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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 1 January 2017 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Biography Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Poetry Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Political Science Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Parenting Shelf Business Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Gaming Shelf Computer Shelf
Travel Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Sports Shelf Money/Finance Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Great True Hot Shot Stories: Volume 1
Ned F. Cruey
Vision Novels
www.visionnovels.com
9781941271148, $29.95, www.amazon.com

"Great True Hot Shot Stories" is an inherently fascinating and consistently compelling account by Ned Cruey of his exotic world travel adventures and life experiences. Blending personal memoir with travel writing, business, economics, and a bit of 'self-help', "Great True Hot Shot Stories: Volume 1" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. Of special note are the chapters on Alaska Winter naval Adventures: World War II; Four Continents in 124 Days on a Motorcycle; Traveling the Pacific Rim as a Single Man; Five-Star Living Plus Third-World Travel; Starting and Maintaining a Taxi Company; and Enter the Love of My Life. Of special note is the concluding multi-page section of color photographs and the single page listing of Ned Cruey's favorite quotes. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary American Biography collections, "Great True Hot Shot Stories: Volume 1" will leave its delighted and entertained readers looking forward to the next volume of Ned Cruey's lifetime adventures!

How to Hygge
Signe Johansen
St. Martin's Griffin
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.stmartins.com
9781250122032, $19.99, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word with a unique definition as a noun it includes a feeling, a social atmosphere, and an action. "How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life" by Signe Johansen is an aspirational lifestyle instructional guide that will inform and guide readers the values cherishing themselves: on candlelight, bakeries, and dinner with friends; on a celebration of experiences over possessions; as well as being kind to themselves and treasuring a sense of community. In "How to Hygge" chef and author Johansen provides a fresh, informative, lighthearted, fully illustrated how-to guide to hygge in the form of recipes, helpful tips for cozy living at home, and having a lifestyle that includes a daily dose of "healthy hedonism". Beautifully illustrated, the recipes range from Nordic Winter Salad; Roast Haddock with Bacon & Rye Crisp; Spiced Roast Pork Belly; and Triple Cherry Glogg; to Malty Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Muffins; Nordic Berry, Omega & Kefir Smoothie; Salmon Burgers; and Champagne & Hariba Candy. A thoroughly 'life changing/improving' read from beginning to end, "How to Hygge" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library collections. It should be noted that "How to Hygge" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).


The Cookbook Shelf

Adventure Time: The Official Cookbook
Recipes by Jordan Grosser
Text by Christopher Hastings
Photography by Andria Lo
Insight Editions
PO Box 3088, San Rafael, CA 94912
www.insighteditions.com
9781608876433 $29.99 amazon.com

Illustrated with full-color photographs of every dish (as well as whimsical color drawings of Adventure Time characters), Adventure Time: The Official Cookbook is a delightful compendium of recipes inspired by the popular cartoon series Adventure Time. From French Toast Dip Sandwich, to Grass Ogre Salad, Lich King Poppers ("Let the spice that hurts your tongue remind you that I will burn all I see, and I will see all"), Pink and Fluffy Cream Puffs, and much more. Most dishes have Adventure Time-themed commentary, quips, or jokes in addition to the user-friendly, step-by-step instructions. Adventure Time: The Official Cookbook is a yummy treasure for cartoon and culinary fans of all ages, and especially recommended for parents interested in creating a surprise treat for their children to celebrate any special occasion!

Cooking with Coconut
Ramin Ganeshram
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
www.storey.com
9781612126463 $18.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Cooking with Coconut: 125 Recipes for Healthy Eating, Delicious Uses for Every Form lives up to its title as a guide to making delicious dishes with coconut oil flour, water, or milk; or with dried and shredded coconut. Gorgeous, full-color photography illustrates such mouth-watering dishes as Coconut Chips, Asparagus with Shallots and Shredded Coconut, Australian Lamingtons, Coconut Cream and Chocolate Cream Layer Pie, and much more. Step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions make Cooking with Coconut a treasure for coconut lovers everywhere, regardless of personal skill or experience in the kitchen!

A Rainbow of Smoothie Bowls
Leigh Weingus
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
www.ulyssespress.com
9781612436050, $14.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

In the pages of "A Rainbow of Smoothie Bowls", writer, editor, and culinary expert Leigh Weingus showcases more than 100 amazing meal-time creations and features more than 40 gorgeous full-color photos of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying dishes, "A Rainbow of Smoothie Bowls" serves up flavorful treats that are as nutritious as they are beautiful. Follow the thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' featured recipes to combine colorful fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds into delicious bowls. The highlighted culinary creations include Strawberry Lemonade Bowl; Nutty Avocado Raspberry Bowl; Very Berry Mango Bowl; Peach Cobbler Bowl; Apple Pie Bowl; Mint Chocolate Chip Bowl; Matcha Vanilla Bowl; Blueberry Watermelon Kiwi Bowl; and Strawberry Mint Basil Bowl. Unique and creative, "A Rainbow of Smoothie Bowls" is especially recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "A Rainbow of Smoothie Bowls" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Chickpeas
Einate Mazor
Imagine Publishing
c/o Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
www.imaginebks.com
9781623540746, $18.95, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Compiled by Einate Mazor, "Chickpeas: Sweet and Savory Recipes from Hummus to Dessert" showcases more than seventy kitchen cook friendly recipes that offer everything from spreads to dips to entrees that would be appropriate for any and dining occasions, A truly beautiful, photo-illustrated cookbook "Chickpeas" is an outstanding culinary compendium with dishes that range from Italian Eggplant Wraps; Chickpea Antipasti Salad; Spicy Chickpea & Coconut Stew; and Baked Cauliflower Patties; to Jerusalem Hummus; Mediterranean Beef Stew; Pasta Bolognese; and Carrot Cake with Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting. Of special note is the recipe for Chocolate & Chickpea Protein Bars! While very highly recommended, especially for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Chickpeas: Sweet and Savory Recipes from Hummus to Dessert" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.99).

Blissful Basil
Ashley Melillo
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75204
www.benbellabooks.com
9781942952459, $21.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Ashley Melillo is the writer, photographer, and recipe-creator behind Blissful Basil, a blog dedicated to unearthing the happiest side of life through wholesome, plant-based foods. In "Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health, and Happiness" she has created a beautifully illustrated, thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' compendium of simply wonderful dishes that range from a Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Oatmeal Bake with Chai-Based Caramel; to Roasted Yellow Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Portobello Pizzettes; to a Mediterranean Millet with Lemon Hummus; to Velvety Mac 'N' Yellow Split Pea Cheese; to Chocolate Chip coconut Oil Cookie Bars. Of special note is the recipes Homemade Coconut Butter; 5-Minute Caramel Sauce; and Coconut Whipped Cream! A pleasure to browse and inspiring to plan menus with, "Blissful Basil" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Blissful Basil" is also available in a Kindle format ($12.84).

Gravity Cakes!
Jakki Friedman & Francesca Librae
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
www.robertrose.ca
9780778805496, $24.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

A 'gravity cake' is a pastry delight whose construction seems to defy gravity. While elements of the cake may seem like they're floating in thin air, it's really just simple scaffolding (plastic balloon sticks), concealed within the cake and disguised with fondant and candy, that creates the spellbinding illusion. These cakes are incredibly fun and beautiful, and while they may seem complicated, they really aren't. Each one of the 45 gravity cake projects comprising this thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' compendium features step-by-step instructions with a photo for each step, making the decorating process foolproof and surprisingly easy. Here featured is a cake for virtually every event and occasion ranging from Valentine's Day to Thanksgiving, from baby reveals to poker parties, -- and everything in between. Once mastering the techniques, it will be no time before even the most novice of kitchen cooks is using their imagination to create their own unique designs. A singular and unique addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections, "Gravity Cakes" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended.

Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round
Crystal Watanabe & Maki Ogawa
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
www.quirkbooks.com
9781594749384, $16.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

From the depths of winter to the height of summer, a beautiful lunch can brighten any day. Japanese bento boxes are portable and pretty meals packed with healthy portions and plenty of cheer. And they're outrageously cute! Crystal Watanabe started making bento boxes for herself as a way to eat small healthy portions. She enjoyed it so much that she now shares her hobby with bento fans worldwide. Maki Ogawa is a Japanese mom who loves to make cute bento boxes for her two young boys, her husband, and herself. Together, Crystal and Maki have compiled "Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round: Box Lunches for Every Season", a thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' instructional guide to making bento boxed lunches that are suited to each season of the year. Beautifully illustrated throughout, each unique boxed lunch is organized into four major sections: Springtime Fun; Summertime Splash; Fall Frenzy; Winter Wonderland. Of special note is the comprehensive 'how to' beginning section on 'Getting Started'. Enhanced with the addition of a list of Resources, a Glossary, a Metric Conversions chart, and an Index, "Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round" is the perfect addition to any personal, family, or community library cookbook collection. It should be noted that "Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round" is also available in a Kindle format ($12.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

Lawyer for the Dog
Lee Robinson, author
Narrated by Barbara McCulloh
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781501926488 $TBA www.recordedbooks.com

Lawyer for the Dog: A Sally Baynard Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a tongue- in-cheek romance with a courtroom twist. Sally Baynard is a skilled public defender and family lawyer who couldn't bring herself to remain married to her wealthy, high-society husband, Family Court Judge Joe Baynard. When Judge Joe assigns her to a tangled divorce case by appointing her as the Lawyer for the Dog - Sherman, a miniature schnauzer - her life becomes complicated by closer proximity to her ex, as well as the care of the dog, the rancor of its owners, the needs of her aging mother with Alzheimer's, and a handsome, charming veterinarian named Tony! A mirthfully unpredictable delight, Lawyer for the Dog is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 7 CDs, 7.75 hours.

Beneath the Skin
Jonathan Maberry
Read by Ray Porter
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781481513630 $29.95

Beneath the Skin is the unabridged audiobook rendition of an anthology of short stories featuring Sam Hunter, a low-rent PI and former Twin Cities policeman who lost his badge due to excessive force. Sam is closet werewolf, who unleashes his animal ferocity on the worst, most despicable human beings! But Sam also has a wolf's sense of unswerving loyalty to his clients; he comes from a long family line known as Benandanti, or "the hounds of God". The stories in Beneath the Skin include "Like Part of the Family", "Toby's Closet", "Crazy Town", "We All Make Sacrifices", and "A House in Need of Children". Beneath the Skin is a juicy treat for paranormal mystery fans to sink their teeth into, highly recommended. 4 CDs, 5 hours.

'Til Death
Ed McBain
Performed by Dick Hill
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781501292743 $9.99 amazon.com

'Til Death: An 87th Precinct Novel is the unabridged MP3-CD audiobook (can be played on any MP3-CD enabled player, or transferred to a portable device) adapting Ed McBain's riveting mystery novel. Detective Steve Carella's sister is about to be married, but someone is out to murder her groom, setting Carella on race against time to find the killer! A gritty saga that captures the essence of noir in a modern-day setting, 'Til Death is a "must" for connoisseurs of the genre! 1 MP3 Disc, 6 hours.

Lord of the Privateers
Stephanie Laurens
Read by Steve West
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781504779494 $44.95

Lord of the Privateers is the audiobook rendition of fourth and concluding volume of "The Adventurers Quartet", a sweeping, epic saga of love and daring. Royd Frobisher, the titular lord of the privateers, works with his childhood sweetheart, ex-handfasted bride, and current business partner Isobel Carmicheal to see a dangerous rescue mission through to its conclusion. But freeing victims is only half of their struggle - to stop a human trafficking ring, they must hunt the criminals on their home ground! A sweeping, passionate historical romance, Lord of the Privateers is highly recommended to connoisseurs of the genre. 13 CDs, 16 1/2 hours.

Orphans of the Carnival
Carol Birch, author
Read by Heather Wilds
Highbridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.highbridgeaudio.com
9781681682587 $34.99 amazon.com

Orphans of the Carnival is the unabridged audiobook performance of a carnival exhibit's personal search for love and happiness. Julia Pastrana is an extraordinary woman, fluent in English, French, and Spanish; a talented singer; capable at riding horseback and performing a ballet pirouette; yet her hairy face all that people notice about her. Despite a successful carnival career that enables her tour the world, Julia longs to meet someone who accepts her as just another human. Is love too much for one woman to hope for? And when she encounters a man who seems to be interested in her, how can she tell whether he truly cares for her or simply wishes to exploit her in a kinder, gentler manner? A thought-provoking, emotional page-turner, Orphans of the Carnival is a choice pick for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 11 CDs, 13 hours.

Deathlands: Gaia's Promise
James Axler
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628512878, $19.99, CD, www.graphicaudio.net

Cornerstone is a ville like no other that Ryan Cawdor and his companions have ever encountered. Hoping to find medical treatment for wounds sustained combating Magus and his creations, especially Ryan's own debilitating injury, they have been brought to Cornerstone by their new friends, a relationship forged from those same battles. The ville appears to be a prosperous bastion of civilization, sheltered from the savagery of the Deathlands by virtue of the community's relationship with an extraordinary manifestation of the will of Gaia. As the tortured history of this ville is revealed, the companions are intrigued, to say the least. And when they confront Cornerstone's leader, they are nothing less than astonished. Gaia's Promise is an original Deathlands story written specifically for GraphicAudio and is available in no other format. A riveting storyline, an entire chorus of accomplished vocal actors, music and sound effects all combine to present what Graphic Audio is most famous for -- making a movie in your mind! Another entry into the on-going post-apocalyptic Deathlands saga, "Gaia's Promise" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. Approximate Running Time: 6 Hours; 6 CDs; Content Rating: Ages 18+.

No Pity for the Dead
Nancy Herriman, author
Narrated by Stina Nielsen
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com
9781490677149 $TBA

Set in 1867, No Pity for the Dead: A Mystery of Old San Francisco is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a historical murder mystery. British-born nurse Celia Davies runs a free medical clinic to assist poor women, but when a young orphan informs her that he discovered a corpse, Celia seeks help from Detective Nicholas Greaves. Celia and Nick must work together to hunt down a killer, in spite of the conflicted feelings they might be developing for one another! A period piece that brings historic San Francisco to vivid life, No Pity for the Dead keeps the listener guessing to the end. Highly recommended, especially for mystery connoisseurs and public library collections. 10 CDs, 11.5 hours.

Small Admissions: A Novel
Amy Poeppel, author
Read by Carly Robins
Highbridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.highbridgeaudio.com
9781681683751 $39.99 amazon.com

Small Admissions: A Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Amy Poeppel's novel about learning to cope with rejection. Kate Pearson is a Summa Cum Laude graduate who is so emotionally devastated by the breakup with her handsome French "almost fiance" that she falls into a slothlike stupor, leaving her apartment only as absolutely needed. Her sister Angela tries to help with remedies ranging from therapy to trapeze class, but when Kate lands a a job at the prestigious Hudson Day School, she no longer has time to wallow in self-pity. Can Kate maintain her emotional stability and get her life back on track, with the help of family and friends? And what secret is her handsome yet annoying neighbor hiding? Does one person's happiness necessarily require another person's misfortune? Insightful, witty, and engaging, Small Admissions is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 8 CDs, 9.5 hours.


The Music CD Shelf

The Rhythm of Life
Matt Venuti
www.mattvenuti.com
Venus Central Productions
$15.00 CD / $9.99 download cdbaby.com

The Rhythm of Life is a jubilant album by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrument master Matt Venuti. The upbeat songs remind the listener about the bonds shared between individuals and the world as a whole. A mix of instruments ranging from keyboards and pedal steel guitar to piano and organ, drums, cello, kora and more add spicy variety to The Rhythm of Life. The Rhythm of Life is a positive, fulfilling, and unique experience, highly recommended! The tracks are "A Place to Breathe" (5:35), "Afraid" (6:03), "Door of the Heart" (4:29), "The Rhythm of Life" (5:12), "Rise" (3:57), "The All" (5:14), "Loosen the Grip" (5:06), "Desert Dreams" (5:53), "Lean On Me" (3:54), and "Breathe Reprise" (2:00).

Leaves in the Pool
The Holdup
theholdupmusic.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com

Leaves in the Pool is a full-length album from reggae band The Holdup. Spanning the gamut from love songs to desperate dreams, Leaves in the Pool draws upon elements of hip hop and incorporates emotional guitar stylings into a vibrant, passionate prize. It should be noted that Leaves in the Pool has some explicit song lyrics, and is therefore recommended mature listeners. The tracks are "Neighborhood", "Dumb Luck", "Way Too High", "Imperfections", "Spoken For", "Right Away", "Blink of an Eye", "Hotline Interlude", "This Ain't Love", "Wait for Me", "Nothin's On Fire", "The Truth", "Leaves in the Pool", "Almost Famous", "Come For You", and "10 Karats".


The DVD Shelf

Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone, second edition
Gudrun Penselin and Adrian de Landa
Rainbow Healing Publishing
www.rainbowhealing.ca
www.herbalinstructions.com
9780968410813 $39.95 CAD

Now in a second edition with an updated appendix and subtitles in English, French, German, and Spanish, Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone is a guide on DVD by Clinical Herbal Therapist Gudrun Penselin and Traditional Mexican Healer Adrian de Landa. The program walks the viewer through harvesting, drying, and storing herbs step-by-step, as well as how to create herbal juices, infusions, tinctures, flower essences, poultices, and more. Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone absolutely cannot substitute for the professional services of a doctor or pharmacist in the case of a serious medical health problem, it's a user-friendly supplemental guide to preparing simple, time-tested home remedies without using any expensive equipment. Highly recommended!

Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
www.acornonline.com
$34.99 amazon.com

Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent is the BBC adaptation of Joseph Conrad's classic novel about a terrorist plot in Victorian London. Anton Verloc is an unremarkable shopkeeper in Soho who, unbeknownst to anyone including his faithful wife, works for the Russian embassy as a spy. Then his secret employers charge him to plant a bomb and pin the blame on a local group of anarchists that the Russians want suppressed. Verloc's conscience rebels against the thought of killing civilians, but if Verloc fails his mission, his identity as a spy will be exposed! Tense and haunting, The Secret Agent is a "must" for connoisseurs of British drama. It should be noted that Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent is for mature readers or older teens, as episodes contain violence, disturbing images, and sexual situations. 3 episodes, 178 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Jericho of Scotland Yard
Starring Robert Lindsay
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$49.99 www.acornonline.com

Jericho of Scotland Yard is a dark British crime drama, set in 1950's London. Chief Inspector Michael Jericho (played by Robert Lindsay) is a Scotland Yard detective responsible for solving high-profile murders, with help from his loyal sergeant Clive Harvey (David Troughton) and the young, exuberant DC John Caldicott (Ciaran McMenamin). Jericho's checkered and painful past will not stop him from extracting justice at any cost! A vivid period piece, Jericho of Scotland Yard is a "must-see" for connoisseurs of gritty British mysteries, highly recommended. It should be noted that Jericho of Scotland Yard contains violence, strong language, and nudity. 4 episodes on 2 DVDs, 376 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Close to the Enemy
By filmmaker Stephen Poliakoff
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$59.99 DVD or Blu-ray www.acornonline.com

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Close to the Enemy is a riveting British drama set during the beginning of the Cold War. Intelligence officer Callum Ferguson is duty-bound to persuade captured German scientist Dieter Koehler to develop a jet engine for the British government, but Ferguson is distracted by his younger brother's mental trauma from the war. Complicating matters further is Ferguson's growing attraction to his best friend's wife. A taut, suspenseful story interweaving rich characterization and a complex plot, Close to the Enemy is highly recommended. Bonus materials include 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes, 28 minutes of cast interviews, and a photo gallery. It should be noted that Close to the Enemy contains coarse language, violence, sexual situations, and nudity. 3 discs, 7 episodes, 435 min. plus bonus, SDH subtitles.


The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Hero Cats of Stellar City: The Crow King Saga
Kyle Puttkammer and Marcus Williams
Action Lab
actionlabcomics.com
9781632291486 $11.99 pbk / $4.99 Kindle amazon.com

Hero Cats of Stellar City: The Crow King Saga is a full-color graphic novel compilation collecting issues 7, 8, and 9 of the Hero Cats of Stellar City comic book, about a group of brave and canny feline superheroes. The remorseless Crow King, master of dreams and nightmares, seeks to add another world to his conquests - our world - and only the Hero Cats can stop him! But first, they must escape the Crow King's fantastic dreamworld, in which each of them has the illusory guide of... a human form? A new hero cat, the technologically adept master thief Bandit, is introduced in this saga of derring do and good versus evil, highly recommended for cat lovers of all ages!

Action Lab: Dog of Wonder, Volume One: Who Let the Dogs Out?
Vito Delsante and Scott Fogg
Action Lab
actionlabcomics.com
9781632291523 $9.99

Action Lab: Dog of Wonder, Volume One: Who Let the Dogs Out? is a full-color graphic novel collecting issues 1, 2, and 3 of Action Lab: Dog of Wonder, a comic book series about a canine superhero and his comrades. What makes Action Lab especially notable is its strong stance against animal cruelty, including but not limited to the illegal practice of dogfighting. In Who Let the Dogs Out?, Action Lab and his team accept a pampered poodle's heartfelt plea to rescue her brother - a dog wrongly accused of biting a little girl - before he is executed! Action Lab: Dog of Wonder is a treat for dog lovers of all ages, highly recommended.

Invader Zim Volume 2
KC Green and Eric Trueheart
Created by Jhonen Vasquez
Oni Press
www.onipress.com
9781620103364 $19.99 amazon.com

Invader Zim Volume 2 is a full-color graphic novel collecting issues #6-10 of the brand new "Invader Zim" comic based on the popular animated cartoon about Zim, a crazed space alien with a manic penchant for destruction, and Dib, a young paranormal investigator determined to oppose and expose Zim at every turn! Will Zim destroy the Earth? (Maybe.) Will schoolchildren be eaten by space monsters? (Probably.) One wild and crazy madcap after another pits Zim and Dib against one another in this laugh-out-loud funny, over-the-top sci-fi adventure!

Oddly Normal Book 3
Otis Frampton
Image Comics
imagecomics.com
9781632156921 $9.99 pbk amazon.com

Oddly Normal Book 3 is a full-color graphic novel collecting issues #11-15 of the comic book about Oddly Normal, an atypically-named girl stranded in the magical land of Fignation. In Book 3, Oddly braves her first Rocketball game (a sport where the rules are "chaos"), rise to the challenge of a witch's broom race, and confronts a dark power in her quest find where her mother and father disappeared. The bold artistic style and dramatic use of color bring this fantastic adventure to vivid life! Highly recommended for fantasy-adventure fans of all ages.

My Neighbor Seki 8
Takuma Morishige
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.vertical-inc.com
9781942993506 $10.95 / $7.99 Kindle amazon.com

My Neighbor Seki 8 continues the madcap black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) escapades of Seki, a brilliant yet easily bored school student who amuses himself by secretly engaging in fantastic, complex games during class. Meanwhile Yokoi, the young woman seated next to Seki, tries to focus on studying yet inevitably becomes drawn into Seki's amazing schemes and stories! Volume 8 also steps outside the classroom in some of its short stories, from poolside shenanigans, to Seki's questionable designs in birdhouse construction, to the wilderness adventures of Seki's robot-doll toys. Charming and funny, My Neighbor Seki is delightful for all ages, and due stories' episodic format, My Neighbor Seki is an excellent jumping-on point for the series. Highly recommended.

Nichijou My Ordinary Life 5
Keiichi Arawi
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993346 $10.95 www.vertical-inc.com

Nichijou My Ordinary Life 5 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) series that walks the fine line between everyday life and out-of-this-world oddity. The episodic stories flit between a cast of quirky students and quirkier teachers. In Nichijou 5, the scarf that gave the cat Mr. Sakamoto the ability to talk happens to be put on a black bird; a teacher with a highly inappropriate crush is blackmailed into taking charge of the Go/Soccer club; dangerous dogs are literally unleashed; and a young person dreams of being a frill-necked lizard (because it's an easier future to imagine than hardcore studying and test-taking, or the pursuit of a career). A delight for all ages, Nichijou My Ordinary Life 5 is highly recommended, and an excellent jumping-on point to the series due to its lighthearted, episodic nature.

Ninja Slayer 6
Original Work by Bradly Bond and Philip Ninj@ Morzez
Art by Yuki Yogo
Script by Yoshiaki Tabata
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.vertical-inc.com
9781942993865 $12.95 amazon.com

Ninja Slayer 6 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) set in a cyberpunk world where "ninja souls" can possess humans, transforming them into ninja with extraordinary superhuman abilities. The notorious Ninja Slayer, once an ordinary salaryman who lost his family, has melded with a ninja soul; now he exists to punish criminal ninja with death! Volume 6 concludes Ninja Slayer's and Nancy Lee's conflict with the cyber-ninja Daedalus, and begins a new saga in the badlands outside of Kyoto. The Ninja Slayer, normally a mortal enemy of other ninja, must form a temporary truce with a Vietnam vet ninja and a zombie ninja to enact justice upon a gang that has been exterminating entire villages, in an homage to "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Pulp-fiction style, over-the-top violence is the hallmark of this action-packed series, highly recommended for mature readers ages 16 and up.

Devil's Line 3
Ryo Hanada
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.vertical-inc.com
9781942993391 $12.95 amazon.com

Devil's Line 3 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) graphic novel saga set in a modern-day world where "devils", also known as "vampires", live among human beings and normally appear identical to them... but they possess potentially superhuman strength and speed, and when devils are exposed to human blood, it sparks an overwhelming lust to kill or rape. Some devils - perhaps the majority - seek to control their destructive tendencies through tranquilizers or other means, and the police force secretly employs certain devils (who are invaluable protectors due to their superior senses and physical ability) to hunt down rogue devils. But a behind-the-scenes organization is attempting to spark catastrophic bloodshed between humans and devils! Who is pulling the strings and why? Anzai, a half-devil employed by the police, is caught in the middle of spiraling machinations. Anzai has just learned from his unlikely ally Lee a closely guarded secret - that drinking human blood can have regenerative or strengthening powers on devil bodies. Lee offers to share more knowledge if Anzai will keep him hidden. Meanwhile, the shadowy cartel makes its move to "clean house" and proceed to the next phase of its unfathomable plan... and neither human nor devil lives are safe from its murderous agents! Devil's Line 3 is dark fantasy exploring ethical, moral, and practical ramifications, and a choice pick for connoisseurs of vampire literature. Recommended for readers ages 13 and up, due to violence and mature situations.

Faith: Hollywood and Vine
Jody Houser, et al.
Valiant Entertainment, LLC
http://www.valiantentertainment.com
9781682151211, $9.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert (a psionically gifted "psiot" discovered by the Harbinger Foundation) has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she's always known she can be -- complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would... When she's not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels' own leading superhero - the sky-soaring Zephyr! But flying solo is going to be tougher than she ever thought when Zephyr uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off an full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head... or ready for her biggest challenge yet? A unique and overweight female hero, "Faith: Hollywood and Vine" is an anthology of four stories that are the collaborative work of science fiction author Jody Houser, brought vividly to life by artists Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage and present a new graphic novel style of the high-flying, unique, and fully relatable superheroine. A consistently entertaining read from cover to cover, "Faith: Hollywood and Vine" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Comics/Graphic Novels collections -- and leave readers looking eagerly toward her next set of adventures in "Faith: California Scheming" (9781682151631, $9.99, 112pp).

Huck: All American
Mark Millar, Rafael Albuquerque, Dave McCaig
Image Comics
2701 NW Vaughn Street, Suite 780, Portland, Oregon 97210
https://imagecomics.com
9781632157294, $14.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Huck was a seemingly abandoned baby who grew up in a small town community. But Huck has amazing powers of strength, stamina, and an uncanny ability to find anything that is lost from car keys to people. Huck is also extraordinary in that he is committed to doing one good deed every day. All his life is specialness has been protected by his neighbors. But when a new neighbor moves in she see's the possibility of making money by leaking his story to the media. The result is an erupting media storm erupts bringing Huck unwanted fame -- and the exploitative attention of his state's governor, security agencies of the federal government, and someone who claims to be his long lost brother who only wants Huck to find their mother. As pieces of Huck's past begin to resurface, it's no longer clear who his friends are - or whose lives may be in danger. A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Huck: All American" is a superlative graphic novel filled with unexpected plot twists and a very surprising finale! While very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Comics/Graphic Novels collections, it should also be noted that "Huck: All American" is also available in a Kindle format ($5.99) and in a Library Binding edition (Turtleback Books, 9780606390675, $26.95).

Bloom County Episode XI A New Hope
Berkeley Breathed
IDW Publishing
www.idwpublishing.com
9781631406997 $17.99 pbk / $4.99 Kindle amazon.com

Bloom County Episode XI A New Hope is a compilation of the renewed series of Bloom County newspaper comic strips, with all Sunday strips in full color. Comic strip creator Berkeley Breathed explains the forward why he chose to create all-new comics of his popular series, years after its suspension in the 1980's. "I am having as much fun as you are.... I can't wait to get back to the sketchpad and make myself laugh and get it posted fast. I read all the comments and giggle with all of you on Facebook." Bloom County's revival just happened to coincide with the period when Donald Trump was a rising star in the presidential primaries, so expect the occasional political jab in addition to high-rolling wheelchair adventures, gigantic anxiety closet monsters, clueless penguins, scraggly orange cats, flowery yoga poses, accidental Twitter videos of singing private parts (this is not graphically depicted in order to keep comic strip family-friendly) and more out-of-control wild whimsy than a hundred buffalo in ballerina tutus! Highly recommended.


The Fiction Shelf

The Northeast Quarter
S. M. Harris
Wheatmark
1760 East River Road, Suite 145, Tucson, Arizona 85718
www.wheatmark.com
9781627873765, $29.95, PB, www.amazon.com

The year is 1918. The place is Winfield, Iowa. Colonel Wallace Carson, the ruler of a vast agricultural empire, asks Ann Hardy, his ten-year-old granddaughter and eventual heir, to promise she will safeguard The Northeast Quarter, the choice piece of land from which the empire was founded. Ann readily accepts -- little knowing what awaits her. When the Colonel is killed unexpectedly the same afternoon, the world around Ann and her family begins to fall apart. Against the background of America sliding from a post war boom into the Great Depression, "The Northeast Quarter" tells the story of Ann's struggle to keep a promise no matter what. She witnesses the remarriage of her grandmother to Royce Chamberlin, the seemingly humble banker who institutes a reign of terror over the household and proceeds to corrupt the entire town. Over the next ten years Ann matches wits with Chamberlin, enduring betrayal, banishment, and even physical violence. She grows from a precocious child into a tough-minded young woman -- watching, observing her enemy, and waiting for the moment to make her move. And when the moment comes in July 1929, life in Winfield will never be the same. An inherently riveting read from cover to cover, "The Northeast Quarter" clearly demonstrates author S. M. Harris as a truly gifted storyteller, and his many layered, deftly crafted novel is certain to be a highly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.

The Wall of Storms
Ken Liu
Saga Press
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
9781481424301, $29.99, HC, 880pp, www.amazon.com

"The Wall of Storms" is the sequel to author Ken Liu's "The Grace of Kings" (9781481424271, $27.99 HC, $16.99 PB, $8.99 Kindle) which launched the novelist's 'The Dandelion Dynasty' series, and continues the story of Kuni Garu who is now faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders. Now known as Emperor Ragin, Kuni Garu now runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then when an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara massive chaos results. But Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara's savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history. A superbly crafted and massive work of literary fiction, "The Wall of Storms" is a consistently compelling and unfailingly entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Wall of Storms" is also available in a paperback edition (9781481424318, $17.99) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Children and Lunatics
Megan McNamer
Black Lawrence Press
http://www.blacklawrence.com
9781625579546, $16.95, PB, 175pp, www.amazon.com

In the 21st century the political state of the world is fragile, with the center barely holding. Wars, terrorists, and hurricanes are daily fare on TV. In ""Children and Lunatics", a silent street person and a suburban mother share intimate spheres of love and grief and odd obsessions, although they barely meet. As their paths converge, an eerie world hovers, casting shadows and flickering lights, igniting fears and dreams. A deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end, "Children and Lunatics" clearly showcases author Megan McNamer as an impressively talented and original novelist with a positive flair for the creation of memorable characters and narrative dialogue. A consistently engaging story from beginning to end, "Children and Lunatics" is an especially recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Literary Fiction collections.

Stone and Honey
Christina Zempi
Arcadia Books
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
www.dufoureditions.com
9781910050804, $20.00, PB, 480pp, www.amazon.com

"Stone and Honey" by novelist Christina Zemp is vibrant with Greek life that captures one person's dilemma when deciding between honor and love. Odysseas Anastasakos has spent the past 17 years living in exile in Boston. A fatal accident when he was 15 years old forced him to denounce his Grecian birthplace and led him in pursuit of a new life where he could escape the demons of his past. But on his first return to Greece, Odysseas is confronted by a passionate love that will change everything. A past and a present that will determine the future of all those involved. "Stone and Honey" is story that is a universal and at the same time a deeply personal tale of a love that surpasses distance, dissolves differences, and survives time. Clearly, Christina Zempi is an author with a genuine flair for deftly created and truly memorable storytelling. While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stone and Honey" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

Love Give Us One Death
Jeff P. Jones
Texas Review Press
Box 2146, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341-2146
http://texasreviewpress.org
9781680030976, $18.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910 - May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow (March 24, 1909 - May 23, 1934) are the most famous outlaw couple in 20th Century American history. They were children of the Dust Bowl, illicit lovers whose criminal run inspired fear and admiration in a country desperate for antiheroes. Their bloody path, spoking outward from their family homes in Dallas, ranged across the Southwest, the desiccated southern plains, and the Midwest. Frank Hamer, the legendary Texas Ranger, was hired to stop them. The story of their death on a lonely Louisiana back road, as well as their short and bloody life together, is a story of a nation reaping the results of environmental degradation, injustice, and greed. That true life story is the basis for Jeff P. Jones deftly crafted novel depicting the life and times of this notorious couple, their friends, associates, gang members, family, and ultimate and mutual fate. A compelling read from first page to last, "Love Give Us One Death: Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.

Winter Sky
Chris Stewart
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
www.shadowmountain.com
9781629722290, $16.99, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

In a bombed-out Polish village during World War II a young resistance fighter finds that he is suddenly alone and trapped between two opposing armies. He is one of Poland's "Devil's Rebels" fighting desperately to save his homeland, but an injury has erased his memory and his only possession is a torn photograph of a couple he assumes are his parents. The woman appears to be holding the hand of a young child whose image has been ripped off. Could the child be him? Chris Stewart's "Winter Sky" is an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover and one of those all-too-rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Winter Sky" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99) and as a complete and unabridged CD audio book format (9781629722979, $29.99).

The Money Shot
Glenn Deir
Breakwater Books
P.O.Box 2188, St. John's, Canada, NL A1C 6E6
1550816578, $19.95, PB, www.breakwaterbooks.com

Sebastian Hunter is a rake and womanizer. He's also a star reporter for the CBC. He has the money shot of a luxurious house falling over a cliff, and the whole world is watching. He's about to take down the chief of police and is working a story that could topple a government. Everything is lining up. Engaged to the boss's daughter, Sebastian's path to the anchor seat on the nightly news broadcast seems a foregone conclusion. But when foreign correspondent Ethan Tremblay threatens Sebastian's rise, someone's career has to die. And if that happens on air, all the better. "The Money Shot" by Glenn Deir offers a scathing and hilarious satire of broadcast journalism. And in the process, he gives us Sebastian Hunter, a character that his readers will love -- or love to hate! Written with a genuine flair for deftly crafted and memorable characters, "The Money Shot" is an extraordinary and consistently entertaining read. While very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Money Shot" is also available from Breakwater Books in a Kindle format ($17.99).

Cat O' Nine Tales
Krystal Lawrence
Telemachus Press
7652 Sawmill Road, Suite 304, Dublin, Ohio 43016
http://www.telemachuspress.com
http://www.darksidestories.com
9781942899990, $27.95, HC, 273pp, www.amazon.com

What evil dwells within the pretty lady next door or the ordinary house cat? What happens when you pursue your dreams into the desert after dark? Beware the man borne of your imagination. He could seek vengeance on the one who created him. Visit a bookstore offering a most alluring and sinister service. Journey to the dark side with ten twisted tales of horror, malevolence, and the truly uncanny. All this and more within the pages of Krytal Lawrence's consistently compelling anthology of ten short stories -- each one a literary gem from an impressively gifted storyteller. Of special note are the black-and-white illustrations by Kira Sokolovskaia. While very highly recommended and certain to become enduringly popular additions to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cat O' Nine Tales" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Another Day, Another Dali
Sandra Orchard
Revell
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerbooks.com
9780800726690, $14.99, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com

When a valuable Salvador Dali painting belonging to her grandmother's friend is mysteriously replaced by a forgery, FBI Special Agent Serena Jones is called in to investigate. Serena hopes finding the thief will also mean finally measuring up to Nana's expectations. But when the evidence points to members of the owner's own household, it becomes increasingly clear that Serena won't be winning any popularity contests. The Dali isn't the only painting that's fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the specter of a sophisticated theft ring--one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena's grandfather. Another terrifically entertaining mystery be a true master of the genre, "Another Day, Another Dali" by Sandra Orchard will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "Another Day, Another Dali" is also available in a Kindle format ($5.99).

Cat Got Your Diamonds
Julie Chase
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781629538426, $25.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker's dream come true -- until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1. Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk? A deftly crafted and unfailingly entertaining mystery from cover to cover, "Cat Got Your Diamonds", is the debut novel in what promises to be a deftly crafted new 'Kitty Couture' mystery series by author Julie Chase. While very highly recommended and certain to prove an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Cat Got Your Diamonds" is also available in a paperback edition (9781683311973, $15.99) and in a Kindle format ($9.59).

Fire in the Stars
Barbara Fradkin
The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
www.dundurn.com
9781459732391, $19.99, PB, 328pp, www.amazon.com

After surviving a horrific trauma in Nigeria, international aid worker Amanda Doucette returns to Canada to rebuild her life and her shaken ideals. There, the once-passionate, adventurous woman needs all her strength and ingenuity when a friend and fellow survivor goes missing along with his son. A trained first-aid and crisis responder, Doucette (always accompanied by her beloved dog Kaylee) joins forces with RCMP officer Chris Tymko to discover the truth about the disappearance. Their search leads them to the Great Northern Peninsula, a rugged landscape of Viking history, icebergs, whales, and fierce ocean storms. Elsewhere, a body gets hauled up in a fisherman's net, and evidence is mounting of an unsettling connection with Amanda's search for her friend. Fradkin writes evocatively of the beautiful, often hostile, Newfoundland landscape where Amanda soon finds herself fighting for her very survival. A simply riveting read from first page to last by a master of the genre, Barbara Fradkin's "Fire in the Stars" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "Fire in the Stars" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.85).

El Nino
Mercedes Lambert
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
www.starkhousepress.com
9781944520106, $15.95, PB, 218pp, www.amazon.com

Like her fellow attorneys, Sandy Walker has learned to distance herself from her clients, using the law as a shield to keep their sordid crimes and their gritty lives from touching her. Sandy fights a daily battle to keep her equilibrium in a filthy madhouse of child abuse and desperate denial. But something or someone is trying to pry its way bast the bottles of brandy, past the guide and self loathing, into her heart. "El Nino" is a novel by Mercedes Lambert (the pseudonym of Douglas Anne Munson) is an unconventional and riveting read with a consistently compelling intensity from beginning to end. Part of the outstanding Star House Noir Classics series, "El Nino" is especially recommended for community library fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "El Nino" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

A Christmas Message
Anne Perry, author
Ballantine Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
www.randomhousebooks.com
9781101886380, $20.00 HC, $10.99 Kindle, 176pp, www.amazon.com

"A Christmas Message" is a holiday mystery book in the Victorian England setting of beloved characters Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, starring series regulars Victor Narraway and Vespasia, otherwise known as Charlotte's great aunt Vespasia. In the year 1900, Victor chooses to Vespasia the exotic Christmas experience of a trip to Jerusalem. The story unfolds as the Narraways encounter an intriguing fellow pilgrim in Jaffa. Unfortunately the mysterious stranger is found murdered because of his secret mission, which involved delivering a mysterious fragment of ancient parchment to its hidden destiny in Jerusalem. Combining suspense, mystery, faith, and ancient secrets, "A Christmas Message" is a period thriller with a warm, rich core of wonder and enlightenment. "A Christmas Message" is the perfect Christmas (or any other time of the year) gift for anyone who loves a challenging period mystery to read on a cold, silent night.


The Biography Shelf

Beasts In My Belfry
Gerald Durrell
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
www.godine.com
9781567925845, $16.95, PB, 210pp, www.amazon.com

Born in India, Gerald Durrell returned to England when he was three, and five years later, the entire entourage, lead by his intrepid, imperturbable mother, went abroad again, eventually settling in Corfu. From the age of two, he was fascinated by zoology, over the years assembling a large, and not altogether savory, collection of pets, strays, and specimens. As his unofficial zoo grew, so did his family's discomfort. The solution was to find another, more permanent outlet for his passion. So in 1945 he joined Whipsnade (a new concept in open-range animal exhibits) as a student keeper, with Albert the lion, Babs the polar bear, and a baby Pere David's deer among his first charges. In this entertaining combination of history and memoir, Gerald fully recaptures all the passion that permeated those early years, while conveying his insight into and affection for both four- and two-footed creatures. "Beasts In My Belfry" is replete with larger-than-life animal characters including: the bear who sang operatic arias with one paw clasped to his breast; his bosom friend Billy the goat; playful zebras; and a host of equally endearing and memorable critters. Very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of all animal enthusiasts, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Memoir/Biography collections, "Beasts In My Belfry" is Gerald Durrell at his zoophilic best!

Bread: A Memoir Of Hunger
Lisa Knopp
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th St., Columbia, MO 65211
www.umsystem.edu/upress
9780826221025, $24.95, HC, 170pp, www.amazon.com

When she was 54, Lisa Knopp's weight dropped to a number on the scale that she hadn't seen since seventh grade. The severe food restricting that left her thin and sick when she was 15 and 25 had returned. This time, she was determined to understand the causes of her malady and how she could heal from a condition that is caused by a tangle of genetic, biological, familial, psychological, cultural, and spiritual factors. "Bread: A Memoir Of Hunger" is her compelling and intensely personal memoir that is at once a food and an illness narrative, exploring the forces that cause eating disorders and disordered eating, including the link between those conditions in women, middle-aged and older, and the fear of aging and ageism. While very highly recommended, especially for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bread: A Memoir Of Hunger" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.49).


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions
Greg Marcus
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
www.llewellyn.com
9780738748658, $16.99, PB, 264pp, www.amazon.com

In the pages of "The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar", Greg Marcus shows how to bring everyday life into alignment with aspirational values through Mussar, a thousand-year-old Jewish practice of spiritual growth based on mindful living. Perfect for anyone, regardless of age or experience, "The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions" is comprehensive instructional guide that presents thirteen soul traits ranging from humility and gratitude, to trust and honor, as well as the simple daily actions that can be taken to develop them. Drawing on universal principles and providing grounded instruction, "The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions" will enable the reader to deftly explore soul traits through daily techniques and exercises, including mantras, mindful observation, and journaling. Readers will be able to build a soul trait profile to better understand themselves. By dedicating two weeks of practice to each trait, major changes will be seen in how to approach the world and feel empowered to be one's very best self. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought provoking, inspired and inspiring, "The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions" is especially recommended for personal and community library Self-Help/Self Improvement and Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted that "The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Spirit Traveler
Sonja Grace
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
9781844096947, $17.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Of Native American and Norwegian descent, mystic healer Sonja Grace has spent a lifetime traveling in the angelic realms, communicating with the archangels and sharing their wisdom. In "Spirit Traveler: Unlocking Ancient Mysteries and Secrets of the World's Great Historic Sites" she takes a unique approach to analyzing why famous historic sites, including the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, Tiwanaku (Bolivia), Hagar Qim (Malta), St. Winifride's Well (Wales), Chichen Itza (Mexico), Skellig Michael (Ireland), The Roci of Cashel (Ireland), were constructed. "Spirit Traveler" offers a completely different and metaphysical perspective on the purpose of these sites and the reasons for their construction and is the companion book to the documentary film 'Spirit Traveler' which will be released around the same time as this volume. Inherently fascinating, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Spirit Traveler" is an especially recommended read for both academia and non-specialist general readers. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for that "Spirit Traveler" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99).

Runes for Beginners
Alexandra Chauran
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
www.llewellyn.com
9780738748283, $14.99, PB, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Alexandra Chauran is a second-generation fortuneteller, a high priestess of British Traditional Wicca, and the queen of a coven. As a professional psychic intuitive for over a decade, she serves psychic apprentices and thousands of clients. In "Runes for Beginners: Simple Divination and Interpretation" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to help her readers connect with their intuition, discover more about their personality, and solve problems using the power of runes. With "Runes for Beginners" as instructive guide, anyone can learn how to ask for and interpret the answers to life's core questions concerning love, career, health, and many other important subjects and issues. A solid reference for both beginners and adepts, "Runes for Beginners" covers everything from rune meanings and memorization techniques to making runes. With help from diagrams, practical exercises, and phonetic breakdowns for all the runic letters, readers will be able to develop a path most beneficial to their goals and improvements to their life. They will even be able through the use of runes to uncover traits about themselves that they may otherwise have never known. While very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted that "Runes for Beginners" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Jim's Flight
Christine Frank Petosa & Elizabeth Williams
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
9781844097067, $17.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Is there life after death? Does Heaven really exist? Providing us with insight, wisdom and practical knowledge, we learn from Jim Petosa's flight to Heaven and back that life exists beyond the physical world. Written with the assistance of Elizabeth Williams (who is a light worker and third generation Catholic Mystic, known in modern terms as a Modern Day Mystic) "Jim's Flight: One Soul's Perspective from Heaven" is a compilation of the journey of Jim's transition to Heaven, his wife's experience as the caretaker, and the portal to expand humanity's understanding of it all. Riveting moments capture the reader, open the hearts of many and, truth be told, enlighten all of us to believe that the soul lives on forever. While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Jim's Flight: One Soul's Perspective from Heaven" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Attack on Titan: End of the World
Created by Hajime Isayama
Novelization by Touji Asakura
Based on the screenplay by Yusuke Watanabe & Tomohiro Machiyama
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.vertical-inc.com
9781945054082 $17.95 amazon.com

Attack on Titan: End of the World is the novelization of the theatrical movie adaptation of the immensely popular Attack on Titan comic series, about a horrifying post-apocalyptic world where the tattered remnants of humanity are little more than prey for monstrous, seemingly mindless giants known as Titans. Humans have huddled behind the safety of massive concentric walls for generations, but the fragile peace collapses marking the end of a once-peaceful world. Three childhood friends, Erin, Armin, and Mikasa each brave unspeakable, horrifying nightmares as part of humanity's last, desperate gambit for survival! A streamlined and clarified retelling of the original saga, Attack on Titan: End of the World is an excellent introduction to this exciting, action-packed series, especially recommended for sci-fi and horror fans alike.

Bakemonogatari Part 01: Monster Tale
Nisio Isin
Translated by Ko Ransom
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.vertical-inc.com
c/o Penguin Random House (distribution)
9781942993889 $13.95 amazon.com

Smoothly translated into English from the original Japanese, Bakemonogatari Part 01: Monster Tale is the first fantasy novel in the high-adventure series following school students in their escapades with, and sometimes against, supernatural creatures and forces. Fan-favorite characters from the popular animated series are here, including the winds-of-fate buffeted narrator Araragi, the singular class president Hanekawa, the suspiciously unscrupulous problem-solver Oshino, and a pale, blonde ex-vampire, along with Sejogahara and Hachikuji. Elements of romance, comedy, and paranormal thriller combine in this choice pick for lending libraries and personal reading lists. Bakemonogatari Part 01: Monster Tale is highly recommended for long-time Bakemonogatari fans and newcomers to the series alike!

Trevelyan's Wager
David Bassano
Harvard Square Editions
2152 Beachwood Terrace, Hollywood, CA 90068
www.harvardsquareeditions.org
9781941861196, $22.95, PB, 116pp, www.amazon.com

The trillion-dollar Elysium Corporation has perfected the science of genetically-induced immortality. Decay and death are no longer inevitable. For the right price, you can now enjoy eternal youth, and in great luxury. This is mankind's ultimate achievement. It also proves an irresistible lure for an indelicate journalist, who suspects that people and permanence should never mix. All the more impressive considering that "Trevelyan's Wager" is author David Bassano's debut as a novelist, this deftly crafted and consistently compelling read is very highly recommended, especially for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Trevelyan's Wager" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).


The Poetry Shelf

Sleeping in Tall Grass
Richard Therrien
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
www.uap.ualberta.ca
9781772121223, $19.95, PB, 88pp, www.amazon.com

A cycle of original poems by Richard Therrien, "Sleeping in Tall Grass" takes an unsparing look at a painful, abusive, yet strangely redemptive family story enfolded within the body of the Canadian prairie itself-at once physical, historical, and metaphysical. These intensely personal poems reflect the complex relationships between sound and space, language and silence. Treating time as more layered than sequential, they reflect a process of organic composition distilled from Therrien's iterative observations and utterances. This is writing that reaches "into the very grain of existence" -- a sonorous re-presentation of the human presence on the dispassionate, making "Sleeping in Tall Grass" unreservedly commended for personal reading lists as well as community and academic library Contemporary Canadian Poetry collections. -- When Gabriel told Mohammad men sleep / and when they die they waken / this was no mere admonition / this was practical instruction in how to see // The poet occupies the dreaming mind / his or another's / makes no difference / not to bring the dream back / for interrogation / not to humiliate it with interpretation / but to return with its way of looking

Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Shiva
Leonard Gontarek
Hanging Loose Press
231 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
www.hangingloosepress.com
9781934909898, $18.00, PB, 72pp, www.amazon.com

Leonard Gontarek is the author of seven published books of poems. "Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Shiva" is his newest and highly recommended volume in which he presents an anthology of succinct, original, observational and experientially based free verse poems. Homage: The last time I read this poem / publicly, I was drunk, / standing on a table, / and I went home / with the prettiest woman at the party.


The Self-Help Shelf

Overcoming Passive-Aggression, revised edition
Tim Murphy, Ph.D and Loriann Hoff Oberlin, MS, LCPC
Lifelong Books / Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
www.perseusbooksgroup.com
9780738219189, $15.99, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Hidden anger that comes out indirectly can undermine relationships between friends, family, and colleagues. When people feel compelled to conceal their true beliefs and emotions, there can be serious physical and psychological results for everyone involved. Dr. Tim Murphy and Loriann Oberlin collaborate in "Overcoming Passive-Aggression, Revised Edition: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career, and Happiness" to offer a clear definition of passive aggression and show readers not only how to end the behavior but also how to avoid falling victim to other people's hidden anger. This newly revised and updated edition of "Overcoming Passive-Aggression" offers essential guidance for dealing with problems in the workplace and at school; avoiding the pitfalls of social media, texting, and online communication; and when to seek professional help. Whether you need ways to manage your own passive aggressiveness or ways to cope with the hidden anger of others, "Overcoming Passive Aggression" shares sage advice, practical exercises, and opportunities for personal growth. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community and academic library Psychology & Self/Help collections, it should be noted for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Overcoming Passive-Aggression" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.99) and as a complete and unabridged CD audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781478975243, $35.00).

Always Balanced and Connected
Maggie Davids-Jelly, LCSW
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
www.balboapress.com
9781504335829, $42.95, HC, 394pp, www.amazon.com

In "Always Balanced and Connected: Daily Affirmations for Body, Mind and Spirit", author Maggie Davis-Jelly draws upon her years of private practice experience and expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the New York/New Jersey metro area to provide an exceptionally well written, organized and presented, day-by-day, year round compendium of affirmations and succinct commentaries that are thoroughly 'reader friendly', thoughtful and thought-provoking offerings. With careful daily readings from "Always Balanced and Connected" anyone can develop peace of mind. Here presented is the ABCs of "Always Balanced and Connected" summed up as: Accept who you are in the moment. Be comfortable in your own skin and know that you are amazing. Consistency is the most important factor in maintaining good physical, mental, and spiritual health. While very highly recommended, especially for community, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Always Balanced and Connected" is also available from Balboa Press in a paperback edition (9781504335805, $23.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).


The Political Science Shelf

Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?
Mary-Alice Waters
Pathfinder Press
PO Box 162767, Atlanta, GA 30321-2767
www.pathfinderpress.com
9781604880908, $10.00, PB, 87pp, www.amazon.com

In the pages of "Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?: A Necessary Debate Among Working People" Mary-Alice Waters (a leader of the American Socialist Workers party) is an unhesitating Yes is the answer to the question that comprises her books title. Waters maintains that while a socialist revolution in the United States is possible, it is not inevitable. That future depends on the American people. "Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?" is a definitive contribution to the growing discussion among working people everywhere who are looking for a way forward in the face of sharpening capitalist crisis and spreading wars. Fighting for a society only working people can create, it is our own capacities we will discover, not the rulers false image of us an image that reflects their own guilt and fear. A thoughtful and thought-provoking read, "Is Socialist Revolution in the US" Possible?" should be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collection and supplemental studies reading list.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Being Human in God's World
J. Gordon McConville
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
9780801048968, $27.99, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

"Being Human in God's World: An Old Testament Theology of Humanity" by J. Gordon McConville (Professor of Old Testament Theology, University of Gloucestershire, England) is a major work by a widely respected Old Testament scholar and theologian provides a biblical perspective on fundamental questions of what it means to be human. Professor McConville deftly explores how a biblical view of humanity provides a foundation for Christian reflection on ethics, economics, politics, and church life and practice. "Being Human in God's World" reveals that the Old Testament's view of humanity as "earthed" and "embodied" played an essential part in a well-rounded Christian theology and spirituality, and applies the theological concept of the "image of God" to all areas of human existence. An impressively informed and informative study, "Being Human in God's World" is an especially recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as seminary and academic library Biblical Studies collections in general, and Christian Theology supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "Being Human in God's World" is also available in a Kindle format ($15.39).

Cardinal Walter Kasper: Spiritual Writings
Patricia C. Bellm & Robert A. Krieg, editors
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
www.orbisbooks.com
9781626981911, $22.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Walter Kasper (born 5 March 1933) is a German bishop and theologian who has long been regarded as a vital expositor of the gospel and one of the leading voices of church renewal and reform. Named a cardinal in 2001, Kasper served as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and represented the Church in advancing Jewish-Christian relations. He assumed an especially important role under Pope Francis, who publicly endorsed Kasper's book on Mercy, thus signaling a principle theme of his papacy. Collaboratively compiled by Patricia C. Bellm (Co-Director of the Science and Religion Initiative with Notre Dame's Institute for Church Life) and Robert Krieg (Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame) "Cardinal Walter Kasper: Spiritual Writings" reflects the major themes of Cardinal Kasper's long career in the Roman Catholic church. Given the breadth of his work, the selections here on God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, Ecumenism, and Christian Hope, represent a veritable introduction to the Christian faith. While very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in Cardinal Kasper, that "Cardinal Walter Kasper: Spiritual Writings" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

All Creation Waits
Gayle Boos, author
David G. Klein, illustrator
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
www.paracletepress.com
9781612617855, $18.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

"All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings" showcases twenty-five fresh images of the foundational truth that lies beneath and within the Christ story. In twenty-five portraits depicting how wild animals of the northern hemisphere ingeniously adapt when darkness and cold descend, we see and hear as if for the first time the ancient wisdom of Advent: The dark is not an end but the way a new beginning comes. Short, daily reflections that paint vivid, poetic images of familiar animals, paired with charming original wood-cuts, will engage both children and adults. Anyone who does not want to be caught, again, in the consumer hype of "the holiday season" but rather to be taken up into the eternal truth the natural world reveals will benefit immensely from reading "All Creation Waits". An informative and inspiring read from cover to cover, "All Creation Waits" is especially recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliation.

Parenting Toward the Kingdom
Philip Mamalakis
Ancient Faith Publishing
PO Box 748, Chesterton, IN 46304-0748
9781944967024, $20.95, PB, 328pp, http://store.ancientfaith.com

The Orthodox Christian tradition is filled with wisdom and guidance about the biblical path of salvation. Yet this guidance remains largely inaccessible to parents and often disconnected from the parenting challenges we face in our homes. "Parenting Toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Principles of Child-Rearing" will help members of Orthodox Christian communities make the connections between the spiritual life as we understand it in the Orthodox Church and the ongoing challenges of raising children. "Parenting Toward the Kingdom" takes the best child development research and connects it with the timeless truths of the Orthodox Christian faith to offer real strategies for navigating the challenges of daily life. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Parenting Toward the Kingdom" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Light of the World
Phyllis Zagano
Twenty-Third Publications
1 Montauk Avenue, #200, New London, CT 06320
www.23rdpublications.com
9781627852128, $14.95, PB, 136pp, www.amazon.com

Dr. Phyllis Zagano is a Catholic scholar and lecturer known for her work in the fields of contemporary spirituality and the leadership of women in the Church. Her column 'Just Catholic', appears twice a month in the National Catholic Reporter. In the pages of "The Light of the World" she has compiled Advent reflections that reflect our natural longing for the light -- Like John, we can will to become quieter, slower even, pointing to the Christ who is to come. Like [pilgrims], we can look within for ways to make our own hearts and minds more transparent, more open, more accepting of the light. Dr. Zagano deftly explores the rich themes of this holy season. Advent is a time of darkness and light, increase and decrease. "The Light of the World" gently unfolds the rhythms of these sacred weeks, inviting readers into a deep and prayerful journey to Christmas. While very highly recommended for seminary and church library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all members of the Catholic community that "The Light of the World" is also available in a Kindle format ($11.99).

When the Lord Speaks to Your Heart: Daily Reflections
Gaston Courtois
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819883698, $14.95, PB, 202pp, www.amazon.com

Compiled and written by ordained priest Gaston Courtois (1897-1970), "When the Lord Speaks to Your Heart: Daily Reflections" is a chronological, day-by-day compendium comprised of one year's worth of the thoughts for each individual day. Each entry, though short, contain profound material for reflection and prayer. They stand out from other daily spiritual readings in that readers will find their minds, hearts, and souls all fully engaged in what they are reading. Inspired and inspiring, "When the Lord Speaks to Your Heart: Daily Reflections" is very highly recommended for all members of the Roman Catholic community.

Jesus Speaks
Mike Baker, J. K. Jones, Jim Probst
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
www.ivpress.com
9780830821006, $16.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

"Hold fast" is the command of the risen Christ, the one who has eyes like flames of fire, who holds seven stars in his right hand and who searches the minds and hearts of all humans. In Revelation 2 - 3 the word Christ Jesus comes to us like a two-edged sword, both encouraging and judging. Jesus calls us to hold fast in the face of temptations of all sorts, but sternly warns those who follow false teachings. Though Jesus is speaking to seven ancient churches of Asia Minor, his words ring true today, calling us to: patient endurance, not fearing tribulation, repenting of a dead faith, keeping God's Word, receiving the crown of life, the blessings of conquerors. "Jesus Speaks" combines short devotional chapters with a seven-session small group guide, which forms a church-wide series when coupled with the companion seven-session DVD. Jesus offers us his guidance through both the pitfalls and paths toward holiness. All that is required of us is to be ready to listen. While very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community, it should be noted that "Jesus Speaks" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Padre Pio and America
Frank M. Rega
TAN Books
c/o Saint Benedict Press
PO Box 410487, Charlotte, NC 28241
9780895558206, $18.95, PB, 233pp, www.SaintBenedictPress.com

Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (May 25, 1887 - September 23, 1968), was a friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic, who is now venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius (in Italian: Pio) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Padre Pio became famous for exhibiting stigmata for most of his life, thereby generating much interest and controversy. He was both beatified (1999) and canonized (2002) by Pope John Paul II. "Padre Pio and America" by Frank M. Rega (a Third Order Secular Franciscan for more than 25 years) is deftly written and biographical study of Padre Pio as a seminarian, a young priest, and a friar. This is an impressively informed and informative account of Padre Pio's growing influence in America even though he was restricted from preaching, writing, or corresponding on the orders of his superiors. Inspired and inspiring, "Padre Pio and America" is very highly recommended reading for all members of the Roman Catholic community.

David's Successors
Garrett Galvin
Michael Glazier
c/o The Liturgical Press
2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
www.litpress.org
9780814682517, $24.95, PB, 186pp, www.amazon.com

In "David's Successors: Kingship in the Old Testament", Franciscan Friar Garrett Galvin persuasively argues for a new reading of kingship in the Old Testament. Rather than presenting the kings as monsters (with the occasional angelic ruler) this seminal study seeks a more nuanced version of kingship. "David's Successors" considers the original concept and context of kingship before concentrating on five kings in particular: Jeroboam, Ahab, Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah. Much contemporary scholarship is concerned with the reconceptualization and recontextualization of kingship that hearkens from a negative perspective on kingship, but "David's Successors" will fully consider the positive and original vision of kingship. "David's Successors" is ultimately rooted in a hopeful and joyful view of humanity as found in the Psalms, Sirach, and the Chronicles. A consistently compelling, informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end, "David's Successors" is very highly recommended for seminary, community, and academic library Old Testament Studies collections. For the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject it should be noted that "David's Successors" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.99).

Preaching the Luminous Word
Ellen F. Davis
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.eerdmans.com
9780802874238, $33.00, PB, 356pp, www.amazon.com

Inviting serious theological engagement with texts from all parts of the Christian Bible, "Preaching the Luminous Word: Biblical Sermons and Homiletical Essays" is a collection of fifty-one sermons and five related essays Ellen F. Davis (Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina). A brief preface to each sermon delineates its liturgical context and theological themes as well as distinctive elements of structure and style. Arranged in canonical order, the sermons treat a wide range of texts: Torah, Prophets, Writings, Gospels, Epistles, and Revelation. They are complemented by essays on various aspects of biblical interpretation for preaching. At once accessible, theologically informed, and rhetorically rich, "Preaching the Luminous Word" will engage preachers, teachers, seminarians, church leaders, and serious lay readers, making it unreservedly recommended for personal, church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies and Biblical Studies collections.

Leadership Mosaic
Daniel Montgomery
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
www.crossway.com
9781433552557, $24.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Challenging the conventional wisdom about what makes for a good leader, Daniel Montgomery (Lead Pastor of Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky) calls Christian men and women to a countercultural perspective on leadership that is rooted in our Creator. Montgomery presents a new framework for leadership, not just a beckoning to further pragmatism, relentless productivity, or a reactionary cultural fad. He helps us see leadership as a mosaic of five characteristics (conviction, creativity, courage, collaboration, and contemplation) reflective of the very image of the triune God. Armed with this perspective, reflective readers will be able to see, strive after, and celebrate the great and complex vision of leadership God has called us to -- for the flourishing of our homes, churches, and workplaces. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Leadership Mosaic" is very highly recommended, especially for church, seminary, and academic library Christian Studies collections. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Leadership Mosaic" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.74).

Wait and See
Wendy Pope
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
www.cookministries.com
9780781413558, $16.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Every woman struggles with times of waiting, whether it be for a spouse, a child, a job. In the pages of "Wait and See: Finding Peace in God's Pauses and Plans", Wendy Pope guides her readers to focus on the Person of their faith rather than the object of their wait. Pope draws on the story of King David, who was anointed king nearly twenty years before he took his throne. A deftly written, hands-on guidebook that invites readers to record their own waiting discoveries, "Wait and See" is packed from cover to cover with practical suggestions and real-life stories. Pope's "Wait and See" readily shows readers how they can be active in the present as they hope for the future. While very highly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations, it should be noted that "Wait and See" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.49) and as a complete and unabridged CD audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781613758687, $19.99).

Icons: The Essential Collection
Sr. Faith Riccio, CJ
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
www.paracletepress.com
9781612618319, $16.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Sr. Faith Ricco is an iconographer and a religious sister at the Community of Jesus on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. She studied extensively with Ksenia Pokrovsky. Her icons can be seen in private collections and exhibits, both nationally and internationally, and at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA. With "Icons: The Essential Collection" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to a study about approaching and praying with icons everyday featuring more than 60 full color images of Sr. Faith's icons. Each individual icon is paired with a scripture and an inspirational word. The reader can easily experience how these beautiful icons help Christians to live a good life, what they have to offer, and what they did for Sr. Faith. Icons are an invitation to go beyond our world; to take a moment to look as through a window into heaven. The space they create gives us a wonderful and open access to reach out toward God and know him deeply in a new way. They are meant to enrich our spiritual lives. They were created to touch and form us and have an ability to soothe and confront where necessary. They provide a place to gather our wandering attention and direct it toward God. "Icons: The Essential Collection" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal, church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections.

Knots Untied
J. C. Ryle
Banner of Truth
PO Box 621, Carlisle, PA 17013
www.banneroftruth.org
9781848716827, $29.00, HC, 488pp, www.amazon.com

J. C. Ryle started his ministry as curate at the Chapel of Ease in Exbury, Hampshire, moving on to become rector of St Thomas's, Winchester in 1843 and then rector of Helmingham, Suffolk the following year. While at Helmingham he married and was widowed twice. He began publishing popular tracts, and Matthew, Mark and Luke of his series of Expository Thoughts on the Gospels were published in successive years (1856-1858). His final parish was Stradbroke, also in Suffolk, where he moved in 1861, and it was as vicar of All Saints that he became known nationally for his straightforward preaching and firm defense of evangelical principles. Originally published in 1874, "Knots Untied" is J. C. Ryle's leading work in defense of the evangelicalism of the Church of England. By 1885 it was reprinted in a tenth edition. This current edition of "Knots Untied" published by Banner of Truth is a classic volume in which Ryle covers the then current disputes about various points of religion within the Church of England, advocating and defending the evangelical position at every turn. "Knots Untied" is as relevant and inspiring today as it was almost two centuries ago, making it very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as church, seminary, and academic library 19th Century Christian History & Theology collections.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

Neither in Dark Speeches nor in Similitudes
Barry L. Stiefel & Hernan Tesler-Mabe, editors
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3C5
wlupress.wlu.ca
9781771122313, $39.99, PB, 239pp, www.amazon.com

Barry L. Stiefel's research focuses on the preservation of Jewish heritage, on which he has published extensively. He is the current president for the Association of Canadian Jewish Studies. Hernan Tesler-Mabe researches Jewish history, as well as modern Europe, European integration, and cultural history. He is a board member of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies. Together Stiefel and Tesler-Mabe have collaborative compiled and co-edited "Neither in Dark Speeches nor in Similitudes: Reflections and Refractions Between Canadian and American Jews", an interdisciplinary collaboration of Canadian and American Jewish studies scholars who compare and contrast the experience of Jews along the chronological spectrum (1763 C.E. to the present day) in their respective countries. Of particular interest to them is determining the factors that shaped the Jewish communities on either side of our common border, and why they differed. This anthology of ten erudite, informative, and insightful articles equips Canadian and American Jewish historians to broaden their examination and ask new questions, as well as answer old questions based on fresh comparative data. A model of seminal scholarship throughout, including a listing of the contributors and their credentials, as well as a ten page Index, "Neither in Dark Speeches nor in Similitudes" is unreservedly recommended for college and university library Judaic History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The Parenting Shelf

The Joys and Oys of Parenting
Maurice J. Elias, Marilyn E. Gootman, Heather L. Schwartz
Behrman House Inc.
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
www.behrmanhouse.com
9780874419429, $15.95, PB, 264pp, www.amazon.com

The collaborative work of Maurice Elias (Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University), educator and author Marilyn E. Gootman, mother and communications expert Healther L. Schwartz, "The Joys and Oys of Parenting" draws on the tradition of Jewish wisdom as well as the expertise of these three child development professionals to offer practical ideas, advice, and inspiration for parents. Of special note are the chapters on maintaining a peaceful home, establishing routines, fostering resilience, promoting responsibility, sparking motivation, nurturing kindness, and cultivating gratitude emphasize being mindful of the joys involved in parenting while helping our children learn to live with integrity. Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative Foreword by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, "The Joys and Oys of Parenting" includes a ten page Discussion Guide, a four page listing of References, and a three page list of the authors credentials in detail. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Parenting instructional reference collections in general, and Family Relationships supplemental studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Joys and Oys of Parenting" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).


The Business Shelf

Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World
Jay Conrad Levinson & Shel Horowitz
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
www.morganjamespublishing.com
9781630476588, $24.95, PB, 386pp, www.amazon.com

Capitalism as an economic system and concept can be placed firmly in the service of solutions to the whole range of social, economic, and environmental problems ranging from hunger, poverty, and war, to violence, inequality, and catastrophic climate change while making a healthy profit for the capitalist entrepreneur. Regardless of the product produced or the service offered, any company or corporation can follow and apply the precepts and information found in the pages of seasoned and successful entrepreneurs Jay Conrad Levinson and Shel Horowitz's "Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World: Combining Principles and Profit to Create the World We Want". Showcasing dozens of practical examples of successful companies doing well by doing good ranging from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 global corporations) anyone with the responsibility for any manner of commerce can learn how to heal the world while gaining the practical marketing savvy to turn ethical and moral values into business success. "Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World" covers: Creating projects (and products) that accomplish social change, profitability, and cost reduction all at once; Greening a company in ways that save money and make money; Gaining enormous positive reputation as a visionary company worth supporting; Expanding successfully into totally new markets through strategic thinking, powerful partnerships, and commitment to core principles; Turning marketing from a cost to a revenue stream; Embracing abundance and transformation --- and stop worrying about market share. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone and commentary, "Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World" is unreservedly recommended for corporate, community and academic library Business Studies & Marketing collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).

Home Business Tax Deductions, 16th edition
Stephen Fishman, J. D.
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
www.nolo.com
9781413322071, $34.99, PB, 488pp, www.amazon.com

For any form home business, regardless of the product produced or the service provided, claiming all the tax deductions you are lawfully entitled to is essential to financial success. Now in an expanded 16th edition that is fully updated for 2016 tax returns, "Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn" shows how to deduct for: start-up costs, home office expenses (using new IRS rules), vehicles and travel expenses, entertainment and meals, medical expenses under Obamacare, and retirement expenses. "Home Business Tax Deductions" also shows how to keep accurate and thorough records in case the IRS ever comes calling. Easy to read and full of real-life examples, "Home Business Tax Deductions" can help any home business entrepreneur to take full and lawful advantage of all the valuable tax deductions they are entitled to. Of special note is the information on how to avoid a home business from being classified by the IRS as a hobby and therefor not entitled to business deductions. A very special and unique feature to this edition of "Home Business Tax Deductions" is the accompanying web site with hundreds of informative articles and FAQs, useful legal forms, online services allowing the formation of an LLC or corporation quickly and easily, in-depth profiles of business and tax lawyers around the country and in any given area. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Home Business Tax Deductions" should be considered an essential instructional reference for personal, professional, community, and academic library Business Management collections. It should be noted that "Home Business Tax Deductions" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.99).

What Customers Crave
Nicholas J. Webb
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
www.amacombooks.org
9780814437810, $25.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

To be successful in a competitive marketplace, companies must discover what their customers desire -- and then deliver it in memorable and deeply human experiences. "What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint" by Nicholas J. Webb (who has been awarded over 45 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office for breakthrough technologies) examines how the hyper-connected economy is radically changing consumer expectations, and reveals what companies need to do to stay on top. The solution rests on two simple questions: What do your customers love? What do they hate? Find the answers, and you're well on your way to success. Jam-packed with tools and examples, "What Customers Crave" helps you reinvent how you engage with customers (both digitally and non-digitally) and: Gain invaluable insights into who they are and what they care about - Use listening posts and Contact Point Innovation to refine customer types - Engineer experiences for each micromarket that are not only exceptional, but insanely relevant - Connect across the five most important touchpoints - Co-create with your customers - And much more. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "What Customers Crave" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community, corporate, and academic library Business Management instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "What Customers Crave" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.49) and in a complete and unabridged MP3 CD audio book format (Brilliance Audio, 9781531867928, $19.99).


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Healing Diet
Kate Barrington
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
www.ulyssespress.com
9781612435961, $13.99, PB, 156pp, www.amazon.com

Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed. In "The Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Healing Diet", certified fitness nutrition expert and author Kate Barrinton walks the reader through the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and provides: A path through recognizing symptoms; Information on diagnosis & treatment plans; A guide for foods to enjoy & foods to avoid; Over 100 wholesome & delicious recipes; Workout plans & tips. Teaching everything the non-specialist general reader will need to know, "The Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Healing Diet" will help them to overcome this autoimmune disease by incorporating thyroid-healthy foods into their diet and avoiding gut-aggravating foods. Follow this program and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis sufferers can get back to their everyday lifestyle and be symptom-free. As informed and informative as it is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Healing Diet" is very highly recommended for community library Health/Medicine collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Healing Diet" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Blueprint for Holistic Healing
C. Norman Shealy, MD
ARE Press
215 - 67th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-2061
www.AREPress.com
9780876048092, $16.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com

Dr. C. Norman Shealy (a neurosurgeon, psychologist, and founding president of the American Holistic Medical Association) was first introduced to the work of the Edgar Cayce (known today as the father of holistic medicine) in the early 1970s. Cayce was the inspiration for Dr. Shely's own transformation from traditional medicine to holistic alternative therapies, which he has pursued for more than 30 years. Now combining decades of clinical work and research with advice from the Edgar Cayce readings, Shealy has created a blueprint for healing that each of us can follow with questionnaires for self-assessment throughout. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections in general, and Holistic Medicine supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Blueprint for Holistic Healing: Your Practical Guide to Body-Mind-Spirit Health" is also available in a Kindle format ($16.10).


The Gaming Shelf

Undertale Art Book
Toby Fox
Fangamer
www.fangamer.com
9781945908996 $26.00 pbk www.undertale.com

Available both in print and as a digital download, Undertale Art Book is filled with concept art, behind-the-scenes vignettes, and more from the creator of the immensely popular indie role- playing game Undertale. Undertale is the adventure of a young child lost in a world of magical monsters, and playing it is highly advised for the rich storytelling experience! Undertale Art Book is packed cover-to-cover with insights behind the game's creation, as well as ideas that never came to be, and a wealth of captioned black-and-white and full-color illustrations. "Temmie thought the load screen looked bad so she drew a new one. But I like it looking bad. So I drew this." Undertale Art Book is a "must-have" for fans and connoisseurs of this wonderful game!

Beautiful Minecraft
James Delaney
No Starch Press
245 - 8th Street, San Francisco, CO 94103-3910
www.nostarch.com
9781593277659, $19.95, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Minecraft is a sandbox video game originally created by Swedish game designer Markus "Notch" Persson, and later developed and published by Mojang. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft enable players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat. James Delaney is the managing director of BlockWorks, a team of Minecraft builders, animators, and artists from around the world. In "Beautiful Minecraft" Delaney draws upon his years of experience and expertise to create a compendium of the stunning artwork built in Minecraft. Using millions of blocks and spending hundreds of hours, these artists have created floating steampunk cities, alien worlds, detailed classical sculptures, fantastical landscapes, architectural marvels, and more. The results are simply beautiful and will provide immense inspiration for any and all dedicated Minecraft players. Very highly recommended, especially for personal and community library collections. It should be noted that "Beautiful Minecraft" is also available in a Kindle format ($15.95).

101 Secrets from a Pokemon Master
Justin Ryan
Sky Pony Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510722118, $12.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Written for Pokemon players from ages 7 to 70, author Justin Ryan showcases 101 tips from a professional Pokemon player in an easy-to-read format with this thoroughly 'user friendly' and profusely illustrated instruction guide. These tips are much more advanced than the typical hack books and are current with all the new updates to the game. "101 Secrets from a Pokemon Master" includes tips and techniques on battling, catching, evolving, and leveling up -- things players can't get anywhere online! While very highly recommended for school and community library Gaming instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "101 Secrets from a Pokemon Master" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Ball-Busting Sudoku
Arnold Snyder
Cardoza Publishing
808 South Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89108-6404
http://cardozabooks.com
9781580423397, $6.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Sudoku is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle game. The objective is to fill a 9 9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3 3 subgrids that compose the grid (also called "boxes", "blocks", "regions", or "subsquares") contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which for a well-posed puzzle has a unique solution. In "Ball-Busting Sudoku", master gamesmith Arnold Snyder showcases two hundred advanced level puzzles that he has deftly crafted by hand (no computer programing involved!). Warning, these are real brain busters and not for the faint of heart or fragile of ego!


The Computer Shelf

Murach's Visual Basic 2015
Anne Boehm
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
www.murach.com
9781890774981, $57.50, PB, 906pp, www.amazon.com

Now in a newly updated and expanded sixth edition, "Murach's Visual Basic 2015" is a core Visual Basic .NET book that has been a favorite of developers ever since the first edition came out in 2002. "Murach's Visual Basic 2015 " is a self-paced book that shows how to use Visual Studio 2015, VB 2015, and the .NET 4.6 classes to develop Windows Forms applications; a data programming book that shows how to create professional database applications using data sources, ADO.NET code, and the Entity Framework, as well as how to use LINQ to query data structures, from collections to arrays to datasets; an object-oriented book that shows how to use business classes, inheritance, and interfaces the way they're used in the real world. "Murach's Visual Basic 2015" also shows how to develop 3-tiered, object-oriented Windows Forms applications the way the best professionals do. "Murach's Visual Basic 2015" will provide the core VB and Visual Studio skills that needed to develop any VB application whether for Windows, the web, or mobile devices. Comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Murach's Visual Basic 2015" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Computer Science instructional reference collections.

Murach's Python Progamming
Michael Urban and Joel Murach
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
www.murach.com
9781890774974 $57.50

Murach's Python Programming is an in-depth, hands-on self-study guide to learning how to program in Python. Written for aspiring Python programmers of all skill and experience levels, from beginner to professional, Murach's Python Programming is an extremely useful, object- oriented resource enhanced with 45 complete programs of increasing levels of difficulty for practical study. Exercises, sample code, methodical instructions, black-and-white screenshots and more make Murach's Python Programming easy to use! Highly recommended for anyone seeking to learn or improve their ability to code in Python.


The Travel Shelf

Going Places in Northern Europe
Gloria Hoffner
Idyll Arbor, Inc.
PO Box 720, Ravensdale, WA 98051
www.idyllarbor.com
9781882883981, $24.00, PB, 355pp, www.amazon.com

So much more than just another travel guide,"Going Places in Northern Europe: Armchair Adventures and Activities" by Gloria Hoffner discusses one of 17 countries in Northern Europe. Each individual chapter covers a specific European country's geography, language, national holidays, history, travel options, American roots, music and dance, food, and customs. Many trivia questions and answers are included. There are even DVD and online video suggestions for showing images and culture are included for each country. "Going Places in Northern Europe" is effectively designed to be used for a travel activities lasting one hour, one day, or one week, and spread over daily, weekly, monthly, or annual sessions. "Going Places in Northern Europe" can also provide new ways to celebrate special events, such as holidays including St. Patrick's Day and Bastille Day. In addition, each chapter's Game section includes a fun and easy traditional game and a list of the cognitive and physical benefits of participation as outlined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health and by the guidelines of the International Classification of Health Interventions. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Going Places in Northern Europe" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

A Fairly Creative Guide to Telling Tales
Aubrey Lively
Royal Fireworks Press
First Avenue, PO Box 399, Unionville, NY 10988
www.rfwp.com
9780898245530, $12.99, PB, 154pp, www.amazon.com

Educator, author, and home-schooling parent of six children, Aubrey Lively has written "A Fairly Creative Guide to Telling Tales", a delightfully informative guide that offers a thorough and sophisticated introduction to creative writing in terms of prose fiction. She wittily describes the various elements necessary to a good story, and she provides amusing examples of what to do and (just as important) what not to do. Most of her examples come from classic fairy tales so that readers can see how her lessons apply to the stories we all know. "A Fairly Creative Guide to Telling Tales" is deftly organized into three parts: plot, characterization, and setting. Each individual chapter ends with an assignment that allows writers of all ages to practice their skills in a fun and nonthreatening way. "A Fairly Creative Guide to Telling Tales" will enable aspiring authors to gain practical and applicable insights what will make them better writers. An accessible resource for aspiring writers of all skill and experience levels, "A Fairly Creative Guide to Telling Tales" especially recommended for creative writing classes in grades 7 to 12.

The Superior Person's Complete Book of Words
Peter Bowler
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
www.godine.com
9781567925906 $24.95 sc amazon.com

Now available in a softcover edition, The Superior Person's Complete Book of Words: An Orgulous Verbal Arsenal for Everyday Use is packed cover-to-cover with accessible definitions for lesser-known English vocabulary words that demonstrate scholarship and intelligence simply through their responsible use. "Lemniscate: n. A figure of eight drawn lying on its side. An occult symbol for eternity and the mathematical symbol for infinity. But which infinity? The number of odd numbers or the number of all numbers?" An especial treasure for writers seeking to expand their verbal toolbox, The Superior Person's Complete Book of Words is highly recommended.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Pot Holders for All Seasons
Chris Malone
Annie's
P.O. Box 8000, Big Sandy, TX 75755
www.anniescatalog.com
9781590126707 $14.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

Pot Holders for All Seasons features twenty projects for quilting colorful, cheery pot holders perfect for commemorating seasonal holidays throughout the year. Detachable, cut-out patterns make Pot Holders for All Seasons easy to use, while methodical instructions and full-color photography clarify how to create delightful pot holders ranging in design from a patchwork Valentine to a black cat for Halloween to a snowman's head for the winter season! Pot Holders for All Season is highly recommended especially to needlecrafters who wish to create unique, memorable, and practical gifts.

Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen
Judi Madsen
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
www.americanquilter.com
9781683390091 $24.95 amazon.com

Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen is a hands-on resource for intermediate to advanced quilters. The focus is upon secondary designs that enliven the empty spaces of the quilt's primary design. Step-by-step instructions and vivid, easy-to-follow color diagrams guide the quilter through a wealth of beautiful secondary quilting designs. Author Judi Madsen also discusses the creative process, and the importance of harmonizing the secondary design with the primary design. A Windows and Mac compatible CD-ROM of patterns rounds out is excellent addition to quilting and needlecraft shelves.

Melissa Leapman's Designer Crochet: Accessories
Melissa Leapman
Creative Publishing International
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9781589239289, $21.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Melissa Leapman is the author of several bestselling knitting and crocheting books. In "Melissa Leapman's Designer Crochet: Accessories" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to compile an thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual for creating twenty-five new designs for women of one-of-a-kind hats, scarves, cowls, shawls, handbags, jewelry, and more! These do-it-yourself needlecraft projects include something for crocheters of all levels, from beginners to intermediate and advanced knitters. Crafters of all skill levels will find a a project to keep their fingers busy. Each project offers easy-to-follow instructions, stitch diagrams using international symbols, and a clear photo to illustrate the finished piece. The back of "Melissa Leapman's Designer Crochet: Accessories" also includes helpful resources such as general crochet and finishing techniques. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Melissa Leapman's Designer Crochet: Accessories" is an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.


The Sports Shelf

Coaching Better Every Season
Wade Gilbert
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
www.HumanKinetics.com
9781492507666 $26.95 pbk / $25.60 Kindle amazon.com

Coaching Better Every Season: A Year-Round System for Athlete Development and Program Success lives up to its title as an in-depth, easy-to-use guide to improving one's coaching methods and practices for any sport. Chapters discuss how to build trust and cohesion in one's sports team, optimize athletes' learning, ensure readiness before the competition, design and implement an effective evaluation system, and much more. A thorough list of references and an index round out this "must-have" for amateur and professional coaches alike!


The Money/Finance Shelf

2017 National Construction Estimator
Richard Pray
Craftsman Book Company
6058 Corte del Cedro, Carlsbad, CA 92009
www.craftsman-book.com
9781572183254 $87.50

2017 National Construction Estimator is the definitive, up-to-date resource for quickly researching the costs for any residential, commercial, or industrial construction project in America. Covering labor & material costs, manhours and city cost modifiers, and virtually every construction project imaginable from concrete to insulation, plumbing, roofing, windows and much more, 2017 National Construction Estimator is filled cover to cover with easy-to-use tables for quick reference. A free estimating software download ("National Estimator '17") is included, and quarterly price updates on the World Wide Web are both free an automatic throughout 2017. 2017 National Construction Estimator is a "must-have" for any accountant or professional who needs to swiftly and efficiently estimate construction costs or generate invoices!


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
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http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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