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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 12 December 2019 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Christmas Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Business Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Political Science Shelf
World History Shelf Self-Help Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Theatre/Cinema Shelf Biography Shelf Gardening Shelf
Automotive Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Sports Shelf
Travel Shelf Architecture Shelf Railroading Shelf
Art Shelf Woodworking Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice

Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West
Michelle Delaney
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806164304, $45.00, HC, 248pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 - January 10, 1917), star of the American West, began his journey to fame at age twenty-three, when he met writer Ned Buntline. The pulp novels Buntline later penned were loosely based on Cody's scouting and bison-hunting adventures and sparked a national sensation. Other writers picked up the living legend of "Buffalo Bill" for their own pulp novels, and in 1872 Buntline produced a theatrical show starring Cody himself. In 1883, Cody opened his own show, Buffalo Bill's Wild West, which ultimately became the foundation for the world's image of the American frontier.

After the Civil War, new transcontinental railroads aided rapid westward expansion, fostering Americans' long-held fascination with their western frontier. The railroads enabled traveling shows to move farther and faster, and improved printing technologies allowed those shows to print in large sizes and quantities lively color posters and advertisements. Cody's show team partnered with printers, lithographers, photographers, and iconic western American artists, such as Frederic Remington and Charles Schreyvogel, to create posters and advertisements for Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Circuses and other shows used similar techniques, but Cody's team perfected them, creating unique posters that branded Buffalo Bill's Wild West as the true Wild West experience. They helped attract patrons from across the nation and ultimately from around the world at every stop the traveling show made.

In "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West", Michelle Delaney showcases these numerous posters in full color, many of which have never before been reproduced, pairing them with new research into previously inaccessible manuscript and photograph collections. Her study also includes Cody's correspondence with his staff, revealing the showman's friendships with notable American and European artists and his show's complex, modern publicity model.

Beautifully designed, "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West" presents a new perspective on the art, innovation, and advertising acumen that created the international frontier experience of Buffalo Bill's Wild West.

Critique: Impressively informative, profusely illustrated, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West" is an original and meticulously researched work of seminal scholarship and an enduringly valued contribution to the growing cannon of William 'Wild Bill' Cody literature and lore. While especially recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted that "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $36.95) for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

The Artist's Garden
Jackie Bennett
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9781781318744, $40.00, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A beautifully produced volume of truly great art, "The Artist's Garden" by gardening and art expert Jackie Bennett showcases a visual wealth of gardens that have inspired and been home to some of the greatest painters of history. These gardens not only supplied the inspiration for creative works but also illuminate the professional motivation and private life of the artists themselves - from Cezanne's house in the south of France to Childe Hassam at Celia Thaxter's garden off the coast off Maine.

Flowers and gardens have often been the first choice for artists looking for a subject. A garden close to the artist's studio is not only convenient for daily material and ideas, but also has the advantage of changing through the seasons and over time. Claude Monet's Giverny was the catalyst for hundreds of great paintings (by Monet and other artists), each one different from the one before. Sometimes a whole village becomes the focus for a colony of artists as at Gerberoy in Picardy and Skagen on the northernmost tip of Denmark.

"The Artist's Garden" is about the real homes and gardens that inspired these great artists -- gardens that in many cases can still be visited today! The relationship between artist and garden is a complex one. A few artists, including Pierre Bonnard and his neighbor Monet were keen gardeners, as much in love with their plants as their work, while for others like Sorolla in Madrid, his courtyard home was both a sanctuary and a source of ideas.

Critique: An informative and lovely pleasure to simply browse through, "The Artist's Garden: The Secret Spaces That Inspired Great Art" will have immense and enduring appeal to both fine art enthusiasts and dedicated gardeners alike. While very highly recommended, especially for community and academic library World Art History collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of art students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Artist's Garden" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.29).


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Powerhouse Edition
Penny C. Sansevieri
Independently Published
9781695420793, $12.99, PB, 204pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Named as one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine, Penny Sansevieri has also taught Amazon-centric classes and webinars to thousands of authors leading up to the release of this ultimate guide to mastering the Amazon marketing system.

Amazon.com is the 800 pound gorilla of on-line book marketing.

In the pages of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Powerhouse Edition" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to share her proven strategies for utilizing Amazon as a core part of a book marketing strategy that will immediately start building a book's target market exposure and dramatically upgrade overall book marketing efforts by authors, publishers, and publicists!

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" will enable even the most novice self- published author to: Increase their sales through perfectly timed pre-order campaigns; Get their book ranked #1 in its category; Find the perfect keywords and categories that will help their book soar up the Amazon charts; Achieve top visibility for their book with lucrative keywords; The secrets to running a successful Amazon ads campaign that won't cost a fortune!.

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" also shows how to: Leverage a secret tool to get hundreds of reader reviews; Use Kindle Unlimited to greatest advantage; Boost sales with strategic eBook strategies; Create book descriptions that convert more browsers to buyers; Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales; Leverage Amazon-owned Goodreads so it's working for a specific book.

"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is an essential, go-to resource if for authors and publishers who really want to use all the features Amazon offers that have proven to work to increase and sustain book sales.

If "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is purchased on Amazon, then also included as free bonuses are: Blogger and social media listings, sample templates, and dozens of additional resources to get started with smarter book marketing right away. A special code to get this great information in a step-by-step video format!

It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is favorably cited in "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon", including (with permission) some of the marketing advice with respect to book reviews by Jim Cox, it's editor-in-chief.

Critique: An absolutely essential and invaluable instructional resource and reference by a seasoned and accomplished expert on the subject, this newly updated and expanded edition of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" by Penny Sansevieri (who founded and operates Author Marketing Experts and is the author of instructional guides and manuals on various aspects of marketing books), is an unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of authors, publishers, and book publicists. While an especially recommended addition to community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted that "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition
Penny C. Sansevieri
Independently Published
9781074789930, $9.99, PB, 148pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and expanded 2019 edition, "5 Minute Book Marketing for Authors" is a complete and expertly presented instructional reference and guide by a seasoned and experienced professional and expert in the art, science and craft of marketing books.

Author Marketing Experts' Penny Sansevieri clearly lays out step-by-step DIY instructions on all aspects of book marketing including the effective use of such marketing tools as Goodreads, Amazon.com, More Books, eBook Pricing & Promotion, Writing Reviews, Websites, Newsletters, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Instagram, Pinterest, and more!

Critique: An absolute 'must read' for every aspiring (and even seasoned) author hoping to establish themselves commercially and bring to the attention of the widest and highest possible number of intended readers for their particular book(s), "5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections. An ideal addition to all Creative Writing class curriculum supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Book Review Companion
David Wogahn
DavidWogahn.com
PartnerPress.org
c/o Author Imprints
www.authorimprints.com
9781944098148, $12.95, PB, 210pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Author David Wogahn is president and founder of AuthorImprints, an award-winning professional publishing services company that helps authors and businesses publish books using their own publishing imprint.

Withe the publication of "The Book Review Companion: An Author's Guide to Getting and Using Book Reviews" he has drawn upon his years of experience and expertise to create a handy instructional reference guide to the art and science of reviewing books that is loaded with feedback from authors on the subject.

"The Book Review Companion" includes step-by-step instructions for getting and using book reviews including: Proven review strategies applicable to any book, and any author; The ten major sources for reviews, including sixty resources; Amazon review policies demystified and clarified; A complete guide to soliciting and using endorsements and blurbs; Detailed instructions and resources for contacting book bloggers.

Of special note is the inclusion of a special bonus section written specifically for new authors.

Critique: It should be noted that in "The Book Review Companion: An Author's Guide to Getting and Using Book Reviews" the Midwest Book Review is favorably cited and one of its reviewer's has contributed an impressively informative interview on the subject of book reviews.

No matter whether an author that is traditionally published or self-published, "The Book Review Companion" will prove to be an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual that will be an enduringly valued and often referred to resource when authors and novice publishers are creating marketing campaigns for their books -- especially for those working with limited budgets!

Impressively informative, expertly organized and presented, "The Book Review Companion" is unreservedly recommended for author, publisher, and book publicists professional reference collections. While especially commended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, aspiring and even seasoned authors should be aware that "The Book Review Companion" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).


The Christmas Shelf

We Follow the Star
Corinne Seganos and Richard Dillon
www.richarddillonpiano.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $8.91 MP3 amazon.com

We Follow the Star is an album of piano renditions of beloved Christmas carols, as well as two original compositions by pianist Richard Dillon, "A Winter's Night" and "We Follow The Star". Corinne Seganos provides beautiful vocals, and supporting instrumentation includes alto flute, percussion, violin, fretless bass, and more. A rapturous new way to experience timeless musical celebrations of the holiday season, We Follow the Star is highly recommended for personal and public library Christmas music collections. The tracks are "Wexford Carol", " A Winter's Night", "Huron Carol", "We Follow the Star", "Coventry Carol", "Silent Night", "I Saw Three Ships", "What Child Is This?" and "In the Bleak Midwinter".

Santa: My Life & Times
Santa Claus, author
Jared Green, contributor
Bill Sienkiewicz, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787732223, $24.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Beautifully illustrated by comic book legend, Bill Sienkiewicz. "Santa: My Life & Times" is official autobiography of Santa Claus and the perfect Christmas present for all adults in touch with their inner child, as the man himself tells for the first time ever the true story behind the legend that is Santa Claus.

Just imagine what it would be like to sit beside Santa Claus and hear for the first time the true story of his miraculous life as only Santa himself could tell it. Old Kris Kringle tells the story of his life, from his childhood to the workings of his toyshop, and on the mysteries of his Christmas Eve flight, in an illustrated Christmas keepsake specifically designed for families to read aloud.

Critique: Beautifully and energetically illustrated throughout, (and of special note is the inclusion of an original poem by Santa himself!), "Santa: My Life & Times" is an extraordinarily informative and inherently fascinating memoir that is unreservedly recommended for family and community library Christmas holiday season collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Santa: My Life & Times" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Every Knee Shall Bow: A Christmas Collection
Gaye Frances Willard
Fairgrove Publishers
9780988252844, $16.95, HC, 44pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Every Knee Shall Bow - A Christmas Collection", artist Gaye Frances Willard shares the 'why' for each of the eight elegant paintings in her Christmas series. Within these pages readers will learn the inspiring story behind the creation of each truly memorable image. More than just seasonal images, they are an artistic representation of the timeless truth of scripture. Through the paintings and the words you will be encouraged to celebrate the Christ of Christmas "with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind".

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, Gaye Frances Willard's "Every Knee Shall Bow: A Christmas Collection" is a unique and extraordinary volume of art and commentary that is unreservedly recommended for personal, family, church, seminary, and community library collection.

Christmas in Winter Hill
Melody Carlson
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800736101, $16.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.

As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn't always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, "Where's the snow?" Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista's Christmas spirit before the big day?

Critique: A deftly crafted and wonderfully holiday season appropriate novel from a gifted storyteller, "Christmas in Winter Hill" by Melody Carlson will prove to be an enduringly appreciated addition to any and all community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Christmas in Winter Hill" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.44) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974970742, $29.99, CD).


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Lost Connections
Johann Hari
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781632868305 $28.00 hc
9781632868312 $18.00 pbk / $10.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: There was a mystery haunting award-winning investigative journalist Johann Hari. He was thirty-nine years old, and almost every year he had been alive, depression and anxiety had increased in Britain and across the Western world. Why?

He had a very personal reason to ask this question. When he was a teenager, he had gone to his doctor and explained that he felt like pain was leaking out of him, and he couldn't control it or understand it. Some of the solutions his doctor offered had given him some relief-but he remained in deep pain.

So, as an adult, he went on a forty-thousand-mile journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety-and that this knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.

Critique: Lost Connections: Why You're Depressed and How to Find Hope offers a stark new way to understand depression and anxiety. Chapters delve into how disconnections from important things can induce misery: disconnection from meaningful work, other people, meaningful values, childhood trauma, status/respect, the natural world, or a secure future are all potential magnifiers of anxiety and depression. Lost Connection does not dismiss or ignore what modern medicine has to say about neurochemical balance, but rather offers additional perspective on mental health factors that are not so easily addressed with the right pill. Lost Connections is a welcome contribution to both personal and public library mental health collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Lost connections is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide
Robb Pearlman
Running Press
www.runningpress.com
9780762495771 $16.00 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: A fully illustrated guide that bridges the nexus between stasis and health, Star Trek: Body by Starfleet provides real, practical, and fun exercises for Star Trek fans of all ages and physical abilities so that they may boldly live long and prosper.

Drawing from the most celebrated and iconic elements of over 50 years of Star Trek, Body by Starfleet will provide any pop-culture (or junk-food) junkie a fun and healthy way to engage their warp core and get moving. Whether you view the gym as an impenetrable final frontier or regularly bench press boulders like a Gorn, these simple, easy-to-follow instructions -- created in consultation with a certified fitness trainer -- is for readers of all ages and fitness levels to navigate through a series of enterprising exercises.

Everyone, from an ensign in the Command Training Program to an admiral who's voyaged through every quadrant, will benefit from the more than 30 exercises featuring Klingon Tribble Twists, Chekov's Cossack Squats, Jefferies Tube Climbers, and Wesley Crunchers. All of the exercises in Body by Starfleet are designed for standard gravity so they can be performed with little to no equipment everywhere from living rooms to gyms to holodecks. Also included is a section covering nutrition so readers can program their replicators to eat better and cleaner, a workout log for recording activities and progress, and special exercises aimed toward non-humanoid species including Horta and Medusans.

Critique: Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide is a physical fitness workout guide created especially for Star Trek fans of all ages. Colorful illustrations of famous Starfleet members demonstrate practical body exercises for improving flexibility, building strength, raising one's heart rate, and more. The tongue-in-cheek text never lets up on the Star Trek references, while clearly and succinctly describing the actions. Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide is a choice pick for spicing up one's fitness regimen, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Body by Starfleet is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Chasing the Invisible
Thomas Grogan
Koehler Books
210 - 60th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781633939431, $32.95, HC, 212pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Chasing the Invisible: A Doctor's Quest to Abolish the Last Unseen Cancer Cell" by Dr. Tom Grogan deftly combines the suspense of a spy novel with the education and scientific insight of a medical mystery thriller, all wrapped in a dramatic business story. In addition to revealing the detective work of medicine and its impact on physicians and patients, Dr. Grogan reveals a colorful cast of Wall Street investment bankers, venture capitalists and the titans of a giant multinational company out to acquire the missing puzzle piece necessary to ensure the next phase of life-saving innovation.

Dr. Grogan navigated his way through all those worlds to fulfill his vision. He ultimately transformed his classic biomedical start-up company (born as a diagram on a piece of paper and a jerry-rigged prototype built in his garage) into a successful multi-billion-dollar worldwide enterprise, following its acquisition by a Swiss pharmaceutical giant. Today his invention of an automated cancer diagnostics device that helps personalize the detection of cancer and enables doctors to treat it more effectively is transforming medical practice throughout the world.

Whether interested in learning about science and medicine, or about entrepreneurship and how to create an exciting and dynamic leadership culture, or even if just looking for a good read with wit and humor, "Chasing the Invisible" will prove to be a rewarding and inherently fascinating read from cover to cover.

Critique: Showcasing a unique and extraordinary quest that combined ground breaking medical research with an entrepreneurial ambition, "Chasing the Invisible: A Doctor's Quest to Abolish the Last Unseen Cancer Cell" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Health & Medicine collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Chasing the Invisible" is also available in a paperback edition (9781633939417, $24.95).


The Business Shelf

Reinventing the Organization
Arthur Yeung & Dave Ulrich
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781633697706, $32.00, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The in today's global economy, it could well be argued that the traditional corporate hierarchy is obsolete, but what replaces it? Numerous new models (the agile organization, the networked organization, and holacracy, to name a few) have emerged, but leaders need to know what really works. How do you build an organization that is responsive to fast-changing markets? What kind of organization delivers both speed and scale, and how do you lead it?

In the pages of "Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets", Arthur Yeung and Dave Ulrich effectively collaborate to provide leaders with a much-needed blueprint for reinventing the organization. Based on their in-depth research at leading Chinese, US, and European firms such as Alibaba, Amazon, DiDi, Facebook, Google, Huawei, Supercell, and Tencent, and drawing from their synthesis of the latest organization research and practice, Yeung and Ulrich explain how to build a new kind of organization (a "market-oriented ecosystem") that responds to changing market opportunities with speed and scale.

While other books address individual pieces of the puzzle, "Reinventing the Organization" offers corporate executives a practical, integrated, six-step framework and looks at all the decisions leaders need to make (choosing the right strategies, capabilities, structure, culture, management tools, and leadership) to deliver radically greater value in fast-moving markets.

For any leader eager to build a stronger, more responsive organization and for all those in HR, organizational development, and consulting who will shape and deliver it, "Reinventing The Organization" provides a much-needed roadmap for re-invention.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of fourteen pages of Notes, and a twenty- four page Index, "Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets" should be considered as an essential, core addition to community, corporate, and academic library Contemporary Business Management collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Reinventing the Organization" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.27).

Editorial Note: Arthur Yeung is a Senior Management Adviser at Tencent Group, where he leads and facilitates organizational innovation and leadership development. Previously, he was the Philips Chair Professor of Human Resource Management at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and taught regularly in executive programs in association with Harvard, INSEAD, and the University of Michigan. He also served previously as Chief Human Resources Officer of Acer Group. His website is www.ceibs.edu

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and a partner at RBL Group (rbl.net), a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over thirty books and two hundred articles and book chapters. He has worked with over half of the Fortune 200; has numerous lifetime achievement awards for organization, leadership, and HR work; and is listed in the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame. His website is www.daveulrich.com

The Global PR Revolution
Maxim Behar
Allworth Press
www.allworth.com
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781621537151, $29.99, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Public Relations (PR) is everything and everywhere in our capitalist society and culture. Because of our evolving communication technologies, now more than ever, managing social media is a nuanced and dynamic field that requires the sophisticated touch of a trained professional. What was effective ten or even five years ago is no longer relevant.

In "The Global PR Revolution: How Thought Leaders Succeed in the Transformed World of PR", public relations expert Maxim Behar shows readers how to master current approaches, create content that meets a client's needs, and evolve with ever-changing trends. Complete with insights from over seventy PR leaders worldwide, this authoritative guide discusses such topics as: The New Rules of Social Media; How to Speak the Language of PR; Modern PR Skills and Tools; How to Measure Impact; The Effect of Total Transparency on Businesses; International Perspectives on the Media; The Future of the Industry.

Behar's knowledge, experience, and down-to-earth writing will keep readers engrossed while refining their understanding of public relations. By the time they finish, they'll be well on their way to becoming their own expert in the field of public relations.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook for college and university Business Management courses, "The Global PR Revolution: How Thought Leaders Succeed in the Transformed World of PR" is extraordinarily well written, organized and presented. While unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists for aspiring or practicing PR professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Global PR Revolution" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Maxim Behar is a globally renowned public relations expert, entrepreneur, writer, and Harvard Kennedy School graduate. He is the founder and CEO of M3 Communications Group, Inc. He is the past president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and is currently a member of the executive committee. He has been awarded many titles, among them Global Chairman of the Year by the International Business Stevie Awards and Communicator of the Decade by the Association of Business Communicators of India

Buddha's Office
Dan Zigmond
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
www.runningpress.com
9780762494583, $18.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Without setting foot in an office, Buddha knew that helping people work right was essential to helping them find their path to awakening. Too many of us are working long hours, dealing with difficult bosses, high-maintenance coworkers, and non-stop stress. Now more than ever, we need Buddha's guidance. We need someone to help remind us that there is a better way. With Buddha's wisdom at the core of every chapter, "Buddha's Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well" by Dan Zigmond will help you learn how to stop taking shortcuts and pay more attention, care for yourself and others, deal with distractions, and incorporate Buddha's ageless instructions into our modern working life.

Critique: "Buddha's Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well" combines Buddhist principles with business management advice. The result is an inherently fascinating, impressively informative, exceptionally practical, and thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of insight, advice and inspiration for improving our professional and personal lives with respect to whatever form of workplace that employs us. While unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Business Management & Self-Help collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Buddha's Office" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549129407, $35.00, CD).

Editorial Note: Dan Zigmond is a writer, data scientist, and Zen priest. As a former executive at Instagram, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, he was named one of the "20 Business Geniuses You Need to Know" by Wired magazine. He is also the co-author of Buddha's Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends
Jody Houser, et al.
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785866920, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When accused of stealing the precious Gem of Niag, the Doctor and companions go in search of the true culprit. They soon find themselves entangled with an old friend of the Doctor's - a rogue female Time Lord called the Corsair! Styled like a daring adventurer, with a pirate ship-Tardis to boot, the Corsair leads the gang on a rescue mission that seems dubiously like a heist. The Corsair was a character originally created for the TV series by Neil Gaiman and was the first example of a Time Lord regeneration that changed their sex as well as the appearance. "Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends" is her first ever appearance in the Doctor Who graphic novel series!

Critique: A superbly scripted and expertly illustrated addition to the growing canon of Doctor Who stories, "Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends" is a whole lot of fun and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Doctor Who fans that "Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $10.99).

The Ultimate Sky Doll
Alessandro Barbucci, author
Barbara Canepa, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785869815, $49.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In a parallel universe, the existence of a sweet life like android called Noa, a Sky Doll, (artificial beings without rights and created to serve the state's desires), has been turned upside down. After being rescued by two "missionaries", fleeing her tyrannical creator and life of servitude to the far reaches of the galaxy. Noa comes to realize she may be more than a simple android as she becomes embroiled in the middle of two opposing ideologies.

Critique: Collecting together all four Sky Doll books into one single coffee-table style volume and having it translated into English for the very first time, "The Ultimate Sky Doll" is an inherently fascinating and original science fiction graphic novel by the team author Alessandro Barbucci and illustrator Barbara Canepa that is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated science fiction fans, and is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections.

Cromwell Stone
Andreas author/illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785868887, $29.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Cromwell Stone is one of thirteen men who lived though a mysterious sea voyage. Now his fellow survivors are disappearing in unusual and unnerving ways. He sets out to solve the mystery, and finds himself caught up in a much bigger and stranger story.

Critique: Featuring exquisitely executive black-and-white artwork throughout, "Cromwell Stone' is a simply riveting read from first page to last. While very highly recommended for community library Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cromwell Stone" is also available in a unique board book edition ($23.44).

Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha
Simon Kansara, author
Horne, illustrator
Simon Champelovier, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785864049, $16.99, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha" is based on the hit-video game and is the story of a young hacker in Rio makes her stand against the corruption in her home and which had resulted in the death of her parents and the loss of her younger brother to a shootout between the cops and a drug gang. Sauda, a young hacker from the Rochinha favela in Rio, returns years later to the neighborhood she grew up in to discover her little brother had survived and fallen under the influence of the local gang -- the same one that has killed his parents. Determined to bring him out, Sauda discovers that drug trafficking is just the tip of the iceberg for the corruption consuming her hometown and that it had a corporate overlord pulling all the strings.

Critique: A thoroughly reader engaging story with all manner of unexpected plot twists and turns, "Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha" is a deftly scripted and nicely illustrated graphic novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXlogy, $8.25).

The Pollen of Monte Urticando
Franquin Batem, author
Yann, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184588, $11.95, PB, 48pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Deep inside the Palombian jungle lays Monte Urticando, and ancient, nigh inaccessible volcano where millennia old cactuses grow. Every 15 years they flower, and the pollen temporarily drives away most of the dangerous predators. For the Marsupilamis, though, it's also the signal for a strange and cruel tradition: it's time for the young Marsus to learn how to fend for themselves, away from the protection of their parents. Will they learn to work together to survive?

Critique: The fourth volume in the Marsupilami graphic novel series by the team of author Franquin Batem and artist/illustrator Yann, "The Pollen of Monte Urticando " is their best work yet and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Graphic Novel collections for readers of all ages. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "The Pollen of Monte Urticando" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $5.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

JAY-Z: Made in America
Michael Eric Dyson
Read by the author
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250750228 $29.99 amazon.com

Synopsis: JAY-Z: Made in America is the fruit of Michael Eric Dyson's decade of teaching the work of one of the greatest poets this nation has produced, as gifted a wordsmith as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he's sometimes not given the credit he deserves for just how great an artist he's been for so long.

This book wrestles with the biggest themes of JAY-Z's career, including hustling, and it recognizes the way that he's always weaved politics into his music, making important statements about race, criminal justice, black wealth and social injustice. As he enters his fifties, and to mark his thirty years as a recording artist, this is the perfect time to take a look at JAY-Z's career and his role in making this nation what it is today.

In many ways, this is JAY-Z's America as much as it's Pelosi's America, or Trump's America, or Martin Luther King's America. JAY-Z has given this country a language to think with and words to live by.

Critique: Michael Eric Dyson (University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University) presents JAY-Z: Made in America, a career-focused biography of raper, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and record executive JAY-Z (a.k.a. Shawn Corey Carter, b. 1969). Available as an unabridged audiobook smoothly read by the author, JAY-Z: Made in America examines not only JAY-Z's work in music, but also his influence in American society and culture, since many of his songs were and are politically charged. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, JAY-Z: Made in America is a welcome contribution to public library audiobook collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that JAY-Z: Made in America is also available in print from St. Martin's Press (9781250230966, $25.99) and in a Kindle edition ($13.99). 5 CDs, 5.5 hours. Disc 5 includes a bonus PDF.


The Music CD Shelf

At the End of the River
The Revelers
www.revelersband.com
Privately Published
$14.98 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com

Grammy-nominated music artists The Revelers present At the End of the River, a Cajun music album brimming with lively, exciting songs reflecting the spirit of the dance floor. A jubilant celebration of Cajun cultural heritage, At the End of the River is invigorating, refreshing, and highly recommended. The tracks are "Au bout de la riviere (At the End of the River)", "Please Please, Like We Did Last Summer", "Les blues a Blake (Blake's Blues)", "Who Who, Yea You", "She's A Woman", "I Wouldn't Do That to You", "Pendant je suis loin de toi (While I Am Far From You)", "You're Not To Blame", "Bonsoir, petit monde (Goodnight, Little World)", "Southside Stomp", and "La bague diamante (The Diamond Ring)".

Dead Air
Marconi Union
Privately Published
$12.69 CD / $6.93 MP3 amazon.com

Ambient/electronic-synth performers Marconi Union present Dead Air, their tenth studio album. An instrumental work that draws upon electronica, dub, minimalist, avant-jazz, and ambient music traditions, Dead Air is intensely rhythmic, vibrantly original, passionately performed, and highly recommended. The tracks are "A.M.I.D.", "Mossfield", "Imbalance", "Permafrost", "Fractured", "Dead Air", and "Burned".

Within Us All
Monica Williams
Heart Dance Records
www.heartdancerecords.com
$13.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Award-winning music artist Monica Williams presents Within Us All, an album of beautiful, relaxing world flute music. A variety of guest musicians contribute to this peaceful, empowering album of original songs bringing a warm message of self-respect, happiness, and compassion. Supportive, emotional, and uplifting, Within Us All is highly recommended and also makes an excellent gift. The tracks are "You are Compassionate", "You are Forgiving", "You are Memorable", "You are Happiness", "You are Adventure", "You are Free as a Child", "You are Resilience", "You are Integrity", "You are Not Alone", and "You are Enough". 47 min., 45 sec.

Sempre: A New Dimension
Ian Maksin
ianmaksin.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $8.91 MP3 amazon.com

Cellist, composer, and multi-lingual vocalist Ian Maksin presents Sempre: A New Dimension, and original album of cello music drawing inspiration from Renaissance and Baroque classics, the works of contemporary music artists, historic landmarks, and the depths of human emotion. Sempre: A New Dimension is an extraordinary work with a profound message of love, healing, and wholeness, highly recommended. The tracks are "Sempre", "Blues au Jardin du Luxembourg", "Vancouver Rain", "Summer Garden Waltz", "Respiro", "Lacrimae Novae", "Per Me, Per Te...", "Sunset on the Cascade", and "Brand New Page".


The DVD Shelf

Tai Chi Fit: Over 50 Balance Exercises
David-Dorian Ross
YMAA Publications
www.ymaa.com
9781594396748 $29.95

World-class Tai Chi expert David-Dorian Ross presents Tai Chi Fit: Over 50 Balance Exercises, a DVD that guides the viewer in a simple tai chi lesson, shown in a mirror-view format. No memorization and no prior knowledge of Tai Chi are required; one can just follow along with the movements to enjoy a low-impact fitness routine with emphasis on improving balance. Tai Chi Fit: Over 50 Balance Exercises is ideal for senior citizens, as a useful resource to reduce the risk of falls, but completely open to Tai Chi novices of all ages and backgrounds. Highly recommended! 35 min.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Siege of Troy
Theodor Kallifatides
Other Press
267 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016
www.otherpress.com
9781590519714, $14.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bombs fall over a Greek village during World War II, and a teacher takes her students to a cave for shelter. There she tells them about another war -- when the Greeks besieged Troy.

Day after day, she recounts how the Greeks suffer from thirst, heat, and homesickness, and how the opponents meet -- army against army, man against man. Helmets are cleaved, heads fly, blood flows. And everything had begun when Prince Paris of Troy fell in love with King Menelaus of Sparta's wife, the beautiful Helen, and escaped with her to his homeland. Now Helen stands atop the city walls to witness the horrors set in motion by her flight. When her current and former loves face each other in battle, she knows that, whatever happens, she will be losing.

In his novel, "The Siege of Troy", author Theodor Kallifatides provides remarkable psychological insight in his version of The Iliad, downplaying the role of the gods and delving into the mindsets of its mortal heroes. Homer's epic comes to life with a renewed urgency that allows us to experience events as though firsthand, and reveals timeless truths about the senselessness of war and what it means to be human.

Critique: A superbly crafted work of literature from first page to last, "The Siege of Troy" is an inherently compelling novel by an author with a genuine flair for reader engaging narrative storytelling. While unreservedly and especially recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Siege of Troy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982664237, $69.00, CD).

Time for Bed: Stories
Wendy Rawlings
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
http://lsupress.org
9780807171516, $24.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bed is where we sleep and dream, where we make love and give ourselves nightmares. The thirteen stories comprising author Wendy Rawlings's short story anthology "Time for Bed: Stories" traverses the complicated terrain of bedtime activity, from adulterous couplings to nightmares that come to life, in terms that can feel lurid, unsettling, or disturbingly funny.

A college student struggles with her mother leaving her father for a "cafeteria lady" at her high school. A woman loses her only daughter in a mass school shooting and goes on a road trip to buy a custom coffin, then decides to take a side trip to NRA headquarters. A daughter decides she should be born again -- literally. Social, cultural, and familial disruptions haunt these characters in their waking lives as they look to grab something or someone for stability.

A collection of comic stories that confront difficult and tragic events, Time for Bed crafts dreamscapes and bizarre encounters into bedtime stories for adults.

Critique: An inherently engaging anthology showcases author Wendy Rawlings as a master of the short story format, "Time for Bed: Stories" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Time for Bed: Stories" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.72).

Editorial Note: Wendy Rawlings is also the author of Come Back Irish, winner of the 2000 Sandstone Prize for Short Fiction, and The Agnostics, winner of the Michigan Literary Fiction Award. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Kenyon Review, the Cincinnati Review, Tin House, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo -- and teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama.

Deadly Deceit
Natalie Walters
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800737122, $29.99, HC, 338pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason -- to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth (and the next big story) is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes, and Vivian finds herself fighting for not only answers but also her life. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called The Watcher force Vivian to confront the secret of her past and decide: How much is she willing to risk for the sake of a headline?

Critique: Another deftly scripted and cliff hanger of a read by an experience author with a genuine flair for originality, "Deadly Deceit" is one of author Natalie Walters' best novels yet and is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of Natalie Walters fans that "Deadly Deceit" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800735333, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Third Daughter
Talia Carner
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062896889, $16.99, PB, 432pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside, fleeing with her family from endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy life and passage to America.

Feeling like a princess in a fairytale, Batya leaves her old life behind as she is whisked away to a new world. But soon she discovers that she's entered a waking nightmare. Her new "husband" does indeed bring her to America: Buenos Aires, a vibrant, growing city in which prostitution is not only legal but deeply embedded in the culture. And now Batya is one of thousands of women tricked and sold into a brothel.

As the years pass, Batya forms deep bonds with her "sisters" in the house as well as some men who are both kind and cruel. Through it all, she holds onto one dream: to bring her family to America, where they will be safe from the anti-Semitism that plagues Russia. Just as Batya is becoming a known tango dancer, she gets an unexpected but dangerous opportunity to help bring down the criminal network that has enslaved so many young women and has been instrumental in developing Buenos Aires into a major metropolis.

"The Third Daughter" is a powerful story of finding courage in the face of danger, and hope in the face of despair during a dark period of Jewish history and gives a voice to victims whose truth deserves to finally be told.

Critique: Deftly written, "The Third Daughter" is an impressive and inherently riveting read from first page to last. Showcasing author Talia Carner's particular flair for originality, attention to historical detail, and distinctive narrative storytelling style, "The Third Daughter" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Third Daughter" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982688806, $39.99, MP3 CD).

Honey
Brenda Brooks
ECW Press
www.ecwpress.com
9781770414976, $15.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When 24-year-old Nicole Hewett's beloved childhood friend, Honey, returns to their small northern town after an unexplained six-year absence, Nicole realizes how her life had stalled without her. But the prodigal returns with troubling secrets, and before long Nicole is drawn into a high-stakes game. Honey is a thrilling, sensuous modern noir novel with a classic refrain: nothing is more dangerous than love.

Critique: Showcasing author Brenda Brooks as a particularly gifted novelist, "Honey" is unreservedly endorsed and recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Honey" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Death and the Seaside
Alison Moore
Biblioasis
www.biblioasis.com
9781771962759, $14.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Nearing thirty, with an abandoned degree and half-hearted dreams of becoming a writer, Bonnie Falls finally moves out of her parents' home and into a shabby flat. When her enigmatic landlady takes an interest in her (and one of her unfinished stories) Bonnie's aspirations to be a writer are rekindled, and she's quickly persuaded by the older woman's suggestion that they go on holiday to a seaside town like the one in the story.

Critique: An intense and deftly scripted exploration of power and vulnerability, obsession and manipulation, "Death and the Seaside" showcases author Alison Moore's genuine flair for original and impressive storytelling skills for producing gripping psychological novel that will hold the reader's attention from first page to last. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Death and the Seaside" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543623468, $9.99, MP3 CD).

The Chosen One
Walt Gragg
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9781984806338, $17.00, PB, 512pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Two months ago, a new leader arose in the Islamic world, the Mahdi who is known (as his dedicated followers call him) as the Chosen One. He has rallied fundamentalist Muslim forces across the Middle East who have driven deep into Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Standing against them is an allied force made up primarily of the American military who are called upon to prevent that part of the world from going up in flames.

Critique: A riveting and deftly crafted military action/adventure saga of a fundamentalist Islamic army that is once again is on the march in the Middle East, "The Chosen One" by Walt Gragg, an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of reader compelling narrative storytelling style is especially recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Chosen One" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas
Soraya Lane
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250224286, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Cody Ford is a Wall Street honcho with humble Texas roots. This holiday season, he'd be content to just stay in New York and not face his family -- and dodge their questions about when and with whom he plans to settle down. But his father isn't getting any younger, and Cody doesn't want to miss any last chances to see him and the rest of the folks back on the ranch. The last person Cody was expecting to see? His one-time girlfriend, Lexi Murphy, who's been working as his dad's new live-in nurse.

She never forgot him. Can she ever forgive him? Lexi still holds a grudge against Cody. Back then, the college-bound heartthrob believed he was too good for a small-town girl like Lexi. But now Cody can't help but see her in a whole new light. Could it be that this beautiful single mother with an unbeatable can-do spirit is the one he's been waiting for all along? That depends on whether Cody can prove to Lexi that, this time, he means business -- and if a sudden snowstorm can lend just the right amount of Christmas magic to help move things along.

Critique: The latest 'River Ranch' novels by author Soraya Lane, "Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas" is a wonderfully well crafted and entertaining read from first page to last. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance novel fans that "Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781515931003, $29.99, CD).

A Cowboy Like You
Donna Grant
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250250049, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job -- and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn't gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny's heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home -- where it all began for her. But that's what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever.

But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar's wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

Critique: A riveting romance by a total master of the genre, "A Cowboy Like You" is the latest Heart of Texas novel by Donna Grant and one that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Donna Grant fans that "A Cowboy Like You" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Reputation
Sara Shepard
Dutton
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10014-3657
www.us.penguingroup.com
9781524742904, $16.00, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people's e-mails (from the entire faculty, staff, students, alums) onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning's handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered.

Kit's sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn't right about the night Greg was killed, and she's determined to find the truth. What she doesn't expect is that everyone has something to hide.

And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Critique: Showing she has also mastered the mystery/suspense genre with the publication of "Reputation", the Sara Shepard (the author of the Pretty Little Liars series, The Lying Game, The Heiresses, The Elizas, and The Perfectionists), has provided her legions of fans with still another deftly crafted and inherently riveting read. While especially recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Reputation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Preserve
Steve Anderson
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510742093, $25.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In 1948 Hawaii, troubled WWII hero turned deserter Wendell Lett desperately seeks a cure to his severe combat trauma, and The Preserve seems to be his salvation. Run by Lansdale, a mysterious intelligence officer, and Lett's ambitious wartime XO Charlie Selfer, the secretive training camp promises relief from the terrors in his mind. Together with Kanani Alana, a tough-minded Hawaiian also looking for a new start at The Preserve, Lett begins to feel hopeful.

All illusions are shattered, though, when Lett discovers The Preserve's true intentions -- to rebuild him into a cold-blooded assassin. The deadly conspiracy runs deep, all the way to General Douglas MacArthur, and his refusal to cooperate is met with merciless punishment. His only hope is Kanani and her dangerous escape plan that would grant freedom from The Preserve -- if he can hide while surviving the harsh wilderness of the Big Island.

Critique: Although a work of fiction, "The Preserve" by Steve Anderson is based on true events. A fast-paced historical thriller that will linger in the mind and memory long after the novel is finished and set back upon the shelf, "The Preserve" is an especially recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Preserve" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

The Devil Close Behind
Janet Dawson
Perseverance Press
c/o Daniel & Daniel, Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
www.danielpublishing.com
9781564746061, $15.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Private investigator Jeri Howard is on vacation in New Orleans when a friend asks a favor: her sister Laurette has disappeared with a boyfriend, and Jeri's trip turns into a case. Slade, a mercurial musician, tends to strike out when thwarted, sometimes leading to deadly consequences. Jeri's investigation takes her from French Quarter clubs to workaday NOLA, then back to California, into jeopardy -- and an explosive conclusion!

Critique: A ripping and gripping novel of mystery and suspense from beginning to end, "The Devil Close Behind" showcases author Janet Dawson's skill set as a writer in general, and master of the genre in particular. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery suspense thriller fans that "The Devil Close Behind" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Death is a Private Eye
Gil Brewer, author
David Rachels, editor
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
www.starkhousepress.com
9781944520779, $17.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Ably compiled and edited by David Rachels, "Death is a Private Eye" is comprised of the short story mysteries of the late Gil Brewer (November 20, 1922 - January 9, 1983). As Rachels writes in his informative introduction -- "The reason these stories are being published only now, rather than 40 or more years ago when they were first written, is that Gil Brewer's markets have come back to him. Brewer published his first great noir story in 1955, and he kept writing great noir stories for more than 20 years, long after there were magazines eager to buy them. . . . Now, in 2019, with Brewer's reputation as an important figure in 20th-century American crime writing continuing to grow, the time has come for his later short stories finally to find their audience."

Critique: While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, and as an absolute 'must read' for the legions of dedicated mystery fans in general, and pulp fiction style private eye devotees in particular, "Death is a Private Eye" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Lost Tomorrows
Matt Coyle
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608092451, $16.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A phone call thrusts Rick Cahill's past and all its tragic consequences into his present. Krista Landingham, his former partner on the Santa Barbara Police Department, is dead. When Rick goes to the funeral in the city where his wife was murdered and where he is seen as guilty for her death in the eyes of the police, he discovers that Krista's death may not have been a tragic accident, but murder.

Hired by Krista's sister, Leah, to investigate, Rick follows clues that lead him to the truth, not only about Krista's death, but about the tragedy that ruined his life. Along the way, Leah shows him that his life can be salvaged and he can feel love again if he can just move beyond his past. But the past is Rick's present and will always be until he rights his one great wrong.

In the end, Rick is left with a decision that forces him to confront the horrific actions he'll need to take to exact revenge and achieve redemption.

Critique: Another riveting good suspense thriller of a novel by author Matt Coyle, "Lost Tomorrow" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all mystery buffs and the growing legion of Matt Coyle fans that this latest Rick Chaill novel is also available in a paperback edition (9781608093632, $16.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Relentless
Shawn Wilson
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608093700, $26.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Cherry blossom season is Washington, D.C.'s most beautiful time of the year. But as tourists flock to the city, this year's festivities are marred by the discovery of the naked body of a young woman floating in the Tidal Basin. Veteran homicide detective Brian (Brick) Kavanagh is assigned to the case. He's shocked when he learns the victim is connected to another homicide which makes the investigation very personal for him. Brick's efforts to solve the case are thwarted by departmental politics and a rush to judgment. Convinced that justice has not been served and the wrong person is in jail, Kavanagh risks all to relentlessly pursue the truth. Overlooked evidence ultimately leads to a devastating conclusion in a heartbreaking case.

Critique: A riveting police procedural style mystery by an author with a particularly deft touch as a storyteller, "Relentless" by Shawn Wilson will prove to be an impressively popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Relentless" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Tracking Game: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643851358, $26.99, HC, 282pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: An explosion outside a community dance sends Mattie Cobb and Cole Walker reeling into the night, where they discover a burning van and beside it the body of outfitter Nate Fletcher. But the explosion didn't kill Nate -- it was two gunshots to the heart.

The investigation leads them to the home of rancher Doyle Redman, whose daughter is Nate's widow, and the object of one of their suspect's affection. But before they can make an arrest, they receive an emergency call from a man who's been shot in the mountains. Mattie and Robo rush to the scene, only to be confronted by the ominous growl of a wild predator.

As new players emerge on the scene, Mattie begins to understand the true danger that's enveloping Timber Creek. They journey into the cold, misty mountains to track the animal -- but discover something even more deadly!

Critique: "Tracking Game" is the fifth installment in Margaret Mizushima's deftly crafted Timber Creek K-9 mystery series. An inherently fascinating 'whodunnit' style mystery novel, "Tracking Game" is a riveting read from cover to cover and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Margaret Mizushima fans and all dedicated mystery buffs that "Tracking Game" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Body on the Train
Frances Brody
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643851600, $26.99, HC, 329pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: London, 1929. In the darkness before dawn, a railway porter, unloading a special train from Yorkshire, discovers a man's body, shot and placed in a sack. There are no means of identification to be found and as Scotland Yard hits a dead end, they call on the inimitable Kate Shackleton, a local sleuth, confident her local knowledge and investigative skills will produce results. But it's no easy task.

Suspicion of political intrigue and fears of unrest in the Yorkshire coalfields, impose secrecy on her already difficult task. The murder of a shopkeeper, around the same time, seems too much of a coincidence. The convicted felon was found with blood on his hands, but it's too tidy and Kate becomes convinced the police have the wrong man.

By then it's too late. Kate finds herself in a den of vipers. The real killer is still at large, and having tinkered with Kate's car, nearly causes her to crash. Not only that, but Scotland Yard has turned their back on her. As Kate edges toward the shocking truth, she's going to need all the strength and resourcefulness she can muster to uncover this sinister web of deceit.

Critique: Another deftly written and simply riveting read from the pen of a master of the genre, Frances Brody's "The Body on the Train" is the latest Kate Shackelton mystery novel and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and the growing legion of Frances Brody fans that "The Body on the Train" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Verse and Vengeance
Amanda Flower
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643851518, $26.99, HC, 307pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A bicycle race is not Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly's idea of a pleasant pastime. But police chief David Rainwater wants them to enter the Tour de Cascade as a couple, so she reluctantly consents.

The Tour de Cascade is the brainchild of Violet's Grandma Daisy. The race is a fundraiser to build the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum. But not everyone in this Niagara Region village supports the race. As if the bike race weren't tiring enough, pesky private investigator Joel Redding is snooping around Charming Books. It takes all of Violet's and Grandma Daisy's ingenuity to keep Redding from discovering the shop's magical essence -- which communicates with Violet through books.

When Redding perishes in an accident during the race, David discovers that the brake line of the private eye's bike was cut. Worse, Violet tops his list of suspects. As Emerson the tuxedo cat and resident crow Faulkner look on, Charming Books steers Violet to the works of Walt Whitman to solve the crime. But no other names ring a bell as culprits, and as David's investigation picks up speed, Violet will have to get in gear to clear her name.

Critique: A fun, fast paced, and impressively original mystery by one of the very best, "Verse and Vengeance" is the newest addition to author Amanda Flower's simply outstanding 'A Magical Bookshop Mystery' series. While certain to be an immediate and popular attraction for any community library's Mystery/Suspense collection, it should be noted for the growing legion of Amanda Flower fans that "Verse and Vengeance" is also available for their personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Murder at the Opera
D. M. Quincy
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643852355, $26.99, HC, 330pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Amateur sleuth Atlas Catesby is about to discover the dark side of the bright lights. His long-awaited night at the opera with Lady Lilliana ends abruptly when a notorious courtesan is shot to death in London's Covent Garden.

The infamous victim was the mistress of the powerful Marquess of Vessey. Atlas believes that the marquess (his former brother in law) is responsible for the long-ago death of Atlas's sister, Phoebe. Atlas seizes the opportunity to potentially avenge his sister's death. But his inquiry is complicated when Phoebe's grown son implores Atlas to help prove Vessey's innocence.

Plunging into the cutthroat backstage life of the theatre community, the adventurer and the noblewoman soon discover that ruthless professional rivalries can escalate into violence, setting the stage for death in "Murder at the Opera".

Critique: Author D. M. Quincy's third riveting Atlas Catesby mystery set in the Regency England of 1815, "Murder at the Opera" once again showcases this novelist's complete master of the mystery genre with another historical where meticulous attention is routinely paid to even the most smallest of details. While fully endorsed and unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Mystery collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Murder at the Opera" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Minecraft: The End
Catherynne M. Valente
catherynnemvalente.com
Del Rey
c/o Penguin Random House
penguinrandomhouse.com
9780399180729 $17.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: The brand-new official Minecraft novel is an epic battle for survival! When humans enter the End, a pair of endermen must decide which side they're really on.

For as long as they can remember, the twin endermen Fin and Mo have lived in the mysterious land of the End. On the outskirts of the great enderman city of Telos, they explore ancient ruins under the watchful gaze of the mighty ender dragon. They have everything they need in the end ship they call home, and know everything there is to know about their world - or so they think until the strangers from another dimension arrive.

The invaders are called humans, and they've come to steal artifacts and slay the ender dragon. Fin and Mo are ready to protect their home from the trespassers, but when they come face-to-face with the humans, they discover that they aren't as prepared for battle as they'd thought. Caught off guard, the twins are trapped in the middle of a war between the endermen and the humans, with the future of their home at stake.

Critique: An official fantasy novel set in the world of the fantastically popular building-and- survival game Minecraft, Minecraft: The End is primarily set in the area of the game that players only reach when attempting the one of the game's greatest challenges - The End, where the ferocious Enderdragon challenges any player who wishes to "beat the game". The End is also populated by Endermen, who are murderously hostile to any human that looks upon them. But the Endermen see themselves as servants of the Great Chaos, duty-bound to contest Order, by opposing humans (whose tendency to construct buildings establishes them as servants of order) and injecting disorder into human structures (by stealing the occasional block). The End is a beautiful, eerie place where two young Endermen, Fin and Mo, live on their own, apart from and on barely-passable terms with the other Endermen. Sometimes, on special days, the Enderdragon communicates with them. The Enderdragon is definitely not nice, yet they feel an attachment to it... and then one day, a small band of human explorers ventures into The End, with a self- appointed mission to slay the Enderdragon! A vivid, emotional saga with shocking twists and turns, Minecraft: The End is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of the game. Also highly recommended are the previous official Minecraft novels: "Minecraft: The Island" by Max Brooks; "Minecraft: The Crash" by Tracey Baptiste; and "Minecraft: The Lost Journals" by Mur Lafferty. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Minecraft: The End" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Supernova Era
Cixin Liu, author
Joel Martinsen, translator
Tor
www.tor.com
9781250306036 $27.99 hc / $14.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Eight light years away, a star has died, creating a supernova event that showers Earth in deadly levels of radiation. Within a year, everyone over the age of thirteen will die.

And so the countdown begins. Parents apprentice their children and try to pass on the knowledge needed to keep the world running.

But when the world is theirs, the last generation may not want to continue the legacy left to them. And in shaping the future however they want, will the children usher in an era of bright beginnings or final mistakes?

Critique: Supernova Era is a science fiction novel that postulates: what if a disaster were to kill everyone over the age of thirteen? What if the adult generations had only one year to teach the younger generation how to survive before their passing? What type of world would the children create - a dream of impossible brilliance, or a macabre nightmare similar to "Lord of the Flies"? Smoothly and superbly translated into English, Supernova Era is the unforgettable chronicle of the permanent transformation of human culture, riveting to the very last page. Highly recommended, especially for personal and public library science fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Supernova Era is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

Antediluvian
Wil McCarthy
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com
9781481484312, $25.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: What if our legends are older than we think? All the Stone Age has left behind are rocks and bones; all other materials have rotted away, leaving no trace. But what if "cave men" never existed, and the Stone Age was a time of great sophistication still preserved in our oldest stories?

In a brilliant and dangerous brain hacking experiment, Harv Leonel and Tara Mukherjee are about to discover entire lifetimes of human memory coded in our genes, and reveal ancient legends (ranging from knights and trolls, to flood myths, to the birth of humanity itself) that are as real as they are deadly.

Before disaster erased the coastlines and river valleys of the Antediluvian age (i.e. before the Flood) men and women struggled and yearned and innovated in a world of savage contrasts into which Harv and Tara are thrust, unprepared. Will their science be enough to save them?

Critique: A deftly crafted, impressively original, and unique time travel novel that showcases author Wil McCarthy's extraordinary narrative storytelling style, "Antediluvian" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated time travel sciences fiction fans that "Antediluvian" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Recorded Books, B07ZTQPCD4, $24.49, 10 hours 46 minutes).

Hell Divers VI: Allegiance
Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781538557198, $24.99, HC, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After a long and bloody battle, legendary Hell Diver Xavier Rodriguez reigns as the dutiful but reluctant new king of the islands. Advised by a council of former sky citizens as well as Cazadores, he works to assimilate the two societies peacefully. But not all Cazadores have accepted the new order.

While X tries to ease tensions at home, a rookie team of divers, led by Michael Everhart, returns to the skies in Discovery, formerly the ITC Deliverance. Their mission: to locate other human survivors throughout the world and rescue them. But Michael's team aren't the only ones searching for survivors. A gruesome discovery reveals that android defectors continue to hunt humans across the globe. And they may not be the only ones.

In a race against time, the Hell Divers may be the only obstacle to enemies bent on wiping out the final pockets of survivors and extinguishing the human genome forever.

Critique: Another simply riveting read from the imaginative pen of science fiction author Nicholas Sansbury Smith, "Hell Divers VI: Allegiance" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated sci-fi buffs in general, and the growing legions of Nicholas Smith fans in particular, that "Hell Divers VI: Allegiance" is also available in a paperback edition (9781982669867, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.29).


The Christian Studies Shelf

Invitation to Church History: American
John D. Hannah
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825443855, $49.99, HC, 464pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Invitation to Church History: American" by John D. Hannah (who is the Department Chairman and Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary) is specifically designed for both an educated lay audience and for students in introductory college and seminary church history courses. A profusely illustrated and visually stunning textbook, "Invitation to Church History: American" is carefully written for first-time learners as it walks readers through the story of God's people from Christ to the contemporary church around the world.

"Invitation to Church History: American" enhances and facilitates learning through photos that make the material come alive for the reader; diagrams clarify and distill complex concepts and sets of information; and review materials aid the student in processing and retaining the concepts in each chapter.

Readers will gain a clear understanding of the meaning of the gospel, the wonder of divine redemption, and the majesty of God. The story of the church is presented as part of the redemptive history of God and His people. With a conservative, Christ-centered perspective.

Critique: "Invitation to Church History: American" is exceptionally well written, impressively informative, deftly organized and accessible presented, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended curriculum textbook for study groups, seminary students, clergy, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Divine Humility
Matthew A. Wilcoxen
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363. Waco, TX 76798-7363
www.baylorpress.com
9781481309981, $39.95, HC, 237pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Matthew A. Wilcoxen, Ph.D., is an Anglican priest and systematic theologian. He is the Associate Rector at Church of the Resurrection in Washington, D.C., and the founder of The Augustine Center in Georgetown.

In "Divine Humility: God's Morally Perfect Being" Wilcoxen first examines how to refer properly to God's being. Contending with those who say that human concepts cannot communicate God's being at all, Wilcoxen articulates an account of theological concepts that holds together simultaneously both God's objectivity (that he is "for us") and God's subjectivity -- that he remains yet totally free.

Wilcoxen also argues that the concept best positioned to achieve this objective is humility, which, in the Christian tradition, has been considered the paragon of virtues and should thus fittingly be attributed to God's character.

Wilcoxen next explores divine humility through the work of three different theologians -- Augustine, Karl Barth, and Katherine Sonderegger. Augustine, Wilcoxen argues, ascribes humility to God in a tantalizing way, but fails to explain further its doctrinal implications. Karl Barth articulates a more developed doctrine of divine humility by linking God's divine being to his redemptive work. But Barth's account ultimately suffers because it flatly equates humility with obedience and divides the divine will into the separate entities of the Father and the Son. It is the recent work of Katherine Sonderegger that best articulates an account of divine humility that carries forward Augustine's mantle and overcomes the problems in Barth's account. By connecting God's humility to divine energy, Sonderegger shows how God can be near to creation without overwhelming it.

Ultimately, Wilcoxen contends that humility's importance as a divine attribute indicates that it should be fully considered in any Christian doctrine of God. Divine Humility serves as an important reminder to Christians that God can be near to creation without overwhelming it.

Critique: Enhanced for seminary students and academia with the inclusion of an eight page Bibliography, twenty-six pages of Notes, and a four page Index of Names and Subjects, "Divine Humility: God's Morally Perfect Being" is a meticulous work of theological scholarship that is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. An ideal and core addition to church, seminary, community, college, and university library Contemporary Christian Theology collections and supplemental studies reading lists, "Divine Humility" is unreservedly recommended for students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Armchair Mystic
Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J.
Franciscan Media
https://info.franciscanmedia.org
9781632532886, $16.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Taking a decidedly accessible non-specialist general reader approach, in "Armchair Mystic: How Contemplative Prayer Can Lead You Closer to God" spiritual director, retreat director, high school teacher, and a Jesuit priest, Mark E. Thibodeaux (who holds a Master of Divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts) deftly blends theory and practice, gently and concretely taking the reader through the first steps of contemplative prayer.

"Armchair Mystic" begins with the necessary details of time and place to pray, then presents the maturation of the prayer life in four stages: Talking at God, Talking to God, Listening to God, and Being with God. Step-by-step exercises throughout "Armchair Mystic" provide concrete examples of how to use the concepts discussed. "Armchair Mystic" will prove invaluable to individuals and small groups who are new to contemplative prayer, or who wish to deepen their experience of it. This newly updated and expanded edition includes a new preface and afterword from the author.

Critique: Informative, thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, "Armchair Mystic: How Contemplative Prayer Can Lead You Closer to God" will prove to be of immense value for seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers -- and should be considered an important and unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary, and academic library Contemporary Christian Theology collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists.

Gateway of Life
Mary B. Cunningham
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780881415247, $20.00, PB, 197pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Bible, taken on its own, gives us little information about Mary, the virgin who bore and gave birth to Jesus Christ. Yet throughout the history of the Christian Church she has been the focus of unparalleled love and devotion, the subject of fervent prayer. For countless people she is the heavenly mother, the first one to turn to with their urgent hopes and desperate needs. To add to this, she has been the subject of significant debate over the centuries, concerning theology as well as devotion.

Theologically, there were ancient questions centered on the person of Christ, whom she bore in her womb. More recently, many Christians as well as non-Christians are puzzled: What in the Bible gives us the foundation for this degree of attention to Mary? Is not her veneration a potentially dangerous exaggeration, akin to goddess-worship? Is it not God, and His Christ and His Spirit, that are our proper focuses?

Such questions arise especially in the churches born of the Reformation, although they can emanate also from people within churches where she is deeply venerated. It is not always easy to answer such queries, as the heartfelt love surrounding our experience of Mary makes it impossible fully to explain and still less feasible to convince someone of it. Yet we can learn a great deal from an informed and engaged exploration of the ways Mary, the Mother of God, has been understood in the Church. "Gateway of Life: Orthodox Thinking on the Mother of God ", by scholar and person of faith Mary B. Cunningham, provides exactly that.

Critique: Mary B. Cunningham is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She has published articles and books on Byzantine homiletics, hagiography, and hymnography. In "Gateway of Life: Orthodox Thinking on the Mother of God" she provides an impressively thoughtful and thought- provoking study of the role of Mary and her place within the context of Christian history and Christian theology. Of immense interest for clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Gateway of Life" is unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, and academic library Contemporary Christian Theology collections in general, and the role of Mary within Orthodox Christianity in particular.

First and Second Thessalonians
Nathan Eubank
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
9781540962430, $29.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Pauline epistles, also called Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although authorship of some is in dispute. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity.

First and Second Thessalonians are the two of the Pauline epistles or letters addressed to the Christian community of Thessalonia and were added to the official canon of the New Testament by the Council of Nicea under the rule of the Emperor Constantine.

The final volume of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture New Testament series, "First and Second Thessalonians" by Nathan Frank (Associate Professor of New Testament, University of Notre Dame) interprets Scripture from within the living tradition of the Church for pastoral ministers, lay readers, and students.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "First and Second Thessalonians" is unreservedly recommended for seminary, church, college, and university library New Testament Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "First and Second Thessalonians" is also available in a paperback edition (9780801049446, $21.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Revelation as Civil Disobedience
Thomas B. Slater
Abingdon Press
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
www.abingdonpress.com
9781501841743, $29.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Thomas B. Slater is Professor of New Testament Language & Literature at McAfee School of Theology. He teaches introductory and advanced courses in New Testament studies and New Testament Greek. His Ph.D. is from King's College London. He is an ordained elder in the Georgia North Region of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and holds positions on denominational committees.

In "Revelation as Civil Disobedience: Witnesses Not Warriors in John's Apocalypse", Professor Slater contends that the New Testament book of Revelation is a form of civil disobedience that focuses upon sustaining a faithful witness in spite of the consequences. Professor Slater defines civil disobedience as resisting unjust laws in nonviolent ways even if it means the potential death of the protestor (e.g., Rev. 12:11).

Along those same lines, "Revelation as Civil Disobedience" also redefines conquering as sustaining a faithful witness under duress, modeled after the faithfulness of Jesus, even to death (e.g., 1:5; 2:10, 26-28; 6:9-11; 14:12; 20:4). Even when resistance is expressed in military terms, Christians never take up arms (e.g., Rev 12:7-12; 14:1-5; 19:11-21) but overcome evil through their faithful witness. Professor Slater argues, for example, that Rev 19:21 symbolically refers to a powerful spoken witness that defeats evil.

This study develops a way for Christians to read and appreciate the Book of Revelation. Many decry the violent nature of the book without noting that Christians are never encouraged to take up arms. Along those same lines, many lay persons see the Book of Revelation as a justification for military intervention against Satan and his minions. They too miss the fact that the Book of Revelation never tells Christians to arm themselves. Rather, Christians defeat evil by witnessing faithfully. Both sides would be challenged to rethink and reassess their respective positions given the stress on faithful witness in this final book comprising the New Testament.

Critique: Thoughtful and thought provoking, documented in detail, and an inherently interesting read recommended for all students of the New Testament, it should be noted that "Revelation as Civil Disobedience" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.19).

What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?
Dennis R. Edwards
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513805641, $12.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Reading the Bible is one thing. Understanding how the Bible came to be and how it can guide our faith and life? That's quite another.

In the pages of "What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?", urban minister Dennis R. Edwards (Associate Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary, Lisle, Illinois) offers a succinct and profound investigation of Scripture. By holding up Jesus as the interpretive key and inviting us to read the Bible with the marginalized, Professor Edwards challenges us to a Christ-centered approach to hermeneutics. What does it mean to read the Bible with Jesus at the center? How does Scripture illuminate the work of God in the world?

Professor Edwards shines light on contemporary debates about the Bible and calls us to faithful, loving interpretations and applications of the Word of God.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?" is particularly recommended for both seminary students and non-specialist general readers. An ideal selection for Bible study groups, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World
Robert Waldron
New City Press
202 Cardinal Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538
www.newcitypress.com
9781565486898, $19.95, PB, 108pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" by Robert Waldron will well serve as an introduction to the life of on of the world's favorite saint. In this informative study Waldron explores Francis from three perspectives: biographical, psychological and aesthetic.

"Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" is innovative because Waldron understands Francis through our new science of psychology and through the beauty of Bellini's masterpiece St. Francis in the Desert -- the painting shown on the cover of the book.

For a psychological understanding Waldron employs Carl Jung's theory of individuation: the steps taken by Francis to become his True Self. Waldron also employs Bellini's painting to shed light on St. Francis the mystic, he who was gifted by God with the Stigmata.

Waldron also addresses Francis's poem The Canticle of the Creatures, offering an exegesis of the poem that also provides insights into the saint's life as Christian and as a mystic. "Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" also includes a Study Guide that encourages the reader to go more deeply into understanding Francis's life.

Critique: An ideal text for individual and group studies of the life, work and message of Francis of Assis, this deftly written, thoroughly 'reader friendly', inspired and inspiring presentation is unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community. It should be noted that "Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Political Science Shelf

Pitchfork Populism
Bradford R. Kane
Prometheus Books
15200 NBN Way, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214
www.prometheusbooks.com
9781633885820, $25.00, HC, 376pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Deftly identifying the political, social, and cultural forces led to the election of President Donald Trump, in "Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America" veteran political analyst Bradford Kane informatively examines the forces that led to the rise of the current form of populism and considers their continuing influence on the future of American politics.

"Pitchfork Populism" also explores ten dynamics of American politics and society that played a role in the 2016 presidential election and continue to exert an influence on current politics. Kane examines both the present impact of the Trump presidency and the future trajectories of the trends that brought Trump to power. Some of these dynamics have deep historical roots, such as the cultural divide between those who define our national identity in terms of rugged individualism versus those who emphasize community collectivism. Kane notes that these opposing viewpoints helped craft our national identity as far back as the 1700s.

"Pitchfork Populism" also considers the effect of changing demographics, such as the trend that points to the emergence of a new majority composed of combined minority groups, which will have a profound effect on community relations and politics. Kane foresees a return to established policy processes and governing principles after the Trump presidency, as opposed to rule based on the president's personal interests. He anticipates greater empowerment of the electorate as more demographic groups are increasingly enfranchised.

Kane also forecasts the potential impact of recent developments on the 2020 election and beyond. Other topics discussed are the role of the media, accountability, globalization, the future of bipartisanship, and more. This astute analysis by a veteran government insider will help Americans understand recent events and provides a roadmap for navigating the future political landscape.

Critique: A timely and inherently fascinating study, "Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections and curriculum supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pitchfork Populism" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Bradford R. Kane has served in the US Congress as Legislative Counsel to Congresswoman Cardiss Collins; as Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection; and as a member of President Clinton's Task Force on Health Care Reform. Thereafter, he served the State of California as Deputy Controller, Legislation, and subsequently, as a Deputy Secretary of Information Technology. He was also a member of the Nielsen Media Research Task Force on Television Measurement; created the Bipartisan Bridge (a public policy initiative to advance bipartisanship in American government); and developed environmental and economic equity initiatives. In the global arena, he was CEO of the International Commission on Workforce Development; a Strategy Council member of the United Nations Global Alliance on ICT & Development; and Director of International Development and Director of Strategic Initiatives for TechSoup Global.


The World History Shelf

The United Kingdom: The Unification & Disintegration of Britain Since AD 43
John D. Grainger
Pen & Sword
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
c/o Casemate
https://www.casematepublishers.com
9781526748195 $39.95 hc / $6.90 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: John Grainger examines the long and erratic process by which the British Isles was gradually (and as it turns out, temporarily) unified over the course of eighteen centuries, and the subsequent beginnings of the process of disintegration, manifested in an independent Ireland and increasing devolution to, and nationalism in, Scotland and Wales.

Taking the Roman (partial) conquest and forming of the province of Britannia as his starting point, he outlines the major stages by which unification was brought about, through invasions (or in reaction to the threat thereof) and the vagaries of dynastic succession. James I was the first monarch to reign simultaneously over the whole British Isles but full political union was not completed until the Act of Union that came into effect on 1 January 1801, against the backdrop of war with France. It was maintained for just 122 years before the Republic of Ireland gained independence in 1922. John Grainger sees the granting of their own parliaments to Wales and Scotland as further stages in the process of disintegration, which may be accelerated by 'Brexit'.

Critique: Former teacher and historian John D. Grainger presents The United Kingdom: The Unification & Disintegration of Britain Since AD 43, a scholarly, in-depth examination of how the British Isles have gradually unified over the course of centuries - and how that unification may be fracturing today, accentuated by internal disagreement and controversy over "Brexit" (Britain's withdrawal from the European Union). Expensively researched, and featuring an index for ease of reference, The United Kingdom is a salient, measured, and illuminating study of history with reflections on what Britain's past means for its present and future, highly recommended especially for public and college library World History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The United Kingdom is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.90).

Hitler's Great Gamble
James Ellman
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
www.stackpolebooks.com
9780811738491, $34.95, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, one of the turning points of World War II. Within six months, the invasion bogged down on the outskirts of Moscow, and the Eastern Front proved to be the decisive theater in the defeat of the Third Reich. Ever since, most military historians have agreed that this was Hitler's gravest mistake.

In "Hitler's Great Gamble: A New Look at German Strategy, Operation Barbarossa, and the Axis Defeat in World War II", author James Ellman argues that while Barbarossa was a gamble and perverted by genocidal Nazi ideology, it was not doomed from the start. Rather it represented Hitler's best chance to achieve his war aims for Germany which were remarkably similar to those of the Kaiser's government in 1914. Other options, such as an invasion of England, or an offensive to seize the oil fields of the Middle East were considered and discarded as unlikely to lead to Axis victory.

In Ellman's recounting, Barbarossa did not fail because of flaws in the Axis invasion strategy, the size of the USSR, or the brutal cold of the Russian winter. Instead, German defeat was due to errors of Nazi diplomacy. Hitler chose not to coordinate his plans with his most militarily powerful allies, Finland and Japan, and ensure the seizure of the ports of Murmansk and Vladivostok. Had he done so, Germany might well have succeeded in defeating the Soviet Union and, perhaps, winning World War II.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, expertly organized, impressively documented, and deftly drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources (including many recently released), "Hitler's Great Gamble" is a provocative, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking study that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library World War II collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and military history buffs that "Hitler's Great Gamble" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.82).


The Self-Help Shelf

Indistractable
Nir Eyal
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, Ste 400, Dallas, TX 75204
www.benbellabooks.com
9781948836531, $26.95, HC, 300pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It's called distraction and often results in procrastination. But what would be possible if you followed through on your best intentions? What could you accomplish if you could stay focused? What if you had the power to become "indistractable?"

In "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life", author, former Stanford lecturer, and behavioral design expert, Nir Eyal reveals distraction's Achilles' heel in his groundbreaking new DIY instructional.

In the pages of "Indistractable", Eyal explains the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He describes why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off our devices: Abstinence is impractical and often makes us want more.

With "Indistractable" Eyal lays bare the secret of finally doing what you say you will do with a four-step, research-backed model. Indistractable reveals the key to getting the best out of technology, without letting it get the best of us -- including: Why distraction at work is a symptom of a dysfunctional company culture - and how to fix it; What really drives human behavior and why "time management is pain management"; Why your relationships (and your sex life) depend on you becoming indistractable; How to raise indistractable children in an increasingly distracting world.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organize and presented, "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life" is 'real world practical' and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and college library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Indistractable" is also available in a paperback edition (9781526610218, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.38).

Intuitive Intelligence
Paul O'Brien
www.Divination.com
Beyond Words Publishing
www.beyondword.com
9781582706986, $17.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: What happens when a vision of creative freedom, courageous risk-taking and good timing come together? What if you focused on what fascinates you, then mastered some skills, including a level of intuitive decision-making that helps you make the right moves at the right time? The answer is a life filled with success on your own terms.

"Intuitive Intelligence: Make Life-Changing Decisions with Perfect Timing" by Paul O'Brien is unique book about self-discovery and manifesting your true destiny. Distilling a lifetime of business and personal adventures into an eloquently articulated process for making the best strategic decisions with an ever-improving sense of timing, O'Brien's true stories of lessons learned will intrigue and delight the reader, while the presentation of skills required to make great decisions with perfect timing captivate and motivate.

O'Brien's elegant Visionary Decision Making process and philosophy clearly define the essential skills of accessing intuition when you need it most. "Intuitive Intelligence" clearly and effectively shows readers how to take charge of their life and fearlessly take the risks that will that help them realize their goals and dreams to fearlessly take those risks that will grow them as a person.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Intuitive Intelligence: Make Life-Changing Decisions with Perfect Timing" is especially recommended for both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Intuitive Intelligence" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Paul O'Brien is the Executive Director of the Divination Foundation (www.Divination.com) and for 30 years has hosted Pathways radio, a podcast interview program focused on personal and cultural transformation.


The Cookbook Shelf

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook
Wataru Yokota
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805315286, $18.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Izakaya cooking is all about enjoying hearty and flavorful Japanese food with drinks and friends at your local hole-in-the-wall hangout. Similar to tapas or pub food, izakaya fare ranges from tasty bar snacks to substantial salads, stews, grilled meats and seafood dishes (all made fresh with minimal fuss and maximum flavor) and served alongside a chilled glass of beer or sake.

"The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook" by Wataru Yokota allows you to recreate over 120 of these classic izakaya dishes in your own kitchen at home. These include standards like Yakitori Chicken Skewers, Crispy Gyoza, and Grilled Wagyu Beef with Shiso. Vegans and vegetarians are also well catered to with dishes like Daikon Salad with Yuzu Dressing, Chargrilled Fava Beans and Baked Tofu with Ginger Sauce. Chef and author Wataru Yokota adds his own unique twists to signature Japanese recipes, like Miso-Simmered Pork and Grilled Mackerel with Plum Sauce.

Yokota's recipes are simple and quick, aimed at working folks who don't have a lot of time to cook but love trying new and interesting flavors. "The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook" provides clear step-by-step photos and instructions for each dish. The introduction gives guidelines for selecting, pouring and mixing drinks to complement the recipes -- and even how to quickly grill and smoke meat to give it that authentic izakaya taste!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, with recipes that range from Chikuwa Fish Cake and olive Pinchos; Sweet and Sour chicken Meatball Skewers; Stuffed Mackerel Fritters; and Deep-Fried Tofu in Dashi Sauce; to Sardines Simmered in Sake; Beef Curry Japanese Style; Eel and Egg Rice Bowl; Soba Noodle and Tomato Salad; and Soy Sauce Bruschetta, "The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook" is a unique and certain to be highly prized addition to personal, professional, and community library Japanese cookbook collections.

Asian Noodles
Maki Watanabe
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804852166, $14.99, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Now with "Asian Noodles: 86 Classic Recipes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan" compiled and presented by Asian culinary expert Maki Watanabe even the most novice of kitchen cooks are provided with a compendium of 'user friendly' recipes and invaluable tips for creating delicious Asian noodle dishes at home with minimal fuss and time.

These 86 noodle recipes comprising "Asian Noodles" cover the Asian cuisines best known for their noodle dishes: Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. They include all the classics that are already well-loved in the West -- from Vietnamese Pho to Korean Japchae, and Pad Thai to Chinese Wonton Noodles (with gluten-free options available in the form of Japanese Soba and Udon noodles). However, this book also highlights many lesser-known classics that are popular in Asia but not yet widely found in Western restaurants.

"Asian Noodles" is divided into four major chapters: Tossed Noodles with Sauces and Toppings, Stir-Fried Noodles, Noodles with Soup and Japanese-Style Noodles. A bonus chapter gives a selection of 10 delicious Asian desserts such as Cilantro Sorbet and Mango Pudding -- to eat after your noodles are all gone!

Each chapter outlines basic cooking methods for the different types of noodle preparation, complete with step-by-step instructions and photos. Additional sections give information on noodle dish staples and garnishes and a shopping guide to help you identify and source the ingredients correctly.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout and showcasing palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes that range from Taiwanese Chicken Noodles (Taiwan); Stir-Fried Noodles with Pork and Vegetables (China); and Beef Pho Noodle Soup (Vietnam); to Lemongrass Noodles with Spare Ribs (Thailand); Korean Cold Noodles (Korea); and Chicken Soup Soba (Japan), "Asian Noodles: 86 Classic Recipes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Asian Noodles" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Elegant Pie
Karin Pfeiff-Boschek
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
www.andrewsmcmeel.com
9781524853297, $24.99, HC, 180pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Everyone kitchen cook knows that serving a pie for dessert makes family and guests happy. And serving one with a beautifully designed crust that makes guests swoon is even better. Pies are easy to make as stunningly attractive as the most decorative cakes using some basic techniques and the appropriate care when working with pie dough.

The recipes and techniques presented in "Elegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works of Art" by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek provide any home baker the instructions and tools needed to create breathtaking works of pie art. From preparation of the dough to the last moments of baking, all methods are clearly presented using step-by-step photographs. A flat surface, rolling pin, sharp knife, different size and shaped cookie cutters make embellishing an ordinary pie crust easy. The 25 designs, arranged by three levels of difficulty, range from graphic art styles to seasonal-inspired florals.

Beautifully decorated pies are a hit on social media, and until now there has not been a book on how to create these stunning works of edible art. A master pie designer Karin Pfeiff-Boschek explains in superbly illustrated detail her textile-based methods used to reproduce her most popular top crust works of art.

Critique: The pie as an edible art form! "Elegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works of Art" will prove to be one of the most popular additions to any personal, professional, family, or community library cookbook collection. It should be noted that "Elegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works of Art" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

The Complete Hummus Cookbook
Catherine Gills
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268207, $20.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Hummus is a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean, as well as in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe. It can also now be found in most grocery stores in North America and Europe.

Protein-rich and vegan-friendly, hummus is one of the healthiest and most nutritious dishes that many people don't talk more about. But with the introduction of "The Complete Hummus Cookbook" showcasing more than one hundred palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, health promoting recipes that is all about to change!

Profusely illustrated throughout, and showcasing 100+ delicious and nutrious recipes, "The Complete Hummus Cookbook" shows everyone just how hummus is extremely versatile, low-cholesterol, protein-rich and healthy dietary option.

"The Complete Hummus Cookbook" also provides useful information on the perfect food to pair hummus with as well as how to make different kinds of hummus with chickpeas, black beans, lentils, edamame and green peas.

Critique: A thoroughly vegan friendly and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "The Complete Hummus Cookbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Get Out: The Complete Annotated Screenplay
Jordan Peele
Inventory Press
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9781941753286, $19.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Jordan Peele's powerful thriller "Get Out" debuted in 2017 to enormous public and critical acclaim. Written for the age of Obama and Trump, "Get Out" scared audiences and skewered white liberal pieties at the same time. Rather than rely on popular archetypes, Peele wove together the material realities and daily manifestations of horror with sociopolitical fears and elements of true suspense, and combined them with pitch-perfect satire and a timely cultural critique.

This companion paperback to the film presents Peele's Oscar-winning screenplay alongside supplementary material, including an essay by author and scholar Tananarive Due and in-depth annotations by the director. This edition of "Get Out" is richly illustrated with more than 150 stills from the motion picture and presents alternate endings, deleted scenes and an inside look at the concepts and behind-the-scenes production of the film.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Get Out" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Cinematic Studies collections and reading lists.

Editorial Note: Jordan Peele (born 1979) is an American writer, director and producer. Peele's directorial debut, Get Out (2017), earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2012, Peele founded Monkeypaw Productions, which amplifies traditionally under represented voices and unpacks contemporary social issues, while cultivating artistic, thought-provoking projects across film, television and digital platforms.


The Biography Shelf

Ed Garvey Unvarnished
Rob Zaleski
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299323707, $24.95, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Edward R. Garvey (April 18, 1940 - February 22, 2017) was an American lawyer, politician, activist, and a Wisconsin legend in the state and in the nation's progressive movement.

"Ed Garvey Unvarnished: Lessons from a Visionary Progressive" by professional journalist, newspaper columnist, and freelance writer Rob Zaleski is an exceptionally informative, well written, and inherently interesting account of Garvey's life, his accomplishments, and his insights into Wisconsin politics.

Of particular interest and relevance to the politics of today are the chapters on Civil Rights, Political Defeats, Environmental Triumphs, The Anti-Environmentalists, and this astute biography's final chapter, Battling Parkinson's.

Critique: Simply stated, "Ed Garvey Unvarnished: Lessons from a Visionary Progressive" is an unreservedly recommended and key addition all personal, community, college, and university library Wisconsin Biography collections in general, and 20th Century Wisconsin Politics supplemental studies lists in particular.

The Life of Lou Reed
Howard Sounes
Diversion Books
443 Park Avenue South, Suite #1004, New York, NY 10016
www.diversionbooks.com
9781635766387, $26.99, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As band leader of the Velvet Underground and later a successful solo artist, Lou Reed (March 2, 1942 - October 27, 2013) was much more than what the general public came to know as the grumpy New Yorker in black who sang "Walk on the Wild Side". To his dedicated admirers, he was one of the most innovative and intelligent songwriters of modern times -- a natural outsider who lived a tumultuous and tortured life.

In the course of his deep research into Reed's life, from a humble upbringing on Long Island to his death from liver disease, Howard Sounes interviewed more than 140 people who knew the artist intimately -- some of whom have not spoken publicly about him before.

With new revelations from former wives and lovers, family members, fellow band members and celebrities, and music industry figures, "The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet Underground" offers an updated, unfettered look at Reed's creative process, his mental health problems, his bisexuality, his three marriages, and his addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Featuring previously unpublished photographs of some of Reed's most private moments, "The Life of Lou Reed" is the definitive account of one of rock 'n' roll's most complicated and brilliant prophets.

Critique: An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Lou Reed fans, "The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet Underground" is an extraordinary and deftly presented account of his life and career. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Biography collections in general, and Lou Reed supplemental studies in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet Underground" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543624137, $9.99, MP3 CD).

Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope, expanded edition
Renzo Allegri
Franciscan Media
https://info.franciscanmedia.org
9781632532862, $18.99, PB, 302pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Canonized on June 16, 2002, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (25 May 1887 - 23 September 1968) was a Capuchin monk and mystic whose life was marked with miracles and wonders, but who said that his only desire was "to be a poor friar who prays."

"Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope" by journalist Renzo Allegri is an intimate biography. Readers will see the results of this humble Capuchin's prayers and discover for themselves the Source of his great hope.

This newly updated and expanded edition contains five new chapters covering the years between beatification and canonization, St. Pio's continued work in people's lives, and the devotion of St. John Paul II to this extraordinary saint of our day.

Critique: Especially recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community, "Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope" is as informative as it is inspiring. While unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Gardening Shelf

Succulents at Home
John Tullock
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.countrymanpress.com
9781682683842, $21.95, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Succulents have become some of the most popular houseplants, and with good reason: they're easy to grow -- most of the time. But what happens when a plant outgrows its pot? How can you avoid your succulents from getting sunburned? How do you turn one plant into more plants?

In "Succulents at Home: Choosing, Growing, and Decorating with the Easiest Houseplants Ever", expert gardener and succulent expert John Tullock addresses these questions and many more. Here, aspiring gardeners will learn to make the most of their plants from the how and why of soil and container choice to step-by-step instructions for repotting, propagating new succulents, and creating arrangements like terrariums and wreaths.

"Succulents at Home" is complete with a catalog of 75 species ranging from flower-shaped echeverias, pointy haworthias, and flowering kalanchoes, to round mammillaria cacti, and more - - which includes special care instructions for each variety.

Critique: Tullock's friendly voice and years of experience, and enhanced with more than 100 color photographs, make "Succulents at Home: Choosing, Growing, and Decorating with the Easiest Houseplants Ever" an essential guide for fool-proof succulent gardening. And with a focus on growing succulents to enjoy indoors, Succulents at Home" is the perfect instructional guide and reference for plant lovers wanting to raise succulents in all regions and climates. Exceptionally well organized and presented, making it an ideal addition to both community and academic library gardening collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Succulents at Home" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Automotive Shelf

Hemi Muscle 70 Years
Darwin Holmstrom
Motor Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9780760365199, $40.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Hemi Muscle 70 Years: Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth High Performance" is the complete illustrated story of the legendary engine and the cars it powered. Author Darwin Holmstrom explores how Chrysler's Hemi engine became the number one choice for drag racers and stock car racers across the country, campaigned to great success by drivers like Richard Petty, Don Garlits, David Pearson, Sox and Martin, and more.

In 1950, Chrysler debuted a potent high-performance overhead-valve V-8 engine. Originally called the FirePower, it would soon be better known by the name "Hemi." Intended to power Chrysler's luxury cars, the Hemi found a higher calling: humiliating its competitors on the street and at the race track.

On top of learning how the Hemi engine came to be, you'll also see how the Hemi remained the engine to beat on the street, stuffed into some of the most desirable performance cars in automotive history: the 'Cuda, Road Runner, Charger, GTX, and Challenger, to name a few. The Hemi made such a lasting impact that Chrysler revived it as the top engine for the twenty-first century Challenger and Charger.

Today, Hemi is a household name, known to enthusiasts and consumers alike, often imitated, never duplicated. "Hemi Muscle 70 Years" clearly lays out the reason why.

Critique: An absolutely 'must read' automotive history for all dedicated muscle car fans, "Hemi Muscle 70 Years: Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth High Performance" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout. An impressively informed and informative compendium, "Hemi Muscle 70 Years" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Automotive History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Bugatti T and Its Variants
Lance Cole
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526756763, $28.95, PB, 64pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Bugatti T and Its Variants: Type 35 Grand Prix Car and its Variants" by Lance Cole the first in the new CarCraft series from Pen & Sword Books that delivers an innovative presentation to the car enthusiast by covering the engineering, design, and modeling of one of motoring's greatest cars across all its epochs.

Ettore Bugatti changed engineering history with his genius and innovations. With its clever engine design, new suspension thinking, and distinct body style, Bugatti's T35 and its variants defined a new era of design and driving and must surely rank as true 'supercars'. A motor sport legend was also cast down by these Bugattis.

Experienced automotive writer, industrial designer and Bugatti Owners Club member Lance Cole pays tribute to the car in a detailed yet engaging commentary. New photography, the design story, and full coverage of the modeling options in synthetic materials and die cast metals, create a narrative of vital interest.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Bugatti T and Its Variants: Type 35 Grand Prix Car and its Variants" is a truly extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community and academic library Automotive History collections in general, and Bugatti automotive studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of automotive fans that "Bugatti T and Its Variants: Type 35 Grand Prix Car and its Variants" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds
Jurgen Lewandowski, author
Rene Staud, photographer
teNeues Publishing
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY, 10011
www.teneues.com
9783961712007, $125.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the automotive world, Neo Classics are rare manufactured vehicles, one-of-a-kind high-end cars, special short-run cars, and "young classics". They are vehicles that become legends (and coveted collectors' items) the moment they leave the factory. Faster, more powerful, more exclusive: whether they're called supercars or hypercars, these are turbo-charged fantasies in chrome. For most of us, however, they will remain dreams on wheels.

In "Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds", professional photographer Rene Staud brings the dream a little closer. Image after gleaming full color photographic image, the "Master of Light" brings these shining stars to our coffee table--from the Bugatti Chiron to the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder to the Mercedes AMG One. Each beautifully rendered image is accompanied by an expert text from the seasoned automotive writer and aficionado, Jurgen Lewandowski.

Critique: A unique, simply elegant, coffee table style volume (11.1 x 1.2 x 13.5), "Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds" is a simple delight for all dedicated automotive enthusiasts to browse through one informative page at a time. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition for personal, professional, community, and academic library Automotive History collections, "Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds" is unreservedly recommended.

Editorial Note: Rene Staud is considered one of the most sought-after automotive photographers and one of the most innovative in the industry. With the Magicflash lighting system, he has given not only his art, but studio photography in general an important impulse. He has published six volumes with teNeues. With more than 70,000 copies sold, they are in turn classics of automotive literature.

Jurgen Lewandowski, the automotive section editor of the Suddeutsche Zeitung for over 20 years, and the author of roughly 100 books about cars. Among his books published by teNeues are the best-selling titles The Porsche 911 Book and The Ferrari Book - Passion for Design.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Japanese Wonder Crochet
Nihon Vogue, author
Gayle Roehm, translator
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805315279, $15.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Japanese Wonder Crochet: A Creative Approach to Classic Stitches" shows a creative approach to classic crochet stitches such as Aran, herringbone, Bavarian, waffle, crocodile, reversible crochet, and many more. In Japan, crochet work is often added to knitted garments; while you may choose to incorporate these techniques into your own knitting projects, Japanese crochet is a great pleasure in and of itself.

In "Japanese Wonder Crochet", a swatch pattern is provided for each stitch which helps crocheters practice the mechanics of the stitch before applying them to larger projects. The personal and home accessory projects included provide something for every level of time commitment -- from potholders and cup cozies to tote bags and blankets.

The 25 exciting projects showcased in "Japanese Wonder Crochet" include: A patchwork throw; A reversible cowl; Bags in Bavarian, crocodile, Aran stitches and more; Totes in herringbone and rib stitches; A vintage bag and floral brooch in bullion stitch; A tea cozy, mittens, a shawl and more!

An extensive introduction by Japanese knitting and crochet expert Gayle Roehm explains the stitch charts as well as the differences and similarities between Japanese and Western styles of crochet. A guide to stitch symbols and extensive lessons provide visual guidance.

With Japanese Wonder Crochet and a little practice, crocheters and Japanese-style knitters can open up many new horizons using the wonderful patterns that so many Westerners have already fallen in love with.

Critique: Ably translated into English for an American needlecrafters by Gayle roehm, "Japanese Wonder Crochet: A Creative Approach to Classic Stitches" by Nihon Vogue introduces crochet enthusiasts outside Japan to the wonderful crotchet techniques and charts that are so popular within the country. A unique and profusely illustrated step-by-step instructional guide and manual, "Japanese Wonder Crochet" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library needlecrafting collections.

Free-Motion Quilting 101
Ashley Nickels
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781641550024, $24.95, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Quilters want to finish their quilts -- and that often means doing their own machine quilting. In "Free-Motion Quilting 101: Techniques & Patterns for Beginners", teacher and quilter Ashley Nickels provides in-depth, step-by-step instruction on learning the technique of free-motion quilting, combined with simple small projects that reinforce the technique. Quilters will have fun while learning the necessary steps to complete a quilting project.

"Free-Motion Quilting 101" is deftly divided into three parts -- workbook-style practice; project session, and in-depth reference for finishing a quilt. It also features 15 foundational designs, as well as 3 simple projects and 1 larger project that is a culmination of the techniques learned in the book.

Free-Motion Quilting 101 focuses squarely on mastering the technique on a regular home sewing machine and is the ideal instructional guide and reference that will enable new quilters quickly pick up first to learn how to free-motion quilt successfully.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Free-Motion Quilting 101: Techniques & Patterns for Beginners" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation -- making it unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Needlecrafting collections in general, and quilting instructional studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "Free-Motion Quilting 101" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).


The Sports Shelf

Research Methods and Design in Sport Management, second edition
Damon P. S. Andrew, et al.
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
www.HumanKinetics.com
9781492574910, $109.00, PB, 376pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As the sport management industry continues to grow and evolve, so do the methods for gathering and applying research findings to drive successful sport organizations. Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Research Methods and Design in Sport Management" includes web resources, and imparts modern explanations of research design, implementation, analysis, and assessment that are specific to the discipline of sport management.

An invaluable resource for both students and practitioners, the text first helps readers understand the research process and then delves into specific research methods. Special attention is devoted to the process of reading and understanding research in the field, preparing readers to apply the concepts long after reading the text and learning the foundational skills including: How to conduct a thorough literature review; Theoretical and conceptual frameworks to guide the research process; How to develop appropriate research questions and hypotheses; Techniques for conducting qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research; Methods for analyzing data and reporting results.

This newly expanded second edition also introduces a new section on emerging methods and trends in the field, including social network analysis (SNA) and sport analytics. Readers will be exposed to methods of SNA data collection and interpretation, as well as how to collect and analyze data and communicate the results of sport analytics research. Of special note is a chapter dedicated to legal research in sport management provides a non-intimidating discussion of the unique elements evident in sport law research, such as legal precedence, case briefing, and special writing elements.

Critique: Comprehensive, effectively organized and presented, "Research Methods and Design in Sport Management" is an ideal curriculum textbook and is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college and university library Sport Management collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted that "Research Methods and Design in Sport Management" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $82.00).


The Travel Shelf

50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts
Madeline Bilis
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.countrymanpress.com
9781682683521, $22.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Showcasing 50 beautiful trails around Boston and the Cape, Madeline Bilis shares her years of outdoors experience in the Boston area, providing 50 hikes for people of all skill and experience levels in the profusely illustrated pages of "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts".

While the Berkshires tend to get all recognition when it comes to hiking in Massachusetts, the eastern part of the state is packed with treasures for lovers of the outdoors. From the rocky ledges of the Blue Hills Reservation to the sandy stretches of the Cape Cod National Seashore, incredible trails and vistas abound in this varied region.

In addition to stunning natural views, with "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts" hikers and day trippers will delight in discovering dozens of small towns, cultural attractions, and historical sites during your adventures around Boston and the Cape.

Hikes include: Noanet Woodlands; Myles Standish State Forest; Great Island Trail; Middlesex, Fells Reservation, and more!

Critique: Illustrated with 50 color photographs, and featuring 50 maps, "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Impressively detailed and informative, making it ideal for planning trips with, "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts" is especially recommended for personal, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted that "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide
Eleanor Aldridge
The Countryman Press
c/o W.W. Norton & Company
www.countrymanpress.com
9781682683880 $22.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: In the last few years, Paris has undergone a huge transformation. It's fostered one of the coolest creative scenes in Europe, some of the continent's best nightlife, and a "bistronomy" movement that has influenced dining around the globe. Yet while millennial travelers pour into the city, travel guides continue to focus on a staid checklist approach to Paris's big attractions. There's currently no book on the market aimed at younger (perhaps more budget-conscious) American visitors that truly captures the city's revived energy-until this one.

A Curious Traveler's Guide to Paris will direct readers to the best paintings in the Centre Pompidou and tell them how to beat the lines at the Orangerie. It will guide them to quirky, little-known museums and secret squares. It will tell them how to find the city's coolest speakeasies, best neo- bistros, and most unusual boutiques. Informative yet opinionated, it is an insider's guide to Paris without pretension.

Critique: Featuring 100 color photographs, Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide is packed cover to cover with neighborhood highlights of Paris, recommending both mainstream and lesser-known attractions, and enriched with an index for ease of use. From fine art, to architectural treasures, culinary delights, standing-room-only wine bars, unforgettable hotels and more, Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide will delight vacationers and armchair travelers alike. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).


The Architecture Shelf

Downsize: Living Large in a Small House
Sheri Koones
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781641550338, $34.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The 25 small houses presented and showcased in "Downsize: Living Large in a Small House" by Sheri Koones are owned by people who have made a conscious decision to downsize from a larger home to a smaller home -- or who just decided to build small in the first place.

Some of the houses are new (site-built or prefab), others are remodels. All are 2,000 sq. ft. or less. The featured houses show how to use space efficiently through such strategies as: creative storage space; multi-purpose rooms; pocket and barn doors; integrating smaller appliances.

These exceptional houses show how small can be comfortable, practical, energy efficient and beautiful.

Critique: A novel and unique addition to professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental studies reading lists, "Downsize: Living Large in a Small House" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout. For the personal reading lists of architecture students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject it should be noted that "Downsize: Living Large in a Small House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.74).

How To Build Your Own Tiny House
Roger Marshall
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781631869075, $26.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Roger Marshall is a woodworker with decades of experience designing living spaces in the tight quarters of yachts. He has built his own house, studios, greenhouses, and numerous stone and wooden garden projects.

In "How to Build Your Own Tiny House" Marshall draws upon his extensive expertise to create a comprehensive guide to the actual construction process, building codes, and regulations, not another pretty picture book about tiny houses.

"How To Build Your Own Tiny House" offers anyone with basic carpentry skills step-by-step instructions to successfully build a tiny house (250 to 1,000 square feet.) A profusely illustrated instruction manual, "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" covers everything from forming a bill of materials to the basics of frame construction; to detailing wiring and plumbing a tiny home, to construction codes for small buildings. "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" also gives pointers as to where local regulations may apply, and also includes a section on building appropriately sized furniture for a tiny home.

Of special note is the inclusion of a selection of tiny home designs -- each of which can be expanded as needs change!

Critique: Of special value for the non-specialist general reader considering constructing their own tiny house project, "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" will prove to be an enduringly valued and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary American Architecture collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted that "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.01).

White Houses
Philip Jodidio
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500519837, $50.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Devoted to all-white houses, "White Houses" by architecture expert Philip Jodidio celebrates the ever popular "non-color" of white as a perfect backdrop for contemporary lifestyles

Sometimes seen as an absence of color, white in fact reflects the purity of the entire spectrum. In the history of design, white houses often embody the bright, clean clarity associated with twentieth-century giants Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Richard Meier.

"White Houses" presents and informatively showcases the most striking, innovative, and unusual white houses by contemporary architects, spanning the globe from Asia to the Americas. The featured houses represent every scale and a wide range of locations and terrains, from seaside retreats to space-saving urban homes and grand country residences.

From radical new takes on traditional building forms in Latin America to state-of-the-art urban projects in Europe and Japan, each featured house employs the apparent simplicity of white to reflect light and accent materiality, pressing the frontiers of form to the point of abstraction. No longer an anonymous box, the contemporary white house is the embodiment of the architectural archetype, reinterpreted and refreshed.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with 260 full color photographs, "White Houses" is a unique, special, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, and academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

After the Final Curtain
Matt Lambros
www.mlambrosphotography.com
Jonglez Publishing
http://www.jonglezpublishing.com
9782361953485 $39.95 amazon.com

Synopsis: In the early 20th century the streets of small towns and cities across America were filled with the lights and sounds of movie theaters. The most opulent - known as "movie palaces" - were designed to make their patrons feel like royalty; people would dress up to visit. But as time went on it became harder and harder to fill the 2,000+ seat theaters and many were forced to close.

Today, these palaces are illuminated only by the flicker of dying lights. The sound of water dripping from holes in the ceiling echoes through the auditoriums. In After the Final Curtain: America's Abandoned Theaters internationally-renowned photographer Matt Lambros continues his travels across the United States, documenting these once elegant buildings. From the supposedly haunted Pacific Warner Theatre in Los Angeles to the Orpheum Theatre in New Bedford, MA - which opened the same day the Titanic sank - Lambros pulls back the curtain to reveal what is left, giving these palaces a chance to shine again.

Critique: After the Final Curtain: America's Abandoned Theaters is an extraordinary tour of these lingering remnants of shuttered theatrical entertainment centers, capturing their architectural legacy on film. The grand opulence of what they once were shines through the still images - these were places where men and women used to dress up for an evening of fine entertainment (or perhaps, a vaudeville performance). The text offers history and background of each showcased location, in this striking coffee-table book that is simply captivating to page through from cover to cover. Highly recommended.


The Railroading Shelf

Steam on the Eastern and Midland
David Knapman
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781473891784, $49.95, HC, 136pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" is the second volume from David Knapman's personal record of railway views that were captured on black and white film in the late 1950's and 1960's, until the demise of steam on British Railways.

The style of the book, in keeping with Knapmann's first volume, "Steam on the Southern and Western", is the well tried and tested pictures and captions format and the majority of pictures are black and white photography. Not every picture portrays a train as there are interesting branch line and infrastructure scenes to view as well, whilst trains will be on main line and secondary routes.

"Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" carries its share of photographs of British Railways standard locomotives in the locations appropriate to the regions. Where preservation starts to overlap with the still active steam scene, some historic photographs are included. Photographs will be grouped by a particular location, for example, York on the Eastern and Hatch End on the Midland. Each of these topic areas will provide a flavour of the railway activity at the time. "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" provides the reader with another gentle meander through the 1950's and 1960's railway scene and stir the memories of those who lived through those times.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white historic photography, "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" is exceptionally informative and will prove to be a prized and appreciated addition to any and all personal, professional, community and academic library British Railway History collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).


The Art Shelf

How to Draw Without Talent
Danny Gregory
North Light Books
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
www.penguin.com
9781440300592 $24.99 pbk / $18.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Want to draw but don't think you have the talent? This book is for you--no experience or formal training required! Danny Gregory, co-founder of the popular online Sketchbook Skool, shows you how to get started making art for pleasure with fun, easy lessons. Get started fast with just a pen and paper, learn to see your subject with new eyes, and enjoy the creative process.

Critique: How to Draw Without Talent is a nontraditional, self-study guide that breaks down learning how to draw into bite-sized basics that can be readily absorbed by anyone with a sketchbook, a pen or pencil, and perseverance. Each page or two-page spread offers a different practice suggestion, lesson, or insight into the process of drawing. Full-color illustrations help clarify the recommendations and suggested exercises. How to Draw Without Talent is an invaluable guide for budding artists of all ages and backgrounds. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that How to Draw Without Talent is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.99).

The Art of Looking Up
Catherine McCormack
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9780711242173, $45.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From the floating women and lotus flowers of the Senso-ji Temple in Japan, to the religious iconography that adorns places of worship from Vienna to Istanbul, all the way to bold displays like the Chihuly glass flora suspended from the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas: "The Art of Looking Up" by Catherine McCormack takes her readers on a fabulous and beautifully illustrated tour of the extraordinary artworks that demand an alternative viewpoint.

A history of art expert, Catherine deftly guides her readers through the stories behind the artworks -- their conception, execution, and the artists that visualised them. In many cases, these artworks also make bold but controlled political, religious or cultural statements, revealing much about the society and times in which they were created.

Divided by these social themes into four sections (Religion, Culture, Power and Politics) and pictured from various viewpoints in glorious colour photography, tour the astounding ceilings of these and more remarkable locations: Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy; Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK; Louvre Museum, Paris, France; Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres, Catalonia; Museum of the Revolution, Havana, Cuba; and the Capitol Building, Washington, DC, USA.

Four eight-page foldout sections showcase some of the world's most spectacular ceilings in exquisite detail.

Critique: Inspirationally beautiful to simply browse through, this coffee table style (9.7 x 1.1 x 12.6 inches) volume is impressively informative and exceptionally well written, organized and presented -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community and academic library World Art History collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists. While an especially appropriate 'Memoral Fund' acquisition selection for libraries, it should also be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Art of Looking Up" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $35.99).

Editorial Note: Catherine McCormack is a writer and art history lecturer based in London. She regularly teaches at Sotheby's Institute of Art, Dulwich Picture Gallery and UCL, where she completed her PhD and was a Teaching Fellow. Her writing has been published in The Independent, Architectural Review, Stylist, Glass magazine, LABEL magazine, and in international academic journals and museum exhibition catalogues. She is also resident art expert at Blacks Club Soho and has appeared on Sky News and BBC Breakfast talking about art. Catherine is also the author of Women in the Picture (Icon Books, 2020).

Gordon Onslow Ford
Sepp Hiekisch-Picard, et al.
Lucid Art Foundation
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9781732667303, $65.00, HC, 348pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: This substantial volume is the first major resource on the life and work of Gordon Onslow Ford (26 December 1912 - 9 November 2003), the British-born painter who was the youngest member of Andre Breton's surrealist group in Paris, and who spent more than 50 years in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Marked by an initial interest in automatist techniques, Onslow Ford's painting gradually developed through studies of Eastern philosophy, mysticism and ecology resulting in complex and varied works that incorporated cosmic charts and biomorphic abstraction.

"Gordon Onslow Ford: A Man on a Green Island" is a superbly produced volume that is comprised of a series of thoroughly researched essays, as well as previously unpublished archival material, and more than 200 color illustrations, deftly traces Onslow Ford's time spent in Paris, stints in New York and Mexico, culminating in his move in 1947 to the Bay Area.

Organized and published by the Lucid Art Foundation (cofounded by Onslow Ford in 1998), this is a long-overdue and impressively executed survey that will effectively bring a critically interesting artist up out of an undeserved obscurity.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an informative Introduction by Fariba Bogzaran, an eight page Chronology, a five page Biography, and an eight page Index, "Gordon Onslow Ford: A Man on a Green Island" is a meticulous and collaborative work of informed and informative scholarship that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Art History collections in general, and Gordon Onslow Ford supplemental studies reading lists in particular.


The Woodworking Shelf

Carving Small Characters in Wood
Jack Price
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781497100183 $12.99 pbk amazon.com

Synopsis: Great for beginners, Carving Small Characters offers simple carving techniques in a smaller format to create compact caricatures.

This book starts you off with fun, easy lessons on carving a basic character, then slowly progresses into more complex challenges like creating features and expressions. Detailed directions and high-quality photography walk you through each lesson, from carving the body, face, and clothes to ears, hairstyles, and grimaces. A final chapter provides insight on displaying your caricatures, a bonus challenge, and an inspirational small character gallery.

Author and renowned caricature woodcarver Jack Price is the leading voice to learn from on how to create small statuettes! A well-respected carver, Price is also the author of the popular books Carving Compact Characters and 50 Character Patterns for Woodcarvers. Beginning his career in 1975, he has been specializing in compact figures since 1978, with most of his work ranging from 2-3 inches in height. Inside Carving Small Characters in Wood, you'll learn everything you need to know to carve mini wooden statuettes from the leading expert of carving 2-inch tall figures!

For beginner caricaturists, or carvers who want to learn how to create smaller figures, Carving Small Characters is packed with approachable carving techniques and progressive lessons that will help you create tiny figures with big personalities!

Critique: Featuring full-color photography illustrating step-by-step processes, Carving Small Characters in Wood: Instructions & Patterns for Compact Projects with Personality is a hands-on guide to crafting small caricatures out of wood - creating simple, cartoon-like figures that may be as small as two inches high. Expert caricature woodcarver Jack Price walks the reader through basic methods followed by more advanced techniques for adding detail. Carving Small Characters in Wood is a treasure for hobbyist workers, highly recommended.

Solid-Point Pyrography
Lisa Shackleton
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945206, $14.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Pyrography or pyrogravure is the free handed art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning. (Wikipedia)

Living with her family in West Yorkshire, England, Lisa Shackleton started pyrography as a hobby and very quickly fell in love with it. She is now one of the leading exponents of solid-point pyrography in the UK, and demonstrates at many of the major woodturning shows in the UK and abroad.

In the illustrated pages of "Solid-Point Pyrography" Lisa has created a thoroughly 'user friendly' beginner's guide to the art and practice of solid-point pyrography. The solid-point woodburning tool is reasonably prices and easy to use, with a variety of tips for drawing, shading and mark making, providing a quick and cost-effective introduction to this wonderfully creative and enjoyable ancient craft.

Critique: "Solid-Point Pyrography" is comprised of 15 simple and deftly presented step-by-step solid-point projects suitable for the absolute beginner. Also provided is a wealth of useful and practical information on equipment and techniques, to guide the aspiring wood burning hobbiest though every step of the way. Whether decorating a wooden bangle or producing a pleasing work of art, "Solid-Point Pyrography" is all that is needed to become an accomplished wood burning artist -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Hobby/Crafts instructional reference collections.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Kryon Oracle Card Deck
Lee Carroll
The Kryon Writings Inc.
https://store.kryon.com
9781888053210, $19.95, 44- Card Deck, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Since 1989, Kryon has given messages for humanity which are filled with profound wisdom and heartfelt spiritual instructions for living a positive, uplifting life. "Kryon Oracle Card Deck" is forty-four card deck has been carefully created to offer daily wisdom and spiritual guidance. Within the accompanying guidebook is a system where every card has a corresponding quote from Kryon. In addition, Lee Carroll, the original channel for Kryon, gives personal insights for each card's quote, revealing a deeper meaning of Kryon's messages.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, the Kryon Oracle Card Deck from channeller Lee Carroll is an extraordinary and beautifully crafted addition to personal and professional metaphysical studies in general, and tarot/oracle card collections in general.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

For the Love of Rescue Dogs
Tom Colvin, Paula Sunday, and Mick McAuliffe
CompanionHouse Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781621871897 $19.99 pbk / $17.09 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: The perfect read before you bring your rescue pet home, For the Love of Rescue Dogs is a witty and informative book on all things canine-related. Featuring over 250 stunning pictures of cute dogs, this resource illustrates the many facets of their personality, provides tips on training, and explains the best ways to care for a rescue dog. Know how to give them the life they've always wanted as you flip through the pages of this books that's as adorable as it is enlightening!

Critique: Illustrated with full-color photography throughout, For the Love of Rescue Dogs: The Guide to Selecting, Training, and Caring for Your Dog lives up to its title as a practical reference and resource for anyone interesting in adopting a puppy or dog from an animal shelter. Chapters discuss how to choose a dog that best fits one's lifestyle, do's and don'ts of having both children and dogs, house-training, basic obedience training, keeping one's dog healthy, dealing with problem behaviors, and much more. An index rounds out this thoroughly accessible, easy-to-use, "must-have" for prospective dog owners. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that For the Love of Rescue Dogs is also available in a Kindle edition ($17.09).


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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