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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 15, Number 2 February 2020 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Political Science Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Biography Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Art Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Automotive Shelf Woodworking Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Business Shelf
Gardening Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Gaming Shelf Education Shelf
Travel Shelf Hunting Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Crafts Shelf Self-Help Shelf Military Shelf
Sports Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice


The Book of Chinese Proverbs
Gerd de Ley
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268269, $15.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Chinese culture is one of the oldest in history and the amount of wisdom collected during that time is greater than the Great Wall of China. From Confucius to Laozi to Sun Tzu, numerous Chinese philosophers and their teachings have influenced Chinese culture, but permeated in many different parts of the world. Deftly and expertly compiled by Gerd de Ley, "The Book of Chinese Proverbs" features over 1000 of the greatest ones, organized to be accessible and informative for today's audience and giving more insights to China and its rich culture.

Critique: 'People who are late are often happier than those who have to wait for them.' -- This pocket-sized and easily transportable little volume is a treasure and a pleasure to simply browse through and will prove to be a unique and popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.

Editorial Note: Gerd de Ley is a former English teacher and has been a professional writer and actor since 1975. From an early age, Gerd has been an avid collector of quotations and proverbs from all over the world and has had more than 450 works published in Holland and Belgium. His most comprehensive book, Het Grootste Citatenboek ter Wereld (translated as The Greatest Quotation Book in the World), was published in 2009 and contains over 40,000 quotes. For the past two decades, Gerd has worked together with linguist David Potter to bring his work to English audiences, resulting in publications in England, USA, India, Finland, China, and Vietnam.

The Vancouver Sketchbook
T. K. Justin Ng
Whitecap Books
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside
www.fitzhenry.ca
9781770503250, $29.95, HC, 156pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From the snow-capped mountains to Stanley Park, Gastown to Chinatown, False Creek to UBC, author and artist T. K. Justin Ng reveals the rich history, culture, and stunning beauty of Vancouver, Canada in "The Vancouver Sketchbook: Lush Landscapes, Vibrant Streetscapes, Soaring Skyline".

Part travelogue, part guidebook and in celebration, Ng's vibrant, colorful sketches and lively text are the perfect companion for visitors and residents to appreciating Vancouver's spatial richness and cultural diversity.

Critique: "The Vancouver Sketchbook: Lush Landscapes, Vibrant Streetscapes, Soaring Skyline" is a uniquely informative and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Canadian Art History collections. A simple and informative pleasure to browse through one page at a time, "The Vancouver Sketchbook" would also well serve as a template for similar studies of other Canadian towns and cities.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Crazy Screenwriting Secrets
Weiko Lin
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
www.mwp.com
9781615933013, $29.95, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Through a uniquely effective approach to writing a feature screenplay, the first half of "Crazy Screenwriting Secrets: How to Capture A Global Audience" guides the aspiring script writer in learning how to create and develop: Story Idea, Characters, One Page Step Outline, and the solid script.

In the second half, "Crazy Screenwriting Secrets: How to Capture A Global Audience" covers professional business side of the ever-changing industry by taking the aspiring script writer through the work flow of Hollywood and explores in effective detail just how to work creatively with international countries like China in producing movies that resonate with a global audience.

Critique: Unique, practical, effective, comprehensive, expertly organized and presented, "Crazy Screenwriting Secrets: How to Capture A Global Audience" is essential reading for anyone engaging in the creation of a screenplay for a project hoping to have an international audience. While especially and unreservedly recommended for professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing instructional reference and resource collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Crazy Screenwriting Secrets: How to Capture A Global Audience" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.23).

Editorial Note: A writer/producer, Weiko has written projects for the Mark Gordon Company, Ivanhoe Pictures, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Don Mischer Productions, the Unison Company (Taiwan), and Wanda Pictures (China). Fluent in Mandarin, he produced and wrote the original story for the Chinese-language romance film 100 Days, which released theatrically in Taiwan and premiered in Mainland China as an official selection of the 2014 Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival. For the screen, Weiko adapted River Town, the New York Times Notable Book and bestselling memoir by Peter Hessler for Fugitive Films and acclaimed director Lu Chuan (City of Life and Death, Disney Nature's Born in China). In television, he has written a pilot for Super Deluxe (former digital studio of Turner/WarnerMedia). Recipient of a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Weiko earned his MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. He was also recognized as a finalist for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. A Fulbright Senior Specialist, Weiko has taught at institutions including UCLA, Northwestern University, and Taipei National University of the Arts. He is a tenured Associate Professor at Emerson College. A member of Writers Guild of America West and Dramatist Guild of America, he is represented by Anonymous Content and United Talent Agency.

Wizard Or Wannabe?
Mary E. Neighbour
Upriver, Downriver Books
www.MediaNeighbours.com
9780996254144, $12.95, PB, 9780996254168, Kindle, $4.99
9780996254151, $19.95, HC, 109pp

Synopsis: Mary Neighbour is a member of the Independent Book Publishers and Editorial Freelancers associations, as well as a partner member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and co-founder and former prsident of the Association of Publishers for Special Seales-New Mexico.

With a successful career over some 50 years in editing and design, and of helping authors become independent self-publishers, in "Wizard Or Wannabe?: How Authors & Self-Publishers Can Vet The Professionals They Need To Edit, Design & Shepherd Their Books" she draws upon her considerable and impressive expertise and experience to create an impressively informative, expertly organized, and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional reference, guide and manual that effectively lives up to the promise of its subtitle.

Ideal for those who are new and unfamiliar with the publishing industry, "Wizard Or Wannabe?" will instruct the aspiring self-published author with respect to choosing an appropriate editor, cover designer, interior designer, and book shepherd. Of special note is the explanation of publishing industry terminology, standards, and interview questions.

Critique: This cannot be over-emphasized, "Wizard Or Wannabe?" should be considered mandatory reading for any author considering self-publication -- it will save time, money, and avoiding the frustrations of trial and error in the process of turning a manuscript into a book. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, and format, "Wizard Or Wannabe?" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: The planned release date for "Wizard Or Wannabe?" is mid-March 2020.


The Social Issues Shelf

Collateral Damage
James E. Atwood
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513804873, $29.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: One hundred people die from gun violence every day in the United States. Some fifty children and teens are shot. There are more than 35,000 gun-related deaths every year. Yet many Christians say gun violence shouldn't be talked about in church.

In "Collateral Damage: Changing the Conversation about Firearms and Faith", Christian pastor James E. Atwood issues an urgent call to action to his fellow Christians to work together to stop gun violence. An avid hunter for many years, Pastor Atwood enumerates the tragic and far-reaching costs that accrue in a country with more guns than people. Collateral damage includes a generalized fear and loss of trust. Suicides and homicides. Trauma for children in neighborhoods plagued by gun violence and in schools with frequent lockdown drills. A toxic machismo that shapes our boys and men in unhealthy ways. Economic costs that exceed $229 billion per year. Pastor Atwood also considers the deeper story of racism, inequality, and mass incarceration in which the conversation about gun violence is lodged.

Gun violence has been called the theological emergency of our time. The church has a moral and spiritual obligation to side with life against death. Pastor Atwood asks if we as members of the Christian community will rise to the occasion?

Critique: An impressive, exceptional, and timely contribution to our on-going national dialogue over gun violence, fourth amendment rights, and gun safety regulations, "Collateral Damage: Changing the Conversation about Firearms and Faith" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Social Issues collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists for political activists and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Collateral Damage" is also available in a paperback edition (9781513804866, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Editorial Note: James E. Atwood is pastor emeritus of Trinity Presbyterian Church of Arlington, Virginia. A leader in the faith-based movement for good gun laws, he has served as chair of the anti-gun violence group Heeding God's Call of Greater Washington, interfaith coordinator of the Million Mom March, and a member of the National Committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Atwood is the author of America and Its Guns and Gundamentalism. He is the recipient of the 2018 David Steele Distinguished Writer Award by the Presbyterian Writers Guild and the 2019 Beard Atwood Award from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He and his wife, Roxana, served as mission workers in Japan and now live in Harrisonburg, Virginia.


The Political Science Shelf

We Own the Future
Kate Aronoff, Peter Drier, and Michael Kazin, editors
The New Press
120 Wall Street, floor 31, New York, NY 10005
www.thenewpress.com
9781620975213, $17.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It's a strange day when a New York Times conservative columnist is forced to admit that the left is winning, but as David Brooks wrote recently, "the American left is on the cusp of a great victory." Among Americans under thirty, 43 percent had a favorable view of socialism, while only 32 percent had a favorable view of capitalism. Not since the Great Depression have so many Americans questioned the fundamental tenets of capitalism and expressed openness to a socialist alternative.

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Peter Dreier (who is the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College), Michael Kazin (who is a Professor of History at Georgetown University and a co-editor of Dissent magazine), and journalist Kate Aronoff (whose writings have appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Dissent, Jacobin, and the New York Times), "We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism - American Style" offers a road map to making this alternative a reality, giving readers a practical vision of a future that is more democratic, egalitarian, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.

"We Own the Future" also includes a crash course in the history and practice of democratic socialism, a vivid picture of what democratic socialism in America might look like in practice, and compelling proposals for how to get there from the age of Trump and beyond.

With contributions from some of the nation's leading political activists and analysts, "We Own the Future" articulates a clear and uncompromising view from the left.

Critique: A perfectly timed contribution to our on-going national conversation that is a part of the 2020 presidential campaign and ideological struggle to preserve American values from totalitarian attacks from Trump supporters in Congress and in the general public, "We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism American Style" should be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections. Indeed, if your community or school library doesn't have it -- then donate a copy. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism American Style" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Democracy's Troubles
John E. Miller
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476681139, $29.95, PB, 219pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As exemplified with the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, evidence is accumulating that democracy is under siege -- in the United States and around the world. "Democracy's Troubles: Twelve Threats to the American Ideal and How We Can Overcome Them" by John E. Miller identifies and explains a dozen separate challenges threatening American democracy today.

Sorting these challenges into political and social-cultural problems, each is placed in an historical context to describe how they work together to undermine the democratic underpinnings of the nation.

Opening with a sketch of the historical development of democracy, "Democracy's Troubles" makes the case for the need for improved civic education, rebuilding trust in institutions and leaders, promoting good character and the revitalization of the healthy community -- That a renewed commitment to governmental institutions is necessary for the people to fulfill democracy's promise.

Critique: A timely, detailed and documented study, "Democracy's Troubles: Twelve Threats to the American Ideal and How We Can Overcome Them" is impressively informative, exceptionally well presented, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Given today's political divides and the growing threat to constitutional democratic principles and institutions, "Democracy's Troubles" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections, and the personal reading lists of students, academia, politicians, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note: John E. Miller taught American history at the University of Tulsa and South Dakota State University for three decades. He has written nine books on Midwestern politics and culture and other topics.

How to Get Rid of a President
David Priess
Public Affairs Books
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 West 57th Street, #1321, New York, NY 10107
www.publicaffairsbooks.com
9781541788206, $28.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: To limit executive power, the founding fathers created fixed presidential terms of four years, giving voters regular opportunities to remove their leaders. Later on in the nation's history the congress acted to limit presidential eligibility to a maxim of two terms. Even so, Americans have often resorted to more dramatic paths to disempower the chief executive. The American presidency has seen it all, from rejecting a sitting president's renomination bid and undermining their authority in office to the more drastic methods of impeachment, and, most brutal of all, assassination.

"How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives" showcases the political dark arts in action: a stew of election dramas, national tragedies, and presidential departures mixed with party intrigue, personal betrayal, and backroom shenanigans. This briskly paced, darkly humorous voyage proves that while the pomp and circumstance of presidential elections might draw more attention, the way that presidents are removed teaches us much more about our political order.

Critique: Few books are as topically timely as "How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives". An absolutely essential and core addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all citizens, but especially political science students, academia, politicians, and political activists, that "How to Get Rid of a President" is also available in a paperback edition (9781541788220, $16.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549177101, $35.00, CD).

Editorial Note: David Priess is author of the The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents. He has a PhD in Political Science from Duke University and served at the CIA during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as an intelligence officer, manager, and daily intelligence briefer and at the State Department. Priess writes, speaks, and appears often on broadcast media about the presidency and national security.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Praying Through
Jarrett Stevens
NavPress
www.navpress.com
c/o Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781631469817, $15.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Life can be hard but for Christians, prayer doesn't have to be. Whatever is going on with you right now, God is actually interested. And yet connecting with God through prayer can often feel foreign, challenging, or beyond our reach. But here's the thing: You're already awesome at prayer -- You just don't know it... yet.

Through over twenty years of pastoring and writing, Jarrett Stevens has made it his mission to connect the dots between God and our everyday lives. With fresh biblical insights, powerful stories, and spiritually practical practices, "Praying Through: Overcoming the Obstacles That Keep Us from God" will help you connect with God in fresh and meaningful ways no matter what season you may be going through.

Whether you're new to prayer, or God seems silent, or you're grieving a loss, or you need direction, or you're feeling grateful and don't know how to express it -- you don't have to let these obstacles keep you from God. There is a way for you to pray through!

Critique: Exceptionally well written, inspired and inspiring, "Praying Through: Overcoming the Obstacles That Keep Us from God" is an unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of all Christians and an enduringly welcome addition to church and seminary library collections. It should be noted that "Praying Through: Overcoming the Obstacles That Keep Us from God" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.19).

Editorial Note: Jarrett Stevens is a pastor, author, and speaker. Jarrett previously served as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and North Point Church in Atlanta. Currently Jarrett resides in downtown Chicago where he and his wife Jeanne co-pastor Soul City Church. Known for his humor and honesty, Jarrett is a popular speaker at churches and conferences both nationally and internationally.

Sacred Misinterpretation
Martin Accad
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
www.eerdmans.com
9780802874146, $38.00, PB, 396pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Theological issues are crucial to how Christians and Muslims understand and perceive each other. In "Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching across the Christian-Muslim Divide" Professor Martin Accad guides readers through key theological questions that fuel conflict and misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians. A sure-footed guide, Professor Accad weaves personal stories together with deep discussion of theological beliefs.

Professor Accad deftly identifies trends, recognizes historical realities, and brings to light significant points of contention that often lead to break-down in Christian-Muslim dialogue. He also outlines positive and creative trends that could lead to a more hopeful future. Fairly and seriously presenting both Muslim theology and a Muslim interpretation of Christian theology.

As a result, "Sacred Misinterpretation" is an essential guide for fostering dialogue and understanding among readers from both faiths.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an eight page Bibliography, a three page List of Names, a four page List of Subjects, and a four page Index of Scripture References and Other Ancient Sources, "Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching across the Christian-Muslim Divide" is a groundbreaking work of original and seminal scholarship that is unreservedly recommended for community, seminary, college, and university library Christianity/Islam Studies collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Sacred Misinterpretation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.31).

Editorial Note: Martin Accad is associate professor of Islamic studies at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon, and at Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as director of ABTS' Institute of Middle East Studies. Having a rich multicultural background in his own family, he is very involved in faith-based peacebuilding and bridging Arab-Western cultural divides.

A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture
Carol Hill
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825446146, $29.99, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture", geologist Carol Hill examines how numerous apparent conflicts between Scripture and science can be resolved by understanding the ancient worldview of the scriptural authors and how it differs from our modern, scientific worldview.

This framework opens the door to clearing up longstanding questions, such as: Are the Genesis patriarchs' ages real numbers?; Are the days of creation actual 24-hour days?; Where was the Garden of Eden located?; Was Noah's flood global or local?; Were Adam and Eve real people?; Is evolution a belief or a fact?

With photographs and diagrams throughout, "A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture" explores the meaning of the relevant biblical passages, the scientific data, and how the worldview approach addresses seeming contradictions. Anyone who has wrestled with these questions will find this illustrated study to be an invaluable resource for understanding the interplay between faith and the world.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of thirty-six pages of References and a ten page Index, "A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture" is impressively informative, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, making an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to church, community, seminary, and academic library collections. An excellent textbook for small group studies, "A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture" is also commended for the personal reading lists of students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note: Carol Hill is a geologist who has worked in the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Cavern for over 40 years. She is the author of a number of books, and has been featured on NOVA and National Geographic TV. Her other publications include "Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth", as senior editor and co-author. Carol teaches geology at the University of New Mexico.

Understanding Atonement
Gary A. Fox
Resource Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781532688331, $17.00, PB, 114pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: At some point in the Christian faith journey, most people ask the question, "Why did Jesus die?" The most common answer is, "For my sins."

But what if Jesus died because of the sin of humanity, not for individual sins? It seems weirdly illogical for a God who is love (1 John 4:8) to demand a blood sacrifice to cover sin. It is not what the Jewish sacrificial system supported either.

Forgiveness is about love, not punishment. "Understanding Atonement: Maybe It's Time to Rethink Atonement without Giving Up Jesus" by Gary A. Fox will Christians to understand that God loves us and will not forsake us. Ever.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, thoughtful and thought-provoking, impressively organized and presented, "Understanding Atonement: Maybe It's Time to Rethink Atonement without Giving Up Jesus" is highly recommended reading for seminary students, clergy, and all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliations.

Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional
Asheritah Ciuciu
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
www.moodypublishers.com
9780802419491, $12.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the pages of "Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional", Asheritah Ciuciu invites all members of the Christian community to reclaim the Lenten season with 40 devotionals that reveal the deep love of Jesus that's exhibited at the cross and tomb. Each daily reflection looks at Jesus' personal interactions in Scripture and leads the reader in meditation on a new aspect of His love.

The underlying message is 'Don't let Easter pass by this year", instead, reflect, engage, and be transformed as Christians once again uncover the love of Jesus and learn to love their neighbor as He would. Of special note is the inclusion of optional family activities to help them celebrate Jesus together.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional" is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring. Very highly recommended, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Editorial Note: Asheritah Ciuciu is a successful writer and public speaker, wife to her high school sweetheart Flaviu, and mama to three spunky kiddos. She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through creative and consistent time with God's Word. She invites everyone to discover their own creative Quiet Time personality at www.OneThingAlone.com.

Of Water and the Spirit
Alexander Schmemann
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780913836101, $18.00, PB, 170pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism" is a study of the Orthodox understanding of Christian initiation, the rites of baptism and chrismation, in which Father Alexander Schmemann invites the Christian reader to 'rediscover' baptism.

Father Schmemann penetrates the Church's rubrics and rituals (so often dismissed as out-of-date or merely quaint) in order to reveal their inner content: a message of man's entrance into new life, into the Church and into the Kingdom.

The result is a powerful statement of the meaning baptism should hold in our lives.

Critique: An impressively thoughtful, inspired and inspiring study of baptism from an Orthodox Christian perspective, "Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, pastoral, church, seminary, and academic library Christian Theological Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Father Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) was a prolific writer, brilliant lecturer, and dedicated pastor. Former dean and professor of liturgical theology at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, his insight into contemporary culture and liturgical celebration left an indelible mark on the Christian community worldwide.

Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach
R. Scott Hurd
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.pauline.org
9780819826916, $12.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach", Scott Hurd writes of the spiritual, psychological, physical, and social benefits of learning how to forgive and find peace from a Roman Catholic perspective. Drawing from his pastoral experience, Hurd examines how human weakness affects such things as our ability to forgive and reconcile, our capacity to trust, and how we cope when a plea for forgiveness is rejected by a person we have wronged.

Critique: As thoughtfully insightful as it is compelling, inspiring, and quality of life enhancing, "Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach" is especially commended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of parishioners, clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist readers with an interest in spirituality and personal growth that "Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: R. Scott Hurd is a Catholic speaker and award-winning author who has more than twenty years' experience in professional ministry. He serves as senior director for leadership formation with Catholic Charities USA. Hurd is the author of five books, including Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach, which received an Excellence in Publishing award from the Association of Catholic Publishers. When Faith Feels Fragile: Hope for the Wary, Weak, and Wandering earned a second-place award in 2014 from the Catholic Press Association and was also a finalist in the ACP Excellence in Publishing awards. Hurd also is the author of two books in The Living Gospel seasonal series from Ave Maria Press. Hurd graduated from the University of Richmond (cum laude) in 1989 with a degree in accounting and business administration. He received his bachelor of theology degree from Oxford University (UK) in 1993.

Walking in the Power of the Almighty Creator
Luis A. Gonzalez
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781973653950, $30.95, HC, 164pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Luis A. Gonzalez personally met the Creator, the God of the Christian Bible, in the spring of 1994. The Lord of all the earth, as He is also known, manifested Himself to him and gave him a vision, which would, in turn, be a life-changing moment. As a result, his life and beliefs were fundamentally transformed, and he was given a new perspective on life.

In "Walking in the Power of the Almighty Creator", Gonzalez shows his readers how to effectively and successfully communicate with the Lord God Almighty so that they too can hear His voice and walk in His power by developing a close relationship with Him.

The underlying promise of "Walking in the Power of the Almighty Creator" is that it will enable anyone to overcome any challenge or obstacle and enjoy and experience God's presence and success each day in every area of their life.

Critique: Impressively organized and presented, "Walking in the Power of the Almighty Creator" is unreservedly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denomination affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Walking in the Power of the Almighty Creator" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1973653943, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.39).

The Beginning of Difference
Theodore Hiebert
Abingdon Press
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
www.abingdonpress.com
9781501871023, $17.99, PB, 150pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Difference can enrich us or tear us apart. Difference can make our lives stronger, fuller, and richer or it can destroy them. Therefore, how we engage difference matters. Conflicts between different peoples around the world, the movement of refugees from nation to nation, tensions over immigration, and growing diversity within our society bring difference to our doorstep daily. We can engage people who are different constructively and compassionately, or we can allow the fear of difference to distance us from others and to demonize them. At a time when racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious differences have created heightened tensions, we need more than ever to find our bearings. We need to re-examine what we think about difference.

In "The Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God's Diverse World", Professor Theodore Hiebert re-examines the Bible's stories explaining difference and its beginnings in the book of Genesis, exposing the inclination to interpret these stories as a negative view of difference. These stories recognize difference as God's intention for the world, providing us with constructive resources of living with difference today.

Professor Hiebert starts with the story of "The Tower of Babel" and moves beyond it to examine how Genesis's writers saw their unique identity and role in the world not as separate from all others but as members of the human family of which they were a part. He presents how biblical characters lived with difference and how the first Christians embraced difference. Finally, he invites the reader into new conversations about our biblical traditions that reveal a respect for difference, a generosity toward others, a desire to include rather than exclude, and a continuing interest in negotiating difference in ways that build relationships rather than destroy them.

Critique: Erudite, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God's Diverse World" is a deftly crafted work of impressive theological scholarship and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, college, and university library Contemporary Christian Theology collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Old Testament biblical studies from a Christian perspective that "The Beginning of Difference is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Theodore Hiebert is Francis is the A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL. He was an editor and translator of the Common English Bible. A leading scholar among theological educators, he has done groundbreaking work in the study of Genesis.

This Is the Life
Terry Hershey
Franciscan Media
28 West Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
https://info.franciscanmedia.org
9781632532787, $16.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: We are born to savor life, to live in the moment. What holds us back? When we stop the noise, the distraction, the compulsion to perform, the fear of rejection, we make space to savor the power of the present moment. We carry this capacity to honor the present into every encounter and relationship, meaning that we honor the dignity that is reflected by God's goodness and grace. Every encounter, every relationship, is a place to include, invite mercy, encourage, receive, heal, reconcile, repair, say thank you, pray, celebrate, refuel, and restore.

"This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment" is an invitation to practice, to savor, the sacred present. We are called to be available. To be curious. To be alive. To be willing to be surprised by joy. To know there is power in the word enough.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment" will prove to be a life enhancing, life celebrating read from first page to last. While unreservedly recommended for community, seminary, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all members of the Christian community that "This Is the Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Terry Hershey is an author, humorist, inspirational speaker, father, ordained minister, golf addict, and smitten by French wine. He is the author of "Sanctuary, The Power of Pause and Soul Gardening". He divides his time between designing sanctuary gardens and sharing his practice of mindfulness and savoring this life. Most days, you can find Terry out in his garden (on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound) because he believes that there is something fundamentally spiritual about dirt under your fingernails.

Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching, Vol. 1
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780881416084, $35.00, PB, 578pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It has been said that Jesus Christ is always actual, and at the same time always anticipating actuality. This is something that Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev has made abundantly clear in "Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching -- his monumental six-volume study.

As the Metropolitan observes, throughout history there has never been a person about whom so much has been written; and yet the Metropolitan has himself found many new ways to restate, in fresh and vivid terms, the ancient truths about the Savior. This first and debut volume of the "Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching" series is a remarkable study that deserves to be read with careful, prayerful, and close attention.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a two page listing of Abbreviations and a twenty page Index, "Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching, Vol. 1" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, church, seminary, college, and university library Orthodox Christian Theology collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with in interest in the subject that "Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching, Vol. 1" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

The Early Church (33 - 313)
James L. Papandrea
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781594717710, $16.95, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The first three centuries of the Christian faith were a period of missionary zeal, deep thought, and government sponsored tribulation. In "The Early Church (33 - 313): St. Peter, the Apostles, and Martyrs", Catholic historian and biblical expert James Papandrea dispels what he calls common "mythconceptions" about the early years of Christianity. Tracking the challenges of heresy and persecution throughout the period, Papandrea shines a spotlight on the earliest saints and explores the growth and development of the new Church.

The first Apostles spread the message of Jesus Christ and were willing to suffer and die for their faith. The next generations of believers followed their example, producing inspiring martyrs including Polycarp, Justin, Perpetua, and Sebastian, and great thinkers such as Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Eusebius. "The Early Church (33 - 313)" presents a clear account of the Church's first three centuries and provides evidence to refute fourteen commonly held beliefs about the Catholic Church.

Readers will learn: No money or power was attached to being a bishop or priest in the early Church; Christian holidays were not adaptations of pagan celebrations; Christians have never believed in an eternal life for souls without bodies; The doctrine of the Trinity was not forced upon the Church by Constantine, but rather was a belief from the beginning of Christianity.

With clear explanation and inspiring stories, Papandrea sorts through what we do and don't know about the early Church and enables Catholics and fellow Christians to make sense of the Church's beginnings.

Critique: A detailed work of impeccable scholarship that is expertly written and will appeal to both academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, "The Early Church (33 - 313): St. Peter, the Apostles, and Martyrs" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, church, seminary, college, and university library History of Christianity collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists. It should be noted that "The Early Church (33-313) is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Jim Papandrea is a teacher, author, speaker, and musician. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in music and theatre arts, Jim went on to receive his M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration in youth ministry, then spent several years in full time ministry, focusing on youth and music ministry, and serving as a consultant in youth ministry. Jim holds a Ph.D. in the history and theology of the early Christian church from Northwestern University, with secondary concentrations in New Testament interpretation and the history of the Roman Empire. He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. He is now Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary (on the campus of Northwestern University) in Evanston. IL. He has also taught as an adjunct instructor for Barat College, Elmhurst College, Loyola University's Institute for Pastoral Studies, and the lay and deacon formation programs of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Free To Believe
Luke Goodrich
Multnomah Books
c/o Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
12265 Oracle Blvd., Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780525652908, $24.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In today's national and regional political climate, many Americans are concerned about rising threats to religious freedom. They feel the culture changing around them, and they fear that their beliefs will soon be marginalized as a form of bigotry. Others, younger Christians in particular, are tired of the culture wars, and they wonder whether courtroom battles are truly worthwhile, or even in line with the teachings of Jesus.

In the pages of "Free to Believe: The Battle Over Religious Liberty in America", Luke Goodrich offers a reasoned, balanced, gospel-centered approach to religious freedom. He applies biblical understanding to a number of the most hot-button cultural issues of our day. He also offers practical steps Christians can take to respond to religious freedom conflicts in an informed, responsible, and graceful way.

Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Free to Believe: The Battle Over Religious Liberty in America" is an extraordinary and timely contribution to our on-going national dialogue over religious liberty and a Christian's responsibility with respect to good government and the general welfare of our secular state. While very highly recommended as an addition to community and academic library Church & State Religious Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Free to Believe" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Luke Goodrich is a leading religious freedom attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he has won multiple Supreme Court victories for clients like the Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby. He frequently discusses religious freedom on networks like Fox News, CNN, ABC, and NPR, and in publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. Goodrich is also an adjunct professor at the University of Utah law school, where he teaches an advanced course in constitutional law. He lives in Salt Lake City where he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his wife and family and serving in their local church.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

Strangers & Natives
Ron Rubin
Urim Publications
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
www.UrimPublications.com
9781602803282, $29.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Strangers and Natives: A Newspaper Narrative of Early Jewish America, 1734 - 1869" by Ron Rubin focuses on the daily life and customs of the Jewish community and the Jewish people; the formation of Jewish congregations and organizations; and the involvement of Jews in education, literature, journalism, politics, the marketplace, the military, and history itself.

While there are numerous historical accounts of early American Jewry quoting documents, diaries and memoirs, "Strangers and Natives" is the first that uses periodicals from that time period. Using scans of the original newsprint, most from Professor Rubin's own extensive collection, "Strangers and Natives" displays the actual written words comprising newpaper accounts (the first blush of history) in visual form.

Critique: A unique and invaluable contribution to the growing library of American Judaic 18th and 19th century history, "Strangers and Natives: A Newspaper Narrative of Early Jewish America, 1734 - 1869" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Ron Rubin is Political Science Professor Emeritus at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. A prolific writer, Rubin has had more than 100 works published globally since then. His books include Controversies Over the Objectives of the U.S. Information Agency (Praeger, 1968), The Unredeemed: Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union (Quadrangle Books, 1968), Rudy, Rudy, Rudy: The Real and the Rational (Holmes & Meier, 2000) and Anything for a T-Shirt: Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon (Syracuse University Press, 2004). In 2013 more than 75 of Dr. Rubin's commentaries - focusing solely on topics relating to Israel, the global Jewish community and the American Jewish community - were anthologized in A Jewish Professor's Political Punditry: Fifty Plus Years of Published Commentary by Ron Rubin, edited by Peri Devaney (Syracuse University Press).

Mysteries of Judaism: Volume III
Israel Drazin
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
www.gefenpublishing.com
9789657023105, $19.95, HC, 301pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, The third volume in Israel Drazin's Mysteries of Judaism series "Common Sense Evaluations of Religious Thoughts" covers what the Torah states about life after death, the soul, the world to come, sin, repentance, rational and mystical views on immortality, resurrection, and the age of the universe, what if anything we must believe, changes that occurred in our concept of God, multiple violations of Torah laws by biblical persons (even prophets), misunderstandings about the Ten Commandments, prophecies that were not fulfilled, biblical and other ancient Jewish books that were neglected or rejected, humor in the Bible, the portrayal of biblical figures with their faults, and changing biblical laws and rabbinical customs.

Mysteries of Judaism: Volume III explains that the siddur is not what people think it is and contains mystical additions, and it offers different views about the value of prayer. It talks about Judaism's first philosopher, contacts with non-Jewish cultures that changed Judaism, surprising elements in Ecclesiastes, and the nontraditional views of Orthodox thinkers such as Rashbam, Nachman Krochmal, J. B. Soloveitchik, David Hartman, Nathan Lopes Cardozo, and others.

It also describes what most people do not know about Maimonides and clarifies his view on Midrashim, why they were written and their value today. It reveals that people are punished despite repentance and that false prophets can still prophesy.

Further, Mysteries of Judaism: Volume III examines the Torah and holy books, conversion, and intermarriage, and the impact of foreign cultures on Jewish practices and halakha. It analyses mysticism and atheism; the values of secular culture; the views of Moshe Chaim Luzzatto and his Mesillat Yesharim, and of Arnold Ehrlich; and it explores Nietzsche, Gersonides, and Maimonides views on faith and the Bible.

Critique: Informative and exceptionally well organized and presented, "Mysteries of Judaism: Common Sense Evaluations of Religious Thoughts" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note: Dr. Israel Drazin served for thirty-one years as a chaplain in the US Army and attained the rank of brigadier general. He has a PhD in Judaic studies, a master's degrees in psychology and Hebrew literature, and is an attorney and a rabbi. He developed the legal strategy that saved the military chaplaincies when its constitutionality was attacked in court and received the Legion of Merit for his service. He is acclaimed in the scholarly world for proving that the Targum Onkelos must have been composed after 400 CE, a period much later than had been widely accepted. He is the author of fifty-one books, some in the process of being published, including a series of volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, a series of books on the twelfth-century philosopher Moses Maimonides, and many books on the Hebrew Bible published by Gefen Publishing House.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Vineyards of Champagne
Juliet Blackwell
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780451490650, $16.00, PB, 416pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: During the dark days of World War II, deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars.

In the present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne -- or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades -- and find a way to savor her own life again.

Critique: An impressively entertaining novel hallmarked by originality and the author's fully engaging narrative storytelling style, "The Vineyards Of Champagne" by novelist Juliet Blackwell is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. A truly rewarding read from beginning to end, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Vineyards Of Champagne" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781977360724, $29.99, CD).

All the Ways We Said Goodbye
Beatriz Williams
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062931092, $28.99, HC, 448pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family's ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major's aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie's debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max's friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz -- the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite "Daisy" Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother's Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand's underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country (and the man) she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara "Babs" Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit's death, American lawyer Andrew "Drew" Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as "La Fleur," the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz -- and to unexpected places of the heart.

Critique: An elegantly scripted and multi-layered novel that showcases the three co-author's impressive literary skills with narrative driven storytelling, "All the Ways We Said Goodbye: A Novel of the Ritz Paris" by the team of Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White is an inherently fascinating, multi-generational read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for all community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "All the Ways We Said Goodbye" is also available in a large print paperback edition (9780062978783, $29.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Harper Audio, 9780062983879, $49.99, CD).

Out of Slavery: A Novel of Harriet Tubman
Carol Trembath
Lakeside Publishing MI
www.caroltrembath.com
9780990744672, $22.95, HC, 156pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Out of Slavery: A Novel of Harriet Tubman" by Carol Trembath follows the perilous path of the Underground Railroad and reveals the tragic costs of the Civil War. This compelling tale is seen through the eyes of three escaping slaves, Cece, Tilly, and Lou, as Harriet conducts them north to safety and freedom along the Underground Railroad. The journey continues when they, along with Harriet, enlist in the Union Army.

The War of the Rebellion propels Harriet and her companions to act together along with Frederick Douglass, Colonel Robert Shaw, and Sergeant William Carney to preserve a divided nation and free a people caught in the web of slavery. "Out of Slavery" is a story of romance and realism, and the triumphs and tragedies of war.

As Cece says of Harriet, "Along our escape route, I saw wanted posters of Harriet. Who Harriet really was never fit the description that I saw on those ragged pieces of paper. They all missed telling about her great heart. She would never free a whole nation of slaves like Moses, but I knew she had the desire and will to do so."

Critique: Although a deftly crafted work of fiction, "Out of Slavery: A Novel of Harriet Tubman" is an extraordinary and inherently riveting retelling of a fact-based biographical history of what one woman was able to accomplish in behalf of so many others at the very real peril to her own life and safety. Especially and unreservedly recommended, "Out of Slavery" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Out of Slavery" is also available in a paperback edition (9780990744689, $12.95).

Editorial Note: Author, speaker, and educator Carol Trembath holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and a Masters in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. Her dedicated mission is to bring more awareness about the life and times of Harriet Tubman -- the heroine of the Underground Railroad.

A Love Hate Thing
Whitney D. Grandison
Inkyard Press
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9781335016041, $18.99, HC, 464pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he's ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn't care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won't be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that's taken Trice's heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it'll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

Critique: An original, unique and deftly scripted novel, "A Love Hate Thing" showcases author Whitney D. Grandison's impressively effective narrative storytelling style. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Love Hate Thing" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094028880, $39.99, CD).

A Good Man
Ani Katz
Penguin Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780143134985, $17.00, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Thomas Martin was a devoted family man who had all the trappings of an enviable life: a beautiful wife and daughter, a well-appointed home on Long Island's north shore, a job at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He was also a devoted son and brother, shielding the women in his orbit from the everyday brutalities of the world.

But what happens when Thomas's fragile ego is rocked? After committing a horrific deed (and one that he can never undo) Thomas grapples with his sense of self. Sometimes he casts himself as a victim and, at other times, a monster. All he ever did was try to be a good man, but maybe if he tells his version of the story, he might uncover how and why things unraveled so horribly.

Critique: An expertly and deftly crafted novel of nail-biting, 'turn on the lights' suspense, "A Good Man" by novelist Ani Katz will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Good Man" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Losing You
Nicci French
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062876034, $16.99, 353pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Nina Landry awakens on her fortieth birthday, anticipating a day filled with excitement. She, her new boyfriend, and her two children are taking a trip -- leaving their home on Sandling Island, off the coast of England, for a dream vacation. As soon as her fifteen-year-old daughter, Charlie, returns from a sleepover, they can get ready to leave.

But Charlie doesn't come home at the expected time. Nina can't believe of all days, Charlie has chosen this day to be late. As minutes and then hours tick by, Nina's annoyance soon changes to concern, and then to a chilling certainty that something terrible has happened.

The police insist there's no reason to worry -- yet. Teenagers are unreliable, impulsive. Nina always thought she and Charlie had a solid, trusting relationship, but seeking out Charlie's friends for clues to her whereabouts makes her reconsider. How well does Nina know her daughter, really? How well can a parent ever know a child? And will everything Nina doesn't know (about Charlie, her neighbors, even the friends and family closest to them) prove fatal...?

Critique: Another deftly penned, inherently riveting, cliff-hanger of a read, "Losing You" continues to showcase author Nicci French's exceptional storytelling skills and total mastery of the suspense/thriller genre. While especially recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Losing You" is also available as complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781501286766, $9.99, MP3 CD).

Editorial Note: Nicci French is the author of the bestsellers Secret Smile, Land of the Living, The Red Room, Beneath the Skin, and Killing Me Softly, as well as two earlier books, The Memory Game and The Safe House, both published in England to great acclaim.

The Playground
Jane Shemilt
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062939425, $16.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.

There's Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there's Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

The story twists and then twists again while the three families desperately search for answers. It's only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world. -- But has this knowledge come too late?

Critique: A compelling novel by an author with an impressive and narrative driven storytelling skill set, Jane Shemilt's "The Playground" will prove to be an extraordinarily and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Playground" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094027265, $39.99, CD).

Verities: A Journey by Tracks
Randy White
Belle Isle Books
http://www.belleislebooks.com
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
www.brandylanepublishers.com
9781951565046, $17.95, PB, 300pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."

In the pages of Randy White's "Verities: A Journey by Tracks" the reader will take a ride down the train tracks in the small town of Verities, and see one young man's quests for meaning in his troubled life. They will follow Sam's journey as he grows up facing ugly truths about love and loss on the wrong side of the tracks.

Critique: A hopeful story of rising above one's circumstances, even in the cruel face of social injustice, "Verities: A Journey by Tracks" is a succinct literary masterpiece and showcases that author's genuine flair for originality and a distinctive narrative driven storytelling style that engages the reader's total attention. One of those books that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "Verities: A Journey by Tracks" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.

Apartment
Teddy Wayne
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.bloomsbury.com
9781635574005, $26.00, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In 1996, the unnamed narrator of Teddy Wayne's Apartment is attending the MFA writing program at Columbia on his father's dime and living in an illegal sublet of a rent-stabilized apartment. Feeling guilty about his good fortune, he offers his spare bedroom (rent-free) to Billy, a talented, charismatic classmate from the Midwest eking out a hand-to-mouth existence in Manhattan.

The narrator's rapport with Billy develops into the friendship he's never had due to a lifetime of holding people at arm's length, hovering at the periphery, feeling "fundamentally defective." But their living arrangement, not to mention their radically different upbringings, breeds tensions neither man could predict. Interrogating the origins of our contemporary political divide and its ties to masculinity and class, Apartment is a gutting portrait of one of New York's many lost, disconnected souls by a writer with an uncommon aptitude for embodying them.

Critique: A impressively crafted and thoroughly reader engaging work of deftly written and narrative driven storytelling by and exceptionally gifted novelist, "Apartment" by Teddy Wayne is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Apartment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Wife After Wife
Olivia Hayfield
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
https://www.penguin.com
9780593101834, $16.00, PB, 464pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Master of the universe Harry Rose is head of the Rose Corporation, number eighteen on the Forbes rich list, and recently married to wife number six. But in 2018, his perfect world is about to come crashing to the ground. His business is in the spotlight (and not in a good way) and his love life is under scrutiny. Because behind a glittering curtain of lavish parties, gorgeous homes, and a media empire is a tale worthy of any tabloid. -- And Harry has a lot to account for!

Critique: A timely novel for this present era of the MeToo movement that has seen the fall of such notable womanizing figures as entertainment moguls, industry czars, American presidents, and journalism icons, and the increasing phenomena of multiple divorces, "Wife After Wife" is an inherently fascinating read from beginning to end. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wife After Wife" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

A Long Time Comin'
Robin W. Pearson
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781496441881, $25.99, HC, 432pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she's dying doesn't mean she can't keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they'd best take it up with Jesus. There's no room in Granny B's house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.

Her granddaughter, Evelyn Lester, shows up on Beatrice's doorstep anyway, burdened with her own secret baggage. Determined to help her Granny B mend fences with her far-flung brood, Evelyn turns her grandmother's heart and home inside out. Evelyn's meddling uncovers a tucked-away box of old letters, forcing the two women to wrestle with their past and present pain as they confront the truth Beatrice has worked a lifetime to hide.

Critique: An immediately engaging, impressively original, and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, A Long Time Comin' by Robin W. Pearson will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that A Long Time Comin' is also available in a paperback edition (9781496441539, $15.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781640913677, $35.99, CD).

The Girl with the Louding Voice
Abi Dare
Dutton
c/o Penguin Group USA
https://www.penguin.com
9781524746025, $26.00, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a "louding voice" -- the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni's father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.

When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.

But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can in a whisper, in song, in broken English -- until she is heard!

Critique: A deftly crafted, impressively original, and simply riveting read with a powerful underlying message four out times, "The Girl With The Louding Voice" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Girl With The Louding Voice" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Abi Dare grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and has lived in the UK for eighteen years. She studied law at the University of Wolverhampton and has an MSc in International Project Management from Glasgow Caledonian University as well as an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Girl with the Louding Voice won the Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was also selected as a finalist in the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. Abi lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters, who inspired her to write her debut novel.

Unmaking Grace
Barbara Boswell
Catalyst Press
https://www.catalystpress.org
9781946395238, $16.00, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Family secrets run deep for Grace, a young girl growing up in Cape Town during the 1980s. Her family secrets spill over into adulthood, and threaten to ruin the respectable life she has built for herself.

When an old childhood friend emerges after disappearing a decade earlier during a clash with apartheid riot police in the Cape Flats, where South Africa's colored community makes its home, Grace's memories of her childhood come rushing back, and she is confronted, once again, with the loss that has shaped her.

Grace must face up to the truth or continue to live a lie -- but the choice is not straightforward.

Critique: A deftly crafted and inherently engaging novel by an author with an impressive narrative storytelling talent, "Unmaking Grace" by Barbara Boswell is an intimate portrayal of violence, both personal and political, and its legacy on one person's life. Very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, "Unmaking Grace" deftly meditates on the long shadow cast by personal trauma, showing the inter-generational imprint of violence and loss on people's lives. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Unmaking Grace" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.92).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Cape Town, South Africa and teaching at the University of Cape Tow, academician Barbara Boswell is a feminist literary scholar of Black diasporic women's writing.

A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son
Sergio Troncoso
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901
www.cincopuntos.com
9781947627338, $16.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: How does a Mexican-American, the son of poor immigrants, leave his border home and move to the heart of gringo America? How does he adapt to the worlds of wealth, elite universities, the rush and power of New York City? How does he make peace with a stern old-fashioned father who has only known hard field labor his whole life?

In the stories comprising "A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son " , author Sergio Troncoso tells luminous tales through the lens of an exile adrift in the 21st century, with his memorable characters suffering from the loss of culture and language, the loss of roots and home as they adapt to the glittering promises of new worlds which ultimately seem so empty.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and compelling read from first page to last, "A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son" is an extraordinary and deftly written anthology and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Hispanic American Literature & Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.59).

The Museum of Lost Love
Gary Barker
World Editions
www.worldeditions.org
9781912987030, $16.99 PB, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tyler is in therapy. Katia and Goran are in love. On a summer trip to Zagreb, the couple discover an unusual museum that displays mementos of broken relationships. Inside, Goran stumbles upon an exhibit that seems to be addressed to him, from a girl he met in a Sarajevo refugee camp at age fourteen. What follows is a whirlwind summer of reconnecting with lost pasts: Goran confronts the youth he lost during the Yugoslav Wars, Katia heads to Brazil to find her roots, and Afghanistan veteran Tyler pours out his soul. Set against alternating backdrops of violent circumstances, "The Museum of Lost Love" by Gary Barker is a soulful testament to the resilience of the human heart.

Critique: Showcasing author Gary Barker's genuine flair for originality and an impressively effective and deftly compelling narrative storytelling style, "The Museum of Lost Love" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Museum of Lost Love" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.69).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Forever My Duke: Unlikely Duchesses
Olivia Drake
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250174390, $7.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She's the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife -- an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn't have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn't care less about Hadrian's title. After all, it's not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can't understand what it's like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives.

Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him... despite his being a duke?

Critique: A deftly crafted and classic historical romance, "Forever My Duke" showcases author Olivia Drake's impressive and imaginative narrative storytelling skills as a novelist. While absolutely and unreservedly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Forever My Duke" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Tea Chest
Heidi Chiavaroli
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781496434777, $24.99, HC, 464pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Boston, 1773. Emma Malcolm's father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma's heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer's assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancee, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel's wife.

Present Day. Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

Critique: A fully absorbing and engagingly entertaining read, "The Tea Chest" by Heidi Chiavaroli is another deftly penned novel by a master of the storytelling arts. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of Heidi Chiavaroli fans that "The Tea Chest" is also available in a paperback edition (9781496434784, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Scot Under the Covers
Suzanne Enouch
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250296405, $7.99, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Devilishly handsome Highlander Aden MacTaggert most certainly knows his way around gaming halls and womens' hearts. Still, Aden is not sure how he'll manage to find a Sassenach bride in time to save his family's inheritance. When his almost sister-in-law Miranda comes to him for assistance, he proposes a partnership: She will help him navigate London society and he'll teach her everything about wagering -- and winning back her freedom. The beautiful, clever lass intrigues Aden -- but is she playing her own game, or are the sparks between them real? He is accustomed to risking his pocket. But betting on Miranda's love is a game he can't afford to lose!

Critique: The second novel in the seductive new Scottish historical romance 'Wild Wicked Highlanders' series from author Suzanne Enoch, "Scot Under the Covers" is an enormously entertaining and skillfully scripted read from beginning to end. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Romance Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Scot Under the Covers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Promised
Leah Garriott
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
www.shadowmountain.com
9781629726144, $15.99, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious match-making party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake, Mr. Northam.

There's only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won't leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret's chances for making a good match -- to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage -- to Lord Williams.

Under no conditions will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the man she'd hoped to marry before she'd learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.

Critique: A deftly crafted Regency era romance novel by an author who has a complete mastery of the general, "Promised" by Leah Garriott is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Promised" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.00) and librarians should be aware that "Promised" is also available in a large print edition (Thorndike Press, 9781432877200, $30.99, Library Binding).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Careless Whiskers
Miranda James
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780451491152, $26.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he's delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.

Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.

Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he's not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel's help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.

Critique: A crisply written 'whodunnit' mystery with many an unexpected plot twist and turn, "Careless Whiskers" by Miranda James is a mystery buffs delight and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that this compulsive page turner of a novel is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781977364203, $29.99, CD).

House on Fire
Joseph Finder
Dutton
c/o Penguin Group USA
https://www.penguin.com
9781101985847, $28.00, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Private investigator Nick Heller is at the top of his game when he receives some devastating news: his old army buddy Sean has died of an overdose. Sean, who once saved Nick's life, got addicted to opioids after returning home wounded from war. Then at Sean's funeral, a stranger approaches Nick with a job, and maybe also a way for Nick to hold someone accountable.

The woman is the daughter of a pharmaceutical kingpin worth billions. Now she wants to become a whistleblower, exposing her father and his company for burying evidence that its biggest money-maker was dangerously addictive. It was a lie that killed hundreds of thousands of people, including Sean. All Nick has to do is find the document that proves the family knew the drug's dangers. But Nick soon realizes that the sins of the patriarch are just the beginning.

Beneath the surface are barely concealed cabals and conspiracies: a twisting story of family intrigue and lethal corporate machinations. In a deadly game of chess that pits Nick against a family dynasty, against brothers and sisters with schemes of their own, Nick learns how far his enemy is willing to go to protect its name and its wealth.

Critique: A simply riveting read from beginning to end, "House On Fire" once again showcases author Joseph Finder's complete mastery of the suspense thriller genre with a novel that has more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated suspense thriller enthusiasts that "House On Fire" is also available in a large print paperback edition (9780593152195, $30.00), as well as in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Penguin Audio, 9781524723712, $39.99, CD).

The Tenant
Katrine Engberg
Scout Press
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
9781982127572, $27.00, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When a young woman is discovered brutally murdered in her own apartment, with an intricate pattern of lines carved into her face, Copenhagen police detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner are assigned to the case. In short order, they establish a link between the victim, Julie Stender, and her landlady, Esther de Laurenti, who's a bit too fond of drink and the host of raucous dinner parties with her artist friends.

Esther also turns out to be a budding novelist -- and when Julie turns up as a murder victim in the still-unfinished mystery she's writing, the link between fiction and real life grows both more urgent and more dangerous. But Esther's role in this twisted scenario is not quite as clear as it first seems. Is she the culprit -- or just another victim, trapped in a twisted game of vengeance?

Anette and Jeppe must dig more deeply into the two women's pasts to discover the identity of the brutal puppet-master pulling the strings.

Critique: An inherently riveting suspense thriller of a novel with numerous deftly crafted unexpected plot twists and cliff-hanger turns, "The Tenant" is an extraordinary read from first page to last. Showcasing author Katrine Engberg's total mastery of the genre, "The Tenant" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated suspense thriller enthusiasts that "The Tenant" is also available in a paperback edition (9781982144807, $22.00), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781508299417, $39.99).

The Decent Inn of Death
Rennie Airth
Penguin Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780143134299, $16.00, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On a trip into Winchester, former chief inspector Angus Sinclair learns of a tragedy that has taken place in the village he is staying in. Beloved church organist Greta Hartmann has slipped and fallen to her death in a shallow creek, and while investigations conclude it to be an accident, her friend and housemate, Vera, remains unconvinced.

After learning that Greta was the widow of a prominent anti-Nazi German preacher, Sinclair meets with the distraught Vera, and he resolves to dig deeper into the story. His investigations lead him to the stately manor of Julia Lesage, where she lives with her devoted staff that includes her secretary, cook, and driver.

Though confined to a wheelchair, Julia is an electrifying spirit with a sharp wit, and those who know her adore her. Among those who do, a gentleman with dubious business dealings is also staying at the house -- and Julia appears to be in love with him.

The a blizzard hits, keeping Sinclair, and later Madden, on the grounds with little to do but analyze the case of Greta's death, until a murder takes place, and everyone becomes a suspect.

Critique: Another deftly crafted 'whodunnit' style mystery from the pen of a master of the genre, "The Decent Inn Of Death" by Rennie Airth will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of Rennie Airth fans and dedicated mystery buffs everywhere that "The Decent Inn Of Death" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Spitfire
M. L. Huie
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643852454, $26.70, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It's V-E Day 1946 in London. World War II has been over for a year and former spy Livy Nash is celebrating with her third drink before noon. She went to war to kill Nazis. Dropped behind enemy lines as a courier, she quickly became one of the toughest agents in France. But her war ended with betrayal and the execution of the man she loved. Now, Livy spends her days proofreading a demeaning advice column for little old ladies at home, and her nights alone with black market vodka.

But everything changes when she meets the infamous Ian Fleming. The man who will create the world's most sophisticated secret agent has an agenda of his own and sends Livy back to France with one task: track down the traitor who killed the only man she ever loved. Livy jumps at the chance, heading back to Paris undercover as a journalist. But the City of Lights is teeming with spies, and Livy quickly learns just how much the game has changed. With enemies on every corner and ever-shifting alliances, she'll have to learn to fight a new war if she wants to conquer the past once and for all.

Critique: A deftly penned and simply riveting read with more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster, "Spitfire" by M. L. Huie is certain to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Huie fans in general, and dedicated suspense thriller fans in particular that "Spitfire" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Last Sister
Kendra Elliot
https://www.kendraelliot.com
Montlake Publishing
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781542006729, $24.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Twenty years ago Emily Mills's father was murdered, and she found his body hanging in the backyard. Her younger sister, Madison, claims she was asleep in her room. Her older sister, Tara, claims she was out with friends. The tragedy drove their mother to suicide and Tara to leave town forever. The killer was caught. The case closed.

Ever since, Emily and Madison have tried to forget what happened that night -- until an eerily similar murder brings it all back. It also brings FBI special agent Zander Wells to the Oregon logging town. As eager as he is to solve the brutal double slaying, he is just as intrigued with the mystery of Emily's and her sisters' past.

When more blood is shed, Zander suspects there's a secret buried in this town no one wants unearthed. Is it something Emily and Madison don't know? Or aren't telling? And Tara? Maybe Emily can't bear to find her. Because when Tara disappeared, she took a secret of her own with her.

Critique: With her reader riveting, narrative driven, deftly crafted storytelling style as a novelist, Kendra Elliot's "The Last Sister" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Last Sister" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1542006705, $9.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799722281, $29.95, CD).

The Wife and the Widow
Christian White
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250194374, $26.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, "The Wife and The Widow" is an unsettling suspense thriller of a novel that is deftly told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband's secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she's forced to confront the evidence of her husband's guilt.

But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives -- leaving the reader asking the question: how well do we really know the people we love?

Critique: A deftly crafted and inherently riveting novel by an author with a particularly impressive and distinctive narrative storytelling style, "The Wife and The Widow" by Christian White is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Wife and The Widow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250261212, $34.99, CD).

Death Comes to Machu Picchu
Thomas M. Daniel
Fithian Press
c/o Daniel & Daniel Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
www.danielpublishing.com
9781564746207, $14.95, PB, 138pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Ten tourists find themselves spending the night of Christmas Eve together at the inn associated with the Machu Picchu ruins, high in the Peruvian Andes. They are cut off by weather from the world below, and they spend the afternoon getting to know each other. There are two lone men in the group, but most of the rest are couples -- husbands and wives, and a mother with her adult daughter. These tourists come from different walks of life; one man is a travel agent, another man works for the CIA, a Swedish couple work for the United States Embassy, an unmarried young twosome are university students, and so on. They are different from one another, except for one characteristic that each keeps secret from the others: They are all in denial about their dependency on cocaine and their intention to smuggle a small supply of the drug out of Peru.

Critique: An exceptionally well written, thoroughly engaging, and inherently compelling read from first page to last, "Death Comes to Machu Picchu" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular and entertaining addition to community library Mystery/Suspense/Thriller collections and personal reading lists.

Borrowed Time
Tracy Clark
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9781496714909, $26.00, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses -- being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger -- like at Cass's go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung's friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there's a murderer on the loose!

Cass reluctantly begins digging only to discover that Jung neglected to mention one crucial fact: Tim Ayers was terminally ill. Given the large quantities of alcohol and drugs found in his body, Ayers' death appears to be either an accident or suicide. Yet as much as Cass would like to dismiss Jung's suspicions, there are too many unanswered questions and unexplained coincidences.

Why would anyone kill a dying man? Working her connections on both sides of the law, Cass tries to point the police in the right direction. But violence is escalating around her, and Cass's persistence has already attracted unwanted attention, uncovering sinister secrets that Cass may end up taking to her grave.

Critique: A hard-boiled private eye mystery in the tradition of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer or Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlow, "Borrowed Time" by Tracy Clark is a deftly crafted and simply riveting read from cover to cover. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated private eye murder mystery fans that "Borrowed Time" is also available in a paperback edition (9781496714916, $9.99) and in digital book format (Kindle, $11.39).

Shades of Truth
James A. Ardaiz
Pace Press
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
www.woodworkerslibrary.com
9781610353458, $18.95, PB, 300pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Everyone knew Rick Harker was guilty when twenty-six years ago he murdered Lisa Farrow and set her body on fire. Lisa's three-year-old daughter Christine identified Harker as the murderer, and he's been in San Quentin ever since. But now the adult Christine Farrow is recanting her testimony -- handing assistant DA Matt Jamison a case that will test his character and his convictions.

While Harker's idealistic attorney demands a new trial, Jamison retraces the original investigation, trying to find if there is any doubt of Harker's guilt. When Jamison finds evidence of corruption in the DA's office he is faced with a question that will shatter his lifelong relationships, endanger his career, and threaten his faith in the justice system. Is exposing the truth worth the damage?

Critique: A deftly crafted and simply riveting read with more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster, "Shades Of Truth" by author James A. Ardaiz 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 all dedicated suspense/thriller fans that "Shades Of Truth" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Editorial Note: James A. Ardaiz is a former prosecutor, judge, and Presiding Justice of the California Fifth District Court of Appeal. His previous books include Hands Through Stone, a nonfiction account of the investigation and prosecution of murderer Clarence Ray Allen, and Fractured Justice, the first Matt Jamison novel.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wardens of Eternity
Courtney Moulton
Blink
c/o HarperCollins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollinschildrens.com
9780310767183, $18.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Ziva has one memory of her parents, made the day they abandoned her on the streets of New York City when she was three years old. They left her with only a memory and a promise that she had a great and terrible destiny.

Fifteen years later, Ziva discovers that destiny includes powers that she doesn't understand and can barely control. Her magic attracts vicious, otherworldly monsters, and eventually compatriots to help her fight them. Sayer and Nasira know the secrets Ziva doesn't; that Ziva is descended from Egyptian royalty and in possession of ancient magic passed down from the time of the gods. They promise to teach Ziva to control her magic and to give her the family she's always yearned for.

But trouble is brewing in the world around them; darkness is descending on Hitler's Germany, threatening World War II. As the last heir of a revered Egyptian queen, Ziva is the only one with the power to prevent another costly global conflict. As Ziva navigates her newfound abilities and makes a connection with Anubis and other Egyptian gods, the Nazis are hunting for the ultimate weapon, and Ziva has caught their interest.

Critique: A simply riveting action/adventure fantasy novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and an impressively effective narrative storytelling style, "Wardens of Eternity" by Courtney Moulton will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated fantasy buffs that "Wardens of Eternity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781690560838, $22.99, CD).

Penric's Progress
Lois McMaster Bujold
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982124298, $25.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On the way to his betrothal, young Lord Penric happens upon a riding accident and stops to help. But the victim is a Temple divine, servant to the five gods of this world. Her avowed god is The Bastard, "master of all disasters out of season." As she lies dying, she passes her strange powers to Penric -- and changes the course of his life forever.

Now a divine of the Bastard's Order as well as a sorcerer and scholar, Penric must accompany a Locator of the Father's Order assigned to capture a runaway shaman charged with the murder of his best friend.

When Penric (a sorcerer, scholar, and divine in the Bastard's Order) travels to Easthome, the capital of the Weald, he once again finds himself embroiled in a mystery. The body of a sorceress has been found in the woods, and it is up to Penric and his friends, Shaman Inglis and Locator Oswyl, to unravel a mystery mixing magic, murder, and the strange realities of Temple demons.

Critique: "Penric's Progress", the story of a foot loose nobleman Penric as he evolves from young lord to sorcerer and scholar in the Bastard's Order -- all while solving mysteries along the way. A deftly crafted and thoroughly entertaining addition to Louis McMaster Bujold's growing library of Sword & Sorcery style action/adventure fantasies, "Penric's Progress" will be an immediate and enduringly popular acquisition for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections - - and a 'must read' addition to the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Louise McMaster Bujold's dedicated fans.

Editorial Note: A science fiction legend, Lois McMaster Bujold has won seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. Her Miles Vorkosigan saga is a massively popular science fiction mainstay. Her many New York Times bestsellers include previous series entries Cryoburn, Diplomatic Immunity, and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. In 2020, Ms. Bujold was named the 36th Damon Knight Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


The Money/Finance Shelf

RetireSMART!: How to Plan for a Tax-Free Retirement
Mark Anthony Grimaldi
https://www.retiresmartbook.com
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
www.pagepublishing.com
9781644628911, $29.95, HC, 166pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In his first book, "The Money Compass", practicing economist Mark Anthony Grimaldi shocked his readers by showing them how their 401(k) plans benefitted no one but Uncle Sam. "RetireSMART!: How to Plan for a Tax-Free Retirement" is a follow-up in which he dives deeper into the subject and proves once and for all that a 401(k) plan might be the single biggest hindrance to a secure Tax Free retirement.

"RetireSMART!" is a guide on how you can improve your retirement with 3 simple steps. So if you would rather "spend" your retirement savings as opposed to "spend" your retirement savings paying taxes, buy this book and follow his 3 simple steps and RetireSMART!

Critique: Impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "RetireSMART!: How to Plan for a Tax-Free Retirement" is an extraordinarily comprehensive and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Money Management & Personal Finance instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "RetireSMART!: How to Plan for a Tax-Free Retirement" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Mark Anthony Grimaldi received a BA degree in economics from Albany State University in 1985. In 2009 Mr. Grimaldi launched and manages The Sector Rotation Fund (NAVFX) a pure no-load fund. As of June 30, 2019 NAVFX achieved a 5 year 5-star ranking from Morningstar. Grimaldi has correctly forecast: The housing depression, The gold rush of 2006-2011, the 1000 point "Flash Crash", and that national unemployment would hit 10% in 2009.


The Biography Shelf

What's Up, Doc?: A Surgeon's Story
Dr. Riaz Mohammed
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781973668817, $30.95, HC, 178pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Riaz Mohammed was born into a Muslim family in Pakistan. While a boy in the village of Gujarat, he witnessed another young boy chasing cattle into a fast-flowing stream. The boy was pulled from the water, but there was nothing that could be done for him -- and he died. That was when Riaz decided to be a doctor so he could help people.

Eventually, Riaz and his family immigrated to Scotland. There, he was treated unkindly, but he was determined to navigate his way through life. At age sixteen, he saw a vision of Jesus Christ while at camp. He converted to Christianity, which only made his life more complicated, but he studied hard and became a surgeon.

Riaz had started a family of his own and was at the top of his career as a physician when he contracted Hepatitis B-and he had to start over again in an entirely new way. Through it all, God worked in miraculous ways to never let him down.

Critique: A deftly written and impressively inspiring life story, "What's Up, Doc? a Surgeon's Story" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "What's Up, Doc? a Surgeon's Story" is also available in a paperback edition (9781973668800, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Rerun Era
Joanna Howard
McSweeney's
https://www.mcsweeneys.net
9781944211677, $24.00, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Rerun Era is a captivating, propulsive memoir by Joanna Howard about growing up in the environmentally and economically devastated rural flatlands of Oklahoma, the entwinement of personal memory and the memory of popular culture, and a family thrown into trial by lost love and illness that found common ground in the television. Told from the magnetic perspective of Joanna's past selves from the late '70s and early '80s, "Rerun Era" circles the fascinating psyches of her part-Cherokee teamster truck-driving father, her women's libber mother, and her skateboarder, rodeo bull-riding teenage brother.

Illuminating to our rural American present, and the way popular culture portrays the rural American past, "Rerun Era" captures the irony of growing up in rural America in the midst of nationalistic fantasies of small town local sheriffs and saloon girls, which manifested the urban cowboy, wild west theme-parks, and The Beverly Hillbillies.

Critique: With a decidedly impressive and deftly crafted lyric prose style, Joanna Howard's memoir is an inherently engaging and insightfully thoughtful read that is hallmarked by a very special and candid sense of humor. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Rerun Era" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Joanna Howard is a writer and translator from Miami, Oklahoma who teaches in the literature PhD program at Denver University. She is also the author of the novel Foreign Correspondent, the story collections On the Winding Stair and In the Colorless Round, and Field Glass, a collaborative novel written with Joanna Ruocco. She has co-translated Walls by Marcel Cohen and Cows by Frederic Boyer.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder
Ales Kot, author
Piotr Kowalski, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787730151, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Yharnam has descended into madness. Yarem came to the city a long time ago, a man with a past spent in shackles. He found a new purpose in travel and discovery... but what he will find in Yharnam will test the limits of not just his desire, but also his sanity. As Yharnam falls apart, Yarem realizes his own perception of time and space is becoming radically altered. The walls of reality buckle and fold. He sees the Moon fill with blood. Yarem decides to descend deeper into the madness, and boldly discover the new horizons of reality. The price for such sights may be his life -- or at the very least his sanity.

Critique: Featuring the stunning artwork of Piotr Kowalski, this inherently fascinating fourth volume of graphic novelist Ales Kot's Bloodborne series, "The Veil Torn Asunder" is an absolutely compelling read from first page to last. While highly recommended for community library Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bloodborne: The Veil, Torn Asunder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $11.54).

Editorial Note: Piotr Kowalski is a comic book writer and artist from Poland. Some of his work includes Robocop, Gail, Marvel Knights: Hulk, Dark Tower, Sex, Dark Souls and Titan's Wolfenstein series.

Ales Kot is a writer, director and producer with primary focus on film, comics, television and video games. He's responsible for Image titles such as Zero, Wolf, Material Change, The Surface, and Wild Children, comics which have received many accolades from media such as Wired, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, and many others. He lives, unsurprisingly, mostly in Los Angeles.

Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone
Guillaume Dorison, author
Ennio Bufi, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787734258, $9.99, HC, 48pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Tomo, who as a child was the lone survivor of a Templar massacre of his Assassin's village in the mountains of Japan, became one of the youngest members of the Japanese Assassin cell when he uncovered a complex conspiracy. More of a man of science than a man of action, Tomo investigates further, leading him to follow the footsteps of Assassins that operated during the Vietnam War. But what secrets will he uncover?

Critique: The latest addition to the growing library of Assassin/Templar graphic novels, "Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone" is a deftly scripted, beautifully illustrated, and unreservedly recommended addition to both personal and community library collections. An inherently riveting read from cover to cover, it should be noted that "Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Guillaume Dorison is a French comic book writer who often writes under the pseudonym Izu, including the complete series 'Omega Complex' and 'Crusades'. In 2011, he signed with Glenat for the comic strip series adapted from the new adventures of the 'Little Prince' , as well as for several titles of the Explora collection for the same publisher. He also wrote the adaptation of the video game 'Devil May Cry'

Born in Italy in 1976, Ennio Bufi graduated in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bari. From 2007 to 2010, he worked in animation and participated in several productions as a graphic designer and character designer. In Italy, he has been an artist of 'Geronimo Stilton' books and of 'Giorgio Perlasca, un uomo comune', a comic about the life of Italian war hero Giorgio Perlasca created with Marco Sonseri for Renoir Comics. After having been noticed for his work as an illustrator, he published for the first time in France with Grand Angle, a book entitled Clandestino written by Marzano. In 2013, he then worked with Geronimo Stilton on a children's series at Glenat. In 2016, he illustrated Vertigo at Lombard and joined Humanoids to take over the Carthago series from Milan Jovanovic.

Robotech Remix: Deja Vu
Brendon Fletcher
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787730298, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After the events of Titan's first Robotech comic volume, the humans' war with alien invaders has ended -- but the threat to mankind is not over. Ace pilot Dana Sterling had traveled back in time to help in the war, but she has become trapped in a remixed past of her own making. Now mysterious new enemies have emerged and Dana could be the only person who can stop them!

Critique: "Robotech Remix: Deja Vu" is comprised of issues 1 to 4 of Titan Comics' outstanding Robotech science fiction series by Brenden Fletcher and is a 'must read' for the legions of Robotech fans. While especially recommended for community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that ""Robotech Remix: Deja Vu" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Brenden Fletcher is a New York Times bestselling writer of comic books and animation. His current projects include "Motor Crush" and "Isola" for Image Comics and "Robotech" for Titan Comics. His previous work includes DC Comics' "Batgirl of Burnside", the YA mystery/adventure series "Gotham Academy" and Entertainment Weekly's "Best New Series" of 2015, "Black Canary". Brenden also contributed the acclaimed Flash story to the Eisner and Harvey Award winning "Wednesday Comics", co-created the Power Rangers: Pink" mini-series for Boom! Studios and contributed to "Ghost in the Shell: Global Neural Network" and the "Attack on Titan" anthology for Kodansha.

Doctor Who: Time Out of Mind
Jody Houser, author
Roberta Ingranata, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785868894, $16.99, PB, 104pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Doctor Who: Time Out of Mind" the 13th Doctor and her companions visit an inter-galactic fair for some down time, only to realize things aren't all as they seem. Both their minds and the TARDIS' logs have been tampered with, and in a bid to discover just what in Gallifrey's name is going on, they head to a distant planet where they encounter a mysterious festive figure involved in an audacious plot!

Critique: An absolute 'must' for the collections and reading lists of all dedicated Doctor Who fans, "Doctor Who: Time Out of Mind" is an impressively illustrated and fully original contribution to the growing library of Doctor Who science fiction adventures. While absolutely certain to be an immensely popular addition to community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Doctor Who: Time Out of Mind" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Jody Houser is the bestselling and critically-acclaimed comics writer behind such titles as Faith, Mother Panic, Star Wars: Rogue One, Star Wars: Thrawn, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Supergirl, Orphan Black, James Bond: Moneypenny, and The X-Files: Origins, to name but a few.

Roberta Ingranata is an Italian comic artist from Milan. She has worked for various publishers both in Europe and the US. After working on Robyn Hood, she went on to become the regular artist on Witchblade and Titan's Doctor Who - The Thirteenth Doctor.

Hawkmoon - The History of the Runestaff Volume 2
James Cawthorn
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785864230, $39.99, HC, 136pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Set in a post-apocalyptic world where sorcery and science live side by side, the Dark Empire of Granbretan, formerly Great Britain, has risen from the ashes of nuclear Armageddon to become the mightiest empire the world has ever known. Now under the despotic rule of the immortal King-Emperor Huon, the empire is expanding its diabolical reach across what was once Europe. Against the backdrop of political intrigue, arcane magic, flying machines and high adventure, one man, Dorian Hawkmoon, the Duke of Koln, continues his fight to stop Huon's evil once and for all.

Critique: Deftly adapted and dramatically drawn in black and white by the critically acclaimed artist and writer James Cawthorn. this second and concluding volume of The Chronicles of Hawkmoon: Runestaff by sword and sorcery fantasy master Michael Moorcock's is the culmination of Cawthorn and Moorcock's grand vision and mark the conclusion of a saga 40 years in the telling. A compelling and memorable read from cover to cover, "The Chronicles of Hawkmoon: The History of the Runestaff - Volume 2" is unreservedly recommended for community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the legions of Michael Moorcock fans that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $23.99).

The Future Is Waiting
Pierre Christin, author
Jean-Claude Mezieres, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184359, $13.95, PB, 56pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After the events of The Time Opener, Valerian and Laureline reverted to childhood, and are now living with Mr Albert on 21st century Earth. But in a universe where time travel is a reality, words like 'after' or even 'now' can be somewhat hazy, and elsewhere, in other times, our young but nonetheless adult agents are still working tirelessly to maintain a galactic peace threatened as always by greed and the thirst for power.

Editorial: Another superbly crafted science fiction story in the on-going Valerian and Laureline saga, "The Future Is Waiting" by the creative team of Christin and Mezieres is a 'must' addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated science fiction fans. While unreservedly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted that "The Future Is Waiting" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $5.99).

Editorial Note: Jean-Claude Mezieres and Pierre Christin created Valerianin 1967 after working in the USA together, one as a cowboy, the other a teacher. While Valerianis Mezieres'only comic series, he has worked as an illustrator in many other areas, including designs and sets for The Fifth Element, and he was awarded the Grand Prix du festival d'Angouleme in 1984. Christin also works in collaboration with other artists such as Tardiand Bilaland writes novels and film scripts.

The Betrayed Sorceress
Van Hamme, author
Grzegorz Rosinski, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184434, $19.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Thorgal's coming-of-age is painfully similar to the rest of his life: the young man finds himself tied up to the stone of sacrifice by Gandalf the Mad, king of the Vikings of the North and father of his beloved Aaricia. There, the Child of the Stars can do nothing but wait for the coming tide - and death. Until, that is, a mysterious sorceress with flaming red hair comes to offer him a deal: his life, and revenge, against one year in her service.

Critique: Another deftly penned, beautifully illustrated, action/adventure saga of swords and sorceries, "The Betrayed Sorceress" is another wonderfully entertaining graphic novel in the Thorgal series by the team of author Van Hamme and illustrator Grzegorz Rosinski. While very strongly recommended for community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Thorgal fans that "The Betrayed Sorceress" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $8.46).

Editorial Note: Jean Van Hammewas born in 1939 in Belgium. His major breakthrough came in 1977, when he created the Vikinghero Thorgalfor Grzegorz Rosinski. The mix of medieval legends and heroic fantasy soon became a huge success, with major awards following. He is also the creator of the bestselling series Largo Winchand XIII (published in English by Cinebook).

Grzegorz Rosinskiis one of the most popular artists of comic books in Western Europe. Among his later works are the series Chninkel (with Van Hamme) and a series titled Lament of the Lost Moors (with Jean Dufaux). In 2001, the Rosinski/Van Hamme duo published yet another comic book titled Western, based in the American Old West.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Tarot and the Gates of Light
Mark Horn
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781620559307, $24.99, PB, 544pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The 49-day mystical practice known as Counting the Omer is an ancient Jewish ritual observed between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot (also known as Pentecost). As practiced by Kabbalists, it is designed to cleanse and purify the soul in preparation for spiritual revelation and a personal connection with God. The ritual creates a spiritual inner journey that follows the path of the ancient Israelites from the moment of their physical freedom from slavery in Egypt to the establishment of their spiritual freedom forty-nine days later when they arrived at Mt. Sinai.

Adeptly integrating this mystical practice with the transformative symbolism of the Tarot in his metaphysical studies compendium "Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation", Mark Horn uses the ritual of Counting the Omer as a template for a guided meditative practice that gives readers insight into their personal life journey and help in overcoming the issues that hinder their growth and spiritual awakening.

Examining the correspondence of the Tarot's minor arcana with the Sephirot of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Horn shows how using the cards in connection with Counting the Omer can unlock the gates to a deep experience of the sacred. In the detailed daily practice workbook section, Horn provides day-by-day descriptions of the 49-day meditative practice of Counting the Omer.

He divides the journey into seven week-long segments, which in turn are broken down into seven daily practices. For each day, he explains the related Sephirot and Tarot cards and their Kabbalistic and spiritual meanings, providing the reader with questions for daily reflection, guidance for meditation, and insight from traditional Jewish texts as well as teachings from Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim traditions.

Unveiling the relationship between Tarot and the Kabbalah, Horn shows readers how uniting these two practices can open them to a deeper experience of the Divine.

Critique: Enhanced for the Tarot and Kabbalah student with the inclusion of an eleven page Glossary, two pages of Meditation Instructions, a three page Note About God Language, five pages of Chapter Notes, an eight page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, "Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and supplemental studies lists for Tarot and Kabbalah in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, practitioners, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Tarot and the Gates of Light: A Kabbalistic Path to Liberation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: A teacher of Kabbalistic tarot, Mark Horn has studied Kabbalah with academic, religious, and practical teachers, including Professor Elliot R. Wolfson at NYU, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi at Elat Chayyim, and Jason Shulman at A Society of Souls: Spiritual Healing School. He has studied Tarot with many of today's leading teachers, including Rachel Pollack, Mary K. Greer, Robert Place, Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone, and Ferol Humphrey. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Metrosource.

Witchcraft: A Secret History
Michael Streeter
White Lion Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9780711252240, $19.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Michael Streeter is a British writer and TV researcher with over 30 years' experience in national newspaper journalism. A former editor for the Scottish Daily Express, he has written and researched books and documentaries on subjects as diverse as the weather, medieval crime, and the occult. In "Witchcraft: A Secret History" he unravels the myth from the mystery, the facts from the legends.

"Witchcraft: A Secret History" reveals the meanings of a witche's rituals and rites, lore and craft. Readers will discover the significance of the witches' sabbats and covens, their chalices and wands, their robes and their religion. "Witchcraft: A Secret History" unlocks the secrets of the legendary witches of mythology and folk tales and shows how these early stories influenced the persecutions and witch-hunts of the Middle Ages.

Of special note is what "Witchcraft: A Secret History" shows concerning the people who inspired the pagan revival of Wiccans and how their work in literature and magic rekindled the fires of the sabbats across Europe and the New World today.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout and enhanced with the inclusion of a four page Glossary and a four page Index, "Witchcraft: A Secret History" is an impressively informative, profusely detailed, and exceptionally well organized and presented history that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections and the personal reading lists of both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of witchcraft, Wiccans, and metaphysical cultural history.

Sacred Mysteries: The Chakra Oracle
Kooch N. Daniels, author
Victor Daniels, author
Pieter Weltevrede, illustrator
Red Feather
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764357114, $34.99, PB/Cards, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A boxed set, "Sacred Mysteries: The Chakra Oracle" has yogic traditions meet Western psychology to create an explosion of new insights for transformation. To accelerate this emerging awareness, this stunning 49-card deck and its comprehensive guidebook offer easy access into the chakra system.

With illustrations created by Pieter Weltevrede (an expert in the Tantric tradition) and a guidebook grounded in authors' Kooch and Victor Daniels research, training, and working knowledge of oracles, this deck and book give the practitioner the right tools for advancing any personal quest.

"Sacred Mysteries: The Chakra Oracle" will enable the understanding of your key qualities by engaging your vibratory energy, looking within to interpret your body's sensations, thinking processes, emotions, and pathways of Spirit, including your inner and outer awareness.

With "Sacred Mysteries: The Chakra Oracle" you can create detailed, helpful spreads; find out how to awaken your third eye; and start reading right away with a keyword reference guide. This unique chakra deck will help you dive into the ancient well of Tantric wisdom and is appropriate for all levels of card readers, including Tarot readers, yogic practitioners, counselors, healers, and those who want to "see" inwardly.

Critique: Inspiring, unique, beautifully crafted, and offering a wealth of informative metaphysical insights, "Sacred Mysteries: The Chakra Oracle" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: With an MA in psychology, Kooch Daniels has given thousands of Tarot readings. Victor Daniels, emeritus professor at Sonoma State University, with a PhD from UCLA, brings his broad knowledge of both Eastern and Western traditions together here. Pieter Weltevrede is one of the world's leading artists in the Indian classical tradition.

Magickal Mermaids and Water Creatures
D. J. Conway
Weiser Books
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
www.redwheelweiser.com
9781578636839, $16.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Stories of the merfolk, especially mermaids, exist in nearly every culture that ever sailed the oceans or large river systems. Humanlike, except for their iridescent, scaly tails, mermaids and mermen have fascinated humans for thousands of years. Because the largest of these beings exist in the oceans, most people are not aware that smaller versions of the merfolk live in inland rivers, streams, marshes, and waterfalls. Like many other magical beings, the merfolk travel easily between this world and the astral planes, appearing only to those who truly seek to know them and learn their ancient powers.

"Magickal Mermaids and Water Creatures" bring these fabled creatures out of the storybooks and into real life through the studies of the late Deanne 'D. J.' Conway (May 3, 1939 - February 1, 2019). Readers will learn: The secret powers of mermaids and mermen; Different water creatures and where you can find them; How to entice water folk for friendship and health; How to avoid dangerous water folk.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "Magickal Mermaids and Water Creatures" is a unique, detailed and comprehensive study that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Magickal Mermaids and Water Creatures" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Originally published in 2008, "Magickal Mermaids and Water Creatures
is now republished for the benefit of a new generation of readers in this new edition from Weiser Books with a new cover and a new foreword by metaphysical scholar Skye Alexander.

The Wonder of Unicorns, second edition
Diana Cooper
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781620559833, $18.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in an newly revised and updated second edition, in "The Wonder of Unicorns: Ascending with the Higher Angelic Realms" Diana Cooper explains ancient myths and legends of these amazing energetic beings from a higher spiritual perspective. Who are they, these seventh-dimensional creatures of myth and magic? Where do they stand in the angelic hierarchy and what is their role with regard to us humans? How can you meet and engage with them as an individual?

These magical beings of light, absent from the Earth for many centuries, are now returning to guide humanity on their spiritual path. Prevalent in the times of Atlantis, unicorns open hearts through bringing in joy, wisdom, and healing. They offer protection and support and inspire us to choose actions for the highest benefit of all. Consciously connecting and working with your unicorn will enable you to raise your energetic level and assist you on your journey to enlightenment. Create a unicorn humming ball, engage in a unicorn healing, or join in dream work with your unicorn.

Whether aspiring to help the world at large or simply improve a small corner of it, enlightenment seekers can apply the meditations, rituals, ceremonies, and games featured in the pages of "The Wonder of Unicorns" to unleash the great abilities of these elusive spirit guides. There are wonderful real life stories and anecdotes from people who have seen and experienced unicorns first hand.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and nicely illustrated study dedicated to the presence and role of a metaphysical icon, "The Wonder of Unicorns: Ascending with the Higher Angelic Realms" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Unicorn supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "The Wonder of Unicorns" is also available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Diana Cooper is a therapist, healer, author of several books, and the founder of the Diana Cooper Foundation. Her journey started during a time of personal crisis when she received an angel visitation that changed her life. Since then the angels and her guides have taught her about the angelic realms, unicorns, fairies, Atlantis, and Orbs as well as many other spiritual subjects. Through her workshops and therapy practice she has helped countless people find their life mission, fulfill their potential, and empower their lives. Diana's aim and vision is to light the way to enable children, adults, and the planet to ascend graciously and happily.

Knot Magic
Sarah Bartlett
Wellfleet Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9781577152149, $18.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Casting powerful spells with ancient knot magic has been around for centuries. With a length of string, ribbon, cord, or anything that can be knotted, anyone can quickly make magic work for them, whether it is to enchant new love into their life, change their fortune, or manifest their dreams. With "Knot Magic: A Handbook of Powerful Spells Using Witches' Ladders and other Magical Knots" by Sarah Bartlett the practitioner will learn not only the best way to cast a spell, but also the best time to perform the spell to ensure success.

"Knot Magic" is unique collection includes all-powerful witch's ladders, where additional talismans are woven in with the knots to reinforce the desired outcome, and "unknotting" charms, which banish all forms of negativity. With "Knot Magic" anyone can enhance their magic and knowledge as they bring positive energy into their lives. Plus, they will have access to a "magical knot directory" that provides the tools needed and necessary to get started on their own magical journey.

Critique: "Knot Magic: A Handbook of Powerful Spells Using Witches' Ladders and other Magical Knots" is a throughly 'user friendly' and comprehensive instructional guide and manual that is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Editorial Note: Sarah Bartlett is the author of several spiritual and occult books, including the best-selling Tarot Bible and the Essential Guide to Psychic Powers. An astrologer for many women's magazines such as UK Cosmopolitan, She, Spirit and Destiny, and the London Evening Standard, Sarah currently contributes to BBC Radio 2 show, Steve Wright in the Afternoon, as well as to theastrologyroom.com, of which she is a founding member. She has written Supernatural Places for National Geographic, and The Afterlife Bible for Octopus. Sarah teaches and practices astrology, tarot, Wicca, and other occult arts.


The Art Shelf

The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie
Eldridge Hardie
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
www.stackpolebooks.com
9780811738392, $75.00, HC, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie: Paintings of Upland Hunting, Angling, and Waterfowling" is a beautifully published compendium showcasing 150 paintings carefully and exquisitely reproduced, that document Hardie's lifework.

Hardie has painted every kind of sporting scene ranging from Wisconsin grouse hunts, Atlantic salmon camps, and southern quail plantations, to angling waters in Tierra del Fuego and Scotland, waterfowling on the Santee marsh and Chesapeake Bay, fly fishing the Bahama flats, the Bighorn, Colorado, and South Platte Rivers.

Hardie has painted home rivers and close-to-home fields and destinations to dream for and in the pages of "The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie" he recalls these times and the paintings that capture them in descriptive text.

Workbook pages of preliminary studies and notations from the artist's workbooks are reproduced side by side with the paintings. These notes give a rare look into the artist's creative process.

Critique: A simple joy to page through, "The Sporting Art of Eldridge Hardie: Paintings of Upland Hunting, Angling, and Waterfowling" showcases and documents the artistic talents of one of the truly great outdoors artists at work today. Beautifully reproduced, "The Sporting Art of Eldrige Haries" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary American Art History collections.

Editorial Note: For six decades and based in Denver, Colorado, Eldridge Hardie has worked at what he loves doing, painting his passion for outdoor sport. His art has graced the pages of books -- his own and others, been published in the pages of the finest sporting magazines, hung in North America's galleries and private collections, and been shown in prestigious exhibitions.

The Art of Paint Pouring: Swipe, Swirl & Spin
Amanda VanEver
Walter Foster Publishing
Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9781633228245, $19.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "The Art of Paint Pouring: Swipe, Swirl & Spin: 50+ tips, techniques, and step-by-step exercises for creating colorful fluid art ", the aspiring artist will learn the basics of creating fluid art -- from the essential tools and materials to the most popular techniques, building on the artist's existing knowledge of paint pouring by learning many new techniques and variations on their favorites to create their own art.

Written and illustrated by Amanda VanEver, "The Art of Paint Pouring: Swipe, Swirl & Spin" includes everything needed to take creative art skills to the next level, whether as a beginning or as an established paint pouring artist. From learning variations on several popular techniques (including flip cup, dip, swirling, spinning, and swiping) as well as more intermediate and advanced pouring techniques, aspiring artists will soon be creating colorful, textured fluid art on a variety of different surfaces.

Critique: Profusely illustrated, comprehensive, exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Art of Paint Pouring: Swipe, Swirl & Spin" features beginning as well as advanced DIY pouring techniques for a well-rounded, appealing approach to this uniquely fluid art form. While very highly recommended as an art class curriculum textbook, as well as both community and academic library Art Instruction reference and resource collections.

Editorial Note: Amanda VanEver is a self-taught artist; a librarian in Dayton, Nevada. Amanda enjoys the versatility of acrylic paint and the vast array of techniques that can be used with fluid art. She credits her abilities to the artists willing to share their tricks, tips, and techniques for different styles of fluid acrylic painting. She learned to created poured art using Facebook groups and YouTube videos. Every week, Amanda films her processes and answers questions on her YouTube channel, Amanda's Designs. She sells her artwork locally in Carson City, Nevada, as well as through her Etsy shop.

Charcoal: Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner
Richard Rochester
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945527, $14.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Originating in neolithic times as a form of cave art, down through the millennia charcoal drawing is timeless, stylish, atmospheric and arresting. "Charcoal: Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner" by Richard Rochester is an easy-to-follow beginner's guide in which aspiring artists are taken on a journey to explore the rich potential of monochrome using the medium of charcoal.

Inexpensive and easy to source, charcoal is perfect for the beginner artist. To increase the variety of mark-making, or simply to make life easier, readers can choose to buy different types and sizes of charcoal, and tools such as blenders and brushes for different effects. This is all explained clearly so the aspiring artist can make informed choices.

Following the section on tools and materials, the basic techniques are presented, showing how to exploit the medium to best effect. The fundamentals of drawing are also covered, including perspective, composition and observational drawing.

Critique: Offering a wealthy of thoroughly 'user friendly' illustrated instructions making it an ideal art class curriculum textbook, "Charcoal: Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, profession, community, and academic library art instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Born in 1967, Richard Rochester grew up in the fishing village of Lympstone in Devon. After school he initially trained as a jeweler but went on to take a degree in Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and Design and graduated in 1991. Yearning for adventure, just three months after graduation he entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and began a military career that lasted 18 years, initially in the army infantry and later in the Royal Marines. Richard left the military in 2012 and briefly ran a veterans' charity project before focusing his full attention on art. He now lives and works in Exeter in the South West of England (his work has hung in Exeter Cathedral).


The Cookbook Shelf

Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers
Genie Milgrom
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
www.gefenpublishing.com
9789652299697, $19.95, PB, 164pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Compiled with commentary by Genie Milgrom, "Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers: Unique Recipes and Stories from the Times of the Crypto-Jews during the Spanish Inquisition" is a collection of recipes and stories drawn from the Crypto-Jews community. These were men and women who were hiding persecution by pretending to be Catholic during decades of the Spanish Inquisition while practicing their Judaism underground down through the present day.

The grandmothers of the family devised clever ways to disguise the fact that they were still keeping kosher while appearing to be eating pork. Until modern times, the family pretended to be devout Catholics, yet passed many of the Jewish customs on, sometimes in the form of these recipes, their true legacy. For several hundred years they hid their fasts and celebration of Jewish holidays, revealing them only via their recipes and some kosher kitchen customs. This collection was found recently, hidden away at Genie Milgrom's mother's house.

Critique: A unique and precious addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Judaic Studies and Culinary Histories collections, the dishes comprising "Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers: Unique Recipes and Stories from the Times of the Crypto-Jews during the Spanish Inquisition" are organized into distinct sections for Chicken Dishes; Meat Dishes; Fish; Side Dishes; Sauces; Desserts; and Beverages. Especially and unreservedly recommended for family cooks keeping to the Judaic traditions of kosher meals, "Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers" also features a four page Glossary and a four page Index.

Editorial Note: Genie Milgrom was born in Havana, Cuba, into a Roman Catholic family of Spanish ancestry. In an unparalleled work of genealogy, she was able to fully document her unbroken maternal lineage 22 generations going back as far as 1405 to pre-Inquisition Spain and Portugal. She has traveled extensively into Fermoselle, the village of her ancestors in the Zamora region of Spain, while doing field research on the past Jews of Fermoselle and the surrounding area. She is the past president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami, current president of Tarbut Sefarad-Fermoselle in Spain, and also past president of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies. She also writes for several on-line sites as well as the Journal of Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto-Jews. She has spoken at the Knesset in Israel and lectures around the world, bringing awareness of the topic of people tracing their Jewish roots to the time of the Inquisition who are returning to Judaism. Her work has been showcased in The Jerusalem Post, the Miami Herald, and other publications around the world. She was awarded the State of Florida Genealogy Award for her outstanding achievements and advances in the pioneer work she has done in genealogy. Genie is now director of the Converso Genealogy Project, digitizing Inquisition files around the world. Most recently, she was awarded the coveted Medal of the Four Sephardic Synagogues in Jerusalem for her decades of work in recuperation of Sephardic Memory.

Purezza Vegan Pizza
Filippo Rosat, author
Tim Barclay, author
Stefanie Evangelisti, author
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9780857837554, $19.99, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Purezza, was founded in Brighton in 2015 by Tim and Stephanie Barclayas the first vegan pizzeria in the UK. Passionate about plantbased food, their aim was simple: to make their menu superior to the traditional alternatives, revolutionizing Italian food by using cruelty-free ingredients. As well as vegan pizzas, they offer soya-free, nut-free and gluten-free options.

Now any family cook can enjoy an authentic tasting vegan pizza with its soft and easily digestible sourdough crust at home. There are recipes for variety of seasonal toppings, including Vulcano - fried aubergines, green chilli peppers, baby sweetcorn, oven-roasted romano peppers, red onions and sriracha sauce - and Fumosa - smoked tofu, oven-roasted mushrooms, smoked beetroot carpaccio and BBQ sauce - as well as for vegan cheeses such as silken tofu ricotta, cashew and almond nut and brown rice mozzarella. In addition, there are recipes for gluten-free pasta dishes, sides and desserts.

Critique: "Purezza Vegan Pizza" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library Vegan/Vegetarian cookbook collections. It should be noted for all do-it-yourself dedicated pizza lovers that "Purezza Vegan Pizza" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Tim Barclay set up Purezza with his Italian wife Stefania. He has a background in marketing and Stefania in law, but in 2015 they decided to follow their dream of starting a plant-based food business.

The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook
Naomi Tomky
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.countrymanpress.com
9781682683668, $27.95, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: For thousands of years, the abundance of fish and shellfish in the Pacific Northwest created a seafood paradise for the Indigenous peoples hunting and gathering along the region's pristine waterways, and, later, for the Chinese, Scandinavian, Filipino, and Japanese immigrants (along with many others), who have made this region home. Drawing on these diverse influences, the region fostered a seafood based cuisine that is as varied as its people, yet which remains specifically Northwestern.

In "The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook: Salmon, Crab, Oysters, and More", food writer Naomi Tomky leads her readers through an exploration of this cuisine. She starts with the basics of buying great-tasting and sustainable seafood, surveys the variety of seafood on offer (from stars like halibut and oysters to unsung heroes like lingcod and smelt) and shares 75 delicious recipes reflecting the people who live in the region today, including Red Curry Mussels, IPA-Battered Cod, Dungeness Crab Deviled Eggs, and Pink Scallop Ceviche.

From the first cut of salmon, prized for its rich flavor and versatility, to the last crack of the sweet Dungeness crab, Tomky covers grilling, curing, and baking, and shares secrets for tricky tasks like removing pin bones and mussel beards. She explains how flavor-packed spot prawns put other shrimp to shame and why the region's razor clams are unparalleled. For curious seafood rookies in search of the perfect fool-proof salmon and barnacled fish-cooking veterans looking for a new way to enjoy their favorite catch.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with seventy-five full color photographs, "The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook: Salmon, Crab, Oysters, and More" is an ideal guide to cooking, and eating dishes based upon recipes drawn from such culinary experts as Tom Douglas, Shiro Kashiba, Bonnie Morales, Mutsuko Soma, Ethan Stowell, Jason Stratton, John Sundstrom, and more. While unreservedly recommended for family and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook: Salmon, Crab, Oysters, and More" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).

New City of London Cookbook
Peter Gladwin
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945558, $35.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: With over 40 years of experience catering for high-society events, including state banquets for the royal family, Peter Gladwin knows a thing or two about putting together a great menu. In his "New City of London Cookbook" he draws upon his years of culinary experience and expertise to share an array of his own gastronomic delights that include a host of delicious recipes submitted by notable figures and celebrities -- all of which can be cooked at home.

The step-by-step recipes are separated into the following chapters: Canapes; Larder; Starters; Salads and Sides; Vegetarian and Vegan; Fish; Meat; Emulsions, Infusions, Essences and Good Gravy; Desserts; Cheese and Savouries; Chocolates and Sweetmeats.

Alongside the recipes, Peter shares stories of London, menus he's created, and anecdotes that divulge the secrets of the great kitchens and banquets in the Square Mile, giving the reader a rare and entertaining view behind 'the green baize door'.

Critique: Entertaining to browse through and ideal for creating menus for elegant dining at home for family and friends, the "New City of London Cookbook" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Peter Gladwin is a prominent chef in the City of London, at the forefront of glamorous entertaining. Peter's achievements within the hospitality industry have grown throughout his career: he runs one of London's most successful catering companies, Party Ingredients; two acclaimed restaurant groups; a wine import business; and produces fine English wines and pure-bred livestock from his farm in West Sussex. He has also authored three previous cookbooks.

The Brain Boosting Diet: Feed Your Memory
Norene Gilletz & Edward Wein
Whitecap Books
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside
www.fitzhenry.ca
9781770503212, $50.00, PB, 606pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Packed with over 150 recipes provided by cookbook author Norene Gilletz and including insightful commentary on each one from Dr. Edward Wein, (who is a leading biochemical specialist), "The Brain Boosting Diet: Feed Your Memory" is an illustrated health cookbook that is loaded with solid health and nutritional advice for people with memory loss, possible dementia, and even Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Another important purpose of the book is to show the reader how to slow down potential cognitive decline.

"The Brain Boosting Diet" has lots of unusual but important Do You Know Health Facts such as: Our human hunter-gatherer ancestors of 10,000 years ago had better nutrition than our farming ancestors until a couple of hundred years ago. This was because the former ate a variety of foods they could find, rather than trying to exist on one or a few farmed crops which offered limited nutrition; Of the thousands of substances involved in human metabolism, about 50 need to be supplied by diet. The other compounds can be supplied by the metabolic processes of the body.

Critique: Ranging from appetizers to main courses, from soups, to fish, to desserts, the recipes comprising "The Brain Boosting Diet" are as delicious and nutritious as they are 'kitchen cook friendly' in preparation and presentation, making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to any personal, professional, and community library cookbook collection.

Editorial Note: Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada and the owner of Gourmania Inc. Norene divides her time between work as a freelance food writer, editor, food consultant, cooking teacher and culinary spokesperson. Norene is a Certified Culinary Professional with the International Association of Culinary Professionals and a member of the Women's Culinary Network of Toronto.

Dr. Edward Wein obtained his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the University of Toronto. In a career spanning more than thirty years as a senior food research scientist, he developed many healthy and unique nutritional foods and supplements for both mind and body. These included the world's first full nutrition meal replacement product and a ground-breaking nutrition bar to maintain memory and cognitive health. Dr. Wein has also served as adjunct professor at the University of Guelph in Canada, was on the advisory board of Ryerson University Dept. of Chemical Engineering, and is a past member of the Canada Expert Committee on Food Biotechnology.


The Automotive Shelf

Lost Muscle Car Dealerships
Duncan Brown
Publicity Department
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613254516, $36.95, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the profusely illustrated pages of "Lost Muscle Car Dealerships", muscle car historian and enthusiast Duncan Brown revisits a glorious automotive era when Nickey 427 Camaros and supercharged Dodge Demons by Grand Spaulding Dodge terrorized the streets.

Drag sponsored cars from Reynolds Buick, Yeakel Chrysler-Plymouth, and Mel Burns Ford informed buyers that if you came to their dealership, you too could have a screaming fast muscle car just like the ones you saw at the dragstrip. It was these dealerships that created the lasting muscle car legacy through their innovative advertising and over-the-top performance.

The majority of these dealerships floundered, unable to re-attract the customers they had prior to the muscle car. "Lost Muscle Car Dealerships" is dedicated to preserving the history of those less fortunate and revisiting the past success of these historic muscle car dealerships.

Critique: A unique and impressively informative history of a heretofore neglected aspect of American automotive history, "Lost Muscle Car Dealerships" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.

Editorial Note: Duncan Scott Brown's mother encouraged him to write stories from a young age while his father took him through a whirlwind tour of car dealerships as he was growing up. Duncan's desire to preserve car history inspired his website: www.oneownercollectorcar.com. The site profiles people who kept their classic domestic 1960s and 1970s cars with a technical examination of the patterns of wear on original vehicles. The website quickly expanded to quirky areas that caught on with readers, such as the Gas Logs section and, of course, The Dealerships. Readers have generously contributed their memories and photos of long-lost dealerships from the Big Three plus AMC to the website.

Ford versus Ferrari
John Starkey
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
www.veloce.co.uk
9781787115729, $19.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Ford versus Ferrari: The Battle for Supremacy at Le Mans 1966" is the illustrated story by John Starkey of what happened when America's richest car company, producing many thousands of cars per year, went head to head with Ferrari of Italy in the mid '60s.

This is the story of an immovable force coming up against the stubbornness of an unmovable object -- that is, Ford against Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari, whose company produced less than four hundred cars per year in 1963, wasn't going to bow to Ford after he had turned down its offer to buy his company. The only place left to duke it out was on the racetracks of the world -- and one race course in particular -- the Le Mans '66.

Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, and profusely illustrated throughout, "Ford versus Ferrari: The Battle for Supremacy at Le Mans 1966" is a 'must read' for the legions of Ferrari and Ford motor car enthusiasts and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Automotive History collections. It should be noted for Ford and Ferrari fans that "Ford versus Farrari" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Born in England, John Starkey's automotive love affair began with his acquisition of a Jaguar XK120 that he bought in 1966 for 120 British pounds. After a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, life was never quite the same again, and the racing bug bit hard when he first drove a Porsche RSR. This was followed by "a beast" of a 935, then a Lola T70 Mk 3b coupe, and a March 84G. These he raced across Europe and America. In 1997, John moved to America, where he began writing, naturally, about racing cars. After twenty books, John thinks he has now run out of subjects to cover, although he has recently begun a novel about the world of dealing in old cars. He also investigates the individual histories of old racing cars for clients.

Autofocus: The Car in Photography
Marta Weiss
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500480526, $34.95, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Undeniably one of the most influential innovations of the modern world, the car has changed not only the way we live, but also the way we look at the world around us. From formal, compositional device to highly desirable, photogenic object, the car has a long and enduring appeal in modern and contemporary photography as revealed in "Autofocus: The Car in Photography" by Mara Weiss in this latest addition to the V&A Photography Library series from Thames & Hudson.

"Autofocus" visually explores the deep cultural significance of the car in the history of photography, playing a role both as subject matter and as a genuine creative vehicle -- the means by which photographers have accomplished many of their great works. Showcased is the photographic work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Edward Weston, and Weegee.

"Autofocus: The Car in Photography" is captivating album that presents and showcases more than 100 photographs, alongside fascinating commentaries and an introduction, that span the early years of the automobile to the present day. For both photography and car-loving audiences, Autofocus illustrates the inexorable rise of the car as a cultural icon.

Critique: Unique, informative, and a simply pleasure for car buffs and historians to browse through one page at a time, "Autofocus: The Car in Photography" by Marta Weiss (who is the Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum) is certain to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Photography collections in general, and Automotive History supplemental studies reading lists in particular.


The Woodworking Shelf

Turning Green Wood
Michael O'Donnell
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945589, $24.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised edition, "Turning Green Wood" by Michael O'Donnell (who is a founding member of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain and the author of "Decorating Turned Wood") is an inspiring and thought-provoking guide that deftly and step-by- step explains how to harvest and store timber, and how to make the best use of the grain pattern and other properties.

Turning green wood can be made so delicate that it is actually translucent, and the thickness of the wood can be gauged by shining a light through it as you work. Using clear text and spectacular photographs to show exactly how this is done, "Turning Green Wood" demystifies one of the most admired techniques used by woodturners today. It also features six inspirational projects to make, including: cross-grain translucent bowl, cross-grain natural-edge bowl, end-grain bowl, natural-edge end-grain bowl, natural-edge end-grain goblet and part-turned bowl.

Critique: Profusely illustrated and a thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction guide and manual for wood shop curriculums, "Turning Green Wood" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, highschool and technical college library woodworking collections.


The American History Shelf

Conflagration
John A. Buehrens
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
www.beacon.org
9780807024041, $32.00, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Conflagration: How the Transcendentalists Sparked the American Struggle for Racial, Gender, and Social Justice" by John A. Buehrens illuminates the connections between key members of the Transcendentalist circle -- including James Freeman Clarke, Elizabeth Peabody, Caroline Healey Dall, Elizabeth Stanton, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Theodore Parker, and Margaret Fuller -- who created a community dedicated to radical social activism. These authors and activists laid the groundwork for democratic and progressive religion in America.

In the tumultuous decades before and immediately after the Civil War, the Transcendentalists changed nineteenth-century America, leading what Theodore Parker called "a Second American Revolution." They instigated lasting change in American society, not only through their literary achievements but also through their activism: transcendentalists fought for the abolition of slavery, democratically governed churches, equal rights for women, and against the dehumanizing effects of brutal economic competition and growing social inequality.

The Transcendentalists' passion for social equality stemmed from their belief in spiritual friendship -- transcending differences in social situation, gender, class, theology, and race. Together, their fight for justice changed the American sociopolitical landscape. They understood that none of us can ever fulfill our own moral and spiritual potential unless we care about the full spiritual and moral flourishing of others.

Critique: A seminal work of simply outstanding and original scholarship, "Conflagration: How the Transcendentalists Sparked the American Struggle for Racial, Gender, and Social Justice" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an informative introduction (Grandchildren of the Revolution), and epilogue (Application), twenty-two pages of notes, a two page listing of image credits, and a twenty-age index. A deftly organized, comprehensively detailed, soundly documented, expertly written, thought-provoking and unique contribution to both community and academic library American Social & Cultural History collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Conflagration" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: John Buehrens was the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations from 1993 to 2001. His previous books include Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals; with Forrest Church, A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism; and with Rebecca Ann Parker, A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century.

By Great Rivers: Lives on the Appalachian Frontier
Robert B. Swift
America Through Time
c/o Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
www.arcadiapublishing.com
9781634991896, $21.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "By Great Rivers: Lives on the Appalachian Frontier", journalist and author Robert B. Swift tells the story of people who shaped events during a period of rapid political and social change in the Appalachian region of the eastern United States in the eighteenth century.

The several dozen individuals (men and women, Native Americans, colonial agents, missionaries, fur traders, Indian captives, surveyors) profiled here reflect a multi-cultural society that developed on that frontier. Wars in the last half of this century posed a grave threat to this society.

"By Great Rivers" focuses on the Appalachian region (eastern and western Pennsylvania, western New York and Ohio) which was a vast wilderness expanse linked by the great rivers that served as corridors of travel in the eighteenth century.

Many key historic events occurred at the strategic forks of four rivers where these people lived or visited--the Forks of the Delaware (Easton, PA), Forks of the Susquehanna (Sunbury, PA), Forks of the Ohio (Pittsburgh, PA) and the Forks of the Muskingum (Coshocton, OH) and the Niagara River, pathway between the Great Lakes.

"By Great Rivers" features quotes from contemporary travelers, diarists and prominent figures like Benjamin Franklin to provide context to help readers understand the period.

Critique: An absorbing, informative and inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "By Great Rivers: Lives on the Appalachian Frontier" is nicely illustrated throughout and will prove to be a greatly appreciated and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The World History Shelf

Yorkshire: A Story of Invasion, Uprising and Conflict
Paul C. Levitt
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526752550, $24.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Yorkshire: A Story of Invasion, Uprising and Conflict" by Paul C. Levitt is a compelling and informative history Yorkshire and its people, from the earliest period up to recent times -- but it is foremost a story about invasion.

Archaeological finds have shown that Yorkshire was occupied at a time when early hunters from continental Europe were not supposed to have ventured so far north. Growing populations on the European mainland made Yorkshire's fertile land and receding woodland a prime landscape for these first European farmers, and over time they would be followed by waves of invaders intent on pillage and land grabbing.

From the north and west came the Picts and the Scots, while the Romans, Angles and Vikings arrived via the River Humber. The Normans would be the last to invade and seek to dominate everything they saw. Each invasion would leave its stamp on Yorkshire's culture and life, while battles would later be fought on Yorkshire soil during both the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil Wars.

In "Yorkshire: A Story of Invasion, Uprising and Conflict", author and historian Paul Levitt deftly reveals the key places where battles were fought and Yorkshire history was made. The result is an impressively informative and inherently fascinating read from first page to last. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library British History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Yorkshire: A Story of Invasion, Uprising and Conflict" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Born into a military family in the historic market town of Beverley, East Yorkshire, Paul Levitt has always been intrigued by the past. He developed a keen awareness of Yorkshire's rich heritage as a schoolboy and developed a particular interest in the medieval period. Yorkshire's unique landscape and especially the North York Moors made a strong impression on him and to this day remains a magical place. He has written professionally on a wide range of subjects for the past 25 years.

The Accursed Tower
Roger Crowley
Basic Books
www.basicbooks.com
c/o Perseus Books Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
www.perseusbooksgroup.com
9781541697348, $28.00, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The 1291 siege of Acre was the Alamo of the Christian Crusades -- the final bloody battle for the Holy Land. After a desperate six weeks, the beleaguered citadel surrendered to the Mamluks, bringing an end to Christendom's two-hundred year adventure in the Middle East.

In "The Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades", Roger Crowley delivers a lively narrative of the lead-up to the siege and a vivid, blow-by-blow account of the climactic battle. Drawing on extant Arabic sources as well as untranslated Latin documents, he argues that Acre is notable for technical advances in military planning and siege warfare, and extraordinary for its individual heroism and savage slaughter.

A gripping depiction of the crusader era told through its dramatic last moments, The "Accursed Tower" offers an essential new view on a crucial turning point in world history.

Critique: Reading with all the dynamic and dramatic fluidity of a deftly crafted novel, "The Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades" is an extraordinary work of historical scholarship and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library history collections. 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 Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549128790, $35.00, CD).


The Business Shelf

Flat, Fluid, and Fast
Brynne Kennedy
McGraw Hill Education
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781260457278, $30.00, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In just a few short years it is confidently predicted that employee mobility will be an imperative for every business, as millions of jobs disappear practically overnight having become victims of artificial intelligence and automation -- even as new jobs are created. The competition for talent will be fierce, and employers are going to have to make major changes in the ways they hire, manage, and retain top performers.

"Flat, Fluid, and Fast: Harness the Talent Mobility Revolution to Drive Employee Engagement, Accelerate Innovation, and Unleash Growth" by Brynne Kennedy delivers the tactics and strategies employers will need to create a disruption-proof company during the talent mobility revolution. It walks employers through the entire process, while providing expert advice on new ways to: Draw top talent to a company; Implement new training programs; Create employee mobility plans; Design innovative career paths for staff; Operate an adaptable organization for long-term success; Understand policies to support this new world of work across America.

"Flat, Fluid, and Fast" goes beyond merely surviving the coming change. It equips employers to seize the opportunities this change affords, to beat out the competition, and to become the dominant player in any industry. It also equips everyone in America to understand the government policies that are needed to unleash growth, create new jobs and support all workers amid this radical new world of work.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Flat, Fluid, and Fast: Harness the Talent Mobility Revolution to Drive Employee Engagement, Accelerate Innovation, and Unleash Growth" is a seminal work that should be a part of every corporate, community, college, and university library Business Management instructional reference collection and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Flat, Flud, and Fast" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.04).

Editorial Note: Holding a B.A. in History from Yale and an MBA from London Business School, Brynne Kennedy is an American entrepreneur and the Founder of Topia, a relocation and talent mobility company in California, used by customers worldwide. While CEO she grew the company to global operations, raised $100 million and helped tens of thousands of families transition to new jobs and communities. While leading Topia in California, Brynne also founded Mobility4All, a charitable initiative that supported refugees during the Syrian War. Brynne has also worked with TechNet to advise California State and Federal lawmakers on policies for economic growth and entrepreneurship.


The Gardening Shelf

Vertical Gardening
Jason Johns
http://gardeningwithjason.com
Groundswell Books
c/o Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99, Summertown, TN 38483
bookpubco.com
9781570673757 $9.95 pbk / $6.99 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: A vertical garden can run the gamut from a simple arrangement of flowers in a large container on a deck to an elaborate display of strawberries and geraniums amid climbing peas and vines of small squash growing up a backyard fence. Any upright structure that can support vegetables, fruits, herbs, or flowers, whether these plants are in containers or in the ground, can be used. Of particular interest to urban dwellers and to city residents with limited yard space or sunlight, growing plants vertically can also be used by suburban and rural gardeners so valuable ground space can be freed up for root crops.

Gardening expert Jason Johns offers examples of many types of vertical gardens and offers suggestions on which plants to select that thrive when grown vertically. He also gives tips for how to plan a vertical garden to take advantage of sunlight, allow for easy watering and care, and provide protection from wind and insect damage. Included are numerous photographs illustrating innovative and creative vertical gardening structures and arrangements that provide the support plants need to flourish. You'll be able to maximize your yield in minimal space.

Critique: Illustrated with black-and-white photography throughout, Vertical Gardening is a guide to growing one's own, organic produce and herbs in the smallest of spaces. Chapters discuss how to raise plants that do well in vertical gardens; maintain optimal soil conditions; protect one's garden from wind and insect damage; and much more. An index rounds out this "must-have" for aspiring and hobbyist gardeners who have a limited area to work with. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Vertical Gardening is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).

The Pollinator Victory Garden
Kim Eierman
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631597503, $26.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Pollinators are critical to our food supply and responsible for the pollination of the vast majority of all flowering plants on our planet. Pollinators include not just bees, but many different types of animals, including insects and mammals. Beetles, bats, birds, butterflies, moths, flies, and wasps can also be pollinators.

But today, many pollinators are in trouble, and the reality is that most of our landscapes have little to offer them. Our residential and commercial landscapes are filled with vast green pollinator deserts, better known as lawns. These monotonous green expanses are ecological wastelands for bees and other pollinators.

With "The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening; Attract and Support Bees, Beetles, Butterflies, Bats, and Other Pollinators", gardeners and homeowners can give pollinators a fighting chance by learning how to transition their landscape into a pollinator haven by creating a habitat that includes pollinator nutrition, larval host plants for butterflies and moths, and areas for egg laying, nesting, sheltering, overwintering, resting, and warming.

"The Pollinator Victory Garden" offers a wealth of information to support pollinators while improving the environment including: The importance of pollinators and the specific threats to their survival; How to provide food for pollinators using native perennials, trees, and shrubs that bloom in succession; Detailed profiles of the major pollinator types and how to attract and support each one; Tips for creating and growing a Pollinator Victory Garden, including site assessment, planning, and planting goals; Project ideas like pollinator islands, enriched landscape edges, revamped foundation plantings, meadowscapes, and other pollinator-friendly lawn alternatives.

Critique: A unique, timely and impressively informative instructional guide and manual, "The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening; Attract and Support Bees, Beetles, Butterflies, Bats, and Other Pollinators" should be considered a mandatory addition to all community and academic library Environmental Studies collections in general, and Domestic Gardening supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all homeowners, gardeners, students, environmental activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Pollinator Victory Garden" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Kim Eierman is an environmental horticulturist and landscape designer specializing in ecological landscapes and native plants. She is the Founder of EcoBeneficial, a horticulture consulting and communications company in Westchester County, New York. Kim teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center, Rutgers Home Gardeners School, and advanced education classes for Master Gardeners. An active speaker nationwide on many ecological landscaping topics, she also provides horticultural consulting and ecological design to commercial, municipal, and retail clients. In addition to being a Certified Horticulturist through the American Society for Horticultural Science, Kim is an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional, a Steering Committee member of The Native Plant Center, and a member of The Ecological Landscape Alliance and the Association for Garden Communicators (GWA). Kim received the Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association in 2014, 2015, and 2017.

The Complete Book Of Ferns
Mobee Weinstein
Cool Springs Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9780760363942, $30.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Houseplants are enduringly popular, but no category of houseplants is more popular than ferns. From the otherworldly Staghorns (mounted like antler trophies in homes throughout the world) to the classic Boston Ferns and newer varieties like Crispy Wave, ferns are definitely back in fashion. And to no one's surprise. After all, ferns are among the very oldest plants on the planet, with a long and storied history. There are tens of thousands of known varieties of ferns. In the Victorian Era, ferns created an absolute craze for more than 50 years. They re-emerged as integral home decor accessories in the '50s and '60s, and there were the "Fern Bars" back in the '80s.

"The Complete Book of Ferns: Indoors - Outdoors - Growing - Crafting - History & Lore" by Mobee Weinstein is comprehensive reference that begins its examination of ferns 400 million years ago, when the first species of this group of spore-reproducing plants appeared on Earth, exploring their evolution and eventual incorporation into human culture, including the powers associated with them and their practical and ornamental uses. Then, after an exploration of fern botany (its parts, how it grows, its variability in size and form, habitats, propagation, etc.) the aspiring gardener will learn how to green both their indoor and outdoor environments with ferns. Every aspect of fern care is covered: potting/planting, watering, fertilizing, pest and disease control, and more.

With this knowledge absorbed, aspiring gardeners can explore creative planting projects, like terrariums, vertical gardens (living walls), mixed tabletop gardens, and moss baskets. As well as making a survey of ferns complete, create pressed fern art, fabric wall hangings with chlorophyll-stained designs, cyanotypes, and hand-made fern-decorated paper.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout" The Complete Book of Ferns: Indoors - Outdoors - Growing - Crafting - History & Lore" is an extraordinary and comprehensive compendium that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library DIY gardening instructional reference collections. An informative pleasure to simply browse through, it should be noted that "The Complete Book of Ferns: Indoors - Outdoors - Growing - Crafting - History & Lore" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.52).

Editorial Note: Currently, Mobee Weinstein is the Foreman of Gardeners for Outdoor Gardens at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. She has a degree in Plant Studies and has done post-graduate work in Botany. She has worked as an adjunct professor of Indoor plants at SUNY. She frequently appears and represents New York Botanical Garden on television (NBC, ABC, Martha Stewart Living, et al.) and radio (Ralph Snodsmith's The Garden Hotline program, et al.). She is a frequent lecturer to outside organizations and a Judge for Philadelphia Flower Show (Ferns and other plant classes) and NYC Community Gardens. She organizes and leads field trips for NYBG School of Professional Horticulture and has published more than a dozen articles and book chapters on various topics, including ferns and water lilies.


The Audiobook Shelf

Big Lies in a Small Town
Diane Chamberlain, author
Read by Susan Bennett
dianechamberlain.com
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250259929 $39.99 amazon.com

Synopsis: North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold - until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook, Big Lies in a Small Town is a psychological mystery-thriller about secrets buried decades in the past. Two tales set in a sleepy North Carolina town unfold - one in the present, one in the past, but both revolve around the murderous intentions hidden with the art of a post office mural. Superbly performed by Susan Bennett, Big Lies in a Small Town is a choice pick for connoisseurs of the genre. 11 CDs, 13.5 hours.

Good Girls Lie
J.T. Ellison
Performed by Fiona Hardingham
Harlequin Audio
c/o Blackstone Publishing
Downpour.com
9781982646134 $39.99 amazon.com

Synopsis: Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, the Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions, and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely... because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

Critique: Award-winning author J.T. Ellison presents Good Girls Lie, a tale of suspense superbly adapted to unabridged audiobook format and brought to life by Fiona Hardingham's gripping performance. Good Girls Lie is set at a boarding school for the best and brightest daughters of wealthy and influential people. Then, amid this environment of elite young women preparing for Ivy League universities, a popular student is found dead. Rumors swirl that she had a bitter secret that drove her to suicide, but are the rumors true? Good Girls Lie is interwoven with sinister motives, intrigue, and deception, and will keep the reader guessing to the very end. Highly recommended, especially for connoisseurs of the genre. 10 CDs, 12 hours.

Alone in the Wild
Kelley Armstrong, author
Read by Therese Plummer
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250260871 $39.99 CD / $26.99 digital amazon.com

Synopsis: Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that's what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there's always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn't let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from - and whether she's better off where she is.

Critique: Alone in the Wild is the unabridged audiobook rendition of the fifth novel in the Casey Duncan mystery series. While camping with her boyfriend (Sheriff Eric Dalton), Casey discovers the body of a murdered woman, and a crying infant. In nearby Rockton, a town normally closed to young people, Casey must look after the baby while determining where it came from and solving the tragic murder. But Rockton's residents each have their own secrets to hide! Tautly written, Alone in the Wild is a masterful work of suspenseful crime fiction, highly recommended. 9 CDs, 10.5 hours.

Dealing Death and Drugs
Beto O'Rourke & Susie Byrd, authors
Jonathan Todd Ross & Andrea Gallo, narrators
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com
9781980056669, $TBA, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The War on Drugs doesn't work. This became obvious to El Paso City Representatives Susie Byrd and Beto O'Rourke when they started to ask questions about why El Paso's sister city, Ciudad Juarez, has become the deadliest city in the world - 8,000-plus deaths since January 1, 2008. Byrd and O'Rourke soon realized American drug use and United States' failed War on Drugs are at the core of problem.

In "Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the US and Mexico " they explore the costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition. They argue that marijuana prohibition has created a black market so profitable that drug kingpins are billionaires and drug control doesn't stand a chance. Using Juarez as their focus, they describe the business model of drug trafficking and explain why this illicit system has led to the never-ending slaughter of human beings. Their position: the only rational alternative to the War on Drugs is to end to the current prohibition on marijuana.

Critique: This deftly narrated, complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the US and Mexico" is an ideal introduction for the non- specialist general listener to the failed and costly tragedy that is the American so called 'War on Drugs. A particularly timely study into the subject of marijuana prohibition and the current social, cultural, and political trend promoting the legalization of marijuana as a means of combating the crime and corruption its banning had fostered throughout the United States, "Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the US and Mexico" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections. (3 CDs, 2 Hours, 51 Minutes).


The Music CD Shelf

Excursions and Adventures
Tim Ray, piano
John Patitucci, acoustic/electric bass
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
Whaling City Sound
www.whalingcitysound.com
c/o Naxos (dist.)
www.naxosusa.com
$16.99 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com

Excursions and Adventures is a jazz album consisting of both original pieces and pop music covers, featuring Tim Ray's masterful piano playing, Terri Lyne Carrington's rhythmic drumming, and John Patitucci's sizzling performance on acoustic/electric bass. These vivacious, brilliant arrangements are an extraordinary audio experience for jazz connoisseurs, highly recommended! The tracks are "Nothing From Nothing", "Maria", "Gone, Not Forgotten", "Paint it Black", "Trinkle Tinkle", "Unconditional Love", "Messiaen's Gumbo", "Yours is My Heart Alone", "Samsara", "Yo 11", and "Paint it Black".

Earth
Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group
Whaling City Sound
www.whalingcitysound.com
c/o Naxos (dist.)
www.naxosusa.com
$16.99 CD amazon.com

Saxophonist and composer Dave Liebman and the group Expansions presents Earth, the fourth and final album in his thematic series; the Expansions group includes Bobby Avey on piano, MattVashlishan on reeds, Alex Ritz on drums, and Tony Marino on bass. The original songs evoke the themes of the Earth as a living entity, and its interconnections with all beings. A striking, resonant soundscape, Earth is highly recommended especially to connoisseurs of extraordinary saxophone music. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Earth Theme", "Bass Interlude", "Volcano/Avalanche", "Percussion/Flute Interlude", "The Sahara", "Soprano Saxophone Interlude", "Grand Canyon/Mt. Everest", "Drum Interlude", "Concrete Jungle", "Piano Interlude", "Dust to Dust", "Wind Synthesizer Interlude", "Galaxy", and "Earth Theme (reprise)". 47 min., 37 sec. The other albums in the quadrilogy are "Water" (with Pat Metheny, Billy Hart, and Cecil McBee), "Air" (with Walter Quintus), and "Fire" (featuring Kenny Werner, Jack DeJohnette, and Dave Holland).

Cerulean
Eleon
Heart Dance Records
www.heartdancerecords.com
$13.98 CD / $9.03 MP3 amazon.com

Cerulean is a quiescent electronic music album, crafted especially to ease connoisseurs of lounge-style groove. The smooth, wordless rhythms create a sense of loose, free-flowing ease. Cerulean is a choice pick for connoisseurs of chill music, highly recommended. The tracks are "Mariah's Dream", "Once There Was a Place Like This", "The Crystal Portal", "Migration", "Winston's Journey", "Right Before My Eyes" and "Cerulean". 47 min., 22 sec.

Memories of Water and Light
Scott Cossu
www.scottcossu.com
Heart Dance Records
www.heartdancerecords.com
$12.99 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Memories of Water and Light is a contemporary, instrumental, new age music album about the beauty and sadness in the cycle of life. The songs flow gently, fostering a sense of peaceful insight, and brimming with tenderness. Memories of Water and Light is a treasure, and also makes an excellent gift. The tracks are "Wedding Lanterns", "Memories of Water and Light", "Cerulean Eyes", "Follow Your Heart", "Here With You", "Makena", "Luminoso", "Ascending Angels", "Lucid Watercolors", and "Last Snow".


The DVD Shelf

The Good Karma Hospital, series 3
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
www.acornonline.com
$39.99 DVD or Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, The Good Karma Hospital, series 3 continues the powerful and emotional medical drama, set in a coastal town in Southern India, where junior doctor Ruby Walker (played by Amrita Acharia) labors at an overburdened cottage hospital, with scant access to resources. In series three, an idealist on the hospital's nursing team suffers a violent attack, and Dr. Walker must settle her priorities between the hospital and the Indian family she has become close to. Her relationship with Dr. Gabriel Varma (played by James Krishna Floyd) is jeopardized by the presence of a striking, world-class surgeon from Gabriel's past. The Good Karma Hospital, series 3is a choice pick for medical drama enthusiasts, highly recommended. Bonus materials include a 17-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs or 2 Blu-ray discs, 285 min.

Keeping Faith, series 2
Starring Eve Myles
Acorn Media
www.acornonline.com
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$39.99 DVD / $39.99 Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Keeping Faith, series 2 continues the award- winning Acorn TV Original Series, which as of this writing has become the most-viewed "non- network" show on the BBC iPlayer. The protagonist Faith (played by Eve Myles) is a lawyer, wife, and mother, stricken by the aftermath of the disappearance of her husband in series 1. Keeping Faith, series 2 is a six-part thriller that follows Faith as she deals with her husband's debt to a vicious crime kingpin, her attraction to a former client, and defending a farmer's wife whom Faith believes has been falsely accused of her husband's murder. Intense, beautifully shot, and featuring complex, compelling characters, Keeping Faith, series 2 is highly recommended. Bonus materials include a 33-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. 6 episodes on 2 discs, 360 min. plus bonus, SDH subtitles.

My Life is Murder
Starring Lucy Lawless
Acorn Media
www.acornonline.com
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$59.99 DVD / $59.99 Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, My Life is Murder is a modern-day detective drama featuring award-winning actress Lucy Lawless (known for her starring role in the "Xena: Warrior Princess" series) as Alexa Crowe, a private investigator and ex-homicide detective who solves complex crimes while navigating everyday difficulties. She has a particular talent for drawing out secrets hidden amid the darkest recesses of human nature. Set in Australia's bustling city of Melbourne, My Life Is Murder is a smoothly written, vivaciously performed, and highly recommended especially to connoisseurs of the genre. Bonus materials include behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast and crew interviews, animated shorts, and more. 10 episodes on 3 DVDs or 3 Blu-ray discs, 445 min. plus bonus, SDH subtitles.


The Gaming Shelf

Don't Be Fooled!: Countering Deception at Bridge
Danny Roth
Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com
9781771400510, $19.95, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Many books have been written on falsecards and other deceptive plays at the bridge table. However, there is very little help available for the player who wants to learn how to recognize when the opponents are trying something sneaky, and what can be done in terms of counter-measures. "Don't Be Fooled!: Countering Deception at Bridge" by Bridge expert Danny Roth nicely fills that gap, enabling readers to learn the most common situations where deceptive play by the opposition may occur, and the most effective ways to nullify the threat.

Critique: Danny Roth is a regular contributor to bridge magazines around the world. With "Don't Be Fooled!: Countering Deception at Bridge" he effectively draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to provide aspiring Bridge players with a complete, comprehensive, and throughly 'player friendly' instructional manual and guide that will result in a decided improvement in their gaming performance. "Don't Be Fooled!: Countering Deception at Bridge" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library collections.


The Education Shelf

Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era
Pietro A. Sasso, et al.
Myers Education Pres
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781975502676, $179.95, HC, 225pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and edited by the academic team of Pietro A. Sasso, J. Patrick Biddix, and Monica Lee Miranda,"Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era" is inspired by sustained and reoccurring professional conversations and scholarship that have suggested that not just change is necessary, but that there ought to be a fundamental shift towards reconceptualizing the construct of fraternities and sororities.

The three co-editors curate work from scholars and noteworthy practitioners from across higher education to provide an imperative text that reflects the complexity and expansiveness by addressing diversity, programming, and support approaches. "Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era" commences with the understanding that issues will continuously exist, requiring a greater nuanced depth of appreciation to reduce their negative impact.

"Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era" also summarizes national organizations from authentic, represented voices. Chapters then focus on solutions to support the fraternity and sorority experience, providing strategies and emerging explanations for the issues described in this text. "Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era" seeks to inform all stakeholders so that they can make better decisions about the future of these institutions.

Critique: An impressive work of collective scholarship, "Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era: Advancements In Practice" is an ideal curriculum textbook for courses and issues ranging from Fraternity and Course Leadership; Dissertation Seminar; Professional Development Circles; and Independent Study; to Research Seminar; Thesis Research; Reflection Assignment; Contemporary Issues in Higher Education; and Introduction to Student Affairs. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both college and university library Contemporary Education Issues collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, educational institution policy makers, education reform activists, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Supporting Fraternities and Sororities in the Contemporary Era" is also available in a paperback edition (9781975502683, $45.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $41.39).

Editorial Note: Pietro Sasso has over 10 years of professional and teaching experience in postsecondary education. As an administrator, his experience is exceptionally diverse, spanning several educational administrative functional areas. As a scholar, he has written and co-edited 7 texts, authored over 35 scholarly publications, and facilitated over 30 national and regional presentations. He is the recipient of the AFA Dr. Charles Eberly Research Award from AFA and is the ACPA Men and Masculinities Emerging Scholar-In-Residence.

J. Patrick Biddix is a professor of Higher Education and Associate Director of the Postsecondary Education Research Center (PERC) at the University of Tennessee. He is the author of Research Methods and Applications for Student Affairs, co authored the second edition of Assessment in Student Affairs, and co-authored The Influence of Fraternity and Sorority Involvement: A Critical Analysis of Research (1996-2013).

Monica Lee Miranda serves as the Director of the Center for Student Involvement at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Miranda is also an independent educational consultant and speaker who facilitates a number of leadership development programs and interactive workshops as an independent contractor for various speaking and consulting agencies.

Teaching by Heart
Thomas J. DeLong
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781633698529, $30.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Teaching by Heart: One Professor's Journey to Inspire" summarizes Professor Thomas J. Delong's key insights gained from more than forty years of teaching and managing. It illustrates how teachers can both lift people up and let them down. It proposes that the best teachers are also leaders, and the best leaders are also teachers.

In examining how to lead and teach, renowned Harvard Business School professor Thomas J. DeLong takes the reader inside his own head and heart. He notes that, as teachers, we often focus more on our inadequacies and missteps than on our strengths and unique talents. He explains why this is so by dissecting and analyzing his own experiences -- using himself as a case study.

Professor DeLong's goal is to help readers learn about the intricacies of teaching and managing, and to impart lessons about how teachers can create a unique teaching atmosphere. To do this, he analyzes the process of creating a curriculum, preparing for an eighty-minute class, managing the fifteen minutes before class begins, and evaluating the nature of the teaching experience after the session concludes.

Along the way, Professor DeLong connects specific classroom behaviors with leadership issues -- in organizations, in teams, and in personal relationships. He also asks (and answers) some provocative questions, such as: What happens on multiple levels when I teach or lead--with me, students, or professionals?; What am I thinking and feeling as I process what students are thinking and feeling?; How are my internal conversations affecting how I teach and lead?; How do I manage my biases, including having "favorite" students?; To what extent can I use teaching methods in the arena of management?

Throughout "Teaching by Heart", Professor DeLong discusses why empathy and authenticity matter. When teachers embrace this mindset, students have the opportunity to have a unique learning experience. Teachers and managers will learn how to create moments of transformation for students.

Critique: Exceptionally informative and ultimately inspiring, "Teaching by Heart: One Professor's Journey to Inspire" is especially and unreservedly recommended to the attention of university professors, education students, business leaders, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of classroom teaching. While emphatically commended for community, college and university library Contemporary Education Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Teaching by Heart" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Thomas J. DeLong is the Baker Foundation Professor of Management Practice in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. Since 1997 Professor DeLong has taught over twenty thousand MBAs and executives, both on campus and around the globe, and is internationally recognized for his teaching, writing, and course development. The author of Flying Without a Net, Professor DeLong teaches courses focused on leadership, organizational behavior, managing human capital, and career management. He received his PhD from Purdue University and was a visiting scholar at MIT.


The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet Best of India
Anirban Mahapatra, et al.
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781787013926, $24.99, PB, 324pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Lonely Planet's Best of India is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Marvel at the intricate floral designs on the Taj Mahal, float along Kerala's backwaters as the sun sinks behind whispering palms, and dive into the teeming bazaars, mighty fortresses and fine dining of Jaipur - all with your trusted travel companion. Discover the best of India and begin your journey now!

"Lonely Planet's Best of India" is the ideal trip planning guide and resource that features: Full-colour images throughout; Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots; Essential info at your fingertips including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices; Honest reviews for all budgets including eating, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss; Cultural insights that provide a richer, more rewarding travel experience with respect to history, art, food, wine, sport, landscapes, and wildlife.

"Lonely Planet's Best of India" covers Delhi, Agra, the Taj Mahal, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ajanta, Ellora, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Darjeeling, Varanasi, Himachal Pradesh and more.

Critique: Expertly organized, accessibly presented, informative, portable, and thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, "Lonely Planet's Best of India" is an armchair traveler's delight and indispensable for either business or recreational travelers to the nation of India. While an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library travel guide collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that the "Lonely Planet's Best of India" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.49).


The Hunting Shelf

Buffalo II!
Craig Boddington
Safari Press, Inc.
www.safaripress.com
9781571575319, $44.95, HC, 308pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the pages of "Buffalo II!", author and big game hunter Craig Boddington shares a wealth of first hand information on hunting "swamp buffalo" from Mozambique, as well as discussing the importance of buffalo sustainability for generations to come -- the how, where, and why of looking for an aged buffalo bull with hard bosses. He also shares his experience with a confronting a compelling personal, vividly presented, lethal buffalo charge confrontation.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, deftly written, and impressively informative read from first page to last, "Buffalo II!" will have enormous appeal for all members of the hunting community. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections, "Buffalo II!" is an unreservedly recommended acquisition.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Top-Down Knit Sweaters
Corrina Ferguson
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
www.stackpolebooks.com
9780811718288, $24.95, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Corrina Ferguson is a knitwear designer and former editor of Creative Knitting Magazine. She is known as PicnicKnits on Ravelry, Instagram, Twitter, and has her own website, picnicknits.com. She has been designing for over 10 years and has over 200 patterns to her credit, including those in her first book, Warm Days, Cool Knits.

With "Top-Down Knit Sweaters: 16 Versatile Styles Featuring Texture, Lace, Cables, and Colorwork" she has drawn upon her years of experience and expertise to create an instruction manual of DIY knitted sweaters specifically designed for anything from office to errands to weekend events. They are polished yet comfortable, closet staples with interesting details that will make you feel well-dressed every time you put one on. From textured pullover to cabled raglan to wrap-front cardigan, the 16 designs in "Top-Down Knit Sweaters" will take you anywhere you want to go.

Knitting sweaters from the top down offers many advantages knitters appreciate, not the least of which is that it minimizes the amount of seaming you have to do to finish your sweater. It also allows more easy options for customization in the yoke, raglan placement, overall length, and armhole length. Since you can try your sweater on as you go, you can make sure that you are working to the exact fit you desire.

Critique: Replete with a wealth of helpful tips for knitting top down, with thoroughly 'user friendly' patters for sizes from XS to XXL, plus a guide to finding the best personal best fit, "Top-Down Knit Sweaters: 16 Versatile Styles Featuring Texture, Lace, Cables, and Colorwork" showcases patterns for both hand knitted pullovers and cardigan sweaters. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections, it should be noted that "Top-Down Knit Sweaters" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.48).


The Crafts Shelf

Wondrous One Sheet Origami
Meenakshi Mukerji
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
www.crcpress.com
9780367208134, $75.00, HC, 163pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Wondrous One Sheet Origami" by origami expert Meenakshi Mukerji is an illustrated instructional manual and guide to creating beautiful origami designs covering a wide range of folding levels from simple to high intermediate, with more emphasis on the latter.

"Wondrous One Sheet Origami" is a richly illustrated full-color book with clear, crisp diagrams following international standard, and an abundance of photographs of finished models. Special features include select designs hand-picked by the author based on social media responses. Most of the designs incorporate color-change, a technique showing both sides of paper for enhanced beauty

Ideal for audiences 12 years of age and above, most of the designs comprising "Wondrous One Sheet Origami" are flat and suitable for mounting on cards or framing as gifts.

Critique: Profusely illustrated with clear step-by-step instructions, "Wondrous One Sheet Origami" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation. While especially and unreservedly recommended for school, community and academic library Origami instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the personal lists of students, professionals, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Wondrous One Sheet Origami" is also available in a paperback edition (9780367208103, $29.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).

Editorial Note: Meenakshi Mukerji (Adhikari) was introduced to origami in early childhood by her uncle Bireshwar Mukhopadhyay. She rediscovered origami in its modular form as an adult quite by chance in 1995, when a friend took her to a modular origami class taught by Doug Philips. This newfound mathematical and structural side of modular origami rekindled her passion for the art, and soon after, she started designing and displaying origami on her popular website www.origamee.net. The website features colorful photo galleries and links to myriad of free diagrams and has about a million and a half hits to date. Meenakshi regularly contributes to various origami periodicals and exhibits her work at conventions. She is a member of Origami USA and British Origami Society and an editor for the former's online magazine The Fold.


The Self-Help Shelf

All You Have to Do Is Ask
Wayne Baker
Currach
c/o Penguin Random House
www.penguin.com
9781984825926, $27.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Imagine you're on a deadline for a big project, and feeling overwhelmed. Or you're looking for a job, but can't seem to get your foot in the door. Or you're dying for tickets to a sold out concert, and all your leads have gone cold. What do these problems have in common? They can all be solved simply by reaching out to a colleague, friend, or wider network and making an ask.

Studies show that asking for help makes us better and less frustrated at our jobs. It helps us find new opportunities and new talent. It unlocks new ideas and solutions, and enhances team performance. And it helps us get the things we need outside the workplace as well. And yet, we rarely give ourselves permission to ask. Luckily, the research shows that asking (and getting) what we need is much easier than we tend to think.

In the pages of "All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success", Wayne Baker shares a set of strategies that used at companies like Google, GM, and IDEO, and that individuals, teams, and leaders can use to make asking for help a personal and organizational habit, including: A quiz to identify your asking-giving style; SMART criteria for who, when, and how to ask; "Plug-and-play " routines that make requests a standard component of meetings; Mini-games that incentivize asking within teams; The Reciprocity Ring, a guided activity that allows people to tap into the giving power of a network.

"All You Have to Do Is Ask" shows the reader just how to ignite the cycle of giving and receiving by asking for the things we need.

Critique: Practical, effective, informatively insightful, thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "All You Have to Do Is Ask" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Wayne Baker is the Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. He currently serves as Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social Research and Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations. Baker is a frequent guest speaker, management consultant, and advisor and board member of Give and Take, Inc., developers of the Givitas collaborative technology platform. He has published numerous scholarly papers, four books, and articles appearing in Harvard Business Review, Chief Executive magazine, and MIT Sloan Management Review.


The Military Shelf

From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay
Jonathan Templin Ritter, editor
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle, #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
www.untpress.unt.edu
9781574417715, $24.95, HC, 188pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay: The Memoirs of Captain J. R. Ritter, Seabee Commander during the Pacific War, 1942-1945" is the personal story of the late J. R. Ritter (1902-1994), a civil engineer from Texas who became a U.S. Navy Seabee officer during World War II. For his memoir he preserved personal papers, letters, photos, and other items, many of which are reproduced in this book. His narrative is deftly edited and annotated by his grandson, Jonathan Templin Ritter.

The U.S. Naval Construction Battalions, known as the "Seabees," were formed in March 1942. Their duties were to build military facilities and airfields overseas, in both the European and Pacific Theaters. In the Pacific Theater alone, including the Aleutians, the Seabees built 111 major airstrips, 441 piers, 2258 ammunition magazines, and much more.

In his detailed memoir Ritter tells the story of two Seabee Battalions, one in the Aleutians and one in the Central Pacific. He describes the Aleutian Islands Campaign during 1942 - 1943, when there was a real concern that Japan might try to attack Alaska and the continental United States through the "back door." Ritter also gives an eyewitness account of the building of the airfields on Tinian Island in the Northern Marianas that enabled the B-29 fire raids on Japan (the "Empire Run") which culminated in the two missions that dropped the atomic bombs in August 1945, ending the Pacific War.

"From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay" provides a major contribution to the wartime literature about the Seabees, those brave, resourceful, and hard-working American patriots, whose mottos were "Can do!" and "The difficult we do now; the impossible takes a little longer."

Critique: The seventeenth volume in the North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series from the University of North Texas Press, "From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay: The Memoirs of Captain J. R. Ritter, Seabee Commander during the Pacific War, 1942-1945" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a complete Chronology of J. R. Ritter's War Years (1941-1946); four Appendices (U.S. Navy Commissioned Officer Ranks; Naval and Military Terms; The Song of the Seabees; WWII Honor Roll - National WWN Memorial); a six page References and Further Reading list; and a three page Index. While unreservedly recommended for community and academic library World War II History & Biography collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "From Texas to Tinian and Tokyo Bay" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Sports Shelf

Crack Climbing: The Definitive Guide
Pete Whittaker, author
Alex Poyzer, illustrator
Mountaineers Books
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680512151 $26.95 pbk / $11.57 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Crack climbing is a highly technical form of movement in which climbers position their hands, feet, and even their entire body in cracks to make upward progress on rock. An advocate for the sport's aesthetic lines, physicality, and technical know-how, author Pete Whittaker teaches more than sixty Crack School Masterclasses each year and was featured in the popular climbing film Wide Boyz. This detailed and comprehensive guide teaches step-by-step techniques and tips, including for:

Jamming (finger, hand, fist, foot, arm, leg, body)
Crack types (chimneys, liebacks, underclings, roof cracks)
How to safely lead and place protection
Efficient positioning and movement
Strength recovery while climbing

Critique: Featuring a wealth of full-color photographs, as well as detailed sketches to portray hand, foot, and body positions, Crack Climbing: The Definitive Guide lives up to its title as a "must-have" for any person aspiring to or practicing the recreational sport of crack climbing - scaling a rock face primarily by jamming things (typically fingers, hands, or feet) into the spaces between the rocks. Packed with practical advice grounded in years of experience, Crack Climbing: The Definitive Guide is thoroughly reader-friendly, easy-to-follow, and encouraging. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in this challenging, demanding, yet rewarding sport! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Crack Climbing: The Definitive Guide is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.57).


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
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