA, written by a Scottish fiddler who has received much acclaim for her cds. From ‘Mary Do It Again' and ‘Sheep Shanks' to ‘The Barren Rocks of Alden', this isn't so much a comprehensive encyclopedia as it is a finely-tuned selection of traditional classics picked by a fiddler who knows the extent of her genre. Each tune has been taught, composed or recorded by Bonnie Rideout and the music and lyrics offer fiddlers an excellent and wide-ranging spread of songs not to be missed.

Hallo Spaceboy
Dave Thompson
ECW Press
c/o IPG, Distributors
814 N. Franklin, Chicago, IL 60610
1550227335 $18.95

Fans of rock musician David Bowie will want to have HALLO SPACEBOY: THE REBIRTH OF DAVID BOWIE, one of the most comprehensive reviews of his entire career in print. Bowie seemed on his way down back in 1987 when his album was dismissed by the music press and his latest tour deemed a disaster: nearly twenty years later he's reestablished – and reinvented – himself, and HALLO SPACEBOY follows this rebirth in detail. Interviews with fans, colleagues and associates accompanies a detailed discography and follows up on Thompson's initial MOONAGE DAYDREAM on Bowie in 1987.

The DJ Handbook, 2nd Edn
Charles Slaney
PC Publishing/O'Reilly, Dist.
1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472
1870775996 $20.95

Deserving of ongoing mention and recommendation is the second revised, updated edition of a fine handbook for either mobile or club DJs. THE DJ HANDBOOK surveys the entire art of the DJ business, from music selection and mixing to fostering DJ contacts, troubleshooting audio problems, and understanding equipment. While the equipment is the major focus of THE DJ HANDBOOK, it's also notable for its background details on the industry and experience as a whole.

Trash! The Complete New York Dolls
Kris Needs & Dick Porter
Plexus Publishing
Apt. 5-F, 110 Riverside Dr., New York NY 10024
0859653692 $19.95

Exclusive interviews with the New York Dolls accompanies a saga of a flamboyant group which set the agenda and sound of 1970s rock. Their gender-bending quintet changed the rock world, fostered punk, and flaunted outrageous extremes. Interviews with the New York Dolls are accompanied by firsthand reminiscences by guitarists and those who knew them well.

Critical Listening Skills For Audio Professionals
F. Alton Everest
Thompson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598630237 $49.99

The ability of the audio engineer to identify frequencies, hear hidden distortions and reconcile conflicts can make or break a career; but how can such skills be taught? Critical Listening Skills For Audio Professionals is one sure method for gaining expertise: it pairs an audio cd of high-resolution MP3 files containing nearly five hours of narration of the entire course with a text identifying critical listening skills. Students of the author's courses have tested and developed their own skills on the area based on the contents here, but the price tag is affordable enough for non-college aspiring pros to benefit from. A top pick for both students and aspiring audio engineers.

The Humor Shelf

Dump Him, Marry the Dog!
Vivian Heath
Willow Creek Press
Box 147, Minocqua, WI 54548
1595433694 $14.95

It's the perfect, fun gift for the dog lover or lovelorn: a picture book pairing dog photos with one-liners of advice. What does a dog have that a man doesn't? Hair, listening abilities, loves taking long walks – the photos are hilarious.

Planet of the Hairless Beach Apes
Jim Toomey
Andrews McMeel
4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111-7701
0740760564 $10.95

The Sherman's Lagoon cartoon strip is the underwater equivalent of a Freudian analysis text on human behavior – as seen from a shark's point of view. Sherman is an amiable great white shark who faces uncertain friendships, eats adversaries, and longingly eyes the appetizing ‘hairless beach apes' above water. The cast of supporting characters are endearing and all familiar psychological figures, from a macho hermit crab to a turtle with a positive outlook on life. The strips in this 11th collection are presented in black and white, and while color would have made more of an impact, the end result of PLANET OF THE HAIRLESS BEACH APES is no less compelling.

From the Very Big Desk Of…
Charles Barsotti
Bulfinch Press
c/o Little, Brown & Company
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
0821257935 $19.95 1-800-759-0190

If the name of Charles Barsotti sounds familiar, it's because he does business cartoons for the New Yorker, and has produced such for over three decades. Any New Yorker reader only has to take a glance at the cover to readily recognize his style, and FROM THE BIG DESK OF… represents the first gathering of Barsotti creations under one cover. Dilbert fans will find plenty to applaud here, in a hilarious series of comments on the corporate ladder's ironies.

The Comics/Graphic Novel Shelf

A Scanner Darkly: A Graphic Novel
Philip K. Dick/Richard Linklater
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0375424024 $23.95

A SCANNER DARKLY's illustrated version of Philip Dick's classic science fiction novel consists entirely of stills from the animated motion picture of the same name, packing into book for a process which uses live action photography and animation. One wouldn't think this movie method would translate well into a book – but it does, providing a brilliant color layout of graphic arts accenting a fast-paced story set in Orange County CA, where the war on drugs has been lost. Fans of the novel and/or film should add A SCANNER DARKLY's graphic novel to their libraries.

10407 Bedfordtown Dr., Raleigh, NC 27614

Any interested in comics will recognize the name of John Byrne: he's one of the most influential and famous artists in the business, penciling X-Men, writing and illustrating Fantastic Four, and working on famous titles from Captain America to Superman. Jon B. Cooke & Eric Nolen-Weathington's survey John Byrne (189390356X $14.95) joins others in the Modern Master series featuring an interview along with rare and unpublished art and a fine sketchbook section. THE ALTER EGO COLLECTION V. 1 (1893905594, $21.95) is also a winner: editor Roy Thomas' ALTER EGO magazine appeared in the 1960s as the definitive magazine about a blossoming comic world: it was abandoned for 20 years as Roy became a writer and editor for Marvel and DC Comics, then resurrected in 1999. This collection gathers the first two issues plus 30 pages of new material: it charts some major events, includes interviews with artists, and provides invaluable comic history insights, packing in black and white illustrations throughout. Volume 8 of the ‘Modern Masters' series focuses on WALTER SIMONSON (1893905640, $14.95), which Eric Nolan-Weathington and Roger Ash covering an illustrator best known for his ‘Manhunter' hit in 1973 in Detective Comics, then his saga Thor. Black and white drawings accompany a detailed survey of his life and achievements. Danny Fingeroth and Mike Manley's HOW TO CREATE COMICS FROM SCRIPT TO PRINT (1893905608, $13.95) comes from two professional magazine writers who join forces for a practical industry insider's guide on the art. From creating a new comic from scratch and developing characters to moving from script to inks and colors, every step of the process – even lettering – is covered in full.

615 Griswold St., Detroit, MI 48226

Two excellent surveys are recommended picks for any library strong in cartoons or graphic novels. Gina Misiroglu ad Michael Eury's THE SUPERVILLAIN BOOK: THE EVIL SIDE OF COMICS AND HOLLYWOOD (0780809777, $65.00) draws from sources not just in comic books but in film animated TV, toys, newspaper and more, providing an exploration of the plots and lives of definitive evil characters. An A-Z reference organization makes it easy to look up character origins, costumes, weapons, and facts – but this is more than a listing of evil. Discussions also include plenty of history, surveys of early influences, and more. Gina Misiroglu works with David A. Roach on THE SUPERHERO BOOK: THE ULTIMATE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMIC-BOOK ICONS AND HOLLYWOOD HEROES (0780807723, $63.00), which provides a fine companion volume using the same A-Z reference format and surveying all significant characters in almost 300 alphabetically indexed entries. Together these are key references for any comprehensive cartoon or comic library holding, accenting histories with a peppering of color and black and white illustrations from source materials.

Between the Devil & Miles Davis
Lance Tooks
40 Exchange Place Suite 1308, New York NY 10005
1561634697 $15.95

Volume 4 of ‘Lucifer's Garden of Verses' wraps up Tooks' quartet of books, concluding a graphic novel series that provides separate stories in each volume, told in different styles and telling of the fiction character Lucifer. Here journalist Amo is trying to write a treatise on Miles Davis, and finds herself in a bar journeying to a strange world. Elements of the three prior books are woven together and come to logical conclusion in this, recommended for prior readers of the set.

The Sports Shelf

The Last Coach
Allen Barra
W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Ave., New York NY 10110
039332897X $15.95

THE LAST COACH: A LIFE OF PAUL ‘BEAR' BRYANT comes from a noted sportswriter who offers up a fine survey of the life of college football's finest coach, leader of numerous college teams who went on to victory. THE LAST COACH not only recreates Bryant's life, but offers up a history of his times and college football's winning moments – avid football fans who are also readers will be engrossed.

Tales from the San Diego Chargers Locker Room
Sid Brooks with Gerri Brooks
Sports Publishing LLC
804 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820
1596700971 $19.95

This could've been featured in our California review section, but there are many fans of the San Diego Chargers, so it's featured here as a major sports book recommendation. Sid Brooks was hired as the equipment manager of the San Diego Chargers in 1973 after 20 years in the air force: he was the first Afro-American to hold that post in NFL history, and was a pioneer. His memoir of the San Diego Chargers' inside sessions captures the team's players, associations, and memories of legendary players over the decades, and makes for a lively compendium of stories sports fans will relish.

Climbing Self-Rescue
Andy Tyson & Molly Loomis
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat way #201, Seattle, WA 98134
089886772X $18.95

How best to respond when your climbing team gets into difficulty? First, read CLIMBING SELF-RESCUE: IMPROVISING SOLUTIONS FOR SERIOUS SITUATIONS from cover to cover. It holds the keys to using the team's abilities to effect self-rescue, pairing illustrated techniques with insights on using them in all conditions, from rock to snow and ice. Nearly thirty rescue scenarios are outlined with solutions involving as few as two climbers. No other book holds the solution-oriented scenarios of CLIMBING SELF-RESCUE: it should be on the shelves of any serious, regular climber.

The Gaming Shelf

Texas Hold ‘Em
Ken Warren
Cardoza Publishing
Box 1500 Cooper Station, New York NY 10276
1580420850 $26.95

There's no better teacher than poker pro Ken Warren when it comes to teaching the basics of Texas hold ‘em for profit: he's a master of the game and has developed his own successful, tested strategy for winning: a strategy covered both in philosophy and in specific game examples here in KEN WARREN TEACHES TEXAS HOLD ‘EM. Competing titles on the topic outlines generalities: Warren will walk you through specific game options, covers all aspects from raising to special flops and overcalling, and pairs rules with advanced plays.

Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution
Frank Scoblete
Research Services Unlimited
6845 Hwy 90E PMB #140, Daphne, Al 36526-9545
0912177160 $24.95

If you're an average blackjack player who wants to win over the casinos, THE GOLDEN TOUCH BLACKJACK REVOLUTION is for you: it outlines two methods created by a computer programmer, Speed Count and Optimum Basic Strategy, which are surprisingly easy to learn, and very effective. Most counting systems take months to learn; these can be learned in minutes – and THE GOLDEN TOUCH also explains strategy, camouflage techniques, and more. A free training cd rounds out the ideas and offerings.

The Martial Arts Shelf

Judo Unleashed
Neil Ohlenkamp
2 Penn Plaza, New York NY 10121
0071475346 $19.95

Learn the art of judo whether you're training for competition or preparing for the black belt using JUDO UNLEASHED: ESSENTIAL THROWING & GRAPPLING TECHNIQUES FOR INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED MARTIAL ARTISTS. This step-by-step guide to the art is for any who want to take judo techniques a step further, blending it with other competitive fighting styles. The author is one of the world's best judo coaches and his expertise lends to all the basics, building both a philosophical and athletic foundation of advanced self-defense moves. Color photos throughout show how.

Black Belt Karate
Hirokazu Kanazawa
Kodansha International
575 Lexington Ave., New York NY 10022
4770027753 $35.00

BLACK BELT KARATE: THE INTENSIVE COURSE comes from a respected master in the karate field and provides a foundation of lessons on basic karate, using written word paired with photos. While this won't completely replace a teacher's instruction, it will supplement such with an intensive self-study training course accessible at all levels. If this course is practiced continuously over a year, Kanzawa maintains, users will be able to attain black-belt-level proficiency: something no other book can claim.

The Nautical Shelf

T.R. Pearson
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0307335941 $24.95

SEAWORTHY: ADRIFT WITH WILLIAM WILLIS IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF RAFTING tells of a sixty-year-old who set out across the pacific Ocean on a homemade balsa raft with only a parrot and cat for company – in the heart of typhoon season. He survived on very little and spent four months at sea before arriving safely in British Samoa, besting Thor Heyerdahl by two thousand miles. Ten years later he did it again, crossing from Peru to Australia – and four years later he was on the Atlantic in a boat. SEAWORTHY blends humor with adventure in recounting his journeys and any boater will thrill to his many experiences.

Sell Up & Sail
Bill & Laurel Cooper
Sheridan House
145 Palisade St., Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
1574092197 $34.95

One couple dared to get out of the rat race and embark on a new life at sea: SELL UP AND SAIL: PURSUE THE DREAM was written to reveal this journey, and is now in its fifth updated edition, revised to include changes in navigation, electronics, communications and all the other practical details the would-be world sailor needs to know. Chapters provide all the ‘how to' details needed, from handling people and pets to boat maintenance and repairs. It's highly recommended for any who dream of a life on the water.

The Hunting/Fishing Shelf

Big-Game Taxidermy
Todd Triplett
Lyons Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1592288804 $24.95

BIG-GAME TAXIDERMY: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO DEER, ANTELOPE, AND ELK covers everything from skinning the animal to using large-size models, preserving the skin, pre-mounting procedures, and sealing and mounting them on plaques. Any who would understand taxidermy or use its specialized techniques must have BIG GAME TAXIDERMY: the author owns and operates Wild Art Taxidermy in North Carolina and learned from his father: the expertise doesn't get more detailed than this!

Hunting Tough Bucks
Gary Clancy
17503 Indian Head Hwy Suite 200, Accokeet, MD 20607-2501
0883173093 $24.95

Any buck hunter interested in bagging the impossible must consult HUNTING TOUGH BUCKS. It provides a satisfying blend of natural history insights geared to hunters, from understanding the pre-rut from locating early season whitetail and taking the ‘lull' out of October. HUNTING TOUGH BUCKS comes from a hunter author who has perfected techniques and secrets to finding and taking the tough buck: all kinds of success tactics are reviewed with an eye to better understanding feeding patterns, weather, and changing behaviors. An outstanding pick for any hunter well beyond the beginner level.

The California Shelf

Sideways in Neverland
William Etling
iUniverse Inc.
2021 Pike Lake Rd. #200, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595361900 $21.95

SIDEWAYS IN NEVERLAND: LIFE IN THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CA depicts life and culture in a part of California which typically receives rare mention – the Santa Ynez Valley, midway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. In a series of essays Etling describes life as an extra on the ‘Sideways' set, gathering up his bi-weekly editorial treatments of life in the Valley, blending memoir with travel and social insights. A lively series of personal and social vignettes evolves in a fun survey of stars and casual people alike.

Soul of the Grid
Arthur J. O'Donnell
iUniverse Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Rd. #100, Lincoln NE 68512
0595293484 $21.95

California residents are well aware of headlines which reference the California Independent System Operator when speaking of energy grid issues, but SOUL OF THE GRID: A CULTURAL BIOGRAPHY OF HE CALIFORNIA INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATOR is absolutely essential for understanding these news headline references. It probes the creation of California's power market, why the ISO was developed, and what happened during the power crisis of 200-2001. Chapters chart politics, California's electricity marketplace, key figures on all sides, and are essential for any educated discussion of the topic, making SOUL OF THE GRID a top pick for any California library, whether college-level or public lending institution.

Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
$19.99 Each

Don't expect weighty historical background in these ‘Images of America' series additions: they are lovely photo-based local coverages of California gleaned from both archives and personal collections and the images are the basis for discussions of changes and events. OLD SACRAMENTO AND DOWNTOWN (0738531235) surveys the evolution of Sacramento using a team approach to culling vintage photos from the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center and the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation. This mix of resources provides an excellent survey of the city's many changes and influences. The Bolinas Museum and the Stinson Beach Historical Society's BOLINAS AND STINSON BEACH (0738528951) deserves ongoing recommendation as an excellent overview of two small nearby towns and the body of water which both separates and links them. It's an isolated, lesser-known part of West Marin which rarely receives its own attention, making this a fine treasure for any who know the town. Bunny Gillespie's DALY CITY (07385328676) tells of a suburb of San Francisco which was built along the road which connected all the Spanish Missions in California, and today houses its own industrial and residential strengths. While it's always been cosmopolitan, it's also often been seen only in light of being a poor relation to San Francisco's glitter, so a book on its own from the official historian for the city is a welcome coverage. Philip Pezzaglia's RIO VISTA (0738530700) surveys a small town with a huge wharf which once welcomed steamers moving between Sacramento and San Francisco. While this era is long gone and changes have diminished the wharf's importance in Rio Vista's growth, today it's a notable agricultural community that continues to grow. Lorri Ungaretti's SAN FRANCISCO'S SUNSET DISTRICT (0738528625) also deserves repeated mention for its outstanding gathering of vintage photos compiled by a Sunset historian and tour guide. Current residents may recognize little of the old Sunset look as featured in these vintage photos, which provide an exciting history of the neighborhood in its early days. Jacqueline Proctor's SAN FRANCISCO'S WEST OF TWIN PEAKS (0738546607) tells of a district which receives much tourist acclaim, but relatively little background history. It began as part of Rancho San Miguel and was one of the last city districts to be developed: chapters discuss architectural, social and historical influence and gather vintage photos not just from historical archives, but from many a personal collection of longtime residents. Greg Gaar and Ryder W. Miller's SAN FRANCISCO: A NATURAL HISTORY (0738529877) comes from two San Francisco historians dedicated to showing the original nature and natural areas which made up the city's geography. Since most city histories, if not all, exclusively cover urban development, it's a pleasure to see a different approach which considers the city's evolving natural history and landscape changes – including ponds and parklands filled in decades ago. All are essential adds to any comprehensive California history collection.

The Language Studies Shelf

Webster's New Explorer Spanish-English Dictionary
Federal Street Press
25-13 Old King's Highway N. #277, Darien, CT 06820
1596950005 $8.98

It's amazing to note the new edition of Webster's Spanish-English dictionary sells for only $8.98 – for a hardcover packing some 80,000 entries and 100,000 translations into over 700 pages. It's been revised and expanded for 2006 and provides the latest coverage of current core American English and Latin-American Spanish: whether you're an individual seeking a home desk reference or a library seeking an affordable reference, it's a winner.

The Literary Shelf

The Pleasure of Poetry
Nicholas H. Nelson
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275991377 $49.95

The Pleasure of Poetry: Reading and Enjoying British Poetry from Donne to Burns reviews the major works and poets of 17th and 18th century British history, exploring themes, styles, imagery and meaning and pairing analysis with biographical references for added understanding. While college-level students will be the most likely readers, don't let the scholarly tone deter you if you're a non-college adult seeking better understanding of British poetry: THE PLEASURE OF POETRY explains it all most clearly and is for any who would receive either an introduction or a refresher course under one cover.

Blood Kindred
W.J. McCormack
Pimlico/Trafalgar Square
N. Pomfret, VT 05053
0712665145 $22.95

Blood Kindred: W.B. Yeats: the Life, the Death, the Politics is a pick for any college-level collection strong in literature and literary history. W.B. Yates publicly commended Nazi legislation before his death in France: this study of Yeats' life and politics provides many family and social insights and is a ‘must' for students of the poet who are looking beyond his works to understand his life and times.

Between the Lines
Joseph Parisi and Stephen Young, Eds
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636566 $35.00

In 2002 The Chicago Tribune broke the news that Poetry Magazine had received more than a mullion from an amateur poet and heiress: the story of this gift and its impact is detailed in BETWEEN THE LINES: A HISTORY OF POETRY IN LETTERS, 1962-2002. This follows the editors' prior DEAD EDITOR in 2002, which detailed Poetry's first fifty years through its correspondence with its poets: BETWEEN THE LINES continues the story through one of the biggest impacts in the genre's history, and makes for fascinating reading.

The Business Shelf

The Crafts Business Answer Book
Barbara Brabec
M. Evans/Taylor Trade
4501 Forbes Blvd. #200, Lanham, MD 20706
1590771087 $16.95

The first edition of The Crafts Business Answer Book: Starting, Marketing, and Managing a Homebased Art, Crafts or Design Business received much acclaim, and its updated, revised edition here continues to provide crafty workers an invaluable key to business success. An A-Z reference format makes it easy to look up key concepts, while over 150 web links and feature articles accompany boxed quick tips for success. An excellent reference with many new pointers.

The Geek Gap
Bill Pfleging & Minda Zetlin
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591024153 $25.00

THE GEEK GAP: WHY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS DON'T UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER AND WHY THEY NEED EACH OTHER TO SURVIVE outlines the existing and growing gap between the two groups, who often have their own technical language within each group to strengthen understanding within – and division outside the group. Bill Pfeging is a computer and web consultant with co-author Minda Zetlin a veteran business writer: the two explore this gap, how it adversely affects businesses, and how to overcome it, with tips aimed at both geeks and ‘suits' to help each group understand the other. A ‘must' for improving business communication skills.

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?
Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg
Nelson Business
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
0785218971 $19.00 1-800-251-4000

The initial premise here is that customers have always behaved more like cats than Pavlov's dogs – and emerging media has undermined mass marketing efforts by using the wrong models. Return the opportunity where it belongs with WAITING FOR YOUR CAT TO BARK?, a guide which introduces the idea of ‘Persuasian Architecture' as a model for retooling marketing approaches. This allows businesses to measure and optimize the return on investment, and to better anticipate and understand customer reactions and predicting. Any in sales or marketing should consider the many tips herein.

Baby Boomer's Guide to The New Work Place
Richard Fein
Taylor Trade Publishing
4501 Forbes Blvd. #200, Lanham, MD 20706
158979267X $14.95

A recent survey shows 7 out of 10 workers 45 years or older plan to working during their retirement years, assuring that by 2010, over half American workers will be older than 55. This will radically change the workplace: and THE NEW WORKPLACE charts these predicted changes, from how to work past retirement years to understanding the many work options baby boomers will enjoy.

Snakes in Suits
Paul Babiak, Ph.D. & Robert Hare, Ph.D.
10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022-5299
0060837721 $26.95

SNAKES IN SUITS: WHEN PSYCHOPATHS GO TO WORK is creepy: it tells of psychopaths in the workplace and how to spot them by their destructive behavior patterns. An industrial-organizational psychologist's expertise lends authority to this survey which comes from two authors who are experts on the psychopathic personality. Their focus on how such individuals operate in the corporate world shows that the flexible, more open environment actually attracts psychopaths – and tells how they manipulate the hiring process, how they may be identified, and how they function. A ‘must' for any in HR – and for employees.

Atlantic Publishing
1210 SW 23rd Place, Ocala, FL 34474

Mary B. Holihan's 365 ANSWERS ABOUT HUMAN RESOURCES FOR THE SMALL BUSINESSOWNER (0910627789 $21.95) offers a fine guide to a subject usually covered primarily for larger businesses with complete HR departments. Here the small business owner finally gets the professional info larger companies enjoy, from understanding equal employment opportunity law and the ADA act to drug testing, overtime, payroll and severance issues and more. A ‘must' for any small business with more than an employee or two. Shri L. Henkel's 365 FOOLISH MISTAKES SMART MANAGERS MAKE EVERY DAY AND HOW TO AVOID THEM (0910627754, $21.95) is also a ‘must' for any manager: it offers new managers keys to success by covering all the basics of what makes or breaks a manager, from gaining cooperation and fostering enthusiasm to handling unacceptable performances and stress. Both are top recommendations offering practical information based on real-life experiences. Teri B. Clark and Matthew Stewart Tabacchi's PRIVATE MORTGAGE INVESTING: HOW TO EARN 12% OR MORE ON YOUR SAVINGS, INVESTMENTS, IRA ACCOUNTS NAD PERSONAL EQUITY packs in tips and advice from a host of experts who have achieved success in the world of private mortgage investing. Case studies of fellow investors follow ideas, strategies, and investment tips and provide details which define and fine-tune the concept of investing in private mortgage situations. Nora Peterson's RETIRE RICH WITH YOUR SELF-DIRECTED IRA (091062772X, $21.95) covers the basics of the ‘self-directed IRA', which doesn't depend on brokers, bankers or financial advisors for success. Learn how to take advantage of new IRS regulations to start, maintain and build up a self-directed IRA, and manage one so it keeps growing and avoids common problems with RETIRE RICH in hand.

Organized to Be Your Best!
Susan Silver
Box 491002, Los Angeles, CA 90049
0944708773 $27.95

This new 5th edition is a ‘must' for any who would gain control over their work life and become more organized: it offers tips on everything from managing email and phone calls to working more effectively with others either in person or online. ORGANIZED TO BE YOUR BEST! TRANSFORMING HOW YOU WORK has enjoyed much acclaim for its easy tips and effective techniques, and will deserve a place in any business library holding.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers
235 Montgomery St. Suite 650, San Francisco CA 94104-2916

Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick's VALUES-DRIVEN BUSINESS: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, MAKE MONEY, AND HAVE FUN (1576753581, $12.00) illustrates that a business can be both successful and socially responsible. Business owners receive a set of self-assessment and change tools which pair case histories of business policies which lend to ethical transactions with tips on how to make new approaches profitable. The co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and the president of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities have created a compelling survey which shows both can be accomplished – and provides examples from all kinds of businesses to support the change. Kathryn McKee, SPHR and Liz Guthridge's LEADING PEOPLE THROUGH DISASTERS: AN ACTION GUIDE (1576754200, $19.95) tells how a business can respond to both human and business needs during a disaster, whether it be workplace violence, bombings, or the sudden death of a company's leader. Chapters show how to keep people calm and safe, how to make decisions that deal with both immediate and future needs, and how to attend to organizational preservation in the process of handling a catastrophe. Advance planning always helps – and LEADING PEOPLE THROUGH DISASTERS provides managers and owners alike with plenty of tips. Kim Cameron and Marc Lavine's MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE: LEADING EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE: THE ROCKY FLATS STORY (`576753905, $24.95) contains business lessons learned from the most contaminated nuclear plant in the country. Estimates projected cleaning up and closing the facility would take 70 years and $36 billion: it was finished in ten years and 30 billion under budget. How? Specific leadership roles, strategies, and key enablers throughout the organization achieved something akin to a miracle, and this case study offers ten leadership principles derived from the Rocky Flats turnaround.

The Innovation Killer
Cynthia Barton Rabe
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814408834 $26.00

Companies rely on established procedures and knowledge to streamline and drive business – but what happens to innovation in the process? Often it's squashed, taking with it flexibility and quick responses, risk taking, and acceptance of change. THE INNOVATION KILLER: HOW WHAT WE KNOW LIMITS WHAT WE CAN IMAGINE-AND WHAT SMART COMPANIES ARE DOING ABOUT IT promotes the concept of the ‘zero-gravity thinker' not weighed down by group processes or expert opinions. Chapters provide case histories to illustrate the hidden costs of conducting business in manners too routine to encourage innovation.

10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022-5299

Barbara Stanny's OVERCOMING UNDEREARNING: A FIVE-STEP PLAN TO A RICHER LIFE (0060818611 $24.95) defines ‘underearners' as those who earn less than their potential – then offers a blend of workbook and study guide to overcome this. Case histories form men and women who increased income and made more free time in the process supplement inspirational stories that emphasize the inner psychology of achievement resistance and how to overcome it. David Cottrell's MONDAY MORNING MENTORING: TEN LESSONS TO GUIDE YOU UP THE LADDER (0060888229, $19.95) is for any who have longed for a fulfilling career and a mentor who can help them get there. David Cottrell packs his business savvy into a guide which presents a series of sessions with one ‘Jeff', who is in a slump. ‘Jeff' and his problems illustrate common work issues and solutions and offer plenty of insights based on real-world events.

Harry Paul & Ross Reck, Ph.D.
Two Penn Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10121-2298
0071465006 $19.95 1-877-833-5524

REVVED! AN INCREDIBLE WAY TO REV UP YOUR WORKPLACE AND ACHIEVE AMAZING RESULTS proposes a different kind of business model from most modern ones: that which returns investment to caring for people, and tells of manager Katie Adams who struggles to form an enthusiastic team at work. How do you inspire people to work harder and more productively? By showing you care about them – and REVVED tells how.

Brand Rejuvenation
Jean-Marc Lehu
Kogan Page
525 S. 4th St. #241, Philadelphia, PA 19147
0749445661 $39.95

BRAND REJUVENATION: HOW TO PROTECT, STRENGTHEN AND ADD VALUE TO YOUR BRAND TO PREVENT IT FROM AGEING considers challenges faced by existing brands, surveying the psychological and facts of brand stagnation and explaining how they can be re-energized to gain new marketplace interest. From how to uncover the early signs of aging to working out a successful recovery strategy, BRAND REJUVENATION is filled with practical tips.

Superior Customer Service
Dan W. Blacharski
Atlantic Publishing Co
1405 SW 6th Ave., Ocala, FL 34474-7014
0910627525 $19.95

With so many stores retail and online selling the same products at nearly the same prices, what makes consumers decide to shop at one place over another? SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE is the answer – and a book that tells both brick n mortar and online stores how to win over the competition. Chapters detail innovations, tips and tricks which are easy to implement and that drive customer attention and interest.

The Money/Finance Shelf

7 Deadly Sins of Investing
Maury Fertig
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814408745 $23.00

SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF INVESTING: HOW TO CONQUER YOUR WORST IMPULSES AND SAVE YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE probes the psychology of investors and investments, sharing the knowledge Maury Fertig has gained from a long career at Salomon Brothers to help save investors from their self-defeating impulses. Each investment decision holds possible dangers: the author analyzes common problems and paths and offers up solutions based on psychological insights.

The Shopping Bags
Anna Wallner & Kristina Matisic
New American Library
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
0451218582 $14.00

If you're a consumer who often winds up feeling ripped off in the shopping world, you must turn to THE SHOPPING BAGS: TIPS, TRICKS AND INSIDE INFORMATION TO MAKE YOU A SAVVY SHOPPER for insights. It offers advice on shopping for food, home, or entertainment alike, from power tools to dryers, and adds flair and fun to the process. Explanations of what to look for, desirable and undesirable features, and common problems in product lines make for invaluable references.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Overcoming Barriers To Employment
Ron & Caryl Krannich, Ph.D.s
Impact Publications
9104-N Manassas Dr., Manassas Park, VA 20111-5211
1570232539 $17.95

OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT: 127 GREAT TIPS FOR PUTTING RED FLAGS BEHIND YOU defines over a hundred common barriers to finding a job – then tells how to overcome each one. Millions of seekers face such barriers but few are so exactly categorized or easily analyzed as in this, a survey of how poor choices and mistakes affect a workplace search.

The Woodworking Shelf

Making Shoji
Toshio Odate
Linden Publishing
2006 S. Mary St., Fresno, CA 93721
0941936473 $21.95

Shoji are Japanese sliding doors and screens and because of their complex-looking details, many average woodworkers may think their construction beyond the average skills level: not so, maintains Japanese woodworking master Toshio Odate, and his MAKING SHOJI tells how, providing step-by-step construction tips from design specs to verifying levels and measurements. The black and white photos of Odate at work illustrate each step and make it hard to fail!

Wooden Garden Structures
Mark Ekin
Crowood Press/Trafalgar Square
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
1861268378 $39.95 1-800-423-4525

If you're handy with tools and construction and have a garden, Wooden Garden Structures is a recommended pick: it provides homeowner/builders with a range of projects, from sheds and summer houses to play houses, fencing, gates, gazebos, planters and more, using photos and diagrams to explain and provide exact methods and patterns for successful duplication. Everything needed for a successful result is included here.

50 Shop-Made Jigs & Fixtures
Danny Proulx
Popular Woodworking
4700 E. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236
1558707522 $24.99

Make your woodshop safer and more effective by producing jigs and fixtures to work with in 50 SHOP-MADE JIGS & FIXTURES: JIGS AND FIXTURES FOR EVERY TOOL IN YOUR SHOP. All featured jigs can be easily made by even novice woodworkers, and can help with everything from sawing to routing. Advanced jigs even include a band saw fence that adjusts for blade drift, and a adjustable miter-gauge fence. Color photos accompany every step of the process, so you can't go wrong.

The Art Shelf

Gunnar Asplund
Peter Blundell Jones
Phaidon Press
180 Varick St., 14th Flr, New York NY 10014
0714839760 $75.00

College-level art library holdings will find much to recommend with GUNNAR ASPLUND, the only detailed monograph in print on the Swedish architect. Given that Asplund is hardly an unknown name in the world of architecture, it's amazing to note that this is the only such reference in print, providing a scholarly survey of all of his works both popular and lesser-known, and packing in new color photos along with sketches and drawings. Perhaps it's because Asplund's buildings don't neatly fit into architectural categories, and thus have missed extensive survey in genre-specific considerations – but they certainly deserve the depth GUNNAR ASPLUND provides, here.

From the South Seas
Christraud Geary, Editor
MFA Publications
465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115-5597
0878466975 $50.00

Christraud Geary is curator of African and Oceanian art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: FROM THE SOUTH SEAS: OCEANIC ART IN THE TEEL COLLECTION provides a fine sampling of some 80 works and adds the technical references and analysis needed to understand their importance. Full-page color photos of relics and works of art are accompanied by the cultural and artistic notes needed for all to enjoy their relevance and meaning, making for an outstanding, discriminating survey.

Luminist Horizons
Katherine E. Manthorne & Mark D. Mitchell
George Braziller Publishers
171 Madison Ave., New York NY 10016
1887149163 $29.95

LUMINIST HORIZONS: THE ART AND COLLECTION OF JAMES A. SUYDAM offers a catalog and history of the works of an American landscapist known for his luminist paintings. Even though his name has been long linked with the movement, his works have, surprisingly, not received extensive scholarly attention until now: LUMINIST HORIZONS not only packs in 200 reproductions, but contrasts his works with contemporaries and surveys American landscape painting of the times. A top pick.

Guatemala's Masks & Drama
Jim Pieper
Pieper & Association
19823 Hamilton Ave., Torrance, CA 90502
0826341438 $45.00

Any interested in primitive masks in general and Guatemala's arts in particular must have Guatemala's Masks & Drama: gorgeous full-page full color displays of masks both on wall and in use accompany a detailed discussion of the development of masking, dance and drama in Guatemala. From unique mask and costume rental organizations to folk deities, ritual masks, figures, and celebrations, Guatemala's Masks & Drama brings the reader right into the culture and traditions of the country. Superb!

Re-Creating the Word
Barbara L. Moulard & Bill Schenck
Schenck Southwest Publishing
268 Los Pinos Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87507
0971915008 $65.00

Prehistoric ceramic art created by anonymous artists of the Southwest rarely receives its own focus and usually receives passing mention in larger studies of Southwest archaeology or art, so it's satisfying to see a study devoted entirely to the topic in RE-CREATING THE WORD: PAINTED CERAMICS OF THE PREHISTORIC SOUTHWEST. Full-page color photo displays of surviving ceramics accompany commentary by the author, a freelance exhibit curator and adjunct faculty associate of the Art Department at Arizona State University. Specialty college-level art holdings will find it indispensable.

Ironwork Today Inside & Out
Dona Z. Meilach
Schiffer Books
4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA 19310
0764323903 $49.95

The artist-blacksmith's world comes to life in a survey of those who shape iron into lovely works of art as well as useful objects. No longer is the blacksmith regulated to horseshoes and repairs: today they produce architectural embellishments and public art and here over four hundred color photos illustrate such objects, which appear both in public and in the home. A lovely set of inspirational ironwork pieces makes for a winning survey.

American Artists, Jewish Images
Matthew Baigell
Syracuse University Press
1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210
0815630670 $45.00

Fifteen major American artists are detailed in a survey of the contribution of Jewish artists to modern American art in American Artists, Jewish Images. All were born over a fifty-year period, so they represent different generations: Baigell makes important points linking their Jewish heritage to their creations, injecting a cultural, religious and social note to his artistic criticisms. His survey of their shared roots issues as reflected in their arts makes for involving reading.

Creating Sketchbooks For Embroiderers and Textile Artists
Kay Greenlees
Batsford/Sterling, dist.
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016-8810
071348957X $24.95

Sketchbooks are typically mentioned as part of a painter or sketcher's art, but they're also an invaluable tool for modern textile and embroidery artists – and finally here's a book for this audience. Leading textile artists contribute their works and techniques to a unique coverage which follows first sketches to finished works, showing textile artists how to develop ideas, record observations, use sketchbooks for rough drafts and technique experiments, and more. Creating Sketchbooks For Embroiderers and Textile Artists is a ‘must' for any serious about their craft.

North Light Books
4700 E. Galbraith, Cincinnati, OH 45236

Traci Bautista's COLLAGE UNLEASHED (1581808453, $22.99) is for newcomers who haven't done collage since childhood: it covers a range of new opportunities in the medium which move beyond paper into transparencies, stitches and embroidery, and using new materials. Step-by-step photos accompany instruction on how to put together memorable wall art, journals and more. Nita Leland's THE NEW CREATIVE ARTIST (1581807562, $29.99) encourages creativity through playfulness and flexibility, providing an updated, expanded version of the prior best-seller THE CREATIVE ARTIST and packing in over a hundred creativity-stimulating exercises. Learn how to identify and transform ‘dull' subjects, how to consider new media methods, and how to handle offbeat abstraction through a stimulating, lively book packed with color examples and encouragement. Lee Hammond's ACRYLIC PAINTING WITH LEE HAMMOND (1581807090, $19.99) begins with the basics of choosing brushes and paints but quickly moves to easy methods for working on different surfaces for different effects. His visual explorations of color and texture blend step-by-step painting demonstrations with clear comments any beginner will relish. Marsha A. Polk's CROCHET SQUARED: 30 EASY CROCHET PROJECTS MADE FROM SIMPLE SQUARES (158180833X, $19.99) may bring to mind the color ‘granny squares' of the past – but the designs here are anything but old. Both beginners and experienced crocheters will delight in over thirty unique crochet projects, along with tips and resources ranging from methods to web site resources. Inspirational photos of completed projects abound. All are exceptional picks.

Cherish: Scrapbook Layouts Made Beautifully Simple
Jeanette R. Lynton
Gibbs Smith
Box 667, Layton, UT 74041
1423601548 $29.95

Plenty of books have been written on how to produce a fine scrapbook, but CHERISH is perfect for the newcomer, pairing fifty sample two-page layouts with step-by-step basics, photo suggestions, cutting guides, and journaling techniques. If you've ever seen a gorgeous professional-looking scrapbook but found most guides on the topic too confusing, CHERISH is the perfect introduction for you.

The Photography Shelf

Digital Wedding Photography
Glen Johnson
Wiley Publishing
111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030
0471790176 $29.99

What elements differentiate wedding photography from all other types? It's the ability to capture emotion that makes or breaks the wedding photographer – that and etiquette and professional touches in presenting the shot – and these are what DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: CAPTURING BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS emphasizes. Color photo examples throughout compliments more technical directions on lens choices, settings, composition and art. A top pick for aspiring wedding photographer and newcomers alike.

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th St., 4th Flr, New York NY 10001

ART PHOTOGRAPHY NOW (1597110264, $35.00) edited by Susan Bright appears in paper for the first time, offering the best-selling volume on modern photography to a wide audience. Critics have acclaimed the hardcover version and it's easy to see why: Bright is a former curator of the National Portrait Gallery in London and lends her expertise to organize seven sections by theme, each chapter exploring styles, methods and different photographer achievements. Section introductions offer background history into each genre and theme and provide excellent insights. Jonas Bendiksen's SATELLITES: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE FRINGES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION (157911023X, $35.00) provides specialty art and photography collections with photos and text by the author, who spent seven years journeying through the fringe countries of the former Soviet Union. Six such areas from Central Asia to Eastern Europe are presented in a series of full-page, full-color images which will lend as well to a travel or history collection as to an art or photography holding. Both are top picks.

Digital Photography: Missing Manual
Chris Grover & Barbara Brundage
Pogue Press/O'Reilly
1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472
0596008414 $29.99

Any newcomer to digital photography who longs to get the most from a camera will find DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: THE MISSING MANUAL goes beyond brand-named camera books to cover the extent of digital possibilities. Camera tricks from pros supplement tips on editing photos on the PC, picture sharing, and much more, taking full advantage of the digital format's versatility and potentials. Plenty of books have been written on the topic, but DIGTAL PHOTOGRAPHY: THE MISSING MANUAL is the most comprehensive.

The Political Science Shelf

Diplomacy Lessons
John Brady Kiesling
Potomac Books Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Dr., Dulles, VA 20166-2012
1597970174 $28.95

Author John Brady Kiesling was a political counselor of the U.S. embassy in Athens, but resigned in 2003 to protest the Bush administration's forthcoming invasion of Iraq. DIPLOMACY LESSONS: REALISM FOR AN UNLOVED SUPERPOWER surveys the methods and processes of American diplomacy overseas, providing background history, and surveys of changing strategies, ideas on how it works and sometimes – especially lately – fails. Any who would understand modern world issues and interactions must have DIPLOMACY LESSONS.

From the Terrorists' Point of View
Fathali M. Moghaddam
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275988252 $39.95

While college-level students of world history and terrorism-related issues will be the most likely audience for the scholarly analysis in From the Terrorists' Point of View: What They Experience and Why They Come to Destroy, it'd be a shame not to recommend this outside the college-level collection for general interest readers. It argues that terrorism arises from an identity crisis in Islamic societies, and uses the author's own experiences of life in that world, along with his psychological degree, to analyze the psyche and motivations of the terrorist mind. Think this holds only implications for understanding individuals? Think again: chapters draw essential links between this understanding the U.S. strategies for abolishing terrorism – strategies which may be wrong given Moghaddam's insights.

Endless War?
David Keen
Pluto Press
c/o University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Avenue South, Suite 290, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520
0745324177 $25.95

Was the Iraq war really based on efforts to confront terrorism, or were there underlying psychological, economic or social goals? ENDLESS WAR? HIDDEN FUNCTIONS OF THE ‘WAR ON TERROR' provides a very intriguing analysis exploring how winning war is rarely the end in itself. David Keen's analysis uses his on-ground investigation of wars in Sudan, Sierra Leone and Iraq as well as other conflicts to create a new conflict analysis framework that takes these underlying interests into account, and as such creates an involving study perfect for college-level students of military history.

Running the World
David Rothkopf
Public Affairs
250 W 57th St. Suite 1321, New York NY 10107
1586484230 $17.50

Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power is required reading for any who want to understand who makes decisions about America's peace and war. It's now in paperback to provide insights on the Security Council's organization, structure, and decision-making – and it offers plenty of inside details on personalities and power plays, too.

The True Adventure Shelf

Alive on the Andrea Doria!
Pierette Domenica Simpson
Purple Mountain Press
Box 309, Fleishmanns, NY 12430-0309
193009874X $18.00

In 1956 two ocean liners collided off the coast of Nantucket – today author Pierette Domenica Simpson is the first Andrea Doria survivor to publish her first-hand account of the calamity. Her eyewitness account includes survival accounts by fellow passengers, spicing a far-reaching journal of tragedy and struggle that will interest a wide audience.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Understanding the Hebrew Bible
Elliott Tabin
930 Newark Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07306
0881258717 $18.95

UNDERSTANDING THE HEBREW BIBLE: A READER'S GUIDE offers a simple introduction to the Bible for lay audiences, blending different themes and approaches, from legal to social and spiritual to historical. Rabin uses modern narratives and insights to bring the Bible alive to modern audiences, and while his approach is scholarly, it's also very inviting. A recommended study guide.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Bye-Bye, Black Sheep
Ayelet Waldman
Berkley Prime Crime
375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014
0425210189 $22.95

Ayelet Waldman's latest addition to her ‘Mommy-Track Mysteries' requires no prior familiarity to prove satisfyingly vivid. Partners Juliet and Al are finally seeing their fledgling detective agency soaring with business; but even though they're seeing many types of cases, Heavenly has come to Juliet with something new: a dead sister and uncaring police – something far different from the usual insurance sleuth work. Heavenly is determined to solve the mystery, and brings Juliet and Al into danger in this exploration of a California sexual underground. Excellent characterization and swift action make for an involving leisure choice.

Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave. #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85252

Judy Clemens' TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE (1590582985, $24.95) provides a Stella Crown mystery set in Pennsylvania, where a holiday trip to her tattoo artist leaves him dead. It's not only a case sparked by a friend's death, but by her own failure to protect him, and by her own implication in his death, which leads Stella on a journey to the world of tattooing mysteries. Strong characterization and unusual settings abound. Clea Simon's CATTERY ROW (159058306x, $24.95) presents a Theda Krakow mystery telling of a freelance newspaper columnist who receives the assignment of reporting on a Boston musician recluse. Her cat shelter meantime is facing challenges when a cat breeder is implicated in a series of thefts of show cats, so Theda faces two challenges in a title which is a special recommendation for Boston fans, as it includes many Cambridge references and a sense of local atmosphere within the context of its mystery development. Kerry Greenwood's FLYING TOO HIGH (1590582373, $24.95) returns Phryne Fisher to the forefront in another mystery adventure blend. Here a case where a hot-headed son and father clash at a flying school results in murder – and a child's kidnapping. Phyrne's investigation will get her into the heart of the flying community and pit her against some dangerous adversaries – with the help of some new friends. The blended characters add much excitement.

The Fiction Shelf

The Unyielding Clamor of the Night
Neil Bissoondath
Bloomsbury USA
175 – 5th Ave. Suite 300, New York NY 10010
1596911972 $24.95

Arun has left his privileged home on a Southeast Asian island to teach in an area where a civil war is tearing apart daily village life. Motivated by idealism, Arun adopts a life of poverty and dedicates himself to improving the lives of others, but even his optimism and hopes are shattered by problems trying to educate the village's children, and when the war hits too close to home he must confront long-buried secrets and assess his life anew. A stark, evocative novel of goodwill and war evolves.

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
Marta Acosta
Pocket Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1416520384 $13.00

Milagro is a Latina Ivy League graduate who can't seem to find a man she really loves – nor a life she really wishes to live. When she's bitten by an attractive man, falls ill, and recovers at his family's estate, she discovers a dangerous truth: that vampires really do exist, and that her affections and interests may lie at the cutting edge of their world. Action, romance and a healthy dose of humor tinged with political insight make HAPPY HOUR AT CASA DRACULA a winning read.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 1-707-795-4629

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