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Library Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 2 February 2019 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Psychology Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Education Shelf Parenting Shelf
Business Shelf Sports Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Civil War Shelf Art Shelf
International Studies Shelf Cookbook Shelf Music Shelf
Technology Shelf Military Shelf Computer Shelf
Nautical Shelf Railroading Shelf Biography Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Great Betrayal
David L. Phillips
I. B. Tauris Publishers
9781788313971, $28.00, HC, 272pp,

David L. Phillips is the director of the program on peace-building and human rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He has worked as a senior adviser to the United Nations Secretariat and as a foreign affairs expert and senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State. In "The Great Betrayal: How America Abandoned the Kurds and Lost the Middle East" Phillips provides a political and diplomatic history of the Kirkuk region and its international relations from the 1920s to the present day. His historical narrative is based on first-hand interviews and previously unseen sources, it provides an accessible account of a region at the very heart of America's foreign policy priorities in the Middle East. In September 2017, Iraqi Kurdistan held an independence referendum, intended to be a starting point on negotiations with the Iraqi Government in Baghdad on the terms of a friendly divorce. Though the U.S., Turkey, and Iran opposed it, the referendum passed with 93% of the vote. Rather than negotiate, Iraq's Prime Minister Heider al-Abadi issued an ultimatum and then attacked the region. Iraq's Kurdish population have been abandoned, once again, by their supposed allies in the U.S. "The Great Betrayal" is an aptly named title as it reveals the failings of America's policies towards Kirkuk and the devastating effects of betraying an ally -- failings which will apparently be continued by the present Trump administration. Deserving as wide a readership as possible, "The Great Betrayal" should be a part of every community, college, and academic library collection in the country -- an at the top of the personal reading lists for government policy makers and political activists alike.

So Here I Am
Anna Russell, author
Camila Pinheiro, illustrator
White Lion Publishing
c/o The Quarto Group
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781781318270 $25.00 hc / $15.68 Kindle

So Here I Am: Speeches by Great Women to Empower and Inspire is an anthology of inspiring speeches from female leaders around the world, and throughout history. Featuring inspiring words from Sojourner Truth, Marie Curie, Hellen Keller, J.K. Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, and many more, So Here I Am speaks directly to a new generation about freedom, human rights, equality between the sexes, and much more. Highly recommended for personal and public library collections alike!

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts
Anna Faktorovich
Anaphora Literary Press
1898 Athens Street, Brownsville, TX 78520
9781681144375, $30.00, HC, 106pp,

"Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts" by Anna Faktorovich is essential an instructional textbook that combines the rigor of a Research Writing class with the imaginative and culturally significant realm of Cultural Studies. Concepts that are typically discussed in Research Writing textbooks, like close reading, thesis statement, and cliches, are covered in full. Complex rhetorical concepts are explained simply and fully. Additionally, the elements of a proper argument are not only digested for students, but are also assisted with discussions of political, economic, social and other types of cultural concepts such as communism or feminism. Classroom teachers who are looking for ideas to inspire their plans for students will find assignments they can easily incorporate into their instruction. Of special note is the commentary on 'Concepts Involved in a Review'. "Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts" is deliberately short, succinct, and meant to be inexpensive so that it can be utilized as a quick reference guide and idea book for cultural studies related topics (if not as the primary textbook for a course that entirely combines Research Writing with Cultural Studies). Exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Research Writing About Cultural Artifacts" is an ideal 'how to' reference for aspiring writers seeking to engage in research writing for any subject, in any genre, and for any publishing project.

The Craft of Scene Writing
Jim Mercurio
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610353304, $18.95, PB, 336pp,

Jim Mercurio is a successful and established writer, author, screenwriter and filmmaker. He has directed or produced five feature films and has helped countless writers as a teacher, story analyst and script doctor. In "The Craft of Scene Writing: Beat by Beat to a Better Script" he points out that no one comes out of a movie talking about structure. What audiences love and remember about a movie are great scenes. Marlon Brando in the back seat in On the Waterfront giving his "I could'a been a contender" speech. Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in Katz's Deli in When Harry Met Sally with the climactic punch line: "I'll have what she's having." Great scenes will elevate a script from ho-hum to extraordinary -- and from the slush pile to sellable. In "The Craft of Scene Writing", Mercurio analyzes and systematizes the beats, conflicts, character moments, action, dialogue, and structure that create powerful scenes. Citing examples from scripts old and new, "The Craft of Scene Writing" breaks down how great scenes reveal character, advance the story, and emotionally connect with audiences, plus demonstrates how to use these techniques in your own scripts. This incredibly detailed exploration of screenwriting technique will help beginning writers to write great scripts and experienced writers to gain a more complete mastery of their craft. Suitable as a screenplay writing workshop curriculum textbook, "The Craft of Scene Writing" is deftly written, organized and presented, making it a 'must have' instructional reference and resource. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Craft of Scene Writing" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

The Psychology Shelf

APA Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology, volumes 1-3
Barbara H. Fiese, Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Celano, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Ernest N. Jouriles, & Mark A. Whisman, assoc. editors
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433829642, $695.00 (3-volume set)

Written by professionals, for professionals, the American Psychological Association Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology is a three-volume reference compendium providing a bedrock foundation for all aspect of modern-day psychology, as practiced to serve the well-being of families. Volume 1: Foundations, Methods, and Contemporary Issues Across the Lifespan (9781433829659) includes an overview of traditional theories, notable and influential contemporary theories, complex research designs, statistical modeling, experience sampling, and more. Volume 2: Applications and Broad Impact of Family Psychology (9781433829673) how family psychology can be applied to improve the lives of those with mental and physical health conditions, as well as those with problems related to societal issues, and more. Volume 3: Family Therapy and Training (9781433829697) discusses couple, family, and parenting interventions shaped by family psychology theory and science, and a plethora of issues connected to training in the discipline of family psychology. A thorough index in each volume enables ease of quick reference. In-depth, precise, expertly researched, and succinctly presented, APA Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology is an utterly indispensable resource for practitioners in the field, and an absolute "must-have" for college library and professional Psychology shelves. Highly recommended.

The Social Issues Shelf

University of Nike
Joshua Hunt
Melville House
9781612196916 $27.99 hc / $16.99 Kindle

University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education is a sober and critical look at the harm that corporate interests, which prioritize money above all else, bring to higher education through a case study of how Nike transformed the University of Oregon. Nike brought a massive infusion of money, at the cost of power and control. Author Joshua Hunt reveals how Nike engaged in corporate overreach into academic and campus life. Perhaps most disturbing is how the university-as-business model contributed to burying sexual assault allegations against university athletes, confiscating the private therapy records of sex assault victims (in order to give the university every advantage in case a lawsuit was brought against it), and delaying or refusing to report sex assault accusations (thus failing to inform its own students of danger in a timely manner). An extremely troubling warning of the negative influence that private money can have undermining allegedly public institutions of higher education, University of Nike is a "must" for public and library Social Issues shelves, highly recommended.

The Education Shelf

Leading High-Performance School Systems
Marc Tucker
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416627005 $30.95 pbk / $29.99 Kindle

Written by Marc Tucker (founder, CEO, and president of the National Center on Education and the Economy), Leading High-Performance School Systems: Lessons from the World's Best attempts to answer the tough questions: how can today's school systems effectively prepare the next generation for a future where more and more jobs are being automated? A core idea presented is the crucial importance of having high-quality teachers - and that, to retain high- quality teachers, one must be willing to pay them what they are worth. "One would think that running a system with cheap teachers would be much less expensive than running a system with well-paid teachers, but it turns out to be very expensive... In a system with high-quality teachers, the cost of the constant churn of teachers, which is very high, plummets. Fewer first-rate teachers can do a better job than a larger number of teachers who are not so good, which can save a great deal of money. Better teachers require less supervision and fewer specialist consulting teachers and coaches, which can save even more money..." Leading High-Performance School Systems is an extensively researched, well-argued call to revolutionize the current American educational model, the better to attract the best of the best to a career in education, who can then better help students be prepared to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Leading High-Performance School Systems is highly recommended especially for public and college library Education shelves.

There Has To Be A Better Way
Lynnette Mawhinney and Carol R. Rinke
Rutgers University Press
106 Somerset St., 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
9780813595276 $27.95 pbk / $25.45 Kindle

There Has To Be A Better Way: Lessons from Former Urban Teachers addresses the problem of teacher attrition - namely, that the only thing harder than finding a good schoolteacher is keeping one. For example, nearly fifty percent of beginning teachers leave the field within the first five years. Why does a profession so important to societal well-being have such high churn? Chapters focus on the rarely spoken reasons why teachers quit their chosen profession, and suggest practical recommendations to better support practicing professional educators. Chapters topics include "Where Has All the Job Security Gone?", "I Just Feel So Guilty: The Role of Emotions in Leaving", "You Don't Fit Here: Teachers of Color Coping with Racial Microaggressions in Schools", and more. There Has To Be A Better Way is highly recommended, especially for public and college library Education collections.

Higher Education in the Digital Age
Annika Zorn, Jeff Haywood, Jean-Michel Glachant, editors
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781788970150, $130.00, HC, 232pp,

Collaboratively edited by the team of Annika Zorn (Teaching and Learning Expert, European University Institute, Italy), Jeff Haywood (Emeritus Professor, School of Education, University of Edinburgh, UK), and Jean-Michel Glachant (Holder of the Loyola de Palacio Chair on EU Energy Policy and Director, Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute, Italy), "Higher Education in the Digital Age: Moving Academia Online" offers readers ten articulate and informative articles that collectively provide a comprehensive overview of the ways in which a move into online academia can be made. Analyzing successful case studies, the original contributions to this timely and seminal work of outstanding scholarship deftly addresses the core activities of an academic institution (education, research, and research communication) instead of focusing only on online learning or digital strategies relevant for individual academics. Individual chapters cover online and networked learning, as well as the myriad ways in which the digital age can improve research and knowledge exchange with experts and society more widely. Especially and unreservedly recommended for college and university library Contemporary Educational Issues collections, "Higher Education in the Digital Age" will prove to be of particular interest to the personal reading lists of academic administrators and policy makers in higher education institutions would will greatly benefit from the up-to-date case studies and advice outlined in the pages of this pioneering work.

Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way, second edition
Brian D. Schultz
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807761069, $29.95, PB, 224pp,

Now in a fully updated and revised second edition, "Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way: Lessons from an Urban Classroom" by Brian D. Schultz (Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio) is celebrated narrative showing how a teacher, alongside his 5th-grade students, co-created a curriculum based on the students' needs, interests, and questions. Readers will follow Professor Schultz and his students from a Chicago housing project as they work together to develop an emergent and authentic curriculum based on what is most important to the 5th-graders -- replacing their dilapidated school. The persuasive storytelling that captured the attention of educators and the media depicts the journey of one teacher in an urban school and his students juxtaposed against the powerful and entrenched bureaucracy of Chicago's public education system. In this new second edition, Professor Schultz examines how school reform continues to fail students in urban contexts, reflects on his teaching and writing from a decade ago, and offers compelling updates on students and what became of the school. A lot can be learned from the young people of Room 405, then and now. Not only did these particular 5th-graders push back against the city and school board in their pursuit for a better learning environment for themselves and their community, but they also learned about the power of using their voices in purposeful ways. While "Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way" is especially and unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental studies curriculums, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of classroom teachers, school administrators, student teachers, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Spectacular Things Happen Along the Way" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.70).

The Parenting Shelf

Raising Humans in a Digital World
Diana Graber
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780814439791, $17.99, PB, 272pp,

Sexting, cyberbullying, revenge porn, online predators, con artists all this and more reveals how the internet can be a dangerous place for the naive, inexperienced, and unaware child. Yet that same internet is also an essential resource for succeeding socially and professionally in today's world. "Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology" by Digital Literacy educator and advocate Diana Graber shows parents, teachers and caregivers how digital kids must learn to navigate this environment through: Developing social-emotional skills; Balancing virtual and real life; Building safe and healthy relationships; Avoiding cyberbullies and online predators; protecting personal information; Identifying and avoiding fake news and questionable content; Becoming positive role models and leaders. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Raising Humans in a Digital World" is packed from cover to cover with at-home discussion topics and enjoyable activities that any busy family can slip into their daily routine. Full of practical tips grounded in academic research and hands-on experience, today's parents finally have what they've been waiting for -- a guide to raising digital kids who will become the positive and successful leaders our world desperately needs. While very highly recommended for family and community library Parenting & Computer Literacy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Raising Humans in a Digital World" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 978-1721348343, $22.99, MP3 CD).

The Business Shelf

Working for Yourself, 11th edition
Stephen Fishman, J.D.
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413325812, $39.99, PB, 544pp,

Whether starting a full-scale consulting business or booking gigs on the side, this newly expanded and updated 11th edition of "Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Gig Workers of All Types" by Stephen Fishman provides all the legal and tax information needed under one cover. This comprehensive and instructive reference manual has been thoroughly updated to reflect all the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act -- changes that are largely beneficial to the self-employed. "Working for Yourself" shows the self- employed how to: Decide the best form for a business (sole proprietor, LLC, or other); Make sure to be paid in full and on time; Pay estimated taxes and avoid trouble with the IRS; Take advantage of all available tax deductions -- including the 20% pass-through tax deduction for business owners; Choose health, property, and other kinds of insurance; Keep accurate records in case you get audited; Write legally binding contracts and letter agreements. A complete, thoroughly, all-inclusive compendium, thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide and reference, "Working for Yourself" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists. A 'must' for anyone engaged or contemplating having their own self-employed business of any kind, it should be noted that "Working for Yourself" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.39).

Reframing Corporate Governance
Javier Reyes
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781785361043, $125.00, HC, 256pp,

The newest addition to the 'Corporations, Globalisation and the Law' series from Edward Elgar Publishing, "Reframing Corporate Governance" by Javier Reyes (Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Finland) offers an articulate demystification of the scientific aspirations of neoclassical economics as understood and used by legal scholars. "Reframing Corporate Governance" readers the foundations on which to build their own conception of what corporations are and should be. Professor Reyes eloquently argues that by belonging to political philosophy, corporate governance is essentially political, and thus requires a multidisciplinary approach for its study and practice. "Reframing Corporate Governance" must be considered essential reading for academics and students of company law and corporate governance, especially those interested in entrepreneurship, radical democracy, evolutionary approaches to legal theory and business anthropology. "Reframing Corporate Governance" is especially recommended for corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Economics collections in general, and Corporate Business Management supplemental studies lists for professional and non-specialist general readers with an interest in corporate social responsibility, business and management, and philosophy in particular.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Suhas P. Wani & K. V. Raju, editors
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781786394514, $160.00, HC, 288pp,

Collaborative compiled and co-edited by Suhas P. Wani (Research Program Director - Asia and Director, ICRISAT Development Center (IDC) at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, India) and K. V. Raju (Theme Leader, Policy and Impact Research Program-Asia, International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Pantancheru, India), "Corporate Social Responsibility: Win-win Propositions for Communities, Corporates and Agriculture" examines the design and implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in rural areas, based on collaboration between well-known corporate and an international research organizations. "Corporate Social Responsibility" covers: Philosophy and practices of corporate social responsibility; Impact studies on improving livelihoods and sustainable development of natural resources; Process steps across various Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives; Distinct features of each corporate agency. Very highly recommended for corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists, "Corporate Social Responsibility" will prove useful for corporate executives involved in Corporate Social Responsibility work as well as students and researchers focusing on agricultural development and the sustainable development of natural resources. It should be noted that "Corporate Social Responsibility" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $97.75).

The Sports Shelf

Pilates and Conditioning for Athletes
Amy Lademann & Rick Lademann
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492557661, $24.95, PB, 252pp,

"Pilates and Conditioning for Athletes: An Integrated Approach to Performance and Recovery" by Amy and Rick Lademann is anatomy science-based, multidimensional approach to athletic conditioning helps them build a strong and flexible foundation by infusing Pilates into training, resulting in complete training programs that tap into the seven pillars of training needed for success: Agility; Flexibility; Mobility; Power; Speed; Stability; Strength. Comprised of detailed instructions for 124 Pilates mat and traditional conditioning exercises to strengthen the athlete's core, improve posture, increase flexibility, and correct muscle imbalances, "Pilates and Conditioning for Athletes" includes: Breathing exercises to increase lung capacity and reduce stress; Stretching routines to open your hips, hamstrings, and back; Joint articulation to improve range of motion and balance; Resistance training for strength and power; Medicine ball training for working in diagonal and transverse planes; A dynamic warm-up series to begin each training session. Providing a profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' approach in terms of organization and presentation, "Pilates and Conditioning for Athletes" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Sports/Athletics instructional reference collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Lost Heir: The Graphic Novel
Tui T. Sutherland, author
Art by Mike Holmes
c/o Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9780545942218 $TBA hc
9780545942201 $12.99 pbk / $7.99 Kindle

The Lost Heir: The Graphic Novel is the full-color, graphic novel adaptation of "The Lost Heir", the second novel in the "Wings of Fire" fantasy series set in a vast continent ruled by different species of dragons. A protracted war between three potential dragon queens has taken a grievous toll, but a prophecy exists that five dragonets will end the terrible war once and for all. Five dragonets, each from a different dragon species, were selected and raised in isolation specifically to fulfill the prophecy; now, the five have won free of their childhood in captivity and seek to learn more about the families they were taken from, as well as find a way to end the ceaseless fighting. The Lost Heir is the story Tsunami, the hot-tempered SeaWing dragon; she and her friends venture to the SeaWing kingdom, where she longs to meet her mother Queen Coral. But deadly intrigue is afoot in the kingdom - an assassin has been murdering heirs to the SeaWing throne! Who could the culprit be? More than one of Queen Coral's inner circle appear potentially ruthless enough to slaughter dragon children - including but not limited to Queen Coral's ally, Blister, one of the three potential rulers whose strugle for power has perpetuated war for years! A masterfully crafted saga of intrigue and hard choices, brilliantly brought to life with Mike Holmes' vivid artwork, The Lost Heir: The Graphic Novel is a "must-have" for dragon fans of all ages. Highly recommended, especially for school and public library graphic novel collections.

A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare
Adapted by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics, Inc.
9781947808102 $17.99 pbk / $22.55 Kindle

Part of the exceptional "Manga Classics" series, which adapts great works of literature to graphic novel format drawn in the style of manga (Japanese comics) with all of the original text unabridged, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a wonderful new way to enjoy William Shakespeare's romantic comedy play. The beautiful, black-and-white art offers a crystalizing clarity to the scenes, characters, and even the spoken metaphors of the original text, making the full meaning of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter dialogue much easier to comprehend. The lighthearted story of four star-crossed lovers in a forest, whose interpersonal troubles are futher exacerbated by the meddling of fairies, is as wickedly entertaining today as it was centuries ago! A Midsummer Night's Dream is a treasure for public library graphic novel collections and personal reading lists, and the best way to experience Shakespeare aside from attending a live theater performance. Highly recommended.

Kirby & Lee: Stuf' Said!
Researched, written, & edited by John Morrow
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490861 $24.95

The 75th issue of the Jack Kirby Collector magazine celebrates the lives of two widely beloved comic book creators with Kirby & Lee: Stuf' Said!, a special issue published as an oversize book. Completed just days before Stan Lee's passing, Kirby & Lee: Stuf' Said! examines the direct words from the creative duo throughout the decades, in chronological order. Drawing from fanzine, magazine, radio, and television interviews, Kirby & Lee: Stuf' Said! is an extraordinary tour of the genesis and evolution of the Marvel Universe. Though Kirby and Lee are the primary focus, the words of other notable Marvel creators are also presented and analyzed, including Steve Ditko, Joe Simon, Wallace Wood, Roy Thomas, and more. Color reproductions of classic comic panels, black-and-white art-in-progress, and vintage photographs illustrate this "must- have" for serious Marvel comic book connoisseurs! Highly recommended.

End Games
Ru Xu
c/o Scholastic
557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012-3999
9780545803168 $TBA hc
9780545803175 $12.99 pbk / $7.99 Kindle

The sequel to NewsPrints (9780545803120), End Games concludes a two-part, full-color graphic novel saga set amid a ten-year war between nations, which has become so gruelling that both sides are on the verge of conscripting child soldiers. In Endgames the girl Blue, who defied tradition and gender expectations to seek a career in journalism, has arrived in the capital city of Altalus in search of friend Crow, the boy created to be a war machine, and Jack, the engineer who created him. Blue's mixed ancestry shows through her light-colored hair, placing her at risk in the nation that has long been her home - the nation that forcibly deported her mother. In spite of the risks, she perseveres in her search, crossing paths with the last of the royal family, (a youthful, blind, yet strong-willed queen) and her closest coucilors. Then Blue is accidentally kidnapped by the twins Snow and Red, who are on the opposite side of the ten-year war; the three of them soon realize they must work together for any hope of peace, or even survival. A complex, interlayered narrative about the greed, incompetence, zealotry and travesty that go hand in hand with war, End Games is highly recommended. Although the NewsPrints and Endgames duology was created especially for young adults (and is not excessively gory, even though it deals directly with war and death), readers of all ages will find it captivating from cover to cover. Highly recommended, especially for school and public library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that both NewsPrints and EndGames are available in Kindle editions ($7.99 each).

Philip K. Dick: A Comics Biography
Laurent Queyssi, author
Mauro Marchesi, illustrator
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681121918, $24.99, HC, 144pp,

Arguably one of the greatest writers in science fiction history, the late Philip K. Dick (December 16, 1928 - March 2, 1982) is mostly remembered for such works as Blade Runner, Minority Report, and Total Recall. His dark, fascinating work centered on alternate universes and shifting realities in worlds often governed by monopolistic corporations and authoritarian governments. His own life story seems a tussle with reality, cycling through five marriages and becoming increasingly disjointed with fits of paranoia and hallucinations fueled by abuse of drugs meant to stabilize him. Accurate and unvarnished, his dramatic personal story, starting with his birth and concluding with his death, is engagingly presented in this simply outstanding graphic novel formatted biography. Of special note for the legions of Philip K. Dick fans is Laurent Queyssi's 'Postscript' and the inclusion of a Philip K. Dick bibliography. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for both community and academic library Graphic Novel and American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Philip K. Dick: A Comics Biography" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

The Audiobook Shelf

Valley of Genius
Adam Fisher, author
Pete Larken, narrator
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781549169052, $25.99, CD,

Ably narrated by Pete Larken, "Valley of Genius" by Adam Fisher is a candid, colorful, and comprehensive oral history that reveals the secrets of Silicon Valley ranging from the origins of Apple and Atari to the present day clashes of Google and Facebook, -- and all the start-ups and disruptions that happened along the way. "Valley of Genius" reveals just how did this omnipotent and ever-morphing place come to be -- not by planning but the sometimes serendipitous combination of luck, timing, and individual ambitions -- along with pure, unbridled genius. Drawing on over 200 in-depth interviews, "Valley of Genius" takes listeners from the dawn of the personal computer and the Internet, through the heyday of the web, up to the very moment when our current technological reality was invented. This complete and unabridged audiobook interweaves stories of invention and betrayal, overnight success and underground exploits, to tell the story of Silicon Valley like it has never been told before. These are the stories that Valley insiders tell each other: the tall tales that are all, improbably, true. Candid, informative, engaging, and superbly produced, "Valley of Genius" should be a part of every community and academic library audio book collection.

The Secret Language of Cats
Susanne Schotz, author
Translation by Peter Kuras
Read by Romy Nordlinger
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781618032867 $29.99

Now available as an unabridged audiobook, The Secret Language of Cats: How To Understand Your Cat For A Better, Happier Relationship is a guide to better understanding the vocalizations that cats make. Author Susanne Schotz is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program has revealed a wealth of discoveries about how cats communicate with humans and with each other. Distilling a crash course about feline phonetics into plain terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Secret Language of Cats is a "must" for cat owners and ailurophiles! 5 CDs, 5.5 hours. It should be noted that The Secret Language of Cats is also available in hardcover from Hanover Square Press (9781335013897, $19.99) and in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Robert Plomin, author and performer
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781978643345 $37.99

Behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin presents Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, a candid science book about the enormous impact that the genes have upon human psychology. Now available as an unabridged audiobook read by the author, Blueprint describes his extensive research upon twins and adoptees - individuals with identical genetic makeup, but who did not necessarily live in the same locations and conditions. The evidence suggests that Genetics accounts for fifty percent of psychological traits, ranging from mental health and academic achievement to personality and intellectual abilities. Nature weighs much more heavily than nurture, Plomin claims, which in turn suggests that parenting styles do not affect a child's destiny as greatly as one would think. Thoroughly accessible to listeners of all backgrounds, Blueprint is seminal, persuasive and highly recommended for school and public library audiobook collections. It should be noted that Blueprint is also available in a hardcover edition from MIT Press (9780262039161, $27.95) and a Kindle edition ($16.49).

A Venetian Affair
Andrea di Robilant, author
Performed by Paul Hecht with Lisette Lecat and Jeff Woodman
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Featuring tracks every three minutes for easy bookmarketing, A Venetian Affair is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a novel about forbidden love in 18th-century Venice, based on actual letters discovered by the author's father. The story is of a vivacious, illicit love affair between the author's ancestor Andrea Memmo, an outstanding Venitian statesman, and a beautiful half-English girl named Giustiniana Wynne. The lovers were passionately committed to their secret trysts, and even received help from the (in)famous Casanova. A Venetian Affair is a sweeping, burning hot romance, highly recommended especially to connoisseurs of the genre and public library audiobook collections. 10 CDs, 11.75 hours.

The Library CD Shelf

Bright Idea
Greg Murphy Trio with Jeff "Tain" Watts and Eric Wheeler
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos of America (dist.)
$16.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

Bright Idea is a jazz piano album featuring mostly original compositions with a few renditions of classic favorites. Greg Murphy's lively, swinging piano and keyboards is perfectly complemented by Eric Wheeler's bass and Jeff "Tain" Watts' drumming. An intensely enthralling experience, Bright Idea is enthusiastically recommended for jazz aficionados and public library music CD collections. The tracks are "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise", "Happy", "Bright Idea", "Earthlings", "24K Magic", "Street Cats", "Finer Things", "For My Mom", "Straight No Blues", "Moving Violation", "Well, of All Things", "Untitled Original 11383", and "Juneteenth Notes".

The Library DVD Shelf

Grand Teton National Park & Other Wyoming Destinations
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
9781604902150 $24.95

Part of the "Discoveries... America National Parks" series of video essays filmed in gorgeous high definition, Grand Teton National Park & Other Wyoming Destinations is the next best thing to experiencing these breathtaking natural and historical landmarks in person. Teton National Park features a mesmerizing mountain range, as well as over 200 miles of trails; Yellowstone National Park is famous for its hot springs and geysers; and Fort Laramie National Historical Site preserves the location of an 1834 private fur trading fort, turned into the military post on the Northern Plains prior to its abandonment in the late 1800's. Other locations featured include Fossil Butte National Monument; Devil's Tower National Monument; and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. As educational as it is beautiful, Grand Teton National Park & Other Wyoming Destinations is a treasure for public library and personal travelogue DVD collections, highly recommended. 46 min.

The Sunday Sessions
A documentary by Richard Yeagley
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036

The Sunday Sessions is a DVD documentary about "conversion therapy", counseling designed to change the sexual orientation of the patient. Conversion therapy is absolutely discredited as ineffective or harmful by all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological, and professional counseling organizations, yet some therapists still offer conversion therapy for reasons inextricably intertwined with religious dogma. Filmed over the course of two years, The Sunday Sessions focuses upon the story of a conflicted young man named Nathan, who willingly goes to conversion therapy sessions, family sessions, and weekend camps with a charismatic therapist. But conversion therapy cannot alter his sexual orientation, forcing him to make difficult choices about his life, his faith, and his future. A memorable, behind-the-scenes revelation with gut-wrenching emotional depth, The Sunday Sessions is unforgettable and highly recommended, especially for public and college library DVD collections. 89 min.

The Lost Village
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036

The Lost Village is an award-winning documentary on DVD about Greenwich Village, once a haven for counterculture in the 1960s and '70s, has been steadily gentrifying into a generic run of chain stores, banks, and multi-million dollar condos. What propelled this "gentrification on steroids" to transform the nature of Greenwich and force out the local artists with skyrocketing rents? Why is New York University so heavily involved in the process? An expose of landlords, politicians, sheer greed, and the burdens paid by ordinary people (including NYU students forced to pay exorbitant tuition), The Lost Village is highly recommended for public library DVD collections and community viewing. 90 minutes.

The Fiction Shelf

The Fallen Architect
Charles Belfoure
Sourcebooks Landmark
c/o Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781492662716, $25.99, HC, 336pp,

Someone has to take the blame when the Britannia Theatre's balcony collapses, killing over a dozen people. The fingers point at the architect. He should have known better, should have made it safer, should have done something. Douglas Layton knows the flaw wasn't in his design, but he can't fight a guilty verdict. When he is finally released from prison, he has nothing: no job, no family, nowhere to go. He needs to assume a new identity and rebuild his life. But he soon finds himself digging up the past in a way he never anticipated. If the collapse was not an accident then just who caused it? And why? And what if they find out who he used to be? Featuring a plot line with more unexpected twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, Charles Belfoure's "The Fallen Architect" is an impressively crafted and original novel by a master of narrative driven storytelling. While especially recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Fallen Architect" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

The Boot Hill Breed
Ned Oaks
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444838862, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 224pp,

Jack Marric is returning to his family home after learning of his mother's illness. But a decision to stop for a drink at a saloon results in him getting into a fight with and killing two men who are bullying the elderly saloon-keeper. Jack is enthusiastically welcomed home by his family, but unbeknown to him, he has been followed by Chet Harper, the brother of the two dead men, who is now hell-bent on revenge and will kill anyone who gets in his way. Chet murders Jack's mother and father and kidnaps his sister -- thereby starting a vengeance quest that can only end in blood. "The Boot Hill Breed" by Ned Oaks fully lives up to the promise of its title. Presented in a large print format, this simply riveting read from beginning to end will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated western novel fans and community library Western Fiction collections.

Kill The Tin Star
Jake Henry
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444838848, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 224pp,

Savage was warned against taking the short cut through Dead Man's Gulch. Too many Apaches, they said. The warning, however, failed to mention anything about Craig and Bobby Vandal. Father and son. One a cold killer, the other prepared to do anything to protect his boy from the consequences of his actions. When Savage arrives in the Gulch, the local sheriff has Bobby locked up on a murder charge. Craig swears his son will never hang. Before long, a deputy's badge is pinned to Savage's chest, and he holds a smoking-hot Winchester in his hands. As a western author, Jake Henry has few peers. Western novel fans will appreciate his particular style of gun smoke action and cliff hanger narrative storytelling style in "Kill The Tin Star" action. While this large print paperback edition of "Kill The Tin Star" is unreservedly recommended for all community library Western Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal read lists of all dedicated western novel buffs that "Kill The Tin Star" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

100 Golden Eagles For Iron Eyes
Rory Black
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444838824, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 224pp,

In "100 Golden Eagles For Iron Eyes", the bounty hunter known as Iron Eyes is heading south to Mexico in search of outlaws Bodine and Walters, but is himself being hunted down by his erstwhile sweetheart Squirrel Sally. Then Iron Eyes learns that Sally has been kidnapped by landowner Don Jose Fernandez, and rushes to her aid. But Sally, Iron Eyes and the outlaws are all just pawns in a much larger game, with an enemy more deadly than they can imagine - and Iron Eyes has to use all his courage and skill to survive. Another riveting, guns blazing, western action/adventure by a master of the genre, Rory Black's "100 Golden Eagles For Iron Eyes" is a 'must read' for the legions of Iron Eyes fans and is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library large print western novel collections.

The Bad Man's Daughter
Terry James
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444838855, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 288pp

When Daniel Cliff arrives in Ranch Town, he discovers the settlement is caught in the stranglehold of a brutal tyrant, and refuses to take sides. That is until the spirited Charlotte 'Charlie' Wells, heir to the Crooked-W ranch, crosses his path. When she offers him the chance to help her right the wrongs being rained down on the town, he has no qualms about using her troubles to further his own ambitions. However, Charlie is no pawn in a man's game - and nobody is going to stand in her way! Once again author Terry James reveals his impressive flair for originality and mastery of the western action-adventure genre with "The Bad Man's Daughter". A gripping and entertaining read from beginning to end, "The Bad Man's Daughter" this large print edition is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Showdown In Badlands
Shorty Gunn
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444838220, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 296pp,

Businessmen Edward Chambers and Rolo Mackenzie have settled in the mining town of Peralta with the aim of buying up abandoned gold mines to search instead for silver. When the Goss family begins to cause trouble, Rolo and Edward appoint hired gun Ben Dickson as the town's marshal. The Goss boys steal some silver ore and flee to the town of Fool's Gold, and Dickson proves himself ruthless in tracking them down. But the brothers are desperate, and their father is hell-bent on a showdown. Featuring one of the most unexpected endings ever written, "Showdown In Badlands" is a gun blazing thriller of a read from cover to cover. Another western gem of a novel from the pen of Shorty Gunn, this large print edition of "Showdown In Badlands" will prove to be an exceptionally popular addition to personal reading lists and community library collections.

Miss Royal's Mules
Irene Bennett Brown
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432838553, $25.95, HC, 235pp,

In 1900 a steadfast and feisty young woman, Jocelyn Belle Royal, joins a mule drive to earn back her Kansas, Flint Hills farm that was lost to a bank foreclosure. Entanglements over the mules, outlaws, women's suffrage, and a disagreement over the governor's mansion, test her mettle to the limit. Jocelyn can't give up if 'home' will ever again be more than a few belongings tied in a shawl, all that she owns. A wonderfully entertaining and deftly crafted novel by an author with a truly gifted knack for narrative driven storytelling, "Miss Royal's Mules" by Irene Bennett Brown is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Miss Royal's Mules" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Sheep Pen Canon
James D. Crownover
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432847210, $25.95, HC, Large Print, 328pp,

The sequel to his "The Ox That Gored", James D. Crownover's in "Sheep Pen Canon" Lee Sowell narrates the Pard Newman battles which nearly cost him his life. It takes three battles, one in the Long Branch Saloon of Dodge City, one in Texas, and one in the Territory of New Mexico to finally subdue the Newman gang. The journey back to Sheep Pen Canon is interrupted by a fight in the infamous Kansas City Bottoms of Joplin, Missouri and by the county seat war of Gray County, Kansas. Tex has to deal with cattle thieves and blue northers while recovering from a wound received in the Long Branch fight. The unseen presence of a ghostly thief and killer upsets the tranquility of the Cimarron Valley. Of special note is the informative introduction by the author. Another thoroughly entertaining western action/adventure novel by a master of the genre, "Sheep Pen Canon" is unreservedly recommended for community library Western Novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated western novel buffs that "Sheep Pen Canon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Lily of the West
Kathleen Morris
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432847333, $25.95, HC, Library Binding, 341pp,

"The Lily of the West" by Kathleen Morris is a novel about Mary Katherine Haroney, who better known to her peers and to history as the notorious "Big Nose Kate". In the American West of the 1800s, women had few choices, but Kate was determined to make her own way. A Hungarian immigrant, Kate forged her way across the American frontier, an orphaned stowaway on a Mississippi riverboat who became the belle of the Dodge City music halls, known for her outspoken manner and her alluring appearance. Classically educated, Kate spoke four languages, finding love and much in common with a charming but volatile dentist from Atlanta, Dr. John Henry (Doc) Holliday. She was a trusted friend of the Earps and Bat Masterson, an adventurous woman who witnessed the violent lawlessness that preceded the end of an era. "The Lily of the West" is an inherently fascinating and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enormously popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Lily of the West" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Vanishing Stair
Maureen Johnson
Katherine Tegen Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062338082, $17.99, HC, 384pp,

An unsolved kidnapping and triple murder called the Truly Devious case rocked Ellingham Academy back in 1936 and has consumed Stevie for years. It's the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Stevie's willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, and the guy who lied about his identity -- Edward King's son. But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What's the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn't just a piece of history -- it's a live wire into the present. A deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and narrative storytelling, "The Vanishing Stair" by Maureen Johnson is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Vanishing Stair" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982610395, $39.99, CD).

The American History Shelf

The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution
Jack Darrell Crowder
Clearfield Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806358826, $28.95, PB, 130pp,

A unique introduction to the American Revolution by historian Jack Darrell Crowder, "The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution" is an hour-by-hour descriptive account of the battles of Lexington and Concord, as well as the British retreat on Battle Road. Concise, engaging, impressively informative, superbly organized and presented, "The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of American Revolutionary War buffs, as well as every school and community library Colonial American History collections in general, and American Revolutionary War supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The World History Shelf

William Walker's Wars
Scott Martelle
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613737293 $26.99 hc / $16.21 Kindle

A soldier-of-fortune with no formal military training, William Walker (1824-1860) was infamous in his era yet all but forgotten today (aside from the April 11th Costa Rican national holiday celebrating his defeat). William Walker's Wars: How One Man's Private American Army Tried to Conquer Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras is the shocking true story of how William Walker sought to establish his own regime in Central America, and nearly succeeded. The colonies that he tried to establish were slaveholding colonies, and he engendered a fair amount of support from American Southerners in pro-slavery states. He successfully usurped the Nicaraguan presidency in 1856, yet his long-term efforts ultimately failed due to an alliance of neighboring countries determined to drive him out at all costs. Walker did not accept defeat gracefully; one of his more vicious acts was to deliberately contaminate water wells with corpses, which may have contributed to a cholera epidemic that exterminated 10% of Costa Rica's population. Walker's return to the region was short-lived, since he was captured by the British Royal Navy, tried and convicted by the Honduran government, and sentenced to death by firing squad. William Walker's Wars is an utterly fascinating, expertly researched, and engagingly presented account of a cruel, short-lived, and ingenious conqueror, highly recommended especially for public and college library World History collections.

Environmental Histories of the First World War
Edited by Richard P. Tucker, Tait Keller, J.R. McNeill and Martin Schmid
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
9781108453196 $29.36 pbk / $14.60 Kindle

Environmental Histories of the First World War is an anthology of scholarly essays by learned writers focusing an oft-neglected aspect of World War I: its enormous environmental impact. Individual writings include "Beans Are Bullets, Potatoes Are Powder: Food as a Weapon during the First World War", "'The Mineral Sanction': The Great War and the Strategic Role of Natural Resources", "Why Are Modern Famines So Deadly? The First World War in Syria and Palestine", and "Memories in Mud: The Environmental Legacy of The Great War". An index rounds out this thoughtful and thought-provoking collection, highly recommended especially for public and college library World History or Environmental Studies collections.

Bold, Brilliant, and Bad
Marian Broderick
O'Brien Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781788490184 $26.00 pbk / $14.99 Kindle

Bold, Brilliant, and Bad: Irish Women from History collects the astonishing, true-life stories of over 120 strong-willed Irish women who left their mark on history. Here are craftswomen, singers, poets, and sporting champions, many of whom defied the gender stereotypes of their day. A handful of black-and-white photographs intersperse this eye-opening anthology of audacious dames! Highly recommended, especially for public library World History and Women's History collections.

Airborne in 1943
Kevin Wilson
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781681778808 $29.95 hc / $14.16 Kindle

Airborne in 1943: The Daring Allied Air Campaign Over the North Sea is the riveting, true story of the unprecedented "Dambusters" bombing campaign against Germany during World War II. In hope of bringing a quick end to the war, brave pilots risked their lives, under constant threat from the full power of the Luftwaffe, treacherous weather, and a plethora of mechanical malfunctions. A handful of black-and-white photographs, a bibliography, and an index round out this expertly researched, engagingly presented account of wartime heroism in aviation, highly recommended especially for public and college library World History collections.

Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day
Edited by Nick Hopwood, Rebecca Flemming and Lauren Kassell
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
9781107068025 $125.00 hc / $31.20 Kindle

Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day is a vast anthology of scholarly essays by diverse authors concerning human reproduction, from contraception to cloning, pregnancy, and the peril of overpopulation. The over 650 pages of studious writings include "Phallic Fertility in the Ancient Near East and Egypt", "Generation in Medieval Islamic Medicine", "Colonialism and the Emergence of Racial Theories", "Breeding Farm Animals and Humans", "World Population from Eugenics to Climate Change", and much more. Black-and-white photographs, inset sections of color plates, a thorough bibliography and an index round out this studious, insightful brainstorm of research and revelation into an often sensitive topic. Highly recommended, especially for college and university library World History and Social Issues collections.

The Civil War Shelf

The Army of Tennessee in Retreat
O. C. Hood
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476672922, $39.95, HC, 260pp,

Following the Battle of Nashville, Confederate General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee was in full retreat, from the battle lines south of Nashville to the Tennessee River at the Alabama state line. Ferocious engagements broke out along the way as Hood's small rearguard, harried by Federal Cavalry brigades, fought a 10-day running battle over 100 miles of impoverished countryside during one of the worst winters on record. "The Army of Tennessee in Retreat: From Defeat at Nashville through 'The Sternest Trials of the War'" by O. C. Hood is enhanced for academia and civil war buffs with the inclusion of six appendices, ten pages of Chapter Notes, a four page Bibliography, and a two page Index. Impressively informative, commendably accessible in organization and presentation, "The Army of Tennessee in Retreat" should be considered an essential addition to personal, community, and academic library American Civil War History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days
Paul G. Zeller
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476676616, $39.95, PB, 201pp,

During the American Civil War, the Vermont Brigade (sometimes referred to as the "First Vermont Brigade" or the "Old Brigade") fought its first full-brigade engagement in the Seven Days' battles. The leaders, as well as the rank and file, were inexperienced in warfare, but through sheer grit and determination they made a name for themselves as one of the hardest-fighting units in the Army of the Potomac. Using soldiers' letters, diaries, and service and pension records, "The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days: The Battles and Their Personal Aftermath" gives a soldier's-eye-view of the Virginia summer heat, days of marching with very little rest or nourishment, and the fear and exhilaration of combat. Also included are the stories of 29 men that were wounded or killed and how the tragedies affected their families. Nicely illustrated throughout with maps and period photographs, "The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days" is a seminal contribution to the growing library of American Civil War histories and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Civil War buffs that "The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

The Art Shelf

How to Draw
Ian Sidaway and Susie Hodge
CompanionHouse Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N.
East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781620082959 $24.99

How to Draw: A Comprehensive Drawing Course - Still Life, Landscapes, Buildings, People, and Portraits lives up to its title as an in-depth tutorial the most fundamental of artistic skills, drawing. Color photography on every page adds crystal clarity to this easy-to-follow guide, featuring 48 step-by-step projects. How to Draw is a superb reference and resource for aspiring artists of all backgrounds! Also highly recommended is "How To Paint" (9781620083000, $24.99).

How To Paint
Angela Gair and Ian Sidaway
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781620083000 $24.99

How to Paint: A Complete Beginner's Guide to Watercolors, Acrylics, and Oils is an easy-to- follow tutorial for novice painters. Full-color photography illustrates 38 step-by-step projects, each crafted specifically to teach a technique. Practical advice for choosing the best materials, inspirational galleries, and more round out this "must-have" for aspiring painters everywhere! Also highly recommended is "How To Draw" (9781620082959, $24.99).

Look Closer, Draw Better
Kateri Ewing
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631596223, $24.99, PB, 128pp,

"Look Closer, Draw Better: Expert Techniques For Realistic Drawing" by Kateri Ewing (who is an artist in residence and teacher at the Roycroft Art Center in East Aurora, New York) will help aspiring artists to reach their personal and professional goals with projects that explore graphite, charcoal, ink, and watercolor wash, emphasizing techniques that Ewing has refined over years of practice and teaching. Ewing teaches by training the eye to see subjects clearly in contour, line, and shadow, while making marks with tools that are expressive of what is seen by the artist. Her focus is on nature such as birds, flowers, and plants that can be closely observed. Aspiring artists will develop the techniques for capturing the delicacy of feathers, the natural blemishes on a piece of fruit, the veins and velvety texture of a leaf -- all the tiny details that enhance the realistic quality of a drawing. A comprehensive, profusely illustrated, and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide, "Look Closer, Draw Better" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and art school instructional reference collections.

Dreaming in Silver / Sonara en Plata
Penny C. Morrill
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764356513 $69.99

A bilingual English/Spanish compendium featuring beautiful, close-up photography of artistic creations on almost every page, Dreaming in Silver: Silver Artists of Modern Mexico is an extraordinarily deep and detailed history of Mexican artworks sculpted in silver, and the people who created the most noteworthy treasures. Over 400 pages long with a bibliography and an index, Dreaming in Silver is the definitive authority on its subject and highly recommended especially for public and college library Art History collections. Dreaming in Silver also makes an inspirational gift for anyone who loves metalworking art, and is pure joy to page through at length!

The International Studies Shelf

China's Development and Dilemmas
Chih-p'ing Chou, Yongtao Zhang, and Yunjun Zhou
Cheng & Tsui Company
25 West Street, Boston, MA 02111-1213 USA
9781622912391, $69.99, PB, 492pp,

An impressively informative and pioneering volume on the subject, "China's Development and Dilemmas: Authentic Readings for Advanced Learners" brings together essential authentic writings by leading Chinese intellectuals on important issues in contemporary China. A wide range of thought-provoking topics invites students to take different points of view and engage in discussion and debate. Highly effective activities to enhance students' communicative and critical thinking skills round out the volume. Topics are addressed discretely, giving teachers flexibility on which reading to introduce when. Most importantly, this work enables students to achieve professional functionality. Of special note is a rich companion website at that provides supporting audio, video, study guides, and teaching tips, empowering students and teachers to make the most of the materials. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "China's Development and Dilemmas" is an ideal curriculum textbook and unreservedly recommended for college and university library Contemporary China collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Little Yellow Book
Julie O'Yang & Fernando Eloy, editors
New Movement Media Ltd.
9788797108611, $14.99, PB, 184pp,

Xi Jinping (born 15 June 1953) is a Chinese politician serving as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Often described as China's "paramount leader", in 2016 the CPC officially gave him the title of "core leader". As General Secretary, Xi holds an ex-officio seat on the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China which is China's top decision-making body for both the domestic and foreign policy of China. Fashioned after the infamous Mao Tse Tung's 'Little Red Book', and collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Julie O'Yang and Fernando Eloy, "The Little Yellow Book: Quotations from Chairman Xi Dada" is comprised of more than 300 quotations by Xi Jinping drawn from his speeches, press releases, and news conferences. "The Little Yellow Book" also includes the story of "Xi Dada", a foreword, more than thirty notes, plus songs and poems. "The Little Yellow Book" is a unique and essential contribution to personal, community, college, and university library Contemporary China reference collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Cookbook Shelf

Leon Fast Vegan
Rebecca Seal, Chantal Symons, John Vincent
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840917932, $29.99, HC, 304pp,

"Leon Fast Vegan" is a culinary compendium showcasing more than 150 'quick and easy' vegan recipes that are divided into three sections: The Main Event with easy recipes for everything from breakfast and brunch to sharing plates, via quick suppers and slow-cooked one-pot dishes; On the Side featuring sauces, dressings, nourishing side dishes and scrumptious breads; Sweet giving vegan options for desserts and cakes. With recipes ranging from Blueberry Poppy Seed Muffins; Supergreen Green Curry; Chili Con Jackfruit; and Parsnip, Kale & Beet Salad; to Pea & Potato Samosas; Zucchini Fritters & Lemon Cashew Cream; Pickle Butter; and Chocolate Sorbet, "Leon Fast Vegan" is an inspiring resource for menu planning be it for breakfasts, parties, weekday dinners, or celebratory feasts. While beautifully illustrated throughout and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library Vegetarian/Vegan cookbook collections, it should be noted for kitchen cook personal reading lists that "Leon Fast Vegan" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Music Shelf

I Know Better Now
Richie Ramone, author
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781617137105, $29.99, HC, 324pp,

It's 1982 and the Ramones are in a gutter-bound spiral. Following a run of inconsistent albums and deep in the throes of internal tensions, the legendary quartet is about to crash and burn. Enter Richie Ramone. Then a 26-year-old from New Jersey named Richard Reinhardt is recruited by the group to be their new drummer and instantly goes from the obscurity of the underground club scene to membership in the most famous punk-rock band of all time, revitalizing the pioneering outfit with his powerful, precise, and blindingly fast beats composing classic cuts like the menacing anthem "Somebody Put Something in My Drink" and becoming the only Ramones percussionist to sing lead vocals for the group. With the Ramones, he performs over five hundred shows at venues all around the world and records three storming studio albums before abruptly quitting the band and going deep underground. To most fans, this crucial figure in the band's history has remained a mystery. But his tale is now told in the pages of "I Know Better Now: My Life Before, During, and After the Ramones", and is the firsthand and personal account of a life in rock 'n' roll and in one of its most influential acts straight from the sticks of the man who kept the beat. Written with the assistance of Peter Aaron, "I Know Better Now" includes illustrative photos, an informative Epilogue; and three appendices (Ramones Performances with Richie Ramone; Lyrics; Selected Discography). A 'must read' for the legions of Ramones fans, "I Know Better Now" will prove to be an extraordinarily popular addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Biography and 20th Century American Music History collections.

The Technology Shelf

Signal Digitization and Reconstruction in Digital Radios
Yefim Poberezhskiy & Gennady Poberezhskiy
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630813802 $159.00

Created especially for aspiring and practicing engineers, Signal Digitization and Reconstruction in Digital Radios is an in-depth guide to the latest advancements in the technology that interfaces between digital signal processing units and the analog world. A strong background in radio engineering is presupposed. Chapters discuss different types of signals and waveforms, radio systems, digital transmitters, digital receivers, sampling theory fundamentals, functions useful for mitigating problems such as channel mismatch, and much more. Sample equations, helpful black-and-white diagrams, and an index round out this authoritative, expertly detailed "must- have" for college library Engineering shelves and the reference lists of field professionals.

Optoelectronics for Low-Intensity Conflicts and Homeland Security
Anil K. Maini
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630815707, $179.00, HC, 364pp,

Photonics is the physical science of light (photon) generation, detection, and manipulation through emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and sensing. Though covering all light's technical applications over the whole spectrum, most photonic applications are in the range of visible and near-infrared light. The term photonics developed as an outgrowth of the first practical semiconductor light emitters invented in the early 1960s and optical fibers developed in the 1970s. "Optoelectronics for Low-Intensity Conflicts and Homeland Security" by Anil K. Maini (a consultant in defense technologies and the former director of the Laser Science and Technology Centre, Defence Research and Development Organizaiton, Ministry of Defence, India) is an authoritative new resource that provides an informative overview of the deployment of various devices in systems in actual field conditions and efficacy established in warfare. "Optoelectronics for Low-Intensity Conflicts and Homeland Security" covers laser and optronic technologies that have evolved over the years to build practical devices and systems for use in Homeland Security and low-intensity conflict scenarios. Readers will be able to assess combat and battle-worthiness of various available devices and systems. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Optoelectronics for Low-Intensity Conflicts and Homeland Security" is an ideal curriculum textbook and unreservedly recommended for professional, corporate, governmental, college and university library Contemporary Technology collections in general and Photonic Studies supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Military Shelf

Amphibious Warfare: Battle on the Beaches
Oscar E. Gilbert & Romain V. Cansiere
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781612006154, $12.95, PB, 160pp,

One of the most difficult types of warfare to master is landing on a hostile beach. Such a military action requires scrupulous planning and intense coordination between the forces in the air, sea and land. With a history reaching back to the Persians landing on the Greek shores at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, it was the First World War that marked the beginning of modern amphibious warfare, with the Royal Marines combining their efforts with the Royal Navy. Despite the disastrous Gallipoli amphibious operation to seize the Dardanelles Straits in 1915, the Royal Navy and US Marine Corps continued to develop new landing crafts throughout the inter-war years. The Second World War proved more successful for amphibious warfare, with the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941 crushing the American forces who were defending the Pacific islands and the D-day landings by the Allied troops in 1944 initiating the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. The collaborative work of Oscar E. Gilbert (who was a U.S. Marine Corps artilleryman and instructor, and retired after a thirty-eight year career in government service, university teaching, and international petroleum exploration) and Romain V. Cansiere (a native of southern France, interested in the U. S. Marine Corps since his teenage years, and whose current historical research is on the Marine Corps in World War I), "Amphibious Warfare: Battle on the Beaches" is an easily accessible short history of the historical development of amphibious warfare, featuring the illustrative stories of particular landings, and the units that have taken part in this unique type of warfare. While unreservedly recommended as an essential, core addition to community and academic library Military History collections, it should be noted for the personal reading list of students, military buffs, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Amphibious Warfare: Battle on the Beaches" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.95).

The Computer Shelf

Computer Algebra: Concepts and Techniques
Edmund A. Lamagua
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781138093140, $99.95, HC, 372pp,

The goal of "Computer Algebra: Concepts and Techniques" by Edmund A. Lamagna (Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rhode Island) is to demystify computer algebra systems for a wide audience including students, faculty, and professionals in scientific fields such as computer science, mathematics, engineering, and physics. Unlike previous books on the subject, the only prerequisites the reader requires are a knowledge of first year calculus and a little programming experience -- a background that can be assumed of the intended readership. "Computer Algebra: Concepts and Techniques" is written by Professor Lamagua in a lean and lively style, with numerous examples to illustrate the issues and techniques discussed. "Computer Algebra: Concepts and Techniques" presents the principal algorithms and data structures, while also discussing the inherent and practical limitations of these systems. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a ten page Bibliography and an eight page Index. An ideal curriculum textbook, "Computer Algebra: Concepts and Techniques" is unreservedly recommended for both college and university library Computer Science and Advanced Mathematics collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Nautical Shelf

Silver State Dreadnought
Stephen M. Younger
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
9781682472897 $54.00

Silver State Dreadnought: The Remarkable Story of Battleship Nevada is the true-life story of USS Nevada (BB 36), America's first modern battleship, first put to sea in 1912. Nevada was the first "superdreadnought", the first U.S. warship to be oil fired, the first to have a triple-gun main turret, and the first with all-or-nothing armor. The Nevada's saga included World War I service, where she was based in Queenstown, Ireland to help protect American convoys bringing troops to Europe. She was rebuilt in 1928, take technological advances into account, and was the only battleship to get underway during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Though the Nevada sank in shallow water from Japanese bombs and torpedoes, she was raised, repaired, served convoy duty in the North Atlantic, joined the invasion fleet for D-Day and the landings in southern France, and provided bombardment support at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After the war, the Nevada was deliberately destroyed through use in atomic tests and target practice - warrior's death at the very end. A bibliography, an index, and a wealth of historic black-and-white photographs supplement this well-researched, vividly described account, highly recommended especially for personal and public library Nautical History collections.

The Railroading Shelf

Ties, Rails, and Telegraph Wires
Dale Martin
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781940527925 $19.95

Featuring historic black-and-white photography on almost every two-page spread, Ties, Rails and Telegraph Wires: Railroads and Communities in Montana and the West is a blend of literary memories, historic research, and insight into railroad operations. Offering a window into the everyday lives and daily tasks of railroad workers, as well as describing the services that the railroad provided to local communities, Ties, Rails, and Telegraph Wires is filled with true-life anecdotes; stories from western writers including Ivan Doig, Mary Clearman Blue, and Alice Munro; and an overall view of how Montana and America's Western frontier were shaped by railroads. Ties, Rails, and Telegraph Wires is a treasure for railroad enthusiasts, and a welcome addition to personal and public library American History collections, highly recommended.

The Biography Shelf

Without Reservation
Sean J. Flynn
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
9781941813140 $29.95 hc

Without Reservation: Benjamin Reifel & American Indian Acculturation is the detailed biography of Benjamin "Ben" Reifel (1906-1990), the first Lakota to serve in the United States Congress. A college-educated, moderate-conservative Republican and a bilingual member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, Reifel advocated tirelessly for Native Americans, but his beliefs about what would serve Native Americans best sometimes clashed with those of other American Indian activists. Reifel believed that education and integration into greater American society were crucial to easing the high rates of poverty, alcoholism, and other social ills that plagued people on reservations. He did not advocate abandoning traditional tribal values, but neither did he see the benefit of focusing upon them exclusively. Reifel saw that being able to show up promptly for work, manage one's savings, and fit into the broader American social fabric were critical to holding a good-paying job, and that some tribal values (such as not prioritizing schedules, emphasis on communal sharing, and tribal insulation verging on de facto segregation) could run counter to those ideals. Without Reservation deserves especial praise for its researched, unbiased description of all sides of the complex political, social, and legislative issues that Reifel and his political opponents dealt with, in terms thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library biography and Native American Studies collections.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Copper Stain
Elaine Hampton and Cynthia C. Ontiveros
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806161778 $29.95

Copper Stain: ASARCO's Legacy in El Paso is a case study of the long-term environmental effects left by ASARCO El Paso, a copper smelter and former economic powerhouse. For almost a century, ASARCO produced copper - along with millions of tons of toxins. The smelter also burned toxic industrial waste, with utterly disastrous consequences inflicted on the environment and the health of the people who lived nearby. Copper Stain is a meticulously researched story of economic injustice, where the enormous burden inflicted by a polluter, including chronic diseases, lead poisoning, and early death, is forced on relatively powerless local communities (and possibly their health insurance providers). Notes, appendices, and an index round out this horrifying yet riveting environmental history, highly recommended especially for public and college library collections.

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

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