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Library Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 4 April 2009 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Library Science Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Poetry Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Humor Shelf
Biography Shelf American History Shelf Fiction Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Literary Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Education Shelf Biology Shelf
Black Studies Shelf Architecture Shelf Nautical Shelf
Railroading Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf Gaming Shelf
World History Shelf Travel Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Psychology Shelf Music Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Parenting Shelf Hunting/Fishing Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Self-Help Shelf Business Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Cookbook Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Music Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The Chocolate Guide
TCB Cafe
PO Box 471706, San Francisco, CA 94147
9780979864001, $15.95,

There are very few people in the world who do not like chocolate. "The Chocolate Guide: To Local Chocolatiers, Chocolate Makers, Boutiques, Patisseries and Shops - Eastern Edition" is a guide to all things chocolate up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States. Every region has its own spin on the beloved treat, and each being a culinary delight to the taster's senses. For the traveler who loves chocolate and trying new varieties, "The Chocolate Guide" is highly recommended.

Ms. Starkey's Original Guide To Private Service Management
Mary Louise Starkey
Starkey International
c/o Starkey and Associates
1350 Logan Street, Denver, CO 80203
9780966480726, $225.00, 1-800-888-4904

Mary Louise Starkey is the person who coined the term 'Household Manager'. She is the developer of the Starkey Service Management System and software, as well as hosting the first Household Management conference in March 2000. In "Ms. Starkey's Original Guide To Private Service Management" she draws upon her many years of expertise and experience to compose a 704-page compendium of information on service management that stands as the definitive industry bible on the subject. Of special note are the chapters devoted to Administrative Standards (when setting up a household); 'Housekeeping Standards'; 'Culinary Standards', 'Clothing Standards and Valet Responsibilities', and 'Entertaining Standards'. Other issues thoroughly covered include those related to property and grounds, maintenance, transportation and travel, safety and protection, as well as the care of children, guests, elders, and pets. Enhanced with useful and informative appendices, "Ms. Starkey's Original Guide To Private Service Management" is an impressive and comprehensive 'workshop and in-service training program within a single volume. Also very highly recommended are Mary Louise Starkey's two other and more specialized instructional guides: "Mrs. Starkey's Setting Household Standards" ($134.00) and "Mrs. Starkey's Nanny Manager" ($84.95).

Carl Hagenbeck's Empire Of Entertainments
Eric Ames
University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096
9780295988337, $35.00,

Carl Hagenbeck was to 19th Century European popular entertainment what Walt Disney and P.T. Barnum were to America in later years. Hagenbeck was a well-known animal trader and ethnographic showman who, like Barnum, charged admission to a fascinated public of his collections of people, animals and artifacts drawn from all over the world. His collections culminated in his 1907 opening of Tierpark (near Hamburge, Germany) featuring the creation of exotic environments inhabited by both humans and animals. In "Carl Hagenbeck's Empire Of Entertainments", Eric Ames (Assistant Professor of German, University of Washington) has written and compiled a seminal biographical work that provides a historical perspective and framework for Hagenbeck's myriad enterprises in the context of European colonialism and an emerging globalization; what we would today describe as ethnography and anthropology; the popularity of zoological gardens and international expositions; the paradoxes of museum culture and visual spectacle; the phenomena of consumerism and immersive entertainments with respect to such public entertainments that ranged from Wild West Shows to theme parks to world fairs. Occasionally illustrated with black-and-white period photographs, "Carl Hagenbeck's Empire Of Entertainments" is a work of impressive and seminal scholarship making it strongly recommended for academic library 19th & 20th Century Popular Culture Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Library Science Shelf

Privacy and Confidentiality Issues
Theresa Chmara
American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
9780838909706, $36.00,

You can tell a lot about someone by the books they read, and as such, some people don't want their reading choices known. "Privacy and Confidentiality Issues: A Guide for Libraries and Their Lawyers" is a guide to the world of law in libraries. Right to privacy is one of the cornerstones of America, and libraries must be one of the many defenders of this right. With information for dealing with confidentiality, the internet, and when it's applicable to bend on these matters, "Privacy and Confidentiality Issues" should be read by every librarian.

The Making of the Morgan from Charles McKim to Renzo Piano
Paul Spencer Byard,
Morgan Library & Museum
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780875981499, $35.00

In 1906 in New York City one Pierpont Morgan built a private library intended to rival Europe's finest art collections: it became a public library in 1944 and in 2006 saw a major expansion and renovation designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Its history is documented in "The Making of the Morgan from Charles McKim to Renzo Piano", a survey of Pierpont Morgan's visionary process and how the library's collection changed from a private to a public institution. Collections strong in both library science and architecture and the arts will find "The Making of the Morgan from Charles McKim to Renzo Piano" to be a powerful pick, packed with color photos throughout.

Core Technology Competencies for Librarians and Library Staff
Susan M. Thompson
Neal-Schuman Publishers
100 William Street, Suite 2004, New York, NY 10038
9781555706609, $65.00,

The day where a librarian could be ignorant of how to turn on a computer are long gone. "Core Technology Competencies for Librarians and Library Staff" is a guide for understanding the basic fundamentals of computing for library staff. Integrating new technology is a must for librarians to stay in the game of this world with rapidly changing technology, but having it isn't enough. Susan M. Thompson, a well-versed professional in the field of libraries and technology expertly applies her knowledge for others to benefit from. A complete and comprehensive guide to teaching the needed knowledge, "Core Technology Competencies for Librarians and Library Staff" is absolutely needed for the modern library and those who run it.

The Organization of Information, third edition
Arlene G. Taylor & Daniel N. Joudrey
Libraries Unlimited
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
9781591587002, $50.00,

More and more information comes into the world every day, and if it can't be managed, there is little point to it. Now in an updated and expanded third edition, "The Organization of Information" is a library science manual focusing on the modern advancements and how they affect libraries and other key compounds of information. Libraries, archives, museums, even the internet are all discussed in the forms they are used to store the massive amounts of information and data the world produces. With chapters on the many complex methods one must deal with to maintain the integrity of original documents, items, and other important subjects, "The Organization of Information" is complete and comprehensive in its application. "The Organization of Information" is enhanced with bibliographies, indexes, glossaries, and more, making it an absolute must for any archive which wants to serve its purpose well.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists
Andrew McAleer
Adams Media
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 92322
9781598695892, $12.95,

Why can R.A. Salvatore sell millions and you can't? "The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists: Insider Secrets from Top Writers" draws from a huge pool of talented writers who present their habits and routines they use to put their best-selling novel out into the world. With names like R.A. Salvatore, Robin Moore, Mary Higgins Clark, the talent pool does know what they are talking about. For anyone who is delving into the avenue of long fiction, "The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists" is encouraging reading.

The Economical Guide To Self-Publishing
Linda F. Radke
Five Star Publications
1193-392nd Road, Utica, NE 68456
9781589851016, $19.95,

Even in the present economic climate that has compelled the major publishing houses to cut back the numbers of titles they produce, it has never been easier to publish a book -- or sell one. In "The Economical Guide To Self-Publishing: How To Produce And Market Your Book On A Budget", Linda F. Radke draws upon her more than 24 years of experience and expertise as a publisher whose Five Star Publications has produced award-winning and commercially successful books that were traditionally published, self-published, and published through limited partnerships. The result is a compendium of solid, practical, step-by-step information that takes the aspiring author from manuscript to published book, and then on to the tasks of marketing, promotion, publicity, and sales. "The Economical Guide To Self-Publishing" covers such issues as transforming a manuscript into a typeset book; recruiting illustrators and editors; obtaining copyrights, ISBN numbers, and bar codes; getting printing bids; publishing as a home business; developing mailing lists; even handling interviews. Of special note is what "The Economical Guide To Self-Publishing" offers by way of strategies and tactics for effectively marketing a book on a limited budget. Enhanced with an appendix listing useful publications and associations for the self-published author, "The Economical Guide To Self-Publishing" is highly recommended reading and an invaluable resource and 'do-it-yourself' reference for anyone aspiring to publish their own work.

Creative Writer's Handbook
Philip K. Jason & Allan B. Lefcowitz
Pearson/Prentice Hall Press
c/o Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
0131893718, $80.60,

Creativity is executing an art form, and with art, there is no such thing as absolute perfection, there is always room for improvement. Now in an updated and expanded fourth edition, "Creative Writer's Handbook" is a guidebook for writers of all sorts to better gain a mastery of their art form, be it short fiction, poetry, or other artistic endeavors that use the spoken language as their primary medium. Encouraging readers to enhance and ever improve their craft, Jason and Lefcowitz have put out a text that will benefit many a college age creative writing student well, as a free study manual or as a textbook for creative writing classes. "Creative Writer's Handbook" is a deftly composed book, highly recommended for community and college collections aimed at the art of writing.

20 Things You Must Know to Write a Great Screenplay
Rick Reichman
Central Ave. Press
2132-A Central SE #144, Albuquerque, NM 87106
9780971534476, $16.95,

Some things are obvious, some things are slight, but they're all important nonetheless. "20 Things You Must Know to Write a Great Screenplay: A Thorough Primer for Screenwriters" is a manual for the aspiring screenwriter who wants every trick and tip possible to take their story from good to great. When relating tips for the writing process, author Rick Reichman references successful Hollywood productions in order to give examples relevant to the tips. "20 Things You Must Know to Write a Great Screenplay" is a strong choice for a would-be screenwriter.

The Poetry Shelf

Hurry Home Honey
Sawako Nakayasu
Burning Deck Press
71 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence, RI 02906
1886224986, $14.00,

One of the enduringly popular subject areas or genres of poetry is that of love and romance. "Hurry Home Honey: Love Poems 1994-2004" collects the memorable and remarkable verses of Sawako Nakayasu, which explore and articulate love as a game, a sport, a speed-time, a dance, a performance, a contract, a conflict, a failure, and a relationship. Thoughtful, recognizable, and occasionally iconoclastic, "Hurry Home Honey" is a highly recommended compendium of prose poetry for anyone who has every been in (or found themselves out of) love.

Simon Pettet
Talisman House Publishers
PO Box 3157, Jersey City, NJ 07303-3157
9781584980612, $17.95,

With a few volumes of poetry under his belt, Simon Pettet is no stranger to the world of poetry. "Hearth" is his newest volume of poetry, which draws upon Pettet's natural optimism to make that feeling and brightness shine through in a world filled with gloom and depression. Soft and poignant in verse, "Hearth" is a strong consideration for poetry fans. "Spleen": What can't keep/can't keep/and that's the end of it./I've considered/giving it to the birds/but I don't have/that patience.

Ghost Songs
William Pettit
Casagrande Press
3119 Carleton Street, #4, San Diego, CA 92106
9780976951667, $12.95,

A gifted word smith in total control of his language, William Pettit's verse compiled into "Ghost Songs" evoke images and emotions associated with landscape, joy, grieving, and intimacy. A unique and distinctive 'voice', Pettit's poetry is laid out on paper with all the care of fine word paintings. To read his poetry is to experience a kind of meditative articulation that deftly blends mind and emotion. The result is a true tour-de-force of word rhythms and imageries that will linger long after the book is closed and placed back upon the shelf. "Ghost Songs" is especially recommended reading for those who prefer their poetry to both thoughtful and thought-provoking. 'Somedays I'm not up for the challenge': Usually at six with mambo Kids chips and chickencoop wine/The mountain seems an ass/The insects feed on me starting now and/a constellation of rhombus and oblong ellipse/shapes rise up on veiny ankles and knuckles/I start another crossword puzzle (& leave another incomplete).//This, after many non-committal walks, much flipping the tape and lunch/And some half-hearted dabbing into the cerulean sky/of another unfinished painting.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

American McGee's Grimm #1
Dwight L. MacPherson et al.
IDW Publishing
5080 Santa Fe St., San Diego, CA 92109
No ISBN, $3.99,

"American McGree's Grimm" isn't the first full-color comic to be based on a popular video game -- but it is most certainly one of the best! "American McGee's Grimm" is a five-issue mini-series featuring a macabre dwarf seeking to wreak havok against 'happy endings'. After unleashing dark magic across five different fairytale worlds, in this debut issue, Grimm exits the latest fairy tale he's sinisterly transformed to be confronted with new worlds to conquer in the form of comic book universes. The first comic book genre to catch his attention are those of the Superhero genre. This comic book world is a place where the supervillains are ordinarily doomed to defeat -- but that was before Grimm decided to get involved in the struggle! Original, iconoclastic, altogether entertaining, and very highly recommended for comic and graphic novel enthusiasts, "American McGee's Grimm" is the collaborative project of writer Dwight L. MacPherson, artist Grant Bond, letterer Neil Uyetake, and editor Tom Waltz. But be warned! This first issue will leave the reader impatiently awaiting the next installment -- when Grimm sees what he can do in the Romance comic book genre!

The Humor Shelf

South Park Guide To Life
Trey Parker & Matt Stone
Running Press
2300 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
9780762435708, $12.95,

The kids of South Park are the world's most famous potty-mouth ten year olds in the world. Now fans who can't get enough of them on cable television's 'Comedy Channel' (launched in 1997 and currently in its 13the season) can enjoy "South Park: Guide To Life" by South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. An illustrated collection of 'quotable quotes' the South Park gang of Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, along with such citizens as Chef, Mr. Garrison, and others, the "South Park Guide To Life" provides an iconoclastic philosophy such as Kyle's observation "Hybrid cars don't cause smugness. People do." A great (and all too quick) a read, the "South Park Guide To Life" is an absolute must for the legions of dedicated South Park fans, and a popular addition to any school or community library American Humor collection.

The Biography Shelf

My Father's Roses
Nancy Kohner
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, Fifth Flor, New York, NY 10004
9781605980188, $24.00,

Truth will eventually come to light, even if no one will speak it. "My Father's Roses" is a memoir of Nancy Kohner and her family. Her father never spoke of his past and when she began to go through his things after his death, Nancy began to discover her father's tragic story, which he never spoke of for very good reason. A true story of a family, secrets, and uncovering what really happened, "My Father's Roses" is a top pick for those looking for a literary look of how the world wars affected people on a personal level.

Let Me Count the Ways
Perla Fox
Devora Publishing
40 East 78th Street, Suite 16D, New York, NY 10021
9781934440070, $27.95

The past half century has sped everything up, including life and love. "Let Me Count the Ways: Letters of Friendship, Love, and Deception" is a memoir of sorts, drawn from the correspondence of two people who fell in love through their correspondence and tells their life stories in the process. Author Perla Fox draws from over four hundred letters in piecing together this wonderful tale of two Jewish immigrants who came after World War I and their letters during the peace time between it and World War II. "Let Me Count the Ways" is charming and educational as a portrait of the life of the early twentieth century for a Jewish immigrant.

Backyard Maine
Edgar Allen Beem
Tilbury House Publishers
103 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, ME, 04345
9780884483175, $15.00,

The everyday experiences that we all face are what makes us the same, yet at the same time, different. "Backyard Maine" is a collection of memoirs from Edgar Allen Beem discussing his adventures in life from his back porch in Maine. A far range of topics receive his wit and wisdom, jumping from underpants to the value of real estate. Creative, humorous, and poignant, "Backyard Maine" is something to consider for those who value the daily experiences of others.

The American History Shelf

Fighting Against The Stars
Timothy J. Minchin
University Press of Florida
15 Northwest 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
081302790X, $59.95,

The tension between labor and management throughout the American south has always been turbulent and hallmarked with outbreaks of violence as workers sought to unionize, improve their working conditions, and resist the authoritarian tactics of factory and mine owners who often used armed strikebreakers, police, and even state militias against their workers. "Fighting Against The Odds: A History Of Southern Labor Since World War II" by Timothy J. Minchin (Senior Lecturer in American History at La Robe University, Melbourne, Australia) is an informed and informative historical survey and account of what southern workers experienced in a section of the country infamous for lower wages, lower rates of unionization, and a legacy of racial segregation. In this 70-year historical overview, "Fighting Against The Stars' reveals a growing labor activism based on primary sources and more than two hundred interviews with southern workers. Of special note is the attention paid to the growing presence of Latinos in the workforce, the deline of the textile industry, high-profile union efforts to organize the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, and patterns of economic and demographic changes in the 20th Century South. Informed, informative, articulate, documented, deftly written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly', "Fighting Against The Stars" is a seminal contribution to American History reference collections in general, and American Labor History Studies supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Fiction Shelf

Spirit Horses
Alan S. Evans
Oceanview Publishing
2817 West End Avenue, Suite 126-274, Nashville, TN 37203
9781933515250, $25.95,

Tragedy strikes in the life of Shane Carson. All he has left is a promise to fulfill to his young son that will necessitate leaving the hills of Tennessee to return a mustang to the Shoshone reservation in Wyoming. In doing so, Shane encounters Native American traditions and beliefs that are threatened by hate, intolerance and greed. At the center to all of this is a herd of wild horses, protected for centuries by Shoshone tribal responsibilities as a part of their legacy and Shane's personal destiny. Horse trainer and author Alan S. Evans brings to his original, deftly written and engaging story a particular expertise combined with a creative imagination that will sweep the reader deeply into the life and adventure of Shane Carson and the 'Spirit Horses' of Wyoming. "Spirit Horses" is a terrifically rewarding read and a highly recommended addition to community library collections.

Bringing Tony Home
Tissa Abeysekara
North Atlantic Books
c/o Scala House Press
PO Box 4518, Seattle, WA 98194
9781556437571, $14.95,

Life has a strange habit of throwing curve balls. "Bringing Tony Home" is a collection of short stories from Tissa Abeysekara, who provokes the strange coincidences of life. Winning many awards, the stories range from lost dogs, rediscovering past flames, parents, ancestry, and more. Using the written word as a beautiful paintbrush, "Bringing Tony Home" is unique and highly recommended reading for fans of short fiction.

Out At Home
Glenn Ickler
c/o Sterling House
3468 Babcock Bouelvard, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
1563154072, $14.95,

Little league baseball and murder don't have that much in common, or do they? "Out at Home" is the sixth book in the series following the adventures of Mitch and Al, two friends who are seemingly surrounded by the horde of crazies that is reality. Not afraid to use comedy and puns to tell his story, Glenn Ickler is an exciting writer and "Out at Home" is a fine blend of mystery and humor, highly recommended.

Graphic Times
Joe Costanzo
Charles River Press
541 Long Lane, Casper, WY 82609
0982094604, $15.95,

Shame is a powerful thing that can destroy lives. "Graphic Times" follows shamed journalist Anthony Logan, who holds himself responsible for the freedom of a murderer. Stuck in a dead end career after the fact, he tries to redeem himself as the man he freed contacts him, in a strange mocking gratitude. Anthony looks to an opportunity to redeem himself, but his only outlet to the media is a tabloid... "Graphic Times" is a fine novel of suspense surrounding the world of the printed media, highly entertaining and recommended reading.

The Christian Studies Shelf

All I Need is Jesus & A Good Pair of Jeans
Susanna Foth Aughtmon
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800731724, $12.99,

Perfection is a goal that is always wanted yet is so far away and hard to obtain. "All I need is Jesus & A Good Pair of Jeans" is the memoir of a woman of the world making her way as a young Christian in a world that doesn't seem to want to facilitate her goals in any way. Telling her story by measuring her own shortcomings and trying to inspire other young women to overcome their own limits as people and as Christians, "All I Need is Jesus & A Good Pair of Jeans" is a solid memoir for the reader who wants Jesus to remain important when so many others forget Him.

What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About
Kenneth Berding & Matt Williams, editors
PO Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825425394, $24.99

Although perhaps inspired by God, the Bible was written by men. "What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings" takes a look at the men behind the Bible. Breaking down each of the authors and trying to dig into their mind, it dives into their true intentions and how their ideas may be applied to today. Enhanced with many full color photos and the history of the New Testament, "What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About" is a dissection of one half the book that has impacted billions of lives.

Disputed Issues
Stephen T. Davis
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363, Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781602581517, $29.95,

One of the dismaying facts of modern life for members of Christian communities is how often their children will, during the course of the college careers, become disenchanted with traditional Christian beliefs and embrace secular philosophies. "Disputed Issues: Contending For Christian Faith In Today's Academic Setting" by evangelical academician and theologian Stephen T. Davis (Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College) provides an articulate defense of traditional orthodoxy in contemporary academic debates over Christian theology and biblical studies from the perspective of traditional evangelical interpretations. Offering special chapters devoted to New Testament issues ranging from the Q Theory to Christ's Resurrection, to theological issues and issues arising from the philosophy of religion, "Disputed Issues" is very highly recommended reading as an informed, informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking series of articulate, scholarly essays that make an invaluable and seminal contribution to on-going discussions in support of the validity of an evangelical approach within the context of an academic setting of deliberation and debate.

Seeking Spiritual Clarity
Don Umphrey
Quarry Press
PO Box 181736, Dallas, TX 75218
9780971495883, $14.00

Evil is everywhere and an unavoidable plague. "Seeking Spiritual Clarity: The Murky Perspective of Evil" is a book aimed at Christian Bible study groups who want to discuss the influence of evil in the everyday lives of men and woman. Discussing evil, its roots with Satan, and why so many give in to the desires, "Seeking Spiritual Clarity" is an ideal piece to be discussed for those who think about the nature of Christianity and evil.

Setting Up Stones
Martha & Greg Singleton
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 12065, Birmingham, AL 35202-2065
9781596692190, $12.99,

Worship is not the strict avenue of only the church. "Setting Up Stones: A Parent's Guide to Making Your Home a Place of Worship" is a guide to nurturing a child's spirituality through a positive religious environment in the home. Packed with ideas from two parents who have used this advice with their own children, "Setting Up Stones" is a practical and valuable guide for Christian parents who value faith in their everyday lives.

Life Application Study Bible
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310941460, $59.99,

For decades, the Zondervan Publishing House has been a premier publisher of bibles and biblical study materials for Christian communities, seminaries, and study groups. One of their newest releases is the "Life Application Study Bible" which was specifically produced for Christians wanting to explore what relevance the Bible has for them in their personal lives today. Based upon the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible, this edition is enhanced with more than 10,000 'in-text' application notes addressing the message of Scripture and the practical application of scripture in modern life. Enhanced with the inclusion of more than one hundred biblical personality profiles, timelines, overviews, outlines, in-text maps, updated in-text charts and diagrams, new information on the Intertestamental Period, a Christian worker's supplement, a dictionary-concordance, a side-column reference system, a harmony of the four gospels, 'red letter' highlighting of Christ's words, sixteen pages of full-color maps, a presentation page, a single-column format using nine-point text, the "Life Application Study Bible" is strongly recommended as a personal and professional scriptural studies textbook, as well as an important addition to church, seminary, family, academic, and community library "Christian Studies" reference and supplemental curriculum resource collections.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Primary Source Readings in World Religions
Jeffrey Brodd
Saint Mary's Press
702 Terrace Heights, Winona, MN 55987-1318
9780884898474, $15.95,

Understanding the faiths of the world is a key to understanding why the world is the way it is today. "Primary Source Readings in World Religions" was created in response to the recent call by Pope Benedict for all religions to work together and embrace one another to make the world a better place. Brodd takes pieces from the sacred texts of several major world religions to explain their nature and values, and how they came to be. "Primary Source Readings in World Religions" is a solid introduction to understanding the religions of the world.

Gita Wisdom
Joshua M. Greene
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781601090362, $14.95,

"Bhagavad Gita" translates into English as "Song of the Supreme Person" and is a founding document upon which the Hindu religion and Yoga traditions are based. It is also the story of an epic war between two massive armies of four million soldiers with all the panoply of an ancient battlefield that included warrior elephants, gold-plated war chariots, beating drums, men grimly bent on killing other men with bows and arrows, spears and clubs. "Gita Wisdom: An Introduction To India's Essential Yoga Text" translated and provided with extensive footnoting by Joshua M. Greene is the 'story within the story' of prince Arujuna who foreseeing the carnage to come and turns to his friend and advisor Krishna (who also serves as Arjuna's charioteer). Their extended dialogue is what comprising the "Bhagavad Gita", and whose enduring ethical message is one of love's transformative power with respect to the hearts of men in even the most dire of circumstances. "Gita Wisdom" offers scholars and non-specialist general readers with a superb presentation and is therefore a welcome, recommended, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' addition to personal, academic, and community library Philosophy & Spirituality Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Literary Shelf

The Other Night
Herschel Farbman
Fordham University Press
2546 Belmont Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
9780823228652, $50.00,

A window to another world, some cultures viewed them as prophecies, others as omens - dreams. "The Other Night: Dreaming, Writing, and Restlessness in Twentieth-Century Literature" is a scholarly discussion about the world of literature relating to sleep. Focusing on dreams and their impact in the many genres of fiction and non-fiction, Farbman offers insight into the real world as well as the literary one with his writing. Drawing inspiration from minds such as Freud and Socrates, Farbman also breaks down perhaps one of the most famous pieces of dream literature, Finnegan's Wake. "The Other Night" is an enthusiastically recommended analysis of dreams in literature, and a must for any student or just the curious.

Stories From Songs
Gail de Vos
Libraries Unlimited
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
9781591584247, $45.00,

Lyrics are a form of poetry set to music. Like all good narrative poems, lyrics tell stories blending information, emotions, ideas, ideals, and entertainment. This is especially the case with the folk music genre. In "Stories From Songs: Ballads As Literary Fictions for Young Adults", Gail de Vos (Adjunct Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada) has compiled a 453-page seminal study of folk ballad origins, history, interpretation, and how they have both generally and specifically evolved over time. Illustrative ballads are thematically grouped into 'historical', 'riddle', 'murder', 'tragic love', 'other worldly', 'shape-shifting/female monster', as well as 'tricks and disguises'. Of special note are the chapters devoted to 'talking birds, singing bones, and materializing revenants'. Professor de Vos also includes chapters dedicated to 'ballads as national icons' and concludes with 'A Sampling of Other Ballads' ranging from the well-known 'Pretty Peggy-O' to the obscure 'The Walled-Up Wife'. Enhanced with the inclusion of two appendices, an Author/Illustrator/Musician Index, a Ballad Index, and a Title Index, "Stories From Songs" is an impressively presented, informed and informative scholarly study that is an essential edition to academic library collections and appropriate for both students of Folk Music History and non-specialist general readers with an interest in learning about the background and development of the ballad as a source of information, ethics, cultural development, and social entertainment for teenagers and young adults.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Ginger's Gift
Michelle Linn-Gust
Chellehead Works
1711 Solano Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
9780972331821, $20.00,

A dog is more than a companion; it can be a healer. "Ginger's Gift: Hope and Healing Through Dog Companionship" is a look at the value of man's best friend in overcoming the challenges that humanity faces. The unwavering loyalty of dogs, their playfulness even in the worst situations can inspire people to keep their own chin held high even when they have no reason to do so otherwise. "Ginger's Gift" is a treasure for dog owners, and for consideration for those on the fences on letting a dog into their lives.

Good Rabbitkeeping
Sue Fox
T.F.H. Publications
1 TFH Plaza, 3rd & Union Avenue, Neptune City, NJ 07753
9780793806638, $19.95,

Rabbits are a popular pet, a good source of nutrition, and can be raised as indoors or out of doors. Sue Fox is an expert at raising small animals and in "Good Rabbitkeeping" provides a complete 'how to' guide for anyone aspiring to raise rabbits for fun or for profit. Thoroughly 'user friendly' as a 256-page and profusely illustrated instruction manual, "Good Rabbitkeeping" provides descriptions of all forty-seven breeds identified by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, choosing and obtaining the right breed for any given set of circumstances or intentions, rabbit housing and accessories, rabbit diet and nutrition needs, rabbit taming (including litter box training for rabbits), rabbit behavior, breeding, showing, health care and more. Simply stated, "Good Rabbitkeeping" is an indispensable, vitally important, highly recommended reference manual for anyone wanting to raise rabbits in an urban, suburban, or rural setting.

The Education Shelf

Habits of Mind
Arthur L. Costa & Bena Kallick
1703 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416607632, $26.95,

The mind is a creature of habit. "Habits of Mind: Across the Curriculum" is a guide for understanding the philosophy behind the mind and its subconscious practices. Understanding the mind and how it reacts to certain types of education is essential for more effectively teaching students certain subjects. Outlining sixteen habits of the mind, both facilitating and impeding the educational process, "Habits of the Mind" is a strong choice for any teacher who wants to maximize their chances of getting their lesson through to their students.

Topics in Graph Theory
Wilfried Imrich, Sandi Klavzar, & Douglas F. Rall
AK Peters
888 Worcester Street, Suite 230, Wellesley, MA 02482
9781568814292, $75.00,

There's more to graphs than the average person would ever know. "Topics in Graph Theory: Graphs and Their Cartesian Product" is a scholarly textbook of graph theory; a quarter of the book is dedicated to exercises and their complete solutions. Chapters cover Cartesian products, more classical products such as Hamiltonian graphs, invariants, algebra and more. "Topics in Graph Theory" is an ideal text for classroom or self-study.

The Biology Shelf

Exploring The World Of Biology
John Hudson Tiner
Master Books
c/o New Leaf Publishing Group
PO Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638
9780890515525, $13.99,

Everyone should have an informed understanding of the basic principals of biology. "Exploring The World Of Biology: From Mushrooms To Complex Life Forms" by John Hudson Tiner is a combination text book and work book that is ideal for introducing students and non-specialist general readers to those basic concepts that compose the science of biology. Readers will learn how biological classification provide each different type of plant and animal with a unique nomenclature (name), the variety of means by which plant seeds are spread around the world; the body utilizes foods for energy and how that energy is stored; the processes by which a stomach digests food to create that energy, and how biologists have drawn from their science to create useful products such as velcro. Of special note is how biologists began in the 1990s to utilize DNA and RNA extracted from cell structures to further define plant and animal nomenclatures. Nicely illustrated throughout and with a thoroughly 'reader friendly' text, "Exploring The World Of Biology" is a highly recommended introduction to the subject and especially useful as a curriculum supplement for Home Schooling families.

The Black Studies Shelf

Black Pioneers
John W. Ravage
University of Utah Press
1795 East South Campus Drive, #101, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9402
9780874809411, $22.95,

With the end of the American Civil War, the nation's west and the southwest saw an immense migration of former slaves seeking economic prosperity and an escape from the continuing hostility and repression by the white southern populace. To this day it still surprises many that roughly one-third of all 19th century 'cowboys' were black men. Now in an updated and expanded second edition, "Black Pioneers: Images Of The Black Experience On The North American Frontier" by John W. Ravage (Professor Emeritus of Mass Media, University of Wyoming" is a seminal work of meticulous scholarship in which such disparate elements of historical data as oral histories, period photographic images, diary and journal entries, and other written documents reflective of the black experience in the Western United States and Canada have been retrieved from personal and academic archives to present a coherent study that is as informed as it is informative. Of special note in this new addition is the inclusion of sections on black entertainers and ranchers, a chapter on the dating of historic photographs and their genealogical significance, as well as an expanded bibliography related to the black frontier experience. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Black Pioneers" is a welcome and strongly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Black History Studies and 20th Century American Western History Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Architecture Shelf

Beyond The Architect's Eye
Mary N. Woods
University of Pennsylvania Press
3905 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
9780812241082, $49.95,

Architecture is what both shapes and is shaped by human-created environments. The way architecture is typically recorded for academic studies is professionally produced images via photography or blue-print sketches. What makes "Beyond The Architect's Eye: Photographs And The American Built Environment" by Mary N. Woods (Professor of the History of Architecture and Urbanism at Cornell University) is an informed and informative exploration of how amateur as well as professional photographers utilized the camera to record architectural structures that populated a disparate American landscape prior to World War II reflective of the differences between rural and urban man-made landscapes and the culture shifts they connote. Professor Woods includes the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Marion Post Wolcott, Alice Austen, Gertrude Kasebier, Berenice Abbot, Eudor Welty, and many others to provide the reader with an intensely informed and elegant work of seminal scholarship that is an enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, professional, and academic library American Architectural Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Nautical Shelf

Practical Boat Building for Amateurs
Adrian Neison & Dixon Kemp
Dixon-Price Publishing
PO Box 1360, Kingston, WA 98346
9781929516131, $9.99,

Boat building is one craft nearly as old as humanity itself. "Practical Boat Building for Amateurs" is designed as a starters guide for do-it-yourself craftsmen who want to create their own seaworthy small boat of varying sizes and capacities. Realistic in viewing the skills of amateurs, Neison and Kemp outline the step by step process readers need to know before embarking on this endeavor. An expertly written craftsman's guide, "Practical Boat Building" is a must for those who wish to attempt a project of this nature.

Ships Of The St. Clair River
Raymond A. Bawal, Jr.
Inland Expressions
42211 Garfield Road, #297 , Clinton Township, MI 48038
9780981815718, $19.95,

The ships that ply the waters of the Great Lakes in general, and the St. Clair River in particular, not only are a vital element of commerce but often singularly impressive in their own right with respect to their design, size, and cargo capacities. Photographer and history enthusiast Raymond A. Bawal, Jr. has compiled a series of black-and-white photographs combined with succinctly informative and extended descriptive captions showcasing twenty Greak Lakes vessels. Informed and informative, the reader is provided with information as to prior ownerships, name changes, and any extraordinary incidents in which these craft have been involved. The vessels themselves include straight deck bulk carriers, self-unloaders, cement carries, and tankers. They range in size from the 324 foot Yankcanuck to the 1,013 foot Paul R. Tregurtha. Enhanced with an indexing of more than 200 St. Clair River playing vessels, "Ships Of The St. Clair River" is a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Nautical Studies reference collections -- and would well serve as a template for similar nautical studies of ships associated with other major water systems.

The Railroading Shelf

2652 East Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91107 1-800-950-9333

Pentrex is the premier producer of railroading videos and has an extensive DVD library of titles that are entertaining as they are informative. Five of their most recent DVD releases are especially recommended for railroading buffs as well as both academic and community library Railroading History reference collections. "The Heritage Collection: Volume I" (HC1, $29.95, 1 hour, 35 minutes) is a visual and narrated survey of key American railroads of the 1940s and 1950s. "Early Amtrak Across Wisconsin" (EWISC, $29.95, 1 hour) showcases Amtrak's Wisconsin rail passenger service from 1971 to 1973 between Minnesota's Minneapolis/St. Paul and diverse locations throughout Southern Wisconsin including St. Paul, La Cross, and the Amtrack trains that served this upper-Midwest region. Originally recorded in 1986, "BC Rail Collection" (BCRAIL, $29.95, 3 hours, 24 minutes) is a a compilation of five Canadian railways that combine spectacular landscapes, historic railways, and an informed narration to produce an especially rewarding experience for railroading enthusiasts. "Alaska: Steel Rails, Midnight Sun" (ALS, $29.95, 1 hour) and "Alaska: Where Trains fly and Eagles Soar" (ALF, $29.95, 45 minutes) is a two volume expertly narrated series revealing (in volume one) Alaskan railroads in the summer months and (in volume two) the Seward and Whittier Subdivisions on the Alaska railroad lines. All five of these very strongly recommended and flawlessly produced railroading DVDs provide visual insights and historical information that will augment personal, community, and academic library Railroading History collections.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Buddha for Beginners
Stephen T. Asma
Hampton Roads
1125 Stoney Ridge Road, charlottesville, VA 22902
9781571745958, $15.95,

Buddhism is hip and in with many Americans, but what is the religion really about? "Buddha for Beginners" is an introductory guide to the world of Buddhism using the life of the Buddha himself in an original graphic novel format. Using the teachings, explaining dharma, Asma approaches the subject with wit and charm, and pulls no punches in laying out the true Buddhism, which is different from what some are led to believe. "Buddha for Beginners" is highly recommended reading for those with an interest in real Buddhism.

The Gaming Shelf

Poker - The Journey
Vantage Press
419 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10016
9780533159673, $13.95,

Poker is more than a game of chance. "Poker - The Journey: Poker Stories and Learnings for Players" is a combination how to guide for poker and memoir for one man's adventures in the world of Poker. Telling his story and peppering it with advice, Coco reveals the glory of poker and why some people come to take it so seriously. "Poker - The Journey" is a must for any player who wants to share experiences or anyone who wants to see what the hubbub is about.

Omaha High-Low
Bill Boston
Cardoza Publishing
5473 S. Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89119
9781580422550, $19.95,

The game of checkers has been solved with computers, and Bill Boston has taken that power and applied it to the world of cards. "Omaha High-Low: For Low Limit-Players" is filled with tested theories on the game that Boston has done much in the field of researching. Statistics are the name of the game, and Boston seeks to help readers know when to throw it all in, and when to back off and wait for the hot streak to come. "Omaha-High Low" is a strong choice for anyone playing the game, although the book is aimed at low limit players in particular.

The World History Shelf

Loyalties in Conflict
J.I. Little
University of Toronto Press
2250 Military Rd., Tonawanda, NY 14150
0802095259, $24.95,

Eastern Townships is not a very large place, but it has played its role in history. "Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion 1812-1840" takes a look at the region of the Eastern Townships during the war of 1812 and the Canadian rebellions of 1837. This book looks at the reactions of this small area, giving a look of the people at these two major crises. "Loyalties in Conflict" is an intriguing read, and a fine piece of Canadian history.

Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story
Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould
City Lights Books
261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
Gulotta Communications, Inc.
341 Lexington Street, Newton, MA 02466
9780872864948, $18.95,

There's more to Afghanistan's history than the rise and fall of the Taliban. "Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story" is a look at the oft forgotten long and storied history of the Afghani people. Drawing the tale from thousands of years ago in ancient times to what Afghanistan was like before the infamous wars with the Soviet Union, it tells the story from the Afghani perspective, leading to a fascinating story of a war-torn people. "Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story" is enthralling history reading, a great pick indeed.

The Travel Shelf

Discover! America's Great River Road, volume IV
Pat Middleton
Heritage Press
c/o Great River Publishing
W987 Cedar Valley Road, Stoddard, WI 54658
097116021X, $19.95,

The Mississippi runs through a lot of culture. "Discover! America's Great River Road: Volume IV - Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana" is the fourth part of an ongoing series reflecting on the immense amount of American culture found along the great river. Covering each town along the river and what each town has to offer tourists and those who want to soak in the rich culture, Middleton gives another great coverage of all that one can experience. "Discover! America's Great River Road" is a series that will make a trip down the Mississippi all the more enticing.

Footsteps Through Athina
Angelyn Balodimas-Bartolomei
Palo Albums
1410 Higgins Rd. Suite 104, Park Ridge, IL 60068
9780578000190, $19.95,

The birthplace of western civilization, Greece is of interest to any international traveler. "Footsteps Through Athina: A Traveler's Guide to Athens and Greek Culture" is a travel guide focusing on Athens and how to embrace both the modern flavor of the city and its long running routes to the time of antiquity where Democracy was born. A must for those who love to travel to vital cultural cities, via in person or from the comfort of their own home, "Footsteps Through Athina" is enthusiastically recommended.

The Western of Desert Egypt
Cassandra Vivan
American University in Cairo Press
420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
International Publishers Marketing, Inc.
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9789774160905, $29.95

The desert may be a harsh unforgiving place, but there is much history to be seen there. "The Western of Desert Egypt: An Explorer's Handbook" is a guide for those who would dare travel the deserts of Egypt and see experience one of the most iconic places of the world first hand. A complete and comprehensive travel guide, Cassandra Vivian gives a very thorough set of resources sure to give potential and arm chair travelers who wish to explore the aeons old desert themselves a treat. "The Western of Desert Egypt" is a must for anyone who embraces adventure.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

The Role of the Environment in Poverty Alleviation
Paolo Galizzi
Fordham University Press
2546 Belmont Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
9780823228034, $90.00,

Environmentalism is no longer just about plants and animals anymore. It's about people. "The Role of the Environment in Poverty Alleviation" is a look at how proper environmental policy could do wonders for some of the most poverty stricken places on the planet. Many brilliant minds come together in this volume, and argue their points quite clearly - that environmentalism and humanitarianism are not opponents, security against the disaster can save lives and nature, how to set these dual-purpose goals into power, and much more. Frank, honest, inspiring and inspirational, Paolo Galizzi and company do very much to give readers hope for the future of the environment. Enhanced with indexes and closing thoughts, "The Role of the Environment in Poverty Alleviation" is enthusiastically recommended for both environment and social issues collections for community and college libraries.

The Psychology Shelf

Foundations of Clinical Hypnosis
Edwin K. Yager
Crown House Publishing Limited
6 Trowbridge Drive, Ste. 5, Bethel, CT 06801
9781845901226, $39.95,

Hypnosis has basis in fact, and it's not just some flashy stage show. "Foundations of Clinical Hypnosis: From Theory to Practice" is a scholarly discussion of hypnosis and its clinical applications in psychology. Separating fact from fiction, Edwin Yager stands up for hypnotism as a legitimate practice and not just to be tossed to the side as a pseudoscience. Subliminal therapy is what Yager calls it, and within this reference, he explains how it can be an invaluable tool. "Foundations of Clinical Hypnosis" is enhanced with indexes, bibliographies, and references, making it a must have for community and college psychology collections.

The Music Shelf

Secular Devotion
Timothy Brennan
Verso Books
20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY 11201
9781844672912, $29.95,

The impact of the African American people on the world of music is undeniable. "Secular Devotion: Afro-Latin Music and Imperial Jazz" is a look how African religious practices led to a revolution in secular music. The music draws from its original religious purpose and throughout the centuries, from slavery to other scatterings of the African people, the African religious music becomes absorbed into the culture of those around them, and while slowly the religious intent is faded as African people embrace other faiths such as Christianity, the music still remains. "Secular Devotion" is a fine examination of the impact of African music and how music became what it is today.

Tony Clayton-Lea
Collins Press
c/o Dufour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781905172764, $21.95

The world of rock and roll is not one for the easily offended. "Rockaganda: Essential Irish Rock Quotes" is a collection of more than thirty years of quotes and stories from the biggest names in Irish rock. Divided into subjects such as sex, reviews, egomania, success, and general outrageousness, it's a vivid picture of how some of the geniuses in the world of music think. Hundreds of quotes are drawn, with notable words from the famous Van Morrison and U2. "Rockaganda" is a must for those who embrace the insanity that is the world rock and roll culture.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Smart Woman's Guide to Heart Health
Sarah Samaan
Brown Books Publishing Group
16200 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 170, Dallas, TX 75248
9781934812136, $24.95,

A healthy heart is a healthy body. "The Smart Woman's Guide to Heart Health: Dr. Sarah's Seven Steps to A Heart-Loving Lifestyle" encourages women to improve their overall health by improving the health of their heart. Sarah Samaan aims to help women combat cardiovascular diseases which claim hundreds of thousands of lives in American women each year, with tips on diet, exercise, and other factors, such as age and relationships. Complete and comprehensive in scope of the female heart, "The Smart Woman's Guide to Heart Health" is a must for the health conscious woman.

The Back Book
Ziya L. Gorkaslan & Lee Hunter Riley
The John Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9780801890437, $16.95,

If the back hurts, you hurt. "The Back Book" is the work of two experts on the human spine and how to properly care for it in a number of situations. A complete and comprehensive guide to the back, it provides an excellently researched manual derived from years of experiments, explaining the many parts of the back, what causes it pain, diagnosis, dealing with the pain with and without surgery, and how back therapy is key to restoring a damaged spine. "The Back Book" is a must for any who are facing back pain and are evaluating their options fully.

Beating Ana
Shannon Cutts
Health Communications
3201 S. W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757313851, $14.95,

Food is not something to be feared. "Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder & Take Your Life Back" is a guide to battling what many women and some men face every day due to societal pressures - a crippling fear of food and getting fat due to the eating disorder known as Anorexia Nervosa. Shannon Cutts draws upon her own experience and hopes to inspire other readers to rise up and above and to not fear food. "Beating Ana" is a top pick for those fighting this disease or know someone who is.

Obesity in Youth
Leslie J. Heinberg & J. Keven Thompson
American Psychological Associations
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
9781433804274, $59.95,

America's childhood obesity rate has been rising. "Obesity in Youth: Causes, Consequences, and Cures" is a psychological look at the rising rates of obesity not in just America, but throughout the world. These bad habits inflicted upon children when they are young lead to problems later in life, as well as a lifestyle that's hard to kick as an adult. Examining how children get to this point, the importance of understanding genetics and cultural impact, as well as what parents can do to better their children as well as society, Heinberg and Thompson put much professionalism and education to the topic. Enhanced with references for its research, indexes, and more, "Obesity in Youth" addresses the causes, and proposes quite a few solutions.

The Parenting Shelf

The Highly Intuitive Child
Catherine Crawford
Hunter House
c/o Publishers Group West
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9780897935098, $15.95,

Every child is different, and every child has different gifts. "The Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic Children" is a guide to dealing with children who are especially empathic or intuitive to their own feelings and the feelings of others. With advice for parents on understanding if their own child is particularly empathic and how a parent can help their child with it and turn it into a gift rather than a problem, "The Highly Intuitive Child" is a top pick for these parents and their children reach a greater understanding.

Peter L. Benson
c/o Wiley
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Newman Communications (publicity)
20 Guest St., Suite 150, Brighton, MA 02135
9780470294048, $24.95,

The teenage years are when one can get talents that can make them who they are for the rest of their lives. "Sparks: How Parents Can Help Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers" is a guide for parents to finding those hidden talents of their teenagers and encouraging them to feed that gift to prepare their teenager for the future. A good talent, be it artistic, practical, or anything else, can mean a lot in today's world, and feeding that as a teen means it can be enhanced in high school and college. "Sparks" is a must for parents of teenagers who see something in them but don't know how to bring it out.

Nurturing Young Children's Disposition to Learn
Sara Wilford
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117
9781933653471, $27.95,

A young mind eager to learn is a beautiful thing. "Nurturing Young Children's Disposition to Learn" is a guide to teaching children by keeping up their natural curiosity about the world and using this natural curiosity to teach them. Facilitation is the key subject, as Wilford draws upon many aspects of educational science to give educators the tools they need to set up children to be the best learners possible and prepare them for the future. "Nurturing Young Children's Disposition to Learn" is a fine recommendation to educational professionals as well as parents with an interest in their child's minds.

Parenting You Internationally Adopted Child
Patty Cogen
Harvard Common Press
535 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
9781558323261, $14.95,

Adopting from another country is an option many parents are looking into in recent years. "Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together Through the Teen Years" is an advice manual for these children and the parents who have had big enough hearts to accept them into their lives. These children face special challenges as they are placed in front of an entirely different world. Covering the many stages of when a child depends on a parent, from toddler to young adulthood, "Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child" is a must for any parents about to embark on this unique adventure.

The Hunting/Fishing Shelf

Fishing Key West
David Conway
University Press of Florida
15 Northwest 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
9780813032948, $21.00,

One of the paramount destinations for recreational fishers, "Fishing Key West: and the Lower Keys" is a handbook for those who want to get started doing their favorite pastime in this wonderful vacation destination. Aimed at any level of fisher, there is much to be learned within the manual for fishing in the region, some tips which are valuable when fishing elsewhere as well. "Fishing Key West" is a fine pick for the traveling fisherman who will soon find themselves in Florida.

The Social Issues Shelf

Give Peace a Deadline
Nathan Otto & Amber Lupton
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
Booth Media Group (publicity)
1386 Nightshade Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011
9781929774869, $22.95,

Peace has been given plenty of chances. It's about time to make it happen. "Give Peace a Deadline: What Ordinary People Can do to Cause World Peace in Five Years" is an empowering manual encouraging normal everyday people to achieve something that the most people at the highest ranks of power view impossible - achieve world peace. Saying that peace will come through activism, Otto & Lupton dream that 2014 will be a year that does not know war. "Give Peace a Deadline" is a must for those who wish for world peace and want to do more than just wish.

The Age of Migration
Stephen Castles & Mark J. Miller
The Guilford Press
72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
9781606230695, $42.00,

Hundreds of years ago, it was uncommon for someone to leave their home country at any point in their lives. Now in an updated and expanded fourth edition, "The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World" takes a look at modern population trends and how people all over the world are emigrating and immigrating to new places in search of jobs, opportunities, or other reasons. With a scope on the world as a whole, it tracks the trends of moving, and the new fourth edition includes extra chapters on the developing world and how international security has began to come into play. "The Age of Migration" is scholarly and highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand immigration.

The Money/Finance Shelf

You Can Do It
Donald H. Young
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9780595489664, $28.95,

Financial security is a wonderful thing. "You Can Do It: An Easy Step-By-Step Guide to Financial Security" is a guide to attaining the secret of financial security through wise economic planning and setting realistic goals, as well as accounting for the cruel hand of fate and its many, many surprises. Focusing on the fact that being financially secure makes one emotionally secure and more complete in life, "You Can Do It" is something to be considered for those who want to use their money wisely.

The Self-Help Shelf

Think and Make it Happen
Augusto Cury
Thomas Nelson
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9780785227816, $22.99,

A positive mind can lead to a positive life. "Think and Make it Happen: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Overcoming Negative Thoughts, and Discovering Your True Potential" is a guide to the power of optimism. A positive thinker never doubts themselves in pursuit of their golds and draws upon its impact from a spiritual and mental focus of life. Also looking in the mind of Jesus, "Think and Make it Happen" is a guide to the world of the positive thought and as such is a top pick for those who think their life could use an injection of positivity.

The Business Shelf

Building Performance-Based 360 Degree Assessments
Lawrence John Cipolla
Adams Business & Professional
c/o Beaver's Pond Press
7104 Ohms Lane, Suite 101, Edina, MN 55439
9781592982721, $60.00,

Feedback is great and all, but it's useless unless it's used properly. "Building Performance-Based 360 Degree Assessments: From Design to Delivery" is a guide for businesses for better assessing the feedback the company receive and how to properly act upon it. Drawing from well over three decades of experience, author Lawrence John Cipolla hopes to give businesses what they need to be competitive on a world-wide ever growing scale. With tips on gathering good, accurate data to start with, Cipolla has produced a book that should be essential reading for many business. Enhanced with appendixes quizzing the reader on how to improve their business, "Building Performance Based 360 Degree Assessments" is a top pick for business collections - highly recommended.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Vampires in Vegas
R.A. Lura
Raular Publishing
PO Box 5944, Goodyear, AZ 85338
9780982056202, $19.95

Usually those behind prostitution and human trafficking business are monsters, but in this case it's literal. "Vampires in Vegas" is a story of modern vampires. The son of Count Dracula has for years been working on a way for his kind to build up resistance and immunity to the burning sun that so often ails them. Their methods are far from morally right, as they set up their own breeding operation to use human DNA for their methods. But they happened to kidnap the wrong girl... "Vampires in Vegas" is a fine blend of fantasy and reality, highly recommended.

The Cookbook Shelf

So You Want to Be a Caterer (On a Budget)
Diane Svenwol Olson
Vantage Press
419 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10016
9780533159567, $7.95,

Catering is a unique business where one has to make good food, and lots of it. "So You Want to Be a Caterer (On a Budget)" is Diane Olson's advice manual for those who want to break into the career of catering but don't exactly yet have a big budget to spend freely. Never sacrificing quality, "So You Want to Be a Caterer" is just what some need to break into the business and establish a career.

The Library DVD Shelf

Child Development Theorists
Learning ZoneXPress
PO Box 1022, Owatonna, MN 55060
1571758062 $79.95 1-888-455-7003

Child Development Theorists: Freud to Erikson to Spock... and Beyond is an educational DVD offering a brief survey of how modern child development theories have changed the way that parents raise children and teachers instruct children. The major child development theories espoused by psychologists from Sigmund Freud to Abraham Maslow, B.F. Skinner, Benjamin Spock, Howard Gardener, and many more are touched upon, enhanced with historical footage and photos as well as candid footage from day care centers. Teaching materials are included in this excellent educational DVD recommended for high school classroom use. 21 minutes.

From the Top at Carnegie Hall, Season 2
Christopher O'Riley, host
WGBH Boston Video
c/o SSA Public Relations
15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
9781593758394 $29.95

The second season of the Emmy-nominated public television series From the Top at Carnegie Hall continues to showcase the up-close and personal glimpses into the daily rigors of young musicians striving to the best performers they can be. Offering a tour backstage and beyond, From the Top at Carnegie Hall ranges from a bathroom that serves double duty as an acoustically satisfactory rehearsal spot in a young violinist's home; a trumpet player who enjoys performing in a jazz club known to host Tony Bennett; a marimba player who is sensitive to the rhythms around him at all times, even when doing household chores; and much more. An enthralling exploration in the demanding yet rewarding world of ambitious professional music, highly recommended. 13 episodes, 5 1/2 hours.

Yoshiki Odaka and Nahomi Miyata, directors
Viz Communications Inc.
295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
1421530112 $29.92 1-800-394-3042

I's is an anime (Japanese animated feature) combining drama and romance, complete in two episodes on a single DVD volume. The three I's in the story refer to Iori Hazuki, a beautiful high schooler on the verge of attaining a successful acting career; Ichitaka Seto, a classmate and acquaintance of Iori's who has secretly harbored a crush on her for years; and Itsuki Akaba, Ichitaka's cute friend who has recently returned from abroad. All three are on a remote island (cut off even from the range of cell phones), but will Ichitaka remember his childhood promise to Itsuki, let alone muster the courage to confess his feelings to Iori? When a gang of three murderous, sex-obsessed cutthroats on motorcycles threatens Itsuki, and rising floodwaters put Iori's life at risk, Ichitaka will need all the courage, ingenuity, determination and memories he can muster to save the lives of the women he loves! The result is an emotionally moving love story with a heart-wrenching twist, adapted from the manga by Masakazu Katsura (creator of the popular "Video Girl Ai"). This volume actually contains two DVD discs of the complete two-episode series - one DVD with a 4:3 fullscreen aspect ratio, and one DVD with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The audio is Japanese and English, with the option of subtitles. 120 minutes (240 minutes if one counts both discs).

The Secrets: A Film by Avi Nesher
Monterey Media Inc.
566 St. Charles Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-3901
9781569944233 $26.95 1-800-424-2593

The Secrets: A Film by Avi Nesher is a multiple award-winning movie about Naomi, the intelligent, faithful, and devoted daughter of an orthodox rabbi who must prepare for difficult choices in her life when her mother dies and she has to marry her father's prodigy. She begs her father for a year to study at a women's religious seminary to prepare for the sacrifices she must make as a wife and mother, and is permitted to do so. She befriends a schoolmate, Michelle, and a sickly older woman, Anouk (played by Fanny Ardant), who might be guilty of a terrible crime of passion. Naomi invents a progression of rituals designed to help Anouk release her sins, a process which brings Naomi and Michelle closer together - close enough to develop a forbidden attraction. An emotionally stirring tale, highly recommended. Special features include a "behind the scenes" video with subtitled actor interviews, deleted scenes, two music videos, and a photo gallery. Rated R, 127 minutes, Hebrew with English subtitles.

The Story of India with Michael Wood
PBS Home Video
c/o SSA Public Relations
15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
0793670152 $34.99 DVD $39.99 Blu-Ray

Hosted by an acclaimed historian, The Story of India with Michael Wood is a six-part DVD tour (also available in Blu-Ray format) of the incredibly rich and complex history of India, a nation populated by a diverse confluence of peoples, cultures, and environments. From the deserts of Turkmenistan to the Khyber Pass, the plains of Pakistan, the majestic Himalayas, and much more, India is a vast land and with a storied historical narrative that spans millennia. "The Sights and Sounds of India" special feature enhances this lengthy and involving documentary, highly recommended for armchair travelers as well as public library collections. 6 hours, closed captioned.

The Line King Presents: The Round Up
Line King Productions, LLC
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

The Line King Presents: The Round Up is a family-friendly DVD presented in "docu-story" style introducing viewers to the fun of line dancing. The "Line King" Harvis Williams sets out on his two-day mission to lead five ordinary people through the rigors and challenges of three stages of line dance training. Harvis pairs the most surprisingly unlikely line dance instructors with ordinary people off the street! Proof that one doesn't need superior coordination to enjoy line dancing to the fullest, The Line King Presents: The Round Up is an excellent addition to dance DVD libraries, in spite of (or perhaps because of) not taking itself too seriously.

Arkadia DVD
c/o V.I.E.W. Video (distribution)
34 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010

Originally filmed in 1980, the Ad Lib series presents concert television programs of the best jazz, pop, and blues music artists of the modern day. It also holds the distinction of being the first music television series recorded in stereo. Two new DVDs each present two episodes of this historic series with digitally mastered audio and video, and make excellent addition to DVD libraries that celebrate great performers. "Freddie Hubbard: One of a Kind" (0803070357, $19.98, 76 min.) showcases renowned trumpet player Freddie Hubbard, playing songs such as "One of a Kind", "First Light", "There Is No Greater Love", and more. "Mark Murphy: Murphy's Mood" ($19.98, 60 min.) features the popular jazz lyricist and vocalist performing "You've Proven Your Point", "Again", "Farmer's Market", and more, while Pete & Cante Candoli present songs such as "Caravan", "Willow Weep for Me", and "Echo". Bonus features in both DVDs include biographies, and an ad lib highlights reel. Highly recommended especially for jazz enthusiasts.

8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650, Silver Spring, MD 20910

The "Weight Loss" series of fitness DVDs debuts with two user-friendly installments. "Weight Loss Pilates with Kristin McGee" ($14.99, 50 min.) guides the viewer through Pilates exercises meant to tone and strengthen the body, along with "cardio blasts" meant to keep one's heart rate up. "Weight Loss Cardio Sculpt with Violet Zaki" ($14.99, 50 min.) includes both cardio and strength training in a vigorous routine meant to fire up one's metabolism. Since successful weight loss also depends on improving the quality of one's diet, both DVDs have bonus advice and recipes from the magazine "Cooking Light". Both DVDs also have a brief bonus segment focusing on abdominal muscles, and make excellent additions to DVD workout libraries.

Jeanette Jenkins: The Hollywood Trainer
Jeanette Jenkins
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$19.95 each

Two new exercise DVDs by multi-certified nutritionist and fitness trainer Jeanette Jenkins, known for her professional appearances on NBC's Today Show and Fox News World among other venues, are an excellent enhancement to any workout program. "Jeanette Jenkins: The Hollywood Trainer - Sexy Arms, Abs and Legs" (60 min.) lives up to its title with easy-to-follow exercises from pilates, yoga, and traditional body sculpting to help one tone muscles and improve fitness head to toe. "Jeanette Jenkins: The Hollywood Trainer - Cardio Dance" (60 min.) is a vigorous and enthusiastic workout applying 40 minutes of Latin rhythms, dance classics, and even Caribbean music, followed by 20 minutes of dancer's sculpting to stretch and tone abs, legs, and arms. Both DVDs are a fun and high-spirited way to liven up one's fitness routine. Highly recommended.

Squeeze: Lower Body Challenge
Tracy Effinger
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Hosted by National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified celebrity trainer Tracy Effinger, Squeeze: Lower Body Challenge continues the series of "Squeeze" exercise DVDs with a quick and effective routine designed to strengthen one's lower body with both gym-based and dance-based exercises. The only equipment recommended are one inexpensive pair of simple, hand-held dumbbells (1 to 8 pounds in weight). The chapter menu allows one to select (and repeat) individual exercises as desired, allowing one to tailor the workout to one's liking! An excellent, easy-to-use DVD and a useful supplement to any exercise regimen. 30 minutes.

Pete Seeger: Live in Australia 1963
Reelin' in the Years Productions, LLC
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403

Pete Seeger: Live in Australia 1963 is a black-and-white DVD capturing the 1963 Melbourne concert of folk musician Pete Seeger, who at the time was blacklisted and barred from American television. In Australia he was widely beloved and gave sold-out performances. Nearly an hour of bonus footage taken from Seeger's other Australian television appearances rounds out this must-have DVD for folk lovers. Additional bonuses include a 16-page booklet with liner notes by Seeger biographer David K. Dunaway, rare photographs, and interviews Seeger gave on Australian news programs. Seeger's iconic banjo, guitar, and mellifluous voice are a treasure to listen to, in this enthusiastically recommended DVD. 105 minutes.

She Fell Among Thieves
Malcolm McDowell & Eileen Atkins
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403

The BBC drama that launched "Mystery!" on PBS, She Fell Among Thieves is a DVD presentation in full color, featuring silver screen stars Malcolm McDowell (known for his performances in "A Clockwork Orange" and "Heroes") and Eileen Atkins (known for her performance in "Cold Mountain"). While visiting the Pyrenees on holiday in 1922, English gentleman Richard Chandos crosses paths with Vanity Fair, the nefarious Mistress of the turreted Chateau Jezreel and leader of criminals, hell-bent on pressuring her beautiful stepdaughter to marry so that she may inherit millions. Chandos must put his brains and brawn to the test to rescue the damsel in distress, but his opponent has ice water for blood and murder in her soul. An enthralling drama, highly recommended to mystery lovers as well as public library DVD collections. 78 minutes, 4:3 full screen, SDH subtitles.

The Audiobook Shelf

Essential Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau, author
Archibald MacLeish, narrator
c/o Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780061720963 $12.99 1-800-242-7737

Essential Thoreau: Excerpts from the Journal of Henry David Thoreau is an audio presentation of selected passages from the journal of great American philosopher, author, and nature lover Henry David Thoreau, which he started writing at the insistence of his colleague Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau kept the journal during the course of his literary career, from 1837 to 1862; the entries chosen to be read aloud range from "Young Women at Parties" to "Sunlight after Storm". Far from a standard diary or autobiography, Essential Thoreau gives a glimpse into the mind of a great writer, and is a worthy contribution to public library audiobook shelves. 1 CD, 1 hour.

The Green Hills of Earth
Robert A. Heinlein, author
Tom Weiner, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520
9780786167838 $80.00 1-800-729-2665

Featuring tracks every three minutes for easy bookmarking, The Green Hills of Earth is an unabridged audiobook on CD collecting short stories by Robert A. Heinlein, one of the most popular science fiction authors and winner of the 1975 Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. Narrated by Earphones Award-winning audio actor Tom Weiner, known for his voice roles in the television shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Transformers" among many others, The Green Hills of Earth includes the classic sci-fi tales "Delilah and the Space-Rigger," "Space-Jockey," "The Long Watch," "Gentlemen Be Seated," "We Also Walk Dogs," "Ordeal in Space," "The Green Hills of Earth," and "Logic of Empire." Highly recommended for public library collections strong in science fiction, and for science fiction fans everywhere. 6 CDs, 6 1/2 hours.

The Library CD Music Shelf

Watching for Rain
Anne Trenning
Shadetree Productions
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Watching for Rain is the third recorded music album by instrumental pianist Anne Trenning, featuring ten original songs plus five rearranged versions of beloved traditional songs. An abiding respect for tradition flows through her work, hearkening back to her treasured first memories of learning to play. A warm and inspirational album, highly recommended to invigorate the spirit. The tracks are The Ash Grove (2:54), Silent Night II (3:04), Eden Hall (4:04), A Prayer for the World (3:35), The Welcome Song (3:32), You and Me (5:15), Days of Pie (3:36), Carolina Moon (2:36), And I'll Fly Away (4:19), I Want To Be Ready (2:31), H.I.A.T.W. (3:41), Real Love (3:19), When You Say Nothing At All (3:26), Dancing With You (3:28), and Benediction (0:37).

Odo Sanbra
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International
c/o Rock Paper Scissors
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2, Bloomington, IN 47404

Occidental Brothers Dance Band International Odo Sanbra pays tribute to the diversity of African musical styles, particularly those that flourished in the early 1900s, in Oda Sanbra, their energetic new album. Neither does guitarist and band founder Nathaniel Braddock neglect his small-town Michigan heritage in the search to blend the best elements of traditional and original music. Saxophonist Greg Ward produces an African-styled counter to Braddock's guitar, while Ghanian star Kofi Crowell adds the gift of his lyrics, sometimes in English but often in the native Ghanian dialects of Fante or Twi. A truly marvelous listening experience, enthusiastically recommended especially for international music collections. The tracks are "Nyenko!", "Odo Sanbra", "Mafiwo", "Bizarre Love Triangle", "Circle Circle Circle", "Masanga", "Odo Bra WaWaWa", "Nedo Ye Fe", "Her Love Is Sweet", "Akwaaba 'You Are Welcome'", and "Yaa Amponsah".

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

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