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A History of the University of Wisconsin System
Patricia A. Brady
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299326401, $49.95, HC, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A tumultuous 1971 merger that combined all of the state's public colleges and
universities into a single entity led to the creation of the University of Wisconsin System.
Drawing on decades of previously unpublished sources, Patricia A. Brady (who is a consultant on
higher education law issues and served as chief legal officer for the University of Wisconsin
System from 2002 to 2010) details the System's full history from its origin to the present,
illuminating complex networks among and within the campuses and an evolving relationship
with the state.
The UW System serves as a powerful case study for how broad, national trends in higher
education take shape on the ground. Brady illustrates the ways culture wars have played out on
campuses and the pressures that have mounted as universities have shifted to a student as
consumer approach. "A History of the University of Wisconsin System" is the essential,
unvarnished story of the unique collection of institutions that serve Wisconsin and the world --
and a convincing argument for why recognizing and reinvesting in the System is critically
important for the economic and civic future of the state and its citizens.
Critique: A seminal study of exhaustive research and meticulous scholarship, "A History of the
University of Wisconsin System" could well serve as a template for other state university system
histories. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a six page Bibliography, forty-six pages f
Notes, and a seventeen page Index, "A History of the University of Wisconsin System" is a
unique and highly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library History
of Education collections in general, and Wisconsin Education History supplemental studies
reading lists in particular.
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
You've Got the Time
9780945531135, $15.00, PB, 279pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ken Wachsberger is an award-winning author/editor/book coach. He is an educator,
member of National Speakers Association and National Writers Union, and renowned expert on
negotiating book contracts.
Whether writing a book for credibility and back-of-the-room sales, to transform your life, or to
simply prove to yourself that you can do it, in his DIY instructional guide and reference manual
Ken's "You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You" guides the aspiring
writer through a step by step process that will result in a complete book success.
With chapters on how to prepare your writing "space"; finding time in a busy lifestyle; labeling
and organizing your digital files; freewriting your way to a table of contents; turning your prose
into poetry; choosing your platforms; getting the word out; negotiating your contract; and
Critique: One of the most 'user friendly' and comprehensive how-to manuals for writer's seeking
publication of their work, "You've Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You"
is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library
Writing/Publishing collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "You've Got the
Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You" is also readily available in an inexpensive
digital book format (Kindle, $3.99). Simply stated, if it is your ambition to create the next great
American novel and secure your place in literary history (or just to have your own work
published and secure as wide a readership as possible for it), then "You've Got the Time: How to
Write and Publish That Book in You" should be a part of your personal and professional
The Jobs/Career Shelf
Empower Yourself for an Amazing Career
Blanca De La Rosa
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781452537979, $30.95, HC, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Empower Yourself for an Amazing Career", Blanca De La Rosa draws upon her
years of experience and expertise to detail and share what she has learned after thirty-four years
in the corporate environment for readers who want to get their career back on track, empower
themselves so that they can create an amazing career.
Empowering yourself and using a holistic approach will help distinguish you from the
competition and demonstrate to your organization how you can positively impact the bottom
"Empower Yourself for an Amazing Career" contains a wealth of information about personal
career mistakes and is invaluable to anyone that dreams of building a successful career and
incorporates personal stories and strategies for overcoming adversity in the workplace. The
reader will discover how to assess the journey of their career, how to manage a bad manager,
how to deal with career failure, and how to develop a career road map with uplifting and
inspiring advice. "Empower Yourself For An Amazing Career" offers a fresh approach on
climbing the corporate ladder by combining practical, commonsense advice with inner wisdom
and providing strategies to increase the chances of success in the workplace.
"Empower Yourself For An Amazing Career" is specifically recommended for anyone who feels
they cannot climb the corporate ladder, or whose must deal with an unsympathetic boss,
competitive coworkers, and jealous peers, whose career has turned into a just another job, or who
find themselves sitting and wondering what ever happened to their career, or how, where and
when did they go off track, and most especially, for those wondering how do they revive their
career after it has derailed?
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Empower Yourself For An Amazing
Career" is a practical, informative, thought-provoking, and highly recommended addition to
personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Empower Yourself For An Amazing Career" is also readily available in a paperback
edition (9781452537573, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Biography Shelf
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
9780807035320, $28.95, HC, 264pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Odetta Holmes (December 31, 1930 - December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an
American singer, actress, guitarist, lyricist, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to
as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consisted largely of
American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music
revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she influenced many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that
time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. (Wikipedia)
Odetta channeled her anger and despair into some of the most powerful folk music the world has
ever heard. Through her lyrics and iconic persona, Odetta made lasting political, social, and
But Odetta's importance extends far beyond music. In "Odetta: A Life In Music And Protest",
journalist Ian Zack follows Odetta from her beginnings in deeply segregated Birmingham,
Alabama, to stardom in San Francisco and New York. Odetta used her fame to bring attention to
the civil rights movement, working alongside Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and other artists. Her
opera-trained voice echoed at the 1963 March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery
march, and she arranged a tour throughout the deeply segregated South. Her "Freedom Trilogy"
songs became rallying cries for protesters everywhere.
Through interviews with Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, and many
others, "Odetta: A Life In Music And Protest" brings Odetta back into the public's attention,
reminding the world of the folk music that powered the civil rights movement and continues to
influence generations of musicians today.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and thought-provoking biography, "Odetta: A Life In Music
And Protest" is a fitting memorial that will prove to be a welcome and lastingly popular addition
to personal, community, college, and university library American Biography, Black History, and
American Folk Music collections. It should be be noted for the personal reading lists of the
legions of Odetta fans that "Odetta: A Life In Music And Protest" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).
Whatever Happened to Barry Chambers?
Book Guild Publishing Ltd.
9781912881550, 10.99 British Pounds ($9.76 Amazon.com), 262pp
Synopsis: In 1944, when only four, Barry Chambers Kay was left at The King's (The Cathedral)
School Boarding House in Peterborough. His mother had discovered her husband is a bigamist.
Beautiful but manipulative, Barry's mother makes a new life for herself, eventually in London,
becoming a successful fashion designer. She gets married again, this time to a Jewish business
man -- and pretends that she and her son are Jewish.
Barry is brought up as an Anglican meanwhile and has to cope with loneliness, bullying, a sexual
predator at school, his loveable rogue of a step-father and his mother's erratic behavior. Barry
becomes confused about his identity and as he grows older is attracted to the wrong set.
Eventually Barry removes his mother from his life and goes on to become a doctor -- and then a
Professor of Medicine.
Critique: "Whatever Happened to Barry Chambers?" is an impressively candid, emotionally
compelling, fully engaging, and inherently fascinating memoir. Exceptionally well written with
all the narrative driven traits of a novel, "Whatever Happened to Barry Chambers?" is an
especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library
Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Whatever Happened to
Barry Chambers?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Moments of Glad Grace: A Memoir
9781770415133, $17.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Alison's story begins as a trip from Canada to Ireland in search of genealogical data
and documents. Being 80 and in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease, Joe invites his daughter
Alison to come along as his research assistant, which might have worked very well had she any
interest (any at all) in genealogy.
Very quickly, the father-daughter pilgrimage becomes more comical than fruitful, more of a
bittersweet adventure than a studious mission. And rather than rigorous genealogy, their
explorations move into the realm of family and forgiveness, the primal search for identity and
belonging, and questions about responsibility to our ancestors and the extent to which we are
shaped by the people who came before us.
Though continually bursting with humor, "Moments of Glad Grace" ultimately becomes a tribute
of appreciation for the precious and limited time we have with our parents, the small moments
we share, and the gifts of transcendence we might find there.
Critique: A emotionally moving, engagingly witty, fully entertaining and impressively
memorable memoir of aging, familial love, and the hunt for roots and belonging, "Moments of
Glad Grace" by Alison Wearing is especially and unreservedly recommended for both
community and academic library Contemporary Biography collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Moments of Glad Grace" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Alison Wearing is the author of "Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter", which is an
Indigo Top 50 pick that was short listed for the Edna Staebler Prize and long listed for the RBC
Taylor Prize, and "Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey". Alison also teaches, performs
solo multimedia plays, and leads writing workshops internationally.
The Genealogy Shelf
New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806359083, $25.00, PB, 122pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy " by Brian Mitchell is one of the most complete
and informative books on genealogical research in Ireland ever written. Because genealogists
now have ready access online to most of Irish record sources, Brian Mitchell has completely
revised his guide to meet the needs of today's researchers and direct them to the most current
websites and resources.
The examination of seven major records will throw quite detailed light on most peoples' Irish
ancestry and by skillfully blending Irish history, record sources, case studies, maps, charts, and
his own mastery of the subject, Mitchell has put together a masterful handbook to Irish
Following introductory chapters on the background of Irish genealogy and how to get started in
your research, Mitchell describes the nature and uses of all significant record sources in Ireland,
including but not limited to civil and parish registers, gravestone inscriptions, wills, census
returns and census substitutes, the Griffith's Valuation, tithe books, newspapers, hearth money
rolls, the registry of deeds, estate records, and ordnance survey memoirs.
Also included are the addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and websites for the major
record repositories, as well as a section discussing DNA and genetic genealogy as applicable to
Irish genealogy research. Mitchell concludes with itemizing the three steps researchers should
take first, and then including case studies to illustrate how to apply these steps.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy" an
ideal instructional guide and reference for anyone seeking to do genealogical research with
respect to their Irish ancestors and is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal,
professional, community, and academic library Genealogy Research Studies collections and
supplemental curriculum reading lists.
The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
The World Of TwoMorrows
John Morrow & Jon B. Cooke, editors
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490922, $37.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1994, amidst the boom-&-bust of comic book speculators, The Jack Kirby Collector
#1 was published for true fans of the medium. That modest labor of love spawned TwoMorrows
Publishing, today's premier purveyor of publications about comics and pop culture. Now
dedicated fans can celebrate their 25th anniversary with "The World Of TwoMorrows:
Celebrating 25 Years of the Future of Fandom", a special retrospective look at the company that
changed comic book fandom forever!
Co-edited by and featuring publisher John Morrow and Comic Book Artist/Comic Book Creator
magazine's Jon B. Cooke, "The World Of TwoMorrows" gives the inside story and
behind-the-scenes details of a quarter-century of looking at the past in a whole new way. Also
included are Back Issue magazine's Michael Eury, Alter Ego's Roy Thomas, George Khoury
(author of Kimota!, Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, and other books), Mike Manley (Draw!
magazine), Eric Nolen-Weathington (Modern Masters), and a host of other comics luminaries
who've contributed to TwoMorrows' output over the years.
From their Eisner Award-winning Streetwise book, through their BrickJournal Lego magazine,
up to today's RetroFan magazine, every major TwoMorrows publication and contributor is
covered with the same detail and affection the company gives to its books and magazines.
The World Of TwoMorrows" also features an Introduction by Mark Evanier, a Foreword by Alex
Ross, an Afterword by Paul Levitz, and a new cover by Tom McWeeney!
Critique: An absolute 'must have' for all dedicated comic book fans and collectors, "The World
Of TwoMorrows: Celebrating 25 Years of the Future of Fandom" is a profusely illustrated and
impressively informative history that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular
addition to personal, community, college, and university library Literary Comics/Graphic Novels
History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
The Music CD Shelf
Jim Robitaille Trio
Whaling City Sound
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
Space Cycles is a unique and extraordinary jazz album, that ventures beyond conventional
boundaries. Seven original songs and three covers comprise this wondrously varied collection,
with jazz songs that range in nature from ballads, to funk, to sweet and soft. Space Cycles is
enthusiastically recommended especially for jazz connoisseurs, and also makes an excellent gift.
The tracks are Natural Selection; Transitions; When We Passed; Space Cycles; Baubles, Bangles,
and Beads; February 12th; Nocturne; Never Never Land; Here, There and Everywhere; and
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
Sonoran Odyssey is a new age instrumental album inspired by the breathtaking desert of
Southern Arizona, home to composer Paul Speer. The electronic sounds beautifully reflect
shifting phases of the natural world, in this extraordinary, immersive collection. Highly
recommended, especially for connoisseurs of inspirational ambience. The tracks are Sunrise;
Monsoon (Thunder); Moonrise (Full Mix); Moonrise (Demo Feat. Neptune); Monsoon (No
Thunder); Moonrise (Guitar Mix); Moonrise (Ambient Mix); Behind the Waterfall (2020);
Venus Rising; and Jupiter Via NASA.
Healing Sound Project 1:1
Sarah Jane Hargis
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Healing Sound Project 1:1 is an ambient, new age album created especially to promote relaxation
and an environment conducive to activities such as yoga, meditation, and the healing arts. A
peaceful, wistful soundscape featuring flute, harp, and electronics, Healing Sound Project 1:1 is a
treasure for connoisseurs of the genre. Highly recommended! The tracks are Exhale into the
Abyss I; Exhale into the Abyss II; Grounding I; Grounding II; Presence I; Presence II; Mixo I;
Mixo II; Inner Sight I; Inner Sight II; Pause I; and Pause II.
The DVD Shelf
Balthazar, series 1
c/o RLJ Entertainment
Balthazar, series 1 is a French-language crime drama with English subtitles following the
deductions of a highly intelligent, strikingly debonair, yet inconsistently eccentric forensic
pathologist. Raphael Balthazar (played by Tomer Sisley, also known for his role in "We're the
Millers") works with Chief Inspector Helene Bach (played by Helene de Fougerolles) to solve
disturbing murders, yet he remains haunted by the knowledge that the person who murdered his
wife twelve years ago could still be at large. An intense, profound mystery series with streak of
both dark humor and tragic heartbreak, Balthazar is highly recommended for connoisseurs of the
genre. 6 episodes on 2 discs, 342 min., not rated.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Earth Spirit Dreaming
Elizabeth E. Meacham
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620559871, $16.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A guide to co-creating a healing vision for humanity and the Earth through
nature-connected shamanic rituals, "Earth Spirit Dreaming" by Elizabeth E. Meacham explains
the Earth Spirit Dreaming process for rebirthing inherent shamanic abilities with dozens of
practices in three categories: Earth-connecting practices, Spirit-connecting practices, and
"Earth Spirit Dreaming" also provides the metaphysical student with experiential exercises to
foster interactions with the intelligences and elemental energies of nature and the Spirit realm,
realign you with the rhythms and flow of life, and co-create a healing dream for humanity and all
of life on our planet.
Of special note are the step-by-step directions in "Earth Spirit Dreaming" for connecting with the
light guides of the planet for guidance and healing.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented, "Earth Spirit Dreaming" is an
extraordinarily informative and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and
academic library Shamanic and Gaia-based collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It
should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
Editorial Note: Elizabeth Meachamis is an environmental philosopher, teacher, healer, spiritual
mentor, and musician. She is also the founder and co-director of the Lake Erie Institute for
Holistic Environmental Education. Her workshops and training courses offer initiatory
experiences that reflect her long-term engagement as a student of the Earth and Cosmos.
Hieroglyphic Words of Power
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781591433767, $20.00, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In metaphysical studies it is recognized that words are magic. They operate on many
levels through both sound and symbol. Egyptian priests understood that language and thought
could create realities if the exact words are uttered at the right time, properly intoned, and filled
with intention. They called their magical language of hieroglyphic symbols 'medju neter',
meaning "the Word of God."
These symbols were said to have been created by Isis and Thoth and were presided over by the
goddess Seshet, keeper of the Akashic records. Through their chant lines and repetitions, sound
vibrations, and hypnotically recurring images, hieroglyphs, such as those found inside the
pyramids, were intended to activate a trancelike state that allowed the individual to ascend into
the heavens and thus, riding on this incantatory language, converse with the ancestors and the
"Hieroglyphic Words of Power" is a detailed guide, in which Normandi Ellis explores how to use
hieroglyphs as words of power for manifesting ideas into the material world as well as how to
utilize them in magic, meditation, divination, and dream work. She offers a deep look at the
many layers of meaning contained within 60 important hieroglyphs, breaking down the elements
within each symbol and explaining the myths behind them, the gods and goddesses they are
connected to, their initiatory significance, and their oracular and dream meanings. She also shares
guidelines for interpreting hieroglyphs so readers will be able to come to their own
understandings about the secrets they hold.
Providing instructions for creating the readers own hieroglyph cards, amulets, and other
magically empowered objects, Ellis offers practices and strategies to use them, with detailed
explanations for the historical, magical, practical, and symbolic reasons why each method is
effective. She also offers several layouts and card spreads for divination readings based on
Egyptian myth, numerology, and astrology. Revealing the depth of meaning behind each of these
powerful ancient symbols, "Hieroglyphic Words of Power" shows that we can still harness their
millennia-old magic today.
Critique: An extraordinary and impressively informative study, "Hieroglyphic Words of Power"
is an outstanding and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community,
and academic library Metaphysical Studies collection in general, and Occult/Taro/New Age
Mysticism supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students of symbolic
magic, divination and dreamwork that "Hieroglyphic Words of Power" is also readily available in
a digital book format (eTextbook, $13.99).
9781646114047, $16.99, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Herbal magic is a powerful method of inviting protection, love, health, and wealth into
your life -- it can even aid metaphysical practitioner in finding guidance through divination.
Perfect for fresh and seasoned herbalists alike, "Herb Magic: An Introduction to Magical
Herbalism and Spells" is a thoroughly 'user friendly guide to magical herbalism that introduces
the spiritual side of herbs and how to use them in folkloric spells and rituals.
"Herb Magic: An Introduction to Magical Herbalism and Spells" provides an informed and
informative overview of this old-world magic belief system, including advice on the best time to
practice, building an altar, and setting intentions. Readers will also learn about the healing
properties of dozens of sacred herbs, how to unlock their power, and magical uses before
exploring 75 easy-to-follow spells and rituals, including simplified magic for the witch on the
Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Herb Magic: An Introduction to Magical Herbalism
and Spells" is a complete and comprehensive course of instruction combined with an informative
perspective that will be enduringly valued and appreciated by students and practitioners of magic.
While especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library
Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted that "Herb Magic: An Introduction to
Magical Herbalism and Spells" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Patti Wigington is an educator, workshop facilitator, licensed Pagan clergy, and
the founder of Clan of the Stone Circle. She is also the editor of the Paganism & Wicca pages on
the website www.LearnReligions.com. She also maintains a website about paganism at
The Magical Writing Grimoire
Lisa Marie Basile
Fair Winds Press
Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781592339341, $21.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Part guided journaling practice, part magical grimoire, "The Magical Writing
Grimoire: Use the Word as Your Wand for Magic, Manifestation & Ritual" by Lisa Marie
Basile explores the transformative power of ritual and writing, showing how to incorporate
writing as a magical tool to live a ritualistic life, create healing, manifest visions, set intentions,
and amplify spell-casting.
"The Magical Writing Grimoire" approaches writing as an inclusive, adaptable, and spiritual act.
The reader will learn how to combine writing with ritual and magic for self-discovery, shadow
work, setting intentions, living mindfully, manifestation, and healing or releasing. The reader will
also be guided in how to create a personal grimoire -- a magical book of rituals, musings, ideas,
spells, and intentions.
Each individual chapter contains rituals alongside writing prompts and poetic wisdom. The
reader will learn how to create and/or engage in shadow work, archetypes, nature, bibliomancy,
dreams, automatic writing, moon phase journaling and candle magic.
During times of chaos or pain writing can help. Healers, therapists, and magical practitioners
have long incorporated writing in their practices.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "The Magical Writing Grimoire: Use the
Word as Your Wand for Magic, Manifestation & Ritual" is a unique and thoroughly 'user
friendly' instructional guide and manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections. An
impressively informed and informative compendium of DIY instruction in the art and craft of
magical writing, it should be noted that "The Magical Writing Grimoire: Use the Word as Your
Wand for Magic, Manifestation & Ritual" is also readily available in a digital book format
The General Fiction Shelf
In Dante's Footsteps: My Journey to Hell
Christian Faith Publishing
832 Park Avenue, Meadville, PA 16335
9781642993547, $38.95, HC, 652pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "In Dante's Footsteps: My Journey to Hell" by Charles Patterson is a modern divine
comedy that is essentially based upon the original Divine Comedy that Dante wrote some 700
years ago, telling the story of Tom Reed and how his early interest in Dante inspired him to make
his own viaggio (journey) to the Underworld.
After describing Tom's church upbringing and his joining, then leaving the church, the story
continues in the Underworld (a.k.a. Hell) with a cast of characters Dante never could have
imagined: Tanya, the CEO; Umberto, the Guest Master; Rachel, a young Dante scholar from
Berkeley; visitors from China, India, Kenya, and Germany; and famous people in history woken
up from the Big Nap for a "Great Minds and Personalities" conference attended by such greats as
Socrates, Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Einstein, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Groucho Marx.
Tom also visits his father who's in a "Purgatory precinct" and talks to Hashem, his "wife" Naomi,
and somebody called Satan who wears a cowboy hat and walks with a swagger.
The climax of Tom's viaggio is his visit to the Crusaders who used to be in charge because he
wants to include them in the book he plans to write that could make him the next Dante.
However, because the Crusaders disapprove of his being a "defrocked priest," when he arrives,
they withdraw their invitation and put him on trial.
After he survives his ordeal with the help of Wanda (an ex-nun), members of GETA (Ghosts for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and Dante himself, Tom is taken to the exit and resurfaces in
New Jersey where Beatrice, his college girlfriend with whom he's back in contact, is waiting for
him. Dante had his Beatrice (one of the great love stories of world literature), so why shouldn't
Tom have his?
Critique: Impressively original, inherently fascinating, deftly written, and certain to be an
immediate and enduringly valued addition to both community and academic library
Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "In
Dante's Footsteps: My Journey to Hell" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a
paperback edition (9781642992618, $25.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: A member of PEN, The Authors Guild, and the National Writers Union, Charles
Patterson is a social historian, Holocaust educator, editor, and therapist. He is the author of
Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (now in 16 languages). He is
also the author of Anti-Semitism: The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond, The Oxford 50th
Anniversary Book of the United Nations, The Civil Rights Movement, and From Buchenwald to
Carnegie Hall (co-authored with Holocaust survivor Marian Filar).
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062877215, $15.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Quinn Barrett's son refuses to wear his hand-crafted costume to the Little
Wonders Preschool Happy Halloween Parade and Dance Party she loses it -- complete with
stomping, screaming, and costume-destruction galore. Not her best day. And caught on viral
video. Yep, "Halloween Mom" is now internet famous around the world!
The posting culprit: tattooed, blue-haired, west-coast transplant Daisy McGulch, out of place in
the posh New England town and unable to blend with the other perfect mommies of Little
While she couldn't care less about organic snacks (paleo-preferred) or the winter quarters of the
Little Wonders chickens, she's not about to admit she's the one who accidently brought Quinn's
worst moment to the entire world - she'd be kicked out of town!
But when Quinn and Daisy find themselves unlikely cohorts in the fight for Little Wonders
Parents Association supremacy, they also discover they have more in common than they
expected... but the internet is forever. Can Quinn live down her new reputation? And how far
will Daisy go to keep the truth from coming to light?
Hilarious, clever, and unforgettable, Little Wonders offers a glimpse into the high-pressure world
of modern momming, with natural toys, scrutinized playdates, PTA politics, and social media
Critique: Fun and funny while showcasing the drawbacks to playdates, the PTA, and the
unintended consequences of a social media driven world, "Little Wonders" by Kate Rorick novel
for our times and one that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to
community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Little Wonders" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094117133,
Man of My Time
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
175 Varick Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10014
9780374110062, $27.00, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Set in Iran and New York City, "Man of My Time" by Dalia Sofer tells the story of
Hamid Mozaffarian, who is as alienated from himself as he is from the world around him. After
decades of ambivalent work as an interrogator with the Iranian regime, Hamid travels on a
diplomatic mission to New York, where he encounters his estranged family and retrieves the
ashes of his father, whose dying wish was to be buried in Iran.
Tucked in his pocket throughout the trip, the ashes propel him into a first-person excavation (full
of mordant wit and bitter memory) of a lifetime of betrayal, and prompt him to trace his own
evolution from a perceptive boy in love with marbles to a man who, on seeing his own reflection,
is startled to encounter someone he no longer recognizes. As he reconnects with his brother and
others living in exile, Hamid is forced to reckon with his past, with the insidious nature of
violence, and with his entrenchment in a system that for decades ensnared him.
Critique: A deftly crafted and inherently engaging novel by an author with a genuine flair for
originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling that deftly threads together interlacing
elements of the human condition with compelling insights into the human condition, "Man of My
Time" is an extraordinary and unreservedly compelling addition to both community and
academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Man of My Time" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781690588566,
PO Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209
9781610885096, $26.95, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Joe has a successful government position working with a state senator in Pennsylvania,
Nicole and her family enjoy their life on their rural campgrounds, and the two seem headed
towards romance and possible marriage. But Nicole's very way of life is threatened when the
government takes over her father's property for fracking, stealing away the life her family has
known for years.
Responding to this tragedy, Nicole finds her personal relationships strained, even the one with
Joe. What will she do? As Joe weighs his career goals against his personal morals and individual
aspirations, he's left with this fundamental question: Does he put his job above everything else,
or risk a total professional loss for Nicole's sake?
Critique: A pitch-perfect novel of a challenged and challenging human relationship in
contemporary times, "Bountiful Calling" by Fred Burton is a deftly crafted and impressively
engaging story by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a distinctive kind of narrative
driven and entertaining storytelling style. While especially and unreservedly recommended for
community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Bountiful Calling" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Sunrise on Half Moon Bay
195 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9780778310099, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already
an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other, but they don't really know each
When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful
lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time, but now that their parents
are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.
Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver
and doesn't know how to live for herself. And Justine's success has come at a price. Her marriage
is falling apart despite her best efforts.
Neither woman knows how to start life over, but both realize they can and must support each
other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and
overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for
Critique: Robyn Carr is one of the most gifted authors writing today and in her latest novel,
"Sunrise On Half Moon Bay" she sets her inherently engaging story in a coastal town as the
setting for exploring 'the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change'. While fully
endorsed for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for
the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Robyn Carr fans that "Sunrise On Half Moon
Bay" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780778309482, $16.99), in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9781094098715, $34.99, CD).
Springtime at Hope Hall
Lion Hudson Limited
9781782642855, $12.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: There's never a dull moment at Hope Hall, as its rooms are filled throughout the day
with gossipy grandmas, body-popping teenagers, temperamental dancing teachers, a choir
without one decent singer to their name, knitters who natter, caterers who bake glorious cakes,
slimmers nibbling chocolate, and a nursery group where it's the grown-ups who are near to
But it's all in a day's work for administrator, Kath, whose job it is to make sure Hope Hall offers
something for everyone! Mind you, she can see that some key members of her team are
struggling - like caretaker Trevor, who is nursing his beloved wife who has cancer, and Maggie,
their wonderful cook, whose husband of twenty-five years has just left her for a woman half her
As the team works to pull off their ambitious Hope Hall Centenary Easter Monday Fayre, Kath
realizes reinforcements are needed. Brash, loud and inexperienced though she may be, Kath has a
feeling that Shirley might be just the ticket! The Fayre is a triumph but when Kath's old flame
comes back on the scene, she suddenly has some tough choices to make...
Critique: The debut novel for a charmingly entertaining new trilogy by Pam Rhodes, "Springtime
at Hope Hall" is centered on a Victorian church hall in an English town. Certain to be an
enduringly favorite addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Springtime at Hope Hall" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781982124106, $27.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For the crime of stealing bread, fourteen-year-old May receives a life sentence: she
must become a Sin Eater -- a shunned woman, brutally marked, whose fate is to hear the final
confessions of the dying, eat ritual foods symbolizing their sins as a funeral rite, and thereby
shoulder their transgressions to grant their souls access to heaven.
Orphaned and friendless, apprenticed to an older Sin Eater who cannot speak to her, May must
make her way in a dangerous and cruel world she barely understands. When a deer heart appears
on the coffin of a royal governess who did not confess to the dreadful sin it represents, the older
Sin Eater refuses to eat it. She is taken to prison, tortured, and killed. To avenge her death, May
must find out who placed the deer heart on the coffin and why.
Critique: An expertly written novel with commendable attention to historical detail combined
with a genuine flair for originality and a distinct talent for narrative driven storytelling, "Sin
Eater" by Megan Campisi is a simply riveting read from cover to cover and will prove to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sin Eater" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $7.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9781797102153, $39.99, CD).
The King of Nothing Much
Jesse Edward Johnson
Paul Dry Books
1700 Sansom Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5214
9781589881440, $12.95, PB, 135pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Weldon Tines, 41, is a stay-at-home dad who has outlived his usefulness in the role.
The twins (Danny and Reese) have just started kindergarten, his older daughter Presley wants
nothing to do with him, and his wife Deb makes enough money for the family to live on. Newly
rudderless, Weldon struggles to understand his purpose on this earth. Who is it that can tell him
who he is?
When Weldon slides gleefully down an inflatable slide at a child's birthday party, only to come
crashing into the birthday boy, he thinks he's just made a mistake that will lead only to hassle and
headache. Instead, it kick-starts a quest for personal discovery that culminates in a dramatic
flourishing of Weldon's deep-seated heroism.
Critique: A deftly penned and original novella about the changing role of a father in a time of
transition away from patriarchy and a culture of toxic masculinity, "The King of Nothing Much"
by Jesse Edward Johnson is an inherently interesting and thought-provoking read. While highly
recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The King of Nothing Much" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.95).
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
St. Martin's Press
9781250314994, $7.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Fleeing to the Highlands after her father's murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a
score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained
to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain's hold on Scotland, she swears to
avenge her father's death -- until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as
she is presents her with a hard choice... and a bittersweet temptation.
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan -- and he has
the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as
striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take
time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom
for his people... and Morrigan's hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand
down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last... forever?
Critique: Another inherently engaging 'Royal Highlander' novel by May McGoldrick, "Highland
Sword" is a deftly crafted and immensely entertaining story by a true and accomplished master of
the historical romance genre. A thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end, "Highland
Sword" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and
community library Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of
May McGoldrick fans that "Highland Sword" is also readily available in a digital book format
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800737825, $29.99, HC, 343pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: First-grade teacher Holly Miller enjoys a quiet, low-profile life in Hope Harbor -- but
all of that changes when she must advocate for a cause dear to her heart and finds herself on the
opposite side of the issue from a take-charge ex-Delta Force operator turned fisherman who
complicates her mission and threatens to steal her heart!
Critique: A pitch-perfect contemporary romance novel by a gifted author who is a complete
master of the genre, "Starfish Pier" by Irene Hannon will prove to be an especially welcome and
enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of all dedicated Romance Fiction fans that "Starfish Pier" is also readily available in
a paperback edition (9780800736149, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
On a Coastal Breeze
Suzanne Woods Fisher
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800738648, $29.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For Madison Grayson, life is good. Newly licensed as a marriage and family therapist,
she can't wait to start her practice. Despite the unfortunate shortage of eligible bachelors on the
island (they're all too young, too old, or too weird) Maddie feels like she's finally found her sweet
spot. Not even one panic attack in the last year. Not one.
And then Ricky O'Shea drops in. Literally. Floating down from the pure blue sky, the one man in
the world she hoped never to see again parachutes into town. The one who'd been her
archnemesis from kindergarten through her senior dance, landing on Boon Dock, canopy draping
behind him like a superhero. Ricky O'Shea. Now Pastor Rick, the new minister on Three Sisters
It's time to panic!
Critique: A lively, witty, and charmingly entertaining read from cover to cover, "On A Coastal
Breeze" is the newest addition to author Suzanne Woods Fisher's 'Three Sisters Island' series in
an original story of 'family, forgiveness, and a second chance at love'. While especially
recommended for community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "On A Coastal Breeze" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9780800734992, $15.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Western Fiction Shelf
Grasshoppers in Summer
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432868888, $25.95, HC, 339pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "They came from the land of the Great Father, as many as grasshoppers in summer.
With them the spirits of the people were driven from the land."
In "Grasshoppers in Summer", novelist Paul Colt tells the epic story of the making and breaking
the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 as seen through the eyes of opposing political, military, and
tribal leaders. Relentless fraud, corruption, and cultural and political pressures frustrated
President Grant's effort to reform Indian policy. A conspiracy of military, railroad, and mining
interests destroyed the Fort Laramie Treaty, leading to the drumbeat of war. The plains tribes' last
great victory at Greasy Grass would win the bitter spoils of total defeat.
Critique: A skillfully crafted work of historical fiction, author Paul Colt impressively adheres to a
factual background and framework for his western novel "Grasshoppers in Summer". An
splendidly entertain read from cover to cover, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to
community library Western Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of
all dedicated western buffs that "Grasshoppers in Summer" is also readily available as a complete
and unabridged audio book (Books in Motion, 9781605480329, $25.95, MP3 CD).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The Other Mrs.
Park Row Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
9780778369110, $26.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to
small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder
rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.
But it's not just Morgan's death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward
the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark
and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the
more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.
Critique: Soon to be a Netflix movie, "The Other Mrs." is a deftly crafted suspense thriller by
Mary Kubica -- an author with a very effective and narrative driven storytelling style that has
resulted in a compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. While unreservedly
recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The Other Mrs." is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094097886, $39.99, CD).
Hard Cash Valley
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250206923, $26.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Dane Kirby is a broken man and no stranger to tragedy. As a life-long resident and
ex-arson investigator for McFalls County, Dane has lived his life in one of the most chaotic and
crime-ridden regions of the south. When he gets called in to consult on a brutal murder in a
Jacksonville, Florida, motel room, he and his FBI counterpart, Special Agent Roselita Velasquez,
begin an investigation that leads them back to the criminal circles of his own backyard.
Arnie Blackwell's murder in Jacksonville is only the beginning -- and Dane and Roselita seem to
be one step behind. For someone is hacking a bloody trail throughout the Southeast looking for
Arnie's younger brother, a boy with Asperger's Syndrome who possesses an unusual skill with
numbers that could make a lot of money and that has already gotten a lot of people killed -- and
has even more of the deadliest people alive willing to do anything it takes to exploit him.
As Dane joins in the hunt to find the boy, it swiftly becomes a race against the clock that has
Dane entangled in a web of secrets involving everyone from the Filipino Mafia to distrusting
federal agents to some of hardest southern outlaws he's ever known.
Critique: A superbly crafted example of 'southern noir', "Hard Cash Valley" by Brian Panowich
aptly demonstrates the kind of deftly presented narrative storytelling style that will hold the
reader's riveting attention from cover to cover. While especially recommended for community
library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Hard Cash Valley" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250261199,
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future: Volume 36
David Farland, editor
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200, Hollywood, CA 90028
9781619866591, $15.95, PB, 450pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in its 36th year, "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future: Bestselling
Anthology of Award-Winning Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories" is an annual
compendium showcasing the top science fiction writers and illustrators of the future.
Knowledgely compiled and expertly edited by David Farland, "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers
of the Future: Volume 36" is a consistently impressive anthology of new creative talents chosen
by some of today's best nown science fiction and fantasy authors and celebrated artists that
include Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Larry Elmore, Brandon Sanderson, Dan dos
Santos, and Robert J. Sawyer.
In addition to bonus short stories by Katherine Kurtz, Jody Lynn Nye, and Nnedi Okorafor, this
outstanding edition also features art and writing tips by Echo Chernik, Mike Perkins, and Sean
Critique: An inherently interesting and impressively entertaining volume that is quite literally the
'Best of the Best' in the current field of Science Fiction & Fantasy, "L. Ron Hubbard Presents
Writers of the Future: Volume 36" is an especially and unreservedly recommended for personal,
community, and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "L.
Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future: Volume 36" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Christian Studies Shelf
What to Say and How to Say It
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9781594719592, $16.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "What to Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and
Confidence" is straightforward and practical resource, in which Brandon Vogt (author, blogger,
and speaker who also serves as content director for Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire
Catholic Ministries) offers essential tools for articulating even the most contentious aspects of
their Catholic faith with clarity and confidence for the benefit and use of anyone who has ever
been put on the spot and asked to explain or defend Catholic teaching on sensitive topics such as
abortion, same-sex marriage, or the Eucharist?
"What to Say and How to Say It" is based on the content of Brandon Vogt's ClaritasU -- an
online community which helps Catholics to understand the Church's teachings on critical topics,
to anticipate the common objections to those issues, and to know how to respond in a calm, clear,
and persuasive way.
Vogt gives readers the tools to calmly and intelligently discuss these topics, which dip into the
Church's moral, theological, and philosophical teachings. "What to Say and How to Say It"
provides straightforward, memorable talking points for explaining Catholic teaching in the areas
of: atheism, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, abortion, the Eucharist, the problem of
suffering, the veracity of the gospels.
Each chapter offers an overview of the topic and a clear explanation of what the Church teaches.
Then the reader will learn about the most common contemporary arguments against the Church's
teachings followed by step-by-step instructions for responding intelligently and confidently.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "What to
Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and Confidence" is confidently
and unreservedly recommended to the attention of seminary students, clergy, and all other
members of the Roman Catholic community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"What to Say and How to Say It: Discuss Your Catholic Faith with Clarity and Confidence" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Why Do We Suffer and Where Is God When We Do?
Valerie G. Rempel
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
9781513805672, $12.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cancer, hurricanes, hunger, suicide, and the current pandemic crisis -- suffering
presents the most profound challenge to faith that many people will face in their lives.
In the pages of "Why Do We Suffer and Where Is God When We Do?", Valerie G. Rempel leads
her readers into a gentle meditation on the many questions surrounding why we suffer. How can
God be all-loving and all-powerful? Why don't prayers seem to work? Is pain always
redemptive? And what do the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus reveal about suffering? We
may not find answers to all our questions, but we can lean into the God big enough to absorb all
Critique: Part of 'The Jesus Way: Small Books of Radical Faith' that delves into big questions
about God's work in the world. "Why Do We Suffer and Where Is God When We Do?" is a
concise, practical books that is deeply rooted in Anabaptist theology for the purpose of helps men
and women to deepen their faith in Christ and enliven their witness. Very highly recommended to
the attention of all members of the Christian community, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Why Do We Suffer and Where Is God When We Do?" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
Tracks of a Fellow Struggler
John R. Claypool
Church Publishing Incorporated
9781640653115, $12.34, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The late John R. Claypool had been a pastor for almost two decades, ministering to
others who suffered through the loss of loved ones, when the loss came home in the death of his
eight-year-old daughter, Laura Lue.
"Tracks of a Fellow Struggler: Living and Growing Through Grief" is the deeply personal story
of Claypool's own journey through the darkness, written through four sermons. The first was
delivered just eleven days after his daughter's diagnosis of leukemia, the second after her first
major relapse nine months later, and the third weeks after her death. The final sermon a reflection
on the process of grieving was preached three years later.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, "Tracks of a Fellow
Struggler: Living and Growing Through Grief" is truly extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational
Editorial Note: John R. Claypool was a pastor, preacher, author, and theologian. He was initially
ordained as a Southern Baptist and pastored for thirty years in that denomination. He became an
Episcopal priest in 1986 and served as rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Birmingham,
Alabama, until he retired from full-time parish ministry in 2000. He then taught preaching at the
McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. Known for his catchphrases "Life is a gift"; "Despair is
presumptuous" Claypool was even more regarded for his ability to live with others in their shared
sorrow and pain. "If we are willing," he wrote, "the experience of grief can deepen and widen our
ability to participate in life." Though he died in 2005, his words continue to provide hope and
Casey Cole, OFM
28 West Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
9781632533005, $15.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "What must I do to gain eternal life?" The rich man who asked this of Jesus was told to
sell all he had and give to the poor. But, more importantly, he was told, "Come, follow me!"
In "Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship", Franciscan Casey Cole
challenges his fellow Christians to let go of something more difficult than material wealth:
expectations, anxiety, comfort, wounds, enemies, power -- and our very selves. Speaking from
both personal and pastoral experience, Friar Cole outlines the stumbling blocks that turn us away
from following Jesus as true disciples.
The response to "What must I do?" is simple but not easy: Let go. Now.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship" is
an extraordinary, life enhancing life changing read that is unreservedly recommended to the
attention of all members of the Christian community. While highly recommended for church and
seminary library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to
Christian Discipleship" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Casey Cole, OFM is a priest and Franciscan Friar serving as the director of
campus ministry at the University of Georgia Catholic Center. Fr. Casey is devoted to the
mission of evangelization and catechesis, writing blog posts, creating videos on YouTube, and
using social media to reach people around the world. He is also the author of two books on
Finding Jesus at the Border
Julia Lambert Fogg
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781587434648, $29.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Julia Lambert Fogg (PhD, Emory University) is Professor of Religion at California
Lutheran University, where she has taught for more than fifteen years specializing in the New
Testament, first-century Christianity, theologies from the margins, and cross-cultural reading
practices. She is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), preaches regularly
in ELCA churches, and is active among local congregations serving immigrant families in
Interweaving biblical narratives and recent experiences of immigrants at the US-Mexico border,
in "Finding Jesus at the Border: Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of Our Immigrant Neighbors",
Professor Fogg invites and inspires Christians to advocate for immigrant justice.
Critique: Given the immigrant crisis on America's southern border and the systemic cruelty of the
Trump Administration's immigration control policies such as the separation of children from
their parent, "Finding Jesus at the Border: Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of Our Immigrant
Neighbors" is an especially timely and invaluable contribution to our on-going national
discussion over immigration reform. While especially and unreservedly recommended for
community, church, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists
that "Finding Jesus at the Border: Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of Our Immigrant
Neighbors" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781587434303, $17.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Megan Anna Neff & Mark R. McMinn
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830828678, $28.00, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Discussing spirituality and religion in the therapy room is increasingly accepted, some
even forgetting that integration of psychology and Christianity was once a rare thing. Yet even as
the decades-long integration movement has been so effective, the counselor's lived context in
which integration happens grows increasingly complex, and the movement has reached a new
turning point. Christian practitioners need a fresh look at integration in a postmodern world.
"Embodying Integration: A Fresh Look at Christianity in the Therapy Room" provides an
essential guide to becoming integrators today. Representing two generations of counselor
education and practice, the author practitioners Megan Anna Neff and Mark R. McMinn deftly
model how to engage hard questions and consider how different theological views, gendered
perspectives, and cultures integrate with psychology and counseling. "Many students," they write,
"don't want models and views that tend to simplify complexity into categories. They are looking
for conversation that helps them dive into the complexity, to ponder the nuances and messiness
More than focusing on resolving issues, Neff and McMinn help situate wisdom through
personally engaging, diverse views and narratives. Arising from conversations between an
up-and-coming practitioner and her veteran integrator father, "Embodying Integration" considers
practical implications for the day-to-day realities of counseling and psychotherapy. Personal
stories, dialogues between the coauthors, and discussion questions throughout help students,
teachers, mental health professionals, and anyone interested in psychology and faith to enter (and
continue) the conversation.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Embodying Integration: A Fresh Look at
Christianity in the Therapy Room" is an informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-
provoking. This seminal study is especially and unreservedly recommended for seminary and
academic library Medical Counseling and Psychology Education & Training collections in
general, and Christian Pastoral Counseling supplemental curriculum studies in particular. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, counselors, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Embodying Integration" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Megan Anna Neff (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) is currently pursuing
her doctorate in clinical psychology at George Fox University. She has also done research and
worked with nonprofits and churches in Malawi and Ghana.
Mark R. McMinn (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is Professor of Psychology at George Fox
University, where he serves as the director of faith integration in the Graduate Department of
Clinical Psychology. His books include Integrative Psychotherapy, Care for the Soul, and
Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling.
The Education Shelf
Honors of Inequality: How Colleges Work for Some
Joseph H. Wycoff
Historia Research Press
9780999678886, $24.99, PB, 279pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Honors of Inequality: How Colleges Work for Some" by Joseph H. Wycoff is an
historical analysis of the origins and key contributions to the scholarship about American higher
education by tenured faculty and professional scholars during the last half of the twentieth
Higher education (defined as an organized discipline or field of study) is a relatively recent
invention in the history of colleges and universities. Historians trace the origins of the modern
university to the medieval era in Europe about 1,000 years ago. The professional associations of
the modern disciplines for historians, economists, sociologists, and other social scientists first
organized in the late 1800s, or about 150 years ago. By comparison, the academic study of higher
education as an institutional or cultural phenomenon is much more recent, arguably the
More exactly, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) formed less than fifty
years ago in 1976.
Simply put, the origins of the university and the modern professional associations for the social
sciences differ markedly from the origins of higher education as a field of study and an area of
scholarly expertise. The historical dating alone suggests that the formal organization of higher
education as a field of study has little to do with the general principles of higher learning
cultivated by universities over centuries and the investigation of the human condition advanced
by social science paradigms over the one-and-one-half centuries.
Why, for instance, did universities neglect to study the nature of higher learning as a distinct
branch of the liberal arts or as a discipline akin to medicine, law, or theology during the first
several centuries of their existence? How did the social scientists and scholars who first
organized professional academic organizations in the late 1800s overlook higher learning as a
foundational social and cultural phenomenon akin to history, economics, political science, and
sociology in the human condition?
It is no accident that higher education as a field of study emerged in the decade following the
professional organization of administrative researchers, the implementation of the 1960
California Master Plan, and the student unrest on American campuses during the 1960s. The
power to define what is and is not scholarship about higher education as a field of study
presented a welcomed opportunity for faculty to exercise their profound influence over the
direction of college and university administration after 1970.
"Honors of Inequality" offers a critical history of this new field of study, uncovering the
ideological, political, social, and cultural values motivating early scholars. Its historical account
of campus politics offers insights to college-goers, parents, faculty, administrators, policymakers,
legislators, and the many other stakeholders in higher education into the reasons that colleges
remain powerful instruments for shaping social and economic inequality in the twenty-first
Critique: An erudite historical study and analysis, "Honors of Inequality: How Colleges Work for
Some" that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of illustrations, an informative Prologue
(Autonomy Is By No Means Absolute), an Epilogue (The Inequality of Honors), twenty-six pages
of Endnotes, an eight page Select Bibliography, and a four page Index. A meticulously presented
work of impressively original scholarship, "Honors of Inequality: How Colleges Work for Some"
is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to college and university library
Education History collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted for students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Honors of
Inequality: How Colleges Work for Some" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: After completing his BS and MA at Arizona State University, Joseph H. Wycoff
earned a doctoral degree in US History from the University of Washington with an emphasis on
business and consumer history. He has worked as a higher education administration and research
professional for over twenty years. During his career, Joe has worked as an institutional research
and effectiveness officer in three different sectors of higher education: a community college, a
private nonprofit, and a public Research I university. His first book, Outsourcing Student
Success, offers a critical analysis of institutional research scholarship from the past one hundred
years and delivers his personal insights into the barriers to student success at American colleges
The Humor Shelf
The Golfer's Book of Wit & Wisdom
Gerd De Ley
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
9781578268405, $12.50, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Gerd de Ley is a former English teacher and has been a professional writer and actor
since 1975. From an early age, Gerd has been an avid collector of quotations and proverbs from
all over the world.
In "The Golfer's Book of Wit & Wisdom" Gerd has encompassed everything there is to love
about golf in the form of a compendium showcasing more than 350 jokes, one-liners, and witty
sayings containing the wisdom and wit from the world within and outside of golf.
Critique: Very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of any and all golfing
enthusiasts, "The Golfer's Book of Wit & Wisdom" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly
popular addition to community library Sports & Humor collections.
The Military Shelf
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781635573749, $28.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Erik Edstrom grew up in suburban Massachusetts with an idealistic desire to make an
impact, ultimately leading him to the gates of West Point. Five years later, he was deployed to
Afghanistan as an infantry lieutenant. Throughout his military career, he confronted atrocities,
buried his friends, wrestled with depression, and struggled with an understanding that the war he
fought in, and the youth he traded to prepare for it, was in contribution to a bitter truth: The War
on Terror is not just a tragedy, but a crime. The deeper tragedy is that our country lacks the
courage and conviction to say so.
"Un-American: A Soldier's Reckoning of Our Longest War" is a combination of social
commentary and memoir that exposes how blind support for war exacerbates the problems it's
intended to resolve, devastates the people allegedly being helped, and diverts assets from far
larger threats like climate change. "Un-American" is a revolutionary act, offering a blueprint for
redressing America's relationship with patriotism, the military, and military spending.
Critique: A thoughtful, thought-provoking, iconoclastic, informed and informative contribution
to our on-going national dialogue concerning the American military's role against the kind of
asymmetrical warfare presented by global and state supported terrorism, as well as our
political/military involvement in an Afghan conflict that is now more than a decade old,
"Un-American: A Soldier's Reckoning of Our Longest War" is an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to both community and academic library 21st Century American Military
History & Policy collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Un-American: A
Soldier's Reckoning of Our Longest War" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Erik Edstrom graduated from West Point in 2007. He was then deployed to
Afghanistan, where he served as infantry platoon leader. Erik spent the remainder of his military
service as the Presidential Escort Platoon Leader during the Obama administration. He is a
graduate of U.S. Army Ranger school, was selected for the U.S. Special Forces (SFAS), and was
awarded the Bronze Star Medal. After the military, Erik went on to earn an MBA and Master of
Science at Oxford University
New Military Museums
Edition Axel Menges
c/o National Book Network
4270 Boston Way, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9783869050157, $46.90, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "New Military Museums" by John Zukowsky showcases and examines more than
thirty international military museums that were constructed over the past two decades and
The museums are featured in individual entries and lavish color photography. Some were
designed by internationally renowned architects such as Norman Foster, Daniel Libeskind,
Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and Robert A. M. Stern, but many more are the products of
creative, accomplished designers.
Beyond the architecture of these museums, exhibition and installation designs by noted specialist
firms such as Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Koosmann.dejong, and Gallagher & Associates,
among others, have raised the bar in terms of immersive experiences for their visitors.
Museums presented within the pages of "New Military Museums" are examined within the
context of the history of war memorials and military museums -- the latter being a less well
Critique: Profusely illustrated with captioned full color photography throughout, "New Military
Museums" is impressively informative and exceptionally well organized and presented -- making
it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community,
college, and university library Military History & Contemporary Architecture collections and
supplemental studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Architectural historian John Zukowsky has an earned doctorate from Binghamton
University. While curator of architecture for The Art Institute of Chicago (1978 - 2004), he
organized a number of award-winning exhibitions accompanied by major books. After that, he
held executive positions within military-related museums such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space
Museum and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.
Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research
Natalie M. Scala & James P. Howard II, editors
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781138607330, $190.00, HC, 479pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Operations research (OR) is a core discipline in military and defense management.
Coming to the forefront initially during World War II, OR provided critical contributions to
logistics, supply chains, and strategic simulation, while enabling superior decision-making for
Allied forces. In the succeeding decades OR has expanded to include analytics and many
applications, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and big data, and is the cornerstone
of management science in manufacturing, marketing, telecommunications, and many other
"The Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research" presents the contributions of
leading OR and analytics experts to new heights in security through research, practical
applications, case studies, and lessons learned in the field.
"The Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research" applies the experiences of
educators and practitioners working in the field; employs the latest technology developments in
case studies and applications; identifies best practices unique to the military, security, and
national defense problem space; and highlights similarities and dichotomies between analyses
and trends that are unique to military, security, and defense problems.
Critique: Comprised of twenty erudite and informative articles by experts in the field, "The
Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research" is organized into four major sections
(Approaches; Soft Skills and Client Relations; Applications; Perspectives). Enhanced with the
inclusion of a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, as well as a four page
Index, "The Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research" is an especially
recommended addition to college and university library Military Science and Industrial
Production/Management collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Handbook
of Military and Defense Operations Research" is also readily available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $57.95 Buy/$10.90 Rent).
Editorial Note: Natalie M. Scala is an associate professor and director of the graduate programs
in supply chain and project management in the College of Business and Economics at Towson
University. She earned PhD and MS degrees in industrial engineering from the University of
Pittsburgh. Her primary research is in decision analysis, with foci on military applications and
cybersecurity. Dr. Scala frequently consults for government clients and has extensive
professional experience, including positions with Innovative Decisions, Inc., the United States
Department of Defense, the RAND Corporation, and the FirstEnergy Corporation. She is
currently serving as the president of the INFORMS Military and Security Society.
James P. Howard II is a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Previously,
he worked for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as an internal consultant on
statistical computing. He has also been a consultant to numerous government agencies.
Additionally, he has taught mathematics, statistics, and public affairs since 2010.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Travis Christoppferson, MS
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781603589260, $24.95, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Long before the current pandemic, the United States was fast becoming the sickest
nation in the Western world. Cancer rates continued to rise. There was an epidemic of chronic
disease in children. Even with all the money and modern innovations in science, the country's
health care system is beyond broken. Clearly there is a glitch in the system. But what if the
solution has been here all along, and we've just been too blind to see it?
In "Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators is Trying to Transform our Health
Care System", journalist and health care advocate Travis Christofferson looks at medicine
through a magnifying glass and asks an important question: What if the roots of the current US
health care crisis are psychological and systemic, perpetuated not just by corporate influence and
the powers that be, but by you and me? It is now known that human perception is based on
deeply entrenched patterns of irrational thought, which we attach ourselves to religiously. So how
does this implicate the very scientific research and data that doctors rely on to successfully treat
A page-turning inquiry into a "moneyball approach to medicine", "Curable" explores the links
between revolutionary baseball analytics; Nobel Prize winning psychological research on
confirmation bias; wildly successful maverick economic philosophy; the history of the radical
mastectomy and the rise of the clinical trial; cutting edge treatments routinely overlooked by
regulatory bodies; and outdated medical models that prioritize profit over prevention. As stark as
things are, Christofferson asks us to see health care not as a toppling house of cards, but as a
badly organized system that is inherently fixable. How do we fix it? First we must reframe the
conflict between doctors' intuition and statistical data. Then we must design better systems that
can support doctors who are increasingly overwhelmed with the complexity of modern
"Curable" outlines the future of medicine, detailing brilliant examples of new health care systems
that prove we can do better. It turns out we have more control over our health (and happiness)
than we think.
Critique: Impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented, "Curable: How an
Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators is Trying to Transform our Health Care System" is an
extraordinary and unreservedly recommended contribution to our on-going national dialogue
over health care reforms. While a critically important and timely addition to both community and
academic library Contemporary Social Issues collections in general, and Health Care Reform
supplemental studies in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students,
academia, social activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with
an interest in the subject that "Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators is Trying
to Transform our Health Care System" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Travis Christofferson, MS, received his undergraduate degree in molecular
biology from the Honors College at Montana State University and a master's degree in material
engineering and science from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Today he is a
full-time science writer and founder of a cancer charity.
Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs
Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY 11040
9780757004827, $9.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Over sixty-five million Americans have high blood pressure. Although prescription
drugs may effectively treat this problem, they have potentially dangerous side effects.
Fortunately, natural alternatives are available. In this expanded and updated third edition of
"Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs: Curing Your Hypertension Naturally", Roger Mason
provides a proven nutritional approach to lowering blood pressure safely and naturally.
"Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs" begins by explaining what hypertension is, what causes
it, and how it is diagnosed. From there, it goes on to describe how a simple diet, rich in whole
grains and low in fat, can improve both blood pressure and general health. This is followed by
chapters that address such key topics as the best nutritional supplements to take; which exercises
are most effective; how to maintain hormonal balance; and, just as important, how to overcome
poor dietary and lifestyle habits. "Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs" can be your first step
towards safely and effectively improving your health.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs:
Curing Your Hypertension Naturally" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone having
high blood pressure and hypertension health issues. While an essential and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Modern
Medicine & Health collections, it should be noted that "Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs:
Curing Your Hypertension Naturally" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Roger Mason is an internationally known research chemist who studies natural
health and life extension. He develops unique natural supplements and products, and has written
several best-selling titles, including The Natural Diabetes Cure and Lower Cholesterol Without
Drugs. A frequent guest speaker on radio stations across the country, Mr. Mason advocates
natural alternatives to drug therapies.
The Gardening Shelf
Private Gardens of Santa Barbara
Margie Grace, author
Holly Lepere, photographer
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
PO Box 667, Layton UT 84041
9781423654148, $50.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Private Gardens of Santa Barbara: The Art of Outdoor Living" by Holly Lepere is an
exquisite and informative introduction to eighteen distinctive private and beautiful gardens that
include large estates, modest homes, and surf retreats collectively running the gamut from
sublime and naturalistic to bold and urban. What they have in common, however, is what makes
them truly inspiring.
Showcased through 190 stunning full color photographic images by Holly Lepere that comprise
more than 250 pages in an elegant coffee table book format, each beautiful landscape represents a
widely varied garden style developed in response to the unique character of each site, the
architecture, and the larger environment; and adapted to the lifestyle, personality, and practical
needs of the individuals and families who live there.
These are truly memorable gardens that offer endless inspiration for sustainable home garden
design, created with water-smart, maintenance-smart, and fire-smart priorities in mind, with high
habitat value and plants well adapted to the Southern California climate of Santa Barbara.
Critique: A delight to simply browse through one glorious page after another, "Private Gardens
of Santa Barbara: The Art of Outdoor Living" is as informationally thought-provoking as it is
motivatingly inspirational for the garden planning strategies of even the most novice of
household gardeners. Beautifully composed and presented, "Private Gardens of Santa Barbara:
The Art of Outdoor Living" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to
personal, professional, community, college, and university library Gardening/Horticulture
Editorial Note: Twice named International Landscape Designer of the Year, Margie Grace is a
well-regarded, nationally known landscape designer with 35+ years in the landscape design-build
profession. She is also the founding principal of Grace Design Associates, Inc. (GDA), based in
Santa Barbara, California, which is considered to be the premiere landscape design-build firm in
Holly Lepere is a California-based photographer of both structural and landscape architecture.
Her creative editorial style inspires an intimate visual experience, allowing viewers to place
themselves in the spaces photographed. Lepere's photography aims to narrate the story behind the
built design. Her award-winning work has been featured in numerous publications, including
Garden Design, The New York Times, Gardens Illustrated, Sunset Magazine, and Architectural
Iowa Gardens of the Past
Iowa Garden Press
9781733842105, $38.99, HC
Synopsis: From impressive mansion grounds to flower-filled farmsteads, "Iowa Gardens of the
Past: Lost & Historic Gardens of Iowa - 1850-1980" by Beth Cody showcases: Formal rose
gardens; Victorian-style flower bedding; Japanese-inspired gardens; Naturalistic ponds and rock
gardens; Mid-century modern landscaping; Notable Iowa garden writers, hybridizers and seed
Despite severe weather, world wars, grasshopper plagues and Dutch elm disease, Iowans have
made countless gardens of great beauty. Now in the beautifully illustrated pages of "Iowa
Gardens of the Past: Lost & Historic Gardens of Iowa - 1850-1980" these gardens can be enjoyed
and admired once again.
Critique: "Iowa Gardens of the Past: Lost & Historic Gardens of Iowa - 1850-1980" by Beth
Cody is a coffee-table book style compendium that features an instructive and informative
commentary that is enhanced by the inclusion of more than 250 color and grayscale images of
beautiful gardens created by Iowa gardeners. Beautifully bound in hardcover, with 320 glossy
color pages and packed with vintage Iowa seed catalog art, "Iowa Gardens of the Past" will have
a particular and special interest to garden enthusiasts in general, and Iowa history buffs in
particular. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library
Gardening/Horticulture collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Iowa
Gardens of the Past" is now also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $38.99,
Editorial Note: Beth Cody, has been an avid amateur gardener on her five-acre rural Iowan
property for the past decade. She writes a garden blog at Gardenfancy.blogspot.com and is
interested in formal gardens, scented flowers, tropical and exotic plants, Islamic-style paradise
gardens and garden history. She volunteers with Project GREEN, which raises money to beautify
local public spaces.
The Cookbook Shelf
Amish Family Recipes
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
9781513805771, $24.99, PB, 292pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now any kitchen cook can create memorable meals for their family and friends with
the more than 100 authentic, time-tested recipes of an extended Amish family in your own
kitchen with. "Amish Family Recipes: A Cookbook Across The Generations by Old Order
Amish newspaper columnist Lovina Eicher. Colorful photographs of easy-to-prepare dishes and
pictures of life in an Amish household reveal a people committed to faith, family, community,
"Amish Family Recipes" features recipes and memories of Lovina's mother, Elizabeth Coblentz,
who wrote The Amish Cook newspaper column. Stories from Lovina, her sisters, and her
children offer family lore and mealtime memories. Practical sections devoted to cooking with
children, preparing for family picnics, and making large dishes for reunion meals round out this
Critique: Certain to be an especially cherished addition to family cookbook collections, "Amish
Family Recipes: A Cookbook Across The Generations" will prove to be one of the most popular
additions to community library collections with it's palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen
cook friendly and authentically Amish recipes that are suitable for all dining occasions! It should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Amish Family Recipes" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
The Ultimate Keto Air Fryer Cookbook
9781646115686, $16.99, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Ultimate Keto Air Fryer Cookbook" by Wendy Polisi (who is the passionate
cook, photographer, and blogger behind the web sites www.WendyPolisi.com and
www.Kicking-Carbs.com) is the go-to resource for foodies who are loving the health benefits of
keto but still want to serve up all kinds of delicious air-fried foods.
Packed from cover to cover with more than one hundred tasty recipes for classic dishes and new
air fryer ideas, "The Ultimate Keto Air Fryer Cookbook" is the ultimate air fryer cookbook that
makes it simple to put some crunch back into our culinary life with more than 100 keto-friendly
takes on everything from biscuits and fried chicken to fries and empanadas. "The Ultimate Keto
Air Fryer Cookbook" is additionally enhanced for the kitchen cook with get all sorts of essential
advice for keeping a kitchen supplied for keto cooking, as well as a wealth of invaluable tips for
getting the most out an your air fryer.
Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "The Ultimate Keto Air Fryer Cookbook" is a very
highly recommended and thoroughly 'user friendly' addition to personal, professional, and
community library Contemporary Cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Ultimate
Keto Air Fryer Cookbook" is currently available in an inexpensive digital book format from
Amazon.com (Kindle, $0.99).
Milk Street Fast and Slow
c/o Little, Brown & Company
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9780316423076, $30.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Instant Pots and other multicookers can transform a kitchen cook's routine by turning
day-long simmers and braises into quick dishes that are achievable even on a busy weeknight.
That the same pot is also a top-notch slow cooker delivering make-ahead flexibility!
"Milk Street Fast and Slow: Instant Pot Cooking at the Speed You Need " by Christopher
Kimball shows how to make the most of any multi-cooker's unique capabilities with a host of
one-pot recipes -- each one showing how to prepare the same dish two ways. For the quickest
meals, use the pressure cooker setting to cut down on cooking time -- or if preferred, the
flexibility of a slow cooker that can start the cooking hours ahead.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Milk Street Fast and
Slow: Instant Pot Cooking at the Speed You Need" showcases 150 'kitchen cook friendly' palate
pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes that would enhance any dining occasion. While very highly
recommended, especially for community library cookbook collections, it should be noted for
personal culinary references that "Milk Street Fast and Slow: Instant Pot Cooking at the Speed
You Need" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).
Editorial Note: Christopher Kimball's Milk Street is located in downtown Boston (at 177 Milk
Street) and is home to a cooking school, a bimonthly magazine, and public television and radio
The Business Shelf
Secrets to a Successful Startup
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608686667, $16.99, PB, 296pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Trevor Blake founded and served as CEO of three different medical technology
companies and went on to sell them for more than $300 million. Now in "Secrets to a Successful
Startup: A Recession-Proof Guide to Starting, Surviving & Thriving in Your Own Venture" he
has written a complete instruction manual that covers everything the budding entrepreneur or
existing business owner needs to know to build the career or business of their dreams.
Unlike the many theoretical guides out there, "Secrets to a Successful Startup" is a practical
handbook based on Blake's wildly successful in-the-trenches experience. It incorporates
leading-edge strategies that cover every aspect of running a business -- including funding,
developing systems, and marketing. Blake presents in-depth insight into managing effectively,
maintaining cash flow, and adapting to the changing needs of customers in volatile economic
One of his most innovative contributions is an emphasis on cultivating the right mindset, and he
tells you exactly how to do that. "The secret to success isn't in the plan," he writes. "It's in the
person holding it." His proven methods will give you the confidence to take the entrepreneurial
leap and turn your winning idea into an efficient, profitable company.
Critique: Given the current economic catastrophe brought about by the CoronaVirus pandemic
with more people unemployed than with the early years of the Great Depression, "Secrets to a
Successful Startup: A Recession-Proof Guide to Starting, Surviving & Thriving in Your Own
Venture" is a timely and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections
and the personal reading lists of every unemployed adult with an idea for an entrepreneurial
enterprise. Expertly written, impressively informative, and ultimately inspiring, "Secrets to a
Successful Startup: A Recession-Proof Guide to Starting, Surviving & Thriving in Your Own
Venture" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Leading in the Global Matrix
John Futterknecht & Marty Seldman
9781948836494, $27.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In today's global business world, many organizations are shifting away from
decentralized, vertical structures (with silo functions such as finance, HR, or operations) to a
"matrix" model of cross-functional teams that work across a number of business units. When
executed successfully, a matrix structure helps companies thrive in the modern market by better
leveraging internal resources, eliminating duplication, spurring innovation, and driving
enterprise-wide strategy. However, integrating matrix structures is often a challenge for
"Leading in the Global Matrix: Proven Skills and Strategies to Succeed in a Collaborative
World" offers a real-world perspective of working in a matrix while using examples from the
authors' actual coaching of business leaders -- tackling the critical, "unspoken" dimensions that
are often underestimated and unaddressed in the global business world.
"Leading in the Global Matrix" covers: Specific skills and insights that can help them be
successful in the trenches; How to deal with day-to-day realities - which include complexity,
pressure, and demand to deliver results with speed; What to do, why it's important, and how to
accomplish each task.
Leading in the Global Matrix encapsulates field-tested advice to help individual professionals
and their teams unlock their full potential, allowing the matrix to finally deliver on its
Critique: An impressively informative and absorbing read that will have special relevance and
value for organizational and corporate executives and policy makers, "Leading in the Global
Matrix: Proven Skills and Strategies to Succeed in a Collaborative World" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college,
and university library Contemporary Business Management collections and supplemental studies
lists. It should be noted that "Leading in the Global Matrix" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $15.37) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio,
9781721348879, $26.15, CD, www.amazon.com).
Editorial Note: John Futterknecht is an experienced Executive Coach and Leadership
Development Trainer. Since 1998, John has successfully completed over 500 one-on-one
coaching engagements and facilitated over 1,000 training programs across the globe. He has
worked with leaders at some of the world's largest companies, including many Fortune 500. He
has also worked with clients across 5 continents and in more than 20 countries, giving him an
insightful global perspective.
Dr. Marty Seldman is a corporate trainer, executive coach, and organizational psychologist. He
began his career in 1986 as an executive coach. Since then he has trained tens of thousands of
executives around the globe through his seminars and coached over 1,800 executives one-on-one.
He has become the coach of choice for many Fortune 500 companies. Approximately half of the
executives Marty has coached are women, people of color, or non-U.S. executives.
The Parenting Shelf
Mom Babble: The Messy Truth about Motherhood
Mary Katherine Backstrom
PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
9781501894527, $24.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Hope, humor, and spiritual inspiration to families in the trenches of parenthood from
the founder of Mom Babble. Mary Katherine (MK) Backstrom spends her days mending
booboos, conquering the boogie man, comforting heartaches, laughing at knock-knock jokes,
cooking pancakes, throwing baseballs, and mopping muddy floors. In other words she spends her
days relishing in the beautiful, constant noise that is a life with children.
In the pages of "Mom Babble: The Messy Truth about Motherhood" MK offers up hope, humor,
and spiritual inspiration to families in the trenches of parenthood. With laughter, crying, and
eye-rolls MK's, oh so, real essays about raising littles will delight all the not perfect, not always
holy, not completely normal, messy, honest and wonderful moms that read them. MK's
conversational approach connects with readers like dear friends cozied up on a coffee date.
Critique: Especially useful, relevant, and endorsed for parents with children at home and having
to endure the home-bound restrictions currently imposed by the pandemic, "Mom Babble: The
Messy Truth about Motherhood" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community
library Parenting collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mom Babble" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Mary Katherine Backstrom is an essayist, viral blogger, founder and personality
behind Mom Babble, a growing community of 480,000 followers. The Mom Babble social media
pages boast more than 80 million views, and she has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres
Show and awarded The Today Show Iris Award. Dealing both candor and inspiration, MK has
become a well-known presence in the parenting blogosphere. Her publications include The
Today Show, Washington Post, Yahoo.com, and Scary Mommy. MK is married to her college
sweetheart (Ian), and they currently reside in sunny Florida with their son (Ben), daughter
(Holland), and two golden retrievers.
Mindful Games For Kids
Kristina Marcelli-Sargent, author
9781646115938, $12.99, PB, 124pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Dealing with big feelings can be hard, but it's easier when children practice listening to
their bodies and staying in the present moment. With "Mindful Games For Kids: 50 Fun
Activities to Stay Present, Improve Concentration, and Understand Emotions", children ages 4-8
can start learning those skills and feeling more in control. Engaging activities help teach kids to
calm themselves, focus more easily, and even be kinder to others -- all using the principles of
50 colorfully illustrated, imaginative exercises keep the fun coming while showing kids helpful
techniques like deep breathing, visualization, meditation, and more. Many of these off-the-page
games take 10 minutes or less, making it easy to practice the magic of mindfulness anytime,
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in format, organization and presentation, "Mindful Games
For Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Stay Present, Improve Concentration, and Understand Emotions"
is an extraordinarily timely instructional guide and manual for entertaining kids in this time of
pandemic necessitated homebound conditions for children and their parents. While a highly
recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library
collections, it should be noted that "Mindful Games For Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Stay Present,
Improve Concentration, and Understand Emotions" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $4.99).
Editorial Note: Kristina Marcelli-Sargent is a licensed mental health therapist with more than 10
years' experience working with children, families, and adults in foster care, school-based mental
health, and outpatient treatment settings. She is also the author and illustrator of children's books
including Ursula Unwinds Her Anger and Buttons the Brave Blue Kitten.
The Science Shelf
Roadside Geology of Montana
Donald W. Hyndman, author
Robert C. Thomas, author
Chelsea M. Feeney, illustrator
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426966, $30.00, PB, 480pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Roadside Geology series originated in 1972 with Roadside Geology of the
Northern Rockies. Fourteen years later, the Big Sky portion of that book was updated to become
Roadside Geology of Montana, a bright-yellow field guide that soon graced bookshelves across
Now, nearly 50 years after the first book, Mountain Press is releasing this completely revised
full-color second edition that, like so many things in Montana, is big. But consider this: no other
place in the world has such amazingly diverse and well-exposed rocks with such dramatic stories.
For example, Montana lies at the northern edge of the Yellowstone caldera, the world's largest
and most violent volcano.
A lot of what the wold knows about dinosaurs and their demise came from fossils discovered in
Montana's badlands. What began with panning for gold in the 1860s led to 1-mile-deep mines in
Butte that supplied 60 percent of the world's copper by 1898. The world's largest ice age floods
left ripples up to 50 feet high as Glacial Lake Missoula catastrophically drained from western
With this updated and beautifully illustrated new edition of "Roadside Geology of Montana" as
an guide, Montana residents and travelers will discover these and other world-class geologic
features throughout this geologically fascinating state.
Critique: Packed from cover to cover with impressively detailed, thoroughly 'user friendly', and
illustrated information on the diverse and fascinating geology of Montana, this newly updated
and expanded second edition of Road Side Geology of Montana is unreservedly recommended
for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.
Editorial Note: Donald W. Hyndman is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Montana (UM)
in Missoula. He earned a BA in Geological Engineering at the University of British Columbia
and a PhD in Geology at the University of California, Berkeley. Recognized as a Distinguished
Teacher and Distinguished Scholar by UM, he is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of
America and the American Geophysical Union. Don also wrote widely adopted university
textbooks on igneous and metamorphic rocks and more recently, with his son, five editions of
"Natural Hazards and Disasters."
Robert C. Thomas is a Professor of Geology in the Environmental Sciences Department at the
University of Montana Western in Dillon. He earned a BA from Humboldt State University, an
MS from the University of Montana, and a PhD from the University of Washington. A Montana
Regents Professor and Teaching Scholar, Montana Educator of the Year, and Carnegie US
Professor. Rob is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and recipient of their
Distinguished Service Award.
The Crafts Shelf
Paper Flower Art
The GMC Group
9781784945442, $34.95, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Paper Flower Art: Create Beautifully Realistic Floral Arrangement" by Jessie Chui is
an inspirational, coffee-table style volume of thoroughly 'reader friendly step-by-step directions
on how to create realistic, everlasting paper flowers and foliage for use in stunning bouquets,
buttonholes and table displays. Clear step-by-step photographs and instructions will guide the
reader in making 25 delicate paper blooms for focal pieces, accents, or for height and texture.
The flowers include both dramatic and romantic species, such as rose, peony, anemone, cosmos,
lisianthus, phlox, baby's breath, magnolia and foxglove.
Of special note are the comprehensive chapters on tools, materials and techniques, including
paper manipulation and colouring, there is a fascinating section on the fine art principles of
flower arranging. This includes color scheme considerations, scale, positive/negative space, and
practical DIY information how to create movement, texture, depth, shape, form and line. Finally,
there are instructions on making a range of exquisite bouquets, plus guidance on the aftercare and
handling of the finished pieces.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Paper
Flower Art: Create Beautifully Realistic Floral Arrangement" is a complete DIY instructional
guide and manual that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to
personal, professional, community, and academic library Flower Arranging and Paper Craft
Editorial Note: Jessie Chui is a self-taught paper floral artist. She has a business called Crafted to
Bloom, which provides bespoke paper florals and floral arrangements and also offers workshops,
private lessons and online learning. She has been featured on various blogs and in magazines,
including 100 Layer Cake, Lia Griffith's Artist Interview Series, The Paper Place and Wedluxe
The Woodworking Shelf
Whittling in Your Free Time
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781497100701, $12.99, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Tom Hindes is a whittling artist and carving teacher. He is a regular contributor to
Woodcarving Illustrated magazine. Now in "Whittling in Your Free Time: 16 Quick & Easy
Projects to Carve in Wood" he provides aspiring whittlers with an instructive guide and manual
that is comprised with step-by-step instructions, high-quality coordinating photography, and clear
guidance on painting and finishing each piece.
Readers will easily learn how to whittle a variety of animal projects with this helpful guide that
will teach them how to create awesome safari animals like giraffes and rhinos, aquatic dolphins
and whales, woodland deer and wolves, farm animals like chickens and horses, and beloved pets
like a Golden Retriever!
Critique: Specifically designed as a DIY instructional guide and reference for whittlers at all skill
levels, "Whittling in Your Free Time" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and
presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, and community library Woodworking collections.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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