Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Library Bookwatch

Library Bookwatch

Volume 15, Number 8 August 2020 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Science Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Civil War Shelf General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf
Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Art Shelf Business Shelf Political Science Shelf
Military Shelf Cookbook Shelf Railroading Shelf
Gardening Shelf Computer Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Photography Shelf Social Issues Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Blue-Collar Cash
Ken Rusk
Dey Street Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062989604, $24.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In a period of skyrocketing student loan debt without the promise of high-paying employment, and in an collapsing economy still in desperate need of skilled tradespeople, many are seeking new paths. In "Blue-Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life" by Ken Rusk argues that blue-collar trades are a source of pride and that anyone can (and will) find their version of happiness by pursuing a good old-fashioned craft.

In the pages of "Blue Collar Cash", Ken shares his insights from over 30 years working in blue collar trades as an entrepreneur, mentor, and life coach. Ken knows from his own experience (first as a young kid digging ditches, and then as the owner of a successful concrete construction business) that working with your hands at a job that takes skill and practice can be monumentally rewarding and life-affirming. Since then, he has built a multi-million-dollar business and gone on to mentor hundreds of employees in how to manage their money and set achievable goals.

Using the stories of those who have discovered lives of comfort, peace, and freedom, Ken creates a step-by-step, interactive guide that also includes financial planning and savings advice, and showcases how to create alternative and realistic routes to success and fulfillment.

Critique: Expertly written, impressively informative, exceptionally thoughtful, and down right inspiring, "Blue-Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life" is a life changing, life enhancing, life enriching read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Blue-Collar Cash" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094157580, $29.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Ken Rusk is a blue-collar construction business entrepreneur who has launched multiple successful endeavors over the last thirty years. For the first years of his working life, he dug ditches around foundations to fix leaky basements. Over the years, he dug his way to a good life, one shovel of dirt at a time, and is teaching others to do the same. Rusk has extensive experience in hiring, training, and developing first-time job seekers, particularly those without college degrees. He runs Rusk Industries, Inc., which specializes in multiple construction endeavors.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Women Writers Handbook
Ann Sandham, editor
Aurora Metro Books
www.aurorametro.com
c/o Publishers Group West (dist.)
www.pgw.com
9781912430338, $19.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Women-Writers-Handbook-2020/dp/1912430339

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised edition of the publisher's inaugural publication of "The Women Writers Handbook" first published in 1990 (and which won the Pandora Award from Women-in-Publishing) features poems, stories, essays and interviews with over 30 women writers.

These women writers include both emerging authors and luminaries of contemporary literature such as: A.S. Byatt, Saskia Calliste, April De Angelis, Kit de Waal, Carol Ann Duffy, Sian Evans, Philippa Gregory, Mary Hamer, Jackie Kay, Shuchi Kothari, Bryony Lavery, Annee Lawrence, Roseanne Liang, Suchen Christine Lim, Jackie McCarrick, Laura Miles, Raman Mundair, Magda Oldziejewska, Kaite O'Reilly, Jacqueline Pepall, Gabi Reigh, Djamila Ribeiro, Fiona Rintoul, Jasvinder Sanghera, Anne Sebba, Kalista Sy, Debbie Taylor, Madeleine Thien, Claire Tomalin, Ida Vitale, Sarah Waters and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf -Emma Woolf.

Critique: Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited, "The Women Writers Handbook" by Ann Sandham (Commissioning Edtor for Ladybird Children's Books at Penguin Random House) also features an informative Foreword by Cheryl Robson (the Aurora Metro Books publisher). Of special note is the inclusion of a instruction article on how to operate a writing workshop, a five page Resource Directory (compiled by Saskia Calliste), and a fun one-page Quiz.

Informative, thought-provoking, inspiring, "The Women Writers Handbook" is an extraordinary, unique, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in both organization and presentation. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections in general, "The Women Writers Handbook" is unreservedly recommended for Women's Fiction, Literature, and Writing supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Together with the original writing workshops plus black and white illustrations, editor Ann Sandham has compiled this new edition of "The Women Writers Handbook" to celebrate Aurora Metro Publication's 30th anniversary as an independent publisher. 20% of profits from the sale of "The Women Writers Handbook" will to go to the Virginia Woolf statue campaign in the UK.


The Education Shelf

Teaching Vulnerable Learners
Suzy Pepper Rollins
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393714623, $24.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When our public schools fail to address the problems of struggling students, the consequences can be dire: course failures, absenteeism, suspensions or expulsions, dropouts. Those effects continue to ripple after school with lower rates of college attendance and graduation, underemployment and lower wages, and even incarceration.

Yet many of these students can experience a very different trajectory when their learning difficulties are specifically and effectively addressed. Whether it's a student with ADHD who has trouble sitting still, a student just arrived from the Dominican Republic who speaks no English, or a traumatized student who dissociates in class, there are strategies that have proven effective in overcoming the hurdles they face. "Teaching Vulnerable Learners: Strategies for Students who are Bored, Distracted, Discouraged, or Likely to Drop Out" is guide designed to help classroom teachers to recognize the most common barriers to learning and apply solutions that will work in their classrooms.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Teaching Vulnerable Learners: Strategies for Students who are Bored, Distracted, Discouraged, or Likely to Drop Out" is an ideal curriculum textbook and especially suited for school district in-service training programs. Impressively informative and showcasing practical strategies and techniques for engaging problematic students in the classroom based learning process, "Teaching Vulnerable Learners" is very highly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Suzy Pepper Rollins is an author, speaker, and consultant based in Athens, Georgia, and who works with schools across North America to create academic success for all students. She is also the founder of Math in the Fast Lane and MyEdExpert.com.

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide, third edition
Susan Rakow
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
www.prufrock.com
9781618219817, $39.95, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and expanded third edition, "Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide" will prepare classroom teachers for grades 6-8 with the challenging task of understanding and meeting the needs of gifted students in middle school.

This revised third edition: Provides a rationale and framework that middle schools can use to fill the service gap for gifted and advanced learners; Addresses the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds; Shows how to implement effective program models; Identifies best practices for the classroom; Shares research-based curriculum models.

The topics addressed in the pages of "Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide" include school organization, instructional strategies in the basic subject areas, cocurricular and summer programs, the missing link of executive function skills, and counseling at-risk gifted learners. It also focuses on creative, practical, and realistic school solutions that create a vital and responsive community for all students.

Critique: An exceptionally well written, organized and presented textbook, this new third edition of "Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide" is unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education reference collections in general, and Gifted Education supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Susan Rakow, Ph.D., taught middle school and gifted students for 30 years and directed the gifted graduate program as Clinical Associate Professor at Cleveland State University. In addition to her consulting, she is the author of "Teaching to the Top" as well as numerous articles in professional journals. She works as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor both in private practice and at Menlo Park Academy for Gifted Children.


The Science Shelf

How Zoologists Organize Things
David Bainbridge
Francis Lincoln
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711252264, $26.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Humankind's fascination with the animal kingdom began as a matter of survival - differentiating the edible from the toxic, the ferocious from the tractable. Since then, our compulsion to catalogue wildlife has played a key role in growing our understanding of the planet and ourselves, inspiring religious beliefs and evolving scientific theories. "How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" unveils wild truths and even wilder myths about animals, as perpetuated by zoologists - revealing how much more there is to learn, and unlearn.

Long before Darwin, our ancestors were obsessed with the visual similarities and differences between the animals. Early scientists could sense there was an order that unified all life and formulated a variety of schemes to help illustrate this. This human quest to classify living beings has left us with a rich artistic legacy, from the folklore and religiosity of the ancient and Medieval world through the naturalistic cataloging of the Enlightenment to the modern, computer-generated classificatory labyrinth.

"How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" tells the fascinating, visual story of this process. The wonderful zoological charts reflect prevailing artistic trends and scientific discoveries, as well as telling us as much about ourselves as they do about the creatures depicted.

Critique: An ideal and comprehensive introduction to life science taxonomies in general, and zoology in particular, "How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" is impressively and profusely enhanced with illustrations throughout. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" will prove to be a unique and welcome addition to personal, professional, highschool, community, college, and university library Contemporary Science collections in general, and zoology supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: The definitive voice on zoology classification., David Bainbridge is a reproductive biologist, popular science writer, and the Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. As well as many academic and clinical publications, he has written seven popular science books, widely reviewed, discussed and translated. He is also a fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.


The American History Shelf

Commonwealth of Compromise
Amy Laurel Fluker
University of Missouri Press
201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826222084, $35.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri" is an important new contribution to the historical literature in which Amy Fluker (Assistant Professor of U.S. history at Youngstown State University) offers a history of Civil War commemoration in Missouri, shifting focus away from the guerrilla war and devoting equal attention to Union, African American, and Confederate commemoration.

"Commonwealth of Compromise" provides the most complete look yet at the construction of Civil War memory in Missouri, illuminating the particular challenges that shaped Civil War commemoration. As a slaveholding Union state on the Western frontier, Missouri found itself at odds with the popular narratives of Civil War memory developing in the North and the South. At the same time, the state's deeply divided population clashed with one another as they tried to find meaning in their complicated and divisive history.

As Missouri's Civil War generation constructed and competed to control Civil War memory, they undertook a series of collaborative efforts that paved the way for reconciliation to a degree unmatched by other states. Acts of Civil War commemoration have long been controversial and were never undertaken for objective purposes, but instead served to transmit particular values to future generations. Understanding this process lends informative context to contemporary debates about Civil War memory.

Critique: An extraordinarily timely contribution to our current national dialogue over Confederacy celebrating statues, Confederate general named military bases, and the removal of the last Confedrate 'Stars & Bars' from the Mississippi state flag, "Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri" is a work of original and meticulous scholarship that deserves being a part of every community, college, and university library U.S. Civil War History in general, and 19th century Missouri History supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.25).


The World History Shelf

Ancient Rome: An Introductory History
Pal A. Zoch
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806164779, $26.95, PB, 312pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In this revised and expanded second edition of "Ancient Rome: An Introductory History", author Paul A. Zoch presents the history and mythology of Rome, from its legendary progenitor Aeneas to the death of the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius in 180 c.e. Zoch guides readers through the military campaigns and political developments that shaped Rome's rise from a small Italian city to the greatest imperial power the world had ever known, and he includes stories about its protagonists (such as Romulus and Remus, Horatius, and Nero) that are often omitted from more specialized studies.

In Zoch's retelling, the events and personalities of ancient Rome spring to life. We witness the long struggle against the enemy city of Carthage. We follow Caesar as he campaigns in Britain, and we observe the ebb and flow of Rome's fortunes in the Hellenistic East.

Emphasizing both the political and moral lessons to be learned from Roman history (and that remain relevant today) Zoch gives readers a narrative that is both entertaining and informative. An afterword takes the history to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West in 476 c.e.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a number of illustrations, a six page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, this newly revised second edition of "Ancient Rome: An Introductory History" is particularly recommended for Roman History supplemental curriculum reading lists and will prove to be of value to students and ideal for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject. Impressively well written, organized and presented, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ancient Rome: An Introductory History" is also readily available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $24.95).

Editorial Note: Paul A. Zoch is a Houston-based educator with thirty-one years of experience teaching Latin and ancient Roman history. He is also the author of "Doomed to Fail: The Built-In Defects of American Education".

Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins
Ariane Thomas & Timothy Potts, editors
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066492, $65.00, HC, 236pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq, was home to the remarkable ancient civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria. From the rise of the first cities around 3500 BCE, through the mighty empires of Nineveh and Babylon, to the demise of its native culture around 100 CE, Mesopotamia produced some of the most powerful and captivating art of antiquity and led the world in astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences -- a legacy that lives on today.

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Ariane Thomas (Curator of the Mesopotamian Collections, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, Musee du Louvre, Paris; and Timothy Potts (Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), "Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins presents a rich and illustrated panorama of ancient Mesopotamia's history, from its earliest prehistoric cultures to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE.

This original and detailed catalogue records the beauty and variety of the objects on display, on loan from the Louvre's unparalleled collection of ancient Near Eastern antiquities: cylinder seals, monumental sculptures, cuneiform tablets, jewelry, glazed bricks, paintings, figurines, and more. Essays by international experts explore a range of topics, from the earliest French excavations to Mesopotamia's economy, religion, cities, cuneiform writing, rulers, and history -- as well as its enduring presence in the contemporary imagination.

Critique: Published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa March 18 to July 27, 2020, "Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins" is an extraordinary coffee- table style (9 x 0.9 x 11.5 inches) volume that is as comprehensively informative and expertly organized as it is beautifully illustrated and presented throughout, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Iraq Assyria, Babylonia & Sumer History collections in general, and Ancient Mesopotamia History supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.


The Civil War Shelf

Vicksburg Besieged
Steven E. Woodworth & Charles D. Grear, editors
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901
www.siupress.com
9780809337835, $29.50, HC, 200pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Vicksburg, Mississippi, held strong through a bitter, hard-fought, months-long Civil War campaign, but General Ulysses S. Grant's forty-day siege ended the stalemate and, on July 4, 1863, destroyed Confederate control of the Mississippi River. Deftly edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear, "Vicksburg Besieged" is the first anthology to examine the Vicksburg Campaign's final phase with contributions by nine prominent historians and emerging scholars (Andrew S. Bledsoe, John J. Gaines, Charles D. Grear, Martin J. Hershock, Richard H. Holloway, Justin S. Solonick, Scott L. Stabler, Jonathan M. Steplyk, and Steven E. Woodworth) providing an in-depth analysis of previously unexamined aspects of this historic Civil War siege.

Ranging in scope from military to social history, the contributors' invitingly written essays examine the role of Grant's staff, the critical contributions of African American troops to the Union Army of the Tennessee, both sides' use of sharpshooters and soldiers' opinions about them, unusual nighttime activities between the Union siege lines and Confederate defensive positions, the use of West Point siege theory and the ingenuity of Midwestern soldiers in mining tunnels under the city's defenses, the horrific experiences of civilians trapped in Vicksburg, the failure of Louisiana soldiers' defense at the subsequent siege of Jackson, and the effect of the campaign on Confederate soldiers from the Trans-Mississippi region.

The contributors explore how the Confederate Army of Mississippi and residents of Vicksburg faced food and supply shortages as well as constant danger from Union cannons and sharpshooters. Rebel troops under the leadership of General John C. Pemberton sought to stave off the Union soldiers, and though their morale plummeted, the besieged soldiers held their ground until starvation set in. Their surrender meant that Grant's forces succeeded in splitting in half the Confederate States of America

Critique: An impressively informative body of original Civil War scholarship that is enhanced with the inclusion of illustrations, a listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a seven page Index, "Vicksburg Besieged" will prove to be an enduringly valued contribution to the growing body of American Civil War histories and is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Civil War collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, Civil War history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Vicksburg Besieged" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.02).

Editorial Note: Steven E. Woodworth, a professor of history at Texas Christian University, has authored, coauthored, or edited more than thirty books on the Civil War era, including Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861 - 1865, and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West. He is a coeditor of the Civil War Campaigns in the West series.

Charles D. Grear, a professor of history at Central Texas College, has written extensively on Texas and the Civil War, including Why Texans Fought in the Civil War. In addition, he has edited several books, among them The Tennessee Campaign of 1864 and The Vicksburg Assaults, May 19 - 22, 1863. He is a coeditor of the Civil War Campaigns in the West series.

Hellmira
Derek Maxfield
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611214871, $14.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Long called by some the "Andersonville of the North," the prisoner of war camp in Elmira, New York, is remembered as the most notorious of all Union-run POW camps. It existed for only one year (from the summer of 1864 to July 1865) but in that time, and for long after, it became darkly emblematic of man's inhumanity to man. Confederate prisoners called it "Hellmira."

Hastily constructed, poorly planned, and overcrowded, prisoner of war camps North and South were dumping grounds for the refuse of war. An unfortunate necessity, both sides regarded the camps as temporary inconveniences -- and distractions from the important task of winning the war. There was no need, they believed, to construct expensive shelters or provide better rations. They needed only to sustain life long enough for the war to be won. Victory would deliver prisoners from their conditions.

As a result, conditions in the prisoner of war camps amounted to a great humanitarian crisis, the extent of which could hardly be understood even after the blood stopped flowing on the battlefields.

In the years after the war, as Reconstruction became increasingly bitter, the North pointed to Camp Sumter (better known as the Andersonville POW camp in Americus, Georgia) as evidence of the cruelty and barbarity of the Confederacy. The South, in turn, cited the camp in Elmira as a place where Union authorities withheld adequate food and shelter and purposefully caused thousands to suffer in the bitter cold. This finger-pointing by both sides would go on for over a century. And as it did, the legend of Hellmira grew.

Critique: A seminal work of outstanding and meticulous scholarship, "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp - Elmira, NY" brings out of historical obscurity one of the most tragic aspects of the Union's conduct during the American Civil War. A unique and informative contributions to the growing library of Civil War histories, "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp - Elmira, NY" is an important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.97) for students, academia, and Civil War history buffs.

Editorial Note: Derek Maxfield is an Associate Professor of History at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York. In 2013, Professor Maxfield was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and, more recently, was nominated for the 2019 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.


The General Fiction Shelf

My Name Is Saul
Lin Wilder
Wilder Books
https://www.linwilder.com
9781948018494, $15.50, PB, 254pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: St. Paul the Apostle is a towering biblical figure, but almost nothing is known about his early life as Saul of Tarsus.

As death loomed over him at Mamertine Prison in Rome, under the watchful eye of his jailer and final follower Aurelius, he wrote: "I will die tomorrow. In the morning, around sunrise. There are two things for which I am eminently grateful: That I have been permitted to have fought the good fight and finished the race marked out for me; and that I will not have to endure another winter in this place."

A novel that deftly blends historical fact with an engaging literary creativity, "My Name Is Saul" by Lin Wilder propels her readers back through time to the life of the man who would become known for the next two thousand years as St. Paul. Her vividly imagined, well-founded tale of loss, transformation, and divine intervention will captivate Christians and non-Christians alike who yearn for the human truth and drama that underlay the New Testament scriptures.

Critique: A simply riveting and truly memorable read from cover to cover, "My Name Is Saul" showcases author Lin Wilder's impressive literary gifts as a natural and accomplished storyteller. While "My Name Is Saul" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Name Is Saul" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

A Wing and a Prayer
Margaret Thornton
Magna Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780750547963, $TBA, HC, Large Print, 360pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9780750547963

Synopsis: Set in 1990, Blackpool, England, "A Wing and a Prayer" is the story of thirty-three-year-old Helen Burnside who is shocked when she learns that her beloved Great Aunt Alice has died of a sudden heart attack, and even more surprised when she is bequeathed her Yorkshire cottage.

Although the two of them were close, Alice was always an enigmatic figure, estranged from most of her family. What led to the long-held animosity between Alice, her mother Ada and her sister Lizzie, and why did she leave Blackpool for Yorkshire all those years ago?

Moving into Alice's cottage, Helen uncovers a series of devastating family secrets. But as she pieces together the truth about her aunt's life, it seems her own is about to go in a new direction.

Critique: This thoroughly 'reader friendly' large print edition of Margaret Thornton's "A Wing and a Prayer" is an inherently engaging, impressively entertaining, and genuinely fascinating read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enduringly welcome and popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

The Poor Relation
Susanna Bavin
Magna Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780750547628, $37.00, HC, Large Print, 486pp

https://www.amazon.com/Poor-Relation-Susanna-Bavin/dp/0750547626

Synopsis: Set in Manchester, England, circa1908, "The Poor Relation" by Susanna Bavin is the story of attractive, intelligent Mary Maitland who is furious to learn that her pompous boss will never promote her, simply because she is a woman.

Despite financial support from her family, Mary is determined to strike out on her own and earn a living. She finds work at a women's employment agency, where her talent for writing is noticed and she begins publishing articles for newspapers and magazines. But in the face of strong opinions from her well-to-do family on the role of a woman, is it possible to be a dutiful daughter at the same time as spreading her wings?

Critique: A powerful and engaging novel drawn from the Women's Suffrage Era when women were expanding from traditional family oriented home-bound roles to working outside the home, this large print edition of "The Poor Relation" by author Susanna Bavin is an fully entertaining read from beginning to end -- and will prove to be a certain and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Historical Fiction collections.

A Perfect Cornish Summer
Phillipa Ashley
Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444845464, $37.00, HC, Large Print, 438pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. For Sam Lovell, organizing the festival is one of the highlights of her year, providing a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and distinct lack of it in her love life).

When Gabe Mathias, a popular chef and former local, agrees to headline the weekend after the star booking unexpectedly cancels, Sam should be delighted. But Gabe is the last person Sam was expecting to see. They haven't spoken in eleven years, when their relationship imploded after Gabe made a choice with far-reaching consequences. Can they put aside their differences for the summer? Or will Gabe's return change Sam's quiet coastal life in ways she never imagined?

Critique: Author Phillipa Ashley has a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that keeps her reader's full attention from first page to last. Now available in a large print edition, Ashley's "A Perfect Cornish Summer" is another compellingly entertaining read that will have special appeal for readers with an interest in Small Town & Rural Fiction, Cultural Heritage Fiction, and Holiday Fiction. An ideal summertime read (or any other time of year for that matter!), "A Perfect Cornish Summer" will prove to be an enduringly welcome and popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Under Scottish Stars
Carla Laureano
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781496426291, $14.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it's a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending -- and incredibly attractive!

Malcolm Blake gave up everything including his home, his girlfriend, and his career, in order to return to Skye and raise his late sister's teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he's soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there's nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there's more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

Critique: A wonderfully entertaining read from first page to last, "Under Scottish Stars" showcases author Carla Laureano's impressive originality, her effective narrative storytelling style, and her complete mastery of the romance genre. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Under Scottish Stars" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

You Had Me at Hola
Alexis Daria
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062959928, $15.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new "Leading Lady Plan" should be easy enough to follow - until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suarez.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he'll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton's most closely guarded secret.

Critique: An original and wonderfully entertaining novel that reads like a finely crafted telenovela, "You Had Me At Hola" by Alexis Daria will prove to be an especially and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "You Had Me At Hola" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094163437, $39.99, CD).


The Western Fiction Shelf

Brolin
B. S. Bunn
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844399, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Red Mike Stall hijacks the westbound train with the help of his gang and attempts to murder everyone on board, he's shocked to find Brolin, a gunfighter thought to have been dead for ten years, among the passengers. Effecting an escape, Brolin dogs Stall's bloody trail with the help of Emmett King, a greenhorn store owner who lost his son to a stray bullet from the outlaws. In the final showdown, can a dead man win the day? Or will a killer continue his murderous rampage?

Critique: Another deftly scripted gem of a western action/adventure novel by a true master of the genre, "Brolin" by B. S. Bunn is an inherently entertaining read with more twists and turns than the Colorado River. A simply riveting read from cover to cover, this large print edition of "Brolin" will prove to be an especially popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Massacre At Red Rock
Jack Martin
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844429, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 316pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Former Confederate soldier Liberty Jones ended the last six months of the war in a Union prison camp. Now traveling west he just wants to be left in peace, but trouble has a way of finding him. Riding into the town of Red Rock to escape a marauding tribe of Indians, any hopes of safety he had are soon dispelled. The town is under military command, facing a gathering of tribes who are determined to drive people from the town and reclaim their land. Liberty and his band of townspeople must face impossible odds before blood runs deep in the streets of Red Rock.

Critique: An inherently fascinating novel that is told from both white and the Indian perspectives, "Massacre At Red Rock" by Jack Martin is as action packed a western as even the most dedicated western buff could hope for. This large print paperback edition is especially appropriate and recommended for community library Western Fiction collections.

Gun-Proddy Hombre
Barry Cord
Sagebrush Lare Print Westerns
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785418488, $30.59, PB, Large Print, 163pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Brett Havolin and Tony Mareno were friends. Tony had given up being an oil man and left Brett to set out west and start a ranch or a farm. A letter from Tony invited Brett to visit him on his newly established Flying Club. But by the time Brett arrived, Tony's body had been found with a bullet under his heart -- and Brett has inherited his friend's ranch.

The Flying Club is no great shakes of a spread, so Brett is surprised by the number of people eager to offer him considerable sums for his property. In fact, he's suspicious that it might have value for reasons not readily apparent -- reasons which Tony may or may not have known before his death. Determined to track down Tony's killer, and discover what's so special about the ranch, Brett will be dodging bullets before the secrets come to light!

Critique: A thoroughly action packed western novel the dramatically climaxes in an completely unforseen finale, "Gun-Proddy Hombre" by Barry Cord is a terrific read and this large print edition is certain to be a popular and welcome addition to community library collections and the personal reading lists of all truly dedicated western buffs.

Retribution
Corba Sunman
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844955, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Texas Ranger Chet Hallam stayed behind when his family moved to Kansas. Five years later he rides north to pay them a visit and discovers that his father, the county sheriff, left town a month ago to track down a gang of outlaws and never returned. But before he can set out, he's facing flying lead in a place where hired killers and renegades have the upper hand. It's time for Chet to deal out some justice of his own, while he searches for the truth about his missing father -- a search complicated by a woman from his past and another that might be a part of his future.

Critique: Corba Sunman is a prolific and impressively talented novelist whose command of the western fiction genre is second to none. In "Retribution" he once again reveals his ability to engage his readers rapt attention from the very beginning down to the climatic finale. There's always gun play a plenty in a Sunman novel and "Retribution" and this large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series will prove to be an immediately welcome addition to community library Western Fiction collections and the personal reading lists of any and all western novel fans.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Cross Shadow
Andrew Huff
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825446450, $15.99, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Former CIA agent turned evangelical pastor John Cross is busy caring for the small community of believers he ministers to in Virginia. Journalist Christine Lewis is busy with the demand for her talents from top news agencies in New York City. Neither has any time left for their relationship, which began eight months before when they paired up to prevent the detonation of a chemical bomb in the nation's capital.

But when Christine hears that her stepbrother has been arrested for murder in Texas, they team up again to discover the truth about the crime. Untangling a web of conspiracy, the couple finds themselves in the center of another dangerous situation-and in trouble far deeper than they expected.

With an assassin on the loose, a trusted colleague acting as a double agent, and unreliable artificial intelligence connected to mercenaries who have Cross on their hit list, these two may not get out of the Lone Star State alive!

Critique: Another Shepherd suspense novel by Andrew Huff, "Cross Shadow" is an impressively crafted story of mystery and suspense with a truly memorable cast of characters and more plot twists and turns than the Colorado River. A simply riveting read from beginning to end, "Cross Shadow" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Cross Shadow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne
Elsa Hart
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250142818, $26.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: London in 1703 was a time when the old approaches to science coexist with the new, and one elite community attempts to understand the world by collecting its wonders. Sir Barnaby Mayne, the most formidable of these collectors, has devoted his life to filling his cabinets. While the curious-minded vie for invitations to study the rare stones, bones, books, and artifacts he has amassed, some visitors come with a darker purpose.

For Cecily Kay, it is a passion for plants that brings her to the Mayne house. The only puzzle she expects to encounter is how to locate the specimens she needs within Sir Barnaby's crowded cabinets. But when her host is stabbed to death, Cecily finds the confession of the supposed killer unconvincing. She pays attention to details (years of practice have taught her that the smallest particulars can distinguish a harmless herb from a deadly one) and in the case of Sir Barnaby's murder, there are too many inconsistencies for her to ignore.

To discover the truth, Cecily must enter the world of the collectors, a realm where intellect is distorted by obsession and greed. As her pursuit of answers brings her closer to a killer, she risks being given a final resting place amid the bones that wait, silent and still, in the cabinets of Barnaby Mayne.

Critique: An inherently fascinating historical murder mystery, "The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne" by Elsa Hart is a cleverly written and solidly entertaining novel from first page to last. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250751904, $44.99, CD).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Caller of Lightning
Peter J. Wacks & Eytan Kollin
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982124632, $25.00, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Halley's Comet blazed across the sky in 1759, onlookers saw a sight far more spectacular (and disastrous) than they ever could have imagined. Destroyed in a magical battle, the comet is rent in two and appears to strike Earth. The event is known as The Sundering, the moment in which the Old World is separated from the New, perhaps permanently isolating the Americas. What's more, The Sundering has brought magic into the world -- creatures from folklore and fairy tales come to life, along with wizardry and magework unlike anything seen outside of legend.

The New World is now far stranger than before, and the Europeans, Africans, and Indigenous peoples on the American continent must forge new bonds if they are to survive.

So, when magic returns to the world of the 1700s, who does the world turn to for help? None other than the father of electricity himself: Benjamin Franklin! But Franklin is in for a shock if he thinks his knowledge of science will prepare him for the world of magic. The master once more becomes the apprentice. But Franklin must learn his spells fast, for he is far from the only one studying magic. In point of fact, he's late to the race and almost out of time!

Critique: The third volume in author Peter J. Wacks and Eytan Kollin's alternate history 'Arcane America' series, "Caller of Lightning" is another original and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover. Replete with unexpected plot twists and turns that compel the reader's rapt and appreciative attention, "Caller of Lightning" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated 'Arcane America' fans that "Caller of Lightning" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

The Long Fix
Vivian S. Lee, MD, author
Charles Constant, narrator
Kalorama Audio
c/o HighBridge
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781684579280 $29.99

Synopsis: Beyond the outrageous expense, the quality of care varies wildly, and millions of Americans can't get care when they need it. This is bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for business.

In The Long Fix, physician and health care CEO Vivian S. Lee, MD, cuts to the heart of the health care crisis. The problem with the way medicine is practiced, she explains, is not so much who's paying, it's what we are paying for. Insurers, employers, the government, and individuals pay for every procedure, prescription, and lab test, whether or not it makes us better - and that is both backward and dangerous.

Dr. Lee proposes turning the way we receive care completely inside out. When doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies are paid to keep people healthy, care improves and costs decrease. Lee shares inspiring examples of how this has been done, from physicians' practices that prioritize preventative care, to hospitals that adapt lessons from manufacturing plants to make them safer, to health care organizations that share online how much care costs and how well each physician is caring for patients.

Using clear and compelling language, Dr. Lee paints a picture that is both realistic and optimistic. It may not be a quick fix, but her concrete action plan for reform - for employers and other payers, patients, clinicians, and policy makers - can reinvent health care, and create a less costly, more efficient, and healthier system for all.

Critique: Now in an unabridged audiobook, The Long Fix examines America's health care crises and proposes drastic solutions to improve quality of care and counter the entrenched interests of an industry that reaps more profit by extracting money from sick people than keeping people healthy. From the importance of emphasizing preventative care, to adapting successful practices of businesses in other fields to make hospitals safer, The Long Fix is packed with a wealth of practical-minded and literally lifesaving recommendations. The Long Fix is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 6 CDs, 7 hours.

The Madwoman and the Roomba
Sandra Tsing Loh, author and narrator
HighBridge Audio Books
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781684579396 $29.99

Synopsis: Ah, 55. Gateway to the golden years! Professional summiting. Emotional maturity. Easy surfing toward the glassy blue waters of retirement... Or maybe not? Middle age, for Sandra Tsing Loh, feels more like living a disorganized 25-year-old's life in an 85-year-old's malfunctioning body. With raucous wit and carefree candor, Loh recounts the struggles of leaning in, staying lean, and keeping her family well-fed and financially afloat - all those burdens of running a household that still, all-too-often, fall to women.

The Madwoman and the Roomba chronicles a roller coaster year for Loh, her partner, and her two teenage daughters in their ramshackle quasi-Craftsman, with a front lawn that's more like a rectangle of compacted dirt and mice that greet her as she makes her morning coffee. Her daughters are spending more time online than off; her partner has become a Hindu, bringing in a household of monks; and she and her girlfriends are wondering over Groupon "well" drinks how they got here.

Whether prematurely freaking out about her daughters' college applications, worrying over her eccentric aging father, or overcoming the pitfalls of long-term partnership and the temptations of paired-with-cheese online goddess webinars, Loh somehow navigates the realities of what it means to be a middle-aged woman in the twenty-first century. By day's end, we just might need a box of Chardonnay and a Roomba to clean up the mess.

Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook, The Madwoman and the Roomba is a uniquely wry, hilariously honest testimony of a year in the life of author Sandra Tsing Loh, a middle-aged woman with a house to clean, a family to provide for, and a body that seems to act thirty years older than it is. Insightful, witty, and ruefully observant, The Madwoman and the Roomba is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 8.5 hours on 7 CDs.

Illuminating History
Bernard Bailyn, author
Tom Parks, narrator
HighBridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781684578290, $29.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bernard Bailyn is Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, emeritus, at Harvard University. His many distinguished works have been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Humanities Medal.

Over his remarkable career Professor Bailyn has reshaped our understanding of the early American past. Inscribing his superb scholarship with passion and imagination honed by a commitment to rigor, in "Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades" Professor Bailyn captures the particularity of the past and its broad significance in precise, elegant prose.

His transformative work has ranged from a new reckoning with the ideology that powered the opposition to British authority in the American Revolution to a sweeping account of the peopling of America and the critical nurturing of a new field, the history of the Atlantic world.

"Illuminating History" is the most personal of Professor Bailyn's works. It is in part an intellectual memoir of the significant turns in an immensely productive and influential scholarly career. It is also alive with people whose actions touched the long arc of history.

Among the dramatic human stories that command our attention: a struggling Boston merchant tormented by the tensions between capitalist avarice and a constrictive Puritan piety; an ordinary shopkeeper who in a unique way feverishly condemned British authority as corrupt and unworthy of public confidence; and a charismatic German Pietist who founded a cloister in the Pennsylvania wilderness.

"Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades" is vivid history and an illuminating self-portrait from one of the most eminent historians of our time.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades" is effectively and expertly narrated by Tom Parks. The result is the next best thing to sitting front row center in one of Professor Bernard Bailyn's classes. The complete and unabridged edition (7 CDs, 8 Hours) from HighBridge Audio will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community, college, and university library audio book collections.

The Lending Library
Aliza Fogelson
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799746287, $14.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she's as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.

At first just a hobby, this lit lovers' haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors -- and attract an exciting new romance!

But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie's secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do!

Critique: Expertly and engagingly narrative by Chris Dukehart, "The Lending Library" by novelist Aliza Fogelson is an impressively entertaining experience. With its flawless production values, this complete and unabridged edition of "The Lending Library" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections and personal listening lists. (7 CDs, Running Time: 8 Hours, 15 Minutes)

A World of Secrets
James Maxwell, author
Simon Vance, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713500667, $14.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In a world of secrets, Taimin and Selena are desperate for answers. They need to discover the truth about their origins and the firewall that borders the wasteland. If they don't find the hidden path they seek, the citizens of Zorn will die.

As they make the perilous journey to the distant firewall, Taimin and Selena are joined by three companions: a young healer, a weapons trader, and an old rover. Together the five are in constant danger, unable to rely on Selena's powers as she has lost the ability to farcast -- and she doesn't know how to get it back.

Now Taimin finds himself hunted by a new enemy -- a strange creature on a bloodthirsty quest of his own. Taimin and Selena get ever closer to the answers that are essential to their survival. But will they learn the truth in time to save themselves?

Critique: An impressively unique and simply riveting science fiction novel by James Maxwell that is expertly brought to life by the narrative talents of Simon Vance, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "A World Of Secrets" (the second volume of Maxwell's 'The Firewall Trilogy) is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and college/university library Science Fiction audio book collections. (7 CDs, Running time: 8 hours, 27 minutes)

Let Them Eat Tweets
Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson
Kalorama
c/o Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com
9781684579266, $34.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now under the total domination of Donald Trump. does the GOP now represent "forgotten" Americans cited so effusively in his presidential campaign of 2016 -- or does it continue represent the superrich popularly known as the 1% ?

In "Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality", political scientists Jacob S. Hacker (Yale University) and Paul Pierson (University of California - Berkeley) have effectively collaborated to offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history.

Historically, conservative political parties, by their very nature, have almost always sided with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society?

Today's Republicans have shown the way to a small minority overruling the vast majority by doubling down on a truly reactionary, elite-benefitting economic agenda while at the same time making increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to their almost entirely white base.

Telling a forty-year story, Hacker and Pierson demonstrate that since the early 1980s, when inequality started spiking, extreme tax cutting, union busting, and deregulation have gone hand in hand with extreme race-baiting, outrage stoking, and disinformation. As Hacker and Pierson argue, Trump isn't a break with the GOP's recent past. On the contrary, he embodies and perpetuates its tightening embrace of plutocracy and right-wing extremism.

Critique: Expertly narrated by Peter Berkrot, "Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality" is an extraordinary and impressively informed and informative presentation, not of the political sins of Donald Trump, but of the systemic conditions created and maintaining by a plutocracy that set the conditions necessary for the rise of someone like Trump. "Let Them Eat Tweets" should be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collection. This complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of "Let Them Eat Tweets" is a 'must' for anyone and everyone who is struggling for social, economic, political, and racial equality -- especially in this time of pandemic and economic collapse, and with an every rising American death toll due to the incompetence of Trump's presidential conduct and the 70% support it has (and continues to have) commanded from both the elected Republican officer holders and the Republic rank and file.


The Library CD Shelf

Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond!
Putumayo Presents
www.putumayo.com
$14.98 CD

Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond! is an anthology of songs by a variety of music artists, steeped in the vibrant musical culture of Brazil. Individual pieces draw upon Amazonian rhythms, African roots, samba and bossa. Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond! is a lively, brilliant addition to multicultural music collections, highly recommended both for individual connoisseurs and public libraries. The full, physical CD from Putumayo Presents also comes with an album download card. The tracks are "Embola Bola", "Fala Brasil", "Beijo", "Sapata de Ouro", "Recado Que Maria Mandou", "Homenagem aos Orixas", "Babulina", "Sete Espadas", "O Samba Me Cantou", and "Batuque e Reza Forte".

The Lost Masters
Sons of the Pioneers
Western Heritage Collection
Country Rewind Records
www.countryrewind.com
c/o Hindsight Records
$8.69 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

The Lost Masters is an album of traditional country music, brimming with spirit and gumption. Enthusiastic, powerful, and steeped in American heritage, The Lost Masters is a "must-have" for connoisseurs of new contributions to a widely beloved genre. Highly recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are "Cowboy Jubilee", "Blue Prairie", "Open Range Ahead", "When Payday Rolls Around", "Wind", "Yippi Yi Your Troubles Away", "The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma", "A Cowboy Has To Sing", "Along the Navajo Trail", "Hold That Critter Down", "Cimarron (Roll on)", "Chant of the Plains (I Need You)", "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo", "Song of the Trail", "Ridin' Home", and "Chant of the Wanderer".

The Country Blues
Billy Don Burns
Country Rewind Records
www.countryrewind.com
c/o Hindsight Records
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

The Country Blues is an album of original country songs for the modern era, crafted with heart and passion. Offering a rousing course of traditional country themes, The Country Blues is a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre, and highly recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are "Runnin' Drugs Out Of Mexico", "Mexican Woman", "No Shortage Of The Blues", "Damn Cryin' Shame", "Stranger", "The Prison Song", "Ramblin' Gypsy", "You Lied Our Love Away", "I Like Trains", "No God In Juarez", "Wild Dogs", and "Honky Tonk Boots".


The Library DVD Shelf

City Dreamers
A film by Joseph Hillel
First Run Features
$24.95 www.firstrunfeatures.com

City Dreamers is a documentary about the changes of cities over the past 70 years, featuring insights from four female architects. Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown bring their wealth of experience in architecture and urban planning to this beautifully shot, extraordinarily insightful film. City Dreamers will appeal to architecture connoisseurs, city planners, and lay viewers alike, and is highly recommended especially for public library DVD collections. 81 min., English and French with English subtitles.

Caribbean Coast
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604902990 $24.95

Part of the "Discoveries Costa Rica" DVD series, Caribbean Coast is an astonishingly beautiful DVD documentary, featuring gorgeous scenes of 78 miles of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. From the vibrant wildlife of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, to the coral reef and white sand beaches of Cahuita National Park, to the saga of how dozens of great green macaws have been successfully reintroduced to the wild, Caribbean Coast is an extraordinary visual tour and the next best thing to visiting this wondrous area in person. Highly recommended, especially for armchair travelers and public library collections! 53 min.

Texas, New Mexico & Arizona
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604902181 $24.95

Part of the Discoveries... America National Parks series of video essays on DVD, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona is a panoramically beautiful showcase of parks in the desert southwest region of the United States. From Palo Alto Battlefield to Alibates Flint Quarries, Guadalupe Mountains, Saguaro National Park, Calrsbad Caverns, and more, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona is the next best thing to visiting this breathtaking, enriching, and culturally significant places in person. Texas, New Mexico & Arizona is highly recommended both for armchair travelers and for public library DVD collections. 56 min.

Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604902198 $24.95

Part of the Discoveries... America National Parks series of video essays on DVD, Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs showcases a wide assortment of breathtaking natural wonders in American parks. The gorgeous footage and vivid descriptions make Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs the next best thing to an in-person tour! Spotlighted locations include California lava beds, Oregon caves (such as the "Marble Halls of Oregon"), the John Day Fossil Beds, the Great Smoky Mountains, ancient thermal springs of Arkansas, and more. Captivating and educational, Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs is highly recommended both for armchair travelers and public library DVD collections. 57 min.


The Art Shelf

The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum
Daniel Belasco, et al.
Fundacion Juan March
c/o Distributed Art Publishers (DAP)
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9788470756658, $55.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis; In 1950, eighteen American abstract painters signed an open letter addressed to the president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to express their intense disapproval of the museum's contemporaneous exhibit American Painting Today: 1950. The artists were William Baziotes, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Jimmy Ernst, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Weldon Kees, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Richard Pousette-Dart, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Hedda Sterne, Clyfford Still and Bradley Walker Tomlin.

This artistic coalition, which included many members of the New York School and is now considered a watershed movement in mid-20th-century American art history, challenged the museum's policies for their narrow understanding of what made certain art worth exhibiting. Though they resisted being labeled as a collective, media coverage of the museum boycott, which included a now-famous group portrait in Life magazine taken by photographer Nina Leen, ultimately contributed to the success of the 18 "irascibles" in what became known as the abstract expressionist movement.

"The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum" includes 18 paintings by the artists, images from Leen's photoshoot and extensive documentation of the letter-writing process with relevant catalogs and magazines. Featuring more than 230 illustrations alongside original essays by several art historians and curators that examine the complex history of the New York School, "The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum" serves as a time capsule of the exciting period of early abstract expressionism in the United States.

Critique: An elegant coffee-table style volume (9 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches), "The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum" is an impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and inherently fascinating work of meticulous and collaborative scholarship that is especially recommended as a unique and invaluable contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library the 20th Century American Art History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

William Blake: Visionary
Edina Adam, author
Julian Brooks, author
Matthew Hargraves, contributor
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066423, $35.00, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: William Blake (28 November 1757 - 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham.

Celebrated for his boundless imagination and unique vision, William Blake created some of the most striking and distinctive imagery in art, often combining his poetry and visual images on the page through innovative graphic techniques. He has proven an enduring inspiration to artists, musicians, poets, and performers worldwide and a fascinating enigma to generations of admirers.

Featuring over 130 color images, "William Blake: Visionary" is new catalogue that brings together many of Blake's most iconic works. Organized by theme, "William Blake: Visionary" explores Blake's work as a professional printmaker, his roles as both painter-illustrator and poet-painter, his relationship to the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque artists that preceded him, and his legacy in the United States. "William Blake: Visionary" also examines his visionary prophetic books, including all eighteen plates of America a Prophecy.

Critique: The collaborative work of Edina Adams (A specialist in works on paper and an assistant curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum), Julian Brooks (who is senior curator and head of the Department of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the author of The Lure of Italy: Artists' Views from Getty Publications, 2017 and Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action (Getty Publications, 2015), and featuring contributions by Matthew Hargraves (who is the chief curator of art collections and head of collection information and access at the Yale Center for British Art), William Blake: Visionary is an incredibly impressive and beautifully illustrated volume that is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center July 21 to October 11, 2020. Browsing through the pages of "William Blake: Visionary" is the next best thing to an on-site tour of the exhibition and an armchair traveler's delight from cover to cover. "William Blake: Visionary" is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and William Blake supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.

American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship
Stephen M. Sessler, general editor
Merrell Publishers
8755 Lookout Mountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
www.merrellpublishers.com
9781858946825, $70.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the beautifully illustrated pages of "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" twenty-eight writers, each of them highly experienced and an acknowledged expert in their field, examine every aspect of the subject and contribute illuminating and often thought-provoking examinations of a wide variety of topics.

"American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" is divided into three sections.

Part I, The Historical Overview, contains fourteen essays. Their subjects range from the Hudson River School to the art of the American West, American artists in Europe, American Impressionism, Modernism, examinations of the major artists Marguerite Zorach, John Sloan, Everett Shinn, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Willem de Kooning, Guy Pne du Bois and his relationship with the collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, African American Art, figurative sculpture, and period frame connoisseurship.

Part II deals with Connoisseurship and the Collector, and covers such topics as developing an instinct for quality; dealing in fine art; conservation; choosing wisely in making a collection; the pleasures and perils of collecting art works on paper; researching paintings you may be considering acquiring; the role of qualified art advisors; the anatomy of an auction; knowing the law when buying art; and legal issues for the collector selling art. There are glimpses of the prominent collectors who have contributed so greatly to the American art scene over many years.

Part III covers Current Themes in the Art Market, and what to look out for, examining how to make historical American art relevant to the modern age and avoiding misinterpretation of what could be seen as sensitive subjects such as race; pointers to ways of connecting historical American art and the modern world; a look at why galleries matter; and discussing shifting tastes in American art.

Critique: An exceptionally informative and impressively illustrated coffee-table style volume (8.6 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches), "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" would be a particularly appropriate and welcome Memorial Fund acquisition choice for both community and academic libraries. An inherently fascinating and thought-provoking series of commentaries, "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" is especially commended for art students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the history of American Art and thinking of building up their own collections.

Editorial Note: Stephen M. Sessler (along with his wife Linda) has been an active collector of historical American art for many years. Joining the Fine Art Collectors group in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1990s, Stephen and Linda Sessler increased their knowledge hugely over time. Eventually, as that group's activities were scaled back, Stephen saw an opportunity and founded the Atlanta Art Forum in 2006, becoming its visionary "dean," with the aim of meeting other enthusiasts and experts and discussing his chosen subject with them. He felt that so much information and knowledge acquired over twelve years should be available to a much wider audience, and "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" is book was the result.


The Business Shelf

Intentional Integrity
Robert Chestnut
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250239709, $28.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Show of hands - who in this group has integrity?" -- It's with this direct and often uncomfortable question that Robert Chesnut, General Counsel of Airbnb, begins every presentation to new employees.

Defining integrity is difficult. Once understood as "telling the truth and keeping your word," it was about following not just the letter but the spirit of the law. But in a moment when workplaces are becoming more diverse, global, and connected, silence about integrity creates ambiguities about right and wrong that make everyone uncertain, opening the door for the minority of people to rationalize selfish behavior.

Trust in most traditional government, religious organizations, and higher education institutions is down -- and there's a dark cloud hovering over technology. But this is precisely where companies come in; as peoples' faith in establishments deteriorates, they're turning to their employer for stability.

In the pages of "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution", draws upon his personal experience and expertise Chesnut to offer a six-step process for corporate leaders and business managers to foster and manage a culture of integrity at work. He also explains the rationale and legal context for the ethics and practices, and presents scenarios to illuminate the nuances of thinking deeply and objectively about workplace culture.

We will always need governments to manage defense, infrastructure, and basic societal functions. But, Chesnut argues, the private sector has the responsibility to use sensitivity and flexibility to make broader progress -- if they act with integrity.

Critique: Within the context of a pandemic, social unrest, and economic collapse, "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution" is an especially timely and critically needed contribution to our on-going national dialogue over corporate responses to community crises, governmental responses with respect to corporate resources and practices, and the pivotal role the individual can play in a company (or in a community's) success. Expertly written, organized and presented, "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Business Management collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, academia, business executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781250272478, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250752925, $50.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Rob has spent a 35 year legal career exploring and helping to enforce rules that we all live by. Most recently, Rob spent 4 years as Airbnb's General Counsel and Chief Integrity Officer, helping Airbnb navigate a complex regulatory framework across as it grew into one of the world's leading hospitality companies. Today, Airbnb offers over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 220+ countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community and trust around the world. While at Airbnb, Rob developed the company's unique ethics program, "Integrity Belongs Here," that promotes an environment of ethics and compliance within the company. Prior to Airbnb, Rob Chestnut helped transform Chegg, Inc., from an offline textbook rental company into a multi-service digital learning platform. As general counsel, he helped take the company public in 2013.


The Political Science Shelf

Our Time Is Now
Stacey Abrams
Henry Holt & Company
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 400, New York, NY 10010-7725
www.henryholt.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250257703, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Stacey Abrams is an author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state's history. She has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels; and she is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Abrams is the 2012 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States.

Now in the pages of her newly published book, "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America", Stacey Abrams offers a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country. A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the first African American woman governor, but experienced these effects firsthand, despite running the most innovative race in modern politics as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. Abrams didn't win, but she has not conceded. "Our Time Is Now" compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership.

"Our Time Is Now" also draws on extensive research from national organizations and renowned scholars, as well as anecdotes from her life and others' who have fought throughout our country's history for the power to be heard. The stakes could not be higher. Here are concrete solutions and inspiration to stand up for who we are -- now.

Critique: A badly needed and eloquent contribution to our current and on-going national dialogue over the immoral and undemocratic practice of voter suppression in this Trump era of plutocracy and a thoroughly corrupted Republican Party, "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America" is deserving of as wide a readership as possible -- especially as we approach the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections. Unreservedly recommended for all community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250772312, $44.99, CD).


The Military Shelf

An American Uprising in Second World War England
Kate Werran
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526759542, $34.95, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy is the little known yet incredible story of a Second World War shoot-out between black and white American soldiers in a quiet Cornish town that ended up putting the 'special relationship' itself on trial. Now largely forgotten, at the time the subsequent court martial into what tabloids labeled a 'wild west' mutiny became front page news in Great Britain and the USA. Three thousand miles across the Atlantic, it mirrored and bolstered a fast-accelerating civil rights movement.

At home it caused Churchill himself 'grave anxiety' while refracting an extraordinary truth about the real state of Anglo-American relations. For three long days the story raged before the turbulent war-torn world moved on and forgot forever amid ever-escalating D-Day preparations. This account of a shocking drama the authorities tried to hush up has been painstakingly pieced back together for the first time thanks to new archival research.

When slotted into its unique context, extracted from wartime cabinet documents, secret government surveys, opinion polls, diaries, letters and newspapers as well as testimony from those who remember it, the story offers a rare and stunning window into a little-known dark side of the 'American Invasion'. By breathing new life into a vanished trial, it reveals a rare and surprising insight into the wider story of how Britain reacted to soldiers of the Jim Crow army when they came to stay.

Critique: An astonishing, inherently fascinating, meticulously researched bit of World War II history, "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library WWII Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of illustrations, maps, a Dramatis Personae, twelve pages of Notes, and a two page Secondary Reading list, it should be noted for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: After reading History at Oxford University, Kate Werran wrote for local and national newspapers before switching to television where she worked for one of Britain's leading independent documentary makers, producing 20th Century history programmes for Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC. Kate is especially passionate about writing this story she lays out in the pages of "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy" because it has been a life-long interest. One summer as a child, holidaying in her father's home town, Kate put her fingers in decades-old bullet-holes left in a war monument one night and asked the question: Why? Finally, she answered it with "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy".

Children Against Hitler
Monica Porter
www.monicaporter.co.uk
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526764287, $22.95, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Today very few know the real life stories of the children and teenagers who actively stood up to the Nazis. In the pages of "Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War", Monica Porter gathers together their stories from many corners of occupied Europe, showing how in a variety of audacious and inventive ways children as young as six resisted the Nazi menace, risking and sometimes even sacrificing their brief lives in the process: a heroism that until now has largely gone unsung and unacknowledged.

These courageous youngsters came from all classes and backgrounds. There were high school dropouts and social misfits, brainy bookworms, the children of farmers and factory workers. Some lost their entire families to the war, yet fought on alone. Often more adept and fearless at resistance than adults, they exuded an air of guilelessness and could slip more easily under the Nazi radar. But as nets tightened, many were captured, tortured or imprisoned, some paying the highest price -- a life brutally cut short by execution before they had even turned eighteen.

These children were motivated by different ideals; patriotism, political conviction, their Christian beliefs, or revulsion at the brutality of the Third Reich. But what united them was their determination to strike back at an enemy which had deprived them of their freedom, their dignity -- and their childhood.

Critique: A fitting memorial to the children who risked (and so often lost) their lives in resisting the Nazi war machine, "Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War" is an extraordinary, unique, informative, and welcome addition to personal, professional, community, college, and academic library World War II history collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Monica Porter is a London-based journalist who has written for dozens of British newspapers and magazines. She is well-placed to write about wartime resistance, as one of her five previously published books is "Deadly Carousel: A Singer's Story of the Second World War", about her own mother Vali Racz's rescue of Jewish friends in Nazi-occupied Budapest in 1944, for which she was honored by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among the Nations. She maintains a website at: www.monicaporter.co.uk

Korean War - Chinese Invasion
Gerry Van Tonder
Pen & Sword Books
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781526778093, $22.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In his first four volumes on the Korean War (all of which were published by Pen & Sword), military historian Gerry Van Tonder traces the war's progress from the North Korean invasion of June 1950, to the desperate American defense of the Pusan Perimeter, to General Douglas MacArthur's daring and highly successful amphibious offensive at Inch on, and his subsequent advance across the 38th Parallel to the Yalu River on the Chinese Manchurian border where Communist Chinese forces had been secretly infiltrating North Korean territory by slipping across the Yalu from mid-October 1950, to the ambush a South Korean regiment in the mountains of central North Korea. This is the first of several Chinese victories over unsuspecting and overstretched South Korean and American units in the winter of 1950/1.

"Korean War - Chinese Invasion: People's Liberation Army Crosses the Yalu, October 1950 March 1951" continues the history of the Korean War when on 27 November 1950, Chinese leader Mao Zedong, ostensibly fearful of the consequences of hostile American forces on his country's border along the Yalu River, ordered 250,000 troops into Korea, with express orders to annihilate the UN forces. In the western half of the theater, US General Walton H. Walker's Eighth Army front along the Chongch on axis is breached, while to the east, the US X Corps suffers a series of crushing defeats, including at the Chosin Reservoir, precipitating a massive evacuation from the North Korean port of Hungnam.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion black-and-white historical photographs, a one page Glossary, a three page Timeline, a two page Bibliography, and a three page Index, "Korean War - Chinese Invasion: People's Liberation Army Crosses the Yalu, October 1950 March 1951" is an extraordinarily informative and exceptionally well written, deftly organized and presented, detailed history that is very highly recommended for community and academic library Korean War military history collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and military history buffs that "Korean War - Chinese Invasion: People's Liberation Army Crosses the Yalu, October 1950 March 1951" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, military historian and author Gerry van Tonder came to Britain in 1999. Specializing in military history, Gerry has authored multiple books on Rhodesia and the co-authored definitive Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981. Gerry presented a copy to the regiment's former colonel-in-chief, Her Majesty the Queen.

Desert Redleg
L. Scott Lingamfelter
https://copybookwarrior.com
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
www.kentuckypress.com
9780813179209, $32.95, HC, 360pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, triggering the First Gulf War, a coalition of thirty-five countries led by the United States responded with Operation Desert Storm, which culminated in a one-hundred-hour coordinated air strike and ground assault that repelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Though largely forgotten in descriptions of the war, an eight-day barrage of artillery fire made this seemingly rapid offensive possible. At the forefront of this offensive were the brave field artillerymen known as "redlegs."

In "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War", a veteran and former redleg of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery (otherwise known as the "Big Red One"), Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, recounts the logistical and strategic decisions that led to a coalition victory.

Drawing on original battle maps, official reports, and personal journals, Lingamfelter describes the experience of the First Gulf War through a soldier's eyes and attempts to answer the question of whether the United States "got the job done" in its first sustained Middle Eastern conflict. Part military history, part personal memoir, "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War" provides a boots-on-the-ground perspective on the largest US artillery bombardment since World War II.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an eight page Glossary, ten pages of Notes, a two page Bibliography, and a twenty-three page Index, "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War" is a comprehensive, inherently fascinating, and impressively informative military history that is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American Military History collections in general, and First Gulf War supplemental studies reading in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject tht "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.12).

Editorial Note: Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, USA (Ret.), began his twenty-eight-year military career as a field artilleryman, quickly moving up the ranks to colonel. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 to 2018. His work has been published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Washington Times. He maintains a website at: https://copybookwarrior.com

Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II
Phil Haun, editor
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
www.kentuckypress.com
9780813176789, $50.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Following the cataclysmic losses suffered in World War I, air power theorists in Europe advocated for long-range bombers to overfly the trenches and strike deep into the enemy's heartland. The bombing of cities was seen as a means to collapse the enemy's will to resist and bring the war to a quick end. In the United States, airmen called for an independent air force, but with the nation's return to isolationism, there was little appetite for an offensive air power doctrine.

By the 1930s, however, a cadre of officers at the US Army Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) had articulated an operational concept of high-altitude daylight precision bombing (HADPB) that would be the foundation for a uniquely American vision of strategic air attack.

In "Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II" editor Phil Haun brings together nine ACTS lecture transcripts, which have been preserved in Air Force archives, exactly as delivered to the airmen destined to lead the US Army Air Forces in World War II.

Presented is a distinctive American strategy of high-altitude daylight precision bombing as told through lectures given at the ACTS during the interwar period and how these airmen put the theory to the test. This anthology of lectures examines the Air Corps theory of HADPB as compared to the reality of combat in World War II by relying on recent, revisionist histories that have given scholars a deeper understanding of the impact of strategic bombing on Germany.

Critique: A unique, expertly assembled, and deftly edited collection of primary and documented lectures, "Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II" is unreservedly recommended as a core and valued contribution to the growing library of World War II Military Aviation documents. While an important acquisition for college and university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military aviation history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780813179247, $30.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.50).

Editorial Note: A professor and dean of Academics at the US Naval War College, Phil Haun is also the author of "Coercion, Survival, and War: Why Weak States Resist the United States" and co-editor of "A-10s over Kosovo".


The Cookbook Shelf

The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook
Megan Wolf, MS, RD, CDN
Rockridge Press
www.rockridgepress.com
c/o Callisto Media
https://www.callistomedia.com
9781646115723, $15.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bariatrics is that branch of medicine which specifically deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity.

Deciding to use bariatric surgery as a weight-management tool is only the first step on the path to living a happier, healthier life. "The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook: 100 Postsurgery Recipes for Lifelong Health" by Megan Wolf is an all-in-one guide to successful post-surgery rehabilitation through a complete diet of 100 nutritious recipes that require only 5 ingredients. The step-by-step guidelines for post-surgical eating habits will help bariatric surgery patients to progress through the four stages of the recovery process with confidence.

From the Spinach and Feta Egg Bake to Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, this essential bariatric cookbook teaches with step-by-step instructions how to embrace the many changes associated with your approach to food, ranging from the importance of implementing a modified diet to the practice of separating beverages and solid food during meals. With this comprehensive bariatric cookbook to post-op success, the bariatric surgery patient be able to get to know their new "body normal" and enjoy a healthy life without unwanted pounds.

"The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook" includes: An impressive variety of delicious choices covering entrees, smoothies, sides, and sauces; recipes that focus on the Phase 4 recovery period of the different types of bariatric surgery (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band); All of the choices following a plan for a high-protein and low-sugar diet.

Critique: Beginning with an expertly presented introduction to 'Building Lifelong Health', and continuing with a culinary wealth of delicious, nutritious, and thematically appropriate bariatric surgery recovery recipes, "The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook: 100 Postsurgery Recipes for Lifelong Health" is enhanced with a one page Measur3ement Conversions list, a one page listing of References, a one page listing of Resources, and a ten page Index. While especially recommended as a unique and invaluable addition to personal, family, and community library collections, it should be noted that "The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook: 100 Postsurgery Recipes for Lifelong Health" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: A veteran recipe developer, public speaker, wellness expert and avid traveler, Megan Wolf is a New York City based Registered Dietitian. She runs a nutrition counseling practice focusing on comprehensive weight management. Megan holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from the New York University.


The Railroading Shelf

Pere Marquette: A Michigan Railroad System Before 1900
Graydon M. Meints
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
http://msupress.org
9781611863659, $44.95, HC, 204pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Pere Marquette Railroad has not one but two histories -- one for the twentieth century and one for the nineteenth. While the twentieth-century record of the Pere Marquette Railroad has been well studied and preserved, the nineteenth century has not been so well served. "Pere Marquette: A Michigan Railroad System Before 1900" by American railroad historian Graydon M. Meints aims to correct that oversight by focusing on the nineteenth-century part of the company's past, including the men who formed and directed these early roads, and the development of the system.

The Pere Marquette Railroad was formed in 1900 by a merger of three Michigan railroad companies and lasted forty-seven years before disappearing in June 1947 by a merger into the maw of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. Prior to the 1900 merger, the Pere Marquette Railroad's predecessors made up a motley collection of disconnected and unaffiliated short, local rail lines. After the financial panic of 1893, and with some commonality of ownership, the companies worked together more closely.

Before the end of the decade, the three main railroads (the Flint & Pere Marquette; the Detroit, Lansing & Northern; and the Chicago & West Michigan) had decided that the only way to maintain solvency was to merge. Using a plethora of primary sources including railway timetables and maps, "Pere Marquette" lends insight into the little-known corporate business history of the Pere Marquette Railroad.

Critique: Enhanced for academia and dedicated railroading history buffs with the inclusion of numerous charts, b/w historical photos, twenty-two pages of Notes, an eight page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "Pere Marquette: A Michigan Railroad System Before 1900" an expertly written, exceptionally well organized, deftly presented history and a welcome addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Railroading History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.


The Gardening Shelf

Robert Irwin Getty Garden, updated edition
Lawrence Weschler
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066560, $22.00, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Among the most beloved sites at the Getty Center, the Central Garden has aroused intense interest from the moment artist Robert Irwin was awarded the commission. First published in 2002, the "Robert Irwin Getty Garden" is comprised of a series of discussions between noted author Lawrence Weschler and Irwin, providing a lively account of what Irwin has playfully termed "a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art."

The text revolves around four garden walks: extended conversations in which the artist explains the critical choices he made ranging from plant materials to the steel utilized in the creation of a living work of art that has helped to redefine what a modern garden can and should be.

This newly updated edition features new photography of the Central Garden in a smaller, more accessible format.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, the "Robert Irwin Getty Garden" is an fully accessible and thoroughly 'reader friendly' volume about one of the Getty Center's best-loved sites. A gardener's delight to browse through and impressively informative for anyone who has visited this exquisite garden, "Robert Irwin Getty Garden" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Gardening collections and supplemental studies lists.

Editorial Note: A widely honored journalist, Lawrence Weschler is the Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. He is also the author of twelve other books, including Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, Vermeer in Bosnia, and, most recently, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences.


The Computer Shelf

From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence
Rajiv Joshi, et al.
River Publishers
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9788770221238, $115.00, HC, 300pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is not new to researchers, as its foundations were established in the 1950s. After many decades of inattention, there has been a dramatic resurgence of interest in AI, fueled by a confluence of several factors. The benefits of decades of Dennard scaling and Moore's law miniaturization, coupled with the rise of highly distributed processing, have led to massively parallel systems well suited for handling big data. The widespread availability of big data, necessary for training AI algorithms, is another important factor. Finally, the greatly increased compute power and memory bandwidths have enabled deeper networks and new algorithms capable of accuracy rivaling that of human perception.

Already AI has shown success in many diverse areas, including finance (portfolio management, investment strategies), marketing, health care, transportation, gaming, defense, robotics, computer vision, education, search engines, online assistants, image/facial recognition, anomaly detection, spam filtering, online customer service, biometric sensors, and predictive maintenance, to name a few.

Despite these remarkable advances, the human brain is still superior in many ways - including, notably, energy efficiency and one-shot learning -- giving researchers new areas to explore. In summary, AI research and applications will continue with vigor in software, algorithms, and hardware accelerators. These exciting developments have also brought new questions of ethics and privacy, areas which must be studied in tandem with technological advances.

To continue the success story of AI, the AI Compute Symposium was launched with the sponsorship of IBM, IEEE CAS and EDS for the first time. The aim of "From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence: AI Compute Symposium 2018" is to compile all the materials presented by the renowned speakers in the symposium into a single volume, serving as a learning tool for the reader.

"From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence: AI Compute Symposium 2018" is comprised of two broad topics: general AI advances (chapters 1-5) and neuromorphic computing directions (chapters 6-9).

Critique: Part of the River Publishers 'Tutorials in Circuits and Systems' series, "From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence: AI Compute Symposium 2018" must be considered as an essential and core addition to professional, college, and university library Computer Science collections in general, and Artificial Intelligence supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Clinician's Guide to Consulting
Dennis H. Reid
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
http://www.ccthomas.com
9780398093280, $37.95, PB, 254pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Clinicians who work with human service agencies often function in a consulting capacity with agency staff. Some clinicians work independently, and many others are employed within an agency. "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting: Achieving Performance Change, Desired Outcomes, and Staff Acceptance" by Dennis H. Reid describes how clinicians can effectively change staff performance in the human services to promote implementation of consultative recommendations for the betterment of agency clients.

The content of "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting" is based on over five decades of behavior analytic research and application, and the experiences of clinicians who have demonstrated consistent success in consulting with a wide variety of human service agencies.

"The Clinician's Guide to Consulting" is structured into four sections, each of which corresponds to various consulting strategies.

Section I presents an introduction to the clinician's guide to consulting, achieving performance change and staff acceptance, outcome management in approach to consulting, and the underlying considerations for consulting success.

Section II explores the specific strategies for promoting performance change and staff acceptance, consulting outcomes and expectations, training staff to carry out consultative recommendations, monitoring performance and outcome attainment, supporting proficient staff performance, and correcting nonproficient staff performance.

Section III focuses on achieving consulting success during difficult situations, promoting job security, overcoming motivational issues among staff, self-motivation, and financial success.

Section IV provides a list of Selected Readings containing numerous useful resources that cover the business side of consulting. "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting" is specifically designed to help clinicians perform consulting duties effectively and acceptably.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook for Medical Clinical Psychology and Social Work students, "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting: Achieving Performance Change, Desired Outcomes, and Staff Acceptance" fills an existing gap for applied 'real world' clinical consultation practices with various community and governmental institutions -- making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The Photography Shelf

Barcelona
Serge Ramelli
teNeues Publishing
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY, 10011
https://books-teneues.com
9783961712502, $55.00, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Enjoying a worldwide reputation for his work, Serge Ramelli has been a self-taught and now professional photographer and cinema producer since 2005.

Now in his eighth volume of photography published by teNeues Publishing, Ramelli turns his lens on Barcelona, which is Spain's second largest city and one of the most popular destinations in Europe. This joyful collection of the city's neighborhoods, street life, and iconic monuments is sure to delight any fan of the vibrant Catalan capital.

With his distinctive eye for the atmosphere as much as the architecture of a place, Ramelli visually captures Barcelona's most beloved districts and landmarks in all of their seductive magic. From the energy of Las Ramblas to the soaring wonder of the Sagrada Fam lia, "Barcelona" is a beautiful, evocative tribute to one of Europe's most popular cities.

Critique: This beautifully produced coffee-table style volume (10.2 x 0.9 x 13.1 inches) is the next best thing to actually being there and ideal for the armchair traveler and an inspiring template model for photographers seeking to create similar photographic memorials to other beloved cities of Europe or the Americas. Simply stated, Serge Ramelli's "Barcelona" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Photography collections.


The Social Issues Shelf

Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die
Charles Kamasaki
Mandel Vilar Press
https://www.mvpublishers.org
9781942134558, $29.95, PB, 560pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" by Charles Kamasaki is an insider's history and memoir of the battle for The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: its evolution, passage, impact, and its legacies for the future of immigration reform.

Charles Kamasaki has spent most of his life working for UnidosUS, formerly the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. He was a direct participant in the many meetings, hearings, mark-ups, debates, and other developments that led to the passage of the last major immigration reform legislation, The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

In "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" Kamasaki reveals the roles of key lawmakers and a coalition of public interest lobbyists that played a role in opposing, shaping, and then implementing IRCA. His account underscores the centrality of racial issues in the immigration reform debate and why it has become a near-perpetual topic of political debate.

Critique: A massive and invaluable contribution to our on-going national dialogue concerning immigration, "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" provides extraordinary backgrounded insights that will be of immense interest to immigration reform activists. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a listing of policy primers, a cast of characters, an informative author's note, ninety-six pages of chapter notes, and a fifteen page index, making it unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Social Issues and Political Science collections in general, and Immigration Reform supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.


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
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design