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Library Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 12 December 2019 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Christmas Shelf
Education Shelf Science Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Biography Shelf Economic Studies Shelf Military Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Civil War Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Library Science Shelf
Dance Shelf Jewelry Shelf Art Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Martial Arts Shelf Religious Studies Shelf
Music Shelf Railroading Shelf Architecture Shelf
Sports Shelf Cookbook Shelf Political Science Shelf
Literary Studies Shelf Technology Shelf Criminology Shelf


Reviewer's Choice

Preventing Election Violence Through Diplomacy
Bhojraj Pokharel
United States Institute of Peace Press
http://bookstore.usip.org
9781601277480 $19.95 pbk / $TBA ebook

Synopsis: Focusing on three case studies in Africa, this book analyzes the utility of diplomacy in preventing election violence. After defining and identifying the key dimensions of preventive diplomacy to prevent or reduce election violence, it looks at presidential elections between 2006 and 2017 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Nigeria. Drawing on personal experience, the literature, case study reviews, and expert interviews and roundtables with academics and practitioners, the book highlights conditions for the success and the failure of preventive diplomacy, offering recommendations to the international community for maximizing the efficacy of this unique tool.

Critique: Drawing upon three case studies in Africa, Preventing Election Violence Through Diplomacy scrutinizes strategies for risk management, selecting the best diplomatic actors, delivering diplomatic messages to target audiences, common mistakes when attempting to prevent or mitigate election-related violence, and much more. "Diplomatic actors should be careful not to engage in mirror imaging, the analytical fallacy of assuming that the audience thinks precisely the same way the speaker does. [...] For example, the Western political tradition's concept of term limits may seem alien to nations with a history of one-party, authoritarian, or dynastic rule." Preventing Election Violence Through Diplomacy is a resource that will help save not only lives, but also the democratic future of entire nations, and worthy of the highest recommendation for professional diplomats as well as public and college library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that an ebook version is forthcoming.

Editor's Note: Author Bhojraj Pokharel is an internationally recognized expert on organizing elections in conflict or postconflict situations. His personal experience includes serving as head of Nepal's Election Commission from 2006 to 2009, as well as being appointed to serve on a high-level panels for Bangladesh's 2008 parliamentary elections, and for South Sudan's referenda process in 2010-11.

Food or War
Julian Cribb
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
www.cambridge.org
9781108712903, $12.95, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Ours is the Age of Food. Food is a central obsession in all cultures, nations, the media, and society. Our future supply of food is filled with risk, and history tells us that lack of food leads to war. But it also presents us with spectacular opportunities for fresh human creativity and technological prowess.

In "Food or War", Julian Cribb describes a new food system capable of meeting our global needs on this hot and overcrowded planet. "Food or War" is especially relevant reading for anyone concerned about the health, safety, affordability, diversity, and sustainability of their food -- and the peace of our planet. It is not just timely -- its message is of the greatest urgency.

"Food or War" is especially commended to the attention of consumers, 'foodies', government and corporate policymakers, researchers, cooks, chefs and farmers. Indeed, anyone who cares about their food, where it comes from and what it means for them, their children and grandchildren.

Critique: As the world's human population continues to grow, the question of how to avoid mass starvation or wars over food supplies becomes increasingly vital to maintaining peace. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Food or War" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Food or War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.00).

Editorial Note: Julian Cribb is an Australian author and science communicator. His career includes appointments as newspaper editor, scientific correspondent for The Australian newspaper, director of national awareness for Australia's science agency CSIRO,and president of national professional bodies for agricultural journalism and science communication. His published work includes over 9000 media articles and nine books. He has received more than thirty awards for journalism. His books include: The Forgotten Country (AFP 1986), Australian Agriculture (Morescope 1990), The White Death (Angus & Roberston 1996), Sharing Knowledge (CSIRO Publishing 2002), Dry Times (CSIRO Publishing 2009), Open Science (CSIRO Publishing 2010), The Coming Famine (UCP 2010) Poisoned Planet (Allen&Unwin 2014) and Surviving the 21st Century (Springer 2017).

Climate Action Planning, revised and expanded edition
Michael R. Boswell, Adrienne I. Greve, Tammy L. Seale
Island Press
2000 M Street NW Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
www.islandpress.org
9781610919630, $35.00, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Climate change continues to impact our health and safety, the economy, and natural systems. With climate-related protections and programs under attack at the federal level, it is critical for cities to address climate impacts locally. Every day there are new examples of cities approaching the challenge of climate change in creative and innovative ways -- from rethinking transportation, to greening city buildings, to protecting against sea-level rise.

"Climate Action Planning: A Guide to Creating Low-Carbon, Resilient Communities" is a specifically designed instructional meant to help planners, municipal staff and officials, citizens and others working at local levels to develop and implement plans to mitigate a community's greenhouse gas emissions and increase the resilience of communities against climate change impacts. This fully revised and expanded edition of "Climate Action Planning" goes well beyond climate action plans to examine the mix of policy and planning instruments available to every community, and also examine process and communication to respond to the questions of: How does a community bring diverse voices to the table? What do recent examples and research tell us about successful communication strategies?

This new edition of "Climate Action Planning" brings in new examples of implemented projects to highlight what has worked and the challenges that remain. A completely new chapter on vulnerability assessment will help each community to identify their greatest risks and opportunities. Sections on land use and transportation have been expanded to reflect their growing contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The guidance in "Climate Action Planning" is put in the context of international, national, and state mandates and goals.

"Climate Action Planning" is the most comprehensive book on the state of the art, science, and practice of local climate action planning. It should be a first stop for any local government interested in addressing climate change.

Critique: Exceptionally informative, well written, deftly organized and presented, "Climate Action Planning: A Guide to Creating Low-Carbon, Resilient Communities" should be considered a mandatory addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Environmental Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, social activists, urban land use planners, city management officials, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Climate Action Planning" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.24).

Editorial Note: Michael R. Boswell is a Professor of City & Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He currently serves as an advisor to UN-Habitat's Planners for Climate Action (P4CA) initiative.

Adrienne I. Greve is a Professor of City & Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She served as project director for the State of California "Adaptation Planning Guide."

Tammy L. Seale is Associate Principal at PlaceWorks, Inc. and leads their Climate Action & Resiliency Services division.

Scam Me If You Can
Frank W. Abagnale
Portfolio
c/o Penguin Random House
penguinrandomhouse.com
9780525538967 $19.00 pbk / $14.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Maybe you're wondering how to make the scam phone calls stop. Perhaps someone has stolen your credit card number. Or you've been a victim of identity theft. Even if you haven't yet been the target of a crime, con artists are always out there, waiting for the right moment to steal your information, your money, and your life.

As one of the world's most respected authorities on the subjects of fraud, forgery, and cyber security, Frank Abagnale knows how scammers work. In Scam Me If You Can, he reveals the latest tricks that today's scammers, hackers, and con artists use to steal your money and personal information--often online and over the phone. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals hundreds of tips, including:

The best way to protect your phone from being hacked
The only time you should ever use a debit card
The one type of photo you should never post on social media
The only conditions under which you should use WiFi networks at the airport
The safest way to use an ATM

With his simple but counterintuitive rules, Abagnale also makes use of his insider intel to paint a picture of cybercrimes that haven't become widespread yet.

Critique: Anyone can fall for identity theft or other scams. The proliferation of modern technology makes it easier than ever for identity thieves to write checks, take out credit cards, order legal or illegal goods, and much more in another person's name. Social media is a treasure trove of impersonation information such as birthdays, addresses, or names of family and contacts. Even the most prudent individual is at risk if a company holding their information has a data breach - remember the Equifax scandal of 2017? Scam Me If You Can lists precautions that everyone should take to minimize risk, and offers detailed instructions about what to do if the worst happens. In today's increasingly digitized world, Scam Me If You Can is an absolute "must-have" for public library collections and for every man, woman, and child. Indeed, parents are strongly advised to teach their young adult or teenaged children the lessons of Scam Me If You Can (especially concerning what personal information should NOT be shared on any form of social media), the earlier the better! Highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Scam Me If You Can is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Winning Strategies for ACT Essay Writing
Aimee Weinstein
Vibrant Publishers
www.vibrantpublishers.com
9781949395457, $29.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts" by Dr. Aimee Weinstein is a deftly crafted guidebook that offers step-by-step, proven strategies for crafting a winning ACT essay. It includes suggestions for approaching the writing task, analyzing the issues presented, and managing time effectively. The book contains fifteen sample prompts using the exact same format as the official ACT tests. Each prompt includes a sample pro/con chart so students can learn to carefully plan and organize the essay before writing.

Additionally, "Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing" describes techniques to think through, outline, and write an engaging introduction, impressive supporting paragraphs, and powerful conclusion. There are recommendations for selecting a point of view and using solid evidence to support the argument. Additionally, there is a discussion of the ACT scoring rubric and reasons for taking the essay portion.

"Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts" is suitable for use with or without a tutor. By reading and practicing with this text, students will gain the tools and confidence to write a high scoring essay.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation for analyzing each prompt, carefully planing the essay, making a compelling argument, use=ing the allotted time effectively, evaluating sample essays, and increase student test taking confidence, "Winning Strategies For ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended study guide and should be a part of ever school district and community library college ACT test taking instructional reference collection.

Editorial Note: Dr. Aimee Weinstein is a writer and professor whose passion is coaching students on how to write effective essays for college applications as well as the ACT and SAT. She works full-time at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a Term Assistant Professor of Humanities and Graduate Pathway Advisor with INTO Mason. Dr. Weinstein works with the INTO Mason Mentoring Committee and is part of the Mason Faculty Learning Community on the Study of Teaching and Learning. She received her doctorate from the Department of Higher Education at George Mason University where she focused on teaching writing to second language learners via a hybrid classroom. Dr. Weinstein lived for more than ten years in Tokyo, Japan where she taught writing at Temple University, Japan. She has held positions at The George Washington University and Prince George's Community College (MD), teaching classes in various levels and genres of writing. Her previous publications include several food and travel articles in English-language magazines in Japan.


The Christmas Shelf

Christmas Is Coming!
The Metropolitian Museum of Art
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
115 West 18th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011
www.abramsbooks.com
9781419737497, $24.99, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Christmas season is one of the most wonderful times of the year, and from the Metropolitan Museum treasury of stories, poems, recipes, and songs, "Christmas Is Coming" is certain to light up the holiday season and enable families to joyfully celebrate everything there is to love about this very special time of the year.

Filled with favorite Christmas stories, such as " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and "Little Women, A Merry Christmas"; plus songs as well as original poems from Lee Bennett Hopkins, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others; original recipes from Erin Gleeson, Yvette van Boven, and Yotam Ottolenghi; and other holiday trappings.

All the artwork is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection, ranging from religious paintings depicting the Nativity, to 20th-century illustrations showing Santa Claus, to wintry scenes of snowy landscapes and ice skaters. With beautiful art and joyful text, "Christmas Is Coming!" is a wonderful book for the entire family to share.

Critique: A pure delight to browse through from first page to last, "Christmas Is Coming!: Celebrate the Holiday with Art, Stories, Poems, Songs, and Recipes" should be a part of every family and every community library collection. It should also be noted that "Christmas Is Coming!" is available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).


The Education Shelf

Curriculum Planning and Instructional Design for Gifted Learners, third edition
Joyce VanTassel-Baska & Ariel Baska
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
www.prufrock.com
9781618218896, $75.00, PB, 300pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and expanded third edition, "Curriculum Planning and Instructional Design for Gifted Learners" by the team of Joyce VanTassel-Baska and Ariel Baska continues to be an ideal guide to designing curriculum for the gifted at any level of learning and in any subject area.

This new edition of "Curriculum Planning and Instructional Design for Gifted Learners" deftly addresses the need to differentiate at all levels in the design process; shows how to customize curriculum for advanced learners; uses national standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, as the point of departure for design; and demonstrates how the differentiation process works in math, science, social studies, and English language arts.

Special needs gifted learners, such as those who are twice-exceptional, second language learners, students from poverty, and minority students, are also included as a group for further differentiation and customization of curriculum and instruction. This new edition of "Curriculum Planning and Instructional Design for Gifted Learners" may also be used to provide a curriculum guide for teachers in a master's program in gifted education or those taking endorsement classes.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook and instruction manual, "Curriculum Planning and Instructional Design for Gifted Learners: 3rd Edition" is unreservedly recommended as an essential and core addition to school district, college, and community library Contemporary Education collections and supplemental studies lists.

Editorial Note: Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D., is the Smith Professor Emerita at William & Mary, where she developed a graduate program and a research and development center in gifted education. She has published widely, including 30 books and more than 700 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and scholarly reports. Ariel Baska teaches all levels of Latin, including Advanced Placement, in Fairfax County Public Schools, VA. She received her bachelor's degree in Classics from William & Mary and her master's degree in curriculum studies with an emphasis in gifted education from George Mason University.

Your Students, My Students, Our Students
Lee Ann Jung, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, Julie Kroener
ASCD
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
www.ascd.org
9781416628095, $30.95, PB, 159pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms" deftly explores the hard truths of current special education practice and outlines five essential disruptions to the status quo.

The collaborative educational experts Lee Ann Jung, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and Julie Kroener show how to: Establish a school culture that champions equity and inclusion; Rethink the long-standing structure of least restrictive environment and the resulting service delivery: Leverage the strengths of all educators to provide appropriate support and challenge; Collaborate on the delivery of instruction and intervention; Honor the aspirations of each student and plan accordingly.

To realize authentic and equitable inclusion, classroom teachers must relentlessly and collectively pursue change. "Your Students, My Students, Our Students" was not written for "special educators" or "general educators" but for all educators as it informatively addresses the challenges, maps out the solutions, and provides tools and inspiration for the work ahead.

Of special note is the inclusion of real-life examples of empowerment and success that illustrate just what's possible when educators commit to the belief that every student belongs to all of us and all students deserve learning experiences that will equip them to live full and rewarding lives.

Critique: An ideal instructional resource and guide, "Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms" is unreservedly recommended for school district in-service workshops, college and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of teachers, school administrators, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.40).

Off to a Good Start
Kathleen M. Feeley & Emily A. Jones
Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
www.woodbinehouse.com
9781606132876, $29.95, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Off to a Good Start: A Behaviorally Based Model for Teaching Children with Down Syndrome: Teaching Programs" Kathleen M. Feeley (Director of the Center for Community Inclusion, Long Island University) and Emily A. Jones (Licensed Behavior Analyst and Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Queens College) share the compelling research about the benefits of using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methods with children with Down syndrome, describe ABA principles and procedures, and provide the ABA-based curriculum they've used for nearly 20 years to successfully teach infants through kindergartners with Down syndrome.

"Teaching Programs" shows readers how to teach hundreds of essential skills using proven discrete-trial methods with prompts and reinforcement rather than the more informal ways that people typically teach children with Down syndrome and covers: Background information on how the teaching programs are structured, how to progress through them, and how to use the included planning and tracking forms; How to organize materials and yourself, and work teaching into your day; General information on enhancing the learning environment and helping your child learn throughout the day (e.g., positioning your baby, keeping the environment stimulating, being responsive, ensuring that reinforcement is actually reinforcing, using visual schedules and token systems).

Also presented is: Comprehensive information on teaching specific skills to children in four age groups: infants & toddlers, early childhood, preschool, and kindergarten; within each age group, skills are divided into motor, social-communication, cognitive, and self-help development, and organized into teaching programs with specific steps to teach each skill; Using prompts and reinforcement to shape desired behavior and skills; How to minimize behavior which interferes with learning such as distracting parents/teachers with attention-seeking cute behavior, escaping from demands, or tuning out; Using behavior modification tools: functional behavior assessment and positive behavior support to manage behavior as the child gets older; How to access community resources and opportunities including early intervention, parent groups, inclusive recreational activities, scoping out preschool and kindergarten programs, understanding special education rights, and communicating with teachers and group leaders about ways to include your child.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook for both classroom teachers and involved parents of preschool and elementary school Down syndrome children, "Off to a Good Start: A Behaviorally Based Model for Teaching Children With Down Syndrome: Teaching Programs" is unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Down Syndrome Education instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The Science Shelf

The Firefly Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Gems
Rupert Hocheitner
Firefly Books Ltd.
www.fireflybooks.com
9780228102281, $19.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Comprised of step-by-step questions and answers accompanied by detailed color photographs for easy identification, "The Firefly Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Gems" is designed by mineralogist Rupert Hocheitner for easy and reliable identification of minerals, gems and rocks by students and non-specialist general readers.

The identification process begins with the stone's streak color, which is how "The Firefly Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Gems" is organized: Blue, Red, Yellow, Brown, Green Black and White. Using a sequence of straightforward questions and answers (and aided by over 1,000 photographs and drawings) this field guide narrows down the possibilities among 350 minerals, gems and rocks to reach the conclusive classification.

Identification is then further narrowed down with respect to Crystal form, Hardness, Luster, Density, Cleavage, Break and Tenacity. Each rock's main photograph shows the general or typical view, and identification tips about features are noted in the margins of the respective page.

Similar stones are presented for comparison and tips are provided that can eliminate imposters. Drawings show the mineral's crystal shape. The chemical formula reveals the elements from which the mineral is composed. There is also information about where the stone is typically found and some of the ways that humans have utilized it.

Critique: Packed with beautiful photographs of earth's many rocks, minerals and gems, "The Firefly Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Gems" is an ideal instructional reference for geology students, amateur mineralogists and collectors alike -- making it unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

You Can Prevent a Stroke
Joshua S. Yamamoto, MD & Kristin E. Thomas, MD
RosettaBooks
www.rosettabooks.com
9781948122405, $19.99, HC, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Natural aging leads to artery plaque, high blood pressure, and slower and irregular heartbeats. You can do everything right, and time will still pass. You will still age. While you can influence some aspects of aging on your own, some you cannot -- at least not without your doctor's help. Fortunately, the biology of aging is no longer mysterious. Heart and blood vessel health is knowable, measurable, and manageable.

In "You Can Prevent a Stroke", Dr. Joshua Yamamoto (a physician in private practice at Foxhall Medicine, PLLC, which he founded with his wife in 2013) and Dr. Kristin Thomas (a board-certified internist and partner with Foxhall Internists, PC, before starting Foxhall Medicine, PLLC, with her husband) help us understand what we can do, and what we can ask of our doctors, to manage the effects of aging on our circulation so that we do not have a stroke. For years, they have approached patients with the fundamentals learned at The Johns Hopkins Hospital: "Take responsibility for your patient's health, go in-depth, have an unswerving commitment to solving problems, be thorough, thoughtful, and have attention to detail."

There is no one-size-fits-all solution or magical cure for anything. But there are principles that can serve as useful guides for everyone and provide an approach to managing the natural processes that affect us all.

Some preventative steps include: Establishing a relationship with a physician; Knowing the health of your heart; Knowing the health of your arteries; Knowing the regularity of your heartbeat; Knowing if it's time to take a medicine to prevent plaque in your arteries, and whether you need a pill to prevent a blood clot

Strokes are usually said to be tragic and random. They are certainly tragic, but they are not random. Strokes can be avoided, and "You Can Prevent a Stroke" will explain how.

Critique: Especially well written, organized and presented so as to be of maximum value for the non-specialist general reader wanting to understand or who must deal with strokes with respect to themselves or a loved one, "You Can Prevent a Stroke" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists as well as community library Health/Medicine collections. It should be noted that "You Can Prevent a Stroke" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (HighBridge Audio, 9781684574131, $29.99, CD).

Maths, Physics and Clinical Measurement for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Hozefa Ebrahim, editor
David Ashton-Cleary, editor
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
www.cambridge.org
9781108731454, $59.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Maths, physics and clinical measurement hold a degree of mystery and trepidation for many who are working and training in anaesthesia, intensive care and theatre practice. "Maths, Physics and Clinical Measurement for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care" aptly covers these core topics in a logical and structured format, creating a more enjoyable learning experience that is accessible and easy to digest.

Each individual chapter opens with a set of learning objectives and summary of chapter contents. Following this is a clinical scenario that relates to the themes of the chapter and a number of hypothetical questions relating to the scenario are laid-out. Clinical pearls are presented in boxes for more advanced learning opportunities.

Each individual chapter closes with a set of MCQ or SBA self-test questions to test the readers' knowledge of the chapter. "Maths, Physics and Clinical Measurement for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care" covers everything needed for the FFICM and FRCA exams, making it an essential text for exam candidates, tutors, and those working in theatres, anaesthesia and the ICU.

Critique: Expertly compiled, edited, organized and presented by Hozefa Ebrahim (who is an anaesthetist and intensivist at University Hospitals Birmingham, and college tutor for anaesthesia) and David Ashton-Cleary (who is a consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust), and featuring illustrations by Eleanor Whittingham, "Maths, Physics and Clinical Measurement for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care" is an unreservedly recommended core addition to hospital, medical center, college, and university library Health/Medicine instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students and hospital medical team members that "Maths, Physics and Clinical Measurement for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.99).

The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia
Shelby Harris, PsyD
W.W. Norton & Company
https://wwnorton.com
9780393711615 $18.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: More than 60 percent of American women have trouble sleeping which isn't surprising, as they have a higher risk of developing sleeping problems. But addressing this issue is more nuanced for women than for men; pregnancy and menopause are just two factors that add complexity to an already difficult problem. At the risk of jeopardizing work, parenting, relationships, or overall health, no woman can afford to deal with sleep deprivation on her own.

The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia is a roadmap for those who experience anything from occasional bad nights to chronic insomnia. It outlines several methods to overcome these issues and improve physical and emotional well- being. From medical sleep aids to nonmedical approaches, the book looks beyond the basics of sleep hygiene, helping women to retrain their bodies and minds for a good night's sleep every night.

Critique: Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia: Get a Good Night's Sleep Without Relying on Medication is a practical guide to improving the quality of one's sleep. The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia is written especially for women, who may encounter sleeping problems caused or aggravated by hormonal changes during the course of their lives, and who often face extra stress as caregivers (whether looking after infants, young children, teenagers, or elderly family members).

Chapters address behavioral changes that can improve the quality of one's sleep, from limited "blue light" from electronic devices as well as caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine consumption in the hours before bedtime; to keeping one's bedroom cool; to habituating onself to the idea that the bed is reserved expressly for sleep (sex is the only exception); to psychological techniques to combat "unproductive worry" and much more. Although The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia cannot replace the care of a physician if needed, its practical, patient-tested advice is invaluable for any woman struggling with sleep disorders, and highly recommended for public library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Editorial note: Author Shelby Harris, PsyD is board-certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and treats a variety of sleep disorders in private practice.


The Biography Shelf

Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography
Corrado Vivanti
Princeton University Press
41 William Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
http://press.princeton.edu
9780691151014, $27.95, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography" by Corrado Vivanti is a colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative introduction to the life and work of the author of "The Prince".

This impressively informed and informative study provides an unparalleled intellectual biography that demonstrates the close connections between Machiavelli's thought and his changing fortunes during the tumultuous Florentine republic and his subsequent exile. Vivanti's concise account covers not only Machiavelli's most famous works )(The Prince, The Discourses, The Florentine Histories, and The Art of War) but also his letters, poetry, and comic dramas. While setting Machiavelli's life against a dramatic backdrop of war, crisis, and diplomatic intrigue, this meticulous work of seminal scholarship also paints a vivid human portrait of the man.

Vivanti's narrative breaks Machiavelli's life into three parts: his career in a variety of government and diplomatic posts in the Florentine republic between 1494 and 1512, when the Medici returned from exile, seized power, and removed Machiavelli from office; the pivotal first part of his subsequent exile, when he formulated his most influential ideas and wrote The Prince; and the final decade of his life, when, having returned to Florence, he wrote The Art of War, The Florentine Histories, the satirical play The Mandrake, and other works.

Along the way, this deftly crafted biography presents unmatched accounts of many intensely debated topics, including the precise nature of Machiavelli's cultural and intellectual background, his republicanism, his political and personal relationship to the Medici, and his ideas about religion.

Critique: Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a Florentine statesman, writer, and political philosopher. Corrado Vivanti, (1928-2012) was one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars. "Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography" is an essential and core addition to both community and academic library biography collections in general, and Machiavelli supplemental studies curriculums in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography" is also available in a paperback edition (9780691196893, $18.95).

Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age: 1805-1810
Michael Broers
Pegasus Books
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.pegasusbooks.com
9781681776699, $29.95, HC, 544pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age" is the second volume of Michael Broers' three volume life of Napoleon Bonaparte, covering the tumultuous years 1805 to 1810, a period which marks the zenith of Napoleon's power and military success. Like volume one, it is based on the new version of Napoleon's correspondence, made available by the Fondation Napoleon in Paris. It is the story of Napoleon's conquest of Europe (and that of his magnificent Grande Armee) as they sweep through the length and breadth of Europe.

This detailed and meticulously presented study opens with Napoleon's as yet untested army making its way through the Bavarian Alps in the early winter of 1805, to fall upon the unsuspecting Austrians and Russians, and crushing them at Austerlitz. This was only the beginning of series of spectacular victories: over the Prussians in 1806, and then the Russians, which brought the Tsar to defeat in 1807. It follows the army into Spain, in 1808, most ill-considered step in his career as ruler, and then through the most daunting triumph of all, the final defeat of Austria at Wagram, in 1809, the bloodiest battle in European history up to that time.

These five years encompass the dramas of Napoleon's separation from Josephine amid the turmoil of ruling a pan-European empire. These years also saw Napoleon navigate plots against him, his clash with the Pope and excommunication, and his loss of trust in many of those closest to him. It closes with his marriage to Marie-Louise, the daughter of his defeated enemy, the Emperor of Austria. With the greatest "trophy bride" in history on his arm, Napoleon now turns again to face his only remaining enemy, Britain, and the challenge of ruling an empire that now spans the entirety of Europe.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of 16 pages of bo color and black/white illustrations, maps, plates, thirty-six pages of notes, and a thirty-five page index, "Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age: 1805-1810" is an impressively informative, exceptionally well written, and seminal work of thorough and original scholarship. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Napoleon Bonaparte collections and supplemental curriculum study lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age: 1805-1810" is also available in a paperback edition (9781643132334, $19.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Economic Studies Shelf

Intergenerational Equity: Corporate and Financial Leadership
Julia M. Puaschunder
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781788978828, $120.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Exploring a topic of growing importance that has scant coverage, "Intergenerational Equity: Corporate and Financial Leadership " by Julia M. Puaschunder (a Post-Doctoral Researcher, Columbia University and Princeton University and Department of Economics and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School, US) brings to the fore a comprehensive discussion of intergenerational predicaments.

"Intergenerational Equity" informatively explores just how corporate and financial social responsibility can leverage intergenerational harmony through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI).

A warming earth under climate change, overindebtedness crises and demographic aging of a Western world population are putting pressure on future generations. Transparency and accountability are key for monitoring corporate and financial social responsibility in the interplay of public and private actors to ensure a sustainable humankind and intergenerational harmony.

"Intergenerational Equity" insightfully discusses the human constituents of responsibility and the international emergence of CSR, paying special attention to global governance multi-stakeholder partnerships. The rise of SRI in the international arena in the wake of stakeholder activism and intrinsic socio-psychological motives of socially responsible investors are also outlined and the role of leadership, trust and managerial ethics accentuated.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of figures, tables, an informative introduction, thirty-one pages of references, and a ten page index, scholars, executives and readers motivated by the desire to improve corporate and financial market activities will benefit immensely by a careful reading of "Intergenerational Equity: Corporate and Financial Leadership" -- making it an ideal curriculum textbook and an unreservedly recommended addition to corporate, college, and university library Economic Studies and Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists.


The Military Shelf

A Raid Over Berlin
John Martin
Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444842227, $35.50, HC, Large Print, 162pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Trapped inside a burning Lancaster bomber 20,000 feet above Berlin, wireless operator John Martin consigned himself to his fate and turned his thoughts to his fiancee back home. In a miraculous turn of events, however, the twenty-one-year-old was thrown clear of his disintegrating aeroplane and found himself parachuting into the heart of Nazi Germany, where he was soon captured.

Drawn from his own memories, and from conversations with other POWs, "A Raid Over Berlin" is the true-life account of a Second World War airman who cheated death in the sky, only to face interrogation and the prospect of being shot by the Gestapo, before enduring months of sorrow and hunger as a prisoner of war. Above all, however, it is the story of one man's courage and determination in the face of adversity.

Critique: A deftly written and thoroughly fascinating account, "A Raid Over Berlin" by John Martin will prove to be a welcome addition to the growing body of World War II memoirs and biographies. This large print edition of "A Raid Over Berlin" is an especially recommended addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated military history buffs, as well as both community and academic library World War II history collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The American History Shelf

Washington's Revolutionary War Generals
Stephen R. Taaffe
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806164311, $39.95, HC, 360pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When the Revolutionary War began, Congress established a national army and appointed George Washington its commander in chief. Congress then took it upon itself to choose numerous subordinate generals to lead the army's various departments, divisions, and brigades. How this worked out in the end is well known. Less familiar, however, is how well Congress's choices worked out along the way.

Although historians have examined many of Washington's subordinates, "Washington's Revolutionary War Generals" by Stephen R. Taaffe (Professor of History at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas) is the first study to look at these men in a collective, integrated manner. A thoroughgoing study of the Revolutionary War careers of the Continental Army's generals (their experience, performance, and relationships with Washington and the Continental Congress) )Professor Taaffe provides an overview of the politics of command, both within and outside the army, and a unique perspective on how it affected Washington's prosecution of the war.

The principle contention of Professor Taafe is that it is impossible to understand the outcome of the War for Independence without first examining America's military leadership. His description of Washington's generals (who they were, how they received their commissions, and how they performed) goes a long way toward explaining how these American officers, who were short on experience and military genius, ultimately prevailed over their professional British counterparts.

"Washington's Revolutionary War Generals" follows these men through the war's most important battles and campaigns as well as its biggest controversies, such as the Conway Cabal and the Newburgh Conspiracy, Professor Taaffe deftly weaves a narrative in the grand tradition of military history. Against this backdrop, his depiction of the complexities and particulars of character and politics of military command provides a new understanding of George Washington, the War for Independence, and the U.S. military's earliest beginnings.

Critique: Expertly combining biography, institutional history, and political analysis, "Washington's Revolutionary War Generals" is a meticulously researched work of seminal scholarship, and an eminently readable and impressively informative contribution to the growing body of American Revolutionary War literature. While especially recommended for both community and academic library American History collections in general, and American Revolutionary War supplemental studies curriculums in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Washington's Revolutionary War Generals" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $32.95).

From the Halls of the Montezumas
Alan D. Gaff & Donald H. Gaff, editors
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
www.untpress.unt.edu
9781574417678, $39.95, HC, 486pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: James L. Freaner is arguably one of the most important unknown Americans in our nation's history. Freaner gained fame throughout the country during the Mexican War while covering General Winfield Scott's campaign. As one of America's first war correspondents, Freaner's letters appeared in newspapers under the byline "Mustang," and his reports from the front included information unavailable elsewhere. Among Freaner's scoops were the publication of complete casualty lists (long before official reports became public), detailed battle descriptions, and observations on postwar Mexico.

Despite his widespread fame as a reporter, Freaner's greatest contribution to the United States came during a conversation with Nicholas P. Trist, negotiator of the peace treaty with Mexico. After Trist had passed along an outrageous proposal from the Mexican commissioners, he was recalled, but Freaner convinced Trist to ignore the order and begin a new round of negotiations. Trist resumed, concluded the war, and added California, Nevada, Utah, and other territory to a growing country. This acquisition was second in size only to the Louisiana Purchase and was a direct result of James Freaner persuading Trist to brazenly conclude a treaty when he had no authority to do so.

"From the Halls of the Montezumas" is a complete compilation of Freaner's Mexican War reporting. Editors Alan D. Gaff (an independent scholar and President of Historical Investigations) and Donald H. Gaff (Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa) have annotated the text with footnotes identifying people, places, and events, and also have added illustrations of key figures and maps. They supplement Freaner's dispatches with biographical information that ranges from his early career to his journey to the gold fields of California and his untimely death at the hands of Indians in California in 1852.

Critique: A sterling work of seminal scholarship and an impressive contribution to 19th Century American history, "From the Halls of the Montezumas: Mexican War Dispatches from James L. Freaner, Writing under the Pen Name "Mustang" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a ten page Bibliography and a twelve page Index. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "From the Halls of the Montezumas" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.96).


The World History Shelf

A Brief History of China
Jonathan Clements
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804850056 $16.99 pbk / $10.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: For millennia, China was the largest and richest nation on earth. Two centuries ago, however, its economy sank into a depression from which it had not fully recovered - until now. China's modern resurgence as the world's largest nation in terms of population and its second-largest economy - where 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the space of a few decades - is the greatest untold story of the 21st century.

A Brief History of China tells of the development of a rich and complex civilization where the use of paper, writing, money and gunpowder were widespread in ancient times and where silk, ceramics, tea, metal implements and other products were produced and exported around the globe. It examines the special conditions that allowed a single culture to unify an entire continent spanning 10 billion square kilometers under the rule of a single man - and the unbelievably rich artistic, literary and architectural heritage that Chinese culture has bequeathed to the world. Equally fascinating is the story of China's decline in the 19th and early 20th century - as Europeans and Americans took center stage - and its modern resurgence as an economic powerhouse in recent years.

In his retelling of a Chinese history stretching back 5,000 years, author and China-expert Jonathan Clements focuses on the human stories which led to the powerful transformations in Chinese society - from the unification of China under its first emperor, Qinshi Huangdi, and the writings of the great Chinese philosophers Confucius and Laozi, to the Mongol invasion under Genghis Khan and the consolidation of Communist rule under Mao Zedong. Clements even brings readers through to the present day, outlining China's economic renaissance under Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping.

What really separates this book from its counterparts is the focus on women, and modern themes such as diversity and climate change. Chinese history is typically told through the stories of its most famous men, but Clements' telling gives women equal time and research - which introduces readers of this book to equally important, but less commonly-known facts and historical figures.

Critique: A Brief History of China: Dynasty, Revolution and Transformation lives up to its title as a concense yet accurate account of 5,000 years of Chinese history, up to the present day. Written with a scholar's attention to detail, yet thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, A Brief History of China is especially notable for its equitable emphasis on the historical contributions of women, as well as men. A Brief History of China is a "must-have" for public and college library World History collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that A Brief History of China is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

A Brief History of Korea
Michael J. Seth
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804851022 $15.99 pbk / $10.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Korea was one of the last countries in Asia to be visited by Westerners, and its borders have remained largely unchanged since it was unified in the seventh century. Though it is one of the world's oldest and most ethnically homogeneous states, Korea was not born in a vacuum. Geographically isolated, the country was heavily influenced by powerful China and was often used as a bridge to the mainland by Japan.

Calling themselves as "a shrimp among whales", Koreans borrowed elements of government, culture, and religion, all the while fiercely fighting to maintain independence from powerful neighbors. This fascinating book tells the story of Korean domestic dynasties, empires, and states, as well as foreign conquest, occupation, and division. Today, the two Koreas are starkly different - North Korea a nation closed to the world and South Korea an economic powerhouse and center of Asian democracy.

Chronicling significant events right up through 2018's Singapore Summit, author Michael J. Seth presents a relevant, interesting, and important history of Korea within a larger global context. Korea's history is a turbulent one, but ultimately the story of a resistant and resourceful people in search of lasting peace.

Critique: Michael J. Seth (Professor of World History at James Madison University) presents A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and Revival, a resource written with the expertise of a scholar, yet thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. A Brief History of Korea encapsulates the rich legacy of Korean history from ancient times to the 2018 Singapore Summit. Here is the saga of people sandwiched between extremely powerful neighbors, of dynasties, empires, states, brutal foreign conquest, and in twentieth century, division into two drastically different nations. Inset sections of full-color photographs, a bibliography, and an index round out this "must-have" for public and college library World History collections. Highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that A Brief History of Korea is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

India: A Short History
Andrew Robinson
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500295168, $16.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Throughout its long history, India has signified many things. To pilgrims from ancient China, India was the birthplace of the Buddha. To Alexander the Great, it was a land of philosophers and armies mounted on elephants. To ancient Rome, it was a source of luxuries. At the height of the Mughal Empire in 1700, India meant wealth, boasting nearly 25 percent of the world economy, but then, under British rule, its economy declined.

India's identity continued changing in the nineteenth century as colonial India was known for its extremes of wealth and poverty (epitomized by the Taj Mahal and famines, maharajas and untouchables) as well as for its spirituality: many- armed Hindu gods, Sufi saints and Buddhist philosophy, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.

This short history of India by Andrew Robinson places as much emphasis on individuals, ideas, and cultures as on the rise and fall of kingdoms, political parties, and economies, telling a new story on a different scale.

Critique: Exceptionally informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "India: A Short History" is and ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library history collections in general, and India supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Andrew Robinson has written more than twenty-five books on the arts and sciences. They include Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, India: A Short History, and Earthshock, which won the Association of Earth Science Editors Outstanding Publication Award. He is also a regular contributor to magazines, such as Current World Archaeology, History Today, The Lancet, Nature, and Science. A former literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement, he was also a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction
Daniele Cybulskie
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526733450, $19.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction" by Daniele Cybulskie was written especially for those who have ever found themselves watching a show or reading a novel and wondering what life was really like in the Middle Ages. What did people actually eat? Were they really filthy? And did they ever get to marry for love?

In "Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction", inquisitive readers will find a wealth of fast and fun answers to all their secret questions ranging from eating and drinking, to sex and love, whether people bathed, what they did when they got sick, what actually happened to people accused of crimes, medieval table manners, tournaments, and even toothpaste. From the etiquette of royalty to whether or not people really did poop in the moat.

Critique: A fun and informative read from cover to cover, "Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Medieval History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Ireland and the Great War
Niamh Gallagher
Bloomsbury Academic
c/o Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.bloomsbury.com
9781788314626, $115.00, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On 4 August 1914 following the outbreak of European hostilities, large sections of Irish Protestants and Catholics rallied to support the British and Allied war efforts. Yet less than two years later, the Easter Rising of 1916 allegedly put a stop to the Catholic commitment in exchange for a re-emphasis on the national question of Irish independence from Great Britain.

In "Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History", Niamh Gallagher (a lecturer in modern British and Irish history and a fellow of St Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge) draws upon a formidable array of original research to offer a radical new reading of Irish involvement in the world's first total war. Exploring the 'home front' and Irish diasporic communities in Canada, Australia, and Britain, Gallagher reveals that substantial support for the Allied war effort continued largely unabated not only until November 1918, but afterwards as well.

Rich in social texture and with fascinating new case studies of Irish participation in the conflict, "Ireland and the Great War" has the makings of a major rethinking of Ireland's twentieth century.

Critique: A meticulously presented work of original scholarship, "Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended contribution to the growing body of 19th Century Irish Emancipation literature. While a fully endorsed addition to college and university library 19th Century Irish History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Ireland and the Great War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $103.50).

Envisioning Empire
Robert A. Olwell & James M. Vaughn, editors
Bloomsbury Academic
c/o Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.bloomsbury.com
9781350109964, $115.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Robert A. Olwell (Associate Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin) and James M. Vaughn (Assistant Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin) the contributors to "Envisioning Empire: The New British World from 1763 to 1773" collectively examine the pivotal period between the end of the Seven Years' War and the dawn of the American Revolution.

"Envisioning Empire" reinterprets the development of the British Empire in the 18th century. With exceptional geographical scope, it also provides new ways of understanding the actors and events in many imperial arenas, including West Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and South Asia.

While 1763 has long been seen as marking a turning point in British and British-colonial history, "Envisioning Empire" treats this epochal year, and the decade that followed, as constituting a discrete 'moment' in Imperial history that is significant in its own right. Exploring the programs and plans that sought to incorporate the vast new territories and millions of new subjects into the British state and imperial system, it demonstrates how the period between the end of the Seven Years' War and the beginning of the American Revolution was one of contested ideas about the future of British overseas expansion.

By examining these competing imperial visions and designs from the perspective of Britain's new subjects as well as from that of British ministers, "Envisioning Empire" both illuminates and complicates the boundaries that have been drawn between the first and second British empires and reveals how the Empire was being conceived, discussed, and debated during an era of rapid transformation.

Critique: The nine erudite and informative essays that comprising "Envisioning Empire: The New British World from 1763 to 1773" are enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an impressively informative introduction (The Spirit of 1763), a list of figures, a listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a fifteen page index. A collective work of seminal scholarship, "Envisioning Empire" is unreservedly recommended, especially for college and university library 18th Century History collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Envisioning Empire" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $103.50).

Retreat from Moscow
David Stahel
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
175 Varick Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10014
www.fsgbooks.com
9780374249526, $35.00, HC, 560pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Germany's winter campaign of 1941 - 1942 is commonly seen as its first defeat. In "Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942", David Stahel (who is a senior lecturer in European history at the University of New South Wales, and teaches at the Australian Defence Force Academy) is a bold, gripping account of one of the seminal moments of World War II in which he argues that instead it was its first strategic success in the East. The Soviet counteroffensive was in fact a Pyrrhic victory. Despite being pushed back from Moscow, the Wehrmacht lost far fewer men, frustrated its enemy's strategy, and emerged in the spring unbroken and poised to recapture the initiative.

Hitler's strategic plan called for holding important Russian industrial cities, and the German army succeeded. The Soviets as of January 1942 aimed for nothing less than the destruction of Army Group Center, yet not a single German unit was ever destroyed. Lacking the professionalism, training, and experience of the Wehrmacht, the Red Army's offensive attempting to break German lines in countless head-on assaults led to far more tactical defeats than victories.

Using accounts from journals, memoirs, and wartime correspondence, "Retreat from Moscow" goes directly into the Wolf's Lair to reveal a German command at war with itself as generals on the ground fought to maintain order and save their troops in the face of Hitler's capricious, increasingly irrational directives. Excerpts from soldiers' diaries and letters home paint a rich portrait of life and death on the front, where the men of the Ostheer battled frostbite nearly as deadly as Soviet artillery.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an informative introduction, sixty-two pages of notes, a twenty-two page bibliography, and a two page index, "Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library World War II Military History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Retreat from Moscow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781452645865, $29.99, CD).


The Civil War Shelf

Johnsonville
Jerry T. Wooten
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611214772, $29.95, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Johnsonville" doesn't mean much to most students of the Civil War. Yet, its contribution to the Union victory in the Western Theater is difficult to overstate, and its history is complex, fascinating, and heretofore mostly untold. "Johnsonville: Union Supply Operations on the Tennessee River and the Battle of Johnsonville, November 4-5, 1864", by Jerry T. Wooten remedies that oversight with the first full-length treatment of this subject.

Wooten has unearthed a wealth of new material that sheds light on the creation and strategic role of the Union supply depot, the use of railroads and logistics, and its defense by U. S. Colored Troops. His study covers the emergence of a civilian town around the depot, and the roll all of this played in making possible the Union victories with which we are all familiar.

This sterling monograph also includes the best and most detailed account of the Battle of Johnsonville. The fighting took place on the heels of one of the most audacious campaigns of the war, when Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry through western Tennessee on a 23-day raid. On November 4-5, 1864, Forrest's troopers attacked the depot and shelled the city, destroying tons of invaluable supplies. The complex land-water operation nearly wiped out the Johnsonville supply depot, severely disrupted Gen. George Thomas's army in Nashville, and impeded his operations against John Bell Hood's Confederate army.

Prior works on Johnsonville focus on Forrest's operations, but Wooten's deep original archival research peels back the decades to reveal significantly more on that battle as well as what life was like in and around the area for both military men and civilians. Civil War students thirst for original deeply researched studies on fresh topics. And that is exactly what "Johnsonville: Union Supply Operations on the Tennessee River and the Battle of Johnsonville, November 4-5, 1864" provides them.

Critique: An original and seminal work of simply outstanding and detailed scholarship, "Johnsonville: Union Supply Operations on the Tennessee River and the Battle of Johnsonville, November 4-5, 1864" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Civil War collections and supplementary curriculum lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and dedicated American Civil War buffs that "Johnsonville: Union Supply Operations on the Tennessee River and the Battle of Johnsonville, November 4-5, 1864" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Jerry T. Wooten is the Park Manager for Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville, Tennessee. Formerly, he served as Park Manager at Johnsonville State Historic Park, as Director of State Historic Sites for the Tennessee Historical Commission, and as Park Historian at the Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Virginia. Originally from Clarksville, Tennessee, Jerry is an American History and Public History graduate of Austin Peay State University (BS), Murray State University (MA), and Middle Tennessee State University (Ph.D.) Jerry has researched, written, and presented programs about the Civil War for most of his professional life. He serves on the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association's Board of Directors and is a frequent speaker at Civil War roundtables, historical organizations, state and national parks, and museums.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

The House
Paco Roca
Fantagraphics Books
7563 Lake City Way, NE, Seattle, WA 98115
www.fantagraphics.com
9781683962632, $19.99, HC, 134pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Three adult siblings return to their family's vacation home a year after their father's death. They each bring their respective wives, husbands, and children with the intention to clean up the residence and put it on the market. But, as garbage is hauled off and dust is wiped away, decades -- old resentments quickly fill the vacant home.

The graphic novel "The House" by Paco Roca is at deeply personal and dedicated to Roca's own deceased father, while at the same time entirely universal. Roca asks what happens to brothers and sisters when the only person holding the family together is now gone.

Critique: Full-color illustrations fully enhance an original and inherently fascinating story, making "The House" an impressive literary experience that only a deftly created graphic novel can. While fully endorsed and recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Paco Roca (Francisco Martinez Roca) is a graphic artist and a cartoonist from Valencia, Spain, who has won several art/writing awards. His graphic novel Wrinkles has been adapted into an animated movie.

TAMBA, Child Soldier
Marion Achard, author
Yann Degurel, illustrator
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
www.nbmpub.com
9781681122366, $24.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Marion Achard is a French writer and circus performer. She co-founded a touring circus where she performs as acrobat and juggler. She has also written children's books. This is her first graphic novel. Yan Degruel is a French artist who has published many graphic novels for kids including adaptations of Rudyard Kipling. Together they have produced a unique and memorable graphic novel providing a moving testimonial to one of the most heart-wrenching and chilling developments in modern warfare.

Critique: Although a work of fiction, this graphic novel accurately chronicles and presents the realities of hundreds of thousands across the world, kidnapped and forced to commit atrocities. "TAMBA: Child Soldier" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "TAMBA: Child Soldier" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $12.99).

Solo: The Survivors of Chaos
Oscar Martin
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781782763345, $29.99, HC, 64pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Oscar Martin is best known for his work on as an artist and writer of 'Tom and Jerry' comics, have been published in both Europe and the USA. He has also done a variety of comics for the French Disney magazine Le Journal de Mickey. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Warner Bros for his work on the 'Tom and Jerry' series in 2002.

His newest graphic novel, "Solo: The Survivors of Chaos" takes place in a dystopian future where the Earth, ravaged by nuclear wars, gave birth to an array of new mutated species, which grew and repopulated the land along with the surviving humans. But this new world is far from peaceful, and life in it is often short and brutal.

To make life easier for his poor family, Solo, a young rat, leaves his home to become a warrior -- his personal saga will prove to be as violent as it was unexpected.

Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Solo: The Survivors of Chaos" is a unique and very specially addition to personal and community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated dystopian science fiction fans that "Solo: The Survivors of Chaos" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/ComiXology, $16.99).


The Library CD Shelf

Autumn Monsoon
Suzanne Teng and Gilbert Levy
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Autumn Monsoon is an original, new age album of instrumental music played on Native American flutes and drums, percussion, and stringed instruments from all over the world. The result is a multicultural mix that draws from the music-making traditions of the American Southwest, West Africa, the Saharan desert, and more. Captivating to the edge of rapture, Autumn Monsoon is highly recommended to new age connoisseurs, and also makes an excellent gift. The tracks are "Autumn Monsoon", "Indian Sisters", "Maya", "Traveler", "Blue Ngoni", "Canyon Ghosts", "Suenos", "Andromeda", "Journey of Life" and "Prayer for Charlie".

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

Created by composer and guitarist Don Latarski, Frozen Moments is an original album of acoustic music on baritone, classical, and water guitars. An extraordinary, subtle interweaving, Frozen Moments incorporates water guitar sound drawn from a variety of different streams and rivers in Oregon and California, reflecting the timeless beauty of the natural world. Frozen Moments is highly recommended for guitar connoisseurs and public library music CD collections. The tracks are "The Dawning Moment", "Shadow Crossing", "River Speak", "Sarabande Migration", "Bimble", "Mima", "Xienna", "On Winter", and "River Speak p5. 2".

Asilomar
Michael Martinez
michaelmartinezmusic.com
Privately Published
$8.00 amazon.com

Composed and played by Michael Martinez, Asilomar is a beautiful solo piano album inspired by the serenity and relaxation of the picturesque seascape Asilomar beach. The gentle, original music is a mellifluous blend of New Age and Classical styles. Asilomar is a choice pick to listen to while meditating, unwinding at the end of the day, or searching for inspiration. Highly recommended! The tracks are "My Guru", "My Joyful Soul", "At Peace", "Asilomar", "High Tide", "Not All Is Lost", "Sedona Whisper", "Ocean Meditation", and "Tender Love".


The Library DVD Shelf

Tattoo Uprising
A film by Alan Govenar
Featuring Ed Hardy
First Run Features
www.firstrunfeatures.com
$24.95

Tattoo Uprising is a DVD documentary about the history and proliferation of tattoos as art, from their use in early Christian practices to their discovery during the voyage of Captain James Cook, to how tattoo artists like Ed Hardy fomented their modern-day popularity in America. Revealing, electrifying, and extraordinary, Tattoo Uprising explores an oft-overlooked dimension of art history. Tattoo Uprising is utterly captivating from beginning to end, and is highly recommended especially for public library DVD collections. 75 min., color.


The General Fiction Shelf

Pastures New
Margaret Thornton
Magna Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780750547208, $35.50, HC, Large Print, 330pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Having been firm friends ever since they met in a Blackpool boarding house five years before, Val, Cissie and Janice are all now happily married, preoccupied with their growing families. But the new decade will bring change for all three families.

Val and Sam's son's behavior is causing concern, and Val finds it hard at times to love him as she should. Running a thriving cafe in Harrogate, Janice and her husband Phil decide to expand into the restaurant business: have they bitten off more than they can chew? Meanwhile Cissie's life is thrown into jeopardy when she encounters an old flame!

Critique: Set in the 1960s, this large print edition of "Pastures New" by Margaret Thornton is a carefully crafted and thoroughly reader engaging novel by an author with an especially entertaining narrative storytelling style that will make it a particularly popular addition to both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.

An Irish Country Family
Patrick Taylor
Forge
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.tor-forge.com
9780765396853, $26.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Before Doctor Barry Laverty joined Doctor Fingal O'Reilly's practice in the colorful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, he was an intern, working long hours, practicing new medical techniques, falling in love, and learning what is most important in the medical field for a family physician -- the bonds of family, friendships, and human kindness.

Years later, Barry practices everything he has learned in Ballybucklebo, a lovely village where neighbor looks after neighbor. And while his own efforts to start a family with his wife Sue have been frustrated, the community around him couldn't be stronger as they work together to show their solidarity.

Shifting effortlessly between the two time periods, in his latest novel, "An Irish Country Family", author Patrick Taylor continues the story of these beloved characters while vividly bringing the daily joys and struggles of this delightful Irish village to life.

Critique: "An Irish Country Family" is a charming entry in Patrick Taylor's beloved and internationally popular Irish Country series -- and arguably his best work yet. An engaging and entertaining read from cover to cover, while unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of the growing legions of Patrick Taylor fans that "An Irish Country Family" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250241511, $39.99, CD).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe
Debbie Johnson
Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444842531, $35.50, HC, Large Print, 390pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Christmas has never been Katie Seddon's favorite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie's childhood wasn't quite so merry: her parents' violent arguments, shattered crockery and broken windows were a lullaby in reverse.

But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life's unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindness at the Comfort Food Cafe. This year, Katie's new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember - and with a handsome newcomer in town, her Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.

Critique: A beautifully written romance novel that will prove to be an enduringly 'feel good' read, this large print edition of "A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe" by Debbie Johnson is especially and unreservedly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections.

A Lonely Heart
Kay Brellend
Magna Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780750547369, $35.50, HC, Large Print, 432pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Growing up in fear of their cruel, drunken father, Olivia Bone and her siblings haven't had an easy start in life. But when Livvie's fiance Joe is killed at Ypres and he bequeaths her his house in Islington, it seems like the Bone family might finally escape the worst street in north London.

At least Livvie has good friends, and perhaps more than a friend in Lieutenant Lucas Black, her old boss at the Barratt's Sweet Factory. As they grow closer, she decides to enlist as a war nurse, hoping to help brave men like him in fighting for their country. Should Livvie follow her heart, or her head?

Critique: A skillfully crafted, impressively original, and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, this large print edition of "A Lonely Heart" by Kay Brellend will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Romance Fiction collections.


The Western Fiction Shelf

Blaze Of Fury
Alexander Frew
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444841749, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tired of being a gun-toting hero to some and a villain to others, ex-bounty hunter Jubal Thorne is looking forward to a peaceful life on his late brother's farm. But when a man has such a past, it isn't long before fate comes knocking on his door. It all starts with a stray bullet that just misses his head, and ends in a blaze of fury against a showdown three determined gunman. In defence of what is his own and that of a young woman he has come to love against a conspiracy of true evil, Thorne shows that the bounty hunter might leave his profession, but his profession will never leave him.

Critique: Still another gripping action-adventure western by the author of "The Broken Trail", few authors can write with the vivid intensity of Alexander Frew. This large print edition of "Blaze of Fury" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Hard Ride To Glory
Harry Jay Thorn
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444842401, $20.99, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Having survived the horrors of battle during the American Civil War, Griffin Boone is happy in his Wyoming valley; he has his Arrowhead ranch, his close friends, and a job as a part-time deputy sheriff. But the peace is threatened by Ben Logan and his outlaw crew of gunfighters and vagabond thieves. Ride with Boone to the ruins of Glory, a ghost town in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, where past meets present in a blaze of gunfire. Griffin Boone is a quiet, unassuming man -- but you cross him at your peril!

Critique: A ripping great story complete with cliffhanger action and with a gun blazing finale, "Hard Ride To Glory" is another finely crafted and original western novel by an author with a complete mastery of the genre. This large print edition of "Hard Ride To Glory" by Harry Jay Thorn is especially commended for the personal reading lists of dedicated western buffs and community library Western Fiction collections.

Outlaw Express
Gillian F. Taylor
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444841787, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 248pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sheriff Alec Lawson has infiltrated a band of outlaws by going undercover as an outlaw named Turner in order to capture them. But things go awry when the gang hold up a train and in the process impulsively kidnap Lacey Fry from the Leadville express. To protect her Alex breaks his cover in an attempt to bring the young woman to safety. Learning of the betrayal, gang leader Bill Alcott vows to find Lawson and kill him. Lawson doesn't know the territory and he doesn't know Lacey. But the chase is on, through snow and bloodshed, until one of the men can run no further - and hunter and hunted finally come face to face.

Critique: "Outlaw Express" is another particularly well crafted, action packed western novel by Gillian F. Taylor, a writer with an impressively storytelling skill set that showcases his originality and genuine flair for creating memorable characters and equally memorably entertaining western adventures. This large print edition of "Outlaw Express" is especially commended for both personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Red Ruckus
Brett Cogburn
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
http://gale.cengage.com/fivestar
9781432831936, $25.95, HC, 264pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A legendary town tamer and shootist, Morgan Clyde is the kind of man who will look down the barrel of your loaded gun and keep on coming, and the kind of man there's no stopping short of putting him in a grave when he thinks he's in the right.

He's just the kind of man that a certain little town in the lawless Indian Territory needs, the town once known as Ironhead Station and the town that has already almost killed him more than once. Only this time, the trouble isn't from crooked railroad men, hired killers, or the other usual varieties of outlaws that call the territory home. It's trouble with another sort of renegade entirely, the kind that hides behind a badge and a judge's gavel.

As usual, the odds are stacked against Morgan. Not only must he face down a gang of crooked deputy marshals intent on killing him, but old friends encountered may prove more painful than the bullets, and the old loves and old grudges that resurface may prove every bit as deadly.

Critique: Another deftly crafted and entertainingly original western novel by an author who is a master of the genre, "Red Ruckus" by Brett Cogurn is an unreservedly endorsed addition to community library collections and the personal reading lists of all western fiction fans.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Dog Who Knew Too Much
Krista Davis
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9780451491688, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the latest addition to author Krista Davis' Paws & Claws mystery series, "The Dog Who Knew Too Much" America's favorite dog comes to pet-friendly Wagtail for some rest and relaxation, but Holly quickly discovers that this perfect pup is a total scamp who takes every opportunity to run off and misbehave. During an outdoor treasure-hunting game, the star dog and Trixie, Holly's beloved Jack Russell terrier, stumble across a dead body.

Holly has more than murder to worry about, though, when a man shows up after reading an article featuring Trixie in a magazine and claims that he is the dog's rightful owner. Holly will need to prove that she is her pup's only parent and catch a killer to restore peace to her pet-loving happy place!

Critique: An impressively original, inherently entertaining and deftly written mystery that is unreservedly recommended for all community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs in general, and Krista Davis fans in particular, that "The Dog who Knew Too Much" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781515934257, $24.99, CD).

Peril in the Cotswolds
Rebecca Tope
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785417757, $35.50, HC, Large Print 324pp, www.ulverscroftusa.com

Synopsis: Thea Slocombe is trying to settle into normal family domestic life with Drew and his two children in Broad Campden. But any sense of cosy domesticity is shattered when Thea finds the body of a neighbor. No longer a house-sitter, Thea has no choice but to stay in the village and deal with whatever happens next, even when this risks damage to her marriage. Unconvinced that the swift conclusion made about the death by the police is the right one, Thea is compelled to follow her nature and investigate herself. But what repercussions might there be for her, Drew and those with whom they share this corner of the Cotswolds?

Critique: A superbly crafted British mystery, this large print edition of Rebecca Tope's "Peril in the Cotswolds" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections and a 'must' for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs in general, and Rebecca Tope fans in particular!

Double Crossfire
Anthony J. Tata
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9781496717924, $26.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "How do you overturn an election?" It's a question that has obsessed presidential candidate Jamie Carter ever since her loss to businessman and political neophyte President Jack Smart. In spite of the election results, she's determined to take what she sees as her rightful place in the White House -- through any means possible.

First, she establishes residency in North Carolina. Then, when the state's Pro Tem of the US Senate is found dead, she is appointed to his position by her friend, the governor. Now, there are only three people who stand in her way: the Speaker of the House, the Vice President, and the President himself.

The countdown begins. The assassins are ready. But when one of them tries to kill the CIA Director under Jake Mahegan's watch, the plan is momentarily disrupted. Jake is able to prevent one murder -- but the conspiracy is too big, and too insidious, to stop now. Senator Jamie Carter is the mastermind behind one of the bloodiest coups ever conceived. Her highly trained killers are closing in on all the president's men. And the course of American history will be changed forever -- on Assassination Day.

Critique: A riveting suspense thriller of the first order, "Double Crossfire" by Anthony J. Tata is a deftly crafted and original novel by an author with a special and distinctive flair for originality and reader engaging, narrative driven storytelling. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Double Crossfire" is also available in a forthcoming paperback edition (9780786043101, $9.00, April 2020) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).

A Noel Killing
M. L. Longworth
Penguin Books
penguinrandomhouse.com
9780143134060 $16.00 pbk. / $11.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Christmastime in the south of France is as beautiful as ever, but when a shady local businessman drops dead in the middle of the festivities, Verlaque and Bonnet must solve the case while keeping the holiday spirit alive.

Antoine Verlaque, examining magistrate for the beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence, doesn't like Christmas. The decorations appear in the shops far too early, festive tourists swarm the streets, and his beloved Cours Mirabeau is lined with chalets selling what he regards as tacky trinkets. But his wife and partner Marine Bonnet is determined to make this a Christmas they can both enjoy, beginning with the carol sing at the Cathedral Saint Sauveur, a beautiful service in a packed church.

Just as the holiday cheer is in full swing, a man is poisoned, sending the community into a tailspin. The list of suspects, Verlaque and Bonnet quickly discover, almost fills the church itself, from the visiting vendors at the Christmas fair to the victim's unhappy wife and his disgruntled business partner. In A Noel Killing, with the help of an ever-watchful young woman named France, the pair must solve the murder while the spirit of the season attempts to warm Verlaque's stubborn heart.

Critique: Part of the captivating "Provencal Mystery" series, A Noel Killing is a murder mystery set in a close-knit community in Southern France during the Christmas season. When a man is poisoned during a holiday service in a packed church, the list of potential suspects includes practically the entire town! Examining Magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his wife Marine Bonnet must solve the mystery together. Yet despite the tragic circumstances, the magic of the Christmas season reaches out to touch even most resistant of hearts, in this choice pick especially recommended for public library collections and for connoisseurs of the cozy mystery genre. It should be noted for personal reading lists that A Noel Killing is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Best of Jerry Pournelle
John F. Carr editor
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982124175, $16.00, PB, 576pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The late Jerry Eugene Pournelle (August 7, 1933 - September 8, 2017) was an American polymath: scientist in the area of operations research and human factors research, science fiction writer, essayist, journalist, and one of the first bloggers. In an obituary in gizmodo, he is described as "a tireless ambassador for the future". Pournelle is particularly known for writing hard science fiction, and received multiple awards for his writing. In addition to his solo writing, he wrote several novels with collaborators, most notably Larry Niven. Pournelle also served a term as President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. (Wikipedia)

Compiled and edited by John Francis Carr (a successful and experienced American science fiction editor and writer in his own right), "The Best of Jerry Pournelle" is a compendium that includes a sampling of both Pournelle's own stories and contributions by his fellow SciFi authors who worked in collaboration with him and/or who were influenced by him.

Critique: An impressive anthology showcasing some of the best of Jerry Pournelle's work, this simply outstanding contribution to the archives of Science Fiction is fully endorsed and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists dedicated science fiction enthusiasts, as well as the legions of Jerry Pournell's fans, the "The Best of Jerry Pournelle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Library Science Shelf

A-Z Common Reference Questions for Academic Librarians
Heather Dawson
Facet Publishing
www.facetpublishing.co.uk
9781783304110, $79.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Heather Dawson is an Academic Support Librarian in the Information Services Department of the LSE Library and the author of two books from Facet Publishing, UK. In "A-Z Common Reference Questions for Academic Librarians" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to help academic librarians tackle the questions most commonly asked by students, academics and researchers.

A broad cross-disciplinary A-Z of themes including topics such as literature searching, plagiarism, and using online resources are covered, helping you to address a query confidently and quickly. Each topic is split into three sections to guide the reader's response to: common inquiries encountered; points to consider, with an exploration of the issues and challenges that might arise; and guidance on where to look, listing annotated UK and international resources in print and online including key organizations, scholarly bodies, digital libraries, statistical data, and journal article indexes.

"A-Z Common Reference Questions for Academic Librarians" fully updates and expands the author's previous book, "Know it All, Find it Fast for Academic Libraries", and includes new sections on: blogging and social media; text and data mining and data visualization; assistive technology resources; early career researchers; impact measurement including bibliometrics, citation analysis, and journal rankings; academic internet searching; LGBT studies; Middle East studies; project management; open access (OA) publishing; research data management; study skills; and systematic reviews.

Critique: Very highly recommended as being ideal for a library science curriculum or as in- service training textbook for library students and/or aspiring academic librarians, "A-Z Common Reference Questions for Academic Librarians" is impressively well organized and presented. This thoroughly 'user friendly' resource is unreservedly endorsed for the Library Science instructional reference collections of community, college, and academic libraries and library systems.


The Dance Shelf

Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger
Robin Kish & Jennie Morton
Princeton Book Company
614 Route 130, Highstown, NJ 08520
www.dancehorizons.com
9780871273970, $39.95, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Based on the latest scientific research, "Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger" by Robin Kish and Jennie Morton offers a complete conditioning program to help dancers improve technique and lessen the danger of injury. By presenting general principles of injury prevention as well as specific exercises for increasing strength and flexibility, "Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger" provides information that dancers of all ages and skill levels can use to improve performance. Common problems are discussed in a question and answer format. "Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger" also gives a thorough overview of anatomy and exercise physiology.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, and featuring numerous black-and-white photographic illustrations throughout, "Dancing Longer, Dancing Stronger" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended curriculum textbook for private dance academy or public school dance classes, as well as the personal DIY reading lists of any and all aspiring dancers ranging from ballet, to tap, to modern, to folk, and beyond.

Editorial Note: Robin Kish earned her MFA in kinesiology and an MS in physiology and biomechanics. She is a licensed massage therapist and certified in Pilates. She has been on the faculty of Chapman University since 2006 and is an active member in the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, Performing Arts Medicine Association, and National Dance Education Organization. After a career in ballet and musical theater, Jennie Morton trained as a sport massage therapist and osteopath, then obtained her MS in psychology. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University and has more than 25 years of experience training dancers in injury prevention and supporting recovery. She is a board member for the Performing Arts Medicine Association and the author of The Authentic Performer.


The Jewelry Shelf

Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour
Diana Scarisbrick
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500021507, $80.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From time immemorial, diamonds have long symbolized political power and authority in Europe. "Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour" by Diana Scarisbrick deftly explores the individuals who commissioned and wore extraordinarily precious diamond ornaments from the mid-fourteenth century to the present day.

Exquisite paintings and breathtaking photography highlight the diamonds of figures as enduring as Louis XIV of France and Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain, as well as screen icons such as Elizabeth Taylor. From Lisbon to London and Stockholm to St. Petersburg, these figures used diamond jewelry to reinforce their power. Like royal dress, diamonds were worn to dazzle and impress - at weddings, coronations, christenings, and state visits - and were presented as gifts, which often proved remarkably successful as instruments of diplomacy.

More than three hundred illustrations capture the changing styles of diamond jewelry that mirror the trends of the time: late Gothic naturalism, the culture of the Renaissance, Baroque splendor, Rococo elegance and the imperial grandeur of the First and Second Napoleonic Empires. "Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour" offers an inherently fascinating overview of one of the world's most iconic gems.

Critique: Diana Scarisbrick is an art historian specializing in the history of engraved gems and jewelry. Her publications include Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty and Portrait Jewels: Opulence and Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs. Now with the publication of "Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour" she continues to provide an impressively informative and beautifully illustrated study that is a pleasure to simply browse through. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Diamond Jewelry: 700 Years of Glory and Glamour" is unreservedly recommended for personal and professional reading lists, and would be an ideal Memorial Fund acquisition choice for community, college, and university library collections.


The Art Shelf

The Wyvern Collection: Medieval and Later Ivory Carvings and Small Sculpture
Paul Williamson
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500022832, $95.00, HC, 448pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Paul Williamson is Keeper Emeritus and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art. His many books include Gothic Sculpture, 1140 - 1300; Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque; and Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200 - 1550.

The Wyvern Collection is one of the most important collections of medieval ivory carvings and small sculpture, and this beautifully and profusely illustrated compendium showcases the best of the collection to the public for the first time.

"Medieval and Later Ivory Carvings and Small Sculpture " is the second catalog of the Wyvern Collection and informatively celebrates an outstanding group of medieval ivory carvings and small sculpture -- arguably the finest assemblage of its kind in private hands.

Medieval and Later Ivory Carvings and Small Sculpture has pieces from every period of the Middle Ages, including rare pieces from the Early Christian era, spectacular panels from the workshops of tenth-century Constantinople, objects produced by the celebrated carvers active in South Italy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and several important pieces from the Romanesque period.

At the heart of the collection is an outstanding group of Gothic ivories whose highlights include one of the most important secular medieval ivories discovered in recent years. The collection also features a number of small amber, hard stone, jet, wood, and mother-of-pearl carvings.

In addition to their virtuoso craftsmanship, many of these pieces have illustrious histories as part of famous aristocratic or ecclesiastical collections. This is a precious opportunity to study these miniature masterpieces.

Critique: Featuring informatively some 325 informatively captioned and full color illustrations, "The Wyvern Collection: Medieval and Later Ivory Carvings and Small Sculpture" is a truly extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Medieval/Renaissance art collections and supplemental studies lists.


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting
Christopher Bayes & Virginia Scott
Theatre Communications Group
http://www.tcg.org/publications
9781559365611, $16.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting" by the team of Christopher Bayes and Virginia Scott offers a unique glimpse into the wild world of the Clown, unveiling a classic character best generally described as "the playful self, the unsocialized self, the naive self... the big stupid who just wants to have some fun with the audience."

Impressively informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting" must be considered as an essential guide for artists and actors wanting to set free the messy and hilarious Clown within themselves.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library theatre/cinema/tv collections.

Editorial Note: Christopher Bayes is one of the most sought after teachers of Clown and Physical Comedy in the country. He has taught internationally and been on the faculty of many prestigious schools, including Yale, The Juilliard School, Brown, and NYU's Graduate Acting Program. He is the co-founder and head of The Funny School of Good Acting in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently Professor and Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama.

Virginia Scott is a director/devisor/teacher of Physical Theater, and co-founder of The Funny School of Good Acting. She has taught Clown at The Juilliard School, Pace University, the Actors Center, CAP 21, and Tisch School of the Arts.


The Martial Arts Shelf

The Complete Martial Artist
Willie 'The Bam' Johnson
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
www.ymaa.com
9781594396533, $18.95, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Willie "The Bam" Johnson, is an award winning martial arts teacher whose mission is to help young adults and others become empowered through martial arts, in order to make good life choices. He is a seven-time sport karate and kung fu world champion, a two-time All American champion, and a nationally ranked Triple Crown martial arts champion. He teaches at The Bam Martial Arts Academy in Laurel, Maryland.

In "The Complete Martial Artist: Developing the Mind, Body, and Spirit of a Champion" Johnson draws upon his years of experience and expertise to offers young adults and twenty-something's a DIY opportunity to see what martial arts can do for their lives as he shares his own childhood story of hardship and redemption along with: How to adopt martial arts values as a way of living; Important universal principles to live by; Creating a championship attitude; Examples about martial arts forms (kata) and sparring; How to get started and be successful in your personal martial arts journey.

"The Complete Martial Artist" can be a key unlocking a door to personal self-development and achieving a balanced approach to living.

Critique: Profusely illustrated in black-and-white throughout, "The Complete Martial Artist: Developing the Mind, Body, and Spirit of a Champion" is impressively 'user friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation, making it an ideal addition to personal, professional, dojo, community, and academic library Martial Arts instructional reference collections. It should be noted for dedicated martial arts students that "The Complete Martial Artist" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Religious Studies Shelf

The Epistle of James
James D. Dvorak & Zachary K. Dawson, editors
Pickwick Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781498224581, $40.00, PB, 348pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by James D. Dvorak (Professor of Greek and New Testament at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and Zachary K. Dawson (who is a PhD candidate in New Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario), "The Epistle of James: Linguistic Exegesis of an Early Christian Letter" is a collection of essays that applies to the book of James with respect to linguistic methods of analysis that are based on the same theoretical framework, namely Systemic-Functional Linguistics.

This volume in the Pickwick Publications McMaster Linguistic Exegesis of the New Testament series is unique in that it provides a theoretically consistent and unified approach to a single New Testament book, which makes the whole volume useful for researchers and students of James.

Each individual essay makes its own creative use of this linguistic perspective to engage important critical questions and to pave new ground for Jacobean scholarship based on linguistic analysis. Various topics in this volume include the textual structure and cohesion of the letter, intertextuality, rhetorical strategies, ideological struggle, interpersonal relations, and other topics related to the letter's social context and language use.

Critique: A compendium of simply outstanding and meticulous scholarship that is unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, college, and university library Contemporary New Testament Theology collections in general, and The Epistle of James supplemental studies lists in particular, "The Epistle of James: Linguistic Exegesis of an Early Christian Letter" is comprised of eleven erudite and insightful articles, a listing of the contributors and their credentials, a six page Index of Modern Authors, and a seven page Index of Ancient Sources.


The Music Shelf

Rock Chronicles, third edition
David Roberts, editor
Firefly Books Ltd.
www.fireflybooks.com
9780228101598, $20.95, PB, 576pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: David Roberts has edited more than 20 music reference book projects at Guinness World Records including British Hit Singles and Albums and Rockopedia. He is also the author of Rock Atlas: 650 Great Music Locations and the Fascinating Stories Behind Them.

Compiled and edited by Roberts, this newly updated and expanded third edition of "Rock Chronicles: Every Legend, Every Line-up, Every Look" is fully updated to mark the recent loss of many important, innovative and beloved musicians who changed the world of music, including: David Bowie, the irreplaceable Prince, Tom Petty, George Michael, Lemmy of Mot”rhead, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, two of the three members of Emerson Lake and Palmer, poet philosopher Leonard Cohen, Gregg Allman, the great Chuck Berry, Glenn Frey of the Eagles, Leon Russell, J. Geils, and too many others.

Specifically designed for today's visual-savvy generation, "Rock Chronicles" uses color-coded infographics for quick-glance coverage of the ever-shifting line-ups, appearances, labels, sounds and successes of 250 of the most important rock acts from 1960 to time of press in 2018. Insightful commentary highlighted with photographs gives the lowdown on every member -- whatever their role in the band and however short-lived their time with them.

Bands change their line-ups, musicians pass away, and of course new music is released. This new and comprehensive edition has been updated to reflect the many such changes since the previous book including: Date of death of deceased band members and revisions to the descriptive text to reflect this change; Revised text if there has been a major development in an active band; New albums for those bands still active on timeline; Revised timelines for bands still active: Grammy Awards; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees.

Critique: Comprehensive, information-packed, expertly organized, and compellingly presented, Rock Chronicles is the essential and throughly 'user friendly' reference for everyone who is a dedicated fans of rock music -- and all those associated with it. Simply stated, this new third edition of "Rock Chronicles" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library musicology reference collections in general, and Rock Music supplemental studies reading lists in particular.


The Railroading Shelf

Railways and Industry in the Tondu Valleys: Bridgend to Treherbert
John Hodge & Stuart Davies
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526727251, $60.00, HC, 200pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: John Hodge is a former railway manager during the 1960s who, since retirement in 1992, has produced many articles and books on South Wales railways. With the assistance of Stuart Davies, Hodge's "Railways and Industry in the Tondu Valleys: Bridgend to Treherbert" begins with a history of the industrial development of the Tondu Valleys, including the succession of great industrialists who led the way in the area.

This is followed by a chapter on the position of the Tondu Valleys in the South Wales Coalfield with colliery and colliery company details. Railway passenger services are next covered, followed by railway coal services. Then follows a detailed account of the sole railway depot which covered all the operations in the Tondu Valleys.

A location specific account then follows of Llynfi Valley detailing both railway and colliery aspects, following the line from Bridgend, through Tondu, and all locations to Cymmer Afan and on to the original terminus at Abergwynfi, then from Blaengwynfi through the Rhondda Tunnel to Treherbert.

The north end of the South Wales Mineral Railway became an adjunct to the Tondu Valley with the closure of the former Rhondda & Swansea Bay line and this is also included in similar detail. The closure of the passenger service in 1970 and renaissance of a new service from Maesteg to Cardiff in 1992 concludes the account.

Critique: Detailed Appendices of operating statistics completes this very comprehensive account, making "Railways and Industry in the Tondu Valleys: Bridgend to Treherbert" the fullest illustrated account ever produced of this part of the South Wales scene and is a must for all British railway history buffs interested in either the railway or mining activities (or both) in this part of South Wales. While very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library British Railway History collections and supplemental studies reading lists, it should be noted that "Railways and Industry in the Tondu Valleys: Bridgend to Treherbert" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, 24.99).


The Architecture Shelf

Courtyard Living
Charmaine Chan
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500519202, $60.00, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Courtyards have long played an important function in residential design, regulating light, shade and the use of space. With thousands of years of tradition as inspiration, contemporary architects are realizing courtyard living afresh.

"Courtyard Living: Contemporary Houses of the Asia-Pacific" by Charmaine Chan is lavishly illustrated survey showcasing 25 residences across the Asia-Pacific region features homes from Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

Structured by courtyard function, "Courtyard Living" consists of five chapters on privacy; multigenerational living; sightlines; light and ventilation; and living with nature that are richly illustrated with photographs as well as architectural drawings showing courtyard positions within floor plans.

Presenting unique lifestyle opportunities afforded by contemporary courtyard design, "Courtyard Living" is an inspirational resource for anyone interested in indoor-outdoor living.

Critique: A unique and certain to be prized addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Architecture and Interior Design collections, "Courtyard Living: Contemporary Houses of the Asia-Pacific" is inspiring to simply browse through for both architecture professionals, architecture students, aspiring interior designers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

The World by Design
A. Eugene Kohn & Clifford Pearson
RosettaBooks
www.rosettabooks.com
9781948122498, $34.99, HC, 328pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Founded on July 4, 1976, Kohn Pedersen Fox quickly became a darling of the architectural press with groundbreaking buildings such as the headquarters for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Procter & Gamble headquarters in Cincinnati, and the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC.

By the early 1990s, when most architecture firms in the U.S. were struggling to survive a major recession, KPF was busy with significant buildings in London, Germany, Canada, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia -- pioneering a model of global practice that has influenced architecture, design, and creative-services firms ever since. Like any other business, though, KPF has stumbled along the way and wrestled with crises. But through it all, it has remained innovative in a field that changes all the time and often favors the newest star on the horizon.

Now in its fifth decade, the firm has shaped skylines and cities around the world with iconic buildings such as the World Financial Center in Shanghai, Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, the DZ Bank Tower in Frankfurt, the Heron Tower in London, and Hudson Yards in New York.

Forthright and engaging, in the pages of "The World by Design: The Story of a Global Architecture Firm", Kohn examines both award-winning achievements and missteps in his 50-year career in architecture. In the process, he shows how his firm, KPF, has helped change the buildings and cities where we live, work, learn, and play.

Critique: Nicely illustrated with full color photography, "The World by Design: The Story of a Global Architecture Firm" is an inherently fascinating personal and corporate history that will be of particular interest to professionals and non-specialist general readers with an interest in architecture. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The World by Design" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).


The Sports Shelf

Play Better Basketball
Kathy Brook & Dawn Smith
Firefly Books Ltd.
www.fireflybooks.com
9781770859739, $19.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Play Better Basketball" is a fully illustrated guide to improving performance at playing one of the world's most popular team sport games. The skills packed between these covers are those that pros like Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard and Kia Nurse use to dominate the court. From the fundamentals of footwork to team defensive strategies, "Play Better Basketball" teaches how to play winning basketball no matter the situation.

"Play Better Basketball" applies to all levels of basketball -- from the driveway to the gymnasium. More than 300 step-by-step photographs accompany detailed yet easy-to-follow skill descriptions. Beyond the basics of footwork and body position, these instructions emphasize the decision-making that is key to translating new skills to a competitive basketball game.

Grow and refine your skills with 50 dynamic drills, each with built-in modifications to challenge development and make practice exciting. "Play Better Basketball" was specifically created for athletes who want to raise their level of play, polish their skills and achieve their hoop goals. It's time to play better basketball!

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Play Better Basketball" is an ideal physical education curriculum textbook and expertly organized and presented as a personal DIY instructional reference for amateur players seeking to improve their performance on the court. It should be noted for school and community library collections that "Play Better Basketball" is also available in a hardcover edition (9781770859746, $25.95).


The Cookbook Shelf

Super Easy Soups and Stews
Abigail R. Ghering, editor
Good Books
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781680994827, $16.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Knowledgeable compiled and deftly edited by experienced cookbook author Abigail Ghering "Super Easy Soups and Stews: 100 Soups, Stews, Broths, Chilis, Chowders, and More!" showcases a culinary compendium of ridiculously easy and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly" recipes. Whether you like to prepare dinner on the stovetop or in your slow cooker, Instant Pot, pressure cooker, Dutch oven, or Ninja Foodi, there are plenty of delicious options here.

The recipes range from Meatball Tortellini Soup; Baked Potato Soup; Egg Drop Soup; and Beef and Black Bean Chili; to Chickpea Chili; Harvest Corn Chowder; Mushroom Stew; Crab Bisque and more!

All of the recipes use ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to find at any local grocery store. There are also helpful ideas for freezing soups, time-saving tips for prepping ingredients, and handy substitutions to customize soups to specific tastes and dietary needs.

Critique: Profusely illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Super Easy Soups and Stews: 100 Soups, Stews, Broths, Chilis, Chowders, and More!" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Super Easy Soups and Stews" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Sweet Vegan Treats
Hannah Keminsky
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510741843, $22.99, HC, 264pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Hannah Kaminsky has developed an international following for her delicious recipes and mouthwatering food photography at the award-winning blog BitterSweetBlog.com. She is the author of Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie. Passionate about big flavors and simple techniques, she works in San Francisco's bay area developing recipes and photographing food from morning to night.

With "Sweet Vegan Treats: 90 Recipes for Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, and Tarts" this longtime vegan author and culinary expert has compiled an impressive array of creamy, luscious treats that will leave guests wondering, are you sure this is vegan? And to prove these creations will surprise all taste buds, every recipe has been taste-tested and approved by both vegans and non-vegans alike!

These original, mouthwatering recipes include: Chocolate chip cookie pie; Baklava tart; Lace Florentine cookies; Mocha revelation cake; Lychee cupcakes with raspberry frosting; Almond avalanche bars; Chili chocolate tart; and more!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Sweet Vegan Treats: 90 Recipes for Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, and Tarts" is an inspiring culinary compendium for browsing through and planning menus with. It will prove to be an extraordinary and enduringly popular addition to family, personal, professional, and community library Vegan cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Sweet Vegan Treats: 90 Recipes for Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, and Tarts" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).


The Political Science Shelf

Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics
Anna Durnova
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781788114813, $115.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: With the coming of the Trump administration, politics in America was introduced to the concept of 'alternative facts' -- a code phrase for deliberately and knowingly lying to the American public as a means of exerting, fostering, and protecting corruption.

An insightful lens into the contemporary state of post-factual politics, "Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics: Negotiating Truth" by Anna Durnova (Department of Public and Social Policy, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic and Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria) is timely study that deftly explores the perceived binary nature of facts and emotions, suggesting ways to integrate them. Professor Durnova shows that in order to understand post-factual politics, we must unveil the role of emotion in the discursive registers through which politics is constructed and knowledge is legitimized.

By analyzing and comparing scientists' protests against the Trump presidency with famous scientific controversies in modern medicine, "Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics" redefines truth as a negotiation in public discourse between the interplay of values, beliefs and facts. Individual chapters examine the ways in which people see emotions as being opposed to facts, unpacking how this ultimate opposition limits public discussion on science in the wake of alternative facts and 'fake news'.

Political science students and academics will find the new discussion of post-factual politics through the lens of emotions a timely and important read. "Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics" is also ideal for social movements scholars with the March for Science a key case study used to examine the gap between emotions and facts in modern day times.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of figures, a listing of abbreviations, and informative introduction to 'post-factual politics' (including a note on methodology and data material), an appendix, a twenty-eight page list of references, and a five page index, "Understanding Emotions in Post-Factual Politics: Negotiating Truth" is a seminal, ground-breaking work of simply outstanding scholarship -- making it unreservedly recommended for college and university library Contemporary Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.


The Literary Studies Shelf

Becoming Willa Cather: Creation and Career
Daryl W. Palmer
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
www.unpress.nevada.edu
9781948908276, $39.95, HC, 264pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From the girl in Red Cloud who oversaw the construction of a miniature town called Sandy Point in her backyard, to the New Woman on a bicycle, celebrating art and castigating political abuse in Lincoln newspapers, to the aspiring novelist in New York City, committed to creation and career, "Becoming Willa Cather: Creation and Career" by Daryl W. Palmer (Professor of English at Regis University in Denver, Colorado) is a groundbreaking literary biography that offers a provocative new look at Willa Cather's evolution as a writer.

Willa Cather has long been admired for O Pioneers! (1913), Song of the Lark (1915), and My Antonia (1918) -- the "prairie novels" about the lives of early Nebraska pioneers that launched her career. Thanks in part to these timeless masterpieces of literary fiction, she is often viewed as a representative of pioneer life on the Great Plains, a controversial innovator in American modernism, and a compelling figure in the literary history of LGBTQ America. A century later, scholars acknowledge Cather's place in the canon of American literature and continue to explore her relationship with the West.

Drawing on original archival research and paying unprecedented attention to Cather's early short stories, Professor Palmer demonstrates that the relationship with Nebraska in the years leading up to O Pioneers! is more dynamic than critics and scholars thought. Readers will encounter a surprisingly bold young female author whose youth in Nebraska served as a kind of laboratory for her future writing career. "Becoming Willa Cather" changes the way we think about Cather, a brilliant and ambitious author who embraced experimentation in life and art, intent on re- imagining the American West.

Critique: A masterpiece of meticulous scholarship, exhaustive research, insightful analysis, and featuring a ten page listing of Works Cited, along with a six page Index, "Becoming Willa Cather: Creation and Career" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library 20th Century American Literary Biography collections in general, and Willa Cather supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Becoming Willa Cather: Creation and Career" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $37.95).


The Technology Shelf

Photonic Applications for Radio Systems and Networks
Fabio Cavaliere & Antonio D'Errico
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781630816650, $169.00, HC, 301pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Photonics is the physical science of light (photon) generation, detection, and manipulation through emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and sensing.

"Photonic Applications for Radio Systems and Networks" photonics systems and technology experts Fabio Cavaliere and Antonio D'Errico by is hands-on and practical new resource that provides optical network designers with basic but necessary information about radio systems air interface and radio access network architecture, protocols, and interfaces, using 5G use cases as relevant example.

"Photonic Applications for Radio Systems and Networks" introduces mobile network designers to the transmission modeling techniques for the design of a radio access optical network. The main linear and non-linear propagation effects in optical fiber are covered. It also introduces mobile network designers to the optical technologies used in digital and analog radio access networks, such as optical amplifiers and transmitters, and describes different deployment scenarios, including point-to-point fiber systems, wavelength-division multiplexing systems, and passive optical networks.

New integrated photonic technologies for optical switching are also discussed, as well as explaining and illustrating the principles of optical beamforming and how optical technologies can be used to provide accurate phase and frequency control of antenna elements.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook, "Photonic Applications for Radio Systems and Networks" is expertly organized and presented. While unreservedly recommended for professional, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, technicians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Photonic Applications for Radio Systems and Networks" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $119.63).

The VNA Applications Handbook
Gregory Bonaguide & Neil Jarvis
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781630816001, $169.00, HC, 375pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "The VNA Applications Handbook", the capabilities and limitations of modern VNA in the context of challenging real-world applications are explained, as well as insights for optimizing test setups and instrument settings, making accurate measurements and, equally important, avoiding costly mistakes.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented by two prominent experts in the field, Gregory Bonaguide (Senior Applications Engineer at Rohde & Schwarts specializing in spectrum analyzers and vector network analyzers) and Neil Jarvis (Applications Engineer at Rhode & Schwartz), "The VNA Applications Handbook" is authoritative new resource that provides guidelines for performing a wide variety of Vector Network Analyzers (VNA) measurements. While unreservedly recommended as a college and university curriculum textbook, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and technicians that "The VNA Applications Handbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $132.65).

Editorial Note: Artech House provides today's professionals and students with books and software from the world's authorities in RF/microwave design, wireless communications, radar engineering, and electronic defense, GPS/GNSS, power engineering, computer security, and building technology. Artech House is a subsidiary of Horizon House Publications, Inc., publisher of the Microwave Journal.


The Criminology Shelf

Last of the Gladiators
James M. LaRossa, Jr.
Bancroft Press
PO Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209
www.bancroftpress.com
9781610882392, $32.95, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From the 1960s until the turn of the 21st century, New York City was the world's epicenter of organized and white-collar crime. During those four decades, the most feared Mafia chiefs, assassins, defrocked stockbrokers, Orthodox Jewish money-launderers, and Arab bankers sought the counsel of one man: Jimmy LaRossa, a Kennedy-era prosecutor who became the defense lawyer of first resort.

On January 30, 2009, his son, James M. LaRossa Jr., snuck his famous and mortally ill father from New York Presbyterian Hospital to a waiting Medevac jet, where we flew in secret to a place few people would look for two die-hard New Yorkers: a town in Southern California aptly named Manhattan Beach.

During their five years in exile, they, "the LaRossa boys" as they came to be known, made their mark as a most irreverent and unrivaled father/son duo. While the son cooked his father his favorite Italian dishes and kept him alive using the most up-to-date equipment and drugs, the father recounted his legendary courtroom exploits to his son -- who recorded them for later publication.

Not only is "Last of the Gladiators" a memoir about some of the seminal legal events of a generation, but it's also a love story between a father and son -- a theme not often seen in American arts and letters.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and uniquely informative 'insider' account of New York's underworld, "Last of the Gladiators: A Memoir of Love, Redemption, and the Mob by the Son of the Legendary Trial Lawyer Jimmy LaRossa" will have a very special appeal for anyone with an interest in organized crime and the role played by their defense attorneys. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Last of the Gladiators" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
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