Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
|Home / Library Bookwatch
Table of Contents
Beyond Fake News
Justin P. McBrayer
711 - 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
9780367483104, $160.00, HC, 248pp
Synopsis: The modern world is swimming in misinformation. Conflicting messages bombard us every day with news
on everything from politics and world events to investments and alternative health. The daily paper, nightly news,
websites, and social media each compete for our attention and each often insist on a different version of the facts.
Inevitably, we have questions: Who is telling the truth?; How would we know?; How did we get here?; What can we
In "Beyond Fake News: Finding the Truth in a World of Misinformation", Professor Justin P. McBrayer answers these
and other queries. The reader is offered a technological and market-based explanation for how our informational
environment became so polluted. "Beyond Fake News" also shows how purveyors of news often have incentives to
mislead us, and how consumers of information often have incentives to be misled. And it chronicles how, as technology
improves and the regulatory burdens drop, our information-scape becomes ever more littered with misinformation.
"Beyond Fake News" argues that even when we really want the truth, our minds are built in such a way so as to be
incapable of grasping many facts, and blind spots mar our view of the world. But we can do better, both as individuals
and as a society. As individuals, we can improve the accuracy of our understanding of the world by knowing who to
trust and recognizing our limitations. And as a society, we can take important steps to reduce the quantity and effects of
Critique: We have witnessed over the past four years a massive and deliberate misinformation campaign conducted by a
president (Donald J. Trump), reinforced and proliferated by major news outlets (Fox News, OAN), and nationally
distributed by social media giants (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). The result has been a more deadly pandemic than
otherwise would have occurred, and more devastated economy that would have occurred, and a more violent political
division than would have every been possible otherwise. "Beyond Fake News: Finding the Truth in a World of
Misinformation" should be required reading for as large a segment of the general populace as possible and a mandatory
addition to community, college, and university library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
students, academia, political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest
in the subject that "Beyond Fake News" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780367483081, $34.95) and in
a digital book format (Kindle, $33.20).
Editorial Note: Justin P. McBrayer is Professor of Philosophy at Fort Lewis College, the liberal arts college for the State
of Colorado. He is Executive Director for the Society of Christian Philosophers and Co-Editor of A Companion to the
Problem of Evil (2013), Introducing Ethics (2013), and Skeptical Theism: New Essays (2014).
The Social Issues Shelf
New Way to Care
John C. Goodman
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way, Oakland, CA 94621-1428
9781598133172, $28.95, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: The COVID-19 pandemic. The Great Recession. The dot-com bust. The early '90s recession. Every decade or
so a disaster hits the United States and reminds us that many American families live one calamity away from financial
ruin. But what if there were a better way to help families protect themselves from life's risks? And what if that way did
not further bloat large government bureaucracies and inflate even more their obscene budgets?
Fortunately, author, economist, policy entrepreneur, and Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, Ph.D.,
has forged just such a path. In "New Way to Care: Social Protections That Put Families First", Goodman offers a bold
strategy for giving Americans more control over their destiny, while still promoting (and at far less expense!) the
important social goals that gave rise to government safety-net programs in the first place.
Here are just a few of the life-risks for which Goodman presents practical and effective solutions: Growing too old and
outliving one's assets; Dying too young and leaving dependent family members without resources; Becoming disabled
and facing financial catastrophe; Suffering a major health event and being unable to afford needed medical care;
Becoming unemployed and finding no market for one's skills.
In New Way to Care, Goodman invites us to envision smartly crafted social protections that better serve the nation's
families -- and eliminate the risk that America's safety-net expenditures will drive the U.S. economy over a fiscal cliff.
The debate in America over social insurance will never be the same.
Critique: Impressively informative, iconoclastic, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "New Way to Care: Social
Protections that Put Families First" is an exceptional and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college,
and university library Contemporary Social Issues collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
students, academia, political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest
in the subject that "New Way to Care: Social Protections that Put Families First" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: John C. Goodman is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for
Public Policy Research, and a regular guest on CNN, PBS, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and CNBC. He
also frequently writes for the Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, USA Today, Forbes, National Review, and
Health Affairs. Frequently invited to testify before Congress on health-care reform, Dr. Goodman received his Ph.D. in
economics from Columbia University.
Shalanda H. Baker
2000 M St NW Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
9781642830675, $32.00, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: In September 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, completely upending the energy grid of the small
island. The nearly year-long power outage that followed vividly shows how the new climate reality intersects with race
and access to energy. The island is home to brown and black US citizens who lack the political power of those living in
the continental US. As the world continues to warm and storms like Maria become more commonplace, it is critical that
we rethink our current energy system to enable reliable, locally produced, and locally controlled energy without
replicating the current structures of power and control.
In "Revolutionary Power: An Activist's Guide to the Energy Transition ", author, academician, political activist and
environmentalist Shalanda Baker arms those made most vulnerable by our current energy system with the tools they
need to remake the system in the service of their humanity. She argues that people of color, poor people, and indigenous
people must engage in the creation of the new energy system in order to upend the unequal power dynamics of the
"Revolutionary Power" is essentially a playbook for the energy transformation complete with a step-by-step analysis of
the key energy policy areas that are ripe for intervention. Baker tells the stories of those who have been left behind in
our current system and those who are working to be architects of a more just system. She draws from her experience as
an energy-justice advocate, a lawyer, and a queer woman of color to inspire activists working to build our new energy
Climate change will force us to rethink the way we generate and distribute energy and regulate the system. But how
much are we willing to change the system? This unique moment in history provides an unprecedented opening for a
deeper transformation of the energy system, and thus, an opportunity to transform society. "Revolutionary Power"
shows us how.
Critique: Capably and competently written, organized and presented, "Revolutionary Power: An Activist's Guide to the
Energy Transition" is an impressively informed and informative study. Simply stated, "Revolutionary Power" should
engage as wide a readership as possible and is unreservedly recommended for community, governmental, college, and
university library Energy Policy, Civil Rights & Liberties, and Discrimination/Racism collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, political activists, governmental policy makers, and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Revolutionary Power" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $17.27).
Editorial Note: Shalanda Baker is a professor at the Northeastern School of Law. Before joining Northeastern's faculty,
Professor Baker spent three years as an associate professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law,
University of Hawai'i, where she was the founding director of the Energy Justice Program. Prior to that, she served on
the faculty at the University of San Francisco School of Law. In 2016, she won a Fulbright award and spent a year in
Mexico exploring energy reform, climate change and indigenous rights.
The Education Shelf
Doing College Right: A Guide to Student Success
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807764831, $75.00, HC, 216pp
Synopsis: How do you know which college is right for you? And what should you do during college to make the most
of your time there? In the pages of "Doing College Right: A Guide to Student Success", Joe O'Shea (dean of
undergraduate studies and assistant provost at Florida State University) draws upon his years of experience and
expertise to helps aspiring students to both choose a college and make key decisions throughout their higher education
Dean O'Shea harnesses the latest research on how students develop and showcases award-winning programs from
across the United States that are making a difference in the lives of students. "Doing College Right" is filled with
helpful case examples, practical rubrics, and guiding questions to help readers evaluate colleges based on key
dimensions of student success, both before and during college. This guide is important reading for prospective students
and their families, as well as college admissions staff and high school counselors.
"Doing College Right: A Guide to Student Success": Offers a comprehensive, evidence-based framework to help
students and families make decisions about college: Translates the innovations and lessons of the recent student success
movement; Examines how colleges can support students, including those from underrepresented and underserved
populations; Illustrates the critical roles of higher education institutions in enabling the success of students.
Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Doing College Right: A Guide to Student
Success" is the ideal instructional guide and reference for college bound students. While especially recommended for
highschool guidance offices and community library college reference collections, it should be noted for the personal
reading lists of guidance counselors, parents, and aspiring college students that "Doing College Right: A Guide to
Student Success" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780807764824, $24.95) and in a digital book format
Making the DEC Recommended Practices "Come to Life"
Aaron R. Deris & Cynthia F. DiCarlo
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
9780398093464, $38.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: There is a critical need for highly qualified personnel who will become exemplary professionals in early
childhood special education settings. "Making the DEC Recommended Practices "Come to Life": Using Case Method
of Instruction in Early Childhood Special Education " by Aaron R. Deris and Cynthia F. DiCarlo presents the use of
case method instruction and realistic cases that align with current recommended practices (RP) from the Division of
Early Childhood (DEC).
Of special note is an overview of DEC recommended practices explores assessment, environment, family, instruction,
interaction, teaming and collaboration, transition, and a chart of cases. The benefits, debates, usage, barriers,
framework, recommended practice, and case study rubrics of Case Method Instruction (CMI) are explored, creating
guidelines for analysis and the implementation of plans. Each chapter contains two sections that presents cases for birth
to age 3, and cases for 3 to 5 year olds.
Fourteen case studies (seven solved and seven unsolved) aligned with RP and DEC are included. The unsolved cases
allow the reader to further develop their skills by determining what else could be done or needed to solve the case.
These case studies have proposed questions for further thought and discussion.
An Appendix is included that contains research support for the interventions outlined in the case studies. "Making the
DEC Recommended Practices "Come to Life": Using Case Method of Instruction in Early Childhood Special
Education" will be a significant resource for undergraduates and graduates, university college courses, school districts
or organizations that provide training and support for exceptional children.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Making the DEC Recommended Practices "Come to
Life": Using Case Method of Instruction in Early Childhood Special Education" is an ideal textbook for Special
Education teacher trainer academic and in-service training courses. While a critically important and unreservedly
recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Early Childhood Special Education
instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Making the DEC Recommended
Practices "Come to Life": Using Case Method of Instruction in Early Childhood Special Education " is also readily
available in a digital book format from the publisher (9780398093471, $38.95).
Brain-Changing Strategies to Trauma-Proof Our Schools
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623173265, $29.95, PB, 448pp
Synopsis: More than 32 million children in the US suffer from trauma symptoms. Some have had adverse childhood
experiences (ACEs), like neglect, abuse, violence, and loss, or have experienced distress from medical trauma and
social injustice. Toxic traumatic stress shapes the structure and function of both brain and body, which can lead to
anxiety, hyperactivity, aggression, shutting down, and acting out -- emotions and behaviors that hinder learning and
create classroom chaos.
With the publication of "Brain-Changing Strategies to Trauma-Proof Our Schools: A Heart-Centered Movement for
Wiring Well-Being", Maggie Kline (who is a family therapist, trauma specialist, school psychologist, and former
teacher), gives her readers whole-brain, heart-centered tools to identify and reverse trauma-driven behaviors so students
feel supported and safe.
Offering a unique roadmap will empower educators to facilitate positive school-wide outcomes covers: How trauma
alters kids' brains causing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges; Evidence-based somatic, relational, and
mindfulness interventions to rewire reactivity; How to manage Pre-K-12 classrooms to promote empathy, cooperation,
and belonging; Social equity; practices so kids from all backgrounds feel safe, valued, and joyful; Concrete steps to
restore resilience following natural and man-made catastrophes.
Critique: Especially timely with the additional trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning, unstable school in-
person accessibility, and economic stresses, "Brain-Changing Strategies to Trauma-Proof Our Schools: A
Heart-Centered Movement for Wiring Well-Being" is especially recommended for school district, college, and
university library Teacher & Administrator Education, Crisis Management Counseling, and Educational Psychology
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of classroom teachers, school counselors, school
administrators and policy makers that "Brain-Changing Strategies to Trauma-Proof Our Schools: A Heart-Centered
Movement for Wiring Well-Being" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.99).
The Library Science Shelf
Visual Research Methods
Shailoo Bedi & Jenaya Webb, editors
9781783304578, $136.26, HC, 213pp
Synopsis: Of particular value in the field of library science, Visual research methods (VRM) comprise a collection of
methods that incorporate visual elements such as maps, drawings, photographs, videos, as well as three-dimensional
objects into the research process. In addition, VRM including photo-elicitation, photovoice, draw-and-write techniques,
and cognitive mapping are being leveraged to great effect to explore information experiences to investigate some of the
central questions in the field; expand theoretical discussions in LIS; and improve library services and spaces.
"Visual Research Methods: An Introduction for Library and Information Studies" is the first instruction guide and
manual to focus specifically on visual methods in LIS, providing a comprehensive primer for students, educators,
researchers and practitioners in the field of library science. Contributed chapters comprising "Visual Research
Methods" showcase examples of VRM in action and offer the insights, inspirations, and experiences of researchers and
practitioners working with visual methods.
Critique: A seminal and significant curriculum textbook, "Visual Research Methods: An Introduction for Library and
Information Studies" is a core and unreservedly recommended addition to the Library Science collections of community
and academic library systems. Ideal for library in-service training programs, it should be noted for library science
students, academia, and professional librarians that "Visual Research Methods: An Introduction for Library and
Information Studies" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781783304561, $69.99).
Editorial Note #1: Dr. Shailoo Bedi works at the University of Victoria (UVic) as both Director, Academic Commons
and Strategic Assessment with the Libraries as well as Director, Office of Student Academic Success with Learning,
Teaching Support & Innovation.
Editorial Note #2: Jenaya Webb is the Public Services and Research Librarian of the Orlando Institute for Studies in
Education, Library of the University of Tornto.
The Business Shelf
The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook
Josh Baron & Rob Lachenauer
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633699052, $50.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Though "family business" may sound like it refers only to mom-and-pop shops, businesses owned by families
are among the most significant and numerous in the world (think Walmart!). But surprisingly few resources exist to
help navigate the unique challenges you face when you share the executive suite, financial statements, and holidays.
How do you make the right decisions, critical to the long-term survival of any business, with the added challenge of
having to do so within the context of a family?
"The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook: How to Build and Sustain a Successful, Enduring
Enterprise" brings you sophisticated guidance and practical advice from family business experts Josh Baron and Rob
Lachenauer (who can be connected with at banyan.global or on LinkedIn, as well as followed on Twitter
@BanyanFBA). Drawing on their decades-long experience working closely with a wide range of family businesses of
all sizes around the world, they present proven methods and approaches for communicating effectively, managing
conflict, building the right governance structures, and more.
This impressively informative instructional volume presents: A new perspective on what makes family businesses
succeed and fail; A framework to help you make good decisions together: Step-by-step guidance on managing change
within your business family; Key questions about wealth, unique to family businesses, that you can't afford to ignore;
Assessments to help you determine where you are -- and where you want to go; Illustrative stories of real companies
ranging from Marchesi Antinori to Radio Flyer; Chapter summaries you can use to reinforce what you've learned. This
an invaluable and comprehensive guide with you to help you build, grow, and position your family business to thrive
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "The Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook: How
to Build and Sustain a Successful, Enduring Enterprise" is comprehensive, insightful, practical, and essential for any
entrepreneur or family business owner. While unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, college, and
university library Business Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Harvard
Business Review Family Business Handbook: How to Build and Sustain a Successful, Enduring Enterprise" is also
readily available in a paperback edition (9781633699045, $29.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.74).
Editorial Note #1: Josh Baron is a cofounder and Partner at BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors. He works with
the leaders of family businesses to define their purpose as owners and establish the structures, strategies, and skills they
need to accomplish their goals. A sought-after speaker who also teaches at Columbia Business School, Baron is a
frequent contributor to HBR.org.
Editorial Note #2: Rob Lachenauer is a cofounder, Partner, and CEO of BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors.
Lachenauer, who works around the world helping business families thrive, is also a frequent contributor to HBR.org.
He is the coauthor, with George Stalk, of Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win?
The General Fiction Shelf
All the Cowboys Ain't Gone
John J. Jacobson
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781799955665, $27.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: "All the Cowboys Ain't Gone" by John J. Jacobson is the rollicking adventure story of Lincoln Smith, a
young Texan living at the beginning of the twentieth century, who thinks of himself as the last true cowboy. He longs
for the days of the Old West, when men like his father, a famous Texas Ranger, lived by the chivalric code.
Lincoln finds himself hopelessly out of time and place in the fast-changing United States of the new century. When he
gets his heart broken by a sweetheart who doesn't appreciate his anachronistic tendencies, he does what any sensible
young romantic would do: he joins the French Foreign Legion.
On his way to an ancient and exotic country at the edge of the Sahara, Lincoln encounters a number of curious
characters and strange adventures, from a desert hermit who can slow up time to a battle with a crocodile cult that
worships the god of death. He meets them all with his own charming brand of courage and resourcefulness.
Critique: Original, unique, adroitly crafted, and an inherently fascinating read featuring truly memorable characters,
"All The Cowboys Ain't Gone" deftly showcases the impressive literary storytelling talents of author John J. Jacobson.
While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "All The Cowboys Ain't Gone" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $6.99).
Siri, Who Am I?
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683691686, $15.99, 352pp
Synopsis: Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia
after an accident, Mia can't remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool
hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she's wealthy, but
the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital.
Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in her posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty
postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a
chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they're in love, Mia is living the good life, and he'll
be back that weekend.
But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they
discover an ugly truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Did Mia
have it coming? And if so, is it too late for her to rewrite her story?
Critique: An original, fun, engaging, contemporary, and deftly crafted novel that fully showcases author Sam Tschida's
impressive mastery of narrative driven storytelling, "Siri, Who Am I?" is especially commended for community library
Contemporary Women Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Siri, Who Am I?" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
The Historical Fiction Shelf
Balkan Glory: Thomas Kydd 23
1290 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10104
9781473698765, $26.99, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: In 1811, the Adriatic, (also known as the 'French Lake'), is now the most valuable territory Napoleon
Bonaparte possesses. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd finds his glorious return to England cut short when the Admiralty
summons him to lead a squadron of frigates into these waters to cause havoc and distress to the enemy.
Kydd is dubbed 'The Sea Devil' by Bonaparte who personally appoints one of his favourites, Dubourdieu, along with a
fleet that greatly outweighs the British, to rid him of this menace.
At the same time, Nicholas Renzi is sent to Austria on a secret mission to sound out the devious arch-statesman, Count
Metternich. His meeting reveals a deadly plan by Bonaparte that threatens the whole balance of power in Europe. The
only thing that can stop it is a decisive move at sea and for this he must somehow cross the Alps to the Adriatic to
contact Kydd directly.
A climactic sea battle where the stakes could not be higher is inevitable. Kydd faces Dubourdieu with impossible odds
stacked against him. Can he shatter Bonaparte's dreams of breaking out of Europe and marching to the gates of India
Critique: An impressively entertaining action/adventure historical novel by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of
narrative storytelling style that keeps his readers compulsively engaged from cover to cover, "Balkan Glory" by Julian
Stockwin is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Balkan Glory" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781473698802,
$15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99, Amazon.com).
The City of Tears
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250202185, $27.99, HC, 560pp
Synopsis: In August of 1572, Minou Joubert and her husband Piet traveled to Paris to attend a royal wedding which,
after a decade of religious wars, is intended to finally bring peace between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Also in
Paris is their oldest enemy, Vidal, in pursuit of an ancient relic that will change the course of history. Within days of the
marriage, thousands will lie dead in the street, and Minou's family will be scattered to the four winds.
Critique: A saga of epic portions, "The City of Tears" by Kate Mosse is a brilliant, original, and inherently riveting
historical novel by an author who supplements her impressive narrative storytelling style with a keen respect for
historical detail. The second volume in her Burning Chambers series, "The City of Tears" is an especially commended
addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The City
of Tears" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio
book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250751652, $61.99, CD).
The Literary Fiction Shelf
Merlin of the Magnolias
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781626347557, $23.95, HC, 319pp
Synopsis: Merlin McNaughton stands out from his fellow Houstonians, both in his physical proportions and his odd
preoccupations. Oblivious to these myriad idiosyncrasies, and the depths of his unplumbed emotional needs, he spends
his days devouring worlds of food and his nights absorbing data about Earth's magnetic energies including mysterious
druidic ley lines. Financial strains upend Merlin's world, so he lands a full-time job at a blimp base. Night flights over
the city and his flights of fancy concerning energy vortices keep Merlin's head in the clouds 24/7.
When his computer program foretells a negative energy that may harm the entire city, Merlin wastes no time
constructing a portable particle accelerator to reverse the event. But when a major malfunction destroys his meticulous
plans, Merlin learns that druidic runes aren't the only things he's been misinterpreting and what's really important is
what he's been overlooking all along.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, original, and cleverly original read, "Merlin of the Magnolias" deftly showcases
novelist Gardner Landry's impressive mastery of the kind of narrative storytelling style that skillfully engages his
reader's rapt attention from cover to cover. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and
academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Merlin of
the Magnolias" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Come On Up
Bellevue Literary Press
c/o NYU School of Medicine
550 First Ave., OBV A612, New York, NY 10016
9781942658801, $16.99, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: What happens when the hopes of a generation are dashed by austerity policies and underemployment? In his
short story anthology, "Come On Up" by Jordi Nopca showcases a group portrait of contemporary Barcelona, beaten by
the economic crisis and divided by a secessionist movement. Always witty, often absurdist, these stories offer a
mesmerizing glimpse into the daily lives of couples, families, and neighbors living the new normal of the 21st
A husband seeks revenge on his wife as they stalk author Peter Stamm; an out-of-work bartender fills his empty days by
shoving bananas into the tailpipes of parked cars; a mysterious ritual, spied through a neighbor's window, arouses
deadly spirits. Masterfully paced, the eleven mordant stories of "Come On Up" draw us into an embattled world whose
past is unresolved and whose future is uncertain.
Critique: Eloquent, engaging, entertaining, thought-provoking, author Jordi Nopca is a master of the short story format
and "Come On Up" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university
library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that this newly translated
English of "Come On Up" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Jordi Nopca is the author of two novels. Named a "Young Catalan Writer to Watch" by Culture Trip, his
books have received the Proa and Documenta Prizes. Nopca is also an award-winning journalist whose work has
appeared in Time Out Barcelona and Words Without Borders. Born in Barcelona in 1983, Nopca is editor of the
newspaper Ara and its literary supplement Ara Llegim.
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Daughters of Cornwall
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785419294, $TBA, PB, Large Print, 430pp
Synopsis: It's 1918 and The Great War is finally over as Clara Carter boards a train bound for Cornwall for the purpose
of meeting a family that would once have been hers. But they must never discover her secret!
In 1939 Clara's daughter Hannah has always been curious about her mother's mysterious past, but the outbreak of the
Second World War casts everything in a new light. As the bombs begin to fall, Hannah and her brothers are determined
to do their bit for the war effort - whatever the cost.
In 2020, Clara's granddaughter Caroline has long been the keeper of her family's secrets. But now, with her own
daughter needing her more than ever, it's time to tell the truth -- to show Natalie that she comes from a long line of
women who have weathered the storms of life, as hardy and proud as the rugged Cornish coastline.
Critique: A multi-generational saga, this large print edition of "Daughters of Cornwall" by Fern Britton is an
impressively original, inherently fascinating, thoroughly entertaining novel that will be a prized edition to personal
reading lists and community library Romance Fiction collections.
The Western Fiction Shelf
The Dark Trail to Nowhere
Harry Jay Thorn
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444845334, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 256pp
Synopsis: Lucas Santana is a freelance range detective working for both the US Marshals Service and the Pinkerton
Detective Agency in the 1880s. A wanted man in some States, he takes great care where he rides and has a number of
off-the-cuff aliases -- and is not too shy about lining his own pockets in order to finance his Wyoming Wildcat ranch.
When a number of $20.00 gold coins surface in South Texas, (the loot from a long ago three-quarters of a million dollar
heist at the end of the Civil War), both Pinkerton and the US Marshals call on his services to find the source of that
gold. The problem is, he is not the only one searching for it. Then, when a fellow female Pinkerton agent is murdered in
cold blood, Santana's quest becomes personal and he sets off on the long dark trail to nowhere.
Critique: With this large print paperback edition of "The Dark Trail to Nowhere", author Harry Jay Thorn once again
demonstrates his total master of the western action/adventure genre. Certain to be an immediately welcome and
enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated western fans, and highly recommended as a
core addition to community library Western Fiction collections.
Stage Road to Denver
Allan Vaughan Elston
Sagebrush Lare Print Westerns
Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785418600, $32.00, PB, Large Print, 282pp
Synopsis: In 1876 the city of Denver is the burgeoning capital of a rough new state. When Terry Woodford rides in with
his partner Slim, he dreams of showing Colorado how to save starving cattle by herding them to lush grazing grounds in
the mountains over the winter. What he doesn't expect is trouble with Milo Patterson -- a kingpin of the city. By
incident and design, Terry learns how Patterson cheated a dying miner, Frank Barber, and his family out of seven quarts
of gold stashed on the roof of his cabin. And now Patterson is wooing Frank's beautiful niece, Faith, while running a
crooked gambling joint. Terry vows to find the gold and get it back to its rightful owners -- and to put a stop to
Patterson's shady dealings once and for all. It's time for a showdown in which only one will walk away.
Critique: With this large print edition of his novel "Stage Road to Denver", once again author Allan Vaughan Elston
clearly demonstrates his total mastery of the action/adventure western genre. A simply riveting read with all manner of
unexpected and dramatic plot twists and turns, "Stage Road to Denver" is especially commended for personal reading
lists and community library Western Fiction collections.
Black Hills Gold
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444845907, $22.50, PB, Large Print, 232pp
Synopsis: Since the signing of the Laramie Treaty, the tribes of the Plains have practised their nomadic lifestyle within
the boundaries of the lands set aside for their use. While the Americans (known to the Sioux as the Wasicun) stay away,
the tenuous peace is maintained. One word, GOLD! however, uttered at a riverside meeting with Yellowstone Kelly
raises Wes Gray's concern that white men might soon breach the borders of the Great Sioux Reservation and bring with
them the turmoil of war. The object of their trespass? To gain access to gold -- for which men will risk all and kill
anyone who stands in their way.
Critique: Another adroitly crafted and inherently riveting read from the pen of western novelist Will DuRey, this large
print edition of "Black Hills Gold" from the Linford Western Library series is unstintingly recommended for both the
personal reading lists of all dedicated western fans, as well as community library Western Fiction collections.
Dead Man at Snake's Creek
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444845945, $22.50, PB, Large Print, 232pp
Synopsis: Ten years ago, Johnny Hartford left Credence, Texas to become a Pinkerton Agent in Chicago. Now on his
return, everything has changed: his dying father will barely speak to him, his brother is running wild, and longhorn
rustling is rife. Determined to make amends with his family and catch the cattle thieves, Hartford turns to old Sheriff
Milton for help -- but then Dumford, a prominent local rancher, is shot in the back out by Snake Creek, and Hartford
discovers that almost everyone in the town has a reason for wanting him dead, things get deadlier and deadlier.
Critique: Another deftly scripted and original action/adventure novel by a true master of the genre, "Dead Man at
snake's Creek" by Rob Hill is a compelling read from first page to last. Of special note is the completely unexpected
revelation regarding the killing at Snake Creek at the end of this compelling western adventure. This large print edition
of "Dead Man at Snake's Creek" from the Linford Western Library collection is wholeheartedly recommended for both
the personal reading lists of dedicated western buffs and community library Western Fiction collections.
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444845389, $22.50, PB, Large Print, 218pp
Synopsis: Wes Stretton has ridden a long way from Texas in order to gain vengeance on Yoakum, whom he holds
responsible for killing his friend in a range war. The trail takes him to the town of Buckstrap, where he meets the
enigmatic Lana Flushing and walks straight into a range war between rival ranches, the Bar Seven and the Sawtooth.
Someone knows of his arrival, however, and is out to bushwhack him. Then Rimmer, the foreman of the Sawtooth, is
ambushed and shot. But was Stretton the intended target? And is Yoakum the culprit - or are things not quite what they
Critique: Simply stated, "Long Rider" by Colin Bainbridge, is another terrific western from a master of the genre. This
large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library is a fully compelling and exceptionally entertaining read
from cover to cover -- making it a 'must' for the personal reading lists of all true western fans and community library
Western Fiction collections.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Either Side of Midnight
Aurora Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781520368566, $11.99, PB, 451pp
Synopsis: When nineteen-year-old Naomi Stone is snatched from her husband at knife point on the night of their
wedding and taken to a deserted cemetery, she knows her life is finished. Drugged and disorientated, she loses
consciousness as she lies in an open grave with a gun to her head.
But the following day, she mysteriously awakes to find herself unharmed and secured to a bed. She's in a beautiful
bedroom in a secluded cottage in open countryside. Only one person knows she's there -- the man in the balaclava who's
holding her, feeding her, revealing nothing.
Naomi senses the unfolding of a plan. She should be on honeymoon in the Caribbean. Instead, she's trapped with an
emotionless psycho with no hope of escape -- and his voice is chillingly familiar. Who is he? What does he want?
What's happened to her husband? Where is she? Will anyone find her before it's too late?
Critique: A deftly crafted suspense thriller of a novel by an author with a genuine flair for chilling originality and the
kind of narrative storytelling skills that make for a genuinely riveting read from cover to cover, this large print
paperback back edition of "Either Side of Midnight" by Benjamin Stevenson is particularly recommended for
community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
A Christmas Railway Mystery
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785418075, $TBA, PB, Large Print, 390pp
Synopsis: December, 1860: The morning shift at the Swindon Locomotive Works is about to begin, and an army of
men is pouring out of the nearby terraced houses built by the GWR. Frank Rodman should have been among them, but
he is destined for the grave sooner than he might have expected -- or he will be, once his missing head is found.
However, Christmas is fast approaching, and the last thing Inspector Colbeck needs is a complex case, mired in
contradictions. As he wrestles with one crime, he is alarmed to hear of another -- the abduction of Superintendent
Tallis. Colbeck and Leeming find themselves in a hectic race to solve a brutal murder before rushing off to Kent in a
bid to save the superintendent's life.
Critique: Recommended as a core addition to community library Large Print shelves in general, and Mystery/Suspense
collections in particular, this Isis Large Print edition of "A Christmas Railway Mystery" by Edward Marston is a deftly
crafted and inherently riveting novel that will entertainingly engage the dedicated mystery buff from first page to
Miami Noir: The Classics
Les Standiford, editor
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617759536, $43.95, HC, 338pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Miami Noir: The Classics", Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of
original noir anthologies, first launched in 2004 with the publication of Brooklyn Noir. Each volume in the 'Noir' series
comprises stories set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.
Expertly compiled and edited by Les Standiford, "Miami Noir: The Classics" features noir fiction from nineteen authors
that include: Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Elmore Leonard, Lester Dent, Zora Neale Hurston, Brett Halliday, Damon
Runyon, Edna Buchanan, James Carlos Blake, Douglas Fairbairn, Charles Willeford, T.J. MacGregor, Lynne Barrett,
Les Standiford, Preston L. Allen, John Dufresne, Vicki Hendricks, Christine Kling, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, and
Critique: An exceptional treat for all dedicated fans of noir fiction, "Miami Noir: The Classics" is especially
recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists
that "Miami Noir: The Classics" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781617758065, $17.95) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Death of a Messenger
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608094035, $26.95, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: On the island of Hawaii, an anonymous 911 caller reports a body at Pohakuloa, the Army's live-fire training
area. Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kane, a cop with his own secret criminal past, finds a mutilated corpse -- bearing all the
hallmarks of ancient ritual sacrifice.
Kane encounters a host of obstacles as he pursues the murderer -- including an incompetent local medical examiner,
hostility from both haoles (Westerners) and sovereignty advocates, and a myriad of lies. Kane races to discover whether
the victim stumbled upon a gang of high-tech archaeological thieves, or learned a secret so shocking it cost him his life
and put others in mortal danger.
Will Hilo's most respected detective stop this sadistic fiend -- or will the Pohakuloa killer strike again, with even
Critique: With one deftly crafted cliffhanger of a plot twist after another, "Death of a Messenger" by mystery novelist
Robert McCaw is an inherently riveting read from cover to cover. While "Death of a Messenger" is especially
recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of
all dedicated suspense/thriller buffs that McCaw's latest novel is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Wrath of N'kai
9781839080111, $16.95, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Countess Alessandra Zorzi, international adventurer and thief, arrives in Arkham pursuing an ancient body
freshly exhumed from a mound in Oklahoma, of curious provenance and peculiar characteristics. But before she can
steal it, another party beats her to it. During the resulting gunfight at the Miskatonic Museum, the countess makes eye
contact with the petrified corpse and begins an adventure of discovery outside her wildest experiences. Now, caught
between her mysterious client, the police, and a society of necrophagic connoisseurs, she finds herself on the trail of a
resurrected mummy as well as the star-born terror gestating within it.
Critique: A deftly crafted fantasy fiction set in the literary world of H. P. Lovecraft, "Wrath of N'kai" by novelist Josh
Reynolds to the every growing body of Arkham based horror fantasy. Highly recommended for community library
Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the legions of Lovecraft fans that Josh Reynold's "Wrath
of N'kai" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Editorial Note: Josh Reynolds is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories, including the wildly
popular "Warhammer: Age of Sigmar" and "Warhammer 40,000".
D. J. Butler
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781982124977, $15.99, PB, 608pp
Synopsis: Sarah Calhoun has taken her father's throne and ascended into her goddess's presence in Unfallen Eden as her
father never did -- and Sarah Calhoun is dying.
Her uncle Thomas Penn isn't done with her. Armed with new powers conferred upon him by the Necromancer and with
new allies won via his impending marriage, Penn aims to remove Sarah from her throne - and from the world of the
living. In the meantime, Sarah has fallen out with one of her best allies. Against Sarah's advice, her brother Nathaniel
heads into Imperial Philadelphia with the reckless and likely impossible aim of healing the Emperor Thomas.
On the shores of the northern seas, agents of Franklin's Conventicle with an unlikely connection to the Emperor
struggle to win allies among the pole-dwelling giants, who are torn between seizing land covertly from the Firstborn of
the Ohio and entering the war openly on the side of Simon Sword. In the west, the Heron King rides an explosive storm
into war, crushing the mortal kingdoms in his path and bearing down on Sarah's Cahokia.
To survive (and to gain the strength she needs to fight this impossible war) Sarah must unite the Moundbuilder kings to
enact an ancient rite that will propel her beyond mortality. To do so, she must not only win over doubters among the
Firstborn kings, but she must also beat back a rebellion among the Handmaids of her goddess -- for there are some of
the goddess's priestesses who long for the dark days of human sacrifice, and who are willing to throw Sarah herself
upon the altar.
Critique: No one is as original and talented when it comes to crafting an action/adventure fantasy world and novel than
D. J. Butler. The fourth and newet addition to Butler's simply outstanding 'Witchy War' series, "Serpent Daughter" is an
inherently riveting and compulsive page turner of an entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly
recommended, especially for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of all dedicated fantasy fans that "Serpent Daughter" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $8.99).
The Children of D'Hara
Head of Zeus Ltd.
9781789541335, $32.95, HC, 912pp
Synopsis: In 1994, Terry Goodkind's novel "Wizard's First Rule" first introduced Richard Cypher, a young woodsman
seeking answers and vengeance in the aftermath of his father's murder, and Kahlan Amnell, a mysterious young woman
pursued by a bloodthirsty tyrant's assassins.
The Sword of Truth is one of the most ambitious fantasy series ever written. It was a decades-long masterwork that has
been translated into 20 languages and sold 26 million copies. After 16 volumes and one novella, it concluded in 2016
"The Children of D'Hara" picks up immediately after the conclusion of the Sword of Truth series. This is the first
collected volume of the series, featuring episodes 1-5: The Scribbly Man, Hateful Things, Wasteland, Witch's Oath, and
Critique: An original, landmark collection that is extraordinarily ambitious, complex, and entertaining, "The Children
of D'Hara" is a massive saga that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library
Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Heroic Fantasy
fans that "The Children of D'Hara" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.89).
The Graphic Novel Shelf
The Disney Bros.
Alex Nikolavitch, author
Felix Ruiz, illustrator
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681122663, $19.99, HC, 112pp
Synopsis: After the bankruptcy of his first two companies, the young Walt Disney decides to call on his older brother
Roy to start a new business to be called the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. The combination of their opposing
talents, one artistic (Walt), the other managerial (Roy), will give birth to an entertainment giant despite the difficult
nature of Walt. Little by little, Walt will push his brother into the shadows and sink into chronic depression and
excessive consumption of alcohol -- but all this will not prevent him from producing the greatest masterpieces of
Critique: Using a graphic novel format, "The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy" by the team of
author/biographer Alex Nikolavitch and artist/illustrator Felix Ruiz is an impressively informative and highly
recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Biography collections. It
should be noted for the legions of Walt Disney fans that "The Disney Bros." is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, comiXology, $13.99).
The Library CD Shelf
Just Passing Thru
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos (dist.)
$16.99 / $8.91 MP3
Just Passing Thru is the latest music album by Miles Donahue. The songs feature Miles Donahue on saxophones,
trumpet, and keyboards; Joe Santerre on electric bass; Larry Finn on drums; Ricardo Monzon on percussion; Alain
Mallet on keyboards; with Mike Stern on guitar. The result is a versatile fusion that crosses boundaries of style and
substance, from jazz to rhythm & blues to elements of rock and soul, and more. A captivating original treasury, Just
Passing Thru is highly recommended. The tracks are "hear My Words", "Living Room Blues", "Killing Me Softly",
"Just Passing Thru", "Donny's Groove", "A Man of Few Words", "7/9/65", "Railroaded", and "Ireland".
The Biography Shelf
Prince Philip Revealed
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781982129750, $30.00, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: The son of Greek and Danish royalty, consort to the queen, and the grandfather of Princes Harry and William,
Prince Philip has been at the heart of the royal family for decades -- yet he remains an enigma to many.
Now, in the pages of "Prince Philip Revealed", Ingrid Seward, biographer and the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine,
brings her decades of experience and expertise in covering the royal family to writing a fascinating and insightful
biography of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, and father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of the next three kings of
From his early childhood in Paris among aristocrats and his mother's battle with schizophrenia to his distinctive military
service during World War II and marriage to Elizabeth in 1947, Seward chronicles Philip's life and reveals his many
faces -- as a father, a philanthropist, a philanderer, and a statesman. Though it would take years for Philip to find his
place in a royal court that initially distrusted him, he remains one of the most complex, powerful, yet confounding
members of Britain's royal family.
Critique: A 'must read' biography for all dedicated anglophiles, "Prince Philip Revealed" by Ingrid Seward is as
impressively informed and informative as it is inherently compelling a read from cover to cover. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Biography collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Prince Philip Revealed" is also readily available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797118338, $39.99, CD).
Richard III in the North
M. J. Trow
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526777171, $42.95, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: Richard III is England's most controversial king. Forever associated with the murder of his nephews, the
Princes in the Tower, he divides the nation. As spectacular as his death at Bosworth in August 1485 (the last king of
England to die in battle) the astonishing discovery of his bones under a Leicester car park five centuries later renewed
interest in him and reopened old debates. Is he the world's most wicked uncle; or is he (in the words of the man who
most smeared him) 'a prince more sinned against than sinning'?
Richard was not born in the North; neither did he die there, but "Richard III in the North" by historian and biographer
M. J. Trow is a detailed look at his life, tracing his steps over the thirty-three years that he lived, and focuses on the area
that he loved and made his own. As Lord of the North, he had castles at Middleham and Sheriff Hutton, Penrith and
Sandal. He fought the Scots along the northern border and on their own territory. His son was born at Middleham and
was invested as Prince of Wales at York Minster, where Richard planned to set up a college of 100 priests.
His white boar device can be found in obscure corners of churches and castles; his laws, framed in the single parliament
of his short reign, gave rights to the people who served him and loved him north of the Trent. And when he felt
threatened or outnumbered by his enemies during the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses, it was to the men of the
North that he turned for support and advice. They became his knights of the body; members of the Council of the North
which outlived Richard by a 150 years. They also died with him at Bosworth.
Although we cannot divorce Richard from the violent politics of the day or from events that happened far to the South,
it was in the North that Richard's heart lay. The North was his home. It was the place he loved.
Critique: An wonderfully written and informative biography of an English monarch who lived in troubled times,
"Richard III in the North" is an especially recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university
library Medieval British History & Biography collections, and is a compelling read that is further enhanced for
academia with the inclusion of two Appendices (Richard's Places in the North; The Murders of Richard III), a two page
Selected Biography, and a four page Index.
Joan, Lady of Wales
Danna R. Messer
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526729293, $49.95, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: The history of women in medieval Wales before the English conquest of 1282 is one largely shrouded in
mystery. For the Age of Princes, an era defined by ever-increased threats of foreign hegemony, internal dynastic strife
and constant warfare, the comings and goings of women are little noted in sources. This misfortune touches even the
most well-known royal woman of the time, Joan of England (1191-1237), the wife of Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd,
illegitimate daughter of King John and half-sister to Henry III. With evidence of her hand in thwarting a full scale
English invasion of Wales to a notorious scandal that ended with the public execution of her supposed lover by her
husband and her own imprisonment, Joan's is a known, but little-told or understood story defined by family turmoil,
divided loyalties and political intrigue.
From the time her hand was promised in marriage as the result of the first Welsh-English alliance in 1201 to the end of
her life, Joan's place in the political wranglings between England and the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd was a
fundamental one. As the first woman to be designated Lady of Wales, her role as one a political diplomat in early
thirteenth-century Anglo-Welsh relations was instrumental. This first-ever account of Siwan, as she was known to the
Welsh, interweaves the details of her life and relationships with a gendered reassessment of Anglo-Welsh politics by
highlighting her involvement in affairs, discussing events in which she may well have been involved but have gone
unrecorded and her overall deployment of royal female agency.
Critique: A seminal, original, and ground-breaking work of simply outstanding scholarship, "Joan, Lady of Wales:
Power and Politics of King John's Daughter" by Danna R. Messer is an extraordinary contribution to community,
college, and university library Medieval History & Biography collections. Featuring an informative Introduction,
Epilogue, and Conclusion, "Joan, Lady of Wales: Power and Politics of King John's Daughter" features a two page
listing of Abbreviations, twenty-one pages of Endnotes, a six page Selected Biography, and a nineteen page Index. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest
in the subject that "Joan, Lady of Wales: Power and Politics of King John's Daughter" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).
Editorial Note: Dr. Danna R. Messer has published on various aspects of the wives of the native Welsh rulers before
1282, providing a gendered perspective of medieval Welsh politics. As an editor and historian, she is widely involved
in medieval history and queenship studies generally, including her roles as Series Editor for Medieval History for Pen
and Sword, editor for the Royal Studies Journal and editor for Normans to Early Plantagenet Consorts, the first volume
of the forthcoming four-book series, English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty (Palgrave). She is also Acquisitions
Editor for Arc Humanities Press and the Executive Editor for the Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Ages, a
partnership project with Bloomsbury Academic and Arc Humanities Press.
The American History Shelf
Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers
John P. Langellier
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
9781574418118, $34.95, HC, 480pp
Synopsis: On a hot summer's day in Montana, a daring frontier cavalry officer, Powhatan Henry Clarke, died at the
height of his promising career. A member of the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 1884, Clarke graduated dead last,
and while short on academic application, he was long on charm and bravado. Clarke obtained a commission with the
black troops of the Tenth Cavalry, earning his spurs with these "Buffalo Soldiers."
He evolved into a fearless field commander at the troop level, gaining glory and first-hand knowledge of what it took to
campaign in the West. During his brief, action-packed career, Clarke saved a black trooper's life while under Apache
fire and was awarded the Medal of Honor. A chance meeting brought Clarke together with artist Frederic Remington,
who brought national attention to Clarke when he illustrated the exploit for an 1886 Harper's Weekly. The officer and
artist became friends, and Clarke served as a model and consultant for future artwork by Remington.
Remington's many depictions of Clarke added greatly to the cavalryman's luster. In turn, the artist gained fame and
fortune in part from drawing on Clarke as his muse. The story of these two unlikely comrades tells much about the final
stages of the Wild West and the United States' emergence on the international scene. Along the way Geronimo, The
Apache Kid, "Texas" John Slaughter, and others played their roles in Clarke's brief, but compelling drama.
Critique: As inherently fascinating a read as it is informed and informative, "Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers:
Lieutenant Powhatan Clarke, Frederic Remington, and the Tenth U.S. Cavalry in the Southwest" is an extraordinary
work of historical and meticulous scholarship. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of ninety-six pages of
Endnotes, twenty page Bibliography, and a nineteen page Index, "Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers: Lieutenant
Powhatan Clarke, Frederic Remington, and the Tenth U.S. Cavalry in the Southwest" is a significant and unreservedly
recommended addition to community, college, and university library 19th Century American History, African American
History, and American Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
subject that "Scouting with the Buffalo Soldiers" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).
Editorial Note: John P. Langellier received his PhD from Kansas State University with an emphasis on military history.
He is the author of more than twenty books, including Fighting for Uncle Sam: Buffalo Soldiers in the Frontier Army;
Bluecoats: The U.S. Army in the West, 1848 - 1897; and Custer: The Man, the Myth, the Movies.
The South's Forgotten Fire-Eater
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
9781588384119, $27.95, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: In the pages of "The South's Forgotten Fire-Eater: David Hubbard and North Alabama's Long Road to
Disunion" by Chris McIlwain is the story of the American Civil War is typically told with particular interest in the
national players behind the war: Davis, Lincoln, Lee, Grant, and their peers. However, the truth is that countless
Americans on both sides of the war worked in their own communities to sway public perception of abolition, secession,
and government intervention.
In north Alabama, David Hubbard was an ardent and influential voice for leaving the Union, spreading his increasingly
radical view of states' rights and the need to rebel against what he viewed an overreaching federal government.
Historically obscure, Hubbard, the grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier who fought under Andrew Jackson in the
War of 1812. He was much more than that stereotype of antebellum Alabama politicians, being an early speculator in
lands coerced from Native Americans; a lawyer and cotton planter; a populist; an influential member of the Board of
Trustees of the University of Alabama; and a key promoter of the very first railroad built west of the Allegheny
"The South's Forgotten Fire-Eater" is the story of Hubbard's radicalization, describing his rise to becoming the most
influential and prominent secessionist in north Alabama. Despite growing historical interest in the "fire eaters" who
whipped the South into a frenzy, there has been little mention until now of Hubbard's integral involvement in
Alabama's relationship with the Confederacy. Now historian Chris McIlwain offers Hubbard's story as a cautionary tale
of radical politics and its consequences.
Critique: An impressive work of meticulous scholarship that is exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and
presentation, "The South's Forgotten Fire-Eater: David Hubbard and North Alabama's Long Road to Disunion" is a
critically valued and highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American History
collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "The South's Forgotten Fire-Eater: David Hubbard and North
Alabama's Long Road to Disunion" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Chris McIlwain is a lawyer-historian from Tuscaloosa. McIlwain is the author of three books: Civil War
Alabama; 1865 Alabama: From Civil War to Uncivil Peace; and The Million Dollar Man Who Helped Kill a President.
McIlwain is also a frequent contributor to the Alabama Review and a lecturer on Alabama history at schools, civic
groups, and the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
The World History Shelf
The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526771087, $26.95, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: "The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central
Asia and Han China" by Raoul McLaughlin investigates the trade routes between Rome and the powerful empires of
inner Asia, including the Parthian regime which ruled ancient Persia (Iran). It explores Roman dealings with the Kushan
Empire which seized power in Bactria (Afghanistan) and laid claim to the Indus Kingdoms. Further chapters examine
the development of Palmyra as a leading caravan city on the edge of Roman Syria and consider trade ventures through
the Tarim territories that led Roman merchants to Han China.
The Han Empire of ancient China matched that of Rome in scale and possessed military technology surpassing that of
Roman legions. The Han established a system of Central Asian trade routes known as the Silk Road that carried eastern
products as far as Persia and the frontiers of the Roman Empire.
"The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes" is the first history to specifically address these subjects in a single
comprehensive study. It explores Rome's impact on the ancient world economy and reveals what the Chinese and
Romans knew about their rival Empires.
Critique: An impressive body of meticulous scholarship, "The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World
Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China" is an extraordinarily informative study and one that
is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Roman and Chinese antiquity collections
and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject that "The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, Raoul McLaughlin was educated at
Lagan College, the first Integrated School in Northern Ireland. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at Queens
University Belfast before completing a Masters degree and then a PhD in the study of trade beyond Rome's eastern
The Church and the Middle Ages: 1000 - 1378
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781594719530, $17.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Few periods of history are more maligned and misunderstood than the Middle Ages -- three-hundred years of
division, shifting centers of power, and tensions both within the Church and also between the Church and the secular
rulers of the time.
In an engaging and easy-to-understand style, in the pages of "The Church and the Middle Ages (1000 - 1378):
Cathedrals, Crusades, and the Papacy in Exile" historian, acadamician and author Steve Weidenkopf highlights some of
our greatest saints (Francis, Dominic, Anselm, Aquinas, and Catherine of Siena) and dispels nine commonly accepted
misconceptions about the era, which was an exciting period of enduring faith, reform, cultural achievement, as well as
defeat and division.
With vibrant accounts of pivotal events and inspiring stories of the people who shaped the Church during the eleventh
through fourteenth centuries, Professor Weidenkopf provides a clearer picture of an era where critics used events such
as the Crusades and the relocation of the papacy to France to undermine the Church. The period also provided the
hallmarks of Christian civilization in the form of universities, cathedrals, castles, and various religious orders.
Professor Weidenkopf also chronicles the development of Christian civilization in Europe and explores the
contributions of St. Bruno, St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Bridget of Sweden.
In The Church and the Middle Ages, readers will learn that: Most Crusaders were motivated by piety and service, not
greed; Heresy was both a church and civil issue and medieval inquisitors were focused on the eternal salvation of the
accused; The Church preached against the mistreatment of Jews; Priestly celibacy was practiced long before the twelfth
century; Serfs were never kept as slaves.
Critique: An outstanding contribution to community, church, seminary, college, and university library Medieval Studies
collections in general, and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in Medieval culture in particular, "The Church and
the Middle Ages (1000 - 1378): Cathedrals, Crusades, and the Papacy in Exile" is an impressively informative and
inherently fascinating read. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Church and the Middle Ages (1000 - 1378):
Cathedrals, Crusades, and the Papacy in Exile" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).
Editorial Note: Steve Weidenkopf is an adjunct professor at Christendom College Graduate School in Alexandria,
Virginia. He is the author of several books on Catholic Church history, including The Glory of the Crusades, The Real
Story of Catholic History, and Timeless. Weidenkopf has a bachelor's degree in international relations from Syracuse
University and a master's degree in theological studies from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College.
He is a member of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and Latin East, has been a guest on EWTN, and writes
regularly for Catholic Answers online.
The Highland Battles
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526741745, $42.95, HC, 216pp
Synopsis: The wars fought in Scotland's northern and western highlands between the ninth and fourteenth centuries
were a key stage in the military history of the region, yet, until the publication of "The Highland Battles: Warfare on
Scotland's Northern Frontier in the Early Middle Ages" by author and historian Chris Peers, they have rarely been
studied in depth before. Out of this confused and turbulent period came the more settled and familiar history of the
region. The Highlands and islands were controlled by the kings of Norway or by Norse or Norse-Celtic warlords, who
not only resisted Scottish royal authority but on occasion seemed likely to overthrow it.
That is why Peers's ambitious groundbreaking study is of such value for he provides a coherent and vivid account of the
series of campaigns and battles that shaped Scotland. The narrative is structured around a number of battles (Skitten
Moor, Torfness, Tankerness, Renfrew, Mam Garvia, Clairdon and Dalrigh) which illustrate phases of the conflict and
reveal the strategies and tactics of the rival chieftains.
Peers also explores the international background to many of these conflicts which had consequences for Scotland's
relations with England, Ireland and continental Europe. At the same time he considers to what extent the fighting
methods of the time survived into the post-medieval period.
Critique: An impressive work of meticulous scholarship that read with all the fluid narrative style of a novel, "The
Highland Battles: Warfare on Scotland's Northern Frontier in the Early Middle Ages" also features four Appendices
laying out the kinds of Scotland (844-1286), Norway (872-1280), Orkney (880-1231), the Isles and Man (1079-1265), a
three page Bibliography, and a five page Index. An inherently fascinating, skillfully written, adeptly organize, ably
presented, and extraordinarily informative read from cover to cover, "The Highland Battles: Warfare on Scotland's
Northern Frontier in the Early Middle Ages" is a core addition to community, college, and university library
Norwegian, Scottish, and English Medieval History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists for students,
academia, history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
Editorial Note: Chris Peers is a leading expert on the history of ancient and medieval warfare and has written widely on
the subject. He has contributed many articles to military history, wargaming and family history magazines, and his
major publications include Warlords of China: 700BC-AD1662, Warrior Peoples of East Africa, Soldiers of the
Dragon, The African Wars: Warriors and Soldiers of the Colonial Campaigns, Offa and the Mercian Wars: The Rise
and Fall of the First Great English Kingdom, and Genghis Khan and the Mongol War Machine.
The Military Shelf
I Somehow Survived
Klaus G. Forg, editor
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781784385453, $32.95, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: The first in a series of volumes from Greenhill Books, "I Somehow Survived: Eyewitness Accounts from
World War II", compiled and edited by Klaus G. Gorg is an extraordinary collection of true stories giving testimony to
those who survived World War II. Based on interviews with numerous veterans from across the spectrum of wartime
experience, "I Somehow Survived: Eyewitness Accounts from World War II " documents and reflects upon one of the
most gruesome times in history.
From anti-partisan warfare in the French mountains and atrocities in East Prussia to the experience of a Norwegian
concentration camp, the accounts include rarely heard stories from a range of people caught up in the war. With the
distance of time, these survivors have been able to offer new perspectives on their experiences and expose truths they
would not have dared admit several decades ago.
German Army officers reveal their role in the Vercors and Kiev massacres. A Luftwaffe officer-applicant who never
flew describes service on the ground. And a Norwegian woman writes of marrying a German Kriegsmarine while her
mother was in a Norwegian concentration camp for political activity and her father was in hiding from the Gestapo. "I
have no objection to your marrying him," her father told her, "I just want them to give us our country back."
Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, and enhanced with the occasional inclusion of black/white
photographs and a Translator's Notes section, "I Somehow Survived: Eyewitness Accounts from World War II" is a
unique and extraordinary contribution to the growing library of World War II histories and biographies and
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.
Editorial Note: Klaus G. F”rg is a German publisher, photographer, journalist and radio presenter. His great passion for
photography can be seen in various illustrated books. F”rg started his career as teacher before working as product
manager and editor for different publishing companies. He went on to found five bookstores and in 1993 took over the
management of Rosenheimer Verlagshaus from his father.
Countering Hitler's Spies
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526725523, $34.95, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: When the military aspect of the Second World War is discussed, especially regarding how the war was won,
people tend to talk about Winston Churchill, D-Day, Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the Dam Busters, the
Allied bombing of German cities, Montgomery and the North Africa campaign, etc.
However, there is one aspect, rarely mentioned and never quite fully appreciated, which played a massive role in
winning the war. The Double Cross system, operated by Britain's MI5, involving capturing German spies who had been
sent to the United Kingdom and offering them the opportunity to become double agents and spy for the British against
the Germans. Most agreed, although the alternative wasn't that pleasant: refusing to become a spy would have almost
certainly resulted in death.
Spies who worked for MI5, especially those who had initially worked for the Germans, carried out sterling work which
resulted in the saving of thousands of Allied lives. The success of the D-Day landings at Normandy, for example, was
in part due to the excellent work of a double agent, who helped convince Nazi Germany that the Allied invasion of
Europe would take place across the English Channel, at Calais.
One double agent was so good at what he did that Germany awarded him the Iron Cross, while Britain made him a
Member of the British Empire (MBE).
Critique: An absolutely riveting and impressively informative read from cover to cover, "Countering Hitler's Spies:
British Military Intelligence, 1940 - 1945" by Stephen Wynn will prove to be an enduringly welcome and appreciated
addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library World War II Military History collections
and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Stephen Wynn is a retired police officer having served with Essex Police as a constable for thirty years
between 1983 and 2013. He is married to Tanya and has two sons, Luke and Ross, and a daughter, Aimee. His sons
served five tours of Afghanistan between 2008 and 2013 and both were injured. This led to the publication of his first
book, Two Sons in a Warzone - Afghanistan: The True Story of a Father's Conflict, published in October 2010. Both
Stephen's grandfathers served in and survived the First World War, one with the Royal Irish Rifles, the other in the
Mercantile Marine, whilst his father was a member of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during the Second World
The Architecture Shelf
Crossings: Dominique Coulon & Associes
c/o Actar Publishers
440 Park Avenue S, 17th FL, New York, NY 10016
9781948765312, $59.95, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: "Crossings: Dominique Coulon & Associes" takes a new look at the eclectic work of architect Dominique
Coulon in terms of his production of public buildings and illustrates the complexity of his architectural approach.
Coulon plays with context, light, and materiality to produce public places that are detailed and welcoming. The areas he
proposes affect and accompany the body. His architecture is part of a dynamic relationship, mobilizing the senses to
propose a specific universe, which may be cheerful, or dramatic. These spaces serve the public dimension of his
architecture. Of special note are the contributions of Luca Merlini, Claude Bonnet, Daniel Payot, Alexandra Pignol,
Etienne Butzbach, Richard Scoffie.
Critique: Impressively and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, as well as thoroughly 'reader friendly' in
organization and presentation, "Crossings: Dominique Coulon & Associes" is an extraordinary and invaluable
contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Architectural Studies
collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.
Shared Structures, Intimate Space: Housing in Mexico
c/o Actar Publishers
440 Park Avenue S, 17th FL, New York, NY 10016
9781945150883, $46.00, PB, 350pp
Synopsis: "Shared Structures, Intimate Space: Housing in Mexico" by Fernanda Canales questions the common tools
used to conceive and represent housing projects. This seminal study attempts to collate the discourses of different
authors in order to trace the meaning of privacy within shared structures.
The global phenomenon of massive urbanization that originated in Latin America manifested itself in Mexico at an
unseen scale and has since been a testing ground for novel housing and urban solutions. The geographic, social, and
economic diversity of Mexico constitute a prime example of the challenges inherent to meeting individual needs in an
increasingly crowded world. The drawings and essays comprise new ways of looking at theories and buildings in order
to redefine the connection between housing and the city.
The research comprising "Shared Structures, Intimate Space: Housing in Mexico" is centered in drawings of 70 housing
projects, creating a common language highlighting different attempts at reinventing the house not as isolated battles but
as part of a strategy for reimagining how we want to live. "Shared Structures, Intimate Space: Housing in Mexico"
effectively showcases the pivotal voices that have shaped major cities through housing projects and explores how
policies and ideas transform into built form, and how in turn buildings shape societies.
"Shared Structures, Intimate Space: Housing in Mexico" also showcases projects and theories from authors and
architects such as Luis Barrag n, Juan O Gorman, Mario Pani, Tatiana Bilbao, Alberto Kalach and Mauricio Rocha. It
also includes works from Christofer Alexander and Alejandro Aravena.
Critique: A seminal case study that analyzes the relationship between ideas and houses, "Shared Structures, Intimate
Space: Housing in Mexico" has a specific focus on the last 100 years of housing projects in Mexico and ranges from the
space that lies between bedrooms, to that of streets and of society itself, and from the space that first appears as a
graphic representation, to its ultimate role in defining a city. An invaluable work of meticulous and detailed scholarship
in the field of architecture and architectural history, "Shared Structures, Intimate Space: Housing in Mexico" is
specifically and unreservedly recommended for professional, college and university library Residential Architecture
History and Urban Design Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Fernanda Canales founded her practice in 2002 committed to architecture, urban design and research.
She holds a PhD degree cum laude in Architecture (ETSAM, Madrid), her Bachelor degree from the Universidad
Iberoamericana, Mexico City and her MA at the ETSAB (Barcelona). She received the Career Award and Best Young
Architect in Mexico (CAM) and was awarded fellowships by the National System of Creators and the Young Creator.
Other recognitions include: ArchDaily Building of the Year, The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture Award,
Concrete WAN Awards and IIDA Design Award. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the
world. She is author of books such as Vivienda Colectiva en Mexico (Gustavo Gili, 2017), Architecture in Mexico
1900-2010 (Arquine, 2013), Central de Arquitectura (Arquine, 2009), and coauthor of Arquitectos del Siglo XX en
Mexico (Arquine, 2017, 2011) and O Neil Ford Duograph 4: Mexico (The University of Texas at Austin, 2012). She
has been a professor of theory and urban design at the Universidad Iberoamericana and UNAM as well as a visiting
critic and invited professor abroad.
The Mathematics Shelf
Real Analysis: With Proof Strategies
Daniel W. Cunningham
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9780367549657, $99.95, HC, 281pp
Synopsis: Typically, college undergraduates see real analysis as one of the most difficult courses that a mathematics
major is required to take. The main reason for this perception is twofold:
1. Students must comprehend new abstract concepts.
2. Students must learn to deal with these concepts on a level of rigor and proof not previously encountered.
A key challenge for an instructor of real analysis is to nd a way to bridge the gap between a student's preparation and
the mathematical skills that are required to be successful in such a course. "Real Analysis: With Proof Strategies"
provides a resolution to the "bridging-the-gap problem." The book not only presents the fundamental theorems of real
analysis, but also shows the reader how to compose and produce the proofs of these theorems. The detail, rigor, and
proof strategies o ered in this textbook will be appreciated by course instructors and students alike.
Critique: "Real Analysis: With Proof Strategies" by Professor Daniel W. Cunningham explicitly shows the reader how
to produce and compose the proofs of the basic theorems in real analysis and is eminently suitable for junior or senior
undergraduates majoring in mathematics. While especially recommended for college and university library
Mathematics collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists and curriculum textbook selections that "Real
Analysis: With Proof Strategies" is also readily available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $74.99).
Editorial Note: Daniel W. Cunningham is a Professor of Mathematics at SUNY Buffalo State, a campus of the State
University of New York. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
He is also a member of the Association for Symbolic Logic, the American Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical
Association of America.
The Language Studies Shelf
Augury Is For The Birds
1570 Baskin Road, Mundelein, IL 60060
9780865168756, $15.00, PB, 57pp
Synopsis: Marcus, a young Roman boy, couldn't care less about birds or their significance, even if they convey the
divine will of Jupiter himself! He'd much rather train as a Roman soldier, just like his dad Titus. His dad, however, has
other plans: he has arranged for Marcus to learn the ins and outs of interpreting bird signs from skilled augur Lucius. As
Marcus finds, deciphering the gods' plans for the future is hard enough -- will he and his dad ever be able to come to an
understanding about his own future?
Critique: With black/white illustrations by artist/illustrator Lydia Koller and in the Latin language, "Augury Is For The
Birds" (Marcus de Avibus Discit) by Emma Vanderpool is a unique, entertaining, and effective approach for students of
Latin in which they will enjoy learning about the ancient Roman practice of augury, or bird divination. With an
informative introduction by Robert Patrick, "Augury Is For The Birds" is especially and unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, community, highschool, college, and university library Latin Studies collections and
supplemental curriculum reading lists.
The Art Shelf
The Sleeve Should Be Illegal
Michaelyn Mitchell, editor
Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9783791359908, $29.95, HC, 168pp
Synopsis: In the beautifully illustrated pages of "The Sleeve Should Be Illegal and Other Reflections on Art at the
Frick", readers will enjoy exploring the treasures of The Frick Collection as seen through the eyes of a diverse group of
contemporary writers, artists and other cultural figures ranging from George Condo, Lydia Davis and Lena Dunham, to
Abbi Jacobson and Edmund White
A cultural haven for museumgoers in New York and beyond, The Frick Collection holds masterpieces by some of the
most celebrated artists in the Western tradition (among them Bellini, Gainsborough, Goya, Rembrandt, Vermeer and
Whistler) installed in a Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue.
"The Sleeve Should Be Illegal and Other Reflections on Art at the Frick" includes 61 reflections on the Frick's
preeminent collection, with the contributors writing about an artwork that has personal significance, sharing how it has
moved, challenged, puzzled or inspired them. Each text is accompanied by an illustration of the artwork. For example,
writer Jonathan Lethem tells how he started going to the Frick as a teenager, to gaze at Hans Holbein's portraits of
Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More. Historian Simon Schama revels in Turner's Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer
Morning, which reminds him of his own childhood growing up next to the River Thames.
This engaging anthology attests to the inspirational power of art and reminds us that there is no one way to look.
Critique: Eloquently informative and a distinct pleasure to simply browse through one beautifully illustrated page at a
time, "The Sleeve Should Be Illegal and Other Reflections on Art at the Frick" is an extraordinary and erudite collection
of commentaries that is a 'must' for all dedicated art enthusiasts -- and an enduringly popular addition to personal,
professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections and supplemental curriculum studies
Jane Culp, author
Susan Hallsten McGarry, editor
University of New Mexico Press
MSC05 3185, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9781934491737, $45.00, HC, 144pp
Synopsis: Jane Culp's muscular paintings and drawings make palpable the rush she feels when on location interacting
with nature. From her modernist perspective she conveys a powerful sense of the moment using surface tension and
"I'm interested in the life and language of form," she explains. "How form talks as it goes into space, how light and
distance swallow and selectively magnify the forms, how a rhythmic movement in space releases forms that change
direction, split, bulge, and fall back into space."
Working in harsh weather conditions that force her to strap her easel to her knees, Culp explores wilderness terrain
along the spine of the Sierra Nevada, transporting viewers from her home base north of the Anza-Borrego Desert,
through Joshua Tree and Death Valley national parks, up to Tioga Pass, and into Yosemite Valley.
Critique: The profusely and beautifully reproduced paintings comprising "Jane Culp: Echoes of the San Andreas:
Paintings and Drawings" perfectly showcase the impressive artistic talents of an American artist. With informative
commentary by Stanely Lewis, Larry Groff, and others, "Jane Culp: Echoes of the San Andreas: Paintings and
Drawings" is especially and forthrightly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university
library Contemporary American Art History collections in general, and Jane Culp supplemental studies lists in
Editorial Note: Jane Culp's journey as an artist began in St. Louis, Missouri, and segued through Yale University when
the reign of abstract expressionism yielded to pop art. By the mid-1980s she was dividing her time between New York,
San Francisco, and Southern California. Married to New York painter and critic Louis Finkelstein, Culp lived most of
the year in Manhattan and summered near the Delaware Water Gap, where they both painted the surrounding landscape.
In 2009, after Finkelstein died, Culp moved full-time to an off-grid cabin and studio she built on sixty acres of
California high desert that she has transformed into a sanctuary for birds and animals. She has a website at:
A Like Vision: The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson
Ian Dejardin, editor
Sarah Milroy, editor
Goose Lane Editions
9781773102054, $60.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Thomas John Thomson (August 5, 1877 - July 8, 1917) was a Canadian artist active in the early 20th century.
During his short career he produced roughly 400 oil sketches on small wood panels along with around 50 larger works
on canvas. His works consist almost entirely of landscapes depicting trees, skies, lakes, and rivers. His paintings use
broad brush strokes and a liberal application of paint to capture the beauty and colour of the Ontario landscape.
Thomson's accidental death at 39 by drowning came shortly before the founding of the Group of Seven and is seen as a
tragedy for Canadian art. (Wikipedia)
Collaboratively compiled and deftly co-edited by the team of Ian Dejardin (art historian and executive director of the
McMichael Canadian Art Collection) and Sarah Milroy (Chief Curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection), "A
Like Vision: The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson" is a lavish celebration of the legacy of Tom Thomson and the
Group of Seven, Canada's canonical landscape painters. The Group's depiction of the rugged beauty of the Canadian
landscape ranging from the coastal mountains of British Columbia, to the north shore of Lake Superior, the villages of
rural Quebec, to the rocky, windswept coves of Newfoundland, and charged Canadians to experience their country in a
bold new light and changed the face of Canadian art forever. Through their vigorous and expressive painterly style and
vibrant colours, the Group of Seven significantly contributed to Canada's sense of autonomy and identity as a modern
state in the aftermath of the First World War.
Featuring three hundred full-color images, "A Like Vision" includes a lead essay by Ian A.C. Dejardin, Executive
Director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and contributions by a host of artists, curators, and writers. Among
them are Indigenous art historian and curator Gerald McMaster, filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, novelists David
Macfarlane and Jane Urquhart, painters John Hartman and Robert Houle, and Inuk writer Tarralik Duffy. One hundred
years on from the Group's first exhibition in 1920, A Like Vision is both a chance to review the Group's legacy and a
tribute to these giants of Canadian art and culture.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "A Like Vision: The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson" is the perfect
introduction to an American readership one of Canada's premier artists whose artistic influence was as substantial as his
life and career were so soon and tragically over. Exceptionally informative as a collective enterprise expertly
showcasing the life and art of Tom Thomson, "A Like Vision" is forthrightly recommended for personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and Tom Thomson supplemental studies
reading lists in particular.
The Environmental Studies Shelf
Saving America's Amazon
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
9781588383389, $35.00, HC, 200pp
Synopsis: The most diverse forests and aquatic systems in our nation is to be found in the state of Alabama. Described
as America's Amazon, Alabama has more species per square mile than any other state. Its rivers are home to more
species of fish, crayfish, salamanders, mussels, snails, and turtles than any other aquatic system in North America. And
the contest isn't even close.
California, for instance, has nine species of crayfish, while Alabama has eighty-four. The Colorado River system, which
drains seven Southwestern states, is home to 26 species of fish, while Alabama's rivers are home to 350 species. But the
wild places of the state are also under siege.
Alabama has suffered more aquatic extinctions than any other state. In fact, nearly half of all extinctions in the United
States since the 1800s happened in Alabama, which has been logged, mined, and poisoned by a succession of
"Saving America's Amazon" by Ben Raines is compelling portrait of the rough history of Alabama's rivers and the lands
they flow through, Raines makes a case that more has been lost in Alabama than any other state thanks to the
destructive hand of man. The version of Alabama that exists in the mind of the public (lynchings and fire hoses, cotton
fields and steel mills) all come from things that have been done to Alabama, and has for too long overshadowed the
stunning natural splendor of the place.
"Saving America's Amazon" highlights this other Alabama, a wild place of incredible diversity, of ancient gardens and
modern Edens. The ascendant view among scientists today is that Alabama's wild places should be treasured and
protected as one of the richest and most diverse regions on the globe, an internationally important "biodiversity
But that is not what is happening on the ground in Alabama, which spends less on environmental protection than any
other state. Instead, the constant stream of newly discovered species struggles to keep pace with the number of creatures
being declared forever lost. The time of reckoning is here for the people of Alabama, who must decide whether their
state will wear the crown for being the most diverse place on the continent, or the crown for the place with the most
One thing is certain, Alabama cannot lay claim to both crowns forever.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout in full color, "Saving America's Amazon" is an extraordinary
and remarkable informative environmental history and will prove to be a welcome and clarion call to environmental
conservation, preservation, and restoration. Exceptional and ultimately inspiring, "Saving America's Amazon" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Environmental Studies collections and should be on the personal reading lists of every Alabama state government
The Photography Shelf
The Perfect Shot
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781838690434, $35.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Revealing the best of Lonely Planet's travel photography from across the globe, "The Perfect Shot" is a full
color pictorial volume that does more than merely display beautiful photographs of classic scenes and locations. The
featured Lonely Planet photographers, in their words, share the back stories of how they got the perfect shot, making
this an inspirational and illuminating photography book for every kind of traveler with a camera.
Showcasing more than 200 photographs from renowned photographers such as Philip Lee Harvey and Jonathan
Gregson, readers will discover the stories behind what makes a good photo and exactly how each photograph was
taken. From off-the-map locations barely touched by tourism, to iconic cityscapes and UNESCO World Heritage Sites,
readers will be transported on a photographic journey all around the world.
Critique: An armchair travelers' true delight to browse through one page at a time, "The Perfect Shot" will have
immense appeal and value for aspiring photographers and inspire camera equipt travelers anywhere and everywhere
around the world. Simply stated, "The Perfect Shot" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal,
professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Photography collections.
The Economic Studies Shelf
Freedom From the Market
The New Press
120 Wall Street, floor 31, New York, NY 10005
9781620975374, $25.99, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Health insurance, student loan debt, retirement security, child care, work-life balance, access to home
ownership -- these are the issues driving America's current political debates. And they are all linked, as revealed by a
single question: Should we allow the free market to determine our lives?
In the pages of "Freedom From the Market: America's Fight to Liberate Itself from the Grip of the Invisible Hand"
noted economic commentator Mike Konczal answers this question with a resounding no. "Freedom from the Market"
blends passionate political argument and a bold new take on American history to reveal that, from the earliest days of
the republic, Americans have defined freedom as what we keep free from the control of the market. With chapters on
the history of the Homestead Act and land ownership, the eight-hour work day and free time, social insurance and
Social Security, World War II day cares, Medicare and desegregation, free public colleges, intellectual property, and the
public corporation, Konczal shows how citizens have fought to ensure that everyone has access to the conditions that
make us free.
At a time when millions of Americans (and more and more politicians) are questioning the unregulated free market,
"Freedom from the Market" offers a new narrative, and new intellectual ammunition, for the fight that lies ahead.
Critique: An invaluable, thoughtful and thought-provoking contribution to the national dialogue brought about by the
pandemic driven economic hardships currently experienced by the American public, "Freedom From the Market:
America's Fight to Liberate Itself from the Grip of the Invisible Hand" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a
twenty-four page Bibliography, twenty-two pages of Notes, and an eight page Index. Very highly recommended for
community, college, and university library Contemporary Economics collections and supplemental curriculum studies
lists, it should be noted for students, academia, political activists, governmental policy makers, and the non-specialist
general reader with an interest in the subject that "Freedom From the Market: America's Fight to Liberate Itself from the
Grip of the Invisible Hand" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.33).
Editorial Note: Mike Konczal is a director at the Roosevelt Institute, where he focuses on economics, inequality, and
the role of public power in a democracy. He is a co-author, with Joseph Stiglitz, of Rewriting the Rules of the American
Economy. Described as having "a cult following among progressives" by the New York Times Magazine, his writing
has been featured in the Washington Post, Vox, Dissent, and The Nation. He is a sought-after commentator on the U.S.
economy and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, All Things Considered, Planet Money, and Lovett or Leave It.
The Political Science Shelf
How We Vote: Innovation in American Elections
Kathleen Hale & Mitchell Brown
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781626167780, $34.95, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: The idea of voting in a democratic society is simple, but the administration of elections in ways that ensure
access and integrity is complex. In "How We Vote: Innovation in American Elections", Kathleen Hale and Mitchell
Brown collaboratively explore how election officials work, how ballots are cast and counted, and how jurisdictions try
to innovate while also protecting the security of the voting process.
Election officials must work in a difficult intergovernmental environment of constant change and intense partisanship.
Voting practices and funding vary from state to state, and multiple government agencies, the judicial system, voting
equipment vendors, nonprofit groups, and citizen activists also influence practices and limit change. Despite real
challenges and pessimistic media assessments, Hale and Brown demonstrate that election officials are largely successful
in their work to facilitate, protect, and evolve the voting process.
Using original data gathered from state and local election officials and policymakers across the United States, Hale and
Brown analyze innovations in voter registration, voting options, voter convenience, support for voting in languages
other than English, the integrity of the voting process, and voting system technology. The result is a fascinating picture
of how we vote now and will vote in the future.
Critique: Incredibly timely in view of the scandalous attempts by Donald Trump and his supporters to corrupt the
American voting process and results in order to hold on to presidential power in a manner unique with respect to the
past 200+ years of American democracy, "How We Vote: Innovation in American Elections" deserves as wide a
readership as is possible. While an essential and core addition to community, college, and university library
Contemporary Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, governmental officer holders, and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject that "How We Vote: Innovation in American Elections" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $30.99).
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Liberating Yourself from Lyme, second edition
Vir McCoy & Kara Zahl
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644111550, $18.99, PB, 288pp
Synopsis: Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks. The most
common sign of infection is an expanding red rash, known as erythema migrans, that appears at the site of the tick bite
about a week after it occurred. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful. Approximately 70 - 80% of infected
people develop a rash. Other early symptoms may include fever, headache and tiredness. If untreated, symptoms may
include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or
heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur.
Occasionally, people develop shooting pains or tingling in their arms and legs. Despite appropriate treatment, about 10
to 20% of people develop joint pains, memory problems, and tiredness for at least six months. (Wikipedia)
For some people, recovering from a Lyme disease infection can become an endless battle with physical, mental, and
neurological symptoms, especially if it's not diagnosed early. After they both contracted Lyme in 2001, Vir McCoy and
Kara Zahl embarked on standard antibiotic protocols. Soon they both began to have intuitive or sensory impressions
about specific remedies their bodies needed, the nature of the disease, and why they were chronically ill. Backing up
their intuitive impressions with scientific evidence, they developed a protocol that brought them each a full recovery
after nearly 10 years battling chronic Lyme.
Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Liberating Yourself from Lyme: An Integrative and Intuitive
Guide to Healing Lyme Disease" provides a medically intuitive approach to Lyme in which McCoy and Zahl share their
personal Lyme journeys and their integrative healing protocol that bridges the scientific and the spiritual. They explore
the peculiarities of Lyme disease, including how Lyme is often misdiagnosed, giving it time to establish itself deep
within the body's organs and nervous system, and examine in detail new and standard remedies, with thorough
They also share the spiritual/psychological strategies they successfully employed against Lyme and its coinfections and
explain how to increase your sensitivity to what your body is telling you to discover natural remedies and healing
actions unique to your individual symptoms. Outlining a program of herbs, diet, and exercise that can work in tandem
with traditional Lyme treatments, they also explore how to help the body get rid of this pathogen that possesses an
incredible ability to adapt to various treatments and thwart their effectiveness.
Expanding beyond Lyme, McCoy and Zahl offer self-help meditations to help you heal on a deeper level and explain
how to access the "holographic medicine chest" to draw on for stronger immunity, energetic healing, and support at any
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' and comprehensively informative in organization and presentation, this new
edition of "Liberating Yourself from Lyme: An Integrative and Intuitive Guide to Healing Lyme Disease" should be a
part of every community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collection. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of health care professionals and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Liberating Yourself from Lyme: An Integrative and Intuitive Guide to Healing Lyme Disease" is also readily available
in a digital book format (eTextbook, $12.99).
Editorial Note #1: Vir McCoy is a teacher, healer, author, lecturer, musician, and ecologist who works both as a
bodywork healer and as a field biologist and botanist focusing on endangered species.
Editorial Note #2: Kara Zahl is a healing arts practitioner, yoga instructor, and intuitive counselor with a bodywork
practice combining massage and energy work modalities.
The Poetry Shelf
The Poetry of Capital: Voices from Twenty-First-Century America
Benjamin S. Grossberg, & Clare Rossini, editors
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299330446, $22.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: What do we talk about when we talk about money? As the forty-four poet contributors to "The Poetry of
Capital: Voices from Twenty-First-Century America" shows that the answer is everything. From the impact of global
economic crises to local tag sales, from the subversive effects of dark money on politics to the freedom granted by a
summer job, from sweatshops where our clothes are produced to the malls where they are sold, this volume gets to the
heart of Americans' relationships to capital as only poetry can.
Expertly compiled and co-edited by Benjamin S. Grossberg and Clare Rossini, "The Poetry of Capital" is comprised of
poems reflecting the broad themes of labor, history and economic forces, social equity, and the environment. In
addition, each poet was asked to provide a brief prose comment to introduce their work. Some give broad statements on
the nature of wealth in America today; others are intimate, offering insight into how life experiences inform their
writing; still others reflect on the art of poetry itself and its unique power to speak to economic pressures of the
The roster of contributors to "The Poetry of Capital" include Mary Jo Bang, Xochiquetzal Candelaria, Alan Chazaro,
Mark Doty, Denise Duhamel, Tony Hoagland, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorianne Laux, Kimiko Hahn, Sharon Olds,
George Perreault, Robert Pinsky, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Afaa Michael Weaver, David Wojahn, and others.
Critique: Nicely illustrated with black/white photographs of each poet contributor, "The Poetry of Capital: Voices from
Twenty-First-Century America" is a unique volume of poetry with a singular and collective purpose -- to examine the
role of economic capitalism in the lives of people and the conduct of nations. A unique and inherently fascinating read,
"The Poetry of Capital" will prove to be a valued and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, professional,
community, college, and university library collections.
Editorial Note #1: Benjamin S. Grossberg is the director of creative writing at the University of Hartford. His books
include Space Traveler and Sweet Core Orchard, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. His latest collection is My
Editorial Note #2: Clare Rossini is an artist-in-residence at Trinity College, where she teaches classes in literature and
creative writing and directs a program that places Trinity students in core-city public school classrooms. Her books
include Lingo, Winter Morning with Crow, and Selections from the Claudia Poems.
The Magpie and the Child
Wake Forest University Press
PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
9781930630956, $13.95, PB, 112pp
Synopsis: In the pages of "The Magpie and the Child", author and poet Catriona Clutterbuck tells a compelling story of
great loss, love, and learning. The first half of the volume starts from the days before the poetic journey, in a sort of
pre-exploration of events before they were events, moving to and through the death of her child Emily at almost eleven
years old from an unsuspected heart condition. The poems speak, lament, and sing among the metaphors and religious
resonances that such mourning must inspire.
The thieving magpie of the prefatory title poem pecks at its own image in the glass while the poet daubs the hope of
intervening blood on the "trembling lintel of faith." The volume is filled with self-examination, suffering, remembered
conversations with the living child, and very real ones with the dead, each of which record the steps of the emotional
The second half of "The Magpie and the Child" is an extended sequence taking the form of a fragmented diary, one that
captures the pain of loss in a skeptical age yet insists on the ritual compensation of belief. In the rigors of its form, the
depth of its despair, and the necessary belief in the meaning of its artistic act, Clutterbuck's poetry carefully and
beautifully maintains this very delicate balance.
Critique: An absorbing, eloquent, deftly crafted, thoughtful and thought provoking read, "The Magpie and the Child" is
an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and
university library Contemporary Literary and American Poetry collections.
Editorial Note: Born in 1964, Catriona Clutterbuck grew up in a farming family in County Tipperary, close to the area
where she now lives. She worked as a primary school teacher from the mid-1980s to the early '90s, before completing
postgraduate studies in the University of Oxford. Her poems have been published in Boyne Berries; Crannog; Cyphers;
Oxford Poetry; Poetry Ireland Review; Staying Human: New Poems for Staying Alive (edited by Neil Astley,
Bloodaxe, 2020); The Blue Nib; The Honest Ulsterman; Oxford Poets 2007: An Anthology (edited by David
Constantine and Bernard O'Donoghue, Carcanet, 2007); The Kilkenny Anthology (edited by MacDara Woods, 1991);
The May Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge Poetry (edited by Seamus Heaney, 1993); The Steeple; Windows
Authors and Artist Introductions Series (edited by Heather Brett, 1994); and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Ghosts in my
Heels (South Tipperary Arts Centre and Start magazine), was published in 2005. She was the winner of the 1995
Richard Ellmann Prize (in association with Oxford Poetry) and her work was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions
Readings in 2006. She teaches Irish literature at University College Dublin.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
Site design by Williams Writing, Editing &