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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 34, Number 4 April 2024 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Psychology Shelf
Education Shelf Cookbook Shelf Biography Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Civil War Shelf
Military History Shelf Wildlife Shelf Photography Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf LGBTQ Fiction Shelf
Literary Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Blu-ray Shelf Judicial Studies Shelf Mathematics Shelf
Economics Shelf Library Science Shelf Art Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Business Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Gardening Shelf Travel Shelf
Parenting Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Fishing Shelf
Gaming Shelf Computer Shelf Music Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Criminology Shelf 


Reviewer's Choice

War and Morality: Citizens' Rights and Duties
Michael Canvanagh
McFarland & Company
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9780786469888, $29.95, PB, 207pp

https://www.amazon.com/War-Morality-Citizens-Rights-Duties/dp/0786469889

Synopsis: In democratic societies, it is said that wars and military interventions are fought in the name of the citizens of the nation engaged in the conflict. Yet, ordinary citizens, the major stakeholders in war, are seldom provided with as much information for making and acting on their moral decisions about war as they are about many other national issues that affect them.

To fill that void, with the publication of "War and Morality: Citizens' Rights and Duties", Professor Michael Cavanagh addresses the nature of conscience, various moral norms, a moral decision-making process, and the theoretical and practical issues involved in attempting to avoid war or at least to make it as moral as possible, considering its nature.

By discussing how the morality of war differs from its political, military, economic and legal dimensions, this unique work attempts to enable citizens to make informed decisions about declaring, waging and ending war, and to act on those

Critique: Of special interest to readers concerned with the morality, ethics, philosophy, and politics of military warfare with respect to democratic societies in general, and the Unites States of America in particular, "War and Morality: Citizens' Rights and Duties" is an impressively presented study that is as thoughtful and thought-provoking, and it is timely and relevant today. Extraordinary, well written, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "War and Morality: Citizens' Rights and Duties" is informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a six page Bibliography and a three page Index. Deserving of as wide a readership as possible in these volatile times, "War and Morality: Citizens' Rights and Duties" is unrestrictively recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library War & Philosophy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "War and Morality: Citizens' Rights and Duties" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Michael Cavanagh, a professor of psychology and supervisor of clinical internships at Mount Olive College in North Carolina, has published extensively in the fields of psychology and law enforcement. (www.librarything.com/author/cavanaghmichael)

Common Sense Police Supervision, seventh edition
Gerald W. Garner
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
https://www.ccthomas.com
9780398094362, $54.95, PB, 374pp

https://www.amazon.com/Common-Sense-Police-Supervision-First-Line/dp/0398094365

Synopsis: Newly revised, updated, and expanded, this seventh edition of "Common Sense Police Supervision: Practical Tips for the First-Line Leader" by Gerald W. Garner continues to be a practical hands-on book that is packed from cover to cover with step-by-step guidelines and suggestions for carrying out a multitude of leadership tasks and responsibilities focused on a changing law enforcement workforce that serves an equally changing and complex society.

While emphasizing the real value of common sense in good leadership practices, Garner furnishes the aspiring law enforcement novice or veteran police supervisor with specific advice on how to train, counsel, inspect, discipline, and assess the performance of his or her subordinates. He strives to help the supervisor with the vital obligations of being a planner, a problem resolution officer, and effective communicator within as well as outside the law enforcement organization.

The major topics comprising "Common Sense Police Supervision include: (1) what supervision means and what you need to know; (2) supervisory ethics, professional responsibilities as a teacher, inspector, advocate, and role model; (3) the key qualities of true leadership; (4) the vital job as an evaluator of employee performance, discipline in the correction process, oral and written communication skills; (5) the skills needed when dealing with the news media; (6) assistance in planning a career as a first-line leader in supervision; (7) the skills necessary for effective counseling; (8) managing external and internal complaints; (9) an effective role in community policing and customer service; and (10) effective leadership of different generations.

Each individual chapter concludes with a brief "Points to Remember" that provides a quickly-read and easily remembered checklist of the chapter's salient points. This new seventh edition furnishes many more practical, helpful, and real-life examples pertaining to leadership issues. In addition, a new chapter, "Working for Someone," which offers insight into this all-important topic of what your supervisor expects, some pitfalls to avoid, addressing the boss's problems, and learning the boss's job.

This new seventh edition also offers a realistic approach to the challenging task of providing strong, effective leadership to front-line employees in a dynamic, demanding profession.

Critique: Like its six earlier editions, this newly updated and expanded seventh edition of "Common Sense Police Supervision: Practical Tips for the First-Line Leader" by Gerald W. Garner from Charles C. Thomas, Publisher is an essential, core, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, police academy, and college/university library Law Enforcement & Police Supervision/Training collections and curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: There are online listings of the police books by Gerald W. Garner at https://www.amazon.com/stores/Gerald-W.-Garner/author/B001ITTG66
and www.police-writers.com/gerald_garner.html

Reading Together
Robert Broder, author
Melissa Larson, illustrator
Blue Star Press
https://www.bluestarpress.com
9781950968923, $18.99, HC, 32pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Together-Heartwarming-Bonding-Through/dp/1950968928

Synopsis: With the publication of "Reading Together: A Heartwarming Story About Bonding with Your Child Through the Love of Reading" by the team of author/storyteller Robert Broder and artist/illustrator Melissa Larson, parents, teachers, and caregivers will help children to discover the magic of reading together with this story of a family's love for picture books and the moments of laughter, imagination, and connection they share.

Filled with playful illustrations and fond memories from classic children's tales, "Reading Together: A Heartwarming Story About Bonding with Your Child Through the Love of Reading" is a nostalgic journey through childhood, when the joys of discovering new stories together create bonds that last a lifetime.

Critique: Whether you're a parent or caregiver looking to relive the magic of reading with your child, a teacher working to install a love of reading in their young charges, or simply a lover of picture books and wanting to share that joy with a child, "Reading Together: A Heartwarming Story About Bonding with Your Child Through the Love of Reading" is specifically appropriate and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library collections with its theme of family bonding through the power of books and storytelling.

Editorial Note #1: Robert Broder (www.RobertBroder.com) is a children's book author and founding publisher of award-winning Ripple Grove Press. He is the writer of Patagonia's first picture book titled Better Than New. Other books include Crow & Snow (Simon and Schuster) and Our Shed (Little Bigfoot) which received a Kirkus Starred Review.

Editorial Note #2: Melissa Larson (www.melissaleannlarson.com) is the illustrator of Iver & Ellsworth, written by Casey Robinson. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, painting small town shop windows and getting her hands into every creative project that comes her way.

Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller
Oliver Darkshire
W. W. Norton & Company
www.wwnorton.com
9781324074786, $17.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Misadventures-Rare-Bookseller/dp/1324074787

Synopsis: Some years ago, Oliver Darkshire stepped into the hushed interior of Henry Sotheran Ltd (est. 1761) to apply for a job. Allured by the smell of old books and the temptation of a management-approved afternoon nap, Darkshire was soon unteetering stacks of first editions and placating the store's resident ghost (the late Mr. Sotheran, hit by a tram).

A novice in this ancient, potentially haunted establishment, Darkshire describes Sotheran's brushes with history (Dickens, the Titanic), its joyous disorganization, and the unspoken rules of its gleefully old-fashioned staff, whose mere glance may cause the computer to burst into flames. As Darkshire gains confidence and experience, he shares trivia about ancient editions and explores the strange space that books occupy in our lives - where old books often have strong sentimental value, but rarely a commercial one.

By turns unhinged and earnest, Once Upon a Tome is the colorful story of life in one of the world's oldest bookshops and a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling, where to be uncommon or strange is the best possible compliment.

Critique: With the publication of "Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller" by Oliver Darkshire we are welcomed to Sotheran's (https://sotherans.co.uk) one of the oldest bookshops in the world, complete with its weird and wonderful clientele, suspicious cupboards, unlabeled keys, poisoned books, and some things that aren't even books -- all presided over by one deeply eccentric apprentice. A bibliophile's delight and firmly laced with humor throughout, "Once Upon a Tome" is a memoir that is inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and a fun read from start to finish. A 'must read' pick for anyone who has every daydreamed of owning a bookshop of there own, "Once Upon a Tome" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/library Bookseller Biography/Memoir collections. It should be noted that "Once Upon a Tome" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.17).

Editorial Note: Oliver Darkshire (@DeathByBadger) is an antiquarian bookseller at Henry Sotheran Ltd, and the voice of @Sotherans twitter account. He lives in England, with his husband and his neglectfully curated collection of books.

New World Library
www.newworldlibrary.com

These new books from New World Library encourage mental health and relationship problem-solving thinking, using references that are pointed and easy to absorb.

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Hacks-Simple-Solutions-Relationship/dp/1608689085

Kelli Miller, LCSW's Love Hacks: Simple Solutions to Your Most Common Relationship Issues (9781608689088, $18.95) synthesizes relationship advice into small bites of wisdom, organizes these into chapters that outline the problem ("We Can't Trust Each Other After Infidelity" or "We Are Too Culturally Different"), and offers tips on fine-tuning communications, expectations, and the tipping points of problems which may seem insurmountable, but actually can benefit from further enlightenment about boundaries, perception, and communication.

https://www.amazon.com/College-Students-Guide-Mental-Health/dp/1608689018

Plenty of books have been written about mental health, but the specifically-targeted The College Student's Guide to Mental Health: Essential Wellness Strategies for Flourishing in College (9781608689019, $21.95) by Mia Nosanow, MA, LP narrows the focus and audience to college students and college life challenges. Licensed psychologist Nosanow tackles such subjects as building healthy friendships, how to observe without judgment, handling procrastination, and more, with a special eye to subjects college students will typically confront in the course of their education and becoming new adults.

Both of these new titles are highly recommended choices for general-interest libraries seeking hard-hitting, specific, yet succinctly accessible discussions that new generations can easily access and understand.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Universal Principles of Typography
Elliot Jay Stocks
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
www.quartoknows.com
9780760383384, $40.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Principles-Typography-Concepts-Choosing/dp/0760383383

Synopsis: We communicate with text every single day, but what does it mean to really understand type -- to use it with clear intent and purpose?

The art and science of typography combines subtle tweaks to line lengths with harmonious combinations of weights and styles; considered typeface pairings with a robust set of alternate characters; exciting technological advances with the realities of font licensing. There are so many ways designers can optimize how text is read and influence the way its message is understood -- and yet so many designers miscommunicate without even realizing it.

Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, with the publication of "Universal Principles of Typography: 100 Key Concepts for Choosing and Using Type", typography expert Elliot Jay Stocks pairs clear explanations of each principle with visual examples of it applied in practice. By considering these concepts and examples, you can learn to make more informed, and ultimately better, typography decisions.

Building upon tried-and-tested principles from the world of print through to the very latest advances in browser technology, "Universal Principles of Typography" will equip you with everything you need to make the most informed typographic decisions in your design work today.

The featured principles covered in "Universal Principles of Typography" include: Characters & Glyphs; Font v. Typeface; Hierarchy; Inclusivity; OpenType; Pairing Type; Rhythm; and Web Fonts .

Each principle is presented in a two-page format. The left-hand page contains a succinct definition, a full description of the principle, examples of its use, and guidelines for use. Sidenotes appear to the right of the text, and provide elaborations and references. The right-hand page contains visual examples and related graphics to support a deeper understanding of the principle.

With "Universal Principles of Typography", authors, publishers, and printers will gain a deep understanding of the universal principles of typography and learn how to apply them across any work they do with type, ranging from the simplest of documents to the most complex of cross-platform design systems.

Critique: A complete and comprehensive course of instruction in typography, as well as being thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Universal Principles of Typography: 100 Key Concepts for Choosing and Using Type" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, technical college, and university library Calligraphy, Decorative Design, and Typography collections and curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Universal Principles of Typography: 100 Key Concepts for Choosing and Using Type" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Elliot Jay Stocks (https://elliotjaystocks.com) is a designer and musician, based just outside Bristol, UK. After founding the typography magazine 8 Faces in 2010, Elliot joined Typekit (now known as Adobe Fonts) as Creative Director, and helped lead the service's transition into desktop fonts and the Creative Cloud ecosystem. He then went on to take several Creative Director roles and collaborated with Google to launch the typography education resource Google Fonts Knowledge. Elliot currently focuses exclusively on typographic projects, as well as publishing the newsletter Typographic & Sporadic, and hosting the podcast Hello, Type Friends!

Writing by Heart
Meredith Heller
New World Library
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608689101, $21.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Heart-Poetry-Healing-Self-Discovery/dp/1608689107

Synopsis: With the publication of "Writing by Heart: A Poetry Path to Healing and Self-Discovery", Meredith Heller invites you to write as a path toward self-understanding and as a lifelong refuge of steadfast friendship with yourself.

She herself has used the power of writing to heal and save her own life, and now she teaches others to do the same. In the pages of "Writing by Heart", Meredith shares the techniques she developed to help people from all walks of life explore their emotions, find their voice, and better navigate life's challenges.

Critique: Packed with potent DIY exercises and inspiring poems by Meredith and her students, "Writing by Heart: A Poetry Path to Healing and Self-Discovery" is essential reading for anyone, from the seasoned writer to the novice beginner, wanting to discover the transformative power of writing in the context of their own lives. While highly recommended for personal, professional, community, writer workshop, college, and university library Writing & Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted that "Writing by Heart: A Poetry Path to Healing and Self-Discovery" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Meredith Heller (www.MeredithHeller.com) is a poet, singer-songwriter, avid nature lover, and educator with degrees in writing and education. She leads workshops at schools, women's prisons, the Institute for Poetic Medicine, creativity summits, wellness retreats, and online.


The Social Issues Shelf

Coming Out as Dalit, expanded edition
Yashica Dutt
Beacon Press
www.beacon.org
9780807045282, $29.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Out-Dalit-Memoir-Surviving/dp/0807045284

Synopsis: Born into a "formerly untouchable manual-scavenging family in small-town India," Yashica Dutt was taught from a young age to not appear "Dalit looking". Although prejudice against Dalits (who compose 25% of the population), has been illegal since 1950, caste-ism in India is alive and well. Blending her personal history with extensive research and reporting, with the publication of "Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir of Surviving India's Caste System", Dutt provides an incriminating analysis of caste's influence in India over everything from entertainment to judicial systems and how this discrimination has carried over to US institutions.

Dutt traces how colonial British forces exploited and perpetuated a centuries-old caste system, how Gandhi could have been more forceful in combating prejudice, and the role played by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, whom Isabel Wilkerson called "the MLK of India's caste issues" in her book Caste. Alongside her analysis, Dutt interweaves personal stories of learning to speak without a regional accent growing up and desperately using medicinal packs to try to lighten her skin.

Published in India in 2019 to acclaim, this newly expanded edition of "Coming Out as Dalit" from Beacon Press includes 2 new chapters covering how the caste system traveled to the US, its history here, and the continuation of bias by South Asian communities in professional sectors. Amid growing conversations about caste discrimination prompting US institutions including Harvard University, Brandeis University, the University of California system, and the NAACP to add caste as a protected category to their policies, Dutt's work sheds essential light on the significant influence caste-ism has across many aspects of US society.

Raw and affecting, Coming Out as Dalit brings a new audience of readers into a crucial conversation about embracing Dalit identity, offering a way to change the way people think about caste in their own communities and beyond.

Critique: Fascinating, informative, insightful, and extraordinarily well written, organized and presented, this newly updated edition of "Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir of Surviving India's Caste System" by Yashica Dutt is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library Contemporary India History, Biography and Memoir collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir of Surviving India's Caste System" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Yashica Dutt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yashica_Dutt) is a journalist, an activist, an award-winning writer, and a leading feminist voice on caste. Born "in a formerly untouchable 'lower' caste family," she passed as dominant caste to survive discrimination. Dutt moved to New Delhi at 17 and became one of the most widely-read culture journalists at a leading English language paper. Eventually coming out as Dalit, she introduced this expression which powerfully resonated in India. Her site, Documents of Dalit Discrimination, was among the first highly visible media spaces for caste oppressed people. Dutt's work has been published in the New York Times, Foreign Policy and the Atlantic, and she has been featured on The BBC, The Guardian, and PBS NewsHour.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Environmental Hazards, seventh edition
Keith Smith, et al.
Routledge
www.routledge.com
9780815365419, $52.95, PB, 632pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/environmental-hazards-keith-smith/1116756568

Synopsis: The newly revised and expanded seventh edition of "Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster" provides a much expanded and fully up-to-date overview of all the extreme environmental events that threaten people and what they value in the 21st century globally.

The newest edition of "Environmental Hazards" also integrates cutting-edge materials to provide an interdisciplinary approach to environmental hazards and their management, illustrating how natural and human systems interact to place communities of all sizes, and at all stages of economic development, at risk.

Part 1 defines basic concepts of hazard, risk, vulnerability and disaster and explores the evolution of hazards theory. Part 2 employs a consistent chapter structure to demonstrate how individual hazards occur, their impacts and how the risks can be assessed and managed.

This extensively revised edition of "Environmental Hazards" features: Fresh perspectives on the reliability of disaster data, disaster risk reduction, risk and disaster perception and communication, and new technologies available to assist with environmental hazard management; The addition of several new environmental hazards including landslide and avalanches, cryospheric hazards, karst and subsidence hazards, and hazards of the Anthropocene; More boxed sections with a focus on both generic issues and the lessons to be learned from a carefully selected range of up-to-date extreme events; An annotated list of key resources, including further reading and relevant websites, for all chapters; More color diagrams and photographs, and more than 1,000 references to some of the most significant and recent published material; New exercises to assist teaching in the classroom, or self-learning.

Carefully structured and balanced, "Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster" is an ideal textbook that fully captures the complexity and dynamism of environmental hazards and should be considered as essential reading for students, academicians, and practicing professionals across many disciplines including geography, environmental science, environmental studies and natural resources.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster 7th Edition" is co-authored by Keith Smith, Carina J. Fearnley, Deborah Dixon, Deanne K. Bird, and Ilan Kelman. Comprehensive and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, This new and current edition of "Environmental Hazards" from Routledge is an essential and core addition to personal, professional, college and university library Environmental Disaster Relief and Climate Change collections and supplemental Environmental Studies curriculum lists. It should be noted for students, academicians, environmental professionals, environmental protection activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that this new 7th Edition of "Environmental Hazzards" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $39.99). Librarians should note that there is a hardcover edition (9780815365402, $160.00) from Routledge as well.

Editorial Note #1: Keith Smith was Emeritus Professor at the University of Stirling, UK.

Editorial Note #2: Carina J. Fearnley is Professor in Science Communication and Warning Research at University College London in the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

Editorial Note #3: Deborah Dixon is Professor of Geography in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow, UK.

Editorial Note #4: Deanne K. Bird is Adjunct Research Fellow at the Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative, Australia, and a Research Specialist with the Nordic Centre of Excellence on Resilience and Societal Security (NORDRESS), University of Iceland.

Editorial Note #5: Ilan Kelman is Professor of Disasters and Health in the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction and Institute for Global Health at the University College London, UK and Professor II at the University of Agder, Norway.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being
National Academy of Medicine
The National Academies Press
www.nap.edu
9780309694674, $25.00, PB, 122pp

https://www.amazon.com/National-Plan-Health-Workforce-Well-Being/dp/0309694671

Synopsis: In the United States, 54% of nurses and physicians, 60% of medical students and residents, and 61% of pharmacists have symptoms of burnout. Burnout is a long-standing issue and a fundamental barrier to professional well-being. It was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health workers who find joy, fulfillment, and meaning in their work can engage on a deeper level with their patients, who are at the heart of health care. Thus, a thriving workforce is essential for delivering safe, high-quality, patient-centered care.

The "National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being" is intended to inspire collective action that focuses on changes needed across the health system and at the organizational level to improve the well-being of the health workforce.

As a nation, we must redesign how health is delivered so that human connection is strengthened, health equity is achieved, and trust is restored. the vision revealed in the "National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being" is that patients are cared for by a health workforce that is thriving in an environment that fosters their well-being as they improve population health, enhance the care experience, reduce costs, and advance health equity; therefore, achieving that quintuple goal.

The underlying message throughout the "National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being" is that together we can create a health system in which care is delivered joyfully and with meaning, by a committed team of all who work to advance health, in partnership with engaged patients and communities.

Critique: Deserving of as wide a readership within the medical community as possible, the "National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being" from the National Academy of Medicine is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, medical school, college and university library Health & Medical Policy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: The National Academy of Medicine (https://nam.edu) is an organization that provides independent, evidence-based advice to improve health for all. Learn about its strategic plan, awards, publications, and initiatives on topics such as health workforce, longevity, and climate.

Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research, second edition
Lisa McKenna, author
Beverley Copnell, author
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
www.rowman.com
9781032539539, $46.95, PB, 194pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Nursing-Midwifery-Research-McKenna/dp/1032539534

Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research: A Practical Guide for Evidence-Based Practice" by co-authors Lisa McKenna and Beverley Copnell presents a unique approach to teaching the principles of health research using practical case studies with which nurses and midwives can engage to gain the skills to read and understand reports, evaluate the quality of research, synthesize different studies and be able to evaluate their effectiveness when applied to clinical practice.

"Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research" covers core concepts and principles, including: What evidence is and why understanding research is vital; Finding reliable sources of evidence; The nature of the research process; Understanding quantitative and qualitative research; Ethical considerations; Using research to guide clinical practice.

Throughout the new second edition of "Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research", are activities, summaries and review questions to help ground theory in real-life scenarios, showing how evidence-based practice can be applied in every aspect of nursing and midwifery care. It is specifically designed for nurses and midwives, ranging from those just beginning their studies to qualified practitioners undertaking their first research projects.

Critique: Informative enhanced for the benefit of the reader with Tables, Figures, a Glossary, and an Index, "Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research: A Practical Guide for Evidence-Based Practice: 2nd Edition" is especially directed to the attention of readers with an interest in Women's Health Nursing, Women's Health Care Delivery, and Midwifery. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented this new edition of "Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research" is unreservedly recommended for professional, medical/nursing school, and college/university library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists of nursing students and practitioners that this new second edition of "Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery Research" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $44.60).

Editorial Note #1: Lisa McKenna is Professor and Dean in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Melbourne. She has researched widely, particularly in the areas of nursing, midwifery and health professional education and workforce, and published over 250 refereed peer-reviewed journal articles along with a number of textbooks. Lisa's research expertise incorporates a range of methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

Editorial Note #2: Beverley Copnell is Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Melbourne. Before entering academia, she worked in paediatric intensive care, a field in which she maintains an active interest. She is a member of the editorial board of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and an editor of Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research. She has a long-standing interest in promoting research and evidence-based practice in nursing.

Status Quo Thinking is Harming Your Health
Dr. Sarah Hallberg
Olio Media
9798989986101 $17.99

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CXCMMKPV

Status Quo Thinking is Harming Your Health: A Physician's Final Plea represents the late Dr. Sarah Hallberg's magnum opus, synthesizing her research and reflections on the American healthcare system which (she found as an insider and participant) worked as much against her healing efforts as they professed to support them.

Dr. Hallberg did more than chafe against these barriers to helping her patients. She opened a clinic in Indiana which refuted the common notion that a low-fat diet was essential for good health, observing concrete results in eliminating diabetes and other diet-related symptoms by adopting a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The contention that diabetes can be reversed by diet is not a new one. What is new, here, is the research and findings which indicate that the type of diet being promoted to manage the disease does little to actually cure it, placing the disease's management and stasis over a real solution.

The idea is simple: eat better and live longer. It's not a new notion, but one which has been vastly revised, here, where it expands to include not just issues of diet and health, but how the healthcare system as a whole does an injustice to patients with its focus on managing symptoms over finding real, lasting solutions.

Dr. Hallberg wrote her book while battling terminal cancer. She made a point of staying on the diet she was recommending to her patients, even though she did not share their symptoms, in the interests of staying fit and better understanding what her patients' struggles and experiences.

She is candid about presenting her naivety over the process of participating in research studies and their ultimate ability to help her patients, forthright about the joys of meeting personal and processional goals, and spirited and lively in her delivery:

"I was doing what I loved and felt as if I were helping lots of people, and working on methods that could help a substantially greater number."

Status Quo Thinking is Harming Your Health is much more than a physician's condemnation of systems that don't achieve their ultimate goals of good health. It's a lively memoir; a story of study, research, and blending these efforts with the bigger picture of supporting health routines and ideals; and a powerful consideration of medical attitudes and objectives. It will be especially pertinent reading for medical school students and classrooms debating the ultimate impact of health management systems and their underlying politics, goals, and influences.

Status Quo Thinking is Harming Your Health should be part of any collection appealing to medical personnel who hold a greater vision for a healthy future than traditional rote thinking and approaches to healthcare. It's also highly recommended for general-interest library collections concerned about healthcare approaches.


The Psychology Shelf

Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults
Chris Williams
Routledge
www.routledge.com
9781032389448, $39.95, PB, 244pp

https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Depression-Mood-Older-Adults/dp/1032389443

Synopsis: "Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" by Professor Chris Williams is part of the Routledge Overcoming Series, which includes publications that have the seal of approval by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and highly commended by the British Medical Association.

"Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" is a workbook that outlines how to use the Five Areas(R) model of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to equip older adults experiencing low mood or depression with key life skills to overcome these conditions.

Addressing the common challenges faced by older adults during times of low mood and depression, "Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" provides educational life skills and resources to increase mental wellbeing in the care home, day hospital, and social support networks of this population.

The chapters comprising "Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" cover topics such as understanding and changing behaviours; behavioural activation and tackling avoidance; noticing and changing extreme and unhelpful thoughts; rebalancing relationships; building assertiveness; and problem solving.

Substantially featured throughout are worksheet resources using interactive questions that can be photocopied for use by practitioners with older adults or in their routine business as a therapist or health/social care practitioner.

Critique: "Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" is especially recommended reading for any healthcare or mental health professional working with older adults including psychological therapists, social care workers, residential home staff, psychiatrists and practice nurse and health visiting staff. This workbook is also an approachable resource for older adults themselves. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, this large format (8.27 x 0.55 x 11.69 inches) paperback edition of "Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" from Routledge is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Psychology/Psychotherapy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted by librarians that there is also a hardcover edition of "Overcoming Depression and Low Mood in Older Adults" available (9781032389455, $170.00).

Editorial Note: Chris Williams (www.weeatelephants.com/about-us) is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow, UK, and an Honorary Fellow and Past President of BABCP - the lead body for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the UK. He is a well-known writer, teacher and researcher and his work focuses on making CBT approaches accessible and usable. Discover more at www.llttf.com/evidence


The Education Shelf

Early Childhood Research for Educational Equity
Christine M. McWayne, editor
Vivian L. Gadsden, editor
Brookes Publishing Company
www.brookespublishing.com
9781681257464, $89.95, PB, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Childhood-Research-Educational-Equity-Family-School-Systems/dp/1681257467

Synopsis: As educators, how can we close opportunity gaps for young children affected by poverty and systemic racism -- and build hope and resilience for children and their families? Research points the way forward. "Early Childhood Research for Educational Equity: Family - School - Systems Connections" is collaborative compiled and co-edited by Christine M. McWayne and Vivian L. Gadsden who present articles by some 40+ leading researchers identifying new approaches, insights, and technologies that can promote educational equity and improve outcomes for children and families living in poverty.

Building on the seminal work of researcher John Fantuzzo, "Early Childhood Research for Educational Equity: Family - School - Systems Connections" focuses on identifying and expanding on child, family, and community strengths to address the urgent needs of the whole child and the whole family. The expert contributors examine the importance of 1) child-level strengths and social connections, 2) strengths-based intervention as an antidote to deficit framing, and 3) collaboration and data sharing across systems serving vulnerable children and families.

Critique: Of immense and timely relevance for readers with an interest in educational research and early child education, "Early Childhood Research for Educational Equity: Family - School - Systems Connections" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, school district, college and university library Education Policy & Development collections and supplemental Early Childhood curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academicians, teachers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Early Childhood Research for Educational Equity: Family - School - Systems Connections" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $81.18).

Editorial Note #1: Christine M. McWayne, Professor, in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, is an applied developmental psychologist and a community-based educational researcher whose work has centered on fostering better understandings of the early social and learning successes of young children growing up in urban poverty, as well as on understanding how to better support and connect the adult contributors to children's early development -- their parents and teachers.

Editorial Note #2: Vivian L. Gadsden is the William T. Carter Professor of Child Development, Professor of Education, and Director of the National Center on Fathers and Families at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a professor of Africana Studies and of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. Her research, scholarly interests, and writing focus on learning and literacies across the life-course and address issues of equity, access, and change for young children and families in historically marginalized communities.

58-IN-MIND
Debbie Golos, et al.
Gallaudet University Press
https://gupress.gallaudet.edu
9781954622203, $48.00, PB, 402pp

https://www.amazon.com/58-MIND-Multilingual-Teaching-Strategies/dp/1954622201

Synopsis: A highly practical and engaging resource for current and future teachers, "58-IN-MIND: Multilingual Teaching Strategies for Diverse Deaf Students" describes and demonstrates theoretically-driven, research-based, and classroom-tested best practices for using American Sign Language and English in instruction across the curriculum. The multilingual and multimodal instructional strategies presented here are embedded in approaches that aid learning and foster well-being. "58-IN-MIND" will support teachers in creating meaningful educational experiences for Deaf students in all grades, from early childhood education through high school.

Each chapter is written by a team of researchers and P - 12 teachers with at least one Deaf coauthor. With seventy-five percent of the authors being Deaf, "58-IN-MIND" is the first teaching methods book to harness the expertise of Deaf professionals at this level, highlighting their vital role in Deaf education and in shaping inclusive and effective learning environments. This book meets the need for a resource that recognizes the diversity of Deaf students by creating space in the classroom to honor their home/heritage languages, cultures, races, genders, abilities, hearing levels, and other multiple and intersecting identities.

Written in a conversational tone, :58-IN-MIND" includes core recommendations for instruction of the targeted subject area, examples of key strategies, lessons and real stories from those working in the field, suggestions for practice, and recommended resources.

"58-IN-MIND" in the title refers to the version of the ASL sign "stick" that is made on the forehead, which is equivalent to the English idiom "to stick in one's mind." As in, when students learn in a culturally responsive manner, the learning is likely to stick. The title also alludes indirectly to the collective aspirations of the chapter authors that the practices discussed in "58-IN-MIND" will also stick in the readers' minds, and thus have a transformative impact on the way Deaf students are taught.

Critique: This large format (8.5 x 1.1 x 11 inches, 2.42 pounds) paperback edition of "58-IN-MIND: Multilingual Teaching Strategies for Diverse Deaf Students" is collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Debbie Golos, Marlon Kuntze, Kimberly Wolbers, and Christopher Kurz. A critically essential and unreservedly recommended addition to professional, college, and university library Deaf Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should also be noted for teachers and curriculum designers that "58-IN-MIND" is also available from the Gallaudet University Press in a digital book format (Kindle, $45.60).

Editorial Note #1: Debbie Golos is an associate professor of Deaf Education and lead of the Deaf Education teacher preparation program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Her research and development projects focus on mitigating language deprivation in early childhood by fostering language, literacy, and identity development for Deaf children through American Sign Language and through the creation and evaluation of educational media and children's literature.

Editorial Note #2: Marlon Kuntze is Professor of Government and Public Affairs, Gallaudet University.

Editorial Note #3: Kimberly A. Wolbers is a professor in the Deaf studies program and is co-director of TPTE's undergraduate studies programs at the University of Tennesse. She earned her PhD from Michigan State University in 2007 with a focus in special education and literacy.

Editorial Note #4: Christopher Kurz is a Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology.


The Cookbook Shelf

A Taste of the World: Celebrating Global Flavors
Rowena Scherer
Collective Book Studio
https://thecollectivebook.studio
9781685551728, $29.95, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Taste-World-Celebrating-Global-Flavors/dp/1685551726

Synopsis: From Rowena Scherer (founder of Eat2Explore) "A Taste of the World: Celebrating Global Flavors" is a carefully curated collection of recipes celebrating global cuisine and designed to be made by families with kids of all ages. Each showcased recipe is a full meal and includes step-by-step instructions so parents can safely have their kids join in the fun while learning about other cultures through their traditional foods.

"A Taste of the World" offers: 64 kid-friendly recipes ranging from Pork Katsu from Japan and Vegetable Korma from India to Lamb Kebabs from Morocco and Black Bean Enchiladas from Mexico; Short selections of facts of twenty different countries as well as adorable in-color illustrations of their landmarks; Full-color photographs of each finished dish and the steps along the way.

Critique: Brilliantly illustrated throughout, "A Taste of the World: Celebrating Global Flavors" will prove to be an immediately popular and fun addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. Ideal for planning 'kitchen cook friendly' menus for any and all dining occasions with its impressive variety of palate pleasing, appetite satifsying, family friendly dishes to plan truly memorable menus with, it should be noted that "A Taste of the World: Celebrating Global Flavors" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Rowena Scherer grew up in Malaysia and her fondest memories are from when she cooked in the kitchen with her family. Years later, after working on Wall Street and living all over the world, she decided she wanted to create the same lasting memories with her children. She attended the French Culinary Institute, began to source hard-to-find non-perishable ingredients that highlighted her cherished foods, and started eat2explore, an explorer box filled with authentic recipes, activities, and collectibles that offered a worldwide cultural education through the exploration of food. (https://eat2explore.com/pages/our-story).

Sprout & Co Saladology: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Salads
Theo Kirwan
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781784729158, $26.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sprout-Co-Saladology-Delicious-Salads/dp/1784729159

Synopsis: The first cookbook from the acclaimed Dublin-based food brand, the "Sprout & Co Saladology: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Salads" by Theo Kirwan showcases more than 100 flavor-packed recipes.

Theo and Jack Kirwan (co-founders of Sprout & Co.) are devoted to celebrating the most delicious things in life, all within a 'farm to fork' context. This culinary collection of theirs feature show-stopping sides to satisfying noodle dishes. The "Sprout & Co Salad Cookbook" shows us how much more there is to salads.

With an extra chapter on dressings, toppings and pickles, this specialized cookbook will teach you how to pack your meals full of flavor while ensuring your body gets the nutrients and healthy ingredients it needs with recipes that range from Endive taco with mustard, walnut & gouda salsa; Pickled Zucchini, pistachio zaatar & ricotta; and Ratatouille con tomate; to Gochujang chicken salad; Harissa sweet potato & green yoghurt; Chorizo & halloumi honey with braised fennel; Salt & pepper prawn salad -- and so many more!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full page, full color photos of finished dishes, this large format (7.5 x 0.77 x 9.75 inches, 1.74 pounds) hardcover edition of "Sprout & Co Saladology: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Salads" from Mitchell Beazley is unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for family kitchen cooks and professional restaurant chefs with an interest in organic, natural food, or vegan cooking that "Sprout & Co Saladology: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Salads" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Theo Kirwan and his brother Jack Kirwan are the co-founders of Sprout & Co. With 6 restaurants in and around Dublin, Sprout is the leading brand in Ireland for local, seasonal and flavorful food. In 2019 the brothers started their own organic farm in Co. Kildare, cutting their supply chain from farm to restaurant to just 24 hours. Theo, a former actor and graduate of the Ballymaloe cookery school, has led Sprout & Co's online presence with his recipe videos, gaining a loyal following of 170k people who get just as excited about food as he does.

The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Serena Ball, author
Deanna Segrave-Daly, author
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637744505, $28.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Mediterranean-Diet-Cookbook-Brain-Healthy/dp/1637744501

Synopsis: "The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 101 Brain-Healthy Recipes to Protect Your Mind and Boost Your Mood " is packed from cover to cover with recipes that provide "food for thought", ranging from breakfast to dessert, as well as snacks, sides, and small plates, kitchen cooks and family chefs will reach for this culinary compendium again and again whether they are preparing a family dinner or a meal for a large gathering.

Co-authored by Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly, the dishes comprising "The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" range from Mediterranean Sun Gold Granola; Berry Smart Seeded Dressing Over Greens; and Green Falafel Fritters with Red Pepper Sauce; to Sizzling Shrimp and Peppers with Cilantro; Moroccan Spiced Hot Chocolate; Shortcut Homemade Ravioli -- and more!

"The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" also includes the tools for making nutritious meals easier than ever before, including: A reader-friendly quick guide to the principles of cognitive and mental-healthy eating; Healthy Kitchen Hacks for every recipe, including substitutions, prep tips, and timesaving suggestions; Adaptable recipes for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and vegan lifestyles; and Five-day meal plans.

Eating a Mediterranean diet is one of the most effective ways to protect and enhance your brain health, halt inflammation, improve symptoms of depression, and help to reduce daily stress. Research shows results in less than two months -- but good nutrition only works if you want to eat the food. And that's where "The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: comes in.

Serena and Deanna's smart recipes are layered with enticing Mediterranean flavors and the most potent brain-boosting ingredients. "The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" solves the dilemma of "what's for dinner" while enhancing your brain and mood with every dish.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated, thoroughly 'kitchen cook' friendly in organization and presentation, "The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 101 Brain-Healthy Recipes to Protect Your Mind and Boost Your Mood" is an impressive and inspiring collection of step-by-step, palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, and nutritionally healthy recipes suitable for any and all dining occasions. Highly recommended for personal, professional, community library cookbook collections, it should be noted the "The Smart Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Serena Ball, MS, RD, and Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, each have over 25 years of culinary nutrition experience and have dedicated their careers to helping people make delicious and nutritious meals. Together, they are the authors of The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, The Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, and The Sustainable Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. You can find them online at www.teaspoonofspice.com and doing weekly live-stream recipe demonstrations on their Facebook page, Teaspoon of Spice.

Taste of Home Mediterranean Favorites
Taste of Home, editor
Trusted Media Brands
https://www.trustedmediabrands.com
9798889770152, $19.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Home-Mediterranean-Favorites-Hundreds/dp/B0C99M8FXD

Synopsis: Take your taste buds on a mouthwatering trip with Greek, Tuscan, Moroccan and other vibrant flavors inspired by the sun-kissed coastal region of the Mediterranean Sea with "Taste of Home Mediterranean Favorites: Savor the Good Life with Hundreds of Popular Dishes", the follow-up to Taste of Home's top-selling Mediterranean cookbook as this culinary sequel offers even more tantalizing recipes that are light, fresh and loaded with flavor.

Featuring easy-to-find ingredients, familiar cooking methods and step-by-step instructions "Taste of Home Mediterranean Favorites: Savor the Good Life with Hundreds of Popular Dishes" makes quick work of getting a delicious meal on the table in no time flat. It's a snap with this sensational collection of tried-and-true favorites as the 240+ recipes comprising this culinary collection are shared by today's family cooks who have happily adopted this light and lively Mediterranean cuisine in their own homes.

There are recipes for every type of dish (ranging from impressive appetizers and mezze plates to satisfying entrees, soups, salads, sides and more); At-a-Glance icons make it a snap to find the dishes that best fir your lifestyle; "Fast Fix" recipes spotlight items ready in half an hour; "5-Ingredient" dishes call for just a handful of items; "Slow Cooker" items simmer up meals while you're away; and "Freeze It" recipes store well and cook up in a jiffy.

Of speciial note are the kitchen cook friendly recipes for weekend appetizers, including mezze, tapas, small plates and antipasti platters that will easily impress partygoers and guests. There is even a bonus chapter of "Yia Yia's Favorites" featuring Grandma's classic Greek and Mediterranean foods that families have adored for generations.

Critique: With the publication of "Taste of Home Mediterranean Favorites: Savor the Good Life with Hundreds of Popular Dishes", even the most novice of kitchen cooks can produce extraordinary and memorable dining experiences for all occasions. Enhanced with the inclusion of beautifully and profusely illustrated photos throughout of finished dishes, "Taste of Home Mediterranean Favorites: Savor the Good Life with Hundreds of Popular Dishes" is a fun and inspiring resource for planning appetite satisfying, palate pleasing, good health supporting menus for all dining occasions both formal and informal. Especially recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Taste of Home Mediterranean Favorites: Savor the Good Life with Hundreds of Popular Dishes" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Taste of Home is America's #1 food/lifestyle brand, inspiring togetherness through cooking, baking and entertaining. Featuring recipes shared by today's home cooks, Taste of Home magazine has hundreds of thousands of subscribers throughout North America and publishes best-selling cookbooks and newsstand specials. The brand's web site is a top destination, featuring kitchen-tested recipes, how-to techniques, cooking videos and more. Taste of Home has more than 6.3 million fans on Facebook, 2 million followers on Instagram, 2.6 million Pinterest followers and receives more than 28 million unique monthly visitors. You can visit Taste of Home on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to learn more.

Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking
Emiko Davies
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922754523, $35.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gohan-Everyday-Japanese-Cooking-Memories/dp/1922754528

Synopsis: Gohan refers to everyday Japanese family meals. "Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking: Memories and Stories from My Family's Kitchen" by Emiko Davies is a dedicated cookbook on precisely this subject.

Practically any home-cooked Japanese meal revolves around rice. It sits beside miso soup, pickles, tofu, and a piece of grilled fish at breakfast. It soaks up the sauce in a comforting donburi bowl, or is wrapped in nori for the ultimate portable lunch called onigiri. And it's there for dinner, perhaps served with a pickled plum, some mild Japanese curry, braised fish, or even a Japanese-style Hamburg steak.

The everyday meals, cooked in the homes of Japanese mothers and grandmothers, is the food that Emiko Davies grew up with. They're the dishes she makes for her own children: simple, satisfying food like tamagonogohan (stir fried egg and rice), soba noodle soup, Japanese curry, yakisoba, and miso soup, prepared with whatever seasonal vegetables happen to be around.

Unlike what many people think, Japanese home cooking is not fiddly, nor time consuming. It's quick and remarkably simple, thanks to the Japanese philosophy that fresh, seasonal food doesn't need much to enhance its natural flavor.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full page, full color photographs of finished dishes, "Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking: Memories and Stories from My Family's Kitchen" is a substantial compendium of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, authentic and family kitchen cook friendly recipes for creating Gohan dishes in American homes fully and accurately reproducing these same dishes as they would be found in Japanese homes. The recipes are deftly organized into eight sections: Home-Made Pantry Samples; Japanese Breakfast; Rice; Vegetables; Noodles & Street Food; Family Favorites; The West Meets Japan; and Sweets. This hardcover edition of Emiko Davies' "Gohan: Everyday Japanese Cooking: Memories and Stories from My Family's Kitchen" from Smith Street Books is an authentic, unique, menu inspiring, and highly recommended addition for personal, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Emiko Davies (www.emikodavies.com) is an Australian-Japanese food writer, photographer, and cookbook author. Growing up in a diplomatic family, she spent most of her life in countries other than her own, from China to the US. She now calls Italy home.

Asian Vegetables: A Cook's Bible
Wendy Hutton
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804857437, $19.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Asian-Vegetables-Descriptions-Illustrations-Including/dp/0804857431

Synopsis: "Asian Vegetables: A Cook's Bible" by leading food expert Wendy Hutton is a complete guide to purchasing and preparing Asian vegetables and plant-based food products!

A culinary compendium offering descriptions and illustrations of 139 vegetables (including dried and preserved varieties) along with 145 authentic recipes "Asian Vegetables" provides everything you need to know about the rapidly-expanding list of Asian vegetables found in supermarkets, farmers' markets, Asian grocers and specialty gourmet stores around the globe.

With attractive watercolor illustrations and photos, the 145 recipes and 139 different vegetables showcases range from small to large dishes, sauces, soups and so much more, The recipes range from Indian Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce; Malaysian-style Cabbage Stewed in Coconut Milk' and Blanched Water Spinach and Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce; to Sri Lankan Breadfruit Curry; Stir-Fried Loofah with Oyster Sauce; Thai Wild Pepper Leaf Parcels; Chinese Garlic Chive Pancakes; Fresh Tuna Baked in Konbu Seaweed, Spice Indian Cauliflower, and a great many more!

From sugar peas and azuki beans to fern tips, hijiki seaweed, jackfruit and mustard cabbage "Asian Vegetables: A Cook's Bible" also offers insightful background stories about the ways Asian cultures have traditionally prepared these vegetables as well as a description of their appearance, nutritional content, flavor, selection and storage -- plus interesting information about their medicinal properties according to traditional folk beliefs. Fresh, dried, fermented, pickled and preserved Asian vegetables, tubers, herbs, mushrooms and sprouts are all described in detail.

Critique: "Asian Vegetables: A Cook's Bible" is an ideal and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' reference that home cooks, epicures and professional chefs alike will want to have on hand. Fun to browse through and inspiring to plan memorable meals with for any and all dining occasions, While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Asian Vegetables: A Cook's Bible" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Wendy Hutton is a writer specializing in food and travel, who lived in Southeast Asia for more than five decades. She has written widely on the cuisines of Southeast Asia, including cookbooks such as Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass, Tropical Asian Cooking and the highly acclaimed Singapore Food.

The Big Book of Hatch Chile
Kelley Cleary Coffeen
University of New Mexico Press
www.unmpress.com
9780826365439, $29.95, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Hatch-Chile-Featuring/dp/0826365434

Synopsis: New Mexico chile or New Mexican chile (Scientific name: Capsicum annuum 'New Mexico Group'; Spanish: chile de Nuevo Mexico, (chile del norte) is a cultivar group of the chile pepper from the US state of New Mexico, first grown by Pueblo and Hispano communities throughout Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico. These landrace chile plants were used to develop the modern New Mexico chile peppers by horticulturist Fabian Garcia and his students, including Roy Nakayama, at what is now New Mexico State University in 1894. (Wikipedia)

Simply stated, the New Mexico chile peppers grown around the village of Hatch are world famous for their culinary versatility, unique flavor, and varying levels of heat.

With the publication of "The Big Book of Hatch Chile: 180 Great Recipes Featuring the World's Favorite Chile Pepper", Kelley Cleary Coffeen offers a compendium of detailed but easy-to-use recipes for everything from chile-laced margaritas to several variations on the classic green chile cheeseburger. Here are to be found both amazing new recipes and familiar Hatch chile favorites, including weeknight time-savers and Saturday-night showstoppers. With "The Big Book of Hatch Chile" even the most novice of family cooks can spice up their home menus with everything from amazing appetizers to delicious desserts, soups and stews, Mexican classics, and so much more.

In every chapter Coffeen (who has lived in chile country for over thirty years), serves up generous helpings of Hatch chile lore and history. "The Big Book of Hatch Chile" takes the reader on a fascinating culinary trip to explore the history and evolution of Hatch chile and the flavor characteristics that make it the most versatile and sought-after chile varietal. Coffeen also profiles family farms, restaurants, and everyone and everything that makes chile central to the identity of the Hatch valley and New Mexico.

"The Big Book of Hatch Chile offers comprehensive details on chile resources, chile varieties and their flavor characteristics and nutritional value, the differences between dried chile and fresh chile, and tips for buying, roasting, and storing Hatch chile.

Critique: Featuring full color, full page sized photos of finished dishes, "The Big Book of Hatch Chile: 180 Great Recipes Featuring the World's Favorite Chile Pepper" is a chile lovers delight to simply page through one recipe at a time. Ideal for planing menus with for any dining occasion be it formal or informal, each menus if clearly laid out, step-by-step and guarantees even the most novice of family cooks a palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, and truly memorable dish. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections, it should be noted that "The Big Book of Hatch Chile" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Kelley Cleary Coffeen (https://www.kelleycoffeen.com) is a professor at New Mexico State University. She is also a culinary expert, food consultant, and the author of five Mexican cookbooks, including Fiesta Mexicali; 300 Best Taco Recipes: From Tantalizing Tacos to Authentic Tortillas, Sauces, Cocktails and Salsas; and 200 Easy Mexican Recipes: Authentic Recipes From Burritos to Enchiladas.

Trap Kitchen: Wah Gwaan Jamaican Cookbook
Malachi Jenkins, author
Roberto Smithare, author
Kathy Landoli, author
Kingston Imperial
https://kingstonimperial.com
9781954220621, $29.99, HC, 140pp

https://www.amazon.com/Trap-Kitchen-Gwaan-Jamaican-Cookbook/dp/1954220626

Synopsis: The recipes comprising "Trap Kitchen: Wah Gwaan Jamaican Cookbook" reflect authentic an authentic Jamaican heritage as they successfully fuse Caribbean cuisine with signature Trap Kitchen sensibilities and flavors.

Within the captivating pages of "Wah Gwaan" (meaning "What's going on?" and the universal greeting in Jamaica), "Trap Kitchen" takes aspiring kitchen cooks on a whirlwind journey through the heart and soul of the island of Jamaica with more than 60 recipes, each of which are steeped in centuries of history and culture, and will unleash a sensory explosion that will leave the diner breathless.

From beloved ethnic classics like Goat Head Soup, and a succulent Oxtail that melts in your mouth, to the iconic Ackee & Saltfish, and the fiery and addictive Jerk Chicken, this Kingston Imperial edition of "Trap Kitchen: Wah Gwaan: Jamaican Cookbook" is a culinary adventure that will take you deep into the heart of Jamaican culinary traditions.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout with full color, full page images of dishes ready to serve, each individual recipes comprising "Trap Kitchen: Wah Gwaan Jamaican Cookbook" is an adventure in Caribbean & West Indian cuisine. "Trap Kitchen" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Ethnic & Vegan cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Malachi Jenkins and Roberto Smithare childhood friends from neighboring rival gangs, brought together by their two passions: food and girls. Today they are the cofounders and owners of Trap Kitchen LA. The underground culinary experience was completely fueled off Instagram. Their colorful past has made them media darlings, having appeared on the Today show, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, VICE, Fox 11 News, and BET.

Bubble Tea: Make Your Own at Home
Sandra Mahut
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922754981, $14.95, HC, 64pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bubble-Tea-Make-Your-Home/dp/1922754986

Synopsis: Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, tapioca milk tea, or boba tea) is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s. Taiwanese immigrants brought it to the United States in the 1990s, initially in California through regions including Los Angeles County, but the drink has also spread to other countries where there is a large East Asian diaspora population. (Wikipedia)

Simply stated, "Bubble Tea: Make Your Own at Home" is the ultimate 'how to' book of bubble tea!

Readers will learn how to perfect the beloved Asian drink at home with Bubble Tea. This delicious, colorful instructional guide showcases 22 bubble tea recipes, ranging from brown sugar, matcha and jasmine, and lime to grass jelly and coconut milk, pomegranate, and grenadine and pandan jelly.

With this comprehensive and profusely illustrated step-by-step guide to making your own tapioca pearls, and with its easy-to-follow recipes for all the flavors imaginable, plus all the basics, "Bubble Tea: Make Your Own at Home" will leave you never wanting store-bought bubble tea again!

Critique: Delicious, thirst-quenching, and an ideal alternative to the usual run of coffee, tea, or sodas, "Bubble Tea: Make Your Own at Home" (as part of a meal or as a stand alone drink for the thirsty) is an unreservedly recommended and enduringly valued addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Asian or Party Time cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Sandra Mahut (http://sandramahut.com) is a food writer, photographer, recipe developer, and food stylist living in France.

Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk

Two new cookbooks from Kyle Books provide recipe titles both attractive and filled with versatile, appealing dishes not to be found elsewhere.

https://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Sanctuary-Quick-Easy-Delicious/dp/1804191000

Nicky Corbishley's Kitchen Sanctuary Quick & Easy (9781804191002, $26.99) features a hundred recipes that can be created in 30 minutes or less. These are family-friendly creations, promoting healthy dishes from scratch without the demanding requirements of hours of cooking or prep work. A chapter of quick chicken recipes answers the typical question of a busy cook who has chicken and wants to use it in creative new ways. Examples of such dishes are Naan Chicken Tikka Pizza, a Chicken Salsa Bake, and stir-fried Black Pepper Chicken. Each dish is accompanied by a full-page facing colorful photo, introduced with at-a-glance information on prep and cook times and green sidebars of author 'pro tips' which provide insights on reheating for optimum make-ahead results.

https://www.amazon.com/Fruitful-Savoury-Recipes-Inspired-Orchards/dp/1804191035

Sarah Johnson's Fruitful (9781804191033, $34.99) stands out from other fruit cookbooks on the market by including a selection of savory recipes for using fruits in main dishes, as well as the usual dessert and jam offerings in most fruit cookbooks. Recipes for North African Lamb with Plums, Pan-Fried Duck Breast with Blackcurrants and Black Pepper, and Peach and Tomato Salsa are just a few of the savory dishes peppered within this fruit guide, which comes with dialogues about fruit pairings and use, and insights into what kinds of fruits work best in selected endeavors (and why).

Both of these new and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' cookbooks are exceptional stand outs for any library seeking a blend of appealing photos and recipes.


The Biography Shelf

Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing
Peter Harmsen
Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636243313, $32.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bernhard-Sindberg-Schindler-Peter-Harmsen/dp/1636243312

Synopsis: In December 1937, the Chinese capital, Nanjing, falls and the Japanese army unleash torture, murder, and rape. Over the course of six weeks, hundreds of thousands of civilians and prisoners of war are killed. At the very onset of the atrocities, the Danish supervisor at a cement plant just outside the city, 26-year-old Bernhard Arp Sindberg, opens the factory gates and welcomes in 10,000 Chinese civilians to safety, beyond the reach of the blood-thirsty Japanese. He becomes an Asian equivalent of Oskar Schindler, the savior of Jews in the European Holocaust.

"Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" by Peter Harmsen is a biography of Sindberg from his childhood in the old Viking city of Aarhus and on his first adventures as a sailor and a Foreign Legionnaire to the dramatic 104 days as a rescuer of thousands of helpless men, women, and children in the darkest hour of the Sino-Japanese War.

It also describes how after his remarkable achievement, he receded back into obscurity, spending decades more at sea and becoming a naturalized American citizen, before dying of old age in Los Angeles in 1983, completely unrecognized. In this respect, too, there is an obvious parallel with Schindler, who only attained posthumous fame.

"Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" clearly sets the record straight by providing the first complete account of Sindberg's life in English, based on archival sources hitherto unutilized by any historian as well as interviews with surviving relatives. What emerges is the surprising tale of a person who was average in every respect but rose to the occasion when faced with unimaginable brutality, discovering an inner strength and courage that transformed him into one of the great humanitarian figures of the 20th century and an inspiration for our modern age, demonstrating that the determined actions of one person (any person!) can make a huge difference.

Critique: Rescuing a genuine hero from an undeserved obscurity, "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" by journalist and author Peter Harmsen is an inherently fascinating, inspiring, and memorable life story -- and one deserving of as wide a readership as possible. Enhanced for the reader's benefit with an Introduction (The Dane 1932), twenty-two pages of Notes, a six page Bibliography, and a five page Index, "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to community and college/university library World War II & Asian History & Biography collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Peter Harmsen, PhD, is the author of "Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze" and "Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City", as well as the War in the Far East trilogy. He studied history at National Taiwan University and has been a foreign correspondent in East Asia for more than two decades. He has focused mainly on the Chinese-speaking societies but has reported from nearly every corner of the region, including Mongolia and North Korea. His books have been translated into Chinese, Danish and Romanian.

Samuel Richardson as Anonymous Editor and Printer
John A. Dussinger
Anthem Press
www.anthempress.com
9781785273537, $110.00, HC, 148pp

https://www.amazon.com/Samuel-Richardson-Editor-Printer-Recycling/dp/1785273531

Synopsis: During the first two decades of his career, Samuel Richardson's role as printer was hardly limited to setting the type for the periodicals that issued from his shop. Perhaps the most glaring evidence of his intervention in producing text is the fact that both The True Briton (1723-24) and The Weekly Miscellany (1732-41) just happen to have letters supposedly from women who protest the legal restraints against their participation in the public sphere.

Neither the Duke of Wharton, the owner of The True Briton, nor William Webster, the desperately impecunious producer of The Weekly Miscellany, launched their journals with the objective of advancing radical views about political equality for women. But almost inadvertently this middle-aged, rotund printer at Salisbury Court was quietly feminizing journalism.

After his first experiments in Wharton's anti-Walpole journal he developed his satiric powers in the Miscellany by creating not only his own feisty counterpart to Pope's coquette Belinda but even partnering with Sarah Chapone's subversive Delia. As an outlier in what was perceived to be a corrupt, predatory political world, Richardson readily assumed a female voice to express his resistance.

Critique: A fascinating and informatively detailed study that rescues a once influential printer/publisher from an undeserved obscurity, "Samuel Richardson as Anonymous Editor and Printer: Recycling Texts for the Book Market" will be of special interest to students, academicians, and bibliophiles concerned with the history of publishing in 18th Century Britain. Enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a six page Bibliography and a two page Index, "Samuel Richardson as Anonymous Editor and Printer: Recycling Texts for the Book Market", while unreservedly recommended for college/university library 18th Century Publishing History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academicians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in ths subject that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.49).

Editorial Note: John A. Dussinger, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has written widely about 18th-century authors from Astell to Austen. (https://english.illinois.edu/directory/profile/dussinge)

A Prairie Faith: The Religious Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder
John J. Fry
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
www.eerdmans.com
9780802876287, $24.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Prairie-Faith-Religious-Ingalls-Biography/dp/0802876285

Synopsis: The beloved Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder have sold over 60 million copies since their publication in the first half of the twentieth century. Even her unpolished memoir, "Pioneer Girl" (which tells the true story behind the children's books), was widely embraced upon its release in 2014. Despite Wilder's enduring popularity, few fans know much about her Christian beliefs and practice.

With the publication of "A Prairie Faith: The Religious Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder", academician and author John J. Fry shines a light on Wilder's quiet faith in this unique biography. Fry surveys the Little House books, Pioneer Girl, and Wilder's lesser-known writings, including her letters, poems, and newspaper columns. Analyzing this wealth of sources, he reveals how Wilder's down-to-earth faith and Christian morality influenced her life and work. Interweaving these investigations with Wilder's perennially interesting life story, "A Prairie Faith" also nicely illustrates the Christian practices of pioneers and rural farmers during this dynamic period of American history.

Critique: "A Prairie Faith: The Religious Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder" deftly explores what role Laura Ingalls Wilder's Christian faith play in her life and in her writing. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented by history professor emeritus John J. Frey and published by the Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, "A Prairie Faith" is unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library 20th Century Women Author Biography collections. It should also be noted for the legions of Laura Ingalls Wilder fans that her biography is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.99).

Editorial Note: John J. Fry (www.trnty.edu/faculty/john-j-fry) is professor of history, dean of faculty, and director of Foundations at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. He is the author of The Farm Press, Reform, and Rural Change, 1895- 1920 and the editor of Almost Pioneers: One Couple's Homesteading Adventure in the West.

My Vietnam, Your Vietnam
Christina Vo, author
Nghia M. Vo, author
Three Rooms Press
www.threeroomspress.com
9781953103468, $17.99, PB, 318pp

https://www.amazon.com/My-Vietnam-Your-daughter-returns/dp/1953103464

Synopsis: "My Vietnam, Your Vietnam: A father flees. A daughter returns" is an unusual, captivating, and heartfelt dual memoir by Christina Vo and her father, Nghia M. Vo, who delve into themes of their identity, heritage, and the tragic multi-generational ordeals of war, with intertwined stories that present a multifaceted portrayal of Vietnam and its profound influence on shaping both familial bonds and individual identities across time.

Nghia M. Vo left Vietnam in April 1975 with only the clothes on his back, following the US withdrawal of troops and the fall of Saigon. After a harrowing two month journey, he found himself in a refugee camp outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he began the painful process of reconnecting with his family and rebuilding his life as a medical doctor.

Christina Vo, Nghia's daughter, grew up in the US. As a restless young adult, she felt a longing to connect with her heritage and soon moved to Hanoi in the former North Vietnam (much to her father's distress) to discover a country that had changed dramatically since the war, yet retained many of the ancient traits experienced by her ancestors.

Captivating in its fluid movement and evocative depictions of place, "My Vietnam, Your Vietnam" offers readers a unique, rich, and multilayered exploration of Vietnam through two very distinct voices and perspectives. This seminal memoir's exploration of healing the trauma suffered by war refugees and their families echoes far beyond the personal experience of the two authors, providing a path to discussion of reconciliation and hope.

Critique: Inherently fascinating, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking, impressively well written, organized and presented, "My Vietnam, Your Vietnam: A father flees. A daughter returns" is an informed and informative read from start to finish and a brilliant, unreservedly recommended pick for community and college/university library Contemporary Biography/Memoir collections. A truly memorable read, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Vietnam, Your Vietnam" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note #1: Christina Vo is an author based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she writes and explores the interplay of culture, identity, and personal history. Her work reflects her commitment to understanding and sharing the complexities of the human experience. She is the author of the The Veil Between Two Worlds: A Memoir of Silence, Loss, and Finding Home (She Writes Press). Her second book, My Vietnam, Your Vietnam (Three Rooms Press), is an intergenerational memoir co-written with her father, Nghia M. Vo. She has worked internationally for UNICEF in Vietnam, the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, served as a consultant for nonprofits, and currently works in donor relations for Stanford University.

Editorial Note #2: Nghia M. Vo, a retired physician, is an independent researcher of Vietnamese history and culture. He has written many books on Vietnamese culture and works to document Vietnamese-American culture through conferences and publications. Recent books include The Vietnamese Boat People, Saigon: A History, and The Trung Sisters Revisited.


The American History Shelf

Catastrophe at Custer Creek
Ian Campbell Wilson
Montana Historical Society Press
c/o Farcountry Press
www.farcountrypress.com
9780917298783, $26.95, PB, 285pp

https://www.amazon.com/Catastrophe-Custer-Creek-Montanas-Deadliest/dp/0917298780

Synopsis: Just after midnight on June 19, 1938, the Olympian No. 15, an elite passenger train operated by the famed Milwaukee Road, crashed into Custer Creek, which flows into the Yellowstone River southwest of Terry, Montana. In the moments before the train reached the small bridge spanning the typically dry creek, the waters had swelled dramatically, the result of a violent storm system that moved across Montana that day. The wreck killed forty-nine passengers and crew members and injured another seventy-five, making it the most devastating train accident in Montana history.

The sudden and violent wreck garnered national attention. It forever altered the lives of survivors and victims' families and dealt a significant blow to the Milwaukee Road's fortunes. In this vivid narrative history, author Ian Campbell Wilson reconstructs the lives of several passengers and crew members, probes what caused this unprecedented disaster, and surveys the intertwined histories of the Milwaukee Road and the eastern Montana communities that the Olympian passed through on its usual route from Chicago to Tacoma and back again.

Critique: With the publication of "Catastrophe at Custer Creek: Montana's Deadliest Train Wreck", Ian Campbell Wilson documents the final ride of the Olympian. Enhanced for the reader's benefit with a section of historic B?W photographs, this railroading history is impressively comprehensive, exceptionally well written, and of immense appeal to readers with an interest in 20th Century American railroading history. Published by the Montana Historical Society Press, "Catastrophe at Custer Creek" will prove a prized pick for personal, community, and college/university library collections.

Editorial Note: Ian Campbell Wilson (www.iancampbellwilson.com) is a writer and historian who lives in Bozeman, Montana. His 2023 book, He is the author of "Goddesses of the Sun, Tucson's Hacienda del Sol School for Girls", an article about the origins of an elite 1920s girls' school in Tucson, Arizona, published in 2017 in the Journal of Arizona History. Canadian by birth, Campbell Wilson holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of New Hampshire.

Killing over Land
Robert M. Owens
University of Oklahoma Press
www.oupress.com
9780806193625, $45.00, HC, 266pp

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-over-Land-Diplomacy-American/dp/080619362X

Synopsis: In early America, interracial homicide (Whites killing Native Americans, Native Americans killing Whites) might result in a massive war on the frontier; or, if properly mediated, it might actually facilitate diplomatic relations, at least for a time. With the publication of "Killing over Land: Murder and Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier", Professor Robert M. Owens explores why and how such murders once played a key role in Indian affairs and how this role changed over time.

Though sometimes clearly committed to stoke racial animus and incite war, interracial murder also gave both Native and white leaders an opportunity to improve relations, or at least profit from conflict resolution. In the seventeenth century, most Indigenous people held and used enough leverage to dictate the terms on which such conflicts were resolved; but after the mid-eighteenth century, population and material advantages gave white settlers the upper hand. Professor Owens describes the ways settler colonialism, as practiced by Anglo-Americans, put tremendous pressure on Native peoples, culturally, socially, and politically, forcing them to adapt in the face of violence and overwhelming numbers.

By the early nineteenth century, many Native leaders recognized that, with population and power so heavily skewed against them, it was only practical to negotiate for the best possible terms; lex talionis justice (blood for blood) proved an unrealistic goal. Consequently, Indigenous and white leaders alike became all too willing to overlook murder if it led to some kind of gain -- if, for instance, justice might be traded for financial compensation or land cessions.

Ultimately, what Professor Owens analyzes in "Killing over Land" is nothing less than the commodification of human life in return for a sense of order -- as defined and accepted, however differently, by both Native and white authorities as the contest for land and resources intensified in the European colonization of North America.

Critique: Of particular value to readers with an interest in authentic and accurate American history and evolution of Indigenous/White relationships that were to lead to the eventual domination of White settlers over Native American populations, "Killing over Land: Murder and Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier" is a seminal work of original and meticulously detailed research. Expertly written, organized and presented, Professor Robert M. Owens ground-breaking is informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a fourteen page Bibliography and twenty-six pages of Notes. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library American History collections and supplemental Native American History curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, historians, Native American Rights activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Killing over Land: Murder and Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.49).

Editorial Note: Robert M. Owens is Professor of History at Wichita State University. He specializes in colonial U.S. history and the Early Republic. He is the author of Mr. Jefferson's Hammer: William Henry Harrison and the Origins of American Indian Policy (OU Press, 2007). His articles have appeared in the Journal of the Early Republic and the Journal of Illinois History. (https://www.wichita.edu/profiles/academics/fairmount_college_of_liberal_arts_and_sciences/History/Owens-Robert.php)< br>
Clinton: Images of America
Peggy Adler
Arcadia Publishing
https://www.arcadiapublishing.com
9781540239198, $31.99, HC, 130pp

https://www.amazon.com/Clinton-Images-America-Arcadia-Publishing/dp/1540239195

Synopsis: Clinton, Connecticut, is a small shoreline town situated 25 miles east of New Haven. It was founded in 1663 when a committee appointed by the General Court at Hartford laid out a settlement called the Homonoscitt Plantation. In 1838, following multiple name changes during the intervening years, it came to be known as Clinton.

It is two hours by car or commuter train from New York City and two and a half hours from Boston. And for those that ski, it is three hours from Southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

Clinton was the birthplace of Yale College in 1701; the hometown of choice for a family and their performing bears, who, for years, headlined with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; and the place where Dr. Seuss spent his summers. More recently, Tony Award-winning actor Jefferson Mays and television journalist Erica Hill grew up there.

Critique: Part of the simply outstanding 'Images of America' series from Arcadia Press, "Clinton" by Peggy Adler is a marvelous compendium of descriptively captions B/W photos of this iconic community and its history. A pleasure to simply browse through, "Clinton" will hold a very special interest for fans of American Local Histories and the history of American Photography. Especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library American History & Photography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Clinton" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781467103558, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Peggy Adler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Adler) has authored five titles for New York City publishers, illustrated two dozen, and provided art for the Bronx Zoo and the Humane Society of the United States. Additionally, she coordinated the 1969 world premiere of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for 20th Century Fox, worked as a consultant for the US House of Representatives' October Surprise Task Force, and served eight years as a Clinton police commissioner.


The World History Shelf

History of the Caucasus: In the Shadow of Great Powers
Christoph Baumer
I. B. Tauris Publishers
c/o Bloomsbury Press
www.ibtauris.com
9780755636280, $48.00, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/History-Caucasus-Shadow-Great-Powers/dp/0755636287

Synopsis: "In the Shadow of Great Powers" is the second volume of Christoph Baumer's 'History of the Caucasus' series. It covers the period from the Seljuk domination of the Southern Caucasus around 1050 CE to the present day.

After the Kingdom of Georgia's golden age of independent power and cultural blossoming in the 12th and early 13th centuries, the Caucasus was overrun by the Mongols and soon disintegrated into innumerable smaller kingdoms, principalities and khanates. At the same time, an Armenian kingdom in exile maintained a precarious independence in Cilicia, today's southern Turkey, by applying a three-way diplomatic policy balanced between the Mongol Il-Khanate, the Crusader states and, to a lesser degree, the Mameluke Empire.

Then followed four centuries during which the highly fragmented polities of the North and South Caucasus became political pawns of the regional great powers, above all the Ottomans, Iran and Russia.

In the wake of World War I the South Caucasus enjoyed a short-lived independence whereas its northern neighbours were engulfed by the Russian civil wars. But by 1921 the Soviet Union had re-established Russian dominance over the whole region and, from a Western perspective, the region 'disappeared' behind the Iron Curtain. Nevertheless, the Caucasian nations kept their pronounced identities even under Soviet rule, giving rise at the dissolution of the Soviet Union to a number of internecine conflicts.

Whereas the Russian Federation managed to maintain its supremacy over the North Caucasus (albeit at the cost of bloody wars and insurrections) Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia succeeded in more or less gaining control over their destiny. Of these three republics, only Azerbaijan secured a wide-ranging independence thanks to its fossil fuel resources.

Following Russian interference, Georgia lost control over two of its provinces while Armenia remains dependent on Russian support in the face of its notoriously antagonistic relations with neighbouring Azerbaijan and Turkey over the unresolved issue of Karabakh.

"In the Shadow of Great Powers" includes some 200 full-color images and maps which further bring the turbulent history of this region to light.

Critique: This large format (9.8 x 1.3 x 11.7 inches, 5.15 pounds) hardcover edition of Christoph Baumer's "History of the Caucasus: Volume 2: In the Shadow of Great Powers" from I. B. Tauris Publishers is informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of numerous Notes, a Bibliography, a Map List, and three Indexes (Concepts; People, Places). Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, this coffee-table style volume is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library history collections and supplemental Caucasus History curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Christoph Baumer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christoph_Baumer) is a leading explorer and historian of Central Asia, Tibet and the Caucasus and has written many well-received books in the fields of history, religion, archaeology and travel. These include The Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity (2006), Traces in the Desert: Journeys of Discovery across Central Asia (2008), China's Holy Mountain: An Illustrated Journey into the Heart of Buddhism (2011) and the seminal History of Central Asia in four volumes (2012 - 2018), all published by I.B.Tauris. Dr Baumer is also President of the Society for the Exploration of EurAsia, Senior Research Fellow at the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Explorers' Club, New York, the Royal Asiatic Society, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, London. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal, awarded to him by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs in 2015.

Tudor Feminists: 10 Renaissance Women Ahead of their Time
Rebecca Wilson
Pen & Sword Books
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781399043618, $34.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tudor-Feminists-Renaissance-Women-Ahead/dp/1399043617

Synopsis: The term 'feminist' would have been anachronistic in the Tudor period, but surely we would not hesitate to call Anne Boleyn (the lady who would be queen) a feminist?

With the publication of "Tudor Feminists: 10 Renaissance Women Ahead of their Time" we are introduced to all ten women, ranging from Catherine Par to Margaret Beaufort, who lived their lives in the Tudor era in a way that challenged the patriarchal world they lived in.

Each chapter comprising "Tudor Feminists" is dedicated to one remarkable woman, ahead of her time. Author Rebecca Wilson explores her achievements and examines the impacts she had on a male-dominated world, while placing her in the context of her particular circumstance and background.

Each of these Renaissance women, from the high born to the merchant class, were rule breakers, they railed against the rigid social norms of their time and stand out vividly against a backdrop of domestic servitude.

Critique: An informative and inherently fascinating study, "Tudor Feminists: 10 Renaissance Women Ahead of their Time" by historian and academician Rebecca Wilson is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a seventeen page Introduction (Domesticity and Doctrine), an eight page section of color & BW historical images, fourteen pages of Notes, and a seven page Index. An extraordinary, seminal, and ground-breaking historical study, "Tudor Feminists: 10 Renaissance Women Ahead of their Time" is a unique, impressive, and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Tudor Biography, Feminist Theory, and Women's History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Tudor Feminists: 10 Renaissance Women Ahead of their Time" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Rebecca Wilson has a bachelors' degree in history and English literature; after gaining her PGCE she taught English and history for several years. She now writes for The Historians Magazine on a range of historical periods and gets involved in archaeological digs when the opportunity arises. Rebecca is part of a group of volunteers who raise funds and awareness for the Egremont Castle, a beautiful medieval ruin. She has been a guest speaker on Talking Tudors and speaks passionately on the dissolution of the monasteries and the life and work of William Shakespeare.


The Civil War Shelf

The Cassville Affairs
Robert D. Jenkins Sr.
Mercer University Press
www.mupress.org
9780881469318, $39.00, HC, 44pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cassville-Affairs-Johnston-Confederate-Strategy/dp/0881469319

Synopsis: Civil War historians have remained baffled over the Cassville controversies for the past 150 plus years. There are two versions of events: Confederate commanding General Joseph E. Johnston's story, and Lieutenant General John Bell Hood's story. But Federal General William T. Sherman had other plans, and it was Confederates who would be "surprised" instead.

With the publication of "The Cassville Affairs: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign, 19 May 1864", author Robert D. Jenkins Sr. examines two critical decisions the Confederate leadership faced: first, whether to attack a portion of the Federal army in the morning; and second, once the morning attack was no longer feasible, whether to stay and fight the next day.

Both decisions were the responsibility of Johnston, and both decisions involved the advice and assistance by Hood. Before the war even concluded, Johnston and Hood began finger-pointing as they wrote their own versions of what happened. This study promises to change our understanding of the events surrounding the Cassville controversies and close the gap in its history.

Critique: Thoroughly researched, exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Cassville Affairs: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign, 19 May 1864" is a highly value contribution to the every expanding library of American Civil War histories. Enhanced for the reader's benefit with maps, a listing of abbreviations, a thirty page bibliography, and a thirteen page Index, "The Cassville Affairs: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign, 19 May 1864" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Civil Ware collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Robert D. (Bob) Jenkins, Sr. has been a trial attorney in Dalton, Georgia, since 1990. He holds a BBA in Business Management from Georgia Southern University and a JD from Mercer University School of Law. He is the author "The Battle of Peach Treek Creek and To the Gates of Atlanta. Jenkins is also the president of Save the Dalton Battlefields, LLC and is vice chair of Whitfield County's Historic Preservation Commission.

J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man
Edward G. Longacre
Savas Beatie LLC
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611216806, $34.95, HC, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/General-J-B-Stuart-Soldier/dp/161121680X

Synopsis: James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart (February 6, 1833 - May 12, 1864) was a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War.

Fifteen years have passed since the publication of the last biography of Jeb Stuart. Several appeared during the last century lauding his contributions to Confederate fortunes in the Eastern Theater. Each follows a familiar tradition established by hero-worshipping subordinates portraying its subject as a model of chivalric conduct with a romantic's outlook on life and a sense of fair dealing and goodwill, even toward his enemy.

"J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man" by civil war historian Edward Longacre, is the first balanced, detailed, and thoroughly scrutinized study of the life and service of the Civil War's most famous cavalryman.

Long known to scholars and history buffs alike as "The Beau Sabreur of the Confederacy," Jeb Stuart of Virginia was possessed of many gifts, personally and professionally, and led the Army of Northern Virginia's cavalry to the all-but-complete satisfaction of his superiors. Stuart, insisted Robert E. Lee, "never brought me a piece of false information." Being human, Stuart also under-performed. On occasion, he underestimated his opponents, took unnecessary risks with his habitually understrength command, failed to properly discipline and motivate his troopers, and was prone to errors both strategic and tactical.

These flaws were evident during the Gettysburg Campaign, when his wayward route to the battlefield deprived Lee of the ability to safely negotiate his path toward a climactic confrontation with the Union Army of the Potomac. Because of his outsized wartime reputation (one embellished in the century-and-a-half since) most of Stuart's errors have passed virtually unnoticed or, when addressed, have been excused or explained away in some fashion.

Longacre's study is based on hundreds of published works, archival sources, and newspapers. He probes not only Stuart's military career but elements of his character and personality that invite investigation. Even the man's fiercest partisans admitted that he was vain and inordinately sensitive to criticism, with a curious streak of immaturity -- at times the hard-edged veteran, at other times a devotee of the pageantry of war, given to affectations such as ostrich-plumed hats, golden spurs, and the headquarters musicians who accompanied him on the march. Ever motivated by appeals to vanity, he curried the patronage of powerful men and responded readily to the attentions of attractive women even though by 1861, he was a long-married man.

Personal flaws and limitations aside, Stuart was popular with his officers and men, beloved by members of his staff, and considered by the people of his state and region the beau ideal of Confederate soldiery. The distinction endures today. Longacre's biography of J. E. B. Stuart is an attempt to determine its validity.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of numerous illustrations and maps, a twenty page bibliography, and a twenty page Index, "J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man" is a solid work of meticulous scholarship based on impressively extensive research. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library American Biography collections and supplemental American Civil War curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and Civil War buffs that "J. E. B. Stuart: The Soldier and the Man" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Edward G. Longacre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Longacre) is a retired historian for the Department of Defense. He is the recipient of a Ph.D. from Temple University and taught military history at the University of Nebraska and the College of William and Mary. Ed is the author of 30 books, all but one of which covers the Civil War. The Cavalry at Gettysburg won the Fletcher Pratt Award, his biography of Wade Hampton III, Gentleman and Soldier, received the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award, and his study of First Bull Run, The Early Morning of War, received the Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. Literary Prize.

The World Will Never See the Like
John L. Hopkins
Savas Beatie LLC
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611216844, $32.95, HC, 208pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-world-will-never-see-the-like-john-l-hopkins/1143179913

Synopsis: The 1913 Gettysburg reunion is a story of 53,000 old comrades and former foes from the American Civil War reunited, and of the tension, even half a century later, between competing narratives of reconciliation and remembrance. For seven days the old soldiers lived under canvas in stifling heat on a 280-acre encampment run by the U.S. Army. They swapped stories, debated still-simmering controversies about the battle, and fed tall tales to gullible reporters. On July 3, the aging survivors of Pickett's Division and the Philadelphia Brigade shook hands across the wall on Cemetery Ridge in the reunion's climactic photo op.

Some of the battle's leading personalities attended, including Union III Corps commander Dan Sickles, who at 92 was still eager to explain to anyone who would listen the indispensable role he claimed to have played in the Union victory. Also present was Helen Dortch Longstreet, the widow of Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, who devoted her life and considerable energies to defending the reputation of her general. Both wrote articles from the reunion that were syndicated in newspapers across the country. There was even a cameo appearance by a young and as-yet unknown cavalry officer named George S. Patton Jr.

With his articulate and detailed history of the even, Hopkins fills his marvelous account with detail from the letters, diaries, and published accounts of Union and Confederate veterans, the extensive archival records of the reunion's organizers, and the daily stories filed by the scores of reporters who covered it.

"The World Will Never See the Like" offers the first full story of this extraordinary event's genesis and planning, the obstacles overcome on the way to making it a reality, its place in the larger narrative of sectional reunion and reconciliation, and the individual stories of the veterans who attended. Every reader interested in Gettysburg will find this a welcome addition to their library.

Critique: The largest gathering of Union and Confederate veterans ever held was front-page news throughout the country in 1913. But as the years passed, the memorable event was all but forgotten. Now with the publication "The World Will Never See the Like: The Gettysburg Reunion of 1913" by John L. Hopkins this once-in-a-lifetime event is rescued from an undeserved obscurity and goes a long way toward making sure the world will remember. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "The World Will Never See the Like" is a unique and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Civil War History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: John L. Hopkins is a communication and public relations professional with more than three decades of experience in strategic communication planning, issues management, media relations, crisis communication, news and feature writing, and team building in higher education, nonprofit, and agency settings.

Thunder in the Harbor: Fort Sumter and the Civil War
Richard W. Hatcher, III
Savas Beatie LLC
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611215939, $32.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Harbor-Fort-Sumter-Civil/dp/1611215935

Synopsis: Fort Sumter. Charleston. April 1861 is universally regarded as the start of the American Civil War. The bombardment and surrender of Sumter were only the beginning of the story. Both sides understood the military significance of the fort and the busy seaport, which played host to one of the longest and most complicated and fascinating campaigns of the entire Civil War.

Civil War historian Richard Hatcher's "Thunder in the Harbor: Fort Sumter and the Civil War" is the first modern study to document the fort from its origins, through the war, and up to its transfer to the National Park Service in 1948.

After its surrender, Southern troops immediately occupied and improved Sumter's defenses. The U.S. blockaded Charleston Harbor and for two years the fort, with its 84 heavy guns and a 500-man garrison, remained mostly untested. That changed in July 1863 when a powerful combined operation set its sights on the fort, Charleston, and its outer defenses. The result was a grueling 22-month land and sea siege - the longest of the Civil War. The complex effort included ironclad attacks, land assaults, raiding parties, and siege operations. Some of the war's most famous events unfolded there, including the assault against Battery Wagner, led by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (depicted in the movie Glory), the shelling of the city by the "Swamp Angel," and the beginning of submarine warfare when the H. L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic and was herself lost at sea. The destruction of Fort Sumter remained a key Federal objective throughout the siege. Despite repeated concentrated bombardments of the fort and the city, Sumter never fell.

The defiant fort, Charleston, and its defensive lines were evacuated in February 1865 once word arrived that Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman approached Columbia, South Carolina. Hatcher, the former historian at Fort Sumter Fort Moultrie National Historical Park, mined a host of primary sources to produce an in-depth and fascinating account of the intricacies, complexities, and importance of this campaign to the overall war effort.

Nearly 18 months of shelling had rendered Fort Sumter almost unrecognizable, but the significance of its location remained. During the eight decades that followed, the United States invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours rebuilding and rearming the fort to face potential foreign threats in three different wars. By the end of World War II, sea and air power had made Sumter obsolete, and the fort was transferred to the National Park Service.

"Thunder in the Harbor" fills a large gap in the historiography and underscores that there is still much to learn about our endlessly fascinating Civil War.

Critique: A masterpiece of historical research and informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a listing of Abbreviations, Maps, a nine page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "Thunder in the Harbor: Fort Sumter and the Civil War" by Civil War historian Richard W. Hatcher III will prove to be an immediately welcome and appreciated contribution to the growing library of Civil War Histories and is an unreservedly recommended core addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, Civil War historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Thunder in the Harbor: Fort Sumter and the Civil War" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Richard W. Hatcher, III worked as a seasonal employee at Richmond National Battlefield Park and began working permanently with the National Park Service in 1976. He retired as Historian from Fort Sumter Fort Moultrie National Historical Park in 2015. Rick is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books including the award-winning Wilson's Creek, The Second Major Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It (2001) and The First Shot (2011). He is a regular on the Civil War speaking circuit.


The Military History Shelf

The First Hellcat Ace
Commander Hamilton McWhorter III (Ret.)
Jay A. Stout, author
Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636244099, $34.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/First-Hellcat-Cdr-Hamilton-McWhorter/dp/1636244092

Synopsis: Although he objected to being characterized as such, Hamilton McWhorter III's service to family and country make him a standout among America's Greatest Generation. A Georgia native whose family roots date from that region's settlement during the 1700s, "Mac" McWhorter was a naval aviation cadet undergoing training when Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941. After earning his Wings of Gold in early 1942, Ensign McWhorter was trained as a fighter pilot in the robust but technologically outmoded F4F Wildcat. Initially assigned to VF-9 (a fiercely spirited and hard-playing fighter squadron) he saw first combat in November 1942 against Vichy French forces in North Africa.

After returning to the United States, VF-9 became the first unit to convert to the new Grumman F6F Hellcat. This was the fighter the U.S. Navy would use to crush Japanese air power during the long offensive from the Southwest Pacific to the shores of Japan. From mid-1943, Hamilton McWhorter was constantly engaged in the unforgiving and deadly aerial warfare that characterized the battles against Imperial Japan. His fifth aerial victory, in November 1943 off Tarawa Atoll, made him the first ace in the Hellcat, and seven subsequent victories ensured his place in the annals of air-to-air combat.

McWhorter's combat service, from the beginning of the war to the last campaign off the shores of Okinawa, makes his story a must-read for the serious student of the Pacific air war. Hamilton McWhorter III retired from the Navy as a commander in 1969. He passed away in 2008.

Critique: An exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented biography of a genuine war hero, "The First Hellcat Ace" by military historian and author Jay Stout is enhanced for the reader's benefit with the occasional inclusion of historic B/W photos, an informative Introduction, Glossary, Guide to Abbreviations, Epilogue, and Afterword. A fascinating and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library World War II American Military Aviation History & Biography collections, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that this edition of "The First Hellcat Ace" from Casemate Publishers is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note #1: Commander Hamilton McWhorter III (February 8, 1921 - April 12, 2008) was a United States Navy aviator and a flying ace of World War II, credited with shooting down twelve Japanese aircraft. He was the first Hellcat ace, first USN carrier-based double ace, and the first Grumman F6F Hellcat pilot to achieve double ace status. He flew 89 combat missions during World War II while flying with the VF-9 and VF-12 units. On May 23, 2014, he was also posthumously awarded the American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal, when the United States Congress collectively awarded the gold medal to all flying aces. (Wikipedia)

Editorial Note #2: Jay Stout (www.jayastout.com) is a native of Indiana and a graduate of Purdue University. He was commissioned into the Marine Corps and earned his designation as a naval aviator in 1983 with orders to fly the F-4 Phantom II. He later transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. As a Hornet pilot, he flew 37 combat missions during Desert Storm. During his 20-year career, he logged more than 4,700 flight hours. The author of 14 books, he works as an operational expert in the defense industry, is a regular public speaker, and lives with his wife.

Witness to Neptune's Inferno
David F. Winkler
Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636244075, $34.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Witness-Neptunes-Inferno-Lieutenant-Commander/dp/1636244076

Synopsis: 1942 would prove crucial for the United States in the Pacific following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and a series of setbacks in the Southwest. As the first ship commissioned following America's entry into World War II, the light cruiser USS Atlanta would be thrust into the Pacific fight, joining the fleet in time for the pivotal battle of Midway and on to the Guadalcanal campaign in the Southwest Pacific. Embarked on this vessel was an exceptionally astute observer, Lieutenant Commander Lloyd M. Mustin, who faithfully recorded his thoughts on the conflict in a standard canvas-covered logbook.

Diaries were not supposed to be kept by those serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and for good reason. If recovered by the Japanese, they would likely have revealed that the Japanese code had been broken prior to the battle of Midway. Thus, Mustin's diary is a rare day-to-day accounting of the Pacific from a very opinionated mid-grade officer. Beginning with the commissioning of Atlanta at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Christmas Eve 1941, Mustin covers the ship's workups and her deployment to the Pacific in time for the battle of Midway.

It's then on to the Southwest Pacific, where the ship first engages enemy aircraft at the battle of the Eastern Solomons in late August 1942. Mustin's final entry covers the battle of Santa Cruz in late October 1942. The story is completed by an account of the battle of Guadalcanal and beyond, drawing upon Mustin's oral history. This is a valuable document, fully interpreted to provide a better understanding of the Pacific War during that critical year.

Critique: Retired Navy commander, military historian, and Naval Academy/War College academician, with the publication of "Witness to Neptune's Inferno: The Pacific War Diary of Lieutenant Commander Lloyd M. Mustin, USS Atlanta (CL 51)" by David F. Winker, the diary of Lieutenant Commander Lloyd M. Mustin (a very rare and impressively candid day-to-day account of life and combat in the World War II Pacific Theater) is now available through Casemate Publishers for the benefit of military historians, students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. A fascinating and informative read from start to finish, and especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library World War II Maritime Military History & Biography collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and military history buffs that "Witness to Neptune's Inferno" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.49).

Editorial Note: David F. Winkler (www.usni.org/people/david-winkler) is a retired Navy commander having received his commission through Penn State NROTC. Having earned his Ph.D. at American University, he served as staff historian at the Naval Historical Foundation for 25 years, has taught at the U.S. Naval Academy and Naval War College, and held the Charles Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian. He has published five books with the Naval Institute Press and writes a monthly historical perspective column for Sea Power Magazine. At the Naval Historical Foundation he interviewed numerous retired Flag Officers, including Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin (son of the diary author) with the aim of seeing it published.

Sparta and the Commemoration of War
Matthew A. Sears
Cambridge University Press
www.cambridge.org
9781316519455, $39.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sparta-Commemoration-War-Matthew-Sears/dp/1316519457

Synopsis: The tough Spartan soldier is one of the most enduring images from antiquity. Yet Spartans too fell in battle -- so how did ancient Sparta memorialise its wars and war dead?

From the poet Tyrtaeus inspiring soldiers with rousing verse in the seventh century BCE to inscriptions celebrating the 300's last stand at Thermopylae, and from Spartan imperialists posing as liberators during the Peloponnesian War to the modern reception of the Spartan as a brave warrior defending the "West", Sparta has had an outsized role in how warfare is framed and remembered.

This image has also been distorted by the Spartans themselves and their later interpreters. While debates continue to rage about the appropriateness of monuments to supposed war heroes in our civic squares, this authoritative and engaging book suggests that how the Spartans commemorated their military past, and how this shaped their military future, has perhaps never been more pertinent.

Critique: With the publication of "Sparta and the Commemoration of War" from the Cambridge University Press, historian and academician Matthew A. Sears has created a seminal, meticulous, and impressively informative study that is enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a number of Maps, Figures, a seventeen page listing of References, and a seven page Index. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented "Sparta and the Commemoration of War" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Sparta/Greece ancient history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Sparta and the Commemoration of War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99).

Editorial Note: Matthew A. Sears is Professor of Classics at the University of New Brunswick. He is the author of Athens, Thrace, and the Shaping of Athenian Leadership (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and of Understanding Greek Warfare (2019). He is also the co-author (with C. Jacob Butera) of Battles and Battlefields of Ancient Greece: A Guide to their History, Topography, and Archaeology (2019). (https://newbrunswick.academia.edu/MatthewSears)


The Wildlife Shelf

Avian Architecture
Peter Goodfellow, author
Torry D. Williams, editor
Princeton University Press
https://press.princeton.edu
9780691255460, $25.95, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Avian-Architecture-Revised-Expanded-Engineer/dp/0691255466

Synopsis: Birds are the most consistently inventive builders, and their nests set the bar for functional design in nature. Describing how birds design, engineer, and build their nests, "Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build" by Peter Goodfellow is in a newly revised and expanded edition. Goodfellow deconstructs all types of nests found around the world using architectural blueprints and detailed descriptions of the construction processes and engineering techniques birds use.

This spectacularly illustrated volume features more than 300 full-color images and more than 40 case studies that profile key species worldwide. Each chapter covers a different type of nest, from tunnel nests and mound nests to floating nests, hanging nests, woven nests, and even multiple-nest avian cities. Other kinds of avian construction (such as bowers and food stores) are also featured.

Now with more case studies and an updated foreword, this revised and expanded edition of "Avian Architecture" includes intricate step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and insightful commentary by a leading expert.

"Avian Architecture" illustrates how birds around the world design, engineer, and build their nests and features architectural blueprints, step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and expert commentary.

Critique: Showcasing more than 300 spectacular full-color photographic images covering more than 100 bird species worldwide, This newly revised and expanded, large format (8 x 0.75 x 10 inches, 1.9 pounds) hardcover edition of "Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build" authored by Peter Goodfellow and edited by Tony D. Williams, is an fully exciting, informatively impressive, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Birds & Birdwatching collections and supplemental Ornithology curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.17).

Editorial Note #1: Peter Goodfellow is a retired English teacher and lifelong birdwatcher. His books include A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Britain and Northern Europe and Birds as Builders.

Editorial Note #2: Tony D. Williams is professor of ecological and evolutionary physiology and chair of biology at Simon Fraser University. His books include What Is a Bird? and Physiological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds (both published by the University of Princeton Press).

Secrets of the Octopus
Sy Montgomery, author
Warren K. Carlyle IV, author
National Geographic Press
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426223723, $30.00, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Octopus-Sy-Montgomery/dp/1426223722

Synopsis: The companion to the highly-anticipated National Geographic television special (narrated by Paul Rudd and airing for Earth Day), "Secrets of the Octopus" is a beautifully illustrated book that explores the alluring underwater world of the octopus -- a creature that resembles an alien life form, but whose behavior has earned it a reputation as one of the most intelligent animals on the planet.

"Secrets of the Octopus" is magical journey into the world of the octopus and will reveal how the large and capable brain of these creatures occupies their whole body (not just their heads) and they can actually adjust their genetic makeup to respond to the demands of the environment. It will allow readers to watch them change shape and color in order to camouflage themselves more effectively than any other species. And it will divulge how octopus mothers give their all in order to bring forth a new generation.

With the publication of "Secrets of the Octopus", author Montgomery offers current and compassionate stories about the scientists on the front lines of octopus research and conservation.

Critique: Magnificently illustrated throughout with National Geographic quality full color photography, "Secrets of the Octopus" is an inherently fascinating read and a perfect introduction to the octopus. While also available to students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Secrets of the Octopus" is a quality pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Marine Wildlife collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Sy Montgomery (https://symontgomery.com) is the author of 31 books for adults and children including "Travels in Turtle Time". She specializes in animals and conservation. Her titles have earned numerous awards and accolades; "Soul of an Octopus" was a National Book Award finalist. She holds three honorary doctorates and is often featured in TV and podcast interviews.

Editorial Note #2: Warren K. Carlyle IV (https://warrencarlyle.com) is a professional community building strategist who works with purpose-driven brands & influencers to build highly engaged online communities. He is also founder/CEO of OctoNation(R) - The Largest Octopus Fan Club, a nonprofit organization that inspires conservation of the ocean by teaching the world about octopuses.

Velvet Ants of North America
Dr. Kevin Williams, author
Dr. Aaron D. Pan, author
Joseph S. Wilson, author
Princeton University Press
https://press.princeton.edu
9780691212043, $35.00, PB, 440pp

https://www.amazon.com/Velvet-North-America-Princeton-Guides/dp/069121204X

Synopsis: "Velvet Ants of North America" is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated photographic guide to the species of the wasp family Mutillidae found in the United States and Canada. Featuring hundreds of full-color photos, it covers nearly 460 species (representing more than 9 percent of all velvet ant species, which number in the thousands worldwide) providing detailed and up-to-date coverage of this spectacular group of insects.

A one-of-a-kind guide, "Velvet Ants of North America" serves as an invaluable reference for naturalists, scientific researchers, museum specialists, and outdoor enthusiasts. Included are nearly 460 species found in North America and throughout the world; stunning high-resolution photos of each species; detailed species accounts and keys allow for easy and rewarding identification; invaluable data on taxa from Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, and beyond; silhouette images depicting the actual size ranges of species; distribution maps of nearly all diurnal species in the United States and Canada.

Critique: The collaborative work of co-authors Kevin Williams, Aaron D. Pan, and Joseph S. Wilson, "Velvet Ants of North America" must be considered as a core and essential addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Entomology, Ecology, and Insects/Spiders Biology collections and supple mental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, professional and non-professional readers with an interest in the subject that this Princeton University Press edition of "Velvet Ants of North America" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.25).

Editorial Note #1: Kevin A. Williams is an insect pest identifier for the California Department of Food and Agriculture and a leading authority on velvet ants.

Editorial Note #2: Aaron D. Pan is executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech University. His research interests range from mimicry within velvet ants to the evolution of prehistoric African forests.

Editorial Note #3: Joseph S. Wilson is associate professor of biology at Utah State University and an expert on the evolution and ecology of bees and wasps. His books include Common Bees of Western North America (Princeton).

Birds: Intimate Images, Volume 2
David Jeffrey
Orange Frazer Press
www.orangefrazer.com
9781949248739, $59.00, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Birds-Intimate-Images-David-Jeffrey/dp/1949248739

Synopsis: With the publication of the first volume of "Birds: Intimate Images" (2020), master photographer David Jeffrey invited readers to take a closer look at the inspiring majesty of our native coastlines. Now in "Birds: Intimate Images, Volume 2", David returns to the parks and sanctuaries of Florida and Massachusetts to witness again, in stunning detail, the private lives of some of our country's most beautiful birds.

With each turn of the page, we enter extraordinary scenes as he showcases his feathered neighbors in their natural environments. From the humble chores of the tiny House Wren to the impressive wingspan of the dramatic Brown Pelican, his eye is keen and decisive. Punctuating each shot with lively, up-to-the-moment descriptions in his signature disarming tone, David makes us feel right by his side (but he does all the work) waiting patiently to capture the beauty and spirit of each subject with awe and tenderness.

Bird enthusiasts can join David on another brilliant wildlife journey of technicolor splendor with "Birds: Intimate Images, Volume 2" -- a visual feast for bird watchers, bird lovers, shutterbugs, and all.

Critique: This large format (11.34 x 0.73 x 14.27 inches, 4.71 pounds) hardcover edition of "Birds: Intimate Images, Volume 2" from Orange Frazer Press is a simply stunning portfolio of full page, full color, informatively captioned photographs of a remarkable and impressive series of birds. "Birds: Intimate Images, Volume 2" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library wildlife photography collections.


The Photography Shelf

America the Beautiful: A Story in Photographs
National Geographic
National Geographic Press
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426221422, $40.00, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/America-Beautiful-Photographs-National-Geographic/dp/1426221428

Synopsis: "America the Beautiful" from the National Geography Press showcases the stunning spaces closest to our nation's heart ranging from the woods in the Great Appalachian Valley that Davy Crockett once called home to the breathtaking sweep of California's Big Sur coast to the wilds of Alaska.

It is also a pictorial celebration of the people who have made this country what it is, and featuring a wide range of images including the Arikara Nation in the early 1900s and scientists preparing for travel to Mars on a Hawaiian island.

Culled from more than 130 years of National Geographic's vaunted archives, this provocative collection of captioned photographs depicts the splendor of this great nation as only National Geographic can, with a dramatic combination of modern and historical imagery--from the creation of architectural icons like the Golden Gate Bridge and Lady Liberty to the last of the country's wild places currently preserved in our national parks.

Organized by chapters focused on region (west coast and the Pacific, east coast, the south, and the Midwest) that are themselves inspired by verses of the original poem America the Beautiful, this book also features a moving introduction offering perspective on the country's unique journey.

There are also behind-the-scenes commentaries from the world-renowned photographers who captured this unforgettable imagery, and observations from the conservationists, activists, and historians who help keep America beautiful today. Profound and inspiring, "America the Beautiful: A Story in Photographs" is for everyone who has ever marveled at the inspiring beauty of the United States.

Critique: Especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library Photography collections, this compact (10.22 x 1.17 x 10.1 inches, 4.19 pounds) hardcover edition of "America the Beautiful: A Story in Photographs" from the National Geographic Press is a fascinating compendium of superbly photographed images that truly showcases the diversity, the beauty, the complexity, the landscapes, and the people of America.

Editorial Note: One of the world's leading nonfiction publishers, National Geographic has published more than 1,700 titles, featuring such categories as history, travel, nature, photography, space, science, health, biography, and memoir. A portion of its proceeds is used to fund exploration, conservation, and education through ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society.

The Camera Bag Companion
Benedict Brain
Ilex Press
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781781579299, $26.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Camera-Bag-Companion-Personal-Photography/dp/1781579296

Synopsis: Imagine having your personal, professional photographer with you whenever you go out to shoot. There to guide you, share their knowledge, and inspire you to take better photographs. In his latest book, "The Camera Bag Companion: Your Personal Photography Tutor", photography expert Benedict Brain puts himself in your kitbag, with a beautifully illustrated how-to guide that's as essential as any lens or tripod, and cuts through the jargon to deliver clear advice in a friendly, conversational style.

Critique: Comprehensive, nicely illustrated, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Camera Bag Companion: Your Personal Photography Tutor" is the ideal DIY jargon free manual that is an ideal and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, community, photography club, and college/university library Photography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of aspiring and practicing photographers that "The Camera Bag Companion" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Benedict Brain (www.benedictbrain.com/#1) is a UK based photographer and journalist. He graduated from the Derby School of Art in 1991. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and sits on the society's Distinctions Advisory Panel. Benedict was the editor of Britain's best-selling consumer photography magazine, Digital Camera Magazine until 2018. He currently writes a regular column, 'The Art of Seeing', for Digital Camera magazine. Benedict is also a tour and workshop leader and is regularly asked to jduge prestigious photo competitions such as the International Garden Photographer of the Year and the British Photography Awards and is a regular speaker at shows including The Adventure Travel Show and The Photography Show.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County
Claire Swinarski
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063319875, $30.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Funeral-Ladies-Ellerie-County-Novel/dp/006331987X

Synopsis: Esther Larson has been cooking for funerals in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for seventy years. Known locally as the "funeral ladies", she and her cohort have worked hard to keep the mourners of Ellerie County fed -- it is her firm belief that there is very little a warm casserole and a piece of cherry pie can't fix. But, after falling for an internet scam that puts her home at risk, the proud Larson family matriarch is the one in need of help these days.

Iris, Esther's whip-smart Gen Z granddaughter, would do anything for her family and her community. As she watches her friends and family move out of their lakeside town onto bigger and better things, Iris wonders why she feels so left behind in the place she is desperate to make her home. But when Cooper Welsh shows up, she finally starts to feel like she's found the missing piece of her puzzle.

Cooper is dealing with becoming a legal guardian to his younger half-sister after his beloved stepmother dies. While their celebrity-chef father is focused on his booming career and top-ranked television show, Cooper is still hurting from a public tragedy he witnessed last year as a paramedic and finding it hard to cope. With Iris in the gorgeous Ellerie County, though, he hopes he might finally find the home he's been looking for.

It doesn't seem like a community cookbook could possibly solve their problems, especially one where casseroles have their own section and cream of chicken soup mix is the most frequently used ingredient. But when you mix the can-do spirit of Midwestern grandmothers with the stubborn hope of a boy raised by food plus a dash of long-awaited forgiveness -- things might just turn out okay.

Critique: A deftly crafted, exceptionally well written, inherently fascinating, and a fun and memorable read from start to finish, "The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County" by Claire Swinarski will have immense appeal to readers with an interest in novels about women's friendship, grandmothers, daughters, and their social arrangements and relationships. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and in a paperback edition (9780063319882, $18.99).

Editorial Note: Claire Swinarski (http://www.claireswinarski.com) is the author of several books for both kids and adults. Her writing has been featured in the Washington Post, Seventeen, Milwaukee magazine, and many other publications. She lives in small-town Wisconsin with her husband and three kids, where she writes books, wears babies, and wrangles bread dough.

The Outhouse Papers: Gene Shepard and the Hodag
Mike Skubal
Hodag Press
https://hodagpress.com
9780965374552, $18.00, PB, 198pp

https://www.amazon.com/Outhouse-Papers-Gene-Shepard-Hodag/dp/0965374556

Synopsis: To people living in Rhinelander, northern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the Hodag's story is a familiar one. First discovered and then captured in the 1890s by Rhinelander's most celebrated timber cruiser and city jester, Gene Shepard, the beast connected Ojibwe legend, lumberjack lore, and city promotion to bring some notoriety to the small northern Wisconsin community.

Shepard famously displayed his captured creature (the angry spirit of a cremated lumber ox reincarnated into the body of an antediluvian monster) at county fairs, and at his Rhinelander home until it was revealed to be a hoax -- just a stump dressed up with hide and horns.

Hoax or not, since then Rhinelander has been using the Hodag to connect to its past and promote its future. But is that the full story?

With the publication of "The Outhouse Papers: Gene Shepard and the Hodag", we learn of a mysterious patron employing a retired investigative journalist to track down the truth behind the Hodag legend. The quest follows the writer as he moves beyond the well-known story to a time when Rhinelander was younger, grittier, and its saloons had spittoons instead of stools. Slowly he discovers new clues, fits pieces together, and makes connections that reveal a story much different than the one you've so often heard.

This is a masterfully told story that takes readers along with the journalist through twists and turns as he discovers connections between Rhinelander's past and the sanitized legend it advertises today. Perhaps the Hodag is a hoax, but the hoax is not what you thought it was!

Critique: Original, fascinating, and a fun read from start to finish, "The Outhouse Papers: Gene Shepard and the Hodag" by Mike Skubal is a very special and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, community, and college/university library Literary & Folklore Fiction collections. It should be noted that "The Outhouse Papers: Gene Shepard and the Hodag" is also now available in a digital book format (B0CBT9Z8B7, Kindle, $9.99).

Studies at the School by the Sea
Jenny Colgan
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063359703, $30.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Studies-School-Sea-Fourth-Novel/dp/0063359707

Synopsis: Beloved literature teacher Maggie Adair loves her life at the prestigious Downey House boarding school on the gloriously sunny, windy English coast. It was there that she found her footing as a teacher and fell in love with her colleague David -- the two great anchors of her life. But these days Maggie's feeling restless, lured by the promise of a different life back in her Scottish hometown. How can you follow your heart when it seems to be taking you in two directions at once?

Meanwhile, Maggie's favorite students are abuzz at the thought of graduation and set to fly the nest to their next adventure. What will life hold for mercurial Fliss, glamorous Alice, and shy, hard-working Simone when they finally finish their studies at the school by the sea? Will Maggie stay to welcome the next class of girls, or will she too graduate to new adventures?

Critique: The fourth and finale title in author Jenny Colgan's delightful 'School by the Sea' series, "Studies at the School by the Sea" is a fun read from start to finish. Once again Colgan's natural and distinctive flair for crafted novels that are of special interest to fans of contemporary women's friendship stories, "Studies at the School by the Sea" will prove a welcome and enduringly popular pick for community library collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of Jenny Colgan fans that "Studies at the School by the Sea" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780063141858, $18.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Jenny Colgan (https://www.jennycolgan.com) is the author of numerous novels, including The Christmas Bookshop, The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe. Jenny, her husband, and three children live in a genuine castle in Scotland.

Under a Neon Sun
Kate Gale
Three Rooms Press
www.threeroomspress.com
9781953103499, $17.00, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Neon-Sun-Kate-Gale/dp/1953103499

Synopsis: For people living in houses and apartments, with stay-at-home jobs, the pandemic was inconvenient. For Mia (a student and housekeeper whose budget is so tight she lives in her car) the pandemic destroys the very source of her paltry income.

Fortunately, gutsy and funny Mia is a determined survivor. After weeks of cutting her limited spending even further, missing meals along the way, her wealthy employers become desperate for her services again. But this time, she's determined not to let them take advantage of her as they have in the past. Her newfound confidence gives her new hope as she works to escape the shackles of poverty on her own terms!

Critique: "Under a Neon Sun" is author Katie Gale's impressive debut as a novelist. Showcases her genuine flair for the kind of distinctive narrative driven storytelling that fully engages the readers attention and is an entertaining, thought-provoking, deftly crafted read from start to finish, "Under a Neon Sun" will be of particular interest to fans of contemporary women's fiction raised to an impressive level of literary excellence. While unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Under a Neon Sun" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Kate Gale (https://kategale.com) is the co-founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press, editor of the Los Angeles Review, and a teacher in the low residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in poetry. She is also the author of seven books of poetry including The Goldilocks Zone (University of New Mexico Press) and Echo Light (Red Mountain), and, most recently, The Loneliest Girl (University of New Mexico Press).


The Historical Fiction Shelf

The Romanov Brides
Clare McHugh
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9780063250932, $18.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Romanov-Brides-Novel-Tsarina-Sisters/dp/0063250934

Synopsis: Destined to wed well and wisely, Princesses Alix and Ella were granddaughters of Queen Victoria and two of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. But while their grandmother wants to join them to the English and German royal families, the sisters fall in love with Russia -- and the Romanovs.

Defying the Queen's dire warnings, Ella weds the tsar's brother, Grand Duke Serge. Cultivated, aloof, and proud, Serge places his young wife on a pedestal for all to admire. Behind palace gates, Ella struggles to secure private happiness.

Alix, whisked away to Russia for Ella's wedding, meets and captivates Nicky - heir apparent to the Russian throne. While loving him deeply, Alix hears a call of conscience, urging her to walk away.

Their fateful decisions to marry will lead to tragic consequences for not only themselves and their families, but for millions in Russia and around the globe.

Critique: A moving and fascinating portrait of two bold and spirited royal sisters, with the publication of "The Romanov Brides", novelist Clare McHugh brings to vivid life imperial Russia -- a dazzling, decadent world on the brink of disaster for the ancient ruling Romanov lineage. Of particular interest to fans of historical biographical fiction, "The Romanov Brides" is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Romanov Bridges" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212900195, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Clare McHugh (www.claremchugh.com) is also the author of "A Most English Princess" which is an historical novel about the family of Queen Victoria, and The Romanov Brides. A former newspaper reporter and magazine editor, McHugh graduated from Harvard College with a degree in European history.

The Half Life of Valery K
Natasha Pulley
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781635573275, $28.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-half-life-of-valery-k-natasha-pulley/1140323920

Synopsis: In 1963, in a Siberian prison, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair of warm boots, and the right attitude toward the small pleasures of life so he won't go insane. But one day, all that changes: Valery's university mentor steps in and sweeps him from the frozen camp to a mysterious unnamed city. It houses a set of nuclear reactors, and surrounding it is a forest so damaged it looks like the trees have rusted from within.

In City 40, Valery is Dr. Kolkhanov once more, and he's expected to serve out his prison term studying the effect of radiation on local animals. His research is overseen by an imposing but surprisingly kind KGB officer, Shenkov, whose trust Valery feels a strong urge to win. But as Valery begins his work, he is struck by the questions his research raises -- questions even Shenkov is afraid to answer.

Why is there so much radiation in this area? What, exactly, is being hidden from the thousands who live in the town? And if he keeps looking for answers, will he live to serve out his sentence?

Critique: Based on real events in a surreal Soviet city, and told with novelist Natasha Pulley's distinctive narratively driven storytelling style, "The Half Life of Valery K" is an inherently fascinating, fully original, and compulsive page-turner of a read that will be of particular interest to fans of historical thrillers from the old Soviet Union era. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Half Life of Valery K" is also available in a paperback edition (9781639733033, $18.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.39), and in a large print edition (9798885786218, $34.99).

Editorial Note: Natasha Pulley (https://natashapulley.co.uk) is the author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, The Bedlam Stacks, The Lost Future of Pepperharrow, The Kingdoms, and The Half Life of Valery K. She has won a Betty Trask Award, been shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, the Royal Society of Literature's Encore Award, and the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize.


The LGBTQ Fiction Shelf

The Birthright of Sons: Stories
Jefferey Spivey
Texas Tech University Press
www.ttupress.org
9781682831953, $29.95, HC, 270pp

https://www.amazon.com/Birthright-Sons-Stories-Horse-Prize/dp/1682831957

Synopsis: "The Birthright of Sons" is a collection of fourteen short stories by Jeffrey Spivey centered around the experiences of marginalized people, namely Black and LGBTQ+ men. Although the stories borrow elements from various genres (horror, suspense, romance, magical realism, etc.), they are linked by an exploration of identity and the ways personhood is shaped through interactions with the people, places, and belief systems around us.

Underpinning this literary project is a core tenet: self-definition is fluid, but conflict arises because society often fails to keep pace with personal evolution. In each of these stories, the protagonists grapple with their understanding of who they are, who and how they love, and what is ultimately most important to them. In almost every case, however, the quest to know or protect oneself is challenged by an external force, resulting in violence, crisis, or confusion, among other outcomes.

"The Birthright of Sons" colors in "the other" as three-dimensional by highlighting the unique obstacles that marginalized people face while simultaneously centering their humanity and unearthing universal struggles and commonalities. Be it experiencing a sexual awakening, contemplating the cumulative effects of racial tension in the workplace, or searching desperately for a moment of peace in the attention economy, this outstanding short story collection amplifies under-represented voices in a playful and contemporary way, elevating, critiquing, and confronting its characters.

Critique: Consistently raising the short story to an impressive degree of literary excellence and social/cultural impact, "The Birthright of Sons" showcases author and poet Jeffrey Spivey's genuine flair for originality and linguistic skills as a writer. An especially and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, community, and college/university Contemporary American Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted that "The Birthright of Sons" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Jefferey Spivey (www.jeffereyspivey.com) is an author, poet, and copywriter. He was named runner-up for Poets & Writers' 2023 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. He was also a recipient of The de Groot Foundation's 2022 Courage to Write grant. His short stories have appeared in Hive Avenue Literary Journal, Punt Volat, A Gathering of the Tribes, Typehouse, decomp, and Havik.

Unswerving
Barbara Ridley
University of Wisconsin Press
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299348144, $19.95, PB, 234pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unswerving-Barbara-Ridley/dp/0299348148

Synopsis: When Tave wakes up alone in the hospital, she barely remembers the car wreck. Far from home, dazed, and despondent, she struggles to face the challenges of her new paralysis -- all while worrying about her partner, Les, also severely injured in the accident, now cared for by her homophobic parents who refuse to allow contact.

In rehab, Tave relearns life skills and comes to recognize that her future will be completely different than she'd imagined. Where will she live? How will she find the help she needs? Can her friends rise to the occasion? Or will she be forced to move back in with her mother, putting up with endless talk of faith healers?

Her one beacon of hope is Beth, her physical therapist. But Beth's relationship problems with her own girlfriend push her toward over-involvement -- and risking damaging both her career and Tave's recovery.

A story of courage, resilience, and love, "Unswerving" challenges readers' preconceived notions of disability, of limitations, and of the inevitability of fate.

Critique: It's clear that as the author of "Unswerving", novelist Barbara Ridley is able to write with definitive medical accuracy in her impressive new story by drawing on her professional experience as a former spinal-cord-injury nurse practitioner. Her deftly crafted characters combined with Ridley's distinctive and narrative driven storytelling style make "Unswerving" an especially entertaining read from start to finish. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Unswerving" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).

Editorial Note: Barbara Ridley (www.barbararidley.com) is also the author of When It's Over, winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal for Historical Fiction. Before turning to creative writing, she worked for many years as a spinal-cord-injury nurse practitioner.


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Glimpses of the Moon
Edith Wharton
Pushkin Press
www.pushkinpress.com
9781805330929, $16.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Glimpses-Moon-Pushkin-Press-Classics/dp/1805330926

Synopsis: Nick Lansing and Susy Branch are young, attractive, but impoverished New Yorkers. They are in love and decide to marry, but they realise their chances of happiness are slim without the wealth and status that their more privileged friends take for granted.

Nick and Susy agree to separate whenever either encounters a more eligible proposition. However, as they honeymoon in friends' lavish houses, from a villa on Lake Como to a Venetian palace, jealous passions and troubled consciences cause the idyll to crumble.

Critique: A young couple's love is threatened by the destructive power of money, by one of the greatest authors of her age in "Glimpses of the Moon", a beautifully crafted novel by literary legend Edith Wharton and perceptively describes the seductions and temptations of high society with all of Wharton's trademark wit and irony. Of special interest to fans of Gilded Age era romance novels, this new paperback edition from Pushkin Press Classics is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library Classic Literary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Edith Wharton was born in 1862 in New York, into a rich and socially prominent family. She began to write at an early age, although it was a habit viewed by her family as unsuitable for a woman of her social class. In 1885 she married Edward "Teddy" Wharton, a Boston banker. They lived a privileged life, but Wharton gradually grew dissatisfied with the roles of wife and society matron. The Whartons moved to Paris in 1907 and divorced in 1913. Edith continued to live in France, her beloved adoptive home, until her death in 1937.

And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon: Essential Stories
Nikolai Gogil, author
Oliver Ready, translator
Pushkin Press
www.pushkinpress.com
9781805330332, $16.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Will-Pushkin-Press-Classics/dp/1805330330

Synopsis: Few writers has captured the absurdity of the human condition as acutely as Nikolai Gogol. In a lively new translation of "And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon: Essential Stories" by Oliver Ready, this collection contains Gogol's great classic stories including "The Overcoat", "The Nose" and "Diary of a Madman" -- alongside lesser known gems depicting life in the Russian and Ukrainian countryside.

Collectively this anthology of five short stories reveals Gogol's marvelously skewed perspective, moving between the urban and the rural with painfully sharp humor and scorching satire.

Strikingly modern in his depictions of society's shambolic structures, Gogol plunders the depths of bureaucratic and domestic banalities to unearth moments of dark comedy and outrageous corruption. Defying categorization, the stories comprising this collection range from the surreal to the satirical to the grotesque, united in their exquisite psychological acuteness and tender insights into the bizarre irrationalities of the human soul.

Critique: This new paperback edition of Russian writer Nicholai Gogol's "And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon: Essential Stories" from the Pushkin Press Classic series is enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of an informative Introduction by the translator, Oliver Ready, a two page listing of Translator's Acknowledgments, a two page Note on Ranks, and seven pages of Chapter Notes. A classic of Russian Literature, "And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon: Essential Stories" is a significant and high value addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Literary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note #1: Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol was born in 1809 in Ukraine, and moved to St Petersburg after his studies in 1828 to work in an obscure government ministry. His first collection of stories, Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (1831), made him famous, and he went on to write several further collections of stories, as well as the play The Government Inspector. Part I of his great, and only novel, Dead Souls, appeared in 1842. In his later life he was increasingly tormented both physically and psychologically, and he burned much of his writing, including part II of Dead Souls. He died in 1852, possibly from self-starvation.

Editorial Note #2: In 1994-1998, Oliver Ready studied Modern Languages (Russian and Italian) at Worcester College, University of Oxford. In 2000 - 2001, he did MA in Russian Studies at SSEES, University College London. In 2007, he completed his DPhil at Wolfson College, Oxford. In 2008 - 2017, he was Consultant Editor for Russian and East-Central Europe at The Times Literary Supplement. Since 2010, he has been a Research Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. In 2011 - 2014, he was director of the Russkiy Mir Program. Since 2014, he has been working as a teacher of Russian literature at the University of Oxford. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Ready)


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Just for the Summer
Melody Carlson
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
www.revellbooks.com
9780800745615, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Summer-Melody-Carlson/dp/0800745612

Synopsis: Ginny Masters manages a popular boutique hotel in Seattle and manages it with aplomb. But the daily challenges and irritations of a fast-paced job and a demanding boss are starting to get to her.

Jacqueline Potter manages her grandfather's fishing lodge in Idaho because it was the only job she could find after graduating with her hospitality degree. She's grateful for the work but longs for a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan life she's just not going to find in this backwoods town.

The solution to both their problems seems obvious. Just for the summer, they'll swap jobs and lifestyles. But they never anticipated swapping love interests!

"Just for the Summer" by novelist Melody Carlson offers a fabulous new twist on an age-old fable and introduces her readers to two career-focused women who are about to discover that there's more to finding happiness than just switching up the scenery.

Critique: Clean, wholesome, and a fun read from start to finish, "Just for the Summer" by accomplished author and gifted storyteller Melody Carlson is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for the legions of Christian romance novel fans that "Just for the Summer" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800744717, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Melody Carlson (www.MelodyCarlson.com) is the author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie, and the movie based on her novel The Happy Camper premiered on UPtv in 2023.

Sincerely, The Duke: Say I Do
Amelia Grey
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250850430, $8.99 PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sincerely-Duke-Say-Do/dp/1250850436

Synopsis: Miss Edwina Fine has one shot at finding a husband before the ton learns her secret. With red hair, green eyes and being one of triplets, she knows the superstitions and rumors about women like her. So when a marriage proposal from the Duke of Stonerick arrives by mail, Edwina jumps at the chance to solve her problems. But nothing could prepare her for the attraction that sparks between them when they finally meet. It will take more than Edwina's wit to navigate her past, reservations about marriage and the passion that ignites within her for the irresistible duke.

Rick, Duke of Stonerick, enjoys his life exactly as it is: honing his expert marksmanship, playing cards and fencing with his friends. He even enjoys exchanging affectionate humor with his mother about his lack of matrimonial engagement. But when a recurring illness reminds Rick he has no heir, he picks a name from the list of prospects his mother presents and writes a simple marriage proposal. Then he forgets about it - until that very lady with an iron will and breathtaking bravery shows up at his doorstep, ready to accept. Edwina tempts him like no other and suddenly, marriage doesn't seem much of an inconvenience after all. But will keeping his illness a secret cost him her love?

Critique: "Sincerely, The Duke" is the second novel in author Amelia Grey's 'Say I Do' historical romance trilogy. A fun read from start to finish, "Sincerely, The Duke" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99) and is certain to be an immediate popular pick for community library Regency Romance collections.

Editorial Note: Amelia Grey (www.ameliagrey.com) read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of over twenty-five books, including the Heirs' Club trilogy and the Rakes of St. James series.


The Western Fiction Shelf

The Valerons - Winter Kill
Terrell L. Bowers
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850567, $25.00, PB, Large Print, 270pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-valerons-winter-kill-terrell-l-bowers/1137640883

Synopsis: Snowstorms have paralyzed the stage and freight companies, and Castle Point is desperate for supplies. Doctor Nash Valeron wires his brother Jared, who loads up pack horses and mules with medicine and food to bring to the stricken settlement. But Castle Point is also a refuge for a pack of outlaws, who have committed a brazen robbery that left several soldiers dead. Jared must do the impossible: take twelve men into custody in a town with no sheriff or jail...

Critique: Another riveting novel featuring the Valerons by western author Terrell L. Bowers, this large print paperback edition of "The Valerons - Winter Kill" from the Linford Western Library series will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated action/adventure western novel fans and community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: A lengthy listing of available novels by western author Terrell L. Bowers can be found at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/102448.Terrell_L_Bowers

Animal Instinct
Lee Clinton
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850581, $25.00, PB, Large Print, 224pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/store/uk/search/Animal%20Instinct

Synopsis: It was the perfect hold-up, conducted with military precision by four men who calmly walked out of the Ozark Branch of the First National Bank with close to $50,000. Then it all went wrong.

One unfortunate shot hits their leader Frank Jerome as he rides away. What to do? Take the risk and try to ride out the 250 miles back to the mighty Mississippi? Or let the other three escape without being slowed by a wounded man?

Frank didn't hesitate. In a selfless act he stayed to face a prison sentence and an uncertain future. Now, years later on release, his companions have all disappeared along with the money, and it is going to take more than luck to untangle the lies, deceit and secrets that have been left behind. It is going to take animal instinct.

Critique: A simply riveting read from first page to last, "Animal Instincts" by western novelist Lee Clinton is the stuff of which Clint Eastwood 'spaghetti western' movies were made. This large print paperback edition of "Animal Instincts" from the Linford Western Library series is highly recommended for both community library Western Fiction collections and the personal reading lists for dedicated fans of action/adventure westerns.

Editorial Note: Lee Clinton is the pen name of Leigh Alver, a hobby writer from Perth, Australia. Leigh has written and published in other genres, but a love for the Western remains unbridled believing that it allows for universal stories to be told in a variety of ways, which will still engage, excite and surprise a modern reader.

Somewhere - A Sundown
Sheldon B. Cole
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850420, $25.00, PB, Large Print, 204pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/somewhere-a-sundown-sheldon-b-cole/1137640890

Synopsis: When Blake Durant reached the town of Lincoln, he really should have just kept riding. But he didn't get the chance. Within moments of his arrival, a gun-tough named Nico Semole injured his horse and then tried to pick a fight with an old man. Blake intervened and beat him to a pulp. Yet Nico just didn't know when to quit. Later that day he came at Blake with a gun...and set off a chain of events that was to end in murder and bloody revenge.

Critique: A fun read from start to finish, "Somewhere - A Sundown" is another one of author Sheldon B. Cole's deftly crafted action/adventure westerns. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition for personal and community library Western Fiction collections and reading lists.

Editorial Note: There is a comprehensive and available listing of Sheldon B. Cole's novels at https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/19648928.Sheldon_B_Cole

Wagons West Of Hell
Cole Sheldon
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850390, $25.00, PB, Large Print, 216pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wagons-west-of-hell-cole-shelton/1136785772

Synopsis: Following the death of its guide, a wagon train bound for Gun Creek had stalled outside the small town of Conchita. But when Shane Preston and Jonah Jones rode in on the trail of the scar-faced man Shane had sworn to kill, wagon master Huston Whittaker saw an answer to his problem. Huston was an old friend of Shane's, and when he asked for help in getting the travelers to their destination, the black-clad gunfighter and his sidekick couldn't refuse...

Critique: Another of the vengeance quest novels by Cole Sheldon, "Wagons West Of Hell" continues the saga of Shane Preston and his partner Jonah Jones as once again their quest for the scar faced killer of Shane's loved one leads to an unexpected involvement in the problems of others -- problems that will require gun play and survival. This large print paperback edition of "Wagons West Of Hell" is a solid recommendation for any and all dedicated fans of action/adventure westerns.

Editorial Note: There is an impressive on-line listing of novels by Cole Sheldon at https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/7160486.Cole_Shelton


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Framed Women of Ardemore House
Brandy Schillace
https://brandyschillace.com
Hanover Square Press
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9781335014030, $30.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Framed-Women-Ardemore-House-Novel/dp/1335014039

Synopsis: Jo Jones has always had a little trouble fitting in. As a neurodivergent, hyperlexic book editor and divorced New Yorker transplanted into the English countryside, Jo doesn't know what stands out more: her Americanisms or her autism.

After losing her job, her mother, and her marriage all in one year, she couldn't be happier to take possession of a possibly haunted (and clearly unwanted) family estate in North Yorkshire. But when the body of the moody town groundskeeper turns up on her rug with three bullets in his back, Jo finds herself in potential danger -- and she's also a potential suspect. At the same time, a peculiar family portrait vanishes from a secret room in the manor, bearing a strange connection to both the dead body and Jo's mysterious family history.

With the aid of a Welsh antiques dealer, the morose local detective, and the Irish innkeeper's wife, Jo embarks on a mission to clear herself of blame and find the missing painting, unearthing a slew of secrets about the town (and herself) along the way. And she'll have to do it all before the killer strikes again!

Critique: With the publication of "The Framed Women of Ardemore House, novelist Brandy Schillace proves that she is a master of the cozy mystery genre. All the elements are here -- an abandoned English manor, a peculiar and missing portrait, a deviously clever murder mystery, an amateur female sleuth in desperate need to find out 'whodunnit', and a wealth of unexpected plot twists and turns. A fun read from start to finish, "The Framed Women of Ardemore House" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Framed Women of Ardemore House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212723718, $46.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Brandy Schillace (https://brandyschillace.com) is an autistic author, historian, mystery novelist, and editor. Having grown up in an underground house (next to a graveyard, in abandoned coal lands, with a pet raccoon) she spent her childhood reading about diseases and going to a lot of funerals. This led to an abiding interest in dead stuff, a PhD, and a career in science history -- a likely thing to happen when one spends their formative years in a cemetery. Brandy writes at the intersections of history, mystery, and the weird.

Murder in the Tea Leaves
Laura Childs
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin/Random House
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com
9780593200988, $28.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Tea-Leaves-Shop-Mystery/dp/0593200985

Synopsis: When Theodosia Browning reads the tea leaves on the set of the movie, Dark Fortunes, things go from spooky to worse. Lights are dimmed, the camera rolls, and red hot sparks fly as the film's director is murdered in a tricky electrical accident.

Or was it an accident? Though the cast and crew are stunned beyond belief, nobody admits to seeing a thing. And when Theodosia's friend, Delaine, becomes the prime suspect, Theodosia begins her own shadow investigation. But who among this Hollywood cast and crew had murder on their mind? The screenwriter is a self-centered pot head, the leading actress is trying to wiggle out of her contract, the brand new director seems indifferent, and nobody trusts the slippery-when-dry Hollywood agent.

Between hosting a Breakfast at Tiffany's Tea, a Poetry Tea, and trying to launch her own chocolate line, Theodosia doggedly hunts down clues and explores the seemingly haunted Brittlebank Manor where the murder took place. And just when she's ready to pounce, a Charleston Film Board member is also murdered, throwing everything into total disarray. But this clever killer will go to any lengths to hide his misdeeds as Theodosia soon finds out when she and her tea sommelier, Drayton, get caught up in a dangerous stakeout.

Critique: Laura Child's is one of the most talented and original storyteller novelists in the Cozy Mystery genre today. Here newest mystery, "Murder in the Tea Leaves" is part of her popular cozy mystery series 'A Tea Shop Mystery'. It has everything including an 'innocent accused', a sudden death under unusual circumstances, a determined amateur female sleuth working hard to find out 'whodunnit', and more unexpected plot twists than an Oklahoma tornado. An extraordinary, fun, and recommended pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the legions of Laura Child fans that "Murder in the Tea Leaves" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Laura Childs (https://booksreadingorder.com/laura-childs) is the New York Times author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Before becoming one of the most popular and prolific authors in the Cozy Mystery genre, Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show.

Speculations in Sin
Jennifer Ashley
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin/Random House
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com
9780593549919, $18.00, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Speculations-Sin-Below-Stairs-Mystery/dp/0593549910

Synopsis: Kat Holloway is distressed to learn that Samuel Millburn, husband of the woman who looks after her daughter, has been accused of embezzling funds from the bank where he works as a clerk. The accusation is absurd, and Samuel's wife fears that her husband will not only lose his post but be imprisoned. Kat vows to uncover the truth.

When she discovers the bank is involved in shockingly murky business dealings, Kat realizes she's treading in dangerous waters. She turns to her confidante and handsome suitor, Daniel McAdam, for help. To exonerate Samuel, Kat and Daniel may have to expose the unseemly financial dealings of prominent aristocrats and government officials, and even those working to bring down the royal family. Kat will risk everything to protect the man who has sacrificed so much for her daughter, even if it means endangering herself and the friends she has come to love.

Critique: A fun read and especially recommended for dedicated Cozy Mystery fans, "Speculations in Sin" by author Jennifer Ashley features a gifted by amateur female sleuth confronted with a cascading number of unexpected plot twists to uncover the true felon and absolve the 'innocent accused'. While certain to be a popular pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Speculations in Sin" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Jennifer Ashley (https://jenniferashley.com) is the author of the Below Stairs Mysteries series, the Shifters Unbound paranormal romances, and the Mackenzies historical romances. She also writes as USA Today bestselling mystery author Ashley Gardner.

The Woman Who Lowered the Boom
David Handler
The Mysterious Press
www.mysteriouspress.com
c/o Penzler Publishers
https://penzlerpublishers.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9781613165133, $26.95, HC, 284pp

https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Lowered-Boom-Stewart-Mystery/dp/1613165137

Synopsis: Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag is walking on cloud nine after a meeting with his editor, Norma Fives, where she predicts his new book is sure to establish him as the next great American author. It has been years since he has even dreamed of such success after a crippling case of writer's block limited his literary aspirations to ghostwriting celebrity memoirs. But his happiness is short-lived when at his next meeting with Norma she asks for his help in discovering who is behind a series of increasingly threatening letters sent to her attention.

Norma herself is not overly concerned about the letters but her boyfriend, Detective Lieutenant Romaine Very of the NYPD, thinks the threat of violence against Norma should not be so easily dismissed. Very feels the combination of Hoagy's detective skills and knowledge of the underbelly of the publishing world make him the perfect person to investigate the matter. Plus, Hoagy is a friend he can trust to take care of the love of his life. Hoagy agrees if for nothing else than to ease the minds of two people he cares about very much. After all, this is likely to be nothing more than a dramatic gesture from a frustrated writer.

But as Hoagy and his trusty basset hound Lulu investigate, the threats move beyond the written word, making it clear that someone out there is determined to write a vicious ending to Norma's life. Could it be the wealthy aging children's author? The unethical snake of a literary agent? Or the handsy historian? This is not the return to the literary world that Hoagy dreamed of, but he is determined to unravel the mystery before the author of these crimes gets the last word.

Critique: David Handler is a master of the 'whodunnit' mystery/suspense genre and his latest novel, "The Woman Who Lowered The Boom" is another literary gem that will prove to be of particular interest to fans of traditional detective stories that also features an amateur (and reluctant) sleuth trying to solve the mystery. A 'must' for the growing legions of David Handler fans, "The Woman Who Lowered The Boom" will also hold appeal for bibliophiles who appreciate the backgrounding of this mystery inside the publishing industry. An extraordinary and unreservedly recommended pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Woman Who Lowered The Boom" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.73) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798874724870, $36.90, CD).

Editorial Note: David Handler (https://davidhandlerbooks.com) is the Edgar Award-winning and critically acclaimed author of several bestselling mystery series. He began his career as a New York City reporter, and wrote his first two novels, "Kiddo" (1987) and "Boss" (1988), about his Los Angeles childhood. In 1988 he published "The Man Who Died Laughing", the first of his long-running series of mysteries starring ghostwriter Stuart Hoag and his faithful basset hound Lulu.

Peril in Pink
Sydney Leigh
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639106394, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Peril-Pink-Sydney-Leigh/dp/1639106391

Synopsis: It's the grand opening of The Pearl B&B in Hudson Valley, and owner Jess Byrne has prepared the ultimate, Insta-worthy welcome, complete with her ex-boyfriend (reality singing sensation Lars Armstrong) performing live. As guests check in and mimosas are poured, Lars arrives with his stepdad-turned-manager Bob in tow. But things go south when Bob is found dead, and Lars is the prime suspect.

After a desperate plea from Lars, and knowing the reputation of her B&B is at stake, Jess agrees to help clear Lars' name, but the more she digs, the less sure she is that he's innocent. Especially when he's found at the scene of another murder.

With the guests under lockdown, the B&B in the press for all the wrong reasons, and a killer on the loose, Jess is in over her head. With the help of her best friend and business partner Kat, Jess is determined to uncover the truth before Lars is put behind bars and The Pearl is permanently cancelled.

Critique: Cozy mystery writing at its very best, "Peril in Pink" by novelist Sydney Leigh features an amateur female sleuth reluctantly drawn into a 'whodunnit' murder mystery to clear the name of a friend -- and to protect her business! A riveting and fun read from first page to last, "Peril in Pink" successfully launches Sydney Leight's new 'Hudson Valley B&B Mysteries' series and is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of cozy mystery fans, as well as a high priority recommendation for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Peril in Pink" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Sydney Leigh (https://sydneyleighbooks.com) has served on the Board of Directors for Crime Writers of Canada from 2019-2021. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

A Deadly Endeavor
Jenny Adams
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639106950, $29.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Endeavor-Novel-Jenny-Adams/dp/1639106952

Synopsis: Philadelphia, 1921. When Edie Shippen returns home after spending years in California recovering from Influenza, she's shocked to discover that her childhood sweetheart is engaged to her twin sister. Heartbroken and adrift, Edie vows to begin living her life as a modern woman -- and to hell with anyone who gets in her way. But as young women start to disappear from the city, her newfound independence begins to feel dangerous.

Gilbert Lawless returned home from the Great War a shell of his former self. He hides away in the office of Philadelphia's Coroner, content to keep to himself until a gruesome series of corpses come into the morgue. And when his sister, Lizzie, goes missing, he risks his career to beg help from the one person Lizzie seemed to trust: her employer, Edie Shippen.

Fearing the worst, Edie and Gilbert desperately search for clues. It soon becomes clear that Lizzie's disappearance is connected to the deaths rocking the City of Brotherly Love...and it's only a matter of time until the killer strikes again.

Critique: Set in the era of the Roaring Twenties, "A Deadly Endeavor" by novelist Jenny Adms is a compelling 'page turner' of a read from start to finish that will be particularly welcome addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated cozy mystery fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for cozy mystery buffs that "A Deadly Endeavor" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) as well.

Editorial Note: Jenny Adams (https://jenny-adams.com) turned her love of books and stories into a career as a librarian and author of novels for adults. She holds degrees in Medieval Studies and Library Science from The Ohio State University and Drexel University.

Cirque du Slay
Rob Osler
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639106479, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cirque-du-Slay-Rob-Osler/dp/1639106472

Synopsis: Pint-sized Seattle middle school teacher and gay dating blogger Hayden McCall and his best friend Hollister are invited to a fundraiser for Bakers Without Borders. The celebrity performer, Kennedy Osaka, is the artistic director of Mysterium, an upscale circus arts show combining magic, acrobatics, and a Michelin-star dinner. But Kennedy is a no-show -- until she's found dead in her hotel suite.

When frenemy Sarah Lee is discovered in the room with the body, Hayden and Hollister are on the case to find the real culprit before Sarah Lee is charged with the crime.

The suspects for the murder are as unique as Mysterium itself: a Russian trapeze artist, a cowgirl comedian sharp-shooter, an over-cologned operations director, a feisty, green-haired costume manager, and Adrenalin!, a sexy troop of Romanian male acrobats...If Hayden and Hollister are to clear Sarah Lee of suspicion, they'll have to outsmart a killer for whom trickery is art.

Critique: "Cirque Du Slay" by novelist Rob Osler is a masterfully crafted and original cozy murder mystery with an LGBTQ+ element. The second title in Osler's 'Hayden & Friends' mystery series from Crooked Lane, the first being "Devil's Chew Toy" (2022), "Cirque Du Slay" is laced through and through with humor and unexpected plot twists that make it a fun read from start to finish -- and with the reader looking forward to the next installment of the cozy mystery solving team of Hayden & Friends! While a welcome and recommended pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cirque Du Slay" is also available in a paperback edition (9781639107155, $22.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Rob Osler (https://robosler.com) resides in southern California with his long-time partner and a tall, gray cat.

Crimeline Hollywood
Thomas Collins
MindStir Media
https://mindstirmedia.com
9781961532649, $18.99, PB, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crimeline-Hollywood-Thomas-Collins/dp/1961532646

Synopsis: Whoever thought an astrologer's life could be so dangerous? Especially when you are "Hollywood's Astrologer to the Stars". Yet Dash Harwood found himself crawled out on a 20-story beam trying to talk down a suicidal celebrity. And when Dash gave a Vegas casino owner a costly piece of advice, he found himself the target of a hitman!

Fortunately Dash escaped -- but unfortunately only to himself embedded in still another crisis: the kidnapping of Sparklynn James, his most famous client. After the Feds falter on the case, the family asks him to assist Rebecca Fairway, a publicity-seeking P.I. (a.k.a. "The Glamorous Gumshoe) to find her. Not exactly the A Team.

But a coded ransom message from Sparklynn herself points them in the right direction -- leading Dash straight into a web of corporate evil.

Critique: An impressively original and thoroughly fun read from start to finish, "Crimeline Hollywood" by author Thomas Collins will hold a very special interest to fans of suspense thriller novels laced with humor, astrology, amateur sleuths, memorable characters, and more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Kansas tornado! A compulsive page turner of a novel from first page to last, "Crimeline Hollywood" is one of those deftly crafted stories that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book is finished and set back upon the shelf. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Crimeline Hollywood" is also currently available from Amazon.com in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Editorial Note: Thomas Collins (https://crimelinebythomascollins.com) wrote his first book, "The Adventures of Tom and Rom", at the age of ten. (Now long out of print) As an adult he gained valuable knowledge of the inner workings of big business as corporate communications director for a Fortune 500 company. "Crimeline Hollywood" is his first mystery though not his last, especially since the hitman from Crimeline is still on the loose. Like his hero, Dash Harwood, he is an Aquarian who likes to think outside the box -- once he cuts through all the packaging.

The Cat Saw Murder
Dolores Hitchens
American Mystery Classics
c/o Penzler Publishers
https://penzlerpublishers.com
9781613162132, $15.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cat-Saw-Murder-Murdock-Mysteries/dp/1613162138

Synopsis: When Rachel Murdock and her sister Jennifer receive a call for help from their favorite niece, Lilly, in Breakers Beach, CA, they quickly hop a train from Los Angeles to see her -- but not before collecting their prized cat Samantha in a picnic basket and bringing her along for the ride.

Samantha, it turns out, is an heiress, the inheritor of a fortune left by a wealthy relative, and so the attempt at the cat's life, made right after they arrive, comes as a shock. The cat survives, but unfortunately, Lilly, murdered soon thereafter, is not so lucky.

By the time the police arrive, the clues are already falling into place. The source of Lilly's trouble is revealed to be a gambling debt incurred during an attempt to cheat at bridge, and the suspects in her slaying quickly pile up. But then another corpse is discovered, buried in the nearby sand, and it becomes clear that the killing spree concerns more than just the young lady's personal money trouble.

With the authorities distracted by lurid details, it's up to Rachel and her furry friend to uncover the subtleties containing the solution to the puzzle.

Critique: A 'time lost' classic and now brought back into print for an appreciative new general of mystery enthusiasts, "The Cat Wears a Noose" by Dolores Hitchens is a fun read from start to finish. Female amateur sleuths, a plot with multiple surprises, deftly crafted characters, and Hitchens flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that keeps her reader's compulsive page turners, "The Cat Wears a Noose" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated 'whodunnit' murder mystery fans that "The Cat Wears a Noose" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, 9.99). Librarians will want the hardcover edition (9781613162125, $21.95).

Editorial Note: Dolores Hitchens (December 25, 1907 - August 1, 1973) was a highly prolific mystery author who wrote under multiple pseudonyms and in a range of styles. A large number of her books were published under the D. B. Olsen moniker (under which her "Cat" series was originally published), but she is perhaps best remembered today for her later novel, Fool's Gold, published under her own name, which was adapted as Band a part by Jean-Luc Godard.

The Last Word
Elly Griffiths
Mariner Books
www.marinerbooks.com
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063374720, $27.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Word-Novel-Elly-Griffiths/dp/0063374722

Synopsis: Natalka and Edwin are perfect if improbable partners in a detective agency. At eighty-four, Edwin regularly claims that he's the oldest detective in England. He is a master at surveillance, deploying his age as a cloak of invisibility. Natalka, Ukrainian-born and more than fifty years his junior, is a math whizz, who takes any cases concerning fraud or deception.

Despite a steady stream of minor cases, Natalka is frustrated. She loves a murder, as she's fond of saying, and none have come the agency's way. That is until local writer Melody Chambers dies.

Melody's daughters are convinced that their mother was murdered. Edwin thinks that Melody's death is linked to that of an obituary writer who predeceased many of his subjects. Edwin and Benedict go undercover to investigate and are on a creative writing weekend at isolated Battle House when another murder occurs. Are the cases linked and what is the role of a distinctly sinister book group attended by many of writers involved? By the time Edwin has infiltrated the group, he is in serious danger...

Seeking professional help, the investigators turn to their friend, detective Harbinder Kaur, and find that they have stumbled on a plot that is stranger than fiction.

Critique: A fun read for murder mystery fans from start to finish, "The Last Word" will hold a very special interest to readers of police procedural, international crime, and women sleuths trying to discover 'whodunnit'. Author Elly Griffiths is a master storyteller and "The Last Word" is a solid recommendation for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Last Word" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Elly Griffiths (https://ellygriffiths.co.uk) is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Brighton mystery series, as well as standalone novels including: The Stranger Diaries (winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel); The Postscript Murders; and Bleeding Heart Yard. She is the recipient of the CWA Dagger in the Library Award and the Mary Higgins Clark Award.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Hidden Queen
Petere V. Brett
Del Rey
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
www.randomhouse.com
9781984817112, $30.00, HC, 608pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Queen-Book-Nightfall-Saga/dp/1984817116

Synopsis: Humanity thought the war with demonkind was over. Now, after less than a generation to rebuild, the demon corelings have returned with a vengeance. The Spear of Ala (the fortress that stands at the gates of the demon's hive) is the last bastion against the horde, and reports say it may already have fallen.

Olive Paper is expected to take the vanguard in the fight. Only an heir of Kaji can wield the artifact that opens the gates of the Spear of Ala, and as Ahmann Jardir's child, Olive seems destined for a role as leader and savior. But Olive does not wish to follow in her father's footsteps any more than she did her mother's.

Darin Bales was born with supernatural senses that he struggles to process, and even those who love him believe he can barely take care of himself. Yet to save his mother from the clutches of Alagai Ka, the demon king, Darin will brave anything to mount a rescue.

Darin and Olive each strive to walk their own path but find themselves inextricably tied to the legacies of their parents and to a fated confrontation with the demon king and his new hatchling queen.

If they fail, humanity may not survive!

Critique: A sword & sorcery saga of epic proportions, "The Hidden Queen" is the second novel in author Peter V. Brett's action packed 'The Nightfall Saga' series. Brett is a master of the genre and "The Hidden Queen" is a deftly crafted, fun and compelling read from start to finish. While unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "The Hidden Queen" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Peter V. Brett (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_V._Brett) is also the author of The Demon Cycle, which has sold more than four million copies in twenty-seven languages worldwide. His novels include The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, The Core, and The Desert Prince.

Empire of the Damned
Jay Kristoff
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250245335, $32.00, HC, 736pp

https://www.amazon.com/Empire-Damned-Vampire-2/dp/1250245338

Synopsis: Gabriel de Leon has saved the Holy Grail from death, but his chance to end the endless night is lost. Drawn into an uneasy alliance with the mysterious vampire Liathe, Gabriel must now deliver the Grail to ancients of the Blood Esani, and learn the truth of how Daysdeath might be finally undone.

But the Last Silversaint faces peril, within and without. Pursued by terrors of the Blood Voss, drawn into warfare between the Blood Dyvok and duskdancers of the frozen Highlands, and ravaged by his own rising bloodlust, Gabriel may not survive to see the Grail learn her truth.

And that truth may be too awful for any to imagine.

Critique: "Empire of the Damned" is the eagerly awaited sequel to author Jay Kristoff's vampire fantasy novel "Empire of the Vampire". A brilliantly original, exceptionally compelling, deftly crafted, and thoroughly fun read from start to finish, "Empire of the Damned" does not disappoint. Highly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections and an absolute 'must read' pick for the growing legions of Jay Kristoff fans, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Empire of the Damned" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Jay Kristoff (https://jaykristoff.com) is an author of fantasy and science fiction, including "Empire of the Vampire". He is the winner of eight Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6'7 and has approximately 11,500 days to live. He does not believe in happy endings.

Angolin
C. E. Taylor
CamCat Books
www.camcatpublishing.com
9780744306750, $29.99, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Angolin-C-Taylor/dp/0744306752

Synopsis: The Hidden Realm of Angolin has existed in peaceful isolation for centuries, but that's about to change. The enemy across the Abyss has discovered them and is intent on conquest. Lieutenant Dharmen Tate has a great love for his homeland and a greater understanding of its position in the world. When he discovers a plot by fellow officers to join the enemy and overthrow Angolin, he and his colleagues spring into action to defend the Hidden Realm from its foes - those without, and those within. The ensuing struggle magnifies Angolin's vulnerability and exposes the collusion of a growing body of its citizens, signifying an uncertain and bloody future.

Critique: With the publication of "Angolin", author, C. E. Taylor proves to be a master of space opera style action/adventure science fiction. A fun read that will especially appeal to dedicated fans of military science fiction, "Angolin" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicate SciFi fans that "Angolin" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.49) and in a large print paperback edition from CamCat Books (9780744306811, $30.99).

Editorial Note: C. E. Taylor (www.ce-taylor.com) is a cultural anthropologist and urban planner. His fascination for science fiction began as a child, and his interest in human culture within urban environments, along with a penchant for other worlds, places, and times led to the first book of the Angolin trilogy. When not creating fictional storylines, histories, etc., he spends his time reading science fiction and suspense novels. In one way or another, he finds a form of anthropology in everything he experiences in real life and in everything he reads, as even fiction provides insight into the human condition.

Queen Nanny & The White Witch of Rosehall
Bobby Spears Jr.
Kingston Imperial
https://kingstonimperial.com
9781954220645, $29.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Nanny-White-Witch-Rosehall/dp/1954220642

Synopsis: Deep in the heart of Jamaica, the stories of insatiable bloodthirsty creatures and dark rituals brought over from the old country have been the stuff of legends for centuries. Queen Nanny, the leader of a community of Maroons, is well versed in military leadership and spiritual wisdom. But how do you beat an enemy that possesses the power over life and death?

One such figure is the enigmatic White Witch, shrouded in mystery and superstition -- some say she was once a wealthy woman who murdered her husbands, while others believe she was a powerful sorceress who used dark magic. As the White Witch threatens the safety of Queen Nanny's home, she must use every weapon at her disposal to protect her people.

Critique: A simply riveting read from start to finish, "Queen Nanny & The White Witch of Rosehall" is an original dark fantasy novel by Bobby Spears Jr. that (even though a work of deftly crafted fiction) provides an extra bonus for the reader's benefit with respect to providing a fresh perspective on Jamaica's rich cultural history. Especially and unreservedly recommended for readers with an interest in Vampire Fantasy Fiction, and Witch/Wizard thrillers, "Queen Nanny & The White Witch of Rosehall" will prove a welcome addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Queen Nanny & The White Witch of Rosehall" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Bobby Spears, Jr., a distinguished alumnus of Howard University, graduated with a B.A. in TV/Film production. With an innate passion for storytelling, Bobby has since ventured into the realm of writing and TV/film production, crafting narratives that resonate deeply with audiences around the world.

Baen Books
www.baen.com

Two new science fiction novels from Baen Books are top picks for readers that look for new arrivals from favorite authors.

https://www.amazon.com/Tower-Silence-Saga-Forgotten-Warrior/dp/1982193204

Fans of Larry Correia will find Tower of Silence : Saga of the Forgotten Warrior (9781982193201, $18.00) adds to the series as it follows the raging winds of war, a vision of the Great Extermination, and the only hope for salvation which lies in fallen Protector Ashok Vadal's escape from a demon-protected prison to confront war and supernatural entities alike. Special interests entwine as Vadal challenges history and demons with a warrior's hand to not just facing demon attacks, but ultimately understanding their origins.

https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Called-Peterbilt-Assiti-Shards/dp/1982193190

Eric Flint, Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett's An Angel Called Peterbilt (9781982193195, $28.00) is the compelling saga of a temporal irregularity that sends a couple, their daughter, and a Peterbilt truck back in time a thousand years, along with another couple and part of a convenience store. Charged with making a new life in this alien world, the characters face hostility from natives convinced that this new and sudden community is the work of the devil, as well as a threat to the powers that keep order in their world. A thoroughly engrossing story evolves, perfect for readers who enjoyed Flint 's 1637 time-displacement series.

Both of these new titles from Baen Books are very highly recommended for prior fans who enjoyed each author's extensive previous lineups of successful sci-fi -- and as first introductions to these highly skilled science fiction authors.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Harlem
Mikaël
NBM Publishing
www.nbmpub.com
9781681123288, $27.99, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com.au/Harlem-Mikael/dp/1681123282

Synopsis: Harlem, 1931. In the heart of the Great Depression, invention is the mother of necessity to make ends meet.

Stephanie St. Clair, known as 'Queenie', had already understood this when she landed in New York almost twenty years before. Inventiveness when you are a woman and you are black is much more than a necessity. It's a question of survival.

In a few years, this young immigrant West Indian servant freed herself from the weight of ancestral servitude. Even better, she created her own American dream: the underground Harlem numbers game. Hers is an ascent that makes people cringe, both with the local authorities and the white mafia. Dutch Schultz, aka the Dutchman, an unscrupulous mafioso, intends to take control of the kingdom of the "Frenchy."

But that's without taking into account the determination and impetuosity of Queenie, whose heavy past continues to guide her steps as she rises and then falls as the boss of the Harlem numbers racket.

With the publication of "Harlem", French and Canadian artist Mikaël takes us to the Harlem of the prohibition era for the final chapter of his New York triptych in sumptuous chiaroscuro, to meet a woman as strong as she is enigmatic.

Critique: Published in a large format (22.86 x 1.52 x 30.48 cm) hardcover edition by Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing (NBM), there is a cinematic dynamism to this graphic novel style story based on a real life personality that was a unique woman in a man's game and up against the Mafia's attempt to take over the numbers game in Harlem. Simply stated, "Harlem" by the artist/illustrator Mikaël is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal, community, and college/university library collections. It should be noted that this edition of "Harlem" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.20).

Editorial Note: An autodidact, French artist Mikaël, adoptive of French Canada, has illustrated award winning children's books and created graphic novels since 2001. Among his awards are 2 Grand Prizes of the City of Quebec (2015, 2016) and a special mention of the jury for youth at Ouessant, France. Since 2006 he has turned to adult comics, some in collaboration with other writers and artists. (www.europecomics.com/author/mikael)


The Audiobook Shelf

The Fox Wife
Yangsze Choo, author/narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250329509, $49.99, CD (14 Hours 37 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fox-wife-yangsze-choo/1143330973

Synopsis: Manchuria, 1908. In the last years of the dying Qing Empire, a courtesan is found frozen in a doorway. Her death is clouded by rumors of foxes, which are believed to lure people by transforming themselves into beautiful women and handsome men. Bao, a detective with an uncanny ability to sniff out the truth, is hired to uncover the dead woman's identity. Since childhood, Bao has been intrigued by the fox gods, yet they've remained tantalizingly out of reach -- until, perhaps, now.

Meanwhile, a family who owns a famous Chinese medicine shop can cure ailments but can't escape the curse that afflicts them -- their eldest sons always die before their twenty-fourth birthdays. When a disruptively winsome servant named Snow enters their household, the family's luck seems to change -- or does it?

Snow is a creature of many secrets, but most of all she's a mother seeking vengeance for her lost child. Hunting a murderer, she will follow the trail from northern China to Japan, while Bao follows doggedly behind. Navigating the myths and misconceptions of fox spirits, both Snow and Bao will encounter old friends and new foes, even as more deaths occur.

In her novel, "The Fox Wife", author Yangsze Choo brilliantly explores a world of mortals and spirits, humans and beasts, and their dazzling intersection. Epic in scope and full of singular, unforgettable characters, "The Fox Wife" is a stunning novel about old loves and second chances, the depths of maternal love, and ancient folktales that may very well be true.

Critique: A brilliant work of literary historical fiction based on Japanese folklore and which is deftly narrated by its author, Yangsze Choo's epic novel, "The Fox Wife" is an amazing listening experience. This complete and unabridged audio book (13 CDs) from Macmillan Audio will prove to be a highly prized pick for both personal and community library audio book collections.

Editorial Note: Yangsze Choo (https://yschoo.com) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride (now a Netflix Original series) and The Night Tiger, a Reese's Book Club Pick, and a Big Jubilee Read selection for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. Yangsze is happy to visit book clubs via Zoom and can be foun her on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Lone Wolf: An Orphan X Novel
Gregg Hurwitz, author
Scott Brick, narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250329486, $39.99, CD, (13 Hours 13 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lone-wolf-gregg-hurwitz/1143330012

Synopsis: Once a black ops government assassin known as Orphan X, Evan Smoak left the Program, went deep underground, and reinvented himself as someone who will go anywhere and risk everything to help the truly desperate who have nowhere else to turn. Since then, Evan has fought international crime syndicates and drug cartels, faced down the most powerful people in the world and even brought down a president.

Now struggling with an unexpected personal crisis, Evan goes back to the very basics of his mission -- and this time, the truly desperate is a little girl who wants him to find her missing dog.

Not his usual mission, and not one Evan embraces with enthusiasm, but this unlikely, tiny job quickly explodes into his biggest mission yet, one that finds him battered between twisted AI technocrat billionaires, a mysterious female assassin who seems a mirror of himself, and personal stakes so gut-wrenching he can scarcely make sense of them.

Evan's mission pushes him to his limit - he must find and take down the assassin known only as the Wolf, before she succeeds in completing her mission and killing the people who can identify her -- a teenaged daughter of her last target, and Evan himself. Matched skill for skill, instinct for instinct, Evan must outwit an opponent who will literally stop at nothing if he is to survive.

Critique: Another simply riveting Orphan X novel by Gregg Hurwitz and vividly brought to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience through the storytelling talents of narrator Scott Brick, this complete and unabridged (11 CD) audio book edition of "Lone Wolf" from Macmillan Audio is an ideal and enduringly popular pick for personal and community library Action/Adventure audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Greg Hurwitz (https://gregghurwitz.net) is the author of the New York Times bestselling Orphan X novels. Critically acclaimed, his novels have been international bestsellers, graced top ten lists, and have been published in thirty-two languages. Additionally, he's sold scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks.

The Fury
Alex Michaelides, author
Alex Jennings, narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
2940160607344, $39.99, CD, (8 Hours 8 Minute)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fury-alex-michaelides/1143480580

Synopsis: Lana Farrar is a reclusive ex-movie star and one of the most famous women in the world. Every year, she invites her closest friends to escape the English weather and spend Easter on her idyllic private Greek island. But on this occasion they found themselves trapped on that island overnight. An unexpected result was that it enflamed old friendships that concealed hatred and a desire for revenge. What ensued was a battle of wits, a series of twists and turns, all building to an unforgettable (and lethal) climax. That night ended in violence and death, as one of them was found murdered.

Critique: "The Fury" by author Alex Michaelides is deftly told tale of suspicions, revenge, murder, and love. Deftly narrated by the truly impressive storytelling tales of Alex Jennings, the complete and unabridged audio book edition of "The Fury" from Macmillan Audio (7 CDs) is a welcome and unreservedly recommended pick for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has an M.A. in English Literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

Editorial Note #2: Alex Jennings is a teacher, author, and performer living in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in strangehorizons.com, podcastle, The Peauxdunque Review, Obsidian Lit, the Locus Award-winning Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler, and in numerous anthologies.

Identity
Nora Roberts, author
January LaVoy, narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250871732, $39.99, CD (15 Hours 4 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/identity-c-carl-roberts/1110279268

Synopsis: Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan's job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party-attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who'd been chatting her up at the bar-her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.

Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. "Luke" is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.

What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn't his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan's nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother's home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn't flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn't forgotten the one who got away.

Critique: A suspense thriller of a read from start to finish, "Identity" by Nora Roberts is brought vividly to life through the narrative storytelling abilities of January LaVoy in this complete and unabridged (12 CD) audio book edition from Macmillan Audio. A 'must' for the legions of Nora Roberts fans, "Identity" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Nora Roberts (https://noraroberts.com) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 230 novels. There are more than 500 million copies of her books having been sold around the world.

Editorial Note #2: January LaVoy (www.januarylavoy.com/home/audio) is the recipient of the 2023 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Performer (Fires in the Mirror). January made her Broadway debut in Lucy Prebble's ENRON in 2010. Along with a very successful theatrical career, she has been seen on television in "Blue Bloods", "N0S4A2", "Elementary", and "Law & Order" (classic, CI and SVU). In 2007 she created the role of Noelle Ortiz-Stubbs on "One Life to Live", which she played until 2011.


The Library CD Shelf

Little Sun
Charlie Parr
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
https://folkways.si.edu
B0CQ8SQ25V, $16.98, CD (41 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Sun-Charlie-Parr/dp/B0CQ8SQ25V

Synopsis: Charlie Parr is an American country blues musician. Born in Austin, Minnesota, he spent part of his childhood in Hollandale before starting his music career in Duluth. His influences include Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Reverend Gary Davis, Dave Van Ronk, Mississippi John Hurt, and his self-professed "hero" "Spider" John Koerner. He plays a Mule resonator, National resonator guitar, a fretless open-back banjo, and a twelve-string guitar, often in the Piedmont blues style. Of special note is that Charlie is divorced from Emily Parr, who occasionally adds vocals to his music.

"Little Sun" is a new release from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and is comprised of eight original songs performed by Charlie Parr and include: Portland Avenue (4:30), Bear Head Lake (7.20), Boombox (3:55), Pale Fire (7.31), Ten Watt (5:30), Stray (4.40), Sloth (3:41), and the title song Little Sun (3: 57).

Critique: While unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library CD Music collections, it should be noted for Charlie Parr fans that "Little Sun" is also readily available in an MP3-CD format ($7.92) and as a Vinyl Record ($19.99).

The Stars, If You Look Closely
The Stetson Family
www.thestetsonfamily.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD

Australian bluegrass-folk band The Stetson Family presents their fourth album, The Stars, If You Look Closely. All of the songs are original creations, written by lead vocalist Nadine Budge and John Bartholomeusz. The harmonized singing superbly balances The Stetson Family's memorable guitar, banjo, and mandolin interplay. The Stars, If You Look Closely is a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended. The tracks are The Stars, If You Look Closely; The Other Side; Dollar In My Hand; Lonesome Valley; Nightfall; Better Left Unsaid; heading West; Brother; Angel's Hand; Make Me Ashes; and Mama's Gonna Take You Home.

Guardians
Annie Chen
anniechenjazz.com
Privately Published
$12.00 CD / $8.00 digital

https://anniechenjazz.com/music/guardians

Beijing-born, New York-based vocalist and composer Annie Chen presents Guardians, an international jazz album inspired by admiration for the flora and fauna of the natural world. The songs call upon the listener to cherish and protect fragile ecosystems from the threat of human-caused mass extinction. Guardians is beautiful, reverent of nature's wonders, and passionate in its call to environmental preservation. Highly recommended! The tracks are Rozpacz (Despair); Underground Dance; Rosemary's Lullaby; Gule Gule Istanbul; The Northern Eyes; The Whale River Song; Jellyfish All Around; and Vanished Tales, No Return.

Being Human
Lynne Arriale Trio
Challenge Records International
www.challengerecords.com
$18.99 CD / $11.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Arriale-Being-Human-Lynne/dp/B0CJ47L7BZ

The Lynne Arriale Trio consists of Lynne Arriale on piano and Yamaha clavinova, Alon Near on bass, and Lukasz Zyta on drums. Together, they present Being Human, a suite of ten original compositions that celebrate positive human traits such as courage, curiosity, faith, joy, and more. A masterful work of contemporary jazz, Being Human is highly recommended for both personal and public library collections, and also makes a wonderful gift. The tracks are Passion, Courage, Love, Faith, Curiosity, Soul, Persistence, Heart, Gratitude, Joy, and Love (reprise).

Moon Over Lake
Roddy Ellias
www.roddyellias.com
KWIMU Music
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CWS7GXWS

Moon Over Lake is the first solo acoustic guitar album by Roddy Ellias in over twenty years. Featuring twenty brand new, original compositions, Moon Over Lake draws upon jazz traditions to create an inspiring, adventurous, and beautiful soundscape that lingers in mind and memory like a dream. Moon Over Lake is highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections. The tracks are Prelude, Chant, Interlude, Butterfly Dreams, Monkey Business, Little Bird's First Flight, Rainbow Dance, Moon Over Lake, Brothers and Sisters, Flower, Summer's End, and Hope.

Spirit
Peter Calandra
www.PeteCalandraMusic.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CTD5ZD1Y

Spirit is an album of elegant and heart-pulling piano compositions by Peter Calandra. Ten of the tracks are Calandra's original compositions; three are arrangements of early 1970's songs that Calandra played as a teen in bands. Evocative and masterfully performed, Spirit is a "must-have" for connoisseurs of quality piano music and also a choice pick for library collections. The tracks are Spirit, A Box of Candles, Layla, Joyful Light, Fading Memories, Stately and Kind, The Weight, Reflective Romance, Thankful, Uncle John's Band, Night Sky, Spring Hope, and Spirit.

Reflections on a Moonlit Lake
Rudy Adrian
Spotted Peccary Music
www.spottedpeccary.com
$16.00 CD / $10.00 digital

https://rudy-adrian.bandcamp.com/album/reflections-on-a-moonlit-lake

Reflections on a Moonlit Lake is a tranquil, new age album of soothing instrumental music that defies traditional concepts of melody. The songs evoke natural beauty and calm, in this choice pick for meditation, creative focus, or simple relaxation. Reflections on a Moonlit Lake is a beautiful soundscape experience, and also makes an excellent gift! The tracks are Mirror Island, Dawn Across the Southern Ocean (remix), Papanui Lagoon (remix), Lunar Shadow, Tantalised, The Belt of Orion, Midnight Angel, Within the Darkness, Rising Moon, Reflections on a Moonlit Lake, and Summer Night Rain.

Jonesville: Music By And For Sam Jones
Acceleration Due to Gravity
Hot Cup Records
$15.00 vinyl / $TBA CD / $7.00 digital

https://accelerationduetogravity.bandcamp.com/album/jonesville

Jonesville: Music By And For Sam Jones is the second album by the nine-member jazz band Acceleration Due to Gravity. Four of the seven songs are by composer and bassist Moppa Elliot; the other three are arrangements of early pieces created by jazz legend Sam Jones (1924-1981). "Choice" is by Sam Jones and Tim Bradshaw, "Miami Drag" is by Sam Jones and Paul Williams, and "Stack of Dollars" is by Sam Jones and Tiny Bradshaw. Eclectic and transformative, Jonesville is both a high tribute and an adventure in spontaneous improvisations, highly recommended especially for jazz connoisseurs. The tracks are Choice, Delaware Water Gap, Miami Drag, Unity, Cedar Run, Stack of Dollars, and Jonesville.

The Door Is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill
Randy Napoleon
OA2 Records
$16.98 CD / $8.91 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Door-Open-Music-Gregg-Hill/dp/B0CRHYJBZH

The Door Is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill is an extraordinary collaborative album. Gregg Hill sends Randy Napoleon original scores and compositions, with the blessing of freedom for interpretation and improvisation. Randy Napoleon brings the music to life on the guitar, along with Aubrey Johnson's vocals, Rick Roe on piano, Quincy Davis on drums, Rodney Whitaker and Lucas Lafave on bass, Anthony Stanco on trumpet, Walter Blanding on tenor saxophone, and Andrew Kim on trombone. The result is an extraordinary, creative musical concoction highly recommended especially for jazz connoisseurs! The tracks are The Lost Tune, The Door is Open, Escape to Cat Island, Motel Blues, Spa-Teneity, April Song, The Last Pop Tune, Skyline, and Triple Play.

Cohesion
David Larsen
www.larsenjazz.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $7.92 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CPP6D57B

Saxophonist, composer, and accolade-showered music artist David Larsen presents Cohesion, a collaborative jazz album created with East Coast jazz musicians Darryl Yokley on tenor sax, Zaccai Curtis on piano, Alex Apollo on bass, and Wayne Smith Jr. on drums. David Larsen plays baritone sax and personally composed the first six tracks; Darryl Yokley composed the final two tracks. Cohesion explores the intricacies of modal composition, and is a choice pick for connoisseurs of elaborate jazz. The tracks are Cohesion, Down To It, Movement, Wishing Well, Fedchock, Working Things Out, Mount Fuji, and El Duelo.

The Ways In
James Zollar
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $TBA digital

https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-ways-in/1669129526

The Ways In is a jazz album featuring trumpet and flugelhorn player James Zollar. The songs are composed by a variety of talented individuals; some are arranged James Zollar. The music is brought to vibrant life with contributions by Michael Rorby on trombone, Stefano Doglioni on bass clarinet, Nabuko Kiryu's vocals, David Hazeltine on piano, Gerald Cannon on bass, Willie Jones III on drums and more. The vibrant music, performed with grace and passion, reflects Zollar's own contemplations on "the ways in" to a lifetime of celebrating music, especially jazz. The Ways In is a treasure for jazz enthusiasts, highly recommended! The tracks are The Fruit, Peace / Blue Silver, Reflectory, The Single Pedal of a Rose, Jim Jim, Do Nothing till You Hear From Me, Swing Spring, Pat, Down Town up, and Checkered Hat.

My Daddy's Dad
Alex Miller
Billy Jam Records
billyjamrecords.com
$TBA CD / $6.45 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CW7QJNMT

My Daddy's Dad is a country music EP featuring storytelling lyrics inspired by Alex Miller's own life experiences and the classic "Western" era. The final track is a tribute to Miller's grandfather, who inspired Miller's passion for country music. My Daddy's Dad is a choice pick for connoisseurs of original country music, highly recommended. The tracks are She Makes Dirt Look Good; Oh, Odessa; The Last House in God's Country; Ain't Ever Saying Never; and My Daddy's Dad.

The Solitude Suite
Scott Marshall
scottdouglasmarshall.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $10.00 digital

https://scottdmarshall.bandcamp.com/album/the-solitude-suite

Saxophonist and composer Scott Marshall presents his sixth album The Solitude Suite, created with Scott Marshall on tenor and soprano saxophones, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mike Downs on acoustic bass, and Terry Clarke on drums. The original songs are inspired by solitude, especially the isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and the adjustment to the "new normal" as the pandemic shifted into its endemic phase. The Solitude Suite is a contemporary jazz enthusiast's delight, showcasing talent, emotion, and creative passion in every song. The tracks are What Would Eddie Do, Optimism, Frugal Fuguel, Points of View, The Monk Trane, Reflection, Conversations, Solid Dude Debate, and That's Better.

Disaster Pony
Disaster Pony
disasterpony.com
Lovetown Records
lovetownrecords.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CVDLX22P

Disaster Pony is the self-titled debut album of a new jazz and electronic dance music band led by saxophonist, pianist, synthesizer player and composer Gordon Hyland. Members lend their talent on guitar, violin, electric bass, double bass, and percussion. The result is a treasure, highly recommended for connoisseurs of electronic jazz! The tracks are It's Got Tentacles; Robot Pain; Hot Like Bugs; Dead Neon & the Noon Sun; Angle Boys of the Cosmos; Fruit Flies in Cola; Sly, Dirty Machines; You're Still a Lousy Fink; and Moons Become Planets.


The Library DVD Shelf

Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island
A film by Heidi Hutner
First Run Features
www.firstrunfeatures.com
$19.95

https://firstrunfeatures.com/radioactivevod.html

Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island is a documentary on DVD about four women who fought to expose the nuclear industry's cover-up of the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown. The four women took their local community's case against the plant operator all the way to the Supreme Court, and a female journalist was targeted for her efforts to report the unfolding story. Radioactive is a sobering true story of ordinary people's attempts to resist powerful, wealthy interests. Regardless of whether or not one feels that nuclear power will be a needed source of energy in a post-fossil fuels world, Radioactive underscores the need for strict safeguards and oversights in any project that can potentially cause an environmental disaster, including and especially nuclear power plants. Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island is highly recommended for personal, public library, and school library DVD collections. 77 minutes, optional English subtitles.


The Blu-ray Shelf

Otaku Elf Complete Collection
Sentai Film Works
https://www.sentaifilmworks.com
c/o RLJ Entertainment (distribution)
$59.98

https://www.sentaifilmworks.com/products/816726024462-otaku-elf-complete-collection-blu-ray

Otaku Elf Complete Collection has all twelve episodes of the anime series "Otaku Elf", following sixteen-year-old Koito Koganei who has just inherited her family's role as shrine maiden. There's one complication - the shrine's "deity", an ageless elf summoned 400 years ago, has become a completely introverted, anime-watching, video game-obsessed otaku! Can Koito coax the reclusive elf out of her shell, and persuade her to reconnect with the world at large? A whimsical comedy with a compassionate protagonist, Otaku Elf Complete Collection is a delight to watch and highly recommended. 12 episodes on two Blu-ray discs, TV-PG rating, 300 min., Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Black Bullet Complete Collection
Sentai Film Works
https://www.sentaifilmworks.com
c/o RLJ Entertainment (distribution)
$49.98

https://www.sentaifilmworks.com/products/816726026961-black-bullet-complete-collection-blu-ray

Black Bullet Complete Collection has all thirteen episodes of the anime series "Black Bullet", set in a horrific dystopian near future where the Gastrea virus has exterminated 99% of humanity. The Gastrea virus mutates the infected into murderous, nearly-unkillable abominations. Conventional weapons are nearly useless against Gastrea monsters; only the "Cursed Children", girls who have been infected but are capable of holding on to their humanity, have the power to fight the Gastrea directly. Yet the infection that gives Cursed Children power also makes them dangerous, since as time passes they risk turning into mindless Gastrea as well. In Tokyo, the Cursed Children are feared, reviled, and subject to police brutality. Rentaro Satomi is a civil servant paired with Cursed Child Enju Aihara; although Rentaro strives to protect people and forge a better future, his efforts are under brutal attack from Gastrea monsters without and human ruthlessness within! Filled with edge-of-seat action and drama, Black Bullet is rated TV-MA due to intense violence. 13 episodes on two Blu-ray discs, 325 min., English and Japanese audio with English subtitles.


The Judicial Studies Shelf

Law and Humanities
Daniel Newman, editor
Russell Sandberg, editor
Anthem Press
www.anthempress.com
9781839990366, $195.00, HC, 252pp

https://www.amazon.com/Law-Humanities-Anthem-Society/dp/1839990368

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by academicians Daniel Newman and Russell Sandberg, "Law and Humanities" is the first volume in the Anthem Law and Society series.

This edited collection provides the first accessible introduction to Law and Humanities. Each chapter explores the nature, development and possible further trajectory of a disciplinary 'law and' field.

Each chapter comprising "Law and Humanities" is written by an expert in the respective field and addresses how the two disciplines of law and the other respective field operate.

This edited work, therefore, fulfils a real and pressing need to provide an accessible, introductory but critical guide to law and humanities as a whole by exploring how each disciplinary 'law and' field has developed, contributes to further scrutinizing the content and role of law, and how it can contribute and be enriched by being understood within the law and humanities tradition as a whole.

Critique: A seminal and ground-breaking compendium of fifteen original articles by experts in their respective fields, "Law and Humanities" is especially and specifically recommended for college/university library collections and supplemental Judicial Studies curriculum lists. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $63.67), should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and academicians that "Law and Humanities" also includes a listing of the contributors and their credentials.

Editorial Note #1: Daniel Newman is Reader in Law at Cardiff University. His research focuses on access to justice. (https://profiles.cardiff.ac.uk/staff/newmandc)

Editorial Note #2: Russell Sandberg is Professor of Law at Cardiff University. His research interrogates the interaction between law and humanities, with particular reference to law and religion and legal history. (www.researchgate.net/profile/Russell-Sandberg)


The Mathematics Shelf

Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know
Bianca Szasz
Vibrant Publishers
https://www.vibrantpublishers.com
9781636511207, $64.99, HC, 218pp

https://www.amazon.com/Analytics-Essentials-Always-Self-Learning-Management/dp/1636511201

Synopsis: Data analysis is the process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, and is used in different business, science, and social science domains. In today's world of business and government, data analysis plays a role in making decisions more scientific and helping businesses operate more effectively. (Wikipedia)

Data analytics is becoming increasingly important in today's data-driven society, and so has the demand for data analysts. With the publication of "Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted to Know", Bianca Szasz has created a comprehensive yet succinct manual that is an ideal introduction for readers wanting to understand the fundamentals of data analytics. It provides a concise introduction to data analytics and its current applicability.

"Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know" includes: A fundamental comprehension of data analytics, including its types; An understanding of data analytics processes, software tools, and a range of analytics methodologies; A comprehension of what daily tasks and procedures the data analysts follow; An investigation into the vast field of big data analytics, covering its possibilities and challenges; An understanding of the existing legal frameworks, as well as ethical and privacy issues in data analytics; Application-based learning using a variety of real-world case studies.

"Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know" goes beyond being just a theoretical manual as it contains real-world case studies and fun facts to help its readers to enhance their knowledge. Of special note are the chapter summaries and self-assessment tests along with every chapter will help readers to test themselves as they move from one concept to the next.

"Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know " is also a great tool for professionals switching to a career in data analytics and for students who want to learn the basics of data analytics. Simply stated, "Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know" will give the reader a strong foundation by explaining everything in an easy-to-understand language.

Critique: Deftly organized into eight chapters (Introduction to Data Analysis; Data Collections and Management; Types of Data Analysis; Techniques and Tools for Data Analysis; What Does a Data Analyst Do?; Big Data Analytics; Ethics and Privacy in Data Analytics; Real-World Case Studies on Data Analytics), and informatively enhanced for the readers benefit with the inclusion of a three page Glossary and an eleven page Bibliography, "Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know" is a comprehensive DIY course of instruction in science of Data Analysis. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, this edition of Dr. Bianca Szasz's "Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know" from Vibrant Publisher is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, governmental, and college/university library Business Management/Leadership collections and supplemental Information Management curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, corporate executives, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Data Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted To Know" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781636511184, $43.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Bianca Szasz (https://biancaszasz.com) is a Ph.D. holder in Space Engineering. Having more than 14 years of experience in engineering and a dedicated focus of 4 years in data analytics, she has used data analytics in a variety of innovative projects, like post-processing of the wind tunnel test results and the analysis of high enthalpy heating test results. Her enthusiasm for data analytics eventually expanded beyond using it for work. Now she is passionate about educating the future generation of data analysts.

Editorial Note #2: Vibrant Publishers is focused on presenting the best texts for learning about technology and business as well as books for test preparation. Categories include programming, operating systems and other texts focused on IT. In addition, a series of books helps professionals in their own disciplines learn the business skills needed in their professional growth. Vibrant Publishers has a standardized test preparation series covering the GMAT, GRE and SAT, providing ample study and practice material in a simple and well organized format, helping students get closer to their dream universities.


The Economics Shelf

Behind the Startup
Benjamin Shestakofsky
University of California Press
www.ucpress.edu
9780520395022, $85.00, HC, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Startup-Venture-Innovation-Inequality/dp/0520395026

Synopsis: In recent years, dreams about our technological future have soured as digital platforms have undermined privacy, eroded labor rights, and weakened democratic discourse. In light of the negative consequences of innovation, some blame harmful algorithms or greedy CEOs. "Behind the Startup: How Venture Capital Shapes Work, Innovation, and Inequality" by Professor Benjamin Shestakofsky focuses instead on the role of capital and the influence of financiers.

Drawing on nineteen months of participant-observation research inside a successful Silicon Valley startup, "Behind the Startup" examines how the company was organized to meet the needs of the venture capital investors who funded it.

Investors push startups to scale as quickly as possible to inflate the value of their asset. Professor Shestakofsky shows how these demands create organizational problems that managers solve by combining high-tech systems with low-wage human labor.

With its focus on the financialization of innovation, "Behind the Startup" fully explains how the gains generated by these companies are funneled into the pockets of a small cadre of elite investors and entrepreneurs. To promote innovation that benefits the many rather than the few, Professor Shestakofsky compellingly argues that we must focus less on fixing the technology and more on changing the financial infrastructure that supports it.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a four page listing of Acknowledgments, an eighteen page Methodological Appendix, twenty-six pages ofNotes, and a six page Index, "Behind the Startup: How Venture Capital Shapes Work, Innovation, and Inequality" is vital and timely reading for professional and non-professional readers with an interest in economics, venture capitalism, income inequality, and corporate evaluations. While also available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9780520395039, $29.95), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49), "Behind the Startup" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and college/university library Contemporary Economics collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Benjamin Shestakofsky (www.benjaminshestakofsky.com) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is affiliated with AI at Wharton and the Center on Digital Culture and Society.


The Library Science Shelf

Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library
Kelsy Kayes, author
Ellie Dworak, author
ACRL Books Association of College & Research Libraries
c/o American Library Association
https://www.ala.org
9798892555531, $82.00, PB, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Supporting-Student-Parents-Academic-Library/dp/B0CVNBT5RS

Synopsis: Student parents are a socioeconomically, racially, and financially diverse group. What they have in common is the drive to work hard to overcome steep barriers in obtaining a college education.

Co-authored by Kelsy Kayes, and Ellie Dworak, "Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library: Designing Spaces, Policies, and Services" is part toolkit, part treatise, and part call to action presented in four parts: The Higher Education Landscape; The Role of Academic Libraries; Looking Outward to Community, For-Profit, and International Organizations; Evaluating Needs and Measuring Success.

"Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library" includes templates, sample policy language, budgets, survey instruments, and other immediately useful tools and examples. There are field notes from academic librarians from institutions of varying sizes and resources demonstrating different ways of supporting these students, and the voices of students themselves.

Student parents can feel unwelcome and invisible in their institutions. And for every student parent who is struggling to complete an education despite these hurdles, there are many others who have not been able to find a way. "Supporting Student Parents" is an effective guide to engaging with and aiding the student parents in your libraries and leading the charge in making your institutions more family friendly.

Critique: Informed and informative, "Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library:: Designing Spaces, Policies, and Services" is exceptionally well organized, impressively comprehensive, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and college/university library General Library & Information Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Kelsey Keyes is an Emerita Professor at Boise State University, where she worked as a research and instruction librarian from 2012 - 2023. She holds a Masters of Library and Information Science and a Masters of English Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She served on Rise: A Feminist Book Project for Ages 0 - 18, including terms as co-chair, from 2017 - 2020. Her research is focused on supporting parenting students in higher education. She provides writing and editing support for academics, business, fiction and non-fiction writers (www.kelseykeyes.com).

Editorial Note #2: Ellie Dworak is an Associate Professor and the Research Data Librarian at Boise State University. She earned her Masters in Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on higher education policy, human computer interaction, and the social impacts of living in a datafied society.


The Art Shelf

Dick Termes: Black Hills Artist and Visionary
Craig Volk
South Dakota Historical Society Press
https://www.sdhspress.com
9781941813492, $27.95, HC, 80pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dick-Termes-Black-Artist-Visionary/dp/1941813496

Synopsis: A life-long South Dakotan, artist-educator, Dick Termes has revolutionized the art world with his signature art form, the innovative Termesphere. Over the past half century, Termes has created over 400 unique Termespheres, each one a fascinating interplay of vanishing points and multiple perspectives.

Born in 1941, Termes lives on the ranch built by his grandparents in the lower valley south of Spearfish, South Dakota. He graduated from nearby Black Hills State University in 1964. After teaching art for several years, he earned a master's degree in art from the University of Wyoming, where he first struck upon his concept of the six point perspective. In 1969, he began studies for the Master of Fine Arts degree at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, where he further developed the concept. The California art scene soon took notice.

In an unusual move for artists feted by the West Coast art world, Termes returned home to South Dakota and the northern Black Hills. He continued working as an artist-educator through artists in schools programs and met fellow artist Markie Scholz. They married in 1979, raised two sons, and built a geodesic dome on the family ranch, which has since evolved into a compound of geodesic domes, including one that has housed the Termesphere Gallery since 1992. With the publication of "Dick Termes: Black Hills Artist and Visionary", author Craig Volk offers the first intellectual biography of Dick Termes and his art, focusing on the development of his Termespheres.

Of special note is an informative introduction by art critic Bill Fleming places Termes in the canon of Western art and exquisite photos by Bonny Fleming capture the unique spherical surfaces that convey Termes's artistic angle on "the gentle world we live in."

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, Carig Volk's "Dick Termes: Black Hills Artist and Visionary" from the South Dakota Historical Society Press is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Art History & Contemporary Artists collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Craig Volk (www.sdhspress.com/about/press-staff/craig-volk) is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, biographer, and memoirist. His stage dramas have been selected three times for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and his play "Mayakovsky Takes the Stage" won the 2007 PEN-USA award for best drama. He spent twelve years working in the television/film industry, including a staff position on the Emmy-winning series "Northern Exposure." His historical bio-drama based on the writings of his grandmother and mother, titled A Dustbowl Book of Days, 1932 was published by South Dakota Historical Society Press in 2021.

Lee Krasner
Eleanor Nairne
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500094082, $50.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lee-krasner-eleanor-nairne/1129598889

Synopsis: In 1984, Lee Krasner (October 27, 1908 - June 19, 1984) became one of the few women artists to have been given a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She quipped about her belated recognition: "I was a woman, Jewish, a widow, a damn good painter, thank you, and a little too independent." One of the original pioneers of abstract expressionism, Krasner has for too long been eclipsed by her husband, Jackson Pollock. In fact, his death in 1956 marked her renaissance as an artist.

Coinciding with a major exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery, "Lee Krasner" features an outstanding selection of her most important paintings, collages, and works on paper, contextualized by photography from the postwar period, an illustrated chronology, and an unpublished interview with her biographer Gail Levin.

This richly illustrated monograph is a comprehensive survey of the work of one of the twentieth century's most dynamic artists.

Critique: Rescuing from an undeserved obscurity, "Lee Krasner" by art historian and curator Eleanor Nairne, and published in a large format (9 x 1 x 11.4 inches, 2.79 pounds) hardcover edition from Thames & Hudson, will be of special and enduring value to art students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in 20th Century Art History & Women Artists. Deftly combining biography with an insightful art appreciation critique, "Lee Krasner" is an informative and essential addition to personal, professional, community, art school, and college/university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Lee Krasner" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780500297582, $35.00).

Editorial Note: Eleanor Nairne is an art historian and curator at Barbican Art Gallery, London, where her previous exhibitions include "Basquiat: Boom for Real." She has contributed to publications including the Basquiat monograph Kings, Heroes and the Street: The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and is a contributor to Frieze. She is a former Jerwood writer in residence. (https://press.philamuseum.org/the-philadelphia-museum-of-art-announces-new-curatorial-leadership-contemporary)

Dreamy Anime Hair
Mei Yan
Epic Ink
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
www.quartoknows.com
9780760385531, $24.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dreamy-Anime-Hair-Beloved-Characters/dp/076038553X

Synopsis: With the publication of "Dreamy Anime Hair", author/illustrator Mei Yan has created an easy-to-follow guide for everyone, from the most dedicated cosplayer to your everyday anime fan.

"Dreamy Anime Hair" includes a list of tools and basic techniques that will help you build your perfect look, and each tutorial includes simple, illustration-driven instructions, a gorgeous photo of the final style, and information about the characters, movies, and series that inspired it. This DIY guide to fun and unique hairstyles will inspire you to try something new with your look!

Some of the imaginative hairstyles featured include: Double buns (inspired by Himiko Toga from My Hero Academia); Long braid (inspired by Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle); Updo with clips (inspired by Lacus Clyne from Gundam Seed Destiny); Pigtail loops (inspired by Nurse Joy from Pokemon); and Front and back braids (inspired by Mei Mei from Jujutsu Kaisen).

With "Dreamy Anime Hair" you can be creative and find what works best for you -- or try them all out! Either way, you will be able to become your most adorable self with these gorgeous hairstyles. With everything from braids to curls, "Dreamy Anime Hair" is your one-stop shop for anime-inspired hair.

Critique: This large format ( 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches, 1.25 pounds) paperback edition of Mei Yan's "Dreamy Anime Hair" from Epic Ink is an ideal introduction and 'how to' guide for professional and non-profession illustrators and artists work in an anime format. Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and showcasing more that 30 different hair styles, "Dreamy Anime Hair" must be considered an essential, unique, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Manga Art Instruction collections.

Editorial Note: Mei Yan (www.youtube.com/c/MeiYan)" is a Chinese American and the visionary founder behind the esteemed jewelry brand, Meide Jewelry. With a strong and dedicated fan base on YouTube under the handle @meiyan and on Instagram as @princessmei, Mei Yan has garnered recognition for her expertise in intricate hair transformations, stunning recreations of anime-inspired hairstyles, and captivating makeup tutorials that have captivated audiences globally.

Squeegee Art Revolution
Clara Cristina de Souza Rego
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
www.quartoknows.com
9780760388136, $22.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Squeegee-Art-Revolution-amazing-abstract/dp/076038813X

Synopsis: Clara Cristina de Souza Rego first went viral for a squeegee painting video that she posted on social media. Her hundreds of thousands of followers frequently ask for her for tips and techniques. With the publication of "Squeegee Art Revolution: Scrape your way to amazing abstract art" from Walter Foster Publishing, Clara now offers them in abundance so aspiring and practicing artists can learn to make abstract art in her signature style.

Complete instructions for making 22 finished pieces are included in the pages of "Squeegee Art Revolution", as well as tips throughout, suggestions for creating a balanced artwork, ideas for what to do with leftover paint to reduce waste and cost, how to know when you're done painting, and much more. Each individual project can be done in minutes using affordable, accessible materials and makes perfect gifts and home decor.

Clara's pieces are beautifully photographed and styled in this highly visual book that includes the following painting projects: Dynamic shapes; Pop art; A sunrise over a mountain; Rays of color; Miniatures; A black hole; Words of encouragement -- and much more!

Clara has learned from her own mistakes when starting to paint with a squeegee and has perfected the technique so that you don't need to make the same mistakes she did. With "Squeegee Art Revolution" she features easy-to-follow instruction, beautiful photographs, and vibrant artwork from a pioneer in the fun, abstract squeegee-painting technique.

Critique: This richly illustrated, large format (8.5 x 0.32 x 11 inches, 1.2 pounds) paperback edition of "Squeegee Art Revolution: Scrape your way to amazing abstract art" is an ideal DIY instructional guide and 'how to' manual. While also available for personal use in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "Squeegee Art Revolution" is unique, 'user friendly' and unreservedly recommended for amateur, professional, community, art school, and college/university library Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media Craft instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Clara Cristina de Souza Rego (@aclaracris) is a Brazilian designer and an artist now living in Stuttgart, Germany. A lifelong artist from a craft-loving family, Clara got back into painting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her goal is simple: to have fun making art! She enjoys experimenting with art and sees creating as a meditative process. Clara built her following through Instagram after her first viral video received 5 million views, and now her larger following is on TikTok, where she frequently posts videos of herself creating her signature vibrant and joyful abstract art. She uses acrylic paints, squeegees, markers, pencil, palette knives, and other materials to work on top of paper.


The Interior Design Shelf

Timeless Modern Interiors
Pilar Vilades, author
Rizzoli
www.rizzoliusa.com
9780847899500, $75.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Modern-Interiors-Roberts-Partners/dp/0847899500

Synopsis: Well-known for his subtle use of color, texture, and fabric, interior designer Rees-Roberts's creations capture the essence of modern living.

Descended from generations of painters, his love for art is an important source for his inspiration and indelibly marks the work. Functionally elegant designs are characterized by a deference to art as well as to light and the views provided by natural surroundings. Each individually and uniquely designed home reflects the owner's character as well as the needs of everyday life, incorporating custom furniture and unusual antiques.

"Timeless Modern Interiors: RRP / Rees Roberts + Partners" (bound in sumptuous cloth and wrapped in a jacket with French folds), reflects the firm's ever-present attention to detail.

With respect for the architectural style of the house or apartment within which the firm is at work, be it contemporary or historic, the interiors created are a consistently sophisticated blend of twentieth-century modernist, contemporary, and antique pieces, and elegant custom-designed upholstered furniture, along with cherished art. And no matter how glamorous the setting, these rooms, through their balance of color, texture, and furnishings, are consistently comfortable and welcoming.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with an Introduction by Lucien Rees-Roberts (a partner of Rees Roberts + Partners), this large format (12.23 x 1.2 x 9.82 inches, 4.59 pounds) hardcover coffee-table style edition of Pilar Viladas' "Timeless Modern Interiors: RRP / Rees Roberts + Partners" from Rizzoli is a fascinating, elegant and magnificent compendium of full page, full color photos of memorably artistic rooms as well as the luxuriously refined elements and details that make them truly impressive and award-winning. Perfect for browsing through in search of interior design ideas and concepts, "Timeless Modern Interiors" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Interior Design & Residential Architecture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Pilar Viladas is a design editor, writer, former design editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, contributing editor at Architectural Digest, and architecture editor at HG. (https://www.nytimes.com/by/pilar-viladas)

Editorial Note #2: Lucien Rees-Roberts (https://rrp.nyc/people) is partner of Rees Roberts + Partners. He is a 2008 inductee of the Interior Design hall of fame.


The Business Shelf

The Digital-First Customer Experience
Joe Wheeler
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398612631, $110.00, HC, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-First-Customer-Experience-Strategies-Leading/dp/1398612669

Synopsis: "The Digital-First Customer Experience" is author and consultant Joe Wheeler's third book on the topic of customer experience. In it he tackles the challenges many organizations are facing as they attempt to design compelling experiences in a digital-first world. Wheeler features case studies of leading brands including Lemonade, Spotify, CEMEX, VMware, Starbucks, NIKE and Amazon.

Part One introduces the new "3 Cs", key trends associated with technology convergence, competition and culture change in a post-pandemic world.

Part Two takes a deep dive into seven design strategies, from designing emotional peaks across channels to empowering customers through immersive experiences that merge physical and digital assets.

Part Three provides a playbook for how to design digital-first experiences, including how to solve the right problems, develop a measurable business case, design digital-first experiences customers love and execute the new design at scale.

Critique: Of special and particular value to readers with an interest in industrial, global, and direct marketing in the current and ever evolving digital driven business world, "The Digital-First Customer Experience: Seven Design Strategies from the World's Leading Brands" is essential reading and a core addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, and college/university library Digital Marketing collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, business managers, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Digital-First Customer Experience" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781398612631, $23.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.79).

Editorial Note: Joe Wheeler earned his MBA from Edinburgh Business School and is an author, speaker and consultant. He is also the CEO of CX/Digital, a subsidiary of The Service Profit Chain Institute (SPCI), a Boston-based consulting firm he co-founded with Professors Len Schlesinger, James Heskett and W. Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School. Furthermore he is the co-author of two previous books on the topic of employee and customer experience: The Ownership Quotient (2008) and Managing the Customer Experience (2002)..

Cyber Risk Management
Christopher J. Hodson
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398613515, $201.00, HC, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cyber-Risk-Management-Prioritize-Vulnerabilities/dp/1398613517

Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Cyber Risk Management: Prioritize Threats, Identify Vulnerabilities and Apply" by Christopher J. Hodson covers the latest developments in cyber security for those responsible for managing threat events, vulnerabilities and controls. These include the impact of Web3 and the metaverse on cyber security, supply-chain security in the gig economy and exploration of the global, macroeconomic conditions that affect strategies. Also explained is how COVID-19 and remote working changed the cybersecurity landscape.

"Cyber Risk Management" presents a data-centric approach to cyber risk management based on business impact assessments, data classification, data flow modelling and assessing return on investment. It covers pressing developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and cloud mobility, and includes advice on dealing with malware, data leakage, insider threat and Denial-of-Service.

With its analysis on the innate human factors affecting cyber risk and awareness and the importance of communicating security effectively, this new edition of "Cyber Risk Management" is essential reading for all risk and cybersecurity professionals.

Critique: Essential reading for corporate executives charged with responsibilities for risk and information management, computer security, and data encryption, Cyber Risk Management: Prioritize Threats, Identify Vulnerabilities and Apply: 2nd Edition" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'reader/user friendly' in organization and presentation. A complete course of information and instruction, "Cyber Risk Management" is especially and unreservedly recommended for professional, corporate, and college/university library Business Data Protection and Cyber Security collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that this newly revised edition of "Cyber Risk Management" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398613492, $53.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $45.19).

Editorial Note: Christopher J Hodson is Chief Security Officer for Cyberhaven where he oversees all facets of security to protect Cyberhaven customers and employees, including cloud and application security, security operations, and risk management. In addition, Chris serves as a board advisor at the workforce development platform, Cybrary, and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Information Security. He has previously held CISO positions with Contentful, Zscaler, and Tanium. He is a guest lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London where he also holds a master's degree in computer and information systems security.

People-centric Organizational Change
Julie Hodges
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398612570, $173.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/People-Centric-Organizational-Change-Employees-Transformation/dp/139861257X

Synopsis: Written by Julie Hodges, a leading voice in the change management industry who has both academic and practitioner experience, "People-Centric Organizational Change: Engaging Employees with Business Transformation" from Kogan Page is a practical guide for change professionals and postgraduate students.

"People-Centric Organizational Change" covers everything from what people-centric change is and why it's essential to engage people with the change through to the importance of the communication of change and how to do this effectively with a distributed workforce in a hybrid working environment. Using evidence-based research, "People-Centric Organizational Change" fully explores the human dynamic of change, explains how to promote collaboration between colleagues and shows how to involve line managers in the change process. There is also advice on how to encourage staff to see change as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Of special note is that "People-Centric Organizational Change" also includes a enlightening discussion of the impact of change on employee wellbeing as well as the relationship between Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and change. There is also advice on how to build people-centric initiatives into an overall change strategy. It is full of country agnostic tools and tips that can be used across cultures as well as frameworks and skills that can be applied in public, private and third sector settings.

Global case studies and examples throughout "People-Centric Organizational Change" effectively help to put the content into context and show how a people-first approach to change works in practice. Online resources include PowerPoint slides for each chapter.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader's benefit with a three page Glossary, a one page bibliography of Further Readings, and an eight page Index, "People-centric Organizational Change: Engaging Employees with Business Transformation" is an invaluable and strongly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, and college/university library Business Management/Leadership collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Professor Julie Hodges is a leading international expert on change in organizations, particularly the role and impact of people during transformations. Before entering the academic world Julie worked as a business consultant for over 20 years in several profit and non-profit organizations, including PwC. At PwC Julie was responsible for organizational change and management development in a number of FTSE 100 companies. She is the author of several books including 'Consultancy, Organizational Development and Change', and ' Managing and Leading People through Change' (Kogan Page). Julie is an Academic Fellow of the ICMCI (International Council of Management Consulting Institutes), a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Management Education (FME). She is also a member of the editorial board of the 'Management Consulting' journal.

Take the Lead
Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, author
Anne-Valerie Corboz, author
Delphine Mourot-Haxaire, author
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398614147, $75.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Take-Lead-Leaders-Driving-Innovation/dp/1398614149

Synopsis: Only 26% of leadership positions in business are occupied by women. Co-authored by the team of Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Anne-Valerie Corboz, and Delphine Mourot-Haxaire, "Take the Lead: How Women Leaders are Driving Success through Innovation" explores how we can close this prevailing gender gap before offering practical strategies on how you can Take the Lead as a business leader.

Combining academic rigour with corporate expertise, "Take the Lead" features first-hand research and interviews with female leaders within global organizations to offer the strategies and insights that will propel you to success.

From managing conflict and building confidence to growing your network and shaping your career, "Take the Lead" offers the strategies and inspiration you need as a woman to boost your leadership skills and establish yourself as a successful and influential changemaker in a male dominated business environment.

Critique: Well written, informative, timely, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Take the Lead: How Women Leaders are Driving Success through Innovation" is deserving of as wide a readership as possible and a critically important pick for personal, professional, community, corporate, and college/university library collections. It should be noted for female MBA students, corporate executives, business managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Take the Lead: How Women Leaders are Driving Success through Innovation" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398614123, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Survive, Reset, Thrive
Rebecca Homkes
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398607880, $89.00, HC, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Survive-Reset-Thrive-Implementing-High-Growth/dp/1398607886

Synopsis: In life and in business, strategy is about making choices around where to play and where not to play, how to win, how to allocate resources among competing priorities and, critically, what to do. All these choices must be made when you never know everything you would like to know.

"Survive, Reset, Thrive: Leading Breakthrough Growth Strategy in Volatile Times" by Rebecca Homkes is about facing uncertainty head-on and then playing each round to not just survive, but thrive. Doing so only comes from the power move of executing a reset: the differentiated step where you embrace change, new insights and new opportunities to set your organization up for sustainable performance.

"Survive, Reset, Thrive" is a kind of playbook for corporate leaders and derives from Homkes first-hand experience working with and advising executive teams across industries from software, technology, retail, fashion and construction through to manufacturing. Drawing from over a decade of rich real-world experience, Homkes illustrates how to navigate the most complex strategic situations with a simple, executable approach.

Also covered in the pages of "Survive, Reset, Thrive: Leading Breakthrough Growth Strategy in Volatile Times" is how to proactively stabilize your business to withstand and grow through market shocks, reset your strategy to take account of new realities and thrive through uncertainty.

Critique: Highly recommended and invaluable reading for anyone charged with achieving corporate success in an every volatile business environment subject to the impacts of politics, advancing technologies, social/cultural unrest, and global factors ranging from climate change to supply chain interdictions, "Survive, Reset, Thrive: Leading Breakthrough Growth Strategy in Volatile Times", while unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and college/university library Business Management/Leadership collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.79) and in a paperback edition (9781398607866, $23.99).

Editorial Note: Rebecca Homkes is a high-growth strategy specialist and CEO and executive advisor. She is a Lecturer at the London Business School, Faculty at Duke Corporate Executive Education, and a former fellow at the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance. A global keynote speaker and recognized thought leader, she is also the global Faculty Director of the Active Learning Program with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), leads several fintech accelerators, and serves on the boards of many high-growth companies. She earned her doctorate at the London School of Economics as a Marshall Scholar.

The Leadership Skills Handbook
Jo Owen
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398615977, $74.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Skills-Handbook-Essential-Leader/dp/1398615978

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised and updated sixth edition, "The Leadership Skills Handbook: 100 Essential Skills You Need to Be A Leader" by Jo Owen gives you the 100 essential tools you will need in order to be an outstanding leader.

Taking you beyond just theory, Owen shows you what works in real life, in a concise, easy-to-follow format. Based on research from over a thousand leaders around the world, from the public, private and voluntary sectors, Owen identifies the key practical skills that will make you even more successful.

Thoroughly updated to take into account the permanent move to remote and hybrid working and the challenges raised for leadership by artificial intelligence (AI), "The Leadership Skills Handbook" shows you how you can learn to disagree well, the best ways to get things done, develop your human and political skills in an increasingly AI world and explains how leaders can add value to any organization.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, there is no better way to learn how to become the leader that people want to follow than with this new sixth edition of Jo Owens' "The Leadership Skills Handbook" from Kogan Page. While especially recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, and college/university library Business Management/Leadership collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists, it should be noted by MBA students, academia, business/corporate managing executives, and non-specialists general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Leadership Skills Handbook: 100 Essential Skills You Need to Be A Leader" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398615793, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Jo Owen (www.a-speakers.com/speakers/jo-owen) is a multi-award winning leadership author, keynote speaker and social entrepreneur. He is a founder of eight charities, including the UK's largest graduate recruiter Teach First. His books The Mindset of Success, The Leadership Skills Handbook and Management Stripped Bare, all published by Kogan Page, have been translated into eight different languages, and offer expert advice on the leadership field.

Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour
Chia-Yu Kou-Barrett
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398613355, $173.00, HC, 376pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Organizational-Behaviour-Applications-Performance/dp/1398613355

Synopsis: With the publication of "Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour: Principles and Applications for Improving Workplace Performance", Professor Chia-You Kou-Barrett presents a hands-on and streamlined textbook exploring the workplace -- an area that can at times seem challenging and abstract.

Professor Kou-Barrett covers key areas including individual differences at work, motivation, leadership styles and conflict and negotiation, without assuming students' prior knowledge or working experience. She also explores cutting edge topics such as the implications of technology and remote working on workplace behaviour.

"Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour: Principles and Applications for Improving Workplace Performance" is new textbook that examines in descriptive details power, status and political behaviors, organizational change and culture and organizational structure and design. It also includes real-world examples throughout and is supported by a range of features including learning outcomes, key concepts and terminology boxes and reflective exercises to aid professional development.

Critique: An essential and exceptional resource for masters level and upper-level undergraduate students on HRM and Management degrees, taking modules on Organizational Behaviour, "Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour: Principles and Applications for Improving Workplace Performance" is recommended as an critically important addition to personal, professional, corporate, and community library Business/Corporate Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, business managers, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that 'Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour: Principles and Applications for Improving Workplace Performance" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398613331, $47.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $47.99).

Editorial Note: Chia-Yu Kou-Barrett is Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour and Applied Psychology at Cranfield School of Management. Prior to this, she was an Assistant Professor in Organizational Behaviour at Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin. She has published her work in top-ranked peer-review journals, presented at a number of international conferences. (www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/people/dr-chiayu-koubarrett-26054945)


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Reinvent Yourself
Susan Kahn
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398613317, $68.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reinvent-Yourself-Psychological-Insights-Transform/dp/1398613312

Synopsis: The underlying message of "Reinvent Yourself: Psychological Insights That Will Transform Your Work Life" by Susan Kahn is that you deserve a career that allows you to fully harness your skills and lead a rewarding and satisfying life. In the pages of "Reinvent Yourself", Kahn offers original psychological insights and strategies that will show you how to focus your efforts, build your network and navigate any challenge in your work life.

Drawing upon both psychological research and first-hand stories from a diverse range of businesspeople and experts, "Reinvent Yourself" is a call-to-action for you to overcome any doubts and tap into your full potential. Break free from the grind and pursue a career that works for you through the illuminating insights, strategies and stories that comprise "Reinvent Yourself".

Critique: Timely, practical, insightful, inspiring, "Reinvent Yourself: Psychological Insights That Will Transform Your Work Life" is a potentially life-changing, life-enhancing, DIY self-help 'how-to' manual for succeeding in developing a fulfilling job or career. Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Reinvent Yourself" will prove an enduringly popular and appreciated pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Jobs/Careers collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Reinvent Yourself" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781398613294, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.39).

Editorial Note: Dr Susan Kahn is a coach, consultant, and mediator. As a coach, she works together with individuals and their organisations to help clients develop and enhance their authentic leadership style. As a mediator, she is skilled in improving working relationships and developing common understanding between parties in toxic relationships. In addition, she is a lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, teaching coaching and organisational psychology, and is a faculty member at the School of Life, working with businesses to develop their emotional intelligence.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Sweet Home Macrame
Casey Alberti
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
www.quartoknows.com
9780760386156, $22.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Home-Macrame-Beginners-hangings/dp/0760386153

Synopsis: Macrame is a form of textile material produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques.

Whether you are a beginner to soft crafts, looking to try something new, hoping to improve upon your existing macrame techniques, a DIYer, or just in search of a beautiful coffee table book, "Sweet Home Macrame: A Beginner's Guide to Macrame" by Casey Alberti offers the step-by-step instruction and inspiration you will need to succeed -- as well as gorgeous eye candy for the dedicated needlecrafter (without the needles)!

"Sweet Home Macrame" covers: The supplies you'll need for macrame, including cord and rope; How to make the most common knots, such as lark's head, square, and gathering; Selecting a color palette; Personalizing your macrame pieces -- and so much more.

The 12 step-by-step projects show you how to make gorgeous items such as: Plant hangers; Coasters; Wall hangings; A fruit basket; A disco ball hanger; Earrings -- and more. All are done in eye-catching color schemes, such as rainbow, rose gold, black and gold, and crystal, but each item can be personalized to your own favorite colors using Alberti's expert advice.

In addition to the projects and techniques, "Sweet Home Macrame" provides helpful tips for forming an artist's community and starting your own business. Also of note are the online videos from the author, available on her social media, to boost your understanding.

Critique: This large format (8.5 x 0.32 x 11 inches, 1.25 pounds) paperback edition of Casey Alberti's "Sweet Home Macrame: A Beginner's Guide to Macrame: Learn to make jewelry, home decor, plant hangings, and more" from Walter Foster Publishing is an ideal introduction to the art and craft of macrame and highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft & Macrame collections. It should be noted that "Sweet Home Macrame" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) as well.

Editorial Note: Casey Alberti (www.sweethomealberti.com) is the founder of Sweet Home Alberti, a business selling macrame items and lessons, based in the Pacific Northwest. She first learned to create macrame in 2019, and soon found that she couldn't stop knotting and had more plant hangers than plants. Previously a stay-at-home mother of four, Casey started an Etsy shop, and soon, it was thriving. Casey's work has been featured online, including on Etsy. She enjoys the community of artists she's formed and with whom she shares her work and advice for starting a small business. Casey can be followed online at @sweethomealberti

The New Sashiko: A Fresh Approach to Japanese Embroidery
sashikonami
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805317914, $17.99, HC, 80pp

https://www.amazon.com/New-Sashiko-Approach-Japanese-Embroidery/dp/4805317914

Synopsis: Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery or stitching used for the decorative and/or functional reinforcement of cloth and clothing. Owing to the relatively cheap nature of white cotton thread and the abundant nature of cheap, indigo-dyed blue cloth in historical Japan, sashiko has a distinctive appearance of white-on-blue embroidery, though some decorative pieces may also use red thread. (Wikipedia)

With the publication of "The New Sashiko: A Fresh Approach to Japanese Embroidery", prolific embroiderer, quilter and author sashikonami combines her love of sashiko with her fondness for piecework to create a whole new style of sashiko stitches and applications. Some of these patchworks give you a chance to play with patterns, colors and textures to create strikingly original bags, pouches, tableware and accessories.

The 11 sashiko stitches (three of them original) and 23 projects presented and feature: Rows of uneven running stitches to create jagged stripe and check patterns that look fantastic on any item!; Fun asymmetrical patterns created with white threads on pastel fabrics to create brightly-colored textured table settings!; Traditional stitches applied to vividly-colored fabrics (often with two different thread colors) for a radical new look!; Contrasting stitches on patches to create charming tote bags, potholders and more!

Running stitches are free and relaxed. Straight stitches form easy geometric shapes -- like a triangle with a stem to make a fun, minimalist flower. Elements from traditional patterns are recombined in fresh and exciting ways. Try them on your jeans, your floor pillows or in a full-sized quilt, and enjoy adding your own personality to these projects. There is no end to the great ideas that you will find in the pages of "The New Sashiko: A Fresh Approach to Japanese Embroidery".

Critique: Available in a large format (8.5 x 0.5 x 11.1 inches, 1.5 pounds) hardcover edition from Tuttle Publication, and featuring a profusion of clearly illustrated step-by-step instructions for each project, "The New Sashiko: A Fresh Approach to Japanese Embroidery" is a unique, unusual, and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, and community library needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "The New Sashiko: A Fresh Approach to Japanese Embroidery" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).

Editorial Note: Tokyo author sashikonami (https://sashikonami.shopinfo.jp) has long been a fan of combining sashiko and patchwork. She has written and co-written numerous books and articles on sashiko in her native Japan. With "freedom and fun" as her motto, she shares her creative process and tips on her website, on YouTube and on other video sharing platforms including Instagram: @sashikonami

Search Press Ltd.
https://www.searchpress.com

Search Press is a premier publisher of art and craft books. As a publisher, they specialize in producing stunning, practical books on knitting, crocheting, sewing, needlecraft -- including cross stitch and embroidery, textiles, practical art and general crafts, such as pottery and woodwork, for people of all skill levels. With a team of around 40 people, Search Press publishes up to 100 of its own titles every year, as well as distributing books for other publishers. One of their popular Needlecraft series is "All New 20 To Make" which consists of:

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Flowers-Knit/dp/1800920873

"Flowers to Knit" by Schiyo Ishii (9781800920873, $11.95, HC, 64pp) This collection of beautiful blooms will give you something colorful all year round. Why not knit a bunch of flowers for every season, starting with a bouquet of poinsettia for Christmas? There are 20 projects to choose from including: an intricate peony; a colorful freesia; a delicate viola; the iconic English rose; and the distinctive Scotch thistle. The mix of shapes and yarns brings a bright splash of colour and the use of different textures and techniques to create both flat and 3D flowers is very appealing. Make wonderfully tactile gifts featuring a whole range of flora, or just pick and choose your favorites.

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Festive-Decorations/dp/1800920989

"Festive Felt Decorations" by Corinne Lapierre (9781800920989, $11.95, HC, 64pp) Sew 20 stunning felt decorations - perfect for adding some sparkle to your home or for giving as gorgeous handmade gifts. Corinne Lapierre brings you 20 fantastic new festive designs! Create decorations to hang on your tree or ornaments to decorate your table and mantelpiece, including stars, trees, birds and animals. Create gorgeous family heirlooms that you will look forward to seeing year after year. All the projects are simple to make, and all the necessary templates are given at actual size.

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Felt-Flowers/dp/1800922043

"Felt Flowers" by Jo Lochhead (9781800922044, $11.95, HC, 64pp) Craft 20 of your favorite flowers using soft and versatile felt, and adorn your space with everlasting floral beauty that will bloom all year round. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a beginner looking to explore a new medium, this comprehensive guide has everything you need to get started. From tools and materials to simple techniques, each step is expertly explained, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable crafting experience. Plus, with full-size transfers included for each project, tracing the shapes onto your felt becomes a breeze, allowing you to focus on the fun part -- assembling your stunning floral arrangements!

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Animal-Squares/dp/1782219811

"Animal Granny Squares" by Sarah-Jane Hicks (9781782219811, $11.95, HC, 64pp) Featuring 20 popular animals (including dogs, cats, bears, sheep, pigs, lions, turtles, ladybugs, sloths and more), this book has a 3D animal to suite every taste! Use different stitches to create textured elements such as fluffy manes, shaggy fur and frilly tentacles, and crochet three-dimensional elements such as ears, eyes, horns, beaks and wings to bring the animals to life! Make wonderfully tactile gifts featuring a whole menagerie of animal friends, or just pick and choose your favorites!

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Amigurumi-Animals/dp/1800921608

"Amigurumi Animals" by Sarah Abbondio (9781800921603, $11.95, HC, 64pp) Showcasing 20 adorable animals to crochet and love, "Amigurumi Animals' has a cute character for everyone! Whether you want to make your favorite household pet such as a dog, cat or rabbit; explore the woodland with a brown bear or an owl; or venture into the jungle by creating elephants, monkeys and crocodiles. These quick and easy little projects are great for using up small amounts of yarn from your stash; with clear instructions and a basic body shape to get you started, you'll soon be on your way to creating the whole collection!

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Flowers-Crochet/dp/1800921004

"Flowers To Crochet" by Sarah-Jane Hicks (9781800921009, $11.95, HC, 64pp) There are 20 stunning flowers to choose from, including a sunshine-yellow sunflower, the classic rose, a dainty daisy, a sweet snowdrop and the bumblebee's favourite: lavender. Once you've crocheted your blooms, use them to embellish clothing and accessories, or even turn them into a floral wreath and fairy lights! This is a fantastic little project book in a handy pocket-size format, so you can crochet your posies wherever you go!

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Squares-Crochet/dp/180092139X

"Granny Squares To Crochet" by Val Pierce (9781800921399, $11.95, HC, 64pp) Granny squares are perfect for helping you become proficient in crochet, thanks to their repeating stitches and patterns. They're also excellent stashbusters and portable projects, as they use only small amounts of yarn and are relatively small in size. Once you've made the multitude of lovely squares in this instructional guide, Val Pierce has shared a number of project ideas that you can make with your newly made blocks -- from a sweet 'n simple coaster and retro cushion to pretty fingerless gloves and a beautiful baby blanket. This is a fantastic little project book in a handy pocket-size format, so you can crochet your favorite squares wherever you go!

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Knitted-Baby/dp/1782219765

"Knitted Baby Hats" by Lynne Rowe (9781782219767, $11.95, HC, 64pp) Hats are a timeless must-have baby item -- so what could be better than making one for yourself or a friend? This cute and colorful book is filled with 20 knitted hats to keep your little one cozy as well as on-trend. Whether you fancy making a simple beanie or bonnet, a cute panda, fox or bee, a colorful watermelon or strawberry or a quirky tassel hat, this step-by-step instructional guide has it all. Choose from hats with ears, stripes, pompoms, topknots and more -- all the techniques are included!

https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Twenty-Make-Sewing-Scraps/dp/1782219676

"Sewing With Scraps" by Debbie Von Grabler-Crozier (9781782219675, $11.95, HC, 64pp) How do you keep your piles of scrap fabric from growing out of control? Sew with them, of course! "Sewing With Scraps" shows you how to stitch 20 stylish, fresh items from very small amounts of fabric. From tiny scraps that can be transformed into patchworked coasters, strips that can be made into scrap bunting and offcuts that can be used for pouches or pincushions, your treasured scraps can be given a new lease of life! An invaluable crash-course on key techniques is included at the beginning of this instructional guide and every featured project includes clear step-by-step instructions and a stunning photograph of the finished design to inspire.

Critique: Profusely illustrated, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, the DIY instructional 'how-to' titles comprising "All-New 20 To Make" are especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft collections. It should be noted for readers with an interest in patchwork and felting fabric art, creative sewing, crocheting, knitting, and home decorating that each one of these individual titles is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.95).


The Gardening Shelf

The Succulents Design Book
Kentaro Kuroda
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804856102, $19.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Succulents-Design-Book-Combinations-Year-Round/dp/0804856109

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Succulents Design Book: Container Combinations That Look Great and Thrive Together Year-Round", container gardening expert Kentaro Kuroda presents an instant DIY how-to guide to creating the succulent container gardens.

"The Succulents Design Book" shows aspiring gardeners how to group plants with compatible growing cycles in a way that balances their colors, shapes and sizes so the arrangements look beautiful all year long.

"The Succulents Design Book" presents 36 combinations presented provide design ideas for every type of space and decor. Each arrangement will thrive and look good throughout the year since the not only the shapes, sizes and colors of the plants match, but their individual growing cycles are also synchronized. There are also practical step-by-step instructions and layout diagrams make creating these arrangements foolproof.

A field guide to the 100 succulents showcased in the illustrated pages of "The Succulents Design Book" will help in the purchasing of plants with confidence. Also included is information on soils, additives, watering, fertilizing, light exposure, pest management and more.

The stunning photos throughout "The Succulents Design Book" will inspire novice and experienced gardeners alike to create unique combinations using unusual and unexpected containers, from hanging pots to old tins. And because the plants are compatible and grow well together, they will continue to look good over time.

Of special note is how expert container gardener Kentaro Kuroda emphasizes the differences between summer and winter seasonal varieties and shows you how to artfully combine them so the plants will thrive together year-round.

Critique: This large format, beautifully illustrated paperback edition of "The Succulents Design Book: Container Combinations That Look Great and Thrive Together Year-Round" provides a complete and thoroughly 'user friendly' course of instruction that will have immense appeal and value for amateur and professional gardeners alike. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library gardening collections, and readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), the visual esthetics of container gardening as laid out in the pages of "The Succulents Design Book" will hold immense interest to interior designers as well.

Editorial Note: Kentaro Kuroda, is a horticulturist and founder of Flora Kuroda Gardening in Saitama Prefecture. He specializes in imaginative group plantings and nostalgic vignettes. He is a blogger in his native Japan, and co-author of Container Succulents (Tuttle Publishing).

Outside In
Sean A. Pritchard
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781784728854, $39.99

https://www.amazon.com/Outside-growing-displaying-Sean-Pritchard/dp/1784728853

Outside In: A Year of Growing and Displaying pairs gardening objectives with interior design tools to make the most of designs that embrace the concept of year-round interior flower displays.

As garden designer Sean A. Pritchard moves through the process of growing for display, readers interested in both design and gardening will find a rich loam of new possibilities in pages that, themselves, feature extraordinary visual displays through full-page color flower photos.

From how to choose and display flowers to bulbs and specific flowers that feature special attributes (such as nasturtiums or autumn annuals), the lavish appeal of this title lies in not just its visual attractors, but in the promise that flower growing and display can be just as accessible to average readers as to interior design or gardening professionals.

All it takes is this book and an interest in growing and arranging flowers for year-round indoor displays.


The Travel Shelf

Here Not There: 100 Unexpected Travel Destinations
Andrew Nelson
National Geographic Press
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426222580, $30.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Here-Not-There-Unexpected-Destinations/dp/1426222580

Synopsis: Today many of the world's most beloved places to visit have become very expensive and overcrowded, making their celebrated allure that much harder to enjoy. But with the publication of "Here Not There: 100 Unexpected Travel Destinations", National Geographic travel writer Andrew Nelson helps the aspiring tourist to create a more robust, off-the-beaten path vacation by revealing 100 alternative destinations to the standard travel playbook -- as well as a wealth of expert tips on when to visit, where to eat, what to see, and where to stay.

A DIY collection for creating lively travel itineraries for global destinations, her to be found are authentic, unexpected, and rewarding destinations of a lifetime to add to your bucket list, including: A trip to Quito, Ecuador (instead of Lima, Peru), for iconic architecture and top-notch South American cuisine; A road trip along West Virginia's byways (instead of New England's highways) for brilliant autumn colors; A romantic rendezvous to Lecce, Italy (instead of mega-touristed Florence) for art, wine, and artifacts; A hiking excursion in Chile's Lake District (instead of England's Lake District) for an unexpected natural wonder.

Then there is a theater-infused visit to Cleveland, Ohio -- where the performances match the levels of New York City's Broadway; A tour of Portugal's Azores (rather than the Hawaiian islands), for flora, fauna, and underwater adventures; A water-filled excursion through New York's Thousand Islands -- instead of a cruise down Germany's Rhine River; A trip to Detroit to find Art Deco skyscrapers (and even a beach in Motown) that rival those of Miami, Florida -- as so much more!

Both surprising and inspiring, "Here Not There" offers its readers a chance to think beyond their typical borders and in the process, discover undreamed-of and truly memorable destinations.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with National Geographic quality, full color photography, "Here Not There: 100 Unexpected Travel Destinations" is an ideal resource for alternative travel planning for recreational purposes. A fun read from start to finish for the armchair traveler, "Here Not There" is impressively organized and presented for DIY travel itineraries and will prove to be an enduringly welcome pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Travel Guide collections. It should be noted for travelers and tourists that "Here Not There" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: An award-winning writer and editor for National Geographic Traveler, Andrew Nelson (http://andrewtnelson.com) has roamed all 50 states as well as numerous countries for the magazine and website. He served as director of editorial projects for National Geographic Travel in Washington, D.C., and has taught in institutions such as Loyola University New Orleans and the College of Charleston.


The Parenting Shelf

The Sneaky Parent
David Borgenicht, author
James Grace, author
Jason Schneider, illustrator
Quirk Books
www.quirkbooks.com
9781683694212, $16.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sneaky-Parent-Tactics-Cheerful-Cooperative/dp/168369421X

Synopsis: As a parent, you want nothing more than to keep your child fed, clothed, clean, healthy, and safe. Your kid, meanwhile, wants nothing more than to eat junk, go nude, stay up all night, and fall down a well. Begging doesn't work. Bribery isn't sustainable. You don't want to shout. It's time to get sneaky.

"The Sneaky Parent: Crafty Tactics for Raising Cheerful, Cooperative Kids" offers a full playbook of clever ploys for beating kids at their own game. With the strategies outlined in this book, you can gently guide kids toward positive choices -- all while letting them think they're the ones in control.

With the help of "The Sneaky Parent", readers will learn how to: Boost oral hygiene by pretending a toothbrush is a paintbrush for teeth; Render long plane trips painless with a game of "Name That Cloud"; Calm separation anxiety by developing fun ways to wave goodbye; Plus dozens of other clever tactics, tricks, and games!

With a little benevolent sneakiness, your child will enthusiastically try new foods, embrace bath time, go to sleep on a schedule, and other necessary but unpopular life skills. The best part? They'll be sure it was their idea.

Originally published as How to Con Your Kid (2012) this edition includes gender-neutral language, updated screen time advice, and more for today's parent.

Critique: Fun, informative, practical, and ingenious, "The Sneaky Parent: Crafty Tactics for Raising Cheerful, Cooperative Kids" by co-authors David Borgenicht and James Grace, enhanced with images by artist/illustrator Jason Schneider, is especially and unreservedly recommended reading for any and all parents having the responsibilities of raising babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. While certain to be an enduringly popular pick for community library Parenting collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sneaky Parent: Crafty Tactics for Raising Cheerful, Cooperative Kids" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: David Borgenicht is a New York Times best-selling author and the creator of the iconic Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series. He is also the founder of Quirk Books and, more importantly, is the father of two clever and now adult children, Sophie and Max. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Editorial Note #2: James Grace is the coauthor of several books, including the New York Times bestselling The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Golf. He is a lawyer and runs a non-profit that supports artists and arts organizations. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Lisa, and is the father of three crafty and now adult kids, Avery, Cooper, and Dustin.

Editorial Note #3: Hailing from Toronto, Jason Schneider is an editorial illustrator with over 25 years of experience providing advertising, print, and web content for leading North American and European publications and clients.

The Secret World of Children
Meri Wallace, LCSW
Precocity Press
www.precocitypress.com
9798989204328, $19.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-World-Children-Understand-Behave/dp/B0CN31F5P6

The Secret World of Children: Understand Why Your Kids Behave the Way They Do reviews nine developmental reasons why kids behave and misbehave, explaining to parents the rudiments of belief systems, perceptions, and lessons that adults may have never thought of (or intended to pass on to their kids).

The purpose of this treatise is to not just explain, but explore the dimensions of such systems and teachings, helping parents understand the messages and impact of how they teach kids to handle common life issues from bullying to separation anxiety and daily routines. Each behavior receives a translation to real-world events that adults will readily understand, showing how to provide the type of encouragement and support that builds character and strong children.

Examples can be found in as simple an effort as showing a child how to iron a shirt: "Avoid perfectionism. When your child is ironing for the first time and is upset because there are many wrinkles left in the shirt, it's best to say, "Ironing is hard and you're just learning how to do it. We'll keep working on it together." If you expect perfection from your children and readily criticize their attempts telling them, "You didn't do it right. I'll do it myself," they feel inadequate and defeated, and may not try again.

Your words and attitude can be internalized by your children, and they might become their own worst critics." While the intended result is to encourage better parenting through example, Meri Wallace perhaps won't have intended the side benefit of outlining strategies and common reactions that resonate not only between adults and kids, but adults and their own peers. Her delineation of attitudes and examples inherent in life encounters will help adults better understand the roots of their own responses to life and others around them.

This makes The Secret World of Children not only an invaluable expose of children's behaviors and how they learn, but an exploration of adult patterns of action, reaction, and interaction with all ages. For these reasons and more, The Secret World of Children is highly recommended for new parents, those who want to learn more about how and why kids learn and react to life in certain ways, and their own roles and engrained lessons towards others. Libraries seeking parenting titles that go the extra mile in linking common reactions to life-long lessons, as well as book clubs interested in the psychology of relationships and modifying perceptions and attitudes for more positive, growth-oriented results, will find The Secret World of Children a winner.


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

The Mae West Films
James L. Neibaur
BearManor Media
www.bearmanormedia.com
9798887713946, $40.00, HC, 220pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mae-West-Films-James-Neibaur/dp/B0CTCVMQNQ

Synopsis: Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 - November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, comedian, screenwriter, and playwright whose career spanned over seven decades. Considered a sex symbol, she was known for her breezy sexual independence and her lighthearted bawdy double entendres, often delivered in a husky contralto voice. She was active in vaudeville and on stage in New York City before moving to Los Angeles to begin a career in the film industry. (Wikipedia)

It is quite true that in her time Mae West was one of the true icons of show business, enjoying success on stage and in movies. She created her own character, wrote her own dialog, and understood the value of self-promotion -- and was very, very good at it.

An innately talented entertainer, Mae began working on stage as a small child and was still pursuing creative endeavors in the last year of her life. With the publication of "The Mae West film", cinematic historian James L. Neibaur concentrates on her movie work, and although she only made 12 movies, they made her a universally recognized movie star. Her best movies were edgy and challenging along with being entertaining, and have lived on for succeeding generations of film fans as true cinematic classics.

Critique: In "The Mae West films", each of her twelve movies are critiqued. Informatively enhanced further for the reader's benefit, "The Mae West Films" includes an eight page chapter on 'Mae West Before the Movies', a six page Bibliography, and a four page Index. A 'must' for the remaining legions of Mae West fans, "The Mae West Films" is a high value pick for personal, professional, community, film school, college, and university library Cinematic History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that this BearManor Media edition of "The Mae West Films" is also available in paperback (9798887713939, $28.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: James L. Neibaur is a film historian and scholar who has written over 35 books and hundreds of articles, essays, and reviews for various film magazines and website blogs. (https://www.sensesofcinema.com/author/james-l-neibaur)

Nozone: Reviews of Art, Cult, and Genre Cinema, 2003-2012
Tim Lucas
BearManor Media
www.bearmanormedia.com
9798887714042, $38.00, C, 442pp

https://www.amazon.com/Nozone-Reviews-Genre-Cinema-2003-2012/dp/B0CW1RHM5N

Synopsis: As editor and chief critic of Video Watchdog ("The Perfectionist's Guide to Home Video"), Tim Lucas acquired a national reputation as the leading guide to truly underground cinema: those bizarre, elusive but revelatory movies that could then only be found through foreign and subterranean markets or swap meets.

With this notoriety in mind, he was approached in 2003 by Sight and Sound, the venerable publication of the British Film Institute, to write a monthly column reviewing the most interesting new video releases not then available for sale within the UK. This column, NoZone, became a monthly feature of the magazine for nearly ten years.

"Nozone - Reviews of Art, Cult, and Genre Cinema, 2003-2012" collects, updates, and annotates the full run of Tim Lucas' NoZone columns, while adding one previously unpublished. This is the first in a comprehensive new series from Bear Manor Media collecting the best of Tim Lucas's 50+ years of film-related writings, and the first such collection to appear in more than 30 years.

Critique: Arranged chronologically from June 2003 to September 2012, "Nozone - Reviews of Art, Cult, and Genre Cinema, 2003-2012" is concisely informative, inherently fascinating, and essential reading for film buffs and cinematic history fans. Thoroughly 'film fan friendly' in organization and presentation, "Nozone - Reviews of Art, Cult, and Genre Cinema, 2003-2012" is especially and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Cinematic History & Movie Guide collections. It should be noted that "Nozone - Reviews of Art, Cult, and Genre Cinema, 2003-2012" is also available in a paperback edition (9798887714035, $37.00).

Editorial Note: Tim Lucas (https://videowatchdogblog.blogspot.com) has been reviewing films professionally, with a preference for art and exploitation cinema, since the age of 15. His work has appeared in Sight and Sound, Film Comment, Fangoria, Gorezone and numerous other books and magazines, including his own influential Video Watchdog, co-published with his wife Donna from 1990 to 2018. He is the author of the multi-award-winning Mario Bava - All the Colors of the Dark, as well as The Video Watchdog Book and monographs on Videodrome, Spirits of the Dead and Succubus.

It's That Time Again 2!
Martin Grams Jr., author
Jim Harmon, editor
BearManor Media
www.bearmanormedia.com
9798887713076, $36.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Its-That-Time-Again-hardback/dp/B0CRS1P5KJ

Synopsis: Edited and with an informative Foreword by Jim Harmon "It's That Time Again Vol. 2" offers the reader with a memorable and entertaining sampling of popular old time radio shows including:

Vic and Sade (The Stembottom Situation)
William F. Nolan (Radio Detectives)
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Duplicate Daughter
The Avenger and the Maker of Werewolves
Baby Snooks (Out with Mommy)
The Whistler (For I Walk by Night)
The Adventures of Jimmie Allen In World War II)
House of Mystery (The Ghastly Dream)
Richard Diamond (Fall from Grace)
My Friend Irma (Jane's Side)
Columbia Workshop (A Drink for the Damned)
Bobby Benson and His B Bar B Riders (The Adventure of the Lady Prospector)
Jack FrenchRed Ryder (Little Beaver's Schooling)
The Man Called X (Crisis in Cairo)
Nightbeat (A Dancer, a Soldier, a Villain)
The Jack Benny Program (The Fred Allen Murder Case)
Lum and Abner (Murder in Pine Ridge)
Harold Lloyd Comedy Theatre (Maltese Omelet)
Hermit's Cave (Last of the Legares)
A Witch's Tale (The Peltonville Horror)
Lights Out (Later Than You Think)
The Great Gildersleeve (Saturday Morning)

Critique: An absolute 'must' for all fans of Old Time Radio, "It's That Time Again 2!" will prove to be a prized addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Radio Broadcasting History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "It's That Time Again 2!" from BearManor Books is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781593930066, $28.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Editorial Note: Jim Harmon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Harmon) is an Old Tim Radio guru, and the author of "The Great Radio Heroes" and "The Great Radio Comedians".


The Fishing Shelf

Most Trout Don't Read
Scot Bealer, author
Lea Frye, illustrator
Sweetgrass Books
c/o Farcountry Press
www.farcountrypress.com
9781591523413, $19.95, PB, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Most-Trout-Dont-Read-Lessons/dp/1591523419

Synopsis: Contrary to popular belief, trout are not intellectuals! However, they are keen observers of their environment and well attuned to the elements important to their survival. If you plan on chasing them with a fly rod, you need to learn how to pay attention to those details. True mastery of the sport isn't about memorizing lots of facts, but rather having a sense of curiosity and spending time out on the water.

With the publication of "Most Trout Don't Read: Lessons from Time on the Water" Scot Bealer leads you on a journey of discovery, recalling occasions when he, or sometimes his clients, learned important lessons. His stories are warm, funny, and full of great advice to improve your skills and better enjoy your time on the water. His comments on gear, guides, and other aspects of the sport are based on decades of practical experience.

The images from photographer Lea Frye's camera vividly bring Scot's stories to life and will leave you yearning to get out there.

Critique: Impressively informative, beautifully illustrated, and a fascinating read from start to finish, "Most Trout Don't Read: Lessons from Time on the Water" is especially and unreservedly recommended reading for avid anglers who enjoy fly fishing, being outdoors, or just want to learn more about the wily trout. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Most Trout Don't Read: Lessons from Time on the Water" is a prized pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Trout Fishing collections.

Editorial Note #1: Scot Bealer's background includes teaching, guiding, and even a stint as the head instructor at the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing School. He has fished all over the country and introduced hundreds of people to the sport of fly fishing. He currently lives with his wife, Lea Frye, in Helena, Montana. When he's not out on the water fishing, Scot splits his time between helping Lea with her wildlife photography and working as an instructor in the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks 'Hooked on Fishing' program.

Editorial Note #2: Lea Frye (https://frye-lea.pixels.com) is a wildlife and landscape photographer.


The Gaming Shelf

Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com

Master Point Press is the premier publisher of instructional books on and about the game of Bridge. Three of their newest titles are particularly of interest to dedicated Bridge players seeking to improve their game.

https://www.amazon.com/Bidding-at-Bridge-Barbara-Seagram/dp/1771400188

"Bidding at Bridge: A Quizbook" by Barbara Seagram & Bird David (9781771400183, $17.95, PB, 162pp) explains the sound natural bidding methods that will allow you to play in the right suit (or notrump) at the correct level. Each of the fourteen chapters comprising "Bidding at Bridge: A Quizbook" begins with three or four pages of instruction, followed by several pages of multiple-choice bidding problems, illustrating everyday situations you will face countless times at the table.

https://www.amazon.com/Declarer-Play-at-Bridge-Quizbook/dp/1897106912

"Declarer Play at Bridge: A Quizbook", by the same author team, was named Book of the Year by the American Bridge Teachers' Association. Building on the success of that title, "Bidding at Bridge: A Quizbook" gives the improving player a chance to practice the principles on which sound bidding is based, from the opening bid onward.

https://www.amazon.com/2-1-Steroids-Daniel-Solow/dp/1771402598

"2/1 On Steroids" by Daniel Solow (9781771402590, $19.95, PB, 154pp) Modern bidding systems in Bridge have evolved over the past hundred years, starting with four-card majors and culminating in 2/1, together with a plethora of conventions along the way (Stayman, transfers, Roman Key Card, to name a few).

Yet you can still encounter the occasional deficiency -- such as an ambiguous bid or ending up in the wrong contract. When this happened to Daniel Solow, he wondered if it was possible to fix some of the issues he encountered by developing a system from scratch using all of the effective bidding principles that have been developed over time, and the answer is... yes (but with some tradeoffs)!

Readers will join the Solow on a bridge cruise where they will meet some amazing women who unfold this new bidding system through illustrative hands. While no claim is made that this system should replace those currently in use, players will find the approach novel, interesting, and thought provoking.

https://www.amazon.com/Duplicate-Bridge-403-Second-seat-Interference/dp/1771402636

"Duplicate Bridge 403: Defending Second-Seat Interference" by Stephen Paul (9781771402637, $22.95, PB, 230pp) focuses on improving your partnership's ability to overcome interference which is essential for good results. Finding the right contract requires a clear understanding of the values represented by responder's bids after the opponents interfere.

Duplicate Bridge 403: Defending Second Seat Interference provides the reader with two sets of tools for this:

1.Hand valuation in competition using an algorithm developed by Lawrence and Wirgren. This method of hand evaluation provides the reader with a competitive advantage relative to older methods of estimating trick count.

2.A comprehensive set of bidding structures is provided for defending against bids made in the second seat. Where possible, alternatives are detailed giving partnerships a choice that fits their individual style. Quizzes follow each section allowing the reader to test their understanding.

"Duplicate Bridge 403: Defending Second-Seat Interference" includes defending against:

A Takeout double
Natural overcalls using Negative Doubles
Two-suited overcalls such as Unusual 2NT, Michaels, and Roman Jump Overcall
Two-level opening preempts using the Lebensohl relay
Natural overcalls of a 1NT opening (Lebensohl relay)
1NT overcalls with one known suit and one unknown suit (Lebensohl relay)
1NT overcalls with two known suits (Lebensohl relay)

It should be noted that the bidding structures for Lebensohl were based on "The Lebensohl Convention Complete" by Ron Andersen.

This text of "Duplicate Bridge 403: Defending Second-Seat Interference" is specifically meant to improve your partnership understandings in competition. Given the frequency opponents interfere in today's game a small improvement and can quickly lead to stronger results.

Critique: Each of these three seminal and ground-breaking titles are thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making each of them critically important an unreservedly recommended picks for personal, professional, community, and college/university library instructional Bridge book collections.

Editorial Note: Master Point Press grew out of Canadian Master Point magazine (1992-1997), which was published in Toronto, Canada by Ray and Linda Lee. The company began publishing books in 1994. While primarily interested in books on contract bridge, MPP also has published books on other games and intellectual pursuits.


The Computer Shelf

The Complete Developer
Martin Krause
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781718503281, $49.99, PB, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Developer-TypeScript-Next-js-MongoDB/dp/1718503288

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Complete Developer: Master the Full Stack with TypeScript, React, Next.js, MongoDB, and Docker", website building expert Martin Krause offers a hands-on, beginner-friendly approach to developing complete web applications from the ground up, using JavaScript and its most popular frameworks, including Node.js and React.js.

Whether you have been in the developer kitchen for decades or are just taking the plunge to do it yourself, "The Complete Developer" will show you how to build and implement every component of a modern stack and build it from scratch.

Reader's will go from a React-driven frontend to a fully fleshed-out backend with Mongoose, MongoDB, and a complete set of REST and GraphQL APIs, and back again through the whole Next.js stack.

This No Starch Press edition of "The Complete Developer" is comprised of easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes will teach you how to build a web server with Express.js, create custom API routes, deploy applications via self-contained microservices, and add a reactive, component based UI. You will leverage command line tools and full-stack frameworks to build an application whose no-effort user management rides on GitHub logins.

Readers will also learn how to: Work with modern JavaScript syntax, TypeScript, and the Next.js framework; Simplify UI development with the React library; Extend an application with REST and GraphQL APIs; Manage data with the MongoDB NoSQL database; Use OAuth to simplify user management, authentication, and authorization; Automate testing with Jest, test-driven development, stubs, mocks, and fakes.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, deftly organized, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation, "The Complete Developer: Master the Full Stack with TypeScript, React, Next.js, MongoDB, and Docker" is an ideal pick for both experienced software engineers and those new to DIY web development. Covering Docker, Express.js, JavaScript, Jest, MongoDB, Mongoose, Next.js, Node.js, OAuth, React, REST and GraphQL APIs, and TypeScript, "The Complete Developer" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library JavaScript/Web Services collections and supplemental Computer Science curriculum lists. It should be noted that "The Complete Developer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99).

Editorial Note: Martin Krause has been building websites from scratch for over 20 years. He has been an engineering manager at Publicis Sapient and a senior frontend architect at Razorfish, creating cutting-edge microsites and leading teams on large-scale projects.


The Music Shelf

American Hair Metal: Can't Get Enough!
Steven Blush, author
Feral House
www.feralhouse.com
9781627311489, $34.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/American-Hair-Metal-Cant-Enough/dp/1627311483

Synopsis: Not so long ago there was a time when pomp and spandex dominated MTV and pop radio playlists. Nearly 20 years after the first edition of "American Hair Metal" (2006) by Steven Blush, people still can't get enough hair metal! The new expanded edition of "American Hair Metal: Can't Get Enough!" visually celebrates this orgy of flamboyance, androgyny, and animal magnetism, of big-haired alpha males and the beautiful women who surrounded them. Interest in hair metal is currently exploding -- witness arena-level revival tours, reissue compilations, and documentaries and docudramas that revisit the excesses of the eighties and nineties.

The hundreds of striking photographs comprising "American Hair Metal: Can't Get Enough!" are complimented by hedonistic ephemera from bands like Poison, Cinderella, Mtley Cre, Skid Row, and Stryper. Wild quotes from major players such as David Lee Roth, Jon Bon Jovi, Sebastian Bach, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Bret Michaels, Don Dokken, and many unsung heroes.

Critique: This newly expanded edition of "American Hair Metal: Can't Get Enough!" includes more photos, more quotes, and a new introduction by Chip Z'Nuff (Enuff Z'Nuff), as well as an informative interview with Rik Fox (WASP, Steeler). A 'must' for the legions of Heavy Metal fans, "American Hair Metal: Can't Get Enough!" is a fun read from cover to cover and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university librar Amerian Music History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Steven Blush (https://stevenblush.com) has written five books about rock music: American Hardcore (2001), .45 Dangerous Minds (2005), the original American Hair Metal (2006), Lost Rockers (2015) and New York Rock (2016). His journalism has appeared in over 50 publications, such as Spin, Details, Interview, Village Voice, and The Times Of London, and for years was a contributing editor to Paper Magazine. He wrote and produced the theatrically released Sundance Film Festival-premiered doc film American Hardcore (Sony Pictures Classics, 2006). In 2010, Feral House published an expanded Second Edition of the American Hardcore book, which is now available in four languages.

Editorial Note 32: Chip Z'Nuff (www.enuffznuff.com) is an American singer, songwriter, bassist, producer, and radio personality. Having founded the popular glam rock band Enuff Z'Nuff in 1984 in the illustrious city of Chicago, the band saw its self-titled major label debut released in the summer of 1989.


The Christian Studies Shelf

God's Goodness for the Chosen
Amanda Jenkins, author
Dallas Jenkins, author
Dr. Douglas S. Huffman, author
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
www.davidccook.org
9780830784585, $17.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Goodness-Chosen-Interactive-Season/dp/0830784586

Synopsis: The fourth volume in the 'The Chosen Bible Study Series' series from David C. Cook, with the publication of "God's Goodness for the Chosen: An Interactive Bible Study Season 4" is a study that teaches Christian readers how to reframe their hardships and see them as fertile soil for God's goodness to grow in their lives.

We see it over and over again in the Bible: God brings good things out of bad things for the sake of His people and for His glory. But truth be told, when we personally experience suffering, we have a difficult time actually believing it. Yet, life is challenging even for the followers of Jesus, and hardship in the twenty-first century is no exception.

"God's Goodness for the Chosen" takes Christian readers through eight lessons which reveal how God uses suffering to bring about good things in the lives of those He loves.

Death is eclipsed by life; Grief is eclipsed by praise; Questions are eclipsed by resolve; Confusion is eclipsed by grace; Temporary things are eclipsed by eternal things; Heartbreak is eclipsed by love; Sin is eclipsed by obedience; Pain is eclipsed by the fullness of God's plan.

Indeed, readers will be challenged to embrace the hard things of life, to experience more of the goodness God offers on the other side.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "God's Goodness for the Chosen: An Interactive Bible Study Season 4" is ideal for individual and small group studies in Christian Spiritual Growth, New Testament Commentaries, and Biblical Studies from a Christian perspectives. Highly recommended for all members of the Christian community, it should be noted for clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "God's Goodness for the Chosen: An Interactive Bible Study Season 4" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Amanda Jenkins is an author, speaker, and the lead creator of The Chosen's additional content. Her husband, Dallas Jenkins, son of celebrated Left Behind author Jerry Jenkins, directed and produced over a dozen feature and short films before creating The Chosen, the largest crowd-funded media project of all time. They currently live in Texas with their four children.

Editorial Note #2: Dr. Douglas S. Huffman, the evangelical biblical consultant for the television series, is Professor of New Testament and Associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) in California.

The Gift of Limitations
Sara Hagerty
Zondervan
https://www.zondervan.com
9780310357049, $26.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gift-Limitations-Finding-Beauty-Boundaries/dp/0310357047

Synopsis: It's all too much. Too much laundry and too many bills. Too many appointments, meetings, and open tabs on our browser. Yet in the midst of so much, we feel deprived. Limited. We make another family dinner while shelving our passion for art. We tend our tiny patch of grass while envying the time our neighbor has to garden. We go to bed exhausted, too tired to enjoy a few minutes with our own thoughts.

As a writer, speaker, and mother of seven, Sara Hagerty knows what limitations feel like. Yet she has also seen how the boundaries of our life circumstances can bring about growth and satisfaction we'd never experience otherwise. With the poetic voice, gentle validation, and deep spiritual insights that have made Sara's previous books so popular, "The Gift of Limitations: Finding Beauty in Your Boundaries" explores how to:

Name the limitations that haunt us and how we have unknowingly given them power
Open our eyes to what God can do with the weaknesses we resent
Discover what God's Word says about living within our limitations
Understand what embracing our limits looks like in everyday life
Recognize when we are pushing ourselves too far
Understand how God sees weakness and how He has used it in the lives of great believers
Dream again while remaining tethered to God's best story for us
Release the shame and frustration of our weaknesses

In reading "The Gift of Limitations", you will learn to see the beauty and peace God provides in the midst of our life circumstances -- and the deep spiritual growth we can experience through the limitations that we once thought held us back.

Critique: Beautifully written, inspired and inspiring, "The Gift of Limitations: Finding Beauty in Your Boundaries" will prove of immense interest with Christian readers aspiring to spiritual and personal growth for themselves, their families, their friends, their neighbors, their associates, and their fellow church members. While also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), "The Gift of Limitations: Finding Beauty in Your Boundaries" is especially and unreservedly recommended for clergy, seminary students, and all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations.

Editorial Note: Sara Hagerty (https://sarahagerty.net) is a lifelong admirer of words. She's experienced their power to revive. The way she sees and crafts words comes from her love for God and his Word. She can be followed on her on Instagram at @sarahagertywrites and on Substack at sarahagerty.substack.com

I Could Be Wrong, But I Doubt It
Phil Robertson, author
Gordon Dasher, author
Thomas Nelson Publishers
www.thomasnelson.com
9781400230181, $28.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Could-Be-Wrong-But-Doubt/dp/1400230187

Synopsis: Over nearly five decades of walking with God, podcaster, author and Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has learned a thing or two about why Jesus is the only one worth following. Of all the things we could put our trust in, only Jesus has the answers to our questions and the solutions for our problems.

Plenty of people claim to have the answers for a better life. Politicians claim they can fix our nation. Scientists and technologists trumpet the latest and greatest discoveries that'll make everything right. Self-help gurus offer one pathway to peace after another. But it's no secret that our world is increasingly divided and broken -- and we have the fear, anxiety, and hopelessness to prove it. Jesus alone can make good on the promise of lasting peace, real freedom, and life eternal.

With his trademark directness, humor, and insight, with the publication of "I Could Be Wrong, But I Doubt It: Why Jesus Is Your Greatest Hope on Earth and in Eternity", Phil will help you: Experience Jesus as the Creator and all-powerful Sustainer of all creation; Reconcile your own brokenness and sinfulness with Jesus' unending well healing, forgiveness, and peace; Develop the eyes to see Jesus for who he really is: the friend who will always be there for you, no matter what mistakes you've made; and Look to the Bible to get to know Jesus and better understand His grace and love for you.

Politics won't save you. Science can't give you the power to sidestep death. The pleasures and joys of this world are fleeting at best, damaging counterfeits at worst. But Phil has good news for you: Jesus offers life, joy, and peace, and he's never more than a prayer away.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, given the condition of the world today, "I Could Be Wrong, But I Doubt It: Why Jesus Is Your Greatest Hope on Earth and in Eternity" is timely and unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary student, congregational members, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Church/State & Christian Social issues that "I Could Be Wrong, But I Doubt It: Why Jesus Is Your Greatest Hope on Earth and in Eternity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Phil Robertson (https://duckcommander.com/pages/phil-robertson) is a professional hunter who invented his own duck call and founded the successful Duck Commander company. He also starred in the popular television series on A&E, Duck Dynasty, and is now the cohost of the hugely popular podcast, Unashamed with Phil & Jase Robertson. He is a New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Politics; The Theft of America's Soul; Happy, Happy, Happy; and UnPHILtered. He and his wife, Kay, live in West Monroe, Louisiana. He has five children, nineteen grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.


The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Hakuin's Song of Zazen
Yamada Mumon Roshi, author
Norman Waddell, translator
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
www.shambhala.com
9781645471813, $24.95, PB, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hakuins-Song-Zazen-Yamada-Practice/dp/1645471810

Synopsis: First published in Japan in 1962, Hakuin's Song of Zazen is a celebrated collection of short essays by Zen master Yamada Mumon Roshi. Translated into English for the first time by Norman Waddell, it introduces the story of Hakuin's early life and training, then uses his classic Zen chanting poem, Song of Zazen, to make wide-ranging considerations of the Zen tradition and its applications in modern Japanese life.

As Daisetz Suzuki remarks in his foreword, what gives Mumon's book its unique flavor and makes it different from previous works by Zen teachers are his forays into matters of ordinary, everyday life, expanding his Zen teaching to encompass interests that are closely linked with his lay audience. He responds to a news article that catches his eye in the morning paper, delivers criticism on contemporary political and social trends, explores matters as diversified as the uses of atomic energy, the court culture of seventeenth-century France, a leper hospital on an island in the Inland Sea, Albert Schweitzer and other noted Western figures -- and more.

In doing this Mumon gives readers open access to the opinions, judgements, and practical thinking of a leading Zen master -- a map of his planet, so to speak. Each brief chapter of "Hakuin's Song of Zazen: Yamada Mumon Roshi on Zen Practice" is an invitation to follow Hakuin and himself down the path of true Zen realization.

Critique: Of special interest to students and practitioners of Zen Buddhism and now available to an American readership, "Hakuin's Song of Zazen: Yamada Mumon Roshi on Zen Practice" is a seminal study that is articulate, elegant, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99) for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Hakuin's Song of Zazen: Yamada Mumon Roshi on Zen Practice" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to persona, professional, community, and college/university library Buddhism collections and supplemental Buddhist Studies curriculums lists.

Editorial Note #1: Yamada Mumon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumon_Yamada) was born in the mountainous Aichi Prefecture of Japan in 1900. While attending high school in Tokyo, reading Confucius turned him toward the deeper questions about life. He began exposing himself to Christian and Buddhist teachers, entering a Zen monastery at the age of 19. Mumon later met his primary teacher, Seki Seisetsu Roshi, and moved into Tenry?-ju monastery, where he served the master until his death in 1945. In his fifties, Mumon became a master in his own right, serving as abbot of Shofuku-ji Temple in Kobe, where he taught both Japanese and Western students and eventually established an international network of disciples. Known for his curiosity and for his many writings on Zen, he passed away in 1988.

Editorial Note #2: Norman Wadell (www.shambhala.com/authors/u-z/norman-waddell.html) is the authoritative English translator of works by and about Hakuin. He taught at Otani University in Japan for over thirty years and was editor of the Eastern Buddhist Journal for several decades. He has published more than a dozen books on Japanese Zen Buddhism and is one of the finest translators of sacred texts of our time.

The Buddha: Life and Afterlife Between East and West
Philip C. Almond
Cambridge University Press
www.cambridge.org
9781009346795, $39.99, HC, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Buddha-Life-Afterlife-Between-East/dp/1009346792

Synopsis: Alongside Jesus and Muhammad, the Buddha is the most significant figure in the history of religion.

"The Buddha: Life and Afterlife Between East and West" by Professor Emeritus Philip Almond is the first to combine a history of early traditions about Siddhartha Gautama's life with an authoritative account of how he and the tantalizing philosophy inspired by him came to the attention of the West.

Professor Almond takes his reader on a remarkable journey encompassing (among other topics) Alexander the Great, the courts of the Mongol Khans, Jesuit missions to China and Japan, and intrepid European travellers and scholars from the modern era.

Deftly melding Pali and Sanskrit sources with vivid reception, Professor Almond presents the Buddha's story as multi-layered: one of transition from a world of angels and demons, water and tree spirits, to an altogether different context where Buddhism mixed with the cultural preoccupations of those who tentatively (sometimes following false trails) tried to make sense of its fascinating complexity.

Critique: Of special and particular interest to readers concerned with Buddhism and western philosophy, "The Buddha: Life and Afterlife Between East and West" by Professor Philip Almond is an extraordinary and seminal contribution that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Buddhism & Philosophy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. Exceptional in organization and presentation, "The Buddha: Life and Afterlife Between East and West" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99) for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note: Philip C. Almond is Emeritus Professor in Religious Thought at the University of Queensland and a renowned specialist in the nexus between religion and the history of ideas. His recent publications include Mary Magdalene: A Cultural History (Cambridge University Press, 2022), The Antichrist: A New Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2020), God: A New Biography (I.B. Tauris, 2018); Afterlife: A History of Life after Death (I.B. Tauris, 2016), and The Devil: A New Biography (I.B. Tauris, 2014). His earlier, pioneering book The British Discovery of Buddhism (Cambridge University Press, 1988) has gained a reputation as a landmark study in comparative religion and intellectual history.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Laughter Effect
Ros Ben-Moshe
Alcove Press
www.alcovepress.com
9781639105755, $32.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Laughter-Effect-Build-Resilience-Positivity/dp/1639105751

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Laughter Effect: How to Build Joy, Resilience, and Positivity in Your Life", author Ros Ben-Moshe provides a roadmap to tap into the lighter side of life with laughter therapy. Ben-Moshe shares tips and tools to achieve an intentional state of being she calls the Laughter Effect -- a way to elevate mindfulness, gratitude, and self-compassion. When used regularly, it enhances resilience to stress, enabling you to respond to adversity and bounce forward with humor, levity, and grace.

Drawing on research from around the world, practice and wisdom from humor and laughter therapy, and positive psychology and neuroscience, Ben-Moshe shows you how to use the energy of laughter and joy to counter stress hormones and stimulate a daily dose of positive wellbeing with "happy hormones."

The techniques, strategies and practices you will learn from "The Laughter Effect" can transform your physical, mental, social and emotional landscape. Viewing life through a laughter lens will awaken a positive change in yourself, how you respond to the world and, in turn, how the world responds to you.

Critique: Unique, fascinating, fun and effective, "The Laughter Effect: How to Build Joy, Resilience, and Positivity in Your Life" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. Life changing, life enhancing, life celebrating, "The Laughter Effect" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library motivational Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted that "The Laughter Effect" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Ros Ben-Moshe (https://ros-benmoshe.com) is an internationally recognised laughter wellness and positivity expert. She is adjunct lecturer at La Trobe University, where she has taught positive psychology and health promotion. A Global Laughter Ambassador, Ros is a regular commentator and writer in Australian media. Her first book was "Laughing at Cancer - How to Heal with Love, Laughter and Mindfulness". She has spent over twenty years empowering people to embrace intentional smiling and laughter practices to generate positive life transformation and boost joy.

The Possible Self: A Leader's Guide to Personal Development
Maja Djikic
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
www.bkconnection.com
9781523006014, $22.95, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Possible-Self-Leaders-Personal-Development/dp/1523006013

Synopsis: We are often told that the key to success in life involves advancing in our careers, but why do feel so stuck and unfulfilled when everything seems to be going right?

With the publication of "The Possible Self: A Leader's Guide to Personal Development", adult development expert, Professor Maja Djikic explains that in order to discover our purpose and achieve real, lasting change, we need to move beyond narrowly targeted ideas and strategies like changing our mindset or slightly altering our behavior, and instead go deeper and focus on our innate desires.

Professor Djikic claims that sustained change can only happen when all five parts of ourselves move in the same direction and at the same time. She introduces a transformational system called the Wheel of Change -- a simple, five-segment plan that corresponds with the five key parts of ourselves: Desires, Actions, Emotions, Thoughts, and Body.

By understanding the mechanisms of these five integral parts, you will be able to escape the paradox of success without happiness and move towards your own path of fulfilling self-development.

Critique: Of particular interest to readers concerned with business based motivational leadership and management, "The Possible Self: A Leader's Guide to Personal Development" by organizational behavior and human resource management expert Professor Maja Djikic is exceptionally well written, organized and presented -- making it an ideal for both professional and non-professional readers. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, and college/university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, business managers, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that 'The Possible Self: A Leader's Guide to Personal Development" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.49).

Editorial Note: Maja Djikic (https://www.majadjikic.com) is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, the Director of the Self-Development Laboratory, and the Academic Director of Rotman Executive Coaching Certificate program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She has published more than 35 scientific articles and book chapters on personality development, and her research has been featured in over 50 media outlets.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Sacred Geometry in Ancient Goddess Cultures
Richard Heath
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
www.innertraditions.com
9781644116555, $48.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Geometry-Ancient-Goddess-Cultures/dp/1644116553

Synopsis: Long before Pythagoras and Plato, before arithmetic and Christianity, there existed matrilineal societies around the Mediterranean, led by women with a sophisticated understanding of astronomy and sacred science.

"Sacred Geometry in Ancient Goddess Cultures: The Divine Science of the Female Priesthood" is a detailed exploration by Richard Heath who decodes for his readers the cosmological secrets hidden by ancient goddess-centered cultures on the island of Malta, at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, and on the Greek island of Crete.

Heath reveals how the female astronomers of Malta built megaliths to study the sun, moon, and planets, counting time as lengths and comparing lengths using geometry. He also shows how they encoded their cosmological and astronomical discoveries, their "astronomy of the goddesses", in the geometries of their temples and monuments.

Examining Maltese and Cretan artifacts, including secret calendars, Heath details how the Minoans of Crete transformed Maltese astronomy into a matriarchal religion based upon a Saturnian calendar of 364 days. He also reveals evidence of the precursors of Maltese astronomical knowledge in the monuments of Gobekli Tepe.

Looking at the shift from sacred geometry to arithmetic in ancient Mediterranean cultures, Heath parallels this change in mindset with the transition from matriarchal to patriarchal cultures. He reveals how Greek myths present a way to see the matriarchal past through patriarchal eyes, detailing how Saturn's replacement by Jupiter-Zeus symbolizes the transition from matriarchy to patriarchy.

Of special note is Heath's examination of how the early Christians helped preserve the ancient astronomy of the goddesses, due to its connections to Christ's cosmological teachings, by encoding it in the artwork of the rock-cut churches and monasteries of the Cappadocia region of Turkey.

Revealing how our planet, with its specific harmonics and geometries within our star system, is uniquely designed to support intelligent life, "Sacred Geometry in Ancient Goddess Cultures: The Divine Science of the Female Priesthood" shows how this divine spiritual truth was known to the ancient astronomers.

Critique: This large format (8 x 0.8 x 10 inches, 2.16 pounds) hardcover edition of "Sacred Geometry in Ancient Goddess Cultures: The Divine Science of the Female Priesthood" from Inner Traditions beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout and of immense value to readers with an interest in the sciences of antiquity in general, and the metaphysical history of numbers/mathematics in particular. While a unique and invaluable pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library collections, it should be noted for historians, as well as metaphysical students and practitioners that "Sacred Geometry in Ancient Goddess Cultures: The Divine Science of the Female Priesthood" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.99).

Editorial Note: Richard Heath, M.Sc., is a system designer who studies the technical achievements of the ancient world, from those of the megalithic astronomers to sacred building design. He is the author of 5 books, including Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization and Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels.

The Hoodoo Tarot Workbook
Tayannah Lee McQuillar
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
www.innertraditions.com
9781644116333, $19.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hoodoo-Tarot-Workbook-Rootwork-Divination/dp/1644116332

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Hoodoo Tarot Workbook: Rootwork, Rituals, and Divination", Tayannah Lee McQuillar presents a deeper understanding of the concepts, themes, and symbology featured in her Hoodoo Tarot card deck alongside rituals, botanical knowledge, and advanced practices for working with the cards.

Exploring the philosophy behind Hoodoo as well as its historical and spiritual roots, Tayannah looks at this tradition as a nature-based spiritual system, emphasizing the unique environmental features of the Deep South that have shaped what Hoodoo and rootwork are today.

She explores in depth the plants, herbs, and flowers of the Hoodoo tradition featured on the cards, as well as the animals that play a totemic role in rootworking. She also explains the three sacred circles of Hoodoo and the different groups whose spiritual traditions give this syncretic faith its complex heritage: early Black American Christianity, esoteric European traditions, and Indigenous American traditions.

She then goes on to explore dreamwork and other divination systems practiced in Hoodoo, including bibliomancy, judicial astrology, cartomancy, and cleromancy (divination with pebbles or other objects).

Looking at the Elder cards (Major Arcana) of The Hoodoo Tarot, Tayannah provides rituals to work with each of the cards and the plants, legendary figures, and spiritual concepts they represent. She offers eleven new card spreads, such as the New Moon spread, the Big House Healing Trauma spread, and the Difficult Ancestry spread. She looks closely at family card connections, explaining what particular cards reveal when they appear, and shares exercises for resolving problems and dysfunctional patterns.

Tayannah also explores the important role of rootworkers in their communities in the past and looking forward into the future.

Presenting new ways to work with The Hoodoo Tarot, this informative and instructive manual also provides a foundational introduction to the rootworking tradition, allowing divination practitioners and spiritual seekers alike to expand their journeys of growth and understanding.

Critique: Of immense value to metaphysical students and practitioners with an interest in divination tarot, "The Hoodoo Tarot Workbook: Rootwork, Rituals, and Divination" is an extraordinary and illustrated high value pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Tarot collections. It should be noted that "The Hoodoo Tarot Workbook" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Tayannah Lee McQuillar is a tarot reader and researcher of religion, esoterica, and mysticism. The author of several books and divination decks, including The Hoodoo Tarot and Astrology for Mystics. (www.innertraditions.com/author/tayannah-lee-mcquillar)

When a Pagan Prays
Nimue Brown
Moon Books
c/o Collective Ink Books
https://www.collectiveinkbooks.com
9781782796336, $19.95, PB, 207pp

https://www.amazon.com/When-Pagan-Prays-Exploring-Druidry/dp/1782796339

Synopsis: When a Pagan prays, there are many uncertainties -- who we pray to, what we pray for, and what might happen to us as a consequence. Not having the same structures as other religions, Pagans cannot frame prayer in the same ways, and our experiences are likely to be wilder and more personal. "When a Pagan Prays: Exploring Prayer in Druidry and Beyond" by practicing druid Nimue Brown is both a wide ranging exploration of what prayer means in different faith and cultures, and a personal journey into a spiritual practice.

Critique: Informative, thought-provoking, fascinating, extraordinary, and especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Druid/Paganism collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "When a Pagan Prays: Exploring Prayer in Druidry and Beyond" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Editorial Note: Druid, author, bard and dreamer. Nimue Brown is OBOD trained, a founding member of Bards of The Lost Forest, Druid Network member and previously a volunteer for The Pagan Federation. (https://druidry.org/people/nimue-brown)


The Criminology Shelf

Tinseltown Gangsters
Jeffrey Sussman, author
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
www.rowman.com
9781538173565, $36.00, HC, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tinseltown-Gangsters-Rise-Decline-Hollywood/dp/1538173565

Synopsis: Like sharks to blood in the water, the Mafia arrived in Hollywood greedy and ready to tear away huge chunks of cash. Opportunistic mobsters saw labor unions as the means for muscling into the movie industry and extorting millions of dollars from studio bosses. Control the unions to which projectionists, art directors, cinematographers, electricians, scene designers, stagehands, extras belong, and you control the whole industry.

Painting colorful portraits of numerous mobsters, producers, actors, and directors, with the publication of "Tinseltown Gangsters: The Rise and Decline of the Mob in Hollywood", Jeffrey Sussman tells the gripping, fast-paced, and true story of corruption and greed in Hollywood throughout much of the twentieth century.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a two page Bibliography, and a two page Index, "Tinseltown Gangsters: The Rise and Decline of the Mob in Hollywood" is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented history of the Mafia's involvement with (and eventual expulsion from) the film industry in Hollywood. Unique, fascinating, comprehensive, detailed, documented and informative, "Tinseltown Gangsters" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library True Crime collections and supplemental Criminology curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Tinseltown Gangsters" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $34.00).

Editorial Note: Jeffrey Sussman is the author of seventeen nonfiction books, seven of which have been published by Rowman & Littlefield. Sussman is also the author of Sin City Gangsters: The Rise and Decline of the Mob in Las Vegas; Big Apple Gangsters: The Rise and Decline of the Mob in New York; and Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science. (www.goodreads.com/author/list/1211074.Jeffrey_Sussman)

Church Pastor, Child Trafficker
Roger Rodriguez, author
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
www.rowman.com
9781538185063, $32.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Church-Pastor-Child-Trafficker-Cuellar/dp/1538185067

Synopsis: Since the early 1990s, Elsa Cuellar was able to operate in a way that left no trail. She would pose as a pastor, doctor, or lawyer to win the trust of her young victims. With the promise of a better life, citizenship, and education, these young girls were lured into the clutches of Cuellar's claws where they became the source of her wealth.

This in itself made her money, but the true motive was to ensure these young girls got pregnant. By posing as a doctor or midwife, Cuellar would convince the young girls that having the baby at her home was the most sanitary and natural way to give birth. But unknown to the girls, the objective was to have a delivery that would not be on record at a hospital.

This made her underground baby-selling enterprise easier. After all, who would look for a baby no one knows exists? Once Cuellar delivered the sad news to the young girls that the baby died during birth, her mission was complete.

Critique: A chilling and detailed account of an horrific criminal activity that took years to discover and put an end to, "Church Pastor, Child Trafficker: The Crimes of Elsa Cuellar in a Border Town" will have a very special value for readers with an interest in white collar and organized crime accounts. An impressively research, detailed, and informative study, "Church Pastor, Child Trafficker: The Crimes of Elsa Cuellar in a Border Town" is a compelling read and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library True Crime collections and supplemental Criminology curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Church Pastor, Child Trafficker: The Crimes of Elsa Cuellar in a Border Town" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $30.00).

Editorial Note: Roger Rodriguez (www.writingbyroger.com) is an American author born in Houston, Texas. He is the author of The Long Way to Mexico which won an International Latino Book Award (2022) and Silver Book Fest Award (2022). In 2008, he was featured in the Discovery Channel for his work The Grass Beneath His Feet: The Charles Victor Thompson Story which highlights the escape of death row inmate Charles Victor Thompson. Later, this work was translated into French, German, and Italian editions.


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