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

Library Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 7 July 2013 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Economic Studies Shelf Political Science Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Photography Shelf Education Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Military Shelf
Biography Shelf Civil War Shelf Native American Studies Shelf
Computer Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf Genealogy Shelf
Judicial Studies Shelf Botany Shelf Literary Studies Shelf
Poetry Shelf Mythology Shelf Library Science Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Art Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Language Studies Shelf International Studies Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The African
J.M.G. Le Clezio, author
C. Dickson, translator
David R. Godine, Publisher
PO Box 450
Jaffrey, NH 03452
9781567924602 $22.95

Skillfully translated from the original French by C. Dickson, The African is the memoir of J.M.G. Le Clezio, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature. Le Clezio recounts how, in 1948, he and his mother left behind Europe (which was still reeling from the aftershocks of war) to rejoin his father, a military doctor in Nigeria. Adapting to his new life in Nigeria, Le Clezio enjoyed the breathtaking freedom and beauty of the African savannah, yet struggled to connect with his authoritarian and rigidly formal father, whom he'd met only once before. The African is a story of complex human beings, driven by their beliefs and perceptions. The final chapters also touch upon the horrifying war and genocide that swept Nigeria in 1968 (Le Clezio lived in Mexico at the time). A unique story about the bond between father and son, The African is unforgettable and a welcome addition to public and college library literary memoir collections.

The Economic Studies Shelf

Geographies of the Super-Rich
Iain Hay, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court
Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9780857935687 $120.00

Geographies of the Super-Rich is an anthology of twelve scholarly essays by various international scholars, examining the rise of the super-rich - the minuscule percentage of the world's population who control roughly two-thirds of the global GDP. Although the text is academic, most contributors avoid an excess of higher mathematics or technical jargon in their point-by-point analyses and insights. What are the geographical patterns of the super-rich, and how do they shape economics and history in today's new Gilded Age? Individual essays include "Overseeing the fortunes of the global super-rich: the nature of private wealth management in London's financial district", "The homes of the super-rich: multiple residences, hyper-mobility and decoupling of prime residential housing in global cities", "Making art history - wealthy private collectors and contemporary visual art", "Islanders, immigrants and millionaires: the dynamics of upper-class segregation in St Barts, French West Indies" and much more. "The very wealthy can, in the right circumstances, shift the agenda of political discourse. In a political system like the US where there are no real limits on campaign contributions and a very expensive and constant cycle of campaigns, the very rich through bankrolling candidates and funding campaigns have great political power in electing politicians and influencing the tenor of the political debate. While voters exercise political choice the very rich wield political power." Geographies of the Super-Rich is an absolute must-have for college library economic studies shelves, and highly recommended for public library collections as well.

The Political Science Shelf

The System Of Liberty
George H. Smith
Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013-2473
9780521182096, $29.99,

Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology that emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. It shares a number of beliefs with other belief systems belonging to liberalism, advocating civil liberties and political freedom, limited government, rule of law, and belief in free market. Classical liberalism is built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, such as selected ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo, stressing the belief in free market and natural law, utilitarianism, and progress. Classical liberals were more suspicious than conservatives of all but the most minimal government and, adopting Thomas Hobbes's theory of government, they believed government had been created by individuals to protect themselves from one another. In the past few decades of the 20th Century, the political term 'liberalism' which was once promoted and lauded on the national scene has become defamed and denounced. That's one reason why "The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" by George Hamilton Smith (American author, editor, educator, speaker, independent scholar, and columnist for the Cato Institute), is a welcome historical overview into the political philosophy known as 'classical liberalism'. Also available in a Kindle edition ($16.46) and a hard cover format ($76.50), "The System Of Liberty is a highly recommended addition to community and academic library Political Science reference collections, and should be considered significant and critically important reading for collegiate level political science students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in political philosophy.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

How to Write Better Resumes and Cover Letters, third edition
Patricia K. Criscito, CPRW
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438001470 $16.99

Now in an updated third edition, How to Write Better Resumes and Cover Letters is a no-nonsense, twelve-step approach to crafting a polished, professional resume. Author and career advisor Patricia K. Criscito teaches the reader the basics of using word processing software to give one's resume panache; how to organize one's career information; how to make a resume easy-to-read and Internet-friendly; the value of using "power verbs"; and much more. "Without the right keywords, your resume will float in cyberspace forever, waiting for a hiring manager to find it... Remember, your keywords are the specific terminology used in your job that reflect your experience and skills. For instance, 'operating room' and 'ICU' immediately classify the experience of a nurse, but 'pediatric ICU' narrows it down even further." Accessible and user-friendly, How to Write Better Resumes and Cover Letters is worthy of the highest recommendation for everyone in today's chaotic and competitive job market.

The Photography Shelf

Photography Q&A
Zack Arias
New Riders
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321929501, $29.99,

In "Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers", editorial and commercial photographer Zack Arias draws upon his many years of experience and expertise in the photography industry to produce a 312 page compendium of commentary and instruction for the practical benefit of the novice and amateur photographer while having an immense value for even the more experienced and professional photographer. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Photography Q&A" is as informed and informative as it is 'user friendly'. Of special note is what Arias has to offer with 'How do I sell stuff that people don't buy?' and 'Basic checklist for permanent studio space'. Enhanced with the inclusion of worksheets and a comprehensive index, "Photography Q&A" is a very highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library photography reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Images of War: Armoured Warfare in Northwest Europe 1944-1945
Anthony Tucker-Jones
Pen & Sword Books Limited
9781781591758 $24.95

Part of author Anthony Tucker-Jones' series of photographic military histories, Images of War: Armoured Warfare in Northwest Europe 1944-1945 is a repository of rare, black-and-white photographs from World War II archives. Complementing the images is a detailed narrative text placing the pictures in full historical context, including armored engagements atthe D-Day landings, Operation Goodwood, the Rhine crossing, in the Reichswald and more. A treasure trove of visual military history, Images of War: Armoured Warfare in Northwest Europe 1944-1945 is an excellent addition to reference and college library collections.

People Apart: 1950's Cape Town Revisited
Darren Newbury, author
Photographs by Bryan Heseltine
Black Dog Publishing
10a Acton Street
London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781907317859 $29.95

People Apart: 1950's Cape Town Revisited is a rich repository of previously unpublished black-and-white photographs of South Africa at the beginning of the apartheid era. South African-born, English-educated photographer Bryan Heseltine captured images revealing the social and cultural life of Cape Town, and also express emergent anti-apartheid sentiments. The text by Darren Newbury grounds Heseltine's photographs in an extensive historical background and contemporary context. Some of the images show survival in poverty conditions; others offer glimpses into the day-to-day life of ordinary citizens. People Apart: 1950's Cape Town Revisited is not only a visual history, but speaks to the possible future, and is highly recommended especially for public and college library photography collections.

The Conquest of Everest
George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500544235 $39.95

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the first ascent to the peak of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, The Conquest of Everest: Original Photographs from the Legendary First Ascent is an eye-catching coffee table book filled with black-and-white photographs and other archival material from the George Lowe collection, some of which has never previously been published. The text retells the story of the milestone ascent from the point of view of author George Lowe, the New Zealand mountaineer, photographer, and filmmaker who was part of the 1953 British Everest expedition. Chapters also feature contributions from many other notable mountaineers and explorers, and offer harrowing true stories of pre- and post-1953 attempts to scale Mount Everest. The Conquest of Everest is a historic turning point in mountain climbing history captured on the printed page, highly recommended.

The Education Shelf

Think It, Show It Science
Gregory A. Denman
Shell Education
5301 Oceanus Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92649-1030
9781425810535, $39.99,

It's not enough to teach student the facts and processes of science, it is equally important to teach students how to effective write and communicate those facts, processes and results. In "Think It, Show It Science: Strategies for Demonstrating Knowledge", Gregory A. Denman draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as an instructor at Lesley University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to create a 176 page manual of instructive lessons specifically designed to enable student to accurately and informatively write and record their scientific thinking. This highly educational compendium features practical, 'user friendly', strategies that will significantly aid students to explain and write about their ideas and scientific content knowledge in either a classroom or a laboratory setting. Enhanced with the inclusion of rubrics, mentor texts, and student examples, "Think It, Show It Science: Strategies for Demonstrating Knowledge" is an ideal and highly recommended curriculum supplement for teachers charged with the responsibility for instructing students with respect to any and all of the sciences.

Teacher Evaluation That Makes A Difference
Robert J. Marzano and Michael D. Toth
Publicity Department
1703 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416615736 $28.95

Educational experts and researchers Robert J. Marzano and Michael D. Toth present Teacher Evaluation That Makes A Difference: A New Model for Teacher Growth and Student Achievement, a practical-minded guide to their model for improving the art and science of teacher evaluation, with the goal of helping educators improve. Chapters cover standards, rubrics, and methodologies; step-by-step guidelines for implementing the suggested model; how to create coaching programs for the teachers who need them; ideas for taking advantage of the latest technologies to facilitate teacher collaboration; and more. "One way to counteract this tendency toward score inflation [when evaluating teachers] is to use different standards for different levels of experience - that is, holding teachers in the early stages of their careers to different criteria than those in the later stages. In this way, even relatively inexperienced teachers could be assigned high scores, since in their cases the criteria for those scores would be less stringent than those applied to more experienced teachers." Teacher Evaluation That Makes A Difference is a valuable, hands-on reference and resource for principals and educators confronting real-world challenges, and highly recommended.

The Almanac Of American Education 2013
Deirdre A. Gaquin & Gwenavere W. Dunn, editors
Bernan Press
4611-F Assembly Drive
Lanham, MD 20706-4391
9781598886016, $79.00,

Collaboratively edited by Deirdre A. Gaquin and Gwenavere W. Dunn, this seventh edition of "The Almanac Of American Education 2013" is a 578 page compendium of contemporary statistical data on American education systems at the county, state, and national levels. This expanded seventh edition for 2013 includes new data such as the percentage of high school and college graduates in the population, and enrollment status by age and by level of education. From determining nationwide trends in earnings by educational attainment levels; to earnings gaps between high school graduates and college graduates; to ranking the states accordingly to teacher salaries; to comparing student poverty rates and county-level expenditures per students; to free lunch eligibility, "The Almanac Of American Education 2013" will prove to be an invaluable, indispensable, and reliable resource and reference and highly recommended for professional, governmental, NGO, academic, and community library Educational Studies collections.

The American History Shelf

Why We Fight
Nancy Beck Young
University Press of Kansas
2501 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66049
9780700619177 $39.95

Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II is a close examination of the bitter political battles fought among members of America's Congress during the era in which history claims that going to war united the nation. Of particular interest is the key role that moderates played; Why We Fight advocates that it was the moderates, not the conservatives, who would ultimately drive crucial policy debates, with repercussions that would echo for the next twenty-five years. Amid today's bitterly divided and partisan American politics, Why We Fight is an extremely valuable window into the lessons learned from political machinations of the past. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library American History shelves.

Manners and Southern History
Ted Ownby, editor
University Press of Mississippi
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
9781617030406, $30.00,

Pretty much all that most people know about the manners and etiquette of the antebellum South is what they've seen in movies or read in romance novels. Drawn from contributions to the Chancellor Porter L. Fortune Symposium in Southern History Series, and compiled by Ted Owney (History & Southern Studies, University of Mississippi), "Manners and Southern History" is a 186 page compendium comprised of eight seminal and erudite essays by experts in the cultural history of the American south. Of special note is Joseph Crespino's "Civilities and Civil Rights in Mississippi". Also available in both a hardcover ($47.50) and a Kindle edition ($16.50), informed and informative, "Manners and Southern History" is a body of impressive scholarship and highly recommended for academic library American History reference collections and to the non-specialist general reader with an interest in pre-Civil War southern culture and society.

The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati
Donald C. O'Brien
Ohio University Press
The Ridges, Building 19
Athens, OH 45701
9780821420140 $39.95

Illustrated with color images of vintage engravings throughout (some of the engravings were originally black-and-white; others were highlighted with color, an extraordinary feat for the time), The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati: With a Brief Account of the Beginning of the Lithographic Trade is a thoughtful study of how the engraving industry advanced the growth of Cincinnati in the nineteenth century. Chapters cover the works of early engravers, engraving company Doolittle & Munson, the evolution of banknote engraving, the popular publication "Ladies' Repository", the wood-engraving trade, and the origins of the lithographic trade. An index rounds out this excellent and finely detailed history, presenting a professional artisan legacy in accessible, user-friendly terms.

The World History Shelf

Matamoros and the Texas Revolution
Craig H. Roell
Texas State Historical Association
1155 Union Circle #311580
Denton, TX 76203-5017
9780876112601 $15.95

Matamoros and the Texas Revolution shines light on a lesser-known event of the Texas Revolution - the controversial attempt of an American volunteer army to capture the Mexican port city of Matamoros. The campaign was divisive, and ended in a complete debacle; Mexican General Jose de Urrea successfully united his fellow Mexicans and soundly defeated the American invaders. Thus Matamoros remained a part of Mexico; and the spirit of independence remains strong in Mexico's northern borderlands to the present day. Extensive notes and an index round out this scholarly scrutiny, highly recommended especially for college library history shelves.

Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages
Larissa Tracy, editor
D. S. Brewer
c/o Boydell & Brewer Inc
668 Mount Hope Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620-2731
9781843843511, $99.00,

Castration (also known as neutering) is any action, surgical, chemical or otherwise, by which a biological male loses use of the testes (orchiectomy). This causes sterilization, i.e. prevents them from reproducing; it also greatly reduces the production of certain hormones, such as testosterone. A castrato (Italian, plural: castrati) is a type of classical male singing voice equivalent to that of a soprano, mezzo-soprano, or contralto. The voice is produced by castration of the singer before puberty, or it occurs in one who, due to an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. Castration and castrati have always been facets of western culture, from myth and legend to law and theology, from eunuchs guarding harems to the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century castrati singers. Compiled and edited by Larissa Tracy (Associate Professor of Medieval Literature, Longwood University), "Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages" is a 365 page compendium comprised of fourteen scholarly articles focusing on the implications of the literal act of castration as recorded in historical accounts, as well as its use in Medieval literature. Of special note is the concluding article 'The Dismemberment of Will: Early Modern Fear of Castration' by Karin Sellberg and Lena Wanngren. Enhanced with the inclusion of a 30 page bibliography and a comprehensive index, "Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages" is highly recommended for academic library Medieval Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Military Shelf

The Battle of Midway
Thomas C. Hone, editor
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road
Annapolis, MD 21402
9781612511269 $28.95

The Battle of Midway: The Naval Institute Guide to the U.S. Navy's Greatest Victory is an anthology of over fifty scholarly essays about the crucial Battle of Midway during World War II, widely considered to be one of the most important naval battles of all time. Essays discuss the approach to the battle, the battle itself, the battle's end, the commanders, and the code-breaking that may well have turned the tides of war. A handful of black-and-white photographs and charts illustrate this superb anthology, highly recommended especially for public and college library collections.

The Biography Shelf

Murder in the State Capitol
Pamela Chase Hain
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue
Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881464306 $35.00

Murder in the State Capitol: The Biography of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Augustus Alston 1832-1879 is a scholarly, in-depth profile of a truly principled man - who was also a slaveholder. In his own words, Robert Augustus Alson went to war to defend his right to own slaves. During the American Civil War, Alston served under General John Hunt Morgan, and later in command of a brigade. Alston's sense of right and wrong caused him to feel disgust at the robberies (and worse) committed by Morgan's troops; he reported Morgan to the authorities for turning a blind eye to these depredations. After the Civil War, Alston employed freedmen to farm cotton, practiced law, sold insurance, and became the editor of the "Atlanta Herald". He worked to restore the Democrats to power, but his sense of justice would ultimately be the death of him. As a state representative and chairman of the penitentiary committee, he spread word of the reprehensible conditions of convict camps leased by private companies, exposing the dark side of the convict lease system (which at its worst, was effectively a continuation of slavery). Alston was threatened and eventually murdered for his bravery and moral outrage. Even though Alston did not personally end the corrupt system, his efforts are historically regarded as the spark that led to its abolition. Murder in the State Capitol is a fascinating read from cover to cover, and proof that human morality is not so easily cast in shades of black and white. Highly recommended!

The Civil War Shelf

A Season of Slaughter
Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611211481 $12.95

Part of the "Emerging Civil War Series", A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House May 8-21, 1864 is an in-depth examination of how General Ulysses S. Grant's determination transformed the course of a wilderness battle, and ultimately the outcome of the American Civil War. Unlike his predecessors, the newly promoted Union commander had the will to use the North's advantage of superior numbers, relentlessly pressing General Lee regardless of setbacks. In this way, the battle of Spotsylvania became a brutal clash in the mud, noted in history for its 22-hours of hand-to-hand combat during a torrential downpour at the Bloody Angle. Readers of all background will appreciate the vivid reconstruction of the extended and punishing battle, illustrated with black-and-white photographs and maps on virtually every page. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library Civil War collections.

The Native American Studies Shelf

I Fought A Good Fight
Sherry Robinson
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336
Denton, TX 76203-1336
9781574415063 $32.95

I Fought A Good Fight: History of the Lipan Apaches is a thoroughly researched, scholarly examination of the Lipan Apaches (one of multiple Apache groups) of the American Southwest, from the earliest archaeological evidence to the diaspora that spread surviving Lipans amid a variety of other ethnic groups across a wide geographical range. The Lipans were never a large tribe to begin with; yet for three centuries, they made their mark though fearless fighting, guerilla tactics, and savvy alliances. The held on to their freedom for generations after their most stringent enemies (particularly the Comanches) were forced onto reservations, and they ultimately never surrendered. I Fought A Good Fight is fascinating from cover to cover, and a welcome addition to public and college library Native American studies shelves.

The Computer Shelf

Cloud Computing
Thomas Erl
Prentice Hall Professional
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133387520, $49.99,

Cloud computing is a colloquial expression used to describe a variety of different computing concepts that involve a large number of computers that are connected through a real-time communication network (typically the Internet). Cloud computing is a jargon term without a commonly accepted non-ambiguous scientific or technical definition. In science, cloud computing is a synonym for distributed computing over a network and means the ability to run a program on many connected computers at the same time. The popularity of the term can be attributed to its use in marketing to sell hosted services in the sense of application service provisioning that run client server software on a remote location. The collaborative work of computer experts Thomas Erl, Ricardo Puttini, and Zaigham Mahmood, "Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture" is a 528 page instruction manual covering every aspect from fundamental concepts, to infrastructure mechanisms, to delivery model considerations. Enhanced with the inclusion of seven appendices and a comprehensive index, ""Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture" is also available in a Kindle edition ($31.19) and should be considered as a core addition to professional and academic library Computer Science reference collections.

2D Graphics Programming for Games
John Pile Jr.
CRC Press
Suite 300
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW
Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781466501898 $49.95

Ideal for self-teaching or reference, 2D Graphics Programming for Games is a straightforward guide to the programming concepts and techniques used to create attractive two-dimensional graphics in video games. The ideas can be applied to games created on a multitude of platforms, including iOS, Andriod, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation Suite. Chapters walk the reader through motion and depth, cel animation, tiling, layering, particle systems, shader, splines, and more. Enhanced with a wealth of sample code and full-color screenshots, 2D Graphics Programming for Games encourages readers to apply its lessons to sample exercises and experiment with code. Tips, tricks, and techniques abound in this "must-have" for any aspiring 2D video game creator!

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Persia Blues Volume 1: Leaving Home
Dara Naraghi & Brent Bowman
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing
New York, NY 10038
9781561637065 $12.99

Iranian-born, US-educated author Dara Naraghi and prize-nominated artist Brent Bowman present Persia Blues Volume 1: Leaving Home, a black-and-white graphic novel for readers of all ages, about a young woman searching for her place in two worlds. Minoo Shirazi is strong-willed and a talented artist, majoring in architecture as a compromise; she chafes at having to live under the oppressive, male-dominated Iranian government, where for a woman to show too much hair is literally a crime, punished severely by the morality police. Yet Minoo is also living a fantastic, sword-and-sorcery adventure in a mystic rendition of ancient Persia, where she and the man she loves battle the evil monsters of Ahriman. The art shifts significantly with the juxtaposed stories, tracing stark, simple lines to portray the modern-day world, while enhancing the fantasy world with rich shading. Minoo's complicated relationship with her father - a progressive man by Iranian standards, yet frustratingly protective and principled to a fault - adds an unforgettable touch to this unique, original, and highly recommended contribution to public library graphic novel shelves.

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant
Tony Cliff
First Second
175 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781596438132 $15.99

Opening in 1807 Constantinople (known as Istanbul today), Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is a high-spirited, full-color graphic novel about the good, the bad, and the ugly of living an adventurous life. Erdemoglu Selim is a loyal and honorable lieutenant in the Turkish Janissary Corps, whose personal passions include a lifelong love of the the finest gourmet teas. His life turns upside-down, among other directions, when he crosses paths with Delilah Dirk - an ex-noblewoman turned wandering thief, troublemaker, gadgeteer, swordmaster, acrobat, and more, determined to pay back an evil pirate captain's robbery with robbery! "'What about your royal courts and your English family? ...Or those English balls - I hear they're very extravagant.' 'They're hot, sweaty, the air stinks - candle wax, sweat, perfume - blech, and the jewelry and the fashion are all a horrible game of one-upmanship... No one says what they mean, and everyone pretends to be something they're not.'" Readers of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy this upbeat, lively and wonderful graphic novel, highly recommended especially for adventure connoisseurs and public library collections.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Honest Toddler
Bunmi Laditan, author
Kyle McCarley, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
2 Business Park Road, Unit 2
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781452613758 $34.99

The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide To Parenting is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a laugh-out-loud candid guide to the trials and travails of raising a toddler. Very much from a toddler's point of view (as penned "under the supervision" of author Bunmi Laditan), The Honest Toddler warns the listener about what to expect from aggressive playground outbursts (justice naturally comes swift, severe, and messy), the importance of unconditional love (pants optional), and lying (expect it to happen often; toddlers are just less savvy at it than adults). The Honest Toddler is an unforgettably funny, heart-touching, practical-minded and realistic portrait of hectic parenthood, highly recommended! 7 CDs, 8.5 hours.

The Library CD Shelf

George Shearing at Home
George Shearing & Don Thompson
Jazzknight Records
c/o Distribution 13
PO Box 52345
Irvine, CA 92619

George Shearing at Home is a treasure almost lost - the tapes by renowned jazz pianist George Shearing (1919-2011) and bassist Don Thompson were originally created in 1983, just for fun and the pleasure of making music, at Shearing's home. Thirty years later, Thompson found the tapes hidden in a drawer, and resolved to share them with the world. Beautiful and timeless, George Shearing at Home is a sparkling memento of the joy of music for music's sake. Highly recommended! The tracks are "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" (4:36), "A Time For Love" (2:49), "Ghoti" (5:51), "The Things We Did Last Summer" (3:02), "Laura" (4:48), "The Skye Boat Song" (4:11), "Confirmation" (5:41), "The Girl Next Door" (2:50), "Can't We Be Friends?" (2:22), "I Cover The Waterfront" (5:06), "Out Of Nowhere" (3:17), "That Old Devil Called Love" (3:07), "SubconsciousLee" (5:10), and "Beautiful Love" (3:58).

In the Gallery
Jason Seed Stringtet
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2
Bloomington, IN 47404

Composer and guitarist Jason Seed Stringtet presents In the Gallery, who applies his knowledge of jazz and chamber music to original, orchestral compositions that explore uncharted audio territory. An instrumental masterpiece that eschews formality for freedom in its celebration of stringed and acoustic instruments, In the Gallery alternately highlights solos and ensembles in its creative approach. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Invocation", "Goulash Rag", "Tangoesque" "Pictures of an Exhibitionist", "Ishtar", "Krakow", "Where the Corners Meet", "In the Right Light", "Caterpillar Kif", "One in Five", and "In the Gallery".

Dave Liebman and Michael Stephans
Whaling City Sound
1310 Tucker Road, No. Dartmouth, MA 02747
c/o Mixed Media
20 Lockmere Road, Cranston, RI 02910

Veteran jazz artist Dave Liebman and drummer Michael Stephans present Lineage, a collaborative project to deconstruct and recreate some of the greatest and most beloved pop classics. Each tune is re-imagined with new counterpoint arrangements, soulful saxophone, or other insightful and intriguing new twists that reach out to pop and jazz fans alike. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Mr. Sandman" (6:25), "Eleanor Rigby" (7:15), "Visions" (6:26), "Tequila" (4:38), "I Only Have Eyes For You" (6:41), "Walk, Don't Run" (4:40), "Woodstock" (6:05), "Wipe Out" (5:13), "Here, There and Everywhere" (3:28), and "Love Me Tender" (4:17).

The Garifuna Collective
Stonetree Records
c/o Cumbancha
413 Carpenter Road, Charlotte, VT 05445
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221
Austin, TX 78748

Ayo ("Goodbye" in the Garifuna language) is the first album that The Garifuna Collective has released since the passing of beloved performer Andy Palacio. An original and worthy celebration of the contemporary Garifuna music that Palacio loved, Ayo blends the rich cultural legacy of musical traditions with modern technical panache, and the smooth harmony of a group's unified vision. Several of the songs are direct tributes to Palacio, performed with the highest respect and fondest memories. Ayo is a tresure for multicultural music collections. The tracks are "Ayo" (2:35), "Galuma" (2:50), "Kame Bawara" (3:18), "Ubou" (3:40), "Mongulu" (3:18), "Pomona" (3:05), "Beiba Nuwari" (2:48), "Gudemei" (4:22), "Dungua" (3:12), "Aganba" (3:46), "Alagan" (3:12), and "Seremei Buguya" (4:12). Also highly recommended for fans of The Garifuna Collective's extraordinary tropical rhythms is "Danny Michel with The Garifuna Collective" ($TBA,

Walk A Mile In My Shoes
Barefoot Divas
Privately Published
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2
Bloomington, IN 47404

Walk A Mile In My Shoes is an original album by Barefoot Divas, a group of six bold women who trace their ethnic and musical heritage to Australia's, New Zealand's, and Papua New Guinea's indigenous peoples. Their collaborations draw upon the vibrance of assorted other genres as well, from acoustic to jazz, R&B, soul, even a touch of Latin rhythm. Uplifting and extraordinary, Walk A Mile In My Shoes is a choice pick for multicultural music shelves, and also highly recommended for public library CD collections. The tracks are "Te Matipiko", "Never Forget", "Fortuna", "This One Be Killa", "Lullaby", "Within These Walls", "Wahine Whakairo", "Two Minds", "Without You", "Children of Romania", "Reconnect", "Do I Belong", "Ngarraanga", and "Repeat Offender".

The Library DVD Shelf

Extreme By Design
A film by Ralph King Jr. and Michael Schwarz
Hawkview Pictures
c/o Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
1937772535 $295.00

Extreme By Design is a DVD documentary following teams of Stanford University business, engineering, and medical students on a mission. They all signed up for the Design for Extreme Affordability course, a "hands-on" educational program that challenges enrollees to improve the lives of the world's poor. Students fly across the world to Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Cambodia, where they design projects such as an IV medicine infusion pump, a ventilator to help keep babies with pneumonia alive, or a means to more effectively store drinking water collected during the rainy season. The most difficult part? Since their efforts are meant to serve the poor, the students must strive to invent the most inexpensive solutions possible! Best of all, if they succeed, their ideas might turn into startups that put theory into practice, and make the world a better place. A masterful testimony of the trials and travails of teamwork, as well as the personal calling to serve the less fortunate, Extreme By Design in an inspirational film especially recommended for public, high school, and college library DVD collections. 57 min., SDH captions.

North & South
Starring Patrick Stewart
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598289640 $39.99

Based on the classic Victorian love story by Elizabeth Gaskell, North & South is the debut U.S. DVD release of the four-episode BBC drama originally broadcast in Great Britain in 1975. Set during the Victorian era, when a changing world challenged rigid, class-based traditions, North & South follows Margaret Hale (played by Rosalind Shanks), a resourceful young woman forced to adapt from life in the slow-paced British South to the heavily industrialized and soot-laden north. At first she is leery of the strict mill owner, John Thornton (Patrick Stewart), but her perspective evolves in the wake of a worker's strike and family misfortune. At once both a powerful romance and an eye-opening portrait of Britain during the Industrial Revolution, North & South is highly recommended especially for fans of British drama - and of Patrick Stewart's legendary performances! 4 episodes on 2 DVDs, 207 min., full screen, SDH subtitles.

Joanna Lumley's Nile
Athena Learning
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781621720638 $39.99

"Absolutely Fabulous" star Joanna Lumley presents Joanna Lumley's Nile, a beautiful DVD documentary of her journey along the historic, 4000-mile Nile River from mouth to source. Her travels take her past the bustling hub of civilization that is Alexandria, to Rwandan forests, Sudanese desert, and Ethiopian highlands. On the way, Joanna befriends ship captains, crocodile hunters, nomads, Sudanese beauty queens, and more. A 16-page viewer's guide enhances this armchair traveler's delight, enthusiastically recommended especially for public library DVD collections. 4 episodes on 2 DVDs, 184 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

The Genealogy Shelf

Generations Volume I
Dr. James M. Rose
Clearfield Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260
Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806380544 $39.99

Generations Volume I: Ex-Slaves with Virginia Origins is a DVD-ROM (a PC with a DVD drive and Adobe Reader software 9.0 or later is required to view its PDF file contents) collecting the information gathered about thousands of former African-American slaves from 1937-38, as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Project Administration. It is a treasure trove of both genealogical data and primary historical testimonies, filled with information from census records, death certificates, probate records, plantation records, pictures of plantations, biographical information of slaveowners, pictures of ex-slaves, and personal accounts of daily life under slavery. The first volume focuses primarily on ex-slaves with ties to Virginia (many of whom had relocated to other states), and is enhanced with an article by and video commentary with one ex-slave's descendants. Generations Volume I and all successive installments in the series are highly recommended, especially for historical or genealogical archives.

The Judicial Studies Shelf

Father, Son, and Constitution
Alexander Wohl
University Press of Kansas
2501 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66049
9780700619160 $39.95

Former Supreme Court Judicial Fellow and "San Francisco Chronicle" Supreme Court correspondent Alexander Wohl presents Father, Son, and Constitution: How Justice Tom Clark and Attorney General Ramsey Clark Shaped American Democracy, a revealing portrait of the legal and judicial careers of father-and-son duo Thomas Campbell Clark (1899-1977) and Ramsey Clark (b. 1927). The two may perhaps be best known for making history when Tom Clark resigned his seat on the Supreme Court so as to avoid a conflict of interest when his son Ramsey Clark was nominated for the post of attorney general. This dual career biography covers Tom Clark's involvement in forcing the imprisonment and relocation of Japanese-Americans during WW II; his conservative Cold War policies; and his progressive outlook upon civil rights; Ramsey's enforcement of civil rights laws in the 1960s; his quest to expand protections of individual rights; and his efforts as a private attorney to represent clients ranging from political protestors to alleged war criminals. The legal decisions, actions, and careers of father and son are framed in the context of their impact on American history, in this excellent, thought-provoking analysis, highly recommended for public and college library judicial studies collections.

The Botany Shelf

A Celebration of Wattle
Maria Hitchcock
Rosenberg Publishing
International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97213
9781921719561 $29.95

Featuring a wealth of full-color photography throughout, A Celebration of Wattle: Australia's National Floral Emblem is a revised and greatly expanded edition of the 1991 publication "Wattle", an in-depth scrutiny of Australia's beloved flowering plant, from its natural history and propagation to its cherished role in Australian culture. Chapters present a history of Australia's Wattle Day, ideas for celebrating the holiday in schools and among community groups, and even Wattle-themed songs and poetry. A Celebration of Wattle is a treasury for botany enthusiasts and Australian patriots alike!

The Literary Studies Shelf

Fiction & Physicians
Stephen McWilliams
The Liffey Press Ltd.
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781908308269 $29.95

Fiction & Physicians: Medicine through the Eyes of Writers is a scholarly examination of the intersection between the worlds of literature and medicine. Divided into two parts, one about doctors who write fiction and one surveying fictional literature written about doctors, Fiction & Physicians re-examines classic and iconic works (including Sherlock Holmes mysteries, "Frankenstein", "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", and many more) with a keen eye, backed by thorough research in both medical and literary fields. Highly recommended, especially for college library literary studies shelves.

The Poetry Shelf

Bones Will Crow
Ko Ko Thett & James Byrne, editors
Northern Illinois University Press
2280 Bethany Road, DeKalb, IL 60115
9780875806914, $18.95,

Poetry and song have been the mainstays of oppressed peoples throughout recorded human history. Nowhere has this been more salient an observation than with the Burmese people throughout the 20th Century. Knowledgeably compiled, translated into English, and deftly edited by the team of Ko Ko Thett and James Byrne, "Bones Will Crow: An Anthology of Burmese Poetry" is a 172 page compilation that presents the poetry of men and women that have suffered exile and imprisonment by the Burmese government. Each poem is presented in both the Burmese language on one page and the English translation of that poem on the facing page. Each poet is presented with their photograph and a succinct one-page biography. Of special note is the amazing diversity of poetic styles and the universal themes expressing the human condition that western readers can readily identify with. Unique and compelling, "Bones Will Crow" is highly recommended for personal, academic, and community library poetry collections.

The Mythology Shelf

Among the Mermaids
Varla Ventura
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
665 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
9781578635450 $15.95

Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, and Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea is an anthology of classic fantasy stories and folklore vignettes about mermaids - female, half-fish sea-borne beauties alleged to lure sailors to their doom. A handful of black-and-white drawings illustrate this delightful collection of myths and trivia. Highly recommended, especially for fans of legends and fantasy as well as for public library mythology collections.

The Library Science Shelf

Envisioning Future Academic Library Services
Sue McKnight, editor
Facet Publishing
7 Ridgmount Street
London, England, WC1E 7AE
9781856046916, $105.00,

No where is technology making faster advances than in the information field -- and that especially affects community, corporate, government, and academic library systems. Compiled and deftly edited by Sue McKnight (Professor of Knowledge and Learning Management and Resources, Nottingham Trent University, UK) is a 288 page compendium comprised of twelve seminal articles by experts in the field of communications and information technology covering such issues as e-learning and social networking; institutional knowledge and information management strategies; supporting library patrons (especially students and academic staff) in virtual learning space, as well as the library and on the web; acquiring, managing, and enhancing accessible information that is outside the normal province of the traditional 'brick & board' library; and new leadership paradigms for the digital age. Erudite, informed, informative, "Envisioning Future Academic Library Services: Initiatives, Ideas and Challenges" is essential reading for anyone and everyone in the field of library and information science and an absolutely indispensable addition to professional and academic library "Library Science" reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia
Joshua Lockyer and James R. Veteto, editors
Berghahn Books
20 Jay Street, Suite 512
Brooklyn, NY 11201
9780857458797 $110.00

Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia: Bioregionalism, Permaculture, and Ecovillages is an anthology of scholarly essays by diverse and erudite authors, about the meeting point between environmental studies, anthropology, and the will to make the world a better place. How, specifically, can global communities move toward a sustainable "ecotopia", that is better able to keep human beings fed and environments preserved? Essays focus on the topics of bioregionalism (cultural and political views common to a given environmental area, which may transcend national borders), permaculture (ecological engineering with the goal of creating long-term, self-maintained agricultural systems based on natural ecosystems), and ecovillages (international communities created with the goal of being socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable). For example, one essay is about the inherent problems besetting the Ontario, Canada ecovillage named Whole Village: "Most people who came to Whole Village interested in ecovillage living but who later decided not to join explained that their decision, in part, came down to one of financial considerations. They felt they could not contribute to the community in a sufficient manner while also trying to work a full-time job." Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia is an absolutely invaluable contribution to discussions about a very real and ongoing problem - how to effectively promote long-term sustainability amid an increasing global population (over 7 billion as of this writing). Highly recommended.

The Art Shelf

Emotional Impact
April Kingsley
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25
East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
9781611860849, $29.95,

Works of art can evoke profound and diverse emotional responses within those who view them. "Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism" by April Kingsley (Emeritus Curator, Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University), is a 154 page descriptive exploration and commentary on the American Figurative Expressionism movement. Nicely enhanced with the inclusion of color photos of selected artworks, an informative introduction and afterword, selected notes on the featured artists, and a handy index, "Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism" is a seminal work of impressive scholarship and a highly recommended addition to academic library American Art History reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Philosophy Shelf

Human Rights As A Way Of Life
Alexander Lefebvre
Stanford University Press
1450 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1124
9780804785792, $24.95,

Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in local, regional, national, and international law. The doctrine of human rights in international practice, within international law, global and regional institutions, in the policies of states and in the activities of non-governmental organizations, has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world. The idea of human rights states, "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights." Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of human rights continue to provoke considerable skepticism and debates about the content, nature and justifications of human rights to this day. Indeed, the question of what is meant by a "right" is itself controversial and the subject of continued philosophical debate. "Human Rights as a Way of Life: On Bergson's Political Philosophy" by Alexander Lefebvre (Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relatons and the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney, Australia), is a 216 page compendium presenting and commenting on the French philosopher Henri Bergson and his contributions to the concept of human rights. An informed, informative, detailed, and impressive work of seminal scholarship, "Human Rights As A Way Of Life" is an important contribution and a highly recommended addition to academic library Political Philosophy reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Language Studies Shelf

Latin For The New Millennium: Latin 3
Helena Dettmer & LeaAnn A. Osburn, editors
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
1570 Baskin Road, Mundelein, IL 60060
9780865167971, $14.00,

Collaboratively compiled and deftly edited by Latin scholars Helena Dettmer and LeaAnn A. Osburn, "Latin For The New Millennium: Latin 3 - Select Latin Enrichment Readings is a 160 page compendium of supplemental readings drawn from the works of Roman authors ranging from Caesar, Catullus, and Cicero, to Horace, Ovid, and Vergil. Also included are readings drawn from baroque-era poets Lieven De Meyere and Mathias Casimir Sarbiewski. Enhanced with 'same page' notes, vocabulary aids, appendices on meter and rhetorical terms, as well as an extensive Latin to English glossary, "Latin For The New Millennium: Latin 3" is a strongly recommended curriculum supplement for Latin language studies programs.

The International Studies Shelf

Madmen At The Helm
Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Garnet Publishing
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive
Dulles, VA 20166
9781859643358, $14.95,

One of the unfortunate realities is that at one time or another the United States of America has allied itself with dictators. This is especially true of the nations comprising the Middle East. That's one reason why "Madmen at the Helm: Pathology and Politics in the Arab Spring" is a particularly informed and informative book that deserves the widest possible readership in this country. Author and political journalist Muriel Mirak-Weissbach's 164 page compendium profiles key political leaders whose once iron-clad control of their respective countries finally lost their control (and sometimes their lives) in response to the revolt of their citizenry in what has been popularly termed the 'Arab Spring'. Also available in hard cover ($37.56) and Kindle ($8.99) editions, "Madmen at the Helm: Pathology and Politics in the Arab Spring" is insightful, astute, observant, and impressively knowledgeable, and should be considered mandatory reading for anyone seeking to understand the mind-sets of the leaders of these Middle Eastern countries whose sudden downfall was completely unexpected by most western observers in such places as the American state department and oil company headquarters.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design