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Library Bookwatch

Volume 1, Number 1 October 2006 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Parenting Shelf Woodworking Shelf
Architecture Shelf Language Studies Shelf Library Science Shelf
Archaeology Shelf Economics Shelf Psychology Shelf
World History Shelf Cookbook Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Fiction Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf
Literary Shelf Library CD Music Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Computer Shelf Library DVD Shelf Audiobook Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Sailor on Snowshoes
Dick North
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
1550173847 $19.95

2006 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Jack London's White Fang, but few may realize many of his masterpieces about the gold rush stemmed from a pioneer who envisioned making his own fortune in the Klondike in 1897. SAILOR ON SNOWSHOES: TRACKING JACK LONDON'S NORTHERN TRAIL is indispensable for any who would understand London's world: it surveys his gold rush experiences, his search for riches, and also chronicles a search for the Yukon bush cabin where London lived. Northern historian and journalist Dick North retraces London's footsteps and adds plenty of historical background and literary reference to bring his times to life.

The Parenting Shelf

Oh, Baby!
Bettie B. Youngs, Ph.D., Ed.D.,
Hampton Roads
1125 Stoney Ridge Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22902
1571745033 $15.95

Three notable authors provide an essential guide to how a baby will change a family's interactions in OH BABY!: 7 WAYS A BABY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE THE FIRST YEAR. From coping strategies new parents share with others to discussions on new strengths which can foster both effective parenting and family communications, Oh Baby is packed with easy techniques and insights shared by other parents.

The Unhappy Child
Kenneth N. Condrell, Ph.D.
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591024196 $18.00

Millions of kids are chronically unhappy and not only puzzle their parents, but may be headed for a chronic depression that could last all their lives. THE UNHAPPY CHILD: WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW outlines the ten most common causes of such lasting childhood unhappiness, pairing them with solution suggestions stemming from over thirty years' experience helping kids with emotional problems. Quotes from such children also provide real-world insights.

Short Stories for Children
Walter de la Mare
Giles de la Mare/Trafalgar Square, Dist.
N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1900357054 $29.95

While Walter de la Mare is a famous children's author, it may surprise readers to learn the majority of his short stories have long been unavailable. To correct that is Short Stories for Children, which returns to print and world attention some of his best, from the welve stories of 'Broomsticks and Other Tales' to 'A Nose' and others which haven't been reprinted since their original appearance. Perfect for read-alouds, this is a pick for any prior de la Mare fan.

Food Marketing to Children And Youth
Institute of Medicine
National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
0309097134 $59.95 1-888-624-7654

Food Marketing to Children And Youth is a college-level survey of the impact food and beverage marketing has on the dietary patterns and overall health of children and youth in this country. From parents to educators, state regulators and schools, a wide range of adults will be interested in learning the cultural, social, economic and commercial issues which affect food marketing to the young. Statistics, studies, and health concerns blend in a powerful survey recommended for college-level collections in education and health.

The Woodworking Shelf

Carving for Kids
Robin Edward Trudel
Linden Publishing
2006 S. Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
1933502029 $16.95

Parents and their kids will find CARVING FOR KIDS: AN INTRODUCTION TO WOODCARVING an intriguing project guide holding eleven skill-building projects for kids ages 4-17. Not only does the author teach woodcarving as a volunteer: all four of his kids are carvers too: his book is packed with color photos and clear techniques.

The Architecture Shelf

25 Tropical Houses In Indonesia
Amir Sidharta
Periplus Editions/Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
0794602452 $44.95

25 Tropical Houses In Indonesia showcases architecture adapted not only to the needs of the user, but also the environmental and climate issues of daily life in the tropics. Full-color photography on virtually every page as well as black-and-white diagrams reveal structural and visual approaches, while the text describes at length the details of each house's unique features for lay readers and professional architects alike. Houses range in size and appearance from lofty to neo-cubist to resembling a cathedral. A majestic coffee-table book that wondrously captures the spirit of Indonesian architecture.

The Language Studies Shelf

Spanish Live It And Learn It!
Martha Racine Taylor
Cypress House
155 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
1879384647 $18.95 1-800-773-7782

Martha Racine Taylor, a teacher of college-level Spanish for twenty-five years, presents Spanish Live It And Learn It!: The Complete Guide To Language Immersion Schools In Mexico, is a "must-have" guide for anyone considering Spanish-language immersion study in Mexico. An introduction describes at length the cultural differences and hazards that American students need to adapt to, such as sensible precautions against pickpocketing and exercising care when construction sites and other dangerous areas do not have the barriers to keep people away that are more common in the United States. The bulk of Spanish Live It And Learn It! is devoted to reviews of different language-immersion schools within Mexico, including their academic background, programs and schedules, and distinguishing features. An invaluable guide for anyone seriously contemplating taking their Spanish-language studies to a higher level.

The Library Science Shelf

Creating Database-Backed Library Web Pages Using Open Source Tools
Stephen R. Westman
American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
0838909108 $48.00 1-312-280-1537

Creating Database-Backed Library Web Pages Using Open Source Tools by Stephen R. Westman (Digital Information services Librarian at the University Of North Carolina) is a step-by-step guide to creating appropriate database-backed library web pages for quick online reference and ease of use. Chapters walk the aspiring library web programmer through the technical know-how required to make such a web page fully functional, secure, with a readily accessible public interface, and overview its administration with a minimum of expended effort. Screenshots, sample code, plain-terms language and enumerated instructions all combine to make Creating Database-Backed Library Web Pages Using Open Source Tools a snap to use. A first-rate how-to guide in its field.

The Archaeology Shelf

Allan H. Smith
Washington State University Press
P.O. Box 645910 Pullman, WA, 99164-8568
0874222842 $22.95 1-509-335-7880

Takhoma: Ethnography Of Mount Rainier National Park is a scholarly compilation and record of the archaeological past and ethnographic study of Mount Rainier, also known as "Takhoma". Drawing upon both pre-existing data and literature concerning Mount Rainier and extensive interviews with elderly Native Americans, Takhoma covers native toponymy, tribal identities and boundaries, camp sites and structures, native trails, and trade. Black-and-white maps and extensive notes round out this scholarly, in-depth reference written with an eye toward completeness and accuracy.

The Economics Shelf

Cooperative Capitalism
J. W. Smith
The Institute For Economic Democracy
313 Seventh Avenue, Radford, VA 24141
0975355597 $28.00 1-888-533-1020

Now in a revised and updated second edition, Cooperative Capitalism: A Blueprint For Global Peace And Prosperity is a politically charged economic treatise that asks: why are so many resource-filled nations stricken with poverty while resource-poor nations are wealthy and consume the greater part of world resources? The answer according to author J. W. Smith is "plunder-by-trade", a process that destroys undeveloped nations' ability to process resources and sell them to their own people, forcing them to become dependent on imports and accelerating poverty because money flows directly out of the nation instead of circulating among the nation's people (the economic multiplier effect). Modern "plunder-by-trade" often involves selling subsidized food, or even donating clothing, putting local agriculture and textile operations out of business, increasing unemployment, and further impoverishing the nation - one example is the Ukraine, which went from breadbasket to bankrupt in response to foreign powers. Cooperative-Capitalism denounces such impoverishment and concentration of power in the wealthy elite of dominant nations as deliberate, accuses military efforts of dominant nations of furthering the process, and stridently calls for economic policy imperatives to reduce rather than create poverty - especially those promoting self-sufficiency through protectionism in the nations whose struggling industries need it the most. A serious-minded albiet strident discussion of a very real worldwide economic problem.

Globalization And The Politics Of Pay
Susan B. Hansen
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20007
1589010884 $24.95 1-202-687-5889

Globalization And The Politics Of Pay: Policy Choices In American States by Susan B. Hansen (Professor Of Political Science and Women's Studies at the University Of Pittsburgh) is a scholarly and serious-minded study of the economic, political, and social causes of declining overall labor wages in the United States. Daring to defy the conventional wisdom that globalization is placing the primary downward pressure on American wages, Globalization And The Politics Of Pay, Hansen's comprehensive analysis presents evidence that free-market ideologies, low voter turnout, and choices made directly by America's states through their laws and policies have had a greater effect on keeping wages low than globalization; furthermore, foreign trade and investment can lead to higher pay in the state labor market. Adhering strictly to rigorous economic principles, Hansen presents new measures of state and federal labor costs in order to scrutinize the good and bad effects of reducing wages and benefits. Above all, Globalization And The Politics Of Pay warns that while higher labor costs can be blamed for creating more unemployment, lower labor costs and declining personal income can bring about slower economic growth and a reduced position in international trade. Highly recommended.

The Psychology Shelf

Protecting The Self
Phebe Cramer
Guilford Publications
72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
1593852983 $45.00 1-212-966-6708

Protecting The Self: Defense Mechanisms In Action by Phebe Cramer (clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Williams College) is an in-depth reference and resource about the mental defense mechanisms that ordinary people use upon themselves every day of their lives to deal with unpleasantness, criticism of the self, stress, and other psychologically jarring effects. When taken to extremes defense mechanisms can play a key role in violent or even sadistic behavior, yet they are a routine and daily occurrence among nearly all people everywhere. Chapters particularly focus upon the defense mechanisms of denial, projection, and identification; other topics include how the mechanisms are used between genders, how they are used in childhood versus adulthood, and how to recognize and deal with them in psychotherapy. An authoritative resource especially recommended for medical school libraries, social workers, clinical and personality psychologists, psychiatrists, and other practitioners or students in the field.

The World History Shelf

"His Dominion And The Yellow Peril"
Jiwu Wang
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3C5
0889204853 $65.00 1-519-884-0710

"His Dominion" And The "Yellow Peril": Protestant Missions to Chinese Immigrants In Canada 1859-1967 by Jiwu Wang is a scholarly history of the interaction between Chinese Immigrants with Canadian Protestant missionaries, particularly with the role religion played enabling Chinese Immigrants to retain their cultural identity in an era when they were regarded with suspicion or even open hostility - the "Yellow Peril". Although much has been written about the struggle to survive and prosper for Chinese immigrants in Canada, little has been written analyzing the fervent desire common among Protestant evangelicals to convert the Chinese to Christianity - a mission that was seen not only as necessary to save their souls, but urgent to protect and preserve the values of the dominant culture. Chapters chronicle both individual missionary efforts and the establishment of missions, and their repercussions, evenhandedly detailing both the missions' reactions to the Chinese immigrants and the immigrants' reactions to the Chinese. A welcome addition to history and religious history shelves.

Sarajevo: A Biography
Robert J. Donia
The Michigan University Press
839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
047211557X $35.00 1-734-615-6477

Sarajevo: A Biography is the history of a proud city that persevered under terrible strife. Haven of learning in the Ottoman era; site of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, causing World War I; host to the Winter Olympics in 1984; multicultural center under Tito; and by 1992 subject to the longest urban siege of the modern era, Sarajevo's story is a complex and tumultuous one. Sarajevo: A Biography spares no detail in Sarajevo's history, up to and including the aftermath of the 1992-5 siege and the citizens' efforts to rebuild and preserve a valued way of life. Highly recommended especially for world history and library reference shelves.

The Cookbook Shelf

Fish & Shellfish Grilled & Smoked
Karen Adler & Judith M. Fertig
Harvard Common Press
535 Albany Street , Boston, MA 02118
1558321810 $15.95 1-888-657-3755

"Fish & Shellfish Grilled & Smoked" is the collaborative effort of culinary experts Karen Adler (President of Pig Out Publications, a barbecue/grilling book publisher and author of eleven cookbooks) and Judith M. Fertig (writer of a weekly cooking column for the 'Kansas City Star' and an award winning author of four previous cookbooks). This specialized, 408-page cookbook focuses on providing the kitchen cook with a wealth of three hundred superbly crafted recipes on all manner of fish and shellfish, plus easy-to-follow recipes for rubs, marinades, sauces, and side dishes. From Lemon-Pepper Crusted Cod; Grilled Pompano with Lime and Olive Oil; Greek-Style White Fish; and Peacan-Smoked Catfish with Fireworks Rub and Mississippi Mop; to Smoked Oyster Bisque; Smoked Mussels with Lemon-Garlic Hollandaise; Oak-Planked Sea Scallops; and Spicy Tamarind Dipping Sauce, "Fish & Shellfish Grilled & Smoked" is an impressive addition to any family cookbook shelf or community library cookbook collection..

Diabetic Meals In 30 Minutes Or Less!, second edition
Robyn Webb
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
1580402658 $11.95 1-800-ADA-ORDER

More than twenty million Americans have diabetes. One of the critical factors in the prevention and control of diabetes is the diet. Now in a newly revised and expanded second edition, "Diabetic Meals In 30 Minutes - Or Less!" from the American Diabetes Association offers a compendium of recipes that are thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in their preparation and are characterized by their flavor and nutrition, as well as being ideal for diabetics while at the same time satisfying the appetite and pleasing the palate of every once else at the table too. From Oriental Ginger Pot; Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Seafood Cream Sauce; and Grilled Turkey with Garlic Sauce; to Snow Peas with Waterchestnuts and Bamboo; Oven-Baked Parmesan Zucchini; and Chocolate Spice Pudding, "Diabetic Meals In 30 Minutes - Or Less!" is an enthusiastic and valued addition to any diabetic's cookbook shelf.

Secrets Of The Great Old-Timey Cooks
Barbara Swell
Native Ground Books & Music
109 Bell Road, Asheville, NC 28805-1521
1883206375 $5.95 1-800-752-2656

An ideal and inexpensive gift for kitchen cookbook collectors, Barbara Swell's "Secrets Of The Great Old-Timey Cooks" is a simply wonderful compendium of historic American recipes, folklore and country wisdom. Profusely illustrated with historic photos and illustrations, readers will be treated to mouth-watering 'yesteryear cuisine' ranging from Mock Macaroni, Sweet Potato Dumplings, and Jam Windmills, to Apple Maple Duck, Coconut Stack Cake, and Apple Dumpling Pie. But "Secrets Of The Great Old-Timey Cooks" is far more than just another nostalgic cookbook. Readers are also provided with kitchen secrets from contemporary pioneer women, antique autograph rhymes, food provers and superstitions, love vine prediction, folk remedies, the kinds of chores women routinely had to do, and even weather lore. If you like to cook, have a fondness for 'the good old days', and are partial to some of the best eating former generations of accomplished women cooks had to offer, then secure your very own copy of "Secrets Of The Great Old-Timey Cooks"!

Intuitive Cooking
Joanne Saltzman
Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99, Summertown, TN 38483
157067194-X $19.95

More than just another collection of recipes, Joanne Saltzman (Founder and Director of the Natural School of Cookery, Boulder, Colorado) wants the readers of Intuitive Cooking to learn about the underlying principles of flavor and texture that underpin successful improvisational cooking. Readers will learn the basics necessary to cook and season a variety of foods without precise measuring and complicated instructions. The almost four hundred reicpe 'sketches' of vegetables, grains, and plant-based proteins help to illustrate and demonstrate that with a few basic techniques and ratios, even the most novice of kitchen cooks can increase their culinary versatility and the meal-time success of their personal recipe innovations. With specific chapters dedicated to 'The Alphabet and Grammar of Cooking', 'Cooking Methods', and 'Primary Elements and Recipe Sketches', and enhanced with the inclusion of a glossary and a number of culinary preparation tables, "Intuitive Cooking" is a welcome addition to any kitchen cookbook collection -- and a recommended acquisition for inclusion in a school's cooking class curriculum reference and instructional materials collections.

One Dish Meals
Lynn Gigliotti
Lebhar-Friedman Books
425 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Lisa Ekus Public Relations (publicity)
57 North Street, Hatfield, MA 01038
0867309083 $35.00

Lynn Gigliotti is a lecturing instructor in Culinary Arts at the famous Culinary Institute of America and draws upon her many years of experience and expertise to put together "One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish meals From The world's Premier Culinary College". One-dish meals are designed for kitchen cooks who are under limitations of time but want to grace their family's dinner table with nutritious, delicious, and interesting meals that would please the palate even as they satisfied the appetite. Beautifully illustrated throughout with color photography of finished dishes, the "kitchen cook friendly" recipes comprising "One Dish Meals" range from 'Vegetable Soup with Radish Salsa'; 'Saigon Beef Stew'; 'Veal Braised in Asti Spumante'; and Frittata with Bacon, Corn and Pasta'; to 'Mushroom-Cauliflower Cury'; 'Potato Salad with Tuna, Olives, and Red Peppers'; and 'Gyro with Tsatziki Sauce'. A wonderfully imaginative cookbook, "One Dish Meals" is especially recommended to novice chefs needing easy to prepare and inspiringly served meals for any occasion from daily family fare to special occasion dining!

Food Made Fast: Slow Cooker
Norman Kolpas
Oxmoor House
c/o Sunset Publishing Corporation
80 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-3691
0848731395 $17.95 1-800-643-8030

The "Food Made Fast" series from Oxmoor House is composed of cookbooks featuring recipes that are as quick and easy to prepare as they are palate pleasing and appetite satisfying. The one seeming anomaly is "Slow Cooker", a compilation of simply wonderful recipes that are designed for kitchen cooks with minimal time for preparing meals. Each showcased recipe only requires three (or less) steps from beginning to end and easily prepared in half an hour or less. By allowing the dish to cook in a crock pot (or any other form of slow cooker) all day, a delicious, nutritious, and table-gracing dish will be ready for any dining occasion from the simple family meal to the celebratory dining event. From 'Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage'; 'Pork-Roast with Dried-Fruit Compote'; and 'Chicken Adobo'; to 'Split Pea Soup with Ham'; 'Polenta Gratin with Bolognese'; and 'Mole Enchiladas', "Slow Cooker" is an excellent and recommended addition to any cookbook collection -- but most especially to kitchen cooks who are short on time but high on expectations for their table fare. The other very highly recommended titles in the Oxmoor House "Food Made Fast" cookbook series include: "Soup" (0848731360, $17.95); "Weeknight" (0848731379, $17.95); "Baking" (0848731387, $17.95); and "Pasta" (0848731352, $17.95).

Penfield Books
215 Brown Street, Iowa City, IA 52245-5801

Penfield Books publishes a series of little, inexpensive ($6.95 each), ethnic recipe books that are perfect as 'stocking stuffers' come Christmas gift giving time (or any other time of the year!). This highly portable, smaller in dimension that a post card, spiral bound cookbook collections are also ideal to take along when visiting friends and family and using the 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes for preparing meals in their homes. Five particularly outstanding titles from this unique series of pocket-sized cookbooks are "Pleasing Polish Recipes" (0941016633) featuring dishes that range from Barley Soup, to Polish Hot Pot, to Beets with Horse Radish; "Dandy Dutch Recipes" (0941016846) with such wonderful fare as Dutch Coleslaw, Apple Pancakes, and Dutch Bread Pudding with Almond Sauce; "Cherished Czech Recipes (0941016463) showcasing such repasts as Pork Cheeks with Sauerkraut, Caraway Potatoes, Poppy Seed Studel; "Great German Recipes" (932043500) offering up such dining delights as Old Order Amish Bread, Round Steak Casserole, and Berlin Doughnuts; and "Time-Honored Norwegian Recipes: Adapted To The American Kitchen (1932043276) with recipes for everything from Trondheim Fruit Soup, to Potato Cakes, to Cream Puff Pretzel, to Red Berry Pudding with Cream. From daily family fare to celebratory gourmet dining, these little enthusiastically recommended cookbooks are filled with recipes as inspiring as they are authentic. Cookbook collectors and ethnic culinary enthusiasts are encouraged to visit the Penfild Books website at for a complete listing of all there little pocket-sized ethnic cookbooks!

Second Helpings
Paul Flynn
The Collins Press/Dufour Editions
Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
1903464846 $42.95 1-800-869-5677

The follow-up to the award-winning, "An Irish Adventure with Food", Second Helpings: Further Irish Adventures with Food collects the ongoing wisdom and discoveries of veteran chef Paul Flynn. Divided into monthly chapters, each of which is orchestrated around ingredients that are in season during that time, Second Helpings is more than a recipe book; it is also an invitation to share the joys and stories of Flynn's kitchen. Full-color photographs illustrate such delicacies as Poached Smoked Haddock with Creamy Egg Sauce, Baked Pears with Gingerbread and Cream, Chocolate Ripple Semifreddo with Amaretto Caramel, and much more. Enthusiastically recommended for intermediate to advanced chefs interested in learning how to create mouth-watering delicacies from a master.

The Healthy Jewish Cookbook
Michael van Straten
Frog Ltd/North Atlantic Books
PO Box 12327, Berkeley, CA 94712
1583941509 $21.95

The Healthy Jewish Cookbook collects one hundred mouth-watering recipes from around the world. Full-color photographs illustrate cultural delicacies from Fava Beans in Olive Oil, to Roast Tomatoes with Garlic, to Vegetarian Cholent, Spiced Lamb Cutlets, Coconut Bread Pudding with Strawberries, and much more. The meticulous instructions touch upon the history, tradition, and health benefits of individual recipes as well as the mechanics of how to prepare them. An index allows for quick and easy references in this visual and taste-pleasing compilation.

Cradle Of Flavor
James Oseland
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
0393054772 $35.00 1-800-233-4830

Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore is a compendium of one hundred authentic recipes celebrating Spice Islands cuisine, from Green Mango Sambal and Lemongrass-scented Coconut Rice to Indian-Style Fish Stew with Okra, Javanese Grilled Chicken, Sweet Spiced Mung Bean Porridge, and much more. In addition to the recipes themselves, Cradle of Flavor provides extensive information on obtaining and preparing ingredients that may seem exotic to cooks from outside the Spice Islands, as well as a handful of color photographs. A superb "how-to" introduction to Spice Island cuisine for cooks of all skill and experience levels.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Chinese Religions
In Contemporary Societies
James Miller
PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1851096264 $85.00

For over a half a century China's leaders repressed religion in Communist China, yet local religions continued to blossom and CHINESE RELIGIONS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIES charts this history by exploring not only religious practices, but how they evolved and translated to Western practices. Chapters focus on Chinese religious traditions form Confucianism to Falun gong, reviewing the social, religious and political influences which changed them. James Miller is an assistant professor of religious studies at Qwueen's University in Canada: his survey will be an important reference for a range of disciplines, from religious studies to Chinese history and sociology courses.

Greenwood Press
PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007

Greenwood's college-level religious studies references are highly recommended picks for any college-level institution: each offers solid research, source material references, and social insights. Anthony B. Pinn's THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE , 0313325855, $55.00) provides snapshots of 11 religious traditions close to the Afro-American experience in the US, from Buddhism to Voodoo. Each chapter opens with a historical introduction, moving to discussions of the Afro-American religious experience, a timeline of notable events, and details on different religious practices. Sidebars of information and source material bibliographies make for fine reference. Joseph A. Varacalli's THE CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA (0313325839, $55.00) considers the many facets of life as a Catholic in modern America. From different faces of Catholicism within the American church to issues of race and gender, chapters provide historical and social background, THE CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA provides thorough coverage of events which have affected the church and its religious foundations. For a comprehensive overview which reaches into general-interest and public library collections, INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD'S MAJOR RELIGIONS (0313336342, $325.00/3 volumes) is a 'must': it packs in six volumes by different authors: each of which provides an introduction, timeline of events, history and religious foundation analysis, and provides details on branches, major tenets, and rituals. Emily Taitz's JUDAISM, Randall Nadeau's CONFUCIANISM AND TAOISM, John M. Thompson's BUDDHISM, Lee W. Bailey's CHRISTIANITY, Zayn R. Kassam's ISLAM and Steven J. Rosen's HINDUISM are references any library holding should consider central to a strong collection, even one which is only providing an overview. The books cover all major events, issues, and religious practices under each heading and pack in source material references suitable for further, in-depth research; yet retain an accessibility which lends to general reading browsing. As a set, it competes well with other multivolume coverages, blending scholarly with general-interest approaches.

The Fiction Shelf

Forty Acres
Gerard Murrin
Robert D. Reed Publishers
PO Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
1931741743 $22.95 1-541-347-9882

"Forty Acres" is a compelling novel foreshadowing the growing loss of land to commercial and residential development in an America where the federal government enacts radical legislation to control land-use practices. The result is a political landscape that has local authorities and power brokers manipulating land acquisition and use, the outlawing of opposing opinion, and the despoiling of agricultural and rural lands for short-term profits. That's the setting in which we find Professor Tom Sanders, aided by the beautiful Tamara Hopkins, leading the struggling Land Preservation Society in an effort to sway public opinion by exposing greedy developers and their corrupt political allies. But the local political authority targets Sanders and his associates even while they try to save Meador Farms (rumored to be an ancient Native American burial ground) from the despoilers of corporate development. The stakes are nothing short of life and death. "Forty Acres" is a compelling novel from author Gerard Murrin that could be ripped from today's headlines and will grip the reader's total attention from first page to last with its deftly drawn and memorable characters and involving land-use crisis story line.

Pocket Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020

Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER VII (1416524525, $9.99) comes with a caveat: familiarity with the other 6 parts of the epic is required for a smooth reading of this final volume in the series of entwined stories and worlds. This said, it brings together wonderfully an epic story presenting a quest only equaled by Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in scope and imagination. Roland leaves behind his companions and his steps are followed only by Mordred, heir to an evil king, as he finds a handicapped man holds the key to the Tower, the center of time itself. The Dark Tower series has received acclaim with every additional book written and here draws together all loose strings under one cover, blending a modern protagonist with ancient legends in a hard-hitting survey. Perhaps it's political intrigue which interests, rather than King's fantasy world: if so, Vince Flynn's CONSENT TO KILL (1416505016, $9.99) is now in paperback and provides a thriller based on modern headlines and terrorist concerns. Mitch becomes the target of an international conspiracy for his struggles to preserve freedom: CONSENT TO KILL shows his evolution from hunter to prey as he's stalked by dangerous, unseen forces for his past 'crimes'. Both are outstanding and engrossing leisure choices.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

J. Brian Clarke
Edge Science fiction and Fantasy Publishing
PO Box 1714, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 2L7
1894063147 $14.95 1-403-254-0160

Brian Clarke's Alphanauts is the newest title in the EDGE science fiction and fantasy series. This 325-page sci-fi adventure novel is the story of a small band of men and women on Genser's World, an earth-like planet of Alpha Centauri who encounter the degenerate descendants of another space-traveling species along with intelligent 'catbird' symbiots, two ancient cyborg intelligences, and a malevolent AI computer that will have to be destroyed before it can evolve into a form that will destroy everything our group of colonists have worked so hard to create. And if all this weren't enough, there is still another threat -- a much larger group of refugees from a ruined Earth who, within the tunnels and chambers of their asteroid-ship, plan a fascist utopia on the newly discovered and colonized world. Brian Clarke is a master storyteller of considerable originality and ability who in "Alphanauts" takes his readers on a true and highly recommended science fiction epic from beginning to end.

Baen Books
Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

Baen's paperback titles provide some excellent leisure choices, especially for fans of military and political science fiction. Eric Flint and Dave Freer's THE RAS, THE BATS & THE UGLY (1416520783, $7.99) tells of mentally uplifted rats and bats and a human leader who face an incompetent military bureaucracy and aliens; James P. Hogan's KICKING THE SACRED COW (1416520732, $7.99) examines controversies in modern science and provides a fine gathering of science facts perfect for accompanying any pursuit of science fiction premises and everyday science alike; Catherine Asaro's SUNRISE ALLEY (1416520791, $7.99) tells of love between an artificial intelligence and a man supposedly killed in a car wreck, Nigel Bennett and P.N. Elrod's SIEGE PERILOUS (1416520740, $7.99) tells of a vampire hero named Lancelot a.k.a. Richard Dun who returns in a new adventure where he faces his old enemy Charon, and Martin H. Greenberg and Mark Tier edit FREEDOM! (1416520724, $14.00), a collection powerful for its diverse science fiction plots on the theme by such notables as Michael Resnick, Jack Williamson, and Murray Leinster, among others. All are excellent surveys.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

Islam In The World
Malise Ruthven
Oxford University Press
198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314
0195305035 $19.95 1-800-451-7556

The urgent need for Americans to understand the basic beliefs and history of Islam has been self-evident since the beginning of the conflict established by radical Islamists attacking the United States with such devastating consequences on September 11, 2001. Now in an updated and expanded third edition, Islam In The World by Malise Ruthven (a former professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion) provides the reader with a sound and succinct history of Islam, and an overview of such fundamental Islamic practices and issues as the pilgrimage to Mecca, Muhammad the Quran, the development of divine law, mystic Islamic tradition, and the different Islamic sects including the Sunni and the Shia. This new edition includes a new preface and an extended afterword, addresses the new realities of our post 9/11 world, Islam's altered relationship with the global community, the meaning of the American 'war on terror' and the purpose of the war in Iraq. "Islam In the World" is a critically important and strongly recommended addition to school and community libraries -- and should be on the reading list of every American citizen trying to understand current national and international events that seemingly echo a clash of cultures between Islam and the West.

The Literary Shelf

Kurt Vonnegut's Crusade
Todd F. Davis
State University Of New York Press
194 Washington Avenue, Suite 305, Albany, NY 12210-2384
0791466752 $35.00 1-800-666-2211

Kurt Vonnegut's Crusade: Or How A Post Modern Harlequin Preached A New Kind Of Humanism by Todd D. Davis (Assistant Professor of English at Penn State) explores the humanistic angle of the fiction of celebrated 60's and 70's author Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut's wish to preserve the world from environmental and military destruction, to use writing as an instrument of good citizenship and offer hope for the power of writing through provisional narratives are among the themes explored at length. An advanced and formal literary analysis, recommended for college library shelves.

Perception Of Magic In Medieval Spanish Literature
Jennifer M. Corry
Lehigh University Press
c/o Associated University Presses
2010 Eastpark Boulevard, Cranbury, NJ 08512
0934223815 $48.50 http://is1/ 1-609-655-4770

"Perception Of Magic In Medieval Spanish Literature" by Jennifer M. Corry (Assistant Professor of Spanish, Berry College, Rome, Georgia) is a work of seminal scholarship as it introduces the reader to the literature of medieval Spain with a special focus upon the depiction of magical practices held by the writers of that period in Spanish history. Religious, political and social events are explored to provide a framework and background to understanding Spain's unique historical development and the impact of the Spanish perspective on the lives and works of Spanish authors. Organized into four major chapters: Magic; Spanish Intellectual and Medical Treaties; 'Real' Magical Practitioners in Spain; and Magic in Medieval Spanish Literature. Professor Corry then draws some succinct and documented conclusions concerning how medieval Spanish writers viewed the role and practice of magic. Enhanced with a lengthy section of Notes, a 'List of References', and a comprehensive Index, "Perception Of Magic In Medieval Spanish Literature" is a core addition to academic library Spanish Literature and Medieval Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Reading Writing
Julien Gracq
Turtle Point Press
233 Broadway, New York, NY 10279
General Strategic Marketing (publicity)
78 Fifth Avenue, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011-8003
1933527021 $17.50 1-212-285-1018

Julien Gracq was born in 1910 at Saint-Florent-le-Vieil where he still resides today as one of France's most eminent postwar writers. His body of work includes essays, literary criticism, journalism, and novels. A retiring figure, Julien Gracq refused the Goncourt Prize when it was awarded to him in 1951. A highly prized and recommended addition to personal and academic library collections, "Reading Writing" is the first English-language edition of 'En lisant en ecrivant' and will introduce him to an American readership as a man with a distinctive take on the subjective history of fiction and poetry, and who offers a personal meditation on the links between literature and the visual arts of painting and the cinema. Cracq's poetics are founded upon his understanding of the basic acts of reading and writing and the relationship between the writer and the writer's language. Also very highly recommended from Turtle Point Press are the English translations of Julien Graque's masterpieces of social and emotional literature: "The Shape of the City"; "The Narrow Waters"; and "King Cophetus".

Daughters of Earth
Justine Larbalesier
Wesleyan University Press
215 Long Lane, Middletown, CT 06549
0819566756 $24.95 397 pages (860) 685-7723

Expertly compiled and deftly edited by science fiction expert and author Justine Larbalesier, "Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century" is both a collection of eleven short stories by famous feminist science fiction authors and eleven analytical essays which accompany and explain the short stories displayed. Both the authors of the short stories and the authors of the critical essays are feminist science fiction experts. Some of the authors of the short stories include Octavia Butler, Gwyneth Jones, Leslie Stone, Kate Wilhelm, Pamela Zoline, Lisa Tuttle, Pat Murphy, and James Tiptree Jr. Critical essayists include, not in order, Lisa Yaszek, Josh Lukin, Wendy Pearson, Joan Haran, Veronica Hollinger, Andrea Hairston, and L. Timmel Duchamp. These are the famed jewels of feminist science fiction, and it is indeed a rare treat to have the entire volume and its companion essays to peruse. If you have ever read Octavia Butler "The Evening and the Morning and the Night," you will relish the companion essay, 'Praise Song to a Prophetic Artist,' by Andrea Hairston. Paving the way for future feminist writers and thinkers, these authors represent a rich composite vein to be mined at will. An amazing amount of detective work and scholarship went into this edition. "Daughters of Earth" is a gift to the readers of the twenty-first century, in hopes that they remember upon whose literary shoulders they are standing in the fields of science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy.

The Stories We Tell
Ruth Newton
Florida Academic Press
PO Box 540, Gainesville, FL 32602-0540
1890357189 $34.95 352-332-5104

"The Stories We Tell: Composing In A Decomposing World" by Ruth Newton is a seminal body of literary criticism that is especially characterized by its scholarship and accessibility to both academia and non-specialist general readers alike. Her essays into the character of the novel as a form of epic storytelling showcases an enviable grasp of what constitutes enduring literature that transcends and extends beyond its own generation to speak to the mind and imagination of future generations of readers. As entertaining and engaging as it is informed and informative, "The Stories We Tell" is enthusiastically endorsed and a seminal contribution to personal and academic library Literary Criticism reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Library CD Music Shelf

David Krakauer
Label Bleu
c/o Rock Paper Scissors
216 West Allen Street, Suite 137, Bloomington, IN 47403

Bubbemeises is a collaborative music CD between clarinet creative genius David Krakauer and Jewish hip hop beat artist Socalled. The result is a lively international album that draws from both classical sources and the fiery wellspring of inner emotion. The tracks are Bubbemeises (6:62), Ms N.C. (2:50), Moskovitz and Loops of It (5:08), B Flat a la Socalled (6:33), Turntable Pounding (4:24), Long... Short, Long Les Colocs (2:34), Bus Number 9999 (4:20), The Electric Sher (3:54), Rumania Rumania (7:37), and Rue Mania Bonus Track (1:36). An instrumental cornucopia of vibrant klezmer sound and Romanian inspiration.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Warman's Little Golden Books
Steve Santi
Krause Publications
c/o F & W Publications Inc
700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001
089689424X $24.99 1-888-457-2873

"Warman's Little Golden Books" is a definitive 256 page guide and reference which identifies and prices over 2000 chidren's Little Golden books from 1942 to 2006. It is in full color, with simply wonderful cover illustrations of each book to complete its identification. For everyone who has ever enjoyed the Little Golden Books, this is an impressive and nostalgic guide to help you find, identify, price, sell, or acquire your childhood Little Golden Book treasures. "Warman's Little Golden Books" is clearly Steve Santi's labor of love and an impressive contribution to the "retro" children's book market collector. It is an excellent reference and a offer a delightful, bonus, and pleasantly nostalgic walk down memory lane.

Krause Publications
700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-2873

WARMAN'S LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS (089689424X, $24.99) by Steve Santi tells how to identify all Little Golden Books titles, providing an alphabetic listing of books by title and including matching color photos. Both original editions and secondary publications are included while the tips on assessment are particularly valuable given the number of reprints of the Little Golden series. Learn how to assess condition and make important value judgements with this essential collector's guide. Thomas Michael and George Cuhaj edit the 11th official edition of COLLECTING WORLD COINS (0896893596, $34.99), which includes coins from 1901 to modern times in a country-by-country reference to their latest prices. Black and white photos throughout make for quick and easy identification. George S. Cuhaj's STANDARD CATALOG OF WORLD PAPER MONEY (0896893561, $50.00) appears in its 12th updated edition to provide the reference of choice for any who would collect paper monies from 1961 to present. Again, black and white photos compliment the latest values in a country-organized reference perfect for quick lookup.

Collector Books
Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009

John W. Obbard's Early American Furniture: A Guide to Who, When, and Where (1574324896 $19.95) is as much a history of the genre as a collector's reference so don't expect glitzy color photos here. Instead, chapters pack in production history, notes on furniture makers and eras, and descriptions of key pieces with an eye to surveying the entire industry rather than the pieces of a particular company, making Early American Furniture a top pick for any serious about studying early American pieces. A specialty item indeed is Lar Hothem's ORNAMENTAL INDIAN ARTIFACTS: IDENTIFICATON AND VALUE GUIDE (1574325191, $34.95) and it will prove invaluable to any avid collector of ornamental Indian works. Color photos of stones, beads, slate, copper and other works pack a reference organized by material, making it easy for artifact collectors to quickly reference a piece. The second updated edition of Anna Mary Feldmeyer and Kara Holtzman's UHL POTTERY IDENTIFICATION & VALUE GUIDE (1574325280, $16.95) packs in color photos and history for general production pieces, hand-turned pieces, gardenware and more, pairing these explorations with color photos and packaging all in a book lending to a take-along tote. Ditto for the fifteenth edition of Gene & Cathy Florence's POCKET GUIDE TO DEPRESSION GLASS & MORE: 1920S-60S (1574325124, $12.95), which offers header pages of color photos accompanied by values and photo legends. Both are especially strong 'take along' picks when you're going to the flea market or estate sales.

The Computer Shelf

Murach's C# 2005
Joel Murach
Mike Murach & Associates Inc.
3484 West Gettysburg Avenue, Suite 101, Fresno, CA 93722
1890774375 $52.50 1-800-221-5528

Murach's C# 2005 is the definitive self-teaching and reference tool for aspiring and practicing C# programmers of all skill and experience levels. Like other books in the Murach line, Murach's C# 2005 distinguishes itself by providing complete applications for examples rather than isolated pieces of code. Assembled with the aid of an expert staff of programmers, Murach's C# 2005 covers everything from basic object-oriented and database programming to Visual Studio, Windows Forms applications, coding specific methods and control structures among other tools, working with XML files, intermediate to advanced programming concerns such as enhancing user interface and deploying applications, and much more. Nearly eight hundred pages of solid expertise, complete with sample exercises to practice and an index for easy lookup, round out this ultra user-friendly manual. Enthusiastically recommended for anyone with an interest in C#.

The Library DVD Shelf

Beowulf & Grendel
Union Station Media
c/o Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084
DV72120 $29.98

Starring Gerard Butler, Stellan Skarsgard, Sarah Polley, Ingvar Sigurdsson, and a superb cast of supporting actors, Beowulf & Grendel is an imaginative and engaging recasting of the ancient Norse legend of a mighty Geat warrior who fought against a monster and his mother who were slaying Danish men. This mythical medieval adventure brings to the story a new dimension casting Grendel as a troll with a backstory that provides an unexpectedly sympathetic perspective to his condition and his quest for vengeance. The plot twists and revelations, the accurate historical details of costume and set designs, the spectacular scenery, the incredible suspense and impressive battle sequences, and the intertwining themes of loyalty, honor, and vengeance on the part of both sides in the conflict, make Beowulf & Grendel a very strong and entertaining contribution to personal and community library DVD movie collections. The DVD format also allows a number of bonus features including a director's commentary, deleted scenes, cast interviews, costume sketches, and the featurette: "Wrath of Gods".

The Last Detective: Series 1
Acorn Media Group
801 Roeder Road, Suite 700, Silver Spring, MD 20910
1569388687 $39.99

Detective Constable 'Dangerous Davies' is a gentle, old-fashion, decent, conscientious, caring, and persevering London police officer who is ridiculed and disrespected by his fellow officers, his boss, and his ex-wife. His nickname of 'Dangerous' is a derisive reference to his being viewed as not dangerous at all, rather inept, and the very last detective on the force to be given an assignment of any importance. But when Dangerous Davies stumbles across an 20 year old disappearance, he doggedly tracks it down assisted only by an eccentric friend. The end result is the uncovering of an old murder and an unexpected plot twist that is the essence of a great British mystery! Based upon a novel by Leslie Thomas, "The Last Detective" is superbly produced, with first class acting, and meticulous attention to detail that hallmarks a witty, character-enriched, two-disc, four episode mini-series that has a total running time 312 minutes. The DVD format is enhanced with the inclusion of a Leslie Thomas biography and book list, a photo gallery, and cast filmographies making it very strongly recommended for personal and community library DVD collections.

The Audiobook Shelf

Random House Audio
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Marek Halter's LILAH: A FORBIDDEN LOVE, A PEOPLE'S DESTINY (0739311743, $29.95) receives TV actress Ellen Reilly's excellent narrative style, which brings to life an unusual drama set in the Middle East more than four thousand years ago and telling of one Lilah, living in exile and in love with a Persian warrior. Pair thwarted romance with Lilah's brother's destiny to lead his people and you have a compelling story indeed. Robert B. Parker's BLUE SCREEN (0739324608, $29.95) receives actress Kate Burton's smooth voice and style as it tells of a Boston investigator hired as a bodyguard to an up-and-coming starlet. The death of the starlet's sister will lead her to track a clever murderer.

Gideon the Cutpurse
Linda Buckley-Archer
Simon & Schuster Audio
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743555589 $39.95

Gerard Doyle's background as a Shakespearian actor lends drama to his reading about a cutpurse and gentleman, set in 1763 and telling of two 20th century children who are accidentally sent back in time. With the machine stolen, Gideon and the two children journey through 18th century London in an effort to find the keys to their return in this engrossing historical time travel drama.

Clipper Audio
270 Skipjack Rd., Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Carol Smith's HIDDEN AGENDA (1845055195, $49.95) receives Laurence Bouvard's warm and crisp style as it tells of an old school friend who faces execution for the murder of her children. London rabbi Deborah Hirsch is charged with proving her innocence. John Harvey's ASH AND BONE (1845058429, $79.95) benefits form Gordon Griffin's excellent style as it tells of a retired recluse detective's immersion in the violent crime of London and the problems of a willful daughter. All are excellent, recommended picks.

Brilliance Corporation

Familiarity with the prior volumes in the 'Saga of Seven Suns' series will lend to this, Kevin J. Anderson's Book 5, OF FIRE AND NIGHT (1597372196 $29.95), spiced with veteran narrator David Colacci's dramatic reading as it tells of interstellar war and the possible death of Earth. Interplanetary politics and battles provide ripe, rich drama prior fans will relish. Karen Kingsbury's FOUND (1596002034, $21.95) receives veteran Sandra Burr's warm reading as it tells of a wife's dying wish to find their firstborn son a wish which will set John on a search for answers and possible newfound meaning in life as he and Dayne Matthews search for spiritual and personal consolation. Juanita Bynum's WALKING IN YOUR DESTINY (1423326873, $19.95) also receives Sandra Burr's professional style as it provides a nonfiction spiritual account originally published as MY SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE. Bynum explains how to submit to God's authority and illustrates the pattern for receiving Godly approval.

The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova
Books On Tape, Inc.
400 Hahn, Westminister, MD 21157
1415929009 $129.00 1-800-541-5525

A series of letters discovered by a young woman lead her to a search for her father and an inquiry into her long missing mother's shadowed past. The letters provide links to the truth about Dracula and his involvement in the lives of her parents. Through flash-backs we learn of her father's efforts to find his mentor and teacher, Dr. Rossi, and in the process, discover Rossi's unacknowledged daughter. Together the two of them, assisted along the way by several characters and a series of mysterious old books featuring an image of the Dragon and nothing else, gradually uncover Dracula's lair and why he has enticed them into his the confines of his personal library which he had accumulated over the centuries of his diabolical existence. A rich combination of mystery, fantasy, history, and suspense, "The Historian" is a worth contribution to the growing body of Dracula stories. This complete and unabridged, 26 hour, 6 minute, audiocassette edition is narrated by Justine Eyre and Paul Michael who do full justice to Elizabeth Kostova's deftly written historical novel. With a sturdy plastic container for an extended shelf life which holds 17 cassettes, "The Historian" is an ideal and recommended addition to community library audiobook collections and is a "must" for fans of vampire lore in general, and tales of Dracula in particular.

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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