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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 4 April 2017 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Biography Shelf Science Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Relationship Shelf
Writing/Publishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Woodworking Shelf Photography Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Poetry Shelf Sports Shelf Parenting Shelf
American History Shelf Civil War Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Bataan Survivor
David L. Hardee, author
Frank A. Blazich, Jr., editor
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th St., Columbia, MO 65211
9780826220820 $50.00

Bataan Survivor: A POW's Account of Japanese Captivity in World War II is the personal, firsthand account of Colonel David L. Hardee, dictated and written at sea in April-May of 1945, directly after his liberation from Japanese captivity. Hardee was captured in April 1942 after the American surrender to the Japanese on Bataan during World War II. Hardee survived the Bataan Death March and life in a series of prison camps. Because a hernia made him too ill to travel to Japan in 1944, he was one of the few lieutenant colonels to remain in the Philippines and survive the war. Hardee's memoir is vivid, fresh from the extended horror of his captivity, and skillfully edited by historian Frank A. Blazich, Jr. A handful of black-and-white photographs, extensive notes, a bibliography, and an index round out this unforgettable true-life story, highly recommended especially for public and college library collections.

Wish You Were Here
Zachary Michael Jack
Truman State University Press
100 East Normal Street, Kirksville, MO 63501-4221
9781612481708 $19.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Wish You Were Here is an anthology of essays about life in the Midwest heartland, from the viewpoint of award-winning, seventh-generation rural author Zachary Michael Jack. Jack challenges the stereotypes of rural living, and presents why he loves the land and the tight-knit communities of the countryside. Heartwarming, candid, and penned directly the depths of the soul, Wish You Were Here is highly recommended.

Garden in the East
Angela Doll Carlson
Ancient Faith Publishing
PO Box 748, Chesterton, IN 46304-0748
9781944967031, $17.95, PB, 176pp,

Angela Doll Carlson is a poet, fiction writer and essayist whose work has appeared in publications such as St. Katherine Review, Rock & Sling Journal, Ruminate Magazine, Ink & Letters, Whale Road Review, Elephant Journal, Relief Journal, and Art House America. With "Garden in the East: The Spiritual Life of the Body", she addresses such issues as: How we care for and nurture our bodies, which has implications for all areas of our development physical, emotional, and even spiritual. The physical human body is a living and organic revelation of the unseen spirit inside a kind of garden. "Garden in the East" is a deftly crafted and poetic exploration of how the care of the body can lead us to wholeness and wellness in every area of our lives. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, organization and presentation, "Garden in the East" is very highly recommended. It should be noted that "Garden in the East" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Biography Shelf

From the Tundra to the Trenches
Eddy Weetaltuk
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887558221 $27.95 pbk / $24.99 Kindle

From the Tundra to the Trenches is the autobiography of Eddy Weetaltuk, a Canadian Inuk (member of indigenous people native to the arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska). Growing up, he had Canadian government label E9-422 (E for "Eskimo", a term the Inuit consider pejorative; 9 for his community, and 422 to identify him). In 1951, he decided to leave the North. Since the Canadian government forbid this of Inuit at the time, he changed his name, assuming the new identity of Eddy Vital SC-17515, and enlisted in the Canadian Forces. During his fifteen years of service, he fought in the Korean War; afterward, he worked with Inuit youth afflicted with drug and alcohol addiction. Featuring a handful of color drawings recreating key moments from Weetaltuk's life, From the Tundra to the Trenches is an absorbing, true-life story of war, courage, and the determination to be the master of one's own destiny. Highly recommended.

A Boy from Botwood
Bryan Davies and Andrew Traficante, editors
The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
9781459736719 $22.99 pbk / $11.99 Kindle

A Boy from Botwood: Pte. A.W. Manuel, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 1914-1919 is a memoir of the First World War. A.W. Manuel was an impoverished Newfoundland youth, who enlisted with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in late 1914. He survived the ill-fated 1915 Gallipoli campaign, and the Regiment's near-annihilation at Beaumont-Hamel. He was captured on the Passchendaele battlefield in 1917, and endured seventeen months as a German POW, although he nearly escaped from a forced labor camp. Manuel's story vividly describes his hatred of war, his contempt for leaders on both sides that allowed the bloodletting to drag on, and his empathy for common soldiers on both sides. Brief notes and a conclusion enrich this compelling and highly recommended true-life war story.

The Science Shelf

Amazing Stories of the Space Age
Rod Pyle
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882218 $18.00 pbk. / $11.99 Kindle

Amazing Stories of the Space Age is a nonfiction anthology that reads like pulp sci-fi. Here are extraordinary true tales of the twentieth century space race, from literal spacefaring Nazis, to the design of an inflatable space station, the extreme perils of atmospheric re-entry after space travel, and much more, Amazing Stories of the Space Age lives up to its title. Amazing Stories of the Space Age is a choice pick for public library science collections!

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Lovecraft Code
Peter Levenda
Ibis Press
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9780892542178, $27.95, HC, 400pp,

Gregory Angell, the present-day descendant of George Angell in Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu," is summoned by a nameless covert agency of the US government to retrieve a sacred book from the grasp of an Islamist terror network operating out of northern Iraq, in the land of the Yezidi. Practitioners of a monotheistic religion with mystical traditions, the Yezidi are all that's left of an ancient sect that possessed the key to the origins of the human race and was in conflict with another, more ancient civilization from beyond the stars. Impressively well written and a consistently compelling read from cover to cover, "The Lovecraft Code" by Peter Levenda is a 'must read' for the legions of Philip Lovecraft fans, 'Da Vinci Code' enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates a cleverly crafted novel by a master of the conspiracy thriller genre. While unreservedly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Lovecraft Code" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99).

The Last Machine in the Solar System
Matthew Isaac Sobin
99 Linden Street, Oakland, CA 94607
9781942645191, $9.98, PB, 80pp,

Nearly three billion years into the future, the solar system is a very different place. Earth is long gone, and the sun is a gray, shrunken dwarf. All that remains of humanity and conscious thought is Jonathan -- the last machine. Created to survive Earth's destruction by our ever-expanding sun, Jonathan witnessed the end of life on Earth. "The Last Machine in the Solar System" is his story and that of his creator, Nikolai. It is also the story of the human race, which failed to disentangle its destiny from the star that gave rise to all life-forms on Earth. A deftly crafted, impressively original, consistently compelling read from cover to cover, "The Last Machine in the Solar System" demonstrates author Matthew Isaac Sobin's genuine flair for creative storytelling and is very highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Making the Elephant Man: A Producer's Memoir
Jonathan Sanger
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476666624, $29.95, PB, 208pp,

The true story of John (Joseph) Merrick--a.k.a. the Elephant Man, has captured the imagination of generations of audiences, critics, actors and filmmakers. In 1978, producer Jonathan Sanger (an Academy Award-winning producer, film, theater and television producer and director, media advisor, and entertainment financial consultant) received a screenplay from two unknown writers about a hideously disfigured man who refused to fall victim to despair and instead exemplified human dignity. Reading it (twice), Sanger was determined that Merrick's story would be told. "Making the Elephant Man: A Producer's Memoir" is Sanger's unvarnished first-person account of how The Elephant Man (1980) was made. His adventure in filmmaking (itself a study in triumph over despair) involved special effects nightmares, scheduling conflicts, location issues and many risky decisions. Assembling a team that included Mel Brooks (executive producer), David Lynch (director) and actors John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins, Sanger persevered in making this inspiring, award-winning film. An exceptional, insightful, compelling, and impressively informative account, "Making the Elephant Man: A Producer's Memoir" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Cinematic History collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that 'Making the Elephant Man: A Producer's Memoir" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Forever a Hero
Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373789702 $7.99 pbk / $6.49 Kindle

Forever a Hero is the third novel in "The Carsons of Mustang Creek" romance trilogy, but the story is sufficiently self-contained to welcome newcomers to the series. Mace Carson, a cowboy- turned-vinter tries to persuade urban corporate executive Kelly Wright to buy a share of his business - but even though the two have led dramatically different lives, they just might have more in common than either one of them could have dreamed. By chance, Mace rescued Kelly from a stalker ten years ago; now, her attacker has been released from prison, and wants revenge on both of them! Vivid and passionate from cover to cover, Forever a Hero is a choice pick for romance connoisseurs.

Distress Signals
Catherine Ryan Howard
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781504757522, $24.99, HC, 368pp,

The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ''I'm sorry -- S'' sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her. Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate -- and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. All the more impressive when considering that "Distress Signals" is author Catherine Ryan Howard's debut as a novelist, this exceptionally well crafted and compelling read is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Distress Signals" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Things Unsaid
Diana Y. Paul
She Writes Press
9781631528125, $16.95, PB, 270pp,

Jules, her sister Joanne, and her brother Andrew all grew up in the same household -- but their varying views of and reactions to their experiences growing up have made them all very different people. Now, as adults with children of their own, they are all faced with the question of what to do to help their parents, who insist on maintaining the upscale lifestyle they're accustomed to despite their mounting debts. In "Things Unsaid", novelist Diana Paul provides a deft exploration of the ever-shifting covenants between parents and children. "Things Unsaid" is a ferocious tale of family love, dysfunction, and sense of duty over forty years. A story of the complexity of the bonds between parents and children and how difficult it can be to escape them, "Things Unsaid" is a highly charged family saga of characters fighting for space to breathe. A consistently compelling and engaging read from cover to cover, "Things Unsaid" is very highly recommended, especially for community and academic library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Things Unsaid" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.29).

The Twilight Tsunami
Shelby Londyn-Heath
SLH Productions
9781941861257, $22.95, PB, 294pp,

A hard-hitting foster care worker who removes babies and children from dangerous drugged parents, violent homes, and families in criminal gangs. He is unstoppable until a new social worker enters his department. She is hungry for power and position, and challenges him in malevolent and unexpected ways. As he yanks newborns from mothers, confronts irate parents, and lives through suicides of foster children aging out of the system, he meets his nemesis. In order to confront her, he must find the "Achilles Heel" of this truly power-hungry woman and his inner truth. One of them must be destroyed. Because of her own background as a counselor, social worker, and teacher, author Shelby Londyn-Heath brings a genuine realism to her compelling narrative in the pages of "The Twilight Tsunami". A compelling read from cover to cover, "The Twilight Tsunami" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Twilight Tsunami" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Angel's Flight
Lou Cameron
Black Gat Books
c/o Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520182, $9.99, PB, 240pp,

The first time Ben Parker meets Johnny Angel, Ben is blowing bass with Daddy Halloway and the Hot Babies. Angel angles into the band by acing out the drummer. Parker's got a bad feeling about Angel, but has to hire him anyway. Johnny Angel, raised from the school of hard knocks, doesn't let anyone or any scruple get in his way. First, he steals Daddy's band, then he steals his daughter, Blanche. Then WWII happens Parker serves, but Johnny cops a gay plea and gets out. When Parker gets back he hooks up with a talented but tubercular composer named Con Conners. And a sultry singer, Ginger. But Johnny Angel is right behind him, ready to do whatever it takes to climb to the top on someone else's talent, be it beg, borrow or steal... even kill. Introducing a whole new generation of mystery/suspense fans to the creative writing talent of the late Lou Cameron to a whole new generation of appreciated readers, "Angel's Flight" is a ruthless story of the music business told from the inside, starting from the days of swing jazz to bebop, all the way to rock n roll. Another 'timeless classic', "Angel's Flight" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections.

Pretty Little World
Elizabeth LaBan & Melissa DePino
Lake Union Publishing
9781503941021, $14.95, PB, 320pp,

On a cozy street in Philadelphia, three neighboring families have become the best of friends. They can't imagine life without one another -- until one family outgrows their tiny row house. In a bid to stay together, a crazy idea is born: What if they tear down the walls between their homes and live together under one roof? And so an experiment begins. Celia and Mark now have the space they need. But is this really what Celia's increasingly distant husband wants? Stephanie embraces the idea of one big, happy family, but has she considered how it may exacerbate the stark differences between her and her husband, Chris? While Hope always wanted a larger family with Leo, will caring for all the children really satisfy that need? Behind closed doors, they strive to preserve the closeness they treasure. But when boundaries are blurred, they are forced to question their choices... and re-imagine the true meaning of family. An exceptionally well written, consistently engaging, and purely entertaining read from cover to cover, "Pretty Little World" is especially recommended for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pretty Little World" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

The Making of Mickey Bell
Kellan Macinnes
Sandstone Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781910985274, $15.00, PB, 320pp,

Mickey Bell's sick alright, just not as sick as the government benefits agency thinks he is. Now his psychotic ex, Tommy, has reported him to the benefit fraud hotline, and Mickey needs to make a sharp exit. Where better to hide than up in the mountains, in the Munros? With faithful wee dog Tyke at his heels, Mickey flees a Glasgow rife with referendum fever for a country where crows and collie dogs can speak. A wicked queen, a gay hell's angel, and a total disregard for the legal implications of love could be just what Mickey needs to turn his life around. With its background a celebration of Scotland's landscape, this novel illuminates Mickey's personal journey from a life on benefits to a brighter future, and mirrors Scotland's journey towards independence. A consistently compelling and deftly crafted read from beginning to end, "The Making of Mickey Bell" clearly reveals author Kellan Macinnes' genuine and impressive flair for originality. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Making of Mickey Bell" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Because I Had To
David Bulitt
Roundfire Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781785355516, $16.95, PB, 240pp,

Jess Porter spent her childhood bouncing from therapist to therapist and prescription to prescription. An outcast at school and a misfit at home, the only solace she ever found was in her relationship with her dad, Tom. Now he's dead. Feeling rejected by her adopted mom and her biological twin sister, Jess runs off to South Florida. But she can't outrun her old life. Watching the blood drip down her arm after her latest round of self-inflicted cutting, she decides her only choice is to find and face what frightens her most. Because I Had To takes the reader inside the worlds of adoption, teen therapy, family law, and the search for a biological family. With a cast of finely drawn, complicated characters, "Because I Had To" asks us to consider: can the present ever heal the past? A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Because I Had To" is a deftly crafted, thoughtful and thought-provoking novel that is unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Because I Had To" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.15).

I Found You
Lisa Jewell
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781501154591, $26.00, HC, 352pp,

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside. Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed. Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable - and it's not just that he's playing the role of protective older brother. Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of "I Found You" and clearly reveal author Lisa Jewell as a genuinely original and skilled novelist with an impressive flair for deftly crafted narratives and surprising plot development. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Found You" is also available in a Kindle format ($12.99). Librarians please note that there is a complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of "I Found You" (Dreamscape Media, 9781520068374, $29.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Old Bones Never Die
Lesley A. Diehl
Camel Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
9781603813174, $15.95, PB, 272pp,

Just before Walter Egret is killed in a hit-and-run, he phoned his half-brother Sammy to report that he'd unearthed their missing father's pocket watch, along with a pile of human bones. The project is put on hold until it can be determined if the site is an Indian burial ground. Then the bones disappear. Now Sammy and his brother's three orphaned children want Eve Appel to go pro, applying her innate snoopiness to the trade of private investigator. Eve already has her hands full with her two consignment stores. What is she going to do? Sammy and Walter are Miccosukee Indians, and Walter was employed as a backhoe operator on a construction site for a sportsmen's resort. Was Walter's death murder or an accident? If the bones belong to Sammy's father, how did they get there? Delving into these mysteries, Eve is aided by her usual crew of friends and family. This adventure will not only up the stakes for Eve as an investigator, but it will also open her eyes to life possibilities she never imagined. Still another terrifically entertaining read from a master of the genre, "Old Bones Never Die" is the fifth book in author Lesley Diehl's 'Eve Appel Mystery' and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections and the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs!

Where I Can See You
Larry D. Sweazy
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228
9781633882119, $15.95, PB, 255pp,

Haunted by the disappearance of his mother when he was eight years old, detective Hud Matthews begins his own investigation to find out what really happened so many years before. When a rare murder occurs in the lakeside community, Hud's veteran skills are called upon to capture the killer. Pulled deep into the threads of the community with ties to the past, Hud quickly becomes a target, not only of the killer, but of those who wish the past to be left alone. As Hud gets closer to discovering the truth about the crimes, he has to face a choice of enforcing the law, or stepping outside of it to make sure that his version of justice is served. A deftly crafted and riveting read from cover to cover, "Where I Can See You" is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "Where I Can See You" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

K Street
M. A. Lawson
Blue Rider Press
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780399573842, $28.00, HC, 304pp,

It's been almost a year since Kay Hamilton was fired from the DEA for going rogue. Since then, she's been employed by the Callahan Group, a covert intelligence agency based in Washington, D.C. Her job description is as dubious as the people she works for, and the undercover mission that nearly killed her in Viking Bay has Hamilton questioning the legitimacy of her employers. When Hamilton arrives at the Callahan Group's K Street office to tender her resignation, she unwittingly interrupts a deadly heist during which the robbers have stolen the company safe and left her boss gravely injured. She knows that Thomas Callahan doesn't keep much cash in the safe - the men must have been after something other than money. But before Callahan slips into a coma, he whispers a name that will lead Kay to an organization even more secretive than the Callahan Group: the NSA. An author with a genuine flair for original and deftly crafted storytelling, M. A. Lawson's "K Street" is the third in the outstanding 'Kay Hamilton' series featuring a tough, gun-toting, and fearless heroine who she sets out to find answers and exact revenge. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "K Street" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99).

A Cotswold Casebook
Rebecca Tope
Allison & Busby
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9780749020040, $25.00, HC, 320pp,

"A Cotswold Casebook" is an anthology of twelve short stories by Rebecca Tope that are set in the rolling hills and villages of the Cotswolds and brimming with warmth and intrigue. The familiar characters and places are drawn from her popular Cotswold Mystery novels and include a suspicious funeral, a fatal encounter at a garden center, and a country walk marred by the discovery of a hidden corpse are just some of the perplexing situations with which Thea Osborne, her friends, and a further cast of characters must contend in this expanded view of the Cotswold Mystery world. Also included are"The Blockley Discovery" and "With Slaughter in Mind". "A Cotswold Casebook" reveals that death and crime will visit even the most idyllic of country villages! An author with a genuine flair for original and deftly crafted storytelling (and a master of the short story format), Rebecca Tope's "A Cotswold Casebook" is very highly recommended, especially for community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Rebecca Tope fans that "A Cotswold Casebook" is also available in a paperback edition (9780749020149, $12.95) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Paris Spring
James Naughtie
The Overlook Press
141 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012
9781468311761, $26.95, HC, 336pp,

Freddy Craven is the hero and mentor Flemyng would trust with his life, but when he is tempted into a dark, Cold War labyrinth, he chooses the dangerous path and plays his game alone. And when glamorous, globe-trotting journalist Grace Quincy, in pursuit of a big story, is found dead in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, the question is raised what side was she on? Certainly she knew too much, and had become dangerous. But to whom? The bizarre murder reveals a web of secrets, and Fleming's loyalty to family and friends is tested as never before. As the streets of Paris become a smoke-filled battleground, Flemyng, like his friends and enemies, discovers that where secrets are at stake, lives are too. Author James Naughtie is a master of the suspense/thriller genre and his latest novel, "Paris Spring" continues to showcase a writer with a genuine flair for original and deftly crafted storytelling. While "Paris Spring" is unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that there is also a Kindle edition ($12.99).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 4
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781945054037 $10.95

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 4 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) gothic fantasy series, set in a colonized nation badly scarred by recent civil war. During the war, soldiers were transformed into Incarnates, or "Sacred Beasts", supremely powerful living superweapons in the image of mythological monsters. Yet one by one, each of the Sacred Beasts is destined to lose their humanity and become little more than a rampaging killing machine. Hank, once the commander of the Incarnates, made a vow to kill his former comrades-in-arms rather than allow them to lose their humanity - but Hank is himself an Incarnate, and at risk for succumbing to the same feral drives. Nancy Schaal, the daughter of an Incarnate and prior blood enemy of Hank, has reconsidered her former hatred for the man who killed her Incarnate father. Now, Schaal is traveling with the military unit tasked to exterminate all Incarnates, including Hank. Is any outcome other than bloodshed and death possible for Hank, for the Incarnates, or for the entire war-ravaged nation? A fine balance of character-driven storytelling and ferocious action, To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is highly recommended.

Ajin 9
Gamon Sakurai
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781945054198 $12.95

Ajin 9 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series set in a modern world where a small number of "demi-humans" are gifted with seemingly supernatural immortality - including the ability to regenerate after death, and the ability to summon a shadowy figure that may or may not fight according to their will. But this immortality makes them the perfect guinea pigs, to be sold as commodities to unscrupulous governments or corporations. Kei Nagai is a demi-human who seeks only to have a normal life, while the criminal demi-human Sato openly spreads murder and terror. Kei has attempted to construct a trap with Sato's next target as the bait. But Kei underestimated the lengths to which Sato would go, and now Kei's plan to cage Sato is unraveling at the seams! Part pitched battle, part speculative morality study, Ajin is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of action-packed manga. Highly recommended!

Devil's Line 5
Ryo Hanada
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993629 $12.95

Devil's Line 5 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series set in a modern world similar to ours, except that a portion of the everyday population is born as "devils" or "vampires", who spiral into a crazed killing rampage over the sight or scent of blood - or through sexual desire. In volume 5, Anzai, a half-devil who works for the police, has an unsuspecting "chance meeting" with his mother. Secrets are revealed about the mysterious half- devil Lee, and his troubled past with ONLO. Devil's Line 5 is a compelling modern fantasy, recommended for readers at least 13 years or older due to mature themes and scenes - including an intimate encounter between Anzai and his girlfriend, which by necessity is closely monitored and supervised!

Blame! 3
Tsutomu Nihei
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993797 $34.95

Blame! 3 Master Edition continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) set in a cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic world where artificial beings called "silicon life" threaten to exterminate the last remnants of humanity. Stoic protagonist Kyrii is searching for the Net Terminal gene, humanity's last hope, while Cibo assists him to the best of her ability, both through her talent for cybernetic hacking and in open combat. In volume three, the two encounter one of the last functional artificial intelligences that is not entirely hostile to humans, but the murderous threat of silicon lifeforms is ever-present! Sweeping artwork and pulse-pounding battles are the hallmark of this visually stunning sci-fi series, highly recommended for connoisseurs of intense action.

The Audiobook Shelf

Abby's Journey
Steena Holmes
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781531863579 $9.99

Abby's Journey is an unabridged MP3 audiobook (playable on MP3-CD enabled players, or transferrable to portable devices) of a twenty-year-old young woman raised by her loving but stifling, overprotective widower father. Abigail Turner was born with a condition that makes her particularly susceptible to diseases such as pneumonia, but she longs to see the world outside her shut-in home. When her Abby's doctor gives her a clean bill of health (for now), her grandmother Millie insists on a trip to Europe to experience the Christmas markets that her mother once loved and wrote about in travel journals. Through her travels, Abby has the opportunity to connect more deeply with the mother she never knew. Poignant and emotionally moving, Abby's Journey is highly recommended. 1 disc, 6 hours 42 min.

Power Game: A GhostWalker Novel
Christine Feehan, author
Jim Frangione, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Power Game: A GhostWalker Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a thriller novel featuring protagonists who were enhanced through experiments to create supersoldiers - or superspies. Captain Ezekiel Fortunes will needs every advantage he can get when he is called to lead a team to rescue members of a United Nations joint security force, captured by radical terrorists in Indonesia. He encounters the genetically engineered spy Bellisia, and there might even be the possibility of mutual attraction... if the two of them can manage to survive! Superbly narrated by Jim Frangione, Power Game is a fine balance of character-driven intrigue and pulse- quickening action, highly recommended. 10 CDs, 12 hours 15 min.

Death of a Ghost
M.C. Beaton
Read by Graeme Malcolm
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781478938958 $30.00

Death of a Ghost: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a murder mystery in author M.C. Beaton's series featuring Sergeant Hamish Macbeth, a sharp-as-a- tack yet utterly unambitious Scottish policeman. Investigating reports of a "haunted" castle near Drim, Hamish and fellow policeman Charlie "Clumsy" Carson discover a murdered body... yet the corpse disappears just before help can arrive! (While Hamish and Carson were taking a break to eat bacon baps, no less). Can Hamish and Carson find this "ghost" before it spreads more death and mystification? Superbly performed by Graeme Malcolm, Death of a Ghost is a choice pick for murder mystery connoisseurs. 5 hours 30 min.

Bones Would Rain from the Sky
Suzanne Clothier, author
Read by Pam Ward
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781515916031 $44.99

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by dog trainer and award-winning author Suzanne Clothier, shows readers how dogs perceive the world, and how to enrich their friendship with loyal canine companions. Dog owners can connect more closely with their beloved pets by understanding them, and the "laws" of canine culture. In particular, Clothier's understanding of what prompts canine aggression can help dog owners prevent tragedy. Although Bones Would Rain from the Sky isn't quite a typical dog training manual, it's insightful wisdom is a "must-read" for dog owners everywhere. Highly recommended! 11 CDs, 14 hours.

The Secret of the Dark Forest
Vasily Mahanenko, author
Jonathan Yen, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781515953630, $34.99, CD,

The virtual world of Barliona is a place of rest and entertainment-but not for everyone. It has become a survival arena for Daniel Mahan after he was sentenced to eight years in its virtual jail. Mahan has been through it all: the back-breaking work in the mines, betrayal by other prisoners, and finally, the retrial which has released him into Barliona's common world. What more could one want? Mahan could have kept a low profile and enjoyed relative freedom while serving the rest of his time. But being a Shaman, he can't help himself. Soon he's a clan leader, taking fifty of the continent's top players to claim the secrets of the Dark Forest. The third volume in Vasily Mahanenko's outstanding 'Way of the Shamen' series, "The Secret of the Dark Forest" has it all -- gods, vampires, spirits, magic users, fighters and, of course, the Emperor. This cliff hanger of an action/adventure fantasy is deftly narrated by Jonathan Yen who brings Mahanenko's deftly crafted characters and plot twists fully to life in a kind of theatre of the mind experience for the listener. Of particular and special interest to anyone who role play games online or table-top, "The Secret of the Dark Forest" is unreserved recommended for personal and community library Fantasy Fiction audio book collections. (15 CDs, 19 Hours, Complete & Unabridged).

The Music CD Shelf

Souvenir D'Italia
Elizabeth Naccarato
Jarrell's Cove Publishing/ASCAP
$12.97 CD / $9.99 download

American pianist and composer Elizabeth Naccarato presents her sixth album, Souvenir D'Italia, an anthology of instrumental tunes in homage to the adventure, romance, and beauty of Italy. Inspired by Naccarato's numerous travels throughout Italy, Souvenir D'Italia is an expressive ode borne of love, highly recommended. The tracks are "Waltz Italiano", "Assisi", "Spanish Steps", "Summer's End", "Natasha", "Serenade", "Romance", "Tango", "Andrea's Forest", "Intermezzo", "Venetian Boat Song", and "That's Amore".

Songs of Potential Embrace
David Franklin
Privately Published

Songs of Potential Embrace is an avant-garde new age album, the ninth music CD by talented multi-instrumentalist David Franklin. Mixing and fusing the sounds of avant-garde, new age, and ambient music, Songs of Potential Embrace includes original compositions as well as tracks originally created to accompany the performances of a San Francisco dance troupe, and a couple remixes of songs from Franklin's previous album "Shadowlands". Some are acoustic piano; a few are entirely synthesizer; others incorporate piano and guitar music. Songs of Potential Embrace is a uniquely creative joy to experience, highly recommended. The tracks are "The Failed Experiment of Consciousness" (4:45), "Calling" (4:17), "Allowing" (3:36), "Shade & Shadow" (3:32), "Shade & Darkness" (3:20), "Whirling" (3:27), "Mourning in America" (2:07), "So Far Below" (4:42), "Swamps Of Jersey (re-mix)" (3:17), "Inbal's Theme" (7:07), "Ambient Fog" (5:08), "Piece For Vacuum And 3 Voices (re-mix)" (3:06), "RH Factor (re-mix)" (2:35), "Quotes" (re-mix) (3:10), "The Wilderness" (0:57), and "XaS10shl" (5:43).

Tastes Like L.A.
Las Cafeteras
Privately Published
$15.00 CD / $10.00 digital

Tastes Like L.A. is a music album celebrating the diversity and political activity of the East Los Angeles neighborhood. The songs express personal stories about where members of the band were raised, and an abiding love for the hardworking men and women of the community. Perhaps one of the most iconic songs on the album is "If I was President", a song that encourages the listener to answer the question "What would you do if you were president?" for themselves. Socially conscious, eclectic, and heartfelt, Tastes Like L.A. is a mind-expanding music experience, highly recommended. The tracks are "Tiempos de Amor", "Vamos to the Beach", "Paletero", "This Land is Your Land", "Apache", "La Morena", "Senor Presidente", "If I was President", "El Feo Mas Belio", and "Two More Days".

New Day
Bean Pie Records
PO Box 6231, Austin, Texas 78762-6231
$TBA CD / $9.49 digital

The third album from rhythm & blues band Flyjack, New Day is an homage to late 60's and early 70's groove, soul, and funk. Inspired in part by the 1973 funk protest song "It's a New Day" by Skull Snaps, New Day is a call to young and old to take a stand against injustice. New Day is vibrant, powerful, and highly recommended. The tracks are "It's a New Day", "Motherlode", "Soulful Proclamation", "Flame Thrower", "The Jungle", "Everybody Has Some Dues to Pay", "The Worm", "Gossip", "Steam Train", "Funky Fast Bump", "Plums", and "The Master".

The DVD Shelf

The Brokenwood Mysteries, series 3
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

The Brokenwood Mysteries, series 3 continues the popular New Zealand detective series, featuring mismatched protagonists Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd and his assistant, Detective Kristin Sims. Both have been transferred from the big city to the slow-paced country town of Brokenwood. Beneath the town's quiet surface, passions have culminated into murders that the two must solve. Series 3 presents four, feature-length mysteries, including the sudden death of a "Lord of the Ringz" tour guide, a real-life "Clue" board game gone horribly wrong, the murder of a classic car enthusiast, and a Christmas-related death. Tautly written, The Brokenwood Mysteries is a "must-see" for connoisseurs of the genre. It should be noted that The Brokenwood Mysteries, series 3 is recommended for mature viewers, due to the presence of disturbing images. 369 min.

Jack Taylor, set 3
Starring Iain Glen
Based on the novels by Ken Bruen
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
$49.99 DVD

Jack Taylor, set 3 presents three feature-length mysteries based on the popular crime novels by author Ken Bruen. Actor Iain Glen (known for his roles in "Game of Thrones" and "Downton Abbey) plays the role of Jack Taylor, a self-destructive, intransigent ex-cop turned private investigator, teetering on the knife-edge between working class and poverty in his native Galway. One of the few friends that he hasn't pushed away with his manifestly cynical personality is detective Kate Noonan (played by Siobhan O'Kelly). Jacks latest cases are as gruesome and horrifying as the worst he encountered in his years on the force - a young man is crucified; corporate espionage turns deadly; and an old nemesis is kidnapped. And when ill fortune befalls Kate, Jack Taylor must choose whether to focus on helping her or cracking his latest case. The Jack Taylor series brings hard-boiled, modern-day detective stories to vivid life, and is a "must" for connoisseurs of the genre! It should be noted that Jack Taylor, set 3 is intended for mature viewers, due to the presence of coarse language, violence, sexual situations and disturbing images. 282 min.

The Relationship Shelf

808 Conversation Starters for Couples
Robin Westen
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612436470, $12.95, PB, 224pp,

"808 Conversation Starters for Couples" is the perfect resource for conversation starters in any social occasion whether its between family members, friends, or strangers. Flip open to any page and you'll find deftly crafted questions that will start an interesting new conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime. The questions range from What would be the title of your autobiography?; to Would you say you were born in the wrong decade?; to What TV show is your guilty pleasure?, to What are three jobs you definitely couldn't do?; to What's the most important piece of advice you ever received?; to What's the very first memory you can recall? -- and, quite literally, hundreds more. Although author Robin Western intended "808 Conversation Starters for Couples" to be a conversational resource for two people, her compendium of conversation starter questions is suitable for starting up entertaining and engaging communications with small groups of people at any party or recreational gathering. While very highly recommended for community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "808 Conversation Starters for Couples" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Expressive Type
Alex Fowkes
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quayside Publishing Group
400 - 1st Avenue North, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1721
9781631592737, $30.00, PB, 160pp,

Alex Fowkes is a freelance designer based in London, UK. While working full time Alex completed lots of typography-based briefs in his spare time, from personal pieces to commissions and album covers. His work varies from hand-drawn type to digital typography, but he always tries to retain a human element to his work. In "Expressive Type" he draws upon his years of experience and expertise to showcase the work of major international designers working with typography in branding and advertising, environment, packaging and products, and self-initiated projects. "Expressive Type" concludes with a workbook section featuring four real-world "briefs" related to each category. A unique and thoroughly 'reader friendly' instructional, "Expressive Type" will prove to be of immense interest and practical value for anyone engaged in typographic design in sketchbooks, in print publications, and on location in any urban, suburban, or rural setting.

The Cookbook Shelf

From Cabela's Kitchen Table
Cabela's Outfitters
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630
9780794843274, $19.95, Spiral Bound PB, 224pp,

Based in Sidney, Nebraska, Cabela's Inc. is an American direct marketer and specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, boating, camping, shooting, and related outdoor recreation merchandise. "From Cabela's Kitchen Table" a collection of recipes provided by Cabela's Outfitters, drawing upon culinary contributions by their employees who work to help our customer across these United States of America. Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, and featuring more than 200 recipes and DIY tips on how to prepare game and other wild edibles, the recipes comprising "From Cabela's Kitchen Table" range from Bananas Overload; Venison Stew; Duck-Stuffed Peppers; Roasted Goose Breasts; Pheasant Enchiladas; and Turkey Galantine; to Three-Meat Wild Chili; Maple-Glazed Ham; Broiled Fish with Tomatoes & Olive Relish; Citrus Campfire Fish; Smoked Salmon Jerky; Grilled Oysters, Shrimp & Spiny Lobster; and Wild Rice Stuffing. Of special and particular interest to outdoors sports enthusiasts, "From Cabela's Kitchen Table" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen
Zoe Adjonyoh
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721633, $29.99, HC, 256pp,

Zoe Adjonyoh is a writer and cook from South-East London. Her pop-up restaurant and supper club have been making waves in the foodie scene - both in London and Berlin - bringing traditional and contemporary Ghanaian food to an audience outside of the Ghanaian community. "Zoe's Ghana Kitchen" was a pop-up restaurant in the UK that grew into a huge success by word-of-mouth. Drawing upon her years of culinary experience and expertise in this cookbook, Zoe takes traditional Ghanaian recipes and re-mixes them for the modern kitchen. The result is a compendium of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly recipes for dishes that range from Pan-Fried Tilapia Fillets; Cocoyam & Sweet Potato Curry; and Jollof Fried Chicken; to Veggie Jollof; Suya Spiced Lamb Meatballs or Koftas; and Cubed Spiced Shortbread. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Zoe's Ghana Kitchen" will prove to be an enduringly popular and unique addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections! It should be noted that "Zoe's Ghana Kitchen" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Uncle Eggbert's Egg Book
Eggbert Fowler, author
David Tank, editor
Planert Creek Press
E4843 - 395th Avenue, Menomonie, WI 54751
9780996221887, $21.95, Spiral Binding, 100pp,

Profusely illustrated throughout, "Uncle Eggbert's Egg Book" showcases recipes for eggs that range from Boiled Eggs (Hard or Soft); Baked Eggs in Hash Nests; Egg & Cheddar Cheese Puff; Egg Drop Soup; and Cheesy Egg Casserole; to such egg based dishes as Darn Near Anything Skillet Frittata; Baked Custard; Homemade Tom & Jerry Eggnog; and Flour-Free Monster Cookies. Of special note are the recipes for Pickled Beets and Eggs; 'Egg, Sausage, Biscuit Casserole; and Kick-Butt Deviled Eggs! All these nutritious and delicious, palate pleasing and appetite recipes (and so many more kitchen cook friendly egg-based dishes!) make "Uncle Eggbert's Egg Book" a 'must' for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Skinny Slow Cooker
Taste of Home Editors
Reader's Digest Trade Publishing
44 South Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
9781617655807, $15.99, PB, 256pp,

Slow cookers or crock-pots are one of the most useful kitchen tools for modern time-stressed family cooks. For those who are also concerned about preparing heart-health friendly dishes using their slow cookers, the editorial staff of Taste of Home magazine has created an impressively collection of recipes for some 278 palate pleasing, appetite satisfying dishes that are all under 450 calories a serving! The recipes comprising "Skinny Slow Cooker" range from Broccoli Potato Soup; Black-Eyed Peas & Ham; Meatball Cabbage Rolls; and Tangy Tropical Chicken; to Glazed Rosemary Pork Roast; Lamb with Orzo; Warm Spiced Cider Punch; Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash; and Chocolate Angel Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Frosting. Of special note is that all recipes include complete nutrition facts, and there are tips and hints for trimming down dishes. An extraordinary and beautifully illustrated culinary volume, "Skinny Slow Cooker" is unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Our Sweet Basil Kitchen
Cade Cheney & Carrian Cheney
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781629722900, $23.99, HC, 192pp,

Cade and Carrian Cheney are the husband-and-wife team behind the popular Oh, Sweet Basil food blog. In "Our Sweet Basil Kitchen: Fresh Twists on Family Favorites With Recipe Mashups and Unique Flavor Combinations" they present more than 100 recipes that combine their love of fresh ingredients with unexpected flavor combinations and mashups of tried-and-true family favorites. Their innovative dishes will elevate and reinvigorate everyday recipes for palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly dining for any and all occasions. All the recipes are exclusive to this cookbook and range from Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup; Golden Loaded Baked Potato Soup; Broccoli with Cheese Sauce; and Roasted Root Vegetables; to Easy Sausage Alfredo; Greek Citrus Chicken; Lemon-Strawberry Shortcakes; and Churro-Style Bread Pudding. Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Our Sweet Basil Kitchen" is an especially recommended cookbook for both personal and community library collections. It should be noted that "Our Sweet Basil Kitchen" is also available in a Kindle format ($16.80).

Justin Wilson Looking Back: A Cajun Cookbook
Justin Wilson
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455623136, $24.95, PB, 256pp,

Justin Wilson made his mark as a storyteller and humorist and is widely considered to be an effective goodwill ambassador with respect to the Cajun culture of South Louisiana. He took a culture slur and made it a label of distinction, proudly identifying himself, and his cooking, as "Cajun". "Justin Wilson Looking Back: A Cajun Cookbook" is his final retrospective, in which he reminisces about times gone by, the recipes he created, and the evolution of his cooking style. He features delicious original recipes, including some healthy and convenient options, and his famously funny anecdotes. Complementing such tasty tidbits are duotone photos that capture the essence of this loveable Cajun icon. The featured recipes range from Seafood Gumbo with Okra; Chicken Jambalaya; Rabbit Sauce Piquante; to Pot Roast Magnifique; Peppy Pickled Eggs; Ham Souffle; and Louisiana Pecan Pie. Of special interest are the unique recipes for Sawmill Gravy, Chow Chow, Pepper Jelly, and Apple Butter. Packed from cover to cover with palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly recipes, "Justin Wilson Looking Back: A Cajun Cookbook" is a truly unique and very highly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Dinner Deja Vu
Jennifer Hill Booker
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622924, $28.95, HC, 208pp,

Southern-born Jennifer Hill Booker traveled to Paris to study French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts only to realize that rustic French and Southern dishes use many of the same ingredients. Using this as the basis for culinary exploration she has compiled a cornucopia of kitchen cook friendly recipes in "Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow" each of which uses one list of fresh ingredients to create two meals, one Southern and one French. Combined grocery lists provide time-saving tools for recipes from cocktails to desserts and everything in between, drawing on the strengths of both regions. Beautifully illustrated throughout and showcasing recipes that range from Pickled Vidalia Onions; Duchess Potatoes; Artichoke & Crab Souffle; Pork En Croute with Apple Duxelle; and Braised Rabbit with Wild Mushrooms & Thyme; to Fried Chicken Salad with Fresh Grapes & Toasted Almonds; Profiteroles with Brandied cherry Sauce; Deep Dish Bourbon Pecan Pie; Black Berry Simple Syrup; and Peppered Vinegar. Unique to "Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow" is a list of essentials for the pantry, a kitchen conversion for dry and liquid volume measurements, a one page kitchen equipment list, an eight page combined grocery listings, a one page glossary, and a four page index. A delight to browse through and ideal for planning memorable menus with, "Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow" is also very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.25).

The Needlecraft Shelf

Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude
Lynette Jensen, author
Doris Brunnette, editor
Landauer Publishing
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
978193572692, $24.95, PB, 144pp,

New Thimbleberries patterns with a contemporary twist by quilting designer Lynette Jensen comprise "Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude". Jensen deftly showcases pairs of projects made with her own classic fabrics and Cotton + Steel fabrics -- the results are simply stunning! Profusely illustrated, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude" will enable even the most novice of quilting enthusiasts to produce twenty-three quilt designs using both modern and traditional fabrics. Of special note is the section devoted to General instructions & Glossary. Simply stated, "Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude" will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to personal and community library needlecraft instructional reference collections.

The Versatile Nine Patch
Joan Ford
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781631866753 $24.95

The Versatile Nine Patch features 18 designs for transforming fabric scraps into delightful quilts, bags, and home decoration projects. Featuring full-color photography and piecing diagrams to illustrate the step-by-step instructions, The Versatile Nine Patch is brimming with tips, tricks, and techniques for refining one's sewing mastery. Projects include "Button Collection Pillow", "Cross-Body Market Sack", "Sneaky Peek Project Pouches", and much more. Highly recommended!

The Woodworking Shelf

Fine Woodworking Editors
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781631864483, $24.95, PB, 224pp,

All professional woodworkers worth their sawdust know that joinery (good, bad, or indifferent) tells the unvarnished truth; how well a piece is made and how skilled the maker is. Over the decades, no one has proven better at teaching readers how to make beautiful, enduring joinery than the editors and contributors to Fine Woodworking magazine. The collaborative effort of the editorial staff of Fine Woodworking, "Joinery" is a comprehensive and practical instruction manual that demystifies the all-important subject of choosing, designing, and cutting woodworking joints. It's packed from cover to cover with insightful information and tricks of the trade that will advance the work of novices and seasoned craftsmen alike. Because whatever your skill level, there's always room for improvement when it comes to joinery. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Joinery" includes such topic as: Laying out and cutting accurate dovetails; Fixing common joinery mistakes; Cutting a mortise in minutes; Creating a versatile jig for miters; Joining curved parts with ease; Building strong pocket-hole joints, and more. Impressively organized and presented, "Joinery" is strongly recommended for personal, professional, community, technical college, and university library Woodworking instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Photography Shelf

Yellowstone: A Photographic Journey
Stephen C. Hinch
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560376668, $12.95, PB, 80pp,

Award-winning photographer Steve Hinch is a full-time resident in Yellowstone National Park. He draws upon his years of experience, observation and expertise to takes the reader on an insider's tour of his home park in "Yellowstone: A Photographic Journey". Comprised of 112 stunning full-color images and lively text, Stephen Hinch shares unique views of the park's abundant wildlife, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, historic landmarks, and world-famous thermal features and offers unforgettable, intimate glimpses of Yellowstone's wildlife in their natural habitat. His breathtaking, full color images of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Lower Falls, and the park's remarkable geothermal features (including Old Faithful, Great Fountain Geyser, the strikingly colorful Grand Prismatic, and a rare view of the northern lights over White Dome Geyser) wonderfully capture that magical quality that makes our nation's first national park a one-of-a-kind, world-renowned destination. With its flawlessly produced images, "Yellowstone: A Photographic Journey" is an especially recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Yellowstone Park and Contemporary Nature Photography collections.

The Christian Studies Shelf

25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels
Allan F. Wright
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781594716751 $15.95 pbk / $10.99 Kindle

25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels: Letting Jesus Lead You through the Stages of Spiritual Growth is a spiritual guide created especially for Catholic readers that uses questions from Scripture as a thought-provoking instructional tool. Inquiries such as "If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?" and "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?" are a potential pathway to a deeper understanding of faith and connection with God. 25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels is highly recommended for both personal and church library collections.

More Than Enchanting
Jo Saxton
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830843312, $16.00, PB, 206pp,

Jo Saxton is a pastor, missional leader, speaker, and author. In "More Than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World" shoe notes that women have always wielded enormous influence, whether in their homes, their jobs, their communities, or their churches. But as women lean into those God-given opportunities, they often experience substantial barriers, whether from other people and systems around them or from their own insecurities and struggles. Saxton has faced her own challenges in her journey of uncovering her leadership potential. But she also knows what can happen in the church and the world when women are empowered and released to maximize their giftedness. If women have ever wondered whether God can use them to have a greater impact in the world, if women have faced challenges in using their gifts for the church, or if women are weary of battling against those who want to quell their voice and ministry passions, then "More Than Enchanting" will prove to be a rewarding, informative, and inspired read -- a welcome source of encouragement, inspiration, and strength to break through the barriers that are keeping them from exerting their full influence for God and his kingdom. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "More Than Enchanting" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as church and seminary library collections.

Eden: The Animals Parable
Keith Korman, author
Lisa Paris, illustrator
Liberty Island Media Group
9781504035101, $11.99, PB, 183pp,

"Eden: The Animals Parable" by literary agent and novelist Keith Korman is beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, in which we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals -- especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. With a wise, old donkey, innocent lambs, and legions of curious field mice, the animals follow their master's journey across Galilee and onto Jerusalem, rapt with awe and wonder and bearing great tidings -- even if they don't fully comprehend the divine events they witness. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, "Eden: The Animals Parable" is for Christian readers of all ages, and an artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy. While highly recommended to all members of the Christian community, regardless of denominational affiliation, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Eden: The Animals Parable" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).

Jesus Stories: Traveling Toward Testimony
H. Stephen Shoemaker
Judson Press
PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
9780817017743, $17.99, PB, 210pp,

The "historical Jesus", is the figure who lived in first-century CE Galilee as best as Biblical scholarship can reconstruct from available records. Contemporary Christians know the more-than-historical Jesus who is in search of us, alive to us in the Spirit of God. "Jesus Stories: Traveling Toward Testimony" by Stephen Shoemaker (Assistant Professor of Religion at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC) is ushers today's disciples of Christ on a journey that moves from history into testimony seeking with respect to the man Jesus in order to embrace the savior we call the Risen Christ. There is history here. There is the Professor Shoemaker's personal testimony as well, a story of faith and experience. And there is an invitation to piece out of that history and story your own testimony, your own story of how you have come to recognize the historic Jesus at work in your life and faith. Exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Jesus Stories: Traveling Toward Testimony" is unreservedly recommended to all members of the Christian community.

The Poetry Shelf

The Way Under The Way
Mark Nepo
Sounds True
PO Box 8010, Boulder, CO 80306
9781622037544, $22.95, HC, 328pp,

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry, health, and spirituality for forty years. In 1987, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work and his poetry. "The Way Under The Way" is a compendium of 217 of his poetry and his essays that will prove to be a consistently compelling read from first page to last. 'Lesson Plan': The Lost bird remembers how to sing / as it splashes in a puddle / and forgets how to fly. // This was the teacher's answer / to his student's complaints / about living on Earth. -- While very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Way Under The Way" is also available in a Kindle format ($11.99).

The Sports Shelf

Tales form the Cincinnati Reds Dugout
Tom Browning with Dann Stupp
Sports Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781683580133 $19.99 hc / $17.14 Kindle

Former professional baseball pitcher Tom Browning presents Tales form the Cincinnati Reds Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Reds Stories Ever Told, a true-life sports biography emphasizing his ten years with the Cincinnati Reds (1984-1994). Chapters recount Browning's rise through the ranks of the Red's farm system, his memories of Cincinnati legends such as Lou Piniell and Barry Larkin, his extraordinary perfect game against Los Angeles Dodgers on September 16, 1988, and his role in the Reds' 1990 World Series victory. A handful of black- and-white photographs illustrate this captivating, true-life sports story, highly recommended especially for baseball fans.

The Parenting Shelf

Untying Parent Anxiety
Lisa Sugarman
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
9781944822576, $16.99, PB, 184pp,

Raising the perfect child is the aspiration of all parents. But the reality is: the perfect child doesn't exist. Yet parents everywhere are putting the full-court press on their kids to be perfect, fixating on raising them to be smarter, faster, more successful, and more popular than their peers. And that's making today's parents and their children crazy. In "Untying Parent Anxiety (Years 5-8): 18 Myths that Have You in Knots - And How to Get Free" by nationally syndicated humor columnist and author Lisa Sugarman reminds us that our kids aren't supposed to be perfect -- and neither are we as their parents. Our kids are going to screw up, make mistakes, and lose their way. And as soon as we embrace the idea that parenthood is not a straight line, we unlock everyone's full potential. Drawing on own her life as the perfectly imperfect mother of two daughters and more than a decade of working in the school system, Sugarman deftly deconstructs some of the biggest myths facing parents and offers advice and strategies to help soothe anxious moms and dads. Cycling through everything from friend drama and separation anxiety to playing nice and emotional development, "Untying Parent Anxiety" is a funny but honest journey through the most common stages of raising kids that reinforces that parenthood is a beautiful, imperfect work in progress. Simply stated, "Untying Parent Anxiety" is a highly recommended addition to personal reading lists of parents with children between the ages of 5 and 8, as well as community library Parenting Skills collections.

Edited by Kathryn Lynard
Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
9781606132760 $21.95

Now republished in a 10th anniversary edition, Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives is an anthology of uplifting personal testimonies from mothers whose children have Down syndrome. A pre- or post-natal diagnosis of Down syndrome is all too often met with abject horror; Gifts provides a different, positive-focused perspective. " baby is not a diagnosis, not a list of her potential woes. She is a beautiful person, full of laughter and grins. There is a world of possibilities laid out before her, and I love exploring those possibilities with her." Gifts is highly recommended for public library collections and the personal reading list of any parent or parent-to-be confronting the possibility of a Down's syndrome diagnosis for their child.

The American History Shelf

100 Days in the Life of Rutherford Hayes
Eric Ebinger
Orange Frazer Press
PO Box 214, Wilmington, OH 45177
9781939710451 $15.99

The first of the "100 Days" historical series, 100 Days in the Life of Rutherford Hayes is an eclectic glimpse into the numerous contributions of reformer, three-term governor of Ohio, and 19th President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893). From his service as a volunteer officer in the Civil War (he was wounded four times, and had five horses shot out from under him); to his work for the causes of equal rights, prison reform, and industrial education for youth; his efforts to reform Civil Service and provide education to former slaves; his establishment of the Ohio State University; and much more, 100 Days in the Life of Rutherford Hayes highlights the enlightened contributions of an American leader. 100 Days in the Life of Rutherford Hayes is especially recommended for public and community library American history collections.

The Civil War Shelf

Determined to Stand and Fight
Ryan T. Quint, author
Foreword by Ted Alexander
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
c/o Casemate (dist.)
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781611213461 $14.95 pbk / $7.53 Kindle

Part of the award-winning "Emerging Civil War" series, Determined to Stand and Fight: The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864 analyzes a critical engagement of the American Civil War. Major General Lew Wallace of the Union prepared a desperate, last-ditch defense on the banks of the Monocacy River to protect the capital of Washington, D.C. Although Wallace ultimately had to retreat, he successfully delayed Lieutenant General Jubal Early for a day, buying precious time for Union reinforcements to arrive. Filled with maps and vintage black-and-white photographs on almost every page, Determined to Stand and Fight details this violent, pivotal battle in depth. Determined to Stand and Fight is highly recommended for historians, lay readers, and public and college library Civil War shelves.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Practical Spellcraft
Leanna Greenaway
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571747549 $16.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Written by practicing witch Leanna Greenaway, Practical Spellcraft: A First Course in Magic is an easy-to-follow introductory guide to the art of Wiccan spellcasting. Chapters discuss the general tools and concepts of spellcasting, as well specific spells for love, money, fertility, and health, and a chapter devoted to crafting one's own spells. Written in full context of the needs of 21st century life, Practical Spellcraft is a welcome contribution to metaphysical studies shelves.

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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