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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 4 April 2021 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Biography Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Buddhist Studies Shelf Parenting Shelf Business Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Travel Shelf
Automotive Shelf Gardening Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Music CD Shelf Gaming Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Criminology Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops
Shaun Bythell
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
www.godine.com
9781567926927, $18.95, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Kinds-People-Find-Bookshops/dp/1567926924

Synopsis: From behind the counter of his used bookstore, Shaun Bythell catalogs the customers who roam his shop in Wigtown, Scotland. There's the Expert (divided into subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), and The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter). Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, the Perfect Customer -- all adding up to one of the funniest book about books any dedicated bibliophile will ever find.

Critique: An inherently riveting, entertaining, and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, "Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops" is deftly written with memorably humorously presented insights that will be of immense interest to bibliophiles, writers, publishers, and anyone who has ever had (or aspired to having) a bookstore of their own. Simply stated, "Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops" should be a part of every community collection on the subject of bookselling and bookstores.

Editorial Note: A resident of Wigtown, Scotland, Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop, the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland. He also is the author of "Confessions of a Bookseller".

Beyond Repair: Living in a Fractured State
Sebastian Matthews
Red Hen Press
P.O. Box 40820 Pasadena, CA 91114
www.redhen.org
9781597094368, $17.95, PB, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Repair-Living-Fractured-State/dp/1597094366

Synopsis: In 2011, the family of Sebastian Matthews was in a major car accident. They were hit head-on by a man in the throes of a heart attack. It took three years to recover from their injuries, and a couple more to deal with the aftereffects of trauma.

When Sebastian finally returned to the world as father and husband, friend and brother, writer and citizen, it became clear that our society was in its own traumatized state -- reeling from the string of police shootings of unarmed African Americans, stunned by yet one more mass shooting. The people around him were displaying all the signs of PTSD (jumpiness, irritability, numbness) and, concordantly, his own interactions out in daily life were becoming more dysfunctional, at times downright hostile.

Us against Them. Red vs. Blue. Black vs. White. Rich vs. Poor -- he found himself living in a progressive town inside a conservative county in the Mountain South that only made things more volatile. Sebastian decided that if we were all living in a fractured society no longer recognizable, then it was up to him to re-engage in it. He would enter into encounters with people as conscious as possible of the potential divides and misunderstandings between him and others. He started with my neighborhood and town, then moved out into the counties around him, and then traveled further out into the country. His goal was to connect, to heal and be healed.

Critique: A deftly crafted, presented in the format of a series of essays, impressively detailed, and inherently engaging memoir, "Beyond Repair: Living in a Fractured State" is a life story for our times and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections. A auto biographical account of a life and message that will linger in the mind of the reader long after the book is finished and set back upon the shelf, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beyond Repair: Living in a Fractured State" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: A poet and writer living in Asheville, North Carolina, Sebastian Matthews teaches part-time at a variety of colleges and universities, including Warren Wilson College, The Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA and the Low-Residency MFA at Queens University at Charlotte. He works with Curtis Bauer and the board at Q Ave Press making chapbooks and letterpress broadsides, as well as being part-time at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center where he recently curated the exhibit From BMC to NYC: The Tutelary years of Ray Johnson (1943-1967).


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon
Penny Sansevieri
Author Marketing Experts
www.amarketingexpert.com
9798562626929, $9.99, PB, 142pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Sell-Books-Truckload-Amazon/dp/B08VRN5NHX

Synopsis: In the pages of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon", book marketing expert Penny Sansevieri teaches self-published authors exactly how to sell their books on Amazon.com (the 800 pound gorilla of bookselling) -- but smarter and with more success.

Penny Sansevieri is a true book marketing guru who has also taught Amazon-centric classes and webinars to thousands of authors leading up to the release of this ultimate guide to mastering the Amazon marketing system. This 2021 edition of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" also introduces a brand new Powerhouse Amazon Ads chapter!

Authors and publishers will learn how to set up, manage and run Amazon ads to gain more visibility for a book with a great economy and minimal finances. The proven strategies in this step-by-step instruction manual will have immediate results and increased target market exposure while dramatically upgrading any books marketing efforts to sell more copies!

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" covers: Developing book descriptions that convert more browsers to buyers; Finding keywords that help connect with more shoppers; Increase sales through perfectly timed pre-order campaigns; Create Amazon ads that sell more books; Boost sales with strategic eBook marketing strategies; Capitalize on the secret Amazon relevancy score for a product.

To get any book ranked #1 in its category, "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is an essential instruction manual and guide with. It is an effective go-to resource for finally making sense of all the features Amazon offers that have already proven successful for thousands of other authors!

Critique: From 'How to Respond to a Review'; to 'Gifting eBooks'; to 'Bonus Marterials', to 'Turning Your Book into a 24/7 Sales Tool', "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is the best investment any author and any publisher can make to insure a commercially successful book in today's highly competitive and volatile online marketplace. A great deal of the 'tips, tricks & techniques' showcased in "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" are also applicable to other online book selling websites such as Barnes & Noble. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, if you as an author and/or publisher only have time to read on DIY book on selling books, make it "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" by Penny Sansevieri!

Editorial Note: For reviews of other writing/publishing related books and activities by Penny Sanvieri, go to: https://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=8779737&pid=r&mode=ALL&n=0&query=%22Penny+Sansevieri%22


The Education Shelf

The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences, fifteenth edition
Maybeth Kavets & Imy Wax
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
www.PrincetonReview.com
9780525570301, $31.99, PB, 752pp

https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Colleges-Students-Learning-Differences/dp/0525570306

Synopsis: Hundreds of thousands of students with learning differences head to college every year. Comprise of more than 325 colleges with programs and/or services for students with ADHD, ASD, or Learning Differences, this fully updated and expanded fifteenth edition of "The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences" published by The Princeton Review is an impressively comprehensive guide makes it easy for those students and their families and guidance counselors to tackle the daunting process of finding the school that fits their needs best.

In addition to school profiles and lists of support services available at each individual college, "The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences" will prove to be invaluable reference for students, parents, and professionals also includes: Policies and procedures regarding course waivers and substitutions; Strategies to help students find the best match for their needs; Advice from learning specialists on making an effective transition to college.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, and impressively comprehensive, this new fifteenth edition of "The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences" is an invaluable, indispensable, and essential addition to highschool and college guidance counselors, and vocational rehabilitation counselors professional reference collections, as well as community, college, and university library Highschool, College, and University Library Special Education/Higher Education collections.

ASBO Teacher
Samuel Elliott
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
www.crownhousepublishing.com
9781785835223, $22.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/ASBO-Teacher-irreverent-challenging-classrooms/dp/178583522X

Synopsis: ASBO stands for 'antisocial behavior order', a legal order in the UK issued to restrict an individual aged ten or above from harassing or causing alarm or distress to other people.

In "ASBO Teacher: An irreverent guide to surviving in challenging classrooms", classroom teacher Samuel Elliott shares the simplest solutions to the toughest problems in today's classrooms.

In his own youth, Samuel Elliott had been the pupil from hell. That's why, because he knows what he needed from his teachers in order to turn his life around, in the pages of "ASBO Teacher" he can share that knowledge with hard-pressed colleagues who just want to do their best for their pupils.

In "ASBO Teacher" Samuel offers no-nonsense principles hewn from the chalkface of the modern British classroom: ideas and approaches that have worked for the author in the most challenging settings and with the most testing pupils. He also provides a set of tips, tricks, and heuristics (rules of thumb) that he has gleaned from his ASBO apprenticeship, his close reading of contemporary educational research, and his first four years of teaching.

Covering a range of issues spanning behaviour management, lesson structure, resource preparation and narratives in the classroom, "ASBO Teacher" offers a blueprint for becoming a particular kind of teacher -- one who has high expectations, a concern for pupil well-being, and a knack for ushering learners into more effective learning.

Furthermore, the stories in "ASBO Teacher" are all true and pupil dialogue is verbatim. Samuel also provides humorous, accessible insights into the psychology of teaching -- encompassing, for example, fostering effective relationships with students and squeezing the best out of traditional teaching approaches rather than adopting fads.

Critique: Especially useful reading for teacher trainees, newly qualified and recently qualified classroom teachers, as well as more experienced educators, "ABSO Teachers" offers a unique body of insights and practical wisdom for helping troubled and troubling students achieve the best education they can. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (eTextbook, $17.99), "ABSO Teachers" is especially recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and in-service teacher training curriculums.

Editorial Note: Samuel Elliott has been a classroom teacher since 2016. Having grown up, lived in and taught in deprived areas affords Samuel key insights into misbehavior that many teachers lack. These experiences informed his approaches in his trainee and NQT years, which, combined with his research into behavioral psychology, have since given rise to a pedagogy that borrows from both traditional and progressive philosophies.


The Biography Shelf

On the Road Less Traveled
Ed Hajim
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510764248, $24.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Road-Less-Traveled-Orphanage-Boardroom/dp/1510764240

Synopsis: "On the Road Less Traveled: An Unlikely Journey from the Orphanage to the Boardroom" is the inspirational life story of Edmund A. Hajim, an American financier and philanthropist who rose from dire childhood circumstances to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.

At age three, Hajim is kidnapped by his father, driven from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and told that his mother is dead. His father soon abandons him in order to seek employment (mostly in vain) leaving his son behind in a string of foster homes and orphanages. This establishes a pattern of neglect and desertion that continues for Hajim's entire childhood, forever leaving its mark. From one home to another, the lonely boy learns the value of self-reliance and perseverance despite his financial deprivation and the trauma of being an orphan.

As time passes, Hajim displays a powerful instinct for survival and a burning drive to excel. A highly motivated student and athlete, he earns an NROTC college scholarship to the University of Rochester; serves in the United States Navy; works as an application research engineer; then attends Harvard Business School, where he finds that the financial industry is his true calling.

So begins his rapid ascent in the corporate world, which includes senior executive positions at E. F. Hutton, Lehman Brothers, and fourteen years as CEO of Furman Selz, growing the company more than tenfold. He also creates a happy and abundant family life, though he never forgets what it means to struggle. At age sixty, he is reminded of his painful past when a family secret emerges that brings the story full circle.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "On the Road Less Traveled: An Unlikely Journey from the Orphanage to the Boardroom" is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life lived out in extraordinary circumstances. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "On the Road Less Traveled: An Unlikely Journey from the Orphanage to the Boardroom" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Fix it in the Mix: A Memoir
Paul Hornsby, author
Michael Buffalo Smith, author
Mercer University Press
1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207-0001
www.mupress.org
9780881467819, $20.00, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fix-Mix-Memoir-Music-American/dp/0881467812

Synopsis: Written with the assistance of Michael Buffalo Smith, "Fix it in the Mix" is the personal memoir of Paul Hornsby, who is an acclaimed record producer and musician best known for his work at Capricorn Records in Macon, Georgia during the 1970's.

"Fix it in the Mix: A Memoir" informatively expounds upon his life growing up in Alabama, his early forays into music and joining Gregg and Duane Allman as a member of the Hour Glass. He later met Phil Walden and was hired as a producer at Capricorn Studios, producing and engineering the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels band and others. He continued producing after the closing of Capricorn, opening his Muscadine Studios where he still works today.

"Fix it in the Mix: A Memoir" is illustrated with never before seen photographs from Hornsby's private collection.

Critique: Absolutely essential reading for the legions of Paul Hornsby fans, "Fix it in the Mix: A Memoir" is an impressively informative and engagingly presented account of an extraordinary life lived out in the company of true Southern music greats. Simply stated, "Fix it in the Mix: A Memoir" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography/Memoir and Southern Music History collections.

Editorial Note #1: Paul Hornsby is a former member of the music groups The Minutes and Hour Glass. In the 1970s, he was a producer and engineer at the legendary Capricorn Records. A 2010 inductee of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Hornsby has produced several artists including the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, Wet Willie, Kitty Wells, and Bobby Whitlock. He is owner/engineer at Muscadine Recording Studio in Macon, Georgia.

Editorial Note #2: Michael Buffalo Smith has been a contributor to various magazines including Rolling Stone, Goldmine, and Mojo and is author of eleven books. Smith is a performing songwriter and editor of the online magazine KUDZOO.

All Is Not LOST
Shannon Kenny Carbonell
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781626347670, $23.95, HC, 260pp

https://www.amazon.com/All-Not-LOST-Friended-Failure/dp/1626347670

Synopsis: "All Is Not LOST: How I Friended Failure on the Island and Found a Way Home" by Shannon Kenny Carbonell is the personal story of what happened when one woman set aside a lifelong dream in favor of her kids -- only to find herself battling her own ego and unfulfilled ambition.

Shannon Kenny Carbonell (wife of actor Nestor Carbonell of LOST, Bates Motel, and The Morning Show fame) knew she was making the better choice for her, no matter how painful, when she decided on full-time motherhood over career. Little did Shannon know she would soon find herself desperate to feed the part of her that was suddenly starved of creativity and accomplishment.

When she found out her family would be relocating to Oahu, Hawaii, while Nestor shot LOST, Shannon helped uproot their lives with as much true love and support as she could muster, thinking, ''I'll just have to be lost in the midst of LOST.'' But not long after the move, a torturous family fight revealed the burden of her loss was also weighing upon those closest to her. Just like the LOST survivors, she had crashed on an island that would test her, heal her, and surround her with the people who would eventually show her the way home.

With a no-holds-barred honesty that is raw, sometimes heartbreaking, and often hysterical, former working actress, in the pages of "All Is Not LOST: How I Friended Failure on the Island and Found a Way Home" Shannon Kenny Carbonell tells her life story of attempting to reconcile her growing feelings of failure and sudden loss of her identity.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "All Is Not LOST: How I Friended Failure on the Island and Found a Way Home" is an extraordinary and inherently fascinating memoir and one that will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections. Written with candor, honesty, insight and humor, "All Is Not LOST: How I Friended Failure on the Island and Found a Way Home" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Editorial Note: Shannon Kenny Carbonell grew up in Sydney, Australia, and moved to the US at age 18 to study acting. After earning a BFA in Theater from The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), she worked in regional theater, where she had the privilege of playing some classic roles like Nina in The Seagull, Julie in Miss Julie, and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream. She then transitioned into television guest star roles, one of her favorites being Allison, George's girlfriend, on NBC's Seinfeld. Shannon was cast in series regular roles on TV shows and, if she fails to rank the show, Muscle, as her best experience, she'd risk offending her wonderful husband Nestor; it was on this show that the two of them defied producers' orders not to date other cast members.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Heart-To-Heart Talks with Jesus
Deacon Eddie Ensley, author
Deacon Robert Herrmann, author
Twenty-Third Publications
1 Montauk Avenue, #200, New London, CT 06320
www.23rdpublications.com
9781627855990, $14.95, PB, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Heart-Talks-Jesus-Encounters/dp/1627855998

Synopsis: At certain times in our lives as Christians, we need more than ideas, dogma, or even answers. We simply need God's presence. We need to feel Jesus loving embrace and experience his love in our hearts. Jesus is always calling us to this journey, and in the pages of "Heart-To-Heart Talks with Jesus: Intimate Encounters with Our Loving Savior", a compendium of powerful reflections, Deacon Eddie Ensley and Deacon Robert Herrmann help us take the first steps.

Written in the classic devotional form of messages from Jesus himself, each individual reflection comes from a place of deep, prayerful meditation on Scripture to lead you toward an experience of Jesus love for you, his treasured child. The journey begins as Jesus calls you to experience his love, learn, take comfort, and ultimately, immerse yourself in a glorious, life-enhancing communion with your Savior. "Heart-to Heart Talks with Jesus" will lead you to an experience of love like no other with a love that comes from the heart of all eternity.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, contemplative and comforting, "Heart-To-Heart Talks with Jesus: Intimate Encounters with Our Loving Savior" is especially and unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community. While a highly recommended addition to church and seminary collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Heart-To-Heart Talks with Jesus: Intimate Encounters with Our Loving Savior" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Deacon Eddie Ensley is the author of numerous books, including Finding Inner Peace and Healing the Soul. He and Deacon Robert Hermann (who is also an author of spiritual books) lead popular parish missions and retreats around the country.

Running for a Higher Purpose
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781646800452, $15.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Running-Higher-Purpose-Spiritual-Physical/dp/1646800451

Synopsis: In the pages of "Running for a Higher Purpose: 8 Steps to Spiritual and Physical Fitness", Bishop Thomas Paprocki maintains that Christians can improve their physical health while also deepening their spiritual life. Bishop Paprocki is a marathon runner and hockey player and the Catholic Bishop of Springfield shares how the simple discipline of running can help unlock profound spiritual benefits.

Paprocki took up running as a teenager for his health; he ran his first marathon in his forties. Along the way he discovered that improving your physical health through running is a way to honor God and grow deeper in your spiritual life. Perfect for those who want to try running for the first time as well as for more experienced runners who want to set goals for a new challenge, "Running for a Higher Purpose" lays out eight steps to reach spiritual and physical fitness.

Of special note is that each of the eight chapters includes an inspirational quotation, a personal promise statement, and a prayer.

Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Running for a Higher Purpose: 8 Steps to Spiritual and Physical Fitness" is an inspired and inspiring combination of spiritual wisdom and practical application -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community, church, seminary, college, and university library Christian Living and Running/Jogging collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Running for a Higher Purpose: 8 Steps to Spiritual and Physical Fitness" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: The Most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki is the bishop of Springfield. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1978. He served as auxiliary bishop of Chicago from 2003 to 2010. The connection between sports and faith is a focus of Paprocki's ministry. He is an avid hockey player and runner, having run twenty-four marathons throughout the world and raised about $500,000 for charity. Paprocki is the chairman of the Episcopal Advisory Board of Catholic Athletes for Christ. He is also the author of Holy Goals for Body and Soul: Eight Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith.

Who Was Jesus and What Does It Mean to Follow Him?
Nancy Elizabeth Bedford
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513805726, $12.99, PB, 91pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-What-Does-Mean-Follow/dp/151380572X

Synopsis: Who was Jesus? And what does it mean to follow him? In "Who Was Jesus and What Does It Mean to Follow Him?" Nancy Elizabeth Bedford helps us consider the identity and mission of Jesus of Nazareth. Learn about the incarnation, how Christians have understood Jesus to be both human and divine, and what his radical teachings and ministry can mean for us today.

"Who Was Jesus and What Does It Mean to Follow Him?" reveals how Christians through the centuries have understood who Jesus is and explore communal and individual practices for following him.

Critique: Eloquent, succinct, inspired and inspiring, "Who Was Jesus and What Does It Mean to Follow Him?" is highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Who Was Jesus and What Does It Mean to Follow Him?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Nancy Elizabeth Bedford has been Georgia Harkness Professor of Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary since 2003, and is a member of Reba Place Church (Mennonite) in Evanston, IL. Previously she taught theology at Instituto Universitario ISEDET and Seminario Internacional Teologico Bautista in Buenos Aires. Her most recent books are Galatians, A Theological Commentary and with Virginia Azcuy and Mercedes Garcia, Teologia feminista a tres voces. Bedford holds degrees from University of Tubingen and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ten Ways to Pray: A Catholic Guide for Drawing Closer to God
Carolyn Pirtle
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781646800575, $13.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ten-Ways-Pray-Catholic-Catholicism/dp/1646800575

Synopsis: Whether just beginning to develop a consistent prayer practice or are looking for a new approach to spiritual growth, "Ten Ways to Pray: A Catholic Guide for Drawing Closer to God " by Carolyn Pirtle explores a variety of traditional forms of Catholic prayer that enable members of the Catholic community to draw closer to God and the communion of saints.

A practical introduction to ten traditional forms of prayer from the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, "Ten Ways to Pray: A Catholic Guide for Drawing Closer to God " will help to develop a richer spiritual life that draws the reader closer to the triune God and the communion of saints. Of special note is how Carolyn Pirtle provides intriguing bits of history, engaging spiritual and theological commentary, and step-by-step guidance for trying ten distinct ways of praying that Catholics have utilized across the centuries and around the world in order to develop your own prayer practice.

These include praying: with scripture, consecrating time through the Liturgy of the Hours and the Angelus, through experiencing in the Examen, through action in the Works of Mercy, through the beauty of nature, art, and music, and through silence.

Critique: Insightfully inspiring and spiritually moving, "Ten Ways to Pray: A Catholic Guide for Drawing Closer to God" is especially recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community including clergy, parishioners, and seminary studies. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ten Ways to Pray: A Catholic Guide for Drawing Closer to God " is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Editorial Note: The McGrath Institute for Church Life was founded as the Center for Pastoral and Social Ministry by the late Notre Dame President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., in 1976. The McGrath Institute partners with Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools to provide theological education and formation to address pressing pastoral problems. The Institute connects the Catholic intellectual life to the life of the Church to form faithful Catholic leaders for service to the Church and the world. The McGrath Institute strives to be the preeminent source of creative Catholic content and programming for the new evangelization.

Let's Remember Your Baptism
Paraclete Press Editorial Staff
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
www.paracletepress.com
9781640605909, $15.99, HC, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Remember-Your-Baptism-Readings/dp/1640605908

Synopsis: "This child has been reborn in Baptism. This is now a child of God." So begins "Let's Remember Your Baptism: Readings, Memories, and Records of a Special Day", a beautifully illustrated book for recording memories and reflections of a day your child will honor for the rest of his or her life.

Included are: Presentation Pages; The Calling of the Baptized; Space for Family and Friends to Write; Prayers and Scripture; Responsibilities of Family and Friends; The Baptism of Our Lord; Jesus's Blessing for Little Children.

Critique: An ideal gift and very highly recommended for all parents in the Christian community wanting to memorialize the baptism of their child, "Let's Remember Your Baptism: Readings, Memories, and Records of a Special Day: is a simply lovely and enduringly appreciated keepsake to help a child remember and reflect on their baptismal covenant.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Book of Ruth. Paradise Gained and Lost
Rabbi Benjamin J. Segal
Gefen Publishing House
c/o Storch 255 Central Ave #B-206, Lawrence, NY 11559
www.gefenpublishing.com
9789657023273, $14.95, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Ruth-Paradise-Gained-Lost/dp/9657023270

Synopsis: The Book of Ruth is one of the most appealing to modern biblical interpreters, touching as it does on so many subjects of current concern: the emergence of female equality, the significance of legal evolvement, the acceptance of the outsider, to name a few.

In "The Book of Ruth. Paradise Gained and Lost", Rabbi Benjamin Segal, (author of earlier biblical commentaries on the Song of Songs, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes,) undertakes the difficult and controversial task of deciphering the original literary import of this exciting engaging book.

Following a verse-by-verse commentary, this volume offers a new overview of the Book of Ruth, framed as: a series of revolutionary changes described via a once-upon-a-time ideal:, a former time when all seemed perfect, if only for a moment. At that time and place, women assumed an equal role in societal leadership, foreigners were to be accepted and welcomed, historical precedents represented faults to be overcome (rather than permanent stains), the law bent yielded to humane societal concerns , kindness was rewarded, and God's will was carried out by men and women.

Rabbi Segals suggests that in each case the book text itself indicates that change did not endure. As is true in idealistic literatures of other societies, Every two steps forward brought one step back (as is the case in idealistic literatures of other societies). However, biblical tradition would never be the same, as a glimpse of the ideal moment became a permanent cultural inheritance. Historical idyll became ongoing challenge. This commentary is an invitation to the reader to reenter the dialogue between modernity and ideals.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking study, "The Book of Ruth. Paradise Gained and Lost" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, synagogue, community, college, and university library Judaic Biblical Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "The Book of Ruth. Paradise Gained and Lost" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.22).

Editorial Note: Benjamin J. Segal is a rabbi, educator, lecturer and author now living in Israel. He has written on biblical, Talmudic, Zionist and educational issues. His books include Returning: The Land of Israel as Focus in Jewish History and the study text Midrash: The Search for a Contemporary Past. He is also the Director of the Gateways cultural festival in Jerusalem and a former President of Melitz Centers for Zionist Jewish Education, Jerusalem.

Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler
Suzanne D. Rutland
Gefen Publishing House
c/o Storch 255 Central Ave #B-206, Lawrence, NY 11559
www.gefenpublishing.com
9789657023228, $39.95, HC, 680pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lone-Voice-Wars-Isi-Leibler/dp/965702322X

Synopsis: Isi Leibler (born 1934) has been a central player in the global Jewish arena for over six decades. A preeminent Australian Jewish leader, he was pivotal in driving the issue of Soviet Jewry onto the international agenda. He also played a crucial role in establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and China and India. As Australia emerged from Britain's shadow after WWII to punch above its diplomatic weight, so too Leibler propelled the Australian Jewish community into wielding disproportionate influence in global Jewish affairs.

A key figure in the World Jewish Congress, Isi Leibler had no hesitation exposing corruption in its leadership or at the Holocaust Claims Conference. Pugnacious, colorful, principled, he befriended prime ministers, refuseniks, billionaires, Cold War warriors, Marxists, and diplomats to further the Jewish agenda, free Soviet Jews, support Israel, and fight antisemitism.

Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively detailed, and exceptionally informative biography of a key and influential figure in the global struggle against antisemitism and the rise of Israel as a modern state and a sanctuary for Jewry world wide, "Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler" by Professor Suzanne D. Rutland is an invaluable and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Jewish Biographies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of those with an interest in Political Advocacy and Human Rights that "Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Suzanne D. Rutland is Professor Emerita, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, University of Sydney. She has published widely on Australian Jewish history, edits the Sydney edition of the Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, and writes prolifically about the Shoah, Israel, Soviet Jewry, Jewish education, and antisemitism. Her book The Jews in Australia was published by Cambridge University Press in 2005. Her 2015 booklet My People Go: The Untold Story of Australia and Soviet Jews, 1959-1989, co-written with journalist Sam Lipski was a joint winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian history. In 2008, she received the Medal of the Order of Australia from the government for services to Jewish higher education and interfaith dialogue. A member of the Australian Expert Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, she serves on the Education Working Group and Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial.


The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Field of Blessings
Ji Hyang Padma
https://www.mountainpath.org
O Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
www.johnhuntpublishing.com
9781785356445, $18.95, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Blessings-Consciousness-Buddhist-Healers/dp/1785356445

Synopsis: Academician and Buddhist scholar Ji Hyang Padma believes that we are hungry for a direct experience of the sacred in this culture. We try to fill the void with technology, and its 'quick fix' of images and information. This leaves us hungry for true connectivity. We don't need more information. We need more appreciation.

Gratitude opens the heart, and gives our life meaning; it becomes a form of spiritual experience that gives us strength. In "Field of Blessings: Ritual & Consciousness in the Work of Buddhist Healers" Ji Hyang Padma explores how meaning-making can be approached by deep examination of the stories of our lives, which bridge the gap between the inner world and the outer world, giving shape to our experience. How can these narratives be spoken, written, or embodied?

Ritual is the story brought-to-life, and a powerful vehicle for spiritual transformation, for reconnecting people with an embodied wholeness. Ji Hyang Padma shows that Chod, Medicine Buddha practices, and other Tibetan rituals are used by healers to evoke sacred energies, radical empathy, and to contact deep archetypal realms of the psyche.

Critique: An impressively informative, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking contribution to the growing library of Buddhist Studies literature available to an American readership, "Field of Blessings: Ritual & Consciousness in the Work of Buddhist Healers" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections. It should be noted for students, academia, members of the Buddhist community, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Field of Blessings: Ritual & Consciousness in the Work of Buddhist Healers" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Editorial Note: Ji Hyang Padma holds a doctorate in psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology/Sofia University. Her dissertation research focused on consciousness and healing, through the lens of traditional Buddhist healing practices. She currently serves as Director of the Comparative Religion & Philosophy Program at the California Institute for Human Science. She has also taught Zen at Wellesley College, Harvard University and Omega Institute.


The Parenting Shelf

Food for Thought
Kim Moog
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781973696469, $9.95, PB, 66pp

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Thought-Raising-Confident-Conversation/dp/1973696460

Synopsis: All parents want to raise happy kids who grow up to be confident adults. The problem is that kids aren't born with instruction manuals, and no one shows a parent, especially a new first time parent, how to raise them like that.

Character training isn't like the spelling test that you forgot to study for in school. You can't cram for it! It's more like playing a minuet on the piano or hitting a homerun. A person's character has to function at a subconscious level and that level of unconscious competency has to be developed piece by piece, layer by layer (and in the case with our kids) conversation by conversation over time.

"Food for Thought: Raising Confident Kids One Conversation at a Time" by Kim Moog is specifically designed and intended to equip parents to start those conversations. It features a series of open-ended questions laid out in a calendar format to help parents have conversations with their kids that will help shape them into the adults we all hope they become.

Critique: Expertly written, impressively organized and thoroughly 'parent friendly' in presentation, "Food for Thought: Raising Confident Kids One Conversation at a Time" is especially and unreservedly recommended as essential reading for new parents, and offering a wealth of practical insights from a Christian perspective for even the more experienced parent. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Parenting collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Food for Thought: Raising Confident Kids One Conversation at a Time" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note: Kim Moog, an author and speaker, is a BTCL graduate and works as a mentor through Re: New Ministries. She and her husband of thirty-one years, Michael, have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren and live in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Moog is the author of The Debt-Free Diet and When the Storms Come Early. She and her husband spend their free time volunteering in both their community, church, and with their large, extended families.


The Business Shelf

Greater Fortune
Marie Cosgrove
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781950665389, $27.95, HC, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Greater-Fortune-Essential-Lessons-Entrepreneur/dp/1950665380

Synopsis: Whether it's everyday problems or seemingly insurmountable challenges, we all face hardships in our personal and professional lives. In "Greater Fortune: Essential Lessons from the Entrepreneur Who Bought the Company That Fired Her", business mastermind and motivational speaker Marie Cosgrove guides you in discovering how to use these hardships to propel you forward.

Born into poverty, Cosgrove persevered through a tumultuous upbringing and an abusive marriage; throughout it all, she raised four children on her own while struggling to make her way in the business world. Not only did she survive, she turned the lessons of adversity into advantage, becoming a multi-millionaire entrepreneur and innovator in the competitive field of medical devices. Now, she shares what she has learned from both her successes and failures with you.

Key lessons include valuable insights, tools, and techniques for: Walking away without guilt from whatever might be holding you back and focusing on the future; Overcoming fears and responding to disappointment in a constructive way; Preparing for success and building upon it; Preparing for failure and learning from it; Stepping up your game by being bold and taking calculated risks after setbacks; Jumping on opportunities whenever they arise (especially in challenging times); Dealing with toxic people, cutthroat competition, and bias in the business world; Embracing the future and giving back to others to cultivate continuous growth.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Greater Fortune: Essential Lessons from the Entrepreneur Who Bought the Company That Fired Her" by Marie Cosgrove will prove to be an invaluable blueprint to success by taking advantage of opportunities and overcoming obstacles to ultimately achieving that success. While "Greater Fortune" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to corporate, community, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists, it should be noted for entrepreneurs, corporate executives, MBA students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99).

The Long-Distance Teammate
Kevin Eikenberry, author
Wayne Turmel, author
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94612
www.bkconnection.com
9781523090303, $19.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Long-Distance-Teammate-Engaged-Connected-Anywhere/dp/1523090308

Synopsis: Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, remote work was growing at nearly 30 percent per year, and now thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns it's just a fact of life. There are many millions of people who once worked at a central location every day who now find themselves facing an entirely new way of working.

Collaboratively written by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel (the co-founders of the Remote Leadership Institute), "The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere" is the most authoritative single resource for helping remote workers get work done effectively, build relationships that are both productive and satisfying, and maintain a career trajectory when they are not in constant close contact with their leader, coworkers, or the organization in general.

"The Long-Distance Teammate" focuses upon three important issues: navigating the personal and interpersonal, growing the skills to be productive, and communicating effectively -- all from a distance. In short, there is a big difference between working at home and being an effective member of a team. This practical guide describes that difference and allows you to be a great remote teammate.

Critique: Exceptionally timely, impressively well written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere" is especially and unreservedly recommended to the attention of corporate managers and any employee having had to work from home during this current pandemic. While an essential addition to community, corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Business Management and Business Mentoring/Communications collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Kevin Eikenberry founded the Kevin Eikenberry Group in 1993 and is the cofounder of the Remote Leadership Institute. He is the creator of the membership-based leadership learning product the Remarkable Leadership Learning System. Eikenberry has twice been named one of Inc.'s Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World. He is the author or coauthor of three Amazon bestsellers: Remarkable Leadership, From Bud to Boss, and The Long-Distance Leader.

Editorial Note #2: Wayne Turmel is the cofounder of the Remote Leadership Institute. Turmel is the author or coauthor of seven nonfiction books, including The Long-Distance Leader and Meet Like You Mean It.

The CFO Philosophy
Jacob Henricson
Business Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
www.johnhuntpublishing.com
9781789043815, $16.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/CFO-Philosophy-Child-World-Looks/dp/1789043816

Synopsis: Since they got started in the 1920's, generations of managers have emerged from the business schools worldwide, slowly taking over organizations both in the public and in the private sector. They are armed with only two objectives: 1) define targets and 2) measure progress. "What gets measured gets done". And the rest of us are so caught up in the same thinking that we cannot even see that alternative ways of leading exist.

"The CFO Philosophy: To a Child with an MBA, the World Looks Like KPIs" by Jacob Henricson is about the modern management that makes corporate life dreary and bureaucratic. In a time where we should be enjoying the fruits of centuries of marvelous technological advances and spending more time on the good things in life, our lives are consumed by bureaucracy like never before. Almost nobody likes that, but whose fault is it? Where does the modern management style come from, why do we have it and why does every effort to replace it end up with something that becomes more of the same?

Critique: Iconoclastic, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, "The CFO Philosophy: To a Child with an MBA, the World Looks Like KPIs" is an extraordinary read and one that should be brought to the attention of every corporate executive and MBA student. While very highly recommended as an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college and university library Contemporary Business Management collection and supplemental curriculum studies list, it should be noted that "The CFO Philosophy: To a Child with an MBA, the World Looks Like KPIs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.79).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Skondal, Sweden, Jacob Henricson grew up in a small village by the polar circle and studied political science. After an accidental start to his corporate career he ended up in a Vice President-position in a Fortune 500-company, baffled by the alien culture of KPIs, management consultants and Leadership training. After years of fighting the system to get the job done, he broke up with corporate, became his own boss and wrote this book on evenings and weekends.

Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire
Andrew Temte
Kaplan Publishing
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
9781506276649, $24.99, HC, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Balancing-Act-Teach-Mentor-Inspire/dp/1506276644

Synopsis: In the pages of "Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire", Andrew Temte deftly explores the characteristics required of a new generation of business leaders who must find balance between strength and vulnerability; confidence and selflessness; passion and measure; single mindedness and inclusivity; determination and curiosity; and leadership and followership. Temte stresses that balance is a journey, not a destination.

"Balancing Act" informatively reveals: How to identify and curtail organizational entropy; How leaders can facilitate a culture of trust; How to realize the benefits of a diverse organization by fostering a culture that encourages everyone to bring their 'whole self' to work; How embarking on a continuous improvement journey can result in more balanced individuals, teams and organizations.

The commitment to "teach, coach, mentor, and inspire," is a contribution corporate leaders, business managers, and entrepreneurs can all make with respect to achieving balance in both their workplace and their home life.

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections and MBA supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted be noted for personal reading that "Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).


The General Fiction Shelf

Surviving Savannah
Patti Callahan
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9781984803757, $26.00, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Savannah-Patti-Callahan/dp/1984803751

Synopsis: When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she's shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can't resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.

Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.

Critique: The stuff of which Oscar worthy movies are made, "Surviving Savannah" by author Patti Callahan is a masterfully crafted and simply riveting read from cover to cover. An historical novel that combines an inherently engaging and narrative driven storytelling style with a meticulous attention to the creation of memorable characters with definitive historical background elements, "Surviving Savannah" is an thoroughly and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Surviving Savannah" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Miami
E. Ted Gladue
Commonwealth Books
www.commonwealthbooksinc.com
9781892986146, $19.00, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Miami-Dr-Ted-Gladue/dp/1892986140

Synopsis: "Miami" by E. Ted Gladue is the story of a man who is about to lose everything he loves including the women he lives with, his 1930s mansion in which his only son died, a future as a writer with the publication of his first book, a job as a professor at a local university where students flocked to his classes to the displeasure of other professors.

Then one restless night his son comes to him in a dream, "go to the ocean for a miracle to save our home," and trembling, he wakes and against his lady's objections, they drive to the stormy ocean with waves crashing upon the beach to find the treasure revealed in the dream to save his home -- and they do, in the form of a hundred pound bale of the sacred herb, worth enough to solve all the financial problems.

Is it a curse? Or a blessing? All as he fights to maintain a life he loves, but soon finding himself alone, facing prison and struggling against a world that was once filled with people who admired him, but are now writing him off as if he never existed -- including the woman he loves.

Critique: A compelling and skillfully crafted drama of struggle and the human condition by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that is as inherently engaging as it is fully entertaining, "Miami" by novelist, journalist, psychiatrist, and academician E. Ted Gladue will prove to be an enduringly welcome and appreciated addition to personal, community, college, and university library Literary Fiction collections.

Snapchat
Johan Monaco
Commonwealth Books
www.commonwealthbooksinc.com
9781892986184, $16.99, PB, 174pp

https://www.amazon.com/Snapchat-Dr-Johan-Monaco/dp/1892986183

Synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Ana's abusive psychopath divorced father successfully manipulates the legal system to gain custody of her and her bother, he blocks all contact with her loving mother. That's when Ana secretly utilizes social media as her only contact with the outside world, her mother, as well as the one person who seems to "get" her -- her mother's boyfriend Jack.

But Jack soon finds himself caught up in a psychodrama intertwining Ana's contract killer father, her mother whom Jack loves, the broken family law system, and his own checkered past.

In the chilling climax of this powerful modern-day fable of love and salvation, Ana, forced to take matters into her own hands, orchestrates a desperate scheme to save herself, her bother and retain hope for some semblance of family.

Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Snapchat" is an extraordinary and compelling novel that is populated with deftly drawn and memorable characters, as well as a wealth of reader engaging plot twists and turns -- making this debut novel from author and pediatrician John Monaco highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

She Never Told Me About the Ocean
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta
www.elisabethsharpmcketta.com
Paul Dry Books
1700 Sansom Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5214
www.pauldrybooks.com
9781589881532, $16.95, PB, 284pp

https://www.amazon.com/She-Never-Told-About-Ocean/dp/1589881532

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Sage has been mothering her mother for as long as she can remember, and as she arrives on the shores of adulthood, she learns a secret: before she was born, she had an older brother who drowned.

In her search to discover who he was and why nobody told her, Sage moves to tiny Dragon Island where her mother grew up. There, she embarks on a quest to learn the superstitions of the island, especially its myths involving her mother.

Gathering stories from Ilya, a legendary midwife who hires Sage as her apprentice; Marella, Sage's grieving mother who was named for the ocean yet has always been afraid of it; and Charon, the Underworld ferrywoman who delivers souls to the land of the dead, Sage learns to stop rescuing her mother and simply let go. But when her skill as Ilya's apprentice enables her to rescue her mother one final time, in a way that means life or death, Sage must shed her inherited fears and become her own woman.

Critique: Told from the perspective of four women whose stories nest together, "She Never Told Me About the Ocean" is an epic novel by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta about a rite of passage that all humans undergo and none remember -- their birth. An inherently absorbing and fully engaging read from cover to cover, "She Never Told Me About the Ocean" is a deftly crafted work of literary fiction that will have a special and particular appeal to fans of Women's Domestic Life Fiction in general, and Family Saga Fiction in particular. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "She Never Told Me About the Ocean" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Elisabeth Sharp McKetta holds literature degrees from Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of Texas at Austin and teaches writing for the Harvard Extension School and the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. While "She Never Told Me About the Ocean" is her first novel, she is also the author of eight books: We Live in Boise, Energy: The Life of John J. McKetta Jr., Fear of the Deep, Fear of the Beast, Poetry for Strangers Vols. I and II, The Creative Year: 52 Workshops for Writers, and The Fairy Tales Mammals Tell. She maintains an informative website at: www.elisabethsharpmcketta.com

The Lost Apothecary
Sarah Penner
Park Row Books
www.parkrowbooks.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780778311010, $27.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Apothecary-Novel-Sarah-Penner/dp/0778311015

Synopsis: Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary's fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate -- a fate not everyone will survive.

Critique: An impressively original, deftly crafted and fully entertaining novel from cover to cover, "The Lost Apothecary" by Sarah Penner fairly crackles with compelling suspense, features truly memorable characters, and a series of cliffhanger style plot twists and turns. All the more notable when considering that "The Lost Apothecary" is author Sarah Penner's debut as a novelist, and readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799959397, $39.99, CD).

Last Flight to Stalingrad
Graham Hurley
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com/home
9781788547543, $29.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Wolf-Graham-Hurley/dp/1788547543

Synopsis: Berlin, 1942 -- for the past four years the seemingly invincible armies of Germany have helped themselves to country after country across Western Europe. For Werner Nehmann, a journalist at the Promi (the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda) this dizzying series of victories has felt like a party without end. But now the Reich's attention has turned towards the East, and as winter sets in, the mood is turning.

Werner's boss, Joseph Goebbels, can sense it. A small man with a powerful voice and coal-black eyes, Goebbels has a deep understanding the dark arts of manipulation. His words, his newsreels, have shaken Germany awake, propelling it towards its greater destiny and he won't let, he can't let, morale falter now. But the Minister of Propaganda is uneasy and in his discomfort has pulled Werner into his close confidence. And here, amid the power struggle between the Nazi Chieftains, Werner will make his mistake and begin his descent into the hell of Stalingrad.

Critique: An inherently gripping novel from first page to last, "Last Flight to Stalingrad" fully showcases author Graham Hurley's genuine flair as a novelist for the kind of narrative driven storytelling that will keep and hold the reader's rapt attention from first page to last. While very highly recommended, especially for community library World War II Historical/Military Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Last Flight to Stalingrad" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781788547567, $15.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.89), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781838936686, $97.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Graham Hurley is a television documentary maker turned full-time novelist. A number of his films won international awards. To date, he has 25 published titles to his name, including the much-acclaimed 12-book D/I Faraday crime series, set in Portsmouth and are currently being adapting for television in France.

After Happily Ever After
Leslie A. Rasmussen
https://lesliearasmussen.com
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647420147, $16.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/After-Happily-Ever-Novel/dp/1647420148

Synopsis: Maggie Dolin is forty-five and isn't dealing with getting older very well. Seventeen years ago, she gave up her job in publishing to raise her daughter, Gia -- but now her only child is about to leave for college, and Maggie isn't sure what her new purpose will be.

She's been the caretaker and nurturer for so long that she can't even remember the last time someone took care of her. She wishes Jim, her husband of nineteen years, would take that role on -- but he's been distracted and disconnected, and she's convinced he's hiding something from her. Her self-involved, judgmental mother and resentful brother, meanwhile, are certainly no help, and her father (the only person in her life who's always been there for her and asked nothing in return) is dealing with increasingly serious health issues, leaving Maggie without her rock.

As all these stressors pile on, a chance meeting with a younger man causes Maggie to act in a way that is completely out of character for her. As she gets deeper in, she's forced to make some big decisions about what she wants and deserves -- decisions that could change her life forever.

Critique: In "After Happily Ever After" author Leslie A. Rasmussen deftly deals with love, marriage, family, the empty nest, aging parents and what happens when they all come crashing down at the same time -- the result is a compelling, entertaining, often humorous, and inherently fascinating novel that will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to community library Women's Domestic and Family Life Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "After Happily Ever After" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).


The Historical Fiction Shelf

Pieces of Eight
Steve Goble
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228
www.prometheusbooks.com
9781645060369, $15.95, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pieces-Eight-Spider-John-Mystery/dp/1645060365

Synopsis: In the year 1723, Spider John is almost home, free of the horrors of the pirate life, free of the violence, free of the death. The wife and baby he left behind almost a decade ago are almost within reach. But then a murder aboard Minuet uncovers a deeper conspiracy, and soon Spider and his friends (curmudgeonly Odin, swashbuckling young Hob and alluring Ruth Copper) find themselves in the midst of flintlock smoke and bloodshed.

The violence continues to follows Spider ashore to Nantucket, where the loving reception he'd dreamed of turns out to be something utterly unexpected. Soon, Spider is running for his life and confronting cutthroats and thieves -- all while hiding from islanders who think he left a man dead on a widow's front step.

The solution? Find the killer. The consequences? Those could change Spider John's life forever.

Critique: A riveting great read with all manner of cliff hanger plots twists and unexpected turns, "Pieces of Eight" by Steve Goble is the most recent of the author's Spider John mystery novels. A deftly crafted, inherently absorbing, narrative driven story that will keep and hold the reader's total attention from cover to cover, "Pieces of Eight" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pieces of Eight" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

A Time for Swords
Matthew Harffy
www.matthewharffy.com
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com/home
9781838932855, $25.95, HC, 496pp

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Swords-Matthew-Harffy/dp/1838932852

Synopsis: There had been portents including famine, whirlwinds, lightning from clear skies, serpents seen flying through the air. But when the raiders came, no one was prepared. They were marauding Vikings who came from the North in their dragon-prowed longships that on the 8th of June in the year 793 A.D., gliding out of the dawn mist as they descended on the monastery on Lindisfarne -- the kingdom's most sacred site.

While his fellow monks flee before the Norse onslaught, one young novice stands his ground. He has been taught to turn the other cheek, but faced with the slaughter of his brothers and the pagan desecration of his church, forgiveness is impossible. Hunlaf soon learns that there is a time for faith and prayer -- and there is a time for swords.

Critique: A riveting great read from cover to cover, "A Time for Swords" by Matthew Harffy is an impressively crafted historical novel that will have a very special appeal to fans of the Viking Age, the clash of swords and the medieval struggle of Christianity against the pagan hoard from the violent lands of Scandinavia. Certain to be an immediately and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Time for Swords" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781838932879, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.69).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Wiltshire England, Matthew Harffy maintains an informative website at www.matthewharffy.com


The Literary Fiction Shelf

How Other People Make Love
Thisbe Nissen
Wayne State University Press
4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309
http://wsupress.wayne.edu
9780814348369, $18.99, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Other-People-Make-Michigan-Writers/dp/081434836X

Synopsis: In the stories that comprise "How Other People Make Love", author Thisbe Nissen deftly chronicles the lives and choices of people questioning the heteronormative institution of marriage. Not best-served by established conventions and conventional mores, these people-young, old, gay, straight, midwestern, coastal-are finding their own paths in learning who they are and how they want to love and be loved, even when those paths must be blazed through the unknown.

Concerning husbands and wives, lovers and leavers, Nissen's stories explore our search for connection and all the ways we undercut it, unwittingly and intentionally, when we do find it. How do we hold ourselves together-to function, work, and survive... while endlessly yearning to be undone, unraveled, and laid bare, however untenable and excruciating?

"How Other People Make Love" is comprised of nine short stories: "Win's Girl" features a single woman who works at an Iowa slaughterhouse and uses the insurance money from a car accident to update the electric system in her dead parents' old house, only to be unwittingly embroiled with a shady electrician who ultimately forces her to stand up for herself. In "Home Is Where the Heart Gives Out and We Arouse the Grass," a young woman flees after cheating on her husband and winds up at a Nebraska roadside motel populated by participants in a regional dog show who help her decide what to do next. In "Unity Brought Them Together," a young man heads to his favorite New York coffee shop intending to finish the Christmas cards his vacationing fiancee insists on sending, but winds up meeting another displaced young midwestern man there and going home with him instead. All these stories explore the question, "how do we love?" as well as the answers we find, discard, follow, banish, and cling to in all our humanness and desperation.

"How Other People Make Love" collectively asserts and illustrates that there aren't right and wrong ways to love; there are only our very complicated and contradictory human hearts, minds, bodies, and desires-all searching for something, whether we know what that is or not. These are stories for anyone who has ever loved or been loved.

Critique: Original, superbly written, thought-provoking and memorable, "How Other People Make Love" by Thisbe Nissen is the newest addition to the Wayne State University Press 'Made in Michigan Writers Series' and is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction & Short Story Anthology collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "How Other People Make Love" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

An Evil Most Men Welcome
Leta Serafim
https://letaserafim.com
Camel Press
6524 NE 181st Street, Suite #2, Kenmore, WA 98028
www.camelpress.com
9781603817226, $15.95, PB, 214pp

https://www.amazon.com/Evil-Most-Men-Welcome/dp/1603817220

Synopsis: 'Marriage is an evil most men welcome', the ancient Greek philosopher, Menander, observed; and so an American woman discovers to her dismay after marrying a man she met on a beach in Greece one summer. Inspector Patronas must delve deep into the history of a family on the Greek island of Spetses, which leads to the uncovering of a secret that has festered for years and finally resulted in murder!

Critique: Author Leta Serafim's new novel "An Evil Most Men Welcome" is the fourth in her series of mysteries set in the islands of Greece. An inherently riveting read by a mastery of the genre, "An Evil Most Men Welcome" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of truly dedicated mystery buffs that "An Evil Most Men Welcome" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

The Police Surgeon
Gene Rontal
http://generontalbooks.com/books
Camel Press
6524 NE 181st Street, Suite #2, Kenmore, WA 98028
www.camelpress.com
9781603817400, $15.95, PB, 187pp

https://www.amazon.com/Police-Surgeon-Gene-Rontal-ebook/dp/B08SFD6VS3

Synopsis: Alone, destitute and living on his dilapidated boat after a devastating malpractice decision, Dr. Ben Dailey tries to earn money by doing an insurance examination for a friend. Unknown to him this job will lead him to a vicious killer, a beautiful woman, and the answer to the catastrophic change in his life.

Critique: The second of author Gene Rontal's 'Dr. Ben Dailey' mystery novels, "The Police Surgeon" is an original and fully absorbing read from first page to last. With a distinctive and reader engaging narrative storytelling style, "The Police Surgeon" is replete with the kind of unexpected plot twists and turns that fully engages the dedicated mystery buff. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Police Surgeon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

The Windsor Knot
S. J. Bennett
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780063050006, $27.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Knot-Novel-SJ-Bennett/dp/0063050005

Synopsis: It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals -- until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.

Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff's morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.

Critique: In the pages of her new novel, "The Windsor Knot", author SJ Bennett fully captures Britain's revered Queen Elizabeth persona with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in an impressively original, exceptionally imaginative, and fully engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character! While this unique and wonderfully entertaining mystery novel is unreservedly and especially recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and Anglophiles that "The Windsor Knot" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799950202, $39.99, CD).

A Matter of Life and Death
Phillip Margolin
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250258427, $27.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Matter-Life-Death-Robin-Lockwood/dp/1250258421

Synopsis: Joe Lattimore, who is homeless and trying desperately to provide for his young family, agrees to fight in a no-holds-barred illegal bout, only to have his opponent die. Lattimore now finds himself at the mercy of the fight's organizers who blackmail him into burglarizing a house. However, when he breaks in, he finds a murdered woman on the floor and the police have received an anonymous tip naming him the murderer.

Robin Lockwood, an increasingly prominent young attorney and former MMA fighter, agrees to take on his defense. But the case is seemingly airtight because the murdered woman's husband, Judge Anthony Carasco, has an alibi and Lattimore's fingerprints are discovered at the scene. But everything about the case is too easy, too pat, and Lockwood is convinced that her client has been framed. The only problem is that she has no way of proving it and since this is a death case, if she fails then another innocent will die.

Critique: The latest addition to novelist Philip Margolin's simply outstanding courtroom thriller Robin Lockwood series, "A Matter Of Life And Death" is a compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "A Matter Of Life And Death" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781250802163, $9.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250788290, $29.99, CD).

Ruthless Women
Melanie Blake
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com/home
9781800243026, $24.95, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ruthless-Women-Melanie-Blake/dp/1800243022

Synopsis: Falcon Bay is the UK's favorite TV soap, beamed to millions three days a week from its beautiful location in the Channel Islands. But the show now has a new owner, and ratings are falling. The cast and crew used to be 'one big family,' but now they've turned against each other in the battle to impress their new boss and survive the downturn.

Writer Farrah, lead actor Catherine, and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to her less experienced male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her, and Amanda's evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his wife kicked off the show.

Can these women team up to bring down their rivals? Only if they are prepared for a battle of the sexes -- where they'll need to be as ruthless as the men to come out on top!

Critique: Ambition can be deadly in Melanie Blake's new novel, "Ruthless Women". A sizzling thriller set behind the scenes of a glamorous and successful TV soap opera, "Ruthless Women" is a skillful crafted and compelling page turner of a read that fully lives up to its title and is certain to be an enduringly welcome addition to community library Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ruthless Women" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781800243040, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.390).

Editorial Note: Melanie Blake is best-known as the "Queen of Soaps" for her success within the entertainment industry. Her London-based talent agency represents stars of Dynasty, Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. A true insider, Melanie has seen everything that goes on behind the velvet rope of showbiz. And now, through her fiction, she's sharing those secrets. She can be followed her on Twitter and Instagram @MelanieBlakeUK.

All That Fall
Chris Calvin
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643856889, $26.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/All-That-Fall-Thriller-Mysteries/dp/164385688X

Synopsis: When Emma Lawson, the youngest lead government ethics investigator in California's capital, takes a day off to help her best friend, Kate, prepare for the opening of her new business, Rainbow Alley Preschool, the morning takes a shocking turn. The school's most high-profile enrollee is the governor's granddaughter,Vivian Lange, who has been kidnapped -- while at the same time Kate's teenage son, Luke, goes missing.

Emma is quickly drawn to a web of clues that point toward sordid secrets and a cold-case murder in a shadow world of bigotry and hate. Over a desperate and harrowing forty-eight hours, Emma races against the clock to solve the most important investigation of her life. But will she be in time to bring the child to safety and to stop a calculating killer whose plan threatens all that Emma holds dear?

Critique: A rapidly paced suspense thriller of a novel from cover to cover, "All That Fall" by Kris Calvin is a compulsive page turner of a story that takes the reader on a roller coaster of a ride with all manner of unexpected plot twists and turns. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "All That Fall" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662083556, $22.99, CD).

The Sanatorium
Sarah Pearse
Pamela Dorman Books / Viking Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
www.penguin.com
9780593296677, $27.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sanatorium-Novel-Sarah-Pearse/dp/0593296672

Synopsis: Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin's taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancee, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge -- there's something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she's the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in.

Critique: An impressively original and deftly crafted psychological/suspense thriller of a read from cover to cover, "The Sanatorium" by novelist Sarah Pearse is an extraordinary example of narrative driven storytelling at it's very best. The stuff of which Oscar-winning movies are made, "The Sanatorium" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sanatorium" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), as well as in a British paperback edition (The Bantman Press, 9781787633322, $29.36, Amazon).

Every Last Fear
Alex Finlay
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250268822, $26.99, HC, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Every-Last-Fear-Alex-Finlay/dp/1250268826

Synopsis: After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family (his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister) have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain -- and they won't tell Matt why.

The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn't the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt's older brother, Danny is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte, and was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he's never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.

When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he's faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he had hoped to leave behind him forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny's case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison (putting his own life in peril) and forcing him to confront his every last fear.

Told through multiple points-of-view and alternating between past and present, Alex Finlay's "Every Last Fear" is a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through a fame they never wanted.

Critique: A deftly crafted masterpiece of a psychological thriller, "Every Last Fear" is a truly compulsive page turner of a read and certain to be a welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Every Last Fear" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781250817129, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

The Unkindness of Ravens
M. E. Hilliard
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643856940, $26.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unkindness-Ravens-Greer-Mystery-Mysteries/dp/1643856944

Synopsis: Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She also has a habit of stumbling upon murdered bodies. The first was her husband's, and the tragic loss led Greer to leave New York behind for a new start in the Village of Raven Hill. But her new home becomes less idyllic when she discovers her best friend sprawled dead on the floor of the library.

Was her friend's demise related to two other deaths that the police deemed accidental? Do the residents of this insular village hold dark secrets about another murder, decades ago? Does a serial killer haunt Raven Hill?

As the body count rises, Greer's anxious musings take a darker turn when she uncovers unexpected and distressing information about her own husband's death...and the man who went to prison for his murder . She is racked with guilt at the possibility that her testimony may have helped to convict an innocent man.

Though Greer admires the masters of deduction she reads about in books, she never expected to have to solve a mystery herself. Fortunately, she possesses a quick wit and a librarian's natural resourcefulness. But will that be enough to protect her from a brilliant, diabolical murderer?

And even if Greer manages to catch the Raven Hill killer, will living with her conscience prove a fate worse than death?

Critique: The stuff of which Hallmark Movie Mystery Channel movies are made, "The Unkindness of Ravens" is a terrifically entertaining and deftly crafted read from cover to cover -- making it highly commended to the attention of all dedicated murder mystery fans. While certain to be a popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Unkindness of Ravens" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662074882, $22.99, CD).

The Sign of Death
Callie Hutton
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643855820, $26.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sign-Death-Victorian-Book-Mystery/dp/1643855824

Synopsis: Mr. James Harding was a lot of things (a businessman as well as a well-to-do and probable scoundrel) -- but a drinker he most assuredly was not. So when Harding is believed to have drunkenly fallen to his death into the icy River Avon, Lord William Wethington is immediately suspicious. Finding Lord William's name on a letter in the victim's pocket, the local constabulary summons William to identify the victim. Police detectives learn that William had been one of Harding's business clients -- and undoubtedly not the only client the dead man had cheated.

William entreats Lady Amy Lovell, a fellow member of the Mystery Book Club of Bath, to help him deduce what really happened to the late Mr. Harding. Lady Amy, a celebrated mystery author herself, once called on William to help her solve a real-life mystery, and now she fully intends to return the favor. But it won't be easy.

Practically every one of Harding's many clients had ample reason to want to do him in. And there's precious little time to narrow down the list: William and Amy soon become prime suspects themselves when the police discover them ruffling through files in Harding's house. Lady Amy will have to be as clever as her characters if she's to save William from the gallows -- and herself from Harding's real killer.

Critique: Set in Bath, England, 1891, "The Sign of Death" by Callie Hutton" is a clever and entertaining 'whodunnit' novel by an author with and impressive talent and a genuine master of the historical mystery genre. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be not for the growing legions of fans that this latest addition to Callie Hutton's simply outstanding 'Victorian Book Club Mystery' series that "The Sign of Death" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662076077, $22.99, CD).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Sword Falls
A. J. Smith
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com/home
9781786696922, $32.95, HC, 512pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Falls-Form-Void/dp/1786696924

Synopsis: A man of the Dawn Claw will be the Always King. It will ever be so. They will always rule -- but they will not always lead. Prince Oliver Dawn Claw, heir to the Kingdom of the Four Claws, is thrust into a world he doesn't understand as he waits for his father to die. Away from home, with few allies, and too many enemies, he faces a new and otherworldly threat to the Eastron from across the sea. Alliances break and masks fall, as the Dark Brethren reveal their true master. Meanwhile, Adeline Brand, called the Alpha Wolf, refuses to wait, and becomes the edge of the sword that swings back at the Dreaming God. Assembling allies and crushing resistance, she enters a fight she doesn't know if she can win, as the sea begins to rise.

Critique: A fabulous example of the Sword & Sorcery fantasy genre first launched back in the 1930s by the legendary author Robert E. Howard, "The Sword Falls" by A. J. Smith is a simply riveting read from cover to cover and a 'must' for all dedicated action/adventure fantasy fans. An impressively original and inherently entertaining story with all manner of memorable characters and unexpected plot twists, "The Sword Falls" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "The Sword Falls" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99), as well as a paperback edition (Amazon, 9781786696939, $25.92).

Editorial Note: Also of interest to Epic Fantasy fans is A.J. Smith previous novels: "The Black Guard", "The Dark Blood", "The Red Prince" and "The World Raven".


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Big Bad John: The John Milius Interviews
Nat Segaloff
BearManor Media
www.bearmanormedia.com
9781629336916, $34.00, HC, 180pp

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Bad-John-hardback-Interviews/dp/1629336912

Synopsis: For over half a century John Milius has either written, directed, or written and directed some of the movies' most memorable moments and enduring lines: "I know what you're thinking" from Dirty Harry; the Indianapolis speech from Jaws; "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" from Apocalypse Now; and more. His films as director include Big Wednesday, Conan the Barbarian, Red Dawn, The Wind and the Lion, Flight of the Intruder, and Rough Riders.

Drawn from nearly fifty years of personal encounters and interviews, and exploring his life and craft in a riveting Q&A format, "Big Bad John: The John Milius Interviews" by Nat Segaloff is the first full-length history/biography about this iconoclastic, battle-scarred, remarkable filmmaker.

Critique: An absolutely fascinating and impressively informative read from cover to cover, "Big Bad John: The John Milius Interviews" is certain to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Cinematic History collections in general, and John Milius supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for film students, academia, movie buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Big Bad John: The John Milius Interviews" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781629336909, $24.00).

Editorial Note: Nat Segaloff has written books and/or produced documentaries on William Friedkin, Stan Lee, Larry King, Arthur Penn, Paul Mazursky, John Belushi, Stirling Silliphant, Harlan Ellison, Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop, and other figures. He lives in Los Angeles waiting for his phone calls to be returned.

Love and Loss in Hollywood
Cooper C. Graham, editor
Christoph Irmscher, editor
Indiana University Press
1310 East 10th Street, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405
https://iupress.org
9780253052926, $80.00, HC, 474pp

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Loss-Hollywood-Florence-Publications/dp/0253052920

Synopsis: In 1919, Florence Deshon (a tall, radical, and charismatic actress) was well on her way to becoming one of Hollywood's brightest stars. Embroiled in a clandestine affair with Charlie Chaplin, she continued to remain romantically involved with the well-known writer and socialist Max Eastman. By 1922, she was found dead in a New York apartment, rumored to have committed suicide.

Collaborative compiled and co-edited by the team of Cooper C. Graham and Christoph Irmscher, "Love and Loss in Hollywood: Florence Deshon, Max Eastman, and Charlie Chaplin" uses previously unpublished letters between Deshon and Eastman to reconstruct their relationship against the backdrop of the "golden age" of Hollywood. Deshon's tragic life and her abuse at the hands of powerful men (including Chaplin, Eastman, and Samuel Goldwyn) which will resonate with the concerns of today's MeToo movement. Above all, though, "Love and Loss in Hollywood" is the story of an extraordinary woman unjustly forgotten: a brilliant writer and campaigner for women's rights who was driven both by her ambition to succeed and a boundless desire for life.

Rich in tantalizing detail, "Love and Loss in Hollywood" chronicles crucial years of American film history, overshadowed by the pervasive fear of Bolshevism after World War I, the Red Riots, and the emergence of the big studios in Hollywood. This beautiful edition published by the Indiana University Press as part of their Special Publications of the Lilly Library series, "Love and Loss in Hollywood" features dozens of unpublished photographs, among them six mesmerizing full-length portraits of Deshon by Adolph de Meyer, Vogue's first fashion photographer.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from cover to cover, "Love and Loss in Hollywood: Florence Deshon, Max Eastman, and Charlie Chaplin" is the extraordinary account of an extraordinary life lived out in extraordinary times and under extraordinary circumstances. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Biography and Cinematic History collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love and Loss in Hollywood: Florence Deshon, Max Eastman, and Charlie Chaplin" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780253052940, $45.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $42.74).

Editorial Note #1: Cooper Graham, is a retired film curator at the Library of Congress who is widely known for his work on Leni Riefenstahl and D. W. Griffith. He is also the co-author (written with James W. Castellan and Ron van Dopperen) of "American Cinematographers in the Great War, 1914-1918".

Editorial Note #2: Christoph Irmscher is Provost Professor of English and Director of the Wells Scholars Program at Indiana University Bloomington. A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, he is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, "Max Eastman: A Life and Stephen Spender: Poems Written Abroad".


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Press Here! Hand Reflexology for Beginners
Stefanie Sabounchian
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781589239760, $16.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Press-Here-Hand-Reflexology-Beginners/dp/1589239768

Synopsis: Reflexology is an alternative medical practice involving the application of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands. This is done using thumb, finger, and hand massage techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the premise that such work on the feet and hands causes a physical change to the related areas of the body.

Practicing hand reflexology on yourself can help you achieve your goal of natural, holistic healthcare without the expensive weekly treatments. Hand reflexology, unlike the more common foot reflexology, is easy to incorporate into your wellness routine because it can be used anywhere -- from riding the bus or listening to a lecture in class to enjoying a party.

"Press Here! Hand Reflexology for Beginners: A Practice for Promoting Self-Care" by Stefanie Sabounchian is a fun, easy, and accessible introduction to self-care through hand reflexology teaches the fundamental principles of reflexology and guides you through the reflex map of the hands, where every part of our body has a corresponding reflex point. Readers can simply follow the illustrations and simple instructions to quickly learn techniques to use daily for overall good health and a balanced body and mind. In addition, guided techniques help them learn how to use reflexology for specific health issues, organized by ailments.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout and an ideal, highly recommended introduction to Reflexology -- and which will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Alternative Medicine, Pain Management, and Massage collections, "Press Here! Hand Reflexology for Beginners: A Practice for Promoting Self-Care" by Stefanie Sabounchian is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Stefanie Sabounchian has a thriving private reflexology practice in Los Angeles, California, and teaches foot, hand, and ear reflexology at several schools, including the American Academy of Reflexology, where she is one of the core teachers, as well as various international workshops. She is nationally certified with the American Reflexology Certification Board and a past president of the Reflexology Association of California.

Decoding Jung's Metaphysics
Bernardo Kastrup
Iff Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
www.johnhuntpublishing.com
9781789045659, $19.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Decoding-Jungs-Metaphysics-Archetypal-Experiential/dp/1789045657

Synopsis: More than an insightful psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung was the twentieth century's greatest articulator of the primacy of mind in nature, a view whose origins vanish behind the mists of time. Underlying Jung's extraordinary body of work, and providing a foundation for it, there is a broad and sophisticated system of metaphysical thought. This system, however, is only implied in Jung's writings, so as to shield his scientific persona from accusations of philosophical speculation.

"Decoding Jung's Metaphysics: The Archetypal Semantics of an Experiential Universe" by Bernardo Kastrup scrutinizes Jung's work to distill and reveal that extraordinary, hidden metaphysical treasure: for Jung, mind and world are one and the same entity; reality is fundamentally experiential, not material; the psyche builds and maintains its body, not the other way around; and the ultimate meaning of our sacrificial lives is to serve God by providing a reflecting mirror to God's own instinctive mentation.

Embodied in this compact volume is a journey of discovery through Jungian thoughtscapes never before revealed with the depth, force and scholarly rigor you are about to encounter.

Critique: Erudite, insightful, "Decoding Jung's Metaphysics: The Archetypal Semantics of an Experiential Universe" is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking study and one which is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Jungian Psychology and Analytic Philosophy collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Decoding Jung's Metaphysics: The Archetypal Semantics of an Experiential Universe" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Veldhoven, Netherlands, Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in philosophy and another in computer engineering. He has been a scientist in some of the world's foremost scientific laboratories. His main interests are metaphysics and philosophy of mind.

Archangel Fire Oracle Cards
Alexandra Wenman, author
Aveliya Savina, illustrator
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644112786, $25.00, Guide Book & Card Deck, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Archangel-Fire-Oracle-Alexandra-Wenman/dp/1644112787

Synopsis: Angels are the keepers of our ascension pathway. They assist humanity toward personal and collective enlightenment, bringing us love, guidance, power, healing, and deep transformation. "Archangel Fire Oracle Cards" is a 40 card oracle deck and guidebook that allows you to engage directly with the Archangels (the highest rank of angels) and the potent energy of Divine Fire to initiate a powerful alchemical process within you, a transformation that can help accelerate your ascension and align you with your inner Divinity.

Each of the 40 full-color, high-vibration cards features an Archangel and the healing color ray or sacred flame that angel embodies. The deck includes a balance of masculine, feminine, androgynous, and multicultural angels in celebration of humanity's diversity.

In the accompanying book, gifted angel communicator Alexandra Wenman explores how the Archangels interact with us and how they work with and within us. She provides a detailed interpretation of each card, explaining the Archangel's powers and benefits, sacred symbols, colors, star constellation, and chakra energies. She also reveals the crystals and essential oils you can use to resonate with each Archangel's energies and offers a beautiful message to connect directly with each Divine Guide.

Alexandra also shares exercises and visualizations to help you channel your chosen Archangel, embody their energy and healing vibrations, purify your lower self and remove energetic blockages, and initiate the alchemical process to reunite with your Divine higher self.

"Archangel Fire Oracle Cards" provides metaphysical students and practitioners with a hands-on tool to connect with the angels, access their guidance and support, open their heart to love and healing, and reach the rainbow light of their own Divinity.

Critique: Beautifully crafted, inspired and inspiring, "Archangel Fire Oracle Cards" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies, Tarot, and Angels/Spirits Guide collections.

Editorial Note: As a teacher of angels and alchemy, pioneer of Precious Wisdom and priestess of the divine feminine, Alexandra Wenman is a voice for the cosmically curious. Devoted to normalizing the conversation about spirituality and awakening, Alexandra brings the 'out there' in here with her down-to-earth approach to channeling higher wisdom, connecting to angels and guides, navigating the dreamscape, accessing our soul records, recognizing our true multidimensional birth-right and honouring our divinity.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Ecology of Herbal Medicine
Dara Saville
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
www.unmpress.com
9780826362179, $24.95, PB, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ecology-Herbal-Medicine-Landscapes-Southwest/dp/0826362176

Synopsis: "The Ecology of Herbal Medicine: A Guide to Plants and Living Landscapes of the American Southwest" by Dara Saville introduces botanical medicine through an in-depth exploration of the land, presenting a unique guide to plants found across the American Southwest. Basically, as a professional herbalist and trained geographer, Saville offers her readers an comprehensively definitive ecological manual for developing relationships with the land and plants in a new theoretical approach to using herbal medicines.

Designed to increase our understanding of plants' rapport with their environment, "The Ecology of Herbal Medicine: A Guide to Plants and Living Landscapes of the American Southwest" is a truly trail blazing herbal instructional guide and manual that speaks to our innate connection to place and provides a pathway to understanding the medicinal properties of plants through their ecological relationships. With thirty-nine plant profiles and detailed color photographs, Saville provides an extensive materia medica in which she offers practical tools and information alongside inspiration for working with plants in a way that restores our connection to the natural world.

Critique; Unique, comprehensive, profusely illustrated, impressively informative, exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Ecology of Herbal Medicine: A Guide to Plants and Living Landscapes of the American Southwest" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Herbal Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, alternative medicine practitioners, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Ecology of Herbal Medicine: A Guide to Plants and Living Landscapes of the American Southwest" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.95).

Editorial Note: Dara Saville is the founder of and a primary instructor at Albuquerque Herbalism as well as the executive director of the Yerba Mansa Project, a local nonprofit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, focused on ecological restoration along the Middle Rio Grande.

The Fiber Effect
Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN
https://www.purelyplanted.com/home
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268887, $14.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fiber-Effect-Counting-Calories-Better/dp/1578268885

Synopsis: Specifically written for those who want to lose weight, are trying to lower their cholesterol, need to reduce their risk of colon cancer, working to prevent diabetes, stop overeating, "The Fiber Effect: Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Fiber for Better Health" shows what needs to be done.

The food we eat is what powers our bodies -- basically, the better we eat, the better we look, feel and perform. Yet less than five percent of Americans are getting the recommended amount of fiber per day -- a vital nutrient that can do many things from regulating blood sugar to lowering cholesterol to creating a healthy gut.

"The Fiber Effect" includes: A detailed overview of the vital role fiber plays in our body; Helpful tables that lay out what to eat and when; 40 delicious fiber-filled recipes that anyone can enjoy; Weekly meal plans to create a complete, fiber-rich diet; Tips and tricks to help anyone increase their fiber intake.

"The Fiber Effect" is the ideal DIY guide to meeting daily fiber needs and so much more. Because foods rich in fiber typically contain a wealth of other healthy nutrients, increasing fiber intake means increasing the overall quality of any diet. That's the fiber effect -- better health through fiber!

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "The Fiber Effect: Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Fiber for Better Health" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections. It should be noted for non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Fiber Effect: Stop Counting Calories and Start Counting Fiber for Better Health" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, has been a registered dietitian nutritionist for 25 years, specializing in heart disease, diabetes, sports nutrition and women's health. For the past ten years, she has focused on plant-based lifestyles through inspiring and educating people about plant-based eating to optimize their health and the health of the planet. Nichole has been featured in Yoga Journal, Veg News and Atlanta Journal Constitution through her plant-based chocolate company, Nicobella Organics. She maintains a website at https://www.purelyplanted.com/about-nichole, also has a plant-based blog for wellness tips, recipes and inspiration called Purely Planted.


The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet's Where To Go When Europe
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781838690403, $24.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planets-Where-When-Europe/dp/1838690409

Synopsis: Where should you go next in Europe? Packed full with trip recommendations for every time of year (curated with weather, seasonal costs, crowds and events in mind) "Lonely Planet's Where To Go When Europe" covers every flavor of the European travel experience, ranging from culture-rich city breaks and sun-kissed beach escapes, to scenic road trips and adrenaline-fuelled adventures.

With more than 300 suggestions for destinations across Europe and the best time of year to experience them, this 304-page, profusely illustrated volume is the ultimate trip planner for every month of the year. It features unique interactive flow chart in each month's chapter to help you refine your interest. "Lonely Planet's Where To Go When Europe" shows how to escape the crowds in the pastel-hued villages of Italy's Cinque Terre, reveals why the slopes of Moritz are the place to be come winter time, and just when to explore the highlands and islands of Scotland for the best weather.

Destinations are divided by months of the year, and a key describes where on the continent is best to enjoy adventure, culture and food and drink, where is best to spot species of wildlife, the best places to kick back and relax, and where you get the best bang-for-your-buck. Ultimately, whether you want to wander through sky-high mountain ranges or lose yourself wandering through quaint and cobbled city streets, this trusty and expert-led travel guide and advisory will have you covered.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Lonely Planet's Where To Go When Europe" is extraordinarily informed and informative -- the perfect travel itinerary planning resource. An armchair traveler's delight to simply browse through one page at a time, "Lonely Planet's Where To Go When Europe" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Travel Guide collections.

Editorial Note: Lonely Planet is the leading travel media company and the world's number one travel guide book brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, Lonely Planet has printed over 145 million guidebooks and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. They also provide content online, on mobile, video and in 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, eBooks, and more.

Washington Wildflower Hikes: 50 Destinations
Nathan Barnes & Jeremy Barnes
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680510959, $24.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Washington-Wildflower-Hikes-50-Destinations/dp/1680510959

Synopsis: From flower-filled alpine meadows to streams lined with delicate Scouler's corydalis blooms, and from lakes covered in water lilies to Dr. Seussian drifts of bear grass, Washington offers something for every hiker and flower lovers! In the profusely illustrated pages of "Washington Wildflower Hikes: 50 Destinations" published by Mountaineers Books, brothers Nathan and Jeremy Barnes lays out 50 hiking trails that superbly showcase seasonal floral displays that range across varied landscapes.

"Washington Wildflower Hikes: 50 Destinations" includes: Basics of wildflower identification; Tips for photographing wildflowers; a "Hike Finder," which includes flowering season, trail difficulty, distance, and more; 50 detailed wildflower profiles, including common and botanical names, description, botanical background; Stunningly memorable images throughout.

Along with its showcased species, each handpicked route presented in "Washington Wildflower Hikes: 50 Destinations" includes a detailed topo map, turn-by-turn route description, history of the area, and list of other wildflowers found along the trail.

Critique: Expertly written, exceptionally informative, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Washington Wildflower Hikes: 50 Destinations" is an ideal and inspiring instructional reference for anyone with a combined interest in wild flower appreciation and recreational hiking outdoors in the state of Washington's great outdoors. Simply stated, "Washington Wildflower Hikes: 50 Destinations" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Washington State Travel Guide collections.

Editorial Note: Both currently residing in West Seattle, Washington, Nathan and Jeremy Barnes founded the popular website and blog www.hikingwithmybrother.com in 2009 as a resource for hikers and travel itinerary planners.

Lonely Planet New Zealand's Best Trips
Brett Atkinson, et al.
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781786570888, $24.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Zealands-Trips-Country/dp/1786570882

Synopsis: A thoroughly 'user friendly' and profusely illustrated travel guide to one of the world's most interesting countries, "Lonely Planet New Zealand's Best Trips" features: up-to-date information (all businesses were rechecked before publication to ensure they are still open after 2020's COVID-19 outbreak); lavish color photography throughout; proposed itineraries and practical planning advice to pick the right tailored routes for your needs and interests.

There are easy-to-read route maps with detailed directions; true insider tips to get around like a local, avoid trouble spots and be safe on the road including (but not limited to) local driving rules, parking, toll roads; essential information at your fingertips about hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, prices; and honest reviews for all budgets when it comes to eating, sleeping, and sightseeing.

Featuring hidden gems that most guidebooks miss, "Lonely Planet New Zealand's Best Trips" also has such useful features as Stretch Your Legs, Detours, Link Your Trip. "Lonely Planet New Zealand's Best Trips" covers Marlborough, Bay of Islands, Akaroa, West Coast, Central Plateau, Milford Sound, Waiheke Island, Kaikoura, Mackenzie Country, Waitomo Caves, Canterbury, Rotorua, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and more!

Critique: Compact to make it easily portable, and highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library World Travel Guide collections, "Lonely Planet New Zealand's Best Trips" is an ideal planning guide for anyone visiting New Zealand for recreation and/or business wanting to get the most out their opportunity to what New Zealand has to offer.


The Automotive Shelf

Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick
Dean Fait
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255308, $36.95, PB, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Arnie-Farmer-Beswick-Dean-Fait/dp/1613255306

Synopsis: Arnie "the Farmer" Beswick was described as "the consummate underdog" by Hot Rod magazine. While there was good reason, there is so much more to his unbelievable career.

Born a third-generation farmer in the small town of Morrison, Illinois, Arnie Beswick's driving career began not behind the wheel of a straight-line terror but that of a tractor. On local dusty roads, Arnie's budding reputation grew with street cars, as the "flying farmer" was coined to describe his driving style. When drag racing began in the Midwest in the early 1950s, Arnie was one of the pioneers who campaigned Dodges and Oldsmobiles. In 1960, he purchased his first Pontiac and never looked back.

At the beginning, he didn't like the "farmer" nickname, but he quickly learned to utilize the name to lull his competition into complacency. After all, what could a simple farmer know of the world of high-performance drag racing? Throughout the 1960s, Arnie's Mr. B's Passionate Poncho, Mystery Tornado, Star of the Circuit I and II, Tameless Tiger, and Super Judge all contributed to dispel the myth that a simple farmer couldn't dominate straight-line racing.

Arnie was an innovator, fierce competitor, entertainer and showman who always gave fans their money's worth at the track. He is still brand loyal -- sticking with Pontiac long after production models ceased. Arnie has always been a fan favorite for this reason, and he continues to exhilarate fans at the track with his cast of potent Pontiacs.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Arnie Beswick fans and Pontiac buffs, "Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick" by Dean Fait is a profusely illustrated, impressively informative, and inherently fascinating read. This large (8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches) paperback edition from CarTech is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Automotive History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.

Editorial Note: Growing up just southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dean Fait was born the grandson of a Chevrolet-Pontiac dealer. After a move to Moline, Illinois in 1990, he joined a local Pontiac club and met Arnie "the Farmer" Beswick. Shortly after, Dean was given the opportunity to put together a two-and-a-half-hour video documentary on Arnie's career and started traveling with him. In the late 1990s, Dean wrote articles for souvenir programs as well as other various magazines Pontiac Enthusiast and newspapers with Arnie noting him as his "historian".

The American Speed Shop
Bob McClurg
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613253342, $39.77, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/American-Speed-Shop-Evolution-Rodding/dp/1613253346

Synopsis: Attached to a wide range of vehicles, Hot Rods is the term commonly applied to old, classic, or modern American cars that have been rebuilt or modified with large engines specifically modified for acceleration and speed. Most often they are individually designed and constructed using components from many makes of old or new cars are most prevalent in the United States and often, nowadays, intended for exhibition rather than for racing or everyday driving.

The history of hot rodding and performance cars has been well chronicled through the years. Books and magazines have covered the cars, builders, pioneers, engineers, early racers, muscle cars, street racers, etc.. Most take a nostalgic and fun look at the cars that many have loved their entire lives. Some even cover the lifestyle, the hobby as it involves people, and the effort, time, and commitment people put into it. It is more than just a hobby to most, and to many, a certain wave of nostalgia comes over them when remembering what the car scene was like "back in the day."

Speed shops are local brick and mortar businesses which typically purvey aftermarket automotive accessories intended to increase the performance of automobiles. They came into existence in the 1940s in North America as a result of the then rising popularity in hotrod culture. The term has subsequently broadened to encompasses enhanced motorcycle performance.

The local speed shop is an important element of the nostalgic feeling that people have when fondly remembering their hot rodding youth. Speed shops were not just parts stores, they were a communal gathering place for car guys wanting to talk smart, bench race, and catch up on the local scene, as well as to solicit the expert advice from the owner or staff behind the counter.

In the pages of "The American Speed Shop: Birth and Evolution of Hot Rodding", longtime hot rodder and industry veteran Bob McClurg presents the story of the era and the culture of speed shops as told through individual shop's histories and compelling vintage photography. He covers the birth of the industry, racing versus hot rodding, mail-order, and advertising wars. You learn about the performance boom of the 1960s and 1970s, lost speed shops as well as survivors, and a overview of the giant mail-order speed shops of today.

Critique: Expertly written, organized, presented, and profusely illustrated throughout, "The American Speed Shop: Birth and Evolution of Hot Rodding" by automotive photojournalist Bob McClurg should be considered essential reading for all dedicated hot rod fans. Simply stated, "The American Speed Shop: Birth and Evolution of Hot Rodding" is a succinct, absorbing, and informative history that should be a part of every personal, professional, community, college, and university library Automotive History collection and supplemental curriculum studies reading list.

Editorial Note: Veteran automotive journalist Bob McClurg grew up in 1950s Southern California, where he was surrounded (and heavily influenced) by early hot rod culture. McClurg's photojournalism career spans 40 years, writing and shooting for the most influential magazines as well as authoring books for CarTech. His previous titles include Diggers, Funnies Gassers and Altereds; Yenko; Fire Nitro Rubber and Smoke; How to Build Supercharged and Turbocharged Small Block Fords; How to Install and Tune Nitrous Oxide Systems, The Tasca Ford Legacy, and more.

How to Build Affordable Hot Rods
Tony Thacker
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255285, $36.95, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Build-Affordable-Hot-Rods/dp/1613255284

Synopsis: In "How to Build Affordable Hot Rods", author and lifelong hot rod aficionado Tony Thacker takes you through the step-by-step process of building a hot rod on a budget. Drawing on his own extensive experience of both buying and building rods, Thacker explores the good, the bad and the ugly. The good was setting a land speed record at Bonneville, the bad was buying a rod from which the previous owner had "swapped out" the good engine, and then there was the ugly!.

"How to Build Affordable Hot Rods" includes extensive how-to sections that cover step-by-step chassis builds for Model A, 1932, and 1936 Fords, including front- and rear-end setups. The in-depth chassis builds are complimented with sections on powertrain choices, bodywork and roof chops, wheels and tires, and wiring and paint. Also included are chapters on interiors and the all-important details that individualize any project to ensure that it stands out from the rest.

Critique: Profusely illustrated, expertly written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "How to Build Affordable Hot Rods" is the ideal instruction manual for the novice and an invaluable DIY reference for the more experienced hot rod builder. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and garage workshop automotive instructional guides and manuals collections, it should be noted that "How to Build Affordable Hot Rods" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.99).

Editorial Note: After stints with the legendary So-Cal Speed Shop, the NHRA museum, and setting speed records on the salt flats, Tony Thacker wrapped up his professional career by opening an education museum in the Portland area called The World of Speed. However, he is far from being retired and is as busy as ever consulting for a number of clients and works in front of a computer on his first love: automotive book projects like "How to Build Affordable Hot Rods".

TWR's Le Mans-winning Jaguars
John Starkey
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
www.veloce.co.uk
9781787115682, $30.00, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/TWRs-Mans-Winning-Jaguars-Starkey/dp/1787115682

Synopsis: Tom Walkinshaw was a successful racing driver who parlayed his knowledge of top level race preparation and driving into a career as a team boss. He first of all steered BMW racecars to success, then Rover and Mazda. He then lured Jaguar, recently privatised again from the clutches of BLMC, into the realm of World Class Endurance racing, resulting in wins at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, the Daytona 24 Hour race and scooping the World Manufacturers' Championship prize.

Critique: "TWR's Le Mans-winning Jaguars" by Jaguar automotive expert John Starkey is the concisely informative and profusely illustrated history of the TWR racing team and the compelling story of how TWR Jaguars won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. An absolute 'must' for Jaguar enthusiasts and Le Mans automotive racing fans, "TWR's Le Mans-winning Jaguars" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Automotive History collections.

Editorial Note: John Starkey is a self-confessed racing fanatic, has owned many different sports cars, and has competed in hill-climbs, rallies and vintage sports car races since the 1960s. Originally from Birmingham in the UK, John's early career included managing the comedian Jasper Carrott and curating the famous Donington racing car collection. John has written more than 20 motor racing history books published by Veloce Publishing Ltd.


The Gardening Shelf

Tiny Victory Gardens
Acadia Tucker, author
Emily Castle, illustrator
Stone Pier Press
www.stonepierpress.org
9781734901108, $19.95, PB, 168pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tiny-Victory-Gardens-Growing-Without/dp/1734901101

Synopsis: For those who do not have access to a yard or a plot of ground, container gardening has the very real potential to produce food in large quantities. By applying select growing practices, and managing for square inches rather than square feet, "Tiny Victory Gardens: Growing Good Food Without a Yard" by Acadia Tucker provides practical instructions for growing a small-scale farm in a patio, on a stoop, in a dining room, our lined up on a windowsill. The goal is to make it easier for anyone with access to a patch of sun to grow and harvest food all year round with no backyard required!

"Tiny Victory Gardens" includes step-by-step guidance on finding the right containers (there are wrong ones), prepping your soil, growing plants indoors and outdoors, and raising crops all year long. It profiles 21 crops that are easy to grow in containers, including tomatoes, lemon trees, and avocados, and includes recipes for cultivating mini farms in pots, with names like Tiny Herb Garden, Griller's Choice, and Beans, Bees, and Butterflies.

"Tiny Victory Gardens" also describes how to maximize the environmental impact of growing food with useful DIY tips on attracting pollinators and building microbe-rich living soil. Of special note are gardening hacks that help cut back on watering, all while ditching harmful pesticides and fertilizers. There is also a persuasive case for why it's practical to develop food gardening skills in a climate-whipped world.

"Tiny Victory Gardens" is both a call to action, and DIY instructional guidebook for people who don't have much space, but want to make the most of what they have.

Critique: Expertly written, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation, "Tiny Victory Gardens: Growing Good Food Without a Yard" will prove to be an immediately popular and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Gardening collections.

Editorial Note: Acadia Tucker is a regenerative farmer, climate activist, and author. Her books are a call to action to citizen gardeners everywhere, and lay the groundwork for planting an organic, regenerative garden. For her, this is gardening as if our future depends on it. Acadia started a four-season organic market garden in Washington State inspired by farming pioneers Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier. While managing the farm, Acadia grew 200 different food crops. She is also the author of Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits, & vegetables. Acadia is also a Rodale Institute Ambassador on regenerative agriculture.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Wild Rituals
Caitlin O'Connell
Chronicle Prism
c/o Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.chroniclebooks.com
9781452184852, $26.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Rituals-Connection-Community-Ourselves/dp/1452184852

Synopsis: In the pages of "Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach Us About Connection, Community, and Ourselves", behavioral ecologist and world-renowned elephant scientist Caitlin O'Connell informatively explores how embracing the rituals of the animal kingdom can make us more connected to ourselves, nature, and others.

O'Connell dives into the rituals of elephants, apes, zebras, rhinos, lions, whales, flamingos, and many more, making "Wild Rituals" a particularly fascinating read that helps us to better understand how we are similar to wild animals, and encourages us to find healing, self-awareness, community, and self re-invention.

Filled with fascinating stories on 10 different animal rituals, featuring original full-color photos, from the Caribbean to the African savannah, and demonstrating the profound way we are similar to the wild creatures who captivate us, "Wild Rituals" journeys into the desert, tundra, and rainforest to reveal the importance of rituals and how they can help us find a simpler, more meaningful way of living. In a culture of technology where we find ourselves living at a greater distance from nature and each other, "Wild Rituals" offers remarkable insights into the unspoken languages of creatures from around the world.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, absorbing, and informative read from cover to cover, "Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach Us About Connection, Community, and Ourselves" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Pets/Wildlife collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wild Rituals" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Caitlin O'Connell is a world-renowned elephant scientist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. She is also an associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed The Elephant's Secret Sense, among other award-winning books. Her book Elephant Don is the subject of the award-winning Smithsonian documentary, Elephant King. O'Connell is also the cofounder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, Utopia Scientific. She has taught science writing for Stanford University and the New York Times.

Will You Love Me?
Barby Keel
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9780806540610, $15.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Will-You-Love-Me-Rescued/dp/0806540613

Synopsis: Barby Keel has run an animal sanctuary in the countryside in Sussex, England, for 54 years. At the age of 28 Barby bought four acres of land for 1400 British pounds, built her own home brick by brick, and then dedicated her life to caring for the animals who were often dumped at her door.

One night, in the middle of a rainstorm, Barby found an unexpected gift at the gates of her animal sanctuary: a poor little greyhound, shivering and wet, abandoned under the cover of darkness.

Barby had never seen a dog in such pitiful condition. He was scarred with burn marks, and so malnourished that every rib showed through his patchy fur. Barby was determined to help this unfortunate abused animal -- if he managed to survive the night.

The dog (who she named Bailey) not only survived, he displayed a fighting spirit and loving nature that took Barby by surprise. She herself was facing health issues of her own, a personal battle which threatened the future of the entire sanctuary. But thanks to Bailey (and the powerful bond that humans and animals share) they found the strength to heal their bodies, hearts, and souls together.

Critique: Deftly told with a deeply affectionate blend of honesty and compassion, "Will You Love Me?: The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me" by Barby Keel is a heartwarming and inspiring true story whose underlying message is that when we participate in rescuing others, we will often find that is also rescuing ourselves. Simply stated, "Will You Love Me?: The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me" is a 'must read' story for anyone who has ever had a canine companion of their own. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that 'Will You Love Me?: The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Self-Help Shelf

Win Fast
Siimon Reynolds
www.SiimonReynolds.com
Citadel Books
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9780806540917, $19.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Win-Fast-Quick-Ways-Achieve/dp/0806540915

Synopsis: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work: shifting the home into our workplace, tied us to email and our computers, juggling the demands of our job and supporting our kids with remote learning. The result can be a lack of focus, low productivity, and feeling overwhelmed. We need new strategies to hack our routines. "Win Fast: Quick Ways to Achieve More, Earn More, and Be More " by Siimon Reynolds offers practical DIY solutions for working smarter, faster, and better -- now and long after the pandemic is history.

"Win Fast: Quick Ways to Achieve More, Earn More, and Be More" is an impressive compendium of quick, proven, and game-changing strategies, including effective techniques that can be easily implemented.

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Win Fast: Quick Ways to Achieve More, Earn More, and Be More" is an extraordinary DIY instructional guide and manual to financial workplace success either at home or at the office. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, college, and university library Time/Workplace Management and Personal Finance collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Win Fast: Quick Ways to Achieve More, Earn More, and Be More" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9780655618300, $45.25, CD).

Editorial Note: Siimon Reynolds is the founder of a multimillion-dollar business and the recipient of over fifty business awards. Founding his first company at just twenty-three years old, Reynolds went on to build many successful companies, including the fifteenth biggest marketing services group in the world. A regular speaker on the corporate circuit he also maintains an informative website at: www.SiimonReynolds.com


The Music CD Shelf

Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron
Greg Abate
Whaling City Sound
www.whalingcitysound.com
c/o Naxos of America (dist.)
www.naxosusa.com
$24.99 CD / $19.99 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Dance-Music-Kenny-Barron/dp/B08YVCDR7F

Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron is a 2-CD jazz album showcasing the extraordinary songs composed by Kenny Barron, and performed by Greg Abate on saxophones and flute, Kenny Barron on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums. The collaborative performance is a work of exceptional passion. Magic Dance is captivating, inspirational, and highly recommended. The tracks are "Sunshower", "Cook's Bay", "Golden Lotus", "Innocence", "Water Lily", "Sonia Braga", and "Bud Like" on disc 1, and "Lemuria", "Concentric Circles", "Rain", "Voyage", "Magic Dance", "Song for Abdullah", and "And Then Again".

The Day Deserved
Doug Hoekstra
www.doughoekstra.net
Drop Autumn Records
$TBA

https://doughoekstra.net/the-day-deserved

Award-winning author, poet, and music artist Doug Hoekstra presents The Day Deserved, an original album drawing upon elements of orchestra, rock, folk, reggae, and more. Ranging in tone from wistful to enthusiastic, The Day Deserved explores a variety of narratives through music, including the tale of a disenfranchised artist, the thoughts of elderly man watching his hometown disappear, an ode to fatherhood and connecting with family, and much more. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Seaside Town", "Higher Ground", "Unseen Undetected", "Wintertime", "Late Night Ramble", "Carry Me", "Candy Dancer", "Keeper of the Word", and "Outside Looking In".

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Shred
The Great Kat
Privately Published
http://www.greatkat.com
$9.98 CD / $6.93 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Kat-Mozart-Beethoven-Shred/dp/B08XG2WDRV

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08XP4XG57

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Shred is a new music album by the provocative and talented performer The Great Kat, well- known for her extraordinary skill in shredding classical music at intense speeds! Using metal guitars and classical violins, The Great Kat shreds seven great songs, offering a revolutionary way to re-experience timeless classics. Connoisseurs of The Great Kat will relish this addition to her impressive repertoire! The (intensely shredded!) tracks are "Beethoven's Moonlight Mosh", "Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro Overture", "Bach's Air On The G String Mosh", "Rimsky-Korsakov's The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee", "Vivaldi's The Four Seasons", "Beethoven Mosh 2", and "Paganini's Moto Perpetuo For Guitar And Violin".

Air On The G String Mosh
Bach, composer
The Great Kat, performer
TPR Music
http://www.greatkat.com
B08SJ93BT4, $9.98, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Kat-Bachs-String-Mosh/dp/B08SJ93BT4

Synopsis: The Great Kat Bach's "Air On The G String Mosh" is in memorial tribute to Baroque ERa classical music genius, Johann Sebastian Bach and his composition the "Air" in 1730, originally the 2nd movement from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068.

Bach's famous masterpiece "Air" gets The Great Kat's Metal treatment as The Great Kat Baroque Guitar Shredder virtuosically shreds 5 lead guitars with beautiful melodic contrapuntal melodies and harmonies, while Great Kat's heavy metal rhythm guitars, bass and drums pound with headbanging and moshing rhythms.

J.S. Bach's "Air" is one of the most popular Baroque Classical works in history and The Great Kat, Juilliard grad violin virtuoso and "Top 10 Fastest Shredders Of All Time" - Guitar One Magazine- is the only guitar/violin virtuoso trained with Classical contrapuntal Juilliard theory technique and guitar shredding chops to master this work and bring it into the future with metal. The Great Kat is the only guitar/violin double virtuoso shredding Bach's masterpieces at high speeds and moshes, while bringing his genius music to a whole new generation with metal.

The Great Kat Metal Legend, celebrates Bach's 336th Birthday year with this powerful new single.

Critique: Superbly produced, this flawless CD showcasing two truly great talents, one from three hundred years in the past (Johann Sebastian Bach, 31 March 1685 - 28 July 1750) and one from the present (Katherine Thomas, born 6 June 1966) -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library CD music collections. It should be noted for the legions of Great Kat fans that she maintains in informative website at http://www.greatkat.com


The Gaming Shelf

Coming Back to Bridge
Paul Goldfinger
Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com
9781771400626, $9.95, PB, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Back-Bridge-Paul-Goldfinger/dp/1771400625

Synopsis: Bridge is a game that people often decide to learn as empty-nesters. There are also those who learned the game when they were younger -- but while they would like to start playing again, they are nervous about how much the game may have changed. There are new ways of bidding, new conventions, and other things they will need to know before they are confident about playing even with friends. That's exactly the audience for "Coming Back to Bridge" by Bridge Life Master Paul Goldfinger -- those who are 'coming back to bridge'. This instructional refresher manual summarizes the key changes that someone who has not played for twenty to thirty years will encounter, and explains simply and clearly what they will need to know to be comfortable in the modern game.

Critique: Expertly written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Coming Back to Bridge" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, senior citizen center, college, and university library Bridge collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Art Makers: Empowered Embroidery
Amy L. Frazer
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781633228849, $21.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Makers-Empowered-Embroidery-embroidery/dp/1633228843

Synopsis: Transforming sketches into embroidery patterns and stitch celebrating strong, iconic women from the past and present, "Art Makers: Empowered Embroidery" by professional illustrator, designer, and embroiderer Amy Frazer will enable even the most novice of beginning embroiderers to produce professional quality embroider.

Starting with the basic stitches and embroidery instructions, "Art Makers: Empowered Embroidery" covers essential tools, warm-up exercises, tips for embroidering facial features and hair, and general information on embroidery will give the know-how needed to get started -- and then dive into sketching favorite female cultural and historical icons, including: Michelle Obama; Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Frida Kahlo; Eleanor Roosevelt; Malala Yousafzai; Maya Angelou; Georgia O'Keeffe; and many more!

Once the novice has sketched out figures, followed along with the step-by-step embroidery projects in the process of learning to stitch the women featured (and anyone else you admire) each of the individual projects are beautifully paired with large photos for easily mimicking the techniques at home while relaxing with the act and process of embroidery.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Art Makers: Empowered Embroidery" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library needle crafting collections as it makes it easy to sketch, stitch, and create favorite female icons, from empowering women of today to honoring women of the past.


The Criminology Shelf

Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era
Michael O'Hear
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299310202, $44.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wisconsin-Sentencing-Tough-Crime-Incarceration/dp/0299310205

Synopsis: The dramatic increase in U.S. prison populations since the 1970s is often blamed on the mandatory sentencing required by "three strikes" laws and other punitive crime bills. But with his new study in the field of criminology and the judiciary, in the pages of "Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era: How Judges Retained Power and Why Mass Incarceration Happened Anyway" Professor Michael O'Hear shows that the blame is actually not so easily assigned. His meticulous analysis of incarceration in Wisconsin (a state where judges have considerable discretion in sentencing) explores the reasons why the prison population has ballooned nearly tenfold over the past forty years.

Professor O'Hear tracks the effects of sentencing laws and politics in Wisconsin from the eve of the imprisonment boom in 1970 up to the 2010s. Drawing on archival research, original public-opinion polling, and interviews with dozens of key policymakers, he reveals important dimensions that have been missed by others. He also draws out lessons from the Wisconsin experience for the United States as a whole, where mass incarceration has cost taxpayers billions of dollars and caused untold misery to millions of inmates and their families.

Critique: A superbly crafted, organized and presented study of meticulously detailed and original scholarship, "Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era: How Judges Retained Power and Why Mass Incarceration Happened Anyway" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Wisconsin Judicial History Studies collections in general, and Criminal Procedure Law supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, judicial/prison reform activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-on-Crime Era: How Judges Retained Power and Why Mass Incarceration Happened Anyway" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780299310240, $22.95).

Editorial Note: Michael M. O'Hear is a professor of law at Marquette University. He is also an editor of the journal Federal Sentencing Reporter and has published many articles on sentencing law, criminal procedure, and public opinion about the criminal justice system.


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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