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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 26, Number 6 June 2016 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Humor Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Biography Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Travel Shelf
Business Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Self-Help Shelf Art Shelf
Parenting Shelf Activity Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Automotive Shelf LGBT Studies Shelf Photography Shelf
Gardening Shelf Poetry Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Computer Shelf Education Shelf Technology Shelf
Sports Shelf International Studies Shelf Political Science Shelf
Architecture Shelf Library Science Shelf Mathematics Shelf
Literary Studies Shelf Agriculture Shelf Civil War Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Music Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Autism Shelf Language Studies Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Hacked Again
Scott N. Schober
Privately Published
9780996902205 $29.95 hc / $9.99 Kindle

Hacked Again: It Can Happen to Anyone... Even a Cybersecurity Expert is a "must-read" for the Information Age. Author Scott N. Schober, a cybersecurity professional, tells of the frustrations and high cost of being hacked, or targeted by online thieves and scammers. In one case, a seemingly ordinary (at first glance) customer used a stolen credit card to buy a large order of expensive goods, leaving him and his bank to suffer the inevitable chargeback; in another, his bank's lax security measures left his company's account vulnerable to fraudulent charges from hackers using stolen identities. The majority of Hacked Again is devoted to no-nonsense, plain-terms instructions for protecting your privacy, your finances, and your reputation from cybercrime. From crafting strong passwords (the recent cloud hack of celebrity nude pictures was due to the celebrity victims' use of weak passwords!), to limiting third-party vendor access to sensitive data, to learning how secure your bank really is prior to opening a business account and more, Hacked Again is practical-minded, enlightening, accessible, and worthy of the highest recommendation.

Veterans Voices
Robert H. Miller & Andrew Wakeford
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426216381, $35.00, HC, 256pp,

Through intimate photographs and poignant stories, "Veterans Voices: Remarkable Stories of Heroism, Sacrifice, and Honor" is a heart-rending book that showcases the courage, heroics, and sacrifice of selected U.S. soldiers and veterans. This deeply moving, timely celebration of veterans highlights the heroes in our midst by bringing these brave men and women to life. "Veterans Voices" blends beauty and impact and gorgeous photographic displays with inspiring storytelling. Compelling and inspiring, "Veterans Voices" is especially recommended for community library collections and would be an appropriate choice as a library memorial fund acquisition. A unique celebration of the human spirit, a compendium of real life examples of courage, exceptional well written, organized and presented, "Veterans Voices" is one of those singular volumes that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.

Reading in Bed
Brian Doyle
ACTA Publications
4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
9780996136204, $19.95, PB, 215pp,

Comprised of brief headlong essays about books, writers, reading, and readers, "Reading in Bed" by Brian Doyle reflects upon the scent of books, their papery wings that flutter as you read, the amazing variety of books people secretly carry in their cars, the way that refrigerators hosting stories of every kind are actually a literary genre, the way we all make scurrilous moral judgments when surreptitiously scanning other people's bookshelves, the subtle joy of reading a select series of books, the pleasures of reading box scores and Ships in Port in the newspaper, the terrible epidemic of misplaced apostrophes in American life, and the most elegant literary form of them all -- the essay. Doyle also offers notes on Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tony Hillerman, Joseph Conrad, Cynthia Ozick, Jan Morris, William Blake, Andre Dubus III, the moist, moist delights of sea novels, a particular interview with the nonfiction author Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and so much more that will make the reader laugh and snarl and ponder the endless pleasure of books and their creators. "Reading in Bed" is a book to enjoy, enlighten and inspire. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Reading in Bed" is an extraordinary, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end, and very highly recommended for personal reading lists of all bibliophiles, as well as an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu
Joshua Hammer
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476777405, $26.00,

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts provides something unusual in equating an Indiana Jones-style adventure with a real-world story of how a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulled off a heist to save Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, and is a powerful account of how a mild-mannered librarian and historian's smuggling job preserved a critical piece of a library. His goal was to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to safety in southern Mali: a seemingly impossible job that succeeded through grit, determination, and adventure. His powerful story of preservation issues, jihadi encounters, and changing governments and perspectives makes for a gripping true-life story certain to delight any with an affection for books and historic preservation challenges.

Cream City Chronicles: Stories of Milwaukee's Past
John Gurda
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
9780870203756, $26.95, HC, 320pp,

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown for more than twenty-five years. He is the author of fifteen books, including histories of Milwaukee area neighborhoods, churches, and industries. In "Cream City Chronicles" Gurda has deftly compiled collection of lively stories about the people, the events, the landmarks, and the institutions that have made Milwaukee a unique American community. These stories represent the best of Gurda's popular Sunday columns that have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1994. Readers will find themselves transported back to another time, when the village of Milwaukee was home to fur trappers and traders. Readers will follow the development of Milwaukee's distinctive neighborhoods, its rise as a port city and industrial center, and its changing political climate. From singing mayors to summer festivals, from blueblood weddings to bloody labor disturbances, "Cream City Chronicles" is an impressive anthology that offers a generous sampling of tales that express the true character of a hometown metropolis. A compelling, informed and informative read from first page to last, "Cream City Chronicles" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Wisconsin History collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Cream City Chronicles" is also available in a paperback edition (9780870207587, $18.95) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Painting with Metro
Ron Krajewski & Susy Flory
New Horizon Press
PO Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882825120, $24.95, HC, 320pp,

"Painting with Metro: How a Crippled Racehorse Rescued Himself (and Me) with a Paintbrush" by Ron Krajewski (with the help of Susy Flory) tells a truly inspirational story. Ron is a shy, Gulf War Air Force veteran. Metro Meteor is a feisty, bad-kneed two-year-old thoroughbred racehorse destined for the slaughterhouse. An unlikely pairing, the two bonded through art: creating stunning abstract paintings to be exact. Each painting brought much needed strength and hope, plus a new lease on life to both man and horse. For Metro, painting became an escape from a death sentence; for Ron it meant overcoming his extreme introversion. Today, Metro and Ron have used their fame to highlight the perilous nature of the racing industry. Thousands of Thoroughbreds are bred for racing each year, but only five to ten percent ever see a racecourse. Unless they are lucky enough to find another career, these horses are disposed of. To date, Metro's paintings have raised over $50,000 for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, and he and Ron are regulars on TV, radio, and print, spreading the message that "every horse deserves a loving home". A truly compelling read from first page to last, "Painting with Metro" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. A remarkable and ultimately inspiring true life story, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Painting with Metro" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.49).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Comedy Writing Secrets, third edition
Mark Shatz with Mel Helitzer
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639611, $17.99, PB, 235pp,

Mark A. Shatz is a professor of psychology at Ohio University, Zainesville. In addition to teaching humor writing, he has extensive international experience as a teacher, speaker, and seminar leader. He draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to create an invaluable and thoroughly 'user friendly' guide to writing humor. Now in a newly updated and expanded third edition, "Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Guide to Writing Funny and Getting Paid for It" truly lives up to its extended title and reveals the secrets of successful humor writing that will the comedy writer's laughing out loud. "Comedy Writing Secrets" covers all the basics of joke construction, as well as in-depth comedy-writing techniques that apply to a variety of print and online markets. "Comedy Writing Secrets" features: Hundreds of updated one-liners, anecdotes, and bits from top comedians like Louis C.K., Conan O'Brien, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Rodney Dangerfield, Jon Stewart, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, George Carlin, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Colbert, Erma Bombeck, and more; Exclusive tips for injecting humor into articles, speeches, advertisements, greeting cards, and more; New instruction on writing for online markets and social media; Advice on brainstorming and editing to beat writer's block and generate new material; Exercises and expanded instructions for exaggeration, reverses, word play and more to practice and refine your writing skills. "Comedy Writing Secrets" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Comedy Writing Secrets" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Creating Nonfiction
Jen Hirt & Erin Murphy, editors
State University of New York Press
State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246-0001
9781438461151, $75.00, HC, 254pp,

"Creating Nonfiction" is a collection of twenty essays and interviews with authors that will open the eyes of readers and writers to the formal possibilities of creative nonfiction. Included in the pages of "Creating Nonfiction" are examples of memoirs, personal essays, literary journalism, graphic essays, and lyric essays, and the content is equally diverse, with topics ranging from childbirth to child labor, from dandelions to domestic violence. Whereas most anthologies leave readers to speculate about the evolution of each contribution, "Creating Nonfiction" provides companion interviews that offer insight into the inspiration, drafting, and revision process that produced the essays. Cheryl Strayed talks about how working as a reporter for her hometown newspaper influenced her later writings. Dinty W. Moore reflects on the delicate balance between observation and judgment when writing about subjects whose values differ from your own. Kristen Radtke explains how she decides between textual and visual images when creating a graphic essay. Although they offer an eclectic mix of voices and styles, what these essays all have in common is that ultimately, as contributor Faith Adiele observes, truth becomes art. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Creating Nonfiction" is an informative, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking read throughout and very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. For personal reading lists of aspiring writers it should be noted that "Creating Nonfiction" is also available in a paperback edition (9781438461168, $24.95) and in a Kindle format ($13.99).

Master of The Cinematic Universe
John Bucher & Jeremy Casper
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932412, $14.95, PB, 130pp,

Cooperatively written by John Bucher (an award-winning writer / director / producer from Los Angeles, California) and Jeremy Casper (an award-winning writer / director / producer from Los Angeles, California, and who currently teaches film at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center where he has held workshops for well over a thousand short films with his students and alumni) "Master of The Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code to Writing In The New World of Media" is a guide to the future of trans-media storytelling. Content creators of every flavor are constantly needing to expand the mediums they can work in. "Master of The Cinematic Universe" serves as an invaluable resource for using the timeless truths of story structure to craft established as well as up and coming short-form media formats. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Master of The Cinematic Universe" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Theatre/Cinema/TV instructional reference collections. For the personal reading lists of students, film buffs, and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, it should be noted that "Master of The Cinematic Universe" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.59).

Writing in English for the Medical Sciences: A Practical Guide
Steve Hart
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781498742368, $33.95,

Writing in English for the Medical Sciences: A Practical Guide has been designed to help medical students and professors in medicine and surgery schools to make best use of English in the course of their work, and teaches how to produce professional results in medical writing. The profession has many common requirements for such writing, but writing errors typically occur during the process. This book identifies these common mistakes, shows how to correct them, and includes errors by international students and ESL students and professors. Exercises encourage self-testing and real understanding of the underlying principles of English, making this a top recommendation for college-level medical and English language reference collections alike.

Book Cover Designs
Matthew Goodman
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764350160, $34.99,

Book Cover Designs compiles over five hundred designs and descriptions of the process from over fifty leading modern designers, and gathers some of the most clever of titles and themes of both classic and modern books from illustrators, design professionals, students, and more. The result is a range of approaches to book cover design that can serve two purposes: as a fine set of visual artistic efforts for artists seeking book cover inspiration, or for authors who want to sample the full range of approaches to book jackets and all the options involved.

The Script-Selling Game, second edition
Kathie Fong Yoneda
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907919, $19.95, PB, 245pp,

Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked in film and television for more than 30 years. She has held executive positions at Disney, Touchstone, Disney TV Animation, Paramount Pictures Television, and Island Pictures, specializing in development and story analysis of both live-action and animation projects. Kathie is an internationally known seminar leader on screenwriting and development and has conducted workshops in France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and throughout the U.S. and Canada. In this newly updated and expanded second edition of "The Script Selling Game: A Hollywood Insider's Look at Getting Your Script Sold and Produced Second Edition", Yoneda draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide practical answers questions about successfully selling scripts, and provides aspiring script writers with not only valuable information, but real-life examples on how to maneuver their way through the Hollywood labyrinth. While the first edition focused mostly on film and television movies, the second edition includes a new chapter on animation and another on utilizing the Internet to market yourself and find new opportunities, plus an expansive section on submitting for television and cable. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Script-Selling Game" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts
Stephen Gillen
Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TTA)
PO Box 367, Fountain City, WI 54629
9780997500400, $29.95, 52pp,

The forming of contracts to the benefit of authors is a subject never taught in any creative writing class or workshop but it is a vital and necessary skill -- especially for writers of textbooks. In "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts", Stephen Gillen (a partner at the 145-year-old legal firm Wood Herron & Evans which specializes in intellectual property law) provides a complete and comprehensive course of instruction that is as 'user friendly' as it is do-it-yourself practical. "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" begins with an Introduction, followed by practical orientation advice (You Have More Leverage Than You Think / You Have to Do Your Homework / Determine What's Important to You. Then continues with Key Provisions of a Typical Textbook Contract; Grant of Rights and Royalties; Advances and Grants; Electronic Rights; Copyright; Competing Publications; Obligations of the Publisher; Manuscript Submission; Ancillaries; Editorial Control; Warranties and Indemnities; Permissions to Use Other Material; Author's and Publisher's Changes in Proofs; Marketing and Promotion; Royalty Reporting and Payment; Inspection of Publisher's Accounts by Author; Author's Copies / Revisions of the Book; Assignments and Successors / Reversion; Choice of Legal Venue; and Signature Block. "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" is enhanced further with the inclusion of '20 Questions to Ask Your Editor', a list of Resources, a Glossary of Terms, and Contact Information. Although as the title lays out, "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" is focused on contracts for textbooks, the core basic information about contract negotiation and content will prove to be of practical value for any author entering into a contractual arrangement with any publisher for any book, fiction or non-fiction. It should be noted that "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" is also available in an ebook format ($24.95).

The Humor Shelf

Never Flirt With Puppy Killers
Dan Wilbur
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449478063 $9.99

Never Flirt With Puppy Killers and Other Better Book Titles is a bitterly hilarious re-imagining of well-known books. Each page is an adeptly manipulated, full-color image of a famous book's cover, replacing the book's title with a phrase that more aptly describes its contents, with potentially uproarious results. The titular "Never Flirt With Puppy Killers" refers to Steinbeck's classic "Of Mice and Men"; other examples include "Correct Your Friends Like a Dick" ("The Elements of Style"), and "Cheer Up. This Is How You'll Feel Every Day as an Adult" ("Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"). It should be noted that Never Flirt With Puppy Killers is not intended for children - some of the satirized books contain mature themes, violence, or sexual content, and a few of the parody titles use the f-word. Each parody-book-cover seems to be more shockingly true than the last, making Never Flirt With Puppy Killers all but impossible to put down!

The Money/Finance Shelf

The Bank On Yourself Revolution
Pamela Yellen
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75204
9781939529305, $25.95, HC, 256pp,

In "The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future", financial security expert Pamela Yellen details how hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and incomes have bucked the system to secure their families' financial futures without gambling in the Wall Street Casino or taking any unnecessary investment risks. Readers will discover a proven step-by-step plan for growing personal wealth safely, predictably, and guaranteed every single year -- even when the markets are tumbling. "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" shows how to bypass banks, credit card and financing companies to become our own source of financing for cars, vacations, a college education, business expenses and other major purchases. "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" isn't a "get-rich-quick" scheme; it's about having real wealth and financial security for as long as we live. Now anyone can finally know how much money they will have next year, in 10, 20 or 30 years -- and at every point along the way, thereby taking control of their own financial future! As practical and 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, content and organization, "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Money/Finance instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" is also available in a paperback edition (9781942952107, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($11.49).

The Biography Shelf

Journey Interrupted
Hildegarde Mahoney
Regan Arts
65 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012
9781682450130, $26.95, HC, 304pp,

In the spring of 1941, seven-year-old Hildegarde Ercklentz and her family leave their home in New York City and set off for their native Germany, where her father has been recalled to the headquarters of the Commerz & Private Bank in Berlin. It was meant to be an epic journey, crossing the United States, the Pacific, and Siberia. But when Hitler invades Russia, a week-long stay in Yokohama, Japan, becomes six years of quasi-detention, as Hildegarde and her family are stranded in Japan until the war's end. Impressively well written and a compelling read from first page to last, "Journey Interrupted: A Family Without a Country in a World at War" by Hildegarde Mahoney is spellbinding memoir in which she recounts her family's moving saga that takes the reader from the family's courage in the face of terrible difficulties, including forced relocation, scarce rations, brutal winters in the Japanese Alps, to their joyous reunion with their German relatives in Hamburg, and their eventual return to New York City in 1950. Richly detailed and remarkably vivid, "Journey Interrupted" is a personal story unlike any other. The inspiring tale of an extraordinary family adapting to the hazards of fate, and finding salvation in each other, "Journey Interrupted" is very highly recommended for community and university library Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Journey Interrupted" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).

Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible
Gary A. Olson
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive
SIUC Mail Code 6806, Carbondale, IL 62901
9780809334766, $32.50, HC, 192pp,

Stanley Eugene Fish (born April 19, 1938) is an American literary theorist, legal scholar, author and public intellectual. He is currently the Floersheimer Distinguished Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School in New York City. "Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible: The Authorized Biography" by Gary A. Olson (President of Daemen College, the author of "Justifying Belief: Stanley Fish and the Work of Rhetoric" (9780791456125, $31.95, PB, 200pp) and co-editor of "Postmodern Sophistry: Stanley Fish and the Critical Enterprise" (9780791462140, $26.95, PB, 328pp) begins with Fish's escape from the working-class neighborhoods of 1940s and 1950s Providence, Rhode Island, for the university life at the University of Pennsylvania and then Yale. His meteoric rise through the academic ranks at a troubled Vietnam-era UC-Berkeley was complemented by a 1966 romp through Europe that included drag racing through the streets of Seville in his Alfa Romeo. He went on to become an internationally prominent scholar at Johns Hopkins before moving to Duke, where he built a star-studded academic department that became a key site in the culture and theory wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Olson discusses Fish's tenure as a highly visible dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago who clashed publicly with the state legislature. He also covers Fish's most remarkable and controversial books, including Fish's masterpiece, Surprised by Sin: The Reader in "Paradise Lost," which was a critical sensation and forever changed the craft of literary criticism, as well as Professional Correctness and Save the World on Your Own Time, two books that alienated Fish from most liberal-minded professors in English studies. Olson concludes his biography of Fish with an in-depth analysis of the contradictions between Fish's public persona and his private personality, examining how impulses and events from Fish's childhood shaped his lifelong practices and personality traits. Also included are a chronology of the major events of Fish's life and never-before-published photos. Based on hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with friends, enemies, colleagues, former students, family members, and Fish himself, along with material from the Stanley Fish archive, "Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible" is a clearly written narrative of the life of an important and controversial scholar and very highly recommended, especially for academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible" is also available in a Kindle edition ($30.88).

Strange As It Seems
Chip Jacobs
c/o Rare Bird Lit
453 South Spring Street, Suite 302, Los Angeles, CA 90013
9781942600244, $15.95,

Strange As It Seems: The Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler offers an amazing biography (told by his nephew, Chip Jacobs) of a man who was initially not expected to live after a swimming accident in 1940 severed his spine at age 14. Not only did Gordon Zahler survive, but he lived for over thirty years, defying the limitations introduced by his quadriplegia to live a dream life, traveling around the world, visiting dangerous places, and having adventures. Just how does the class clown face death-defying odds to embark on such a life, making Hollywood productions and achieving a dizzying amount of fame during the process of shooting films and even marrying? Chip Jacobs captures the turbulent ups, downs, successes and failures of a life well lived in a biography which is vivid, exciting, and thoroughly engrossing.

The Narrow Door
Paul Lisicky
Graywolf Press
250 Third Avenue North, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781555977283, $16.00, PB, 192pp,

In the page of his memoir "The Narrow Door", Paul Lisicky creates a compelling collage of scenes and images drawn from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet. The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart, and Paul's romance begins to falter. And the world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise's cancer diagnosis and Paul's impending breakup. Lisicky's compassionate heart and resilience seem all the stronger in the face of such searing losses. His survival (hard-won, unsentimental, authentic) proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life. "The Narrow Door" is an inherently compelling and deftly written read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Narrow Door" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Leaving Shangrila
Isabelle Gecils
Morgan James Publishing
4410 E Claiborne Square, Suite 334, Hampton VA 23666-2071
9781630476847, $21.95, PB, 340pp,

In the pages of her personal memoir, "Leaving Shangrila", Isabelle Gecils paints a colorful world as she tells the tale of how she forged her own path in the midst of turmoil. Her life story is set in Brazil where she grew up. Her autobiography is populated with fascinating characters, both good and bad, including a narcissistic mother, perpetually flawed lovers, and three resilient sisters. Surrounded by lies, manipulation, and abuse, Isabelle is desperate to escape the adversity of her surroundings. Filled with tremendous strength and an unyielding drive to survive, she begins her journey toward freedom and self-realization. Through the trials and obstacles along the way, Isabelle goes back and forth to balance who she is with what she must do to survive. With themes of perseverance, self-reliance, and the resilience of the human spirit, "Leaving Shangrila" highlights the important character traits that she discovers on the path to finding herself. Candid, compelling, extraordinary, "Leaving Shangrila" is an exceptional life story and very highly recommended for community library Contemporary Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Leaving Shangrila" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me
Cathie Borrie
Arcade Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781628726640, $19.99, HC, 236pp,

Ever since Cathie Borrie delivered her keynote performance at the World Alzheimer's Day event sponsored by the Community and Access Programs of the Museum of Modern Art, her self-published manuscript has won rapturous praise from noted writers and Alzheimer's experts alike, from Maya Angelou, Lisa Genova, and Molly Peacock to Dr. Bill Thomas, Jed A. Levine of the Alzheimer's Association, NYC, and Meryl Comer of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative. Now published by Arcade Publishing it is available to the general public for the first time as "The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me". A compelling read, "The Long Hello" distills the seven years the author spent caring for her mother into a intensely candid memoir that offers insight into the "altering world of the dementia mind". During that time, Cathie recorded brief conversations she had with her mother that revealed the transformations within, and which sometimes yielded an almost Zen-like poetry. Cathie includes selections from them in chapters about her experience that are as evocative as diary entries. Her mother was the emotional pillar and sometime breadwinner in a home touched by a birth father's alcoholism, a brother's early death, a divorce, and a stepfather's remoteness. Told in Cathie's spare prose, her mother's story becomes a family's story as well a deeply loving portrait that embraces life. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Soul Serenade
Rashod Ollison
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
9780807057520, $25.95, HC, 240pp,

Rashod Ollison is an award-winning pop music critic and culture journalist. "Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues & Coming of Age Through Vinyl" is his personal coming-of-age memoir as a young boy in rural Arkansas who searches for himself and his distant father through soul music. Growing up in rural Arkansas, young Rashod Ollison turned to music to make sense of his life. The dysfunction, sadness, and steely resilience of his family and neighbors was reflected in the R&B songs that played on 45s in smoky rooms. Steeped in the sounds, the smells, the salty language of rural Arkansas in the 1980s, "Soul Serenade" is the memoir of a pop music critic whose love for soul music was fostered by his father, Raymond. Drafted into the Vietnam War as a teenager, Raymond returned a changed man, "dead on the inside". After his parents' volatile marriage ended in divorce, Rashod was haunted by the memory of his itinerant father and his mama's long forgotten "sunshine smile". For six-year-old Rashod, his father's record collection, which included the music of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, and others, provided solace, coherence, and escape. After going through puberty, Rashod become aware of his same-sex attraction and felt further isolated and alone but was encouraged by mentors in the community who fostered his intelligence and talent. He became transformed through discovering the writing of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, and other literary greats, and these books, along with the soulful sounds of the 1970s and 80s, enabled him to thrive in spite of the instability and harshness of his childhood. In textured and evocative language, and peppered with unexpected humor, "Soul Serenade" is very highly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Soul Serenade" is available in a Kindle format ($24.99), as well as in paperback (9780807088975, $20.00) in January 2017.

My Sister's Mother
Donna Solecka Urbikas
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299308506, $26.95, HC, 312pp,

Donna Solecka Urbikas was born in Coventry, England, and immigrated with her parents and sister to Chicago in 1952. After careers as a high school science teacher and environmental engineer, she is now a writer, realtor, and community volunteer, and lives in Chicago with her husband. While Donna grew up in the Midwest during the golden years of the American century, her Polish-born mother and half sister had endured dehumanizing conditions during World War II, as slave laborers in Siberia. War and exile created a profound bond between mother and older daughter, one that Donna would struggle to find with either of them. In 1940, Janina Slarzynska and her five-year-old daughter Mira were taken by Soviet secret police (NKVD) from their small family farm in eastern Poland and sent to Siberia with hundreds of thousands of others. So began their odyssey of hunger, disease, cunning survival, desperate escape across a continent, and new love amidst terrible circumstances. But in the 1950s, baby boomer Donna yearns for a "normal" American family while Janina and Mira are haunted by the past. "My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia" is unforgettable memoir, in which Donna candidly recounts her family history and her own survivor's story, finally understanding the damaged mother who had saved her sister. While a truly extraordinary memoir and highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Sister's Mother" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Dying for a Taste
Leslie Karst
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781629535975, $25.99, HC, 304pp,

After losing her mother to cancer, Sally Solari quits her job as an attorney to help her dad run his old-style Italian eatery in Santa Cruz, California. But managing the front of the house is far from her dream job. Then in a sudden twist her Aunt Letta is found murdered in her own restaurant, and Sally is the only one who can keep the place running. But when her sous chef is accused of the crime, and she finds herself suddenly short-staffed, Sally must delve into the world of sustainable farming (not to mention a few family secrets) to help him clear his name and catch the true culprit before her timer runs out. A carefully crafted culinary and consistently entertaining mystery, "Dying for a Taste" clearly demonstrates author Leslie Karst's complete mastery of the genre and will prove 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 "Dying for a Taste" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Dark Side of The Road
Simon R. Green
Severn House
110 East 59th Street, 22th Fl., New York, NY 10022
9780727883889, $32.95, HC, 224pp,

Ishmael Jones is someone who can't afford to be noticed, someone who lives under the radar, who drives on the dark side of the road. He's employed to search out secrets, investigate mysteries and shine a light in dark places. Sometimes he kills people. Invited by his employer, the enigmatic Colonel, to join him and his family for Christmas, Ishmael arrives at the grand but isolated Belcourt Manor in the midst of a blizzard to find that the Colonel has mysteriously disappeared. As he questions his fellow guests, Ishmael concludes that at least one of them (not least Ishmael himself) is harboring a dangerous secret, and that beneath the veneer of festive cheer lurk passion, jealousy, resentment and betrayal. As a storm sets in, sealing off the Manor from the rest of the world, Ishmael must unmask a ruthless murderer before they strike again. A riveting novel from the pen of Simon r. Green, a master of the genre, ""The Dark Side of the Road" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "The Dark Side of the Road" is also available in a paperback edition (9781847515797, $17.95) and in a Kindle format ($14.49).

Gina Wohlsdorf
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
9781616205621, $25.95, HC, 288pp,

Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It's about to open its doors, and the world (at least those with the means to afford it) will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours they will be killed off, one by one. All the more impressive when considering that "Security" is author Gina Wohlsdorf's debut as a novelist, this compelling and deftly crafted novel is very highly recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Security" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99) and in an complete and unabridged Audio CD format (Highbridge Audio, 9781622319909, $29.99).

Dangerous Triangle
Jerry Labriola
Strong Books
PO Box 967, Middlebury, CT 06762
9781928782742, $24.95, HC

As a private investigator, Dr. David Brooks had been instrumental in preventing a Japanese-led sarin attack aimed at destroying the world. Now a new generation of Kamikazes are pursuing him wherever he goes. With the assistance of seemingly omnipresent pirates, these descendants of the suicide bombers of World War II are hell-bent on his death. Another riveting read from the pen of Jerry Labriola, "Dangerous Triangle" is a deftly crafted and compelling novel from beginning to end, making it highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Of special note to Jerry Labriola fans is the inclusion of lectures about O. J. Simpson, Sacco-Vanzetti, Charles Lindbergh, forensic science, and mythology which are cleverly woven into complex plot.

The Fall of Moscow Station
Mark Henshaw
Touchstone Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781501100314, $26.00, 352pp,

When a body with Russian military tattoos is found floating in a lake outside Berlin, the CIA immediately takes notice. The body is identified as the director of Russia's Foundation for Advanced Nuclear Research, who is also a CIA asset. And the murder coincides with the defection of one of the CIA's upper-level officers. Alden Maines is jaded after years in the CIA cleaning up the messes of incompetent political appointees in dangerous foreign posts. When he is passed over for promotion, Maines crosses the Rubicon and decides to cash in as a double agent for Russia. But while Maines dreams of off-shore bank accounts and a new secret life, Arkady Lavrov of Russia's intelligence service (GRU) has other plans. He immediately announces Maines's defection to the world and then pumps him for every last ounce of intel, including the names of every agent in the CIA's Moscow Station and their assets working in the Kremlin. But why would Lavrov burn an asset whose intel and access could pay dividends for years to come? What is Lavrov up to? Traveling from Langley to Berlin and finally Moscow (working black without backup) analyst Jonathan Burke and agent Kyra Stryker are up against their most formidable enemy yet, and their lives and the fate of America's most important assets in the New Cold War hang in the balance. "The Fall of Moscow Station" is another riveting read from the pen of Mark Henshaw and very highly recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Fall of Moscow Station" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Blackjacks Of Nevada
Ethan Flagg
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444827521, $20.99, PB, 264pp,

Five years in prison have given Cheyenne Brady plenty of time to dwell on revenge after being shot from behind by a fellow gang member during an attack by the Nevada Blackjacks on a U.S. Army payroll and left for dead. Upon his release Brady joins up with an fellow ex-con and old prospector, Sourdough Lamar. Together they head for Winnemucca and the prospect of honest work blacksmithing in a business Brady inherited from his father. But when Brady's old gang, led by Big-Nose Rafe Culpepper, plans to rob the town's bank, Cheyenne is accused of masterminding the hold-up. To make matters worse, the gang has kidnapped the girl he's fallen in love with and the townsfolk think that Brady is once again in cahoots with his old outlaw band. Can he extricate himself from once again sinking into a life of crime? Once again author Ethan Flagg demonstrates his complete mastery of the genre, making this large print paperback edition of "Blackjacks Of Nevada" very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of western action/adventure buffs and community library collections.

December Boys
Joe Clifford
Oceanview Publishing
595 Bay Isles Road, 120-G, Longboat Key, FL 34228
9781608091713, $26.95, HC, 300pp,

Jay Porter, the newest employee at NorthEastern Insurance in New Hampshire, is investigating an accident claim when he learns the teenager behind the wheel was arrested for minor drug possession and sentenced to a hardcore behavioral modification center. At the county courthouse, Jay meets Nicki, a young college intern, who tips him off to a possible scandal in the form of first-time juvenile offenders being shipped to private institutions for political kickbacks. He learns that long-time family nemeses, Adam and Michael Lombardi, may have a stake in the scheme. Is Jay's mission to help these kids a legitimate crusade? Or is his thirst for revenge driven by the guilt he feels over his own junkie brother's death? These questions conspire to tear apart tranquility and drive a wedge between Jay and his wife Jenny. With help from new friend Nicki, and a couple of old friends, Jay finds himself thrust back into a past he had hoped to leave behind, putting everything (and everyone he loves) at risk in pursuit of the truth. The second title in author Joe Clifford's outstanding 'Jay Porter' series, "December Boys" is a deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "December Boys" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.95).

Blood Legacy
Sheryl Wright
Florida Academic Press
PO Box 357425, Gainesville, FL 32635
9781890357542, $24.95, PB, 260pp,

It's been one year since SOE agent Cleo Deseronto escaped torture at a CIA black site, but life isn't getting any easier. On a simple mission to notify a senator of his daughter's death, Cleo and her stalwart cousin Bo are drawn into the web of spymaster Hank Darien. It's a conspiracy that threatens to alter the future of the civilized world, and trying to stop it might just make Cleo and Bo the most wanted women in America. A proud Mohawk woman, Cleo's abilities as a pilot, engineer and strategist would make her the equal of any challenge, if it weren't for the one thing she doesn't understand: people. Luckily, Bo's got her back, whether that means acting as confidante, bodyguard or sharpshooter. An original and deftly written novel, "Blood Legacy" is author Sheryl Wright's second volume of her "Contrary Warriors" series and a compelling and consistently entertaining read from beginning to end. While highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Blood Legacy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Disturbing the Dark
Wendy Hornsby
Perseverance Press
c/o Daniel & Daniel Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781564745767, $15.95, PB, 240pp,

Maggie MacGowen, an investigative filmmaker, is in Normandy with a film crew to document the agricultural four seasons on her ancestral family farm. An accidentally excavated skull causes a social media sensation, dredging up psychic scars left by the wartime German Occupation. In their youth, Grand-mere and other villagers had cut the throats of an entire brutal Nazi platoon. Now the grim discovery prompts tourists, the soldiers' descendants, the mass media, and vulture like war-memorabilia dealers to flock to the formerly quiet farm. Then a young woman is murdered. "Disturbing the Dark" is another compelling and deftly crafted mystery from the pen of Wendy Hornsby and continues her outstanding 'Maggie MacGowen' mystery series. While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Disturbing the Dark" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Death by Dumpster
Karen Hanson Stuyck
Five Star Books
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432831066, $25.95, 290pp,

Laid off from her magazine job, Lauren Prescott reluctantly agrees to ghostwrite a memoir for Caroline Marshall, the self-described Queen of Dumpster Diving. Lauren attends a potluck dinner at Caroline's house, where guests bring food they found dumpster diving. By the end of the evening, one guest is dead, poisoned by toxic nuts. Days later another dinner guest dies after trying homemade goodies sent to Caroline by "A Grateful Former Student." Lauren is determined to bring the murderer to justice. But first she has to save herself from a ruthless killer intent on adding her to the list of victims. "Death by Dumpster" is another terrifically entertaining and deftly crafted mystery from the pen of Karen Hanson Stuyck, and one that will prove to be a compelling read from first page to last. Very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Hell to Pay
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Skip Jack Publishing
PO Box 219, Burton, TX 77835
9781939889362, $12.99, PB, 300pp,

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she's engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante's childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancee Nadine, one of Emily's best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily's nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy's ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack. "Hell to Pay" is another terrific read from the pen of Pamela Fagan Hutchin whose 'Emily romantic Mystery' series clearly documents her as a master of the genre. Very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hell to Pay" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

A Potluck of Murder and Recipes
Jeanne Cooney
North Star Press of St. Cloud
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0451
9781682010013, $14.95, PB, 280pp,

Reporter Emerald Malloy is back at the Hot Dish Heaven Cafe. This time she's in Kennedy, the small Scandinavian farm community in Minnesota's Red River Valley, for a wedding, although the festivities are quickly muddled by a murder. While vacillating between steering clear of police business and finding the killer before an innocent person is charged with the crime, Emerald and her zany friends end up at a colorful tavern, a high school hockey tournament, and a wedding dance at the local VFW. Along the way, they also learn the homicide may be linked to a fraud scheme quite possibly involving a number of townspeople. Of course, this only complicates matters, leaving Emerald little time for anything beyond the investigation, including her fledgling love life. Love, however, is the last thing on Emerald's mind when she and her dog find themselves in grave peril and at the mercy of a killer. Will they survive? "A Potluck of Murder and Recipes" is another terrific and original mystery from the pen of Jeanne Cooney and once again documents her complete master of the genre. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collection, "A Potluck of Murder and Recipes" is a riveting and consistently compelling title for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs.

Murder, By George
Jeane Quigley
Five Star Books
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432831431, $25.95, HC, 268pp,

Retired soap opera actress Veronica Walsh leads a fulfilling second act in her Adirondack hometown of Barton. Her boutique, All Things, is thriving and she enjoys a romance with Professor Mark Burke. She has neither the time nor the desire to be an amateur sleuth. Trouble finds her when architect Scott Culverson buys a vintage box at the village's annual flea market and discovers a valuable painting and love letter inside a locked drawer. The awe over the masterpiece, a 1920's portrait of Barton's main street, turns to rage when a fierce argument ensues. The box's seller insists the painting was not included in the sale, while Ella and Madeline Griffin, whose mother received the painting as a wedding present, demand that Scott return the painting to their family. The artist's daughter, the formidable Leona Bradshaw Kendall, later joins the battle over Orchard Street. When Scott is stabbed to death and the painting and letter stolen, the Griffin sisters ask Veronica to help clear suspicion from their hot-tempered great-niece, Regina. Despite a vow to stay out of the investigation, Veronica's loyalty to her friends draws her into the case. Veronica crosses paths with a shady contractor, brassy hairdresser, overwrought lawyer, and adoring Czech housekeeper as she searches for both killer and work of art. Whom can Veronica trust, and who will lead her to the brink of death? Jeane Quigly is an accomplished novelist and a master of the mystery genre as demonstrated by her debut murder mystery "All Things Murder" (9781432828127, $25.95 HC, $3.99 Kindle, 275pp). Her latest "Murder, By George", is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "Murder, By George" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Silent City
Alex Segura
Polis Books
1201 Hudson Street, #211S, Hoboken, NJ 07030
9781940610719, $14.95, PB, 304pp,

Pete Fernandez is a mess. He's on the brink of being fired from his middle-management newspaper job. His fiancee has up and left him. Now, after the sudden death of his father, he's back in his hometown of Miami, slowly drinking himself into oblivion. But when a co-worker he barely knows asks Pete to locate a missing daughter, Pete finds himself dragged into a tale of murder, drugs, double-crosses and memories bursting from the black heart of the Miami underworld - and, shockingly, his father's past. Making it up as he goes and stumbling as often as he succeeds, Pete's surreptitious quest becomes the wake-up call he's never wanted but has always needed - but one with deadly consequences. "Silent City" is a deftly written and highly recommended novel about redemption, broken friendships, lost loves, and one man's efforts to make peace with a long-buried past to save the lives of the few friends he has left. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Silent City" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.15) and in an MP3 CD format (Brilliance Audio, 9781522642398, $9.99).

Berkeley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Laura Childs' Devonshire Scream (9780425261666, $26.00) comes from a murder mystery enthusiast whose prior books revolve around tea and murder, and includes recipes and tea tips along with yet another variation on the theme Laura Childs has so successfully developed. Tea shop owner Theodosia's life is never quiet and peaceful, and in this book a local gala and catering opportunity seems to promise that her Indigo Tea Shop will receive much acclaim. Unfortunately, murder rears its ugly head, and when a gang of masked muggers break into festivities and conduct a brazen heist, it's up to her to sleuth on behalf of her best friend who has become a victim. A fast-paced story line and involving plot makes this a riveting tale. Victoria Thompson's Murder in Morningside Heights (9781101987087, $26.00) provides a new 'gaslight mystery' and revolves around Frank Malloy and his wife, who are facing the dual challenges of New York high society and an investigation that skirts the boundaries of impropriety to that society. The death of a young woman instructor whose murder ended her dreams of independence involves police in a case that they want to close - until the parents request Frank's help and he uncovers an increasingly complex series of clues that could lead him into new trouble. A fine, winding story line keeps readers riveted, even if they are newcomers to Frank Malloy's character and world.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Habits of Grace
David Mathis
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
9781433550478, $14.99, HC, 240pp,

The three seemingly unremarkable principles that shape and strengthen the Christian life are: listening to God's voice, speaking to him in prayer, and joining together with his people as the church. Though seemingly normal and routine, the everyday "habits of grace" we cultivate give us access to these God-designed channels through which his love and power flow --including the greatest joy of all: knowing and enjoying Jesus. Inspired and inspiring, "Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines" by David Mathis (who serves as Executive Editor at, and serves as the Pastor at Cities Church, and is an Adjunct Professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary) is a compelling and potentially life-changing read which is very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation. A complementary study guide for individual and group study is also available. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Habits of Grace" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.49) and in an Audio CD format (ChristianAudio, 9781633895331, $19.98).

Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life
Steve Wiens
3820 North 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
9781631464003, $14.99, PB, 240pp,

Have you ever found yourself at the beginning of a big life change? Maybe you're getting married, or divorced. Maybe you're having a child, or burying a parent. Maybe you've been promoted, or lost a job you loved. Maybe you've moved; maybe you feel stuck. These big changes hit us hard it's easy to lose our way. It's easy to think that God is leaving us alone in them. The good news is that the God who spoke the world into existence, who lovingly brought into being everything seen and unseen, is speaking into your big change. Drawing from the story of creation in Genesis, "Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life" by Steve Wiens (The founding pastor of Genesis Covenant Church, Maple Grove, Minnesota, he also blogs at and podcasts at This Good Word) offers an empowering message of how God works through the transition in our lives. As God orchestrated the ultimate transition when he created everything from nothing, he can handle the overwhelming details in your life. "Beginnings" is for everyone who faces significant transition in their career, there relationships, in any stage of life, whether good or bad. By exploring the first chapter in Genesis, day by day, creative act by creative act, Pastor Wiens shows us how beginnings work, and how God works through our beginnings. "Beginnings" is very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denomination affiliation. It should be noted that "Beginnings" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.69) and in an Audio CD format (Oasis Audio, 9781613758076, $17.99).

A Year of Spiritual Companionship
Anne Kertz Kernion
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594736179, $14.99, PB, 176pp,

"A Year of Spiritual Companionship: 52 Weeks of Wisdom for a Life of Gratitude, Balance and Happiness" is a week-by-week guide to living more thoughtfully. In the pages of "A Year of Spiritual Companionship", Anne Kertz Kernion deftly leads the reader through an exploration of everyday spirituality, combining the wisdom of spiritual luminaries, life lessons, and insights from social science and neuroscience. A businesswoman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Anne shows how it is possible to bring more awareness, love and gratitude into your busy life, keeping in touch with your deepest beliefs and most authentic self. An informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, insightful, and inspiring volume of spiritual guidance, "A Year of Spiritual Companionship" is very highly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of their denomination affiliation. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Year of Spiritual Companionship" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si'
Pope Francis & Sean McDonagh
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626981737, $20.00, PB, 304pp,

Laudato Si', the historic encyclical of Pope Francis on the environment, was issued in 2015. As the first encyclical devoted entirely to the environment and related social justice issues, it represented a watershed in the engagement of the church with such urgent challenges as climate change, environmental degradation, and the fate of the poor. "On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si'" joins the full text of Laudato Si' with reflections by Irish Columban priest Sean McDonagh, who is well known around the world as an eco-theologian working to raise awareness of the connections between justice and peace issues, environmental sustainability, and faith, as well as being one of the foremost Catholic proponents of ecological awareness. Aside from reviewing the history of Catholic teaching and the environment, McDonagh elaborates on several of the specific themes in the encyclical, including climate change, biodiversity, water scarcity, the threats to the ocean, and the crisis of food. McDonagh then concludes with prescriptions about what must be done to turn the vision of Pope Francis into a program of effective action. Each of us has a role to play. As Pope Francis observes, "All it takes is one good person to restore hope". "On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si'" is very highly recommended reading, especially for all members of the Roman Catholic community.

Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus
Jennifer Kennedy Dean
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 830711, Birmingham, AL 35283-0711
9781596694668, $14.99, PB, 176pp,

Inspiring readers that prayer can become extraordinary when we live connected to the heart of Jesus, "Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean (Executive Director of the Praying Life Foundation) encourages you to emulate the way Jesus lived His life. With real-life stories of people walking closely with Jesus, finding themselves in the right place at the right time, readers are challenged to examine what staying in step with the Spirit looks like. National best-selling author and known prayer expert, "Synced" uses the familiar passage of the Lord's Prayer as anchor points to present the way Jesus lived His life in step with the Father through prayer. Inspired and inspiring, "Synced" is very highly recommended to the attention of the Christian community and is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).

God For Us
Greg Pennoyer & Gregory Wolfe, editors
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781612617688, $18.99, PB, 192pp,

The reader's edition of "God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter " is comprised of a series of impressively informed and informative articles examining the meaning of Lent and its significance in spiritual formation and the preparation for Easter, and walking the reader through the holy season of Easter. Leading North American spiritual writers reflect on what one theologian has called the "bright sadness" of Lent: that it is not about feeling of broken and lost, but about cleansing the palate so we can taste life to a greater extent. In the Lent and Easter seasons, we encounter the God who, in all of life, is for us -- for our liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness. Even in death we can find resurrection. "God For Us" is very highly recommended, especially for members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliations.

Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage
Michael E. Williams, Sr.
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881465488, $28.00, PB, 288pp,

Baptists lack a single central figure in their origins that Lutherans, Reformed, Presbyterians, and Methodists have with Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and John Wesley. Additionally, Baptists focus so heavily on the Bible for authority and key beliefs or practices like religious liberty, social justice, missions, and preaching that sometimes Baptists and other Christians forget the significant role that people play in forging and promoting those ideas and practices. Compiled and edited by Michael E. Williams, Sr. (Professor of History at Dallas Baptist University), "Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage: Thirty Baptists Every Christian Should Know" addresses this shortcoming by providing an introductory text of Baptist biographies. Certainly shorter than a full-length biography but definitely longer than an encyclopedia article, this sampling of key Baptist leaders through the years view the story of Baptists through a biographical lens while linking these women and men to a key Baptist distinctive. A short suggested reading list is added at the end of each chapter to enhance further study. Highlighted Baptist leaders include: Thomas Helwys, John Clarke, Benjamin Keach, Anne Dutton, Shubal Stearns, Isaac Backus, Dan Taylor, Andrew Fuller, John Leland, William Carey, Lott Carey, Adoniram Judson, J. Gerhard Oncken, I. T. Tichenor, Robert Cooke Buckner, Charles H. Spurgeon, Lottie Moon, E. C. Morris, E. Y. Mullins, Walter Rauschenbusch, Helen Barrett Montgomery, George W. Truett, William Owen Carver, James Henry Rushbrooke, Nannie Helen Burroughs, B. B. McKinney, Thomas Buford Maston, Herschel H. Hobbs, Henlee Barnette, and Gardner C. Taylor. Informative and inspiring, "Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage" is especially commended to all members of the Baptist Christian community.

Extraordinary Women of Christian History
Ruth A. Tucker
Baker Books
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801016721, $16.99, PB, 288pp,

Christianity has long been criticized as a patriarchal religion. But during its two-thousand-year history, the Christian faith has been influenced and passed down by faithful women. Martyrs and nuns, mystics and scholars, writers and reformers, preachers and missionaries, abolitionists and evangelists, these women are examples to us of faith, perseverance, forgiveness, and fortitude. With gracious irreverence, Ruth Tucker offers engaging and candid profiles of some of the most fascinating women of Christian history in "Extraordinary Women of Christian History: What We Can Learn from Their Struggles and Triumphs". From the famous, to the infamous, to the obscure, women like Perpetua, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila, Anne Hutchinson, Susanna Wesley, Ann Judson, Harriet Tubman, Fanny Crosby, Hannah Whitehall Smith, Corrie ten Boom, and Mother Teresa, along with dozens of others, come to vivid life. Very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies and Women's Studies collections, and an ideal text for group study and individual members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation, these portraits of women who changed the world in their own significant way will spark lively discussion and inspire today's Christians to lives of faithful witness. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Extraordinary Women of Christian History" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Mentor for Life
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310522355, $16.99, PB, 272pp,

Though churches are filled with good ministry programming including activities, outreach events, and an endless selection of options, many Christian churches neglect their fundamental mission: to make disciples and equip them for service. In "Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship", Natasha Sistrunk Robinson lays a solid foundation for mentoring as intentional discipleship, within the context of a small community. It is based on God's kingdom vision, and challenge followers of Christ to consider the cost of discipleship. Leaders in the American church is facing various challenges regarding the changing demographics and cultural climate in the world, and the discipleship crisis within the church. "Mentor for Life" shows how to develop mentoring relationships that function communally in existing small groups that are diverse and inclusive. It also presents a mentoring framework of knowing and loving God, understanding our identity in Christ, and loving our neighbor, which encourages theological reflection and cultivates a basic Christian worldview. Enhanced with real examples from Robinson's own life experiences and observations, "Mentor for Life" is especially commended to the attention of pastors, small group leaders, seminary professors, and non-specialist general readers who desire to take the initiate, make the commitment, and mentor others well. Also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99), "Mentor for Life" is enthusiastically recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The St. Andrews Seven
Stuart Piggin & John Roxborogh
Banner of Truth
PO Box 621, Carlisle, PA 17013
9780851514284, $13.00, PB, 150pp,

The collaborative effort of Stuart Piggin (Director of the Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience at Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia) and John Roxborogh (a Presbyterian Minister and retired Theological Educator and Mission Historian living in Dunedin, New Zealand), "The St Andrews Seven" is the moving and inspiring story of six young men whose remarkable influence on one another as fellow students in the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in the 1820s led them to the profound conviction that 'Only one thing seemed to matter: to discover God's will and do it'. The chief characters in this extraordinary account of a teenage enthusiasm to serve Christ to the end of the earth are the great Thomas Chalmers, and six of his students: Alexander Duff, John Urquhart, John Adam, Robert Nesbit, William Sinclair Mackay, and John Ewart. Their influence in later life, especially in India, was to be far beyond their wildest expectations. "The St. Andrews Seven" trace vividly and popularly the story, including their the aspirations, fears, doubts, struggles, opposition, sorrows, triumphs, of these six most gifted and dedicated young Christians, including one of their number who died before he could fulfill his heart's ambition. First published in 1985, this new edition of "The St Andrews Seven" once again brings the names of these men to the fore, and challenges the church of today to put aside its mediocrity and respond obediently to Christ's great commission. Inspired and inspiring, "The St. Andrews Seven" is very highly recommended and rewarding reading for all members of the Christian community.

The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Steven J. Lawson
Ligonier Ministries
c/o Reformation Trust
421 Ligonier Court, Sanford, FL 32771
9781567696387, $16.00, HC, 190pp,

From the pulpit at Westminster Chapel in London, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones set a new standard for faithful and passionate preaching, a standard that continues to be relevant today. Lloyd-Jones was a physician by training and had begun a promising career in medicine before sensing an irresistible call to preach. Surrounded by theological liberalism, he began a pulpit ministry that would exert profound influence on both sides of the Atlantic. "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones " by Steven J. Lawson (Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama), is an informed and informative study of the work of Lloyd-Jones and is comprised of ten chapters: A Life on Fire; Sovereignly Called; Biblically Based; Distinctly Expository; Carefully Studied; Divinely Focused; Doctrinal Grounded; Theologically Reformed; Spiritually Empowered; We Want Again Lloyd-Joneses! "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" enhanced with the inclusion of Resources and Tools, Part of A Long Line of Godly Men Profile series, an Index, and a Bibliography. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" is very highly recommended for community and church library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99) and in an Audio CD format (9781633897977, $18.98).

The Life of Repentance and Purity
Pope Shenouda III
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881415322, $30.00, PB, 322pp,

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark. He shepherded the Coptic Orthodox Church for over 40 years before he departed this life in 2012. A charismatic preacher and prolific writer, "The Life of Repentance and Purity" is one of the earlier books he published in Arabic during his papacy. "The Life of Repentance and Purity" provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the practice of repentance and purity, essential aspects of Christian life. Pope Shenouda III draws on Scripture, the Church Fathers, his own experience of desert monasticism, and his experience as a shepherd to millions of Christians to provide a practical understanding of how to live a life of continually turning to God. Ably translated into English for an American readership by Bishop Suriel (Bishop of Melbourne, Dean of Saint Athanaius Coptic Orthodox Theological College, Melbourne, Australia), "The Life of Repentance and Purity" is highly recommended to the attention of the Orthodox Christian community as being as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring.

Relics from the Crucifixion
J. Charles Wall
Sophia Institute Press
PO Box 5284, Manchester, NH 03108
9781622823277, $14.95, PB, 144pp,

The Jews usually burned the crosses used by the Romans after executions but following Jesus' crucifixion they quickly threw the Cross in a ditch to get it out of sight before the feast of Passover. That preserved the True Cross, and memory of the events preserved its location. Disgusted with continued Christian veneration of the spot, pagan Roman Emperor Hadrian erected on the Cross's burial site a statue to Venus, hoping thereby to obliterate their memory. It didn't work. Indeed, because of the statue, when the Empire became Christian, St. Helena knew the exact spot where she would find the very Cross on which Christ died. All relics from Christ's crucifixion have a similarly fascinating story, all of which are told here in this 1910 work by the enterprising Catholic investigator Charles Wall. "Relics from the Crucifixion" by J. Charles Wall includes: The miracle that revealed to St. Helena which of the three discovered crosses was that of Jesus; The horse's bit made from a nail of the True Cross, and the successes it brought the horse's rider; The nails and why there are so many in existence today; A history of the fortunes the Crown of Thorns gave to those who held them, and a list of towns where thorns are found; Where, in 1492, workman accidentally discovered again the actual board on which King of the Jews was written; The modest Frenchman who saved a holy nail from profanation during the French Revolution; Drawings of the spear of Longinus, and reports of its later use in battles; Relics of Jesus's actual blood from the Crucifixion: and why it makes sense that some still exists; The veil of Veronica, Christ's seamless robe, and much more! An inherently fascinating and informative read from beginning to end, "Relics from the Crucifixion" is enhanced with illustrations, a one page listing of Sources, and seven pages of Biographical Notes. While very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Relics from the Crucifixion" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Critical Conversations
Tom Gilson
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825443961, $15.99, PB, 224pp,

Tom Gilson is the Senior Editor and Ministry Coordinator specializing in Christian apologetics and inspiration for the daily online news and insight website The Stream ( In "Critical Conversations', he has created a Christian parents' guide to beginning open and honest discussions about homosexuality with their children. Christian parents need to be prepared to answer the myriad challenges teens might hear in today's increasingly pro homosexual culture. "Why shouldn't gays get married?" "Who says gay sex is wrong?" "Does the Bible actually say there's anything wrong with homosexuality?" "Don't you care that kids are being bullied just for being themselves?" To start the discussion, Gilson provides a brief history of the issues beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He explains how and why cultural attitudes have reversed on this subject in such a short timespan, leaving Christians scrambling for answers. This is perhaps the most complicated and contentious issue Christians face in today's culture. Most churches are poorly equipped to handle it; parents are even less prepared. The good news is that parents need not have pat answers ready before they dive into conversations with their teens and preteens on this difficult topic. Learning together (parents struggling through these issues alongside their kids and leading them to biblical answers) has relational benefits. Answers are important, though, so manageable, nontechnical answers to common questions surrounding this issue are provided, as well as a guide to further resources. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Critical Conversations" is very highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Critical Conversations" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Hospitable Planet
Stephen A. Jurovics
Morehouse Publishing
c/o Church Publishing Incorporated
1637 Beechwood Ave #1, Louisville KY 40204
9780819232533, $18.00, PB, 176pp,

"What can I do about the environment? What has God said about the environment?" Most books about climate change only address one of these questions. Those from a religious perspective do not address what individuals can do to help society transition from fossil fuels, other than changing personal behavior. Readers know instinctively that will not suffice, and so are left feeling the situation is hopeless. In contrast, books that primarily address environmental issues fail to reach people motivated more by faith than science, leaving out many who could constitute the tipping point for full American engagement on the issue. Borrowing an approach from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s leadership, which brought together both secular and religious arguments for ending segregation, "Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change" by Stephen A. Jurovics deftly addresses physical evidence of climate change while demonstrating through biblical teachings the religious imperative for preserving our inherited world. The compelling biblical case for creation care is grounded in environmental teachings Jesus knew, primarily in the Hebrew Scriptures. Topics addressed include air pollution, treatment of the land, preserving biological diversity, and treatment of animals, and each is connected to contemporary issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, care of the needy, the extinction of species, and factory farming. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Hospitable Planet" impressively informed and informative, making it very highly recommended and critically important reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The Six Tasks of Catechesis
Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND
Twenty-Third Publications
1 Montauk Avenue, #200, New London, CT 06320
9781627851466, $9.95, PB, 96pp,

Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life, whether they are born into the church or come to church membership as a convert. If someone asked you to describe what the ministry of the catechist is all about, what would you say? When the Church describes our ministry, it begins by talking about six tasks that are absolutely fundamental to who we are and what we are called to do. These six tasks lie behind all our textbooks and lesson plans, all we do with those we teach. In this clear and practical book, Sr. Kathleen helps us understand each of these tasks, offers more than 200 time-tested methods for accomplishing them. This warm, encouraging, comprehensive, and very useful resource will help you stay true to the heart of our catechetical ministry and rooted in the love of our Savior. Exceptionally well written, organized and presenting the essential basics, "The Six Tasks of Catechesis" is enthusiastically commended to the attention of all Roman Catholics who seek to be able to understand and teach others about the catechesis.

David King & Margot Starbuck
Herald Press
1251 Virginia Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
9780836199727, $15.99, PB, 210pp,

Should I sign up our seven-year-old son for the travel team? What should we do about our daughter's Sunday morning games? Am I the only one longing for a sane balance between children's sports, family time, and church commitments? In "Overplayed: A Parent's Guide to Sanity in the World of Youth Sports", David King (Director of Athletics, Eastern Mennonite university) and Margot Starbuck (a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary, who served with Urban Promise ministry in Camden NJ before being ordained in the Presbyterian Church, and has served as a chaplain among folks living with physical and intellectual disabilities) offer good news for Christian parents stressed out by these questions and stretched thin by the demands of competitive youth sports. They believe that youth athletics should be a learning laboratory for wholesome relationships and character development. Did you know your child can become a better athlete by not playing one sport year-round? That investing money into athletic pursuits in the hopes of a scholarship rarely pays off? That you can say no to elite leagues and still say yes to your child's fun and fitness? "Overplayed" offers parents practical ways to set boundaries and help kids gain healthy identities as beloved children of God both on and off the field, and whether they win or lose. While very highly recommended for community and church Parenting Education collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of pastors and parents that "Overplayed" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

You Are What You Love
James K. A. Smith
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781587433801, $19.99, HC, 224pp,

The basic premise of "You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit" by James K. A. Smith is that you might not love what you think you do! Smith shows that who and what we worship fundamentally shape our hearts. And while we desire to shape culture, we are not often aware of how culture shapes us. We might not realize the ways our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made. Smith helps readers recognize the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices. He explains that worship is the "imagination station" that incubates our loves and longings so that our cultural endeavors are indexed toward God and his kingdom. This is why the church and worshiping in a local community of believers should be the hub and heart of Christian formation and discipleship. In "You Are What You Love, Smith draws on his years of experience, reflection, and discovery to offer a fresh and definitive re-articulation that creatively uses film, literature, and music illustrations to engage readers and includes new material on marriage, family, youth ministry, and faith and work. Smith also suggests in this impressively well written, organized and presented study the individual and communal practices for shaping the Christian life. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all members of the Christian community (regardless of denominational affiliation) that "You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Way of Wonder: Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton, author
Dale Ahlquist, compiler
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819883605, $9.95, PB, 144pp,

Compiled by Dale Ahlquist as part of the 'Classic Wisdom Collection' from Pauline books, "Way of Wonder: Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton" is comprised of writer and convert to Roman Catholicism, G. K. Chesterton quotes celebrating life's most ordinary moments, and showing how those moments lead to God -- and, in that process, become truly extraordinary. A defender and proponent to Catholicism, Chesterton wrote in nearly every literary genre; and in every one the simplicity of his defense of the faith, the family, the poor, and the common good shines through. This collection gathers some of Chesterton's most timeless wisdom, sharing thoughts that guide believers down a clear and accessible path to everyday commonsense holiness and is very highly recommended for all members of the Catholic community and the legions of G. K. Chesterton fans, as well as all Christians regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot
Irving (Yitz) Greenberg
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592644445, $24.95, HC, 378pp,

The sages of the Mishna lived through one of the greatest transitions of Jewish history: the destruction of the Temple and withdrawal of divine revelation. Assuming responsibility for the future of the Torah, the sages set about bringing it out of the Temple and into everyday life, determined to keep it alive in a world of change. In his commentary to Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg mines these ancient records for their religious and ethical wisdom, humility and courage, staunch traditionalism and bold innovation that guided the sages through this tempestuous era. Framed by thumbnail sketches of the lives and times of the sages, "Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot", as ably translated into English for an American readership features a line-by-line commentary that offers an original reading of Pirkei Avot, applying its teachings to the questions and challenges of our rapidly changing world. An impressive and exceptional work of theological scholarship, "Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot" is very highly recommended for personal, synagogue, college, and university library Judaic Studies reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Moadei HaRav
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pick
KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9789655242195, $29.95, HC, 278pp,

"Moadei HaRav: Public Lectures on the Festivals by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik" is a collection of essays and lectures in compiled and edited by Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pick which provides informative insights on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's thoughts concerning Jewish festivals. Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik was not only one of the outstanding Talmudists of the 20th century, but was also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. Moadei HaRav provides lectures by the Rav on the major Jewish holidays, such as Passover and Sukkot, as well as Hanukah and Purim. An introductory essay analyzes the Rav's works and interests in Judaism as well as his methodology of Talmud analysis. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Moadei HaRav" is very highly recommended for individual, synagogue and academic library Judaic Studies reference collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing
Stuart M. Matlins, editor
Jewish Lights Publishing
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781580238526, $16.99, PB, 176pp,

Compiled and edited by Stuart M. Matlines and the editorial staff of Jewish Lights Publishing, beloved and respected spiritual leaders from across the Jewish denominational spectrum share insights from their experience, Jewish tradition and their personal encounters with grief and healing in the pages of "The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing: A Spiritual Companion for Mourning". Offering a wide range of perspectives, all of which are offered with grace and compassion, will be a treasured resource in for members of the Jewish community in a time of grief. Whether mourning a recent loss or experiencing pain from old scars, readers will be encouraged and challenged to be fully, vulnerably present to their emotions; forgive their own shortcomings and those of others; and remain open to love despite pain and uncertainty. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing" is very highly recommended for synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Psychology of Tzimtzum: Self, Other, and God
Mordechai Rotenberg
Maggid Books
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592643844, $24.95, HC, 158pp,

Western psychology often describes relationships between parent and child, individual and society, man's physical and spiritual urges as a complex set of conflicts, an ongoing struggle for dominance. In "The Psychology of Tzimtzum: Self, Other, and God, Mordechai Rotenberg (Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Chair of the Rotenberg Institute for Jewish Psychology) seeks to establish an alternative: a Jewish psychology, based on the kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum (self-contraction). God's primordial act of Creation in contracting Himself to make room for the world becomes for Rotenberg a model for all human interaction. When the self contracts to make room for the other, the resulting relations are ones of dialogue rather than conflict, self-effacement rather than self-assertion, a desire to give rather than a desire to destroy. "The Psychology of Tzimtzum" is a very highly recommended addition to academic library Judaic Studies and Contemporary Psychology reference collections and supplemental studies curriculums. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Psychology of Tzimtzum" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Louisiana Saves the Library
Emily Beck Cogburn
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
9781617739934, $15.00, PB, 320pp,

For Louisiana Richardson, desperate times call for crazy-like-a-fox measures. As the new librarian at Alligator Bayou Parish's struggling library, she's returning to her Southern roots and facing trouble hotter than fresh cornbread out of the oven. Somehow, she's got to draw readers back in and prove the library is still vital -- even as domineering parish board head Mrs. Gunderson plans to shut it down for good. If that means Louise has to resort to some unconventional methods like outrageous inter-library Zumba classes, and forming a book club that's anything but Oprah-approved, well, it wouldn't be the first time she went out on a limb. Soon Louise is doing everything she can to rally the whole community. Before she knows it, she's sparking welcome changes (and uncovering surprising secrets) throughout her new town. And between glasses of sweet tea, bowls of mouth-watering gumbo and the warmth of a tantalizing new love, the newly single Southern mom might find a life she never imagined -- and a place to finally call home. Simply stated, "Louisiana Saves the Library" is a wonderfully engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end and author Emily Beck Cogburn is an impressively gifted and accomplished storyteller. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Louisiana Saves the Library" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Magpie's Blanket
Kimberly D. Schmidt with Jennifer A. Whiteman
University of New Mexico Press
MSC05 3185
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9780826356321, $19.95, PB, 184pp,

"Magpie's Blanket" by Kimberly D. Schmidt is a deftly crafted novel that brings that is based upon the massacres of Native Americans that occurred at Sand Creek and Washita -- told from a woman's perspective. A stirring account of violence and bloodshed, as well as of healing and forgiveness, "Magpie's Blanket" begins with the story of a young Southern Cheyenne woman who survived the horrific Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 only to witness a second attack on her people at the Washita Massacre in 1868. Through the memories of three generations of Cheyenne people, the novel recounts the events of the massacres and the century-late reconciliation after the townspeople's misguided attempt to re-create the "battle" of the Washita with descendants of US soldiers. Although a work of fiction, "Magpie's Blanket" is impressively faithful to historical events and is a compelling and informative read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Magpie's Blanket" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

History's Child
Charles M. Boyer
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 490085463
9781936970391, $18.00, PB, 590pp,

Tadek Gradinski grows up witnessing the multiple invasions and crimes of World War II sweep over his village. After the war, at fourteen, he begins to run messages and guns for the anti-Stalin diehards still hiding in the woods. At seventeen he's leading a double life, falling in love with a village girl, and dreaming about marriage and a job, while spying on NKVD agents at night. But someone betrays the partisans: their camp is destroyed; Tadek is arrested, tortured, and swept away into the Gulag with a twenty-five year sentence. A deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end, "History's Child" is one of those saga-length novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. "History's Child" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Literary Fiction collections.

Salinger's Letters
Nils Schou
Sandstone Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781910124659, $17.00, PB, 218pp,

Dan Moller is an unsuccessful author living with his dentist wife. A dentist himself, Dan has no room in his head for anything but his work and its inexplicable failure to find acceptance. One day, two Americans arrive at his door anxious to buy his side of the correspondence he has had with the mysterious author JD Salinger. They have a price in mind, but can Dan really sell these treasures? Perhaps he should visit the United States and find out what Salinger himself thinks. Original, entertaining, and showcasing the impressive literary talents of author Nils Schou, "Salinger's Letters" is an extraordinary novel that is very highly recommended for both community and academic library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Salinger's Letters" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Book of Marie
Terry Kay
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881460827, $23.00, HC, 271pp,

In the spring of 1962, a young black girl is killed at a civil rights demonstration on a university campus in Atlanta. The next day a home in Georgia is burned. Both events are etched into the memory of Cole Bishop, eerily playing out the predictions of a former classmate named Marie Fitzpatrick. Cole and Marie are high school seniors when they first meet in fall 1954. He is a native-born Southerner accepting the traditions of segregation as a way of life. Marie is a recent transplant from Washington, DC, a brilliant and assertive nonconformist with bold predictions about a new world that is about to be ushered in by desegregation. Their story revolves around the fiftieth reunion of the Overton High School class of 1955. "The Book of Marie" is a compelling novel about a generation of whites and blacks who ignited the war of change. Yet, it is also as much about the power of place and the finding of a home, as it is about the history of events. A compelling and deftly crafted read from beginning to end, "The Book of Marie" is very highly recommended for community and academic library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Book of Marie" is also available in a paperback edition (9780881465532, $16.00) and in a Kindle format ($12.00).

The Iron Horse
Paul Pedford
Linford Western Library
Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444826067, $20.99, Large Print PB, 288pp,

Josiah Wakefield and Dan Sturgis are young Civil War veterans employed by the Union Pacific Railroad. Their job is to hunt down the hired gunmen who are wrecking the UPR's supply trains. It's suspected that someone is trying to slow the railroad's westward progress. After a vicious firefight on the Nebraska plains, the pair's continued pursuit takes them to the dissolute city of Omaha - where, between their new acquaintance Bill Hickok who has been hired on to help them, and corrupt city marshal named Deke Pritchett, their troubles are only just beginning. Another terrific western from the pen of Paul Pedford who is clearly establishing himself as a master of the genre, "The Iron Horse" is replete with unexpected twists and turns that produced a riveting read that will be greatly appreciated by all western action/adventure enthusiasts. "Iron Horse" is absolutely recommended for personal reading lists (especially for those who require a large print format) and community library Western Fiction collections.

Two If By Sea
Jacquelyn Mitchard
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781501115578, $25.99,

Two If By Sea provides another compelling family saga and story of survival by best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard: this one revolving around an American expat and police officer in Australia who saves a little boy's life only hours after his wife and her whole family are killed in a tsunami. Acting on impulse, Frank takes the terrified child into his home and life and begins to discover the boy harbors a special gift: a gift that dangerous people know about and want. Survival takes on a whole new meaning in this story of turbulent lives and challenged worlds, which is compelling and hard to put down.

Scare Tactics
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
Fordham University Press
2546 Belmont Avenue
University Box L, Bronx, NY 10458-5172
9780823271887, $25.00,

Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women belongs in any college-level collection of women's literature or literary fiction studies, and gathers the most notable standouts among hundreds of tales published by women from the end of the Civil War to the 1930s. While those in women's studies programs will readily recognize some of these classic authors, such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, many of the lesser-known supernatural works featured here come from equally powerful sources. However, it's not just a short story holding, but an analytical survey of the feminist, social, and cultural impacts of these short tales that examine the language of the story lines, 19th century expectations about female interactions, choices in depiction of males, ghosts, and settings, and how the stories reveal different facets of women's experience. No college-level literary reader interested in either supernatural fiction or women's writings should be without access to this important contribution to the literature.

Obsidian Mystery
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Sally Goldenbaum's Murder at Lambswool Farm (9780451471642, $25.00) provides a new 'Seaside Knitters' mystery packed with knitting insights and intrigue. Birdie's love of knitting seems to take a back seat with her latest project to revitalize the family farm, but Lambswool Farm is thriving and is ready to serve up its first dinner - until one of the guests becomes fatally ill. The gossip and accusations which follow demand that the Seaside Knitters become involved to uncover the truth and save one of their own from having her business shot down before it's even off the ground. Elaine Viets' The Art of Murder (9780451476135, $25.00) tells of an art world shaken by the deadly murder of one of its own. Helen and her friend Margery are on the case when Helen is hired as an undercover investigator, only to find that the victim has so many possible enemies that the investigation becomes a labyrinth of motives for murder. A satisfying mystery evolves with many surprises along the way.

Even In Paradise
Elizabeth Nunex
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617754395, $27.95, HC, 320pp,

Peter Ducksworth is a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry who retires to Barbados believing he will find an earthly paradise there. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear, who hoped "That future strife/May be prevented now." But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing flattery with love, and so does Ducksworth. Feeling snubbed by his youngest daughter, Ducksworth decides that only after he dies will she receive her portion of the land. In the meantime, he gives his two older daughters their portions, ironically setting in motion the very strife he hoped to prevent. A compelling novel about greed, resentment, jealousy, betrayal, and romantic love in the post-colonial world of the Caribbean, and featuring a diverse cast of deftly crafted characters of African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese, and English ancestry, "Even In Paradise" is another superbly written work from the pen of Elizabeth Nunex and very highly recommended for both community and academic library Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Even In Paradise" is also available in a paperback edition (9781617754401, $15.95) and in a Kindle format ($10.99).

The Gambler's Apprentice
H. Lee Barnes
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874179989, $27.95, HC, 304pp,

In "The Gambler's Apprentice", author H. Lee Barnes tells the story of Willy, a teenage boy growing up in Texas during desperate times. Willy, wise and capable beyond his years, learns the gambler's trade and experiences adventures that demand quick wits -- and sometimes violent actions. Starting with a cattle-rustling scheme involving his father, Willy embarks on a life of crime early, eventually landing in a Laredo jail for shooting a man. During his incarceration he meets Sonny Archer, an itinerant gambler, who teaches Willy how to be a cardsharp. Upon his release, Willy roams the country, honing his new talent and getting into more trouble. During his time in New Orleans, Willy even winds up in a confrontation with an Italian crime ring. While all these adventures mold Willy into a clever card player and a masterful fortune-hunter, his grand ambition to be a professional gambler is thwarted when the influenza epidemic strikes. Willy is forced to return home to his family's Texas ranch, where he faces the most challenging test of his young life and begins to prove that he is far more than simply an apprentice. An impressively well written and fully compelling read from beginning to end, "The Gambler's Apprentice" is a sophisticated and deftly crafted western novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of western fiction buffs that "The Gambler's Apprentice" is also available in a Kindle edition ($15.99).

Opening Gates
Nancy King
Plain View Press
1101 W. 34th Street, Suite 404, Austin, TX 87805
9781632100153, $18.95, PB, 250pp,

It's the summer of 1956 and with her parents away and her boyfriend abroad, Rennie is a young woman on her own. To make money for college, Rennie takes a job as a recreational therapist in a large mental hospital in New York City, despite her reluctance to sign a loyalty oath in the charged times of McCarthyism. She has no relevant experience, but she's good at sports. How hard can it be? Very hard, she discovers. As Rennie struggles to relate to the confused, emotionally unpredictable women and challenging hospital administrators and staff, she is befriended by a troubled young man with a passion for jazz, meets a wise Middle Eastern restaurateur, and after an accident on her motor scooter, becomes three construction workers' favorite "damsel in distress". Too stubborn to quit, Rennie finds meaningful ways to connect with her patients and creates previously unimaginable opportunities for them. Rennie also discovers a new, stronger part of herself. By summer's end, no longer dependent on other's opinions, she can listen to her heart and conscience and make crucial changes in her own life. "Opening Gates" is another terrific novel from the pen of Nancy King and is a compelling and ultimately rewarding read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Opening Gates" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

The Judgment
D. J. Niko
Medallion Press, Inc.
c/o Medallion Media Group
100 South Rivers Street, Aurora, IL 60506
9781942546221, $14.95, PB, 416pp,

The year is 965 BCE. Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh's beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel. A consistently compelling read from beginning to end, "The Judgment" showcases author D. J. Niko as an impressively talented and skillful author. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Judgement" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Bad Mother
Marguerite Andersen, author
Donald Winkler, translator
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2M5
9781927583975, $19.95, PB, 216pp,

Born in Germany, Marguerite was just into her twenties when she moved to Tunisia with her French lover. She thought she was choosing a life of adventure and freedom, but what she got was children and a marriage that quickly became abusive. Constrained by the minutiae of everyday life, Marguerite longs for the agency to make her own choices. Eventually she flees, leaving her children behind for a year and a half. As the world labels her a wife, a mother, and eventually a bad mother, Marguerite wrestles with her own definition of personhood. Can you love your children and want your own life at the same time? A half-century later, this fictionalized account of Andersen's life is written with brutal honesty, in spare, pithy, and often poetic prose, as she expresses her own conflicted feelings concerning a difficult time and the impact it had on her sense of self. Andersen confronts the large and small choices that she made - the times she stayed and the times she didn't - all the while asking, "What kind of mother am I?" A compelling read that clearly reveals author Marguerite Andersen as an impressively talented and skillful novelist, "The Bad Mother" is deftly translated into English for the benefit of an American readership by Donald Winkler. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Bad Mother" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Jean Giono
New York Review of Books
435 Hudson Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10014
9781590179185, $14.00, PB, 144pp,

Deep in Provence, a century ago, four stone houses perch on a hillside. Wildness presses in from all sides. Beyond a patchwork of fields, a mass of green threatens to overwhelm the village. The animal world (which includes a miming cat, and a malevolent boar) displays a mind of its own. The four houses have a dozen residents -- and then there is Gagou, a mute drifter. Janet, the eldest of the men, is bedridden; he feels snakes writhing in his fingers and speaks in tongues. Even so, all is well until the village fountain suddenly stops running. From this point on, humans and the natural world are locked in a life-and-death struggle. All the elements (fire, water, earth, and air) come into play. "Hill" by Jean Giono (1895 - 1970) was the author's debut as a novelist and is ably translated from French into English for the benefit of a new generation of appreciative readers. While very strongly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Jean Giono's "Hill" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).

The Winds of Folly
Seth Hunter
McBooks Press, Inc.
520 North Meadow Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781590137055, $18.95, PB, 384pp,

"The Winds of Folly" by Seth Hunter is the fourth title in a compelling new historical naval adventure series from a self-evident master of maritime storytelling. The year is 1796, and Nathan Peake, captain of the frigate Unicorn, is sent with a small squadron into the Adriatic to help bring Venice into an Italian alliance with Britain against the French. Captain Peake establishes a British naval presence, harrying the French corsairs that swarm out of Ancona in Italy and confronts the politics of "intrigue, poison and the stiletto" in Venice, but learns that Bonaparte is negotiating a peace deal with the Austrians -- Britain's only remaining ally. Worse, the Spanish are about to ally with the French. Captain Peake returns to the Unicorn and rejoins Nelson for the decisive Battle of St. Vincent against the entire Spanish fleet. Exceptionally well written and consistently compelling from first page to last, "The Winds of Folly" is very highly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Winds of Folly" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Where We Fall
Rochelle B. Weinstein
Lake Union Publishing
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781612184432, $14.95, PB, 304pp,

By all accounts, Abby Holden has it all. She's the mother of a beautiful teenager and the wife of a beloved high school football coach. And all it took to achieve her charmed life was her greatest act of betrayal. Coach Ryan can coax his team to victory, but he can't seem to make his wife, Abby, happy. Her struggles with depression have marred their marriage and taken a toll on their daughter, Juliana. Although this isn't the life he's dreamed of, he's determined to heal the rifts in his family. Chasing waterfalls and documenting their beauty has led photographer Lauren Sheppard all around the world. Now it has brought her back home to the mountains of North Carolina - back to the scene of her devastating heartbreak. For the first time in seventeen years, a trio of once-inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves, hurts, and the rapid rush of a current that still pulls them together. An original, engaging, consistently compelling, and superbly crafted novel, "Where We Fall" by Rochelle B. Weinstein is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Where We Fall" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99) and in an MP3 CD format ($9.99).

Max Brand
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785412073, $29.99, 328pp, PB,

During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, two prospectors and their wolf dog Chinook encounter a mysterious woman traveling with her dog team. One man warms to her - the other distrusts her. She is hiding secrets which endangers them all! Max Brand is the best-known pen name of Frederick Faust, creator of such beloved characters as Destry and Dr. Kildare, among others. This new edition of "Chinook" is a classic Max Brand yarn that is now available in a large print format which is very highly recommended for all community library collections, as well as the personal reading lists for the legions of Max Brand fans.

The Cookbook Shelf

Happy Homestyle Chef
Annette Crossley
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478757412, $25.95, PB, 228pp,

Comprised of more than 150 recipes for basic home-cooked dishes that would please any palate, satisfy any appetite, and are consistently 'kitchen cook friendly', "Happy Homestyle Chef: My First Homestyle Cookbook" by Annette Crossley is an ideal starter cookbook for the novice homemaker and will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. The recipes range from Homemade Italian Lasagna; Fish and Chips; Oven-Baked Chicken with Basil; Stir-Fried Chow Mein with Four Vegetables; and Creamy Smoked Sweet Potato Soup; to Mexican Guacamole; Caramel-Covered Apples; Summer Salad with Orange Vinaigrette; Authentic Mexican Flan; Cinnamon Date Cake; Skinny Blast Smoothie; and White Strawberry Sangria. "Happy Homestyle Chef" is an ideal and highly recommended compendium of superbly presented and occasionally illustrated recipes for dishes that would grace any dining occasion from simply family meals to elegant dining occasions.

Healthy Speedy Suppers
Katriona MacGregor
c/o Watkins Media Limited
19 Cecil Court, London, England, WC2N 4EZ
9781848992993, $24.95, HC, 176pp,

Katriona MacGregor is an English chef, cookery writer and journalist who writes a hugely popular weekly column for The Telegraph. Her personal experience of stress, fatigue and autoimmune thyroid disease has lead her to create recipes that are simple to make but focus on good ingredients and wholesome food. In "Healthy Speedy Suppers: Quick, Healthy and Delicious Recipes for Busy People", Katriona draws upon her years of experience to compile and preset recipes for dishes that will inspire anyone who feels too tired or busy to cook at the end of the day. The recipes comprising "Healthy Speedy Suppers" take no more than 40 minutes to make, and are packed with good quality, wholesome ingredients, and tasted fantastic. Beautifully illustrated throughout and featuring dishes that range form Smoked Haddock and Leek Chowder; Yogurt-Marinated Chicken with Courgette Slaw; Corned Beef Hash with Roast Tomatoes; and Spiced Sausage-Stuffed Romano Peppers; to Baked Eggs with Salmon and Spinach; Chickpea and Black-Eyed Bean Chili; Grainy Mustard Mayonnaise; and Curly Kale, King prawn and Cashew Stir-Fry, "Healthy Speedy Suppers" is a delight to browse through, inspiring to plan menus with, and a highly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Healthy Speedy Suppers" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Naturally Lean
Allyson Kramer
Lifelong Books / Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500m New York, NY 10107
9780738218564, $22.99, PB,

In the pages of "Naturally Lean", culinary expert Allyson Kramer has compiled 125 recipes for gluten-free, plant-based dishes that are as palate pleasing as they are appetite satisfying. Suitable for vegan diets and anyone with a gluten health problem, these nutritious and delicious dishes range from Oil-Free Roasted Broccoli; Kabocha, Apple, and Fennel Bisque; Simple Soft and Chewy Granola Bars; and Chocolate Cheesecake; to Crispy Baked Falafel; Zucchini-Laced Fusilli; Portobello Bacon; and Cheesy Chili Sweet Potato Fries. Each individual recipe is provided with a succinct introductory commentary, a listing of ingredients, step-by-step instructions, portion yield, and per serving information for calories, grams of fat, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein content. An absolute "must" for anyone requiring a gluten free diet, "Naturally Lean" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly in organization and presentation, it should be noted that "Naturally Lean" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

Jose Pizarro
Hardie Grant Books UK
5th & 6th Floors, 52-54 Southwark Street, London, England, SE1 1UN
9781784880262, $39.95, HC, 256pp,

Compiled by Jose Pizarro (who worked at the award-winning El Meson de Dona Filo restaurant in Madrid before moving to London, where he cofounded the Brindisa restaurants, with two new restaurants set to open in 2016), "Basque: Spanish Recipes From San Sebastian & Beyond" is comprised of eighty regional recipes from the beautiful Basque country of northern Spain. From its obsession with the perfect pintxos to boasting the most Michelin starred restaurants per capita in the world, the Basque country in northern Spain offers plenty for food lovers. "Basque" showcases recipes for the area's most-loved dishes, including the traditional bacalao (salt cod with pisto and allioli) and hake "a la plancha" with potatoes and Romesco sauce. Chef Pizarro dispels the myth that creating traditional Spanish fare is a laborious task and shows even the most novice of kitchen cooks how they can bring the experience of dining in city tapas bars to their very own kitchen and enjoy croquetas (stuffed fried potato croquettes), tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette), and Jamon Iberico (cured ham). Featuring stunning views of the Basque country, "Basque" is a trip to the culinary heart of Spanish culture. Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Basque" is very highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches
Susan Russo
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781594744389, $18.95, PB, 320pp,

The sandwich has evolved from its humble beginnings as two slices of bread holding a slab of meat because an British aristocrat didn't want to interrupt his card came. Susan Russo's "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread" is an inherently fascinating browse the features tried-and-true recipes, tips and tricks, and fascinating regional and historical trivia about the best snack of all time. Quick how-to instructions will ensure that every Panini is toasted to buttery perfection, every Sloppy Joe is deliciously sloppy, and every Dagwood is stacked to perfection! Beautifully and profusely illustrated, and showcasing recipes that range from the Chicken Salad Sandwich; an Eggplant Parmesan Sub; the Hoagie; a Potato Chip Sandwich; the Pound Cake Sandwich; the Spamwich; Tea Sandwiches, and so many more! Packed with The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches is essential reading for sandwich connoisseurs everywhere and is enthusiastically recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba
Ronaldo Linares
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
9781580406130, $18.95, PB, 224pp,

Ronaldo Linares is a Cuban/Colombian/American, a classically trained chef, and the Executive Chef of Martino's Cuban in Somerville, New Jersey. In "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba", Ronaldo draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to features nearly 100 recipes, all of which meet the strict nutrition guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, are truly palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly, and diabetes dieting appropriate. "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba" is bilingual, with English on one side and Spanish on the reverse. "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba" also includes eight pages of original color photography, an attractive two-color interior, a glossary, and list of helpful pantry items and kitchen tools. With recipes ranging from Hemingway Sangria; Braised Dutch-Oven Lentils; Rosemary-Roasted Asparagus; All-Seasons Berry Smoothie; and Morning Coconut Pancakes; to Plantain and Sweet Potato Soup; Cilantro-Mint Watermelon Salad; Latin Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Avocado Chimichurri; Cuban Chicken Stir-Fry; and Ronaldo's Cuban Sandwich, "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, professional, and community library ethnic cookbook collections.

Haute Dogs
Russell Van Kraayenburg
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781594746758, $18.95, PB, 168pp,

In the pages of Russell Van Kraayenburg's "Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments", the lowly tube of meat in a bun has been elevated to the status of elegant cuisine. Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Haute Dogs" is comprised of recipes ranging from the Montreal Steamie; the Maxwell Street Polish; the Colombian Pineapple Dog; and the Baguette Dog; to the French Fry Dog; the Spicy Thai Dog; the Wasabi Dog; and the Waffle Dog. Of special note is the 'From-Scratch Ingredients' offering recipes for buns and batters; hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters, and sausages; condiments, sauces, and toppings. As fun to browse through as it is unique to plan menus with, "Haute Dogs" will prove to be an enduringly popular and much appreciated addition to any personal, family, professional, or community library cookbook collection. It should be noted that "Haute Dogs" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Chef in the Wild
Randy King
Caxton Press
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
9780870045929, $21.95, PB, 194pp,

A professional chef and avid outdoorsman Randy King as been cooking and hunting for his entire professional career. "Chef in the Wild: Reflections and Recipes from a True Wilderness Chef" is his debut as a cookbook author and combines inherently fascinating commentaries with thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes. Profusely illustrated, this coffee-table sized cookbooks showcases dishes that reflect game animals with recipes that range from Tortilla Chip Crusted Pheasant Breast with Hunters Style Corn Cakes; Peaches and Cream Grouse Bundles; Barbecue Bear Ribs; Pepper Crusted Venison Steaks; and Pan Roasted Caribou Steak with Watermelon, Corn and Zucchini Salad and Brown Butter Sage Vinaigrette; to Almond Crusted Steelhead with Chilean Barbacoa Sauce and Fingerling Potatoes; Smoked Trout Chowder; Arugla Salad with Duck Fat and Mulberry Dressing; Smoked Turkey Gravy; Antelope Solomo. Of special note are the butchering instructions provided, and a chapter dedicated to beverages that includes Elderberry Bourbon; Huckleberry Vodka; Mulberry Infused Wine. There's even a chapter on desserts that includes Chocolate Shortbread; Apricot and Cherry Cobble; and a Tucscan Polenta Apricot Rum Cake. "Chef in the Wild" is a unique and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Project Smoke
Steven Raichlen
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014-4381
9780761189237, $37.50, HC, 304pp,

From America's "master griller" Steven Raichlen, "Project Smoke" is a step-by-step guide to cold-smoking, hot-smoking, and smoke-roasting, as well as a collection of 100 innovative recipes for smoking every kind of food, from starters to desserts. Smoke is the soul of barbecue, the alchemy that happens when burning wood infuses its magical flavors into food. "Project Smoke" tells you how to make the alchemy happen, with Raichlen's seven steps to smoking nirvana; an in-depth description of the various smokers; the essential brines, rubs, marinades, and barbecue sauces; and a complete guide to fuel, including how each type of wood subtly seasons a dish. Then the recipes for 100 enticing, succulent, boldly-flavored smoked dishes, including Bacon-Crab Poppers, Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Slam-Dunk Brisket, Jamaican Jerk Chicken - even Smoked Chocolate Bread Pudding. Illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, "Project Smoke" is one of those culinary collections that inspires hunger at every glance, and satisfies with every recipe tried. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly', "Project Smoke" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Project Smoke" is also available in a paperback edition (9780761181866, $22.95) and in a Kindle format ($12.25).

The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book
Sue Becker
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778805342, $24.95, PB, 288pp,

The many benefits of home flour milling include taste and flavor and the appeal of making a healthy food that tastes good and is seriously nutritious. Home ground flour milling can also save countless dollars just in the cost of bread alone, especially for those with special dietary needs and restrictions, and improved health leads to reduced medical costs. "The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book " by Sue Becker is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction guide comprised of how-to details laying out the whole process behind home flour milling with features that include: The history of whole grains and grain anatomy Benefits of commercially milled flour vs home milled flour; Tools and equipment for home flour milling; Baking basics including mixing methods and techniques -- the importance of gluten and moisture; Going with the grains -- a thorough description of grains such as barley, rye, kamut and buckwheat; Nut flours such as almond; Baking with freshly milled grains. There are also 100 recipes for tasty quick breads, rolls and buns, muffins, pancakes, coffee cakes, biscuit and scones, cookies, brownies and pastries, plus others that are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Very highly recommended for personal and community library cookbook collections, "The Home Ground Flour Book" is ideal for anyone who wants to create their own flours for a culinary wealth of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, healthy and nutritious baked goods for the home and hearth.

1,001 Best Grilling Recipes, second edition
Rick Browne
Sterling Books
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572841918, $20.99, PB, 720pp,

Grilling meats and vegetables is a part of every national and ethnic cuisine around the world. It is from that global cornucopia that barbecue and grilling expert Rick Brown has selected the 1,001 recipes showcased in this new second edition of "1,001 Best Grilling Recipes: Delicious, Easy-to-Make Recipes from Around the World". A superb culinary resource for planning menus with, the recipes range from Barbecued London Broil; Bourbon Chicken Wings; Fired-Up Blue Cheese Burgers; and Wild Duck with Pecan Stuffing; to Hot Italian Sausage in Sour Cream; Bavarian Roasted Picnic Ham; Tequila Sweet Potatos; and Plum Cinnamon Tart. It should be noted that each featured recipe includes nutritional facts for calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium protein, carbohydrates, and diabetic exchanges. Also available in a Kindle edition ($18.46), "1,001 Best Grilling Recipes: Delicious, Easy-to-Make Recipes from Around the World" is very highly recommended and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

These new arrivals are some of the best cookbooks of 2016, offering different flavors, novel approaches, and visuals that will make even non-cooks want to hit the ovens. Cetna Makan's The Cardamom Trail: Chetna Bakes with Flavours of the East (9781784721299, $29.99) comes from the semi-finalist on The Great British Baking Show, and offers 100 recipes that integrate Indian ingredients into familiar Western baked goods to lend an exotic taste to the result. The basic idea is to infuse Indian herbs and spices - especially green cardamom - into various recipes both sweet and savory. From Mango and Praline Eclairs with hazelnuts and mango puree to Lychee Cake, dishes are arranged by featured spice and offer primary sweets, but a selection of savory spicy dishes as well. Danny Lidgate and Hattie Ellis's Lidgate's The Meat Cookbook: Buy and Cook Meat for Every Occasion (9781784720490, $29.99) comes from a team of cooks who focus on how the home meat cook can get the best tasting results from various cuts, meat dishes, and approaches to using beef, lamb, duck, game, and others. Recipes include roasts, stews, pies and other dishes and offer step-by-step illustrations when it comes to exploring techniques. Full-page color photos accompany many of the recipes such as Breast of Lamb Stuffed with Almonds & Apricots and Duck & Fennel Kebabs. Perhaps most importantly of all, attention to dishes that are accessible to all levels of cook with all kinds of interests, from neo-pros to novices, make this an attractive all-in-one standout from other meat cookbooks on the market. Claus Meyer's The Nordic Kitchen: One Year of Family Cooking (9781784721625, $29.99) promotes seasonal fare, foraging, and new Nordic foods presented with a seasonal flair, and is recommended for enthusiasts of the cuisine who want a more contemporary take on Nordic recipes. From Meatloaf with Lingonberries and Homemade Saurkraut to Pears Poached in Elderberry Juice and Buttermilk Ice Cream with Lemon and Vanilla, this offers many appealing dishes that allow for new interpretations of Nordic fare. Da-Hae and Gareth West's K-Food: Korean Home Cooking and Street Food (9781784721596, $24.99) covers the basics of modern Korean cooking and provide recipes which show how to incorporate traditional Korean recipes into modern Western flavor fusions. Full-page, lovely color photos accompany such dishes as Korean Chile Crab, LA Galbi (Korean-Style Short Ribs), and Japchae (Stir-Fried "Royal" Noodles). Introductions to each dish offer insights on its origins and importance in Korean and Western cultures alike, while a section on martinis rounds out the focus on ethnic cuisine fusions.

Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Chris Honor's Big Flavors From a Small Kitchen (9781784721053, $29.99) comes from an Australian-born chef whose original recipes are tailored for home cooks and readily-available ingredients, and provides a collection of 100 recipes produced in conjunction with Laura Washburn Hutton. Color photos accompany discussions of the processes of tea smoking (with its accompany recipe for Duck Soy Sauce Green Tea), foods that can be tossed together almost instantly (such as Blue Cheese Guinness Sunflower Seeds), and comfort foods such as a Potato Mushroom Caraway Seed combination. The result are dishes that make the most of full flavors using the least amount of space and ingredients in the process. Julian Metcalf and Blanche Vaughan's ITSU 20-Minute Suppers: Eat Beautiful with Noodles, Gains, Rice and Soups (9781784721305, $24.99) is the second cookbook from the authors of ITSU: The Cookbook, and focuses on quick recipes that can each be made in 20 minutes using simple ingredients. Some hundred Asian-based recipes focus here on noodles, rice, grains and soups and dishes that are simple to put together and filled with 'superfoods' and nutritious ingredients. From Pork & Mushrooms with Cucumber Noodles to Stir-Fried Mixed Seafood with Ginger and Sesame Rice, these are outstanding and surprisingly easy dishes to reproduce even though some of their titles sound complex.

Paula Grainger & Karen Sullivan
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780600633273, $16.99,

Infuse: Herbal Teas to Cleanse, Nourish, and Heal comes from a California Clinical Herbalist and Karen Sullivan, who provide recipes for herbal tea blends to aid in a variety of restorative purposes, from cleansing and better sleep to improved circulation. Herbal teas offer many healing opportunities but tea books typically focus on tastes and food pairings. The pleasure of Infuse lies in its attention to links between tea infusions and health, and offers spicy, warming blends made by the mug full or by cups. From light and refreshing cooled teas for hot days and bodies to teas for aching joints, this offers a solid connection between teas and restorative choices, and is a top recommendation for any herbal tea drinker.

Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Nina Parker's The South of France Cookbook (9781661880532, $35.00) provides stories from Nina Parker's summers in St. Tropez in the South of France, and enhances these stories of the region's peoples and foods with classic recipes that cover everything from lavish meals to breakfasts and picnics. The focus on regional fare such as a St. Tropez Tart made of pistachios, vanilla and almond extract, and a custardy filling to dishes from locals such as Jacques Feline's Bouillabaisse makes for a collection that embeds its dishes with French flavors and the colorful surroundings that helped create them. Williams-Sonoma's American Girl Baking (9781681880228, $19.95) provides some forty recipes designed to encourage family participation in baking. Color photos of girls baking cookies, cupcakes and more accompany professional-looking results captured in full-page color photos, while kid-friendly dishes range from Strawberry Shortcakes to Easy Cheesecake Pie and Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. All are outstanding productions kids will want to make.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Communing with the Ancestors
Raven Grimassi
Weiser Publishers
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635931, $17.95, PB, 224pp,

Raven Grimassi is a neo-pagan scholar and award-winning author of more than 12 books on witchcraft, Wicca, and neo-paganism. In "Communing with the Ancestors: Your Spirit Guides, Bloodline Allies, and the Cycle of Reincarnation", Grimassi explores the realm of the ancestors in an inherently fascinating and far-ranging guide that includes practices and rituals both ancient and new for communing with the ancestors. "Communing with the Ancestors" covers: How to build shrines and altars and make offerings; Where to find and work with sacred sites, power places, and special portals to the ancients; Guided imagery that will take you into the "Cavern of the Ancestors," the spiritual corridor where the ancestors can be directly approached; How to access the Spirit-Rider, an ancestor that can travel between the realms of mortals and ancients; How to see and understand the restless dead who remain bound to the Earth realms; The role of reincarnation in the soul's relationship to ancestral lineage; "Communing with the Ancestors" is enhanced with the inclusion of some of the extraordinary folklore, legend, and superstition surrounding the topic of ancestor worship. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Communing with the Ancestors" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Goddess and the Shaman
J. A. Kent
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738740423, $19.99, PB, 384pp,

Residing in Sydney, Australia, J. A. Kent, PhD has practiced and taught High Magic and Wicca, including university courses in the fields of educational and developmental psychology. She has degrees in teaching, a post-graduate degree in counseling/psychotherapy, and a doctorate in Social Ecology from the University of Western Sydney. She is a natural psychic and has been trained in herbal medicine, homoeopathic medicine, and hypnotherapy. Kent draws upon her years of experience and expertise in "The Goddess and the Shaman: The Art & Science of Magical Healing" to help her readers explore the resurgence of magical and shamanic healing in the world today. Recovering from disease, pain, and mental illness often means addressing otherworldly causes such as soul loss, soul fragmentation, or invasive spirits. Interviewing modern shamanic practitioners and sharing her own experiences as a psychotherapist and healer, Kent shows how ritual practice and mystical experience can be used as tools to foster profound spiritual and psychological growth. Through exploration of otherworldly phenomena, the Western mystery traditions, and Kent's own psychotherapy case studies, "The Goddess and the Shaman" shows how the Goddess represents the numinous reality of the universe while the Shaman represents the archetypal figure that can access the other side to bring forth knowledge and healing. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented throughout, "The Goddess and the Shaman" is very highly recommended for inclusion into community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Goddess and the Shaman" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
12 Parish Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470

Nick Redfern's Weapons of the Gods (9781632650382, $16.99) joins others in ancient mysteries and UFO titles and provides the argument that many early civilizations actually knew about atomic power, but became the victims of their own discoveries. Other civilizations may have been destroyed by hostile aliens with their own nuclear weapons. Lest the reader think this is all conjecture, Redfern gathers evidence that shows how to examine the clues that led to these scenarios, from Biblical events to ancient world cultures around the world. Sanskirt texts, evidence of atomic Armageddon in the U.S., and early account of encounters with aliens make for a powerful and thought-provoking discussion filled with evidence and early observations. Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt's The Children of Roswell (9781632650191, $16.99) provides evidence of on-going coverups in the Roswell UFO conspiracy world and examine how the lasting legacy of Roswell's events is now a part of the next generation's experience. Seven decades of conspiracy, intimidation and cover-ups are charted in a collection that juxtaposes family memories and stories with newfound evidence of military personnel actions. Debra Diamond's Life After Near Death (9781632650245, $16.99) gathers stories of miracles in healing and people with extraordinary gifts, and belongs in spirituality and new age holdings alike. It offers a different take on the near-death experience by considering the miraculous aftereffects of this encounter, and it redefines the popular notion of 'near death' as an experience that doesn't necessarily involve clinical death. Dozens of cases of cognitive and physiological after-effects of this experience, including elevated IQ and increased artistic abilities and psychic powers, are charted in a powerful new examination of near death and its consequences.

The Travel Shelf

The Best of Olympic National Park
Alan Leftridge
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560376439, $19.95, PB, 136pp,

Alan Leftridge has served as a seasonal naturalist in Yellowstone National Park and a wilderness ranger in the Mission Mountains Wilderness. In "The Best of Olympic National Park" he draws upon his experience and expertise to create an informed and informative travel guide for making the most of any trip to the Olympic National Park in the northwest state of Washington! From the coast to the rain forest to the snowcapped mountains, "The Best of Olympic National Park" handy and thoroughly 'user friendly' guide covering all the best hikes, best picnic spots, best places to see wildlife, best wildflowers, best waterfalls, best activities for kids, and so much more. Enhanced throughout with beautiful color photographs, locator maps, and clear, concise directions, "The Best of Olympic National Park" will prove to be an indispensable resource for getting the most out of any Olympic National Park excursion.

Death Valley: Hottest Place on Earth
Roger Naylor
Rio Nuevo Publishers
PO Box 5250, Tucson, AZ 85703
9781933855875, $12.95, PB, 80pp,

Death Valley National Park is a vast expanse of stark beauty and harsh extremes that attracts visitors from all over the world. Death Valley sizzles, but it's not just the climate. This hot spot is also one of the coolest places to visit. It's golden canyons, caramel sand dunes, salty mud flats, and snowcapped mountains. Rocks mysteriously slide over the Racetrack, bright blue pupfish manage to survive in Devil's Hole, and mining ghost towns stand eerily silent. Slather on your sunscreen, lace up your hiking boots, and follow adventurous writer Roger Naylor on a tour through the history, geology, landscape, wildlife, and attractions of the hottest place on earth. Profusely illustrated, informed and informative, "Death Valley: Hottest Place on Earth" is an ideal read for the armchair traveler and a highly recommended addition to community and academic library collections.

Local Eats London
Natasha McGuinness, author
Danielle Kroll, illustrator
Yellow Pear Press
155 Montgomery Street, Suite 507, San Francisco, CA 94104
9780990537083, $14.95, HC, 96pp,

Interweaving Danielle Kroll's whimsical illustrations with the informative, humorous reminiscences of author Natasha McGuinness' culinary journeys in the vibrant city on the Thames, "Local Eats London": Bangers & Mash, Pasties, Jaffa Cake and Other London Favorites is a charming pocket-size guide to the traditional (and often underrated) British fare found in the markets, pubs, tea shops and cafes of the city. This easy-to-carry, mini tome will help travelers who are seeking the most delicious food the city has to offer -- whether on the go, in need of tea and a nibble, or ready to sit down to a leisurely meal. From high tea to late night snacks, and every meal in between, this enchanting guide is all any food-loving traveler will need to enjoy the wide variety of unique and tasty fare available in the capital. Rather than simply another restaurant guide, "Local Eats London" offers descriptions of the sometimes oddly named, traditional foods visitor will find in the markets, shops, pubs and restaurants of London. Author Natasha McGuinness own delectable adventures are coupled with Danielle Kroll's delightful images to create a lyrical and witty chronicle of the delicious discoveries the visitor can experience in this cosmopolitan city. Simply stated, "Local Eats London" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' travel guide that will prove invaluable in planning trip itineraries.

The Business Shelf

Digital Marketing Strategy
Simon Kingsnorth
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749474706, $39.95, PB, 344pp,

Digital and social media are essential aspects of a marketing department's function; therefore, it is important that they are integrated into the organization's wider goals. Uniting digital marketing techniques with business strategy and established marketing models such as the 7 P's, Porter's Five Forces, and Customer Lifetime Value, "Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing" by Simon Kingsnorth (who is the Global Head of Digital Marketing at Citi Private Bank) demonstrates how to formulate the best strategy for a company. Rather than presenting a "one size fits all" model, Kingsnorth brings various strategies to life through case studies, charts, illustrations, and checklists. "Digital Marketing Strategy" covers what digital marketing is, how to budget and forecast, acquisition, personalization, customer service, user experience, content strategy, how to analyze and perform social measurements, and how to structure and present a digital marketing plan in order to win support and funding. While very highly recommended as a core addition to community and library Business Marketing instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists, it should be noted for individual corporate and small business marketing directors that "Digital Marketing Strategy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($31.96).

The Conversion Code
Chris Smith
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119211884, $25.00, HC, 192pp,

In "The Conversion Code", Chris Smith (Co-Founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company that helps businesses grow faster) provides a step-by-step blueprint for increasing sales in the modern, Internet-driven era. Today's consumers are savvy, and they have more options than ever before. Capturing their attention and turning it into revenue requires a whole new approach to marketing and sales. "The Conversion Code" provides clear guidance toward conquering the new paradigm shift towards online lead generation and inside sales. You'll learn how to capture those invaluable Internet leads, convert them into appointments, and close more deals. Regardless of product or industry, this proven process will increase both the quantity and quality of leads and put your sales figures on the rise. "The Conversion Code" shows how to: Engage with consumers more effectively online; Leverage the strengths of social media, apps, and blogs to capture more leads for less money; Convert more Internet leads into real-world prospects and sales appointments; Make connections on every call and learn the exact words that close more sales. "The Conversion Code" provides an actionable blueprint for capturing Internet leads and turning them into customers. While very highly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Business Marketing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Conversion Code" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush
Introduction by Margaret Atwood
Carol Shields & Patrick Crowe
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2M5
c/o Orca Books (distribution)
9781772600032 $22.95

Featuring an introduction by Margaret Atwood, Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush is a full color graphic novel adaptation of the classic memoir by Canadian author Susanna Moodie (1803-1885), a middle-class, British-born woman who married for love instead of for money. She and her husband became settlers in Canada (a British colony at the time), where she experienced poverty and hardship firsthand. Given her own trials and tribulations, Moodie was aghast to read other people's unrealistically glowing portrayals of colonial life. In "Roughing It in the Bush", Moodie explicitly described the suffering she and her husband endured as impoverished settlers - difficult manual labor, struggling to feed their children and keep them clothed, the horror of disease outbreaks, and more. Moodie's intention was to give prospective settlers an accurate picture of colonial life so that they could better prepare themselves. A fascinating glimpse into ground-level Canadian history as well as the life story of a courageous and principled woman, Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush is highly recommended for teen and adult readers, as well as public library graphic novel collections.

Thoreau: A Sublime Life
Maximilien Le Roy, author
A. Dan, illustrator
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681120256, $19.99, HC, 88pp,

Best known today for his groundbreaking book "Walden", Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. "Thoreau: A Sublime Life" is a superbly presented graphic novel biography that relates the forward looking inspirational life of this great author, philosopher and pioneering ecologist. Henry David Thoreau was also the father of the concept "civil disobedience" which he used against slavery and the encroachment of government, based upon the same political and social principles that motivated all of the reform movements in American today including the struggle for Women's Rights, Civil Rights, LGBT Rights, and the Occupy Wall Street phenomena. Compelling and entertaining, informed and informative, "Thoreau: A Sublime Life" is very highly recommended for highschool and community library American Biography and Graphic Novel collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Thoreau: A Sublime Life" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Al Plastino: Last Superman Standing
Eddy Zeno
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490663, $17.95, PB, 112pp,

With a comics career dating back to 1941, including inking early issues of Captain America, Al Plastino was one of the last surviving penciler/inkers of his era. Laboring uncredited on Superman for two decades (1948-1968), he co-created Supergirl, Brainiac, and the Legion of Super-Heroes, drawing those characters' first appearances, and illustrating the initial comics story to feature Kryptonite. He was called upon to help maintain the DC Comics house-style by redrawing other artists' Superman heads, most notoriously on Jack Kirby's Jimmy Olsen series, much to his chagrin. His career even included working on classic daily and Sunday newspaper strips like Nancy, Joe Palooka, Batman, and others. With a foreword by Paul Levitz, this edition of "Al Plastino: Last Superman Standing" by comics historian Eddy Zeno (who is also the author of Curt Swan: A Life In Comics) was completed just weeks before Al's recent passing. In these pages, the artist remembers both his struggles and triumphs in the world of comics, cartooning and beyond. A near-century of insights shared by Al, his family, and contemporaries Allen Bellman, Nick Cardy, Joe Giella, and Carmine Infantino along with successors Jon Bogdanove, Jerry Ordway, and Mark Waid paint a layered portrait of Plastino's life and career. Very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library American Comics History collections, "Al Plastino: Last Superman Standing" features a wealth of illustrations show just how influential a figure he is in the history of comics.

Magi 17
Shinobu Ohtaka
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421577937 $9.99

Magi 17 continues the manga (Japanese comics) series about the brutal realities of survival in a war-torn fantasy world, where a minority of the population are "magicians", a distinct tribe of people capable of using magic. Whether this power is a blessing or a curse is subject to interpretation, as magicians are often persecuted, enslaved, coveted, or outright killed! Two magician friends, Aladdin and Titus, have sought refuge and training in Magnoshutatt, a small nation ruled entirely by magicians. Thought Magnoshutatt seems like a haven at first, there is a dark side to this land - its ruling class, and especially its wizard headmaster, view ordinary humans with extreme contempt. Worse, Magnoshutatt is on the brink of war with the expansionist empire of Leam. Aladdin and Titus must each chose sides in the brewing conflict. Even worse, Aladdin harbors a grim suspicion about the source of the power fueling Magnoshutatt's headmaster! A dark saga about navigating a complex, violent world where good and evil are not easily defined, Magi is highly recommended for teen and adult readers.

Naruto: 3-in-1 edition, volume 14
Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421582542 $14.99

Naruto: 3-in-1 edition, volume 14 gathers volumes 40, 41, and 42 of the immensely popular Naruto manga (Japanese comics) into a single omnibus graphic novel. The Naruto series is set in a fantastic world where those skilled in ninjitsu arts, or blessed with the miraculous bloodline gifts such as the all-seeing power of Sharingan, are capable of superhuman feats... which can in turn alter the outcomes of wars, or the destiny of nations. The titular hero Naruto and his teammates are in hot pursuit of Naruto's rival Sasuke, who in turn seeks revenge upon his kinslaying brother Itachi. Yet an even greater crisis is taking shape in a neighboring war-ravaged nation. A new leader, "Lord Pain", has seized power; the nation is so tightly closed-off that no one has the faintest idea who Lord Pain is, let alone his intentions toward neighboring nations. Naruto's teacher Jiraiya undertakes a dangerous reconnaissance mission into hostile territory, where he discovers that Lord Pain's origins are directly connected to his own fateful past. The action comes fast, furious, and laced with a dash of intrigue in this exciting saga! The Naruto series is highly recommended for teen and adult readers.

Assassination Classroom 9
Yusei Matsui
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421582818 $9.99

Assassination Classroom 9 continues this modern-day manga (Japanese comics) series, tinged with a light element of science fiction - mostly in the unbelievably resilient nature of the mysterious "Koro-Sensei", an (apparently) inhuman creature that has threatened to destroy the Earth in a year if no one can kill him first. Paradoxically, Koro-Sensei seeks to fulfill his dream of being a teacher by training the students of the reviled and ostracized class 3-E to assassinate him, and therefore save the Earth. Will class 3-E become skilled enough at assassination to kill Koro-Sensei and earn the multimillion bounty that the government has put on his head? As their first semester draws to a close, the students must put their training to the test against a vengeful enemy who has poisoned several of them with a horrific biological weapon! But who is truly worse - the insane madman who wants to torture and kill class 3-E, or the manipulative school principal who maliciously designated class 3-E to be scorned, shunned, and despised? One student in particular, when given the opportunity to be promoted out of 3-E, must answer this question for himself! Spanning genre elements from intense action to social commentary to fleeting moments of comedy, Assassination Classroom 9 is an unforgettable saga, recommended for older teen and adult readers due to scenes of violence.

Library Wars 15: Love and War
Story and art by Kiiro Yumi
Original concept by Hiro Arikawa
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421585857 $9.99

Library Wars 15: Love and War is the concluding volume of the shojo manga (Japanese comics written especially for a female audience) adaptation of a series of novels about war, censorship, and battlefield love. In the Library Wars series, Japan teeters on the brink of dystopia; the federal government has created a committee to eradicate all books deemed unsuitable. Libraries across the nation resisted the rampant censorship, allying with local governments to form a military group: The Library Forces! Iku Kasahara is a young woman who started as an entry-level Library Forces recruit; now, she has been entrusted with a dangerous escort mission that could potentially alter the course of the entire war. Her critical thinking and subterfuge skills will be put to the test... when neither has been her strong point for most of her life! Like most shojo manga, Library Wars focuses more intensely on personal relationships and inner conflict than on external violence, and Iku's deep-seated love for the severely injured Dojo is a major theme. Library Wars is a choice pick for shojo manga connoisseurs. Although Library Wars 15 is the final graphic novel adapting the main Library Wars story, a manga rendition of the Library Wars side-stories is forthcoming!

Case Closed 58
Gosho Aoyama
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421577869 $9.99

Case Closed 58 is part of a long-running, enduringly popular manga (Japanese comics) mystery/suspense series. Although set in modern times, Case Closed is clearly inspired by classic detective stories and spy thrillers. "Conan Edogawa" is the alias of an intrepid teenage genius who ran afoul of an organized crime cartel. By chance, their assassination drug didn't kill him; instead, it trapped him in the body of a six-year-old. Conan's supremely keen intellect remains intact; he uses both his mind and his innocuous new cover identity to help the police and the FBI solve crimes! Volume 58 continues a tangled saga in which the FBI strives to keep a hospitalized crime-syndicate member from being retaken into enemy ranks, or outright assassinated. The crime-syndicate fields the highest level of infiltration operatives, technology, and weaponry; their reach is so great that they can send bombs or trigger an influx of hospital patients with sadistic impunity! Can Conan and the FBI outwit an evil organization with resources that rival those of a shadow government? Volume 58 also introduces a new character, FBI agent Andre Camel, whose brutish looks belie his supreme skill as a driver. Recommended for teen and adult readers due to scenes of violence, Case Closed 58 is a "must-read" for detective fiction connoisseurs.

The Audiobook Shelf

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte, author
Adapted by Christina Calvitt
L.A. Theatre Works
681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
9781682660065 $29.95

Jane Eyre is the full-cast audiobook performance of the stage adaptation of the classic novel by Charlotte Bronte, originally published in 1847. This streamlined interpretation resonates with the original work's social criticism of domestic abuse and maltreatment of students, as well as its strong principles of morality as reflected in the convictions of the eponymous heroine. Jane Eyre is a young woman who grows up scorned by her own family. Attending a boarding school provides a means of escape, but the school's conditions are so atrocious that a deadly disease spreads among the students. A moral quandary haunts her adulthood; she secures a good job as a governess, and falls in love, but the man she has lost her heart to carries a dark secret that threatens to destroy all the happiness she dares to feel. Brought to life by a supremely talented ensemble, the L.A. Theatre Works rendition of Jane Eyre is a new way to experience this treasured classic, and highly recommended especially for public library collections. 2 CDs, 2 hours 1 min.

The Swiss Family Robinson
Johann David Wyss
Naxos of America, Inc.
1810 Columbia Avenue, Suite 28, Franklin, TN 37064
9781843799467, $28.98, CD,

An epic tale of adventure and survival, The Swiss Family Robinson has been a bestseller ever since it was originally published in 1812, just over 200 years ago, and has become a classic of western literature. Written by Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss, "The Swiss Family Robinson" begins with a shipwreck. A boat carrying a family of settlers to a distant colony is driven onto a reef just off an uncharted tropical island. The sailors desert the ship in lifeboats, leaving the Swiss family on board. They weather the storm, build a makeshift raft of empty casks and head for the island. Once on dry land, they set about exploring their new surroundings. Using their wits and ingenuity, they build a new life together and make many amazing discoveries. Narrator Jonathan Keeble provides the listener with an impressive 'theater of the mind' experience, making this superbly produced audio book edition "The Swiss Family Robinson" very highly recommended for personal, community, school, and university library collections. (4 CDs; Running Time 4:56:52).

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu
Joshua Hammer, author
Paul Boehmer, narrator
Highbridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
978168168429, $23.99, CD,

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts provides something unusual in equating an Indiana Jones-style adventure with a real-world story of how a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulled off a heist to save Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, and is a powerful account of how a mild-mannered librarian and historian's smuggling job preserved a critical piece of a library. His goal was to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to safety in southern Mali: a seemingly impossible job that succeeded through grit, determination, and adventure. His powerful story of preservation issues, jihadi encounters, and changing governments and perspectives makes for a gripping true-life story certain to delight any with an affection for books and historic preservation challenges. Narrator Paul Boehmer does author "Joshua Hammer's extraordinary account full justice, making "The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu" very highly recommended for both community and academic library audio book collections. (Complete and Unabridged, 8 CDs, 8 Hours).

Farewell to the Master
Harry Bates
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781511357043, $14.99, CD,

Harry Bates was an American science fiction writer and editor who would, most likely, be totally forgotten today if it were not for this one extraordinary story of an alien named Klaatu and a giant and super-powerful robot. The story became the basis for the 1951 and 2008 films The Day the Earth Stood Still. However, as is often the case, the movie took only some elements from the story and changed others completely. In the story, for example, the robot is named "Gnut." In the movie, it became "Gort." Many people who read the story and see the movies seem to feel that, although the first movie became a classic, the original story has a much more interesting and thought-provoking twist than either of the movies. Ably narrated by Jim Roberts, "Farewell to the Master" is a complete and unabridged recording of Bates' original science fiction short story, and is brought back to an new generation of appreciative science fiction enthusiasts. Simply stated, "Farewell to the Master" is very highly recommended for personal and community library science fiction audio book collections. (2 CDs, 1 hour, 39 minutes).

Hide Away: An Eve Duncan Novel
Iris Johansen, author
Narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781501906183 $TBA

Hide Away: An Eve Duncan Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of the latest thriller following forensic sculptor Eve Duncan. Eve and Joe Quinn have taken responsibility for protecting a young girl, Cara Delaney. They decide that the best place to hide from Cara's enemies is outside of the country; they join Eve's daughter Jane MacGuire in the search for a treasure thought to be hidden in Scotland. Balancing action with suspense, strong characters, and a resonant bond between mothers and daughters, Hide Away is highly recommended. 9 CDs, 11 hours.

The Cavendon Luck
Barbara Taylor Bradford, author
Read by Anna Bentinck
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427271921 $44.99

The Cavendon Luck is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a historical novel set in 1938 England. Miles and Cecily Ingham have worked hard to rescue the Cavendon estate from the brink of ruin, yet the imminent arrival of World War II will test the resolve of the Inghams, the Swanns, and the villagers as no trial has before. A multilayered drama laced with intrigue, love, grief, and hope, The Cavendon Luck is engrossing to the very end. 13 CDs, 16 hours.

Beyond the Ice Limit
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, authors
Read by David W. Collins
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781478909118 $30.00

Beyond the Ice Limit: A Gideon Crew Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Gideon Crew's most suspenseful adventure yet. Now Gideon must aid Eli Glinn, the paralyzed survivor of a doomed mission to recover a the largest known meteorite from a remote South American island. But the meteorite is not an object - it is a living thing, intelligent and deadly. It has burrowed in the sea bed two miles below the Earth's surface, and now the only hope of saving the planet from it is the strategic use of nuclear weapons, guided by Gideon and Glinn. An exciting blend of science fiction and terrifying thriller, Beyond the Ice Limit is highly recommended. 9 CDs, 10.5 hours.

Sir Apropos Of Nothing
Peter David
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
Volume 1: 9781628512212, $19.99, 6 CDs, 7 hours
Volume 2: 9781628512274, $19.99, 6 CDs, 7 hours

Born of a brutal gang rape of his mother by a band of knights, Apropos is a product of a violent childhood. Estranged from his prostitute mother, fatherless since his unfortunate conception, Apropos makes his living as a thief. But when the death of a young girl rattles his conscience, and when he forges an unlikely alliance with a hero of true nobility, Apropos finds himself confronting for the first time in his life the selfish nature of his maverick, every-man-for-himself ethos. At times a loyal friend, at others a ruthless betrayer, Apropos is fast approaching the moment when he must choose between honor and safety, between the core of nobility residing in his heart and the shame that has haunted him through life. What author Peter David has created is a complex and deeply flawed character who can't stand the idea that he has an heroic destiny -- yet events keep forcing him against his will in that direction. Original, compelling, deftly crafted, Peter David's humorous fantasy action/adventure, "Sir Apropos Of Nothing", has been deftly translated into a fascinating and riveting theatrical production with an impressively talented cast, and enhanced with music, sound effects, and flawless production values. The result is an audio book that is highly recommended for personal and community library collections, and which will linger in the mind and imagination long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf.

Darkened Blade
Kelly McCullugh
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628512434, $19.99, CD,

It's been nine long years since the death of his patron, Namara, and exalted assassin Aral Kingslayer desperately misses the thrill and glory of being a higher power of justice. Now he is haunted by the ghosts of the past, as well as the ghost of the murdered goddess Namara herself. When Namara calls upon Aral in a dream to seek justice for her death and the ruination of her temple, Aral must obtain the help of his fellow former Blades and his Shade familiar, Triss, to pursue the vengeance he knows Namara deserves. Even if it means attacking Heaven's Son and his legion of the Risen, as well as going against one of their own, in a bloody battle of epic proportions. Continuing the saga of Aral Kingslayer that began with Kelly McCullough's "Broken Blade", this superbly produced, multi-cast production of "Darkened Blade" is a true 'theatre of the mind' experience that is impressively augmented with digital music and sound effects, making it a 'must' for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections in general, and the legions of McCullough fans in particular. (6 CDs; 7 Hours).

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Matthew Ouirk's Cold Barrel Zero (9781478936602, $30.00) comes from a history and literature student and reporter whose best-seller first novel is in process of becoming a major motion picture. His latest book comes to life under an audio treatment by veteran narrator Peter Coleman, who lends life and interest to the story of a code that is hidden yet visible, and a special ops agent who is on the run and bent on revenge. Thomas Byrne is charged with stopping an impossible attacker, but he's a surgeon trying to forget his past and the talents which now require him to assume a different role in life, and to fight against the one man he once was close to. The cat-and-mouse political game against the backdrop of struggling personal relationships lends high drama to a powerful, compelling story. Monica Hesse's Girl in the Blue Coat (9781478938361, $25.00) is narrated by film and stage actress Natalia Payne and is set in 1943 Amsterdam, where Hanneke spends her days locating black market goods for customers and keeping the truth from her parents. Her life is changed when an older woman pleas for help to locate a Jewish teen she's been hiding, who has vanished from a hidden room. At first Hanneke considers this problem way outside her usual activities; but soon she's drawn into a dangerous mystery that could change her life. The story comes to life in audio, between Natalia's compelling voice and Hesse's story. Leila Meacham's Titans (9781478932710, $35.00) receives an unabridged narration by Brian Hatch and Casey Holloway and is set in Texas in the early 1900s, where heiress Samantha becomes involved with a farm boy in the course of running a cattle ranch. Family secrets and a touch of emotional connections come together in an explosive exploration of early Texas on the cusp of change. Dodie Osteen's If My heart Could Talk (9781478952596, $30.00) is read by the author and follows the life of a woman who is a wife, mother, and oversees the Lakewood Church. Her life story and religions connections create a gripping saga of love and faith in this compelling account. All are highly recommended audio listens.

The Library CD Shelf

Don Williams in Ireland
Don Williams
RED Distribution
c/o Webster Public Relations (publicity)

Don Williams in Ireland: The Gentle Giant in Concert is a DVD showcasing smash-hit American country singer Don Williams on stage abroad. Williams' natural bass-baritone voice carries swift and smooth in this showcase treasury, the next best thing to witnessing one of his performances in person. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Good Ole Boys Like Me", "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend", "Lay Down Beside Me", "Younger Days", "She Never Knew Me", "Elise", "How Did You Do It", "From Now On", "If Hollywood Don't Need You", "Till The Rivers All Run Dry", "It Must Be Love", "I Believe In You", "Imagine That", "Tulsa Time", "Amanda", "You're My Best Friend", "Lord I Hope This Day Is Good", "I Recall A Gypsy Woman", and "Louisiana Saturday Night".

The Whole World in Her Hands
Monika Herzig
Whaling City Sound
1310 Tucker Road, No. Dartmouth, MA 02747
c/o Naxos of America, Inc. (dist.)
1810 Columbia Avenue, Suite 28, Franklin, TN 37064

Jazz artist, pianist, composer, and educator Monika Herzig presents The Whole World in Her Hands, a jazz album enriched with the performances of expert musicians from around the globe - guitarist Leni Stern (Germany/NYC), percussionist Mayra Casales (Cuba),trombonist Reut Regev (Israel), flutist/saxophonist Jane Bunnett (Canada), drummer Arianna Fanning (Indian-American), and more. Both original compositions and expressive rearrangements of classic hits are present in this extraordinary album, enhanced with bonus video content. The tracks are "Plenty of Nothing" (5:06), "Mosquitoes" (4:14), "The Cat That Stole The Moon" (3:04), "In a Nutshell" (5:26), "Song for Argentina" (5:49), "istop" (5:30), "Royals" (5:22), "Oh Muddy Waters" (4:59), "2-Way Mirror" (4:32), "A Total Non-Impossibility" (5:40), "Peaceful Piece" (3:48), and "The Whole World In Her Hands" (5:09). Also highly recommended for jazz connoisseurs is the album "Swing That Music!" ($14.99, in which vocalist/soprano sax player Danny Bacher and associates pay tribute to the legendary jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan, with vibrant performances of some of their most widely beloved songs.

A New Dream
Lynn Tredeau
Privately Published
$12.95 CD / $9.99 download

A New Dream is the third original solo piano album by award-nominated music artist Lynn Tredeau. Gentle yet complex, the winding soundscape takes the listener's mind on a magical tour in this quietly beautiful and reflective listening experience. Highly recommended, especially for piano music connoisseurs. The tracks are "Awaken" (4:13), "Deepest Part of the Lake" (4:24), "Living in a Dream" (3:06), "Courageous" (3:53), "Lunch with Vincent" (3:18), "Pixie Dance" (3:33), "Winter Thaw" (3:52), "Seasons Change" (4:03), "Land of Enchantas" (3:01), "A Quiet Memory" (3:26), "Ocean of Tears" (3:34), "Innocence" (3:10), and "Shadow of Your Absence" (4:01).

The Movement
$10.00 CD

Golden is an album from reggae band The Movement, inspired by the majesty of mathematics, including concepts such as the Golden Ratio, the Golden Mean, the Golden Spiral, and the Fibonacci code, which have been observed to appear in nature or even in human DNA. Elements of nature are reflected in this mesmerizing album, the debut release through not-for-profit label Rootfire ( A "must" for connoisseurs of mind-expanding reggae! The tracks are "Blinded", "Dancehall", "Golden", "Fair Warning", "Smoke", "Rescue", "On Top", "Home", "Through the Heart", "Retriever", "Habit 2016", and "Wild Time".

Follow the River Home
Jeff Pearce
Privately Published

Follow the River Home is the most recent instrumental album from award-winning composer and electric guitarist Jeff Pearce. Ranging in tone from inviting and melodic, to gently meditative, to dynamic and motivational, Follow the River Home is a soundscape that envelopes the listener and hearkens to memories of journeys past, as well as anticipation of future travels. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Under Summer Stars", "Downstream I" (3:49), "Outpost" (6:13), "Snowfall" (4:46), "Downstream II" (9:07), "Gathering Stars" (20:09), and "Following the River Home" (4:44).

Rough Romanian Soul
Produced by Ian Brennan
Six Degrees Records
PO Box 411347, San Francisco, CA 94141-1347
$9.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

Romanian immigrant band Zmei3 (pronounced "zmay-tray") present Rough Romanian Soul, a profound and powerful music album that evokes the difficulty of trying to earn a living amid post-Communist rule. With roots in traditional Romanian music as well as blues, soul, and jazz, Rough Romanian Soul overflows with heartfelt passion, speaking openly of immigration, oppression, loneliness, and resilience, as well as showcasing the majesty of the Romanian language. Intense and unforgettable, Rough Romanian soul is a welcome addition to world music collections. The tracks are "Stay Near Me", "Hymn", "2nd of of May", "Story From My Country", "Shhh!!!... All The Forbidden Speech", "Mary, Mary", "To Have You", "Since I've Been Loving You", "Ay!", "One Day", "I Want A Man", "Beauty Sleep", "I Will Find", "Dream", and "She's Gone Wild.

Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney, and Will Clipman
HeartDance Records
$14.99 CD / $9.99 download,

Trialogue is an ambient album of instrumental music featuring Sherry Finzer on concert C, alto and bass flutes; luthier and guitarist Darin Mahoney playing the koa and cedar acoustic guitars; and seven-time Grammy nominee Will Clipman on drums and percussion. Transcending the genres of new age, American roots, and worldbeat, Trialogue promotes clarity and energy with its uplifting original songs. The tracks are "Cote d'Ivoirre" (4:33), "Mending Fences" (4:22), "Midnight in Marrakech" (4:23), "Confused" (6:16), "Dark Horse" (4:00), "Top Down" (3:07), "Alger St." (5:11), "Woodland Lake" (3:48), "Thanks for Asking" (3:29) and "Wolf Havven" (5:15). 44 min 46 sec. Also highly recommended for instrumental album connoisseurs is Michelle Qureshi's "Scattering Stars" ($12.97 download), a breathtakingly beautiful new age CD inspired by Sufi mysticism and the writings of Rumi and Hafiz.

I Remember
Cynthia Hart
Cynthia Hart Songs
$17.99 CD / $TBA download

Available as a CD or digital download, I Remember: The Magic of Atlantis, Lemuria & Mother Earth is a new age album by singer and songwriter Cynthia Hart. The physical CD includes a lyric booklet to these lilting, beautiful compositions. I Remember is an emotionally moving celebration of life, hope, and wonder. The tracks are "Music of the Earth" (5:28), "Lemurian Dreamer" (6:23), "I Forgive" (6:23), "Love Is Forever" (4:07), "Sisters of the Moon" (8:49), "I Am" (5:25), "Listen With Your Heart" (4:36), "Atlantis" (6:17), "I Celebrate Your Life" (7:00), "You Are Loved Come Home" (7:44). 62 min 12 sec. Also highly recommended for new age connoisseurs is is Geoff Hall's orchestral-ambient debut album "Understanding the Signs" ($12.80 CD / $7.92 MP3), an instrumental exploration incorporating synthesized sounds, delicately arranged string music, neo-classical and electronic elements, and much more.

Michael Winograd and Zeb Bangash
Privately Published

Sandaraa is an extraordinary fusion album by Brooklyn clarinetist Michael Winograd and Pakistani singer/composer Zeb Bangash. Drawing upon elements of klezmer, as well as Baluchi, Pashto, and Dari music, khayal classical singing, and more, Sandaraa is a unique and unforgettable meeting of cultures, traditions, and exploration. A "must" for international music connoisseurs in search of reinvention. The tracks are "Jegi Jegi Lailajan" (5:50), "Mana Nele" (7:20), "Bibi Sanem Janem" (5:40), "Dilbarake Nazinin" (7:10), and "Haatera Taiyga" (5:06).

Alligator Spacewalk
Will Magid
Happy Rabbit Music
$TBA CD / $11.31 MP3

Ethnomusicologist Will Magid presents Alligator Spacewalk, an original album crafted over the course of three years. Joyous horns, pulsating percussion, classical strings, and a smattering of electronica meld into this pulsing fusion dance. Alligator Spacewalk reaches far beyond traditional boundaries, reflecting humankind's quest to explore the mysteries of outer space. The tracks are "Prelude to Mars" (1:24), "The Crown" (4:03), "Icarian Heights" (4:44), "Sweet Something" (3:45), "The Walk" (5:01), "Paris Dreams" (3:41), "A Frog's Fantasy" (4:23), "Bilongo" (4:21), and "Set Me Free" (3:49).

Pineapples and Ashtrays
Bryan Beninghove and Hangman
$12.99 CD / $9.99 download

Pineapples and Ashtrays is the music CD creation of Jersey jazz artist Bryan Beninghove and his freewheeling group Hangmen. Reaching beyond avant-garde, Pineapples and Ashtrays defies genre classification with adventurous elements of samba rock, bold horn highlights, and intense guitar interplay. Boundless enthusiasm infuses this no-holds-barred blast of an album. The tracks are "Astronete", "Pineapples & Ashtrays", "Lola Gotta Gun", "La Girafe", "Roebuck", "Elephant Stampede", "Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon", and "Terminator". Also highly recommended is "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" ($TBA), an album that lives up to its title with Duffey's nostalgic celebration of funk, soul, and electric blues.

The Library DVD Shelf

Simplified Tai Chi for Beginners: 48 Form
Helen Liang
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392894 $29.95

8th degree kung fu black belt master and professional martial arts instructor Helen Liang presents Simplified Tai Chi for Beginners: 48 Form, an instructional DVD designed to teach viewers of all skill and experience levels a simplified 48-posture tai chi form. This practice takes only ten minutes to perform once learned, yet promotes health, exercise, and mental clarity. Simplified Tai Chi for Beginners: 48 Form is divided into brief, viewer-friendly segments with step-by-step instructions; each form is shown from multiple camera angles. A superb self-study or teaching tool, Simplified Tai Chi for Beginners is highly recommended for anyone interested in learning this accessible, low-impact, whole-body exercise, which can be fully performed in 10 minutes once mastered. 180 min.

The Life of Verdi
Narrated by Burt Lancaster
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Academy Award winner Burt Lancaster narrates The Life of Verdi, a 1982 Italian-language biographical television miniseries, now available on DVD with SDH subtitles. Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was an extraordinarily talented Italian composer; his private life was as tumultuous as his music was popular. Dramatizing Giuseppe's trials, heartbreak, scandals, and more, The Life of Verdi is a fascinating revelation of the man behind the music. It should be noted that The Life of Verdi contains some scenes of violence. Highly recommended, especially for public library DVD collections. 7 episodes on 4 DVDs, SDH subtitles.

Detectorists Series 2
Starring Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones, & Rachael Stirling
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Detectorists Series 2 continues the BAFTA Award-winning British comedy series on DVD, following two marginalized misfits and their metal-detection search for lost Saxon treasures. Even though Andy has finished his degree in archaeology, can he find away to provide for his wife and infant son, let alone confront the withering ferocity of his hostile mother-in-law? Meanwhile Lance is looking for love in all the wrong places, or perhaps just one right place, when the last person he expected appears in his life. When a young German man hires the Danebury Metal Detecting Club to search for a World War II plane wreck, could it be Andy's and Lance's big break, or an even bigger disaster? Quriky characters and stellar performances bring this witty comedy to life! Bonus features include the Christmas Special episode (31 min.), a behind-the-scenes featurette (333 min.) and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs, 178 min. plus bonus, widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Tone & Tighten: A Total Body Workout
Michelle Abbruzzese
Work It! Dance and Fitness

Michelle Abbruzzese, a dance and fitness professional of four decades' experience, presents "Tone & Tighten: A Total Body Workout" (60 min.), a whole-body workout program on DVD. Recommended equipment is nothing more than two free weights (soup cans work!), a strap or towel for stretching, and an optional resistance band. Featuring exercises that work each of the body's muscle groups, Tone & Tighten lives up to its title with simple strength training that will challenge the viewer ultimately help them look and feel their best! Also highly recommended is Abbruzzese's high-energy exercise DVD "Dance Yourself Fit: A Burlesque Inspired Aerobic Exercise Video" (60 min.), which proves that staying fit can be both sexy and fun.

BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt
Suzanne Bowen
Bowen Productions, LLC

BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt is a fitness DVD of barre workouts (involving a simple, sturdy barre or railing, such as used by ballerinas in training) designed to tone and strengthen one's body. Simple hand weights and a mat are also recommended for these routines. Host Suzanne Bowen applies her 15 years of experience to a methodology that incorporates classic technique and a neutral spine position. BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt is an excellent fitness resource, divided into segments that can be mixed and matched to suit the viewer's needs. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Intro" (2 min.), "Total Body Sculpt" (28 min.), "Thigh & Seat" (17 min.), "Abs Blast" (13 min.), "Sleek & Toned Shoulders" (11 min.), and "Relaxation Stretch" (12 min.). The total runtime of BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt is 1 hour 24 min.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Life After Encephalitis
Ava Easton
711 - 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
9781138847200, $170.00, HC, 220pp,

Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion, drowsiness, and fatigue. Further symptoms include seizures or convulsions, tremors, hallucinations, stroke, and memory problems. In 2013, encephalitis was estimated to have resulted in 77,000 deaths, down from 92,000 in 1990. Encephalitis continues to affect tens of thousands of people every year. Ava Easton is a health scientist and researcher specializing in encephalitis, acquired brain injury, and neuro-narratives. She has worked at The Encephalitis Society since 2000, and became Chief Executive in 2011. Ava is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool and lectures around the world on encephalitis and its consequences. In "Life After Encephalitis: A Narrative Approach" Easton provides a unique insight into the experiences of those affected by encephalitis, sharing the rich, perceptive, and often powerful, narratives of survivors and family members. "Life After Encephalitis" shows how listening to patient and family narratives can help us to understand how they make sense of what has happened to them, and also help professionals better understand and engage with them in practice. "Life After Encephalitis" will also be useful for considering narratives associated with brain injuries from other causes, for example traumatic brain injury. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Life After Encephalitis" is very highly recommended for medical school and academic library Brain Injury reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. For the personal reading lists of professionals working in rehabilitation settings, survivors of encephalitis, their families, and care givers, it should be noted that "Life After Encephalitis" is also available in a paperback edition (9781138847217, $35.95) and in a Kindle format ($32.92).

Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise
Karl Knopf
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612435558, $15.95, PB, 144pp,

As people (especially women) get older, osteoporosis becomes a big concern. There are things can be done to keep it from adversely affecting daily life. Featuring more than 100 step-by-step exercises divided into detailed fitness plans, "Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise: A Low-Impact Program for Building Strength, Increasing Bone Density and Improving Posture" by Dr. Karl Knopf (coordinator for the fitness therapist program at Foothill College of California) guarantees that, regardless of current fitness level, anyone can radically improve all aspects of your health, including: Preventing bone loss; Increasing mobility; Avoiding fractures; Building strength; Lowering risk of injury; Improving balance; Fixing posture. As these exercises become a regular habit, there will be an improved and sustainable quality of life while engaging in favorite physical activities, such as golf, hiking, fishing, tennis or even salsa dancing. "Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise" provides a safe, age-appropriate, customizable approach to exercise that offers stability to bones and bone structure while lowering risk of injury. Profusely illustrated with step-by-step instructions, "Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise" is very highly recommended for community, health clinic, and academic library Health/Medicine instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Beat Osteoporosis with Exercise " is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.54).

Biomedical Device Technology: Principles and Design, second edition
Anthony Y. K. Chan
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
9780398090838, $85.00, HC, 758pp,

Now in a thoroughly updated second edition, "Biomedical Device Technology: Principles and Design" provides a comprehensive approach to studying the principles and design of biomedical devices as well as their applications in medicine. It is written specifically for engineers and technologists who are interested in understanding the principles, design and applications of medical device technology. "Biomedical Device Technology: Principles and Design" is also intended to be used as a textbook or reference for biomedical device technology courses in universities and colleges. It focuses on the functions and principles of medical devices (which are the invariant components) and uses specific designs and constructions to illustrate the concepts where appropriate. "Biomedical Device Technology: Principles and Design" selectively covers diagnostic and therapeutic devices that are either commonly used or that their principles and design represent typical applications of the technology. In this second edition, almost every chapter has been revised -- some with minor updates and some with significant changes and additions. A collection of relevant published papers and book references is added at the end of each chapter. Based on feedback, a section on 'Common Problems and Hazards' has been included for each medical device. In addition, more information is provided on the indications of use and clinical applications. Two new areas of medical device technology have been added in the two new chapters on 'Cardiopulmonary Bypass Units' and 'Audiology Equipment'. "Biomedical Device Technology: Principles and Design" is strongly recommended for medical school curriculums and academic library Medical Technology instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

How I Achieved Freedom From Arthritis
Eugene Sims
Privately Published
9780473262419 $24.95

Physiotherapist, naturopath, and author Eugene Sims was diagnosed with osteoarthritis at the age of 17. A healthy and active teenager, he faced severe pain and daunting lifestyle changes as the disease took its toll upon his knees. Sims trained as a physiotherapist for seven years, enduring the ravages of osteoarthritis in spite of physiotherapy and surgery. Eventually he determined ways to eliminate his pain and joint restriction without knee replacement. How I Achieved Freedom From Arthritis is Sims' guide of tips and strategies to help others suffering from this condition. Sims emphasizes that the standard treatment of osteoarthritis often ignores muscles, presents alternatives that readers of all backgrounds can try for themselves instead of taking potentially dangerous painkillers or undergoing joint replacement surgery. How I Achieved Freedom From Arthritis absolutely cannot substitute for the diagnosis or guidance of a trained doctor, yet will prove invaluable for anyone weighing their treatment options.

Yoga for Healthy Feet
Donald Moyer
Rodmell Press
2147 Blake Street, Berkeley, Ca 94704-2715
c/o Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781930485372, $14.95, PB, 128pp,

In "Yoga for Healthy Feet: Practice from the Ground Up", Donald Moyer draws upon his more than forty years of experience and expertise teaching yoga to share his insights with respect to using yoga to work with the feet and ankles. "Yoga for Healthy Feet" includes anatomy and architecture of the feet, as understood from a yogic perspective, principles for aligning and balancing the feet, as well as suggestions for addressing common problems, such as foot cramps, sprained ankles, hammer toes, bunions, and plantar fasciitis. "Yoga for Healthy Feet" also includes descriptions of 25 poses that most concern the feet, with an emphasis on standing poses and sitting poses, the use of props such as blocks, straps, and wedges to support the feet and alleviate discomfort, and practice sequences for developing awareness, straightening toes, strengthening arches, improving balance, and supporting ankles. While very highly recommended for professional, community, and academic library Health/Medicine collections in general, and Yoga instructional references in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of yoga enthusiasts and practitioners that "Yoga for Healthy Feet" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Needlecraft Shelf

Soft & Cozy Keepsakes: Faux Rag Quilting
Margo Yang
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604604146, $22.95,

Soft & Cozy Keepsakes: Faux Rag Quilting discusses rag quilting methods and shows how to create a cozy keepsake using a new technique to make a brighter, faster rag quilt than traditional methods can offer. This technique involves adding a pattern on top of a print, embellishing them with Faux Rag strips and creating different shapes and patterns from a range of fabrics. The results look like a combination of primitive art and simple beginner's piece work but result in a rag quilt approach accessible to a much wider audience and especially to beginners who would like to produce results from a novice's attempts.

I Love Log Cabins
Compiled by Karen M. Burns
Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604686685, $22.99,

I Love Log Cabins gathers sixteen designs in the Log Cabin motif for a range of quilting projects, from lap to full bed quilts, and shows how to apply fat quarters, precut strips, and scraps to the log cabin motifs. This collection features no single designer but holds the projects of a range of quilters for maximum variety, while the step-by-step color photos and instructions leave nothing to guess at. Any who have worked with the log cabin motif but who want fresh, new applications and ideas will relish this collection.

The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary
Wendy Bernard
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc.
c/o Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
115 West 18th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011
9781617691959, $29.95, HC, 290pp,

Wendy Bernard's groundbreaking reference title "Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary" (9781617690990, $29.95 HC, $16.17 Kindle) was the first of its kind to provide stitch patterns written for top-down, bottom-up, back-and-forth, and in-the-round constructions. Now she is back with "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary", which picks up where the first volume left off, adding hundreds of new stitch patterns organized similarly by type (knit and purl, textured stitches, ribs, lace, and cables) plus a complete chapter on mosaic knitting. Each individual chapter comprising "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary" includes a customizable pattern so that knitters can easily swap out stitch patterns to make their own unique knitted items. A spiral bound hardcover instruction manual and guide that can lay flat upon the table and features 150 new stitch patterns, "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary" is profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in composition, organization, and presentation, making it ideal and highly recommended for the novice and experienced knitter alike. It should also be noted that "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Needle Felting From Basics to Bears
Liza Adams
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811716628, $22.95, PB, 128pp,

Drawing upon her years of experience and expertise, Liza Adams takes a project-based approach to teaching the skills you will need to begin your journey in the art of sculpting with wool in the pages of "Needle Felting From Basics to Bears: With Step-by-Step Photos and Instructions for Creating Cute Little Bears and Bunnies from Natural Wools". Now even the most novice needlecrafter can make the cutest little creatures from wool! Needle felting is all the rage, and Liza Adams takes a step-by-step, full illustrated approach to showing how to create tiny bears, rabbits, dogs, cats, fairies, dolls, cupcakes, and more. Beyond basic instructions and step-by-step photos showing what's needed and how to begin, there are advanced options for once the novice needlecraft has mastered the basics. These advanced instruction include making joints so that the arms and legs can really move, as well as making unique details such as pointed ears, long tails, and different noses and muzzles. "Needle Felting From Basics to Bears" is an ideal and very highly recommended addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional collections.

Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies
Judith Durant & Edie Eckman, editors
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612125763, $18.95, PB, 288pp,

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by knitting experts Judith Durant and Edie Eckman, "Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies" is comprised of 101 thoroughly 'user friendly' and illustrated projects that makes it easy and fun to crochet adorable clothes, toys, and accessories for the babies and toddlers you love. Each project uses just one skein of yarn, many take just a few hours to complete, and plenty are suitable for beginners. Hats and caps, bootees and socks, mitts, dresses, tops and bottoms, blankets, bibs, soft toys, bottle cozies, diaper bags, and more -- there's something here for every baby! These original patterns were contributed by 54 designers around the world, and each one comes with complete instructions, charts, schematics, and beautiful photographs. "Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists of knitting enthusiasts that "Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies" is also available in a Kindle edition (9.99).

String Quilt Style
Mary M. Hogan
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726821, $24.95, PB, 128pp,

With the instructional guidance provided by "String Quilt Style", even the most novice of quilters will be able to dig out material scraps, stash and precuts to make more than a dozen string quilt projects designed by quilting expert Mary M. Hogan. "String Quilt Style" shows how to make a variety of string quilt block designs including diagonal squares, diamonds, circles, triangles, columns and fans. "String Quilt Style" is complete guide takes aspiring quilters through every step of the string quilting process with helpful tips and suggestions throughout each chapter. Simply stated, "String Quilt Style" will prove to be an enduringly popular and practical addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Customize Your Knitting
Margaret Hubert
Creative Publishing International
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781589238862, $22.99, PB, 112pp,

Designers have to create knitting patterns in standard sizes, but very few people actually match up to those "average" measurements. Body shapes vary, weight fluctuates, and good fit means different things to different people; so what is a knitter to do? In "Customize Your Knitting: Adjust to Fit; Embellish to Taste", knitting expert Margaret Hubert draws upon her years of experience and expertise to teach novice knitters how to adjust standard patterns to fit unique measurements. Through techniques that Margaret has used for years to teach classes on custom fitting, anyone can learn to adjust patterns for a perfect fit for themselves or someone else. Diagrams and illustrations throughout "Customize Your Knitting" will help to understand body shapes and easily compare measurements. Garment construction, specific increases, decreases, and other shaping methods, as well as finishing techniques and embellishments are all explained and photographed clearly. Yarn shop instructors can use "Customize Your Knitting" as a textbook to teach classes for their students and customers. While very highly recommended for community library Needlecraft instructional manual collections, it should be noted for needlecraft instructors and individual knitters that "Customize Your Knitting" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.16).

The Self-Help Shelf

Chris Alexandria
Earthdancer Books
c/o Findhorn Press
Delft Cottage, Dykle Forres Iv36 2TF, Scotland, UK
9781844096930, $9.95, PB, 96pp,

Have you ever heard that little skeptical voice in your head when you are trying to think positive? It is in everyone's head and is called the mind or the ego. Chris Alexandria has discovered a technique for "tricking" the mind and explains with great humor how she learned to do this, what she discovered, and how it can work for anyone. In the pages of "Askfirmations: Make affirmations more effective by using powerful questions" she shares her many years of experience in attracting positive things with ease and the simple but effective practical exercises that have worked for her. Nicely illustrated with color photographs, and also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99), this pocket-size compendium of commentary is a very highly recommended and life-affirming read from beginning to end.

Create vs. Copy
Ken Wytsma
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
9780802413499, $14.99, HC, 192pp,

"Create vs. Copy: Embrace Change. Ignite Creativity. Break Through with Imagination" by Ken Wytsma is a short, punchy book that explores various aspects of creativity and imagination and will lead the reader toward a healthy, confident, more innovative life mind set. "Create vs. Copy" celebrates the good news of our God-given capacity to create and helps us to harness it and thereby take charge of our lives, navigate these changing times, and ultimately, flourish and succeed. Because Wytsma has traveled to dozens of countries, founded the leading international conference on justice and theology, and collaborated with scores of non-profit organizations, he is uniquely fit to help us be culture-shapers in a world of global change. In "Create vs. Copy" Wytsma blends theology, history, and cultural observation to show us what being God's creative image-bearers might look like today. Whether the reader is a parent, CEO, pastor, or politician, "Create vs. Copy" provides a fresh look at contemporary leadership will challenge the way he or she will view their position of influence, and it will equip them to adapt and thrive in our perplexing yet exciting cultural climate. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Create vs. Copy" is a compelling and informative read, "Create vs. Copy" is very highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Create vs. Copy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.59).

Clearing Emotional Clutter
Donald Altman
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608683642, $15.95, PB, 256pp,

Donald Altman is a licensed psychotherapist and a former Buddhist monk. In "Clearing Emotional Clutter: Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of What's Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation" Alman reveals to his readers how they can create a fresh start to a healthy emotional life and remove all the emotional clutter blocking success in their personal and professional lives. "Clearing Emotional Clutter" teaches how to modify entrenched habits and patterns with only a few minutes of attention daily. This deftly written instructional guide also shows how to avoid the daily danger of accumulating new emotional clutter. No matter how fraught life or relationships may be, readers can cleanse, heal, or accept the old wounds, mistakes, and disappointments with Altman's lifestyle tools. "Clearing Emotional Clutter" explains how to address our past, how to better deal with the present, and how to cultivate the best possible future. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content, organization and presentation, "Clearing Emotional Clutter" is very highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Clearing Emotional Clutter" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Killing the Perfectionist Within
Honor Jane Newman
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781452529523, $11.99, PB, 130pp,

In the pages of "Killing the Perfectionist Within: A Self-Help Guide for Women Suffering from Perfectionism, Anxiety, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" by Honor Jane Newman (a qualified psychologist who has a special interest in working with women, especially those with perfectionism and chronic fatigue syndrome) women of all ages will learn how they can release unrealistically high expectations for themselves, reduce their anxiety levels, and come to completely accept themselves as they are. "Killing the Perfectionist Within" teaches the beauty of being average through the author's fun and accessible writing style. While enhanced with practical workbook exercises, "Killing the Perfectionist Within" is very highly recommended. It should be noted that "Killing the Perfectionist Within" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Your Second to Last Chapter
Paul Wilkes
In Extenso Pres
c/o ACTA Publications
4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
9780879465667, $19.95, HC, 122pp,

With millions of Americans entering their so-called "retirement years", and with so many of them having few material needs but a hunger in their souls to make this "second to last chapter" count, American writer, speaker, and filmmaker Paul Wilkes offers the practical counsel of one who has already been there in "Your Second to Last Chapter: Creating a Meaningful Life on Your Own Terms". As Wilkes writes: "The last thing we want to do in our remaining productive years is count the daisies and days. We want to matter, to accomplish something that matters. Something is stirring within us and demands a response." "Your Second to Last Chapter" is a time when seniors are at the peak of their powers, wise in years, brimming with experience, and ready to take on fresh new challenges. "Your Second to Last Chapter" shows just how to match passion and abilities with human needs in new ways that will use draw upon personal talents to fullest and provide the deepest personal satisfaction possible. While very highly recommended for Senior Citizen Center, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Your Second to Last Chapter" is also available in a paperback edition (9780879465650, $14.95).

The Art Shelf

The House of the Singing Winds
Selma N. Steele, Theodore L. Steele, Wilbur D. Peat
Indiana Historical Society Press
450 W Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
9780871953988, $39.95, HC, 208pp,

First published in 1966, this newly revised 2016 edition of "The House of the Singing Winds: The Life and Work of T.C. Steele" is an informed and informative account of the life and work of T. C. Steele, one of Indiana's most renowned artists. For this reissue of "The House of the Singing Winds", sixty-two of the volume's seventy-six illustrations, including all ten color plates, have been newly photographed and reproduced according to the highest modern standards. The text includes a brief biography by the painter's grandson, Theodore L. Steele; a poetic memoir of Steele's last Brown County years by Selma N. Steele; an appreciation of Steele's work by art historian Wilbur D. Peat; and (new to the 2016 edition) an essay on Selma Steele, written by Rachel Berenson Perry. "The House of the Singing Winds" is commended to the attention of American art history students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. "The House of the Singing Winds" is enthusiastically recommended for both community and academic library American Art & Artists reference collections in general, and T. C. Steele supplementary studies lists in particular.

Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonne II
Peter H. Hassrick, editor
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806152080, $75.00, HC, 328pp,

Peter H. Hassrick is Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Frederic Sackrider Remington (October 4, 1861 - December 26, 1909) was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U. S. Cavalry. Compiled and edited by Professor Hassrick, and based on decades of scholarship and research, "Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonne II" (published in cooperation with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming), is an essential resource for scholars, collectors, museum curators, historians of the American West, and anyone seeking definitive information on the life and art of Frederic Remington. Profusely illustrated with 150 figures and 100 color plates, each of which is accompanied by informed and informative commentary in the form of insightful essays by notable art historians, "Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonne II" is an impressive compendium of scholarship. Of special note is the chapter considering Remington's enduring bond with the horse and its representation in his paintings, and follows an examination of Remington's ties to Theodore Roosevelt that reveals how the two men helped move the American conscience toward wildlife preservation. Because Remington is perhaps the most frequently faked American artist, this impressive study also includes an assessment of the authentication process for evaluating Remington's works. "Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonne II" is especially recommended the personal reading lists of Frederic Remington enthusiasts, as well as community and academic library American Art History collections in general, and Frederick Remington supplemental studies in particular.

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe
Susan Brown, author
Mateo Kries & Jochen Eisenbrand, editors
Vitra Design Museum
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9783945852057, $85.00, HC, 512pp,

The late Alexander Girard (1907-1993) was a pre-eminent mid-20th century designer whose work spanned many disciplines, including textile design, graphic design, typography, illustration, furniture design, interior design, product design, exhibit design, and architecture. "Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe " is a richly illustrated catalogue that draws on the vast holdings in Girard's private estate, which were exhaustively investigated for the first time at the Vitra Design Museum. "Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe" presents the oeuvre of the multi-talented designer in all its facets, while offering the first scholarly, critical examination of his work. Six essays address Girard's textile and graphic design for the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, interior design projects such as the Irwin Miller House in Columbus, Indiana (1953), and the restaurant La Fonda del Sol in New York (1960), his activities as a pioneering exhibition organizer and curator, his roots in Italy and his passion for folk art, which resulted in a collection of more than 100,000 objects and served as one of the most important sources of inspiration for his own work. In addition to extensive portfolios with never-before-shown archive materials, the publication also provides a biography and a complete list of works, plus articles by Susan Brown, Jochen Eisenbrand, Barbara Hauss, Alexandra Lange, Monica Obniski and Jonathan Olivares. Girard's collection can be found in the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. "Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe" will prove to be an invaluable and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, community, and academic library 20th Century American Art History reference collections in general, and Alexander Girard supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide
J. C. Amberlyn
Monacelli Studio
c/o The Monacelli Press
236 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
9781580934534, $22.99, PB, 176pp,

In "How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide", artist, book author, photographer, and animator J.C. Amberlyn draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide a complete, fun and lively how-to-draw book aimed at beginners wanting to create their own manga characters. Every genre of manga has its typical characters ranging from the plucky hero and heroine; to school boys and girls; funny friend/sidekick; serious warrior; young innocent; bishounen; genki girls; chibis; chibi animals; cat girls/cat boys; magical girls; adorable animals; strong/scary animals; gothic characters; fantasy characters. Each of those classic manga characters are presented in "How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide", along with the step-by-step drawing instructions needed to give even the most novice of aspiring manga artists the direction they need to create the favorite characters. Of special note is the final chapter on backgrounds, scenery, and the environment will further give manga artists the information they need to pull everything together and create their own manga characters and the worlds they live in. Very highly recommended for personal, community, and art school library instructional reference collections, "How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide" includes 23 step-by-step demonstrations and exercises and provides everything necessaryto create manga characters taken from Japanese comics or designed independently.

The Parenting Shelf

Becoming Brilliant
Roberta Michnick Golinkoff & Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433822391, $19.95, PB, 344pp,

In just a few years, today's children and teens will forge careers that look nothing like those that were available to their parents or grandparents. While the U.S. economy becomes ever more information-driven, our system of education seems stuck on the idea that "content is king," neglecting other skills that 21st century citizens sorely need. "Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells us About Raising Successful Children" by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff (Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education and Professor of Psychology and Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive science at the University of Delaware) and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution) offers solutions that parents can implement right now. Backed by the latest scientific evidence and illustrated with examples of what's being done right in schools today, "Becoming Brilliant" introduces the "6Cs" of collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence, along with ways parents can nurture their children's development in each area. Expertly written, organized and presented, "Becoming Brilliant" is especially 'reader friendly' and highly recommended for personal, community and academic library Parenting Skills collections.

When Your Child Is Gay
Wesley C. Davidson & Jonathan L. Tobkes MD
Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
9781454919360, $14.95, PB, 240pp,

Coming out can be fraught with difficulty for both parents and child, but Wesley C. Davidson, a popular blogger on gay rights issues, and Dr. Jonathan Tobkes, a New York City-based psychiatrist, have collaborated provide a road map so families can better navigate this rocky emotional terrain with the publication of "When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need to Know". Emphasizing communication and unconditional love, "When Your Child Is Gay" will help parents untangle their own feelings, identify and overcome barriers to acceptance, encourage strong self-esteem in their child, handle negative or hostile reactions to their child's sexual identity, and more. Filled with case studies and interviews, along with useful action plans and conversation starters, "When Your Child Is Gay" is a positive, progressive guide to raising healthy, well-adjusted adults. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "When Your Child Is Gay" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, community library Parenting Education collections, and academic library LGBT supplemental studies curriculums.

The Activity Shelf

Zen Drawing Workbook
Suzanne McNeill, CZT
Design Originals
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781497201255, $19.99, PB, 104pp,

Anyone can now experience the Zen of creativity with today's most popular therapeutic art techniques with Suzanne McNeill's "Zen Drawing Workbook" for adults. Inside are thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step instructions for Zentangle, Mandalas, Doodly Grids, Coloring, FloraBunda, and much more. Whether you have only a few minutes to spare or want to relax for hours, the "Zen Drawing Workbook" is a big book will have you coloring and drawing your way to peace, calm, and mindfulness through art. Clear how-to explanations and gorgeous color illustrations make it easy to find your Zen with colored pencils, markers, pens, crayons, or watercolor pencils. Sample projects will guide and inspire you, with plenty of space right inside the book to experiment with color, pattern, and form. These simple art techniques will help you to relax, feel more positive, and enjoy the moment. "Zen Drawing Workbook" is enthusiastically recommended for hours and hours of contemplative fun!

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Trisomy XXI
G. A. Minton
World Castle Publishing
PO Box 10652, Pensacola, FL 32524
9781629894447, $13.99, PB, 318pp,

Sixteen-year-old Joshua Allen was born with an extra chromosome-a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. A serious accident leaves the mentally-challenged adolescent in a coma at the hospital, where he receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers. The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths in town that have both the sheriff and the coroner baffled. A ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for the teenager -- viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission. The salvation of an entire race of aliens is in the balance, as Joshua and his friends are thrown into a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly indestructible extraterrestrial being. Original, deftly crafted, consistently compelling, "Trisomy XXI" is a skillful blend of humor, horror, science fiction, and mystery. With its intertwining of unforeseen plot twists and turns, "Trisomy XXI" is a riveting read from beginning to end and very highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections. For the personal reading lists of science fiction enthusiasts, it should be noted that "Trisomy XXI" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Automotive Shelf

BMW 3-Series (E36) 1992-1999
Jeffrey Zurschmeide & Eddie Nakato
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613252178, $26.95, PB, 144pp,

Jeffrey Zurschmeide is a freelance automotive journalist and the author of four other titles from CarTech Books. Eddie Nakato, a mechanic and car builder specializing in German and import cars, owns and runs AR Auto Service in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Together they have collaborated to produce BMW 3-Series (E36) : How to Build and Modify 1992-1999". The BMW 3 Series set the benchmark for performance and luxury. Yet even at this high standard, these cars can be dramatically improved. Each major component group of the car can be modified or upgraded for more performance, so you can build a better car that's balanced and refined. This compendium of profusely illustrated, step-by-step instructions will enable even the most novice mechanic to be successful in building and modify this elegant luxury cars. "BMW 3-Series (E36) : How to Build and Modify 1992-1999" is very highly recommended and an inherently fascinating browse for all dedicated car buffs in general, and fans of the BMW 3-Series in particular.

The Cars Of Harley Earl
David W. Temple
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613252345, $39.95, HC, 192pp,

Harley J. Earl (November 22, 1893 - April 10, 1969) was the initial designated head of Design at General Motors, later becoming Vice President, the first top executive ever appointed in Design of a major corporation in American history. He was an industrial designer and a pioneer of modern transportation design. A coachbuilder by trade, Earl pioneered the use of freeform sketching and hand sculpted clay models as automotive design techniques. He subsequently introduced the "concept car" as both a tool for the design process and a clever marketing device. Earl's Buick Y-Job was the first concept car. He started "Project Opel", which eventually became the Chevrolet Corvette, and he authorized the introduction of the tailfin to automotive styling. During World War II, he was an active contributor to the Allies' research and development program in advancing the effectiveness of camouflage. Veteran automotive historian David W. Temple has researched and unearthed the complete story of Harley Earl's cars, his notable design achievements, and many accolades. The result is "The Cars Of Harley Earl", a profusely illustrated compendium that is an outstanding historical survey of the man and his automotive contributions in general, and his enduring legacy to General Motors in particular. An extraordinary contribution, "The Cars Of Harley Earl" is very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library American Automotive History reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The LGBT Studies Shelf

A Two-Spirit Journey
Ma-Nee Chacaby
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887558122, $27.95, PB, 264pp,

Ma-Nee Chacaby is a Two-Spirit, Ojibwa/Cree Elder. She was raised by her Cree grandmother in a remote Ojibwa community near Lake Nipigon, Ontario. "A Two-Spirit Journey" is Ma-Nee Chacaby's extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby's story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism. As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and by her teen years she was alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in her adopted city, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people. Written with the assistance of Mary Louisa Plummer (a social scientist and a long-time friend of Ma-Nee) "A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder" is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life and very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Biography, LGBT, and Native American Studies collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "A Two-Spirit Journey" is also available in a Kindle edition ($25.00).

The Photography Shelf

The New West
Robert Adams
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9783869309002, $40.00, HC, 136pp,

Robert Adams (born May 8, 1937) has photographed the geography of the American West for over 40 years. His award winning work has been widely exhibited both in Europe and the United States. "The New West: Landscapes Along the Colorado Front Range" is an extended photographic essay about Colorado freeways, tract homes, low-rise business buildings and signs. In five sequences of pictures taken along the front wall of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Adams has documented a representative sampling of the whole suburban Southwest. The views have a double power. At first they shock; normally we try to forget the commercial squalor they depict. Slowly, however, they reveal aspects of the geography (the shape of the land itself, for example) that are beyond man's harm. Originally published in 1974, "The New West" is now regarded as a classic in American photography. This beautiful new edition of "The New West" is especially recommended for community and academic library American Photography collections, and includes new scans, as well as an informed and informative Foreword by John Szarkowski marking this iconic volume's fortieth anniversary.

Lipstick Flavor
Jerome Sans & Marla Hamburg Kennedy, editors
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9788862084260, $50.00, HC, 208pp,

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Jerome Sans and Marla Hamburg Kennedy, "Lipstick Flavor: A Contemporary Art Story with Photography" creates a panorama of lipstick from the world of contemporary art photography. Fully illustrated, "Lipstick Flaor", conceived as a kind of magazine, reveals a story that shows how this feminine symbol has pervaded our culture and its imagery. Bringing together more than 40 international artists and their works, from Andy Warhol's self-portrait to works by Araki and Nan Goldin, to the compositions of Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, "Lipstick Flavor" visually narrates a vibrantly imaged tale. "Lipstick Flavor" is a compelling browse from first page to last, making it very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Photographic Studies collections.

Amherst Media
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176

Joseph Classen's Wildlife Photography: Advanced Field Techniques for Tracking Elusive Animals and Capturing Magical Moments (9781608959136, $34.95) comes from a nature photographer who began as his journeys as a hunter, but soon decided to capture his animals via camera. Not only is it unusual for a wildlife enthusiast to come from these roots and make this transition, but the blending of the two and the movement from bow and arrow to camera hunting involved, surprisingly, many of the same skills sets, which are outlined here. From identifying environments where animals can be found to understanding their habits and habitats, tracking and calling them, and creating the best scenes for a camera shot, this is a unique and powerfully compelling wildlife photography coverage that is like no other, surveying not just the mechanics of setting up and taking a shot, but the techniques of locating wild animals by knowing more about their habits. Very highly recommended as a powerful and unique approach to wildlife photography. Mark Chen's Professional HDR Photography (9781608956371, $27.95) discusses how high dynamic range imaging can be used by professionals in a variety of photographic objectives, and provides keys to adding to and optimizing images through HDR processing, shooting with HDR in mind, and using Photoshop's professional interface to fine-tune the results. From blending HDR with Camera Raw shooting to applying presets and correcting images for common problems in movement and special effects, this is filled with the author's experiences with and tips in handling HDR, and opens up a world of possibilities previously limited to less professional applications. Christopher Grey's Cheap Tricks: Ingenious Lighting & Shooting Ideas for Studio Photography (9781682030127, $29.95) is all about shooting portraits that look professional and tailored without the cost involved in special equipment. Neo-professionals on a budget will appreciate the focus on lights, props, and techniques that involve just a few tricks to utilize very basic photography equipment that most aspiring pros will likely already own, or low-cost added equipment readily available in hardware stores. From creating special effects on a budget to solving many common problems, this is a solid pick highly recommended for any who want to get more from their photo shoots without the added cost.

The Gardening Shelf

The Book of Pears
Joan Morgan with Paintings by Elisabeth Dowle
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781603586665, $65.00,

The Book of Pears: The Definitive History and Guide to Over 500 Varieties packs in forty color plates and some ninety historic images to tell the story of the pear and discuss over 500 varieties of pears. While at first glance this would seem to be a discussion gardeners will relish, many different audiences will find it equally useful and appealing, from cooks who want some basic information on how to use different varieties to botany history followers with a special interest in the history and development of pear plants. The gorgeous illustrations and wide-ranging discussions of pears and their properties lends to a visual display that leaves no pear untouched in its survey of the best of varieties and their special attractions, making this a reference for home and garden and botany and arts holdings alike.

The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide
Sandra Kynes, author
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, illustrator
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738745640, $22.99, PB, 264pp,

Featuring a section of beautifully executed illustrations, "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide: Creating Herbal Remedies and Oils for Health & Healing" is thoroughly 'user friendly compendium of information and instruction on how to use twenty-eight popular, easy-to-grow herbs to treat everyday ailments and maintain good health. From selecting plants to harvesting and storing them to making remedies and savories of all sorts, "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide" presents an abundance of practical and satisfying ways to incorporate herbs into a healthier lifestyle and diet. Utilizing both herbs and essential oils, "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide" fully explains how to choose and make the ideal herbal mixture for a wide variety of medicinal and culinary uses. Need help getting to sleep? Try a cup of Thyme to Settle Tea. Add a sweet, spicy flavor to roast meat or vegetables with Coriander Spiced Butter. Ease muscle pain and stiffness with soothing Rosemary Warming Massage Oil. Featuring an ailments-and-issues guide, instructions for creating a personalized apothecary garden, and detailed profiles for each of the herbs, this accessible book belongs on every gardener's shelf, as well as every community and academic library Gardening and Alternative Medicine collection. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).

The Poetry Shelf

No Acute Distress
Jennifer Richter
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive
SIUC Mail Code 6806, Carbondale, IL 62901
9780809334827, $15.95, PB, 80pp,

"No Acute Distress" is a compilation of the poetry of Jennifer Richter and introduces her readers to the unspoken struggles and unanticipated epiphanies of illness and motherhood, subjects rarely explored together in contemporary poetry. The first poem of each section borrows from a classic joke form (e.g. "An intractable migraine walks into a bar") to consider the thin line this mother walks between the tragic and comic: debilitating pain met with increasingly absurd and desperate medical treatments. Richter seasons her work with irony from the start, titling the book's opening poem, "Pleasant, healthy-appearing adult white female in no acute distress". As the collection progresses, the speaker's growing children bring new, wider perspective to the poems; the heart of the book opens up to embrace the adolescents' increasing self-sufficiency and the body's vibrant re-emergence into health. "No Acute Distress" offers readers fresh language grounded in a masterful use of form, speaking with an urgency that acknowledges chronic pain's cumulative damage to the body and spirit, and with an openness that allows for hope and the inexplicable on the path to victorious recovery. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "No Acute Distress" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.24).

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

In Performance
J. V. Mercanti
Applause Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9781480396623, $16.99, PB, 280pp,

A professional director and casting director, JV Mercanti is the director of acting for the musical theatre program at Pace University's School of the Arts, New York, NY. Mercanti draws upon his many years of experience and expertise "In Performance: Contemporary Monologues for Men and Women Late Thirties to Forties" to provide a thoughtfully curated collection, wherein actors preparing for an audition or searching for quality scenes to hone their chops will find a wealth of contemporary material from American and British plays. Almost all of the works are from the year 2000 to the recent 2014 Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, chosen from the point of view of a professional acting teacher, director, and casting director. Along with covering the basics of how to match the best monologue to the actor and how to approach the rehearsal and performance of a piece, "In Performance: Contemporary Monologues for Men and Women Late Thirties to Forties" provides a synopsis of the plays, character descriptions, and lists of questions specific to each monologue that will direct the actor toward shaping a complex, honest, and thoughtful performance with a strong emotional connection, a clear arc, and playable actions. There is also a brief lesson on appropriate rehearsal behavior and preparation. "In Performance: Contemporary Monologues for Men and Women Late Thirties to Forties" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community theatre, community library, and academic library Acting/Auditioning instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Acting 2.0
Anthony Abeson
Smith & Kraus
177 Lynne Road, Hanover, NH 03755
9781575259024, $16.95, PB, 165pp,

Anthony Abeson's actor-training is an amalgam of his work with Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and Harold Clurman. Many of his students have gone on to successful careers in theatre, film and television. In "Acting 2.0: Doing Work that Gets Work in a High-Tech World" Abeson draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to discuss the consequences of the American acting culture's emphasis on using rather than developing talent. In the opening of "Acting 2.0), he says "I want to empower you with practical tools with which to do good work that gets work in the room work on the stage and screen that inspires all of us, that arouses not prurience or violence but that precious something, intangible but of inestimable value, that is being destroyed from our lives : our humanity. Enhanced with the inclusion of a four page Bibliography and a two page Author Biography, "Acting 2.0" will prove an informative and instructive read for anyone aspiring to an acting career. While very highly recommended for personal, professional, community theatre, community library, and academic library Theatrical Studies reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists, it should also be noted that "Acting 2.0" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Dale Sherman
Applause Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9781480355897 $19.99

MASH FAQ is an in-depth history of the multimedia phenomenon of MASH. Originally a novel written by a surgeon who served in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, MASH became a bestseller with fourteen sequels, an Oscar-winning movie, and a multiple Emmy-winning television series. Packed cover to cover with little-known trivia, stories of the cast and creators, an example of differences that evolved from script to screen, and much more, MASH FAQ is a "must-have" for fans of this American pop culture classic!

The Computer Shelf

AutoCAD 2016 3D Modeling
M. Hamad
Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781942270508, $49.95,

AutoCAD 2016 3D Modeling provides all levels of users with step-by-step instructions on how to move from 2D to 3D AutoCAD processes, and uses metric and imperial measurements to illustrate the many tools and applications useful in the 3D environment. 3D AutoCAD represents a big difference from the 2D modeling environment, and workshops and small projects include architectural and mechanical applications as they tell how to understand the basics of 3D modeling. The result is an essential key to moving AutoCAD users beyond the basics and into real-world applications.

The Education Shelf

Understanding and Teaching American Slavery
Bethany Jay & Cynthia Lynn Lyerly, editors
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299306649, $34.95, PB, 340pp,

No topic in U.S. history is as emotionally fraught as the nation's centuries-long entanglement with slavery. How can teachers get students to understand the racist underpinnings of that institution -- and to acknowledge its legacies in contemporary America? How can they overcome students' shame, anger, guilt, or denial? How can they incorporate into the classroom important primary sources that may contain obsolete and racist terms, images, and ideas? Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Bethany Jay (Associate Professor of History at Salem State University) and Cynthia Lynn Lyerly (Associate Professor of History at Boston College), "Understanding and Teaching American Slavery" is specifically designed for college and high school teachers, and is a critical resource for understanding and teaching this challenging topic in all its complexity. Opening with Ira Berlin's reflections on ten elements that are essential to include in any course on this topic, "Understanding and Teaching American Slavery" offers practical advice for teaching specific content, utilizing sources, and getting students to think critically. Contributors address, among other topics: slavery and the nation's founders, the diverse experiences of the enslaved, slavery's role in the Civil War, and the relationship between slavery and the northern economy. Other chapters offer ideas for teaching through slave narratives, runaway ads, spirituals, films, and material culture. Taken together, the essays comprising "Understanding and Teaching American Slavery" will material help instructors to tackle problems, discover opportunities, and guide students in grappling with the ugliest truths of America's past. Simply stated, no academic library Teacher Education and American History reference collection should be without a copy of "Understanding and Teaching American Slavery", and no highschool, college, or university teacher covering the subject of slavery in America and its continuing (and ugly) legacies of racism should approach teaching the subject in their classrooms without a careful reading of "Understanding and Teaching American Slavery".

Solving the Student Loan Crisis
Cryn Johannsen
New Insights Press
9780996548670, $11.95 PB / $9.99 Kindle, 150pp,

Higher education should not be a business from which many profit while millions go into a lifetime of debt! American higher education is at the point of colossal failure. Thanks to the creation of "Higher Ed Inc.", we now live in a dysfunctional country with millions of Americans struggling to pay or completely unable to pay their student loan debts. Millions of new students going to college will end up equally in debt, saddled with loans and unable to join the middle class and enjoy the American dream. The student loan debt crisis is no longer a matter that each student or family can solve on their own. We need everyone to put our voices together to push aggressively for change. "Solving the Student Loan Crisis" by Cryn Johannsen is a critically important read for the millions of current student loan debtors, future students and parents about to take out loans, as well as the educational institution policymakers and local, state, and federal politicians who want to help fix our broken system of higher education. A strongly recommended addition to community and academic library collections, it should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of student debt that "Solving the Student Loan Crisis" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Art Projects for Middle School
Susan Manes
Crystal Productions
PO Box 2121, 401 Hickory Street, Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781562907297, $24.95, CP7243, 80pp, PB,

Spiral bound so it can lay flat upon a desk or a table, "Art Projects for the Middle School" by Susan Manes is comprised of more than 50 classroom art projects and rubrics. "Art Projects for the Middle School" features more than 50 drawing, painting, sculpting, and multimedia art projects that introduce important concepts like the elements of art, art styles like Abstract Expressionism and Pointillism, and skills such as perspective, proportion and shading. Rubrics help students understand how projects are evaluated. Offering hours and hours of educational and recreational activities, "Art Projects for Middle School" is very highly recommended for art class supplemental curriculums and for the home schooling parents of middle school aged children.

Innovation Age Learning
Sharon Sam Sakai-Miller
1530 Wilson Blvd., Suite 730, Arlington, VA 22209
9781564843555, $24.95, PB, 220pp,

Ready or not, education has entered the Innovation Age, where it's not about what students know but what they can do with what they know. Teachers can prepare students thrive in the Innovation Age by teaching them at three levels, closing the learning environment gap, and systematically infusing technology. In "Innovation Age Learning: Empowering Students by Empowering Teachers", Sharon Sam Sakai-Miller (the Director of Technology Integration Services at the San Lorenzo Unified School District, Oakland, California) draws upon her many years of experience and expertise to share her vision for active, constructivist-based approach to learning, one which is infused with innovation skills and which leads to proven student success. In this strategy, students are challenged to cultivate empathetic thinking skills in order to become innovators who can turn knowledge into effective real-world solutions. Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Innovation Age Learning" is very highly recommended for academic library Teacher Education instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Innovation Age Learning" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.95).

When School Policies Backfire
Michael A. Gottfried & Gilberto Q. Conchas, editors
Harvard Education Press
8 Story Street, 1st floor, Cambridge, MA 02138
9781612509082, $66.00, Library Binding, 232pp,

All educators, be they faculty, administrators, or school board members, share the moral obligation to "first, do no harm" when it comes to the students they serve. But collaborative compiled and co-edited by the team of Michael A. Gottfried (an Associate Professor in the Gevirtz School's Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a member of the editorial board of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis) and Gilberto Q. Conchas (Professor of Educational Policy and social context at the University of California, Irvine, and who is also the interim Chair of the Department of Chicano Studies, acting Associate Dean of Social Sciences, as well as the Visiting Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara), "When School Policies Backfire: How Well-Intended Measures Can Harm Our Most Vulnerable Students" shows that education policies do not always live up to our educational ideals, especially with reference to educational policies intended to help our most vulnerable students. "When School Policies Backfire" draws our attention to education policies designed to help disadvantaged students that instead had the perverse effect of harming them by exacerbating the very problems they were intended to solve. The rigorous case studies that comprise "When School Policies Backfire" are contributed by a diverse group of scholars with different methodological approaches. The cases address important areas of education reform, from literacy and technology programs to school closings, school choice, and accountability policies. Each case shows how and why a particular program backfired. Taken together, they present a wide-ranging critique of the kinds of policies that compose the cornerstones of current education reform efforts. Many books have examined policies that fall short of achieving their goals, or that result in unintended consequences. But few have documented the effects of policies whose failures have been so spectacular. "When School Policies Backfire" is a sobering reminder of the responsibility that policy makers and researchers bear for the well-being of our most vulnerable students. While very highly recommended for school district and academic library Educational Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of educators and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "When School Policies Backfire" is also available in a paperback edition (9781612509075, $33.00).

Finding Voice
Nancy Dean & Natalie Danaher
Capstone Press
151 Good Counsel Drive, Mankato, MN 56001
9781496606075, $24.95, PB, 200pp,

Written by Nancy Dean (Professor Emerita at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, University of Florida) with the assistance of elementary school classroom teacher Natalie Danaher, "Finding Voice: Introductory Lessons to Teach Reading and Writing of Complex Text, is a foundational book for elementary students and teachers that addresses close reading of complex text through understanding and practicing the elements of voice. "Finding Voice" is essentially a collection of classroom lessons that cover the tools authors use to shape voice and meaning: diction, detail, imagery, figurative language, and tone. Every voice lesson includes a quotation selected from a wide range of engaging fiction and nonfiction text, two discussion questions, an exercise that encourages students to practice what they have learned, and discussion suggestions so that possible answers are at the teacher's fingertips. The lessons will help students understand the elements of voice in what they read and encourage them to try out the elements of voice in their own writing. The "Finding Voice" lessons comprising this instructive textbook are specifically designed for students in grades 3-6. These lessons provide focused examination and practice for a specific element of voice and take only 10-20 minutes of class time. The lessons of "Finding Voice" fit well with any literacy and language arts curriculum. As students work with each element of voice, they will improve their ability to critically analyze text. Students will also learn to apply the elements of voice to their own writing, creating a clear voice of their own. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in content, organization and presentation, "Finding Voice" is very highly recommended for college and university library Teacher Education instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Finding Voice" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Building Social Relationships 2
Scott Bellini, PhD
AAPC Publishing
11209 Strang Line Rd., Lenexa, KS 66215
9781942197164, $39.95,

Educators too often choose to build social skills in reaction to undesirable behaviors, and books addressing social relationships often assume the formats of identifying problems and reacting to them. Building Social Relationships 2 isn't a solution-based set of tips for bad behavior, but a systematic approach to teaching social interaction skills; and while it's directed to children and teens on the autism spectrum, it can also serve as a social skills program for all ages. From using pictures and videos to read emotions to different tests, reinforcement methods, and social behavior options, this book is a powerful 'must' for educators working with all kinds of kids.

The World Becomes What We Teach
Zoe Weil
Lantern Books
PO Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960
9781590565186, $10.00,

This new approach to education reform processes will especially delight educators who are interested in shifting the focus of the educational process to redefine the purpose of schooling and the support systems surrounding that process, presenting a set of practical ideas to encourage kids to problem-solve and become more aware of their impact on the world. Ideas describe the idea of influencing a generation of young people who are focused on creating a better future which is more sustainable, fair, and peaceful, and the tools and systems for achieving this focus are well described and specific to the educator's process. No education holding should be without this.

2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218

Miranda Talley Reagan's STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom (9781483392363, $28.95) shows teachers how to plan interdisciplinary STEM lessons for K-5 grades, and offers a set of approaches that requires students to take more risks for better results. Teachers are provided with specific sets of STEM-based instructional approaches that include first-person case history examples, sample lesson plans, step-by-step lesson applications, and keys to understanding their results. Yong Zhao's The Take-Action Guide to World Class Learners: How to Create a Campus Without Borders (9781483339542, $23.95) offers Book Three in the series and shows teachers how to encourage kids to become powerful, responsible global citizens. From establishing a Global Campus or classroom and integrating world class learning into a lesson plan to encouraging sustainable global connections, this offers a wide-reaching program that goes beyond geography and basic understanding. Jacie Maslyk's Steam Makers: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the Elementary Classroom (9781506311241, $32.95) shows how to blend STEAM and makerspaces into a classroom or school to help kids innovate and create. Chapters directed to school leaders show how to take the basics of STEAM and apply these concepts to instructional approaches and existing curriculum, offering insights into this new way of learning and including teacher experiences as they became used to the STEAM approach. Education collections will find it cutting edge in its discussions of how to apply these concepts to existing classroom and school structures. The second edition of Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Diane Lapp's Text Complexity: Stretching Readers with Texts and Tasks (9781506339443, $30.00) adds four new chapters to instructional routines that help students forge ahead in their reading skills, and offers a program that focuses on teaching complex texts; not just assigning them for reading. Chapters show how to teach the basics of analytical skills for literary texts and also show how to impart the basics of analyzing informational texts. Classroom scenarios of engagements around both fiction and nonfiction supplement discussions on factors of complexity, different levels of meaning, cognitive strategies such as visualization, and more. The result is a highly recommended basic primer on how to teach complex text analysis. The second edition of John J. Hoover, Leonard M. Baca and Janette K. Klingner's Why Do English Learners Struggle with Reading?: Distinguishing Language Acquisition from Learning Disabilities (9781506326498, $34.95) appeals to general and special education teachers alike and appears in an updated second edition to cover best practices revolving around common teaching tools. From techniques to use when assessing students and making decisions about their educational options to standards-based education and reading challenges, assessment processes and cultural influences, and data-driven decision options, this is a powerful discussion any ESL teacher needs.

The Technology Shelf

A Sampler of Useful Computational Tools for Applied Geometry, Computer Graphics, and Image Processing
Daniel Cohen-or, Editor,
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781498706285, $69.95,

A Sampler of Useful Computational Tools for Applied Geometry, Computer Graphics, and Image Processing could have been featured in our computer review section, but is reviewed here because of its interest to engineering reference readers, as well. It covers the basic, most important math tools for graphics and image processing, tackling subjects with students in working engineers in mind, and focuses on a collection of math techniques that can be used to solve key problems in applied math and computer science. From solutions to a range of applied problems to different approaches to programming and analytical challenges, this is a top pick for math students in advanced classes in applied geometry or visual computing.

The Sports Shelf

David Sumpter
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781472924124, $27.00, HC, 304pp,

David Sumpter is a professor of applied mathematics at Uppsala University in Sweden, where he runs the Collective Behavior Research Group. In "Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game" Professor Sumputer documents the game of soccer as the most mathematical of the team sports sports and that it is riddled with numbers, patterns, and shapes. The answer to how to make sense of these numerical factors lies in mathematical modeling, a science with applications in a host of biological systems. In the pages of "Soccermatics" Professor Sumpter brings the two together in a fascinating, mind-bending synthesis. "Soccermatics" address such questions as: What's the similarity between an ant colony and Total Football, Dutch style? How is the Barcelona midfield linked geometrically? And how can we relate the mechanics of a Mexican Wave to the singing of cicadas in an Australian valley? Professor Sumpter deftly reveals the world of mathematical modeling as expressed and illustrated through the prism of soccer. Soccer is indeed more than a game and this study is packed from cover to cover with game theory. While very highly recommended to highschool, college, university, and community library Sports Studies and Applied Mathematics reference collections and supplemental curriculum lists. For the personal reading of academicians and soccer fans, it should be noted that "Soccermatics" is also available in a paperback edition (9781472924131, $16.26) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076

Loren Landow's Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts (9781495206157, $23.95) provides a program directed to martial arts participants which teaches the basics of how to build an individual conditioning program. Where most similar-sounding books would focus on a particular routine or set of regimens, this book presents over a hundred exercises and shows athletes how to select from among them and customize them for particular objectives, whether it be developing a new skill, conditioning a particular area, or enhancing existing performance levels. Chapters provide small black and white step-by-step photos along with discussions of equipment and procedures. The result is a powerful survey perfect for any martial arts practitioner looking for keys to developing a personal routine. Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training (9781492517245, $19.95) comes from a contributing editor to Runner's World and offers a specific focus on the requirements and training for the half marathon. Here are sixteen programs directed to novice to advanced runners with keys to understanding different approaches and strategies, training goals and methods, and encouragement to half marathon runner to develop their own programs and specific goals. Designed to be an inspirational series of layered techniques leading to success and running pleasure, Half Marathon Training is a 'must' for any who would take control of their running abilities.

The International Studies Shelf

The Reawakening of the Arab World
Samir Amin
Monthly Review Press
146 West 29th Street, Suite 6W, New York, NY 10001
9781583675984, $89.00, HC, 288pp,

According to Marxist economist Samir Amin, the recent Arab Spring uprisings comprise an integral part of a massive "second awakening" of the Global South. From the self-immolation in December 2010 of a Tunisian street vendor, to the consequent outcries in Cairo's Tahrir Square against poverty and corruption, to the ongoing upheavals across the Middle East and Northern Africa, the Arab world is shaping what may become of Western imperialism - an already tottering and overextended system. "The Reawakening of the Arab World: Challenge and Change in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring" examines the complex interplay of nations regarding the Arab Spring and its continuing, turbulent seasons. Beginning with Amin's compelling interpretation of the 2011 popular Arab explosions, the book is comprised of five chapters - including a new chapter analyzing U.S. geo-strategy. Amin sees the United States, in an increasingly multi-polar world, as a victim of overreach, caught in its own web of attempts to contain the challenge of China, while confronting the staying power of nations such as Syria and Iran. The growing, deeply-felt need of the Arab people for independent, popular democracy is the cause of their awakening, says Amin. It this awakening to democracy that the United States fears most, since real self-government by independent nations would necessarily mean the end of U.S. empire, and the economic liberalism that has kept it in place. The way forward for the Arab world, Amin argues, is to take on, not just Western imperialism, but also capitalism itself. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Reawakening of the Arab World: Challenge and Change in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring" is very highly recommended for community, college, and university library International Studies reference collections in general, and Contemporary Arab Political Science supplemental reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "The Reawakening of the Arab World" is also available in a paperback edition (9781583675977, $24.00) and in a Kindle format ($17.99).

The Political Science Shelf

Climate Change in World Politics
John Vogler
Palgrave Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001
9781137273437, $32.00, PB, 211pp,

In "Climate Change in World Politics", John Vogler ( Professorial Research Fellow in International Relations at Keele University, UK) examines the international politics of climate change, with a focus on the United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC). Professor Vogler considers how the international system treats the problem of climate change, analyzing the ways in which this has been defined by the international community and the interests and alignments of state governments. Enhanced with the inclusion of figures, tables, a list of abbreviations, eight pages of notes, sixteen pages of references, and a nine page index, "Climate Change in World Politics" is an extraordinary study that is very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Political Science and Environmental Studies reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. Academics, students, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject should note that "Climate Change in World Politics" is also available in a Kindle edition ($27.40).

Libertarianism For Beginners
Todd Seavey, author
Nathan Smith, illustrator
For Beginners LLC
155 Main Street, Suite 211, Danbury, CT 06810
9781939994660, $15.95, PB, 176pp,

Simply stated, Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association, and the primacy of individual judgment. Libertarianism isn't about winning elections. It is a description of how, in the opinion of libertarians, free people ought to treat one another, at least when they use the law, which they regard as potentially dangerous. If libertarians are correct, the law should intrude into people's lives as little as possible, rarely telling them what to do or how to live. A political and economic philosophy as old as John Locke and John Stuart Mill, but as alive and timely as Rand Paul, the Tea Party, and the novels of Ayn Rand, libertarianism emphasizes individual rights and calls for a radical reduction in the power and size of government. "Libertarianism For Beginners" lays out the history and principles of this often misunderstood philosophy in lucid, dispassionate terms that help illuminate today's political dialogue. While very highly recommended for highschool, community, college, and university library Political Science reference collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for political science students and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in Libertarianism that "Libertarianism For Beginners" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Architecture Shelf

Relentless Pursuit of an Architecture
Siew Man Kok, et al.
ORO Editions
420 E 55th St, Suite 7F, New York, NY 10022-5142
9781935935445, $50.00, Flexibound, 300pp,

The complexities of working in a densely urbanized, highly regulated environment with an extreme tropical climate are not always immediately apparent in the clearly articulated forms produced by MKPL Architects. This Singapore-based studio approaches its master planning, architecture, landscape, and interior work with agility of thought and conviction of purpose. What emerges is a distillation of the complex into the simple - comfortable spaces that can influence the way people live, and forms that can inspire a new perception and appreciation of the physical environment. "Relentless Pursuit of an Architecture: MKPL Architects" captures the design conscience of the studio through the writings of its founding directors. It is as much a meditation on 'the practice of practice' as a presentation of some of MKPL's most important work. It is also a window on the unique urban, regulatory, commercial, and landscape context of Singapore. "Relentless Pursuit of an Architecture" unfolds fourteen manifestations of MKPL's inventive spirit via projects in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia, presenting an in-depth reflection on project particularities and processes, as well as outcomes. "Relentless Pursuit of an Architecture" is enhanced with the inclusion of an informed and informative foreword by Dr Erwin Viray which precedes the features on commercial, institutional, private, and governmental projects of a variety of scales illustrated by full-color photographs and drawings. Exceptionally written, organized and presented, "Relentless Pursuit of an Architecture" is an invaluable and extraordinary addition to professional and academic library Architectural Studies reference collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

The Library Science Shelf

Exploring Discovery
Kenneth J. Varnum, editor
ALA Editions
c/o American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
9780838914144, $95.00, PB, 304pp,

Ken Varnum has been working with digital information technologies since he became a librarian in 1994, Compiled and edited by Varnum, "Exploring Discovery: The Front Door to Your Library's Licensed and Digitized Content" features first-hand profiles of 19 library projects. Varnum and his roster of contributors offer guidance on the complete range of discovery services, from the broad sweep of vendors' products to the fine points of specialized holdings. Topics include: migrating from a traditional ILS to a library services platform; creating a task list for usability testing of discovery; managing internal development requirements within the constraints of a small or mid-sized library; applying agile software methodology to a Blacklight implementation; real-world examples of usability testing, including a small liberal arts college's implementation of VuFind; meeting the challenge of three different metadata formats; practices in the Primo community for integrating open access content into the front end; serving mobile users with an app and responsive Web design; analyzing the use of facets in search; using a single discovery tool across a library, museum, and archive; and implementing discovery with geospatial datasets. "Exploring Discovery" is easy to dip into as needed, and provides a comprehensive examination of discovery services that will prove invaluable to IT, web development, electronic resource management, and technical services staff. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Exploring Discovery" is very highly recommended for community, corporate, governmental, and academic library "Library Science" instructional reference collections and supplemental studies curriculum reading lists.

E-Learning and the Academic Library
Scott rice & Margaret N. Gregor, editors
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786496426, $55.00, PB, 200pp,

Scott Rice is the coordinator of Technology Services at Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University. He has also served as the E-Learning Librarian for Belk Library. Margaret N. Gregor is the Instructional Materials Center Coordinator and the Martha and Nancy Lee Bivens Distinguished Scholar for Children and Reading at Appalachian State University. In "E-Learning and the Academic Library: Essays on Innovative Initiatives" they have collaboratively compiled and co-edited twelve erudite contributions from experts and deftly organized them into four major sections: Orientations; Physical and Virtual Spaces; Enhancing the Classroom; Making Reference Better. Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative Introduction, and Appendix of web sites (Useful URLs), a ten page Bibliography, a two page listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a nine page Index, "E-Learning and the Academic Library" is very highly recommended for professional library staff and academic Library Science instructional reference collections.

The Librarian's Nitty Gritty Guide to Content Marketing
Laura Solomon
American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
9780838914328, $50.00, PB, 128pp,

Content marketing is the most effective way to increase the value of a library to that library's patrons. When librarians deliver content that library users find useful and relevant, they give a compelling answer to the personal question of what's the value of being a librarian. "The Librarian's Nitty Gritty Guide to Content Marketing", by Laura Solomon (Library Services Manager for the Ohio Public Library Information Network) speaks directly to public relations personnel, web librarians, and other library staff responsible for the library's online presence. Filled with nuts-and-bolts advice on how to increase the library's value to its users, "The Librarian's Nitty Gritty Guide to Content Marketing": defines the essential characteristics of effective content marketing; explores methods of audience assessment; demonstrates how to optimize content for sharing; explains the elements of an editorial calendar for sustainable content, and shows how to create once and re-purpose many times; describes meaningful metrics for the library context; points out 5 common mistakes and how to avoid them; provides a template for creating personas; and includes first-hand accounts from library marketers. Making content marketing concepts bite-sized and easily digestible, "The Librarian's Nitty Gritty Guide to Content Marketing" shows libraries how to market effectively by focusing on what library users find useful and relevant and is very highly recommended for college and university Library Science instructional reference collections, and should be considered a core addition of 'in-house' library staff collections for community, corporate, governmental, academic, and NGO library collections.

Dynamic Research Support for Academic Libraries
Starr Hoffman, editor
Facet Publishing / Neal-Shuman Publishers
c/o American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
9781783300495, $95.00, PB, 224pp,

Higher education and academic libraries are in a period of rapid evolution. Technology, pedagogical shifts, and programmatic changes in education mean that libraries must continually evaluate and adjust their services to meet new needs. Research and learning across institutions is becoming more team-based, crossing disciplines and dependent on increasingly sophisticated and varied data. To provide valuable services in this shifting, diverse environment, libraries must think about new ways to support research on their campuses, including collaborating across library and departmental boundaries. "Dynamic Research Support for Academic Libraries" is intended to enrich and expand your vision of research support in academic libraries by: inspiring you to think creatively about new services; sparking ideas of potential collaborations within and outside the library; increasing awareness of functional areas that are potential key partners; providing specific examples of new services, as well as the decision-making and implementation process; and encouraging you to take a broad view of research support rather than thinking of research and instruction services, metadata creation and data services etc as separate initiatives. "Dynamic Research Support for Academic Libraries" provides illustrative examples of emerging models of research support and is contributed to by library practitioners from across the world. Knowledgeably compiled and expertly edited by Starr Hoffman (Head of Planning and Assessment at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she assesses many activities, including the library's support for and impact on research), "Dynamic Research Support for Academic Libraries" is strongly recommended for college and university Library Science instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Mathematics Shelf

Foundations of Mathematics
Philip Brown
Mercury Learning & Information
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781942270751, $49.95, PB, 382pp,

"Foundations of Mathematics: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus" by Philip Brown (Associate Professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston) offers the university student or interested reader a unique mathematics reference book by covering the basics of algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus. There are many instances in "Foundations of Mathematics" to demonstrate the interplay and interconnectedness of these topics. Professor Brown presents definitions and examples throughout for clear, easy learning. Numerous exercises are included at the ends of the chapters, and readers are encouraged to complete all of them as an essential part of working through the book. "Foundations of Mathematics" offers a unique experience for readers to understand different areas of mathematics in one clear, concise text. Special features include: the basics of algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus; inclusion of all of the mathematics needed to learn calculus; demonstrations of the interplay and interconnectedness of these topics; and the use of numerous examples and exercises to reinforce concepts. Classroom teachers should note that Instructors' resources are available from Mercury Learning & Information upon adoption of "Foundations of Mathematics" as a curriculum text book.

The Literary Studies Shelf

Figures of Catastrophe
Francis Mulhern
20 Jay Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-8346
9781784781910, $26.95, HC, 176pp,

In "Figures of Catastrophe: The Condition of Culture Novel", literary critic Francis Mulhern uncovers a hidden history in the fiction of the past century, identifying a central new genre: the condition of culture novel. Reading across and against the grain of received patterns of literary association, tracing a line from Hardy and Forster, through Woolf, Waugh and Bowen, to Barstow, Fowles, Rendell, Naipaul, Amis, Kureishi and Smith, he elucidates the recurring topics and narrative logics of the genre, showing how culture emerges as a special ground of social conflict, above all between classes. The narrative evaluations of culture's ends (the aspirations and the destinies of those whose lives are the subject of these novels) grow steadily darker over time, and the writing itself grows more introverted. A concluding discussion elicits the characteristics of the English condition of culture novel, in an international setting, and closes in, finally, on the central conundrum of the genre: its uncanny reprise, in its own plane, of the historical arc of the modern labor movement in Britain, from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century through its post-war heyday to the seemingly inexorable decline of recent decades. An extraordinary, thoughtful and thought-provoking study, "Figures of Catastrophe" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Literary Studies reference collections and supplemental curriculums. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Figures of Catastrophe" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Victorian Bookshelf
Jess Nevins
Marketing Department
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476665009, $29.95, PB, 265pp,

"The Victorian Bookshelf: An Introduction to 61 Essential Novels" by Jess Nevins (a Reference Librarian at Lone Star College in Tomball, Texas) is an introductory guide to the canon of Victorian literature that covers 61 novels by authors ranging from Jane Austen to Emile Zola. Brief critical essays describe what each book is about and argue for its cultural, historical and literary importance. Literary canons remain a subject of debate but critics, readers and students continue to find them useful as overviews (and examinations) of the great works within a given period or culture. The Victorian canon is particularly rich with splendid novels that educate, enlighten and entertain. Informed and informative, "The Victorian Bookshelf" is impressively well written, organized and presented, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to both community and academic library Victorian Literary Studies reference collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. Academics, students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Victorian literature should note that "The Victorian Bookshelf" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.43).

The Agriculture Shelf

Compendium of Grape Diseases, Disorders, and Pests, second edition
Wayne F. Wilcox, Walter D. Gubler, Jerry K. Uyemoto
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
9780890544792, $119.00, PB, 232pp,

Grapes, both table grapes and wine grapes, are the most widely planted fruit crop with 7.5 million hectares grown throughout the world. They are also one of the most management intensive crops in existence. "Compendium of Grape Diseases, Disorders, and Pests" is now in a fully updated and expanded second edition and a critically important, comprehensive diagnostic and pest management guide for grape crops that is a "must" for anyone growing grapes for commercial or personal purposes. The collaborative work of Wayne F. Wilcox (Cornell University and the New York State Agricultural Experiment station, Geneva), Walter D. Gubler University of California, Davis), and Jerry K. Uyemoto (Unites States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service, University of California, Davis), the "Compendium of Grape Diseases, Disorders, and Pests" is deftly organized into four major sections: Diseases Caused by Biotic Factors; Mites and Insects that Cause Disease-like Symptoms in Grapes; Disorders Caused by Abiotic Factors; Grapevine Disease Management. Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative Introduction, two Appendices; a twelve-page Glossary; and an eleven-page Index, "Compendium of Grape Diseases, Disorders, and Pests" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Agricultural Studies reference collections in general, and Grape Disease Control supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Civil War Shelf

The Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland
Dennis W. Belcher
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786494804, $45.00, PB, 356pp,

During its two-year history, the cavalry of the Union's Army of the Cumberland fought the Confederates in some of the most important actions of the Civil War, including Stones River, Chickamauga, the Tullahoma Campaign, the pursuit of Joseph Wheeler in October 1863 and the East Tennessee Campaign. They battled with legendary Confederate cavalry units commanded by Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Hunt Morgan, Wheeler and others. By October 1864, the cavalry grew from eight regiments to four divisions (composed of units from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee) before participating in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, where the Union cavalry suffered 30 percent casualties. "The Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland" by American Civil War historian Dennis W. Belcher provides an informed and informative history of the Army of the Cumberland's cavalry units including a deft analysis of their success and failures, as well as a re-evaluation their alleged poor service during the Atlanta Campaign. Enhanced with the occasional inclusion of black-and-white period photography, "The Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland" is very highly recommended for community and academic library American Civil War collections. For the personal reading lists of civil war historians and military history buffs, it should be noted that "The Cavalry of the Army of the Cumberland" is also available in a Kindle edition ($29.99).

The American History Shelf

Deadwood Saints and Sinners
Jerry L. Bryant and Barbara Fifer
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560376460 $14.95

Part of the "Beside Reader Series", Deadwood Saints and Sinners is an anthology of amazing historical vignettes about the people of Deadwood, a gathering of mining camps that flourished among the gulches of Deadwood and Whitewood creeks of South Dakota in the late 1800's. Deadwood became the inspiration for a popular Western television series of the same name, but these completely true tales about the good, the bad, and the ugly residents of Deadwood just might be more astounding than fiction! From Sarah Ann Erb, a woman rancher who kept both guns and bulldogs for protection, to Samuel Fields, an African-American U.S. Cavalry veteran seeking his fortune in Deadwood after a failed bid for Congress, to Cynthia Cleveland, who sought to spread the temperance movement and spoke out against "demon run", Deadwood Saints and Sinners is filled cover to cover with larger-than-life characters. Highly recommended!

Charcoal and Blood
Silvio Manno
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9781943859009 $29.95

Charcoal and Blood: Italian Immigrants in Eureka, Nevada and the Fish Creek Massacre is an in-depth history of a criminal slaughter perpetrated against an Italian and Swiss immigrant community on Nevada's mining frontier. These Italian and (often Italian-speaking) Swiss immigrants were skilled at turning wood into charcoal, which burned at hotter temperatures and was vital for processing certain ores. Yet charcoal buyers often paid in scrip rather than cash, and the stores that redeemed the scrip sold goods at vastly inflated prices. Teamsters also seized a expanding cut of charcoal revenue, and charcoal production became more difficult as the surrounding area was increasingly deforested. A union was formed to demand higher prices for charcoal, which led to extreme tensions with non-union charcoal sellers and their buyers. These tensions culminated in the Fish Creek Massacre of August 18, 1879, in which five charcoal burners were slain, six more were wounded, and fourteen were taken prisoner by a sheriff's posse. Charcoal and Blood draws upon a wealth of resources in its effort to untangle what exactly unfolded on that fateful day, as well as the economic and political forces that created the massacre, and the subsequent trial of the charcoal burners. A sober and serious-minded account, Charcoal and Blood is highly recommended for public and college library American History collections.

When the Basques Ruled California
John J. O'Hagan
Caxton Press
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
9780870045899 $17.95

When the Basques Ruled California is a close study of California history from 1784 to 1834, a time when virtually all positions of political, military, and ecclesiastical power were held by Basques (people of an ethnic group that traces its heritage to the Basque Country area, which straddles north-central Spain and south-western France). Chapters explore Basque influence and legacy on the California territory, its succession of leaders, major incidents of crime or rebellion, and more. Written with scholarly precision and attention to detail, yet accessible to readers of all backgrounds, When the Basques ruled California is a welcome addition to American and California history collections.

The Handy State-by-State Answer Book
Samuel Willard Crompton
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578595655, $21.95, PB, 450pp,

How did colonies, territories, and land purchases shape the United States of America? What differences and similarities are there between the states? What does each state bring to the union? Compiled and presented by Samuel Crompton, "The Handy State-by-State Answer Book: Faces, Places, and Famous Dates for All Fifty States" explores the history, growth, politics, people, and more of each of the 50 states. It is a resource for learning about the events and personalities that influenced and affected each state, its history, government, cities, and culture. "The Handy State-by-State Answer Book" is an ideal and convenient place to look for state facts and trivia. In addition to the state motto, nickname, and when it entered the union, "The Handy State-by-State Answer Book" addresses intriguing questions about the people, places, and events that lend a unique character to each state's boundaries, government, and places of interest, such as: How important were the Beach Boys to the making of California's culture? Are the Hawaiians still in charge of their state and its economy? Why was it so easy for the Pilgrims and the Puritans to take over eastern Massachusetts? Who were the first inhabitants of what is now South Dakota? Does it ever stop raining on the Washington coast? Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Handy State-by-State Answer Book" is very highly recommended for school and community library American History collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Handy State-by-State Answer Book" is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.99).

The World History Shelf

Knights of the Holy Grail
Tim Wallace Murphy
Watkins Publishing
Angel Business Club
359 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7JL, UK
9781905857227, $28.95, PB, 320pp,

The Knights Templar were among the wealthiest and most powerful of the medieval Western Christian military orders and were prominent actors in Christian finance. Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1129, The Knights Templar existed for nearly two centuries during the Middle Ages. The Templars' existence was tied closely to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded. Rumors about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, took advantage of the situation. In 1307, many of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312. The abrupt disappearance of a major part of the European infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the "Templar" name alive into the modern day. "Knights of the Holy Grail: The Secret History of The Knights Templar" by Tim Wallace Murphy explains the heretical spiritual beliefs of the Knights Templar and the Rex Deus families and examines their role in the loss of the Holy Land. Murphy also charts their achievements in a range of endeavors, from building castles and cathedrals to laying the foundations of the modern marketplace. Informed and informative, Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Knights of the Holy Grail" is very highly recommended for community library collections. For academicians and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the medieval military order and its relationship to the Holy Grail, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Knights of the Holy Grail" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

The Music Shelf

The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio
Jennifer Hamady, author
Hal Leonard
33 Plymouth Street, Ste. 302, Montclair, NJ 07042
9781495050268, $19.99 182 pages,

"The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio: Understanding the Psychology, Relationships, and Technology in Performing and Recording" is a helpful vocal training book with an emphasis on managing technology on stage and in the studio and interacting effectively with those who operate it. following an earlier vocal training text, "The Art of Singing," "The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio" continues to educate singers about performance, communication with supportive technology workers, and learning more about the tools of the trade. A compact text, this book begins with some brief overviews on voice performance and performance anxiety, relationships between singers, producers and engineers and more, technology in music and its implications, and a history of vocal performance in music. Following chapters deal with singers vs. cast and crew, and encouraging partnership with responsibility instead of blame, and also mastering the tools of recording. Additional chapters cover studio/stage comparisons in live sound and performance, television and touring. Finally, Chapter fourteen deals with other tools of the vocal music business, such as contracts, finding trusted technological and professional/managerial staff, and "embracing plan B," which translates to if you must get a day job, keep it in a related field. Finally, the author encourages the vocal performer to face a brave new world and begin the show, building good working relationships and continuing a passion for lifelong learning in vocal performance. "The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio" is an eminently practical work for aspiring and experienced vocal performers, covering many hidden areas of performance enhancement or the reverse, detraction.

Make Your Own Music
Richard McCready
Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing
33 Plymouth St, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042
9781480397453, $24.99, PB, 154pp,

Richard McCready teaches music technology at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Maryland, and is also the music technology resource teacher for Howard County, Maryland. In "Make Your Own Music: A Creative Curriculum Using Music Technology", McCready draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to provide an organized approach to creating your own music using modern technology. It contains lessons, skill sets, and projects for using the PreSonus Music Creation Suite. An valuable and practical tool for the enthusiast, student, or teacher, "Make Your Own Music" is a complete classroom curriculum for both learning and teaching music technology, incorporating composition ideas, notation skills, and digital audio workstation proficiencies. Each chapter focuses on building musical and compositional knowledge using Notion and/or Studio One. "Make Your Own Music" is organized into easily digestible chapters that cover topics such as Getting Started with Recording, Getting Started with Notion, Creating Electronic Music with Virtual Instruments in Studio One, and Mixing and Mastering in Studio One. Each chapter contains three demonstrable skills that students can learn by working through self-paced projects, examples of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) problem-solving strategies from music technology history, and composition assignments with reproducible grading sheets for teachers. Supporting materials can be accessed online. They round out the educational and instructional experience through video tutorials and printable documents. Ideal for self-study as well as classroom music curriculums, "Make Your Own Music" is very highly recommended for individual, community, school, and university Music Education reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Sounds of Louisiana
Roger Hahn, author
Chris Osborne, illustrator
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455621026, $24.95, PB, 128pp,

"The Sounds of Louisiana: Twenty Essential Music Makers" chronicles the creation of new categories of music like zydeco and jazz and the addition of distinct flavors to established genres like rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, funk, and hip-hop, journalist. Author and journalist Roger Hahn provides an informed and informative overview of Louisiana's impressive role in the musical heritage of the last two centuries. He documents twenty musicians and musical groups who have (and still are) shaping the face of music in America. Included are profiles of the well-known and the obscure (but no less influential) musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Clifton Chenier, Irma Thomas, Buddy Guy, Li'l Wayne, and Hunter Hayes. Each individual profile centers on the cultural inheritance, accomplishments, and influence of the artists and features a full-color portrait by artist Chris Osborne. Enhanced with the inclusion of a bibliography is provided for further reading, "The Sounds of Louisiana" is a unique and highly recommended addition to community and academic library American Music History collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Sounds of Louisiana" is also available in a Kindle edition ($23.70).

The Philosophy Shelf

Beasts in Eden
Emile Benoit
Eudaimon Press
9780988227712, $15.95, PB, 364pp,

Emile Benoit is the pseudonym an the American academician and the author of the critically acclaimed "Essays and Aphorisms on the Higher Man" and "The Artistic Perspective", as well as the full length play "A Midsummer Night's Hangover". He holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy from San Diego State University. "Beasts in Eden" is a work of literary and philosophical existentialism which does not argue for any particular theory but instead attempts to provide insight into what it means to live a unique and noble human life, the kind of existence that establishes the human being as something quite extraordinary in the natural world. Erudite, iconoclastic, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Beasts in Eden" is particularly recommended for academic library Contemporary Philosophy collections. For personal reading lists for academics and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, it should be noted that "Beasts in Eden" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.95).

The Autism Shelf

Strategies for a Successful Mealtime
Maureen Flanagan, MA, CCC-SLP
Autism Asperger Publishing Company
11209 Strang Line Road, Lenexa, KS 66215
9781942197133 $21.95

Strategies for a Successful Mealtime: A Program for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Related Disabilities Who Have Eating Difficulties is a guide for parents, caregivers, teachers, and more for helping children maintain a healthy diet in spite of obstacles such as aversion to certain food textures, difficulty accepting or using food utensils, general resistance to trying new foods, and so on. Maureen Flanagan, MA, CCC-SLP walks the reader through typical and atypical feeding development from infancy onward, and offers guidance for analyzing children's oral movement patterns and their ability to register and regulate sensory information. Strategies for a Successful Mealtime is packed cover to cover with expert techniques and advice, all thoroughly accessible to lay readers as well as medical professionals. Highly recommended. "The support provided by a structures environment will enable children with ASD to focus on the task of eating and drinking. Supports are often simple and easy to arrange, such as providing a stable seating position or changing the plate so it does not have a pattern on it."

The Language Studies Shelf

The Other Middle Ages
Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr. with contributions by Mary Moffitt Aycock
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
1570 Baskin Road, Mundelein, IL 60060
9780865168374 $29.00

The Other Middle Ages: A Medieval Latin Reader is a text created especially to help intermediate Latin students gain a greater command of the language. Seventy-nine selections of Latin prose and poetry are thematically grouped, with notes and vocabulary-building information. A "how to use this book" set of guidelines and an extensive lexicon round out this excellent resource from award-winning instructor Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr., professor emeritus of classics at University of Massachusetts.

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