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Library Bookwatch

Volume 3, Number 2 February 2008 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Wine Shelf Music Shelf
Railroading Shelf Travel Shelf Political Science Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Social Issues Shelf Fiction Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf World History Shelf Science Shelf
Poetry Shelf Self-Help Shelf Library Science Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf Library CD Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Economics Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

South to Alaska
Nancy Owens Barnes
New Leaf Publishing Group
PO Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638
9781930076068, $15.95 1-800-999-3777

South to Alaska: From the Heartland of America to the Heart of a Dream is the true life travelogue and biographical excerpt of one man's voyage by sea from Arkansas to Alaska. Melvin Owens single-handedly constructed the 47-foot "Red Dog" in his backyard, and launched it on the Arkansas River in 1971. He traveled the Arkansas River and Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico; in 1973 he began a solitary expedition along the Caribbean coasts of Mexico and Central America, through the Panama Canal, into the Pacific Ocean and finally to Alaska. To achieve his dream he battled mechanical problems, nature's ill will, sickness, thievery, and loneliness. An amazing and inspirational tale of one man's solo 10,000 mile expedition, as told his daughter Nancy Owens Barnes.

The Wine Shelf

Donald Ziraldo & Karl Kaiser
Key Porter Books
Six Adelaide Street East, 10th floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5C 1H6
9781552639269, $50.00

"Icewine: Extreme Winemaking" by Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser (co-founders of Inniskillin Wines) is an impressively illustrated introduction and explanation of the methods and skills required to successful produce Canada's renowned delicacy called Icewine. "Icewine" provides the reader with a fascinating tour through cool-climate viticulture and Icewine-making. All the complex factors that determine this luxury wine (soil, grape varieties, pressing, cork quality, and climate temperature). Beautiful illustrated Icewine recipes showcasing the velvety smoothness of Icewine created by the resident chef Izabela Kalabis-Sacco round out this amazing tribute and range from Icewine and Thyme Grilled Fig Salad with Gorgonzola and Sherry Vinaigrette, to Vanilla-Infused Icewine Frenched Toast, to Summer Berries with Chilled Icewine Cream. A 'must read' for all connoisseurs of fine wines, "Icewine" is an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Food & Wine reference collections.

Rogov's Guide To Israeli Wines 2008
Daniel Rogov
The Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592642106, $19.95

Its been within the last decade that Israel has achieved a justified fame and recognition for the quality of its wines. Now in a newly revised and updated fourth edition, "Rogov's Guide To Israeli Wines 2008" continues to bring addition to the wines of Israel by showcasing not only the more than 2,000 vintages (tasted, rated and described), but also more than 150 Israeli wineries. Enhanced for the wine connoisseur with a tasting chart, a detailed map of Israel's wine regions, and 500 new releases along with their critiques. "Rogov's Guide To Israeli Wines 2008" is enthusiastically recommended for all wine enthusiasts, and is a reliable reference guide for restauranteurs and retail wine sellers.

The Music Shelf

2008 Songwriter's Market
Writer's Digest Press
c/o F&W Publications, Inc.
700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990
9781582975023, $26.99 1-800-726-9966

Now in a substantially revised and completed updated thirty-first edition, the Writer's Digest Press edition of the "2008 Songwriter's Market: Where & How To Market Your Songs" continues to be the premier resource for aspiring and practicing songwriters and musicians to have their music recorded and published. This compilation of information and instruction is enhanced with hundreds of listings for music publishers, record companies, record and music producers, booking agents, interviews with successful professional in the industry, and so much more. Cover market place resources for all genres of music from hip-hop to rock, from classical to country, from pop to kids, the "2008 Songwriter's Market" will prove to be an invaluable, information packed, and thoroughly 'user friendly' resource. Enhanced with listings for songwriter support organizations, conferences, thematically appropriate websites and online communities, "2008 Songwriter's Market" should be considered an essential, core addition to personal, professional, music school, and community library reference collections.

The Railroading Shelf

Interurban Trains To Chicago
John Kelly
PO Box 446, Hudson, WI 54016
9781583881996, $29.95

A compilation of superbly reproduced black-and-white period photographs, John Kelly's "Interurban Trains To Chicago" (after an informative introduction) is organized into three distinct and distinctive chapters: Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad -- Skokie Valley Route; Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad -- Sunset Lines; Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad -- South Shore Lines. These legendary electrically powered interurban train lines carried passengers to and from downtown Chicago from the north, west, and southwest areas of the famed Windy City. Offering a visual wealth of vintage photographs, as well as timetables and poster advertising, "Interurban Trains To Chicago" is an especially recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library American Railroading reference collections. Dedicated railroading enthusiasts and librarians seeking to strengthen and expand their railroading history collections would be well advised to visit the Iconografix website for a complete listing of their many railroad and railroading oriented publications.

2652 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91107
#TNWPDVD, $29.95 1-800-950-9333

Pentrex is the leading producer of railroading DVDs and an always reliable resource for building up personal and community Railroading collections of continuing interest for dedicated railroad buffs. Three highly recommended examples currently available for acquisition are "Today's Northwestern Pacific" (TNWPDVD, $29.95) which was recorded to showcase the Northwestern Pacific (a Southern Pacific subsidiary) which is still very much active along its 156-mile line. "Beaumount Hill" (VRBEAU, $29.95) which features both the Beaumont Hill and a Beaumont Hill Cab Ride in a full color, 2 hour 30 minute visual experience enhanced with stereo sound and narration. "Cajon II" (VRCAJON2, $29.95) is another 2 1/2 hour full color 'combo DVD' focusing on one of the world's great railroading landmarks -- Cajon Pass. All three of these outstanding and highly recommended railroading DVD titles from Pentrex feature Chapter Menus. Railroading enthusiasts and librarians building up their railroading collections would be well advice to obtain a free Pentrex catalog for a complete listing of their railroading videos.

The Travel Shelf

The Luxury Guide To Walt Disney World Resort
Cara Goldsbury
Insiders' Guide
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
9780762745579, $18.95 1-800-243-0495

Now in an updated second edition, The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World Resort: How to Get the Most Out of the Best Disney Has to Offer lives up to its title and then some. Chapters discuss one's options for luxury accommodations, stylish dining opportunities, attractions beyond the theme parks, how to take advantage of the "FASTPASS" system to bypass lines and other recommendations for avoiding long waits, the Disney cruise line, and much more. Presented in plain terms with an index for quick and easy cross-referencing, The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World Resort is a "must-have" for all potential visitors of this multifaceted vacation destination.

Peter Pauper Press, Inc.
202 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601

Peter Pauper Press is the publisher of a fascinating series of compact, 'pocket-sized' travel guides. 'The Little Black Book' series are thoroughly 'user friendly', portable, and superbly organized. Each volume in this outstanding series begins with an introduction on how to use the guide, and with respect to the particular city being featured by a particular title, provide invaluable information on money, public transportation, making phone calls, shopping, etiquette, general tourist information, and so much more. The major portion of each title is then dedicated to providing information and recommendation for places to go, sights to see, things to do, where to eat, where to stay, where to shop. The individual titles comprising this outstanding series include "The Little Black Book Of London: The Quintessential Guide To The Royal Capital" (9781593598860, $12.95, 11 foldout maps); "The Little Black Book Of Rome: The Timeless Guide To The Eternal City" (9781593598594, $10.95, 9 foldout maps); "The Little Black Book Of Paris: The Essential Guide To The City Of Light" (9781593598501, $10.95, 10 foldout maps); "The Little Black Book Of New York: The Essential Guide To The Quintessential City" (9781593598907, $12.95, 9 foldout maps); "The Little Black Book Of Washington DC: The Essential Guide To America's Capital" (9781593598686, $10.95, 9 foldout maps); "The Little Black Book Of Boston: The Essential Guide to The Heart Of New England" (9781593598976, $12.95); "The Little Black Book Of San Francisco: The Essential Guide To The Golden Gate City" (9781593598679, $12.95, 10 foldout maps); and "The Little Black Book Of Walt Disney World". The spiral binding allows for these compact guide books to lay out flat, and a built in elastic stretch band permits the 'book marking' of an given page for quick, easy, and continued referencing during an excursion. If you are bound to any of these cities for either business or pleasure, then begin your itinerary planning with a copy of the appropriate "Little Black Book" from Peter Pauper Press!

The Political Science Shelf

America Alone
Mark Steyn
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
9780895260789, $27.95 1-800-338-4550

Political columnist Mark Steyn, whose work has appeared in "National Review", "New Criterion", the "Washington Times", and many other publications, presents America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a scathing forecast of a bleak future for America and the civilized world. Steyn seizes upon solid demographical and statistical evidence revealing a population decline among non-Muslims in America and Europe and a population surge among Muslims, with stark implications should present trends continue unabated. "An IRA man blows up a pub in defiance of democratic reality - because he knows that at the ballot box the Ulster Loyalists win the elections and the Irish Republicans lose. When a European jihadist blows something up, that's not in defiance of democratic reality but merely a portent of democratic reality to come. He's jumping the gun, but in every respect things are moving his way." A sharp-tongued, bluntly honest commentary that embraces the positive aspects of American culture (women's rights, tolerance of religion) and stresses why these aspects need to be spread across the globe. Islam is in dire need of reform, Steyn warns, but those on the outside cannot reform it directly; they can only facilitate change as much as possible. Though written in a witty, bantering tone, America Alone ultimately comes to grips with one of the most serious issues of the twenty-first century.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Paul L. Maier
Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825433078, $15.99 1-800-733-2607

Eusebius: The Church History is an English translation with extensive commentary by Paul L. Maier (Professor of Ancient History, Western Michigan University) of the classic texts by Eusebius (260 - 339 A.D.), recognized as the first man to trace the rise of Christianity during its first three centuries, from Jesus Christ to Constantine. Dubbed the "Father of Church History", Eusebius wrote of apostles, church fathers, emperors, bishops, heretics, confessors, martyrs, and paragons of faith. A handful of black-and-white photographs of ancient sculpture or other images illustrate this historical source, made readily accessible to the reading public through Maier's illuminating insights. An invaluable addition to private and public library Religious History shelves.

The Tradition of Catholic Prayer
The Monks of Saint Meinrad
The Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814631843, $24.95 1-800-858-5450

Written by the monks of Saint Meinrad, The Tradition of Catholic Prayer examines all aspects of Catholic prayer chronologically, from Old Testament psalms to New Testament models and early Church theologies, to the Counter-Reformation period. Particular attention is paid to communal prayer occasions such as Mass, the Liturgical Year, and the Liturgy of Hours. Miscellaneous additional topics include St. Augustine's words on prayer, praying with Mary and the Saints, and the connection between prayer and conversion. A deeply spiritual as well as a meticulously analytical history.

I Want To Believe
Mel Lawrenz
Regal Books
1957 Eastman Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003
DeChant Houses & Associates (publicity)
1440 North Kingsbury, Chicago, IL 60622
9780830744527, $16.99 1-800-235-3415

Specifically written for a Christian readership, "I Want To Believe: Finding Your Way In An Age Of Many Faiths" by Mel Lawrenz (Senior Pastor of Elmbrook Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an informed and informative survey of the ideas about God which are held in common by many of the major religions in the form of spiritual truths present in diverse cultures around the world. Pastor Lawrenz examines the belief systems of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, the Earth religions, and Atheism. He compare's their answers to the gospel-based Christian approach to the meaning of life and other spiritual issues. Of special note is the chapter on 'The Challenge of Atheism'. Articulate, inspired and inspiring, "I Want To Believe" is especially recommended reading forth Christians wanting to engage with people of other faiths and belief systems, as well as non-specialist Christian readers of all denominations and backgrounds who are struggling to maintain their own faith in an increasingly complex and multi-faith environment.

Peggy Kendall
Judson Press
PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
9780817015169, $12.00 1-800-458-3766

Associate professor of communication Peggy Kendall presents Connected: Christian Parenting in an Age of IM and MySpace, a plain-terms introduction to the myriad of online social options that teens and tweens use today. Though addressed to Christian parents, Connected is not dogmatic; its straightforward presentation is thoroughly accessible to parents of all religious faiths. "In addition to failing to comprehend the giving nature of friendships, it is also possible that by building and maintaining your friendships in this very stark, fast-paced, self-based medium, young people are losing many of the relational skills necessary for getting along with people... Unfortunately, using the computer to enhance friendships may be making this problem even more serious as teens learn to multitask their friendships, surfing in and out of conversations, conflicts, and commitments." Though a cautionary tale of the hazards of online communication tools, from letting them overtake real life friendships to the risk of encountering sexual predators, Connected is not a unilateral attack on MySpace and the like. Connected recognizes that instant messaging, blogs, and other online communications are here to stay; the key is not to ban one's children from using them, but to teach children how to use them responsibly, while protecting themselves both physically and emotionally. Highly recommended for parents everywhere.

Finding God In The Shadows
Marsha Hansen and Peter A. Huchthausen
Augsburg Fortress Publishers
100 Fifth Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1210
9780806653266, $15.99 1-800-328-4648

Former naval officer Marsha Hansen and former naval captain Peter A. Huchthausen present Finding God in the Shadows: Stories from the Battlefield of Life, tales of the largely unknown and unsung men and women serving in the military. All the stories are true; some speak of severe situations and moments of desperation on the battlefield, yet their purpose is neither to shock nor to promote a specific theology, but rather to explore issues of faith and ethics through the life experiences of people who have been changed by moments of crisis. The stories' settings range from World War II, to the Vietnam War, to the Cold War. Each story is followed by a biblical reflection that contrasts the characters and the tale against biblical events. Finding God in the Shadows is a profoundly moving introspection about the light that faith can bring to life's darkest moments, and is highly recommended.

Future Israel
Barry E. Horner
B&H Publishing Group
127 Ninth Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37234-0143
9780805446272, $19.99 1-800-251-3225

Written by Barry E. Horner (M.Div., Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary), Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged is a sharp criticism of "supercessionist theology" - the viewpoint that the Christian church has replaced or superseded Israel in God's redemptive plan. Taking a stand against Christian Anti-Judaic hermeneutics throughout history and those used in the modern day, Horner reveals that anti-Judaism has a negative effect on both the church and on Jewish evangelism. At the same time, Horner advocates the biblical prophecy of a restored nation of Israel under the acknowledged messiah of Jesus Christ, and examines a Judeo-centric eschatology as a unifying connection. "It may not sit well with those who staunchly identify themselves as Protestants, nevertheless it remains true at the present that for all of its departure from the essential truth of the Bible, the Roman Catholic Church has more recently evidenced certain changes with regard to appreciation of the Jews and Judaism, however imperfectly and of debatable motivation, than those who glory in a Reformed heritage." Future Israel is the third volume in the New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology series, and worthy of the pedigree. A sober and welcome addition to theology shelves.

Intelligent Design
William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse, dialogue
Robert B. Stewart, editor
Fortress Press
c/o Augsburg Fortress Publishers
100 Fifth Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1210
9780800662189, $22.00 1-800-328-4648

Editor Robert B. Stewart gathers the insights of leading intellectuals William A. Dembski, Michael Ruse, and others in Intelligent Design, an examination of the hotly contested debate between proponents and deniers of the Intelligent Design theory. Intelligent Design strives to be as objective as humanly possible; essays address the tasks of finding a precise definition for ID, ID's history as an idea and body of thought, the most common objections to and defenses of ID, and much more. All of the diverse essays are respectful in tone and pay meticulous attention to detail. A bibliography and index round out this measured assessment of the standoff between evolution, creationism, and perspectives in between.

The Social Issues Shelf

More Unequal
Michael D. Yates
Monthly Review Press
146 W. 29th Street, Suite 6W, New York, NY 10001
9781583671597, $14.95 1-800-670-9499

Edited by Michael D. Yates (associate editor of "Monthly Review"), More Unequal: Aspects of Class in the United States is an anthology of essays by educated authors concerning issues of class, income, home ownership, access to health care, and power stratification in current American society and its recent history. Individual essays discuss race and class in New Orleans both before and after Hurricane Katrina; the history, composition, and modern-day role of the black middle class; what has changed drastically and what has stayed the same for women of varying social classes in the past forty years; and much more. Drawing upon economic theory, sociological data, events in history, and even personal experiences, these down-to-earth writings are sure to resonate with anyone concerned about the dynamics of wealth and class in America, not just economics and sociology professionals. Highly recommended.

On Private Property
Eric T. Freyfogle
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
9780807044162, $24.95

Written by published author and Professor of Law Eric T. Freyfogle, On Private Property: Finding Common Ground in the Ownership of Land is a thoughtful look at the recurring dilemma of the private property debate. When is eminent domain justified, and when is urban sprawl too much? When should land be put in public trust to preserve natural life, and when should private property owners' rights prevail? Though Freyfogle acknowledges the concerns of the property-rights movement, he warns that the movement is at risk of distorting the institution of private ownership itself, by completely severing its connections to responsible community welfare. Criticizing the land conservation movement for its excessive and indiscriminate payments to landowners, allegedly to use their lands well, and stressing that the landowner's responsibility not to alter lands in ways that bring ecological decline should not be overlooked, Freyfogle suggests a Landowner Bill of Rights that is vastly different from current property-rights measures being debated. Packed cover to cover with well-reasoned arguments that take both public and private needs into account, On Private Party is a welcome contribution to an ongoing dispute.

The Great Risk Shift
Jacob S. Hacker
Oxford University Press
198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314
9780195335347, $15.95 1-800-451-7556

Now in a newly revised and expanded edition, The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the American Dream is a no-nonsense deconstruction of how current American policy has been systematically shifting economic risk from government and businesses onto the backs of individual people. Health coverage has become increasingly expensive and difficult to obtain; social security is relentlessly under attack; job security is a thing of the past; and some of the greatest risks and investments - such as years of expensive college training to prepare for a specific career - can be thoroughly upended with a shift in the labor market. The overused mantra of 'personal responsibility' is all too easily twisted into 'tough cookies for you if your child gets sick and needs expensive hospitalization.' Personal anecdotes are sprinkled throughout, yet the core of The Great Risk Shift is a big-picture analysis supported by the latest statistical trends. From the need to return insurance to its original purpose - protecting the individuals who most need it against catastrophic loss - to the pitfalls of a so-called 'ownership society', The Great Risk Shift is both a cautious analysis of the present and a red flag warning of what needs to be done in the immediate future to fight back against specific policies that are demonstrably harmful to society as a whole. Highly recommended.

Managing Diversity: Practices of Citizenship
Nicholas Brown and Linda Cardinal, editors
University of Ottawa Press
542 King Edward, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N 6N5
9780776606545, $28.00 1-800-565-9523

Managing Diversity: Practices of Citizenship is an anthology of essays written by intellectual authors discussing how Canada, Ireland, and Australia deal with issues of diversity within their own societies amid winds of economic, political, and technological change, as well as the increased population mobility associated with globalization. What is the role of the nation-state in today's "borderless" world? Individual topics include "Bounded Citizenship and the Meaning of Citizenship Laws: Ireland's Citizenship Referendum", "Howard's Way or Deane's Way: Culture Wars in Contemporary Australia", "Citizenship, Statehood, and Allegiance", and much more. "It is all very well to claim a right, but such a claim will not go far unless there are legal mechanisms to support it, and the law recognizes only certain sorts of claims and thus certain sorts of rights. Many people are surprised to learn that, although rights are often granted to persons who are legal citizens, the grant of rights does not automatically follow from the fact of citizenship." A scholarly and welcome addition to longstanding debates and problem-solving efforts in the rapidly evolving twenty-first century.

Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence
Colleen M. Grogan and Michael K. Gusmano
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781589011823, $24.95 1-800-246-9606

Colleen M. Grogan (Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago) and Michael K. Gusmano (Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University) Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence: Advocacy and Health Policy for the Poor is a serious-minded scrutiny of state-level health care advocacy for the poor, particularly with regard to Medicaid, and how public silence can have a devastating effect. When advocates for a disadvantaged or a disempowered group do not speak out, the weight of their argument is lessened, and the consensus of the more powerful interests gains ground, a process that is ultimately harmful to deliberative democracy itself. Examining the principles of deliberative democracy, agenda setting, and nonprofit advocacy, Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence reveal instances where the silence threatens to become deafening, offers advice to restore balance to the participatory process, examines how capable nonprofit organizations are at influencing policy debate, and much more. Highly recommended.

Rebecca Joyce Frey
Facts On File, Inc.
c/o Infobase Publishing
132 West 31st Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10001
9780816067671, $45.00 1-800-322-8755

Part of the "Global Issues" series by Facts on File, Fundamentalism is a comprehensive resource accessible to readers of all background concerning the nature of fundamentalism and fundamentalist religions worldwide. Seeking to authoritatively define fundamentalism and what precisely constitutes a fundamentalist group, Fundamentalism discusses various efforts to categorize fundamentalist groups, and offers an evenhanded appraisal of the disagreements concerning how prone various fundamentalist groups are to violence. Greater focus is placed upon fundamentalist movements in the United States and four other regions: Europe (ultratraditional Roman Catholicism), Israel (fundamentalist Judaism), the Middle East (the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas), and India (fundamentalist Hinduism). Meticulously researched and presented, Fundamentalism is highly recommended for general readers seeking to enlighten themselves about a commonly misused term, an absolute "must-have" for modern public library collections. "The immediate cause of the split between the [Protestant] evangelicals and the fundamentalists was Graham's decision in 1955 to accept the sponsorship of the New York City Council of Churches for his crusade in the city, scheduled for 1957. The separatist fundamentalists regarded Graham's openness to mainline Protestants as the first step toward modernism, and they withdrew their support of his crusades. Both sides agree that the split has not healed as of the early 2000s."

The Fiction Shelf

My Mother's Lovers
Christopher Hope
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4793
9780802118509, $24.00 1-800-788-3122

Award-winning author Christopher Hope presents My Mother's Lovers, a novel about the connection between mother and son set in twentieth-century sub-Saharan Africa. Told from the son's point of view, My Mother's Lovers chronicles the vivacious life of Kathleen Healy, aviator, big-game hunter, knitter, and connoisseur of all things African. Her loves were many and carefree; when illness brought her to her deathbed, she instructed her son to carry out her final wishes. The tasks he was entrusted with included delivering firearms to a former apartheid enforcer, a wig to a Liberian boy soldier, and knitting needles to the Rain Queen. Yet when he meets Cindy September, he must confront once and for all what it means to love another human being. Bold, dramatic, and colorful, My Mother's Lovers is a high-spirited, adventurous and emotionally moving read.

A Game of Bones
David Donachie
McBooks Press, Inc.
520 N. Meadow Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781590130322, $15.95 1-888-266-5711

Set in the Age of Fighting Sail, right at the close of the 18th century, A Game of Bones is a seagoing adventure novel with seasonings of whodunit. Part of author and sea lover David Donachie's "Privateersman Mysteries" series, A Game of Bones follows seaman Harry Ludlow and his exhausted crew as their search for an easy prize lands them amid a desperate fight for survival. His Majesty's Navy has erupted in mutiny; sea froth with be mixed with blood before all is said and done, in this salty historical adventure.

Broken Colors
Michele Zackheim
Europa Editions
116 East 16th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10003
9781933372372, $14.95 1-800-283-3572

Broken Colors is the novel of a talented female artist who must come to grips with the difficult realities of life. Born in England during the first world war and raised by her bohemian grandparents, Sophie Marks learns how to pour her soul into works of art; yet creativity alone cannot bring her fulfillment. After the terrible devastation of the second world war, she flees to Paris and tries to start over. She forms a relationship with a talented Italian sculptor; yet after years pass, what they had gradually crumbles away. She takes flight again, this time to the American Southwest. Brilliant yet isolated, it takes the arrival of someone from her former life to spur her to confront memories of her childhood in England and seek love renewed amid her maturity. Emotional, passionate, and introspective, Broken Colors is the one-of-a-kind tale of a shining life's multifaceted journey.

A Peculiar Grace
Jeffrey Lent
Atlantic Monthly Press
841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
9780871139658, $25.00

Author, husband, and father Jeffrey Lent presents A Peculiar Grace, novel about coming to terms with life. Set in the art scene of postwar New York, a commune of the early seventies, and modern-day small-town New England, A Peculiar Grace follows Hewitt Pearce, a blacksmith of forty-three years of age, who lives alone in his family home and overlooks a collection of art remaining from his late father. When a troubled young homeless girl named Jessica suddenly shows up on his property, his hermit-like existence begins to change. Furthermore, he learns that Emily, the love of his life from twenty years ago, has been widowed. As he gradually seeks to earn Emily's trust and discover the secrets of Jessica's past, he must confront the soul-burdening loss that scarred his own history and reexamine his desire for human connection. A deeply insightful portrait that explores the role that faith and art can have in healing the human heart.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Religion on the Healing Edge
Frank Stetzer
Baha'i Publishing
2427 Bond Street, University Park, IL 60466-3101
9781931847445, $12.00 1-800-705-4925

Author and Baha'i faithful Frank Stetzer presents Religion on the Healing Edge: What Baha'is Believe, a thoughtful introduction to the Baha'i faith and its practices. Chapters discuss the Baha'i covenant, the Baha'i concept of self-governance (clergy and ritual are not considered necessary), the principle of being loyal to one's government yet not involved in politics (a concept that is not complete withdrawal - Baha'i are permitted to vote, talk to elected representatives, or run for political office, as long as they do not identify with a political party), the Baha'i condemnation of gossip and slander, and much more. A readily accessible primer to Baha'i tenets enthusiastically recommended to anyone seeking to learn more about the faith, whether for personal or scholarly reasons.

Beyond Yahweh and Jesus
Robert Langs, M.D.
Jason Aronson Publishers
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9780765705327, $24.95 1-800-462-6420

Beyond Yahweh and Jesus: Bringing Death's Wisdom to Faith, Spirituality, and Psychoanalysis is an extensive psychoanalytic study of the Old and New Testaments. Central to the discussion is God's role in helping humans cope with fear of death. Author and practicing psychoanalyst Robert Langs suggests that Western religion carries a fundamental flaw in that it does not fully understand human psychology, with the logical conclusion that psychological wisdom is needed as a supplement to the spiritual wisdom of religion. "The inability of Christ's model life on earth and his teachings to calm the world has at least four basic sources: a failure to appreciate the fundamental problems inherent in human nature; a related failure to recognize the pervasive impact of the three forms of death anxiety on human thinking and behavior; the advent of inexplicable natural catastrophes that harm seemingly innocent people and the related failure of God to answer the prayers of seemingly deserving souls in need of help; and gaps and limitations in Christ's teachings." Psychoanalysis has failed religion, Langs claims, yet it is not too late to restore and empower religion with a more fully attuned understanding of the very humans it serves - or build secular forms of spirituality and morality. A thoughtful and meticulously reasoned discussion of where religion and psychology most need to intersect.

The World History Shelf

The Prairie West As Promised Land
R. Douglas Francis and Chris Kitzan, editors
University of Calgary Press
2500 University Drive, N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
9781552382301, $54.95 1-800-565-3770

The Prairie West as Promised Land is an anthology of scholarly essays by expert historians discussing the Canadian prairie west, from the mid-1800's to the modern day. Individual writings explore a wide variety of historical and cultural themes; among them are "Canada's Rocky Mountain Parks: Rationality, Romanticism, and a Modern Canada", "'We Must Farm to Enable Us to Live': The Plains Cree and Agriculture to 1900", "From Farm to Community: Co-operatives in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1905-2005" and many more. A carefully researched and welcome addition to Canadian history shelves, especially recommended for college libraries.

Terrible Victory
Mark Zuehlke
Douglas & McIntyre
2323 Quebeck Street, Suite 201, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4S7
9781553652274, $30.00 1-800-367-9692

Prize-winning author and military historian Mark Zuehlke presents Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign: September 13 - November 6, 1944, the grim true story of the First Canadian Army's deadliest battle of World War II. Set in the muddy Belgian and Dutch lowland country, Terrible Victory tells of the First Canadian Army's drive to gain access to the West Scheldt estuary near Antwerp, and with it the ability to send supplies to the Allied armies' advance toward Germany, at any cost. They were pitted against entrenched German forces ordered to die defending their ground. The result was a brutal close quarters conflict fought in miserably cold and wet conditions. A fascinating recreation of the a forgotten yet hard-won campaign crucial to the war effort, and a highly recommended supplement to World War II history shelves.

Delhi Ancient History
Upinder Singh, editor
Social Science Press
c/o Berghahn Books
150 Broadway, Suite 812, New York, NY 10038
9788187358299, $89.95 1-800-540-8663

Delhi Ancient History is an anthology of scholarly essays by learned authors discussing the rich historic legacy of the Indian capital city of Delhi. Individual essays contemplate stone age sites in the Delhi area, protohistoric settlements and their excavations, the intersection of archaeology and legend, sites from the early historic period, and more, up through evidence of medieval and modern history. Of particular interest is the observation of the need to preserve evidence of Delhi's past, which must necessarily be balanced with the pressures of modernization in the present. An emphatically welcome addition to world history and archaeology collections, especially recommended for college libraries.

The Science Shelf

The Microbiological Safety of Food In Healthcare Settings
Barbara M. Lund & Paul R. Hunter, editors
Blackwell Publishing Professional
2121 State Avenue, Ames, IA 50014-8300
9781405122207, $184.99 1-800-216-2522

Edited by food science and health experts Barbara M. Lund and Paul R. Hunter, The Microbiological Safety of Food in Healthcare Settings is a scholarly textbook useful to students and professionals in all aspects of the food industry, yet especially invaluable to physicians, doctors, and nurses responsible for controlling the effects of food-borne pathogens and protecting those patients who are most vulnerable. A variety of experts in the field present in-depth information concerning properties of microorganisms that cause foodborne disease, issues concerning provision of food and water in healthcare settings, practical implementation of food safety management systems in healthcare settings, and much more. Black-and-white charts, graphs, and illustrations enhance the instructive, in-depth text. "Considerable caution must be used if reheating is carried out using microwave ovens. Only ovens designed for commercial use must be used and these only according to the manufacturer's instructions (NHS, 1996), and it is essential that a temperature of at least 70 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes should be achieved in all parts of the food. A commercial microwave oven must have a suitable defrost programmed if it is to be used for thawing frozen food." Highly recommended for intermediate to advanced food science students, and a lifesaving "must-have" for healthcare professionals.

The Poetry Shelf

The Crooked Good
Louise Bernice Halfe
Coteau Books
2517 Victoria Avenue, Regina, SK, Canada, S4P 0T2
9781550503722, $14.95 1-800-440-4471

Award-winning Native Canadian poet Louise Bernice Halfe presents The Crooked Good, a journey through elements of personhood, history, and myth. Drawing upon both aboriginal themes and the author's life experience as a mediator between cultures, the free-verse poetry of The Crooked Good evokes the feel of a mystic experience in which the words of one's ancestors reverberate through generations. A trans-cultural experience of the search for identity, highly recommended. "Pandora": Today I opened a box. / I wanted to know what I'm made of. // Stones. Feathers. Bones. Skins. / I don't understand this. / I greet each one as they caress / my face, my fingers, my eyes- / lay them tenderly in order, size, family.

The Self-Help Shelf

The 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class
Keith Cameron Smith
Ballantine Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780345500229, $14.95 1-800-726-0600

Entrepreneur and speaker Keith Cameron Smith presents The 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class, a concise self-help guide to the positive qualities that distinguish the financially successful from everyone else. From "Millionaires think long-term. The middle class thinks short-term," to "Millionaires continually learn and grow. The middle class thinks learning ended with school," to "Millionaires focus on increasing their net worth. The middle class focuses on increasing its paychecks," each observation is discussed at length along with tips, tricks, and techniques for putting oneself in the proper frame of mind to achieve one's dream of wealth. The 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class is also careful to warn against the self-destructive trap of obsessing over money to the exclusion of all else: "If you love money more than your family or yourself, you have been deceived by it and will never achieve true success."

The Library Science Shelf

Introduction To The Library And Information Professions
Roger C. Greer, Robert J. Grover, Susan G. Fowler
Libraries Unlimited
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
9781591584865, $60.00

The collaborative work of Roger C. Greer (Dean Emeritus of the School of Library and Information Management, University of Southern California), Robert J. Grover (former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emporia State University), and information consultant Susan G. Fowler, "Introduction To The Library And Information Professions" is a comprehensive introduction to the functions of information professionals based on models of communication theory who have the responsibility of diagnosing the information needs of their clients and patrons using information transfer theory. Of special note are the divers issues focusing on the role of an information technology professional and the services they offer. Enhanced with the inclusion of three appendices (Codes of Ethics; Professional Organizations; Professional Journals), "Introduction To The Library And Information Professions" is an ideal and highly recommended addition to academic and community library staff development reference collections, and for college/university Library Science curriculums and supplemental reading lists.

Best Books for Young Adults, third edition
Holly Koelling
ALA Editions
c/o American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
9780838935699, $42.00 1-866-746-7252

Now in a newly updated third edition, Best Books for Young Adults is a guide especially for public and school library service professionals to selecting a quality literature collection for young adults. Offering annotated lists of the best YA books from 1966 to the present (indexed by author and title), background on the history and procedures of the BBYA committee, a recounting of current trends in teen literature, twenty-seven themed and annotated reproducible booklists ideal for readers' advisory with teens, parents, and teachers, Best Books for Young Adults lives up to its title and then some. An extremely user-friendly guide, and certainly the next best thing to having personally read every book on the list for selecting a suitable YA collection.

The Library DVD Shelf

Confessions Of A Montessori Teacher & In-Home Childcare Provider
Learning ZoneXPress
PO Box 1022, Owatonna, MN 55060
1571755632, $49.95 1-888-455-7003

Confessions of a Montessori Teacher & In-Home Childcare Provider is a DVD introduction to the day-to-day world of Montessori teachers and in-home childcare providers. Presenting an overview of the education, training, and personal qualities needed to thrive in these professions, as well as standard salary ranges, long-term career outlook, and the pluses and minuses of the job, Confessions of a Montessori Teacher & In-Home Childcare Provider is ideal for showing to people in grades six and up who are contemplating their life's career. Highly recommended, especially for classroom viewing. 15 minutes, color.

Oliver's Travels
Acorn Media Group
801 Roeder Road, Suite 700, Silver Spring, MD 20910
AMP-7486, $39.99 1-800-949-8670

Superbly combining romance, mystery, humor and wit against an impressive series of landscapes and countrysides from South Wales to the Orkney Islands, "Oliver's Travels" is the story of a redundant (British for downsized) professor of Comparative Religions (who has studies so many religions that he has ended up agnostic) and a policewoman who because of the professor has gotten herself suspended from the police force because of raising questions about the role of a superior office in a local murder. These two unlikely companions set out on a quest to find 'Arisotle', a legendary master of the art of creating crossword puzzles. Along the way they meet a memorable cast of characters, are the targets of a helicopter attack, and ultimate uncover a cabal of influential criminals whose identities would scandalize all of England. Written by Alan Plater, and starring Alan Bates and Sinead Cusack, this skillfully written script is absolutely riveting from beginning to end, the production values are flawless, and the ending is a complete but completely satisfying surprise. With a total running time of 245 minutes, and featuring a stereo soundtrack, the DVD format allows for the addition of cast filmographies and a scene index. "Oliver's Travel's" is pure entertainment and enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library collections.

MTI Home Video
c/o Ed Baran Publicity
039414581737, $24.95

"Revamped" is the story of successful businessman Richard Clark who is bitten by a beautiful vampire and plunged into the dark world of the undead. Richard finds himself fighting for his very existence when he is targeted by a militaristic team of vampire hunters called the S.T.A.K.E. Team. Barely surviving Ricahrd also finds himself the focus of attention by a savage underground gang of vampires called The BLEEDERS. It's a war for survival as Richard is caught between two opposing and ruthless forces -- neither of which intend him any good! Written, directed and produced by Jeff Rector, "Revamped" stars and illustrious cast of gifted actors that includes Christa Campbell, Martin Kove, Fred Williamson, Tane mcClure, Victor Lundin, Sam Jones, Carel Struycken; Billy Drago, Alana Curry, Mickey Jones, Ann Lockhart, Deron McBee, Vernon Wells, Jason Carter, Paul Michael Robinson, David 'Shark' Fralick, Reggie Bannister, Spice Williams-Crosby, Raye Hollitt, Kato Kaelin, R.A. Mihailoff, Dennis hayden, and Dennis Haskins. With a total running time of 90 minutes, "Revamped" is reminiscent of those great old "B" movies that were the basic fodder of drive-in theaters, a comedic action horror film that is terrific good fun and highly recommended for both personal and community library DVD collections.

Koch Entertainment
22 Harbor Park Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050

Koch Vision offers several DVDs for some of Britain's very best television productions and make them available (often for the first time) to an appreciative American audience. Among their newest releases are a two-season set of "Grafters" which relates the adventures of Trevor and Joe Purvis, two dysfunctional brothers, and their friends as they renovate a London town house (Season 1, KOC-DV-6470, $39.98, 3 DVDs) and a Brighton school house (Season 2, KOC-DV-6462, $29.98, 2 DVDs). Grafters is British slang for worker or laborer, and "Grafters" is a storytelling treat for the viewers who made is 'must see' television in Britain two years in a row. "Hitler: The Rise Of Evil" (KOC-DV-6453, $29.98, 2DVDs) stars an award-winning cast that includes Robert Carlyle, Stockard Channing, Jena Malone, Peter O'Toole, Julianna Margulies, and Liev Schrimber in the mini-series story of Adolph Hitler's ruthless rise to ultimate power. Included as bonus features are the documentaries 'Hitler and I: Reflections of Evil' and 'Hitler: A Career'. "Beyond The Golden Compass: The Magic Of Philip Pullman" (KOC-DV-6507, $19.98) is a 70 minute documentary on Philip Pullman's fantasy novel which is soon to be released as a major motion picture epic. Utilizing computer graphic animation, rare film footage, and interviews with historians and experts, and more than an hour of DVD extras, this is one documentary that qualifies as a 'must see' for Pullman's legions of fans. "New Street Law" (KOC-DV-6466, $39.98, 3 DVDs, 466 minutes) introduces American viewers to one of the best British courtroom drama series in recent years. All eight episodes as originally aired on BBC1 are compiled into this 3 disc boxed set and present the entire first season. All of these DVDs from Koch Vision are enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library DVD collections.

Advanced Soccer Drills
Marty Schupak, producer
Youth Sports Club
9 Florence Court, Valley Cottage, NY 10989
9780978945145, $24.95 1-800-511-2101

Expert physical educator and youth athletics coach Marty Schupak presents Advanced Soccer Drills, a DVD guide to training oneself or one's team in the sport of soccer. Packed with exercises used by competitive players worldwide, Advanced Soccer Drills covers means to improve footwork, crosses, heading, shooting, juggling, volleys, and conditioning, with a sprinkling of fun games thrown in. Hands-on (or rather, feet-on) demonstrations make Advanced Soccer Drills easy to follow and imitate. Enthusiastically recommended for soccer players and especially for coaches. 38 minutes, color.

Raised To Be Heroes
Jack Silberman, director
The National Film Board of Canada
c/o Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
0772212163, $250.00 1-800-543-3764

Raised To Be Heroes is a documentary about Israeli soldiers who question and selectively object to the military operations undertaken by their country. More than 1,600 "Refuseniks" in Israel today consider their country's military actions inhumane and call for the end of the occupation of Palestinian territory. Condemned by some Israelis for failing their nation, yet daring to stand up for their own beliefs, they exemplify a dilemma of conscience. A powerful accounting, intended for adults as well as viewers in grade 10 and above. 54 minutes, color, closed captioned (decoder required).

The Stress-Buster Collection: Laugh Through Life
Loretta LaRoche
WGBH Boston Video
c/o SSA Public Relations (publicity)
16027 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 206, Encino, CA 91436
9781593757977, $39.95

International stress management and humor consultant Loretta LaRoche presents The Stress-Buster Collection: Laugh Through Life, a self-help DVD set in which comedienne Loretta LaRoche teaches how to use humor to break through negative, irrational, stress-producing thought patterns. From learning to find humor in everyday situations, to discovering unexpected blessings amid daily messes, The Stress-Buster Collection offers insights to improving quality of life as well as a quick hearty chuckle. Of especial interest are Loretta's acting out the exaggerated thinking patterns that can drive one to the breaking point unchecked: the Awfulizer, the Catastrophizer, and the Mind Reader, not to mention the Baggage Handler. 3 DVDs, 191 minutes, color.

Prevention: Drop It With Dance
Tabitha D'umo
Rodale Press, Inc.
400 South Tenth Street, Emmaus, PA 18098-0099
9780766234000, $14.98 1-800-527-8200

Featuring choreographer Tabitha D'umo, Prevention: Drop It With Dance is a high-energy workout on DVD designed to for users of all levels of experience on the dance floor. Easy-to-follow moves set to energetic music make for a workout that's pure fun, with an assortment of 10-minute routines involving elements of jazz-funk, hip-hop, and 90's jam. Step-by-step salsa and balance/coordination training bonus segments round out this rousing, enthusiastically recommended addition to fitness DVD libraries. 51 minutes, color.

48 Angels
MTI Video
14216 SW 136th Street, Miami, Florida 33186
DVD, $24.95

Independent film studio MTI Video presents 48 Angels, a widescreen DVD movie following Seamus, a nine-year-old boy diagnosed with a serious illness. Inspired by Saint Columcille, Seamus embarks on a journey to seek God before God comes to him. He joins forces with two unlikely companions, James and Darry; together they set out on a journey that will redefine the way they see the world. A heartwarming story about healing inner wounds while discovering wonder and miracles in the world at large. 90 minutes, color, rated PG-13.

Senator Obama Goes to Africa
Bob Hercules & Keith Walker, producers
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
DVD, $19.95 1-800-229-8575

Senator Obama Goes to Africa is a timely documentary on DVD following Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama during a visit to Africa, the land of his ancestry. He visits the prison where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 21 years, a Darfur refugee camp in Chad, and Kenya, the home of his father. He bears witness to political strife, and the horrific effects of genocide, seeking to infuse a call for diplomacy and optimism amid hardship and tragedy. Biographies, an African journey in pictures, and a visit to the Masai Mara Game Preserve with the Obama family round out this profound look at both a complex continent and the soul of a man who would become America's President, highly recommended. 60 minutes, color.

Get Ripped & Chiseled
Jari Love
Razor Fitness
947 Hamilton Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
1595523251, $14.95

Get Ripped & Chiseled with Jari Love is a DVD workout for men and women led by certified personal fitness trainer and fitness club owner Jari Love. Offering two to three consecutive exercises targeting each major muscle group, Get Ripped & Chiseled uses one's own body weight to burn carbohydrates and work toward a lean look. A routine that makes muscles work and keeps the heart rate elevated, the better to burn fat and strengthen muscle tone, Get Ripped & Chiseled lives up to its title. Bonus features include an abs workout and tips on basic nutrition, including healthy recipes. A worthy and recommended addition to personal fitness libraries. 60 minutes, color.

Dance Workout for Dummies
Michelle LeMay
Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084
DVD, $14.98

Dance Workout for Dummies is a DVD offering two different 20-minute dance workouts, featuring easy-to-follow foot patterns and arm movements. User-friendly tutorials worthy of the "for Dummies" brand name characterize this straightforward introduction to dancing for improved fitness and overall health. World-renowned choreographer Michelle LeMay leads the way in this fun addition to fitness libraries for novice and experienced dance enthusiasts alike. 44 minutes, color.

Respect Yo' Mama
Larry Lee
Garbage In... Films & Moving Pictures
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
DVD, $14.95 1-800-673-0310

Respect Yo' Mama is an educational DVD about recycling, intended for viewers of all ages - from 7 to 97! Discrediting the modern "throw away society", Respect Yo' Mama especially extols the value of recycling paper products, being aware of the things one buys and uses, and introduces the viewer to men and women working hard to make the planet safer and cleaner. Packaged in 100% recycled paper with soy-based inks, Respect Yo' Mama is an enjoyable and enlightening conservation video especially recommended for classroom viewing. 35 minutes, color.

Dance Lessons 101
Shawn Trautman
Privately Published
411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
DVD, $19.99

Shawn Trautman (a coach of World Champion dancers) presents Dance Lessons 101, a DVD introduction to eight of the most popular social dances: Slow Dance, Waltz, Swing, Salsa, Two-Step, Cha-Cha, Hustle, and West Coast Swing. Enabling viewers of all backgrounds and experience levels to learn dance basics with or without a partner, Dance Lessons 101 is ideal for preparing for weddings or cruises, or simply trying out something new to stay fit. The infectiously upbeat attitude and user-friendly instructions effectively make Dance Lessons 101 a top-of-the-line private classroom. Highly recommended. 2 hours, color.

IntenSati: Great Body, Great Life
Patricia Moreno
c/o 411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
DVD, $14.99

IntenSati: Great Body, Great Life is the latest DVD workout in the fitness program created by award-winning instructor Patricia Moreno. Promoting both bodily health and thinking power, IntenSati is an easy-to-follow, high-energy cardio workout combining elements of martial arts, yoga, and spoken meditation for a rejuvenating experience of the mind, body, and soul. A welcome addition to personal fitness DVD libraries, highly recommended. 62 minutes, color.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Art Of The Poetic Line
James Longenbach
Publicity Department
Graywolf Press
2402 University Avenue, Suite 203, Saint Paul, MN 55114
9781555974886, $12.00 1-651-641-0077

Poet and literary critic James Longenbach presents The Art Of The Poetic Line, a discussion of the function of the line in metered, rhymed, syllabic, and free-verse poetry. Drawing upon classic examples ranging from Shakespeare and Milton to Ashbery and Gluck, The Art of the Poetic Line demystifies ambiguous elements in creating poetry to evoke mood and experience. "Poems are poems because we want to listen to them. Some poems have a prominent argument; some poems don't. But all poems live or die on their capacity to lure us from their beginning to their ends by a pattern of sounds. This is why a poem we don't understand may seem wonderfully satisfying, and this is why a poem we understand all too well may also seem wonderfully satisfying. A poem may harness the power of meter, rhyme, syntax, and line to establish and disrupt a pattern of sounds, and a poem may with equal integrity reject the power of meter, rhyme, syntax, and line. But the poet needs to understand what she is rejecting as well as what she is harnessing." Highly recommended for poetry connoisseurs, and an absolute must-read for poets and would-be poets of all walks of life.

How To Publish Your Poetry
Helene Ciaravino
SquareOne Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY, 11040
0757000010, $15.95

Poetry is an especially difficult field in which to be published. An ideal instruction manual for aspiring poets seeking to have their poetry published, "How To Publish Your Poetry: A Complete Guide To Finding The Right Publishers For Your Work" by book editor, freelance writer, and published poet Helene Ciaravino has compiled a step-by-step 'how to' instruction manual that will materially assist the complete novice to publishing to have their poetry put into print and made available to as large a readership as possible. Writers of poetry seeking publication will be able to maximize their chances for becoming published; will learn how to create an effective submission package; avoid common mistakes in their attempt to become published; learn how to craft a cover letter for their manuscript that will attract the attention of acquisition editors; utilize a simple but practical seven-step system for becoming published; minimize the time, effort, and financial costs of becoming published; take advantage of available resources for the aspiring poet; learn about a diversity of outlets for poetry; and benefit from honing their skills at the craft of writing poetry. Of special note is what Helene Ciarvaino has to say about self-publishing with respect to poetry. Especially recommended for academic and community library Writing & Publishing reference collections, anyone contemplating becoming a published poet should give "How To Publish Your Poetry" a very careful reading. It is a veritable gold mine of practical, useful, time-tested information, ideas, and instructions.

Bylines: 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar
Sylvia Forbes
Sylvia Snowflake Press
PO box 522, Fayette, MO 65248
9781933509044, $13.95

I first became aware of Sylvia Forbes desk calendars for writers last year when I reviewed the 2007 edition of "Bylines". Now aspiring and practicing writers and authors have available to them the new "Bylines: 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar" as an indispensable and invaluable work-a-day reference that will provide useful daily structure for achieving their writing goals and ambitions. Enhanced with the inclusion of literary holidays to celebrate, goal planning suggestions, monthly task lists, pages for conference notes, listings of author birthdays, and extra pages for note taking such as marketing tips and email addresses, this new 2008 edition has been expanded to include a reproducible submission tracker form specifically designed for novice authors and professional freelancers seeking to keep track of manuscript and book proposal submissions to publishers; pages for phone numbers and for tracking writing expenses, plus fifty-three new inspirational and thoughtful essays by successful writers. Simply stated, the "Bylines: 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar" is enthusiastically recommended as the single most practical, utilitarian, and motivational resource any aspiring or practicing writer could have.

Webster's Business Writing Basics
Editors of Merriam-Webster
Federal Street Press
25-13 Old Kings Highway North, #277, Darien, CT 06820
1892859270, $9.98 1-877-886-2830

Webster's Business Writing Basics is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use handbook, self-improvement guide, quick reference, and all-around practical resource for business writers of all venues. From fifty different sample professional letters, to a straightforward handbook of grammar, style, and punctuation guidelines, tips on how to effectively use email in business, "netiquette" fundamentals, and much more, Webster's Business Writing Basics is enthusiastically recommended for anyone in or aspiring to join today's modern workforce. An especially invaluable reference for businesspeople who just graduated from college (the scholarly tone of most college writings differs from the brevity necessary to business writing), and businesspeople who may have learned English as a second language.

The Writer's Journey
Christopher Vogler
Michael Wiese Productions
3940 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907360, $26.95 1-800-833-5738

Originally published in October 1998, "The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers by Christopher Vogler is now available in an updated and expanded third edition and continues to justifiably lay claim to being one of the most relied upon and influential instructional reference works for aspiring writers -- especially screenwriters. Drawing from the late Joseph Campbell's groundbreaking work, Vogler explores the historic and fundamental relationship between modern storytelling and classical mythology, and in the process reveals a set of useful myth-inspired storytelling paradigms, as well as step-by-step guidelines to plot and character development. This newest edition of a writer's reference classic includes a revised chapter that looks back on the 'Star Wars' phenomenon and an analysis of all six of the feature films as an epic on the theme of father-son relationships. There are new illustrations and diagrams providing additional perspectives to mythic principles. Of special note is the final chapter 'Trust the Path', an inspiring call to adventure for those aspiring writers seeking to discover themselves through their writing. A basic component of any personal, professional, academic, or community library basic writing reference collection, "The Writer's Journey" will now be of benefit to a whole new generation of movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, literary critics, academic scholars, writers of fiction and non-fiction, students of pop culture, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the adaptation of ancient myth to contemporary storytelling.

The Complete Guide To Writing Science Fiction
Dave A. Law & Darin Park, editors
Dragon Moon Press
c/o Hades Publications Inc.
PO Box 1714, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2L7
9781896944395, $24.95

A comprehensive, deftly edited, 311-page 'how to' instruction guide for writing in the science fiction genre and any of its many subgenres, "The Complete Guide To Writing Science Fiction: Volume One" is a collection of superbly presented essays and articles by knowledgeable and successful writers ranging from Piers Anthony, to Orson Scott Card, to Tina Morgan. Beginning with Darin Park's 'Timeline: A History of Science Fiction', there are specific chapters dealing with the science and technology in science fiction, world building, the creating of aliens, the use of humor and drama, writing graphic novels in the genre, and even what to do with your science fiction short story or novel once it is written. Whether an aspiring writer yearning to break into science fiction, or even an experienced author with some publication credits in the genre, "The Complete Guide To Writing Science Fiction" will prove to be invaluable reading and instructive reference.

Beyond The Internet
Barbara A. Chernow
Bernan Press
4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391
9781598881738, $19.95 1-800-865-3457

"Beyond The Internet: Successful Research Strategies" by Barbara A. Chernow (a career encyclopedist, researcher and reference book editor who founded Chernow Editorial Services, Inc. specializing in producing professional books for a variety of publishers) is a critically important instructional reference book for aspiring authors, as well as anyone else engaged in a research project of any kind. Relying solely on the internet for acquiring information will prove to be inadequate because while the internet is a valuable research tool, the majority of documents and resources in the collections of libraries and archives have not been digitalized and made for internet access. Therefore writers and authors who must research their material need to be able to utilize all available resources at their disposal. "Beyond The Internet" was written for just that purpose and covers all the elements and factors relevant to the research process for best results. Thoroughly 'user friendly' itself, "Beyond The Internet" should be considered essential reading for all aspiring authors and is a core addition to any professional, academic, and community library Research Reference collection.

The Writer Within You
Charles Jacobs
Caros Books
16 Pinecrest Drive, Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
Atlas Book Distributors
30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, OH 44805
9780979363603, $19.95 1-800-537-6727

Specifically written to be of value to retirees and other senior citizens, "The Writer Within You: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing And Publishing In Your Retirement Years" by author, editor, and publishing consultant Charles Jacobs provides the aspiring author with practical, detailed, useful and relevant information and guidance on how to write books and articles in six different genres, select the best publisher for a specific book and market, and how to promote their finished work. All of these principles and procedures are relevant for writers of any age, but are of specific utility to those ages 55 and older who have a wealth of life and career experiences to draw from in what they choose to write. While "The Writer Within You" is a stand-alone, single-volume, comprehensive instruction manual whose chapters cover becoming a writer, writing your book, publishing your book, marketing your book, marketing your book, writing and placing your articles, writing and promoting on the internet, and commercial writing. It should also be noted that Jacobs has created a retirement writing website at; plus a Retirement Writing Blog at You can even download a free sample chapter from the book at If you are a senior who wants to try your hand at writing books and/or articles, the begin with a careful reading of Charles Jacobs' "The Writer Within You".

A Book Is Born
Nancy C. Cleary, et al.
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc.
15115 Highway 36, Deadwood, OR, 97430
9781932279504, $24.00

The collaborative effort of Nancy C. Cleary and twenty-four published authors, "A Book Is Born" reveals what it is really like to earn a living as a writer. A after a brief foreword and introduction, "A Book Is Born" is divided into two main sections: Part One - '24 Mom Authors Tell All' in which the contributing authors provided informative examples of going through pre-publication work, author platform-building, pitching manuscripts and story ideas to prospective publishers, post-publication publicity and marketing demands upon the author, and even the 'post-partum'-like depression that afflicts many authors after their book is finished, in print, and available to the reading public. Part Two - 'The Secret to Publishing' is actually a writing/publishing curriculum of instruction complete with visual examples for every step of the publishing (and getting published) process. Of special note in this do-it-yourself curriculum for aspiring authors are the Four Principles every writer should understand and apply; the Universal Laws which are essential to a book being written; and Insider Secrets on the four publishing options available to writers -- and determining which particular one is best suited for them. "A Book Is Born" is especially 'user friendly' reading and an invaluable addition to every aspiring writer's reference collection and professional reading list.

The Library CD Shelf

Pouya Mahmoodi
Faryaad Records
216 West Allen Street, Suite 137, Bloomington, IN 47403
Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2, Bloomington, IN 47404
CD, $16.98

Mehr is the debut solo album of Tehran-born guitarist Pouya Mahmoodi, also featuring the drum track work of jazz and rock drummer Billy Cobham on two songs. A flourishing showcase of Iranian underground music, Mehr blends elements of East and West into an original guitar synthesis, delving into Persian tradition and touching upon melodies played on wind instruments as well as other lesser-known aspects of Iranian culture. Two songs on Mehr have their roots in zaar, a complex musical rite with origins in Ethiopia and Somalia that is still practiced today in southeastern Iran. The songs of Mehr embrace love in all its forms, from romantic to intimate to abiding spiritual love. An enriching, soulful compilation enthusiastically recommended for connoisseurs of international music.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnaped
Alan Grant, adaptor
Cam Kennedy, illustrator
Tundra Books
PO Box 1030, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
9780887768439, $14.99

Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnaped is a full-color, graphic novel adaptation of the immortal classic adventure written by Robert Louis Stevenson. Set in 1751, when Scotland is suffering in the wake of rebellion against the king, Kidnapped follows the staunchly principled, seventeen-year-old David Balfour, whose parents have recently passed on. Alone and destitute, he seeks is wealthy uncle, unaware that he is about to experience the adventure of his life. Abducted and forced aboard a seedy ship, he unexpectedly befriends master swordsman and fugitive Alan Breck Stewart. Together, the two must fight for their lives, and with Alan's help David can finally make a case for his rightful inheritance. Cam Kennedy's realistic and period-accurate illustrative style brings this dramatic narrative to life. Highly recommended for public library collections and readers age eight to eighty.

Checker Book Publishing Group
2044-A South Alex Road, West Carrollton, OH 45449

The Checker Book Publishing Group has developed a well earned and appreciated reputation for putting out graphic novels of the finest quality and caliber. While some are 'one-shots', others represent titles in a series. Among their latest releases are the third volume in the "Negation Hounded" (1933160632, $17.95) series, a science fiction thriller featuring the talents of author Tony Bedard, penciler Paul Pelletier, colorist James Rochelle, letterer Troy Peteri, and several other contributors. The result is a volume collecting what were previously released single issues (#13, January 2003 through #18, June 2003) of a successful and popular comic. "Sojourn: The Berzerker's Tale: Volume 6 - Edginton Land" (1933160721, $17.l95) that encompasses five previously published issues (#31, February 2004 through #34, May 2004, as well as the 'Prequel' issue of July 2001). The artwork is museum quality and the storyline simply spellbinding. "Sigal: Planetary Union #6" (1933160675, $17.95) comprises issues 33, March 2003 through issues 38, August 2003 of a dramatically illustrated and action packed science fiction adventure series. Alan Moore is legendary is science fiction and fantasy circles. "Supreme: The Return" (0971024960, $24.95) teams up this gifted writer with a supporting of gifted artists, inkers, colorists and letters to provide readers with an 'old school' superhero series presented with a freshly vigor and an enormous entertainment appeal by anthologizing individual issues of the popular 'Supreme' comic book series. "Alien Legion: Footsloggers" (0975380877, $19.95) brings back under one cover the first six issues of an epic science fiction comic that was the combined (and successful) collaboration of Carl Potts, Alan Zelenetz, Frank Cirocco, and Terry Austin. All of these highly recommended titles will be of particular interest to science fiction fans and graphic novel enthusiasts. Those not previously acquainted with the Checker Book Publishing Group are encouraged to visit their website at for a complete list of their available titles -- including the earlier volumes of these particularly cited and recommended series.

Tales Of Tralodren: The Beginning
Chad Corrie & Lee Oaks
Aspirations Media, Inc.
7755 Lakeview Lane, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432
9780977604388, $16.95

Written by Chad Corrie, illustrated by Lee Oaks, and featuring cover art by Ed Waysek, "Tales Of Tralodren: The Beginning" is a superbly presented, full-color graphic novel set in the fantasy world setting of Chad Corrie's 'Divine Gambit' trilogy and is the story of events that took place before recorded time. Depicted is a world of magic and mayhem, creation and conflict, tragedy and triumph. Of special note is the choice of a cursive-style font for the text which conjures up an appropriate story-telling atmosphere for a truly engaging saga. "Tales Of Tralodren: The Beginning" is very highly recommended and entertaining reading -- and will lead graphic novel enthusiasts and science fiction fans looking forward to more graphic novel adaptations and original stories set in Chad Corrie's Tralodren universe.

I Am Legend
Richard Matheson
IDW Publishing
4411 Morena Boulevard, Suite 106, San Diego, CA 02117
978-193323921-7, $19.99

In 1954 Richard Matheson penned a holocaust survivor novel that was unique in the genre. A devastating epidemic breaks out all over the world. The infected transform into vampire like creatures that must sleep during the day and roam the earth. One lone human survivor, Robert Neville, must live a life of stark loneliness during the day, and absolute peril at night. A powerful science fiction epic, "I Am Legend" first came to the movie screen in a 1964 adaptation was titled 'The Last Man On Earth' that starred veteran horror film actor Vincent Price. It's next film version, 'The Omega man' debuted in 1971 and starred Charlton Heston. Now a new remake, and one whose title uses the original Richard Matheson title, "I Am Legend" and stars Will Smith. The graphic novel just released from IDW Publishing is faithful to this latest film featuring an excellent adaptation by Steve Niles, and features superbly black-and-white illustration by Elman Brown. As superbly crafted a graphic novel as it was originally a ground-breaking science fiction novel, "I Am Legend" is confidently recommended to the attention of graphic novel enthusiasts, as well as science fiction fans.

Ral & Grad, volume 1
Tsuneo Takano, author
Takeshi Obata, artist
Viz Communications Inc.
295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
9781421518909, $7.99 1-800-394-3042

Drawn by the artist of the cult hit manga "Death Note", the debut volume of Ral & Grad (actually written using the "omega" symbol instead of an ampersand - search for it by writer's name Tsuneo Takano if a title search doesn't produce results) is an action-packed, netherworldly Japanese manga in the same gung-ho vein as "Bastard!" and other titles with antiheroes whose main redeeming feature is that they're nowhere near as dastardly as their vile enemies. In a medieval world besieged by "shadows", beings that live in the shadows of flesh-and-blood mortals and who frequently consume them body and soul, Ral and Grad are an anomaly - a human-shadow team who support and work with each other as friends do, rather than existing as host and parasite or worse. The diabolical shadow queen has forsaken the world of shadow to exterminate the human race; Grad the shadow dragon wants to depose the queen and restore the two-dimensional world of shadow, where all shadows who have not contaminated themselves by devouring humans can return; and Ral is a teenage boy who has just discovered the pleasure of squeezing women's breasts! Ral and Grad are a team - Grad provides the raw power, while Ral provides human wisdom and cunning, such as they are. Aided by Ral's female teacher, who (often unsuccessfully) strives to keep his lecherous ways in check, as well as a young girl bonded to a shadow scout, the two set out overthrow the queen once and for all! Ral & Grad is most assuredly for older teens and adults due to violence and rampant boob-squeezing, yet balancing the moments of guilty pleasure is an action-packed, intelligently presented story.

Inside the World of Comic Books
Jeffery Klaehn, editor
Black Rose Books
2250 Military Road, Tonawanda, NY 14225
9781551642963, $24.99

Edited by Culture Studies and Sociology teacher Jeffery Klaehn, Inside the World of Comic Books is a gathering of interviews and essays by learned authors discussing all aspects of the print media form known as "comic books". It should be noted that the primary focus is upon American comics (especially superhero comics) and comic readers, not European comics or Japanese manga. The interviewees consist of comic writers, comic artists, and award-winning editors and publishers, including Victor Lucas, Tommy Tallarico, Joe Quesada, and many others. The essays cover a diversity of topics ranging from the role of comics in reflecting the mood of popular culture, to educational comics in the 1950's, tales of the creation of comics, the origin and evolution of the Batman mythology, fan interaction in comic book letter pages, choices for the greatest comic stories ever told, and more. Enthusiastically recommended reading for superhero comic fans.

The Audiobook Shelf

You: Staying Young
Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. and Michael F. Roizen, M.D., authors
Johnny Heller, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781428176720, $123.75 1-800-638-1304

Written by medical doctors Mehmet C. Oz and Michael F. Roizen, and performed by successful television actor Johnny Heller, You: Staying Young is an audiobook owner's manual for the human body. Written with wit and charm, You: Staying Young give diet, exercise, and other healthful advice for readers of all ages, with the goal of slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of such age-related ills as chronic pain and senility. Formulated into a 14-day self-improvement plan, You: Staying Young is enthusiastically recommended for improving one's overall quality of life, as is the other volume in the series, You: On a Diet. 9 CDs, 10 3/4 hours.

The FAST Technique for Stress Relief
Dr. Ronald Nathan
Upward Press
CD, $34.95

The FAST Technique for Stress Relief is an audiobook on 2 CDs offering a simple, straightforward method for relaxation and stress relief. Nationally known psychologist and award-winning educator Dr. Ronald Nathan walks the reader through basic techniques on the first CD in a calm, soothing voice, accompanied by sounds of the ocean surf with seagulls and an acoustic guitar. The second CD branches into more advanced techniques. The FAST Technique for Stress Relief guides the listener to incorporated brief, relaxing moments into the hectic bustle of daily life, when interludes of peace are most needed. Relaxation is also presented as a drug-free sleep aide, along with peaceful affirmations to develop healthier thought patterns. The overall experience is not simply a temporary instance of relaxation, but a methodology to incorporating relaxation in order to improve the overall quality of one's life. Highly recommended.

The Economics Shelf

Building Inclusive Financial Systems
Michael S. Barr, Anjali Kumar, and Robert E. Litan, editors
Brookings Institution Press
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-2188
9780815708391, $39.95 1-800-275-1447

Building Inclusive Financial Systems is an anthology of scholarly essays by a wide variety of educated authors discussing how broad-based, inclusive financial systems can effectively reduce poverty and expand opportunity in developing countries. With an especial eye toward the field of microfinance, Building Inclusive Financial Systems offers solid grounding and recommendations for responsibly increasing access to financial systems, sure to benefit governments and the private sector alike. Individual essays discuss government policies to expand financial access, how to measure financial access, why financial access has the impact it does upon growth and poverty, and much more. A handful of graphs and an index round out this welcome contribution of ideas, methodologies, and means to remove common barriers to financial access.

The Economics Of Global Environment Change
Mario Cogoy & Karl W. Steininger
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781847200099, $120.00 1-800-390-3149

The latest edition to the Edward Elgar Publishing series 'New Horizons In Environmental Economics', "The Economics Of Global Environment Change" is co-edited by Mario Cogoy (Professor of international Economics, University of Trieste, Italy) and Karl W. Steininger (Professor of Economics, Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, Austria). Benefitting from the contributions of acknowledged experts in their fields, this informed and informed compendium of information is organized into three main sections beginning with an introduction and overview of the subject of global climate change and its economic implications. Four major papers comprise the section on 'The Economics Dimensions of Global Environmental Change"; three contributions comprise the third section addresses issues related to 'International Cooperation in Global Environmental Change'. The contributors address the issues of distributions conflicts, unresolved equity issues, asymmetric distribution of the coasts and benefits of environmental policy, the d4evelopment of an international institutional framework, long-run international aspects of global environmental change; international trade, land-use change, biodiversity preservation, management of water resources and conflicts, as well as global warming and strategic aspects of international environmental agreements. An impressive and seminal body of work in compliance with the highest standards of research and scholarship making it an essential addition to academic, corporate, governmental, and environmental organization reference collections, "The Economics Of Global Environment Change" will prove to be of immense and timely interest to economists, environmentalists, academicians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the economic impact of global warming.

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

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