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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 31, Number 12 December 2021 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Christmas Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Education Shelf Parenting Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Business Shelf Military Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Literary Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Technology Shelf
Architecture Shelf Biography Shelf Psychology Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novels Shelf Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Art Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Fashion Shelf Photography Shelf
World History Shelf Literary Studies Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf
Travel Shelf Self-Help Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Nautical Shelf Poetry Shelf
Autism Shelf Wisconsin Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World
Michael J. Benton, author
Bob Nichols, illustrator
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9781408843956, $35.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaurs-New-Visions-Lost-World/dp/0500052190

Synopsis: What dinosaurs looked like has been an evolving process from their first discovery down to the present day. In the profusely and beautifully illustrated pages of "Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World", world-leading paleontologist Michael J. Benton brings us a new visual guide to the world of the dinosaurs, showing how rapid advances in technology and amazing new fossil finds have changed the way we see these extinct beasts forever.

Stunning, brand-new illustrations by paleoartist Bob Nicholls display the latest and most exciting scientific discoveries in vibrant color. From Sinosauropteryx, the first dinosaur to have its color patterns identified (a ginger-and-white striped tail and a "bandit mask") by Benton's team at the University of Bristol to recent research on the surprising mixed feathers and scales of Kulindadromeus, "Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World" is one of the first books to include cutting-edge scientific research in paleontology.

Each individual chapter focuses on a particular extinct species, featuring a specially commissioned illustration by Bob Nicholls that brings to life the latest scientific breakthroughs, with accompanying text exploring how paleontologists have determined new details, such as the patterns on skin and the colors of feathers of animals that lived millions of years ago. This visual compendium surprises and challenges everything you thought you knew about what dinosaurs looked like and how they lived.

Critique: Featuring 100 full color illustrations in support of an informed and informative commentary, "Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World" is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from cover to cover. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Paleontology collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dinosaur enthusiasts that "Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Michael J. Benton is a professor of vertebrate paleontology and head of the world-leading Palaeobiology Research Group at the University of Bristol. He has written more than fifty books, including "Dinosaurs Rediscovered" and "When Life Nearly Died".

The Burnout Epidemic
Jennifer Moss
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781647820367, $30.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Burnout-Epidemic-Rise-Chronic-Stress/dp/1647820367

Synopsis: We tend to think of burnout as a problem we can solve with self-care: more yoga, better breathing techniques, and more resilience. But evidence is mounting that applying personal, Band-Aid style solutions to an epic and rapidly evolving workplace phenomenon isn't enough -- in fact, it's not even close. If we're going to solve this problem, organizations must take the lead in developing an anti-burnout strategy that moves beyond apps, wellness programs, and perks.

"The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It" by Jennifer Moss is eye-opening, paradigm-shifting, and practical guide in which are revealed the real causes of burnout and how organizations can stop the chronic stress cycle that an alarming number of workers suffer through.

"The Burnout Epidemic" explains: What causes burnout (and what organizations can do to prevent it); Why traditional wellness initiatives fall short; How companies can build an anti-burnout strategy based on prevention, not perks; How leaders can measure burnout in their own organizations; What leaders can do to develop a healthier culture that prioritizes resilience and curiosity.

As the current pandemic has shown, self-care is important, but it's not a cure-all for burnout. Employers need to do more. With fascinating research, new findings from the pandemic, and interviews with business leaders around the globe, "The Burnout Epidemic" offers business managers and corporate executives insightful and actionable advice that will empower them to help themselves (and their employees) feel healthier and happier at work.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of eighteen pages of Notes and a fourteen page Index, "The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It" will prove to be an invaluable addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, college, and university library Business Stress and Personal Management instructional reference collections. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, business management, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.90).

Editorial Note: Jennifer Moss is also the author of "Unlocking Happiness at Work", which received the distinguished UK Business Book of the Year Award. Moss also sits on the Global Happiness Council. To acknowledge her contributions to business and public service, Moss was named a Canadian Innovator of the Year, an International Female Entrepreneur of the Year, and recipient of the Public Service Award from the Office of President Obama.

American Tax Trivia
Mike Kowis, Esq.
www.mikekowis.com
Lecture PRO Publishing
9781732863040, $9.99 Paper, $2.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/American-Tax-Trivia-Ultimate-Taxation/dp/1732863040

Anyone who thinks they know the facts about the American tax system and its history should welcome the opportunity to test them with American Tax Trivia: The Ultimate Quiz on U.S. Taxation. It's also a self-admitted (says the author) "silly book" that is designed to be fun for a wide audience - not just tax professionals or accountants. The tax trivia knowledge being tested is wide and ranges from who authored particular quotes about taxation and the practice to tax regulations. History buffs will be satisfied to know that the collection embraces past history (not just present-day events and regulations); while the whimsical rating of test results includes fun categories that range from "Dunce" to "You Got Mad Skills" and "Tax Master!" No tax stone is left unturned, here, from IRS tax codes to audit processes, tax forms, and the intersection between politics and taxation. More than just a pairing of trivia questions with serious tax matters, American Tax Trivia offers a wide audience the opportunity to test their knowledge and obtain a laugh in the process. Who said that taxes and accounting are dull? Someone who hasn't read American Tax Trivia, which is the perfect gift for the numbers-oriented professional, or for a room full of businesspeople who can bond over tax matters.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit, second edition
Robert W. Bly with Fred Gleeck
Quill Driver Books
www.quilldriverbooks.com
9781610359900, $18.95

https://www.amazon.com/Write-Simple-Information-Profit-Books/dp/1610359909

How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, e-books, Articles, Special Reports, Audios, Videos, Membership Sites, and Other How-To Content provides a new second edition of a how-to guide that's been updated for the modern online content market, including podcasts and YouTube channels. This update represents a significant addition of topics and social media approaches and analysis that sets this edition apart from anything else on the market and makes it a top examination of opportunities in various fields that writers can enter. The whole writer's marketing process receives a thorough coverage in a how-to guide that can't be beat.

Book Proposals That Sell
W. Terry Whalin
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
www.morganjamespublishing.com
9781631955105, $16.95, PB, 162pp

https://www.bookproposalsthatsell.com

Synopsis: Specifically written for the novice and inexperienced writer wanting to become a successfully published author, and now in a thoroughly revised and updated edition, "Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success" is the ideal instruction guide and manual that begins with acknowledging that about 80% to 90% of all nonfiction books are sold from a book proposal. An absolutely essential necessity for becoming a published author, the book proposal contains many elements that will never appear in a manuscript -- yet these details are critical to publishing executives who make the decision about publishing or rejecting an author's project. In his DIY "Book Proposals That Sell", W. Terry Whalin reveals 21 secrets to creating a book proposal that every author needs in order to create one that sells.

Critique: Simply stated, if you only have time to read one 'how to' guide to getting published, whether it be traditional publishing or self-publishing, "Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success" is that one DIY instructional book. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, it can help the aspiring writer to avoid costly and time consuming mistakes with respect to getting published and having that published book brought to the attention of its intended readership.

Editorial Note: W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. A former literary agent, Terry has published in over 50 magazines and written more than 60 books through traditional publishers. Several of Terry's books have sold over 100,000 copies. He is the creator of www.Right-Writing.com and www.TheWritingLife.ws


The Christmas Shelf

Dear Santa
Debbie Macomber
Ballantine Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
www.randomhouse.com
Random House Audio Books
www.randomhouseaudio.com
9781984818812, $21.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Santa-Novel-Debbie-Macomber/dp/1984818813

Synopsis: Lindy Carmichael isn't feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was "the one" has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even Christmas carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up -- but Lindy's mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that just might lift her daughter's spirits.

Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she'd wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen's encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she'd done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic (especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate) Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays.

In "Dear Santa", author Debbie Macomber truly celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, both old and new.

Critique: Absolutely perfect for the Christmas season and a simply wonderful and heartwarming read any time of the year, Debbie Macomber's new novel, "Dear Santa", is especially and unreservedly recommended for any and all community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Debbie Macomber fans that "Dear Santa" is also readily available in a large print paperback edition (9780593505021, $23.00), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Random House Audio, 9780593289723, $30.00, CD).


The Social Issues Shelf

The PhD Parenthood Trap
Kerry F. Crawford, author
Leah C. Windsor, author
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
www.press.georgetown.edu
9781647120665, $29.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/PhD-Parenthood-Trap-Between-Academia/dp/1647120667

Synopsis: Academia today has a big problem. For many parents (especially mothers) the idea of "work-life balance" is a work-life myth. Parents and caregivers work harder than ever to grow and thrive in their careers while juggling the additional responsibilities that accompany parenthood. Sudden disruptions and daily constraints such as breastfeeding, sick days that keep children home from school, and the sleep deprivation that plagues the early years of parenting, and the current Covid pandemic with its long-distance learning for homebound children, all threaten to derail careers. Some experience bias and harassment related to pregnancy or parental leave. The result is an academic Chutes and Ladders, where career advancement is nearly impossible for parents who lack access to formal or informal support systems.

In "The PhD Parenthood Trap: Caught Between Work and Family in Academia" and with the assistance of twenty-two expert and experienced contributors, co-authors Kerry F. Crawford and Leah C. Windsor reveal the realities of raising kids, on or off the tenure track, and suggest reforms to help support parents throughout their careers. Insights from their original survey data and poignant vignettes from scholars across disciplines make it clear that universities lack understanding, uniform policies, and flexibility for family formation, hurting the career development of parent-scholars.

Each chapter comprising "The PhD Parenthood Trap: Caught Between Work and Family in Academia" includes recommendations for best practices and policy changes that will help make academia an exemplar of progressive family-leave policies. Topics covered include pregnancy, adoption, miscarriage and infant loss, postpartum depression, family leave, breastfeeding, daily parenting challenges, the tenure clock, and more. "The PhD Parenthood Trap: Caught Between Work and Family in Academia" then concludes with advice to new or soon-to-be parents to help them better navigate parenthood in academia.

Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "The PhD Parenthood Trap: Caught Between Work and Family in Academia" is especially recommended reading for scholars, academic mentors, and university administrators who would benefit from empirical evidence and suggested steps to break down personal and structural barriers between parenthood and scholarly careers. While an essential addition to community, college, and university library Education Administration & Parenting collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The PhD Parenthood Trap: Caught Between Work and Family in Academia" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).

Editorial Note #1: Kerry F. Crawford is an associate professor of political science at James Madison University. She is the author of Wartime Sexual Violence (Georgetown University Press, 2017) and Human Security: Theory and Action. She is also the mother of three young children.

Editorial Note #2: Leah C. Windsor is a research associate professor in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis. She directs the Languages Across Cultures lab and is the author of numerous studies at the intersection of linguistics and political science. She is also the mother of two young children.


The Education Shelf

School, Not Jail
Peter Williamson and Deborah Appleman, editors
Teachers College Press
https://www.tcpress.com
9780807765487, $32.95 pbk / $18.12 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/School-Not-Jail-Educators-Incarceration/dp/0807765481

Synopsis: This important volume examines how and why increasing numbers of students, disproportionately youth of color, are being taken from our schools and put into our prisons. Williamson and Appleman, along with a collection of scholars, teacher educators, K - 12 teachers, an administrator, and an incarcerated student, offer their perspectives on how schooling can be restructured to disrupt this flow and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. They present clearly articulated strategies on curriculum, pedagogy, and disciplinary practices that can help redirect our collective efforts away from carceral practices.

By considering chapters from prison educators and an essay by a currently incarcerated student (the end of the pipeline), readers will plainly see the disciplinary and curricular issues that need to be addressed in our schools. The text includes examples of meaningful ways to engage students that could be incorporated into a variety of classrooms, from social studies to science to English language arts.

School, Not Jail features:

Instructive cautionary tales with specific pedagogical and policy suggestions.

Alternatives to discipline in schools, such as restorative justice and positive behavioral support.

Insights to help educators consider the trajectory of their students, as well as suggestions for making the curriculum both relevant and sustaining.

Ways in which an understanding of the mechanisms of the school-to-prison pipeline can be woven into teacher preparation.

Critique: School, Not Jail: How Educators Can Disrupt School Pushout and Mass Incarceration is a curated anthology of essays by expert scholars examining a horrifying failure of American schools - how increasing number of students, especially students of color, are taken out of schools and end up in prisons. This can happen directly, when students are arrested in schools, or indirectly, when students are suspended or expelled for even the most minor violations of dress code or "zero tolerance" policies. Students who are expelled or do not complete a high school degree are severely disadvantaged in career prospects, and many times more likely to become incarcerated. Individual writings examining this distressing problem and ways to counteract it include "Transformative Justice in Education: A Necessary Paradigm Shift in the United States", "Teacher Preparation and Disrupting School Pushout and Mass Incarceration", "Still I Rise: Student Voices in Juvenile Hall", and much more. School, Not Jail directly addresses a systemic social ill that literally destroys lives, and is worthy of the highest recommendation for public, college, and professional library Education collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that School, Not Jail is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.12).

Editorial Note: Peter Williamson is an associate professor at Stanford University and faculty director of the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) for secondary teachers. Deborah Appleman is the Hollis L. Caswell Professor of educational studies at Carleton College and author of Critical Encounters in Secondary English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents, Third Edition.

Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students
Joy Lawson Davis, editor
Deb Douglas, editor
Free Spirit Publishing
6325 Sandburg Road, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55427-3674
www.freespirit.com
9781631984884, $42.99, PB, 188pp

https://www.amazon.com/Empowering-Underrepresented-Gifted-Students-ProfessionalTM/dp/1631984888

Synopsis: In gifted education, an important and contentious issue that has yet to be sufficiently addressed is the systemic underrepresentation of gifted students who have been discriminated against in school-based gifted and advanced learner programs because of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other discriminatory cultural realities. "Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students: Perspectives from the Field" gives a voice to those students and brings their stories into focus.

With chapters written by student and expert scholars who specialize in addressing the structural inequity and educational inequality in gifted and advanced learner programs, "Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students" recommends practices and strategies for helping underserved high-potential students claim their right to an education that addresses their unique needs. Each chapter has key takeaways and discussion questions, providing a built-in book study guide to prepare educators to engage students in conversation and to help develop their self-advocacy skills.

In the pages, collaborative co-editors and educators Dr. Joy Lawson Davis and Deb Douglas have brought together the voices of experts and students to help educators move closer to ensuring equity, access, and excellence in gifted education. By arming historically marginalized gifted students with self-advocacy strategies, these remarkable students will be better enabled to fulfill their dreams.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized, impressively informative, thoughtful and thought- provoking, "Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students: Perspectives from the Field" is an extraordinary, timely, and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Gifted Students Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. "Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students: Perspectives from the Field" is also an ideal selection as a textbook for school district teacher in-service training programs and a 'must' for all classroom teachers of gifted students seeking to create and maintain Gifted Education curriculums.

Teaching International Relations
James M. Scott, Ralph G. Carter, Brandy Jolliff Scott, Jeffrey S. Lantis, editors
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781839107641, $145.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Teaching-International-Relations-Elgar-Guides/dp/1839107642

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and edited by the team of James M. Scott (Herman Brown Chair and Professor of Political Science, Texas Christian University), Ralph G. Carter (Piper Professor of Political Science, Texas Christian University), Brandy Jolliff Scott (Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Texas Christian University), and Jeffrey S. Lantis (Professor of Political Science, College of Wooster), "Teaching International Relations" comprehensive guide captures important trends in international relations (IR) pedagogy, paying particular attention to innovations in active learning and student engagement for the contemporary International Relations (IR) classroom.

"Teaching International Relations" is organized into three parts: IR course structures and goals; techniques and approaches to the classroom; and assessment and effectiveness. It is up-to-date with teaching practices highlighted by leading journals and conferences sponsored by the International Studies Association (ISA) and the American Political Science Association (APSA).

Collectively, the chapters contribute to continuing dialogues on pedagogy in the field and serve as a critical resource for faculty in IR, political science, and social science.

Critique: Comprised of seventeen erudite and informative articles by experts in their respective fields, "Teaching International Relations" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of figures, tables, a 33 page listing of References, and a six page Index. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Teaching International Relations" is a part of the Elgar Guides To Teaching series and a highly recommended addition to professional, college, and university library Contemporary Education & International Relations collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Paying for College, 2022
Kalman Chany
The Princeton Review
www.PrincetonReview.com
c/o Random House Inc.
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com
9780525571544, $22.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Paying-College-2022-Everything-Admissions/dp/052557154X

Synopsis: Financing a college education is a daunting task no matter what the financial circumstances of students and their families might be. With line-by-line instructions for filling out the FAFSA and consumer-friendly advice to minimize college costs, "Paying for College, 2022: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" addresses: Maximizing financial aid eligibility; How COVID-19 and the latest tax laws affect the financing of a college education; Exploring both long-term and short-term strategies to reduce college costs and avoid expensive mistakes; Complete every question on the FAFSA and CSS Profile forms to best advantage; Compare aid offers and learn how to appeal them if necessary; Plan strategically as a separated/divorced parent, blended family, or independent student.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Paying for College, 2022: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" is a 'must have' resource for the families of college bound students, highschool counselors, community, college, and university library College & University Financial Aid and College & Education Costs reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Paying for College, 2022: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

What's Your Leadership Story?
Gretchen Oltman, author
Vicki Bautista, author
ASCD
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
www.ascd.org
9781416630395, $39.95, PB, 175pp

https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Your-Leadership-Story-Aligning/dp/1416630392

Synopsis: When you as an educator can authentically tell your story, your school community will know you, what you value, and why you make decisions the way you do. You will rediscover a sense of purpose, renewal, and inspiration that may have slipped away amid the chaos of life -- and you can build a stronger connection with those you lead and work beside.

Leading in a school setting does not mean you need to lose your individual identity. You became a school leader by following your own unique path. You possess talents that set you apart from others. By working purposefully to share your personal leadership philosophy, you can create a new expectation of what school leaders should be and counter the unrealistic assumptions that others may hold. You can be more than your title.

That is the theme and purpose of "What's Your Leadership Story?: A School Leader's Guide to Aligning How You Lead with Who You Are" by Gretchen Oltman (who is an author, attorney, and associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at Creighton University, where she leads a program for graduate students pursuing degrees in leadership) and Vicki Bautista (who is an assistant professor at Creighton University in the department of interdisciplinary studies).

Critique: Exceptional 'reader friendly' in organization and presented, "What's Your Leadership Story?: A School Leader's Guide to Aligning How You Lead with Who You Are" is essential a DIY instructional guide and manual that would benefit any educator to become more effective as a leader in whatever their educational setting might be. While especially and unreservedly recommended for school district, college and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "What's Your Leadership Story?: A School Leader's Guide to Aligning How You Lead with Who You Are" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).


The Parenting Shelf

Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD ... Ready or Not!
Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, author
Ruth Hughes, author
Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
www.woodbinehouse.com
9781606132975, $24.95, PB, 246pp

https://www.amazon.com/Launching-into-Young-Adulthood-Ready/dp/1606132970

Synopsis: The quantum leap from high school into young adulthood and the work world can be especially challenging for teens with ADHD. Scientific evidence indicates that ADHD can result in up to a three- to five-year delay in brain maturation and executive functioning skills, which means that many young people with ADHD may not be developmentally ready to meet the demands of this transition. Without continued support, young people can become overwhelmed and risk failure.

Authors Chris Dendy and Ruth Hughes are ADHD experts and parents of adult sons who are now successfully established in their careers. With the publication of "Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD ... Ready or Not!" they offer parents guidance and strategies to help their preteens and teens develop the key life skills necessary for the adult world and identify potential vocational interests and career paths before graduation.

An important theme is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to life planning for young people with ADHD. The authors therefore caution against assuming attending a four-year college right after high school (or at all) is the best path to a successful, fulfilling adulthood. Instead, they advocate for nurturing natural talents, exploring careers that "work" with ADHD (sales, business owner, chef), using available services (transition planning, vocational testing and counseling), trying out work experiences (volunteer work, internships, summer jobs), and perhaps taking a gap year before getting additional education (college, community college, technical training).

"Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD ... Ready or Not!" also offers plentiful advice on building a strong, positive parent-child relationship and recognizing and addressing anxiety and depression and low self-esteem. With a hopeful and personable message, the authors share their own and other parents' insights about avoiding common missteps and mitigating the impacts of ADHD. "Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD ... Ready or Not!" is top-notch DIY guide to helping young people define and prep for the future with its very specific ADHD strategies and collaborative approach to launching teens into their life's journey.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, practical, comprehensive, encouraging, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD ... Ready or Not!" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Parenting, ADHD, and Adolescent Counseling collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of parents, highschool counselors, psychology students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD ... Ready or Not!" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.99).

Editorial Note #1: Chris A. Zeigler Dendy is a popular author, educator, school psychologist, and mental health professional with more than forty years' experience and is the mother of three children with ADHD, LD, and executive function deficits. She provides training nationally and internationally.

Editorial Note #2: Ruth Hughes, PhD, has been a national leader in the field of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder for many years. During her tenure as the CEO of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), Dr. Hughes advocated with Congress and the federal government to ensure the rights and access to treatment for children and adults with ADHD. She instituted the widely recognized Parent to Parent Training Program, which has helped thousands of parents learn to manage ADHD in the family. Teacher to Teacher, a training program on ADHD for teachers, was also launched under her leadership.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Thicker Than Water
Erica Cirino
Island Press
2000 M St NW Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
www.islandpress.org
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781642831375, $27.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thicker-Than-Water-Solutions-Plastic/dp/1642831379

Synopsis: Disgarded plastic is the primary contaminant of our oceans today and are created havoc with marine life. Instead of a great island of trash, the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of manmade debris spread over hundreds of miles of sea -- more like a soup than a floating garbage dump. Recycling is more complicated than we were taught: less than nine percent of the plastic we create is reused, and the majority ends up in the ocean. And plastic pollution isn't confined to the open ocean: it's in much of the air we breathe and the food we eat.

In "Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis", journalist and environmentalist Erica Cirino brings readers on a globe-hopping journey to meet the scientists and activists telling the real story of the plastic crisis. From the deck of a plastic-hunting sailboat with a disabled engine, to the labs doing cutting-edge research on microplastics and the chemicals we ingest, Cirino paints a full picture of how plastic pollution is threatening wildlife and human health.

"Thicker Than Water" also reveals that the plastic crisis is also a tale of environmental injustice, as poorer nations take in a larger share of the world's trash, and manufacturing chemicals threaten predominantly Black and low-income communities.

There is some hope on the horizon, with new laws banning single-use items and technological innovations to replace plastic in our lives. But Cirino shows that we can only fix the problem if we face its full scope and begin to rep

Critique: Incredible timely given the current focus on climate change and the growing contamination of plastic wastes in our oceans, seas, rivers and lakes, it is imperative that "Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis" be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Environmental Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis" is also available for the personal reading lists of students, academia, environmental activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666519679, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Erica Cirino is a science writer and artist who explores the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds. Her photographic and written works have appeared in Scientific American, The Guardian, VICE, Hakai Magazine, The Atlantic, and other esteemed publications. She is a recipient of fellowships from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and Safina Center, as well as several awards for visual art.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Asia's Wildlife
Fanny Lai, author
Bjorn Olesen, author
Periplus Editions
c/o Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
www.periplus.com
9780794608132, $34.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Asias-Wildlife-Proceeds-Birdlife-International/dp/0794608132

Synopsis: "Asia's Wildlife: A Journey to the Forests of Hope" provides rare insights into Asia's breathtaking tropical forests and the rare species that inhabit them -- many of which are now endangered.

Produced to raise funds and awareness of nature conservation through their Forest of Hope program, Asia's Wildlife is a mesmerizing year-long photographic journey of the expedition taken by Fanny Lai and photographer Bjorn Olesen. Readers can become part of their journey as they observe, photograph, and describe Asia's most distinctive animal species.

The trip brings you as an armchair traveler to the most remote and biodiverse forests in eight different countries in Asia, and gives you the opportunity to learn about rarely seen (let alone photographed) endangered animal species.

"Asia's Wildlife" showcases more than 190 images and illustrations, and features 129 different animal species, of which 72 are national endemics, including: The Giant Cloud Rat; The majestic Philippine Eagle; The critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill -- and many other fascinating creatures!

"Asia's Wildlife" also includes the ongoing conservation efforts to protect these precious forests, as well as very real threats to the future of the animals and habitats.

Critique: A beautifully presented compendium of memorable full color wildlife photography published in a hardcover coffee-table style format (9.6 x 1 x 10.7 inches), "Asia's Wildlife: A Journey to the Forests of Hope" is an especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Wildlife & Endangered Species collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, wildlife preservation activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that ""Asia's Wildlife: A Journey to the Forests of Hope" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.03).

Editorial Note: Proceeds from the sale of "Asia's Wildlife: A Journey to the Forests of Hope" will go to support the conservation activities of Bird Life International.


The Cookbook Shelf

Buen Provecho!
Ericka Sanchez
Familius
www.familius.com
9781641705653, $29.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/%C2%A1Buen-Provecho-Traditional-Mexican-Flavors/dp/1641705655

Synopsis: Compiled and presented by Ericka Sanchez, "Buen Provecho!: Traditional Mexican Flavors from My Cocina to Yours" is a beautifully illustrated collection of over 100 authentic Mexican recipes, each with its own unique spin and delivering the Mexican flavors everyone craves with respect to Mexican cuisine -- but swapping in easy-to-find, healthful ingredients! From breakfasts and salsas to meatless meals and special recipes for Dia de Los Muertos and other special occasions, "Buen Provecho!" is the ideal cookbook for anyone looking to expand their cultural culinary palate!

Critique: Fascinating to browse throughout, thoroughly 'user friendly' to plan memorable meals with, "Buen Provecho!: Traditional Mexican Flavors from My Cocina to Yours" and its palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Latin Americn and Vegan cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Ericka Sanchez is a recipe developer, food stylist, and the creator of the award-winning culinary website nibblesandfeasts.com. Ericka's cooking style is inspired by her life as a bicultural Latina living in California and her cherished memories in the kitchen with her grandmother and mother in Mexico, where she lived until she was eight years old.

Sushi
Ryuichi Yoshii
Periplus Editions
c/o Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9782702846827, $18.95, HC, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sushi-Essential-Kitchen-Ryuichi-Yoshii/dp/962593460X

Synopsis: Sushi is a Japanese culinary art form. Fresh and delicious, sushi is also one of the healthiest foods you can eat, as it's low in fat and high in essential vitamins and minerals. Aesthetically pleasing, sushi is also surprisingly simple to make. From traditional hand-rolled sushi to the modern sushi in a bowl, this sushi cookbook will show you how to make these elegant dishes with ease.

In "Sushi", Japanese culinary expert Ryuichi Yoshii provides step-by-step instructions and photographs showing how to make a variety of sushi and sashimi. Also included in "Sushi" is information on the history and the health benefits of Japanese sushi, as well as directions on using sushi-making tools, making perfect sushi rice, how to cut vegetables and decorations, and selecting fresh fish.

Sushi recipes include: Nigiri; Vegetable Sushi; Sushi in a Bowl; California Rolls; and Thin Rolls.

Critique: All the recipes comprising "Sushi" are very easy to follow and are especially suitable for both beginners and experienced cooks. Filled from cover to cover with elegant and stylish photographs, "Sushi" will prove to be a prized addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Ryuichi Yoshii was born in Nagasaki in southern Japan. His father was a traditional Japanese chef who taught Ryuichi to appreciate fine food. Ryuichi trained to be a sushi chef in Tokyo before moving to Australia in 1993 with his wife, Virginia. He recently opened his own restaurant in Sydney's Darling Harbour and is well known and respected in Sydney for his creative sushi and adventurous cooking style.

The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook
Nettie Cronish
Whitecap Books Ltd.
www.whitecap.ca
9781770503304, $34.95, PB, 246pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fair-Trade-Cookbook-Nettie-Cronish/dp/1770503307

Synopsis: We live in an age when consumers are more informed than ever about what they buy, eat and use. Local producers and chefs educate their customers to understand exactly where the food they consume comes from and how it was grown or raised. People are eager to educate themselves, and to spend money on products and ingredients that benefit their bodies, environment and communities. That is why buying fair trade ingredients has a tremendous social impact.

With the publication of "The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook", culinary expert and social activist Nettie Cronish gives consumers an understanding of the process -- explaining how an ingredient qualifies for fair trade certification and how that product reaches a supermarket shelf. Each chapter will include an interview with a fair trade producer and provide background along with the benefits of fair trade ingredients.

From the cocoa farmers in Belize, the campesina coffee growers of Chiapas, the banana farmers and workers of Ecuador, to the Palestinian olive growers of the West Bank, " We live in an age when consumers are more informed than ever about what they buy, eat and use. Local producers and chefs educate their customers to understand exactly where the food they consume comes from and how it was grown or raised. People are eager to educate themselves, and to spend money on products and ingredients that benefit their bodies, environment and communities. That is why buying fair trade ingredients has a tremendous social impact.

With The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook, Nettie Cronish gives consumers an understanding of the process -- explaining how an ingredient qualifies for fair trade certification and how that product reaches a supermarket shelf. Each chapter will include an interview with a fair trade producer and provide background along with the benefits of fair trade ingredients.

From the cocoa farmers in Belize, the campesina coffee growers of Chiapas, the banana farmers and workers of Ecuador, to the Palestinian olive growers of the West Bank, "The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook" is also the story of farmers and workers sharing the desire for a better world.

"The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook" is comprised of diverse, palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes using fair trade ingredients that would charm many a palate ranging from Chai Rice Pudding (using fair trade coconut milk); Garlic Braised Swiss Chard (using fair trade olive oil); Guinness Cocoa Cake (using fair trade cocoa); and Organic Meringues (using fair trade sugar); to Quinoa Falafel Balls (using fair trade quinoa); Espresso Glazed Coffee Cake (using fair trade coffee); and Curried Banana Cream Pie (using fair trade bananas).

Critique: Nettie Cronish is a food writer, recipe developer and health and wellness seminar instructor. She has been teaching vegetarian cooking classes for the past 20 years and is the author of 3 cookbooks including Everyday Flexitarian, Flex Appeal and Nourish. Her newest culinary compendium is beautifully illustrated throughout -- making "The Fair Trade Ingredient Cookbook" a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Essential
Ollie Dabbous
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781408843956, $35.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Untitled-By-Ollie-Dabbous/dp/1408843951

Synopsis: What ever the culinary culture of the cuisine, the best foods are always the simplest, whether cooking at home or in a restaurant. "Essential" is cookbook compendium of simply outstanding recipes in which Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous has created to help home cooks everywhere elevate go-to dishes into something special, through easy techniques, few pieces of equipment, and concise ingredients that work together to create the most delicious flavors.

Organized by ingredient type, from Grains to Shellfish to Sugar and Honey, the 100 recipes in Essential are all basics that Dabbous teaches us how to make just right. Ranging from baked eggs, roasted vegetables, and flatbread to dishes with a bit more flare, like creamy spinach toast, meals made from "Essential" are sure to wow whomever sits down to eat at the table.

With gorgeous photographs and sleek, elegantly classic design, Essential is the can't-miss cookbook for home cooks looking to ace their everyday menu.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "Essential" is an elegant compilation of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying dishes that will transform any meal from the ordinary to the extraordinary. While "Essential" is especially recommended for community library contemporary cookbook collections, it should be noted for the family chef that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.16).

Editorial Note: Ollie Dabbous started cooking as a kitchen hand in Florence when he was fifteen. He worked at Kensington Place for Rowley Leigh, but it was his years spent working with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons that most profoundly influenced his cooking. He went on to be head chef at the Scandinavian-influenced Texture on Portman Street, and has also spent time at Mugaritz, Noma, Hibiscus, L'Astrance, Pierre Gagnaire and WD50. In January 2012 he opened DABBOUS to rapturous reviews, and was awarded a Michelin star within months.

One Dish Fish
Lola Milne
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9780857839480, $22.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/One-Dish-Fish-Simple-Recipes/dp/0857839489

Synopsis: Fish and seafood can be wonderfully quick to prepare and cook, but as ingredients they strike fear into the hearts of many - even those who otherwise feel confident in the kitchen.

All of the recipes in One Dish Fish are cooked in the oven in one dish or roasting pan. Geared towards speed and convenience, they are organized into chapters divided by time frame - 20 minutes, 30 minutes and 45 minutes - with most being ready in half an hour. From Slow-roasted salmon with citrus, harissa and capers to Anchovy, garlic, chilli and broccoli pasta, Lola's dishes are perfect for fish lovers of all cooking abilities.

Critique: One Dish Fish: 70 Quick and Simple Recipes to Cook in the Oven lives up to its title as a kitchen cook-friendly, practical-minded cookbook to preparing fish and seafood. Every dish is cooked in a single dish or roasting pan; recipes are sorted by time frame (20, 30, or 45 minutes). Each recipe features easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and many are illustrated with a full- color, full-page photograph. One Dish Fish is a "must-have" for seafood enthusiasts, or anyone interested in eating less red meat without sacrificing taste or convenience. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that One Dish Fish is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Editorial Note: Lola Milne's eyes were opened to the world of cookbooks, food photography and styling when she did work experience with Jamie Oliver and his food team. After school, she went to Glasgow School of Art and studied Fine Art Photography, though food continued to weave through her work there. After graduating she decided to return to the world of food styling and started working in the kitchens of cafes and bakeries while doing work experience with food stylists. She then progressed to assisting full time and then to being a stylist herself, expanding along the way into recipe testing and then writing. Lola's first book, Take One Can, was published in 2020 by Kyle Books.


The Business Shelf

Getting Price Right
Gerald Smith
Columbia Business School Publishing
c/o Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
http://cup.columbia.edu
9780231190701, $40.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Price-Right-Behavioral-Profitable/dp/0231190700

Synopsis: How do business leaders, managers, and proprietors go about the essential task of setting prices for their goods and services? What biases enter into this process, and why? How can a business debias its price setting to become more productive, strategic, and profitable?

Combining perceptive insights from behavioral economics with leading-edge ideas on price management, "Getting Price Right: The Behavioral Economics of Profitable Pricing" by Gerald Smith offers a new approach to pricing. Smith demonstrates why understanding, reframing, and refining everyday pricing processes (a firm's or manager's pricing orientation) results in a better long-term pricing strategy. He also explores how pricing actually happens in practice and shows how to identify and remove the psychological blinders that cause sub-optimal decisions and policies. Smith details how to improve pricing orientation by combining the soft behavioral skills that intuitively shape and refine pricing practice with the hard analytic skills that guide and structure pricing strategy. The result is more rational and more profitable pricing with respect to not only revenue and profitability but also employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

Critique: Offering an accessible and actionable model, "Getting Price Right" pioneers the way to apply behavioral economics to managerial price setting. It is essential for corporate business leaders, thought leaders, and professionals interested in advances in pricing and for managers, entrepreneurs, proprietors, and small and midsize business owners whose everyday work involves pricing.

While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, college, and university library Business Marketing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of entrepreneurs, corporate executives, business managers, MBA students, academia, economists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Getting Price Right: The Behavioral Economics of Profitable Pricing" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Gerald Smith is a business professor and chair of the Marketing Department at Boston College in the Carroll School of Management. He is also the author of The Opt-Out Effect: Marketing Strategies That Empower Consumers and Win Customer-Driven Brand Loyalty (2016) and editor of Visionary Pricing: Reflections and Advances in Honor of Dan Nimer (2012).

It's Time to Talk about Race at Work
Kelly McDonald
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119790877, $26.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Talk-about-Race-Work/dp/1119790875

Synopsis: Many non-racist white businessmen want to create change in their companies but are not certain as to how to do so appropriately and effectively.

How do you know where the blind spots are that can create obstacles for people of color? Your intentions may be sincere and heartfelt, but good intentions aren't enough.

In "It's Time to Talk about Race at Work: Every Leader's Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion", author Kelly McDonald delivers a much-needed roadmap for business people. This instructive guide will help to successfully create a fair and equitable workplace that recognizes diverse talent and fosters productive and constructive conversations in any organization. It's "Time to Talk about Race at Work" does not approach diversity from the standpoint of social activism or an HR perspective. Instead, it shows exactly what to do and how to do it so that anyone can make real progress on diversity and inclusion, regardless of the size of your organization.

Presented with a clear, "real talk" style that makes it easy to learn, "It's Time to Talk about Race at Work" covers: The costs and risks incurred if an organization lacks diversity; How people who don't consider themselves to be racist may still have diversity blind spots; How to start the hard conversations; The STARTING Method (an eight-step framework that shows how to ensure diversity and inclusion efforts that are effective); How to recognize the excuses people use to avoid taking action on diversity and inclusion; How to address the issues and comments that come up when employees feel nervous, resentful, or uncomfortable as you make headway on diversity in your organization

Critique: Exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "It's Time to Talk about Race at Work: Every Leader's Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" is an ideal instructional guide and manual for corporate executives, business managers, and leaders in both profit and non-profit organizations of all types and sizes. While highly recommended for community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of employees, MBA students, academia, entrepreneurs, and business managers that "It's Time to Talk about Race at Work: Every Leader's Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.00).

Editorial Note: Kelly McDonald is a professional speaker and expert on diversity in business. She's authored three bestselling books on marketing, the customer experience and leadership, all from the standpoint of working with people "not like you".

Lead with We
Simon Mainwaring
Matt Holt
c/o BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781953295699, $27.00, HC, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lead-We-Business-Revolution-Future/dp/195329569X

Synopsis: The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown into stark relief how "business as usual" is no longer serving us. The economic, business, and environmental models of the past do not reflect our current realities. And for our economy (and for us) to survive, we need nothing less than a seismic shift in the way we do business.

Simon Mainwaring is the founder and CEO of We First. A decade ago, he showed how business leaders and consumers could use social media to build a better world in We First. Now, after decades of research and field experience at the vanguard of the world's most successful brand revolutions, he provides in "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future " -- an instructional blueprint for doing business better in today's challenged world.

By leading with "we" (putting the collective above the individual, holding the sum above the parts, and emphasizing the importance of the role that everyone plays) corporate executives and business managers can not only help solve the escalating challenges of today but also unlock extraordinary growth for their business, and abundance on our planet.

Timely and compelling, the message of "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future" is simple: The future of profit is people's purpose, aligned. "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future" not only examines why we must all conduct business differently in order to grow in today's market, but provides the how in the form of concrete steps any reader, wherever they find themselves in the business hierarchy, can take toward success.

Critique: Timely, insightfully informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future" is impressively well written, organized and presented, making it critically important reading as our economy struggles to recover the pandemic's deleterious economic impact that is currently compounded by supply chain issues and the beginnings of an inflationary spiral. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, college, and university library Corporate Leadership Motivation and Business Management collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, corporate board members, business managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Beyond Happiness
Jenn Lim
Grand Central Publishing
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
www.hachettebookgroup.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781538736883, $28.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Happiness-Authentic-Leaders-Prioritize/dp/1538736888

Synopsis: Jenn Lim has dedicated her career to helping organizations from name-brand industry leaders to innovative governments build workplace cultures that benefit both their employees and their bottom line, with less employee turnover, greater engagement, and higher profits. Her culture consultancy, Delivering Happiness, demonstrates the profound impact happiness can have on businesses' ability to thrive in our ever-changing times.

With the publication of "Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact" she clearly and concretely shows the way the model works in a hyper-connected fast-paced world, beginning with each individual defining their sense of values and purpose (the ME), and rippling through the organization ecosystem (the WE and the COMMUNITY) in waves of impact.

Drawing on a deep understanding of the science of happiness, Jenn also shows how bringing your whole self to work allows you to do your best work every day -- no matter what role you play at your company or what crisis might come at you next. She explains how true happiness comes from living your true purpose, and offers case studies to show how companies can help individuals align their purpose with the company mission. This innovation in organizational design and company culture is no longer a nice-to-have. It's the future of work, and it's here now. In this life-changing guide, you'll be empowered to find greater purpose in your own life and career, and to spread that power to others in your business and beyond.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact" should be brought to the attention of corporate executives, business managers, entrepreneurs, and Human Resource/Personnel staff. While especially recommended for corporate, community, college, and university library Business & Workplace Culture collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781538707364, $21.41), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781668601310, $40.00, CD).

Editorial Note: Jenn Lim is the CEO of Delivering Happiness, a company she and Tony Hsieh (the late CEO of Zappos.com) co-founded to create happier company cultures for a more profitable and sustainable approach to business. Delivering Happiness is a business consultancy and global movement that has impacted and inspired over 400 companies in more than 110 countries. In 2017, Jenn was selected to be on the Global Happiness Council of Work and Wellbeing with the charter to scale the impact she's made in even more sustainable ways. In 2020, Delivering Happiness was on Inc. 5000's list of fastest growing companies.


The Military Shelf

Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare
John Arquilla
Polity
www.politybooks.com
c/o John Wiley and Sons (dist.)
www.wiley.com
9781509543625, $64.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bitskrieg-Challenge-Cyberwarfare-John-Arquilla/dp/1509543627

Synopsis: The story of modern warfare is one of new technologies changing how we protect our citizens and wage our wars. Among militaries, everything taken for granted about the ability to maneuver and fight is now undermined by vulnerability to "weapons of mass disruption": cutting-edge computer worms, viruses, and invasive robot networks. At home, billions of household appliances and other "smart" items that form the Internet of Things risk being taken over, then added to the ranks of massive, malicious "zombie" armies. The age of Bitskrieg is here, bringing vexing threats that range from the business sector to the battlefield.

"Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare", cybersecurity expert John Arquilla looks unflinchingly at the challenges posed by cyberwarfare -- which he persuasively argues have been neither met nor mastered. He offers fresh solutions for protecting against enemies that are often anonymous, unpredictable, and capable of projecting force and influence vastly disproportionate to their size, strength, or wealth. The changes called for require radical rethinking of military and security affairs, diplomacy, and even the routines of our daily lives.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare" is a ground breaking volume that must be considered an essential addition to personal, professional, community, governmental, college, and university library Military History & Strategy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, military strategists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781509543632, $22.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.00).

Editorial Note: John Arquilla is the Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis at the United States Naval Postgraduate School. For more than 30 years, his ideas have influenced the discourse on military and security affairs in the Cyber Age.

The Tiger from Poznan
Richard Siegert
Pen & Sword Books
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781526779175, $32.95, HC, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tiger-Pozna%C5%84-Richard-Siegert/dp/152677917X

Synopsis: In the Second World War, Poznan was a key river crossing and railway junction on the Polish-German border. When the alarm was given indicating the Red Army's approach in January 1945, the city's 80-100,000 German civilians were speedily evacuated, leaving a garrison of some 15,000 men, mostly poorly-armed infantry, to face the rigors of a siege conducted by a massively superior and ruthless enemy anxious to acquire this transport center, which was vital for the advance on Berlin.

"The Tiger from Poznan" by Richard Siegert is the autobiographical account of Eastern Front veteran Richard Siegert (1922-2012), who was the gunner and later commander of the German defenders' sole Tiger tank. Since the death of the driver in a futile attempt to escape from a POW camp in Russia just after the end of the war, Siegert is the only survivor of that crew able to pass its record on to posterity. His account details how the crew fought gallantly against impossible odds, even when the Tiger was immobilized and could only act as a stationary antitank gun post or pillbox during the last desperate days of the German military fighting for the citadel.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative account from a German perspective, Richard Siegert's "The Tiger from Poznan" will be of immense interest for World War II military history buffs and an important, appreciated, and valued addition to community, college, and university library World War II Military History & Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "The Tiger from Poznan" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Hitler's Strategic Bombing Offensive on the Eastern Front
Dmitry Degtev, author
Dmitry Zubov, author
Air World Books
c/o Pen & Sword Books
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
Casemate (distributor)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781526789891, $42.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Strategic-Bombing-Offensive-Eastern/dp/1526789892

Synopsis: Hitler's German military air force was never able to match the power of the Allied air forces with their great four-engine bombers, the Lancasters, Liberators and Flying Fortresses. Indeed, many have ascribed the defeat of Germany in the Second World to its lack of a strategic bombing force. There were, though, two occasions when the Luftwaffe's twin-engine bombers undertook strategic objectives on a large scale. The first of these was the 'Blitz' of 1940-1941, in which the Luftwaffe attempted to wreck Britain's industrial and military capacity. The second was on the eve of Operation Zitadelle, a major offensive against Soviet forces in the Kursk salient.

Hitler's objective was to replicate the successful Allied mass-bombing of German cities, the Luftwaffe being tasked with destroying the main tank and aircraft production facilities and fuel depots. Hitler saw this as the necessary prelude to weaken the Russians before the 'decisive' onslaught of Zitadelle.

The aerial operation, Carmen II, lasted for a month and covered a huge target area from the Rybinsk reservoir to the Caspian Sea. For these complex and risky night missions, all the Ju-88 and -111 bombers available to Hitler in the East were employed.

For their book, "Hitler's Strategic Bombing Offensive on the Eastern Front: Blitz Over the Volga, 1943", co-authors Dmitry Degtev and Dmitry Zubov have collected a huge amount of factual material, reconstructing all the details of this little-known campaign, which was the largest operation Luftwaffe on the Eastern front. This military history opens a completely new page in the history of the German air war and provides a comprehensive investigation into the nature of the targets attacked, the degree of damage suffered by the Soviet military machine, and how this affected Operation Zitadelle.

The descriptions of the dangerous missions carried out by Luftwaffe as part of this operation are presented in great detail and all these exclusive facts are complemented by a large number of unique photos and documents.

Critique: An impressively and meticulously detailed history drawn from original sources and documents is an unreservedly recommended addition to the growing library of World War II Aerial Combat collections. Exceptionally informative and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Hitler's Strategic Bombing Offensive on the Eastern Front: Blitz Over the Volga, 1943" is an important addition to personal, community, college, and university library World War II History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of military buffs, military historians, students, and academia that "Hitler's Strategic Bombing Offensive on the Eastern Front: Blitz Over the Volga, 1943" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Editorial Note: The author of twenty-nine books, Dmitry Degtev is one of the leading Russian researchers of the history of the Second World War, having studied the air battles of the Second World War and the history of the Luftwaffe for more than twenty years. He currently lectures at Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University. Psychologist and Associate Professor, Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University Dmitry Zubov is the author of twenty-two on military history.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Downsizing of Hudson Foster
Harlin Hailey
Independently Published
9781530066339, $9.95

https://www.amazon.com/Downsizing-Hudson-Foster-Harlin-Hailey/dp/1530066336

The Downsizing of Hudson Foster opens with the protagonist and narrator being downsized from his job, but moves into growth processes as Hudson confesses that "I guess that's what my story's all about, really. Searching for a job and finding something much more." His efforts to offer "advice for the new millennium" results in a wild ride as he gains employment from his demanding, perfectionist father, tackles corporate greed, and reconsiders his resilience, abilities, and his place in the world. Readers meet his best friend from college, Bill Gardner, who also has thumbed his nose at the corporate cushy life to become a success in a way his achievement-oriented family can't understand. Insights stem from a blend of Hudson's approaches to employment and the attitudes of employers offering jobs, mixing wry humor with social and business inspections. The result is an engrossing journey that readers will want to take with Hudson, offering insights on work, interpersonal relationships, and social development which go beyond the business world to probe life values and the definition of opportunity. Novel readers who enjoyed Catcher in the Rye and other stories of growth and transformation will find The Downsizing of Hudson Foster an intriguing series of lessons about tradition, employment, and "trying to put a positive spin on all of the idiotic things" life throws at young people.

The Bad Immigrant
Sefi Atta
Interlink Books
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781623719050, $27.95, HC, 362pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Immigrant-Sefi-Atta/dp/1623719054

Synopsis: In her latest novel, "The Bad Immigrant" (and through the voice of her first male protagonist - Lukmon), author Sefi Atta peels away nuanced layers to expose the realities of migration from Nigeria to the USA, such as the strains of adjustment and the stifling pressure to conform without loss of identity.

Covering a wide range of issues, including interracial and intra-racial tensions, and familial strains exacerbated in a new geographic and cultural environment, "The Bad Immigrant" is a thoroughgoing exposition of the many challenges that confront a modern migrant as told from the perspective of a protagonist whose sophistication and educational prowess is no guarantee of success in a country that is prone to valuing conformity over merit.

Lukmon's narrative is grounded in a wide array of cultural and literary allusions that testify to the author Sefi Atta's wit and sophisticated management of complicated matters in a manner at once erudite and accessible. Furthermore, with "The Bad Immigrant", Atta deftly drives the narrative forward with repartee that forges deep intimacy with the characters and engenders sympathy for all of them, even those we find infuriating.

Critique: A timely, entertaining, expertly crafted, thoughtful and thought-provoking novel given our current national political, cultural, and social controversies over immigration issues, "The Bad Immigrant" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

The Lost Theory
Michael Kelley
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781626348844, $25.95, HC, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Theory-Michael-Kelley/dp/1626348847

Synopsis: Sean McQueen is a staid, middle-aged NYU literature professor leading an uneventful life, until he receives a cryptic letter from his intellectually and poetically gifted best friend, Dylan Byrne. Following years of extensive research, Dylan claims that he has discovered "the theory of everything": a revelation that promises to alter man's view of existence by reconciling science with spirituality. The two men arrange a meeting to discuss the paradigm-shifting theory, but after Dylan never shows, Sean discovers his friend has died under mysterious circumstances and the theory has gone missing.

Sean teams up with Dylan's scientific collaborator, quantum cosmologist Emily Edens, to find the lost theory. Together they embark on the adventure of a lifetime -- traveling from the busy streets of New York City to the mystical corners of Kathmandu where Dylan realized his groundbreaking theory. On their quest, they encounter extraordinary allies and fearsome adversaries, including a covert government operative code-named "Guru," who is hell-bent on finding the theory first and preventing Sean and Emily from sharing it with the world.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that this is author Michael Kelley's debut novel, "The Lost Theory" is an impressively original and expertly crafted blend of mystery, suspense, magical realism and romance. An inherently fascinating and entertaining read that is also readily available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99), "The Lost Theory" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction collections.

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady
Sharon J. Mondragon
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825447020, $15.99, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unlikely-Yarn-Dragon-Lady-Prayers/dp/082544702X

Synopsis: Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn't having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she's ever heard of, and she's heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they're constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret (grumbling the whole way) to the mall with them. She can't wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community -- or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Critique: A unique, original, well crafted, and inherently fascinating work of contemporary fiction that will have a very special appear to readers within the Christian community, "The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady" is all the more impressive when considering that it is author Sharon Mondragon's debut as a novelist. Warmly entertaining from cover to cover, "The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

The Secret of Snow
Viola Shipman
Graydon House
http://graydonhousebooks.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781525899812, $28.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Snow-Novel-Viola-Shipman/dp/1525899813

Synopsis: When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny's been avoiding since the day she left for college -- her northern Michigan hometown.

Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood -- with the added humiliation of moving back in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who's now her boss, to, most keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow.

To distract herself from the memories she's spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used to be and allow her heart to thaw if she's ever going to find a place she can truly call home.

Critique: Viola Shipman is the pen name of author Wade Rouse and with the publication of his latest novel, "The Secret Of Snow", once again demonstrates his particular and entertaining narrative driven storytelling style. As with this twelve previous books, there are a literary wealth of surprising plot twists and deftly crafted, memorable characters that immediately involve the readers total attention from first page to last. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be note for personal reading lists that "The Secret Of Snow" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781525806445, $16.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781665104340, $39.99, CD).

Drowned Town
Jayne Moore Waldrop
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
www.kentuckypress.com
9781950564156, $24.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Drowned-Town-Jayne-Moore-Waldrop/dp/1950564150

Synopsis: In her newest novel, "Drowned Town", author Jayne Moore Waldrop explores the multigenerational impact caused by the loss of home and illuminates the joys and sorrows of a group of people bound together by western Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes and the lakes that lie on either side of it.

The linked stories comprising "Drowned Town" are rooted in a landscape forever altered by the mid-twentieth-century impoundment of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and the seizing of property under the power of eminent domain to create a national recreation area on the narrow strip of land between the lakes. The massive federal land and water projects completed in quick succession were designed to serve the public interest by providing hydroelectric power, flood control, and economic progress for the region -- at great sacrifice for those who gave up their homes, livelihoods, towns, and history.

The narrative follows two women whose lives are shaped by their friendship and connection to the place, and their stories go back and forth in time to show how the creation of the lakes both healed and hurt the people connected to them. In the process, the stories emphasize the importance of sisterhood and family, both blood and created, and how we cannot separate ourselves from our places in the world.

Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively original novel that pays meticulous attention to the accuracy of historical detail, "Drowned Town" is a thought-provoking and emotionally memorable read from cover to cover. While especially recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Drowned Town" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).


The Literary Fiction Shelf

How High? -- That High
Diane Williams
Soho Press
853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
www.sohopress.com
9781641293068, $25.00, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-High-That/dp/1641293063

Synopsis: The 34 short stories by Diane Williams comprising "How High? -- That High" depict ordinary moments (for example, a visit to the doctor's office or a married couple's hundredth dance together). With each individual story Williams delivers a lifetime of insecurities, lusts, rejections, and revelations, making her work equally discomfiting and amusing. With unmatched wit in every sentence, Williams is able to capture whole universes in a single short story, delivering visionary insights into what it means to be human.

Critique: A true master of the short story format, "How High? -- That High" showcases author and storyteller Diane Williams' genuine flair for originality coupled with an unsurpassed literary skill and talent for narrative driven stories and memorably crafted characters. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How High? -- That High" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in New York City, Diane Williams is the founder and editor of the distinguished literary annual, NOON, the archive of which, as well as Williams' personal literary archive, was acquired in 2014 by the Lilly Library. She is the author of nine previous volumes of short fiction and the recipient of four Pushcart Prizes.

Planet of Clay
Samar Yazbek
World Editions
https://www.worldeditions.org
9781642861013, $16.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Clay-Samar-Yazbek/dp/1642861014

Synopsis: Rima, a young girl from Damascus, longs to walk, to be free to follow the will of her feet, but instead is perpetually constrained. Rima finds refuge in a fantasy world full of colored crayons, secret planets, and The Little Prince, reciting passages of the Qur'an like a mantra as everything and everyone around her is blown to bits.

Since Rima hardly ever speaks, people think she's crazy, but she is no fool -- the madness is in the battered city around her. One day while taking a bus through Damascus, a soldier opens fire and her mother is killed. Rima, wounded, is taken to a military hospital before her brother leads her to the besieged area of Ghouta -- where, between bombings, she writes her story.

Critique: With the publication of his novel, "Planet of Clay", Islamic Samar Yazbek offers a surreal depiction of the horrors taking place in Syria, in vivid and poetic language (ably translated from Arabic into English by Leri Price) and with a sharp eye for detail and beauty. A compelling, heart-wrenching, memorable read, "Planet of Clay" is a highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Planet of Clay" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Samar Yazbek is a Syrian writer, novelist, and journalist. She was born in Jableh in 1970 and studied literature before beginning her career as a journalist and a scriptwriter for Syrian television and film. Her novels include Child of Heaven, Clay, Cinnamon, In Her Mirrors, and Planet of Clay. Her accounts of the Syrian conflict include A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution and The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria. Yazbek's work has been translated into multiple languages and has been recognized with numerous awards -- notably, the French Best Foreign Book Award, the PEN-Oxfam Novib, PEN Tucholsky, and PEN Pinter awards.

Editorial Note #2: Leri Price is an award-winning literary translator of contemporary Arabic fiction. Price's translation of Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Literature (US) and winner of the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. Her translation of Khaled Khalifa's No Knives in the Kitchens of This City was shortlisted for the ALTA National Translation Award. Price's other recent translations include Sarab by award-winning writer Raja Alem.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

His Accidental Countess
Annie Burrows
Mills & Boon
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780263289497, $30.95, HC, Large Print, 379pp

https://www.amazon.com/His-Accidental-Countess/dp/0263289494

Synopsis: To stop an unsuitable elopement, Tobias Spenlow bundles his ward's intended bride into his carriage -- only to discover he's made a terrible mistake. The woman is actually innocent governess Miss Dorothy Phillips whose reputation he has now unintentionally ruined! The only way to right this wrong is for the earl to wed her. She might have accidentally become his countess, but their consuming attraction has him courting her in earnest!

Critique: A unique and compulsively entertaining Regency Romance, this large print hardcover edition of "His Accidental Countess" by the imaginatively talented romance author Annie Burrows will prove to be a welcome and popular addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated Regency Romance fans and a valued and appreciated addition to community library Historical Romance Fiction collections.

Flirting With His Forbidden Lady
Laura Martin
Mills & Boon
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780263283884, $30.95, HC, Large Print, 380pp

https://www.amazon.com/Flirting-His-Forbidden-Lady-Ashburton/dp/0263283887

Synopsis: Newly returned from India, Joshua Ashburton hasn't seen his brother for years and heads straight to his London townhouse. A ball is underway filled with the cream of society, including one Lady Elizabeth Hummingford. Captivated by her vitality and sparkle, he's shocked to learn she's all but engaged to his brother! It's a loveless, convenient match, but how can Josh persuade her she's chosen the wrong brother when he's set to return abroad?

Critique: An intriguing regency romance by a skilled master of the genre, "Flirting With His Forbidden Lady: A Regency Family is Reunited" is the first volume of author Laura Martin's new 'The Ashburton Reunion' series. Deftly crafted characters, surprising plot twists, "Flirting With His Forbidden Lady" is vintage regency romance at its very best! This large print hard cover addition is fully recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated regency romance fans and community library Historical Romance collections.


The Western Fiction Shelf

Death's Tally
Bradford Scott
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785419577, $TBA, PB, Large Print, 272pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781785419577

Synopsis: When lawman Walt Slade arrives to put a lid on the lethal violence plaguing the town of Sanderson City, the people of this oil, railroad, and cattle raising community is set to blow sky-high in his face. A lit fuse, a shotgun blast in the dark -- and the ace undercover Texas Ranger is plunged into a searing sixgun showdown with a greed-crazed pack of killers led by the most formidable villain Slade has every encountered.

Critique: A ripping great action adventure with many a gunsmoking twist and turn, "Death's Tally" is another consummate western by western novelist Bradford Scott. This large print paperback addition of "Death's Tally" (originally published in 1968) is very highly recommended for a new generation of avid western fans and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections.

Match Race
Fred Grove
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785419546, $TBA, PB, 464pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781785419546

Synopsis: Quarter horse racing presents a thrill few men in the Old West can resist and Dude McQuinn, Coyote Walking, and Billy Lockhart are no exception as they go from town to town, matching and trading racehorses. Dude is the straight-talking front man, Coyote the jockey, and Billy the veterinarian who concocts potions that can cure a horse of anything -- at least temporarily. But old uncle Billy is being watched by a strange man in a black bowler hat a man who knows a secret about his past.

Critique: There are western novels, and then there are novels set in the west. "Match Race" by Fred Grove is one of the latter -- and a very good one at that. "Match Race" has all the elements of a true saga and will have a very special appeal for readers with an interest in horses. As reflected by "Match Race", horses had three major roles to play in the Old West: transportation, farm labor, and entertainment in the form of recreational racing -- some times for very high stakes and prone to all manner of mischief. This large print paperback edition of "Match Race" from the Linford Western library is an inherently fascinating and well crafted read -- and a welcome addition to any community library Western Fiction collection.

Red River Stage
Fred Grove
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785419737, $TBA, PB, Large Print, 368pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781785419737

Synopsis: Fred Grove (born Frederick Herridge; July 4, 1913 - September 2008) was a Native American author and winner of five prestigious "Spur Awards" from Western Writers of America for his western novels. This large print paperback edition of "Red River Stage" is an anthology of twelve of Grove's best western short stories, each one a deftly crafted gem of narrative driven storytelling and originally published in the 1950s & 1960s.

Critique: Bringing back into print the western short stories of one of the genre's most gifted and talented writers for a new generation of appreciative readers, "Red River Stage" is an especially recommended addition to the personal reading lists of any and all dedicated western fans and will prove to be an enduringly welcome and popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections. Of special note is that of the twelve short stories comprising "Red River Stage", two of them feature a Native American perspective ('Comanche Woman' & 'Be Brave My Son').


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Death on the Shelf
Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643857800, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Shelf-Haunted-Library-Mystery/dp/1643857800

Synopsis: Clover Ridge librarian Carrie Singleton is thrilled to attend her best friend Angela's wedding, but Angela's family can be a bit much. Angela's wealthy cousin Donna hosts an extravagant bridal shower at her resplendent home, but the celebrations turn to gossip as the guests notice Donna's surgeon husband, Aiden, spending a bit too much time with Donna's cousin Roxy. At the wedding reception, the sweet occasion turns darkly bitter when Aiden topples into the chocolate fountain -- dead.

The suspect list is as long as the guest list, and as difficult to sort out as the seating chart. A few of the top contenders on Carrie's suspect list are the flirtatious Roxy, emotionally unstable since her recent divorce; Angela's grouchy brother, who feels Aiden betrayed him; and Roxy's scorned ex-husband. Even Donna may have had reason to want her husband dead. And Aiden's gossipy office manager has plenty to say about them all.

Then another member of Angela's family is murdered, making Carrie more determined than ever to find the killer. Can library ghost Evelyn and library cat Smoky Joe help Carrie solve the murders before she becomes the next of Angela's wedding guests to head to the grave?

Critique: Another spellbinding 'whodunnit' from the pen of Allison Brook, "Death on the Shelf" is the latest addition to her simply outstanding 'A Haunted Library Mystery' series. Once again the dedicated mystery buff is treated to a series of unexpected plot twists and memorable crafted characters. While certain to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to any community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Death on the Shelf" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666522495, $22.99, MP3 CD).

How to Book a Murder
Cynthia Kuhn
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643858593, $26.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Murder-Starlit-Bookshop-Mystery/dp/1643858599

Synopsis: To help save her family's floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted Ph.D. Emma Starrs agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy, well-connected high school classmate Tabitha Baxter. It's a delightful evening of cocktails and conjecture until Tabitha's husband, Tip (who is hosting the affair in the guise of Edgar Allan Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin) winds up murdered!

In a heartbeat, Emma and her aunt Nora, a famous mystery writer, become suspects. Emma is sure the party's over for Starlit events, until celebrated author Calliope Nightfall, whose gothic sensibilities are intrigued by the circumstances, implores the bookseller to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome. Throwing a bash to die for while searching for additional clues is already enough to drive Emma stark raven mad, but another shocking crime soon reveals that Silvercrest has not yet reached the final chapter of the puzzling case.

Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind, and if Emma cannot outwit the killer, she and her beloved aunt will land behind bars, to walk free nevermore.

Critique: Another perfectly crafted 'whodunnit' mystery by author Cynthia Kuhn, "How to Book a Murder" is part of her A Starlit Bookshop Mystery series. A mystery lover's pure delight laced as it is with unexpected plot twists and turns throughout, "How to Book a Murder" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs in general, and the growing legions of Cynthia Kuhn fans in particular, that "How to Book a Murder" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666512373, $22.99, CD).

The Dangers of an Ordinary Night
Lynne Reeves
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643858654, $26.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dangers-Ordinary-Night-Novel/dp/1643858653

Synopsis: On a chilly fall evening at the prestigious Performing Arts High School of Boston, best friends Tali Carrington and June Danforth go missing after auditioning for a play. They're last seen in grainy, out-of-focus surveillance footage that shows them walking away from the school. Two days later in a town south of Boston, Tali is found disoriented and traumatized by the ocean's edge, while June is pronounced dead at the scene.

Tali's mother, Nell, is so bent on protecting her daughter from further emotional harm that she ignores rumors of her husband's involvement and enlists the help of Cynthia Rawlins, a reunification therapist with personal insight into the riptide that hides below the surface of every unsuspecting family. Meanwhile, Detective Fitz Jameson uncovers a criminal undertow involving the high school's over achieving students, and finally sees an opportunity for personal redemption from a secret that's haunted him for years.

As Nell, Cynthia, and Fitz confront their own contributions to the scandals that beleaguer them, their lives turn out to be more deeply intertwined than they'd ever imagined. In the end, they must decide what lengths they're willing to go to protect the people they love while also saving themselves.

Critique: The kind of mystery suspense thrill that unfolds like a roller coaster gone wild, "The Dangers of an Ordinary Night" by author Lynne Reeves is a compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. Original, clever, entertainingly memorable, "The Dangers of an Ordinary Night" is highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Dangers of an Ordinary Night" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666519457, $59.99, CD)

God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen
Rhys Bowen
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780440000082, $26.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rest-Royal-Gentlemen-Spyness-Mystery/dp/0440000084

Synopsis: Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas.

Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.

Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple eavesdropping.

There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the crosshairs of a killer.

Critique: "God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen" is one of Rhys Bowen's 'A Royal Spyness Mystery' novels and, simply stated, an impressively crafted and thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. With a wealth of unexpected twists and turns, and also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781713658504, $24.99, CD), "God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen" is especially recommended for the personal lists of dedicated mystery buffs and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

The Twelve Jays of Christmas
Donna Andrews
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250760180, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Jays-Christmas-Langslow-Mysteries/dp/1250760186

Synopsis: Meg and Michael's annual holiday celebration is well underway, with a throng of out-of-town relatives staying at their house. Hosting these festivities is a little harder than usual. They have to relocate all the events normally held in their library, currently occupied by Roderick Castlemayne, the irascible wildlife artist who's creating twelve paintings of birds to illustrate Meg's grandfather's latest nature book.

Still, the celebrations continue and the entire family rejoices to learn that Meg's brother Rob and his longtime fiancee Delaney have finally decided to tie the knot. Unfortunately, they decide to do this in the middle of Meg and Michael's annual New Year's bash, dashing their mothers' hopes of planning the wedding to end all weddings.

Delaney's mother sneaks into town so she and Meg's mother can secretly plot a way to talk the happy couple into having a big bash. Hiding her only adds to Meg's holiday stress. It's almost a full-time job fending all the visitors who want to confront Castlemayne including reporters, bill collectors, process servers, and several ex-wives in search of unpaid alimony.

Then someone murders Castlemayne in the middle of a blizzard and sets loose the birds he was painting. Can Meg help the police crack the case before the killer strikes again? Can she keep Christmas merry in spite of the body in the library? Can she negotiate a compromise between Rob and Delaney and their disappointed mothers? And can she recapture the twelve escaped jays before they begin nesting in the Christmas tree?

Critique: An impressively entertaining and original 'whodunnit' by an author with a true mastery of the genre, "The Twelve Jays of Christmas" by Donna Andrews is a dedicated mystery lover's delight. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the legions of Donna Andrews fans that "The Twelve Jays of Christmas" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250822659, $43.81, CD).

Damascus Station
David McCloskey
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393881042, $27.95, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Damascus-Station-Novel-David-McCloskey/dp/0393881040

Synopsis: CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall into a forbidden relationship, which super charges Haddad's recruitment and creates unspeakable danger when they enter Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.

But the cat and mouse chase for the killer soon leads to a trail of high-profile assassinations and the discovery of a dark secret at the heart of the Syrian regime, bringing the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad's spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and his brother Rustum, the head of the feared Republican Guard.

Set against the backdrop of a Syria pulsing with fear and rebellion, "Damascus Station" is a gripping suspense thriller of a read that offers a textured portrayal of espionage, love, loyalty, and betrayal in one of the most difficult CIA assignments on the planet. a deftly crafted novel by author David McClaskey (who is a former CIA analyst and consultant at McKinsey & Company, and while at the CIA, worked in field stations across the Middle East and briefed senior White House officials and Arab royalty), "Damascus Stations" is an especially recommended addition to community library General Fiction collections. Of immense interest to fans of political, espionage, and international anti-terrorism action/adventure fiction, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Damascus Station" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.18).

Grave Reservations
Cherie Priest
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781982168896, $26.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Grave-Reservations-Novel-Cherie-Priest/dp/1982168897

Synopsis: "Grave Reservations" by Cherie Priest is the story of Leda Foley -- a devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsively re-books Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt's flight, her life changes in ways she couldn't have predicted.

After watching his original plane blow up from the safety of the airport, Grady realizes that Leda's special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can't crack.

Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees for a secret reason: her fiance's murder remains unsolved. Leda's psychic abilities couldn't help the case several years before, but she's been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar's open-mic nights, where she performs Klairvoyant Karaoke -- singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people's personal effects.

Now joined by a rag-tag group of bar patrons and pals alike, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.

Critique: A deftly crafted blend of mystery, suspense, the occult, and magical realism, "Grave Reservations" is an original and impressively entertaining read from cover to cover. Showcasing author Cherrie Priest's genuine flair for creating memorable characters and unexpected plot twists, "Grave Reservations" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Grave Reservations" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781982168902, $17.00), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797133911, $39.99, CD).

The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden
Kate Saunders
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781408866924, $26.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Sorrowful-Maiden-Laetitia-Rodd/dp/1408866927

Synopsis: In the spring of 1853, private detective Laetitia Rodd receives a delicate request from a retired actor, whose days on the stage were ended by a theater fire ten years before. His great friend, and the man he rescued from the fire, Thomas Transome, has decided to leave his wife, who now needs assistance in securing a worthy settlement. Though Mrs. Rodd is reluctant to get involved with the scandalous world of the theater, she cannot turn away the woman in need. She agrees to take the case.

But what starts out as a simple matter of negotiation becomes complicated when a body is discovered in the burnt husk of the old theater. Soon Mrs. Rodd finds herself embroiled in family politics, rivalries that put the Capulets and Montagues to shame, and betrayals on a Shakespearean scale. Mrs. Rodd will need all her investigatory powers, not to mention her famous discretion, to solve the case before tragedy strikes once more.

Critique: The third mystery in author Kate Sauncers' outstanding Laetita Rodd historical mysteries series, "The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden" once again presents a deftly crafted, impressively entertaining story featuring an indomitable lady sleuth that is the equal of Sherlock Holmes or any Agatha Christy detective. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Kate Saunders fans that "The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666521269, $22.99, CD).

Shadow Music
Helaine Mario
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608094509, $26.95, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Music-Maggie-OShea-Mystery/dp/1608094502

Synopsis: Late in the Cold War, a young woman escapes from Communist Hungary, vanishing into the night with a priceless painting and a baby girl and thereby setting events in motion from a decades-old secret that will change lives for generations to come.

Many years later, classical pianist Maggie O'Shea is drawn to Cornwall in search of a long-lost Van Gogh and the truth behind her husband's death. A journal from World War II Paris holds many of the answers, but only two people know where the Van Gogh is hidden now -- a courageous nun and a man presumed dead.

Set against the backdrop of the international music and art world, Maggie finds herself on a collision course with three dangerous Russians who threaten all she holds dear -- including her life and the life of the man she has come to love.

Critique: In the pages of "Shadow Music" by Helaine Mario, is deftly crafted, impressively original, and memorably entertaining blend of loss, courage, love, and revenge. The third book in the author's 'Maggie O'Shea' mystery series, this is a simply riveting tale of suspense with many an unexpected plot twist and turn, "Shadow Music" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery fans that "Shadow Music" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Labyrinth of Lies
Irene Hannon
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800740504, $29.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Labyrinth-Triple-Threat-Irene-Hannon/dp/0800740505

Synopsis: When the daughter of a high-profile businessman disappears from an exclusive girls' boarding school, police detective Cate Reilly is tapped for an undercover assignment. It doesn't take her long to realize that beneath the veneer of polish and wealth, things are not as they seem at Ivy Hill Academy. But the biggest surprise of all? The only man she ever loved is also working at the school.

Zeke Sloan has never forgotten Cate, but now isn't the best time for their paths to cross again. When their two seemingly disparate agendas begin to intertwine (and as startling connections emerge among the players) the danger escalates significantly. But who is the mastermind behind the elaborate ruse? And how far will they go to protect their house of cards?

Critique: Another deftly written and original suspense thriller of a novel by a master of the genre, and underscored with romance, "Labyrinth Of Lies" by Irene Hannon is the second volume in her outstanding 'Triple Threat' series and will have particular and special appeal to fans of Christian Mystery Suspense Thrillers . While highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Irene Hannon fans that "Labyrinth Of Lies" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780800736187, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover's Mystery
Tara Lush
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643857886, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Brew-Corpse-Coffee-Mystery/dp/1643857886

Synopsis: It's a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil's Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante's Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio's owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, Lana Lewis, a reporter-turned-barista, is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana's dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah's relationship (and Lana's life!) in very hot coffee!

Critique: A 'whodunnit' mystery enthusiast's delight, "Cold Brew Corpse" by Tara Lush is a deftly crafted and thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end. Memorable characters, clever plot twists, and a rousing finale all combine to make "Cold Brew Corpse" a favorite and prized addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Tara Lush fans that "Cold Brew Corpse" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666523928, $26.99, CD).

Our Trespasses
Michael Cordell
TCK Publishing
https://www.tckpublishing.com
9781631611537, $14.99, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Our-Trespasses-Paranormal-Michael-Cordell/dp/1631611534

Synopsis: Drowning in a meaningless existence flipping burgers, Matthew Davis suddenly collapses from a powerful psychic connection he shares with his twin brother, Jake. The pain is violent and immediate, and Matt knows exactly what it means. Hundreds of miles away, Jake has just been viciously killed. But instead of severing their connection, the murder intensifies it and Matt begins to suffer the agony of Jake's afterlife.

Hell bent on solving Jake's murder in order to break the connection, Matt travels to his troubled hometown of Hatchett, Nebraska, where an old lover and savage new enemies expose the festering wounds that Jake left behind.

Matt tries atoning for Jake's sins, but when a demon infests the connection between the two brothers, Matt must find a way to sever their bond before his world, and ours, become engulfed in the flames of hell.

Critique: Original, compelling, and a deftly crafted blend of mystery, suspense, action, and the paranormal, "Our Trespasses" by author and storyteller Michael Cordell will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Psychic Thriller Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Our Trespasses" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

The Painting
Alison Booth
Aurora Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781787827479, $TBA, PB, 310pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781787827431

Synopsis: When Anika Molnar flees her home country of Hungary not long before the break-up of the Soviet Union, she carries only a small suitcase - and a beautiful and much-loved painting of an auburn-haired woman in a cobalt blue dress from her family's hidden collection.

Arriving in Australia, Anika moves in with her aunt in Sydney, and the painting hangs in pride of place in her bedroom. But one day it is stolen in what seems to be a carefully planned theft, and Anika's carefree life takes a more ominous turn. Sinister secrets from her family's past and Hungary's fraught history cast suspicion over the painting's provenance, and she embarks on a gripping quest to uncover the truth.

Hungary's war-torn past contrasts sharply with Australia's bright new world of opportunity in this moving and compelling mystery.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, deftly crafted, and entertaining novel of mystery and suspense by an author with an author whose narrative driven storytelling skills are on full display, this large print edition of "The Painting" by Alison Booth is fully endorsed and recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Alison Booth was born in Melbourne, brought up in Sydney and has worked in the UK and in Australia as a professor as well as a novelist. Alison's work has been translated into French and has also been published by Reader's Digest Select Editions in both Asia and Europe. Alison, who holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics, is an active public speaker and has participated in many writers' festivals and literary events.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Going Interstellar
Les Johnson & Jack McDevitt, editors
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com
9781982125615, $16.00

https://www.amazon.com/Going-Interstellar-Johnson/dp/1982125616

Going Interstellar gathers facts and fiction about starships and features such notable authors as Ben Bova, Michael Bishop, and Mike Resnick. Sci-fi readers who want a specific, closer examination of the science behind interstellar propulsion and speculations about its possibilities will find this a fine blend of speculation and achievement. From Ben Bova's introductory "A Country for Old Men" which explores a beautiful universe experienced by interstellar travelers to Dr. Gregory Matloff's scientific examination "Antimatter Starships," which explores antimatter history and projected use, this blend of fiction and nonfiction will delight readers interested in the science and nature of interstellar exploration. The diverse approaches and considerations excel in unexpected contrasts of vision.

The Autobiography of Mr. Spock
Lina McCormack, author
Russell Walks, illustrator
Titan Books
https://titanbooks.com
9781785654664, $24.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Mr-Spock-David-Goodman/dp/1785654667

Synopsis: In "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock", one of Starfleet's finest officers and the Federation's most celebrated citizens reveals his life story. Mr Spock explores his difficult childhood on Vulcan with Michael Burnham, his controversial enrolment at Starfleet Academy, his time on the Enterprise with both Kirk and Pike, and his moves to his diplomatic and ambassadorial roles, including his clandestine mission to Romulus.

Brand-new details of his life on Vulcan and the Enterprise are revealed, along with never-before-seen insights into Spock's relationships with the most important figures in his life, including Sarek, Michael Burnham, Christopher Pike, Kirk, McCoy and more, all told in his own distinctive voice.

Critique: Simply stated, "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock" is absolutely essential reading for the legions of Star Trek fans. A deftly crafted memoir of a fictional character by author and Star Trek fans Lina McCormack, and featuring a section of full color artwork by Russell Walks, "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock" will prove to be a massively popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock" is also readily available from Titan Books in a paperback edition (9781785659416, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 2
Timothy Zahn, et al.
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787737082, $24.99, HC, 148pp

https://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Insider-Fiction-Collection/dp/178773708X

Synopsis: Titan Comics has been publishing the official Star Wars Insider magazine worldwide for over 200 issues. The second volume in their Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection series, this compendium of five original Star Wars stories by short story authors Timothy Zahn, James S. A. Corey, Jason Fry, Paul S. Kemp, and John Jackson Miller are beautifully illustrated by the artwork of Drew Baker, Magali Villeneuve, John Van Flektt, Joe Corroney, and Brian Miller.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Star Wars fans, "Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 2" is published in a hard cover coffee-table size format (8.17 x 0.55 x 11.16 inches) and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Science Fiction collections in general, and Star Wars reading lists in particular.

The Last Shadow
Orson Scott Card
Tor/Forge Books
www.tor-forge.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9780765304957, $27.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Other-Tales-Ender-Universe/dp/0765304953

Synopsis: One planet. Three sapient species living peacefully together. And one deadly virus that could wipe out every world in the Starways Congress, killing billions. Is the only answer another great Xenocide? "The Last Shadow" is the long-awaited conclusion to both the original Ender series and the Ender's Shadow series, as the children of Ender and Bean solve the great problem of the Ender Universe -- avoiding the extinction of the human race.

Critique: Orson Scott Card is an iconic science fiction author and "The Last Shadow" is one of his best efforts yet in a storied career replete with numerous science fiction awards. While a 'must have' acquisition for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the legions of Orson Scott Card fans that "The Last Shadow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250818157, $39.99, CD).


The Technology Shelf

An Introduction to Optical Wireless Mobile Communications
Harald Hass, et al.
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781630816551, $159.00, HC, 406pp

https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Optical-Wireless-Mobile-Communications/dp/16308165 58

Synopsis: The use of the optical spectrum for wireless communications has gained significant interest in recent years. Applications range from low-rate simplex transmission links using existing embedded CMOS cameras in smartphones, referred to as optical camera communications (OCC), mobile light fidelity (LiFi) networking in homes, offices, urban and sub-sea environments to free-space gigabit interconnects in data centers and point-to-point long-range wireless backhaul links outdoors and in space.

"An Introduction to Optical Wireless Mobile Communications" by the team of Harald Haas, Mohamed Sufyan Islim, Cheng Chen, and Hanaa Abumarshould is exciting and comprehensive introduction that focuses on the use of optical wireless communications (OWC) for mobile use cases. Channel modeling techniques are provided for mobile multiuser scenarios, and will introduce key building blocks to achieve LiFi cellular networks achieving orders of magnitude improvements of area spectral efficiency compared to state-of-the-art. Challenges that arise from moving from a static point-to-point visible light link to a LiFi network that is capable of serving hundreds of mobile and fixed nodes are discussed. An overview of recent standardization activities and the commercialization challenges of this disruptive technology is also provided.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, as well as enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a twelve page listing of Acronyms and Abbreviations, and a thirteen page Index, "An Introduction to Optical Wireless Mobile Communications" is especially recommended as a curriculum textbook on the subject and unreservedly appropriate for professional, corporate, technical school, college, and university library Wireless Technology instructional and reference collections.

Antenna-on-Chip: Design, Challenges, and Opportunities
Hammad M. Cheema, author
Fatima Khalid, author
Atif Shamim, author
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781608078189, $149.00, HC, 278pp

https://www.amazon.com/Antenna-on-Chip-Design-Challenges-and-Opportunities/dp/1608078183

Synopsis: Antennas are essential part of every wireless communication system. The increasing trend of applications in the radio frequency (RF) and millimeter wave frequency spectrum has reduced the antenna sizes to only a few millimeters, which makes it practical for on-chip implementations.

Integrated Circuit (IC) designers who have traditionally remained isolated from antenna design now need to understand its design process and trade-offs. "Antenna-on-Chip: Design, Challenges, and Opportunities" by the team of Hammad M. Cheema, Fatima Khalid, and Atif Shamim is a comprehensive resource that directly addresses the challenges, benefits and trade-offs of on-chip antenna implementation. It also presents practical design and integration considerations of the IC and antenna combination and how both ends of the system can be utilized in a complimentary way.

"Antenna-on-Chip: Design, Challenges, and Opportunities" also includes on-chip antenna layout considerations, layout for testability and various methods of their characterization, as well as providing a view of the future trends and utilization of on-chip antennas for different applications.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook on the subject, "Antenna-on-Chip: Design, Challenges, and Opportunities" is extraordinarily well organized and presented in six major sections: Introduction to Antenna-on-Chip; Designs and Implementation Challenges; Radiation Enhancement and Measurement Techniques; Codesign of Circuits and Antennas; AoC Design Examples; Future Trends in AoC. While highly recommended, especially for college and university library Contemporary Technology Collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, technicians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Antenna-on-Chip: Design, Challenges, and Opportunities" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $53.58).

Editorial Note #1: Hammad M. Cheema is an associate professor and dean of the Research Institute for Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Studies (RIMMS) at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, as well as principal investigator of the Radar Research Group.

Editorial Note #2: Atif Shamim is an associate professor of electrical engineering and principal investigator of the IMPACT Lab at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carleton University, Canada. Dr. Shamim has delivered over 65 invited talks at various international forums, authored over 250 publications, holds 30 patents, and is a senior member of IEEE.

Editorial Note #3: Fatima Khalid is a research scientist in the domain of antenna design and RF energy harvesting. She received her B.S. in electrical engineering from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), NUST, and her M.S. in RF and microwave engineering from RIMMS, NUST.


The Architecture Shelf

Louis Kahn: The Importance of a Drawing
Louis Kahn, artist
Michael Merrill, editor
Lars Muller Publishers
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9783037786444, $85.00, HC, 512pp

https://www.amazon.com/Louis-Kahn-Importance-Michael-Benedikt/dp/3037786442

Synopsis: Louis Isadore Kahn (born Itze-Leib Schmuilowsky; March 5 [O.S. February 20] 1901 - March 17, 1974) was an Estonian-born American architect based in Philadelphia. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957. From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings for the most part do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative proposals that remained unbuilt, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of his death he was considered by some as "America's foremost living architect". (Wikipedia)

"The importance of a drawing is immense, because it's the architect's language," said the architect Louis Kahn to his masterclass in 1967. While most studies of Kahn focus on his built works or theory and use drawings mainly to illustrate these, this publication chooses to focus on Kahn's drawings as primary sources of insight into his architectural intelligence and imagination. Lavishly illustrated with over 900 high-quality reproductions of work by Kahn and his associates, incisively presented by a group of acclaimed architectural experts, Deftly edited by Michael Merrill, "The Importance of a Drawing" is a deep immersion into Kahn's work and his design process.

A testament to Kahn's masterly craft, "The Importance of a Drawing" also makes a provocative primer on architectural representation by posing timely questions on how architects use drawings to see, learn, conjecture and reveal. Destined to become a standard reference on Kahn, this book is an essential addition to the libraries of established designers as well as students of architecture.
The result of years of extensive research, The Importance of a Drawing contains original contributions and historical texts from Michael Merrill, Michael Benedikt, Michael B. Cadwell, Louis I. Kahn, Nathaniel Kahn, Sue Ann Kahn, David Leatherbarrow, Michael J. Lewis, Robert McCarter, Marshall D. Meyers, Jane Murphy, Harriet Pattison, Gina Pollara, Colin Rowe, David Van Zanten, Richard Wesley and William Whitaker.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, in a coffee-table style volume format (9.45 x 11.81 inches, 6.7 pounds), "The Importance of a Drawing" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Architecture & Architectural History collections in general, and Louis Kahn supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Shaping Place: Duda|Paine Architects
Turan Duda, author
Jeffrey Paine, compiler
Duda | Paine Architects, compiler
ORO Editions
31 Commercial Blvd. Suite F, Novato CA 94949
https://www.oroeditions.com
9781951541101, $60.00, HC, 348pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shaping-Place-Duda-Paine-Architects/dp/1951541103

Synopsis: In "Shaping Place: Duda|Paine Architects", architectural firm founders Turan Duda, FAIA, and Jeffrey Paine, FAIA, as well as Duda|Paine's studio leaders discuss the evolution of their work and the history of its thematic roots. The firm's ideas on public space, outdoor environments, new working and learning models, and contextual responsiveness come to life in projects for wellness, academia, the workplace and urban development using a range of scales, material qualities, structural systems and architectural palettes. Steve Dumez, FAIA, of Eskew Dumez Ripple, provides new perspective on the firm's work within the larger field of architecture.

Critique: This coffee-table style volume (9 x 1.5 x 11 inches) is an exceptionally informative and profusely illustrated history of a successful and influential architectural firm that will prove to be a welcome and recommended addition to the individual architecture student's reading list, as well as professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Mid-Michigan Modern
Susan J. Bandes
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
http://msupress.org
9781611862164, $49.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mid-Michigan-Modern-Frank-Wright-Googie/dp/1611862167

Synopsis: From 1940 to 1970 mid Michigan had an extensive and varied legacy of modernist architecture. While "Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie" by Susan J. Bandes explores buildings by renowned architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Alden B. Dow, and the Keck brothers, the text (based on archival research and oral histories) focuses more heavily on regional architects whose work was strongly influenced by international modern styles.

The reader will see a picture emerge in the portrayal of buildings of various typologies, from residences to sacred spaces. The automobile industry, state government, and Michigan State University served as the economic drivers when the mid-Michigan area expanded enormously in the growing optimism and increasing economic prosperity after World War II. Government, professional associations, and private industry sought an architectural style that spoke to forward looking, progressive ideals. Smaller businesses picked a Prairie style that made people feel comfortable. Modernist houses reflected the increasingly informal American lifestyle rooted in the automobile culture.

With a detailed narrative discussing more than 130 buildings and enriched by 150 illustrations, the text comprising "Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie" is a vibrant start at reclaiming the history of mid-Michigan modernist architecture.

Critique: Profusely illustrated in both color and black/white, "Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie" is an exceptionally informative, and impressively presented study that will be a welcome addition to professional, community, college, and university library American Architectural History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of architectural students, academia, architectural historians, professional architects, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781611862171, $38.98).

Editorial Note: Susan J. Bandes is professor emerita of art history at Michigan State University and director of museum studies. She also served as director of the Kresge Art Museum from 1986 to 2010.


The Biography Shelf

Texas Ranger Captain William L. Wright
Richard B. McCaslin
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
www.untpress.unt.edu
9781574418453, $34.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Texas-Ranger-Captain-William-Wright/dp/1574418459

Synopsis: William L. Wright (1868-1942) was born to be a Texas Ranger, and hard work made him a great one. In his new biography "Texas Ranger Captain William L. Wright", author and historian Professor Richard B. McCaslin argues that, considering his lineage, it is hard to imagine what else he might have done. Eight of Wright's relatives served as Rangers before the Civil War, five joined the Frontier Battalion from 1874 to 1901, and twenty-two were in the Ranger Force from 1901 to 1935. Wright tried working as a cowboy and farmer, but it did not suit him. Instead, he became a deputy sheriff and then a Ranger in 1899, battling a mob in the Laredo Smallpox Riot, policing both sides in the Reese-Townsend Feud, and winning a gunfight at Cotulla.

Wright's need for a better salary led him to leave the Rangers and become a sheriff. He stayed in that office longer than any of his predecessors in Wilson County, keeping the peace during the so-called Bandit Wars, investigating numerous violent crimes, and surviving being stabbed on the gallows by the man he was hanging. When demands for Ranger reform peaked, he was appointed as a captain and served for most of the next twenty years, retiring in 1939 after commanding dozens of Rangers.

Wright emerged unscathed from the Canales investigation, enforced Prohibition in South Texas, and policed oil towns in West Texas, as well as tackling many other legal problems. When he retired, he was the only Ranger in service who had worked under seven governors. More important, historians have included him among the "Big Four" captains of the Ranger Force. Wright thus joins such leaders as Francis A. "Frank" Hamer, Thomas R. "Tom" Hickman, and Manuel T. Gonzaullas, all of whom accompanied him in being inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame at Waco.

Critique: An exceptional work of meticulous research combined with a genuine flair for writing a non-fiction biography that reads like the most compelling of western novels, "Texas Ranger Captain William L. Wright" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American Biography collections. Of special and particular interest to both academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the history of the Texas Rangers, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Texas Ranger Captain William L. Wright" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.96).

Editorial Note: Richard B. McCaslin is Professor of Texas History at the University of North Texas. He is also the author of "Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862"; {Lee in the Shadow of Washington"; "Fighting Stock: John S. "Rip" Ford in Texas"; and "Sutherland Springs, Texas" (UNT Press).


The Psychology Shelf

Psychedelics and Psychotherapy
Tim Read, editor
Maria Papaspyrou, editor
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644113325, $24.99, PB, 424pp

https://www.amazon.com/Psychedelics-Psychotherapy-Healing-Potential-Expanded/dp/1644113325

Synopsis: Exploring the latest developments in the flourishing field of modern psychedelic psycho-therapy, the articles comprising "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" (expertly compiled by Tim Read and Maria Papaspyrou, co-directors of the Institute of Psychedelic Therapy in the UK) shares practical experiences and insights from both elders and newer research voices in the psychedelic research and clinical communities.

The contributors examine new findings on safe and skillful work with psychedelic and expanded states for therapeutic, personal, and spiritual growth. They explain the dual process of opening and healing. They explore new approaches for individual inner work as well as for the healing of ancestral and collective trauma. They examine the power of expanded states for reparative attachment work and offer insights on the integration process through the lens of Holotropic Breathwork. The contributors also examine the use of cannabis as a psychedelic tool, spiritual exploration with LSD, microdosing with Iboga, treating depression with psilocybin, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

Revealing diverse ways of working with psychedelics in terms of set, setting, and type of substance, "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" concludes with discussions of ethics and professional development for those working in the field as well as explores considerations for training the next generation of psychedelic therapists.

Critique: Expertly compiled and co-edited by Tim Read and Maria Papaspyrou, and with specific attention to the use of cannabis as a psychedelic tool, spiritual exploration with LSD, micro-dosing with Iboga, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" is a uniquely informed and informative addition to community, counseling center, college, and university library Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pharmacology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for psychology students, academia, therapists, counselors, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note #1: Currently residing in London, England, Tim Read, M.D. is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with degrees in neuroscience and medicine. After heading the services for psychiatric emergencies and crisis intervention at the Royal London Hospital for 20 years, he is now involved in clinical research at King's College and Imperial College, London University, on the therapeutic use of psychedelics.

Editorial Note #2: Currently residing in Brighton, England, Maria Papaspyrou, MSC, is an integrative psychotherapist, supervisor, and family constellations facilitator. She has given talks and published articles on the sacramental and healing properties of entheogens, supporting their reintroduction in psychotherapy. She is also the co-editor of Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine.

Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation
Stephen W. Porges
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
www.tantor.com
9781324016274, $45.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Polyvagal-Safety-Attachment-Communication-Self-Regulation/dp/1324016272

Synopsis: Polyvagal theory (poly- "many" + vagal "wandering") is a collection of evolutionary, neuroscientific and psychological claims pertaining to the role of the vagus nerve in emotion regulation, social connection and fear response, introduced in 1994 by Stephen Porges. Polyvagal Theory takes its name from the vagus, a cranial nerve that forms the primary component of the parasympathetic nervous system. The traditional view of the autonomic nervous system presents a two-part system: the sympathetic nervous system, which is more activating ("fight/flight"), and the parasympathetic nervous system, which supports health, growth, and restoration ("rest and digest"). Polyvagal theory, by contrast, views the parasympathetic nervous system as being split into two distinct branches: a "ventral vagal system" which supports social engagement, and a "dorsal vagal system" which supports immobilisation behaviours, both "rest and digest" and defensive immobilisation or "shutdown". (Wikipedia)

Ever since publication of The Polyvagal Theory in 2011, demand for information about this innovative perspective has been constant. With the publication of "Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation", Professor Stephen W. Porges brings together his most important writings since the publication of that seminal work. At its heart, polyvagal theory is about safety. It provides an understanding that feeling safe is dependent on autonomic states, and that our cognitive evaluations of risk in the environment, including identifying potentially dangerous relationships, play a secondary role to our visceral reactions to people and places.

Our reaction to the continuing global pandemic supports one of the central concepts of polyvagal theory: that a desire to connect safely with others is our biological imperative. Indeed, life may be seen as an inherent quest for safety. These ideas, and more, are outlined in chapters on therapeutic presence, group psychotherapy, yoga and music therapy, autism, trauma, date rape, medical trauma, and COVID-19.

Critique: An absolutely essential and core addition to college and university library Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Neuroscience, and Neuropsychology collections, "Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation" is an extraordinary, unique, and invaluable contribution to psychology. An exceptionally well written, organized and presented work of impeccable scholarship, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, psychologists, counselors, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Media/Blackstone Audio, 9798200890217, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Stephen W. Porges, PhD, originator of polyvagal theory, is a Distinguished University Scientist and the founding director of the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at Indiana University. He is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and a co-founder of the Polyvagal Institute.


The Comix/Graphic Novels Shelf

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Modern English Edition
William Shakespeare, author
Story adaptation by Crystal S. Chan
Modern English adaptation by Michael Barltrop
Art by Po Tse
Manga Classics
www.mangaclassics.com
9781947808249 $19.99

https://www.amazon.com/Manga-Classics-Midsummer-Nights-English/dp/1947808249

Part of the "Manga Classics" series that transforms timeless works of literature into black-and- white graphic novels with an artistic style resembling Japanese manga, A Midsummer Night's Dream: Modern English Edition presents William Shakespeare's classic comedy about fallout from a quarrel between the King and the Queen of the Fairies in a beautiful and thoroughly accessible format that readers age 13 and up will thoroughly enjoy. This Modern English Edition rewrites Shakespeare's original text in modern-day English, making the core meaning of Shakespeare's work more accessible to readers of all backgrounds (especially those who have learned English as a second language). A Midsummer Night's Dream: Modern English Edition is a wonderful way to re-experience Shakespeare's lighthearted, romantic romp, highly recommended for personal, school, and public library graphic novel collections. Studious readers interested in Shakespeare as originally written are encouraged to investigate the previously published Manga Classics edition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that uses the complete, unabridged text of Shakespeare's classic work (9781947808102, $17.99).

Smart Girl
Fernando Dagnino
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787737198, $29.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Girl-Fernando-Dagnino/dp/1787737195

Synopsis: In the near future, tech giant Gorgona holds a monopoly on computer-human interfaces known as Schemata. These androids have become ubiquitous with everyday life across the world.

Yuki, un-affectionately called 'scrappy' by her owner, is a Smart Girl -- an android servant used for everything from security and domestics to carnal pleasure. When she starts to malfunction, she is soon to be replaced and destroyed. But something in her changes, and Yuki doesn't accept her end, instead, she becomes self-aware...

Taking a stand against her abusive master, Yuki goes on the run. Believed to be defective and hostile, she is hunted by Gorgona, and plans to fight back for the only thing that truly matters -- her right to life and freedom!

Critique: Created by Spanish author and veteran comic book illustrator Fernando Dagnino, "Smart Girl" is an original and riveting science fiction action adventure presented in a black-and- white graphic novel format. In a coffee-table sized hardcover format (7.76 x 0.6 x 11.77 inches), "Smart Girl" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $$24.99 and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of science fiction fans and community library Graphic Novel collections.

Comic Book Artist Bullpen
Jon B. Cooks, author
George Tuska, Jack Kirby, Fred Hernback, artists
Frank Bolie, Terry Beatty, Jack Abel, artists
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491059, $24.95, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Comic-Book-Artist-Bullpen-Cooke/dp/1605491055

Synopsis: "Comic Book Artist Bullpen" collects all seven issues of the little-seen labor of love fanzine published in the early 2000s by Jon B. Cooke (editor of today's Comic Book Creator magazine), just after the original CBA ended its a TwoMorrows Publishing run. Featured are in-depth interviews with some of comics' major league players, including artists George Tuska, Jack Kirby, Fred Hernback, artists Frank Bolie, as well as an amazing all-star tribute to Silver Age great Jack Abel by the Marvel Comics Bullpen and others. That previously unpublished all-comics Abel appreciation (assembled by Rick Parker) includes strips by Joe Kubert, Walter Simonson, Kyle Baker, Marie Severin, Gray Morrow, Alan Weiss Sergio Aragones, Mort Todd, Dick Ayers, and many more! Plus a new bonus feature on Jack Kirby's unknown 1960s baseball card art, and a 16-page full-color section, all behind a Jack Kirby cover!

Critique: Profusely illustrated in black-and-white throughout, "Comic Book Artist Bullpen" is prove to be of immense interest to all comic book bibliophiles. Informative and fun from cover to cover, "Comic Book Artist Bullpen" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, highschool, community, college, and university library Historical & Biographical Fiction Graphic Novels collections in general, and the personal reading lists of all dedicated comic book fans 16 to 86!

Doctor Who: Missy
Jody Houser, author
Roberta Ingranata, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787736450, $17.99, PB, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Who-Missy-Jody-Houser/dp/1787736458

Synopsis: Missy (the female incarnation of The Master, an arch enemy of Doctor Who) up to her old tricks, but this time she's not alone! In the company of her earlier incarnation as The Master, Missy goes back along her own timeline with many a danger from old foes in search of a fragment of the Key to Time. How will the Doctor survive this latest maniacal plot in this special story celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Master?

Critique: An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Doctor Who fans (and, for that matter, fans of The Master), "Doctor Who: Missy - The Master Plan" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Doctor Who: Missy - The Master Plan" is available from Titan Comics in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $11.99).

The Sunless Country: Trent
Rudolphe, author
Leo, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849183963, $11.95, PB, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sunless-Country-Trent-6/dp/1849183961

Synopsis: Beyond the Arctic Circle, in the freezing cold and never-ending night, the Mounties do their duty and try to resist the creeping assaults of madness and depression. One evening, Canadian mounted police officer Trent, alone at his remote outpost, hears a call for help. He finds a couple of Natives, dead of exposure, along with a very much alive baby! Reluctantly turned into a polar nurse, the sergeant must leave his shelter (which is unequipped to cater to its new occupant) in order to find her a new family.

Critique: The sixth volume in the Canadian Mountie Trent series, "The Sunless Country" is a deftly scripted, impressively illustrated, and thoroughly entertaining graphic novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sunless Country" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $4.61).

Editorial Note: Brazilian artist Leo is best known for his science-fiction, multi-series saga The Worlds of Aldebaran. He also created Canadian Mountie Trent as well as Kenya and its second season Namibia, all three with the artist/illustrator Rodolphe - a teacher, journalist and writer who's penned over 150 graphic novels so far and worked with some of the greatest names of Bandes Dessinees.

The Regiment
Vincent Brugeas, author
Thomas Legrain, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849185943, $15.95, PB, 64pp

https://www.amazon.com/True-Story-SAS-Regiment-Book/dp/1849185948

Synopsis: Despite the heroic efforts of L Detachment, the unit's victories haven't managed to stop the advance of the German war machine. Soon, Rommel is at the gates of Egypt, and losses mount among David Stirling and Paddy Mayne's men -- some crueller than others. In the end, they will have to reinvent themselves and give everything to push back the Desert Fox and earn their name at last: The Special Air Service!

Critique: The third book in the outstanding graphic novel series 'The True Story of the SAS', "The Regiment" is military combat storytelling at its finest. A riveting read throughout, "The Regiment" will prove a welcome and enduringly popular addition to highschool and community library Graphic Nove collections for readers ages 15 to 85. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Regiment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $5.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

The Last Shadow
Orson Scott Card
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250818157, $39.99, 11 CDs. 13.5 Hours

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Other-Tales-Ender-Universe/dp/125081815X

Synopsis: Orson Scott Card is an American writer known best for his science fiction works. He is currently the only person to win both a Hugo and a Nebula award in consecutive years, winning both awards for both books back-to-back. Card's works were influenced by classic literature, popular fantasy, and science fiction; he often uses tropes from genre fiction.

Orson Scott Card's "The Last Shadow" is the long-awaited conclusion to both the original Ender series and the Ender's Shadow series, as the children of Ender and Bean solve the great problem of the Ender Universe - the deadly virus they call the descolada, which is incurable and will kill all of humanity if it were allowed to escape from Lusitania. One planet. Three sapient species living peacefully together. And one deadly virus that could wipe out every world in the Starways Congress, killing billions. Is the only answer another great Xenocide?

Critique: Complete and unabridged, this CD audio book edition of "The Last Shadow" is dramatically brought to life in the mind's eye of the listener as it is performed by a cast of expert actors that includes Emily Rankin, Gabrielle de Cuir, John Rubinstein, Judy Young, Justine Eyre, Kirby Heyborne, Orson Scott Card, Scott Brick, and Stefan Rudnicki. An absolute 'must' for the legions of Orson Scott Card fans, this action/adventure science fiction tale is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library audio book collections.

Murder by the Bookend
Laura Gail Black
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666518801, $22.99, 7 CD, 8 Hours 42 minutes

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bookend-Antique-Bookshop-Mystery/dp/1666518808

Synopsis: Hokes Folly, NC, beloved antiquarian bookstore, Twice Upon a Time, is throwing a bash for its grand reopening. But bookseller Jenna Quinn's peace of mind is shattered when the local library's Director of Antique Books turns up dead in the parking lot with his head bashed in by a glittering pair of vintage glass bookends that he'd won in the bookstore raffle.

As they examine the murder scene, Jenna and her police detective boyfriend Keith happen upon the only witness -- Eddie, the victim's dog, who flees the scene leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind. If only dogs could speak, Jenna might be able to make quick work of the murder case and get back to stocking her bookcases. Alas, finding the killer won't be so easy, even though this is not Jenna's first murder investigation (she inherited Twice Upon a Time from her slain uncle). The suspect list includes the late librarian had not-so-friendly run-ins with numerous guests -- but suspicion eventually centers on three unsavory individuals who left the party shortly before the victim did.

Now Jenna must edit her inventory of suspects from three names to one before the bloodthirsty bookend-wielder becomes the author of Jenna's demise.

Critique: The sequel to author Laura Gail Black's mystery novel "For Whom the Book Tolls" which launched her "An Antique Bookshop Mystery' series, "Murder by the Bookend" is an impressively crafted 'whodunnit' with many an unexpected plot twist and turn before the unexpected finale! Especially recommended for community library audio book collections, this complete and unabridged audio book edition is skillfully narrated by Susan Boyce and is an ideal 'theatre of the mind' experience that will be especially appreciated by Amateur Sleuth fans.

Suburbia Made Me Do It
Ashley Fontainne
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9798200714537, $29.95, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Suburbia-Made-Me-Ashley-Fontainne/dp/B09FNR8QSS

Synopsis: For over twenty-five years, Rory Davenport had based her life on the ancient, mental code of ethics passed down from previous generations that she secretly nicknamed The Suburbia Handbook.

High school sweethearts must marry and the wife is to stay at home and raise the children while the husband brings home the bacon. All married couples must procreate and raise, at a minimum, two and a half children, preferably staggered in ages by three years. A woman's job as housewife is to maintain a pleasant, always spotless home for her family. Check. Housewives must service their husband's needs when the man's urges overtake him, no matter how tired, sick, in pain, or stressed the wife feels.

For over twenty years, Rory adhered to the strict rules -- until a final act of egregious infidelity on the part of her husband shattered her mental control. This was the culmination of a series of traumatic events the sent her life spiraling out of control, destroying each and every archaic, foundational rule.

Except Rule Number Eleven: One must defend their family, no matter what. This rule trumps everything else, even if the defense comes in the form of bodily harm to another.

Critique: An extraordinary, unique, and inherently compelling suspense thriller, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Suburbia Made Me Do It"" is giftedly narrated by the author -- Ashley Fontainne. A simply fascinating story with incredible plot twists that continue right down to the unsuspected ending, "Suburbia Made Me Do It" is especially and unreservedly recommended for the dedicated suspense/thriller fans wanting a true 'theatre of the mind' experience, as well as an enduringly popular addition to community library CD audio book collections.

Best in Snow
David Rosenfelt, author
Grover Gardner, narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250818058, $29.99, 6 CDs, 7 Hours

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Snow-Andy-Carpenter-Novel/dp/1250818052

Synopsis: Christmas has come early to the town of Paterson, New Jersey, in the form of a snowstorm that left over two feet of snow on the ground. Lawyer Andy Carpenter likes snow (to a point) but he misses the walks he takes his dogs on every day.

When the snow starts to melt, and a body is discovered by his dog, Andy ends up in the office of the local newspaper editor. The murder victim is that of crooked businessman Thomas Lansing, who had an infamous relationship with the newspaper. Last year a young reporter published an expose, and Lansing had him fired for libel. Now, the young reporter (and prime suspect) isn't answering his phone -- and everyone is worried.

Andy agrees to take the case, though it's not looking good this holiday season. The snow is piling up -- along with the evidence

Critique: An inherently compelling and fully entertaining Andy Carpenter mystery by veteran mystery/suspense author David Rosenfelt, this CD recorded edition of "Best In Snow" is deftly narrated by the vocal talents of Grover Gardner. The result is a true 'theatre of the mind' style audio book, complete and unabridged, that is especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and will prove an enduringly popular addition to community library audio book collections.


The Library CD Shelf

Acoustic Paris
Putumayo World Music
www.putumayo.com
$14.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Acoustic-Paris-Putumayo-Presents/dp/B09JGNYW66

Acoustic Paris is a Putumayo World Music album celebrating French chansons and manouche jazz. The physical CD comes with a booklet filled with information about the presented music artists and songs, and an album download card in addition to the physical CD. Ten songs by ten different French creators are showcased, each evoking the romance, beauty, and atmosphere of modern-day Parisian culture. Acoustic Paris is a treasure for personal and public library international music collections, highly recommended.

My Favorite Holiday!
Patricia Vonne
patriciavonne.com
Bandolera Records
$TBA CD / $10.89 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/My-Favorite-Holiday-Patricia-Vonne/dp/B09J2CKG5N

My Favorite Holiday! is a Christmas-themed music album of ten original songs and one cover performed by musician, actress, and award-winning female vocalist Patricia Vonne. Patricia's brightly dulcet voice is pure listening joy! This festive collection will appeal to all ages, and is highly recommended as a way to spread Christmas cheer. The tracks are "Santa's On His Way", "Nochebuena", "Alone On Christmas Day", "Las Posadas", "Christmas Without You", "My Favorite Holiday", "Cumbia Navidad", "Santa's On A Rampage", "Christ Child", "Carol of the Bells", and "Old Man Santa".

Whisper
Suzanne Teng and Gilbert Levy
www.mysticjourney.net
Autumn Light Productions
$17.92 CD / $8.91 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Suzanne-Teng-Gilbert-Levy/dp/B09HW2YQ34

Award-winning music artists Suzanne Teng and Gilbert Levy present Whisper, a beautiful, emotional, and instrumental album of original music crafted to soothe the mind and spirit. Light, exotic, and gently relaxing, Whisper is a mellifluous experience that can be savored on its own, or played to help one calm the mind while engaged in other tasks. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Whisper", "Sweet Jack", "Birgitte on the Steps", "Watching Us From Other Worlds", "Winter Prayer", "Genesis", "She Dances With the Sea", "White Buffalo", and "Gammapana".

Erlebnisse
Noam Lemish
www.noamlemish.com
Privately Published
$17.00 CAD physical / $10.00 CAD digital

https://noamlemish.bandcamp.com/album/erlebnisse

Erlebnisse is a solo piano album, titled after a German word for "deeply felt experiences". Each song is improvised, recorded in a single take, and played in real time. The tracks span a gamut of emotions and trace a mind-expanding journey brimming with creativity, inspiration, and adventure. An extraordinary soundscape sparking dreams, desires, and passions, Erlebnisse is highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of the extraordinary.


The Library DVD Shelf

Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman
Herb Stratford
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
www.firstrunfeatures.com
DVD, $24.95, 67 minutes, color

http://firstrunfeatures.com/gustavstickleyvod.html

Synopsis: An American furniture manufacturer, design leader, publisher, and a leading voice in the American Arts and Crafts movement. Gustav Stickley's design philosophy was a major influence on American Craftsman architecture, Gustav Stickley (March 9, 1858 - April 21, 1942) was visionary designer whose furniture work included what has become known as the Mission Style. Herb Stratford's new documentary, "Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman", offers an unprecedented look at his life and works as told through interviews, archival materials, and a close examination of his most iconic works.

"Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman" traces the development and evolution of Stickley's unique style as well as the creation of his diverse businesses, including furniture manufacturing, a ground-breaking Manhattan store, the Craftsman Magazine, and Craftsman Farms -- a forerunner of the farm-to-table movement. The documentary visits several key locations in Stickley's lifetime, including his Syracuse home, where he lived and created his first arts and crafts interior; it also details the eventual loss of his businesses, and, after several decades, the rebirth and recognition of the movement he inspired.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative documentary, "Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman" is a 'must see' for Gustav Stickley fans, as well as anyone with an interest in the history of American furniture making. "Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American Arts & Crafts history collections in general, and Gustav Stickley supplemental curriculum lists in particular.

For the Love of Jason, Season 1
ALLBLK
https://allblk.tv
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$16.96 DVD

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Jason-1-Phoebe-Holston/dp/B09DMW9XFK

For the Love of Jason, Season 1 is a series about a single, educated, financially stable black man with no children, in search of true love. Jason has experienced long-term relationships, and years of bachelor life, yet as he grew older he realized that one by one all of his closest friends were settling down. Feeling the pressure to find someone rather than spend middle age and beyond alone, he starts a string of awkward dates - fortunately, all of his friends are eager to help him! For the Love of Jason is witty, heartwarming, at times sassy, and always entertaining, highly recommended. English language with English subtitles, 2 hours and 31 min.

Kevin Can F Himself, Season 1
Starring Annie Murphy
AMC Studios
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$39.98 DVD / Blu-ray

https://www.amazon.com/Himself-Inboden-Petersen-Bonifer-Raymond/dp/B09F5DC7YB

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Kevin Can F Himself, Season 1 is a dark humor series about what lurks beneath the surface of a seemingly idyllic, sitcom-style marriage. Allison McRoberts is married to her self-centered husband Kevin, but when she learns that the future she hoped for will never happen, she joins forces with her neighbor Patty to wrest back control of her own life. Grim wit, human frustration, and emotional fakery abound, in this unforgettable deconstruction of the ties that bind. English, Spanish and French languages and subtitles, 5 hours 54 min.


The Art Shelf

Creative Acrylics
Carla Co Chua
Quarry
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760373279, $22.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Acrylics-Step-Step-Beginners/dp/0760373272

Synopsis: Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion and plasticizers, silicon oils, defoamers, stabilizers, or metal soaps. While most acrylic paints are water-based, some become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted with water, or modified with acrylic gels, mediums, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor, a gouache, or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with other media.

Acrylics are one of the most versatile, affordable, and accessible art mediums, and "Creative Acrylics: A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to Creating with Paint & Mediums - Create Paintings Filled with Color, Texture, Unique Effects & More!" by Carla Co Chua is an ideal instructional guide with all the tips, tricks, and techniques for blending colors and building texture, plus excellent instruction on how to paint a range of different subjects.

Confused about which types of paints to use, and how to use them? "Creative Acrylics" cuts through the clutter and offers clear fundamentals for working with a variety of paints and mediums to produce beautiful results. Acrylic paint is water-soluble, dries quickly, and is forgiving, making it perfect for those starting out. Begin your acrylic painting journey with an expert who will guide you through enjoyable techniques and projects as you build confidence and ramp up your skills.

Step-by-step techniques, lessons, and projects cover a wide range of styles and genres, including color mixing, brushwork, glazing, and how to paint easy florals, still lifes, landscapes, and animals. Take your new skills even further and paint on different surfaces to create an apron, painted shells, a paintbrush rest, clay pot, and more.

"Creative Acrylics" includes: How to set up your workspace to make painting more enjoyable; A guide to the different types of acrylic paint; Basic techniques such as understanding color and value, and how to add texture and other effects using paint and mediums; Lessons and projects that build skills: creating still lifes, florals, landscapes and skies, and painting on fabric, wood, shells, clay, and more

Critique: An ideal instruction manual and guide for all skill levels, "Creative Acrylics: A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to Creating with Paint & Mediums - Create Paintings Filled with Color, Texture, Unique Effects & More!" is a fun, practical, effective, and thoroughly 'art student friendly' approach to learning about and working with the medium of acrylic paints -- making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, art school, college, and university library collections.

Editorial Note: Carla Co Chua has hosted several public and private art workshops since 2017 and has collaborated with art supply brands to teach acrylic and watercolor and painting at art events around Metro Manila. Carla continues to inspire artists with her beautiful artwork that includes florals, animals, portraits, landscapes, and still life. Carla lives in Manila, Philippines and can be followed on Instagram: @carlacochua

The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing
Julia Claire Weber
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781631599354, $26.99, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Guide-Wheel-Throwing-Essential/dp/1631599356

Synopsis: A complete introductory course in pottery making utilize a potter's wheel, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" by pottery making expert Julia Claire Weber, will enable novice pottery makers to develop the skills (and patience) needed to make their first forms. "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" starts at the very beginning of the process. It also presents a tour through a typical ceramics studio, a discussion of the best clays for throwing, as well as a variety of centering methods.

Additionally, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" includes: Starter projects like cups, bowls, and plates to hone your skills; Tutorials on important topics like trimming and handles; A unique decal workshop, unlocking the potential of image transfer.

Throughout "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing", skill-building is front and center, with tips and tricks to help to crack the code and make pieces to be proud of. Gallery work from some of today's top artists are sure to inspire potters of all levels.

Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" is an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual for aspiring pottery makers. It would also make a thoroughly user friendly how-to curriculum text for school pottery making classes. Simply stated, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, art school, college, and university library Pottery & Ceramic Art instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Julia Claire Weber is a full-time studio artist (Julia Claire Clay) and a part-time gallery manager. An alumni of the Odyssey Clayworks residency program, Julia was previously studio manager of Clayspace in Erie, PA and is a graduate of the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania ceramics program. Julia keeps a full teaching schedule at craft and art centers across the country and her work has been widely featured and displayed, including exhibitions at NCECA, Pottery Northwest, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Objective Clay, and the Touchstone Center for Crafts. In print, Julia's work can be seen in Amazing Glaze, Creative Pottery, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramic Arts Daily, and more.

Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki, artist
Jessica Niehel, author
Daniel Kotheenschulte, author
Pete Docter, author
DelMonico Books
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9781942884811, $38.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hayao-Miyazaki/dp/1942884818

Synopsis: For more than four decades, Japanese artist Hayao Miyazaki has been enchanting audiences of all ages. His animated films, often featuring children navigating unfamiliar and challenging worlds, offer timeless explorations of youth and what it means to grow up. Celebrated and admired around the globe for his artistic vision, craftsmanship and deeply humanistic values, Miyazaki has influenced generations of artists. The universal appeal of his evocative natural settings and complex characters, many among them strong girls and young women, cuts across cultural boundaries.

"Hayao Miyazaki" is published on the occasion of the 2021 inaugural exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, in collaboration with Studio Ghibli in Tokyo. It accompanies the first ever retrospective dedicated to the legendary filmmaker in North America and introduces hundreds of original production materials, including artworks never before seen outside of Studio Ghibli's archives. Concept sketches, character designs, storyboards, layouts, backgrounds and production cels from his early career through all 11 of his feature films, including My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001) and Howl's Moving Castle (2004), offer insight into Miyazaki's creative process and masterful animation techniques.

Critique: An impressively informative and showcasing the artist's work in full color, "Hayao Miyazki" is a exceptionally well organized and presented coffee-table style volume (9.06 x 11.02 inches) that is a critically and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Animated Movies, Movie Direction & Production, Video Direction & Production, and Contemporary Japanese Art History collections in general, and Hayao Miyazki supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.

Picasso: Painting the Blue Period
Pablo Picasso, artist
Kenneth Brummel, editor
Susan Behrends Frank, editor
Marilyn McCully, Eduard Valles, Sandra Webster-Cook, contributors
DelMonico Books
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
www.artbook.com
9781942884927, $50.00, HC, 244pp

https://www.amazon.com/Picasso-Painting-Blue-Period-Pablo/dp/1942884923

Synopsis: Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 - 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by German and Italian air forces during the Spanish Civil War.

"Picasso: Painting the Blue Period" is a lavishly illustrated volume that reexamines Pablo Picasso's famous Blue Period (1901 - 1904) in paintings, works on paper and sculpture. Relying on new information gleaned from technical studies performed on The Blue Room (Le Tub) (1901), Crouching Beggarwoman (La Misereuse accroupie) (1902) and The Soup (La Soupe) (1903), this multidisciplinary volume combines art history and advanced conservation science in order to show how the young Picasso fashioned a distinct style and a pronounced artistic identity as he adapted the artistic lessons of fin-de-siecle Paris to the social and political climate of an economically struggling Barcelona.

Essays, a chronology and a summary of conservation findings contextualize Picasso's experimental approach to painting during the Blue Period. A major contribution to the burgeoning field of technical art history, "Picasso: Painting the Blue Period" advances new scholarship on one of the most critical episodes in 20th-century modernism.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with an impressively informative and exceptionally insightful commentary by a series of expert commentators and editors, "Picasso: Painting the Blue Period" is an extraordinary, inherently fascinating, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Fine Art instructional reference collections in general, and Pablo Picasso supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art
Amish Morrell, editor
Diane Borsato, editor
Douglas & McIntyre
www.douglas-mcintyre.com
c/o Harbour Publishing
https://harbourpublishing.com
9781771622844, $39.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-School-Diane-Borsato/dp/1771622849

Synopsis: For more than a decade, the Outdoor School project has provided a framework for interdisciplinary artists to come together and share projects that re-imagine ways of relating with the landscape.

The experiential and community-based art projects described in Outdoor School present an alternative to scientific, commercial and colonial conceptions of land and nature in the face of climate change and mass extinction. These art practices include activities like mushroom foraging, water witching, trespassing, pumpkin-boat sailing, cloud identifying, ravine running, honey extracting, spell conjuring, rabbit hunting, coyote walking and more. The project calls attention to creative, counter-cultural works that are focused on education, community and place, and blur the boundaries between art and life, nature and culture.

Comprised of interviews, essays and over 150 photographs, "Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art" is deftly edited by the team of Amish Morrell and Diane Borsato and is an significant contribution to discussions of contemporary art and ecology, foregrounding work that is marginal and ephemeral by nature.

The artists featured and showcased in "Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art: include Alana Bartol, Diane Borsato, Bill Burns, Carolina Caycedo, Sameer Farooq, FASTWURMS, Ayumi Goto, Maggie Groat, Gabrielle Hill, Peter Morin, Public Studio, Helen Reed, Genevieve Robertson, Jamie Ross, Aislinn Thomas, Vibrant Matter, Jay White, Tania Willard, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and D'Arcy Wilson.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art" is an impressively unique, eloquent, and thought- provoking read -- making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Conceptual Art collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Editorial Note #1: Diane Borsato is an artist, as well as an associate professor of studio art and head of the Experimental Studio area at the University of Guelph. She has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Art Gallery at York University, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Walter Philips Gallery at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Art Centre as well as in galleries and museums around the world.

Editorial Note #2: Amish Morrell is an educator, curator, editor and writer who teaches at OCAD University in Toronto. From 2008 to 2017 he was Editor and Director of Programs at C Magazine, one of North America's foremost visual arts magazines. He has also curetted numerous exhibitions and developed public projects including Nightwalks with Teenagers with Mammalian Diving Reflex; The Sauna Symposium with Hart House at the University of Toronto; and Reading the Bruce Trail with Public Studio.

Alexander Calder: Minimal Maximal
Staatliche Museen zu Staatliche, editor
Nationalgalerie Berlin, editor
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791379296, $50.00, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Calder-Staatliche-Museen-zu/dp/3791379291

Synopsis: Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898 - November 11, 1976) was an American sculptor known both for his innovative mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, and static "stabiles" monumental public sculptures. He didn't limit his art to sculptures; he also created paintings, jewelry, theatre sets and costumes. (Wikipedia)

Few artists are able to work successfully on both large and small scales, but throughout his career Alexander Calder brilliantly moved from the miniature to the monumental and back again. "Alexander Calder: Minimal / Maximal" focuses on the enormous stabiles he created mostly for public places, as well as his elegant hanging mobiles in sheet metal, miniature standing mobiles, and chess sets, shedding light on the social and performative aspects of his work.

Essays explore how Calder approached the effects of kinetics and space, solidity and transparency, stasis and activity, volume and void. "Alexander Calder: Minimal / Maximal" also looks at how Calder's small-scale sculptures echoed the public spectacle of his larger pieces, creating a "private drama" that encouraged direct participation.

Whatever the size, Calder's works employed movement and interaction in unpredictable ways, and this enlightening study helps readers appreciate the important continuity of his oeuvre.

Critique: This profusely illustrated and bilingual edition (German/English) of "Alexander Calder: Minimal / Maximal" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. Impressively informative and a pleasure to simply browse throughout, "Alexander Calder: Minimal / Maximal" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and Alexander Calder supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.

Fayoum Pottery
R. Neil Hewison
American University in Cairo Press
200 Park Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10166
www.aucpress.com
9781649031327, $39.95 HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fayoum-Pottery-Ceramic-Crafts-Egyptian/dp/1649031327

Synopsis: The Fayoum, a broad, fertile depression in Egypt's Western Desert, is known for its great salt lake, its rich green fields, and its unique pharaonic and Greco-Roman remains. It is also home to three very different centers of pottery production.

The potters of Kom Oshim specialize in decorated garden pots and other utilitarian ware, and guard the special secret of how to make the largest clay vessels in Egypt, up to an extraordinary two and a half meters tall. At al-Nazla, ancient traditions are kept alive, as members of a single extended family continue to use millennia-old techniques passed down from generation to generation, hand-forming among other things their distinctive spherical water jars with amazing dexterity and speed. In the small village of Tunis, the establishment of a pottery school by a Swiss couple in 1990 led to a complete transformation, and the village now hosts more than twenty-five pottery workshops and showrooms, whose products are sold in Cairo, London, and New York.

"Fayoum Pottery: Ceramic Arts and Crafts in an Egyptian Oasis" provides lively insight into a varied and vital craft, author R. Neil Hewison reveals the stories of the three villages and the skilled potters who make their living there, looking at how they learned their trade and how they work, from the preparation of the clay to the formation of the pots on the wheel or by hand, to the decoration, the glazing, and the firing, and finally to the display or distribution and sale of the finished product.

Critique: Providing a beautifully and profusely illustrated exploration of the ceramics of the Fayoum, "Fayoum Pottery: Ceramic Arts and Crafts in an Egyptian Oasis" will inspire and enchant both the casual reader and the experienced pottery maker alike. Informed and informative, inherently fascinating and impressively informative, "Fayoum Pottery: Ceramic Arts and Crafts in an Egyptian Oasis" will have a strong and enduring appeal to lovers of the craft of pottery -- both practitioners, and collectors alike -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Ceramic Art, Pottery Making, and Antique/Collectible collections and supplemental curriculum
studies lists.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Egypt, R. Neil Hewison is the author of The Fayoum: History and Guide (AUC Press, revised edition 2008) and the translator of After the Nobel Prize 1989 - 1994: The Non-Fiction Writing of Naguib Mahfouz Volume IV, as well as fiction by Yusuf Idris, Yusuf Abu Rayya, and Gamal al-Ghitani.


The Philosophy Shelf

Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers
Silvia Benson, editor
Elvira Roncalli, editor
State University of New York Press
State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246-0001
www.sunypress.edu
9781438484914, $95.00, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Italian-Women-Philosophers-Stretching/dp/1438484917

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Silvia Benso (Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the author and editor of several books, including Viva Voce: Conversations with Italian Philosophers, also published by SUNY Press) and Elvira Roncalli (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Carroll College), "Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers: Stretching the Art of Thinking" is a compendium of eleven erudite and insightful essays deftly organized into three major sections: Women, Mothers, Bodies; Subjectivity, Power, and the Political; Responsibility, Emotions, Time; Everyday Life, Action, Transcendence.

Offering a unique portrayal of the theoretical positions of eleven Italian women thinkers who share the practice of philosophy and extend philosophical work and interests beyond the realm of the discipline strictly defined, "Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers: Stretching the Art of Thinking" is enhanced by an informative introduction by the editors, a listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a five page Index.

Critique: Part of the SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy series, "Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers: Stretching the Art of Thinking" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Philosophy, Political Philosophy, and Women's Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers: Stretching the Art of Thinking" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781438484921, $29.95).


The Interior Design Shelf

Cozy White Cottage Seasons
Liz Marie Galvan
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9781400224555, $27.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cozy-White-Cottage-Seasons-Ways/dp/1400224551

Synopsis: With the publication of "Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long ", do-it-yourself interior designer and popular blogger Liz Marie Galvan helps you to create space to snuggle up, stretch out, or kick back at home so that you can focus on what matters most during the holidays and every day. Following the popularity of "Cozy White Cottage", Liz Galvan's "Cozy White Cottage Seasons" is a beautiful, full-color photography holiday lifestyle book packed from cover to cover with easy-to-do, practical tips to make any home a welcome haven from New Year's to spring, summer, fall, and all the way through Christmas.

"Cozy White Cottage Seasons" covers: Creating cozy celebrations, traditions, and memories indoors and out; Repurposing furniture and decor for every season; Cultivating your flair for vintage, modern, farmhouse, or a unique style all your own; Designing a hot cocoa bar --and making other seasonally cozy recipes; Storing and manage holiday clutter. In addition, "Cozy White Cottage Seasons" is enhanced for the DIY enthusiasts with fun ideas to celebrate and decorate for: Christmas; Thanksgiving; Halloween; Fourth of July; Father's Day and Mother's Day; Easter; Valentine's Day -- and so much more!

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long" is a delight to simply browse through and an ideal resource for interior re-designing and holiday decorating ideas. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Home Decorating & Interior Designing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the DIY enthusiast that "Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: A cozy enthusiast living in an 1800s farmhouse, Liz Marie Gaven's design tips and wisdom have been featured on the TODAY show, Better Homes and Gardens, and Country Living. With decorating tips, fun family traditions, and doable ways to make your home inviting in every season, Liz helps you create a beautiful living space and a grateful heart all year long.

Feels Like Home
Marian Parsons
Worthy Publishing
www.worthypublishing.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781546015833, $28.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Feels-Like-Home-Transforming-Uninspiring/dp/1546015833

Synopsis: Most of us don't live in a dream home that was custom built to suit our tastes. We have to work with a house that brings its own style, quirks, and personality to the table. But imagine walking into this house, but it's perfectly designed and decorated with your style in mind -- a home that fits you like a well-tailored outfit and yet is as comfy as your favorite pair of pajamas. What would that home look like exactly? How would it feel to live in a home styled specifically for you?

The truth is, every home should feel like a custom home and not have to break the bank. In "Feels Like Home: Transforming Your Space from Uninspiring to Uniquely Yours", DIY makeover queen and interior design expert Marian Parsons (a.k.a. Miss Mustard Seed) teaches you what she's learned over the years, sharing budget-friendly practical tips that will inspire you to change your space from "blah" to beautiful, from a builder-grade to character-rich home. Each chapter will guide you through detailed, easy-to-implement tutorials for projects, makeovers, decorating ideas, and tips for handling common challenges.

Special note-taking spaces are also included for recording your own design ideas. Room by room, you will be empowered to transform your house into the home of your dreams!

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, exceptionally well organized, thoroughly 'user friendly' in commentary and presentation, "Feels Like Home: Transforming Your Space from Uninspiring to Uniquely Yours" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Interior Design instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Feels Like Home: Transforming Your Space from Uninspiring to Uniquely Yours" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781668600337, $40.00, CD).

Editorial Note: Marian Parsons started Mustard Seed Interiors in 2008, as a way to earn extra money for groceries. What started out as a one-woman decorative painting and mural business evolved into an antiques business that tripped into a blog and blossomed into a successful international brand. Marian wanted to advertise her fledgling business, but also wanted to connect with like-minded readers and other DIY/Home bloggers. The decision was made early on to turn her blog into a valuable resource, filled with tutorials, practical advice, encouragement and a dose of reality. Some of the blog series cover making slipcovers, painting furniture, before & after inspiration, and decorating tips & tricks. While the focus has been on the home, the heart of this blog has always been providing encouragement and inspiration to women in the areas of decorating, homemaking, and creative endeavors.

Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living
Joe Beath, author
Elizabeth Price, author
Colin Chee, creator
Smith Street Books
https://www.smithstreetbooks.com
9781922417213, $40.00, HC, 296pp

https://www.amazon.com/Never-Too-Small-Reimagining-Living/dp/1922417211

Synopsis: What does the future of urban living look like? in the profusely illustrated pages of "Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living" award-winning interior designers Joel Beath and Elizabeth Price explore this question drawing inspiration from a diverse collection of apartment designs, all smaller than 50 square meters/540 square feet. Through the lens of five small-footprint design principles and drawing on architectural images and detailed floor plans, "award-winning designers" examine how architects and designers are reimagining small space living.

Full of inspiration that professionals and non-professional can each apply to their own particular spaces (and originating from an idea for the book by architect Colin Chee), "Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living" offers hope and inspiration for a future of our cities and their citizens in which sustainability and style, comfort and affordability can co-exist.

"Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living" proves living better doesn't have to mean living larger.

Critique: A veritable compendium of superbly photographed and presented ideas, "Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living" is a thoughtful and thought-provoking browse that is both inherently fascinating and of practical inspiration for what can be accomplished in limited living spaces -- especially in urban dwellings and rural small cottage settings. Simply stated, "Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Interior Design instructional reference collections.


The Fashion Shelf

Men in This Town
Giuseppe Santamaria
Street Smith Books
www.streetsmithbooks.com
9781922417381, $40.00, HC, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Men-This-Town-Decade-Street/dp/1922417386

Synopsis: For the last decade, Giuseppe Santamaria has observed and photographically recorded the men of big cities while they cross streets, sit at cafes, and pose, momentarily, on busy sidewalks. Traveling the continents, Giuseppe has documented the evolution of men's identities, communicated through their attitude and style as they move through their different concrete jungles.

With photos shot in Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Milan, London, Melbourne, Toronto, L.A., Madrid, Florence, and Paris, "Men in This Town: A Decade of Men's Street Style" is a unique collection of images that presents a truly global retrospective of men's street fashion. Filled from cover to cover with striking photographs, "Men in This Town: A Decade of Men's Street Style" is a visual record of the men who stick out in a crowd with their particular sense of just who and what they are.

Critique: A unique compendium of full color photographic images of ordinary and extraordinary men's fashions over a ten year span and taken in a variety of countries and continents, "Men in This Town: A Decade of Men's Street Style" is especially and unreservedly recommended for reader's with an interest in photography and fashion. "Men in This Town: A Decade of Men's Street Style" will prove to a an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Men's Fashion History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.


The Photography Shelf

The Winter Coast of Maine
Ed Kenney
https://ed-kenney.format.com
Seapoint Books
https://seapointbooks.com
978099855658, $50.00, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Coast-Maine-Photographs-Kenney/dp/0998556580

Synopsis: "The Winter Coast of Maine: The Photographs of Ed Kenney" is the first fine art book dedicated to color photographs of Maine's coastal landscape made exclusively during the coldest months -- a time of year that most visitors and summer residents rarely get to see.

The Maine coast is a place of exquisite beauty at all times of year, but especially in winter. The topography of this region ranges from long sandy beaches in the south to tall granite headlands in the area known as "Down East." Photographer and Maine resident Ed Kenney has spent the last decade compiling a portfolio of stunning images capturing the essence of a coast that is at times serene and still, and at other times ferocious, stormy, and bitterly cold.

Critique: Published in a coffee-table style format (12.91 x 0.84 x 10.98 inches), "The Winter Coast of Maine: The Photographs of Ed Kenney" is an impressive compendium of full color photographic prints that are an inherently fascinating and memorable browse from cover to cover. Enhanced with an informative introduction by National Geographic veteran Sam Abell, "The Winter Coast of Maine: The Photographs of Ed Kenney" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary American Photography collections.

Editorial Note: The photographic skills of Ed Kenney were honed using a succession of film cameras that began with a Kodak Hawkeye and progressed over the years to an Arca Swiss 4x5. Although the view camera still sees occasional use, these days almost all capture is digital on high resolution sensors matched with the finest lenses.

How Do I Photograph a Sunset?
Chris Gatcum
Ilex Press
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781781578216, $19.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Photograph-Sunset-photography-questions/dp/1781578214

Synopsis: In the art and science of photography, as in all other pursuits in life we learn by asking questions -- but what if we don't know what questions we should be asking?

Thanks to the digital revolution, photography has never been so popular, and whether you shoot on a phone or a top-spec DSLR or CSC camera, the urge to improve is relentless. In the illustrated pages of "How Do I Photograph a Sunset?: More than 150 essential photography questions answered", author and professional photographer Chris Gatcum asks the questions that every photographer will have in mind at some point in their image-making journey, and then answers them in a clear, concise, straightforward and inspirational manner.

Laid out in intuitive sections, "How Do I Photograph a Sunset?: More than 150 essential photography questions answered" tackles the questions that are on every photographer's mind, as well as those that they haven't thought of yet. And with a clear progression through each chapter, from the simple to more complex, the book asks (and answers!) questions to satisfy the complete novice as well as the advanced practitioner.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, "How Do I Photograph a Sunset?: More than 150 essential photography questions answered" is an ideal DIY tutorial on photography for the novice student of photography and will ably serve as an instructional refresher for even the more experienced photography. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Photography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How Do I Photograph a Sunset?: More than 150 essential photography questions answered" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Chris Gatcum has lived and breathed photography for over two decades, working as a professional photographer, journalist, specialist magazine and book editor, as well as a best-selling author. A passionate advocate of experimental digital and traditional photography, he is as comfortable conducting technical camera tests as he is demystifying the art of photography for the rest of us.


The World History Shelf

Europe's Babylon
Michael Pye
Pegasus Books
http://www.pegasusbooks.com
9781643137773, $28.95 hc / $18.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Europes-Babylon-Rise-Antwerps-Golden/dp/1643137778

Synopsis: Before Amsterdam, there was a dazzling North Sea port at the hub of the known world: the city of Antwerp.

In the Age of Exploration, Antwerp was sensational like nineteenth-century Paris or twentieth-century New York. It was somewhere anything could happen or at least be believed: killer bankers, easy kisses, a market in secrets and every kind of heresy. For half the sixteenth century, it was the place for breaking rules - religious, sexual, intellectual.

And it was a place of change - a single man cornered all the money in the city and reinvented ideas of what money meant. Another gave the city a new shape purely out of his own ambition. Jews fleeing the Portuguese Inquisition needed Antwerp for their escape, thanks to the remarkable woman at the head of the grandest banking family in Europe.

Thomas More opened Utopia there, Erasmus puzzled over money and exchanges, William Tyndale sheltered there and smuggled out his Bible in English until he was killed. Pieter Bruegel painted the town as The Tower of Babel.

But when Antwerp rebelled with the Dutch against the Spanish and lost, all that glory was buried and its true history rewritten. The city that unsettled so many now became conformist. Mutinous troops burned the city records, trying to erase its true history.

In Europe's Babylon, Michael Pye sets out to rediscover the city that was lost and bring its wilder days to life using every kind of clue: novels, paintings, songs, schoolbooks, letters and the archives of Venice, London and the Medici. He builds a picture of a city haunted by fire, plague, and violence, but one that was learning how to be a power in its own right as it emerged from feudalism.

An astounding and original narrative that illuminates this glamorous and bloody era of history and reveals how this fascinating city played its role in making the world modern.

Critique: Europe's Babylon: The Rise and Fall of Antwerp's Golden Age is a fascinating history and scrutiny of 16th-century Antwerp, a port town in Belgium that grew into a world-spanning trade hub. Antwerp's downfall came when the city sided with the Dutch rebellion against the Spanish, and lost. Mutinous troops burned the city's records, and much of its history was lost. Europe's Babylon seeks to reconstruct the past from a wide variety of records - novels, paintings, songs, schoolbooks, letters, archives, and much more. Europe's Babylon offers a window through time into a post-feudal city that grew into astonishing power and influence, despite depredations of fire, plague, and violence. Europe's Babylon is an welcome contribution to public and college library World History collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Europe's Babylon is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.99).

Editorial Note: Michael Pye is the author of The Drowning Room, The Pieces from Berlin, and The Edge of the World, all three of which were New York Times Notable Books of the Year.

History of the Caucasus
Christoph Baumer
I. B. Tauris Publishers
www.ibtauris.com
c/o Bloomsbury Press
https://www.bloomsbury.com
9781788310079, $38.42, HC, 392pp

https://www.amazon.com/History-Caucasus-At-Crossroads-Empires/dp/1788310071

Synopsis: A landscape of high mountains and narrow valleys stretching from the Black to the Caspian Seas, the Caucasus region has been home to human populations for nearly 2 million years. "History of the Caucasus: At the Crossroads of Empires" is the first of a richly illustrated 2-volume series in which historian and explorer Christoph Baumer tells the story of the region's history through to the present day. It is a story of encounters between many different peoples, from Scythians, Turkic and Mongol peoples of the East to Greeks and Romans from the West, from Indo-European tribes from the West as well as the East, and to Arabs and Iranians from the South. It is a story of rival claims by Empires and nations and of how the region has become home to more than 50 languages that can be heard within its borders to this very day.

This first volume charts the period from the emergence of the earliest human populations in the region - the first known human populations outside Africa - to the Seljuk conquests of 1050CE. Along the way the book charts the development of Neolithic, Iron and Bronze Age cultures, the first recognizable Caucasian state and the arrival of a succession of the great transnational Empires, from the Greeks, the Romans and the Armenian to competing Christian and Muslim conquerors. "The History of the Caucasus: Volume 1" also includes more than 200 full color images and maps bringing the changing cultures of these lands vividly to life.

Critique: Impressively informative, profusely illustrated, exceptionally well organized and presented, "History of the Caucasus: At the Crossroads of Empires" by historian Christoph Baumer is an extraordinary work of regional history that will have enormous appeal for the non- specialist general reader and the academician alike -- making this an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Asian history collections in general, and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Christoph Baumer is a leading explorer and historian of Central Asia. He is President of the Society for the Exploration of EurAsia and is a member of the Explorers' Club, New York, and of the Royal Asiatic Society, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, London.

Nero: The Man Behind The Myth
Thorsten Opper
The British Museum
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
www.artbook.com
9780714122908, $65.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Nero-Behind-Myth-Thorsten-Opper/dp/0714122904

Synopsis: One of the best known and simultaneously most notorious figures from Roman history, Nero (r. AD 54 - 68) is usually characterised as a tyrannical and ineffectual emperor, a ruler who proverbially 'fiddled while Rome burnt'. However, as new research demonstrates, this reputation is crudely reductive and was carefully crafted in antiquity by hostile elite authors, who envisioned a different form of rule more mindful of the demands of their own social and political class.

"Nero: The Man Behind The Myth" by Thorsten Opper and published by The British Museum redresses the balance and provides a more nuanced interpretation of Nero's reign and Roman society of the time, reflecting on the traditional perceptions of his rule and revealing the substantial external and internal challenges with which the sixteen-year-old heir to the Roman empire had to contend.

Nero's rule fell in an extended period of transition and profound social and economic change. The empire had grown rapidly during previous centuries, and an astonishing era of peace and prosperity followed the introduction of one-man rule after decades of bloody civil war under Nero's great-great-grandfather Augustus. However, political institutions and elite mindsets were slow to adjust to the resulting rise of former outsiders, people from the provinces and freed slaves.

"Nero: The Man Behind The Myth" considers in detail the resulting tensions and the challenging role of Nero's family within them. Powerful individuals, among them many women, including Nero's mother Agrippina, and his tutor and advisor Seneca, come to life against the backdrop of these times, when different court factions thought to manipulate the young ruler. At the same time, intriguing evidence - doodles and graffiti - from Rome, Pompeii and other Vesuvian cities gives voice to often very different attitudes of common people, completely ignored by the ancient literary sources.

In addition to these internal challenges, Nero inherited a great conflict with the rival power of the Parthians and unrest in unsettled newly conquered territories, including Britain. The book examines his military and diplomatic response and the powerful visual language - often disregarded - that presented him as a successful young military leader throughout the empire. Administrative and tax reforms culminated in 'populist' policies that also saw him embrace enthusiastically the possibilities offered through public entertainments (the circus, arena and theater) to communicate directly with his subjects and project a more direct, charismatic form of rule. Yet his grand building projects and the beautification of his capital were offset by severe natural disasters and a devastating fire of Rome.

Popular with the common people to the very end, Nero could not reconcile the internal contradictions of the principate, the political system introduced by Augustus. Hostile segments of the elite were behind military rebellions in AD 68 that quickly drove Nero from power. His enforced suicide brought to an end the rule of Rome's first imperial dynasty, the Julio-Claudians. The subsequent vilification of his memory and the removal and desecration of his image are an enduring, but misleading, legacy that leave a fascinating reign to be explored anew.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, this new biographical history of Nero is inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and a meticulous work of detailed and exhaustive research. A work of impeccable scholarship that will appel to academia and non- specialist general readers alike, this coffee-table style edition (9.84 x 11.02 inches) of "Nero: The Man Behind The Myth" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Roman History collections in general, and Emperor Nero supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Nero: The Man Behind The Myth" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780714122915, $40.00).

Editorial Note: Thorsten Opper is a curator of Greek and Roman Sculpture at the British Museum, specializing in ancient portraiture, the Greek world in the Roman period, and the collecting and restoration of ancient sculpture in the eighteenth century. Thorsten joined the British Museum in 2001 from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. His previous publications include Hadrian: Empire and Conflict (London, British Museum Press, 2008).


The Literary Studies Shelf

Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts
Laura Ingalls Wilder, author
Nancy Tystad Koupal, editor
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
https://www.sdhspress.com
9781941813096, $49.95, HC, 484pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Girl-Revised-Texts-Project/dp/1941813097

Synopsis: For generations, the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder have defined the American frontier and the pioneer experience for the public at large. Edited by Nancy Tystad Koupal, "Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts presents three typescripts of Wilder's original Pioneer Girl manuscript in an examination of the process through which she and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, transformed her autobiography into the much-loved Little House series. As the women polished the narrative from draft to draft, a picture emerges of the working relationship between the women, of the lives they lived, and of the literary works they created.

Editor Nancy Koupal in collaboration with the other editors of the Pioneer Girl Project provides a meticulous study of the Wilder/Lane partnership as Wilder's autobiography undergoes revision, and the women redevelop and expand portions of it into Wilder's successful children's and young adult novels and into Lane's bestselling adult novels in the 1930s. The three revised texts of Pioneer Girl, set side by side, showcase the intertwined processes of writing and editing and the contributions of writer and editor.

In background essays and annotations, Koupal and her team of editors provide historical context and explore the ways in which Wilder or Lane changed and reused the material. Wilder and Lane's partnership has been the subject of longstanding speculation, but "Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts" is the first work to explore the women's relationship by examining the evolution of surviving manuscripts.

Showcasing differences in the texts and offering numerous additional documents and handwritten emendations, the editors create a rich resource for scholars to use in assessing the editorial and writing principles, choices, and reasoning that Lane employed to shape the manuscripts for publication.

Readers can follow along as Wilder grows into a novelist that "no depression could stop." The New York Times best seller, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography (2014), edited by Pamela Smith Hill, gave the general reader easy access to Wilder's original account for the first time, but that book only scratched the surface of available textual and archival materials.

Ultimately, the editors of "Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts" employ the rich resource of letters between Wilder and her publisher and between Wilder and Lane, along with rough drafts and false starts of the Little House books, to inform scholars and readers about the original manuscript's metamorphosis into novels and about the intriguing editorial relationship between Wilder and Lane.

"Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts" deepens our understanding of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the process through which she would ultimately become an icon of young adult literature.

Critique: An epic work of impressive and meticulously diligent scholarship, "Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts" is an extraordinarily informative and insightful literary study. Exceptionally well organized and presented, and with its immense appeal for the legions of Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, "Pioneer Girl: The Revised Texts" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library 20th Century American Literature Studies collections in general, and Laura Ingalls Wilder supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.


The Money/Finance Shelf

Retirement Stepping Stones
Tony Hixon
River Grove Books
c/o Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781632994035, $16.95, PB, 186pp

https://www.amazon.com/Retirement-Stepping-Stones-Meaning-Purpose/dp/1632994038

Synopsis: In 2002, with his business partner, Adam Zuercher, Tony Hixon launched Hixon Zuercher Capital Management -- a fee-only wealth management and investment firm. Tony wanted to help clients ensure that they wouldn't outlive their money -- and possibly even have enough saved to accomplish their bucket-list goals. However, after several years of running a numbers-first business and serving his clients well in their financial lives, a family crisis changed his thinking.

Tony's mother retired from her job as the director of a hospice agency, and she quickly fell into a deep depression as she lost her purpose and fulfillment derived from a lifelong career she had been passionate about. On March 22, 2011, Tony's mother tragically took her own life. After this life-changing tragedy, Tony made it his goal to help pre-retirees not repeat the mistakes his mom made as she transitioned from her career into retirement. You need a plan for both your finances and your lifestyle.

With the publication of "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy", Tony Hixon will help ensure that your retirement brings you pleasure, serenity of mind, and the enjoyment of a life well-lived. That your transition is from success to significance. That you find a newfound hope and a newfound purpose. That retirement brings you your best years.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy" is essential reading for everyone, but most especially the aging Baby Boomer generation. Practical, comprehensive, understandable, "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy" must be considered an essential addition to community, Senior Citizen Center, college, and university library Retirement Planning, Financial Risk Management, Wealth Management, and Financial Planning collections. It should be noted for the personal and professional reading lists that "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy" is also readily available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).


The Christian Studies Shelf

The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths
James K. Hoffmeier
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825445729, $44.99, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Prophets-Israel-Walking-Ancient-Paths/dp/0825445728

Synopsis: In the illustrated pages of "The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths", Old Testament scholar and longtime field archaeologist James K. Hoffmeier informatively explores the biblical prophets through their ancient settings through full-color photos and images of historical and cultural importance, a focus on the geopolitical contexts of the prophets, clear explanations of the prophets' provoking messages, and discussion questions for Bible students or instructor use.

These features and photos vividly illustrate the biblical narratives and the prophets' concerns, helping readers better comprehend each text's message and make informed theological applications.

The biblical prophetic tradition extends far before and far after the Major and Minor Prophets. Yet all biblical prophets (including recognizable figures like Moses and Elijah), including the lesser-known prophets like Huldah and Micaiah, as well as the New Testament prophets, ministered in distinctive cultural and historical circumstances. Professor Hoffmeier draws upon on his extensive knowledge of ancient Near Eastern culture, geography, political realities, and the Old Testament message to locate the prophets in their worlds. This approach illuminates prophetic messages and ministries with a theological clarity that basic history and literary interpretation cannot achieve.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photographic images throughout, "The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths" is ideal as a seminary or college curriculum textbook, as well as a study resource for small groups or individuals. While an especially recommended addition to personal, church, seminary, community, college and university library Old Testament and Christian Prophets collections and curriculum studies reading lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of academia, clergy, seminarians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $40.22).

Editorial Note: James K. Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity International University Divinity School, and has extensive field experience as a hands-on archaeologist.

The Year of Grace of the Lord
Moine De L'Eglise D'Orient & D. Cowen
SVS Press
https://svspress.com
9780913836682, $23.00

https://www.amazon.com/Year-Grace-Lord-Scriptural-Liturgical/dp/0913836680

Synopsis: On the basis of worship of the Orthodox Church, The Year of Grace of the Lord takes the reader through the Sundays and feast days from the beginning of the year in September to the time of its completion after Pentecost. It is a guide to the scriptural readings and prayers of the calendar year and reveals the spiritual growth in Christ that is opened to us in them. In the author's words, the liturgical year is 'an abridgement of the history of salvation.' A helpful list of reference notes, including historical and theological material, is given at the end of each chapter. This book will be of interest to anyone who wishes to know more about the development and pattern of the Orthodox liturgical year.

Critique: The Year of Grace of the Lord: A Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church is an in-depth guide to the Orthodox Church's liturgical year, including scriptural readings and prayers, the history of the development and patterns of the Orthodox liturgical year, theological underpinnings, and much more. Although deeply spiritual and in-depth, The Year of Grace of the Lord is thoroughly accessible to Christians of all backgrounds, and a highly recommended for self-study as well as for church library collections.

Editorial Note: A Monk of the Eastern Church (Moine De L'Eglise D'Orient) is the well-known pseudonym for Fr Lev Gillet (1893-1980), who has authored numerous volumes of biblical and spiritual reflection. United to the Orthodox Church in 1928, Fr Lev was deeply imbued with Eastern monastic spirituality. In 1948, he was appointed chaplain to the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, dedicated to the work of Christian unity.

The Hermits of Big Sur
Paula Huston, author
The Liturgical Press
2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500
Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
www.litpress.org
9780814685068, $24.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hermits-Big-Sur-Paula-Huston/dp/0814685064

Synopsis: Between World War II and Vatican II, as Italy struggled to rebuild after decades of Mussolini's fascism, an eleventh-century order of contemplative monks in the Apennines were urged by Thomas Merton to found a daughter house on the rugged coast of California. A brilliant but world-weary ex-Jesuit, who had recently withdrawn from a high-intensity public life to go into reclusion at the ancient Sacro Eremo of Camaldoli, was tapped for the job.

Based on notes kept for over sixty years by an early American novice at New Camaldoli Hermitage, "The Hermits of Big Sur" tells the compelling story of what unfolds within this small and idealistic community when medievalism must finally come to terms with modernism. It traces the call toward fuga mundi in the young seekers who arrive to try their vocations, only to discover that the monastic life requires much more of them than a bare desire for solitude.

Also described is the miraculous transformation that sometimes occurs in individual monks after decades of lectio divina, silent meditation, liturgical faithfulness, and the communal bonds they have formed through the practice of the "privilege of love."

Critique: Informative and fascinating, "The Hermits Of Big Sur" by Paula Huston (a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow and a longtime oblate of New Camaldoli Hermitage) is a remarkable, unique, and original study that will be of immense and special interest to anyone who has every contemplated or experienced the monastic life. While very highly recommended for the Catholic community, it should also be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Hermits Of Big Sur" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Following the Call
Eberhard Arnold, et al.
Plough Publishing House
151 Bowne Drive, PO Box 398, Walden, NY 12586
www.plough.com
9781636080048, $18.00, PB, 396pp

https://www.amazon.com/Following-Call-Living-Sermon-Together/dp/1636080049

Synopsis: For the last two thousand years, Jesus' most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, has possessed an irresistible quality. Who hasn't felt stirred and unsettled after reading these words, which get to the root of the human condition?

Comprised of 52 readings, "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is the follow-up to the acclaimed collection "Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People" and taps into an even broader array of sources, bringing together prophetic voices from every era and a range of traditions to consider the repercussions of these essential words.

More than a commentary or devotional, "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is designed to be read together with others, to inspire communities of faith to discuss what it might look like to put Jesus' teachings into practice today.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is especially and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, and community library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminarians, and all practicing Christians, regardless of their denominational affiliations, that "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

The Deeply Formed Life
Rich Villodas
WaterBrook Press
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780525654384, $24.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Deeply-Formed-Life-Transformative-Values/dp/0525654380

Synopsis: Most members of the Christian community live in the state of "being a Christian" without ever being deeply formed by Christ. Our pace is too frenetic to be in union with God, and we don't know how to quiet our hearts and minds to be present. Our emotions are unhealthy and compartmentalized. We feel unable to love well or live differently from the rest of the world -- to live as people of the good news.

Pastor Rich Villodas says we must restore balance, focus, and meaning for our souls. With the publication of "The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus" he lays out a fresh vision for spiritual breakthrough following five key values: Contemplative Rhythms Value: slowing down our lives to be with God; Racial Justice Value: examining a multi-layered approach to pursuing racial justice and reconciliation; Interior Examination Value: looking beneath the surface of our lives to live free and love well; Sexual Wholeness Value: exploring how our sexuality connects with our spirituality; Missional Presence Value: living as the presence of Christ in a broken world.

"The Deeply Formed Life" is a kind of instruction manual for living in the richly rooted place we all yearn for: a place of communion with God, a place where we find our purpose.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus" is unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community with an interest in Christian Discipleship & Faith. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, theologians, and practicing Christians of every denomination that "The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780525654407, $16.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Prior to becoming lead pastor, he gave oversight to New Life's small group ministry and served as a preaching pastor. Rich graduated with a BA in pastoral ministry and theology from Nyack College. He went on to complete his master's of divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading widely, preaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, justice-related issues, and the art of preaching.

Launching a New Worship Community
Paul Nixon, author
Craig Gilbert, author
Discipleship Resources
c/o Upper Room Books
PO Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0003
www.upperroom.org
9780881779554, $17.00, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Launching-New-Worship-Community-Practical/dp/0881779555

Synopsis: For many Christian churches, the call to make disciples comes with a realization that the church's current worship opportunities do not reach certain groups in their surrounding community. New worship services offer the most promising strategy for renewing established churches and planting new worship communities. In a post-pandemic world, churches will be challenged to reach new people with the gospel and to help them meet in a way that is meaningful to them.

Accessible to ministry professionals and lay leaders, "Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the 2020s" is a comprehensive guide to starting a new worship community -- whether that means an established church beginning a new worship service or a church startup designing its first worship offering. The authors, Paul Nixon and Craig Gilbert, writing with the assistance of a team of church planting experts, provide practical advice rooted in solid academics, theology, and real-world experience. With this guide, readers will have the tools they need to begin and sustain a new worship community.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the 2020s" is an ideal instructional guide and manual for clergy and parishioners wanting to be effective in developing churches and church programs relevant to the contemporary needs of their congregations. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the 2020s" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Paul Nixon is the author of multiple books on church development. His company, Epicenter Group, has coached hundreds of congregations and their leaders in North America and in Europe, helping many to discover breakthroughs in the growth and renewal of their ministries. Nixon also serves as director of church multiplication for Discipleship Ministries. He was codeveloper of the Readiness 360 inventory for churches.

Editorial Note #2: Craig Gilbert is a worship consultant and founder of Purposed Heart Ministries. From Craig's ministry start in a small congregation to his serving a church with eight distinctive worship communities involving more than 2,000 worshipers, Craig has planned and presented worship in a wide variety of styles at the "every Sunday" level, as well as designing and leading worship in large conference settings for thousands of people. In every church Craig has served, he has helped to launch a new worship service. Each time, the services were well received from the start and grew quickly. Craig continues to consult every day with many congregations on how to strengthen their teams and systems to nourish great worship communities, including beginning new services.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Soul of the Mishna
Yakov Nagen
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
www.korenpub.com
9781592645824, $29.95, HC, 436pp

https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Mishna-Yakov-Nagen/dp/1592645828

Synopsis: The Mishnah is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. It is also the first major work of rabbinic literature. The Mishnah was redacted by Judah ha-Nasi at the beginning of the 3rd century CE in a time when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions of the Pharisees from the Second Temple period (536 BCE - 70 CE) would be forgotten. Most of the Mishnah is written in Mishnaic Hebrew, but some parts are in Aramaic. (Wikipedia)

As the foundational text of the Oral Torah, the Mishna is analyzed to understand Jewish law and the workings of the halakhic system. But, there is also an inner spirit to the work that often goes unnoticed, a profundity that provides important principles and insights for everyday life, such as those relating to God's presence in the world, relationships between parents and children and between husbands and wives, social justice, the Temple, the Land of Israel, and more.

"The Soul of the Mishna" by Rabbi Yakov Nagen (Senior Rabbi, Otniel Yeshiva, Israel) looks at over two hundred mishnayot and identifies the fascinating literary devices used by the Sages to reveal the deeper meaning of the text. To bring the mishnayot closer to contemporary readers, Rabbi Nagen also interweaves personal reflections throughout his interpretations. "The Soul of the Mishna" is a profound, eye-opening, and soulful approach that will revolutionize the way you learn Mishna.

Critique: An impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking study, "The Soul of the Mishna" will be welcomed for personal Talmud studies, as well as synagogue, community, college, and university library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections in general, and Talmudic supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, rabbis, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Soul of the Mishna" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Prince and the Emperors
Dov S. Zakheim
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
www.korenpub.com
9781592645404, $29.95, HC, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Prince-Emperors-Times-Rabbi-Judah/dp/1592645402

Synopsis: "The Prince and the Emperors: The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince" by Jewish history expert and lecturer Dov S. Zakheim is a biographical account of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (Rabbi Judah the Prince), who was also known as Rebbe, as well as the human and historical context that shaped the Mishna and Gemara. Drawing upon both Jewish and Roman sources, "The Prince and the Emperors" provides a portrait of this important rabbinic sage, as well as insight into the Jewish encounter with Rome.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, informative, and compelling work of historical research, "The Prince and the Emperors: The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince" is a truly impressive and extraordinary work of original scholarship that is an especially recommended addition to synagogue, community, college, and university library Judaic Studies & History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Prince and the Emperors: The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Studies in Spirituality
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
www.korenpub.com
9781592645763, $24.95, HC, 318pp

https://www.amazon.com/Studies-Spirituality-Jonathan-Sacks/dp/1592645763

Synopsis: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (8 March 1948 - 7 November 2020) was an internationally respected religious leader, prolific writer, and the Emeritus Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

"Studies in Spirituality" is a compilation of essays designed by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks as part of a weekly reading study program on the first five books of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Critique: Enhanced with an informative Foreword by Sivan Rahavmeir, "Studies in Spirituality" (the latest book in the Koren Publishers Jerusalem 'Covenant & Conversation. series) is an extraordinarily thoughtful and thought-provoking read. Exceptional and an ideal for DIY study groups, "Studies in Spirituality" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, synagogue, college, and university library Judaism and Biblical Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.


The Islamic Studies Shelf

Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey
Gokhan Bacik
I.B. Tauris
c/o Bloomsbury
https://www.bloomsbury.com
9780755636747, $115.00 hc / $82.80 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Rationalist-Islam-Turkey-Opposition/dp/0755636740

Synopsis: Nineteenth-century Istanbul was an intellectual hub of rich discussions about Islam, in which leading reformists had a significant role. Turkey today appears to be an intellectual vacuum to anyone searching for ongoing critical engagement with Islam. The main purpose of this book is to adjust this view of Turkey by showcasing the modern Turkish theologians who challenge mainstream Sunni interpretations of Islam. Labelling these theologians as 'rationalist' rather than 'reformist', the author reveals that their theology is inherently anti-establishment and thus a religiously-oriented challenge to the hegemony of the state-sanctioned Islam: for the rationalists, Turkey's problems have their origins in the Sunni interpretation of Islam.

Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey analyses nine prominent scholars of Islam who provide a religious opposition to the Sunni revival in Turkey: Huseyin Atay, Yasar Nuri Ozturk, M. Hayri Kirbasoglu, Ilhami Guler, R. Ihsan Eliacik, Omer Ozsoy, Mustafa Ozturk, Israfil Balci, and Mehmet Azimli. These scholars' writings are almost exclusively published in Turkish, so this book makes their ideas available in English for the first time. It also examines the scope, methodology and argumentation of the scholars' theology, categorizing their theological interpretations from 'historicist' to 'universalist' and from 'empiricist' to 'rationalist'. In identifying a new 'rationalist' school of Turkish theology and outlining its different manifestations, the book breaks new ground. It fills a significant gap in the literature on Islamic studies and reveals an understudied dimension of Turkey and Turkish Islam beyond the well-known ideas of the AKP and the Gulenists.

Critique: Professor of Political Science Gokhan Bacik presents Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey: The Religious Opposition to Sunni Revival, a close examination of nine well-known scholars of Islam who oppose the Sunni Islam revival in Turkey. A scholarly, studious, and well-reasoned dissection, Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey discusses how rationalist beliefs question the Sunni Revival's concentration of authority, and the Sunni Revival's refusal to acknowledge contradictions between their religious contentions and natural law, among other perceived shortcomings. "...the rationalists maintain that Islamic thought is no longer a game of persuasion; human reason has the authority to go beyond the religious axioms. Rejecting God's intervention in history as agent, the rationalists now assign to human beings the role of ultimate actors in history, leaving everything about religion subject to natural law. That done, it is no longer required to engage with the inconsistent arguments of Sunni theology: It is simply wrong when it is inconsistent with reason and science." Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey is a seminal and welcome contribution to public and university library Islamic Studies collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey is also available in a Kindle edition ($82.80).

Editorial Note: Gokhan Bacik is Professor of Political Science at Palacky University in the Czech Republic.


The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain
Damian Harper, et al.
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781787015364, $24.99, PB, 324pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Great-Britain-Country/dp/178701536X

Synopsis: "Lonely Planet's Best of Great Britain" is an illustrated and information packed compendium of the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you when visiting England, Ireland, and Scotland. With its thoroughly 'user friendly' format, even the most novice of tourists can explore London's museums, sip whisky in Scotland, and hike in Snowdonia; all with this comprehensive guide as a trusted travel planner.

"Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain" features: Up-to-date information - all businesses were rechecked before publication to ensure they are still open after 2020's COVID-19 outbreak; Full-color images throughout; Highlights and itineraries help tailor any trip to personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots; Essential information including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices; Honest reviews for all budgets (including eating, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss!); Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, art, food, wine, sport, landscapes, wildlife; A free, convenient pull-out London map (included in print version), plus easy-to-use colour maps to help you navigate your destination.

Critique: Lonely Planet travel guides are held to the highest standards of quality content and utility -- and "Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain" is in full compliance to that requirement. Whether traveling to the UK for business, pleasure, or both, This compact paperback edition of "Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain" is the ideal trip planning resource for a truly memorable trip -- making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Travel Guide collections.


The Self-Help Shelf

Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs
Ronald Dwinnells, MD, MBA
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781626348691, $20.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Pick-All-Dog-Hairs/dp/1626348693

Synopsis: Ron Dwinnells sought leadership skills from early on in his career, and the publication of "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" is the entertaining and informative culmination of that search, offering insights into how to deal with situations and enhance your life at home and in your career,

"Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs" began serendipitously while Dwinnells was teaching public health and leadership classes at a local medical school. He advised his students what-not-to-do as a leader through entertaining stories from his own very unique background, conveying lessons he had learned from failures, adversities, mistakes, and even enemies from leadership experiences along the way.

The lecture series became so popular with students, it won him accolades and several teaching awards -- and pressure to write his stories down. Dr. Dwinnells, a pediatrician and certified physician executive, did just that, and generations of readers will be the beneficiaries of his humor, insight, and wisdom.

Critique: Simply stated, if you only have time for one self-help book, make it "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" by Dr. Ronald Dwinnells. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, laced through and through with humor and practical information, "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" is a DIY course of instruction for improving the quality of your life and the lives of your friends and family. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Ron Dwinnells is the CEO of ONE Health Ohio, an integrated community health center program serving the medically uninsured, underinsured, and underserved populations in northeast Ohio. His clinics have served over one million patients during his 35 years at the helm.

Discomfortable
A.J. Bond
North Atlantic Books
https://www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623175566, $18.95 pbk / $12.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Discomfortable-What-Shame-Break-Hold/dp/1623175569

Synopsis: Are you ready to get Discomfortable? We all know shame: it's that unpleasant feeling that makes us think there is something wrong with who we are. It's more than just embarrassment or regret - shame can shake us to the core. And worst of all, it tells us that we need to be, feel, and act differently in order to be seen, loved, and accepted. But is that true?

Author and shame educator (a.k.a. "Shame Ed" coach) A.J. Bond takes us through his own shame breakthrough, sharing how he went from "I'd rather die than be gay" to uncovering and reclaiming his inherent wholeness and worth. With unexpected humor, warmth, and candid personal stories, Bond shines a light on this feeling that doesn't want to be seen and named-and invites us to bring our own shame into the open to reclaim and reframe our lives in a powerful new way.

Critique: Discomfortable: What Is Shame and How Can We Break Its Hold? is a self-help guide that critically examines the concept of shame, and how it can cause lasting harm. Chapters examine how shame works, the difference between shame and guilt, the cruelty of victim shaming, when shame can actually be healthy, and much more. Discomfortable emphasizes the crucial importance of breaking through harmful shame, and is a welcome addition to personal and public library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Discomfortable is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).

Editorial Note: A. J. Bond is a writer, filmmaker, and self-described "shame breakthrusiast," creator of the podcast and shame education platform Discomfortable. Bond's goal with Discomfortable is to make the subject of shame as ubiquitous, accessible, and entertaining as possible in the hopes that others can find the same sense of relief, liberation, and purpose that he experienced through his own "shame breakthrough."


The Needlecraft Shelf

Small Knits
Yoko Hatta
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804854108, $16.99, PB, 80pp

https://www.amazon.com/Small-Knits-Japanese-Style-Accessories-variations/dp/0804854106

Synopsis: With a contemporary approach to traditional knitting patterns and textures, "Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" offers a modern Japanese take on classic knitted accessories and brings to life a collection of stylish necessities for warmth and fashion. From selbu mittens to unisex hats and neckwarmers, each of these featured pieces work for just about any mood, recipient and wardrobe.

"Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" is comprised of illustrated instructions and photos for 19 charming projects, plus variations, including: Elegant Nordic mittens, handwarmers and a beret; Stylish neckwarmers in houndstooth and argyle patterns; An unique Fair Isle hat and handwarmers; Comfy, durable socks in herringbone and other classic stitches; A delicate, lacy shawl -- and much more!

Instructions, diagrams and Japanese-style knitting charts take you through each project from start to finish. A section on technique shows how to execute the stitches used in this book. These projects are fun and rewarding for experienced knitters who've enjoyed a taste of the Japanese knitting style or would like to give it a try.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" will prove to be an extraordinary and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Yoko Hatta is the designer behind the Japanese knitting studio Kazekobo. A prolific artist whose work spans over thirty years, she has written many knitwear books and stitch dictionaries, and contributed to magazines and compilations in both Japan and the US. She is a contributor to Brooklyn Tweed and Vogue Knitting, and over a thousand of her designs can be found on Ravelry.com. Her work is known for adding contemporary flair to classic garments. She is the author of Japanese Knitting Stitches from Tokyo's Kazekobo Studio and 150 Favorite Crotchet Motifs from Tokyo's Kazekobo Studio.

Knitted Shawls
Christine Boggis
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945848, $24.99, PB, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Knit-Shawls-Christine-Boggis/dp/1784945846

Synopsis: "Knitted Shawls: 25 Relaxing Wraps, Cowls and Shawls" is truly comprehensive in that it covers all the techniques needed before beginning work on any knitted shawl project.

"Knitted Shawls" was created by Christine Boggis drawing upon her years of experience and expertise to take all the concerns out of the craft, as shawls don't have to fit in a certain way, or even end up in exactly the right shape to work. "Knitted Shawls" also includes an informed and informative series of articles exploring the health benefits of knitting, how it can contribute to mindfulness and wellbeing.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions for each individual project, "Knitted Shawls: 25 Relaxing Wraps, Cowls and Shawls" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library contemporary needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Knitted Shawls: 25 Relaxing Wraps, Cowls and Shawls" is also readily available from the GMC Publications in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Brighton, England, Christine Boggis is the editor of Knitting magazine and the author of JOMO Knits: 21 Projects to Celebrate the Joy of Missing Out.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells
Wren Maple
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781592339808, $22.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thrifty-Witchs-Book-Simple-Spells/dp/1592339808

Synopsis: When it comes to the metaphysical arts of witchcraft, there is nothing wrong with being simple and straightforward. Easy spells are not less worthy spells. These ideas are central to the practice of the Thrifty Witch. Sick of not being able to easily source (or afford) what she needed for spells, Wren Maple dedicated herself to collecting and optimizing spells that could work for all witches -- no matter where they were on their journey and no matter their personal resources. Now in the pages of "The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells: Potions, Charms, and Incantations for the Modern Witch", Wren shares her research and brings her collection to the page for the first time.

"The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells" is part primer, part spellbook. It includes: Getting started/witch basics: Witchcraft as self-care, how to establish a practice, and a handful of super-easy spells to get casting today; Key ingredients for spells: Starter stones and herbs, how to source, what to buy first, and more questions answered!; Simple spells for every witch: Just like the spells Wren is known for online, nearly every spell in the book requires five items or fewer, and all ingredients are easy to source; Specific spells: Organized by purpose (e.g. love spells, protection spells), these spells are sure to cover what you're looking to cast; Tips and Tricks for Casting: When to cast for best results, where to cast and why it matters -- making your spells count!

The beauty of these spells is that they are easy enough and affordable enough to practice daily. Since practice and process are so important, The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells" provides an invaluable resource unlocking the ability to try new spells and refine casting methods multiple times per week and even daily!

Critique: Inherently fascinating, exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells: Potions, Charms, and Incantations for the Modern Witch" especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections -- is a 'must' for the personal reading lists of all aspiring Wiccans and metaphysical studies practitioners.

Editorial Note: Wren Maple, aka The Thrifty Witch, is the founder of The Thrifty Coven and @TheThriftyWitch on Instagram, a popular and fast-growing resource for witches looking for simple-to-source and easy-to-cast spells. Wren has written about witchcraft and a variety of other topics for pop-culture sites such as Pop Sugar, Teen Vogue, and more. Previous to her witching career, Wren was an editor and writer, contributing to magazines and websites including Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, and other lifestyle publications.

Dark Goddess Magick
C. Ara Campbell
Fair Winds Press
c/o The Quarto Group
https://www.quarto.com
9780760370957, $24.99 pbk / $11.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Goddess-Magick-Reclaiming-Feminine/dp/0760370958

Synopsis: Light magick is all well and good, but sometimes you can't just "love and light" your way through challenging circumstances. The potent shadow goddesses you meet here, however, can guide you through the darkness.

Authored by Ara Campbell of the wildly popular Goddess Circle school and community, each dark goddess entry includes spells, invocations, and practices to utilize the goddess's magick and wisdom for embodying strength, setting boundaries, and transforming your life.

Often, it is in the darkest times that we find our strength and reclaim our power.

Someone poaching on your lover, your home, or your business? Call on Kali, The Warrioress, to release your fear and stand your ground.

Is your world falling apart or are you processing deep trauma or grief? Call on Persephone, The Dark Queen, to help guide you through your emotional underworld and find a new beginning.

Trying to shake your "nice" girl or people-pleaser tendencies? Call on Lilith, The Rebel Renegade Goddess, to reclaim your freedom.

Feeling stuck in some life situation that won't move forward? Call upon Morrigan, The Phantom Queen, to shapeshift the circumstances.

When life gets hard and messy, Dark Goddess Magick gives you spells, practices, and dark goddesses you can call on.

Critique: Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire is a metaphysical guide written especially for women, offering suggestions for connecting with legendary goddesses, in order to kindle the fire within to meet life's overbearing challenges. Here are magick and strong-willed mythological role models to aid women in setting boundaries, being more assertive, and transforming their own lives. Dark Goddess Magick is a thoroughly fascinating browse, reference, and resource for Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Dark Goddess Magick is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Editorial Note: C. Ara Campbell is a visionary writer, author, and founder of The Goddess Circle. She is a soul guide, cosmic channel, facilitator of The Inner Priestess Awakening Online Journey and Relationship Empowerment & Sacred Love Online Journey, and author of The Astro Forecast Publication. She is also a purveyor of rare and high vibration crystals in her popular Etsy Shop. Ara is a modern day mystic dedicated to the rising feminine, and connecting others with their gifts and healing using the natural world.

The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities
Karen Frazier
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760371398, $26.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Psychic-Abilities-Developing/dp/0760371393

Synopsis: Essentially, psychic ability is the capacity to know the unknowable. We are all born with this gift -- but we need to know how to access it. In the pages of "The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities: A Practical Guide to Developing Your Intuition", Karen Frazier shows how to awaken different psychic abilities including: Mediumship (the ability to talk to Spirits); Precognition (the ability to know events before they occur); ESP (the ability to glean psychic information from objects); Remote viewing (the ability to see events at a distance); Channeling (the ability glean information from other people or Spirits); Psychic dreaming (the ability to use dreams to predict the future or know events); Astral projection (the ability to send your energy and awareness to other locations); Psychokinesis (the ability to affect and move objects with your mind).

Readers will also learn how to use their psychic abilities in conjunction with other divinatory tools such as tarot and astrology. Setting energetic boundaries and protection is also discussed as are strategies for managing psychic information if the reader is empathic or highly sensitive. Exercises and practices allow anyone to explore and learn at their own pace as they strengthen and refine your abilities.

Written in an accessible style, The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities is the essential guide for developing your most important ability.

Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities: A Practical Guide to Developing Your Intuition" is extraordinarily well written and an ideal combination of introduction and instructional guide to psychic abilities -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Karen Frazier is an intuitive energy healer, psychic medium, author, and musician. She has written several successful books about energy healing, crystals, sound healing, metaphysics, and the paranormal. She is a columnist for Paranormal Underground Magazine. She currently writes two columns for the magazine: Dreams and Symbols, and Metaphysics and Energy Healing. Karen also co-hosted Paranormal Underground Radio for more than eight years. She formerly served as Paranormal Underground's Managing Editor. She also edits and writes for the website www.LoveToKnow.com about paranormal, horoscopes, tarot, feng shui, and energy healing.

The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding Tarot
Cassie Uhl
Rock Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781631067730, $18.99, HC, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Zenned-Out-Guide-Understanding-Tarot/dp/1631067737

Synopsis: The tarot is a tool of divine guidance that allows you to connect with your inner knowing through the spread and layout of cards. There are 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards that help you tap into your inner source of awareness, power, and wisdom. The Major Arcana usually concerns itself with life's spiritual lessons while the Minor Arcana represents what we experience on a day to day basis.

"The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding the Tarot: Your Handbook to Reading and Intuiting Tarot" by Cassie Uhl will lead you to increase your self-knowledge and enlightenment through the tarot, demonstrated with illustrations of 78 lavishly designed cards. This comprehensive collection will introduce you to the art of tarot and tarot readings. Complete with actionable exercises and steps that you can easily do at home, you'll be able to add tarot to your magickal arsenal. You'll learn how to use your intuition to interpret the cards' messages and use the messages to manifest your intentions.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding the Tarot: Your Handbook to Reading and Intuiting Tarot" is the ideal DIY introduction to the use of the tarot deck for self-inspection, self-discovery, and self- motivating. Unreservedly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Metaphysical Studies Collections, "The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding the Tarot: Your Handbook to Reading and Intuiting Tarot" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, and has a great deal of insight and expertise to offer both the novice and the experienced tarot user.

Editorial Note: Cassie Uhl is the owner and founder of Zenned Out, a jewelry store brand aimed at normalizing spirituality in the common marketplace. Zenned Out handcrafts jewelry with meaning and provides a community that inspires a mindful and spiritual lifestyle. Cassie hopes to give spiritual souls a place to feel at home on her Zenned Out blog and offers handcrafted jewelry with meaningful symbols, powerful gemstones, and mindful quotes to enable people to wear jewelry that aligns with their souls' purpose.


The Nautical Shelf

The Boatyard Book
Simon Jollands
Adlard Coles
c/o Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781472977106, $35.00, Flexibound, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Boatyard-Book-boatowners-maintenance-refitting/dp/1472977106

Synopsis: A DIY boat owner's guide to yacht maintenance, repair and refitting, "The Boatyard Book" by Simon Jollands is a practical, comprehensive instructional reference manual that provides sensible, accessible advice for boatowners on planning and carrying out annual maintenance, repairs, upgrades and refits of sailing yachts and motorboats, up to 20 metres in length.

Beginning with all the information owners will need to care for their boat, including how to budget and plan tasks to be done through the year, "The Boatyard Book" goes on to help them choose the best boatyard for their needs, then provides essential how-to reference material and ideas for a comprehensive range of projects large and small to be carried out ashore.

There's advice and tips from highly respected boatyard owners, specialists and surveyors, as well as from the author's own 25 years' experience of boat ownership, all fully illustrated with step-by-step photos and illustrations. Topics covered include: laying up, hull and deck care, mast and rigging, sail care, engines, electrics, maintenance of plumbing and gas systems. It also covers more complex projects including re-wiring a boat, overhauling an engine, how to treat osmosis, and how to go about a complete refit.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, "The Boatyard Book" is an ideal and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction guide and manual to be kept at the yard, or on the boat, because it will be referred to time and time again by those who are either happy to keep things ticking along with the minimum of effort or by those who want to get stuck into bigger projects. Simply stated, while very highly recommended for community library nautical and boat maintenance collections, no owner of a boat or yacht should be without their own copy of "The Boatyard Book". It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Boatyard Book" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.01).

Editorial Note: A lifelong sailing enthusiast, Simon Jollands has filmed many major sailing events as well as producing and directing several sea safety films for the RNLI. He is the co-founder of app developer Safe Skipper Apps, which specializes in producing nautical reference apps, and is author of The Boatyard Book, Safe Skipper, Reeds Lights, Shapes and Buoyage Handbook and Go Sailing, all published by Adlard Coles

A Race for Real Sailors
Keith McLaren
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
www.godine.com
9781771622677, $32.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Race-Real-Sailors-International-Fishermens/dp/1771622679

Synopsis: In the summer of 1920, the public following the latest America's Cup series were frustrated to find that every time the wind got up, the organizers called off the race. There was muttering in the taverns of Halifax and Lunenburg: why not show these fancy yachtsmen what real sailors can do? A Nova Scotia newspaper donated a trophy and put out a challenge to their rivals in New England, inviting them to meet the Maritimes' best in a "race for real sailors."

"A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is a vibrant history of the Fishermen's Cup series, which dominated sporting headlines between the two world wars. The salt spray practically blows off the page as the author Keith McLaren's arresting style captures the drama of each race and the personalities of the ships that contested them: the Delawana and the Esperanto, the Columbia and the Gertrude L. Thebaud, and dominating them all the Bluenose, the big brute from Lunenburg whose image shines on the Canadian dime to this day.

Vying for the spotlight are the boats' larger-than-life skippers, among them Marty Welch, the hard-charging American who first took the cup; Ben Pine, the Gloucester scrap dealer whose passion kept the races afloat when they seemed destined to fade away; and the irascible, impossible Angus Walters, master of the Bluenose, who repeatedly broke American hearts but whose own heart was broken by Canada's refusal to come to the rescue of his beloved vessel.

"A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is a stirring and poignant tale is that is impressively illustrated with 51 historical photographs and five maps, and rounded out by a glossary of sailing terms and an appendix of the ever-changing race rules. "A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is a story that will keep even confirmed landlubbers pegged to their seats, a tale of iron men and wooden ships whose time will never come again.

Critique: Originally published in 2006 and now available in a new paperback edition for a new generation of appreciative readers, "A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is an extraordinary history of an extraordinary event that will be of immense interest and inherent fascination for all nautical racing enthusiasts and fans. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Sailing Sports and Nautical History collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.99).

Editorial Note: Keith McLaren has worked the waters of North America for over thirty-five years, from offshore supply boats and drill rigs to coast guard ships and deep-sea freighters. He spent two seasons sailing on the Bluenose II, and the experience inspired him to write his first book, "Bluenose and Bluenose II". He is currently a captain for BC Ferries and lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.


The Poetry Shelf

Gun/Shy
Jim Daniels
Wayne State University Press
www.wsupress.wayne.edu
9780814348789, $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Shy-Made-Michigan-Writers/dp/0814348785

Synopsis: The poems in Gun/Shy deal with the emotional weight of making do. Tinged with both the regrets and wisdom of aging, Jim Daniels's poems measure the wages of love in a changing world with its vanishing currency. He explores the effects of family work - putting children to bed, leading parents to their final resting places - and what is lost and gained in those exertions. Childhood and adolescence are examined, through both looking back on his own childhood and on that of his children. While his personal death count rises, Daniels reflects on his own mortality. He finds solace in small miracles - his mother stretching the budget to feed five children with "hamburger surprise" and potato skins, his children collecting stones and crabapples as if they were gold coins.

Daniels, as he always has, carries the anchor of Detroit with him, the weight both a comfort and a burden. He explores race, white privilege, and factory work. Eight Mile Road, a fraught border, pulses with division, and the echoes of music, singing through Detroit's soiled but solid heart, resonate in these poems. His first long poem in many years, "Gun/Shy," centers the book. Through the personas of several characters, Daniels dives into America's gun culture and the violent gulf between the fearful and the feared.

Throughout, he seeks connection in likely and unlikely places: a river rising after spring rain and searchlights crossing the night sky. Comets and cloudy skies. Cement ponds and the Garden of Eden. Adolescence and death. Wounds physical and psychic. Disguises and more disguises. These are the myths we memorize to help us sleep at night, those that keep us awake and trembling. Daniels's accessible language, subtlety, and deftness make this collection one that belongs on every poetry reader's shelf.

Critique: Gun/Shy is a poetry anthology reflecting upon life in Detroit - cherished memories of family and friends, thorny problems of race, the reality of white privilege, and the grind of factory work. The titular poem "Gun/Shy" critically examines America's obsessive gun culture and its horrifying fallout. Candid, accessible, and unforgettable, Gun/Shy is highly recommended for personal and public library poetry collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Gun/Shy is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99). "Miracles": I'm sorry for praying to God / to bring a snow plow down my street. // He knows and I know that I'm not one of his guys, / The Mayor's Hotline wails, busy as a siren. // I confess to cussing out the neighbor on crutches / who accused me of burying his car in shoveled snow.

Editorial Note: Jim Daniels is the Thomas S. Baker University Professor Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon. His recent books include Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press, 2017) and The Perp Walk. He also coedited the anthology RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music.


The Autism Shelf

Autistic Logistics, second edition
Kate C. Wilde
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960
www.jkp.com
9781787757493, $19.95

https://www.amazon.com/Autistic-Logistics-Tackling-Meltdowns-Challenges/dp/1787757498

Autistic Logistics: A Parent's Guide to Tackling Bedtime, Toilet Training, Meltdowns, Hitting, and Other Everyday Challenges appears in its second updated edition to offer parents step-by-step advice on how to handle an autistic child more effectively. It will make the perfect gift for new parents and is based on the author's decades of experience and the latest autism research. This combination of practical applications proven to work and pointers for parents of kids on the spectrum provides specific strategies and insights for major common problems, from handling tantrums to toilet training, sleep issues, and redirecting an autistic child's intense energy.

On the Spectrum
Daniel Bowman Jr.
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
http://bakerpublishinggroup.com
9781587435065, $19.99 pbk / $12.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Autism-Faith-Gifts-Neurodiversity/dp/1587435063

Synopsis: Nearly everyone knows someone on the autism spectrum, whether it's a niece or nephew, a student in their classroom, a coworker, or a sibling, spouse, or child. One in 54 children has autism, according to the CDC, and autism is reported across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Yet most of what people think they know about autism is wrong.

On the Spectrum debunks myths with a realistic yet hope-filled deep dive into the heart, mind, and life of a Christian. Daniel Bowman, a novelist, poet, and professor, received an autism diagnosis at age thirty-five after experiencing crises in his personal and professional life. The diagnosis shed light on his experience in a new, life-giving way. In this captivating book, Bowman reveals new insights into autism, relationships, faith, and the gift of neurodiversity.

Rather than viewing autism as a deficiency, Bowman teaches readers--through stories of his heartbreaks and triumphs--authentic ways to love their neighbors as themselves, including their autistic neighbors who are fearfully and wonderfully, if differently, made.

Critique: On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity discusses autism and neurodiversity from a Christian perspective, emphasizing the importance of embracing and engaging with God. Author Daniel Bowman, an associate professor of English who also mentors young people on the spectrum, discusses the ramifications of autism plain terms, paying heed to both the drawbacks and the potential benefits of being neurodiverse. Interviews and personal stories from neurodiverse individuals enhance this thoughtful, accessible, and highly recommended testimony.

Editorial Note: Daniel Bowman Jr. (MFA, Seattle Pacific University) is an author, poet, and associate professor of English at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he codirects the Making Literature Conference. He writes and speaks regularly on neurodiversity, including for the SBC's Facts & Trends website, The Mighty, Ruminate magazine, and at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Bowman is editor in chief of Relief: A Journal of Art & Faith, engages in several in-person and online communities addressing neurodiversity and mental health, and mentors young people on the spectrum.


The Wisconsin Shelf

The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story
Ron Faiola
Agate Midway
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
www.agatepublishing.com
9781572843035, $36.00, HC, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wisconsin-Supper-Clubs-Story-Illustrated/dp/1572843039

Synopsis: In "The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish", the third in his popular series of supper club histories. Once again author and supper club authority Ron Faiola invites his readers to enjoy more than a century of history behind this beloved dining tradition in an illustrated guide that takes his readers from London to Hollywood, to New York City, and finally to his own home state of Wisconsin.

The journey begins with the world's very first supper clubs, which emerged in London in the mid-1800s. The phenomenon was adopted by New York's restaurant and saloon owners in the late 1800s, and soon spread to suburban and rural areas. Across the United States, supper clubs enhanced culinary and dining traditions, and greatly influenced the evolution of live entertainment such as cabaret, comedy, and jazz, and dance crazes such as "The Charleston," "Turkey Trot," and the eyebrow-raising "Wiggle Wiggle."

Faiola unfolds the history of Wisconsin's supper clubs with stories of its most iconic establishments, such as Ray Radigan's, Hoffman House, and Fazio's on Fifth. He reveals the remarkable durability of the supper club tradition as it withstood WWI, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Prohibition, the Great Depression, WWII, as well as the mid-twentieth century advent of fast food franchises and casual dining chains. Through their innovation and determination, supper club owners and their staff have managed not only to survive, but to maintain generations-spanning restaurants that remain prominent features of their communities to this day.

Profusely illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, newspaper clippings, and first-hand interviews, "The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish" offers a hearty buffet of the history of Wisconsin's most iconic supper clubs and the folks who keep the cocktails poured, the relish trays fresh, and ensure there's always an open seat at the table.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Wisconsin supper club enthusiasts, "The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish" is an essential, necessary, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to Wisconsin community, college, and university library Wisconsin History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ron Faiola is an author and filmmaker who has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries. He is the president and founder of Push Button Gadget Inc., which has been specializing in audio visual and business theater production for nearly 20 years. He is also the author of :Wisconsin Supper Clubs" and "Wisconsin Supper Clubs: Another Round", both of which are published by Agate Midway.

Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People
Lindsay Christians, author
Chris Hynes, photographer
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299333409, $34.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Madison-Chefs-Stories-Farms-People/dp/029933340X

Synopsis: Why do Salvatore's tomato pies have the sauce on the top? Where did chef Tami Lax learn to identify mushrooms in the woods? How did Morris develop its signature ramen?

Farm-to-table is a cliche, but its roots among the farmers and chefs of south-central Wisconsin are deep, vibrant, and resilient. From brats and burgers to bibimbap, Madison's food scene looks substantially different than it did just a decade ago. Though the city has always been ahead of the locavore movement, a restaurant boom in the 2010s radically changed the dining landscape. Even when individual eateries close or chefs move on, their ideas, connections, and creativity have lasting power. Much larger cities have been unable to match the culinary variety, innovation, and depth of talent found in Wisconsin's state capital.

"Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People" by Lindsay Christians (who is the food editor and arts writer at The Capital Times and co-host of the Corner Table, a podcast about food and drink in Madison, Wisconsin) provides an in-depth look at nine creative, intense, and dedicated chefs captures the reason why Madison's food culture remains a gem in America's Upper Midwest.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with the full color photography of Chris Hynes, "Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People" is an exceptionally well written and informative 'armchair travelers' guide to fine cuisine -- Madison, Wisconsin style. Informed and informative, and one that could well serve as a template for similar culinary volumes of other major American cities, "Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People" offers a unique perspective and will prove to be a welcome addition to personal, professional, and community library Culinary Arts & Travel collections.


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