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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 33, Number 7 July 2023 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Economic Studies Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Biography Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Science Shelf
Mathematics Shelf Parenting Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Historical Fiction Shelf LGBT Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Civil War Shelf Military Shelf
Business Shelf Political Science Shelf Computer Shelf
Photography Shelf Literary Studies Shelf Art Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Music Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Agriculture Shelf
Dance Shelf Sports Shelf International Studies Shelf
Architecture Shelf Philosophy Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Criminology Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice: Science, Practice, and Policy
Medicine National Academies of Sciences, Engineering
c/o National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
www.nap.edu
9780309693370, $50.00, PB, 438pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reducing-Racial-Inequality-Crime-Justice/dp/0309693373

Synopsis: The history of the U.S. criminal justice system is scarred by racial inequality and sustained by present day policy. Large racial and ethnic disparities exist across the several stages of criminal legal processing, including in arrests, pre-trial detention, and sentencing and incarceration, among others, with Black, Latino, and Native Americans experiencing worse outcomes. The historical legacy of racial exclusion and structural inequalities form the social context for racial inequalities in crime and criminal justice. Racial inequality can drive disparities in crime, victimization, and system involvement.

A landmark study, "Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice: Science, Practice, and Policy" synthesizes the evidence on community-based solutions, noncriminal policy interventions, and criminal justice reforms, charting a path toward the reduction of racial inequalities by minimizing harm in ways that also improve community safety. Reversing the effects of structural racism and severing the close connections between racial inequality, criminal harms such as violence, and criminal justice involvement will involve fostering local innovation and evaluation, and coordinating local initiatives with state and federal leadership.

This comprehensive report also highlights the challenge of creating an accurate, national picture of racial inequality in crime and justice: there is a lack of consistent, reliable data, as well as data transparency and accountability. While the available data points toward trends that Black, Latino, and Native American individuals are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and given more severe punishments compared to White individuals, opportunities for improving research should be explored to better inform decision-making.

Critique: A seminal and timely study, "Reducing Racial Inequality in Crime and Justice: Science, Practice, and Policy" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and political activists, as well as professional, governmental, college, and university library Social Justice, Social Sciences, Ethnic Studies, and Racial Law Reform collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Bridgebuilders
William D. Eggers, author
Bondal F. Kettl, author
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781647825119, $35.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bridgebuilders-Government-Transcend-Boundaries-Problems/dp/1647825113

Synopsis: Pandemics. Climate change. Refugee resettlement. Global supply chains. Corporate executives and entrepreneurs face a new generation of complex problems that stretch across the public and private sectors and flow over organizational boundaries. To meet the moment, we need a fresh, new approach that strengthens institutions and government agencies by breaking free from organizational boxes and rigid, top-down leadership.

With the publication of "Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems", co-authors William D. Eggers (Executive director of Deloitte's Center for Government Insights), and Donald F. Kettl (public management scholar), show that we need a government of bridgebuilders who collaborate with partners (both inside and outside of government) to get the job done. These leaders manage horizontally instead of vertically; they see their role as connectors; and they identify which players have the assets needed to solve the unprecedented problems at hand.

Each chapter examines one of the ten core principles of bridgebuilding and features practical tips and dynamic cases of how effective leaders have put each bridgebuilding principle to work. "Bridgebuilders" also includes a special section that helps government leaders create a hundred-day bridgebuilding plan.

Throughout, Eggers and Kettl tell fascinating and instructive stories about some of today's bridgebuilders -- federal, state, and local government leaders who transcend boundaries, partner across sectors, and get stuff done.

Trusted and effective government has never been more important than today. "Bridgebuilders" provides a new model that current government decision makers (as well as young leaders who aspire to public service) can learn from and apply right now to transform government and restore public trust.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two Appendices (A 100-Day Plan to Bridgebuildng in Your New Government Job & How to Teach This), thirty pages of Notes, and a fourteen page Index, "Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems" is an impressive and useful study that will prove to be a welcome addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, and academic collections as well as supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subjects of business leadership, motivation, decision making, and problem solving that "Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note #1: William D. Eggers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_D._Eggers) is executive director of the Deloitte Center for Government Insights and a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Solution Revolution and If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, both from Harvard Business Review Press.

Editorial Note #2: Donald F. Kettl (https://lbj.utexas.edu/kettl-donald-f) is a professor emeritus, former dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He was previously the Sid Richardson Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include, most recently, The Divided States of America and Can Governments Earn Our Trust?

The Defiant Optimist
Durreen Shahnaz
Broadleaf Books
510 Marquette Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN 55402
www.broadleafbooks.com
9781506480763, $27.99, HC, 247pp

https://www.amazon.com/Defiant-Optimist-Inequality-Reinvent-Finance/dp/1506480764

Synopsis: When she launched the world's first stock exchange for social enterprises, Durreen Shahnaz started more than a new financial system; she sparked a movement. Defiant optimism (the stubborn belief that systems that enrich the few can be transformed for the good of the many) requires an indomitable spirit. With the publication of "The Defiant Optimist: Daring to Fight Global Inequality, Reinvent Finance, and Invest in Women", Shahnaz illuminates what investing in those excluded from networks of power and opportunity requires.

From growing up with constrained life chances, to working as the first Bangladeshi woman on Wall Street, to becoming a global leader in impact investing, Shahnaz takes us on a mesmerizing trek of innovation, compassion, and enterprise. In the pages of this definitive biography we accompany her to villages in Bangladesh where she helps women entrepreneurs learn to proudly sign their names, and on visits to venture capitalists who walk past her to shake her male employees' hands. We go to a garment factory where women labor for low wages, and to a town in India where microfinance offers women enough capital to run grocery stores and tailor shops. Along the way, the birth of her two daughters only fuels her relentless pursuit of a world where girls are valued. Finally, armed with financial backers and a plan, Shahnaz crafts the world's first tradeable financial product geared toward investing in underserved women's livelihoods.

Changing how systems work (and who they work for) isn't for the faint of heart. But "The Defiant Optimist" offers 'real world practical' strategies for placing women, the underserved, and the planet at the heart of systems. Together we can locate the levers of power and pull them defiantly in a new direction.

Critique: A fascinating combination of memoir and economic policy reforms, "The Defiant Optimist: Daring to Fight Global Inequality, Reinvent Finance, and Invest in Women" is an extraordinary, thought-provoking, and inspiring read throughout. Of special particular value to readers with an interest in personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Business Women's Biography/Memoir collections, it should be noted for that "The Defiant Optimist" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.49).

Editorial Note: Durreen Shahnaz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durreen_Shahnaz) has worked both in high finance on Wall Street and in microfinance in the back streets of rural Bangladesh. Following stints as an investment banker, development worker, educator, media executive, and social entrepreneur, Shahnaz founded a pioneering impact investment firm that brings together investors, development agencies, and entrepreneurs to advance sustainable development and empower millions of women. Shahnaz is on the Forbes "50 over 50" list and received the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award, often referred to as the Nobel Prize for Business. Shahnaz holds degrees from Smith College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University.

Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies
Gaia Bernstein
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
www.cambridge.org
9781009257930, $24.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unwired-Gaining-Control-Addictive-Technologies/dp/1009257935

Synopsis: Smartphones, screens, and social media -- our society has a technology problem. One that often leads to a form of addiction and mental health issues.

Many of us want to disconnect from screens but can't help themselves. These days we spend more time online than ever. Some turn to self-help-measures to limit their usage, yet repeatedly fail, while parents feel particularly powerless to help their children.

With the publication of "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies", Professor Gaia Bernstein shows us a way out. Rather than blaming users, "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies" shatters the illusion that we autonomously choose how to spend our time online. It shifts the moral responsibility and accountability for solutions to corporations.

Drawing lessons from the tobacco and food industries, "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies" demonstrates why government regulation is necessary to curb technology addiction. It describes a grassroots movement already in action across courts and legislative halls. Groundbreaking and urgent, "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies" provides a blueprint to develop this movement for change, to one that will allow us to finally gain control.

Critique: Simply stated, every parent concerned with the adverse impact that social media and the other new technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence) that are coming on-line will have on their children, as well as adults who are becoming aware of the addictive seductions of algorithms are having upon their lives and emotional well being, "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies" must be considered essential reading. Timely and an important, informative contribution to today's on-going national conversation regarding the deleterious impact that addictive technologies are having and how to deal with them, "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies" is an unreservedly and exceedingly important addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Computer History/Culture collections and supplemental Networking/Cloud Computer Social Issues curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, governmental policy makers, political activists, technology developers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in this subject that "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Editorial Note: Gaia Bernstein (https://gaiabernstein.com) is the Technology, Privacy and Policy Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Institute for Privacy Protection, and Co-Director of the Gibbons Institute of Law Science and Technology at Seton Hall University School of Law. She writes, teaches, and lectures on subjects at the intersections of law, technology, health, and privacy. Professor Bernstein developed a nationally recognized outreach program on technology overuse for school-aged children and their parents.

The SideRoad Columnist: Observations from an Upper Michigan Author
Sharon M. Kennedy
Modern History Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
https://www.modernhistorypress.com
9781615997374, $32.95, HC, 168pp

https://www.amazon.com/SideRoad-Columnist-Observations-Michigan-Author/dp/1615997377

Synopsis: Penned by author and local newspaper columnist Sharon M. Kennedy in recent years, "The SideRoad Columnist: Observations from an Upper Michigan Author" presents a very special collection of her newspaper columns.

To delight the reader, each installment tells a complete story in miniature. "The SideRoad Columnist" showcases Sharon own particular mixture of nostalgia, humor, shared experiences and sundry observations. The featured stories are short (under two pages) making "The SideRoad Columnist" an ideal choice for readers who have limited time or are passengers on a journey.

Readers will smile as they recall a time when boys slathered hair cream on their locks, women sported a bouffant hairdo and barnyards were a common sight.

Whether recovering from her many domestic and kitchen disasters, navigating the U.P.'s notoriously bad roads or trying to properly celebrate a lifetime of holidays, Kennedy's adventures will bring groans of recognition.

Critique: A combination of nostalgia, humor, insights, and representations of the human condition and experience, "The SideRoad Columnist" is certain to delight and amuse -- especially mature readers as they remember the old days. Younger readers will laugh as the Sharon Kennedy describes the way things were, her struggle to understand technology and the green dot following everyone on Facebook. Kennedy's ability to entertain, while simultaneously writing terse columns, is undeniable. She's a writer for our times -- both past and present. While highly recommended and a guaranteed popular addition to community library rural life humor and American Midwest biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The SideRoad Columnist" is also available in a paperback edition (9781615997367, $18.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).

Editorial Note: Sharon M. Kennedy (https://www.authorsharonkennedy.com) lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on the land of her youth. As an opinion writer for Gannett Media, her newspaper columns reflect a keen observation of people and their experiences. Whether humorous, serious, or poignant, she records events and situations relatable to individuals of various ages. Kennedy has the remarkable ability to communicate with readers as if they were sitting at her kitchen table, sharing a cup of coffee and a laugh with her.

Time Served
T.L. Cromwell
KP Publishing
https://kp-pub.com
9781960001207, $24.95 hardcover, $19.95 paperback, $9.99 ebook

https://kp-pub.com/books/time-served

Time Served is a memoir written by a retired Correctional Captain who worked in the California prison system for over twenty years, and is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the daily activities and nuts and bolts of the modern American prison system.

The memoir is particularly notable in two ways: T.L. Cromwell is a Black female in a system dominated by male correctional officers, and she covers the process of overseeing inmates in contrast to the many prison stories written by those who have done time behind bars. Having an exploration from the other side of the bars provides many eye-opening insights that will prove especially valuable to students of law, justice, and those aiming for jobs in the correctional system.

Another important note is that Cromwell worked in some of the toughest prison systems in the nation. This background lends further interest to her story, which navigates the social and political issues of maintaining a prison and dealing with inmates as a female in a decidedly male-dominated environment.

The story opens with Cromwell's childhood and the candid note that she never saw herself being in the position she wound up in as an adult: "Nobody says they want to work in prison when they grow up. Who would want to be a prison guard? I certainly didn't. I wanted to be what all kids say they want to be when they grow up: a doctor, a lawyer, a social worker, or maybe even a teacher." Growing up in the 'concrete jungles' of Los Angeles, however, Cromwell knew many who were incarcerated, including her own father.

When, as an adult, she divorced and was faced with raising a daughter alone, Cromwell was determined to obtain a job that paid well, keeping them out of poverty and the cycles she'd seen too many fellow women fall into as single mothers. Her search for a stable career kept leading her back to corrections work. It was a job she would excel in, grow and learn from, and ultimately would share with the world in this memoir of her experiences, which dovetails the routines and requirements of the prison system with insights on inmate/correctional officer relationships and the dangerous psychological undercurrents that often affect and direct them.

Through Cromwell's eyes, readers learn of these threats and the reactions that saved her career and life. The psychological insights are not only impeccably described, but offer rare insights into the dangers of the prison system that go well beyond physical violence and into the territory of psychological danger: "Inmates had 365 days to focus on us; to find any little thing they think they can use to manipulate us. It is insidious and before you know it you have fallen into their trap. When they target you, they usually start small by being friendly, jovial, and very complimentary. If they work for you, they make sure they do the best job they can while putting you at ease in their presence. They want you to think they are different from any other inmate you have ever met. Lulling you into a false sense of security and pushing you to lower your guard. They attempt to get you to do something small, something seemingly innocuous that you know you're not supposed to do, just this one time, just for him. Nobody will ever know. It will be just between you and him."

More so than almost any other prison system title, Cromwell provides an invaluable and rare look at inmate relationships and how they are affected by imprisonment. Students of prison system and justice issues, as well as anyone thinking of entering this milieu who wonders what these daily encounters translate to in terms of motivation and experiences, will find that Time Served pulls no punches in revealing all the underlying emotional challenges of the job. It humanizes the correctional officer's job and relationships in many different ways.

Time Served should ideally be included in general-interest collections, inner city libraries, and any library strong in books about social issues. It should also be used as debate material in classes and book clubs examining prison system operations and experiences.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Thriving as a Graduate Writer
Rachel Cayley
University of Michigan Press
839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
www.press.umich.edu
9780472039128, $29.95, PB, 236pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thriving-Graduate-Writer-Principles-Strategies/dp/0472039121

Synopsis: With the publication of "Thriving as a Graduate Writer: Principles, Strategies, and Habits for Effective Academic Writing", Professor Rachel Cayley offers a comprehensive guide to the multifaceted challenges of writing in graduate school.

Professor Cayley shows readers how to think about academic writing, how to manage an academic text, and how to establish an effective writing practice. Graduate students from all disciplines will find concrete strategies and motivation for the enterprise of academic writing.

Intended for both multilingual writers and those for whom English is a first language, "Thriving as a Graduate Writer: offers essential writing support in quick, easily digestible chunks.

Readers of Thriving as a Graduate Writer will: Learn how to establish an effective writing practice; Discover how to position themselves as competent and engaged writers; Learn how to structure their writing, craft effective sentences, and create movement with a text; Develop processes for draft revisions; Create individual writing strategies that will last throughout their careers.

Critique: In addition to graduate students there is another readership that will greatly benefit from the information, instructions, tips, tricks and techniques that comprise "Thriving as a Graduate Writer: Principles, Strategies, and Habits for Effective Academic Writing". Its authors of academic and non-fiction books involving any and all subjects. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Thriving as a Graduate Writer" will also have an immense value to anyone with an interest in Foreign Language Instruction, English as a Second Language, and Writer/Author Technical Education. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental Writer's Workshop curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "Thriving as A graduate Writer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.95).

Editorial Note: Rachael Cayley (https://explorationsofstyle.com/author-bio) is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication at the University of Toronto. She also writes Explorations of Style, a blog on academic writing for graduate students.

Writing That Gets Noticed
Estelle Erasmus
New World Library
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608688364, $19.95, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-That-Gets-Noticed-Storyteller/dp/1608688364

Synopsis: With the publication of "Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published" by successful essayist, columnist, published author, writing instructor, and magazine editor Estelle Erasmus will show you how to find your voice, how to write stellar pieces, and how to get them published.

In 'real-world practical' and experience based chapters, "Writing That Gets Noticed" covers: Mining your life for ideas and incubating those ideas; Choose the perfect format (essay, op-ed, feature article, and more); Research publications and following editor etiquette; Crafting a perfect pitch; Protecting your psyche from inevitable rejections; Revising your work for maximum impact; Delivering what you promise, protecting your work, and get paid!!

Critique: An ideal and comprehensive DIY instructional guide and manual, "Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published" is informatively enhanced for the aspiring writer with the inclusion of a three page listing of Resources for Writers, a three page Glossary of Publishing Terms, fifteen pages of Notes, and a twenty-two page Index. Throughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published" is an invaluable and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections. It should be oted that "Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Estelle Erasmus (EstelleSErasmus.com) is an award-winning journalist, a writing coach, and an in-demand speaker who has written for more than 150 publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, HuffPost Personal, Good Housekeeping, and Writer's Digest. She has been the editor-in-chief of five national magazines and hosts the Freelance Writing Direct podcast. She is also an adjunct instructor at NYU and frequent panelist for professional writing organizations.

How to Create Snappy Sassy Salty Success for Authors and Writers
Dr. Judith Briles
MileHighPress
https://thebookshepherd.com
9781885331984, $20.00, PB, 174pp

https://www.amazon.com/Create-Snappy-Success-Authors-Writers/dp/1885331983

Synopsis: Being a writer and trying to get published can (and often is) a lonely occupation. That's why "How to Create Snappy Sassy Salty Success for Authors and Writers" by Dr. Judith Briles (a successful author who is known throughout the publishing industry as 'The Book Shepherd" can be inspiring and useful in get an author through the inevitable 'writer's block', writer fatigue, or those isolation blues.

Briles' favorite advice over the years to her many author clients is repeated in "How to Create Snappy Sassy Salty Success for Authors and Writers" as it is comprised of some 400 of her favorite quotes that over the years she has created and shared with her clients and followers.

Divided into six sections, read them one at time and highlight what talks to or inspires you. Open it randomly or start at the beginning. This is a collection of quotes that writers and authors (and bibliophiles!) will go to over and over again.

Critique: A fun read that is also a seriously useful resource for inspiration, motivation, and encouragement, "How to Create Snappy Sassy Salty Success for Authors and Writers" by Dr. Judith Briles is an impressive compendium of memorable and thought-provoking quotations that is especially and unreservedly recommended for anyone aspiring to, or in the business of, writing for a living -- or are engaged in a writing project just for personal satisfaction. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.31), "How to Create Snappy Sassy Salty Success for Authors and Writers" fully lives up to the promise of its title and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Literary Humor and Writing/Publishing collections.

Editorial Note: Dr. Judith Briles (http://www.milehighpress.com) is the author of 43 books and known as The Book Shepherd, working with authors globally to create and publish books in all subject categories and genres. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Briles) A number of her titles have been previously reviewed and archived by the Midwest Book Review website at https://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=8779737&pid=r&mode=ALL&n=0&query=%22Judith+Briles%22


The Education Shelf

How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates
Saskia Loer Hansen, editor
Kathy Daniels, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781803926506, $185.00, HC, 392pp

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/usd/how-to-enable-the-employability-of-university-graduates-9781803926506.html

Synopsis: Students invest significant resources in coming to university and universities play a crucial role in enabling their students to benefit from this investment and to be employable once they have finished their degree. Giving a platform to the debate about graduate employability from the student, university and employer perspectives, "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates"is innovative addition to the Edward Elgar Publishing's 'How To Guide' series and explores the challenges associated with ensuring the employability of university graduates.

In defining the nature of employability, "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates" discusses how the concept is a shared responsibility dependent on individual capabilities, the labour market and social capital.

Considering what employers want from graduates, "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates" examines how universities can provide strong graduate outcomes and inclusive career opportunities irrespective of student background. It also illustrates ways to embed employability across the curriculum, suggesting innovative approaches to careers guidance and specific employability initiatives, while upholding the benefits of entrepreneurial activities and widening participation opportunities.

With insights from around the world, "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates" concludes by thinking about the institutional response to the challenges faced by the employability agenda, reflecting on how research has developed over the past 20 years.

Interdisciplinary and comparative in scope, "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates" is a compendium of international case studies of employability approaches across a wide range of educational institutions and will prove an engaging resource for students and scholars of business, education management, and teaching methods. Its exploration of regulatory environments will also prove useful for policymakers working in education.

Critique: Collaboratively compiled and deftly co-edited by Saskia Loer Hansen and Kathy Daniels, "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates" is comprised of 36 insightfully informative contributions and features figures, tables, a list of abbreviations, a listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a seven page index. "How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates", a seminal and timely work, is impressively organized and presented, making it an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Education Counseling collections, and supplemental curriculum Career Development/Vocational Guidance studies lists.

Editorial Note: Saskia Loer Hansenis the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Engagement), RMIT University, Australia.

Editorial Note #2: Kathy Daniels (https://research.aston.ac.uk/en/persons/kathy-daniels) is the Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement), Aston University, UK.

Positive Behavior Supports in Classrooms and Schools, third edition
Keith Storey
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
http://www.ccthomas.com
9780398094065, $46.95, PB, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Behavior-Supports-Classrooms-Schools/dp/0398094063

Synopsis: Now in a fully updated third edition, "Positive Behavior Supports in Classrooms and Schools: Effective and Practical Strategies for Teachers and Other Service Providers" continues to be a unique and instructive guid that provides teachers and other service providers the knowledge and skills for Positive Behavior Supports in school settings, thereby improving the academic and social skills of their students.

As with previous editions, "Positive Behavior Supports in Classrooms and Schools" is written in an informational format that teachers and other service providers can immediately put to use. The text is generic across K-12 grade levels and focuses on Positive Behavior Supports in school settings.

Each chapter begins with Key Point Questions, followed by two Window to the World Case Studies, information on the Key Point Questions, Discussion Questions, and Suggestions for Classroom and School Activities.

Additionally, an overview of Positive Behavior Supports is provided, which includes Measuring Behavior, Functional Assessment and Analysis, Reinforcement, Punishment, Classroom Structure, Preventative Procedures and Interventions, Cooperative Learning and Peer Tutoring, and Family and Agency Involvement.

The Self-Management Strategies, Social Skills Instruction, and School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports are vital areas of knowledge. This "How To" book is written for teachers and other direct service providers in a non-technical manner with specific real-world examples.

Critique: An ideal textbook for school district in-service training programs and a core addition to college and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, "Positive Behavior Supports in Classrooms and Schools: Effective and Practical Strategies for Teachers and Other Service Providers, third edition" is especially informative and effectively 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation.

Editorial Note: Keith Storey (https://tu-ca.academia.edu/KeithStorey) is a Professor Emeritus at Touro University California in Vallejo, California. Keith has over forty years' experience working with individuals with disabilities, including six years as a classroom teacher. His professional and research interests include transition from school to adult life, functional analysis and positive behavioral supports, supported employment, inclusion, and curriculum development. Keith is the recipient of the 1988 Alice H. Hayden Award from The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps; the 1996 Hau-Cheng Wang Fellowship from Chapman University, which is presented for exceptional merit in scholarship; and the 2001 Robert Gaylord-Ross Memorial Scholar Award from the California Association for Persons with Severe Disabilities.

Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English
Bob Cox, et al.
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
www.crownhousepublishing.com
9781785836671, $24.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Opening-Doors-Ambitious-Primary-English/dp/1785836676

Synopsis: With the publication of "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English: Pitching high and including all" co-authors Bob Cox, Leah Crawford, Angela Jenkins and Julie Sargent, provides both big principles and a toolkit of strategies all carefully selected to support the design of a deeper, more creative and more expansive English curriculum.

"Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English: Pitching high and including all" is rich resource, enhanced with vivid illustrations by Victoria Cox, and intended to help classroom teachers enhance their student's engagement with challenging texts and develop their writing skills as budding wordsmiths. Working in association with the Opening Doors network of schools, the authors address the vital concept of pitching high but including all pupils and how this approach can be delivered in practice.

"Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English" also explains and models top quality ways of thinking, planning and teaching. The resources, case studies and authors' innovative ideas on theory will help you to make primary English vibrant, creative and challenging in your school. It also provides frameworks and principles for any school wishing to be more ambitious in developing pupils' speaking, listening, reading, writing and thinking with a greater sense of curiosity and more originality.

Of special note is that "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English" contains chapter by chapter explanations of how English in primary schools can be developed in ambitious ways. Supported by research references, examples of pupils' work and illuminating case studies, "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English" provides teachers with a toolkit of strategies which schools can adapt and apply to their own contexts.

"Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English" is supported by the Opening Doors series of books which contain units of work based around selected texts. The authors hope "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English" will act as a starting block from which to develop an Opening Doors approach to English, and have suggested key concepts around which the curriculum can be built, with the units providing examples to work from.

Critique: Especially suitable for teachers and curriculum leads in primary settings, "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English: Pitching high and including all" is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a ten page Bibliography, a two page End Note, a two page List of Online Resources, and a two page List of Downloadable Resources. Exceptionally informative, impressively organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English: Pitching high and including all" is solidly recommended for personal, professional, school district, college, and university library English studies collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted that "Opening Doors to Ambitious Primary English: Pitching high and including all" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.70).

Editorial Note #1: Bob Cox (http://crownhousepublishing.com/bob-cox) has taught English for 23 years and is now an independent education consultant, writer and teacher coach who works nationally and internationally to support outstanding learning. Bob also delivers keynotes for national associations, multi-academy trusts and local authorities, as more schools integrate Opening Doors' strategies into their curriculum design.

Editorial Note #2: Leah Crawford (http://leahcrawford.com/opening-doors) has 15 years' experience as a local authority English inspector and adviser, working across both the primary and secondary phases, and now leads the Thinktalk education consultancy. She is an associate tutor on King's College London's Let's Think in English cognitive acceleration programme and also works in support of a European Erasmus project on the assessment of thinking skills.

Editorial Note #3: Angela Jenkins (http://www.angelajenkinsconsulting.com/about) has extensive experience in English education and school improvement having worked as an adviser in three different local authorities and two multi-academy trusts in the last 20 years. As well as providing link adviser support for individual schools she also took strategic responsibility for English and assessment. Recently, Angela has worked as an independent consultant, providing specialist advice and support for the development of exceptional curriculum, pedagogy and assessment both in primary and secondary settings. She is currently co-chair of the National Association of Advisers in English (NAAE).

Editorial Note #4: Julie Sargent (https://www.innovateducation.co.uk/about-me-2) has over 10 years' experience of working across the whole of the primary sector as an English Consultant. This includes developing bespoke CPD for individual schools, multi-academy trusts and local authorities. She has a particular interest in Early Years/KS1 and using high-quality texts to promote and develop all aspects of English.

The Assistant Principal Identity
Baruti K. Kaffle
ASCD
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
www.ascd.org
9781416632269, $27.95, PB, 124pp

https://www.amazon.com/Assistant-Principal-Identity-Protecting-Authenticity/dp/1416632263

Synopsis: Given the demands placed upon our public schools today, the job of a school leader is more challenging and important than ever. To be effective, administrators need to support their students and staff, but they also need to take care of themselves. With the publication of "The Assistant Principal Identity: Protecting Your Leadership Mindset, Fervor, and Authenticity" by seasoned public education leader Baruti K. Kafele brings this motivational message to the pivotal members of the leadership team who are too often overlooked: assistant principals.

Kafele explains that even as assistant principals gain knowledge and build their leadership identity, their leadership values and skills can be compromised or lost without intentional care. Along with stories from his own years as a transformational school leader, Kafele also offers assistant principals 35 thought-provoking questions for reflection and conversation centered on the idea of protection, from How am I protecting my leadership purpose? to How am I protecting my leadership optimism? and How am I protecting my leadership integrity?

Whether you are a new or experienced assistant principal, "The Assistant Principal Identity: Protecting Your Leadership Mindset, Fervor, and Authenticity" is an insightful and instructional guide will help you hold a mirror up to your own practice and more effectively navigate your powerful role in improving outcomes for students and schools.

Critique: Expertly written, deftly organized, exceptionally comprehensive, impressively well presented, "The Assistant Principal Identity: Protecting Your Leadership Mindset, Fervor, and Authenticity" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, school district, college and university Education Leadership collections and supplemental Education Administration curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "The Assistant Principal Identity: Protecting Your Leadership Mindset, Fervor, and Authenticity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.49).

Editorial Note: Baruti K. Kafele (www.principalkafele.com) is a highly regarded urban educator in New Jersey for more than 20 years. He has distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, New Jersey, he was named East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, and he was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different New Jersey urban schools. He is the author of 13 books, including The Aspiring Principal 50 and his seven ASCD bestsellers: The Assistant Principal 50, Closing the Attitude Gap, The Equity and Social Justice Education 50, Is My School a Better School Because I Lead It?, Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life, The Principal 50, and The Teacher 50.


The Social Issues Shelf

Police Unions and the Reform Movement
Ron DeLord, author
Ron York, author
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
http://www.ccthomas.com
9780398093983, $44.95, PB, 290pp

https://www.amazon.com/Police-Unions-Reform-Movement-Americas/dp/0398093989

Synopsis: Between the two of them, co-authors Ron DeLord and Ron York have more than 100 years of collective experience in assisting police unions. It all seemed so simple and formulaic. A social movement that had been lingering for decades reached a tipping point, and unions now had their greatest challenge ever. The last 5 years have seen what unions would describe as apocalyptic demands for reforms.

Union leaders ranted about a war on the police, the end of the profession, and increasing hostility towards the police by the liberal media and politicians. Unions must change the way they do business if they want to survive.

"Police Unions and the Reform Movement: The Battle for the Future of America's Police" identifies the who, what and why of the reform movement, how to mount an effective political campaign, the complexities of an effective message, and the reasons police union leaders succeed and fail.

"Police Unions and the Reform Movement" is divided into five primary parts, each of which explores a police profession under attack from reform activists, left leaning media, politically correct chiefs, and weak mayors and councils afraid to push back against unrealistic and overreaching demands for reforms.

Part I focuses on viewing reform as a social movement. Part II examines the battle between unions and reform activists. Part III unravels the mysterious world of police unions. Part IV predicts the future of the reform movement and police unions in light of the struggle taking place nationwide, and finally, Part V are case studies, perspectives and predictions from contributing authors who are on the front lines of the police labor movement in the U.S. and Australia.

By following the superb analysis and creative ideas in this book, police union leaders, police management, law enforcement personnel, criminal justice professors and policymakers will see a path to reaching an accord on reform and advancing the police profession.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, featuring 23 erudite essays, two Appendices (List of Duty Deaths by Gunfire & 100 Largest Cities, Oversight Boards, and Union Contracts), "Police Unions and the Reform Movement: The Battle for the Future of America's Police" is a timely, significant, thought-provoking, and welcome contribution to our on-going national discussion with respect to law enforcement and policing reforms that is unreservedly recommended for community, college, university Criminology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Ron DeLord (http://rondelord.com) is recognized as a leading public safety union contract negotiator; an expert on police and fire unions in United States; and an author and lecturer on public safety union leadership, power, organization, media and political action.

Twenty Dollars and Change
Clarence Lusane
City Lights Publishers
261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
www.citylights.com
9780872868854, $21.95, PB, 424pp

https://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Dollars-Change-American-Democracy/dp/0872868850

Synopsis: Today America is in the throes of a historic reckoning with racism, with the battle for control over official narratives at ground zero. Across the country, politicians, city councils, and school boards are engaged in a highly polarized debate about whose accomplishments should be recognized, and whose point of view should be included in the telling of America's history.

With the publication of "Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice and Democracy", political scientist Clarence Lusane (author of the acclaimed The Black History of the White House), writes from a basic premise: Racist historical narratives and pervasive social inequities are inextricably linked -- changing one can transform the other.

Taking up the debate over the future of the twenty-dollar bill, Lusane uses the question of Harriet Tubman vs. Andrew Jackson as a lens through which to view the current state of our nation's ongoing reckoning with the legacies of slavery and foundational white supremacy. He places the struggle to confront unjust social conditions in direct connection with the push to transform our public symbols, making it plain that any choice of whose life deserves to be remembered and honored is a direct reflection of whose basic rights are deemed worthy of protection, and whose are not.

Critique: A timely political and historical study of racism in America, "Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice and Democracy is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of fifty-two pages of Notes and a fourteen page Index. Of particular relevance and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Social Issues, African-American Racial/Political History, and African/American Demographic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice and Democracy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Clarence Lusane (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Lusane) is an author, activist, scholar, and journalist. He is a Professor and former Chairman of Howard University's Department of Political Science. Lusane earned his B.A. in Communications from Wayne State University and both his Masters and Ph.D. from Howard University in Political Science. He's been a political consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and a former Commissioner for the DC Commission on African American Affairs. He frequently appears on MSNBC and C-SPAN, and was invited by the Obamas to speak at the White House. He is the author of many books, including The Black History of the White House.

The Practice of Belonging
Lisa Kentgen, Ph.D
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623177638, $17.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Belonging-Communities-Loneliness-Relationships/dp/1623177634

Synopsis: After two years meeting with different communities in the US, psychologist Lisa Kentgen identified 6 key traits of vibrant, healthy communities that we can all apply to our own lives and networks: Commitment to care; Acceptance; Diversity; Skillful conflict resolution; Bonding rituals; Hospitality.

Each chapter of her new book, "The Practice of Belonging: Six Lessons from Vibrant Communities to Combat Loneliness, Foster Diversity, and Cultivate Caring Relationships" focuses on one of these traits, highlighting a particular community as a case study of how it can be put into practice.

The reader will learn about a wide range of successful community models, including a tiny-home village for people who had been chronically houseless in Austin, Texas; a study circle to build connection between Native and non-Native people in a small town in South Dakota; a 500-member community choir in Columbus, Ohio; and a Buddhist center in Barre, Massachusetts committed to bringing greater diversity to the Dharma.

Throughout "The Practice of Longing", the reader will reflect on such questions as: How can we cultivate these traits of vibrant community in our own lives? What would it look like to prioritize caring and acceptance in our interactions with others? How can we create a climate of true inclusivity, one where our differences both challenge and strengthen us? How can we learn to feel more comfortable with tension and acquire the skills to move through conflict toward creative solutions? What would happen if we incorporated meaningful rituals into our communities and made a point of celebrating each other?

With intention and practice, we can transform our social relationships and build communities that appreciate difference, encourage authentic expression, and foster an environment of belonging and mutual care. "The Practice of Longing" will inspire the reader to make the transformative leap from "me" to "we", thereby creating communal and loving spaces in which to connect (and thrive) together.

Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in its commentary style, organization and presentation, "The Practice of Belonging: Six Lessons from Vibrant Communities to Combat Loneliness, Foster Diversity, and Cultivate Caring Relationships" is ideal reading for professionals and non-specialist general readers alike -- making it a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for those who are interested in communication, social skills development, motivation, and creating/supporting friendships that "The Practice of Belonging" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Lisa Kentgen (https://www.lisakentgen.com) is a psychologist with over three decades' experience as a clinician, educator, and speaker. She is the author of An Intentional Life: Five Foundations of Authenticity and Purpose. Dr. Kentgen has published scientific articles on the development of conscious awareness, biological correlates of depression and anxiety, and identifying emotional difficulties in children. She believes that creating vibrant communities is the path forward through the unprecedented social, psychological, and existential crises we face. You can subscribe to her online newsletter at https://the3csofbelonging.substack.com


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Five Times Faster
Simon Sharpe
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
www.cambridge.org
9781009326490, $24.95, HC, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Five-Times-Faster-Rethinking-Economics/dp/100932649X

Synopsis: The premise of "Five Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change" by Simon Sharpe is that we need to act five times faster than we presently are if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.

As Greenland melts, Australia burns, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, we think we know who the villains are: oil companies, consumerism, weak political leaders. But what if the real blocks to progress are the ideas and institutions that are supposed to be helping us?

"Five Times Faster" is an inside story from Simon Sharpe, who has spent ten years at the forefront of climate change policy and diplomacy. In our fight to avoid dangerous climate change, science is pulling its punches, diplomacy is picking the wrong battles, and economics has been fighting for the other side.

"Five Times Faster" is provocative and engaging study that sets out how we should rethink our strategies and reorganise our efforts in the fields of science, economics, and diplomacy, so that we can act fast enough to stay safe.

Critique: Timely, informative, exceptionally well presented, "Five Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change" is a significant and documented alarm call that if unheeded will result in a total and global catastrophe for the human race -- and pretty much every other species of life on earth. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university Environmental Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, professional environmentalists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of dealing with Climate Change, "Five Times Faster" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.70).

Editorial Note: Simon Sharpe (https://www.wri.org/profile/simon-sharpe) is Director of Economics for the Climate Champions Team and a Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute. He designed and led flagship international campaigns of the UK's Presidency of the UN climate change talks (COP 26) in 2020-2021; worked as the head of private office to a minister of energy and climate change in the UK Government; and has served on diplomatic postings in China and India. He has published influential academic papers and created groundbreaking international initiatives in climate change risk assessment, economics, policy, and diplomacy.

Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation
Romany M. Webb, et al.
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781802208849, $175.00, HC, 344pp

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/usd/ocean-carbon-dioxide-removal-for-climate-mitigation-9781802208849.html

Synopsis: Examining the existing legal framework for ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR), "Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework" provides highlights potential legal challenges and opportunities associated with using the ocean to remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Described are five commonly discussed ocean CDR techniques, including rock-based ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE), electrochemical OAE, ocean fertilization, artificial upwelling and downwelling, and seaweed cultivation, and explores the legal issues that different techniques could raise.

"Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework" is a timely and comprehensive exploration of the laws governing ocean CDR research and deployment at the international level and domestically in seven countries across Asia, Europe, and North America. The analysis highlights the complexities and uncertainties associated with applying existing international and domestic law to ocean CDR, providing lawyers and policymakers with invaluable insights into areas where legal reforms are needed to facilitate in-ocean research and deployment.

Essential reading for lawyers, policymakers, and others interested in advancing innovative climate change solutions, "Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework" will also appeal to academic and private sector scientists who are conducting research into ocean CDR.

Critique: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by academicians Romany M. Webb, Korey Silverman-Roati, and Michael B. Gerrard of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, "Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework" is a ground breaking study consisting of an Introduction, a Conclusion, and eleven erudite and seminal essays by experts in the field of environmental science. Expertly organized and presented, "Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework" features a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, as well as a number of Tables, Illustrations, and a thirteen page Index -- making "Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal for Climate Mitigation: The Legal Framework" an essential and core addition to personal, professional, college, university, and governmental library Environmental, Ecosystem, and Natural Resources collections and supplemental Environmental Law curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Romany M. Webb (https://climate.law.columbia.edu/directory/romany-m-webb) is Associate Research Scholar and Deputy Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School.

Editorial Note #2: Korey Silverman-Roati (https://climate.law.columbia.edu/directory/korey-silverman-roati) is Associate Research Scholar and Climate Law Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School.

Editorial Note #3: Michael B. Gerrard (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Gerrard) is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Faculty Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Blight: Fungi and the Coming Pandemic
Emily Monosson
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9781324007012, $28.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Blight-Coming-Pandemic-Emily-Monosson/dp/132400701X

Synopsis: A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, separately from the other eukaryotic kingdoms, which, by one traditional classification, includes Plantae, Animalia, Protozoa, and Chromista. (Wikipedia)

Fungi are everywhere. Most are harmless; some are helpful. A few are killers. Collectively, infectious fungi are the most devastating agents of disease on earth, and a fungus that can persist in the environment without its host is here to stay.

With the publication of "Blight: Fungi and the Coming Pandemic", academician Emily Monosson documents how trade, travel, and a changing climate are making us all more vulnerable to invasion. Populations of bats, frogs, and salamanders face extinction.

In the Northwest, America's beloved national parks are covered with the spindly corpses of whitebark pines. Food crops are under siege, threatening our coffee, bananas, and wheat -- and, more broadly, our global food security.

Candida auris, drug-resistant and resilient, infects hospital patients and those with weakened immune systems. Coccidioides, which lives in drier dusty regions, may cause infection in apparently healthy people. These horrors go on and on.

Yet prevention is not impossible. Tracing the history of fungal spread and the most recent discoveries in the field, Monosson meets with scientists who are working tirelessly to protect species under threat, and whose innovative approaches to fungal invasion have the potential to save human lives. Delving into case studies at once fascinating, sobering, and hopeful, "Blight: Fungi and the Coming Pandemic" serves as a wake-up call, a reminder of the delicate interconnectedness of the natural world, and a lesson in seeing life on our planet with renewed humility and awe.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a two page bibliography of Further Readings, thirty-two pages of Notes, and a fourteen page Index, "Blight: Fungi and the Coming Pandemic" is exceptionally well written, organized, and presented -- making it ideal for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Blight: Fungi and the Coming Pandemic" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Health/Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum Parasitology studies lists.

Editorial Note: Emily Monosson is the author of Natural Defense, Unnatural Selection, and Evolution in a Toxic World. She is a member of the Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has a an online web page at https://eco.umass.edu/people/adjunct-faculty/monosson-emily


The Economic Studies Shelf

Research Handbook of Financial Markets
Refet S. Gurkaynak, editor
Jonathan H. Wright, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781800375314, $315.00, HC, 532pp

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/usd/research-handbook-of-financial-markets-9781800375314.html

Synopsis: A part of the 'Research Handbooks in Money and Finance' series from Edward Elgar Publishing, "The Research Handbook of Financial Markets" is collaboratively compiled and co-edited the the team of professors Refet S. Gurkaynak and Jonathan H. Wright. Twenty-two essays comprising this economics textbook carefully discuss the histories and current states of the most important financial markets and institutions, as well as explicitly underscoring open questions that need study. By describing the institutional structure of different markets and highlighting recent changes within them, it accurately highlights their evolving nature.

Taking the perspective that finance and macroeconomics are intertwined, this illuminating Research Handbook brings together prominent experts to investigate key market interactions. Chapters act as self-contained case studies of particular markets, allowing for a thorough individual examination of each. Ultimately, they offer a holistic understanding of financial markets and the current state of research.

Academics and researchers in economics and finance curious about developments within financial regulation and banking will find this comprehensive Handbook to be hugely valuable. Market participants will additionally find it to be a useful reference, along with regulators seeking to mitigate financial instability.

Critique: With the twenty-two contributions deftly organized into five sections (Central Banking; Intermediaries; Money Markets; Capital Markets, Derivative Markets), "Research Handbook of Financial Markets" is unreservedly recommended, especially for personal, professional, college, and university library Contemporary Economics collections and supplemental Economics curriculum studies lists. Of special note is the inclusion of a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials.

Editorial Note #1: Refet S. Gurkaynak (https://bse.eu/people/gurkaynak-refet) is Professor of Economics at Bilkent University, Turkey and CEPR, CESIfo, and CFS.

Editorial Note #2: Jonathan H. Wright (https://econ.jhu.edu/directory/jonathan-wright) is a Professor of Economics, at Johns Hopkins University, US and NBER.


The Money/Finance Shelf

Money for Beginners: An Illustrated Guide
L. Randall Wray, author
Heske van Doornen, illustrator
Polity
www.politybooks.com
c/o John Wiley and Sons (dist.)
www.wiley.com
9781509554607, $59.95, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Money-Beginners-Illustrated-Randall-Wray/dp/1509554602

Synopsis: Money can be (and often is) mysterious. We love it, we hate it, but few people can tell you what the heck it really is. Wouldn't it be good to clarify once and for all what is money?

With the publication of "Money for Beginners: An Illustrated Guide", Professor of Economics L. Randall Wray will help you understand both the way money works and how to leverage its power. "Money for Beginners take you on an illuminating journey from your piggy bank to the Federal Reserve -- and in plain English with no pesky jargon or complex math!

Once you see money clearly, life will never be the same. You'll know what really goes on in banks and what the cash in your wallet represents. You'll know how government really spends and why it can't run out of money. You'll know what money can actually do -- and how we can make it work for us.

Critique: Simply stated, "Money for Beginners: An Illustrated Guide" should be in every community, highschool, college, and university library Economics/Money/Finance instructional reference collections. Exceptionally well written, comprehensively informative, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Money for Beginners: An Illustrated Guide" is also available in a paperback edition (9781509554614, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.00, 9781509554621).

Editorial Note #1: L. Randall Wray (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Randall_Wray) is a Professor of Economics at Bard College and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute. His book "Making Money Work for Us" was also published by Polity in 2022.

Editorial Note #2: Heske Van Doornen (https://www.linkedin.com/in/heskevandoornen) is an economist, writer, and artist.


The Cookbook Shelf

Cookbook Passion: Exploring a Culinary History
Pamela Kure Grogan
Gaudium Publishing
c/o Histria Books
www.histriabooks.com
9781592112029, $39.99, PB, 276pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cookbook-passion-pamela-kure-grogan/1142517712

Synopsis: A cookbook with a historic recipe anthology does not easily define the wonder of tracking the evolution of the cookbook and the modernization of the kitchen.

"Cookbook Passion: Exploring a Culinary History" by Pamela Kure Grogan draws upon a vintage selection from her 3,000 volume cookbook collection showcasing the changing palates of those at-home and at-travel epicureans. In it, she visualizes the impact of various world wars, financial depressions, expanding transcontinental auto usage, and the technological advancement of utensils and ingredients used in the kitchen on the public's taste.

"My Cookbook Passion" is a color panorama of historic cookbooks and recipes with the stories of how such books came into being. The chapters comprising this unique and extraordnary volume include: "Entertaining is Fun"; "Reach for the Stars" on celebrities; "Inns & Farms"; books on food publishers like Barrows & Co; and a list of famous chefs and their restaurants, most now gone from the scene. There are even hints about becoming a discerning cookbook collector.

Critique: Unique, impressively informative and inherently fascinating, "Cookbook Passion: Exploring a Culinary History" will have an enormous appeal for: chefs, food lovers, cookbook collectors, and any family chef who wants to try the heirloom recipes that are showcased in its pages. More than just another cookbook, "Cookbook Passion: Exploring a Culinary History" a distinctively original cooking resource guide. It is a culinary history where 'nostalgia becomes refreshed and relevant' with recipe selections of the timely and the timeless. Simply stated, "Cookbook Passion: Exploring a Culinary History" is unreservedly recommended as a treasured addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, and to academic library supplemental Culinary History curriculum studies lists as well.

Editorial Note: Pamela Kure Grogan (www.cookbookpassion.com) worked for twenty years as Store Manager at Williams Sonoma and at Sur La Table kitchen stores. She also served as Food Editor for an online food company. Today, Pamela is an active 'passionate baker' with her fan-followed social media sites.

The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Season Two Edition
The Great American Recipe, author
Pati Jinich, foreword
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637743645, $39.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Recipe-Cookbook-Season/dp/1637743645

Synopsis: In the second season of The Great American Recipe, a new set of the country's most talented home cooks shared the stories of their lives, backgrounds, communities, and cultures -- all told through food.

Living up to its subtitle of '100 Memorable Recipes to Celebrate the Diversity and Flavors of American Food', This new edition of "The Great American Recipe Cookbook draws from the cast, host, and judges of the acclaimed PBS television sow. The recipes for meals that made their big moments memorable, family treasures handed down through generations, iconic regional foods and twists on everyday classics, and even the weeknight standbys they turn to for quick, family-friendly dinners are illustrated and presented..

"The Great American Recipe Cookbook: 100 Memorable Recipes to Celebrate the Diversity and Flavors of American Food" offers culinary offerings from the East Coast to the islands of Hawai'i, and from indigenous to immigrant families. Accompanied by gorgeous food photography as well as captivating images from on-set, this outstanding collection of recipes are fully accessible for home cooks and certain to become personal and family favorites at the kitchen or dining room table.

Also of special note is getting to know more about your favorite contestants while learning how to make the standout recipes featured on the series, including: Instant Pot Lasagna Soup with Garlic Knots; Grab and Go Breakfast Burritos; Traditional Southern Shrimp & Grits; Rocky Mountain Trout with Stuffed Poblanos; BBQ Glazed Pork Ribs with KC Cheesy Corn; Dan Dan Sliders; Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Cups -- and so much more!

Critique: Profusely illustrated, clear and kitchen cook friendly instructions, this Season Two edition of "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: 100 Memorable Recipes to Celebrate the Diversity and Flavors of American Food" is a unique and especially recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Cookbook Collections. It should be noted that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: The Great American Recipe (a PBS 8-part television series), is a fun, feel-good show that celebrates amazing home cooks while capturing the rich culinary history of America. (https://www.pbs.org/show/great-american-recipe)

No Dig Cookbook
Charles Dowding, author
Catherine Balaam, author
No Dig Garden
c/o Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781916092075, $22.95, HC, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/No-Dig-Cookbook-homegrown-vegetables/dp/1916092071

Synopsis: With the publication of "No Dig Cookbook: Seasonal feasts from homegrown vegetables", co-authors Catherine Balaam and Charles Dowding explains and develops the strong links you can achieve between garden and kitchen, which keep changing according to the season. Basically their messages is that you should allow the garden decides your menu!

The recipes comprising the "No Dig Cookbook" are by Catherine Balaam, who cooks for day and weekend courses at Charles' Homeacres no dig garden. Catherine has created and tested over 60 delicious plant-based recipes, inspired by those lunches which see the participants salivating, after an intense morning of learning in the garden. They are simple dishes bursting with flavor, from seasonal vegetables and herbs.

To complement them, Charles Dowding has written 'Advice on growing your own' sections to be found throughout the "No Dig Cookbook". He outlines some key growing tips for many of the vegetables in the recipes. He has also includes his own recipe for no-knead bread, another great timesaver.

There are ideas on how to adapt recipes to your own harvests, using different vegetables which are similar to cook with. While some of the information is on how to ferment and store vegetables so that you can use any gluts and enjoy them later.

The recipes are categorized as follows: Pestos, dips and sauces; Ferments and vinegars; Salads; Cooked salads; Roasties; Stews and hot dishes; Sweet treats. There are a profusion of beautiful photos of the cooked dishes, a few including preparation, and of Charles Dowding's garden at Homeacres.

Critique: Offering a beautifully illustrated compendium of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes with informative gardening tips, the "No Dig Cookbook" is a particularly 'kitchen cook friendly' and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. Although "No Dig Cookbook" is especially welcoming to gardeners, the seasonal vegetable and herb dishes will appeal to anyone who enjoys savory plant-based meals!

Editorial Note #1: Charles Dowding develops and explains time- and labour-saving methods of high-yielding nature-friendly gardening. He has written ten books and an annual calendar of sowing dates, runs a YouTube channel with 36 million views, writes for national gardening magazines, and gives talks and courses at home and abroad. He has created three online courses: No Dig Gardening, Course 1; Growing Success Course 2. His third online course appeared in 2021.

Editorial Note #2: The recipes are by Catherine Balaam, who cooks for day and weekend courses at Charles' Homeacres no dig garden. Catherine has created and tested over 60 delicious plant-based recipes, inspired by those lunches which see the participants salivating, after an intense morning of learning in the garden. They are simple dishes bursting with flavor!

Taste of Home All-American Cookbook
Taste of Home
Trusted Media Brands
https://www.trustedmediabrands.com
9781621459279, $24.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Home-All-American-Cookbook-Flavors/dp/1621459276

Synopsis: The United States is famous for being a melting pot of flavors, but there are distinct dishes and culinary traditions that have influenced the American table. After all, we love our burgers, fried chicken, and good ol' apple pie!

With the publication of "Taste of Home All-American Cookbook: 370 Ways to Savor the Flavors of the USA", it is easier than ever to sample our nation's most iconic foods at the family dinner table. With an impressive lineup of iconinc recipes that celebrate everything from the South's love of barbecue to the Midwest's enthusiasm for casseroles, here are to be found athentic and nostalgic classics (as well as modern twists) recipes for memorable dishes.

With "Taste of Home All-American Cookbook" the family chef can provide hot and hearty American dinnertime favorites such meatloaf and pot roast, complete with a scoop of mashed potatoes swimming in gravy. The savor Mom's chocolate cake, lattice-crowned pies and other sweet indulgences that make you look forward to dessert.

There are holiday and party standbys, steaming soups, hearty sandwiches, grilled greats, a fresh array of veggies and sides, heartwarming breads, and other time-tested than just a collection of recipes. "Taste of Home All-American Cookbook" is packed from cover to cover with hundreds of gorgeous full-color photos, pro cooking tips and regional featurettes celebrating unique twists and fun facts on America's favorite dishes.

Of special note is the inclusion of 'Cooking Featurettes' such as an Intermittent sections featuring food facts, folklore, regional specialties, ethnic twists and other fun factoids. Chapter: County Fair Classics which is a fun bonus chapter filled with classic fair food including blue prize winners and other contest-worthy nibbles and bites. As well as Complete Nutrition Facts and Diabetic Exchanges. There is even a diabetic exchanges with applicable recipes.

Critique: Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook, "Taste of Home's All-American Cookbook" takes the guesswork out of preparing traditional down-home meals with sure-bet classics and ingenious tips and tricks to enable you to prepare the meals that grace the tables of families from coast to coast. Beautifully and profuse illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, "Taste of Home All-American Cookbook: 370 Ways to Savor the Flavors of the USA" is especially recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Taste of Home All-American Cookbook: 370 Ways to Savor the Flavors of the USA" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: For more than 25 years, Taste of Home (https://www.tasteofhome.com) has been one of the world's most popular cooking publications. Through the pages of the flagship magazine, popular cookbooks and online community, Taste of Home offers a friendly exchange of family-favorite recipes, cooking tips and personal stories from genuine home cooks. Because professional food staff test and evaluate every recipe in the Taste of Home Test Kitchen, readers are guaranteed success every time.

Chetna's Indian Feasts
Chetna Makan
Hamlyn
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9780600637677, $32.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chetnas-Indian-Feasts-Everyday-entertaining/dp/0600637670

Synopsis: Chetna Makan is the queen of Indian home cooking. First introduced to us on The Great British Bake Off, Chetna has since authored several bestselling cookbooks that combine her inventive flavors with a love of simple Indian recipes.

"Chetna's Indian Feasts: Everyday meals and easy entertaining" is her newest collection. In this compendium of recipes Chetna provides us with flavor-packed feasts designed to please a crowd. Chetna's accessible style and supermarket-friendly ingredients prove that you don't need to be an expert to entertain. "Chetna's Indian Feasts" provides a varied array of delicious dishes, grouped together by theme so you know exactly how to pair your platters. Whether this is a big celebration or a quick-fix family dinner, there are enticing yet easy recipes for every occasion.

"Chetna's Indian Feasts" is deftly organized in sections dedicated to: Breakfast Feasts; Everyday Feasts; Festive Feasts; Sunday Lunch Feasts; Barbecue Feasts; Friday Night Feasts.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photos of finished dishes, "Chetna's Indian Feasts: Everyday meals and easy entertaining" is delightful to simply browse through and make up menus with. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "Chetna's Indian Feasts" will become an immediately welcome, enduringly appreciated, and highly valued pick for personal, professional, and community library ethnic cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Chenta's Indian Feasts" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Chetna Makan (https://chetnamakan.co.uk) was born in Jabalpur, an ancient city in Central India. Chetna reached the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off in 2014, and her first book, The Cardamom Trail, is a celebration of baking with Indian flavours. She is the author of six other titles: Chai, Chaat & Chutney (2017), Chetna's Healthy Indian (2019), Chetna's Healthy Indian Vegetarian (2020), Chetna's 30 Minute Indian (2021) and Chetna's Easy Baking (2022). She has a very popular YouTube channel 'Food with Chetna' where she shares her creative flair for food. She can be followed on: Youtube.com/FoodwithChetna; Instagram.com/chetnamakan; and Twitter.com/chetnamakan.

Noods
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922754226, $19.95, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Noods-slurpable-noodle-recipes-Asia/dp/1922754226

Synopsis: Comprised of 80 authentic noodle recipes from Asia, "Noods" features the best of the noodle world ranging from ramen, to pho, lo mein, to pad see ew. With fifty 'slurpable' recipes embellished with truly beautiful photography of the finished dishs, each of which are as simple as they are packed with flavor. Paging through "Noods is (almost) as good as a culinary trip across Asia.

"Noods" can be considered as a culinary snapshot of the wide world of noodles, captured in four distinctive chapters: Stir-fried, Soups, Cold, and Instant. From the staples loved for years to contemporary creations that will have the family chef cooking them again and again, "Noods" recipes include: Pad thai; Dan dan noodles; Japchae; Vietnamese Hotpot; Zha Jianc Mian; Yum Woonsen, and so many more!

Critique: of particular interest to amateur, family, and professional cooks alike, "Noods" is a DIY compendium featuring the recipes for homemade noodles and basics, and along with plenty of vegetarian options -- making it a unique and prized addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Noods" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.69).

Editorial Note: A premier publisher, Smith Street Books has an online website showcasing there complete title list at https://www.smithstreetbooks.com


The Biography Shelf

Emperor Septimius Severus: The Roman Hannibal
Ilkka Syvanne
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781399066655, $52.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Emperor-Septimius-Severus-Roman-Hannibal/dp/139906665X

Synopsis: Lucius Septimius Severus (11 April 145 - 4 February 211) was the Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna (present-day Al-Khums, Libya) in the Roman province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the customary succession of offices under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of the emperor Pertinax in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors. (Wikipedia).

One ancient source called Severus the most warlike of all men who had lived up to that moment in time. The rise of Septimius Severus to power started the dominance of the military in Roman affairs and it was because of this that Septimius's advice for his sons was nothing less than: 'Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men!'

With the publication of "Emperor Septimius Severus: The Roman Hannibal", historian and biographer Ilkka Syvanne explains in detail how the African Septimius Severus achieved his position, how he won his wars and battles and how he used his newly gained power to secure his family's position. He reveals how he reformed the state and its military, and how he used these remodeled forces in wars of conquest to prove his worth as emperor to both the soldiers and the populace.

This biography offers the first complete overview of the policies, events and military campaigns of Severus' reign in the fullest detail allowed by the sources. It also explains how and why these contributed to the military crisis of the third century and discusses the legacy he left for his son, Caracalla, who followed him in both his good and bad traits.

Critique: Impressively, exhaustively, and expertly researched, organized and presented biography, Professor Ilkka Syvanne's "Emperor Septimius Severus: The Roman Hannibal" brings out of relative obscurity on of Rome's particularly interesting emperors in a particularly violent and politically unstable periods. If there is any message arising from ancient Rome and still relevant today it is that the game of thrones is a blood sport. A fascinating and informative read, "Emperor Septimius Severus: The Roman Hannibal" is enhanced with the inclusion of plates, maps, diagrams, a list of abbreviations, two appendices (Arrian and Roman Battle Tactics; Frontinus and Combat Tactics on Land), thirteen pages of notes, a four page Select Bibliography, and a twelve page index. While highly recommended as an addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Roman Biography/History collections, it should be noted that "Emperor Septimius Severus: The Roman Hannibal" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Ilkka Syvanne (https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Ilkka-Syvanne/a/2164) gained his doctorate in history in 2004 from the University of Tampere in his native Finland. Since then he has written extensively about ancient and medieval warfare and his publications include: 'The Age of Hippotoxotai, Art of War in Roman Military Revival and Disaster 491-636' (Tampere UP 2004), 'The Reign of Gallienus' (Pen & Sword, 2019), the multivolume 'Military History of Late Rome' published by Pen & Sword and the critically acclaimed Caracalla. He is the co-author with Professor Katarzyna Maksymiuk of the 'Military History of Third Century Iran' (Siedlce UP, 2018) and the 'Military History of Fifth Century Iran' (Siedlce UP, 2019). He was Vice Chairman of the Finnish Society for Byzantine Studies from 2007 until 2016. He has been an Affiliated Professor of the University of Haifa since 2016. He lives in Kangasala, Finland.

Man of the People
Robert Garcia
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
www.artepublicopress.com
9781558859630, $18.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Man-People-Autobiography-Congressman-Robert/dp/1558859632

Synopsis: Robert Garcia (January 9, 1933 - January 25, 2017) was born in the South Bronx of Puerto Rican parents. He became a US Congressman after serving in the New York State Assembly and Senate. "Man of the People" is Robert Garcia's personal memoir and follows his life of struggle and achievement, from the rough streets of the South Bronx to the cold muddy fields of South Korea, the New York Senate and ultimately the US House of Representatives.

Critique: Of special note is the Prologue by Bill Richardson and the Epilogue by Jane Lee Garcia. "Man of the People: The Autobiography of Congressman Robert Garcia" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Hispanic and Latin American Biography/Memoir collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Man of the People" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Robert Garcia was a United States representative who represented New York's 21st district (South Bronx). He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1965 and the New York State Senate in 1967, and then served in Congress from 1978 to 1990 and is listed on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Garcia_(New_York_politician)

Man of Treacherous Charm
Candace Wellman
Washington State University Press
PO Box 645910, Pullman, WA 99164-5910
www.wsupress.wsu.edu
9780874224221, $32.95, HC, 319pp

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Treacherous-Charm-Territorial-Fitzhugh/dp/0874224225

Synopsis: In 1857, coal mine manager Edmund C. Fitzhugh killed a drunken trespasser in his garden. Though Fitzhugh was under indictment for murder and only marginally qualified for the position, U.S. president James Buchanan made the stunning decision to appoint him to Washington Territory's District and Supreme Courts.

The blue blood Virginian lawyer had migrated to the California gold rush in 1849. After Fitzhugh's San Francisco law partner and others invested in a new Bellingham Bay coal mine, he moved north to open it. During the next ten years (including a few as Democratic Party chairman) he built and exploited his political network.

In addition to serving on the federal bench and managing the militarily strategic mine, he was a county auditor, became Governor Isaac Stevens' Treaty War military aide and Indian agent, and helped Stevens run the 1860 Breckinridge for President national campaign.

During the Civil War he returned home and was Confederate General Eppa Hunton's staff officer. After the war, he practiced law in a small Iowa town. Fitzhugh devastated the lives of four wives and six children, and eventually died alone in the fleabag remnant of a once prestigious San Francisco hotel.

Critique: Author and historical researcher Candace Wellman spent more than two decades researching Fitzhugh's life and contributions (both the good and the bad) to Pacific Northwest history. Although the court system played a large part in the region's future, "Man of Treacherous Charm: Territorial Justice Edmund C. Fitzhugh" is the first full biography of an early Washington Territory justice. This detailed and documented biography offers unique insights into the people, personalities, politics, and practices of the territory and the American West in the 19th century. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a Fitzhugh genealogy, an Edmund C. Fitzhugh chronology, twenty-six pages of notes, a twelve page bibliography, and a twelve page index, "Man of Treacherous Charm: Territorial Justice Edmund C. Fitzhugh" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library 19th Century American Biography collections.

Editorial Note: Candace Wellman (https://wsupress.wsu.edu/product-author/candace-wellman) won the 2018 WILLA literary award for scholarly nonfiction from Women Writing the West, a national organization, for her book, Peace Weavers. She attributes much of her success to the generous assistance of mentors and over 200 contributors.

David Bowie Rainbowman: 1967-1980
Jerome Soligny
Monoray
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781800960633, $39.99, HC, 704pp

https://www.amazon.com/David-Bowie-Rainbowman-Jerome-Soligny/dp/1800960638

Synopsis: With the publication of "David Bowie Rainbowman: 1967-1980", Jerome Soligny presents a uniquely exhaustive work focused upon Bowie's 1967-1980 albums and drawing on over 150 interviews with the musicians, producers and friends who knew Bowie best, including Robert Fripp, Hermione Farthingale, Lou Reed, George Underwood, Mick Ronson, Carlos Alomar, Trevor Bolder, Mike Garson, Woody Woodmansey and many, many others.

With an essay by Soligny on each album followed by oral histories from the most trusted and influential figures in Bowie's musical life, "David Bowie Rainbowman: 1967-1980" is the definitive guide to a singular and mercurial genius -- the Rainbowman himself.

Critique: This massive and detailed biography of the life and work of music legend David Bowie includes an informative foreword by Tony Visconti, as well as an introduction by Mike Garson and cover photo by Mick Rock. Packed from cover to cover with iconic photographs and with striking cover design by Barnbrook, the edition of Jerome Soligny's "David Bowie Rainbowman: 1967-1980" from Monoray publishing is a 'must' for the legions of David Bowie fans. While unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Rock Band/Musician biographies and histories, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "David Bowie Rainbowman: 1967-1980" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Jerome Soligny is a musician, writer and journalist based in Le Havre, France. Over the course of 25 years, Jerome spoke with Bowie many times, and interviewed him on numerous occasions for Rock&Folk magazine. He was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2019 and is described by Bryan Ferry as 'one of the great French authorities on contemporary music'. (https://www.discogs.com/artist/276977-J%C3%A9r%C3%B4me-Soligny)

The Face Laughs While the Brain Cries
Stephen L. Hauser, M.D.
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250283894, $29.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Face-Laughs-While-Brain-Cries/dp/1250283892

Synopsis: Stephen L. Hauser is an acclaimed physician and neuroimmunologist who has spent his career performing cutting-edge research on multiple sclerosis (MS), a devastating brain disease that affects millions of people worldwide. His work has revolutionized our understanding of the genetics, immunology and treatment of MS, and led to the development of B cell therapies -- the most effective therapy for all forms of MS and the only therapy currently in place for progressive MS patients.

"The Face Laughs While the Brain Cries: The Education of a Doctor" is a riveting memoir that follows Dr. Hauser from his unorthodox upbringing among the colorful cast of characters responsible for his development into a tenacious and innovative researcher, to the life-changing medical breakthroughs he has made against extremely long odds. Along the way, readers will learn the incredible stories of many of his patients, whose bravery, strength, and optimism in the face of a debilitating illness were instrumental to the progress that has been made in the fight against MS.

Critique: "The Face Laughs While the Brain Cries: The Education of a Doctor" is a fascinating and inspiring memoir that is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in style, organization and presentation. Of particular relevance to readers with an interest in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system diseases, as well as medical biographies, "The Face Laughs While the Brain Cries: The Education of a Doctor" is a highly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community/academic Contemporary American Biography/Memoir collections. It should be noted that "The Face Laughs While the Brain Cries: The Education of a Doctor" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Stephen L. Hauser (https://profiles.ucsf.edu/stephen.hauser) is a Distinguished Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, and Director of the Weill Institute for Neurosciences. His research as a physician-scientist has led to a powerful new approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a disabling neurologic disease. His work has received numerous honors, such as the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, the John Dystel Prize, the Charcot Award, the Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Research, and the Scientific Breakthrough Award from the American Brain Foundation.

Boyhood Among the Woolies
Richard W. Etulain
Basalt Books
c/o Washington State University Press
PO Box 645910, Pullman, WA 99164-5910
www.wsupress.wsu.edu
9781638640073, $19.95, PB, 150pp

https://www.amazon.com/Boyhood-Among-Woolies-Growing-Basque/dp/1638640076

Synopsis: Like many Pacific Northwest sheep herders, Sebastian Etulain emigrated from Europe's Basque country. He arrived in Yakima in May of 1921, convinced that hard work could overcome a lack of formal education and other shortcomings. It became his doctrine, and he advanced to ranch owner before marrying Mary Gillard Foster.

The Etulain sheep ranch lay among rock ridges, carved out coulees, rounded hills, and rich grasslands twenty miles east of Ritzville and almost seventy miles south of Spokane. Isolated and sprawling across nearly ten thousand acres, it included a sturdy ranch house surrounded by hay barns, a water pump house, corrals, and pens for sheep, goats, dogs, and pigs. The spread also had a milking parlor and creamery, as well as a blacksmith shop.

The Etulains adopted seasonal rhythms. For about one third of the year, their own abundant pasture grasses provided sufficient fodder. In the summer they moved most of their animals up to mountains around St. Maries, Idaho, to feast on rich grasses there. But from November to March the sheep and cattle needed purchased feed, and plenty of it.

Growing up on a sheep ranch afforded Sebastian's boys a magical upbringing with magnificent memories -- despite the demanding work. With the publication of "Boyhood Among the Woolies: Growing Up on a Basque Sheep Ranch", his youngest son, Richard Etulain, reveals the family's story, while providing a rare look at life on an early eastern Washington sheep ranch. He recounts endless chores related to supplying feed and water, lambing season, sheep shearing, keeping animals safe, and fighting one of the largest dangers -- grass fires. Richard also describes family activities, relationships with hired staff, favorite dogs, brotherly pranks and shenanigans, schooling and church in Ritzville, Basque history, and more.

Critique: A fascinating life story that is as inherently interesting and it is impressively informative as to what growing up on an American sheep ranch was like. Illustrated with black/white historical photographs, "Boyhood Among the Woolies: Growing Up on a Basque Sheep Ranch" is unique and especially recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library American Biography/Memoir collections.

Editorial Note: Glowing reminiscences aside, author Richard W. Etulain never fell in love with ranching. He became a town and city dude, an award-winning historian who specializes in the history of the American West. He has given more than two hundred presentations on western and United States historical, literary, and cultural topics. He is the author or editor of over sixty volumes, and his books and essays have won several major prizes. Recent titles include Thunder in the West: The Life and Legends of Billy the Kid, and Abraham Lincoln: A Western Legacy.
(https://history.unm.edu/people/faculty/profile/richard-etulain.html).


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Dogs Demystified
Marc Bekoff, author
New World Library
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608688166, $19.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dogs-Demystified-Z-Things-Canine/dp/160868816X

Synopsis: Dr. Marc Bekoff is an expert at turning cutting-edge science into practical, reader-friendly information. The encyclopedic entries comprising "Dogs Demystified: An A-to-Z Guide to All Things Canine" cover everything related to dog care, dog-human relationships, and dog behavior, cognition, and emotions, making this the accessible book that every dog lover should have.

In concise, readable A-through-Z entries, Bekoff covers everything canine, from aggression to pack formation to zoomies, and explores why dogs do what they do; exactly how to meet any dog eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose, and ear-to-ear to understand their world better; and how tuning in to a dog's unique personality leads to happier dogs and happier human companions.

Critique: An exceptionally well organized, comprehensively informative, and thoroughly user friendly resource for anyone who has (or who would like to have) a canine companion, "Dogs Demystified: An A-to-Z Guide to All Things Canine" by Dr. Marc Bekoff is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Canine Behavioral Science collections and supplemental currciulum studies lists. It should be noted that "Dogs Demystified" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Marc Bekoff (www.MarcBekoff.com) is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published more than thirty books and writes regularly for Psychology Today.


The Science Shelf

The Manga Guide to Physiology
Etsuro Tanaka, Keiko Koyama, and Becom Co., Ltd.
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781593274405 $24.99 pbk / $14.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Manga-Guide-Physiology-Guides/dp/1593274408

Synopsis: Student nurse Kumiko has just flunked her physiology exam and has one last shot at passing her makeup test. Lucky for her, newbie health science professor Kaisei needs a guinea pig for his physiology lectures.

Join Kumiko in The Manga Guide to Physiology as she examines the inner workings of the body while training hard for the campus marathon. You'll learn all about:

How the digestive system and the Citric Acid Cycle break food down into nutrients and energy
How the body regulates temperature and vital fluids
The body's powerful cell defense system, led by helper T cells and enforced by macrophages
The architecture of the central nervous system
The kidneys' many talents: blood filtration, homeostasis, and energy production

You'll also gain insight into medical procedures like electrocardiograms, blood pressure tests, spirograms, and more.

Whether you're cramming for a test like Kumiko or just want a refresher, The Manga Guide to Physiology is your fun, cartoon guide to the human body.

Critique: Illustrated with a black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) framing story about a student nurse studying for her make-up exam with help from a neophyte health science professor, The Manga Guide to Physiology is a thoroughly accessible and user-friendly guide to physiology, the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living body. Chapters examine how different bodily systems work, including the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the sensory nervous system, the musculoskeletal system, the endocrine system, and much more. The Manga Guide to Physiology is an excellent text for classroom use or self-study, and especially ideal for students with a keen interest in careers related to health care! Highly recommended especially for high school, college, and public library science collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Manga Guide to Physiology is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

Fundamental Research in High Energy Density Science
Consensus Study Report
National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
www.nap.edu
9780309694148, $28.00, PB, 148pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fundamental-Research-Energy-Density-Science/dp/0309694140

Synopsis: High energy density (HED) science has critical applications for society from fusion energy to sustaining the US nuclear deterrent, while also contributing to broader scientific questions such as understanding planets and their origins.

The next decade of HED science will be instrumental to growing our understanding and in the development of new technologies and processes. "Fundamental Research in High Energy Density Science" identifies key challenges and science questions for the field for the coming decade and proposes ways to address them.

Critique: A Consensus Study Report that is the joint project of the Committee on the assessment of High Energy Density Science, the Board on Physics and Astronomy, and the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, "Fundamental Research in High Energy Density Science" is enhanced for the reader with a four page Executive Summary, occasional illustrations, and seven Appendices. "Fundamental Research in High Energy Density Science" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college and university library High Energy Density collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and world. Our work helps shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine. (https://www.nationalacademies.org)

Biocivilisations
Predrag B. Slijepcevic
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781645021384, $24.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Biocivilisations-New-Look-Science-Life/dp/1645021386

Synopsis: What is life? Many scientists believe life can be reduced to 'mechanistic' factors, such as genes and information codes. Yet there is a growing army of scientists, philosophers and artists who reject this view. The gene metaphor is not only too simplistic but deeply misleading. If there is a way to reduce life to a single principle, that principle must acknowledge the creativity of life, turning genetic determinism on its head.

The term biocivilisations is the acknowledgement of this uncertainty of life, as opposed to a quasi-certainty of the human position governed by a narrow time window of the scientific revolution. Life existed without humans for more than 99.99 percent of the Earth's existence. Life will also continue without humans long after our inevitable extinction.

With the publication of "Biocivilisations: A New Look at the Science of Life", Dr Predrag Slijepcevic shows how bacteria, amoebas, plants, insects, birds, whales, elephants and countless other species not only preceded human beings but demonstrate elements of how we celebrate human civilization -- complex communication, agriculture, science, art, medicine and more.

Humans must try to adopt this wisdom from other biocivilisations that have long preceded our own. By rethinking the current scientific paradigm, Dr Slijepcevic makes clear that a transformation (from a naive young species into a more mature species in tune with its surroundings) will save us from our own violence and the violence we inflict on the rest of our living planet which, if unchecked, will result in the demise and extinction of our own species.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, and as fascinating as it is informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, "Biocivilisations: A New Look at the Science of Life" will have a very special appeal and relevance to readers with an interest in bacteriology, microbiology, evolution, nature and ecology. Enhanced with the inclusion of an two page Epilogue (A Report to an Academy), twenty-nine pages of Notes, and a six page Index, "Biocivilisations: A New Look at the Science of Life" will prove a highly prized and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Biological Sciences collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Biocivilisations: A New Look at the Science of Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781666638158, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Predrag B. Slijepcevic is a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at Brunel University London. He is bio-scientist interested in the philosophy of biology. In particular, Predrag investigates how biological systems, from bacteria to animals and beyond, perceive and process environmental stimuli (that is, biological information) and how this processing, which is a form of natural learning, affects the organism-environment interactions. He aims to identify those elements in the organization of biological systems that lead to forms of natural epistemology, or biological intelligence, that might qualify those systems as cognitive agents. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals across all areas of this book. (https://www.chelseagreen.com/writer/predrag-b-slijepcevic)


The Mathematics Shelf

The Manga Guide to Cryptography
Masaaki Mitani, Shinichi Sato, Idero Hinoki, and Verte Corp.
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781593277420 $24.95 pbk / $14.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Manga-Guide-Cryptography-Guides/dp/1593277423

Synopsis: Cryptography is hard, but it's less hard when it's filled with adorable Japanese manga. The latest addition to the Manga Guide series, The Manga Guide to Cryptography, turns the art of encryption and decryption into plain, comic illustrated English.

As you follow Inspector Jun Meguro in his quest to bring a cipher-wielding thief to justice, you'll learn how cryptographic ciphers work. (Ciphers are the algorithms at the heart of cryptography.) Like all books in the Manga Guide series, The Manga Guide to Cryptography is illustrated throughout with memorable Japanese manga as it dives deep into advanced cryptography topics, such as classic substitution, polyalphabetic, and transposition ciphers; symmetric-key algorithms like block and DES (Data Encryption Standard) ciphers; and how to use public key encryption technology. It also explores practical applications of encryption such as digital signatures, password security, and identity fraud countermeasures.

The Manga Guide to Cryptography is the perfect introduction to cryptography for programmers, security professionals, aspiring cryptographers, and anyone who finds cryptography just a little bit hard.

Critique: Illustrated with a black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) framing story The Manga Guide to Cryptography is an in-depth educational tool about the practice of cryptography - that is, making communication secure from spies or adversaries by transforming it into a difficult-to-read encrypted state. (It should be noted that the practice of cryptography is something completely different from digital currencies known as "cryptocurrency", although cryptocurrencies necessarily utilize a form of strong cryptography.) Chapters examine the mathematical foundations of encryption, symmetric-key algorithms, public-key encryption, and practical applications of encryption including hash functions, message authentication codes, digital signatures, public-key infrastructure, and more. The Manga Guide to Cryptography is extremely accessible, ideal for both classroom use or self-study, and highly recommended for high school, college, and public library mathematics collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Manga Guide to Cryptography is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis
Shin Takahashi, Iroha Inoue, and Trend-Pro Co. Ltd.
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781593277284 $24.95 pbk / $14.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Manga-Guide-Regression-Analysis/dp/1593277288

Synopsis: Follow along with Miu and Risa in The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis as they calculate the effect of temperature on iced tea orders, predict bakery revenues, and work out the probability of cake sales with simple, multiple, and logistic regression analysis. You'll get a refresher in basic concepts like matrix equations, inverse functions, logarithms, and differentiation before diving into the hard stuff. Learn how to:

Calculate the regression equation
Check the accuracy of your equation with the correlation coefficient
Perform hypothesis tests and analysis of variance, and calculate confidence intervals
Make predictions using odds ratios and prediction intervals
Verify the validity of your analysis with diagnostic checks
Perform chi-squared tests and F-tests to check the goodness of fit

Whether you're learning regression analysis for the first time or have just never managed to get your head around it, The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis makes mastering this tricky technique straightforward and fun.

Critique: Regression Analysis is a type of statistical modeling used to estimate relationships between variables - for example, calculating the effect of local outdoor temperature on a shop's iced tea orders. The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis uses black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) to make learning regression analysis accessible and fun! Chapter 1 presents a refresher on necessary mathematic fundamentals such as differentiation and matrix operations; Chapter 2 covers simple regression analysis; Chapter 3 explores multiple regression analysis; and Chapter 4 discusses logistic regression analysis. The manga pages tell a delightful framing story about a young maid cafe worker who wants to learn regression analysis, her brilliant co-worker, and the handsome but shy student who frequents their cafe, but make no mistake - The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis is at its core a detailed, in-depth educational tool ideal for classroom use or self-study! Highly recommended, especially for high school, college, and public library Mathematics collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Manga Guide to Regression Analysis is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).


The Parenting Shelf

Out
John Sovec, LMFT
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
www.jkp.com
9781839974243, $17.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Out-Parents-Supporting-Lgbtqia-Through/dp/1839974249

Synopsis: The coming out process for LGBTQIA+ adolescents and young adults can be a terrifying moment, not only for themselves, but also for their family and friends. When intense emotions are running the gamut of concern, shock, joy or even anger and acceptance, it can be tricky to process how you feel while giving your child the support they need.

Offering essential guidance and advice, "Out: A Parent's Guide to Supporting Your LGBTQIA+ Kid through Coming Out and Beyond" by counselor and therapist John Soveck is here to help you with chapters that explore LGBTQIA+ terminology, understanding the coming out process, effective communication strategies, talking to your LGBTQIA+ kid about sex, the parents' process of acceptance, and the family coming out process.

Importantly, this guide also covers a wide range of lesser-known orientations such as pansexuality and asexuality as well as dedicated chapters on trans youth and the often overlooked grieving process for parents with stories of lived experience throughout.

With a unique three step strategy, you and your family can support your LGBTQIA+ child's newly shared identity, create a stronger family unit, and move towards a more open, affirming relationship based on honest communication and understanding.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented -- especially for the non-specialist general reader seeking to know what to do (and why) when they realize that their child is gay, "Out: A Parent's Guide to Supporting Your LGBTQIA+ Kid through Coming Out and Beyond" is essential and unreservedly recommended reading. A core addition for personal, professional, and community library Parenting & LGBTQ+ instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, "Out" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: John Sovec (https://www.johnsovec.com) is a licensed therapist, counselor and coach who specializes in working with LGBTQIA+ teens and their families during the coming out process. John has written for Huffington Post, Medium and Good Therapy and appeared on the Ricki Lake Show, OWN, Shahs of Sunset, Raising Whitley, BRAVO, Fox News, The Washington Post, and LA Talk Radio. He is the host of OutTalk and lives in Pasadena, California with his husband.

Raising Good Humans
Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE
New Harbinger Press
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
www.newharbinger.com
9781684033881, $16.95, PB, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Raising-Good-Humans-Parenting-Confident/dp/1684033888

Synopsis: A kinder, more compassionate world starts with kind and compassionate kids. With the publication of "Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids", Hunter Clarke-Fields shares with parents and caregivers powerful and practical strategies to break free from "reactive parenting" habits and raise kind, cooperative, and confident kids.

Whether you're running late for school, trying to get your child to eat their vegetables, or dealing with an epic meltdown in the checkout line at a grocery store -- being a parent is hard work! And, as parents, many of us react in times of stress without thinking -- often by yelling. But what if, instead of always reacting on autopilot, you could respond thoughtfully in those moments, keep your cool, and get from A to B on time and in one piece?

With the help of "Raising Good Humans", parents will find powerful mindfulness skills for calming their own stress response when difficult emotions arise. Also featured are strategies for cultivating respectful communication, effective conflict resolution, and reflective listening. In the process, you'll learn to examine your own unhelpful patterns and ingrained reactions that reflect the generational habits shaped by your parents, so that you can break the cycle and respond to your children in more skillful ways.

When children experience a parent reacting with kindness and patience, they learn to act with kindness as well -- thereby altering generational patterns and creating a kinder, more compassionate future. With this essential guide, parents and caregivers can see how changing "autopilot reactions" can create a lasting positive impact, not just for your kids, but for generations to come.

Critique: Given all the stresses, pressures, and anxiety creating conditions of modern life upon the family, "Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids" readily qualifies as essential reading for any and all parents wanting, seeking, and trying to create a better world for their children -- and grandchildren! While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Raising Good Humans" is especially and unreservedly recommended for professional, community and academic library Parenting and Family Conflict Resolution collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE, (https://mindfulmamamentor.com) is a mindfulness mentor, coach, host of the Mindful Mama podcast, and creator of the Mindful Parenting online course. She coaches moms on how to cultivate mindfulness in their daily lives. Hunter has more than twenty years of experience in meditation and yoga practices, and has taught mindfulness to thousands worldwide.


The General Fiction Shelf

Petrochemical Nocturne
Amos Jasper Wright IV
Livingston Press
University of West Alabama, Station 22, Livingston, AL 35470
https://livingstonpress.uwa.edu
9781604893434, $22.95, PB, 350pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/petrochemical-nocturne-amos-jasper-wright/1143664760

Synopsis: The Mississippi River. HAZMAT. Boxing. Suicide by cop. New Orleans Saints football. Chemical explosions. The Angola prison rodeo. Chlorine gas ghost ships.

Through these symbols and themes we learn about Toussaint, (an African-American named after the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture) and his formative experiences in the Standard Heights neighborhood of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"Petrochemical Nocturne" is an indictment of what Toussaint describes as "that dystopian haunted carnival cruise line called America." as Standard Heights and the ExxonMobil refinery which has destroyed it supply the energy and refined petroleum products which enable contemporary consumerism.

A discursive exploration of environmental racism, southern history, the prison-industrial complex, police brutality, intergenerational trauma, and climate change, "Petrochemical Nocturne" is both paean and eulogy for the former enslaved communities of Cancer Alley, the erasure of an entire people from a poisoned landscape.

Critique: Although a work of fiction by novelist Amos Jasper Wright IV, "Petrochemical Nocturne" offers a clear warning about a very real and current environmental, social, political, judicial, and racial crisis in America. A riveting and thought-provoking read, "Petrochemical Nocturne" is available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95) and a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Literary Fiction collections.

Islomanes of Cumberland Island
Rita Welty Bourke
Addison & Highsmith Publishers
c/o Histria Books
www.histriabooks.com
9780980116458, $29.99, HC, 246pp

https://www.amazon.com/Islomanes-Cumberland-Island-Welty-Bourke/dp/0980116457

Synopsis: Lucy Carnegie, wife of industrialist Thomas Carnegie, dreamed of creating on Cumberland Island a home where her children would be safe from the smoke and soot-filled skies over Pittsburgh. Protected by the waters of the Cumberland Sound, the estate she built encompassed nearly the entire island. It was a perfect paradise -- until the outside world intruded. Stone by stone it all came tumbling down. Wild horses now crop the grass around the burnt-out mansion. Rattlesnakes nest among the ruins.

A century later, another family comes to Cumberland to walk among the horses and to accept what gifts the island has to offer: solitude, unspoiled wilderness, and wildlife free to roam undisturbed. Returning year after year, Rhamy and her parents explore the island and swim in the ocean. They picnic on the beach where servants once served champagne, shrimp cocktails, and crab cakes to the Carnegie family and their guests. They gaze at the chimneys surrounding Stafford house, all that remain of slave quarters that once housed plantation field hands. They mourn for Zabette, daughter of a plantation owner and his black servant, sold to a man who fathered her six children, then abandoned her.

Always, everywhere on the island, the horses graze nearby, unaware of efforts by environmentalists to remove them from the island where they have lived for centuries.

Traveling to the north end of the island, the family sits for a quiet moment in the church where JFK Jr. married Carolyn Bessette. Across the pasture is the shack where naturalist Carol Ruckdeschel has lived for fifty years and the porch where her lover lay dead, shot through the heart.

In the campgrounds, on the beach, at the Dungeness dock, wild horses graze. For now, they are safe.

Critique: "Islomane" is a word invented by writer Lawrence Durrell to explain the feeling one gets when one is on an island. "Islomanes of Cumberland Island" by Rita Welty Bourke is a carefully crafted novel that deftly blends historical family life fiction with an appreciation of the wild horses of Cumberland Island, Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island. Cumberland Island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness. As a novelist, Rita Welty Bourke is able to conjure up in the mind's eye of the ready the beauty of land, the horses, and the lives of her characters.

A masterful work of impeccable literary elegance, and a novel that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "Islomanes of Cumberland Island" is fully and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Islomanes of Cumberland Island" is also available in a paperback edition (9781592112043, $19.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

Editorial Note: Rita Welty Bourke (https://ritaweltybourke.com) is also the author of "Kylie's Ark: The Making of a Veterinarian", She has published over forty works of fiction and non-fiction in literary magazines including The North American Review, Cimarron Review, Louisiana Literature, Shenandoah, Witness, and the Black Warrior Review. One of her stories, Gunnison Beach, has been included in an anthology entitled "Naked" compiled by Susan Zakin. Five of her works have been nominated for Pushcart prizes.

Walking on Fire
Kathryn Crawley
https://kathryncrawley.com
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647424381, $17.95, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Fire-Novel-Kathryn-Crawley/dp/1647424380

Synopsis: Greece. Reeling from a failed marriage and spurred on by a burgeoning sense of feminism, twenty-five-year-old Kate accepts a position as a speech therapist in a center for children with cerebral palsy in Thessaloniki, Greece.

It is 1974, and the recent end of Greece's seven-year dictatorship has ignited a fiery anti-American sentiment within the country. Despite this, as her Greek improves, Kate teaches communication to severely disabled children, creates profound friendships, and finds a home in the ancient and historied city. From a dramatic Christmas pig slaughter to a mesmerizing fire walking ceremony, her world expands rapidly -- even more so when she falls in love with Thanasis, a handsome Communist.

Through Thanasis, Kate meets people determined to turn a spotlight on their former dictators' massacre of university students, as well as their record of widespread censorship and torture of dissidents. The more she learns, the more her loyalty to her country and almost everything she was taught in her conservative home state of Texas is challenged.

Kate is transformed by her odyssey, but when her very safety is threatened by the politics of her lover, she must choose: risk everything to stay with Thanasis and the Greece that has captured her heart, or remove herself from harm's way by returning to her homeland?

Critique: "Walking on Fire" by novelist Kathryn Crawley (who aptly draws upon her expertise and experience working with Greek children with cerebral palsy) is an impressive and deftly scripted mix of politics. romance, and danger that will hold immense appeal to readers with an interest in political thrillers and coming of age stories. An original and fully entertaining read from first page to last, "Walking on Fire" is unreservedly recommended for community library fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Walking on Fire" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Kathryn Crawley (https://kathryncrawley.com/about) received undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech pathology from Baylor University. Unforeseen events and an adventurous spirit led her to Casper, WY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Thessaloniki, Greece, where she worked in a center for Greek children with cerebral palsy from 1974 to 1976. She went on to establish roots in Boston, where she continued her career as a speech pathologist.

Forever Hold Your Peace
Liz Fenton, author
Lisa Steinke, author
Alcove Press
www.alcovepress.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639103522, $19.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Forever-Hold-Your-Peace-Novel/dp/163910352X

Synopsis: When their newly engaged kids ask all four divorced parents to meet each other over brunch, everyone RSVPs yes -- secretly hoping someone at the table will get to the bottom of the bottomless mimosas fast enough to say what they're all thinking: that this engagement, coming after a whirlwind romance between two people barely out of college, is too much too soon.

But at that brunch it's not the impulsive couple's decisions that end up under the microscope, as it turns out June, mother of the bride, and Amy, mother of the groom, certainly do know each other. They are ex-best-friends who haven't spoken since their explosive falling out more than twenty-five years ago! Reeling from their unwanted reunion and eager to shift the spotlight off their past as decades-old secrets and rivalries come to light, the two moms battle it out for the prize of Most Enthusiastic About This Wedding.

But when their history (and their present-day shenanigans) threaten to crack the foundations of the happy couple's future, June and Amy find themselves becoming unexpected allies in an all-hands-on-deck effort to get their kids (and themselves) a happily-ever-after two generations in the making.

Critique: A messy, complicated family novel by an author with a complete mastery of the kind of narrative driven storytelling that keeps the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end, "Forever Hold Your Peace" by co-authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is an original and fun read from cover to cover. While a highly recommended addition to community library comedic family and friendship fiction, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Forever Hold Your Peace" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666641448, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for twenty-five years and survived high school and college together. Liz lives in San Diego with her husband and two children. Lisa, a former talk show producer, now lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter, and two bonus children.

Cloud Girls
Lisa Harding
HarperVia
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063270282, $30.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Girls-Novel-Lisa-Harding/dp/0063270285

Synopsis: Sassy, streetwise Sammy is a teenage girl who is falling through the cracks. Neglected by an alcoholic mother, the problems she endures at school and home lead her into the hands of adults who don't have her best interests in mind. Failed by them at every turn, Sammy acts out, seeking attention from boys, then men, when what she wants most is protection.

Meanwhile, in a small village in Eastern Europe, preternaturally beautiful and naive Nico is about to turn thirteen and as her family falls upon desperate times, her father is approached to marry her off. Her family knows that the nice life this stranger seems to be offering Nico is too good to be true, but they and Nico hope for the best as she's shuttled across the border into Ireland, where she and Sammy find one another in their new home -- a suburban brothel.

As Nico and Sammy journey into this dark underbelly and out the other side, their friendship (and the unexpected acts of kindness they give and receive) form a potent bond.

Heartbreaking and breathtakingly beautiful, "Cloud Girls" exposes the failings of polite society and the cruelty that exists beneath its surface, yet reminds us that goodness and love can flourish in the darkest times.

Critique: Deftly scripted by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of memorable character creation and narrative driven storytelling style, "Cloud Girls" is a compelling read from cover to cover that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in psychological and friendship literary fiction. While very strongly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cloud Girls" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212216227, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Lisa Harding (https://lithub.com/author/lisaharding) is an Irish actress, playwright, novelist and screenwriter decided to change her life when she applied for the MPhil in creative writing at Trinity College Dublin as a mature student. She graduated in 2014, having pursued a tumultuous career as an actress until that time. SEvery day now, as a writer, she can produce work and practice her craft.

The Cyclone Release
Bruce Overby
Madville Publishing
PO Box 358, Lake Dallas, TX 75065
www.MadvillePublishing.com
9781956440089, 21.95, PB, 258pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cyclone-Release-Bruce-Overby/dp/1956440089

Synopsis: It's the late 90s Internet boom, and Brendon Meagher has just lost his wife Sadie in a freakish car accident at the edge of Silicon Valley. "The Cyclone Release" follows Brendon as he emerges from tragedy and lands in a pre-IPO start-up that promises astonishing riches.

Mo Gramercy, a bright and commanding colleague with her own deep secret, joins Brendon, disrupts his malaise, and takes him as her lover. The characters' careen toward IPO millions, their secrets suddenly converging, and both are shaken without mercy from bucolic notions of work, life, and impending fortune.

Critique: A deftly crafted and compelling novel of Silicon Valley that is truly impressive when considering that, "The Cyclone Release" author Bruce Overby's debut as a novelist, he has written an original and entertaining story populated with memorable characters and the kind of intense and narrative driven storytelling style that will keep the reader vividly engaged from cover to cover. Blending romance with psychological fiction, "The Cyclone Release" is a highly recommended pick for community library fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Cyclone Release" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Born in California's Santa Clara Valley long before it became the Silicon Valley of today, Bruce Overby (https://www.bruceoverby.com) both participated in and keenly observed the transformation and evolution of an insular place that many still fail to understand. His fiction has appeared in several literary journals, and his story "Bookmarks" won First Prize in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. He holds an MFA in Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and continues to live in Northern California with his wife Caroline.


The Historical Fiction Shelf

Starring Adele Astaire
Eliza Knight
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063209206, $18.99, PB, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Starring-Adele-Astaire-Eliza-Knight/dp/0063209209

Synopsis: Adele Astaire was a glittering, glamorous star, dancing with her brother, Fred, endearing herself to audiences from New York to London. But although she is toasted by royalty and beloved by countless fans, Adele Astaire has dreams of a loving husband and a houseful of children. And when she meets Lord Charles Cavendish, her wishes may just come true - but at what cost?

Ever since Violet Wood could walk she's wanted to dance on the London stage. Befriended by Adele, filled with ambition, she is more than willing to make the sacrifices it will take to becomes a star herself, and her rags-to-riches hopes are within reach. But the road to fame is never easy.

From the fast-paced world of roaring 20s New York to the horrors and sacrifice of wartime London, Adele's and Violet's lives intertwine, and each must ask themselves is fame worth the price you must pay?

Critique: An expertly written World War II era biographical fiction novel, "Starring Adele Astaire" by Eliza Knight is a fully engaging read from cover to cover and one that will have a special appeal to readers with an interest in well-wrought fiction featuring truly memorable characters involved with an inherently fascinating and entertaining storyline. While highly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Starring Adele Astaire" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Eliza Knight (https://elizaknight.com) is an award-winning author whose love of history began as a young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Novelists, Inc., and the creator of the popular historical blog, History Undressed.

The Lost Diary of George Washington
Johnny Teague
Addison & Highsmith
Histria Books
www.histriabooks.com
9781592112005, $34.99, HC, 598pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Diary-George-Washington-Revolutionary/dp/1592112005

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Lost Diary of George Washington: The Revolutionary War Years" by novelist Johnny Teague you are invited to travel by horse with the General, stay in his quarters, hear what he thinks, weigh upon his decisions, listen to his prayers, and fight by his side.

Sometimes he will sound redundant. You will realize this is because many of the problems he faced were repetitive. Sometimes there will be little action. This will bother you. Please keep in mind, it bothered him more. You will see him in anguish and distress. You will experience his frustrations.

You will grieve because of those who betrayed him. You will be a fly on the wall as he strategizes with his men. You will see some of those strategies carried out, while others were not executed. Even knowing the glorious outcome beforehand, you will see no possible way for victory to be had - until finally it is.

You will be surprised to learn that this stoic figure had an inner turmoil few have ever faced. In the end, because of his own writings, you will know General George Washington more for who he was, above and beyond what he did or what others have said. You will hear it from his lips, in his own words.

Critique: Although a work of fiction, in writing "The Lost Diary of George Washington: The Revolutionary War Years" novelist Johnny Teague has paid meticulous attention to historically accurate details. The result is a true 'you are there' experience for the reader. Especially and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Historical/Biographical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists tht "The Lost Diary of George Washington" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Johnny Teague (https://links.johnnyteague.com/home) is an author and historian, having earned five degrees, culminating with a doctorate in exposition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Spectacular
Fiona Davis
Dutton
c/o Penguin Group USA
https://www.penguin.com
9780593184042, $28.00, HC, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Spectacular-Novel-Fiona-Davis/dp/0593184041

Synopsis: New York City, 1956: Nineteen-year-old Marion Brooks knows she should be happy. Her high school sweetheart is about to propose and sweep her off to the life everyone has always expected they'd have together: a quiet house in the suburbs, Marion staying home to raise their future children. But instead, Marion finds herself feeling trapped. So when she comes across an opportunity to audition for the famous Radio City Rockettes (the glamorous precision-dancing troupe) she jumps at the chance to exchange her predictable future for the dazzling life of a performer.

Meanwhile, the city is reeling from a string of bombings orchestrated by a person the press has nicknamed the "Big Apple Bomber," who has been terrorizing the citizens of New York for sixteen years by planting bombs in popular, crowded spaces. With the public in an uproar over the lack of any real leads after a years long manhunt, the police turn in desperation to Peter Griggs, a young doctor at a local mental hospital who espouses a radical new technique: psychological profiling.

As both Marion and Peter find themselves unexpectedly pulled in to the police search for the bomber, Marion realizes that as much as she's been training herself to blend in (performing in perfect unison with all the other identical Rockettes) if she hopes to catch the bomber, she'll need to stand out and take a terrifying risk. In doing so, she may be forced to sacrifice everything she's worked for, as well as the people she loves the most.

Critique: Of immense appeal to readers with an interest in historical fiction and murder mysteries, "The Spectacular" by author Fiona Davis showcases her undeniable storytelling talents. Original, deftly crafted, and with more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Kansas tornado, "The Spectacular" is the stuff of which blockbuster movies are made and is unreservedly recommended for community library fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Spectacular" is also readily available in a digital book format ($14.99).

Editorial Note: Fiona Davis (https://www.fionadavisbooks.com) is the author of several novels, including The Dollhouse, The Address, The Masterpiece, The Chelsea Girls, The Lions of Fifth Avenue, and The Magnolia Palace. She is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School.


The LGBT Fiction Shelf

Wild with All Regrets
E. L. Deards
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647424879, $17.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wild-All-Regrets-Emma-Deards/dp/1647424879

Synopsis: A decade has passed since Lucas Connolly lost his best friend (and the only man he's ever loved) in World War I, but he still can't shake his guilt over Jamie's death. In fact, ever since losing Jamie, Lucas has heard his friend's voice inside his head -- confused about what happened to him, begging him for help. And now, suddenly, it's not just Jamie's voice anymore; now, a specter who looks and acts exactly like Jamie did before his death, and who is demanding answers from Lucas about what happened to him, has begun to haunt him.

Concerned about Lucas's deteriorating mental state, his friend Angela encourages him to move on with his life, and even sets him up with a co-worker whom she suspects is also gay. But Lucas is too consumed with the secret he still keeps about the part he played in Jamie's death to even begin to form a healthy connection with someone new -- and as Jamie's ghost begins to recover his memories and get closer to the truth, Lucas's obsession only deepens.

Ultimately, Lucas realizes that his only path forward is to first go backward --that only in examining his troubled youth, facing his deepest self, and shining a light on the shadowed parts of his past will he finally be able to set his old friend, and himself, free.

Critique: A deftly crafted story that is all the more impressive considering that it is author E. L. Deads' debut as an author, "Wild With All Regrets" will be of particular interest to readers of LGBTQ+ and Historical Fiction.

"Wild With All Regrets" by E. L. Deards is a particularly and well recommended read -- making it a welcome addition to community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wild With All Regrets" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Emma Deards (https://www.authorsanswer.com/interviews/emma-deards) grew up in New York City and earned her undergraduate degree at Barnard College at Columbia University, where she studied Japanese literature and biology. She was then accepted to The University of Edinburgh, where she completed her veterinary degree. She remained in the UK afterward, and since then has split her time between her day job as a vet and her truest passion: writing. Emma has authored a number humor articles for In Practice, a veterinary magazine, and was the recipient in college of two writing awards: Oscar Lee Award and the Harumatsuri Award.


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Whale
Cheon Myeong-kwan, author
Chi-Young Kim, translator
Archipelago Books
232 Third Street #A111, Brooklyn, NY 11215
https://archipelagobooks.org
9781953861146, $22.00, PB, 327pp

https://www.amazon.com/Whale-Cheon-Myeong-Kwan/dp/1953861148

Synopsis: A woman sells her daughter to a passing beekeeper for two jars of honey. A baby weighing fifteen pounds is born in the depths of winter but named "Girl of Spring." A storm brings down the roof of a ramshackle restaurant to reveal a hidden fortune. These are just a few of the events that set Cheon Myeong-kwan's beautifully crafted, wild world in motion in "Whale".

"Whale", set in a remote village in South Korea and follows the lives of many linked characters, including Geumbok, an extremely ambitious woman who has been chasing an indescribable thrill ever since she first saw a whale crest in the ocean; her mute daughter, Chunhui, who communicates with elephants; and a one-eyed woman who controls honeybees with a whistle.

Critique: Ably translated in English by Chi-Young Kim, "Whale" by showcases and documents South Korean author Cheon Myeong-kwan as a natural born storyteller and one with a cinematic, darkly humorous, and thoroughly original perspective. Replete with unexpected surprises and a wicked sense of humor, "Whale" is a riveting, rollicking, combination of adventure and satire of epic saga proportions by arguably one of the most original literary talents in international literature. While an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library International Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers that "Whale" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.63).

Editorial Note #1: Cheon Myeong-kwan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheon_Myeong-kwan) is a South Korean novelist and screenwriter. Upon publication of his first story, "Frankand I" (2003), he received the prestigious Munhakdongne New Writer Award. His debut novel, The Whale, published the following year, won him the 10th Munhakdongne Novel Award. His novels have been translated into Chinese, English, French, Thai, Russian, and Vietnamese.

Editorial Note #2: Chi-Young Kim (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi-young_Kim) is a literary translator and editor based in Los Angeles. A recipient of the Man Asian Literary Prize for her work on Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin (2011), she has translated over a dozen books, including works by Ae-ran Kim, You-jeong Jeong, and Young-ha Kim, among others.

A Greek Love: A Novel of Cuba
Zoe Valdes, author
David Fry, translator
Arcade Publishing
www.arcadepub.com
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781956763409, $24.99, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Love-Novel-Cuba/dp/1956763406

Synopsis: A free spirit who spends time near the port of Havana, where her friend Osiris is known as the "Greek sailormen's whore", teenager Ze becomes pregnant after a brief love affair with a captain's son her age. By the time she realizes her condition, the ship has left and the boy is gone.

In her father's Cuba, an unwed teenage mother is a source of scandal and shame and a threat to his ambitions in the Party. He disowns her and brutally throws her out of her home. Led by her mother, she leaves the city for refuge in Matanzas, a university town rich in Afro-Cuban culture, where her mother's sister, a music scholar, lives and where she will raise her child mentored by these three older women -- an aunt, a mother, and Osiris.

Years later, Ze's son, Petros, has become a world-class musician bridging Cuban and Greek traditions, while Ze has become a scholar herself. When a recording executive invites Petros to give concerts in Greece, Ze seeks permission from the authorities to leave the island and accompany him. Secretly (a secret they guard from the authorities and her father, who is now a Party stalwart) they both nourish the hope of somehow finding Petros's father and Ze's one great, lost love.

Critique: A remarkable, engaging, memorable, original story of human passions, emotional endurance, unrelenting hope, -- as well as one woman's resolute and enduring love for the father of her child, "A Greek Love" by Cuban novelist Zoe Vales is expertly translated into English for an American readership by David Frye. The result is a deftly engaging read from cover to cover and a novel that is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic Contemporary International Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted that "A Greek Love" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note #1: Zoe Valdes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zo%C3%A9_Vald%C3%A9s) was born in Cuba in 1959 and worked with UNESCO and the Cuban Cultural Office in Paris between 1983 and 1988. In exile in France since 1995, she has been a screenwriter and assistant director of the magazine Cine Cubano. Her bestselling debut novel, Yocandra in the Paradise of Nada, brought her international acclaim - she was once dubbed "the Madonna of Cuban literature" - and she has written many more novels, including I Gave You All I Had and The Weeping Woman, both published by Arcade. Winner of the Planeta Prize, Azorin Prize, and Premio de Novela Ciudad de Torrevieja, she received the Tres Llaves (Three Keys) to the city of Miami in 2001. She currently lives in Paris.

David Frye teaches anthropology and Latin American culture and society at the University of Michigan. As a professional translator he has published more than thirty books in translation, ranging from Heart of Tango (2010) by the Spanish novelist Elia Barcelo and the sixteenth-century picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes (2015) to the poetry of Nancy Morejon. He resides in Ann Arbor.

Dom Casmurro
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, author
Margaret Jull Costa, translator
Robin Patterson, translator
Liveright
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9781324090700, $27.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Casmurro-Joaquim-Maria-Machado-Assis/dp/1324090707

Synopsis: Originally published in 1899, "Dom Casmurro" is widely considered to be Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis's masterpiece and a progenitor of twentieth-century Latin American fiction. This exuberant new translation captures all the hilarious, maddening, and utterly compelling idiosyncrasies of one of Machado's most complex characters.

Bento Santiago, our charismatic yet exceedingly unreliable narrator, nicknamed by his enemies Dom Casmurro, has become a bit of a recluse in old age. He spends his days reading and mourning the past in a house built as a replica of his childhood home. One day, musing over the painted busts of Nero, Augustus, Masinissa, and Caesar, he is inspired to write his own story, a tale of equally epic proportions. Or so, at least, he thinks.

"Yes, let us begin by evoking a famous November afternoon, one I will never forget," he writes, recalling the day he fell in love with his childhood sweetheart, Capitu. Thus he transports readers back to his youth in a once fashionable neighborhood, when he and Capitu were neighbors playing innocently in the backyard. But after overcoming many obstacles, Bento's happy-ever-after ending proves short-lived when he is consumed by paranoia and jealousy.

At once oblivious and obsessive, Bento becomes a strangely engaging antihero as he mines the repercussions of his suspicions against the backdrop of a rapidly modernizing Rio de Janeiro.

Critique: Eloquently and collaboratively translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson (the same duo that sparked a Machado renaissance with their brilliant translations of The Collected Stories and Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas) and brimming with the signature literary charm of author Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, "Dom Casmurro" is a subversive and groundbreaking dark comedy from one of Brazil's greatest authors and now readily available to an American readership. A highly recommended pick for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dom Casmurro" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note #1: Machado de Assis (21 June 1839 - 29 September 1908) was born in Rio de Janeiro and, along with seven short-story collections, wrote such groundbreaking novels as Quincas Borba and The Alienist. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado_de_Assis)

Editorial Note #2: For her translations of Spanish and Portuguese, Margaret Jull Costa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Jull_Costa) has won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize four times as well as the Premio Valle-Inclan, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the 2008 PEN Prize for best translation from any language for The Maias, by Eca de Queiros (New Directions, 2007).

Editorial Note #3: Award-winning translator Robin Patterson lives in England. he has participated in both the Birkbeck and the BCLT literary translation summer schools and in 2013 was mentored by Margaret Jull Costa as part of the BCLT mentorship program. His translation of Our Musseque by Jose Luandino Vieira was published by Dedalus Books. Additionally, his translations have appeared in Ninth Letter, on the Bookanista website, and in The Football Cronicas. (https://wordswithoutborders.org/contributors/view/robin-patterson)

The Country of Too
Rodrigo Rey Rosa, author
Stephen Henighan, translator
Biblioasis
www.biblioasis.com
9781771965149, $16.95, PB, 120pp

https://www.amazon.com/Country-To%C3%B3-Biblioasis-International-Translation/dp/1771965142

Synopsis: Raised on his wits on the streets of Central America, the Cobra, a young debt collector and gang enforcer, has never had the chance to discern between right and wrong, until he's assigned the murder of Polo, a prominent human rights activist -- and his friend.

When his conscience gives him pause and his patron catches on, a remote Mayan community offers the Cobra a potential refuge, but the people there are up against predatory mining companies. With danger encroaching, the Cobra is forced to confront his violent past and make a decision about what he's willing to risk in the future, and who it will be for.

Following the Cobra, Polo, are a faction of drug-dealing oligarchs, and Jacobo, a child caught in the crosshairs, Rey Rosa maps an extensive web of corruption upheld by decades of political oppression. A scathing indictment of exploitation in all its forms, "The Country of Too" offers a particularly gripping account of what it means to consider societal change under the constant threat of violence.

Critique: Ably translated into English by Stephen Henighan, the narrative driven and distinctive storytelling style of novelist Rodrigo Rey Rosa raises "The Country of Too" from a basic crime thriller to that of a work of literary excellence making it unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary International Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Country of Too" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Born and raised in Guatemala City, Rodrigo Rey Rosa is the author of five collections of short stories and more than a dozen novels that have been published in sixteen languages. Among his works available in English are The Beggar's Knife, The Pelcari Project (both translated by expatriate American author Paul Bowles), The Good Cripple, The African Shore, Human Matter, and Chaos: A Fable. Rey Rosa has been awarded Guatemala's national literature prize, China's Best Foreign Book Award, and, for his life's work, the prestigious Jose Donoso Prize in Chile. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodrigo_Rey_Rosa)

Editorial Note #2: Stephen Henighan's translations have twice been longlist finalists for the Best Translated Book Award and once for the International Dublin Literary Award. He is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the short story collection Blue River and Red Earth (2018) and the novel The World of After (2021). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Henighan)


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

An Unsuitable Heiress
Jane Dunn
Boldwood Books
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781804835357, $41.00, PB, Large Print, 318pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-unsuitable-heiress-jane-dunn/1143106018

Synopsis: Do you realise, Corinna, just how hard it is for a young woman of irregular birth, without family, fortune or friends in the world? Marriage is the only way to get any chance of a life.'

Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father's identity has been a tantalising mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr Beech.

Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Traveling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades, handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England. And when she meets Alick's turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers may survive.

From gambling in gentleman's clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna's country naivety soon falls away. But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

Critique: Especially recommended for Regency Romance fans, "An Unsuitable Heiress" by novelist Jane Dunn is an extraordinarily, impressive, and entertaining story from beginning to end. Elegant, eloquent, and just plain fun, this large print paperback edition of "An Unsuitable Heiress" from Boldwood Books is a welcome pick for community library Historical Romance Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Jane Dunn (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/7608/jane-dunn) is also the author of Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens; Moon in Eclipse: A Life of Mary Shelley; Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell: A Very Close Conspiracy; and Antonia White: A Life. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is married to the linguist and writer Nicholas Ostler. She currently resides in Bath, England.

The Cowboy's Treasure
Jill Barry
Linford Romance Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444851151, $24.50, PB, Large Print, 258pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cowboys-treasure-jill-barry/1143106025

Synopsis: "The Cowboy's Treasure" by Jill Barry is the story of Katie, a young governess who leaves Yorkshire to take over her aunt's teaching post at a small country town school in America. Not long after she arrives, she meets Ben, a young cattleman who is also new in town. On riding in, Ben had happened upon an old man who had been attacked. Although unable to keep the stranger alive, he learned a secret from him: one linked to Katie's aunt!

Critique: A clearly gifted writer, with the publication of "The Cowboy's Treasure" author Jill Barry's skills as a novelist are on full display. An inherently interesting, impressively original, fully entertaining, and emotionally satisfying blend of romance and mystery, this large print paperback edition of "The Cowboy's Treasure" from the Linford Romance Library collection is highly recommended pick for both personal reading lists and community library Romance Fiction shelves.

Editorial Note: Jill Barry (https://www.jillbarry.com) has been writing for publication since the year 2000 and became a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association a few years later. Since then, she has attended numerous workshops, meeting with other writers, as wellas reading and writing as much as possible.

The Dolphin's Kiss
Dawn Knox
Linford Romance Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444851137, $24.50, PB, Large Print, 308pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/store/uk/search/Dolphin's%20Kiss

Synopsis: Born 1790; in Sydney, New South Wales, to wealthy parents, Abigail Moran is attractive and intelligent, and other than a birthmark on her hand that her mother loathes, she has everything she could desire. Soon, she'll marry handsome, witty, Hugh Hanville. Abigail's life is perfect. Or is it?

A chance meeting with a shopgirl, Lottie Jackson, sets in motion a chain of events that finds Abigail in the remote reaches of the Hawkesbury River with sea captain, Christopher Randall. He has inadvertently stumbled across the secret that binds Abigail and Lottie. Will he be able to help Abigail come to terms with the secret, or will Fate keep them apart?

Critique: Romance and intrigue combine to provide the reader with a compelling novel, "Dolphin's Kiss" by talented novelist Dawn Knox who writes with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling that fully engages her readers. This large print paperback edition form the Linford Romance Library series is and unreservedly recommended pick for the personal reading lists of Historical Romance fans and community library Romance Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Dawn Knox (https://www.facebook.com/DawnKnoxWriter) has been a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for 2017 and 2020, Readers' Favorite Book Awards 2018 and Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award 2018. Dawn has also written two plays about the First World War, which have been performed in England, Germany and France.

The Cafe at Beach End
RaeAnne Tahyne
Canary Street Press
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9781335652836, $30.00 HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cafe-Beach-End-Summer-Sanctuary/dp/1335652833

Synopsis: When Meredith Collins was a child, the little beach town of Cape Sanctuary lived up to its name. Spending summers there with her grandmother, Meredith finally felt safe and loved.

Now she's returning in disgrace. Her late ex-husband swindled investors out of millions of dollars and made Meredith a figure of scorn -- even though she knew nothing about his scheme.

But she still has the beach cottage she inherited from her grandmother and half ownership of the local cafe. It's a place to work and earn a little money. That's if her cousin, Tori, will let her through the door. Once, Tori and Meredith were as close as sisters -- until Meredith chose her neglectful parents' expectations over their bond. Now widowed with a teenage daughter, Tori isn't setting out a welcome mat for the woman who let her down so badly.

While Meredith tries to make a fresh start, she is drawn to a mysterious writer renting the cottage next door. Liam Byrne's kindness is a balm, though she worries he might not be so friendly if he knew who she was. But Liam has his own secret and a mission that will help Meredith confront her past -- and maybe, claim a surprising future...

Critique: The newest addition to novelist RaeAnne Tahyne's 'Cape Sanctuary' series (Summer at the Cape; The Path to Sunshine Cove; The Sea Glass Cottage; The Cliff House), "The Cafe at Beach End" is another original, deftly crafted, fun and heartwarming story that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Contemporary Romance fiction. Especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Romance collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Cafe at Beach End" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781335458162, $17.99), in a digital book format ($11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212658980, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note, As a novelist and storyteller, RaeAnne Thayne (www.raeannethayne.com) finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including seven RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.

Double-Decker Dreams
Lindsay MacMillian
Alcove Press
34 West 27th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001
www.alcovepress.com
9781639102822, $18.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Decker-Dreams-Novel-Lindsay-MacMillan/dp/1639102825

Synopsis: American consultant Kat is staffed on a six-month project in London and has two very small, very reasonable ambitions before returning home: get promoted to partner and fall in love with a handsome English aristocrat. No problem, right?

But work is a grind, and the British men she meets are a far cry from her royal ideal. Then one morning, she sees a man on a double-decker bus and just knows that he's the person she's been looking for. But when Kat finally musters the courage to board the bus and introduce herself, he turns out to be very different from the Prince Charming she expected.

Can Kat open herself up to a love that's not like the movies, or is she too imprisoned by her rom-com expectations? And just as importantly, will she be able to see that success isn't about landing a C-suite job, but rather living a life that's aligned with her soul?

Critique: Unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Romance Fiction collections, "Double Decker Dreams" by gifted novelist Lindsay MacMillan is a deftly crafted and modern love story offering readers with an interest in fun, memorable, contemporary romantic comedies.

Editorial Note: Lindsay MacMillan (https://www.lindsaykatmacmillan.com) is a bestselling author, TEDx speaker, and business leader. She graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College and was formerly a vice president at Goldman Sachs. Double-Decker Dreams is her second published novel. She wrote this book in London tea shoppes while watching double-decker busses pass by.

Unorthodox Love
Heidi Shertok
Alcove Press
www.alcovepress.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639103768, $18.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Unorthodox-Love-Novel-Heidi-Shertok/dp/1639103767

Synopsis: Twenty-nine-year-old Penina longs for true love and marriage, but being infertile in the Orthodox Jewish community means she's rarely matched with the cream of the crop -- or even skim milk two weeks past its expiration date. Matchmakers either set her up with men twice her age or those with serious mommy issues. At this point, she might as well wear a sign around her neck that says "professional virgin."

As if things weren't bad enough, her sister Libby then shares a terrible secret: her husband's failed businesses have already put strain on their marriage, and now they might also lose their family home. Penina is desperate to help, so when a secretly gay Orthodox Jew offers a payout in exchange for a fake marriage, it feels like kismet. Who needs true love anyway?

Enter Sam Kleinfeld. Rude, secular, undeniably sexy, and also... Penina's new boss. The last thing he wants is a relationship, especially not with a beautiful, smart-mouthed employee. But soon an attraction builds that they both can't ignore. Will Penina follow her heart and find true love, or will she stick to the traditions she knows best?

Critique: Original, funny, and of particular appeal to readers with an interest in a Jewish take on romantic comedy, "Unorthodox Love" by Heidi Shertock will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated rom-com fans that "Unorthodox Love" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666641462, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Heidi Shertok (https://www.heidishertok.com) is an Orthodox Jewish wife and mother of three. When she isn't writing, she can be found walking her eight pound attack dog, admiring other people's gardens, or hiking in high heels.

One Tough Cookie
Delise Torres
Alcove Press
www.alcovepress.com
9781639103782, $19.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/One-Tough-Cookie-Delise-Torres/dp/1639103783

Synopsis: All cookies are made with love -- even if twenty-seven-year-old Karina Cortes doesn't believe in the concept. For her, a simple life with no attachments is a good life. And her life is indeed good -- even though her biggest accomplishment is passing the GED exam.

Karina is able to secure an incredible and well-paying job at Singular Cookies, Inc., a small family-owned cookie manufacturing plant in Fort Pierce, Florida. And although the founders of the company treat her like family, Karina insists she doesn't need or want one. Not after her mother chose a man over her own daughter, pushing the young Karina to move out and make it on her own.

And she couldn't be happier with her single life, unlike her friends, whose lives revolve around men.

But work and play collide when she meets the company's hot new mechanic, Ian Feliciano, who stirs up feelings she tends to avoid. Karina knows she shouldn't date him, but she's strong; she'll never turn pathetic like her friends or, especially, her mom. And with a looming plant inspection and trying to break up the CEO's new romance, Karina has enough to distract herself.

As the inspection draws near and Karina battles her heart, she'll have to decide whether to continue holding on to deeply ingrained beliefs that keep everyone at bay, or learn that love is not as dangerous as she fears and in the end, it is our history (our singular recipe) that shapes how we live.

Critique: A simply riveting, fun and funny read from first page to last, "One Tough Cookie" is all the more impressive when considering that it is author Delise Torres' debut as a novelist. With a special appeal to readers of rom-com novels, "One Tough Cookie" is an unreservedly recommended pick for personal and community library Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted that "One Tough Cookie" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) as well.

Editorial Note: Delise Torres grew up in Puerto Rico, watching telenovelas and re-enacting scenes with her Barbies. Once she outgrew her dolls, she turned to daydreaming, and it wasn't until her late thirties when she finally put her own stories to paper, and her passion for writing was born.

She has a PhD in Food Science and former work experience as a quality assurance manager in the food industry. When not writing, you can find her trying to time-manage her life, singing, reading, and streaming shows and movies. She lives in Germany with her daughter and German husband. One Tough Cookie is her first novel.

In the Shadow of the River
Ann H. Gabhart
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800741723, $16.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-River-Ann-H-Gabhart/dp/0800741722

Synopsis: In 1881, Jacci Reed is only five years old when a man attempts to kidnap her from the steamboat her mother, Irena, works on. Badly wounded during the confrontation, Irena takes Jacci aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, a showboat tied up beside them. There, Jacci's actor grandfather tends to her mother and Jacci gets a first taste of the life she will come to lead.

Fifteen years later, Jacci is an actress aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, and largely contented with her adopted family of actors, singers, and dancers. Especially Gabe, who has always supported her, and the gruff grandfather she has come to know and love. Jacci's mother has been gone for years, but the memory of the altercation that ultimately took her life (and the cryptic things Jacci has overheard about her past) is always there, lurking in the back of her mind.

When someone on the showboat tries to kill Jacci, it's clear her questions demand answers. But secrets have a way of staying in the shadows, and the answers she craves will not come easily. Gabe only hopes they come in time for him and Jacci to have a future together.

Critique: A deft blend of historical romance and mystery, "In the Shadow of the River" by gifted novelist Ann H. Gabhart is a riveting and entertaining read from cover to cover. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), "In the Shadow of the River" is an especially recommended pick for community library Historical Romance collections. It should be noted by librarians that there is also a large print hard cover edition of "In the Shadow of the River" available (Center Point Pub., 9781638087878, $38.95, 500pp).

Editorial Note: Ann H. Gabhart (www.annhgabhart.com) is the author of many novels, including Where the Meadow Blooms, Along a Storied Trail, An Appalachian Summer, River to Redemption, These Healing Hills, and Angel Sister.

Planes, Trains, and All the Feels
Livy Hart
Entangled Trade
c/o Macmillan
www.macmillan.com
9781649373922, $16.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Planes-Trains-Feels-Livy-Hart/dp/1649373929

Synopsis: As the black sheep of the family, choreographer Cassidy Bliss vowed she'd do anything to get home in time to help with her sister's wedding and avoid family disappointment -- again. She just never expected "anything" would involve sharing the last rental car with the jerk who cut her off in line at the airport this morning. But horrible times apparently call for here-goes-nothing measures.

Driving across the country with Luke "life can be solved with a spreadsheet" Carlisle must be a penance for some crime she committed. Because the second he opens his mouth, it's all she can do to not maim him with her carry-on. But somewhere between his surprisingly thoughtful snack sharing and his uncanny ability to see straight to the core of her, her feelings go unchecked.

Suddenly, their crackling chemistry is just one more thing they have to navigate - and it couldn't come at a worse time. But after a lifetime of letting the expectations and needs of others drive her life, Cassidy must decide if she's ready to take the wheel once and for all.

Critique: A riveting, rollicking, and fun read from cover to cover, with the publication of "Planes, Trains, and All the Feel", author Livy Hart demonstrates her genuine flair for, and mastery of, the Contemporary Rom-Com genre. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated rom-com fans that "Planes, Trains, and All the Feel" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Editorial Note: Livy Hart (https://www.livyhart.com) has two children, too many Funko Pops, and a husband who's workin' on the railroad -- literally. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas where she enjoys long walks on the concrete and people-watching at malls so big they have their own zip codes. When she's not writing romance novels, she's bickering with her KitchenAid stand mixer, road-tripping to her sleepy Florida hometown, or sipping espresso on her Nonna's porch.

The Comeback Summer
Ali Brady
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780593440179, $17.00, PB, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Comeback-Summer-Ali-Brady/dp/059344017X

Synopsis: Hannah and Libby need a miracle. The PR agency they inherited from their grandmother is losing clients left and right, and the sisters are devastated at the thought of closing. The situation seems hopeless -- until in walks Lou, an eccentric self-help guru who is looking for a new PR agency. Her business could solve all their problems -- but there's a catch. Whoever works with Lou must complete a twelve-week challenge as part of her "Crush Your Comfort Zone" program.

Hannah, whose worst nightmare is making small talk with strangers, is challenged to go on twelve first dates. Libby, who once claimed to have period cramps for four weeks straight to get out of gym class, is challenged to compete in an obstacle course race. The challenges begin with Hannah helping Libby train and Libby managing the dating app on her sister's behalf. They're both making good progress -- until Hannah's first love rolls into town, and Libby accidentally falls for a guy she's supposed to be setting up with her sister.

Things get even more complicated when secrets come to light, making the sisters question the one relationship they've always counted on: each other. With their company's future on the line, they can't afford to fail. But in trying to make a comeback to honor their grandmother, are they pushing themselves down the wrong path?

Critique: A deliciously fun rom-com by a master of the genre, "The Comeback Summer" by novelist Ali Brady will also be of genuine appeal to readers with an interest in stories about family life in genral, and women domestic life in particular. "The Comeback Summer" is ideal for summer vacation reading lists -- and for any other time of the year! Highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Romance collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Comeback Summer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Ali Brady (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2262236/ali-brady) is the pen name of writing BFFs Alison Hammer and Bradeigh Godfrey. The Beach Trap is their first book together. Alison lives in Chicago and works as a VP creative director at an advertising agency. She's the author of You and Me and Us and Little Pieces of Me. Bradeigh lives with her family in Utah, where she works as a physician. She's the author of the psychological thriller Imposter.

And Then There Was You
Nancy Naigle
Griffin
c/o St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250794178, $18.00, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Then-There-Was-You-Chestnut/dp/125079417X

Synopsis: Reeling after falling prey to a Romeo con-artist who just waltzed away with the better part of her belongings, Natalie Maynard works closely with the detective assigned to her case, only the few leads have led nowhere.

Detective Randy Fellowes can't promise Natalie restitution, but he's determined to find the culprit and serve up justice. Married to his work, he's caught off guard when Natalie has his thoughts wandering to more than the case.

Natalie soon seeks refuge in the one thing she still owns -- an old fishing cabin in the mountains of Chestnut Ridge. She quickly falls in love with the town and the eccentric people who are teaching her so much about the area and its heritage.

Through these people, and the determination of Detective Fellowes, she rediscovers her courage, self, and a reason to risk love again.

Critique: Of special appeal to readers with an interest in deftly crafted, clean and wholesome contemporary romance novels, "And Then There Was You" by Nancy Naigle is a fun and heartwarming read from cover to cover. The stuff of which Hallmark Channel movies are made (and several of her earlier novels have been), "And Then There Was You" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "And Then There Was You" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Nancy Naigle (https://nancynaigle.allauthor.com) whips up small-town love stories with a whole lot of heart. Several of Nancy's novels have been made into Hallmark movies, and most recently The Shell Collector was adapted as the first Fox original movie to stream on Fox Nation.

Heart's Choice
Tracie Peterson, author
Kimberly Woodhouse, author
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
www.bethanyhouse.com
9780764238987, $29.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Choice-Jewels-Kalispell/dp/0764238973

Synopsis: After witnessing a wrongful conviction as a young girl, Rebecca Whitman (the first female court reporter in Montana) is now determined to defend the innocent. During a murder trial, something doesn't sit well with her about the case, but no one except the handsome new Carnegie librarian will listen to her.

Librarian Mark Andrews's father sent him to college hoping he would take over the business side of the family ranch, but Mark would rather wrangle books than cows. When a patron seeks help with research in hopes of proving a man's innocence, Mark is immediately drawn to her and her cause.

In a race against time, will Rebecca and Mark find the evidence they need (and open their hearts to love) before it's too late?

Critique: Christian historical romance fiction at it's very best, "The Heart's Choice" by romance novel and veteran co-authors Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse is clean, wholesome, fun, and unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of co-author Peterson and Woodhouse fans that "The Heart's Choice" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780764238970, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Tracie Peterson (www.traciepeterson.com) is the bestselling author of more than 100 novels, both historical and contemporary, with more than 6 million copies sold. She has won the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her avid research resonates in her many best selling series.

Editorial Note #2: Kimberley Woodhouse (www.kimberleywoodhouse.com) is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books.

With Every Memory
Janine Rosche
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800744663, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Every-Memory-Janine-Rosche/dp/0800744667

Synopsis: After a tragic accident robs her of the last nine years of memories, Lori Mendenhall comes home to a family completely different than she remembers. As her memory returns and past secrets resurface, it will take all of them to repair what's been broken and find a new future together.

Critique: Eloquent, original, memorable, compelling, "With Every Memory" by Janine Rosche will hold a special interest to fans of contemporary Christian romance novels. entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking, this paperback edition of "With Every Memory" from Revell is an especially recommended addition to community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "With Every Memory" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Prone to wander, Janine Rosche (http://janinerosche.com) finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her rustic romance novels in the Whisper Canyon Romance series and the Madison River Romance series. When she isn't writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students.

Her Only Wish
Shelley Shepard Gray
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800741686, $16.99, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Her-Only-Wish-Season-Pinecraft/dp/0800741684

Synopsis: Sheltered yet adventurous, Betsy Detweiler is on a mission to get out of Kentucky and experience new things in life. She's got a list -- a life list. What better place to start than with her friends in beautiful Pinecraft, Florida?

From the moment Betsy walks into the Snow Bird Golf Course to sign up for lessons, August Troyer is mesmerized. Betsy is a mass of contradictions -- beautiful yet awkward, outgoing yet unsure, joyful yet hesitant. She's like no one he's ever met before, and as the only child of missionary parents, he's met a lot of people.

As Betsy and August embark on a month of enjoying life to the fullest, they'll encounter several reasons to back off and play it safe. But playing it safe has its own consequences. This tender romance reminds us that life (and love) requires a fair amount of risk.

Critique: Of special and particular interest to fans of Amish romance novels (of which author Shelley Shepard Gray" is a complete master), "Her Only Wish" is the second volume in novelist Shelley Shepard Gray's 'A Season in Pinecraft' series and a welcome, unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Shelly's fans that "Her Only Wish" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). For libraries there is also a Library Binding/Large Print edition (Thorndike Large Print, 9798885788700, $35.99).

Editorial Note: Shelley Shepard Gray (www.shelleyshepardgray.com) is the author of more than 100 books. She is a two-time winner of the HOLT Medallion and a Carol Award finalist.


The Western Fiction Shelf

Beat The Drum Slowly
Sheldon B. Cole
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850314, $24.50, PB, Large Print, 186pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-the-drum-slowly-sheldon-b-cole/1136785771

Synopsis: Drifter Blake Durant was arrested and thrown into the Sunfish Creek jail in a case of mistaken identity. The town was expecting a visit from Tom Moran, who'd sworn to get revenge on its lawmen, and Deputy Billy Owen suspected that Durant was part of his gang, sent out ahead to scout the lay of the land. Then everything became even more complicated when some genuine owlhoots broke jail and committed a cold-blooded murder. A manhunt followed, as did the unexpected appearance of Moran's beautiful young daughter Lisa. And Durant found himself on the trail of the outlaws, because the only way to clear himself of suspicion was to bring back the guilty parties - either in their saddles, or across them.

Critique: Few writers today have a better grasp on the western action adventure novel than Sheldon Cole. A riveting read from first page to last, this large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library, "Beat The Drum Slowly", is an especially recommended addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated western fans and community library Western Fiction collections.

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

Mission to Treaty Mesa
Abe Dancer
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850215, $24.50, Large Print, 210pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mission-to-treaty-mesa-abe-dancer/1136785797

Synopsis: When a band of Apache Mescalero are forced from their homeland, Preston Kewle sees Treaty Mesa as a favorable, well-situated base for his ever-expanding life of crime. So he sets up a home and operates out of there - but finds he is tied to the place by a commitment that is more burdensome than he ever expected.

Eventually, the powerful General William Newton gets word of Kewle's activities, and for intensely personal reasons, steps in to find out the true reason for Kewle's presence in the mesa. He summons Jack Games, and issues him with an ultimatum - either undertake a rescue mission to Treaty Mesa, or spend the rest of his life branded an outlaw.

Locating and inveigling himself into a gang of owl-hoots, and riding across the Lizard Loma badlands to locate stolen money and supplies, is almost regular work for Jack. But staying alive long enough to find and successfully return what General Newton believes is rightfully his is more difficult, and Jack's rescue mission has an unexpected and violent outcome.

Critique: As a novelist, Abe Dancer has a complete mastery of the western genre. With the publication of this large print paperback edition of "Mission To Treaty Mesa" from the Linford Western Libfrary series (and originally published as A BlackHorse Western in 2020), is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to library Western Fiction collections and the personal reading lists of all dedicated western fans.

Editorial Note: Abe Dancer (the pen name of Carl Bernard), worked in higher education for 25 years. He is the author of more than 45 Black Horse Westerns, including Blackwater, The Border Search, and Teal's Gold. (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/1173498.Abe_Dancer)

Bullet for a Sheepman
Cole Sheldon
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850260, $24.50, PB, Large Print, 216pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bullet-for-a-sheepman-cole-shelton/1136785791

Synopsis: Trouble was brewing in the town of Longhorn, Utah. A band of nesters had moved onto land the local cattlemen had always previously claimed as their own. And they also happened to be the one thing no cattleman could stand -- sheepmen!

Judd Gunther, the biggest rancher in those parts, immediately declared war on the newcomers. Against so many hired guns, there wasn't much they could do to defend themselves -- until Shane Preston and Jonah Jones happened to pass through.

Taking a shine to nester's daughter Elizabeth Cooper (and an instant dislike to Judd and his two bully-boy sons) Shane and Jonah decided to buy into the war, in the hope of stopping it. But when the bullets started flying, they realized things were going to get a whole lot worse before they got better!

Critique: The stuff of which classic western films were made in the Golden Age of cowboy movies, this large print paperback edition of "Bullet for a Sheepman" from the Linford Western Library series is a fun read from cover to cover and an especially recommended addition to personal western fan reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

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

Kee-To, Iron Hand
Art Isberg
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850093, $24.50, PB, Large Print, 258pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kee-to-iron-hand-art-isberg/1136491098

Synopsis: Kee-To, Iron Hand is the one Sioux leader white soldiers have never been able to corner or capture. His daring raids and uncanny ability to avoid being behind bars have made him a priority for the cavalry officers to find and jail. But Kee-To has the blood of his fighting ancestors, and their mystical whispers to him, to keep him free. He would rather die than let the horse soldiers pen up his people behind fences under guard. A battle is looming as the Sioux prepare to journey to the safety of Canada. Can Kee-To prevail one last time?

Critique: An action-packed novel set in the Old West and with a Native American as the hero, "Kee-To, Iron Hand" is one terrific read from cover to cover. Original, deftly crafted, and memorable, no community library Western Fiction or personal reading lists of dedicated western fans should miss out on the thrilling and singular story that is "Kee-To, Iron Hand" by Art Isberg.

Editorial Note: An impressive and lengthy listing of western novels by Art Isberg is available online at https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/1681798.Art_Isberg


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Judas Horse
Lynda La Plante
Thorpe / Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781444851267, $41.95, PB, Large Print, 336pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/judas-horse-lynda-la-plante/1137491924

Synopsis: When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it to become a Judas Horse. When he's ready, you release him and he'll bring his team back into the corral - like Judas betraying them back into captivity.

Violent burglars have been terrorizing residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.

As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes - and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.

When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr's head - and any more blood spilled, on his hands...

Critique: Of particular and special appeal to readers with an interest in police procedural crime fiction, murder mystery solving women sleuths, and psychological thrillers combined, this large print, paperback edition of "Judas Horse" by Lynda La Plante is an impressively well crafted, entertaining, and highly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Lynda La Plante (www.lyndalaplante.com) is an author whose novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed PRIME SUSPECT won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer's Award. Lynda has been made honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer's Award 2000. Books penned by Lynda La Plante include: The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined, Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart, Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream, Blind Fury, Blood Line, Backlash, Wrongful Death, and Twisted.

The Dog Sitter Detective
Antony Johnston
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781399125895, $41.00, PB, Large Print, 264pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dog-sitter-detective-antony-johnston/1142990363

Synopsis: Retired actress Guinevere 'Gwinny' Tuffel is finding life hard after inheriting her late father's run-down house and discovering she's broke. But Gwinny is delighted to be at Hayburn Stead for her best friend Tina's wedding to a handsome Italian business magnate. However, before they get the chance to declare 'till death do us part', the husband-to-be is found dead in the library and Tina is accused of his murder. Convinced of her friend's innocence, Gwinny must uncover the real killer from a pool of larger-than-life suspects, while also suddenly finding herself looking after Tina's expensive and demanding saluki dogs.

Critique: With the publication of this large print paperback edition of "The Dog Sitter Detective", author Antony Johnston has created a novel that will be of special interest to readers who appreciate a cozy mystery featuring amateur murder mystery solving sleuths. A fun and carefully crafted read from first page to last, "The Dog Sitter Detective" is certain to be a favored addition to personal reading lists and a welcome and enduringly popular pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: the career of Antony Johnston (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Johnston) has spanned books, award-winning video games and graphic novels including collaborations with Anthony Horowitz and Alan Moore. He wrote the New York Times bestseller Daredevil Season One for Marvel Comics and is the creator of Atomic Blonde which grossed over $100 million at the box office. Johnston is a former vice chair of the Crime Writers' Association and can often be found writing at home in Lancashire with a snoozing hound for company.

A Contest To Kill For
E. V. Hunter
Boldwood Books
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781804835760, $41.00, PB, Large Print, 404pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-contest-to-kill-for-ev-hunter/1143065298

Synopsis: Desperate to try and rebuild the reputation of Hopgood Hall, owners Alexi Ellis and Cheryl and Drew Hopgood agree to host a realty TV baking show, spearheaded by their arrogant but enigmatic head chef Marcel Gasquet. Hopefully the ratings will bring in bookings to the struggling hotel and Cosmo, Alexi's antisocial feral cat, is hoping to get a starring role too!

Fiery and hot-headed, Marcel's antics makes for brilliant television, but off-screen trouble is brewing. One of the contestants, femme fatale Juliette Hammond, makes it clear that she will do anything to secure the winning prize - even if it means sweetening up the prima donna chef.

So when Juliette is found dead, all eyes turn to Marcel. Has his fiery French temper got the better of him or has someone else fallen victim to Juliette's devious ways?

With the reputation of the hotel in tatters and Marcel's liberty on the line, Alexi needs answers and fast. And the only person she can turn to for help is her old friend and private eye Jack Maddox. Jack's working his own case, but he can't refuse Alexi and he knows more than anyone that this murder could cost them everything!

Critique: Part of author E. V. Hunter's 'A Hapgood Hall Murder Mystery', this large print paperback edition of "A Contest To Kill For" from Boldwood Books is a classic 'whodunnit' murder mystery that plays fair with the dedicated mystery fan. With a plot that has more twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster making it a terrific read from cover to cover, "A Contest To Kill For" will prove to be a welcome pick for both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collection.

Editorial Note: Evan Hunter (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Evan-Hunter", whose original name Salvatore Albert Lombino, also writes under the pseudonyms Ed McBain, Curt Cannon, Ezra Hannon, Hunt Collins, and Richard Marsten. Evan Hunter was born October 15, 1926, in New York City. and died on July 6, 2005, in Weston, Connecticut. He was a prolific American writer of best-selling fiction, of which more than 50 books are crime stories published under the pseudonym Ed McBain.

Inside Threat
Matthew Quirk
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780063051683, $30.00, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Threat-Novel-Matthew-Quirk/dp/0063051680

Synopsis: When Code Black is asserted it's time to assume the worst.

The day that every secret service agent trains for has arrived. The White House has been breached; the President forced to flee to a massive doomsday bunker outside DC to defend against whatever comes next. Only the most trusted agents and officials are allowed in with him -- those dedicated to keeping the government intact at all costs.

Among them is Erik Hill, who has given his life to the Secret Service. They are his purpose and his family, and his impressive record has made him a hero among them. Despite his growing disillusionment from seeing Washington corruption up close, Erik can't ignore years of instincts honed on the job. The government is under attack, and no one is better equipped to face down the threat than he is.

The evidence leads him to a conspiracy at the highest levels of power, with the attack orchestrated by some of the very individuals now locked in with him. As the killers strike inside the bunker, it will take everything Erik Hill has to save his people, himself, and his country.

Critique: A solid suspense thriller of a read from first page to last, "Inside Threat" by novelist Matthew Quirk is the stuff of which block-buster edge of your seat movies are made. Sizzling with unexpected plot twists and turns, "Inside Threat" will have a special appeal to readers with an interest in espionage thrillers and non-stop mystery action/adventure novels. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212690751, $41.99, CD), "Inside Threat" is unreservedly recommended for community library contemporary fiction collections.

Editorial Note #1: Matthew Quirk (http://matthewquirk.com) is the author of Red Warning, Hour of the Assassin, The Night Agent, The 500, The Directive, Cold Barrel Zero, and Dead Man Switch. He spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crime, private military contractors, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs.

Macarons Can Be Murder
Rose Betancourt
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643859767, $29.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Macarons-Murder-Kentucky-Bakery-Mystery/dp/1643859765

Synopsis: Living in Paris, Kentucky, and having a sidekick cat named Pepe le Pew gives Marci Beaucoup's life a certain je ne sais quoi. Combining her love of baking and France, Marci opened La Belle Patisserie to bring her small Southern hometown a bit of French flair and lots of croissants. Everything is sunshine and macaronsat the bakery until her landlord calls to tell her she's selling the property.

Marci's relieved to hear that if the top bidder, an enchanting Frenchman named Antoine Dubois, gets the property, he'll renew her bakery's lease. Charmed by Antoine, Marci figures this development isn't half bad and sees a handsome new landlord in her future -- but then Antoine's estranged ex-girlfriend Kelly turns up dead in front of her bakery!

Everyone calls Marci's pastries "to die for", but nobody's actually died at La Belle Patisserie before. Antoine quickly becomes the main suspect to everyone in Paris -- as well as to womanizing detective Maverick Malone. Who else would have killed Kelly but the ex-boyfriend she was just seen fighting with on the day of her death?

Marci finds out from her landlord that if Antoine is arrested, his purchase of her building will fall through -- and her landlord will sell to developers instead, who plan to demolish the building and construct a strip mall in its place. Enamored with Antoine and with her patisserie dreams hanging in the balance, Marci is determined to prove Maverick and the rest of Paris wrong and find the true killer before Antoine winds up in jail -- and she has to say au revoir to her bakery.

Now Marci finds herself mixed up in the murder investigation, and she must find the killer before her half-baked theories result in her untimely death.

Critique: The debut novel launching author Rose Betancourt's new series of culinary themed cozy mysteries, "Macarons Can Be Murder" is a fun read from cover to cover and will leave the reader looking eagerly toward her next title in what promises to be an outstanding addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections featuring amateur female murder mystery solving sleuths. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated cozy mystery fans that "Macarons Can Be Murder" is also readily available in a digital book formalt (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Rose Betancourt (https://crookedlanebooks.com/rose-betancourt) enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. When she's not plotting her next mystery novel, she loves reading, painting, spending time with family, and listening to oldies. Living near Louisville, Kentucky, her writing is fueled by Diet Coke and dark chocolate.

The Island
Adrian McKinty
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group
www.hachettebookgroup.com
9780316531283, $28.00, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Island-Adrian-McKinty/dp/0316531286

Synopsis: After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they're deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it's up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don't trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

Critique: Picked to be a forthcoming Hulu original television series, "The Island" is a riveting read of the compulsive page turner variety. With a special appeal to readers with an interest in suspense thriller novels with more unexpected twists and turns than an Oklahoma tornado, "The Island" by gifted novelist Adrian McKinty is particularly and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading ists of dedicated suspense thriller fans that "The Island" is also available in a paperback edition (9780316531290, $18.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Hachette Audio, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Adrian McKinty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_McKinty) is the author of more than a dozen crime novels, including the Dagger and Edgar-award nominated debut Dead I Well May Be, the critically acclaimed Sean Duffy series, and the award-winning standalone thriller The Chain, which was a New York Times and #1 international bestseller. McKinty's books have been translated into over 30 languages and he has won the Edgar Award, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Ned Kelly Award (3 times), the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Macavity Award, and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

Death by Food Truck
Joi Copeland, et al.
Barbour Publishing
1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
www.barbourbooks.com
9781636095943, $14.99, PB, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Food-Truck-Joi-Copeland/dp/1636095941

Synopsis: Birch Tree, Maine, is experiencing a rash of deaths, all mysteriously linked to food trucks that frequent the Birch Point Lake Park. Mey's noodle truck was her ticket to a new life, until her ex-boyfriend threatens to take it away. Angel's new donut truck was doing great, until deathly rumors started. Shanice thought she had customer support when taking over her grandpa's potato truck, until one started complaining. Marisol's taco truck is a fixture in the park, until linked to a food judge's death. Could competition between vendors have led to this murder and mayhem?

Critique: Comprised of four cozy mysteries written in a round robin style by co-authors Joi Copeland, Cynthia Hicky, Linda Baten Johnson, and Teresa Ives Lilly, "Death By Food Truck" is a delightful literary treat for all cozy mystery fans and readers with an interest in Christian themed fiction short story anthologies. While highly recommended as an addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of cozy culinary mystery buffs that "Death By Food Truck" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781685924065, $39.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Multi-published and best-selling author, Cynthia Hickey, has taught writing at many conferences and small writing retreats. She and her husband run the publishing press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA's best well-known authors. They live in Arizona and Arkansas, becoming snowbirds with two dogs and one cat. They have ten grandchildren who them busy and tell everyone they know that "Nana is a writer."

Blind Man's Bluff
Baynard Kendrick
American Mystery Classics
c/o Penzler Publishers
https://penzlerpublishers.com
c/o W.W. Norton (distribution)
https://wwnorton.com
9781613164198, $15.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Mans-Bluff-Maclain-Mystery/dp/161316419X

Synopsis: The Miners Title and Trust is typically dead quiet, having gone bankrupt. Then, late one evening, the bank's blind president, Blake Hadfield, plummets eight stories to his death in the building's lobby. The only witnesses are the security guard and Blake's estranged wife, who were both on the first floor. Blake's son, Seth, is found drunk and dazed on the eighth floor, making him the prime suspect in what the police believe to be murder.

That's when Harold Lawson and Sybella Ford call upon Captain Maclain for help. Maclain doesn't think the banker's death was a suicide or an accident. He believes someone else was in the building -- and when more murders follow, he suspects the villain is still at large. Now, Maclain will push his powers of deduction to their limits to solve one of the strangest cases of his career.

Critique: Following the loss of his sight in World War I, ex-intelligence officer Duncan Maclain honed his other senses and, with the help of his two German Shepherds, became one of the most successful and well-known private investigators in New York City, picking up on the unseen clues that often slip beneath the visual surface. That's the basis for author Baynard Kendrick's mysteries starring Duncan Maclain. Introducing a new generation of dedicated mystery fans to a brilliantly gifted novelist with a complete command of the genre, "Blind Man's Bluff" has been newly released as part of the American Mystery Classics series from Mysterious Press and will prove to be an immediately popular pick for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Baynard Kendrick (April 8, 1894 - March 22, 1977) was one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America, later named a Grand Master by the organization. After returning from military service in World War I, Kendrick wrote for pulp magazines such as Black Mask and Dime Detective under various pseudonyms before creating the Duncan Maclain character for which he is now known. The blind detective appeared in twelve novels, several short stories, and three films.

Final Cut
Marjorie McCown
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639103676, $29.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Final-Hollywood-Mystery-Marjorie-McCown/dp/1639103678

Synopsis: Joey Jessop enjoys working behind the scenes. As key costumer for the next epic superhero movie, her role is to make others look good while staying out of the spotlight. That means making sure to be professional around Eli Logan, her ex and the First Assistant Director, and Courtney Lisle, Eli's newest love interest and the Second Assistant Director. But this isn't a problem for Joey -- especially when the movie is shooting at a gorgeous Malibu location.

All of that changes when Joey finds Courtney's dead body on the first day of principal photography and she soon becomes the primary suspect. When the press takes hold of the story and social media begins to run with it, Joey watches her well-ordered life behind the scenes become front and center for all to see.

But that isn't even the worst of it. In the midst of this newfound and unfortunate stardom, she must also contend with the reckless behavior of the movie's predatory director and producer, Marcus Pray, who seems driven to continue his practice of making another blockbuster hit while making sure his crew endures a toxic and potentially lethal work environment. As a result, Joey finds herself embattled both personally and professionally.

With tensions building on set and a murder investigation looming over her life and future, Joey takes it upon herself to clear her name. Will she be able to expose the truth before it's a wrap?

Critique: A carefully crafted and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Final Cut" expertly showcases author Marjorie McCown's genuine flair for original and the kind of narrative driven and unexpected plot twists that make for a riveting story that will be of particular interest to fans of the cozy mystery featuring amateur women sleuths solving complicated murder mysteries. While highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Final Cut" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666638073, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Marjorie McCown (https://marjoriemccown.com) has spent her entire professional life in the story-telling business, though she started out on the visual side of the craft. She spent more than twenty-five years in Hollywood working as a key member of the costume design teams for a string of successful movies that includes Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, The Firm, A Bronx Tale, Wag the Dog, The Aviator, Hairspray, Angels and Demons, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and X-Men Days of Future Past. McCown has a BA in Theater from the University of Virginia and an AAS in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Take the Honey and Run
Jennie Marts
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639103072, $28.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Take-Honey-Run-Keeping-Mystery/dp/1639103074

Synopsis: As a successful mystery author, Bailey Briggs writes about murder, but nothing prepares her for actually discovering the dead body of the founder of her hometown of Humble Hills, Colorado. Bailey grew up at Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch and was raised by her beekeeping grandmother, Blossom Briggs, aka Granny Bee, and her two eccentric sisters, Aster and Marigold -- which is why she drops everything to come home and help Granny Bee after a bad fall.

A broken foot doesn't stop her grandmother from ruling The Hive, her granny's book club, or continuing to prepare and package her bee-inspired products. But when Bailey's grandmother's infamous "Honey I'm Home" hot spiced honey turns out to "bee" the murder weapon and her granny is now the prime suspect, Bailey has no choice but to use her fictional detective skills to help solve the murder and "smoke out" the real culprit.

With the help of Bailey's witty bestie, a pair of meddling aunts, the feisty members of The Hive, and her computer-savvy daughter, this amateur sleuth is determined to solve the case. A malicious attack and an ominous threat reveal that someone wants Bailey to butt out of the investigation, but there's no way she's backing down. She must use her skills to uncover the truth and catch the clever culprit before her grandmother ends up bee-hind bars.

Critique: An impressively well crafted and distinctively original cozy mystery by an author with a complete mastery of the genre, "Take the Honey and Run" is a novelist Jennie Marts' Bee Keeping Mystery and a thoroughly fun read from cover to cover. While highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated cosy mystery fans that "Take the Honey and Run" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666636963, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Jennie Marts (https://jenniemarts.com) is an author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. She loves genre-mashups, and her books range from western romance to cozy mysteries but all have the charm and appeal of quirky small-town life.

How the Murder Crumbles
Debra Sennefelder
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639102808, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Crumbles-Cookie-Shop-Mystery/dp/1639102809

Synopsis: Wingate, Connecticut, is famed as one of the top ten shopping destinations in the state, and home to Mallory Monroe's beloved Cookie Shop -- a place where patrons are greeted with the heavenly aroma of freshly baked cookies that are as beautifully decorated as they are insanely delicious.

But things aren't going so smoothly for Mallory. Her two employees are a disaster in the kitchen, she catches her boyfriend with another woman, and she's seen having a fierce argument with food blogger Beatrice Wright, who accuses Mallory of stealing her cookie recipe. Then Beatrice turns up dead in her kitchen, flour outlining her body and a bloodied marble rolling pin nearby. Mallory immediately becomes suspect number one, her sales plummet, and she desperately tries to clear her name -- but that's not the only murder the killer is baking up.

Critique: With the publication of "How the Murder Crumbles, novelist Debra Sennefelder has cooked up another a perfect recipe for cozy mystery fans replete with endearing characters, a picture-perfect evocation of small-town life, and a quaint sweets shop. And just when things get a little too comfy, there's always a murder or two for good measure! A fun read from first page to last, "How the Murder Crumbles" is a top pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fans with an interest in amateur female murder mystery solving sleuths that "How the Murder Crumbles" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Debra Sennefelder (http://debrasennefelder.com) is the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series. When she's not writing, she's either baking or reading.

Death Knells and Wedding Bells
Eva Gates
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102723, $28.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Knells-Wedding-Lighthouse-Library-Mystery/dp/1639102728

Synopsis: Lucy and Connor planned for the perfect Outer Banks wedding -- and that's exactly what they got. Aside from typical rumblings of familial tensions, the late spring weather allowed for a beautiful day, the food was delicious, and everyone had a good time, until one of the guests goes missing.

Before Lucy can look forward to the rest of her life in Nags Head and the work she does at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, she gets a phone call from her boss, Bertie James. Eddie, Bertie's friend, never made it back home after the reception. Initially, Lucy doesn't think anything of it -- sometimes wedding guests simply have a little too much fun. But this quickly turns to something darker when she discovers the body of a wedding guest strangled in a locked closet, and the police immediately start asking questions about Eddie. Lucy must figure out if the two are connected before it's too late -- both for Bertie's friend and the rest of her wedding guests.

With the Classic Novel Reading Club reading the Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Lucy wonders if the master of the macabre can assist her investigation or if the hunt for the killer's identity will remain as nothing more than an unsolved mystery.

Critique: The newest addition to author Eva Gates' 'A Lighthouse Library Mystery' cozy mystery series, "Death Knells and Wedding Bells" is a riveting read that is as original as it is fun and a 'must' for all dedicated fans of amateur women sleuths who must solve an embedded plot twister of a murder mystery. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition for community library Murder/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of Eva Gates fans that "Death Knells and Wedding Bells" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666634549, $59.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Eva Gates (https://cozy-mystery.com/Eva-Gates.html) began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters, with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Now she has more than twenty novels under her belt in the mystery genre, published under the name Vicki Delany. She lives in Ontario, "Death Knells and Wedding Bells" is her tenth Lighthouse Library mystery.

A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality
Kate Khavari
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102785, $27.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Botanists-Flowers-Fatality-Saffron-Everleigh/dp/1639102787

Synopsis: 1920s London isn't the ideal place for a brilliant woman with lofty ambitions. But research assistant Saffron Everleigh is determined to beat the odds in a male-dominated field at the University College of London. Saffron embarks on her first research study alongside the insufferably charming Dr. Michael Lee, traveling the countryside with him in response to reports of poisonings. But when Detective Inspector Green is given a case with a set of unusual clues, he asks for Saffron's assistance.

The victims, all women, received bouquets filled with poisonous flowers. Digging deeper, Saffron discovers that the bouquets may be more than just unpleasant flowers -- there may be a hidden message within them, revealed through the use of the old Victorian practice of floriography. A dire message, indeed, as each woman who received the flowers has turned up dead.

Alongside Dr. Lee and her best friend, Elizabeth, Saffron trails a group of suspects through a dark jazz club, a lavish country estate, and a glittering theatre, delving deeper into a part of society she thought she'd left behind forever.

Will Saffron be able to catch the killer before they send their next bouquet, or will she find herself with fatal flowers of her own in Kate Khavari's second intoxicating installment.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and deftly crafted Saffron Everleigh mystery by talented novelist Kate Khavari, "A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality" will have a special appeal to readers with an interest in historical mysteries and amateur female sleuths. An ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated cozy mystery fans that 'A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666634006, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Kate Khavari (https://www.kkhavari.com) is the author of fiction ranging from historical mysteries to high fantasy epics. She has her parents to thank for her fascination for historical mysteries, as she spent the majority of her childhood memorizing Sherlock Holmes's and Poirot's greatest quips. A former teacher, Kate has a deep appreciation for research and creativity, not to mention the multitasking ability she now relies on as an author and stay at home mother to her toddler son. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her husband, son, and a lovely garden that contains absolutely no poisonous plants.

Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River
Emily J. Edwards
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102686, $26.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Viviana-Valentine-River-Friday-Mystery/dp/163910268X

Synopsis: 1950, New York. Once again, Viviana Valentine (Girl Friday turned partner to New York's top investigator, Tommy Fortuna) finds herself drawn into a sordid new case when Buster Beacon, a wealthy man of science, beckons them to a party at his mansion north of the city. There, Buster entertains blue-blooded friends as well as investors keen to make a dollar on the many advancements made in his home laboratory, but he's been hearing strange noises in the night coming from his expansive estate, and he doesn't know who to trust.

Once Viviana and Tommy arrive, the party is snowed in. And suddenly, there is a dead body and nowhere to hide. Who killed the disguised federal agent in their midst? And how have details from the top-secret lab become public? Once chomping at the bit to be brought into this mysterious life, Viviana wonders if she's ready for the risks that come with the territory - risks that rise treacherously high as the killer targets the next victim.

Critique: Set in the gritty, noir world of 1950 New York City, the latest addition to author Emily J. Edwards's 'A Girl Friday' mystery series, "Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River" packs all the elements cozy mystery fans have come to expect in the form of 'an irresistibly clever protagonist, a posh cast of heroes and villains, and a murder case that could defy even the most seasoned investigator'. A fun read with a narrative driven, plot twisting, and inherently fascinating mystery that plays fair with the reader, "Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River" is a highly regarded and highly recommended pick for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666633337, $22.99, CD) -- and it will be also become available in a paperback edition in October 2023 (9781639105175, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Emily J. Edwards (https://www.msemilyedwards.com) earned her degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and took the long road to becoming an author, working for over a decade as a wine and spirits journalist, radio producer, and podcaster.

The Long Way Back
Nicole Baart
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781982115104, $17.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Long-Way-Back-Novel/dp/1982115106

Synopsis: Mother and daughter Charlie and Eva never sought social media fame, but when a stunning photo of Eva went viral, fame found them. Now, after more than two years documenting life on the road in their vintage Airstream trailer, the duo has temporarily settled on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Eva is happily finishing her senior year of high school and applying to college, but Charlie longs for the adventures they left behind.

When Eva goes missing less than a week before her graduation, it's Charlie who is immediately suspected of foul play -- not just by their fans, but also by the police and the FBI. As a fight about one more road trip comes to light, and the truth about their relationship is questioned, Charlie realizes the rosy facade they portrayed online hid a complicated and potentially dangerous reality. Now, to clear her name and find out what has happened to her daughter, she'll have to confront her own role in Eva's disappearance -- and whether she knows her daughter at all.

Critique: An original novel in which author Nicole Baart deftly blends family life fiction with elements of a suspenseful mystery thriller, "The Long Way Back" is well crafted and absorbing read from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction and Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Long Way Back" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797160092, $38.95, CD).

Editorial Note: Nicole Baart (www.NicoleBaart.com) is the author of ten novels, including Everything We Didn't Say. She is also the cofounder of a nonprofit and mother of five, who lives in Iowa with her family.

Relentless Melt
Jeremy P. Bushnell
Melville House
46 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
https://www.mhpbooks.com
9781685890322, $18.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Relentless-Melt-Jeremy-P-Bushnell/dp/1685890326

Synopsis: The year is 1909, and Artie Quick (an ambitious, unorthodox and inquisitive young Bostonian) wants to learn about crime. By day she holds down a job as a salesgirl in women's accessories at Filene's; by night she disguises herself as a man to pursue studies in Criminal Investigation at the YMCA's Evening Institute for Younger Men.

Eager to put theory into practice, Artie sets out in search of something to investigate. She's joined by her pal Theodore, an upper-crust young bachelor whose interest in Boston's occult counterculture has drawn him into the study of magic. Together, their journey into mystery begins on Boston Common (where the tramps and the groundskeepers swap rumors about unearthly screams and other unsettling anomalies) but soon Artie and Theodore uncover a series of violent abductions that take them on an adventure from the highest corridors of power to the depths of an abandoned mass transit tunnel, its excavation suspiciously never completed.

Will Theodore ever manage to pull off a successful spell? Is Artie really wearing that men's suit just for disguise or is there something more to it? And what chance do two mixed-up young people stand up against the greatest horror Boston has ever known, an ancient, deranged evil that feeds on society's most vulnerable?

Critique: With a particular appeal to readers with an interest in historical fantasy, cozy mystery, and women sleuths in a male dominated society, "Relentless Melt" by Jeremy P Bushnell is original, entertaining, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Relentless Melt" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.00).

Editorial Note: Jeremy P. Bushnell (http://jeremypbushnell.com) is the author of two earlier novels with Melville House: The Weirdness and The Insides. He teaches writing at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also the cofounder of Nonmachinable, a distributor of optically interesting zines and artists' books.

What the Neighbors Saw
Melissa Adelman
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250876560, $28.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/What-Neighbors-Saw-Melissa-Adelman/dp/1250876567

Synopsis: When Alexis and her husband Sam buy a neglected Cape Cod house in an exclusive DC suburb, they are ecstatic. Sam is on the cusp of making partner at his law firm, Alexis is pregnant with their second child, and their glamorous neighbors welcome the couple with open arms. Things are looking up, and Alexis believes she can finally leave her troubled past behind.

But the neighborhood's picture-perfect image is shattered when their neighbor Teddy (a handsome, successful father of three) is found dead on the steep banks of the Potomac River. The community is shaken, and as the police struggle to identify and apprehend the killer, tension in the neighborhood mounts and long-buried secrets start to emerge.

In the midst of the turmoil, Alexis takes comfort in her budding friendship with Teddy's beautiful and charismatic widow, Blair. But as the women grow closer, the neighborhood only becomes more divided. And when the unthinkable truth behind Teddy's murder is finally uncovered, both Blair and Alexis must reexamine their friendship and decide how far they are willing to go to preserve the lives they have so carefully constructed.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "What the Neighbors Saw" is author Melissa Adelman's debut as a published novelist, this deftly crafted murder mystery is a simply riveting read from first page to last. Certain to be of special and particular interest to readers with an interest in 'whodunnit' thrillers, "What the Neighbors Saw" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "What the Neighbors Saw" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and will leave mystery buffs looking eagerly toward her next deftly scripted novel.

Editorial Note: Melissa Adelman (https://us.macmillan.com/author/melissaadelman) was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, a first-generation American with parents from Haiti and Chile. When she is not traveling the world for her job as an international development economist, her favorite place to be is at home, an old house full of surprises just outside D.C. Melissa lives with her husband, two energetic little boys, and a long-suffering shih tzu. She holds a Ph.D. and B.A. in economics from Harvard University.

Flop Dead Gorgeous
David Rosenfelt
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250828903, $28.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Flop-Dead-Gorgeous-Carpenter-Mystery/dp/1250828902

Synopsis: Retired lawyer Andy Carpenter remembers every dog that's come through the Tara Foundation's doors, but the most well-known alum of the dog rescue organization that Andy founded in Paterson, New Jersey, may be Mamie. Adopted by famous actress Jenny Nichols (Andy's high school girlfriend) the miniature French poodle is now practically a starlet in her own right.

Andy doesn't hold it against his friend. In fact, he and his wife, Laurie, have dinner with Jenny while she's in town filming her next big hit. But after an eventful meal, there's a plot twist the next morning that none of them see coming: Jenny's costar is found dead, a knife in his back. It's not long before Jenny is arrested for the murder and finds herself in need of Andy's legal services.

While Mamie becomes reacquainted with Tara, Andy's golden retriever, Andy digs into the lives of the rich and famous to prove his old friend innocent of murder.

Critique: The latest Andy Carpenter cozy mystery by novelist David Rosenfelt, "Flop Dead Gorgeous" is a fun read and a 'must' for all dedicated mystery buffs who appreciate a deftly scripted 'whodunnit' story with many an unexpected plot twist and turn. A thoroughly entertaining read by an author with a full mastery of the genre, "Flop Dead Gorgeous" is a top pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of David Rosenfelt fans that "Flop Dead Gorgeous" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250325303, $29.99, CD).

Editorial Note: David Rosenfelt (https://davidrosenfelt.com), was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. "Open And Shut" was his first novel; "First Degree," his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly.

The Chateau
Jaclyn Goldis
Emily Bestler Books
https://www.emilybestlerbooks.com
c/o Simon and Schuster
www.simonandschuster.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9781668013014, $27.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chateau-Novel-Jaclyn-Goldis/dp/1668013010

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Chateau" by novelist Jaclyn Goldis we are welcomed to picturesque Provence, where the Lady of the Chateau, Seraphine Demargelasse, has opened its elegant doors to her granddaughter Darcy and her three friends.

Twenty years earlier, the four girlfriends studied abroad together in France and visited the old woman on the weekends, creating the group's deep bond. But why this sudden invitation?

Amid winery tours, market visits, and fancy dinners overlooking olive groves and lavender fields, it becomes clear that each woman has a hidden reason for returning to the estate after all these years. Then, following a wild evening's celebration, Seraphine is found brutally murdered.

At the same time a sinister Instagram account pops up, exposing snapshots from the friends' intimate moments at the chateau, while threatening to reveal more. Can they discover who is behind this lethal act of violence before it is too late for them to avoid suffering a similar fate?

Critique: An impressively original and plot twisting novel of 'sex, lies and secrets', Jaclyn Goldis' latest novel, "The Chateau" will be of particular appeal to readers with an interest in psychological suspense thrillers. While also readily available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781668013021, $17.00), a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797156125, $39.99, CD), "The Chateau" is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Jaclyn Goldis (https://www.jaclyngoldis.com) is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and NYU Law. She practiced trust and estate law at a large Chicago firm for seven years before leaving her job to travel the world and write novels.

Retribution
Robert McCaw
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608095568, $27.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Retribution-Koa-Kane-Hawaiian-Mystery/dp/1608095568

Synopsis: In the back alley of a bar on Hawaii Island, a young man is found stabbed to death. When Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kane begins investigating the crime, the murder weapon is recovered only a few feet away from the body. Crime scene technicians find fingerprints on the knife -- they are a perfect match for Koa's younger brother, Ikaika.

As the brothers scramble to prove Ikaika's innocence, another crime sends shockwaves through the Hilo police force. A sniper tries to take out Makanui, Koa's closest colleague. As Koa tries to figure out whether these crimes are linked, the sinister force continues their killing spree, threatening Koa and his loved ones at every turn.

Could Koa be the real target? If so, who is behind this trail of retribution? With his own secret criminal past, Koa confronts an all-out offensive against those closest to him and his police force to which he has devoted his life. As the bodies pile up, Koa finds himself the ultimate target of a ruthless adversary and must risk it all to survive.

Critique: Another simply riveting novel by an impressively talented author with complete mastery of the suspense/thriller genre, "Retribution" by author Robert McCaw is the fifth in his Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery Series. While highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Robert McCaw fans that "Retribution" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Robert McCaw (https://robertbmccaw.com) grew up in a military family, traveling the world. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, served as a U.S. Army lieutenant, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. Having lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, McCaw's writing is imbued by his more than 20-year love affair with this Pacific paradise.

The Man in the Corduroy Suit
James Wolff
https://jameswolffauthor.com
Bitter Lemon Press
www.bitterlemonpress.com
9781913394844, $15.95, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Corduroy-Suit-Discipline-Files/dp/1913394840

Synopsis: Leonard Flood is ordered to investigate -- and quickly. Notorious for his sharp elbows and blunt manner, Leonard's only objective is to get the job done, whatever the cost. When Leonard discovers that he is also a suspect in the investigation and that Willa's story is less a story of betrayal than one of friendship and a deep sense of duty, he must decide whether to hand her to her masters or to help her to escape.

Critique: "The Man in the Corduroy Suit" is the third title in novelist James Wolf's espionage trilogy "The Discipline Files", which also includes "Beside the Syrian Sea", and "How to Betray Your Country". James Wolff 's experience as a British intelligence officer for over ten years before leaving to write spy fiction brings a special authenticity to his action/adventure espionage thrillers. Against the backdrop of increasing Russian spying and interference (including assassination) in the UK, "The Man in the Corduroy Suit" is a deftly scripted novel that explores themes of loyalty and betrayal in modern intelligence work, threatened from the inside by whistle-blowers, serial leakers and Robin Hood hackers.

A taut and timely thriller about the thin line between following your conscience and following orders, "The Man in the Corduroy Suit" is a riveting read and highly recommended for community library Spy Fiction collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of James Wolff fans that "The Man in the Corduroy Suit" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: James Wolff (https://jameswolffauthor.com) grew up in the Middle East and was a British intelligence officer for over ten years before leaving to write spy novels. He currently resides in London, England.

Player's Vendetta
John Lantigua
Arte Publico Press
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
www.artepublicopress.com
9781558859609, $18.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Players-Vendetta-Willie-Cuesta-Mystery/dp/1558859608

Synopsis: Willie Cuesta (a former Miami Police Department detective-turned-private investigator), is swinging in his hammock, estimating the number of mango daquiris he can squeeze from a ripe piece of fruit about to fall from his tree. He's also waiting for a prospective client who refused to discuss her case over the phone.

Ellie Hernandez hasn't seen her fiance, Roberto "Bobby" Player, in ten days, and she wants Willie to find him. Bobby has been obsessed with the suspicious death of his parents more than thirty-five years ago in Cuba, and he recently went to the island to find their killers. Only six years old when they were murdered, he was living in the United States, where they were supposed to join him. He was one of the "Peter Pan" kids smuggled out when Fidel Castro took over.

Willie learns the Players controlled one of the most successful casinos on the island and a large sum of money (half a million dollars) disappeared with their deaths. His investigation reveals an assortment of suspicious characters who were in Havana when the Players were killed, including a former Cuban spy now living in Little Havana, Mafia gangsters involved in gambling institutions and even an undercover US intelligence agent. Were they murdered by the Cuban government for being involved in the counter-revolution underground movement? Did the Mafia kill them to steal their fortune? Or did anti-communist Cubans believe they were traitors and execute them?

Rumors and questions abound, but when men in rubber masks firing machine guns turn up, Willie knows someone is trying to keep a long-buried secret under wraps!

Critique: Original, riveting, and with more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster, "Player's Vendetta" by the gifted novelist and storyteller John Lantigua is a terrific and fast-paced read from cover to cover. Of special appeal and interest to P.I. mystery buffs and Hispanic American novels, "Player's Vendetta" is the third title in the Willie Cuesta mystery series and a highly recommended pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Player's Vendetta" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: John Lantigua (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lantigua) is an award-winning journalist and novelist. His novels include The Ultimate Havana (Arte Publico Press, 2022), Remember My Face (Arte Publico Press, 2020), On Hallowed Ground (Arte Publico, 2011) and The Lady from Buenos Aires (Arte Publico Press, 2007). His novel, Heat Lightning (Putnam, 1987), was a finalist for the Edgar Awards Best First Novel. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his journalistic writings, including two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards (2004, 2006) and the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting (1999).

A Crime of Secrets
Ann Aptaker
Bywater Books
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
www.bywaterbooks.com
9781612942698, $18.95, PB, 242pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crime-Secrets-Donner-Longstreet-Mystery/dp/1612942695

Synopsis: A city on the cusp of a new century, New York City in 1899 is a city growing taller, faster, a city of new inventions, new ideas -- and old dangers on its shadowy streets where crime, misery, and murder lurk.

When Pauline Godfrey, a young woman embodying the coming modern age, is viciously murdered, her throat cut, private inquiry agents Finola "Fin" Donner and Devorah Longstreet must navigate a world of violence and passion, lust and betrayal, where duty is twisted into bitter obedience and love is soiled.

Fin, a tough survivor of the dockside slums, and her beloved companion, the elegant, intellectual socialite Devorah, probe deep into the festering secrets of a family, the rot and corruption of the police department, and the sinister world of the city's thieves, whores, and thugs to find the killer.

Critique: A carefully crafted historical mystery, "A Crime of Secrets" by novelist Ann Aptaker will have a very special appeal to the LGBTQ community, as well as fans of women sleuths having to deal with finding out 'whodunnit' in a dangerous and devious underworld of passion, corruption -- and murder. "A Crime of Secrets" is very confidently recommended as a popular pick for community library Historical Mystery/Suspense collections and for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs.

Editorial Note: Native New Yorker Ann Aptaker (http://www.annaptaker.com) is the author of the Cantor Gold Crime series and has been the recipient of Lambda Literary and Golden Crown Literary Society Awards. Her short stories have appeared in two editions of the crime anthology Fedora, Switchblade Magazine's "Stiletto Heeled" issue, and the Mickey Finn crime anthology. Culminating a career as a curator for museums and galleries and a professor of Art History, Ann is currently an art writer for various New York clients.

A Cryptic Clue
Victoria Gilbert
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102525, $29.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cryptic-Clue-Hunter-Clewe-Mystery/dp/1639102523

Synopsis: Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she's about to discover, a retiree's life can bring new thrills -- and new dangers!

Cameron "Cam" Clewe (an eccentric 33-year-old collector), is also seeking an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane's thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane's delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam's library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam's failed romances -- and now he's suspect number one.

Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name -- but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he'll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss -- but is he truly innocent?

Critique: Combine a traditional 'whodunnit' murder mystery with an amateur female sleuth and you have "A Cryptic Clue" -- an ideal cozy mystery by Victoria Gilbert who is a master of the genre. The first of a new 'Hunter & Clewe' mystery series, "A Cryptic Clue" is a fun read that will fully engage and entertain the reader from first page to last. While especially recommended as an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, "A Cryptic Clue" is also readily available to dedicated cozy mystery fans in paperback edition (9781639106417, $19.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete an unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666636987, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Victoria Gilbert (https://linktr.ee/victoriagilbertauthor) turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. Now retired after over 30 years in the library field, she's worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and university library director. Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover's B&B Mystery series, and the Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.

Broadway
Stan Charnofsky
Hawkshaw Press
www.hawkshawpress.com
9781957224077, $14.99 Paper, $4.99 ebook

https://www.amazon.com/Broadway-Charlotte-Smart-Mystery/dp/195722407X

Cozy mystery readers may recognize Stan Charnofsky's name from the prior Charlotte Smart stories, and will be delighted to find this third book in the series also cultivates a special flavor of discovery that brings its characters and setting to life. Broadway Farivar is a devotee of Charlotte. The son of immigrant parents, he and his sister Brooklyn were on the road to success when their train derailed, causing Charlotte's investigative skills to enter the picture.

Broadway is determined to find answers to his sister's dilemmas at all costs. Charlotte, used to a small-town atmosphere, finds the call to enter New York's milieu both alluring and challenging. Can small-town detective skills translate to solving a family's pressing questions in the Big Apple? Charlotte may have bitten off more than she can chew, because the combination of unfamiliar territory and a family who only knows her via a newspaper article create a perfect storm of challenge to her instincts and abilities as they translate to appearances on a bigger stage than she's ever imagined.

As Detective Cavanaugh and Charlotte Smart turn up clues about Brooklyn's deadly accident, they stumble into subcultures that range from immigrant communities to counter-culture enclaves, all operating in New York's underworld and each holding answers that work together to create the puzzle's bigger picture.

Author Stan Charnofsky crafts a sultry, revealing tone in his story that immerses readers in Charlotte's sleuthing abilities and the backdrop of New York City. He takes the time to test the interplays between various characters, from brother and sister to Charlotte's intuitive intelligence, which gets "...to the heart of an issue, tear away the cobwebs, ignore the superfluous." Charlotte uncovers more than one crime, and her instincts lead her into uncharted territory to give the story a special atmosphere of discovery that will surprise even avid cozy mystery fans.

Whether or not libraries have the prior Charlotte Smart books in their collections, Broadway both supports this savvy investigator's professional and personal evolution and stands nicely alone as a solid cozy mystery attraction. In the end, Charlotte's realizations about her choices are powerful portents of endings and new beginnings: "Now it is resolved, and, yes, there is an empty feeling, as there is after a war is won, after a race is over, when a compelling piece of theater ends. Challenge gone. Something larger than yourself had a life of its own and now has died.

Uncovering material and the intricate details of the conundrum are no longer required. Thank goodness for being an optimist, for viewing endings as opportunities. As they say, a door closes and a window opens." Will Charlotte use her remarkable skills and discoveries to change her life yet again?

Cozy mystery readers are in for a treat, both with the mystery component developed in Broadway and its vision of how detective skills change lives. Its ability to build strong characters who step out of their familiar roles to tackle unprecedented issues makes for a riveting story that's hard to put down, powered by the attraction of a small-town investigator operating in big-city environments of stage productions and an older female detective who is faced with either retirement or developing more skills to address ongoing mysteries.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Witch King
Martha Wells
TorDotCom
c/o Tor/Forge Books
www.tor-forge.com
9781250826794, $28.99, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Witch-King-Martha-Wells/dp/1250826799

Synopsis: After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai's magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.

But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?

Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions. -- He's not going to like the answers.

Critique: "Witch King" is author Martha Wells's first new fantasy in over a decade, and draws together her signature ability to create fascinating characters, a compelling action and adventure plot, all with an entertaining, memorable, and distinctive narrative storytelling style. While also readily available for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Witch King" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Martha Wells (https://marthawells.com) has written many fantasy novels, including The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, the Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads and ending with The Harbors of the Sun), and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, and nonfiction. Her New York Times and USA Today-bestselling Murderbot Diaries series has won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Alex Awards.

The Ghosts of Trappist
K. B. Wagers
Harper Voyager
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063115163, $32.50, HC, 560pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Trappist-NeoG-3/dp/0063115166

Synopsis: NeoG (the Near-Earth Orbital Guard), is a diverse military force that patrols and protects the solar system, inspired by the real-life mission of the Coast Guard -- and the crew of Zuma's Ghost are under attack, and shocking truths are about to be exposed.

Ensign Nell "Sapphi" Zika has been working hard to get past her trauma, but the unnerving pleas for help she's hearing in the Verge and the song she can't get out of her head are making that increasingly difficult. As Zuma's Ghost gears up for a final run at the Boarding Games, their expert hacker is feeling anything but confident. Plus, her chief's robot dog, Doge, is acting weird (a computer problem she can't find an answer to) and the increasing number of missing freighters is putting everyone living on or stationed around Trappist on edge.

It doesn't help the NeoG's mission that Dread Treasure is sidelined from competing in the Boarding Games, and Commander D'Arcy Montaglione is stuck on the front lines of the mystery of the missing ships while also stuck in his own head. Never good at trusting people to begin with, he's struggling to piece together his new crew in the aftermath of a great betrayal, knowing this may be his final chance at command. The last thing he wants to do is prove his enemies right and end up getting shoved behind a desk and forgotten.

The easy answer to missing ships is pirates, but D'Arcy soon realizes the easiest answer is rarely the right one out in the vacuum of space. What's worse is that the actual pirates are scared of something out beyond the asteroid belt. Something that's been taking their ships too!

As the unknowns multiply and one of their mysterious enemies escalates by launching an attack on the NeoG itself, the Interceptor crews must brave both cyber and outer space to hunt down their foes, but no one is prepared for the truth that is revealed or the way it will shake the foundations of everything they believe about the universe.

Critique: A deftly crafted and original novel by K.B. Wagers, "The Ghosts of Trappist" is a fun read that will have a special appeal to science fiction fans with an interest in Space Opera/Colonization action/adventure stories. Memorable characters combine with a narrative driven plot with more twists, turns and surprises than a Disneyland roller coaster, "The Ghosts of Trappist" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Ghosts of Trappist" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212691086, $57.99, CD).

Editorial Note: K.B. Wagers (https://kbwagers.com) is the author of the Indranan and Farian War trilogies from Orbit Books and the NeoG Adventures from Harper Voyager. K.B. Wagers can be followed on Twitter @kbwagers and Instagram @midwaybrawler for political commentary, plant photos, and video game play-throughs.

Marvel Wastelanders: Star-Lord
Sarah Cawkwell
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082276, $16.95, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Marvel-Wastelanders-Star-Lord-Sarah-Cawkwell/dp/1839082275

Synopsis: In "Marvel Wastelanders: Star-Lord" by Sarah Cawkwell, Star-Lord and Rocket are a little older, a little slower, and a lot saltier than they were during their glory days. When they crash land in the desolate Midwest, they soon discover that Earth isn't what it used to be either, thirty years after Doctor Doom seized control and created his new domain: the Wastelands.

They aren't there by choice: the former Guardians are working for The Collector, who's sent them to find the Black Vortex (an ancient relic reported to yield cosmic powers) before the guillotine collars of their employer snap their necks. In the Wastelands, they encounter the ageless telepath Emma Frost, outlaw Ghost Riders, and the bloodthirsty Kraven the Hunter. Who will find the Black Vortex first and what will be the price of its power?

Critique: Essential reading for the legions of Guardian of the Galaxy fans, "Marvel Wastelanders: Star-Lord" is a welcome and fun read from first page to last. Another gem that continues to expand the Marvel Universe, "Marvel Wastelanders: Star-Lord" is highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections and available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Sarah Cawkwell is a sci-fi and fantasy writer based in the North East of England. Old enough to know better, she's still very much young enough not to care. She's been a writer for many years, and her published works include several novels and short stories within the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes and an original alternate-history fantasy novel. There is a listing of her books at www.goodreads.com/author/list/4483467.Sarah_Cawkwell

Assassin's Creed: The Resurrection Plot
Kate Heartfield
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082351, $16.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Creed-Resurrection-Kate-Heartfield/dp/1839082356

Synopsis: Cairo, 1869. When a bomb goes off at the Khedivial Opera House celebrating the opening of the new Suez Canal, visiting Assassin Pierrette Arnaud investigates, only to uncover a plot to eradicate free will.

To her surprise, her old friend and teacher Simeon Price arrives in Egypt on the same trail, seven years after they allied to stop the Templars in London. But there's no time to reminisce as the Templars maneuver Europe and Africa like pieces on a chessboard, wreaking havoc on a global scale.

As Simeon and Pierrette race to stop further attacks, they unearth plans suggesting a mysterious tower is the key to the ultimate Templar takeover -- and with the puzzling Engine of History in their grasp, the Assassins might be outmatched at last.

Critique: The conspiracies of the Templars reverberate across nineteenth century Europe as they seize control of the future, and only the Brotherhood of Assassins can hold them back, in this globetrotting adventure from Assassin's Creed. Continuing and expanding the Assassin's Creed series, "The Resurrection Plot" by Kate Heartfield is a simply riveting read by an author with a full mastery of the genre and a highly recommended pick for personal reading lists and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.

Editorial Noe: Kate Heartfield (https://kateheartfield.com) is the Aurora Award-winning author Armed in her Fashion, and the bestselling The Embroidered Book, a historical fantasy novel. Her novellas, stories, and games have been finalists for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Sunburst and Aurora awards. A former journalist, Kate lives near Ottawa, Canada.

Three Oaths
Josh Reynolds
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082313, $16.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Oaths-Legend-Rings-Novel/dp/1839082313

Synopsis: When a long-lost member of the Lion Clan, Itagawa Mosu, seemingly returns from the dead to claim the hand of his betrothed, it's up to Daidoji Shin to determine the truth of this miraculous reappearance. The Lion reluctantly permit Shin's involvement, even if they have to let him plan the wedding as part of his investigation. Shin must navigate dangerous political waters to discover if Mosu really is the man he claims to be, or is he a cleverly disguised imposter? It will take all of Shin's charm, wit, and flair to find out before the wedding begins. And the guests are already starting to arrive.

Critique: In "Three Oaths" by Josh Reynolds is the newest addition to the author's 'Legend of the Five Rings' series and finds the debonair samurai detective Daidoji Shin returning to once again solve a fresh mystery -- this one offers a surprise resurrection. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95) and an especially recommended pick for the reader list of anyone with an interest in historical fantasy, myth and legend set in Japan during the age of the samurai, "Three Oaths" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Josh Reynolds (https://joshuamreynolds.co.uk) is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories, including the wildly popular Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000.

Watch Dogs Legion: Cold Reboot
Robbie MacNiven
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082238, $16.95, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Watch-Dogs-Legion-Cold-Reboot/dp/1839082232

Synopsis: Freya Bauer's revolutionary fervor has dimmed with age, but just as she's about to hang up her DedSec mask, she's recruited for one last mission to Berlin -- and with her ex-husband of all people. Yet upon her arrival in Germany, a series of betrayals mean she's suddenly unable to distinguish between friends and foes.

Meanwhile, Freya's past has caught up with her in the form of a mysterious hitman determined to take out the Bauer family in London. However, if he can't immediately remove Freya from the board, her son might be the next best thing. Freya must navigate competing tech-gangs, reconcile with her ex, and save her son before everything she loves is destroyed.

Critique: Of particular appeal to readers with an interest in techno-thriller science fiction stories, "Watch Dogs Legion: Cold Reboot" is a compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. As a novelist, Robbie MacNiven has a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven and imaginative storytelling style that makes "Cold Reboot" such a fun and unreservedly recommended pick for personal and community library Science Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Robbie MacNiven is lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy who has had over a dozen novels published in settings ranging from Marvel's X-Men, to Descent: Legends of the Dark, to Warhammer 40,000. Having completed a doctorate in Military History from the University of Edinburgh in 2020, he also possesses a keen interest in the past.

Mockingbird: Strike Out
Maria Lewis
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082177, $16.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mockingbird-Strike-Marvel-Heroines-Novel/dp/1839082178

Synopsis: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent and superspy Bobbi Morse needs to get out of LA. Like, yesterday!

With her painful divorce from Hawkeye still being hashed out, Bobbi could do with a new job to take her mind off the mind-numbing mediations. Luckily, an old friend and mentor of Bobbi's is missing, so a jaunt to the UK might be the perfect distraction.

What Bobbi isn't anticipating is having to team up with the snarky and handsome Lance Hunter, but her options are limited if she wants to solve this mystery. Someone is trying to recreate and weaponize the original Super-Soldier Serum which could spell global disaster.

To save the world, Bobbi will have to face her past, put her problems behind her, and let the Mockingbird take flight.

Critique: A part of the Marvel Heroines series, "Mockingbird: Strike Out" will delight the legions of Marvel Universe fans with another story of a strong female character that can hold here own in a world of superheroes, colorful villains, and would-be world conquerors. An original and fun read by novelist Maria Lewis, "Mockingbird: Strike Out" is a welcome addition to the growing library of Marvel Universe stories and a welcome addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy action/adventure collections. It should be noted that "Mockingbird: Strike Out" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Maria Lewis (https://www.marialewis.com.au) is a screenwriter, best-selling author, film curator and pop culture etymologist currently based in Australia. She has built an international reputation as a storyteller across a diverse range of mediums including the award-winning Supernatural Sisters series. In film and television space, she has worked on projects for Netflix, AMC, BBC, Ubisoft, DC Comics, ABC, Marvel and many more. She is also the writer, researcher, presenter and producer of audio documentaries Josie and the Podcatsand The Phantom Never Dies, about the world's first superhero.

The Massacre at Yellow Hill
C. S. Humble
Cemetery Dance Publications
132-B Industry Lane, Unit #7, Forest Hill, MD 21050
https://www.cemeterydance.com
9781587678912, $16.99, PB, 260pp

https://www.amazon.com/Massacre-at-Yellow-Hill/dp/1587678918

Synopsis: When George Miller is killed in the mines of Yellow Hill, his wife and children are left to try and piece their lives back together. Tabitha Miller, George's widow, is thrown into deeper chaos when she discovers that George's death had nothing to do with the cave's collapse, but was caused by some terrible predator deep within the earth. His death covered up by the mine's Proprietor-Jeremiah Hart.

In nearby Big Spring, freed slave-turned-occult bounty hunter Gilbert Ptolemy arrives with his adopted son in search of a murderous vampire. New revelations in Yellow Hill draw the duo toward the struggling Miller family, the strange mine, and the horrors lurking within.

The Miller and Ptolemy families are pitted against mundane and supernatural forces in this Weird West adventure by novelist C. S. Humble.

Critique: Family struggles, heart-stopping gunfights, and nightmare creatures from dark realms. "The Massacre at Yellow Hill" is an unique and extraordinary blending of western, vampire, and occult horror elements that result in a simply riveting read and an unreservedly recommended pick for community library fiction collections and the personal reading lists for readers with an interest in Western/Fantasy/Vampire books. It should be noted that C. S. Humble's "The Massacre at Yellow Hill" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: C. S. Humble (www.cshumble.com) is an award-winning American novelist and short story writer. His Twitter handle is @cshumble

The Phoenix Chase
Neil Kleid
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082085, $16.95, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Chase-Marvel-School-Novel/dp/1839082089

Synopsis: Kid Omega's latest scheme to set up his own mutant school goes horribly awry when mysterious aliens called The Remaining kidnap his "students", demanding a rare Phoenix Egg (source of the awesome Phoenix Force) in exchange for their lives. Wildly out of his depth, Kid Omega turns to Cyclops for help. He gets a ride with space pirates the Starjammers, and someone more responsible: Cyclops' brother Alex "Havok" Summers. Their mission: rescue the students, recover the Egg, save the day. But it won't be easy. Galaxy-hopping sleuthing, heists, and action lead the X-Men to clues that reveal a monstrous plot using the Phoenix Egg to ultimately conquer the universe.

Critique: The latest Marvel 'School of X' novel that further expands the Marvel Universe world of the X-Men, "The Phoenix Chase" by Neil Kleid is a deftly scripted, original, fun and compelling read from cover to cover. While highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections and the personal reading lists of all dedicated X-Men fans, it should be noted that "The Phoenix Chase" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Neil Kleid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Kleid) is the Xeric Award winning graphic novelist who authored Ninety Candles, a novella about life, death, legacy and comics, and the acclaimed graphic novels Brownsville and The Big Kahn. He has written several comic books and graphic novels; adapted Jack London's novel Call of the Wild into sequentials for Penguin Books; did the opposite for the seminal Marvel Comics' storyline Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt; and co-authored Powers: The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim, a novel based on the award-winning comic book series. Savor, his culinary adventure graphic novel with John Broglia and Frank Reynoso, was released by Dark Horse Comics.

Isle of the Undead
C. L. Werner
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839082139, $16.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Isle-Undead-Zombicide-Black-Plague/dp/1839082135

Synopsis: The Zombie Black Plague's terrible toll never ends, unleashing a new wave of zombies with disastrous consequences. Low on hope, Knight Alaric von Mertz and his companions flee their crumbling sanctuary, and soon come under the unlikely wing of murderous pirates. There, they learn of a legendary artifact called Mournshroud that could destroy swathes of the undead, but to claim it they must defeat an evil sorceress on an isolated island. Guarded by a dragon! A knight's honor demands he defend his kingdom, no matter the cost. Yet, as the undead hordes close in on them, a familiar evil waits in the shadows, plotting revenge on Alaric and everything he holds dear.

Critique: Truly impressive, original, action packed, and zombie fan's delight, "Isle of the Undead" by veteran author C. L. Werner (who has a complete mastery of the genre) is particularly and whole heartedly commended addition to personal reading lists and community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Isle of the Undead" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95) from Aconyte Books.

Editorial Note: C. L. Werner is a voracious reader and prolific author. His many novels and short stories span the genres of fantasy and horror, and he has written for Warhammer's Age of Sigmar and Old World, Warhammer 40,000, Warmachine's Iron Kingdoms, and Mantic's Kings of War. (https://ageofsigmar.lexicanum.com/wiki/C._L._Werner)

Fractal Noise
Christopher Paolini
Tor Books
c/o Tor/Forge Books
www.tor-forge.com
9781250862488, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fractal-Noise-Fractalverse-Christopher-Paolini/dp/1250862485

Synopsis: July 25th, 2234: The crew of the Adamura discovers the anomaly on the seemingly uninhabited planet Talos VII: a circular pit, 50 kilometers wide. Its curve not of nature, but design. Now, a small team must land and journey on foot across the surface to learn who built the hole and why. But they all carry the burdens of lives carved out on disparate colonies in the cruel cold of space. For some the mission is the dream of the lifetime, for others a risk not worth taking, and for one it is a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe.

Each step they take toward the mysterious abyss is more punishing than the last. And the ghosts of their past follow.

Critique: "Fractal Noise" is the second volume of science fiction and fantasy author Christopher Paolini's "The Fractalverse" series. A deftly crafted, imaginative, impressively detailed, and original story, "Fractal Noise" is a solid pick for community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Christopher Paolini fans that "Fractal Noise" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250871589, $$39.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Christopher Paolini (https://www.paolini.net) is also the author of the World of Eragon and the Fractalverse novel "To Sleep in a Sea of Stars".

Project Chrysalis
Willard Joyce
Permuted Press
https://permutedpress.com
c/o Simon & Schuster (distribution)
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781637585115, $18.00, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Project-Chrysalis-Book-Transfigured-World/dp/163758511X

Synopsis: On Jenn's side of the city's impenetrable walls: power, military discipline, and unimaginable technology. On Mykol's: darkened streets, deteriorating infrastructure, and a tedious job prying haunted memories from the electronic devices of those long departed. When the orphan Jenn risks everything to learn about her hidden past and her father's possible connection to the world's collapse, she and Mykol discover a secret that binds them together while glimpsing the strange reality behind the all-powerful Thomas Gibson and his Provisional Authority. Their next desperate step is attempting to save humanity from what it has wrought.

Critique: A deftly crafted, original, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian science fiction novel, "Project Chrysalis" by novelist Willard Joyce offers a fascinating (if terrifying) story of how human technology might create a post-human world. It is also a story about what place love, family, and society could be like within such a post-global plague devastated world. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "Project Chrysalis" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Willard Joyce's work focuses on the intersection between humanity and technology, and the fertile realm where the two will meet.

Baen Books
www.baen.com

https://www.amazon.com/Wraithbound-Spiritbinder-Saga-Tim-Akers/dp/1982192550

Tim Akers's Wraithbound (9781982192556, $18.00) provides dark fantasy readers with a Spiritbinder saga which is replete in epic fantasy adventure and highly recommended both for prior Akers fans and newcomers to his works. This first book in a series follows the dreams of young Rae Kelthannis to become a stormbinder like his father, whose reputation experiences blows that cause the family to be banned to the edge of the Ordered World. Rae decides to defy his fathers orders and enter into his own effort to fulfill his destiny, but his inexperience leads him to become conjoined not with an air elemental that would lend him stormbinding powers, but a wraith with dangerous powers and unknown purposes. The adventure is tense, unpredictable, and thoroughly engrossing as Rae steps into his destiny and uncharted territory.

https://www.amazon.com/Escape-Orbit-2-Eccentric-Orbits/dp/1982192542

Escape Orbit: The Unknown Awaits by Patrick Chiles (9781982192549, $18.00) tells of a lost astronaut's return from space when his ship suddenly reappears five years later. How did he survive, and how can he continue to survive when his life support is running out? Jack's former crewmate Traci is determined to rescue him, but agencies with special interests in Jack's fate also become involved and a tangled situation emerges to test both of their lives.

Both of these new Baen Books science fiction titles are powerful adventure stories that lead characters to more closely examine their callings, efforts, and the mysterious forces that influence their futures, and deserve a place in any sci-fi library.


The American History Shelf

American Traitor
Howard W. Cox
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
www.press.georgetown.edu
9781647123420, $34.95, HC, 392pp

https://www.amazon.com/American-Traitor-Wilkinsons-Betrayal-Republic/dp/1647123429

Synopsis: With the publication of "American Traitor: General James Wilkinson's Betrayal of the Republic and Escape from Justice", Howard W. Cox examines the career of the notorious General James Wilkinson, whose corruption and espionage exposed the fledgling United States to grave dangers during the early years of the republic. Wilkinson is largely forgotten today, which is unfortunate because his sordid story is a cautionary tale about unscrupulous actors who would take advantage of gaps in the law, oversight, and accountability for self-dealing.

Wilkinson's military career began during the Revolutionary War and continued through the War of 1812. As he rose to the rank of commanding general of the US Army, Wilkinson betrayed virtually everyone he worked with to advance his career and finances. He was a spy for Spain, plotted to have western territories split from the United States, and accepted kickbacks from contractors. His negligence and greed also caused the largest peacetime disaster in the history of the US Army. Howard W. Cox picks apart Wilkinson's misdeeds with the eye of an experienced investigator.

"American Traitor" offers the most in-depth analysis of Wilkinson's court-martial trials and how he evaded efforts to hold him accountable. This astounding history of villainy in the early republic will fascinate anyone with an interest in the period as well as readers of espionage history.

Critique: Second only to Benedict Arnold, the story of the equally infamous but lapsed into obscurity, General James Wilkinson, is a particularly timely and relevant study given the contemporary and treasonous behavior of President Donald J. Trump as our Commander-in-Chief and his promotion and enablement of General Michael Flynn in their attempt to overthrow a freely elected government headed by President Joe Biden -- which is currently being played out in a DOJ investigation and the Federal court system.

A fascinating, detailed, and well documented biography, "American Traitor: General James Wilkinson's Betrayal of the Republic and Escape from Justice" by Howard W. Cox is a solid and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "American Traitor: General James Wilkinson's Betrayal of the Republic and Escape from Justice" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.49).

Editorial Note: Howard W. Cox (https://fedsoc.org/contributors/howard-cox/commentary) is a former trial attorney in the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, former staff counsel of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and former federal prosecutor and assistant inspector general for investigations at the CIA.

Arcadia Publishing
https://www.arcadiapublishing.com

https://www.amazon.com/Famous-People-Queens-Images-America/dp/1467109495

https://www.amazon.com/Oklahoma-Music-Trail-Images-America/dp/1467109274

Synopsis: Arcadia Publishing is a unique and premier publisher of American History with each title showcasing a particular community or city in terms of its people and local history. Two newly published titles in their 'Images of America' series include:

"Famous People of Queens" (9781467109499, $23.99, PB, 128pp) by Rob MacKay presents a diverse group of characters and historical eras: actors, athletes, business people, politicians, religious leaders, scientists, singers, war heroes, writers, and famous people who weren't born in Queens but lived in the borough for a long time. Author Rob MacKay is a longtime, award-winning community journalist who has worked for the Queens Economic Development Corporation and operates various social media channels that promote the borough's restaurants, shops, and tourism attractions. His interest in writing this book grew organically (and intensely) after he became a trustee of the Queens Historical Society.

"The Oklahoma Music Trail" (9781467109277, $23.99, PB, 96pp) by Karl Anderson is a pictorial essay that features the music genres, performers, and songwriters of Oklahoma. There are literally hundreds of artists who have made their home in Oklahoma. The cowboy ballads of Gene Autry, Western swing that originated with the fiddle of Bob Wills, the Tulsa Sound of Leon Russell and gospel songs of Albert E. Brumley have paved the way for generations of Oklahoma musicians and performers. This is a unique history of country music legends who have traveled along the Oklahoma Music Trail.

Critique: Profusely illustrated with historical black/white photos, these two exceptionally informative and impressively presented histories and especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library American History collections.

Editorial Note: In their 'Our Images of America Series', Arcadia Publishing is dedicated to publishing creating an experience for their readers of becoming immersed in the wonder and unique flavor of life in their town (or any town) in America. Penned by local experts, each Images of America book weaves the history of a community in stories and rare photos, from its beginnings to today. Simply stated, every place tells a story. A complete listing of their titles is available at https://www.arcadiapublishing.com


The World History Shelf

Julius Caesar in Egypt
Philip Matyszak
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781399097369, $34.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Julius-Caesar-Egypt-Cleopatra-Alexandria/dp/1399097369

Synopsis: In 48 BC the armies of Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great fought a decisive battle at Pharsalus in Greece. Pompey was comprehensively defeated and fled to the last power in the Mediterranean world that was independent of Rome, Ptolemaic Egypt. Caesar pursued Pompey and was presented with his severed head, which the Egyptians hoped would make Caesar leave them in peace.

Instead, Caesar (as if he did not have enough to do already) plunged gleefully into the world of Egyptian palace politics, riven by dynastic dispute. He quickly sided with the beguiling Queen Cleopatra (after her famous carpet trick), despite having little more than a bodyguard with him. Most of his army was still in Greece, leaving him massively outnumbered by the Egyptian forces. The Romans were besieged in Alexandria for seven months before reinforcements could get through to them.

"Julius Caesar in Egypt: Cleopatra and the War in Alexandria" is a true story of double-cross, assassination and intrigue accompanied by lively battles, daring escapes, disastrous fires (the Great Library of Alexandria was largely destroyed in one fracas) and, if not a love story, this is at least a compelling tale of sex and power as Caesar and Cleopatra's relationship shaped these world-changing events.

Critique: A solid work of impressively meticulous and exceptionally informative scholarship, this is a history of Julius Caesar and Ancient Roman that reads with all the narrative style of a finely honed novel. "Julius Caesar in Egypt: Cleopatra and the War in Alexandria" by Professor Philip Matyszak is an extraordinary and invaluable contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Roman & Egyptian History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Julius Caesar in Egypt: Cleopatra and the War in Alexandria" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Philip 'Maty' Matyszak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Matyszak) holds a doctorate in Ancient History from St John's College, Oxford University, and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for over twenty years. He specializes in the history of Classical Greece and of the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods of Rome. Maty has personal military experience both as a conscript in Rhodesia and with the Territorial Army in Britain. Currently, he splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Monashee Mountains and providing e-learning courses for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education.

Epicurus and His Influence on History
Ben Gazur
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781399073523, $36.95, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Epicurus-His-Influence-History-Gazur/dp/1399073524

Synopsis: Epicurus (341-270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy. In ancient Greece Epicurus came up with a pleasingly simple answer to a question. "How should we live?"

The philosopher Epicurus taught his followers that pleasure and contentment were the aims of the good life. For hundreds of years Epicureanism was one of the dominant schools of philosophy.

But by the 6th century it had all but disappeared. Discovering how and why Epicureanism was driven from philosophy and public discourse reveals much about how Western thought developed. Despite attempts to erase him, the lessons of Epicurus have been recovered from the mists of time and the ashes of Vesuvius. How he was restored to his place in history is a story of brilliant Renaissance scholars, chance discoveries, and a hunger for intellectual freedom.

With the publication of "Epicurus and His Influence on History", Ben Gazur offers a new biography of Epicurus that reveals the life of Epicurus and traces how his teachings have influenced thinkers across time.

Epicurus still has much to teach us about friendship, happiness, and our place in the world.

Critique: Deftly organized into four major sections (Epicurus' Philosophy; The Philosopher; Classical Reception; Recovering Epicurus), "Epicurus and His Influence on History" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of an Introduction and Epilogue, a two page General Bibliography, and a three page Index. A fascinating and eloquently presented biography, "Epicurus and His Influence on History" is a welcome and highly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Ancien Greek history, biography, and philosophy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Ben Gazur (https://www.bengazur.com) holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh. He became a freelance writer who has written widely on history and science for the likes of the BBC, All About History, and the Guardian newspaper.

Henry VIII's Children
Caroline Angus
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781399095860, $42.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Henry-VIIIs-Children-Legitimate-Illegitimate/dp/1399095862

Synopsis: Of the five Tudor monarchs, only one was ever born to rule. While much of King Henry VIII's reign is centered on his reckless marriage choices, it was the foundations laid by Henry and Queen Katherine of Aragon that shaped the future of the crown. Among the suffering of five lost heirs, the royal couple placed all their hopes in the surviving Princess Mary. Her early life weaves a tale of promise, diplomacy, and pageantry never to be seen again in King Henry's life, but a deep-rooted desire for a son, a legacy of his own scattered childhood, pushed Henry VIII to smother Mary's chance to rule.

An affair soon produced an unlikely heir in Henry Fitzroy, and while one child was pure royalty, the other illegitimate, the comparison of their childhoods would show a race to throne closer than many wished to admit.

King Henry's cruelty saw his heirs' fates pivot as wives came and went, and the birth Princess Elizabeth, saw long-term plans upended for short-term desires.

With the death of one heir hidden from view, the birth of Prince Edward finally gave the realm an heir born to rule, but King Henry's personal desires and paranoia left his heirs facing constant uncertainty for another decade until his death.

Behind the narrative of Henry VIII's wives, wars, reformation and ruthlessness, these were children, living lives of education among people who cared for them, surrounded by items in generous locations which symbolized their place in their father's heart. They faced excitement, struggles, and isolation which would shape their own reigns as adults.

From the heights of a surviving princess destined and decreed to influence Europe, to illegitimate children scattered to the winds of fortune, the childhoods of Henry VIII's heirs is one of ambition, destiny, heartache, and triumph.

Critique: An original and seminal study of an often overlooked aspect of the life and rule of King Henry VIII of England, "Henry VIII's Children: Legitimate and Illegitimate Sons and Daughters of the Tudor King" is a fascinating work of meticulous and exhaustive research the includes a six page Bibliography, illustrations, eighteen pages of Endnotes, and an eight page Index. "Henry VIII' Children" by historian and author Caroline Angus is a welcome and highly commended pick for personal, community, and academic library Royal English Biography and British Royal History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Caroline Angus (https://carolineangus.com) is a New Zealand-based author. Caroline studied history at Universitat de Valencia, Spain, spending ten years dedicated to the Spanish Civil War and the resulting dictatorship. Caroline went on to study with King's College London, specializing in Shakespeare and British royal history.

Before Augustus: The Collapse of the Roman Republic
Natale Barca
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636242323, $39.95, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Before-Augustus-Collapse-Roman-Republic/dp/1636242324

Synopsis: The political process that culminated in the transition from Republic to Empire in ancient Rome began with the military reform of Caius Marius in the last decades of the 2nd century BC. Following the Civil War and Sulla's dictatorship, it developed further with the First Triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, and two further civil wars. These wars, which saw Caesar pitted against Pompey, and Octavian fighting Anthony, ended in 27 BC with the rise to power of Octavian, the adoptive son of Caesar.

With the publication of "Before Augustus: The Collapse of the Roman Republic", academician and historian Natale Barca outlines a summary of the last years of the Roman Republic, weaving together the military, political, and social aspects. A scholar and expert on Ancient Rome, Barca sets the protagonists within the complex societal and political system that they operated, analyzing their actions, and the epic battles that ensued.

Critique: "Before Augustus: The Collapse of the Roman Republic" is a seminal study drawing upon both ancient sources and on contemporary literature. It is an impressively presented, extraordinarily informative, and exceptionally detailed and documented account of the tempestuous last century of the Roman Republic before it became fully transformed into the Roman Empire. Featuring a Glossary, a List of Abbreviations, an Epilogue (Octavian Becomes Princeps, the Augustus), a four page Further Reading bibliography, and a six page Index, "Before Augustus: The Collapse of the Roman Republic" is strongly recommended for community and academic library Ancient Roman History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Before Augustus: The Collapse of the Roman Republic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.49).

Editorial Note: Natale Barca (https://www.natalebarca.it/Author) was a visiting scholar researcher at University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA, and an academic visitor at the University of London's Institute of Classical Studies. He is also a member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (Roman Society), London and the author of thirteen monographs, many of which are focused on the political and military history of the Roman Late Republic.

Nanjing: The Story of a Chinese City
Zhaoyan Ye
China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
360 Swift Avenue, Suite #48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
www.chinabooks.com
9781592652532, $24.95, PB, 588pp

https://www.amazon.com/Nanjing-Story-Chinese-Zhaoyan-Ye/dp/1592652530

Synopsis: Nanjing (also known as Nanking) is a quintessential Chinese city with a history reaching back thousands of years. It has served as the capital of Chinese regimes and dynasties, and witnessed the grand spectacle of history, triumph, and tragedy, which altogether paint a brilliant picture of Chinese civilization.

"Nanjing: The Story of a Chinese City" is an accessible and readable history in which author and historian Ye Zhaoyan provides a unique perspective of Nanjing. It is a comprehensive and detailed story of a Chinese city -- as well as the story of China, which has undergone a constant cycle of rise, decline, and rebirth.

Ye provides an intimate and revealing look into the ancient origins of Nanjing, including its role as the strategic capital of the Kingdom of Wu in 221 CE to the liberation of New China in 1949, after a century of conflict. With great patience and a grand vision, Ye's portrait of Nanjing is not only a place frozen in time, but also a place to gain a solid framework on the Chinese experience writ large.

Critique: An exceptionally impressive work of meticulous and informative scholarship, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Nanjing: The Story of a Chinese City" must be considered essential reading for students of Chinese history. This English language edition form China Books & Periodicals" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental Chinese History curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Ye Zhaoyan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Zhaoyan) is a prolific, award-winning Chinese author who has produced hundreds of short stories and novels since 1980. He obtained his MA from the Department of Chinese Language, Nanking University in 1986. He is now a member of the China Writers' Association and a vice-president of Jiangsu Writers' Association.


The Civil War Shelf

The Men of the 16th Massachuseets
Alden C. Ellis, Jr.
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476689937, $49.95, PB, 331pp

https://www.amazon.com/Men-16th-Massachusetts-Roster-History/dp/1476689938

Synopsis: The 16th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was one of a few Massachusetts regiments whose history was not recorded. From 1861-1864, it was deeply embroiled in the operations of the Army of the Potomac. Suffering from a lack of skilled leadership and later from horrific living conditions, the 16th saw heavy casualties. Of more than 1300 men, 112 were killed in battle, 360 were wounded and 52 died from their wounds. Disease claimed 115 and 65 were taken as prisoners of war, 32 of them dying in Confederate prisons. Another 344 went home afflicted with wounds or disease as disability discharges.

"The Men of the 16th Massachusetts: A Civil War Roster and History" by Alden C. Ellis, Jr. is comprehensive biographical study that chronicles for the first time the story of the 16th Massachusetts and the lives of most of its men, with all available genealogical details provided.

Critique: A masterpiece of historical research, "The Men of the 16th Massachusetts: A Civil War Roster and History" is features a number of historical images, and is informatively enhanced for the reader with an impressive Introduction, the history of the regiment laid out in five detailed chapters, a 242 page Roster and Biographical Sketches, a two page Bibliography, and an eighteen page Index. Bringing this Union regiment out of an undeserved obscurity, "The Men of the 16th Massachusetts: A Civil War Roster and History" must be considered an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "The Men of the 16th Massachusetts: A Civil War Roster and History" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99).

Editorial Note: Alden C. Ellis, Jr., is the author of one other book about Massachusetts's role in the Civil War (The Massachusetts Andrew Sharpshooters, McFarland & Co.) and served as a consultant and advisor for the Civil War movie Lady in Black.

Northern Duty, Southern Heart
H. Leon Greene
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476689616, $45.00, PB, 307pp

https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Duty-Southern-Heart-Proctor/dp/147668961X

Synopsis: Before the Civil War, George Proctor Kane had been a businessman, thespian, political appointee, philanthropist and militiaman. During the war, as Baltimore's chief of police, he harbored the divided loyalties familiar to the border states -- Southern in his sentiments yet Northern in his allegiances.

As the city's top lawman, he sought to reform Baltimore's "Mobtown" image. He ensured that President-elect Lincoln, passing through on the way to his inauguration, was not assassinated. He protected Union troops marching to defend Washington, D.C.

But he was eventually imprisoned as a Southern sympathizer, denied habeas corpus as his captors transferred him from prison to prison.

With the publication of "Northern Duty, Southern Heart: George Proctor Kane's Civil War", Professor H. Leon Greene recounts Kane's enigmatic public life before and during the Civil War, his Confederate activities after prison and his return to serve as mayor of Baltimore.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of illustrations, and informative Introduction, an Epilogue, a ten page Appendix, twenty-four pages of Chapter Notes, a four page Bibliography, and a sixteen page Index, "Northern Duty, Southern Heart: George Proctor Kane's Civil War" is an impressive and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, community, and academic library American Civil War History & Biography collections and American Civil War curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, and Civil War enthusiasts that "Northern Duty, Southern Heart: George Proctor Kane's Civil War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.99).

Editorial Note: H. Leon Greene (https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B001KJ3GW4/about (is a cardiologist living in Bellingham, Washington. As emeritus professor of medicine, he has published two books, authored or co-authored more than 30 book chapters and sections and more than 250 medical scientific articles.

Colonel Hans Christian Heg and the Norwegian American Experience
Odd S. Lovoll
Minnesota Historical Society Press
345 Kellogg Boulevard, West, St. Paul, MN 55102-1906
www.mnhs.org/mhspress
9781681342504, $24.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Colonel-Christian-Norwegian-American-Experience/dp/1681342502

Synopsis: Hans Christian Heg (December 21, 1829 - September 20, 1863) was a Norwegian American abolitionist, journalist, antislavery activist, prison reformer, politician, and soldier. Best known for leading the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment on the Union side during the Civil War, Heg died of wounds received at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863.

While Heg's achievements earned him a statue on the Wisconsin state capitol grounds, behind his public persona was a life emblematic of his generation. Heg's family hailed from Lier, Norway; economic as well as religious challenges led them, like so many others, to leave their homeland for the promise of a better life. Heg himself trod multiple paths: joining in the California Gold Rush, pursuing a political career in support of the Free Soil Party and then the newly formed Republican Party, and taking up the role of Wisconsin state prison commissioner. Like his fellow immigrants, he made a living and nurtured a family at the same time that he was defining what it meant to be both Norwegian and American.

Heg's remarkable leadership of the Fifteenth Wisconsin, the "Norwegian regiment," is the stuff of legends. But "Colonel Hans Christian Heg and the Norwegian American Experience" by Odd S. Loveoll is more than a biography of one man: it is the story of a generation of immigrant citizens who contributed politically, economically, and socially to the American Midwest and beyond.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a Preface, sixteen pages of Notes, and a fourteen page Index, with the publication of "Colonel Hans Christian Heg and the Norwegian American Experience", author and historian Odd S. Lovoll rescues from an undeserved obscurity a significant American Civil War battlefield figure with this impressive biography of a Union General who died in service. Nicely illustrated with historic black/white photos, "Colonel Hans Christian Heg and the Norwegian American Experience" is a fascinating and welcome pick for personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War History/Biography collections. It should be noted for students, academia, Civil War
historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Colonel Hans
Christian Heg and the Norwegian American Experience" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Odd S. Lovoll (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odd_S._Lovoll) is the author of several books on the Norwegian American immigrant experience, including Norwegians on the Prairie, Norwegian Newspapers in America, and Across the Deep Blue Sea. He was born in Sande, in More og Romsdal, Norway, and immigrated to the United States in 1946. Lovoll was educated at the University of Bergen and the University of Oslo before receiving an M.A. from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He taught for three years at Minnesota and then spent 30 years as a professor of history at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he is professor emeritus. Lovoll also served for 20 years as publication editor for the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

Heavy Marching
Lucius S. Moseley, author
Sara DeLuca, editor
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299342708, $29.95, HC, 306pp

https://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Marching-Letters-Moseley-Wisconsin/dp/0299342700

Synopsis: Lucius "Lute" Moseley was a nineteen-year-old student at Beloit Academy when he enlisted in the Union Army. Moseley grew up on a family farm outside Beloit, Wisconsin, where his father operated the first dray service before opening a blacksmith shop and lumber yard. His father lost most of his modest assets through litigation of a building contract he had received, which likely influenced his son's decision to enlist in the army.

From 1862 to 1865, Moseley fought in the Civil War as an infantry soldier in Wisconsin's 22nd Volunteers. Briefly captured and interred in a Confederate POW Camp, he returned to action and participated in Sherman's Atlanta campaign. He marched in the Washington, D.C., Grand Review before returning to the Beloit area, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Mosely wrote detailed missives to his family in Beloit about his wartime experiences, demonstrating a flair for describing both camp life and battles. Frank and forthright, he was remarkably articulate, insightful, and thoughtful, whether describing mundane activities or the nearly unfathomable death of President Lincoln. These 125 letters, never before made available to scholars or students of the war, became touchstones and sources of pride for the Moseley family-and provide a uniquely candid and vivid view of this tumultuous period in US history.

Critique: Fascinating, informative, unique, memorable, "Heavy Marching: The Civil War Letters of Lute Moseley, 22nd Wisconsin" is deftly compiled and edited by Sara DeLuca. This compilation of personal letters from the battlefields of the American Civil War is a welcome, seminal, and highly recommended acquisition for personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Civil War History/Biography collections.

Editorial Note #1: Lucius "Lute" Moseley (1843-1923) fought in the Civil War as a soldier in the Union Army from 1862 to 1865. After the war, Moseley became a farmer, and would remain in Beloit for the rest of his life.

Editorial Note #2: Sara DeLuca (https://www.wpr.org/people/sara-deluca) is the author of the memoir Dancing the Cows Home, the family biography The Crops Look Good, and three chapbooks of poetry. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Lullwater Review, North Coast Review, and elsewhere.

Such a Clash of Arms
Kevin R. Pawlak
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636242668, $24.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Such-Clash-Arms-September-Illustrated/dp/1636242669

Synopsis: By the late summer of 1862, it appeared as though the United States would be permanently split in two, and by the beginning of September, General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was on the doorstep of Washington, D.C. Panicked and defeated Federal soldiers huddled behind the capital's defenses. Rather than attacking the city, Lee turned his attention north into Maryland, seeking a decisive battlefield victory to influence public opinion at home and diplomatic opinion overseas. Major General George B. McClellan led the reorganized Army of the Potomac into the state to meet Lee.

Over a span of 18 days, the two armies fought four significant battles, including the climactic engagement along Antietam Creek outside Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862. The battle there still holds the distinction as the bloodiest single day in American military history. Forced from Maryland, Lee withdrew into Virginia, leaving President Abraham Lincoln free to follow up this strategic victory with the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, a measure that changed the nature of the American Civil War.

Critique: With the publication of "Such a Clash of Arms: The Maryland Campaign, September 1862", civil war historian Kevin R. Pawlak provides a compendium of illustrations and maps paired with a detailed text. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95), "Such a Clash of Arms" is a particularly recommended pick for community, college, and university library American Civil War history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Kevin Pawlak (https://emergingcivilwar.com/contributor/kevin-pawlak) is the Director of Education for the Mosby Heritage Area Association and works as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Kevin also serves on the advisory board at Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute and Shepherd University's George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War.

In the Shadow of the Round Tops
Allen R. Thompson
Knox Press
c/o Permuted Press
https://permutedpress.com/knox-press
c/o Simon & Schuster (distribution)
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781637585238, $24.00, PB, 528pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Round-Tops-Countermarch-Reconnaissance/dp/1637585233

Synopsis: James Longstreet's countermarch and Samuel Johnston's morning reconnaissance are two of the most enigmatic events of the Battle of Gettysburg. Both have been viewed as major factors in the Confederacy's loss of the battle and, in turn, the war. Yet much of it lies shrouded in mystery.

Though the battle of Gettysburg is one of the most well-documented events in the history of the American Civil War, the vast majority of our knowledge comes from the words of the veterans and civilians who experienced it. Without action photography, video, or audio recordings, our primary window into what happened is the memory of those who were there. The story of the Battle of Gettysburg is simply the compilation of the memories of those who fought it. But memory is anything but objective.

Recognizing the multitude of factors that affect human memory, with the publication of "In the Shadow of the Round Tops: Longstreet's Countermarch, Johnston's Reconnaissance, and the Enduring Battles for the Memory of July 2, 1863", Allen R. Thompson explores how the individual soldiers experienced, remembered, and wrote about the battle, and how those memories have created a cloud over James Longstreet's bewildering countermarch and Samuel Johnston's infamous reconnaissance.

Each soldier had a particular view of these historic events. Because many people saw part of the story, but no one saw all of it, each memory is a critical piece to the puzzle. By comparing the veterans' memories and sifting through the factors that affected each memory, the picture of the countermarch, reconnaissance, and the entire battle, comes into sharper focus.

Critique: A seminal work of ground-breaking American Civil War history and scholarship, "In the Shadow of the Round Tops: Longstreet's Countermarch, Johnston's Reconnaissance, and the Enduring Battles for the Memory of July 2, 1863" by Allen R. Thompson is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a thirty-four page Bibliography, twelve pages of Notes, eight pages of Maps, and an eighteen-page Index. A brilliant and dedicated study, "In the Shadow of the Round Tops" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Civil War history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, civil war historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "In the Shadow of the Round Tops" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Allen R. Thompson (https://www.allenrthompson.com) is a practicing attorney in New Jersey. His writing focuses on reevaluating primary source materials to examine the standard interpretations of historical subjects, from legal doctrines to historical events. His articles have appeared in the St. Thomas Law Review and Gettysburg Magazine.

"The Bullets Flew Like Hail"
James L. McLean Jr.
Savas Beatie
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611216677, $32.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bullets-Flew-Like-Hail-Gettysburg/dp/1611216672

Synopsis: On the morning of July 1, 1863, Confederate forces pressed east toward the important crossroads town of Gettysburg. The only Union soldiers standing in their way were stalwart cavalrymen under Brig. Gen. John Buford. Luckily for the Federals, Brig. Gen. Lysander Cutler arrived with his 1st Corps brigade of infantry just in time to relieve Buford's hard-pressed cavalry. The fighting spread quickly. Cutler's stubborn defense, together with the arrival of the famous Iron Brigade, stopped the Confederate advance long enough for other Union troops to reach the field. The desperate fighting that morning helped save the important high ground upon which the battle would be fought - and won - over the next two days.

"The Bullets Flew Like Hail": Cutler's Brigade at Gettysburg, from McPherson's Ridge to Culp's Hill by civil war historian James L. McLean Jr. is the only complete account of this brigade's critical contribution to the grand victory in Pennsylvania.

This completely revised and updated edition describes the brigade's origins, its march to the field, and how it went into action, piecemeal and vulnerable. Two of Cutler's regiments, the 14th Brooklyn and the 95th New York, along with the Iron Brigade's 6th Wisconsin, participated in one of the most famous assaults of the war. The trio of regiments simultaneously charged across open ground, repulsed the attack of Brig. Gen. Joseph Davis's Rebel brigade, and captured a large number of Mississippi and North Carolina troops in an unfinished railroad cut.

By the end of July 1, Cutler's command had faced off against Confederate brigades led by James Archer, Joseph Davis, Alfred Iverson, Junius Daniels, and Alfred Scales. The brigade was one of the last to leave the field of battle and successfully reformed on Cemetery Hill. The brigade was sent to Culp's Hill on July 2, where that evening and during the early morning hours of July 3, Cutler's men assisted Brig. Gen. George Greene's 12th Corps brigade in repulsing spirited Southern attacks against the Union right flank. In doing so, Cutler's veterans held the distinction of being among the few Union troops who fought all three days of the battle. The performance of the brigade came at a great cost. Only five Union and Confederate brigades sustained 1,000 or more casualties at Gettysburg, and Cutler's was one of them.

McLean's study is grounded in primary research and a thorough understanding of the complex terrain across which Cutler's men fought and died. The more than two dozen maps that accompany the text, which depict troop movements throughout each phase of the battle, complement the photos of the battlefield and key personalities who had a hand in the bloody action. The re-release of this outstanding book by Savas Beatie fills an important gap in the Gettysburg literature.

Critique: Significantly enhanced for the reader, this new edition of "The Bullets Flew Like Hail": Cutler's Brigade at Gettysburg, from McPherson's Ridge to Culp's Hill includes three informative Prefaces, an Epilogue (The Cost of Valor), a postscript (The Aftermath), nine Appendices, a ten page Bibliography, and a seven page Index. While available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.95), "The Bullets Flew Like Hail": Cutler's Brigade at Gettysburg, from McPherson's Ridge to Culp's Hill" must be considered a core and essential addition to community, college, and university library American Civil War collections.

Editorial Note: James L. McLean Jr. taught mathematics for 30 years. Along with his wife, Judy, he co-owned Butternut and Blue, a Civil War book business, from 1983-2016. Jim and Judy sold new, used, and rare books, and also published nearly 100 titles. McLean has been fascinated with Gettysburg since childhood and has been visiting the battlefield and studying the battle for decades. Jim's articles have appeared in The Lincoln Herald, The General, and The Gettysburg Magazine.

The Civil War on the Water
Dwight Sturtevant Hughes, editor
Chris Mackowski, editor
Savas Beatie
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611216295, $32.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Water-Perspectives-Anniversary/dp/161121629X

Synopsis: Nothing in the history and traditions of the U.S. Navy from 1776 to 1860 prepared it for civil war. The sea service expanded tenfold from a third-rate force to, at least temporarily, one of the most powerful and advanced navies in the world. Former shipmates now serving in the Confederacy, meanwhile, struggled to construct some semblance of a navy from practically nothing, applying innovative technologies and underdog strategies that would achieve more than anyone thought possible.

The resulting civil war battles on the water stretched from the Arctic Circle to the Caribbean in a stunning display of machine-age technologies that included ironclads, torpedoes, submarines, steam propulsion, and improved heavy artillery. Swift Rebel raiders like the CSS Shenandoah decimated Union commerce while hundreds of storm-tossed blockaders patrolled the meandering southern coastline from Hatteras to Galveston to interdict enemy commerce.

Titanic clashes erupted between seacoast fortifications and President Lincoln's warships at Port Royal, New Orleans, Charleston, Wilmington, and Mobile. Massive amphibious operations on the Virginia Peninsula, in the North Carolina Sounds, and at Fort Fisher presaged 20th-century conflicts. Farther inland, the two services invented various riverine warfare tactics that played decisive roles at Memphis, Forts Henry and Donelson, Vicksburg, Island No. 10, and elsewhere.

"The Civil War on the Water: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War" continues the celebration of Emerging Civil War's 10th anniversary with a compilation of favorite navy tales and obscure narratives by the group's distinguished public historians. This eclectic collection of more than three dozen essays offers fresh accounts on unfamiliar topics as well as second looks at familiar battles, ships, leaders, and events. There is something here for everyone, neophyte and veteran reader alike.

Critique: Collaboratively compiled and deftly co-edited by American Civil War historians Dwight Sturtevant Hughes and Chris Mackowski, "The Civil War on the Water: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War" is comprised of forty-five succinct articles that American Civil War buffs and scholars alike will find fascinating, informative, and insightful. A seminal work that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Civil War history collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academicians, civil war history fans and historians that "The Civil War on the Water" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.95).

Editorial Note #1: Dwight Hughes is a public historian, author, and speaker in Civil War naval history. Lt. Cmdr. Hughes graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967 and served 20 years aboard warships, on navy staffs, and with river forces in Vietnam. He is the author of Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862 (Savas Beatie, 2021) and a contributing author at the Emerging Civil War blog.

Editorial Note #2: Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and a co-founder of Emerging Civil War. Chris is a writing professor at St. Bonaventure University, where he also serves as the associate dean for undergraduate programs, and is the historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield.


The Military Shelf

Patton's War
Kevin M. Hymel
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826222787, $39.95, HC, 490pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pattons-War-Leadership-August-December-Experience/dp/0826222781

Synopsis: "Patton's War: An American General's Combat Leadership August-December 1944" is second of three volumes of Patton's War and picks up where the first one (Patton's War: An American General's Combat Leadership, Volume I: November 1942-July 1944) left off, examining General George S. Patton's leadership of the U.S. Third Army.

This volume follows Patton's contributions to both the Normandy and Brittany campaigns -- the closing of the Falaise Pocket in Normandy, and racing to the port cities in Brittany. It ends with Patton and his corps rescuing the besieged town of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge.

As he did in the preceding volume, Hymel relies not only on Patton's diaries and letters, but countless veteran interviews, surveys, and memoirs. He also provides a unique insight missed by previous Patton scholars. Instead of using Patton's transcribed diaries, which were heavily edited and embellished, he consults Patton's original, hand-written diaries to uncover previously unknown information about the general.

This second volume of military historian Kevin Hymel's groundbreaking work shows Patton at the height of his generalship, successfully leading his army without the mistakes and caustic behavior that almost got him sent home earlier -- even if we also see a Patton still guided at times by racism and antisemitism.

Critique: A massive and impressively informative military biography, "Patton's War: An American General's Combat Leadership August-December 1944" is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of Illustrations, Maps, a twelve page Bibliography, sixty-two pages of Notes, and a twenty-two page Index. This seminal volume is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library World War II Histories & Biographies collections and supplemental WWII curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, and military history buffs that "Patton's War: An American General's Combat Leadership August-December 1944" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99).

Editorial Note: Kevin M. Hymel (https://www.usni.org/people/kevin-m-hymel) has served as a historian and writer for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force for the last fifteen years and is a historian/tour guide for Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, where he leads the "In Patton's Footsteps" tour. He is also a regular contributor to WWII History and WWII Quarterly, and the author of three books, including Patton's Photographs: War as He Saw It.

No Sacrifice Too Great
Gregory Fontenot
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826222848, $39.95, HC, 616pp

https://www.amazon.com/No-Sacrifice-Too-Great-Experience/dp/0826222846

Synopsis: The U.S. 1st Infantry Division (1st ID), familiarly known as the Big Red One, adapted to dynamic battlefield conditions throughout the course of its deployment during World War II by innovating and altering behavior, including tactics, techniques, and procedures. Both the Division's leaders and soldiers accomplished this by thinking critically about their experiences in combat and wasting little time in putting lessons learned to good use. Simply put, they learned on the job (in battle and after battle) and did so quickly.

In telling the Division's WWII story, which includes an extensive photographic essay featuring many previously unpublished images, this edition of "No Sacrifice Too Great: The 1st Infantry Division in World War II" by Gregory Fontenot includes the stories of individual members of the Big Red One, from high-ranking officers to enlisted men fresh off the streets of Brooklyn, both during and after the conflict. Colonel Fontenot's rare ability to combine expert analysis with compelling narrative history makes No Sacrifice Too Great an absorbing read for anyone interested in the military history of the United States.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of Maps, three Appendices (Tactical Symbols; 1st Infantry Division Organization Chart; Table of Ranks through Lieutenant Colonel), a twelve page Selected Bibliography, and a twenty-eight page Index, "No Sacrifice Too Great: The 1st Infantry Division in World War II" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library World War II military history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for military history buffs that "No Sacrifice Too Great" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $37.95).

Editorial Note: Gregory Fontenot (https://www.fpri.org/contributor/gregory-fontenot) is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army. He is currently a consultant on threat emulation for Army experimentation and a working historian. He was lead author of On Point: The US Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom published by CGSC Press and is the author of The 1st Infantry Division and the US Army Transformed: Road to Victory in Desert Storm, 1970-1991, winner of the 2017 Army Historical Foundation award for Unit History, as well as Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge.

The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777
Michael C. Harris
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636242644, $24.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Philadelphia-Campaign-1777-78-Casemate-Illustrated/dp/1636242642

Synopsis: The British Army in North America conducted two campaigns in 1777. John Burgoyne led one army south from Canada to seize control of the Lake Champlain-Hudson River corridor resulting in the battle of Saratoga. Burgoyne's defeat led to that army's capture. Rather than assist Burgoyne's campaign, William Howe led his army from New York City on the Philadelphia campaign. Although Howe captured Philadelphia, the events of 1777 led to the French Alliance and ultimately American victory in American Revolution.

Critique: With the publication of "The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777" by historian Michael C. Harris, the reader is treated to a fully illustrated account of the Philadelphia campaign that places this American Revelational War campaign into its historical context and explains the importance of this particular military campaign to the eventual outcome of the war.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated in full color throughout, "The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777" provides a succinct account of one of the pivotal battle campaigns of the American Revolution that would insure the emancipation of the colonies and their subsequent transformation into the United States of America. While a very highly recommended pick for personal reading lists and community library American History collections and supplemental American Revolution curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Editorial Note: Michael C. Harris (https://www.battlefields.org/contributors/michael-c-harris) has worked for the National Park Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at Brandywine Battlefield. He conducted tours and staff rides of many of the east coast battlefields. He has written two books on the Philadelphia Campaign: Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777, and Germantown: A Military History of the Battle for Philadelphia, October 4, 1777.

SOG Medic
Joe Parnar, author
Robert Dumont, author
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9781612006338, $32.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/SOG-Medic-Stories-Vietnam-Fence/dp/1612006337

Synopsis: Elite units carried out many dangerous operations during the Vietnam War, the most secret and hazardous of which were conducted by the Studies and Observations Group, formed in 1964.

In the years since the Vietnam War, the elite unit known as SOG has spawned many myths, legends and war stories. Special Forces medic Joe Parnar served with SOG during 1968 in FOB2/CCC near the tri-border area that gave them access to the forbidden areas of Laos and Cambodia.

With the publication of "SOG Medic: Stories from Vietnam and Over the Fence", Parnar recounts his time with the recon men of this highly classified unit, as his job involved a unique combination of soldiering and lifesaving. His stories capture the extraordinary commitment made by all the men of SOG and reveal the special dedication of the medics, who put their own lives at risk to save the lives of their teammates. Parnar also discusses his medical training with the Special Forces.

During his tour with SOG, Parnar served as a dispensary medic, chase medic, Hatchet Force medic and as a recon team member. This variety of roles gave him experience not only in combat but in dealing with and treating the civilians and indigenous peoples of that area. There is a graphic account of a Laotian operation involving America's most decorated soldier, Robert Howard, during which Parnar had to treat a man with a blown-off foot alongside nearly fifty other casualties. It is a reminder of the enormous responsibility and burden that a medic carried.

Critique: An impressively informative and inherently interesting combination of memoir and history, this new edition of "SOG Medic: Stories from Vietnam and Over the Fence" is further enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of additional photos and maps. An important and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Viet Nam War histories, biographies, and memoirs, "SOG Medic" is also available in a paperback edition (9781636243207, $24.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798200307623, $34.99, CD).

Editorial Note #1: Joe Parnar (https://www.modernforces.com/veteran_joe_parnar.htm) served in the U.S. Army Special Forces from August 1966 - April 1969. After military service he became involved in several veterans' organizations. He is a lifelong member of the American Legion and served as Commander of Gardner Post 129 in 1989 and 1990. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Special Forces and Special Operations associations.

Editorial Note #2: Robert Dumont was born in Oklahoma in 1947 and graduated from Tusla University before moving to Brooklyn, NY. He worked in the General Research Division of The New York Public Library before retiring in 2010. He co-authored Bac Si: A Green Beret Medic's War in Vietnam (Casemate 2014) with Jerry Krizan and has also written two fiction collections, "Borough of Churches" and "NYC Transit[s]."

Hard Aground
Andrew C. A. Jampoler
The University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380
www.uapress.ua.edu
9780817321390, $115.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Aground-Tennessee-Maritime-Archaeology/dp/081732139X

Synopsis: With the publication of "Hard Aground: The Wreck of the USS Tennessee and the Rise of the US Navy", Andrew C. A. Jampoler brings together three intertwined stories documenting the US Navy's strategic and materiel evolution from the end of Civil War through the First World War. These incidents had lasting consequences for how the navy would modernize itself throughout the rest of the twentieth century.

The first story focuses on the reconstruction of the US Navy following the swift and near-total dismantling of the Union Navy infrastructure after the Civil War. This reconstruction began with barely enough time for the navy's campaigns in the Spanish-American War, and for its role in the First World War. Jampoler argues that the federal government discovered that the fleet requested by the navy, and paid for by Congress, was the wrong fleet. Focus was on battleships and cruisers rather than destroyers and other small combat vessels needed to hunt submarines and serve as convoy escorts.

The second story relates the short, tragic life of the USS Tennessee (later renamed Memphis), one of the steel-hulled ships of the new Armored Cruiser Squadron that was a centerpiece of the navy's modernization effort. The USS Tennessee was ordered on two unusual missions in the early months of the First World War, long before the United States formally entered the war. These little-known missions and the ship's shocking destruction in a storm surge in the Caribbean serve as the centerpiece of the story. Threaded through the narrative are biographical sketches of the principal players in the drama that unfolded following the ship's demise, including two of Tennessee's commanding officers: Vice Admiral Sims, who commanded the US Navy squadrons deployed to Europe in support of the Royal Navy; Rear Admiral William Caperton, who commanded the Caribbean squadron before the Memphis (formerly the Tennessee) was lost; Charles Pond, squadron commander during the wreck; and the American ambassador to the Ottoman court, President Wilson's enthusiastic supporter, Henry Morgenthau.

Jampoler rounds out this fascinating account with the story of how the USS Tennessee's destruction prompted fierce deliberations about the US Navy's operations and chains of command for the remainder of the First World War and the high-level political wrangling inside the Department of the Navy immediately after the war, as civilian appointees and senior officers wrestled to reshape the department in their image.

Critique: Enhanced informatively for the reader with the inclusion of illustrations, a ten page Epilogue, an eight page Bibliography, and a sixteen page Index, "Hard Aground: The Wreck of the USS Tennessee and the Rise of the US Navy" is an exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented historical study of the American navy and key figures involved in shaping what it into the force it would become today. While also available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9780817361082, $34.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.20), "Hard Aground: The Wreck of the USS Tennessee and the Rise of the US Navy" is a especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library 20th Century U.S. Naval and Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Andrew C. A. Jampoler (https://jampoler.com) retired from the US Navy in 1986 after a twenty-four-year career, which included serving as an officer in the Strategic Plans and Policy Division of the US Navy staff and service on the personal staffs of the chief of naval operations, the secretary of defense, and the commander in chief of the US Pacific Fleet. He is author of nonfiction books about incidents in maritime history, including Embassy to the Eastern Courts: America's Secret First Pivot Toward Asia, 1832-37 and Congo, the Miserable Expeditions and Dreadful Death of Lt. Emory Taunt, USN.

Kapaun's Battle
Jeff Gress
3rd Coast Books
https://www.3rdcoastbooks.com
9781946743480, $17.95, PB, 239pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kapauns-Battle-Jeff-Gress/dp/1946743488

Synopsis: "Kapaun's Battle" by Jeff Gress is a powerful testament to the heroism of US Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun (Medal of Honor). The story follows him, from the start of the Korean War until his death as a Prisoner of War in a Communist Chinese Prison Camp in 1951, following the destruction of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment of the US 1st Cavalry Division in November 1950.

"Kapaun's Battle" is the story of a true American hero. It's the biography of a young man, from a humble Kansas farming family, whose Catholic faith led him to the priesthood. Kapaun became an Army Chaplain in Southeast Asia during World War II and then a parish priest. He volunteered to return to the Army as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula. It is the exceptional story of Father Emil Kapaun's selfless bravery and of his dedication to the men he ministered to during the Forgotten War.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II declared Father Kapaun a Servant of God, the first stage on the path to canonization. In 2013, Kapaun posthumously received the Medal of Honor from President Obama for his actions in Korea. He was the ninth American military chaplain Medal of Honor recipient.

Although "Kapaun's Battle" is relevant to every freedom-loving American and indeed people worldwide, it is especially intended for the enlightenment of students in schools and universities, along with members of religious congregations and military personnel, to the incredible impacts that one humble, pious American can have on the lives of so many by sacrificing his for them.

Critique: One of those heartfelt, heart-breaking, and truly inspiring biographies that stirs the emotion and inspirationally impacts the reader, "Kapaun's Battle" will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after this outstanding military biography has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community/academic Korean War Military History and 20th Century American Biography/Memoir collections, it should be noted that "Kapaun's Battle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Jeff Gress (https://www.3rdcoastbooks.com/jeff-gress) is a novelist, screenwriter, and movie producer who has been writing for over twenty years. He recently started his own production company, Landing Hill Pictures, hoping to turn many of his stories and novels into movies or TV series.

Pirin Planina: Tragic and Comic Episodes from Captivity
George Topirceanu
Center for Romanian Studies
c/o Histria Books
www.histriabooks.com
9781592111497, $29.99, HC, 220pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pirin-Planina-Episodes-Captivity-Literature/dp/1592111491

Synopsis: With the posthumous publication of "Pirin Planina: Tragic and Comic Episodes from Captivity", Romanian a Romanian poet, short story writer, and humorist, who in 1926 was awarded the National Poetry Prize. The late George Topirceanu (1886-1937) provides a new generation of readers with an account of his experiences as a soldier during World War I.

Despite his bleak surroundings and vivid descriptions of death and tragedy that he witnessed, Topirceanu managed to find humor in the most unusual circumstances, making "Pirin Planina" a truly unique account of the War. His experiences will leave the reader perplexed as Topirceanu's unique blend of drama, tragedy, and humor immerses the reader into the world of a soldier during World War I.

Critique: Illustrated with black/white drawings by Olga Bogozenco, ably translated into English by Diana Livesay, and featuring an informative introduction by A. K. Brackob, the military memoir of the late George Topirceanu, "Pirin Planina: Tragic and Comic Episodes from Captivity" is a valued and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library World War I military history/biography collections. It should be noted for students, academia, military historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pirin Planina: Tragic and Comic Episodes from Captivity" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Business Shelf

The Case for Good Jobs
Zeynep Ton
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781647824174, $32.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Case-Good-Jobs-Companies-Everyones/dp/1647824176

Synopsis: From healthcare facilities to call centers, fulfillment centers to factories, and restaurants to retail stores, companies are struggling to find and/or keep workers, because the jobs they offer are low-paying, stressful, and provide little chance for growth and success.

Workers want good jobs, and many business leaders want to provide them. But they don't think they can offer higher pay and more motivating work without hurting the bottom line. Most business leaders want to win with customers, but their companies are hobbled by a host of service and operational problems largely driven by high employee turnover -- turnover that's partly driven by low pay.

It is indeed a vicious cycle, with the publication of "The Case for Good Jobs: How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone's Work", Professor Zeynep Ton is here to show you the way out: why good jobs combined with strong operations lead to higher productivity and increased competitiveness for the business. And why, more than ever, in a world with tight labor markets, failing to provide good jobs will catch up with you and threaten your business.

As the leading scholar on good jobs and president of the Good Jobs Institute, Professor Ton has helped executives at many companies implement a good jobs system. With expertise drawn from spending time on the front lines with workers and their managers, she knows what's keeping most companies mired in mediocrity and how implementing a good jobs system makes them more competitive, more resilient, and more likely to attract and retain loyal customers and dedicated employees.

Critique: Informative, insightful, prescriptive, provocative, and 'real world practical', "The Case for Good Jobs" must be considered essential reading for company leaders, managers, and business owners who need to attract and retain profitable employees in today's increasingly volatile and competitive labor market. While a timely and significant addition to professional, corporate, and academic library Business & Personnel Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of readers with a responsibility or an interest in business leadership and motivation that "The Case for Good Jobs" is also available in a a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Zeynep Ton (www.Zeynepton.com) is a Professor of the Practice in the Operations Management group at MIT Sloan School of Management. She is also president of the nonprofit Good Jobs Institute, where she works with companies to improve their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers, and investors alike. Before joining MIT Sloan, Ton spent seven years on the faculty at Harvard Business School. She is also the author of "The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits". She can be followed on Twitter @zeynepton

Built for People
Jessica Zwaan
Kogan Page Inc.
8 W 38th Street, Ste 902, New York, NY 10018
www.koganpage.com
9781398608047, $127.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Built-People-Experience-Management-Principles/dp/1398608041

Synopsis: Specifically written and intended for corporate Human Resource professionals and business leaders, With the publication of "Built for People: Transform Your Employee Experience Using Product Management Principles" the Chief Operating Officer for Whereby Inc. Jessica Zwaan explains how to improve workforce and business performance by developing people-centred ways of working, evidence-based decision making and a culture of continuous feedback and iteration.

Zwaan explains everything from what this approach means for business professionals, what the benefits of it are and how to do it effectively. It covers how to proactively develop an employee experience which attracts, engages and retains the talent the business needs and supports them to operate at their full potential. There is also practical guidance on the importance of user research, sprint planning, vision development and how to encourage a continuous feedback loop in your team.

"Built for People" also includes the importance of testing and iteration and how to define metrics for success, as well as showing you how to handle organizational change, company culture clashes and how to build and improve overall business performance and employee experience at scale.

Critique: A thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of tools, case studies, exercises and advice from those who are already seeing the benefits of a product-management approach, "Built for People: Transform Your Employee Experience Using Product Management Principles" is essential reading and an invaluable reference for all entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and business leaders needing to develop an agile, innovative and evidence-based approach to their people operations. "Build for People" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, and academic library Personnel Management, Business Administration, and Workplace Culture collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies list. It should be noted that "Build for People" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398608023, $39.99, PB) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $36.22).

Editorial Note: Jessica Zwaan (https://www.jessicamayzwaan.com) is the Chief Operating Officer at Whereby, a video meetings company. Prior to this she was the Chief People Operations at Being People, Group Head of Talent at McCann Worldgroup and VP People and Talent at Wonderbly.

The Experience Mindset
Tiffani Bova
Portfolio
c/o Penguin Group USA
www.penguin.com
9780593542699, $30.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Experience-Mindset-Changing-Think-Growth/dp/059354269X

Synopsis: In fierce competition for customer acquisition, businesses have invest millions of dollars to improve customer experience. They deliver packages faster, churn out new products, and endlessly revamp their UI, often putting greater strain on employees for diminishing returns. This siloed focus on customer experience (without considering the impact on company staff members) can actually hinder growth in the long run. The most successful companies adopt an Experience Mindset that strengthens both employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) at the same time.

Based on exclusive research from two Salesforce-sponsored studies of thousands of employees and c-suite executives, "The Experience Mindset: Changing the Way You Think About Growth" by Tiffani Bova details exactly how your company can adopt an Experience Mindset, at scale. It's not enough to know that happy employees equals happy customers. You must have an intentional, balanced approach to company strategy that involves all stakeholders - IT, Marketing, Sales, Operations, and HR - with KPIs and ownership over outcomes.

"The Experience Mindset is ground-breaking and instructive guide that is filled with case studies of leading companies and never-before-seen research covering: How people, processes, technology, and culture contribute to the "virtuous cycle" of EX and CX; Why the best companies have programs that minimize the customer's effort as well as the employee's effort (and how companies like Southwest and Best Buy get this right); How to effectively roll out technology solutions that boost both EX and CX (hard truth: only 20% of customer-facing employees believe technology makes their job easier. Employees want a seamless technology experience, just like your customers.); What metrics you can use to measure EX, CX, and ultimately, the effect of the two together.

You can't improve what you can't measure. Employees are the heart of your business. If you want to remain competitive in today's marketplace, investing in people is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a must have for success and profitability.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an Appendix (Research Methodology), twenty-four pages of Notes, and a thirteen page Index, "The Experience Mindset: Changing the Way You Think About Growth" is essential reading and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management/Organizational Change collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate personnel managers, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Experience Mindset" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Tiffani Bova (https://www.tiffanibova.com) is the global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, and the author of "Growth IQ". Over the past two decades, she was an executive that led large revenue-producing divisions at businesses ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500. As a Research Fellow at Gartner, her cutting-edge insights helped Microsoft, Cisco, Salesforce, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, SAP, AT&T, Dell, Amazon-AWS, and other prominent companies expand their market share and grow their revenues. She has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 twice.

Seeing the How
Allen P. Adamson
Matt Holt Books
c/o BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637742952, $30.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Seeing-How-Transforming-People-Advantage/dp/1637742959

Synopsis: With the publication of "Seeing the How: Transforming What People Do, Not Buy, To Gain Market Advantage", Allen P. Adamson invites you to reimagine your brand, company, or idea through the lens of consumer experience. It gives today's disruptors a path to offering consumers a new and better way to do what they do, clearly demonstrating how to see opportunities, and how to seize them to great advantage.

Two years ago, Zoom was unknown to most, six years ago, Netflix was a DVD delivery service. We ride in Ubers and stay with our families in Airbnb homes. We share Spotify playlists, refresh our closets with Bonobos, and pamper our pets with Chewy. We set up meetings with Calendly and pay bills with Venmo. The speed with which these disruptions to how we do things, and the enormous profits that come with changing daily routines, is breakneck and only point the way for other industries to carve out market dominance.

"Seeing the How" brings together data-driven research on consumer behavior, behavioral psychology, marketing analysis, and storytelling to provide a framework to help identify the methods by which business leaders can make these experience disruptions possible. It's author, Allen P. Adamson, is an expert in branding, experience creation, and innovation strategy and offers businesses a step-by-step guide to breaking into the market based on the tactics of the biggest experience disruptors out there, including Netflix, Apple, Warby Parker, and Stitch Fix.

These businesses speak to market segments and consumers that are diverse and far-flung. What they share is the extent to which they are experience disruptors. Their successes derive from their ability to make the stuff of daily life different, better, and easier.

Successful experience disruption is the de facto new competitive advantage across all categories. With "Seeing the How" you will have the strategy necessary to bring your disruption to life, command market segments, and cultivate consumer loyalty.

Critique: Impressively informative, well written, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Seeing the How: Transforming What People Do, Not Buy, To Gain Market Advantage" offers extraordinary insights and a DIY motivation that will be of particular interest to entrepreneurs and business personnel managers. While especially and unreservedly recommended as a core addition to professional, community, corporate, and academic library collections and MBA curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Seeing the How: Transforming What People Do, Not Buy, To Gain Market Advantage" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Allen P. Adamson (https://allenadamson.com) is a noted industry expert in all disciplines of branding. He's worked with a broad spectrum of clients in industries ranging from packaged goods and technology, to health care and financial services, to hospitality and entertainment, as well as brands in the non-profit sector. Allen is Co-founder of Metaforce, a team of "special forces" that help organizations identify and activate the right growth strategies. Prior to Metaforce, Allen was Chairman, North America of Landor Associates, a global branding firm. Under his leadership, the company partnered with a wide array of iconic brands, including Accenture, GE, Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, HBO, Marriott, MetLife, P&G, Sony, and Verizon. Before Landor, Allen was an executive at Unilever, responsible for leading marketing for a number of major packaged goods brands. Previously, he held senior management positions at Ogilvy & Mather and DMB&B.


The Political Science Shelf

The Age of Insurrection
David Neiwert
Melville House
46 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
https://www.mhpbooks.com
9781685890360, $39.99, HC, 544pp

https://www.amazon.com/Age-Insurrection-Radical-American-Democracy/dp/1685890369

Synopsis: From a smattering of ominous right-wing compounds in the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s, to the shocking January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, America has seen the culmination of a long-building war on democracy being waged by a fundamentally violent and antidemocratic far-right movement that unironically calls itself the "Patriot" movement.

So how did we get here?

With the publication of "The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right's Assault on American Democracy", award-winning journalist David Neiwert (who been following the rise of these extremist groups since the late 1970s, when he was a young reporter in Idaho) explores how the movement was built over decades, how it was set aflame by Donald Trump and his cohorts, and how it will continue to attack American democracy for the foreseeable future.

Neiwert especially studies how the Pacific Northwest has long been a breeding ground of extremist violence, from the time when neo-nazis migrated to the area from southern California in the 1970s, through the great battles in Portland and Seattle and neighboring towns over the last decade.

Laying out how these groups organize their terroristic violence and attacks on democratic institutions at every level (including local, state, and federal targets) Neiwert details what their strategies and plans look like for the foreseeable future.

Critique: A timely and invaluable contribution to our currently on-going national discussions on the rise of an American fascism that is currently identified by governmental authorities in the FBI and other security agencies to be the greatest current threat to American democracy and our political voting systems, "The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right's Assault on American Democracy" is a compelling (and chilling) read. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) for students, academia, government officials and legislators, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right's Assault on American Democracy" is a vitally important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library White Nationalism Christian Nationalism, Fascism, and Domestic Terrorism collections and supplemental Contemporary Political Science curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: David Neiwert (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Neiwert) is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of several books, including Red Pill, Blue Pill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories that are Killing Us (Prometheus 2020), Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump (Verso 2017), Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us (Overlook 2016), and And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border (Nation Books 2013).

Class War: A Literary History
Mark Steven
Verso
20 Jay Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-8346
www.versobooks.com
9781839760693, $29.95, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Class-War-Literary-Mark-Steven/dp/1839760699

Synopsis: In political science, the term class conflict (also class struggle, class warfare, capital-labour conflict) identifies the political tension and economic antagonism that exist among the social classes of society, because of socioeconomic competition for resources among the social classes, between the rich and the poor. In the political and economic philosophies of Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, class struggle is a central tenet and a practical means for effecting radical sociopolitical changes for the social majority, the working class. (Wikipedia)

A thrilling and vivid work of history, with the publication of "Class War", Mark Steven deftly weaves together literature and politics to chart the making and unmaking of social class through revolutionary combat. In a narrative that spans the globe and more than two centuries of history, Steven ably traces the history of class war from the Haitian Revolution to Black Lives Matter movement.

Surveying the literature of revolution, from the poetry of Shelley and Byron to the novels of Emile Zola and Jack London, exploring the writings of Frantz Fanon, Che Guevara, and Assata Shakur, "Class War" reveals the interplay between military action and the politics of class, showing how solidarity flourishes in times of conflict.

Written with verve and ranging across diverse historical settings, "Class War" traverses industrial battles, guerrilla insurgencies, and anti-colonial resistance, as well as large-scale combat operations waged against capitalism's regimes and its interstate system.

In our age of economic crisis, ecological catastrophe, and planetary unrest, "Class War" tells the stories of those whose actions will help guide future militants toward a revolutionary horizon.

Critique: "Class War" is a seminal, iconoclastic, and ground-breaking literary history of global class war. This new study by Mark Steven is an inherently fascinating, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking study that is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an Introduction (Class War Now), a Postscript (No War But Class War), twenty-six pages of Notes, and a fifteen page Index. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99), "Class War" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Political Science & History collections, and supplemental Social Theory/Social Class curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Mark Steven (https://english.exeter.ac.uk/staff/steven) is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth- and Twenty-first Century Literature at the University of Exeter, UK. He is the author of Red Modernism: American Poetry and the Spirit of Communism (2017) and Splatter Capital (2017).


The Computer Shelf

Python QuickStart Guide
Robert Oliver
ClydeBank Media LLC
https://www.clydebankmedia.com
9781636100371, $34.99, HC, 396pp

https://www.amazon.com/Python-QuickStart-Guide-Hands-Applications/dp/1636100376

Synopsis: With the publication of "Python QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Python Programming Using Hands-On Projects and Real-World Applications", Robert Olver has created the ideal DIY curriculum textbook for anyone interested in learning Python fundamentals that can be used in any programming setting -- using the guidance in instructional reference guide to program their own game in a unique and practical Python learning experience.

Python powers the services of household names like Google, Netflix, and Spotify along with tech pioneers like NASA, IBM, and Intel. Put simply, Python is the in-demand and easy-to-learn programming language that gets stuff done.

Critique: So well organized and 'use friendly' in presentation, it just doesn't matter if the reader is a new or existing programmer, a job seeker looking for a career change or promotion, or just someone who wants to learn how to automate basic tasks with Python-Robert's step-by-step approach, complete with a hands-on companion Python game project -- "Python QuickStart Guide is the perfect starting point to master Python fundamentals! While also available in a paperback edition (9781636100357, $26.99), a spiral-bound edition (9781636100388, $32.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), the "Python QuickStart Guide" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Computer Science & Programming collections.

Editorial Note: Robert W. Oliver II (https://rwo2.com) is a senior developer and DevOps consultant with over two decades of experience in the field. A truly full-stack programmer, Robert has architected both front-end and back-end systems and designed algorithms used in technologies operating at scales ranging from small to enterprise. With decades of experience working in Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, C/C++, Rust, and C#, he is fluent in the languages of programming and system design.


The Photography Shelf

Alfredo Boulton
Idurre Alonso, editor
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606068199, $60.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alfredo-Boulton-Looking-Venezuela-1928-1978/dp/1606068199

Synopsis: Alfredo Boulton (1908-1995) is considered one of the most important champions of modern art in Venezuela and a key intellectual of twentieth-century modernism. He was a pioneer of modern photography, an art critic, a researcher and historian of Venezuelan art, a friend to many of the great artists and architects of the twentieth century, and an expert on the imagery of the heroes of his country's independence.

Yet, Boulton is shockingly is not well known outside of his native land. The few exhibitions related to his work have focused exclusively on his photographic production; never has there been a project that looks at the full range of Boulton's efforts, foregrounding his influence on the shaping of Venezuelan art.

With the publication of "Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela, 1928-1978", Getty Museum art curator Idurre Alonso addresses these lacunae by analyzing Boulton's groundbreaking photographic practice, his central role in the construction of a modern national artistic canon, and his influence in formalizing and developing art history and criticism in Venezuela. Based on the extensive materials held in Boulton's archive at the Getty Research Institute, curator Alfredo Boulton brings together essays by leading scholars in the field to offer a commanding, original perspective on his contributions to the formation of a distinctive modernity at home and beyond.

Critique: It should be noted that "Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela, 1928-1978" is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center from August 29, 2023, to January 21, 2024. This large format (8.50(w) x 10.75(h), 1.74 pounds) edition is profusely illustrated, impressively informative, and expertly presented account of the life and accomplishments of the Venezuela artist and photographer Alfredo Boulton and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Photography & Biography collections. It should be noted that "Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela, 1928-1978" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $57.00).

Editorial Note: Idurre Alonso (https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/author/ialonso) is curator of Latin American collections at the Getty Research Institute.


The Literary Studies Shelf

The Bard in the Borderlands: Volume 1
Katherine Gillen, editor
Adrianna M. Santos, editor
Kathryn Vomero Santos, editor
ACMRS Press
Arizona State University
PO Box 874402, Tempe, AZ 85287-4402
https://acmrspress.com
9780866988384, $19.95, PB, 350pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bard-Borderlands-Anthology-Shakespeare-Appropriations/dp/0866988386

Synopsis: For several decades, Chicanx and Indigenous theater makers have been re-purposing Shakespeare's plays to reflect the histories and lived realities of the US-Mexico Borderlands and to create space to tell stories of and for La Frontera. Celebrating this rich tradition, :The Bard in the Borderlands: An Anthology of Shakespeare Appropriations en La Frontera" brings a wide range of Borderlands Shakespeare plays together for the first time in a multi-volume open-access scholarly edition.

Collaboratively co-edited by the academic editorial team of Katherine Gillen, Adrianna M. Santos, and Kathryn Vomero Santos, "The Bard in the Borderlands: An Anthology of Shakespeare Appropriations en La Frontera, Volume 1" is anthology that celebrates the dynamic, multilingual reworking of canon and place that defines Borderlands Shakespeare, and it situates these geographically and temporally diverse plays within the robust study of Shakespeare's global afterlives.

The editors offer a critical framework for understanding the artistic and political traditions that shape these plays and the place of Shakespeare within the multilayered colonial histories of the region. Borderlands Shakespeare plays, they contend, do not simply reproduce Shakespeare in new contexts but rather use his work in innovative ways to negotiate colonial power and to envision socially just futures.

Critique: "The Bard in the Borderlands: An Anthology of Shakespeare Appropriations en La Frontera, Volume 1" features a wide range of plays that deftly re-imagine Shakespeare works from Borderlands perspectives. Unique, ground-breaking, exceptional, thought-provoking, and inherently fascinating, "The Bard in the Borderlands" is a distinctive, ground-breaking, and unreservedly recommended as an addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Shakespeare studies collections. Of special appeal and value for readers with an interest in Hispanic American Dramas & Plays, it should be noted that "The Bard in the Borderlands" is also available in a paperback edition (9780866988391, $19.95).

Editorial Note #1: Katherine Gillen (https://tamus.academia.edu/KGillen/CurriculumVitae) is associate professor of English at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She is the author of Chaste Value: Economic Crisis, Female Chastity, and the Production of Social Difference on Shakespeare's Stage.

Editorial Note #2: Adrianna M. Santos (https://adriannasantos.wordpress.com) is an assistant professor of English at Texas A&M University-San Antonio where she acts as cocoordinator of the Mexican American, Latinx, and Borderlands Studies interdisciplinary minor.

Editorial Note #3: Kathryn Vomero Santos (https://kathrynvomerosantos.com) is assistant professor of English and codirector of the Humanities Collective at Trinity University. She currently serves as Performance Reviews Editor for Shakespeare Bulletin.


The Art Shelf

The Fantastic Gustave Dore
Alix Pare, author
Valerie Sueur-Hermel, author
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791379630, $65.00, HC, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Gustave-Dor%C3%A9-Alix-Par%C3%A9/dp/3791379631

Synopsis: "The Fantastic Gustave Dore" is comprised of an informative and unique retrospective of the best and most representative of French artist Gustave Dore's prints and pictures selected from an archive of more than 10,000 pieces of his work. Originally published by: Editions du Chene - Hachette Livre, this new large format hard cover, half-linen, edition (20.5 x 26.0 cm, 23) of The Fantastic Dore by co-authors Vaalerie Sueur-Hermel and Alix Pare is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of 23 color illustrations and 380 b/w illustrations by the legendary French artist, print maker, illustrator, and sculpture Gustave Dore (6 January 1832 - 23 January 1883).

Critique: Simply stated, this magnificent an informative volume showcasing the artistry and imagery of Gustave Dore is a singular and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and supplemental curriculum Gustave Dore studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note #1: Alix Pare is a lecturer specializing in 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century Western painting. She held previous positions at the Louvre Museum in Paris and the ChÉteau de Versailles, France.

Editorial Note #2: Valerie Sueur-Hermel is curator of the Department of Prints and Photography at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, in Paris, France. She has curated numerous exhibitions such as: Daumier (2008), Gustave Dore (2014), Odilon Redon (2011).

Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle
Eleanor Nairne
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791379661, $29.95, HC, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Neel-Hot-Off-Griddle/dp/3791379666

Synopsis: Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 - October 13, 1984) was one of the great American painters of the twentieth century and a pioneer among women artists. A painter of people, landscape and still life, Neel was never fashionable or in step with avant-garde movements. "One of the reasons I painted was to catch life as it goes by," she explained, "right hot off the griddle."

"Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle" by Eleanor Nairne is a beautifully designed volume that takes a unique approach to the exhibition catalog, highlighting Neel's understanding of the fundamentally political nature of how we look at others, and what it means to feel seen.

Long a favorite of portrait lovers, Neel has recently gained an even wider 21st-century audience appreciative of the searing candor with which she viewed the world, the depth of her humanity, and her championing of the underdog.

This beautifully produced catalog from Prestel Publishing features a thoroughly modern design, as well as an essay by renowned critic Hilton Als and poetry by Daisy Lafarge.

Critique: A unique, informative, and fascinating study of Alice Neel and her work by art gallery curator Eleanor Nairne, "Alice Neel: Hott Off The Griddle" is full color compendium of her artwork is further enhanced for the reader with a chronology of her life and accomplishments and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists for art students as well as community, college, and university library 20th Century American Art History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Eleanor Nairne (https://artuk.org/discover/profile/eleanor-nairne) is Curator at Barbican Art Gallery, London. She is a contributor to the London Review of Books, has written for magazines including frieze and is a previous Jerwood Writer in Residence. Her previous books with Prestel include Jean Dubuffet and Basquiat: Boom for Real! She live in London, England.

Creative Wanderlust
Kasia Avery
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9780760381434, $24.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Wanderlust-Mixed-Media-Journaling-Techniques/dp/0760381437

Synopsis: With the publication of "Creative Wanderlust: Unlock Your Artistic Potential Through Mixed-Media Art Journaling Techniques", mixed-media artist and author Kasia Avery shows how to set up and begin an art journaling practice, and then how to fully enjoy and benefit from it with ideas and tools for moving beyond obstacles such as perfectionism, self-criticism, and finding space and time to create.

The founder of the Everything Art mixed-media online learning platform and the lead teacher of its yearlong mixed-media course Wanderlust, Kasia knows what artists need, having coached thousands of students over the years and listened to their struggles while helping them break through and find joy in art.

"Creative Wanderlust" is includes: Comprehensive information on supplies and the fundamentals for getting started in an art journaling practice; Sections focusing on overcoming common creative and personal issues, supported by related prompts, lessons, and projects that incorporate a diverse range of mixed-media techniques; Insights and inspirational artworks offering a variety of styles and ideas from well-known Wanderlust artist-teachers, including Helen Colebrook, Finnabair, Amy Maricle, and Dyan Reaveley.

Critique: Profusely and effectively illustrated throughout in full color, "Creative Wanderlust: Unlock Your Artistic Potential Through Mixed-Media Art Journaling Techniques" is an ideal DIY instructional guide to mixed media artwork and the development of your personal style. Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Creative Wanderlust" is an ideal instructional guide and 'how to' manual for personal use and as a textbook for art school curriculums. Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "Creative Wanderlust" is a highly recommended pick for personal, professional, community, and art school library collections.

Editorial Note: Kasia Avery (www.everything-art.com) is the co-founder of Everything Art, an online art education platform that offers classes in all aspects of mixed-media art and features well-known guest artists. She started Wanderlust, an online yearlong course in mixed-media art journaling, in 2016, which has attracted more than 25,000 students. Kasia has also designed stencils for The Crafter's Workshop and stamps for The Scrapbook Diaries, and has worked with Prima Marketing Inc. as a design team member and educator. Her work has been published in Somerset Life, Somerset Apprentice, and Art Journaling magazines.

Burning Man: Art on Fire, revised edition
Jennifer Raiser, author
Scott London, photographer
Sidney Erthal, photographer
Epic Ink
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760379837, $45.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Man-Fire-Revised-Updated/dp/0760379831

Synopsis: For one week a year, a remote desert lakebed in Nevada becomes Black Rock City, the home of Burning Man, where 80,000 participants create a temporary community devoted to expression and play. There is no money, no running water -- and no constraints. Artists bring enormous sculptures for participants to climb. Outrageous Mutant Vehicles glide through an opulent mirage. This is a dreamscape of permission. For seven days and nights, the artistic movement of our time materializes -- and then disappears without a trace.

Now in a newly updated and revised edition, "Burning Man: Art on Fire" features: Over 150 new photographs and descriptions of individual pieces of Burning Man art from over two decades, including art from the 2022 Burning Man event; Over 32 new pages featuring incredible sculptures and Mutant Vehicles; A fully updated text, which considers Burning Man's evolving significance in the art world, and how Burning Man is the art movement of our time; A foreword from Burning Man CEO and Co-Founder Marian Goodell; A new epilogue about the growing importance of Burning Man art beyond Black Rock City, including museum exhibits, public art, and over 100 regional Burning Man events worldwide; A tribute to Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey, with highlights of his philosophical approach to art.

Critique. Published in a large format (7.99 x 10 x 1.85 inches, 3.9 pounds), this new, hardcover edition of "Burning Man: Art on Fire" is brilliantly visual and impressively informative homage to an annual ephemeral event is unreservedly recommended to the attention of Burners, artists, creative thinkers, and anyone who has ever imagined a visit to Burning Man -- one of the most extraordinary places on earth. While a valued pick for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art/Sculpture/Pop Culture history collections, it should be noted that this newly revised and updated edition of "Burning Man: Art on Fire" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $42.75).

Editorial Note #1: Jennifer Raiser (https://bentlyfoundation.org/leadership-team/jennifer-raiser) is a writer, nonprofit leader, and Burner. Burning Man: Art on Fire (2014/2016/2023, Quarto/Epic Ink,) is a love letter to her happiest place on earth, Black Rock City. Known on playa as CocoCabana, she volunteers with the Black Rock Rangers and Gate, Perimeter, and Exodus departments; she has served as the Treasurer and Board Member of the nonprofit Burning Man Project since its founding.

Editorial Note #2: Scott London (https://www.scottlondon.com/photography/about) has been documenting the art and culture of Burning Man for nearly two decades. His images from the event have appeared in many books, newspapers, and magazines, including Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Architectural Digest, San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times. They have also been exhibited at museums and shows across the United States and Europe.

Editorial Note #3: Sidney Erthal (https://www.facebook.com/SidneyErthalPhotography) is acclaimed for his photography, with a special emphasis on spontaneous portraiture. His work has been featured in many international publications and an increasing number of exhibits. He has spent the last decade engaging with and photographing the people and phenomenon of Burning Man.

The Spirit of the City
Janna Jones
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
http://msupress.org
9781611864540, $49.99, HC, 240pp

https://msupress.org/9781611864540/the-spirit-of-the-city

Synopsis: Marshall Fredericks's Detroit sculptures capture the spirit of the Motor City and its dramatic transformation from the 1950s to the present day.

With the publication of "The Spirit of the City: Marshall Fredericks Sculptures in Detroit ", Janna Jones analyzes eight of these enormous works of public art, situating them and their structures in metro Detroit's distinctive mid-century milieu and bringing much-needed critical attention to this sculptor's oeuvre.

Sadly, some of these artworks have suffered along with the city as it shrank from its postwar zenith. Both the buildings and the sculptures erected for them deserve to be rescued from neglect, and then maintained and preserved for the future.

Critique: Of particular and special interest to readers concerned with public art and the appreciation of sculpture, "The Spirit of the City: Marshall Fredericks Sculptures in Detroit" is an extraordinary study that is enhanced with the inclusion of black/white images and illustrations. While also available for personal reading lists from Michigan State University Press in a paperback edition (9781611864557, $29.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45), "The Spirit of the City" will prove a welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to community, college, and university library American Public Art & Architecture History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Janna Jones (https://www.networkisa.org/profile/janna-jones) is Professor of Creative Media and Film in the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University. She is also the author of the books The Southern Movie Palace: Rise, Fall, and Resurrection and The Past Is a Moving Picture: Preserving the Twentieth Century on Film. She has published dozens of journal articles and book chapters, which include articles in the Journal of Curatorial Studies, Liminalities, The Moving Image, and the Michigan Historical Review.


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Hammer Complete: The Films, The Personnel, The Company
Howard Maxford
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476670072, $95.00, PB, Volumes 1 & 2, 992pp

McFarland & Company is a premier publisher of books in the field of cinematic history. Now they have published film historian Howard Maxford's "Hammer Complete: The Films, The Personnel, The Company" a two volume history of the British movie company Hammer Film: "Hammer Complete: Volume One, A-L" and Hammer Complete: Volume Two, M-Z.

Think you know everything there is to know about Hammer Films, the fabled "Studio that Dripped Blood?" The lowdown on all the imperishable classics of horror, like The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula and The Devil Rides Out? But what about the company's less blood-curdling back catalog? What about the musicals, comedies and travelogues, the fantasies and historical epics -- not to mention the pirate adventures?

This lavishly illustrated two volume encyclopedia definitively covers every Hammer film and television production in thorough detail, including budgets, shooting schedules, publicity and more, along with all the actors, supporting players, writers, directors, producers, composers and technicians. Both volumes are simply packed from cover to cover with quotes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, credit lists and production specifics.

Critique: This large format edition of Volumes 1 & 2 of "Hammer Complete: The Films, The Personnel, The Company" is a comprehensive, detailed, and fully informed reference work of a cherished, British cinematic institution whose impact on 20th Century popular culture was worldwide. Exceptionally well organized and presented, and also available in a paperback edition (9781476693446, $49.95) and in a digital book format (9781476629148, $49.99), "Hammer Complete: The Films, The Personnel, The Company: Volume 1 & 2" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library 20th Century Cinematic History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in London, England, Howard Maxford is a freelance entertainment journalist who has contributed reviews, interviews, features and retrospectives to a variety of UK magazines, including Film Review, Starburst, Shivers, Replay, Tower Records' Top, London After Dark, Video Now and HMV Choice.

Cliffhanger!: Cinematic Superheroes of the Serials: 1941-1952
Christopher Irving, author
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491196, $39.95, HC, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cliffhanger-Cinematic-Superheroes-Serials-1941-1952/dp/1605491195

Synopsis: With the publication of "Cliffhanger!: Cinematic Superheroes of the Serials: 1941-1952" popular culture historian Christopher Irving deftly explores the origins of the first on-screen superheroes and the comic creators and film-makers who brought them to life.

"Cliffhanger!" touches on the early days of the film serial, to its explosion as a juvenile medium of the 1930s and '40s. Readers will see how the creation of characters like Superman, Captain America, Spy Smasher, and Captain Marvel dovetailed with the early film adaptations.

Along the way, the reader will be introduced to the stuntmen, directors (Spencer Bennett, William Witney, producer Sam Katzman), comic book creators (Siegel & Shuster, Simon & Kirby, Bob Kane, C.C. Beck, Frank Frazetta, Will Eisner), and actors (Buster Crabbe, George Reeves, Lorna Gray, Kane Richmond, Kirk Alyn, Dave O'Brien) who brought them to the silver screen - and how that resonates with today's cinematic superhero universe.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Cliffhanger!: Cinematic Superheroes of the Serials: 1941-1952" by Christopher Irving is essential reading for dedicated fans of the now legendary superhero characters that influenced popular culture for a mid-20th century decade through comics and movies. Exceptionally informative and impressively organized/presented, "Cliffhanger!" must be considered as a core and mandatory addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Popular Culture and Cinematic History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: There is an online and comprehensive listing of a 'Curriculum Vitae' of Christopher Irving works at (http://www.christopherirving.com/p/curriculum-vitae.html)

Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film
Steve Matteo
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
www.halleonard.com
9781493059010, $24.95, PB, 350pp

https://www.amazon.com/Act-Naturally-Beatles-Steve-Matteo/dp/1493059017

Synopsis: The Beatles produced five films during their time together: A Hard Day's Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and Let It Be. Some were cinematic successes, and some were not, but (along with subsequent reissues, bonus material, and Peter Jackson's The Beatles: Get Back, a documentary companion to Let It Be) they comprise an endlessly fascinating document of key phases in the group's career.

With the publication of "Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film", their fans are offered a comprehensive deep-dive into the band's movies, by author and longtime music journalist Steve Matteo who follows the origins, filming, and often frenzied fan reception of projects from the 1964 premiere of A Hard Day's Night through 1970's Let It Be to the release of Get Back in 2022.

Matteo also explores the production process, original theatrical film releases, subsequent VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray releases, and bonus materials, along with the US and UK soundtracks. In addition to copious anecdotes and behind-the-scenes details, he also places these films in their larger context, a period of unprecedented artistic and commercial innovation in British and world cinema.

Filled with stories and insights that will satisfy collectors, buffs, and casual fans alike, this is the definitive account of an underappreciated part of the Beatles' creative output.

Critique: Featuring occasional black/white illustrations, a ten page Selected Bibliography, and a nineteen page Index, "Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film" is an impressively informative, meticulously researched, exceptionally well organized and presented study that will be of special appeal and interest to the continuing legions of Beatles fans. While a highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library 20th Century Cinematic Studies and Pop-Music History collections, it should be noted for students, fans, and academia that "Act Naturally" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Steve Matteo is the author of the books Let It Be and Dylan and contributed to the collection The Beatles in Context. He has written for such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York, Time Out New York, Rolling Stone, Spin, Elle, and Salon. He often appears on radio in his capacity as a music journalist and author. A complete listing of his books is available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/173990.Steve_Matteo

Enchanted Disney
Spencer Wright
BearManor Media
PO Box 71426, Albany, GA 31708
BearManorMedia.com
9798887711751, $42.00, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Disney-Stories-Hollywood-Live-Action/dp/B0C5PTLV65

Synopsis: In its centennial year, "Enchanted Disney: Stories of Walt, Hollywood, and Live-Action Film" by Spencer Wright take the reader on a journey through the history of the Walt Disney Company as viewed through the lens of the studio's live-action films, and the life of its co-creator Walt Disney. By discussing the life and work of fifteen people who contributed to live-action features, Walt Disney fans will learn about what influenced the studios' films, and how they related to Hollywood as a whole.

How did Walt's experience in 1920's Los Angeles compare to others, such as silent queen Pola Negri? How did major celebrities see Walt and his studio, as it fit into the landscape of the industry? Which star was inspired to help preserve Hollywood memorabilia as a result of spending time with Walt in Disneyland at the Park's opening? These questions and a great many more are answered in fifteen informative chapters, each of which takes the reader on a fascinating journey from the early 1900's and into the 21st Century.

Critique: A simply fascinating and extraordinarily informative combination of biographic and cinematic history, "Enchanted Disney: Stories of Walt, Hollywood, and Live-Action Film" is an extraordinary read from cover to cover. Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a section of black/white illustrations, an informative four page Introduction, a three page bibliography of Further Reading, five pages of Notes & Resources, and a four page Index, "Enchanted Disney: Stories of Walt, Hollywood, and Live-Action Film" is a strongly recommended and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, college, and university library Movie History/Criticism and American Biography/Walt Disney collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and the legions of Walt Disney fans that "Enchanted Disney: Stories of Walt, Hollywood, and Live-Action Film" is also available in a paperback edition (9798887711744, $32.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Spencer Wright is passionate about Disney History and Old Hollywood. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/spencer-wright-ba769869_enchanted-disney-stories-of-walt-hollywood-activity-707232775 7552082944-3s0K


The Music Shelf

All the Leaves Are Brown
Scott G. Shea
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
www.halleonard.com
9781493072118,$32.95, HC, 422pp

https://www.amazon.com/All-Leaves-Are-Brown-Together/dp/1493072110

Synopsis: Few songs have captured the contradictions and ambiguities of the 1960s as memorably as "California Dreamin'," the iconic folk music single that catapulted the Mamas & the Papas into rock and roll history. With the publication of "All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart", author and documentary producer Scott Shea details how John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Michelle Phillips, and "Mama Cass" Elliot became standard-bearers for California counterculture, following their transformation from folk music wannabes to rock sensations and chronicling the tumultuous events that followed their unexpected success.

Shea gives a definitive account of the group's short time together, from their hitmaking approach with legendary producer Lou Adler to John's unique songwriting to tours and friendships with other musicians riding the folk-rock wave. He also explores the emotional vicissitudes that came with being in the Mamas & the Papas, from Cass's unrequited love for Denny, his affair with Michelle, and the ebb and flow of dysfunction in John and Michelle's marriage.

And he explains how it all came to a crashing end with John's brainchild, the Monterey Pop Festival, which should have launched the group even further into the musical stratosphere, but only served to be their undoing. Drawing on new interviews with former bandmates, session musicians, family members, and many others, "All the Leaves Are Brown" is a layered, revelatory tale of overnight stardom and its many pitfalls.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a ten page Epilogue, a four page Bibliography, and a thirty-one page Index, "All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart" is the definitive and fascinating history of the Mamas & the Papas -- and a 'must read' choice for their legions of fans. While highly recommended as a core addition to personal, community, and academic library 20th Century American Music History and Rock Band Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.18).

Editorial Note: Scott G. Shea (https://scottsheaauthor.com) is a longtime radio producer who currently works on the show Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd on SiriusXM. He has produced five original audio documentaries that have aired nationally.


The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Beauty
Hubert, author
Kerascoet, illustrator
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
www.nbmpub.com
9781681123158, $19.99, PB, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Hubert/dp/1681123150

Synopsis: When the repulsively ugly Coddie unintentionally saves a fairy, Coddie wishes for beauty, but she does not understand the poisonous nature of the fairy who grants the wish. The village folk no longer see Coddie as repulsive and stinking of fish. They now perceive her as magnetically beautiful - which does not help her. The villagers plot to gang rape her, and when she attempts to escape, her mother is killed.

A young local lord rescues Coddie, but her ultimate destiny may be far greater - or perhaps far more terrible - than anyone ever imagined. No one is truly safe in the wake of Coddie's preternatural beauty; not her loved ones, not her country, not even her enemies.

Critique: A dark, caustic, and violent fairy tale for adults, Beauty an engrossing take on the nature and corrupting power of beauty and our obsession with it. A highly recommended pick for personal reading lists and community/academic library Graphic Novel collections, "Beauty", by the late author Hubert and artist/illustrator Kerascoet, is now available for the legions of Hubert fans in a paperback edition and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note #1: Hubert started at first making a reputation for himself as a colorist but soon turned to scriptwriting where he established himself as a leading voice in graphic novels for an adult audience. Hubert thus spoke of anorexia, gender, or even homosexuality in tales and stories that have become as essential as Miss Pas Touche or Beauty (both from NBM), drawn by the duo Kerascoet. He passed away on February 12, 2020.

Editorial Note #2: Kerascoet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerasco%C3%ABt) is the joint pen name of the French illustrators, comics and animation artists Marie Pommepuy (born 1978) and her husband Sebastien Cosset (born 1975).

Darkly She Goes
Hubert, author
Vincent Mallie, illustrator
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
www.nbmpub.com
9781681123134, $29.99, HC, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Darkly-She-Goes-Hubert/dp/1681123134

Synopsis: Once upon a time there was a fallen knight, who believed that saving a princess would allow him to atone for his crimes. Once upon a time there was a dark princess, who believed that it was up to her to atone for the crimes of her parents.

Banished for a fault that forever taints his reputation, Arzhur wanders from tavern to field of battle in search of the next contract which will fill his purse. One night, three mysterious old women offer him to regain honor and fortune if he frees the daughter of a neighboring king, held captive in the ruins of an abandoned castle.

But Islen is not the damsel in distress that he expected to save...

Critique: Enhanced on every page by the museum quality art of Vincent Mallie, author Humbert's graphic novel, "Darkly She Goes" reveals the weight of a family legacy in the form of a compelling fairytale with a message about facing one's inner demons. "Darkly She Goes" is a riveting ode to redemption that pits free will against fate, and brought vividly and memorably to life by the collaboration of two true masters of the fantasy genre. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Darkly She Goes" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note #1: Hubert started at first making a reputation for himself as a colorist but soon turned to scriptwriting where he established himself as a leading voice in graphic novels for an adult audience. Hubert thus spoke of anorexia, gender, or even homosexuality in tales and stories that have become as essential as Miss Pas Touche or Beauty (both from NBM), drawn by the duo Kerascoet. He passed away on February 12, 2020.

Editorial Note #2: Vincent Mallie (http://vincentmallie.com) was born in Paris in 1973. He graduated in graphic arts in Paris. Since 1998 he has been a comic artist collaborating with many top French authors in the field and working on a number of bestselling novels and series. Renowned for the aesthetics of his semi-realistic line, the efficiency of his layouts and his gift for fabulous natural compositions, Vincent started collaborating with the late Hubert (Beauty, Miss Don't Touch Me) on Darkly She Goes, which gave him the opportunity to offer an epic and seductive drawing, in a feminist tale as powerful as it is striking.

Satan's Kingdom
Robert Sergel
Secret Acres
PO 710, Cooperstown, NY 13326
https://www.facebook.com/secretacres
9798985586312, $19.95, PB, 148pp

https://www.amazon.com/Satans-Kingdom-Robert-Sergel/dp/B0BT1KMFKG

Synopsis: Robert Sergel's Best American Comics selection and Ignatz Award nominated series, Eschew, captures those awkward, private, hilarious moments of our past with the publication of "Satan's Kingdom", a new collection that illustrated and documents that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. "Satan's Kingdom" tours America's haunted history of spite houses and bad babysitters. Readers will meet Napoleon in New Jersey, and find themselves somewhere between Desolation Bay and Satan's Kingdom.

Critique: Distinctively illustrated with author/illustrator Robert Sergel's black/white artwork, "Satan's Kingdom" is a memorable and entertaining read from beginning to end. This trade paperback edition of "Satan's Kingdom" published by Secret Acres is highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Contemporary Graphic Novel collections.

Editorial Note: Robert Sergel (http://www.robertsergel.com) has a degree in Photo & Imaging from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In the mid-2000's he was a member of the Transplant web comic collective. He is the author of the graphic novel, Bald Knobber, and draws the Ignatz-nominated comic series Eschew, a Best American Comics selection. SPACE: An Eschew Collection was published by Secret Acres and counted on Paste Magazine's best comics of the year.

Shadow Hills
Sean Ford
Secret Acres
PO 710, Cooperstown, NY 13326
https://www.facebook.com/secretacres
9798985586343, $23.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Hills-Sean-Ford/dp/B0BT16Z9SS

Synopsis: Environmental disturbances and a mysterious epidemic wreak havoc on the remote, struggling town of Shadow Hills. The rivalrous townsfolk race to find a cure and uncover the source of the threat before it destroys the entire community. Their search for answers leads them into the depths of a long buried past.

Critique: "Shadow Hills" is the long-awaited follow-up to Sean Ford's perennial favorite graphic novel, "Only Skin". A decade in the making, Shadow Hills collects all ten serialized chapters and brings the highly acclaimed series to a new, stunning conclusion. Of special appeal to readers with an interest in dystopian and mystery fiction, "Shadow Hills" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library Graphic Novel collections.

Editorial Note: Sean Ford is a founding editor of the Best American Comics notable comic anthology, Sundays. He graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies in 2008. His comics and illustrations have appeared in the Alternative Comics anthology series, Alternative Comics are Dead, online at Slate and Narratively, and in Verso Books titles. His design work includes books by authors Malcolm Gladwell, James Patterson, Dan Simmons, Joshua Ferris, Anita Shreve and others. (https://www.cartoonstudies.org/tag/secret-acres)

Destroyer Duck: Graphite Edition
Jack Kirby & Steve Gerber
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491172, $31.95

https://www.amazon.com/Destroyer-Duck-Graphite-Steve-Gerber/dp/1605491179

Destroyer Duck: Graphite Edition is a revealing and satirical survey of the legal battle writer Steve Gerber found himself in against Marvel Comics over the ownership of his creation Howard the Duck. He tapped artist Jack Kirby to contribute to a benefit comic called Destroyer Duck, and thus a five-issue biting attack was created which is reproduced here, relettered from Kirby's pencil art and featuring examples contrasting Alfredo Alcala's inking style over Kirby's on original issues, Gerber's scripts and plots, and more. Authoritative collections on comic book history need this survey, which covers the hidden jabs in Destroyer Duck and reproduces Kirby's pencil art in a black and white celebration of both art and efforts to foster creative license and freedom. Definitive comic book history collectors and libraries should consider this a mainstay of historic import.


The Audiobook Shelf

Game Of Scones
Kim M. Watt, author
Patricia Gallimore, narrator
Isis Audio Books
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781399150118, $122.95, MP3-CD (11 Hours 20 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Game-Scones-Kim-M-Watt/dp/1399150111

Synopsis: Bribery. Corruption. Murder. -- Who said local politics were boring?

Suspicious deaths on the Skipton city council don't sound as though they should have anything at all to do with the Toot Hansell Women's Institute, and DI Adams would rather like to keep it that way. But when the councillor for Toot Hansell becomes the latest victim, Alice Martin, chair of the W.I. and RAF Wing Commander (ret.), steps straight in to take his place.

Before DI Adams can so much as say lemon drizzle cake the ladies of the Women's Institute are lurking around farmyards in the company of dragons, farmers are vanishing, the invisible dog's developed a caffeine dependence, and Alice is already in as deep as she can get.

In deep, and facing a killer that seems to know far too much about her. Enough, perhaps, to turn the tables. Murder, mayhem, and old secrets come to light in the Yorkshire Dales -- along with dragons, of course.

Critique: "Game of Scones" is book 4 in novelist Kim M. Watt's the Beaufort Scales of 'whodunnit' murder mysteries. With her impressive storytelling skills, narrator Patricia Gallimore provides the cozy mystery fan with a true 'theatre of the mind experience in this complete and unabridged audio book edition of Kim Watt's "Game of Scones". Of particular interest to dedicated fans of the cozy mystery genre, this Isis Audio Book edition of "Game of Scones" is a very special and highly recommended addition to personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Kim M. Watts (www.kmwatt.com) has a lengthy listing of her novels on the GoodReads website at https://www.goodreads.com/series/250128-beaufort-scales-mystery

The Body At Carnival Bridge
Michelle Salter, author
Polly Edsell, narrator
Boldwood Books
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroft.com
9781837510535, $97.95, MP3-CD (9 Hours 5 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-body-at-carnival-bridge-michelle-salter/1143082518

Synopsis: How deadly is the fight for equality? In 1922 (and after spending a year traveling through Europe), Iris Woodmore returns home to find a changed Walden.

Wealthy businesswoman Constance Timpson has introduced equal pay in her factories and allows women to retain their jobs after they marry. But these radical new working practices have made her deadly enemies.

A mysterious sniper fires a single shot at Constance -- is it a warning, or did they shoot to kill? When one of her female employees is murdered, it's clear the threat is all too real -- and it's not just Constance in danger.

As amateur sleuth Iris investigates, she realizes the sniper isn't the only hidden enemy preying on women!

Critique: With a riveting narration by the impressively talented voice actor Polly Edsell, the cozy mystery novel by Michelle Salter is brought vividly to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience. A brilliantly crafted, exceptionally entertaining, and deftly scripted original story that will hold a special appeal to dedicated fans of the cozy mystery genre and is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library cosy mystery audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Michelle Salter (https://www.michellesalter.com) is an historical crime fiction writer based in Hampshire, United Kingdom. Many of her novels are set in the area where she lives and are inspired by real-life events in 1920s Britain. She brings a love of social history to her novels, which reflect how issues of 100 years ago are not so different from the challenges we face today. Michelle can be followed on Twitter: @MichelleASalter and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleSalterWriter

Betraying the Crown
T. P. Fielden
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713659204, $25.99, MP3-CD (8 Hours 47 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Betraying-Crown-Guy-Harford-Mystery/dp/1713659204

Synopsis: Windsor, 1943. Britain is in the grip of war and treachery is afoot. The body of controversial former courtier Lord Blackwater is found in the abandoned Fort Belvedere, once the country bolthole of the King's wayward brother. And all signs point to murder.

Royal confidant Guy Harford is called in to solve the mystery quickly and quietly, before any hint of scandal reaches the public. Investigating with the help of Rodie, his roguish burglar girlfriend, his enquiries lead him into the world of the Royal Ballet, where on-stage glamour hides an undercurrent of off-stage deceit. And when the ballet company's newest recruit turns up dead, it's clear there's more to this murder than meets the eye.

Meanwhile, news reaches the Palace that the King's brother (already under strict orders to stay out of trouble) is threatening to undermine both Crown and country by taking US citizenship.

Harford must do his royal duty. It's up to him to catch the killer and save the monarchy from crisis in wartime. Before any more heads roll!

Critique: With the impressive storytelling skills of narrator Joel Froomkin bringing author T. P. Felson's novel, "Betraying the Crown" to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' listening experience in this complete and unabridged audio book edition from Brilliance Audio, this simply outstanding 'Royal Mystery' is highly recommended for both personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: TP Fielden is the fiction-writing name of the acclaimed royal biographer and commentator Christopher Wilson, who has penned biographies of Prince Charles, Camilla, Diana and other members of the British royal family.

Editorial Note #2: Joel Froomkin (https://www.joelfroomkinaudio.com) Joel Froomkin, an Audie-nominated, eleven-time Earphones Award-Winning narrator. He was the recipient of the 2020 Best Male Narrator Award at the Independent Audio Book Awards, and the 2020 Best Humor Narration recipient at the Society of Voice Arts Awards. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of British and American sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike. He has won Earphones Awards for 1st person British, American and Australian narrations.

When We Let Go
Rochelle B.Weinstein, author
Amanda Leigh Cobb, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713661504, $24.99, MP3-CD (9 Hours 19 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/When-We-Let-Rochelle-Weinstein/dp/1713661500

Synopsis: When Avery Beckett is proposed to by Jude Masters, a widowed father and the man she loves, it should be a time of great joy. Instead, Avery is on edge. She's wary of the idea of family, doubtful of happy endings, and too afraid to take the leap. It's the kind of fear that comes from having secrets.

Before Avery commits to a new life, she must reconcile with the one she left behind.

When Avery returns to her childhood farm in the North Carolina mountains, she's surprised to be saddled with a companion: Jude's teenage daughter, Elle, who's grappling with the loss of her mother and the complicated emotions of first love. On a path of mending wounds and breaking down walls, Avery and Elle form an unexpected alliance. It's giving them the courage to move forward. And for Avery, everything she needs to confront the past.

An emotional tale of mothers and daughters, loss and acceptance, "When We Let Go" by novelist Rochelle B. Weinstein is about the lessons that come from heartbreak and the healing it takes to embrace the joy of a second chance.

Critique: Now in a complete and unabridged audio book edition perfectly and adroitly narrated by professional vocal artist Amanda Leigh Cobb, "When We Let Go" is specifically recommended to the attention of those with a particular interest in contemporary family life and women's domestic fiction. An impressive production that will hold the listener's rapt attention throughout, "When We Let Go" is particularly and specifically recommended for personal and community library audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Rochelle B. Weinstein (www.rochelleweinstein.com) is also the author of This Is Not How It Ends, Somebody's Daughter, Where We Fall, The Mourning After, and What We Leave Behind. When she's not writing, Rochelle can be found on Miami's NBC 6 in the Mix sharing book recommendations, teaching workshops at Nova Southeastern University, hiking, reading, and finding the world's best nachos. She is currently working on her eighth novel.

Editorial Note #2: Amanda Leigh Cobb (https://www.amandaleighcobb.com) is an award winning narrator and producer. She is an Earphones Award winning actress who made her mark on Broadway working with some of the biggest names in the industry including Hugh Jackman, Mike Nichols, and Morgan Freeman. She has narrated around 100 titles, including books for The Library of Congress.

What She Said
D. S. Butler, author
Henriette Meire, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713661399, $14.99, MP3-CD (9 Hours 7 Minute)

https://www.amazon.com/What-Said-Detective-Karen-Hart/dp/171366139X

Synopsis: When a woman is abducted from a quiet suburban street and bundled into the back of a white van, the only witness to the crime is a child with a reputation for telling tall tales.

The police doubt the girl's story, except for Detective Karen Hart, who is determined to follow her instincts -- perhaps because the shy little girl reminds her of the daughter she's still grieving.

When a playing card is found at the scene, Karen finds her first clue. And when a second card is found at the home of a missing woman, Tamara, Karen finds her victim. But before the team can catch their breath, another woman linked to Tamara is snatched. And then a body turns up in a farmer's field.

With the crimes having escalated from kidnap to murder, Karen must unlock the killer's calling-card code before any more victims are taken. But getting to the truth isn't going to be easy when Tamara's family has so much to hide.

Can DS Karen Hart rely on the word of a little girl to save the life of a woman in grave danger?

Critique: A 'must' for dedicated fans of police procedural murder mysteries, "What She Said" by novelist D. S. Butler has a complete and unabridged audio book edition that is deftly and effectively narrated by professional voice actor Henriette Meire. Offering a compelling 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener from beginning to end, this Brilliance Audio version of"What She Said" is especially and unreservedly recommended as a prized pick for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Born in Kent, D. S. Butler (https://dsbutlerbooks.com) grew up as an avid reader with a love for crime fiction and mysteries. She has worked as a scientific officer in a hospital pathology laboratory and as a research scientist. After obtaining a PhD in biochemistry, she worked at the University of Oxford for four years before moving to the Middle East. While living in Bahrain, she wrote her first novel and hasn't stopped writing since. She now lives in Lincolnshire with her husband.

Editorial Note #2: Henriette Meire is member of SAG-AFTRA and has an informative page on the Tantor Media website at https://tantor.com/narrator/henrietta-meire.html

What Can't Be Seen
Brianna Labuskes
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713638216, $14.99, MP3-CD (9 Hours 49 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/What-Cant-Seen-Gretchen-White/dp/1713638215

Synopsis: Psychologist and criminologist Dr. Gretchen White, top consultant for the Boston PD, has solved countless cases -- but never her own. Since the age of eight, she has lived her life thinking she killed her aunt. After all, she was found standing over the body, clutching a bloody knife. Most people, including Detective Patrick Shaughnessy, believe the little sociopath got away with murder. Thirty years later, Detective Lauren Marconi wants to prove them wrong.

When plucking at the threads of the past unravels a decades-old case tied to the White family, both Lauren and Gretchen grapple with the question, What if Gretchen really is guilty? As old secrets come to light and Gretchen's lifelong grip on her darkest impulses threatens to erode, Shaughnessy is there watching, waiting for her to lose control one more time.

Everyone thinks they know what happened that night. But the truth is beyond what anyone imagines -- even Gretchen herself.

Critique: A compelling mix of psychological thriller, police procedural, and murder mystery, "What Can't Be Seen" by novelist Brianna Labuskes is vividly co-narrated by the simply impressively story telling talents of Kate Marcin and Chris Ciulla. Providing a true 'theatre of the mind' listening experience, this complete and unabridged edition from Brilliance Audio is a perfect pick for personal and community library Crime Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Brianna Labuskes (www.briannalabuskes.com) graduated from Penn State University with a degree in journalism. For the past eight years, she has worked as an editor at both small-town papers and national media organizations such as Politico and Kaiser Health News, covering politics and policy. Her historical romance novel, "One Step Behind", was released by Entangled Publishing.

Editorial Note #2: Professional voice over artist Kat Marcin has a professional and informative website page at https://katemarcinvoiceover.com/audiobook-narration

Editorial Note #3: Chris Ciulla (http://chrisciulla.com) is an award-winning narrator with over 425 credits. He has been reviewed by AudioFile Magazine over 25 times, been granted five Earphones Awards, a SOVAS win on a multi-cast, four Audie nominations, and both an Odyssey and an Audie win for muti-cast titles.

Strictly Business
Ruth Cardello, author
Rock Engle, narrator
Laurie West, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713659815, $22.99, MP3-CD (8 Hours 50 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Strictly-Business-Switch-Ruth-Cardello/dp/1713659816

Synopsis: "I just found out I have an identical twin. Wasn't looking for one. Would have preferred to not have one, but here we are. We have nothing in common. I was adopted by a successful businessman who raised me to see life as a game and gave me the skills to win it. Him? He is about to lose his family's farm. You heard me -- farm.

Lucky for him, I'm a firm believer that when it comes to family, no one goes to battle alone. I'm in. I've switched lives with him and will use every business trick I know to save his farm.

However, my initial plan did not take into account a drop-dead gorgeous oil rep or the secrets I uncover about my brother. And worst of all, I'm starting to like the farm and all its inhabitants. I can't stop thinking about that oil rep. This will definitely take longer to resolve than anticipated."

Critique: A riveting novel that has a particular appeal for fans of truly steamy and volatile romances, author Ruth Cardello's "Strictkly Business" is deftly performed by co-narrators Rick Engle and Lauie West in this complete and unabridged Brilliance Audio edition that is a guaranteed popular pick for personal and community library Contemporary Romance audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Ruth Cardello (www.RuthCardello.com) is the author of The Legacy Collection, the Barrington Billionaires, and the Corisi Billionaires -- just a few of the many sizzling series she's written.

Editorial Note #2: Rick Engle has a complete and up to date listing of the audio books he has narrated at https://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Rock+Engle

Editorial Note #3: Professional and experience romance audio book narrator Laurie West has an informative and dedicated website at https://www.lauriewestromance.com

Risky
Aurora Rose Reynolds, author
Avie Page, narrator
Oliver Clarke, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713657736, $14.99, MP3-CD (5 Hours 54 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Risky-Adventures-Love-Aurora-Reynolds/dp/1713657732

Synopsis: Everly never expected to move back in with her parents, and she definitely didn't expect to do so as a single mother. But with the father of her son suddenly out of the picture, she's had to make some adjustments to her plans.

Now Everly has one priority: to make a life for herself and her boy. And Blake, her sometimes infuriating but admittedly handsome employer at Live Life Adventures, doesn't factor into her future as anything more than her boss.

But it seems the guy who's about as friendly as a grizzly bear has a soft spot for her and her son -- and the more time she spends with him, the more difficult it is to remember why giving in to the chemistry between them is a bad idea.

Now, with their future on the line, they'll have to decide if love is a risk worth taking.

Critique: The narrator team of Avie Page and Oliver Clarke bring author Aurora Rose Reynolds novel, "Risky" brilliantly to life in this complete and unabridged edition from Brilliance Audio. With a special appeal for fans of contemporary romantic comedies, "Risky" is fully and unreservedly recommended pick for personal and community library Romance Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Aurora Rose Reynolds (www.AuroraRoseReynolds.com) is the author of wildly popular series that include the Until, Until Him, Until Her, Fluke My Life, Underground Kings, How to Catch an Alpha, and Shooting Stars series. Her writing career started in an attempt to get the outrageously alpha men who resided in her head to leave her alone and has blossomed into an opportunity to share her stories with readers all over the world. She can be followed on Instagram and Twitter (@Auroraroser) or on Facebook (@AuthorAuroraroser).

Editorial Note #2: There is an online listing of books narrated by Avie Page at https://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Avie+Page

Editorial Note #3: Professional narrator and voice over actor Oliver Clarke has a detailed website at https://www.oliverclarkenarrator.com

The Ice Ghost
Kathleen O'Neal Gear, author
Shauna Taylor-Corbett, narrator
Sisi Aisha Johnson, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713562559, $29.99, MP3-CD (9 Hours 23 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Ghost-Rewilding-Reports/dp/1713562553

Synopsis: In the brutal Ice Age caused by the ancient Jemen war, many archaic human species, including Denisovans and Homo erectus, hover on the verge of extinction. There seems no way out, until the greatest Neandertal holy man, Trogon, has a vision.

Legends say the truce that ended the old war left one hostage in the hands of the victorious rebels: the godlike Jemen leader known as the Old Woman of the Mountain. According to Trogon's vision, only one person knows the location of that burial cave. Trogon must capture young Quiller and force her to lead him there... for the Old Woman may not be dead. She may only have been in stasis for a thousand summers, and when reawakened she will save them from oblivion.

But according to the Denisovans (Quiller's people) Trogon is the most powerful witch alive. He's up to something evil that will surely spell their destruction. He must be stopped before it's too late. Quiller's best friend Lynx must brave towering glaciers, dire wolves, and prides of giant lions to save her and stop Trogon.

Critique: "The Ice Ghost" is the second book in a science fiction series by Kathleen O'Neal Gear, a nationally recognized anthropologist who explores a frozen future where archaic species struggle to survive an apocalyptic Ice Age. With the exceptional story telling talents of co-narrators Shauna Taylor-Corbett and Sisi Aisha Johnson, this complete and unabridged audio book edition is unreservedly recommended for both personal and community library Science Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Kathleen O'Neal Gear (https://www.gear-gear.com) is a nationally award-winning archaeologist who has been honored by the United States Congress. She is also a New York Times bestselling author with 48 books and over 200 non-fiction articles in print.

Editorial Note #2:Shaun Taylor-Corbett shares his thoughts on narrating "The Brave", James Bird's moving audiobook for young listeners, in this video in the online article at: https://audiofilemagazine.com/articles/narrator-shaun-taylor-corbett-on-the-brave

Editorial Note #3: There is an impressive listing of books narrated by Sisi Aisha Johnson at https://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Sisi+Aisha+Johnson

Crazy To Leave You
Marilyn Simon Rothstein, author
Dara Rosenberg, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://audiobookstore.com/publishers/brilliance-audio
9781713657859, $14.99, MP3-CD (8 Hours 34 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Leave-Marilyn-Simon-Rothstein/dp/1713657856

Synopsis: Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There's just one thing missing: the groom. With one blind siding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.

In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren's couch while the other is too perfect.

Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale -- and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.

Critique: Brilliantly narrated by the vocal storytelling talents of Dara Rosenberg effectively brings to life "Crazy To Leave You", the deftly crafted novel of Marilyn Simon Rothstein. This complete and unabridged recorded edition from Brilliance Audio will have a special appeal to fans of contemporary women's friendship/domestic fiction -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended pick for personal and community library audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Marilyn Simon Rothstein (https://www.marilynsimonrothstein.com) is also the author of Lift and Separate, winner of the STAR Award for Outstanding Debut presented by the Women's Fiction Writers Association, and a second novel, Husbands and Other Sharp Objects.

Editorial Note #2: Dara Rosbenberg (http://www.dararosenberg.com) is an accomplished voiceover artist who has been recognized nationally for her extensive work in audiobooks and commercial work. She has more than 500 audiobooks to her name, as well as dozens of television and radio commercials.


The Library CD Shelf

The Terry Gibbs Songbook
Terry Gibbs Legacy Band
Whaling City Sound
www.whalingcitysound.com
$TBA CD / $8.99 digital

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C38445KF

The Terry Gibbs Songbook is a jazz album of original songs composed by the legendary Terry Gibbs (b. 1924). Terry Gibbs, currently 98 years old, is living proof that talent and ability can defy age itself! The songs are performed by the Terry Gibbs Legacy Band, an amazing lineup of masterful musicians: Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen on tenor saxophone, Tom Ranier on piano and tenor saxophone, Danny Bacher providing vocals, Mike Gurrola on acoustic bass, Gerry Gibbs on drums, and Terry Gibbs himself on 2 finger piano, as well as vocals for track 4. The Terry Gibbs Songbook is a treasure for both personal and public library jazz music collections, highly recommended! The tracks are Let's Go to Rio; Those Eyes, Those Lips, That Nose, That Face, That Girl; I Was Loved; Now's the Time to Groove; The House That Might Have Been; Nina; I Can Hardly Wait For Saturday Night; If I Were You; Play and Sing; Lonely Days; And That's Why They Call It the Blues; Say Goodbye; Stay With Me Tonight; If I Knew Then; and Sweet Young Song of Love.

Swirl: Live at Piccolo
Francois Bourassa Quartet
francoisbourassa.com
Effendi Records
$TBA CD / $7.00 digital

https://franoisbourassaquartet.bandcamp.com/album/swirl-2

Featuring six original, instrumental compositions by Francois Bourassa, Swirl: Live at Piccolo is a jazz album recorded live with Francois Bourassa on piano, Andre Leroux on saxophones and flute, Guy Boisvert on bass, and Guillaume Pilote on drums. Brimming with energy and passion, Swirl: Live at Piccolo is an extraordinary soundscape odyssey, highly recommended for personal and public library collections, and a "must-have" for modern jazz connoisseurs. The tracks are Pooloop; Prologue; Room; Costard; Remous; and 15, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette.

Perseverance
Melvin Smith
melvinsmithsax.com
Mismwo Music
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BVH2DPRZ

Featuring both original creations and arrangements of beloved classics, Perseverance is a jazz album showcasing the tenor and soprano saxophone talent of Melvin Smith, along with Jeb Patton on piano, Greg Lewis on organ, Corcoran Holt on bass, and Jeremy Warren on drums. Intense and soulful, Perseverance is a treasure for jazz connoisseurs and highly recommended for personal and public library music collections. The tracks are Sound for Sore Ears, Karita, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Letter to the Ancestors, Beatitudes - Interlude, One by One, Gettin' It, Beatrice, Perseverance, Golden, and Beatitudes.

Galuunx wil lu Holtga Liimi
Saltwater Hank
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $12.00 CAD digital

https://saltwaterhank.bandcamp.com/album/g-alu-u-nx-wil-lu-holtga-liimi

Galuunx wil lu Holtga Liimi is an album from Ts'msyen music artist Saltwater Hank, featuring original songs created in Sm'algyax, the Ts'msyen language. Today, there are no first generation Sm'algyax speakers under age 60. Galuunx wil lu Holtga Liimi was created to push back against two centuries of the Canadian government's efforts to erase Ts'msyen language and culture, and to reach out to other Ts'msyen people who seek to better understand the language and musical traditions of their heritage. The songs speak out against cultural suppression, unjust laws, and violence perpetrated against First Nations peoples. Galuunx wil lu Holtga Liimi is an intensely charged listening experience, highly recommended especially for personal and public library music collections. The tracks are Uks yaan K'ask'oos, Ba'wis, Dm Yootu Stukwliin, Ndo'o Yaan, Waaba Gwasoo, Liimi Mak'ooxs, Akadi K'ul Waal Nsiip'nsgu, 'Nii Wila Waalt, and Goosnl Waals Noon.

AnceStars
Nnenna Freelon and Pierce Freelon
nnenna.com
piercefreelon.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $12.87 digital

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C29W487N

Grammy-nominated, mother-and-son duo Nnenna Freelon and Pierce Freelon present AnceStars, a music album for all ages about the wonders of the ancestral spirit world. The original songs explore themes about life, afterlife, transformation, healing, and the legacies that pass between generations. Individual songs embrace Afrobeat rhythms, jazz, call-and-response, and more. AnceStars is a tribute to those who have gone before, and a resoundingly positive message to current and future generations, highly recommended. The tracks are Ancestars, ABC You (feat. Stella Freelon), CelebraShine, Build an Altar (feat. Las Cafeteras), Sing Me Down (feat. Jarrett Johnson & Alvin Chea), Side by Side (interlude), You Live in my Memories, Cry a Rainbow, Help You Do The Work (feat. Jarrett Johnson), Little Mushroom, Everything Comes and Goes, SonShine (feat. DL Zene), and Not So Far Away (interlude).

The Blue Light
Peter Calandra
https://www.petecalandramusic.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $10.89 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BZN4Q3S5

Keyboard player Peter Calandra presents The Blue Light, an instrumental music album that he personality composed, mixed, and mastered. The Blue Light is a gentle album, featuring songs that ease the mind and spirit into a state of relaxed meditation. Beautiful, captivating, and inspirational, The Blue Light is highly recommended. The tracks are The Gambit, The Highlands, The Blue Light, Lost Island, The Softest Touch, Morning Light, Bremen, Rainy Autumn, Dark Starlight, The Talking Poet, and The Seance.

Is This a Dream?
Will Bonness
willbonness.com
Privately Published
$20.00

https://willbonness.com/product/is-this-a-dream

Is This a Dream? is the fourth album by jazz pianist Will Bonness, with contributions by associates on clarinet, alto saxophone, bass, drums, and Jocelyn Gould providing vocals for three songs. Five of the songs are Will Bonness' original compositions; four songs are covers of works by great music artists. Is This a Dream? revels in unusual rhythms, virtuoso performances, and interlaced melodies, and is highly recommended especially for jazz connoisseurs. The tracks are Round and Round, I Get Along Without You Very Well (Hoagy Carmichael), Contraption, Dusk, Blood Count (Billy Strayhorn), Rapture (Tom Harrell), Reverie, Odd Serenade, and Don't Fence Me In (Cole Porter).

Reaching In
James McGowan Ensemble
jamesmcgowan.ca
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $15.00 CAD digital

http://jamesmcgowan.ca/Recordings.html

Reaching In is the first half of a story presented through a combination of jazz music, spoken-word program notes, and visual art. James McGowan's original compositions are performed by a grand gathering of talented musicians including McGowan on piano and keys, Jamaal Amir Akbari contributing spoken words, and others on violin, viola, cello, trumpet, tenor saxophone, trombone, guitar, bass, and drums. The story is about the turbulence of confronting personal challenges, and cultivating hope for the future. Reaching In is thoughtful, inspirational, and highly recommended as a motivational listening experience. The tracks are Imagine, Thoughts and Prayers, Internal Conflict, Grief and Despair, Uncertain Future, Reaching In, Imagine (Part 2), Time to Rise (ft. Petr Cancura), Tripping Triceratops, Augmented Reality, Simple Reality, Imagine (Part 3), Inner Peace, Inner Child, Through My Tears | Smile, and Acceptance. The second half of the story will be in the album Reaching Out, when it is released in 2024.

The Nimmons Tribute Volume 2 - Generational
The Nimmons Tribute
nimmonstribute.ca
Privately Published
$20.00 CAD compact disc / $15.00 CAD digital

https://nimmonstribute.bandcamp.com/album/generational

The Nimmons Tribute Volume 2 - Generational is the second volume of a tribute project in honor of legendary Canadian jazz artist Phil Nimmons, who celebrated his 100th birthday on June 3, 2023. A gathering of masterful Canadian musicians, including multiple JUNO Award winners, combine their talents into this selection of Phil Nimmons' vintage compositions, as well as brand new arrangements and two original creations by Phil's talented grandson Sean Nimmons. The Nimmons Tribute Volume 2 - Generational is an extraordinary multi-instrument performance showcasing extraordinary music artists on trumpet, flugelhorn, alto and soprano sax, clarinet, trombone, bass, drums, and more, with Sean Nimmons on piano. The Nimmons Tribute Volume 2 - Generational is a rapturous listening experience, highly recommended for connoisseurs of both classic and modern jazz. The tracks are Arf, Islands (from The Atlantic Suite), Generational (Sean Nimmons), Under a Tree, Transformations (2nd Movement), Bella Shores (Sean Nimmons), Carey Dance, and Night Night Smiley (feat. Heather Bambrick).


The Library DVD Shelf

ParaGold
First Run Features
FirstRunFeatures.com
$19.95 DVD

https://firstrunfeatures.com/paragoldvod.html

Synopsis: From the director of Harry and Snowman and Life in the Doghouse, ParaGold follows the lives of four Paralympic equestrian hopefuls as they vie for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Dressage team.

The film focuses on Roxy Trunnell, Rebecca Hart, David Botana and Sydney Collier on their quest to qualify for - and hopefully win - gold medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Each of the four riders has severe physical disabilities, but determination and the bond with their horses propel them to greatness.

Para Dressage is the highest expression of horse training for athletes with a physical disability. Conducted under the same basic rules as Olympic-level Dressage, the athletes are classified according to the level of their disability. They must direct their horse to perform at a walk, trot, and canter, and all tests are ridden from memory and follow a prescribed pattern of precise movements. Para Dressage is the only equestrian discipline included in the Paralympic Games, the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games.

Critique: The documentary ParaGold shows the lives, hopes, and dreams of four Paralympic equestrian athletes, each of whom aspires to earn a place on the U.S. Paralympic Dressage team. (The Paralympic Games are a major series of international sport competitions involving athletes with disabilities; dressage is a horse riding sport in which the horse and rider are expected to perform predetermined movements from memory.) Training for the highest level of athletic competition is difficult, and dressage requires financial sponsors since horses need expensive care. Each of the athletes confronts challenges every day from their disability, whether it's physical pain, restricted movement, or the psychological burden of knowing that the condition that caused their disability will worsen over their time, or possibly even claim their life at a young age. One athlete in particular, seventeen-year-old David, has to balance training and practice with demanding academic studies, since he desires to one day achieve breakthroughs in the field of medicine. ParaGold does not shy from showing the hardships of life with a disability - the athletes speak openly about their worst days, in their own words - but ParaGold is ultimately a profoundly inspirational story about dedication, purpose, and making the absolute most of one's life. ParaGold is highly recommended especially for high school, college, and public library DVD collections, and makes an excellent gift for anyone who loves horses or the sport of dressage! It should be noted for personal viewing lists that ParaGold is also available in a digital format from Amazon instant video, AppleTV, iTunes, or Vimeo. 85 min.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Searching for Agabus
Michael Walrond
Broadleaf Books
510 Marquette Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN 55402
www.broadleafbooks.com
9781506485294, $22.66, HC, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Searching-Agabus-Embracing-Authenticity-Finding/dp/1506485294

Synopsis: An overlooked background figure in the grand narrative of the apostle Paul, Agabus (Acts 21:10-14) bursts from the epistles with an audacious prophecy. In a world where everyone wants to be the main character, Agabus remains a minor one with powerful relevance for today. Gleaning from the story of Agabus we can bravely be our authentic selves, honoring what God has assigned us to do, no matter how small or insignificant it seems.

With the publication of "Searching for Agabus: Embracing Authenticity and Finding Your Way to You", Pastor Michael Walrond conveys the countercultural message that an anonymous life of authenticity and service is more important than approval of others or even fame. In "Searching for Agabus", Pastor Walrond dares us to be our authentic selves and to fulfill our callings in joyful anonymity. Pastor Walrond also shares a painful personal loss that taught him this lesson.

Based on this minor prophet's role in the formation of the early church and his significance as represented by feast days that continue even now, we can release the societal need for "likes" and "follows" and instead enter a journey of self-discovery. There are blessings in anonymity; we can live quietly and find our way home to ourselves and to God.

Critique: A fascinating, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking read, "Searching for Agabus: Embracing Authenticity and Finding Your Way to You" is unreservedly recommended for personal, church, seminary, and academic library New Testament Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists for readers with an interest in Christian personal and spiritual growth that "Searching for Agabus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99).

Editorial Note: Michael Walrond (www.huffpost.com/author/reverend-michael-walrond-jr) is a popular keynote speaker and the pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church of New York City. He has lectured widely, including at Yale Divinity School and Morehouse College. He is a co-host with Al Sharpton of the nationally broadcast weekly radio program Keepin' It Real. He has appeared on or written for NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, New York Amsterdam News, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and more.

When Church Stops Working
Andrew Root, author
Blair D. Bertrand, author
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.brazospress.com
9781587436055, $39.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/When-Church-Stops-Working-Congregation/dp/1587436051

Synopsis: To face the crisis of decline, the church seeks more resources and people, but it is never enough. With the publication of "When Church Stops Working: A Future for Your Congregation Beyond More Money, Programs, and Innovation", Andrew Root and Blair D. Bertrand (two ministry leaders) show that this busyness blinds the Christian church to its real crisis: it can no longer see and hear the God it purports to worship. The church must actively wait for God to act in a way that brings life out of death.

Critique: With mainstream Christian Churches experiencing a steady decline in membership over the past two decades, "When Church Stops Working: A Future for Your Congregation Beyond More Money, Programs, and Innovation" is as timely as it is necessary of community churches (especially in small towns and rural communities) are to survive -- and hopefully thrive. Exceptionally informative, insightful, well written, deftly organized and 'reader friendly' in presentation, "When Church Stops Working: A Future for Your Congregation Beyond More Money, Programs, and Innovation" is unreservedly recommended for personal, church, and seminary library Christian Pastoral & Evangelical Resources collections. It should be noted that "When Church Stops Working: A Future for Your Congregation Beyond More Money, Programs, and Innovation" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781587435782, $21.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.49) for clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers throughout the Christian community with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note #1: Andrew Root (https://www.andrewroot.org), teaches classes on youth ministry, young adults, family, church, and culture (all with a deep theological bent) at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He has written twelve books that are out (and two on the way). His wife Kara is a Presbyterian minister. He can be followed on Facebook (www.facebook.com/andrew-root) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/rootandrew).

Editorial Note #2: Blair D. Bertrand (https://pccweb.ca/missionblog/the-rev-dr-blair-bertrand) serves as a Malawi Liaison with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in the Synod of Blantyre. Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Blair serves as full-time mission staff, staying connected with the PCC's partners in Malawi. Working with the Principal of Zomba Theological College (ZTC), Blair assists with the development of curricula and policies of the College, coaches the Malawian PhD candidate who is a ZTC lecturer, develops the ZTC library and encourages research and academic exchanges. At Theological Education by Extension in Malawi (TEEM), Blair assists with lay training materials, revisions to the Diploma workbooks and development of lay Bible curricula.

Godbreathed
Zack Hunt
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513811840, $31.99, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Godbreathed-Really-Means-Divinely-Inspired/dp/1513811843

Synopsis: What if the imperfections and contradictions in Scripture aren't an accident? What if they were allowed to be there by the Holy Spirit in order to draw us beyond the literal words on the page and deeper into the spiritual truth God is trying to teach us? As provocative or unorthodox as that might sound, it is in fact a very ancient way of understanding what it means for the Bible to be divinely inspired.

"Godbreathed: What It Really Means for the Bible to Be Divinely Inspired" is a thorough and disarming study in which Zack Hunt explains how we got here and offers a practical and easily accessible approach for reading and understanding the Bible that doesn't require a PhD in biblical languages.

As the disillusioned leave the Church in droves and the deconstructing search for better answers to eternal questions, "Godbreathed" repositions Scripture in the life of the Church to allow it to be what it was meant to be all along: a source of life, hope, and freedom for all. "Godbreathed" will reclaim the idea of biblical truth and reveal it to be not a list of beliefs to affirm or laws to be followed, but an invitation into a new way of living and loving on earth as it is in heaven.

Critique: Offering skeptics and believers alike a practical approach to dealing with the imperfections of the Old and New Testaments, "Godbreathed: What It Really Means for the Bible to Be Divinely Inspired" is an unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary, community, college, and university library Biblical Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, biblical scholars, and all members of the Christian community that "Godbreathed" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781513811833, $18.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99)

Editorial Note: Zack Hunt (https://zackhunt.net/about-me) has spent the last decade writing about the interplay of faith and politics in the public sphere on his eponymous blog, Substack, and Patheos as well as contributing articles to multiple publications. He's also made appearances in Rolling Stone, The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and various other media outlets. He is the author of Unraptured: How End Times Theology Gets It Wrong and Godbreathed: What It Really Means For The Bible To Be Divinely Inspired

The Life of Bishoi
Tim Vivian, editor
Maged S. A. Mikhail, editor
American University in Cairo Press
200 Park Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10166
www.aucpress.com
9781617979996, $59.95, HC, 390pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Bishoi-Arabic-Syriac-Ethiopic/dp/1617979996

Synopsis: Saint Bishoi of Scetis (d. ca. 417) enjoys tremendous popularity throughout the Christian east, particularly among the Copts. He lived during a remarkable era in which a litany of larger-than-life monastics lived and interacted with one another. Even then, Bishoi stood out as the founder of one of the four great monasteries of Scetis (Wadi al-Natrun): those of Macarius, John the Little, Bishoi, and the Baramus. Yet in spite of Bishoi's prominence, the various recensions of his hagio-biography have only received sporadic, scattered attention.

"The Life of Bishoi: The Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic Lives" joins other Lives of eminent monastics of early-Egyptian monasticism including: the Lives of Antony, Daniel, John the Little, Macarius, Paphnutius, Shenoute, and Syncletica. These Lives are vital for what they tell us about monastic politeia (way of life), spirituality, and theology, both of the early monastics and of those who later wrote, translated, and revised the Lives. They appeared first in Greek and Coptic, and later generations translated and revised them into Syriac, Arabic and Ge'ez (Ethiopic).

This definitive volume contains the first English translation of the Greek, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic Lives of Bishoi, with each translation being accompanied by an introduction that focuses on certain aspects of the source text. It also has the first transcription and English translation of an important early Greek text. The General Introduction provides rich context about the texts and textual traditions in the various languages, and thoroughly revises our knowledge about the Syriac tradition, the translation of the Syriac text here now consequently providing what is the best translation in any modern language.

Critique: A work of seminal and ground-breaking scholarship, "The Life of Bishoi: The Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic Lives" will be of particular value to readers with an interest in Christian Monasticism & Asceticism and early Syrian Christian history. Featuring an informative Foreword by Mark N. Swanson and collaboratively compiled and co-edited by professors Tim Vivian and Maged S. A. Mikhail, "The Life of Bishoi" also includes a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, as well as a twelve page Bibliography. This biography of Saint Bishoi of Scetis is a welcome and unreservedly recommended acquisition for personal, community, church, seminary, college, and university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Tim Vivian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Vivian) is professor emeritus of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield, and a retired priest of the Episcopal Church. He has published, among many books, The Life of Antony (with Apostolos N. Athanassakis, 2003), The Holy Workshop of Virtue: The Life of Saint John the Little (with Maged S.A. Mikhail, 2010), Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers (2009) and The Sayings and Stories of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (vol. 1, 2021).

Editorial Note #2: Maged S.A. Mikhail is professor of history at California State University, Fullerton. His research and teaching focus on Coptic Christianity, late antiquity, and the Islamic Middle East. He is the author of The Legacy of Demetrius of Alexandria (2017) and From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity and Politics after the Arab Conquest (2014).(https://hist.fullerton.edu/faculty_staff/profiles/Maged%20Mikhail.aspx)


The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel
Jonathan Sacks
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
www.korenpub.com
9789657766729, $49.95, HC, 338pp

https://www.amazon.com/Koren-Tanakh-Land-Israel-Numbers/dp/9657766729

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel", Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers an innovative and refreshing approach to the Hebrew Bible.

By fusing extraordinary findings by modern scholars on the ancient Near East with the original Hebrew text and a brand new English translation. "The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel" clarifies and explains the Biblical narrative, laws, events, and prophecies in context with the milieu in which it took place.

It also features stunning visuals of ancient civilizations including artifacts, archeological excavations, inscriptions, and maps, along with brief articles on Egyptology, geography, biblical botany, language, and more.

By showcasing material that was unknown to previous generations of Torah scholars, "The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel" opens a new view into the revolutionary impact of the Tanakh, published for the first time in English.

Critique: This bilingual (Hebrew & English), large format, hardcover edition of "The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel" by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is a beautifully illustrated, exceptionally informative, admirably comprehensive, very well organized, and impressively presented study that is unreservedly and unequivocally recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, synagogue, yeshiva, community, college, and university library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum lists.

Editorial Note: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his "exceptional contributions to affirming life's spiritual dimension". Since stepping down as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (a position he served for 22 years between 1991 and 2013) Rabbi Sacks held a number of professorships at several academic institutions including Yeshiva University, New York University and King's College London. Rabbi Sacks authored over 35 books. Rabbi Sacks passed away on 7th November 2020, aged 72. There is a Wikipedia entry for Rabbi Sacks at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Sacks,_Baron_Sacks


The Agriculture Shelf

The Ecological Farm
Helen Atthowe, author
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781645021810, $44.95, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ecological-Farm-Selective-Weeding-Grow-Your-Own-Fertilizer-Agriculture/dp/1645021815

Synopsis: A breakthrough resource for fruit and vegetable growers at every scale who want to go 'beyond organic' and build higher soil quality and fertility using fewer inputs through a unique ecosystem balancing approach, "The Ecological Farm: A Minimalist No-Till, No-Spray, Selective-Weeding, Grow-Your-Own-Fertilizer System for Organic Agriculture" by Helen Atthowe is the new 'bible' for organic farming.

"The Ecological Farm" will enable even the most novice of farmers to employ their efforts at organic, ecologically sustainable farming to ever advancing levels. Jam packed from cover to cover with 'real world' useful, field-tested, innovative techniques for farming more gently without sacrificing productivity. With its unique focus on reduced tillage, minimizing farm and garden inputs, and pest control, "The Ecological Farm" is the essential guide for successfully growing organic crops year after year after year.

Critique: This large format paperback edition of "The Ecological Farm: A Minimalist No-Till, No-Spray, Selective-Weeding, Grow-Your-Own-Fertilizer System for Organic Agriculture" also features a crop-by-crop guide to growing more than 25 of the most popular and profitable vegetables and fruits, including specific management advice for dealing with pests and diseases. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Ecological Farm" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, and agricultural college Organic/Ecological Farming collections. It should be noted that "The Ecological Farm" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.99).

Editorial Note: Helen Atthowe has worked for 35 years to connect farming, food systems, land stewardship, and conservation. She farms and conducts research at Woodleaf Farm in Eastern Oregon and serves as a consultant with farmers across the United States and internationally. She is a contributing writer to The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control and other books. She has served as a board member for the Organic Farming Research Foundation and advisor for the Wild Farm Alliance. She has also served as a horticulture extension agent in Montana, where she annually taught an organic master gardener course.


The Dance Shelf

Ed Watson: A Different Dance
Sarah Crompton
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791379715, $55.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ed-Watson-Different-Sarah-Crompton/dp/3791379712

Synopsis: Ed Watson was a Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet for over 20 years. His was a unique talent; a widely celebrated collaborator in dance, photography and fashion.

With the publication of "Ed Watson: A Different Dance", each illustrated essay focuses on a distinct aspect of Watson's career and in which leading art critic Sarah Crompton discusses his trajectory from young student to principal dancer and coach with The Royal Ballet.

Of special note is the inclusion of Wayne McGregor's reflection on their long and fruitful collaboration, as well as longtime friend Charlotte MacMillan's lively conversation with the man himself -- while Gareth Pugh muses on the concept of duende.

"Ed Watson: A Different Dance" features dozens of images by leading photographers (including Rick Guest, Nick Knight, Anthony Crickmay, Kosmas Pavlos, Nadav Kander, Paul Smith, Laurence Ellis, Teddy Iborra Wicksteed, Liz Seagrove, Paul Grover, and Johan Persson) depicting images of Watson throughout his career, in rehearsal, on fashion shoots, in the dressing room, and in stills from his famed performances.

Together the words and images comprising "Ed Watson: A Different Dance" tell the story of a performer of extraordinary versatility, exceptional physicality, and a profound artistic sensibility. There is a website dedicated to Ed Watson at https://www.edwatsonofficial.com

Critique: Of special appeal to readers with an interest in classical dance, modern dance, and dance criticism/history, this large format, hardcover, strikingly illustrated, and exceptionally informative edition of "Ed Watson: A Different Dance" from Prestel Publishing is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Biography and Dance History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Sarah Crompton is Arts Editor in Chief for the Daily Telegraph, London, a theater critic for Whatsonstage, and a journalist and broadcaster on all things cultural for publications including The Guardian, The Sunday Times (London) and Vogue.


The Sports Shelf

Game of Edges
Bruce Schoenfeld
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393531688, $30.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Game-Edges-Analytics-Revolution-Professional/dp/0393531686

Synopsis: In the last two decades, innovation, data analysis, and technology have driven a tectonic shift in the professional sports business. With the publication of "Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports" by sports journalist Bruce Schoenfeld tells the story of how sports franchises evolved, on and off the field, from raggedly run small businesses into some of the most systematically productive companies around.

In today's game, everyone from the owners to the marketing staff are using information (data) to give their team an edge. For analysts, an edge is their currency. Figuring out that bunting hurts your offense? That's an edge. So is discovering metrics that can predict the career arc of your free agent shooting guard. Or combing through a decade of ticket-buying data to target persuadable fans.

These small, incremental steps move a sports franchise from merely ordinary to the leading edge. Franchises today are more than just sports; they integrate a whole suite of other businesses -- television and digital content, gambling and real estate, fashion and apparel, entertainment, catering and concessions, and much more. But an optimized franchise has no room for error. Teams must do what the numbers say, reducing the element of chance, limiting those random moments of athletic heroism that make sports thrilling to watch. Optimization also means the franchise's main goal isn't championships anymore; it's keeping you, the viewer, engaged with the product.

Drawing on extensive interviews with franchise owners, general managers, executives, and players, Schoenfeld introduces dynamic leaders who are radically re-imagining the operations of these decades-old teams and producing mind-boggling valuations. He joins the architects of the Golden State Warriors dynasty for an exclusive reception before tip-off. He stands among the faithful at Anfield, watching Liverpool's analytics guru size up a prized midfielder. And he watches the president of the Chicago Cubs break ground on a new DraftKings gambling parlor at Wrigley Field, not ten miles from the site of the original Black Sox betting scandal.

Critique: A seminal and ground-breaking study that is as impressively detailed as it is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports" must be considered as essential reading for professionals and fans alike who are interested in professional sports, professional sports as a business, or the new technologies that are changing and evolving professional sports. While a highly recommended pick for community and academic library Professional Sports collections, it should be noted for personal and professional reading lists that "Game of Edges" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Bruce Schoenfeld (https://www.esquire.com/author/213420/bruce-schoenfeld), is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and has also written for Esquire, Fast Company, Sports Illustrated, and GQ, among other publications.


The International Studies Shelf

Splendors of Quanzhou, Past and Present
William N. Brown
Springer
www.springer.com
9789811980350, $58.50 Hardcover, $49.99 Paper

https://www.amazon.com/Splendors-Quanzhou-Present-William-Brown/dp/9811980357

Quanzhou (Zayton) was Marco Polo's departure port and Columbus' goal in China. It fostered the Maritime Silk Road and, perhaps more importantly, was centuries ahead of its time in fostering tolerance and diversity among its populace, housing Muslims alongside Christian, Hindu, Taoist, and Jewish spiritual centers. Splendors of Quanzhou, Past and Present surveys this city (now a World Heritage site) and its culture, from early to contemporary times. Why should modern readers care about this place? Because it's not just a singular piece of Chinese history or a world wonder, but a representation of architectural, cultural, and social ideals that can serve as a mirror of achievement and possibility for developing nations around the world.

William N. Brown spent three decades in China, traveling the country and speaking with citizens and exploring every aspect of the city's history and culture. His visits there, which began in 1989, documented the city's balanced approach to preserving its heritage while becoming a forceful example of success for the 21st century and beyond. Readers who anticipate the tone of this survey will limit its audience to scholars alone will be delighted to discover these travels lend to a lively observational style which juxtaposes Chinese historical and cultural insights with personal experiences, from shopping to Quanzhou's world-famous puppets.

Color photos of travel experiences, personal reflections, and sidebars of additional information create a rare combination of travelogue and cultural study which will prove accessible to a large audience, from readers interested in studying China's culture in general and Quanzhou in particular to travelers who will find these encounters perfect armchair reading.

Splendors of Quanzhou, Past and Present's multifaceted approach and depth lends to its consideration by a variety of library collections, from college-level holdings seeking in-depth explorations of China's history and cities to general-interest libraries that will discover the scholarly-looking cover masks an appealing survey filled with not just information, but lively personal encounters. These will educate and attract general-interest readers - especially those attracted to cities that practice diversity and tolerance.

Quanzou's special attraction is that it has done so for centuries, long before the concept of inclusion become contemporary and widely supported.


The Architecture Shelf

Opulence and Ostentation: Building the Circus
Steve Ward, Ph.D.
Modern Vaudeville Press
www.modernvaudevillepress.com
9781958604021, $25.00

https://www.amazon.com/Opulence-Ostentation-building-Steve-Ward/dp/195860402X

Opulence and Ostentation: Building the Circus is a history of the circus buildings which helped house and perpetuate the popularity of the circus, particularly during the nineteenth century. Readers with only a casual familiarity with architectural history and the circus may not realize the long-standing nature of this subject: "During the latter half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century many circus owners, and indeed civic authorities, commissioned buildings specifically for circus. Why, you may ask, for such an ephemeral entertainment? I consider that this growth in circus building reflects the popularity of the art form at that time. Some of these buildings were vast cathedrals of circus which could accommodate thousands of people, regularly reaching capacity."

Audiences of architectural students and circus historians will find that Opulence and Ostentation holds many powerful examinations, but it also will attract general-interest audiences who may relish the circus, but are unaware of the structures that contributed to its popularity and mythos. Dr. Ward doesn't intend this book to be a definitive history of either the circus or its buildings. It celebrates the opulence and wealth of this approach to promoting the circus, examining how these structures contributed to the mystique and allure of the circus over the centuries. Vintage black and white photos, footnoted references, and quotes from publications that described early circus buildings and atmosphere make for a scholarly yet accessible survey designed to educate and attract.

Students of architectural history, in particular, will find the notes and illustrations on design choices and the mechanics of translating a building's use to both theater and circus applications to be specific and intriguing. Circus history is incorporated into these building descriptions, bringing a satisfyingly lively tone to the fine art of capturing opulence and the moveable art of the circus both within and between nations: "The (then) modern building was very tall, 36 metres in height, with a cupola 46.5 metres in diameter. The standard 13.5 metre circus ring had the facility to be lowered and flooded with water for water spectaculars. The arena was complete with a fully equipped stage and orchestra pit, and could seat almost 4000 spectators. The building included a restaurant and an 'American Bar'; an American Bar being a 'long bar' arrangement as opposed to the more intimate tavern style bar. Behind the circus was stabling for up to 130 horses and space to accommodate a menagerie. The building survived successfully until the bombing of Dresden in 1945, when it was completely destroyed. The circus survived but Sarrasani, having problems with Hitler's regime, decided to move to South America in 1934. Hans Stolsch-Sarrasani died there shortly afterwards and the circus was continued by his son.

The Sarrasani Circus became popular in Argentina and in the 1940s was proclaimed the 'Argentine National Circus' by Eva Peron." The detailed nature of such passages and references will require that readers already have a basic interest in the circus environment in order to appreciate the depths of research and the social, historical, and cultural connections Dr. Ward makes in his survey.

Libraries strong in circus topics or architectural explorations will find Opulence and Ostentation: Building the Circus is an opulent and potent examination indeed, juxtaposing complexity with a freestyle survey of the circus world that is not commonly accessible to general-interest audiences.


The Philosophy Shelf

Asimov's Foundation and Philosophy
Joshua Heter and Josef Thomas Simpson, editors
Carus Books
www.carusbooks.com
9781637700303, $24.95

https://www.amazon.com/Asimovs-Foundation-Philosophy-Joshua-Heter/dp/163770030X

Asimov's Foundation and Philosophy is the ninth volume in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series and links philosophical inspection to Asimov's famous series of books and its TV show incarnation. The process of creating a galactic history holds many fascinating accompanying philosophical considerations, explored in such diverse essays as Leonard Kahn's 'Morality and Manipulation' or Walter Barta and Graham Lee's 'An Interstellar Leap of Faith.'

A prerequisite to successfully utilizing these references is an intimate familiarity with the Foundation series and its basic concepts. Readers with such a background (which may require re-reading these classics, for those who absorbed them decades ago) will find these essays thought-provoking, enlightening, and worthy of debate and discussion in sci-fi book reading circles and classrooms. They take a leap of logic and philosophical inspection in encouraging a closer inspection of the Foundation series as a whole and Asimov's underlying messages, making this book a strong adjunct to any assignment of the Foundation series and for any modern philosophy class.

Queen and Philosophy
Jared Kemling and Randall E. Auxier, editors
Carus Books
www.carusbooks.com
9781637700327, $22.95

https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Philosophy-Guaranteed-Blow-Culture/dp/1637700326

Queen and Philosophy: Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind is the sixth volume in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series, and gathers delightful philosophical and musical connections in exploring the music of Queen. Here are discourses on Queen's music, impact, and controversy that raises key questions about the group's perception and evolution, as in Megan Volpert's essay 'Is Adam Lambert a Killer of Queen or Somebody to Love?': "There are as many versions of Queen as there are people who perceive the band because the way Queen is in our minds doesn't necessarily have any connection to the way Queen exists outside of our minds."

Heavy, thought-provoking reading is featured which is eminently suitable for a musical group such as Queen, linking modern philosophical thinking and perception with elements of the group's music and presentation. In delving into the quintessence that is Queen, this volume will draw in non-philosophy and philosophy readers alike, making the case to prove that, in modern society, philosophy can still be relevant and, indeed, is an intrinsic part of how we look at life and absorb its icons of culture.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Celtic Mysticism
Tracie Long
Wellfleet Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781577153467, $16.99, HC, 168pp

https://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Mysticism-Personal-Tradition-Traditions/dp/1577153464

Synopsis: With the publication of "Celtic Mysticism: Your Personal Guide to Celtic and Druid Tradition" by Tracie Long it is now possible for metaphysical studies students and practitioners to reclaim Celtic ancestral traditions and older ways of connecting with the earth and spirituality by going straight to the heart of mystical traditions.

"Celtic Mysticism" explores the folk magic that has thrived in the British Isles for thousands of years. With this guidebook for both newcomers to magical practice and for those searching for a concise reference to a long history, you will discover how to honor your connection to nature and the rhythms of the seasons in the Celtic way. Exploring the history behind Celtic practices, rituals, and spells and then engaging with them firsthand, forming a deeper bond with Mother Earth.

Illuminated by beautiful illustrations, fascinating and informative guide presents: The lore and history of the Celts; Rites and spells based in green magic and natural cycles; Meditations and rituals to bring the ancient wisdom into modern life; Key concepts, figures, and legends of Celtic tradition.

Critique: "Celtic Mysticism" provides a thoroughly 'user friendly, engaging, accessible, and hands-on introduction to the deep magic and spirituality of the Celts. A definitive guide to mystical and spiritual Celtic traditions and magical practices drawn from around the world and understood from a modern perspective, "Celtic Mysticism" will be of particular value to readers with an interest in the origins of mystical practices, including explanations of key concepts, figures, and legends in these traditions -- as well as reliable and effective instruction on how to connect directly with these practices through rituals, spells, and more. While highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Druidism, Celtic Religion, and Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for students and practitioners that "Celtic Mysticism" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Tracie Long began to see and hear spirits when she was about six years old and finally embraced her gift in her early thirties. She has worked in the body, mind, spirit industry for almost thirty years now. She specializes in tarot, angels, spiritual development, meditation, shamanic healing and coaching, and moon cycles. She has worked with sensitive children and run a few paranormal investigations, but today she most often helps spirits who are stuck or causing problems for families. A former chairwoman of the British Astrological and Psychic Society, she earned her BTEC in business management and a teaching degree and tutors alongside the Spiritual Workers Association.

Self-Love Potions
Cosmic Valeria, author
Marie-Noel Dumont, illustrator
Leaping Hare Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711281059, $20.00, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Self-Love-Potions-Herbal-recipes-rituals/dp/071128105X

Synopsis: Self-Love Potions are herbal recipes and accompanying rituals to help you make the most of your 'me' time. Simply packed with ideas from talented moon witch Valeria Kapusta (@cosmicvaleria) to help you mindfully explore your craft, "Self-Love Potions: Herbal recipes & rituals to make you fall in love with YOU" is a compendium of DIY recipes ranging from teas, tinctures, oils and tonics, to bath mixes and fragrances

Featured recipes include: Heart-soothing lilac-infused honey to ease heartbreak; Energy cleansing empath bath; Thyme infusions for courage and self-confidence; Dandelion bath salt for inner joy; Floral hair rinse to remove creative blocks; Violet infused sugar to sweeten gloomy days.

With "Self-Love Potions" even the most novice of Wiccan and metaphysical studies student can develop their self-love practice, enhance their wellbeing, and connect with themselves and nature with this guidance of this gorgeous, herbal handbook.

Critique: "Self-Love Potions: Herbal recipes & rituals to make you fall in love with YOU" by Wiccan author is a simply beautiful volume filled with the stunning illustrations of Marie-Noel Dumont. A thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of rituals and potions to help you boost wellbeing and fall in love with yourself through the power of magick, "Self-Love Potions" is a desirable and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Wiccan and Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Self-Love Potions" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).

Editorial Note #1: Valeria Kapusta (https://www.instagram.com/cosmicvaleria) aka @cosmicvaleria, is a witch and herbalist whose work brings magic and self-care together. She has also created Moon Witch Tarot, Moon Witch Oracle, and Moon Witch Coloring Book.

Editorial Note #2: Marie-Noel Dumont is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Rome. (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/marie-noel-dumont-a2bb71a)

Open for Interpretation: A Doctor's Journey into Astrology
Alicia Blando
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647424701, $17.95, PB, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Open-Interpretation-Doctors-Journey-Astrology/dp/1647424704

Synopsis: As a young doctor working in the middle of the HIV epidemic in the early '90s, Alicia Blando felt unsure of the effectiveness of the medical profession. To gain insight into her life's path, she sought advice in some unconventional places, and lands on astrology as her way forward. Astrology, based in astronomy, has specific rules; it can't be easily manipulated. The scientist in her can't help but respond to this idea.

At a pivotal group demonstration, Alicia found a mentor, Iris, who introduces her to the study of astrology. By learning to read the horoscope, Alicia gained insight into her potential and manifests her ambition to travel and explore healing techniques from indigenous cultures. Eventually, her search for new teachers and past knowledge takes her from Manhattan to the Peruvian Amazon, Belize, and Bolivia, where she discovered ancient ways of healing among people who consider the sky to be a continuation of nature on earth. She connects with the tenets of astrology as the language that describes man's connection to the sky environment. Alicia learned that the horoscopic map gives information that can assist in making better choices in life. That it has the potential to analyze a person's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and health concerns.

Alicia's journey off the beaten path ultimately would lead her to true self-exploration and connection with the world around her, as well as a desire to share her knowledge. With the publication of "Open for Interpretation: A Doctor's Journey into Astrology ", she shares her story of finally finding the map she's been seeking -- and explains how we can all use that map to access our true selves and untapped potential.

Critique: Fascinating, informative, and of special interest to readers engaged in the study of astrology and alternative medicine, "Open for Interpretation: A Doctor's Journey into Astrology" is a definitely recommended pick for personal, professional, community, and academic library Astrology collections and supplemental Alternative Medicine curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Open for Interpretation: A Doctor's Journey into Astrology" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Alicia Blando (https://aliciablando.com) trained and practiced in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. While working as a physician, she became interested in how indigenous healers diagnosed and treated their patients without the technology present in modern medicine. This curiosity was supported by what she learned about herself through the study of astrology. As a Western physician who has followed the tenets of astrology in her life, she believes that the practice of astrology can function as an adjunct method to study many aspects of life, including the tendencies for certain disease processes. Alicia currently works as a medical consultant.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Island of the Four Ps
Ed Hajim
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510776173, $24.99, HC, 168pp

https://www.amazon.com/Island-Four-Ps-Modern-Preparing/dp/1510776176

Synopsis: "The Island of the Four Ps: A Modern Fable About Preparing for Your Future", a spinoff of Ed Hajim's bestselling memoir "On The Road Less Traveled", is a modern fable about a young man, Marketus, who leaves home for the first time and travels to an island on a quest to answer some of life's basic questions.

"The Island of the Four Ps", is a conversation with the hero's inner voice, and is divided into four fundamental sections (passions, principles, partners, and plans) which are the key ingredients to making a successful life.

This magical trip takes Marketus and his guide to four villages named after the four Ps. As he enters each place, Marketus places a green pea into a special device, which allows him to store his thoughts, retrieve them, and integrate them.

"The Island of the Four Ps" is an engaging tale that features full-color illustrations throughout in a parable comes to life in the most unusual way.

Critique: Engaging, thought-provoking, and ideal for anyone seeking or in need of inspiration in our ever-changing and complicated world, "The Island of the Four Ps: A Modern Fable About Preparing for Your Future" is reminiscent of such classic parable stories as "A Pilgrim's Progress" and offers a timeless message and is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Self-Help and Personal Transformation collections. It should be noted that "The Island of the Four Ps" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Ed Hajim (https://www.edhajim.com), the son of a Syrian immigrant, is a seasoned Wall Street executive with more than fifty years of investment experience. He has held senior management positions with the Capital Group, E. F. Hutton, and Lehman Brothers before becoming chairman and CEO of Furman Selz. Hajim has been the cochairman of ING Barings, Americas Region; chairman and CEO of ING Aeltus Group and ING Furman Selz Asset Management; and chairman and CEO of MLH Capital. In 2009, he became president of Diker Management and is now the nonexecutive chairman at HighVista Strategies. In 2008, after twenty years as a trustee of the University of Rochester, Hajim began an eight-year tenure as chairman of the university's board.

The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care
Maybell Eeequay
Summerdale
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781837991013, $11.95, HC, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Frogs-Guide-Self-Care-Affirmations/dp/1837991014

Synopsis: "Don't forget about the subtle magic that is happening all around you every day."

Meet the little frog! With its mushroom hat and endless collection of fabulous footwear, this adorable amphibian is here to be your new best friend. Whether you need an emotional boost, some friendly encouragement or an honest view on the world, the little frog will be your guide.

Created by the California-based artist Maybell Eequay, "The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care: Affirmations, Self-Love and Life Lessons According to the Internet's Beloved Mushroom Frog" is a small volume of perfectly compassionate affirmations for yourself or others.

"The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care" features: More than 40 hand-drawn illustrations of the little frog; A series of beautiful life lessons and empowering reminders that it's okay to be gentle with yourself and to feel your feelings; and a humorous, no-nonsense approach to positivity.

These illustrations alone will fill your heart with love for yourself and others, and remind you that it's brave and wonderful of you to exist!

Critique: "The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care: Affirmations, Self-Love and Life Lessons According to the Internet's Beloved Mushroom Frog" is an uplifting little book comprised of positive affirmations on self-love and empowerment -- all as told by the internet's most fashionable frog. Of special appeal and value to readers with an interest in motivational self-help resources, improving self-esteem, and enhancing the 'happiness' factor in their personal lives and the lives of their loved ones, "The Little Frog's Guide to Self-Care" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.

Editorial Note: Maybell Eequay (https://www.facebook.com/maybell.eequay) is an Oakland-based artist who works in many different mediums. Born and raised in the breathtaking St. Croix River Valley, Maybell draws a lot of inspiration from her childhood home life as well as her love of vintage children's books and knickknacks. Growing up in a creative household and the daughter of two artists, Maybell has been making art since she was old enough to hold a pen. Today, she enjoys making art that has a vaguely nostalgic feel paired with tender messages and light humor.


The Criminology Shelf

In Search of the Blonde Tigress
Silvia Pettem, author
The Lyons Press
www.lyonspress.com
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
www.globepequot.com
9781493068630 $29.95 hc / $21.49 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Search-Blonde-Tigress-Untold-Eleanor/dp/1493068636

Synopsis: Beginning in 1933, Eleanor Jarman was sensationalized by the press as the "blonde tigress" and "the most dangerous woman alive." But a closer look at her life shows that she was an otherwise ordinary woman who got caught up in a Chicago crime spree, then was convicted as an accomplice to murder and sent to prison. In 1940, Eleanor escaped and managed to live out her life as, perhaps, America's longest-running female fugitive.

Following the murder of an elderly shopkeeper, with the publication of "In Search of the Blonde Tigress: The Untold Story of Eleanor Jarman" by Silvia Pettem readers are given a front-row seat for Eleanor's arrest, trial, conviction, and sentencing (all documented with recently unearthed primary-source police records, court transcripts, and prison files) and her subsequent prison years.

Deftly woven in are comparisons and contrasts between Eleanor's and her escape partner's criminal histories, as well as speculation on their lives on the lam. Whether Eleanor deserved her sentence, or whether it was too harsh, is left for the reader to decide.

"In Search of the Blonde Tigress: The Untold Story of Eleanor Jarman" sets the mystery and intrigue of this wanted woman into historic context. It also includes her family's plea, in 1993, for Eleanor to come forward and apply for clemency. Most revealing at the time was Eleanor's alias. With that information (and considering that Eleanor, born in 1901, is most certainly now deceased), biographer Silvia Pettem documents her search for Eleanor's remains -- right up to a visit to her likely grave.

Critique: Fascinating, informative, compelling, and combining biography and prison reform in the 1930s with modern-day evidence that has helped to unravel a long-standing mystery, "In Search of the Blonde Tigress: The Untold Story of Eleanor Jarman" will have immense appeal to readers with an interest in criminology and true crime. While an unreservedly recommended pick for community and academic library American Biography collections, it should be noted personal reading lists that "In Search of the Blonde Tigress: The Untold Story of Eleanor Jarman" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.49).

Editorial Note: Silvia Pettem (silviapettem.com) is a Colorado-based historical researcher, writer, and author. After local history research led her to the identification of a decades-old murder victim, Pettem switched from writing about history to the genre of true crime. Pettem's other books that relate to cold case investigations include Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe (2009); Cold Case Research: Resources for Unidentified, Missing, and Cold Homicide Cases (2013); The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families (2017); and Cold Case Chronicles: Mysteries, Murders, and the Missing (2021).

Bloody Savannah
Derek Smith
Exposit Books
c/o McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476691831, $25.00, PB, 249pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Savannah-Citys-Violent-Reporter/dp/1476691835

Synopsis: Savannah, Georgia is one of America's most beautiful and historic cities. Yet underneath the mint juleps, oaks bearded with Spanish moss and the splendor of colonial architecture, there lurks a deadly undercurrent.

With the publication of "Bloody Savannah: The City's Most Violent Era as Seen by a Crime Reporter", Derek Smith offers a first-person account of his career as an award-winning newspaper crime reporter who covered scores of murders in the Savannah area, including one of the bloodiest eras in the city's history: in 1985, metro Savannah earned notoriety with the nation's highest homicide rate.

"Bloody Savannah" describes a wide range of crimes, including murders over a 14-year-old lover, $4 for hamburgers or a baby carriage; the grisly murder of a voodoo priest; bound corpses in the waterways and interstate body dumping grounds; the Scarecrow and "Say Cheese" Killers, serial killer Wade Sheffield; and many more.

Critique: With a special appeal to readers with an interest in True Crime histories, "Bloody Savannah: The City's Most Violent Era as Seen by a Crime Reporter" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a four page Introduction, a Prelude (Beginnings), an Epilogue, six pages of Chapter Notes, and a ten page Index. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Bloody Savannah" is an extraordinary history of an extraordinary American city and highly recommended for personnel, community, and academic library True Crime collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Bloody Savannah" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Derek Smith (https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B08XS9T3JV/about) was a crime reporter in Savannah, Georgia, for almost ten years and has written extensively on the Civil War. He lives in Bishopville, South Carolina.


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