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c/o Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781452184852, $26.95, HC, 264pp
Synopsis: With "Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach Us About Connection, Community, and Ourselves",
behavioral ecologist and renowned elephant scientist Caitlin O'Connell dives into the rituals of elephants, apes, zebras,
rhinos, lions, whales, flamingos, and many more. This fascinating read helps us better understand how we are similar to
wild animals, and encourages us to find healing, self-awareness, community, and self-reinvention.
"Wild Rituals" is comprised of inherently fascinating stories on 10 different animal rituals, features original full-color
photos, from the Caribbean to the African savannah, and demonstrates the profound way we are similar to the wild
creatures who captivate us.
"Wild Rituals" also journeys into the desert, tundra, and rainforest to reveal the importance of rituals and how they can
help us find a simpler, more meaningful way of living. In a culture of technology where we find ourselves living at a
greater distance from nature and each other, "Wild Rituals" is remarkable study that taps into the unspoken languages of
creatures around the world.
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "Wild Rituals: 10 Lessons Animals Can Teach Us About Connection,
Community, and Ourselves" is an extraordinary and exceptionally well written study that is especially and unreservedly
recommended for community, college, and university library Wildlife & Animal Behavior and Communication
collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists of students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Wild Rituals" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: A member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, Caitlin O'Connell is also an associate of the
Harvard University Center for the Environment. She is the author of The Elephant's Secret Sense, and her book
Elephant Don is the subject of the award-winning Smithsonian documentary, Elephant King. O'Connell is also the
cofounder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, Utopia Scientific.
Life 2.0: A Journey from Near Death to New Life
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781631950469, $16.99, PB, 238pp
Synopsis: One day, while leaving a routine doctor's appointment, Kevin asks his doctor a simple question, one that
would later prove to be the save, extend, and profoundly change his life -- a question he believes is divinely inspired.
"Life 2.0: A Journey from Near Death to New Life" follows Kevin's journey through open-heart surgery and recovery.
But, more than that, this is the story of the impact the little things can have when people open their hearts.
As Kevin journeys through recovery and rehabilitation, he starts to notice the selfless little things others do -- and
develops a new perspective on life. Coupled with encounters with Angels, Kevin's new life is molded into a life of
profound physical, emotional, and spiritual change, and he decided to call it Life 2.0. An inspiration for healthcare
providers, patients, and their families, Life 2.0 demonstrates how the little things can profoundly impact the lives of
others and how anyone, if they so choose, can live their own Life 2.0!
Critique: An inherently fascinating and ultimately inspiring read from first page to last, "Life 2.0: A Journey from Near
Death to New Life" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary
Health/Medicine collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Life 2.0: A Journey from Near Death to
New Life" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Dallas, Texas, Kevin Kirksey works with healthcare organizations and the
American Heart Association to raise awareness of cardiac disease so that lives can be saved, restored, extended, and
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Studying with Miss Bishop
Paul Dry Books
1700 Sansom Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5214
9781589881518, $16.95, PB, 184pp
Synopsis: In "Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer's Life", poet and literary critic Dana Gioia
discusses six people who helped him become a writer and better understand what it meant to dedicate one's life to
writing. Four were famous authors -- Elizabeth Bishop, John Cheever, James Dickey, and Robert Fitzgerald. While two
were unknown -- Gioia's Merchant Marine uncle and Ronald Perry, a forgotten poet. Each of the six essays provides a
vivid portrait; taken together they tell the story of Gioia's own journey from working-class LA to international literary
Critique: An inherently fascinating and memorably thought-provoking study from beginning to end, "Studying with
Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer's Life" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to the
personal reading lists of all aspiring and practicing writers. While unreservedly commended for community, college,
and university library Literary Biography collections. It should be noted that "Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs
from a Young Writer's Life" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Dana Gioia is a poet and critic. He has published five full-length collections of verse, most recently 99
Poems: New & Selected, which won the Poets' Prize as the best new book of the year. His third collection,
Interrogations at Noon, was awarded the American Book Award. An influential critic, Gioia's controversial volume,
Can Poetry Matter? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Gioia has also edited or co-edited two
dozen best-selling literary anthologies, including An Introduction to Poetry (with X. J. Kennedy) and Best American
Poetry 2018. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic, Washington Post, New York Times,
Hudson Review, and other journals. Gioia has served as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and as
California State Poet Laureate. He is currently the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the
University of Southern California.
The Biography Shelf
How to Lose Everything: A Memoir
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
9781771622622, $22.95, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: Christa Couture has come to know every corner of grief -- its shifting blurry edges, its traps, its pulse of love
at the center and the bittersweet truth that sorrow is a powerful and wise emotion.
From the amputation of her leg as a cure for bone cancer at a young age to her first child's single day of life, the heart
transplant and subsequent death of her second child, the divorce born of grief and then the thyroidectomy that
threatened her career as a professional musician, "How to Lose Everything" is a deeply personal life story that delves
into the heart of loss. Couture bears witness to the shift in perspective that comes with loss, and how it can deepen
compassion for others, expand understanding, inspire a letting go of little things and plant a deeper feeling for what
matters. At the same time, Couture's writing evokes the joy and lightness that both precede and eventually follow grief,
as well as the hope and resilience that grow from connections with others.
"How To Lose Everything" insightfully explores the emotional and psychological experiences of motherhood,
partnership and change. Deftly connecting the dots of sorrow, reprieve and hard-won hope, "How to Lose Everything"
contains the advice Couture is often asked for, as well as the words she wishes she could have heard many years ago. It
is also an offering of kinship and understanding for anyone experiencing a loss.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "How To Lose Everything" is an inherently absorbing
read and one that author Christa Couture is to be commended for with respect to its unrelenting honesty, candor,
openness and emotive descriptiveness. One of those life stories that will linger in the mind and memory long after the
book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "How To Lose Everything" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "How To Lose Everything" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
9781771124539, $34.99, HC, 540pp
Synopsis: Timothy Findley (October 30, 1930 - June 20, 2002) was one of Canada's foremost writers -- an
award-winning novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who began his career as an actor in London, England.
Findley was instrumental in the development of Canadian literature and publishing in the 1970s and 80s.
During those years, he became a vocal advocate for human rights and the anti-war movement. His writing and
interviews reveal a man concerned with the state of the world, a man who believed in the importance of not giving in to
despair, despite his constant struggle with depression. Findley believed in the power of imagination and creativity to
"Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley" is the first full biography of this eminent Canadian writer with Sherrill Grace
providing insight into Findley's life and struggles through an exploration of his private journals and his relationships
with family, his beloved partner, Bill Whitehead, and his close friends, including Alec Guinness, William Hutt, and
Margaret Laurence. Based on many interviews and exhaustive archival research, this biography explores Findley's life
and work, the issues that consumed him, and his often profound depression over the evils of the twentieth-century.
Shining through his darkness are Findley's generous humour, his unforgettable characters, and his hope for the future.
These qualities inform canonic works like The Wars (1977), Famous Last Words (1981), Not Wanted on the Voyage
(1984), and The Piano Man's Daughter (1995).
Critique: A seminal work of superbly crafted scholarship that is based upon extensive and informative research, "Tiff:
A Life of Timothy Findley" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of illustrations, two appendices (Back to Stone
Orchard; Family Tree), twenty-six pages of Notes, a forty-four page Bibliography, and a twenty-one page Index. While
an especially recommended addition to community, college, and university library Canadian Biography collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tiff: A Life of Timothy Findley" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton
Karen Stokes, editor
Mercer University Press
1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881467659, $25.00, HC, 140pp
Synopsis: Cecilia Lawton's life was changed forever when the bloodiest war in American history began in 1861. The
daughter of a wealthy Georgia plantation owner, she was married at the age of sixteen and went to live at her husband's
plantation in South Carolina, but a few months later, she found herself fleeing from the army of General William T.
Sherman. She observed the aftermath of this brutal campaign, writing of what she saw in vivid, horrific detail.
Following the war, Cecilia and her husband struggled to survive on his ruined plantation, but after enduring many
hardships and dangers, they moved away and began a new life on a sea island near Charleston. Raised in luxury and
privilege, Cecilia had few of the skills expected of a farmer's wife, but despite her youth and inexperience she
persevered and found success as a businesswoman in Charleston.
Told in her own words, "Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton: A Memoir of Plantation Life, War, and Reconstruction
in Georgia and South Carolina" is the true story of Cecilia Lawton, a young woman who faced incredible challenges
with determination and courage.
Critique: Expertly edited by Karent Stokes (an archivist at the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston) and
featuring an informative Preface by James Everett Kibler, Jr., "Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton: A Memoir of
Plantation Life, War, and Reconstruction in Georgia and South Carolina" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion
of two Appendices, a six page Bibliography, and a five page Index. An extraordinary and inherently absorbing read
from cover to cover, "Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton: A Memoir of Plantation Life, War, and Reconstruction in
Georgia and South Carolina" is a unique and prized addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college,
and university library 19th Century American Biography collections and American Civil War/Antebellum South
supplemental curriculum lists.
Growing Up Bank Street
New York University Press
838 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10003
9781479803200, $24.95, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Bank Street is a primarily residential street in the West Village part of Greenwich Village in the borough of
Manhattan in New York City. It runs for a total length of about 710 feet (220 m) from West Street, crossing
Washington Street and Greenwich Street, to Hudson Street and Bleecker Street where it is interrupted by the Bleecker
Playground, north of which is Abingdon Square; it then continues to Greenwich Avenue, crossing West 4th Street and
Waverly Place. Vehicular traffic runs west-east along this one-way street. As with several other east-west streets in the
Far West Village, the three blocks west of Hudson Street are paved with setts, a broadly rectangular quarried stone used
in paving roads and walkways. Bank Street is named for the Bank of New York, which bought eight lots on the street in
1798 and established a branch there. A clerk in the bank's main office on Wall Street had contracted yellow fever,
leading the bank to buy land in Greenwich Village in order to have a branch office away from Wall Street where it
could conduct business in the event of future emergencies. (Wikipedia)
Donna Florio is a lifelong resident of Bank Street in Greenwich Village. Nurtured by colorful, eccentric neighbors who
taught her to "never wonder about life from the outside. Jump in!" Donna has, over the years, worked as an opera
singer, a TV producer, a Wall Street executive, and an educator, and has backpacked around the world.
"Growing Up Bank Street: A Greenwich Village Memoir" is Donna's evocative, tender account of life in Greenwich
Village, on a unique street that offered warmth, support, and inspiration to an adventurous and openhearted young girl.
In the middle of the last century, Bank Street became home to a cast of extraordinary characters whose stories
intertwine in this spirited narrative.
Growing up, Donna Florio had flamboyant, opera performer parents and even more free-spirited neighbors. As a child,
she lived among beatniks, artists, rock musicians, social visionaries, movie stars, and gritty blue-collar workers, who
imparted to her their irrepressibly eccentric life rules. The real-life Auntie Mame taught her that she is a divine flame
from the universe. John Lennon, who lived down the street, was gracious when she dumped water on his head. Sex
Pistols star Sid Vicious lived in the apartment next door, and his heroin overdose death came as a wake-up call during
her wild twenties.
An elderly Broadway dancer led by brave example as Donna helped him comfort dying Villagers in the terrifying early
days of AIDS, and a reclusive writer gave her a path back from the brink when, as a witness to the attacks of 9/11, her
world collapsed. These vibrant vignettes weave together a colorful coming of age tale against the backdrop of a historic,
iconoclastic street whose residents have been at the heart of the American story.
As Greenwich Village gentrifies and the hallmarks of its colorful past disappear, "Growing Up Bank Street" will
provide the reader a captivating 'insider' glimpse of the thriving culture that once filled its storied streets.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "Growing Up Bank Street: A Greenwich Village Memoir"
is an extraordinary collection of reminisces and memories. A combination autobiography and local history, "Growing
Up Bank Street: A Greenwich Village Memoir" is a unique and very special recommended addition to community,
college, and university library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Growing Up Bank Street: A
Greenwich Village Memoir" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.72).
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Crystals and Numerology
Editha Wuest & Sabine Schieferle
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644112731, $16.99, PB, 160pp
Synopsis: A crystal is a solid material whose constituents (such as atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in a highly
ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macroscopic single
crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consisting of flat faces with specific, characteristic
Numerology is any belief in the divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It
is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names, and ideas. It is often associated with the
paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts.
Crystal Numerology offers a surprisingly accurate tool to gain insight into your character, talents, and abilities by
analyzing the numbers in your birthdate, the numeric values of the letters in your name, and the numbers that
serendipitously appear in your life again and again. While our personal numbers are the mirror that reflects our inner
world, crystals are our helpers in the outer world to harmonize the energies we were born with. They are gifts from the
earth that we are offered to unfold our divine potential. Through their beauty and wisdom, they can help us be more in
tune with our destiny.
"Crystals and Numerology: Decode Your Numbers and Support Your Life Path with Healing Stones" by the team of
Editha Wuest and Sabine Schieferle is a full-color guide that explains how to calculate your personal numbers and work
with the healing energies of gemstones to unfold the full potential your numbers reveal. Each of the numbers 0 to 9 is
explained on the numerological level, including their qualities, energies, and how they act on human
"Crystals and Numerology" then describe which crystals resonate most with each number's energy and which offer
complementary energies, providing detailed descriptions of the gemstones' spiritual, mental, and physical qualities
alongside beautiful photographs. "Crystals and Numerology" also offer affirmations, meditations, and crystal healing
techniques to connect with the energies of the gemstones.
Critique: Very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library metaphysical
studies collections, "Crystals and Numerology: Decode Your Numbers and Support Your Life Path with Healing
Stones" is an ideal and definitive introduction to the subject of crystal numerology. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of numerology students and practitioners that "Crystals and Numerology: Decode Your Numbers and
Support Your Life Path with Healing Stones" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Currently residing near Munich, Germany, Editha Wuest has been working with crystals, numerology,
and alternative healing methods for many years. Since 1995 she has maintained her own counseling and coaching
practice and leads seminars and courses. Also living near Munich, Germany, Sabine Schieferle is a numerologist with
many years of experience.
By working with the gemstones that resonate with your numerology, you can enhance the strengths of your personal
numbers. If a certain number's weaknesses are manifesting in your life, you can discover crystals that will help to
integrate and balance the number's hindering effects. Together, numbers and stones offer a wonderful possibility to find
your own way, recognize your true self, heal, and harmonize with the world around you. Let the numbers guide you and
the crystals empower you!
In Focus Shamanism: Your Personal Guide
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781577152231, $19.99, HC, 144pp
Synopsis: Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition that serves to connect nature with all living creatures. Based on the
ancient traditions and wisdom from around the world, including North and South America, Asia, and Europe, "In Focus
Shamanism: Your Personal Guide" by Traci Long will teach you how to create a spiritual practice to bring change,
healing, and transformation to your life using updated and modernized shamanic traditions that include: Making a
journey to another realm and vision quests; Drum, dance, and dream trances; Divination for individuals and
community; Working with medicine wheels and spirit animals; Aligning yourself with nature.
An accessible and beautifully designed guide to shamanism, "In Focus Shamanism: Your Personal Guide" includes an
18 x 24 inch frameable wall chart poster of powerful spirit animals and their unique characteristics.
Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "In Focus Shamanism: Your Personal Guide" is an inherently fascinating and
impressively informative read from cover to cover. While especially appropriate and unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies & Shamanism collections, it should be
noted for students and practitioners that "In Focus Shamanism: Your Personal Guide" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: The In Focus series applies a modern approach to teaching the classic body, mind, and spirit subjects.
Authored by experts in their respective fields, these beginner's guides feature smartly designed visual material that
clearly illustrates key topics within each subject. As a bonus, each book includes reference cards or a poster, held in an
envelope inside the back cover, that give you a quick, go-to guide containing the most important information on the
Astrology for Mystics
Tayannah Lee McQuillar
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644110515, $16.99, PB, 176pp
Synopsis: A person's astrological birth chart, or natal chart, shows the positions of the planets, sun, and moon at the
time of their birth. Shaped like a circle or wheel, it is divided into 12 sections, or "houses," each connected with a
different area of life or self. The positions of the planets within the houses offer deep and often complex insight into
your unique gifts and your life's path.
In "Astrology for Mystics: Exploring the Occult Depths of the Water Houses in Your Natal Chart", astrologer Tayannah
Lee McQuillar explores the 4th, 8th, and 12th houses -- those connected with the element of water and all things occult,
mystical, and spiritual. The fourth house, ruled by water sign Cancer, is traditionally the house of family, home,
ancestors, and suffering. The eighth house, ruled by water sign Scorpio, is the house of sex, death, secret powers, and
transformation. The twelfth house, ruled by Pisces, is the house of karma, loss, unspoken expectations, fantasy, and
As McQuillar explains, these are the houses that reveal the deepest and darkest areas of the individual psyche, which
many people are reluctant to explore, yet this triad is the key to profound spiritual insights as well as the discovery of
hidden knowledge and abilities.
McQuillar also guides her readers through interpreting the signs and planets that inhabit the water houses in their
particular natal chart and shows how they reveal specific innate talents. She also describes how to develop the hidden
powers revealed by your chart and offers practical advice for incorporating this knowledge into your daily life for
spiritual growth and self-improvement. Sharing interpretation examples from her practice, she deftly explores how to
embrace the challenge of the occult water houses so her readers can claim the many treasures that can only be found on
the ocean floor of their own psyche.
Critique: An absolutely fascinating and impressively informative read from cover to cover, "Astrology for Mystics:
Exploring the Occult Depths of the Water Houses in Your Natal Chart" is an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies
collections in general, and Astrology supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Astrology for Mystics: Exploring the Occult Depths of the Water Houses in Your Natal Chart" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Tayannah Lee McQuillar is a tarot reader and researcher of religion, esoterica, and mysticism. She is
also the author of several books and divination decks, including The Hoodoo Tarot and The Sibyls Oraculum.
Path of the Witch
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781589239838, $24.99, PB, 176pp
Synopsis: Witchcraft is the practice of magical skills, spells, and abilities. Witchcraft is a broad term that varies
culturally and societally, and thus can be difficult to define with precision. Witchcraft is not one defined path -- rather,
it is a diversity of practices you can curate and align with based on your lifestyle and unique gifts. "The Path of the
Witch: Rituals & Practices for Discovering Which Witch You Are" by Lidia Pradas will help the reader to discover
which witch they are.
If they have an affinity for working with plants and herbs for magic and medicine they may be a Green Witch.
If the kitchen and home space sacred to them and they are you able to tap into the sensory and healing properties of
food for spellwork, if cooking an intentional act, then they may be a Kitchen Witch.
If able to easily connect with the spirit world or the liminal realms, then they may be a Hedge Witch. But if they can do
many practices with ease they may be an Eclectic Witch.
"The Path of the Witch" describes the many different types of witches, their gifts and abilities, and their practices. Each
path shows readers activities and rituals that they can use to discover and explore that type of witchcraft and discern
which one is the fit for them.
Critique: A unique and inherently fascinating contribution to the growing library of metaphysical studies and witchcraft
lore, "The Path of the Witch: Rituals & Practices for Discovering Which Witch You Are" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical
Studies collections in general, and Contemporary Witchcraft supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Lidia Pradas is the wiccan witch behind the Instagram sensation Wiccan Tips and the author of The
Complete Grimoire. She comes from a family of witches and teaches and writes about witchcraft and paganism to
Write Your Own Horoscope
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780711254510, $19.99, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: Your horoscope is both an astrological blueprint and a guide to your future. You can use it to uncover
fascinating insights into your soul, love life, relationships, finances and career, as well as your potential. "Write Your
Own Horoscope: Follow the Stars, Design Your Destiny " by veteran astrologer Jane Struthers is a beginner-to-pro
astrology book that gives astrology students and practitioners the tools and information required to figure out the whys,
hows and whens, and to make the most of all the opportunities these present.
In the pages of "Write Your Own Horoscope: Follow the Stars, Design Your Destiny", professional consultant
astrologer Jane Struthers teaches not only how to interpret a birth chart, a snapshot of the heavens at the moment of
being born, but also teaches how to look into a personal future based on the planets making contact (called 'transits')
with these natal positions. Readers will start by learning the nuts and bolts of astrology, then go on to take a closer look
at how astrology influences each area of their lives. Finally, there is a detailed guide to transits to map personal
"Write Your Own Horoscope: Follow the Stars, Design Your Destiny" is not a mere fortune telling guide. Rather, it is
about decoding the skies and signs to gain a true understanding of all areas of our life and determine our own fate.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of extra tips and hints throughout the beautifully illustrated pages, "Write Your
Own Horoscope: Follow the Stars, Design Your Destiny" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition
to personal, professional, and community library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Astrology/Horoscope
supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Write Your Own Horoscope:
Follow the Stars, Design Your Destiny" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Somerset, UK, Jane Struthers is a consultant astrologer and an astrology lecturer
who writes a weekly astrology column for Bella magazine. She is the author of over thirty nonfiction books, including
"The Psychic's Bible" and "Red Sky at Night".
The General Fiction Shelf
Juan Gomez, Jr.
Atlantic Publishing Group
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471-0640
9781620238042, $19.95, PB, 344pp
Synopsis: Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for those we love most in this world. Michael knows this more than
most. Raising a family as a single parent is hard enough without having to take care of three children with cancer.
Exhausted by doctors and medications and hospitals, Michael's strength for his children is waning. Michael puts his
trust in God and prays that He will take the cancer away completely. When God gives him an answer to his prayers, he
discovers he now has a much harder decision to make.
Critique: An impressively crafted and inherently compelling novel by an author with a very special flair for the kind of
narrative driven storytelling that deftly blends religious spirituality with medical oncology that is both thought-
provoking and ultimately inspiring, "The Decision" by Juan Gomez, Jr. is certain to be an enduringly appreciated and
valued addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "The Decision" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).
The Bad Muslim Discount
Syed M. Masood
Doubleday & Company
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
9780385545259, $16.95, HC, 368pp
Synopsis: In 1995, Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karachi,
Pakistan. As fundamentalism takes root within the social order and the zealots next door attempt to make Islam great
again, his family decides, not quite unanimously, to start life over in California. Ironically, Anvar's deeply devout
mother and his model-Muslim brother adjust easily to life in America, while his fun-loving father can't find anyone he
relates to. For his part, Anvar fully commits to being a bad Muslim.
At the same time, thousands of miles away, Safwa, a young girl living in war-torn Baghdad with her grief-stricken,
conservative father will find a very different and far more dangerous path to America. When Anvar and Safwa's worlds
collide as two remarkable, strong-willed adults, their contradictory, intertwined fates will rock their community, and
families, to their core.
Critique: His debut as a novelist, "The Bad Muslim Discount" showcases Syed M. Masood genuine flair for originality,
as well as his impressive literary knack for humor blended with inherently engaging questions of identity, faith, and a
secular American culture from the perspective of Muslim Americans. While especially and unreservedly recommended
for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The
Bad Muslim Discount" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Sons of War 3: Sinners
Nicholas Sansbury Smith
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781538557075, $26.99, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Sometimes in order to fight evil, you must embrace evil. That was the motto of Marine Sergeant Ronaldo
Salvatore -- and it now lives on in his son, Dominic and his undercover team known as the Saints. With the support of
LAPD Captain Zed Marks, the Saints embark on a mission to destroy the criminal organizations that have a
stranglehold on Los Angeles.
Through brains, cunning, and sheer ruthlessness, the most powerful leader, Don Antonio Moretti, has risen from
underdog to contender for the throne. He believes that only the Vega family of narcos stands in his way, but he has
underestimated another underdog. As the Morettis and Vegas slug it out, the Saints go outside the law to deliver the
City of Angels from evil. In this three-way death match, the streets will run with blood before a victor ever
Critique: With its bold, riveting, and non-stop action from cover to cover, "Sons of War 3: Sinners" by author Nicholas
Sansbury Smith is an original and extraordinarily entertaining novel that will be a prized addition to community library
Dystopian Fiction, Military Thriller Fiction, and Crime Action/Adventure Fiction collections. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of dedicated action/adventure fans that "Sons of War 3: Sinners" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781665019934, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Northern Reach
W. S. Winslow
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250776488, $26.99, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: Frozen in grief after the loss of her son at sea, Edith Baines stares across the water at a schooner, under full
sail yet motionless in the winter wind and surging tide of the Northern Reach. Edith seems to be hallucinating. Or is
she? Edith's boat-watch opens The Northern Reach, set in the coastal town of Wellbridge, Maine, where townspeople
squeeze a living from the perilous bay or scrape by on the largesse of the summer folk and whatever they can cobble
together, salvage, or grab.
At the center of town life is the Baines family, land-rich, cash-poor descendants of town founders, along with the
ne'er-do-well Moody clan, the Martins of Skunk Pond, and the dirt farming, bootlegging Edgecombs. Over the course
of the twentieth century, the families intersect, interact, and intermarry, grappling with secrets and prejudices that span
generations, opening new wounds and reckoning with old ghosts.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Northern Reach" is author W. S. Winslow's debut as a
novelist, her genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling style that fully entertains and engages the reader's
attention bodes well for establishing her as a literary figure to watch for. Exceptionally well crafted against an
inherently fascinating and varied social/culture background, "The Northern Reach" is an especially and unreservedly
recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Northern Reach" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
'Til I Want No More
Robin W. Pearson
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496450579, $25.99, HC, 464pp
Synopsis: If Maxine could put her finger on the moment when her life went into a tailspin, she would point back twenty
years to the day her daddy died. She tells herself he's the only person who ever really knew and loved her, and if he
hadn't left her behind, her future would've taken a different path. No absentee mother, no stepfather, no rebellious
ripping and running during her teenage years. And no JD, who gave her wandering young heart a home, at least for a
But that's over and done with. All grown-up now, Maxine has pledged her heart and ring finger to Theodore Charles,
the man she'll promise to love, honor, and obey in front of God and everybody. At least that's what she's telling anybody
who will listen. The only folks buying it are the dog and the readers of her column, however. Her best friend and family
aren't having it -- not even Celeste, the double bass - playing thirteen-year-old girl that the community of Mount Laurel,
North Carolina, believes is Maxine's adopted sister.
And apparently, neither is the newly returned JD, who seems intent on toppling Maxine's reconstructed life. As her
wedding day marches ever closer, Maxine confronts what it means to be really known and loved by examining what's
buried in her own heart and exposing truth that has never seen the light of day.
Critique: When the man she loved years ago returns to town, one young woman's complicated past rises again,
threatening to expose her well-kept secrets in 'Till I Want No More, a Christian novel by Robin W. Pearson. A poignant
story of romance, a search for truth, and a journey to redemption, 'Till I Want No More will prove to be a welcome
addition to community library General Fiction and African-American Fiction collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that 'Till I Want No More is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781496441577,
$15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781786485571, $26.99, HC, 368pp
Synopsis: Roaming through Oxford's secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of
family -- and what it is to be denied one.
When the eight-year old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the
Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.
As Dee looks back over her time in the Master's Lodging (an eerie and ancient house) a picture of a high achieving but
dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah,
pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.
But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for
concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?
Critique: A beautifully crafted suspense thriller of a read from cover to cover, "Magpie Lane" deftly showcases author
Lucy Atkins genuine and impressive flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling that hold's her
reader's rapt and sustained attention from first page to last -- and will send them seeking out her three previous novels
(The Missing One; The Other Child; The Night Visitor). While especially and unreservedly recommended for
community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Magpie Lane" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).
The Ghost Moths
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781538469231, $27.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: While searching a windswept mountainside for the fabled ghost moth fungus, a young Tibetan boy unearths a
mysterious relic. Moments later the People's Liberation Army of China marches into his isolated village in the valley
below and begins to dismantle an ancient way of life. As the brutal oppression grows, the boy's precious find becomes
first a symbol of hope for the villagers then a tool of survival for a people and a religion. It must be preserved at all
Sixty years later, mountain guide Neil Quinn is wrapping up his last climb of the season on the highest mountain in
Tibet when a transport shortage leaves him stuck in an empty base camp. An earthquake sets off a chain of mysterious
events that directly connect the English climber to the ongoing tragedies of a troubled land where the Chinese
authorities strive still for complete control.
Unsure of precisely what he witnessed yet determined to protect its truth, Quinn returns to Kathmandu and enlists the
help of a famous historian of the Himalayas, an erstwhile American journalist, and a cast of locals as enigmatic as that
ancient city -- each with their own reasons for joining his quest. Manipulation and murder dog their every step as they
strive to piece together a complex puzzle from Tibet's tortured past while navigating the treacherous present.
Critique: A thoroughly absorbing and impressively original novel by an author with an exceptionally effective flair for
the kind of narrative storytelling style that is perfectly suited to an historical and political suspense thriller of a read,
"The Ghost Moths" by Harry Farthing will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to
community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that 'The
Ghost Moths" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).
The Kaiser's Web
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250140340, $28.99, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: Two candidates are vying to become Chancellor of Germany. One is a patriot having served for the past
sixteen years, the other a usurper, stoking the flames of nationalistic hate. Both harbor secrets, but only one knows the
truth about the other. They are on a collision course, all turning on the events of one fateful day (April 30, 1945) and
what happened deep beneath Berlin in the Furherbunker.
Did Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun die there? Did Martin Bormann, Hitler's close confidant, manage to escape? And,
even more important, where did billions in Nazi wealth disappear to in the waning days of World War II? The answers
to these questions will determine who becomes the next Chancellor of Germany.
From the mysterious Chilean lake district, to the dangerous mesas of South Africa, and finally into the secret vaults of
Switzerland, former-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone discovers the truth about the fates of Hitler, Braun, and
Bormann. Revelations that could not only transform Europe, but finally expose a mystery known as the Kaiser's
Critique: An inherently riveting novel by a master of the unexpected plot twist and turn, "The Kaiser's Web" showcases
Steve Berry's impressive flair for originality and narrative storytelling techniques. While resolutely recommended for all
community library Political/Historical suspense thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"The Kaiser's Web" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781250140371, $9.99), in a digital book format
(Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781250788313, $39.99, CD)
The Day of Ezekiel's Hope
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
9780736978811, $15.99, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Emma Grady has seen civilization collapse and New York gutted by nuclear attack. Amidst this international
crisis, she and her growing family of outcasts must unravel the meaning of these strange and horrifying events, even as
they struggle to survive.
On the other side of the world, Zerah Adler finds Israel surrounded by invaders intent on total annihilation. In
Jerusalem, two men have the power to stop the rain and call down plagues of every kind. Are they sorcerers, or do they
have the power of God? And a magnetic new leader has emerged, promising to provide peace and even salvation to the
In the gripping follow-up to her novel "The Time of Jacob's Trouble", in "The Days of Ezekiel's Hope" author Donna
VanLiere explores the end times through the journeys of Emma, Zerah, and others who face unprecedented danger. The
final chapters reveal what God's Word says about our world's future -- and that things aren't spiraling downward but are
actually looking up!
Critique: An impressively well crafted apocalyptic novel that deftly draws upon biblical prophecy and extrapolated
current events, "The Day of Ezekiel's Hope" is an inherently absorbing, entertaining, and ultimately thought-provoking
read. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The Day of Ezekiel's Hope" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Flowers of Darkness
Tatiana De Rosnay
St. Martin's Press
9781250272553, $27.99, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Author Clarissa Katsef is struggling to write her next book. She's just snagged a brand new artist residency in
an ultra-modern apartment, with a view of all of Paris, a dream for any novelist in search of tranquility. But since
moving in, she has had the feeling of being watched. Is there reason to be paranoid? Or is her distraction and discomfort
the result of her husband's recent shocking betrayal? Or is that her beloved Paris lies altered outside her windows? A
city that will never be quite the same, a city with a scar at its center?
Stuck inside, in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, Clarissa enlists her beloved granddaughter in her investigation of
the mysterious, high tech building even as she finds herself drawn back into the orbit of her first husband who is still
the one who knows her most intimately, who shares the past grief that she has never quite let go.
Critique: Deftly blending dystopian elements of suspense, compelling secrets, and the city of Paris, "Flowers of
Darkness" is an elegant and inherently absorbing novel by Tatiana De Rosnay. While especially and unreservedly
recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Flowers of Darkness" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, 14.99), and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250789723, $34.99, CD).
Do No Harm
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781982142612, $17.99, PB, 368pp
Synopsis: Emma loves her life. She's the mother of a precocious kindergartner, married to her soulmate (a loyal and
loving police detective) and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital. But everything comes crashing
down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But
when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her
son's life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch
up to her before she can save Josh?
Critique: A deftly woven blend of suspense, family life, amateur sleuthing, and an opioid epidemic "Do No Harm" is an
inherently fascinating and engaging novel by Christina McDonald examines whether the ends ever justify the means --
even for a desperate mother. The result is a highly recommended addition to any and all community library
Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Do No Harm" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone
Audio, 9781797117768, $39.99, CD). Librarians should note that "Do No Harm" is available for their collections in a
Large Print Library Binding edition (Thorndyke Large Print, 9781432886776, $30.99)
13 Days to Die
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643856551, $27.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: In a far-flung Tibetan village, prayer flags flap against whitewashed houses and a majestic monastery
stretches to heaven. It's Shangri-La (the earthly paradise) until a stranger staggers out of the forest and collapses into a
bloody, lifeless mass. He's the first victim of a crippling epidemic, but he's no ordinary man.
Olen Grave, an American intelligence officer, heads directly into the hot zone to investigate. Posing as a journalist, he
joins the Chinese research team, led by a headstrong female virus hunter, Dr. Zhou Weilin. Together, the unlikely allies
discover that Patient Zero was a spy who deliberately infected himself. But why? Who did he work for?
As Olen and Dr. Zhou rush to uncover the shocking truth behind the epidemic, they unravel a twisted conspiracy that
reaches from Beijing's great halls to Washington's corridors of power. With the superpowers now at the brink of war,
the fate of the world will rest on the duo's shoulders.
Critique: An inherently absorbing novel with a storyline made all the more believable and contemporary given the
controversy around the origins of the current COVID-19 pandemic, "13 Days To Die" is a simply riveting read from
cover to cover. While highly recommended as an addition to community library Medical and Political suspense thriller
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "13 Days To Die" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 1662073135, $29.99,
Changing the Rules
9781542009911, $12.95, PB, 335pp
Synopsis: As an employee of MacBain Security and Solutions, Claire Kelly can certainly hold her own. Armed with an
impressive set of covert skills, she's more than prepared to tackle any job that comes her way... except one involving
Cooper Lockman. Cooper and Claire used to work together before his feelings for her sent him packing to Europe for
six long years. But now he's back and determined to ignore the still smoldering heat that lingers between them.
Their current mission: go undercover together at a California high school to root out the mastermind behind a
prostitution ring targeting young girls. The closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, however, the
deadlier their task becomes. As Claire and Cooper risk their lives to bring down their target, will their hearts be the final
Critique: With an impressive blending of romance with action/adventure, "Changing the Rules" by Catherine Bybee is
an inherently absorbing and compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. A fully entertaining novel by an
author with a genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling, "Changing the Rules" is the first volume in Catherine
Bybee's new 'Richter' series and will leave her fully satisfied readers looking early toward the next volume of romance
and adventure! While highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Changing the Rules" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781713559689, $14.99, MP3-CD).
The Rose Code
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780063059412, $27.99, HC, 656pp
Synopsis: In 1940, and as England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious
country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.
Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything (beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece
sending her roses) but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a
translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the
legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both
Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility
with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park's few female cryptanalysts.
But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.
In 1947, as the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, the three code
breaking friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter -- the key to which lies buried in the
long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum.
A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must
resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings
danger (and their true enemy) ever closer.
Critique: A deftly crafted and inherently riveting read by an author with an impressive style of narrative driven
storytelling, "The Rose Code" by novelist Kate Quinn is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to
community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Rose Code" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9780062943477, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Historical Fiction Shelf
Shadow of the Hawk
Head of Zeus
9781788544986, $27.95, HC, 464pp
Synopsis: Defeated on the field of Poitiers, Jean Le Bon, King of France, honored his treaty with England until his
death. His son and heir, Charles V, has no intention of doing the same. War is coming and the predators are
Sir Thomas Blackstone, Edward III's Master of War, has been tasked with securing Brittany for England. In the throes
of battle, he rescues a young boy, sole witness to the final living breaths of the Queen of Castile. The secret the boy
carries is a spark deadly enough to ignite conflict on a new front - a front the English cannot afford to fight on.
So Blackstone is ordered south to Castile, across the mountains to shepherd Don Pedro, King of Castile, to safety.
Accompanied only by a small detachment of his men and a band of Moorish cavalrymen loyal to the king, every step
takes Blackstone further into uncertain territory, deeper into an unyielding snare.
Critique: A deftly crafted, inherently absorbing, compulsive page turner, and simply riveting read from cover to cover,
"Shadow of the Hawk" by author David Gilman is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to any and
all community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Shadow of the
Hawk" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781788544993, $25.76) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
Jill Eileen Smith
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800739706, $29.99, HC, 418pp
Synopsis: In her eventful lifetime and as a woman in ancient Israel, Miriam was many things to many people: protective
older sister, song leader, prophetess, leper. But between the highs and the lows, she was a girl who dreamed of freedom,
a woman who longed for love, a leader who made mistakes, and a friend who valued connection.
Critique: An novel based on detailed and meticulous research combined with keen eye for historical detail, in the pages
of "Miriam's Song", author Jill Eileen Smith offers an epic, thoroughly impressive biblical novel. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Biblical
Fiction and Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Miriam's Song" is also
readily available in a paperback edition (9780800734725, $15.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editor's Note: Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as The Heart of a King and Star of Persia: Esther's Story. She is also the author of the nonfiction books When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams and She Walked Before Us. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.
The Literary Fiction Shelf
McPherson & Company
PO Box 1126, Kingston, NY 12402
9781620540428, $20.00, PB, 592pp
Synopsis: "Renato!" by Eugene Mirabelli is the sweeping and fictional autobiography of Renato Stillamare, a talented
yet struggling artist in Boston. Renato is, in addition, an uncommonly gifted story-teller as he first sets out relating the
outlandish family legends that lead to his eventual discovery and adoption as a foundling. Renato's early life follows,
including the misadventures that lead to his marriage to Alba Quick.
But the heart of "Renato!" novel is the eventful summer of 2000, Renato's seventieth year. Having retired from
teaching, he retreats to his Boston studio where he is possessied by an unquenchable ambition: to have his paintings
exhibited by a Newbury Street gallery despite his work being out of favor for 25 years. He is furiously painting painting
painting when his world is suddenly turned upside down by the appearance on his doorstep of a young homeless woman
and her child. A witty screwball comedy ensues that Billy Wilder would have been proud to film.
"Renato!" is a literary marriage of story-telling forms that touch upon matters of love, sex, food, philosophy, religion,
and the intricacies of family attachments. The larger canvas stretches from 1860 to the present, and from Sicily to
Massachusetts, and showcases the character of Renato as creative, noble, jealous, generous, foolish, warm, impulsive,
selfish, and funny.
Critique: An inherently absorbing and deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind
of narrative driven storytelling that is fundamental to a literary masterpiece, "Renato!" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary
Where Madness Lies
Top Hat Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781789044607, $18.95, PB, 344pp
Synopsis: Set in Hitler's Germany of 1934, "Where Madness Lies" by Sylvia True is the story of Rigmor, a young
Jewish woman is a patient at Sonnenstein which is a premier psychiatric institution known for their curative treatments.
But with the tide of eugenics and the Nazis' rise to power, Rigmor is swept up in a campaign to rid Germany of the
Then in 1984 USA, "Where Madness Lies" continues with the story of Sabine, who in battling crippling panic and
depression commits herself to McLean Hospital, but in doing so she has unwittingly agreed to give up her baby.
Linking these two generations of women is Inga, who did everything in her power to help her sister, Rigmor. Now with
her granddaughter, Sabine, Inga is given a second chance to free someone she loves from oppressive forces, both within
"Where Madness Lies" is a novel about hope and redemption, about what we pass on, both genetically and culturally. It
is about the high price of repression, and how one woman, who lost nearly everything, must be willing to reveal the
failures of the past in order to save future generations.
With chilling echoes of our time, "Where Madness Lies" is based on a true story of author Sylvia True's own
Critique: An inherently harrowing and yet fascinating read from cover to cover, "Where Madness Lies" is an
extraordinary and compelling approach to how mental illness, authoritarian institutional governance, and the human
spirit intersect on a personal and a generational level. While especially recommended for community and academic
library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where Madness Lies" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.19).
When Twilight Breaks
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800739713, $29.99, HC, 386pp
Synopsis: In 1938 city of Munich, Germany, Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to
prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny of the Nazi government. To do
so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends Nazi officials, she could be expelled from the country -- or worse. If she
fails to truthfully report on major stories, she'll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed -- and wake up the folks
In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with
the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society.
But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party --
to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can't get off his mind.
Critique: An original and stand alone novel, "When Twilight Breaks" by accomplished novelist Sarah Sundin deftly
blends 'pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance' is a simply riveting read from first page to last. While
certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for
the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Sarah Sundin fans that "When Twilight Breaks" is also readily
available in a paperback edition (9780800736361, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The High-Rise Dive
Julia von Lucadou, author
Sharmila Cohen, translator
9781642860764, $16.99, PB, 288pp
Synopsis: Riva is a "high-rise diver", a top athlete with millions of fans, and a perfectly functioning human on all levels.
Suddenly she rebels, breaking her contract and refusing to train. Cameras are everywhere in her world, but she doesn't
know her every move is being watched by Hitomi, the psychologist tasked with reining Riva back in. Unquestionably
loyal to the system, Hitomi's own life is at stake: should she fail to deliver, she will be banned to the "peripheries" the
filthy outskirts of society.
Critique: Deftly crafted by novelist Julia von Lucadou and expertly translated into English for an American readership
by Sharmila Cohen, "The High-Rise Dive" is a chilling dystopia constructs a world uncomfortably close to our own, in
which performance is everything. An inherently riveting read and especially recommended for community, college, and
university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The High-
Rise Dive" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
From This Moment
Kim Vogel Sawyer
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
9780525653684, $15.99, PB, 352pp
Synopsis: Growing up in the foster care system, Jase Edgar always dreamed of one day starting his own family. But his
fiancee's untimely death shattered his plans. Moving to Kansas and serving as a youth minister should be a fresh start,
but he can't seem to set aside his doubts about God's goodness long enough to embrace his new life.
Newly-appointed church custodian, Lori Fowler is battling her own challenges. Her strained relationship with her father
and her struggles with overeating convince her she's not worthy enough for love. When an Amish weaver enlists their
help locating the owner of a ring found among the donated clothing she uses as fabric, Jase and Lori find themselves
drawn to each other. But will they be able to release the past and move forward from this moment into a joyful
Critique: A charmingly crafted romance novel by an author whose genuine mastery of the genre and an impressive flair
for originality, "From This Moment" is a wonderfully entertaining read by Kim Vogel Sawyer and will prove to be a
welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. It should
be noted for personal reading lists that "From This Moment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Roots of Wood and Stone
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825446689, $15.99, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her
life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the
common artifact -- until she finds real treasure inside in the form of a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to
find out more.
Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to
fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his
carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and
the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.
A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a
lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and
love -- as well as a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and
Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.
Critique: "Roots of Wood and Stone" by Amanda Wen is a deftly crafted and inherently engaging 'split-time' romance
novel will resonate with readers with its underlying message concerning the beauty of God's plan for our lives -- and
how our actions ripple for generations. A beautifully entertaining read from cover to cover, "Roots of Wood and Stone"
is a remarkable and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Romance Fiction collections. It should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Roots of Wood and Stone" is also readily available in a digital book format
Hit Me With Your Best Scot
St. Martin's Press
9781250296429, $7.99, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Coll MacTaggert, Viscount Glendarril, is a big, brawny Highlander who doesn't like being told what to do --
not even by his exasperated English mother who is determined to see her eldest son wedded and bedded. However,
when he comes to the rescue of an irresistibly beautiful woman, Coll discovers that he may have found his perfect
The challenge isn't that Persephone Jones is famous, wealthy, independent, and smarter than anyone he knows.The
problem is that she isn't interested in marrying any man (especially not a hot-headed Scot) even if he is the only man
who seems to understand who she really is even when she's not sure herself. When Coll learns that Persephone is
actually a lady-in-hiding and someone is willing to kill her for what she stands to inherit. Well, Coll has never been one
to turn down a fight. When hearts are involved, nothing comes between a Highlander and his lady.
Critique: A carefully crafted regency romance, "Hit Me With Your Best Scot" by Suzanne Enoch is an inherently
absorbing read that will have a very special appeal to fans of Victorian Era and Scottish Historically themed stories.
While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Hit Me With Your Best Scot" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781705275207, $39.99, CD).
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800739591, $29.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: Though she hopes for a quiet, uncomplicated life for herself, Dorothy Clark wants nothing more than to stir
others up. Specifically, she dreams of writing something that will challenge people as much as Harriet Beecher Stowe's
novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" seems to have. But in 1850s Mesquite Springs, there are few opportunities for writers --
until newspaperman Brandon Holloway arrives.
Brandon Holloway has seen the disastrous effects of challenging others and has no intention of repeating that mistake.
Instead of following his dreams, he's committed to making a new (and completely uncontroversial) start in the Hill
As Dorothy's involvement in the fledgling newspaper grows from convenient to essential, the same change seems to be
happening in Brandon's heart. But before romance can bloom, Dorothy and Brandon must work together to discover
who's determined to divide the town and destroy Brandon's livelihood.
Critique: With her underlying message about the 'healing power of truth', Amanda Cabot's new novel, "Dreams
Rekindled" is book two in her outstanding 'Mesquite Spring' series and a wonderfully entertaining and inherently
absorbing read from cover to cover. While highly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dreams Rekindled" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9780800735364, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
A Dance In Donegal
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800739638, $29.99, HC, 354pp
Synopsis: All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of Ireland. When her
mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother's wish that she become the teacher
in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.
After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a
warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her
presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a
handful of friends (and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced) as
she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of -- but perhaps was meant to live.
Critique: With an impressive flair for originality, a meticulous attention to background detail, and a thoroughly 'reader
engaging' narrative storytelling style, "A Dance In Donegal" by author Jennifer Deibel is a truly absorbing and
delightfully entertaining read from cover to cover. While especially recommended for community library Romance
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Dance In Donegal" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9780800738419, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Strong, Silent Cowboy
Lora Leigh & Veronica Chadwick
St. Martin's Paperbacks
c/o St. Martin's Press
9781250220097, $7.99, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Sallie Hamblen had three incredibly hot, sexy nights with Jacob Donovan, an undercover CIA agent, before
he disappeared, leaving her broken hearted and forever yearning for the man she lost. Years later, Jacob doesn't know
that the beauty he's about to seduce in a small town bar is the woman he held in his arms all those years ago -- and that
she's on the run from her past.
Former CIA agent turned cowboy, Jacob Donovan wants nothing more than a simple life. Just the ranch and
occasionally someone warm and sweet in his bed. Until Sallie comes back into his life and all of a sudden he wants to
be in her bed every night -- all night. When he discovers that her life is in danger, he swears he'll protect her. Even
when secrets are revealed that threaten everything between them, he will lay everything on the line to keep her in his
Critique: A deftly crafted collaboration of authors Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick, "Strong, Silent Cowboy" is a
simply riveting novel of romance, suspense, mystery and betrayal. While very highly recommended for community
library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Strong, Silent
Cowboy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The Robin's Greeting
Wanda E. Brunstetter
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781643524795, $15.99, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: For the past two years Belinda King, along with her two grown daughters and teenage son, has been
struggling to keep the family greenhouse running. Despite disconcerting events that have threatened to put them out of
business, they have survived two growing seasons. And now Belinda can focus on the two suitors vying for her
attention. Herschel Fisher, a new acquaintance, makes her feel relaxed, and Monroe Esh, an admirer from her past,
reminds her of her youth.
But just when Belinda thinks she can choose between her suitors, life throws more trials her way. Her son, Henry,
becomes bitter about the idea of her dating anyone, and attacks on the greenhouse start again. When can Belinda hope
to experience the peace and love her weary heart longs for?
Critique: An inherently absorbing combination of mystery, suspense and romance deftly set in an Amish community,
"The Robin's Greeting" by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the third and latest title in the simply outstanding 'Amish
Greenhouse Mystery' series from Barbour Publishing. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community
library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Robin's Greeting" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $13.67).
Remember My Face
Arte Publico Press
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558859074, $18.95, PB, 250pp
Synopsis: Willie Cuesta, who is a former Miami Police Department detective turned private investigator, is relaxing at a
beachfront hotel when he receives a call from an immigration attorney about a case. He's reluctant to leave the view-of
the sea and several bathing beauties -- but Willie can't afford to turn down work. He agrees to travel to central Florida
to search for Ernesto Perez, an undocumented farm worker who has disappeared. His family is worried sick because,
though he had been calling and sending money home regularly to Mexico for years, he hasn't been heard from in three
In Cane County, Willie discovers a healthy agricultural industry, a large migrant population picking the crops and a
heavily armed, anti-government militia. Willie quickly discovers Perez isn't the only undocumented worker to go
missing; several have disappeared, though their illegal status means no one has bothered to investigate.
As he digs into the case, several suspicious characters surface: Narciso Cruz, who is responsible for smuggling in the
undocumented workers willing to do the backbreaking labor for minimal pay; Quincy Vetter, a local landowner who
has imposed his anti-government sentiment county wide; and Dusty Powell, a drug dealer who has contributed to
several heroin overdoses in the area. And there's the very beautiful daughter of a farm owner who wants salsa lessons --
is someone setting him up?
When people he talked to start turning up dead, Willie knows he's onto something big and dangerous. But is it related to
the local drug business? Or the anti-government lunatics? When his investigation leads to a piece of property near the
Everglades, Willie Cuesta finds himself playing cat-and-mouse with several armed men intent on putting an end to the
case and him!
Critique: Another simply riveting Willie Cuesta mystery from imaginative and talented novelist John Lantigua,
"Remember My Face" is certain to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library
Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery
buffs that "Remember My Face" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800739645, $29.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: As a former field surgeon in Afghanistan, Heather Fontaine is used to life-or-death situations. She just didn't
expect them to follow her home. When she returns from a party to find that someone has broken into her house and
threatened her friends that she assumes it is the stalker who has been following her and creeping her out. She hopes to
find safety and peace of mind by leaving the city and hiding out in a small town. But trouble has followed her even
Luckily, a stalker isn't the only one watching Heather. Travis Walker has been secretly watching out for her for weeks.
As owner of his own security agency, it's what he does. Together, Travis and Heather must figure out who (and why)
someone wants her dead before it's too late!
Critique: An inherently riveting read with a satisfying number of unexpected plot twists and turns, "Active Defense" by
Lynette Eason is an inherently absorbing novel that will be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community
library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that
"Active Defense" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780800729363, $15.99) and in a digital book format
The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle
Seventh Street Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
9781645060215, $15.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes has retired to the Sussex countryside -- that is, until a most formidable puzzle is dropped
upon his doorstep by a certain Colonel Pickering.
One Miss Eliza Doolittle, once nothing more than a cockney guttersnipe, has been transformed into a proper lady of
London (perhaps even a duchess?) as if overnight. When Col. Pickering recovered from a bout of malaria, he was
astounded at the woman before him. Is it possible this transformation is due to nothing more than elocution lessons and
some splendid new hats? Or has Professor Henry Higgins surreptitiously traded one girl for another? And for God's
As the case unfolds, Holmes and Watson find themselves in ever stranger territory. Who are the four identical
"Freddies" pursuing Miss Doolittle? What part do the respected Dr. Jekyll and his malevolent associate, Mr. Hyde, long
thought dead, have to play in this caper? And who the devil is the devilish Baron von Stettin?
"The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle" by Timothy Miller is an enthralling escapade starring some of Victorian
literature's most beloved characters as part of a historical mystery that will leave its readers fully delighted, quite
perplexed, and positively bewildered!
Critique: A wonderfully entertaining and welcome addition to the ever growing body of Sherlockian literature, "The
Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle" will prove to be an immediately and enduringly popular addition to community library
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of dedicated Sherlock
Holmes fans that "The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806168425, $21.95, PB, 202pp
Synopsis: With a bang (or rather, a barrage) Jacob Neptune finds his remote cabin in the Adirondacks besieged by a
gun-toting gang of murderous bikers. With the help of his supersized sidekick Dennis, the hard-headed, wise-cracking
Abenaki private detective traces the source of his troubles to a former adversary who is now running an Indian
In short order, the friends are drawn into a dangerous mystery that will call upon all of Jake's skills as a martial arts
expert, former special forces soldier, and (in the Abenaki tradition) a metoulin -- one who can see beneath the surface of
things through dreams and visions. Their investigation takes them to the Pacific Northwest, dead center in a vicious
game involving tribal intrigue, a crooked casino, Chinese billions, a captive killer whale, and a series of murders and
disappearances that may be linked to the monster known by Jake's people as Padoskoks, the giant underwater
Critique: Like the first of the Jacob Neptune mysteries by Joseph Bruchac, (Chenoo, 9780806152073, $16.95 PB,
$16.10 Kindle, 224pp), "Padoskoks" begins with furious action that just keeps on gathering momentum to an
action-packed and startlingly unexpected conclusion -- all while giving his readers insights into the ancient Abenaki
wisdom and Native American customs. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library
Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and anyone
with an interest in Native American literature, that "Padoskoks" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Joseph Bruchac, an Abenaki writer, poet, and storyteller, has written more than 170 books during his
distinguished career. His books, "Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories" and "Environmental Activities for
Children" are used in classrooms across the country.
Murder on the Metro
Margaret Truman & Jon Land
c/o Tor/Forge Books
9781250238870, $27.99, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: Israel: A drone-based terrorist attack kills dozens on a sun-splashed beach in Caesarea.
Washington: America awakens to the shattering news that Vice President Stephanie Davenport has died of an apparent
That same morning, a chance encounter on the Washington Metro results in international private investigator Robert
Brixton thwarting an attempted terrorist bombing. Brixton has no reason to suspect that the three incidents have
anything in common, until he's contacted by Kendra Rendine, the Secret Service agent who headed up the vice
president's security detail. Rendine is convinced the vice president was murdered and needs Brixton's investigative
expertise to find out why.
In Israel, meanwhile, legendary anti-terrorist fighter Lia Ganz launches her own crusade against the perpetrators of that
attack which nearly claimed the lives of her and granddaughter. Ganz's trail will ultimately take her to Washington
where she joins forces with Brixton to uncover an impossible link between the deadly attack on Caesarea and the
attempted Metro bombing, as well as the death of the vice president.
The connection lies in the highest corridors of power in Washington where a deadly plot with unimaginable
consequences has been hatched. With the clock ticking toward doomsday, Brixton and Ganz race against time to save
millions of American lives who will otherwise become collateral damage to a conspiracy destined to change the United
Critique: A riveting suspense thriller of a novel originally laid out by the late Margaret Truman (February 17, 1924 -
January 29, 2008) and posthumously completed by Jon Land (an American author of thriller novels who is also an
emeritus board member and currently siting on the marketing committee for the International Thriller Writers) is a
simply riveting read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Murder on the Metro" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Dreamscape Media, 9781662071003, $22.99, CD).
The Beirut Protocol
Joel C. Rosenberg
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496437891, $27.99, HC, 464pp
Synopsis: A game-changing peace treaty between Israel and the Saudis is nearly done and the American secretary of
state is headed to the region to seal the deal. Special Agent Marcus Ryker is leading an advance trip along the
Israeli-Lebanon border, ahead of the secretary's arrival.
But when Ryker and his team are ambushed by Hezbollah forces, a nightmare scenario begins to unfold. The last thing
the White House can afford is a new war in the Mideast that could derail the treaty and set the region ablaze. U.S. and
Israeli forces are mobilizing to find the hostages and get them home, but Ryker knows the clock is ticking. When
Hezbollah realizes who they've captured, no amount of ransom will save them -- they'll be transferred to Beirut and then
to Tehran to be executed on live television.
Captured, brutalized, and dragged deep behind enemy lines, Marcus Ryker finds himself in the most dangerous
situation he has ever faced. Should he wait to be rescued? Or try to escape? How? And what if his colleagues are too
wounded to run?
Critique: A deftly crafted and wild ride suspense thriller of novel, "The Beirut Protocol" by Joel C. Rosenberg is the
stuff of which block-buster movies are made. With more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller
coaster and certain to be an immediately popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Beirut Protocol" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $9.80) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781978623514, $29.99,
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608094165, $26.95, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: When her elderly patients start dying at home days after minor surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey
wants to know why. The surgeon, not so much. "Old people die, that's what they do," is his response. When Kate
presses, surgeon Charles Ricken places the blame squarely on her shoulders. Kate is currently on probation, and the
chief of staff sides with the surgeon, leaving Kate to prove her innocence and save her own career. With her husband in
a prolonged coma, it's all she has left.
Aided by her eccentric Great Aunt Irm, a precocious medical student, and the lawyer son of a victim, Kate launches her
own unorthodox investigation of these unexpected deaths. As she comes closer to exposing the culprit's identity, she
faces professional intimidation, threats to her life, a home invasion, and, tragically, the suspicious death of someone
close to her. The stakes escalate to the breaking point when Kate, under violent duress, is forced to choose which of her
loved ones to save -- and which must be sacrificed.
Critique: An inherently compelling page turner of a read from cover to cover, "Fatal Intent" showcases author Tammy
Euliano's impressive talents as a narrative driven storyteller with a deftly ability for creating memorable characters and
unexpected plot twists. While highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated Medical Thriller and Women Sleuth fans that "Fatal Intent"
is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).
A Deadly Chapter
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643855769, $26.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Wake up on a houseboat, moored in scenic Alexandria Bay, New York. Ride the gentle waves to work at
quaint Bayside Books, where you spend your days supplying literature and conversation to the charming locals and
seasonal tourists. Sounds pleasant, doesn't it? Except bookseller Shelby Cox has already sleuthed two murders from
Bayside Books's home base on Blye Island, one of New York State's famed Thousand Islands. And this time, mayhem
knocks right on Shelby's waterside door when she finds a body lodged between the side of her houseboat and the dock,
his skull shattered.
The victim is no local, but Shelby can't shake the feeling she's seen him before. Twice, in fact -- that's how many times
he's dropped into Bayside Books asking about an enigmatic woman who lived on Blye Island many years before. The
last time? The day before he was found. But the poor man obviously was killed elsewhere, so who brought him down to
the bay, and why?
When the victim's daughter hits town demanding answers, Shelby takes the case, despite Police Chief Tekla Stone's
usual reservations. But she uncovers more suspects than there are pages in War and Peace, and Shelby can expect no
peace (except the peace of the grave) unless she can turn the page on this grisly mystery.
Critique: Another simply terrific 'whodunnit' mystery novel in author Essie Lang's 'A Castle Bookshop Mystery' series
from Crooked Lane Books, "A Deadly Chapter" is one of those wonderfully entertaining reads that you just can't put
down until that last absorbing page is done. While simply a 'must' for all community library Contemporary
Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all truly dedicated mystery buffs that
"A Deadly Chapter" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged
audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662067969, $19.99, CD).
Someone to Watch Over Me
9781629336510, $29.00, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: Hollywood, 1947. Jack Shannon, a former actor whose promising career was interrupted by the war and
ended by a facial scar sustained in combat, is now a studio publicist. He jokes that the only thing he knows about
publicity is how to suppress it, but that, in fact, is his real job. He's a fixer who babysits the studio's stars and covers up
their bad behavior.
Everything changes for Jack when Savannah Stevens enters his life. A sex pot star in the mold of Jean Harlow and the
studio's biggest box-office draw, she's a deeply troubled young woman given to emotional breakdowns, unexplained
absences from the set, and time-devouring delays occasioned by her paralyzing insecurities and her insistence on dozens
Jack's job is to stay with her 24/7, deliver her to the set on time each day, and make sure she completes her current
picture, a picture on which the future of the studio depends. All goes well until Savannah disappears, and Jack is
assigned the task of finding her -- without revealing to anyone, including the police, that she is missing.
Critique: An impressively original, solidly written, hard boiled Hollywood noir style novel, "Someone To Watch Over
Me" by Dan Bronson is a simply riveting and inherently absorbing read from cover to cover. With many an unexpected
plot twist and turn, "Someone To Watch Over Me" will be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community
library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that
"Someone To Watch Over Me" is also readily available in a paperback edition, (9781629336503, $19.00).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
2747 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705
9781587905360, $15.95, PB, 370pp
Synopsis: After a millennium of cultural eclipse, the Earth's human inhabitants have resurrected civilization and
rekindled high tech. But immense challenges loom. The Outer World remains caught up in barbarism. A tech-enriched
plutocracy runs the Inner World. Prosperity is commonplace, but so is poverty and inequality. Schisms roil the Gaia
faith as ancient artifacts come to light. And scientists struggle to convince the public that an errant asteroid could bring
earthly extinction, and thus for humanity the end of the line, if not repelled.
Set in Silicon Valley 27 centuries into the future, "Auger's Touchstone" by Robert Balmanno is a tale of historians,
astronomers, techno-elites, agrarians, believers, dissidents, nihilists, a bruja, and a brilliant young couple living by their
wits and trying to make sense of it all. It's a world much different from ours, but also surprisingly familiar. Ideas and
"Auger's Touchstone" completes a four-part dystopian, science fiction, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic series 'The
Blessings of Gaia'.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "Auger's Touchstone" is an especially recommended
addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated science fiction fans, as well as community library Science Fiction
& Fantasy collections.
Editorial Note: "September Snow" is the first novel in author Robert Balmanno's 'The Blessings of Gaia' series takes
place 40 to 80 years in the future. "Runes of Iona" is the second 60 to 110 years in the future. "Embers of the Earth" is
the third 600 years in the future. The final book, "Auger's Touchstone", 2700 years in the future.
The first two novels deal with the profound effects of climate change, accompanied with the development of a "second
half of the 21st century" for of neo-totalitarianism. Book Three deals with a primitive form of theocracy, after the
collapse of civilization.
Each of these books being dystopian are all dark in nature, but they end with a ray of hope. Auger's Touchstone
(showing a high tech Silicon Valley of the far distant future) is also dark, but optimistic.
Each of the books are "stand alones," as is Auger's Touchstone, the final book in the tetralogy. "Auger's Touchstone"
can be read as the "first" in the series, indeed it is the perfect setup for reading the technically first book "September
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781982125011, $25.00, HC, 416pp
Synopsis: There are times when the only bridge between past and future is a leap of faith. Pursued by enemies, exiled
Liaden clan Korval is settling into a new base on backworld Surebleak. Moving is expensive, as is war, and Korval is
strapped for cash. Delm Korval has therefore instructed Master Trader Shan yos'Galan to design and implement new
trade routes, quickly.
But this is no easy task. Dutiful Passage is targeted by Korval's enemies, denied docking at respectable ports, and
cheated at those less respectable. Struggling to recuperate from an attack on his life, while managing daughter Padi's
emerging psychic talents, Shan is running out of options -- and time.
His quest to establish the all-important trade route puts him at odds with his life mate, while doubting crew desert the
ship. Facing the prospect of failure, Shan accepts the assistance of chancy allies and turns the Passage toward a port
only just emerging from Rostov's Dust and awash with strange energies. Without trade, Clan Korval will starve. Will a
trader's leap of faith save everything -- or doom all?
Critique: A new entry for the 'New Liaden Universe' series by collaborative authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller,
"Trader's Leap" is an inherently riveting, impressively original, compulsive page turner of a science fiction novel that
will prove to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to personal reading lists and community library
Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for all dedicated science fiction fans that "Trader's Leap" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9781982125677, $8.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Jobs/Careers Shelf
Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781631953583, $16.99, PB, 236pp
Synopsis: Many young, ambitious Christians are struggling to get noticed as new hires in the workplace today -- not
only young people, but those re-entering the workforce following military service, child-rearing, or after being
furloughed due to Covid-19. These workers may find it challenging to stand out from the crowd while also maintaining
their Christian values and ethics.
"Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence: Practical Christ-Centered Advice for Entering or Re-entering the Workforce"
by Fred Sievert is the ideal guide for those looking to create a strong, faith-based foundation to further boost their
Fred Sievert knows from personal experience because his relationship with Jesus Christ and trust in God were the
biggest factors in advancing his career toward eventually becoming the president of a Fortune 100 company. Within
"Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence", is the advice Fred gave his own daughter as she entered the workforce for the
first time. It provides those seeking a career with ten practical and effective tips they can implement to rapidly gain
visibility and early success.
Fred encourages readers to identify and use their spiritual gifts and apply other key biblical principles as they embark on
a new career. Those seeking a career are encouraged throughout Fast Starting a Career of Consequence with relevant
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence: Practical
Christ-Centered Advice for Entering or Re-entering the Workforce" is as 'real world practical' as is inspired and
motivating. Timely considering the currently pandemic caused economic recession marked by massive job losses not
seen since the Great Depression, and timeless considering the need for all practicing Christians being honorably
employed in order to support themselves, their families, and their church within the context of a Christian community,
"Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence: Practical Christ-Centered Advice for Entering or Re-entering the Workforce"
is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, church, community, college, and
university library Jobs/Careers collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Fast-Starting a Career of
Consequence" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
Editorial Note: Fred Sievert is actively engaged in writing, teaching, mentoring young executives, serves on the boards
of five nonprofit organizations and two for-profit corporations, and follows his calling into the ministry created by his
first book, "God Revealed". His second book "Grace Revealed", recounts stories of people in severe crises who found
relief and recovery through their faith and personal relationships with Christ. A frequent speaker, Fred addresses
audiences ranging in size from small book clubs and Bible-study classes to large national conventions. He has
completed more than 50 television and radio interviews, which include appearances on Fox & Friends, the Fox
Business Channel, and the Daystar Christian network.
The Christian Studies Shelf
Walking with Francis of Assisi
Bruce G. Epperly
9781632533319, $16.99, PB, 160pp
Synopsis: From a pilgrimage through the streets of Assisi to contemplative walks on the beaches near his home, Pastor
Bruce Epperly has pondered the questions of privilege, prayer, and social justice while walking with the teachings of
Francis of Assisi. From his roots in reformation traditions, he has a deep understanding of the call Francis received to
rebuild the church and the need for constant reformation not only in our personal lives but also in our society and in our
religious institutions. He knows that change comes from within, from listening to the spirit of God as we engage in
contemplative listening. And all this has been distilled into the pages of "Walking with Francis of Assisi: From
Privilege to Activism ".
Critique: An inherently absorbing read that is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring,
"Walking with Francis of Assisi: From Privilege to Activism" is especially and unreservedly recommended for church,
seminary, community, college, and university library Christian Studies collections in general, and Francis of Assisi
supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students,
clergy, and all members of the Christian community at large that "Walking with Francis of Assisi: From Privilege to
Activism" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Rev. Dr. Bruce G. Epperly has served as a congregational pastor, university chaplain, professor, and
seminary administrator for over forty years. He is currently Senior Pastor of South Congregational Church, United
Church of Christ, Centerville, Massachusetts. He is the author of more than fifty books on practical theology, ministry,
and spirituality, healing and wholeness, and process theology, including The Mystic in You: Discovering a God-filled
World, the award-winning Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry, and Mystics in
Action: Twelve Saints for Today.
Science and the Christian Faith
Christopher C. Knight
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881416718, $22.00, PB, 232pp
Synopsis: How do we understand and articulate our Christian faith in the age of science? Are the two in conflict? Fr.
Christopher Knight (a theologian who also holds a doctorate in astrophysics) is well-equipped to guide us through these
questions. In the pages of "Science and the Christian Faith: A Guide for the Perplexed " he argues that not only is there
no conflict between faith and science, but our contemporary scientific world view can be deepened and refined by
engagement with the riches of the ancient Orthodox tradition.
Critique: The newest title in the outstanding SVS Press 'Foundations' series, "Science and the Christian Faith: A Guide
for the Perplexed" is ideal for seminary students, clergy, and the non-specialist general reader struggling with apparent
contradictions between an Orthodox Christian theology and the continuing advances of science. While thoughtful,
thought-provoking, and very highly recommended for seminary, church, community, and academic library Christian
Orthodox collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Science and the Christian Faith: A Guide for the
Perplexed" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Christopher C. Knight holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics and serves as a priest of the Orthodox Church. He is
a Senior Research Associate of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, England.
Come into the Silence
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781646800414, $10.95, PB, 96pp
Synopsis: "Come into the Silence" is an easy-to-use devotional for all those seeking peace, stillness, and solitude in a
busy and noisy world. Part of the bestselling 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher series from Ave Maria Press,
"Come into the Silence" invites you into the contemplative life through the words of Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968) --
who was one of the most popular spiritual masters of the twentieth century.
In his journals, letters, and spiritual writings such as New Seeds of Contemplation, Merton explored the tension
between the human longing for both connection and solitude. Merton, a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani,
offered a model of contemplative life that allowed him to be deeply engaged with pressing issues of the time, including
the nonviolent civil rights movement.
Requiring only a few minutes each day, "Come into the Silence" helps you realize how God sees you and to embrace
his divine vision of you and each person you encounter. This devotional also allows you to reflect deeply on the
fundamental longings for meaning, belonging, and intimacy as well as the call to service and social justice in your
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, thoughtfully contemplative and insightfully thought-provoking, "Come into the
Silence" is unreservedly recommended reading -- especially for members of the Roman Catholic faith. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and congregational members that "Come into the
Silence" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).
Editorial Note: Each book in the 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher series provides a month of daily readings from
one of Christianity's most beloved spiritual guides. For each day there is a brief and accessible morning meditation
drawn from the mystic's writings, a simple mantra for use throughout the day, and a night prayer to focus one's thoughts
as the day ends. These easy-to-use books are the perfect prayer companion for busy people who want to root their
spiritual practice in the solid ground of these great spiritual teachers.
Conspicuous in His Absence
Chloe T. Sun
c/o InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830854882, $34.00, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: In the biblical canon there are two books which lack any explicit reference to the name of God: Song of
Songs and Esther. God's peculiar absence in these texts is unsettling, both for theological discourse and for believers
considering implications for their own lived experience.
In "Conspicuous in His Absence: Studies in the Song of Songs and Esther", Professor Chloe T. Sun takes on the
challenges of God's absence by exploring the often overlooked theological connections between these two Old
Testament books. Professor Sun examines and reflects on the Song of Songs and Esther using theological
interpretation. She addresses three main questions: What is the nature of God as revealed in texts that don't use his
name? How do we think of God when he is perceived to be absent? What should we do when God is silent or
The experience of God's absence or silence is an important part of the human condition. By exploring the distinct
themes and perspectives of Song of Songs and Esther, as well as how they've been received in Jewish and Christian
history, Professor Sun demonstrates how both books serve as counter texts to the depiction of God and his work in the
rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus both contribute to a fuller picture of who God is and what it means to know
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented for the benefit of seminary students, clergy, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Conspicuous in His Absence: Studies in the Song of Songs
and Esther" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, clerical, community, and church
Biblical Studies collections and study lists. It should be noted for the benefit of all members of the Christian community
that "Conspicuous in His Absence: Studies in the Song of Songs and Esther" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $25.49).
Editorial Note: Chloe Sun is a professor of Old Testament (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) at Logos Evangelical
Seminary, California. She writes and publishes in both English and Chinese. Her hobbies include reading, traveling,
swimming, jogging and watching Netflix. She maintains an informative website at http://www.chloesunphd.com
A. J. Swoboda
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781587435362, $29.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: Is there a way to walk faithfully through doubt and come out the other side with a deeper love for Jesus, the
church, and its tradition? Can we question our faith without losing it?
Author, pastor, and professor A. J. Swoboda has witnessed many young people wrestle with their core Christian beliefs.
Too often, what begins as a set of critical and important questions turns to resentment and faith abandonment.
Unfortunately, the church has largely ignored its task of serving people along their journey of questioning. The local
church must walk alongside those who are deconstructing their faith and show them how to reconstruct it.
Drawing on his own experience of deconstruction, with the publication of "After Doubt: How to Question Your Faith
Without Losing It ", Swoboda offers tools to help emerging adults navigate their faith in a hostile landscape. Doubt is a
part of our natural spiritual journey, says Swoboda, and deconstruction is a legitimate space to encounter the living
"After Doubt" offers a hopeful, practical vision of spiritual formation for those in the process of faith deconstruction
and those who serve them.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "After Doubt: How to Question Your Faith Without Losing It" will prove exceptional
and invaluable reading for any Christian (regardless of their denominational affiliation) who finds themselves
struggling with maintaining their faith when confronted with doubts and seemingly overwhelming and problems. While
highly recommended additions to church, seminary, and community library Christian Spiritual Growth and Religious
Faith collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "After Doubt: How to Question Your Faith Without
Losing It" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781587434518, $18.99) and in a digital book format
Editorial Note: A. J. Swoboda is an assistant professor of Bible, theology, and world Christianity at the Bushnell
University in Eugene, Oregon, and leads a Doctor of Ministry cohort on the Holy Spirit and leadership at Fuller
Theological Seminary. He is also the author or editor of numerous books, including Subversive Sabbath, winner of a
Christianity Today Book Award (Spiritual Formation) and an Award of Merit for CT's Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the
Year. He speaks regularly at conferences, churches, camps, and retreats. Swoboda served for ten years as the lead pastor
at Theophilus Church in urban Portland, is the founder and former director of Blessed Earth Northwest, and served as
executive director of the Seminary Stewardship Alliance.
Sacred Time: Embracing an Intentional Way of Life
Christine Valters Paintner
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781932057225, $16.95, PB, 160pp
Synopsis: We live in a secular world where there never seems to be enough time for all we want and need to do. In
"Sacred Time: Embracing an Intentional Way of Life", Christine Valters Paintner guides us as we move beyond our
own lives and embrace a world that urges us toward rest, reflection, and growth.
In "Sacred Time", Paintner, who is the abbess of the online Abbey of the Arts, shows us how by becoming in tune with
the rhythms of the natural world, we can live more intentionally and experience a conversion toward a more expansive
way of being. Paintner introduces us to the eight cycles of sacred time that exist in our everyday lives.
These cycles that can ground us through our busy lives are: breath, rhythms of the day, weekly rhythms and Sabbath
rest, waxing and waning lunar cycles, seasons of the year, seasons of a lifetime, ancestral time, and cosmic time.
Each of these cycles encourages us to mindfully consider the time that passes as quickly as each breath and as slowly as
the passing of generations. Within each individual cycle, we find wisdom from sacred tradition and the saints, including
St. Benedict, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and St. Hildegard of Bingen; room for growth; and the presence of the Divine.
Along the way, we are also given scriptural guidance, and we are invited to spiritual practices and creative explorations
that will help deepen our understanding of each cycle, allow that understanding to take root in our lives, and expand our
lives beyond the pressures of each day.
Critique: Impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Sacred Time: Embracing an Intentional Way of Life" is an
exceptionally contemplative, inspired and inspiring read and one that is especially recommended for clergy, seminary
students, and lay members of the Christian community. While highly recommended for church, seminary, community,
college, and university library Christian Living and Religion/Spirituality collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Sacred Time" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Christine Valters Paintner is the online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering
classes and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She earned a doctorate in Christian spirituality
from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and achieved professional status as a registered
expressive arts consultant and educator from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. She is also trained
as a spiritual director and supervisor. Paintner is also the author of fifteen books on monasticism and creativity,
including Earth, Our Original Monastery; The Soul's Slow Ripening; Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire; The Artist's Rule;
The Soul of a Pilgrim; Illuminating the Way; The Wisdom of the Body; and two collections of poetry. She is a
Benedictine oblate living in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John, and together they lead writing retreats and
pilgrimages in Ireland, Scotland, Austria, and Germany, as well as online retreats at their website
Jared C. Wilson
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310111566, $22.99, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus called and equipped individuals who would serve his community of
followers. These "shepherds" are called to preach, pray, and care for the needs of God's people. But what does it mean
to be a pastor? And what is the nature of this ministry, according to the Bible?
In his book, "Gospel-Driven Ministry: An Introduction to the Calling and Work of a Pastor", Professor Jared Wilson
begins by looking at the qualifications for the pastorate, addressing the notion of a call to ministry and how an
individual (and a church community) can best identify the marks of maturity and affirm a call.
In each chapter, Professor Wilson looks at one of the core practices of pastoral ministry, including: Preaching Sermons;
Developing a Vibrant Prayer Life; Caring and Counseling; Pastoring Married and Single; Gospel-Centered Leadership;
Fighting Sin and Spiritual Warfare; Resolving Conflict; Passing on the Ministry to Others.
In addition, Professor Wilson provides practical resources including theological insights on baptism and the Lord's
Supper, guidance for wedding and funeral sermons, outlines for leading elder and deacon meetings, tips for
interviewing new pastors, questions to ask at ordination, and advice on knowing when and how to leave a pastor role.
"Gospel Driven Ministry" is a comprehensive, practical guide to pastoral ministry that prepares new pastors and equips
those currently serving for long-term, healthy ministry.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively organized, and effectively presented, "Gospel-Driven Ministry: An
Introduction to the Calling and Work of a Pastor" is an ideal and comprehensive instructional guide that should be a
'must read' selection for seminary students and has a great deal of inspirational value for anyone new to a pulpit, as well
as even the more experienced clergyman. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, seminary,
church, and academic library Christian Leadership and Pastoral Resources collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading list of anyone with an interest in Christian Evangelism that "Gospel-Driven Ministry" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Jared C. Wilson is the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Spurgeon College, the author in
residence of Midwestern Seminary, the general editor of For the Church, and the Director of the Pastoral Training
Center at Liberty Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. His books include Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Gospel
Wakefulness, The Imperfect Disciple, and Supernatural Power for Everyday People.
How to Eat Your Bible
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
9780802420398, $13.99, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: If you're feeling distant from God, could it be because you're ignoring His Word as recorded in the Bible? But
maybe you don't know where to start. Maybe the long books and strange names comprising the various parts of the
Bible feel overwhelming. Maybe you just don't like reading.
Whatever the case, "How to Eat Your Bible: A Simple Approach to Learning and Loving the Word of God" by Pastor
Nate Pickowicz will help you cultivate an appetite for life-long study of God's Word. Here provided is 'real world'
practical guidance for overcoming the hurdles that have kept you from making Bible study a regular part of your life.
You'll also become encouraged to pursue God's Word by learning how other Christians throughout time maintained this
Pastor Pickowicz also includes a unique Seven Year Bible Plan so that you can apply what you've learned and continue
drawing near to God as you consume His Word.
Critique: Thoroughly and impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "How to Eat Your Bible: A
Simple Approach to Learning and Loving the Word of God" is a unique instructional guide and resource for launching a
DIY approach to regular bible study. While especially recommended for anyone feeling insecure when approaching
bible studies whether singularly or in a group, "How to Eat Your Bible: A Simple Approach to Learning and Loving the
Word of God" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Nate Pickowicz (B.A., Muhlenberg College, M.A., Trinity Theological Seminary) is the pastor of
Harvest Bible Church in Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire. He is the author and editor of several books
including 'Reviving New England,' 'Why We're Protestant,' and 'The American Puritans.' Additionally, he has written
for Table Talk and Credo, and is one of the founding members of Reformanda, a ministry with the aim of promoting
Tara Beth Leach
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830847624, $16.99, PB, 216pp
Synopsis: Many Christians are alarmed by the decline in church attendance and seek a reason why. Too often, we point
the finger away from the church, make culture the enemy, and build walls between us and others. But our antagonism
and enemy-making are toxins that further eat away at our witness.
Is there a better way? Tara Beth Leach could easily be one of those millennials giving up on the church. Instead, she is a
pastor who loves the church and is paradoxically hopeful for its future. In an era where the church has lost much of its
credibility, Leach casts a radiant vision for Christians to rediscover a robust, attractive witness.
We need to name the toxic soil we've grown in, repent for past wrongs, and lean into a better way to become the church
that Jesus proclaimed we would be. Leach casts down idolatrous false images of God to recover a winsome picture of a
kingdom of abundance and goodness. We can be sustained by practices that will tune our hearts to God's and form us
into the radiant communities God intends for us and those around us.
Critique: Whether its pedophile priests in the Roman Catholic Church, adulterous pastors in the Protestant Church, or
Fundamentalist Christians supporting an immoral, unethical, and criminal man for the American Presidency in
exchange for conservative judge appointments and the backing of their side of social issues ranging from abortion to
homosexual suppression, the traditional church has been experience a loss of perceived integrity, sanctity, and appeal to
current and new generations of potential members. That's why such clarion calls such as Tara Beth Leach's "Radiant
Church: Restoring the Credibility of Our Witness" to a renewed spirituality based on traditional Christian values as
outlined in the New Testament is such a vital and necessary counter argument to the cynicism of so many congregants
today. While highly recommended for church, seminary, and community library Ecclesiology Christian Theology,
Christian Church Growth, and Christian Church Leadership collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Radiant Church" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).
Editorial Note: Tara Beth Leach is a pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook in the western suburbs of Chicago. She
previously served as senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena ("PazNaz") in Southern California and
has pastored in Illinois and New York. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University and Northern Theological
Seminary. She is a regular writer for Missio Alliance and writes and speaks widely about women in ministry and church
leadership. She is also the author of "Emboldened" and "Forty Days on Being a Six".
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah
Rabbi Hara E. Person, author
Jessica Greenbaum, author
Tobi Kahan, artwork
355 Lexington Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10017
9780881233810, $21.95, PB, 226pp
Synopsis: Combining age-old texts, fresh insights, inspiring poetry, new translations, and breathtaking art, "Mishkan
HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah" sets a new standard. Using the beloved format of Mishkan T'filah and Mishkan
HaNefesh, this Haggadah offers beautiful new translations by Rabbis Janet and Sheldon Marder in conversation with an
extraordinary collection of poetry from a diverse array of poets.
The running commentary by Rabbis Oren Hayon, Seth Limmer, and Amy Scheinerman draws out the historic
background of the seder rituals, builds on the social justice issues of our day, and offers contemporary connections to
Passover. The text is complemented by full-color works from acclaimed artist Tobi Kahn that will enhance any seder
"Mishkan HaSeder" also features poetry by Yehuda Amichai, Ellen Bass, Lucille Clifton, Edward Hirsch, Ross Gay,
Emma Lazarus, Denise Levertov, Ada Limon, Grace Paley, Dan Pagis, Adrienne Rich, and many more. Equally suited
to home and community celebrations, this is a Haggadah for today and tomorrow. "Mishkan HaSeder" has the depth to
stimulate experienced seder leaders while its accessible explanations will make those joining our tables for the first
time feel welcome.
Critique: This bilingual (English/Hebrew) edition of "Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah" will prove to be a
prized and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, family, synagogue, college, and university library Contemporary
Judaic Studies collections. It should be noted for personal use that "Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Buddhist Studies Shelf
The Woman Who Raised the Buddha
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781611806694, $18.95, PB, 272pp
Synopsis: Mahaprajapati was the only mother the Buddha ever knew. His birth mother, Maya, died shortly after
childbirth, and her sister Mahaprajapati took the infant to her breast, nurturing and raising him into adulthood. While
there is a lot of ambiguity overall in the Buddha's biography, this detail remains consistent across all Buddhist traditions
"The Woman Who Raised the Buddha: The Extraordinary Life of Mahaprajapati" by Wendy Garling is first full
biography of Mahaprajapati and lays out her life story, with particular attention to her early years as sister, queen,
matriarch, and mother, as well as her later years as a nun.
Drawing from story fragments and canonical records, author and biographer Wendy Garling reveals just how
exceptional Mahaprajapati's role was as leader of the first generation of Buddhist women, helping the Buddha establish
an equal community of lay and monastic women and men. Mother to the Buddha, mother to early Buddhist women,
mother to the Buddhist faith, Mahaprajapati's journey is finally presented as one interwoven with the founding of
Critique: A work of exceptional scholarship that has created an impressively informative biography that reads with all
the compelling interest of a well honed novel, "The Woman Who Raised the Buddha: The Extraordinary Life of
Mahaprajapati" must be considered as a 'must read' volume for all Buddhists. Having an immense value for both
academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, "The Woman Who Raised the Buddha" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Buddhist Studies collections.
It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Woman Who Raised the Buddha" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: A Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, Wendy has studied with teachers of different schools and lineages,
foremost her refuge lama His Holiness the 16th Karmapa (who gave her the name Karma Dhonden Lhamo), her kind
root lama, the late Sera Je Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama whom she first met in
1979. From 1991-92 she coordinated the Georgia chapter of the International Year of Tibet, helping to bring many
Tibetan cultural and religious events to Atlanta and Emory University. Pilgrimage has played an important role in
Wendy's life: in 2007 she journeyed to the sites of women saints in Tibet, and in 2012 and 2018 to sacred sites of the
Buddha in India. Her dream is to bring back the stories of Buddhism's first women, reawaken their voices, and ensure
that they are not just remembered, but valorized as integral to the roots of Buddhism.
The Gardening Shelf
The First-time Gardener
Cool Springs Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760368725, $26.99, PB, 176pp
Synopsis: Homesteader Jessica Sowards, the warm and energetic host of YouTube's Roots and Refuge Farm, is the
perfect teacher for new gardeners, and in the pages of "The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables" offers not just
experienced know-how but motivating inspiration and time-management tips for gardening success.
"The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables" covers such basic gardening questions as: Where do I put my new
garden?; How do I prepare the soil?; What vegetables should I plant?; Is it better to start new plants from seed or should
I buy transplants?; What about watering, feeding, and taking care of my garden?; What do I do if bugs show up?
"The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables" also shows: How to design an eco-friendly layout; How to grow with
the seasons; How to maximize your harvest, even if you only grow in a small space
A single growing season is all it takes to fall in love with growing your own healthy, organic, nutrient-dense food. With
"The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables" as their instructional guide, even the most novice of beginning
gardeners will soon discover all the satisfactions, challenges, and great joys of growing your own food garden.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout in full color photography, "The First-time Gardener: Growing
Vegetables" is the ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, school, and community library Gardening
& Horticulture instructional reference collections.
Editorial Note: "The First-time Gardener: Growing Vegetables" is part of The First-Time Gardener's Guides series from
Cool Springs Press, which also includes The First-Time Gardener: Growing Plants and Flowers. Each book in The
First-Time Gardener's Guides series is aimed at beginner gardeners and offers clear, fact-based information that's
presented in a friendly and accessible way, including step-by-step instructions and full-color illustrations
Eat What You Grow
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780857838988, $26.99, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: Imagine an urban homeowner's garden that is as beautiful as it is productive, that gives you fresh,
wholesome, chemical-free food with flavors that go beyond anything shops can offer.
In the pages of "Eat What You Grow: How to have an undemanding edible garden that is both beautiful and
productive", professional gardener and horticulturalist Alys Fowler shows you how to create a rich, biodiverse garden
that feeds not only you, but supports a wide range of pollinators, bees and butterflies, as well as other wildlife. Ranging
from perennial vegetables that come back year after year, to easy-to-grow delights, she has selected plants that hold
their own in both the garden and on the plate. And tells you how to raise these plants, guiding you through the process
of feeding your soil, saving seed and taking cuttings to increase your supplies.
"Eat What You Grow" also covers every size garden with tips on what can grow in containers (for smaller gardens) as
well as harvesting throughout the year -- as well as teaching you simple and effective design tools that will ensure your
garden looks striking and wild, brings joy to your world and feeds you day after day.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Eat What You Grow: How to have an undemanding edible garden that is
both beautiful and productive" begins with an informative introduction and then is accessibly organized into The
Basics, The Fillers, The Toppings, and then the Additional Spaces (The Edible Water Garden; The Window Box; The
Shaded Garden). Whether a novice beginner or a seasoned semi-professional, "Eat What You Grow" will prove to be a
welcome, practical, inspirational, and appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library
Contemporary Gardening instructional guide and manual collections. It should be noted for personal reading and
reference lists that "Eat What You Grow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: President of the Herb Society, Alys Fowler is a gardener, writer and presenter. She writes a weekly
column on gardening for the Guardian Weekend magazine. She has contributed to Gardens Illustrated, The Observer
Food Monthly, The National Geographic and Country Living. Alys trained at Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley, The
New York Botanical Gardens and The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. She has written seven books including The Thrifty
Gardener, The Edible Garden, The Thrifty Forager, Abundance, Hidden Nature and A Modern Herbal. She has
presented on BBC's Gardeners' World, The Great British Garden Revival, Our Food, and her own six-part series The
Edible Garden. She has keen interest in agriculture and food politics and is setting up an urban farm in Birmingham,
UK. She recently helped design the Greenwich Peninsula Gardens.
The Flower Yard
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780857839176, $26.99, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: Arthur Parkinson was trained at Kew Gardens and after graduating went to work for Sarah Raven at her farm
in East Sussex to pursue his passion for growing cut flowers. He later became gardener for the potter, Emma
Bridgewater, at her factory in Stoke-on-Trent. The garden he designed there, featuring his beloved chickens, received
great acclaim and became the focus for his first book, "The Pottery Gardener".
In spring 2018, Arthur was named as one of the UK's young gardening stars by Architectural Digest. Arthur writes for
the Telegraph, taking his own photographs of flowers and poultry, and has appeared on BBC 2's Gardeners' World. He
lives in Nottinghamshire but he still travels regularly to Sussex where he assists Sarah Raven with her floristry. He can
be followed at @arthurparkinson_
Arthur Parkinson's own town garden is like a path of pots, a tiny, exposed stage on bricks. Despite its small size, a
flower-filled jungle in Venetian tones is grown here each year, in defiance of urbanisation. The plants act like drapes,
closing gently as their growth engulfs the front door, from either side of the path, to the buzz of precious bees.
This is gardening done entirely in pots, yet on a grand scale that will inspire anyone who wants their doorstep or patio
to be a glamorous and lively canvas that nurtures them visually and mentally. From jewel scatterings of crocus, flocks
of parrot tulips and scented sweet peas to galaxies of single dahlias, towering giraffes of amaryllises grown inside for
winter and endless vases of cut blooms through the seasons.
In the pages of "The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in Containers", Arthur shares his life, knowledge, flair
and influences for planting creatively, all of which combine to create a space that's rich in ever-changing color and
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in
Containers" is a delightfully inspiring read from cover to cover and will prove to be an immediately welcome and
enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library Contemporary Gardening collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that 'The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in Containers" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
The Needlecraft Shelf
Amigurumi Crochet: Farm and Forest Animals
Becker &Mayer! Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760368541, $19.99, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: The twenty-six patterns comprising "Amigurumi Crochet: Farm and Forest Animals" come from talented
artists around the world, with tips and tricks for learning amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting adorable animal
companions that include a Cow, Pig, Chick, Giraffe, Bird, Koala, Bear Pod, Dog, Alpaca, Peter Pilot Duck, Owl,
Bunny, Beaver, Bear, Fish, Hedgehog, Cats, Fox, Raccoon, Fawn, Squirrel, Kitten, Mouse, Skunk, and Tortoise..
Amigurumi Crochet also features a glossary of crochet terms for beginners, easy instructions to follow, and helpful
photos to make sure the crochet enthusiasts is on track with each of these projects. It is particularly ideal for the novice
who with this DIY instructional compendium will make them a crochet expert in no time!
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with thoroughly 'user friendly' step-by-step instructions for each
individual crochet project, "Amigurumi Crochet: Farm and Forest Animals" will prove to be a welcome addition to
personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft collections. It should be noted that "Amigurumi Crochet:
Farm and Forest Animals" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Kristen Rask is the President of Seattle's largest indie craft show, Urban Craft Uprising in Washington
State. She is also the author of 8 craft titles including Yummy Crochet, Creature Crochet, and others.
How to Embroider Almost Every Animal
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631599903, $19.99, PB, 120pp
Synopsis: "How to Embroider Almost Every Animal" by embroidery expert Mieko Saski is an inspiring, fun, and
sophisticated compilation of 400+ stitch motifs that offer a fresh take on animal-themed embroidery.
Aspiring emroidery enthusiasts will: Get a detailed checklist of everything you'll need to embark on your animal
stitching adventure, plus step-by-step tutorials for essential stitches and other techniques; Explore 400+ adorable stitch
motifs that celebrate animals of every description and from every habitat; In addition to hundreds of fresh motifs for an
amazing assortment of animals are animals in scenes (pasture, forest, barnyard, jungle, and more) plus a field guide of
motifs for mythical, extinct, and unusual animals as well as animal-themed symbols and icons; Re-create the motifs
exactly as shown using the accompanying templates and stitch guides, or give them your own creative spin by changing
details and colors to suit your own style and imagination.
"How to Embroider Almost Every Animal will help even the most novice of embroidery fans to successfully take their
first steps to creating beautiful stitched animals with needle and thread!
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout and thoroughly 'user friendly' in instruction, organization and presentation,
"How to Embroider Almost Every Animal" will be a 5 star addition to personal, professional, and community library
Needlecraft instructional reference collections.
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Mine's Bigger Than Yours
Christopher Ombardo & Jeff Kirschner
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764360251, $29.99, PB, 240pp
Synopsis: A celebration of the wildest and weirdest that action cinema has to offer, the hosts of the Really Awful
Movies podcast, Christopher Ombardo and Jeff Kirschner take the reader on a fun-filled pilgrimage through the nuttiest
movies in the genre with their publication of "Mine's Bigger Than Yours: The 100 Wackiest Action Movies".
Traversing both decades and continents, these 100 titles reach beyond the typical patron saints of action, giving unsung
genre heroes like Vic Diaz, Reb Brown, and Godfrey Ho their due. Our intrepid hosts have highlighted action gems
with all of the necessary components for greatness: Heroes! Villains! Henchmen!
But something's typically missing. Usually, it's a budget. Often, it's talent. But that doesn't mean these films aren't as
entertaining as any mainstream fare. Divided into nine chapters by subgenre, featuring stills and posters, and with a
foreword by genre icon Brian Trenchard-Smith, "Mine's Bigger Than Yours: The 100 Wackiest Action Movies" is a
romp through the world of fisticuffs, jailbreaks, pit fighting, mercenaries, and really big explosions -- all the stuff that
makes action movies great.
Critique: A unique compendium of erudite observations, critiques and commentaries, "Mine's Bigger Than Yours: The
100 Wackiest Action Movies" is a 'must read' for the legions of movie fans with an affinity for the Action/Adventure
genre. Simply stated, "Mine's Bigger Than Yours: The 100 Wackiest Action Movies" is an original and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Film History collections
and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Christopher Lombardo and Jeff Kirschner are genre movie fanatics and co-hosts of the Really Awful
Movies podcast. They are also the co-authors of "Death by Umbrella!: The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons".
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Someday Comes Paradise
Gary Dean Simpson, author
Dare To Be Free Press
978734394009, $24.95, PB, 154pp
Synopsis: Sam Starr is a teenager on the run with his con-woman momma, Natalie. He has maybe done bad; she has
definitely done worse. They arrive on a barrier island, cast away from the world where they search for safety. But here,
crime and corruption are thicker than the Costa Rican coffee and the sand flies.
A local hero, Bannion, offers his protection and a home to mother and son; yet, all is not what it seems. The Vagabond
fry-cook Gash tries to guide the boy like a prophet in the dunes. The saving grace for young Sam comes in the elegance
of a Vietnamese girl, Tu Ly -- in whom he glimpses tenderness and salvation. Together, they must come of age amidst
the drugs and deception.
They elude the Navy bombs and free dive for starfish. They cling together in despair in a hideaway as they fall in love.
But most of all, they want to find a little bit of paradise -- in this world or beyond.
Critique: Based on an American Film Institute award-winning screenplay, "Someday Comes Paradise" is a graphic
novel by author/storyteller Gary Dean Simpson and artist/illustrator Enid Balam that delivers a dark, Southern
coming-of-age story, exposing the souls of a mother and son on the run in a perverse and violent world with the hope
for a better life. A compelling coming-of-age story, "Someday Comes Paradise" is especially recommended for personal
and community library Graphic Novel collections.
The Audiobook Shelf
Faithless in Death
J. D. Robb, author
Susan Ericksen, narrator
9781250787859, $39.99, CD, 13 Hours 42 minutes
Synopsis: The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wineglasses by the bed,
music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks
down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don't add up.
Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiance as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the
body - but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things?
As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than
murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within - and soon they're
getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy.
Critique: With the effective and dramatic narrative storytelling talents of Susan Ericksen bringing author J. D. Robb's
riveting suspense thriller of a mystery to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' listening experience, this complete and
unabridged audio book edition of "Faithless In Death" is a 'must' for all dedicated Mystery/Suspense fans and will prove
to be an enduringly popular addition to community library audio book collections.
A Stranger in Town
Kelley Armstrong, author
Therese Plummer, narrator
9781250788184, $39.99, CD, 10 Hours 46 minutes
Synopsis: Detective Casey Duncan has noticed fewer and fewer residents coming in to the hidden town of Rockton, and
no extensions being granted. Her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, presumes it's the natural flux of things, but Casey's not
so sure. It seems like something bigger is happening in the small town they call home.
When an injured hiker stumbles from the woods, someone who seems to have come to the Yukon for a wilderness
vacation but instead is now fighting for her life, it's all hands on deck. What or who attacked this woman, and
With the woman unconscious, and no leads, Casey and Eric don't know where the threat is coming from. Plus, the
residents of their deeply secretive town are uneasy with this stranger in their midst. Everyone in Rockton wants this
mystery solved - and fast.
Critique: Another deftly crafted suspense thriller of a mystery novel by Kelley Armstrong, this complete and
unabridged audio book edition of "A Stranger In Town" is superbly narrated by Therese Plummer and certain to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book
The Music CD Shelf
The Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums
$TBA CD / $7.00 digital
The Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums (an all-female saxophone quartet with percussion accompaniment) present Wabi
Sabi, an album of eleven original songs performed with saxophones, vocals, and drums. Inspired by the Japanese
philosophy "Wabi Sabi", which emphasizes the value of finding beauty and pleasure in imperfection, Wabi Sabi is an
extraordinary, transcendent listening experience that encourages the listener to appreciate quality saxophone
performance in a new context. Highly recommended! The tracks are "December's Dance", "El Gran Orinador", "Wabi
Sabi", "A Sparkley Con", "Root Dance", "Torquing of the Spheres", "Jouissance", "Memory Bait", "Moadl Joadl", "3x
Heather's 17", and "Working Song".
$18.00 CD / $10.00 digital
Simple Syrup is an exuberant album, created with the vibrant feel of a live performance in mind. Sunny's original songs
showcase her beautiful vocals and masterful acoustic guitar, supported by bassist Ayron Davis, drummer Paul Allen,
and others. The songs touch upon issues ranging from expectations of black women in the world of art, to love and
relationships, to the misfortune of real-life veterans of the Iraq Wars who could not get the care they needed, and much
more. Simple Syrup is a powerful and unforgettable audio experience, highly recommended. The tracks are "Lucid
Lucy", "Mama's Milk", "Like Nina", "Kiss A Loser", "A Love So True", "Losing Hand", "Love Is A Pest", "It's Name Is
Fear", "Deployed and Destroyed", "Eyes", and "Big Baby".
The DVD Shelf
You Go To My Head
a film by Dimitri de Clercq
First Run Features
You Go To My Head is an award-winning romantic thriller. When a young woman survives a mysterious car accident
in a lonely stretch of the Sahara, an introverted architect named Jake discovers her while insensate and drives her to the
closest doctor. She awakens with trauma-induced amnesia. Enraptured by her beauty, Jake falsely claims to be her
husband and takes her to his home in the remote reaches of the desert. Jake crafts an imaginary life for the two of them
to share, yet fears that her gradually returning memories will deprive him of his newfound happiness. An intense saga
of complex characters, You Go To My Head is gripping to the end, and highly recommended for connoisseurs of the
genre. 116 min., English language with optional English SDH, Spanish & French subtitles.
The Business Shelf
Do Good At Work
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781642797527, $16.95, PB, 220pp
Synopsis: In today's work world, most jobs lack a compelling purpose. Research finds that this workplace deficiency
makes people sluggish, disengaged, careless, disloyal, unhappy and unhealthy.
Fortunately, there is a way to be free from the modern trap of meaningless labor without switching careers or quitting
jobs. The scientifically-validated practice of job purposing, which consists of surprisingly modest acts that anybody can
do, elevates ordinary work to a fulfilling venture.
"Do Good At Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing" by Bea Boccalandro is a
practical and effective do-it-yourself guide to igniting meaning in any job and, consequently, becoming more
successful, fulfilled, and happy. Unlike existing books which focus on helping executives with the corporate purpose
statement that adorns the lobby, speaker and consultant Boccalandro equips the individual worker to do work that
matters regardless of their position.
Serving as president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm specializing in workplace purpose for over 20 years, Bea
has helped companies such as Aetna, Disney, FedEx, IBM, PwC, Toyota, and others obtain job purpose. She explains
why most workers face a painful purpose void when they walk into work and guides readers through specific steps to
fill that void, even including a list of 50 simple job purposing tactics to get readers started. "Do Good At Work" makes
it possible for anybody to go home proud of their workday -- every day.
Critique: Unique, original, practical, inspiring, "Do Good At Work: How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success
and Wellbeing" is unreservedly recommended as a life changing, life enhancing read for anyone having difficulty with
their present employment. While highly recommended for community, college, and university library Jobs/Careers and
Business Motivational & Leadership collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Do Good At Work:
How Simple Acts of Social Purpose Drive Success and Wellbeing" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Bea Boccalandro advises business leaders on igniting social purpose in the workplace and helps workers
end their workday knowing they made a difference. She has twenty years of experience helping to make customer
interactions more human, products more inclusive, meetings more meaningful, operations more environmentally
sustainable, marketing more charitable and otherwise tilting everyday work toward a meaningful contribution. Bea's
clients include Aetna, Allstate, Bank of America, Caesars Entertainment, Disney, Eventbrite, FedEx, HP, John
Hancock, IBM, Levi's, PwC and Toyota. Bea is founder and president of VeraWorks, a global firm that helps
businesses implement and measure the impact of pursuing social purpose. She is also a frequent keynote speaker and
teaches at Georgetown University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She also maintains an information website
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
9781260464368, $30.00, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: Most business leaders understand the power of a dynamic, positive culture -- but almost every effort to
change a corporate culture fails. Why? The approach is often all wrong. Rather than attempt to "transform" a new
culture from the ground up, leaders need to instead spearhead a culture renovation. It's all about keeping what works,
changing what needs to be changed, and ensuring proper care and maintenance -- much like refurbishing and living in a
beautiful historic home and improving its overall value.
In the pages of "Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company", by Kevin Oakes,
corporate leaders are provided with tangible, tactical insights drawn from a robust data set and informed by CEOs and
HR leaders at many of the world's top companies. Within this single volume is everything needed to rebuild any
corporate culture with care and expertise, including: Three phases and detailed action steps for architecting the change
you want to see; Practical insights and examples from T-Mobile, Microsoft, 3M, and other top companies; The traits of
a healthy corporate culture; Proven talent practices to maintain your new culture for long-term success.
Oakes identifies 18 proven leadership actions for turning any culture into an agile, resilient, and innovative
high-performance organization. Corporate executives will learn how to best understand the culture in place today and
set a new cultural path for decades to come; develop a co-creation mindset; identify influencers and blockers; ferret out
skeptics and non-believers; measure, monitor, and report progress; and implement "next practices" in talent strategies to
sustain the renovation.
"Culture Renovation" includes everything needed to plan, build, and maintain a corporate culture that drives profits,
growth, and business sustainability now and well into the future.
Critique: Expertly written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Culture Renovation: 18
Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company" is an especially recommended combination of instruction
manual and DIY guide to improving and adapting a company's corporate culture in this time of pandemic driven
economic stress and the current mass movement toward's racial, economic, and social equity in the workplace. While
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.99) for personal reading lists, "Culture Renovation" is highly
recommended for company, community, college, and university library Contemporary Business Management
collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Kevin Oakes is the CEO and co-founder of i4cp, the leading authority on next practices in human
capital. i4cp produces more research than any other human capital research firm in the world, and many of the world's
most prominent organizations and HR leaders turn to i4cp to better capitalize on emerging workforce trends. Kevin
provides strategic direction and vision, and is responsible for the overall operations of the organization. Kevin is a
frequent author and international keynote speaker on next practices in human capital, and works with business and HR
executives on people practices that drive high performance.
Hire Purpose: How Smart Companies Can Close the Skills Gap
Deanna Mulligan & Greg Shaw
Columbia Business School Publishing
c/o Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
9780231179485, $24.95, HC, 280pp
Synopsis: The future of work is already here, and what this future looks like must be a pressing concern for the current
generation of leaders in both the private and public sectors. In the next ten to fifteen years, rapid change in a
post-pandemic world and emerging technologies will revolutionize nearly every job, eliminate some, and create new
forms of work that we have yet to imagine. How can we survive and thrive in the face of such drastic change?
In the pages of "Hire Purpose: How Smart Companies Can Close the Skills Gap ", Deanna Mulligan offers a practical,
broad-minded look at the effects of workplace evolution and automation and why the private sector needs to lead the
charge in shaping a values-based response. With a focus on the power of education, Mulligan proposes that the
solutions to workforce upheaval lie in reskilling and retraining for individuals and companies adapting to rapid
By creating lifelong learning opportunities that break down boundaries between the classroom and the workplace,
businesses can foster personal and career well-being and growth for their employees. Drawing on her own experiences,
historical examples, and reports from the frontiers where these issues are unfolding, Mulligan details how business
leaders can prepare for and respond to technological disruption. Providing a framework for concrete and meaningful
action, Hire Purpose is an essential read about the transformations that will shape the next decade and beyond.
Critique: A seminal and detailed study that is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation,
"Hire Purpose: How Smart Companies Can Close the Skills Gap" will prove to be an invaluable instructional guide and
manual for corporate executives, business managers, governmental policy makers. While especially and unreservedly
recommended for community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections in general,
and Office Automation Business and Labor & Industrial Economic Relations supplemental curriculum studies lists in
particular. It should be noted for the personal reading list of business management professionals and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Hire Purpose: How Smart Companies Can Close the Skills Gap" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.39).
Editorial Note: Deanna M. Mulligan is the retired CEO and Board Chair of Guardian Life Insurance and CEO of Purposeful. Fortune named her one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" and Crain’s New York Business recognized her as one of "The 50 Most Powerful Women in New York," five times each. She is currently the only female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company in New York City. Ms. Mulligan graduated from the University of Nebraska with High Distinction and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg TV and Yahoo! Finance, and has participated in Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, Forbes Women's Summit, the Peterson Fiscal Summit, the ACCT Leadership Congress, and CECP's CEO Investor Forum 8.0, among other speaking opportunities.
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
9781400223954, $27.99, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: As technology has continually evolved in the last several decades, marketing has had to change with it,
evolving through four significant stages that build on the strategies and tools of the previous era. What happens next in
the fifth stage, or Fifth Paradigm, will not be an evolution, but a revolution. Almost everything about how marketing is
done today, including the very notion of a brand itself, will require a complete re-imagination.
As Chief Marketing Officer of Mastercard (one of the world's most recognizable and decorated brands) Raja
Rajamannar shares the forward-thinking ways all businesses must rethink their entire marketing landscape to remain
relevant and be successful with the publication of "Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for
Corporate executives and marketing directors will: Understand the evolution of marketing and how to be at the
forefront of future change; Get clarity on the right marketing strategies and tactics to pursue amidst an ever-evolving
industry; Achieve breakthroughs in innovative thinking in order to compete in modern business; Gain perspective from
top marketers across industries.
"Quantum Marketing" is for all business people who seek to understand how rapidly marketing is evolving, what some
of the smartest people in the discipline are doing to get ready for this dramatic shift, and what the new world will look
like for companies, consumers, and society at large as the race to develop revolutionary marketing strategies reaches a
whole new level.
Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Quantum Marketing:
Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow's Consumers" is essential reading for entrepreneurs, corporate
marketing staff members, MBA students and faculty, governmental economic policy makers, and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject. While an essential and core addition to corporate, community, college, and
university library Business Management & Marketing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow's Consumers" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 978171357116,
Sales Management That Works
Frank V. Cepedes
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633698765, $32.00, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: Today's businesses and corporations must deal with the rise of e-commerce, big data and AI based marketing.
Given these trends (and many others), there's no doubt that sales is changing. But much of the current conventional
wisdom is misleading and not supported by empirical data. If business and marketing managers fail to separate fact
from hype, they will make decisions based on faulty assumptions and, in a competitive market, eventually fall behind
those with a keener grasp of the current selling environment.
"Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World that Never Stops Changing" by sales expert and Harvard
Business School professor Frank Cespedes is the epitome no-nonsense book that provides sales managers and
executives with the tools they need to separate the signal from the noise. These include how to: Hiring and deploying
the right talent; Paying and incentivizing a sales force; Improve ROI from training programs; Creating a comprehensive
sales model; Setting and testing the right prices; Building and managing a multichannel approach.
Deftly comprised of a combination of fascinating examples, insightful research, and helpful diagnostics, "Sales
Management That Works" will materially and successfully help sales managers build a great sales team, create an
optimal strategy, and steer clear of hype and fads. Salespeople will be better equipped to respond to changes, executives
will be able to track and accelerate ROI, and readers will understand why improving selling is a social as well as an
economic responsibility of business.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Sales Management That Works" is the epitome no-nonsense book, and should be considered a 'must read' for all business and sales managers in today's ever evolving local,
regional, national, and international market place. While unreservedly recommended for corporate, community, college,
and university library Business & Sales Management collections, it should be noted for MBA studies, academia,
corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Sales
Management That Works" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.99).
Editorial Note: Frank V. Cespedes is the MBA Class of 1973 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at Harvard
Business School. He has run a business, served on the boards of corporations as well as startups, and consulted to
companies around the world. He is the author of six books, including Aligning Strategy and Sales, which was cited as
"the best sales book of the year" by strategy+business. He has also published numerous articles in Harvard Business
Review, the Wall Street Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, and other
prominent publications. He maintains and informative website at: www.frankcespedes.com
The CEO Test
Adam Bryant & Kevin Sharer
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633699519, $30.00, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: Despite all the effort through the years to understand what it takes to be an effective leader, the challenges of
leadership remain enormously difficult and elusive; even today, most CEOs don't last five years in the job. The
demands to deliver at a consistently high level can be unforgiving.
"The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders" is the authoritative, no-nonsense insider's
guide to navigating leadership's toughest challenges, brought to you by the team of Adam Bryant and Kevin Sharer, two
authors uniquely qualified to tell the stories. Adam Bryant has conducted in-depth interviews with more than 600
CEOs. Kevin Sharer spent more than two decades as president and then CEO of Amgen, where he led its expansion
from $1 billion in annual revenues to nearly $16 billion. He has served on many boards and is a sought-after mentor for
CEOs of global companies.
Leadership is getting harder as the speed of disruption across all industries accelerates. "The CEO Test" will better
prepare you to succeed, whether you're a CEO or just setting out to become one.
Critique: A veritable compendium of informatively practical insights, stress dealing tactics, and effective corporate
leadership strategies, "The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders" is exceptionally well
written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Essential reading for anyone in a leadership
capacity, "The CEO Test" is a particularly and unreservedly recommended addition to corporate, community, college,
and university library Business Management collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The CEO
Test" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).
Editorial Note #1: Adam Bryant is managing director of Merryck & Co., a leadership development and mentoring firm,
where he's worked with hundreds of CEOs. Prior to this he was a journalist for 30 years, including at the New York
Times where he created and authored the massively successful "Corner Office" column in which he interviewed CEOs
about their jobs. He's the author of Quick and Nimble and The Corner Office, a bestseller. He is also a teacher, speaker,
and frequent contributor on CNBC. He can be found at: www.adambryantbooks.com, @adambryant, and Linkedin:
Editorial Note #2: Kevin Sharer is the former CEO of Amgen, the largest biotech company in the world. He spent 20
years in the role, growing the company from $1 billion to nearly $16 billion. He is a former chief engineering officer in
the Navy and Lieutenant Commander on fast-attack submarines. He has helped with more than 20 major CEO
transitions for various companies. He teaches at Harvard Business School, where he is the cocreator of a successful
course on the life and role of the CEO. He can be found at: hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=681583
The Live Enterprise
Jeff Kavanaugh & Rafee Tarafdar
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
9781264264339, $28.00, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: For decades, leaders of large, complex organizations have been rightfully encouraged to run their
organizations like lean, agile startups. More often than not, they place their bets on trends like digital transformation or
design thinking. Well-intended, yet in isolation they are all too often simply not enough. There's another, better way to
drive durable, effective change in your organization, and it's been proven effective by global IT and business consulting
leader Infosys. The Live Enterprise operating model provides a clear path to transform large complex businesses into
agile, digital ecosystems that evolve with changing market needs and scale to any size.
With "The Live Enterprise: Create a Continuously Evolving and Learning Organization" by the team of Jeff Kavanaugh
and Rafee Tarafdar, you will learn how to apply the benefits of the startup operating model -- but go much further.
This groundbreaking guide addresses issues critical to transform large organizations, such as: Create an organizational
structure that drives collaboration, innovation, strategic alignment, and new culture across distributed interconnected
teams; Respond quickly yet thoughtfully (and scientifically) to opportunities to create valuable new employee and
customer experiences: Re-engineer your value chain to see what's missing, what can be improved, and what can be
eliminated to generate exponential value; Automate systems so routine decisions can be acted upon with maximum
human intuition and minimum human intervention.
Groundbreaking in theory and long-term strategy, "The Live Enterprise" is game-changing guide includes practical
steps you can take now (for immediate, concrete results) while laying the groundwork to operate with agility in the
future. The application of Live Enterprise enabled Infosys to make the kinds of changes during the COVID crisis to not
only survive but drive outstanding financial results. Now, you can use this innovative approach to position your
company for the highly unpredictable future ahead.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "The Live Enterprise: Create a Continuously Evolving and
Learning Organization" is a ground-breaking and seminal guide offering a new and productive model for corporate
development and expansion. While especially recommended for corporate, community, and academic library
Information Management and Strategic Business Planning collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists
of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in
the subject that "The Live Enterprise: Create a Continuously Evolving and Learning Organization" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.12).
Editorial Note #1: Jeff Kavanaugh is the global head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute, the research and thought
leadership arm of Infosys, a leading digital services and consulting firm. Over the last 25 years, he has advised many of
the world's leading manufacturers and high-tech companies. Jeff is also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas
at Dallas. He serves on the board of the Institute of Business Analytics at Indiana University and the Marketing
Analytics Board at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Editorial Note #2: Rafee Tarafdar is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Strategic Technology
Group at Infosys.
A Global Playbook for the Next Pandemic
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781789047592, $10.95, PB, 96pp
Synopsis: At the heart of "A Global Playbook for the Next Pandemic" is a bold new proposal to create a global
pandemic playbook that can be quickly deployed when the next pandemic strikes. Countries and their experts must
collaborate to create early warning systems, preparedness, prevention, responses and containment. But who should pay
In her extended economic corporate response treatise, "A Global Playbook for the Next Pandemic" author Anne
Kabagambe, (who is a former Executive Board director for the World Bank Group), explores the options, and argues
that to fail to learn from COVID-19 and neglect to create a global playbook now would cost far more when the next
Critique: One of the truly catastrophic and ill-timed actions of the Trump administration was to dismantle the pandemic
preparedness office that had been established by the Obama administration. That office has now been reestablished by
the Biden administration. That is one of the practical examples of pandemic driven 'Lessons Learned'. Exceptionally
timely, "A Global Playbook for the Next Pandemic" should be mandated reading by all corporate and governmental
policy makers with respect to dealing with the economic impact of what can be considered inevitable future pandemics.
While highly recommended for community, college, and university library Business Structural Adjustment,
Organizational Change, and Business Decision Making collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A
Global Playbook for the Next Pandemic" (a quick and easy read) is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Anne Kabagambe served as an Executive Director at the World Bank Group from 2016 to 2020. She
was responsible for a constituency of 22 African nations as well as fiduciary responsibilities as a member of the Budget
Committee, the Committee on Development Effectiveness, the Pension Benefits Committee, and co-chaired the Board's
Gender Working Group.
The Poetry Shelf
As If By Magic: Selected Poems
Wake Forest University Press
PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
9781930630987, $19.95, PB, 296pp
Synopsis: Paula Meehan was born in Dublin where she still lives. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Eastern
Washington University in the U.S. She has published seven collections of poetry which have received both popular and
critical acclaim. She has moderated poetry workshops in the community, in the prisons, and in recovery programs, and
has worked extensively with emerging poets inside and outside the universities.
"As If By Magic" is comprised of a new selection of her poems, each of which resonates with her accustomed integrity
and sympathy. As a poet, Meehan moves from the feminist to the ecological, from the grittier urban spaces of the north
side of center-city Dublin, to the suburban spaces outside, all while never leaving the former behind while weaving the
gathering themes in a compassionate web.
Meehan writes evocatively about gender and class, never losing sight of the lyric purpose of her poems. She blends the
comic and tragic as many Irish writers before her have done. In Meehan's poetry, particularly her most recent volumes,
nature has historical and personal significance, but it also functions on its own terms. Meehan endeavors to examine the
places, public and private, where nature and culture meet. At this intersection she begins to make sense of the suffering
of innocents and the powerless, to chart avenues toward liberation, and to salve their psychological and physical
wounds by finding poetry in the disappearance and reappearance of the natural world.
Critique: So many of her poems are eloquent and timeless observations on the human condition. A volume to be
browsed through again and again, "As If By Magic: Selected Poems" wonderfully showcases Paula Meehan's literary
wordsmith talents and is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library
Contemporary Poetry collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "As If By Magic: Selected Poems" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95).
Once Upon A Twin: Poems
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695
9781944838768, $15.95, PB, 96pp
Synopsis: When Raymond Luczak was growing up deaf in a hearing Catholic family of nine children, his mother shared
conflicting stories about having had a miscarriage after (or possibly around) the time he was conceived. As an elegy to
his lost twin, "Once Upon A Twin" is comprised of poems that collective asks: If he had a twin, just how different
would his life have been?
Critique: A compendium of deftly crafted verse that is contemplative, eloquent, and thought-provoking, "Once Upon A
Twin: Poems" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library
Contemporary American Poetry collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Once Upon A Twin:
Poems) is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.15).
Editorial Note: A playwright and filmmaker, Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of over 20 books. Raised in the
community of Ironwood, a small mining town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, he was number seven in a family of nine
children. He lost much of his hearing due to double pneumonia at the age of seven months. After high school
graduation, Luczak went on to Gallaudet University, in Washington, DC, where he earned a B.A. in English. He learned
American Sign Language (ASL) and became involved with the Deaf community. He maintains an informative web site
at www.raymondluczak.com and those interested can check out his clips at YouTube.com/deafwoof and his personal
news at Facebook.com/raymondsbooks.
The Woodworking Shelf
Weekend Woodturning Projects
The GMC Group
9781861089229, $38.36, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Now with the publication of "Weekend Woodturning Projects" by woodworking expert Mark Baker, even the
most novice of DIY wood workers can advance their wood turning skills and confidence with a variety of inherently
interesting projects that take between a couple of hours and a couple of days to complete.
All of the 25 projects comprising "Weekend Woodturning Projects" can be undertaken using a limited amount of tools
and equipment. Making use of the six basic tools (spindle roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool, bowl gouge,
skew chisel and scrapers) this profusely illustrated 'how to' manual will introduce a couple of carving tools and a boring
tool and explain why and how to use them.
Each individual project will have a list of tools and materials required, drawings with dimensions and a panel on the
wood used. Sections on safety and seasoning wood are also included.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' with profusely illustrated step-by-step instructions for each individually showcased
DIY woodworking project, "Weekend Woodturning Projects" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition
to personal, professional, school woodshop, and community library Woodworking collections.
Editorial Note: Mark Baker is Group Editor of GMC Publications' portfolio of woodworking magazines. He has written
several books on woodworking and tours and demonstrates around the world. His books include Woodturning Projects,
Wood for Woodturners and Weekend Woodturning Projects, all published by GMC Publications.
The Economic Studies Shelf
Value and Crisis, second edition
Monthly Review Press
134 W. 29th Street, Suite 706, New York, NY 10001
9781583678992, $89.00, HC, 296pp
Synopsis: Marxist economic thought has had a long and distinguished history in Japan, dating back to the First World
War. When interest in Marxist theory was virtually nonexistent in the United States, rival schools of thought in Japan
emerged, and brilliant debates took place on Marx's Capital and on capitalism as it was developing in Japan.
Forty years ago, Professor Makoto Itoh's "Value and Crisis" began to chronicle these Japanese contributions to Marxist
theory, discussing in particular views on Marx's theories of value and crisis, and problems of Marx's theory of market
value. Now, in a second edition of his book, Itoh deepens his study Marx's theories of value and crisis, as an essential
reference point from which to analyze the multiple crises that have arisen during the past four decades of
One contribution of the original "Value and Crisis" was to bridge Japan and the world in the field of Marxian political
economy. Itoh's second edition demonstrates an even wider-ranging familiarity with major schools of Marxist thought,
summarizing and assessing viewpoints of such theorists as Hilferding, Bauer, Kautsky, Bukharin, Luxemburg,
Grossman, Sweezy, the Japanese Marxist Kozo Uno, together with the relevant parts of Capital and a section on the
1930's Great Depression. Given today's current emergencies of world capitalism and socialism, says Itoh, we need to
work together to resolve new global problems, articulating new issues of Marx's theories of value and crisis.
The promise of Marx's theories has not waned. If anything (given the failure of Soviet-style socialism and the
catastrophe of neoliberalism) it grows daily.
Critique: This newly updated and expanded second edition of economist and academician Makoto Itoh's ground
breaking volume, "Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan" is a critically important and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Marxian Economics
collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, economists, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan"
is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781583678985, $29.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Makoto Itoh Makoto Itoh is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo and a member of the Japan
Academy. He taught at the New School, New York University, Harvard University, Cambridge University, the
University of London, York University in Canada and University of Sydney. His books include The Basic Theory of
Capitalism, The World Economic Crisis and Japanese Economy, Political Economy for Socialism, Political Economy
of Money and Finance, and The Japanese Economy Reconsidered.
Between Capitalism and Community
Michael A. Lebowitz
Monthly Review Press
134 W. 29th Street, Suite 706, New York, NY 10001
9781583678879, $89.00, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: In the pages of "Between Capitalism and Community", academician and economist Michael Lebowitz
deepens the arguments he made in his award-winning publication, "Beyond Capital: Marx's Political Economy of the
Working Class" (Pan Macmillan, 9780333520505, $169.00 HC, 9780333964309, $109.00 PB).
Karl Marx, in Capital, focused on capital and the capitalist class that is its embodiment. It is the endless accumulation
of capital, its causes and consequences that are central to Marx's analysis. In taking this approach, Marx tended to
obscure not only the centrality of capital's "immanent drive" and "constant tendency" to divide the working class but
also the political economy of the working class ("social production controlled by social foresight").
In "Between Capitalism and Community", Professor Lebowitz demonstrates that capitalism contains within itself
elements of a different society, one of community. Whereas Marx's intellectual construct of capitalism treats it as an
organic system that reproduces its premises of capital and wage-labor (including a working class that looks upon the
requirements of capital "as self-evident natural laws"), Professor Lebowitz argues that the struggle of workers in
common and activities based upon solidarity point in the direction of the organic system of community, an alternative
system that produces its own premises, communality, and recognition of the needs of others.
If we are to escape the ultimate barbarism portended by the existing crisis of the earth system, the subordination of the
system of capitalism by that of community is essential. Since the interregnum in which capitalism and community
coexist is marked by the interpenetration and mutual deformation of both sides within this whole, however, the path to
community cannot emerge spontaneously but requires a revolutionary party that stresses the development of the
capacities of people through their protagonism.
Critique: An erudite, thoughtful and thought-provoking study of meticulous scholarship, "Beyond Capital: Marx's
Political Economy of the Working Class" must be considered as a core and essential addition to community, college,
and university library Contemporary Economics Theory collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should
be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Between
Capitalism and Community" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781583678862, $24.00).
Editorial Note: Michael Lebowitz is professor emeritus of economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver,
Canada, and the author of several books including The Socialist Imperative, The Contradictions of "Real Socialism,"
and The Socialist Alternative. He was also the Director of Program in Transformative Practice and Human
Development, Centro Internacional Miranda, in Caracas, Venezuela, from 2006-11.
The Travel Shelf
Where Should We Camp Next?
Stephanie Puglisi & Jeremy Puglisi
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781728221694, $18.99, PB, 384pp
Synopsis: With pandemic compelled travel restrictions to visiting other countries, American based outdoor adventure,
glamping ("glamorous camping" in relative luxury), and camping vacations have never been more popular -- and
everyone is looking to discover the best destinations with beautiful scenery and desirable amenities.
A 50-State guide to a wealth of amazing campgrounds and other unique outdoor accommodations, "Where Should We
Camp Next?" by family camping and RV experts Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi make it easy for even the most novice
of travelers to plan the perfect trip. Whether you're a fan of rustic national parks or luxury glamping resorts, the
in-depth profiles of more than 300 amazing outdoor accommodation destinations will help you find the best places to
park your RV, pitch your tent, or kick back in your yurt, treehouse, or cabin.
"Where Should We Camp Next?" is the adventurer's ultimate guide to vacations across the USA and highlights regional
cuisine, must-see attractions, and unforgettable activities. Whether you're planning a family camping trip or a romantic
couple's getaway, "Where Should We Camp Next?" is a travel guide gateway to making memories that will last a life
Critique: Expertly written, organized and organized by states grouped into regions, "Where Should We Camp Next?" is
an ideal and thoroughly 'user friendly' travel guide for itinerary planning. Simply stated, this is one DIY travel guide
that should be a part of any and all personal and community library collections.
Secret Twin Cities
Julie Jo Severson
PO Box 5131, St. Louis, MO 63139
9781681062600, $20.95, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: The Twin Cities metropolitan area invites visitors and locals to revel in nature, art, science, history,
innovation, and with "Secret Twin Cities: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure" as your guide -- quite a bit
of the unexpected. With this DIY trip and event planning guide you will be able to play a musical sidewalk railing,
stand exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, and explore the spot many Dakota people consider to be
the center of the earth.
Deftly woven into delightful narratives by local writer Julie Jo Severson, "Secret Twin Cities" is a veritable treasure
chest of offbeat, extraordinary gems and legacies. Whether you're a local or here for a visit, you'll broaden your Twin
Cities itineraries, bucket lists, and trivia vaults.
Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "Secret Twin Cities: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure" is an ideal
planning guide -- be it for a day trip adventure, a weekend visit, or an extended vacation. While very highly
recommended for community library American Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists
that "Secret Twin Cities" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
David Anthony Witter
PO Box 5131, St. Louis, MO 63139
9781681062563, $20.95, PB, 184pp
Synopsis: Chicago has thrived for almost two hundred years, growing from a backwoods swamp, to a rail and
manufacturing hub, to a light of the new Millennium. While many great structures have been lost or demolished, much
of this history still lives on. Within the pages of Oldest Chicago, get to know the history of the Windy City's most
iconic buildings and the stories that bring their walls to life.
Included are some of the businesses and buildings from the city's inception through the turn of the twentieth century
that are examples of Chicago's living history like The First United Methodist Church (1831); The Old Water Tower
(1859); and Wrigley Field (1916). Amazingly, many others are still run by the same family members whose dedication
has made them not only enduring businesses but living landmarks. These include The Jaeger Funeral Home (1858);
Anderson's Books (1875); and The Italian Village Restaurant (1927) among many others.
Local historian David Anthony Witter brings his love of the city to newly updated and expanded second edition of
"Oldest Chicago" -- an informative guidebook of the city's buildings, neighborhoods, restaurants, businesses and bars.
Of special note are the personal stories of the faces behind the places that continue to give the City of Big Shoulders its
historical, ethnic, and entrepreneurial identity.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, this new second edition of "Oldest Chicago" is a
'must' for anyone wanting to visit what this iconic American city has to offer -- whether you are a newly arrived traveler
or a life-long resident. While highly recommended for community library American Travel Guide collections, it should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Oldest Chicago" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: An author, journalist, teacher, lecturer, and historian, David Anthony Witter has been documenting
Chicago's history and neighborhoods for over thirty years. His books include Oldest Chicago; Chicago Magic, A
History of Stagecraft and Spectacle; and Be-Bop, Swing and Bella Musica. His historical articles and photographs have
appeared in The Chicago Reader, New City, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Living Blues, The Copley
News Syndicate, and many other publications. Witter has also added to his feel and appreciation for Chicago's history
and culture through playing blues at local venues.
The Political Science Shelf
Consequences of Capitalism
Noam Chomsky, author
Marv Waterstone, author
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
9781642594010, $65.00, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: How does politics shape our world, our lives and our perceptions? How much of 'common sense' is actually
driven by the ruling classes' needs and interests? And how are we to challenge the capitalist structures that now threaten
all life on the planet? "Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance" by academicians and
political activists Noam Chomsky and Marv Waterstone exposes the deep, often unseen connections between neoliberal
'common sense' and structural power. In making these linkages, we see how the current hegemony keeps social justice
movements divided and marginalized. And, most importantly, we see how we can fight to overcome these
Critique: As informed and informative as it is exceptionally well organized and presented, "Consequences of
Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance" is an impressively timely and invaluable contribution to our on-
going national discussion of the kinds of economic and equity issues that the current pandemic has both revealed and
showcased. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library
Contemporary Social Issues collections in general, and Labor & Industrial Economic Relations supplemental
curriculum studies lists in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political
activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance" is also readily available in a paperback
edition (9781642592634, $19.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note #1: Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in the
Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Hegemony or Survival,
Failed States, Who Rules the World?, Requiem for the American Dream, and What Kind of Creatures Are We?
Editorial Note #2: Marv Waterstone is Professor Emeritus in the School of Geography and Development at the
University of Arizona, where he has been a faculty member for over 30 years. He is also the former director of the
University of Arizona Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies. His research
and teaching focus on the Gramscian notions of hegemony and common sense, and their connections to social justice
and progressive social change. His most recent books are Wageless Life: A Manifesto for a Future beyond Capitalism
(University of Minnesota Press; co-authored with Ian Shaw) and Geographic Thought: A Praxis Perspective
(Routledge; co-edited with George Henderson).
The Cookbook Shelf
Pancakes Make People Happy
Sharon Collins, Charlotte Collins, Courtney Wade
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
9781578268757, $20.00, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Not just for breakfast anymore, the pancake is the classic comfort food! Just imagining a short-stack of
flapjacks drizzled with maple syrup will bring a smile to anybody's face. But with "Pancakes Make People Happy" they
can be so much more ranging from savory, satisfying brunchtime fare to light, sweet desserts, pancakes are the perfect
food to nourish body and soul.
"Pancakes Make People Happy" features over 75 unique pancake recipes that are as easy to prepare as they are to love,
including: Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes; Jalape¤o Corn Fritter Pancakes; Crispy Risotto Pancake; Monte Cristo
Pancakes; Citrus Mimosa Pancakes; Pancake Muffins; Eggnog Pancakes; Indian Chai Spice Pancakes; Christmas Tree
Stack; Black Forest Pancakes -- and more!
Critique: Each one of the 75 thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes will produce farm-fresh and wholesome fare for
any and all dining occasions. Beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography, "Pancakes Make People
Happy" will be a prized addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It
should be noted that "Pancakes Make People Happy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Automotive Shelf
Ford Inline Six: How to Rebuild & Modify
Matt Cox & Barton Maurer
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613255179, $36.95, PB, 160pp
Synopsis: Covering Ford's small 6-cylinder engine made famous in Falcons, Comets, Mustangs, and many other models
from the 1960s and 1970s, "Ford Inline Six: How to Rebuild & Modify" by car experts Matt Cox and Barton Maurer
has everything anyone needs to know from step-by-step rebuilding instructions to performance parts.
Especially useful for anyone working on their first engine build, every aspect of a complete rebuild is laid out in "Ford
Inline Six: How to Rebuild & Modify". Starting with engine removal, this instructional guide presents all the different
steps, including examination, machine work, reassembly, and reinstallation. Also covered in step-by-step detail is the
setting ring gap, checking valve-to-piston clearance, and even degreasing the camshaft for spot-on valve timing.
Whether it's replacing the undersized and outdated 1-barrel carburetor or the original Load-O-Matic distributor, "Ford
Inline Six: How to Rebuild & Modify" shows how to get the most from the engine that came as original equipment in
literally millions of Ford vehicles. With the information in presented in "Ford Inline Six: How to Rebuild & Modify",
DIY mechanics will learn how to add a 2-barrel carburetor, electronic ignition, and even a header so they can have the
smooth rumble of dual exhaust.
Critique; Essential for anyone wanting to rebuild and modify a Ford inline six with help from the leading performance
builders of these engines, Vintage Inlines, "Ford Inline Six: How to Rebuild & Modify" is a profusely illustrated and
thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY manual and is highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library
Automotive Studies collections.
The Education Shelf
Unpacking the Pyramid Model
Mary Louise Hemmeter, et al.
Brookes Publishing Company
PO Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624
9781681253909, $49.95, PB, 174pp
Synopsis: For more than a decade, the widely used Pyramid Model for Promoting Social Emotional Competence in
Infants and Young Children has been helping early educators use research based practices to boost social emotional
development. Now there is a practical guide that makes it easier than ever to implement this highly effective framework
in preschool classrooms.
Created by the Pyramid Model developers and experts with extensive training experience, "Unpacking the Pyramid
Model: A Practical Guide for Preschool Teachers" is the first instruction guide and manual to provide a comprehensive,
step by step overview of the Pyramid Model for children ages 2 - 5. Early childhood educators will get a complete
overview of the framework, plus in depth guidance, evidence based strategies, and helpful checklists for implementing
all tiers of the Pyramid Model: universal, targeted, and individualized.
Ideal for use in teacher trainings, preservice methods courses, and individual professional development, Unpacking the
Pyramid Model will give current and future educators the foundational skills they need to promote positive behavior
and build all young children's social emotional competence.
Classroom educators will learn how to use the Pyramid Model to: Construct a positive classroom environment that
supports access and engagement for all students; Develop predictable schedules and routines that maximize
participation and learning; Clearly define and teach behavior expectations and rules; Deliver intentional, explicit
instruction in social emotional competence; Support smooth and streamlined transitions that prevent challenging
behavior; Create a culture of friendship and actively teach children friendship skills; Teach children about emotions and
help them develop a feeling vocabulary; Give children the skills they need to solve interpersonal problems
appropriately; Provide individualized support for children with persistent challenging behavior.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Unpacking the Pyramid Model: A Practical
Guide for Preschool Teachers" is especially and unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university
library Preschool Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of daycare center staff, preschool teachers, school administrators, teacher education students, academia,
and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Unpacking the Pyramid Model" is also readily
available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $35.99).
15-Minute STEM Book 2
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781785835070, $22.95, PB, 65pp
Synopsis: Full of engaging and practical ideas, this innovative resource builds on the success of Emily Hunt's
previously published "15-Minute STEM" (9781785833359, $27.95 PB, $17.99 Kindle) and reassures teachers and
parents that they don't need to be experts to deliver high-quality STEM education.
Each of the 40 activities comprising "15-Minute STEM Book 2: More quick, creative science, technology, engineering
and mathematics activities for 5-11-year-olds" includes step-by-step instructions for DIY student projects ranging from
bottle rockets, to Bug Counting, to Earthquake Proofing Buildings, with each one taking just 15 minutes to complete
and can be resourced from everyday materials found in the classroom or at home.
This means that, with minimal preparation, teachers and parents can slot these cross-curricular activities into an
otherwise busy day - simultaneously broadening children's learning and piquing their curiosity about the world around
Accompanying instructions are phrased in a way that encourages the children to lead the learning and exploration, and
opportunities for further investigation are provided in order to broaden the learning focus. Hand-drawn illustrations and
full colour photographs are also included alongside each activity to give an idea of what the end results might look
The activities make connections to real-world scenarios and have been linked to conceptually similar STEM-related
careers -- all of which are individually profiled in a glossary at the back of the book. The practical, problem-solving
element of each activity offers a great way for children to develop important soft skills such as creativity, critical
thinking and spatial awareness.
Critique: Unreservedly recommended as a DIY instructional guide and textbook for classroom curriculums, "15-Minute
STEM Book 2: More quick, creative science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities for 5-11-year-olds" is
a 'must' for school district Science, Math, and Technology Teaching Materials collections.
Editorial Note: Emily Hunt is an experienced primary school teacher with a passion for promoting STEM education.
She regularly writes articles and speaks about STEM, and shares activities and blogs on her website howtostem. Emily
holds a Masters of Education from the University of Cambridge and has also worked within the US education system to
deliver science outreach.
The Art Shelf
My Life as a Potter: Stories and Techniques
9781550179385, $44.95, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: A gorgeous full-colour coffee table book celebrating the art of one of BC's finest potters, "My Life as a
Potter: Stories and Techniques" recounts Mary Fox's long journey to the peak of her craft. Part memoir, part
coming-of-age story, and part handbook for ceramicists, Fox's narrative expresses the passion she feels for her work and
the joy she has found in living the life of a studio potter.
A potter since the early 1970s, Fox is recognized for creating exquisite forms and distinctive textured glazes. She has
shown her works internationally and at galleries across Canada. In this book she shares her plans to leave behind a
legacy of support and mentorship for young artists, in the form of an artist-in-residence program steered by the Mary
Fox Legacy Project Society. Royalties from the sale of "My Life as a Potter: Stories and Techniques" will benefit the
Readers with an interest in the technical aspect of Fox's work will especially appreciate the richly illustrated chapters on
technique and artistic process. "My Life as a Potter: Stories and Techniques" is for anyone who has ever been curious
about the life of a professional potter, anyone hoping to become a potter themselves and anyone who believes that art
has the power to guide us through life's myriad challenges and hardships.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "My Life as a Potter: Stories and Techniques" by Mary Fox
offers fascinating insights into the life, work and career of one of Canada's premier artists in the medium of pottery
making. Impressively informative, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "My Life as a Potter:
Stories and Techniques" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university
library Contemporary Canadian Art collections in general, and Mary Fox supplemental curriculum studies reading lists
The Military Shelf
Al. J. Venter
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781612000701, $32.95, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: A former South African Air Force pilot who saw action throughout the region from the 1970s on, Neall Ellis
is the best-known and still surviving mercenary combat aviator. Apart from flying Alouette helicopter gunships in
Angola, he has fought in the Balkan War (for Islamic forces), tried to resuscitate Mobutu's ailing air force during his
final days ruling the Congo, flew Mi-8s for Executive Outcomes, and thereafter an Mi-8 fondly dubbed 'Bokkie' for
Colonel Tim Spicer in Sierra Leone. Finally, with a pair of aging Mi-24 Hinds, Ellis ran the Air Wing out of Aberdeen
Barracks in the war against Sankoh's vicious RUF rebels.
For the past two years, as a "civilian contractor", Ellis has been flying helicopter support missions in Afghanistan,
where, he reckons, he has had more close shaves than in his entire previous four-decades put together.
Twice, single-handedly (and without a copilot), he turned the enemy back from the gates of Freetown, effectively
preventing the rebels from overrunning Sierra Leone's capital -- once in the middle of the night without the benefit of
night vision goggles. Nellis (as his friends call him) was also the first mercenary to work hand-in-glove with British
ground and air assets in a modern guerrilla war. In Sierra Leone, Ellis's Mi-24 ("it leaked when it rained") played a
seminal role in rescuing the 11 British soldiers who had been taken hostage by the so-called West Side Boys. He also
used his helicopter numerous times to fly SAS personnel on low-level reconnaissance missions into the interior of the
diamond-rich country, for the simple reason that no other pilot knew the country (and the enemy) better than he
"Gunship Ace" author Al Venter accompanied Nellis on some of these missions. He recounts that "Occasionally we
returned to base with holes in our fuselage though once it was self-inflicted: in his enthusiasm during an attack on one
of the towns in the interior, a side-gunner onboard swung his heavy machine-gun a bit too wide and hit one of our drop
tanks. Had it been full at the time, things might have been different." The upshot was that over the course of a year of
military operations, the two former Soviet helicopters operated for the Sierra Leone Air Wing by Nellis and his boys
were patched more often than any other comparable pair of gun ships in Asia, Africa or Latin America. Nellis himself
earned a price on his head: some reports spoke of a $1 million reward dead or alive while others doubled it.
"Gunship Ace: The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot and Mercenary" describes the full career of this storied aerial
warrior, from the bush and jungles of Africa to the forests of the Balkans and the merciless mountains of today's
Afghanistan. Along the way the reader encounters a multiethnic array of enemies ranging from ideological to
cold-blooded to pure evil, as well as well as examples of incredible heroism for hire.
Critique: Reading as dramatically as a finely scripted novel, "Gunship Ace: The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot
and Mercenary" is an impressively blending of biography and military history -- making it certain to be an enduringly
valued and unique addition to community, community and university library Military Aviation History collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of military history buffs and academia that "Gunship Ace" is also readily
available in a paperback edition (9781612009438, $24.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Al J. Venter is a specialist military writer and has had 50 books published. He started his career with
Geneva's Interavia Group, then owners of International Defence Review, to cover military developments in the Middle
East and Africa. Venter has been writing on these and related issues such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, the Middle
East and conflict in general for half a century. He was involved with the Jane's Information Group for more than 30
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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