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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 9 September 2018 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Art Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Political Science Shelf
Biography Shelf Woodworking Shelf Crafts Shelf
Beer Shelf Education Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Gardening Shelf Literary Studies Shelf Gaming Shelf
Self-Help Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

The Unceasing Storm
Katherine Luo
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
www.douglas-mcintyre.com
9781771621861 $22.95 amazon.com

The Unceasing Storm: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution is the true-life memoir of author Katherine Luo, who was born in Shanghai in 1935 and immigrated to Canada in 1998. Luo's reflections center upon her life in mainland China, especially during the Cultural Revolution, a time of intense zealotry, political persecution, and even arrest, torture, and execution for those unfortunate enough to become targets. Luo tells of how the Communist Party was trusted and revered among the people, to such an extent that all marriages had to be approved by the Party - in fact, the Party denied her request to marry her first love, effectively ending their relationship. Vivid, often painful, and always fascinating, The Unceasing Storm tells of a historic, national upheaval stained with innocent blood, from an intensely personal perspective, and is all but impossible to put down. Highly recommended for both public library collections and personal reading lists.

Ciderology
Gabe Cook
Spruce
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781846015656, $19.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Ciderology is about studying and understanding the way cider making has evolved over the centuries, from the heart of cider country to the new wave of cider makers. It's about learning how terroir and climate affect the quality of cider, just like a wine; and how to match your favorite dishes with the perfect cider. It's about wassailing, community and tradition, but is also about the innovative and creative craft cider makers emerging all over the world. In "Ciderology" Gabe Cook, a leading global cider expert, shares his passion for all things cider (and perry!), with an essential history of the drink and production processes, and a round-the-world tour of the most important and exciting cider makers in operation. "Ciderology" also includes delicious, palate pleasing recipes for incorporating cider into a variety of different dishes. Featuring a wealth of anecdotes and tales that intermingle fact and myth, "Ciderology" will prove to be a real treat for enthusiastic cider lovers and cider novices alike. Simply stated, "Ciderology" contains anything and everything anyone will ever need to know about cider! While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ciderology" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Social Issues Shelf

Unapologetic
Charlene A. Carruthers
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
www.beacon.org
9780807019412, $22.95, HC, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, "Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements" by Charlene A. Carruthers (a Black lesbian feminist and founding national director of the Black Youth Project 100, a leading organization of young activists in the movement for Black liberation) challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. "Unapologetic" provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development. It also offers a flexible model of what deeply effective organizing can be, anchored in the Chicago model of activism, which features long-term commitment, cultural sensitivity, creative strategizing, and multiple cross-group alliances. "Unapologetic" also provides a clear framework for activists committed to building transformative power, encouraging young people to see themselves as visionaries and leaders. An inspiring and 'real world practical' handbook for aspiring activists seeking to effect social, cultural, and political change, "Unapologetic" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Social Issues & Activism collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, social reform activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Unapologetic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974924417, $29.99, CD).


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Recreational Therapy Basics, Techniques, and Interventions
Heather R. Porter, editor
Idyll Arbor, Inc.
PO Box 720, Ravensdale, WA 98051
www.idyllarbor.com
9781882883974, $60.00, HC, 592pp, www.amazon.com

Compiled, organized and presented by recreational therapy expert Heather R. Porter (who is also a faculty member in the Rehabilitation Sciences Department at Temple University) "Recreational Therapy Basics, Techniques, and Interventions" is comprised of 51 densely informative chapters about recreational therapy practice. Ten of those chapters describe the basics including topics such as activity and task analysis, body mechanics, consequences of inactivity, and effects of stress. The remaining 41 chapters provide in-depth descriptions of techniques and interventions used by recreational therapists. These include adaptive sports, behavior strategies, disability rights education, medical play, social skills training, walking and gait training, and wheelchair mobility. Each individual chapter features a thorough discussion of how to apply the technique along with indications, contraindications, and efficacy research supporting the use of the technique. Expected outcomes, documentation, and links to ICF codes connect the intervention to the therapists work as part of the healthcare team. Enhanced for academia and practitioners with the inclusion of an informative introduction, twenty-five tables, two appendices (Common Clinical Symbols and Abbreviations & Anatomical Orientation and Positioning), and a sixty-two page index, "Recreational Therapy Basics, Techniques, and Interventions" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to college and university library Recreational Therapy collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Moodtopia
Sara-Chana Silverstein & Susan K. Golant
Lifelong Books / Da Capo Press
c/o Hachette Book Group
53 State Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02109
www.perseusbooksgroup.com
9780738220048, $17.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Moodtopia is a term that means being in control of our moods so they are not in control of us. In the pages of "Moodtopia: Tame Your Moods, De-Stress, and Find Balance Using Herbal Remedies, Aromatherapy, and More", master herbalist, classical homeopath, a board-certified lactation consultant, businesswoman, and keynote speaker Sara-Chana Silverstein draws upon her years of experience and expertise to advocate a natural regimen that nourishes the physical, emotional, and spiritual lives of women. Packed from cover to cover with hundreds of tools, tips, and strategies, "Moodtopia" is a practical, easy-to-use guide to herbs, adaptogens, aromatherapy, color therapy, feng shui, intuition, homeopathy and so much more. Sara-Chana shares the best natural remedies to help combat stress, anxiety, and promote peace of mind and general health. She shows how herbs and other natural approaches are a gentle way to enhance one's emotional state without having to resort to antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, or other medications that may have unwanted side effects. With an easy-to-implement 90-day program, "Moodtopia" teaches women to harness the power of nature coupled with their own inner strength to achieve optimal emotional and mental wellness. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Moodtopia" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Alternative Health & Medicine collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "Moodtopia" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Art Shelf

Ten-Step Drawing: Flowers
Mary Woodin
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9781633224896, $14.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

An artist and illustrator based in Suffolk, United Kingdom, Mary Woodin specializes in painting natural subjects and produces artwork for everything from stationery to ceramic tiles. Mary's interest in the outdoors has inspired a number of publications, including The Painted Garden Cookbook (a collection of illustrated recipes produced in her own garden) and Drawn to the Country. In "Ten-Step Drawing: Flowers" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide aspiring artists with do-it-yourself tutorials for drawing seventy-five different types of flowers. Offering hours and hours of meditative fun and recreation, "Ten-Step Drawing: Flowers" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal instructional art book collections.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Dr. Stone 1
Story by Riichiro Inagaki
Art by Boichi
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
www.viz.com
9781974702619 $9.99 pbk / $6.99 Kindle amazon.com

Dr. Stone 1 is the debut volume of a black-and-white, post-apocalyptic manga (Japanese graphic novel) set in a world where all humans have been suddenly and mysteriously turned to stone. Millenia have passed, and now former high school student Taiju has awakened to a world of statues. He is not alone, though - his science-enthusiast friend has been conscious for a few months prior, long enough to devise a grand plan to reawaken humanity and rebuild civilization. But does every human truly deserve to be reanimated? An intriguing blend of action, philosophy, and supercharged love of science, Dr. Stone is highly recommended for teen and adult readers.

Radiant 1
Tony Valente
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
www.viz.com
9781974703814 $9.99 pbk / $6.99 Kindle amazon.com

Radiant 1 is a black-and-white, manga-style graphic novel by French-born creator Tony Valente, debuting a brand new supernatural adventure series. In the world of Radiant, evil creatures dubbed "Nemeses" fall from the sky, and the only mortals that can fight back against them are "Wizards", infected individuals who survived their corruption. One of these survivors, Seth, has vowed to not only fight back, but to track down "Radiant", the legendary nest of the Nemeses, and destroy it! Created for a teen-to-adult audience, Radiant kicks off a wild and dangerous adventure, and is enthusiastically recommended to action-packed graphic novel connoisseurs!

Blackwax Boulevard: Five Years, What a Surprise (2012-2017)
Dmitri Jackson
Frotoon Press
http://blackwaxboulevard.com
9780999259634 $30.00

Intended for readers ages 15+ due to mature language, Blackwax Boulevard: Five Years, What a Surprise (2012-2017) is a black-and-white anthology of the slice-of-life webcomic series. "Blackwax" refers to an obscure vinyl record store that is a haven for music lovers. Main characters include an intellectual, African-American vinyl enthusiast with a speech impediment; his tough-as-nails cab driver older brother; the aging hippie store owner, and the irascibly practical store employee Veronica. The local neighborhood is gentrifying, which places an immense financial strain on everyone as business and residence rents skyrocket. Blackwax Boulevard reflects the author's love of vinyl music, and the gritty day-to-day realities of urban life, with a bold, lively flair that makes it a treat for connoisseurs of independent graphic novels. Highly recommended!

The Wonderful World of Tank Girl
Alan Martin, author
Brett Parsons, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785862076, $22.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com

The eponymous character Tank Girl (Rebecca Buck - later revealed to have been born as Fonzie Rebecca Buckler) drives a tank, which is also her home. She undertakes a series of missions for a nebulous organization before making a serious mistake and being declared an outlaw for her sexual inclinations and her substance abuse. The comic centres on her misadventures with her boyfriend, Booga, a mutant kangaroo. The comic's style is heavily influenced by punk visual art, and strips are frequently deeply disorganized, anarchic, absurdist, and psychedelic. The strip features various elements with origins in surrealist techniques, fanzines, collage, cut-up technique, stream of consciousness, and metafiction, with very little regard or interest for conventional plot or committed narrative. The strip was initially set in a futuristic Australia, although it drew heavily from contemporary British pop culture. These individual Alan C. Martin 'Tank Girl' stories are illustrated by Brett Parsons. "The Wonderful World of Tank Girl" is the latest graphic novel showcasing the adventures of Tank Girl compiled from what was originally published in the form of Tank Girl comic books. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Tank Girl fans that "The Wonderful World of Tank Girl" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Factory
Yacine Elghorri
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785865985, $16.99, PB, 104pp, www.amazon.com

Taking place on a dystopian planet where different species are in a constant struggle to survive, "Factory" by Yacine Elghorri (who is an animator, illustrator, storyboard artist, conceptual designer and comic book artist) is the story of a band of mutants who slog through the harsh deserts in search of the Factory - the last semblance of civilization left among the wasteland where all creatures, human, semi-human, and non-human are dying of hunger. A vividly memorable and genuinely riveting read from beginning to end, "Factory" is an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Science Fiction graphic novel collections and reading lists.

A Confusion of Angels
Richard Dinnick, et al.
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785866890, $22.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com

When the Doctor and his companions are drawn to a transport vessel in deadly trouble in deep space, they're pulled into an impossible conflict, between the robotic Heavenly Host -- and the infamous Weeping Angels! Featuring the Twelfth Doctor and fan-favorite companions Bill, Nardole (and Missy!) Very highly recommended for community library graphic novel collections, "Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor - Time Trials Volume 3: A Confusion of Angels" is comprised of Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #10-13, making it a 'must have' addition to the personal reading lists and collections of all dedicated Doctor Who fans.

Rex Royd
Frankie Boyle, et al.
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785867248, $19.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Each Rex Royd chapter comprising Frankie Boyle graphic novel "Rex Royd" takes the reader further into the vivid imagination of this stand-up comedian and writer. Backed up by stunning, stylish art by Mike Dowling and Budi Setiawan, the action takes place at RexCorp, a corporation where violence is the day job. RexCorp is headed up by super scientist CEO Rex Royd, indestructible Alan Black, and Eve. How will they cope against the incalculable power of the extraterrestrial Proteoman? All this plus memory implants, drug-addicted schizophrenics, sex-travelling aliens, and a Thunder God! A simply riveting and solidly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Rex Royd" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly entertaining addition to personal reading lists and community library graphic novel collections!

Tyler Cross: Black Rock
Fabien Nury, author
Bruno, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785867309, $24.99, HC, 100pp, www.amazon.com

Tyler Cross is first and foremost an individualist. As a career criminal for hire, he's the best at what he does, whether he's trafficking drugs or spraying bullets in a shoot-out. Being a freelance agent in the criminal underworld he is in big demand. "Tyler Cross: Black Rock" may be his last mission because he must deal with violence from a cartel, the mafia, and a corrupt family that controls a small town. Complicating everything is that the 17 kilos of drugs in his possession are found and sequestered by an old man whose price is that Tyler rescue his daughter from an unwanted marriage. Black Rock is one adventure that Tyler may not survive! Another riveting graphic novel by the team of author Fabien Nury and artist/illustrator Bruno, "Tyler Cross: Black Rock" is very highly recommended for graphic novel fans and community library collections.

Jason McLane's Inheritance
Yves Sente, author
Youri Jigounov, artist
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184052, $13.95, PB, 56pp, www.amazon.com

Still with Annika, Jason McLane has the documents his godfather left for him to find in the Netherlands deciphered. Once translated, the text offers revelations of breathtaking importance - enough to change the geopolitical map for ever. But the killers sent by the Mayflower Foundation are still after them, while in Afghanistan, Jones and Carrington's situation goes from bad to worse. XIII will have to be on his best game to sort it all out - but at what price? Another deftly riveting graphic novel by Yves Sente brought vividly to life with the artwork of illustrator Youri Jigounov, "Jason McLane's Inheritance" is very highly recommended reading for graphic novel enthusiasts. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Jason McLane's Inheritance" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Valerian: Shingouzlooz Inc.
Wilfrid Lupano, author
Mathieu Lauffray, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184014, $13.95, PB, 56pp, www.cinebook.com

An apparently simple mission (apprehending a super artificially intelligent speculator-droid) turns into a race against time when the Shingouz drop in uninvited mid-arrest, begging Valerian and Laureline for protection against someone who means to kill them. To the agents' surprise, it's Mr. Albert who is an old friend who pops up in hot pursuit of the three Shingouz, guns blazing. The ensuing shoot-out does little to simplify an already complicated situation: our heroes' favorite information brokers have managed to lose Earth in a card game to a mercenary business man who is planning on draining Earth's oceans for a profit! Another riveting action/adventure in the Valerian series of graphic novels by author Wilfrid Lupano and artist/illustrator Mathieu Lauffray, "Valerian: Shingouzlooz Inc." is certain to be a popular addition to the personal reading lists of all science fiction fans, and an immediately popular addition to community library collections!

The Silent Invasion: Red Shadows
Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
www.nbmpub.com
c/o Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
www.ipgbook.com
9781681121741 $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

The Silent Invasion: Red Shadows collects and revises issues #1-6 of the black-and-white comic "The Silent Invasion" into a single, dramatic story about a covert alien invasion and systemic bureaucratic corruption, set during the "Red Scare" anti-Communist hysteria that pervaded 1950's America. Matt Sinkage is an investigative reporter who may be in over his head, as his investigation reveals evidence of cruel murders, a ruthless plan of otherworldly conquest, and complicit involvement at the highest levels of government bureaucracy. A dark tale blend of intrigue, sci-fi, and hard-boiled noir, The Silent Invasion: Red Shadows is riveting to the last page and highly recommended.

The Whistling Factory
Jesse McManus
Uncivilized Books
https://uncivilizedbooks.com
9781941250297, $29.95, PB, 286pp, www.amazon.com

Imagine comics created from the DNA of John Kricfalusi, Charles Burns with a dash of Jim Woodring. You'd end up with animated, visionary comics by illustrator and artist Jesse McManus. His fluid, hyper-kinetic, and lush brush strokes delineate a surreal visionary world of feral children, rubbery animals, and constantly-mutating monsters. "The Whistling Factory" is an audacious debut from the sui generis frenetic imagination of Jesse McManus. Original and inherently reader engaging from first page to last, "The Whistling Factory" is the perfect introduction to the surreal imagination and storytelling style of one of the very best in avant garde graphic novelists of our time. Unreservedly recommended for personal and community library graphic novel collections.


The Audiobook Shelf

Beautiful Exiles
Meg Waite Clayton, author
Performed by Kirsten Potter
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781543674828 $14.99 megwaiteclayton.com

Beautiful Exiles is the unabridged MP3 audiobook (plays on MP3-CD enabled players or transfers to portable devices) of a novel based on a true-life love affair during the Great Depression. When skilled journalist Martha Gellhorn meets the literary titan Ernest Heming way in a dive bar, their friendship grows into something greater while they cover the Spanish Civil War. Martha adores Hemingway, yet he is unquestionably married. As they travel the globe, Martha acts as a superlative war correspondent, while Hemingway begins the novel destined to earn a Nobel Prize for Literature. Both of them are iron-willed achievers, each with their own drives, and neither is willing to compromise their goals or identity for the benefit of the other! Highly recommended. 1 MP3-CD, 10 hours 50 min.

Panzer Ace
Richard Freiherr Von Rosen
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781977359490, $29.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Richard Freiherr von Rosen was a highly decorated Wehrmacht soldier and outstanding panzer commander. After serving as a gunlayer on a Pz.Mk.III during Barbarossa, he led a Company of Tigers at Kursk. Later he led a company of King Tiger panzers at Normandy and in late 1944 commanded a battle group (12 King Tigers and a flak Company) against the Russians in Hungary in the rank of junior, later senior lieutenant (from November 1944, his final rank). Only 489 of these King Tiger tanks were ever built. They were the most powerful heavy tanks to see service, and only one kind of shell could penetrate their armor at a reasonable distance. Every effort had to be made to retrieve any of them bogged down or otherwise immobilized, which led to many towing adventures. The Von Rosen has a fine memory and eye for detail. His account is easy to listen to and not technical, and adds substantially to the knowledge of how the German Panzer Arm operated in the Second World War. Narrated in English for an American audience by Nigel Patterson, this complete and unabridged Tantor Media edition is unreserved recommended for community, college, and university library audio book collections. (7 CDs, 8.5 Hours).

Heaven Adjacent
Catherine Ryan Hyde, author
Performed by Laural Merlington
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781543678130 $24.99

Heaven Adjacent is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a heartfelt novel about relearning how to experience joy in life after enduring sorrow. Roseanna Chaldecott is a talented Manhattan lawyer, but when her best friend and law partner suddenly dies, the loss shakes her to the core. She retreats to a farm at the foothills of the Adirondacks, and discovers unexpected residents - a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Reluctantly, she allows them to stay, and discovers a shared interest with the daughter in transforming junk on the farm into animal sculptures. A thoughtful meditation on finding one's path in life, Heaven Adjacent is thought- provoking and emotionally moving to the very end. Highly recommended. 8 CDs, 9 hours 41 min.


The Music CD Shelf

The Jamie Lawrence Sextet: New York Suite
Jamie Lawrence
www.jamielawrenceproductions.com
Good Mood Records, LLC
$11.99 digital download amazon.com

Begun in the late 1980s and finished almost thirty years later, The Jamie Lawrence Sextet: New York Suite is a digital album featuring performances from exceptional jazz musicians. Five-time Emmy Award winner Jamie Lawrence has brought together these lively team performances featuring seductive saxophone, riotous rhythms, sublime synthesizer, and more. The Jamie Lawrence Sextet: New York Suite is enthusiastically recommended as a treasure for jazz connoisseurs. The tracks are "New York Suite", "Margot with a 't'", "Watts What", "Beluga Triangle", and "Bonus Track - Tongue Twister". 43 min.

Kanawha County Flatpicking
Tyler Grant and Robin Kessinger
www.tylergrant.com
Grant Central Records, LLC
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Flatpicking (or simply picking) is the technique of striking the strings of a guitar with a pick held between the thumb and one or two fingers. Kanawha County Flatpicking is a music CD album crafted by two friends with a shared love of bluegrass, flatpicking, and old-time music passed down through the generations. Kanawha County Flatpicking is a "must" for bluegrass and flatpicking fans, highly recommended. The tracks are "Soldier's Joy", "My Blue Ridge Mountain Home", "Garfield's March", "Winfield Story", "No Hard Times", "Blue Water Hornpipe", "Russian Lullaby", "Wednesday Night Waltz", "Boll Weevil", "Farewell to Long Hollow", "Susannah Gal", "Rights of Man", "A Dime Looks Like a Wagon Wheel", "Flop Eared Mule", and "A Song! A Beautiful Song!".

Woven Threads
Stu Mindeman
stumindeman.com
Sunnyside Records
sunnysiderecords.com
$12.95 CD / $9.00 digital

Pianist and composer Stu Mindeman presents Woven Threads, an original album drawn from Mindeman's experience with both North and South American cultures, including visits to childhood memories of the vibrant nation of Chile. The result is a musical tapestry woven from elements of Chilean music and North American music, rich and sumptuously expansive. Woven Threads is a choice pick for international music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are "Casi, Casi", "El Aparecido", "Sin Sentido", "La Rueda", "La Casa De al Lado", "Woven Threads - What Word", "Woven Threads - A Thousand Stars", and "No Puedes Volver Atras".


The DVD Shelf

Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$24.99 DVD or Blu-ray www.acornonline.com

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays is a feature-length mystery set during the late 1890s and early 1900s. The main character is the dashing Detective William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson), whose interest in cutting-edge forensic techniques helps him solve gruesome murders. Home for the Holidays is set in the days before Christmas, as Murdoch and his wife, Dr. Julia Ogden (played by Helene Joy) travel to Victoria, British Columbia to see Murdoch's quirky brother. The holiday visit takes a dark turn when Murdoch is drawn into investigating a murder at an archaeological site. A cozy winter murder mystery, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays makes an excellent Christmas gift for connoisseurs of the genre! Bonus material includes a behind-the-scenes featurette. 89 min. plus 3 min. bonus, SDH subtitles.

The Good Karma Hospital, series 2
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$39.99 DVD or Blu-ray www.acornonline.com

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, The Good Karma Hospital, series 2 continues this poignant medical drama set in a coastal town in Southern India, at a cottage hospital where the overworked staff perpetually lacks resources. In series 2, British expatriate Dr. Ruby Walker (played by Amrita Acharia) tries to further career under her imposing boss, Dr. Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman); Lydia's boyfriend and beach bar owner Greg (Neil Morrissey) tries to help the newly widowed Paul (Philip Jackson) adjust to the loss of his wife; and a link to Ruby's estranged family unexpectedly surfaces. An engrossing, character-driven saga, The Good Karma Hospital, series 2 is highly recommended to connoisseurs of quality television. Bonus features include a 30 min. behind-the-scenes featurette. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs or 2 Blu-ray discs, 288 min. plus bonus, SDH subtitles.

Holden Qigong series
Lee Holden
www.holdenqigong.com
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
$29.95 each www.ymaa.com

Qi Gong is a mind-body fitness practice that can benefit people of all ages and backgrounds. Two excellent DVDs by Qi Gong expert Lee Holden guide the viewer to gentle, regular exercises ideal for relieving stress and promoting good health. "Qi Gong for Better Breathing" (45 min.) shows how practicing Qi Gong movements and better breathing habits nurtures one's vital energies and benefits the mind as well as the body. "Qi Gong for the Arms, Wrists, and Hands" (45 min.) emphasizes Qi Gong stretches and exercises especially suited for relieving pain and tightness. Both videos are user-friendly, and make highly recommended supplements to fitness or Qi Gong instructional collections.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

A Survival Guide for Those Who Have Psychic Abilities and Don't Know What to Do With Them
Lisa Anne Rooney
www.PurpleLotus66.com
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
www.llewellyn.com
9780738756516, $16.99, PB, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Lisa Anne Rooney is a medium, life coach, and spiritual counselor who helps both the living and the dead move forward. She has been teaching psychic development classes for more than ten years and can be visited at www.PurpleLotus66.com. In "A Survival Guide for Those Who Have Psychic Abilities and Don't Know What to Do With Them", she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to deftly craft an empowering book comprised of practical tips and effective techniques for learning to use our psychic abilities in a way that enhances our life and helps us balance our mind, body, and spirit. Readers will discover how to tell the difference between spirits and ghosts. Learn how to work with negative entities and protect ourselves from psychic harm. Explore how to receive messages and channel the wisdom of our guides. Also provided is crucial advice on everything from energy clearing to taking spiritual lessons to heart. Also offering inspiring insights and words of encouragement for those times when we need it most, "A Survival Guide for Those Who Have Psychic Abilities and Don't Know What to Do With Them" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Survival Guide for Those Who Have Psychic Abilities and Don't Know What to Do With Them" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).

Spirit of the Animals Oracle
Jody Bergsma
http://www.bergsma.com
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902
www.usgamesinc.com
9781572817845, $23.95, Cards, www.amazon.com

"Spirit of the Animals Oracle" is a simply magnificent set of oracle cards by artist and gallery owner Jody Bergsma that will guide the metaphysical studies student on an inspired and inspiring journey to self-knowledge and empowerment with 51 different animal helpers. Aiding in the discovering their powerful medicine, "Spirit of the Animals Oracle" card set includes 51 Animal Spirit Cards, 1 Personal Choice Card, 116-page illustrated Guidebook, and Power Animals Spread Sheet. Simply stated, "Spirit of the Animals Oracle" is unreservedly recommended for personal and professional collections.

The Spirit Animal Oracle: A 68-Card Deck and Guidebook
Colette Baron-Reid
www.colettebaronreid.com
Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
www.hayhouse.com
9781401952792, $29.99, Cards, www.amazon.com

Colette Baron-Reid is an internationally respected spiritual intuitive, psychic medium, educator, and oracle expert. She is the founder of Oracle School, and her best-selling books and oracle cards are published worldwide in 27 languages. Now newly published and available from Hay House, she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to present"The Spirit Animal Oracle: A 68-Card Deck and Guidebook", featuring a beautifully illustrated oracle card deck depicting the Higher Spirits of different animals, insects, fish, and birds. Every animal has a transcendent archetypal symbolism, a universal meaning holding a message of deep, enduring truth. With guidance from intuitive master and oracle expert Colette Baron-Reid, even the most novice student of the metaphysical arts can now awaken and garner their own inner strength. Very highly recommended for personal and professional collections, "The Spirit Animal Oracle" card set is both inspired and inspiring.


The Christian Studies Shelf

In His Image
Jen Wilkin
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
www.crossway.org
9781433549878, $12.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women's Bible studies. During her seventeen years of teaching, she has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. She draws upon her experience and expertise in "In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character" to explore ten characteristics of who God is (holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise) in a guidebook dedicated to helping all members of the Christian community to understand who God intends for us to be. Her principle and biblically based message is that through Christ, the perfect reflection of the image of God, we will discover how God's own attributes impact how we live, leading to freedom and purpose as we follow his will and are conformed to his image. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Contemporary Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.46) and as a complete, unabridged audio book (Christian Audio, 9781545904954, $15.98, CD).

The Pilgrimage of Egeria
Anne McGowan & Paul F. Bradshaw
The Liturgical Press
2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
www.litpress.org
9780814684214, $29.95, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com

The collaborative work of Anne McGowan (Assistant Professor of Liturgy at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago) and Pal F. Bradshaw (Professor Emeritus of Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame), "The Pilgrimage of Egeria" is a new version of the late fourth-century diary of journeys in and around the Holy Land known as the Itinerarium Egeriae. "The Pilgrimage of Egeria" provides a more literal translation of the Latin text than earlier English renderings, with the aim of revealing more of the female traveler's personality. The substantial introduction to "The Pilgrimage of Egeria" covers both early pilgrimage as a whole, especially travel by women, and the many liturgical rites of Jerusalem that Egeria describes. Both this and the verse-by-verse commentary alongside the translated text draw on the most recent scholarship, making this essential reading for pilgrims, students, and scholars seeking insight into life and piety during one of Christianity's most formative periods. While unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, college, and university library Christian History collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Pilgrimage of Egeria" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.99).

Catholic Wisdom for a Mother's Heart
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
www.paracletepress.com
9781612619224, $13.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

"Catholic Wisdom for a Mother's Heart" by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle (who is a wife, mother of five, grandmother, blogger, catechist, EWTN TV host, and popular speaker who thoroughly enjoys her motherhood and considers it to be a sublime vocation) is a creative and practical guide for a wide range of domestic church situations. Catholic women can live out their familial vocation with seasoned, simple suggestions for answering Christ's universal call to holiness. Lovely poems conclude each chapter on a note of warmth that will lift hearts beyond the kitchen and up the path toward heaven. A theological and religious resource specifically crafted for Catholic mothers (and grandmothers who often fill the motherly role) who are in the trenches raising their children through thick and thin amid the bombardment of the culture. They need and crave the guidance, encouragement, and affirmation that "Catholic Wisdom for a Mother's Heart" will help to insure, making it unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community, but most especially the mothers and grandmothers.

Poverty: Responding Like Jesus
Kenneth R. Himes, OFM & Conor M. Kelly, editors
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
www.paracletepress.com
9781612616827, $16.99 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 176pp, www.amazon.com

The poor will always be with you, Jesus said -- but that doesn't mean Christians have ever figured out how to be with the poor. Pope Francis has emphasized a vision of a "Church that is poor and for the poor". But growing economic inequality continues to spread across the globe. Collaboratively compiled and edited by Kenneth R. Himes, OFM (who is a Catholic theologian, currently teaching theology at Boston College) and Conor M. Kelly (who currently teaches theology at Marquette University) "Poverty: Responding Like Jesus" takes a fresh look at the role of churches, and individual Christians, in relating to poverty and the poor among them. A strong focus is placed on the biblical and theological roots of the Church's commitment to care for the poor. At times praised as a virtue and blessed as a condition, poverty easily confuses contemporary Christians who are often left doing little to nothing to make a difference with and for the poor. As a social evil and a burden, poverty has elicited many kinds of reactions among the followers of Christ. It is time for Christians to figure out what to do about it and reading "Poverty: Responding Like Jesus" is a very good place to start. While unreservedly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation, it should be noted that the contributors to "Poverty: Responding Like Jesus" include Pope Francis, Pheme Perkins, Sandra M. Schneider, and Thomas Massaro SJ.

Challenged to Grow
Richard L. Akins
New City Press
202 Cardinal Rd., Hyde Park, NY 12538
www.newcitypress.com
9781565486256, $14.95, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com

"Challenged to Grow: A Catholic Parent's Journey Through an Evangelical World" by Richard L. Akins is in response to the growth in openness between Evangelicals and Catholics entering into conversations. "Challenged to Grow" sums up for readers the stumbling blocks on the road to mutual understanding, educating Catholics and Evangelicals alike concerning the key points of view in their respective churches. Akins is dealing with difficult beliefs that lie at the core of his Catholic faith concerning the sacraments, and human freedom and grace, but discusses them in a language that makes them accessible. The passion for Christian unity shines out of the pages of this book and a charity for the people with whom he sometimes shared a pew and other times a kneeler. Reformed Christians will find permission via "Challenged to Grow" to rediscover the wider Christian world as a larger family of God. As informative as it is thoughtful and thought- provoking, "Challenged to Grow" is highly recommended to the attention of all members of the Christian community, but most especially to Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians.

Mary, Mother of Apostles
Giuseppe Forlai
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.paulinemedia.com
9780819849748, $12.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Father Giuseppe Forlai is a spiritual director at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary and a member of the Institute of Jesus the Priest, a Roman Catholic organization founded by Blessed James Alberione. Father Forlai has also taught Mariology at several institutions, including the Pontifical Gregorian university. In "Mary, Mother of Apostles: How to Live Marian Devotion to Proclaim Christ" Father Forali leads his readers deeper in their Marian devotion showing them how Mary wants to form Jesus in us so that we can give Jesus to the world. Inspired and inspiring, "Mary, Mother of Apostles" is unreservedly recommended for seminary libraries, and to the attention of all members of the Roman Catholic community.

The Lost World of the Flood
Tremper Longman III & John H. Walton
IVP Academic
c/o InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
www.ivpress.com
9780830852000, $18.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

In our modern age the Genesis flood account has been probed and analyzed for answers to scientific, apologetic, and historical questions. It is a text that has called forth flood geology, fueled searches for remnants of the ark on Mount Ararat, and inspired a full-size replica of Noah's ark in a biblical theme park. Some claim that the very veracity of Scripture hinges on a particular reading of the flood narrative. But do we understand what we are reading? In "The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology, and the Deluge Debate", John H. Walton (Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School) and Tremper Longman III (Distinguished Scholar of Biblical Studies at Westmont college) urge us to hit the pause button and ask, what might the biblical author have been saying to his ancient audience? The answer to our quest to rediscover the biblical flood requires that we set aside our own cultural and interpretive assumptions and visit the distant world of the ancient Near East. Responsible interpretation calls for the patient examination of the text within its ancient context of language, literature, and thought structures. And as we return from that lost world to our own, we will need to ask whether geological science supports the notion of flood geology. The story of Noah and the flood will continue to invite questions and explorations. But to read "The Lost World of the Flood" is put our feet on firmer interpretive ground. Without attempting to answer all of our questions, they lift the fog of modernity and allow the sunlight to reveal the true contours of the text. As with other books in the simply outstanding Lost World series from InterVarsity Press, "The Lost World of the Flood" is an especially informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, thoughtful and thought provoking journey toward a more responsible reading of a timeless biblical narrative. While very highly recommended for community, seminary, and academic library Biblical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Lost World of the Flood" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.51).

The City of God
Saint Augustine, author
William Babcock, translator
Boniface Ramsey, editor
New City Press
202 Cardinal Rd., Hyde Park, NY 12538
www.newcitypress.com
9781565484818, $39.95, HC, 640pp, www.amazon.com

"The City of God" is undoubtedly one of the most influential works by Saint Augustine. Following his critique of the Roman religious, political, and intellectual tradition in Books 1-10, Books 11-22 set out his great vision of the origins, the histories, and the ultimate destinies of the two cities: the earthly city, rooted in love of self as expressed in the pride and lust for domination that shatter human society, and the heavenly city, rooted in love of God as expressed in the humility and yearning for the supreme good that unite humanity in a just social order. For all those who are interested in the greatest classics of Christian antiquity, "The City of God" is indispensable reading. Now this impressive translation by William Babcock (and edited by Boniface Ramsy), enhanced with an informative introduction and useful annotation makes Augustine's monumental work approachable for seminary students, clergy, academia, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. It should be noted that the Index for Books 1-22 (both volumes of "The City of God") is contained in this volume. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library collections, it should also be noted for personal reading lists that "The City of God" is also available in a paperback edition (9781565486607, $34.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Transforming
Austen hartke
Westminster John Knox Press
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
www.wjkbooks.com
9780664263102, $16.00, PB, 225pp, www.amazon.com

Austen Hartke is the creator of the YouTube series Transgender and Christian, which seeks to understand, interpret, and share parts of the Bible that relate to gender identity and the lives of transgender individuals. He draws upon his years of experience and expertise in "Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians" to provides his readers with access into an underrepresented and misunderstood community and will change the way those readers think about transgender people, faith, and the future of Christianity. By introducing transgender issues and language and providing stories of both biblical characters and real-life narratives from transgender Christians living today, Hartke helps readers visualize a more inclusive Christianity, equipping them with the confidence and tools to change both the church and the world. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought provoking, scripturally sound and an inherently interesting read from cover to cover, "Transforming" is very highly recommended reading. It should be noted that "Transforming" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.72).


The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Treasures of Buddhism
Frithjof Schuon, author
Harry Oldmeadow, editor
World Wisdom
1501 East Hillside Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401
www.worldwisdom.com
9781936597581, $19.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

In his classic work on the subject, perennialist author Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998) explores the vast and varied landscape that is Buddhism. Every reader interested in Buddhism from whatever angle will here find much that speaks to his or her condition. Schuon presents Buddhism not as an historical artifact of the past but as a living spiritual force. In describing the essentials of Buddhism, he frequently makes use of comparisons with other traditions, including Western religious thought. The rich and diverse world of Buddhist art (from its statuary to the tea ceremony) is a subject treated with particular importance. A valuable section on Shinto, the indigenous Japanese tradition of the "way of the gods", concludes the book. This revised and expanded third edition under the deftly editorship of Harry Oldmeadow, contains more than 75 pages of new material, and features a fully revised translation from the French original as well as previously unpublished selections from Schuon's letters and other private writings. Also included is an editor's preface, editor's notes, a glossary of foreign terms and phrases, an index, and biographical notes. An invaluable and welcome addition to the growing body of Buddhist literature available for an American readership, "Treasures of Buddhism: A New Translation with Selected Letters" is unequivocally and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library Buddhist Philosophy collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Mirror of Dharma
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Tharpa Publications US
www.tharpa.com
9781910368800, $16.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism who has pioneered the introduction of modern Buddhism into contemporary society. He is the author of 23 highly acclaimed books that perfectly transmit the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to our modern world. He has also founded more than 1,200 Kadampa Buddhist centers and groups throughout the world. In "The Mirror of Dharma: How to find the real meaning of human life" he addresses questions like: Why do we need to practice Buddha's teachings?; Why do I need to be concerned for my future lives?; Why do we need permanent liberation from suffering? Buddha's teachings, or Dharma. are the practical method to find the real meaning of human life. "The Mirror of Dharma" is an outstanding and invaluable contribution to the growing library of Buddhist literature and very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Mirror of Dharma" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Fiction Shelf

Gravesend
William Boyle
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
www.pegasusbooks.com
9781681778495, $25.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Some worship him and some want him dead, but either way, tensions run high when "Ray Boy" Calabrese is released from prison. It's been sixteen years since Ray Boy's actions led to the death of a young man. The victim's brother, Conway D'Innocenzio, is a 29-year-old Brooklynite wasting away at a local Rite Aid, stuck in the past and drawn into a darker side of himself when he hears of Ray Boy's freedom. But even with the perfect plan in place, Conway can't bring himself to take the ultimate revenge on Ray Boy, which sends him into a spiral of self-loathing and soul-searching. Meanwhile, Alessandra, a failed actress, returns to her native Gravesend after the death of her cancer-stricken mother, torn between the desperate need to escape back to Los Angeles as quickly as possible and the ease with which she could sink back into neighborhood life. Alessandra and Conway are walking eerily similar paths -- staring down the rest of their lives, caring for their aging fathers, lost in the youths they squandered -- and each must decide what comes next. A simply riveting and deftly crafted novel of revenge, desperation, and escape, "Gravesend" showcases author William Boyle's genuine flair as a novelist for character and narrative driven storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gravesend" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.73).

Hidden Among the Stars
Melanie Dobson
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781496417329, $15.99 pbk / $15.99 Kindle amazon.com

The year is 1938, and as Hitler's troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family's summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker's daughter, who is eager to help the man she's loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika's feelings and puts their entire plan even their very lives in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone. Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika's story -- and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she's built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love. "Hidden Among the Stars" is an emotionally compelling and inherently riveting read from beginning to end, making it unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hidden Among the Stars" is also available in paperback and in Kindle edition.

Becoming the Talbot Sisters
Rachel Linden
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9780718095765, $15.99, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Celebrity chef Waverly Talbot has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly's heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly's twin sister, Charlie, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worker in Budapest, Hungary. When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy. But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven't had to rely on each other since childhood, a dramatic turn in their journey forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other. A beautifully crafted and inherently compelling novel that showcases author Rachel Linden's impressive talent as a novelist for character and narrative driven storytelling, "Becoming the Talbot Sisters" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Becoming the Talbot Sisters" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99). Librarians should be aware that there is a large print hardcover edition of "Becoming the Talbot Sisters" (Center Point Publishing, 9781683248187, $36.95, 488pp).

Promised Land
Martin Fletcher
Thomas Dunne Books
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.stmartins.com
9781250118820, $28.99, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com

"Promised Land" by Martin Fletcher is the sweeping saga of two brothers and the woman they love, a devastating love triangle set against the tumultuous founding of Israel. The story begins when fourteen-year-old Peter is sent west to America to escape the growing horror of Nazi Germany. But his younger brother Arie and their entire family are sent east to the death camps. Only Arie survives. The brothers reunite in the nascent Jewish state, where Arie becomes a businessman and one of the richest men in Israel while Peter becomes a top Mossad agent heading some of Israel's most vital espionage operations. One brother builds Israel, the other protects it. But they also fall in love with the same woman, Tamara, a lonely Jewish refugee from Cairo. And over the next two decades, as their new homeland faces extraordinary obstacles that could destroy it, the brothers' intrigues and jealousies threaten to tear their new lives apart. "Promised Land" is at once the gripping tale of a struggling family and an epic about a struggling nation. A deftly crafted and inherently riveting novel showcasing author Martin Fletcher's erudite skills as a compelling storyteller, "Promised Land" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Promised Land" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250299079, $57.99, CD).

One Step Enough
Carla Kelly
Bonneville Books
http://www.bonnevillebooks.com
9781462121564, $10.99, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Now that she's married, Della believes she and Owen will live happily ever after, but he can't keep his promise to stay out of the mines. Meanwhile, Della's wishing for a baby, but her arms remain empty. Together they must face the secrets of her past as they struggle to build their future. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, "One Step Enough" is a simply riveting historical romance from beginning to end -- and clearly showcases author Carla Kelly's distinctive and genuine flair for character and narrative driven storytelling.

Narrator
Bragi Olafsson, author
Lytton Smith, translator
Open Letter Books
c/o University of Rochester
Lattimore Hall 411, Box 270082, Rochester, NY 14627
www.openletterbooks.org
9781940953823, $14.95, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

A deftly crafted work of fiction by Bragi Olafsson that is ably translated into English for an American readership by Lytton Smith, "Narrator" is the story of a thirty-something aspiring writer, G., who encounters a former romantic rival at the post office -- a man he once wished didn't exist. On a whim, G. begins trailing the man throughout Reykjavik. What starts as an amusing tale of cat and mouse turns into a complex, introspective journey of a man struggling to complete the unfinished narrative of his own life. An erudite and compelling read from first page to last, "Narrator" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Her Kind of Case
Jeanne Winer
Bancroft Press
PO Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209
www.bancroftpress.com
9781610882286, $25.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

"Her Kind of Case" is a legal drama by novelist Jeanne Winter (who is herself a longtime defense attorney in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a black-belt karate expert) that centers on Lee Isaacs, a female defense attorney on the cusp of turning 60, who, out of curiosity, determination, and desire for a big, even impossible, professional challenge, chooses to take on a tough murder case in which a largely uncooperative young man is accused of helping kill a gay gang member. "Her Kind of Case" is a deftly resolving mystery showcasing fully fleshed-out characters -- and in particularly the strong-willed and sharp-witted Lee, an older single woman who grieves the recent loss of her husband, but continues her daily routine of law and karate, fighting tooth and nail to prove her client not guilty. A simply riveting read from beginning to end, and laced with a very special flair for unexpected humor, "Her Kind of Case" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections.

The Rose Quilt
Mark Pasquini
C&T Publishing
www.ctpub.com
9781617456350, $14.95, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com

"The Rose Quilt" by Mark Pasquini is set in the 1920s in the world of quilting circles. A wealthy woman and prominent local quilter is murdered with a pair of quilting shears during the preparation for a flower show, leaving a dying clue on the lap quilt she and the executive committee are making as the first prize. Unfortunately, the clue could point to anyone on the committee or any of her three adopted children. All the more impressive when considering that "The Rose Quilt" is author Mark Pasquini's debut as a mystery novelist, this simply riveting read will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections and leave dedicated mystery buffs looking forward to the next one in his Steve Walsh Mystery series! It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Rose Quilt" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59).

Path of the Dead
Mark Edward Langley
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781538507599, $24.99, HC, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Ex-marine Arthur Nakai spent years as a member of the Shadow Wolves, an ICE tactical unit tasked by the US government to hunt human traffickers and drug smugglers on the US/Mexico border. He put that life of confronting violence in the darker contours of the desert landscape behind him and settled into a quiet existence in New Mexico with his wife, Sharon, a local TV reporter. But when Sharon goes missing after crossing paths with a serial killer who has just added to his list of young victims, Arthur's calm world is shattered. He must return to the darkness of the life he left behind in order to save what matters most to him, and the future he and his wife plan to share together. He can only hope that she is still alive, and that his skills will be enough to find her. All the more impressive when considering that "Path of the Dead" is the debut of Mark Edward Langley as a novelist, this inherently riveting read showcases his genuine flair for character and narrative driven storytelling. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Path of the Dead" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.15) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538478004, $29.95, CD).

Burning Ridge
Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781683317784, $26.99, HC, 281pp, www.amazon.com

Colorado's Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on the ridge, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime -- and it soon becomes clear that Mattie has a close personal connection to the dead man. Joined by local veterinarian Cole Walker, the pair scours the mountaintop for evidence and makes another gruesome discovery: the skeletonized remains of two adults and a child. And then, the unthinkable happens. Could Mattie become the next victim in the murderer's deadly game? A deranged killer torments Mattie with a litany of dark secrets that call into question her very identity. As a towering blaze races across the ridge, Cole and Robo search desperately for her -- but time is running out! Another original, deftly crafted and imply riveting mystery by Margaret Mizushima, "Burning Ridge" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Timber Creek K-9 Mystery fans that "Burning Ridge" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982539955, $29.95, MP3 CD).

The Guilty Dead
P. J. Tracy
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781683318583, $26.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Gregory Norwood is Minnesota's most beloved philanthropist, and the story of his son's overdose was splashed across the front page of all the papers. When a photojournalist sets out to get a candid shot of the highly successful businessman on the one year anniversary of his son's death, he's shocked to find Norwood dead with a smoking gun in his hand. The city is devastated, and Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called in to handle the delicate case. It should be open and shut, but something is not right. Norwood's death is no suicide. With no suspects and an increasing tangle of digital evidence that confounds the Minneapolis Police Department's most seasoned cops, Magozzi calls on Grace MacBride, Monkeewrench Software's founder and chief computer genius and the soon to be mother of their child together. She and her motley crew of partners begin to unravel connections between Norwood's death and an even larger plot. Norwood wasn't the first, won't be the last, and by the end, may be just one of many to die. Another carefully crafted and simply riveting mystery by a master of the genre, P. J. Tracey (the pseudonym of the mother/daughter writing team of P. J. and Traci Lambrecht), "The Guilty Dead" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and P. J. Tracey fans that "The Guilty Dead" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.69) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982540036, $29.95, MP3 CD).

Pieces of Her
Karin Slaughter
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062430274, $27.99, HC, 480pp, www.amazon.com

Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she's spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she's never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she's never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don't we? But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she's been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she's been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again. The police want answers and Laura's innocence is on the line, but she won't speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother's past. And if she can't uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. "Pieces of Her" is another deftly crafted and inherently riveting novels by Karin Slaughter who is a definitive master of character and narrative driven storytelling. While highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pieces of Her" is also available in a large print paperback edition (HarperLuxe, 9780062845764, $27.99, 736pp) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

The Last Breath
Danny Lopez
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608092970, $26.95, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Unemployed newspaper reporter Dexter Vega is hired to investigate the drowning of Liam Fleming, the son of a wealthy real estate investor in Siesta Key. Vega's search for clues takes him from one end of this picturesque barrier island off the coast of Sarasota to the other. But nothing adds up. Liam was young, an experienced swimmer, apparently healthy and drowned in four feet of water. And why was Liam living in a beach shack? Why was he buying properties and not selling them? The police are getting nowhere as they identify every beach bum on Siesta Key as a suspect. But Vega narrows his investigation to two one who disappears, and the other he's falling in love with. Beach bums and hippies go missing, while greed, beachfront property, and drugs swirl in vicious loops -- and when they converge, Vega puts his life on the line to find the truth! Another deftly crafted Dexter Vega mystery penned by a true master of the genre, "The Last Breath" by Danny Lopez is an inherently riveting read with unexpected twists and unanticipated turns. While unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Last Breath" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95).

City of Ink
Elsa Hart
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250142795, $25.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Li Du was prepared to travel anywhere in the world except for one place: home. But to unravel the mystery that surrounds his mentor's execution, that's exactly where he must go. Plunged into the painful memories and teeming streets of Beijing, Li Du obtains a humble clerkship that offers anonymity and access to the records he needs. He is beginning to make progress when his search for answers buried in the past is interrupted by murder in the present. The wife of a local factory owner is found dead, along with a man who appears to have been her lover, and the most likely suspect is the husband. But what Li Du's superiors at the North Borough Office are willing to accept as a crime of passion strikes Li Du as something more calculated. As past and present intertwine, Li Du's investigations reveal that many of Beijing's residents (foreign and Chinese, artisan and official, scholar and soldier) have secrets they would kill to protect. When the threats begin, Li Du must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to discover the truth in a city bent on concealing it, a city where the stroke of a brush on paper can alter the past, change the future, prolong a life, or end one. A unique and compelling read that will have immense and immediate appeal for all dedicated mystery buffs, "City of Ink" showcases author Elsa hart's total mastery of the genre and highlights her originality and storytelling skills. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "City of Ink" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781427296238, $50.99, CD).

Marrakech Noir
Yassin Adnan, editor
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.akashicbooks.com
9781617754739, $15.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Compiled and edited by Yassin Adnan, "Marrakech Noir" is the newest addition to the simply original and outstanding Akashic Books series of regionally or geographically based 'Noir' anthologies that was originally launched in 2004 with "Brooklyn Noir". Each title in this unique mystery/suspense series comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city and with "Marrakech Noir", North Africa finally enters this Noir Series with a finely crafted volume of dark stories, all translated from Arabic, French, and Dutch. Comprised of brand-new stories by such writers as Fouad Laroui, Allal Bourqia, Abdelkader Benali, Mohamed Zouhair, Mohamed Achaari, Hanane Derkaoui, Fatiha Morchid, Mahi Binebine, Mohamed Nedali, Halima Zine El Abidine, My Seddik Rabbaj, Yassin Adnan, Karima Nadir, Taha Adnan, and Lahcen Bakour, "Marrakech Noir" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Marrakech Noir" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.15).

Dead Drop
P. K. Norton
Stillwater River Publications
http://stillwaterpress.com
9781946300485, $13.00, PB, 220pp, www.amazon.com

In Amy Lynch's world the past never really leave us. What starts out to be a well-deserved vacation for Amy as a volunteer at an archaeological dig on the outskirts of Paris turns ugly when the head archaeologist is found dead at the dig-site. A recently uncovered relic from World War II threatens to expose treachery and betrayal from the time of the German Occupation. It endangers the life of anybody bold enough to delve into its significance. New England Casualty and Indemnity, the insurance company where Amy works as a claims investigator, is insuring the dig. Amy's world turns upside-down as she reverts from vacation mode to conduct a full-blown investigation. She meets with obstacles, resistance and threats to her own safety (as well as an adorable French detective) in her quest to unmask a traitor. Another riveting read from a true master of the genre, "Dead Drop" showcases P. K. Norton's genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling with more twists and turns than a carnival roller coaster. While unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Dead Drop" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.95).

Blood Highway
Gina Wohlsdorf
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
www.algonquin.com
9781616205638, $16.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Rainy Cain is a tough, smart seventeen-year-old whose primary instinct is survival. That instinct is tested when her life is upended by the sudden appearance of her father, Sam, who she thought was long dead, but instead had been in prison for his part in an armored truck robbery gone murderously wrong. Now escaped and on the run, he kidnaps Rainy, who he is convinced knows where the money from the robbery, never recovered, is hidden. Accompanied by a henchman with secret motives of his own, they set off on a cross-country dash to Big Sur, where Sam suspects his late wife stashed the cash. On their heels is a Minneapolis cop intent on bringing Rainy safely home. "Blood Highway" is an odyssey that will push Rainy to the limits of endurance. What does Rainy really know -- and what is she willing to sacrifice in order to live? A deftly crafted and simply riveting read from beginning to an unpredictable end, "Blood Highway" is very highly recommended, especially for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Blood Highway" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Highbridge Audio, 9781684416509, $34.99, CD).

K Street Killing
Colleen J. Shogan
Camel Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
www.camelpress.com
9781603816137, $15.95, PB, 242pp, www.amazon.com

It's the height of campaign season, and instead of relishing newlywed bliss with her husband Doug Hollingsworth, Capitol Hill staffer Kit Marshall is busy with a tough reelection fight for her boss, member of Congress Maeve Dixon. Before Maeve and her staff (Kit included) leave Washington, D.C. to campaign full time in North Carolina, they have one last fundraising engagement. On the iconic rooftop of a restaurant overlooking the Capitol and the Washington monument, Kit and her best pal Meg do their best to woo wealthy lobbyists for sizable campaign donations. Everyone's enjoying the evening soiree until a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbles off the rooftop. Even with claims the fall must be suicide, Detective Maggie Glass and Kit aren't so easily convinced foul play isn't at work. While balancing Doug's mid-life career crisis, Kit must spring into action to discover who killed the notorious Van Parker before Dixon's candidacy sputters, even if it means investigating Meg's handsome new beau, the victim's conniving widow, and a bicycle advocate hell-bent on settling a long-standing grudge. When threatening note is left on Kit's car, warning her to back off the investigation, she knows she's closing in on the true story of what happened. The fourth volume in author Colleen J. Shogan's simply outstanding 'Washington Whodunit' series, "K Street Killing" is a consistently entertaining read with many an unexpected twist and turn by a true master of the genre, While "K Street Killing" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "K Street Killing" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Sage Alexander and the Blood of Seth
Steve Copling
Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248-2871
www.brownbooks.com
9781612549903, $18.99, HC, 504pp, www.amazon.com

For Sage Alexander, life was forever changed when he realized that the Angelic embodiments he could always see, the magnificent heavenly powers that he possessed, and the destiny he had always been told he had to fulfill were all real and true, and that his promised powers were necessary to defeat the Seven Princes of Hell. After saving his father from the clutches of Greed incarnate and destroying Prince Mammon, Sage has come to realize his place within the Angelic Council and the world as a protector to humanity, though the prospect is daunting. Sage has only just reunited his family back on earth, however, when Belphegor, the Prince of Sloth, takes Sage's little brother Nick out of revenge for the fall of Mammon. Sage must now venture forth yet again into that dark wasteland mortals call Hell, and retrieve what is his. Will he continue on his path to destroy the seven embodiments of sin, or will he be thwarted by Sloth, and leave humanity to evil's devices? Steve Copling's novel, "Sage Alexander and the Blood of Seth" is a deftly written fantasy saga that will become an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "Sage Alexander and the Blood of Seth" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).


The Political Science Shelf

Out of the Wreckage
George Monbiot
Verso
20 Jay Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-8346
www.versobooks.com
9781786632883, $24.95, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

As exemplified by the political administration of Donald J. Trump, a dangerous ideology of extreme competition and individualism has come to dominate our world. But in "Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis", George Monbiot (who writes a weekly column for the Guardian) maintains that this misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better future. "Out of the Wreckage" shows how new findings in psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology cast human nature in a radically different light: as the supreme altruists and cooperators. Monbiot shows how we can build on these findings to create a new politics: a "politics of belonging". Both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up, enabling us to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted our ambitions for a better society. Urgent and passionate, "Out of the Wreckage" provides the hope and clarity required to change the world and is especially commended to the attention of anyone who finds the current political climate abjectly depressing. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of political science students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Out of the Wreckage" is also available in a paperback edition (9781786632890, $16.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Biography Shelf

Someone Has Led This Child to Believe
Regina Louise
Bolden
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
www.agatepublishing.com
9781572842229, $16.00, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com

After years of jumping from one fleeting, often abusive home to the next, Louise meets a counselor named Jeanne Kerr. For the first time in her young life, Louise knows what it means to be seen, wanted, understood, and loved. After Kerr tries unsuccessfully to adopt Louise, the two are ripped apart - seemingly forever - and Louise continues her passage through the cold cinder-block landscape of a broken system, enduring solitary confinement, overmedication, and the actions of adults who seem hell-bent on convincing her that she deserves nothing, that she is nothing. But instead of losing her will to thrive, Louise remains determined to achieve her dream of a higher education. After she ages out of the system, Louise is thrown into adulthood and, haunted by her trauma, struggles to finish school, build a career, and develop relationships. As she puts it, it felt impossible "to understand how to be in the world". Eventually, Louise learns how to confront her past and reflect on her traumas. She starts writing, quite literally, a new future for herself, a new way to be. Louise weaves together raw, sometimes fragmented memories, excerpts from real documents from her case file, and elegant reflections to tell the story of her painful upbringing and what came after. The result is a rich, engrossing account of one abandoned girl's efforts to find her place in the world, people to love, and people to love her back. "Someone Has Led This Child to Believe" is an unflinching, unforgettable memoir by Regina Louise in which she tells the true story of how she overcame neglect in the US foster-care system. Drawing on her experience as one of society's abandoned children, she tells how she emerged from the cruel, unjust system, not only to survive, but to flourish. While very strongly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Someone Has Led This Child to Believe" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

A Chance in the World
Steve Pemberton
Nelson Books
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9781595552631, $24.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Taken from his mother at age three, Steve Klakowicz lives a terrifying existence. Caught in the clutches of a cruel foster family and subjected to constant abuse, Steve finds his only refuge in a box of books given to him by a kind stranger. In these books, he discovers new worlds he can only imagine and begins to hope that one day he might have a different life -- that one day he will find his true home. A fair-complexioned boy with blue eyes, a curly Afro, and a Polish last name, he is determined to unravel the mystery of his origins and find his birth family. Armed with just a single clue, Steve embarks on an extraordinary quest for his identity, only to learn that nothing is as it appears. "A Chance in the World" by Steve Pemberton is the unbelievably true story of a wounded and broken boy destined to become a man of resilience, determination, and vision. Through it all, Steve's story teaches us that no matter how broken our past, no matter how great our misfortunes, we have it in us to create a new beginning and to build a place where love awaits. Exceptionally well written and now the basis for a major motion picture, "A Chance in the World" is an extraordinary and ultimately inspiring story that is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Chance in the World" is also available in a paperback edition (9781404183551, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).


The Woodworking Shelf

The Reclaimed Woodworker
Chris Gleason
Spring House Press
http://springhousepress.com
9781940611549, $24.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com

"The Reclaimed Woodworker" by woodworking expert Chris Gleason provides inspiration and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction for beginning and intermediate woodworkers who want to make well-built, stylish furniture and furnishings from reclaimed lumber. Featuring 21 projects ranging from the ever-popular sliding barn door to modern desks to chairs with vintage charm, each project is designed to use upcycled materials without sacrificing style. They are modern and fresh, but based on tried and true craftsmanship and technique. Through the use of beautiful photographs, inspired designs, and accessible building instructions, "The Reclaimed Woodworker" is a comprehensive guidebook to sourcing recycled lumber and using it to build your own furniture and furnishings. Because there is more to finding and using recycled lumber than tearing apart old pallets, aspiring woodworkers will learn how to source environmentally conscious wood in unexpected places. Once known how to find them, these materials often provide a cost savings over traditionally-sourced lumber. "The Reclaimed Woodworker" is more than just another how-to book, it is also a celebration of the creativity in reclaiming lumber and discovering the possibilities for using it in your home. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, illustrated instruction, organization and presentation, "The Reclaimed Woodworker" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and technical college woodworking instructional reference collections.


The Crafts Shelf

Lettering Workshop for Crafters
Suzanne McNeill, editor
Design Originals
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781497204058, $17.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Compiled with constructive instruction by Suzanne McNeil (who is the author of more than 230 crafts and hobby books), "Lettering Workshop for Crafters" provides a valuable resource for anyone who wants to embellish crafts with beautiful letters, decorative word art, borders, and corners! This big lettering workbook covers a wide range of decorative lettering styles, from whimsical and modern to romantic and vintage. With 55 traceable alphabets, expert lettering tips, and interactive practice exercises, you will learn to create your own unique lettering for everything from art journals and scrapbooks to greeting cards, gift tags, invitations, and more. "Lettering Workshop for Crafters" shows how to add color, interest, and pizzaz to your any calligraphy project, whether writing a thank you note, designing a scrapbook page, finishing a school project, making a poster, or embellishing any new artwork! Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Lettering Workshop for Crafters" is unreservedly recommended for anyone of any age with an interest in acquiring the skill of attractive, artistic, and coherent lettering for any and all occasions!

Wire-Wrapped Jewelry Techniques
Lora S. Irish
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781565239555, $18.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Lora S. Irish is an internationally known artist and author, whose acclaimed books include Great Book of Carving Patterns, Great Book of Celtic Patterns, Great Book of Dragon Patterns, Great Book of Tattoo Designs, The Official Vampire Artist's Handbook, Relief Carving Wood Spirits, World Wildlife Patterns for the Scroll Saw, and many more. With "Wire-Wrapped Jewelry Techniques: Tools and Inspiration for Creating Your Own Fashionable Jewelry" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to teach amateur jewelry makers using wire-wrapped techniques how to: Add texture using tightly packed wire wrapped coils; Add a grunge look using random, loosely packed twists and turns; Add bead clusters anywhere on a bent wire link; Secure free-floating arms and anchor open hoops; Experiment with added coils and beaded wires; Create intricate woven patterns with wire; Create connecting loops to add side chains and earring hooks -- and a lot more! "Wire-Wrapped Jewelry Techniques" teaches 30 expert wire wrapping methods for jewelry wire, such as forming bent-wire links, working a wrapping pattern, wrapping sequential layers, embellishing decorative loops, adding coil elements, and much more. This comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide to wire wrap jewelry includes 8 step-by-step projects for stunning necklaces, pendants, hairpins, and earrings, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal and community library do-it-yourself Jewelry Making instructional crafts collections.

Paper Crafts: A Maker's Guide
Victoria & Albert Museum
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500294185, $29.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Paper crafts are as old as paper itself, with a profusion of different traditions originating around the world. The latest volume in the Victoria & Albert Museum series 'Maker's Guides', "Paper Crafts" introduces a range of these fascinating traditions, offering paper projects inspired by a variety of diverse techniques, which are exemplified by objects from the Victoria & Albert Museum collection ranging from the classic Japanese art of origami to the gorgeously colorful and festive Polish "Wycinanki" folk decorations. "Paper Crafts" also features a practical guide to tools, techniques, and materials for the modern paper crafter. Step-by-step projects contributed by experienced teachers and practitioners allow aspiring and established paper artists to hone their craft. With projects ranging from braided paper-string jewelry to a concertina papercut peepshow, from a silhouette family portrait to a handmade paper notebook, "Paper Crafts" will introduce do-it-yourself crafting enthusiasts to the immensely exciting, creative, and entertaining possibilities of paper! Enhanced with more than 220 photographs and illustrations, "Paper Crafts" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation providing endless hours of recreational fun

Beautiful Beaded Jewelry for Beginners
Cheryl Owen
IMM Lifestyle Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781504801072, $14.99, PB, 136pp, www.amazon.com

An ideal do-it-yourself instructional guide for novice jewelry makers, the contemporary collection of 25 designs comprising "Beautiful Beaded Jewelry for Beginners" by beaded jewelry expert Cheryl Owen clear shows how to, step-by-step, make stunning beaded jewelry with readily available beads and stones. An experienced craft designer, Cheryl shows just how easy it is to make fabulous necklaces, chokers, bracelets, cuffs, brooches, earrings, and rings that will compliment any ensemble. A techniques section at the start of this instructional guide works through all the basic methods anyone needs to learn before embarking on the projects. Perfect for beginners, each project is shown in full step-by-step detail, showing exactly what to do. The designs are simple and sophisticated, and suitable for both daytime and evening wear. Beautifully modeled pieces provide extra inspiration to complete these individual treasures. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Beautiful Beaded Jewelry for Beginners" is thoroughly and unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Crafts & Hobbies collections.

Complete Guide to Soap Carving
Janet Bolyard
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781565239210, $16.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Janet Bolyard is a full time wood carver/sculptor. She owns and operates Janet Lee Carvings, LLC, and is a sales/instructor at WoodCraft in Chandler, Arizona. In "Complete Guide to Soap Carving: Tools, Techniques, and Tips (Fox Chapel Publishing) 26 Step-by-Step Projects & Comprehensive Guide, from Basic Methods for Beginners to Advanced Techniques for Artists" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide everything anyone needs to know about carving soap, from basic carving methods for beginners to sophisticated techniques for accomplished artists. A beautifully and profusely illustrated, comprehensive, step-by-step, DIY guide, "Complete Guide to Soap Carving" also shows how to choose the best carving soap, and how to test soap for carving quality. Comprised of twenty-six individual projects that range from quick carvings to complex, elaborate soap sculptures, "Complete Guide to Soap Carving" is a fun, safe, and easy-to-learn craft for adults and children of all ages -- making it very highly recommended for both family and community library Crafts & Hobbies instructional reference collections.


The Beer Shelf

The Craft Beer Dictionary
Richard Croasdale
Michael Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784723880, $20.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Richard Croasdale is an award-winning journalist, editor-in-chief of Ferment craft beer magazine, and an all-round lover of anything cold and hoppy. A member of the Guild of Beer Writers, Richard has traveled the world in search of the best beers and brewers, experiencing the diversity of approaches and cultures that make craft beer so exciting. With "The Craft Beer Dictionary: An A-Z of Craft Beer, From Hop to Glass" he draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to showcase the craft beer revolution with an informatively in-depth guide to the many complex terms and techniques, equipment and varieties that go into creating the perfect beer. Hundreds of entries cover every aspect of the craft beer world, from ingredients, brewing and storing to tasting notes for the many different styles of beer available today. Profusely illustrated throughout, "The Craft Beer Dictionary" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library collections. It should be noted for dedicated amateur brewers that "The Craft Beer Dictionary" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Education Shelf

On the Road to High-Quality Early Learning
Marjorie E. Wechsler, et. al.
Teachers College Press
www.tcpress.com
9780807759387 $29.95 pbk / $28.45 Kindle amazon.com

On the Road to High-Quality Early Learning: Changing Children's Lives is designed to help policymakers and educators design, implement, and improve their programs for teaching young children. A close study of how four states (Michigan, West Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina) have created early education systems with a positive effect reveals how quality preschool education can be effectively delivered through proven strategies. These strategies include investing in knowledgeable educators; coordinating and aligning early education programs with elementary school; building broad-based support; and much more. An index rounds out this exemplary "must-read" for professionals in the field, highly recommended especially for public and college library collections.

Focus, second edition
Mike Schmoker
ASCD
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
www.ascd.org
9781416626343, $31.95, PB, 308pp, www.amazon.com

Now in a fully updated and expanded second edition, "Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning", by former teacher, administrator, and coach Mike Schmoker extends and updates the case that our schools could be on the cusp of swift, unparalleled improvements. But we are stymied by a systemwide failure to simplify and prioritize; we have yet to focus our limited time and energy on the most essential, widely acknowledged, evidence-based practices that could have more impact than all other initiatives combined. They are: simple, coherent curricula; straightforward, traditional literacy practices; and lessons built around just a few hugely effective elements of good teaching. As Schmoker demonstrates, the case for these practices and the need for them has grown prodigiously. A compendium of late-breaking discoveries and practical advice on how to simplify the implementation of new state standards in the subject areas; on the hidden pitfalls of our most popular, but unproven instructional fads and programs; and on simple, versatile strategies for building curriculum, planning lessons, and integrating literacy into every discipline, "Focus" supports all of these identified strategies and findings with exciting new 'real world' evidence drawn from actual schools. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Focus" is unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Education Issues and Teacher Education collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of classroom educators, administrators, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Focus" is also available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $17.04).

What Works May Hurt
Yong Zhao
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
www.tcpress.com
9780807759059, $29.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy at Victoria University in Australia. He is a recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association and is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education. In "What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education" Professor Zhao draws upon his years of research, experience and expertise in the area of educational reforms to: Provide evidence showing how popularly endorsed education strategies, policies, and systems can actually do harm to students; Encourage educators to consider some less-publicized or lower-effect strategies that may be necessary and applicable for some students and classrooms; Caution educators, policymakers, and parents to be more thoughtful when considering educational programs and weighing evidence; and calls for researchers to include possible downsides to strategies that they are testing and promoting in order to assist school leaders and practitioners in choosing and implementing educational interventions. The history of American education is a history of experiment, adaptation, and reforms -- some of which succeed but some of which (and all to often!) have failed to achieve what was expected. While very highly recommended for school district, college, and university Educational Issues & Teacher Education collections, it should be noted for education students, school administrators, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).

Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments
Susan Stacey
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
www.redleafpress.org
9781605545813, $36.95 PB, $35.10 Kindle, 176pp, www.amazon.com

From the time of their birth, children want to know how the world works and actively seek out information. How educators respond to their questions is what "Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments: Creating, Supporting, and Collaborating" by Susan Stacey (who has worked in the field of early childhood education for over thirty-five years as an early childhood educator, director, practicum advisor, and instructor, in both Canada and the United States) is all about. "Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments" provides an in-depth look at children's innate predilection for inquiry. What does inquiry look like in early childhood settings? How does the environment affect children's inquiries and teachers' thought processes? "Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments" examines inquiry in all its facets, including environments that support relationships, that create a culture of risk-taking in our thinking, that support teachers as well as children, that include families, that use documentation as a way of thinking about our work, and of course, the physical environment and all the objects and spaces within it. Throughout, stories about environments and approaches to inquiry from around the world are included as examples. Impressively organized and presented, "Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments" is enhanced with the inclusion of 70 full color photographs and 'real world examples' making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections in general and elementary school classroom teacher supplemental studies curriculum lists in particular.

Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education
Erica K. Yamamura & Kent Koth
Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781620366769, $95.00, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com

While an increasing number of universities have or are committed to engaging their campuses in their surrounding communities, many recognize they lack the strategic focus and resources to maximize and sustain their impact on those communities. Place-based community engagement provides a powerful way to creatively connect campus and community to foster positive social transformation. The collaborative work of Erica K. Yamamura (who is an Associate Professor and the Master's Degree Coordinator in the Student Development Administration Program in the College of Education at Seattle University) and Kent Koth (who is the Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement at Seattle University), "Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education: A Strategy to Transform Universities and Communities" presents the emerging model of place-based community engagement as a powerful process for attaining more positive and enduring results in their local communities as well as stimulating wider engagement by campus constituencies. Drawing upon the concept of collective impact and using data-driven decision making, place-based initiatives build long-term partnerships based upon a shared vision. Done thoughtfully, these place-based initiatives have attained impressive results. Featuring the case studies of five institutions that have implemented place-based community engagement initiatives, "Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education" provide guidance on the opportunities, challenges, and considerations involved in putting a place-based approach into effect. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education" is a significant, insightful, and thought-provoking study that is an especially recommended addition to college and university library Contemporary Issues in Education collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of educators, administrators, students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education" is also available in a paperback edition ( 9781620366776, $35.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.99).


The Needlecraft Shelf

Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in America
Kaffe Fassett
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781631869617, $29.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his highly successful series of patchwork and quilting books, Kaffe Fassett has returned to his American roots. Using the collection of American vintage quilts in Britain's American Museum in Bath as his inspiration, Kaffe has chosen 18 different quilts as the basis for his 20 new designs showcased in the pages of "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in America: Designs Inspired by Vintage Quilts from the American Museum in Britain", a beautifully illustrated volume for quilting enthusiasts that features designs drawn from both his latest fabrics and his much-loved classics consisting mostly from the Kaffe Fassett Collective but also his latest collection of Artisan fabrics. Of special note is an introductory section, featuring the original quilts that inspired Kaffe, and which tells the reader something about their provenance. Further more all the new designs demonstrate Kaffe's vivid and unique color combinations, giving new meaning to familiar block patterns such as Tumbling Blocks, Starbursts, and Log Cabins. Very highly recommended for personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections, each individual pattern contains full step-by-step piecing instructions and detailed diagrams!


The Gardening Shelf

Miniature Japanese Gardens
Kenji Kobayashi
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805314821, $19.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com

"Miniature Japanese Gardens: Beautiful Bonsai Landscape Gardens for Your Home" by miniature gardening expert Kenji Kobayashi shows the aspiring gardener how to create simple Japanese-style container gardens using inexpensive plants and materials that are easily available everywhere. A detailed plan of each showcased miniature garden provides a basic template, along with information about plant types and containers. The container itself can be an old pot, ceramic bowl, or just about anything you might have lying around. Such "found" objects lend themselves to the Japanese art concept of wabi-sabi -- the beauty of imperfection. Add rocks and other elements to produce mini Zen gardens that enhance any interior space. "Miniature Japanese Gardens" contains step-by-step instructions and photos of over 40 different projects, including: Kokedama (moss ball); A miniature bamboo grove; A variety of bonsai trees; and many more! "Miniature Japanese Gardens" is enhanced with full color photos of the Japanese landscape and will have a very special appeal to gardeners, Zen students, and small space enthusiasts alike. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Gardening instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Miniature Japanese Gardens" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).


The Literary Studies Shelf

The Age of Dimes and Pulps
Jeremy Agnew
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476669489, $39.95, PB, 242pp, www.amazon.com

From the dime novels of the Civil War era to the pulp magazines of the early 20th century to modern paperbacks, lurid fiction has provided thrilling escapism for the masses. Cranking out formulaic stories of melodrama, crime and mild erotica (often by uncredited authors focused more on volume than quality)_publishers realized high profits playing to low tastes. Estimates put pulp magazine circulation in the 1930s at 30 million monthly. This vast body of "disposable literature" has received little critical attention, in large part because much of it has been lost -- the cheaply made books were either discarded after reading or soon disintegrated. Covering the history of pulp literature from 1850 through 1960, "The Age of Dimes and Pulps: A History of Sensationalist Literature, 1830 1960" by Jeremy Agnew deftly describes how sensational tales filled a public need and flowered during the evolving social conditions of the Industrial Revolution. With occasional B/W images drawn from the pulps, and highly recommended for both community and academic library American Literary Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Age of Dimes and Pulps" is also available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $19.99).


The Gaming Shelf

Master of Bridge Psychology
Jeppe Juhl with Peter Fredin
Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com
9781771400466 $21.95 amazon.com

Master of Bridge Psychology: Inside the Remarkable Mind of Peter Fredin is a bridge biography of Peter Fredin of Sweden, a masterful competitive bridge player who won the 2009 European Pairs and earned multiple medals in world events. Danish journalist Jeppe Juhl, a close personal friend of Peter Fredin, showcases highlights of Fredin's bridge playing, including both best and worst moments with commentary, analysis, and a wealth of bridge diagrams. Although Master of Bridge Psychology is not expressly a "how-to" bridge guide, it's highly recommended especially to connoisseurs of the game looking to take their skill to the next level!

The Kaizen of Poker
Sheree Bykofsky
ECW Press
2120 Queen Street East, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4E 1E2
www.ecwpress.com
9781770411944, $19.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

The game of poker, in all it's variations, continues to be wildly popular, attracting new players in the hundreds every day. Kaizen is a Japanese term that means continuous improvement. In "The Kaizen of Poker: How to Continuously Improve Your Hold'em Game", literary agent, author, and avid poker player Sheree Bykofsky will help any dedicated poker player achieve the next level their poker game -- and to the level after that! By learning how to identify and focus on the skills and strategies needed to improve most, players will find themselves raking in more pots and leaving the game a winner far more often. "The Kaizen of Poker" deals with such issues as: Playing too many hands; Bluffing too little or ineffectively; Not knowing how to read the other players' strategies and cards. Of special note is the "Morning After Challenge". Players can even start outplaying the opponents they want to emulate! Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Kaizen of Poker" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Poker instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "The Kaizen of Poker" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).


The Self-Help Shelf

The Perfection Detox
Petra Kolber
Lifelong Books
c/o Hachette Book Group
53 State Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02109
www.perseusbooksgroup.com
9780738234854, $17.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

It is all too common today for adults to be tired, stressed, and simply overwhelmed with what goes on in the world today and their struggle to try and achieve their definition of the perfect life, the perfect family, the perfect career. Health and wellness expert Petra Kolber knows this intimately. As a dancer and fitness professional, she has herself experienced the ultimately dissatisfying quest for perfection. Her Perfection Detox program helps women to overcome the unhealthy, unproductive demands we place on ourselves -- and others. Based on her popular workshops, Kolber's strategies help women to recognize and constructively root out the perfectionistic impulse to be critical of self or others and to harness the power of our own internal resources, willpower, and habits. With simple steps and strategies such as adjusting our internal monologues, cleaning up our vocabularies to include more positive language, becoming a passionist rather than a perfectionist, and more, "The Perfection Detox" is an essential and highly recommended guide to living a healthy, full, authentic life. Thoroughly real world practical and thoroughly 'user friendly' in content, "The Perfection Detox" is certain to be an immediately and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Self-Help/Self- Improvement instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Perfection Detox" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The American History Shelf

Pacing Dakota
Thomas D. Isern
North Dakota State University Press
https://ndsupress.org
9781946163066 $29.95 amazon.com

Pacing Dakota is an anthology of essays contemplating the history and culture of the Great Plains of North America. Historian Thomas Isern shares his ruminations on prairie churches, forgotten artifacts, and little-known stories connected to the land and the generations who have called it home. "The eradication of wild buffalo from the Great Plains was symbolic of something larger: the killing off of most all large wild animals that happened with settlement of the prairies by farmers and ranchers. The large herbivores were killed off for eating; the large predators were killed off because they were incompatible with livestock husbandry." A handful of black-and-white photographs and an index enhance this unique blend of historical scholarship, outdoors enthusiasm, culinary appreciation, cherished memories, and more. Pacing Dakota is highly recommended for both public library collections and personal reading lists.

Through Their Eyes
Michael Koskey, Laurel Tyrrell, and Varpu Lotvonen
University of Alaska Press
PO Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240
9781602233577 $19.95 www.alaska.edu/uapress

Through Their Eyes: A Community History of Eagle, Circle, and Central is a history of three small towns - Eagle, Circle, and Central - in the cold, sparsely populated central-eastern interior of Alaska. These communities can trace their origins to not only the gold rushes of Alaskan history, but also the traditional territories of the Han Hwech'in, the Gwichyaa Gwich'in, and the Denduu Gwich'in Dena (Athabascan) peoples. Drawing upon oral narratives and archival research, Through Their Eyes offers a rich portrayal of rural Alaskan life, featuring stories directly from the people who called these towns home. A list of references cited and an index rounds out this welcome contribution to public and college library American History shelves, as well as personal reading lists.

A Bicentennial Commemorative of the Prairie State
David W. Scott, editor
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive, SIUC Mail Code 6806, Carbondale, IL 62901
www.siupress.com
9780809336883 $29.50 amazon.com

A Bicentennial Commemorative of the Prairie State: Readings from the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society is an anthology of articles selected from the "Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society's scholarly archives, which span 110 years of history. More than thirty selected articles offer insight into the complex history of Illinois, from a variety of perspective. Individual writings include "Journalism in Illinois before the Thirties", "Cracker Barrel Days in Old Illinois Stores", "Illinois Soldiers and the Emancipation Proclamation", "The Sanitation Revolution in Illinois, 1870-1900" and much more. Edifying and enlightening, A Bicentennial Commemorative of the Prairie State is a welcome contribution to public and college library American History collections, highly recommended.


The World History Shelf

Antiquities of Rural Ireland
Muiris O Suilleabhain, author
Liam Downey, author
Dara Downey, author
Wordwell Books
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
www.dufoureditions.com
9780993351891, $50.00, HC, 420pp, www.amazon.com

An informative compilation assembled to specifically shed light on Ireland's agricultural and rural past, "Antiquities of Rural Ireland" does not pretend to be systematically comprehensive, but will prove to be interesting and eye-opening for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. The articles assemble reasonably up-to-date information about the various archaeological traces, supported by images, a summary of diagnostic features, and a list of publications where additional information may be sourced. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Antiquities of Rural Ireland" is organized and presented eight distinctively thematic sections: Agriculture; Food Processing; Settlement; Getting Around; Local Enterprises; Coastal Features; Ritual and Ceremony. Enhanced with the inclusion of a six page Table of Monuments; and a nine page Index of Sites, "Antiquities of Rural Ireland" is an impressively informative and thoroughly 'reader friendly' study that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Irish History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The Cookbook Shelf

Eat at Home Tonight
Tiffany King
WaterBrook Press
c/o Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive, Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780735291232, $22.00, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Tiffany King has cooked more than ten thousand meals for her husband and four kids. Over the years, Tiffany has learned what works and what doesn't for getting dinner on the table fast. Her recipes have been developed in a real kitchen for her busy family and tested by the millions of readers of her website, Eat at Home. In "Eat at Home Tonight" she draws upon her years of culinary experience and expertise to showcase 101 family recipes that are simple, palate pleasing, appetite satisfying utilizing such common kitchen tools as a slow cooker, a sheet pan, and the usual pots and bowls. The recipes themselves range from 5-Minute Pesto-Rubbed Chicken; Sea Salt Pork Chops and Potatoes with Gravy; Beanless Firehouse Chili; and Chili Waffle Fry Nachos; to Tomato Goat Cheese Quiche; Little Black Dress Roasted Vegetables; and Cherry Vanilla ice Cream. Beautifully illustrated in full color photography, "Eat at Home Tonight" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library contemporary cookbook collections.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Homespun
Lorilee Craker, editor
Herald Press
1251 Virginia Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
www.heraldpress.com
9781513803166, $15.99, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Reading the contributions of the women that comprise "Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words" is the next best thing to visiting with a group of Amish or Mennonite women over a cup of coffee. This unique collections of stories and yarns include personal writings about hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God. Readers will learn of one woman who struggles with feeling inferior to her sister, from another about her longing for a baby, and from a third who accidentally bought stretchy material to sew her husband's pants. Each woman's story is a testament to the grace of God and the blessings of community. Behind Amish romance novels and tourist spots and television shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. Every Amish and Mennonite woman has a story. Compiled and edited by Lorilee Craker, in the pages of "Homespun" we all get to hear some of them. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Homespun" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Simply Amish
Donald B. Kraybill
Herald Press
1251 Virginia Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
www.heraldpress.com
9781513803296 $10.99 amazon.com

Author and internationally recognized scholar of Anabaptist groups Donald Kraybill presents Simply Amish: An Essential Guide from the Foremost Expert on Amish Life, a down-to-earth distillation of Amish faith and culture. Explaining in plain terms how Amish society operates, why their rules for daily living exclude owning common modern conveniences such as computers, automobiles, radios, or televisions; guiding Amish religious and spiritual beliefs; and much more, Simply Amish is a "must-read" for anyone seeking to better understand the Amish. "An Amish person employed in an English-owned factory has no restrictions on using its technology. Likewise, an Amish woman working as a secretary in a real estate office is allowed to operate the office computer but may not own one in her home... The same access-but-not- ownership distinction also explains why riding in motor vehicles owned by outsiders is acceptable." Color photographs intersperse this thoroughly accessible, informed and informative introduction, highly recommended for both public library collections and personal reading lists.


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


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