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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 34, Number 7 July 2024 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice AI Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Science Shelf Cookbook Shelf Pets Shelf
Wildlife Shelf International Studies Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Military History Shelf Civil War Shelf
Biography Shelf General Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Poetry Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Library CD Shelf
Humor Shelf Sports Shelf LGBTQ Studies Shelf
Music Shelf Library Science Shelf Business Shelf
Martial Arts Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Art Shelf Crafts Shelf Travel Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Sedition Rising
Tom Wilmas
Robert D. Reed Publishers
https://rdrpublishers.com
9708325431753, $17.95, PB, 313pp

https://www.amazon.com/SEDITION-RISING-Supremacist-Covenant-Politics/dp/B0D3YCCJVC

Synopsis: "Sedition Rising: Lessons Learned from a Former White Supremacist CSA Member (Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord) about Faith, Racism, and Politics" is a work of nonfiction based on author Tom Wilmas' personal experience, dozens of news articles, court testimonies; declassified FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms records; and files regarding CSA (The Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord -- a White Supremacist paramilitary organization) that he belonged to. Later Tom became an informant to the FBI regarding CSA.

Much of the narrative comprising "Sedition Rising" is based on Christian Nationalism, religious fanaticism, the White Patriotic Movement perspective, coding, and ideological rhetoric. With a photographic memory, he openly shares about his abusive childhood, his misguided behaviors as a young man, and his involvement with CSA.

Critique: "SEDITION RISING: Lessons Learned from a Former White Supremacist CSA Member (Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord) about Faith, Racism, and Politics" by Tom Wilmas is a timely and critically import contribution to our national on-going political process where at least 30% of the American public is in full and unquestioning support of a convicted felon and insurrectionist leader, Donald J. Trump, who is once again seeking to gain the Presidency of the United States of America with the declared intention of disregarding the American Constitution, pardon convected insurrectionists, and continue to shatter conventional political norms and institutions (including the American Supreme Court) that have supported and maintained an American democracy from its founding down to the present day.

"Sedition Rising" provides invaluable insights into why there is a MAGA devotion to what has been arguably identified as the Cult of Trump. Unreservedly and urgently recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Political Science and Contemporary American Biography/Memoir collections, it should be noted that "Sedition Rising" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.00).

Editorial Note: Tom Wilmas, a prisoner in Missouri serving a life sentence but who hopefully will be released this year, has used his time in prison to transform his consciousness, heal, and inspire others. Serving as a mentor and rehabilitation program facilitator, he has received numerous commendations from Missouri lawmakers and correctional managers.
In 2022, he was the first inmate in the U.S. to found a scholarship program called The Amethyst Scholarship Fund that raises tuition for orphans whose parents were killed by violent crime:
Go to their website at: stlgives.org/community-impact/scholarships

The City Is Up for Grabs
Gregory Royal Pratt
Chicago Review Press
www.chicagoreviewpress.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9781641605991, $28.99, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/City-Up-Grabs-Chicago-Lightfoot/dp/1641605995

Synopsis: Chicago is a world-class city, but it is also a city in crisis. Crime is up, schools have repeatedly shut down due to conflict between City Hall and the powerful teachers' union, and COVID-19 only deepened the entrenched poverty, institutional racism, and endless tug of war between the city's haves and have nots.

For four years, the person at the center of this storm was Lori Lightfoot. A groundbreaking figure (the first Black, gay woman to be elected mayor of a major city and only the second female mayor of Chicago) who knew the city was at a critical turning point when she took office in 2019. But the once-in-a-lifetime challenges she ended up facing were beyond anything she or anyone else saw coming.

With the publication of "The City Is Up for Grabs: How Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Led and Lost a City in Crisis" from the Chicago Review Press, Gregory Royal Pratt (a Chicago Tribune reporter) offers the first comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the tumultuous single term of Mayor Lightfoot and the chaos that roiled the city and City Hall as she fought to live up to her promises to change the city's culture of corruption and villainy, reform its long-troubled police department, and make Chicago the safest big city in America.

Some of Chicago's problems can be explained by forces greater than the mayor: national polarization, long-standing cultural and racial tensions, our plague years. But some are the result of Lightfoot's poor leadership at City Hall, a story that hasn't been told in full -- until now.

Critique: A riveting and extraordinarily informative read from start to finish, "The City Is Up for Grabs: How Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Led and Lost a City in Crisis" is informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a nine page Prologue, a four page listing of Acknowledgments, twenty-four pages of Notes, and an eleven page Index. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9708874725235, $41.99, CD), " The City Is Up for Grabs" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Political Science & Chicago History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Gregory Royal Pratt (https://royalpratt.com) covered every day of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's term and was deeply sourced in city hall, as well as in the other offices of local, state, and national politics that shaped the mayor's administration. A Chicago native, Pratt has won several national awards for his political reporting and he is a regular commentator about the city on local and national media, including appearances on CNN and NPR.

The Little Black Book of Retirement Wisdom
Mike Kowis, Esq.
www.mikekowis.com
Lecture PRO Publishing
9798990013315, $9.99 Paperback/$2.99 eBook

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Black-Book-Retirement-Wisdom/dp/B0CWXMLW3R

The Little Black Book of Retirement Wisdom: Amusing Quotes for Retirees tackles the subject of retirement with levity and brevity, marrying both in a manner that will attract and amuse both new retirees and those who have had time to rest on their career laurels.

Chapter headings delineate serious topics of concern to all retirees, from building and tapping nest eggs to dying wishes and finding new purpose in retirement years. The words of wisdom, while embedded in such considerations, are not just dry admonitions, but pointed observations. They come from a wide range of sources, which makes their diversity even more appealing.

Examples of such hard-hitters include:

"While more people are working later in life because of happy things like longer life expectancy, they are also doing so because of very sad things, like a lack of Social Security benefits or retirement plans." - Alissa Quart

"I don't really think about retiring. I will retire just before people start saying, 'I knew Leonard Slatkin when he conducted well.' - Leonard Slatkin"

"The best thing about retirement is not having to wear pants." - Mark Hewer

Wisdom abounds -- but so do opportunities for hilarity, mixed with serious reflection. There could be no better gift for upcoming retirees than The Little Black Book of Retirement Wisdom -- and no better addition to a general-interest library's shelves. Senior book clubs and reading groups will also find that The Little Black Book of Retirement Wisdom holds the opportunity to encourage many a debate about retirement perceptions and experiences.


The AI Shelf

Responsible AI
Olivia Gambelin
Kogan Page Inc.
www.koganpage.com
9781398616035, $134.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Responsible-AI-Implement-Approach-Organization/dp/1398616036

Synopsis: "Responsible AI: Implement an Ethical Approach in your Organization" by AI ethicist Olivia Gambelin has rapidly transitioned to a strategic priority for leaders and organizations worldwide. "Responsible AI" guides its readers step-by-step through the process of establishing robust yet manageable ethical AI initiatives for any size organization, outlining the three core pillars of building a responsible AI strategy: people, process and technology. It also provides the insight and guidance needed to help leaders fully understand the technical and commercial potential of ethics in AI while also covering the operations and strategy needed to support implementation.

"Responsible AI" breaks down what it means to use ethics and values as a modern-day decision-making tool in the design and development of AI. It conceptually covers both how ethics can be used to identify risks and establish safeguards in the development of AI and how to use ethics-by-design methods to stimulate AI innovation. It also covers the different considerations for large enterprises and SMEs and discusses the role of the AI ethicist. It is supported by practical case studies from organizations such as IKEA, Nvidia, Rolls-Royce and NatWest Group.

Critique: Accessibly informative for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, and essential reading for anyone charged with the ethical and effective use of AI in organizational change, as well as business decision making and problem solving, Olivia Gambelin's "Responsible AI: Implement an Ethical Approach in your Organization" from Kogan Page is an ideal and effective introduction organized into fourteen succinct and 'reader friendly' chapters presented in three major sections. Simply stated, "Responsible AI" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, and college/university library AI Ethics and Business Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Responsible AI" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781398615700, $37.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $36.09).

Editorial Note: Olivia Gambelin (www.oliviagambelin.com) is an AI ethicist who specializes in the practical application of ethics to technological and artificial intelligence innovation. She is the founder of Ethical Intelligence, an AI ethics advisory firm providing Ethics-as-a-Service through the world's largest network of Responsible AI practitioners. In addition to her work as an ethicist, she is on the Founding Editorial Board for Springer Nature's AI and Ethics Journal, Co-Chair of IEEE's AI Expert Network Criteria Committee, and is on the Advisory Board of the Ethical AI Governance Group (EAIGG). Gambelin splits her year between San Francisco, USA where she is an active member of Silicon Valley's ecosystem of startups and investors, and Brussels, Belgium where she advises on AI policy and regulation.

AI for Good
Juan M. Lavista & William B. Weeks
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
www.wiley.com
9781394235872, $28.00, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/AI-Good-Applications-Sustainability-Humanitarian/dp/1394235879

Synopsis: With the publication of "AI for Good: Applications in Sustainability, Humanitarian Action, and Health", co-authors Juan M. Lavista and William B. Weeks (a team of veteran Microsoft AI researchers) delivers an insightful and fascinating discussion of how one of the world's most recognizable software companies is tackling intractable social problems with the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

"AI for Good" offers in-the-field examples of researchers using AI with replicable methods and reusable AI code to inspire your own uses.

It also provides:

Easy-to-follow, non-technical explanations of what AI is and how it works; Examples of the use of AI for scientists working on mitigating climate change, showing how AI can better analyze data without human bias, remedy pattern recognition deficits, and make use of satellite and other data on a scale never seen before so policy makers can make informed decisions.

Real applications of AI in humanitarian action, whether in speeding disaster relief with more accurate data for first responders or in helping address populations that have experienced adversity with examples of how analytics is being used to promote inclusivity.

A deep focus on AI in healthcare where it is improving provider productivity and patient experience, reducing per-capita healthcare costs, and increasing care access, equity, and outcomes.

Discussions of the future of AI in the realm of social benefit organizations and efforts.

Beyond the work of the authors, contributors, and researchers highlighted in "AI For Good", it begins with a foreword from Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith. There, Smith details the Microsoft rationale behind the creation of and continued investment in the AI for Good Lab. The vision is one of hope with AI saving lives in disasters, improving health care globally, and Microsoft's mission to make sure AI's benefits are available to all.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "AI for Good: Applications in Sustainability, Humanitarian Action, and Health" is an essential and prized guide to impactful social change with artificial intelligence, making it an especially recommended resource for technical and non-technical professionals alike who have an interest in AI's social potential, as well as policymakers, regulators, NGO professionals, and non-profit volunteers. While a necessary, critically important, and arguably indispensable addition to personal, professional, community, governmental, and college/university library AI collections and supplemental AI curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "AI for Good: Applications in Sustainability, Humanitarian Action, and Health" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.00).

Editorial Note #1: Juan M. Lavista Ferres PHD, MS, is the Microsoft Chief Data Scientist and the Director of the AI for Good Lab at Microsoft.

Editorial Note #2: William B. Weeks MD, PHD, MBA, is the Director of AI for Health at Microsoft.

Editorial Note #3: Brad Smith is Vice Chair and President of Microsoft.

Mastering AI
Jeremy Kahn
Simon and Schuster
www.simonandschuster.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9781668053324, $29.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-AI-Survival-Superpowered-Future/dp/1668053322

Synopsis: With the publication of "Mastering AI: A Survival Guide to Our Superpowered Future", Jeremy Kahn predicts that within the next five years, AI (artificial intelligence) will disrupt almost every industry and enterprise, with vastly increased efficiency and productivity. It will restructure the workforce, making AI copilots a must for every knowledge worker. It will revamp education, meaning children around the world can have personal, portable tutors. It will revolutionize health care, making individualized, targeted pharmaceuticals more affordable. It will compel us to reimagine how we make art, compose music, and write and publish books. The potential of generative AI to extend our skills, talents, and creativity as humans is undeniably exciting and promising.

But while this new technology has a bright future, it also casts a dark and fearful shadow. AI will provoke pervasive, disruptive, potentially devastating knock-on effects.

Leveraging his unrivaled access to the leaders, scientists, futurists, and others who are making AI a reality, Kahn argues that if not carefully designed and vigilantly regulated AI will deepen income inequality, depressing wages while imposing winner-take-all markets across much of the economy. AI risks undermining democracy, as truth is overtaken by misinformation, racial bias, and harmful stereotypes. Continuing a process begun by the internet, AI will rewire our brains, likely inhibiting our ability to think critically, to remember, and even to get along with one another -- unless we all take decisive action to prevent this from happening.

"Mastering AI: A Survival Guide to Our Superpowered Future" offers a prescient, insightful, and eminently readable account of life inside the dot-com bubble. "Mastering AI" also delivers much-needed guidance for anyone eager to understand the AI boom -- and what comes next.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of an Introduction (AI's Light Bulb Moment), a Conclusion (Toward Our Superpowered Future), sixty pages of Notes, and a thirteen page Index, "Mastering AI: A Survival Guide to Our Superpowered Future" is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented introduction to understanding and dealing with this new technology and its many and varied impacts on human society in general and our personal lives in particular. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, governmental, and college/university library AI collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Mastering AI" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797181158, $39.15, CD).

Editorial Note: Jeremy Kahn (http://jeremy-kahn.com) is an award-winning senior writer for Fortune magazine, where he covers artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. In addition to cover stories and features, he writes Fortune's weekly Eye on AI newsletter and co-chairs its Brainstorm AI technology conferences. Previously, he wrote about technology, including AI, for Bloomberg. His writing on a range of subjects has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and Slate. He has reported from India and much of South Asia, the Ivory Coast, Iraq, Venezuela, and most countries in Western Europe. He is a former managing editor of The New Republic. He lives with his family in England.

Machine Learning Q and AI
Sebastian Raschka
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781718503762, $49.99, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Machine-Learning-AI-Essential-Questions/dp/1718503768

Synopsis: For anyone who is ready to venture beyond introductory concepts and dig deeper into machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), the question-and-answer format of Sebastian Raschka's "Machine Learning Q and AI: 30 Essential Questions and Answers on Machine" from No Starch Press will make things fast, easy, and direct.

Born out of questions often fielded by Professor Raschka, the direct, no-nonsense approach of "Machine Learning Q and AI" makes advanced topics more accessible and genuinely engaging. Each brief, self-contained chapter journeys through a fundamental question in AI, unraveling it with clear explanations, diagrams, and hands-on exercises.

"Machine Learning Q and AI" addresses: AI questions answered concisely, and complex ideas are broken down into easily digestible parts; Topics ranging from neural network architectures and model evaluation to computer vision and natural language processing; Techniques for enhancing model performance, fine-tuning large models, and more.

Also covered is: Managing the various sources of randomness in neural network training; Differentiating between encoder and decoder architectures in large language models; Reducing overfitting through data and model modifications; Constructing confidence intervals for classifiers and optimize models with limited labeled data; Choosing between different multi-GPU training paradigms and different types of generative AI models; Understanding performance metrics for natural language processing; Making sense of the inductive biases in vision transformers

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Machine Learning Q and AI: 30 Essential Questions and Answers on Machine Learning and AI " is the ideal resource to elevate your understanding of machine learning, making it easier to painlessly advance understanding of machine learning AI beyond just the basics in the form of 30 specific and cutting edge Q&A questions. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99), "Machine Learning Q and AI: 30 Essential Questions and Answers on Machine Learning and AI" is unreservedly recommended for professional, community, college and university library AI/Machine Learning collections and supplemental AI Studies curriculums.

Editorial Note: Sebastian Raschka (https://sebastianraschka.com) is a machine learning and AI researcher with a passion for education. As Lead AI Educator at Lightning AI, he is excited about making AI and deep learning more accessible. Raschka previously was Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in researching deep learning and machine learning, and is the author of Python Machine Learning and Machine Learning with PyTorch and Scikit-Learn.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Body Alone
Nina Lohman
University of Iowa Press
www.uiowapress.org
9781609389499, $24.00, PB, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Alone-Lyrical-Articulation-Chronic/dp/1609389492

Synopsis: "The Body Alone: A Lyrical Articulation of Chronic Pain" by Nina Lohman is an inquiry into the experience, meaning, and articulation of pain. It is a personal hybrid account incorporating research, scholarship, and memoir to examine chronic pain through the multi-lens of medicine, theology, and philosophy.

Broken bodies tell broken stories. Nina Lohman's pain experience is portrayed through a cyclical narrative of primers, vocabulary lessons, prescription records, and hypothesized internal monologues -- fractured not for the sake of experimentation but because the story itself demands it.

In both form and content, "The Body Alone" represents boundary-pressing work that subverts the traditional narrative by putting pressure on the medical, cultural, and political systems that impact women's access to fair and equal healthcare. This is more than an illness narrative, it is a battle cry demanding change.

Critique: Eloquent, compelling, memorable, candid, insightful, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Body Alone: A Lyrical Articulation of Chronic Pain" from the University of Iowa Press is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Pain Management collections and supplemental Chronic Pain curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Nina Lohman (www.ninalohman.com) is founder and publisher of Brink, a literary journal that champions hybrid and cross-genre works. She is Literary Programming Director for the Mission Creek Festival. A 2023 Iowa Artist Fellow, her writing has been supported by the Vermont Studio Center, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Iowa Arts Council.


The Science Shelf

Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book
Rob Brander
Columbia University Press
https://cup.columbia.edu
9781742238074, $24.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rips-Essential-Beach-Book-Everything/dp/1742238076

Synopsis: How do waves break and what makes good surfing conditions? Why do beaches have different coloured sand? What are dangerous rip currents and how do you spot one -- and what would you do if you got caught in one?

With the publication of "Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book: Everything you need to know about surf, sand and rips", Australia's best known surf 'Dr Rip' Brander answers all of these questions and more as we discover how beaches form, the science of waves and currents, how sand dunes work and the myth of collapsing sand bars, and the human impacts on our beaches and how they will respond to storms and climate change.

"Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book" is also packed with practical information on how to use the beach, from keeping your family safe in the surf to what to do in the (unlikely) event you find yourself swimming with a shark.

Whether you' re a surfer looking for the perfect wave or someone just enjoying a stroll along the sandy shoreline, this guide to the beach is a must-read for all ocean lovers.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in style, organization and presentation, "Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book: Everything you need to know about surf, sand and rips" must be considered essential reading for everyone with an interest in the use and preservation of beaches, and the impact of wave mechanics. Impressively informed and informative, "Dr Rip's Essential Beach Book: Everything you need to know about surf, sand and rips" is also available in a hardcover edition (9780231217392, $105.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.70) -- making it a unique and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library collections and supplemental Oceanography curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Rob Brander (www.scienceofthesurf.com) is a beach safety researcher who combines elements of coastal geomorphology and hazards with an understanding of social and demographic aspects of beachgoers. The overall goal of his research is to understand the physical-social interaction of beach hazards in order to reduce the incidence of drowning and injury on beaches and other coastal environments. He works at UNSW.


The Cookbook Shelf

Way Up North Wisconsin Cookbook
Victoria Shearer
The Globe Pequot Press
www.globepequot.com
9781493070848, $26.95, PB, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Way-Up-North-Wisconsin-Cookbook/dp/1493070843

Synopsis: The northern part of Wisconsin is said to be a "state of mind and geography, less about geography and more about what you do when you get there." Generally considered to be any area north of Highway 8, this northern section of Wisconsin was once a remote primeval forest settled by iron and copper miners and then lumberjacks. Now it is an extremely popular vacation destination, drawing vacationers year-round from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and parts beyond, Up North showcases more than 7,500 lakes, rivers, and streams, and more than a million acres of public forest.

More than just another cookbook, with the publication of "Way Up North Wisconsin Cookbook: Recipes and Foodways from God's Country", Victoria Shearer celebrates the history of Wisconsin, including the people, and the cultures that so influenced the area for centuries with a compendium of recipes presenting a fresh take on traditional foods laid out alongside interesting features on the quintessential uniqueness that makes this distinctive part of Wisconsin.

Critique: A culinary treasure house of authentic Wisconsin recipes that range from Twice-Baked Stuffed Potatoes, Grilled Brushetta Walleye Fillets, Beer Can Chicken, and Upside-Down Dill-Salmon Loaf Pie with Lemon Sauce, to Butter Burger Sliders, Grilled Five Cheese Sandwiches, and BLT Soup, "Way Up North Wisconsin Cookbook: Recipes and Foodways from God's Country" is beautifully illustrated and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.37), "Way Up North Wisconsin Cookbook" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Victoria Shearer is a longtime travel and food journalist who frequently contributes to national magazines and newspapers. She is also the author of The Florida Keys Cookbook, ten editions of Insiders' Guide to the Florida Keys & Key West, Walking Places in New England, It Happened in the Florida Keys, and others. There is a listing of her books online at https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/98296.Victoria_Shearer

Anaconda's Melting Pot Cookbook
Anaconda Community Foundation
Sweetgrass Books
c/o Farcountry Press
www.farcountrypress.com
9781591523253, $39.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Anacondas-Melting-Pot-Cookbook-Celebration/dp/1591523257

Synopsis: Immigrants flocked to to the Montana city of Anaconda for work when Marcus Daly built the smelter in the late nineteenth century and settled together in neighborhoods where they retained their language, customs, celebrations and cuisine.

"Anaconda's Melting Pot Cookbook: A Celebration of Anaconda Montana's Heritage & Cuisine" was created to honor and preserve that rich culinary heritage. This compendium of authentic recipes will evoke vivid memories of aromas drifting out of the kitchen and the people who prepared the dishes. Above all, "Anaconda's Melting Pot Cookbook" pays tribute to Anaconda's melting pot of cultures and all proceeds from its sales will to to support the Anaconda Community Foundation's mission to build a permanent financial legacy for Anaconda through the generosity of its citizens and friends in order to develop and maintain a thriving community forever.

Critique: "Anaconda's Melting Pot Cookbook: A Celebration of Anaconda Montana's Heritage & Cuisine" includes: 219 original recipes from the Anaconda, Montana community; A detailed index, measurement conversions, and food substitutions; and 121 historical and modern-day black and white photographs. A pleasure to browse through and fun to plan memorable menus with, this large format (8.6 x 0.7 x 11.3 inches, 2.45 pounds) hard cover edition of "Anaconda's Melting Pot Cookbook" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: The Anaconda Community Foundation helps the Anaconda, Montana community respond to the challenges of the citizens, the infrastructure and the local environment in a meaningful and effective way. Their mission is to build a permanent financial legacy for Anaconda through the generosity of its citizens and friends in order to develop and maintain a thriving community forever. (https://anacondacommunityfoundation.org)

Easy Indian Vegetarian
Chetna Makan
Hamlyn
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9780600637752, $32.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Indian-Vegetarian-Delicious-recipes/dp/0600637751

Synopsis: With "Easy Indian Vegetarian: Delicious recipes for every day" American family cooks can easily prepare authentic vegetarian Indian food at home with more than seventy delicious, nutritious, palate pleasing and authentic recipes from India.

Cookbook author Chetna Makan's newest recipe collection takes inspiration from the incredible vegetarian food that India has to offer. From deliciously spiced Gujarati thepla to indulgently sweet balushahi, Chetna's recipes celebrate the vibrant flavours of vegetarian Indian cuisine.

Each individual recipe is provided with step-by-step instructions. Beautifully illustrated with full page color photos of finished dishes, this edition of "Easy Indian Vegetarian" from Hamlyn also includes a menu planner that is ideal for everyday cooking on a busy schedule. Vegetarians, Vegans, and Meat-Eater alike will keep returning to this outstanding culinary compendium for flavor-packed, creative, authentic and wholesome ethnic recipes.

Critique: From Masala potato bonda; Rainbow chard and peas sabzi; Chickpea yogurt curry; Onion paratha flatbread, and Green ginger pulao, to Yogurt rice; Roast cauliflower raita; Coriander ginger chutney, and Coconut barfi, "Easy Indian Vegetarian: Delicious recipes for every day" fully lives up to the promise of its title and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular pick for family, personal, professional, and community library Ethnic & Vegetarian Cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Easy Indian Vegetarian" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Chetna Makan (www.Chetnamakan.co.uk) was born in Jabalpur in Central India. She has a degree in fashion and worked in Mumbai as a fashion designer before moving to the UK in 2004. Chetna was part of The Great British Bake Off in 2014 and since then has written 7 cookbooks. They range from baking, Indian street food, healthy Indian food, vegetarian and quick Indian. She also has a very popular YouTube channel 'Food with Chetna' where she shares her creative flair for all things cooking and baking. She can be followed online at: Youtube.com/FoodwithChetna; Instagram.com/chetnamakan; Twitter.com/chetnamakan; and Facebook.com/chetna.makan

Korean Made Easy
Seji Hong
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781804191804, $26.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Korean-Made-Easy-Recipes-Midnight/dp/1804191809

Synopsis: Korean ingredients such as kimchi, gochujang and sesame oil are ubiquitous in kitchens worldwide and continuing to grow in popularity. But Korean food has a reputation of being longwinded and full of difficult-to-source ingredients.

With the publication of "Korean Made Easy: Simple Recipes to Make from Morning to Midnight", culinary author Seji Hong dispels this myth, and shows how only seven basic store-cupboard essentials are required to recreate the flavors that make up the cuisine: Gochujang, Doenjang, Ganjang (soy sauce), Rice, Sesame oil, Fish sauce, Gochugaru, which, along with just a few additional ingredients that can be found in supermarkets, make up all the dishes comprising this Korean cuisine compendium.

Seji also highlights ingredient swaps throughout.

Of special note are the chapters that include Kimchi, Small dishes/banchan, Rice & noodles, Soups & stews, Noodles & rice, Korean BBQ, Seoul-style street food, Korean tapas & twists, Seji's sauce remix and Sweet & Soju. The approximately 80 recipes comprising "Korean Made Easy" will include classics such as Bibimbap, Japchae and Beef Bulgogi, more contemporary dishes such as Gochujang Sausage Spaghetti, 3 ways to update your Ramyeon (Korean packet noodles) and 3 ways to make Korean Fried Chicken, as well as delicious soju-based cocktails, which include a Watermelon Soju Punch.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full page color photography of finished dishes, "Korean Made Easy: Simple Recipes to Make from Morning to Midnight" is an inspiring delight to page through and thoroughly 'user friendly' in planning and executing memorable meals with. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), "Korean Made Easy: Simple Recipes to Make from Morning to Midnight" will prove a highly prized pick for family, personal, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Seji Hong (https://bombom-market.com) is Bombom's founder, chief creator and menu developer. She hosted supper clubs in Wimbledon in 2019 before launching Bombom sauces in November 2021. Born in Seoul, Seji grew up in a modern Seoul family that loved cooking and eating together. Dishes and memories such as Seji's grandmother's traditional food cooked with seasonal ingredients following the lunar calendar and her mum's modern fusion Seoul food inspired Seji to develop a unique menu, incorporating three generations of Korean cooking, that also suit a western palate. Bombom sauces have scooped two stars in the highly regarded Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards 2022 and have also featured in publications such as Vogue UK, BBC Good Food Magazine and Korean Air in-flight magazine.

The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day
Pip Payne
Hamlyn
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781783255658, $26.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Slimming-Foodie-Easy-Meals-Every/dp/178325565X

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day: Healthy Dinners for the Whole Family", cookbook author and food blogger Pip Payne has enabled even the most novice of family cooks to get dinner on the table every night with easy, healthy and family-friendly meals. With over 100 low-calorie recipes, "The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day" shows how anyone can get maximum flavor with minimum fuss.

An impressive and profusely illustrated compendium of culinary treasures, "The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day" is comprised of simple, slimming recipes, including clever swaps and everyday ingredients to get fabulous and flavorful results from superfood salads, to comfort foods, to indulgent 'fakeaways'.

Critique: Featuring days-of-the-week dividers from Monday through Sunday, "The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day: Healthy Dinners for the Whole Family" is a pleasure to browse through, and a delight to plan memorable menus with. While also currently available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $1.99), this hardcover edition of Pip Payne's "The Slimming Foodie Easy Meals Every Day" from Hamlyn is an especially recommended pick for personal, family, professional, and community library Low Carb and Weight Control themed cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Pip Payne (www.theslimmingfoodie.com) is the creator of the award-winning blog The Slimming Foodie. Keeping a love of food at the fore, Pip's approach is about bringing back convenient home cooking by making healthy recipes that are accessible to a new wave of home cooks. In her books, Pip shows readers how to prepare great tasting meals that are cooked from scratch, while cutting down on fat and sugar and following science-led nutrition advice.

The Monday Pasta Club
Ed Barrow
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781804191989, $26.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Monday-Pasta-Club-recipes-occasion/dp/1804191981

Synopsis: Every Monday at 5pm, The Monday Pasta Club posts a new recipe to its followers. Each one celebrates pasta's versatility, not just in terms of the ingredients it goes with, but also how long a dish takes to cook. "The Monday Pasta Club: 60 pasta recipes for every occasion" by Ed Barrow includes some fan favorites along with brand-new recipes, all packed with flavor and easy to create.

Organized so that family cooks can find something suited to both their time limit and budget, the individual chapters comprising "The Monday Pasta Club" each include 5 vegetarian, 5 fish and 5 meat recipes. From a super speedy Pistachio & Parsley Pesto pasta, to dishes that take a little longer such as Sea Bass, Chilli and Lime Spaghetti and slow cooked treats such as Lamb and Rosemary Pappardelle, all of the recipes are delicious, easy-to-follow and celebrate the joy of pasta.

Critique: A pasta lover's delight to simply browse through and plan menus with, "The Monday Pasta Club: 60 pasta recipes for every occasion" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full page, full color photos of finished dishes that will wet the appetite and inspire any formal or informal dining occasion. The showcases and 'family cook friendly' recipes are nicely organized into four major sections according to cooking times (10-15 minutes; 15-30 minutes; 30 minutes to 1 hour; ready in 1 hour+). While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), "The Monday Pasta Club" by Ed Barrow is a strongly recommended pick for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Ed Barrow (www.themondaypastaclub.com) created The Monday Pasta Club, a weekly recipe page dedicated to his love of pasta. A pasta recipe is posted every Monday at 5pm, and the account has built up a legion of fans, with more than 70k followers on Instagram, and over 20k website visits a month. Originally a pastry chef, Ed set up The Monday Pasta Club during lockdown, after rediscovering a pasta machine he was given for his twelfth birthday.

Small Batch Cookies
Edd Kimber
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781804191859, $26.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Small-Batch-Cookies-Deliciously-people/dp/180419185X

Synopsis: There are times when nothing but a warm chocolate chip cookie will hit the spot. Bad day at work? Chocolate chip cookie to commiserate. A great day at work? Chocolate chip cookie to celebrate.

The need for an emergency solitary cookie or two can strike at any time, but baking recipes typically serve large groups, which is perfect for a party, a celebration or a crowd, but not when there's just one (or two) of you and you would rather not spend the money on making a big batch or be faced with eating the same thing all week.

With the publication of "Small Batch Cookies: Deliciously easy bakes for one to six people", Edd Kimber shows that good things really can come in small packages. For this new cookie cookbook compendium the focus is solely on cookies -- probably the easiest and arguably most popular kind of baking there is.

Nothing has quite the allure of a cookie straight out of the oven! The classic cookie is chocolate chip, but there is no one single perfect version - the variations are endless and range from double and triple chocolate to dark chocolate and cherry, and white chocolate and lemon. Other less familiar but no less delicious types of cookie include vanilla, peanut butter, ginger, oat and raisin and coconut.

The DIY cookie making recipes also include vegan cookies and cookies for those with allergies and intolerances.

Critique: Profusely illustrated with full page color photos of each cookie, "Small Batch Cookies: Deliciously easy bakes for one to six people" will prove to be an immediately popular and enduringly appreciated pick for personal, family, and community library speciality cookbook collections. A mouth-watering pleasure to browse through, and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in recipe organization and presentation, it should also be noted that this hardcover edition of "Small Batch Cookies" from Kyle Books is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Edd Kimber (www.theboywhobakes.co.uk) is is a baker and food writer based in London. He is the author of One Tin Bakes (2020) which also won the BBC Good Food, Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post Best Food Books 2020, as well as One Tin Bakes Easy (2021) and Small Batch Bakes (2022). Over the last ten years he has appeared on multiple television shows including Good Morning America, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Sunday Brunch, Saturday Kitchen and, of course, on the original series of The Great British Bake Off, of which he is the inaugural winner.

Taste of Home Pizza, Pasta, and More
Taste of Home, editor
Taste of Home
https://www.tasteofhome.com
c/o Trusted Media Brands
https://www.trustedmediabrands.com
9708889770275, $22.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Home-Pizza-Pasta-More/dp/B0CM27P68Z

Synopsis: Whether you need an ultra-fast weeknight entree or a complete from-scratch menu, with respect to pizza and pasta, the possibilities are endless. With Taste of Home's all-new cookbook, "Taste of Home Pizza, Pasta, and More: 200+ Recipes Deliver the Comfort, Versatility and Rich Flavors of Italian-Style Delights", you will have everything you need to serve up a mouth-watering variety of DIY recipes.

You will even learn how to make your own sauces and pizza dough so you can create your own specialties. Best of all, this simply outstanding and profusely illustrated cookbook offers Italian appetizers, salads, soups, breads and tempting desserts, including popular antipasti and decadent tiramisu.

Specifically, "Taste of Home Pizza, Pasta, and More" features: 200+ recipes including an incredible variety of pizzas and pasta dishes, plus recipes to complete the meal (appetizers and salads, soups, breads and Italian-style desserts); Handy Fast-Fix Icon helps you find dishes that are ready in under 30 minutes... perfect for those nights when time is at a premium. Color photos with every recipe, including step-by-step photos to guide you through the process of making pasta dough, different homemade pizza crusts (including gluten-free!) and more.

Additionally there are: Bonus added extras help you pair sauces with pastas, determine serving sizes, plan a perfect pizza party and more; Reader reviews and tips from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen staff; Nutrition facts with every recipe and diabetic exchanges where applicable.

Critique: The ultimate DIY guide, "Taste of Home Pizza, Pasta, and More: 200+ Recipes Deliver the Comfort, Versatility and Rich Flavors of Italian-Style Delights" is the key to how family homemakers can create amazing, fun, and delicious dining any and all formal and informal dining occasions. An elegant and inspiring culinary compendium, "Taste of Home Pizza, Pasta, and More" will prove to be an immediately popular and enduringly appreciated pick for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that this edition of Taste of Home Pizza, Pasta, and More" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Taste of Home (www.tasteofhome.com) is the leading multi-platform producer of information on food, cooking and entertaining, serving home cooks engaging media that capture the joy and comfort received from food made with love. Taste of Home magazine has a circulation of 2.5 million and publishes top-selling bookazines; newsstand specials; and popular cookbooks.

Taste of Home Meal Planning
Taste of Home, editor
Taste of Home
https://www.tasteofhome.com
c/o Trusted Media Brands
https://www.trustedmediabrands.com
9781617659300, $24.99, HC, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Home-Meal-Planning-through/dp/1617659304

Synopsis: The family cooks of today know that a bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to serving up the homemade favorites folks crave. That's why they will be attracted to "Taste of Home Meal Planning", an ultimate resource for make-ahead convenience family dining menus.

Subtitled '500+ Recipes, Secrets & Tips that Busy Meal Planners Rely on Most', this beautifully illustrated compendium of sensible, speedy and sensational recipes is must-have cookbook that also offers a monthly meal plan, the secrets to cooking once and eating all week, Test Kitchen approved frozen meals that reheat in a jiffy, on-the-go breakfast ideas and more!

Whether you are a meal-planning pro or a family homemaker simply looking to beat the kitchen clock on busy nights, you will make the most of your time (and your grocery bill!) with the incredible recipes, meal plans, kitchen hacks and timesaving ideas found in Taste of Home Meal Planning.

Critique: A delight to browse through, inspiring to plan menus with, and to create palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, professional quality and memorab4e dishes with, "Taste of Home Meal Planning: The 500+ Recipes, Secrets & Tips that Busy Meal Planners Rely on Most" will prove a prized and enduringly appreciated acquisition for personal, professional, and community library budget & quick/easy cookbook collections. It should be noted that this edition of "Taste of Home Meal Planning" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9708889770329, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Taste of Home (www.tasteofhome.com) is the leading multi-platform producer of information on food, cooking and entertaining, serving home cooks engaging media that capture the joy and comfort received from food made with love. Taste of Home magazine has a circulation of 2.5 million and publishes top-selling bookazines; newsstand specials; and popular cookbooks.

Kitchen Sanctuary Quick & Easy
Nicky Corbishley
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
https://www.octopusbooks.co.uk
9781804191002, $26.99, HC, 208pp

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

Synopsis: With the publication of "Kitchen Sanctuary Quick & Easy" Nicky Corbishley showcases 100 quick and easy, home-cooked family recipes, each of which would be ready for the dinner table in 30 minutes or less. Each of these recipes are beautifully illustrated with color photos and are drawn from Nicky's hugely popular blog and YouTube channel Kitchen Sanctuary.

Making dinner from scratch can feel like a chore -- often half the battle is trying to find something that's, quick, healthy and, most importantly, delicious. But delicious doesn't have to mean demanding. After their debut book, Sunday Times bestseller "It's All About Dinner", Nicky Corbishley and Kitchen Sanctuary are back with "Kitchen Sanctuary Quick & Easy -- this time focusing on quick and easy meals that are also budget friendly.

"Kitchen Sanctuary Quick & Easy" is deftly organized by chapters that include: Champion Chicken (chicken is so versatile and so quick to cook, it merits a chapter of its own); Moreish Meat (covering pork, lamb and beef); Fantastic Fish (a quick and often healthy option, good for pescatarians); Vitally Veggie (dedicated to veggie dinners, both for ease of use and to appeal to broad family tastes); Perfect Pasta (super quick and easy); Rice, Noodles, Grains and Bread (just what it says!); Snack Suppers: (for those occasions when you want something good to eat but not a full dinner - eg Chicken Quesadillas, Crispy Lamb Salad, Spicy Turkey Rice Wraps); Super Sauces (game-changers that can be made ahead and frozen, and can be turned into a meal with the addition of some meat/pasta/veg).

Of special note is the inclusion of Smart Shortcuts -- hints and tips for speeding up dinner, covering both ingredients and practical advice. Around 80% of the recipes are new and haven't previously appeared on the brand's website or YouTube channel and as well as offering quick and easy dinner solutions, the book is budget-friendly, with most recipes low or medium cost, and around a quarter being fully vegetarian. The book includes QR codes linked to video content.

Critique: Living up to its promise of Quick & Easy, this culinary compendium is a must for the growing legions of Nicky Corbishley fans. While "Kitchen Sanctuary Quick & Easy: Delicious 30-minute Dinners" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) this hard cover edition from Kyle Books is unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Food blogger Nicky Corbishley has written and/or created content for many brands, websites and magazines, including Neff (she won a Neff Cookaholic competition), Brit + Co, the Telegraph, Superfood Magazine, the Vegetarian Society, Beautiful Home and Life Magazine. She started Kitchen Sanctuary as a way to keep a diary of her favorite recipes, and it quickly grew in popularity, with readers loving the straightforward, easy-to-follow recipes, eye-catching photography and professional recipe videos. Instagram: @kitchensanctuary

The Wild & Healthy Cookbook
Michelle Faust Lang Berthels, author
Kim Gardner, translator
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510778801, $29.99, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Healthy-Cookbook-Nourishing-Inspired/dp/1510778802

Synopsis: Herbal expert Michelle Faust Lang Berthels believes there is always time to explore nature's treasure trove. With the publication of "The Wild & Healthy Cookbook: Nourishing Meals Inspired by Nature's Bounty" she pays tribute to magical, exciting, and edible plants and invites you to experience what a sprinkling of herbs can do for a dish and, not least, your well-being.

More than eighty herbaceous recipes comprise "The Wild & Healthy Cookbook including such as: Superfood muffins; Shortbread with nettle and onions; Refreshing summer gazpacho; Almond cookies with cashew-rose cream; Matcha raw-cake bites -- and so much more!

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, the emphasis on this unique culinary compendium is that you can fuel your body and nourish your soul with wild plants, herbs, and spices found in nature like our pre-agriculture plant gathering ancestors. Ably translated into English by Kim Gardener and also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99), this hard cover edition of "The Wild & Healthy Cookbook: Nourishing Meals Inspired by Nature's Bounty" from Skyhorse Publishing a pleasure to browse through and inspiring to plan menus with. Making it an especially and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note #1: Michelle Faust Lang Berthels is a recipe developer, holistic health mentor, lifestyle coach, herbal expert, and yoga teacher. She inspires us to eat more of all the wild things right outside our door.


The Pets Shelf

Tender Paws
Wendy Lyons Sunshine
Health Communications, Inc.
https://hcibooks.com
9780757324956, $16.95, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tender-Paws-Science-Based-Parenting-Relationship/dp/0757324959

Synopsis: When Wendy Lyons Sunshine got her first puppy (found abandoned behind a gas station, struggling with worms and anemia) she was in over her head. As puppy training guides failed to help her with the out-of-control, traumatized bundle of teeth and claws rescue pup, she turned to her work helping world-class child development experts. Could strategies for raising happy, well-adjusted kids be transferred to raising a puppy?

As it turns out, yes, they can! From the first try, parenting wisdom transformed Sunshine's relationship with her challenging little one. Soon enough, Sunshine's view of her puppy shifted from one of adversity to one of compassion and understanding, and she was able to bring patience and therapeutic concepts to meet her dog's needs. When Sunshine reached out to experts, they affirmed that science-based principles used with at-risk children align well with best practices of holistic, positive, and progressive dog handling. Exploring parallels between human and canine research, attachment styles, history of trauma, parenting styles, and her own "inner child" proved a mindful path for pet parenting.

Far from a standard dog training manual, "Tender Paws: How Science-Based Parenting Can Transform Our Relationship with Dogs" explicitly applies parenting wisdom and best practices used with special needs kids to a cross-section of scenarios, from recognizing developmental trauma and unmet core needs, to making decisions about appropriate equipment, to responding to difficult behavior, to understanding the parenting style from which we approach our dogs.

Sunshine empowers you and your dog by offering: A synthesis of the fields of child development, attachment, trauma, sensory integration, neurobiology, learning, animal behavior, and ethology; A problem-solving framework that makes dog training decisions clearer and behavior frustrations easier to resolve; Parenting wisdom to help your dog move beyond trauma and into wellness.

Borrowing the principles of parenting for dogs feels obvious to some people: instinctive and ordinary and inevitable. But that's not true for everyone, especially those of us who had a less than ideal childhood and bear the scars of early harm, loss, trauma, or deprivation. Tender Paws provides an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, evidence-based guide for readers who want to honor the needs of (and improve outcomes for) puppies and dogs they care about.

Critique: An invaluable and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional reference and 'how to' guide for anyone who has (or would like to have) a canine companion. Exceptionally well organized and presented, informed and informative, and ideal for non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Tender Paws: How Science-Based Parenting Can Transform Our Relationship with Dogs" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Dog Training & Animal/Pet Care collections. It should be noted that "Tender Paws: How Science-Based Parenting Can Transform Our Relationship with Dogs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Wendy Lyons Sunshine (https://www.wendylsunshine.com) is a journalist who writes about the human-animal connection for PsychologyToday.com and is content coordinator at Positively.com. She co-authored Raising the Challenging Child and The Connected Child, a bestseller recommended by child welfare organizations and adoption agencies. Wendy is FDM(R) certified in L.E.G.S.(R) Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediation(R) and volunteers at her local animal shelter.


The Wildlife Shelf

Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners
Thomas D. Seeley
Princeton University Press
https://press.princeton.edu
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9780691237695, $29.95, HC, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Piping-Hot-Bees-Boisterous-Buzz-Runners/dp/0691237697

Synopsis: With the publication of "Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners: 20 Mysteries of Honey Bee Behavior Solved", Professor Thomas D. Seeley takes the reader inside a world seldom seen even by beekeepers, shedding light on twenty of the most compelling mysteries of honey bee behavior.

Professor Seeley has devoted a lifetime to the study of honey bees and their colonies, unraveling the secrets of these wondrous insects in a career spanning six decades. In "Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners" from Princeton University Press, he deftly weaves illuminating personal stories with the latest science, explaining such mysteries as how worker bees function as scouts to choose a home site for their colony, furnish their home with beeswax combs, and stock it with brood and food while keeping tens of thousands of colony inhabitants warm and defended from intruders. Along the way, he shares the experiences that drew him to these studies, the small observations that led to big breakthroughs, and the sense of excitement that came with probing each mystery.

Richly illustrated, "Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners" provides a rare look at how a singularly passionate scientist and his colleagues deciphered the pipings, shakings, and puzzling tremble dances of honey bees, and how this journey of scientific discovery continues to shape our understanding of these remarkably intelligent and vitally important insects.

Critique: An absolute 'must read' pick for anyone with an interest or curiosity about the honey bee, "Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners: 20 Mysteries of Honey Bee Behavior Solved" is enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a ten page Appendix (List of Signals), ten pages of Notes, a four page listing of References, and a four page Index. Unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Honey Bee collections and supplemental Entomology curriculums studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, bee-keepers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Piping Hot Bees and Boisterous Buzz-Runners: 20 Mysteries of Honey Bee Behavior Solved" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.69) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9708874778729, $45.95, CD).

Editorial Note: Thomas D. Seeley (https://nbb.cornell.edu/thomas-seeley) is the Horace White Professor of Biology Emeritus at Cornell University. His books include The Lives of Bees, Following the Wild Bees, and Honeybee Democracy (all from Princeton University Press). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The International Studies Shelf

Pakistan and American Diplomacy
Theodore Craig
Potomac Books, Inc.
c/o University of Nebraska Press
www.potomacbooksinc.com
9781640126008, $34.95, HC, 296pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pakistan-American-Diplomacy-Insights-Afghanistan/dp/1640126007

Synopsis: With the publication of "Pakistan and American Diplomacy: Insights from 9/11 to the Afghanistan Endgame", Theodore 'Ted' Craig offers an insightful, fast-moving tour through Pakistan-U.S. relations, from 9/11 to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as told from his personal perspective of a former U.S. diplomat who served twice in Pakistan.

Craig frames his narrative around the 2019 Cricket World Cup, a contest that saw Pakistan square off against key neighbors and cricketing powers Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh, and its former colonial ruler, Britain.

Craig provides perceptive analysis of Pakistan's diplomacy since its independence in 1947, shedding light on the country's contemporary relations with the United States, China, India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. With insights from the field and from Washington, Craig reflects on the chain of policy decisions that led to the fall of the Kabul government in 2021 and offers a sober and balanced view of the consequences of that policy failure.

Drawing on his post - Cold War diplomatic career, Craig presents U.S.-Pakistan policy in the context of an American experiment in promoting democracy while combating terrorism.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a number of Maps, a Prologue (Resetting the Relationship), twenty-two pages of Notes, and a fifteen page Index, "Pakistan and American Diplomacy: Insights from 9/11 to the Afghanistan Endgame" is an extraordinary history and analysis of Pakistan/American relations. An erudite and thought-provoking study that is richly enhanced from a true 'insider' perspective, "Pakistan and American Diplomacy" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library International American Diplomacy Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pakistan and American Diplomacy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.08).

Editorial Note: Currently serving again in South Asia as a counterterrorism program advisor, Ted Craig retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after twenty-nine years and two tours in Islamabad, Pakistan, the second as political counselor. He also served three tours in Latin America and held policy jobs related to peace and security, environmental diplomacy, and human rights.


The American History Shelf

No Ordinary Journey
Mary Barmeyer O'Brien
Farcountry Press
www.farcountrypress.com
9781560378389, $18.95, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/No-Ordinary-Journey-Stories-Overland/dp/1560378387

Synopsis: Pioneer men traveling the overland trails during the mid-nineteenth century found the adventure of their lives -- and the most grueling, dangerous endeavor they had ever undertaken. Most of them were young and looking for a new life. Many were Midwestern farmers who were tired of the never-ending cycle of monotonous chores that left little time for leisure. Others had been persecuted, enslaved, or were living in poverty. When they heard stories from the West about rich, free land or California gold nuggets waiting to be claimed, they were eager to go.

Often lacking the know-how needed to complete an overland journey, men set out anyway, planning to learn as they went. Those who brought along their sometimes reluctant wives and children found out the hard way that traversing the primitive trails with a family was not a simple venture. The trip was so challenging that no part could be considered ordinary as they pushed toward the West, which glowed in their minds like the rising sun.

Critique: A brilliantly presented slice of American frontier and western expansion history, "No Ordinary Journey: Stories of Men on the Overland Trails" by author and history buff Mary Barmeyer O'Brien is an inherently fascinating read from start to finish. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "No Ordinary Journey" is an extraordinary and recommended pick for community and college/university library American 19th Century History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Mary Barmeyer O'Brien is She is the author of several books, both fiction and nonfiction, about women's history and pioneers on the overland trails, including Heart of the Trail: Stories of Covered Wagon Women and The Promise of the West: Young Pioneers on the Overland Trails.

Idaho Madams
Milana Marsenich
Farcountry Press
www.farcountrypress.com
9781560377504, $16.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Idaho-Madams-Milana-Marsenich/dp/156037750X

Synopsis: Fur, silver, and gold first lured men to the Idaho Territory. Women soon followed. And what women they were! Molly B'Damn, Peg Leg Annie, Spanish Belle, Lou Beevers, Diamond Tooth Lil -- their names alone promised excitement and intrigue.

In fact, these madams led complex, turbulent lives. In the pages of "Idaho Madams" you will meet Maggie Hall, a devout Catholic whose husband used her to pay off his gambling debts. Working as a prostitute, Maggie made her way west and, as Molly B'Damn, became the guardian angel of an Idaho mining camp.

Then there was Annie McIntyre, a young girl among the prospectors and ne'er do wells of Rocky Bar who amassed a small fortune as the local madam only to lose it all -- along with both her legs.

In "Idaho Madams" from Farcountry Press, author Milana Marsenich uncovers the enigmatic and salacious lives of 30 women who ran brothels in the Gem State from the 1850s to the 1980s. Here are the hedonistic and sometimes heroic exploits of Effie Rogan, Jennie Girard, Nettie Bowen, Ginger Murphy, Dixie Colton, and Dot Allen, but also the unsung sagas of Carrie Young, Grace Freeman, Willow Herman, Hattie Carlton, and many more.

As told by author Milana Marsenich, the stories of these women come alive with voluptuous detail, historical photographs, and the social context of the times.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from first page to last, "Idaho Madams" will prove to be a memorably unique, immediately welcome, and enduringly popular pick for personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Western History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Milana Marsenich (https://milanamarsenich.com) Her first novel. Copper Sky was a 2018 Spur Award finalist. Her second novel, The Swan Keeper, was a 2019 Willa Literary Award finalist. Her short story "Wild Dogs" won the 2020 Laura Award for short fiction. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, Moronic Ox, Book Glow, and Feminist Studies.


The World History Shelf

Women's Lives in the Tudor Era
Amy McElroy
Pen & Sword Books
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781399042000, $34.95, HC, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Womens-Lives-Tudor-Era-McElroy/dp/1399042009

Synopsis: Women in the Tudor age are often overshadowed by their male counterparts. Even those of royalty were deemed inferior to males. while women may have been classed as the inferior gender, they nevertheless played a vital role in Tudor society.

As daughters, mothers and wives they were expected to be obedient to the man of the household, but how effective would those households be without the influence of women?

Many opportunities including much formal education and most professions were closed to women, their early years spent imitating their mothers before learning to run a household in preparation for marriage. Once married their responsibilities would vary greatly according to their social status and rank. Widowhood left some in a vulnerable condition while for others it enabled them to make a life for themselves and become independent in a largely patriarchal society.

With the publication of "Women's Lives in the Tudor Era", Amy McElroy examines the roles of women across all backgrounds and how expectations of them differed during the various stages of life.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit, "Women's Lives in the Tudor Era" is enhanced with the inclusion of illustrations, a four page Bibliography, seven pages of Notes, and a four page Index. A seminal and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, community, and college/university library Tudor History/Biography 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 "Women's Lives in the Tudor Era" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Amy McElroy was born and bred in Liverpool before moving to the Midlands to study Criminal Justice eventually becoming a civil servant. She has long been interested in history, reading as much and as often as she could. Her writing journey began with her blog, sharing thoughts on books she had read, before developing to writing reviews for "Aspects of History" magazine and culminating in her own book.


The Military History Shelf

The Typhoon Truce, 1970
Robert F. Curtis
Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636244648, $24.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Typhoon-Truce-1970-Vietnam-Intervened/dp/1636244645

Synopsis: It wasn't rockets or artillery that came through the skies one week during the Vietnam war. It was the horrific force of nature that suddenly put both sides in awe. As an unofficial truce began, questions and emotions battled inside every air crewman's mind as they faced masses of Vietnamese civilians outside their protective base perimeters for the first time. Could we trust them not to shoot? Could they trust us not to drop them off in a detention camp? Truces never last, but life changes a bit for all the people involved while they are happening.

Sometimes wars are suspended and fighting stops for a while. A holiday that both sides recognize might do it, as happened in the Christmas truce during World War I. Weather might do it, too, as it did in Vietnam in October 1970. The "typhoon truce" was just as real, and the war stopped for three days in northern I Corps--that area bordering the demilitarized zone separating South Vietnam from the North. The unofficial "typhoon truce" came because first, Super Typhoon Joan arrived, devastating all the coastal lowlands in I Corps and further up into North Vietnam. Then, less than a week later came Super Typhoon Kate. Kate hit the same area with renewed fury, leaving the entire countryside under water and the people there faced with both war and natural disaster at the same time.

No one but the Americans, the foreign warriors fighting throughout the country, had the resources to help the people who lived in the lowlands, and so they did. For the men who took their helicopters out into the unending rain it really made little difference. Perhaps no one would shoot at them for a while, but the everyday dangers they faced remained, magnified by the low clouds and poor visibility. The crews got just as tired, maybe more so, than on normal missions. None of that really mattered. The aircrews of the 101st Airborne went out to help anyway, because rescuing people was now their mission. In this book we see how for a brief period during an otherwise vicious war, saving life took precedence over bloody conflict.

Critique: Originally published in a hardcover edition by Casemate Publishers in 2015, "The Typhoon Truce, 1970: Three Days in Vietnam when Nature Intervened in the War" by Robert F. Curtis is now available in a paperback edition and in a digital book format ($11.99). A seminal study detailing a unique event that took place during the Vietnam war, "The Typhoon Truce, 1970" will prove to be a welcome addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and college/university library Vietnam War collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

Editorial Note: Robert Francis Curtis was born in Middletown, Ohio, in 1949, making him exactly the right age to be drafted for the Vietnam War. After dropping out of high school twice, he passed the general educational development exam, giving him enough educational qualifications to gain entry into the Army's Warrant Officer Candidate program. There he learned to fly, starting him on the path to a military career as an aviator in the Army, National Guard, Marine Corps, and as an exchange officer with the British Royal Navy. His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and 23 Air Medals. He has previously published articles in professional journals including the Marine Corps Gazette, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Aircrewman's Journal TACAN.

Japan Runs Wild, 1942-1943
Peter Harmsen
Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636244310, $24.95, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Japan-Runs-Wild-1942-1943-East/dp/1636244319

Synopsis: In early 1942, the Japanese Army and Navy were advancing on all fronts, humiliating their US, British and Dutch foes throughout the Asia Pacific. In a matter of just months, the soldiers and sailors of the Rising Sun conquered an area even bigger than Hitler's empire at its largest extent. They seemed invincible. Hawaiians and Australians were fearing a future under Hirohito. For half of mankind, fate was hanging in the balance.

Fast forward to the end of 1943, and the tables had been turned entirely. A reinvigorated American-led military machine had kicked into gear, and the Japanese were fighting a defensive battle along a frontline that crossed thousands of miles of land and ocean." Japan Runs Wild, 1942-1943" by Peter Harmsen details the astonishing transformation that took place in that period, setting the Allies on a path to final victory against Japan.

The middle installment in the trilogy, "Japan Runs Wild, 1942-1943" picks up the story where its predecessor volume "Storm Clouds over the Pacific, 1931-1941" (Casemate) left off. The common theme of the series is a comprehensive view of World War Two in the Asia Pacific, giving due emphasis to the central Japanese-American struggle, but also encompassing the other nations that were engulfed in the vast showdown: British, Australians, Soviets, Filipinos, Indians and Koreans. Above all, the central importance of China is highlighted in a way that no previous general history of the war against Japan has achieved.

Critique: Now newly available in a paperback edition and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "Japan Runs Wild, 1942-1943" by Peter Harmsen was originally published in hardcover by Casemate Publishers in 2020 and is a seminal study that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/univesity library World War II history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Peter Harmsen (www.chinaww2.com) was a foreign correspondent in East Asia for two decades, has worked for Bloomberg, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Financial Times. A fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Harmsen is also the former bureau chief in Taiwan for French news agency AFP. His book Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze inspired a US Public Television documentary by three-time Emmy Award winner Bill Einreinhofer, which started airing in the fall of 2018, reaching 80 percent of the American television audience. Harmsen's work has been translated into Chinese, Danish, and Romanian.

Project Eagle
John S. Micgiel
Stackpole Books
www.stackpolebooks.com
9780811775410, $32.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Project-Eagle-Top-Secret-Operation-Polish/dp/0811775410

Synopsis: After the Battle of the Bulge (which had begun with a German attack that American intelligence failed to anticipate) the Office of Strategic Service (OSS), forerunner of the CIA, revamped its intelligence operations in Europe. Confronted with staff shortages and needing native language speakers, the OSS decided to enlist the cooperation of volunteers from occupied countries for intelligence-gathering operations. As part of Project Eagle, Polish soldiers were recruited and trained to go behind the lines of the Third Reich.

With the publication of "Project Eagle: The Top-Secret OSS Operation That Sent Polish Spies behind Enemy Lines in World War II", author John S. Micgiel tells this fascinating World War II story of intelligence and espionage that until now has been hidden away in the archives of the OSS.

The OSS had worked with Polish exiles throughout the war, but Project Eagle would mark a new and dramatic chapter in their cooperation. In early 1945, American intelligence recruited thirty-two Poles -- a unique group of men who had been forcibly conscripted into the German Wehrmacht, were captured in France and Italy, and were pulled from Allied prisoner of war camps. They were then trained in intelligence gathering as well as espionage to assist the Allies in their invasion of Germany. Not long after (in March 1945) they parachuted behind enemy lines, equipped only with falsified documents and radios.

For six weeks, up until Germany's surrender, the Polish spy teams roved Germany, assisting ground commanders and providing counterintelligence assistance.

Critique: Laudably lifted from obscurity, "Project Eagle: The Top-Secret OSS Operation That Sent Polish Spies behind Enemy Lines in World War II" is detailed history of a behind-the-lines intelligence operation that made significant contributions to the eventual Allied victory in the European Theatre of World War II. Enhanced for the benefit of the reader with the inclusion of four Appendices, twenty-six pages of Notes, a ten page Bibliography, and a six page Index, this edition of "Project Eagle" from Stackpole Books is a superbly crafted and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and college/university library World War II history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and military history buffs that "Project Eagle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.00).

Editorial Note: John S. Micgiel has served as director of the Institute on East Central Europe, associate director of the Harriman Institute, executive director of the Institute for the Study of Europe, and adjunct professor of international and public affairs - all at Columbia University. He is past president of the Kosciuszko Foundation, which promotes cultural exchange between the United States and Poland. In 2011 he received the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, an award honoring service to the Polish-American community. Now retired from Columbia, Micgiel teaches at the University of Warsaw.

Expectation of Valor
Colonel Kevin C. M. Benson (Ret.)
Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636244266, $34.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Expectation-Valor-Planning-Iraq-War/dp/1636244262

Synopsis: Given the length of time the United States spent in Iraq, there is a perception that there was no consideration before the war of what should be done after coalition forces arrived in Baghdad and removed Saddam Hussein. However as this unofficial history reveals, there was a great deal of planning to address how to achieve the policy objectives for Iraq set by the Bush administration.

With the publication of "Expectation of Valor: Planning for the Iraq War" from Casemate Publishers, Kevin Benson (director of plans for the United States Third Army, the ground forces command headquarters for GEN Franks' Central Command, at the start of the war) details the development of the invasion plan and its subsequent execution from D-Day in March 2003 until the change of command of operations in Iraq and the departure of Third Army in June 2003.

Benson addresses the persistent trope that "the Army did no planning" for "Phase IV," revealing that extensive plans were proposed, and were met with very little interest in Washington. "Expectation of Valor" covers the difficulties encountered in dealing with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, from getting his approval on the number of forces requested to conducting the campaign to find the "smoking gun" of WMD; the instructions given to Army, Marine and coalition forces; and the daily secure video teleconferences with Central Command and the Pentagon, and the rather remarkable conversations and guidance that came from these meetings.

Critique: Informed and informative, written by a true insider to the events chronicled, "Expectation of Valor: Planning for the Iraq War" offers a wealth of background details to the American invasion of Iraq and its aftermath following the death of Sadam Hussein. Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a Glossary, a listing of U.S. Military Ranks, an Introduction (Cold War, Hot Wars, Peace Dividend, Wars on the Periphery", a Bibliography, and an Index, "Expectation of Valor" is an impressive and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Military History collections and supplemental Iraq War curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and military history buffs that "Expectation of Valor" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.95).

Editorial Note: Kevin Benson served in the US Army as a commander and general staff officer for 30 years. He was the Director of Plans for Third U.S. Army and the Combined Forces Land Component Command at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from July 2002 to July 2003. His final assignment in the US Army was Director, School of Advanced Military Studies, at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He writes for professional journals and web sites ranging from Parameters, Military Review, and ARMY magazine to Strategy Bridge and the Modern War Institute. He also reviews books for ARMY magazine.

D-Day: The Invasion That Saved Civilization
Flint Whitlock
Cable Publishing
https://cablepublishing.com
9781934980811, $14.95, PB, 302pp

https://www.amazon.com/D-Day-Invasion-that-saved-Civilization/dp/1934980811

Synopsis: With the publication of "D-Day: The Invasion That Saved Civilization", author Flint Whitlock presents unforgettable, heart-pounding stories of the World War II D-Day invasion that began the push-back of Hitler's seemingly unstoppable war machine and eventually led to the Allied victory and Germany's defeat.

It's the gripping story of the Allies smashing through Hitler's Atlantic Wall with the sky troopers and soldiers who overcame their fear of death to liberate a continent on the battle-torn beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, a day forever known and celebrated as D-Day.

Critique: Nicely illustrated with occasional B/W historical photography and featuring a twelve page Index, Flin Whitlock's "D-Day: The Invasion That Saved Civilization" is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented military history that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, highschool, and college/university library World War II history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that this edition of "D-Day: The Invasion That Saved Civilization" from Cable Publishing is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Flint Whitlock (www.flintwhitlock.com) graduated from the University of Illinois in 1964 with a degree in Advertising Design, but has always been as much a writer as an artist. His love for military history began at an early age - fueled by his father, James, who served with the famed 10th Mountain Division in World War II. Flint also had an uncle who was a military policeman with the 1st Infantry Division and another uncle who served with the Navy in the Pacific.

World War II and Nevada
Charles Weller
University of Nevada Press
www.unpress.nevada.edu
9781647791469, $55.00, PB, 438pp

https://www.amazon.com/World-War-Nevada-Contribution-Shepperson/dp/1647791464

Synopsis: With the publication of "World War II and Nevada: The Silver State's Contribution to Victory" (a part of the University of Nevada Press 'Shepperson Series in Nevada History'), author and historian Charles Weller provides an in-depth examination of the state's role in the war.

Nevada's geographic location, land, sky, mineral resources, and the sacrifices of its people were crucial to victory -- and were to transform the state. The war brought the first significant development of the gaming industry; the introduction of a huge, permanent military presence; the diversification of its population; and a shift in political and economic power within the region.

Nevada's previously unexamined role in the internment of Japanese Americans is explored, and so too is the role of women and minority groups in support of the war. "World War II and Nevada" concludes with a comprehensive list of those killed, wounded, or made prisoners of war during the conflict.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with illustrations, maps, chapter notes, a bibliography and an index, "World War II and Nevada: The Silver State's Contribution to Victory will prove a singular and welcome addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university World War II history collections in general, and wartime Nevada history in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "World War II and Nevada" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $52.25).

Editorial Note: Charles Weller, JD, PhD, practiced law and served three elected terms as a district court judge in Reno. He writes and speaks on issues of law and Nevada's wartime history. He is the historian for the Reno Chapter of the Navy League of the United States.


The Civil War Shelf

'Tis Not Our War: Avoiding Military Service in the Civil War North
Paul Taylor
Stackpole Books
c/o Rowman & Littlefield
rowman.com
9780811775380, $34.95 hc / $24.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Tis-Not-Our-War-Avoiding/dp/0811775380

Synopsis: James McPherson's classic book For Cause & Comrades explained "why men fought in the Civil War"- and spurred countless other historians to ask and attempt to answer the same question. But few have explored why men did not fight. That's the question Paul Taylor answers in this groundbreaking Civil War history that examines the reasons why at least 60 percent of service-eligible men in the North chose not to serve and why, to some extent, their communities allowed them to do so. Did these other men not feel the same patriotic impulses as their fellow citizens who rushed to the enlistment office? Did they not believe in the sanctity of the Union? Was freeing men held in chains under chattel slavery not a righteous moral crusade? And why did some soldiers come to regret their enlistment and try to leave the military?

'Tis Not Our War answers these questions by focusing on the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of average civilians and soldiers. Taylor digs deep into primary sources - newspapers, diaries, letters, archival manuscripts, military reports, and published memoirs - to paint a vivid and richly complex portrait of men who questioned military service in the Civil War and to show that the North was never as unified in support of the war as portrayed in much of America's collective memory. This book adds to our understanding of the Civil War and the men who fought - and did not fight - in it.

Critique: 'Tis Not Our War: Avoiding Military Service in the Civil War North is a scholarly examination of why and how some men eligible for military service in the North did not enlist during the American Civil War. The ideals of patriotism or saving the Union did not appeal to all men in the North. Some had financial or family incentives to stay out of the fighting; some resisted or evaded the draft; and some simply feared an early death, especially as news of the war's casualties spread. Extensive notes, a bibliography, and an index round out this thoughtful, heavily researched, and expertly presented study accessible to historians and lay readers alike. 'Tis Not Our War is a welcome and highly recommended addition to both personal and public library Civil War collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that 'Tis Not Our War is also available in a Kindle edition ($24.99).

Garden of Ruins
J. Matthew Ward
Louisiana State University Press
https://lsupress.org
9780807181393, $50.00, HC, 322pp

https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Ruins-Louisiana-Conflicting-Dimensions/dp/0807181390

Synopsis: "Garden of Ruins: Occupied Louisiana in the Civil War" by J. Matthew Ward (Assistant Professor of History at Quincy University) serves as an insightful social and military history of Civil War - era Louisiana.

Partially occupied by Union forces starting in the spring of 1862, the Confederate state experienced the initial attempts of the U.S. Army to create a comprehensive occupation structure through military actions, social regulations, the destabilization of slavery, and the formation of a complex bureaucracy.

Skirmishes between Union soldiers and white civilians supportive of the Confederate cause multiplied throughout this period, eventually turning occupation into a war on local households and culture. In unoccupied regions of the state, Confederate forces and their noncombatant allies likewise sought to patrol allegiance, leading to widespread conflict with those they deemed disloyal.

Professor Ward suggests that social stability during wartime, and ultimately victory itself, emerged from the capacity of military officials to secure their territory, governing powers, and nonmilitary populations. "Garden of Ruins" reveals the Civil War, state-building efforts, and democracy itself as contingent processes through which Louisianans shaped the world around them. It also illustrates how military forces and civilians discovered unique ways to wield and hold power during and immediately after the conflict.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the nclusion of an Introduction (Ground between the Millstones), thirty-six pages of Notes, a twenty-six page Bibliography, and a five page Index, "Garden of Ruins: Occupied Louisiana in the Civil War" is a seminal contribution to the growing library of American Civil War histories. While also available for personal reading lists for academia and Civil War history buffs in a digital book format, this edition of "Garden of Runs" from the Louisiana State University Press is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university American Civil War History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Southern Cross
Amanda Low Warren
McFarland & Company
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476693828, $39.95, PB, 242pp

https://www.amazon.com/Southern-Cross-Leonidas-Clashes-Braxton/dp/147669382X

Synopsis: Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk was a distinguished West Point graduate, the first Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana, a university founder, and a Confederate commander beloved by his troops, esteemed by the public, and killed on the field of battle.

In spite of his many accomplishments, historians invariably disparage Polk's generalship and even his personal character -- but is their treatment fair or accurate?

With the publication of "Southern Cross: A New View of Leonidas Polk and His Clashes with Braxton Bragg", Amanda Low Warren provides a balanced perspective to shed new light on Polk's military Civil War leadership and reveal unexpected truths that explain his conflict with General Braxton Bragg.

Critique: Of special note is a seemingly obscure piece of correspondence that, along with an exploration of both men's writings, coalesce into an understanding of the root cause of the command dysfunction and chronic failures of the Army of Tennessee, making this large format (7 x 0.49 x 10 inches, 1 pound) paperback edition of "Southern Cross" from McFarland & Company a seminal and unreservedly recommended contribution to the every expanding library of Civil War histories and biographies. It should be noted for personal, community, and college/university library American Civil War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists that Amand Low Warren's "Southern Cross" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.00) for students, academia, and Civil War buffs.

Editorial Note: As the daughter of an army officer, Amanda Low Warren was immersed from an early age in military history. She grew up on army posts including Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she rode horses from the stable which sheltered the mounts of J.E.B. Stuart and other legends of the antebellum U.S. Army. Her reviews of Civil War books appear on numerous forums. Also a musician, Warren performs Civil War period music at historic sites, including the home of her ancestor who hosted General Sherman during his 1864 "visit" to Savannah, Georgia.

Voices from Gettysburg
Allen C. Guelzo
Citadel Press
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9780806543383, $29.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Voices-Gettysburg-Letters-Memoirs-Greatest/dp/0806543388

Synopsis: Three pivotal days in 1863 (July 1st through July 3rd) marked the beginning of the end of the Civil War. While the audible voices of those who experienced it first-hand in that crossroads town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania have been lost to history, their words live on in "Voices from Gettysburg: Letters, Papers, and Memoirs from the Greatest Battle of the Civil War".

Gathering a treasure trove of powerful, rare, and haunting original documents, author and historian Allen C. Guelzo presents a uniquely readable and intimate oral history of the Civil War's turning point. We hear from a Union staff officer, a Confederate amputee, artilleryman, a sympathetic Northern woman, a Union prisoner-of-war, Union colonels and Confederate generals, a drummer boy, a fearful college student, those who orchestrated the Battle of Gettysburg, those who survived it, and those who would perish.

With introductions from Guelzo, a detailed order of battle, and comprehensive list of every unit that fought, each of these original maps, personal letters, excerpts from forgotten memoirs, and more never-before-published documents offers an unprecedented narrative of the Great Rebellion and the impetus for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address - in the authentic words of fire, blood, and smoke by those who saw the battle, heard its din, trembled in its crash, and struggled with its aftermath

Critique: A most remarkable, informative, original, and prized contribution to the every growing American Civil War library, Allen Guelzo's "Voices from Gettysburg: Letters, Papers, and Memoirs from the Greatest Battle of the Civil War" from Citadel Press is exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, 14.54), "Voices from Gettysburg is a singular and unreservedly recommended pick for community and college/university library American Civil War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Allen C. Guelzo (www.AllenGuelzo.com) is a senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University, and the director of the Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship for Princeton's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. His books about the Civil War and early nineteenth-century American history include Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Knopf), Robert E. Lee: A Life (Knopf), Reconstruction: A Concise History (Oxford University Press), and Redeeming the Great Emancipator (Harvard University Press). He is a three-time recipient of the Lincoln Prize and many other honors, including the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize for Military History and Wall Street Journal Best Books of the Year.


The Biography Shelf

It Took Courage: Eliza Winston's Quest for Freedom
Christopher P. Lehman
Minnesota Historical Society Press
www.mnhs.org/mhspress
9781681342825, $22.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Took-Courage-Eliza-Winstons-Freedom/dp/1681342820

Synopsis: On August 22, 1860, an enslaved woman from Mississippi named Eliza Winston petitioned for her freedom before a judge in Minnesota -- and she won. After she left the state for Canada, the abolitionists who had helped her told and retold the story, emphasizing their own actions; their detractors claimed they had used Winston as a pawn. For more than 150 years, historians' accounts have emphasized the mobs who battled in the streets after the ruling, focusing on the implications of the events for Minnesota politics rather than Winston's own story.

With the publication of "It Took Courage: Eliza Winston's Quest for Freedom", historian and academician Christopher P. Lehman helps set the record straight.

Professor Lehman uncovers the story of Winston's first forty-two years and her long struggle to obtain her freedom. She was sold away from her birth family; her husband, a free man, died before he could purchase her freedom. She labored in Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Minnesota. For thirty-one years she was enslaved by the family of President Andrew Jackson, who bought her for his great-niece and paid a cousin of James K. Polk to hold her in trust. Winston's victory produced a compelling irony: a woman Jackson himself had enslaved defeated a part of his legacy in Minnesota.

The survival of the remarkable story of Eliza Winston's battle for individual freedom is an important contribution to the larger understanding of what slavery meant on this continent and how it affected individual lives -- in both North and South. Winston's experience demonstrates the lengths to which a person would go to escape slavery, attempting to work both outside and inside the flawed and inequitable laws of the time, until finally receiving justice.

If the traditional accounts relied on stereotypical depictions of Winston as "simple-minded," in Professor Lehman's skillful description, Winston appears as a capable, mature woman who understood her life and her values. Eliza Winston herself made the bold decision to leave behind everything she had known for an uncertain but free future.

Critique: Rescuing from an undeserved obscurity the remarkable story of emancipation of a female runaway slave thanks to a judicial ruling in the Minnesota of 1860, "It Took Courage: Eliza Winston's Quest for Freedom" is a fascinating read from start to finish. This edition from the Minnesota Historical Society Press of "It Took Courage: Eliza Winston's Quest for Freedom" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and college/university library American Biography and Abolition History collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "It Took Courage: Eliza Winston's Quest for Freedom" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Christopher P. Lehman is a professor of ethnic studies at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He researches, writes, and teaches about the struggle for African American equality, using the tools of genealogy to trace the lives of people who have left very few traces. He has written six other books, including Slavery's Reach: Southern Slaveholders in the North Star State, which won the Minnesota Book Award for Minnesota Nonfiction in 2020. (https://mnwritersdirectory.org/lehman-christopher)

Sorry for the Inconvenience: A Memoir
Farah Naz Rishi
https://farahnazrishi.com
Mindy's Book Studio
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781662520969, $28.99, HC, 316pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sorry-Inconvenience-Farah-Naz-Rishi/dp/1662520964

Synopsis: Pakistani American Farah Naz Rishi's first year of college was perfectly, thankfully, uneventful. After all, she was in college to learn and forge a path of self-sufficiency, especially after her last relationship fell apart -- dashing her mother's aspirations for an early marriage. What could Farah expect, anyway? For the ideal guy to just conveniently waltz into her life? Life isn't a love story.

Then enter Stephen, a Jamaican student with an open smile and a disarmingly laid-back attitude. It's not love at first sight. And there's no way Farah's mother would approve of him as marriage material. But they have something better: an inexplicable connection. Through a series of impossible tragedies, grief, and trying to find her place in the world, Stephen is always there as Farah's confidant, champion, and, most of all, best friend. Anything more could ruin a perfectly good thing... Right?

Spanning thirteen years of complex family dynamics and a surprising kinship, Farah Naz Rishi's personal story explores the unpredictability of love -- familial, platonic, and romantic, but never truly instant.

Critique: Eloquent, intimate, fascinating and memorable, "Sorry for the Inconvenience: A Memoir" is particularly recommended for readers with an interest in immigrant and women's biographies/memoirs about family, life and love in America today. While also available in a paperback edition 9781662520976, $16.99) and a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), this hardcover edition of Farah Naz Rishi's "Sorry for the Inconvenience: A Memoir" from Mindy's Book Studio" is an especially and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, community, and college/university library Contemporary American Biography/Memoir collections.

Editorial Note: Farah Naz Rishi (www.farahnazrishi.com) is the author of I Hope You Get This Message and It All Comes Back to You. A Pakistani American writer and voice actor, she received her BA in English from Bryn Mawr College, her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School, and her love of weaving stories from the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

My Life in Jewelry: A Memoir
Azza Fahmy, author
Sarah Enany, translator
American University in Cairo Press
www.aucpress.com
9781649032898, $35.00, HC, 310pp

https://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Jewelry-Azza-Fahmy/dp/1649032897

Synopsis: In the Egypt of the 1970s, a young Azza Fahmy set out into the all-male world of Historic Cairo's jewelry district to apprentice as a silversmith. This was the start of a remarkable success story that would make her name an international luxury brand.

In her memoir, "My Life in Jewelry", she recalls with warmth and candor a happy childhood in Upper Egypt, spent in the bygone world of postwar Egypt. This idyllic start to life ended abruptly with the death of her father, when Azza Fahmy was only thirteen, and the family was forced to move to Cairo, to begin a new life under much reduced circumstances.

It was a chance find at a book fair that changed the course of events for her -- sparking a passion for silversmithing, and inspiring her to seek out the master craftsmen of Khan al-Khalili, the great craft district of Historic Cairo, and the nearby Sagha, or goldsmiths' and silversmiths' district.

Through her intimate knowledge of these jewelry workshops, Azza Fahmy takes us through the quarter's exquisite architecture and bustling alleyways, peopled with silversmiths, goldsmiths, brass workers, and artisans of every stripe, and lays out the indelible influence this now disappearing world has left on her acclaimed jewelry designs.

While Azza Fahmy's story is one of great accomplishment, woven through it are her struggles as a single mother, a middle-class Egyptian, and a woman working in a man's profession. This memoir (a tribute to the people and places that shaped her creative imagination) is also an ode to the conviction that with hope and perseverance, anything is possible.

Critique: Fascinating, informative, candid, and memorable, Azza Fahmy's life story as told in the pages of "My Life in Jewelry: A Memoir" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university Women's Biography/Memoir collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of those with an interest in modern Egyptian history that this hardcover edition of "My Life in Jewelry: A Memoir" is also readily available from The American University in Cairo Press in a digital book format (Kindle, $34.99).

Editorial Note: Azza Fahmy (https://azzafahmy.com/en-us) was born in 1944 and raised in Sohag, in Upper Egypt. She graduated in interior design from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Egypt, became the first female apprentice to several of the best jewelers in Cairo, and studied jewelry craft at the City of London Polytechnic. She now makes and markets her own jewelry internationally with multiple stores, in Egypt, London, Jordan, and Dubai. She is the author of Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt (AUC Press, 2007) and The Traditional Jewelry of Egypt (AUC Press, 2015).

Editorial Note #2: Sarah Enany (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Enany) is a literary translator and a professor in the English Department of Cairo University. She is a recipient of the Banipal Prize for Literary Translation for her translation of The Girl with Braided Hair (Hoopoe Fiction, 2020).

The Bob Verga Shift
Michael B. Layden
Torchflame Books
www.torchflamebooks.com
9781611532418, $18.99 Paperback/$6.99 eBook

https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Verga-Shift-illness-basketball/dp/1611532418

The Bob Verga Shift: How One Man's Illness Saved Duke Basketball is set in the 1960s in Durham, North Carolina, home of both the narrator and Duke University. Initially, readers interested in collegiate sports in general and basketball in particular will be drawn to this story, but its surprise lies in its ability to pull attention from outside the sports world by contrasting different layers of social standing and culture within Durham.

These influences range from the KKK's strong standing in the community to the tobacco industry's active presence. These elements steeped the town in tobacco, strengthened the disparities between Black workers and Whites (who rarely ventured into the fields as laborers), and the atmosphere of change that permeated the town with new flavors and influences.

As much a story of these changes and that era as one of basketball politics, achievements, and figures, The Bob Verga Shift documents the roots of all-black sports teams that evolved from Durham, Kentucky, and Texas to change American history and culture alike.

Michael B. Layden dovetails this history with basketball's evolution in such a way that many a non-sports reader will be surprised to find their enjoyment comes as much from its social inspection as in player moves and exposes of basketball's behind-the-scenes politics. The writing incorporates a wide range of experiences and issues while following the lasting impact of player Bob Verga, whose illness cut short his promising future as an ABA star. Yet, Verga continued to impact his team's choices, reflecting the transformations that rippled from sports into American social history.

Vivid scenarios and descriptions of these teams, this man, and how one individual's illness sparked immense changes as much by his absence as his presence create a lively read: "William Turner, who was a Black student in Kentucky at the time of the 1966 game, and who later went on to be a college professor, agrees. His feelings about the game have been decidedly mixed. According to Turner, "Far too many young black men have sacrificed lives that may have been much more rewarding potentially if this society had not impressed on them that the avenue of success was paved on the basketball." He believes the beginning of that mindset may have been the Texas Western game. If this is the overall legacy of the 1966 game, then it is indeed a tragic and unforeseen one, one not envisioned at the time, and one which Black America is struggling to deal with to this very day. All this occurred because Texas Western had played Kentucky. So what would have happened if it had been Duke that played the game?"

Interviews and 'what if' projections of possibilities forever altered by Verga's illness present especially inviting topics for discussion that will reach beyond sports readers into American history classrooms - especially those studying race relations in the 1960s. This is why The Bob Verga Shift is highly recommended not just for basketball history fans, but for book clubs and classroom discussion groups interested in debates about the times and their influences.

Libraries will want to include and recommend The Bob Verga Shift to a wide audience of book clubs and readers, who will appreciate its many eye-opening experiences.


The General Fiction Shelf

Dear Dotty
Jaclyn Westlake
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063340718, $18.99, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Dotty-Novel-Jaclyn-Westlake/dp/0063340712

Synopsis: What's a twenty-something gal to do when her parents announce a divorce after thirty years of marriage, when she finds out her best friend has cozied up to her archnemesis, and when she accidentally sleeps with the Wrong Guy? -- Turn to her great-aunt for advice, of course.

Rosie Benson has always struggled to fit in with her over-accomplished family, type-A roommate/best friend, and workaholic boss. But she's nearly losing herself as she strives to become everyone else's idea of perfect. When Rosie is abruptly fired from her job at a tech start-up where her boss was way too enthusiastic about synergy and company swag, the illusion that she has life figured out is shattered.

Knowing she needs a push, her great-aunt Dotty (a globe-trotting, martini-swilling occasional nudist, and the only person Rosie has ever truly felt herself around) challenges her to pursue a long-buried dream, others' expectations be damned.

But then Dotty dies. -- And Rosie spirals.

As new details of Dotty's past emerge through revelatory emails from her many friends, Rosie realizes that maybe her aunt's life wasn't as charmed as she thought. With her career, friendships, and family unraveling, Rosie must drown out the noise of the world telling her what she should pursue (boyfriend, babies, boss-babe role at a corporate job) and finally focus on what she actually wants.

Critique: Of immense appeal to readers with an interest in deftly crafted novels about women's friendships and the complications of family life, "Dear Dotty" (the debut novel by author Jaclyn Westlake) is a simply fascinating and fun read from start to finish. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackston Audio, 9708874625924, $45.95, CD), "Dear Dotty" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Jaclyn Westlake (www.jaclynwestlake.com) is an alumna of the Stanford Continuing Studies Novel Writing Program. A former recruiter turned career advice columnist, her work has appeared in Forbes, Business Insider, and Inc.

Let Me Liberate You
Andie Davis
https://www.andiedaviswrites.com
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781662515644, $28.99, HC, 268pp

https://www.amazon.com/Let-Me-Liberate-You-Novel/dp/1662515642

Synopsis: Dark, lanky, and bald, New York - raised photographer Sabre Cumberbatch can't tell if she's highly talented or just highly Instagrammable. Up to here with art critics and their gaseous praise, Sabre returns to Barbados, her childhood island home, to water her roots. She needs to quell self-doubt by doing something (anything!) profoundly important.

Welcoming her with bejeweled open arms is her aunt Aggie, a fearsome high-society attorney eager to show off her famous American niece. When Sabre witnesses Aggie unleash her wrath on the household staff over a minor mistake, Sabre finds her cause. During an interview for a puff piece about art, Sabre goes off-script and takes a righteous stand against the tyranny of the ruling class -- starting with Aunt Aggie!

Overnight, Sabre throws her family and an entire island into chaos. How many ways can the best intentions go wrong? They're racking up. But tingling with purpose, Sabre is counting on the ways they just might go right.

Critique: A fun read from start to finish, "Let Me Liberate You" by author/storyteller Andie Davis is original, clever, imaginative, satirical, and memorable. While also available in a paperback edition (9781662518416, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), this hardcover edition of "Let Me Liberate You" is exceptional and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community Library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Andie Davis (www.andiedaviswrites.com) is curious about other people's lives. That curiosity has inspired her love for languages and her travels around the world. Born in Montserrat, Davis grew up in Barbados before moving with her family to the US, where she attended Howard University and Harvard Law School. She works as a global development advisor focused on sustainability.

The Lost Letters from Martha's Vineyard
Michael Callahan
Mariner Books
www.marinerbooks.com
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063282605, $30.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Letters-Marthas-Vineyard-Novel/dp/0063282607

Synopsis: In 1959, Hollywood ingenue Mercy Welles seems to have the world at her feet. Far removed from her Nebraska roots, she has crafted herself into a glamorous Oscar-nominated actress engaged to an up-and-coming director...

Until she shockingly vanishes without a trace, just as her career is taking off.

Almost sixty years later, Kit O'Neill, a junior television producer in Manhattan, is packing up her recently deceased grandmother's attic, only to discover a long-lost box of souvenirs that reveal that the grandmother who raised her and her sister was, in fact, the mysterious Mercy Welles.

Putting her investigative skills to use, Kit is determined to solve the riddle of her grandmother's missing life, and the trail eventually leads to Martha's Vineyard.

Mercy had retreated to the island nursing a broken heart, only to be drawn to the roguish Ren Sewards, who is not just the simple oysterman he appears to be but a scion of one of the island's wealthy founding families. With her attraction to Ren quickly growing, Mercy soon found herself entangled in the intrigues of the tightly knit community and the secrets of the Sewards.

Alternating between Mercy and Kit's timelines, including excerpts from letters Mercy wrote the summer she disappeared, "The Lost Letters from Martha's Vineyard" unfurls into a heart-stopping story of love, betrayal, and even murder.

Critique: A deftly crafted and original novel that will be particularly appreciated by readers with an interest in timeline intersecting novels of suspense, romance, and mystery, "The Lost Letters from Martha's Vineyard" by author/storyteller Michael Callahan is an extraordinary, engaging, and fun read from start to finish. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9708874627232, $49.99, CD), this hardcover edition of "The Lost Letters from Martha's Vineyard" from Mariner Books is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Literary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Michael Callahan is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Searching for Grace Kelly and The Night She Won Miss America, as well as a coffee-table history of the famed Musso & Frank Grill restaurant in Hollywood. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, his work has been published in Esquire, Town & Country, and the New York Times, among others.

The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships
Ali Bryan
Henry Holt & Company
www.henryholt.com
9781250863430, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crow-Valley-Karaoke-Championships/dp/1250863430

Synopsis: A year after forest fires ravaged the town of Crow Valley and claimed the life of Dale Jepson (karaoke legend, local prison guard, and all-around good guy) the community hosts a high-stakes karaoke competition. But when a convicted murderer escapes from nearby Crow Valley Correctional, residents discover there's more on the line than local, perhaps even national, karaoke fame.

In "The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships", author Ali Bryan gives the readers a darkly comedic, fast-paced ride through an unforgettable small town, five residents with intimate connections to Dale and drastically different goals for the night will collide into, conspire with, and aid one another as they scramble to make it successfully through the evening under the scrutinizing watch of neighbors.

To the soundtrack of classics belted out with abandon, voices will crack, cars will be stolen, marriages will falter, and kids will slip away in search of trouble. And maybe, just maybe, lives will be transformed for the better.

Critique: Laced throughout with drama, humor, the unexpected, and the inherently fascinating, "The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships" demonstrates author Ali Bryan's remarkable and distinctive talent for the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that will keep her readers thoroughly entertained with an original and fun read from start to finish. While also available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781250863454, $18.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), this edition of "The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships" from Henry Holt & Company is recommended as a prized pick for community library small town themed fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Ali Bryan (www.alibryan.com) is a writer based in Alberta. Her first novel, Roost, won a Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was an official selection of One Book Nova Scotia. Her second novel, The Figgs, was released in 2018 and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. She won the 2020 Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Story. She is a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Emerging Artist recipient. Her debut YA novel, The Hill, was released in March 2021 from Dottir Press and was long-listed for the 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

Boss Lady
Alli Frank & Asha Youmans
Montlake
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781662522918, $28.99, HC, 332pp

https://www.amazon.com/Boss-Lady-Novel-Alli-Frank/dp/1662522916

Synopsis: Antonia "Toni" Arroyo's protective mother has outdated notions for her daughter's life: employ her natural beauty and marry young. But Toni has wholly different aspirations.

A promising inventor and budding entrepreneur, she fights to keep her passions alive as a financially strapped mother of twins with a job in airport transportation services that has her going in circles. One treasured frequent passenger is elderly traveler Sylvia Eisenberg, Toni's sage but unofficial adviser and cheerleader. When Toni meets Sylvia's grandson, Ash, a striking venture capitalist, luck just might bend her way.

With a game-changing new business endeavor in development, Toni hustles an opportunity to pitch her idea on TV's Innovation Nation. Toni's unexpected challenger? Her very own recently resurfaced, self-aggrandizing not-quite-ex-husband. As Toni's interrupted past collides with her tenuous future, she is more determined than ever to follow through on her delayed dreams. Toni's been clinging to "maybe" for so long -- it's finally time for "absolutely."

Critique: Original, memorable, deftly crafted, and a fun read from start to finish, "Boss Lady" by co-authors Alli Frank and Asha Youmans will be of considerable interest to fans of novels about mothers and daughters, family life, and women's domestic lives. Immediately engaging and thoroughly entertaining throughout, "Boss Lady" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Boss Lady" is also available in a paperback edition (9781662514791, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note #1: Alli Frank (www.alliandasha.com) has worked in education for more than twenty years, from boisterous public high schools to small, progressive private schools. A graduate of Cornell and Stanford University, Alli lives with her husband and two daughters. With Asha Youmans, she is the coauthor of Tiny Imperfections, Never Meant to Meet You, and The Better Half and is a contributing essayist in the anthology Moms Don't Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology.

Editorial Note #2: Asha Youmans (www.alliandasha.com) spent two decades teaching elementary school students. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Asha lives with her husband and two sons. With Alli Frank, she is the coauthor of Tiny Imperfections, Never Meant to Meet You, and The Better Half.


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Life After Kafka
Magdalena Platzova, author
Alex Zucker, translator
Bellevue Literary Press
https://blpress.org
9781954276291, $17.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Kafka-Magdal%C3%A9na-Platzov%C3%A1/dp/195427629X

Synopsis: Franz Kafka scholars know Felice Bauer, his onetime fiancee, through his Letters to Felice, as little more than a woman with a raucous laugh and a taste for bourgeois comforts. "Life After Kafka" by author Magdalena Platzova is her story.

The novel begins in 1935 as Felice flees with her children from Hitler's Berlin, following her family and members of Kafka's entourage (including Grete Bloch, Max Brod, and Salman Schocken) as they try to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

Years later, a man claiming to be Kafka's son approaches Felice's son in Manhattan and the drama surrounding Kafka's letters to Felice begins.

While taking the measure of literary fame's long shadow, "Life After Kafka" depicts the magic and poison of memories, and what we cling to when all else is lost. Most of all, it illuminates the bravery required to move forward through the shattered remains of one world to rebuild life in a new one.

Critique: Elegantly translated into English for an American readership by Alex Zuker, this edition of Magdalena Platzova's "Life After Kafka" from the Bellevue Literary Press is an extraordinary read from start to finish -- and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and college/university library Literary Fiction collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Life After Kafka" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book narrated by Christa Lewis (HighBridge Audio, 9708874829896, $45.95, CD).

Editorial Note #1: Magdalena Platzova is the author of several books, including three novels published in English: Aaron's Leap, a Lidove Noviny Book of the Year Award finalist, The Attempt, longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and a Czech Book Award finalist, and Life After Kafka, a Magnesia Litera award finalist. Her fiction has also appeared in A Public Space and Words Without Borders. Platzova grew up in the Czech Republic; studied in Washington, DC, and England; received her MA in Philosophy at Charles University in Prague; and has taught at New York University's Gallatin School. She is now based in France.

Editorial Note #2: Alex Zucker's (www.alexjzucker.com) literary translations from Czech into English include novels by Magdalena Platzova, Jachym Topol, Bianca Bellova, Petra H lova, J. R. Pick, Tomas Zmeskal, Josef Jedlicka, Heda Margolius Kovaly, Patrik Ouredn-k, and Miloslava Holubova.

The Curse of the Flores Women
Angelica Lopes
Amazon Crossing
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781662516139, $16.99, PB, 235pp

https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Flores-Women-Novel/dp/1662516134

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Alice Ribeiro is constantly fighting -- against the status quo, female oppression in Brazil, and even her own mother. But when a family veil is passed down to her, Alice is compelled to fight for the rights of all womankind while also uncovering the hidden history of the women in her family.

Seven generations ago, the small town of Bom Retiro shunned the Flores women because of a "curse" that rendered them unlucky in love. With no men on the horizon to take care of them, the women learned the art of lacemaking to build lives of their own. But their peace was soon threatened by forces beyond any woman's control.

As Alice begins piecing together the tapestry that is her history, she discovers revelations about the past, connections to the present, and a resilience in her blood that will carry her toward the future her ancestors strove for.

Critique: A work of fiction with echoes of realism that lifts it to an impressive level of literary excellence, "The Curse of the Flores Women" by Angelica Lopes is an inherently interesting red from start to finish and will prove to be of immense interest to fans of novels about women's friendship, cultural restrictions, and the complexities of female family life. While also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), "The Curse of the Flores Women" will prove a welcome and highly appreciated pick for community library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Angelica Lopes is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist from Rio de Janeiro with over twenty years of experience in writing fiction. Her dramatic vein came from writing Brazilian soap operas, known worldwide for attracting millions of viewers daily. She is also an award-winning author of YA novels and has written scripts for cinema, TV series, and comedy shows. The Curse of the Flores Women is her first adult novel and was sold for translation in France and Italy even before being published in her native Brazil.

Things I Want Back From You
Elizabeth Stix
https://www.elizabethstix.com
Black Lawrence Press
https://blacklawrencepress.com
9781625570741, $22.95, PB, 196pp

https://www.amazon.com/Things-I-Want-Back-You/dp/1625570740

Synopsis: "Things I Want Back From You" by novelist Elizabeth Stix is set in the fictional California town of San Encanto (a place where suburban angst coexists with the astonishing) where a lonely wife finds her oppressive husband has become a dirigible who follows her from the sky, a neglected boy spends his summer unwinding a parasitic Guinea worm from his little sister's belly, and an aspiring life coach attends a self-actualization seminar that goes wildly off the rails.

"Things I Want Back From You" is comprised of 20 linked stories featuring hopelessly flawed characters who flail against their own insecurities, seeking one true moment of connection, and if they' re lucky, winning that rarest of gifts -- a second chance.

Critique: Eloquent, elegant, original, memorable, and with a distinctive, narrative driven storytelling style, "Things I Want Back From You" by Elizabeth Stix is an inherently fascinating read from start to finish -- and one that rises to an impressive level of literary excellence. This paperback edition of "Things I Want Back From You" from Black Lawrence Press is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and college/university liberary Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Elizabeth Stix (www.elizabethstix.com) writes and edits in Northern California. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney's, Tin House, Boulevard, The Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, and elsewhere. Her work has been performed live at Selected Shorts in New York and the New Short Fiction Series in LA, and her story " Alice" was optioned by Sneaky Little Sister Films. In the early 2000s, she founded the vanguard lit zine The Big Ugly Review. Her stories have won the Bay Guardian Fiction Prize and the Katherine Manoogian Scholarship Prize, and have been finalists or semi-finalists for the Disquiet Prize.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Under Your Spell
Laura Wood
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
www.simonandschuster.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonelibrary.com
9781668051900, $18.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Your-Spell-Laura-Wood/dp/1668051907

Synopsis: Dumped by her cheating ex, fired from her dream job, and about to lose her flat: Clementine Monroe is not having a good day. So when her sisters get her drunk and suggest reviving a childhood ritual called the Breakup Spell, she doesn't see the harm in it.

But now Clemmie has accidentally ruined a funeral, had her first one-night stand, and she's stuck with a new job she definitely doesn't want -- spending six weeks alone with the gorgeous and very-off-limits rock star, Theo Eliott.

He's the most famous man on the planet. Her life's a disaster. As their summer together turns into its own kind of magic, is Clemmie cursed to repeat the mistakes of her past -- or will her future see all her wishes come true?

Critique: A fun read from start to finish, "Under Your Spell" by author Laura Wood showcases her narrative driven, imaginative, and distinctive storytelling skills as a novelist. Original, laced through and through with wry humor, "Under Your Spell" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of readers with an interest in romantic comedy that "Under Your Spell" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797177533, $44.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Laura Wood (www.LauraClareWood.com) is an author of children's and young adult novels. "Under Your Spell" is her first adult novel. With a PhD in 19th-century literature, Laura lives with her husband and their dog, Bea.

Not You Again
Ingrid Pierce
Alcove Press
www.alcovepress.com
9781639108138, $20.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Not-You-Again-Ingrid-Pierce/dp/1639108130

Synopsis: Wedding gown designer Andie Dresser is hanging on by a thread. Gaining a following on TikTok for her one-of-a-kind fairytale gowns has earned her a spot at Atlanta's Fashion Week, but the costs to design a full bridal line have stretched her to her limit. When her best friend suggests she sign up for a reality show with a potential $100,000 prize, she realizes the money could allow her to hire some desperately needed help. All she needs to do is marry a stranger (sight unseen) and opt for divorce at the end of filming. No big deal, right?

Architect Kit Watson just returned to Atlanta to help his loving but stubborn mother through a health crisis. However, she'll only accept his help if he agrees to settle down, insisting he sign up for a matchmaking reality show. Willing to do anything for his mom, he finds himself at the altar (on camera) staring at Andie, the woman he abruptly left without explanation ten years ago.

With producers out to prove they're the perfect match, Kit and Andie join in on the reality show hijinks, cameras following their every move. Somewhere between zip-lining and ax-throwing therapy sessions, their feelings for each other grow under the spotlight. But with decision day and Fashion Week looming, Andie needs to decide if the manufactured scenarios for TV are enough to choose loving Kit over her dreams of success.

Critique: A deliciously fun read from start to finish, "Not You Again" by Ingrid Pierce is the stuff of which Hallmark Channel movies are made! Original, deftly crafted, and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Rom-Com fans that "Not You Again" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) from Alcove Press.

Editorial Note: Ingrid Pierce lives a large amount of her life in hospital scrubs. By night, she writes what her friends dub "emo romance novels" and reads anything she can get her hands on. She lives with her husband, son, and menagerie of fur babies. When she's not writing, she's helping other writers reach their full potential as a book coach and attempting to finish a single knitting project.

Toward the Dawn
Mary Connealy
Bethany House Publishers
www.bethanyhouse.com
c/o Baker Publishing Group
9780764242663, $17.99, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Toward-Dawn-Historical-Western-Cheyenne/dp/0764242660

Synopsis: Kat Wadsworth and Sebastian Jones never imagined their lives would entwine so closely. Forced to flee on a wagon train from a vengeful uncle and an unknown gunman, they live in a hidden canyon with the family that rescued them. But as the days turn into months, they each have separate reasons for wanting to move back to society, and the best way to the independence they desperately crave might be through a marriage of convenience.

However, settling into their homestead in Cheyenne, Wyoming, reveals a different reality for Kat. Her new husband becomes consumed by his inventions, leaving her feeling lonely and isolated. And just when they think they've left danger behind, a mysterious attacker lurks in the shadows, threatening the new life they've built. Together, they must confront the perils from their pasts to forge a future with hope and the prospect of love.

Critique: An original and fun read from start to finish, "Toward the Dawn" by Mary Connealy will have a particular appeal to fans of western romance. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.09), this paperback edition of "Toward the Dawn" from Bethany House Books is unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Romance collections. It should be noted by librarians that there is also a large print library binding edition of "Toward the Dawn" available from Thorndike Press (9781420514889, $34.99)

Editorial Note: Mary Connealy (www.MaryConnealy.com) writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She is the author of the popular series Wyoming Sunrise and The Lumber Baron's Daughters and many other books.

Viscount in Love
Eloisa James
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063347410, $9.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Viscount-Love-Novel-Accidental-Brides/dp/0063347415

Synopsis: He wants a nanny, not a bride...

Suddenly guardian to twins, Viscount Dominic Kelbourne is luckily betrothed to a suitable lady -- until she elopes. With no time to woo, Dominic decides to marry his fiancee's unconventional sister. Torie isn't perfect, but their kisses are so passionate that society thinks he's actually chosen her.

She wants to marry for love...

Torie has never been able to make sense of words on a page, so she has turned her talents to art. She longs for a man who values her as she is... but marries for the sake of the twins. She doubts Dominic is capable of love, let alone respect, but as their heated debates turn into something more, Torie begins to imagine a life as a wife, not a nanny.

But when the arrogant viscount finds that his viscountess has stolen his heart, he will have to give all he has to win her love.

Critique: "Viscount in Love" by Eloisa James is the lively and romantic story of two eccentric orphans who bring together a grumpy viscount and the free-spirited heroine who steals his heart in the first novel in Eloisa James's new Accidental Brides series, in which haughty aristocrats find themselves married to the wrong women. Especially recommended for readers with an interest in Regency romance novels and infused with a bit of the paranormal, "Viscount in Love" is unreservedly recommended as a fun read from start to finish and a welcome pick for personal and community library Historical Romance collections. "Viscount in Love" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (HarperCollins Audio, ASIN: B0CVZWD7ZV, $45.95, CD).

Editorial Note: Eloisa James (https://eloisajames.com) is an author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Code of the Hills
Chris Offutt
Grove Books
c/o Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
www.groveatlantic.com
9780802161918, $27.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Code-Hills-Mick-Hardin-Novels/dp/080216191X

Synopsis: Mick Hardin is supposed to be retired, transitioning to civilian life. Back in the hills of Kentucky after a two-year absence, he'd planned to touch down briefly before heading to France, marking the end of his twenty-year Army career.

But in Rocksalt, trouble is brewing. Mick's sister Linda (recently reelected as sheriff), and her deputy Johnny Boy Tolliver are investigating the murder of Pete Lowe, a sought-after mechanic at the local racetrack.

Mick doesn't want to get involved -- he just wants to say his goodbyes and get out of Dodge. But when he reluctantly agrees to intervene in a family dispute requiring a light touch, he uncovers evidence of an illegal cockfighting ring and another body, somehow linked to the first. And then, Linda steps into harm's way, leaving Mick to solve the crimes himself.

Critique: "Code of the Hills" by author Chris Offutt is a harrowing novel of what we're willing to do to protect and avenge the ones we love. With his distinctive and narrative driven storytelling style, Chris Offutt has once again penned an original story that will have immense interest to fans of crime fiction, and southern noir stories of familial allegiances and revenge -- the feudal code of the hills. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, it should be noted that "Code of the Hills" from Grove Press is also available in a paperback edition (9780802163363, $17.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Chris Offutt (http://books.chrisoffutt.com) is the author of the novels Shifty's Boys, The Killing Hills, Country Dark, and The Good Brother; the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations.

The Greene Murder Case
S. S. Van Dine
American Mystery Classics
c/o Penzler Publishers
https://penzlerpublishers.com
9781613165683, $25.95, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Greene-Murder-American-Mystery-Classic/dp/1613165684

Synopsis: A dark cloud has descended upon the elegant mansion of Jazz Age New York's illustrious Greene family as, one by one, the heirs to the fortune die off under mysterious circumstances. It begins when an intruder shoots two daughters, leaving one dead. Soon after, another heir is shot dead in similar circumstances. Do the footprints in the snow belong to the killer, or were they left as a red herring? And will the authorities on the case find the answer before more family members die off?

Philo Vance, monocled New York bon vivant and part-time supersleuth, is on the case, but it will take all of his deductive powers and cultural knowledge to reveal the culprit. Along the way, he (and the reader) will consult detailed floor plans, fairly-clued testimonies, and the obscure yet illuminating texts discovered in the Greene home's secret criminology library. All of the evidence in the case is present in the text, but only the most astute armchair sleuths will be able to solve the crime before Vance delivers his brilliant solution.

Critique: S. S. Van Dine's Philo Vance private investigator novels were a crime fiction sensation in their day. The mystery novels featuring Vance went on to shape generations of mystery writers working in their shadow. "The Greene Murder Case" is the third chronicle in the saga of the iconic detective and remains to this day one of the most celebrated entries in the series. Especially and unreservedly recommended to a new generation of readers by American Mystery Classics, this time-lost tale is once again available to personal, community, and college/university library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: S. S. Van Dine is the pseudonym used by American art critic Willard Huntington Wright (October 15, 1888 - April 11, 1939) when he wrote detective novels. Wright was an important figure in avant-garde cultural circles in pre-World War I New York, and under the pseudonym (which he originally used to conceal his identity) he created the immensely popular Philo Vance character, one of the most influential detectives in American mystery fiction and, in turn, in film and radio as well. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._S._Van_Dine)

Three Aces
Richard Krauss, Introduction
Stark House Press
www.starkhousepress.com
9708886010275, $19.95, PB, 310pp

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Aces-Gilded-Hideaway-Lightning/dp/B0BWWZGJF9

Synopsis: "The Gilded Hideway"

Robert West wants a change in his life. And he's willing to stake it all for a chance to make that change. He steals a hundred thousand in cash from his uncle's business, leaves his wife and friends behind, and heads for Mexico. He knows about a lawyer down there, Santos, who can guarantee him safety. All he has to do is pay Santos enough, and West is free to live the good life. That's when he meets Mercedes. She is everything he wants in a woman - innocently captivating, willing to share her life with him. But in a land where anything can be bought for money, does Mercedes have her price as well? And once West meets that price, will he be able to live with himself in his new-found paradise?

"In at the Kill"

When auctioneer Jonathan Knox finds out that a construction company has ripped up the pavement in front of city hall, then fixed the hole expecting the city to pay for it, he sees a golden opportunity. He knows that bails of paper were buried when the original sidewalk was laid back in 1906. And that within that paper might lurk some very rare stamps. So he buys the bundles, sight unseen, from the construction company. The only problem is, the bundles are missing. And when Knox starts searching for them, he uncovers a much larger plot, this one involving some old photos and a deadly game of blackmail.

"Heat Lightning"

Holly Reed has been raised rough in the Kentucky hills and knows a lot more about men than her young years would indicate. She certainly knows that Brandy Elliot, the local bootlegger, is interested in her. He makes that plain enough. But she doesn't know love. Until the stranger comes to town, looking for a cabin. There's something about him that attracts Holly. She gladly agrees to help clean for him just to be near him. But the city-bred Larry Carter is not all he seems. There is someone else in town that shares a past with him. And soon Brandy gets an eyeful when he keeps watch on Larry's cabin. The hills already know lust, but before long, they will know violence as well.

Critique: Stark House Crime Classics is a publisher who specializes in bringing back into print for the benefit of contemporary mystery fans time lost tales of mystery and suspense that deserved to be added to personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. "Three Aces" (featuring an informative Introduction by Richard Krauss) is comprises of three true classics by three yesteryear writers who were masters of their craft -- "The Gilded Ages" by Peter Twist; "In at the Kill" by Emmett McDowell; "Heat Lightning" by Wilene Shaw. Each is a true gem of the genre and a fascinating read from start to finish. It should be noted that this edition of "Three Aces" from Stark House Press is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Editorial Note #1: Peter Twist was born Chester Peter Hewitt on November 7, 1922, in New York City. After a single year of college he enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps in 1943. After WWII, he became a civil engineer and worked in construction. After he retired, Hewitt and his wife moved to Mexico City, where he became involved in humanitarian efforts to bring aid to American and Canadian prisoners locked up in Mexican jails. The Gilded Getaway is his only novel, utilizing a pseudonym that combined Hewitt's middle name with his wife's maiden name. Hewitt died in the U.S. Virgin Islands on December 15, 1980.

Editorial Note #2: Robert Emmett McDowell was born April 5, 1914, in Sentinel, Oklahoma. The family soon moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained for the rest of his life. McDowell served in the Merchant Marines during WWII where he began his writing career in the pulp magazines as Emmett McDowell. He wrote stories for Amazing Stories, Astounding Science Fiction, Planet Stories, Jungle Stories and other genre magazines. In 1949 he began to shift over to detective magazines, switching to novels for Ace Books in the 1950s. In the 1950s McDowell became increasing interested in Kentucky history, and turned to writing historical fiction. He wrote one more mystery in 1965, The Hound's Tooth, as Robert McDowell. He died in Louisville on March 29, 1975.

Editorial Note #3: Wilene Shaw was born Virginia M. Harrison in Kentucky before moving to Southern California to become a writer. She wrote seven crime novels for Ace Books in the 1950s and early 60s as Shaw, including The Fear and the Guilt, an early lesbian novel.

A Lonesome Place for Dying
Nolan Chase
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639107773, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonesome-Place-Dying-Novel/dp/1639107770

Synopsis: In the quiet seaside town of Blaine, Washington, the most serious police work involves dealing with stray coyotes or ticketing speeders along the I-5. But on Ethan Brand's first day as the town's chief of police, he finds a threat on his porch, along with a gruesome souvenir, a bloody animal heart.

There are plenty of people who are upset about Ethan replacing the last Chief, but when a body shows up on the railroad tracks, Ethan has to turn his focus from the threats against him to the first homicide case the town has seen in years. Blaine's population is only five thousand, but eight million vehicles pass through its railroad crossing every year. It's the perfect site for drug smuggling, human trafficking, larceny, and murder.

Ethan begins to realize that the small town has many more secrets than its quiet surface suggests. With no one to trust, his job already on the line, and the threats getting bolder and more reckless, Ethan Brand must find the killers and bring them to justice before anyone else winds up dead.

Critique: An original, compelling and memorable read from start to finish, "A Lonesome Place for Dying" showcases author Nolan Chase's impressive and narrative driven storytelling style and master of the suspense thriller genre. With its deftly crafted characters and more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Kansas tornado, "A Lonesome Place for Dying" from Crooked Lane Books will prove a welcome and popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists dedicated murder mystery 'whodunnit' novels that "A Lonesome Place for Dying" is also available in a paperback edition (9708892420983, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Over the Edge
Kathleen Bryant
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Tantor Media
https://tantor.com
9781639107544, $30.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Over-Edge-Novel-Kathleen-Bryant/dp/1639107541

Synopsis: After a disastrous mistake ended her career as a crime reporter, Del Cooper returns to Sedona and takes a gig with a down-on-its-luck tour company while she rebuilds her life. Her peaceful small-town escape ends when, hiking in a remote red rock canyon, she finds the broken body of a murdered man.

At first, she believes the murder is connected to a proposed land trade that will pave the way for a luxury development on the edge of town, but it seems money isn't the killer's only motive. As she digs deeper, she uncovers the small town's darkest secrets, all leading her to Lee Ranch, a former filming location for Western movies. Two women disappear after Del interviews them, and rumors begin to spin faster than Sedona's famed energy vortexes. But she knows the truth: Someone is watching her from the shadows.

Desperate for answers, Del ventures into the wilderness to lure the killer into the open. But out here in the red rocks, bodies can be lost forever.

Critique: A simply riveting murder mystery novel from first page to last, author Kathleen Bryant's "Over the Edge" is an extraordinary and inherently fascinating read that will have a special interest for fans of psychological thrillers and deftly crafted murder mysteries. While an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Over the Edge" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99), as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9708874835729, $45.95, CD).

Editorial Note: Kathleen Bryant (www.kathleenbryantwriter.com) turned her boots-first exploration of the West's landscapes and cultures into a career as a travel writer and novelist. Her publishing credits include romance novels, travel guides, magazine articles, an award-winning children's picture book, and a cookbook highlighting National Parks. An avid hiker and history buff, she's led tours of ancient rock art sites, participated in field school digs, helped stabilize prehistoric ruins, and guided yoga experiences in the red rocks of Sedona.

Smoke and Mirrors
M. E. Hilliard
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639106196, $30.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Mirrors-Greer-Hogan-Mystery/dp/1639106197

Synopsis: Having spent months quietly investigating in the village of Raven Hill, Greer Hogan returns to New York City determined to find her husband's murderer. She secures a temporary gig at a private library inventorying the personal collection of a deceased magician. In her free time, Greer sleuths, leaving no stone unturned - even the ones which could be hiding deadly secrets.

Four years earlier, Greer had discovered her husband Dan dead in their apartment. He'd tried to tell her about something strange going on at his office, but she hadn't had time to listen until it was too late. Worse still, she has always suspected that the wrong man was convicted of the crime. Now, Greer has solved other murders and has a few tricks up her sleeve. She combs through belongings she packed away soon after Dan's death and interviews his former colleagues and people who were near the scene when he died. Soon, Greer is followed and attacked, so she knows she's struck a nerve -- but whose?

When two more people are killed and Greer realizes she can't escape the smoke and mirrors surrounding her suspects, she confides in one of her new colleagues, a magician named Grim with whom she's bonded over similar traumas. Though she knows he's got secrets of his own, the tricky Grim may be exactly the assistant Greer needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat and shine a spotlight on a killer before the curtains come down on her for good.

Critique: Fascinating, compelling, memorable, as an author, M. E. Hilliard has raised her novel "Smoke and Mirrors" to an impressive level of literary excellence and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Hilliard has utilized her personal background as a librarian to infuse a quality of realism into her work of fiction that will be especially appreciated by her readers. It should be noted for the private reading lists of dedicated mystery fans that "Smoke and Mirrors" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book narrated by Kirsten Potter (Dreamscape Media, 9708874751470, $45.95, CD).

Editorial Note: M. E. Hilliard is currently a full-time librarian who started out in retail merchandising. After twelve years of mergers, consolidations, and moves around the country, she went to graduate school and got a Master of Library Science degree. Originally from the Connecticut shoreline, she has never lost her love of quaint small towns, big cities, and fashion, so she indulges that in her writing. A life-long lover of mystery fiction, M. E. currently lives and works in Florida.

The Assassin of Venice
Alyssa Palombo
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639107872, $30.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Assassin-Venice-Novel-Alyssa-Palombo/dp/1639107878

Synopsis: Valentina Riccardi is many things: beautiful, cultured, deadly. As one of Venice's famous courtesans, she's perfectly positioned to seduce powerful men, get them alone, and assassinate them. Spies. Traitors. Who they are doesn't matter -- only that they made an enemy of the Council of Ten, the shadowy and seemingly omniscient power from which Valentina takes her orders without question.

Venice is her home, and after losing everything once before to an invading army, there is nothing she won't do to protect her city, for there is nothing she loves more. -- Well, almost nothing.

She vowed to never fall in love again, but Valentina can't help but give her heart to Bastiano Bragadin, a fellow assassin. But when Bastiano starts asking the wrong questions, Valentina receives a new assignment: kill him.

Yet the more Valentina learns about the Council of Ten, the more she wonders if they are truly acting in the interest of the Venetian state, or using her for their own dark ambitions. If Valentina is to save Bastiano, she must untangle their conspiracy - with the help of her fellow courtesans --before it's too late.

Critique: With the publication of "The Assassin of Venice" from Crooked Lane Books, author Alyssa Palombo presents a deftly written, original, compelling and memorable novel that brings 16th-century Venice vividly to life, and although a work of fiction, draws on the fascinating real history of both Venetian cortigiane oneste (honest courtesans) and Renaissance Venice's sprawling intelligence service. A fully entertaining read from start to finish, "The Assassin of Venice" is particularly recommended as a prized pick for community library Historical Mystery/Suspense collections. It is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $$17.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9708874751869, $45.95, CD) narrated by by Nicol Zanarella, Amy Landon, Greg Tremblay, Soneela Nankani, and Natasha Soudek.

Editorial Note: Alyssa Palombo graduated from Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing and now works as a marketing copywriter for a software company. She is the author of five previous novels: The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel, and The Borgia Confessions -- as well as the contemporary novel Heavy Metal Symphony, published as A.K. Palombo.

Kill or Bee Killed
Jennie Marts
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639106585, $30.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Bee-Killed-Keeping-Mystery/dp/1639106588

Synopsis: The small town of Humble Hills, Colorado, is abuzz with excitement over the upcoming annual Bee Festival, sponsored by Bailey's Granny Bee and the Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch. The long weekend of festivities includes a beauty pageant, beekeeping demonstrations, a local restaurant bake-off, and a 3K Bear Run where all the participants are dressed as bears. The bake-off brings in a television crew from California to film, so it's the most drama-filled part of the weekend, especially when the famous celebrity host winds up dead.

Because the celebrity was holding her bracelet and had been witnessed having an altercation with Bailey's best friend Evie shortly before his death, everyone suspects Evie of the murder -- and Bailey is quickly on the hunt for clues to clear Evie's name, alongside Granny Bee and her bunch of geriatric misfit friends. Bailey's potential new honey, Sheriff Sawyer Dunn, is none too pleased to have Bailey buzzing around the investigation, but Bailey's determined to uncover the truth, rescue her grannie's beloved Bee Festival, and save her bestie.

They say you get more flies with honey, but in this case, more honey may mean you end up dead. And a little competition never hurt anyone -- unless it ends up killing you.

Critique: A simply riveting read from first page to last, "Kill or Bee Killed" will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in carefully crafted and original 'whodunnit' cozy mysteries. Part of author Jennie Marts 'Bee Keeping Mystery' series, "Kill or Bee Killed" is certain to be a popular pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections and is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9708874751142, $45.95, CD) narrated by Cris Dukehart.

Editorial Note: Jennie Marts (https://jenniemarts.com) is the 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.

The Stranger in the Library
Eva Gates
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639106608, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Library-Lighthouse-Mystery/dp/163910660X

Synopsis: When a traveling show of impressionist art comes to Nags Head, North Carolina, librarian Lucy and the staff at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library are inspired to create an educational display about art history. Their launch of the display is a huge success, but the morning after, they discover that a reproduction of a famous painting has gone missing.

No one knows why anyone would bother stealing it: the picture is of no value - the real, priceless painting is under lock and key at the art show itself. Lucy gets an invite to the glitzy opening night for the real show, where she notices unusual tension among the show's organizers. Then, the man scheduled to give the welcoming speech fails to arrive, and a party-goer is discovered drowned in a fish pond.

Meanwhile, Louise Jane is totally captivated by Tom Reilly, a handsome, charming art dealer lurking at the edges of the receptions on both nights. Tom slipped away from the party early, and he cannot be located by the police. Who, Lucy asks, is Tom Reilly, the shadowy figure threatening to break Louise Jane's heart?

Something is afoot in Nags Head, and it's up to Lucy and her friends to get to the bottom of it before it's not just paintings being framed.

Critique: The ninth novel in author Eva Gates' A Lighthouse Mystery Series from Crooked Lane Books, "The Stranger in the Library" once again proves her total mastery of the cozy mystery genre and is a deftly crafted and fun read that will be especially appreciated by her growing legions of fans. A perfect pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, "The Stranger in the Library" is also available to dedicated cozy mystery readers is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99). Librarians should note that "The Stranger in the Library" is also available in a large print paperback edition (Thorndike Press, 9781420517316, $27.99).

Editorial Note: Eva Gates 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. This is her ninth Lighthouse Library mystery.

The Last Line
Scott Lyerly
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639108213, $30.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Line-Scott-Lyerly/dp/1639108211

Synopsis: The new production at Ellie Marlowe's community theater could save her from financial ruin, but her overbearing lead, Reginald Thornton IV, is determined to antagonize every cast member. Nervous and with her Tourette's syndrome flaring, Ellie is relieved when opening night seems to be going well. But then Reginald's death scene at the end of the play turns out to be all too real.

The state police write the death off as a heart attack, but several things don't add up, and Ellie and her childhood friend, Bill Starlin, the local chief of police, begin investigating. When another person linked to the theater is attacked, they're convinced a killer is on the loose.

As Ellie and Bill reveal connections between cast members, they uncover dark secrets and must race to find the killer before it's curtains for someone else.

Critique: A traditional 'whodunnit' murder mystery where the investigative detectives are two amateur sleuths, "The Last Line" by author Scott Lyerly is a solidly entertaining thriller of a read from start to finish. Original, deftly crafted, and with a distinctive, narrative driven storytelling style, "The Last Line" is a memorable and highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of mystery fans that "The Last Line" is also readily available from Crooked Lane Books in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Scott Lyerly (https://scottclyerly.com) worked for nearly a decade as a bookseller but eventually made the job into corporate retail. He currently works as an IT Manager for a large retail company.

A Botanist's Guide to Society and Secrets
Kate Khavari
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639106622, 29.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Botanists-Society-Secrets-Saffron-Everleigh/dp/1639106626

Synopsis: London, 1923. Returning from Paris, botanical researcher Saffron Everleigh finds that her former love interest Alexander Ashton's brother, Adrian, is being investigated for murder. A Russian scientist working for the English government has been poisoned, and expired in Adrian's train compartment. Alexander asks Saffron to put in a good word for Adrian with Inspector Green. Despite her unresolved feelings for Alexander, Saffron begins to unravel mysteries surrounding the dead scientist.

As if a murder case weren't enough, her best friend Elizabeth's war-hero brother, Nick, arrives in town and takes an immediate interest in Saffron. Saffron learns Alexander has been keeping secrets from her, including a connection to Nick, who Saffron and Elizabeth begin to suspect is more than he seems.

When another scientist is found dead, Saffron agrees to go undercover at the government laboratory. Risking her career and her safety, she learns there are many more interested parties and dangerous secrets to uncover than she'd realized. But some secrets, Saffron will find, are better left undiscovered.

Critique: "A Botanist's Guide to Society and Secrets" is the newest addition to novelist Kate Khavari's 'A Saffron Everleigh Mystery' series and continues to confirm her impressive storytelling talents and complete mastery of the cozy mystery genre. An entertaining and fun read from first page to last, "A Botanist's Guide to Society and Secrets" is a carefully crafted, original, and highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the increasing legions of cozy mystery fans that "A Botanist's Guide to Society and Secrets" is also readily available from Crooked Lane Books in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9708874751111, $45.95, CD) performed by Jodi Harris.

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 Collection of Lies
Connie Berry
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639106660, $30.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Collection-Lies-Kate-Hamilton-Mystery/dp/1639106669

Synopsis: As Kate Hamilton and her new husband, DI Tom Mallory, honeymoon in Devon, a local history museum asks them to trace the provenance of a bloodstained dress said to belong to a Victorian lacemaker accused of murder. If genuine, the dress and its puzzling connections to a nineteenth-century Romani family who camped on Dartmoor will be the centerpiece of a new historic crimes exhibit -- exactly Kate's kind of mystery. But matters turn deadly when a shot is fired during a fundraising gala, injuring the man who donated the dress.

The injured donor, Gideon Littlejohn, is a cybersecurity expert who lives and dresses as a Victorian gentleman, but everyone believes the real target of the attack to be another attendee -- a controversial politician intent on rooting out local corruption. This belief is overturned when Gideon is found dead in a pool of blood. But then the politician receives a death threat.

Who was the real target? Who would want to kill both a man with an obsession for history and a tough-on-crime politician? When asked to assist in the investigation, Kate races to discover the truth, as it becomes clear the killer isn't going to come quietly.

Critique: "A Collection of Lies" confirms author Connie Berry continues to be a master of the cozy mystery genre with all the elements (an amateur female sleuth trying to solve a bewildering 'whodunnit' murder mystery) of a vivid, narrative driven, and thoroughly fun read for fans of original suspense thriller novels. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book narrated by Ruth Urquhart (Dreamscape Media, 9708874751807, $45.95, CD), "A Collection of Lies" is a choice and unreservedly recommended pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Connie Berry (https://connieberry.com) is the author of the Kate Hamilton mysteries, which are cozy mysteries set in the UK and feature an American antiques dealer with a gift for solving crimes. Like her protagonist, Connie was raised by antiques dealers who instilled in her a passion for history, fine art, and travel. In 2019 Connie won the IPPY Gold Medal for Mystery and was a finalist for the Agatha Award's Best Debut. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and on the board of the Guppies and her local Sisters in Crime chapter.

Murder on Devil's Pond
Ayla Rose
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639107117, $29.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Devils-Hummingbird-Hollow-Mystery/dp/1639107118

Synopsis: When thirty-three-year-old Hannah Solace returns to her hometown to renovate and reopen the inn she co-owns with her sister Reggie, her mission is to give the old Victorian hotel an entirely new life. She's even planting pollinator gardens around the inn - native flowers and fruit trees to lure honeybees and houseguests alike.

Hannah's fresh start is stymied by Reggie's continual interference, unreliable contractors, a check-the-couch-for-coins budget, and townspeople Hannah left behind fifteen years ago. Her main source of camaraderie is Ezra Grayson, an eighty-year-old recluse who lives nearby. After an unsettling conversation with a disgruntled Ezra, Hannah is horrified to discover him dead on her property later that day.

Ezra had always had plenty of people to complain about, especially locals trying to force him out of his property for its prime real estate. As buzz around town grows after his death, Hannah finds herself on the short list of suspects. Hannah starts digging and quickly discovers that secrets lurk beneath the charming surface of the town she once again calls home.

Critique: With all the hallmarks of a cozy mystery (amateur female sleuth, a 'whodunnit' mystery, a memorable cast of characters, and more plot twists than a Disney Land roller coaster, "Murder on Devil's pond is one of author Ayla Rose's Hummingbird Hollow B&B Mystery novels and a fun read from cover to cover. "Murder on Devil's Pond" is a strong pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should also be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated cozy mystery fans that "Murder on Devil's Pond" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) as well.

Editorial Note: Ayla Rose is an author and lawyer. When not writing, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her husband, sons, and the family's three dogs.

There's No Murder Like Show Murder
M. S. Greene
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639108190, $31.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Theres-No-Murder-Like-Show/dp/163910819X

Synopsis: Tasha Weaver is most at home in the cozy backstage world of the Eastbrook Playhouse. As the costume shop head at the charming regional theater, she's used to watching dramatic acts of love and revenge from the shadows. But when Kurt Mozer (the insufferable Broadway reject who stars in their production of Annie Get Your Gun) is shot center stage, the spotlight turns to her.

Everyone knows Kurt was difficult to work with, and after he got into a fight with both director Marnie Mason and artistic leader Arthur Winston, he promptly decided to quit the show. In deep financial trouble, the Eastbrook Playhouse depended on a big name like Kurt to keep afloat. With reporters coming in from the Big Apple to Tasha's little corner of Connecticut, she realizes it's up to her to save their local theater and keep her community safe. After all, the show must go on... but what do you do when the killer could very well be one of your loved ones?

With the help of her friends, her long-time crush Bruno Machado, and her feline colleague Hilly, Tasha must catch a murderer before the shining lights of the playhouse go out forever.

Critique: The newest addition to author M. S. Greene's 'A Backstage Mystery' series, "There's No Murder Like Show Murder" from Crooked Lane Books is an original and fun cozy mystery from first page to last. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99), "There's No Business Like Show Murder" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: M. S. Greene is a playwright, lyricist, screenwriter, novelist, and overall theatre nerd living the dream in New York City. Under his full name - Matthew Greene - his scripts have been produced on both coasts and several places in between. When he's not hunched over a keyboard, he can be found teaching, directing, and working to close the arts education gap with some of the city's most talented young people.

Echo Road
Kendra Elliot & Melinda Leigh
https://www.kendraelliot.com
Montlake
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781662522000, $28.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Echo-Road-Kendra-Elliot/dp/1662522002

Synopsis: During a vicious heat wave, a county maintenance worker stumbles upon two suspicious suitcases abandoned by the side of the road. Sheriff Bree Taggert responds to find two bodies stuffed inside the luggage. The press demands action. The community is on edge. Suddenly, Bree is at the center of a media firestorm.

In Oregon, a senator's daughter goes missing. FBI Special Agent Mercy Kilpatrick agrees to keep the politically sensitive case on the down-low. When she finds a link between the disappearance and a double homicide three thousand miles away, Mercy takes the next plane out -- and lands right in the middle of Bree's double homicide investigation.

To save the missing girl, Bree and Mercy must work together to stop a killer who's playing deadly games with the press and stirring up public rage. Hungry for notoriety, he dares Bree and Mercy to catch him before he kills again.

Critique: A deftly crafted and truly riveting read from start to finish, co-authors Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh successfully blend romance, suspense, and murder to make an original thriller of a story with "Echo Road". It should be noted for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections that "Echo Road" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781662521997, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Editorial Note #1: Kendra Elliot (www.kendraelliot.com) is the author of the Bone Secrets and Callahan & McLane series, the Mercy Kilpatrick novels, and the Columbia River novels. She's a three-time winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award, an International Thriller Writers Award finalist, and an RT Award finalist.

Editorial Note #2: Melinda Leigh (www.melindaleigh.com) is the author of the She Can series, the Midnight Novels, the Scarlet Falls series, the Morgan Dane series, and the Bree Taggert series. Melinda is an International Thriller Award finalist for best first book. Her novels have garnered numerous other awards, including two RITA nominations.

Hidden in the Night
Elizabeth Goddard
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
www.revellbooks.com
9780800742065, $17.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Night-Investigation-Romantic-Picturesque/dp/0800742060

Synopsis: At the behest of her ailing mother, former FBI special agent turned rare-book collector Ivy Elliott arrives in Alaska to secure an unpublished Jack London manuscript kept secreted away for decades. But when she arrives, she learns the manuscript is gone -- taken by the granddaughter of the woman who possessed it. Ivy sets off in pursuit, not just to save the manuscript but to save the vulnerable girl, who was previously trafficked and has no idea what she's getting herself into.

Joining forces with Alaska State Trooper Nolan Long, Ivy must battle a blizzard, sabotage, and the worst of an Alaskan winter as the search goes on. But every answer they find only raises more questions -- and the danger to their lives and to the missing girl may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Critique: "Hidden in the Night" by Elizabeth Goddard is a romantic suspense thriller of a read from start to finish. Set in picturesque Alaska and highly recommended for readers with an interest in a deftly crafted murder investigation and missing persons story, "Hidden in the Night" is a strongly recommended and enduringly popular pick for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists tht "Hidden in the Night" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).

Editorial Note: Elizabeth Goddard (www.ElizabethGoddard.com) is the author of more than 60 novels, including Cold Light of Day, Shadows at Dusk, and Hidden in the Night, as well as the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. She is a Christy, Carol, and Reader's Choice Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award and HOLT Medallion finalist.

Don't Let the Devil Ride
Ace Atkins
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063293380, $30.00, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Let-Devil-Ride-Novel/dp/0063293382

Synopsis: Addison McKellar isn't clueless. She knows that she and her husband Dean don't have the perfect marriage. But she's still shocked when he completely vanishes from her life.

At first Addison is annoyed, but as days stretch into a week and she's repeatedly stonewalled by Dean's friends and associates, her frustration turns into genuine alarm. When even the police seem dismissive of her concerns, Addison turns to her father's old friend, legendary Memphis PI Porter Hayes.

Porter and Addison begin to dig deeper into Dean's affairs and quickly discover that he was never the hardworking business owner and family man he pretended to be. As they piece together the connections between a hook-handed mercenary, one of Elvis's former leading ladies, and a man posing as an FBI agent, it becomes clear that Dean was deeply enmeshed in a high-stakes web of international intrigue -- and that Porter and Addison aren't the only ones looking for him.

Dean had angered some very dangerous people before he disappeared. People who have already killed to get what they want -- and they won't hesitate to come after his family to even the score.

Critique: With the publication of "Don't Let the Devil Ride" from William Morrow, author Ace Atkins has once again deftly written a original, compelling, and deftly narrated novel that will prove to be of interest to readers with an interest in murder mystery thrillers featuring a hard-bitten Private Investigator and a truly memorable cast of characters -- and more unexpected plot twists and turns than an Oklahoma tornado. While very highly recommended pick for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Don't Let the Devil Ride" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Ace Atkins is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author who started his writing career as a crime beat reporter in Florida. Don't Let the Devil Ride is his thirtieth novel. His previous novels include eleven books in the Quinn Colson series and multiple true-crime novels based on infamous crooks and killers. In 2010, he was chosen by Robert B. Parker's family to continue the iconic Spenser series, adding ten novels to the franchise.

The Body in the Bed / The Body Beautiful
Bill S. Ballinger
Stark House Press
www.starkhousepress.com
9708886010701, $19.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Bed-Beautiful/dp/B0CP2RQ6M1

Synopsis: "The Body in the Bed"

Barr Breed doesn't want to take the case at first. When Mr. Gibbs comes to him with a story about finding his mistress strangled in her bed, and not wanting to go the cops about it, Breed turns him right down. He doesn't want to get involved in murder. But Gibbs persuades him to take a look at the murder scene and keep the cops away for 24 hours. Convinced of Gibbs' innocence, Breed begins to cover his client's tracks. Then someone tries to push him into traffic. And not long after, Gibbs himself is gunned down. Breed is the thick of it now. And between the thug who's shadowing him and the cops who're after him, this case could just be his last.

"The Body Beautiful"

When Barr Breed is introduced to showgirl Coffee Stearns, it's lust at first sight. But she plays hard to get. In fact, just as Breed is figuring that she doesn't like men at all, she changes her tune. That night he decides to catch her show. Coffee she is one of the nearly nude golden girls that swing from cages above the actors below. But as soon as the cages begin to rise, there is a flash of light and Coffee falls forward out of her cage and into the orchestra pit - with a knife in her back! Breed immediately goes into action, but there's nothing he can do for her. So he sets out to find out who murdered her - and why - and takes on the most dangerous case of his career.

Critique: Featuring an informative introduction by John Bennett, "The Body in the Bed / The Body Beautiful" showcases two stories by Bill S. Ballinger as part of the Stark House Mystery Classic series of time lost literary treasures being brought back into print for the benefit and enjoyment of contemporary mystery/suspense fans. Especially recommended to the attention of Hard-Boiled Private Investigator thrillers, "The Body in the Bed /The Body Beautiful" is an ideal pick for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Bill Sanborn Ballinger was born on March 13, 1912, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and was educated at the University of Wisconsin. He worked in radio and advertising in the early 1940s. Ballinger wrote 81 radio scripts, then turned to writing novels in 1948, eventually producing about 30 books, including the Joaquin Hawks series. He received the Geneva Grand Master Award for Portrait in Smoke and was nominated for an Edgar in 1958 for The Longest Second. Ballinger also wrote at least 150 teleplays, including scripts for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Ironside. In the late 1970s, he became an associate professor of writing at the California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. Ballinger passed away on March 23, 1980, in Tarzana, California.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Court of Miracles
Victor Dixen, author
Francoise Bui, translator
https://www.victordixen.com
Amazon Crossing
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781662505737, $28.99, HC, 396pp

https://www.amazon.com/Court-Miracles-Vampyria-Saga/dp/1662505736

Synopsis: The vampire King Louis XIV reigns supreme over a terrorized France, determined to protect his empire at any cost. When a mysterious renegade vampire named the Lady of Miracles ascends to power in an underworld Parisian court and claims the city for herself, Louis feels threatened for the first time in centuries.

His secret weapon to fight back? Mademoiselle Diane de Gastefriche, a young baronette who earned the king's trust through her own cunning and wit. He sends Diane to squash the new threat to his power. But King Louis has no idea that this feisty girl's real name is Jeanne Froidelac: she is an infiltrated commoner, whose secret mission is to destroy him and rid the world of the vampiric tyranny.

Caught between a vengeful king and a ruthless rival, Jeanne embarks on a quest that could alter the kingdom's destiny -- and expose a powerful secret that she will do anything to protect.

Critique: Ably translated into English by Francoise Bui, "The Court of Miracles" by author/storyteller Victor Dixen is the sequel to his first Vampyria novel "The Court of Shadows" and continues the story of a commoner girl who successfully infiltrates the French imperial court of vampires lorded over by Louis XIV with the aim of ending the scourge that murdered her family and continue to lethally prey upon the French citizenry. A simply riveting read from start to finish, Victor Dixen has added a whole new dimension to the vampire genre. A fun read for fantasy fans in general, and vampire fiction fans in particular, "The Court of Miracles" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Court of Miracles" is also available in a paperback edition (9781662505706, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Victor Dixen (www.victordixen.com) is a two-time winner of the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire and stands at the forefront of French fantasy. His acclaimed series include Animale, Phobos, Cogito, Extincta, and Vampyria. A nomadic writer, he has lived in Paris, Dublin, Singapore, New York, and now Washington, DC, drawing inspiration from the promises of the future as much as the ghosts of the past.

Editorial Note #2: Fran oise Bui (https://ccfw.calvin.edu/speakers/francoise-bui) spent twenty years as an executive editor at Penguin Random House, where her list of edited books included numerous novels in translation. Of these, four received the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for outstanding children's books initially published in a foreign language; two others were Honor titles.

The Eccentrics
Tim Akers
Baen Books
www.baen.com
9781982193393, $18.00

https://www.amazon.com/Eccentrics-3-Knight-Watch/dp/1982193395

The Eccentrics embraces the subgenre of steampunk as it surveys a milieu in which mad science, mad men, and clockwork creatures force the Society of Eccentric Geniuses to protect the Mundane world from a fantasy future, the Gestalt. The Eccentrics that navigate these timestreams in the name of righting wrongs have their hands full when a new threat tests the nature and values of heroes, would-be rescuers, and those who must understand and field a clockwork world in order to survive. A creative, unpredictable adventure follows that creates a powerful attraction to readers seeking something different from their steampunk-centric universes.

Baen Books
www.baen.com

Two fine new sci-fi titles from Baen Books are highly recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Hyde-Seek-Jekyll-Inc/dp/1982193387

Simon R. Green's Hyde & Seek (9781982193386, $28.00) is the second book in the Jeckyll & Hyde Inc. series, and pairs monsters and supernatural intrigue with an adventure replete with wry humor and action. Having vanquished werewolves, vampires and their likes, Daniel and Tina Hyde discover new threats in the form of old-fashioned aliens, monsters, and more. In fact, their ridding the world of traditional menaces seems to have opened the door on a whole new definition of fighting monsters. Their action-packed adventures are stories to relish, filled with battles and unexpected twists highly recommended for fans of fantasy and detective sci-fi.

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Ranges-John-Ringo/dp/1982193379

John Ringo works with James Aidee in Beyond the Ranges (9781982193379, $28.00), which takes place in the aftermath of Earth's destruction. Jason Graham and millions of others are offered new lives on a planet across the galaxy, having been rescued by alien benefactors. The mystery surrounding the world's sudden end and their revised status only grows as James and fellow humans face unprecedented opportunities and struggles to survive in this brave new world. The dovetailing of mystery, post-apocalyptic survival tactics, and unexpected alliances makes for a fast-paced story packed with tension, confrontations, and surprises.

Both of these science fiction titles are excellent choices library collections and for readers seeking something different.


The Poetry Shelf

Prairie Roots
James Lowell Hall
Shanti Arts Publishing
https://shantiarts.co
9781962082129, $18.95 138pp

https://shantiarts.co/uploads/files/ghi/HALL_PRAIRIE.html

https://www.amazon.com/Prairie-Roots-James-Lowell-Hall/dp/1962082121

Synopsis: Expressed in verse, "Prairie Roots" by James Lowell Hall is the story of a town, a home, a family, and a legacy. Told with poetic charm and treasured photographs, the story begins in 1915 in the town of Delavan, Illinois, with the marriage of Ray and Marguerite Lillibridge, the poet author's grandparents.

From that time forward, joys and trials were lived and shared, and then told and retold, becoming memories that form the foundation of a family rooted in the prairie soil of the Midwest. Take time to appreciate the history, dignity, and love within this small-town family. Allow the poetry to reach deep into your own memories, unearthing your own stories and your foundation.

Critique: Of particular interest to fans of storytelling in verse, "Prairie Roots" by James Lowell Hall is an extraordinary compendium of deftly crafted free verse, much of which will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. With themes dealing with love, family history, community life, and personal experiences that have universal implications, this paperback edition of "Prairie Roots" from Shanti Arts Publishing is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and college/university library Contemporary American Poetry collections.

Editorial Note: James Lowell Hall (www.jameslowellhall.com) is a practicing physician in Illinois. He is married with two children and a quirky German Shepherd, Moli. He is the author of Good Night Sweetheart Goodnight and Lillibridge Houses. He also edits the poetry column "Poetic Ponderings" in Wilmette Living Magazine.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Good: From the Amazon Jungle to Suburbia and Back
David Good, author
FLuX, author/illustrator
NBM Publishing
https://nbmpub.com
9781681123301, $24.99, HC, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Amazon-Jungle-Suburbia-Back/dp/1681123304

Synopsis: Presented in a graphic novel format, "Good: From the Amazon Jungle to Suburbia and Back" is the story of the incredible journey of David Good, the son of an American anthropologist father, and indigenous Yanomami mother who calls the Amazon rainforest her home.

Overlapping the story of what David's mother's early years were like being raised in the rainforest, "Good: From the Amazon Jungle to Suburbia and Back" follows David from childhood to adulthood as he searches for identity, love, acceptance, and the one thing truly missing from his life, his mother.

Growing up in a predominantly white population of the US without a mother or a deeper connection to his South American roots, David struggles with issues of identity and relationships.

His and his mother's stories intertwine in a heartbreakingly beautiful climax when they are reunited in the jungle. Beautifully illustrated in both B/W and Color, and co-authored by award winning artist and storyteller, FLuX, David Good's "Good: From the Amazon Jungle to Suburbia and Back" is a vivid and breathtaking visualization of a highly unusual life's journey.

Critique: This large format (6.5 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches, 1.25 pounds) graphic novel style hardcover edition of "Good: From the Amazon Jungle to Suburbia and Back" from NBM Publishing is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, community, and college/university library Contemporary Biography/Memoir collections.

Editorial Note #1: Contemporary artist FLuX is a practitioner of contemporary classical realism and illustration. FLuX's work has been exhibited globally and is included in collections with notable artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons.

Editorial Note #2: David Good is a member of the Yanomami tribe, author, explorer, filmmaker, and founder of the Yanomami Foundation. A member of the Explorer's Club, he coordinates expeditions to Yanomami territory to support programs in health, biocultural research, education, and cultural preservation. His unique ancestry and scientific training provide a rare opportunity to build global awareness on the importance of protecting these few remaining isolated indigenous societies.

The Science of Ghosts
Lilah Sturges, author
El Garing, illustrator
Alitha Martinez, contributor
Legendary Comics
9781681160863, $11.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Science-Ghosts-1-Lilah-Sturges/dp/1681160862

Synopsis: While navigating the mysteries of the afterlife, Joy Ravenna (a transgender parapsychologist) finds that she must also deal with the very real challenges of her past and present. Her first post-transition relationship, a hostile ex-wife, and clues to murder long forgotten will test her at every twist and turn. For Joy, working with ghosts is way easier than dealing with the living!

Critique: The collaborative work of author/storyteller Lilah Sturges and artist/illustrator El Garing, this graphic novel edition of "The Science of Ghosts" from Legendary Comics is an inherently fascinating and fun read from start to finish. The B/W story boarding approach is an ideal format for this action/adventure style tale of the supernatural backgrounding a deftly crafted murder mystery is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library graphic novel collections. It should be noted that "The Science of Ghosts" is also available from Legendary Comics in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note #1: Lilah Sturges (https://lilahsturges.com) is the writer of numerous comics, including the PRISM Award winning Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass and The Magicians and Legendary Comics' upcoming The Science of Ghosts, as well as many other titles from DC, Marvel, IDW, and others.

Editorial Note #2: Artist El Garing loves illustrations. He migrated to the United States many years ago to follow a dream, and met his hero personally, The Great Frank Frazetta, who is always an inspiration. El was mentored by one of the best, Hal Santiago, and was taught by Philippines National Artist Francisco V. Coching. With Legendary Comics and Lugosi Enterprises, he worked on the graphic novel Bram Stoker's Dracula Starring Bela Lugosi, which won a Rondo Award in 2022. (www.simonandschuster.com/authors/El-Garing/192673105)


The Library CD Shelf

This Rock We're On: Imaginary Letters
Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra
mikeholober.com
Privately Published
$19.98 CD / $18.98 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/This-Rock-Were-Imaginary-Letters/dp/B0CZF56XL6

This Rock We're On: Imaginary Letters is a grand double album fusing elements of jazz and classical music into a multi-movement suite celebrating the natural world, artists, and activists. Created by Mike Holober and performed by the Grammy-nominated Gotham Jazz Orchestra, This Rock We're On: Imaginary Letters is an extraordinary, sweeping tour de force and a choice pick for both personal and public library music collections. Highly recommended! The disc 1 tracks are Lay of the Land, On This Rock, Dirt Lover's Almanac, Another Summer, Tides, Another Summer Epilogue, To Virginia, Dear Virginia, and Domes; and the disc 2 tracks are Refuge, Tower Pulse, Erosion, Three Words for Snow, Boundary Waters, Noetry, Skywoman Falling, and This Rock We're On.

It's Time
Paul Tobey
https://www.paultobey.com
Privately Published
jazzmentl.com
$19.99 CD

https://www.paultobey.com/product/its-time-by-paul-tobey-cd

It's Time is a new solo piano jazz album by award-winning performer Paul Tobey, marking his comeback after a 20-year hiatus from his music career due to severe tendonitis. The songs, composed by a variety of music artists including one by Tobey himself, are sublime and a testimony to perseverance and the long road to recovery. It's Time is a choice pick for personal and public library jazz piano collections, highly recommended. The tracks are Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen), Caminar (The Walking Song) (Paul Tobey), Take Five (Paul Desmond), A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (M. David/A. Hoffman/J. Livingston), My Foolish Heart (Victor Young), Nancy With the Laughing Face (Jimmy Van Heusen), You Don't Know What Love Is (Gene de Paul), and You Don't Know What Love Is - Radio Take (Gene de Paul).

A Sense of Distance
Holland Phillips
https://www.musicbyholland.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $8.00 digital

https://hollandphillips.bandcamp.com/album/a-sense-of-distance

Holland Phillips showcases his mastery of the keyboard in A Sense of Distance, an original, New Age album incorporating elements of pop, neo-classical, and ambient musical traditions. An immersive, free-flowing listening experience, A Sense of Distance is a rapturous soundscape ideal for meditation and inspiration, highly recommended for both connoisseurs and public library collections. The tracks are Perseus Rising, Through the Rabbit Hole, Bittersweet, Behind the Veil, Enchantments, A Sense of Disaster, Flying Solo, Hope Remains, On Whistler's Bridge, and For The Love of It.

The Complete American Recordings
Phil Haynes' 4 Horns & What?
philhaynes.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $15.00 digital

https://philhaynesmusic.bandcamp.com/album/4-horns-what-the-complete-american-recordings

The extraordinary quintet 4 Horns & What? present The Complete American Recordings, a compilation of the band's two studio albums plus a previously unheard 1995 live recording from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 4 Horns & What? consists of Paul Smoker on trumpet, Clarence "Herb" Robertson on multi-brass, John Tchicai on tenor sax, Andy Laster on multi-reeds & flute, and Phil Haynes on drum set; Phil Haynes composes all of the quintet's original songs. The Complete American Recordings is a treasury of lively jazz music, highly recommended especially for connoisseurs and public library collections. The album-length collections preserved and showcased for a new generation are 4 Horns & What? (1989), 4 Horn Lore (1991), and Live at B.A.M. (1995).

Silver Bullet Bluegrass
All songs written by Bob Seger
Produced by Randall Deaton
Lonesome Day Records
www.lonesomeday.com
$15.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 / $19.99 vinyl

https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Bullet-Bluegrass-Various-Artists/dp/B0D29L1H1B

Featuring a standout selection of songs written by the legendary Bob Seger, Silver Bullet Bluegrass is a celebration of Seger's beloved bluegrass works, performed by a wide variety of talented music artists. An absolute "must-have" for bluegrass connoisseurs, Silver Bullet Bluegrass is also a choice pick for public library collections and makes an excellent gift! Highly recommended. The tracks are Long Twin Silver Line, Turn the Page, Hollywood Nights, Against the Wind, You'll Accompany Me, We've Got Tonight, Rambin' Gamblin' Man, Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight, Main Street, Even Now, Feel Like a Number, Roll Me Away, and Night Moves.

Island Hopping
Gabriel Evan Orchestra
gabrielevanmusic.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D6TB47FY

Island Hopping is a celebration Caribbean jazz and early to mid-twentieth century folk music, performed by Gabriel Evan Orchestra - Gabriel Evan on soprano saxophone, clarinet, shaker, and clave; Charlie Halloran on trombone; Josh Dunn on guitar; Kris Tokarski on piano; Pete Olynciw on upright bass; and Jafet Perez on drum set, bongos, and cajon. Featuring both original compositions and classic favorites, Island Hopping is a wonderful taste of Caribbean musical culture and makes a great summertime gift! The tracks are Pani Ti Moun, Carmencita, Boychick Calypso, Habana Hammock, Asi Pare, Tes Yeux, Rhum, Flor de Yumuri, Reverie Antillaise, Ba Cor de Zailes, Lamoula Creole, Venezuela, Ba Yo Milatresse, Amor (Bolero), and Rumba Blanca.

Sweet Tears
Tevet Sela
tevetsela.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $7.92 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0D3FKVMJ4

Sweet Tears is an instrumental album of original songs composed by Tevet Sela and performed by Tevet Sela on alto saxophone, John Roney on piano, Mike Downes on bass, and Mark Kelso on drums. Blending a wide variety of musical styles including klezmer, middle-eastern scales and harmonies, and elements of Latin jazz and rhythm & blues. An emotional, expressive, and genre-bending musical journey, Sweet Tears is highly recommended for connoisseurs in search of something new and inspirational. The tracks are In Your Own Words, Better Days, Sweet Tears, Naked Soul, Omaya, I Feel Ya, Shabbaton, and Far Yet Close.

Tribute to the Groove
Brasstactics
thebrasstactics.com
Privately Published
$TBA

Tribute to the Groove is an album of nine, New Orleans-inspired brass band songs - both originals and reimagined covers - performed with force and verve by the band Brasstactics. Bold and adventurous, featuring lively horns, pulsing drums, and occasional rap lyrics, Tribute to the Groove lives up to its title and is highly recommended for especially for brass band fans! The tracks are Dutch Angles (Jonny McCormack), Bad Guy (Billie Eilish, Finneas O'Connel), Regal (Zach Semanuik), 8 Bit (Semanuik), Chomp (Semanuik), Hunker Down (McCormack), River City Rumpus Room (McCormack), Runaway Baby (Bruno Mars), and Tribute to the Groove (Nick Froman).

Zouzou
Dobet Gnahore
Cumbancha
$12.39 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Zouzou-Dobet-Gnahore/dp/B0D2J5W5JT

Award-winning singer, dancer, percussionist, and songwriter Dobet Gnahore presents Zouzou, an album embodying the musical traditions of her homeland - the West African nation of Ivory Coast. Zouzou means "Angel" in French, and is a fitting title as the album is dedicated to the development of an orphanage project to serve African youth. The masterful interplay of musical traditions and African rhythms underscore a strong message of hope and support for today's young people who will be tomorrow's future. Zouzou is a "must-have" for international music collections, worthy of the highest recommendation. The tracks are Nan Plu Dan, Zouzou, Ayoka, Libonou, Espoir, Ghui Agui Bah, Dobet, Komou Bebe, Gni, You, and Srikpi Ah Blile.

NatJim
Natsuki Tamura and Jim Black
Libra Records
https://www.librarecords.com
$18.00 CD

https://www.librarecords.com/sne/store.html

NatJim is an extraordinary, improvisational music collaboration between trumpeter-composer Natsuki Tamura and drummer Jim Black. In their first duo recording in 25 years, Tamura and Black celebrate their reunion with a creative and exciting "off the rails" performance - the duo simply let the music take them wherever it may go. An extraordinary push to the heights of what improvisational music is capable of, NatJim is highly recommended. The tracks are Morning City, Afternoon City, City of Dusk, City of Night, Quiet City, Noisy City, Calm City, Bright City, and Bonus.

BEATitude
David Bixler
davidbixler.com
Tiger Turn
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CX6KD1ZN

Saxophonist, composer, and educator David Bixler presents BEATitude, an album of Bixler's original jazz compositions performed by Bixler on alto saxophone, Jon Cowherd on piano, Ike Sturm on bass, and Rogerio Boccato on percussion. BEATitude is an empathetic work, featuring songs that resonate compassion and the depths of the soul. Thoughtful, introspective, and inspirational, BEATitude is a sublime experience and highly recommended. The tracks are A Power Deferred, Balm, Hide Seek Find, Down/Up, Peace, I Spy, Clement, and Lost Hours? No.

Under the Covers
The Steve Luciano Quartet
steveonguitar.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D3SLVSXF

The Steve Luciano Quartet features masterful jazz guitarist Steve Luciano and the extraordinarily talented quartet of Mike Avila on piano, Charlie Siva on bass, Walt Hubbard on bass, and Dan Jordan on sax and flute. Their latest album is Under the Covers, a rendition of cover songs that Steve Luciano has personally selected from the past fifty years of jazz history. Under the Covers is a tribute to both beloved favorites and lesser-known yet heart-stirring musical discoveries, and is highly recommended especially for jazz connoisseurs. The tracks are Chant (Duke Pearson), I'll Take Romance (Oscar Hammerstein II and Ben Oakland), Like Someone in Love (Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke), Hammer Head (Wayne Shorter), Caruso (Lucio Dalla), "Everything I've Got (Rodgers and Hart), Summer's End (Ralph Towner), Love You Madly (Ellington and Strayhorn), On the Stairs (Pat Martino), and The Bad and the Beautiful (David Raksin).

Love on the Tyrrhenian
CeCe Gable
https://cecegable.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0D5FG94P8

Love On The Tyrrhenian is a beautiful, vocal jazz album showcasing the extraordinary talent of CeCe Gable. Supported by talented musicians on guitar, piano, bass, percussion, saxophone, and more for various tracks, Gable provides a smooth, dulcet performance worthy of a cherished spot in the collections of vocal jazz connoisseurs everywhere. Highly recommended! The tracks are Love on the Tyrrhenian, The Riviera, Little Boat, Say It Isn't So, You and the Night and the Music, Small Day Tomorrow, Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most, Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home, I'll See You in C-U-B-A, and Once Again It's Winter.


The Humor Shelf

Hope It All Works Out!
Reza Farazmand
Andrews McMeel Publishing
www.andrewsmcmeel.com
9781524893897, $16.99, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hope-All-Works-Out-Collection/dp/1524893897

Synopsis: On the surface, the animals in Reza Farazmand's world of Poorly Drawn Lines are sophisticated, decadent creatures -- Turtle sports a beret, Snail wears shades, Bird smokes cigarettes, and Mouse assumes a fighting stance when anyone challenges his emotional fragility.

But lurking beneath their surface images is a surprising warmth and charming naivete that provides the perfect setup for Farazmand's unparalleled sense of humor and satire.

"Hope It All Works Out!: A Poorly Drawn Lines Collection" from Andrews McMeel Publishing is an author-curated collection of new comics and greatest hits showcasing the unique and charming world of these small animals and the amusing gap between their tough guy images and animal innocence.

Familiar to millions of readers of the Poorly Drawn Lines webcomic and FX animated series on Hulu, this collection includes dozens of never-before-seen comics.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for the growing legions of Reza Farazmand fans, "Hope It All Works Out!: A Poorly Drawn Lines Collection" fully showcases his wit, whimsey, and imagination as a gifted cartoon humorist. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library Contemporary Humor collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hope It All Works Out!: A Poorly Drawn Lines Collection" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Reza Farazmand (https://poorlydrawnlines.com) is an author, comedy writer, and creator of the popular internet comic series Poorly Drawn Lines. He has published four books, including the graphic novel City Monster and the comic and essay collection Poorly Drawn Lines: Good Ideas and Amazing Stories, along with two followup collections: Comics for a Strange World and Poorlier Drawn Lines. His work has been featured in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Adventure Time comics, Buzzfeed, NPR, and on Comedy Central.


The Sports Shelf

Winning Pickleball: Expert Strategies for Next Level Play
David Satka
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578269952, $15.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Pickleball-Expert-Strategies-Level/dp/1578269954

Synopsis: With the publication of "Winning Pickleball: Expert Strategies for Next Level Play" Pickleball expert David Satka shows players of all levels how to improve their game through strategy, technique and mental toughness. You don't have to be a natural athlete to become a better player, you just need to learn the secrets of winning.

With over 36 million players, pickleball is one of the fastest-growing game in the country and while there are now certainly many books about how to play with a focus on mechanics of strokes and endless instruction on drills, "Winning Pickleball" is all about being better by making one more mentally aware.

"Winning Pickleball" includes sections on: Understanding levels of plays and setting goals; Peak performance readiness routine; Organizational factors; Mental toughness and ability; Key positionings, footwork and shot selection; The power of practice; The important of partner communication.

You can get significantly better at pickleball without endless hours of practice or thousands of dollars of lessons with "Winning Pickleball" as your guide. It's the way to become a winning at pickleball without skills or drills.

Critique: "Winning Pickleball: Expert Strategies for Next Level Play" by David Satka is a 'must' for the growing legions of dedicated Pickleball players. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, this paperback edition of "Winning Pickleball" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Sports collections.

Editorial Note: David Satka is a USA Pickleball Ambassador for Central Pennsylvania and founded the first outdoor pickleball courts in Altoona. An athlete all his life, he played tennis at Division I Indiana State University. David began his instructing career at the World Class Tennis Camp in Baltimore and continued as an assistant tennis professional in Altoona, PA. He recently retired after 25 years of teaching history and as an adjunct criminal justice professor at Penn State Altoona where he was also a successful head basketball and assistant tennis coach.

Life on the Green
Ann Liguori
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578269785, $18.00, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Green-Lessons-Wisdom-Legends/dp/1578269784

Synopsis: Interviewed by award-winning sports journalist and broadcaster Ann Liguori, a select list of champions including Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player, Jan Stephenson, Tom Watson, Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer, Nancy Lopez, and more, talk about their personal journeys and wisdom they gleaned from their time playing the game of golf in the pages of "Life on the Green: Lessons and Wisdom from Legends of Golf".

"Life on the Green" goes in-depth with exclusive content for die-hard golf fans while providing amusing anecdotes and inspirational content for everyone, humanizing and helping us understand a little bit more about each star and their success story.

Each person's story highlights a different, central theme, allowing readers to have key takeaways and a clearer understanding of how the subject became so successful, and in turn, be inspired to utilize those life lessons towards their own lives and legacy.

Encompassing universal themes like patience, goal setting, staying positive, pursuing one's passions, treating people right, never giving up, practicing humility, and more, "Life on the Green" inspires, entertains and enriches in equal measure.

Critique: Showcasing 12 legendary players in golf who share with Ann Liguori and the reader the life lessons they learned from the game, "Life on the Green: Lessons and Wisdom from Legends of Golf" is a 'must' for the legions of golf fans and will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to community and college/university library Sports collections. An inherently interesting and informative read from start to finish, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all golf enthusiasts that "Life on the Green" from Hatherleigh Press is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Ann Liguori (https://annliguori.com) is a trailblazer and an icon in sports broadcasting. She is an 'original' host on WFAN-NY (the top sports radio station in the country), The Golf Channel and the Host, Executive Producer and Owner of the award-winning 'Sports Innerview' cable series. For the past three decades, Ann has covered golf from Major Championships (The Masters, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Open Championship) to various LPGA and PGA Tour events for WFAN. She also works with CBS Sports Radio Network as their Golf Correspondent and broadcasts from Major Golf Championships and the U.S. Open Tennis Championship. She serves on the board of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association and is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. She is a recent recipient of the Winnie Palmer Award.

The Fenway Effect
David Krell
University of Nebraska Press
www.nebraskapress.unl.edu
9781496232335, $34.95, HC, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fenway-Effect-Cultural-History-Boston/dp/149623233X

Synopsis: To be a part of Red Sox Nation is to be a hopeful romantic who neither betrays loyalty nor surrenders hope even in the direst of circumstances. From Bangor to Back Bay, New Englanders endure in baseball matters. And life. The team's history has intersected with the history of Boston and well beyond it, through the Curse of the Bambino, the military service of Ted Williams during World War II, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

With the publication of "The Fenway Effect: A Cultural History of the Boston Red Sox", David Krell chronicles these stories and others that have built the incredible saga of the Boston Red Sox.

How did Cheers depict the passion of Boston's sports fans? Why is Narragansett beer so important to New England? What's the architectural impact of The Teammates (the statue of Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, and Dom DiMaggio) outside Fenway Park? What did the Boston press really think about Red Sox owner Harry Frazee selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees? What was the origin of Fenway Park's predecessor -- Huntington Avenue Grounds?

Even Yankees fans will tip their caps to the rich impact of the Red Sox on music, movies, branding, broadcasting, and more. Plus, there's a chapter focusing on the oral history of Red Sox fans, some of whom share here anecdotes that are funny, insightful, and heartwarming.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for all dedicated Red Sox fans, "The Fenway Effect: A Cultural History of the Boston Red Sox" is a fascinating and fun read from start to finish. Enhanced for the reader's benefit with a section of B/W historical photographs, exceptionally well organized and presented, a veritable compendium of historical anecdotes and insights, "The Fenway Effect" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and college/university Sports History collections. It should be noted that this edition of "The Fenway Effect" from the University of Nebraska Press is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.79).

Editorial Note: David Krell (https://davidkrell.com) is an author, speaker, and former producer at MSNBC. He is the author of "1962: Baseball" and "America in the Time of JFK" (University of Nebraska Press 2021) and "Our Bums": The Brooklyn Dodgers in History, Memory, and Popular Culture.


The LGBTQ Studies Shelf

Queer Art
Amanda Low Warren
Frances Lincoln
Quarto Publishing Group USA
www.quartoknows.com
9780711282674, $35.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Queer-Art-Canvas-Spaces-Between/dp/0711282676

Synopsis: The twentieth century saw key shifts for the LGBTQI+ community across the western world ranging from the Stonewall uprising, to the first pride parades, and homosexuality law reforms -- including the right to same gender marriage. The years following these milestone moments have seen queer life face new challenges, celebrations, injustices and liberations.

As ever, this journey has been closely mapped by art and culture. Artists working across all mediums (from painting, performance, digital and beyond) have captured key moments, from the HIV/AIDS crisis and the rise of drag, to marriage equality and the fight for trans liberation.

The artists featured in "Queer Art: From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between" by Gemma Rolls-Bentley includes: Andrew Logan (sculptor and founder of the Alternative Miss World party); Leading artists David Hockney, Nicole Eisenmann and Zanele Muholi; Late Greats Greer Lankton, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Tom of Finland; Pioneers of Queer Cinema Derek Jarman and Sir Isaac Julien; Ground-Breaking Photographers Nan Goldin, Ajamu X, Wolfgang Tilmans and Catherine Opie; and Contemporary Art Stars Sin Wai Kin, Zackary Drucker and Clifford Prince King.

With nearly 200 artworks selected by leading LGBTQI+ curator Gemma Rolls-Bentley, "Queer Art" mixes the high-brow with the low, gallery stalwarts with Instagram stars, and the racy with the fabulous. This is a unique celebration of queer life and an important contribution for the LGBTQI+ community, art lovers, and anyone interested in the culture surrounding queer identity.

Critique: Unique, profusely illustrated, impressively informative, this large format (8 x 1 x 9.5 inches, 1.65 pounds) hardcover edition of Gemma Rolls-Bentley's "Queer Art: From Canvas to Club, and the Spaces Between" from Frances Lincoln is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library Art History and LGBTQ+ History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Queer Art" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Gemma Rolls-Bentley (www.gemmarollsbentley.com) has been at the forefront of contemporary art for almost two decades, working passionately to amplify the work of queer artists and provide a platform for art that explores LGBTQIA+ identity. She curates exhibitions, builds art collections and leads projects internationally. Most recently she curated the group 'Dreaming of Home' at Leslie Lohman Museum of Art in NYC and the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival in London. She curated 'Brighton Beacon Collection', the largest permanent display of queer art in the UK. Gemma is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and she has sat on the boards of numerous organisations and charities that support diversity in the arts.


The Music Shelf

Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo's Hidden History
Kristina R. Gaddy
W. W. Norton & Company
www.wwnorton.com
9780393866803, $30.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Well-Souls-Uncovering-Banjos-History/dp/0393866807

Synopsis: In an extraordinary story unfolding across two hundred years, with the publication of "Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo's Hidden History" author Kristina Gaddy uncovers the banjo's key role in Black spirituality, ritual, and rebellion.

Through meticulous research in diaries, letters, archives, and art, she traces the banjo's beginnings from the seventeenth century, when enslaved people of African descent created it from gourds or calabashes and wood. Gaddy shows how the enslaved carried this unique instrument as they were transported and sold by slaveowners throughout the Americas, to Suriname, the Caribbean, and the colonies that became U.S. states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, Maryland, and New York.

African Americans came together at rituals where the banjo played an essential part. White governments, rightfully afraid that the gatherings could instigate revolt, outlawed them without success. In the mid-nineteenth century, Blackface minstrels appropriated the instrument for their bands, spawning a craze.

Eventually the banjo became part of jazz, bluegrass, and country, with its deepest history forgotten.

Critique: A seminal and ground-breaking study, "Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo's Hidden History" by Kristina Gaddy is impressively detailed, organized and presented. An informative and fascinating read from start to finish, "Well of Souls" will have a very special appeal for readers with an interest in the history of the American banjo, folk and traditional music, as well as African American 19th & 20th Century music history. While a clear and recommended choice for community and college/university library American Music History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, banjo music enthusiasts, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Well of Souls" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781324074489, $18.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Kristina R. Gaddy (www.kristinagaddy.com) is also the author of "Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis". She has received the Parsons Fund Award, a Logan Nonfiction Program fellowship, and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Rubys Artist Grant. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and Atlas Obscura, among other publications.


The Library Science Shelf

Winning Grants, 3rd Edition
Stephanie K. Gerding
ALA Editions
www.alastore.ala.org
9708892555678, $59.99, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Grants-Third-Stephanie-Gerding/dp/B0CTX3K3B4

Synopsis: Now in a newly updated, expanded, and comprehensive third edition, "Winning Grants" by Stephanie K. Gerding (MLIS) continues to be an invaluable manual that is an essential resource for library directors, grant writers, board members, consultants, and anyone navigating the intricacies of library grant funding.

Whether you are starting from scratch and don't know where to begin, or you are an experienced grant writer looking to tap into new funding sources, you'll find this new third edition of "Winning Grants" to be an invaluable resource for library grants by a seasons expert with a keen knowledge of the current state of libraries' needs and funder priorities

This new third edition of "Winning Grants": Explains the grant process cycle and outlines a clear path to success; Shares inspiring grant success stories in action from diverse libraries; Presents a Grant Proposal Deconstruction template, new to this edition, that distills the often-complex grant proposal guidelines into a succinct outline that will help you ensure eligibility, track important details, and measure compliance.

It also: Offers guidance on gathering knowledge and conducting research, with updated resource lists and a comprehensive list of the various types of library funders; Covers every stage of planning, including how to cultivate community involvement, methods for needs assessment, advice on organizing the grant team, and exercises to help you write realistic goals and objectives; Provides insightful tips for proposal writing, such as where to find the best statistics and census data to support your statement of needs.

Additionally it: Features ready-to-use tools such as grant project and needs statement worksheets, budget templates, a decision matrix, and grant partnership documents; Advises how to announce a successful grant to the community, and other first steps of implementation, including the basic principles of project management; Provides guidance on what to do when you're turned down and how to conduct an effective evaluation that keeps the process moving forward.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation, Stephanie K. Gerding's "Winning Grants: 3rd Edition" from ALA Editions is an invaluable 'how to' manual for librarians with respect to augmenting a libraries financial resources for essential projects. Simply stated, "Winning Grants: 3rd Edition" is an essential, and unreservedly recommended acquisition for personal, professional, community, college, and university library General Library Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Stephanie K. Gerding, (www.stephaniegerding.com), is a frequently sought-out library grant expert with success as a grant writer, reviewer, funder, evaluation and needs assessment methodologist, and project manager. Her career includes grant roles with State Libraries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, library schools, university, corporate, and public libraries, and consulting with organizations including ALA, COSLA, PLA, ARSL, TechSoup, and CALL Academy. She has been awarded national grants and has been a program coordinator and evaluator for many grant-funded projects. Her books include Winning Grants and The Accidental Technology Trainer. She manages the Library Grants Blog and has authored over 40 articles on library grants and fundraising. Stephanie finds grant work exciting and challenging and loves helping others learn to succeed.


The Business Shelf

LLC QuickStart Guide
Matthew C. Lewis
Clydebank Media LLC
https://www.clydebankmedia.com
9781636101040, $29.99, HC, 180pp

https://www.amazon.com/LLC-QuickStart-Guide-Simplified-Understanding/dp/1636101046

Synopsis: A limited liability company (LLC) is a specific form business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. LLC formation is the number one way that business owners of all sizes can protect their personal assets! And protecting yourself and your business is more important and easier than ever.

With the publication of "LLC QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Forming a Limited Liability Company, Understanding LLC Taxes, and Protecting Personal Assets", Matthew C. Lewis teaches you exactly how to form a limited liability company regardless of what stage your business is in or where you live.

If you a new or current business owner who worries about the financial future of your business or your own financial future, if you someone who is starting a business but is anxious about the liability horror stories other entrepreneurs have faced, everything you need to know is included in "LLC QuickStart Guide".

Forming an LLC professionalizes your business and protects your personal assets. That's especially important as we currently live in an unprecedented time when starting a business has never been easier-and securing the future of your business has never been more critical.

LLC formation is a crucial step for entrepreneurs who want to limit personal liability, manage risk, and sleep soundly knowing that their assets are shielded from punishing litigation or relentless creditors.

Drawing from his experience as counsel for over 250 companies of all sizes, Matthew speaks clearly to the specific concerns entrepreneurs have about the LLC formation process, pitfalls to avoid, and what every owner needs to know to secure the future of their business. It doesn't matter if your company is just an idea in your head, has had its doors open for only a few days, or is thriving after a year of just getting by as a sole proprietorship -- you need to form an LLC.

And this edition of "LLC QuickStart Guide" will show you how!

Critique: the "LLC QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Forming a Limited Liability Company, Understanding LLC Taxes, and Protecting Personal Assets" is essential reading and an invaluable instructional 'how to' reference for: New entrepreneurs just getting started; Existing business owners who want to manage personal risk; Soon-to-be entrepreneurs building their dream business. While also available in a paperback edition (9781636101033, $22.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "LLC QuickStart Guide" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Small Business Bookeeping and Entrepreneurship collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Matthew C. Lewis, Esq. (https://matthewlewislaw.com) is a small business attorney who has helped over 250 companies of all sizes get started and protect their assets. A business owner and entrepreneur himself, Matthew has a deep understanding of the rewards of starting your own company as well as the pitfalls and challenges faced by new entrepreneurs. Matthew works closely with business owners as counsel and consultant, serving the Texarkana area and beyond.

Crash Course
Ricardo Jimenez
Forefront Books
https://www.forefrontbooks.com
9781637632963, $26.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crash-Course-Founders-Journey-Startup/dp/1637632967

Synopsis: Nine times out of ten, the passionate, well-educated, semi-cocky entrepreneur with dreams of taking the market by storm -- fails. Whether it's a quick crash and burn within the first year or a longer struggle over several years, the result is usually the same: an exhausted, confused, financially broke, and emotionally broken startup failure.

We love to hear stories of lean-and-mean startups that bootstrap their way to a hard-fought victory. But what about the other 90 percent? What about the startup founders who were chewed up and spit out by potential investors, dirty-dealing partners, and fickle customers? What about the ones who dared to give their dream wings -- only to watch it crash on the runway?

Don't we have as much or more to learn from them as we do the lucky few who actually make it?

With the publication of "Crash Course: A Founder's Journey to Saving Your Startup and Sanity", entrepreneur Ricardo Jimenez crawls out from under the wreckage of his own failed startup and forces himself to explore how his best-laid plans went so terribly wrong. With surgical precision, Jimenez explores every decision, meeting, step, and misstep that turned his once-promising international toy company into an expensive lesson in how not to succeed in the highly competitive global marketplace.

Putting pride aside, Jimenez puts his whole story on display (the good, the bad, and the terrible) with the hope that the next generation of startup entrepreneurs can learn from his mistakes and take a pain-free shortcut to the important lessons he had to learn the hard way.

Critique: A novel but very effective way to approach the problems associated with entrepreneurial success/failure, "Crash Course: A Founder's Journey to Saving Your Startup and Sanity" is an extraordinary useful and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Business Management/Entrepreneurship collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, entrepreneurs, business managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Crash Cource" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Ricardo Jimenez is a Spanish-born writer, entrepreneur, and active angel investor. Since 2014, he has performed direct investments in over thirty tech projects, including the Ethereum token launch. In most recent years, his investment scope broadened into other industries and geographies, such as investing in a gold mine in Paraguay, a logistics company in Pakistan, and a financial solution for Gen Z in the Middle East. He is also a founding supporter of Yo Elijo -- a not-for-profit that supports children and families in socio-economic stress in Colombia in choosing a different path in their lives.

Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture: A Casebook
Paul A. Gompers
Anthem Press
www.anthempress.com
9781839991486, $120.00, HC, 862pp

https://www.amazon.com/Financing-Entrepreneurial-Venture-Paul-Gompers/dp/1839991488

Synopsis: With the publication of "Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture: A Casebook" from Anthem Press, Professor Paul A. Gompers focuses on financial management within entrepreneurial firms.

Most of these are young firms, although some are more established. "Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture: A Casebook" examines these firms at all phases of their life cycle, from the initial idea generation to the ultimate harvesting of the venture. Professor Gompers covers firms in a diverse set of industries including high technology, low technology and services.

A significant fraction of the cases focus on non-U.S. ventures. Additionally, the issues of gender and diversity are addressed in a number of settings.

Critique: Notably comprehensive, impressively detailed, extraordinarily 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture: A Casebook" will have a particular and enduring relevance for readers with an interest in Business Entrepreneurship, Venture Capitalism, and Corporate Valuation. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $79.16), "Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture: A Casebook" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, corporate, and college/university library Entrepreneurship & Capitalism collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Paul Gompers is the Eugen Holman Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He specializes in research on financial issues related to start-up, high growth and newly public companies. Professor Gompers has an appointment in both the Finance and Entrepreneurial Management areas. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_A._Gompers)


The Martial Arts Shelf

Judo Unleashed!
Neil Ohlenkamp
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805317464, $19.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Judo-Unleashed-Ultimate-Training-Expanded/dp/4805317469

Synopsis: With the publication of "Judo Unleashed!: The Ultimate Training Bible for Judoka at Every Level" master instructor Neil Ohlenkamp has updated and expanded his best-selling Judo training manual for students at every level -- from novice to advanced.

Presenting all the information needed by Judo trainees in a single comprehensive handbook, "Judo Unleashed!" is an authoritative guide that covers all the techniques of Judo officially recognized by the Kodokan Judo Institute, the birthplace and international headquarters of Judo, as well as other information needed to improve and expand your knowledge of this exciting sport.

"Judo Unleashed!" covers: The history of Judo and how it aims to promote character development; What you need to know about your Sensei (instructor) and Dojo (training school); How to prepare for your first class, equipment to buy and dojo training etiquette; Basic terminology and the importance of understanding Judo's underlying philosophy; Principles of throwing (nage waza), grappling (katame waza) and striking (atemi waza); The most important tournament rules, including scoring and penalties in competition -- and so much more!

From philosophical basics to advanced competitive techniques, "Judo Unleashed!" is the true bible of the sport and the only manual you'll need as you advance through every level of your Judo training!

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with color photography, Neil Ohlenskamp's "Judo Unleashed!: The Ultimate Training Bible for Judoka at Every Level" is impressively comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation -- making it ideal for both DIY personal instruction/practice, as well as a martial arts class textbook. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Judo Unleashed!" from Tuttle Publishing is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, dojo, community, and college/university library Martial Arts collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Neil Ohlenkamp (https://judoinfo.com/neiljudo) has been a Judo instructor for over 50 years. He holds a 7th degree black belt and has earned the highest level of coach certification. He is the former head instructor at the Encino Judo Club in California and was head coach of the U.S. National Judo squad at the 1988 Paralympic Games and the 1989 World Championships for the Disabled. He holds black belt rank certificates from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, the United States Judo Association, the United States Judo Federation, and the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation.


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Set Sail with McHale
Denny Reese & Steven Thompson
BearManor Media
www.bearmanormedia.com
9708887714523, $42.00, HC, 366pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sail-McHale-hardback-Denny-Reese/dp/B0D2253TKW

Synopsis: Before the long-running television success of M*A*S*H, home audiences found delight and diversion in such military situation comedies as You'll Never Get Rich (The Phil Silver Show), Hogan's Heroes, Gomer Pyle USMC, and even the U.S. Cavalry-inspired F Troop.

One of the most fondly remembered among these early those military service themed television comedies is McHale's Navy.

For four season from 1962-1966, viewers were treated to the shenanigans of the misfit crew of PT-73 as they found various ways to enjoy and amuse themselves in the Pacific theater of WW2.

The ensemble cast was led by Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine, who as Lieutenant Commander Quentin McHale tried to maintain control but often participated in the exploits of his zany crew, much to the consternation of long-suffering Captain Wallace B. Bingham, played by the ever-flustered Joe Flynn. Along for the ride is the by-the-book but fumbling Ensign Charles Parker, played by comedy legend Tim Conway, and incomparable ensemble acting by a supporting cast of talented professionals.

With the publication of "Set Sail with McHale", co-authors Denny Reese and Steven Thompson have crafted an affectionate and entertaining look back at a television favorite, presenting an all-four season episode breakdown and providing additional insight and trivia through their exhaustive research. Among the treasures to be discovered within these pages is how tough guy movie actor Ernest Borgnine originally turned down the offer to appear in the pilot episode and what prompted him to eventually change his mind.

Critique: Informative, fun, and nostalgic, and illustrated with a number of B/W historical photos, "Set Sail with McHale" offers a wealth of historical detail that is impressively organized and presented. A 'must' for the legions of McHale's Navy fans, "Set Sail with McHale" is especially recommended for community and college/university library 20th Century Popular Culture Television History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Set Sail with McHale" is also available in a paperback edition (9708887714516, $32.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).


The Needlecraft Shelf

Knitted Farm Friends
Sarah Keen
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946715, $26.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Knitted-Farm-Friends-Adorable-Animals/dp/1784946710

Synopsis: With the publication of "Knitted Farm Friends: 20 Adorable Animals to Make", knitting designer Sarah Keen offers a simply adorable collection of knitted farm animals, each of which is bursting with character and complete with both clothes and accessories.

Keen's detailed techniques, abbreviations and knitting conversions will allow even the most novice beginner to create with confidence.

"Knitted Farm Friends" is comprised of: 20 easy-to-follow knitting patterns, suitable for all abilities; Comprehensive illustrated techniques section; Colorful gallery showcasing each animal.

The result of each project is a very special needlecraft creations suitable for a child, an animal lover, or an addition to your own personal collection. The knitting projects include: a hen, a rooster, a pheasant, a goose, a turkey, a bee, a cow -- and more!

Critique: Exceptionally needlecrafter friendly in organization and presentation, "Knitted Farm Friends: 20 Adorable Animals to Make" is a fun, unique, and especially recommended pick for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Sarah Keen (www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-keen) is a freelance pattern designer and finds calculating rows and stitches challenging but fascinating. She is experienced in designing knitted toys for children and also enjoys writing patterns for charity. She has written numerous bestselling books for GMC Publications, including Knitted Menagerie, Knitted Noah's Ark, Knitted Wild Animals, Knitted Farm Animals, Knitted Farmyard, Knitted Safari, Knitted Fairy Tales, Knitted Nursery Rhymes, Knitted Cars and Trucks, Knitted Space, Topsy-Turvy Knitted Dolls, 50 Knitted Dolls and 100 Little Knitted Projects.


The Art Shelf

Mini Plein Air Painting with Remington Robinson
Remington Robinson
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
www.quartoknows.com
9780760388075, $24.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mini-Plein-Painting-Remington-Robinson/dp/0760388075

Synopsis: Plein Air Painting is using a mint tin as both palette and easel to create small works of art.

Remington Robionsin is the talented artist behind the popular Instagram and TikTok accounts @remingtonrobinsonart and has gained a devoted following by showcasing his unique and portable painting setup. With the publication of "Mini Plein Air Painting with Remington Robinson: The art of miniature oil painting on the go in a portable tin", he reveals his secrets and teaches you how to set up your own miniature plein air studio using mint tins.

You will be amazed at how easily you can carry your art supplies, including a small canvas, brushes, and a mini bottle of mineral spirits, and be able to fit them all in your pocket or bag. Whether you're at home, on a plane, or exploring new destinations, you'll have everything you need to immerse yourself in the art of plein air painting.

"Mini Plein Air Painting with Remington Robinson" shows you as an aspiring artist how to: Set up your miniature workspace complete with mint-tin palette and easel; Select captivating scenes; Understand color and light; Effectively translate your observations onto canvas.

Through engaging instruction, you will develop the skills to create mini works of art that reflect the beauty of nature and evoke a sense of place. Remington Robinson's clear and concise teaching style, showcased in his popular process videos, makes this book accessible to artists of all levels. Whether you're new to painting or have years of experience, Remington's guidance will enhance your skills and help you unlock your creative potential.

Critique: Fun, informative, 'user friendly', and impressively inspiring, "Mini Plein Air Painting with Remington Robinson: The art of miniature oil painting on the go in a portable tin" is a unique and unreservedly recommended pick for personal, professional, community, art school, and college/university library Oil, Landscape, and Seascape painting instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Mini Plein Air Painting with Remington Robinson" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Remington Robinson (www.remingtonrobinson.com) began his art-making career in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, where he grew up. He has traveled the world documenting his journey with miniature plein air paintings in mint tins. Remington has a passion for outdoor painting and has spent many years honing his skills in this area, developing a deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of working in this medium. He has made a successful business by sharing and creating his mini masterpieces and selling them completely intact in each tin, paint swatches and all.


The Crafts Shelf

Origami Polyhedra for Beginners
Miyuki Kawamura
Tuttle Publishing
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805318102, $14.99, PB, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Origami-Polyhedra-Beginners-Geometric-Japanese/dp/4805318104

Synopsis: Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. In modern usage, the word "origami" is often used as an inclusive term for all folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin. The goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper. Origami folders often use the Japanese word kirigami to refer to designs which use cuts.

With the publication of "Origami Polyhedra for Beginners", Miyuki Kawamura (Japan's leading designer of polyhedral origami) puts a new spin on the ancient art of paper folding, opening the door to a world filled with beautiful geometric shapes. Miyuki Kawamura, a master of polyhedral origami, shows you how to create 55 different models using squares of brightly-colored paper.

Modular origami models are created using multiple sheets of paper that are folded and then locked together without the use of glue or tape. Clear step-by-step instructions for each model are provided. These amazing creations will captivate everyone who sees them!

The models showcased in "Origami Polyhedra for Beginners" surprisingly easy to make, and include: Building Blocks and Tiles which can be stacked and combined; Striking Pyramids, Cubes, Stars and Spheres; Dramatic polyhedral "Wireframes" and "Skeletons" with open latticework; Star-shaped Icosahedrons that look like they belong on a Christmas tree; Playful Windmills, Water Wheels -- and many other Polyhedral "Kits"!

The sense of accomplishment and delight you will experience from completing these models is well worth the time and effort!

Critique: Instructive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Origami Polyhedra for Beginners" will prove of immense interest to paper based art, as well as fans of math and puzzle games. "Origami Polyhedra for Beginners" is an ideal and fun introduction to the art of Origami and a highly recommended pick for both personal and community library paper folding crafts collections.

Editorial Note: Miyuki Kawamura started folding origami at the age of two. She folded animal models, which were her favorite subject. Miyuki received a masters degree in Physics in 1995 from Kobe University. Shortly thereafter, she began to create original polyhedral models. She is famous for some of her incredible origami pieces, such as the Cosmosphere--a massive wireframe kusudama model requiring nearly 2,000 pieces of paper to complete. She has published several books on the subject of polyhedral origami and is currently on the board of the Japanese Origami Academic Society (JOAS).


The Travel Shelf

Writer's Postcards
Dipika Mukherjee
Penguin Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9789815058772, $15.99, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Postcards-Dipika-Mukherjee/dp/9815058770

Synopsis: With the publication of "Writer's Postcards", traveler and person of the world Dipika Mukherjee takes her readers through various encounters from her highly mobile life as she provides commentary on: the lugubrious literature of Brazil; the linguistic diversity in China and Tibet; and meeting the Dalai Lama while traveling as a lone woman through New Delhi.

She also examines the political unrest in Myanmar after the brief international reach of Burmese books; weighs in on Chicago's literary landmarks and famous writers; reminisces on the languid feasting of Diwali celebrations at Port Dickson by the Malaysian Bengali community; and finds new notions of home, identity, and belonging in the Netherlands -- among many others.

Critique: Inherently fascinating, thoughtfully insightful, deftly crafted, thoughtful and thought-provoking presented with a distinctive and poetic elegance, "Writer's Postcards" from Penguin Books is a unique collection of informative essays that goes well beyond the merely personal and communal to an extraordinary examination issues that are of personal and international concern. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part commentary, "Writer's Postcards" is a compendium of intellectually elegant essays examining imagination, culture, and literature through the lens of geography and personal experience. Eloquent, articulate, perceptive, informative, and memorable, Dipika Mukherjee's "Writer's Postcards" from Penguin Books is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library Travel/Travelogue collections and reading lists.

Editorial Note: Dipika Mukherjee (https://dipikamukherjee.com) is an award-winning author of fiction and poetry and an instructor in the Writer's Studio of the University of Chicago's Graham School. Her book Shambala Junction won the UK Virginia Prize for Fiction and her book Ode to Broken Things was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her creative work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and appears in World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review, Del Sol Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review, and her essays appear in Newsweek, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hemispheres, Orion, Scroll, The Edge and more.

Best Mom Rockford
Erin Sturm
Reedy Press
www.reedypress.com
9781681065014, $22.50, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Mom-Rockford-Erin-Sturm/dp/1681065010

Synopsis: With the publication of Erin Sturm's "Best Mom Rockford" from Reedy Press, readers will discover all the best things to do in Rockford, Illinois -- with kids!

Rockford is a great place to raise a family, and for good reason. There are so many places to explore music, nature, science, and history together, and many free things to do. With "Best Mom Rockford" as your guidebook, you can confidently pack your day full of adventurous and educational outings for all ages.

Learn what it takes to succeed in careers from astronaut to agriculture at the Discovery Center Museum, before visiting the Rockford Art Museum and seeing the world-famous dinosaur, Jane, at Burpee Museum. Camp, fish, and boat at Rock Cut State Park. Step back in time to discover what life was like at the turn of the last century at Tinker Swiss Cottage. Rev up an interest in classic cars and monster trucks at Historic Auto Attractions. Practice painting pottery, relax on a river, and indulge in Italian food and culture with one of these Rockford adventures.

Rockford author Erin Sturm will introduce you to all the places that, once visited, will have your kids declaring that you are the best mom!

Critique: An ideal informational resource for planning memorable and fun family outings with in and around Rockford, Illinois, "Best Mom Rockford" is impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation -- making it unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library Regional Midwest Travel Guide collections.

Editorial Note: Erin Sturm is the creator and founder of Stateline Kids, a community guide for kids events, activities, and information in Winnebago, Boone, and Rock counties in Illinois. The site, statelinekids.com. launched in 2018 to help families make the most out of the resources and attractions in the Stateline area. Erin is also the owner of the Sturm Agency which offers consulting, speaking, and freelance writing services in the topics of hyperlocal marketing and social media marketing.

The Boston Handbook
John Powers, author
Peter Wallace, illustrator
The Globe Pequot Press
www.globepequot.com
9781493052271, $22.95, PB, 136pp

https://www.amazon.com/Boston-Handbook-Everything-Uniquely-Bostonian/dp/1493052276

Synopsis: In this unique city, it's less "Welcome to Boston" and more welcome Boston to you. From street names to driving customs to weather, nothing is as it is wherever you call home, and the locals are proud of it.

With the publication of "The Boston Handbook: An Irreverent Guide to the Hub of the Universe", Boston writer John Powers turned his experience of living in Boston for over fifty years into this fun yet practical guide which brings visitors into the real Boston.

Infused with cartoonist Peter Wallace's animated illustrations, "The Boston Handbook" gives the inside scoop on everything from transportation to cuisine to architecture. From front to back, there are tips on how to navigate the city (the West End doesn't exist), how to understand Bostonians (Harvard Yard is Hahvid Yahd, and no, you're the one with the accent), and how and why Boston has always been ahead of the rest of the USA.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for residents and visitors to Boston alike, "The Boston Handbook: An Irreverent Guide to the Hub of the Universe" is laced through and through with humor and insider information about the City of Brotherly Love. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.85), this edition of John Powers' "The Boston Handbook" from Globe Pequot Press is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library regional (Massachusetts) Travel Guide collections.

Editorial Note: John Powers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Powers_(journalist)) is a 42-year veteran of the Boston Globe and a class of 1968 Harvard graduate. He is a 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner for national reporting on the nuclear arms race, and an author or co-author eleven books.


The Self-Help Shelf

Blind Not Broken
Lucy Edwards
Hamlyn
c/o Octopus Publishing
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9780600637653, $24.99

Blind Not Broken: Your Guide to Turning Loss and Grief Into Happiness is highly recommended for any reader struggling with loss and grief. With so many books already on the market about the subject, readers might not think this book will add an extra dimension to the topic... but, it does.

Embedded in Lucy Edwards's experience of losing her eyesight when she was seventeen, the story charts the upward path to self-discovery, recovery, and overcoming trauma to find new opportunities in life. While this is a memoir of experience, it also illustrates the process of tapping into hidden strengths and perspectives to find a way upward, presenting examples and tools readers can apply to virtually any form of grief, whether it be the loss of another person or the loss of their own abilities. The result is a powerful story that draws with examples that are vivid, engrossing, and alluring.

Libraries will find Blind Not Broken easily attractive to a wide audience of general-interest readers and a strong recommendation for book clubs seeking thought-provoking memoirs that embrace growth experiences and personal transformation.

The Happiness Formula
Alphonsus Obayuwana, MD
Health Communications, Inc.
https://hcibooks.com
9780757325083, $10.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Formula-Scientific-Groundbreaking-Fulfillment/dp/0757325084

Synopsis: In 1979, Dr. Alphonsus Obayuwana was awarded a national research grant and Smith-Kline Medical Perspective Fellowship to develop an instrument for measuring human hope, with the purpose of detecting hopelessness early enough in troubled human individuals so assistance could be offered in time to prevent suicide. The Hope Index Scale (HIS) that resulted from this grant became very popular with Fortune 500 companies and other institutions both in the US and in other countries. This led to the foundation of decades of research that ultimately resulted in the publication of, "The Happiness Formula: Using Science to Understand Personal Satisfaction, Human Hope, and Subjective Well-Being" from Health Communications Inc.

Unlike other 'how to' books about happiness, which are too often filled with dos and don'ts, wishful thinking, and empty aphorisms, "The Happiness Formula" breaks new ground by introducing a universal unit of measure called the "Personal Happiness Index" or PHI. This makes it possible (for the first time ever) to calculate and assign numerical happiness scores to human individuals by plugging their unique hopes, hungers, assets, and aspirations into an equation.

"The Happiness Formula" offers so much more than just a mathematical equation for measuring happiness. It is a book about life; the relationship between human hope and happiness; how to find, measure and boost them; and, most interestingly, how to confirm the happiest country in the world and even help identify the happiest living human, or HLH. It challenges the World Happiness Report of 2023, debunks three major happiness myths, and then introduces the Triple-H Equation -- the simple but profound formula about what makes life worth living.

Critique: For happiness seekers and happiness advocates everywhere, "The Happiness Formula: A Scientific, Groundbreaking Approach to Happiness and Personal Fulfillment" by Dr. Alphonso Obayuwana is a DIY life changing, life enhancing, life appreciating study that is especially 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. Highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections and supplemental Emotional Mental Health curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "The Happiness Formula" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete an unabridged audio book (HighBridge Audio, 9708874760267, $39.99, CD.

Editorial Note: Alphonsus Obayuwana, MD, PhD, CPC, is a physician-scientist, a happiness coach, and the founder and CEO of Triple-H Project LLC-an entity that trains and certifies happiness coaches. He is a Literary Titan Gold Award-winning author who has published several peer-reviewed articles in the national medical journals about human hope and happiness, including The Hope Index Scale that became widely used at the Coca-Cola company, General Motors, Veterans Administration, and many academic institutions inside and outside the United States. He is also the author of The Five Sources of Human Hope and How to Live a Life of Hope. After thirty years of relentless research on human hope, he successfully derived the Triple-H Equation that is at the core of The Happiness Formula.

Lost and Found
Mark D'Souza, MD
Morgan James Publishing
www.morganjamespublishing.com
9781636983837, $18.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Found-Meaningless-Living-Destroying/dp/1636983839

Synopsis: With the publication of "Lost and Found: How Meaningless Living is Destroying Us and Three Keys to Fix It", Dr. Mark D'Souza ventures deep into the quandary of contemporary life and addresses the poignant disconnects of our modern era.

As workplaces remain trapped in a cacophony of disagreements, the world witnesses an opioid crisis showing no signs of remission.

Drawing upon his extensive experience in medical practice and rich insights from philosophy, psychology, and literature, Dr. D'Souza traces this descent into chaos, marking Nietzsche's assertion of the "death of God" as a pivotal moment in the annals of philosophical and societal thought. As the world grapples with the void left behind, emergent replacement religions (from climate alarmism to victimhood) attempt to fill the chasm, often adding to the turmoil.

However, "Lost and Found" is more than just another analysis of our past mistakes and present predicaments. It is also a guiding and inspiring light, illuminating a path forward. With compelling arguments for the embrace of free speech, a return to the grounding principles of traditional religions, and an appeal for personal responsibility, Dr. D'Souza provides actionable solutions for the individual and society at large. For those weary of today's cultural malaise and eager to mend our world, "Lost and Found" is an essential compass, guiding its readers toward a more cohesive and meaningful tomorrow.

Critique: Deftly organized into three primary sections (How We Got Here; Searching For Meaning; Finding A Way Forward), "Lost and Found: How Meaningless Living is Destroying Us and Three Keys to Fix It" by Dr. Mark D'Souza is informatively enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a twenty-six page Bibliography, a ten page Glossary, and five pages of End Notes. Insightfully thoughtful and thought-provoking, this paperback edition of "Lost and Found" from Morgan James Publishing is particularly appropriate for, and recommended to, personal, professional, community, and college/university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It is also highly recommended for supplemental Social Philosophy/Popular Culture curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Mark D'Souza, MD, is a Canadian physician based in Toronto with extensive experience in addiction and chronic pain management. His medical practice, coupled with a lifelong passion for the humanities, provides a unique perspective on societal issues. He has published serial opinion editorials in Canada and has had extensive local media exposure, including TV and radio appearances and advocacy roles in healthcare organizations. Dr. D'Souza is on the faculty at Queen's University's Department of Family Medicine.


The Holocaust Studies Shelf

The Lonka Project; The Power of Life
Jim Hollander & Rina Castelnuovo Hollander, editors
https://www.thelonkaproject.com
Gefen Publishing House
c/o Storch
www.gefenpublishing.com
9789657801529, $65.00, HC, 504pp

https://www.amazon.com/Project-Photographic-Tribute-Holocaust-Survivors/dp/9657801524

Synopsis: The Lonka Project is a photographic tribute to the last Holocaust survivors around the world.

Since 2019, three hundred and eleven professional photographers (many of whom are world leaders in their respective fields), volunteered their talent not only to capture the human subject artistically, but also to draw lessons and serve as memory keepers for tomorrow's generations who will never know a Holocaust survivor.

For the participating survivors who generously opened their homes and hearts to the photographers in 33 countries, The Lonka Project carries their global message for tolerance, humanity and compassion in a world not rid of antisemitism and ethnic hatred. The rhythms of life do not mitigate the horrors of the past, yet the survivors continue to stand as a symbol of optimism.

The commentaries and photographs comprising "The Lonka Project; The Power of Life. A Photographic Tribute to the Last Holocaust Survivors Around the World " celebrate the survivors' resilience and their power to live in a context that makes a unique and memorable statement about their lives. While the participating photographers believe it is their duty to shine a spotlight on the last living witnesses of the Holocaust because truth cannot be defeated.

Critique: "The Lonka Project; The Power of Life. A Photographic Tribute to the Last Holocaust Survivors Around the World" also supports the message and declaration of 'Never Again' in a world still frequented by genocides and ethnic based persecutions. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Jim Hollander and Rina Castelnuovo Hollander, this large format (11.75 x 9.25 x 1.57 inches, 5.6 pounds) hardcover edition of "The Lonka Project; The Power of Life. A Photographic Tribute to the Last Holocaust Survivors Around the World" from the Gefen Publishing House is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Holocaust History collections and supplemental Holocaust curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: The Lonka Project is online at https://www.thelonkaproject.com


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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