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Internet Bookwatch

Volume 33, Number 3 March 2023 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Military Shelf Philosophy Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Agriculture Shelf Business Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Biography Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Historical Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf
Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Coloring Book Shelf Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Fashion Shelf
Parenting Shelf Travel Shelf Computer Shelf
Journalism Shelf Art Shelf Sports Shelf
Gardening Shelf Humor Shelf Gaming Shelf
Photography Shelf Architecture Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Library Science Shelf
Folktale/Fairytale Shelf Music Shelf African-American Studies Shelf
Native American Studies Shelf Mythology Shelf Divorce Shelf
Economic Studies Shelf Self-Help Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

Disability Pride
Ben Mattlin
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210
www.beacon.org
9780807036457, $26.99 Hardcover/$14.99 Audio CD/$13.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Pride-Dispatches-Post-ADA-World/dp/0807036455

The Americans With Disabilities Act reshaped the face of access in America; but until now, its impact on generations pre- and post-ADA has received relatively little close inspection. This is why Disability Pride is such a notable landmark examination, and why any library strong in disability issues needs to include it in their collection.

Ben Mattlin, himself disabled, notes the social, economic, and political influences that define "success" as well as "disability" and "achievement." His exact attention to not just historical developments and social change, but the platitudes and cliches surrounding the perception of disability provides quick (and sometimes brutal) condemnation of the facets of society that would either condemn or overly praise the disabled community for attempting to live life at its fullest. He also considers the hard questions of privilege and the influence of gender, sex, and economic status in the disability mix.

His definition of 'disability pride' of necessity involves the kind of blunt inspection that will likely make readers uncomfortable as they examine their own perceptions of ability, disability, and what constitutes pride: "I inadvertently picked up on a kind of disability code that was common then: minimize the impact, hide it, sweep it aside as a mere personal detail - and get on with your life. This, I see now, was the opposite of disability pride."

Perhaps nowhere else does the impact of the ADA to cut across gender and class status to enable the community to not just enter mainstream America, but take fuller advantage of its possibilities, receive such attention as in Disability Pride. With its history, social inspection, contrast of experiences of different generations of disabled individuals, and the ADA's role in changing the hearts and minds of an entire nation,

Disability Pride provokes the kinds of discussions and insights that should appeal widely to reading groups and those debating generational differences in disability experiences. As Mattlin reviews profiles of a wide-ranging series of individuals, it becomes evident that there is no homogeneity among disabled people. The group's very diversity indicates that its needs, experiences, and perceptions differ widely. All this stirs into the melting pot of the disabled and abled community alike, with the ADA at the heart of new promise and potential for future generations.

Indeed, it's a beginning. Disability Pride should take center place in any discussion of past, present, and future inclusive actions and perceptions of the disabled community as a whole.

Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History
Judith Sumner
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476691312, $39.95, PB, 201pp

https://www.amazon.com/Plants-Civil-War-Botanical-History/dp/1476691312

Synopsis: Slavery was at the heart of the South's agrarian economy before and during the Civil War. Antebellum agriculture (both North and South) provided products essential to the war effort ranging from dietary rations, to antimalarial drugs, to raw materials for military uniforms, and engineering.

With the publication of "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" by botanist Judith Summers draws on a range of primary sources. This unique Civil War history examines the botany and ethnobotany of America's defining conflict. "Plants in the Civil War" also describes the diverse roles of cash crops, herbal medicine, subsistence agriculture and the diet and cookery of enslaved people.

Critique: Occasionally illustrated with black/white images, "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" is a unique and seminal contribution to the growing library of Civil War History & Literature. An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read, "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, Civil War buffs, botanists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.99).

Editorial Note: Judith Sumner (https://www.judithsumner.com) is a botanist and an author with particular interest in the historical uses of plants. She is a frequent lecturer for audiences of all kinds and has taught for many years at colleges and botanical gardens.

The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder
John Baxter, et al.
Disney Editions
c/o Disney Book Group
https://books.disney.com
9781368061940, $60.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Disney-100-Years-Wonder/dp/136806194X

Synopsis: On October 16, 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded what would become The Walt Disney Company. Walt's passion and vision continues to inspire creative development across the company. As a result, Disney characters (and their stories) have touched the lives of generations of fans. They encourage a belief that dreams really can come true.

Critique: The Walt Disney Company honors its 100th anniversary in 2023. As part of the festivities, "The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder" by the team of co-authors John Baxter and Bruce Steele, and the staff of the Walt Disney Archives beautifully and informatively showcases the company's history and rich legacy (past, present, and future) through vibrant voices and rare Disney concept art and photographs. As the official companion to the touring exhibition by Walt Disney Archives and SC Exhibitions, "The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder" is a simply gorgeous coffee table style (9.5 x 1.55 x 11.3 inches, 1 pound) volume that admirably serves as a treasure trove for pop culture enthusiasts, artists, art collectors, and Disney fans -- and is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Disney Theme Park and Travel Guide collections.

Editorial Note #1: John Baxter has written both fiction and nonfiction for a number of publishers, including HarperCollins, Berkley, and Hearst. He has been a featured comedy blogger for the Huffington Post, and is the author of four books for Disney Publishing Worldwide on a number of subjects. The first, Disney During World War II: How the Walt Disney Studio Contributed to Victory During the War (2014), came about as a result of the author's lifelong fascination with the studio. In addition to co-authoring the present volume, Baxter also authored The Disney Conservation Fund: Carrying Forward a Conservation Legacy (2016), ABC News: 75 Years in The Making, and has worked on the Disney Institute's forthcoming new edition of Be Our Guest: The Art of the Customer Experience.

Editorial Note #2: Bruce C. Steele is the editor in chief of Disney's magazine and supervisor of the digital Disney Newsreel and D23.com. He is also a journalist and Disney fan with a long career of profiling the famous and the unheralded, from the pastry chefs at the Biltmore Estate to the stars of Disney's Mary Poppins Returns.

Editorial Note #3: The Walt Disney Archives was established by Roy O. Disney, Walt Disney's brother and Chairman of Board, who determined that significant assets and documents relating to the history of The Walt Disney Company should be gathered and preserved, and that the recollections of key employees should be documented. Chief Archivist Emeritus Dave Smith was officially hired for this purpose on June 22, 1970, and since then, the Walt Disney Archives has curated millions of historic items, including books, art, awards, photographs, merchandise, props, costumes, and much more. The Archives team has assisted in research and review of hundreds of scholarly and documentary works in varied media and produced numerous exhibits for the presentation of The Walt Disney Company's respected and beloved history to the public.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing
Thomas A. Williams
Venture Press
c/o William & Company Book Publishers
https://www.entrepreneur.com
9781878853882, $18.95, PB, 262pp

https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Self-Publshing-Fact-How/dp/1878853880

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing", Tom Williams completely and authoritatively answers the questions posed almost daily by first-time and even more experienced self--publishers.

A compendium of fact and how-to information, The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" is arranged in encyclopedic format for easy use, the personal and anecdotal style of this book, growing out of the author's own 30-year experience, invites browsing into unfamiliar areas that many readers may not even know enough to ask about.

Of special note are the lengthy entries on secondary profit centers that can spell the difference between success and failure in home-based, entrepreneurial publishing. This discussion is unique to "The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing".

Of particular value are the entries on specialty book projects with fast turnaround and very high potential for substantial, quick profit and the discussion of the profitability of advertising-based periodicals well within the capabilities of self-publishers.

"The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" targets not only those readers who want to publish a single book but those who want to convert their publishing enterprise into a sustainable, income-producing, home-based business

Critique: Impressively comprehensive and exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" will go a long way in enhancing the chances for a financially successful self-publishing venture. -- Then there are all those priceless quotes regarding self-publication, such as: 'First you're an unknown. Then you write one book and you move up to obscurity.' -- Martin Myers. A combination of instructional reference and 'how-to' manual, "The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections -- and ideal as a DIY textbook on self- publishing.

Editorial Note: Thomas A. Williams is the author of a series of books in the writing/publishing field, including Get Paid to Write!, Poet Power: The Practical Poet's Guide to Publication, and How to Publish Your Own Magazine, Guidebook or Weekly Newspaper, now in its fifth edition and the standard in its field. He has owned and edited his own weekly newspaper, regional magazines, and guidebooks. He now directs his own publishing company, Williams & Company, Publishers. (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22280.Thomas_A_Williams)

How to Promote Your Book
Dr. Jan Yager
Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY 11040
www.squareonepublishers.com
9780757004742, $17.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Promote-Your-Book-Publicizing/dp/0757004741

Synopsis: Whether your book is being released through a commercial publisher or an academic press, or you are self-publishing it, as the author, you can, should, and must play a crucial role in getting your book seen, talked about, and sold.

While you may watch dozens of authors pitch their books on TV, in social media, and in bookstores, they represent only a fraction of the writers who come out with new books each year. What do they know that you don't? They know what to do to get attention for themselves and, more important, for their books -- and as you will discover with "How to Promote Your Book: A Practical Guide to Publicizing Your Own Title" by publishing veteran Jan Yager that you can, too.

"How to Promote Your Book" is divided into three sections.

Part One begins with a look at promotion basics. These include knowing what your book's marketplaces are, who your audience is, how the media is divided, the elements involved in publicity, and how to create an effective promotional timeline.

Once you understand the basics, Part Two focuses on the ways to package and market yourself to the various book and media outlets. It discusses putting together professional looking press releases and media kits. It also explains how to obtain endorsements and reviews, as well as how to generate speaking engagements and interviews with journalists; bloggers; and radio, TV, and podcast hopes.

Part Three provides a plan that covers the first three months of an author's publicity program -- from the day the book is formally released through all the media events that have been lined up. Throughout the book, you will find insets that answer important questions such as, "What are the real costs involved?" and "Should I promote myself or hire a publicists?" Just as important, the author includes a valuable resource guide that provides the names, addresses, and links to many of the key places covered in the book.

Critique: As a self-published author you have 100% of the responsibility for promoting your book. As a mid-list author you have 98% of the responsibility for promoting your book.

Jan Yager has enjoyed an impressive and successful career as both a best-selling author and as a publisher. She has been interviewed by many of the top shows on TV and radio. In the pages of "How to Promote Your Book: A Practical Guide to Publicizing Your Own Title", she provides informative examples what she has done (both for herself and for her authors) to create effective DIY publicity, promotion, and marketing campaigns.

This is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented 'how to' manual for marketing a book will enable even the most novice of authors to successful utilize speaking engagement, social media, book signings, radio/tv/cable, mailings, book fairs, podcasts, conferences/conventions, reviews, and more.

While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How to Promote Your Book: A Practical Guide to Publicizing Your Own Title" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Editorial Note: Jan Yager (https://www.drjanyager.com) is a sociologist, freelance writer, coach, speaker, artist, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She also teaches at Baruch College and William Paterson University. Her 50+ award-winning books, translated into 35 languages.


The Education Shelf

Losing the Precious Few
Richard A. Tapia
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
www.artepublicopress.com
9781558859425, $24.95, PB, 323pp

https://www.amazon.com/Losing-Precious-Few-Minorities-Engineering/dp/155885942X

Synopsis: With the publication of "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and Engineering", Professor Richard A. Tapia, an academician who has created minority STEM programs, examines issues that contribute to the lack of certain minority groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, particularly Latinos and African Americans, including racism, immigration practices, educational preparation, college admissions and affirmative action, insecurity, undergraduate competitiveness, faculty role models, graduate school aspects, faculty hiring and promotion, and the lack of leadership at the national level, and solutions to these issues.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two Appendices (MIT Resignation Letter; List of Students that Dr. Tapia Directed), twelve pages of Notes, a twenty-two page bibliography of Works Cited, and a ten page Index, "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and Engineering" is an expose that will be of immense interest to readers on the subject of STEM Education at the college/university level. Articulate, thought-provoking, timely, "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and Engineering" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college, and university library Contemporary Educational Issues collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted that "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and Engineering" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Richard A. Tapia (https://tapiacenter.rice.edu/who-professor-richard-atapia) is a mathematician and professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He is internationally known for his research in the computational and mathematical sciences and is a national leader in education and outreach. Tapia's current Rice positions are University Professor (only the sixth individual afforded this title in the 100-year history of Rice University), Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering, Director of the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, and Director of the Rice Graduate Education for Minorities and Empowering Leadership Alliance Programs.

Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History Since Reagan
Kimber M. Quinney, editor
Amy L. Sayward, editor
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299339500, $39.95, HC, 28pp

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Teaching-Contemporary-History-Goldberg/dp/0299339505

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Kimber M. Quinney and Amy L. Saward, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is specifically designed for classroom teachers looking for new perspectives on teaching the recent past -- which is the period of US history most often given the least attention in classroom curriculums.

Unlike a traditional textbook, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is comprised of a diversity of voices and approaches to teaching a field that, by its very nature, invites vigorous debate and puts generational differences in stark relief. Older history is likely to feel removed from the lived experiences of both teachers and students, allowing for a certain dispassion of perspective. By contrast, contemporary history creates unique challenges, as individual teachers and students may think they know "what really happened" by virtue of their personal experiences.

The contributors to "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" collectively addresses a wide swath of topics ranging from social movements around identity and representation to the Supreme Court, to law enforcement, migration, climate change, and international relations.

Emphasizing critical thinking and primary-source analysis, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" will aid teachers in creating an invigorating and democratizing classroom experience. Intended for use in both secondary and postsecondary classrooms, the structure of "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" allows for a variety of applications and invites a broad audience.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is comprised of fifteen erudite contributions deftly organized into two main sections: Within the Borders of the United States & Beyond the Borders of the United States. Informative enhanced with the additional inclusion of an informative introduction (Teaching Contemporary History since Reagan), a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a thirteen page Index, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is an ideal and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Kimber M. Quinney is an assistant professor of history at California State University, San Marcos. Specializing in the convergence of ethnicity, immigration, and domestic politics in the making of US foreign policy. she is also an advisor to aspiring history-social science teachers. (https://www.conviviosociety.org/team-convivio/kimber-m-quinney-phd)

Editorial Note #2: Amy L. Sayward (https://www.mtsu.edu/faculty/amy-l-sayward) is a professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University. She is also the author, coauthor, or editor of several books, including The United Nations in International History and Tennessee Histories.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Textbook of Zoonoses
Jasbir Sing Bedi, et al.
Wiley-Blackwell
www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell
9781119809517, $160.00, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Textbook-Zoonoses-Jasbir-Singh-Bedi/dp/1119809517

Synopsis: Zoonoses are the diseases which can spread from animals to humans. With the publication of "Textbook of Zoonoses", co-authors Jasbir Singh Bedi, Deepthi Vijay, and Pankaj Dhaka covers all important zoonoses that are prevalent in today's world.

As a modern learning resource, "Textbook of Zoonoses" incorporates recent scientific developments and concepts to give readers a complete overview of each zoonoses and includes: Bacterial, viral, parasitic, rickettsial, fungal, prion, and foodborne zoonoses; Aetiology and epidemiology of each zoonotic disease; Clinical symptoms and diagnosis in animals and humans; Treatment options, plus prevention and control strategies; CDC classification of zoonotic agents and the WHO's list of 'neglected zoonoses'.

Critique: Specifically written as a curriculum textbook for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying veterinary public health and epidemiology, "Textbook of Zoonoses" is also a helpful resource for other veterinary and medical professionals interested in public health and epidemiology. While a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, veterinary school, college, and university library Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, and Veterinary Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "Textbook of Zoonoses" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $128.00).

Editorial Note #1: Dr Jasbir Singh Bedi, Professor, Centre for One Health, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Punjab, India.

Editorial Note #2: Dr Deepthi Vijay, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Kerala, India.

Editorial Note #1: Dr Pankaj Dhaka, Assistant Professor, Centre for One Health, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Punjab, India.


The American History Shelf

Seward's Law
Peter Charles Hoffer
Cornell University Press
512 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
www.cornellpress.cornell.edu
9781501767333, $39.95, HC, 210pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sewards-Law-Country-Lawyering-Relational/dp/150176733X

Synopsis: With the publication of "Seward's Law: Country Lawyering, Relational Rights, and Slavery", Professor Peter Charles Hoffer argues that William H. Seward's legal practice in Auburn, New York, informed his theory of relational rights -- a theory that demonstrated how the country could end slavery and establish a practical form of justice.

This theory, Professor Hoffer demonstrates, had ties to Seward's career as a country lawyer. Despite his rise to prominence, and indeed preeminence, as a US secretary of state, Seward's country-lawyer mentality endured throughout his life, as evinced in his personal attitudes and professional conduct.

Relational rights, identified and termed here for the first time by Hoffer, are communal and reciprocal, what everyone owed to every other member of their community. Such rights are at the center of a jurisprudential outlook that arises directly from living in a village.

Though Seward was limited by the Victorian mores and the racialist presumptions of his day, the concept of relational rights that animated him was the natural antithesis to the theories and practices of slavery. In the legal regime underpinning the institution, masters owed nothing to their bondmen and women, while those enslaved unconditionally owed life and labor to their masters.

The irrepressible conflict was, for Seward, jurisprudential as well as moral and political. Hoffer's leading assumption in Seward's Law is that a lifetime spent as a lawyer influences how a person responds to everyday challenges. Seward remained a country lawyer at heart, and that fact defined the course of his political career.

Critique: "Seward's Law: Country Lawyering, Relational Rights, and Slavery" by Professor Peter Charles Hoffer is an impressive and meticulous biography and historical analysis of William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 - October 10, 1872) in terms of 19th Century American politics, including his impact on the issue of slavery expanding beyond the Southern states. An active and articulate opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, Seward was a prominent figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was effective in his work on behalf of the Union as Secretary of State during the Civil War. He is also noted for having negotiated the treaty for the United States to purchase the Alaskan Territory from Russia. While also readily available for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in 19th Century American History & Politics in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.49), "Seward's Law: Country Lawyering, Relational Rights, and Slavery" is an especially recommended addition to community and academic library 19th Century American History/Biography collections, as well as American Anti-Slavery History supplemental curriculum studies list.

Editorial Note: The author, coauthor, or editor of several works, Peter Charles Hoffer (https://history.uga.edu/directory/people/peter-charles-hoffer) is the Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Georgia.

The Missouri Home Guard
Petra DeWitt
University of Missouri Press
113 Heinkel Bldg., 201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826222664, $40.00, HC, 242pp

https://www.amazon.com/Missouri-Home-Guard-Protecting-during/dp/0826222668

Synopsis: Missouri was one of many states that established a defense organization to take over the duties of the National Guard that had been federalized for military service when the United States declared war on Germany in 1917. The tasks of this volunteer Home Guard included traditional National Guard responsibilities such as providing introductory military training for draftable men, protecting crucial infrastructure from potential enemy activities, and maintaining law and order during labor activism.

The Home Guard also functioned to preserve patriotism and reduce opposition to the war. Service in the Guard was a way to show loyalty to one's country, particularly for German Americans, who were frequently under suspicion as untrustworthy. Many German Americans in Missouri enthusiastically signed up to dispel any whispers of treason, while others found themselves torn between the motherland and their new homeland.

Men too old or exempt from the draft for other reasons found meaning in helping with the war effort through the Home Guard while also garnering respect from the community. For similar reasons, women attempted to join the organization as did African Americans, some of whom formed units of a "Negro Home Guard."

Informed by the dynamics of race, gender, and ethnicity, "The Missouri Home Guard: Protecting the Home Front during the Great War" by Professor Petra DeWitt focuses upon this understudied but important organization and knowledgeably examines the fluctuating definition of patriotism and the very real question of who did and who did not have the privilege of citizenship and acceptance in society.

Critique: A seminal study that is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of numerous illustrations, fifty pages of Notes, a twelve page Bibliography, and a twenty-two page Index, "The Missouri Home Guard: Protecting the Home Front during the Great War" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library 20th Century American History collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Missouri Home Guard" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $38.00).

Editorial Note: Petra DeWitt (https://missourioverthere.org/about/?historian=petra-dewitt) is Associate Professor of History and Political Science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. DeWitt specializes in migration and ethnic history and has published several articles and encyclopedia submissions on those subjects. She is also the author of Degrees of Allegiance: Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri's German-American Community during World War I, which won the State Historical Society of Missouri's Missouri Book Award in 2012.


The World History Shelf

A History and Guide to Scottish Castles
Jenna Maxwell
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781399016131, $36.95, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/History-Guide-Scottish-Castles/dp/139901613X

Synopsis: At one time, Scotland was home to more than 4,000 castles. It's an extraordinary number for such a small country and today, around 3,000 still stand. Some are world famous, others have inspired great works of literature, while others have lit up the silver screen. There are grand, ticketed visitor attractions but there are others which are unassuming structures so tucked away that only the locals seem to know about them.

From the triangular-shaped Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries and Galloway to the imposing New Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, and from the magnificent fortress that dominates the Edinburgh skyline to the haunting battlements that stand on the banks of Loch Ness, each tower tells a story, every turret holds a secret and, together, they span centuries of fascinating Scottish history.

With the publication of "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles", jounalist Jenna Maxwell explores the history, architecture, and legends of some of these fascinating fortresses and looks at why they are so appealing to visitors today.

Sharing amazing facts and her own unique experiences, Maxwell takes her readers on an unforgettable tour of some of Scotland's most amazing castles which she has documented on her journey on her Instagram page @queenofthecastles

Critique: Illustrated throughout with numerous black-and-white photos of Scottish castles, "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles" will have a special appeal and value for readers with an interest in Scotland's history, landmarks and monuments -- and of course, its castles. Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles" is a particularly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted that "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.00).

Editorial Note: Jenna Maxwell (https://muckrack.com/jenna-maxwell) is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist from Edinburgh. Over the years, she has written extensively about the country of her birth and a lifelong fascination with its castles, legends and ghost stories has led to this - her first book. She has written for publications including The Telegraph, Buzzfeed, Closer Magazine, The Sun, The Daily Record, Scotland Magazine, and Scottish Field.

Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC
Philip Matyszak
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781399097314, $34.95, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Invasion-Rome-Against-Cimbri-113-101/dp/1399097318

Synopsis: Partly as a result of poor commanders and partly because the Romans had an innate and misguided belief in the invincibility of their legions, the first battles against the Cimbri were a series of Roman military disasters. These culminated in the Battle of Arausio in 105 BC when two Roman armies were utterly destroyed.

Rome finally realized that their republic faced an existential threat, and made the necessary painful political and military changes that were needed to face that threat. Rome also found a commander who could take on the Cimbri. While Caius Marius was a deeply flawed man -- scheming, cautious to the point of cowardice, and quick to claim credit for the achievements of others. Nevertheless, he was also a massive improvement on the leaders who had preceded him.

The reshaped Roman army eventually worked out how to weather the savage onrush of the initial barbarian assault. Thereafter, the grim discipline of the legions was enough to wear down the opposition. It helped that Marius never fought unless the situation favored him, and as a result his army gradually became accustomed to victory.

Had the Cimbri overwhelmed Rome, as at one time it seemed inevitable that they would, then European history would have been very different.

Critique: A fascinating and informative study, "Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC" by Philip Matyszak is a critically accomplished and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Roman History collections in general, and Roman Military Studies supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the benefit of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Philip 'Maty' Matyszak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Matyszak) holds a doctorate in Ancient History from St John's College, Oxford University, and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for over twenty years. He specializes in the history of Classical Greece and of the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods of Rome. Maty has personal military experience both as a conscript in Rhodesia and with the Territorial Army in Britain. He currently splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Monashee Mountains and providing e-learning courses for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education.

The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight
Clive Hart
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399082044, $42.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-Mounted-Knight/dp/1399082043

Synopsis: The medieval mounted knight was a fearsome weapon of war, captivating and horrifying in equal measure, they are a continuing source of fascination. They have been both held up as a paragon of chivalry, whilst often being condemned as oppressive and violent.

Occupying a unique place in history, knights on their warhorses are an enigma hidden behind their metal armor, and seemingly unreachable on their steeds. "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" by Clive Hart seeks to understand the world of the medieval knight by studying their origins, their accomplishments and their eventual decline.

Forged in the death throes of the Roman Empire, the mounted knight found a place in a harsh and dangerous world where their skills and mentality carved them into history. From the First Crusade to the fields of Scotland, knights could be found, and in this historical study their human side is examined to see how these men came to both rule Europe, and ride into enduring legend.

The challenges facing the mounted knight were vast and deadly, from increasingly professional and competent infantry forces to gunpowder, the rise of political unity and the crunch of finance. The factors which forced the knight into the past help to define who and what they were, as well as the legacy that they have left indelibly imprinted on the world.

The standout feature of "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" is the focus on the equine half of the partnership, from an author who practices the arts of horsemanship on a daily basis, including combat with sword and lance. The psychology of the horse, refined by the experience of actually training warhorses, has helped the author to add to the body of academic work on the subject. This insight opens up the world of the mounted knight, and importantly and uniquely, challenges the perception of what he and his horse could really do.

Critique: Featuring an informative Introduction, twenty-four pages of Notes, a fourteen page Bibliography, and a four page Index, "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Medieval Warfare History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. With its unusual emphasis on the role of the horse in armored medieval combat, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

The Battles That Created England 793-1100
Arthur C. Wright
Frontline Books
c/o Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.frontline-books.com
9781399087988, $42.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Battles-That-Created-England-793-1100/dp/1399087983

Synopsis: In popular imagination the warfare of the Early Middle Ages is often obscure, unstructured, and unimaginative, lost between two military machines, the 'Romans' and the 'Normans', which saw England invaded and partitioned. In point of fact, we have a considerable amount of information at our fingertips and the picture that should emerge is one of English ability in the face of sometimes overwhelming pressures on society, and a resilience that eventually drew the older kingdoms together in new external responses which united the 'English' in a common sense of purpose.

With the publication of "The Battles That Created England 793-1100: How Alfred and his Successors Defeated the Vikings to Unite the Kingdoms", Arthur C. Wright presents the story of how the Saxon kingdoms, which had maintained their independence for generations, were compelled to unite their forces to resist the external threat of the Viking incursions. The kingdoms of East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Wessex were gradually welded into one as Wessex grew in strength to become the dominant Saxon kingdom.

From the weak AEthelred to the strong Alfred, rightly deserving the epithet 'Great', to the strong, but equally unfortunate, Harold, this era witnessed brutal hand-to-hand battles in congested melees, which are normally portrayed as unsophisticated but deadly brawls. In reality, the warriors of the era were experienced fighters often displaying sophisticated strategies and deploying complex tactics.

Our principal source, replete with reasonably reliable reportage, are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, comprehensive in collation though subject to oral distortion and mythological excursions. The narrative of these does not appear to flow continuously, leaving too much to imagination but, by creating a complementary matrix of landscapes, topography and communications it is possible to provide convincing scenery into which we can fit other archaeological and philological evidence to show how the English nation was formed in the bloody slaughter of battle.

Critique: A fascinating and informative study that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Medieval Studies collections in general, and British, Norwegian, and Danish History supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular, "The Battles That Created England 793-1100: How Alfred and his Successors Defeated the Vikings to Unite the Kingdoms" must be considered a core and invaluable acquisition. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Battles That Created England 793-1100: How Alfred and his Successors Defeated the Vikings to Unite the Kingdoms" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Editorial Note: Arthur Wright (https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Arthur-C-Wright/a/3487) was for thirty years a museum curator, ultimately responsible for four museums. A military historian by training, the scope of his professional responsibilities encouraged him to focus on social history. Two of the museum buildings being medieval, he was drawn into this period and then developed a forty-year obsession with the Domesday Book, finding that there was no mathematically demonstrable solution to its cryptic statistics in any published work. Wrestling with the logic and arithmetic he deduced it was possible to decode its contents, eventually publishing his research. He is also a 'living history' educator and craftsman with a wide range of manual and traditional skills.

Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There
Ian Knight, author
Lee Stevenson, author
Gary Bayhnam-Jones, author
Greenhill Books
c/o Pen & Sword Books
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.penandswordbooks.com
9781784388317, $34.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rorkes-Drift-Those-Were-There/dp/1784388319

Synopsis: On 22 January 1879, during the final hour of the Battle of iSandlwana (one of the greatest disasters ever to befall British troops during the Victorian era) a very different story was about to unfold a few miles away at the mission station of Rorke's Drift. When a Zulu force of more than 3,000 warriors turned their attention to the small outpost, defended by around 150 British and Imperial troops, the odds of the British surviving were staggeringly low. The British victory that ensued, therefore, would go down as one of the most heroic actions of all time, and has enraptured military history enthusiasts for decades.

Featuring a wide range of first-hand accounts and testimonies from those present during the Battle of Rorke's Drift, Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There is a remarkable work of Anglo-Zulu military history by those who know the topic best, Lee Stevenson and Ian Knight. This updated edition of the classic work of the same name includes even more first-person accounts from the combatants on both the British and Zulu sides.

Providing personal, microscopic accounts of events, while at the same time presenting a clear overview of the battle in its entirety, readers will gain an impressive, unique breadth of knowledge about one of the most awe-inspiring battles in British history.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a six page Bibliography, three pages of Notes, and a seven page Index, "Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There" by co-authors Ian Knight, Lee Stevenson, and Gary Bayhnam-Jones is a seminal contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library 19th Century British Military History collections in general, and the Southern African Anglo-Zulu War in particular. Ideal for supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Editorial Note #1: Ian Knight (https://ianknightzulugallery.com) is an authority on the Anglo-Zulu War. As well as lecturing and writing articles on the subject for journals and magazines, he has compile museum catalogues and acted as a consultant for television documentaries produced by the BBC and the History Channel. His many books include Brave Men's Blood: The Anatomy of the Zulu Army, The National Army Museum Book of the Zulu War and a biography of the Prince Imperial. He is also vice-president of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society.

Editorial Note #2: Lee Stevenson has a long-standing fascination with the Defence of Rorke's Drift thanks to his late father, Ray, who sparked his interest with a gift of a book about the Anglo-Zulu war when Lee was fourteen. Forty years later he is still researching the lives of the men who fought and has written numerous articles for magazines and regimental journals. In 2003, along with his friend and fellow Rorke's Drift enthusiast Alan Baynham-Jones, he published their joint collection of first-hand accounts and stories written by the defenders, Rorke's Drift - By Those Who Were There. This is an expanded and updated version of that book.


The Military Shelf

Sign Here for Sacrifice
Ian Gardner
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
www.ospreypublishing.com
9781472849427, $30.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sign-Here-Sacrifice-Battalion-Airborne/dp/1472849426

Synopsis: "Sign Here for Sacrifice: The Untold Story of the Third Battalion, 506th Airborne, Vietnam 1968" draws on interviews with veterans, many of whom have never gone on the record before. Author Ian Gardner follows up his epic trilogy about the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II with the story of the unit's reactivation at the height of the Vietnam War. This is the dramatic history of a band of brothers who served together in Vietnam and who against the odds lived up to the reputation of their World War II forefathers.

Brigadier General Salve Matheson's idea was to create an 800-strong battalion of airborne volunteers in the same legendary "Currahee" spirit that had defined the volunteers of 1942. The man he chose to lead them was John Geraci, who would mold this young brotherhood into a highly cohesive and motivated force.

In December 1967, the battalion was sent into the Central Highlands of Lam Dong Province. Geraci and his men began their Search and Destroy patrols, which coincided with the North Vietnamese build-up to the Tet Offensive and was a brutal introduction to the reality of a dirty, bloody war. Gardner reveals how it was here that the tenacious volunteers made their mark, just like their predecessors had done in Normandy, and the battalion was ultimately awarded a Valorous Unit Citation. "Sign Her for Sacrifice" shows how and why this unit was deserving of that award, recounting their daily sanguinary struggle in the face of a hostile environment and a determined enemy.

Through countless interviews and rare personal photographs, "Sign Here for Sacrifice" is a story of battlefield action, leadership, humor and bravery as displayed by these airborne warriors.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a two page Bibliography and an eight page Index, "Sign Here for Sacrifice: The Untold Story of the Third Battalion, 506th Airborne, Vietnam 1968" is a welcome contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library Vietnam War History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. Exceptionally informative, well written, organized and presented, "Sign Here for Sacrifice" is also available for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.49).

Editorial Note: Ian Gardner (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/507891.Ian_Gardner) served for five years in Support Company, 10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. After a visit to Normandy in 2000 he decided to focus on the 3rd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which led to the critically acclaimed trilogy Tonight We Die As Men, Deliver Us From Darkness and No Victory in Valhalla. He is also the author of Airborne: The Combat Biography of Ed Shames of Easy Company.


The Philosophy Shelf

Sam Harris: Critical Responses
Sandra Woien, Editor
Open Universe
315 - 5th St., Peru IL 61354
www.carusbooks.com
9781637700242, $24.95

https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Harris-Critical-Responses/dp/1637700245

Sam Harris: Critical Responses blends philosophy with political science in a survey that intersects both disciplines by examining thinker Sam Harris and his ideas. Nineteen critical essays consider a wide range of Harris's social and political ideals, from how his Moral Landscape treatise works to his neuroscientific training and how it lends a particular perspective to his views of AI technology, superintelligence, and other scientific evolutionary processes. The result requires a prior familiarity with Sam Harris and his works, but will prove enlightening to those with such a background, or students interested in philosophical debates about his works and perspectives.


The Cookbook Shelf

Plantbased
Alexander Gershberg
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922754134, $40.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Plantbased-nourishing-umami-rich-recipes-passionate/dp/1922754137

Synopsis: "Plantbased: 80 nourishing, umami-rich recipes from the kitchen of a passionate chef" by Alexander Gershberg a complete culinary guide to creating a rich vegan diet. Family cooks and vegan/vegetarians will discover how to cook delicious and simple meals, ferment at home, and get the most from your grains, legumes, and vegetables.

Alexander Gershberg "Plantbased" is a fascinating introduction to the versatility of plant-based cooking, enhanced by Japanese and Israeli techniques. His cookbook makes extensive use of vegetables like parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichoke, and others that are often overlooked, with recipes that don't require complicated methods or equipment.

The recipes comprising "Plantbased" are easy to follow and focus on ingredients that build a healthy diet and a delicious dish. The recipes are divided into eight chapters by ingredients: Whole grains; Legumes; Root vegetables; Sweet vegetables; Sea vegetables; Greens. With two chapters dedicated to: Preserving & fermenting; Fruit & desserts.

By focusing on simple and affordable products, Plantbased's recipes create beautiful food that's delicious and sustainable.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full page, full color photographs of finished dishes, "Plantbased: 80 nourishing, umami-rich recipes from the kitchen of a passionate chef" is a delight to browse and inspiring to plan menus from. This coffee-table style (7.9 x 1.21 x 11 inches, 3.3 pounds) volume is a welcome and recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Vegan/Vegetarian cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Alexander Gershberg (https://alexandergershberg.com) is a vegan chef, cooking teacher, and writer. He was raised in Israel and moved to Amsterdam in 2006. Over the past ten years, he has set up various creative and innovative culinary projects that have received international acclaim. His cooking style is rich, creative, dynamic, and full of flavor. "Plantbased" is his third cookbook.

The Slimming Foodie in Minutes
Pip Payne
https://www.theslimmingfoodie.com
Aster
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781783254989, $26.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Slimming-Foodie-Minutes-quick-cook-calories/dp/178325498X

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Slimming Foodie in Minutes: 100+ quick-cook recipes under 600 calories", culinary and dieting expert Pip Payne is back with speedy recipes that prove fast food doesn't have to be unhealthy.

One of the biggest barriers to healthy eating is time -- after a long day's work it can be tempting to cave into a high-calorie takeout. However, the Slimming Foodie's new cookbook showcases 100 new delicious recipes, all under 600 calories, that can be prepped or cooked in 30 minutes or less!

Critique: With mouth-watering, low calorie food this fast, "The Slimming Foodie in Minutes" will ensure cooking for the family can be accomplished by even the most time stressed family cook! Of special note is that each individual dish is accompanied by a full page, full color photograph making this culinary compendium of palate-pleasing, appetite satisfying, diet-friendly recipes is an ideal resource for menu planning. A pleasure to simply browse through, "The Slimming Foodie in Minutes" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Pip Payne (https://www.theslimmingfoodie.com) is behind 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. Creating great tasting meals that are cooked from scratch and cut down on fat and sugar while following science-led nutrition advice.

Natural Bakes
Caroline Griffths
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922754141, $27.50, HC, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Bakes-Everyday-gluten-free-sugar-free/dp/1922754145

Synopsis: Rather than relying on gluten or harmful sugars, "Natural Bakes" is a compendium of everyday gluten-free, sugar-free baking recipes that uses fruits and vegetables, as well as other natural ingredients including vanilla, nut-based flours, and spices, to create all manner of incredibly delicious - and guilt-free baked goods.

With "Natural Bakes" even the most novice of kitchen cooks can now whip up a tray of almond, mandarin, and orange blossom madeleines, finish a meal with a warming crumble, or wow the family with a chocolate layer cake with peanut butter frosting.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with full page, full color pictures of finished baked goods, "Natural Bakes" showcases more than seventy recipes, each of which is a palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, dessert inspiring masterpiece of the baker's art. A delight to simply browse through and plan menus with, "Natural Bakes" is a fine and recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Caroline Griffiths (https://www.sbs.com.au/food/person/caroline-griffiths) is an author, home economist, cook, food writer, and food stylist with a keen interest in nutrition. She is a passionate food expert with over twenty years of food industry experience, having worked in several of Australia's best-known test kitchens. She has authored four books and has contributed to many cookbooks, food magazines, and websites. Griffiths passion is to create flavorful, wholesome, creative, and achievable recipes.

SatisFRY: The Air Fryer Cookbook
Mona Dolgov
You Live Right Publishers
www.youliveright.com
9781736675618, $19.99 Paper/$8.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/satisFRY-Simply-Delicious-Satisfying-Recipes/dp/1736675613

SatisFRY: The Air Fryer Cookbook should be boxed along with one's new air fryer as a basic manual to both using the fryer and linking its cooking method to healthier eating practices. Specific meals, such as breakfasts or snacks, accompany dishes such as desserts. The latter may not immediately come to the mind of a new owner of an air fryer, but needs to be explored as part of the fryer's wide-ranging possible applications. The introduction begins with a discussion of which fryer accessories should be added to one's kitchen tools to expand the air fryer's potential. This moves into a discussion of spices, then a chapter of breakfast recipes. These form a foundation of knowledge for the different uses of the air fryer, from baking muffins to making "perfect" grilled sandwiches. Rather than attempting an all-encompassing cookbook, each dish is designed to profile the different types of cooking possible in the air fryer. Appealing, full-page color photos of finished dishes add visual emphasis to the ways in which the air fryer excels over many conventional approaches. Chapters move on to complete meals with the same attention to methods of cooking, nutritional content, and Mona's own tips for shopping for ingredients or adding value to the recipes. The result should ideally be presented to a new air fryer owner, along with the device. It's the easiest way of getting started quickly and pursuing all the different options the air fryer holds for producing a wide range of dishes.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa, third edition
Johan Marais
Penguin Random House South Africa
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781775847472, $30.00, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Snakes-Southern-Africa/dp/1775847470

Synopsis: Newly updated and revised, this third edition of "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" continues to be a fully comprehensive guide to more than 150 dangerous and common harmless snakes in the region.

Detailed species accounts, covering identification, behavior, reproduction and snake venom, are accompanied by full-color photographs, distribution maps, and information boxes highlighting diagnostic features. "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" also introduces the reader to snake biology and behaviour; gives guidelines for keeping snakes in captivity; and provides information on the prevention and treatment of snakebite. New information based on recent discoveries and research data has been included, and the taxonomy has been brought in line with recent changes in the classification of species and subspecies.

Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'user -friendly' reference and guide, "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" will prove to be an invaluable resource for herpetologists, snake collectors, students, campers, hikers and gardeners, or non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photographic illustrations of the various snakes profiled, "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and community library Wildlife collections and supplemental Herpetology curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Johan Marais, a leading reptile expert in Africa, is a conservationist, photographer and author of many books and scientific articles on the subject. He is also the CEO of the African Snakebite Institute (https://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/about) and advises hospitals and clinics throughout Africa on snakes and snakebite and provides a variety of snake awareness and handling courses.


The Agriculture Shelf

Diseases of Field Crops
Clayton A. Hollier, et al.
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
https://my.apsnet.org/APSStore
97808905-6697, $$229.00, HC, 405pp

https://my.apsnet.org/APSStore/Product-Detail.aspx?WebsiteKey=2661527A-8D44-496C-A730-8CFEB6239BE7&iProduc tCode=46697

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Clayton A. Hollier, G. Boyd Padgett, and Martin A. Draper, "Diseases of Field Crops" covers diseases of 22 major field crops in one comprehensive volume. "Diseases of Field Crops" describes disease symptoms in the context of environmental conditions that influence disease development. "Diseases of Field Crops" features more than 800 color images of disease symptoms and uses up-to-date pathogen nomenclature.

Critique: In addition to alphabetically covering field crop diseases ranging from Alfalfa to Wild Rice, "Diseases of Field Crops" is informatively enhanced with a beginning chapter on 'Integrated Plant Disease Mangement', a two page listing of the contributors and their credentials, a two page Glossary, and a twenty page Index. Expertly organized and presented, "Diseases of Field Crops" is an ideal textbook and field guide reference -- making it unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and academic library Agricultural Studies collections and curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Clayton A. Hollier (https://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/chollier) is Professor Emeritus: Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology Department, LSU Agriculture Center.

Editorial Note #2: G. Boyd Pagett is a Professor for the LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture. (https://www.lsu.edu/agriculture/plant/about/faculty-staff/padgett.php)

Editorial Note #3: Martin A. Draper is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate programs for the College of Agriculture at the Kansas State University. (https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/stories/2019/11/draper-permanent-assoc-dean-research.html)

The Washington Apple
Amanda L. Van Lanen
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806190662, $34.95, HC, 298pp

https://www.amazon.com/Washington-Apple-Development-Agriculture-Environment/dp/0806190663

Synopsis: In the nineteenth century, most American farms had a small orchard or at least a few fruit-bearing trees. People grew their own apple trees or purchased apples grown within a few hundred miles of their homes. Nowadays, in contrast, Americans buy mass-produced fruit in supermarkets, and roughly 70 percent of apples come from Washington State. So how did Washington become the leading producer of America's most popular fruit?

With the publication of "The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture", Professor Amanda L. Van Lanen offers a comprehensive response to this question by tracing the origins, evolution, and environmental consequences of the state's apple industry.

Washington's success in producing apples was not a happy accident of nature, according to Professor Van Lanen. Apples are not native to Washington, any more than potatoes are to Idaho or peaches to Georgia. In fact, Washington apple farmers were late to the game, lagging their eastern competitors. Professor Van Lanen deftly outlines the numerous challenges early Washington entrepreneurs faced in such areas as irrigation, transportation, and labor. Eventually, with crucial help from railroads, Washington farmers transformed themselves into "growers" by embracing new technologies and marketing strategies. By the 1920s, the state's growers managed not only to innovate the industry but to dominate it.

Industrial agriculture has its fair share of problems involving the environment, consumers, and growers themselves. In the quest to create the perfect apple, early growers did not question the long-term environmental effects of chemical sprays. Since the late twentieth century, consumers have increasingly questioned the environmental safety of industrial apple production. Today, as "The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture" reveals, the apple industry continues to evolve in response to shifting consumer demands and accelerating climate change. Yet, through it all, the Washington apple maintains its iconic status as Washington's most valuable agricultural crop.

Critique: A fascinating and informative history of one of the state of Washington's primary crops, "The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a twelve page Bibliography, thirty-six pages of Notes, and a seven page Index. A seminal study and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library American Agricultural 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 "The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).

Editorial Note: Amanda L. Van Lanen (https://www.oupress.com/author/amanda-l-van-lanen) is Associate Professor of History at Lewis-Clark State College. She has published articles in Agricultural History and Journal of the West.


The Business Shelf

The Power of Remote
Cynthia Watson, author
Shane Spraggs, author
Forbes Books
https://books.forbes.com
9781955884440, $24.99, HC, 316pp

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Remote-High-Performing-Organizations-Workplace/dp/1955884447

Synopsis: Arising from the Covid-19 pandemic's impact upon the business community resulting in an increased demand for hybrid and fully remote work styles, most firms understand that some form of distance work is here to stay -- and they have put some remote protocols in place.

But are they the right ones? Do they reflect best practices when it comes to the hiring, training, and onboarding of new remote hires? Are policies and workflows in place that enable remote workers to be as productive as possible? Does management know how to keep remote teams engaged while keeping an eye out for burnout and other wellness issues?

Often, the answer is "we're not quite there yet." Many companies either see the shift to remote work as a threat to their culture and management style, or they just don't know how to make the transition.

With the publication of "The Power of Remote: Building High-Performing Organizations That Thrive in the Virtual Workplace", co-authors Cynthia Watson and Shane Spraggs show just how to take advantage of the many opportunities remote work presents.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Power of Remote: Building High-Performing Organizations That Thrive in the Virtual Workplace" is expertly divided into five major sections: Remote Steps into the Spotlight; Building a Remote Team; Optimal Remote Performance; Effective Virtual Leadership; Tackling Remote Business Projects. A critically important informational and instructional resource, "The Power of Remote" is available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and should be considered an essential, core addition to professional, community, corporate, and academic library Business Organizational Management and Telecommunications collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Cynthia Watson (https://virtira.com/team/cynthia-watson) understood remote work long before it was hip. She wrote her 1993 master's thesis on telecommuting, then went on to build a career around the concept - running and advising a variety of companies while traveling the world. Today, as Executive Chair at Virtira, she continues to research remote best practices and develop training to make sure that everyone, whether working a few days from home or full time across the world, is thriving and productive.

Editorial Note #2: Shane Spraggs (https://virtira.com/meet-shane-spraggs-ceo-of-virtira) is Virtira's CEO and an industry leader in implementing project-based solutions that ensure sustainable success. He has brought his insights to a variety of Fortune500 firms and top media and software startups. Shane leads a team of consultants who implement remote productivity services, reporting and workflows so companies can drive performance and revenue.

The Great Digital Transformation
Gerard Szatvanyi
Forbes Books
https://books.forbes.com
9781955884457, $24.99, HC, 195pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Digital-Transformation-Reimagining-Interactions/dp/1955884455

Synopsis: Creating a website and digitizing processes may have seemed cutting edge at one time; but technologies have continued to advance, and retailers simply must keep up if they are to succeed in today's volatile marketplace.

Gerard Szatvanyi, an entrepreneur and founder of OSF Digital, a leading Salesforce partner, knows firsthand what it takes to remain on top (and not become obsolete) in today's connected retail world. Global brands and companies of all sizes have turned to him, time and again, to help them through their own digital transformation journeys. Thanks to the expertise of Szatvanyi and his team, these retailers have been able to avoid the red. Better yet, they have built systems that support customer interactions and enable an integrated, experience-driven path forward.

What does it take to digitally transform? Szatvanyi is aware of the obstacles, and he doesn't shy away from tough topics in the retail space, including the challenges surrounding stores and misunderstandings about remote work. Rather, with the publication of "The Great Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Customer Interactions" and in an approachable conversational style, he extends his hand and invites readers to sit back with him and dream.

After all, with the technologies available today, the possibilities are nearly endless. Szatvanyi points out that the starting line is not a budget review or the development of a to-do list. Rather, it's a thinking exercise; a conversation, if you will, about what could be.

In his pragmatic way, Szatvanyi turns the complicated topic of digital transformation into easy-to-digest segments. What other strategy allows you to play video games for a few hours and try on headsets? Yet that's exactly what Szatvanyi advises. Doing so can help readers understand the potential of these technologies. After engaging in up-and-coming channels, it's often easier to imagine ways to use them to interact with customers. With personal examples and case studies sprinkled throughout, readers shift from thinking about new ways to live and work to seeing them in action.

"The Great Digital Transformation" covers: What digital transformation is; How to be customer-centric; Ways to create mobile experiences; The purpose of on-the-ground stores; How to engage in video; Guidelines to give employees meaningful tasks; Ways to reimagine remote work; What to know about headless commerce; How to target a niche market; Why building a community matters; How to capture data the right way; Best practices for setting up teams and systems.

Szatvanyi also shares practical guidelines to weigh the costs and benefits of new implementations. "The Great Digital Transformation" maintains a focus on revenue generation and improved profit margins. In every chapter, Szatvanyi lists questions to help readers re-think their current practices and re-imagine their business. These takeaways make it easy for organizations, regardless of their available resources or budgets, to take steps forward. Readers will be inspired to start their own digital transformation journeys and lead their brands toward a bright, profitable future.

Critique: Given the dramatic impact that the digital world has had on everything from politics to commerce, from consumer behavior to supply chain dynamics, "The Great Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Customer Interactions" must be considered as an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, and academic library Business Online Marketing and E-Commerce collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and business marketing directors that "The Great Digital Transformation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Gerard Szatvanyi (https://gerardszatvanyi.com) is the founder, president, and CEO of OSF Digital, a leading global commerce solutions company which specializes in digital transformation. OSF Digital is a certified and award-winning Salesforce partner and has successfully led global retailers through their digital journeys. As an entrepreneur and executive, Szatvanyi has more than twenty years of experience in managing start-ups and medium-sized IT businesses and leading them to reach top performance. Clients from around the world have sought his expertise in enterprise applications, IT services, and consultancy. With his long list of international connections, Szatvanyi is pioneering the way into a new form of global entrepreneurship. In addition to his role at OSF Digital, he holds management and board positions for other tech-enabled businesses.

Behavioral Economics for Leaders
Matthias Sutter
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119982975, $29.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Behavioral-Economics-Leaders-Research-Based-Irrational/dp/1119982979

Synopsis: Every leader should know the surprising research and strange conclusions of behavioral economics -- for fairness, teamwork and productivity. But you and your colleagues don't always make rational decisions. Sometimes that's a problem that leaders must address, and and sometimes that can be a good thing -- when employees put their colleagues interests ahead of their own.

With the publication of "Behavioral Economics for Leaders: Research-Based Insights on the Weird, Irrational, and Wonderful Ways Humans Navigate the Workplace", Dr. Matthias Sutter (a leading economist from Germany's world-renowned Max Planck Institute) explains the latest surprising insights based on behavioral economics research. The book explains how people tick, how they react to incentives (monetary or non-monetary in nature) and what that means for working together (or against each other) at work.

Dr. Sutter summarizes new and classic behavorial science research that applies the everyday business world, so leaders can improve teams and organizations, the research-based way. Find out which factors are important for professional success, from career entry to senior management.

He covers: Starting your career on the right footing, advance quicker, and strategize how to meet your goals; Understanding what's holding your colleagues back from productivity and implement evidence-based changes; Identifying hidden biases in yourself and others to overcome inequalities and inefficiencies; Becoming a better leader and decision-maker by learning to interpret people's actions

Individuals, organizations, and teams will benefit from the often-counterintuitive wisdom in this eloquent study. Based on the author's 20 years of research (plus the findings of the world's top behavioral economists) "Behavioral Economics for Leaders" can help you get your team and your organization where you want to lead it.

Critique: Truly exceptional in organization and presentation, "Behavioral Economics for Leaders: Research-Based Insights on the Weird, Irrational, and Wonderful Ways Humans Navigate the Workplace" is an extraordinary, invaluable, and essential addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, college, and university library Business Leadership/Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Behaviroal Economics for Leaders" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.00) as well.

Editorial Note: Matthias Sutter (https://www.coll.mpg.de/matthias-sutter) is a behavioral economist. He has been the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn since 2017. He is also Professor of Experimental Economic Research at the Universities of Cologne and Innsbruck.

Managing Employee Burnout
Shauna Moran
Kogan Page Inc.
8 W 38th Street, Ste 902, New York, NY 10018
www.koganpage.com
9781398608092, $126.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Managing-Employee-Burnout-Develop-Workforce/dp/1398608092

Synopsis: With the publication of "Managing Employee Burnout: How to Develop A Happy, Healthy and Engaged Workforce", Shauna Moran covers everything from what burnout is, what causes it and what different forms it can take. She also explores the role of the organization in employee burnout and includes specific guidance on how to manage burnout in remote and hybrid working environments and why dispersed teams may be more susceptible to burnout.

Full of actionable advice and real world examples, "Managing Employee Burnout" also demonstrates what strategies to put in place to safeguard staff retention and productivity from burnout as well as how to promote awareness and emotional intelligence in the business. Furthermore, "Managing Employee Burnout" explains why effective company culture, communication, leadership and an inclusive talent strategy are key to building a healthy, engaged and sustainable workforce. There is also coverage of how to improve employees' mental health and discussion of the importance of taking a break and how to establish healthy boundaries.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Managing Employee Burnout: How to Develop A Happy, Healthy and Engaged Workforce" should be considered essential reading for all HR professionals, as well as anyone who is responsible for talent management and ensuring employee health, happiness and productivity. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, academic, corporate, and academic library Business Management collections and curriculum studies lists, it should be noted be noted by MBA students, academia, corporate executives, union leaders, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Managing Employee Burnout" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781398608078, $39.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.99).

Editorial Note: Shauna Moran (https://www.shaunamoran.com) is the Founder of Operate Remote, an award-winning executive coaching agency that empowers leaders to address staff burnout and build more emotionally healthy, engaged and sustainable teams and organizations. Prior to this, she headed up Partnerships in various SaaS companies. Based in Vancouver, Canada she has a background in psychology and is an accredited Executive and Leadership Coach as well as an Emotional Intelligence Practitioner.

Experiential Intelligence
Soren Kaplan
Matt Holt Books
c/o BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637742020, $26.00, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Experiential-Intelligence-Experience-Personal-Breakthroughs/dp/1637742029

Synopsis: With the publication of "Experiential Intelligence: Harness the Power of Experience for Personal and Business Breakthroughs", Soren Kaplan reveals how our past experiences impact our present success and future opportunities in ways we often don't recognize. While you can't change what's happened to you or how you've responded to it, within your unique stories are hidden strengths waiting to be discovered. Do just that by uncovering your Experiential Intelligence -- the mindsets and abilities gained from your personal and professional life experiences.

Just as memorizing facts doesn't give you a high IQ, your Experiential Intelligence (XQ) isn't merely what you've learned over time. It's how you perceive challenges, view opportunities, and tackle goals. XQ is your unique internal fingerprint. Leverage it to: Become a better leader; Increase collaboration, innovation, and results; Hire and develop talent using more strategic criteria; Transform your organization's culture.

"Experiential Intelligence" reveals the psychological, sociological, and neurological forces that make us tick. You can learn how to uncover your hidden assets, remove invisible barriers limiting peak performance, and amplify strengths to achieve breakthroughs for yourself, your team, and your organization.

Critique: Of special value to readers with an interest in entrepreneurship, corporate leadership, and employee/supervisor motivation, "Experiential Intelligence: Harness the Power of Experience for Personal and Business Breakthroughs" is deftly organized into three main sections: Understand XQ, Develop XQ, Apply XQ. Informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of four pages of Notes and an eight page Index, "Experiential Intelligence" is a seminal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, and academic library Business & Financial Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Experiential Intelligence" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Soren Kaplan (www.sorenkaplan.com) is an author, a Columnist for Inc. Magazine, the founder of Praxie.com, and an affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC's Marshall School of Business. He has advised and led leadership development programs for thousands of executives globally, including Disney, Visa, PayPal, PepsiCo, Cisco, Wells Fargo, eBay, Medtronic, AARP, and many others. Business Insider and the Thinkers50 have recognized him as one of the world's top management thought leaders and consultants.

Talent Intelligence
Toby Culshaw
Kogan Page Inc.
8 W 38th Street, Ste 902, New York, NY 10018
www.koganpage.com
9781398607255, $126.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Talent-Intelligence-Business-Organizational-Performance/dp/1398607258

Synopsis: Improved access to people and business data has created huge opportunities for the HR function. However, simply having access to this data is not enough. HR professionals need to know how to analyse the data, know what questions to ask of it and where and how the insights from the data can add the most value.

With the publication of "Talent Intelligence: Use Business and People Data to Drive Organizational Performance", author Toby Culshaw provides a practical guide that explains everything HR professionals need to know to achieve this. It outlines what Talent Intelligence (TI) is why it's important, how to use it to improve business results and includes guidance on how HR professionals can build the business case for it.

"Talent Intelligence" also explains how and why talent intelligence is different from workforce planning, sourcing research and standard predictive HR analytics and shows how to assess where in the organization talent intelligence can have the biggest impact and how to demonstrate the results to all stakeholders. Most importantly, "Talent Intelligence" covers KPIs and metrics for success, short-term and long-term TI goals, an outline of what success looks like and the skills needed for effective Talent Intelligence. It should be noted that "Talent Intelligence" also features case studies from organizations including Philips, Barclays and Kimberly-Clark.

Critique: A high priority read for anyone involved in their company's Human Relations activities and responsibilities, "Talent Intelligence: Use Business and People Data to Drive Organizational Performance" is an extraordinary and seminal study that is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, and academic library Personnel Management and Business Decision-Making/Problem Solving collections. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Talent Intelligence" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398607231, $41.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.59).

Editorial Note: Toby Culshaw (https://www.koganpage.com/author/toby-culshaw) is the Talent Intelligence Leader, Worldwide Operations and Consumer, at Amazon, leading a global team in talent intelligence. He was Global Head of Talent Intelligence and Executive Recruitment Research at Royal Philips, the Dutch health technology group. He was named by Recruiter Magazine as one of the 11 Most Influential In-house Recruiters in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and is an international speaker on sourcing, executive research and talent intelligence. Based in Brighton, UK he is also the founder of the Talent Intelligence Collective, a Talent Intelligence Mentor at Udder and a co-host of the Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast.


The Money/Finance Shelf

Retirement Reboot
Mark Miller
Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
www.agatepublishing.com
9781572843196, $19.95, PB, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Retirement-Reboot-Commonsense-Financial-Strategies/dp/1572843195

Synopsis: Even before the pandemic, a large share of households by Americans over age 50 faced the threat that their living standards would decline sharply in retirement. In the wake of COVID-19, these numbers will surely worsen. With the publication of "Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track", finance writer and regular New York Times retirement contributor Mark Miller offers practical strategies for the millions of older Americans to improve their retirement prospects after the calamitous years of the COVID-19 shutdown of the American economy..

If you're nearing retirement age and worry you haven't saved enough, "Retirement Reboot" will walk you through the core decisions to make now to improve your retirement outcomes -- even if retirement is just a few years away. You will learn how to make a plan, think through the timing of retirement, optimize Social Security, navigate Medicare, build savings, and tap home equity. You'll also explore ongoing strategies, such as careful budgeting, generating income from work even after retirement, planning for long-term care, and leveraging special assistance aimed at low-income workers.

Of special note is that if you have low savings, or none at all, Miller's simple steps outlined in "Retirement Reboot" can help you make the most of your remaining working years and restart the retirement you were always toward or had finally embarked upon.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, and impressively organized and presented for the non-specialist general reader, "Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track" is an ideal combination of instructional guide and 'how-to' manual that is particularly and specifically commended to the attention of readers who are either approaching or already dealing with financing their retirement. While available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, senior citizen, college, and university library Money Management and Financial Planning collections.

Editorial Note: Mark Miller (www.RetirementRevised.com) is a journalist, author, and podcaster with a national reputation as a top expert on retirement and aging -- and at age 68, he is asking many of the same questions facing millions of other older Americans. Mark has more than 15 years of experience covering the field. He contributes regularly to the New York Times "Retiring" column, which appears in the Sunday edition, where his articles are among the best-read personal finance stories in the paper. He also writes monthly national columns on retirement for Reuters, Morningstar, and Wealth Management magazine. Mark publishes a newsletter and has a pod-cast that features interviews with authoritative experts in the field of retirement.

The Body of Money
Gayle Colman
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
www.wiley.com
9781394166558, $29.95, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Money-Self-Help-Sustainable-Intelligence/dp/1394166559

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Body of Money: A Self-Help Guide to Create Sustainable Wealth through Innate Intelligence", financial expert Gayle Colman presents a comprehensive guide to building and sustaining wealth by using the incredible intelligence of the human body.

The story you've been told about money is all wrong. Spreadsheets, PNL's, money markets, and index funds only touch the surface. "The Body of Money" provides a completely unique and effective approach to personal finance like nothing you've experienced before.

By demystifying money psychology and behavior economics Certified Financial Planner and Master Integral Coach Gayle Colman shows you exactly how to use your innate wisdom to heal old money patterns, tend to wounds created by generational financial trauma and create sustainable wealth that is aligned with your deepest values. Integrating cutting-edge research, laugh-out-loud storytelling and body-centered practices, Gayle puts the power of individual wealth-building squarely back in your own hands.

"The Body of Money" explains: How body practices can have a transformative effect on your money habits; Where your personal money manager lives in your body and how to access its true wisdom; Why investing in a way that matches your personal values can actually be better for your health; How to use your body to gain true financial agency, reduce debt, invest in real estate and make the most important money decisions of your life.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, and offering an indispensable 'real world' practical and effective approach to personal finance, "The Body of Money: A Self-Help Guide to Creating Sustainable Wealth through Innate Intelligence" is perfect for anyone seeking relief from money struggles, as well as individuals and families who want to create a robust and healthy money legacy for their lives. While especially recommended as an addition to personal reading lists and community/academic library Financial Planning and Budgeting Management collections, it should be noted that "The Body of Money" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.00).

Editorial Note: Gayle Colman (https://www.gaylecolman.com) is a Certified Financial Planner and Master Integral Coach(TM) with 40 years of experience in the world of money as an advisor to individuals, families and entrepreneurs. She is also a co-founder of Colman Knight Advisory Group, LLC, providing Integral Wealth Services in a nourishing environment committed to generous listening, high integrity, and expert care.

Building Wealth on a Dime
Kimberly Hamilton
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119900009, $27.95, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Building-Wealth-Dime-Finding-Financial/dp/111990000X

Synopsis: With the publication of "Building Wealth on a Dime: Finding Your Financial Freedom", financial educator Kimberly Hamilton delivers an engaging guide for building wealth through small but powerful changes to your money -- especially if you're starting small.

As a former student debt warrior turned homeowner, Kimberly knows this experience first-hand. Through the financial lives of everyday moneymakers like Claire in New York, Tanya in Chicago, and Eric in Portland, Kimberly teaches you how to take control of your finances, eliminate debt, and invest for your financial future.

Written in a tone that sounds more like a friend than financial advice, you will gain the tools you need (both psychological and financial) to change your mindset and achieve your own financial freedom.

"Building Wealth on a Dime" covers: Efficient techniques for eliminating debt; How to calculate and implement a guilt-free weekly spending cap; A complete breakdown on investing for beginners, including the different types of accounts, investments, and methods you need to be strategic; Completely legal (but rarely talked about) tax loopholes that can save you thousands; What you need to consider when buying your first home or real estate investment.

Critique: An impressive and comprehensive compendium of solid, 'real world', and practical information, insight, advise and strategies, "Building Wealth on a Dime: Finding your Financial Freedom" is an extraordinary 'how-to' handbook that is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Money Management and Financial Planning collections. It should be noted for anyone seeking to improve their relationship with money and accelerate their journey to financial freedom that "Building Wealth on a Dime" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.00).

Editorial Note: Kimberly Hamilton (https://www.beworthfinance.com) is the Founder of Beworth Finance where she helps women and millennials make smart money moves. As a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Kimberly's advice has been featured in major publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, and Health magazine, among others. She can be followed on social media @BeworthFinance


The Biography Shelf

The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora
Chris Glenn
Frontline Books
c/o Casemate Publishers
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.frontline-books.com
9781399096584, $36.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Castle-Master-Warlord-Takatora/dp/1399096583

Synopsis: When the Japanese samurai warlord and respected castle architect Todo Takatora died in 1630, the funeral attendants responsible for preparing his body were shocked to note that there was not a single part of his body not scarred or disfigured by sword, spear, glaive or matchlock gun wound.

Todo Takatora lived a life that unfolds like a drama. Born to a small landholding samurai family, the maverick youth worked his way to the top, becoming one of the most successful of daimyo warlords. He had served on the front lines of some of the most violent of battles, turning points that forged the nation. In a land and time in which loyalty was held dear, he changed his allegiances a record seven times, serving a record ten lords, more than any other samurai in history. Because of this, he has long been held in contempt by the Japanese.

Standing 6 feet tall in a time when the average Japanese man stood between 5 and 5 1/2 feet, Todo Takatora was a giant among men. He died aged 74, when the normal life span was around 50. He was also the finest, most innovative of castle architects, responsible for the design and construction of over 30 of the strongest, most innovative Japanese castles and structures, and influencing samurai castle construction across Japan.

In explaining his life, his reasons for having served so many lords, his achievements in battle and in castle design, his political and personal ideals and how these attributes were shaped during the course of his adventurous life, "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" by Chris Glenn will reveal the man, and show why Takatora deserves the epithet of National Hero.

In this fascinating biography (the first ever published in the English language), "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" deftly explores Todo Takatora's remarkable, and influential, life, the battles he fought in, the political intrigues he was part of, as well as detailing the magnificent castles he built.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a number of Plates, an eight page Glossary, a two page Select Bibliography, and a nine page Index, "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" is a meticulously researched and superb study that is especially relevant and recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Japanese History/Biography collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Editorial Note: Chris Glenn first visited Japan as a Rotary Exchange Student in 1985, spending a year in Sapporo, returning to Japan in 1992. A researcher of samurai history and culture, he is a member of the Japan Armor and Weapons Research and Preservation Society, and the Japan Castle Research Society. He was apprenticed to a traditional samurai armour craftsman from 1994, and is a collector of samurai arms and armour. Chris holds Shodan rank in Kendo, and studied Owari Yagyu Shinkage and Enmei Ryu kobudo, traditional combat techniques. A resident of Nagoya, Japan since 1993, he serves as the Sekigahara Tourism Ambassador, the Nagoya Tourism, Cultural and Exchange Special Ambassador, and the Omi Tourism Ambassador. He has had numerous books on Japanese castles and battles published in both Japanese and English. Called upon by various local and national government agencies as an advisor and committee member, he remains active in researching and promoting Japanese history and culture. (https://austjpnsoc.asn.au/chris-glenn-an-australian-legend-in-japan)

Call Me Anne
Anne Heche
Viva Editions
http://vivaeditions.com
9781627783316, $15.95, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Call-Me-Anne-Heche/dp/1627783318

Synopsis: "Call Me Anne" is the sequel to Heche's first book, "Call Me Crazy". It is a memoir consisting of personal anecdotes of her rise to fame: how Harrison Ford became her on-set mentor, her relationship with Ellen Degeneres, her encounter with Harvey Weinstein, her history of childhood sexual abuse, her relationship with God, her journey to love herself, and more. Part memoir and part self-acceptance workbook, Anne's personal stories are interwoven with poems, prompts, and exercises that got Anne through tough times. Readers are encouraged to try them as they navigate their own journey to self-love, acceptance, forgiveness, and faith.

Critique: Intimate, articulate, informative, interesting, once again Anne Heche has written an intensely personal memoir that is a simply fascinating and ultimately inspiring, and a 'must read' selection for the legions of Anne Heche fans. While a highly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Contemporary American Memoir collections, it should be noted that "Call Me Anne" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Anne Heche (1969-2022) was an Emmy-award winning actress, director, and screenwriter based in LA. She was also author of Call Me Crazy. Following a dual role in the daytime soap opera Another World (1987-91), Heche rose to mainstream prominence in the late 1990s with films Donnie Brasco (1997), Volcano (1997), Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), and Return to Paradise (1998). In 1998, Heche portrayed Marion Crane in Gus Van Sant's horror remake of Psycho. Heche received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the Lifetime movie Gracie's Choice and a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in Broadway's Twentieth Century. She was also a contestant on the reality show, Dancing with the Stars in 2020. Her wikipedia page is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Heche


The General Fiction Shelf

The Editor
Thomas A. Williams
Venture Press
c/o William & Company Book Publishers
https://www.entrepreneur.com
9781878853554 $16.95, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Editor-Brewster-Gazette-Metaphysical-Newspaper/dp/1878853554

Synopsis: "The Editor: How the Brewster Gazette Became the World's First Metaphysical Newspaper" by novelist Tom Williams is the story of one John Hawkwood, a man who meets a midlife crisis head-on when he resigns his professorship to buy a struggling weekly newspaper in the college town of Brewster, North Carolina.

When John grows weary of writing editorials lamenting the shenanigans of the City Council or the scoundrels in Washington, he makes a drastic change. Henceforth, he will editorialize not about the mundane but about the transcendent: the nature of time, the hard problem of consciousness, and leaps of faith.

That's how The Brewster Gazette became the Brewster MacroCosmos, the world's first metaphysical newspaper. "The Editor" not only tells the story of Hawkwood's adventures doing these things, but how in the process he would discover his own identity.

Critique: Echoing the old theme of 'write what you know', Thomas A. "Tom" Williams is himself an author and publisher -- giving his novel "The Editor: How the Brewster Gazette Became the World's First Metaphysical Newspaper" a particular and entertaining reality. Of special note are the little quotes that open each chapter -- 'Nothing is more active than thought, for it travels over the universe.' - Thales of Miletus. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95), "The Editor" will prove a unique and welcome addition to community and academic library literary fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Thomas A. Williams is the author of a series of books in the writing/publishing field, including Get Paid to Write!, Poet Power: The Practical Poet's Guide to Publication, and How to Publish Your Own Magazine, Guidebook or Weekly Newspaper, now in its fifth edition and the standard in its field. He has owned and edited his own weekly newspaper, regional magazines, and guidebooks. He now directs his own publishing company, Williams & Company, Publishers. (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22280.Thomas_A_Williams)

The Marriage Box
Corie Adjmi
https://corieadjmi.com
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647420796, $17.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Box-Novel-Corie-Adjmi/dp/1647420792

Synopsis: Casey Cohen, a Middle Eastern Jew, is a sixteen-year-old in New Orleans in the 1970s when she starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. Then she gets in trouble and her parents turn her whole world upside down by deciding to return to their roots, the Orthodox Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn.

In this new and foreign world, families gather weekly for Shabbat dinner; parties are extravagant events at the Museum of Natural History; and the Marriage Box is a real place -- it's a pool deck designated for teenage girls to put themselves on display for potential husbands.

Casey is at first shocked by this unfamiliar culture, but after she meets Michael, she's enticed by it. Looking for love and a place to belong, she marries him at eighteen, believing she can adjust to Syrian ways. But she begins to question her decision when she discovers that Michael doesn't want her to go to college; he wants her to have a baby instead.

Can Casey integrate these two opposing worlds, or will she have to leave one behind in order to find her way?

Critique: With a very special appeal to readers with an interest in a Jewish themed coming-of-age story, "The Marriage Box" by Corie Adjmi is an exceptionally well written and entertaining read from beginning to end, While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49), "The Marriage Box" is an quite special and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Women/Family Life Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Corie Adjmi (https://corieadjmi.com) is the author of the short story collection "Life and Other Shortcomings", which won an International Book Award, an IBPA Benjamin Franklin award, and an American Fiction Award. Her essays and short stories have appeared in dozens of journals and magazines, including HuffPost, North American Review, Indiana Review, Medium, Motherwell, Kveller, and others. "The Marriage Box" is Corie's first novel.

Mr. Breakfast
Jonathan Carroll
Melville House
46 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
https://www.mhpbooks.com
9781612199924, $28.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Breakfast-Jonathan-Carroll/dp/1612199925

Synopsis: Graham Patterson's life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and he literally has no idea what to do next. With nothing to lose, he buys a new car and hits the road, planning to drive across country and hopefully figure out his next moves before reaching California.

But along the way Patterson does something his old self would never have even considered: he gets tattooed by a brilliant tattoo artist in North Carolina. The decision sets off a series of extraordinary events that changes his life forever in ways he never could have imagined. Among other things, Patterson is gifted with the ability to see in real time three different lives that are available to him. The choice is his: The life he is leading right now, or two very different ones. In all of them there is love or fame and of course danger because once he has chosen, there is no telling what will happen next.

Critique: With the publication of "Mr. Breakfast", author Jonathan Carroll has created a dazzling, absorbing, and deeply moving novel about the choices that we have to confront and face. With a very special appeal to readers with an interest in the themes of paranormal fantasy and magical realism, "Mr. Breakfast" is a fun and absorbing read from first page to last. While unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mr. Breakfast" is also available in a paperback edition (9781685890889, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Jonathan Carroll (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Carroll) is the author of seventeen novels, including the critically acclaimed The Ghost in Love, The Land of Laughs, and Outside the Dog Museum, for which he has won a British Fantasy award. Jonathan has also written two story collections, with his stories winning a Pushcart Prize, two French Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a World Fantasy Award. His work has been published in over thirty languages, and he has over 110,000 followers on Facebook.


The Historical Fiction Shelf

Somebody's Business
Irene Bennett Brown
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
www.cengageptr.com
9781432895433, $25.95, HC, 217pp

https://www.amazon.com/Somebodys-Business-Nickel-Hill-3/dp/1432895435

Synopsis: Jocelyn Pladson buys the livery stable in Skiddy to aid the widow of the previous owner. Citified newcomers with shady pasts and newly invented motorcars, Maretta Rudd and J. L. Cochran intend to replace the livery with a motorcar business. Fools, who ignore too soon the need for horses and mules in transportation and farm work.

Maretta preaches the livery is smelly, antiquated. J.L. aims for a seat on town council to bolster their plan. While Jocelyn persuades others to not vote for him, he arranges a 4th of July celebration to win votes. A mad dog running through the frightened crowd ends the festivities early.

When a horse race J.L. bet a fortune on is canceled. Rom, the teenage boy Jocelyn took in and raised, offers a race between his mule and J.L.'s Oldsmobile. The winner?

J.L., furious, hires hoodlums to demolish Jocelyn's livery, expecting blame to land on them alone. No dice. Prison for J.L. looms, and Maretta leaves town. Jocelyn plans to keep the Skiddy property, the land, for a promising future.

Critique: A fun read from cover to cover, "Somebody's Business" showcases author Irene Bennett Brown's impressive and narrative driven storytelling skills. Original, entertaining, this Five Star Publishing edition of "Somebody's Business" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted by librarians that "Somebody's Business" is also available in a large print paperback edition (Wheeler Publishing Large Print, 9781432895440, $$26.99).

Editorial Note: Irene Bennett Brown Brown (http://www.irenebennettbrown.net) is a longtime member of Western Writers of America and is a founding member of Women Writing the West.

Marvelous
Molly Greeley
https://www.mollygreeley.com
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780063244092, $32.00, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Marvelous-Novel-Molly-Greeley/dp/0063244098

Synopsis: 1547: Pedro Gonzales, a young boy living on the island of Tenerife, understands that he is different from the other children in his village. He is mercilessly ridiculed for the hair covering his body from head to toe.

When he is kidnapped off the beach near his home, he finds himself delivered by a slave broker into the dangerous and glamorous world of France's royal court. There "Monsieur Sauvage," as he is known, learns French, literature, and sword fighting, becoming an attendant to the French King Henri II and a particular favorite of his queen, the formidable Catherine de' Medici. Queen Catherine considers herself a collector of unusual people and is fascinated by Pedro -- and determined to find him a bride.

Catherine Raffelin is a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl whose merchant father has fallen on hard times and offers up his daughter to Queen Catherine. The queen will pay his debts, and his daughter will marry Monsieur Sauvage.

Catherine meets Pedro for the first time on their wedding day. Barely recovered from the shock of her father's betrayal, she soon finds herself christened "Madame Sauvage" by the royal courtiers, and must learn to navigate this strange new world, and the unusual man who is now her husband.

Critique: A magnificent work of carefully crafted historical fiction, "Marvelous" by Molly Greely is based upon a real character in 16th Century France whose name was Petrus Gonsalvus (c. 1537, Tenerife - c. 1618), famous during his lifetime because of his medical condition -- hypertrichosis. His life at various courts in Italy and France has been well chronicled. "Marvelous" is a compelling portrait of an unusual marriage and the story of a remarkable, resilient family. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Historical/Biographical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Marvelous" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212206808, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Molly Greeley (https://www.mollygreeley.com) is also the author of "The Clergyman's Wife" (2019) and "The Heiress" (2021).

Within These Walls of Sorrow
Amanda Barratt
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825447013, $17.99, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Within-These-Walls-Sorrow-Poland/dp/0825447011

Synopsis: Set in World War II Poland, "Within These Walls Of Sorrow is the story of Zosia Lewandowska, a woman who knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany's invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz

Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression.

Hania Silverman's carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto's population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania's natural resiliency is exhausted by reality.

Zodia and Hania's lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice -- one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart.

Critique: A compelling and deftly written work of extraordinary literary fiction from first page to last, novelist Amanda Barratt's meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in "Within These Walls Of Sorrow", a moving story about a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times now known to us at the Holocaust. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Within These Walls Of Sorrow" is a significant and unreservedly recommended addition to community library World War II era historical fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Amanda Barratt (www.amandabarratt.net) is the Christy Award-winning author of several novels and novellas, including My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader's Choice Award finalist.

Memoirs of Spurius
D. Laszlo Conhaim
www.dlaszloconhaim.com
Broken Arrow Press
9780984317547, $TBA

At first glance, contemporary readers - particularly those who are not intrinsically attracted to the genre of historical fiction - might not realize the gem they hold in their hands with Memoirs of Spurius. The story features a figure who lived in second-century BCE Rome, and whose actions crushed the cult of Bacchus. It will take an open mind to new possibilities in historical writing and one able to spot connections between the ancient and modern world to uncover the delights embedded in Memoirs of Spurius. The novel draws many parallels between the past and present, from cultism and terrorism to the actions of a leader whose choices not only influence but transform his world.

D. Laszlo Conhaim's efforts in recreating and depicting the times are particularly notable, given the dearth of information about these events. Close attention to the historical record and archaeological evidence helped fill in many gaps. Our narrator, Spurius Postumius Albinus, thus comes to life as a believable character whose actions as Romeís consul are understandable within the context of his circumstances and which surprisingly foreshadow the politics of today.

One way Conhaim makes his story so vivid and relevant, even for readers with little to no prior familiarity with ancient Rome, is in the use of the First Person to bring Spurius to life as he recounts and ponders his duties in bringing order to a threatened society:

"Still rivaled by neighbors on the Italian peninsula, the state was weaker then, but by the age of my consulship we had subdued every major enemy at home and also abroad. Thus, when we suddenly discovered the state threatened by an internal foe, some of my colleagues in the Senate suggested that the gods were punishing us for having neglected public morals at home in favor of building the empire. Now, if the godsí method of exposing our slippage was indeed to threaten Rome with a false and pestilent religion, then they had consequently made me the champion of her moral revival."

The political and social struggles that unfold, and the moral and ethical questions that arise, offer countless discussion topics for book clubs.

For example:

"As the cult gained in popularity and influence throughout Italy so did the amount of chattel offered to the god for the maintenance and enjoyment of his rites. Thus the wealth of the sect burgeoned to a size comparable with the treasury of a small state. Through free will or coercion, people began signing away whole estates and bequeathing legacies to or through the cult, in effect giving Italy away to the Bacchanalians..."

Indeed, so many thought-provoking talking points arise from this novel that it would be impossible for one review to detail them all. Nor would it be wise to expose all the elements of surprise and insight embedded in this powerful exploration.

Suffice it to say that Memoirs of Spurius shatters any notion that a work about ancient Rome will be one weighed down by plodding facts. Under Conhaim's hand, Memoirs of Spurius is lively, timely, and holds so many possibilities for debate that it earns top recommendation for libraries and readers alike.


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Charles Portis: Collected Works
Jay Jennings, editor
The Library of America
www.loa.org
9781598537468, $45.00, HC, 1216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Portis-Collected-Atlantis-Writings/dp/1598537466

Synopsis: The late Charles Portis (December 28, 1933 - February 17, 2020) is the author of five novels, a handful of short stories, a play, and several essays, along with journalism written early in his career. His debut novel, Norwood, was published in 1966 and was made into a movie in 1970. His second and best-known novel, True Grit, has been twice adapted for the screen, most recently by the Coen brothers in 2010; in 2013 it was named a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Library Selection.

An example of the quality of his fiction -- Twice adapted as a film, first in a version starring John Wayne and then by the Coen Brothers, his novel "True Grit" is a wonder of literary perfection, told in the unforgettable voice of 14-year-old Mattie Ross as she sets out to avenge her murdered father in a quest that brings her out of her native Arkansas and into the wilds of the Choctaw Nation of the 1870s.

Critique: Under the deft editorship of Jay Jennings, "Charles Portis: Collected Works: Norwood / True Grit / The Dog of the South / Masters of Atlantis / Gringos / Stories & Other Writings" is a magnificent compendium of his fiction, as well as a gathering of his nonfiction that collectively reveal his impressive skills as a reporter, including his coverage of the Civil Rights Movement; his appreciation of Arkansas history and landscape, as in "The Forgotten River"; and his poignancy as a family memoirist, on display in his recollection "Combinations of Jacksons". This edition of "Charles Portis: Collected Works" from The Library of America, is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Literary Studies collections

Someone Speaks Your Name
Luis Garcia Montero, author
Katie King, translator
Swan Isle Press
https://swanislepress.com
c/o University of Chicago Press
www.press.uchicago.edu
9781736189344, $28.00, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Someone-Speaks-Your-Garc%C3%ADa-Montero/dp/1736189344

Synopsis: It's the summer of 1963 and Leon Egea, a cocky nineteen-year-old student and aspiring author, has just finished his first year studying literature at the University of Granada and is starting a summer job as an encyclopedia salesman. Leon, infuriated by the injustices in Spanish society under the Franco dictatorship, comes to find that literature can speak the truth when the reality is clouded. Leon discovers that, under the repressive Franco dictatorship, people, places, and events are not always what they seem. But literature, words, and names can open paths to discovery, both personal and political.

"Someone Speaks Your Name" deftly explores literature as a foundation for understanding human relationships, national character, discrete differences between right and wrong, and for pursuing the path forward. As Leon's professor tells him: "Learning to write is learning to see."

Critique: Very ably translated into English by Katie King, "Someone Speaks Your Name" is coming-of-age novel by renowned Spanish writer Luis Garcia Montero that will have immense appeal to readers with an interest in literary fiction with political and historical themes. Featuring a memorably lyrical, exceptionally eloquent, and compelling narrative driven storytelling style, "Someone Speaks Your Name" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community/academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections,

Editorial Note #1: Luis Garcia Montero is a Spanish writer whose work includes poetry, novels, essays, song lyrics, and literary scholarship. He spearheaded a literary movement in Spain known as the Poetry of Experience and is head of Spain's Instituto Cervantes. He has an informative page on Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Garc%C3%ADa_Montero

Editorial Note #2: Katie King (https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/translator/katie-king) is a journalist, media executive, literary translator, and translation scholar. She has collaborated with Garcia Montero for more than a decade.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Take the Lead: A Dance Off
Alexis Daria
St. Martin's Griffin
c/o St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250817969, $17.99, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Take-Lead-Dance-Off-Novel/dp/125081796X

Synopsis: Gina Morales wants to make it big. In her four seasons on the show 'The Dance Off', she's never even made it to the finals. But her latest partner, the sexy star of an Alaskan wilderness show, could be her chance. Who knew the strong, silent, survivalist-type had moves like that? She thinks Stone Nielson is her ticket to win it all -- until her producer makes it clear they're being set up for a 'showmance'.

Joining a celebrity dance competition is the last thing Stone wants. However, he'll endure anything to help his family, even as he fears revealing their secrets. While the fast pace of Los Angeles makes him long for the peace and privacy of home, he can't hide his growing attraction for his dance partner. Neither wants to fake a romance for the cameras, but the explosive chemistry that flares between them is undeniable.

As Stone and Gina heat up the dance floor, the tabloids catch on to their developing romance. With the spotlight threatening to ruin everything, will they choose fame and fortune, or let love take the lead?

Critique: The kind of deftly written story that Hallmark Romance Movies are made from, "Take The Lead" by Alexis Daria is a delightful and light-hearted romance from cover to cover. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) for personal reading lists, "Take The Lead" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Multicultural Romantic Comedy collections.

Editorial Note: As a novelist, Alexis Daria (https://alexisdaria.com) writes stories about successful Latinx characters and their (occasionally messy) familias. Her debut novel "Take the Lead" won the 2018 RITA Award for "Best First Book". Her novel, "You Had Me at Hola", is a Target Diverse Book Club Pick, and New York Times Editor's Choice Pick.

The Reunion
Kayla Olson
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781668001943, $17.00, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reunion-Novel-Kayla-Olson/dp/1668001942

Synopsis: Liv Latimer grew up on TV. As the star of the popular teen drama Girl on the Verge, Liv spent her adolescence on the screen trying to be as picture perfect as her character in real life. But after the death of her father and the betrayal of her on-screen love interest and off-screen best friend Ransom Joel, Liv wanted nothing more than to retreat, living a mostly normal life aside from a few indie film roles. But now, twenty years after the show's premiere, the cast is invited back for a reunion special, financed by a major streaming service.

Liv is happy to be back on set, especially once she discovers Ransom has only improved with age. And their chemistry is certainly still intact. They quickly fall into their old rhythms, rediscovering what had drawn them together decades before. But with new rivalries among the cast emerging and the specter of a reboot shadowing their shoot, Liv questions whether returning to the past is what she needs to finally get her own happy ending.

Critique: As an author, novelist Kala Olson is a master of the contemporary 'RomCom'. An original and fun read from cover to cover, "The Reunion" is the stuff of which Hallmark Channel Television Movies are made. While unreservedly recommended as an addition to community library Contemporary Romance collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated romantic comedy fans that "The Reunion" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797150840, $39.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Kayla Olson (www.KaylaOlson.com.) is the author of two books for young adults and The Reunion. Whether writing at her desk or curled up with a good book, she can most often be found with a fresh cup of coffee and at least one cat.


The Western Fiction Shelf

Kinsman of the Gun
Walton Young
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848670, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 276pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kinsman-of-the-gun-walton-young/1130920564

Synopsis: Cheyenne, 1888. Ezra McPherson is a gunfighter who cannot escape the past, and Luke Tisdale is a young doctor whose brother has been murdered. Marcus Stokesbury and Eloise Endicott are journalists who are intrigued by the mystery surrounding Ezra. Then there's Richard Swearingen, a cattle baron who seeks to establish a kingdom in Wyoming; and Andrew Swearingen, a man who has killed -- but who is now willing to take extraordinary steps to prevent bloodshed. Together, they will all become embroiled in a story of love, greed, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Critique: A riveting western with more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster, "Kinsman of the Gun" by Walton Young is a fun read and especially recommended for dedicated fans of western action/adventure novels. It is also a valued addition to community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Dr. Walton Young, senior professor of English at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, GA, teaches creative writing (fiction), American literature survey courses, twentieth-century American literature, Georgia literature, and Southern literature.

The Gallows at Gila Bend
Paxton Johns
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850079, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 232pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gallows-at-gila-bend-paxton-johns/1136775908

Synopsis: A vacancy has appeared in the riverside settlement of Gila Bend, Arizona. When the incumbent marshal, Bill Owen, is killed by a drunk, the English aristocrat Born Gallant steps in to fill the void. Little does he know that his spell as this town's badge-bearer will be far more eventful than he predicted. He won't have to handle the danger alone, though. With the help of some old companions, he must bring peace to a town under the shadow of murder, a bank robbery and corruption.

Critique: A fun read that will especially appeal to western fiction fans who appreciated originality and a fully engaging storyline, this large print paperback edition from the Linden Western Library "The Gallows of Gila Bend" by Paxton Jones is unreservedly recommended for their personal reading lists. "The Gallows of Gila Bend" will also prove to be an enduringly popular addition community library collection of western novels.

Editorial Note: Born in Liverpool in 1936, and raised in North Wales during the war years Paxton Johns began writing short stories whilst in the army in the 1960s. He worked for ten years as a freelance writer and photographer for two North Wales newspaper groups and has had published some sixty non fiction books and novels. Now a widower, he is still writing and teaching.

Drifter's Revenge
Steve Hayes
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444850062, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 218pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drifters-revenge-steve-hayes/1136491074

Synopsis: No matter where he went, the man known as Drifter always came back to Santa Rosa, New Mexico -- the nearest thing he had to a home. When trouble brewed outside town, though, Drifter wanted no part of it, but fate had other ideas. Against his better judgment he signed on to help a sodbuster named Albright, and when the time came, he took Albright's side against Stillman, the cattle baron determined to claim Albright's land. Drifter should have saddled up and made dust, but that wasn't his way. Besides, there was Albright's wife, Hannah, and her daughter to think about. And though he tried to resist his feelings, they still stole his heart. So he loaded his guns and stepped out to challenge Stillman's rawhiders.

Critique: A inherently riveting novel in which you can almost smell the gunsmoke, this large print paperback edition of "Drifter's Revenge" perfectly showcases author Steve Hayes impressive master of the action/adventure western genre. Highly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated western enthusiasts, this edition from the Linford Western Library series is solidly recommended for community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: There is a listing of the published novels by Steve Hayes on the Goodreads website at: (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/631255.Steve_Hayes).

North of the Line
Paul Bedford
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848885, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 240pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/north-of-the-line-paul-bedford/1130920565

Synopsis: Deputy United States Marshal Jesse Bronson is sent north of the line into Canada, to assist with the capture of two highly dangerous American outlaws -- Brin Carson and Vern Hatcher. The two of them have joined up with a gang of ruthless Metis led by Gabriel Dumont. Their joint aim is to target the Canadian Pacific Railroad, as yet untouched by train robberies. To his surprise, Bronson discovers that he is to be partnered with Samuel Bairstow of the Northwest Mounted Police. But, thanks to Dumont's brutality, Bairstow has a personal score to settle that could jeopardize the whole mission.

Critique: This direct sequel to "The Lawmen", this is one of those westerns with more plot twists, turns and surprises than a Disneyland roller-coaster. "North of the Line" by Paul Bedford is a fully engaging read from first page to last. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is certain to be a popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections -- and is unreservedly recommended to the attention of all dedicated action/adventure western fans that appreciated the pairing of an American Deputy Marshall with a Canadian Mounted Police going up against a violent and ruthless company of killers.

Editorial Note: Paul Bedford (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4575218.Paul_Bedford) has a strong interest in the history of the American frontier. He tries to make his western novels as factually accurate and realistic as possible.

The Other Madden
Brent Towns
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848816, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 215pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-other-madden-brent-towns/1130032731

Synopsis: There is oil on Madden land and Bren Deavers means to have it. But when Joe Madden is killed and sent home wrapped in barbed wire, things heat up. For the Maddens are fighters and Elmira and Emily are going to do just that. But Joe also had a brother. One nobody talked about. The dangerous one. They just referred to him as -- the other Madden!

Critique: Here is everything a western novel needs to have -- villains, heroes, maidens in distress, and pulse pounding gun fights! Brent Towns is a master of the western genre and once again proves it with his riveting novel, "The Other Madden". This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: A complete (and impressive) list of western novels by Brent Towns is at: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Brent%20Towns%22

Trail of Lead
Mike Deane
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848854, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 243pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trail-of-lead-mike-deane/1130032729

Synopsis: After the Baxter Springs bank is robbed, a bloody shootout between the thieves and the town's lawmen leaves only one bandit alive - Charlie Weston, who escapes with the stolen money. Marshal Pete Baker and Deputy Joe Flaherty, already under threat of losing their badges, strike a bargain with Mayor Dell: they will track down Weston and the money within two months. If they fail, they'll resign. As Weston falls in with a wagon train heading west, the pursuit begins.

Critique: Western action/adventure at its very best, "Trail of Lead" by Mike Deane is the quintessential manhunt novel featuring many an unexpected plot twist and turn. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is certain to be a welcome addition to personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: An impressively extensive listing of books by Mike Dean is readily available at https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/16905.Michael_Dean

Last Chance Saloon
Cole Shelton
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848687, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 252pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-chance-saloon-cole-shelton/1130032739

Synopsis: Former gunfighter Brett Cassidy now leads a peaceful life as a trapper. Then he receives a letter from Lonesome Valley, begging him to consider coming out of retirement to help the homesteaders there in their fight against a greedy rancher. Though Cassidy has hung up his twin Colts, the letter is written by Harmony McBeath, the widow of a man who once saved Cassidy's life. He owes her something for that. So he straps on his Peacemakers and heads out.

Critique: "Last Chance Saloon" by Cole Shelton is the kind of gunfighter novel that they used to make block-buster films from in the Golden Age of western movies and TV shows. A riveting read with more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster, this large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is a 'must read' selection for personal reading lists and an enduringly popular choice for community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Cole Shelton is a veteran writer of action packed western novels. An impressive listing of them can be found at (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/7160486.Cole_Shelton)

Hellraiser!
Sam Clancy
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848632, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 221pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hellraiser-sam-clancy/1130032747

Synopsis: After his last indiscretion, Bass sends Josh Ford to Texas. Let him be someone else's headache for a while. The marshal there is an old friend and welcomes the badge-toting hellraiser with open arms and a whole wagon load of trouble. Then word comes that Bass is missing and Ford swears he'll walk through the fires of Hell itself to find out what has happened to his father. In the end, he does just that. Shoulder to shoulder with a marshal called Willis and a fast gun named Laramie Davis.

Critique: A truly gripping and inherently engaging read that will appeal to readers with an interest in action/adventure, gunplay packed western novels, "Hellraiser!" by Sam Clancy fully lives up to the promise f its title! With many a fascinating twist and turn, and highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections, "Hellraiser!" is one of those stories that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf.

Editorial Note: An extensive listing of the novels by Sam Clancy is readily available at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16371002.Sam_Clancy

Murphy's Revenge
Ethan J. Wolfe
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
www.cengageptr.com
9781432895648, $25.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murphys-Revenge-Regulator-Ethan-Wolfe/dp/1432895648

Synopsis: Book 7 of Ethan Wolfe's 'The Regulator' series, "Murphy's Revenge" finds Murphy living a quiet life of semi-retirement with his wife, Kai, and their newly adopted baby in their home outside Fort Smith, Arkansas. Kai (part Navajo) teaches on the reservation in the Indian Nation in the Ozarks.

Murphy is called back into service when William Burke, special advisor to President Arthur, shows up in Fort Smith with an assignment. New York Governor Grover Cleveland is running for president and Arthur wants Murphy to head up Cleveland's security detail for a six-week tour. Murphy has no choice but to accept the assignment.

While Murphy travels to New York, Kai visits Murphy's parents at their farm in Tennessee. They grow corn and use it to make bourbon whiskey that is sold to a bottling company. After one hundred barrels are sold to the bottling company, two of the men hired to do labor in the warehouse, Tom Holland and John Moats, enter the house and demand money from Murphy's father. He gives them twenty thousand dollars, but before they leave, Moats has ideas about Kai. Murphy's father intercepts Moats and is shot and killed.

It's time for Murphy to do what he does best.

Critique: A riveting read from cover to cover, "Murphy's Revenge" is still another solid western that deftly combines historical mystery with gunplay action/adventure. Simply stated, "Murphy's Revenge" is especially recommended for community library Western Fiction collections -- and an absolute 'must read' selections for the legions of Ethan Wolfe fans.

Editorial Note: An extensive listing of novels by Ethan J. Wolfe can be found on the GoodReads website at https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/8435053.Ethan_J_Wolfe

Pony Boys
Richard Prosch
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
9781432899103, $25.95, HC, 243pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pony-Boys-Curse-Niobrara-Trilogy/dp/1432899104

Synopsis: In 1879, the notorious horse thief Doc Middleton rules the Niobrara rough country west of Holt County, Nebraska, with a loose affiliation of young outlaws, dubbed the Pony Boys. Albert "Kid" Wade, August John, Windy Barnes, Boots Harper, and a dozen other amoral roughnecks spent their days stealing horses, raising hell, and generally having the time of their lives.

But nothing lasts forever, and the unorganized territories west are succumbing to complaints from settlers and the Indian agencies alike. What happens to the Pony Boys when law and order lands hard-and ruthless-at the end of a rope? As Doc struggles with change, and Kid Wade fights white-knuckled against it, young Augustus "Gus" John faces the most important challenge of his life. A challenge that is certain to tear at the fabrics of loyalty and friendship, rending the Pony Boys apart forever.

Critique: A fictionalized account of Doc Middleton and the Pony Boys' decline during the historical summer of 1879, with the publication "Pony Boys", western author Richard Prosch has deftly crafted the kind of gun-blazing western that will have immense appeal for dedicated western action/adventure fans. Simply stated, "Pony Boys" is a fun read and recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Richard Prosch (http://www.richardprosch.com) has had his stories appear in numerous novels, short story collections, Wild West, True West, and Down & Out magazines and online at ToughCrime.com and Boys' Life. He won the Western Writers of America Spur Award and took home a Will Rogers Medallion for short fiction. His Dan Spalding crime novels capture his love for classic vinyl and martial arts. He writes at SubStack.com about crime fiction, growing up in the West, and jazz music.

Mud, Blood, and Beer
L. J. Martin
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
9781432897871, $25.95, HC, 223pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mud-Blood-Beer-Collection-Western/dp/143289787X

Synopsis: "Mud, Blood, and Beer: A Collection of Western Stories" is comprised of nine short stories by western author L. J. Martin. These include: Part-Time Lawman; Brothers, Undr the Skin; Maybe Dead Ain't So Bad?; Glory Be; Dreaming a Way; Gospel of the Gun; No Irish Need Apply; Glory Hole; Eye for Eye.

Critique: Featuring everything a dedicated fan of western action/adventure stories could want, the sort stories of veteran author L. J. Martin which were selected, collected, and published in "Mud, Blood, and Beer" are fun reads and highly recommended to the attention of western fans and community library Western Fiction collections. For those to whom this anthology is their first introduction to the work of L. J. Martin it should be noted that she has an extesnive website at https://ljmartin.com/my-fiction that lists her work.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Orders To Kill
Edward Marston
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9780749027810, $41.00, Large Print, PB, 339pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/orders-to-kill-author-edward-marston/1138735012

Synopsis: December, 1917. Ada Hobbes arrives on a frosty morning to clean the house owned by Dr Tindall, a surgeon at the Edmonton Military Hospital. She is shocked to find the blood covered body of her employer who has been hacked to death.

A horrific scene awaits Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy. Someone clearly enjoyed killing the doctor. Their investigation takes them far out of London and on the trail of a very different Dr Tindall, one who was not the respectable local GP everyone thought he was.

Marmion and Keedy will need to sift through a number of likely suspects to find the killer behind this gruesome murder.

Critique: A fun read that will have a special appeal to fans of historical 'whodunnit' mysteries, "Orders To Kill" is part of author Edward Marston's 'The Home Front Detective Series'. Originally published by Allison & Busby and now available in a large print edition from Isis and Ulverscroft, "Orders To Kill" is enthusiastically recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Edward Marston (the pseudonym of Keith Miles) has written well over a hundred books, including some non-fiction. He is best known for his hugely successful Railway Detective series and he also writes the Bow Street Rivals series featuring twin detectives set during the Regency; the Home Front Detective novels set during the First World War; and the Ocean Liner mysteries. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Miles)

Mystery In White
J. Jefferson Farjeon
Charonwood Large Print / Thorpe
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781444848915, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 248pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mystery-in-white-j-jefferson-farjeon/1124503717

Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea -- but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst!

Critique: "Mystery In White" by the late J. Jefferson Farjeon (4 June 1883 - 6 June 1955) is a classic Christmas mystery thriller that is now republished for the first time since the 1930s in a large print paperback edition from Thorpe/Charnwood Large Print and featuring an informative introduction by award-winning crime writer Martin Edwards. Complete and unabridged, "Mystery In White" is a true 'time-lost' classic that will be fully appreciated by a new general of readers and has the highest recommendation for both the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: J. Jefferson Farjeon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Jefferson_Farjeon) was an English crime and mystery novelist, playwright and screenwriter. His "Ben" novels were reissued in 2015 and 2016.

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone
Benjamin Stevenson
Mariner Books
www.marinerbooks.com
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonewholesale.com
9780063279025, $30.00, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Family-Has-Killed-Someone/dp/0063279029

Synopsis: Ernest Cunningham claims that everyone in his family has killed someone. Some of his killer relations are the high achievers, having killed more than once. His is not trying to be dramatic, but is telling the truth. Some of his family members are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate. Call him Ern or Ernie -- and now he wishes he would have killed whoever decided our family reunion should be at a ski resort -- but things are a little more complicated than that. -- Has he killed someone? Why, yes he has. Who was it? -- Well let us get started.

Critique: One of the most unusual, entertainingly quirky, deftly crafted, and simply riveting murder thrillers featuring an impressive roster of untraditional characters, "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" by author Benjamin Stevenson is a terrific read from first page to last. While an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should note that there is a large print paperback edition of "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" (Harper Large Print, 9780063297197, $34.00, 528pp), as well as being available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212200752, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Benjamin Stevenson (https://benjaminstevensonauthor.com) is an award-winning stand-up comedian and author. Off-stage, Benjamin has worked for publishing houses and literary agencies in Australia and the USA. He currently works with some of Australia's best-loved authors at Curtis Brown Australia. He is also the author of Greenlight (shortlisted for the Ned Kelly First Fiction Award) and Either Side of Midnight.

Murder in Postscript
Mary Winters
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780593548769, $17.00, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Postscript-Lady-Letters-Mystery/dp/0593548760

Synopsis: Amelia Amesbury (widow, mother, and countess) has a secret. Amelia writes for a London penny paper, doling out advice on fashion, relationships, and manners under the pen name Lady Agony. But when a lady's maid writes Amelia to ask for advice when she believes her mistress has been murdered (and then ends up a victim herself) Amelia is determined to solve the case.

With the help of her best friend and a handsome marquis, Amelia begins to piece together the puzzle, but as each new thread of inquiry ends with a different suspect, the investigation grows ever more daunting. From London's docks and ballrooms to grand country houses, Amelia tracks a killer, putting her reputation and her life on the line!

Critique: A very special and original Victorian era cozy mystery set in 1860, "Murder in Postscript" by Mary Winters is a highly recommended and fun read for all dedicated mystery fans. Featuring an unusual woman sleuth, numerous and expected plot twists on down to the final page, "Murder in Postscript" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated cozy mystery fans that "Murder in Postscript" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Mary Winters (https://marywintersauthor.com) is the author of the Lady Agony mystery series. A longtime reader of historical fiction and an author of two other mystery series, Mary set her latest work in Victorian England after being inspired by a trip to London.

Downfall
Mark Rubinstein
Oceanview Publishing
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608095469, $27.95, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Downfall-Mark-Rubinstein/dp/1608095460

Synopsis: When Rick Shepherd, a physician, approaches his office on a busy Manhattan street, he finds police cars, an ambulance, and crime scene technicians. He soon learns a passerby was shot three times in the back, murdered at the front door to Rick's office.

Later that evening while watching the local news, Rick and his fiancee, Jackie, see a photo of the victim -- to their horror, the deceased looks identical to Rick.

Two nights later, while making a house call in a Brooklyn apartment building, Rick's 64-year-old father is shot and killed in the exact same way. Detectives Art Nager and Liz Callaghan are assigned the case, and they launch an investigation. There are no clues leading to the perpetrator.

Even more ominously, someone has been calling Rick and Jackie's apartment and hanging up. Whoever is targeting Rick must have murdered his father, and they now have Rick in their crosshairs. Nager and Callaghan seem to be making no progress with their investigation. Rick's quest for the truth draws him into a labyrinth of secrets, past tragedies, and the agonizing pain of lives shattered by a single event. Can he make it out before he meets the same fate as his father?

Critique: A riveting suspense thriller of a crime novel, "Downfall" is another compelling novel from the pen of author Mark Rubinstein and is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legion of Mark Rubinstein fans that "Downfall" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Editorial Note: Mark Rubinstein (https://www.markrubinstein-author.com) is an award-winning novelist, physician, and psychiatrist who has written nonfiction and suspense-thriller fiction. His books have won the IPPY Gold Award and two Benjamin Franklin Silver Awards. His Mad Dog Trilogy is under consideration for film or TV series adaptation

Murder at an Irish Castle
Ellie Brannigan
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102587, $18.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Irish-Castle-Mystery/dp/1639102582

Synopsis: Rodeo Drive bridalwear designer Rayne McGrath expected her thirtieth birthday to start with a power lunch and end with champagne, lobster, and a diamond engagement ring from her fiance. Instead, flat-broke and busted, she's on a plane to Ireland where she discovers that she's inherited a run-down family castle.

But her Uncle Nevin's will contains a few caveats -- for example, if Rayne doesn't turn McGrath Castle around within a year, the entire village will be financially destroyed.

With the fate of the town in her hands, and rumors that Rayne's uncle's death wasn't actually an accident, she can't possibly go back to her old life in L.A. As the devastating truth about her uncle dawns on Rayne, it's not just her reputation that's on the line, it's her life.

Critique: Featuring a sharp and endearing protagonist, a colorful and quirky locale, and replete with twists and turns befitting an old Irish village, with the publication of "Murder at an Irish Castle", novelist Ellie Brannigan launches the first title in her new Brannigan's cozy mystery series that is as romantic as it is deadly. A cosy style 'whodunnit' international culinary mystery featuring a woman sleuth, "Murder at an Irish Castle" is a very special and highly recommended addition to both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Murder at an Irish Castle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666628593, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Ellie Brannigan, (https://crookedlanebooks.com/ellie-brannigan) also writes under the pseudonym of Traci Hall.

Lay This Body Down
Charles Fergus
Arcade Publishing
www.arcadepub.com
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781956763447, $26.99, HC, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lay-This-Body-Down-Mystery/dp/1956763449

Synopsis: "Lay This Body Down" is a mystery novel by Charles Fergus that takes place in 1837 during one of the most horrific periods in pre-Civil War America, when dark skinned human beings were considered chattel and both northern and southern states grew rich from slave labor. And when a Pennsylvania sheriff like Gideon could choose to uphold the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 or defy that racist law at great peril.

Critique: "Lay This Body Down" (the third novel in author Charles Fergus 'Gideon Stoltz Mystery Series) is a hard-hitting, action-packed story of how Gideon tries to protect a boy who has fled north from a Virginia plantation -- and pays dearly for his principles. Written with the vivid, atmospheric prose that imbues the whole series, the life and times of an early American backwoods town and its hardscrabble citizens will grip readers as Gideon and his wife True solve a murder, bust a kidnaping ring, and help one unforgettable boy who courageously chooses freedom above all else. Original and deftly scripted, "Lay This Body Down" will have special appeal to readers with an interest in historical mysteries and suspense thrillers that are written with a distinctive literary style. While highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lay This Body Down" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Charles Fergus (http://www.charlesfergus.com) is the author of twenty books, many of which are about nature and the outdoors with readers reporting that his understanding of wildlife, natural places, and rural living informs his novels..

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers
Jesse Q. Sutanto
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780593546178, $27.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Vera-Wongs-Unsolicited-Advice-Murderers/dp/0593546172

Synopsis: Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady (that is, a lady of a certain age) who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing -- a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn't know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of lifts the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands.

Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer. What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?

Critique: A quintessential cozy mystery that will have immense interest to fans of the genre, "Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers" is original, memorable, and a fun read from cover to cover. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of readers who enjoy novels featuring amateur women crime solvers, that "Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers" is also available in a paperback edition (9780008558734, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Jesse Q. Sutanto (https://jillgrinbergliterary.com/book_author/jesse-q-sutanto) is the author of adult, YA, and children's middle grade books. She has a master's degree in creative writing from Oxford University, though she hasn't found a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. The film rights to her women's fiction, Dial A for Aunties, was bought by Netflix in a competitive bidding war. Her adult books include Dial A for Aunties and its sequel, Four Aunties and a Wedding. Her YA books include The Obsession, The New Girl, and her upcoming romcom, Well, That Was Unexpected. Her MG books include Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit and an untitled sequel. She is on Twitter @thewritinghippo and on Instagram @jesseqsutanto

Standing Dead
Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102440, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Dead-Timber-Creek-Mystery/dp/1639102442

Synopsis: Deputy Mattie Cobb and her sister, Julia, travel to Mexico to visit their mother, but when they arrive, they discover that she and her husband have vanished without a trace. Back in Timber Creek, Mattie finds a chilling note on her front door telling her to look for "him" among the standing dead up in the high country.

The sheriff's department springs into action and sends a team to the mountains, where Mattie's K-9 partner, Robo, makes a grisly discovery -- a body tied to a dead pine tree. Mattie is shocked when she realizes she knows the dead man. And then another note arrives, warning that Mattie's mother is in desperate straits. In a last-ditch gambit, Mattie must go deep undercover into a killer's lair to save her mother -- or die trying.

Critique: A combination of police procedural and cosy mystery, "Standing Dead" by Margaret Mizushima is a plot rich and entertaining read that is especially recommended for the reading lists of all dedicated mystery fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Standing Dead" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666629064, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Margaret Mizushima (www.margaretmizushima.com) is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. She also serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and was elected the 2019 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is a member of Northern Colorado Writers, Sisters in Crime, Pikes Peak Writers, and Women Writing the West.She can be followed on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, Twitter @margmizu, and on Instagram at margmizu.

Even When You Lie
Michelle Cruz
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639102501, $18.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Even-When-You-Lie-Novel/dp/1639102507

Synopsis: Reagan Reyes is a woman who hunts other people's secrets. A former intelligence officer, she's currently the in-house investigator for pricey criminal defense attorney, Cade McCarrick -- and she's his lover, despite the law firm's rules forbidding romantic relationships between partners and staff. But their love (including their agreement never to lie to each other) is the only authenticity they have in a world of subterfuge and betrayal.

That agreement is pushed to its limits when a mysterious woman leaves an envelope for Cade and is soon discovered dead. While the envelope's contents aren't related to any of Cade's current cases, Reagan uncovers a connection to a recent murder outside a Deep Ellum nightclub -- and an even more ominous link to the dead woman.

The police don't seem to care about either death, but they hit too close to home for Reagan to ignore. As she digs deeper into Dallas's sordid underbelly, she's completely on her own except for Cade - and there's a killer bent on eliminating them both at any cost.

Critique: An inherently compelling, pulse-pounding, romantic thriller of a read from first page to lat, author Michelle Cruz's new novel, "Even When You Lie", will be of particular appeal to anyone with an interest in deftly crafted crime fiction with more plot twists than a Disneyland roller-coaster. While highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Michelle Cruz fans that "Even When You Lie" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666629590, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Michelle Cruz (https://authormichellecruz.com) is a seventh-generation native Texan who served as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force and staffed a member of Congress. She resides with her family in the Texas Hill Country and is a member of WFWA and the Writers' League of Texas

The Protege
Jody Gehrman
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639102488, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Protege-Novel-Jody-Gehrman/dp/1639102485

Synopsis: Dr. Hannah Bryers, anthropology professor and forensics expert at the prestigious Mad River University, takes pleasure in examining corpses, but small talk and living people fill her with dread. When she's not teaching, she analyzes the decomposing flesh of murder victims around the globe.

Winter Jones is Hannah's most promising graduate student. She's smart, cunning, and dedicated, but she's got her own agenda for coming to Mad River. She's here to bring Hannah Bryers down and she will stop at nothing to make her life implode.

In alternating narratives, Winter systematically robs Hannah of the things she values most: her reputation, her job, and ultimately her safety.

When dangerous mistakes are made in her lab, Hannah has no idea who would have it out for her and would be willing to risk students' lives. As the incidents become deadly, many suspects come to light. Hannah won't go down without a fight. She has to figure out who is sabotaging her career and killing people; her life depends on finding answers.

Critique: A compulsive page turner of a read, "The Protege" reveals author Jody Gehrman's genuine flair for creating psychological thrillers that will hold and keep the reader's total attention from cover to cover. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), "The Protege" will prove a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Jody Gehrman (https://www.jodygehrman.com) has authored several novels and numerous plays for stage and screen. Her young-adult novel, Babe in Boyland, won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award and was optioned by the Disney Channel. Jody's plays have been produced or had staged readings in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. Her full-length, Tribal Life in America, won the Ebell Playwrights Prize and received a staged reading at the historic Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She holds a Masters Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is also a professor of Communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.

A Mansion for Murder
Frances Brody
https://frances-brody.com
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643857602, $28.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Untitled-Brody-13-Shackleton-Mystery/dp/1643857606

Synopsis: When Kate Shackleton disembarks at Saltaire station, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, she has no idea what to expect. A stranger, Ronnie Creswell, has written to say that he has urgent information about the past that will interest her, and he persuades her to make the journey to Milner Field, the grand house that is said to be cursed. But moments after Kate arrives at the lodge, a messenger brings devastating news to Ronnie's parents: he has been found drowned in the mill reservoir.

Ronnie's father suspects that this was no accident, and the post-mortem proves him right. Ronnie was murdered. Terrified and distraught, Mrs. Creswell refuses to stay at the Lodge a moment longer. But events take an even more shocking turn when ten-year-old Nancy Creswell, eyes and ears for her blind Uncle Nick, goes missing. An account of the fateful Saturday of Ronnie's death arouses Kate's suspicions, and furhter investigations could prove her right.

But truth is never so straightforward at Milner Field. Uncle Nick spins an old story that could hold the key to finding Nancy alive -- though the fabled curse may not have claimed its last victim yet. And only a set of old bones buried on the grounds will finally reveal the horrifying truth.

Critique: The thirteenth novel in author Frances Brody's simply outstanding series of cozy mysteries staring that amateur sleuth Kate Shackleton. With all the entertainment value of an Agatha Christie novel, "A Mansion for Murder" is an original, compelling, and highly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library collections. Be warned though, if this 13th title is your first introduction to Frances Brody mysteries, then you will find yourself compelling to seek out the previous twelve cozy mysteries starring Kate Shackleton! It should be noted that "A Mansion for Murder" is also available in a paperback edition (9780349431970, $14.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666629613, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Frances Brody (https://frances-brody.com) wrote historical sagas, winning the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin award for most regionally evocative debut saga of the millennium before creating the Kate Shackleton mystery series.

A Midsummer Night's Scheme
Harper Kincaid
https://www.harperkincaid.com
Crooked Lane Books
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643856308, $26.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Midsummer-Nights-Scheme-Bookbinding-Mystery/dp/1643856308

Synopsis: Just when everything is returning to the calm that Quinn Caine and her sidekicks, Ruff Barker Ginsburg and Sister Daria, are used to in their beloved town of Vienna, a Broadway star crash-lands into their peace and quiet. Former 'player', Chad Frivole, is Vienna's prodigal son -- the once notorious lothario has returned a Broadway star, ready to make a different kind of mark on his hometown.

Not everyone is celebrating the Tony-award-winner's return. Chad's a triple threat -- not with a cast of characters lining up to seek their revenge on him. So, when he turns up dead in his car, trapped with a sack full of snakes, Quinn can't say she's surprised -- but promises handsome detective Aiden Harrington that she's staying out of this local mystery.

That is, until someone starts threatening her brother's life. It's true, Sebastian 'Bash' Caine used to be a womanizer, just like Chad. And the killer doesn't seem to care that he's not that man anymore. Bash Caine is in the killer's sights, and unless Quinn and her crew can find the killer in time, whoever it is will drag her brother into his final act on this mortal coil.

Critique: As a novelist, author Harper Kincaid demonstrates a complete mastery of the cozy mystery genre complete with an amateur female sleuth and her pets. Featuring memorable and deftly crafted characters and a positive roller-coaster of plot twists and turns, "A Midsummer Night's Scheme" is the latest addition to her 'A Book Binding Mystery' series and is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted dedicated cozy mystery fans that "A Midsummer Night's Scheme" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666629620, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Born in California and raised in South Florida, Harper Kincaid has moved around like a nomad with a bounty on her head ever since. After earning her master's degree in Gender History and another in Clinical/Macro Social Work, Kincaid decided to not to use either and become a writer instead! (https://www.harperkincaid.com/books)

The Shimmer on the Water
Marina McCarron
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com
9781801104449, $16.95, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shimmer-Water-Marina-McCarron/dp/1801104441

Synopsis: 1997. As the people of Fort Meadow Beach celebrate the Fourth of July, four-year-old Daisy Wright disappears and is never seen again. Present Day. Fired from her job and heartbroken, Peyton Winchester moves back home for the summer. Sitting in her childhood bedroom in her parents' sprawling mansion on the edge of the Atlantic ocean brings back all kinds of memories - including Daisy's vanishing when Peyton was a young girl herself. As she begins her search for the truth, the investigation will hit close to home, intertwining Daisy's past and Peyton's present with irreversible consequences. How far will Peyton be ready to go to uncover the truth and will what she finds destroy everything or finally lead her home?

Critique: When you're lost sometimes the only way to look forward is to look back. "The Shimmer on the Water" by novelist Marina McCarron is the story of three women, two generations apart, and one secret they share. Deftly crafted and memorable characters, a plot replete with unexpected twists and turns, "The Shimmer on the Water" is an inherently fascinating blend of a 'whodunnit' mystery and a domestic thriller of a read from first page to last. While highly recommended as an addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Shimmer on the Water" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note: Marina McCarron (http://marinamccarron.com) holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Publishing degree. She has worked as a reporter, a freelance writer, a columnist and a manuscript evaluator. She gets her ideas for stories from strolling through new places and daydreaming. Her debut novel, "The Time Between Us", came to her as she stood at Pointe du Hoc on a windy June day and asked the magical question, what if...?

Bones Under the Ice
Mary Ann Miller
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608095377, $27.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bones-Under-Jhonni-Laurent-Mystery/dp/1608095371

Synopsis: Two days after a blizzard hits Field's Crossing, Indiana, Sheriff Jhonni Laurent discovers the frozen body of a high school senior under a fifteen-foot pile of snow and ice. Murder is rare in farm country, and this death marks the beginning of Jhonni's first homicide case.

Just as the investigation gets underway, Jhonni's opponent for sheriff from four years ago wages a bitter reelection battle to oust her. Then, Jhonni finds another body, and further complications arise when a century-old feud between two families reaches its breaking point.

Soon, a slew of newspaper articles causes the Indiana State Election Board to doubt her credibility. Jhonni must fight to maintain her reputation, keep the small farming community together, and find the murderer at large -- all while demons from her own past threaten to crush her. Can she find the killer and mend her battered spirit before it's too late?

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "Bones Under The Ice" is author Mary Ann Miller's debut as a novelist, this carefully crafted and original suspense thriller of a 'whodunnit' mystery will have a particular appeal to readers with an interest in police procedural murder mysteries. While also available to fans of women sleuth/detective (and in this case sheriff) mysteries in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95), "Bones Under The Ice" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

The Butcher of Berner Street
Alex Reeve
Felony & Mayhem Press
https://felonyandmayhem.com
9781631942822, $27.00, HC, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Butcher-Berner-Street-Leo-Stanhope/dp/1631942824

Synopsis: "Cold-hearted murder." That's what was promised in the anonymous note, and Leo Stanhope can't resist. He may be a working journalist at last, but it's a precarious gig, and a good story could bring in the readers. What he finds on Berner Street, though, is a dead body that isn't, not to mention a lady wrestler who's quite a bit more. The crowd is angry: They like things cut and dried. But Leo knows all about things that are one thing and also another. He's got a secret himself, and if he's found out, an angry crowd will be the least of his worries. This is Queen Victoria's London, and the courts are not kind to young men who are -- quite a bit more!

Critique: The third volume in author Alex Reeve's extraordinary Victorian era 'Leo Stanhope' mystery series, "The Butcher of Berner Street" is an 'whodunnit' mystery novel that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Historical mysteries featuring amateur sleuths and LGBTQ elements. A terrific read from cover to cover, and the stuff from which BBC movies are made, "The Butcher of Berner Street" is unreservedly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Alex Reeve (https://felicitybryan.com/fba-author/alex-reeve) lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with his wife and two sons. Having done many jobs, including working in a pub and teaching English as a foreign language in Paris, he is now a university lecturer. His debut novel, Half Moon Street, was the first in a Victorian crime series featuring transgender amateur sleuth Leo Stanhope. His writing focuses on closing the gap between the actual Victorian era and how the period is perceived.

Burning Distance
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608095339, $28.95, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Distance-Joanne-Leedom-Ackerman/dp/1608095339

Synopsis: When ten-year-old Elizabeth West's father dies in a tragic plane crash over the Persian Gulf, her family uproots their life in Washington, D.C., and moves to London. Her mother marries a knighted British businessman who has two children, and Elizabeth (Lizzy) and her two sisters move in with their new family.

At age sixteen, while attending the American School of London, Lizzy meets and falls in love with Adil Hasan -- but when Adil's father, a noted arms middleman, is deported, Lizzy and Adil are separated.

Lizzy's family has also become involved with French-German industrialist Gerald Rene Wagner. Little does she know that Adil's family has ties to the man, as well. When a member of her family is murdered in Berlin under mysterious circumstances, questions surface about Wagner's dealings, and Lizzy reexamines what really may have happened to her father. All the while, she endeavors to reunite with her lost love, Adil, and reclaim the connection that was ripped away.

Critique: Another deftly crafted novel of suspense featuring finely honed characters and an original storyline with more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster, "Burning Distance" showcases author Joanne Leedom-Ackerman's impressive and narrative storytelling skills. Very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Burning Distance" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist whose works of fiction include The Dark Path to the River and No Marble Angels. Her recent nonfiction book, PEN Journeys: Memoir of Literature on the Line, drew inspiration from her job as a vice president of the worldwide writers and human rights organization PEN International. She is also on the boards of the American Writers Museum, the International Center for Journalists, Words Without Borders, Refugees International, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Texas Institute of Letters. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanne_Leedom-Ackerman)

Just the Nicest Couple
Mary Kubica
https://marykubica.com
Park Row Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780778333111, $28.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Nicest-Couple-Mary-Kubica/dp/0778333116

Synopsis: Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend's house after their heated fight the night before. But then a day goes by. Two days. Five. And Jake is still nowhere to be found.

Lily Scott, Nina's friend and coworker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can find out what happened leading up to Jake's disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won't stop until the truth is discovered.

Critique: A deftly crafted domestic thriller of a read, "Just the Nicest Couple" by Mary Kubica is an inherently riveting read with more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster. While also available for the personal reading lists of fans with an interest in psychological suspense fiction in a paperback edition (9781848458437, $10.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212222990, $41.99, CD), "Just the Nicest Couple" will prove to be a welcome addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Mary Kubica (https://marykubica.com) is the author of "The Good Girl" and "Pretty Baby". She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Keeper's Six
Kate Elliott
Tordot.com
c/o Tor/Forge Books
www.tor-forge.com
9781250769077, $19.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Keepers-Six-Kate-Elliott/dp/1250769078

Synopsis: It's been a year since Esther set foot in the Beyond, the alien landscape stretching between worlds, crossing boundaries of space and time. She and her magical traveling party (her Hex) haven't spoken since the Concilium banned them from the Beyond for a decade. But when she wakes in the middle of the night to her grown son's cry for help, the members of her Hex are the only ones she can trust to help her bring him back from wherever he has been taken.

There are terrors that dwell in the space between worlds and Esther will have to risk everything to find him. Undercover and hidden from the Concilium, she and her Hex will be tested by false dragon lords, a darkness so dense it can suffocate, and the bones of an old crime come back to haunt her.

Critique: Simply stated, "The Keeper's Six" by Kate Elliott is a riveting read that will have a very special appeal to fans of action/adventure fantasy novels. Adding "The Keeper's Six" to the author's long list of Kate Elliott's consistently original and entertaining novels, it should be noted for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, as well as the personal reading lists of her legions of fans that this latest book is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Kate Elliott (http://kateelliott.com) has been writing science fiction and fantasy for 30 years, after bursting onto the scene with Jaran. She is best known for her Crown of Stars epic fantasy series and the New York Times bestselling YA fantasy Court of Fives. Elliott's particular focus is immersive world-building & centering women in epic stories of adventure, amidst transformative cultural change.

Conquer the Kingdom
Jennifer Estep
https://www.jenniferestep.com
Harper Voyager
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063023468, $19.99, PB, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Conquer-Kingdom-Gargoyle-Queen-Novel/dp/0063023466

Synopsis: Time is running out for crown princess Gemma Ripley. Despite being a cunning spy and a powerful mind magier, Gemma hasn't been able to track down the most dangerous enemy her kingdom of Andvari has ever seen. Adding to her worries is the Sword and Shield tournament. With gladiators flocking to the capital city of Glanzen, Gemma can't tell who is friend or foe.

Determined to protect Andvari at any cost, Gemma hatches a bold plan, but things aren't what they seem. Soon, everything she holds dear is being threatened, including her burgeoning relationship with Prince Leonidas Morricone.

With the kingdom she holds dear slipping through her fingers, Gemma will have to conquer her fear and unlock the true secret of her magic -- or watch her friends and family die and her beloved Andvari fall.

Critique: A riveting novel of magic, adventure, romance and fantasy, "Conquer the Kingdom" by novelist Jennifer Estep is the third and final volume of the author's epic fantasy series 'Gargoyle Queen'. While available for dedicated fantasy fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212207799, $41.99, CD), "Conquer the Kingdom" will prove to be a prized and popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.

Editorial Note: Jennifer Estep (https://www.jenniferestep.com) is an urban fantasy author who prowls the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She is the author of more than fifty books in the Crown of Shards series, the Elemental Assassin series, the Mythos Academy series, and others, along with numerous novellas.

Not Your Ex's Hexes
April Asher
St. Martin's Griffin
c/o St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250808011, $16.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Your-Hexes-Supernatural-Singles/dp/1250808014

Synopsis: For her entire life, Rose Maxwell trained to become the next Prima on the Supernatural Council. Now that she's stepped down, it's time for this witch to focus on herself. And not think about her impulsive one-night stand with Damian Adams, a half-Demon Veterinarian who she can't get out of her head. Neither of them is looking for a relationship. But when Rose is sentenced to community service at Damian's animal sanctuary it becomes impossible for them to ignore their sparking attraction. A friends-with-benefits, no feelings, no strings arrangement works perfectly for them both.

After a sequence of dead-end jobs, it's not until Rose tangos with two snarly demons that she thinks she's finally found her path. However, this puts Damian back on the periphery of a world he thought he left behind. He doesn't approve of Rose becoming a Hunter, but if there's one thing he's learned about the stubborn witch, it was telling her not to do something was one sure-fire way to make sure she did.

Working (and sleeping) together awakens feelings Damian never knew he had -- and shouldn't have. Because thanks to his ex's hex, if he falls in love, he'll not only lose his heart, but his humanity as well!

Critique: A fun read from cover to cover, "Not Your Ex's Hexes" by Apri Asher will have a tremendous appeal to readers with an interest in paranormal romantic comedies. While also available for personal reading lists of dedicated Occult Romance fans in both a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666628562, $22.99, CD), this unique and deftly crafted novel is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction and Occult Romance collections.

Editorial Note April Asher (https://www.aprilhuntbooks.com/april-asher-books.html) was hooked on romantic stories from the time she first snuck a bodice-ripper romance out from her mom's bedside table. She now pens laugh-out-loud romantic comedies with a paranormal twist, but when she's not putting her characters into embarrassing situations with supernatural entities, she also writes high-octane romantic suspense as April Hunt, her thrill-seeking alter ego.

Earth Builder
David Kirkland
Vanguard Press
www.vanguardpressbooks.com
c/o Perseus Books Group
https://www.perseusbooks.com
9781800163423, $15.99, PB, 346pp

https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Builder-David-Kirkland/dp/1800163428

Synopsis: He's no hero. He never wanted to be a hero. He is simply all that's available at the time. Now not so much guided as pushed, he must undergo several structural rebuilds that enable him to save first humanity and finally the galaxy itself.

Critique: Effectively written in a first person narrative, "Earth Builder" by David Kirkland will have a very special appeal to science fiction fans. An inherently interesting, unique, and extensive storyline by an author of impressive narrative driven storytelling skills, "Earth Builder" is recommended for community and academic library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Earth Builder" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note: David Kirkland (https://pegasuspublishers.com/authors/david-kirkland) has worked in the building trade all his life, starting with his father and being joined by his brother, then finally working alone as a sole trader. He has also trained in Reiki, reaching Level 3 (Master), and various martial arts. He believes that this planet and humanity are fantastic, and that we are finally starting to evolve and to see the planet for what it is: home.

Consecrated Ground
Virginia Black
http://virginiablackwrites.com
Bywater Books
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
www.bywaterbooks.com
9781612942551, $18.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Consecrated-Ground-Virginia-Black/dp/1612942555

Synopsis: Like her father before her, Joan Matthews is a witch. For generations, their family of binder witches has protected Calvert, Oregon from vampires by strengthening the land with spellcraft. Pushing back against tradition, Joan defied her father and left town to become a war witch, one who fights the monsters hand-to-hand. But when her father dies, Joan returns to find her hometown assailed by a vampire lord's endless attacks -- and the answers lie with the one woman who chose a rival over Joan.

Leigh Phan once believed her heart was safe and her future was set. When Joan left town, Leigh's choices led to ruin and unintended consequences. Now Leigh harbors a dark secret forcing her to live a moment-to-moment existence. Her only hope of survival lies in trusting the war witch who left her behind.

Now it's up to Joan to fight for a town she left behind, while Leigh faces a destiny she never imagined was possible. With Calvert on the brink of total destruction, Joan and Leigh join forces and face inconvenient truths in order to save their town - - and each other.

Critique: A gripping novel of dark fantasy, "Consecrated Ground" by Virginia Black will have a very special appeal to fans of action/adventure vampire and witchcraft novel. Of particular interest to members of the LGBTQ community, "Consecrated Ground" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Consecrated Ground" is also available in digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Virginia Black (http://virginiablackwrites.com) writes contemporary romance and speculative/science fiction. All her stories feature prominent lesbian characters. Her literary works include four short stories ("Season Finale"; "Love Undaunted"; "Constant"; and "Reclamation". "Consecrated Ground" is her first published novel. She has also written several fan fiction stories in multiple fandoms, and all of them can be found on Fanfiction.net or AO3 (Archive Of Our Own, https://archiveofourown.org).

What Price Victory?
David Weber
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com
9781982192419, $27.00

https://www.amazon.com/Price-Victory-Worlds-Honor-Weber/dp/1982192410

What Price Victory? is the seventh book in the Worlds of Honor series begun by David Weber, and provides new stories by Weber, Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope, and others who contribute their space opera tales to expand the 'Honorverse.' Military sci-fi fans, especially those with prior familiarity with Weber's world, will find the action-packed collection compliment the new Weber novella "First Victory" and provide a diverse series of compelling adventures to attract newcomers to Weber's universe.

Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com

Two new releases from Baen are intriguing works that deserve attention from sci-fi audiences.

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Man-Walking-country-supernatural/dp/0727895222

Simon R. Green's Dead Man Walking (9781982192433, $17.00) returns supernatural detective Ishmael Jones to a new case. Here, he confronts the murder of a rogue secret agent whose body vanishes. All this takes place in one of the most secure interrogation centers in the world. Ishmael's probe into the mystery reveals secrets and too many deaths as sci-fi blends with intrigue in a moving story of revelation and change.

https://www.amazon.com/High-Noon-Proxima-David-Boop/dp/1982192429

David Boop edits High Noon on Proxima B (9781982192426, $18.00), packed with ten tales of an alternate West which may not exist in past history, but in the future. From a Western being filmed on a colony ship which turns all too real for its participants to a soldier hiding from her choices, the collection features a few familiar names such as Walter Jon Williams paired with others such as Thea Hutcheson and David Boop to create a diverse display of disparate talents that take the Western theme, integrate with sci-fi elements, and produce rollicking good tales.


The Coloring Book Shelf

Courage, Dear Heart
Ink & Willow
c/o Penguin Random House
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2215162/ink-and-willow
9780593578315, $15.00, PB, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Courage-Dear-Heart-Empowering-Inspirational/dp/0593578317

Synopsis: With 'color it yourself' beautiful illustrations, inspirational quotes, and brief biographies, "Courage, Dear Heart: A Coloring Book of Empowering Words from Inspirational Women" from Ink & Willow is an adult coloring book that invites women to find strength in their community and discover courage by stepping into the calling God has uniquely ordained for them. The empowering coloring pages feature original designs from talented female artists and quotes from inspiring women in both the past and the present.

Too often, women are made to believe they are "less than" when it comes to importance, worth, beauty, or ability. But this was never the message God intended them to receive. Rather, God has appointed us to purpose and strength and whispers words of courage and reassurance over us. We can be community-builders like Eve, warriors like Deborah, rescuers like Rahab, prophecy fulfillers like Ruth, leaders like Esther, believers like Mary, teachers like Priscilla, prophetesses like Anna, and members of the great cloud of witnesses like so many of the women quoted in these pages.

Critique: "Courage, Dear Heart: A Coloring Book of Empowering Words from Inspirational Women" is a large format 9.75" x 9.75" (25x25cm) perforated page paperback with 45 single-sided coloring pages. It features quotes from the Bible, hymns, and a variety of inspirational women and speakers, such as Francine Rivers, Grace Cho, Julian of Norwich, Jennie Allen, Rosa Parks, Ruth Chou Simons, Corrie Ten Boom, and more. Of special note are the 'to be colored' illustrations by Holly Camp, Jennifer Tucker, Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Laura Marshall, and Bridget Hurley (all featured in Whatever Is Lovely and Choose Joy) as well as new artist Shannon Contreras. Unreservedly recommended, through the words in this meditative and inspiring adult coloring book, women will feel called to fulfill their own incredible purpose and mission -- one of lifting their voices to make God's kingdom known on earth, one of loving and encouraging their communities well, and one of empowering those around them to do the same.

Editorial Note: Ink & Willow products infuse contemplation and inspiration into the regular spiritual practice of creative-minded Christians, wherever they are in their faith journey. Each thoughtfully curated gift product is based in biblical truth and sparks a reminder of how God reveals beauty in the midst of our ordinary.

Scriptures and Florals Coloring Book
Allison Loveall
Andrews McMeel Publishing
www.andrewsmcmeel.com
9781524878740, $12.99, PB, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Scriptures-Florals-Coloring-Allison-Loveall/dp/152487874X

Synopsis: With the publication of the "Scriptures and Florals Coloring Book", adults can gift themselves time for joyful creativity and contemplation. Filled with rich, inspirational quotations from Scripture and beautiful designs by artist Allison Loveall, this adult coloring book will help to find moments of quiet reflection, peace, and calm. This Christian themed coloring book includes more than 45 hand-lettered quotations and gorgeous illustrations Loveall and features single-sided perforated coloring pages ready for framing.

Critique: Including inspiring quotes from the ESV Bible, "Scriptures and Florals Coloring Book" is a contemplative joy and a fun DIY activity that is highly recommended for relieving the stresses and strains that daily life is heir to.

Editorial Note: Allison Loveall (https://lovealldesign.co) is a 24-year-old self-taught artist and illustrator based out of Phoenix, AZ. Her journey as an artist began in 2015 as she searched for a hobby during her freshman year of college. Her vibrant and inspirational art quickly became loved by friends and family -- motivating her to start selling her work online. She has a sincere love for producing art that captures the beauty of nature and maneuvering words to look just as beautiful as their meaning. She specializes in acrylic paintings and illustrating digitally on her iPad.


The Audiobook Shelf

The Writer's Room Survival Guide
Niceole Levy, author/reader
Dreamscape Media
1417 Timberwolf Drive, Holland, Ohio, 43528
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666626704, $22.99, CD (8 Hours, 26 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Room-Survival-Guide-Screw/dp/1666626708

Synopsis: Writers' rooms for television shows or film projects can be a heaven or hell, depending on a few things. The best rooms foster inclusive and productive creative flow. The worst create a toxic stew of bad feelings and doubt. Both kinds, and all the ones in between, require basic knowledge of how the room works. These fundamentals are best learned before you go in.

What Niceole Levy provides in her complete and unabridged audio book "The Writer's Room Survival Guide: Don't Screw Up the Lunch Order and Other Keys to a Happy Writers' Room" is a true insider's insightful account of how to make it as a screenwriter working with others in close and confining quarters.

Critique: Professional screenwriter Niceole Levy's ably narrated and impressively informative, complete and unabridged audio book edition of "The Writer's Room Survival Guide: Don't Screw Up the Lunch Order and Other Keys to a Happy Writers' Room" from Dreamscape Media must be considered essential and invaluable for anyone one aspiring to or hoping for a career of writing scripts from television, the movies, or the stage. It should be noted that "The Writer's Room Survival Guide" is also available in a print edition from publisher Michael Wiese Productions (9781615933464, $29.95).

Editorial Note: Niceole Levy (https://niceolelevy.com/about) completed the NBC Writers on the Verge program in 2012 and the CBS Writer's Mentoring Program in 2011. She is also a 2-time graduate of the University of Southern California. A devotee of television, she wrote her first solo original pilot, "Thin Air" during the CBS program. She was a staff writer on NBC's "Ironside" in 2013 and is currently working on two new pilots. In addition, Niceole has completed a variety of projects, including pilots, specs, original plays, and original short stories.

Murder in Chianti
T. A. Williams, author
Simon Mattacks, narrator
Boldwood Books, Ltd.
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781804832332, $87.95, MP3-CD (6 Hours, 45 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-in-chianti-ta-williams/1142638661

Synopsis: It's a clear case of murder being carried out in broad daylight when millionaire magnate Rex Hunter is found with his head bashed in on the eighth hole of his prestigious golf and country club in beautiful Chianti.

Hunter was rich and successful and the envy of many, so retired DCI Dan Armstrong thinks the case will be a hole in one to solve. But as Dan and his trusty canine sidekick Oscar begin to dig deeper into Hunter's lifestyle, they discover a man despised by many. A renowned womaniser, ruthless boss and heartless family man, it seems no one is particularly sorry to see Hunter dead. And the list of possible suspects is endless.

Despite the murderer covering their tracks, Dan is determined to catch this clever killer, but it seems every new lead brings another dead end. Will this be one case Dan and his canine companion won't solve?

Critique: Brought vividly to life with the exceptional storytelling talents of narrator Simon Mattacks, "Murder in Chianti", the latest 'whoodunit' mystery by accomplished novelist T. A. Williams is a fun 'theatre of the mind' experience and unreservedly recommended for both personal and community library Mystery/Suspens audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: An extended listing of books by T. A. Williams can be found on a website dedicated to his work at https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/t-a-williams

Editorial Note: Simon Mattacks (https://www.simonmattacks.com) has been doing voice over and narrator work for advertisements, cartoons, corporate videos, video games, and audio books for more than 30 years.

The Trophy Wife
Valerie Keogh, author
Elliot Fitzpatrick, narrator
Boldwood Books Ltd
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781804835616, $103.00, MP3-CD (10 Hours, 40 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trophy-wife-valerie-keogh/1142835149

Synopsis: His prized possession or his greatest mistake? From the moment I saw Anne, I knew she was perfect for me. Her beauty and her social connections would make my miserable life so much better. It didn't matter that I didn't love her. I would give her the lifestyle she craved, and she would give me the life I deserved. But soon my marriage vows were a noose around my neck. I longed to escape my beautiful, horrible wife. And then I saw her and I knew there was only one way out.

Critique: A genuine suspense thriller of a novel by the impressively talented author Valerie Keogh, "The Trophy Wife" is flawlessly narrated by the exceptional storytelling talents of narrator Elliot Fitzpatrick. The result is a truly memorable experience that will enthrall the listener, this complete and unabridged edition from Boldwood Books is especially recommended for both personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #2: Valerie Keogh (https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/contributor/valerie-keogh) lives in Wiltshire with her husband and a huge black cat, Fatty Arbuckle. She grew up reading Agatha Christie and initially wrote crime novels -- she now writes psychological thrillers.

Editorial Note #2: Elliot Fitzpatrick (https://tantor.com/narrator/elliot-fitzpatrick.html) studied acting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire before going on to appear in theater in London's West End, at Shakespeare's Globe, and with the Rose Theatre Kingston, as well as in international tours across Asia. As an audiobook narrator he has read over fifty titles, including books by Bear Grylls and mountain-climber Nims Purja, and in 2021 was nominated for an Audie for his work on the mystery thriller The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell.

The Marriage Season
Jane Dunn
Boldwood Books Ltd
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
https://www.ulverscroft.com
9781804835296, $108.95, MP3-CD (9 Hours, 40 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marriage-season-jane-dunn/1142938048

Synopsis: In Regency England, marriage is everything. For young widow Sybella Lovatt, the time has come to find a suitable husband for her sister and ward Lucie. Male suitors are scarce near their Wiltshire estate, so the sisters resolve to head to London in time for the Season to begin.

Once ensconced at the Mayfair home of Lady Godley, Lucie's godmother, the whirl of balls, parties and promenades can begin. But the job of finding a husband is fraught with rules and tradition. Jostling for attention are the two lords - the charming and irresistible Freddie Lynwood and the preternaturally handsome Valentine Ravenell, their enigmatic neighbour from Shotten Hall, Mr Brabazon, and the dangerous libertine Lord Rockliffe, with whom the brooding Brabazon is locked in deadly rivalry.

Against the backdrop of glamorous Regency England, Sybella must settle Lucie's future, protect her own reputation, and resist the disreputable rakes determined to seduce the beautiful widow. As the Season ends, will the sisters have found the rarest of things -- a suitable marriage with a love story to match?

Critique: As a author, Jane Dunn is a true master of the Regency Romance genre as documented by her novel "The Marriage Season". Now from Boldwood Books this outstanding example of Regency Romance is now available as a complete and unabridged audio book edition deftly narrated by the vocal storytelling talents of Ruth Redman. A fun 'theatre of the mind' experience from start to finish, "The Marriage Season" is a welcome and recommended addition to personal lists and community library Romance audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Jane Dunn *https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/contributor/jane-dunn) is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She came to Boldwood Books with her first fiction outing with a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which is "The Marriage Season",

Editorial Note #2: Ruth Redman (https://erggo.us/en/account/you/RuthRedman) has voice a that is light and warm with a sympathetic tone that is both approachable and calm. She conveys authority and quiet confidence and has an excellent ear for accents. She is also a qualified and experienced actress who works in VoiceOver, Theatre, Film and Television. She even has her own Home studio.

A Brush with Murder
Bailee Abbott, author
Jennifer Jill Araya, narrator
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666520453, $59.95, CD (9 Hours, 45 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-brush-with-murder-bailee-abbott/1139850671?

Synopsis: For Chloe Abbington, the transition from fine-art painter in New York City to painting-event business owner in charming Whisper Cove is more than a little jarring. But when poison-pen journalist Fiona Gimble writes a viciously negative review of the newly opened Paint with a View, Chloe learns that critics are the same everywhere. And when she finds Fiona's body behind her shop with a painting knife in her neck, Chloe realizes that this picture-perfect town offers anything but peace and quiet.

Suddenly, bustling Artisan Alley is a crime scene, and Chloe is the prime suspect. Her sister and business partner, Izzie, isn't much help -- she's busy running the shop, and besides, she has secrets of her own. As shrewd Detective Barrett tries to paint her into a corner, Chloe soon finds that Fiona had plenty of enemies.

The Whisper Cove Gazette columnist wielded her pen like a sword, slicing and dicing just about every shop owner in the lakeside town. Chloe sets out to prove that she's been framed for Fiona's murder. But she'd better learn the fine art of detection quickly, before the real killer paints the town red again. Otherwise, she may end up trading in her paint smock for an orange jumpsuit... or a green burial plot!

Critique: As a novelist, author Bailee Abbott is a master of the Cozy Mystery genre. As a narrator, Jennifer Jill Araya is an impressively talented storyteller. Together they bring this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "A Brush With Murder" to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience. This complete and unabridged "A Brush With Murder" from Dreamscape Media is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal listing lists and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Bailee Abbott (https://crookedlanebooks.com/bailee-abbott) is a retired teacher who now spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She's a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Bailee also writes the Sierra Pines B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long.

Editorial Note #2: Jennifer Jill Araya (http://www.jenniferjillaraya.com) is an Audie Award Winner, an Earphones Award Recipient, an American Library Association YALSA Amazing Audiobooks Award Winner, a SOVAS Award Finalist, and a three-time Independent Audiobook Award Finalist, Jennifer has narrated nearly 300 audiobooks for a variety of publishers and producers, including Penguin Random House Audio, Simon & Schuster Audio, HarperAudio, Blackstone Publishing, and Audible Studios. Jennifer also narrates Romance and Erotica titles under the name Isabelle Ruther.

50% Off Murder
Josie Belle, author
Angie Hickman, narrator
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781690590859, $19.99, CD (7 Hours, 29 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/50-Off-Murder-Good-Girls/dp/1690590858

Synopsis: Maggie Gerber (who is one of the founding members of the Good Buy Girls) loves her quiet life in St. Stanley, Virginia. But all that changes when Sam Collins, her old flame, moves back to town as the new sheriff.

On top of that, Claire Freemont, a librarian and the newest member of the Good Buy Girls, starts acting utterly strange. When Maggie goes to visit her the next day at the library, she finds the body of a very dead man. Turns out the man is someone from Claire's past.

As the handsome new sheriff zeroes in on Claire, it's up to Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls to use their bargain-hunting skills to hunt a killer -- all while making sure they don't pay too much in the process!

Critique: Debuting a new Cozy Mystery audio book series 'by author Josie Belle, "50% Off Murder" is deftly narrated by the outstanding vocal performance of Angie Hickman. This complete and unabridged CD edition from Dreamscape Media will have a special appeal to fans of 'whodunnit' mysteries featuring women amateur sleuths and is particularly and especially recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Josie Belle (https://cozy-mystery.com/Josie-Belle.html) is a pseudonym for Jenn McKinlay, the author of the Library Lover's mysteries and the Cupcake Bakery mysteries.

Editorial Note #2: Angie Hickman (https://tantor.com/narrator/angie-hickman.html) earned her bachelor's degree in secondary English education, and then expanded her passion for words through her work in libraries and bookstores -- going on to bring stories to life through audiobook narration.

A Bias for Murder
Sally Goldenbaum, author
Stephanie Dillard, narrator
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781662065439, $19.99, CD (6 Hours, 32 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Bias-Murder-Queen-Bees-Quilt/dp/1662065434

Synopsis: Oliver Harrington II was one of the most beloved members of Crestwood's community. Despite being the picture of health at age 52, he died from a sudden heart attack, leaving behind the family mansion on a sprawling piece of property.

His twin sister, Adele, returned to the town she despises to claim her brother's home, intent on turning it into a B&B. And she's hired Po Paltrow and the Crestwood Quilters to craft quilts for the guest rooms.

But Adele is not the only one interested in the future of the Harrington estate. A developer wants to put multiple houses on the land. The townsfolk just want their neighborhood to retain its small-town charm and not become a tourist trap. But when an autopsy reveals that Oliver was actually poisoned, suspicion falls on his sister. Po doesn't believe Adele is guilty, leaving her determined to discover who else harbored deadly designs on the Harrington home...

Critique: Another fun and absorbing Cozy Mystery from the pen of Sally Goldenbaum and brought to life with the gifted narrative skills of Stephanie Dillard, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "A Bias for Murder" will especially delight listeners who are devoted fans of 'whodunnit' mysteries with more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster. "A Bias for Murder" will prove an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections and is a 'must' for the legions of Sally Goldenbaum fans!

Editorial Note #1: Sally Goldenbaum (http://www.sallygoldenbaum.com) was born on the shores of Lake Michigan in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to a homemaker mother and a ship-building father. Although she now lives in landlocked Prairie Village, Kansas, her longing for lakes and the sea is satisfied in part by writing the USA Today bestselling Seaside Knitters Mystery series, which is set in Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Her fans can follow her on Facebook at www.sallygoldenbaum.com

Editorial Note #2: Stephanie Dillard (https://www.stephaniedillard.com) studied theater and music at the University of Houston and has a master's degree in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College. While she remains active in the world of theater and opera, she now brings her musical talents behind the mic to give a wide range of vocal colors, clean diction, and emotional nuance to her characters.

The Betrayed
Jeff Wheeler, author
Kate Rudd, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799790242, $19.99, MP3-CD (9 Hours, 22 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Betrayed-Dawning-Muirwood-3/dp/179979024X

Synopsis: Bound by more than the search for a fantastical stolen tome, Eilean and Hoel plummet through the mirror gate into Leoneyis -- a world on the brink of disaster as its sovereign's reign begins to unravel. Enemies converge to destroy King Andrew, who has become headstrong and paranoid. His influence is undermined, and his kingdom is vulnerable. That's what happens when a king is betrayed by a queen.

The Queen of Brythonica is not just the rival of an anxious king. She's in possession of the ancient tome that Eilean and Hoel seek, which could help her achieve immortality. She knows Eilean is coming for her, and she is every bit the match for the young wretched. After all, they learned under the same master.

Eilean's first mission: save King Andrew's court lest it disappear under the floods of the Deep Fathoms. Her second: retrieve what is rightfully hers from the clutches of the Queen of Brythonica. To do so means confronting the queen in a duel of wits and magic.

The fate of Leoneyis is left to Eilean. She must save one world to secure the future for which she is destined in her own!

Critique: Narrator Kate Rudd's impressive storytelling skills bring Jeff Wheeler's "The Betrayed" to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener. An epic fantasy with more plot twists and turns than a Disney World roller-coaster, this complete and unabridged audio book from Brilliance Audio will prove a welcome and appreciatively enjoyed addition to personal reading lists and community library Fantasy Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Jeff Wheeler (www.jeff-wheeler.com) is the author of the First Argentines series (Knight's Ransom, Warrior's Ransom, Lady's Ransom, and Fate's Ransom); the Grave Kingdom series; the Harbinger and Kingfountain series; the Legends and Covenant of Muirwood trilogies; the Whispers from Mirrowen trilogy; the Dawning of Muirwood trilogy; and the Landmoor novels. Jeff is a husband, father of five, and devout member of his church. He lives in the Rocky Mountains.

Editorial Note: Kate Rudd (https://www.kateruddreads.com) is the winner of 2013 Audie and Odyssey Awards for narration of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and has been narrating audiobooks for nearly a decade. A ten time Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award recipient, Kate's performances have garnered inclusion in Audiofile's Best Audiobooks of the Year 2012/2017/2018 and Best Voices of the Year 2012. She has narrated more than 450 titles across a variety of genres and can be followed on Twitter @katerudd

Symphony for a Deadly Throne
E. J. Mellow, author
Madeline Lake & Tony Roberts, narrators
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713658832, $19.99, MP3-CD (14 Hours, 2 Minues)

https://www.amazon.com/Symphony-Deadly-Throne-Mousai-3/dp/1713658836

Synopsis: Within the world of Aadilor sits the hidden Thief Kingdom, a land overflowing with magic and mayhem. There the Mousai, a trio of deadly sorceresses, serve the reclusive Thief King, delivering punishment and pleasure to the masses.

Arabessa Bassette is the leader of the Mousai, conducting their powerful gifts with unyielding precision. But behind her mask of control burns a desire to forge her own path -- along with a tumultuous relationship with Zimri D'Enieu, her father's right hand and the man who's held her heart since they were children. When an unexpected invitation to vie for the Thief King's throne pulls her into a deadly competition, Arabessa's composure cracks as she finds herself with an impossible choice -- give up her greatest love or her greatest ambition.

But sacrifices loom large in the Thief Kingdom, for the quest for power always comes at a price. With her and Zimri's future hanging in the balance, Arabessa must decide if she's willing to pay it.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where love is found between cracks and the most mesmerizing symphonies carry lethal notes. Dare to play?

Critique: An epic conclusion to author E. J. Millow's fantasy trilogy, 'The Mousai', the story telling narration talents of Madeline Lake Tony Roberts to provide the listener with a truly memorable 'threatre of the mind' experience. Complete and unabridged, this Brilliance Audio production is extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for both personal lists and community library Epic Fantasy audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: E. J. Mellow (http://www.ejmellow.com/about) is an author specializing in magical mayhem. Her work has appeared on best-of lists such as Buzzfeed and Gizmodo and has reached number one on Amazon's charts, as well as received medals from eLit Book Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Readers have said her "lyrical, vibrant, and imaginative" writing sweeps them into "stunning worlds." She is also the cofounder of She Is Booked, a literary-themed fundraising organization that supports women's charities.

Quick Silver
Dean Koontz, author
Todd Haberkorn, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713626176, $29.99, MP3-CD (10 Hours, 8 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Quicksilver-Dean-Koontz/dp/1713626179

Synopsis: Quinn Quicksilver was born a mystery -- abandoned at three days old on a desert highway in Arizona. Raised in an orphanage, never knowing his parents, Quinn had a happy if unexceptional life. Until the day of "strange magnetism." It compelled him to drive out to the middle of nowhere. It helped him find a coin worth a lot of money. And it practically saved his life when two government agents showed up in the diner in pursuit of him. Now Quinn is on the run from those agents and who knows what else, fleeing for his life.

During a shoot-out at a forlorn dude ranch, he finally meets his destined companions: Bridget Rainking, a beauty as gifted in foresight as she is with firearms, and her grandpa Sparky, a romance novelist with an unusual past. Bridget knows what it's like to be Quinn. She's hunted, too. The only way to stay alive is to keep moving.

Barreling through the Sonoran Desert, the formidable trio is impelled by that same inexplicable magnetism toward the inevitable. With every deeply disturbing mile, something sinister is in the rearview -- an enemy that is more than a match for Quinn. Even as he discovers within himself resources that are every bit as scary.

Critique: As an author, Dean Koontz is one of the very best when it comes to a riveting novel of mystery, suspense, and action. Now with his mystery thriller "Quick Silver" available as a complete and unabridged audio book narrated by impressive storytelling skills of Todd Haberkorn, will be treasured by the legions of Dean Koontz fans and an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note: Dean Koontz (www.deankoontz.com) was only a senior in college when he won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition. He has never stopped writing since. Koontz is the author of seventy-nine New York Times bestsellers, fourteen of which rose to #1, including One Door Away from Heaven, From the Corner of His Eye, Midnight, Cold Fire, The Bad Place, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, Intensity, Sole Survivor, The Husband, Odd Hours, Relentless, What the Night Knows, and 77 Shadow Street.

Editorial Note #2: Todd Haberkorn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Haberkorn) is a talented American voice actor and director, who has dubbed in anime, films, and video games.

The Chemistry of Love
Sariah Wilson, author
Em Eldridge, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781978694392, $19.99, MP3-CD (12 Hours, 4 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Chemistry-Love-Sariah-Wilson/dp/1978694393

Synopsis: How can Anna Ellis, a geeky, brilliant, and hopelessly smitten cosmetic chemist possibly win over Craig Kimball, the man of her dreams -- who also happens to be her boss? The answer is Craig's empathetic (and handsome) CEO half brother, Marco. The makeup mogul knows Craig for the ridiculously competitive rival he is. Whatever Marco has, Craig wants. That can be Anna, if she's game to play.

All Anna and Marco have to do is pretend they're falling in love and let the rumors begin. If the experiment in attraction works, a jealous Craig will swoop in and give Anna her happily ever after -- if it weren't for one hitch in the plan. There's more to Marco than meets the eye. With every fake date, Anna's feelings are starting to become dizzyingly real.

Blame it on chemistry. It's unpredictable, exciting, and occasionally combustible. If Anna and Marco are really falling in love, who are they to argue with science?

Critique: With a very special appeal to fans of clean, wholesome, contemporary romantic comedy, "The Chemistry of Love" by Sariah Wilson is brilliantly narrated by the vocal storytelling skills of Em Eldridge. The result is complete and unabridged audio book experience and a highly recommended addition to community library Romance Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Sariah Wilson (www.sariahwilson.com) is the author of The Paid Bridesmaid, The Seat Filler, Roommaid, Just a Boyfriend, the Royals of Monterra series, and the #Lovestruck novels.

Editorial Note #2: Em Eldridge (http://www.emeldridgevo.com) is an experienced voice over actor and audio book narrator who has done commercials, animation, and audio books.

Meru
S. B. Divya, author
Deepa Samuel, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799799078, $19.99, MP3-CD (11 Hours, 43 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Meru-S-B-Divya/dp/1799799077

Synopsis: For five centuries, human life has been restricted to Earth, while post-human descendants called alloys freely explore the galaxy. But when the Earthlike planet of Meru is discovered, two unlikely companions venture forth to test the habitability of this unoccupied new world and the future of human-alloy relations.

For Jayanthi, the adopted human child of alloy parents, it's an opportunity to rectify the ancient reputation of her species as avaricious and destructive, and to give humanity a new place in the universe. For Vaha, Jayanthi's alloy pilot, it's a daunting yet irresistible adventure to find success as an individual.

As the journey challenges their resolve in unexpected ways, the two form a bond that only deepens with their time alone on Meru. But how can Jayanthi succeed at freeing humanity from its past when she and Vaha have been set up to fail?

Against all odds, hope is human, too!

Critique: A 'must' for dedicated science fiction fans, "Meru" by S. B. Divya and brought to life by the impressive narrative talents of Deepa Samuel is an extraordinary 'theatre of the mind' experience from beginning to end. This complete and unabridged edition from Brilliance Audio will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Science Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: S. B. Divya (www.sbdivya.com) is a Hugo- and Nebula-nominated author whose work includes Machinehood, Runtime, and the short-story collection Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse and Other Possible Situations. Her stories have been published in various magazines, such as Analog and Uncanny; on Tor.com; and in several anthologies, including Seasons Between Us and Rebuilding Tomorrow. She holds degrees in computational neuroscience and signal processing, and she worked for twenty years as an electrical engineer before becoming an author.

Editorial Note #2: A listing of narrator Deepa Samuel's audio book productions can be found at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18671635.Deepa_Samuel

Seven Mercies
Laura Lam & Elizabeth May, authors
Christina Traister, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799758990, $29.99, MP3-CD (16 Hours, 23 Minutes)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-mercies-laura-lam/1139309037?ean=9781799758990

Synopsis: After an ambush leaves the Novantae resistance in tatters, the survivors scatter across the galaxy. Wanted by two great empires, the bounty on any rebel's head is enough to make a captor filthy rich. And the seven devils? Biggest score of them all. To avoid attacks, the crew of Zelus scavenge for supplies on long-abandoned Tholosian outposts.

Not long after the remnants of the rebellion settle briefly on Fortuna, Ariadne gets a message with unimaginable consequences: the Oracle has gone rogue. In a planned coup against the Empire's new ruler, the AI has developed a way of mass programming citizens into mindless drones. The Oracle's demand is simple: the AI wants One's daughter back at any cost.

Time for an Impossible to Infiltrate mission: high chance of death, low chance of success. The devils will have to use their unique skills, no matter the sacrifice, and pair up with old enemies. Their plan? Get to the heart of the Empire. Destroy the Oracle. Burn it all to the ground.

Critique: "Seven Mercies" is the second title in a feminist space opera duology by co-authors Laura Lam & Elizabeth May" and follows the team of seven rebels who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire -- or die trying. Brought to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience by the articulate storytelling skills of narrator Christina Traister, this complete and unabridged audio book edition from Brilliance Audio is especially recommended to the attention of dedicated science fiction fans, and will prove to be an enduringly appreciated addition to community library Science Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Laura Lam (https://lrlam.co.uk) is the author of feminist space opera Seven Devils (co-written with Elizabeth May), BBC Radio 2 Book Club section False Hearts, the companion novel Shattered Minds, and the award-winning Micah Grey series. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.

Editorial Note #2: Elizabeth May (https://elizabethmaywrites.com) is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy The Falconer and short fiction published in the anthology Toil & Trouble. She was born and raised in California before moving to Scotland, where she earned her PhD at the University of St Andrews.

Editorial Note #3: Christina Traister (http://www.christinatraister.com) is a freelance audiobook narrator, having recorded well over two hundred titles for such companies as Brilliance Audio (Amazon), Common Mode (Harlequin Audio and Harper Collins), Tantor Media, Lyric Audiobooks, John Marshall Media (Harper Collins ), Podium Publishing (Audible), Macmillan Publishers (Audible), BeeAudio, Ltd (Harper Collins), Dreamscape Media (HarperCollins), and Talking Book (Coffee House Press).

Not at Eight, Darling
Sherryl Woods, author
Sara Sheckells, narrator
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666523447, $TBA, MP3-CD, (292 Minutes)

https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com/catalog/audiobooks/detail/?%22not-at-eight,-darling%22/sherryl-woods+/&id=000 12353

Synopsis: TV producer Barrie MacDonald has worked for years to get her sitcom on the air. So when network executive Michael Compton tries to reschedule her show, she isn't quick to let him have his way -- no matter how charming or handsome the man might be. Though it's clear that he's interested in her, the spunky producer knows better than to mix their personal and professional lives together. But as Barrie sees similarities between her real-life problems and the romance of her on-screen heroine, she begins to rethink her decision to brush Michael aside. Life with Michael could get complicated. But maybe life without him would be far less exciting!

Critique: An original and fun romance novel by author Sherryl Woods, "Not at Eight, Darling" is now available in a complete and unabridged audio book edition thanks to the simply outstanding narrative talents of Sara Sheckells. "Not at Eight, Darling" is a delightful and recommended addition to the personal lists of dedicated romance fans, and will prove to be an enduringly popular contribution to community library Contemporary Romance audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Sherryl Woods (https://sherrylwoods.com) is the author of nearly 150 books. Two of her series have been developed for TV. Chesapeake Shores airs on Hallmark Channel and Sweet Magnolias on Netflix.

Editorial Note #2: Sara Sheckells (https://sarasounds.com) has told stories as a radio host, a costumed tour guide, and now as an audiobook narrator. A former educator, her specialized knowledge of college life, adolescence, and career development informs her narration in multiple genres including literary fiction, memoirs, thrillers, self-development, and women's fiction.

Murder Out Of Character
Olivia Matthews, author
Janna Edwards, narrator
Hallmark Publishing
c/o Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666610123, $TBA, MP3-CD, (453 Minutes)

https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com/catalog/audiobooks/detail/?murder-out-of-character/olivia-matthews+/&id=000133 98

Synopsis: Marvey, still adjusting to life in Peach Coast, Georgia, is at a library fundraising event when she comes across a list of four names. One is the name of someone who recently died -- and who may have been murdered. Another is Spencer Holt, the handsome newspaper owner who's become one of Marvey's best friends. The four people appear to have nothing in common other than living in Peach Coast. Spencer dismisses the list at first, but before long, he has to admit he may be in danger. As Marvey prepares for a visit from her parents, can she, Spencer, and their intrepid librarian friends stop a killer bent on long overdue revenge?

Critique: An expertly crafted cozy mystery by novelist Olivia Matthews, this complete and unabridged audio book edition is skillfully narrated by Janna Edwards. The result is a flawlessly produced listening experience that will have a very special appeal to anyone with an interest in the adventures of a woman sleuth dealing with a mystery that has more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster. "Murder Out Of Character" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym for national best-selling and award-winning author Patricia Sargeant (www.PatriciaSargeant.com). Patricia's work has been featured in national publications such as Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Suspense Magazine, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. She's also been interviewed on podcasts including Destination Mystery with Laura Brennan, Conversations LIVE! with Cyrus Webb, Read You Later with Lasheera Lee and Katara's Cafe with Katara Johnson.

Editorial Note #2: Janina Edwards (https://www.janinaspeaksvolumes.com) has recorded more than 400 titles through traditional audiobook publishers including Blackstone, Simon & Schuster, Dreamscape, Tantor, and Audible, as well independent production platforms, such as ACX and Findaway. She has been featured in the New York Times, Audiofile and ACX (Audible's Audiobook Creation Exchange). Janina excels at portraying compelling believable characters and voices of African Americans, and other people of the English-speaking African diaspora (the West Indies, West and South Africa).

State of the Union
Marie Force, author
Eva Kaminsky, narrator
HTJB, Inc.
c/o Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666609943, $34.99, MP3-CD (560 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/State-Union-Marie-Force/dp/1666609943

Synopsis: President Cappuano has been working for months on his first State of the Union address, his highest profile moment yet as the country's new president. He's dealing with a wide array of complex issues and is counting down to the televised speech before a joint session of Congress. While he tries to strike the right tone to assure the American people that their new president is hard at work on their behalf, his wife, Metro Police Lt. Sam Holland is faced with one of the most confounding cases of her career and juggling some complex issues at home with the couple's children. Add to that some vexing security concerns, and the first couple are on edge as they wonder whether they'll pass this first big test for the fledgling Cappuano administration. As always, when things get too hot to handle in the rest of their lives, Sam and Nick turn to each other for solace as their bond grows deeper by the day

Critique: The latest installment in the First Family Series by novelist Marie Force, and now available as a complete and unabridged audio book, "State of the Union" is brilliantly narrated by the impressive vocal acting talents of Eva Kaminsky who does full justice to the narrative driven writing style of the author. The result is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Contemporary Romance/Suspense audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Marie Force (https://marieforce.com/ is an author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and erotic romance. Her series includes Gansett Island, Fatal, Treading Water, Butler Vermont, Quantum, and Miami Nights. Her books have sold more than ten million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list more than thirty times.

Editorial Note #2: Eva Kaminsky (https://www.evakaminsky.com) is an actress, director, and audiobook narrator. An Audie nominee and two-time winner of the Earphones Award, she has recorded over 150 audiobooks in genres ranging from romance to young adult.

The Great Man Theory
Teddy Wayne, author
Adam Barr, narrator
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666609431, $22.99, MP3-CD (10 Hours, 25 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Man-Theory-Teddy-Wayne/dp/1666609439

Synopsis: Paul is a recently demoted adjunct instructor of freshman comp, a divorced but doting Brooklyn father, and a self-described "curmudgeonly crank" cataloging his resentment of the priorities of modern life in a book called The Luddite Manifesto.

Outraged by the authoritarian creeps ruining the country, Paul is determined to better the future for his young daughter, one aggrieved lecture at a time. Shockingly, others aren't very receptive to his scoldings. His child grows distant, preferring superficial entertainment to her father's terrarium and anti-technological tutelage. His careerist students are less interested than ever in what he has to say, and his last remaining friends appear ready to ditch him.

To make up for lost income, he moonlights as a ride-share driver and moves in with his elderly mother, whose third-act changes confound and upset him. As one indignity follows the next, and Paul's disaffection with his circumstances and society mounts, he concocts a dramatic plan to right the world's wrongs and gives himself a more significant place in it.

Critique: As a novelist, author Teddy Wayne has a genuine flair for satire and finely honed characters. As entertaining as it is thought-provoking, this complete and unabridged audio book edition (so deftly narrated by the storytelling talents of narrator Adam Barr) of "The Great Man Theory" will prove a welcome addition to both personal and community library Contemporary Fiction audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Teddy Wayne (https://teddywayne.com) is the author of the novels "Loner" (Simon & Schuster), "The Love Song of Jonny Valentine" (Simon & Schuster), and "Kapitoil" (Harper Perennial). A columnist for the New York Times and McSweeney's and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, he is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. He has taught at Columbia University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Yale Writers' Conference.

Editorial Note #2: Adam Barr (https://www.adambarrnarration.com) is a recovering lawyer; a 25-year veteran of the golf industry (primarily as a print and TV journalist); an actor and singer with a lively, wide-ranging baritone voice -- and a lifelong lover of books and reading. His studies with prominent audiobook veterans Johnny Heller and Shannon Parks have helped him focus on well-crafted characters rather than just bare words on the page.

Kill Them with Canvas
Bailee Abbot, author
Jennifer Jill Araya, narrator
Dreamscape Media
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781666616651, $22.99, CD (9 Hours, 14 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Them-Canvas-Bailee-Abbott/dp/1666616656

Synopsis: Chloe Abbington and her sister, Izzie, are enjoying huge success running Paint with a View, their paint party business in the tranquil western New York lakeside town of Whisper Cove. Now, their aunt Constance (president of the local chapter of the Chautauqua Sisterhood) has hooked them up with a gig hosting a Halloween painting party. The guests will be painting a local ghost legend, the Lady of Chautauqua Lake, who died a hundred years earlier and rises from the lake every October to haunt anyone who dares venture out on All Hallows' Eve.

The event seems to be going off without a hitch, until Chloe overhears an argument between Constance and Viola Finnwinkle, the Sisterhood director, about the fate of the local chapter. Both women leave and the sisters finish their painting. But the next morning, Viola's body is discovered floating face down near the town ferryboat dock, her long red hair spread around her. Eerily, the image is an exact replica of a painting Chloe and Izzie had discovered at the event the night before.

What's more, the police find Constance's purple knit hat lying on the ground near the crime scene. Constance pleads innocence, saying the hat mysteriously went missing during the event. Frantic that she might be charged with murder, she begs Chloe and Izzie to help her. The sisters believe their aunt is innocent, but if so, who's the real killer -- and when will the next victim turn up?

Critique: "Kill Them With Canvas" is the second novel in author Bailee Abbott's cozy mystery series 'A Paint By Murder Mystery'. A beautifully constructed and original 'whodunnit' that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections, "Kill Them With Canvas" is brought brilliantly to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience by the narrative storytelling skills of Jennifer Jill Araya.

Editorial Note #1: Bailee Abbott is a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. She also writes the Sierra Pines B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long and has an online Author's Page at https://crookedlanebooks.com/bailee-abbott

Editorial Note #2: Jennifer Jill Araya (http://www.jenniferjillaraya.com) is an Audie-Award winning narrator who's training as an opera singer and orchestral cellist lend a musicality and depth of understanding to her narration that help bring an author's story to life. An Audie Award Winner, Earphones Award Recipient, American Library Association YALSA Amazing Audiobooks Award Winner, SOVAS Award Finalist, and three-time Independent Audiobook Award Finalist, Jennifer has narrated nearly 300 audiobooks for a variety of publishers and producers, including Penguin Random House Audio, Simon & Schuster Audio, HarperAudio, Blackstone Publishing, and Audible Studios. Jennifer also narrates Romance and Erotica titles under the name Isabelle Ruther.


The Library CD Shelf

Love and Learn
Rosemary Clooney
Hindsight Records
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Learn-Rosemary-Clooney/dp/B0BLHR6Z4P

Love and Learn is a music album featuring classic performances by American singer and actress Rosemary Clooney (1928- 2002), along with Buddy Cole on keyboards, and orchestrations by John Forbes. These timeless tracks showcase an unforgettable star in her prime. Love and Learn is highly recommended especially for public library collections as a preserved piece of American musical heritage, and also makes an excellent gift! The tracks are Harbor Lights, I Get A Kick Out Of You, Love And Learn, Always Together, When I Sing, Goodbye Blues, It Just Happened To Happen To Me, Mountain Greenery, Anyone For Love?, Witchcraft, Time For Love, You Got, I Love You (My Every Thought Is You), and You Ol' Son Of A Gun.

Losing My Mind
Darmon Meader
darmonmeader.com
Privately Published
$15.09 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Losing-My-Mind-Darmon-Meader/dp/B0BT4S28WY

Losing My Mind is the second solo project of vocalist, saxophonist, arranger, and composer Darmon Meader. The songs are primarily beloved classics from the "Great American Songbook", Stephen Sondheim, Ivan Lins, and "old-school" pop tunes, although there are also a couple of original compositions. Losing My Mind is a treasure for saxophone connoisseurs, highly recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are It Could Happen To You; Losing My Mind; Last Call; Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise; Gaia's Lament; I Hear Muisc; Lembra de Mim; The Last Thing On My Mind; Lovely Day; East of the Sun (West of the Moon); All My Loving; and The Song Is You.

Operator
Avi Granite 6
https://avigranite6.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $7.00 digital

https://avigranite6.bandcamp.com/album/operator

New York City based improviser, composer, and guitarist Avi Granite presents Operator, an original music album created with Jim Lewis on trumpet, Peter Lutek on tenor and soprano saxophones, Tom Richards on trombone, Neal Davis on Bass, and Ted Warren on drums. All songs are the original compositions of Avi Granite. Creative and lively, Operator explores the transformative powers of connections and communications between people, and is a welcome addition to modern jazz collections. Highly recommended. The tracks are Crushing Beans, Voracious, My Sunken Ship, Ubiquitous Miles, The Long Tomorrow, Good Deal, Misanthropic Vindaloo, and Many Bowls.

Something in the Water
Jake Ybarra
www.jakeybarra.com
Privately Published
$TBA

Something in the Water is a music album of ten original works by guitarist and baritone singer Jake Ybarra. The songs draw upon roots and rockabilly music traditions to tell emotional stories through their lyrics, from a couple's uneasy romance while bad weather traps them indoors to a homeowner's discovery of century-old love letters, to a traveler's wistful regrets over a missed opportunity with a special girl, and more. Something in the Water is poignant, unforgettable, and highly recommended. The tracks are Late November, BloodFire, Savannah's Song, A Whole Lot To Remember, Long Winter, Call Me By My Name, Something In The Water, Disappear, No Reason Or Right, and Silly Little Things.

Interblaze
Ally Fiola & The Next Quest, featuring Jeff Coffin
www.allyfiola.com
Privately Published
$TBA

https://allyfiola.com/discography

Interblaze is a contemporary jazz album performed by Ally Fiola and The Next Quest, featuring Grammy-nominated saxophonist Jeff Coffin. The songs are composed and arranged by Ally Fiola, except as noted in the track listing. The lively songs feature saxophone, trombone, sousaphone, guitar, piano, and percussion fused into emotionally charged soundscape adventures with captivating melodies and enthralling rhythms. Interblaze is a fresh and exciting listening experience for modern jazz connoisseurs, highly recommended! The tracks are Interblaze, Back Track, Circular Beginnings, Intuition (arr. Chris Mitchell), Rocket Sunrise, Thoughts of Home, Underground, and Amazing Grace (Traditional).

Absence of You
Tina Hartt
tinahartt.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BSP27L3N

Canadian singer, composer, and musician Tina Hartt presents Absence of You, a multifaceted jazz album. There are original creations and captivating favorites; there are songs performed in smooth English and songs performed in sultry French. There are songs about harrowing personal struggle, songs about comfort, and songs about intense passion. Absence of You is profound, powerful and highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of multilingual jazz. The tracks are Amour, castagnettes et tango; Trust Your Heart; Absence of You; Kiss of Fire; Paris s'eveille la nuit; J'attendrai; I Can Look but I Can't Touch; Ne me quitte pas; La boheme; J'ai perdu mon coeur; and La vie en rose.

Dindin
Kimi Djabate
www.kimidjabate.com
Cumbancha
www.cumbancha.com
$14.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Dindin-Kimi-Djabate/dp/B0BGPW67Q7

Talented guitarist, percussionist, and balafon (African xylophone) player Kimi Djabate presents Dindin, a music album with a title that means "children" in the Mandinga language. The songs blend Afro-Portuguese rhythms, Cuban swing, electric desert blues and more into soul-stirring original compositions. The Mandinga language lyrics address social and political problems of modern Africa, addressing issues such as religion, women's rights, poverty, and education. Dindin is a standout addition to world music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are Afonhe, Yensoro, Alidonke, Kambem, Na, Dindin, O Manhe, Sano, Mbembalu, Mana Mana, and Djugu Djugu.

Ramon
Christopher McBride
www.crmcbridemusic.com
Kyo Music Publishing, LLC
www.kyomusicpublishing.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTXDYQTK

Harlem-based, Grammy-nominated saxophonist Christopher McBride presents Ramon, an album of original music. All songs are written and produced by Christopher McBride, and strongly influenced by his affinity for rhythm & blues. The performances include contributions from fellow musicians on trumpet, piano, bass, drums, guitar, tuba, trombone, and more. The songs include emotional pieces, celebrations of life's joyous moments, and a sobering reflection upon the last moments of Trayvon Martin's life in the three "Stand Your Ground" songs. Ramon is vivid, unforgettable, and highly recommended. The tracks are Lady D, Welcome, You Put A Smile On My Face, Bronx Unchained, Your Eyes Can't Lie, Intimacy, Postlude, Stand Your Ground Pt. 1 - Suspicion, Stand Your Ground Pt. 2 - Confrontation, Stand Your Ground Pt. 3 - In Memoriam: The Ballad of Trayvon Martin, Dope (For The Steppers), Girl Get 'Em, and Your Eyes Can't Lie (Instrumental).


The Christian Studies Shelf

How to Human
Carols Whittaker
WaterBrook Press
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780525654025, $18.00, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Human-Distracts-Divides-Disconnects/dp/052565402X

Synopsis: The Covid-19 Pandemic, white cops shooting down black men, a war breaking out between Russia and the Ukraine, an attempted overthrow of a freely elected American government, rising numbers of the homeless and the hungry, climate change based disasters world wide and here at home (and more!) -- these are crazy times. We are more agitated than ever. We're fighting. Wrestling with big issues. Less connected than ever to one another and to God. It's a perfect storm: debilitating anxiety, crashing relationships, and forgetting what it feels like to, well, be human.

With the publication of "How to Human: Three Ways to Share Life Beyond What Distracts, Divides, and Disconnects Us", author, speaker, and social-media personality Carlos Whittaker offers a fresh vision for becoming the best versions of ourselves. We can refuse to let disagreements define us. We can say no to becoming upset, rage-filled humans and say yes to fuller, happier lives. It begins as we make the shift from "me" to "we" to "everybody" in a three-part journey to be human, see fellow humans, and free those around us.

A practical guide which reveals how to help others, how to hope fiercely, and how to experience the thrill of being fully human, in the pages of "How to Human", Carlos describes a radical path of love -- one that requires us to become builders rather than destroyers. One that gets personal. One that moves toward others in faith rather than away in fear. One that, when times get crazy, is willing to get crazier (in a good way). One that understands the big joy of how to human.

Critique: Written from a Christian perspective, "How to Human: Three Ways to Share Life Beyond What Distracts, Divides, and Disconnects Us" by Carols Whittaker is especially and unreservedly recommended reading for anyone in need of a Christian based Self-Help/Spiritual Growth instructional guide that is 'real world practical', motivationally inspirational, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and all members of the Christian community that "How to Human" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Carlos Whittaker (https://www.carloswhittaker.com) is a speaker, social media personality, and author of Moment Maker, Kill the Spider, and Enter Wild. A self-professed "hope dealer," he frequently speaks at some of the nation's largest churches, corporations, and culture-shaping conferences as well as events such as Orange Conference and MOMcon. Carlos is a People's Choice Award winner and host of the popular Human Hope podcast.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

State of Halakha: Israel's History in Jewish Law
Aviad Tabory
Maggid
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
www.korenpub.com
9781592645534, $29.95, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/State-Halakha-Israels-History-Jewish/dp/1592645534

Synopsis: Halakha is the system of Jewish law is designed to guide Israelis and all members of the Jewish community in major and minor areas of their lives. However, how is it to be applied in unprecedented situations?

"State of Halakha: Israel's History in Jewish Law" is fascinating new work with which rabbi and educator Aviad Tabory goes through watershed events and major issues in modern Israeli history, examining them through the lens of halakha.

Examples include the 1961 capture of Adolph Eichmann and the obligation to bring murderers to justice; the Eli Cohen affair in Syria and how far one may go to protect the State of Israel; the 2005 Disengagement from Gush Katif and the issues surrounding the destructtion of synagogues; the religious ramifications for Jerusalem the capital when the American Embassy moved to Jerusalem.

"State of Halakha: Israel's History in Jewish Law" is a study of halakha within the context of the pertinent historical, political, cultural and social issues at each time.

Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "State of Halakha: Israel's History in Jewish Law" is a seminal contribution to our understanding of Jewish law and a welcome, unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Jewish Life & History Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Rabbi Aviad Tabory (https://torahinmotion.org/profile/rabbi-aviad-tabory) currently teaches Gemara at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi in Jerusalem. In the summer he serves as the Rosh Bet Midrash in Bnei Akiva Camp Stone. He studied at the Hesder Yeshivot of Ohr Etzion and Har Etzion in and received Smicha from the Israeli Rabbinate. and a degree in Jewish education from Herzog College. He hask also taught at Michlelet Orot, Midreshet Lindenbaum, Midreshet HaRova, and took part in establishing a new Yeshiva High School in Susiya. He has served as the Rav Shaliach of the Jewish Agency to Bnei Akiva in the UK as well as the founding community Rabbi of Alei Etzion in Hendon, London.

Prophetic Voices: Renewing and Reimagining Haftarah
Rabbi Barbara Ab Symons, editor
Central Conference of American Rabbis
c/o CCAR Press
www.ccarpress.org
9780881233704, $24.95, HC, 562pp

https://www.amazon.com/Prophetic-Voices-Renewing-Reimagining-Haftarah/dp/0881233706

Synopsis: The traditional haftarah cycle, read on Shabbat and holidays during the Torah service, contains a wealth of prophetic wisdom, yet today it is too often forgotten or ignored.

With the publication of "Prophetic Voices: Renewing and Reimagining Haftarah", compiled and edited by Rabbi Barbara Ab Symons, gives new life to these ancient texts. A diverse group of contributors the includes rabbis, cantors, scholars, educators, activists, and poets, provide short commentaries on each haftarah, demonstrating their profound relevance to the present.

Additionally, "Prophetic Voices" boldly invites us to rethink the haftarah canon. Going beyond the Prophets, it presents alternative readings from Jewish texts biblical to contemporary. New haftarot for each Shabbat and holiday are included, plus haftarot for the Jewish American calendar, from Yom HaShoah to Pride Month to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The readings are enhanced by scholarly essays placing the Prophets in historical context and examining the role of prophecy in Reform Judaism. Prophetic Voices summons us to listen, study, think, and teach -- as well as to sing, pray, and march.

Critique: Of special interest, value and relevance for students of the Torah and the Jewish Reform Movement, "Prophetic Voices: Renewing and Reimagining Haftarah" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, synagogue, community, college, and university library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Synopsis: Rabbi Barbara Ab Symons (https://www.ccarpress.org/content.asp?tid=596) graduated from the University of Michigan and was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1994. Since 2006, she has been serving Temple David in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. She is deeply involved in the interfaith community primarily through her work with the Monroeville Interfaith Ministerium (of which she is past president) and through the Catholic Jewish Education Enrichment program. Engaged with the local community, Rabbi Symons has served as president of the hospital's clergy board and rabbinic groups, and she is active with the town council, school board, and library.


The Fashion Shelf

Sundressed: Natural Fabrics and the Future of Clothing
Lucianne Tonti
Island Press
2000 M St NW Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
www.islandpress.org
9781642832716, $29.00, HC, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sundressed-Natural-Fabrics-Future-Clothing/dp/1642832715

Synopsis: For consumers, buying clothes has never been more complicated. Even as fashion brands tout their sustainability, the industry is plagued by pollution, waste, and poor working conditions. In fact, fashion may account for as much as 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If our clothes reflect our values, is it possible to be truly well-dressed?

With the publication of "Sundressed: Natural Fabrics and the Future of Clothing ", sustainable fashion consultant Lucianne Tonti answers with a resounding yes. Beautiful clothes made from natural fabrics including cotton, wool, flax, and cashmere can support rural communities and regenerate landscapes. They can also reduce waste -- but only if we invest in garments that stand the test of time rather than chasing fast fashion trends.

In the pages of "Sundressed", Tonti travels the world to showcase producers who are reforming the industry, from Mongolian goatherders, to Mulberry groves in China, and American hemp farms. Many of these innovations begin in the fields, with the cotton crops that will ultimately be spun into a soft T-shirt or the sheep's wool than will be knitted into a cozy sweater. Fiber farmers are taking a page from the regenerative agriculture movement, giving back to the land as they tend it. Meanwhile, further down the supply chain, top designers are working with Indigenous communities to relearn the artistry of sewing -- and reward them financially. And global brands, including Levi's, are working to produce a pair of jeans that can withstand dozens of washes without any sign of wear.

Tonti also shows readers how accessible sustainable fashion can be. Not everyone can afford a designer shirt that was lovingly hand-sewn. But most of us can buy less, choose natural fabrics over polyester, thrift shop, and wear our clothes longer.

"Sundressed" is an exploration of a revolution currently taking place in the world of fashion from farm to closet.

Critique: A simply fascinating read that will have a special appeal and relevance to professionals and non-specialist general readers alike who have an interest in the impact of the Green movement on today's fashion makers and clothing manufacturers. Informatively enhanced for readers with the inclusion of twelve pages of Notes, "Sundressed: Natural Fabrics and the Future of Clothing" is a seminal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Green Fashion & Textile Busiess collections and supplemental Environmental Economics curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Sundressed" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Lucianne Tonti (https://www.luciannetonti.com) has worked in fashion in Melbourne, Sydney, London, and Paris since 2008. In 2020 she launched the sustainable fashion site Prelude, profiled in Vogue. Lucianne holds a Bachelor of Communication, a Juris Doctorate, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Political Science. Her writing appears in The Guardian and she is the fashion editor of The Saturday Paper.


The Parenting Shelf

One and Done
Rebecca Greene, MSW, LMSW
Familius
www.familius.com
9781641707442, $18.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/One-Done-Guide-Raising-Thriving/dp/1641707445

Synopsis: Being an only child doesn't necessarily mean being a lonely child. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and even a family with one child is complete and whole. But every family is unique, and raising an only child can seem daunting.

As a therapist, the mother of an only child, and an only child herself, Rebecca Greene is an expert in the variety of issues that surround raising an only child, and she knows that parenting an only child is a complex endeavor, no matter how you came to be one and done. With the publication of "One and Done: The Guide to Raising a Happy and Thriving Only Child" she presents a comprehensive guidebook for parents that explores the reasons why a family might have one child, discusses the benefits of having an only child, debunks the stigmas of only children, and provides tips and strategies for creating a happy home environment and building a strong community for an only child. Rebecca also covers what to do when your only child is lonely, how to develop new family traditions, how to plan meaningful trips for your family, how to choose the ideal neighborhood, and more!

Critique: An impressive combination of instructional guide and 'how-to' manual, "One and Done: The Guide to Raising a Happy and Thriving Only Child" is a thoroughly 'parent friendly' compendium of research, first-hand accounts, and tried-and-true methods and advice. Simply stated, "One and Done" is the ultimate resource for raising a happy and thriving only child and therefore an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Parenting collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "One and Done' is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Rebecca Greene (www.rebeccagreeneauthor.com) is a licensed social worker. She is an only child raising an only child and has a unique, insider's perspective about the many different angles and benefits of raising an only. She writes self-help/parenting books and also children's books about social-emotional skills and overcoming challenges. Rebecca is the author of the award-winning children's book, My Perfect Cupcake. She is also the author of "The Teenagers' Guide to School Outside the Box" and "Law School for Dummies". Her second children's picture book is "Very Virginia".


The Travel Shelf

National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks
Michael Joseph Oswald
Stone Road Press
https://stoneroadpress.com
9781621280781, $20.00, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/National-Park-Maps-Atlas-Parks/dp/1621280780

Synopsis: Explorers and travelers have relied on maps since the creation of paper. National Parks are some of the most popular destinations for modern-day exploration. With the publication of "National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks", Michael Joseph Oswald unites explorers with large, legible maps of their national parks before having the privilege to step foot in them.

"National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks" provides: National Park Service maps for all 63 National Parks; Driving distances between popular sites (and parks); Reasons to visit each park; Favorite sites and hikes from the author; Basic "need to know" information; Activity suggestions for limited park time.

Critique: Exceptionally informative and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks" is a coffee-table style (10.75 x 0.38 x 13.5 inches, 1.6 pounds) paperback volume from Stone Road Press. Of special value to anyone with an interest in national parks and campgrounds, "National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library American Travel Guide & Map collections.

Editorial Note: Michael Joseph Oswald is an award-winning American travel writer who's spent more than a decade exploring America's most scenic treasures, its National Parks. He's learned much over the course of hundreds of trips and thousands of miles hiking, biking, and paddling across these one-of-a-kind wilderness areas. There's much to see and do in our parklands and his goal is to help readers make the most of their National Park adventures. His home base is in Wisconsin. (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828102.Michael_Joseph_Oswald)

Lonely Planet's Where to Go When, second edition
Editorial Staff
Lonely Planet Publications
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781838695040, $24.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Go-When-Lonely-Planet/dp/1838695044

Synopsis: With the publication of this newly updated and expanded second edition of "Lonely Planet's Where to Go When" the aspiring world traveler can take advantage of decision-making flowcharts to inspire their next unforgettable city break, tropical beach vacation, wildlife encounter and more -- all organized by month with amazing weekend escapes, as well as one and two week experiences.

Sip lip-smacking beers and contemplate fine Flemish art in Bruges during February; enhance your wellbeing with a yoga retreat in Australia's Byron Bay throughout June; cycle the USA's Death Valley during the cooler month of November - and it will be revealed just why each destination is so wonderful to be in at that exact moment. With so many inspiring month-by-month holiday recommendations, the new edition of "Lonely Planet's Where to Go When" offers travelers a lifetime of offbeat adventures and well-known wonders to pursue.

This new edition of Lonely Planet's "Where to Go When" features: 25 destinations for each month of the year that cover every corner of the globe; Handy decision-making flowcharts to help you choose your next exciting getaway based on your travel passions and the activities that appeal to you the most; Special monthly events, festivals and celebrations calendar; Intuitive keys and colour coding that suggest ideal trip length: short break, one week, two weeks +; Amazing experiences for all interests: wildlife & nature, adventure, value, culture, journey, food & drink, personal growth, relaxation; Top budgeting tips in clear grids and diagrams so you can get the most out of your money; Super family friendly breaks and experiences plus suggestions on when to leave the kids at home.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photography, "Lonely Planet's Where to Go When: 2nd Edition" an armchair traveler's delight and a welcome itinerary planning resource for once-in-a-lifetime worldwide traveling -- and unreservedly recommended as an addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Travel Guide collections.

Editorial Note: With over 150 million guidebooks in print, Lonely Planet is a trusted source for any traveler. Since their inception in 1973, they have inspired generations of travelers to discover amazing places and enabled curious travelers to get off the beaten paths to appreciate different cultures and become agents of positive change.

100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas
Joe Yogerst
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426222566, $29.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/100-Trails-000-Ideas-Where/dp/1426222564

Synopsis: Fully up to National Geographic standards, with the publication of "100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" Joe Yogerst takes you from the coast of Florida to the peaks of Wyoming on a series of epic hiking and walking adventures.

In these informative and beautifully illustrated pages, you will find National Geographic's recommendations for superlative hikes, as well as tips for wildlife spotting, scenic picnic locales, routes with a view, camp sites, and off-trail activities nearby. Plus, you will discover alternative routes to extend your trek or tackle shorter lengths of some of the country's most iconic journeys, like the Appalachian Trail. With each itinerary you will find practical planning advice for when to go and what to expect when you arrive.

Inspiring and comprehensive, "100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas" offers something for everyone, from beginners looking for an easy day-hike (the tow path along the C&O Canal in Maryland) to advanced trekkers seeking multi-week excursions (the famed multi-state Continental Divide Trail).

"100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas" is an ideal compendium of: Tips for exploring Washington's Elliott Bay Trail along the Seattle Waterfront; Routes for hiking the Grand Canyon, rim to rim, in Arizona; Advice for conquering Wisconsin's "Ice Age" Trail; The fascinating history behind Georgia's Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Trail; The best way to see the falls along New York's Niagara Falls Gorge Trails; How to trek the Plain of the Six Glaciers in Banff National Park -- and so much more!

Critique: Beautifully illustrated, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughou 'user friendly' in presentation, "100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, and acdemic library North American Travel Guide, National Parks, Camping & Hikig collections. Whether an intrepid on-site hiker or an enthusiastic armchair traveler, "100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" it should be noted that "100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99)..

Editorial Note: During three decades as an editor, writer, and photographer, Joe Yogerst (https://joeyogerst.com) has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. His writing has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, CNN Travel, Islands magazine, the International New York Times (Paris), Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Geographic Traveler. He has also written for 34 National Geographic books, including the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 Ideas. Yogerst is also the host of a National Geographic/Great Courses video series on America's State Parks.


The Computer Shelf

Murach's R for Data Analysis
Scott McCoy
Mike Murach & Associates
www.murach.com
9781943873036, $59.50, PB, 578pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murachs-Data-Analysis-Scott-McCoy/dp/B0BJXF7F23

Synopsis: Businesses, corporations, and social media companies are collecting massive amounts of data. But this data isn't valuable until someone analyzes it to gain insights that can be used to make decisions. That's why the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the demand for data analysts will continue to grow for the rest of the decade.

Now, with "Murach's R for Data Analysis" by Scott McCoy as a guide, you can learn the R skills needed to become a data analyst, and you can learn them faster and better than ever before thanks to its unique paired-pages format that works equally well if you're new to programming or if you're an experienced programmer.

You will get started fast by learning only the parts of the R language that you need for data analysis. Then, you will learn how to use R with the tidyverse package to get, clean, prepare, analyze, and visualize data at a professional level. By the end of this book, you'll be creating linear regression models and classification models and using them to make predictions.

"Murach's R for Data Analysis" contains three realistic analyses that use real-world data. That's because by studying analyses like these is critical to the learning process.

Critique: An ideal textbook for DIY studies or classroom curriculums in meta data analysis, "Murach's R for Data Analysis" by computer-based data analysis expert Scott McCoy has the highest possible recommendation for personal, professional, community, and academic library Data Processing/Data Mining instructional training and reference collections.

Editorial Note: Scott McCoy is a professional programmer who has worked in a variety of domains including bioinformatics, IT automation, security, and data analytics. He holds a B.S. in computer science and a Microsoft certification in database technologies. He is also a full-time author for Murach Books.

Murach's ASP.NET Core MVC
Mary Delamater, author
Joel Murach, author
Mike Murach & Associates
www.murach.com
9781943873029, $59.50, PB, 816pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murachs-ASP-NET-Core-MVC-2nd/dp/194387302X

Synopsis: With the publication of this newly updated and expanded second edition, "Murach's ASP.NET Core MVC" does an even better job delivering the skills needed to develop websites using the MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern with ASP.NET Core. For those who already know the basics of C#, they will quickly learn to code the way today's top web professionals do. Each individual section comprising this new edition of "Murach's ASP.NET Core MVC" features clear, beginner-friendly examples and easy-to-understand explanations that walk reader/user through crucial skills, best practices, and helpful tips.

Critique: Comprehensive, detailed, exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation, "Murach's ASP.NET Core MVC: 2nd Edition" by computer software experts Mary Delamater and Joel Murach is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Computer Software instructional and training reference collections.

Editorial Note #1: Mary Delamater has a bachelor's degree from Lewis-Clark State College and holds several certifications. Currently, she works for TechKnowSolve, which is her software development company. Also, she has been helping Murach Books develop great technical books for over 7 years.

Editorial Note #2: Joel Murach is the oldest son of publishing pioneer Mike Murach. Joel has been writing and editing books about computer programming for over 30 years now. During that time, he has written extensively on a wide range of Java, .NET, web, and database technologies. He has had best-selling books in all of those categories! In his books, you can see his clear approach to teaching any subject.


The Journalism Shelf

Beacons in the Darkness
Dave Hoekstra
Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
www.agatepublishing.com
9781572843165, $18.99, PB, 298pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beacons-Darkness-Transformation-Community-Newspapers/dp/1572843160

Synopsis: With the publication of "Beacons in the Darkness: Hope and Transformation Among America's Community Newspapers", professional journalist Dave Hoekstra interviews the people trying to keep the lights on at community newspapers across the country amid buyouts, declining revenues, fake news, and a pandemic. But "Beacons in the Darkness" is not just another account of the death of local journalism -- but rather a celebration of the community ties, perseverance, and empathy that's demonstrated in community newsrooms from Hillsboro, Illinois, to Charleston, South Carolina, to Marfa, Texas.

Hoekstra recounts the sometimes-scandalous but always-industrious stories of the families who built these newspapers and passed them down through generations. Modern publishers and owners describe in their own words their struggles and experiments to stay alive in the digital age, not just for their businesses and their families but also for the communities they serve and the neighbors whose stories they tell in their reporting.

Of special note is that "Beacons in the Darkness" provides an intimate view inside the organizations that still publish photos of the local bowling league and the outlandishly large mushrooms on the edge of town, leaving you with a rekindled fondness for your own community paper and a renewed appreciation of what we all stand to lose without one.

Critique: Simply stated, anyone who aspires to be a journalist or who recognizes the role local journalism plays as a supporting pillar of our democracy on a community basis, must read "Beacons in the Darkness: Hope and Transformation Among America's Community Newspapers". Exceptionally well written, organized and presented (as expected by a journalist of Dave Hoekstra's experience and expertise), "Beacons in the Darkness" is a vital and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library American Journalism collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for journalism students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Beacons in the Darkness" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Dave Hoekstra (https://www.davehoekstra.com/about-me) is a Chicago author-journalist. From 1985 through 2014, he was a columnist-critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he won the 2013 Studs Terkel Community Media Award. He has contributed pieces to Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader, New City, and Raw Vision. He has written several books, including The Supper Club Book (A Celebration of a Midwest Tradition), The People's Place (Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from The Civil Rights Era to Today), and The Camper Book (Celebration of a Moveable American Dream).

Finding Fang Dazeng
Xuesong Feng, author
Long River Press
c/o China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
360 Swift Avenue, Suite #48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
www.chinabooks.com
9781592652471, $24.95, PB, 314pp

https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Fang-Dazeng-Correspondents-language/dp/1592652476

Synopsis: By the mid 1930s, photographer and journalist Fang Dazeng was well known within Chinese press circles. Born in 1912, he was considered by many to be the "Robert Capa of China" for his pioneering work in photojournalism. Fang was also one of the most active correspondents in the early stage of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

His reports and photographs were published in Shun Pao, Young Companion, World Pictorial, and Ta Kung Pao in China, and in Time in the U.S. and the Illustrated London News in the United Kingdom, among others. After witnessing and reporting on the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (Lugouqiao) on the outskirts of Beijing in July, 1937, which led to full scale invasion by Japan into China, Fang continued to send dispatches from the main areas of conflict within until he vanished without a trace in September, 1937.

Fang never returned home and his fate remains unknown to this day. But his story was far from finished. In 1999, author and editor for CCTV, Feng Xuesong, began work on a comprehensive series of documentaries on Fang Dazeng. His discoveries led to meetings with Fang's surviving family members and a cache of Fang's personal belongings including numerous rolls of undeveloped film taken before his disappearance.

As a result of Feng Xuesong's tireless work to reappraise and treasure Fang Dazeng's contribution to modern Chinese history, as well as Fang's own selfless actions and perhaps his making the ultimate sacrifice, Fang Dazeng is now widely considered to be the forefather of photojournalism in China. These remarkable series of discoveries form the core of this book, featuring many of Fang's photographs being published for the first time. Fang Dazeng's contribution to our better understanding of modern Chinese history is of inestimable value to future scholars and those interested in some of China's most tumultuous years.

Critique: "Finding Fang Dazeng: A War Correspondent's Stories" by Xuesong Feng is a large sized (8.25 x 0.79 x 10.25 inches, 1.81 pounds) paperback compendium of historic black/white captioned photographs that provide a kind of 'window through time' to pictorially reveal China in a time of war. This English language edition from Long River Press and distributed by China Books & Periodicals is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library 19th Century Journalism, Photography, and Chinese History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Chasing Catastrophe
Rick Leventhal
Post Hill Press
www.posthillpress.com
9781637584941, $28.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Catastrophe-Covering-Hurricanes-Breaking/dp/1637584946

Synopsis: Part memoir and part leadership manifesto, with the publication of "Chasing Catastrophe: My 35 Years Covering Wars, Hurricanes, Terror Attacks, and Other Breaking News", veteran journalist Rick Leventhal empowers those aspiring reporters and journalists who are ready to work hard to overcome adversity and achieve their goals. In the pages of "Chasing Catastrophe", Rick shares some incredible highlights and some of the most challenging moments of a career in journalism spanning some thirty-five years.

Rick also shares what it was like to sleep in the dirt in the Iraqi desert; to stand at the base of the Twin Towers in flames and run from the smoke cloud when they fell; to face a Category 5 hurricane; to be on scene when one of America's most cheered and respected race car drivers crashed and died; to hurry to the frozen Hudson River from Midtown after Captain Sully landed his plane on its icy surface; to separate fact from fiction on the fly and figure out what could be reported -- and what couldn't; and to be in awe meeting some of the most famous people in America, only to learn they were fans of his work.

Critique: Especially recommended reading for anyone curious about what its like to have a career as a journalist in some of the most dangerous places at home and abroad, "Chasing Catastrophe: My 35 Years Covering Wars, Hurricanes, Terror Attacks, and Other Breaking News" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Biography/Memoir and Contemporary Journalism collections. It should be noted for journalism students, academicians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Chasing Catastrophe" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Rick Leventhal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Leventhal) is a veteran journalist who spent thirty-five years covering wars, hurricanes, terror attacks, and other major breaking news stories across the country and around the world. After ten years at local affiliates, Rick quickly rose to Senior Correspondent at Fox News Channel where he was assigned to many of the biggest stories of the past twenty-five years. He ran from the dust cloud when both towers fell on 9/11, embedded with Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, spent weeks in Libya covering the fall of Mu'ammar Al-Qadhdhafi, chased countless storms and other breaking news, and remained rock solid on air through all of it.


The Art Shelf

Painting Calm
Inga Buividavice
Leaping Hare Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711281844, $20.00, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Painting-Calm-Connect-through-watercolour/dp/071128184X

Synopsis: The act of painting is widely acknowledged to bring positive mental health benefits as an Art Therapy. Painting can helps us center ourselves, focus our intentions and engage creatively with the world around us. With the publication of "Painting Calm: Connect to Nature Through the Art of Watercolour", Inga Buividavice has created a beautiful guided watercolor book that reveals aspects of painting with the healing powers of nature, taking you on a journey toward peace and tranquility.

Even if you have no experience with watercolours or painting, the accessible and easy-to-follow prompts found in "Painting Calm" will allow you to express yourself and create with ease and joy. Gather inspiration from artist Inga Buivadavice's beautiful illustrations, designed to capture an emotional connection with the natural world through texture and color.

"Painting Calm" includes: An overview of watercolour painting supplies and how to use them; Basic watercolor techniques and color theory; Exercises for finding inspiration in nature; Seasonal projects that include painting trees, leaves, flowers, natural light and patterns found in nature; Tips for building a creative practice.

Discover your inner artist (and forge a new and powerful relationship to nature) with "Paining Calm", as you watercolor your way to mindful wellbeing.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout in full color, "Painting Calm: Connect to Nature Through the Art of Watercolour" will have a special appeal and value for anyone with an interest in art therapy, stress relief, and relaxation through painting flowers, landscapes, and images of light, structure and symmetry with watercolors. Motivational and inspiring as it lays out a course of DIY activities to calm the soul and ease the mind, "Painting Calm" is an extraordinary and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted that "Painting Calm" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) as well.

Editorial Note: Inga Buividavice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unzx2FOoi3M) is a graphic artist and author based in Liverpool but originally from Lithuania. She graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts with an MA in graphic design, and started hand drawing and painting in 2018. Her work centres on the natural world and its relation to the act of creating, and is inspired by plant and animal life around her.

The Art of Drawing Manga Furries
Talia Horsburgh
Walter Foster
walterfoster.com
c/o Quarto
quarto.com
9780760381861 $22.99 pbk / $11.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Drawing-Manga-Furries-anthropomorphic/dp/0760381860

Synopsis: The Art of Drawing Manga Furries is packed with hundreds of tips, tricks, and step-by-step how-tos for creating a variety of manga furry characters, including kemono, kemonomimi, scalies, and fursonas.

With its in-depth instruction, this book is suitable for all manga artists and furry enthusiasts, regardless of skill level or age. From learning the basics of drawing characters and giving them personalities to designing your own fursona and creating reference sheets for them, this book is the ultimate guide to creating all things furry. Follow the simple steps to learn how to draw a variety of furries, including neko (cat girls), kitsune (fox girls), and dragon-like characters.

By the end of this book, you'll be able to create:

Kemonomimi characters, which are humans who possess animal-like features such as ears or tails
Kemono characters, which are largely animalistic
Scalies, which are furries of the reptile and amphibian variety
Personalized fursona designs and reference sheets for them
Characters in different poses using templates

Along the way, you'll learn the basics of drawing, how to combine humans and animals into unique creatures, and use templates to create your own characters. All instruction is easy to follow, so you can quickly learn to draw different faces and expressions, hairstyles, clothing and accessories, various animal-like qualities, and so much more.

Step-by-step instructions make the drawing process approachable for beginning and aspiring artists. Projects range from simple and easy furries to more complex ones. Also included are tips for developing your own characters, while looking to common styles for inspiration. Templates at the end of the book allow for easy practice of character faces and poses.

Critique: The Art of Drawing Manga Furries lives up to its title as a guide to drawing anthropomorphic characters in the style of Japanese manga, with both black-and-white and color illustrations to demonstrate each step of the process. Both "kemonomimi" characters (which appear like humans with animal features like ears or tails) and "kemono" characters (which appear much more animalistic) are covered, as are tips and tricks for drawing scaly characters and personalized fursona designs. A handful of sample templates round out this excellent, easy-to-follow guide and supplementary resource for budding manga artists! It should be noted for personal art guide collections that The Art of Drawing Manga Furries is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99). Another highly recommended title is author Talia Horsburgh's previous how-to guide, The Art of Drawing Manga (9780760375440, $22.99).


The Sports Shelf

Field of Magic: Baseball's Superstitions, Curses and Taboos
John Cairney
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476685465, $29.95, PB, 215pp

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Magic-Baseballs-Superstitions-Curses/dp/1476685460

Synopsis: Superstition has been a part of baseball from the beginning. From good luck charms to human mascots, from ritual statues of Babe Ruth to the curse of Colonel Sanders, there may be almost as many superstitions as their are players and fans.

With the publication of "Field of Magic: Baseball's Superstitions, Curses and Taboos", academician and baseball historian John Caimey draws upon social science, religious studies and SABRmetrics, to explores the rich history of supernatural belief in the game and documents a wide variety of rituals, fetishes, taboos and jinxes. Some of these have changed over time but coping with uncertainty on the field through magical thinking remains a constant.

Critique: "Field of Magic: Baseball's Superstitions, Curses and Taboos" is an extraordinary study of the role and history of superstition in the sport of baseball on the part of players and fans alike. Enhanced for the reader with historic b/w photos, eighteen pages of Chapter Notes, a four page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, "Field of Magic" will have a very special and unique appeal to dedicated baseball fans everywhere -- making it an unreservedly recommended and enduringly popular addition personal reading lists, as well as highschool, community, and academic library Baseball History & American Sports History collections.

Editorial Note: John Cairney (https://hmns.uq.edu.au/profile/4353/john-cairney) is a professor and the head of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia. Originally from Canada and a lifelong Toronto Blue Jays fan, he is the author of four other books and more than 300 published journal articles. He is also a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.


The Gardening Shelf

Cut Flowers, Foliage and Fruits of the Southeast
Lee Hemmings Carlton
The Globe Pequot Press
www.globepequot.com
9781493044429, $29.95, HC, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cut-Flowers-Foliage-Fruits-Southeast/dp/1493044427

Synopsis: Native plants are the natural centerpieces of the American southeastern landscape, so why shouldn't they also be the centerpiece of the Southern table?

From the mountains of Southern Appalachia, into the Piedmont Plateau and all the way down to the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, native plants provide an abundance of cut flowers, foliage, fruit, and berries that add regional character to any vase or wreath throughout the year.

With the publication of "Cut Flowers, Foliage and Fruits of the Southeast: Four Seasons of Floral Design", Lee Hemmings Carlton introduces readers to the beautiful bounty of the region along with growth information, seasonality, how to forage and harvest responsibly, and flower care, illustrated with vibrant photography. Also included is a descriptive field guide of native trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and vines that are essential for floral design.

With "Cut Flowers, Foliage and Fruits of the Southeast: Four Seasons of Floral Design" even the most novice of gardening enthusiasts can bring the landscape indoors with guides to create wreaths and vase arrangements. Of special note are the tutorials and primers that will teach the expert and novice alike to arrange gorgeous floral designs by season.

Critique: Beautifully, profusely, and informatively illustrated in full color throughout, "Cut Flowers, Foliage and Fruits of the Southeast: Four Seasons of Floral Design" is an ideal instructional textbook for established curriculums and DIY studies in South Regional Gardening in general, and Fruit/Flower Gardening in particular. Information enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a five page Glossary, a two page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "Cut Flowers, Foliage and Fruits of the Southeast: Four Seasons of Floral Design" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Gardening and Horticultural collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).

Editorial Note: Lee Hemmings Carlton (https://www.goldenrodgardens.net) is a horticulturist living and growing on the western side of Beech Mountain, N.C. Lee has been designing and installing plant-driven, site-specific, colorific gardens and landscapes in Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas for two decades. Lee incorporates native plants in all of her work, from cut flowers to landscaping and ever-popular wreaths and floral arrangements


The Humor Shelf

Why Are You Like This?
Meg Adams
Andrews McMeel Publishing
www.andrewsmcmeel.com
9781524874261, $16.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Are-You-Like-This/dp/1524874264

Synopsis: Once again for a whole new generation of readers, "Why Are You Like This?" (a compendium of comic scenarios by Meg Adams) helps to answer life's most pressing questions such as: Is my partner actually upset or just hangry? Whose turn is it to remember the reusable shopping bags? Is it appropriate to put up Halloween decor two months in advance? (Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes, it is.)

"Opposites attract" has never rung truer when it comes to vivacious extrovert Meg and her level-headed introvert husband, Carson. Carson makes his coffee with only the finest locally roasted beans; Meg microwaves two-day-old joe. Carson is reserved and rarely opens up to friends; Meg ensures everyone in her life (including her mailman) knows about her hemorrhoid.

From the joys of marrying your best friend to the bizarre musings of a twelve-pound pup to the humor and heartbreak of anxiety, Meg's all-too-relatable comics leave no stone unturned.
Dorky and downright hilarious, "Why Are You Like This?" explores what it means to make fun of oneself and find laughter in the little things.

Critique: Just to give two examples of the kind of humor that is Meg Adams signature style:

"Oh! Wow! This is an actual book! It's so professional! There's even a barcode. This is the best book ever!!!" -Meg's Mom

"Sigh... why do you have to be shirtless in so many comics? How is this book going to sell in a gas station in rural Montana?" -Meg's Dad

A fun read from first page to last, "Why Are You Like This?" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Contemporary Humor collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of comics humor fans that "Why Are You Like This?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle. $9.99).

Editorial Note: Meg Adams (https://artbymoga.com) is a comic artist and author based in Bend, Oregon. She can be found avoiding direct sunlight, sipping hot cocoa and working on a variety of projects ranging from comics to illustration. Meg lives with her better half, Carson, and their two spoiled little dogs: Boedy and Luna.


The Gaming Shelf

Everybody Wins
James Wallis
Aconyte Books
https://aconytebooks.com
c/o Simon & Schuster (distribution)
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781839081910, $29.95, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Wins-Decades-Greatest-Board/dp/1839081910

Synopsis: The annual Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) Awards are like the Oscars of the tabletop gaming world. With the publication of "Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made", British author and game designing expert James Wallis investigates the winners and losers of each year's contest to track the incredible explosion in amazing new board games.

From modern classics like CATAN, Ticket to Ride, and Dixit to once-lauded games that have now been forgotten (not to mention several popular hits that somehow missed a nomination), "Everybody Wins" is a comprehensive yet hugely readable study of the best board games ever made with commentary penned by one of the most knowledgeable commentators on the hobby.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made" reveals the evolution in tabletop gaming and showcases 40 years worth of award-winning games. This coffee- table style (10 x 0.7 x 10 inches, 2.73 pounds) volume is an inherently nostalgic trip down memory lane and a 'must' for all truly dedicated gamers. While unreservedly recommended for personal and community library collections, it should be noted that "Everybody Wins" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.95).

Editorial Note: James Wallis (http://www.jameswallis.com) is an award-winning games designer, author and critic. He has been designing and reviewing games for three decades and is best known for "Once Upon a Time" and "The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen". James has also been a national newspaper columnist, TV presenter, magazine editor and novelist.


The Photography Shelf

More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story
Janet L. Pritchard
George F Thompson Publishing
http://gftbooks.com
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781938086953, $45.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/More-than-Scenery-Yellowstone-American/dp/1938086953

Synopsis: Photographer Janet Pritchard's romance with the American West began with horseback riding, watching movies, and hearing her dad's dreams of being a cowboy. When she began to spend adolescent summers in Wyoming during the 1960s, her world changed forever, as she fell under the spell of natural wonder in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. Only later did she recognize her feelings as a response to what nineteenth-century Romantics called the sublime.

A vintage 1916 picture postcard of Golden Gate Canyon by F. Jay Haynes inspired the project that would culminate with the publication of "More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story ". When Pritchard turned it over and read the message -- "I cannot describe the Yellowstone as the dictionary is only a book. It is more than scenery. In some places, it is so beautiful that the men take off their hats, and the women are silent!" -- she was back in a childhood place of wonder tempered by a lifetime of work as an artist and teacher in landscape photography.

Formed by fire and ice, embraced by a nation seeking an ancient past with a future as grand as the landscapes it inhabited, Yellowstone was established as the world's first national park by an Act of Congress in 1872. One hundred fifty years later, the park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem continue to occupy an iconic role in the public imagination of Yellowstone as a place that is both real and ideal. Here, in this complex ecosystem where wild nature and culture meet, the complexities of our relationship to the natural world are revealed unlike any other place.

Yellowstone is truly unique, and each generation who visits it invests Yellowstone with ideas, beliefs, and values reflecting its historical moment. In "More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story", Pritchard surveys these relationships with her captivating photographs and insightful text, and Lucy R. Lippard' sets the table with her heartfelt introduction to the world's romance with Yellowstone.

"More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story" reveals why Yellowstone is so important to American and the world and how its landscapes reflect more than scenery.

Critique: A magnificent coffee-table style (10.3 x 1.7 x 12 inches, 3.92 pounds) volume, "More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story" is an impressive compendium of full color photography showcasing America's oldest (and arguably best) national park. A please to simply browse through one fascinating page at a time, "More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story" will be of immense appeal to readers with an interest in landscape photography and the Yellowstone National Park. No personal, professional, community, college, or university library Contemporary Photography collection can be considered comprehensive without the inclusion of Janet L. Pritchard's "More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story".

Editorial Note: Janet L. Pritchard (http://janetpritchard.com) is a Guggenheim Fellow Professor of Art at University of Connecticut. Her previous landscape photography projects include "The Wild Heart of New England: The Connecticut River & Watershed" and "Like a Whisper: Time on the Land" .

An Affair of Flowers
John Robert Rodrigues, photographer
Stephen Buchmann, introduction
Patricia Z. Smith, contributor
Goff Books
c/o ORO Editions
31 Commerical Blvd., Suite F, Novato, CA 94949
www.oroeditions.com
9781954081727, $35.00, HC, 136pp

https://www.amazon.com/Affair-Flowers-John-Rodrigues/dp/1954081723

Synopsis: "An Affair of Flowers" is impressive book is richly illustrated with 91 gorgeous macro photographs of flowers (and also some of their pollinators) taken by John Rodrigues, an artist who has taken that time to truly see. John, with the eye of an artist, takes an old lens and new camera and gives a new look at an old photographic subject.

Critique: A magnificent and memorable coffee-table style (9.5 x 0.75 x 9.5 inches, 1.68 pounds), volume, "An Affair of Flowers" is a beautiful compilation of unique images quite unlike any previous flower-based photographic study. Simply stated, "An Affair of Flowers" is a seminal and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Photography and Garden Pictorial collections.

Editorial Note #1: John Rodrigues (https://www.johnrodphoto.com) worked as a photographer for Motown. He took headshots for aspiring actors, photojournalism assignments for local papers, and of course some nice family pictures. From the very beginning of his career, his favorite subjects have been landscapes and nature. He was used the SONY A7R IV, and it became the perfect vehicle to meld old technology with new using a simple adapter to create a whole different way of seeing flowers. This allowed for a "live view" screen that gave license to see his subjects in real time - he could move in and out of petals, stamens, and leaves like a mini spaceship. These images with a narrow field of focus had the "look" Rodrigues had been striving to achieve throughout his whole career.

Editorial Note #2: Stephen Buchmann (http://stephenbuchmann.com/bio) is a pollination ecologist specializing in bees. He is an adjunct professor with the departments of Entomology and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. A Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, he has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and eleven books, including The Forgotten Pollinators that warned in 1996 about global pollinator decline.

Editorial Note #3: Patricia Z. Smith (https://complementsthebook.com) is an award winning playwright, editor, photographer, interviewer, and the author of "Sixty Years Sixty Voices: Israeli and Palestinian Women"


The Architecture Shelf

Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our Present
Patrizia Mello
ORO Editions
31 Commerical Blvd., Suite F, Novato, CA 94949
www.oroeditions.com
9781954081901, $34.95, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Twentieth-Century-Architecture-Modernity-Past-Present/dp/1954081901

Synopsis: The theme of "modernity" was the launching pad for architecture in the 20th century, to the point of completely revolutionizing our way of life. By causing in its development absolutizations and misunderstandings, actual motives linked to the profound desire to improve everyone's life were reconsidered.

Against the theory that the 20th century connected the objective of modernity to that of the Modern Movement, with the publication of "Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our Present", Professor Patrizia Mello deals with the theme of a present continuity by revealing those "open visions" that characterized modernity at the end of the 19th century.

Professor Mellow critically reviews the main stages of architectural developments over time (as well as the intense debates of architectural historians, architects, and contemporary scholars) through the thesis of modernity as tradition, research, and criticism, a concept of contradiction is supported. Further echoed by that of "architecture tout court," enhancing the present environment in its current fragility of views -- even more so today with the appearance of a virus capable of undermining our way of living. These are "contemporary modernisms" aimed at recovering the essence of a recent past to project it into the present, restoring to architecture that long-neglected role of critical construction and formation of society in an era, ultimately defined as "of Rembrandt beauty."

Critique: Featuring numerous illustrations and a Bibliography, "Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our Present" will have a very special appeal and value to readers with an interest in Architectural History & Criticism. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our Present" must be considered an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Architectural Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Patrizia Mello (https://www.unive.it/data/people/21830983) is interested in history, theory, and criticism of contemporary design, topics on which she carries out in teaching and research for her books, numerous essays, and articles. She currently teaches Contemporary Architecture II at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Boundless: 50 Years of Curiosity
EVP
ORO Editions
31 Commerical Blvd., Suite F, Novato, CA 94949
www.oroeditions.com
9781954081758, $45.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Boundless-50-Years-Curiosity-EYP/dp/1954081758

Synopsis: Highlighting 50 years of examples, "Boundless: 50 Years of Curiosity" is about pushing the architectural limits of "What's possible?" In doing so, it highlights the history of EYP, an interdisciplinary design firm, and its unique culture through a rich body of work.

Deftly organized into three parts (Roots, Complexities, Possibilities), each section tells a story through projects highlighting client dreams, technical challenges, and social and environmental impacts.

"Roots" honors the strong foundations of EYP's 50-year history, including its early grounding in sustainability, preservation, and work with mission-centered clients. It covers a wide mix of transformative projects across higher education, healthcare, and government sectors.

"Complexities" reflects the many opportunities and challenges - design, technical, or otherwise - driving the firm's work over the past two decades. Learn about clients and projects that challenged limits of design, including a green-powered US Embassy; a Planetree hospital; a flexible student maker space, and a state-of-the-art workplace for a national lab. Discover how important existing buildings can be reinvented, like those designed by architectural icons Eero Saarinen and Louis Kahn.

"Possibilities" covers work the firm is engaged with today - either on the boards or under construction - including community centers, national historic treasures, places of diplomacy, hospitals for mental health, centers for student innovation, and buildings inspiring the future of science and technology. It uncovers what's possible when novel designs intersect with cultural insights to create authentic experiences, enhancing people's lives and communities.

Critique: A magnificent coffee-table style (9.1 x 1 x 11.8 inches, 3.75 pounds) volume, "Boundless: 50 Years of Curiosity" is collaboratively co-edited by the team of Robert McClure, Jennifer Hebblewaite, and Leigh Stringer. A compendium of full color photographs augmented by informative commentaries, "Boundless: 50 Years of Curiosity" also includes a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, as well as a listing of awards, collaborations, and image credits. The result is a fascinating, informative, memorable, and seminal contribution to the growing library of Architectural History references for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.

Editorial Note: EYP (https://www.eypae.com) is consistently ranked as one of the top architecture, interior design, and engineering firms, particularly for their work in healthcare, higher education, cultural, government, science and technology, office, and modernization projects. The firm consistently wins awards for design excellence related to their architecture, interiors, and modernization work.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Tiny Felt Cuties & Creatures
Delilah Iris
www.Delilahiris.com
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
https://walterfoster.com
www.quartoknows.com
9780760380529, $21.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tiny-Cuties-Creatures-step-step/dp/076038052X

Synopsis: From self-taught artist Delilah Iris, Sew Cute!: Tiny Felt Cuties & Creatures includes more than a dozen patterns for making tiny animals, dolls, dollhouses, props, adorable gifts, and miniature play sets. The projects can be created as stand-alone finished works, but they can also be used to complement each other in a complete set for use in a tiny miniature world!

If you have been looking for new crafting techniques to learn at home, and don't want to buy a lot of tools and materials, creating felt miniatures is the perfect choice. Felting does not require a sewing machine and can be done using simple hand stitches and embroidery, both of which are demonstrated in the book along with stylized photo tutorials. Also included are detailed doll patterns, suggestions for materials to have on hand, and much more.

Critique: "Sew Cute!: Tiny Felt Cuties & Creatures" is comprised of DIY instructions for creating twelve adorable, trendy felt miniatures with the help of step-by-step tutorials and projects featuring beautiful photos that illustrate easy felting techniques. Basically offering a master class in the machine free art of crafting animals, dolls, fairy houses, and so much more, "Sew Cute!: Tiny Felt Cuties & Creatures" is a unique and valued addition to personal, professional, and community library DIY felt-based crafting collections. It should be noted that "Sew Cute!: Tiny Felt Cuties & Creatures" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Delilah Iris (www.Delilahiris.com) is a self-taught felt and fiber artist with an extensive background in graphic design and print, media, and content creation. Her works include a line of felt sewing patterns and DIY craft kits found in craft stores across the United States and Canada. She is a constant creative dabbling in mixed-media art and even ceramic pottery from her studio in Maine. Delilah can be followed on Instagram @delilahiris

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation
Mollie Johanson
www.molliejohanson.com
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
https://walterfoster.com
www.quartoknows.com
9780760380505, $19.99, PB, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Stitch-Celebrations-graduation-themed-announcements/dp/0760380503

Synopsis: Whether you are an absolute beginner in cross stitch or a seasoned pro, "Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduation" shows you how to create highly giftable personalized keepsakes for the accomplished students in your life.

This DIY step-by-step guide includes all of the basic instruction you need to learn the art of cross stitch. Following a brief introduction to tools and materials and an overview of basic cross stitch techniques, you will be treated to: 30+ charming patterns; A range of mix-and-match fonts, border designs, color schemes, and education-themed motifs; Techniques on how to compose a DIY design; Tips for framing and displaying finished projects .

The more than 30 patterns include a variety of border designs, alphabets, and color schemes to choose from and combine to make a truly special gift for any educational accomplishment. Just some of the things you can cross stitch are a wall hanging, mortarboard, pennant, and greeting card, complete with a message and themed motifs, such as a trophy, music notes, paint palette, beaker, stethoscope, and more. Whether it is for a graduation, winning a spelling bee, or the first day of kindergarten, you can create the perfect personalized gift for every student in your life.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated throughout, "Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduations is the ideal introduction to the manifold needlecraft possibilities of the art of the cross-stitch in creating gifts and home decorations celebrating a graduation. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections, it should be noted that "Cross Stitch Celebrations: Graduations" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Mollie Johanson (www.molliejohanson.com) has loved creating and crafting cute things for as long as she can remember. She is the author of Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small and a regular contributor to stitching and sewing magazines.


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Resilience and Well-being for Dental Professionals
Mahrukh Khwaja
Wiley-Blackwell
www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell
9781119814504, $65.00, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Resilience-Well-being-Dental-Professionals-Mahrukh/dp

Synopsis: Dentistry is a high-stress profession with elevated rates of anxiety, depression, burnout, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Chronic workplace stress is a growing concern as it can severely damage the mental health of dental professionals and negatively impact their ability to provide appropriate care. Psychological interventions have been shown to greatly benefit the well-being and emotional resilience of the medical and healthcare community, yet resources that provide preventative tools are limited.

"Resilience and Well-being for Dental Professionals" by Mahrukh Khwaja is designed not only to combat occupational hazards in Dentistry, such as burnout and compassion fatigue, but also to build resilience, engagement at work and nurture positive mental health through a variety of evidence-based tools.

An invaluable guide, "Resilience and Well-being for Dental Professionals" will helps its readers to utilize tools drawn from the science of well-being (Positive Psychology, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), in order deal successfully with stress and to create happier, thriving careers.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized, presented, and timely, "Resilience and Well-being for Dental Professionals" is essential reading for anyone working in dentistry and should be considered an important textbook for supplemental dentistry curriculum reading lists. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $52.00), "Resilience and Well-being for Dental Professionals" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended for professional, college, and university library Dentistry collections.

Editorial Note: Dr Mahrukh Khwaja (https://www.mind-ninja.co.uk/about-us) is a dentist working in the UK, a Positive Psychologist and founder of Mind Ninja: a well-being start-up providing resilience and mental health training to dental professionals.


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

A Companion to Experimental Cinema
Federico Windhausen, editor
Wiley-Blackwell
www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell
9781119107903, $195.00, HC, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Companion-Experimental-Cinema-Federico-Windhausen/dp/1119107903

Synopsis: Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Federico Windhausen, "A Companion to Experimental Cinema" is a collection of original essays organized around both theoretical and historical issues of concern to film scholars, programmers, filmmakers, and viewers. Newly-commissioned essays written by specialists in the field, along with dialogues conducted with a diverse range of practitioners, focus on core subjects to present an international array of overlapping and contrasting perspectives. This unique volume not only provides detailed accounts of particular films and filmmakers, but also discusses new approaches of understanding, characterizing, and shaping experimental cinema.

"A Companion to Experimental Cinema" offers film students and fans an accessible point of entry to the material while seeking to contribute to scholarly debates. The featured essays explore a wide range of topics within the realm of experimental film, including the shift from traditional biography to broader contexts, the increased attention afforded to local and transnational circuits of exchange, and the deepening of theoretical considerations regarding cultural identity and cinematic aesthetics. Key themes and concepts are inter-woven throughout the text, offering fresh perspectives on experimental cinema's dialogues with other modes and practices of film and video, its interactions with the non-cinematic arts, its responses to changing technological landscapes, and more.

"A Companion to Experimental Cinema": Balances introductory summaries and scholarly dialogue with existing literature; Explores how the study of experimental cinema can benefit from scholarship in other disciplines; Includes numerous analyses of films that are readily available to view via digital media; Discusses both canonical and obscure or neglected works; Examines the effects of the growing diversification of experimental film scholarship.

Critique: "A Companion to Experimental Cinema" is a seminal and valued resource for scholars of film studies and cinematic art history, curators and programmers, critics and bloggers, filmmakers and artists, and nonspecialist general readers interested in exploring experimental or avant-garde cinema. While available for personal reading lists in a digital book format, "A Companion to Experimental Cinema" is unreservedly recommended as a major addition to professional, community, and academic library Cinematic History & Movie Theory/Criticism collections.

Editorial Note: Federico Windhausen is a film historian and curator. His scholarly articles have been published in journals such as October, MIRAJ, Hitchcock Annual, Grey Room, and The Moving Image. He has programmed for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Ambulante, the London Film Festival, L' ge d'Or Festival, and various other venues.

A Companion to Indian Cinema
Neepa Majumdar, editor
Ranjani Mazumdar, editor
Wiley-Blackwell
www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell
9781119048190, $185.00, HC, 624pp

https://www.amazon.com/Companion-Blackwell-Companions-National-Cinemas/dp/1119048192

Synopsis: With the publication of "A Companion to Indian Cinema", film scholars and co-editors Neepa Majumdar and Ranjani Mazumdar (long with 25 established and emerging scholars), deliver new research on contemporary and historical questions on Indian cinema. The collection considers Indian cinema's widespread presence both within and outside the country, and pays particular attention to regional cinemas such as Bhojpuri, Bengali, Malayalam, Manipuri, and Marathi. The volume also reflects on the changing dimensions of technology, aesthetics, and the archival impulse of film. The editors have included scholarship that discusses a range of films and film experiences that include commercial cinema, art cinema, and non-fiction film.

Even as scholarship on earlier decades of Indian cinema is challenged by the absence of documentation and films, the innovative archival and field work in ""A Companion to Indian Cinema" extends from cinema in early twentieth century India to a historicized engagement with new technologies and contemporary cinematic practices. There is a focus on production cultures and circulation, material cultures, media aesthetics, censorship, stardom, non-fiction practices, new technologies, and the transnational networks relevant to Indian cinema.

Critique: It may be a surprise to learn that Bollywood produces more movies each year than Hollywood. An impressively informative compendium of erudite and insightful commentaries that will be a highly valued resource for undergraduate and graduate students of film and media studies, South Asian studies, and cinematic history, "A Companion to Indian Cinema" is also an important new resource for scholars with an interest in the context and theoretical framework for the study of India's moving image cultures. While especially recommended as a seminal and critically important addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Cinematic History & Film Criticism collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of film students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A Companion to Indian Cinema" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $148.00).

Editorial Note #1: Neepa Majumdar (https://www.filmandmedia.pitt.edu/people/neepa-majumdar is Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s to 1950s (University of Illinois Press, 2009). Her research interests include film sound, star studies, South Asian early cinema, and documentary film. She is co-editor of the journals [In]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies and Music, Sound, and the Moving Image. (https://www.filmandmedia.pitt.edu/people/neepa-majumdar)

Editorial Note #2: Ranjani Mazumdar (https://www.jnu.ac.in/Faculty/rmazumdar) is Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She is the author of Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and guest editor of a special issue of Bioscope on cinema and techno materiality (2013). Her current research interests include globalization and film culture, intermedial encounters, and the intersection of technology, travel, design, and color in 1960s Bombay Cinema.

China's Millennial Digital Generation
Karen Ma
Long River Press
c/o China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
360 Swift Avenue, Suite #48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
www.chinabooks.com
9781592652488, $28.95, PB, 260pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chinas-Millennial-Digital-Generation-Conversations/dp/1592652484

Synopsis: With the publication of "China's Millennial Digital Generation: Conversations with Balinghou (Post-1980s) Indie Filmmakers", Karen Ma presents a collection of creative and inspiring interviews with 7 young Chinese film directors, revealing new trends that are not fully acknowledged in Western scholarship.

Many balinghou (born in post-1980s) filmmakers are grassroots artists from smaller towns or in rural China not formally trained at film academies. In addition, these younger directors are among the first generation to have benefitted hugely from new technology, including affordable digital video cameras, cell phones, and the internet, which significantly lowered the barriers for artists entering the industry, allowing them to turn their passion into a profession.

More importantly, most of their stories can be traced to their rural hometowns, bringing a fresh repertoire to Chinese independent film. While rural themes are hardly new in Chinese film history, these tended in the past to be told mostly from a top-down, urban-elite perspective. The rural narratives of balinghou filmmakers, on the other hand, tend to be based on people from their neighborhoods, revealing a sense of social and cultural intimacy not often encountered before.

Critique: Featuring black/white photographic illustrations, "China's Millennial Digital Generation: Conversations with Balinghou (Post-1980s) Indie Filmmakers" is unique, seminal and ground introduction to a vital aspect of the Chinese cinematic industry in the form of the independent film makers with access to new technologies that 19th and 20th century Chinese film makers did not have. Inherently fascinating, exceptionally informative, and with a deftly organized presentation, "China's Millennial Digital Generation" is an critically important and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Chinese Cinematic History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Karen Ma (https://theworld.org/people/karen-ma) is also the author of "The Modern Madame Butterfly" and "Excess Baggage, A Novel".

Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life
Yuxin Ma
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299340209, $79.95, HC, 360pp

https://www.amazon.com/Colonial-Tactics-Everyday-Life-Association/dp/0299340201

Synopsis: Following the Japanese invasion of northeast China in 1931, the occupying authorities established the Manchuria Film Association to promote film production efficiency and serve Japan's propaganda needs. The Manchuria Film Association had two tasks: to make "national policy films" as part of a cultural mission of educating Chinese in Manchukuo (the puppet state created in 1932) on the special relationship between Japan and the region, and to block the exhibition of Chinese films from Shanghai that contained anti-Japanese messages.

The corporation relied on Japanese capital, technology, and film expertise, but it also employed many Chinese filmmakers. After the withdrawal of Japanese forces in 1945, many of these individuals were portrayed as either exploited victims or traitorous collaborators. With the publication of "Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life: Workers of the Manchuria Film Association" Professor Yuxin Ma seeks to move the conversation beyond such simplistic and inaccurate depictions.

By focusing on the daily challenges and experiences of the Chinese workers at the corporation, Professor Ma examines how life was actually lived by people navigating between practical and ideological concerns. She illustrates how the inhabitants of Manchukuo navigated social opportunities, economic depression, educational reforms, fascist rule, commercial interests, practical daily needs, and more -- revealing ways in which these conflicting preoccupations sometimes manifested as tension and ambiguity on screen.

In the battle between repression and expression, these Chinese actors, directors, writers, and technicians adopted defensive and opportunistic tactics. They did so in colonial spaces, often rejecting modernist representations of Manchukuo in favor of venerating traditional Chinese culture and values. The expertise, skills, and professional networks they developed extended well beyond the occupation into the postwar period, and may individuals reestablished themselves as cinema professionals in the socialist era.

Critique: A unique and seminal study of meticulous scholarship, "Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life: Workers of the Manchuria Film Association" by Professor Yuxin Ma is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two Appendices (Sketches of Key Figures & Filmography with Synopsis), forty-four pages of Notes, a fourteen page Bibliography, and a fifteen page Index. Expertly organized and presented, "Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life: Workers of the Manchuria Film Association" is highly recommended as a core addition to professional, community, and academic library Chinese Cinematic History collections and supplemental Cinematic History curriculum study lists.

Editorial Note: Yuxin Ma (https://louisville.edu/history/our-people/faculty/yuxin-ma) is an associate professor of history at the University of Louisville and the author of "Women Journalists and Feminism in China, 1898 - 1937".

Pac-Man: The First Animated TV Show Based Upon a Video Game
Mark Arnold
Bear Manor Media
BearManorMedia.com
9798370756986 $22.22 pbk
9781629339382, $33.33 hc

https://www.amazon.com/Pac-Man-First-Animated-Based-Video/dp/B0BVPFKQTD

Synopsis: With this book, Pop Culture Historian Mark Arnold takes an in-depth look at the history of Pac-Man, the classic character that spawned the very first animated cartoon series based upon a video game.

Pac-Man: The First Animated TV Show Based Upon a Video Game goes through the entire history of the Hanna-Barbera animation studios, the history of video games pre Pac-Man, the history of Pac-Man, the character, the video game, the spin-offs, the merchandise and the TV series. Each and every episode of the classic 1980s series is covered and examined.

Plus, author Arnold covers how Pac-Man has been honored on various anniversaries including his most recent 40th anniversary milestone in 2021. A fun read for casual and hardcore Pac-Man and video game fans alike featuring many character model sheets and other images.

Critique: Pac-Man: The First Animated TV Show Based Upon a Video Game is a pop culture history, tour, and celebration of the first children's cartoon to transform video game characters into the medium of animated television. A brief history of animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions, arcade video games, and the Pac-Man video game precedes a more thorough examination of the animated show, a detailed episode guide with credits and extensive plot summaries, and black-and-white illustrations including official model sheets. Pac-Man: The First Animated TV Show Based Upon a Video game is a treasure for connoisseurs of video game media in general, and Pac-Man media fans in particular.


The Library Science Shelf

The Social Future of Academic Libraries
Tim Schlak, et al.
Facet Publishing
www.facetpublishing.co.uk
9781783304714, $85.99, 360pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-social-future-of-academic-libraries-tim-schlak/1139467390

Synopsis: The current focus in higher education institutions on student engagement, partnership formation, community development and social relations requires a significant mind-shift in academic libraries and librarians if they are to regain their place at the heart of the academic enterprise.

Academic libraries need to move beyond incremental and peripheral development of services, spaces and structures to a more fundamental and radical rethinking of their core mission and service philosophy to realign their resources, processes and practices to contemporary demands. Academic librarians have seen the need for change in response to the social turn in the academy and society, and have been exploring concepts such as converged and shared services, partnership and relationship management, blended and engaged librarians, embedded and participatory librarianship, and inside-out and pop-up libraries.

But such work has generally been limited to small parts of the organization, and has not usually resulted in the large scale change in strategy and culture needed for libraries to operate effectively as dynamic social organizations in the connected digital world. New ways of working are not enough; they must be informed by new ways of thinking that empower librarians to look at all areas of their practice in a unified holistic way through a social lens. Concepts and theories of intellectual and social capital can give practitioners new perspectives on their work and provide a framework for the hard reset needed for academic libraries to remain relevant in the 21st century.

"The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement" by co-edited by Tim Schlak, Sheila Corrall, and Paul J. Bracke introduces readers to these ideas and uses case studies from real-world experience to show how intellectual and social capital perspectives and social network theory can strengthen strategic development, collaborative relationships and professional leadership across all areas of library activity.

Of special note are the examples of application areas that include academic liaison, collection development, data services, information literacy, library fundraising, service design, space utilization, and student success.

Critique: An ideal textbook that especially recommended addition to Library Science curriculum studies lists and in-service training programs, "The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. It should be noted for the personal, professional, community, and academic library collections that "The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement" is also available in a hardcover edition (9781783304721, $148.40, 200pp, Amazon) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $62.19).

Editorial Note #1: Tim Schlak (https://alastore.ala.org/content/tim-schlak) is Dean of the University Library at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. As Library Dean, he advocates on the Library's behalf and positions it as an integral partner in the learning and scholarly processes of the University. Prior to joining Robert Morris, he was Library Director at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, where he spearheaded the DeWitt Learning Commons project. He has authored a number of publications about the changing social context of libraries with particular emphasis on social capital and engagement.

Editorial Note #2: Sheila Corrall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Corrall) is Professor of Library and Information Science in the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, where she is lead faculty for academic information services. Her research interests include evolving roles in academic libraries, reflective practice in information work, and the application of business management concepts and models to information services.

Editorial Note #3: Paul Bracke (www.gonzaga.edu/academics/faculty-listing/detail/bracke) is Dean of Library Services at Gonzaga University. In this role, he provides leadership and oversight for Library Services, the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs, and the Academic Technology Applications Support unit. He has published and presented on the social relations of librarians and emerging roles for librarians, particularly in relation to research.

Academic Librarian Burnout: Causes and Responses
Christina Holm, et al.
ACRL Books (Association of College & Research Libraries)
c/o American Library Association
225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601-7616
https://www.ala.org
9780838948569, $98.00, PB, 398pp

https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/academic-librarian-burnout-causes-and-responses

Synopsis: Since the 1800s being a librarian has traditionally been conceptualized as a vocation or calling rather than a profession. Within this historical context, librarians are encouraged to think of ourselves as possessing a natural disposition to showing perpetual engagement, enthusiasm, and self-regulation in pursuit of our shared vocation. These assumptions about the profession can sometimes shield us from introspective criticism, but they can also prevent us from recognizing and managing the systemic occupational issues that afflict us.

Co-edited by the team of Christina Holm, Ana Guimaraes, and Nashieli Marcano, "Academic Librarian Burnout:: Causes and Responses" can help librarians develop the agency to challenge the assumptions and practices that have led to so much professional burnout.

In five thorough parts (Reframing Burnout; Conditions that Promote Burnout; Lived Experiences, Individual Responses to Burnout; Organizational Responses to Burnout) this seminal study offers ways to discuss burnout in our work environments, studies burnout's nature and causes, and provides preventative intervention and mitigation strategies:

The individual chapters comprising "Burnout: Causes and Responses" explore the relationship of burnout in academic libraries and illness, intersectionality, workload, managerial approaches, and more, while offering real-life stories and ways for both individuals and organizations to address the symptoms and causes of burnout. The emotional, physical, and mental investment we require of librarianship (to go above and beyond to serve the ever-evolving needs of our patrons while perennially justifying our existence to library stakeholders) can come at the expense of our well-being.

"Burnout: Causes and Responses" specifically addresses unsustainable work environments and the preservation and celebration of the unique contributions of librarians.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Burnout: Causes and Responses" is an ideal Library Science curriculum textbook for classroom or in-service training programs. Especially recommended reading for aspiring and seasoned librarians (especially library supervisor staff members and library board members), "Burnout: Causes and Responses" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.

Editorial Note #1: Christina Holm (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-holm-3849a759) is the Teaching & Learning Team Lead, Instruction Coordinator, and a Librarian Associate Professor at Kennesaw State University. With over 9 years of professional experience working in academic libraries and public services, she is passionate about information access, library service design, and advocating for critical reflections into professional practices.

Editorial Note #2: Ana Guimaraes (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ana-Guimaraes-29) is the former Director of Collection Development at Kennesaw State University and currently an Engagement Librarian with SAGE Publishing, Inc. A librarian with over 15 years of public services and collection development experience in academic libraries, including public archives and university special collections, she is passionate about library collections, project management and process improvement, and advocating for staff development and the needs of library employees.

Editorial Note #3: Nashieli Marcano (https://www.furman.edu/people/nashieli-marcano) is Archivist for Digital Collections at Furman University. Her 14 years of experience in academia has encompassed library research support, instruction, collection development, and project management. Her current work and interests involves digital curation; diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; exploring issues in academic librarianship; and digital scholarship. She holds a doctorate degree in Latin American Languages, Literatures, and Cultures from the University of Pittsburgh.


The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Tales of Korea
Im Bang, author
Yi Ryuk, author
James S. Gale, translator
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9780804855495, $18.99, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Korea-Enchanting-Stories-Goblins/dp/0804855498

Synopsis: "Tales of Korea: 53 Enchanting Stories of Ghosts, Goblins, Princes, Fairies and More!" is an impressive compendium of Korea's best-known folktales. Collected and written down by Yi Ryuk and Im Bang over three centuries ago, these 53 legendary tales explore fantasy worlds filled with enchanted animals, fairies, goblins, ghosts, princesses and more!

The among the Korean stories comprising this unique volume are:

"The Home of the Fairies" --A young man happens upon a magical fairy town where he stays for several years before returning home to an uncertain future.

"Charan"-- A beautiful dancing girl befriends a governor's son. As their friendship blossoms into love, their lives take an unexpected and agonizing turn!

"Ten Thousand Devils"-- A prince welcomes a distant relative for a visit only to discover that the guest controls thousands of evil creatures that converge on the prince's home.

"An Encounter with a Hobgoblin"-- A man experiences horrifying visitations in his home and fears that he is living with a sinister force!

"The Snake's Revenge"-- After a soldier kills a snake, the reptile is reborn as the man's son and seeks revenge in a gruesome way!

Critique: Featuring an informative Foreword by author, translator, educator, and folklorist Heinz Insu Fenkl, "Tales of Korea: 53 Enchanting Stories of Ghosts, Goblins, Princes, Fairies and More!" by co-authors by Im Bang and Yi Ryuk, and ably translated into English by James S. Gale is an extraordinary collection of Korean fables, fantasies, folklore and fairytales. Also featured are thirty full-color minhwa paintings (Korean folkart) to bring the magic and mystery of Korean folklore to life. With a very special appeal for readers with an interest in mythology and folklore, "Tales of Korea" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Folklore/Mythology/Fantasy collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tales of Korea" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Im Bang, born in 1640, was a disciple of Song Si-yol, one of Korea's foremost writers. In 1719, at the remarkable age of seventy-nine, he became governor of Seoul and simultaneously held office as secretary of the cabinet. His writings have long been revered in Korea, and his reputation as a great scholar has endured for centuries.

Editorial Note #2: Yi Ryuk, who lived during the reign of King Sejo in the mid-15th century, was no less a scholar than Im Bang. The Kuk-cho Inmul-chi (Korea's Record of Famous Men) speaks of him as "a man of many offices and many distinctions in the way of literary excellence."

Editorial Note #3: James S. Gale (1863-1937) was a Presbyterian minister who arrived in Korea in 1888 to teach English and help translate the Bible into Korean. He founded two middle schools in Seoul, and was a professor at Pyongyang Theological Seminary. His books include History of the Korean People and a translation of The Cloud Dream of the Nine, the first work of Korean literature to be translated into English.


The Music Shelf

Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory
Larisa P. Jackson
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
www.untpress.unt.edu
9781574418606, $29.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rimsky-Korsakovs-Harmonic-Theory-Practical-Traditions/dp/1574418602

Synopsis: With the publication of "Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory: Practical Manual of Harmony, Its Sources, History, and Traditions", Professor Larisa P. Jackson presents the first comprehensive study of this legendary Russian composer's concept of harmony that also traces the history of tonal relationships.

Professor Jackson describes and examines Rimsky-Korsakov's distinctive harmonic theory using his Practical Manual of Harmony as a basis, and places it in historical context of nineteenth-century music theory. She also explores in great detail a concept of tonal relationships, fundamental to Rimsky-Korsakov's view of harmony, and relates this to ideas by German theorists of the period and the Russian theoretical tradition.

Professor Jackson deftly examines the concept of modulation and of the relationship of keys and presents a model of his tonal space/map extrapolated from his harmonic system. Additionaly, she identifies specific treatises that help to trace ties between German theoretical ideas and Rimsky-Korsakov's work.

Critique: An impressive work of original scholarship and enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of seven Appendices, thirty-four pages of Notes, a fourteen page Bibliography, and a nine page Index, "Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory: Practical Manual of Harmony, Its Sources, History, and Traditions" is a seminal study that will have a very special value for anyone interested in Russian/German Music History & Criticism. While a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Music History collections, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the life and work of Rimsky-Korsakov that "Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.96).

Editorial Note: Larisa P. Jackson (https://untpress.unt.edu/authors/jackson-larisa) studied at Mussorgsky Music College in St. Petersburg, Russia, and completed her M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York City under eminent music theorist Ian Bent. She has taught at the University of Houston since 2001.


The African-American Studies Shelf

The State of Black America
W. B. Allen, editor
Encounter Books
900 Broadway, Suite 601, New York, NY 10003
www.encounterbooks.com
9781641772662, $31.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/State-Black-America-Progress-Pitfalls/dp/1641772662

Synopsis: In a nation that is tearing itself apart over race, trying to speak honestly about the state of black America is a perilous task. Candor and thoughtfulness are often drowned by hysteria, expediency, and sentimentalism. With the publication of "The State of Black America: Progress, Pitfalls, and the Promise of the Republic", compiled and edited by Professor W. B. Allen, seeks to restore these sorely needed virtues to the present discourse, assembling a company of scholars who confront our nation's troubled racial history even as they bear witness to the promise the American heritage contains for blacks.

Collectively, the eight erudite essays comprising "The State of Black America" bring clarity to the murky darkness of America's race debates, reviewing and building upon the latest scholarship on the character, shape, and tendencies of life for black Americans. Together, they tell a story of black America's astounding success in integrating into mainstream American culture and propose that black patriotism is the key to overcoming what problems remain.

Featuring contributions from W. B. Allen, Mikael Rose Good, Edward J. Erler, Robert D. Bland, Glenn C. Loury, Ian V. Rowe, Precious D. Hall, Daphne Cooper, Star Parker, and Robert Borens each of whome were drawn from a variety of disciplines, including history, economics, social science, and political philosophy, "The State of Black America" offers to the world a kind of "toolbox" of intellectual resources to aid careful and sound thinking on one of the most fraught issues of our time.

Critique: A timely and significant contribution to our present national dialogue concerning race relations in contemporary America, "The State of Black America: Progress, Pitfalls, and the Promise of the Republic" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Political and Race Relations collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activist, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The State of Black America: Progress, Pitfalls, and the Promise of the Republic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: William B. Allen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_B._Allen) is a resident scholar and the former chief operating officer of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education in Washington, D.C. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science and an Emeritus Dean of James Madison College at Michigan State University. In 2018 - 20 he was senior scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder. He served previously on the United States National Council for the Humanities and as chairman and member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Recognized for excellence in liberal education on the 1997 Templeton Honor Roll (individually and institutionally), he also has been a Kellogg National Fellow, received the international Prix Montesquieu, and was the 2014 Salvatori Award winner. He has published extensively, including George Washington: A Collection (Liberty Fund, Inc.), Rethinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of H. B. Stowe (Lexington Books), and George Washington: America's First Progressive (Peter Lang, Inc.).


The Native American Studies Shelf

Lakhota: An Indigenous History
Rani-Henrik Andersson, author
David C. Posthumus, author
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806190754, $34.95, HC, 440pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lakhota-Indigenous-History-Civilization-American/dp/0806190752

Synopsis: The Lakhota are arguably among the best-known Native American peoples. In popular culture and even many scholarly works, they were once lumped together with others and called the Sioux. "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" tells the full story of Lakhota culture and society, from their origins to the twenty-first century, drawing on Lakhota voices and perspectives.

In Lakhota culture, "listening" is a cardinal virtue, connoting respect, and here co-authors Rani-Henrik Andersson and David C. Posthumus listen to the Lakhota, both past and present. The history of culture unfolds in this narrative as the people lived it.

Fittingly, "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" opens with an origin story, that of White Buffalo Calf Woman (Ptesanwin) and her gift of the sacred pipe to the Lakhota people. Drawing on winter counts, oral traditions and histories, and Lakhota letters and speeches, the narrative proceeds through such periods and events as early Lakhota trading, the creation of the Great Sioux Reservation, Christian missionization, the Plains Indian Wars, the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee (1890), the Indian New Deal, and self-determination, as well as recent challenges like the #NoDAPL movement and management of Covid-19 on reservations.

"Lakhota: An Indigenous History" centers Lakhota experience, as when it shifts the focus of the Battle of Little Bighorn from Custer to fifteen-year-old Black Elk, or puts American Horse at the heart of the negotiations with the Crook Commission, or explains the Lakhota agenda in negotiating the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1851.

The picture that emerges (of continuity and change in Lakhota culture from its distant beginnings to issues in our day) is as sweeping and intimate, and as deeply complex, as the lived history it encompasses.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with numerous illustrations, a fourteen page Glossary, fifty-six pages of Notes, a twenty- six page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" is a definitive history that will have a very special appeal to students of Native American history and culture. Also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49), "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" is an especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Native American History collections in general, and supplemental curriculum Lakhota History/Culture studies in particular.

Editorial Note #1: Rani-Henrik Andersson holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Tampere in Finland. He has served as the McDonnell Douglas Chair, Professor of American Studies at the University of Helsinki and is currently working as a Core Fellow at the University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He has published a number of scholarly articles about topics in Native American history, and has held a position as a visiting research fellow at Indiana University where he worked with Lakota experts Ray DeMallie and Doug Parks. Andersson is also the author of The Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890 (University of Nebraska Press, 2008). (https://www.history.ucsb.edu/visiting-scholar/rani-henrik-andersson)

Editorial Note #2: David C. Posthumus holds a PhD in Anthropology and is the author of All My Relatives: Exploring Lakota Ontology, Belief, and Ritual and the novel The Legend of the Dogman. (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=-zOJHbYAAAAJ)


The Mythology Shelf

The Chinese Myths
Tao Tao Liu
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500252383, $25.95, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Myths-Guide-Gods-Legends/dp/0500252386

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Chinese Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Legends", Professor Tao Tao Liu provides the reader with a concise and entertaining guide to the complex tradition of Chinese mythology. While many around the world are familiar with some aspects of Chinese myth (through Chinese New Year festivities or the classic adventures of the Monkey King in Journey to the West) not everyone understands the richness of Chinese mythology, especially as influenced by Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Offering more than a simple overview of Chinese mythology, "The Chinese Myths" not only retells the ancient stories but also considers their place within the patterns of Chinese religions, culture, and history. An expert on the subject, Professor Tao Tao Liu introduces an intriguing cast of gods, goddesses, dragons, and monks, including the ancient hero Yi the Archer, who shot suns out of the sky to save humanity from a drought; Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, to whom there are temples dedicated all over East Asia; and Madame White Snake, a water snake spirit in the guise of a mysterious widow, her story adapted into countless films and operas.

Critique: Exquisitely illustrated with blue/white images throughout, "The Chinese Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Legends" is very special volume is for anyone interested in China or mythology, as knowing China's myths allows readers to understand and appreciate its culture in a new light. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Chinese Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Legends" is especially and particularly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Myth/Folklore collections in general, and supplemental curriculum Chinese Mythology studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Tao Tao Liu (https://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/people/taotao-liu) is a retired senior lecturer in Chinese literature in the faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.


The Divorce Shelf

My Husband Chose The Homewrecker Over Me, Now What?
Yolanda Randolph & Roshonda N. Blackmon
RettieBooks
9781734385380, Paperback: $17.99; E-book: $9.99; Hardcover: $20.00

https://www.amazon.com/Husband-Chose-Homewrecker-Over-What/dp/1734385383

My Husband Chose The Homewrecker Over Me, Now What? makes a big promise to its readers from the start -- the promise of recovery from heartache and betrayal in love:

"With each chapter, I'll take you through my own personal burn, sharing stories of my process of maneuvering past my heartache and divorce in hopes that my story will be a motivation for you to push past your pain and to focus on your healing."

This is a candid account about being burned, confronting bad choices and unintended good consequences, and the process of facing betrayal and reconstruction. It features an eye to salvaging not just one's financial life, but emotional connections to life, faith, and new possibilities in love. The roller-coaster of emotions experienced during this journey is explored with a sassy, lively voice that reviews the peaks and valleys of infidelity and divorce. The advice to fellow women who are walking the same path comes not from a psychotherapist or relationship expert, but one who has confronted her own heartbreak, illusions, healing, and recovery process.

Yolanda Randolph and Roshonda N. Blackmon explore all these elements and more, following what happens when a marriage breaks apart. Many books on the market seem to offer similar-sounding approaches; but what sets My Husband Chose The Homewrecker Over Me, Now What? apart from most others is its candid blend of memoir and self-help exploration, which adopts both a determined tone and one that exposes all the raw moments of heartbreak and the processes that strengthen the soul.

From exes who, like ghosts, seem to "come back again and again" to haunt and thwart recovery to moving on to the tests of character and misunderstandings that emerge from different situations when one attempts to lead a Christian-based life, Randolph and Blackmon pull no punches in either Randolph's candid assessment of herself or the situations that draw her towards or away from her foundation of faith. Another difference lays in the chapter about kids and the impact of infidelity, heartbreak, and emotional currents in the home. Readers receive the astute admonition that "...kids need time to process, too, after breakups, changes, and divorce. There was a void in their lives, too, just as much as there was one in my life."

The story goes on to expand into the scenario of a stepfather also departing: "First their father is gone and now this! The stepfather may not be the biological father, but his presence is still missed around the house when he's no longer around."

The in-depth details about the household impacts of such events offers readers much food for thought about the adjustments and clashes between all family members as healing takes place, and is an invaluable part of the curative process that's often missed in books about divorce and recovery. The result is a Christian-based examination of marriage, lapses, recovery, and redemption that places the onus of strength on the woman who faces a home-wrecking situation and emerges from it to forge a new life not just for herself, but her whole family.

Libraries strong in Christian stories of redemption, revitalization, and rejuvenation will find the honest tone and practical insights into recovering from a breakup offers not just much food for thought, but many discussion points that Christian reading groups can raise and learn from.


The Economic Studies Shelf

Adam Smith's America
Glory M. Liu
Princeton University Press
41 William Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
http://press.princeton.edu
9780691203812, $35.00, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Adam-Smiths-America-Philosopher-Capitalism/dp/0691203814

Synopsis: Originally published in 1776, Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" was lauded by America's founders as a landmark work of Enlightenment thinking about national wealth, statecraft, and moral virtue. Today, Smith is one of the most influential icons of economic thought in America.

With the publication of "Adam Smith's America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism", academician Glory Liu traces how generations of Americans have read, reinterpreted, and weaponized Smith's ideas, revealing how his popular image as a champion of American-style capitalism and free markets is an historical invention.

Drawing on a trove of illuminating archival materials, Liu tells the story of how an unassuming Scottish philosopher captured the American imagination and played a leading role in shaping American economic and political ideas. She shows how Smith became known as the father of political economy in the nineteenth century and was firmly associated with free trade, and how, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, the Chicago School of Economics transformed him into the preeminent theorist of self-interest and the miracle of free markets. Liu also explores how a new generation of political theorists and public intellectuals has sought to recover Smith's original intentions and restore his reputation as a moral philosopher.

Charting the enduring fascination that this humble philosopher from Scotland has held for American readers over more than two centuries, "Adam Smith's America" shows how Smith continues to be a vehicle for articulating perennial moral and political anxieties about modern capitalism.

Critique: An exceptional work of seminal and meticulous scholarship, "Adam Smith's America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism" is an inherently fascinating and iconoclastic study that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Economic Theory & History collections. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an informative Introduction, a sixteen page Epilogue, a twenty-six page listing of References, and a nine page Index, "Adam Smith's America" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.25) for students, academia, economists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note: Glory M. Liu (https://www.gloryliu.com/about) is a college fellow in social studies at Harvard University. Her work has appeared in publications such as Modern Intellectual History, the Washington Post, and Aeon.

The Future Economy
Brandon Zemp
Forbes Books
https://books.forbes.com
9781955884006, $24.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Future-Economy-Insiders-Dismantling-Traditional/dp/1955884005

Synopsis: Even as it has planted a flag in the economic currency mainstream, blockchain technology remains minimally understood by the public, and its true potential to improve every aspect of our lives is only just emerging.

With the publication of "The Future Economy: A Crypto Insider's Guide To The Tech Dismantling Traditional Banking", crypto currency expert Brandon Zemp (who hosts the popular BlockHash podcast and is a professional crypto-based entrepreneur), looks past the hype to examine the exhilarating real-world impact of this technology.

Zemp explains the major tokens and platforms in crypto and demystifies the little-known yet potentially revolutionary use cases of a technology that promises to alter the very way we think about money, banking, and life itself -- both online and offline.

Critique: Given the volatile performance of crypto currencies over the past few years (especially with the collapse of one of the most popular of them in 2022), "The Future Economy: A Crypto Insider's Guide To The Tech Dismantling Traditional Banking" must be considered essential reading for anyone involved or considering involvement with a crypto currency. Informed and informative, "The Future Economy" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Economics & Crypto Currency collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "The Future Economy" is also currently available in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99) from Amazon.

Editorial Note: Brandon Zemp is an entrepreneur, investor, trader, and host of the popular BlockHash podcast. He graduated from Pitzer College in 2017 with a BA in neuroscience before making a name for himself in the fast-growing world of cryptocurrency as CEO and founder of BlockHash, LLC, a consulting, coaching, and education company, and as head of Blocolombia, a Colombia-based crypto consultancy and one of the first of its kind in Latin America. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbooksauthors/people/brandonzemp/?sh=24c6854e343e)

The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies
William N. Brown
Springer
https://www.springer.com/us
981197280X, $59.99, HC, 137pp

https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Chinas-Anti-Poverty-Strategies-Changing/dp/981197280X

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives", Professor William N. Brown presents the findings of his three decades of studying China's evolving anti-poverty strategies.

Professor Brown argues that much of the billions that nations spend yearly on economic aid is used inefficiently or to treat the symptoms but not the root causes of poverty. China, however, has evolved an effective sustainable alternative by providing the means for self-reliance to not only relieve economic poverty but also poverty of spirit. As a result, the success of China's historic war on poverty has been due not only to top-down visionary leadership but also to the bottom-up initiatives of an empowered populace unswervingly united in ending poverty.

From 1993 to 2019, Professor Brown drove over 200,000 km around China and interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life as he explored the evolution of China's anti-poverty strategies from simplistic aid and redistribution, which often engendered dependency and poverty of spirit.

Over time, the philosophy shifted to empowerment by fostering self-reliance -- or as the Chinese put it, "blood production rather than blood transfusion". The primary method of empowerment was to provide modern infrastructure, "Roads first, then riches," so rural dwellers in remote Inner Mongolia or the Himalayan heights of Tibet had the same access to markets, jobs and internet for e-commerce as their urban counterparts. People who seized the opportunities and prospered first then used their newfound wealth and experience to help others.

The stories comprising "The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives" includes a Tibetan entrepreneur whose family was impoverished in spite of 300 years of service to the Panchen Lama, and the farm girl with 4 years of education who now has several international schools, as well as a biotechnology company, poverty alleviation projects across China, as well as the photographer who walked 40,000 km through deserts to chronicle the threat of desertification.

Their tales underscore how diverse people across China helped make possible China's success in alleviating absolute poverty and why Chinese are now confident in achieving a "moderately prosperous society".

Critique: Of special value to readers with an interest in China's economic policies, Professor William Brown's "The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives" is critically important reading and an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college, university, and governmental library International Economics and Contemporary China Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: William N. Brown (https://www.cambridgerivers.com/who-is-william-brown) has been on the faculty of Xiamen University since 1988. He is OneMBA Academic Director and Professor of Leadership and Strategy. Fujian's first foreign PR, he has driven over 200,000 km around China exploring its development, co-written and hosted over 400 TV episodes, and consulted with cities on urban and rural development. Honors have included China's "Friendship Award," "Honorary Citizen of Fujian" from then-governor Xi Jinping, "Top Ten Educator 1954-2014," and "CCTV's Moving China 2019" award. He published "Chasing the Chinese Dream" with Springer in 2021.


The Self-Help Shelf

Brave Boundaries
Sasha Shillcutt, MD
Health Communications, Inc.
301 Crawford Blvd, Suite 200, Boca Raton FL 33432
https://hcibooks.com
9780757324192, $16.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Brave-Boundaries-Strategies-Control-Empowered/dp/0757324193

Synopsis: No matter how educated they are or how far they have climbed up the ladder, women are taught one thing over and over at every stage of their lives: when someone asks you for help, you say yes. Women are supposed to agree to take on whatever is asked of them, regardless of how busy they are. No matter how much a woman deeply desires to say no, the societal expectation is that women are helpers - taught to fix problems, show up at all times, and not let people down. They are instructed to never say no to tasks or duties asked of them, even when they are drowning in work and barely hanging on by a thread. Rather than say no, they often become avoiders and lose opportunities for personal growth. This leads to feelings of immense failure, inauthenticity, and burnout.

Dr. Sasha Shillcutt has known this feeling, too, but now she understands and shows women there is another way. Having coached thousands of professional women and business leaders in her classes and conferences, she knows that setting boundaries is the essential lesson that they need to learn in order to avoid burnout and a loss of themselves in their incessant drive to please and say yes. In her special down-to-earth way, Sasha will show readers how to erect fences that protect their physical and mental health while providing opportunities for joy and growth. Readers will learn that boundaries are kind, not restrictive, and being a person with boundaries is the most empowering and peaceful way to live. They will learn to say no to others and say yes to themselves.

Critique: An essential and 'real world practical' instructional DIY guide for women on how to set strong, workable boundaries to safeguard their health, happiness, and wellbeing, "Brave Boundaries: Strategies to Say No, Stand Strong, and Take Control of Your Time: The Key to Living Empowered" is exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a two page listing of Resources, a two page listing of Recommended Reading, and a six page References and Bibliography section. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), "Brave Boundaries" is a strongly recommended addition to community library Motivational Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.

Editorial Note: Sasha Shillcutt, MD (https://womenasone.org/resources/shillcutt) is a tenured professor of anesthesiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a gender-equity researcher, award-winning clinician, professional coach, and speaker. In 2016, she launched her organization Brave Enough, where she leads a community of thousands of women. She teaches women how to have work-life control through coaching, courses and conferences. Her passion is empowering women to be brave enough in their professional and personal lives to set boundaries. She speaks often at conferences, workshops, and retreats, including her annual conference for women's leadership and wellbeing on the topics of career burnout, boundaries, and developing resilient leaders. In 2016, Sasha was awarded the national American Medical Association's Women Physician's Inspiring Physician Award by her peers.

We Are All Addicts
Carder Stout, PhD
Viva Editions
http://vivaeditions.com
9781632280817, $16.95 PB / $9.99 Kindle, 188pp

https://www.amazon.com/We-Are-All-Addicts-Compulsions/dp/1632280817

Synopsis: Expert therapist Dr. Carder Stout believes that the soul's authentic voice has the ability to heal addictive cycles and completely remove them from the psyche. The soul is pure consciousness untethered from human experience, and Dr. Stout has maintained sobriety for seventeen years by utilizing this untapped resource. In turn, he has successfully treated numerous clients for addiction and other mental health conditions using the same technique. It is with this expertise, he breaks down his theory of "We Are All Addicts" in a compellingly readable guide.

With the publication of "We Are All Addicts: The Soul's Guide to Kicking Your Compulsions", Dr. Stout deftly presents a spiritual approach to ridding the mind of the complex problems created by addiction. These solutions to obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors are unconventional, and have previously been shared exclusively with his patients in therapy -- until now!

Through exercises, meditations, visualizations and writing, Dr. Stout will demonstrate how to connect deeply to your soul. Readers will not only gain an understanding of the addiction holding them back, but how to overcome it through self-honesty and self-love.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "We Are All Addicts: The Soul's Guide to Kicking Your Compulsions" is both a practical and a spiritual self-help guide to liberating oneself from destructive and addictive patterns. Exercises, meditations, visualizations and more are presented as therapeutic tools. An excellent guide emphasizing the importance of being honest with oneself and loving oneself, "We Are All Addicts" is highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "We Are All Addicts" is also available in a Kindle edition.


James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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