Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
|Home / Wisconsin Bookwatch
Table of Contents
The Book of Chinese Proverbs
Gerd de Ley
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
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
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
The Vancouver Sketchbook
T. K. Justin Ng
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside
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,
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
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
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
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
Wizard Or Wannabe?
Mary E. Neighbour
Upriver, Downriver Books
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
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
James E. Atwood
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
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
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
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).
John E. Miller
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
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
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
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
Public Affairs Books
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 West 57th Street, #1321, New York, NY 10107
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,
"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
The Christian Studies Shelf
c/o Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
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.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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
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,
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
A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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
Gary A. Fox
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
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
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
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
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
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
Of Water and the Spirit
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
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
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,
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
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
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
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
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
28 West Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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
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
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
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,
The Early Church (33 - 313)
James L. Papandrea
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
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
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
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,
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
c/o Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
12265 Oracle Blvd., Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
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
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Strangers & Natives
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
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
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
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
Mysteries of Judaism: Volume III
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
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
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
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
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
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
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
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
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
Lakeside Publishing MI
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
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
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,
A Good Man
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
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).
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
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.
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
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
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
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.
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
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
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
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
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
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
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
c/o Penguin Group USA
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.
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
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,
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
A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901
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
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
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
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
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
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
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
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
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).
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
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
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
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
c/o Penguin Group USA
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
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).
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
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
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,
The Decent Inn of Death
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
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
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).
M. L. Huie
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
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
The Last Sister
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
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
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
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
c/o Daniel & Daniel Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
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
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.
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
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
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
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,
Shades of Truth
James A. Ardaiz
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
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
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
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
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).
Lois McMaster Bujold
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
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
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
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
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
The Biography Shelf
What's Up, Doc?: A Surgeon's Story
Dr. Riaz Mohammed
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
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).
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
The Future Is Waiting
Pierre Christin, author
Jean-Claude Mezieres, illustrator
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
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
The Betrayed Sorceress
Van Hamme, author
Grzegorz Rosinski, illustrator
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
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
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
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
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.
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
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
White Lion Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
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
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
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
"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
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
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
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
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
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
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.
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
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
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
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
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
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
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
Walter Foster Publishing
Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
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
The GMC Group
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
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
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
Purezza Vegan Pizza
Filippo Rosat, author
Tim Barclay, author
Stefanie Evangelisti, author
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
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,
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
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
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,
New City of London Cookbook
The GMC Group
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
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
The Brain Boosting Diet: Feed Your Memory
Norene Gilletz & Edward Wein
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside
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
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
The Automotive Shelf
Lost Muscle Car Dealerships
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
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
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
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
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
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
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
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
"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
The Woodworking Shelf
Turning Green Wood
The GMC Group
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
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
The American History Shelf
John A. Buehrens
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
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
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
"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)
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
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
c/o Perseus Books Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
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
McGraw Hill Education
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
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
c/o Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99, Summertown, TN 38483
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
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
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
Cool Springs Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
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
"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
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
Good Girls Lie
Performed by Fiona Hardingham
c/o Blackstone Publishing
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
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
But look closely... because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that
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
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
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
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
The Music CD Shelf
Excursions and Adventures
Tim Ray, piano
John Patitucci, acoustic/electric bass
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos (dist.)
$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".
Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos (dist.)
$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).
Heart Dance Records
$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
Heart Dance Records
$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
c/o RLJ Entertainment
$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
$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
$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
Master Point Press
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
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
"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
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
Teaching by Heart
Thomas J. DeLong
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
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
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
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
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
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
Safari Press, Inc.
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
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
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
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
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
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
c/o Penguin Random House
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
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
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
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).
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
Site design by Williams Writing, Editing &