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Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy
Dennis L. Dresang
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
9780870209369, $28.95, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As Wisconsin governor from 1971 to 1977, Patrick J. Lucey pursued an ambitious
progressive agenda, tempered by the concerns of a fiscal conservative and a pragmatic realist. He
was known for bridging partisan divides, building coalitions, and keeping politics civil. His
legacy, which included merging Wisconsin's universities into one system and equalizing the
funding formula for public schools, continues to impact Wisconsin residents and
Preceding his service as governor, Lucey played a key role in rebuilding the Democratic Party in
Wisconsin, returning a state that had been dominated by Republicans to a more moderate
two-party system. As party chairman, he built coalitions between World War II veterans,
remnants of the defunct Progressive Party, urban socialists, and activists in rural communities
throughout the state.
Through exclusive interviews and unprecedented access to archival materials, Professor Dennis
L. Dresang shares the story of this pivotal figure in Wisconsin history, from his small-town rural
roots to his wide-ranging influence.
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy" is an
outstanding work of meticulous and detailed scholarship that showcases the political
contributions of Patrick J. Lucey (March 21, 1918 - May 10, 2014) to the Democratic Party in
general, and Wisconsin politics in particular. A critically important contribution to community
and academic library Wisconsin History and American Political Biography collections in general,
and Patrick J. Lucey supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Patrick J. Lucey:
A Lasting Legacy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).
Editorial Note: Dennis L. Dresang is Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Political Science
and the Founding Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of
Wisconsin - Madison. His research and scholarly publications have focused on state politics,
public personnel management, and community issues.
The Becoming of the Driftless Rivers National Park
Bryan J. Stanley
9781424305971, $54.00, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Driftless Area is a region in southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota,
northeastern Iowa, and the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois, of the American Midwest.
The region escaped the flattening effects of glaciation during the last ice age and is consequently
characterized by steep, forested ridges, deeply carved river valleys, and karst geology
characterized by spring-fed waterfalls and cold-water trout streams.
Ecologically, the Driftless Area's flora and fauna are more closely related to those of the Great
Lakes region and New England than those of the broader Midwest and central Plains regions.
Colloquially, the term includes the incised Paleozoic Plateau of southeastern Minnesota and
The region includes elevations ranging from 603 to 1,719 feet (184 to 524 m) at Blue Mound
State Park and covers 24,000 square miles (62,200 km2). The rugged terrain is due both to the
lack of glacial deposits, or drift, and to the incision of the upper Mississippi River and its
tributaries into bedrock.
"The Becoming of The Driftless Rivers National Park" by Bryan J. Stanley explicitly describes in
vivid detail all of the park's attributes in its 280 pages is enhanced for the reader with the
inclusion of fifteen original art plates by landscape and wildlife artist Frank Mittelstadt, as well
as more 100 photos. Of special note is the inclusion of exquisite aerials of the area in the major
seasons by Robert J. Hurt.
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization
and presentation, beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "The Becoming of The
Driftless Rivers National Park" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to
personal, community, college, and university library Wisconsin History and Wisconsin
Geography collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.
Editorial Note: The Driftless Rivers National Park Foundation seeks creation of a new national
park in the ruggedly beautiful blufflands of the Upper Mississippi - the heart of America.
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9781324004851, $25.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: We all know the basic structure of a sentence: a subject/verb pair expressing a
complete thought and ending with proper punctuation. But that classroom definition doesn't
begin to describe the ways in which these elements can combine to resonate with us as we read,
to make us stop and think, laugh or cry.
In "25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way", master teacher Geraldine Woods unpacks
powerful examples of what she instead prefers to define as "the smallest element differentiating
one writer's style from another's, a literary universe in a grain of sand." And that universe is very
large: the hundreds of memorable sentences gathered here come from sources as wide-ranging as
Edith Wharton and Yogi Berra, Toni Morrison and Yoda, T. S. Eliot and Groucho Marx.
Culled from fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, song lyrics, speeches, and even ads, these
exemplary sentences are celebrated for the distinctive features (whether of structure, diction,
connection/comparison, sound, or extremes) that underlie their beauty, resonance, and creativity.
With dry humor and an infectious enjoyment that makes her own sentences a pleasure to read,
Woods shows us the craft that goes into the construction of a memorable sentence.
Each chapter finishes with an enticing array of exercises for those who want to test their skill at a
particular one of the featured twenty-five techniques, such as onomatopoeia (in the Sound
section) or parallelism (in the Structure section).
"25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" will be treasured by word nerds and language
enthusiasts, writers who want to hone their craft, literature lovers, and readers of everything from
song lyrics and speeches to novels and poetry.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the English language and
storytelling, "25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" is very highly recommended,
especially for community, college, and university library Grammar, Rhetoric, and Linguistics
Reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of writers, linguists,
students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "25
Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Geraldine Woods has taught English at every level from fifth grade through
Advanced Placement, most recently at the Horace Mann School. She is the author of numerous
nonfiction books for adults and children..
You Should Be Writing
Brenda Knight, author
Nita Sweeney, author
9781642502558, $15.95, PB, 180pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: From famous all-time-great poets like T.S. Eliot to modern creatives like Roxane Gay,
the selected writing quotes comprising "You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration &
Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving" aim to instruct and inspire novice and experienced writers
alike to become a better writer.
Featuring a writing practice on every page. This is a DIY journal that will prove to be invaluable
aspiring and practicing writers everywhere. With quotes from a diverse group of historical and
modern authors to use as creative prompts on every page, writers will be able to bring their
writing inspiration with them wherever they are.
Additionally, "You Should Be Writing" features plenty of great advice, such as Toni Morrison's
encouragement, "As a writer, a failure is just information. It's something that I've done wrong in
writing, or is inaccurate or unclear. I recognize failure - which is important; some people don't -
and fix it."
Critique: A DIY consumable that makes it unadvisable for community and academic library
Writing/Publishing collections, "You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction
to Keep Your Pen Moving" is ideal as a curriculum text for creative writing classes and is
especially recommended for any writer struggling with writer's block. It should be noted that
"You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.92).
Editorial Note: Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Paolo
Coelho, Marianne Williamson, and Huston Smith. Knight was awarded IndieFab's Publisher of
the Year in 2014 at the American Library Association. Knight is a successful poet, writer, and
editor who also serves as President of the Women's National Book Association, San Francisco
Chapter, and is an instructor at the annual San Francisco Writers Conference, Central Coast
Nita Sweeney's articles, essays, and poems have appeared in Buddhist America, Dog World, Dog
Fancy, Writer's Journal, Country Living, Pitkin Review, Spring Street, WNBA-SF blog, and in
several newspapers and newsletters. She writes the blog, BumGlue and publishes the monthly
email, Write Now Newsletter.
The Education Shelf
Creativity and Chaos
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
9781588383921, $27.95, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Creativity and Chaos: Reflections on a Decade of Progressive Change in Public
Schools, 1967 - 1977", Charles Suhor (a senior developer, affiliate, and director of the
Intellectual Freedom Center of the National Council of Teachers of English) brings to life the
bold challenges to the status quo in education during a decade of national turmoil. Vietnam war
protests, racial strife, assassinations, hippie communes, the sexual revolution, an emerging drug
culture, and daring innovations in pop/rock music, the regimentation and rote learning of
traditional schooling could not have escaped the restless temper of the times..
Suhor describes his immersion in post-World War II popular culture of New Orleans as a rich
backdrop for his years as an impassioned educational reformer at local and national levels. A
risk-taking teacher and district supervisor of English, he plunged headlong into controversies
over black literature, censorship, ebonics, the "new grammar," faculty integration, testing,
standardization, and computer technology.
He also demonstrates how the sweeping national trends often took quirky, distinctive turns in a
city that delights in marching to a different drummer. Suhor's engaging account takes the reader
into classrooms as well as the intrigues of central office politics and national leaders' disputes on
how to best teach students in a time of change.
In no sense a doctrinal liberal, Suhor lambastes the errors and excesses of the progressive
movement and traces its decline and the backlash demand for a return to basic skills. Suhor
concludes with an update on innovations that have waned or persisted in today's schools.
Critique: A unique memoir of an educator during a volatile and interesting times as reflected in
American educational institutions and social movements over the course of a decade, "Creativity
and Chaos: Reflections on a Decade of Progressive Change in Public Schools, 1967 - 1977" is an
inherently fascinating, impressively insightful, exceptionally informative, remarkably thoughtful
and thought provoking read. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community,
college, and university library 20th American Education History & Biography collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists of education students, academia, classroom teachers,
education advocates/activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject
that "Creativity and Chaos: Reflections on a Decade of Progressive Change in Public Schools,
1967 - 1977" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Travel Shelf
Lonely Planet's Best of USA
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781787015500, $29.99, PB, 388pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" is an ideal compendium offering the most relevant,
up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await the traveler who is
out to discover America. From exploring the kaleidoscopic streets of New York City, to feasting
on lip-smacking jambalaya in New Orleans, to finding solitude and space in Yosemite National
Park "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" allows the traveler to get to the heart of the USA.
"Lonely Planet's Best of USA" features: Color maps and images throughout; Highlights and
itineraries which help to tailor trips to personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and
money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots; Essential information such
as hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices; Honest reviews for all
budgets - eating, sleeping, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks
miss: Cultural insights to history, people, music, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, politics, thereby
giving a richer, more rewarding travel experience.
"Lonely Planet's Best of USA" covers New York City, New England, Washington DC, Chicago,
Miami, Walt Disney World, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, San
Francisco, and more!
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Lonely Planet's Best of
USA" is impressively informative, highly portable, and unreservedly recommended for personal,
professional, community, college, and university library Travel Guide collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $18.39).
Day Hiking Mount Hood: A Year-Round Guide
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
9781680511246, $21.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It was
formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the
United States. It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of Portland, on the border
between Clackamas and Hood River counties. In addition to being Oregon's highest mountain, it
is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence, and it offers the only
year-round lift-served skiing in North America. (Wikipedia)
"Day Hiking: Mount Hood" by Eli Boschetto is comprised of 85 hikes that range from easy to
strenuous, along with such additional features that include: General info on safety, weather,
wildlife, road and trail conditions, and more; For each hike its rating and difficulty, distance,
elevation gain and high point, best season, recommended maps, land management information,
trailhead GPS coordinates, how to go farther, and more; Detailed route descriptions and
easy-to-follow driving directions for each hike; Quick-reference icons for kid- and dog-friendly,
wildflowers, waterfalls, historical significance, and more.
The there are the at-a-glance charts to help readers choose the day's adventure; a wildflower
identification appendix; and full color photographic images throughout. Of special note is that
1% of sales will be donated to the Oregon Trails Coalition.
Critique: Compact for easy transportation when hiking, "Day Hiking Mount Hood: A
Year-Round Guide" should be considered an essential guide for anyone contemplating a day trip,
an extended excursion, or a multiple day vacation centered on Mount Hood. While highly
recommended for community library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for personal
reading and reference lists that "Day Hiking Mount Hood: A Year-Round Guide" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.95).
Editorial Note: Eli Boschetto is a professional hiker, writer, and author based in Portland,
Oregon, and has put more than 6000 miles under his hiking boots exploring the mountains and
wilderness areas throughout the western US and Canada. He is the author of Hiking the Pacific
Crest Trail: Oregon and Urban Trails Portland, both published by Mountaineers Books. Eli is
also an accomplished outdoor photographer and has worked as a Northwest correspondent for
Backpacker magazine as well as editor of Washington Trails magazine. He can be visited online
at PCTOregon.com or on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @pctoregon.
The Audiobook Shelf
The Solace of Bay Leaves
Leslie Budewitz, author
Dara Rosenberg, narrator
Synopsis: Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves.
But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in
Seattle's Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she's savoring the prospect of a
flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface...
Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new
relationship, Pepper's firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and
gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend
Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper
uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between
the past and present - links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl
she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants
to save Maddie's life - and her own.
Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook, The Solace of Bay Leaves: A Spice Shop
Mystery is the fifth novel in the Spice Shop mystery series by award-winning author Leslie
Budewitz. Pepper Reece is a forty-something single woman who has picked up the pieces of her
life and become the owner of a spice shop. When a childhood friend suffers a grievous injury,
Pepper becomes entangled in the pursuit of justice over an unsolved murder. The Solace of Bay
Leaves is deliciously intriguing, highly recommended for connoisseurs of cozy mysteries, and a
choice pick for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 8 hours on 7 CDs.
Alex Gilly, author
Christopher Lane, narrator
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781491591574, $37.99 List/$29.99 Amazon.com
Synopsis: A death in a migrant detention center leads officer Nick Finn and his wife,
human-rights lawyer Mona Jimenez, to investigate the prison's account of what happened.
Trouble is, the company that runs the prison is on the verge of signing a billion-dollar
procurement contract with Homeland Security. And there are people in this world for whom a
billion dollars is worth a whole lot more than one human life. Or even three!
Critique: With an all too believable and deftly written plot that could easily be ripped from
today's newspaper headlines with respect to the institutionally systemic mistreatment of
immigrant detainees, "Death Rattle" by novelist Alex Gilly is expertly narrative by Christopher
Lane in this complete and unabridged CD audio book edition -- making it an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to both personal and community library audio book
collections. (7 CDs, Running Time: 8 hours, 28 minutes)
Nothing Special VII: EX Meridian
A. E. Via, author
Aiden Snow, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781705212776, $24.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Take a man and strip him of his ability to feel compassion, empathy, remorse, or any
of the emotions that make him human, but leave the ones that ignite rage and aggression and you
have the perfect killing machine-now imagine two of them.
Code names Ex and Meridian are synonymous for 'guaranteed death' to international terrorists.
Two broken men from the same crooked streets, recruited into an unsanctioned government
program that few know about. Trained to operate most efficiently-lethally-together.
When Ex returns from an op in Bolivia to learn his little brother has been accidentally killed in a
feud between drug gangs, he's stateside before he can consider the rules he'll be breaking, and of
course Meridian is right beside him. There's mayhem on the streets of Atlanta and the police are
losing control. If Godfrey and his elite team of detectives can't get the job done, then they'd be
happy to lighten their caseloads for them. And neither Ex nor Meridian cares about doing it
Critique: As a novelist, A. E. Via has complete mastery of narrative driven storytelling as
showcased in the latest addition to his 'Nothing Special' series with "Ex Meridian", an original
and compelling story that deftly blends elements of romance with solid action/adventure.
Expertly narrated by the vocal talents of Aiden Snow, this complete and unabridged CD audio
book edition of "Nothing Special VII: Ex Meridian" will be a welcome and popular addition to
both personal and community library audio book collections. (7 CDs, Running Time: 8.5
C. T. Rwizi
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781799755647, $24.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Among his people, men do not become mystics -- they become warriors. But
eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe's expectations. For as long
as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered
unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will
awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo
knows that it is time to take action.
Salo's queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to
stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles
north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on
a growing threat to his tribe.
On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a
mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they're being hunted by the same enchantress who
attacked Salo's village. She may hold the key to Salo's awakening -- and his redemption.
Critique: A deftly crafted hero saga, "Scarlet Odyssey" by C. T. Rwizi is brought vividly to life
by the narrative talents of Janina Edwards, Korey Jackson, Robin Eller, Kimberly Woods, and
Susan Dalian. Expertly production values make this complete and unabridged production of
"Scarlet Odyssey" a true 'theatre of the mind" experience. A thoroughly entertaining experience
from beginning to end, "Scarlet Odyssey" is especially and enthusiastically recommended for all
community library audio book collections. (15 CDs, Running Time: 19 Hours, 28 Minutes)
The Driest Season
Meghan Kenny, author
Amy Melissa Bentley, narrator
HighBridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781696601054, $24.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As her Wisconsin community endures a long season of drought and feels the
shockwaves of World War II, fifteen-year-old Cielle endures a more personal calamity: the
unexpected death of her father.
On a balmy summer afternoon, she finds him hanging in the barn-the start of a dark secret that
threatens her family's livelihood. A war rages elsewhere, while in the deceptive calm of the
American heartland, Cielle's family contends with a new reality and fights not to be undone.
"The Driest Season" creates a moving portrait of Cielle's struggle to make sense of her father's
time on earth, and of her own and is a deeply affecting story of a young woman discovering loss,
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Driest Season" is author Meghan
Kenny's debut as a novelist, this impressively produced, complete and unabridged audio book
production is effectively narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley, the listener will especially appreciate
the unexpected and deftly plotted twists and turns. "The Driest Season" is very highly
recommended for community library audio book collections. (5 CDs, 5 Hours, 45 minutes)
The Music CD Shelf
$14.98 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
No Summer is an original album of thoughtful, contemplative music, drawing upon "doom folk"
and roots traditions as well as performer Cinder Well's connection to her Irish home. Reflecting
the uncertainty of modern times, No Summer stirs the listener to carefully reconsider their
perspectives. A haunting, thought-provoking, and unforgettable collection, No Summer is highly
recommended. The tracks are "Wandering Boy", "No Summer", "Our Lady's", "Fallen", "The
Cuckoo", "Old Enough", "Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies", "The Doorway", and "From
Behind the Curtain".
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
Electric Lemonade is an original album by Space Kamp, showcasing their talent for hip hop and
reggae, and spreading their message of love. Vibrant, soulful, and evocative, Electric Lemonade
is a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre. The tracks are "New Strains", "A.D.I.D.A.S.", "Life's
a Beach", "Girl Like You", "Home Grown", "Summer of Love", "Chicken and Waffles", "In My
Bag", "500 Miles", and "Electric Lemonade".
The DVD/Blu-ray Shelf
Starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo
c/o RLJ Entertainment
Deadwater Fell is the DVD debut of an original British mystery mini-series, set in a small
Scottish community. The idyllic life of a respected physician, his schoolteacher wife, and their
two best friends is upended when a housefire strikes, and a disturbing discovery comes to light.
Was the fire arson, set by someone with a destructive or even a murderous grudge? A captivating
work of modern noir crime drama, Deadwater Fell is highly recommended especially for
connoisseurs of the genre and public library DVD collections. 4 episodes, 191 min., SDH
Murdoch Mysteries, season 13
Starring Yannick Bisson
c/o RLJ Entertainment
Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Murdoch Mysteries, season 13 is the latest volume
of a mystery series set in late 19th century Toronto, and featuring the methodical, dapper, gadget-
carrying Detective William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson). Season 13 has eighteen
episodes, including the 200th episode of this award-nominated series inspired by the Maureen
Jennings' novels. Witty, tautly written, beautifully shot, and brought to life with superb
performances, Murdoch Mysteries, season 13 is a treat for connoisseurs of the genre, and sure to
prove a popular pick for public library DVD and Blu-ray collections. 18 episodes, 492 min., 5
DVDs or 4 Blu-ray discs.
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Gloria: A Life
Theatre Communications Group
520 Eighth Avenue, 24th floor, New York, NY 10018-4156
9781559369602, $14.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Five decades after Gloria Steinem began raising her voice for equality and
championing the voices of others, to this day she continues to remain one of the leaders of the
American feminist movement.
"Gloria: A Life" is Emily Mann's new play that traces the progress of Steinem's extraordinary
life, from her undercover Playboy Bunny expose in the 1960s, through her founding of Ms.
Magazine in the 1970s, to her activism in today's women's movement.
Critique: A superbly crafted theatrical production must be based on a play's originality and the
playwright's narrative storytelling skills. Both are in abundance with "Gloria: A Life" -- Emily
Mann's latest and highly successful effort for the stage. "Gloria: A Life" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to community theatre, off-Broadway, and even a Broadway
production schedule, as well as college and university theatrical department and campus library
Contemporary Theatre collections.
Editorial Note: Emily Mann is a successful playwright and director. Her plays include Execution
of Justice, Still Life and Having Our Say, among others. She is currently Artistic Director of
Princeton, New Jersey's McCarter Theatre and the recipient of the 1994 Tony Award for
Outstanding Regional Theatre. Her numerous awards for artistic excellence include a
Guggenheim, a Playwrights Fellowship and Artistic Associate Grant from the National
Endowment for the Arts, a McKnight Fellowship and a Rosamund Gilder Award for Outstanding
Creative Achievement in the Theatre. In recognition of her achievements illuminating the
possibilities for social, cultural and political change, Ms. Mann was awarded the Lee Reynolds
Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women/NY.
The Self-Help Shelf
Your Symphony of Selves
James Fadiman & Jordan Gruber
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644110263, $19.99, PB, 448pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Explaining that it is normal to have multiple selves, "Your Symphony of Selves:
Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" offer insights into why we all are inconsistent
at times, allowing us to become more accepting of the different parts of who we and other people
are. The authors, James Fadiman and Jordan Gruber, deftly explore, through extensive reviews,
how the concept of healthy multiple selves has been supported in science, popular culture,
spirituality, philosophy, art, literature, and ancient traditions and cite well-known people,
including David Bowie and Beyonce, who describe accessing another self at a pivotal point in
their lives to resolve a pressing challenge.
Instead of seeing the existence of many selves as a flaw or pathology, "Your Symphony of Selves" reveals that the healthiest people, mentally and emotionally, are those that have naturally learned
to appreciate and work in harmony with their own symphony of selves. The "Single Self
Assumption" is the prime reason why the benefits of having multiple selves has been ignored.
This assumption holds that we each are or ought to be a single consistent self, yet we all
recognize, in reality, that we are different in different situations.
Offering a pragmatic approach, "Your Symphony of Selves" shows how you can prepare for
situations by shifting to the appropriate self, rather than being "switched" or "triggered" into a
sub-optimal part of who you are. It also show how recognizing your selves provides increased
access to skills, talent, and creativity; enhanced energy; and improved healing and pain
management. Appreciating your diverse selves will give you more empathy toward yourself and
others. By harmonizing your symphony of selves, you can learn to be "in the right mind at the
right time" more often.
Critique: A unique and studied approach to achieving total and insightful psychological self-
awareness, "Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" is a
complete course of DIY study in a single volume -- and one that will prove life changing and life
enhancing for the reader. Impressively well written, organized and presented so as to be of
maximum value for the non-specialist general reader, "Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and
Understand More of Who We Are" is very highly recommended for personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement and Contemporary
Psychology collections and reading lists. It should be noted that "Your Symphony of Selves:
Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: James Fadiman, Ph.D., with degrees from Harvard and Stanford, was the
president of two companies, taught at four universities, is an international seminar leader, and
has written textbooks, trade books, and novels. Consulting clients have included IBM,
Hewlett-Packard, a Federal Reserve bank, and Foster's Freeze. He is one of the foremost
researchers in microdosing studies and is a co-founder of Sophia University. He has been
researching healthy multiplicity for over 20 years.
In Menlo Park, California. Jordan Gruber, J.D., writer, collaborative writer, ghost writer, and
editor, has forged and sculpted authoritative volumes in forensic law, financial services, and
self-development. A graduate of Binghamton University and the University of Virginia School of
Law, he founded the Enlightenment.com website and is now a leading advocate of rebound
exercise through the SuperBound Project.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose
Margaret Ann Lembo
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644110676, $19.99, Cards, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Created by Margaret Ann Lembo, "Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul
Purpose" is a card deck and guidebook set to help metaphysical studies students and practitioners
to discover their life's work with the assistance of inspiring gemstone guardians. "Gemstone
Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" is comprised of 44 full-color cards, each with a soul
purpose archetype and a vibrationally matching crystal as well as a question for contemplative
thought, divine guidance, and a positive affirmation
"Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" also includes an 80-page booklet with
divination spreads and explanations of the archetypes, how their attributes relate to choices in
one's life work, and how the matching gemstone amplifies certain attributes further. "Gemstone
Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" provides metaphysically based insights and
understanding to support the practitioner in their 'soul purpose' and encourages
self-empowerment to propel them into fulfilling their sacred agreements with the Divine.
Critique: Eloquent, elegant, informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in instruction and
application, "Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal and professional Metaphysical Studies
collections and divination activities.
Editorial Note: Margaret Ann Lembo is a noted speaker and author of several metaphysical
books and decks, including The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals, and Stones and The
Archangels and Gemstone Guardians Cards. She is also a noted spiritual practitioner,
aromatherapist, and the owner of The Crystal Garden, a bookstore and spiritual center in Boynton
The Druidic Art of Divination
Jon G. Hughes
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644110249, $18.99, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an
occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history, diviners
ascertain their interpretations of how a divination practitioner should proceed by reading signs,
events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.
"The Druidic Art of Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the Future" by Jon G.
Hughes is a complete and comprehensive instructional guide to the techniques of the pre-Celtic
Druids for understanding the past, present, and future. Hughes offers thoroughly 'user friendly'
step-by-step instructions for a wealth of practices passed down across five generations of Welsh
"The Druidic Art of Divination" explains the three forms of divination used by the Druids:
interpretive divination, such as reading the Sevens; inductive divination, such as reading the
wind or smoke; and intuitive divination, whose tools include cup-stones and scrying mirrors. It
also provides comprehensive instructions on how to craft and utilize your own magical
instruments and tools, including botanical compounds, scrying wands, and slate speculum
Critique: Deftly organized into three major sections (The Theory of Pre-Celtic Divination; The
Praxis; Crafting), "The Druidic Art of Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the
Future" is an ideal instructional guide and manual for the metaphysical practitioner and will be of
immense interest and value for students of Druidic lore and culture. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Metaphysical Divination Studies collections, it should be noted that "The Druidic Art of
Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the Future" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Residing in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, Jon G. Hughes is part of a lineage
of Druids that has been practicing for five generations in a remote area of Wales. He teaches the
tradition at his home in Ireland and gives workshops and seminars throughout Europe under his
Welsh Druidic name, Cynon. He is also the Director of the Irish Centre for Druidic Practices and
the author of A Druid's Handbook to the Spiritual Power of Plants and Sexual Practices of the
Chakra Cards for Belief Change
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644110409, $19.99, Cards, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Chakra are various focal points used in a variety of ancient meditation practices,
collectively denominated as Tantra, or the esoteric or inner traditions of Hinduism. The concept
is found in the early traditions of Hinduism.
"Chakra Cards for Belief Change: The Healing InSight Method" by Nikki Gresham-Rocrd is a
transformative metaphysical studies based card deck and guidebook for creating positive change
using high-vibration chakra imagery and belief affirmations.
"Chakra Cards for Belief Change" includes 56 full-color cards, each of which features a main
chakra image or chakra-aspect image along with chakra-related beliefs and affirmations for
The accompanying guidebook describes how to use the cards for therapeutic guidance and
inspiration or as part of the Healing InSight Method for belief change and explains how to select
cards to identify the beliefs we need to work on or to help us become a vibrational match with the
belief or life experience we desire.
Critique: Beautifully crafted, thoroughly 'user friendly', and very highly recommended for
personal and professional collections, "Chakra Cards for Belief Change: The Healing InSight
Method" will enable metaphysical students and practitioners to acquire a new set of DIY personal
growth insights and tools.
Editorial Note: Nikki Gresham-Record is one of the UK's leading spiritual healers as well as a
chartered counseling psychologist and teacher of Reiki and Qigong. She developed her Healing
InSight Method for belief change by drawing on her professional background and her interest in
vibrational-emotional healing and the power of belief. She works with a broad client base as well
as facilitates workshops.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Why We Get Sick
9781948836982, $26.95, HC, 270pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Despite the impressive advances in medicine over the past 100 years, around the
world, we continue to struggle with diseases that were once considered rare. Cancer, heart
disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes affect millions each year; many people are also
struggling with hypertension, weight gain, fatty liver, dementia, low testosterone, menstrual
irregularities and infertility, and more. All too often we treat the symptoms, not realizing that all
of these diseases and disorders have something in common.
Each of them is caused or made worse by a condition known as insulin resistance. Over half of
all adults in the United States are insulin resistant -- and in most other countries its either worse
or not far behind.
"Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to
Fight It" by pathophysiology professor Benjamin Bikman explores why insulin resistance has
become so prevalent and why it matters. Unless we recognize it and take steps to reverse the
trend, major chronic diseases will be even more widespread. But reversing insulin resistance is
possible, and Bikman offers an evidence-based plan to stop and prevent it, with helpful food lists,
meal suggestions, easy exercise principles, and more. Full of surprising research and practical
advice, "Why We Get Sick" will help its readers to take control of their health.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at
the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" is impressively informative and
thoroughly 'reader friendly' -- making it ideal for the non-professional general reader seeking to
understand and improve their personal health. In this time of a viral pandemic that is particularly
lethal for anyone having underlying medical issues, "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at
the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" is a critically important and
unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary
Health & Medicine collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Why We Get
Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).
Editorial Note: Benjamin Bikman earned his PhD in Bioenergetics and was a postdoctoral fellow
with the Duke-National University of Singapore studying metabolic disorders. Currently, his
professional focus as a scientist and professor (Brigham Young University) is to better
understand the origins and consequences of metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes,
with a particular emphasis on the role of insulin. He frequently publishes his research in
peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science and public meetings.
Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution
Monthly Review Press
134 W. 29th Street, Suite 706, New York, NY 10001
9781583678619, $95.00, HC, 296pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Unknown by most Americans is that the Cuban revolution was able to achieve some
phenomenal goals including the reclamation of Cuba's agriculture, advancing its literacy rate to
nearly 100 percent, and remaking its medical system.
Cuba has transformed its health care to the extent that this "third-world" country has been able to
maintain a first-world medical system, whose health indicators surpass those of the United States
at a fraction of the cost. In "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution", author Don Fitz
combines his deep knowledge of Cuban history with his decades of on-the-ground experience in
Cuba to bring us the story of how Cuba's health care system evolved and how Cuba is tackling
the daunting challenges to its revolution in this century.
Fitz weaves together complex themes in Cuban history, moving the reader from one fascinating
story to another. He describes how Cuba was able to create a unified system of clinics, and
evolved the family doctor-nurse teams that became a model for poor countries throughout the
world. How, in the 1980s and 90s, Cuba survived the encroachment of AIDS and increasing
suffering that came with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and then went on to establish the Latin
American School of Medicine, which still brings thousands of international students to the
Deeply researched, recounted with compassion, "Cuban Health Care" tells a story that an
American readership simply won't find anywhere else. This is a critically important history of
how, in terms of caring for everyday people, Cuba's revolution continues.
Critique: Underscored by the disastrous American medical and political response to the Covid-19
pandemic, "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution" should receive as wide a readership as
possible. Expertly written, effectively organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation,
"Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution" is extraordinarily informative, thoughtful and
thought-provoking. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and
academic library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781583678602, $26.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Don Fitz is a member of the editorial board of Green Social Thought and
newsletter editor for the Green Party of St. Louis. He also contributes frequently to Monthly
The General Fiction Shelf
Shadows of Foxworth
V. C. Andrews
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781982114459, $26.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As a young girl in France, Marlena Hunter's life was a fairy tale. She had a talented
artist for a father, a doting mother, and a brother she couldn't be closer to. She loved her family;
she just didn't know what her family actually was.
When a car crash kills their parents, Marlena and Yvon lose not only France, but also their
identity. Sent to Richmond, Virginia, they arrive at the home of two aunts they've never met
before, who tell them that their true last name is Dawson, that their father had fled the family
years back -- and that now the family is calling in the debt.
Trapped in a mansion with as many secrets as rooms, Marlena yearns for escape. But in America,
you can either make friends or make profit, and Yvon suddenly seems much more interested in
the latter. While he is free to leave the house, Marlena is left to avoid lecherous tutors and the
secretary-to-wife track expected of a woman. Caught between mastering the game to escape it
and falling prey to its allure, she needs to learn fast -- for Malcolm Foxworth has cast his eye in
her direction. And no family name can protect her from the twisted roots of the Dollanganger
Critique: Another deftly penned masterpiece from novelist V. C. Andrews, "Shadows of
Foxworth" is an extraordinary and entertaining read from cover to cover. Certain to be a welcome
and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be
noted for the personal reading lists of the legion of V. C. Andrews fans that "Shadows of
Foxworth" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781982114442, $16.00), in a digital
book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Simon & Schuster
Audio, 9781797105093, $39.99, CD).
Emily Bestler Books / Atria
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781501176418, $27.00, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they're loving,
compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they're strictly friends seems to
get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they're as good as married in (almost) every way. For three
decades, they've nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio -- a chamber group they created as students
with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to
become one of the classical music world's reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to
embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.
Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home
with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his
ex-wife's advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive
unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.
Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he's getting married, and the
Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad's wedding on
her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the
attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they've
both avoided ever since their stormy parting.
Critique: Another superbly crafted novel by Amy Poeppel that blends humor with insights into
the human condition and modern family life, "Musical Chairs" is an extraordinary and fully
entertaining story of 'romance, role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity'. While certain
to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction
collection, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone who enjoys a well written
and original story of that special literary category called Women's Friendship Fiction that
"Musical Chairs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781508280125, $44.99, CD)
Etiquette for Runaways
Liza Nash Taylor
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781982603946, $27.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of the summer of 1924 in
self-imposed exile at her father's farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led
to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful
secret only to find her father's orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise.
Despite warnings from the one man she trusts (her childhood friend Byrd) she joins her father's
illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the
May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on
her own terms, following in her mother's footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city
glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start
mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a
newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good
fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong
begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes
him, and her past, away.
In Paris, May's run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels
a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or
face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find
self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.
Critique: A veritable saga of an original novel by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of
riveting, narrative driven storytelling that holds the reader's rapt attention from first page to last,
"Etiquette for Runaways" by Liza Nash Taylor is an especially recommended addition to
community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Etiquette for Runaways" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
In West Mills
De'Shawn Charles Winslow
9781635573404, $26.00, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Let the people of West Mills say what they will about Azalea "Knot" Centre; they
won't keep her from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the
company of men. And yet, when motherhood looms, Knot begins to learn that her freedom has
come at a high price. Low on money, ostracized from her parents and cut off from her hometown,
Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and
Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family
away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt to help
his older sister, who lives a precarious life in the North, Otis Lee discovers a possible path to
redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he's busy trying to fix Knot's life,
Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the
long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light.
Spanning decades in a rural North Carolina town where a canal acts as the color line, In West
Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and
the redemptive power of love.
Critique: Novelist De'Shawn Charles Winslow's ability to create truly believable characters that
the reader immediately absorbs as the author's narrative driven storytelling style compels them
along an throughly engaging, original, detailed and complexly emotional saga makes "In West
Mills" an extraordinary read and an unreservedly recommended addition to community library
Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "In
West Mills" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781635575286, $15.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $8.06).
My Father, My Son
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
9781647019501, $32.95, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "My Father, My Son" by novelist Linda McCain, appreciative readers
will meet Bray Berman a young, handsome, intelligent young man who is every parents'
One day, the unthinkable pays him a visit. However, the strength, endurance, and steadfast
determination of this seventeen-year-old reflects that while teenagers endure a lot while
sometimes saying little, the often face life's challenges with remarkable courage.
Steadfast love and devotion, known to heal all wounds, can sometimes make the worst situations
seem trivial. Will the love between a father and a son, a husband and a wife be strong enough
when tested beyond the extreme? Will the support of family and friends diminish with the
passing of time, or will the bond of family and friendship be the saving grace of the Berman
family at a time when needed the most?
Sometimes help can come from those we least expect it from. From those who have touched our
lives in some way for only a short period of time or from those who have been with us forever. A
father loved and adored by his son and a seventeen-year-old son faced with a monumental
challenge while enduring the worst, yet trying to hold on to all he has left -- hope.
Critique: Showcasing author Linda McCain's impressive flair for a particularly effective reader
engaging and narrative driven storytelling style as a novelist, "My father, My Son" is a fully
absorbing and entertaining read from beginning to end. While especially and unreservedly
recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "My Father, My Son" is also readily available in a paperback
edition (9781647019488, $19.95).
20 Jay Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-8346
9781839760341, $19.95, PB, 432pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Anita lives in Karachi's biggest slum. Her mother is a maalish wali, paid to massage
the tired bones of rich women. But Anita's life will change forever when she meets her elderly
neighbor, a man whose shelves of books promise an escape to a different world.
On the other side of Karachi lives Monty, whose father owns half the city and expects great
things of him. But when a beautiful and rebellious girl joins his school, Monty will find his life
going in a very different direction.
Sunny's father left India and went to England to give his son the opportunities he never had. Yet
Sunny doesn't fit in anywhere. It's only when his charismatic cousin comes back into his life that
he realizes his life could hold more possibilities than he ever imagined.
These three lives will cross in the desert, a place where life and death walk hand in hand, and
where their closely guarded secrets will force them to make a terrible choice.
Critique: A deftly crafted work of literary excellent, "The Runaways" by Fatima Bhutto is an
extraordinary novel by an author whose attention to detail, combined with his exceptionally
effective narrative storytelling style has created the kind of book that will linger in the mind and
memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly
recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Runaways" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, 9.99).
Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062938015, $16.99, PB, 512pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: World War II has just ended, and Britain has established the Control Commission for
Germany, which oversees their zone of occupation. The Control Commission hires British
civilians to work in Germany, rebuild the shattered nation and prosecute war crimes. Somewhat
aimless, bored with her job as a provincial schoolteacher, and unwilling to live with her
overbearing mother any longer, thirtysomething Edith Graham applies for a job with the
But she is also recruited by her cousin, Leo, who is in the Secret Service. To them, Edith is
perfect spy material...single, ordinary-looking, with a college degree in German. Cousin Leo
went to Oxford with one of their most hunted war criminals, Count Kurt von Stavenow, who
Edith remembers all too well from before the war. He wants her to find him.
Intrigued by the challenge, Edith heads to Germany armed with a convincing cover story: she's an
unassuming Education Officer sent to help resurrect German schools. To send information back
to her Secret Service handlers in London, Edith has crafted the perfect alter ego, cookbook author
Stella Snelling, who writes a popular magazine cookery column. She embeds crucial intelligence
within the recipes she collects.
But occupied Germany is awash with other spies, collaborators, and opportunists, and as she's
pulled into their world, Edith soon discovers that no one is what they seem to be. The closer she
gets to uncovering von Stavenow's whereabouts (and the network of German civilians who still
support him) the greater the danger.
Critique: With impressive and meticulous attention to historical detail and with a distinctively
reader engaging narrative storytelling style, with "Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook" novelist
Celia Rees has demonstrated a remarkable flair for originality. While "Miss Graham's Cold War
Cookbook" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of Cold War Espionage Thriller fans
that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094163208, $55.99, CD).
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Ann H. Gabhart
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800738600, $29.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep
Piper Danson's parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the
market crash intact, and they've picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall
can give her the kind of life she's used to. The only problem? This is not the man (or the life!) she
When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the
Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a
dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery
jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to
her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But
something much more precious in the form of true love is drawing ever closer.
Critique: Another compellingly crafted romance from the pen of Ann H. Gahart, "An
Appalachian Summer deftly reveals what can happen a young woman musters the courage to
leave behind a restrictive past for a wide-open future of true love. Certain to be an immediate and
permanently welcome addition to community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "An Appalachian Summer" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9780800729288, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Take a Hint, Dani Brown
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062941237, $15.99, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an
occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done
that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a
drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits in the form of
someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When big, brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone
wrong, it's an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and former rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep
together. But before she can explain that fact to him, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral.
Suddenly, half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae -- and Zaf is begging Dani to play along.
Turns out his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who
on earth would refuse?
Dani's plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is,
grumpy Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic - and he's determined to corrupt Dani's stone-cold
realism. Before long, he's tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of
his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his... um, thighs.
The easy lay Dani dreamed of is now more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is
her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
Critique: A deftly crafted and thoroughly entertaining read that will have a special and particular
interest for the LGBT reader but will also be appreciated as an entertaining sports oriented
romance novel by those who appreciate originality and attention to the details of the human
condition that are universal to us all, "Take A Hint, Dani Brown" by Talia Hibbert is
unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Take A Hint, Dani Brown" is also readily available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9781094162089, $39.99, CD).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Death Waits in the Dark
Mark Edward Langley
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781538507780, $15.99, PB, 207pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It took all of thirty seconds for two shots to bring the world of Margaret Tabaaha
crashing down around her. After losing her husband in Afghanistan during the first year of
Operation Enduring Freedom, her two sons were all she had left. Now they had been taken from
her violently, deliberately, plunging her into a whiskey bottle and stripping away her reason for
When Arthur Nakai receives a call from his first love, Margaret, her voice pleading for his help,
it comes as he is attending a wake for one of the men he considered a brother from his days in the
Marines 6th LAR Wolf Pack Battalion. Feeling a deep and responsible obligation to help her,
Arthur soon finds himself involved in the multi-billion-dollar world of the oil and gas industry
and coming face-to-face with an old adversary, Elias Dayton. Their paths had crossed when
Arthur was a member of the Shadow Wolves, an elite tactical unit within US Customs and
Border Protection. Now Dayton runs Patriot Security, a Blackwater-type firm that keeps the oil
rigs, gas wells, and man camps secure from the Water Protectors, protesters pushing to stop the
fracking and poisoning of Native lands.
As Arthur works through the case from his end, Navajo police chief Jake Bilagody tackles it
from another angle, looking into the strained relationship between the oil company and the
Navajo people, all while searching for a missing Navajo man that may have become an unwilling
piece on the reservation checkerboard. But when Arthur learns the identity of the boys' killer, he
struggles to make sense of it. Because if the clues are right, he will be forced to make a decision
that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Critique: The second title in author Mark Edward Langley's 'Arthur Nakai Mystery' series, "Death
Waits in the Dark" is a carefully crafted police procedural style mystery that provides the reader
with an entertainingly original and inherently riveting read from cover to cover. While very
highly and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that
"Death Waits in the Dark" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Find Me When I'm Lost
Cheryl A. Head
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
9781612941752, $16.95, PB, 250pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Charlie Mack is hired by her ex-husband's new wife Pamela, things get
awkward quickly. Her ex, Franklin, has been charged with his brother-in-law's murder. Charlie
and Pamela both believe he didn't do it, but he's gone into hiding for some reason neither of them
To the police, it adds up to easy guilt, but to Charlie, it indicates that Franklin has stumbled onto
something that likely comes with life-threatening complications. Charlie wants proof the case
doesn't involve a double-cross, and when the Mack Investigations team throws all their assets at
the case, Charlie's girlfriend, Mandy begins to worry that Charlie's all-out efforts to find Franklin
might be driven by lingering romantic feelings.
In the end, everyone involved must figure out which loyalties run deeper than love.
Critique: An original and riveting mystery with all manner of unexpected and entertaining plot
twists and turns, "Find Me When I'm Lost" by novelist Cheryl A. Head is especially and
unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs who appreciate a deftly crafted
suspense thriller that "Find Me When I'm Lost" is also readily available in a digital book format
The Safe Place
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250264800, $26.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable
day. Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business
acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily. Scott offers Emily a summer job as a
housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate.
Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls
headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and
Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn't play along, the consequences could be
Critique: Deftly blending elements of romance, escapism, and menace, "The Safe Place" by Anna
Downes is an inherently riveting and thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. While
especially appropriate and recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Safe Place" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Macmillan Audio, 9781250751638, $34.99, CD).
Of Mutts and Men
c/o Tor/Forge Books
9781250297693, $26.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Chet the dog and his partner, PI Bernie Little of the desert-based Little Detective
Agency, arrive to a meeting with hydrologist Wendell Nero, they are in for a shocking sight. It
seems that Wendell has come to a violent and mysterious end!
What did the hydrologist want to see them about? Is his death a random robbery, or something
more? Chet and Bernie, working for nothing more than an eight-pack of Slim Jims, are on the
Bernie might be the only one who thinks the police have arrested the wrong man, including the
perp's own defense attorney. Chet and Bernie begin to look into Wendell's work, a search that
leads to a struggling winemaker who has received an offer he can't refuse. Meanwhile, Chet is
smelling water where there is no water, and soon Chet and Bernie are in danger like never
Critique: A delightfully original and impressively entertaining mystery with all the unexpected
plot twists and turns that even the most dedicated mystery buff could want, "Of Mutts And Men"
is sure to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary
Mystery/Suspense collections. Certain to leave satisfied mystery fans looking forward to author
Spencer Quinn's further adventures of Chet and Bernie, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Of Mutts And Men" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643855066, $26.99, HC, 284pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq. She went home to
Eastern Washington and got a quiet job. She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had
left as a baby. She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.
While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a
teenager's tortured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding. In a flash, her combat-related
PTSD resurges -- and in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily
similar death still haunts her. The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her
ex-boyfriend -- and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous
younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.
The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into.
Her truck is blown up. Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when
Sophie disappears, Camille's hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child. At a remote
compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her
daughter -- and redeem her own shattered soul.
Critique: An original, action-packed, inherently riveting suspense thriller of a mystery novel by
an author with an impressive flair for, and mastery of the genre, "Little Falls" by Elizabeth Lewes
will prove to be a welcome addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Little Falls" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged
audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662026157, $22.99, CD).
Cold to the Bone
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643854984, $26.99, HC, 266pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As the first female sheriff of Toole County, Montana Nicole Cobain earned the
position through mental and physical grit and when a young girl is found murdered on icy Lake
Maria, every bit of it is tested. But what begins as a chase for the killer quickly unravels into a
high stakes medical transaction with harrowing consequences.
Eight years ago, Nicole fled her fast-track position as a homicide detective with the Denver
Police Department in an act of desperation to save both her son and herself. Answering a
recruitment ad, she showed up in the foothills of Glacier National Park and was elected sheriff
six years later. She has a measure of peace in her new surroundings, her son is thriving, and she
has effectively distanced herself from her past. Until Benjamin Kris shows up again.
Benjamin is the father of Nicole's son and a big-time charmer who has quickly scaled the crime
ladder. He has a large clientele and is looking forward to a big pay day that lands him in Toole.
But when it becomes clear he could be a suspect among several others in town with opportunity
and motive, it's up to Nicole to sift through the tangled threads to find the killer before they strike
Critique: Deftly combining elements of amateur sleuth mystery fiction, police procedurals, and
'Cozy Mysteries', "Cold To The Bone" by novelist Emery Haye's introduces his Nicole Cobain
mystery series. A riveting read from first page to last, "Cold To The Bone" will leave the
dedicated mystery buff looking eagerly toward the next superbly entertaining adventure of Toole
County Montana's female sheriff -- Nicole Cobain! While unreservedly recommended for
community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Cold To The Bone" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662026096,
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Garry J. Peterson
Robert D. Reed Publishers
PO Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
9781944297565, $14.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sara didn't start out expecting to change the world. She inherited it from her dad and
grandad, but she didn't expect it. For much of her early years, Sara thought her family was pretty
weird and there seemed to be plenty of evidence to prove it. Her late grandfather, Pete Stevenson,
maybe the weirdest of all, was obsessed with chasing down proof of aliens and time travel all
over the world. Incidents through the years seemed to suggest that her family had, indeed, come
across evidence that alien presence was real. Informed speculation regarding alien presence had
now become irrefutable fact. Now, has an actual temporal alien encounter revealed that she is
Earth's chosen one?
Critique: A part of author Garry J. Peterson's 'Stargate Earth' series of science fiction novels,
"Alien Disruption" is a deftly scripted and thoroughly engaging read from first page to last.
Showcasing Peterson's genuine flair for originality and the kind of imaginative narrative
storytelling that provides a kind of 'theatre of the mind' experience that will be particularly
appreciated by dedicated science fiction fans. While especially and unreservedly recommended
for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Alien Disruption" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Empire of Gold
S. A. Chakraborty
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
9780062678164, $28.99, HC, 784pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Daevabad has fallen. After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid
leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying
alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.
But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara's
dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at
the mercy of those he once considered enemies.
Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad's deadly politics, Nahri and
Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old
rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the
loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new
Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family
that remains. Seeking support in his mother's homeland, he discovers that his connection to the
marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his
As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand
that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved -- and take a
stand for those they once hurt.
Critique: The third and concluding volume of novelist S. A. Chakraborty's 'Daevabad Trilogy',
"The Empire of Gold" is an impressive saga of a fantasy novel and continues to showcase the
author's impressive flair for descriptive and narrative driven storytelling. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for all community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Sword & Sorcery fantasy fans that
"The Empire of Gold" is also readily available in a large print paperback edition (HarperLux,
9780062978851, $30.99, 1104pp), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete
and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Publishing, 9781094162423, $55.99, CD).
The Biography Shelf
Gianfranco de Turris
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620558065, $35.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, known to the English-speaking world as Julius
Evola (19 May 1898 - 11 June 1974), was an Italian philosopher, magician, painter, occultist,
Orientalist, linguist, and champion mountain climber. Often considered a pillar of Neo-Fascist
thought, Evola opposed Fascism and called himself a "radical traditionalist."
"Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943-1945" by Gianfranco de Turris is a
detailed and exhaustive exploration of Evola's inner and outer life from World War II into the
early 1950s, Gianfranco knew Evola when he was alive and is the executor of his estate. In this
deftly penned biography he offers a new portrait of Julius Evola and debunks many of the
pseudo-myths about his activities during the war.
Drawing on personal conversations with those who knew him and new documentation never
before made public, including letters from the Hakl and Scaligero archives, Gianfranco traces
Evola's activities (including his time on the run and living under assumed names) in Italy,
Germany, and Austria from 1943 into the mid-1950s. He shares a thorough account of the
Baron's sojourn at Hitler's headquarters in Rastenburg, his work for the German secret military
services, and his passionate rejection of the racial theories that were the core of Nazi
Gianfranco also outlines Evola's critiques of Fascism and Nazism and explores Evola's
disapproval of the Italian Social Republic because it was destroying traditional values in favor of
Detailing the Baron's occult and magical work during the war, Gianfranco shows that the only
thing Evola took with him when he escaped Italy was the UR Group papers, material that would
later become the three-volume work Introduction to Magic. Sharing details from Evola's long
hospital stays during and after the war, Gianfranco proves that the injury that led to Evola's
paralysis was caused by an Allied bombing raid in Vienna and not, as rumor has it, by a sex
magic act gone horribly wrong.
Of special note is the inclusion of photographs from the time period and the Baron's
correspondence with Rene Guenon on the possibility of restoring the spiritual and magical power
of an authentic Freemasonry.
Offering conclusive evidence that Evola was not part of the Nazi regime, Gianfranco sheds light
on the inner workings of this legendary occult figure and what Evola believed was the best
approach for the magus to take in the modern world.
Critique: A simply fascinating read from cover to cover, "Julius Evola: The Philosopher and
Magician in War: 1943-1945" is an extraordinarily informative, impressively detailed,
meticulously documented biography that is especially and unreservedly recommended for
community, college, and university library biography collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Julius Evola" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir
She Writes Press
9781631527210, $16.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As a little girl, Teressa's father dotes on her and little sister, Karen, while mercilessly
mocking her older sister, Debbie. Teressa thinks its Debbie's fault -- until she gets a little older
and he begins tormenting her, too.
Soon enough, his verbal abuse turns physical. Her sergeant father brings his military life home,
meeting each of his daughters' infractions with extreme punishment for them all. Meanwhile,
their mother watches silently, never defending her daughters and never subjected to physical
Terrified to be at home and terrified to tell anyone, Teressa seeks solace in books, music, and the
family she can find outside of her home: a best friend, a kind neighbor, and a doting grandfather.
At first cowed by her father's abuse and desperate to believe that maybe, one day, things will
change, Teressa ultimately grows into a young woman who understands that if she wants a better
life, she'll have to build it for herself -- and so she does.
Critique: Candid, emotionally demanding, exceptionally well written, organized and presented,
"The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir" is an extraordinary and deeply personal story that has all
too recognizable universally identifiable elements that reflect the damage done to so many
women when they were young and under the dominate control of an unsupervised patriarchal
style family. Undoubtedly a cathartic exercise for the author, "The Sergeant's Daughter: A
Memoir" is a valued and valuable contribution to the growing body of literature that underscores
the necessity of the women's rights and child protection movements. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American Biography
collections in general, and Child Abuse supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted
that "The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a
digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
The Poetry Shelf
Sincerely Speaking Spiritually
Joseph S. Spence Sr.
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781973683902, $28.95, HC, 134pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is an inspirational and uplifting body of prose poetry
that is ideal for meditating on Christian principles and applying them to solve our 'real world'
problems, and living a righteous life.
Additionally, The fundamental message underlying the deftly crafted poetry that comprising
"Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is that God's manifestation of preparing a table before you in the
presence of your enemies is a daily reality. That every Christian can improve their standing
before God and heighten the quality of their spirituality by allowing Him to anoint them with His
grace, His mercy, and His love.
Critique: Occasionally graced with black-and-white images, "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" by
Joseph S. Spence Sr. begins with an informative foreword by Pastor Reverend Bradley E
Coleman BA Master of Divinity. The individual poetry is as inspired and inspiring as it is
meditatively compelling. Very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community,
"Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is one of those rare collections of Christian verse that will linger
in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.
It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is also readily
available in a paperback edition (9781973683919, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: His Excellency, Dr. Ambassador, Professor, Joseph S. Spence, Sr., USA
(Epulaeryu Master), is an award-winning poet and the author of over one hundred peer-reviewed
published poetic articles and ten inspirational poetry books.
The Christian Studies Shelf
No Such Thing as Can't
Lisa Sexton & Tyler Sexton, MD
Focus on the Family
9781589979734, $15.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: There are many books about overcoming obstacles, but "No Such Thing as Can't: A
Triumphant Story of Faith and Perseverance" by Lisa and Tyler Sexton is quintessential story of
victory over limitations that is remarkably unique!
Not many doctors have cerebral palsy. Yet this disability was part of the Great Physician's plan
for Tyler Sexton. Because of it, Tyler has become a role model for others facing adversity,
including his patients. He has also become a humble healer who uses his heart and faith along
with his intellect and training to help kids and give them hope.
Tyler's story has been featured on ABC's 20/20 and was the basis for many episodes of ABC's
new show The Good Doctor. "No Such Thing as Can't" is the personal story of a man who says,
"I'd rather walk with a limp in Christ than with a strut in the world"; who wears superhero
T-shirts and tells his little patients they're "super" too, despite their physical problems; and whose
stint at a medical school in the Caribbean completely erased the islanders' negative view of
Through this inspiring true story, people will be encouraged to face adversity with hope,
determination, and the strength of Christ.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "No Such Thing as Can't: A Triumphant Story of Faith and
Perseverance" is a life-changing, life-enhancing, spiritually motivating, and emotionally moving
story of Christian faith and Christian life. While very highly recommended reading, it should be
noted for the personal reading lists of all members of the Christian community regardless of their
denominational affiliations that "No Such Thing as Can't" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $15.19) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio,
9781640912083, $14.99, CD).
The Essence: Unpacking Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
Brian N. Winslade
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781532695346, $25.00, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The teaching of Jesus of Nazareth is unparalleled and universally acclaimed in the
history of our world. Born into relative obscurity and poverty, no one has impacted the world to
the same extent as Jesus.
Amidst all he said and did, his close friend Matthew (a former social outcast) captured his
teaching -- delivered on a hillside just above the town where he lived, overlooking the Sea of
Galilee. The fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of Matthew's Gospel, commonly referred to as the
Sermon on the Mount, have been described as the essence of all that Jesus taught about God and
how we relate with him. Every Christian (and every pastor, priest and preacher) must wrestle
with the words of Jesus given on a Galilean hillside.
If a person grasped nothing else of the words Jesus spoke, apart from that contained in the
Sermon on the Mount, he or she catches the essence of his timeless message.
Critique: A welcome and thoroughly 'user friendly' resource for individual Christians, clergy, and
small New Testament studies groups, "The Essence: Unpacking Jesus' Sermon on the Mount" is
an ideal textbook with its emphasis on applying the teachings and principles of Jesus to
contemporary life. While highly recommended to all members of the Christian community
regardless of denominational affiliations, it should be noted that "The Essence: Unpacking Jesus'
Sermon on the Mount" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Brian N. Winslade has been involved in pastoral ministry and denominational
leadership within New Zealand, Australia, the USA, and Bangladesh since 1979 -- including as
CEO of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, national director of the Baptist Churches of
Australia, and a member of the International Council of the World Evangelical Alliance.
Taught by God
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881416633, $25.00, PB, 270pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Taught By God: Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus" grapples with the
difficult sayings of Christ. In this extended study, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Fanous uses all the
resources of the patristic tradition and modern biblical scholarship to put these sayings in a
clearer light. The underlying and fundamental message of "Taught by God" is that if we as
Christians are able to delve into the deeper meaning of these hard sayings, then we will truly be
taught by God.
Critique: Expertly written, deftly organized, and impressively presented for the benefit of both
clergy and the lay reader, "Taught By God: Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus" is an
extraordinary and welcome addition to Church, college, and university library Christian
Orthodoxy studies and collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary
students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Taught By
God: Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: Rev. Dr. Daniel Fanous is dean and lecturer in Theology & Biblical Studies at St
Cyril's Coptic Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is also the author of "The
Person of the Christ" and "A Silent Patriarch".
Wholeness & Holiness
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626983533, $18.00, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly" by David Richo
guides us through a three-step journey to psychological soundness, spiritual wholeness, and
We have body-minds that can be psychologically healthy, but it is up to us to nurture this
process. When we do, we feel wholesome, body and mind.
We have spiritual consciousness, but it is up to us to be aware of it and act in accord with it.
When we do, we feel whole, body and mind.
We are imprinted with a calling to sanctity, and yet, it is up to us to be open to its heroic
demands. When we do, we feel joyously full of grace, body and mind.
The goal throughout this journey is to attain both wholeness and holiness. For this to be
achieved, a person must work at all three.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and
Saintly" is an inherently interesting and expertly presented instructional guide for both clergy and
lay members of the Christian community. An informed and informative treatise on the
psychology of religion from a Christian perspective, "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane,
Spiritual, and Saintly" is especially recommended for Christian Living/Personal Growth
individual and small group studies. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wholeness
and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: David Richo is a psychotherapist, author, and workshop leader, who combines
psychological and spiritual perspectives in his work. He teaches at a variety of places, including
Esalen and Spirit Rock Buddhist Center. Among his many books are "How to Be an Adult" and
Justice and Charity
Michael P. Krom
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781540963161, $44.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Justice and Charity: An Introduction to Aquinas's Moral, Economic, and Political
Thought" Professor Michael Krom introduces Thomas Aquinas's moral, economic, and political
thought, differentiating between philosophy (justice) and theology (charity) within each of the
three branches of Aquinas's theory of human living.
Professor Krom also shows how Aquinas's thought offers an integrated vision for Christian
participation in the world, equipping readers to apply their faith to the complex moral, economic,
and political problems of contemporary society.
Written in an accessible style by an experienced educator, "Justice and Charity is especially
well-suited for use in a variety of undergraduate Christian theology courses and provides a
foundation for understanding the enduring contribution os Thomas Aquinas' contributions to
Catholic social teaching.
Critique: Expertly and informatively written, organized and presented, "Justice and Charity: An
Introduction to Aquinas's Moral, Economic, and Political Thought" will prove to be a valued and
appreciated contribution to the growing library of scholarly studies about the thought,
philosophy, and theology of Thomas Aquinas. While an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended for Church, seminary, community, college, and university library Christian
Theology collections in general, and Thomas Aquinas supplemental studies in particular, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Justice and Charity" is also readily available
in a paperback edition (9781540962249, $29.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Michael P. Krom is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Benedictine
Leadership Studies and director of the Faith and Reason Summer Program at St. Vincent College
in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin
Rabbi Daniel Sperber
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9789655242461, $27.95, HC, 251pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority
According to Halachah" Rabbi Daniel Sperber examines in detail the legitimacy for feminine
leadership in Jewish law.
Exploring the various manifestations of female leadership, whether as women clergy or other
forms of female halachic adjudication, "Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin" responds to the
standard criticisms leveled at the recent phenomenon of female authority within the Orthodox
Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority According to
Halachah" is groundbreaking study in which Rabbi Sperber deftly argues the halachic, political,
and sociological levels of female leadership in Judaism.
Critique: A meticulous and groundbreaking study of original and scrupulous scholarship that is
enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a Subject Index, Name Index, and Source Index,
"Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority According to
Halachah" is an extraordinarily informed and informative contribution that is especially and
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, synagogue, community, college, and
university library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies
Editorial Note: Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber is a leading scholar of Jewish law, customs, and
ethics. He taught in the Talmud Department of Bar-Ilan University, where he also served as dean
of the Faculty of Jewish Studies and president of the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah
Studies. In 1992, he was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies. Prof. Sperber currently
serves as rabbi of the Menachem Zion Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. Rabbi Sperber
has published more than thirty books and four hundred articles on the subjects of Talmud and
Jewish socio-economic history, law and customs, classical philology, and Jewish art. He is the
author of On Changes in Jewish Liturgy: Options and Limitations; On the Relationship of
Mitzvot Between Man and His Neighbor and Man and His Maker, and The Importance of the
Community Rabbi: Leading with Compassionate Halachah, all of which are published by Urim
The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
355 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780881233605, $19.95, PB, 186pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Book of Jonah is a unique text in the Jewish canon. Among the shortest books in
the Bible, it is also one of the most mysterious and morally ambiguous. Who is this prophet
running from God, hiding at the bottom of the ocean? Why does he struggle with God's mission
to save and forgive Israel's enemies?
In "The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary", Rabbi Dr. Yanklowitz shows that the
Book of Jonah delivers a message of human responsibility in a shared world. Illuminating such
contemporary ethical issues as animal welfare, incarceration, climate change, weapons of mass
destruction, and Jewish-Muslim relations, this social justice commentary urges us to join in
repairing a broken world -- a call that we, unlike Jonah, must hasten to answer.
Critique: Comprised of eloquent, insightful, informative, thoughtful and thought provoking
commentaries, "The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, rabbinical, community, synagogue, college, and
university library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections and supplemental reading lists.
The Political Science Shelf
Stealing Our Democracy
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
9781588384294, $28.95, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Stealing Our Democracy: How the Political Assassination of a Governor Threatens
Our Nation" by Don Siegelman is a searing political memoir. This former Alabama Governor
Don Siegelman explodes the myth of an impartial U.S. justice system.
He should know. Arguably the most successful and promising politician in modern Alabama
history, his three-decade career in public service ran afoul of Republican opponents who used the
federal judicial system to take him out of contention in Alabama and nationally. Governor
Siegelman ultimately was sentenced to 88 months in federal prison and served five years, with
long stretches in solitary confinement during which he was a literal political prisoner, cut off
from interviews and outside contact.
"Stealing Our Democracy" reveals how Governor Siegelman's political enemies within the
Republican party, and which included politicized prosecutors and a corrupt judge, stripped him
of his freedom, his career, and his law license, and deprived him of his family and friends. His is
an intensely personal account of how our system can fail and be abused for political greed. And if
it could happen to him, he writes, it can happen to any of us, particularly in an era when Donald
Trump is abusing his power and using the Department of Justice as a political weapon to defend
himself and to destroy those who oppose him.
Governor Siegelman draws on his experience as a public servant and an inmate to show why the
nation's prisons must be reformed along with our system of indictment, prosecution, and
sentencing. Finally, "Stealing Our Democracy" offers a blueprint for voters in 2020 of what must
be done to preserve democracy.
Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Stealing Our Democracy: How the
Political Assassination of a Governor Threatens Our Nation" is an extraordinary story with
profound implications for the American citizen in this era of the Trump administration and the
corruption of the federal Justice Department under Trump sycophant William Barr. This candid
revelation of political corruption should have as wide a readership as possible and is
unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary
American Biography collections in general, and Contemporary Political Science supplemental
curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of political
science studies, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in
the subject that "Stealing Our Democracy: How the Political Assassination of a Governor
Threatens Our Nation" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.95).
How Trump Stole 2020
Greg Palast, author
Ted Rall, illustrator
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
9781644210567, $16.95, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis; Has Trump already stolen the 2020 election? Vote theft was once considered to be a
marginal issue that no one wanted to talk about, but as the stakes have risen and the facts have
become known it is now recognized as one of the central issues deciding our presidential
elections. Ironically, the last two confirmed cases of large scale voter fraud were perpetrated by
Then there is the whole issue of Republican sponsored voter suppression practices.
The scope covered by "How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America's Vanished Voters" is
staggering. In the Georgia 2018 midterm election alone (the testing ground) Republican voting
officials quietly removed half a million voters from the voter rolls -- including Martin Luther
King's ninety-two-year-old cousin Christine Jordan.
"How Trump Stole 2020" is the story of the racially poisonous schemes to steal the 2020
election, the political operatives behind the trickery -- and the hard right billionaires funding it
all, written by Greg Palast, an investigative reporter who has been covering this story from the
Critique: The only problem with "How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America's Vanished
Voters" is that the folks who need to read it most (the 35% of our nation's electorate who are
dedicated Trump supporters) never will. Nevertheless, "How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for
America's Vanished Voters" should receive as wide as possible readership as we come down to
the November 2020 election which will, quite literally determine if our American experiment in
freedom and democracy will survive.
Editorial Note: Greg Palast has worked as a government consultant and an investigator for labor
unions before turning to journalism full time. For years Palast wrote a column for the Guardian
called "Inside Corporate America," and his articles have appeared in magazines and journals
including the Nation, Harper's, and In These Times. Palast is also the author of "The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy", which covered in detail the fiasco of President Bush's victory in
Florida in 2000. His most recent book is "Billionaires and Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9
Easy Steps", with illustrations by Ted Rall.
The Business Shelf
The Art of Being Indispensable at Work
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633698499, $28.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Business is not static. With new technology, constant change and uncertainty, and
far-flung virtual teams, getting things done at work is tougher and more complex than ever.
Exacerbated by the current pandemic, we are in the midst of a collaboration revolution, working
with everyone, all the time, across silos and platforms. But sometimes it feels like we are stuck in
a no-win cycle -- dealing with an overwhelming influx of asks, with unclear lines of
communication and authority.
But even amid the seeming chaos, there's always that indispensable go-to person who thrives on
their many working relationships with people all over the organization chart. How do they do it?
Go-to people consistently make themselves valuable to others, maintain a positive attitude of
service, are creative and tenacious, and take personal responsibility for getting the right things
"The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the
Right Things Done" is game-changing yet practical book in which Bruce Tulgan reveals the
secrets of the go-to person in our new world of work. Based on an intensive study of people at all
levels, in all kinds of organizations, Tulgan shows how go-to people think and behave
differently, building up their influence with others -- and not by trying to do everything for
everybody but by doing the right things at the right times for the right reasons, regardless of
whether they have the formal authority.
"The Art of Being Indispensable at Work" will teach the reader how to: Understand the peculiar
mathematics of real influence; Lead from wherever you are up, down, sideways, and diagonal;
Know when to say "no" or "not yet," and how to say "yes"; Keep getting better and better at
working together -- and so much more!
Critique: Expertly written, deftly organized, and impressively 'user friendly' in presentation, "The
Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right
Things Done" must be considered essential reading for anyone seeking to survive and even
prosper in the current economic collapse necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. While an
essential and core addition to community, corporate, college, and university library Business
Management collections in general, and Job Hunting & Career Guides supplemental studies
reading lists in particular, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Art of Being
Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done"
is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).
Editorial Note: Bruce Tulgan is an author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a
sought-after keynote speaker and seminar leader. He has worked with thousands of leaders and
managers in hundreds of organizations, from Aetna to Walmart, the US Army to the YMCA. He
lectures at the Yale School of Management and is the author of several books, including It's Okay
to Be the Boss and Not Everyone Gets a Trophy. He is also the founder and Chairman of
RainmakerThinking Inc. He maintains a website at: www.rainmakerthinking.com
The Woodworking Shelf
The Art of Kumiko
Blue Hills Press
9781951217242, $24.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Kumiko is a delicate and sophisticated art created by assembling small wooden pieces
into beautiful patterns.
"The Art of Kumiko: Learn to Make Beautiful Panels by Hand" by Matt Kenney is a DIY
compendium of step-by-step instructions for 10 Kumiko patterns that offer an impressive level of
Also included are cutting diagrams for several original decorative wall panels that make use of
the patterns comprising "The Art of Kumiko".
An experienced woodworker, Kenney's methods for making Kumiko combine the accuracy and
efficiency of modern woodworking equipment with the precision of hand tools to create beautiful
pieces. "The Art of Kumiko also incorporates Kumiko in both furniture designs and as
stand-alone framed panels that pay homage to this centuries-old woodworking craft.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "The Art of Kumiko: Learn to Make Beautiful Panels
by Hand" is exceptionally well organized and presented, making it an ideal, thoroughly 'user
friendly', and unreservedly recommended DIY instructional guide and reference for anyone
wanting to learn how to create Kumiko designed as part of their woodworking skill set.
Editorial Note: Matt Kenney grew up making things like tree forts and skate ramps from wood.
Now he's a furniture maker whose passion for the craft drives him to share his knowledge and
experience with other woodworkers. He's written dozens of magazine articles, been featured in
instructional videos, and is the author of 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks, which chronicles his effort to
design and make 52 boxes during the course of a year. Kenney also teaches woodworking at
schools around the United States and overseas. He's co-host of a bi-weekly podcast, The Matt
and Joe Woodworking Fun Hour, that documents co-host Joe Faraoni's journey as Matt teaches
him woodworking. A former editor at Fine Woodworking, Kenney is at the forefront of a revival
in interest in Kumiko. Interested woodworkers can follow his Instagram account
Carving & Painting Adorable Animals in Wood
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781497100831, $16.99, PB, 152pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: This pattern book contains comprehensive, step-by-step, illustrated instructions for 12
carving projects featuring a variety of animals -- each of which is a beautiful figure specifically
designed to sit up on its own!
Not appropriate for absolute novice beginners, "Carving & Painting Adorable Animals in Wood"
isn't about the basics of carving, but instead provides those of intermediate skill with new and
interesting challenges to practice and improve woodcarving, pyrography, texturing, and painting
From pandas and foxes to otters and elephants, each animal design includes a full-size pattern
template, hair tract guide, color chart for painting guidance, and helpful reference photos of the
finished piece from various angles, so you'll have all the information you need to create the entire
collection of cute tchotchkes.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for all dedicated recreational woodworkers and crafters, "Carving &
Painting Adorable Animals in Wood" is an impressive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional
guide and manual that is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, school woodshop, and community library Woodworking collections.
Editorial Note: Desiree Hajny's accomplishments in the woodcarving arts span thirty years as an
author, teacher, commissioned artist, and competition judge. Desiree has won a number of
national and international awards for her carvings, including 25 best-of-show honors, over 150
first place awards, 18 people's choice awards, and the Woodcarving Illustrated Woodcarver of
the Year award. She is the author of six woodcarving books, a contributor to seven others, and a
contributing editor to woodworking periodicals across the United States and Europe.
The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection
Tom Zappala & Ellen Zappala
Peter E. Randall Publisher
5 Greenleaf Woods Drive, Suite 102, Portsmouth New Hampshire 03801
9781942155317, $35.00, HC, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Topps Company, Inc. is an American company that manufactures chewing gum,
candy, and collectibles. Based in New York City, Topps is best known as a leading producer of
American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and other sports and non-sports
themed trading cards. It is currently the only baseball card manufacturer with a contract with
Major League Baseball.
"Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection" showcases the most iconic postwar
baseball set in hobby history. With the end of World War II, the advent of television, and an
explosion of love for our National Pastime, the players making up this historic collection became
bigger than life by featuring players like Mantle, Berra, Robinson, Spahn, Snider and Mays. All
of the 407 cards in the set are presented in full color along with a narrative about the player and
The last chapter of "Baseball & Bubble Gum" discusses the great appeal of the 1952 Topps set;
how the collection was developed; the nuances of particular cards, along with their scarcity,
popularity, and in some cases, the card value.
Critique: A beautifully reproduced coffee-table style volume compiled by the team of Tom and
Ellen Zappala, and with the assistance of John Molori, and an ideal gift for any and all dedicated
baseball fans, "Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection" is unreservedly
recommended for personal, community, and academic library 20th Century American Popular
Culture collections in general, American Baseball History collections in particular.
Editorial Note: "The popularity of Topps baseball cards kept the careers of players like me alive'
for decades after our retirement. As a player featured in the 1952 Topps set, I enjoyed reading
Baseball & Bubble Gum. The stories about the players brought back memories of a great time in
my life and a great time in the game of baseball. Excellent read!" - Carl Erskine, All-Star pitcher
and member of the 1955 Dodgers World Series Champions
The Military Shelf
The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations
Peter G. Tsouras, editor
Chris Riddell, illustrator
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781784384777, $39.95, HC, 576pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations", military
historian, compiler and editor Peter Tsouras showcases 4,000 years of military history to life
through the words of more than 800 soldiers, commanders, military theorists and commentators
on war. Quotes by diverse personalities ranging from Napoleon, Machiavelli, Ataturk, 'Che'
Guevara, Rommel, Julius Caesar, Wellington, and Xenophon, to Crazy Horse, Wallenstein, T.E.
Lawrence, Saladin, Zhukov, Eisenhower and so many more sit side by side to build a
comprehensive picture of war across the ages.
Broken down into more then 480 categories, covering courage, danger, failure, leadership, luck,
military intelligence, tactics, training, guerrilla warfare and victory, "The Greenhill Dictionary of
Military Quotations" is a definitive guide that draws upon the collected wisdom of those who
have experienced war at every level. From the brutality and suffering of war, to the courage and
camaraderie of soldiers, to the glory and exhilaration of battle, these quotes offer an insight into
the turbulent history of warfare and the lives and deeds of great warriors.
Critique: An impressively comprehensive and inherently fascinating book to simple browse
through, "The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations" will prove to be an immediate and
enduringly popular addition to community, college, and university library Military History
collections. It should be note for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history
buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Greenhill
Dictionary of Military Quotations" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Photography Shelf
Iconic New York, expanded edition
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY 10011
9783961712663, $45.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Few cities spark the imagination like New York. Its very name stands for excitement
and dreams of possibility. Famed for both its hectic pace and for being a melting pot of cultures
and ideas, this is perhaps the world's ultimate metropolis.
Christopher Bliss finds inspiration in the urban skylines and in the challenging and invigorating
lifestyles of cities. His work is represented by several galleries and is part of many private and
corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Several of his pieces are
included in the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
As a native, photographer Chris Bliss understands the city on many levels. In a new and
multilingual edition of his photographic tour-de-force, "Iconic New York" he offers a
dramatically visual overview of the city, capturing its essence with dynamic and engaging images
of its architecture, world-renowned landmarks, and energetic lifestyle.
In this expanded edition of "Iconic New York", such distinctive new sights as the Freedom
Tower, the Vessel at Hudson Yards, and recent images of the ever-popular and even-changing
borough of Brooklyn, are seen alongside revered buildings as the Empire State Building,
Chrysler Building, and the majesty of Central Park in all seasons.
Each of the city's distinct and characteristic neighborhoods exudes their many moods and auras
on the pages of this classic photography book showcasing New York City. Everything that makes
New York so distinctly New York is here for the reader to savor.
Critique: "Iconic New York" is an impressive coffee-table style compendium (9 x 1 x 11.5
inches) showcasing a wealth memorably eloquent, full color images. A thoughtful and engaging
browse throughout, "Iconic New York" is an armchair traveler's delight and the next best thing to
an on-site tour of the city itself. Simply stated, "Iconic New York" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and
university library Contemporary Photography collections.
The Art Shelf
Meditative Stone Art
Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631066696, $23.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Meditative Stone Art: Create over 40 Mandala and Nature-Inspired Designs" by artist
Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango is a DIY guide on a meditative art journey appropriate for
beginner and expert crafters alike as she shares her unique and elegant designs for decorating
"Meditative Stone Art" is comprised of 44 illustrated step-by-step projects (21 calming mandala
designs and 23 nature-inspired designs), including: Single-color mandalas; Multicolor mandalas;
Flowers; Leaves; Butterflies; Moths; Beetles; and Fish.
Critique: Featuring beautiful photography and easy-to-follow instructions to get designs just
right, along with drawing tutorials and information about gathering the perfect stones, tools and
supplies, and art techniques, "Meditative Stone Art" is a thoroughly 'user friendly', unique, and
effective instruction guide and manual that will be an especially welcome and inspiring addition
to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Mandala Art Instruction
collections. It should be noted for the personal lists of aspiring artists and mandala enthusiasts
that "Meditative Stone Art" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango is the author of Rock Point's Meditative
Mandala Stones kit and is a self-taught illustrator-crafter from Bogota, Colombia, who now calls
New Zealand home. She likes to draw, paint, and embroider. In 2001, she became interested in
mandalas and started drawing them and learning more about their history, psychology, and
symbolism. Since 2011, she has combined her love of mandalas with painting beautiful stones
she has collected.
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781633228368, $21.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A step-by-step guide to creating dynamic modern florals in ink and watercolor,
"Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" by Isa Down is comprised of profusely illustrated inking and
watercolor tips and techniques, drawing basics, an overview of plant and flower structures, and
step-by-step inking projects for a well-rounded, engaging introduction to multimedia botanical
art geared toward artists of all skill levels.
"Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" begins with an introduction to plant structure. Essential tools
and materials are covered as well, along with drawing basics, ink shading tips, and watercolor
techniques providing a basic knowledge before getting started on the more than 15 step-by-step
drawing projects that round out this DIY instructional guide and manual.
The final project is a bouquet that incorporates all of the instructions and tips that will have
learned throughout "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals".
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" is an
ideal DIY introduction and 'how to' instructional for aspiring artists wanting to create beautiful
ink and watercolor images. Comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Illustration Studio:
Inking Florals" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and
community library Botanical Art Instruction collections. It should be noted for art student
personal lists that "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Colorado-based Isa Down is a self-taught artist, an art teacher, and the owner of
Poppy & Gray Co., where she sells her own botanical art and prints as home decor. Isa works
with ink and watercolor to create modern, whimsical botanicals. She also writes for HuffPost,
Today's Parent, Parents.com, and others. Isa also maintains a web site at
The Needlecraft Shelf
Plant Lady Embroidery
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631598456, $21.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Brimming with over 300 botanical motifs, "Plant Lady Embroidery" is an impressive
DIY resource that will provide immediate inspiration and detailed step-by-step instructions for
embroidery artists and flower ladies from novice to professionals.
"Plant Lady Embroidery" includes designs including flowers, ferns, succulents, leaves, bees and
garden scenes, along with basic embroidery instruction for stitches and transferring designs onto
Critique: Original designs and clear instructions make "Plant Lady Embroidery" a 'must have' for
any embroidery enthusiast's library -- and an ideal DIY instructional guide for the novice
Editorial Note: Applemints is a publisher that is based in Tokyo, Japan, and well known for their
The Automotive Shelf
Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build & Modify
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613255162, $36.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now aspiring DIY mechanics and owners can build and modify their 1973-1987 GMC
or Chevrolet truck in their own garage with step-by-step processes to boost power, add curb
appeal, and improve stopping ability, handling, safety, and more with Jim Pickering's
"Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build & Modify".
GM's squarebody trucks are a solid, simple, and easy-to-find rig -- and that makes them perfect
for modification. They're American classics, and they've become the hot rods of a new
Pickering brings these trucks into focus, taking the reader through the aspects that make them so
popular and modifications they can perform to put a modern spin on their classic looks. He then
takes an in-depth look at all the major systems in a Chevy truck and covers what can be done to
them to turn a classic hauler into a modern hot rod in the form of a truck that's fast, safe, full of
curb appeal, and reliable enough to drive whenever and wherever wanted.
Built in massive numbers during an 18-year production run, these trucks aren't hard to source, but
finding a good starting point and mapping out your plan are important. "Chevy/GMC Trucks
1973-1987: How to Build & Modify" covers a lot of territory: how to find a good starter truck,
LS-power builds and installs, slammed air suspension and coilover systems, automatic and
manual transmission choices (including a 6-speed manual conversion), cooling system upgrades,
safely adding a modern alternator to factory GM wiring, modifying a mechanical clutch pedal to
use a hydraulic master and slave cylinder, making new fuel lines and brake lines to support fuel
injection and big brakes, installing a 4-link rear suspension system, fabricating an under-bed
mount to hide air suspension components, building exhaust, adding LED lighting, interior
restoration, and more.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build &
Modify" is impressively comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and
presentation -- making it an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual that is especially and
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Automotive
Maintenance, Modification & Repair collections.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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