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Library Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 3 March 2009 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Library CD Music Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Fiction Shelf Criminology Shelf
Poetry Shelf International Studies Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Business Shelf Political Science Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Economics Shelf Parenting Shelf Gardening Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judicial Studies Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Astronomy Shelf Science Shelf Gaming Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Biography Shelf Pets/Wildife Shelf
Literary Shelf Library Science Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles
Jean Lipman with Margaret Aspinwall
Hudson Hills Press
PO Box 205, 3556 Main Street, Manchester, VT 05254
9780933920170, $24.95,

Mobiles are a quaint and unique medium of art. "Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles" is the tale of mobile artist Alexander Calder, telling his life story and how he came into the field, but mostly focusing on the man's art. Drawing from Calder's own words much of the time, "Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles" features many photographs of his work in black- and-white, as well as forty photographs in full color. An ideal guide to understanding the mobile, "Alexander Calder and His Magical Mobiles" is highly recommended.

Imagining the Future
Yuval Levin
New Atlantis Books
c/o Encounter Books
900 Broadway, Suite 601, New York, NY 10003
9781594032097, $21.95,

If there were a debate about whether water was wet, there would surely be those who would argue that it is not. "Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy" takes a look at the relationship of science and politics, focusing on such issues as global warming, stem cell research, evolution, and more. Asking many poignant questions and offering ideas that may have not been obvious to the reader, author Yuval Levin has doubts that those on the left are truly the party of science, or that those on the right are entirely waging a war on science. Suggesting that maybe the science has little to do with it, "Imagining the Future" is enlightening and fascinating reading about the influence of science on politics - or the lack thereof.

The Library CD Music Shelf

A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams
c/o Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780061714658, $17.95 1-800-242-7737

Now available for the first time on CD, A Streetcar Named Desire is the full-cast archival recording of the famous musical by Tennessee Williams, as performed by the cast at the 1973 revival at Lincoln Center (including Pulitzer Prize-winning stars Rosemary Harris and James Farentino as Blanche and Stanley). When the troubled Blanche seeks shelter in her sister Stella's New Orleans apartment, Stella's brutish husband Stanley Kowalski relentlessly strips away the lies and delusions propping up Blanche's insubstantial dreams. A modern-day theatrical classic, A Streetcar Named Desire is highly recommended for anyone who loves the musical, and for public library audio CD collections.

A Place Called Peace
Randy Granger
Dogsense Music
PO Box 1326, Fairacres, NM 88033
c/o c/o The Creative Service Company (publicity)
4360 Emerald Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Southwestern flautist Randy Granger draws on his Native American heritage (his bloodline is connected to the Chol, Athabascan, Apache, Comanche and Dogrib tribes) for inspiration in A Path Called Peace, his music CD album reflecting the timeless, land-connected nature of Southwestern life. Individual pieces are performed with an impressive variety of flutes, from a reproduction of an ancient Anasazi flute to a double-barreled flute with buffalo drum, to the Australian digeridoo. Both pieces with vocals and purely instrumental pieces are present, and individual songs range in theme from somber commiserations to the hardship the Apache endured when remnants of the tribe were forced to live a starvation existence hiding in the canyons, to the ebullient celebration of life in the title song. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Za Zee Za Zu Zing", "The Dog Star", "Chaco Moon Meditation", "Ghost Dancers", "Rio Grande Lullaby", "Apache Tears", "Double-Barrel Train Wreck", and "Ancestor's Ocean Voyage".

East Wind
Timothy Cooper
New Piano Age Music
c/o The Creative Service Company (publicity)
4360 Emerald Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

The second solo piano album by Timothy Cooper, East Wind is a roughly hour-long CD with an exotic Asian influence. A delicate and emotional listening experience, East Wind seeks to embody the essence of China's ancient history, the vibrantly hot forests and jungles of Malaysia, the delicacy classical Eastern poetry, and much more. An ultimately upbeat music album bearing a message of hope and inspiration, East Wind is highly recommended. 30 tracks, 58.7 minutes.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer, author
J.U. Nicolson, translator
Read by Martin Jarvis and a full cast
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520
9781433249716, $125.00 1-800-729-2665

At the Tabard Inn, thirty travelers from a diversity of classes and occupations are planning to make the annual pilgrimage to Becket's shrine at Canterbury. It is agreed that each traveler will tell four tales to help pass the time, and the host of the inn will reward the best storyteller with a free supper when they return. The Canterbury Tales is a sometimes bawdy, sometimes spiritual classic, skillfully translated into modern English and presented in an unabridged audiobook format. Read by Martin Jarvis and a full cast, The Canterbury Tales reveals the trials and travails of daily life in late fourteenth-century England through stories, conversations, jokes and arguments between travelers. Truly the most memorable way to experience this literary classic, The Canterbury Tales is especially recommended for public library collections. 17 CDs, 21 hours, tracks every 3 minutes for easy bookmarking.

Richard North Patterson, author
Peter Francis James, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427206091, $39.95 1-800-221-7945

Former trial lawyer Richard North Patterson presents Eclipse, a gripping, unabridged audiobook on CD about Damon Pierce, a California lawyer who responds to a plea for help from old flame Marissa Brand Okari. Marissa's husband is the leader of a freedom movement in the West African nation of Luandia; the world's insatiable thirst for oil has caused the nation to be viciously exploited by the ruthless PetroGlobal and Luandia's autocratic ruler General Savoir Karama. Bobby's home village has been massacred, while Bobby has been arrested and charged with the murder of three PetroGlobal workers. Pierce dares to brave Luandia's lethal politics to save Bobby, a case that could literally cost him his life in this nail-biting contemporary thriller. Highly recommended. 11 CDs, 14 hours.

1421: The Year China Discovered America
Gavin Menzies, author
Simon Vance, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520
9781433255106, $110.00 1-800-729-2665

Smoothly narrated by the Earphones Award-winning Simon Vance, 1421: The Year China Discovered America is the unabridged audiobook presentation of author Gavin Menzies' astonishing theory - that a Chinese expedition discovered the American continent, planted cropbs, and even established Caribbean colonies seventy years before Columbus, and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. Menzies visited 120 countries and over 900 museums and libraries in the course of his research, and has assembled a surprisingly persuasive account that suggests how China's foothold in the American continents could have been established, then lost due to the turmoil following the Emperor's fall. The sturdy library edition of this fascinating audiobook is an excellent addition to collections offering alternative viewpoints and theories concerning world history. 11 CDs, 13 hours, tracks every 3 minutes for easy bookmarking.

Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NY, NY 10025-6990
9781934033104, $28.00,

Audio books are an enduringly popular format for millions of Americans seeking to entertain themselves while driving, doing routine chores, or simply relaxing and engaging in a bit of entertainment. Symphony Space is the publisher of CD short story sets which showcase some of the best performed material every to play on our nation's public radio stations. One of their newest and best in their outstanding 'Selected Shorts' audio book series is the 3 CD collection "Whodunit? comprised of a compilation of short stories that include Dashiell Hammett's "The Creeping Siamese" performed by John Shea; "C. S. Montanye's "A Shock for the Countess" performed by Fionuula Flanagan; Ed McBain's "Improvisation" performed by Isaiah Sheffer; "Shirley Jackson's "The Summer People" performed by Rene Auberjonois; Nadine Gordimer's "Country Lovers performed by Hattie Winston; and Louise Erdrich's "Gleason" performed by Robert Sean Leonard. Flawlessly recorded, "Whodunit?" will prove to be a popular addition to personal and community library audio book collections. Also very highly recommended and a new addition to their 'Selected Shorts" series from Symphony Space is "The William Hurt Collection" (9781934033104, $28.00, 3 CDs) in which the Academy Award-winning actor William Hurt narrates the short stories "Blind Josef Pronek" by Aleksandar Hemon; "Communist" by Richard Ford; "Towel Season" by Ron Carlson; and "Nightingale" by Tobias Wolff.

Norman Corwin's The Rivalry
L.A. Theatre Works
681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
1580815693, $25.95 1-800-708-8863

An amazing dramatization of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, Norman Corwin's The Rivalry is a full-cast audiobook presentation starring Academy Award nominees Paul Giamatti and David Strathairn. The passionate exchange of words between up-and-coming legislator Abraham Lincoln and incumbent Senator Stephen A. Douglas over critical issues - especially the hot-button matters of slavery and the American concept of freedom. A profoundly moving experience, offering a window into the historical clash of words that would come to foreshadow the infinitely more devastating clash of the American Civil War. 2 CDs, 104 minutes.

Lucrezia Borgia
Sarah Bradford, author
Lorna Raver, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520
9781433224706, $110.00 1-800-729-2665

Award-winning stage actress Lorna Raver reads aloud an unabridged audiobook presentation of Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy, a biography that neither condemns nor exonerates the life of the notorious Renaissance femme fatale Lucrezia Borgia. Though her name is associated with any number of Renaissance malevolences, from incest to political assassination, author Sarah Bradford reveals that Lucrezia was in fact an intelligent woman determined to secure power amid political struggles, and who exploited her beauty to that end. A fascinating account of the true-life woman behind the Machiavellian legend.

Animals Make Us Human
Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, authors
Andrea Gallo, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781436163057, $123.75 1-800-638-1304

Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals is an unabridged audiobook presentation of the book by scientist and animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin, drawn from thirty years' worth of research. Grandin insists that animals possess an emotional system similar to that of humans, with impulses ranging from playfulness to fury. Grandin advocates a practical approach to creating the best life possible for animals in our care, and speaks out against the needlessly cruel environments in which too much livestock is raised and slaughtered. An inspirational guide to improving individual and societal compassion toward the creatures in our care. 10 CDs, 11.75 hours.

The Library DVD Shelf

Cracker: The Complete Collection
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403

Winner of more than 25 major awards, including BAFTAs for best drama series and best actor, Cracker: The Complete Collection is a DVD set of the enthralling British crime drama about Dr. Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a forensic psychologist with an uncanny ability to divine the motivations of psychopaths. At the same time, Fitz is driven by his own self-destructive compulsions - scotch, sex, and gambling, and his personal arrogance makes him barely tolerable to his co-workers. A 45-minute bonus special feature "Cracker: Behind the Scenes" enhances this dark saga of the nightmare side of urban life. Cracker: The Complete Collection is a worthy addition to mystery and crime drama DVD collections. 10 DVDs, approximately 22 1/2 hours plus bonus, full screen and widescreen, subtitles.

Reality Press

Reality Press is a premier publisher of informative books and producer of library quality DVDs in the field of New Age and Metaphysical Studies. Two of their newest DVDs are especially recommended to those with an interest in esoteric wisdom and metaphysical studies. "Forbidden Knowledge Conference 2006" (RYE 1003, $24.95, 90 minutes) showcases a historic event that featured presentations by such world renowned authorities Andrew Collins, Robert Feather, Tim Wallace-Murphy, Michael Cremo, Churchton Miller, Hamish Miller, Nick Pope, Alan Alford, John J. Harper, and its principle organizer, Philip Gardiner. Sponsored by the Conscious Media network and filmed at Kings Hall, Stoke on Trent, England, viewers will find the included speeches and special interviews to be informed and informative on a wide range of subjects from the Cygnus Mystery to Freemason Symbols, to the resting place of Joseph of Arimathea, to the antiquity of man, and so much more. "Science Of Soul: The End-Time Solar Cycle Of Chaos In 2012 A.D." (RYE 1004, $24.95, 1 hour 10 minutes) features metaphysical researcher John Jay Harper whose presentation ranges from quantum physics, to life after death, to the sacred teachings of ancient cultures, to the forthcoming apocalypse and the emergence of a superconciousness in 2012 A.D. Superbly directed by Philip Gardiner, "Science of Soul" is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Dedicated students in the field of Metaphysical Studies would do well to visit the Reality Press website at for a complete listing of their impressive library of books and DVDs that are available to the general public and for academic library reference collections.

Darius Goes West
Darius Goes West, distribution
135 Pine Tops Ct., Athens, GA 30606

Darius Goes West is an acclaimed independent documentary film (it won more than 28 awards!) about the first ever cross-country trip of fifteen-year-old Darius Weems, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the world's primary genetic killer of children. The goal of Darius and eleven college-age young men is to reach Los Angeles and convince MTV's "Pimp My Ride" to customize Darius' wheelchair. Together they learn about friendship, and the simple joys of living in this heartfelt and educational true-life story. An excellent film especially ideal for school and public library DVD collections as well as for family viewing, Darius Goes West is highly recommended. Seventeen dollars, or more than four-fifths of the twenty dollar purchase price of Darius Goes West goes to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. 94 minutes.

Peter Galison and Robb Moss
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
$295.00 1-800-543-3764

Secrecy is an award-winning independent documentary about the world of government secrecy. Government secrecy is itself a double-edged sword: on one hand, it protects against excessive nuclear proliferation and the spread of biological and chemical weapons, and is crucial to waging war against terrorism. On the other hand, secrecy can all too easily give way to corruption, from abridgements of liberty such as extraordinary rendition and warrantless wiretaps to the monstrous abuses of Abu Ghraib. When hidden from prying eyes, national policy can stumble as agencies fail to coordinate, and devour massive budgets; at the worst, America's system of justice could be at risk. Extensively researched, Secrecy is an unforgettable documentary that every patriotic American citizen should view. Highly recommended especially for public library collections.

Fit By Tracey: Walking Strong
Tracey Staehle
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Fit By Tracey: Walking Strong is a fitness DVD designed for viewers who exercise by walking, including walking on a treadmill. Broken into eleven five-minute segments, Fit By Tracey: Walking Strong varies one's walking routine by alternating between cardio walks and strength walks (with resistance training). Certified personal trainer Tracey Staehle guides the viewer with clear narration and a demonstration of the advanced version of her treadmill workout, while her sister Bobbi demonstrates a less intense version on the treadmill. Their friend Jill demonstrates the workout on the floor without a treadmill. Inexpensive lightweight dumbbells are recommended to get the most out of exercising to Fit By Tracey: Walking Strong. A superb exercise video especially for the elderly, people recovering from severe illness or surgery, or anyone who needs a good workout but can't put excessive strain on their joints by jumping. Approximately 55 minutes.

Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm
MVD Entertainment Group
PO Box 280, Oaks, PA 19456
$19.95 1-800-888-0486

Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm is a live-in-concert DVD capturing the sensational performance of the titular legends at the North Sea Jazz Festival of 2002. In addition to the sensational performance, Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm is packed with extras: "The Early Years" documentary, concert snippets from a wide variety of other locations, a biography and discography, and more. A "must-have" for true fans of Jazz in general and Ike Turner in particular. The songs performed are "Chicken Shack", "Ike & Pinetop's Boogie", "Mercy, Mercy", "I Need A-Nuddin", "Caldonia", "'Five Long Years", "Baby's Got It", "Rocket '88'", "Tequila", "Ike's Tune", "Steel Guitar Rag", "I'm the Only One", "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "Proud Mary", and "I Want To Take You Higher". Approximately 2 hours 12 minutes.

Arctic Dinosaurs
WGBH Boston Video
c/o SSA Public Relations
15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
9781593758660, $24.99

Arctic Dinosaurs: Warm-Blooded Creatures of the Cretaceous is an episode of the award-winning public television series NOVA, now available on DVD. A field expedition sets out Alaska's North Slope to search for the answer to a quandary: how did dinosaurs survive in the dark and frigid polar regions? Researchers dig a tunnel into the permafrost in order to collect dinosaur bones, an activity that carries its own perils, while other experts decipher the evidence in order to bring their hypotheses to life with CGI animation. Special features include printable materials for educators and described video for the visually impaired. An amazing fresh look at these remarkable ancient reptiles, perfect for school and public library DVD collections as well as for the enjoyment of dinosaur lovers everywhere. 56 minutes, closed captioned. Also highly recommended are the recently released NOVA DVD episodes "Columbia: Space Shuttle Disaster" (9781593758677, $24.99) and "Alien from Earth: The Little People of Flores" (9781593758691, $24.99).

Tai Chi for Beginners
Samuel Barnes, host
Anchor Bay Entertainment
2401 West Big Beaver road, Suite 200, Troy, MI 48084-3304

Hosted by expert Tai Chi teacher Samuel Barnes, and filmed on a calm outdoors location overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean, Tai Chi for Beginners is a DVD that teaches the user how to tap into the revitalizing power of Qi Gong, learn Tai Chi postures, and use Tai Chi as a form of moving meditation meant to increase the body's natural energy. An easy-to-follow guide that all ages can use to experience the mind-clearing benefits of Tai Chi highly recommended for anyone intrigued by Tai Chi's physical and spiritual benefits. 56 minutes.

Dance Your Body Slim
Kathy Smith
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Kathy Smith hosts Dance Your Body Slim, a 2-DVD set of dance-based workout routines that burn calories, promote firm muscles, and are simply a blast to do! Disc one features the "Slow and Sensual" slow belly dance routine, the "Heat It Up" fast belly dance routine, and the "Flex Appeal" stretch routine, with a bonus belly dance tutorial as well as a complete choreographed dance and performance by belly dance superstar Ansuya. Disc two features a warm up, a "Latin Basics" workout of rousing Latin dance, "Latin Sizzle" that kicks the intensity up, a cool down, and a bonus guide to learning Latin dancing with a partner. Customizable workout options and a personalized introduction and instructions from Kathy round out this exciting way to burn calories and feel good. 2 DVDs, 114 minutes, full screen.

Yoga Emergency The 12 Minute Workout: Full Leg Stretch
Kristen Eykel, host
411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Yoga Emergency The 12 Minute Workout: Full Leg Stretch is part of a five-DVD series designed especially to help viewers on a tight schedule reap the benefits of squeezing a little yoga into their day. Host, yoga expert, model, and mother Kristen Eykel has created a series of twelve-minute yoga workouts meant to target specific parts of the body; "Full Leg Stretch" is meant especially to promote flexibility, balance, and strength in the legs. Additional bonus material includes a guided meditation following the workout, particularly tailored to focus on one's legs; "stressbusters" 1-minute stress-relief tips, and a brief interview with Kristen Eykel. Shot amidst a beautifully sunlit garden, Yoga Emergency The 12 Minute Workout: Full Leg Stretch is easy to follow and perfect for incorporating yoga into one's daily routine for better health and quality of life. Also highly recommended are the other four volumes in the Yoga Emergency The 12 Minute Workout series, "Arms & Shoulders", "Back", "Hips", and "Pregnancy".

Visit Wales with Rachel Hicks
Rachel Hicks, host
Camrose Media
c/o Janson Media
88 Semmens Road, Harrington Park, NJ 07640
9781568393075, $24.95

Visit Wales with Rachel Hicks is a beautiful, DVD tour of the grand and historic land of Wales, filmed in high definition. Former BBC presenter Rachel Hicks leads readers on a journey from Aberystwyth on the Irish Sea, to Abergavenny in the easy, and from Anglesey in the north to Tenby on the southern coast. Highlights include a stop by St. Fagans Natural History Museum near Cardiff, ancient Celtic burial chambers, castles mountains, lakes, the smallest city in Britain, and a whiskey distillery. A bonus photo gallery rounds out this relaxing and delightful tour, surely the next best thing to flying across the ocean to visit Wales in person. 60 minutes.

Paint Like Van Gogh
Larry Withers, host
On Air Video Incorporated
8203 Westminster Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027
$19.95 215-885-2828

Paint Like Van Gogh is an instructional DVD that demonstrates the painting techniques of legendary Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Host Larry Withers walks the viewer through step-by-step as he copies Van Gogh's widely beloved work "Sunflowers". To gain full benefit, viewers will need to acquire some simple art tools (stretched linen canvas, filbert brushes, oil paint, wooden pallet, pallet knife and cup, mineral spirits, and latex gloves) to follow the primer. Bonus features include a two-sided color insert with a photo of the painting and a schematic with color swatches, as well as PDF files of these reference materials. Paint Like Van Gogh unquestionably lives up to its title, and is enthusiastically recommended for any aspiring painter interested in "hands-on" learning. 66 minutes.

The Fiction Shelf

James Fredericks
Bascom Hill Publishing Group
212 N 3rd Avenue, Suite 570, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780980245561, $14.95,

Brother is a term thrown around freely with many men. "Brother" is a novel following an attorney and his brother, Chase and Jared Riordan respectively, who are faced with wrongful accusations. Though estranged, the two must mend their past wounds and embrace brotherhood, or both their lives may end in death or imprisonment. But after so much time, can they truly trust each other like brothers? "Brother" is a fine tale of learning to embrace another as a sibling after a long time, recommended reading.

The Strength of a Sparrow
Tim Anders
Alpine Publishing
1119 S. Mission Rd., #102, Fallbrook, CA 92028
9781885624635, $39.95

When one reveals a skeleton in their closet, it usually isn't wearing priestly garments. "The Strength of a Sparrow" is a love story of the unusual sort. Bouvette Sherwood is a successful Broadway actress, who finds herself in love with one Hughie Hewitt. Hughie, however, is an alcoholic, and that's not the least of what's preventing him from committing to his relationship with Bouvette. A strange twist of a romance, Tim Anders uses inspiration of a true story to make "The Strength of a Sparrow" a uniquely recommended read.

Marble Mountain
Wayne Karlin
Curbstone Press
321 Jackson Street, Willimantic, CT 06226
9781931896436, $15.00

Finding one's roots is hard. But for an adopted mixed race person, it's nigh impossible. "Marble Mountain" follows Kiet Hallam as she is faced with the lifetime question of who she is and why is she here. Half Vietnamese and half African-American, she has little clue as to where her place of origin truly lies. Despite her supportive family, it looks as if Kiet's past won't be revealing itself with ease anytime soon. "Marble Mountain" is a fine story of searching for one's genealogy with many mystery elements, and is an enjoyable read.

Blacksnake's Path
William Heath
Heritage Books
100 Railroad Ave, #104, Westminister, MD 21557
Hood College (publicity)
401 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick, MD 21701-8575
9780788446498, $30.00,

The diplomats rarely get their due. "Blacksnake's Path: The True Adventures of William Wells" is admittedly fiction, but author William Heath heavily researched the life of the true William Wells. Through that research, Heath attempts to create a narrative that follows the man's life as accurately as possible. Caught between two cultures, Wells served as a middle for the Americans and Native Americans during the beginning of the nation's start as a country. Heath paints a fine picture of what Wells dealt with throughout his career. "Blacksnake's Path" is a fine and educational read, for those who want history with their entertainment.

Ailanthus Park
Marina Snow
Lost Coast Press
155 Cypress St., Fort Bragg, CA 95437
9781882897964, $19.95,

City parks are refuges of nature in the wild urban jungle. "Ailanthus Park" follows Claire Patterson, a single woman making her way in Sacramento. Involved heavily in the push for a new park, Claire finds herself in an utterly intriguing plot that will reveal much about Claire and the town around herself as she grows as a person. "Ailanthus Park" is a fine novel of humanity, highly recommended.

Pilgrim's Progress
Gary D. Schmidt
Eerdmans Books
2140 Oak Industrial Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802853462, $16.50,

The same story from a different speaker can improve much upon the first. "Pilgrim's Progress" is a retelling of John Bunyan's original story of a Christian's journey to the Heavenly Palace. A modern spin on the subject matter with a more common language and brilliant and beautiful watercolors from Barry Moser, Gary Schmidt's rendition of "Pilgrim's Progress" is very much worth the read, matching, if not surpassing the original.

Dancing with Bears
William Borden
Livingston Press
University of West Alabama, Station 22, Livingston, AL 35470
9781604890211, $16.95,

Bears can sometimes be too much to bear. "Dancing with Bears" is a novel following a writer and his story focusing on the bears of America, alongside Lyle, a bear specialist under the National Park Service. What starts as a simple assignment soon spirals into madness, with gruesome deaths and infidelity being only some of what is dealt with. A story of changing love, bears, and other such chaos, "Dancing with Bears" is quite the adventure laced with romance.

Voices from the North
Vigdis Ofte & Steinar Sivertsen
Maia Press Unlimited
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781904559290, $21.95,

An amazing showcase of modern-day literary talent from Norway, "Voices from the North: New Writing from Norway" is an anthology of works, mainly short fiction and poetry, from seven of Norway's prize-winning writers. The Norwegians draw upon their country's rich history, as well as its modern culture to craft unforgettable imagery and drama. "Voices From the North" is something world fiction fans will relish.

Jack with a Twist
Brenda Janowitz
Red Dress Ink
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9
9780373895557, $13.95,

Working with one's partner can be a great experience, but not for Brooke and Jack. "Jack with a Twist" is a love story of two lawyers. Feeling they are destined to be together, they are engaged to be wed. And if marriage was the only thing on the table, things would be simple. But then they find themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom in a case that could make or break their careers. A story of love, career, and the problems when the two mix, "Jack with a Twist" is a fine twist on the typical romance, highly recommended.

The Madwoman of Bethlehem
Rosine Nimeh-Mailloux
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Ste 401, Toronto, ON M5V 2M5 Canada
9781897187487, $18.95,

The insanity defense is of much debate in modern courts, but for one woman, it was her only hope for survival. "The Madwoman of Bethlehem" is a story of Amal. Amal lashed out against the society that oppressed her, a society that would punish such acts with death. Only by feigning insanity can she find survival and one day hope for peace in the future. A tale of one woman dealing with a cruel society, "The Madwoman of Bethlehem" is a unique piece of historical fiction, sure to please.

Greener Grass
Caroline Pignat
Red Deer Press
311 Washington Street, Brighton, MA 02135
9780889954021, $12.95,

When there's no food on the table and people are wasting away, there's little one won't do to stop it. "Greener Grass" is a tale that takes place during the infamous Irish potato famine. Kit Byrne and family are facing possible death due to malnutrition. Willing to do anything to stop it, Kit soon finds that 'anything' includes some things that she would rather not do, and finds herself in the world of the criminal. A story of the will to survive and the love of the family, "Greener Grass" is riveting reading all the way through.

Tea & Other Ayama Na Tales
Eleanor Bluestein
BkMk Press
c/o University of Missouri-Kansas City
5101 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110
9781886157644, $16.95,

You can take everything away, but you cannot strip people of their will to survive and thrive. "Tea & Other Ayama Na Tales" is a collection of short stories, derived from concepts of Eleanor Bluestein traveling to Southeast Asian countries and finding these countries' will to prosper, even as tradition and change clashed, and in Cambodia's case, in spite of tyranny. "Tea & Other Ayama Na Tales" is moving and inspiring, entertaining as well as educational.

Rosanna of the Amish
Joseph W. Yoder
Herald Press
616 Walnut Avenue, Scottdale, PA 15683-1999
9780836194081, $15.99,

Voluntarily cut off from the world, the Amish have crafted their own culture, and even their own literature. "Rosanna of the Amish" is a reissue of the original acclaimed work of Mennonite literature. The original text restored, it tells the story of an Irish Catholic girl brought up in Amish society, and is complete with literary discussion going over what it all means in the world of literature. "Rosanna of the Amish" is well worth the read for those who are studying the Amish and their literature.

Khan al-Khalili
Naguib Mahfouz, author
Roger Allen, translator
The American University in Cairo Press
420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
9789774161919, $24.95

Sacred places are rarely sacred to everyone. "Khan al-Khalili" offers an Egyptian perspective of World War II, following the Akifs as they seek refuge from Nazi Germany's armies. Though a novel, "Khan al-Khalili" offers readers much food for thought when it comes to many aspects that seem to be opposed, such as traditions and change, or faith in an ever-secularizing world. "Khan al-Khalili" is expertly translated by Roger Allen, offering fine Arabic literature to English speakers.

The Vansellars
Chris Durer
Ivy House Publishing Group
5122 Bur Oak Circle, Raleigh, NC 27612
9781571974914, $24.95,

The many paths one family can go is mind-boggling. "The Vansellars: Story of a New York Family" is a novel covering several generations of a fictional family in New York, and how their lives start to break apart and intertwine at random points. Tragedy, redemption, murderers, saviors, and high society are major themes throughout the book, with family being the single uniting trend among it all. "The Vansellars" is intriguing reading all the way to the end.

Jenny's Dream
Linda Weaver Clarke
Bedside Books
c/o American Book Publishing
PO Box 65624, Salt Lake City, UT 84165
9781589824461, $19.95,

There are those in small towns who always yearn to be larger than their town can contain. "Jenny's Dream" is another entry in Linda Weaver Clarke's 'A Family Saga in Bear Lake Valley' series of books, focusing on Jenny Roberts, a small town girl who wishes to be anything but. Romance, however has other plans for her. "Jenny's Dream" is a charming novel of small town America at the turn of century, highly recommended.

The Criminology Shelf

Without Remorse
Vonda L. Pelto
Seven Locks Press
PO Box 25689, Santa Ana, CA 92799
Irwin Zucker (publicity)
6464 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
9780979585289, $18.95

Serial killers can make strange and interesting companions. "Without Remorse: The Story of the Woman Who Kept Los Angeles' Serial Killers Alive" is the story of Vonda Pelto, a woman assigned to be a psychologist for some of Los Angeles' most notorious killers, with the specific duty of staving off their suicidal tendencies that they often develop while incarcerated. She describes these men and how she managed to form personal relationships with them despite their horrible deeds. "Without Remorse" is an intriguing look into the mind of the serial killer, highly recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

The Upshot
Anne Rouse
Bloodaxe Books
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781852248086, $25.95,

Society isn't as united as a whole as it should be. "The Upshot" is the latest collection of poetry from Anne Rouse, a lady with a sharp wit and gift for verse. Her latest volume focuses on love, the mundane life we all live, and how society is split into divisions. "The Upshot" is moving and eloquent poetry, highly recommended. "Nude Descending a Stair": It's 2 a.m., when the placid telephone shrieks./A silhouette floats over the fly-posted shops,/and enters: a game of toy soldiers,/you'd think to hear them talk, descending//to a basement hung with nylon fetters,/with an unknown atmosphere, and speech.//To hear them talk - but these rarely do,/above water. We goggle in a movie-house;/co-opt their stylish silence,/frame by frame./For beauty, rubbish - they are just afraid.

Strange Attractors
Sarah Glaz & JoAnne Growney, editors
AK Peters
888 Worcester Street, Suite 230, Wellesley, MA 02482
9781568813417, $39.00,

Numbers are absolute, love is not. "Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics" is a collection of poems from many poets about two subjects rarely brought together in the same subject - love and arithmetic. Well over one hundred poems, both classic and contemporary, discuss these two subjects and how they have more in common than one would think. "Strange Attractors" is a fresh and original book of poetry, highly recommended. "We Shall Find the Cube of the Rainbow." by Emily Dickinson: We shall find the cube of the Rainbow./Of that, there is no doubt./But the Arc of a Lover's conjecture/Eludes the finding out.

An Apron Full of Beans
Sam Cornish
CavanKerry Press
6 Horizon Road, No. 2901, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
9781933880099, $16.00,

Presenting itself as a successor to the work of Walt Whitman, "An Apron Full of Beans" is about nothing in particular, touching on a wide array of subjects and discussing them in poignant, entertaining verse sure to please. With a focus on the African American perspective, "An Apron Full of Beans" is a fine choice for poetry fans looking for variety. "Hungry": Nat Turner his blood is on the corn/His number on the leaves/Nat Turner/Slave/Composer/Man/Death/And darkness.

A Tour of Your Country
Eamonn Wall
Salmon Poetry
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781903392805, $23.95,

History is a long, old, and fascinating thing. "A Tour of Your Country" is a poetic look at history from established poet Eamonn Wall. In his fifth anthology, he discusses how the roots of many people affect them today. "A Tour of Your Country" is a fine volume of poetry, highly recommended reading indeed. "Midsummer's Eve": The fields are littered with ruins and heartache./The towns carry the weight of disease and pain./The great leaders will build a great road across Tara./The small men in the small towns will fell the last oak.

Into the Arms of Pushkin
Carol V. Davis
Truman State University Press
100 East Normal Street, Kirksville, MO 63501-4221
9781931112710, $15.95,

Russia is a culture like no other in the world. "Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg" is an anthology of poems from Carol V. Davis, a woman of Russian heritage who has embraced it well with her poetry. A winner of the T.S. Eliot prize, "Into the Arms of Pushkin" is quite the book of poetry, both entertaining and educating about the culture of Russia. "If Now as I Wait for Your Call": you instead climb the three/flights of broken stairs, /careful to avoid the drip/of corroded pipe, a small/lake forming on the ground/floor of this building/slapped together between/the wars in uncertain urgency./Streets still cling to their/Soviet names in a display/of foolish loyalty./If as I open the door/you empty your pockets/of keys and broken strings:/leaving of a life undecided/trailing behind you like/musicians shuffling off stage/in the Unfinished Symphony./And if in the dusk of entryway/your hand reaches me/with the familiarity of dream/I would understand you at last/without burden of translation,/no longer dependent on the/ intercession of angels.

Burning Cartography
Noni Benegas, author
Noel Valis, translator
Host Publications
1000 East 7th, Suite 201, Austin, TX 78702
9780924047435, $12.00

A sample of one of Spain's finest, "Burning Cartography" brings Noni Benegas' work to the English language. With several previous works published, Benegas is no stranger to the world of poetry, and her expertise shines right through to readers. Tackling the unknown world of dreams that lies in everyone of us, and presenting the original Spanish lyrics alongside their English translation, "Burning Cartography" is a fine book of international poetry, deftly translated by Noel Valis. "Another Light": Groping through the house, blind steps/of chalk/with the light of dreams/suddenly opaque or radiant/Who shimmers that screen/in the darkened brain?/Like skin withering on the inside/the mystery of that glow persists.

Blues and Bliss
George Elliot Clarke
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3C5
9781554580606, $14.95,

The blues are simply the outpouring of one's soul, and George Elliot Clarke is a master of it. "Blues and Bliss" is his venture in poetry, using the same skills he uses as a blues man, preacher, and his other long list of social titles in his poetry to bring out his pure soul in his verse. "Blues and Bliss" is an enthusiastically recommended work from a diverse man. "Avowals": A is the cracked steeple./E is a long scream./I is a gawky guillotine./O is a silk abyss./U is a fetus - or crab lice./Y is a two-pronged gallows.

Gordon Walmsley
Salmon Poetry
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781903392690, $23.95,

Four previous volumes in his resume, Gordon Walmsley returns again with "Touchstones", the fifth anthology of the Princeton alumni. His poems focus on the harsh reality of the world and the nature of freedom and expression, with fine and flowing verse that entertains as well as make the reader think. "Touchstones" is a seminal volume, highly recommended. A sample: even if one child/walking along entranced/notices the one tree/it blossoms cresting in the May light/tucks it under his heart/like a letter from a secret friend/life will be able to continue on the earth.

Nadine S. St. Louis
Marsh River Editions
M233 Marsh Road, Marshfield, WI 54449
9780977276851, $12.00,

Nadine S. St. Louis didn't get her start in the world of poetry until late in her life, but you wouldn't know it by her verse. "Zebra" is her first full fledged volume of poetry, with a focus on her radically different interests such as interests in both science fiction and literary classics. "Zebra" is a fine work that's sure to entertain. "Once More onto the Beaches": Better to have throat/than chest or belly cut//provided it's done right//you'll still breathe and swallow/sweetness in an iron hour.

Suddenly, Out of a Long Sleep
Lowell Jaeger
Arctos Press
PO Box 401, Sausalito, CA 94966-0401
9780972538480, $16.00,

Prolific and educated poet Lowell Jaeger comes to readers with "Suddenly, Out of a Long Sleep" a series of poems of a personal nature about the important people, places, and things in his life. Poignant and with a quick wit within its verse that makes its poems effortless and enjoyable, "Suddenly, Out of a Long Sleep" is solid reading through and through. "Voluptuous": Of curvaceous female form I sing./Soft round hips and shapely booty./Thick thighs and calves. Rubenesque./Plump and rosy about the face. Meaty -/lipped kisses. Lolling breasts, flesh/scented satin pillows. A far cry//from rags and bones the tabloids bring/forth for adoration. Beauty/prepackaged, starved, grotesque/scarecrows painted scarecely 3-D/on the page and off. Pallid fash-/ionable paper dolls. Small wonder why//you fill my hands with a sculptor's joy in bed./As I love your shape from toe to head.

Reading Novalis in Montana
Melissa Kwasny
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55415
9781571314291, $16.00,

Melissa Kwasny brings readers her third volume of poetry with "Reading Novalis in Montana" is a look into the world of natural science using poetry as a vehicle, and Kwasny executes it excellently. Moving, entertaining, educational are all fine labels to apply to "Reading Novalis in Montana". "11 Fire": White velocity. We dare not interrupt you./Stream of light in the light./Gender. The Surpreme fiction? Gender./The alchemy? Stars you build and stamp out./What is old: you are sweeping through it, jumping the creek. Arnica. Cedar waxwings./The pale pink spider. Your ash, already, anointing them./I cut the tree that fell in this winter's wind./I rake twigs into piles and pull the runners from the tines/to hand to you, to use for your quick ceremonies./Can you take what is negative, correct our mistake? We have/such plans for amelioration. As below, so above./Lightning. Sun. As above, so below. Igneous, metamorphic./You are the weed that grows spiky and voluptuous./You are the verb, sprung from seven sprouts of morning/to the twenty-two of afternoon./Fire beneath our lids, the farce of you.

The International Studies Shelf

Mexico Unconquered
John Gibler
City Lights Books
261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
9780872864931, $16.95,

Mexico, one of America's closest neighbors, is plagued with corruption. "Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt" takes a look into the history of Mexico and how the country got to where it is today. A country split by a huge financial divide, Mexico is portrayed as a nation of people who don't need much more provocation to be spurned towards rebellion once more. Enlightening and informative, "Mexico Unconquered" is a must read for those concerned about America's southern neighbor.

Basque Nationalism and Political Violence
Cameron J. Watson
Center for Basque Studies
c/o University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9781877802768, $29.95, 1-877-682-6657

In the twentieth century, Spain was never known as a stable country. "Basque Nationalism and Political Violence: The Ideological and Intellectual Origins of ETA" examines the nationalist violent struggles in Basque, a political party in Spain. Aggressive nationalism is regarded as the cause, and Watson discusses how the group came into being and power. Not focusing solely on Spain, he looks at what aggressive nationalism has brought to much of the world. "Basque Nationalism and Political Violence" is a must for those studying the sociology of nationalist movements.

China's New Role in Africa
Ian Taylor
Lynne Rienner Publishers
1800 30th Street, Boulder, CO 80301
9781588266361, $55.00,

China has become an economic trading powerhouse, and its trading partners include many nations on the continent of Africa. "China's New Role in Africa" is a scholarly examination of the relationship of China and its African trading partners. Discussing in depth China's foreign relations when it comes to the continent, the importance of oil, what Africa gets in return, human rights concerns, arms trading, and what it all means for world peace, Taylor gives readers much to think about. "China's New Role in Africa" is a grand pick for those who ponder the world's foreign relations when America isn't directly involved.

China in the World
Curriculum Specialists at Primary Source Inc., editors
Cheng & Tsui Company
25 West Street, Boston, MA 02111-1213
9780887276217, $49.99,

China has always been quite the big player on the world stage. "China in the World: A History Since 1644" covers the power of China in the last four hundred years, ranging from its status as a major trading nation to a powerhouse for communism to its emergence once again as a major contributor to the world economy. Drawing from a wide variety of primary sources from personal letters to imperial edicts to propaganda posters, it paints a long and reaching picture of the Chinese people these past four centuries. Enhanced with a CD-ROM, "China in the World" is meant to be a supplemental resource for more traditional texts, and it serves that purpose excellently.

Vietnam Rising
William Ratliff
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way, Oakland, CA 94621-1428
9781598130263, $15.95,

Vietnam has come such a long way since the notorious war. "Vietnam Rising: Culture and Change in Asia's Tiger Cub" takes a scholarly look at the economic rise of Vietnam in the recent years. William Ratliff discusses what led to this turn around, ranging from cultural influences, history, religion, and much more, changing Vietnam from a communist country to one of the freest markets on the planet. "Vietnam Rising" is a fine look at one of the positively changing nations in recent history.

Haiti in the Balance
Terry F. Buss
Brookings Institution Press
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
9780815713913, $28.95,

A country in chronic crisis. "Haiti in the Balance: Why Foreign Aid has Failed and What We Can Do About it" is a look at where four billion of United States taxpayer's money has went in the past decade - the crisis of the country of Haiti. The money, though, has proven ineffective, and Terry F. Buss will explain why within this volume and presents many interesting facts and ideas. "Haiti in the Balance" is a great pick for international studies collections, and those who want to better understand Haiti in general.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Synecdoche New York
Charlie Kaufman
Newmarket Press
18 E. 48th Street, New York, NY 10017
9781557048134, $19.95,

Charlie Kaufman is one of the most unique and innovative movie makers in the modern era. "Synecdoche, New York: The Shooting Script" is the complete screenplay of last year's film, and Kaufman's directorial debut. With an introduction to the script by Kaufman, a Q&A section, color photographs and complete credits as bonuses to the script, "Synecdoche, New York" is a must get for fans of the film or Kaufman's fans in general.

Actor Training the Laban Way
Barbara Adrian
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
9781581156485, $24.95,

One can tell quite the story while never opening the mouth. "Actor Training the Laban Way: An Integrated Approach to Voice, Speech, and Movement" is a drama teaching manual using the teachings of skilled actor and coach Rudolf Laban. Author Barbara Adrian also adds her own touch to the lessons, which emphasize the importance of every little body movement in the field of acting. Breath, functional strength and agility, vocal range, and more are all covered with meticulous detail, making "Actor Training the Laban Way" a must for would be actors and those who coach them.

One on One
Joyce E. Henry
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
c/o Hal Leonard
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9781557837011, $14.95,

The monologue is an important part of the theatre, but even the best actor will falter with poor material. "One on One: The Best Men's Monologue for the 21st Century" is an anthology of great monologues geared towards male actors. Comprised of contemporary writers' best work, the monologues range across diverse topics, from serious social issues to entertainment-based matters. "One on One" is a must for any theatre producer or writer who wants to be inspired or use the best.

Sacred Terror
Douglas E. Cowan
Baylor University
PO Box 97363, Waco, TX 76798
9781602580183, $24.95,

Demonic creatures, the undead, and evil are all vaguely religious concepts. "Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen" is a discussion of the strong presence of religion in horror films. Saying that horror films tend to prey on the religious sense that exists in most people, even those who are not exactly weekly church goers, author Douglas Cowan discusses many examples of popular movies and the most common fears used in these films. "Sacred Terror" is a key volume to better understanding horror and why it's frightening.

The Business Shelf

You Can Do It Too
Rachel Bridge
Kogan Page
525 South 4th Street, #241, Philadelphia, PA 19147
9780749451530, $29.95,

Fundamentals are the basics, but all too often, even the basics are ignored. "You Can Do It Too: The Twenty Essential Things Every Budding Entrepreneur Should Know" is a compilation of twenty bits of advice and wisdom that Rachel Bridge has deemed utterly necessary for an entrepreneur to succeed in today's competitive world. Drawing additional advice from countless people at varying levels of success, "You Can Do It Too" is highly recommended for those just starting out in the tough world of business.

Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth
John M. Leonetti
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Jane Wesman Public Relations (publicity)
322 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1702, New York, NY 10001
9780470376188, $49.95,

There comes a time when one must leave what they have worked on for so long. "Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth: A Strategic Guide for Owners and Their Advisors" is a guide to extracting oneself from one's business. An exit strategy for business is needed, in order to keep one's own prosperity as well as that of the businesses. With special chapters on realizing when one is a workaholic, moving onto a different career or retiring, and setting realistic exit goals, "Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth" is a must for business owners who want to move on.

The Political Science Shelf

Seeking Balance
Anne Edwards
Caitlin Press
8100 Alderwood Road, Halfmoon Bay V0N 1Y1, Canada
9781894759311, $28.95,

Women are half the population but if you looked at most jurisdiction's political systems, you wouldn't know it. "Seeking Balance: Conversations with BC Women in Politics" is a discussion of women in politics, with a special focus on British Columbia, which has had more than a few women break into their political arena. A vast sampling of women's voices talk on the matter and offer much food for thought, and may inspire more women to dare to enter the man's world of politics. "Seeking Balance: Conversations with BC Women in Politics" is a strong choice for readers who want to understand the growing presence of the fairer sex in elections.

The Social Issues Shelf

Conservation for a New Generation
Richard L. Knight & Courtney White, editor
Island Press
1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009
9781597264389, $30.00,

With each new generation, comes new knowledge and new technology to be applied to many ideas. "Conservation for a New Generation: Redefining Natural Resources Management" looks at the philosophy and practice of conservation when it comes to the rapidly changing world of the twenty-first century. With several essays from today's foremost experts on the subject, detailing conservation around the world, and its challenges and successes throughout it all. "Conservation for a New Generation" is an enlightening and educational read for those concerned about the environment and the world's progress - or lack thereof - in protecting it.

The Poverty of 'The Poverty Rate'
Nicholas Eberstadt
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
9780844742465, $20.00,

Definitions change over time, even when it apparently comes to statistics. "The Poverty of 'The Poverty Rate': Measure and Mismeasure of Want in Modern America" is a criticism of today's handling of the poor and needy in America. Judging the current measure of the poverty rate as a metaphorical broken compass, Eberstadt offers new ways to measure America's true poverty rate, stating that at this point, it is better to start over entirely than to repair a fundamentally broken system. "The Poverty of 'The Poverty Rate'" is an intriguing read for those interested in one of politics' most thrown about terms.

The Economics Shelf

Are Economists Basically Immoral?
Geoffrey Brennan & A.M.C. Waterman
Liberty Fund
8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46250-1684
9780865977136, $15.00

What's the price of a human life? "Are Economists Basically Immoral? and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion" is a look economics and the moral and social contract of the world. All too often economists must attach costs to things with high emotional value, such as human and animal life, and there is much scholarly discussion on this topic contained within the pages of this volume. "Are Economists Basically Immoral?" is quite the piece for discussion, as it is intriguing and enlightening the whole way through.

The Parenting Shelf

Stop That Seemingly Senseless Behavior
Beth A. Glasberg
Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817
9781890627768, $19.95,

Autism is a mystery to many, understanding it being truly difficult. "Stop That Seemingly Senseless Behavior: FBA-Based Interventions for People with Autism" is a guide for parents and adults who deal with autistic children, seeking to help them better understand autism and the erratic behavior that comes along with it. With suggestions and advice for dealing with these outbursts and how to deal with them the right way when dealing with autism, "Stop That Seemingly Senseless Behavior" is a must get for anyone who deals with autism on a frequent basis.

Competing with Character
Kevin Kush
Boys Town Press
14100 Crawford St., Boys Town, NE 68010
9781889322988, $12.95,

Parents pushing their children way too hard for the win in children's sports is seen way too often. "Competing with Character: Let's Put Sportsmanship and Fun Back in Youth Sports" is a book calling for a return to the fundamentals of youth athletics - fun and sportsmanship. Children who are pushed too hard, or playing under coaches who are too obsessed with winning instead of the thrill of the game, are far more likely to give up a sport than those who are not under the harsh pressure of the must-win mentality. "Competing with Character" is a must for any coach or parent of athletic children.

The Gardening Shelf

Defining Middle Ground
Paul P. Voos & Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Stemmer House
PO Box 89, 4 White Brook Road, Gulsum, NH 03448
Pathway Book Service (distributor)
PO Box 89, 4 White Brook Rd, Gilsum, NH 03448
9780916144661, $16.95,

A garden between one's home and the world can be truly beautiful. "Defining Middle Ground: Visual Essay of the Townhouse Garden" is a call to encourage readers to put more faith in the middle garden, the garden that surrounds one's home and is their first sight to the outside world. Such gardens can provide a soothing atmosphere and beauty in areas that are typically devoid of life. "Defining the Middle Ground" is a must for those who would better emphasize their home garden.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Choose to Believe Live to Receive
Lori Riddle
Cedar Fort
2373 W 700 S, Springville, UT 84664
9781599551777, $8.99,

Society is becoming increasingly secular, and it grows harder for teenagers to stay faithful in a world that's apathetic towards religion. "Choose to Believe, Live to Receive: Learning to Believe in a World of Doubt" is a book aimed at Latter Day Saints teenagers, but the lessons within can apply very well to Christians of any denomination. Hoping to inspire teenagers to keep their faith in a hostile world, Riddle gives much wisdom and scripture to encourage the retention of faith. "Choose to Believe, Live to Receive" is very much recommended reading for young Mormons.

Raising a Modern-Day Joseph
Larry Fowler
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Vertias Communications (publicity)
PO Box 2075, Canon City, CO 81215
9781434767059, $12.99,

How does one infuse their children with the values of a great Biblical figure? "Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids" is a Christian parenting manual outlining what parents need to do to raise their children as 'modern-day Josephs' who can withstand the rough moral waves of television, peer pressure, popular culture, and other sources. "Raising a Modern-Day Joseph" is a must for any parent who desires to foster strong spirituality in their child.

Jesuit Saturdays: Sharing the Ignatian Spirit
William J. Byron
Loyola Press
3441 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
9780829427127, $14.95,

Some people devote their existence to God, and that's enough for them to be content. "Jesuit Saturdays: Sharing the Ignatian Spirit with Friends and Colleagues" is the work of a friar by the name of William J. Byron, explaining the way of the Jesuit. Hoping to inspire his readers with the spirit of his way of life so they may take the principles of it to apply it to their own, Byron offers a different perspective. A quintessential book on spirituality by a very spiritual man, "Jesuit Saturdays" is very much recommended to those who want to deepen their relationship with God.

The Top 100 Miracles of the Bible
Pamela McQuade
PO Box 719, Ulrichsville, OH 44683
9781602601048, $12.95

The Bible is filled with strange and unusual things, but which of them are the most important? "The Top 100 Miracles of the Bible: What They Are and What They Mean to You Today" is a survey covering one hundred major events in the Bible and their cultural relevance on today's society. From well-known ones such as Moses' staff's transformational power, the raising of the dead, and the ten plagues, to lesser known events, "The Top 100 Miracles of the Bible" is a great companion volume to better understanding the acts of God in the Bible.

The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew
G. D. Kilpatrick
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishing
1000 Brown St., Unit 101, Wauconda, IL 60084
9780865166677, $38.00,

The Bible was not a book written all at once. Each book has its own origins. "The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew" is a reprint of the respected text outlining the history of one of the most vital books of the Holy Bible. More than a half century old, the scholarship stands well against the test of time, and offers insights on how the gospels became gospels and earned their place in the Bible. "The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew" is a must for Biblical scholars, professional or amateur.

Wider Than Heaven
Mary B. Cunningham, translator
St Vladimir's Seminary Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Crestwood, NY 10707
9780881413267, $18.00,

The Virgin Mary has had a long road to achieving the reverence she receives today. "Wider Than Heaven: Eighth-Century Homilies on the Mother of God" is a scholarly manual outlining how the Virgin Mary came to become observed in the Orthodox Christian church. Twelve sermons are translated into modern English to be understood, and Mary B. Cunningham presents a fine set of religious history and research in "Wider Than Heaven".

The Judicial Studies Shelf

Garner on Language and Writing
Bryan A. Garner
American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-7598
9781590315880, $59.95,

In a world where everyone is looking for a loophole, good wording is essential. "Garner on Language and Writing" is a law discussion from Bryan Garner discussing th many problems in today's legalese writing from all levels of discussion. With wit along with his wisdom, Garner's manual of law isn't just plain and straight text, as Garner does much to make his book entertaining as well as outlining things that should be avoided in today's world of legal language. Educational, enlightening, entertaining, Garner produces a volume with all of these qualities, with additional tributes to those who have made Garner and his career possible, making "Garner on Language and Writing" is enthusiastically recommended reading for law students or anyone who wants a better understanding of the jungle of the law.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The System for Soul Memory
Susan Kerr
Blue Dolphin Publishing
PO Box 8, Nevada City, CA 95959
1577330897, $14.95,

The soul has as much of a memory as the brain. "The System for Soul Memory: Using the Energy System of Your Body to Change Your Life" is a look into the spirituality and using one's soul to better prepare one for the challenges of life. Saying that the energy to fight one's woes lies in all people, just blocked and unused, Kerr encourages people to break the blockage and use their energies to the fullest. "The System for Soul Memory" is a must for those with a strong interest in spirituality and metaphysics.

Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body
Missy Buchanan
Upper Room Books
PO Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004
9780835899420, $10.00,

At the end of one's life, one struggles to find why they need to live on. "Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults" is a Christian manual to finding the purpose in one's life at the end. With powerful words accompanied by poignant scripture, it is crafted in such a way for easy access to older readers with large print, easy reading, and other facilitating features. "Living With Purpose in a Worn-Out Body" is a must for those who are worn-out physically, but not spiritually.

When in Doubt, Sing
Jane Redmont
Sorin Books
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0428
9781933495163, $18.95,

Prayer is so much more than a conversation with God. "When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life" is a guide for further embracing prayer in one's daily life, instead of the mere lip service so many Christians fall into. Promoting that individuality has a strong place and prayer, and that prayer can help one's own identity in finding oneself and bringing them closer to God, Redmont also includes passages for Non-Christian prayer, making "When in Doubt, Sing" a fine choice for any who want to value prayer as something more.

Living Our Religions
Anjana Narayan & Bandana Purkayastha
Kumarian Press
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166
9781565492707, $29.50,

America is dominated by Christian society, and to be something else brings its own unusual experiences. "Living Our Religions: Hindu and Muslim South Asian American Women Narrate Their Experiences" tells the story of two women who live in America, believing different religious beliefs from a vast majority of the population. Hoping to end the idea of an 'invisible minority', Narayan and Purkayastha tell their stories, and show where racism and sexism still stand in modern America. "Living Our Religions" is a fine read of life on the other side, highly recommended.

The Astronomy Shelf

Let There Be Night
Paul Bogard, editor
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874173284, $21.95,

Neon lights, florescent lights, all electric lights, all of these are great, but they spell the end of one thing - the truly dark night sky. "Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark" is a collection of essays and writings from various scientists, poets, and scholars who speak about the death of the clear night, where one could see every star in the sky, unaided by telescope or other device. A discussion of the fall of the natural world, and how many things that our fathers have seen are now unseeable to the modern age, "Let There Be Night" is intriguing and enlightening, if a bit saddening.

The Science Shelf

Martians of Science
Istvan Hargittai
Oxford University Press
2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513
9780195365566, $15.95,

Certain men change the world, yet people on the street rarely know who they are. "Martians of Science: Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century" is a collective biography of five physicists who have had a major impact on the last hundred years. All five, hailing originally from Hungary, came to America at the critical time of war, and changed science with their ideas. Referred to as the Martians, a nickname with unclear origins, "Martians of Science" is an intriguing biography of five unsung heroes of physics.

The Gaming Shelf

Small Track Betting
C. N. Richardson
Skyhorse Publishing
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 903, New York, NY 10018
9781602391253, $14.95,

You can lose big on the smallest of tracks if you don't do your research. "Small Track Betting: Pick More Winners Using This Sure-Fire Eight-Point System of Race Analysis" is a guide to smart betting at horse races across the country. Knowledge is power says Richardson, encouraging knowledge of everything, ranging from the track itself, to the people behind and on the horses, to much more, to the correct way to bet. Anyone who enjoys betting on horse races, and also enjoys winnings, should strongly consider "Small Track Betting". Also from Skyhorse Publishing for gaming fans is "Backgammon for Blood" (9781602391840, $12.95) by Chris Bray, a guide for those who want victory above all else in the game of backgammon.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Across the Sky
Mark Rich
Fairwood Press
21528 104th St. Ct E, Bonney Lake, WA 98391
9780982073018, $16.99,

Science fiction comes in many flavors. "Across the Sky" is a collection of short science fiction from Mark Rich, who gives a great variety of tone and topic in his anthology. Ranging from the troubles with evolution when it comes to vegetables, contact with alien races, and life when orbiting other planets, "Across the Sky" is filled with a story for every sci-fi fan.

The Biography Shelf

Something of the Turtle
Sandra Clayton
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
9781604940664, $18.95

Less is more, and a minimalistic life can let one know what's really important. "Something of the Turtle" is about a couple's choice to give up their home and declare their residence as the sea. A follow up to a previous memoir of 'Dolphins Under My Bed', the Clayton's story is continued, charting how they severed their ties to their land life and could never be happier. A look at a different sort of alternative lifestyle, "Something of the Turtle" is highly enjoyable reading.

The Bond Code
Philip Gardiner
New Page Books
3 Tice Road, PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
9781601630049, $16.99,

Inspiration has to come from somewhere. "The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond" takes a look behind the man behind the icon of pulp spy fiction, Ian Fleming. Touching on a long list of facts and how Fleming came across them ranging from the moniker 007, Fleming's final novel, and more, "The Bond Code" is fascinating reading to any Bond fan or any who want to understand the man behind the phenomenon.

Survival in Shanghai
Audrey Friedman Marcus & Rena Krasno
Pacific View Press
PO Box 2897, Berkeley, CA 94702
9781881896296, $22.95,

The stories of many Jews fleeing the Nazi regime is nothing new, but little has been written of those who went to China to find salvation. "Survival in Shanghai: The Journals of Fred Marcus 1939-49" is a collection of journal entries from one teenager escaping one of the blackest marks in human history. A fish out of water true story, "Survival in Shanghai" tells of getting by in a nation simultaneously stricken by the Chinese civil war and Japanese invasion. An enlightening saga of a group of Jews rarely discussed within Holocaust studies.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Tales of Two Species
Patricia B. McConnell
Dogwise Publishing
403 South Mission Street, Wenatchee, WA 988801
9781929242610, $12.95,

The bond between pet and owner can improve one's health and make one's day. "Tales of Two Species: Essays on Loving and Living with Dogs" is a collection of essays on life with man's best friends. Focusing on the relationship between the two species, McConnell analyzes everything ranging from the name a person gives their dog, to better communication, to the effect of breeding on canine-kind as a whole, and other topics as well. "Tales of Two Species" is a fine read for those who want to better understand the bond of homo sapiens and their canine familiars.

Connecting with Horses
Margrit Coates
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley, CA 94703
9781569756911, $14.95,

A rider and horse relationship can be likened to a relationship of soulmates. "Connecting with Horses: The Life Lessons We Can Learn From Horses" is about the joy horses can bring to one's life, acting as a stabilizing factor. A sort of self-help book heavily inspired by the equine race, Coates' writing shows that perhaps embracing horsemanship is just what some people need to enhance their life. "Connecting with Horses" is invaluable to anyone with an interest in horses and wants to build upon it.

To the Dogs
Peter Culley
Arsenal Pulp Press
341 Water Street, Suite 200, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1B8
9781551522418, $32.95,

Man's best friend isn't an exaggeration. "To the Dogs" is an anthology of photos and words, documenting the one nonhuman creature most dear to humanity, the dog. The dog has been alongside man nearly all civilization's existence, and the dog has inspired people with its stereotypical yet more often than not true traits - loyalty, bravery, and love. Countless black and white photos show the importance of the dog in the human experience, ranging from household pet, to entertainer, to work force. "To the Dogs" is a fine coffee table acquisition for any dog lover.

The Literary Shelf

The Sacrament and Other Plays of Forbidden Love by Hugo Claus
David Willinger, editor
Susquehanna University Press
c/o Associated University Presses
2010 Eastpark Blvd., Cranbury, NJ 08512
9781575911106, $50.00,

Holland's greatest living writer now has his work translated into English. "The Sacrament and Other Plays of Forbidden Love by Hugo Claus" is a collection of translated work from Hugo Claus, translated by the deft team of David Willinger, Luc Duneulin, and Luk Truyts. The three works are ones that provoke thought and controversy, yet are eloquently composed. 'Bride in the Morning' follows a sister's battle with her incestuous desires for her brother, 'Sugar' is about one man's obsession with a prostitute who may end up killing herself, and the titular play the Sacrament follows a gay man trying to gain acceptance from the priest who molested him so many years ago. Strange yet enlightening, "The Sacrament and Other Plays of Forbidden Love by Hugo Claus" is a must add to any theatre's library of source material.

The Library Science Shelf

Internet Technologies And Information Services
Joseph B. Miller
Libraries Unlimited
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
9781591586265, $70.00,

In economically stressful times the local community library assumes an even more vital role in the well-being of the community as a source of useful and useable information as their patrons seek to survive and thrive against the challenges that a recession inevitable entails for them both personally and professionally. The latest addition to Libraries Unlimited's outstanding 'Library and Information Science Text' series, "Internet Technologies And Information Services" by Joseph B. Miller (Associate Professor in the School of Library and Information Science, University of Kentucky), who draws upon his many years of experience and expertise (which includes his currently serving as Coordinator of Computer Services for his school) to provide students, librarians, and non-specialist general readers with a complete single volume course on internet technologies and their role and utilization within the context of a library system. Of special note are the sections associated with 'Web Publishing' and 'Internet Content and Information Retrieval', as well as 'Libraries and the Internet: Learning from the Past, Exploring the Future'. Enhanced with the inclusion the appendix entry 'The Binary Machine', a glossary, bibliography, and index, "Internet Technologies And Information Services" is as comprehensive as it is 'user friendly', making it ideal as a course textbook and for on-site librarians seeking to accommodate their own community or school library to the age of the computer.

Gill Needham & Mohamed Ally, editor
Facet Publishing
c/o Neal-Schuman Publishers
100 William Street, Suite 2004, New York, NY 10038
9781856046480, $125.00,

The modern cell phone is a camera, MP3 player, personal organizer, and access to the world wide web. Libraries can be the next feature of these phones as well. "M-Libraries: Libraries on the Move to Provide Virtual Access" is a guide for library administrators to help them embrace the wide ranging mobile phone revolution as to not be left behind. Written by two scholars, one of the United Kingdom's lead thinkers on library education, and a Canadian doctor of Education, the book outlines the many possible ways today's library can join the mobile revolution. Step-by-step, each of the things a library needs to do to use the latest technologies, from converting existing resources into mobile friendly media, e-learning when it comes to cell phone technology, and building a specific digital library, "M-Libraries" is an absolute must for any library who desires to be on the cutting edge, and for community and college library science collections.

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

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