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California Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 10 October 2015 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Education Shelf
Crafts Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Computer Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Botany Shelf Science Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Technology Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Language Studies Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf International Studies Shelf Sports Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Music Shelf California Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

The Mr. Porter Paperback
Jodie Harrison
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
97805002916528, $29.95,

The Mr. Porter Paperback: The Manual for a Stylish Life, Volume Three presents the third in a series of discussions about men's style taken from the men's fashion website, and continues to expand its focus on the modern man who seeks to develop style based on past, present and future trends. It's satisfyingly unusual to see a book that focuses on male grooming, style and etiquette alike: The Mr. Porter Paperback pairs interviews with a range of stylish personalities with new ideas as modern as "How to Undress in Front of a Lady" and "How to Carry Off Pyjamas". With its earthy, specific discussions that go beyond the fashion world and into the social considerations of what make men attractive overall, this is a pick for arts, social science, and general-interest leisure readers alike.

The Photography Shelf

Boudoir Photography Cookbook
Jennifer Rozenbaum
Amherst Media Inc.
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176
9781608958795, $34.95,

Boudoir Photography Cookbook: 60 Recipes for Tempting Photos tells how to produce sexier and more appealing boudoir shots and comes from an author who uses 'recipes' to pose, stage, and design successful shoots. Diagrams, 'ingredients' lists, and posing examples are accompanied by color photos examples throughout and address a range of boudoir photography concerns, from lighting to composition; but the strongest part of this presentation lies in imparting the style and fashion approaches to boudoir that lend to exceptional results. Chapters follow the options and decision-making process as they explore the finer details of crafting creative, memorable shots in a top recommendation for photographers who already have the basics down, but little experience in boudoir shoots.

Photography Beyond Auto
Chris Gatcum
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781781572665, $14.99,

Photography Beyond Auto: Switch off Auto Mode and Take Better, More Original Photos is for the relative newcomer to the camera who wants to go beyond a camera's auto mode and delve into other settings. Where other books focus on all the details, this narrows its focus to exposure, focus and color, and provides tips on using these to best advantage. From getting good results from flash to metering and bracketing an image, numerous color shots - many full-page - pack a treatment that is specific and simple enough to not stymie the beginner who might find the usual 'covers everything' approach daunting.

The Education Shelf

The Pedagogy of Real Talk
Paul Hernandez
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781483377117, $34.95,

The Pedagogy of Real Talk: Engaging, Teaching, and Connecting with Students at Risk helps readers understand the Real Talk approach and teaches techniques for implementing Real Talk with any group of learners. Case studies, examples, and analysis of how to be successful with students at risk discuss teaching challenges involved in implementing the Real Talk concept, and pepper case histories with theory to help teachers understand how this works in a classroom setting. The result is a powerful discussion highly recommended for any working with students in diverse classrooms: a scholarly and practical survey that blends skill sets with insights on how to better work with students.

Creating a Beautiful Mess
Ann Gadzikowski
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605543864, $15.95,

Creating a Beautiful Mess: Ten Essential Play Experiences for a Joyous Childhood will appeal to parents who want to connect childhood play with learning opportunities, and comes from an early childhood educator who describes ten universal play experiences all young children can enjoy and grow from. From what kinds of toys a child should be playing with to play periods, quality, concerns about computer or TV use, and fun family activities, chapters provide parents with a number of clear options for integrating play experiences with learning. The result is a survey highly recommended for any parent interested in applying early education proven concepts to the home learning environment.

Power Up
Diana Neebe and Jen Roberts
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310132, $24.00,

Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning provides secondary teachers with keys to better classroom organization, time management and the kinds of changes that will lead them to understand and operate more efficiently in the 1:1 environment. It addresses common problems of this environment, uses classroom examples paired with questions and suggestions, and discusses how an engaged 1:1 classroom operates; all using a framework contrasting traditional teaching methods with this different environment's requirements. The result gathers specific keys for success in a recommendation for any secondary-level teacher looking to enter and work in the 1:1 classroom.

The Crafts Shelf

New Ceramic Surface Design
Molly Hatch
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631590283, $29.99,

New Ceramic Surface Design: Learn to Inlay, Stamp, Stencil, Draw, and Paint on Clay covers a wide range of techniques and pairs good-quality, well-detailed photos and hand-drawn illustrations with a survey of applied crafts techniques that will be especially useful for any working in ceramics. Templates and stencils for all designs are included in the back of the book, while discussions of options in decorating clay surfaces cover a range of designs and new ideas. The step-by-step instructions pair well with the photos of polished results and lend to an excellent range of options that relative newcomers to surface design will find specific, requiring no prior knowledge of pottery art to prove successful.

Modern Chain Mail Jewelry
Marilyn Gardiner
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627001403, $21.99,

Modern Chain Mail Jewelry: Chic Projects to Complete Your Look comes from a jewelry designer who shares her approach to making chain mail jewelry, presenting weaves based on unusual characteristics and adding beads to round out the chain mail look. Easy step-by-step directions accompany photos of each part of the process, presenting necklace, bracelet and earring sets in each project to help explore different techniques and produce sets of jewelry based on each technique. 18 weaves provide a well-rounded wealth of design options in a recommendation for any who want to take the chain mail look to new levels.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Life Pulse Massage
Mantak Chia and Aisha Sieburth
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620553091, $18.95,

Life Pulse Message: Taoist Techniques for Enhanced Circulation and Detoxification is specific blend of Taoist and health considerations and provides a fully illustrated guide to Life Pulse Massage, a special technique that involves abdominal massage practices designed to improving blood flow to specific, targeted areas and promoting healing by detoxifying individual organs and body systems alike. By covering the 52 pulses of the whole body and advocating advanced massage practices for health improvement, this creates a powerful survey especially recommended for practicing massage technicians seeking to expand their work into health arenas.

The Book of Oberon
Daniel Harms, James R. Clark and Joseph H. Peterson
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738743349, $65.00,

The Book of Oberon: A Sourcebook of Elizabethan Magic is translated and annotated from the Folger Shakespeare Library's 16th century manuscript, and adds to any who would pursue the magical literature of Elizabethan times with a grimoire packed with magical insights and history. Included in the presentation are rituals and formulas for summoning spirits, original drawings, discussions of charms for various applications, and information on summonings, among other magical topics. Charts, rituals, and discussions of incantations and applications make for a wealth of information difficult to find elsewhere and highly recommended for any interested in magic in general and Elizabethan-era spells in particular.

The Essential Guide to Possession, Dispossession & Divine Relationships
Diana L. Paxson
Weiser Books
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635528, $21.95,

Perhaps it's no great surprise that an author known for her magical fantasy books would move into the realm of new age nonfiction with The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession & Divine Relationships: her interest in fantasy has long been based on her involvement in the Pagan community, where she's a priestess. Here her focus is on Trance Possession, providing a specific guide on how to enter and exit possessory trance for spirit work. From initial preparations to the history of possessions and how they work in various religions, this is a solid new age read recommended for any collection interested in practical applications of magic and spiritual ventures.

Remapping Your Mind
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhDwith Barbara Mainguy, MA
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781591432098, $18.00,

Remapping Your Mind: The Neuroscience of Self-Transformation Through Story provides a powerful guide to retelling family, cultural and person stories designed to change one's life, using the latest neuroscience research on memory and brain mapping to show how narrative therapy promotes changes. It analyzes how the brain is specialized in story-making and story-telling, it charts narrative therapy techniques that use such stories to spark changes in behavior patterns, relationships and reactions, and it is based on decades of experience in narrative therapy. From creating new characters and stories to reinforce new patterns and heal dysfunctional habits to understanding how such stories become the foundation of culture, this is a solid survey that outlines methods of success marrying new age thought with psychological insight, recommended for new age, psychology and self-help readers alike.

Bloodline of the Gods
Nick Redfern
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
12 Parish Drive Wayne, NJ 07470
9781601633651, $16.99,

Bloodline of the Gods: Unravel the Mystery of the Human Blood Type to Reveal the Aliens Among Us gathers questions certain to be controversial and approaches certain to be challenging as it provides new age readers used to UFO and alien discussions with a twist on the topic. Are large numbers of humans the product of an ancient alien civilization? Has our genetic makeup been created by alien experiments? Are those with RH negative blood type descendants of this great experiment? All primates on the planet have the Rh factor - except 10-15 percent of humans. This discussion asks 'why' - and posits some intriguing, mind-boggling possibilities in a recommendation for new age readers already well versed in alien literature who will here find a different twist on the subject.

The Computer Shelf

The Gourmet iOS Developer's Cookbook
Erica Sadun
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780134086224, $39.99, www.informit/com/aw

The Gourmet iOS Developer's Cookbook provides programming 'recipes' for projects of all sizes and comes from an iOS programming expert who presents tested code for a wide range of apps, from speech generation and bar-code recognition to automatic updates, animation projects, popovers, and much more. The focus isn't just upon formulas: it uses examples to consider the logic behind advanced iOS development choices, holding the potential to broaden the programmer's capabilities and understanding of iOS as a whole, and its applicability to common developer projects. The result is a highly recommended pick for any involved in iOS development projects who want more than just a cookbook.

Getting to Know ArcGIS, fourth edition
Michael Law and Amy Collins
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589483828, $84.99,

The fourth updated edition of Getting to Know ArcGIS represents an ongoing powerful introduction to the features and tools of ArcGIS for Desktop, and requires only the program to prove a powerful learning tool. It pairs exercises and applications with teachings that allow students to understand, use, and share maps. This edition features new map-sharing exercises and georeferencing, an introduction to ArcGIS Pro, and references that allow students to apply their newfound knowledge to real-world scenarios. Data for the exercises and a free 180-day trial of ArcGIS are available for download, further enhancing the ability to get to know the program before investing in it. Any college-level student involved in computer mapping projects who has yet to learn ArcGIS's strengths would do well to consult this introduction.

Cloud Computing Design Patterns
Thomas Erl,
Prentice Hall Professional
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133858563, $49.99,

Cloud Computing Design Patterns provides an in-depth guide to cloud architecture and design by a best-selling service technology author who considers solution design, cloud architecture, and more. From optimizing environments to serve multiple customers to establishing structures that automate cloud resources and provide storage, recovery, and best practices, this collection of patterns provides an in-depth guide to cloud architecture and design and addresses a wide range of topics key to using cloud processes effectively, and is a 'must' for any cloud technology student, architect, developer or manager.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Michael O'Neal Campbell
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781482223613, $129.95,

Vultures: Their Evolution, Ecology and Conservation is a college-level, scholarly text examining the latest scientific findings on the ecology, natural history and conservation biology of both New and Old World Vultures, and covers both their historic presence around the world and the history of extinct species. Vulture ecology and habits are affected by changes in the environment from pollution and the spread of urban areas to beneficial human activities such as urban waste and road kills. Vulture conservation is thus complex, affected by the changing habits of mankind as well as the vulture's inherent ability to adapt, and thus studies, relationships between vultures and their environments, and various other influences are all surveyed in a critical assembly of facts and the latest research. Any college-level collection strong in specific wildlife topics will find this a unique and solid reference acquisition.

The President's Salmon
Catherine Schmitt
Down East Books
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781608934089, $22.95,

The President's Salmon: Restoring the King of Fish and Its Home Waters charts the rise and fall of the Atlantic salmon, from its legendary reputation among anglers in 1912 to the tradition that the first salmon caught in the Penobscot River each spring was presented to the president of the Untied States. The last one was given to George H.W. Bush in 1992, a year that also counted only 2 percent of the river's usual populations due to commercial overfishing and environmental challenges. This history of the fish and its evolution in American waters is a 'must' for any collection strong in ecology in general and fish conservation in particular.

Feeding Wild Birds in America
Paul J. Baicich,
Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781623492113, $27.95,

Feeding Wild Birds in America comes from authors who explain how and why bird-feeding has become such a revered American occupation, and adopt a decade-by-decade approach to exploring the habit beginning in the late 19th century and following bird feeding history to modern times. Included in the discussions are technological and social developments, trends and discoveries that affected bird feeding, from the evolution of different seeds and feeders to better understanding of bird habits and habitats. Plenty of other birding books tell how to attract and feed the bird; but few follow the concurrent evolution of the discipline of ornithology, technology, education, and other convergent trends to analyze the foundations of how bird feeding has developed over the eras, making this a 'must' for any serious science and nature collection.

The Botany Shelf

Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi
Frank Dugan
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
9780890544655, $69.95

While the title of this book might make it seem to be a new age read, the fact that Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi comes from a doctor working with the USDA Agricultural Research Service is just one clue that the contents won't be of interest to new age readers particularly; but to the scientific community serious about tracing the evolution of plant lore and crops through agricultural and human history. Chapters blend social history with ethnobotany in a consideration of plant evolution, human customs surrounding plants, and scientific information gleaned from the latest research in archaeobotany and agricultural history, among other disciplines. This lends a scholarly yet accessible tone to a unique study that covers a wide range of topics, from herbal medicine and women's studies to folklore, botany, agriculture, and mythology. That fact that all this is imparted in a tone and format that invites non-scientists to browse and learn makes Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi a winning production recommended for a wider audience than one might expect from its topics.

The Science Shelf

Disasters in Field Research
Gillian H. Ice, Darna L. Dufour, Nancy J. Stevens
Rowman & Littlefield
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9780759118027, $30.00,

Disasters in Field Research: Preparing for and Coping With Unexpected Events belongs in anthropology and field research collections alike and comes form veteran field scientists who consider the many possibilities of field research disasters, from gear and illness to politics, mishaps, and disastrous experiences that sometimes held solutions and often challenged their problem-solving skills. Suggestions, strategies, and lessons learned in the field accompany descriptions of these many different kinds of disasters, resulting in a coverage that should be assigned reading for any student scientist who would embark on field research.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Nine Patch
Linda Baxter Lasco, Editor
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604601800, $24.95,

Nine Patch: New Quilts from an Old Favorite features 18 unique patchwork quilts that uses the design of the traditional Nine Patch as a basis for applying creative embellishments. Quilters here discuss their quilt-making aspirations and experiences with an eye to revealing how the contest and accompanying exhibit of the nine patch foundation lends to their expansion of their quilting boundaries. Newcomers to nine patch or quilting will find the remarkably diverse variations satisfying and inspirational; especially since the focus here is not so much on step-by-step projects but on extensive bibliographic reference to the quilting artists, their inspirations and methods, and how they produced winning (literally) results.

Knitted Wraps & Cover-Ups
Annie Modesitt
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811714440, $21.95,

Knitted Wraps & Cover-Ups is recommended for any needleworker who wants to create capes, shrugs, and similar wraps, and pairs colorful contemporary photos of finished products with patterns and step-by-step instructions to include finished measurements. Each pattern provides full instructions, schematics, and a skill level rating which allows both beginners and advanced users to enjoy the book and hone new skills at the same time.

The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques
Margaret Radcliffe
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612126623, $19.95,

The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques provides well over a hundred color patterns and guidelines to using multicolor yarns, stripes, entrelac and double knitting techniques, and different kinds of color and shadow combinations to create different textures and tones, and will especially appeal to readers who have elementary knitting basics well in hand and want to move on to more advanced design options. There's not one but many approaches to using different yarns and colors, and there are step-by-step directions illustrated at every turn with swatches of examples, making it easy for newcomers to various techniques to absorb these instructions. The result is a gathering of insights that, when taken as a whole, lend to understanding the intricacy of color manipulation and applications.

Complete Photo Guide to Knitting
Mary Scott Huff
Creative Publishing International
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781589238695, $24.99,

Complete Photo Guide to Knitting is directed to kids and families as well, but in reality anyone of any age can readily enjoy this 'Creative Kids' title, even though children are shown as the audience for getting started with knitting needles. The friendly approach includes a wide range of projects with boys and girls in mind, a review of basics for newcomers who may have never picked up a knitting needle, and a survey based on completing projects. Adults will find this an excellent starting point for sharing a hobby with the kids, making for a family-friendly guide for any interested in projects all can enjoy.

Knitbook The Basics and Beyond
Landauer Publishing
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726715, $16.95,

Knitbook The Basics and Beyond provides step-by-step instructions and practice projects to get readers up and running with knitting, covering the basics and including step-by-step photos that translates these basics into easy projects accessible to those new to knitting. This new edition features seven chapters on reading patterns, adding embellishments, and more, making for an excellent beginner's guide that's colorful, easy, and clear.

Handmade Christmas Cheer
Pat Wys
Martingale & Company
19021 Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604685879, $26.99,

Handmade Christmas Cheer: Festive Holiday Projects to Embroider, Applique, and Quilt arrives just in time for Christmas to provide a fine collection of holiday patterns. Some sixteen projects honor the season with placements, wreath quilts, tree skirts and other accessories for the home with projects including nearly eighty holiday embroidery designs and motifs. Patterns and full-page color examples of completed projects make for a fine collection.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Goodness and Light
Michael Leach,
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626091232, $16.00,

Goodness and Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas gathers spiritual insights and writings from Pope Francis, Marianne Williamson, Thomas Merton, Willa Cather and many more writers, thinkers, and spiritual leaders, and offers a reader for all days of the Advent and Christmas season. These inspirational Christian readings are intended for holiday reading and offer stories, musings, and more in an accessible, lively presentation that makes for compelling as well as enlightening reading. It arrives early enough for the holiday season to make for a fine gift as well as a perfect seasonal collection.

What Does it Mean to Be Catholic?
Jack Mulder Jr.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802872661, $20.00,

What Does it Mean to Be Catholic? offers an easily-accessible, chatty discussion of what it means to be Catholic, and considers the Catholic faith and its teachings about predestination, original sin, abortion and other major issues - discussions usually couched in nearly-indecipherable language. Intended to be a simple consideration of issues by one raised as a Protestant who converted to Catholicism later in life, this survey strives for (and achieves) a reasoned discussion based on the author's own inquiries and analysis, and is especially recommended for Catholic readers seeking a more accessible and easier discussion of the major challenges to faith than more scholarly surveys can provide.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

His Father's Eyes
David B. Coe
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476780627, $25.00,

His Father's Eyes presents Justis, a 'weremyste' who can handle great magic but becomes very dangerous each month when the full moon appears. He's a P.I. who can't afford this interruption, especially since he's facing down dangerous sorcerers who are wrecking havoc even as the full moon approaches. Ritual killings, murders, terrorism - all this holds no time for a werewolf transformation, and so Justis deflects much danger, great powers, and his own personal struggles in order to keep the world - and his own life - on course. An engrossing blend of love, mystery, supernatural elements and detective-style thriller blend in a story that is hard to put down and even includes a dash of humor for good measure.

The Dark Forest
Cixin Liu
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765377081, $25.99,

The Dark Forest provides a sequel to the Chinese science fiction best-seller The Three-Body Problem, is translated by Joel Martinsen, and continues the trilogy by telling of an Earth facing an alien invasion heading towards them - in four hundred yeas. While the human collaborators involved in the invasion have been defeated, the aliens have already seeded the planet with spy materials and Earth has no secrets and no defenses - except the human mind. Thus the Wallfacer Project begins - which may be mankind's last hope. An engrossing, lively read continues to expand the boundaries introduced in The Three-Body Problem.

The Technology Shelf

Introduction to RF and Microwave Passive Components
Richard Wallace and Krister Andreasson
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630810085, $149.00,

Introduction to RF and Microwave Passive Components excels in keeping math to a minimum and using illustrations to help clarify key concepts in RF and microwave components, making this book accessible to a wider audience of technicians than most books would provide. It is a basic introduction to working with RF, microwave and high frequency components and may be used in industrial training courses as it discusses the basics without presuming the reader is an engineer. The approach blends physics, science, and applied theory in a manner that will lend to college-level understanding.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Monster Mash
Mark Voger
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490649, $39.95,

Monster Mash: The Creepy, Kooky Monster Craze in America 1957-1972 provides a full-color collection of hardcover covers that represent the monster craze of the times, from book covers and card kits to magazines and sweatshirts, and juxtaposes these images with interviews of some famous monsters and monster-makers, as well as their creators. This approach provides a visually diverse, satisfying collection of images paired with historical insights of what made up the monster craze in America for over two decades, and is a recommended pick for any collection strong in popular cultural icons and the history of monster mania in this country.

The Fiction Shelf

A Head Full of Ghosts
Paul Tremblay
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062363237, $25.99,

A Head Full of Ghosts tells of a normal New England family whose lives are transformed when their teenager begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. The doctors can do nothing to halt her descent into madness, so the family turns to a Catholic priest for help, who suggests an exorcism, believing Marjorie to be possessed. When a reality TV show arrives to capture events - a welcome financial break for a struggling family - events spiral out of control when The Possession becomes a hit. This story takes place fifteen years later, when an author interviews a younger sister who recalls the pain events and buried secrets behind the television show. The result is a powerful story recommended for any interested in the haunting effects of possession and mental illness.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Malice at the Palace
Rhys Bowen
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780425260388, $25.95,

Malice at the Palace provides a fine new Royal Spyness mystery featuring amateur sleuth Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line to the English throne and ready to solve a royal dilemma. Georgie is called to the palace to make a new princess feel at home before her wedding - but Georgie knows the groom and his history of love affairs with men and women, and his hijinks - and when murder enters the picture, it's evident trouble's just beginning. Blend a historical piece with a murder mystery and an uncommonly feisty sleuth with royal connections and you have an outstanding survey indeed.

A Chorus of Innocents
P.F. Chisholm
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464204609, $26.95,

A Chorus of Innocents is set in 1592 and tells of courtier Sir Robert Carey and his surly henchman Henry Dodd, who are back in the Wild north where feuding clans of Englishmen and Scots rule. Against such a backdrop, Lady Elizabeth Widdrington, the married woman Carey adores, finds herself embroiled in a murder and an assault case. A host of characters quickly become involved in a murder mystery steeped in historical background, conflicts, and politics. Readers who appreciate fast-paced and vivid stories packed with historical reference and intrigue will relish this murder mystery, which excels in realistic characters, settings, and fast-moving events.

The Language Studies Shelf

Sign Language Archaeology
Ted Supalla and Patricia Clark
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695
9781563684937, $70.00,

Sign Language Archaeology: Understanding the Historical Roots of American Sign Language covers the major events in ASL history and traditions, from its evolution from French Sign Language to the differences between signing 'masters' in films designed by the National Association of the Deaf between 1910 and 1920 - startling differences that proved they signed differently depending on their age. This and other data supports the history of how early ASL evolved, using the writings of selected individuals to discuss how ASL grammar and international standards were created over time. Any who would understand not just the historical roots but the evolutionary process of this dynamic language must have this book, a reference accomplishment!

The American History Shelf

The Mullan Road
Paul D. McDermitt, Ronald E. Grim and Philip Mobley, Eds
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426324, $38.00,

The Mullan Road: Carving a Passage Through the Frontier Northwest, 1859-62 comes from twelve top western historians who here provide articles on the 624-mile Mullan Road, a military wagon road between Washington and Montana. While this road has been covered before in accounts that are filled with general history, it's satisfying to have the complete story form different perspectives embracing Mullan's biographical details, the experiences of his crew in constructing the road, and the survey methods used to further the road's development. His experiences with Native Americans, the economic impact of the road, and his reports all join forces to create a powerful history of the Northwest which belongs in a variety of collections; from those of structural engineers to general historical discussions of the expansion West.

West of the Revolution
Claudio Saunt
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393351156, $16.95,

West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 provides a unique approach to what might seem a too-familiar topic, exploring other revolutions on the American continent by other ethnic groups and their major interactions with each other and with Native Americans. This approach promises and achieves a much wider-ranging set of insights into how America was developed and influenced by various peoples, and presents the image of a multi-faceted social and political world at odds with various groups. Holding a broader perspective than most, especially in its focus on events beyond the usual New England setting, West of the Revolution is a top recommendation for any student of American history.

The World History Shelf

Death in Florence
Paul Strathern
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781605988269, $29.95,

Death in Florence: The Medici, Savonarola, and the Battle for the Soul of a Renaissance City considers the role of Florence as the center of the Renaissance, a wealthy city overseen by Lorenzo de' Medici, a diplomat who guarded the city in a shifting world. Savonarola was a monk whose sermons sparked images of fire and brimstone, and who rejected the appeal and wealth of the Renaissance de' Medici was supporting. This story of an ongoing struggle between the two provides rich, fascinating insights into the social, spiritual and political sentiments of the times, presenting a side of Renaissance history and culture that is rarely explored. No reader of Renaissance events should be without this narrowed, specific focus that uses encounters between two very different men to offer different perspectives of the times.

The International Studies Shelf

No Gods No Masters No Peripheries
Barry Maxwell and Raymond Craib, Editors
PM Press
PO Box 23912, Oakland, CA 94623
9781629630984, $27.95,

No Gods No Masters No Peripheries: Global Anarchisms gathers essays that discuss anarchism in regions outside of Europe and offers a diverse collection that represents an effort to expand the range of geographical and political images that the movement has traditionally presented. From the historical relationships between anarchism and communism to historic insurgencies, different styles of insurrection, regional conflicts and leaders, and deceptions, this contrasts various movements, leaders, the roots of political engagements and anarchism, and the political and social milieu of events with an eye to drawing together important regional aspects of a subject more commonly considered in the European arena. College-level political science students, in particular, will find it a compelling, thought-provoking collection.

The Sports Shelf

Maximum Interval Training
John Cissik and Jay Dawes
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492500230, $23.95,

There's been quite an increase in interest in performance-based high-intensity training programs and so the authors of Maximum Interval Training are in the perfect position to build on this sports interest by providing nearly a hundred and fifty exercises designed to build better muscles using short, intense exercise routines. Black and white photos and charts throughout accompany routines that may require unusual equipment, from heavy ropes and kettlebells to sandbags and medicine balls. Gyms and trainers with such equipment will find this guide the perfect choice for putting together numerous programs for conditioning and training purposes, providing sessions tailored to longer periods of maximum output combined with short breaks. The result is a collection of practical routines that any trainer or athlete can use to develop a better, more effective program.

The Cookbook Shelf

Man Food
Billy Law
Hardie Grant
Ground Floor, Building 1, 658 Church St, Richmond, VIC, Australia, 3121
9781742708164, $29.95,

Man Food: Good Food for a Good Time comes from a food blogger and photographer who serves much of his 'man food' creations with bacon - and features fare that can be grilled, carved, stewed, or even used as a meat-based feast for entertaining. Man Food is all about getting men to take command of the kitchen and experiment with food: chapters take classics such as burgers and pizza and provide new twists on the theme. Add full-page color photos of completed dishes and tips on how men can make the most of their kitchen skills and you have a cookbook any aspiring, creative male will want to tackle.

Marmalade: A Bittersweet Cookbook
Sarah Randell
Salt Yard Book Company
Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London, England, EC4Y 0DZ
9781444784329 L20.00,

Marmalade: A Bittersweet Cookbook provides home cooks who are marmalade fans with a wide range of recipes using different fruits and spices - but it's not just another book on preserving. The major focus here is on recipes which also use marmalades in various dishes - which is perfect because preserves usually are made in big batches. Now they can be used in a broader sense with recipes that present Marmalade-Glazed Bacon Sandwiches, Roast Chicken with Perry, Apples and Kumquats made with a orange or lemon marmalade, and even ice cream made with marmalade, ginger and Seville orange. The wide range of savory and sweet dishes makes this an outstanding production peppered with full-page color photos throughout and a delicious attention to not just making marmalades, but using them in other dishes.

The Apple Cookbook, third edition
Olwen Woodier
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781812125183, $14.95,

The Apple Cookbook: 125 Freshly Picked Recipes appears in its third edition and pairs lovely full-page color photos throughout with recipes that include applies in savory, sweet, and snack recommendations. Such recipes as apple tarts, pies, and strudels are a 'given' in an apple cookbook; but add a wide range of apple drinks, chutneys and relishes, breakfast scrambles and salads and dumplings and you have a cookbook that goes well beyond most in exploring the apple's versatility. Any with an interest in moving beyond the usual dessert focus to explore the apple's potential in a range of meal preparations will appreciate this cookbook's diverse approach.

The Culinary Adventures of a Traveling Cook
Natasha Barnes
Struik Lifestyle
PO Box 1144, Cape Town, South Africa, 8001
Casemate-IPM (distributor)
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
9781432301835, $30.00,

The Culinary Adventures of a Traveling Cook provides a collection of easy recipes from a cook, artist, and world traveler who here shares her discoveries of world cuisines from her globe-trotting journeys across the USA, Vietnam, South America, Africa and Asia. These are seasoned with her travel experiences and include such intriguing dishes (with prefacing notes and lively insights) as Livingstone's Orange Chiffon Cake, a Moroccan-based Chicken Tagine with Dates, and a take-off on traditional Irish soda bread in Soda Bread with Buck Rarebit. Dishes from tiny islands off the coast of Africa pair with traditional foods from Greece and other major nations to provide a satisfyingly diverse collection mixing standards with fare that will be new to even experienced international cooks. Note for American cooks: recipes use metric systems and centigrade oven temperatures; but all that's needed is an online converter to make them easily accessible.

The Music Shelf

Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins
Diane Diekman
University of Illinois Press
1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6975
9780252081255, $19.95,

Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins adds a new volume to the 'Music in American Life' series, and comes with over twenty black-and-white photos to enhance the first biography of the country western singer best noted for such hits as 'El Paso' and his Grand Ole Opry appearances. The author uses personal interviews paired with research to consider Robbins' own presentation of his life as an eternal drifter seeking peace, and places his life, major influences, and major achievements in perspective with this vision. From his musical career to his entry into motor sports as a popular NASCAR driver, this is filled with lively, involving insights any prior Robbins fan or enthusiast of country western music history will readily appreciate.

The California Shelf

Giant Splash
Andrew Baggarly
Triumph Books
814 N. Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781629370316, $25.95,

Giant Splash: Bondsian Blasts, World Series Parades, and Other Thrilling Moments by the Bay is recommended for both baseball fans and those with a special interest in San Francisco or the Giants, and captures some of the biggest moments in Giants history in recent years. For most of the 1970s and 1980s the Giants generally finished near the bottom and were facing the prospect of being sold to Florida when an effort to keep the Giants by the Bay was successful and the team turned around. Any interested in the history and actions of a beloved and major team will find Giant Splash hard to put down, filled with behind-the-scenes history that didn't necessarily make newspaper headlines.

Fresno Growing Up
Stephen H. Provost
Craven Street Books
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
9781610352505, $24.95,

Fresno Growing Up: A City Comes of Age: 1945-1985 provides the first history of California's valley town of Fresno to cover the postwar decades many still remember, and combines surveys of the culture, arts, and atmosphere that are rarely seen in assessments of Fresno's evolution from a small valley farming town to the city it is today. Vintage black and white photos and some color shots compliment text history and provide a lively survey of what it was like to live in Fresno after the war, and includes insights on businesses, town personalities, sports, and culture from pancakes to drive-ins. Any seeking a lively, fun survey of the area will find this an inviting 'must have' local history.

Lands of Promise and Despair
Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz, editors
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806151380 $26.95

Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California 1535-1846 is an anthology of primary sources of California's pre-Gold Rush history, from the first explorations of Baja California in the 1500's to the Mexican-American War of 1846. In these centuries, a European colonial presence was established, the native peoples were subjugated, and the foundations for modern-day California were set. Lands of Promise and Despair is filled with letters, confessionals, proposals, petitions, and much more, allowing the reader to experience early California through the eyes of the people who lived there. A chronology, glossary, and index round out this "must-have" for public and college library California history collections.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
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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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