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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 11 November 2011 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Christmas Shelf Memoir Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Music Shelf Social Issues Shelf Business Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Fiction Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Travel Shelf Humor Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Poetry Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Computer Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Biography Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Photography Shelf
Literary Studies Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Military Shelf Civil War Shelf
Crafts Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Art Shelf
Parenting Shelf Automotive Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Writing/Publishing Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Joyce Tenneson
Down East Books
PO Box 679
Camden, ME 04843
9780892729760, $40.00,

The mystery and enigma of sea shells only adds to their beauty. "Shells" is a full color coffee table style book focusing on the majesty of the ocean's natural artistry. The photography is done by acclaimed photographer Joyce Tenneson who pairs her marvelous work with a bit of spiritual wisdom from some of the great thinkers and philosophers of history. For anyone with a favored study of sea shells, "Shells" is an excellent pick for both nature and photography collections.

Carolyn & Sean Savage
Harper Collins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
9780062004635, $26.99,

Mistakes happen, and those mistakes can tear the soul apart. "Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift" tells the story of Carolyn and Sean Savage, who upon failing to conceive a child, opted for an IVF procedure. But they received the wrong embryo, and Carolyn discovered she was carrying another couple's child. Choosing to carry it rather than terminate it, they tell their story of being selfless and taking the pain intended for another. "Inconceivable" is a moving and much recommended read for memoir and parenting collections.

Be a People Person
John C. Maxwell
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado, Springs, CO 80918
9780781448437, $16.99,

You can't avoid people, so you may as well embrace them. "Be a People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships" is a leadership and self-help book with an Christian-inspired take on business leadership as John Maxwell does well in suggesting what leaders of men in business and in life to lead them to greater success. "Be a People Person" is an excellent compilation that shouldn't be overlooked for self-help and Christian collections, highly recommended.

Hope for Families of Children with Cancer
Lynda T. Young & Johnathan Ward
c/o Abilene Christian University Press
1626 Campus Court, Abilene, TX 79601
9780891122890, $14.99,

Cancer can wreak havoc on life, and finding piece of mind through trying times is invaluable. "Hope for Families of Children with Cancer" is an inspirational read for families of those struggling to find hope and the will to move on as their child battles for their life. With humor and an uplifting story throughout, "Hope for Families of Children with Cancer" is an inspirational and much recommended read for anyone who is struggling with this terrifying endeavor.

The Christmas Shelf

Christmas Classics
Questar, Inc.
307 North Michigan Ave., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60601
9781594646843 $19.99

Christmas Classics is a two-DVD set compiling four of the most beloved Christmas-themed movies. "Mary of Nazareth" is a portrait of Jesus Christ's mother, directed by Cannes award-winner Jean Delannoy; "The Story of Silent Night" follows the true story of the young Austrian priest who was divinely inspired to write the timeless carol praising the birth of Jesus; "Mystery of the Three Kings" traces the history behind the Biblical story in which three rulers visited the newborn Jesus; and "An Old-Fashioned Christmas" showcases thirty-five holiday songs the whole family can enjoy. An inspirational and joyful collection, Christmas Classics lives up to its title and is highly recommended especially for public library holiday collections. 2 discs, 390 min.

The Nine Lives of Christmas
Sheila Roberts, author
Kathleen McInerney, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427214188 $29.99

The Nine Lives of Christmas is a heartwarming Christmas story - from a cat's point of view! Ambrose the cat is at risk of losing his ninth and final life; when he prays for rescue, a firefighter named Zach saves him. In exchange, Ambrose seeks to connect Zach with Merilee, a good woman who works at the Pet Palace. But Merilee is painfully shy, while Zach has a reputation for being a ladies' man; it'll take all of Ambrose's cleverness and perhaps even a Christmas miracle to make these two realize they're just right for one another! A delightfully charming story, The Nine Lives of Christmas is especially recommended as a holiday giftbook to cat lovers. 6 CDs, 7 hours.

Pearl Harbor Christmas
Stanley Weintraub
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
9780306820618 $24.00

Pearl Harbor Christmas is a different type of holiday book - it focuses on a tense time in America's history, the Christmas season that began scarcely two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated America's direct involvement in World War II. From the unprecedented Washington meeting between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt three days before Christmas, to the churning preparations for war that underlay the festive holiday atmosphere, Pearl Harbor Christmas succinctly captures not only the historical events, but the emotions of people at the crossroads of turbulent times. Highly recommended especially as a serious-minded addition to public library holiday shelves.

The Memoir Shelf

David & Lee Roy: A Vietnam Story
David L. Nelson and Randolph B. Schiffer
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037
Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896726949 $29.95

David & Lee Roy: A Vietnam Story is a memoir of the profound impact of life's divergent paths. In the 1960's, two American high school friends enrolled themselves in Marine Corps officer training. David Nelson went to law school, the JAG office, and eventually Okinawa, while Lee Roy Herron was assigned to the infantry, language school, and Vietnam. Two months into his tour of duty, Herron was killed on the Vietnam War's front lines. Nelson felt immense sorrow over the loss of his friend for many years, and questioned the vagaries of fate that sent only one of them to the front lines. In 1997, a chance encounter with a retired officer moved Nelson to investigate Lee Roy's death, and learn more about his service. His journey would take him from West Texas to battle sites in Vietnam, and bring incredible revelations about Nelson's heroism. David & Lee Roy is enthusiastically recommended, especially for Vietnam memoir collections.

Never Give Up
Ruthe Rosen
Cypress House
155 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
9781879384866, $16.95,

14 is too young to die, and few wish to accept such a fate. "Never Give Up: How to Find Hope and Purpose in Adversity" is an inspirational read from Ruthe Rosen as she tells the story of her daughter Karla as she faced certain death due to a brain tumor, and made the most of what little life they had left. Telling the story of the Let It Be Foundation and their purpose, "Never Give Up" is inspirational and uplifting reading for anyone who sees the people they love facing death too soon.

Monk's Tale
Edward A. Malloy
University of Notre Dame Press
310 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9780268035228, $25.00,

A man of many careers, Edward Malloy always let his faith guide him. "Monk's Tale: Way Stations on the Journey" is a continuing memoir from Malloy as he tells his story of joining the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, climbing the ranks and seeing much of what the campus had to offer through the years, including a strong impact on Catholic higher education throughout the United States. "Monk's Tale" is a choice read for those seeking inspiration of how to make a difference in both the Catholic and secular worlds.

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me
Ian Morgan Cron
Thomas Nelson
PO Box 141000
Nashville, TN 37214
9780849946103, $15.99,

Our lives have many twists and turns through it all, no matter where we came from. "Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me" is a memoir from Ian Morgan Cron as he discusses his life through the perspective of faith and a father who had a career that was far from normal. With a good dose of humor and faith through it all, "Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me" is a choice memoir for any community library collection.

Keep This Quiet!
Margaret A. Harrell
Saeculum University Press
5048 Amber Clay Lane, Raleigh, NC 27612
9780983704508, $17.95,

Hunter S. Thompson is perhaps one of the most enigmatic figures of the twentieth century. "Keep This Quiet!: My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert" is a memoir from Margaret A. Harrell as she discusses her own way with many of the legends of the literary world in the middle of the twentieth century. With a solid dose of humor and another perspective on these writers from a personal friend, "Keep This Quiet!" is a moving read and much recommended to any literary studies or memoir collection.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Stories of Faith and Courage from the Vietnam War
Larkin Spivey
God and Country Press
c/o AMG Publishers
6815 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
9780899570198 $16.99

Stories of Faith and Courage from the Vietnam War is a Christian daily devotional that features 365 true stories of the Vietnam war, as compiled by military historian Larkin Spivey. Biblical passages correspond to the stories in this emotionally and spiritually moving anthology of extraordinary hope in the darkest and most difficult of times, enhanced by historical overviews, maps, and photographs. Stories of Faith and Courage from the Vietnam War is a devotional like none other, and highly recommend.

The Calling
Kurt Senske
Concordia Publishing House
3558 South Jefferson Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63118-3968
9780758616661 $16.99

Dr. Kurt Senske (Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Services of the South) presents The Calling: Live a Life of Significance, a Christian self-help guide for readers of all walks of life, discussing how to orient one's life to focus on the values of simplicity, humility, service to others, and of course taking proper care of oneself while searching for one's own goals. Chapters speak of the struggle to walk alongside God, and the true meaning of "living a life of significance", how to set and achieve personal goals, and more. A few consumable or reproducible pages for planning the steps of one's compassionate and dutiful life enhance this positive-minded resource.

Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons
Russell Pregeant
Fortress Press
c/o Augsburg Fortress Publishers
100 Fifth Street, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55402-1210
9780800698447, $14.99,

The Bible is a powerful tool, but misinterpreting it can harm your life. "Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons" is a cautionary tale from Russell Pregeant as he advises readers on how to read the Christian Bible and come away spiritually rejuvenated instead of living with fear. With a powerful message that advises spirituality without dismissing all other logic, "Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons" is a vital read on how to interpreting the Bible in today's world.

How to Defeat Harmful Habits
June Hunt
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736923293, $14.99,

Bad habits can be more than a nuisance, it can change your life for the worst. "How to Defeat Harmful Habits: Freedom from Six Addictive Behaviors" is a guide to beating addiction in one's life, noticing a problem before it happens, and how to make one free of it to live one's life more devotedly, and how God can help. "How to Defeat Harmful Habits" is an inspirational and much recommended pick for anyone who fears their bad habits may be controlling their life.

The Little Flowers of Saint Francis
Brother Ugolino
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568
Orleans, MA 02653
9781557257840, $17.99,

The story of Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most faithfully revered. "The Little Flowers of Saint Francis" chronicles the volume surrounding this figure, arranged in chronological order surrounding the man and his follower's journeys and brush with many of the important people of his day, changing their lives and learning lessons from each other. "The Little Flowers of Saint Francis" is an excellent addition for those curious on the journeys of Saint Francis, or for students of his work.

The Power of Small
Jennifer Kennedy Dean
New Hope Publishers
100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242
9781596693135, $14.99,

Many small things can lead to something much bigger. "The Power of Small: Think Small to Live Large" is an inspirational and devotional read from Jennifer Kennedy Dean as she encourages readers to keep it small and keep pushing it through their lives for better health and wellness. "The Power of Small" is an excellent pick for Christians who want to use faith and drive to move them through their lives more completely.

A Year of Prayers
Jack Bartlett
Resource Publications
c/o Wipf & Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401
9781610973373, $25.00,

Spirit is something that needs maintenance. "A Year of Prayers" is a collection of 365 poems from Jack Bartlett as he touches on many topics throughout the year to help readers gain that daily affirmation of life. "A Year of Prayers" is a choice and much recommended pick for poetry collections. "Your Breath": Lord, Over the water above the blue/it's you, now,/I feel your breath/moving leaves, shifting sands,/filling sails, mussing hair/that falls gently over a brow/while I pray,/I feel your breath that snuffs a candle/but doesn't take the light/of the world away.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Going Home
Jon Katz
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor
New York, NY 10019
9780345502698, $22.00,

It becomes much more than a dog through years of companionship. "Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die" discusses the grief that we face when we lose the connection to our beloved pets and how our connection to our pets may be just as strong as the ones we have our human family. Touching on philosophy and the reasons behind this empathy and bonds, "Going Home" is a moving read for anyone who wants to understand the profound emotional bonds we form outside our own species.

As I See It
Bill Stephenson
Dorrance Publishing Co.
701 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
9781434910721, $35.00,

In the dog pound, all hope may be lost for many dogs. "As I See It" is a moving read from Bill Stephenson as he ponders his time with his many faithful dogs. Telling of how he chose each of them from the pound, the challenges of melding these new dogs, and the love that comes from all directions, "As I See It" is a remarkable and heartwarming read for any dog lover who enjoys tales of rescue from the big sleep.

All My Dogs
Bill Henderson
David R. Godine
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
9781567924350, $19.95,

The sad reality is that humans outlive dogs many times over. "All My Dogs" is a unique memoir from Bill Henderson as he tells his own tale of the main dogs of his life, reflecting on their unique personalities and their impact on his life, empowered by touching drawings all throughout. For those seeking poignant tales of man and dog, "All My Dogs" is a choice and much recommended collection, a top pick.

The Martial Arts Shelf

Let's Get It On!
John McCarthy
Medallion Press
1020 Cedar Ave., Suite 216, Saint Charles, IL 60174
9781605421414, $24.95,

For what was first a no holds barred brawl, you needed someone especially forceful to maintain anything that resembled order. "Let's Get It On!: The Making of MMA and Its Ultimate Referee" tells the story of 'Big' John McCarthy who starting with its second event in UFC 2, served as a pillar of the sport in its earliest days. With the aid of Sports Journalist Loretta Hunt, Sharing his story of how a cop of two decades goes into refereeing a brutal sport, "Let's Get It On!" is a remarkable tale of life and the formation of a new sport.

The Music Shelf

Ben Fong-Torres
Running Press
2300 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4371
9780762439843, $30.00,

Friendship may come and go, but good music is forever. "Eagles: Taking it to the Limit" is an anniversary study of forty years of legendary rock group The Eagles, who have gone through countless members and constant mishaps and lawsuits yet have still remained strong through it all and united by their music. Packed with photographs from the bands at the many stages of its career from its formation to its recent reunion tours, "Eagles" is a choice pick, very much worth considering for fans of the band of would be rock and roll historians.

A Rocket in my Pocket
Max Decharne
Serpent's Tail
c/o Meryl Zegarek Public Relations
255 West 108th Street, Suite 901
New York, NY 10025
9781846687211, $18.95,

The spirit of Elvis' rock and roll still lives. "A Rocket in my Pocket: The Hipster's Guide to Rockabilly Music" is a guide to this genre that gained notoriety for its large assortment of one hit wonders and retains a certain spirit that is lost in modern rock music, although there are artists out there who keep the music living on, keeping up the hepcat lifestyle that has lived on far beyond the 50s. "A Rocket in my Pocket" is a must for anyone who wants to better understand Rockabilly music, as well as the people who have created it and the people who still love it.

The Social Issues Shelf

Faith And War
David E. Settje
New York University Press
838 Broadway, 3rd floor, NY, NY 10003
9780814741337, $39.00,

In "Faith And War: How Christians Debated the Cold And Vietnam Wars", David E. Settje (Associate Professor of History, Concordia University, Chicago, Illinois) focuses upon the role played by such Christian communities as the United Church of Christ, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic clergy, and others in political and cultural debates with respect to America's involvement and participation in the 'Cold War' between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, as well as the Vietnam War. A model of seminal academic scholarship, informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Faith And War" is a 244-page compendium superbly organized into four primary sections: Christianity and the Cold War, 19684-1968; Christian Responses to Vietnam, 1964-1968; Christianity Confronts Cold War Nixon Policies, 1969-1973; and Christian America Responds to Nixon's Vietnam Policies. Enhanced with a wealth of footnotes, an extensive bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "Faith And War" is strongly recommended for community and academic library 20th Century American History collections in general, and the supplemental reading lists of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the role Christianity played in the formation of American foreign policy and political controversies.

Saving Civility
Sara Hacala
Skylight Paths
Sunset Farm Offices, Route 4, PO Box 237
9781594733147, $16.99,

Kindness to others is becoming an alien thing. "Saving Civility: 52 Ways to Tame Rude, Crude, & Attitude for a Polite Planet" is an inspirational guide for those who want to live their life in such a way that empowers good thought from oneself to spread civility around the world. With fifty two tips on helping turn the tide of bad wisdom, "Saving Civility" is a choice and much recommended read for those who understand the power of good thought.

Ronald Bishop
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363
Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781602582583 $24.95

More: The Vanishing of Scale in an Over-the-Top Nation is a critical re-examination of America's cultural obsession with pouring excesses of scale, passion, and demand into everything - a drive further fueled and fanned by the relentless media. From the questionable celebrity of women who have multiple births, taken to an extreme in the so-called "Octomom" who delivered eight babies in addition to the six children she already had, to the incessant demand to parent perfectly, to crossing the line in competitive sports and even going over edge in home improvement, More spotlights incidents and cultural phenomena that value excess, excitement, and extremes above all. It even possible, let alone culturally sanctioned, to engage in anything casually anymore? Is there no "down time" left to simply enjoy life, or does it all have to be driven by a "bucket list" up until the moment we die? Personal narratives and examples from recent news, popular television shows, books, etc. help to illustrate Bishop's point about the importance of critically evaluating one's desires and goals in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world that pushes people, politics, and lifestyles to their natural extremes. Highly recommended.

Stop the Islamization of America
Pamela Geller
WND Books
c/o Midpoint Trade books (distribution)
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10011
9781936488360 $25.95

Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance is a sharply worded political manifesto decrying the level of influence that Islam has in America, a nation founded on the principle of religious freedom. Of especial note is the very real problem of American domestic violence directly connected Islam - so-called "honor killings" usually perpetrated by fathers or brothers who disapprove of their daughter's or sister's actions. Not enough is being done to help young women who are being beaten or murdered by their own family - Geller points out incidents in which women contacted the police, and were sent back to their families to die - nor is America's culture sufficiently getting across the message that harming women and girls is absolutely intolerable. Geller also speaks of "litigation jihad" and "cultural jihad", methods by which some Muslims are striving to remold American culture in Islam's image (although being a "cultural warrior" is certainly a practice open to Americans of all faiths and backgrounds). Although Stop the Islamization of America is extremely stringent, it nevertheless raises salient points for thought that even those who would dispute its core premise should consider at length.

The Business Shelf

Zero to 100,000
Sarah-Jayne Gratton & Dean Anthony Gratton
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780789748003 $19.99

Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Small Businesses is a solid guide to using social media to establish a solid brand presence so engaging that customers will eagerly spread word of its products and services entirely on their own. Chapters address the secrets of a successful blog, how to determine when a brand makeover is needed, suggestions for creating a noteworthy YouTube video, and much more, as well as direct testimony from social media experts. Zero to 100,000 lives up to its title as a guide to using online media to get the word about one's business out to literally thousands of people, and is highly recommended especially in the increasingly competitive modern world.

Capitalism at Risk
Joseph L. Bower, Herman B. Leonard, & Lynn S. Pain
Harvard Business School Press
60 Harvard Way
Boston, MA 02163
9781422130032, $29.95,

Capitalism only works if the capitalists act wisely. "Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business" discusses the role of business in today's society and life. Through innovation and in-business activism, business can dictate their own future and move towards a better future for the business and its employees, and the country as well, in their pursuit of sustainable profit. Understanding that business alone is not the only solution, Joseph L. Bower, Herman B. Leonard, & Lynn S. Pain offer insightful viewpoints on where business and government must meet to make prosperity happen. "Capitalism at Risk" is a much recommended read for anyone who wants to better understand the future role of business in successful capitalism.

The Underdog Edge
Amy Showalter
Morgan James Publishing
4410 E Claiborne Square, Suite 334
Hampton VA 23666-2071
9781600379987, $19.95,

Even against all odds, you can make a difference. "The Underdog Edge: How Ordinary People Change the Minds of the Powerful ...and Live to Tell About It" is a guide to making a difference when your particular interest isn't the juggernaut of business changing. From creating credibility as the underdog, showing just enough passion but not too much, activism that works, and how to make one's influence work. "The Underdog Edge" is worth considering for any business leader who wants to make their business work well against the odds.

Streamlined Process Improvement
H. James Harrington
Two Penn Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10121-2298
9780071768634, $40.00,

Running business well takes a good dose of effort. "Streamlined Process Improvement: The Breakthrough Strategy to Reduce Costs, Improvement Quality, Increase Customer Satisfaction, and Boost Profits" is an advisory on business management from H. James Harrington who suggests how to maximize one's business potential, by acting faster, cheaper, and getting better results through optimizing management. "Streamlined Process Improvement" is a fine pick for any manager who thinks their company could be doing a lot better with what it has.

Smart Office Organizing
Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800720100, $13.99,

In order, you can get more done, faster. "Smart Office Organizing: Simple Strategies for Bringing Order to Your Workspace" is a manual from Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims on managing the mess of an office and bringing an unruly office into something resembling order. With a bit of humor but plenty of practicality on getting in order and more importantly, staying that way, "Smart Office Organizing" is useful and recommended reading for anyone daunted by the chaos of their workspace.

The Perfect Hire
Katherine Graham-Leviss
Entrepreneur Press
Two Penn Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10121-2298
9781599184210, $19.95,

Talent is not something to be glossed over. "The Perfect Hire: A Tactical Guide to Hiring, Developing, and Retaining Top Sales Talent" is a manager's guide to retain hires and keep a good employee under one's roof for years to come. Stating that it's easy to find new hires, but long term experienced leads to countless benefits for the business, Katherine Graham-Leviss states all one needs to know to make the most out of sales management. "The Perfect Hire" is a fine pick and much recommended read for community library business management collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Dawn on Kukulkan
Jock Whitehouse
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781578634774, $16.95,

As 2012 draws closer, the fate of t he world will lie in the hands of the daring enough to stop it. "Dawn on Kukulkan: The Return of the Beginning: December 21, 2012" is a metaphysical thriller as Jock Whitehouse follows his previous novel of Mesoamerican mythology and a follow up to the Ledge of Quetzal telling the story of Daniel Bancroft. Riveting reading that keeps readers reading, "Dawn on Kukulkan" is an excellent and much recommended pick for metaphysical fiction collections.

J. E. Fishman
c/o Greenleaf Publishing Group
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9780983380900, $24.95,

A voice is something truly powerful. "Primacy" is an animal rights thriller as J. E. Fishman crafts a tale of scientist Liane Vinson who enters Pentalon, a cutting edge animal testing facility and learns much about what goes on behind the scenes. When a bonobo gains a voice, Liane finds much problems in the lab's methods and learns that a new voice, a remarkable scientific and development of sociology, may quickly be silenced. An entertaining novel that touches on the wrong direction of corporations, regulation, and animal rights protesters, "Primacy" is a quick paced and much recommended read.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Freedom from Within
Teresa Alexander
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781452501802, $35.99,

We have happiness in youth, but it is lost somewhere. "Freedom from Within: A Gift of Love" is a collection of wisdom from Teresa Alexander as she offers advice on finding the happiness and freedom of youth once more, after the reality of adulthood crashes in, so we can heal the wounds of life more effectively. "Freedom from Within" is a solid read of life and spirituality, highly recommended.

Medieval and Renaissance Spirituality
Maria Jaoudi
Paulist Press
997 Macarthur Boulevard, Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809146598, $15.95,

The devotion of spiritual learning in the middle ages is truly extraordinary. "Medieval and Renaissance Spirituality: Discovering the Treasures of the Great Masters" discusses the writing and reflections of classical Middle Ages spirituality. For those studying classical spirituality for our future and for our lives, "Medieval and Renaissance Spirituality" provides a solid and insightful study of past spirituality and much to understand.

A Lamp in the Darkness
Jack Kornfield
Sounds True
413 South Arthur Avenue
Louisville, CO 80027
9781604074482, $19.95,

Darkness is unavoidable, but we can find the strength to conquer it. "A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times" is a spiritual advisory from Jack Kornfield as he states the importance of compassion, healing, peace, forgiveness, and being down to earth in keeping one's head straight through hard and difficult times in life. "A Lamp in the Darkness" is an excellent pick for spirituality and self-help collections.

Feng Shui Your Life
Tisha Morris
Turner Publishing Company
200 4th Avenue North, Suite 950
Nashville, TN 37219
9781596528246, $14.95,

Sometimes one's life simply has too much going on to manage it effectively. "Feng Shui Your Life: The Quick Guide to Decluttering Your Home and Renewing Your Life" is an inspirational read from Tisha Morris as she applies the spiritual and philosophical aspects of Feng Shui to everyday life. For making everyday life flow more effectively and achieving harmony of soul and mind, "Feng Shui Your Life" is worth considering for self-help and spirituality collections.

The Fiction Shelf

The Opposite of Art
Athol Dickson
Howard Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781416583486, $15.99,

Death may just be another step on the road to finding one's calling. "The Opposite of Art" is a novel following the story of a dead artist, who upon his supposed death sees the world to learn how to express what cannot be expressed. A spiritual message of understanding what we usually cannot and what we learn testing the bizarre, "The Opposite of Art" is a profound and highly thought provoking work of literature, highly recommended.

The Baron Of Coyote River
L. Ron Hubbard
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028
9781592123773, $9.95,

One of the newest editions to join the expanding library of L. Ron Hubbard's 'Golden Age' of pulp magazine stories to be reprinted by Galaxy Press for a new generation of appreciative readers, "The Baron Of Coyote River" is a solid action/adventure western complete with good guys, bad guys, and the law of the six-gun. Originally published in the September 1936 issue of 'All Western Magazine'. "The Baron Of Coyote River" is pure entertainment from first page to last with that L. Ron Hubbard touch giving this tale an enduring reader engagement from beginning to end. For those new to the Galaxy Press 'Golden Age Stories' collection, western novel enthusiasts are encouraged to visit for a complete listing of available titles.

River's Song
Melody Carlson
Abingdon Press
PO Box 801, Nashville, TN 37202
9781426712661, $14.99,

A new start is sometimes what you need to sort through a rut of a life. "River's Song" follows Anna Larson as she tries to piece together her broken life. Embracing her native heritage and the inheritance of her family home, she opens an inn and finds that her endeavor will find her peace in ways she never expected it to. "River's Song" is a thoughtful and touching read of Christian and spiritual fiction of facing mid-life crisis.

Purple Flat Top
Jack Nisbet
University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096
9780295991214, $18.95,

Through many paths, we all walk towards our own lives. "Purple Flat Top: In Pursuit of a Place" is a collection of short fiction from Jack Nisbet who ponders the many twists of life and learning as he resonates his time in the Northeastern corner of Washington state, seeing a clash of the natural and modern world. With humor and poignancy, "Purple Flat Top" is a fine assortment, very much recommended for any literary short fiction collection.

How to Stop Loving Someone
Joan Connor
Leap Frog Press
PO Box 2110, Teaticket, MA 02536
9781935248200, $15.95,

Sometimes it's over, but it's so hard to let go. "How to Stop Loving Someone" is a collection of short fiction as Joan Connor explores love and its subversions, as Connor explores love and the reality of truly attaining such a thing and keeping it. With many characters strewn about in different places on the road of love, "How to Stop Loving Someone" is an insightful and original collection that offers anything and everything to think about love and our lives.

The Self-Help Shelf

How to Forgive
Lynda Bevan
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615990306, $14.95,

Bottling anger for an eternity is not a good idea. "How to Forgive: A Practical Guide" is a guide to understanding the power of forgiveness and doing so in one's life. From the mildest of transgressions to life changing mistakes, Lynda Bevan advises readers on how to forgive and how to allow relationships to live once more with pain pushed off. "How to Forgive" is a fine read that shouldn't be overlooked by any who want to deal with their long held anger.

Defeating Depression
Leo J. Battenhausen
New Horizon Press
PO Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882823249, $14.95,

Depression can tear apart one's life. "Defeating Depression: The Calm and Sense Way to Find Happiness and Satisfaction" is a self-help guide from Leo J. Battenhausen advises readers on how to win out over the depression that may be tearing apart a life. With plenty of practical advice for staying on top of one's emotions and stress, "Defeating Depression" is a choice pick for community library self-help and mental health collections.

The Travel Shelf

Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads, third edition
Carolyn Sakowski
John F. Blair
1406 Plaza Drive,
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
9780895875594, $19.95,

The back roads hold the soul of America's natural beauty. "Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads" is the third edition of Carolyn Sakowski's guide to experiencing the natural beauty of the plains, forests, and rivers throughout the state's western region. For those who enjoy the backroad aesthetic and will be visiting North Carolina, "Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads" is an excellent pick packed with maps and black and white photographs throughout.

The War of 1812
John Grant & Ray Jones
Turner Publishing Company
c/o Horizons Plaza
PO Box 1263, Buffalo, NY 14240
9781596528307, $24.95,

America's first great war after its independence was a struggle for survival. "The War of 1812: A Guide to the Battlefields and Historic Sites" is a guide for those who want to see the major sites of this great clash between the British Empire and its fledgling former colonies. With full color photographs throughout and covering the major sites of the war for those who want to tour the battle and gain a better understanding of it, "The War of 1812" is an excellent addition to history and photography collections focusing on military history.

Lonely Planet
150 Linden Street
Oakland CA 94607
9781741794618, $24.99,

There are sights in the world that you will only see in Tasmania. "Tasmania" is a travel guide from Lonely Planet who offers insights on how to best see the country and experience it, with plenty of information and full color photographs throughout, showing the glory of its natural beauty, personal evaluated by the editors of Lonely Planet. For anyone looking for a unique and beautiful location to visit and seeking to be prepared, "Tasmania" is a travel guide that can't be overlooked.

Eat Smart In Norway
Joan Peterson
Ginkgo Press
PO Box 5346, Madison, WI 53705
9780977680139, $14.95,

For a good many years now, Joan Peterson has been travel to other countries to research and write what can only be describe as unique culinary travel guides. "Eat Smart In Norway" is the eleventh and newest of these guides and like all the others is an informed and informative compendium of 'real world' information on how a visitor can eat and drink like the locals do. "Eat Smart In Norway" will enable the reader to decipher Norwegian restaurant menus, shop knowledgeably in Norway's marketplaces, and experience Norwegian culinary culture at it diversely finest. Enhanced with color photography and sprinkled through with authentic but very much 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes. No traveler to Norway, whether for business or for pleasure, should be without their very own copy of Joan Peterson's "Eat Smart In Norway"! One word of final advice and recommendation, visit the Ginkgo Press web site at for a complete listing of all of Peterson's 'Eat Smart' travel guides.

The Humor Shelf

Fail Harder community
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449403072 $12.99

Anyone who has ever delighted in the failure of others will laugh out loud at Fail Harder, a full-color compendium of photographs from the community depicting everything from cringe-inducing typos to potentially life-threatening incidents of catastrophic failure, worldwide. From a sign proclaiming "Mother's Day M.I.L.F. Cupcakes!" to a children's cup that labels a crudely drawn picture of a walrus as a "dolphin", to a disturbing view of butcher shop right next to a cemetery and an out-of-order suicide hotline atop a bridge, Fail Harder lives up to its title and then some. Fail Harder is especially recommended as a gag gift to friends with a wicked sense of humor (or perhaps just a little too much love of schadenfreude)!

Go Fish
Mr. Fish
Akashic Books
PO Box 1456
New York, NY 10009
9781617750144 $18.95

Recommended for adult readers due to its mature content, Go Fish: How to Win Contempt and Influence People is an anthology of single-panel cartoons by the irreverent, outspoken, and at times utterly vulgar political cartoonist Mr. Fish, interspersed with Fish's brief yet verbose original essays railing against human stupidity and hypocrisy (to say the least) plus a final appendix entitled "Why I Am Not a Cartoonist". Most cartoons are black-and-white; some are in color. Although some of the cartoons have been previously published in "Harper's Magazine", the "LA Weekly", and the "Village Voice", among other places, many of the cartoons have never before been published in any format. This may possibly be because of their utterly unpopular satire, or because of their graphic nature - although Fish's sparse artwork is not entirely shock value, neither does he shy from cursing or using depictions of violence, human genitalia, sexual acts, or defecation to drive home his point. One of the most innocuous cartoons shows a lawyer telling a prisoner, "Great news! We just found out that Justice isn't really blind and that she's into white rich guys!", while one of the less innocuous cartoons shows President Ronald Regan pledging allegiance and masturbating at the same time. Fish is just as harsh if not more so upon President Bush and especially President Obama, whose support for war and corporate interests over the well-being of ordinary Americans earns him relentless scorn - one cartoon shows Obama in a waterlogged boat labeled "U.S.A.", casting at the ocean with a bucket, and proclaiming "If we bail out the ocean then the boat won't sink." Raw, severe, raging, and twistedly funny, Go Fish is a one-of-a-kind compilation meant to provoke thought as well as entertain - if anything, motivating readers to stop being complacent, open their eyes to injustice, and actually do something about it seems to be the author's primary motivation, when he is not descending into a bottomless pit of personal despair and denial. Highly recommended.

The Best of the Rejection Collection
Matthew Diffee
Workman Publishing
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014-4381
9780761165781, $13.95,

For every success, there are dozens of failures. "The Best of the Rejection Collection: 293 Cartoons That Were Too Dumb, Too Dark, or Too Naughty for the New Yorker" interviews many of the authors regularly published in the New Yorker, the work that was tossed out by the editors for not fitting in with the themes of the paper. A sort of director's cut, Matthew Diffee presents a humorous and much recommended collection for anyone who appreciates the New Yorker's style. "The Best of the Rejection Collection" is a choice pick that shouldn't be overlooked by any comics and cartoon collection.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Bubbles & Gondola
Renaud Dillies
NBM Publishing
40 Exchange Place, Suite 1308
New York, NY 10005-2742
9781561636112 $16.00

Bubbles & Gondola is a color graphic novel featuring a heartwarming story that readers of all ages can enjoy. Charlie the Mouse writes for a living, or tries to, but he lives a reclusive existence and has a bad case of writer's block. He is struggling for inspiration when a little blue bird visits him; the bird names himself Solitude ("from now on your Solitude is me!") and helps Charlie garner the courage to see the world outside his quasi-agoraphobic shell. A fair has come to Charlie's hometown, and daring to venture outside, play music with other people, and meet new faces could be just what Charlie needs to find the inspiration of his dreams! Bubbles & Gondola is a joy to read from cover to cover, and highly recommended.

Marvel Comics in the 1970s
Pierre Comtois
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Dr., Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490342, $27.95,

A classical era in comics, the 1970s was the last stop before the modern era of the 1980s for comic book fans. "Marvel Comics in the 1970s" traces the history of the company throughout the decade and the rise of Publisher Stan Lee. The roles of countless authors of the era and the foundation and changes many characters faced during the period, "Marvel Comics in the 1970s" is packed with plenty of photos and proves to be a fine read for any comic fan and historian, much recommended.

Inventing Iron Man
E. Paul Zehr
The John Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9781421402260, $24.95,

Iron Man provides a unique study of superhero, a superhero who is within the realm of real life. "Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine" looks at the science behind Tony Stark and his power that comes not from being an alien or radiation, but from human ingenuity. From neuro science to the basic logistics a flying suit of armor fit for human use, from the limits of the human body, "Inventing Iron Man" is a unique and much recommended read for anyone with an interest in the reality of super science.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Haunted Wisconsin, third edition
Michael Norman
Terrace Books
c/o University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299285944 $19.95

Now in its third edition with updates and multiple new contributions, Haunted Wisconsin remains a premier source of ghost stories, unexplained phenomena, and just plain spooky happenings in the Badger State. From the Ghost Island of the Chippewa Flowage, to the widely witnessed (by three hundred spectators!) poltergeist of St. Croix County, to a phantom basketball player and more, the anecdotes in Haunted Wisconsin are sure to fascinate anyone intrigued by inexplicable mysteries. A thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, Haunted Wisconsin is a choice pick especially for enthusiasts of spook!

Who Are You in the Tarot?
Mary K. Greer
Weiser Publishers
65 Parker Avenue, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578634934 $21.95

Who Are You in the Tarot? is a metaphysical guide to using one's birth date and knowledge of the Tarot to learn more about one's identity. Professional tarot consultant Mary K. Greer teaches the reader how to apply principles of numerology and techniques such as journaling and self-exploration to reveal how one's own personality aligns with the characters of the major and minor tarot arcana. Early chapters discuss birth cards, tarot constellations, and techniques for working with one's personal cards, followed by an in-depth discussion of individual tarot constellations and their broader significance. Who Are You in the Tarot? is a fascinating supplementary resource for anyone with an interest in self-discovery through the medium of tarot.

Coventry Magic with Candles, Oils, and Herbs
Jacki Smith
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781578635108 $21.95

Witch, healer, creator of the magical candle supplier Coventry Candles Jacki Smith presents Coventry Magic with Candles, Oils, and Herbs, a primer for tapping into primal energies to attract luck, love, money, power, creativity, and more. Jacki speaks in plain terms about the human drives that magic can modify, and how to do so in a beneficial fashion. "A flickering flame may be burning off the bad wishes of others, or there may be spirits present. It may not be interfering with your spell yet, but you can take action to make sure it never does. Light a reversing or protection candle if you feel the interference is others' green eyes of envy. If it is the spirit trying to communicate, take a moment and ask them to talk to you in a way you can understand. Some people use candles to communicate with spirits, so give the spirits their own candle with which to play through which to talk to you." Multiple appendices further explore nuanced details of practicing magic in depth, making Coventry Magic an excellent and user-friendly addition to metaphysical shelves.

Conscious Creation
Dee Wallace
Ozark Mountain Publishing
PO Box 754, Huntsville, AR 72740
9781886940260, $14.00,

Taking control of one's own destiny is easier than one thinks. "Conscious Creation: Directing Energy to Get the Life You Want" is an inspirational guide from Dee Wallace as she encourages people to find their own path through life and drive themselves forward, making themselves who they want to be, conquer their fears and be their own definition of magnificent. "Conscious Creation" is a shining and strongly recommended read, not to be overlooked.

Jim Harold's Campfire
Jim Harold
New Page
c/o Career Press
220 West Parkway, Unit 12, Pompton, NJ 07444
9781601631947, $14.99,

Messages from beyond scare us, but endlessly entice us. "Jim Harold's Campfire: True Ghost Stories" is a collection of connections to the paranormal and what they mean for those of us in the world of the living. With a focus on the endlessly interesting, the stories are stories of saved lives, last wills and testaments, and what happens when you tease the beyond. "Jim Harold's Campfire" is an intriguing and much recommended addition to community library metaphysical and paranormal collections.

The Poetry Shelf

Tricks of Light
Jeanie Tomasko
Parallel Press
372 Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53575
9781934795279 $10.00

Tricks of Light is a chapbook of free-verse poetry nurse and outdoorswoman Jeanie Tomasko. The poems reflect her unabashed love of nature with a freewheeling vigor, and at times venture into purely experimental formats. Tricks of Light is best enjoyed outdoors, sitting on a sunny bench when taking a break from a long hike or bike ride. "Edge of September": Again this year it comes: / the shift in the wind / that certain slant of sun / the sudden red of sumac. // Out at the lake / birdsong is less urgent, / the young can feed themselves. / In a few days / something like light / will tug on wings. // I am at home with / the downside of summer. / I take stock of the woodpile. / Night comes earlier. The space / between cricket chirps, long. / I've stopped coloring my hair. // My husband fingers the gray / as if learning a tenderness.

New and Selected Poems
Robert Sward
Red Hen Press
PO Box 3537
Granada Hills, CA 91394
9781597092616, $24.95,

In life, there is inherent humor, and understanding that is key to understanding life. "New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011" is a collection of poetry from Robert Sward, looking to grant unique viewpoints on the world and the challenges we so often face and struggle to understand. "New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011" combines comedy and poignancy in a fine blend. "Iowa": What a strange happiness./Sixty poets have gone off drunken, weeping into the hills,/I among them./There is no one of us who is not a fool./What is to be found there?/What is the point in this?/Someone scrawls six lines and says them./What a strange happiness.

L-vis Lives!
Kevin Coval
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
9781608461516, $16.00,

Though the color is different, the spirit is often the same. "L-vis Lives!" is a collection of poetry from Kevin Coral as he produces poetry that reflects on the whiteboy, what drives him, and how the drive is not so different. "L-vis Lives!" is an insightful and recommended delve into a unique brand of poetry. "The Critic Truths: A Found Haiku": at the photo shoot/the makeup artist spreads base/on his foundation.

Flyover Seasons
Gene Stark
North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302
9780878395552, $9.95,

The fields of America have more than enough character to them. "Flyover Seasons" is a collection of poetry from Gene Stark as he talks about the Flyover country of America and what it has to offer the people of America in its soul and flavor. "Flyover Seasons" is an insightful assortment of poetry, very much recommended. "The Seed Season": Wild grass turning on an empty sky,/ripe grain burning on a foreign sea./Another seeding season/caught between reason and red diesel fuel./Corn profits turning in the corporate rain,/farm kids burning in the urban sprawl./subsidized to mediocrity,/mortgaged down the drain,/It gets hard to tell/where wild grass meets the grain.

The Cookbook Shelf

Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook
Rachel Wharton, editor
Sterling Epicure
c/o Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
9781402785542, $18.95,

With dishes ranging from the unusual to the elegant, "Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook" is a compilation of recipes drawn from the kitchens, cafes, and restaurants of Brooklyn, New York. this 168-page illustrated compendium is the culinary and editorial triumph of Rachel Wharton, an award-winning columnist on Brooklyn's iconic restaurants and who holds a master's degree in Food Studies from New York University. Each recipe comes with a succinct introduction, an organized list of ingredients, and clear step-by-step preparatory instructions. From Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns; Braised Pork Shoulder with Cider Vinegar, Whole-Grain Mustard, and Brown Beer; Egg Noodles with Creamy Red Cabbage and Sweet Corn; and Cucumbers with Ricotta, Basil, and Mint; to Apple Vodka and Apple Rosemary Cocktail; Cinnamon Nut Rugelach; and Autumn Plate-Licker Cake, "Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook" offers a wealth of local color, history, and information along with palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, 'kitchen cook friendly' dishes to serve up for any and all dining occasions. "Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook" will prove to be a welcome and unique addition to personal, family, and community library collections.

The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Oysters
Jerald Horst & Glenda Horst
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781589809697, $25.00,

There's more to oysters than just the occasional pearl! In "The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Oysters", the husband and wife team of Jerald and Glenda Horst have compiled a profusely illustrated, 224-page compendium of history and general information on this versatile shellfish. After which is a cornucopia of superbly presented recipes for wonderful dishes featuring the delights of the oyster. The culinary wealth of oyster recipes range from Baked Oysters Bay Batiste; Drago's Charbroiled Oysters; Mama's Oyster Milk Soup; and Italian Fried and Baked Oysters; to Oyster Cutlets; Brown Gravy Oyster Spaghetti; Clubhouse Oysters; and Deviled Oyster Casserole. Each illustrated dish comes with a succinct introduction, a list of ingredients, and clear step-by-step instructions, making "The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Oysters" thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' and a highly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Speciality Cookbook collections.

Inside The Jewish Bakery
Stanley Ginsberg & Norman Berg
Camino Books
c/o KSB Promotions
55 Honey Creek, NE, Ada, MI 49301
9781933822235, $24.95,

Every culture around the globe has its own culinary flair and distinction when it comes to the culinary art of baking. This is especially true of Jewish culture with its impressive and diverse history that spans nations and crosses cultures. The collaborative work of Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg, "Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking" is a nicely illustrated, 344-page compendium of both recipes and Jewish traditions. Superbly organized beginning with an historical overview of the world of European ghettos, then with informational presentations on the role of baking ingredients, their are specific chapters showcasing breads, bagels, rolls, 'Bialystoker Kuchen', pastries, cakes, cooks, fillings, toppings, icings, and finishings. Of special note is the chapter devoted to Passover Baking. Enhanced with numerous resources, copious notes, and a comprehensive index, "Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking" is a very special and seminal addition to personal, family, community, and academic library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

Cutie Pies
Dani Cone
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449403058, $16.99,

Miniature, single-serving desserts are always a popular item. In "Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes", Dani Cone draws upon her years of experience and expertise as the founder and owner of three 'Fuel Coffee' locations in Seattle, Washington, (and especially her 'High 5 Pie' where she developed her signature tiny pastries that have gained national recognition) to compile a thoroughly 'user friendly', profusely illustrated, 160-page compendium of recipes to create superb little dishes that will please any palate and appropriate for any dining occasion. Beginning with an invaluable chapter on making the perfect crust, the recipes range from a Black Raspberry Cutie Pie; to a Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Petit-5; to a Broccoli, Chedar and Mushroom Flipsides; to a Cherry-Almond Piepop. Of special note is the concluding chapter dedicated to Full-Sized Pies. Enhanced with a section on metric conversions and equivalents, "Cutie Pies" will prove to be a unique and very popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Kate Shaffer
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
9780892729913, $29.95,

Chocolate has been popular every since the Spanish brought it back from the New World and the Europeans added a bit of sugar to it. Today there is an entire culinary industry devoted to chocolate -- not to mention outstanding specialized chocolate oriented cookbooks like Kate Schaffer's "Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier". This nicely illustrated, 176-page compendium combines anecdotal stories with mouth-watering recipes for truly elegant chocolate creations that will please even the most discerning of chocolate-lover palates. With recipes ranging from Earl Grey Truffles; Peruvian Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Curd; and Olive Oil Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream; to Cafe Chocolate Chip Cookies; Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet with Chocolate Black pepper Sauce; and Cocoa Nib Creme Brulee, "Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any personal, family, or community library collections.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Jeni Britton Bauer
Artisan Books
c/o Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4381
9781579654368 $23.95

Featuring full-color photography on almost every page, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home is a practical-minded guide to using a basic ice cream machine and other simple cooking tools along with ordinary supermarket ingredients to create diverse and delectable flavors of ice cream, from Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream to Black Coffee Ice Cream and even Grapefruit Hibiscus Frozen Yogurt. Step-by-step instructions and creative combinations of different ice creams allow one to enjoy the stylings of a dessert gourmet in the privacy of one's own home! A definite treat for ice cream enthusiasts, highly recommended.

Off the Menu
Marissa Guggiana
Welcome Books
6 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9781599621029, $40.00,

The versatility of the best chefs in the world can't be constrained by a simple menu. "Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants" delves into what the chefs of the best restaurants in the world offer to their staff and themselves from what they have leftover out of their own menu. A cookbook based on improvisation and also studying the tradition of the staff meal, "Off the Menu" brings forth a wide variety of recipes, both innovative and new takes on old favorites, with plenty of full color photos cover to cover.

175 Best Babycakes
Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss
Robert Rose
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, ON M4P 1E2, Canada
9780778802839, $24.95,

A bit of sweetness is all you need. "175 Best Babycakes: Cupcake Maker Recipes" is a guide to making the most out of a cupcake maker. From sweet indulgences to making bite sized appetizers and meals that won't make your diet run away screaming, "175 Best Babycakes" is enhanced with a spattering of color and easy to use instructions, making it an excellent companion for anyone who wants more out of a cupcake maker.

The Computer Shelf

Java Performance
Charlie Hunt & Binu John
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780137142521, $59.99,

Java continues to develop in complexity, utility, and reliability. The latest addition to outstanding Addison Wesley's 'The Java Series' and the collaborative work of Java experts Charlie Hunt and Binu John, "Java Performance" is a 720-page compendium that begins with strategies, approaches, and methodologies for Java users, the addresses operating system performance monitoring, Java application profiling tips, bench marking Java applications, web service performance, and a great deal more. Of special note is the chapter devoted to 'Java Persistence and Enterprise Java Beans Performance. Enhanced with a list of bibliographical links, appendices, and a comprehensive index, "Java Performance" is highly recommended as a valued instructional reference for Java users.

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed
Brian Loesgen, et al.
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780672331183, $59.99,

The impressive collaboration of Brian Loesgen, Charles Young, Jan Eliasen and Scott Colestock, "Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed" is an 864-page compendium on the Microsoft BizTalk Server software. Users will learn all aspects in support of any business requirement or necessity including the creation of maps for intransforming inbound and outbound XML messages, BizTalk infrastructure, building rules-based solutions utilizing Microsoft's 'Business Rules Framework', creating RFID applications, and more. Informed, informative, comprehensive, superbly organized, and 'user friendly', "Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed" is highly recommended for personal and professional instructional reference collections.

Trevor Burnham
Pragmatic Programmers
P.O. Box 293325
Lewisville, TX 75029-3325
9781934356784, $29.00,

JavaScript is very popular for web programmers, but there can be improvements. "CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development" is a guide to developing with this improved JavaScript takeoff that seeks to create more clean and sleeker programming, and how to use it to the fullest in the same situations as JavaScript. For those who want to get started in this language, "CoffeeScript" is an excellent introduction that should not be overlooked.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Vampire Film
Alain Silver & James Ursini
Limelight Editions
c/o Hal Leonard
33 Plymouth St, Suite 302
Montclair, NJ 07042
9780879103958, $29.99,

Almost human, but all monster. "The Vampire Film: From Nosferatu to True Blood" discusses the history of the vampire in film, providing a unique blend of sex and violence that viewers have been devouring for decades. Presenting an index of all films from the traditionally revered Bram Stoker's Dracula, to the cheesy Dracula vs. Frankenstein, to movies featuring luchadores facing the armies of the undead. With countless color illustrations, for those looking for more vampire films, "The Vampire Film" is the compendium they should consider.

The American History Shelf

A Short History of Lake Tahoe
Michael J. Makley
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166
Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874178500 $21.95

Black-and-white photographs regularly pepper A Short History of Lake Tahoe, the in-depth examination of one of the most beautifully scenic lakes in the American West. For millennia, Native Americans came to its shores; in more recent centuries, Lake Tahoe has attracted fortune hunters, scientists, and much more. From the lake's geology and natural history, to its influence upon the Washoe Indians, and even its inspiration to legendary author Mark Twain, entertainer Frank Sinatra, Olympic skier Julia Mancuso, and more, A Short History of Lake Tahoe is a rich, involved tapestry populated by colorful characters, and highly recommended especially for armchair travelers.

Maltese in Michigan
Joseph M. Lubig
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25
East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
9781611860191 $12.95

Maltese in Michigan is a close look at one facet of Michigan's diverse ethnic and cultural heritage - the influence of Maltese immigrants. Ordinary people are probably most familiar of the Maltese through the cross displayed by firefighters, which is similar to the one used by the Knights of Malta. In the 20th century, the Maltese established themselves strongly in the city of Detroit, and their strong work ethic and Catholic faith have helped sustain them. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this fascinating history, which touches on everything from common Maltese surnames, Maltese cuisine, and ethnic and social organizations, to individual reflections on the impact of World War II. Maltese in Michigan is an excellent addition especially to public and college library Michigan history shelves.

Washington Hall at Notre Dame
Mark C. Pilkenton
University of Notre Dame Press
310 Flanner Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
9780268038953, $30.00,

A centerpiece of a historic university, "Washington Hall at Notre Dame: Crossroads of the University, 1864-2004" casts the history of Notre Dame through one of its most important buildings, tracing the performance arts center from its early days to the modern era, reflecting the happenings of the campus and the world upon it. "Washington Hall at Notre Dame" is a worthy read for anyone who wants another perspective on the history of theatre and education in a major icon of both.

The World History Shelf

Irish People, Irish Linen
Kathleen Curtis Wilson
Ohio University Press
19 Circle Drive, The Ridges, 1 Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701,
9780821419717, $49.95,

Irish history is one of turmoil, and Kathleen Curtis Wilson links it all together with linen. "Irish People, Irish Linen" is a discussion of the history of Ireland through their fabrics, speaking on the literal use of linen for the Irish people and the symbolism of its history as presented. With massive full color photographs throughout, this cultural history discusses many and countless things of a people struggling to survive and their drive to thrive. For any cultural history collection with a nod to fabrics, "Irish People, Irish Linen" is a scholarly and well composed history, a grade-A recommendation.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Knitivity: Create Your Own Christmas Scene
Fiona Goble
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449403652, $16.99,

With a bit of determination and know how, you can make a truly unique nativity scene. "Knitivity: Create Your Own Christmas Scene" is a guide from Fiona Goble as she walks readers through the basics on how to get into knitting crochet and create patterns set around Christmas and making something of your own based on your own design and hands. "Knitivity" is a must for any devout Christian knitting enthusiast or one simply looking to try something new this Christmas.

Color & Design
Heather Thomas
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A
Urbandale, IA 50322
9781935726098, $29.95,

Colorful materials capture eyes and make for a delightful experience. "A Fiber Artist's Guide to Color & Design: The Basics & Beyond" is a needlework guide for those who want to imbue their work with more color and more style. With plenty of patterns and inspiration throughout, Heather Thomas walks readers through what they need to know to understand the process. Using full color photos to provide examples, "A Fiber Artist's Guide to Color & Design" is a solid and much needed addition to any needlework and art collection, enthusiastically recommended.

Exploring Color in Knitting
Sarah Hazell & Emma King
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788
9780764147395, $16.99,

Good color can make good work great. "Exploring Color in Knitting: Techniques, Swatches, and Projects to Expand Your Knitting Horizons" is a full color knitting guide from Sarah Hazell & Emma King as they advise readers and do it yourself fashion enthusiasts to embrace many colors in their work, proving that the results are well worth the additional labor. "Exploring Color in Knitting" is a fine addition to community and personal needlecraft library collections.

The Biography Shelf

Five Down No Glory
Richard K. Smith & R. Cargill Hall
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
9781612510545, $36.95,

Fighting is just another way through life. "Five Down, No Glory: Frank G. Tinker, Mercenary Ace in the Spanish Civil War" tells the story of this individual, who passed through the US Naval Academy and earned rights as the top American ace throughout the Spanish Civil War. Brushing shoulders with many major figures throughout his day, he wrote his memoir, and faced a questionable suicide. Richard Smith & R. Cargill Hall seek to gain a more complete understanding of this man and what it meant. "Five Down, No Glory" is an intriguing discussion of a mercenary and what brings a man to that status.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Health Of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender People
Institute of Medicine
National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
9780309210614, $59.95,

The medical issues especially pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women has heretofore been relatively obscured due to the social stigma associated with these sexual orientations in the popular culture. But that cultural condition has been changing over the past couple of decades to the point where academia and the medical establishment has been concerning itself more and more with LGBT health issues. Under the direction of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has produced "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding: Building A Foundation For Better Understanding", a 362-page compendium organized into seven major sections. Following an explanatory summary providing a succinct overview of the LGBT community, and an informative introduction to both the LGBT community and this study, "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People" goes on to address the LGBT health status in America within an historical and demographic perspective; the contemporary status of research in this specialized field of study; LGBT health issues in childhood and adolescence; LGBT health issues in early and middle adulthood; LGBT health issues in later adulthood; and concludes with recommendations respecting research, data collection, policy. A model of academic excellence, enhanced with four appendices (including a review of the literature), and a comprehensive index, "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People" is strongly recommended as a core addition to academic and medical school library research reference collections.

The Weight Loss Surgery Workbook
Doreen A. Samelson
New Harbinger Press
5674 Shattuck Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
9781572248991, $24.95,

When all else has failed, there is surgery, but it still is not easy. "The Weight Loss Surgery Workbook" is a self-help guide from Doreen A. Samelson who advises readers on how to best prepare for weight loss surgery when all of their other options have failed and surgery has been chosen as the answer. Preparation and recovery however, prove it is not a silver bullet. One must still make lifestyle choices and change the way they live to recover and live life anew. "The Weight Loss Surgery Workbook" is a must for anyone considering weight loss surgery or has it already scheduled ahead of them.

The Photography Shelf

Two Times Intro
Michael Stipe
Akashic Books
PO Box 1456
New York, NY 10009
9781617750236, $23.95,

A simple picture tells so much. "Two Times Intro: On the Road with Patti Smith" is a collection of black and white photography from Michael Stipe as he presents the two weeks the photographer and the musician spent together in 1995. A visual diary of the return to performance for Smith, "Two Times Intro" proves powerful, an excellent and much recommended addition to coffee tables or community library collections that have a focus on memoir, music, and photography.

The Literary Studies Shelf

Bard Games
Victor L. Cahn
Taylor Trade Publishing
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
9781589796171, $11.95,

Shakespeare is a foundation of today's western literature, and there is no shortage of topics connected to him. "Bard Games" is a book filled with quizzes and games for those who want to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the works of Shakespeare and their impact on today's movies, literature, and theatre. For anyone looking for a fun way to study literary history, "Bard Games" are a choice pick, very much recommended reading.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Secret Fate of Mary Watson
Judy Johnson, author
Eloise Oxer, narrator
Bolinda Publishing
186 S Long Swamp Rd
Jackson, ME 04921
9781742853024 $108.95

Victorian Premier's Literacy Award winning author Judy Johnson presents The Secret Fate of Mary Watson, a novel set in 1879 Queensland, now available in an unabridged audiobook rendition superbly performed by veteran actress Eloise Oxer. The Secret Fate of Mary Watson follows young Mary, flat broke, having fled her home at the boisterous age of 19, seeking to earn a living. She starts as a pianist in a Cooktown brothel, becomes a spy in smuggling operations, and eventually moves to Lizard Island as part of a marriage of convenience. Lizard Island is a lawless place, populated by ruthless enemies - and also hidden secrets to tempt her innermost desires! Based on the true story of an extraordinary women who persevered in the North Queensland frontier, The Secret Fate of Mary Watson is a riveting listening experience and highly recommended. 12 CDs, 14 hours 30 min.

Kate Veitch, author
Edwina Wren, narrator
Bolinda Publishing
186 S Long Swamp Rd
Jackson, ME 04921
9781742149165 $103.95

Trust is a harrowing novel of what lies beneath the surface of a seemingly idyllic life. Susanna Greenfield feels blessed by fortune; she has a successful career as an art teacher, prosperous husband, two teenaged children, a strong relationship with her mother, and things seemed to have turned a corner with her younger sister. Susanna's creative spirit seems to be dwindling as of late, but that seems a small price to pay for her happiness... until the fractures underneath the lies supporting her life begin to manifest. Vividly written with complex, believable characters who struggle with problems that are are too real, Trust is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 11 CDs, 12 hours 59 min.

Great By Choice
Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen, authors
Jim Collins, narrator
Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062121028 $39.99

Great By Choice is the unabridged audiobook rendition researcher Jim Collins and management professor Morten Hansen's study of why some companies adapt better to tumultuous times than others. Examining the dynamics of today's modern world from an analytical perspective, Great By Choice reveals that the most successful leaders were also the most disciplined, logical, and paranoid; that being excessively hasty in one's decisions and actions was a swift route to destruction no matter how quickly the modern world shifts; and that the most prosperous companies actually transformed themselves on reaction to a lesser degree than their less successful competitors. Supported heavily with extensive research and data, Great by Choice reveals the path to business excellence is built first and foremost upon intelligent decision-making, not random happenstance, and is highly recommended. 8 CDs, 9 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

To My Surprise
The Mike Longo Trio plus two special guests
Consolidated Artists Productions
The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Jazz pianist Mike Longo, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Lewis Nash along with horn-player special guests Jimmy Owens (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Lance Bryant (tenor saxophone) present To My Surprise, a music CD showcase of acoustic jazz. Brimming with energy, complexity, and drive, To My Surprise is an original treasure, highly recommended especially for jazz lovers. The tracks are "A Picture of Dorian Mode" (5:30), "Still Water" (5:19), "New Muse Blues" (6:00), "Limbo" (3:31), "Alone Again" (9:12), "I Hadn't Any One Til' You" (5:49), "Old Devil Moon" (5:59), "Magic Bluze" (3:24), "To My Surprise" (6:00), "You've Changed" (6:29), "Eye of Hurricane" (3:24), and "In the Wee Small Hours" (4:25).

Boom Boom Boom: Round Dance Songs
Gentlemen's Club
Canyon Records Productions
3131 West Clarendon Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85017

Boom Boom Boom: Round Dance Songs is a Native American music album gathering Pow-wow groups from all across the Great Lakes region, including Midnite Express, Pipestone, Eyabay, and Tha Tribe. Solid drumming forms the core of this music; the song lyrics range from lonely heartbreak to the joy of forming new connections. A vibrant, driving musical experience, Boom Boom Boom is a cream of the crop addition to Round Dance music collections. The tracks are "Funkadelic" (3:46), "Big Girlz" (4:12), "They Dance For You" (3:54), "Lil' Red's Medley" (3:14), "The Only One for Me" (3:28), "Don't Think I'll Go Out Tonight" (4:15), "All That Jazz" (4:09), "Oh Me, Oh Me" (3:30), "Big City Bouncin'" (3:33), "Still Missin' U" (4:18), "I-29" (4:29), "The G-Club" (3:46), "Judy Dooty" (3:46), "The Anthem" (4:44), "Baaki" (4:10), "Nothing You Could Say" (3:17), "Scoutin'" (4:25), and "English River" (3:48).

After the Disquiet
Privately Published
c/o FlipSwitch (publicity)
PO Box 2207
Bloomington, IN 47404-2207

After the Disquiet is a music CD album featuring the multicultural stylings of Ravish Momin and the band Tarana. All the compositions are by Momin; the music blends jazz with Asian, Middle-eastern, and African elements, creating a smooth and lively listening experience. The tracks are "Disposable", which is based on a North-Indian folk song; "Hava", which is inspired by the famous Palace of Air in Jaipur, India and its revolutionary placement of windows to promote air-flow in the desert; "Night Song", a tribute to the late, great jazz bassist Wilber Morris that features a sprinkling of hip-hop rhythm; and "The Black Teeth of Trees", an improvised piece that draws upon the pulse-pounding intensity of dance clubs and electronic beats. After the Disquiet is a superb choice for music connoisseurs looking to experience something fresh!

The DVD Shelf

Case Histories
Starring Jason Isaacs
Based on novels by Kate Atkinson
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598287899 $39.99

Based on the Jackson Brodie novels by Kate Atkinson, Case Histories is the British detective series originally seen on "Masterpiece Mystery", now available on DVD with a bonus 15 minute behind-the-scenes featurette. Set in Edinburgh, Case Histories follows the efforts of Jack Brodie in everything from looking for lost cats to confronting spouses gone astray to catching murderers. Brodie himself has a dark past with which he struggles to come to terms, in this character-driven series enthusiastically recommended to mystery lovers everywhere. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs, 347 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

From the Ground Up
Gage & Gage Productions
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547

Intended for high school age viewers and up, From the Ground Up is a DVD documentary following five widows of New York firefighters, ten years after their husbands died in the September 11th attacks. An emotional portrayal of the strengths one most gather from within to confront daily life after losing one's love, From the Ground Up reveals the healing value of making a difference in one's community. A true story of everyday heroism and learning how to channel pain and loss into a positive drive to make the world a better place, From the Ground Up is highly recommended especially for school and public library DVD shelves. 30 min., SDH captions.

Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes
Questar, Inc.
307 North Michigan Ave., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60601
9781594646676 $59.99

Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes is a six-DVD thinpack set following Cooking Channel star Jamie Oliver across Europe and North America on a voyage to discover and share wondrous varieties of culture, food, and tradition. Truffle and boar hunting in the French Pyrenees, spear fishing off an island next to Athens, sweet prawns from Venice and more contribute to the delectable, authentic dishes that Jamie learns and demonstrates, along with traditional cooking techniques used in regions worldwide. An eclectic multicultural experience as well as a mouth-watering cooking program, Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes is a superb series that gourmands of all walks of life are sure to savor. The programs are "Athens", "Venice", "Marrakesh", "Stockholm", "The French Pyrenees", and "Andalucia". 6 DVDs, 5 hours.

Stretching & Priming Your Canvas, second edition
Hosted by Larry Withers
On Air Video Inc.
8203 Westminster Rd.
Elkins Park, PA 19027

Now in a completely revised second edition, Stretching & Priming Your Canvas is a DVD guide to preparing one's canvas for acrylic or oil painting, hosted by experienced artist Larry Withers. A step-by-step primer accessible to artists of all skill and experience levels, Stretching & Priming Your Canvas covers how to assemble the stretcher frame, size by using rabbit skin glue, prime with either oil primer or acrylic gesso, prepar panels for painting, care for and maintain canvas, and more. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in acrylic or oil painting! 42 min.

Exhale: Core Fusion Power Sculpt
With Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650
Silver Spring, MD 20910
9781598287288 $16.99

Husband and wife fitness experts Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp presents Exhale: Core Fusion Power Sculpt, which packs a solid mind-body spa workout into a single DVD. Featuring five 10-minute workout segments plus a 5-minute bonus stretching segment ideal for limbering up or cooling down, Exhale: Core Fusion Power Sculpt combines yoga, Pilates, strength training, and the deep-muscle movements that are the hallmark of a Core Fusion workout. An excellent, easy-to-use fitness DVD for enthusiasts of all skill and experience levels, Exhale: Core Fusion Power Sculpt is highly recommended. 55 min., widescreen.

Qigong for Healing
Lisa B. O'Shea
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392320 $29.95

Hosted by Chinese Healing Arts Center certified Qigong therapist Lisa B. O'Shea, Qigong for Healing is a DVD tutorial to the Chinese art of harmonizing the body's energy, the better to prompt healing and resolve psychological and emotional issues. Lisa O'Shea demonstrates step-by-step instructions for nourishing the body with qi, removing blockages that impede good health, and practicing the Rising Lotus Medical Qigong form. An accessible guide that viewers of all backgrounds can emulate and learn from, Qigong for Healing is a welcome addition to new age and alternative medicine reference shelves. 180 min.

The Military Shelf

Black Ops Vietnam
Robert M. Gillespie
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road
Annapolis, MD 21402
9781591143215 $41.95

Black Ops Vietnam: The Operational History of MACVSOG is a scholarly study of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACVSOG), which was officially activated in January of 1964 and existed for nine years. MACVSOG played a critical part in air operations over North Vietnam, the war in Laos, the Tet Offensive, Operation Lam Son 719, the Easter Invasion, and the Son Tay POW Raid. Assembled from declassified documents and memoirs, Black Ops Vietnam is an in-depth focus on the deeds of this elite group, and its true stories are especially relevant amid today's problematic, complex, and difficult ongoing counter-insurgency operations. Highly recommended, especially for college library military history shelves.

The Civil War Shelf

Write Quick
Ann Fox Chandonnet and Roberta Gibson Pevear
Bethel Historical Society
PO Box 12
Bethel, ME 04217
9780978973698 $34.95

Write Quick: War and a Woman's Life in Letters, 1835-1867 gathers passages from the diary of Eliza Bean Foster, the wife of an enlisted soldier for the Union in the American Civil War, as well as more than 150 letters written during the antebellum and Civil War years. Over 50 original documents and previously unpublished black-and-white photographs enhance this firsthand testimony, which is exhaustively annotated with footnotes explaining the historical significance or context of specific passages. Eliza's life is followed from girlhood to motherhood, including her anxiety when her husband answered the call, her efforts to support herself and her family as a war widow, and her eventual passing from consumption. Write Quick is especially invaluable as a primary source about daily life on the home front, and highly recommended as a supplement to Civil War era correspondence collections.

The 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry In The Civil War
Dennis W. Belcher
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786448821, $39.95,

Some of the forces comprising the Union armies were comprised of volunteer soldiers. One such group were the 11th Missouri Volunteers and in "The 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster", Civil War history enthusiast Dennis W. Belcher has created a 348-page compendium presenting the history of this active battlefield regiment that saw bloody action in a number of minor skirmishes and major encounters with Confederate forces. From the 11th Missouri's formation and first engagement at the Battle of Fredericktown, to its ultimate occupation of Alabama, the 11th Missouri carved a unique and valorous story for itself. Of special note is the concluding chapter focusing on 'Postwar Biographical Information' regarding key members of the 11th Missouri. Enhanced with the addition of three appendices, extensive footnotes, an impressive bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "The 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster" is a valued and seminal contribution to the growing library of Civil War Studies, and highly recommended reading for Civil War enthusiasts.

The Crafts Shelf

The Absolute Beginners Guide
Cindy Thomas Pankopf
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha, WI 53186
9780871164315, $21.95,

Making jewelry out of baked clay is as ancient a technique as we know of. Its enduring popularity persists to this day. That's why "The Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Metal Clay Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started" by Cindy Thomas Pankopf will prove to be as popular as it is instructive and 'user friendly'. Aspiring jewelry makers are provided with a fully illustrated text presenting everything anyone will need to know in order to get started on the projects comprising this 112-page compendium. Beginning with basic materials, tools, and techniques, "The Absolute Beginners Guide" presents a series of do-it-yourself projects ranging from Stamped Charms, to Bejeweled Cobra Earrings, to a Fairy House Necklace, to a Crossover Ring, to a Mosaic Pendant, and so much more! Clear, step-by-step, illustrated instructions will guarantee success, making "The Absolute Beginners Guide" ideal for novice individual hobbyists, as a school crafts curriculum supplemental textbook for students, and a popular addition to community library Crafts/Hobbies instructional reference collections.

Jewelry For The New Romantic
Nealay Patel
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha, WI 53186
9780871164278, $19.95,

A fun and productive pastime is the making of jewelry. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, Nealay Patel's "Jewelry for the New Romantic: Unexpected Techniques with Crystals and Beading Wire" is an 80-page compendium of ten do-it-yourself projects showcasing how to make remarkably outstanding necklaces, bracelets, and earrings using crystals and beading wire. The thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step instructions and techniques will enable even the most novice of craft workers to produce up to thirty quality jewelry pieces with a decidedly contemporary look. "Jewelry for the New Romantic: Unexpected Techniques with Crystals and Beading Wire" is highly recommended for personal and community library instructional reference collections.

Origami for Busy People
Marcia Joy Miller
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive
North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805311486 $16.95

Origami for Busy People: 27 Original On-the-Go Projects lives up to its title with detailed color illustrations clarifying step-by-step directions for crafting eye-catching creations with folded paper - from a jack-o'-lantern to a fluted vase to a lake monster and much more. Each project is complex enough to engage the reader's mind as well as his or her hands, yet simple enough to be completed in a brief amount of time; patterns are categorized into "coffee-break origami", "lunchtime origami", and "after-work origami". 48 perforated sheets of folding paper, specially designed for use in creating these delicately beautiful works, and a "getting started" introduction to origami basics enhance this excellent hands-on resource, ideal for anyone curious about this widely beloved Japanese art. Highly recommended for origami practitioners of all skill and experience levels.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Red Duke
C.L. Werner
The Black Library
c/o BL Publishing
1525 Hulse Road, Unit 1
Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742
9781849700740 $8.99

Set in the grim Warhammer Fantasy gaming universe, The Red Duke is grim novel about the Red Duke, once an honorable knight struck down in battle, risen as an unspeakable vampire to bring endless terror to the living. His murderous campaign was stopped centuries ago, but the witch Jacquetta has resurrected him to begin the slaughter anew! Does the troubled and war-torn land of Bretonnia stand a chance against the undead embodiment of corruption? A blood-soaked saga that will especially appeal to fans of vampire villains, The Red Duke is a thoroughly satisfying horror-fantasy from cover to cover.

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future
Kevin J. Anderson, executive editor
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028
9781592128488, $44.95,

L. Ron Hubbard was one of the luminary writers from the Golden Age of pulp magazine publishing. Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Science Fiction author Kevin J. Anderson, "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future: The First 25 Years" is a 270-page, profusely illustrated history of a program created to provide new and aspiring authors in the genres of fantasy and science fiction with a forum in which to introduce their work to the reading public through winning against a field of competitors what became a prestigious award. "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future" aptly describes the annual contest, the judges, the workshops associated with the program, the awards events, and more. Of special note is the list of winners. Enhanced with several appendices (including one detailing the rules of the annual literary contest), "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future" will prove to be of immense interest to anyone who has ever participated or who is considering participating in one of these annual events, and therefore highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.

The Art Shelf

Gordon Miller
University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096
Seattle, WA 98145-5096
9780295991153, $55.00,

Artists, the sea, and ships have long been a popular combination. In "Voyages: To the New World and Beyond", Canadian marine artist and illustrator Gordon Miller has compiled an impressively reproduced collection of his work showcasing the antique sailing ships associated marine exploration from the middle ages through the end of the 19th century. Of special note are the informed and informative additions of an Introduction, an Epilogue (Sailing into History), and an appendices providing plans of historical ships. Beautifully reproduced and with accompanying commentaries, this 200-page coffee-table style art book is a very especial pleasure to browse through from beginning to end, and a highly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic Art History and Marine History collections.

Cyril Colnik, Man of Iron
Alan J. Strekow
Friends of the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
c/o University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780615481418 $45.00

Cyril Colnik, Man of Iron is an artbook showcase of the works of extraordinary metalsmith Cyril Colnik (1871-1958), an Austrian-born artist who earned a gold medal at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and went on to a sixty-year career of crafting beautiful gates, bulstrades, chandeliers, grilles, ornaments for architecture, and other decor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Full-color photography on every page, complemented by text captions describing the history, creation, or dimensions of various pieces fill this beautiful catalogue, which also includes a brief biography of Colnik. An excellent addition to art history shelves, particularly those with a focus on decorative architecture or metalworking.

Art Deco Postcards
Patricia Bayer
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500238882 $27.95

Art Deco Postcards is a full-color, compact-size artbook featuring the illustrations of 250 original Art Deco postcards from all over the world, plus a handful detachable and mailable postcards among its pages. A brief introduction to these unique and sweeping works of art quickly gives way to pages devoted entirely to showcasing the postcards themselves, just as they appeared to travelers and recipients, and a final "Notes on the Pictures" segment collects brief summaries about the sweeping pictures on each card. Art Deco Postcards is a treasure for anyone intrigued by twentieth century art.

The Parenting Shelf

Moms to Moms
Barbara Joy
Conari Press
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781573244831 $16.95

Moms to Moms: Parenting Wisdom for Moms in Recovery is an inspirational book filled with insights from dozens of mothers in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. Grouped into overall topics such as "Why Is It So Hard to Be a Mom?", "What Lessons Have Your Children Taught You?", "What Legacy Do You Want to Leave Your Children?" and more, Moms to Moms is a thoughtful collection and a tribute to the value of being the best parent one can be. Most of the quotes, thoughts, and musings are fairly brief, making Moms to Moms easy to page through when one is in need of a dollop of wisdom. "We can't all leave a prestigious background or lots of money to our children, but we can leave them a legacy of love. -Naomi Rhode".

The Automotive Shelf

Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
Dain Gingerelli, text
David Blattel, photography
c/o Quayside Publishing Group
400 First Avenue North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780760341308 $40.00

Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle is a full-color, coffe-table photography showcase of the many different types of Harley-Davidson brand motorcycles, from historic bikes made in the 50's and 60's to police motorcycles to the latest 2011 releases. Each two-page spread features a lavish photograph of a particular bike, a paragraph of descriptive text, and a brief chart of specifications and lore concerning that model. Motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere will find Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle a joy to simply page through.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Colleen Moore's Doll Castle
Carol Stevenson
Little Creek Press
5341 Sunny Ridge Road
Mineral Point, WI 53565
9780982802366 $18.00

Filled with full color photography throughout, Colleen Moore's Doll Castle: Made by Rich Toys with Related Toys and Books is a showcase of the elaborate toys created by Rich Toys, Effanbee and Tootsietoy. Close-up views of an eight-roomed doll castles gives glimpses of minescule yet lovingly crafted furnishings, down to a poster of the Chicago World's Fair, and the text describes how the miniature playthings were skillfully created. Colleen Moore's Doll Castle is an especial delight for antique, toy, and dollhouse collectors.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Sell More Books!
J. Steve Miller & Cherie K. Miller
Wisdom Creek Press
5814 Sailboat Pointe, NW
Acworth, GA 30101
9780981875637, $14.95,

One of the things that every author must know and which is rarely (if ever) taught in a college creative writing class or one of those 'writer retreat' seminars is that once their book is published it will be mostly (if not entirely) incumbent upon the author to make potential readers aware of the book and want to buy it. Now that we have entered the era of digital publishing, that truism about becoming a successful writer by having an actual audience of readers is even more important than ever! That's why "Sell More Books!: Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors Rethinking Book Publicity after the Digital Revolutions" should be considered mandatory reading for all aspiring authors and fledgling self-publishers. The collaborative work of Cherie Miller (President of the Georgia Writers Association) and her husband Steve (President of Legacy Educational Resources), "Sell More Books!" is a 344-page instructional textbook filled with 'tips, tricks and techniques' for selling a book; literally hundreds of 'real world' strategies for authors tasked with the necessity of selling books their own work; as well as figuring out which methods work best for selling what kinds or categories of books. Of special note is the wealth of practical, immediately implementable ideas for 'shoestring' and even 'no-string' marketing budgets. It should also be noted that the Midwest Book Review is cited twice as a marketing and publicity resource for authors. Exceptionally well organized, "Sell More Books!" should be on the personal and professional reference shelf of every author hoping to be commercially successful in their chosen (and highly competitive) career.

The Frugal Book Promoter, second edition
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
9781463743291, $17.95,

Carolyn Howard-Johnson draws upon her many years of experience and expertise as a professional book publicist and marketing specialist to author "The Frugal Book Promoter". The 416-page compendium of commentary, advice, tips, tricks and 'real world' techniques on how to authors can obtain nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with their publishers will prove to be an invaluable, practical, profitable, and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional reference. It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is cited four times. Of special note in this newly expanded and completely updated second edition are the sample letters query letters, media releases, blog entries, trade show invitations, phone pitch scripts, email auto-signatures, and tip sheets. Simply stated, "The Frugal Book Promoter" is the single most valuable addition any aspiring author or novice small press publishers can add to their personal and professional book marketing reference shelves -- and has a great deal of enduring value for even the more experienced publisher marketing directors and publicists.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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