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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 30, Number 1 January 2020 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Sports Shelf Education Shelf
Science Shelf Business Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Psychology Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Automotive Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf Political Science Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Military Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Art Shelf Parenting Shelf Gardening Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Self-Help Shelf Native American Studies Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Civil War Shelf
Library Science Shelf Economic Studies Shelf Computer Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Architecture Shelf
Photography Shelf Language Studies Shelf Autism Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Technology Shelf Martial Arts Shelf


Reviewer's Choice


Alexander von Humboldt
Maren Meinhardt
BlueBridge Books
www.bluebridgebooks.com
9781629190198, $24.95

Alexander von Humboldt: How the Most Famous Scientist of the Romantic Age Found the Soul of Nature adopts a different approach than prior biographies of his life, and comes from the perspective of an overall history of early German Romanticism. This grounding places von Humboldt's achievements in solid historical perspective rather than considering his life and work as almost independent of his times. From his personal relationships and scientific focus to his unconventional attitudes and contributions to various disciplines, any student of the Romantic Age who wants a wider-ranging survey than prior books will find this a study in excellence.

El Greco: Life and Work - A New History
Fernando Marias
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500093771, $100.00, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Domenikos Theotokopoulos (1 October 1541 - 7 April 1614), the man known to history as El Greco, was one of the seminal painters of the Spanish golden age. This magnificent volume features superb new reproductions of his most famous works, some of which have been cleaned and restored, revealing unknown facets of his art.

Born in Crete under Venetian rule, raised in the iconographic traditions of Byzantine art, and acquainted with both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic practice, El Greco journeyed to Venice and Rome in the late Renaissance, before finding patronage in Spain at the court of Philip II. He was a painter not only of religious subjects but also of idiosyncratic portraits executed in his own dramatic and expressionistic style.

He spent approximately half his life in Toledo, a city with which his name has become indelibly linked, although he was never fully accepted and was known there as a disputatious outsider. All this and more is detailed in this illustrated edition of "El Greco: Life and Work - A New History". Many of El Greco's most famous works are included: View of Toledo, The Adoration of the Shepherds, The Gentleman with His Hand on His Chest, Christ on the Cross Adored by Donors, as well as many others.

Critique: Showcasing 215 beautifully reproduced illustrations, "El Greco: Life and Work - A New History" is an extraordinary combination of biography and art, making this coffee table style volume (11.1 x 1.4 x 12.6 inches) an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and El Greco supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Joyful Vegan
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
joyfulvegan.com
BenBella Books
benbellabooks.com
9781948836463 $16.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Many people choose veganism as a logical and sensible response to their concerns about animals, the environment, and/or their health. But despite their positive intentions and the personal benefits they experience, they're often met with resistance from friends, family members, and society at large. These external factors can make veganism socially difficult - and emotionally exhausting - to sustain.

This leads to an unfortunate reality: the majority of vegans (and vegetarians) revert back to consuming meat, dairy, or eggs - breaching their own values and sabotaging their own goals in the process.

People stay vegan or not depending on how well they navigate the social, cultural, and emotional aspects of being vegan: constantly being asked to defend your eating choices, living with the awareness of animal suffering, feeling the pressure (often self-inflicted) to be perfect, and experiencing guilt, remorse, and anger.

In these pages, Colleen shares her wisdom for managing these challenges and arms readers - both vegan and plant-based - with solutions and strategies for "coming out vegan" to family, friends, and colleagues; cultivating healthy relationships (with vegans and non-vegans); communicating effectively; sharing enthusiasm without proselytizing; finding like-minded community; and experiencing peace of mind as a vegan in a non-vegan world.

Critique: The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs lives up to its title as a guide for vegans living in a decidedly nonvegan world. Author and vegan Colleen Patrick-Goudreau shares her wisdom in how to share one's love of a vegan lifestyle without coming across as preachy; how to find harmony with non-vegan friends and family members, how to let go of guilt, regret, and remorse; and much more. The Joyful Vegan is a "must-read" for anyone contemplating or pursuing a vegan lifestyle, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Joyful Vegan is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Editor's Note: A recognized expert and thought leader on the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living vegan, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan's Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the podcast Food for Thought, which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row, and Animalogy, which is about the animal-related words and expressions we use every day. She also co-founded the East Bay Animal PAC to work with government officials on animal issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Battalion Artist
Janice Blake, author
Natale Bellantoni, editor & illustrator
Hoover Institution Press
https://www.hoover.org/hooverpress
9780817922245, $39.95, HC, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "The Battalion Artist: A Navy Seabee's Sketchbook of War in the South Pacific, 1943- 1945" is the result of the three years, three months, and three days of Nat Bellantoni's life spent on the Pacific front during World War II.

He had known since childhood that he wanted to be (that he in fact was) an artist. When he packed his seabag and took leave of his family and his sweetheart to go to war, he knew that the best way to manage the narrative of his life and to cope with the ups and downs of his feelings was to create images -- visual records that spoke of what he felt, as well as what he saw.

"The Battalion Artist" is a visually unique compendium filled from cover to cover with authentic World War II images (many in full color) through which we see and feel the intensity of wartime life through the eyes of a talented young artist who was also a US Navy Seabee.

Natale Bellantoni, a young art student from Boston, sailed across the Pacific in 1943-45 and returned home with a sea chest of art and photographs documenting his experiences in New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and Okinawa. His subject matter was his daily life: endless weeks at sea, harbors and ships, men at work, airstrips, the local countryside, and the view of enemy planes overhead at night from his fox hole.

Now collected in a lavishly illustrated volume, his watercolors, sketches, and photographs offer a window onto one of the most significant moments in American history. "The Battalion Artist" explores the World War II experiences of Nat Bellantoni, as well as visually reflecting the story of an entire generation that went to war.

Critique: A unique and inherently fascinating contribution to the growing body of War War II Pacific Theatre literature, "The Battalion Artist: A Navy Seabee's Sketchbook of War in the South Pacific, 1943-1945" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library World War II American Military History collections and supplemental studies lists.

Editorial Note: Natale Bellantoni was assigned to the US Navy's 78th Construction Battalion in the South Pacific during World War II before having a successful career as an art director in Boston.

Nancy Bellantoni carefully searched her father's extensive South Pacific collection for visual materials that accurately reflect the context in which Natale Bellantoni's wartime art was created. She is a co-founder with her husband, Peter Galipault, of Movidea Inc., a design and marketing strategy firm in Boston.

Janice Blake set aside her freelance work in order to focus on The Battalion Artist at the request of her friend and former colleague Natale Bellantoni. She has edited books for the Brazelton Institute and the Harvard Business School Press. She has also taught writing at the Harvard Business School.

The Year of the Fox: A Burning Man Memoir
Steve Arntson
Regent Press
2747 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705
9781587904752, $28.77, PB, 448pp, www.regentpress.net

Synopsis: Steve Arntson has been writing and playing the piano around the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 30 years. His training was in music at the University of Washington after which he did some private teaching and also discovered the poetry scene in San Francisco. He is the author of a previous book "To-and-From on the Day-for-Night Coast" published by Regent Press under the name of Stephen Francis Cosgrove.

"The Year of the Fox: A Burning Man Memoir" is a book of recollections about the 2016 Burning Man Arts Festival and is comprised of poems, stories and conversations with real and imaginary beings. It's about getting there, being there and leaving there -- and about a certain fox that appeared in the nearby hills while Steve was hiking through them.

Steve's love affair with the Burning Man Arts Festival began in 1996 and continues to this day.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from first page to last, "The Year of the Fox: A Burning Man Memoir" will prove to be a unique and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library American Biography collections, as well as the personal reading lists of anyone having an interest in the Burning Man Arts Festival.


The Sports Shelf

The Durable Runner
Alison Heilig
Toplight
www.toplightbooks.com
c/o McFarland & Company
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476678337 $19.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Part sport and part exercise, running boosts health, longevity, and mental well-being. However, running is a demanding activity that can potentially tax the runner's body and mind. Therefore, possessing durability for running--a fusion of toughness and flexibility--is desirable to enhance a runner's physical and mental experience.

This book--the first of its kind to combine corrective exercise, self-myofascial release, and yoga--empowers runners with measures to avoid unnecessary pain, injury, and burnout. It is a comprehensive guide to creating a simple and efficient system of personalized supplemental training in which runners learn to identify and address areas of imbalance and overuse. These training methods increase strength, stability, mobility, and resiliency, and require as little as 15 minutes per day to implement. (For each technique, the author has produced a video, and these are included in the enhanced ebook edition.) Runners can decrease the risk of injury, improve running performance, and maintain joint health. The result: a more durable body and mind that will support your running--and your life--for years to come.

Critique: Certified running coach and registered yoga teacher Alison Heilig presents The Durable Runner: A Guide to Injury-Free Running, a guide to using corrective exercise, self-myofascial release (an alternative therapy for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain), and yoga to help runners prevent problems with physical pain, injury, or burnout. Chapters offer simple training routines that can be performed in fifteen minutes to improve one's running ability as well as promote personal flexibility and resilience. The Durable Runner is a "must-have" for runners of all ages and backgrounds, from prospective racers to everyday joggers. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Durable Runner is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Editor's Note: Author Alison Heilig is a Level 2 RRCA-Certified running coach, a registered yoga teacher (E-RYT 200, YACEP), corrective exercise specialist, and certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Her personal blog The Pursuit of Awesome has been recognized as a top running blog for the past several years. She is a regular contributor to Fit Bottomed Girls and her work and expertise have also been featured on websites such as Women's Running, Competitor, POPSUGAR Fitness, MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, LiveStrong, and Prevention.

The High School Athlete: Basketball
Mike Volkmar
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268054, $19.95, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Developed by fitness author and strength and conditioning expert Mike Volkmar, "The High School Athlete: Basketball" provides a comprehensive and essential program for any high school student wanting to train and play basketball in their school.

Offering a unique and 'real world practical' program that features training fundamentals for different levels of player development from pre-freshman all the way to varsity level getting ready to play in college, "The High School Athlete: Basketball" also contains information geared towards a young athlete's goals and includes information on player development, motivation, and nutrition.

Critique: With over 100 workouts as part of a complete and methodical fitness program for development and conditioning, "The High School Athlete: Basketball" is unreservedly recommended as a highschool physical education curriculum textbook. It should be noted for personal reading lists of highschool coaches and teenage athletes that "The High School Athlete: Basketball" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Roaring Back
Curt Sampson
Diversion Books
443 Park Avenue South, Suite #1004, New York, NY 10016
www.diversionbooks.com
9781635766837, $26.00, HC, 264pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Roaring Back: The Fall and Rise of Tiger Woods" by sports author and biographer Curt Sampson is the incredible true story of Tiger Woods' dramatic return to glory at the 2019 Masters following his humbling and very public personal, physical, and professional setbacks.

One publicly imploded marriage. Two car accidents. Eight surgeries. And now, a miracle of hard work and storied talent: five Masters wins. Once hailed as "the greatest closer in history" before he fell further than any beloved athlete in America's memory, Tiger swung at the world's wildest expectations and beat the skeptics with his April 2019 championship. "Roaring Back" deftly traces his road to Augusta and the improbable, phenomenal comeback of one of the greatest golfers in history.

"Roaring Back" informatively details the highs and lows of Woods's career in three gripping acts. From his startling loss at the 2009 PGA Championship, detrimental obsession with his swing, and that infamous night involving an ex-wife and a nine-iron... to adoring fans and lucrative sponsors turning their backs, exclusive interviews with past instructors and PGA tour peers, and an arrest complete with a toxicology report... finally to Tiger coming from behind for his fifth green jacket as the crowd rumbled in Georgia, and how his comeback rivals those of the most dramatic in his sport.

"Roaring Back" also places Woods's defeats and triumphs in the context of historic comebacks by other notable golfers like Ben Hogan, Skip Alexander, Aaron Silton, and Charlie Beljan, finding the forty-three-year-old alone on the green for his trajectory of victory against all odds.

Critique: An impressively informative and inherently fascinating read, "Roaring Back: The Fall and Rise of Tiger Woods" is a 'must' for the legions of Tiger Woods fans and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Roaring Back" is available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.29) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781618034786, $24.99, CD).

The Year the Packers Came Back
Joe Zagorski
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476674247, $35.00, PB, 259pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The 1972 Green Bay Packers were not expected to challenge for a playoff spot, or even to top their four victories from the season before. But the players were an eclectic group of over-achievers, 20 of whom were brand new to the team. Despite disheartening decisions by a questionable head coach, they gelled almost immediately and by season's end became the only Packers team throughout the 1970s to earn a division title.

"The Year the Packers Came Back: Green Bay's 1972 Resurgence" by Joe Zagorski details how they succeeded beyond all expectations and tells one of the great stories in pro football history.

Critique: An information packed and inherently interesting read, "The Year the Packers Came Back: Green Bay's 1972 Resurgence" is a 'must' for the legions of Packer fans and certain to ben an enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library collections.

Editorial Note: Former sportswriter Joe Zagorski has been a member of the Pro Football Researchers Association since the mid-1980s, and has written numerous articles for their monthly publication The Coffin Corner. He has also written articles for the internet site Pro Football Journal.

Building The Brewers
Chris Zantow
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476672632, $29.95, PB, 222pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta after the 1965 season, many impassioned fans grew indifferent to baseball. Others (namely car dealer Bud Selig) decided to fight for the beloved sport. Selig formed an ownership group with the goal of winning a new franchise. They faced formidable opposition -- American League President Joe Cronin, lawyer turned baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, and other AL team owners would not entertain the notion of another team for the city.

"Building the Brewers: Bud Selig and the Return of Major League Baseball to Milwaukee" by Wisconsin author Chris Zantow is first ever history of baseball's return to Milwaukee covers the owners, teams and ballparks behind the rise and fall of their Braves, the five-year struggle to acquire a new team, the relocation of a major league club a week prior to the 1970 season and how the Brewers created an identity and built a fan base and a contending team.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a nine page Bibliography, fifteen pages of Chapter Notes, and a five page Index, "Building the Brewers: Bud Selig and the Return of Major League Baseball to Milwaukee" is a unique history and essential reading for all dedicated Brewers fans and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Wisconsin Sports History collections.


The Education Shelf

From Able to Remarkable
Robert Massey
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
www.crownhousepublishing.com
9781785834356, $27.95, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "From Able to Remarkable: Help your students become expert learners", Robert Massey provides a pathway to help teachers guide their students through the gauntlets of the gifted, the underpasses of underachievement and the roadblocks to remarkable on their learning journeys.

What makes remarkable students remarkable? Attributes such as resilience, curiosity and intelligence may come to mind and we might also add others, such as intuition and tenacity. But what has helped make them what they are? Were they born this way, or did their remarkabilities emerge during their schooling? Such questions may make teachers feel uneasy, prompting them to reflect on the sometimes limiting scope of what is often labeled as gifted and talented provision in their school.

Massey argues, however, that these remarkabilities are there, latent and dormant, in many more students than we might at first acknowledge. In "From Able to Remarkable" he shares a rich variety of practical, cross-curricular strategies designed to help teachers unearth and nurture these capabilities and signpost a route to the top for every learner.

Informed by educational research and evidence from the field of cognitive science, "From Able to Remarkable:" talks teachers through a wide range of effective teaching and learning techniques all of which are appropriate for use with all pupils and not only with top sets or high attainers. "From Able to Remarkable" also shares ideas on how teachers can improve their students abilities to receive, respond to and then deliver feedback on both their own work and that of others. To complement the feedback process, "From Able to Remarkable" presents practical methods to help teachers make questioning, self-review and greater student ownership of their questioning within lessons a staple of day-to-day classroom interaction.

Venturing beyond the classroom, "From Able to Remarkable" also explores approaches to whole-school provision for high-attaining students and offers some robust stretch and challenge to educational leaders in considering what widespread excellence in education might look like.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "From Able to Remarkable: Help your students become expert learners" is especially and unreservedly recommended as a school district in-service training textbook, and will prove to be an enduringly valued and appreciated addition to college and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "From Able to Remarkable" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.49).

Editorial Note: With over two decades worth of experience as a history teacher, Robert Massey has for the past six years led the Scholars Programme at Bristol Grammar School. He has a particular interest in supporting his colleagues in the provision of stretch and challenge opportunities for high-attaining students. He tweets @DoctorMassey and regularly speaks at education conferences.

An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Yong Zhao, et al.
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
www.tcpress.com
9780807763407, $90.00, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The educators featured in the pages of "An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success" were motivated by the conviction that even the best status quo education was not serving current student needs. They responded with radical changes that tap into recent ideas about educational transformation: personalization, student-driven curriculum, student agency and co-ownership of learning direction, school-sheltered student entrepreneurship, student-led civic projects, creativity education, and product-oriented learning.

"An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste " features: Real-life stories of students, teachers, school principals, and school networks that have made radical innovations in education; Cutting-edge innovations that took place in a broad range of schools - public and private, elementary to high school; Specific strategies and tactics educators can use to counter preconceived or real concerns that prevent them from taking action to change.

Readers will find carefully researched and detailed stories of on-the-ground models where students learn empathy, cooperation, creativity, and self-management, alongside rigorous academics. Together these stories provide insight into the process of innovation and the elements that can make change successful.

Critique: An impressively organized and seminal work of collective scholarship, "An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success" is unreservedly recommended for both college and university library Contemporary Educational Issues collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, teachers, school administrators, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" is also available in a paperback edition (9780807763391, $29.95).

Editorial Note: Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy at Victoria University in Australia. Trina E. Emler is a doctoral candidate and a multidisciplinary research assistant at the University of Kansas and an international education consultant for YEE Education. Anthony Snethen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas and a middle school English teacher. Danqing Yin is a doctoral student and a first-year experience instructor at the University of Kansas.

Read, Write, Inquire
Hiller A. Spires, Shea N. Kerkhoff, and Casey Medlock Paul
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
www.tcpress.com
9780807763346, $105.00, HC, 168pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Read, Write, Inquire: Disciplinary Literacy in Grades 6-12" is a practical guide in which three literacy experts show classroom teachers how to best use project-based inquiry to build a students' discipline-specific skills and knowledge in grades 6-12.

"Read, Write, Inquire" deftly presents a five-phase framework that incorporates their professional development experience working with over 3,000 teachers. By making the intuitive practices of the disciplines explicit within an inquiry process, students have opportunities to construct new knowledge by employing practices used by literary critics, scientists, historians, and mathematicians. "Read, Write, Inquire" also responds to the current focus on disciplinary literacy across multiple sets of standards, offering a clear blueprint to help teachers meet these standards while also providing students with deep learning across the curriculum.

"Read, Write, Inquire" features: A model that connects project-based inquiry and disciplinary literacy for deeper learning among teachers and students; Classroom vignettes and practical examples are used to illustrate the model; A chapter on connecting digital and global literacies with the inquiry model; Appropriate for multiple sets of standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards, the 3C Framework for Social Studies, and the Common Core State Standards.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Read, Write, Inquire: Disciplinary Literacy in Grades 6-12" is an ideal choice for teacher in-service training programs and is unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education instructional reference collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted that "Read, Write, Inquire" is also available in a paperback edition (9780807763339, $34.95).

Editorial Note: Hiller A. Spires is an alumni distinguished graduate professor at the College of Education and senior research fellow at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. Shea N. Kerkhoff is an assistant professor of secondary education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Casey Medlock Paul is a lecturer at the College of Education, North Carolina State University.

Between the Commas
Martin Brandt
Heinemann
PO Box 6926, Portsmouth, NH 03802-6926
www.heinemann.com
9780325108209, $30.00, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: For too long, sentence instruction has been heavy on correctness and terminology (as in "mind your grammar") and light on play and experimentation. Or it has been abandoned altogether. But in "Between the Commas: Sentence Instruction That Builds Confident Writers (and Writing Teachers)", Marty Brandt sets out to change all that.

"Between the Commas" is partly the story of a teacher hitting a plateau in mid-career, deeply frustrated by the flatness of his students' writing, particularly as they struggled with more academic tasks. But it is also the story of important but neglected research in sentence instruction, which Brandt revives, reinventing his instruction by explicitly teaching the possibilities of sentences.

"Between the Commas" three "pillars" of sentence instruction: Sentence Focus: Identifying the true subject of the sentence; Sentence Development: Finding ways to expand and modify, "between the commas"; Sentence Coherence: Connecting sentences to show the flow of thought.

To help his students understand these concepts, Brandt invents his own terms-the Dime- Dropper, Smack-Talker, ingBomb, Sentence Wannabe, and the Not/But-to describe key moves a writer can make, illustrating them with both student and professional examples. "Between the Commas" is also filled with practical exercises in sentence manipulation that can be used directly in your classroom or modified for your students. -- At long last, sentence instruction that can really help young writers and their teachers!

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Between the Commas: Sentence Instruction That Builds Confident Writers (and Writing Teachers)" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections, as well as the personal reading lists of classroom teachers and anyone of any age wanting to hone their skills as a writer.

Editorial Note: Martin Brandt teaches English at San Jose's Independence High School, a large urban school with a diverse student population. He is a teacher consultant with the San Jose Area Writing Project and former winner of the California Teachers of English Award for Classroom Excellence.

Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered
Lisa Murphy, MEd
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
www.redleafpress.org
9781605546155, $24.95, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered" provides an in-depth exploration of the author's approach to working with children. Lisa Murphy outlines nine characteristics programs need to build an environment that's child-centered, where play, developmentally appropriate practice, and academic standards all come together under one roof.

These nine characteristics of a child-centered environment include: Children are provided long periods of uninterrupted free time to explore their environment; Children are provided lots of time outdoors; Children are able to explore the environment with few restrictions; Adults controlling the environment, not the children; Adults serving as facilitators within the space; Adults articulating the intention behind their words and actions; Adults are familiar with current research and the key contributions of historical child development theorists; Adults are aware of the importance of keeping it real; Children are provided time and opportunity to create, move, sing, discuss, observe, read, and play every day.

Using true-to-life examples, anecdotes, and Lisa Murphy's signature conversational style, "Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered" presents and explores the true identifying characteristics of a hands-on, play-based, child-centered environment.

Critique: Basically a classroom management instructional guide and manual, "Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered" is extraordinary, practical, insightful, and effective. An ideal curriculum text for school district in-service training programs, "Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered" is unreservedly recommended for both college and university library Teacher Education collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of student teachers, practicing classroom instructors, school board members, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Lisa Murphy on Being Child Centered" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Lisa Murphy, MEd, has been involved with early childhood education for over 30 years, teaching and working with children in various environments including Head Start, kindergarten, private preschools, family child care, parks and recreation centers, group homes, and many child care centers. As the founder and CEO of Ooey Gooey, Inc., Lisa's mission is to assist in the transformation of early childhood education by offering the best workshops and trainings, the most up-to-date materials and resources, and insightful conversations and connections through the power of social media.

Lifeline 65
Ryan T. Stein, author
Jennifer Costa Berdux, contributor
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
www.brandylanepublishers.com
9781947860599, $15.95, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After fifteen years as an award-winning educator, Ryan Stein knows this: when you make the school experience about fostering genuine human connection, students don't just succeed -- they thrive.

"Lifeline 65: How Small Connections and Big Enthusiasm Can Change Education" is part-guidebook and part-memoir in which Ryan shares the best ideas and stories from his groundbreaking educational philosophy with anyone seeking to make a positive difference in a student's life.

"Lifeline 65" is as joyful as it is useful, packed full of wit, humor, and heart. Try even one strategy and classroom teachers will find the students more engaged, confident, and eager to excel, from elementary school to college and beyond.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Lifeline 65: How Small Connections and Big Enthusiasm Can Change Education" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lifeline 65" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Ryan T. Stein has been recognized on a national scale as an Elite Educator and as a pioneer for student engagement, innovation, and achievement. As an educational songwriter and forward thinker, he sees no barriers. His high energy and contagious enthusiasm for building intentional and authentic relationships has created lifelines for school communities throughout Virginia.


The Science Shelf

The Biology of Reproduction
Giuseppe Fusco & Alessandro Minelli
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
www.cambridge.org
9781108499859, $105.00, HC, 490pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Reproduction is a fundamental feature of life, it is the way life persists across the ages. The collaborative effort of Giuseppe Fusco (Associate Professor of Zoology in the Department of Biology at the University of Padova, Italy) and Alessandro Minelli (formerly a Full Professor of Zoology at the University of Padova, Italy), "The Biology of Reproduction" offers new, wider vistas on this fundamental biological phenomenon, exploring how it works through the whole tree of life.

Effectively illustrated throughout, "The Biology of Reproduction" explores facets such as asexual reproduction, parthenogenesis, sex determination and reproductive investment, with a taxonomic coverage extended over all the main groups - animals, plants including 'algae', fungi, protists and bacteria.

"The Biology of Reproduction" collates into one volume perspectives from varied disciplines - including zoology, botany, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, animal and plant physiology, and ethology - integrating information into a common language.

Crucially, "The Biology of Reproduction" successfully identifies the commonalties among reproductive phenomena, while demonstrating the diversity even amongst closely related taxa. Its integrated approach makes "The Biology of Reproduction" a valuable reference book for students and researchers, as well as an effective entry point for deeper study on specific topics.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an Appendix (A Classification of Living Organisms), a twenty-two page listing of References, a twenty-one page Taxonomic Index, and fourteen page Subject Index, "The Biology of Reproduction" is an ideal Biology curriculum textbook and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Biology collections and supplemental studies reading lists. Impressively informative and expertly organized, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers that "The Biology of Reproduction" is also available in a paperback edition (9781108731713, $44.99) and in a digital book format (eTextbook, $27.49).


The Business Shelf

Competing in the Age of AI
Marco Iansiti & Karim Lakhani
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781633697621, $32.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: AI-centric organizations exhibit a new operating architecture, redefining how they create, capture, share, and deliver value.

Marco Iansiti is the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, also heads the school's Technology and Operations Management Unit and the Digital Initiative. Iansiti is also an expert on digital innovation, with a special focus on strategy and business and operating model transformation.

Karim R. Lakhani is the Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration and the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Fellow at Harvard Business School. He is the founder and codirector of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, the principal investigator of the NASA Tournament Laboratory at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and the faculty cofounder of the Digital Initiative at HBS. He is also Chair of the Harvard Business Analytics Program.

In "Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World", Professors Iansiti and Lakhani show how reinventing the firm around data, analytics, and AI removes traditional constraints on scale, scope, and learning that have restricted business growth for hundreds of years. From Airbnb to Ant Financial, Microsoft to Amazon, research shows how AI-driven processes are vastly more scalable than traditional processes, allow massive scope increase, enabling companies to straddle industry boundaries, and create powerful opportunities for learning -- to drive ever more accurate, complex, and sophisticated predictions.

When traditional operating constraints are removed, strategy becomes a whole new game, one whose rules and likely outcomes "Competing In The Ages Of AI will make clear by: Presenting a framework for rethinking business and operating models; Explaining how "collisions" between AI-driven/digital and traditional/analog firms are reshaping competition, altering the structure of our economy, and forcing traditional companies to rearchitect their operating models; Explaining the opportunities and risks created by digital firms; Describing the new challenges and responsibilities for the leaders of both digital and traditional firms

Critique: Packed from cover to cover with examples (including many from the most powerful and innovative global, AI-driven competitors) and based on research in hundreds of firms across many sectors, "Competing In The Age Of AI" should be considered essential reading for all corporate executives and governmental policy makers. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of twelve pages of Notes and a fourteen page Index, "Competing In The Age Of AI" is unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, corporate executives, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Competing In The Age Of AI" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.49).

Social Media Success for Every Brand
Claire Diaz-Ortiz
HarperCollins Leadership
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9781400214969, $17.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Most business owners are blindly guessing at their social media strategy, and it's costing them time and money. Based on Donald Miller's "Building a StoryBrand", Claire Diaz-Ortiz applies the seven principles of the StoryBrand Framework in "Social Media Success for Every Brand: The Five StoryBrand Pillars That Turn Posts Into Profits" to help entrepreneurs and the business community to build an effective, long-lasting social media plan for your brand.

"Social Media Success for Every Brand" teaches readers how to incorporate the StoryBrand 7-Part Framework into their social media channels to increase engagement and see better results. Readers will understand exactly what they need to do with their social media to drive growth to their organization through the practical guidance of the five-point SHARE model: STORY; HOW; AUDIENCE; REACH; EXCELLENCE.

"Social Media Success for Every Brand" does not require the reader to be familiar with Building a StoryBrand but provides enough foundation to prepare the reader for practical success with their social media content. Together with the StoryBrand Framework, Claire's SHARE model will help boost customer engagement and grow the organization's brand awareness and revenues.

Critique: Impressively 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Social Media Success for Every Brand: The Five StoryBrand Pillars That Turn Posts Into Profits" is unreservedly recommended for corporate, community, and academic library Business Management collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Social Media Success for Every Brand: The Five StoryBrand Pillars That Turn Posts Into Profits" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799709824, $22.99, CD).

Operations and Supply Chain Management, fifteenth edition
F. Robert Jacobs & Richard Chase
McGraw-Hill Education
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781259666100, $90.89, HC, 784pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: If they are to succeed in today's volatile and competitive marketplace, resourceful companies must successfully manage the entire supply flow, from the sources of the firm, through the value-added processes of the firm, and on to the customers of the firm. Now in a fully updated and expanded fifteenth edition, "Operations and Supply Chain Management" continues to provide a well-balanced coverage on the specific subject of managing people and applying sophisticated technology to operations and supply chain management.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, this new and impressively informative edition of "Operations and Supply Chain Management" is an ideal selection as a curriculum textbook and is unreservedly recommended for corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists for students, academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Miracle Minded Manager
John J. Murphy
Beyond Words Publishing
www.beyondword.com
9781582707259, $16.99, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Miracle Minded Manager: A Modern-Day Parable about How to Apply "A Course in Miracles" in Business" by John J. Murphy is the story of Jack MacDonald, CEO of TYPCO, who is trying to transform his company. He's hit a roadblock with unhelpful and defensive direct reports and ingrained systems of doing business that no longer serve. Unsure of how to continue, he turns to business consultant Jordan Mckay, who has helped Jack with management challenges in the past.

Jack is surprised that instead of suggesting practical business tactics, Jordan encourages him to adopt A Course in Miracles to open his mind and let go of ego. Though at first he's reluctant, Jack and his wife Judy begin to follow the Course. The results are life changing.

Yes, the Course changes his mind set about solving TYPCO's problem, but Jack finds transformations occur in all areas of life: from family relationships to his daily stress levels. And it's right there to serve him during one of the most personal trials of his life.

Readers will learn along with Jack, that miracles spread across all areas of life, if only we open ourselves up to faith.

Critique: Applying 'A Course in Miracles' concepts and principles to the area of business in a capitalist culture and society in the form of a modern day parable, "Miracle Minded Manager: A Modern-Day Parable about How to Apply "A Course in Miracles" in Business" is an extraordinary and potentially life-changing read. Exceptionally well written and presented, "Miracle Minded Manager" is especially recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists, as well as the personal reading lists of business students, academia, corporate executives, business managers, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Speaking of God
Anthony G. Siegrist
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513806075, $31.99, HC, 276pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Christian theology is nothing more (and nothing less) than speaking together about God. Still, a lot of Christians simply don't know where to start.

In "Speaking of God: An Essential Guide to Christian Thought", pastor and theologian Anthony Siegrist helps readers recover a basic language around Christian theology. The sweeping epic of Scripture serves as the scaffold for this accessible study. In vivid and even humorous writing, Siegrist introduces us to scholars and pilgrims and traditions that disclose essential truths about God and Jesus Christ, as well as concepts like creation, sin, redemption, the church, and discipleship.

By plumbing the works of theologians such as Augustine, Julian of Norwich, Antonia Gonzalez, and Kazoh Kitamori, Pastor Siegrist offers readers an introduction to Christian theology throughout the ages, emphasizing common threads of thought and practice across traditions.

Learning to talk about God requires courage and humility; "Speaking of God" is handbook of Christian theology will help the reader to gain both.

Critique: Exceptionally well written for the benefit of all members of the Christian community, "Speaking of God: An Essential Guide to Christian Thought" is both inspired and inspiring. An extraordinary and highly recommended addition to church, seminary, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Speaking of God" is also available in a paperback edition (9781513806068, $18.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

The Passion Code
O. S. Hawkins
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9781400211500, $14.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "The Passion Code: 100 Days with Jesus" by O. S. Hawkins was specifically written for those members of the Christian community who long to experience the joy and peace that is only to be found in knowing and loving the Lord. "The Passion Code" leads the reader to grow closer to God and to discover that the more we know Him, the more we will want to do His will. This was what Jesus desired as well: "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34).

"The Passion Code" is a 100-day journey that begins at Bethlehem, where we find God with us, then to Golgotha, where we find God for us, and finally to Pentecost, where we discover that God came to take up residence in our lives, God in us.

Each reading features a Code Word that serves as a daily reminder of the devotional thought. The reader can write it down and keep it with them to think about throughout their day so that, as James says, they will become a "doer of the word and not a hearer only" (James 1:22). Each day also includes a Passion Proclamation (a Bible verse to apply to their life) as well as a prayer.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, thoughtful and thought-provoking, potentially life changing and life enhancing, "The Passion Code: 100 Days with Jesus" is unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. While highly recommended for church and seminary Christian Theology collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Passion Code: 100 Days with Jesus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799732761, $14.99, CD).

Editorial Note: O. S. Hawkins is President and Chief Executive Officer of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. GuideStone serves more than 250,000 individual participants from churches, missionary organizations, colleges and universities, hospitals, and other nonprofit institutions with their financial and benefit service needs. GuideStone Funds is the largest Christian-based mutual fund family in the nation, with assets of over 15 billion dollars. Prior to the beginning of his tenure at GuideStone in 1997, Hawkins served as senior pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas (1993-1997), and senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1978-1993), as well as earlier pastorates at First Baptist Church of Ada, Oklahoma (1974-1978), and First Baptist Church of Hobart, Oklahoma (1972-1974).

A Silent Patriarch
Daniel Fanous
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780881416497, $29.95, PB, 418pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Pope Cyril VI was born Azer Youssef Atta in Damanhour, Egypt, into a Coptic Orthodox middle-class family, the son of a deacon. He resigned from a civil service position to become a monk in July 1927 (Paoni - Epip 1643). He passed his probationary period and, on 24 February 1928 (21 Meshir 1644), took his monastic vows at the Paromeos Monastery, assuming the name of Father Mina el-Baramosy (Father Mina of the Paromeos Monastery). He was also known as Father Mina the Elder. (Wikipedia)

"A Silent Patriarch: Kyrillos VI" (1902 - 1971) by the Rev. Dr Daniel Fanous (who is Dean and Lecturer in Theology & Biblical Studies at St Cyril's Coptic Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, Australia) is the first scholarly biography of this desert hermit who became a most unlikely patriarch. Until now the details of his life have remained hidden.

As patriarch, Kyrillos inherited a bleeding church, one confronted by political Islamism, an indifferent Muslim president, and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. Silent in the face of persecution, mockery, and criticism, Kyrillos stood at the head of a nearly impossible spiritual revolution. But by the time he reposed, everything had changed.

In this lucid biography, Professor Fanous deftly traces Kyrillos life from childhood, drawing upon hundreds of letters and sources never before seen, detailing Kyrillos unusual method of ecclesial reform, which speaks enduringly to the uncertainties of the present age.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively detailed, exceptionally well written, and ultimately inspiring biography, "A Silent Patriarch" is unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Coptic Christian faith and a unique addition to church, seminary, community, and academic library Coptic Christian History collections.

Transubstantiation: Theology, History, and Christian Unity
Brett Salkeld
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781540962188, $59.99, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Transubstantiation is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the change of substance or essence by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In this teaching, the notions of substance and transubstantiation are not linked with any particular theory of metaphysics. (Wikipedia)

"Transubstantiation: Theology, History, and Christian Unity" by Brett Salkeld (who is Archdiocesan Theologian for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) is detailed and definitive study of the doctrine of transubstantiation that deftly explores eucharistic presence in the theologies of Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin, showing that Christians might have more in common on this topic than they have typically been led to believe.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a fourteen page Bibliography, a six page Author Index, and a five page Subject Index, "Transubstantiation: Theology, History, and Christian Unity" is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented study. Particularly and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, and academic library Contemporary Christian Theology collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers in the Christian community with an interest in the subject that "Transubstantiation: Theology, History, and Christian Unity" is also available in a paperback edition (9781540960559, $29.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.19).

Trains, Jesus, and Murder
Richard Beck
Fortress Press
P.O. Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1209
http://fortresspress.com
9781506433769, $18.99, PB, 205pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Saints and sinners, all jumbled up together." That's the genius of Johnny Cash, and that's what the gospel is ultimately all about.

Johnny Cash sang about and for people on the margins. He famously played concerts in prisons, where he sang both murder ballads and gospel tunes in the same set. It's this juxtaposition between light and dark, writes Richard Beck in "Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel according to Johnny Cash", that makes Cash one of the most authentic theologians in recent memory.

In "Trains, Jesus, and Murder", Beck explores the theology of Johnny Cash by investigating a dozen of Cash's songs. In reflecting on Cash's lyrics, and the passion with which he sang them, we gain a deeper understanding of the enduring faith of the Man in Black.

Critique: Part analytical biography and part theological treatise, "Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel according to Johnny Cash" is a compelling read that is insightfully inspirational, thoughtful and thought-provoking. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Johnny Cash fans and members of the Christian community that "Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel according to Johnny Cash" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Richard Beck is professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, and a popular blogger and speaker. He is the author of several books, including Unclean. His published research also covers topics as diverse as the psychology of profanity and why Christian bookstore art is so bad. Beck leads a Bible study each week for inmates at a maximum security prison.

Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make?
Michele Hershberger
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513805658, $12.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Why did Jesus die? And how does his death change us and our world? These questions stand at the center of Christian faith. But that doesn't mean they are simple or straightforward.

In "Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make?" Michele Hershberger helps us peer deeply into the meaning of the cross by sifting through Scripture and the life of Christ; Learn about theological concepts like sin, salvation, and atonement; Find out how Christians across the centuries have thought about Jesus' death; Discover how Jesus' life, crucifixion, and resurrection change everything.

Part of The Jesus Way series from Herald Press, "Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make?" delves into a major and core questions about God's work in the world.

Critique: As thoughtful and thought provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make?" is unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliations. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Why Did Jesus Die and What Difference Does it Make?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Editorial Note: Michele Hershberger is the author of God's Story, Our Story; A Christian View of Hospitality; and several other books. She serves as chair of the Bible department at Hesston College, where she teaches Bible and youth ministry classes. With a degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Hershberger has devoted her life to serving the church as pastor, writer, speaker, and instructor. She and her husband, Del Hershberger, have three children and are members of Hesston Mennonite Church.

Active Faith
Paul W. Chilocote
Abingdon Press
PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
www.abingdonpress.com
9781791001728, $13.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the pages of "Active Faith: Resisting 4 Dangerous Ideologies with the Wesleyan Way", Christians are invited to practice the way of Jesus by engaging in four formative practices representing central themes of the Wesleyan way: humility, hospitality, healing, and holiness.

These four practices function as counterpoints to four growing dangers based on fear in the contemporary church and in society: Christian Fundamentalism; Nationalism; Dispensationalism; Antinomianism.

Each of the four practices is an antidote related to the quest for a particular virtue as well, namely, truth, joy, peace, and love in resistance to these dangerous movements.

Each of the four chapters discusses the relationship of these practices to scripture, identifying a signature biblical text or story related to each. They introduce the reader to a spiritual mentor who can help them understand and embrace the practice more fully. They describe contemporary forms of Christianity that distort or compromise our received faith tradition, directing their attention to a contemporary issue in which these distortions figure prominently and in which a progressive Wesleyan perspective offers an alternative vision of Christian authenticity. Finally, the chapters offer guidance showing how readers can engage in these practices on a very practical level.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Active Faith: Resisting 4 Dangerous Ideologies with the Wesleyan Way" is an especially recommended addition to church, seminary, college, and university library Contemporary Christian Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary studies, theologians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Active Faith" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Paul W. Chilcote is a retired United Methodist elder and professor of historical theology and Wesleyan studies who has taught on three continents. An award-winning author, he has published nearly thirty books, including Praying in the Wesleyan Spirit, A Faith That Sings, and Recapturing the Wesleys' Vision. He is a Benedictine Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey in Saint Benedictine, Oregon.

Resilient Faith
Gerald L. Sittser
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.brazospress.com
9781587434082, $19.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In our Western, post-Christendom society, much of Christianity's cultural power, privilege, and influence has eroded. But all is not lost, according to Professor Gerald Sittser. Although the church is concerned and sobered by this cultural shift, it is also curious and teachable.

Professor Sittser shows how the early church offers wisdom for responding creatively to the West's increasing secularization. The early Christian movement was surprisingly influential and successful in the Roman world, and so different from its two main rivals (traditional religion and Judaism) that Rome identified it as a "third way." Early Christians immersed themselves in the empire without significant accommodation to or isolation from the culture. They confessed Jesus as Lord and formed disciples accordingly, which helped the church grow in numbers and influence.

Professor Sittser explores how Christians today can learn from this third way and respond faithfully, creatively, and winsomely to a world that sees Christianity as largely obsolete. Each chapter introduces historical figures, ancient texts, practices, and institutions to explain and explore the third way of the Jesus movement, which, surprising everyone, changed the world.

Critique: An exceptionally well written, organized and presented study that is as thoroughly accessible to non-specialist general readers as it is to seminary students and academia, "Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian "Third Way" Changed the World" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, seminary, college, and university library collections. Impressively informative and featuring an eighteen page Annotated Bibliography, twenty-two pages of Notes, and a three page Index, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian "Third Way" Changed the World" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Gerald L. Sittser (PhD, University of Chicago) is the author of Water from a Deep Well, A Grace Disguised, and The Will of God as a Way of Life. He is professor of theology at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, where he also serves as senior fellow and researcher in the Office of Church Engagement. He specializes in the history of Christianity, Christian spirituality, and religion in American public life. Sittser has written for numerous publications, including Christianity Today, and has spoken at numerous churches, conferences, retreats, and colleges.

Everyday Witness
Theresa Rickard, O.P.
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781594719233, $12.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Everyday Witness: 7 Simple Habits for Sharing Your Faith", Sr. Theresa Rickard, O.P. (President of RENEW International) offers seven simple habits to help fellow Catholics more comfortably talk about and model Christian faith in our everyday lives.

Most often people come to Christ because they've admired the words and actions of believers they respect. But talking about God and witnessing by our actions can be very difficult. In this primer for evangelizing witness, Sr. Theresa Rickard, O.P., presents inspirational stories and biblical reflections along with spiritual coaching and practical advice for Catholics who want to get better at sharing what they believe and how they came to believe it.

"Everyday Witness" encourages us to adopt seven habits that will help us confidently share our faith in word and deed: choose joy; be humble; preach from the pulpit of life; pray unceasingly; listen closely; practice the art of accompaniment; engage in God-talk.

Each chapter includes Rickard's reflection on witnessing the faith in her own life, a brief survey of what the Bible says on the topic, and the story of an ordinary person who gives witness to their faith in an extraordinary way. Each chapter also offers self-reflection questions, simple ideas about how to grow the habit, and a closing prayer that gives us not only food for thought but also practical help for becoming better witnesses to our Catholic faith.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Everyday Witness: 7 Simple Habits for Sharing Your Faith" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to church and seminary library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and all members of the Roman Catholic community that "Everyday Witness" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Theresa Rickard, O.P., is a Dominican Sister of Blauvelt, New York, a well-known retreat leader, and the president of RENEW International. She is the author of Daily Devotions for Advent 2015, Daily Devotions for Lent 2014, and LiveLent! Rickard also contributed to Preaching the Sunday Assembly and We Preach Christ Crucified. She earned a doctorate of ministry in preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and a master of arts degree in religion and religious education at Fordham University. Prior to working at RENEW, Rickard ministered in two multicultural parishes in the South Bronx, was the director of vocation and formation ministry for her congregation, and was a member of the Archdiocese of New York's Parish Mission Team.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Jewish Question
Enzo Traverso, author
Bernard Gibbons, translator
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
www.haymarketbooks.org
9781642590548, $28.00, PB, 264pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: For figures ranging from Karl Marx to the luminaries of the Frankfurt School, the 'Jewish Question' (a set of problems related to emancipation and anti-Semitism, cultural assimilation and Zionism) raised significant controversies within Marxist theory.

In "The Jewish Question: History of a Marxist Debate", Enzo Traverso (who is the Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in the Humanities at Cornell University) carefully reconstructs this intellectual debate that runs over more than a century, discussing both its generative aspects and its blind alleys.

In "The Jewish Question", Professor Traverso deftly explores the causes and the forms of the encounter that took place, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the Holocaust, between the intelligentsia of a cosmopolitan minority and the most radical ideological current of Western modernity.

Originally published in French, then translated into English, and now in a completely rewritten and updated second edition, "The Jewish Question" has already been translated into many languages including German, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish.

Critique: A seminal work of meticulously detailed and exceptional scholarship that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a two page Glossary, a six page Chronology, a twenty-five page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "The Jewish Question: History of a Marxist Debate" is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, making it an unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Judaic Studies and Marxist Studies collections, as well as the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

The Mussar Torah Commentary
Rabbi Barry H. Block, editor
CCAR Press
355 Lexington Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10017
9780881233544, $22.95, PB, 402pp, www.ccarpress.org

Synopsis: Compiled and edited by Rabbi Barry H. Block "The Mussar Torah Commentary: A Spiritual Path to Living a Meaningful and Ethical Life" is a mussar-based commentary is a vital resource for Torah study, offering a thoughtful analysis of each of the 54 weeks. Each individual essay in this anthology brings a parashah into juxtaposition with one of the mussar middot (character traits as described within the Jewish school of ethics called mussar), thereby providing an applied lens of mussar teachings that helps us to delve deeper into our tradition with increased mindfulness and intention.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a four page Glossary and a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, "The Mussar Torah Commentary: A Spiritual Path to Living a Meaningful and Ethical Life" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, synagogue, community, college, and university library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

Editorial Note: Rabbi Barry H. Block serves Congregation B'nai Israel in Little Rock, Arkansas. A Houston native and graduate of Amherst College, Rabbi Block was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1991 after studying at its Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York campuses, and he received his DD, honoris causa, in 2016. Block currently serves as faculty dean at URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp, a role he held for twenty-one years at URJ Greene Family Camp. He is a past board chair of Planned Parenthood of South Texas.

Armed With Spirit
Rabbi Shalom Hammer
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
www.gefenpublishing.com
9789652299673, $17.99, PB, 265pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: There are many ordeals that observant young men and women encounter while serving in the Israeli army. Rabbi Shalom Hammer's son Yakov is an observant young man who was drafted as a combat soldier for the Nachal Brigade battalion -- of whom the majority are non-observant from the Shomer Hatzair Kibbutz movement.

While Rabbi Hammer was supportive of Yakov and his service, as a devout father he knew there were religious challenges yet to come; and so from the very first day of his service Rabbi Hammer would send him a dvar Torah message on his whats app every single day.

Rabbi Hammer chose different divrei Torah from varied sources with the intention of finding something from that week's parsha which related to his serving in the Israeli army as an observant soldier. These divrei Torah were a means of remaining connected with the Rabbi's son and although the two of them were physically apart, the Torah would keep them together.

What evolved were conversations and exchanges between the two of them that were meaningful and insightful. "Armed with Spirit: A father's advice to his son in the Israeli army based on the weekly Torah portions" will give the reader an inside glimpse of the Israeli army from a religious perspective.

Critique: A unique, thought provoking, and inherently informative compilation of religious insights, observations and commentaries, "Armed with Spirit: A father's advice to his son in the Israeli army based on the weekly Torah portions" is an unreservedly recommended addition to synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Armed with Spirit" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note: Rabbi Shalom Hammer lives in Israel 30 years with his wife Gabi, their seven children and two granddaughters. He served under the Rabbinate Division of the Israeli Defense Forces and currently serves as a senior lecturer for Mahane Meshutaf and the Jewish Identity branch of Tzahal which motivates troops in all divisions and teaches soldiers about Jewish identity and Jewish heritage. In addition Shalom is the founder of Makom Meshutaf, an organization which promotes a new Judaism based on tolerance and unity between all denominations in Israel. Makom Meshutaf offers Jewish programming for secular Kibbutzim and Moshavim throughout Israel. Rabbi Hammer is also a contributing writer for the Jerusalem Post and is a sought after lecturer for communities throughout the Diaspora. He has authored four previous books including The Family Parsha Book, The Family Rashi Book, The Eybeshitz Haggadah: Experiencing Redemption, and Derash Yehonatan.

Be, Become, Bless
Yakov Nagen
Maggid Books
c/o Koren Publishers Jerusalem
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776
www.korenpub.com
9781592645275, $19.95, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The thirst for spirituality and meaning is a defining characteristic of our times. A societal shift is taking place, one that emphasizes experience, feeling, and imagination. "Be, Become, Bless: Jewish Spirituality Between East & West" by Rabbi Yakov Nagen presents a Jewish approach to transforming the way we see and live our lives.

In these pages, Rabbi Nagen uses the weekly parasha as a springboard to converse with both Eastern spirituality and Western thinking, creating a synthesis that unifies being and doing. Thought-provoking and original, this study draws on wisdom from the Bible, Talmud, Kabbala, as well as philosophy, poetry, literature, music, and film. Rich with stories and insights from the author's personal journey, "Be, Become, Bless" seeks to guide its readers to discover their own path to fulfillment.

Critique: As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired inspiring, "Be, Become, Bless: Jewish Spirituality Between East & West" is an extraordinarily engaging, exceptionally informative, impressively organized and presented study that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections.


The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Modern Tantric Buddhism
Lama Justin von Bujdoss
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623173951, $19.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tantric Buddhism refers to the Buddhist traditions of Tantra and "Secret Mantra", which developed in medieval India and spread to Tibet, Bhutan, and East Asia. In Tibet, Buddhist Tantra is termed Vajrayana, while in China it is generally known as Tangmi. (Wikipedia)

Today, a new generation of Buddhists searches for ways to adopt Vajrayana while staying true to its historical legacy. "Modern Tantric Buddhism: Embodiment and Authenticity in Dharma Practice" unpacks the principles and applications of this esoteric practice in an accessible and meaningful manner, connecting its roots to a socially engaged, modern-day dharma.

Taking a traditional Tibetan pedagogical approach, Lama Justin von Bujdoss divides "Modern Tantric Buddhism" into three thematic sections: Body, as it applies to physicality and embodiment; Speech, or ethical action; and Mind, the context of awakening.

Von Bujdoss challenges assumptions about what it means to be a socially engaged Buddhist, and presents Tantra as an ideal vehicle for critically examining today's most pressing social issues while confronting the structural inequities of patriarchy, sexism, colonialism, and racism within Buddhist institutions.

Critique: A definitive and comprehensive study that is as impressively informative as it is exceptionally well organized and presented, "Modern Tantric Buddhism: Embodiment and Authenticity in Dharma Practice" is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Buddhist Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Modern Tantric Buddhism" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Justin von Bujdoss is an American Buddhist teacher and chaplain. He was ordained as a repa in the Karma Kamstang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism by His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche in 2011 and given the name Repa Dorje Odzer. Justin is passionate about the preservation of the Tantric Buddhist tradition in a way that meets the needs of, and simultaneously challenges, the modern western way of life. From 2012 until 2017 Justin served as the resident-lama and executive director of New York Tsurphu Goshir Dharma Center and is presently the first dedicated Staff Chaplain for the New York City Department of Correction. In March 2018 Justin was appointed Executive Director of the Division of Chaplaincy and Staff Wellness for New York City Department of Correction and leads all wellness initiatives for the agency.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Spiritual Rebel
Sarah Bowen
Monkfish Book Publishing Company
www.monkfishpublishing.com
9781948626170, $29.99, HC, 236pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bringing together insights from a wide range of traditions ranging from Taoism, to Jediism, to Yoga, to Science, to Christianity and more, "Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose" by Sarah Bowen encourages readers to explore their own personal spiritual style and life purpose.

Mining the world's philosophical, scientific, and wisdom traditions, "Spiritual Rebel" offers a three-week program of unconventional spiritual practices. Each day readers choose from a variety of creative activities to try out including forest bathing, meditation with animals, visio divina, kirtan, sacred reading, and visiting spiritually charged locations, just to name a few.

Throughout "Spiritual Rebel", Sarah divulges juicy tidbits from her own spiritually rebellious journey. A preacher's kid originally inspired by the Force of Star Wars, she confesses her challenges with her birth religion, descent into addiction, and recovery into a life where everything can be sacred.

Combining pop culture with ancient wisdom, "Spiritual Rebel" draws on the interfaith wisdom of Wayne Teasdale, Brother David Steindl-Rast, Dr. Andrew Newberg, A.H. Almas, David Spangler, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Neil deGrasse Tyson, John Muir, Dr. Qing Li, Sarah Wilson, Leonard Felder, Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Diane Berke, Thich Nhat Hanh, Madeleine L'Engle, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Krishna Das, Phyllis Curott, Belden C. Lane, Albert Einstein, and many others.

An indispensable guide for seekers, those in spiritual communities, agnostics, atheists, mystics, and the spiritual-but-not-religious, "Spiritual Rebel" is for anyone who desires meaningful experiences without having to commit exclusively to one path or fear they might be "doing it wrong." The diverse collection of interspiritual practices and resources will inspire the Force within you, by whatever name you call it.

Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, exceptionally insightful and ultimately inspiring, "Spiritual Rebel" is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Spirituality collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Spiritual Rebel" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1948626040, $16.95) and in digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Editorial Note: Sarah Bowen is a multifaith spiritual educator and speaker, and an aspiring Jedi. As a member of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary's faculty, Spiritual Directors International, and several recovery communities, she seeks to help others connect with the higher power of their own understanding. Passionate about the world's great faith traditions, Sarah is a graduate of One Spirit and has studied at Chicago Theological Seminary, Emerson Theological Institute, Chopra Center, and Omega Institute. She is especially interested in the intersection of animal welfare and spiritual values and a fierce advocate for all creatures, and she currently serves as an animal chaplain.


The General Fiction Shelf

Sword of Kings
Bernard Cornwell
Harper
www.harpercollins.com
9780062563217, $27.99

Sword of Kings adds another historical fiction winner to his Saxon Tales of early England, and is especially highly recommended for prior fans of the series who will find this latest addition as powerful as the rest. As King Edward's reign ends, two potential heirs and political turmoil lead to the question of whether the existing states will survive. Uhtred of Bebbanburg loves his country and is committed to its independence, but an oath sworn between him and Aethelstan, who is a potential king, may test his resolve and his loyalties. A powerful story of attack, struggle, and the political decisions that will change England forever contributes to an engrossing story that is vividly portrayed.

The Devil Close Behind
Janet Dawson
Perseverance Press/John Daniels
www.danielpublishing.com/perseverance
9781564746061, $15.95

Devils can take the form of grief, a haunting past, or evil individuals who are up to no good. In this Jeri Howard mystery it's all three guises which haunt a story inspired by the true story of nine unsolved arsons in the Oakland area. P.I. Jeri Howard is on vacation in New Orleans when a friend asks her to look into a missing persons case. She never expected her casual look would bring her into a full-fledged mystery, much less coming full circle back to California. This story of intrigue is an engrossing tale that will delight mystery readers who like atmospheric stories spiced with personal involvement and psychological twists.

Captives
Reiner Prochaska
The Permanent Press
http://thepermanentpress.com
9781579625764, $29.95, HC, 217pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Frederick County, Maryland, September 1944. Florian Schneider, a code breaker for the German Army, is interned at POW Branch Camp 6. Many of his fellow inmates (most of them seasoned Afrika Korps veterans) mistrust the taciturn soldier, whose rank belies his education and his excellent command of the English language.

He is assigned to work on the farm of Vivian Klein, whose daughter, Mary, has moved back home for the remainder of the war while her husband is fighting in the Pacific. An unlikely, complicated romance ensues between Mary and Schneider.

Once Schneider earns the trust of his peers by saving the life of Bernd Wagner, he dares to propose to them the impossible a plan for escape: After a performance of Coriolanus by the German soldiers for their American captors on New Year's Eve, a group of German soldiers will steal a car and head for the New Jersey coast. Schneider knows that two spies enlisted to sabotage the Manhattan Project are scheduled to be delivered via submarine to the coast off Maine around New Years Day 1945. Schneider believes in the slight chance that he and his fellow escapees may be able to radio the sub to pick them up off the East Coast.

On New Years Eve, everything starts out as planned, but shortly after midnight, as the men are stealing a truck on Vivian Klein's Farm, Mary surprises them. Unwilling to harm Mary or jeopardize the escape, Schneider tells the men to leave without him. Without Schneider's language skills, they are captured trying to cross the Susquehanna Bridge, and Wagner is killed. Blaming Schneider for the failed escape, the men convene a Court of Honor to decide his fate.

Critique: An elegant and deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a style of narrative storytelling that fully engages the reader from cover to cover, "Captives" by Reiner Prochaska is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Captives" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Reiner Prochaska is an actor and a playwright, whose plays have been produced regionally and published internationally. A former longtime member of Maryland Ensemble Theatre, he is the Artistic Director of Frederick Classical Ensemble, a theater company dedicated to classical, Medieval, and Renaissance drama. A graduate of Towson University, Reiner teaches writing at his alma mater and acting at McDaniel College.

Someone We Know
Shari Lapena
Pamela Dorman Books / Viking Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9780525557654, $27.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses (and into the owners' computers as well) learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too. Who is he, and what might he have uncovered?

After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they're telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it's not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide -- an you never really know what people are capable of!

Critique: An impressively well crafted thriller of a suspense novel by an author with a distinctive flair for originality and a narrative storytelling style that holds her readers enthralled from cover to cover, "Someone We Know" by Shari Lapena is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Someone We Know" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and a large print edition (Random House Large Print, 9780593152232, $29.00, PB, 400pp).

Toward the Light
Bonnar Spring
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608093762, $26.95, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Luz Concepcion returns to Guatemala to murder Martin Benavides, the man who destroyed her family. Benavides, who rose from insurgent fighter to president, controls a major drug network.

Richard Clement became Luz's resettlement officer when she was evacuated to the U.S. He now works for the CIA, which has its own reasons for eliminating Benavides. Richard's team persuades Luz to pursue a job as nanny to Benavides' grandson, Cesar, a lonely child with an absentee playboy father.

The Guatemala contact for her mission is Evan McManus, an expat painter who pursues Luz, hoping to persuade her to model for him -- and more. Luz initially spurns his advances, but her first terrifying encounter with Martin Benavides propels her into his arms.

Complicating matters, Luz conceals from all sides her clandestine contact with her surviving cousin, Antonio Torres, a guerrilla leader fighting the government propped up by the Benavides and their drug money.

Critique: An inherently riveting suspense thriller of an action novel, "Toward the Light" showcases an impressive author with a fully developed narrative storytelling style that keeps the reader totally engaged from first page to last. Offering the kind of story that makes for block buster movies, "Toward the Light" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Toward the Light" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.29).

Tidal Flats
Cynthia Newberry Martin
Bonhomie Press
c/o Yellow Pear Press
57 Post Street, Suite 913, San Francisco, CA 94014
www.yellowpearpress.com
9781732676824, $26.95, HC, 364pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Mary Cassatt Miller falls for famous photojournalist Ethan Graham. But it's complicated. For months at a time, Ethan's work takes him to Afghanistan, and Cass, who's passionate about her job in Atlanta, wants a husband who comes home at night. Then, there's the issue of family -- he wants one; she doesn't.

What they do want is a life together, so Ethan agrees that after three years, he will stop traveling - - whether Cass agrees to children or not. But for Cass, who grew up with a mother who didn't want her and a father who was never home, even thinking about children is troubling.

Now, nine weeks before their third anniversary, Cass wonders whether Ethan will try to squeeze in one final trip to Afghanistan. When he does, she's unsure if he will ever give up the work he loves. And if he won't, well, she will not repeat the life her parents had.

As the clock counts down, it doesn't help that Singer, the artist-bartender, is always in Atlanta, and the enthralling Setara, the subject of Ethan's most famous photograph, is also his business partner. Then, a new danger in Afghanistan changes everything.

Critique: "Tidal Flats" is the inherently compelling, deftly crafted, and remarkably original story of a marriage that is all the more impressive when considering that it is author Cynthia Newberry Martin's debut as a novelist. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tidal Flats" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.89).

The Country Guesthouse
Robyn Carr
Mira Books
195 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10007
www.mirabooks.com
9780778309055, $26.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Hannah Russell's carefully crafted plans for her life have been upended without warning. When her best friend died suddenly, Hannah became guardian to a five-year-old named Noah. With no experience at motherhood, she's terrified she's not up to the challenge. She and Noah need time to get to know each other, so she decides to rent a country house with stunning views on a lake in rural Colorado.

When they arrive at the house, they are greeted by the owner, a handsome man who promises to stay out of their way. But his clumsy Great Dane, Romeo, has other ideas and Noah immediately bonds with the lovable dog. As Hannah learns to become a mother, Owen Abrams, who is recovering from his own grief, can't help but be drawn out of his solitude by his guests.

But life throws more challenges at this unlikely trio and they are tested in ways they never thought possible. All three will discover their strengths and, despite their differences, they will fight to become a family. And the people of Sullivan's Crossing will rally around them to offer all of the support they need.

Critique: Another deftly crafted, heartwarming, and thoroughly entertaining novel from the talented novelist Robyn Carr, "The Country Guesthouse" is a very special and original addition to her 'Sullivan's Crossing' series. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for the legions of Robyn Carr fans that "The Country Guesthouse" is also available in a paperback edition (Mills & Boon, 9781848458048, $11.96), in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Recorded Books, 9781980066286, $29.99).

Bodies on the Line: Short Fiction
Peter Stine
Regent Press
2747 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705
www.regentpress.net
9781587905193, $15.95, PB, 190pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Bodies on the Line: Short Fiction", Peter Stine (founder and editor of the literary magazine Witness), presents a debut collection of his stories that defy categorization. Here is a great weird scope. The most realistic story can twist and turn until suddenly you're in the land of dreams, questioning everything. Collectively, Stine's short stories are studies in violence and self-deception, unspeakable griefs and hypocrisy, sports and war, injustice, kindness. The body in these stories is often under siege ("on the line") either physically or psychologically. Wildly imaginative, the stories are often funny and absurd, always stripped clean of artifice, and possessed by the same eyes-wide-open-to-the-world consciousness that gave rise to one of the arguably best literary magazines in the country.

Critique: An inherently engaging, deftly crafted anthology of memorable short stories, "Bodies on the Line: Short Fiction" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bodies on the Line: Short Fiction" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.95).

Trouthe, Lies, and Basketball
Charley Rosen
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
www.sevenstories.com
9781609809416, $18.95, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Elliot Hersch is given a basketball on his tenth birthday and cuts a deal with his disapproving father: if he makes straight As, he is allowed to play. Modeling his game on the basketball heroes of his time--Clyde Frazier, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and especially Larry Bird--Elliot becomes one of the finest high school basketball players in New York.

Trying to steer clear of the corruption and sleaze in the big college programs, Elliott signs with the seemingly clean-cut University of Southern Arizona (USA), partly to fulfill his promise to his father, whose one piece of advice about life is: Tell the truth, always. A quote from Chaucer, his father's favorite writer, guides both father and son "Trouthe is the hyest thing that man may kepe."

What he finds at the USA and then the NBA is a far cry from untarnished "trouthe." Elliott is challenged at every turn, tangling at the end of the day with what is most true: the game. Can Elliott truly play basketball? And if not, what is left of his life?

"Trouthe, Lies, and Basketball" is an epic comic tale that is uniquely structured like a gripping basketball game, completely with literary "time-outs" -- of a basketball player coming to terms with the world as it is, his talents as they are. Rosen's characters, even the mostly unseemly, are all heart, and by the end they leave those hearts on the hardwood.

Critique: A unique and impressively entertaining novel by an author with a very special grasp of how to utilize narrative storytelling to maintain the reader's rapt attention and engagement from beginning to end, "Trouthe, Lies, and Basketball" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Trouthe, Lies, and Basketball" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

We, The Jury
Robert Rotstein
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781538507728, $24.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On the day before his twenty-first wedding anniversary, David Sullinger buried an ax in his wife's skull. Now, eight jurors must retire to the deliberation room and decide whether David committed premeditated murder -- or whether he was a battered spouse who killed his wife in self-defense.

The path to justice is fraught with surprising pitfalls and confusing turns. An experienced, fair-minded judge mistakenly tells the jury that David is guilty and fears she's losing her mind. The bailiff, once a decorated street cop but now a pariah in the sheriff's department, must fend off the sexual advances of an amoral juror. An unscrupulous tabloid reporter tries to tamper with the justice system.

Once inside the deliberation room, the jurors elect as foreperson an insecure, addled file clerk, who gets the job because no one else wants it. Despite (or perhaps because of) her delusions of grandeur, she loses control of the deliberations, allowing a juror known as the Housewife to monopolize the discussion. A buttoned-up jury consultant uses her professional experience to challenge her colleagues' preconceived notions about the evidence. An apparently sweet grandmother turns out to be anything but. A Methodist minister sits silently, concealing a shocking secret that could change everything.

As the jurors stagger toward a verdict, they must sift through contradictory testimony from the Sullinger's children, who disagree on which parent was Satan; sort out conflicting allegations of severe physical abuse, adultery, and incest; and overcome personal animosities that threaten a fair and just verdict. Ultimately, the central figures in We, the Jury must navigate the blurred boundaries between bias and objectivity, fiction and truth.

Critique: Deftly scripted and told from the perspective of more than a dozen participants in a dramatically vivid murder trial, "We, The Jury" by Robert Rotstein deftly examines how public perception can mask the ghastliest nightmares and format the process of justice into unexpected shapes. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "We, The Jury" is also now available in a paperback edition (9781982546533, $15.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.19), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538503232, $34.95, CD).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Where Have All the Boys Gone?
Jenny Colgan
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062869647, $16.99, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Faced with the harsh reality that there are 25,000 more women than men in London, Katie's dating prospects are at an all-time low. While she's glad it's not a man's world anymore, it wouldn't hurt if there were more eligible bachelors!

More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact that there's no sex in the city for her and decides to head for the hills -- or the Scottish Highlands to be exact. Despite the fact she's never been one for muddy rain boats (and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere) the tiny town does have one major draw: men. LOTS of them!

But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she's not excited about going head to head with her shady new boss, Harry. At least there's the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and she can't afford to get on Harry's bad side any more than she already has.

Life in the country might not be one big roll in the hay, but now that Katie has taken the plunge, can she ever turn her back on the delights of Fairlish and return to city life?

Critique: A rollicking great read from cover to cover, "Where Have All the Boys Gone?" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where Have All the Boys Gone?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094107646, $39.99, CD).

Uncommon Woman
Laura Frantz
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800737795, $29.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the borderlands of 1770 West Virginia, unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa's long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand (and heart) are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Critique: An inherently riveting action/adventure historical romance, "Uncommon Woman" by Laura Frantz is a simply riveting and engagingly entertaining novel from beginning to end. With an exceptional flair for historical detail combined with a singularly original narrative storytelling style, "Uncommon Woman" is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Uncommon Woman" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800734954, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Stitches in Time
Suzanne Woods Fisher
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800737078, $29.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: New to the area, Mollie Graber is a teacher in Stoney Ridge who takes on the challenge to help find homes for foster children in Lancaster County at the request of the new church deacon, Luke Schrock. Her effort brings hope to two young girls, but complicates her budding romance!

Critique: A pleasant and fully entertaining read from cover to cover, "Stitches in Time" by Suzanne Woods Fisher is another exquisitely crafted romance novel set in Amish country by a master of the genre and the second installment of the author's outstanding series 'The Deacon's Family". While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the legions of Suzanne Woods Fisher fans that "Stitches in Time" is also available in a paperback edition (978-0800727529, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.63).


The Western Fiction Shelf

Fast Ride to Boot Hill: The Legend of Ben Hawks
Lee Martin
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
http://gale.cengage.com/fivestar
9781432860073, $21.95, HC, 205pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tricked into believing his fiancee had died in a stage robbery, Ben Hawks is a vengeful Texas Ranger trails the gang for years as he becomes a legend in song and dime novels before ending up on the side of a former outlaw with a sharpshooting niece -- even as the truth unfolds in a violent climax.

Critique: With more plot twists and turns than a Grand Canyon hiking trail, "Fast Ride to Boot Hill: The Legend of Ben Hawks" is an inherently riveting read from cover to cover -- and showcases author Lee Martin's impressively mastery of the western action/adventure genre. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections, "Fast Ride to Boot Hill: The Legend of Ben Hawks" is an especially recommended addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated western novel fans.

Way of the Lawless
P. McCormac
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444842746, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 268pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Joe Peters and his partner Butch Shilton have been on the run for a year. On their way to prison for shooting a cheating gambler, a gang of outlaws murdered their escort - a crime for which the pair of them have been blamed. Trouble follows them everywhere, and they end up in the brutal Los Pecos penitentiary. Breaking out, they flee to Mexico, only to fall foul of the notorious bandit Barca. With enemies closing in on all sides, could this be the end of the trail for two men who ride a lawless trail.

Critique: Replete with an amazing number of cliff-hanger twists and turns, "Way of the Lawless" is a unique western action/adventure novel that ultimately concludes with an unforeseeable finish. No personal reading lists or community library Western Fiction collection would be complete without a copy of this large print edition of P. McCormac's riveting "Way of the Lawless".

Devine's Mission
I. J. Parnham
Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444842388, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Lachlan McKinley raids Fairmount Town's bank, the bounty on his head attracts plenty of manhunters -- but everyone who goes after him ends up dead. When bounty hunter Jonathon Lynch, Lachlan's stepbrother, joins the hunt, he soon discovers that all is not as it seems, and Lachlan may in fact be innocent. Worse, a ruthlessly murderous US Marshal Jake Devine is also after Lachlan. Despising bounty hunters with a lethal intent, Devine is more likely to destroy the peace than to keep it, so can Jonathon bring the guilty to justice before Devine does his worst?

Critique: A fully engaging and entertaining western novel by an author with an impressive talent for the genre, "Devine's Mission" is enthusiastically recommended reading for all dedicated western buffs -- and this large print edition will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections.

The Drygulch Trail
Ned Oaks
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444840124, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Will Curtis rides into Junction City on a cold rainy night, all he wants is a shot of whiskey and a place to dry off. Instead, he finds himself dragged into a feud between a land-hungry banker and the tough homesteaders who are desperate to keep their ranches. But when rich bully Clem Dawson brings in hired guns to force the ranchers off their land (and whose hired gunslingers try to murder the children of one small ranch owner), Curtis decides there is only one thing a decent man can do under the circumstances -- and that is to fight.

Critique: Another deftly crafted and riveting western from author Ned Oaks, "The Drygulch Trail" is a compelling page-turner of a read from cover to cover. This large print edition is an especially recommended addition to both community library collections and the personal reading lists of any and all dedicated western novel fans.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Chocolate Shark Shennanigans
JoAnna Carl
Berkley Prime Crime
www.penguinrandomhouse.com
9780593100004, $25.00

The Chocolate Shark Shennanigans is a 'chocoholic' food mystery that delves into the mysteries of house-flipping, food, and murder in a satisfying, fun fashion that compliments the prior The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha. From battles with a predatory developer who has his eye on the house prize to the challenge of managing TenHuis Chocolate, add a murder into the mix and the discovery of a hidden weapon for a fast-paced first-person narrative designed to keep chocolate fans on their toes, intrigued, and hungry for more.

The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt
Burt Solomon
Forge
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.tor-forge.com
9780765392671, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Theodore Roosevelt had been president for less than a year when on a tour in New England his horse-drawn carriage was broadsided by an electric trolley. TR was thrown clear but his Secret Service bodyguard was killed instantly. The trolley's motorman pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the matter was quietly put to rest. But was it an accident or an assassination attempt -- and would there be another "accident" soon?

"The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt" casts this event in a darker light. John Hay, the Secretary of State, finds himself in pursuit of a would-be assassin, investigating the motives of TR's many enemies, including political rivals and the industrial trusts. He crosses paths with luminaries of the day, such as best-pal Henry Adams, Emma Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Mark Hanna, and (as an investigatory sidekick) the infamous Nellie Bly, who will help Hay protect the man who wants to transform a nation.

Critique: An inherently riveting historical mystery by an author who is a master of the genre, "The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt" showcases novelist Burt Solomon's genuine flair for originality and a thoroughly reader engaging narrative storytelling style. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Beating About the Bush
M. C. Beaton
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250157720, $26.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems.

The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first?

Critique: Another beautifully scripted mystery by a true master of the genre, "Beating About the Bush" by M. C. Beaton is the latest Agatha Raisin novel and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs, it should be noted that "Beating About the Bush" is also available in a paperback edition (9781250157737, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Bound for Murder
Victoria Gilbert
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643852430, $26.99, HC, 311pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Taylorsford Public Library director Amy Webber's friend "Sunny" Fields is running for mayor. But nothing puts a damper on a campaign like an actual skeleton in a candidate's closet. Sunny's grandparents ran a commune back in the 1960s on their organic farm. But these former hippies face criminal charges when human remains are found in their fields -- and a forensic examination reveals that the death was neither natural nor accidental.

With Sunny's mayoral hopes fading, Amy sets her wedding plans aside, says "not yet" to the dress, and uses her research skills to clear her best friend's family. Any of the now-elderly commune members could have been the culprit. As former hippies perish one by one, Amy and her friends Richard, Aunt Lydia, and Hugh Chen pursue every lead. But if Amy can't find whoever killed these "flower children," someone may soon be placing flowers on her grave.

Critique: Another deftly crafted mystery buff's delight by a true master of the genre, "Bound for Murder" is another unreservedly recommended addition to author Victoria Gilbert's 'Blue Ridge Library Mystery' series. While "Bound for Murder" will prove to be an exceptionally popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the growing legion of Victoria Gilbert fans that "Bound for Murder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

The Woman in the Veil
Laura Joh Rowland
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643852416, $26.99, HC, 294pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O'Reilly are crime scene photographers for the Daily World newspaper. After solving a sensational murder, they're under pressure to deliver another big story. On a foggy summer night, they're called to the bank of the river Thames. The murder victim is an unidentified woman whose face has been slashed. But as Sarah takes photographs, she discovers that the woman is still alive.

The case of "Sleeping Beauty" becomes a public sensation, and three parties quickly come forward to identify her: a rich, sinister artist who claims she's his wife; a mother and her two daughters who co-own a nursing home and claim she's their stepdaughter/sister; and a precocious little girl who claims Sleeping Beauty is her mother. Which party is Sleeping Beauty's rightful kin? Is someone among them her would-be killer?

Then Sleeping Beauty awakens -- but with a severe case of amnesia! She's forgotten her name and everything else about herself. But she recognizes one of the people who've claimed her. Sarah is delighted to reunite a family and send Sleeping Beauty home -- until one of the claimants is murdered. Suddenly, Sarah, her motley crew of friends, and her fiance Detective Sergeant Barrett are on the wrong side of the law. Now they must identify the killer before they find themselves headed for the gallows.

Critique: An impressively elegant and well crafted Victorian era mystery by novelist Laura Joh Rowland, "The Woman in the Veil" is a compelling and compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. A very highly recommended addition to any community library Mystery/Suspense collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Woman in the Veil" is readily available in a digital book format as well (Kindle, $12.99).

Fatal Roots
Sheila Connolly
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643852393, $26.99, HC, 281pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A few months earlier, Boston expat Maura Donovan was rekindled with her mother after more than twenty years of absence. Since then, Maura has been getting accustomed to Irish living, complete with an inherited house and a pub named Sullivan's. But now, her mother has returned -- and she's brought Maura's half-sister in tow.

To make matters more confusing, a handful of Cork University students are knocking on Maura's door asking about a mystical fairy fort that happens to be located on Maura's piece of land.

The lore indicates that messing with the fort can cause bad luck, and most everyone is telling Maura not to get too involved for fear of its powers, but Maura is curious about her own land, and she definitely doesn't buy into the superstition. Then one of the students disappears after a day of scoping out the fort on Maura's property.

Maura treads carefully, asking the folks around town who might have an idea, but no one wants anything to do with these forts. She has to take matters into her own hand--it's her land, after all. But when she uncovers a decades-old corpse buried in the center of the fort, nothing is for certain!

Critique: The latest County Cork mystery from the pen of Sheila Connolly, "Fatal Roots" is a superbly crafted and reader riveting novel by a master of the genre. Replete with unexpected plot twists and turns, "Fatal Roots" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Another wonderfully entertaining and original story, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs, as well as the growing legion of Sheila Connolly fans that "Fatal Roots" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Murder Ink
Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9780425266014, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That's what the sheriff's office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building's owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square's tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

Critique: Her sixth murder mystery in her 'Victorian Square Mystery' series, "Murder Ink" by Lorraine Bartlett (with the assistance of Gayle Leeson) is another little gem of a novel and certain to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Murder Ink" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781977364258, $29.99, CD).

Galileo
Ann McMan
Bywater Books
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
www.bywaterbooks.com
9781612941592, $16.95, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tim Donovan is a Catholic priest with a guilty conscience -- though not in the way most people would guess nowadays. And Katherine Donne is a Parisian socialite who long ago kicked her self-respect to the curb -- for good and for ill. And much closer, we have a group of men whose fortunes, graying temples and positions in life are distinguished and enviable. But their morals? Anything but.

And that's where Evan Reed comes in. Evan (short for Evangeline) is a highly principled political operative with an imperfect past, tasked with uncovering compromising material on a rotten judge up for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court before he can be rushed through confirmation.

Evan knows it won't be simple to find damaging information against the judge because he's been vetted many times before. When Evan pulls the string after an interview with a cryptic madman, she finds herself struggling to solve a puzzle that gets more complex by the hour. And where crime, money, conscience, and greed come together, danger is sure to lurk.

As Evan pushes further into peril, her personal life sparks into flame with the increasing presence of the ravishing Julia Donne, a book publisher with a progressive bent and troubling questions about her late father. McMan's specialty of intertwining a hot romance into heart-pounding suspense just keeps getting better and better.

Critique: A sequel to her novel "Dust", this second suspense thriller of a read, "Galileo" continues to showcase author Ann McMan's genuine flair for originality and total mastery of the mystery/suspense genre. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery/thriller buffs that "Dust" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69) as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799770220, $29.99, CD).

Molten Mud Murder
Sara E. Johnson
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
www.poisonedpenpress.com
9781464211232, $15.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When a body is found half-submerged in a molten mud pot in one of Rotorua's famous geothermal wonderlands, forensics expert Alexa Glock spots a way to prolong her stay in New Zealand, which she has been visiting for work. Teeth are her expertise, and the investigation needs her help, as other ways of identifying the body may have melted away!

Joining Detective Inspector Bruce Horne and his team, Alexa discovers that the murder victim, a city councilman, had trespassed on an island sacred to the Maori. The ancient punishment for such a transgression is disaster, demonic possession, or death. When she visits the island to investigate, the same outcome is promised for her. Alexa doesn't believe in ancient spirits returning to exact revenge, and when another victim turns up dead she begins to wonder whether the real threat is something (or someone) much closer to home.

Critique: A deftly crafted and exceptionally original mystery by a master of the genre, "Molten Mud Murder by Sara E. Johnson is her debut as a novelist and an exceptionally entertaining read with unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader's riveted attention from first page to last. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Molten Mud Murder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Waters and the Wild
Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
Baen Books
www.baen.com
9781481484305, $25.00

Adding to the Bedlam's Bard urban fantasy series is a vivid story that seems to begin in an ordinary world where Olivia's parents are divorcing, leading to depression and vulnerability when a charming, dangerous swimming star woos her. When she accepts an invitation to visit the Adirondack resort camp of Lake Endor with Blake and his family, only then does she begin to uncover the truth behind his ways, a dangerous mystery, and a threat that is literally alien to anything Olivia has ever known. This engrossing story will delight sci-fi, horror, and novel readers alike.

Accepting the Lance
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982124212, $25.00, HC, 448pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Exiled from Liad after bombing a city to save it from The Department of the Interior's infernal weapons and plans, Clan Korval has gone to ground on the back water planet Surebleak, whose people are as untamed as its weather.

Far beyond the surface of frigid Surebleak, Korval's far-flung trade network needs a serious reset. From flagship Dutiful Passage to the experimental self-aware Bechimo, the clan's ships are prowling space lanes seeking trade. Meanwhile, old tech from a failed universe and the machinations of the mysterious Uncle are coalescing into dangerous opportunity or nefarious trap.

And the Department of the Interior is not done with Clan Korval yet. They seek a final fully reckoned revenge, with Surebleak and Korval's ships and people everywhere in the crosshairs.

Critique: An inherently riveting saga of a science fiction novel by two authors who share a genuine flair for originality combined with a distinctively entertaining narrative storytelling style, "Accepting The Lance" by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is especially and unreservedly recommended -- especially for community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated SciFi buffs that "Accepting The Lance" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Hanged Man
K. D. Edwards
Pyr
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
www.prometheusbooks.com
9781633884922, $17.00, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Throne, is backed into a fight of high court magic and political appetites in a desperate bid to protect his ward, Max, from a forced marital alliance with the Hanged Man.

Rune's resistance will take him to the island's dankest corners, including a red light district made of moored ghost ships; the residence of Lady Death; and the floor of the ruling Convocation, where a gathering of Arcana will change Rune's life forever.

Critique: Book 2 of 'The Tarot Sequence' series by fantasy author K. D. Edwards and set in a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts which is governed by powerful Courts based on a Tarot deck, "The Hanged Man" us a simply riveting story of the last member of a murdered House trying to protect his ward from a forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own tortured past. Impressively original, deftly crafted, and exceptionally entertaining, "The Hanged Man" is unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections and is also available for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Runemaker
Alex R. Haler
Inkyard Press
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9781335462268, $18.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tenn thought the spirits wanted him to find his fellow Hunter, Aidan, to win the war against the undead. But with Aidan on the brink of self-destruction and Tenn reeling from his lover's spite, their fated convergence seems far from promising. Especially because Aidan no longer appears to be fighting for the living!

With the Dark Lady whispering commands and Tom s guiding his hand, Aidan slips deeper into darkness. And while the world rallies for its final battle against the Dark Lady's minions, Tenn finds himself torn between saving the boy who's slipping away and fulfilling a prophecy he can't understand -- one that will require him to harness the most powerful magic the world has ever seen: the Sphere of Maya. And depending on who unleashes its power, that magic could either save humanity... or erase it!

Critique: The concluding volume to author Alex R. Haler's original and extraordinary fantasy series 'The Runebinder Chronicles', "Rune Maker" is another deftly crafted and riveting read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated fantasy buffs that "Rune Maker" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Psychology Shelf

When Antidepressants Aren't Enough
Stuart J. Eisendrath, MD
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608685974, $18.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: For nearly two decades, Dr. Stuart Eisendrath has been researching and teaching the therapeutic effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) with people experiencing clinical depression. By helping them recognize that they can find relief by changing how they relate to their thoughts, Eisendrath has seen dramatic improvements in people's quality of life, as well as actual, measurable brain changes.

"When Antidepressants Aren't Enough: Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness to Alleviate Depression" by Dr. Stuart J. Eisendrath (Senior Clinician and Research Psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the founding director of the UCSF Depression Center) is comprised of easily practiced breath exercises, meditations, and innovative visualizations release readers from what can often feel like the tyranny of their thoughts. Freedom of thought, feeling, and action is the life-altering result.

Critique: Exceptionally reader friendly in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "When Antidepressants Aren't Enough: Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness to Alleviate Depression" is insightful, thoughtful, practical, effective and inspiring. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Health & Wellness collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "When Antidepressants Aren't Enough: Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness to Alleviate Depression" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Language of Tarot
Jeannie Reed
thelanguageoftarot.com
Llewellyn
www.llewellyn.com
9780738759425 $17.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Welcome to a world of tarot you couldn't have imagined until now a world in which you can give accurate and insightful tarot readings with little or no guesswork while also developing your psychic ability. This revolutionary guide, written by a tarot master with more than thirty years of experience, teaches a simple, proven system that makes reading cards in a spread as straightforward as reading words on a page.

The Language of Tarot presents an innovative system that treats tarot as a science. It can be taught and learned. Jeannie Reed discovered that when the same two or three cards appear together, it usually represents the same issue in any client's life. This remarkable book translates many card combinations and supplies examples to support each lesson. You can be more creative and confident with card meanings as you uncover how they relate to matters of health, money, relationships, and more. With Jeannie's guidance, it's easy to become fluent in the language of tarot.

Critique: The Language of Tarot: A Proven System for Reading the Cards is a practical-minded, accessible guide to a tarot-reading method that can be taught and learned like any other discipline. In addition to discussing the meanings of individual cards and how to interpret spreads, The Language of Tarot also covers how to work with people in need of a tarot reading - and what not to do. "...never, ever, ever make a financial decision based on what a psychic thinks is happening. Never. No matter how the psychic arrives at the information. And never be the one to give such advice unless you happen to be a psychic and a financial planner." The Language of Tarot is a "must-have" for anyone interested in learning how to read tarot cards. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Language of Tarot is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Editor's Note: Jeannie Reed has been a tarot master and professional psychic for more than three decades. She designed a scientific system of tarot reading and has been teaching it for twenty years. Jeannie has written about oracles for AntiquityNow.org and she wrote a tarot advice column for the national magazine Women-in-Touch. Visit her online at thelanguageoftarot.com

The Ultimate Guide to Witchcraft
Anjou Kiernan
www.lightofanjou.com
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9781592339297, $26.99, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Today magic is not just for a select few. Everyone has the ability to connect to the power of the natural and supernatural worlds to support their intentions. Blending ancient practices with modern context, "The Ultimate Guide to Witchcraft: A Modern-Day Guide to Making Magick" is a guide by Anjoy Kiernan that gives aspiring witches a practical, easy-to-follow path through the study of natural witchcraft and ritual.

Whether the reader is looking to commune with spirits across the veil, need an amulet for protection, wish to build their magical apothecary, create a grimoire, or curate a crystal collection for vibrational work, this guide will empower and inform the craft with respect to learning how to harness the power of the moon, elements, and seasons to amplify spells and divination work.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, exceptionally informative, expertly organized and accessibly presented, "The Ultimate Guide to Witchcraft: A Modern-Day Guide to Making Magick" is an ideal instructional manual and guide for personal development or spiritual enlightenment by tapping into personal magic and apply its alchemy to everyday life.

Editorial Note: Anjou Kiernan is the hedgewitch and herbal alchemist behind Light of Anjou, a witchery shop and virtual sacred space for magic and mysticism. She has been toiling in potions and occult writing since the age of 16 and has continued her journey in witchcraft on a magically-minded homestead in the rolling hills of mid-Maine. Anjou has been named as one of Refinery29's "Magical Women You Really Should Be Following on Instagram". Her writing and photography of unique altars and sacred spaces have attracted a broad audience and customer base on both Instagram (@lightofanjou) and her online witchery shop (www.lightofanjou.com).

Practical Tarot Techniques
Marcus Katz & Tali Goodwin
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
www.llewellyn.com
9780738762630, $17.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now anyone can master the tarot card deck and develop their own unique style with "Practical Tarot Techniques: Your Essential Tool Kit for Better Readings", a fun, practical guidebook on becoming a confident and accurate tarot reader. Providing numerous spreads, exercises, and interpretation strategies, "Practical Tarot Techniques" is the key to unlocking essential skills and methods of tarot reading.

Marcus Katz (England) is a tarot teacher and co-director of the Tarosophy Tarot Association. He has studied and taught tarot for thirty-five years and has delivered more than ten thousand face-to-face readings. Marcus has coauthored several books, including Around the Tarot in 78 Days and Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot. Tali Goodwin (England) is a tarot researcher and co-director of the Tarosophy Tarot Association. She is responsible for the Cards of Antiquity campaign which set the ground for the return of Lenormand, Kipper, and other antique decks in the mass market. Tali is the coauthor of several books, including Around the World in 78 Days and Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot.

Based on over thirty years of tarot reading experience and an extensive survey of readers by Katz and Goodwin, this easy-to-follow tool has everything needed to perform insightful readings in everyday situations ranging from party games to magical applications. Whether an aspiring learner or an expert reader, "Practical Tarot Techniques" is an amazing guide that provides tarot techniques for any occasion with friends, family, or professional clients.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Practical Tarot Techniques: Your Essential Tool Kit for Better Readings" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Tarot Card supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "Practical Tarot Techniques" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

The Witch's Herbal Apothecary
Marysia Miernowska
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9781592339099, $27.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Wiccans hold that Mother Earth is a living entity and holds great medicine to heal us physically and spiritually. However, in today's modern world, too many of us are separated from this source of nourishment. Using the wheel of the year as a framework, "The Witch's Herbal Apothecary: Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making" by Marysia Miernowska will enable its readers to understand the currents of nature and how to weave themselves back into this great web of life.

Using the plants, seasons, and cycles as tools, "The Witch's Herbal Apothecary" enable its readers to tap into the potent Earth Magick of life, death, renewal and rebirth. they will learn ways of growing medicine, harvesting from the wild or home garden, processing plants, and making remedies -- all in harmony with the seasons. Each season opens a portal of magick that allows the harvesting of the literal and spiritual gifts that the Earth is offering at that time.

"The Witch's Herbal Apothecary" will awaken the Witch inherent in every wild soul and guide him or her into an empowered relationship of healing and magick with the natural world.

Critique: Exceptional in organization and presentation, "The Witch's Herbal Apothecary: Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making" is an impressively informative compendium of information that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Marysia Miernowska teaches herbalism through the Gaia School of Healing and regenerative land practices in California. She is the master herbalist and owner of Wild Love Apothecary and was named one of the "top 15 witches on Instagram" (@marysia_miernowska). As an herbalist, witch, biodynamic gardener, and Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner, she is rooted in the Wise Woman Tradition of Healing. Marysia teaches and speaks at conferences internationally on herbal medicine, plant shamanism, regenerative farming practices, and Earth Magick.

The Practice of Enochian Magick
Aleister Crowley
Weiser Books
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
www.redwheelweiser.com
9781578636891, $18.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Enochian magick is a powerful system of ceremonial magic based on the 16th-century writings of John Dee and Edward Kelly, who claimed that their information was presented to them directly from angels. It is named after the biblical prophet Enoch and is perhaps the most powerful and elegant of all magical systems. Dee and Kelley's work has formed the basis for countless magical systems, such as the Golden Dawn, and has inspired magicians from all the generations that followed, including the famed Aleister Crowley.

This new edition of "The Practice of Enochian Magick" presents students of metaphysical studies with the Enochian selections from the Equinox, a magical journal published by Aleister Crowley. It features Crowley's distillation of the work of Dee and Kelley along with an introduction by Lon Milo DuQuette, master occultist.

Critique: Aleister Crowley (12 October 1875 - 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the 'on of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life. This new edition of "The Practice of Enochian Magick" should be considered an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Practice of Enochian Magick" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Moon Magic
Aurora Kane
Wellfleet Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9781577151876, $18.99, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Aurora Kane is a practicing witch and herbalist with many decades (some say centuries) of experience in casting and conjuring. She lives in the Northeastern United States where she is a founding member of the Coven of the Moonbeam Ravine.

In the pages of "Moon Magic: A Handbook of Lunar Cycles, Lore, and Mystical Energies" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to show others how they can harness the power of the magical, mystical, glorious Moon with more than 100 spells, chants, and rituals, along with Esbat celebrations for the Full Moon.

The Moon is one of our most prominent and ancient symbols. It has shaped how we understand and track time, its movement controls the tides, and its rise into the sky signals the coming of night. All of these roles have cemented our relationship with the Moon and its important place in our myths and culture. The distinct phases of the lunar cycle have associations with different states of being. These states mirror a kind of spiritual quest which, like our search for ourselves, never ends. When we observe the Moon, we see reflections of the grand pattern of life that is birth, death, and rebirth.

With this invaluable handbook, metaphysical studies students and practitioners can follow the Moon as she traverses each sign of the zodiac and discover how each astrological phase affects magic -- and how their personal Moon sign affects their magical work. The discussions include the influence of the seldom-discussed energies of the True-Blue Moon, the Black Moon, the Void of Course Moon, and the lunar eclipse.

"Moon Magic" shows how to properly conduct spells using candles and gemstones at exactly the right lunar moment to enhance the flow of power. Each Moon phase is explored individually to cover the phase's main themes along with moon rituals, intention setting, and practical ways to celebrate and manifest health, wealth, and confidence. Also included are herb and crystal lists as they relate to each moon phase and information on traditional lunar herbs, including lavender, jasmine, willow, moonwort, mug wort, pumpkin, and sandalwood.

Critique: An impressively informative and inherently fascinating read, "Moon Magic: A Handbook of Lunar Cycles, Lore, and Mystical Energies" is an exceptionally well organized and presented instructional guide and manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Judy's Story: A Heavenly Love Story
L. R. Sumpter
Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 754, Huntsville, AR 72740
www.ozarkmt.com
9781940265667, $11.50, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: What happens when we pass on to heaven? Those who remain in the material world grieve and cope with the shock of their loss. But what do our departed loved ones experience? What is death like for them?

"Judy's Story: A Heavenly Love Story" by L. R. Sumpter is one woman's story narrated by her through a medium. She tells of her struggle to give up the material world and to adjust to her life in heaven. She struggles with the fear of being sent to hell that she had from the religious teaching of her childhood. She finally learns to be a joyful guide and healer for others.

Critique: Inherently fascinating, impressively informative, exceptionally well presented, "Judy's Story: A Heavenly Love Story" is an extraordinary and unique contribution to the growing body of After Life literature. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Judy's Story: A Heavenly Love Story" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Biography Shelf

Sophia: Mother of Kings
Catherine Curzon
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526755346, $39.95, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sophia, Electress of Hanover, was born to greatness. Granddaughter of James I and mother to George I, she was perhaps the finest queen that Britain never had.

As daughter of Frederick V of the Palatinate and Elizabeth Stuart, Sophia emerged from an impoverished, exiled childhood as the Winter Princess, a young woman of sparky intelligence, cutting wit and admirable determination. Once courted by Charles II, Sophia eventually gave her heart to Ernest Augustus, at whose side she became the first Electress of Hanover and the mother of the first Georgian king of Great Britain.

In "Sophia: Mother of Kings: The Finest Queen Britain Never Had", biographer and historian Catherine Curzon brings this remarkable woman and her tumultuous era vividly to life. In a world where battles raged across the continent and courtiers fought behind closed doors, Sophia kept the home fires burning. Through personal tragedy and public triumph, Sophia raised a family, survived illness, miscarriage, and accusations of conspiracy, and missed out on the British throne by a matter of weeks.

Sophia of Hanover (14 October 1630 - 8 June 1714) became the mother of one of the most glittering dynasties the world has ever known.

Critique: A singularly informative and impressive work of researched based scholarship, "Sophia: Mother of Kings: The Finest Queen Britain Never Had" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library British History & Royal Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sophia: Mother of Kings" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Catherine Curzon is a royal historian who writes on all matters 18th century at www.madamegilflurt.com. Her work has been featured on HistoryExtra.com, the official website of BBC History Magazine, and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals, and Jane Austen's Regency World. She has spoken at venues including Kenwood House, Wellington College, the Royal Pavilion, the Hurlingham Club, the National Maritime Museum and Dr Johnson's House.

Ian McKellen: A Biography
Garry O'Connor
St. Martin's Press
www.stmartins.com
9781250223883 $29.99 hc / $14.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: In 2001, Ian McKellen put on the robe and pointed hat of a wizard named Gandalf and won a place in the hearts of Tolkien fans worldwide. Though his role in the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings introduced him to a new audience, McKellen had a thriving career a lifetime before his visit to Middle Earth. He made his West End acting debut in 1964 in James Saunders's A Scent of Flowers, but it was in 1980 that he took Broadway by storm when he played Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Tony-Award-winning play Amadeus.

He has starred in over four hundred plays and films and he is that rare character: a celebrity whose distinguished political and social service has transcended his international fame to reach beyond the stage and screen. The breadth of his career - professional, personal and political - has been truly staggering: Macbeth (opposite Judi Dench), Iago, King Lear, Chekhov's Sorin in The Seagull and Becket's tramp Estragon (opposite Patrick Stewart) in Waiting for Godot. Add to all this his tireless political activism in the cause of gay equality and you have a veritable phenomenon. Garry O'Connor's Ian McKellen: A Biography probes the heart of the actor, recreating his greatest stage roles and exploring his personal life. Ian McKellen will show readers what makes a great actor tick. His life story has been a constantly developing drama and this biography is the next chapter.

Critique: Ian McKellen: A Biography is an in-depth, thoroughly accessible biography of British stage/film actor and activist Ian McKellen (b. 1939). McKellen has been openly gay since 1988, and is well-known worldwide as a champion of LGBT social movements. A handful of inset color photographs and an extensive index round out this in-depth, true-life story that reads like a fascinating novel. Ian McKellen: A Biography is a welcome addition to public library biography collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Ian McKellen: A Biography is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

Josiah Wedgwood
Anthony Burton
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526755025, $49.95, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Josiah Wedgwood (12 July 1730 - 3 January 1795) was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and lived in the area all his life. His family were all potters, working in traditional ways, but Josiah was to revolutionise the industry. When he started work, the local ware was either rather rustic, or made to look a little more sophisticated by the addition of heavy glazes. He worked to produce a lighter coloured body and to use designs made to appeal to aristocratic tastes, convinced that where they led the rapidly growing middle class would follow. The result was cream ware which, when a whole service was ordered by the royal family, was soon christened queens ware.

Josiah needed to import new materials (flint from East Anglia, light clays from the West Country), so he became an ardent promoter of the Trent and Mersey Canal, and built a new factory and family home on its banks, naming the area Etruria In the new works, he abandoned the old systems where individual craftsmen produced whole pieces for an early form of mass production. From these works came the ceramics that are still world famous, such as the distinctive jasper ware.

Josiah had many outside interests and was one of the earliest supporters of the ant-slavery movement. He studied science and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for his work on high temperature thermometers. He was a loving family man and an enthusiastic correspondent, and his many letters reveal a character that was attractive, enthusiastic and always eager to learn.

Critique: A superbly presented, impressively informative, exhaustively researched and meticulously documented study, "Josiah Wedgwood: A New Biography" by Anthony Burton is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library 18th Century biography collections. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a two page Select Bibliography, eight pages of Notes, and a five page Bibliography, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Josiah Wedgwood: A New Biography" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Anthony Burton is a freelance author and broadcaster, who has specialized in industrial and transport history. He has been involved in around a hundred TV documentaries on these subjects, appearing on all the major networks. He has written biographies of some of the leading characters of the early industrial age: Thomas Telford, Richard Trevithick, Joseph Locke and Matthew Boulton, the latter with co-author Jennifer Tann.

Sidney Lumet: A Life
Maura Spiegel
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250030153, $29.99, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Broadly acknowledged as the ultimate New York movie director, Sidney Lumet (June 25, 1924 - April 9, 2011) began his astonishing five-decades-long directing career with the now classic 12 Angry Men, followed by such landmark films as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network. His remarkably varied output included award-winning adaptations of plays by Anton Chekhov, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O'Neill, whose Long Day's Journey into Night featured Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson in their most devastating performances.

Renowned as an "actor's director," Lumet attracted an unmatched roster of stars, among them: Henry Fonda, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Ethan Hawke, and Philip-Seymour Hoffman, accruing eighteen Oscar nods for his actors along the way.

With the help of exclusive interviews with family, colleagues, and friends, author and biographer Maura Spiegel provides a vibrant portrait of the life and work of this extraordinary director whose influence is felt through generations, and takes us inside the Federal Theater, the Group Theatre, the Actors Studio, and the early "golden age" of television.

From his surprising personal life, with four marriages to remarkable women (all of whom opened their living rooms to Lumet's world of artists and performers like Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson) to the world of Yiddish theater and Broadway spectacles, "Sidney Lumet: A Life" is a biography that anyone interested in American film of the twentieth century will not want to miss.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, enhanced with the inclusion of a four page Filmography & Sources, a fourteen page Bibliography, and an eighteen page Index, "Sidney Lumet: A Life" is an extraordinary, inherently interesting and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library 20th Century American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sidney Lumet: A Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Rachel Maddow: A Biography
Lisa Rogak
Thomas Dunne Books
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.stmartins.com
9781250298249, $28.99, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Rachel Maddow is arguably the most popular and most watched political pundit in television today. Maddow has beaten the odds in a way that's novel in today's America: she uses her brain.

In a world of banal and opinionated soundbites, she regularly crushes Sean Hannity's ratings thanks to her deeply researched reports. And in our highly politically polarized world, Maddow amiably engages the staunchest conservatives, while never hesitating to expose their light-on-facts defenses.

As a result, she's become the top anchor for MSNBC and a beloved representative for all that progressive America holds dear. The news that Maddow was the first publicly self-acknowledged lesbian to anchor a prime-time TV news show seemed almost anticlimactic to her millions of viewers, who will be surprised and intrigued by little-known details of her life as revealed in "Rachel Maddow: A Biography by Lisa Rogak.

Growing up in a conservative California town (and viewing herself as a perennial outsider) helped spark an early interest in activism. After attending Stanford and Oxford, she opted for a minimum-wage job as a radio DJ in a tiny Massachusetts market while finishing her Ph.D. She planned to pursue a career as an activist, but 9/11 changed all that, so she returned to local radio where she could help listeners by "explaining stuff." A stint at Air America raised her national profile, which led to her groundbreaking MSNBC show where she dissects the news of the day with an approach found nowhere else on TV.

Critique: Exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, "Rachel Maddow: A Biography" is an impressively informative biography and unreservedly recommended for both community academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Rachel Maddow fans that this biography is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781541418349, $39.99, CD).


The Automotive Shelf

Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987-1995: Performance Modifications
Don Alexander & Quinn Thomas
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613254486, $32.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: More than 685,000 YJs were built from 1986 to 1995. They featured heavier wider leaf springs, track bars, and sway bars for improved handling. A massive range of parts are offered for these vehicles, which include lift kits, wheels up to 37 inches, larger brake rotors, high-performance aluminum remote reservoir shocks, stronger driveshafts and U-joints, and Dana 60 conversions.

In "Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987-1995: Performance Modifications", veteran author and automotive expert Don Alexander covers the 4.0 engine, transmissions (automatic and manual), transfer cases, axles, differentials, and driveshafts, steering boxes, brake upgrades, shocks, springs and lift kits, chassis strengthening, and interior upgrades.

Whether you want to do some simple upgrades, such as a lift and tire combination, or want to go all out with a rock crawler-style suspension and an engine swap, "Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987-1995: Performance Modifications" will guide you illustrated step-by-step through the process.

Critique: Markedly comprehensive, exceptionally well written, profusely organized, impressively organized and presented, "Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987-1995: Performance Modifications" is unreservedly recommended for personal and professional collections. It should be noted that "Jeep Wrangler YJ 1987-1995: Performance Modifications" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.30).


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Cannabis Jobs
Andrew Ward
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510749511, $16.99, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As of 2019, eleven states and Washington, DC have legalized recreational marijuana use with another twenty-two states having legalized medical marijuana -- and those numbers will only continue to rise. Cannabis career opportunities are beginning to take off across the country and beyond. In fact, Forbes noted the legal marijuana industry is projected to create more jobs than manufacturing by 2020.

With the rise in legalization, virtually any job in the American market can be replicated in the cannabis industry. From working in a dispensary to social media, IT to HR, marketing to quality assurance, millions of future professionals are looking at cannabis as a future career path.

In "Cannabis Jobs: How to Make a Living and Have a Career in the World of Legalized Marijuana", Andrew Ward (who has been covering the growing cannabis industry for over a decade) shares the vast stretch of potential careers. In addition to job opportunities, Ward supplies career growth, salaries, and first-hand knowledge from professionals who have made a career in the field.

But as with any industry, there are pros and cons. While the market is expanding, every profession has growing pains, and Ward explains them in detail. In addition to potential jobs, Ward explores other options, such as freelancing and starting your own business. For those either looking to find a new career or preparing to join the workforce, "Cannabis Jobs" offers the most in-depth information available.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well written, comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Cannabis Jobs: How to Make a Living and Have a Career in the World of Legalized Marijuana" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community and academic library Contemporary Jobs/Careers instructional reference collections.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Manga Classics: Hamlet
William Shakespeare
Adapted by Crystal S. Chan
Illustrated by Julien Choy
Udon Entertainment
www.mangaclassics.com
9781947808119 $24.99 hc
9781947808126 $17.99 pbk amazon.com

Synopsis: Hamlet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, and originally titled The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, the play tells the story of Prince Hamlet who is ordered by the ghost of his own father to seek revenge on his uncle Claudius. In his hunger to seize the throne, Claudius had murdered Hamlet's father (the king of Denmark) and then went on to marry his deceased brother's widow.

Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature. Hamlet was one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime, and still ranks among his most performed, adapted and filmed plays of his collection.

Critique: Manga Classics: Hamlet is a black-and-white graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic tragedy about regicide and revenge. Manga Classics: Hamlet uses the complete, unaltered text of the original play, dynamically brought to life with striking artwork in the style of Japanese anime and manga. Because the illustrations add so much contextual clarity to what the characters do and say, Manga Classics: Hamlet is both a superb tool for teaching great literature, and one of the best ways to experience Shakespeare's longest play (other than seeing it performed in a theater, of course). A brief postscript offers additional insights into how Manga Classics: Hamlet was adapted to graphic novel format. Manga Classics: Hamlet is a "must-have" for school and public library graphic novel collections, highly recommended.

The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS
Vincent Brugess, author
Thomas Legrain, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184465, $15.95, PB, 64pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It's 1941 and almost all of Europe is under the Nazi heel. Great Britain is still holding out, but the situation worsens with every passing day. And in North Africa, gateway to the Middle East and its immense oil reserves, Rommel now threatens Egypt, keystone of British defences. In those desperate times, three men (David Stirling, Blair Mayne and 'Jock' Lewes), three unconventional officers, band together to create a small, elite unit that will become a military legend: the SAS. "The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS" is their story.

Critique: Engagingly written by Vincent Brugess and brought to life with the artwork of illustrator Thomas Legrain and colorist Elvire De Cock, "The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS" is a compelling and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted that "The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $8.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

Oslo
J. T. Rogers, author
Brian Kite, director
L.A. Theatre Works
681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
www.latw.org
9781682660959, $29.95, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Oslo" by J. T. Rogers is a rollicking take on modern diplomacy and set in 1993. A Norwegian social scientist and his diplomat wife are determined to try a new tactic to break the long-standing deadlock of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. A secret back channel in Norway leads to unexpected breakthroughs as negotiators find common ground. When the political becomes personal, relationships are forged that offer a chance to alter the course of history.

This audio book edition of "Oslo" includes a conversation about the Oslo Accords with Steven Spiegel, director of the Center for Middle East Development at UCLA. Recorded before a live audience at the UCLA James Bridges Theater in April 2019, "Oslo" is directed by Brian Kite, and features a talented cast that includes: Anthony Azizi as Ahmed Qurie (Abu Ala); Josh Bitton as Uri Savir and others; Edita Brychta as Marianne Heiberg, Toril Grandal, Swedish Hostess, German Wife; J. D. Cullum as Terje Rod-Larsen; Matthew Floyd Miller as Johan Jorgen Holst, Joel Singer; Darren Richardson as Jan Egeland, Ron Pundak, Trond Gunderson; Andre Sogliuzzo as Yossi Beilin, Finn Grandal, Thor Bjornevog, American Diplomat, German Husband; Devon Sorvari as Mona Juul; Michel Wakim as Hassan Asfour and others; and Kevin Weisman as Yair Hirschfeld, Shimon Peres

Critique: Oslo is an award-winning political play, about the behind-the-scenes talks in 1992-93 that led to the Oslo Accords between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Oslo Accords enabled limited Palestinian self-governance, but did not create a Palestinian state. Sterling performances create a genuine theatre of the mind experience, making this audio book edition of Oslo certain to be a popular addition to personal, community, and academic library audio book collections. (3 CDs, 2 Hours, 21 Minutes).

Die Mommie Die
Charles Busch, author
Carl Andress, director
Lewis Flinn, music and songs
L.A. Theatre Works
681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
www.latw.org
9781682660973, $28.95, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Angela Arden wants to be free of her suffocating marriage to film producer Sol Sussman. What better way than poison! Distraught by her father's death and convinced of her mother's guilt, Edith Sussman plots to get the truth out of Angela using any means necessary. Charles Busch stars in the role he originated in this camp sendup where tongues aren't the only thing dipped in acid.

Recorded before a live audience at the UCLA James Bridges Theater in May 2019, this audio book edition of "Die Mommie Die" is directed by Carl Andress and features original music and songs by Lewis Flinn. The Producing Director is Susan Albert Loewenberg and includes as cast members: Charles Busch as Angela Arden Sussman; Mark Capri as Tony Parker; Willie Garson as Sol Sussman; Ellis Greer as Edith Sussman; Jeffery Self as Lance Sussman; and Ruth Williamson as Bootsie.

The Missing Girl and The Salt and Pepper Polka are performed by Mary Birdsong, music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn.

Critique: Providing a true and authentic 'theatre of the mind' experience, "Die Mommie Die" is unreservedly recommended and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community and academic library audio book collections. (2 CDs, 1 hour, 34 minutes).

Children of Virtue and Vengeance
Tomi Adeyemi, author
Bahni Turpin, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250309914, $39.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After battling the impossible, Zelie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orisha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could've imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zelie struggles to unite the maji in an Orisha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orisha, Zelie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zelie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orisha tears itself apart.

Critique: Expertly narrated by Bahni Turpin, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of Tomi Adeyemi's novel, "Children of Virtue and Vengeance" is the attention riveting sequel the first book in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy, "Children of Blood and Bone". Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to both personal and community library audio book collections, "Children of Virtue and Vengeance" is unreservedly recommended as a true 'theatre of the mind' experience. (11 CDs, 13 Hours, 27 Minutes).

Hachette Audio
www.hachetteaudio.com

Five new audio presentations are outstanding listens perfect for discriminating audiobook fans. Susannah Cahalan's The Great Pretender (9781549175822, $35.00) explores the work of David Rosenhan and seven others who went undercover into asylums around America to test psychiatry's definitions and diagnoses of mental illness. But, did his study change psychiatry for the good? Susannah Calahan provides new research that offers some startlingly different perspectives in this engrossing survey, narrated by Christie Moreau and the author, which should be on the listening lists of anyone interested in psychiatry's social and political impact. Newt Gingrich's Trump vs. China: Facing America's Greatest Threat (9781549179037, $35.00) is read by Reuben Uy, who brings to life Gingrich's research into the strategies and threat of the Chinese Communist Party and its threat to American interests around the world. Gingrich's study makes for intriguing reading because it not only outlines a possible threat, but possible actions in response, yet comes in a passionate tone and language average Americans can readily absorb; especially in an audio format. Paula White-Cain's Something Greater: Finding Triumph Over Trials (9781549184574, $35.00) is narrated by the author, who links God's plan and healing process with both her journey of faith and the growth of her global ministry. Listeners who maintain a belief in God and the notion of a greater purpose will find inspirational listening in this story of both the author's personal relationship with Christ and the wide-ranging transformative opportunities of belief. Flea's Acid for the Children: A Memoir (9781478912903, $35.00) comes from the bass player and co-founder of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, is narrated by the author, and captures the musical milieu of Los Angeles in the 1970s and 80s as he shares his coming of age, involvement in music, and life-changing moments which led to the band's formation and evolution. Flea's evocative descriptions come to life in an audio especially recommended for prior fans. Jeannie Gaffigan's When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People (9781549152528, $35.00) is narrated by Jeannie Gaffigan, her comedian husband Jim, and Liz Noth, but provides an account that is not just about humor or her husband, as those familiar with the two might anticipate. Jeannie was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor and, as the mother of five children, faced a crisis deeper than her own survival. She and her family survived, and this story of her personal journey is simply riveting in audio.


The Library CD Shelf

Frozen Moments
Don Latarski
Heart Dance Records
www.heartdancerecords.com
$13.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Frozen Moments is Don Latarski's beautiful, ambient new age album performed on his collection of baritone, classical, and water guitars, enriched with sounds from a water guitar in different streams and rivers of Oregon and California. The relaxing acoustic music flows in a wondrous soundscape that soothes the mind and nourishes the spirit. Highly recommended. The tracks are "The Dawning Moment", "Shadow Crossing", "River Speak pt. 1", "Sarabande Migration", "Bimble", "Mima", "Xienna", "On Winter", and "River Speak pt. 2".

Love Themes for Solo Piano
Dan Chadburn
www.danchadburn.com
Privately Published
$18.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Love Themes for Solo Piano is a beautiful, original album composed by expert pianist Dan Chadburn, who has trained extensively in both classical and modern music traditions. The songs celebrate the boundless gift of love in its many forms. Some songs were traditionally composed; others created in the moment and recorded as single takes; still others were improvisations once improvisations in concert sessions, then transcribed to sheet music. Love Themes for Solo Piano is a joyful treasure that nourishes the spirit, highly recommended. The tracks are "Starlit Waltz", "Gentle Touch", "Cherished", "Stillness", "Newborn Joy", "Timeless", "Grounded", "Stars Above Sedona", "Longing", "Reminsice", "Undconditional", "Grateful", and "Shalom".

Divine Passage
Marshall Barnhouse
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Divine Passage is an original solo piano album by pianist, composer, teacher, and recording artist Marshall Barnhouse. Crafted to reflect the timeless moments of one's divinely appointed passage through the world, Divine Passage resonates with emotion, from the dawning of first love to reminiscence of shining days past. A mellifluous treasure for solo piano connoisseurs, Divine Passage is highly recommended. The tracks are "Divine Passage", "The Traveler", "All Grown Up", "First Love", "A New Beginning", "All Joy", "As Time Goes By", "Remember", "Was it a Dream", "Why Worry", "By the River", "Home Again", and "What We Leave Behind".


The Library DVD Shelf

The Cry
Based on the novel by Helen Fitzgerald
Starring Jenna Coleman
Acorn
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$34.99 amazon.com

A Sundance Now Original Series, The Cry is a British psychological thriller on DVD based on the novel of the same name Helen Fitzgerald. Complete in four episodes, The Cry follows how the sudden disappearance of a young couple's infant son leads to withering public scrutiny, which places unfathomable pressure on their relationship. Actress Jenna Coleman plays the starring role of the mother, whose tenuous connection to reality erodes from the pain of loss and condemnation. Intense and harrowing to the very end, The Cry is highly recommended. 4 episodes on 2 DVDs, 240 min., SDH subtitles.

Doc Martin series 9
Starring Martin Clunes
Acorn TV
https://acorn.tv
$39.99 DVD / Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Doc Martin series 9 continues the thoroughly engaging medical drama about the ill-tempered medical practitioner responsible for the health and well-being of a coastal British town. In series 9, Doc Martin's medical practice is jeapordized by official scrutiny, due to his blood phobia. Doc Martin is forced to attend refresher courses - beginning with phlebotomy. At the same time, his wife Louisa studies child psychology for her own career, and worries that their son James might be a little too much like his surly father. Her conclusion is that James needs a sibling! Additional life changes affect the lively town residents, and the medical board contemplates whether it is time for Doc Martin's time as the village GP should end, in this quirky, witty, yet ultimately heartwarming treat. Bonus materials include behind-the-scenes featurettes about the characters, filming in Cornwall, the Large family business ventures, trivia, and "Flip the Script" with Ian McNeice and Joe Absolom. While Doc Martin series 9 is not rated, it should be noted that the series does have graphic medical situations. 8 episodes on 3 DVDs or 3 Blu-ray discs, 384 min., SDH subtitles.


The Political Science Shelf

Smarter Government
Martin O'Malley
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
https://www.esri.com/esripress
https://www.smartergovernment.com
9781589485242, $39.99, PB, 332pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Given how politically deeply divided the American people currently are, the time has come for the rise of the tech savvy executive: an individual who innately understands the need to help the use of technology rise at the same level across the entire organization. In Baltimore and in Maryland, Governor Martin O'Malley has done all of these things and more and in "Smarter Government: How to Govern for Results in the Information Age" he draws upon his years of experience and expertise to show what can and needs to be done if we are to heal the present schisms that so badly afflict nation today.

"Smarter Government: Governing for Results in the Information Age" is about a more effective way to lead that is emerging, enabled by the Information Age. It provides real solutions to real problems using GIS technology and helps develop a management strategy using data that will profoundly change an organization.

Critique: Featuring a two page listing of the contributors and their credentials, "Smarter Government: Governing for Results in the Information Age" is an impressively informative study that is unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, political think tank, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. Exceptionally well organized and presented, it should be noted for personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, state and federal politicians, governmental policy makers and implementers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Smarter Government: Governing for Results in the Information Age" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.99).

The U.S. Antifascism Reader
Bill V. Mullen & Christopher Vials, editors
Verso
20 Jay Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-8346
www.versobooks.com
9781788733502, $29.95, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which first came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left-right political spectrum. (Wikipedia)

Since the birth of fascism in the 1920s, well before the global renaissance of "white nationalism," the United States has been home to its own distinct fascist movements, some of which decisively influenced the course of US history. They were met, time and again, by an equally deep antifascist current. Many on the left are unaware that the United States has a rich antifascist tradition, because it has rarely been discussed as such, nor has it been accessible in one place. This reader reconstructs the history of US antifascism into the twenty-first century, showing how generations of writers, organizers, and fighters spoke to each other over time.

Spanning the 1930s to the present day, "The U.S. Antifascism Reader" is a chronologically arranged, primary source reader is made up of antifascist writings by Americans and by exiles in the US, some instantly recognizable, others long-forgotten. It also includes a sampling of influential writings from the US fascist, white nationalist, and proto-fascist traditions. Its contents, mostly written by people embedded in antifascist movements, include a number of pieces produced abroad that deeply influenced the US left. The collection thus places US antifascism in a global context.

Critique: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Bill V. Mullen) Professor of American Studies at Purdue University and a founding member of the Campus Antifascist Network) and Chris Vials (Associate Professor of English and Director of American Studies at the University of Connecticut-Storrs and co-founder of the Neighbor Fund, a non-profit devoted to legal defense for undocumented immigrants in Connecticut), "The U.S. Antifascism Reader" is exceptionally well organized and presented, making it a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Political Science collections in general, and American Fascism Studies reader lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The U.S. Antifascism Reader" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Turn to Industry
Jack Barnes
Pathfinder Press
PO Box 162767, Atlanta, GA 30321-2767
www.pathfinderpress.com
9781604881103, $15.00, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The proletariat is that class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labor-power (how much work they can do). A member of such a class is a proletarian. (Wikipedia)

"The Turn to Industry: Forging a Proletarian Party" by Jack Barnes (who is the National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party) is about the working-class program, composition, and course of conduct of the only kind of party worthy of the name revolutionary in this current and imperialist epoch.

A Proletarian Part is the only kind of party that can recognize the most revolutionary fact of this epoch -- the worth of working people, and our power to change society when we organize and act against the capitalist class in all its economic, social, and political forms.

"The Turn to Industry" is specifically about building just such a party within the United States as well as in other capitalist countries around the world.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with occasional black/white illustrations, "The Turn to Industry: Forging a Proletarian Party" is an exceptional and clarion call for political, cultural, and economic reform that is especially focused upon the United States. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Turn to Industry" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections in general, and in particular, the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, social reformers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.


The Cookbook Shelf

The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook
Ali Miller
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
www.ulyssespress.com
9781612439358, $16.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In these troubled times, stress and anxiety afflict us all. What we eat can either help or hinder our dealing with the anxiety that is an inevitable part of our lives today.

In the pages of "The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook: Stress-Free Recipes to Mellow Your Mood", dietitian and food-as-medicine guru Ali Miller features over 75 tasty recipes that will reduce inflammation, strengthen your gut, and nourish your body, all while helping balance your mood and emotions. The carefully selected and showcased recipes serve up a wide variety of new and delicious meals that follow a ketogenic, low-carb approach to addressing anxiety. With beautiful full-color photographs and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, anyone can be eating their way to calm in no time!

Critique: "The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook: Stress-Free Recipes to Mellow Your Mood", features dishes that range from a Matcha Lime Pudding with Blackberries; Kale Salad with Squash and Pomegranate; Chicken Thighs with Braised Greens; and Macadamia Coconut Crusted Halibut; to Crisphy Fish Tacos in Cabbage Cups; Turkey Apple Kale Patties; Lemon Lavender CBD Balls; and Cacao Walnut Fudge. While especially and unreservedly recommended for family and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted for personal and professional reading lists that The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook: Stress-Free Recipes to Mellow Your Mood" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.18).

Editorial Note: Ali Miller is a registered dietitian (RD), certified diabetes educator (CDE), certified weight management specialist, and therapeutic lifestyle healthcare practitioner. Ali has dedicated her career to revolutionizing food as medicine in treatment and prevention of disease. She has a passion to create public awareness regarding the significant role diet plays in our overall health with her philosophy of food as medicine. She is the author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet, Naturally Nourished: Food-as-Medicine for Optimal Health Cookbook and founder of the Reset, Restore, Renew: Real Food Detox program.

The Little Women Cookbook
Jenne Bergstrom & Mike Osada
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
www.ulyssespress.com
9781612439433, $19.95, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A classic work of literature, "Little Women" is the story of these four sisters who, with little means, find their own paths in a tale full of laughter, love, loss, and family. Now, experience fans of Louisa May Alcott's famous novel in an entirely new and delightful way -- as a cookbook!

Following the recipes showcased in "The Little Women Cookbook", anyone can now learn to make ice cream with Meg, molasses candy with Jo, baked squash with Beth, pickled limes with Amy, and so much more. For a creative twist, these delicious step-by-step recipes are adapted from vintage Civil War-era cookbooks for the modern kitchen.

"The Little Women Cookbook" is packed from cover to cover with beautiful color photographs, timeless illustrations, favorite passages, historical trivia, and additional commentary by the collaborative authors Jenne Bergstrom and Mike Osada -- who are also the founders of 36 Eggs, the literary food blog.

Critique: A joy to simply browse through and ideal for planning truly memorable meals with, "The Little Women Cookbook" is an engagingly unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Little Women Cookbook" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.49).


The Military Shelf

My Rich Uncle
A.J. Kehl
Savas Beatie
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611214673 $18.95 pbk / $9.79 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Want to maximize your time in the military? Want to know what it really takes to be successful while serving your country? Ever just want someone to keep it real on the topics that mean the most to you? A.J. Kehl, a Senior Master Sergeant (SMSgt) in the U.S. Air Force, does just that and more in My Rich Uncle: An Informal Guide to Maximizing Your Enlistment.

Kehl's well-crafted guide is designed with one purpose in mind: To make sure you make the most out of your time in the armed forces. Sgt. Kehl distinguishes his book from any other you will read, pointing out all the important things that rarely, if ever, make it to print. Hot items such as promotion, leadership, networking, and traveling make this a must-read for anyone now on active duty, thinking of joining the military, or who has spent time within this unique lifestyle.

My Rich Uncle includes an invaluable collection of knowledge, wisdom, and insight from numerous military leaders, all of which is geared toward helping fellow military members find success in their careers. It highlights the cultural things we expect men and women to know, or at least figure out, but which are rarely taught. This book will help you successfully navigate a military career by providing insight into the expectations and the steps for YOU to take in order to maximize your service time and set yourself up for success. It also highlights little known programs, like Air Force Lean and Continuous Process Improvement, that empower members to find root cause solutions and reduce time-wasting practices that do not further your career.

Critique: My Rich Uncle: An Informal Guide to Maximizing Your Enlistment lives up to its title as a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is guide to pursuing a successful military career. Chapters discuss how to make the most of military benefits, how to demonstrate leadership in a follower's world, recommended education paths while enlisted, and much more. My Rich Uncle is an absolute must-read for anyone contemplating enlistment, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that My Rich Uncle is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.79).

The USS Swordfish
George J. Billy
McFarland
McFarlandBooks.com
9781476677743 $35.00

Synopsis: Among the more than 260 American submarines that patrolled the Pacific during World War II, the USS Swordfish in 1941 was the first to sink a Japanese armed merchant ship, marking the beginning of the submarine's colorful history.

A series of seven commanders led Swordfish's 13 war patrols. Each skipper had a distinct leadership style. Some were successful in sinking enemy ships; others returned to port empty-handed. Yet all patrols risked dangerously close encounters with the enemy and the unforgiving nature of the open sea.

Drawing on archival sources and interviews with veteran sailors, this first full-length history of the Swordfish provides detailed accounts of each patrol and covers the mysterious disappearance of the legendary submarine on its final mission.

Critique: The USS Swordfish: The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship is a nautical and military history of the USS Swordfish, the first American submarine to sink a Japanese armed merchant ship during World War II. Vintage black-and- white photographs, appendices, extensive notes, a bibliography, and an index round out this extensively detailed history of the Swordfish's voyages, captains, and crews. Presenting information gleaned from archival sources and interviews with veteran sailors distilled into a concise and accessible work of scholarship, The USS Swordfish is highly recommended for both college and public library collections.

Deep Space Warfare
John C. Wright
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476679266, $45.00, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Since the Cold War, outer space has become of strategic importance for nations looking to seize the ultimate high ground. World powers establishing a presence there must consider, among other things, how they will conduct warfare in orbit. Leaders must dispense with "Buck Rogers" notions about operations in space and realize that policies there will have serious ramifications for geopolitics.

How should nations view space? How should they fight there? What would space warfare look like and how should strategists approach it? Offering critical observations regarding this unique theater of international relations, "Deep Space Warfare: Military Strategy Beyond Orbit" by military professional John C. Wright explores the strategic implications as human affairs move beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Deep Space Warfare: Military Strategy Beyond Orbit" is an extraordinary study that is exceptionally well written, organized and presented -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, governmental, college, and university library Contemporary Military Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Major John C. Wright is a US Air Force officer and pilot. He has published multiple articles on Pacific region political-military affairs in a variety of journals and online publications. He specializes in Japanese language, culture, and US-Japan military-diplomatic affairs

Fire Mission! Fire Mission!
Captain Larry Kenneth Hunter
Koehler Books
210 - 60th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781633939349, $23.95, HC, 172pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Fire Mission! Fire Mission!: A Forward Observer's Experiences in Vietnam" is the fully documented experience of a green artillery forward observer with the First Cav in Vietnam.
Along with his topographical map, M-16 and backpack, Lt. Larry Hunter carried an Instamatic camera to preserve his comrades and patrols.

Letters from home illuminate his struggle to survive in Vietnam while his wife battles at home to make ends meet financially as a mother. Her faith and prayers to God strengthen and encourage him during days of losing close friends, and again, years later, when his faith is challenged by a new, unseen foe after his exposure to Agent Orange.

From jumping out of his first helicopter ride directly into battle, through at least twenty-five combat assaults, and finally an overwhelming ambush on Company A, First Battalion, Twelfth Cavalry on March 31, 1966, for which he is awarded a Bronze Star for heroism, Lt. Larry Hunter documents and describes this new kind of war with no front lines in the pages of "Fire Mission! Fire Mission!: A Forward Observer's Experiences in Vietnam".

Critique: An inherently riveting read from beginning to end, "Fire Mission! Fire Mission!: A Forward Observer's Experiences in Vietnam" will prove to be a welcome and impressively informative addition to the growing body of Vietnam War literature, histories, and memoirs. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library 20th Century American Military History collections in general, and Vietnam War supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Fire Mission! Fire Mission!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781633939325, $15.95) and in digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Editorial Note: Larry Hunter began his military service as an ROTC cadet in 1961 at Florence State College, now the University of North Alabama. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army, then completed Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During his assignment at Fort Benning, Georgia, he received orders for First Air Cavalry Division, First Battalion, Twenty-First Artillery as a forward observer. Following a year's service in Vietnam, he was an instructor for two years at the US Army Artillery and Missile School at Fort Sill before returning to civilian life. He is retired after thirty years in management in the manufactured housing industry. Stories of his battles in Vietnam have been presented over the years by request from civic clubs, Veterans Day programs, the American Legion, schools and churches.

Loss and Redemption at St. Vith
Gregory Fontenot
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826221926, $34.95, HC, 374pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge" by Gregory Fontenot closes a gap in the record of the Battle of the Bulge by recounting the exploits of the 7th Armored Division in a way that no other study has. Most accounts of the Battle of the Bulge give short-shrift to the interval during which the German forward progress stopped and the American counterattack began. This narrative centers on the 7th Armored Division for the entire length of the campaign, in so doing reconsidering the story of the whole battle through the lens of a single division and accounting for the reconstitution of the Division while in combat.

Critique: Exhaustively researched, "Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge" is a detailed military history that reads with all the inherent engagement of a deftly crafted novel. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a listing of Formation Symbols, an informative Introduction and Epilogue, three appendices, a twenty-eight page Bibliography, and a nine page Index, "Loss and Redemption at St. Vith" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library World War II Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Battle of the Bulge that "Loss and Redemption at St. Vith" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.22).

Whispers in the Tall Grass
Nick Brokhausen
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781612007755, $32.95, HC, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Whispers in the Tall Grass" is the second volume of Nick Brokhausen's riveting memoir of his time serving in Recon Teams Habu and Crusader, CNN, part of MACV-SOG. These small recon teams, comprising Americans and indigenous Montagnards, conducted some of the most dangerous missions of the war, infiltrating areas controlled by the North Vietnamese in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Picking up where his first memoir "We Few" left off, "Whispers in the Tall Grass" opens as the war moves into a new phase. The enemy are using special formations to hunt recon teams and missions are now rarely accomplished without heavy contact. Despite the teams' careful prep, losses are mounting. More and more missions are extracted by Bright Lights until eventually classic recon missions are almost impossible, and the teams briefly trial HALO insertion. Finally, as the US prepares to withdraw, the teams undertake back-to-back missions directing air strikes and disrupting supply lines to ease the pressure on the ARVN. Broken by the pace, but desperate not to leave the Yards, Brokhausen is ordered to out-process, his request for extension denied, and is forced to leave his friends and his brothers-in-arms behind.

"Whispers in the Tall Grass" follows Habu, Crusader and other teams as they undertake missions in this new, deadlier phase of the war. The narrative veers from hair-raising to tragic and back as the teams insert into hot targets, act as Bright Light for stricken teams, and play hard in between missions to diffuse the ever-rising tension.

Brokhausen's account continues brings home the reality and the detail of operating for days within mere meters of the enemy, and movingly convey the bonds that war creates between soldiers.

Critique: Reading with all the inherent and riveting drama of a deftly crafted novel, "Whispers in the Tall Grass" is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library 20th Century American Military History and Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Viet Name War supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be brought to the attention of all dedicated military history buffs and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Whispers in the Tall Grass" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.95).

Just Another Day in Vietnam
Keith M. Nightingale
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781612007854, $34.95, HC, 264pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Keith Nightingale's accomplishments in both military and civilian life largely contribute to the excellence of "Just Another Day" in Vietnam as a front line memoir of unusual depth as well as breadth.

Uniquely adopting a third-person omniscient point of view, Nightingale eschews the "I" of memoir in favor of multiple perspectives and a larger historical vision that afford equal time and weight to ally and enemy alike. Examples of the many perspectives based on real-life characters include: Hu, a VC "informant" whose false information led the Rangers straight into the jaws of a ferocious ambush; General Tanh, the COSVN commander; Major Nguyen Hiep, the 52d Ranger Commander; and Ranger POWs later returned by the North.

Nightingale moreover offers the point of view of an American advisor to elite Vietnamese troops, a vital perspective regrettably underrepresented in the literature of Vietnam, including Burns' documentary. Added to this are well-informed conjecture of enemy psychology; insight into the dedication and often misunderstood role of the elite Vietnamese Ranger forces; the intelligence acquired from debriefing captured Rangers, whose captors had told them that the entire battle had been a carefully staged attack planned by COSVN as part of a larger Total War strategy developed by the leadership of the North Vietnamese Army; and an eyewitness account by a gifted author who is a rare survivor of one of the most vicious (and heretofore forgotten) battles of the war.

Critique: An information packed and inherently riveting read from cover to cover, "Just Another Day in Vietnam" by Colonel Keith M. Nightingale (retired) will prove to be an enduringly valued and appreciated addition to the growing library of Vietnam War histories and memoirs. While especially and expressive recommended for both community and academic library 20th Century American Military History collections in general, and Vietnam War supplemental studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted that "Just Another Day in Vietnam" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Colonel Keith Nightingale is a hard-core military man who wields a pen as brilliantly as any weapon, and strategically deploys a full literary arsenal. Targeting our senses with the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and even the tastes of war, his myriad of minute physical details, visual similes, and extended metaphors invariably strike home. To quote Pulitzer-Prize winner Tom Ricks, contributing editor to Foreign Policy: "If you want to know about war, Keith Nightingale is your man." Nightingale's work is further endorsed by General David Petraeus, General Volney Wagner, Susan Eisenhower, Emmy-winner Dennis Murphy, and other luminaries.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Everything Begins with Asking for Help
Kevin Braddock
Kyle
c/o Octopus Books
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9780857836762, $12.99

Everything Begins with Asking for Help: An Honest Guide to Depression and Anxiety, From Rock Bottom to Recovery uses the author's own mental breakdown and recovery tools to present an important survey about mental health. As such, it goes beyond most self-help and how-to titles to base his experiences on real efforts to ask his friends for help, a move that led him to recovery. Readers receive instruction on how to ask for help, how to listen to answers, and how to maintain stable mental health. It's Braddock's personal insights which keep this book on track and filled with more practical approaches than most books about depression offer: "...in sickness and in health, being rigid with regimes has only ever served to create rather than assuage anxieties: these days I've got a better understanding of when I need to go faster or slower, or when my body needs more grunt (press-ups and running) or more float (tai chi and dancing). Its candid discussion will prove vital to addressing personal mental health challenges.

Healing Trauma With Yoga
Beth Shaw
Blue River Press
c/o Cardinal Publishers Group
2402 North Shadeland Avenue, Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
www.cardinalpub.com
9781681577777, $19.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Healing Trauma With Yoga: Go from Surviving to Thriving With Mind-Body Techniques" by Beth Shaw (president and founder of YogaFit Training Systems) is a thoroughly user-friendly guide to learning about trauma sensitive yoga, who needs it, and how to implement the practice. This book provides easy to understand, applicable, and valuable information for many populations so anyone can embrace the gift of yoga. As our world grows smaller through technology, we can grow more distant and alone. Tragedy seems to present itself as pervasive and overwhelming, however armed with the many tools of yoga, we discover resiliency and hope.

Trauma is an emotional response to an event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster. Trauma is a subjective experience and represents a threat to personal safety physically, emotionally, or mentally. Trauma activates our sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is necessary and important as a survival response. Trauma becomes a problem when it is chronic or so severe in perception that the SNS is never turned back off. When the sympathetic nervous system is continually activated, it rewires the nervous system and physical changes take place in the brain and the endocrine system that make healing more challenging.

Chronic activation can turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that can cause serious physical and mental illness. Whether or not a trauma becomes a chronic stress seems to be related to the intensity and severity of the incident and also to past trauma exposure. This book will explore these changes and just how trauma gets stored in the body as well as offer a trauma sensitive format of YOGAFIT as a body based program for healing.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Healing Trauma With Yoga: Go from Surviving to Thriving With Mind-Body Techniques" is an ideal DIY instruction manual and guide that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections in general, and Yoga supplemental studies reading lists in particular.


The Art Shelf

Hokusai's Landscapes: The Complete Series
Sarah Thompson, author
Katsushika Hokusai, artist
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
www.mfa-publications.org
9780878468669, $41.00, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The best known of all Japanese artists, Katsushika Hokusai (31 October 1760 - 10 May 1849) was active as a painter, book illustrator and print designer throughout his 90-year lifespan. Yet his most famous works (the color woodblock landscape prints issued in series) were produced within a relatively short time, in an amazing burst of creative energy that lasted from about 1830 to 1836.

Hokusai's landscapes revolutionized Japanese printmaking and became icons of world art within a few decades of the artist's death. Hokusai's Landscapes focuses exclusively on this pivotal body of the artist's work, the first book to do so. Featuring stunning color reproductions of works from the incomparable Japanese art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (the largest collection of Japanese prints outside Japan), Hokusai's Landscapes examines the magnetic appeal of Hokusai's designs and the circumstances of their creation.

"Hokusai's Landscapes: The Complete Series" includes all published prints of the artist's eight major landscape series: Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1830-32), A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces (1833-34), Snow, Moon and Flowers (1833), Eight Views of the Ryukyu Islands (1832-33), One Thousand Pictures of the Ocean (1832-33), Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces (1834), A True Mirror of Chinese and Japanese Poetry (1833) and One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse (1835).

Working prolifically in the years just before Japan opened to the West in 1853, Katsushika Hokusai was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized. His cleverly composed ukiyo-e prints of everyday life and the landscapes of Edo Japan arrived in a 19th-century Europe gripped by Japonisme-mania, where they influenced artists such as Degas, Gauguin, Manet and Van Gogh.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, exceptionally informative, expertly organized and presented study, "Hokusai's Landscapes: The Complete Series" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and academic library Japanese Art History collections in general, and Katsushika Hokusai supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie
Eldridge Hardie, author & artist
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
www.stackpolebooks.com
9780811738392, $75.00, HC, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Eldridge Hardie has made a name for himself as a highly respected sporting artist, capturing in watercolor and oil the heart-in-the-throat moments and the quieter times hunters and fishermen live for. Hardie's art helps us see, feel, understand, and hold on to those times.

"The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie: Paintings of Upland Hunting, Angling, and Waterfowling", is comprised of 150 paintings that are carefully and exquisitely reproduced and documents Hardie's lifework. Hardie has painted every kind of sporting scene, including Wisconsin grouse hunts, Atlantic salmon camps, southern quail plantations, angling waters in Tierra del Fuego and Scotland, waterfowling on the Santee marsh and Chesapeake Bay, fly fishing the Bahama flats, the Bighorn, Colorado, and South Platte Rivers.

Hardie has painted home rivers and close-to-home fields and destinations to dream for and in the pages of "The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie" he recalls these times and the paintings that capture them in descriptive text. Workbook pages of preliminary studies and notations from the artist's workbooks are reproduced side by side with the paintings. These notes give a rare look into the artist's creative process.

Critique: A beautifully produced coffee table style volume (12.4 x 1 x 10.3 inches), "The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie: Paintings of Upland Hunting, Angling, and Waterfowling" is inherently fascinating to simply browse through, one page at a time. Holding a very special interest for outdoor hunters and anglers, "The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Contemporary American Art collections.

Editorial Note: For six decades Eldridge Hardie has worked at what he loves doing, painting his passion for outdoor sport. His art has graced the pages of books -- his own and others, been published in the pages of the finest sporting magazines, hung in North America's galleries and private collections, and been shown in prestigious exhibitions.


The Parenting Shelf

The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children
Jennifer Ault
Royal Fireworks Press
First Avenue, PO Box 399, Unionville, NY 10988
www.rfwp.com
9780880928410, $22.50, PB, 141pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Gifted children often exhibit characteristics and behaviors that are different from those of other children. Giftedness, after all, is not just about being smart. Being gifted affects everything a person says, does, thinks, and feels. Parents who discover that their child is gifted can be relieved to learn the reason for their child's differences, but they also often feel anxious and apprehensive about the parenting journey that lies ahead for them.

That journey will not look like the ones that other parents travel. When they seek out information to guide them along the way, they find that there is a tremendous amount of it available, and it can be overwhelming to try to weed through it to learn what they need to know to parent a gifted child effectively and compassionately-a child who most likely is not just different from other kids but who is different from other gifted kids as well. Where does one even begin?

"The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children" is specifically and effectively designed to introduce parents to the topic of giftedness in a way that is both preliminary and sophisticated. This instructional guide is not just for those new to the subject of giftedness, however; it also breaks new ground in its discussions of gifted children's intensity, sensitivity, and asynchrony, shedding new light on these topics for those who are already familiar with them.

Further more, it examines the concepts of identification, multiple intelligences, twice-exceptionality, underachievement, perfectionism, idealism, and more, including educational practices that both help and harm gifted children, all at a level that is both advanced and yet accessible to everyone. It offers parents the opportunity to learn the fundamental truths about giftedness in the same way that we want to provide information to our gifted children-a way that is intelligent and innovative and never dumbed down. It speaks to parents directly to help them become the best possible stewards of complex, precocious, amazing children.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, and informational content, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Parenting instructional reference collections -- and essential, invaluable reading for anyone parent or guardian of a gifted child of any age or background.

Pilates For Parenting
Holli Kenley
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
www.lovinghealing.com
9781615994885, $27.95, HC, 86pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Pilates For Parenting: Stretch Yourself & Strengthen Your Family" by Holli Kenley is a personalized workout regime for parents, guardians, those contemplating parenthood and anyone else who is open to assessing their parenting attitudes and adjusting their approaches as they strive to build stronger parent-child relationships.

When it comes to implementing healthy roles and tackling heavy responsibilities of being a parent, Pilates For Parenting targets five strategic areas. The goals of the Warm Up, 3 Workouts and Cool Down include: Increasing awareness regarding the importance of parenting; Strengthening the skill of being present for children: Fortifying the skill of doing what is best for children; Honing the skill of meeting children's needs; Increasing accountability as parents become purposeful in their parenting.

Critique: Unique, informatively instructive, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Pilates For Parenting: Stretch Yourself & Strengthen Your Family" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family and community library Parenting instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pilates For Parenting" is also available in a paperback edition (9781615994878, $17.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.95).


The Gardening Shelf

You Bet Your Garden Guide to Growing Great Tomatoes
Mike McGrath
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781497100756, $14.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A complete guide to growing heirloom tomatoes, whether its in an entire backyard or just a small dedicated space, this newly updated and expanded second edition of "You Bet Your Garden Guide to Growing Great Tomatoes" by Mike McGrath is a fully illustrated instructional guide dealing with tomato varieties, germination, planting, staking and caging, food, water, maintenance, pest control and diseases, and harvesting.

With the help of "You Bet Your Garden Guide to Growing Great Tomatoes", novice gardeners will understand the benefits of growing their own tomatoes, going well beyond the obvious fact that they taste better.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and expertly presented compendium of tomato lore, expert tips, tricks and techniques (all flavored with Mike McGrath's irreverent wit), "You Bet Your Garden Guide to Growing Great Tomatoes: How to Grow Great-Tasting Tomatoes in Any Backyard, Garden, or Container" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Gardening instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Mike McGrath is editor-at-large for Organic Gardening and is the former editor-in-chief. He writes a monthly column, "Mike McGrath's Tall Tales," and answers questions on the magazine's website. McGrath's You Bet Your Garden airs weekly on National Public Radio. He has made frequent guest appearances on NBC's Weekend Today and NPR's All Things Considered.

Asian Fruits and Berries
Kathleen Low
McFarland
McFarlandBooks.com
9781476675954 $29.95 amazon.com

Synopsis: From loquat to breadfruit to persimmon, Asian fruits and berries offer a dizzying selection of tastes, techniques and associated lore. This guide provides descriptions, histories, growing techniques and additional information about Asia's resplendent selection of fruits and berries, with a full color photograph accompanying each entry. Their rich history and cultural lore is presented in this practical guide to identifying, eating and growing the berries and fruits of the Asian continent.

Critique: Asian Fruits and Berries is packed cover to cover with information about how to grow an immense variety of Asian fruits and berries, along with their gardening and culinary history, and extensive references. An index rounds out this excellent, information-laden, and reader- friendly horticultural guide, enriched with a full-color photograph of virtually every featured fruit. Highly recommended!


The Needlecraft Shelf

Weekend Makes: Crocheted Toys
Emma Osmond
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945497, $22.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Weekend Makes: Crocheted Toys" by Emma Osmond presents 25 cute and colorful toys to crochet with love for young children and babies. Perfect for using up remnants of yarn and quick to make, needlecrafts be delighted with the results and so will their little ones! A variety of toys and games are included, from tactile stacking rings and an adorable giraffe to a practical stroller toy and educational number cubes - you'll want to make them all. There is even a toy basket to store all your precious makes. The essential tools and techniques section means that those new to crochet need not worry, these simple projects are achievable for all levels of ability. Additional projects include: baby rattle, elephant toy, number cubes, caterpillar, memory game, fishing game, and more!

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Weekend Makes: Crocheted Toys" is a complete course of instruction that is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Emma Osmond was originally taught to knit and crochet by her grandmother, and this wonderful skill has become her career. It was in the haberdashery department at Liberty of London that her love of yarn was established. There she enjoyed teaching beginners' knitting and crochet classes, which gave people the opportunity to take a handmade item home with them at the end of the day. Now Emma creates beautiful patterns that are inspiring and enable others to use their newly learned skills in different ways.

Martingale & Company
www.shopmartingale.com

Yoko Saito's I Love Houses (9780986302992, $32.95) is recommended for needleworkers who want to make and incorporate a wide range of house images into their projects, and comes with a separate pattern sheet which can be used to reproduce many of the projects within. Wall hangings, totes, purses and decorations are just of the few projects included in this guide, which offers everything needed to reproduce them, from a close-up guide to different stitches to small close-up color photos for piecing together each project. The result will delight folk artists and needleworkers as well as any who want to make and incorporate house images in their quilts and needlework projects. Andy Knowlton's Fresh Fat-Quarter Quilts: 125 Projects for Your Favorite Fabrics (9781683560357, $25.99) offers a fat quarter quilting guide with a difference: one that advocates blending stars, arrows and other motifs into fat quarter designs. Patterns and full-page color photos accompany step-by-step directions that leave nothing to wonder, making this project guide a fine choice for both newcomers and those already familiar with fat quarter piecing who seek innovative new ideas.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Clutter Remedy
Marla Stone
https://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com
New World Library
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608686292 $15.95 pbk / $10.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: There are many valid approaches to creating neat and tidy spaces, but these approaches tend to fail over time because they suggest that we dispose of our stuff, and most of us love our stuff! Marla Stone's fresh and friendly approach, based on her work as both a professional organizer and a former psychotherapist, goes beyond tidying up to offer the Clutter Remedy strategy that will create spaces you love and keep you perpetually organized.

Marla walks you through a process of getting to know yourself and your values and then visualizing your ideal lifestyle and optimal surroundings. From that perspective, you'll learn step by step (and room by room) how to create your ideal lifestyle and organize your space to support it.

Critique: The Clutter Remedy: A Guide to Getting Organized for Those Who Love Their Stuff lives up to its title as a user-friendly guide to de-cluttering one's home, lifestyle, and personal space. Chapters address how get family members to put things back in their proper place, reliable criteria for choosing what to keep and what to discard, how certain bad habits of thinking can obstruct one's efforts to remain organized long-term, and much more. The Clutter Remedy is ultimately an invaluable time-saver that will dramatically reduce the amount of aimless hours spent looking for that one important item amid heaps of unsorted materials. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Clutter Remedy is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).


The Native American Studies Shelf

Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States
Devon A. Mihesuah & Elizabeth Hoover, editors
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806163215, $29.95, PB, 390pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Centuries of European colonization and other factors have disrupted indigenous communities' ability to control their own food systems. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Devon A. Mihesuah (a member of the Choctaw Nation, and the Cora Lee Beers Price Professor in International Cultural Understanding at the University of Kansas) and Elizabeth Hoover, (the Manning Associate Professor of American Studies at Brown University), "Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health" explores the meaning and importance of food sovereignty for Native peoples in the United States, and asks whether and how it might be achieved and sustained.

Unprecedented in its focus and scope, this collection of fourteen erudite and informative articles addresses nearly every aspect of indigenous food sovereignty, from revitalizing ancestral gardens and traditional ways of hunting, gathering, and seed saving to the difficult realities of racism, treaty abrogation, tribal sociopolitical factionalism, and the entrenched beliefs that processed foods are superior to traditional tribal fare.

The contributors include scholar-activists in the fields of ethnobotany, history, anthropology, nutrition, insect ecology, biology, marine environmentalism, and federal Indian law, as well as indigenous seed savers and keepers, cooks, farmers, spearfishers, and community activists. After identifying the challenges involved in revitalizing and maintaining traditional food systems, these writers offer advice and encouragement to those concerned about tribal health, environmental destruction, loss of species habitat, and governmental food control.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an informative foreword by Winona LaDuke, (who is an Anishinaabe writer and economist from the White Earth reservation in Minnesota, and the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, a national Native advocacy and environmental organization), as well as illustrations, tables, eight pages of Study Questions, an eight page listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a fifteen page Index, "Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States" is a unique volume of seminal and meticulous scholarship. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Native American Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.95).


The American History Shelf

Bold Women in Nevada History
Kay Moore
Mountain Press
www.mountain-press.com
9780878426959, $14.00

Bold Women in Nevada History features fifteen women who each tackled sexism, racism, and oppression in the course of Nevada's history, and uses the biography format to craft stories that celebrate women's freedoms, determination, and contributes to the state of Nevada's exploration and social and political advancement. Nevada has a reputation for being a pioneering state where males settled to create new lives, but it also encouraged the same rights and innovations for females. These biographies do more than outline the nature and achievements of bold women: they place women's actions in light of Nevada's evolution as a whole in a lively survey which should be in any Nevada history collection.

Equality at the Ballot Box
Lori Ann Lahlum & Molly P. Rozum, editors
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
https://www.sdhspress.com
9781941813263, $29.95, HC, 410pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On 10 December 1869, the governor of Wyoming Territory signed the first full woman suffrage bill in the history of the United States. Suffragists in the neighboring territories of Montana and Dakota believed their prospects were similarly bright. Over the next twenty years, however, organizers efforts to secure votes for women met only limited success.

While suffragists hoped the territories respective bids for statehood in 1889 and 1890 would change their fortunes, only Wyoming enshrined voting rights for all in its state constitution. The fight for full woman suffrage on the Northern Great Plains would take another three decades.

In "Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains", the collaborative editorial team of Lori Ann Lahlum (Professor of history, Minnesota State University - Mankatoo) and Molly P. Rozum (Associate professor and Ronald M. Nelson Chair of Great Plains and South Dakota History, University of South Dakota - Vermillion) have compiled a set of original essays that illuminate key aspects of the movement. Here, scholars uncover previously untold stories of the women who traveled immense distances to win over a diverse, often contentious public.

Essential for understanding the larger picture of woman suffrage, including the significance of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, school suffrage, and the anti-suffrage movement, "Equality at the Ballot Box" reveals the impact this isolated, rural region had on women's rights nationwide. The contributors to "Equality at the Ballot Box" build upon classic woman suffrage scholarship and develop new ideas that capture the spirit of suffrage on the Northern Great Plains. For the first time, the region's unique circumstances are considered, including significant populations of European immigrants and American Indians as well as harsh climates and sprawling landscapes. By turning scholarly attention to this understudied area, Professors Lahlum and Rozum start a long-needed conversation and point to rich avenues for further exploration.

Critique: A masterpiece of collective scholarship, "Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains" is an original, seminal and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American History, Women's Studies, and Political Science collections, as well as the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of Women's Suffrage.

The Federalist Frontier
Kristopher Maulden
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826221964, $40.00, HC, 278pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "The Federalist Frontier: Settler Politics in the Old Northwest, 1783-1840" by Kristopher Maulden (who teaches history at Versailles High School, Jefferson City, Missouri) traces the development of Federalist policies and the Federalist Party in the first three states of the Northwest Territory (Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois) from the nation's first years until the rise of the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s.

Relying on government records, private correspondence, and newspapers, Maulden argues that Federalists originated many of the policies and institutions that helped the young United States government take a leading role in the American people's expansion and settlement westward across the Appalachians. It was primarily they who placed the U.S. Army at the fore of the white westward movement, created and executed the institutions to survey and sell public lands, and advocated for transportation projects to aid commerce and further migration into the region.

Ultimately, the relationship between government and settlers evolved as citizens raised their expectations of what the federal government should provide, and the region embraced transportation infrastructure and innovation in public education.

Historians of early American politics will have a chance to read about Federalists in the Northwest, and they will see the early American state in action in fighting Indians, shaping settler understandings of space and social advancement, and influencing political ideals among the citizens. For historians of the early American West, "The Federalist Frontier" documents and demonstrates that the origins of state-led expansion reach much further back in time than generally understood.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion a twenty-two page Bibliography, forty pages of Notes, Illustrations, Tables, and a six page Index, "The Federalist Frontier: Settler Politics in the Old Northwest, 1783-1840" is a seminal work of meticulous scholarship. Exceptionally informative and impressively presented that is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to community and academic library American History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Federalist Frontier" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $38.00).


The World History Shelf

A New World Begins
Jeremy D. Popkin
Basic Books
www.basicbooks.com
c/o Perseus Books Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
www.perseusbooksgroup.com
9780465096664, $35.00, HC, 640pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The principles of the French Revolution remain the only possible basis for a just society -- even if, after more than two hundred years (including the bloody removal of the formally ruling aristocracy, two world wars, and the slow and violent loss of empire ranging from Morocco to Viet Nam), they are more contested than ever before.

Based on decades of scholarship, "A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution", by Jeremy D. Popkin (who holds the William T. Bryan Chair of History at the University of Kentucky) offers a riveting account of the revolution that puts the reader in the thick of the debates and the violence that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a new society.

We meet Mirabeau, Robespierre, and Danton, in all of their brilliance and vengefulness; we witness the failed escape and execution of Louis XVI; we see women demanding equal rights and black slaves wresting freedom from revolutionaries who hesitated to act on their own principles; and we follow the rise of Napoleon out of the ashes of the Reign of Terror.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of thirty-two pages of Notes and a twenty- eight page Index, "A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution" is an exceptionally well written, deftly organized, accessibly presented, definitive treatment of the French Revolution. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library French History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of the French Revolution that "A New World Begins" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Army of the Roman Emperors
Thomas Fischer
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781612008103, $45.00, HC, 464pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Compared to modern standard, the Roman army of the imperial era was surprisingly small. However, when assessed in terms of their various tasks, they by far outstrip modern armies -- acting not only as an armed power of the state in external and internal conflicts, but also carrying out functions which nowadays are performed by police, local government, customs and tax authorities, as well as constructing roads, ships, and buildings.

"Army of the Roman Emperors" is an informed and informative history in which Thomas Fischer presents a comprehensive and unique exploration of the Roman military of the imperial era. Featuring more than 600 illustrations, the costumes, weapons and equipment of the Roman army are explored in detail using archaeological finds dating from the late Republic to Late Antiquity, and from all over the Roman Empire. The buildings and fortifications associated with the Roman army are also discussed. By comparing conflicts, border security, weaponry and artefacts, the development of the army through time is traced.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, while "Army of the Roman Emperors" is intended for academia, it will also have immense appeal for the non-specialist general readers with an interest in Roman history. "Army of the Roman Emperors" is also a informational treasure-trove for re-enactment groups, as it puts many common perceptions of the weaponry, equipment and dress of the Roman army to the test -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Roman History collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "Army of the Roman Emperors" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).

Troy: Myth And Reality
The British Museum
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500480557, $60.00, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From the epic tales of Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid to retellings from Chaucer to Madeline Miller, and stagings from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida to Brad Pitt's rendering of the hero Achilles, for over 3,000 years the myth of Troy has fascinated artists and audiences alike. But what is it about this tale that makes it so eternally appealing, and what do we actually know about historical Troy? Drawing from the British Museum, "Troy: Myth And Reality" is a richly illustrated coffee table style volume (10.2 x 1.1 x 11.3 inches ) that tells the story of Troy and the great Trojan War through the lens of objects from the Greek Bronze Age to the twenty-first century.

Shedding new light on a legendary story that has resonated for millennia by using the Classical works of art for which the British Museum is internationally known, "Troy: Myth And Reality" considers the ancient myth through the eyes of Greek and Roman artists. Drawing on the latest research, it chronicles the search for Troy that convinced the world of the city's existence, beginning with the nineteenth-century excavations by Heinrich Schliemann. Focusing on the major characters in the story (Helen of Troy, Achilles and Hector, Aeneas and Odysseus) "Troy: Myth And Reality" illustrates how artists from Cranach and Rubens to Romare Bearden and Cy Twombly have been inspired to explore contemporary themes of war and heroism, love and beauty.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Troy: Myth And Reality" is an inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and exceptionally detailed study -- and one that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library Ancient History collections in general, and Troy supplemental studies lists in particular. The collaborative work of Lesley Fitton (who is an Honorary Research Fellow and is based in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum); Andrew Shapland (who is Curator of the Aegean World and Classical Greek collections at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford); Alexandra Villing (who is the Curator of Greek collections, and is based in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum); Victoria Donnellan (who is Project Curator, Troy exhibition, and is based in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum), it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Troy: Myth And Reality" is also available in a paperback edition (9780500480588, $30.55).

From Berber State to Moroccan Empire
Maya Shatzmiller
Markus Wiener Publishers
231 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
www.markuswiener.com
9781558769519, $26.95, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Medieval Fez was a main center of education, art, and commerce from the 13th to the 16th centuries after the Berber tribe of the Marinids seized power in Morocco and moved the capital from Marrakesh to Fez.

As non-Arabs they gained legitimacy by founding religious universities called medresas. They also supported the arts and commerce, and expanded their state into an empire. It was the Golden Age of Fez.

In "From Berber State to Moroccan Empire: The Glory of Fez Under the Marinids", Professor Maya Shatzmiller (University of Western Ontario) draws a historical panorama of this era, highlighting its movers and shakers in locations from North Africa to the Mediterranean world.

Critique: This newly published second edition of "From Berber State to Moroccan Empire: The Glory of Fez Under the Marinids" continues to be a seminal and comprehensive study of Marinid history that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of illustrations, two appendices, forty- four pages of notes, a twelve page bibliography, and a three page index. Impressively comprehensive, detailed, documented, informative and exceptionally well organized and presented, "From Berber State to Moroccan Empire: The Glory of Fez Under the Marinids" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, as well as the personal reading list of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.


The Civil War Shelf

Such Anxious Hours
Jo Ann Daly Carr, editor
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299324209, $34.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Letters from soldiers to their families often provide prominent narratives of the Civil War. But what about the messages from the women who maintained homes and farmsteads alone, all while providing significant emotional support to their loved ones at the front?

Compiled and edited by Jo Ann Daly Carr (who is a librarian and director emerita of Media, Education Resources, and Information Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education), "Such Anxious Hours: Wisconsin Women's Voices from the Civil War" is comprised of the letters and diary entrees of eight women echo the ever-growing horrors of the conflict and reveal the stories of the Wisconsin home front during the American Civil War.

Twenty-one-year-old Emily Quiner sought a way to join the war effort that would feed her heart and mind. Annie Cox wrote to her pro-slavery fiance to staunchly defend her abolitionist principles. Sisters Susan Brown and Ann Waldo faced the unexpected devastation that each battle brought to families.

In "Such Anxious Hours", Carr places this material in historical context, detailing what was happening simultaneously in the nation, state, and local communities. Civil War history enthusiasts will particularly appreciate these enlightening perspectives that demonstrate the variety of experiences in the Midwest during the bloody conflict.

Critique: An impressively informative and exceptionally well organized and presented compendium of first hand accounts that is further enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an eight page Bibliography, twenty-four pages of Notes, and a fourteen page Index, "Such Anxious Hours: Wisconsin Women's Voices from the Civil War" is an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community and academic library American Civil War History collections in general, and Wisconsin History and 19th Century Women's Studies supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War
John Horn
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611214369, $39.95, HC, 452pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The 12th Virginia has an amazing history. John Wilkes Booth stood in the ranks of one of its future companies at John Brown's hanging. The regiment refused to have Stonewall Jackson appointed its first colonel. Its men first saw combat in naval battles, including Hampton Roads and First Drewry's Bluff, before embarrassing themselves at Seven Pines (their first land battle) just outside Richmond. Thereafter, the 12th's record is one of hard-fighting from the Seven Days' Battles all the way to Appomattox. Its remarkable story is told here in full for the first time in John Horn's "The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War: A History of the 12th Virginia Infantry from John Brown's Hanging to Appomattox, 1859-1865".

The Virginians of the 12th found themselves in some of the most pivotal battles of the war under Generals William Mahone and later, David Weisiger. After distinguishing themselves at Second Manassas, they were hit hard at Crampton's Gap in the South Mountain fighting and were only able to field 25 men three days later at Sharpsburg. Good service at Chancellorsville followed. Its Gettysburg performance, however, tied to General Mahone's mysterious behavior there, remains controversial. The Virginians played a key role in Longstreet's flank attack at the Wilderness as well as in his near-fatal wounding, launched a bayonet charge at Spotsylvania, and captured their first enemy flag. The regiment truly came into its own during the nine-month siege of Petersburg, where it fought in a host of bloody battles including the Crater, Jerusalem Plank Road, Globe Tavern, Second Reams Station, Burgess Mill, and Hatcher's Run. Two days before the surrender at Appomattox the regiment fought in the rear guard action at Cumberland Church - General Lee's final victory of the war.

Horn's definitive history is grounded in decades of archival research that uncovered scores of previously unused accounts. The result is a lively, driving, up-tempo regimental history that not only describes the unit's marches and battles, but includes personal glimpses into the lives of the Virginians who made up the 12th regiment. Tables compare the 12th's fighting prowess with friend and foe, and an appendix resolves the lingering controversy over the fate of the regiment's last battle flag.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of thirty-two original maps, numerous photos, diagrams, tables, and appendices, a glossary, and a wealth of explanatory footnotes, "The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War" by civil war historian and author John Horn is an extraordinarily informative, exhaustively researched, exceptionally detailed, impressively informative work of Civil War scholarship. While certain to be a valued addition to community, college, and university library American Civil War history collections in general, and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists, it should be noted for students, academia, Civil War buffs and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).


The Library Science Shelf

Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers
Tim Padfield
Facet Publishing
www.facetpublishing.co.uk
9781783304493, $149.41, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As an archivist or records manager it is essential to keep up to date with the complexities of copyright legislation, and now in a significantly revised and fully updated sixth edition, "Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers" is justifiably described as a core and ideal resource for just that purpose.

"Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers" deals with such common questions as: What is copyright? Who owns it and for how long? What rights does it confer, and what are the limitations and exceptions?

A truly comprehensive instructional manual that uniquely outlines copyright law in the UK with special reference to the unpublished materials commonly found in archive and records collections such as maps, legal records, records of local authorities and parish registers, "Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers" also provides comprehensive information on authorship and duration of copyright in older as well as modern works and on the wide range of exceptions and limitations to copyright, particularly those relevant to archivists, records managers, librarians and curators.

This new edition also offers advice on rights in the electronic environment, moral rights and rights in databases and contains extensive tables of duration of copyright in other countries.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers" is an ideal Library Science curriculum textbook and unreservedly recommended as a community, academic, and governmental library staff in-service training instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and practicing librarians that "Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers" is also available in a paperback edition (9781783304486, $78.99).

Copyright
Graham P. Cornish
Facet Publishing
www.facetpublishing.co.uk
9781856049702, $59.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised and fully updated sixth edition, "Copyright: Interpreting the Law for Libraries, Archives and Information Services" employs a question-and-answer style format to explain the provisions of the United Kingdom Copyright Act and supporting legislation. This new edition covers copyright issues for literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. Using practical examples it also covers copyright issues for sound recordings, films, video, broadcasts, databases, computer programs and websites.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, this new sixth edition of "Copyright: Interpreting the Law for Libraries, Archives and Information Services" is an ideal Library Science curriculum textbook on the subject of copyright and should be a core part of professional, community, academic, and governmental library reference collections.

Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice
Edward Benoit III & Alexandra Eveleigh, editors
Facet Publishing
9781783303564, $64.95, PB, 263pp, www.facetpublishing.co.uk

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Edward Benoit, III (Assistant Professor at the School of Library & Information Science at Louisiana State University) and Alexandra Eveleigh (Collections Information Manager at Wellcome Collection, London, England) "Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice" is divided into four sections with each one specifically focused upon a particular aspect of participatory archives: social tagging and commenting; transcription; crowdfunding; and outreach & activist communities.

Each section includes chapters summarizing the existing literature, a discussion of theoretical challenges and benefits, and a series of case studies. The case studies are written by a range of international practitioners and provide a wide range of examples in practice, whilst the remaining chapters are supplied by leading scholars from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

"Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice" will be useful for students on archival studies programs, scholarly researchers in archival studies who could use this book to frame their own research projects, as well as practitioners who might be most interested in the case studies to see how participatory archives function in practice. "Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice" will also be of interest to other library and information science students, and similar audiences within the broader cultural heritage institution fields of museums, libraries, and galleries.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a listing of the contributors and their credentials, thirty-eight pages of notes, and a six page index, "Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice" would well serve as a Library Science supplemental studies curriculum textbook. Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice" is unreservedly recommended for library staff in-service training programs, as well as the Library Science collections of corporate, governmental, college and university libraries and library systems.


The Economic Studies Shelf

Capitalism in Transformation
Roland Atzmuller, et al.
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781788974233, $155.00, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Presenting a profound and far-reaching analysis of economic, ecological, social, cultural and political developments of contemporary capitalism, "Capitalism in Transformation: Movements and Countermovements in the 21st Century" draws on the work of Karl Polanyi, and re-reads it for our times. "Capitalism in Transformation" offers key insights to current changes in the relations between the economy, politics and society, and their ecological and social effects.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials and a nine page Index, "Capitalism in Transformation: Movements and Countermovements in the 21st Century" is comprised of nineteen erudite and insightfully informative articles deftly presented in three major sections: Historical and Theoretical Reflections: Karl Polanyi, Capitalism and Society; Contemporary Developments of Society and Capitalism in Europe and Beyond; Fictitious Commodities and the Challenges of Our Time. "Capitalism in Transformation" is an outstanding work of collective scholarship and unreservedly recommended for both college and university library Contemporary Economics collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.


The Computer Shelf

Embedded Vision
S.R. Vijayalakshmi and S. Muruganand
Mercury Learning
www.merclearning.com
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781683924579, $69.96

Embedded Vision: An Introduction reviews the concept of embedded vision: the inclusion of "computer vision" into machines that decode meaning from images or video. This concept is widely applied to AI and machine learning, but also delves into various branches of computer-driven technology, from industrial and medical devices to robotics and security concerns. Programmers and computer professionals interested in machine design with this vision-enabled technology receive a basic introduction that covers hardware, software, real-world applications, and future possibilities of new sensors, processors, and equipment. Tables, charts, and figures accompany mathematical formulas and solutions to problems which lend technical support to the concept of embedded vision applications. The result is a powerful, advanced discussion which will be key to computer designers seeking both present-day usage insights and future possibilities of embedded vision technology.

Data Breaches: Crisis and Opportunity
Sherri Davidoff
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Education
221 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
http://www.informit.com
9780134506784, $44.99, PB, 464pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Data breaches can be catastrophic, but they remain mysterious because their targeted victims don't want to talk about them. In "Data Breaches: Crisis and Opportunity", cyber security expert Sherri Davidoff shines a light on these events, offering practical guidance for reducing risk and mitigating consequences. Reflecting extensive personal experience and lessons from the world's most damaging breaches, Davidoff identifies proven tactics for reducing damage caused by breaches and avoiding common mistakes that cause them to spiral out of control.

"Data Breaches" shows how to manage data breaches as the true crises they are; minimize reputational damage and legal exposure; address unique challenges associated with health and payment card data; respond to hacktivism, ransomware, and cyber extortion; and prepare for the emerging battlefront of cloud-based breaches.

"Data Breaches" provides what everyone needs to know about data breaches, the dark web, and markets for stolen data; shows how to limit damage by going beyond conventional incident response; covers the navigation of high-risk payment card breaches in the context of PCI DSS; Assesses and mitigates data breach risks associated with vendors and third-party suppliers; Manages compliance requirements associated with healthcare and HIPAA; Quickly respond to ransomware and data exposure cases; Make better decisions about cyber insurance and maximize the value of your policy; Reduce cloud risks and properly prepare for cloud-based data breaches.

Critique: Attacks on corporate, governmental, institutional, and personal computer data files and systems is happening every minute of every day. "Data Breaches" should be considered essential and high priority reading for anyone charged with cyber security, including executives, managers, IT staff, consultants, investigators, students, and governmental policy makers. While unreserved recommended for community, corporate, governmental, and academic library Cyber Security collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "Data Breaches" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.79).

Editorial Note: Sherri Davidoff is a cybersecurity expert, author, speaker, and CEO of both LMG Security and BrightWise, Inc. She is a recognized expert in digital forensics and cybersecurity, and is coauthor of Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace (Prentice Hall, 2012). Sherri has consulted and/or conducted cybersecurity training for many distinguished organizations, including the Department of Defense, the American Bar Association, FFIEC/FDIC, and many more. She is a faculty member at the Pacific Coast Banking School, and is a frequent contributor of education articles and webinars. She is a GIAC-certified forensic examiner (GCFA) and penetration tester (GPEN), and holds a degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Primer of Ecological Restoration
Karen D. Holl
Island Press
2000 M Street NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
www.islandpress.org
9781610919722, $35.00, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The pace, intensity, and scale at which humans have altered our planet in recent decades is unprecedented in Earth's geological history. Humans have dramatically transformed landscapes and waterways through agriculture, logging, mining, and fire suppression, with drastic impacts on public health and human well-being. What can we do to counteract and even reverse the worst of these effects?

This "Primer of Ecological Restoration" by Karen D. Holl is a succinct introduction to the theory and practice of ecological restoration as a strategy to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems. In twelve brief chapters, the "Primer of Ecological Restoration" introduces readers to the basics of restoration project planning, monitoring, and adaptive management. It explains abiotic factors such as landforms, soil, and hydrology that are the building blocks to successfully recovering microorganism, plant, and animal communities. Additional chapters cover topics such as invasive species and legal and financial considerations. Each chapter concludes with recommended reading and reference lists, and the book can be paired with online resources for teaching.

Perfect for introductory classes in ecological restoration or for practitioners seeking constructive guidance for real-world projects, "Primer of Ecological Restoration" offers accessible, practical information on recent trends in the field.

Critique: Enhanced for academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that the "Primer of Ecological Restoration" features a fourteen page Glossary, twenty pages of References, a two page listing of Case Studies and Other Online Resources, and a seven page Index. Exceptionally informative and deftly organized, the "Primer of Ecological Restoration" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Environmental Sciences collections in general, and ecosystem restoration supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, governmental policy makers, and environmental activists that the "Primer of Ecological Restoration" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.25).

Editorial Note: Karen D. Holl is Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches ecological restoration. She conducts research in the rainforests of Latin America and the chaparral, grassland, and riparian systems in California. She is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a
co-winner of the Theodore Sperry Award of the Society for Ecological Restoration.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Golden Rules of Positive Puppy Training
Jean Cuvelier & Jean-Yves Grall
CompanionHouse Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781621871873, $19.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Whether you've had a puppy before, it's been awhile, or you're totally new to having a furry friend, "The Golden Rules of Positive Puppy Training: Everything You Need to Know for Your Puppy's First Year" is an ideal go-to instructional guide and reference a deftly organized and thoroughly user friendly compendium of essential information. Providing easy step-by-step instructions on training methods and how to best care for a puppy, "The Golden Rules of Positive Puppy Training" is an enjoyable read with a wealth of helpful tips and charming drawings and photographs to prepare you and your new puppy for a wonderful first year

Critique: An ideal gift for anyone with a new puppy in the house, "The Golden Rules of Positive Puppy Training: Everything You Need to Know for Your Puppy's First Year" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone with a newly acquired canine companion that "The Golden Rules of Positive Puppy Training" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Jean Cuvelier is a veterinarian. He writes articles on animals in many magazines and is the author of several books including the Mini Dictionary bilingual French-dog / dog-French and the Mini dictionary bilingual French-cat / cat-French Larousse.

Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals
Franklin D. McMillan, editor
CABI
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781786393401, $125.00, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Fully revised, expanded, and comprehensively updated with the most current knowledge about the full array of mental health issues seen in animals, this new second edition of "Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals" is comprised of contributions by key opinion leaders, internationally-recognized experts and specialists, and deftly edited by Franklin D. McMillan (who is with Best Friends Animal Society).

Featuring twenty-five articles organized into five major sections, "Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals" collectively covers basic principles regarding the mental wellness, emotional distress, suffering and mental illness of animals, including both measurement and treatment. With even more practical information and clinical pearls, this new edition of "Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals" remains invaluable to veterinary professionals, animal welfare researchers and advocates, and other animal caregivers.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and featuring a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, "Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals" is ideal as a veterinary curriculum textbook and is unreservedly recommended for college and university library Veterinary Medicine collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and practicing veterinarians that "Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $99.99).


The Architecture Shelf

A Chronology of Architecture
John Zukowsky
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500343562, $29.95, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius defined architecture's characteristics to include firmitas, utilitas, and venustas -- essentially, structural integrity, usefulness, and beauty. Amazingly, all three Vitruvian characteristics can be found one way or another in most buildings and constructions from antiquity through the present.

"A Chronology of Architecture: A Cultural Timeline from Stone Circles to Skyscrapers" by John Zukowsky (who is an architectural historian and retired museum professional with an MA and PhD in art and architectural history from Binghamton University, and who has taught university level courses in Chicago, New York, and Hamburg) is a groundbreaking survey that examines together both engineering and architectural accomplishments.

Specific sites are deftly arranged within a sociocultural timeline that examines them in terms of historic events and trends, social change, economic developments, and technological innovations -- factors that all helped shape architecture and engineering design solutions over millennia. The profusely illustrated text of "A Chronology of Architecture" is informatively organized into seven chapters that chronicle these achievements -- with each chapter includes snappy "In Focus" sections that target sociocultural observations and technological developments related to particular sites and people.

Critique: An impressively informed and informative study that provides a truly comprehensive overview of the history of architecture, "A Chronology of Architecture: A Cultural Timeline from Stone Circles to Skyscrapers" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended resource for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the art, science, craft and history architecture -- and a core addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, college, and university library Architectural History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.


The Photography Shelf

Viewpoints
Kristen Gresh & Anne Havinga
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
www.mfa-publications.org
9780878468676, $65.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Over the course of the 20th century, photography evolved as an art form while serving as an eyewitness to social, cultural and political change. "Viewpoints: Photographs from the Howard Greenberg Collection" presents more than 80 significant images (many from unique vintage prints) that came to define their times, and invites us to take a fresh look at celebrated photographs by such masters of the medium as Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Consuelo Kanaga, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks and Edward Steichen.

Drawing on the unparalleled Howard Greenberg Collection (446 photographs recently acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) "Viewpoints" brings to vivid life the transformative power of photography, and invites the reader into a collection assembled with a connoisseur's eye by a former photographer who is also a gallery dealer and a strong advocate for artists.

Critique: A splendid coffee-table style volume (10 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches), "Viewpoints: Photographs from the Howard Greenberg Collection" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and academic library History of Photography collections and supplemental studies lists.


The Language Studies Shelf

Learn to Read Hebrew in 6 Weeks!
Miiko Shaffier
Shefer Publishing
www.SheferPublishing.com
9780997867503 $27.99 pbk / $7.70 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: This proven method will have you reading the Hebrew Alphabet in 6 weeks or less. The Hebrew Alphabet can look intimidating, but this book will have you reading it in 6 weeks. Even people who have tried other books without success have learned to read Hebrew using this book. Here's what makes it different:

* Fun memory tricks make it super simple to remember the sounds of the letters

* Pace - The book is divided into 12 simple lessons. Two a week for 6 weeks.

* The cheerful style of the book is great for adults and children alike.

* From week one you are given words you can read from the Hebrew Bible!

* The charming illustrations make learning Hebrew a pleasure.

At the end of six weeks you WILL be able to read from the original Hebrew Bible, Psalms or the Siddur (Jewish prayer book) and you will have taken the first big step towards learning the Hebrew Language!

This method has already been used by thousands of students who have successfully learned to read Hebrew.

Critique: Learn to Read Hebrew in 6 Weeks! is a straightforward, user-friendly, lesson-based guide to quickly learning the Hebrew alphabet and start reading Hebrew. Learn to Read Hebrew in 6 Weeks! is not a consumable workbook; the focus is on learning to read Hebrew letters, not write them. The lessons take advantage of mnemonic devices to simplify and streamline the process of memorizing Hebrew letters, and is an excellent supplementary resource for anyone studying Hebrew for use in Israel (where it is an official language), for the perusal of religious texts, or for any other purpose. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Learn to Read Hebrew in 6 Weeks! is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.70).


The Autism Shelf

The Little Book of Autism FAQs
Davida Hartman, author
Illustrated by Margaret Anne Suggs
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
www.jkp.com
9781785924491 $15.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Empowering and practical, this guide is the perfect companion for parents who are finding it difficult to tell their children about their autism diagnosis. It provides a realistic yet uplifting approach to autism, treating it not as a disability but as a difference.

Not telling children about their autism diagnosis can have a significant negative impact on their mental health; by equipping parents with a language of positivity around autism, the book will make a difference to many children on the spectrum. It advises on how and when to talk to autistic children with both high and low care needs, and provides guidance on supporting children's relationships with peers at school, as well as how to broach the conversation with the child's siblings.

Concise and easy to read, The Little Book of Autism FAQs answers parents' questions with accessible language, preparing them to approach this difficult conversation in a constructive manner.

Critique: Child psychologist Davida Hartman presents The Little Book of Autism FAQs: How to Talk with Your Child about their Diagnosis & Other Conversations, an absolute "must-have" especially for parents of children who have been diagnosed with autism or Asperger syndrome. In plain terms thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Little Book of Autism FAQs explains why young children need to be told about their diagnosis, recommends ways to discuss the matter, and much more. "It is very important that to your child you make clear the distinction between wanting to take away any pain from their life, and wanting them to be a completely different person (which is what they hear when they hear you wish they had not been born with autism)." The Little Book of Autism FAQs is highly recommended, especially for public library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Little Book of Autism FAQs is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).


The Money/Finance Shelf

Winning at Retirement
Patrick Foley, CFP & Kristin Hillsley
FH Press
www.RetiredHappy.me
9780692197899, $10.99, Paper, $4.99, Kindle

Winning at Retirement: A Guide to Health, Wealth & Purpose in the Best Years of Your Life goes beyond most retirement books that focus on financial concerns to consider the underlying issues of security and happiness in retirement years. It's the perfect item of choice for anyone who wants to pre-define these two essential elements of a successful retirement, and approaches its subject with a lively dialogue designed to entertain and engage even as it educates. Winning at Retirement is a guide to not just financial but emotional and physical happiness in retirement years that will help readers identify what those years should be like. It provides one of the more accessible, concrete guides on the market for reviewing future retirement goals and options. Ideally, Winning at Retirement will be consulted not just by seniors, but by those in their 30s and 40s who have time to strategize and plan for maximum effectiveness.


The Technology Shelf

Artech House
www.artechhouse.com

These three college-level references in microwave, photonics, and radio technology are manuals recommended both for students in these disciplines and field practitioners looking for a refresher course that pairs mathematical support and statistical references with real-world applications. Gregory Bonaguide and Neil Jarvis's The VNA Applications Handbook (9781630816001, $169.00) is written by experts as a resource covering guidelines for Vector Network Analyzer measurements. It surveys the pros and cons of modern VNA techniques, explains tests and instrument settings as they relate to measurement data and applications, and is arranged by topic particular to measurement. Illustrations and charts provide visual support to reinforce key VNA concepts for engineers and lab technicians, while students will appreciate the chapters contrasting the different measurement approaches and popular methods of extending the range of VNA. Fabio Cavaliere and Antonio D'Errico's Photonic Applications for Radio Systems and Networks (9781630816650, $169.00) provides optical network designers with basic details about radio systems air interfaces and network architecture and protocols, providing mobile network designers examples that can serve as blueprints for designing a radio access optical network. The focus on the use of photonic devices to perform various tasks and their incarnation in the processing world of 5G makes for an engrossing study that builds a knowledge base from chapter to chapter, introduces new concepts and applications, and surveys digital radio access networks and systems. Amitav Mukherjee's 5G New Radio: Beyond Mobile Broadband (9781630816407, $139.00) provides a resource that analyzes various applications of 5G NR and NR standardization processes, offering readers the opportunity to compare different solutions, systems, and real-world scenarios. From basic features of 5G phase 2 to mathematical models and open research issues relating to it, readers will appreciate the focus on the next generation of reliable low-latency communications and support systems for them.


The Martial Arts Shelf

The Complete Martial Artist
Willie "The Bam" Johnson
YMAA
www.ymaa.com
9781594396533, $18.95

The Complete Martial Artist: Developing the Mind, Body, and Spirit of a Champion is directed to young adults and provides a program that blends the author's own childhood experiences and struggles with hardship with a program of martial arts values that translates nicely to a revised view of life and living. Within the martial arts structure is advice on not just forms and competitions, but how to use these martial arts strategies as patterns to life by. From the characteristics of a champion and knowing the difference between basic truths and learned techniques to foundations of sparring, stretches and other exercises, and handling weapons, this focus directed to young martial artists profiles not just a specific program but an approach to life that adults will find uplifting, supportive, and positive for their young aspiring martial artists.


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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