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Volume 32, Number 11 November 2022 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf EducationShelf
World History Shelf Civil War Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Native American Studies Shelf Art Shelf
Egyptology Shelf Biography Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Business Shelf Computer Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Gardening Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Travel Shelf Sports Shelf
Wine Shelf Literary Studies Shelf Archaeology Shelf
Mythology Shelf Architecture Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Photography Shelf Military Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Self-Help Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice

The Communist Chasm
Nan Wisherd
Cable Publishing
https://cablepublishing.com
9781934980842, $18.95, PB, 226pp

https://www.amazon.com/Communist-Chasm-Dreams-Terrible-Nightmare/dp/1934980846

Synopsis: By the thousands, they followed a dream, a dream of a better life promised to them by agents of North America's booming industry owners. It was a dream that led many of them into the Upper Midwest's deep, dangerous mines and into fierce labor strikes and ruinous blacklistings. Then years later and deeply disillusioned, they were promised a Worker's Paradise by communist recruiters who sent them to Russia's Karelia, where their fate was sealed by Joseph Stalin.

"The Communist Chasm: How the Dreams of a Better Life became a Terrible Nightmare" by Nan Wisherd is their story told in documented detail.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented piece of informed and informative history that rescues an horrific episode in the American communist experience for uncounted numbers of Finnish emigrants and their families whose high expectations and idealistic hopes were to be cruelly abused by a disillusioning and hostile reality that would lead to their deaths, "The Communist Chasm: How the Dreams of a Better Life became a Terrible Nightmare" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Communist 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 Communist Chasm: How the Dreams of a Better Life became a Terrible Nightmare" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Nan Wisherd (https://cablepublishing.com/nan-wisherd), who is currently residing in Brule, Wisconsin, spent her earliest years in northern Wisconsin's Finnish community of Waino where stories of early pioneer life are still vividly recalled.

Don't Count Me Out
Rafael Alvarez
ILR Press
c/o Cornell University Press
512 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
www.cornellpress.cornell.edu
9781501766350, $26.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Count-Out-Baltimore-Miraculous/dp/150176635X

Synopsis: "Don't Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend's Miraculous Recovery" by Rafael Alvarez chronicles the life of Bruce White from the beginning of his drug use in elementary school through criminal acts fueled by his need for drugs, to his miraculous recovery three decades later and involvement in the treatment of addicts, where he is now a leader in the rehabilitation field.

Author and biographer Rafael Alvarez's recounting of White's journey should inspire those dealing with the fallout of addiction. Alvarez, a journalist and screenwriter, allows the reader to get inside the head of an addict who was stealing alcohol from his parents at the age of nine, selling drugs and tripping on LSD and PCP by the time he hit seventh grade, and hooked on morphine before he turned fifteen. "Bruce White? I thought he was dead?" is a response encountered in many of the interviews Alvarez conducted.

"Don't Count Me Out" showcases an improbable and stunning miracle. Though this is just one person's story, the contributing factors of early sexual assault, the role of permissive preoccupied parents, and the need for peer approval, among others, will resonate with many -- especially as the opioid crisis continues to haunt us.

Critique: Of special interest to anyone who has themselves had to deal with the scourge of drug addiction within themselves, a family member, or a friend, "Don't Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend's Miraculous Recovery" is a compelling, informative, thought-provoking, and ultimately inspiring read from first page to last. While highly recommended for community and academic library Drug Dependency/Abuse Recovery collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Don't Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend's Miraculous Recovery" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Rafael Alvarez (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Alvarez) is a former City Desk reporter for the Baltimore Sun and former writer for the HBO drama, The Wire. He is the author of many books of fiction and nonfiction.

Getting Along
Amy Gallo
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781647821067, $30.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Along-Anyone-Difficult-People/dp/1647821061

Synopsis: Work relationships can be hard. The stress of dealing with difficult people dampens our creativity and productivity, degrades our ability to think clearly and make sound decisions, and causes us to disengage. We might lie awake at night worrying, withdraw from work, or react in ways we later regret in the form of rolling our eyes in a meeting, snapping at colleagues, or staying silent when we should speak up.

Too often we grin and bear it as if we have no choice. Or throw up our hands because one-size-fits-all solutions haven't worked. But you can only endure so much thoughtless, irrational, or malicious behavior -- there's your sanity to consider, and your career.

With the publication of "Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)", workplace expert and Harvard Business Review podcast host Amy Gallo identifies eight familiar types of difficult coworkers (the insecure boss, the passive-aggressive peer, the know-it-all, the biased coworker, and others) and provides strategies tailored to dealing constructively with each one.

She also shares principles that will help you turn things around, no matter who you're at odds with. Taking the high road isn't easy, but Gallo offers a crucial perspective on how work relationships really matter, as well as the compassion, encouragement, and tools you need to prevail on your terms. She answers questions such as: Why can't I stop thinking about that nasty email?! What's behind my problem colleague's behavior? How can I fix things if they won't cooperate? I've tried everything -- what now?

Full of relatable, sometimes cringe-worthy examples, the latest behavioral science research, and practical advice you can use right now, "Getting Along" is an indispensable guide to navigating your toughest relationships at work -- and building interpersonal resilience in the process.

Critique: Timely, informative, insightful, 'real world practical', and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in narrative style, organization, and presentation, "Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)" is essential reading for anyone experienced workplace friction, discontent, bullying, or unrealistic expectations and demands. Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative Introduction (Can't We All Just Get Along?), sixteen pages of Notes, and a four page listing of
Acknowledgments, "Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, corporate, community, college, and university library Business Management, Communication, and Conflict Resolution collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Amy Gallo (www.amyegallo.com) is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review. She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict and a co-host of HBR's Women at Work podcast. Her articles have been collected in dozens of books on emotional intelligence, giving and receiving feedback, time management, and leadership. As a sought-after speaker and facilitator, Gallo has helped thousands of leaders deal with conflict more effectively and navigate complicated workplace dynamics.

Who Shot Van Gogh?
Alan Turnbull
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500024843, $24.95, HC

https://www.amazon.com/Who-Shot-Van-Gogh-Counterfacts/dp/0500024847

Synopsis: Van Gogh is one of the most famous artist in the world, yet our understanding of his life is full of contradictions. Art historians, filmmakers, journalists, psychologists, and conspiracy theorists have offered theories on his life and work, yet their views are often poles apart. Van Gogh has been described as a suffering genius; a nature-loving innocent; a man of violence, a danger to himself and others; the embodiment of peace and compassion; a religious fanatic; a Marxist; a madman; a cultural commodity; and an investment opportunity. Where does the truth lie and the myth begin?

"Who Shot Van Gogh?: Facts and Counterfacts About the World's Most Famous Artist" by Alan Turnbull is an original and wide-ranging study that provokes new questions about how we see his life and work. Divided into the recurring themes that run through the artist's life and legacy, Who Shot Van Gogh?" presents a collage of facts and "counter-facts" about the artist, dating from his lifetime until now, from a wide field of sources: fellow artists, friends and family, doctors and psychoanalysts, actors and writers, theorists, crackpots, and scholars. Conflicting statements go hand in hand with an unconventional curation of images: featuring postcards of locations associated with the artist, photographs of a fraudster's legal trial, a children's toy, a bottle label, and a rusty revolver.

Turnbull's biographical study presents a intermingled kaleidoscope of fact and fiction about the world's most discussed artist (sometimes funny, sometimes heartrending, always revealing) giving readers new insights into the artist, his work, and his legacy. Van Gogh himself would be amazed not only to see what people have said about him, but also to grasp the global phenomenon that he has become.

Critique: Enhanced for the readers' enjoyment with 57 illustrations, "Who Shot Van Gogh?: Facts and Counterfacts About the World's Most Famous Artist" is essential, informative, and thought-provoking reading for dedicated art lovers and museum goers. "Who Shot Van Golgh?" invites all readers familiar with Van Gogh to challenge received ideas about the man and his work -- making this fascinating study especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Artist Monograph & Biography collections in general, and Vincent Van Gogh supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Alan Turnbull is a practicing artist who has lectured in painting and printmaking at Newcastle University and numerous other art schools.

Playing Mantis
D'Ann Katsu Davis
https://earthsoundjourney.com
Atmosphere Press
www.atmospherepress.com
9781639884179, $17.77

https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Mantis-Workbook-Playbook-Revolution/dp/1639884173

Playing Mantis: A Workbook For Inner Peace And A Playbook For The Revolution is an allegorical autobiography of a mantis that comes with an added bonus: embedded original music by D'Ann Katsu Davis, specifically designed to augment the story.

Asked to write a music bio, Davis quickly realized an even greater interest in writing a bio of the music, as well. Nobody can synthesize the feel and special perspective of this book than the author, who easily defines its mercurial form: "Playing Mantis is a story within a story within a story within a story. It is the spiritual autobiography of a praying mantis, and an allegorical memoir, while at the same time answering the question of "what the hell" am I doing with my music and sounds? Which was a central goal. But it also came to embody larger social and even cosmological themes."

Its main characters are an amalgamation of various spiritual teachers and influences that also incorporate an unusual countenance as events are related from the points of view of a male Buddhist and female indigenous praying mantis. The first strength to note in this story is a powerful sense of people and places. These are vividly captured in first-person observations. These power a transformation work that adopts a different perspective about the world, the healers and spiritual forces that move through it, and those that educate and carry the narrator through life.

Readers may not expect the full-bodied flavor of this experience, which contrasts diverse concerns such as Eastern and Western philosophy, presents succinct round-up words of wisdom by various 'mantis' incarnations (Medicine Mantis Says 'When people and nature are in perfect harmony magic and beauty are everywhere'), and blends musical notes of enlightenment and creative spirit into its experiences and observations: "She inhales air, and exhales music. She is a Native American flute - mystic and enchanting - haunting and hollow. She is full of heart, peace, and gratitude as she plays her offerings of praise to all who reside in the Seven Sacred Directions of her Sound Medicine Wheel." The result is a lyrical work that begins and ends with music, infusing this into high notes of spiritual revelation and life inspection that will prove particularly attractive to readers interested in more than just memoirs of personal enlightenment.

Playful, thought-provoking, and spiritually revealing, Playing Mantis lives up to the weighty promise of its subtitle (A Workbook For Inner Peace And A Playbook For The Revolution) with a format that is at once easy to access and hard to define within the usual genre boundaries. Libraries and readers interested in spiritual, philosophical, and artistic explorations will find the language and focus of Playing Mantis exceptional, representing a free fall into healing and growth that is unusually lively in both perspective and presentation.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Story and Structure: A Complete Guide
Leon Conrad, author
Jason Chuang, illustrator
http://leonconrad.com/writer
The Squeeze Press
9781906069254, $39.95, PB, 528pp

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Structure-Complete-Leon-Conrad/dp/1906069255

Synopsis: With the publication of "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide", published author Leon Conrad reveals the untold story of just how story works. Using just six primary symbols, Conrad outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all optimally solve the problems which give rise to them.

"Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" also demonstrates the much wider application of story, presenting new insights into story as a dynamic force of life, allowing the reader to access more harmony and flow in their life.

Critique: Offering a complete course of instruction for authors, novelists, storytellers, creative writing teachers, folklorists, narrative therapists, anthropologists, poets, and non-specialist general readers and bibliophiles interested in how story works will all find "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" useful and informative as they rethink ideas of story and storytelling. An ideal textbook for Creative Writing courses and workshops, "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Leon Conrad (http://leonconrad.com/writer) is the author of History Riddles, Odyssey: Dynamic Learning System (with David Pinto), and Aesop the Storyteller. He is a storyteller and story structure consultant, based in London, UK.

Editorial Note #2: Jason Chuang (https://www.jasonchuangart.co.uk) is an illustrator and storyteller based in Taiwan and the UK. His practice focuses on the exploration of human emotions through the creation of symbolic imageries, coating them with elements of the absurd and poetry.


The Education Shelf

The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions
Timothy L. Fields, author
Shereem Herndon-Brown, author
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
www.press.jhu.edu
9781421444895, $21.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Familys-Guide-College-Admissions/dp/1421444895

Synopsis: Finding the right college is a challenge for all students. But Black families face additional challenges and questions while navigating the admissions process. With the publication of "The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions: A Conversation about Education, Parenting, and Race", veteran college admissions experts Timothy L. Fields and Shereem Herndon-Brown share provocative insights and demystify this complex process to answer important questions from where to apply to how to get in.

Fields and Herndon-Brown discuss specific concerns for Black families that are not often addressed by school counselors or other resources. They highlight how the current social justice movement amplifies the distinct dynamics that exist between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and predominantly white institutions and which college choices may be best for Black students.

Fields and Herndon-Brown pull from decades of experience to offer the savvy advice that Black families need. Having worked on both sides of the desk (as school counselors and as college admissions gatekeepers) they are well equipped to give parents, students, and school counselors the information and inspiration to successfully research and navigate the admission journey.

The higher education landscape is constantly evolving, and admissions criteria have evolved with it. Fields and Herndon-Brown cover everything from athletic recruitment and artistic talents to financial aid and step-by-step instructions for how to get through the college search and application processes. A list of the best colleges for Black students, a glossary of terms, a list of notable Black college graduates, a suggested reading list, and an FAQ section round out the guide. "The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions" is the definitive resource to begin the complex conversation of understanding the choices that Black families face as they go through the college admissions process at the intersection of education, parenting, and race.

Critique: Comprehensively information and exceptionally 'reader friendly' in both organization and presentation, "The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions: A Conversation about Education, Parenting, and Race" is an especially and unreservedly recommended instructional reference for highschool and community library College Selection Guide collections. For students, family, highschool counselor, and college/university admissions personnel reading lists it should be noted that "The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions: A Conversation about Education, Parenting, and Race" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.49).

Editorial Note #1: Timothy Fields (https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothy-fields-5936758) is a graduate of Morehouse College and senior associate dean of admissions at Emory University.

Editorial Note #2: Shereem Herndon-Brown (www.collegevine.com/experts/profile/e/304) is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the founder and chief education officer of Strategic Admissions Advice, an educational consulting company specializing in the creation of college counseling curriculum for charter schools and school districts, online essay courses, and personalized college advice coaching.

Paying for College, 2023
Kalman A. Chany
The Princeton Review
www.PrincetonReview.com
c/o Random House Inc.
http://www.randomhousebooks.com
9780593516492, $25.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Paying-College-2023-Everything-Admissions/dp/0593516494

Synopsis: Financing a college education is a daunting task no matter your circumstances. With line-by-line instructions for filling out the FAFSA and consumer-friendly advice to minimize college costs, this new and fully updated edition of "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" helps aspiring college students and their parents to: Maximize your financial aid eligibility; Prepare for upcoming changes affecting student aid; Explore long- and short-term strategies to reduce college costs and avoid expensive mistakes; Complete every question on the FAFSA and CSS Profile aid applications to your best advantage; Compare aid offers and learn how to appeal them if necessary; Plan strategically as a separated/divorced parent, blended family, or independent student.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, this new edition of "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" is essential reading for anyone student and their families needing to finance a college education given the increasing costs that seem to rise higher and higher with every year. Simply stated, no Highschool Counsler, College Student Parent, or College Student can afford not to give a careful reading to the financially relevant information comprising "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College". While unreservedly recommended for highschool, community library, and college admissions office collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Kalman A. Chany (http://www.campusconsultants.com/kalchany.html) is the founder and president of Campus Consultants Inc. For over 35 years he has personally helped thousands of clients get the most financial aid possible. He is a frequent information source for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine and is regularly interviewed on CNN and CNBC.


The World History Shelf

Arthur Plantagenet
Sarah-Beth Watkins
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399000611, $34.95, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Plantagenet-Henry-VIIIs-Illegitimate/dp/1399000616

Synopsis: Illegitimate son to Edward IV and the uncle of Henry VIII, Arthur Plantagenet's life is an intriguing story. Raised in his father's court, he then became a trusted member of Henry VII's household and after his death, was a prominent figure at the court of Henry VIII. Henry VIII treated his uncle well in the early years of his reign, making him vice-admiral and then Lord Deputy of Calais in 1533.

Arthur did the best he could in his new position in Calais over seven years, including trying to maintain a relationship with Thomas Cromwell against a background of religious change, but there were numerous complaints about him and his paranoid nephew's suspicions over his loyalty grew - culminating in Lisle's arrest and imprisonment for two years with no legal reason.

Arthur was released from the Tower in 1542, yet tragically died (3 March 1542) after receiving a diamond ring from his nephew. He was so excited that his heart (that 'gentlest living heart') failed soon after.

We owe much of what we know about Henry VIII's uncle to the seizure and preservation of the Lisle Letters, an impressive collection of correspondence obtained at his arrest that has miraculously survived. Not only do they give details of Arthur's life, but they are an amazing insight into the religious, political, culture and social background of the 16th century. Placed as he was, Arthur Plantagenet's story gives a whole new, fresh perspective on a turbulent yet vibrant period of history.

Critique: A masterpiece of historical scholarship by Sarah-Beth Watkins, "Arthur Plantagenet: Henry VIII's Illegitimate Uncle" is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of listing of the 'Dramtis Personae', a ten page listing of References, a four page Bibliography, and a three page Index. Exceptional in both organization, documentation, and presentation, "Arthur Plantagenet: Henry VIII's Illegitimate Uncle" is unreservedly recommended as a critically important addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Royal British History/Biography collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Arthur Plantagenet: Henry VIII's Illegitimate Uncle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Sarah-Beth Watkins's love of writing has seen her articles published in various publications over the past twenty years. Working as a writing tutor, Sarah-Beth has condensed her knowledge into a series of writing guides for Compass Books. Her history works are Ireland's Suffragettes, Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII, The Tudor Brandons, Catherine of Braganza, Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots, Anne of Cleves, The Tragic Daughters of Charles I and Sir Francis Bryan.

Homecoming: The Scottish Years of Mary, Queen of Scots
Rosemary Goring
Birlinn Ltd.
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781780277233, $30.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Homecoming-Scottish-Years-Queen-Scots/dp/1780277237

Synopsis: One of the most famous queens in history, Mary Stuart (8 December 1542 - 8 February 1587) lived in her homeland for just twelve years: as a dauntless child who laughed at her friends seasickness as they sailed to safety in France and later, on her return as a 18-year-old widow to take control of a nation riven with factions, dissent and religious strife. Brief though her time in Scotland was, her experience profoundly in uenced who she was and what happened to her.

With the publication of "Homecoming: The Scottish Years of Mary, Queen of Scots", author and historian Rosemary Goring tells the story of Mary's Scottish years through the often dramatic and atmospheric locations and settings where the events that shaped her life took place and also examines the part Scotland, and its tumultuous court and culture, played in her downfall. Whether or not Mary Stuart emerges blameless or guilty, in this evocative retelling she can be seen for who she really was.

Critique: An informative, deftly crafted, and thoroughly documented historical biography of a major figure in 16th Century British/Scottish royal history, "Homecoming: The Scottish Years of Mary, Queen of Scots" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library French, Scottish, and English 16th Century History/Biography collections in general, and supplemental curriculum Mary Stuart studies lists.

Editorial Note: Rosemary Goring (https://birlinn.co.uk/contributor/rosemary-goring) was born in Dunbar and studied social and economic history at the University of St Andrews. She was the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, followed by a brief spell as editor of Life; Work, the Church of Scotland's magazine, before returning to newspapers as literary editor of the Herald, and later also of the Sunday Herald. In 2007 she published Scotland: The Autobiography: 2000 Years of Scottish History By Those Who Saw it Happen, which has since been published in America and Russia.

Roman Legends Brought to Life
Robert Garland
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399098526, $34.95, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Roman-Legends-Brought-Robert-Garland/dp/1399098527

Synopsis: The legends of early Rome are among the most memorable of any in the world. They are also highly instructive. They taught generations of Romans about duty and obedience. Duty and obedience were precisely the virtues that made a Rome great empire. The legends are not, however, merely self-congratulatory and they are rarely simple exercises in nationalist propaganda. On the contrary, many reveal their ancestors' dark side, which they expose unflinchingly.

As in the case of Greek mythology, there is no authorized version of any Roman legend. The legends survived because they reminded the Romans who they were, what modest beginnings they came from, how on many occasions their city nearly imploded, and what type of men and women shaped their story.

Defeat, loss, failure. That's where the story of Rome (the story of the boldest, most enduring, and most successful political experiment in human history) begins. It's the story of how a band of refugees escaped from the ruins of a burning city and came to establish themselves hundreds of miles to the west in the land of Hesperia, the Western Land, the land where the sun declines, aka Italia. It's also the story of a people who by intermingling, compromise and sheer doggedness came to dominate first their region, then the whole of peninsula Italy, and finally the entire Mediterranean and beyond.

Critique: A work of meticulous historical scholarship that reads with all the inherent reader engagement of an extended saga, "Roman Legends Brought to Life" is a as informative as it is fascinating. Informatively enhanced for the reader beginning with the inclusion of 'A Mostly Somewhat Putative Chronology', and concluding with a two page Further Reading bibliography organized into a Modern Studies list and an Ancient Sources in Translation list, "Roman Legends Brought to Life" is an exceptional and recommended addition to personal, scholarly, and community library Roman History/Mythology collection. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Roman Legends Brought to Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Robert Garland (https://www.colgate.edu/about/directory/rgarland) is the Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics at Colgate University, where he has taught for 30 years. He attended drama school before completing his Ph.D. at University College London. In recent years he has recorded four courses for The Great Courses and written two videos for TED Animation. Robert has published 13 academic books on both Greek and Roman history, and has recently finished a comic historical novel. His interest is in how to make history come alive and his most important contribution to the discipline has been to identify categories of people who have been generally overlooked in conventional accounts of ancient history, including the disabled and refugees.

The Ptolemies, Rise of a Dynasty: Ptolemaic Egypt 330 - 246 BC
John D. Grainger
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399090223, $42.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ptolemies-Rise-Dynasty-Ptolemaic-330-246/dp/1399090224

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Ptolemies, Rise of a Dynasty: Ptolemaic Egypt 330 - 246 BC" (the first volume of a trilogy on the Ptolemies), British historian John Grainger explains how Ptolemy I established the dynasty's power in Egypt in the wake of Alexander the Great's death. Egypt had been independent for most of the fourth century BC, but was reconquered by the Persian Empire in the 340s. This is essential background for Ptolemaic history since it meant that Alexander was welcomed as a liberator and, after the tyranny of Kleomenes, so was Ptolemy. This was the essential basis of Ptolemy's power. He conciliated the Egyptians, but reinforced his military strength with Greek settlers, mainly retired or available soldiers. He built the city of Alexandria, but to his own requirements, not those planned by Alexander.

The empire outside Egypt was acquired, perhaps for defense, perhaps by sheer greed. Ptolemy took over Cyrenaica (with difficulty), Cyprus and Syria/Palestine. These had to be defended against his rivals, hence the development of his navy, and the Syrian Wars.

The succession was carefully managed, but was not directly hereditary (Ptolemy II was not the eldest son), and the new king was very different. He fought repeated wars in Syria, and in the Aegean, built up his navy to the greatest seen in the ancient world, and extended his empire into the lands of the Red Sea, Sudan and Ethiopia. He taxed the Egyptians mercilessly to fund all these activities. Yet few of his wars were successful, and he stored up trouble for his successors.

Critique: Along with historical maps, "The Ptolemies, Rise of a Dynasty: Ptolemaic Egypt 330 - 246 BC" also features two pages of Genealogical Tables, nineteen pages of Notes & References, and eight page Bibliography, and a nine page Index. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Ptolemies, Rise of a Dynasty: Ptolemaic Egypt 330 - 246 BC" is an ideal introduction to the creation and rise of Ptolemaic era of Egypt and will leave readers looking forward to the next two volumes from the research studies of John Grainger. While a very special and recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Egyptian History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, scholars, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Ptolemies, Rise of a Dynasty: Ptolemaic Egypt 330 - 246 BC" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Evesham, Worcestershire, UK, John D Grainger is a former teacher and historian of great experience with a particular interest in Classical and Hellenistic Greek history. His many previous works include the following for Pen & Sword: Hellenistic and Roman Naval Wars (2011); The Wars of the Maccabees (2012); Roman Conquests: Egypt and Judaea (2013); a three-part history of the Seleukid Empire (2014-16), King's and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC (2017), Antipater's Dynasty (2018), Ancient Dynasties (2019), The Roman Imperial Succession (March 2020) and The Galatians (August 2020).

Alexander the Great and Persia
Joseph Stiles
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399094412, $34.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Great-Persia-Conqueror-King/dp/1399094416

Synopsis: Upon his return from India, Alexander the Great traveled to the Persian royal city of Pasargadae to pay homage at the tomb of King Cyrus, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, whom he admired greatly. Disgusted to find Cyrus' tomb desecrated and looted, the Macedonian king had the tomb guards tortured, the Persian provincial governor executed and the tomb refurbished.

This episode involving Cyrus' tomb serves as one of many case studies in Alexander's relationship with Persia. At times Alexander would behave pragmatically, sparing his defeated enemies and adopting Persian customs. Sisygambis, the mother of Persian King Darius III, allegedly came to view Alexander as a son and starved herself at the news of his demise.

On other occasions he did not shy away from destruction (famously torching the palace at Persepolis) and cruelty, earning himself the nickname 'the accursed'. This conflicting nature gives Alexander a complex legacy in the Persian world. Joseph Stiles explores Alexander the Great's fascinating relationship with his 'spear-won' empire, disentangling the motives and influences behind his policies and actions as 'King of Asia'.

Critique: A seminal work of historical/biographical scholarship, "Alexander the Great and Persia: From Conqueror to King of Asia" is a deftly crafted, impressively informative, and exceptionally well presented history the includes twenty pages of Notes, a six page Bibliography, and a five page Index. An inherently fascinating and original study, "Alexander the Great and Persia: From Conqueror to King of Asia" is an especially recommended addition to community and academic library Ancient Greek and Mesopotamia history/biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of readers with an interest in the subject that "Alexander the Great and Persia: From Conqueror to King of Asia" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Joseph Stiles has a bachelor's degree in History from Temple University and recently gained his master's degree in World History from Norwich University, Vermont, USA, where his research centred on Alexander the Great and his policies in the East. He now works as a teacher and lives in suburban Philadelphia.

Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic
Jeremiah McCall
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526733177, $42.95, HC, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rivalries-that-Destroyed-Roman-Republic/dp/152673317X

Synopsis: "Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic" is the story of how some Roman aristocrats grew so competitive in their political rivalries that they destroyed their Republic, in the late second to mid-first century BCE.

Politics had always been a fractious game at Rome as aristocratic competitors strove to outshine one another in elected offices and honors, all ostensibly in the name of serving the Republic. And for centuries it had worked -- or at least worked for these elite and elitist competitors. Enemies were defeated, glory was spread round the ruling class, and the empire of the Republic steadily grew. When rivalries grew too bitter, when aristocrats seemed headed toward excessive power, the oligarchy of the Roman Senate would curb its more competitive members, fostering consensus that allowed the system (the competitive arena for offices and honors, and the domination of the Senate) to continue.

But as Rome came to rule much of the Mediterranean, aristocratic competitions grew too fierce; the prizes for winning were too great. And so, a series of bitter rivalries combined with the social and political pressures of the day to disintegrate the Republic.

"Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic" is the story of those bitter rivalries from the senatorial debates of Fabius and Scipio, to the censorial purges of Cato; from the murders of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, to the ultimate rivalry of Caesar and Pompey. A work of historical investigation, Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic introduces readers not only to the story of the Republic's collapse but the often-scarce and problematic evidence from which the story of these actors and their struggles is woven.

Critique: Given the current state of American politics today, reading "Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic" by Jeremiah McCall gives a new currency to that old adage that 'Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it." An impressively informative, compelling, and thought-provoking read from first page to last, "Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic" is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a Glossary, a listing of ancient authors and available onlikne translations, twenty-eight pages of Notes, a three page Bibliography, and an eight page Index. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.00) for students and non-specialist general readers, "Rivalries that Destroyed the Roman Republic" is an especially recommended, core addition to community, college, and university library Roman History collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists.

Editorial Note: Jeremiah McCall (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremiah-mccall-79302527) has a PhD in Classical History and specializes in the military history and political culture of the Roman Republic. He teaches high school history in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a pioneering advocate of the use of video games as a means for learning history. His previous works include The Cavalry of the Roman Republic (2002); The Sword of Rome: A Biography of Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Pen & Sword 2012) and Swords and Cinema: Hollywood vs the Reality of Ancient Warfare (Pen & Sword, 2014).

The Army of Ptolemaic Egypt 323 to 204 BC
Paul Johstono
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781473833838, $42.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Army-Ptolemaic-Egypt-323-Institutional/dp/1473833833

Synopsis: The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt and much of the eastern Mediterranean basin for nearly 300 years. As a Macedonian dynasty, they derived much of their legitimacy from military activity. As an Egyptian dynasty, they derived much of their real wealth and power from maintaining a secure hold on their new homeland. As lords of a far-flung empire, they maintained much of their authority through garrisons and the threat of military action. To achieve this they devoted much of their activity to the development and maintenance of a large army and navy.

With the publication of "The Army of Ptolemaic Egypt 323 to 204 BC: An Institutional and Operational History", Professor Paul Johstono focuses on the period of the first four Ptolemies, from the acquisition of Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great to the great battle of Raphia more than a century later.

"The Army of Ptolemaic Egypt 323 to 204 BC: An Institutional and Operational History" offers an informative study of the Ptolemaic army as an institution, and of its military operations, both reconstructed through a wide range of ancient sources, from histories to documentary papyri and inscriptions to archaeological finds. It also examines the reasons for Ptolemaic successes and failures, the causes and nature of military change and reform, and the particular details of the Ptolemaic army's soldier classes, unit organization, equipment, tactics, and the Ptolemaic state's strategy to compile a military history of the golden age of one of the classical world's significant forces.

Critique: A seminal and outstanding contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library Egyptian Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, "The Army of Ptolemaic Egypt 323 to 204 BC: An Institutional and Operational History" is informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a section of color plates, maps, thirty pages of Notes, a twenty-two page Bibliography, a four page Index of Personal Names, and a seven page Index. 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 Army of Ptolemaic Egypt 323 to 204 BC: An Institutional and Operational History" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Paul Johstono gained his PhD from Duke University, North Carolina, USA, with a thesis on Hellenistic military institutions. He is an Associate Professor of Military History and Security Studies at the Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, where he designs and teaches leadership and ethics curriculum. He was previously Associate Professor for History of Warfare and Leadership Studies at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He was formerly lead project historian for the video game team, Europa Barbarorum. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on Hellenistic military history, Ptolemaic history, and ancient historiography. He regularly speaks on ancient warfare, leadership, and strategy.

Machiavelli's Broken World
John M. Najemy
Oxford University Press
198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314
www.oup.com/us
9780199580927, $40.00, HC, 496pp

https://www.amazon.com/Machiavellis-Broken-World-John-Najemy/dp/0199580928

Synopsis: Machiavelli (3 May 1469 - 21 June 1527) was painfully aware of living in a disastrous moment of Italy's history with respect to foreign invasions, occupations and shattered states. He was harshly critical of Italy's princes (such as Francesco Sforza), its professional military class (especially Cesare Borgia), and the Church (Pope Julius II).

"Machiavelli's Broken World" by John M. Najemy is a study of Machiavelli's evaluation of their failures and of their underlying causes. He believed that the root of Italy's political weakness was the excessive ambition of its elite classes, who, like their counterparts in ancient Rome, were prepared to overthrow governments that obstructed their ambition.

Machiavelli formulates this phenomenon, first theoretically, then historically in the context of the Florentine Republic's descent into family-based factionalism, which culminated in the brittle Medici regime. The most damaging tyranny, according to Machiavelli, was the collective tyranny of wealthy elites ready to undermine law and government to preserve and augment their power and wealth.

Critique: With added currency to that old adage about those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it, "Machiavelli's Broken World" is especially timely both as a work of political history having lessons about the causes and consequences of corruption that existed in Machiavelli's time -- and our own. A work of meticulous and insightful scholarship, "Machiavelli's Broken World" is a welcome and recommended addition to the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers, as well as community, and academic library World History and Political Theory collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: John M. Najemy is an expert on Machiavelli. In addition to many essays, a study of the famous epistolary exchange with Francesco Vettori, exploring the political and personal contexts in which Machiavelli wrote The Prince (Between Friends: Discourses of Power and Desire in the Machiavelli-Vettori Letters of 1513-1515, 1993). He has also written two books on Florentine history, including A History of Florence, 1200-1575 (2006; Italian translation, 2014), and essays on a variety of Italian authors from Albertano da Brescia and Brunetto Latini to Leon Battista Alberti and Baldassare Castiglione. He has edited The Cambridge Companion to Machiavelli (2010) and Italy in the Age of the Renaissance (2004) in the Short Oxford History of Italy series.


The Civil War Shelf

The Women's Fight
Thavolia Glymph
University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
https://uncpress.org
9781469653631, $37.50, HC, 392pp

https://www.amazon.com/Womens-Fight-Battles-Freedom-Littlefield/dp/146965363X

Synopsis: Historians of the Civil War often speak of "wars within a war" -- the military fight and wartime struggles on the home front, as well as the political and moral battle to preserve the Union and end slavery. With the publication of "The Women's Fight: The Civil War's Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation", Professor Thavolia Glymph provides a comprehensive new history of women's roles and lives in the Civil War (North and South, white and black, slave and free) showing how women were essentially and fully engaged in all three arenas.

Professor Glymph focuses on the ideas and ideologies that drove women's actions, allegiances, and politics. We encounter women as they stood their ground, moved into each other's territory, sought and found common ground, and fought for vastly different principles. Some women used all the tools and powers they could muster to prevent the radical transformations the war increasingly imposed, some fought with equal might for the same transformations, and other women fought simply to keep the war at bay as they waited for their husbands and sons to return home.

Professor Glymph also shows how the Civil War exposed as never before the nation's fault lines, not just along race and class lines but also along the ragged boundaries of gender. However, Professor Glymph makes clear that women's experiences were not new to the mid-nineteenth century; rather, many of them drew on memories of previous conflicts, like the American Revolution and the War of 1812, in order to make sense of the Civil War's disorder and death.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a thirty page Bibliography, sixty-two pages of Notes, an eight page Index of Names, and a fourteen page Index of Subjects, "The Women's Fight: The Civil War's Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation" is a unique and impressively written, organized and presented study that is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War and 19th Century Women's History Studies collections, It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Women's Fight" is also available in a paperback edition (9781469672502, $27.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Thavolia Glymph (https://history.duke.edu/thavolia-glymph) is the Peabody Family Distinguished Professor of History and Professor of Law at Duke University and the author of "Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household".

Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas
W. F. Oscar Federhen, author
Jeanine Honstein, editor
Steven A. Knowiton, editor
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611215885, $29.95, HC, 168pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Months-Adventures-Federal-Prisoner/dp/1611215889

Synopsis: Oscar Federhen was a new recruit to the 13th Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery, when he shipped out to Louisiana in the spring of 1864 to participate in the Red River Campaign. Not long after his arrival at the front, a combination of ill-luck and bad timing led to his capture. Federhen was marched overland to Tyler, Texas, where he was held as a prisoner of war in Camp Ford, the largest POW camp west of the Mississippi River.

Co-edited by Jeaninne Surette Honstin and Steven A. Knowiton, "Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas: Including the Red River Campaign, Imprisonment at Camp Ford, and Escape" recounts Federhen's always thrilling and occasionally horrifying ordeals as a starving prisoner.

The captured Union Army artillerist tried his hand at escaping several times and faced sadistic guards and vicious hounds before finally succeeding. But his ordeal was just beginning as the young soldier faced a series of challenges as he made his way cross-country through northeast Texas to reach Union lines.

Federhen had to dodge regular Confederates, brigands, and even Comanches in his effort to get home. He rode for a time with Rebel irregular cavalry, during which he witnessed robberies and even cold-blooded murder. When he was recaptured and thought to be a potential deserter, he escaped yet again and continued his bid for freedom.

Federhen wrote his recollections in lively engaging style not long after the war, but they sat unpublished until Jeaninne Surette Honstein and Steven Knowlton carefully transcribed and annotated his incredible manuscript. Numerous illustrations grace the pages, including two from Federhen's own pen.

"Thirteen Months in Dixie" is not only a gripping true story that would have otherwise been lost to history, but a valuable primary source about the lives of Civil War prisoners and everyday Texans during the conflict.

Critique: After being hidden away for decades as a family heirloom, the incredible manuscript for "Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas: Including the Red River Campaign, Imprisonment at Camp Ford, and Escape" is finally available, annotated and illustrated, and published for the first time. A rollicking tale of adventure, captivity, hardship, and heroism during the last year of the Civil War (and written in his own words), this is a very special and unique American Civil War memoir and a prized addition to personal, community, and academic library American Civil War History/Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas: Including the Red River Campaign, Imprisonment at Camp Ford, and Escape" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.50).

Editorial Note #1: Jeaninne Honstein (https://jhonstein.com) is a conceptual artist based in Princeton, New Jersey. Her paintings, sculpture, photography, and writing are influenced by her perception of history and antiquities. She is pleased to bring the story of her ancestor William Francis Oscar Federhen to the attention of the reading public for the first time.

Editorial Note 32: Steven A. Knowlton (https://scholar.princeton.edu/steven.a.knowlton/biocv) is Librarian for History and African American Studies at Princeton University. His historical research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals. He is the recipient of the William Driver Award from the North American Vexillological Association and the Marshall Wingfield Award from the West Tennessee Historical Society, and has won the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award twice.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Being Well with Chronic Illness
Kat Hill, author
Nancy Peate, author
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578269471, $17.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Being-Well-Finding-Resilience-Chronic/dp/1578269474

Synopsis: More than 40% of the US population are affected by chronic diseases. "Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis" is a guide book for every single one of those people suffering with chronic illness and wanting to live full lives characterized by joy, resilience, and wellness.

Receiving a diagnosis of terminal illness is a turning point in a person's life where everything they've ever known is suddenly turned on its head. Negative emotions like anxiety, depression, anger and uncertainty are ever-present, while the way forward back to health and wellness seems full of twists and turns. This is because the path to wellness (and away from wellness) is a spiral.

"Being Well with Chronic Illness" introduces the simple, but powerful concept of the Wellness Spiral, an actionable pathway anyone can follow to turn bad life events to opportunities for growth and wellness. The intricacies of the Wellness Spiral lay out a road map to how we respond to life's harshest challenges -- and how we can rise above them.

The message is that you can reclaim wellness through intention and self-discovery as "Being Well with Chronic Illness" charts the course for a journey that supports finding hope and wholeness after an unexpected diagnosis. "Being Well with Chronic Illness" is for anyone who is at a crossroads and wants to find ways to build resilience.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in both organization and presentation, "Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis" will have a very special relevance and value for anyone having to deal with a chronic illness in themselves or a loved one. So many chronic and terminal illness is the result of either genetic predisposition or environmental toxins that "Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis" is especially and unreservedly recommended as a critically important addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum Nervous System Diseases studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note #1: Kat Hill (https://www.kathill.org) has a degree in Public Health, Nursing and Midwifery. She has worked as an educator and nurse, but after her diagnosis of young onset Parkinson's Disease, she has devoted her time as an advocate for persons with chronic illnesses. She is currently an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and sits on the patient advisory committee for the World Parkinson Coalition. She spoke at the World Parkinson's Congress in Kyoto, Japan in 2019. She has a podcast, PD Lemonade, that focuses on wellness and resilience.

Editorial Note #2: Nancy Peate (https://hatherleighcommunity.com/authors/nancy-peate) writes and speaks about wellness and how to live one's best life despite chronic illness. A research librarian by profession, research topics of most interest include resilience and chronic illness, particularly Parkinson's disease. She has participated and volunteered for the Parkinson's Resources of Oregon, the Davis Phinney Foundation, and the World Parkinson Coalition. She spoke at the World Parkinson's Congress in Kyoto, Japan in 2019 and hosts a monthly Parkinson's support group.

The Baby and the Biome
Meenal Lele
Avery
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
https://www.penguin.com/avery-overview
9780593421024, $26.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Biome-Inside-Secret-Health/dp/0593421027

Synopsis: A baby's immune system develops rapidly in the first 1,000 days of life, with the first six months and year being most important. With the publication of "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health", by medical researcher Meenal Lele explains how diet, environmental toxins, antibiotics, and even common parenting practices can damage the delicate balance of our children's microbiomes, thereby increasing the risk for a host of immune diseases, including eczema, asthma, food allergies, IBS, and more.

Lele discovered firsthand how critical our microbiomes are to our overall health when she sought to understand the root causes for her son's food allergies. Drawing on her medical background and through extensive research and interviews with scientists and doctors, Lele discovered the simple, practical steps that all parents and pregnant moms can take to help foster a healthy and protective microbiome in their baby. "The Baby and the Biome" will empower parents to protect and safeguard their children's health for years to come.

Critique: An invaluable and impressively informative guide for parents concerned with their baby's health and well being, "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health" will have a special attraction for parents and caregivers concerned with a child developing food allergies. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health" is unreservedly recommended as an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Pediatrics, Parenting, and Health/Medicine collections. It should be noted for families with food allergy concerns that "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Meenal Lele (https://shandeeland.com/meenal-lele-52) is the founder and CEO of Lil Mixins, a food allergy prevention solution that is the #1 pediatrician-recommended early-introduction product available. She is the creator of the hit podcast Fixing Sick, which explores the science behind immune disease. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Real Woman magazine, and radio shows across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. She has appeared on Good Day Philadelphia, Great Day Washington, "Health Watch" on Fox 5 DC, "Chasing News" on Fox, and My9 in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. She is a frequent guest on national food allergy and mommy podcasts, including Idea Mix, Blossoming Mom and Baby, and Today We Tried.

Beating Insomnia
Stephen Altschuler
Sacajawea Press
9780578299082, $9.99 Paper/$4.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Beating-Insomnia-No-Nonsense-Natural-Sleep/dp/0578299089

Insomnia is a widespread problem, and shelves of books about the subject have already been written. What sets Stephen Altschuler's Beating Insomnia: A No-Nonsense Way to Natural Sleep apart from most is its review of why most sleep advice doesn't work, and the methods which have been proven successful.

Altschuler experienced powerful chemotherapy, which saved his life but exacted many tolls -- among them, the inability to sleep. The cookie-cutter approach of many doctors towards fostering elusive sleep didn't help. In fact, they made matters worse. Timing is everything; but nowhere is that adage more effective than in sleep patterns. Body clocks vary, body chemistry differs, and this is why 'one size fits all' approaches to insomnia are more likely to expand the problem than solve it. And that's the ticket to success in Beating Insomnia, which presents a self-help program of identifying and working with one's natural rhythms instead of a singular approach. There are many avenues towards reaching the goal of better sleep that are involved in this process.

Some may be surprising to readers that anticipate nighttime mantras or wind-down routines alone. One example involves the move to improve overall life quality: "To shift attention away from sleep difficulties, you must find something in your life to look forward to waking up to - a purpose that is enjoyable, that fires your creative juices, that literally consumes you with interest and thought -- something you find so interesting that it can distract you from obsessing upon insomnia."

It seems counterproductive to get all fired up about an effort to sleep, but Altschuler maintains that this and other life-changing approaches all contribute to better sleep by improving the quality of not just nighttime, but daytime routines. He defines "natural sleep" as "sleep without prescription medications or over the counter sleep aids," and he attends to routines and measures which also are not too addictive or rigid in their deployment.

As self-help readers and insomniacs pursue the many tips to creating a more restful, sleep inducing environment, from outfitting a room with blackout curtains and making sure it's cool to adopting a regular schedule that encourages sleep, they will find it easy to adjust these tips to suit their own lifestyles and approaches. And yet, the basics of these admonitions allow for understanding the fundamental influences on reaching the goal of natural sleep patterns.

Reading Beating Insomnia is like pressing the "reset" button. It allows readers to better understand the roots of their individual problem and pattern disruptions, and to adopt the routines and processes which mitigate sleep-reducing influences and patterns. It also helps identify and address anticipatory fears and many other underlying psychological factors that interfere with sleep patterns. It is best used by the self-help insomniac who would consider and revise perceptions not just of sleep, but their lives.

Libraries looking for new approaches to self-health and beating insomnia will find Beating Insomnia filled with examples gleaned from Altschuler's own experiences as well as a host of practical solutions any insomniac can readily employ to address their own sleep-elusive issues. The book will help its readers fall and stay asleep. Its author's experiences offer invaluable keys to identifying common pitfalls and overcoming them, making Beating Insomnia a highly recommended choice above many competing sleep aids.


The Cookbook Shelf

The Betty Crocker Cookbook, 13th Edition
Betty Crocker, author
Harvest
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780358408581, $32.50, HC, 704pp

https://www.amazon.com/Betty-Crocker-Cookbook-13th-Everything/dp/035840858X

Synopsis: For the past 100 years, Betty Crocker has helped generations of American home cooks, and this is the cookbook that they've come to trust. This newly revised and expanded 13th edition of the "Betty Crocker Cookbook" is radically refreshed and made with busy families in mind, with more than 375 exclusive, new, and on-trend recipes. Look for 5-ingredient, air fryer, multicooker, and slow cooker recipes throughout, plus ways to use up your on-hand ingredients, dependable cooking guides, and much, much more. For the health-conscious, you'll find a new veggie-forward chapter, plus gluten-free and vegan recipes, with full nutritional info for all of the 1300+ recipes.

Perfect for makers of any cooking level, this foundational culinary volume offers an introduction to basic kitchen tools and staples plus charts for cooking times and storage, measurement conversions, as well as inspirations to be creative in your cooking. It's everything a home cook needs for confident cooking and baking at your fingertips, with chapters on appetizers and salads, cookies, cakes, and desserts, and all eating occasions in between.

Critique: Beautifully and informatively illustrated throughout and now in a durable, lay-flat, book format, this new 13th edition of "The Betty Crocker Cookbook, 13th Edition: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today" is a core addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that it is also readily available for the family cook in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Betty Crocker (https://www.bettycrocker.com) is dedicated to showcasing innovative new ways to make delicious simple through reliably tasty and intuitive kitchen solutions. With more than 75 million cookbooks sold since 1950, Betty Crocker continues to connect with makers everywhere.

Easy Plant-Based Cooking for Two
Lei Shishak
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510772083, $26.99, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Plant-Based-Cooking-Two-Delicious/dp/1510772081

Synopsis: With the publication of "Easy Plant-Based Cooking for Two: Delicious Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Together", professional chef Lei Shishak shares 80 extraordinarily delicious meat-free recipes for pairs. From morning beverages to baked goods, breakfast to lunch, mid-day snacks to sides, dinner to dessert, this book is a must-have for plant-forward enthusiasts, plant-based dieters, vegans, veg-curious, and anyone in between!

All 80 palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes are perfectly portioned for two but can also work for larger households where varied eating preferences often exist. Small-batch cooking isn't complicated or restrictive. It cuts down on waste (and waist!) and leads to greater variety in meals.

The thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes range from a Kiwi Kale Smoothie; Nut and Seed Granola; Blackberry Thyme French Toast; Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad; and Mushroom Pte en Baguette; to Sweet Potato Tacos; Sesame Soba Bowl; Rye Raisin Scones; Chocolate Layer Cake -- and more!

"Easy Plant-Based Cooking for Two" will help you make delicious sweet and savory plant-based recipes in just the right quantities. So whether you're newly married, flying solo, BFFs, roommates, empty-nesters, or one in a large crowd, get ready to say goodbye to endless leftovers and hello to a new, delicious plant-based dish every day.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with full page color photography of finished dishes, "Easy Plant-Based Cooking for Two: Delicious Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Together" will have a very special and particular appeal to vegans, vegetarians, and anyone with an interest in seaonsal dishes for seasonal menus. While highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, "Easy Plant-Based Cooking for Two: Delicious Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Together" is an especially culinary pleasure to simply browse through one inspiring recipe after another.

Editorial Note: Lei Shishak (www.leishishak.com) is the author of numerous cookbooks including: Beach House Dinners, Beach House Brunch, Farm-To-Table Desserts, and Beach House Baking. She received her culinary training at the CIA in New York and holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. After heading pastry kitchens at notable LA and Orange County restaurants, Lei founded Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente, California, and has been featured in People, Riviera Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, KTLA Morning News, PBS, and many more media outlets. She can be followed on Instagram @leishishak

Supper: Recipes Worth Staying in For
Flora Shedden
Hardie Grant Books
https://www.hardiegrant.com/us/books
c/o Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.chroniclebooks.com
9781784885274, $32.50, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Supper-Recipes-Staying-Flora-Shedden/dp/1784885274

Synopsis: "Supper" is a truly impressive compendium of Flora Shedden's best-loved recipes for transforming the often-mundane dining-in experience into something worth staying in for.

Featuring over 100 delicious and thoroughly kitchen cook friendly recipes, "Supper" also includes sample menu suggestions, drink ideas and practical guidance on how to make the most of leftovers. "Supper" also shows home cooks how to elevate even the most ordinary dinners at home, into something joyful and celebratory.

Critique: Beautifully, profusely, and inspiringly illustrated throughout with full color photography of finished dishes, "Supper: Recipes Worth Staying in For" will enable even the most novice of kitchen cooks to create meals and menus that would rival any 5 star restaurant. While a magnificent and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Supper: Recipes Worth Staying in For" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Flora Shedden (https://www.florashedden.com) is the author of Aran, a book based on her bakery of the same name, which focuses on quality and seasonality in baking and cooking. The bakery sells out daily and has been listed in multiple food guides including Scotland the Best and both the Telegraph and Olive Magazines guide to the best bakeries in the UK. Flora opened her second shop LON Store in 2020. Specializing in good quality local ingredients and excellent store cupboard staples from some of the best independent producers in the UK it has been a huge hit with locals and visitors alike. Its main aim as a store it to inspire people to cook locally and seasonally.

The Sustainable Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Serena Ball MS RD, author
Deanna Segrave-Daly, author
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637741542, $28.95, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sustainable-Mediterranean-Diet-Cookbook-Healthy/dp/1637741545

Synopsis: "The Sustainable Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: More Than 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes to Reduce Food Waste, Eat in Season, and Help the Earth" by culinary experts Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly is a comprehensive guide to getting the most from this incredible regimen, with 10 steps to a more eco-friendly kitchen including helpful guidance on more sustainable ingredient choices, energy-saving cooking methods, smarter storage, and food waste reduction. Even making a few of these small changes can add up to a big impact on the health of the planet.

"The Sustainable Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" is a compendium of recipes ranging from Tahini Swirl Yogurt Parfait with Grapes; Broiled Halloumi with Mint Cucumber Salad; Mascarpone Scrambled Eggs with Carrot Bacon; and Turkish Tomato Flatbread; to Falafel with Pickled Herb Spread; Smoked Seafood Farro Risotto; North African Chicken Couscous Bowls; Parsley Pistachio Beef Bulgur Koftas; Baklava Frozen Yogurt Bark; and Olive Oil Polenta Berry Cakes.

Each showcased recipe includes detailed nutritional information, as well as helpful ingredient substitutions, prep tips, and time-saving suggestions. Each recipes was triple-tested by real home cooks and are adaptable for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Meat and seafood lovers will also find approachable ways to make more eco-conscious choices.

Critique: An impressive culinary resource for a climate-friendly menu, and profusely illustrated throughout with full-color photographs throughout, "More Than 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes to Reduce Food Waste, Eat in Season, and Help the Earth" is a welcome compendium of palate pleasing, appetite-satisfying, environmentally compatible recipes that are thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in both organization and presentation. While "The Sustainable Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" is highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted for personal reference that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Both Serena Ball, MS, RD, and Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, have over 20 years of culinary nutrition experience and have dedicated their careers to helping people make delicious and nutritious meals. Together, they are the authors of "The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook", and the "Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook".They have a website at www.teaspoonofspice.com and do weekly live-stream recipe demonstrations on their Facebook page, Teaspoon of Spice.

Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day
Deborah Kaloper, author
Mark Roper, author
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922417916, $19.95, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Mornings-Delicious-Recipes-Start/dp/1922417912

Synopsis: Brunch is often something decadent that should be reserved for lazy weekends. But what if brunch could be an everyday treat without the indulgence? "Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day" is full of delicious options that are as good for you as they are palate pleasing and appetite satisfying.

Featuring gorgeous, simple recipes, the dishes comprising "Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day" are all refined-sugar free, mostly vegetarian, and packed with vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options. With chapters focusing on fruits, vegetables, drinks, baking, eggs, and grains, there's no reason every morning shouldn't be a Good Morning!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full page color photographs of finished dishes, "Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day", with its recipes ranging from Espresso Chia Pudding with Espresso Cacao Sauce; to Veggie Hash with Fried Eggs & Coriander Salso, to Cherry Goji Berry Smoothie, will prove to be an especially appreciated addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note #1: Deborah Kaloper (https://www.deborahkaloper.com) is a California-raised, Melbourne-based food writer, chef, former pastry chef, and now sought-after food stylist. Deb works daily with the best photographers, chefs, and writers, spending her downtime perfecting her tortillas. She has previously authored Ramen-topia and Taco-topia, both published by Smith Street Books.

Editorial Note #2: Mark Roper (http://markroperphotography.com) is a Melbourne-based lifestyle, travel, food, and interiors photographer. He has collaborated with publications such as Vogue Living, Conde Nast Traveller, Belle, Gourmet Traveller, Delicious, Habitus, and Country Style, while also working with top brands, architects, and restaurants including Aesop, Williams Sonoma, Chobani, Hostplus, and Dinner by Heston.

The Joy of Chocolate
Paul A. Young
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9780857839909, $34.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Chocolate-Recipes-Stories-Wonderful/dp/085783990X

Synopsis: Written and compiled by Paul A. Young, one of the UK's most celebrated master chocolatiers, and a presenter on the BBC2 TV series The Sweet Makers, "The Joy of Chocolate" is an instructive guide showcasing how to make delicious chocolates from scratch in your own kitchen.

This delightfully decadent compendium of recipes and stories is a kind of love letter to chocolate as it presents the very fundamentals of what is chocolate, how to taste and buy chocolate, achieving a world-class shine and blending flavor like a professional. "The Joy of Chocolate" explains everything clearly and with creativity, so that by the end of the book, anyone from a beginning novice to a confident and experience cook will be able to make the very best chocolate recipes.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated with full page color photography, "The Joy of Chocolate" is a dedicated chocolate lover's delight from first page to last. The recipes are 'kitchen cook friendly', the commentaries informative, and "The Joy of Chocolate" covers such diverse and relevant subjects as branding/advertising/packaging; eating/tasting etiquette; festivals/rituals/celebrations. Of special note is the section denoting 21 of the very best chocolate recipes. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), this hardcover volume is an especially recommended for personal and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Paul A Young (https://www.paulayoung.co.uk) is a ground-breaking and inspirational chocolatier who is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene. Trained as a chef before moving into the world of chocolate, Paul's cutting-edge creativity has won him numerous awards and led to him being ranked among the world's best chocolatiers. In 2014, the International Chocolate Awards named Paul Outstanding British Chocolatier. Paul's dedication to his craft, his personality and his experimental creativity shine through in the quality of his chocolates and through the style of his beautiful boutique chocolateries.

The Mediterranean Migraine Diet
Alicia Wolf, author
Shin C. Beh, author
West Margin Press
https://www.westmarginpress.com
9781513134925, $44.49, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-Migraine-Diet-Science-Based-Transform/dp/1513134922

Synopsis: Co-authored by Alica Wolf (the healthy living blogger and creator of TheDizzyCook.com) and neurologist Dr. Shin Beh, "The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" is a unique cookbook and lifestyle guide that provides migraine patients with a dietary roadmap to control attacks and radically transform health. Based on the popular Mediterranean diet, this eating plan goes a step beyond migraine elimination diets to help people living with migraine expand their palette of ingredients.

The co-authors (who are patient and doctor in real life), teamed up to provide not only a cookbook, but a science-based guide to eating well, adapting the heart- and brain-healthy Mediterranean diet specifically for people living with migraine to help control their symptoms. Alicia shares her own journey with vestibular migraine and how she healed herself through the foods she cooked. Dr. Beh adds scientific information to bolster her delicious recipes.

"The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" features: Ten tips for eating a Mediterranean-style diet; Typical migraine food triggers and how to adapt them to the Mediterranean diet; Instructions for curating a migraine-friendly pantry; Information on how to shop for and cook with specific brain-friendly ingredients; More than 70 healthy and delicious recipes organized by food type; Migraine-friendly meal plans and tips for making meals ahead; Tips and tricks for customizing dishes for special diets and personal migraine triggers

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, "The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" will prove to be of special interest and value to readers with an interest in dealing with migraine headaches through their diet. Also available in a paperback editon (9781513134918, $27.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49), and comprised of insightful information coupled with palate pleasing and appetite satisfying dishes, "The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness
Donna Hay
4th Estate
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9781460762875, $40.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fast-Five-Donna-Hay/dp/1460762878

Synopsis: From culinary expert and cookbook author Donna Hay, "The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness" is all about taking your favorite recipes and re-imagining them in faster, more delicious ways.

All-time classics and old stand-bys ranging from lasagne, to pasta, to tacos and more -- are reinvented with midweek twists which focus on cutting down time and upgrading flavor. Weekly go-tos are given a new lease on life, as Donna takes tried-and-tested recipes and gives them a fresh new twist. For example, the weekly taco night moves from straight out-of-the-box ready-made to fresh and delicious fit-for-a-restaurant, with five flavourful variations made inclusive for all tastes and preferences. With fresh salsas and sides, a fully-fledged feast comes fresh to the table in minutes.

Whether looking for ways to improve on on favourites or for a total kitchen refresh, "The Fast Five" showcases new fast new fabulous flavor combinations -- all done without ever straying from any repertoire of go-to menu choices. The culinary compendium that is "The Fast Five" is comprised of fast, delicious recipes for dishes made in ways never before tried.

Critique: Beautifully, prolifically, and deliciously illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness" is an extraordinary and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' source book for menu planning drawing upon a quick and easy approach to cooking meals for any and all dining occasions. Simply stated, "The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness": is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, family and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Donna Hay (https://www.donnahay.com.au) is Australia's favorite and most trusted home cook, a household name, and an international food-publishing phenomenon. Donna's 27 books have been translated into 10 different languages, and her television cooking shows have brought her signature style to life for viewers in more than 14 countries. In Australia, her recent books have dominated the bestseller charts, with Fresh and Light (2012), The New Classics (2013), Life in Balance (2015) and Basics to Brilliance (2016). Her food range is stocked in supermarkets nationally.

Listen To Your Vegetables
Sarah Grueneberg, author
Kate Heddings, author
Harvest
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780358647119, $45.00, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Listen-Your-Vegetables-Italian-Inspired-Recipes/dp/0358647118

Synopsis: "Listen To Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season" is incredible exploration of seasonal produce with which James Beard Award - winning and Top Chef finalist chef Sarah Grueneberg offers insights, techniques, and recipes to truly get the best out of your vegetables in terms of how and when to shop for, cook, season, and seamlessly incorporate potatoes, squash, beans, greens, mushrooms, peppers, and more.

Each of the effectively illustrated 15 chapters focuses on a vegetable (or fruit, depending on your definition) so they can take center stage, plus one devoted entirely to pastas, drawing on Sarah's long love affair with Italian cooking and the methods that she uses at her renowned restaurant, Monteverde.

This elemental cookbook celebrating seasonal produce offers more than 180 impressive yet surprisingly achievable recipes, including:

Shaved Mushroom and Celery Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette (#thatsaladtho)
Grilled Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter and Pimenton
Carrot and Lamb Merguez Sausage Lasagna

There is also an indispensable section devoted to tips and techniques, under the heading "Get It Get It" -- an expression Sarah uses in her kitchen when things are coming together perfect. With planned menus drawing from "Listen to Your Vegetables", even the most carnivorous of family chefs will be inspired to 'elevate their vegetable game'.

Critique: Enhanced throughout with useful and interesting commentaries, "Listen To Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season" is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended acquisition for personal, family, professional, and community library Italian Ethnic & Vegetarian/Vegan cookbook collections.

Editorial Note #1: Sarah Grueneberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Grueneberg) is an American chef who is head chef and owner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago. While executive chef at Spiaggia, she held a Michelin star for three years. In 2017, she was named the 2017 Best Chefs in the Great Lakes at the James Beard Foundation Awards. Grueneberg came second in the ninth season of Top Chef; and she also appeared on the first season of Iron Chef Gauntlet.

Editorial Note #2: Kate Heddings (https://www.foodandwine.com/author/kate-heddings) is an experienced food writer and editor with a deep understanding of chefs, restaurants and recipes. She was a food editor at Food & Wine for over 17 years, during which time she got to eat and drink all over the US. She has also authored 3 cookbooks.

Forever Beirut
Barbara Abdeni Massad
Interlink Books
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781623718534, $35.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Forever-Beirut-Recipes-Stories-Lebanon/dp/1623718538

Synopsis: Beirut, once nicknamed "Paris of the East," is the capital of Lebanon. It is arguably the culinary capital of the Arab world, with an unmatched cuisine that has ancient roots and is influenced by a number of civilizations and cooking styles, including Arab, Turkish, and French. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the most cosmopolitan and religiously diverse in the region. Situated on the Mediterranean coast and flanked by the majestic Mount Lebanon, it boasts an abundance of flavorful ingredients and spices, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and seafood.

Compiled by renowned Lebanese chef and award-winning cookbook writer and photographer Barbara Abdeni Massaad, "Forever Beirut: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon" showcases a collection of 100 easy-to-prepare recipes that celebrate Beirut's rich culinary heritage, its resilience, and healing power. Comprised of stories and anecdotes about the customs, food, people, and traditions, along with sections for soups, salads, breads and savory pastries, mezze, kibbeh, grilling, main dishes, pickles and preserves, and sweets, it is Barbara's way of honoring the city of her childhood, her dreams, her Lebanese family kitchen, and the food that roots her.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photographs "Forever Beirut: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon" is a delight to simply browse through one page at a time. Fun to create menus incorporating authentic Lebanese cuisine, "Forever Beirut" will have a very special appeal for anyone who enjoys healthful and delicious Middle Eastern dishes. Simply stated, "Forever Beirut" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family and community library ethnic cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a Lebanese food writer, TV host, and cookbook author. She is the author of Soup for Syria, Man'oushe, and Mouneh, which won the Gourmand Cookbook Award and the International Academy of Gastronomy Award. She is also a founding member of Slow Food Beirut.

Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen
Joudie Kalla
Interlink Books
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781566560696, $35.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Plate-Memories-Mothers-Kitchen/dp/1566560691

Synopsis: "Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen" is a celebration of genuine Palestinian cuisine, cooked with the ingredients that culinary author Joudie Kalla's mother and grandmother use, and that their grandmothers used before them.

Drawing upon the beautifully showcases recipes comprising, "Plaestine on a Plate, anyone can now experience the wonderful flavors of Palestine through zingy fattet hummus (tangy yoghurt, chickpeas and hummus, served over toasted pita bread and drizzled in buttered pine nuts), satisfyingly spiced makloubeh (an upside down spiced rice dish with lamb neck and fried eggplant), eggplant and zucchini stuffed full with spiced and herbed lamb, and sublimely decadent awameh (honey dumplings) all accompanied by fresh mint tea and white coffee (not actually coffee at all, but a refreshing mix of water, orange blossom water and sugar).

Colorful, stunning photography evoking the vibrancy and romance of the country, along with inherently interesting commentaries on each dish, will bring Palestine cuisine into the home and onto the table for even the most novice of kitchen cooks. Fun to browse through, ideal for menu planning, "Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen" is a particularly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen" is also available in a paperback format (9781623719395, $25.00) and in a Flexibound edition (9780711245280, $39.94 Amazon).

Editorial Note: Joudie Kalla (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joudie_Kalla) is a Palestinian-British chef and food writer. She is also the author of "Baladi: A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea" (2018).

Latin American Street Food
Sandra A. Gutierrez
University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
https://uncpress.org
9781469672564, $25.00, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Latin-American-Street-Food-Argentina/dp/1469672561

Synopsis: From tamales to tacos, food on a stick to ceviches, and empanadas to desserts, with the publication of "Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina" cookbook author Sandra A. Gutierrez takes kitchen cooks on a kind of tasting tour of the most popular and delicious culinary finds of twenty Latin American countries, including Mexico, Cuba, Peru, and Brazil, translating them into 150 easy recipes for the home kitchen. These exciting, delectable, and accessible foods are sure to satisfy everyone.

Sharing fascinating culinary history, fun personal stories, and how-to tips, Gutierrez showcases some of the most recognized and irresistible street foods, such as Mexican Tacos al Pastor, Guatemalan Christmas Tamales, Salvadorian Pupusas, and Cuban Sandwiches. She also presents succulent and unexpected dishes sure to become favorites, such as Costa Rican Tacos Ticos, Brazilian Avocado Ice Cream, and Peruvian Fried Ceviche. Beautifully illustrated, "Latin American Street Food" includes a list of sources for ingredients.

Critique: Fully authentic, this impressive compendium of Latin American street vendor cuisine is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation. A delight to simply browse through and inspiring to plan menus with, "Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina" is a very special and highly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal use that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Sandra A. Gutierrez (https://www.facebook.com/sandralatinista), who grew up in the United States and Guatemala, is a food writer, culinary instructor, and recipe developer. She is also the author of "The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South".

Live Life Keto
Jennifer Banz
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637741528, $28.95, PB, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Life-Keto-Low-Carb-Lifestyle/dp/1637741529

Synopsis: Keto is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet mainly used for weight loss in adults, but can also be a Ketogenic diet -- a special diet for treating epilepsy, mostly in children. The benefits of the keto diet are well established: It's proven to lower insulin levels, increase metabolism, and control hunger. For many of us, though, it can be intimidating to start -- and extremely difficult to stay on plan.

With the publication of "Live Life Keto: 100 Simple Recipes to Live a Low-Carb Lifestyle and Lose the Weight for Good", Jennifer Banz (a certified life coach and the founder of the popular blog Low Carb with Jennifer), reveals that she has not only lost 50 pounds with keto, but has also helped hundreds of people in her private program do the same with her simple 5 "fail-stops" to keto success. "Live Life Keto" shows how to change your mindset so you can stay compliant with keto and reap the rewards -- weight loss, reduced cravings, increased energy, and more.

Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, "Live Life Keto" shares a huge variety of delicious, uncomplicated recipes the whole family can enjoy, including: Energizing breakfasts like Cinnamon Crunch Bread, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, and Blueberry Noatmeal; Hearty soups, stews, and chowders including Steak and Fauxtato Soup, Tikka Masala Soup, and Ground Beef Ramen; Power lunches such as Sloppy Joe-Stuffed Portobellos and Meal-Prep Bang Bang Chicken; and Crowd-pleasing appetizers like Philly Cheesesteak-Loaded Jicama Fries and Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Also featured are: Quick dinners such as Taco Cornbread and Parmesan-Crusted Salmon; Satisfying sides like Coconut Cauliflower Rice and Butter-Roasted Cabbage Steaks; Craveable desserts like Chocolate Chip Protein Bars and White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Cookies; Essential low-carb condiments including sauces, spice rubs, dressings, and jams.

With a focus on ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store, plus tried-and-true advice to help you live keto for life, "Live Life Keto will become an indispensable companion on a journey to optimal health.

Critique: Impressively and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "Live Life Keto: 100 Simple Recipes to Live a Low-Carb Lifestyle and Lose the Weight for Good" is informative enhanced with the inclusion of a one page Metric Conversion chart and a six page Index. With a special appeal to anyone with an interest in low carb diets, law carbohydrate diets, and weight loss/control recipes, "Live Life Keto" is unreservedly recommended as an essential addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Live Life Keto" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Jennifer Banz is a dedicated blogger and lover of keto. She shares her experience with her loyal followers on her Facebook page Low Carb Recipes with Jennifer, on her Youtube channel under the same name, and on her popular recipe blog at www.JenniferBanz.com

The King Arthur Baking School
King Arthur Baking Company
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.countrymanpress.com
9781682686157, $45.00, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Baking-School-Lessons/dp/1682686159

Synopsis: Baking is a culinary craft, one that has been celebrated by King Arthur Baking Company for more than two centuries. Their cookbook, "The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker" reflects a curriculum that has been honed and refined over the years, with instructors who are experts not just at baking, but at teaching baking. The recipes, notes, instructive photographs, and thoughtfully organized chapters here reflect this depth of experience.

From Yeast Breads to Sourdough, Laminated Pastries to Pies and Tarts, Cookies to Cake, readers gain confidence as they play in the kitchen and build new skills. King Arthur's unique approach is friendly and accessible to all levels, focusing on the "how" and "why." So much of the magic of baking is understanding how the ingredients interact, trusting when bread dough is proofed, appreciating how buttercream comes together -- and more!

Critique: Informatively illustrated with the inclusion of 200 color photographs, "The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker" is the next best think to enrolling on-site in their school. An ideal textbook for 'teach yourself baking' personal studies program, "The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation -- making it a particular and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community instructional cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: King Arthur Baking Company (https://www.kingarthurbaking.com) has been a trusted baking resource since 1790, providing expert guidance, inspiration, and premium baking products, along with workshops and classes at its two respected baking schools (Vermont and Washington State).


The Native American Studies Shelf

Dancing for Our Tribe
Sharon Hoogstraten
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9781733674423, $80.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Our-Tribe-Potawatomi-Millennium/dp/173367442X

Synopsis: In the heyday of the Anishinaabe Confederacy, the Potawatomis spread across Canada, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Pressured by the westward expansion of the fledgling United States of America, they became the most treatied of any Indian tribe. Forced removals and multiple treaty-era relocations resulted in cultural chaos and an enduring threat to their connections to the ancestors. Despite these hardships, they have managed to maintain (or restore) their rich heritage.

Beginning with Citizen Potawatomi Nation, photographer and Citizen Potawatomi Sharon Hoogstraten visited all nine nations of the scattered Potawatomi tribe to construct a permanent record of present-day Potawatomis wearing the traditional regalia passed down through the generations, modified to reflect the influence and storytelling of contemporary life. While the silver monochrome portraits that captured Native life at the turn of the twentieth century are a priceless record of those times, they also contribute to the impression that most Indian tribes exist only as obscure remnants of a dimly remembered past.

With more than 150 formal portraits and illuminating handwritten statements, "Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium" by Sharon Hoogstraten portrays the fresh reality of today's Native descendants and their regalia: people who live in a world of assimilation, sewing machines, polyester fabrics, duct tape, tattoos, favorite sports teams, proud military service, and high-resolution digital cameras.

The Potawatomi nations have merged loss and optimism to reinforce their legacy for generations to come. Children and young adults learn from the elders the old arts of language, ribbonwork, beading, and quillwork with renewed urgency. Preserving Potawatomi culture, tribal members are translating traditional designs into their own artistic celebration of continuing existence, lighting the path forward for the next seven generations.

"Dancing for Our Tribe" illustrates vividly that in this new millennium, "We Are Still Here."

Critique: A simply magnificent coffee-table style volume (9.75 x 1.25 x 13 inches, 4.9 pounds), "Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium" features full page, full color photography of men and women in full and authentic regalia enhancing an impressively informed and informative commentary. A monumental and seminal work of meticulous scholarship, no personal, professional, college or university library Native American Studies collection can be considered comprehensive or complete without a copy of "Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium" on their shelves. Community libraries should note that this superb hardcover edition of "Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium" would be ideal as a Memorial Acquisition selection.

Editorial Note: Photographer Sharon Hoogstraten (https://www.hoogstratenphotography.com) spent a decade portraying contemporary Potawatomis in regalia and as an unexpected dividend, discovered her own roots. A Michigan native, she traveled to Chicago for graduate study and then stayed having no clue that she was literally walking in the footsteps of her Potawatomi ancestors. Beginning with Citizen Potawatomi Nation, her home reservation in Shawnee, Oklahoma, she called on all nine nations of the scattered Potawatomi Tribe -- traveling to Michigan, Wisconsin, Ontario, and Kansas. Hoogstraten previously published Green City Market: A Song of Thanks, a pictorial retrospective of the groundbreaking farmers market that boosted Chicago's culinary reputation as a nationally acclaimed food destination. Sharon resides in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.


The Art Shelf

Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe
Kathleen Ash-Milby, editor
Bill Anthes, editor
National Museum of the American Indian
c/o University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9781933565330, $50.00, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dakota-Modern-Art-Oscar-Howe/dp/1933565330

Synopsis: Oscar Howe (1915 - 1983) committed his artistic career to the preservation, relevance, and ongoing expression of his Dakota culture. He proved that art could be simultaneously modern and embedded in customary Ochethi Sakowin (Sioux) culture and aesthetics -- to him as an artist there was no contradiction.

Howe challenged the art establishment's preconceptions and definitions of Native American painting. In doing so, he catalyzed a movement among Native artists to express their individuality rather than conforming to an established style. This legacy of innovation and advocacy continues to inspire generations of Native artists to take pride in their heritage and resist stereotypes.

Expertly compiled and co-edited by the team of Kathleen Ash-Milby and Bill Anthes. "Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe" is published by the National Museum of the American Indian in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name. "Dakota Modern" features the most extensive representation of Howe's artworks to date, and it examines his life as both artist and educator. Coedited by Kathleen Ash-Milby and Bill Anthes, the catalog also includes contributions by Janet Catherine Berlo, Christina Burke, Philip J. Deloria, Erika Doss, Emil Her Many Horses, John Lukavic, Inge Dawn Howe Maresh, Anya Montiel, Denise Neil, and Joyce Szabo.

Critique: A magnificent coffee-table style volume (9.25 x 1 x 11.25 inches, 3 pounds), "Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe" is a visual delight with full color reproductions of Howe's paintings supported by an informative and insightful commentary. Graceful, elegant, lavish, "Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Native American Art collections. Indeed, "Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe" would make an excellent choice for a library Memorial Fund acquisition.

Editorial Note #1: Oscar Howe (Mazuha Hokshina or "Trader Boy", May 13, 1915 - October 7, 1983) was a Yanktonai Dakota artist from South Dakota, who became well known for his casein and tempera paintings. He is credited with influencing contemporary Native American art, paving the way for future artists. His art style is marked by bright color, dynamic motion and pristine lines. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Howe)

Editorial Note #2: Kathleen Ash-Milby is curator of Native American art at the Portland Art Museum, and the curator of the exhibition Dakota Modern: Tthe Art of Oscar Howe. As associate curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian she was the editor of HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor (NMAI, 2010) and co-editor of Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist (NMAI, 2015), with David Penney. Her web page is at https://portlandartmuseum.org/collection/curators/kathleen-ash-milby

Editorial Note #3: Bill Anthes (https://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/bill-anthes) is a professor in the Art Field Group at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and the author of the books Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940 - 1960 (2006) and Edgar Heap of Birds (2015) both published by Duke University Press.

Wabanaki Modern
Emma Hassencahl-Perley, author
John Leroux, author
Goose Lane Editions
www.gooselane.com
9781773102665, $45.00, PB, 228pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wabanaki-Modern-Kiskukewey-Moderne-Craftsmen/dp/1773102664

Synopsis: The "Micmac Indian Craftsmen" of Elsipogtog (then known as Big Cove) rose to national prominence in the early 1960s. At their peak, they were featured in print media from coast to coast, their work was included in books and exhibitions (including at Expo 67) and their designs were featured on prints, silkscreened notecards, jewelry, tapestries, and even English porcelain.

Primarily self-taught and deeply rooted in their community, they were among the first modern Indigenous artists in Atlantic Canada. Inspired by traditional Wabanaki stories, they produced an eclectic range of handmade objects that were sophisticated, profound, and eloquent.

By 1966, the withdrawal of government support compromised the Craftsmen's resources, production soon ceased, and their work faded from memory. Now with the publication of Wabanaki Modern: The Artistic Legacy of the 1960s "Micmac Indian Craftsmen", and for the first time, the story of this groundbreaking co-operative and their art is told in full.

Accompanying a major exhibition at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery opening in 2022, "Wabanaki Modern" features essays on the history of this vibrant art workshop, archival photographs of the artisans, and stunning full-colour images of their art.

Critique: With the commentary presented in three languages (English, French, Micmac), : The Artistic Legacy of the 1960s "Micmac Indian Craftsmen" is a unique, informative, and critically important contribution that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Canadian Art History collections.

Editorial Note #1: Emma Hassencahl-Perley (https://emmahassencahlperley.ca) is a Wolastoqey artist, curator, and educator from Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation).

Editorial Note #2: John Leroux (https://www.johnleroux.com) is manager of collections and exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

Asian Women Artists
Mary Ellen Snodgrass
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476689258, $75.00, PB, 257pp

https://www.amazon.com/Asian-Women-Artists-Biographical-Dictionary/dp/1476689253

Synopsis: "Asian Women Artists: A Biographical Dictionary, 2700 BCE to Today" by academician and author Mary Ellen Snodgrass is a comprehensive guide to identifying female creators and artistic movements from all parts of Asia, offering a broad spectrum of media and presentation representing a wide variety of milieus, regions, peoples and genres.

Arranged chronologically by artist birth date, entries date as far back as Leizu's Chinese sericulture in 2700 BCE and continue all the way to the March 2021 mural exhibition by Malaysian painter Caryn Koh, each entry features biographical information, cultural context and a survey of notable works.

Covering creators known for prophecy, dance, epic and oratory, the unique compendium includes obscure artists and more familiar names, like biblical war poet Deborah, Judaean dancer Salome, Byzantine Empress Theodora and Myanmar freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi. In an effort to relieve unfamiliarity with parts of the world poorly represented in art history, "Asian Women Artists: A Biographical Dictionary, 2700 BCE to Today" focuses on Asian women often passed over in global art surveys.

Critique: A seminal work of simply outstanding scholarship, "Asian Women Artists: A Biographical Dictionary, 2700 BCE to Today" will have a particular appeal to readers with an interest in Asian History and Female Asian Artists. A simply fascinating compendium that is impressive in informational content, organization and presentation, "Asian Women Artists: A Biographical Dictionary, 2700 BCE to Today" is a valued and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Biography and Art History collections.

Editorial Note: Mary Ellen Snodgrass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Ellen_Snodgrass) is an award-winning author of English and Latin textbooks and reference works for 35 years. She taught at Hickory High School and Lenoir Rhyne University in North Carolina for 23 years. Her writing focuses on women's and world literature and history and general research topics, including epidemics, the history of money, clothing, food, and dance.

You Can Draw Cute Animals
Yasmine Mattson
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9780760376751, $22.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Draw-Cute-Animals-Step-Step/dp/0760376751

Synopsis: With the publication of "You Can Draw Cute Animals: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing and Coloring Adorable Creatures" artist and illustrator Yasmina Mattson presents easy illustration techniques for turning up the charm on 30 animals that run, fly, swim, slither, and waddle. Discover how to create sparkling eyes, blushing cheeks, joyful smiles, and button noses, transforming even the most ferocious beasts into delightful, appealing characters.

A comprehensive guide to understanding the secrets of cute, "You Can Draw Cute Animals" begins with basic drawing techniques and exercises and a rundown of what factors make things adorable with a unique, easy, three-step drawing method that includes observation, simplification and exaggeration using simple shapes, and refining and adding details.

Those techniques are incorporated in creating a diverse array of animals, including a panda, monkey, kangaroo, tiger, cat, goat, hedgehog, owl, crow, fox, deer, snail, butterfly, seal, duck, flamingo, and more. Even complete beginners will feel confident in their skills to draw any animal in a cute style as they explore ways to add vivid color with watercolor, pencils, and markers, adding even more personality and style.

Critique: Thoroughly 'artist/illustrator' friendly in organization and presentation, "You Can Draw Cute Animals: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing and Coloring Adorable Creatures" is an ideal DIY instructional guide and 'how to' manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Art Instruction collections, as well as school art class supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Yasmina Mattson (www.yasminacreates.com) is a self-taught artist who specializes in drawing, ink, watercolor, and other mixed media. Her style is varied and includes cute and colorful animals, people, and objects, as well as loose and dreamy florals and landscapes. Her life's purpose is to show people they can draw or paint whatever their heart desires. Yasmina believes art should be fun and simple, and that everyone needs creativity in their life. She shares that passion as a top teacher on Skillshare, where she has 24 classes attended by more than 300,000 students. Yasmina can be followed on Instagram: @yasminacreates

Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide
Molly Hashimoto
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680513387, $22.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Trees-West-Artists-Molly-Hashimoto/dp/1680513389

Synopsis: Artist Molly Hashimoto has appreciated trees all her life -- they have shaped her as a hiker, outdoors enthusiast, gardener, traveler, and artist. She pays homage to them through her art, working in many different media, each revealing different aspects of these stalwart companions: crisp lines, imposing silhouettes, and the subtle (or sometimes brilliant) hues of foliage. Hashimoto also delves into the process of creating art, discussing the mediums she used in the featured pieces and the reasons she chose them, as well as sidebars with tips and techniques.

As in her previous and popular art books "Colors of the West" and "Birds of the West", with the publication of "Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide" Hashimoto continues to emphasizes her personal experiences with nature, telling stories about her encounters with trees everywhere from her backyard to national parks and forests throughout the West. She focuses primarily on native trees, rather than cultivars, with a special interest in 46 major species found across the region, ranging from the stately Coast redwoods to the diminutive but distinctive Fishhook Barrel Cactus.

Rooted in place, trees offer endless opportunities for observation, admiration, relaxation, and inspiration. "Trees of the West" invites us to pause and appreciate these sentinels in all their quiet glory.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with art in a variety of mediums (pencil, pen, and wash sketches; block prints; studio watercolors; and intaglio etchings), "Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide" includes a rich natural history and brief ethnobotanical notes for each featured species, as well as featuring poems and quotes from other writers and artists celebrating our connection to trees. "Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Watercolor Painting instructional reference collections and studies lists.

Editorial Note: Molly Hashimoto (www.mollyhashimoto.com) is dedicated to connecting people of all ages to nature through hands-on art experiences. She teaches and leads watercolor workshops around the West, including at the North Cascades Institute, Yellowstone Forever Institute, and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.


The Egyptology Shelf

Treasures of Egypt
Annk R. Williams, editor
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426222634, $50.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Egypt-Photographs-Pyramids-Cleopatra/dp/1426222637

Synopsis: Drawing from National Geographic's unparalleled photo archive, the images comprising "Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs From the Pyramids to Cleopatra" have created a breathtaking coffee-table style volume (9.75 x 1.25 x 11.25 inches, 1 pound) celebrating the vibrant beauty and rich cultural heritage of Egypt on the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut's tomb.

Egypt's rich history astonishes us again and again with priceless treasures, exquisite craftsmanship, and a bounty of artifacts that enables us to envision the past with extraordinary detail. It is an epic saga 5,000 years in the making, and one that National Geographic has covered for more than a century.

"Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs From the Pyramids to Cleopatra" portrays the hallowed country's most remarkable achievements, viewed through decades of discovery chronicled in National Geographic magazine. From the breathless opening of King Tut's tomb in 1922 to the astonishing find of perfectly preserved boats, entombed for eternity near Giza's pyramids, here is the story of a proud and dynamic empire that changed the world; its colossal architecture and imposing statues force us to re-think the engineering limitations of the world before modern tools were available.

Documenting a series of incredible discoveries that includes a complex of royal graves filled with dazzling gold artifacts at the ancient city of Tanis, intriguing clues to the life and times of Cleopatra, and newly uncovered traces of Alexandria, Abydos, and other fabled sites, "Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs From the Pyramids to Cleopatra" embodies the culture's most fascinating historical milestones.

Critique: With the publication of "Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs From the Pyramids to Cleopatra", students, academia, Egyptologists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject are treated to a visual wealth of vivid full color photographs, informatively revealing time lines, and inherently interest profiles of major explorers in the archaeological field of Egyptology. A delight to browse through on fascinating page at a time, "Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs From the Pyramids to Cleopatra" is unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Egyptology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: General Editor Ann R. Williams specializes in writing about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. As a writer for three decades at National Geographic magazine and digital news, she reported on new discoveries and the latest research in archaeology around the world.


The Biography Shelf

The Yank
John Crawley
Melville House
46 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
https://www.mhpbooks.com
9781612199849, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Yank-Story-Former-Marine-Republican/dp/1612199844

Synopsis: The Irish "Troubles" were at a murderous fever pitch when John Crawley volunteered for the IRA. Bloody Friday, Bloody Sunday, the bombing of the British Houses of Parliament, and other deadly incidents had recently unfolded or were about to. Civilian casualties were as common as those of the British soldiers, Republican militants (who wanted the UK out of Northern Ireland), and Unionist police and militants (who wanted to remain in the UK), engaged in seemingly constant gun battles and car bombing throughout Northern Ireland. The death toll numbered over 1,000.

The IRA split over how to react between the old-line IRA, and the new Provisional IRA -- the Provos, mostly impassioned young men who were not hesitant to resort to violence.

With the publication of "The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army", a powerful, brutally honest, no-holds-barred recounting of John Crawley's personal experience, details, first, the grueling challenges of his Marine Corps training, then how he put his hard-earned munitions and demolitions skills to use back in Ireland in service of the Provos.

This memoir is a compelling story that will see him running guns with notorious American mobster (and secret IRA fundraiser) Whitey Bulger; running, under cover of night, from safe house to safe house in the Irish countryside, one step ahead of British troops; being captured, imprisoned, and being part of a mass escape attempt; fending off a recruitment offer from the CIA; and being one of the masterminds behind a campaign to take out London's electrical system.

Along the way, Crawley is blisteringly candid about the memorable people he worked with, including behind-the-scenes portrayals of revered IRA leader Martin McGuinness, and of the psychopathic Whitey Bulger, as well as others in the Boston IRA support network. There are vivid portraits of colleagues and enemies, and Crawley is unflinching in his commentary on IRA leadership and their tactics, both military and political.

Through it all comes the steadfast voice of a man on a mission, providing an evocative, detailed, and passionate recounting of where that mission led him and why -- as well as why, to this day, he remains ready to serve.

Critique: A compelling, compulsive, page turner of a true life memoir that reads with all the drama of finely crafted action/adventure fiction, John Carwley's "The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army" is a certain and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library American Biography/Memoir collections. Of special value to readers with an interest in the history of the IRA, White Bulgar, and Irish- British conflict that the current Brexit departure from the European Union threatens to renew, it should be noted that "The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: John Crawley was born in New York to Irish immigrant parents, and moved to Ireland as a young teenager to attend school. Inspired there by the struggle for Irish freedom against British rule in the North of Ireland, he returned to America to receive military training in an elite, special forces "Recon" unit of the US Marine Corps. Afterwards, he returned to Ireland to volunteer for the IRA and conducted many missions, including gun-running from the US, working with Boston criminal head Whitey Bulger. Crawley would be captured and imprisoned twice, both in Ireland and in England, while on major missions, done in both times by informers. He is now retired and married with a family, and lives in County Monaghan, Ireland. He remains as committed as ever to the ending of British rule in Ireland and the establishment of a united Irish Republic.


The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Team-Up Companion
Michael Eury, author
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491127, $39.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Team-Up-Companion-Michael-Eury/dp/1605491128

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Team-Up Companion", comic book historian, Back Issue and RetroFan editor Michael Eury examines team-up comic books of the Silver and Bronze Ages of Comics -- DC's The Brave and the Bold and DC Comics Presents, Marvel's Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-in-One, plus other team-up titles, treasuries, and treats -- in a lushly illustrated selection of informative essays, special features, and trivia-loaded issue-by-issue indexes.

Comic book fans will be taken behind the scenes of their favorite team-up comic books with specially curated and all-new creator recollections from Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Mike W. Barr, Eliot R. Brown, Nick Cardy, Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, Steven Grant, Bob Haney, Tony Isabella, Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz, Ralph Macchio, Dennis O'Neil, Martin Pasko, Joe Rubinstein, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and many other all-star writers and artists who produced the team-up tales that so captivated readers during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with classic comic book cover illustrations to enhance the impressively informative and inherently fascinating commentary, "The Team-Up Companion" a fun and information loaded read from cover to cover. A unique and valued contribution to the growing library of Comics & Graphic Novels literature and histories, "The Team-Up Companion" is an important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Comics/Graphic Novels collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Michael "Mike" Eury is an editor and writer of comic books, and of reference works pertaining to comic books and other aspects of pop culture. He has worked for DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Comico Comics, having worked on books including Maze Agency and The Legion of Super-Heroes, originating practices such as the loose leaf format of DC's Who's Who in the DC Universe reference series. In 2002 he began working for TwoMorrows Publishing, and since 2003, has edited the retrospective magazine Back Issue! He is also an advisor for the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and as of 2018, he has written over two dozen books examining aspects of pop culture. (Wikipedia).

The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation
Dan Watters, author
Dev Pramanik, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787737013, $29.99, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Fell-Earth-Adaptation/dp/1787737012

Synopsis: An all-new, fully-authorised graphic novel adaptation of the cult 1976 movie starring David Bowie and directed by Nicholas Roeg, "The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation" includes a gallery of never-before-seen photos used to illustrate an exclusive feature on the making of the movie. Also included is a bonus section showcasing the development of the book itself.

The film, based on the classic science fiction novel by Walter Trevis, sees an extra-terrestrial called Thomas Jerome Newton (played in the movie by David Bowie) land on Earth in search of water to save his dying home planet. Using his advanced scientific knowledge, Thomas becomes incredibly rich and uses his wealth to search for a way to transport water back to his home planet. But as his mission on Earth drags on, Thomas becomes seduced by the excesses of our world and desperate to return home unaware he has become a target of interest for the U.S. Government and a sinister corporation, eager to exploit him.

This all-new graphic novel also features exclusive bonus material including a 10-page article on the production of the original film illustrated with dozens of rarely seen on-set photographs. As well as cover concepts, character designs, a 'script to art' section chronicling the development of the artwork, and a reproduction of the original movie poster.

Critique: A memorably impressive adaptation of an outstanding film version of a classic science fiction novel, "The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation" by the team of author/storyteller Dan Watters and artist/illustrator Dev Pramanik is an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Science Fiction graphic novel collections. It should be noted that "The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/Comixology, $28.49).

Editorial Note #1: Dan Watters )https://www.dc.com/talent/dan-watters) is a UK-based comic-book writer. His first book, "Limbo" was released through Image Comics in 2016. He has since written "The Shadow" for Dynamite Comics, and "Assassin's Creed", "Wolfenstein", and the 2022 smash-hit "Cowboy Bebop" for Titan Comics. Currently he is writing "Arkham City: The Order of the World" for DC Comics, and "Home Sick Pilots" for Image Comics.

Editorial Note #2: Dev Pramanik studied at the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College. His first published work was on Nightbreedbreed #9-11. He went on to work on Vampire: The Masquerade, Paradiso and Firefly as well as working with Ram V on both Grafity's Wall and Black Mumba. He recently finished work on the comic adaptation of the prequel to Dune: House Atreides.

Apple Black 2
Odunze Oguguo
Rockport
c/o Quarto
quarto.com
9780760376911 $13.99 pbk / $10.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Black-Rockport-Sunny-Saturday/dp/0760376913

Synopsis: Young sorcerer and prophesied savior, Sano, continues his quest by attempting to uncover and protect the secrets behind his father's research on the immense power known as Apple Black.

Many years ago, humans acquired fruits called "Black" from a tree that descended from the skies, which turned humans into sorcerers. Although all of Black is now extinct, humans still have sorcery inherited from their ancestors. Blessed by "Merlin," the god of sorcery, with the Arodihs arm, Sano, a young sorcerer, is raised and trained in isolation and secrecy to be the world's savior known as the Trinity. The savior is believed to be the one who dawns the Infinite Night, an eternal night of chaos.

Sano gets a fiery start after being admitted to Black Bottom Island's guild for young sorcerers with his newfound freedom from isolation. As his fellow gifted allies and sorcerers accompany Sano on his quest, the treachery, betrayal, and evil that have plagued nearly all of Eden emerge again to threaten the world. With his visions offering him a darker path, Sano seeks to find those responsible for his loss and walk a path away from revenge but rather one towards forgiveness to find closure. Ridding Eden of the Infinite Night will require him to uncover the secrets behind his father's research on fully rejuvenating the effects of Black in bloodlines with the immense power known as Apple Black.

Opal Wantmore, another young sorcerer, must find a misplaced tourist amid Black Bottom Island. Unfortunately, it's under attack by a deadly division of rebels from Gideon Banburi's rebellion. These terrorists seek to collect Apple Black research and to leave the country in ruins. But nothing would be better than to capture Sano, the Trinity himself! The siege is led by Prince Ceazar Ashokahn, who has his own motives for wanting to scorch Black Bottom Island off the face of Eden.

Apple Black is rated T for Teen, recommended for ages 13 and up.

Critique: Apple Black 2 is the second volume of a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series by creator Odunze Oguguo, and an all-new relaunch of Oguguo's "Apple Black" high-action-fantasy saga set in a world where the power of sorcery has been inherited among humans for generations. The world is plagued with violence, betrayal, and suffering; Sano, a young sorcerer, is on a quest to learn more about the mysterious power of Apple Black, and perhaps transform society. In addition to Sano's struggles, Volume 2 (subtitled "Sunny Eyes") highlights the brash, sharp-tongued, strong-willed student sorceress Opal Wantmore (pictured on the cover); she is determined to find a misplaced tourist who could be in peril on Black Bottom Island! A thoroughly engaging blend of magic, combat, and shades of dystopia, the Apple Black series is highly recommended. It should be noted that Apple Black is intended for readers who are 13 or older, since there are scenes of violence.


The Audiobook Shelf

Old Indian Legends
Zitkala-Sa, author
Katie Anvit Rich, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://www.brilliancepublishing.com
9781799784982, $9.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Old-Indian-Legends-AmazonClassics-Zitk%C3%A1la-%C5%A0%C3%A1/dp/1662508484

Synopsis: "Old Indian Legends" is an exquisite collection of children's Native American folktales, in which author and storyteller Zitkala-Sa shares the legends that were handed down to her through generations of Yankton storytellers. These tales display the wide range of insights and observations that accrue to such stories through repeated iteration, but they also benefit from the sharp ear and finely tuned sensibility of Zitkala-Sa as a writer. Her characters seem to speak to us - often crying out to us - in the same tones that Zitkala-Sa must once have heard. Whether or not readers have any previous familiarity with the trickster Iktomi or the many animals who seek to outwit him, Zitkala-Sa's work has the power to charm, enchant, and enlighten.

Critique: This 'Amazon Classics Edition' edition from Brilliance Audio us impressively 'brought to life' in a true theatre of the mind experience by Katie Anvil Rich. Complete and unabridged, "Old Indian Legends" is especially recommended for personal, elementary school, middle school, and community library Native American Folklore/Mythology audio book collections. (1 Hour, 56 Minutes)

Editorial Note: Zitkala-Sa (February 22, 1876 - January 26, 1938) was a writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, suffragist, and one of the most important American Indian activists of the twentieth century. Born Gertrude Simmons on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, she adopted the name Zitkala-Sa (Lakota for Red Bird) in her early teens. Educated at Quaker schools, Zitkala-Sa strove to retain her cultural identity and to enlighten white English-speaking audiences about American Indian life. In addition to writing numerous articles for the Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Monthly, Zitkala-Sa published Old Indian Legends and American Indian Stories and wrote the libretto for The Sun Dance Opera, the first ever by an American Indian. In 1926 she cofounded the National Council of American Indians, which advocated for the civil rights that American Indians had long been denied. Zitkala-Sa served as its president until her death. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zitkala-Sa)

The Eyes Have It and Other Stories
Phillip K. Dick, author
J.S. Arquin, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799784920, $9.99, MP3-CD (7 Hours, 40 Minutes)

https://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Have-Other-Stories-AmazonClassics/dp/1799784924

Synopsis: First published in various science fiction magazines of the 1950s, these early short stories from the now legendary and award-winning novelist Philip K. Dick showcase the budding author's uncanny ability to forge strange new paths into alternate realities. Already in command of the themes and techniques he would later employ in his novels, Dick here envisions alien infiltrations, far-off worlds at war, nightmarish totalitarian societies, and uncanny depths lying just beneath seemingly commonplace realities. Fantastical, sinister, paranoid, and darkly amusing, these are seminal works in Dick's justly celebrated career.

Critique: Brilliantly narrated by J. S. Arquin, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "The Eyes Have It and Other Stories" perfectly showcase examples of the late Philip K. Dick's genuine flair for originality and will be of immense interest to a whole new generation of dedicated science fiction fans. Simply stated, "The Eyes Have It and Other Stories" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 - March 2, 1982) was an American science fiction writer who sold his first story in 1951 -- and thus began his long and prolific career. During his lifetime, Dick published more than 120 short stories and thirty-six novels, including such celebrated works as The Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ubik, The Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. He was the recipient of the Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award among other honors, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_K._Dick)

Editorial Note: Author and voice over narrator A. S. Arquin has two informative websites: https://www.booksweeps.com/discover/j-s-arquin/ and https://www.arquinworlds.com

Thief
Owen Mullen, author
Andy Watkins, narrator
Boldwood Books
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781804154939, $88.95, MP3-CD

Synopsis: Charley Glass arrived in her family's lives like the hurricane she'd escaped. But she hadn't run far enough: the ruthless Giordano family are on her tail and want two things - her life, and the return of the property she stole from them. No matter how many bodies stack up.

After years of longing, Charley finally has the family she's always wanted, but now she's going to have to tell them the real reason she came looking them. There is only one way she's going to stay alive, and that is to employ the muscle of the notorious Glass Family.

The head of the family, Luke, has become embroiled in a dangerous political plot and isn't sure they're strong enough to take on one of New Orleans' biggest crime gangs. But he'd put his life on the line to protect the empire they've built -- even if they'll have to take on an enemy hurting enough to cross an ocean for revenge.

Critique: A riveting suspense thriller of an action novel by Owen Mullen, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Thief" as narrated by the vocal performance and talents of Andy Watkins creates a perfectly nuanced and fully engaging 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener. Available in either a traditional audio CD or an MP3-CD format, "Thief" is a welcome and recommended addition to personal and community library Audio Book collections. (9 Hours, 20 Minutes).

Editorial Note #1: Owen Mullen (https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/owen-mullen) is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.

Editorial Note #2: Andy Watkins (https://www.mandy.com/uk/a/andy-watkins) has set up a home studio space and gained valuable knowledge and experience in recording and editing. He landed his first voice artist job, an audiobook, recording at a studio in Oxford, England. The role required 7 different accents, including 4 he had to learn from scratch in just 3 weeks!

Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior
James Romm, author
Billy Crudup, narrator
Pamela Mensch, translator
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9798212170420, $24.95, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Theophrastus-Characters-Ancient-Take-Behavior/dp/B0BBSFVCTZ

Synopsis: When Aristotle wrote that that "comedy is about people worse than ourselves", he may have been recalling a hard-edged gem of a treatise written by his favorite student, Theophrastus.

This audio book edition of "Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior" is a joyous festival of fault-finding: a collection of thirty closely observed personality portraits, defining the full spectrum of human flaws, failings, and follies. With piquant details of speech and behavior taken straight off the streets of ancient Athens, Theophrastus gives us sketches of the mean, vile, and annoying that are comically distorted yet vividly real.

Enlivened by Pamela Mensch's fresh translation (the first widely available English version in over half a century, "Theophrastus' Characters" transports the listener to a world populated by figures of flesh and blood, not bronze and marble. Lightly but helpfully annotated by classicist James Romm, these thirty thumbnail portraits comprising "Theophrastus' Characters" are startlingly recognizable twenty-three centuries later. The characters of Theophrastus are archetypes of human nature that remain insightful, caustic, and relevant.

Critique: Impressively narrated by Billy Crudup and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library audio book collections, "Theophrastus' Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior" offers a true 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener and will have a very special appeal to those with an interest in Classical Literature and Literary Criticism/Theory. It should be noted that this Blackstone Audio edition of "Theophrastus' Characters" includes a bonus PDF with illustrations by Andre Carrilho.

Exiles
Ashley & Leslie Saunders, authors
Aida Reluzco, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713659792, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Exiles-Ashley-Saunders/dp/1713659794

Synopsis: It's been twelve years since the 2040 Quake rocked the Golden State, fracturing Los Angeles and the fortunes of millions. It's been six years since tech billionaire Damon Yates founded his elite academy, giving Unfortunates from the wrong side of his hyperloop tracks a new future at Quest Campus, tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains. But an endeavor that sought to bridge a divide only tore eighteen-year-old twin sisters apart.

Jade is a street-savvy adrenaline seeker ruling the city's downtrodden eastside. Crys is an influential socialite ensconced in Yates's westside mansion - every bit her adoptive father's daughter. After the mysterious murder of one of the academy's brightest, Jade sets out with her factious band of exiles to prove there's something sinister going on behind the walls of Yates's exclusive empire. But to expose the earthshaking truth, Jade needs her estranged sister back on her side.

There's a big problem, though: Crys is inexplicably terrified of her own twin's face.

Critique: With an impressive vocal performance by narrator Aida Reluzco, this flawlessly produced complete and unabridged audio book edition of Ashley and Leslie Sauncers science fiction novel "Exiles", combines a a suspense thriller of a mystery with an examination of class difference. This explosive coming-of-age adventure about living in (and doing anything to survive) in the technologically advanced metropolis of the unshakable City of Dreams is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both personal and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections. (8 Hours, 12 Minutes)

Editorial Note #1: Twin sisters Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders are the authors of The Rule of One, The Rule of Many, and The Rule of All in the dystopian series The Rule of One. The duo honed their love of storytelling in film school at the University of Texas at Austin. After just under a decade penning screenplays and directing commercials, the sisters deliberately stumbled into the world of novel writing. They vow to never leave it. The sisters can be found at www.thesaunderssisters.com.

Editorial Note #2: Aida Reluzco (https://www.aidareluzco.com) arrived on the voice-over scene in 2018 as a multidisciplinary artist, bringing with her a background in the performing arts, classical art history, illustration, literature, poetry, and spoken word.

The Hunted
Jeff Wheeler, author
Kate Rudd, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://www.brilliancepublishing.com
9781713663485, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Hunted-Dawning-Muirwood-2/dp/1713663481

Synopsis: Eilean is rising. A foundling raised in an abbey, she was entrusted by its imprisoned druid, Mordaunt, with an ancient tome. Its magical words can change the world. Eilean's first mission: translate it. Her second: rescue a benevolent Aldermaston sentenced to death as a heretic by the High Seer. But wielding power, knowledge, and ambition has now made Eilean the hunted.

In pursuit is Captain Hoel Evnissyen, an inquisitor in service to the High Seer's demands. His objective is to track Eilean and steal Mordaunt's invaluable work. But Hoel's quest soon yields a fascination with the woman he's been ordered to pursue. When an invasion begins and the world erupts in chaos, Eilean and Hoel find themselves bound by their mutual wills to survive and, against all odds, realize they are not each other's enemy.

But now Eilean must decide who is friend and who is foe. Especially when the powerful tome falls into the wrong hands. The closer Eilean and Hoel get, the nearer they are to realizing the part they must play in their kingdom's destiny -- and its ties to Eilean's own mysterious past.

Critique: The second volume in author Jeff Wheeler's 'The Dawning of Muriwood' fantasy series, this superbly produced audio book edition of "The Hunted" is deftly narrated in an impressive vocal performance by Kate Rudd. A true 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener, "The Hunted" is a 'must' for all dedicated action/adventure fantasy fans and this complete and unabridged MP3-C audio book edition from Brilliance Audio is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. (9 Hours, 2 Minutes).

Editorial Note #1: Never one to be short on ideas, Jeff Wheeler (www.jeff-wheeler.com) further perfected his craft through storytelling during games of Dungeons and Dragons during high school. Inventing stories to bring these games alive, Jeff would engross his friends and family members as they played the fantasy game. Now he writes compelling fantasy novels.

Editorial Note #2: Kate Rudd (https://www.kateruddreads.com) is the winner of the 2013 Audie and Odyssey Awards for her narration of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, has been performing 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.

They Come at Knight
Yasmin Angoe, author
Tamika Katon-Donegal, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://www.brilliancepublishing.com
9781713651956, $24.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/They-Come-Knight-Nena/dp/1713651955

Synopsis: For elite assassin Nena Knight, eliminating dangerous players on the world stage is part of the job. The Tribe, a powerful business syndicate in Africa, ensures that she has those opportunities. But for Nena, the Tribe is more than just her employer; it's an organization that supports the African people -- until it turns on itself.

As Nena embarks on a new mission, a violent siege by a paramilitary group throws the Tribe into chaos, and mysterious acts of violence plague the Tribe's territories. As the attacks escalate, Nena suspects a different kind of enemy at play: someone on the inside, determined to undermine the Tribe's leaders.

As this new threat closes in on her own family, Nena enlists a team to root out the danger. But as she gets closer to the truth, she will have to risk everything to protect the future she holds dear -- even if it means facing off with an enemy she never expected.

Critique: Action-adventure at its very best, author Yasmin Angoe's "They Come At Knight" is now available as a complete and unabridged audio book that is magnificently narrated by the vocal performance of Tamika Katon-Donegal. A flawless performance from start to finish, this audio book edition from Brilliance Audio will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Yasmin Angoe is the author of the critically acclaimed Her Name Is Knight, first book in the Nena Knight trilogy. She is a first-generation Ghanaian American and the recipient of the 2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color. Her Name Is Knight came in #1 on multiple Amazon Bestseller charts and is an Editor's Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense.

Editorial Note #2: Tamika KatonDonegal is best known for her roles in Veronica Mars (2004) Rocketboy (2006), and Agent Carter (2015). A talented voice over narrator she has a website page at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21310256.Tamika_Katon_Donegal


The Library CD Shelf

Joan Beckow Legacy Project
Joan Beckow
Privately Published
https://joanbeckowlegacy.com
$30.00 CAD CD / $25.00 CAD digital

https://joanbeckowlegacyproject.bandcamp.com/releases

Joan Beckow Legacy Project is a two-CD album created in honor of the prodigal talent of Jewish-Canadian composer Joan Beckow, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 88. A great collaboration of musicians and vocalists perform 22 of Joan Beckow's songs, in this grand artistic treasure highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections. The tracks of Disc 1 are Once There Was a Tailor, Look at Me, A Christmas Wish, Miracles, One Perfect Rose, Pretending, Christmas Comes, Happy Ever-Aftering, On the Other Side of Nowhere, Guided by the Stars, and Here Where it Counts. The tracks of Disc 2 are May the Words, Open Unto Us, Loveliest of Trees, The Woman I'll Be, Dwelling Places, Sh'ma, Wheresoever I Turn Mine Eyes, Oseh Shalom, Psalm, Tov L'Hodot, and How Goodly Are Thy Tents.

True Treasures
Leroy Van Dyke
Country Rewind Records
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/True-Treasures-Leroy-Van-Dyke/dp/B0B5F9VYMY

True Treasures is an album of unreleased musical gems performed by country music artist, honky-tonk singer and guitarist Leroy Van Dyke (b. 1929) and brought up to modern song recording standards by producer Paul Martin. A wonderfully enthralling collection of long- overlooked highlights by a worthy country music legend, True Treasures lives up to its name and is especially recommended for connoisseurs of the genre and public library music collections. The tracks are Walk On By, Oklahoma Hills, Just A State Of Mind, If A Woman Answers (Hang Up The Phone), San Antonio Rose, You Couldn't Get My Love Back (If You Tried), Anytime - Oh Lonesome Me (Medley), Be A Good Girl (Til I Get Back In Town), I've Never Been Loved, Jambalaya, The Other Boys Are Talking, The Last Letter, Auctioneer, Big, Wide Wonderful World Of Country Music, and Ol' Man Mose.

Wildwood
The Harry Bartlett Trio
harrybartlettmusic.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0BGJZ1DF7

Award-winning music group The Harry Bartlett Trio presents Wildwood, a vivacious new music album blending jazz, American folk, and Western music styles into an adventurous fusion. Wildwood is an extraordinarily creative and finely detailed listening experience, highly recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are Burgess Falls, Circle of Moss and Fire Smoke, Snowfall on Sword Ferns, The Incident at Blood Bay, Sailing Over Troubled Waters, Story Book Picture, Jellybean, Queen of Surrey, and Lachesism.

Twelve
Noam Lemish
noamlemish.com
TPR Records
tprrecords.ca
$17.00 CAD CD / $12.00 CAD digital

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

Israeli-born, Toronto-based pianist and composer Noam Lemish presents Twelve, a jazz orchestra album showcasing the talents of an extraordinary ensemble of performers, including multiple JUNO award winners. An inventive, immensely ambitious work, Twelve is a "must- have" for connoisseurs of original jazz and highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections. The tracks are Song for Lia, The Nagila Mayster, Beethoven's 7th Visit to Romania, Steals on Steeles, Between Utopia and Destruction, and Rebirth.

Upon First Impression
Saku Mantere
saukmantere.ca
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $7.00 CAD digital

https://sakumantere.bandcamp.com/album/upon-first-impression

Upon First Impression is the debut album of Finnish-born, Montreal-based vocalist Saku Mantere. His outstanding performance is supported by an extraordinary array of talented musicians on trumpet, saxophones, trombone, piano, bass, drums, and more. Mantere's rich voice resonates in these songs about heartbreak and living life split between two homelands and cultures. Highly recommended! The tracks are And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Time, Wedding Poem, Building You Building Me, Open Secrets, Radio Silence, I Think It's Time to Say Goodbye Again Again, Countdown, The Professional, and Leap of Faith.

Traveling the Blissful Highway
Darlene Koldenhoven
darlenekoldenhoven.com
TimeArt Recordings
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Traveling-Blissful-Highway-Darlene-Koldenhoven/dp/B0BG3G9XF6

GRAMMY award-winning music artist Darlene Koldenhoven presents Traveling the Blissful Highway, an original album that showcases her prowess in synthesizer composing, arranging, production, and engineering. Her beautiful vocals enhance the music, although Traveling the Blissful Highway is primarily an instrumental work. Seamlessly combining new age, ambient, and world music elements, Traveling the Blissful Highway is a choice pick for listeners in need of songs to ease stress, and also makes a wonderful gift year-round. Highly recommended! The tracks are Cheerful Mohana, Time Traveler, Jade Dreams, Gentle Soul, Birds in Paradise, Dot Calm, Tropical Chill, Sweet Peace, Osmium Glow, Native Star, Highland Mist, and Blissful Highway.

Pandemic Piano
Charles Xavier
Happy Note Records
happynoterecords.com
$TBA CD / $11.99 digital

https://charlesxavierjr.bandcamp.com

Producer, composer, electronic musician, and percussionist Charles Xavier presents Pandemic Piano, an ambient neo-jazz album created and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The instrumental music conveys the difficulties of frustration, isolation, hardship, and loss, as well as the serenity gained from understanding that life is transient and there is indescribable value in learning to live in the moment. Pandemic Piano encapsulates turbulent years in its unforgettable music, and is highly recommended. The tracks are You Know, Perfect Mold, Grand Happiness, Swallow, COVID Oddity, Little Portugal, When I Think Of You, Africa, I Sat Outside There, Morning, Evening, Sexual Vibration Chakra, Mary's Pond, Stories New Stories Old, Expectations, Ascended Masters, Profile Rock, St John's Cathedral, and Round Hill.

Tradisyon
Wesli
www.wesliband.com
Cumbancha
www.cumbancha.com
$15.98 CD / $9.99 digital

https://wesli.bandcamp.com/album/tradisyon

Haitian-Canadian songwriter, guitarist, and producer Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) presents Tradisyon, the first part of a two-part music project retelling the saga of Haiti's past and protecting its future. Tradisyon consists of both original compositions and cultural treasures of Haiti's music; lyrics transcend a medley of languages, including Creole and the African languages of Yoruba, Ewe, and Fon. Years of travel and research went into recreating authentically Haitian sound, in this powerful and emotionally charged exploration of Haiti's long history that does not shy from calling out generations of injustice. Tradisyon is a "must have" for international music collections, highly recommended.

Findings
Jim Dedrick
Privately Published
$6.00

https://www.amazon.com/Findings-Jim-Dedrick-CD-2022/dp/B0BHPTV5ZN

Findings is a modern jazz album of original music by double bass player Jim Dedrick (with one joint collaboration track with Tom Reyes), featuring Tom Reyes on piano and Chuck Ferrell on drums. A strong improvisational thread runs through Findings, as the album is intended to represent the development of music as it is played, and all three musicians recorded together in one room. Findings is inspirational, stirring, passionately creative, and highly recommended! The tracks are Kelly, Lugubrious, Spontaneous Blues, Tension, Bullfrog Burp, Demon, and Rough Waters.

Love and the Catalyst
Aimee Allen
www.aimeeallenmusic.com
Azuline Music
$14.65 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Catalyst-Aimee-Allen/dp/B0BGZNQWT8

Vocalist and songwriter Aimee Allen presents Love and the Catalyst, an emotional jazz album about romance and the grand scheme of the cosmos. Supported by Toru Dodo on piano, Francois Moutin on bass, Kush Abadey on drums, and more, Aimee Allen has created a poignant, memorable listening experience, highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of jazz with dulcet vocals. The tracks are Little Sunflower, Earth is Waiting, Quantum Entanglements, Crystal Silence / 500 Miles High, Star Eyes, Love's Crescendo, Reaction Time, Mortally Immortal (Requiem), The Comet's Tail, Man Ripples Through Time, Hidden Place, and Worlds Collide.

blue
Diana Panton
http://dianapanton.com
Privately Published
$12.98 CD / $11.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/blue-Diana-Panton/dp/B0BDFZB6TJ

Two-time JUNO award winner Diana Panton presents "blue", her tenth album, and the third album in an emotional trilogy that began with the album "pink" and continued with the 2015 JUNO winning album "RED". The trilogy began with "pink" for the blossom of first love, continued with "RED" for the embrace of true love, and now "blue" represents the heartbreak of love lost. A profound, wistful expression of tragedy and reminiscence, "blue" is unforgettable and highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of emotional jazz. The tracks are Medley, Without Your Love, Losing My Mind, This Will Make You Laugh, The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye, I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life, To Say Goodbye, Meaning of the Blues, I'll Only Miss Him When I Think of Him, It's Always 4 a.m., Just Sometimes, How Did He Look?, Nobody's Heart, Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year, and You Are There.


The Historical Fiction Shelf

Voices in the Dead House
Norman Lock
Bellevue Literary Press
c/o NYU School of Medicine
550 First Ave., OBV A612, New York, NY 10016
www.blpress.org
9781954276017, $16.98, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Voices-Dead-House-American-Novels/dp/195427601X

Synopsis: After the Union Army's defeat at Fredericksburg in 1862, Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott converge on Washington to nurse the sick, wounded, and dying.

Whitman was a man of many contradictions: egocentric yet compassionate, impatient with religiosity yet moved by the spiritual in all humankind, bigoted yet soon to become known as the great poet of democracy.

Alcott was an intense, intellectual, independent woman, an abolitionist and suffragist, who was compelled by financial circumstance to publish saccharine magazine stories yet would go on to write the enduring and beloved Little Women.

In the pages of "Voices in the Dead House", is a superbly crafted historical novel by author Norman Lock who fully captures the musicality of Whiteman and Alcott in their encounters with Civil War era luminaries ranging from Lincoln, to battlefield photographer Mathew Brady, to reformer Dorothea Dix. "Voices in the Dead House" deftly renders the war's impact on their personal and artistic development.

Inspired by Whitman's poem "The Wound-Dresser" and Alcott's Hospital Sketches, (and the ninth stand-alone book in The American Novels series), "Voices in the Dead House" is a masterful dual portrait of two iconic authors who took different paths toward chronicling a country beset by prejudice and at war with itself.

Critique: While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Voices in the Dead House" is a simply riveting read by Norman Lock -- an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that fully engages the reader from fist page to last. "Vocies of the Dead House" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Historical, Biographical, and American Civil War era fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Norman Lock (https://normanlock.com) is the author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage and radio plays. He has won The Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award, The Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and has been long listed twice for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. He has also received writing fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently at work on the next books of his 'The American Novels' series.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

The Wish List
Michelle Major
HQN
c/o Harlequin Books
https://www.harlequin.com
9781335430649, $9.99, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wish-List-Novel-Carolina-Girls/dp/1335430644

Synopsis: For some families, a Christmas reunion is like a feel-good movie. For Beth Carlyle, it might be more of a disaster epic.

Her ex-husband's new girlfriend is already pregnant. Her self-absorbed, bestselling author mother recently suffered a stroke and has summoned Beth's sisters, Freya and Trinity (neither of whom even seem to like Beth very much) back to Magnolia.

Beth is so lonely and stressed that she spills her guts to a stranger, wondering why the handsome newcomer affects her so deeply.

Reality TV star Freya deliberately forged a career that would upset her mother, who's always been as brilliant as the sun... and just as distant. Now a handsome literary agent is making Freya dream of a different life.

As for Trinity, she just wants to start over after leaving an abusive relationship and make a future for her and her baby.

It'll be a Christmas like no other in Magnolia. But the Carlyle sisters might find they have more in common than their shared past -- and that the holidays are made for second chances.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a bonus holiday novella set in Magnolia, "The Wish List" by Michelle Major is an original, deftly crafted, fun and engaging read that is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for dedicated romance fans that "The Wish List" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9798212154789, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: As an author and reader of novels, Michelle Major (www.michellemajor.com) loves stories of new beginnings, second chances and always a happily ever after.

Happily Ever Amish
Shelley Shepard Gray
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9781496739827, $26.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Happily-Ever-Amish-Apple-Creek/dp/1496739825

Synopsis: Addie Byler may be Apple Creek's resident wallflower, but she knows she has a lot to offer -- and much to be grateful for. Raised by her loving grandmother, she lives a life filled with good friends and hard work. Wary of romance, Addie assumes no man will look beyond her glasses and her tendency to talk to her rescue donkey, Snickers -- until the day she finds a note from a secret admirer. A prank, most likely. But then, a second note arrives!

It's not that Daniel Miller doesn't like Addie, he just doesn't want to court her. She's too willful, too chatty, too odd. Yet when he learns she's been teased because she's never had a beau, he decides to send a little note of encouragement. One note leads to another. And when Addie begins replying with thoughtful messages of her own, he's struck by her sweetness and warmth. Soon, what began as a sympathetic gesture becomes something deeper. Daniel fears revealing the truth, but with courage, faith (and a helping hand from their close-knit community) Apple Creek's most unlikely couple may find their path to happiness!

Critique: A classic Amish/Mennonite romance novel by a truly gifted author, "Happily Every Amish" by Shelley Shepard Gray is a thoroughly charming and engaging read from first page to last. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Shelley Shepard Gray fans that "Happily Ever Amish" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781496739858, $16.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.21).

Editorial Note: Shelley Shepard Gray (www.ShelleyShepardGray.com) is the two-time Holt Medallion Award-winning, New York Times and the author of over one hundred novels. Her novels have been translated into multiple languages and highlighted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, NPR and USA Today.


The Western Fiction Shelf

Death Trail
D. D. Lang
Lindford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444848588, $23.00, PB, Large Print, 211pp

Synopsis: Travelling West was never easy. Men, women and children endured the rough terrain, the heat, the cold, illness and, sometimes, Indians. So, when sickness struck, and wagons had to be segregated, the danger was increased.

There were always men ready to take advantage and Clem Watkins and his gang were ready to do just that. Ardal Maloney, his wife Kate and two children had left Ireland to seek out a new life in the West. Leaving behind them starvation, poverty and death, they came to the New World to start afresh.

But the senseless killing of women and children fired Ardal into seeking to avenge their deaths.

Critique: A masterpiece of a vengeance quest action/adventure western, "Death Trail" by D. D. Lang (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/408937.D_D_Lang) is a simply riveting and compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library collections is especially recommended for community library Western Fiction collections and the personal reading lists for the legions of D. D. Lang fans.

Editorial Note: Derek Doyle writes under the pen name of D.D. Lang and has had over 40 Black Horse Westerns published.

Return to Crows Creek
John E. Vale
Lindford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444848748, $23.00, PB, Large Print, 234pp

Synopsis: Englishman Marshal Daniel Wheetman has been given over to President Hayes by Queen Victoria in an attempt to bring justice to the lawless west. However, Daniel's methods of policing are in complete contrast to those employed by US lawmen. Not only is he unable to ride a horse, he also does not believe in the use of firearms. Additionally, he has a personality that makes the vast majority of cowboys want to blow his head off!

Critique: Few western writers have a sense of humor to match that of novelist John E. Vale as evidenced by his stories featuring a kind of Sherlock Holmes style lawman, Englishman Daniel Wheelman, who is loaned out by Queen Victoria to the Americans and is teamed up Murphy -- a semi- reformed gunman promised a pardon from hanging as the assigned 'protector' of this seemingly vulnerable excuse for a U.S. Marshall. The problem is that if Daniel Wheelman gets himself killed, the pardon goes away and Murphy will find himself hung! Unabashedly recommended for both dedicated western fans and community library Western Fiction collections, "Return to Crows Creek" is the second volume in a simply outstanding series of western action/adventure novels by John E. Vale.

Bighorn Gold
Art Isberg
Lindford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444848496, $23.00, PB, Large Print, 252pp

Synopsis: Jesper Tubbs has spent his life wandering the western mountains, searching for the elusive glint of gold. But Fate plays its fickle hand late in his life when, at the point of starvation, he literally stumbles upon a fabulous strike. However, Tubbs finds far more than just gold. His chance discovery is to turn sane men into wanton killers, who will stop at nothing to find his secret location deep in the Tobacco Root Mountains -- and claim it as their own!

Critique: A classic novel of prospectors and claim jumpers in the Old West, "Bighorn Gold" by Art Isberg is a fully engaging and entertaining read that will be an enduringly appreciated and popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections. This large print paperback edition of "Bighorn Gold" from the Linford Western Library collection is particularly commended to the attention of all dedicated western action fans.

Editorial Note: Art Isberg writes westerns, both novels and short stories. A freelance writer for more than four decades, he has explored unmapped ghost towns, followed ancient wagon ruts of pioneers across western deserts, and successfully dug up bandit treasure taken in a Wells Fargo robbery. He has published six novels and over 300 short stories and articles. His writing has been featured in Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Safari, Bugle, Fly Fisherman, Saltwater Fisherman, and many other major outdoor press magazines. It has also been featured in Daily Republic, West Coast newspapers with stories about growing up through the war years of World War II, living in western mountains, and in the newsletters of western historical societies.

The Marshal and the Fatal Foreclosure
C. M. Wendelboe
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
9781432895426, $25.95, HC, 315pp

https://www.amazon.com/Marshal-Foreclosure-Nelson-Frontier-Mystery/dp/1432895427

Synopsis: U.S. Marshal Nelson Lane is trying to aid his deputy in evicting Lucky Graber, a failed Wyoming rancher, when a dead man is found on Lucky's land, apparently killed in a hunting accident.

The victim, Gino Bonelli, took an interest in Lucky's ranch shortly before he was killed, though the land is worthless as far as Nelson and everyone else in the town of Gillette is concerned. Then Lucky Graber disappears, and the victim's gangster brother Bruno arrives in town with his thugs, intent on finding out for certain how Gino died.

Before long, it becomes apparent that the "hunting accident" was staged, and that other people around Gillette (including the owner of the bank that foreclosed on Lucky's ranch) are far more interested in this "worthless" piece of real estate than they should be. Maybe enough to kill over.

While Nelson and his deputies work to solve the crime, Bruno and his goons fan out, threatening anyone connected with the missing rancher and gathering what information they can to identify Gino's murderer so Bruno can give the killer his own brand of justice. Will Lucky surface -- assuming he's still alive? Will Nelson discover why Gino Bonelli was in the area, snooping on Lucky's ranch land? And will Gino's death be avenged?

Critique: A deftly blended combination of action/adventure western and 'whodunnit' mystery, "The Marshal and the Fatal Foreclosure" by novelist C. M. Wendelboe is a fun read from first page to last. Having a particular attraction to both the western fan and the mystery buff, "The Marshal and the Fatal Foreclosure" is unreservedly recommended for either Historical Mystery of Western Fiction collections.

When the Devil Comes A-Calling
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
9781432893996, $25.95, HC, 277pp

https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Calling-Youngblood-Brothers-Western/dp/1432893998

Synopsis: When Judge Parker of Fort Smith, Arkansas, sends two US marshals on a routine prisoner pickup and they never make it to their destination, he sends Marshals Emmet and Jack Youngblood to find them.

Emmet and Jack (considered two of the best marshals in the West), come upon the dead bodies of the missing marshals, but their prisoner wagon is not to be found. They follow the tracks left behind by the heavy wagon to Springfield, Missouri.

In Springfield, the brothers learn that notorious outlaw Joe Foster, wounded in a bank robbery attempt, was broken out of jail by members of his gang, who disguised themselves as the two murdered marshals and used the prisoner wagon for his escape. Emmet and Jack return to Forth Smith, where they gather intelligence on Joe Foster.

Foster comes from a Mormon family in Salt Lake City. After traveling to Utah to see the Foster family, Emmet and Jack learn that Joe left the Mormons before the Civil War with his friend Jacob Compton and that the Fosters received a letter from Joe one year ago from Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory. Now the hunt gets even more dangerous and deadly for the Emmet and Jack.

Critique: A 'Youngblood Brothers' western from the pen of Al Lamanda under his pseudonym of Ethan J. Wolfe, "When The Devil Comes A-Calling" is a classic action/adventure western novel that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated western fans, as well as community library Western Fiction collections.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Dashing Through the Snowbirds
Donna Andrews
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250760227, $26.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dashing-Through-Snowbirds-Langslow-Mysteries/dp/1250760224

Synopsis: Christmas in Caerphilly is wonderful! Unless you're a Canadian whose inconsiderate boss is forcing you to spend the holiday there, far from family and friends, with only a slim chance of a white Christmas.

Meg already has her hands full, trying to make the season festive for the dozen programmers who are staying with her and Michael while working on a rush project with her brother's software company. At least it's an interesting project, since the Canadian company is doing forensic genealogy and DNA analysis.

But when the inconsiderate boss is found murdered, there are too many suspects. Even before their Christmas in exile, his own employees had plenty of motives, and the growing number of people suing the company for faulty DNA analysis and invasion of their genetic privacy include at least one notorious murderer.

Can Meg crack the case in time to keep the Yuletide bright?

Critique: A fun read for all dedicated 'whodunnit' mystery buffs, "Dashing Through The Snowbirds" by Donna Andrews is the latest Meg Langslow mystery and is certain to be a popular and much sought after addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Additionally, it should be noted for personal reading lists of the legions of Donna Andrews fans that "Dashing Through The Snowbirds" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Donna Andrews (http://www.donnaandrews.com) has won the Agatha, Anthony, and Barry Awards, an RT Book Reviews Award for best first novel, and four Lefty and two Toby Bromberg Awards for funniest mystery. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Novelists, Inc. Andrews lives in Reston, Virginia. She has written over 30 books in the Meg Langslow mystery series.

Shadows in the Forest
Jennifer J. Morgan
Secret Staircase Books
c/o Columbine Publishing Group
http://www.columbinepublishinggroup.com/index.html
9781649140890, $13.99, PB, 236pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Forest-Libby-Madsen-Mysteries/dp/1649140894

Synopsis: Libby Madsen, professional massage therapist and co-owner of the luxurious Dharma Inspired Day Spa, has probably heard it all. During what she thinks of as 'tabletop confessions' her clients often talk about way more of their personal lives than she really wants to hear. So when a regular, Maggie Crenshaw, talks about how her daughter went away on a camping trip with friends, it's just so much chatter. But when Maggie says Isobel didn't return home on time, is not answering her phone, and that the young woman is diabetic and really needs her meds. Libby offers to pick up the medications at Maggie's house and deliver them -- she and her Labrador puppy, Shadow, are going camping in the same area and it's no trouble at all.

Except when Libby and Shadow arrive at the campground, Isobel is nowhere to be found, and no one there has seen her or the group of friends she claimed to be traveling with. Libby enlists the help of handsome Forest Ranger Greg Lawson, but even he can't find anyone who has seen the girl. The fact that she's now been without her insulin for several days is worrisome, and Greg initiates a Search and Rescue operation.

Libby and Shadow join Greg and the volunteers to search the adjoining camping areas. Some shady characters and a few clues do turn up. But no Isobel. Libby becomes convinced that something more sinister is going on and she's determined to find out what has happened, little knowing that her own life may be in danger as she gets too close to the truth.

Critique: A fun read from first page to last, "Shadows in the Forest" launches author Jennifer J. Morgan's new three volume 'whodunnit' trilogy 'Libby Madsen Cozy Mysteries' series. An impressively original and deftly crafted read, "Shadows in the Forest" will have a very special appeal for readers with an interest in amateur woman sleuths and their canine companions. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99), "Shadows in the Forest" will leave satisfied mystery buffs looking eagerly toward the next Libby Madsen story. Simply stated, "Shadows in the Forest" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Jennifer J. Morgan (https://jenniferjmorgan.com/index.html) is a gifted cozy mystery writer. Most of her characters in her Libby Madsen Cozy Mystery series are named after beloved pets that have blessed her life over fifty+ years.

Whale Fall
Ann Lambert
Second Story Press
http://secondstorypress.ca
9781772602685, $22.95, PB, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Whale-Fall-Russell-Leduc-Mystery/dp/177260268X

Synopsis: Marie Russell and Detective Romeo Leduc are finally getting married, but the joyous occasion is overshadowed by the unexpected arrival of Magnus Sorenson, renowned eco-warrior and Marie's first great love. When Magnus' plans for a dramatic environmental protest take a dark turn, Romeo and Marie are forced to abandon their honeymoon in the Laurentians in order to catch a killer, unearthing long-buried secrets along the way.

Critique: A simply riveting novel with a narrative story line the includes love and romance, retaliatory vengeance, and environmental climate justice, "Whale Fall" by Ann Lambert is especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans, as well as community library Contemporary Mystery & Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Ann Lambert (https://www.annlambertbooks.com) has been writing and directing for the stage for thirty-five years. Several of her plays, including The Wall, Parallel Lines, Very Heaven, The Mary Project and Two Short Women have been performed in theatres in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. She has been a teacher of English literature at Dawson College for almost twenty-eight years in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she makes her home.

Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man
Emily J. Edwards
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639101825, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Viviana-Valentine-Gets-Friday-Mystery/dp/1639101829

Synopsis: New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine is Girl Friday to the city's top private investigator, Tommy Fortuna. The clients can be frustrating, and none more maddening than fabulously wealthy Tallmadge Blackstone, who demands Tommy tail his daughter, Tallulah, and find out why she won't marry his business partner, a man forty years her senior.

Sounds like an open-and-shut case for a P.I. known for busting up organized crime -- but the next day, Viviana opens the office to find Tommy missing and a lifeless body on the floor.

The cops swoop in and Detective Jake Lawson issues a warrant for Tommy's arrest. Desperate to clear Tommy's name, Viviana takes on the Blackstone case herself. When she goes out for a night on the town with the heiress, she begins to learn the secrets behind Tallulah's headline-grabbing life. Meanwhile, Lawson is itching to solve his murder case, and continues harassing Viviana for answers -- until she's the victim of a series of violent attacks.

But Tommy's still missing, and Viviana is scared. As she digs into the dirty history of the Blackstone empire, she suddenly realizes the true danger at hand. Now, it's up to her to find her missing boss and make sure he doesn't turn up D.O.A.

Critique: A riveting, pulse-pounding, compulsive page turner of a novel, "Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man" is an impressively well written and entertaining read that will have a very special appeal to anyone with an interest in Women Sleuths and Historical Mysteries. While also available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781639104277, $18.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666620825, $22.99, CD), "Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man" is very highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

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

Devil's Chew Toy
Rob Osler
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643859439, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Chew-Toy-Rob-Osler/dp/1643859439

Synopsis: Seattle teacher and part-time blogger Hayden McCall wakes sporting one hell of a shiner, with the police knocking at his door. It seems that his new crush, dancer Camilo Rodriguez, has gone missing and they suspect foul play. What happened the night before? And where is Camilo?

Determined to find answers, pint-sized, good-hearted Hayden seeks out two of Camilo's friends (Hollister and Burley) who are both lesbians and both fiercely devoted to their friend. From them, Hayden learns that Camilo is a "Dreamer" whose parents had been deported years earlier, and whose sister, Daniela, is presumed to have returned to Venezuela with them. Convinced that the cops won't take a brown boy's disappearance seriously, the girls join Hayden's hunt for Camilo.

The first clues turn up at Barkingham Palace, a pet store where Camilo had taken a part-time job. The store's owner, Della Rupert, claims ignorance, but Hayden knows something is up. And then there's Camilo's ex-boyfriend, Ryan, who's suddenly grown inexplicably wealthy. When Hayden and Hollister follow Ryan to a secure airport warehouse, they make a shocking connection between him and Della -- and uncover the twisted scheme that's made both of them rich.

The trail of clues leads them to the grounds of a magnificent estate on an island in Puget Sound, where they'll finally learn the truth about Camilo's disappearance -- and the fate of his family.

Critique: A skillfully crafted and impressively original suspense thriller of a read, "Devil's Chew Toy" by novelist Rob Osler will have a particular affinity and attraction for the fans of the Cosy Mystery genre. With its LGBTQ element, "Devil's Chew Toy" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that the "Devil's Chew Toy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666533729, $59.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Rob Osler (https://robosler.com) writes the Hayden & Friends contemporary mystery series featuring a rainbow of memorable characters. With Devil's Chew Toy, Rob coined the term, "Quozy Mystery," giving a unique label to the colorful sub-genre of cozy mysteries featuring LGBTQ+ main characters.

Hands Down
Felix Francis
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Bolinda Audio Books
https://www.bolinda.com
Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781639102945, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hands-Down-Novel-Felix-Francis/dp/1639102949

Synopsis: Sid Halley, a private investigator, has a new left hand, having had a transplant since his last appearance in Refusal. After receiving death threats, an ex-jockey trainer friend calls Sid to ask for his help, but Sid has his own problems to deal with; like recovering from surgery and saving his crumbling marriage.

When his friend's stable yard is torched, horses killed, and the friend is found dead, Sid can only blame himself for not helping sooner. The police think it's suicide, but Sid is not convinced after his friend's terrified phone calls. Heavy with a guilty heart, Sid starts to investigate and soon finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that cuts to the very heart of the integrity of British horse racing.

Can Sid figure out what happened to his friend, or will he be the next one that the killer targets?

Critique: A compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover, "Hands Down" by novelist Felix Francis is a carefully crafted private eye mystery that delivers a clever 'whodunnit'. Highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, "Hands Down" is the stuff of which block buster novel based movies are made! It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Felix Francis fans that "Hands Down" is also available in a paperback edition (9781639105533, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781038616753, $45.70, Bolinda, CD).

Editorial Note: Felix Francis (http://felixfrancis.com/index.php) was born in Oxford, England, son of the famous mystery author, Dick Francis and his wife, Mary Francis. Felix graduated from London University. His initial career led him into physics, where he was a successful teacher of A Level Physics. But he could not deny that his family's gift of writing had been passed along to him, and he started his second career (as an author) where he found his knowledge of physics was a great advantage.

Dead Men Don't Decorate
Cordy Abbott
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639101252, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Dont-Decorate-Antique-Mystery/dp/163910125X

Synopsis: Roberto Fratelli, proprietor of the antiques store Waited4You, is the meanest man in Marthasville, Virginia. So when he puts the business up for sale, the other merchants in town are overjoyed. And now the business has a prospective buyer: local resident and the newly elected mayor's mom, Camille Benson, who's thrilled at the prospect of getting into the antiques business.

During a celebration in honor of Camille's new venture, her best friend, Opal, tells her about finding a letter, purportedly from Sally Fairfax to George Washington, dated 1756, hidden under a chair in the shop. When they return to retrieve the cache, they find Roberto's lifeless body on the floor and no letter.

Police question Ella Coleman, Roberto's ex-wife, and discover that her current husband supplied Roberto with oh-so-faux Victorian furniture. Did the two cheat the wrong customer? Or could the murder be connected to an earlier theft of rare books from the shop -- a theft Roberto never reported? As Camille prepares to confront these questions and investigate the murder, she knows she might become the latest knock-off.

Critique: Another superbly crafted and original cozy mystery from novelist Cordy Abbott, "Dead Men Don't Decorate" is an extraordinary and fun read from first page to last. A mystery fan's delight, "Dead Men Don't Decorate" is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Cordy Abbott fans that "Dead Men Don't Decorate" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Cordy Abbott (https://cordyabbott.com) is the author of the Old Town Mystery series. She has a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime.

Death on a Deadline
Joyce St. Anthony
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639101153, $29.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Deadline-Homefront-News-Mystery/dp/1639101152

Synopsis: As World War II rages in Europe and the Pacific, the small town of Progress is doing its part for the soldiers in the field with a war bond drive at the annual county fair. Town gossip Ava Dempsey rumors that Clark Gable will be among the participating stars. Instead of Gable, the headliner is Freddie Harrison, a B-movie star. When Freddie turns up dead in the dunk tank, Irene Ingram, editor-in-chief of The Progress Herald, starts chasing the real headline.

There are plenty of suspects and little evidence. Ava's sister Angel, who was married to the dead actor, is the most obvious. The couple had argued about his affair with the young starlet Belinda Fox, and Angel was the last person to see Freddie alive.

Irene discovers there's more than one person who might have wanted Freddie dead. As Irene draws on her well-honed reporter's instincts to find the killer -- but nothing is what it seems in Progress, and now her own deadline could be right around the corner.

Critique: Cosy mystery writing at its best, "Death on a Deadline" by novelist Joyce St. Anthony is a fund read that will be memorably enjoyed by all dedicated mystery fans. While highly recommended as an immediately popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Death on a Deadline" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Joyce St. Anthony (https://crookedlanebooks.com/joyce-st-anthony) was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is also the author of the award winning Brewing Trouble mysteries set in Pittsburgh.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Night of Demons and Saints
Menna van Praag
Harpyer Voyager
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062932501, $17.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Night-Demons-Saints-Novel-Sisters/dp/0062932500

Synopsis: After the battle with their demon father ends in a devastating loss, the Grimm sisters are separated. But, now three years later, as their twenty-first birthday approaches, dark fate brings them together once more.

For Goldie, this birthday is overshadowed by sorrow. She cannot forget the outcome of that battle, the devastating tragedy that has wreaked havoc on her already turbulent waking life. While her sisters have thrown themselves into their own endeavors, Goldie has grown distant and inconsolable. Driven by grief, she devises a diabolical plan using a human sacrifice to resurrect what she has lost.

When Liyana unexpectedly discovers what Goldie intends to do, she agrees to help if Goldie will try another way, without sacrificing a life. Returning to Everwhere, they combine their powerful magic to bring back what Goldie has lost. But something goes terribly wrong, and Scarlet is showing signs of being possessed by an evil spirit.

With their lives at stake, the sisters realize they must confront their personal trauma, make amends with the past, and once again prepare for a demonic fight to come. On the night of their birthday, battle ensues and tragedy strikes once more!

Critique: The sequel to author Menna van Praage action/adventure fantasy novel "The Sisters Grimm" (9780062932464, $27.99 HC, $13.49 Kindle, $25.99 Audio CD), "Night of Demons and Saints" is a superbly crafted dark fantasy fiction that will have a very special appeal to fans of the paranormal. While readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799957386, $39.99, CD), "Night of Demons and Saints" is highly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.

Editorial Note: Menna van Praag (https://www.mennavanpraag.com) was born in Cambridge, England, and studied modern history at Oxford University. Her first novella, Men, Money, and Chocolate (an autobiographical tale about a waitress who aspires to be a writer) has been translated into twenty-six languages. Her first work of fiction, The House at the End of Hope Street, was inspired by an idea van Praag had to set up a house for female artists and give them a year to fulfill their artistic ambitions.

Lost In Time
A. G. Riddle
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com/home
9781804541760, $24.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Time-G-Riddle/dp/1804541761

Synopsis: One morning, Dr. Sam Anderson wakes up to find that the woman he loves has been murdered. For Sam, the horror is only beginning.

He and his daughter are accused of the crime. The evidence is ironclad. They will be convicted. And so, to ensure his daughter goes free, Sam does what he must: he confesses. But in the future, murderers aren't sent to prison.

Thanks to a machine Sam helped invent, the world's worst criminals are now sent to the past - approximately 200 million years into the past, to the dawn of the time of the dinosaurs -- where they must live out their lives alone, in exile from the human race.

Sam accepts his fate. But his daughter doesn't! Adeline Anderson has already lost her mother to a deadly, unfair disease. She can't bear to lose her father as well. So she sets out on a quest to prove him innocent. And to get him back. People around her insist that both are impossible tasks.

But Adeline doesn't give up. She only works harder. She soon learns that impossible tasks are her specialty. And that she is made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.

As she peels back the layers of the mystery that tore her father from this world, Adeline finds more questions than answers. Everyone around her is hiding a secret. But which ones are connected to the murder that exiled her father?

That mystery stretches across the past, present, and future -- and leads to a revelation that will change everything.

Critique: The theme of most time travel novels is that if you alter the past you change the present. "Lost In Time" is a riveting saga of a time travel novel that author A. G. Riddle has penned with impressive originality, expert storytelling skills, and an inherent fascination that will hold a very special appeal for science fiction fans. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lost In Time" is also available in a paperback edition (9781804541784, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Editorial Note: A.G. Riddle (www.agriddle.com) spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction.

Deploying Dragons
Dan Koboldt
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com
9781982192105, $17.00

https://www.amazon.com/Deploying-Dragons-Build-Dragon-Sequence/dp/1982192100

Deploying Dragons is highly recommended for readers of speculative fiction who enjoy doses of hard science and dragon conundrums in their stories of biotech futures. The race to develop military-grade dragons to be used in combat produces real dragons that fuel the Build-A-Dragon company's profits. Unfortunately, the military promise to use them as weapons challenges designer Noah in new ways, as well. The story of a race between special interests will appeal to readers of fantasy, military sci-fi, and those who look for strong characters and complex scenarios.

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

Two new publications are recommended reading for sci-fi readers looking for the added value of moral and ethical challenges in their adventure stories.

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Life-David-Carrico/dp/1982192097

David Carrico's The Blood is the Life (9781982192099, $25.00) follows young man Chaim Caan, who is ready to let off steam at a nightclub after a year in COVID lockdown. Unfortunately, the alluring young woman he meets there turns him into a vampire, introducing him to the life of the undead that runs head on into his beliefs as an observant Jew. The moral and spiritual dilemmas play out well against an action-packed backdrop as Chaim finds all his concepts about life and values turned on end. Readers will especially appreciate the conundrums that emerge from these physical, spiritual, and psychological changes that introduce a dark new world that vies with all prior beliefs.

https://www.amazon.com/No-Game-Knights-Larry-Correia/dp/1982192089

Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell's No Game for Knights: The Dark Side of SF & Fantasy Heroes (9781982192082, $25.00) gathers stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Sharon Shinn, and other notable Baen authors and genre writers as it presents short stories that meld sci-fi and noir investigations alike. The stories consider the intersection between good and evil, nice guys and fall guys, and good deeds gone awry, spinning a series of yarns that pair fantasy with detective noir elements for engrossing reads.

Both of these new titles from Baen Books are attractive and unusual presentations designed to appeal to a diverse audience of sci-fi and psychological fiction buffs.


The Business Shelf

Clusters of Innovation in the Age of Disruption
Jerome S. Engel, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781800885158, $200.00, HC, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Clusters-Innovation-Disruption-Jerome-Engel/dp/1800885156

Synopsis: "Clusters of Innovation in the Age of Disruption" is about corporate and economic innovation ecosystems, Clusters of Innovation (COI) and the Global Networks of Clusters of Innovation (GNCOI) they naturally form. What is innovation and why is it important to us? Innovation is nothing less than the ability for constructive response and adaptation to change. The cause and catalyst for that change is frequently identified as technology and its unceasing pressure to improve on existing solutions and address unmet needs. The last decade has painfully demonstrated that exogenous environmental shocks are also sources of change that call for innovative responses, ranging from the obvious challenges such as global warming and Covid-19 to the more subtle social and political perturbations of our time.

Entrepreneurs, in collaboration with venture investors and major corporations can create a flywheel of constructive engagement, a cluster of Innovation, that helps build the resiliency of our communities to adsorb and rebound from these shocks. The process is enhanced when actively supported by government, universities, and other elements of the ecosystem. "Clusters of Innovation in the Age of Disruption" provides the tools for understanding this value creation process and the means to enhance it, in both emerging and mature innovation ecosystems.

"Clusters of Innovation in the Age of Disruption" provides a framework for understanding innovation in mature and emerging innovation ecosystems to a wide swath of professionals and academics, from senior executives of major corporations, government leaders, public policy makers, and consultants, to academics, researchers, and educators.

Critique: With the publication of "Clusters of Innovation in the Age of Disruption", Professor Jerome Engel has expertly compiled and edited an impressively comprehensive, extraordinarily informative, and deftly organized and presented study comprised of sixteen contributions by credentialed experts. While also available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781035312146, $55.00), "Clusters of Innovation in the Age of Disruption" is strongly recommended as a core addition to corporate, college, and university library Entrepreneurship/Business collections and MBA supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Jerome S. Engel (https://jeromeengel.com) is an internationally recognized expert in innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital -- and lectures and advises business and government leaders around the world. He joined the faculty of University of California, Berkeley in 1991 to found the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, of which he is a senior fellow and the founding executive director emeritus.

True North
Bill George, author
Zach Clayton, author
John Wiley & Sons
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119886105, $32.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/True-North-Authentically-Workplace-Emerging/dp/1119886104

Synopsis: With the publication of "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition), renowned leadership expert Bill George and Millennial tech entrepreneur Zach Clayton issue the challenge to emerging leaders (from Gen X to Millennials and Gen Z) to lead their organizations authentically through never-ending crises to make this world a better place for everyone.

Emerging leaders do so by discovering their "True North" (who they are) and then finding their "North Star" -- their leadership purpose. To navigate today's complexities, George and Clayton show emerging leaders how to lead with their hearts, not just their heads, with passion, compassion, and moral courage by being true to their values to reach their full potential as they take on great challenges and navigate complex issues.

The Emerging Leader Edition of "True North" is filled with dramatic stories from successful leaders such as Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Merck's Ken Frazier to PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi and General Motors' Mary Barra, and emerging leaders like OneTrust's Kabir Barday and Kanbrick's Tracy Britt Cool of how they overcame great challenges to build highly successful organizations.

Critique: What must be classified as essential reading for anyone seeking to: Becoming an authentic leader, equipped to lead inclusively with moral clarity through challenges and crises;
Cultivating regular introspection to ground yourself with self-awareness, live your values, and use your unique strengths; Integrating all aspects of their lives -- including who you are at home, at work, and in the community; Understand how Millennials are leading more effectively in today's world; In being an inclusive leader prepared to take on fraught issues like stakeholder challenges, racial and sexual equality, and sexual misconduct; Knowing when (and how) leaders should speak out on today's complex public issues.

Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition" is particularly and especially recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management, Leadership & Motivation collections. It should be noted that "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.00).

Editorial Note #1: Bill George (https://www.billgeorge.org) is the former Chair and CEO of Medtronic and Executive Fellow at Harvard Business School (HBS), where he has taught leadership to MBAs and executives since 2004. He is the author of four bestselling books: Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, and 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis. True North has been recognized as one of the 25 Best Leadership Books of All-Time. He has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, Mayo Clinic, ExxonMobil, Novartis, and Target.

Editorial Note #2: Zach Clayton is the founder and CEO of Three Ships, which operates digital marketplace businesses. He leads this fast-growing business with several hundred employees.

Augmented Lean
Natan Linder, author
Trond Arne Undheim, author
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119906001, $26.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Augmented-Lean-Human-Centric-Framework-Operations/dp/1119906008

Synopsis: With the publication of "Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations", serial startup founder Dr. Natan Linder and futurist podcaster Dr. Trond Arne Undheim deliver an urgent and incisive exploration of how to facilitate agile processes amongst a millennial workforce that already lives by many of its tenets.

"Augmented Learn" demonstrates how to abandon legacy industrial technology that is failing modern operations and hindering operational excellence and digital progress. As an executive and leader, you cannot fall prey to hyped-up notions of industry 4.0's factory of the future automation, artificial intelligence, internet of things, sensors, digital twins, and augmented reality fixing every problem. Instead, to truly reduce cognitive load, complexity, and frustrations in the workplace, we must build cyber-physical technologies so that humans remain at the center.

Leaders must ensure that the technology they deploy at an industrial scale has fluid interfaces that demonstrably simplifies work and makes operations more flexible without introducing fear, uncertainty, or doubt -- and "Augmented Lean" will teach them just how they can accomplished these imperatives.

Critique: Timely, informatively, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations" will have a special and practical value to readers with an interest in Corporate Leadership and Industrial Relations. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.00), "Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Business Management instructional reference collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies.

Editorial Note #1: Natan Linder (https://www.linkedin.com/in/linder), is Co-founder and CEO of the frontline operations platform Tulip, and the Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Formlabs, a pioneer in professional desktop 3D printing. He received his doctorate from MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group.

Editorial Note #2: Trond Arne Undheim (https://trondundheim.com), is a futurist, podcaster, venture partner, Co-founder of Yegii, and formerly with MIT, WPP, Oracle, and the EU. He received his doctorate in the Future of Work and Artificial Intelligence from the NTNU's Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

Thriving on Overload
Ross Dawson
McGraw Hill
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781264285402, $28.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thriving-Overload-Success-Exponential-Information/dp/126428540X

Synopsis: "Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information" is a groundbreaking guide that delivers the practical insights and strategies necessary to build a positive relationship with information and excel at work and in any venture.

"Thriving on Overload" author Ross Dawson draws on his work as a leading futurist and 25 years of research into the practices that transform a surplus of information into compelling value. In "Thriving on Overload", he shares simple actionable techniques for staying ahead in an accelerating world. It's all about choosing to thrive on overload -- rather than being overwhelmed by it. Develop the five intertwined powers that enable extraordinary performance in a world of overload:

Readers will discover valuable lessons from some of the world's most extraordinary "information masters" -- the entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and researchers who excel at transforming vast mines of data into the solid gold of insight and effective action.

Packed from cover to cover with clear guidance, useful exercises, engaging stories, and handy resources, "Thriving on Overload" will help to build the capabilities that enable the readers to outperform their peers and prosper as never before in a world defined by excessive information.

Critique: The next best thing to sitting front row center in one of Ross Dawson's workshops, "Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information" is informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a remarkable Introduction (Learning to Thrive), an eight page listing of Resources for Thriving, a four page listing of Acknowledgments, twenty pages of Notes, and a ten page Index. While highly recommended as an addition to community and academic library Entrepreneurship, Information Management, and Self- Help/Decision Making collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.12)

Editorial Note: Ross Dawson (https://rossdawson.com) is a world-leading futurist, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker. He is Founding Chairman of the Advanced Human Technologies group of companies, with clients including industry leaders, such as Boston Consulting Group, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Google, Interpublic Group, Microsoft, News Limited, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, PwC, Visa, and Walmart. Dawson is in strong demand globally, having delivered keynote speeches and strategy workshops to business and government leaders in over 30 countries. He appears frequently in media, such as ABC TV, BBC, The Guardian, New York Times, and VICE, among many others.


The Computer Shelf

A Gentle Introduction to Scientific Computing
Dan Stanescu, author
Long Lee, author
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
www.crcpress.com
9780367206840, $99.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Scientific-Computing-Numerical-Analysis/dp/0367206846

Synopsis: Scientific Computation has established itself as a stand-alone area of knowledge at the borderline between computer science and applied mathematics. Nonetheless, its interdisciplinary character cannot be denied: its methodologies are increasingly used in a wide variety of branches of science and engineering.

"A Gentle Introduction to Scientific Computing" by Professor Dan Stanescu and Professor Long Lee intends to serve a very broad audience of college students across a variety of disciplines. It aims to expose its readers to some of the basic tools and techniques used in computational science, with a view to helping them understand what happens "behind the scenes" when simple tools such as solving equations, plotting and interpolation are used.

To make "A Gentle Introduction to Scientific Computing" as practical as possible, the authors explore their subject both from a theoretical, mathematical perspective and from an implementation-driven, programming perspective.

"A Gentle Introduction to Scientific Computing" features: Middle-ground approach between theory and implementation; Suitable reading for a broad range of students in STEM disciplines. Could be used as the primary text for a first course in scientific computing; An introduction to mathematics majors, without any prior computer science exposure, to numerical methods; All mathematical knowledge needed beyond Calculus (together with the most widely used Calculus notation and concepts) is introduced in the text to make it self-contained.

Critique: An ideal textbook for college/university Scientific Computing curriculums, "A Gentle Introduction to Scientific Computing" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion oif four major Appendices, a two page Bibliography, and a three page Index. While also available for personal and professional reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $99.95), "A Gentle Introduction to Scientific Computing" is unreservedly recommended for college and university library collections.

Editorial Note #1: Dan Stanescu (https://www.uwyo.edu/mathstats/people/faculty/stanescu.html) received his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Polytechnical Institute in Bucharest, Romania. He then pursued his graduate studies at McGill University and obtained his Ph.D. at Concordia University, both in Montreal, Canada. His initial fascination with modeling fluid flow led him to develop both frequency- and time-domain computational methods for the study of aircraft noise. His publications include work in aeroacoustics, spectral methods, stochastic processes and biomathematics. Upon joining the Mathematics Department at the University of Wyoming in 2003, he directed the Institute for Scientific Computing for six years and initiated an Interdisciplinary Computational Science Minor program. He has taught a wide range of courses in applied mathematics and has been developing and using the material included herein, during the last ten years, for a core class that is part of this Minor.

Editorial Note #2: Long Lee (https://www.uwyo.edu/mathstats/faculty-pages/math/llee.html) is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, USA. He received his Ph. D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. Before his Ph.D., he received a BS in Engineering and an MS in Geophysics.

Artificial Intelligence
Robert H. Chen, author
Chelsea Chen, author
Chapman & Hall
c/o CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
www.crcpress.com
9781032103471, $120.00, HC, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Intelligence-Introduction-Inquisitive-Reader/dp/1032103477

Synopsis: With the publication of "Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction for the Inquisitive Reader", co-authors Robert and Chelsea Chen guides their readers through the history and development of AI, from its early mathematical beginnings through to the exciting possibilities of its potential future applications.

To make this journey as accessible as possible, the authors build their narrative around accounts of some of the more popular and well-known demonstrations of artificial intelligence including Deep Blue, AlphaGo and even Texas Hold'em, followed by their historical background, so that AI can be seen as a natural development of mathematics and computer science.

As "Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction for the Inquisitive Reader" moves forward, more technical descriptions are presented at a pace that should be suitable for all levels of readers, gradually building a broad and reasonably deep understanding and appreciation for the basic mathematics, physics, and computer science that is rapidly developing artificial intelligence as it is today.

The only mathematical prerequisite for reading "Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction for the Inquisitive Reader" is an elementary knowledge of calculus making it accessible to anyone with an interest in AI and its mathematics and computer science.

Critique: "Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction for the Inquisitive Reader" is an ideal textbook for use in curriculums for AI or the History of Mathematics and Computer Science studies in regard to artificial intelligence. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Artificial Intelligence: An Introduction for the Inquisitive Reader" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library AI and Computer Science collections.

Editorial Note #1: Robert H. Chen is the author of three books in English on Personal Computers, Liquid Crystal Displays, and Einstein's Relativity, and four books in Chinese on LCDs & Intellectual Property, Patents, Anglo-American Contract Law, and Technology & Copyright Law, and many scholarly articles in physics and the law. He has a Ph.D. in Space Physics and a J.D. in law and is a member of the California Bar. He divides his time between California and Taiwan with his wife and daughter.

Editorial Note #2: Chelsea C. Chen graduated in physics and computer science from U.C Berkeley and is a software development engineer at a major tech company in Silicon Valley. She presently lives in Northern California.

Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems
Suzanne J. Matthews, author
Tia Newhall, author
Kevin C. Webb, author
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781718501362, $79.99, PB, 816pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dive-Into-Systems-Introduction-Computer/dp/1718501366

Synopsis: "Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems" provides a crash course in the major hardware and software components of a modern computer system. Designed for use in a wide range of introductory-level computer science classes, it guides readers through the vertical slice of a computer so they can develop an understanding of the machine at various layers of abstraction.

Early chapters begin with the basics of the C programming language often used in systems programming. Other topics explore the architecture of modern computers, the inner workings of operating systems, and the assembly languages that translate human-readable instructions into a binary representation that the computer understands.

Later chapters explain how to optimize code for various architectures, how to implement parallel computing with shared memory, and how memory management works in multi-core CPUs. Accessible and easy to follow, the book uses images and hands-on exercise to break down complicated topics, including code examples that can be modified and executed.

Critique: An ideal textbook for introductory computer science curriculums, "Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems" by the team of Suzanne J. Matthews, Tia Newhall, and Kevin C. Webb is comprehensive, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'student friendly' in presentation. Unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Computer Science collections, it should be noted for both students and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $41.99).

Editorial Note #1: Suzanne J. Matthews is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the United States Military Academy, West Point. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. Her research interests are in parallel computing, single board computers, and computer science education.

Editorial Note #2: Tia Newhall is a professor in the computer science department at Swarthmore College. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. Her research interests are in parallel and distributed systems.

Editorial Note #3: Kevin C. Webb is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Swarthmore College. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from UC San Diego. His research interests are in networks, distributed systems, and computer science education.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Naturalist's Companion
Dave Hall
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680515763, $19.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Naturalists-Companion-Observing-Understanding-Wildlife/dp/1680515764

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Naturalist's Companion: A Field Guide to Observing and Understanding Wildlife", Dave Hall fills an important void in outdoor education by teaching readers how to become more learned and patient observers and, ultimately, more proficient naturalists.

Through exhaustive time in the field, Hall has developed a comprehensive understanding of nature awareness and refined his skills to enhance any time spent outdoors and to foster closer, more respectful encounters with wildlife. Through personal anecdotes and detailed explanations, Hall teaches the principles and ethics of stealth walking, calling, tracking, interpreting basic animal behavior, and much more. Each chapter concludes with a list of exercises, prompting readers to study and put these skills into use, while introductory sections discuss gear, safety, ethics, and thoughtful engagement.

"The Naturalist's Companion" will deepen readers' connection with the outdoors and help them to establish and maintain consistent, intimate, and informed wildlife observations.

Critique: Impressively illustrated with full color photography in support of an informative text, "The Naturalist's Companion: A Field Guide to Observing and Understanding Wildlife" is an inherently fascinating and practical guide that will prove to be of special value for readers with an interest in observing North American wildlife in their native habitat. Of special note is the Introduction (Why Observe Wildlife), a two page listing of Sources & Resources, and a seven page Index. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "The Naturalist's Companion: A Field Guide to Observing and Understanding Wildlife" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library North American Wildlife collections.

Editorial Note: Dave Hall (www.davehalloutdoors.com) is the founder of Primitive Pursuits, a youth-focused nature awareness program offered in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, New York. He has worked as a naturalist and guide in Massachusetts and New York and has served as an instructor with the Adirondack Mountain Club, the State University of New York at Cortland, Cornell Outdoor Education, and Ithaca College. Dave is also the co-author of Winter in the Wilderness: A Field Guide to Primitive Survival Skills.

Pacific Salmon Field Guide
Sean Godwin & Martin Krkosek, authors
Joesph R. Tomelleri, illustrator
Tavish Campbell, photographer
Lone Pine Publishing
https://lonepinebooks.com
9781774511343, $24.95, PB, 60pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pacific-salmon-field-guide-sean-godwin/1141846585

Synopsis: Pacific salmon are of immense cultural, ecological and economic importance to the west coast of North America. They are the most commonly seen fish on the western side of North America but identifying among the seven species is difficult for most of their life stages.

Two salmon researchers, Sean Godwin and Martin Krkosek, have worked extensively in the field with this iconic group of fish and have developed "Pacific Salmon Field Guide" the first comprehensive field identification guide for Pacific salmon in a functional format. This guide presents information and identifying characteristics for the seven Pacific salmon species (sockeye, coho, Chinook, pink, chum, steelhead and coastal cutthroat) across five life stages, with strong emphasis on detailed and intuitive illustrations.

This guide is an ideal identification resource that includes natural history, life stage descriptions and conservation status of Pacific salmon and how to observe these fish in the wild. The identification portions are organized into five life stages: fry, smolt, post smolt, ocean adult, and spawner.

The many scientific illustrations for each species are drawn from real specimens representative of their species and life stage. Joseph Tomelleri, who drew all the brilliant illustrations in this book, painstakingly measured every part of each fish, counting every fin ray and row of scales while layering colour upon color. In addition, dozens of photos by Tavish Campell showcase these fish in incredible detail.

Critique: Expertly organized and thoroughly 'user friendly in presentation, "Pacific Salmon Field Guide is impressively comprehensive and detailed -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community and academic library Marine Life instructional reference collections in general, and Salmon research and fishing guides in particular.


The Gardening Shelf

Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity
John J. Grabowski, author
Lauren R. Pacini, photographer
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent OH 44242
http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com
9781606354414, $35.00, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Clevelands-Cultural-Gardens-John-Grabowski/dp/1606354418

Synopsis: From their beginnings as private farmland to their current form as monuments to cultural and ethnic diversity, the unique collection of landscaped, themed gardens that compose Cleveland's Cultural Gardens holds a rich history.

With the publication of "Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity", John J. Grabowski guides readers through this story, using both archival images and Lauren R. Pacini's stunning contemporary photography to illustrate their development and importance. The effect is a comprehensive view of the factors that made the Cultural Gardens possible, from Cleveland's geographical features to international conflicts.

First erected as the Shakespeare Garden in 1916, the land bordering Doan Brook slowly began to incorporate tributes to immigrants, reflecting Cleveland's role as a key location for eastern European immigrants. Through this chronicle of the gardens' changing landscapes, Grabowski shapes a gripping narrative of shifting attitudes toward immigration, both locally and nationally.

Throughout both world wars, the Cold War, and more recent events, the gardens' composition has changed to reflect more diversity, now encompassing 33 individual gardens that honor cultures and countries with connections to Cleveland. Today, each garden features plants native to the corresponding culture, from German to Vietnamese and from Ethiopian to Finnish. This vast cultural inclusivity makes Cleveland's Cultural Gardens a forerunner in the push for greater representation of cultures and people of color in memorials and public spaces.

The gardens also highlight a growing emphasis on collaboration and coexistence among cultures, as symbolized in the Peace Garden of the Nations and its crypt of intermingled soil from historic shrines around the world.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos, "Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity" will be of special and particular interest to landscape field specialists and amateur gardeners alike for bot its excellent illustrations and for its informative discussion of culture, inclusion, and diversity both on a local and a national scale. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Gardening/Landscaping collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.25).

Editorial Note #1: John J. Grabowski (https://history.case.edu/faculty/john-grabowski) works as the Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor of Applied History at Case Western Reserve University and as the Krieger-Mueller Chief Historian at the Western Reserve Historical Society. He is the editor of the online edition of The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography. He has published numerous books, including The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography, and Sports in Cleveland: An Illustrated History.

Editorial Note #2: Lauren R. Pacini is an author and photographer specializing in black-and-white photography. Also a member of the Western Reserve Historical Society, Pacini focuses much of his work on Cleveland. His writing and photography have been published in numerous books, including Honoring Their Memory and Renaissance on East 9th Street.

Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies
Lauren Camilleri, author
Sophia Kaplan, author
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922417855, $40.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bloom-Flowering-Plants-Indoors-Balconies/dp/1922417858

Synopsis: The fundamental message of "Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies" by the team of Lauren Camilleri andj Sophia Kaplan is that the homeowner or apartment dweller doesn't need a sprawling garden to brighten their lives with flowers. This beautifully designed, illustrated and instruction guide shows how any space, no matter how small, can be transformed into a colorful oasis with flowering plants.

The ultimate guide to beautiful blooms, Lauren and Sophia from Leaf Supply have tips for care, selection, styling, and arrangement. A guide through the seasons, Bloom has everything you need to create flowering gardens indoors or on balconies.

Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Bloom" is a compendium of: Practical information on the best light, soil, and care requirements; Provides details of when to plant and when flowers bloom; Showcases 60+ flowering plant profiles; and includes interviews with plant-lovers who have filled their homes with blooming plants!

Critique: Fun and informative, inspired and inspiring, a flower lover's delight to simply browse through one page at a time, "Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Urban Gardening collections.

Editorial Noter: Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan are the creative force behind the Sydney-based interior-design nursery Leaf Supply. They have professional backgrounds in interior architecture and advertising, respectively. Together, they have previously authored Leaf Supply, Indoor Jungle, and Plantopedia for Smith Street Books.


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Straight Lady
Chris Enss, author
Howard Kazanjian, author
The Lyons Press
www.lyonspress.com
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437
www.globepequot.com
9781493060405, $30.00, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Straight-Lady-Margaret-Dumont-Brother/dp/1493060406

Synopsis: Margaret Dumont (born Daisy Juliette Baker; October 20, 1882 - March 6, 1965) was a Broadway acting regular by the 1920s. But it was when she started appearing in film with the Marx Brothers that Dumont found lasting fame.

Tall and regal in bearing, her character provided the perfect foil to the wisecracking Groucho Marx in a series of films including A Night at the Opera and Duck Soup. Her character's seemingly obliviousness to insult led to the widespread belief, encouraged by Groucho himself, that Dumont was a humorless person who never got the joke. a belief she contradicted in a 1942 interview. "I'm not a stooge," she said. "I'm a straight lady. There's an art to playing straight. You must build up your man but never top him and never steal the laughs from him.

Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" by the team of authors and cinema historians Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian focuses on the Dumont and her role in the production of the comedy teams' most successful films. Several books have been previously written about the Marx Brothers as a comedy family and about their individual lives, but there haven't been any cinematic histories written about the contribution of Margaret Dumont to their success -- until now!

Critique: Informed and informative, Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" must for the personal reading lists of motion picture enthusiasts, cinematic film historians, and the legions of Marx Brothers' fans. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library 20th Century Cinematic History & Biography collections, it should be noted that "Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.49).

Editorial Note: Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian have written a number of award-winning books including "The Young Duke: The Early Life of John Wayne" and "Cowboys, Creatures and Classics: The Story of Republic Pictures".

Horror Films of 2000-2009
John Kenneth Muir
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476678054, $75.00, HC, 699pp

https://www.amazon.com/Horror-Films-2000s-John-Kenneth/dp/1476678057

Synopsis: Horror films have always reflected their audiences' fears and anxieties. In the United States, the 2000s were a decade full of change in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the contested presidential election of 2000, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These social and political changes, as well as the influences of Japanese horror and New French extremism, had a profound effect on American horror filmmaking during the 2000s.

"Horror Films of 2000-2009" by cinema historian John Kenneth Muir is a filmography that covers more than 300 horror films released in America from 2000 through 2009, including such popular forms as found footage, torture porn, and remakes. Each entry covers a single film and includes credits, a synopsis, and a lengthy critical commentary. The appendices include common horror conventions, a performer hall of fame, and memorable ad lines.

Critique: Featuring black/white illustrations, and organized chronologically by year, "Horror Films of 2000-2009" is a massive coffee-table style volume (8.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches, 4.18 pounds) that is an comprehensive, extraordinary, essential, and critically important addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library 21st Century Cinematic History collections.

Editorial Note: John Kenneth Muir (http://johnkennethmuir.com) is an American literary critic and award-winning author. As of 2022, he has written 30 reference books in the fields of film and television, with a particular focus on the horror and science fiction genres.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Essential Oils and Gemstone Guardians Cards
Margaret Ann Lembo
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644115398, Cards/Booklet, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Oils-Gemstone-Guardians-Cards/dp/1644115395

Synopsis: Just like gemstones, essential oils work on an energetic level to re-balance us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally and offer many physiological benefits.

Bringing aromatherapy into partnership with crystals, "Essential Oils & Gemstone Guardians Cards" by crystal expert and aromatherapist, Margaret Ann Lembo presents a hands-on way to engage with the enhanced powers of allies from the mineral and plant kingdom together. Specifically created to help you establish clear intentions, the 42 two-sided cards each show an essential oil and a vibrationally matching crystal, offering guidance and positive affirmations for your life.

The color-coded cards are divided into six groups: Focus, Grounding, and Protection; Health and Well-Being; Love, Friendship, and Romance; Money, Creativity, and Motivation; Happiness and Self-Confidence; Intuition and Communication -- each helping you to understand yourself better. With an intention or request for clarity or insight in mind, you can either draw just one card or create a card spread by choosing several cards.

The accompanying booklet provides, for each essential oil, the botanical name, fragrance profile, chemical components, therapeutic properties, and safety precautions as well as how the gemstone relates to the use of the essential oil.

As Margaret Ann Lembo explains, the energetic value, or vibration, of an essential oil is stabilized by the devic forces associated with mother plant, flower, root, or bark. The energetic vibration of a gemstone holds records and goals to help you focus on the reality you wish to create. You design your reality and the cards in this deck will help you focus on your intentions and ignite transformation in your life.

Critique: Beautifully designed, "Essential Oils and Gemstone Guardians Cards" is a unique, 'user friendly', and very specially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Aromatherapy, Divination with Crystals, Mental & Spiritual Healing, and Metaphysical collections and studies lists.

PR: Margaret Ann Lembo (https://www.margaretannlembo.com) is a noted and sought after author and speaker with close to 30 years of experience. She is the creator of a line of award-winning Aroma-Energetic Sprays, including Smudge in Spray and the seven Chakra Sprays. She is also a spiritual entrepreneur and practitioner, aromatherapist, and the owner of The Crystal Garden -- a book store, gift store, and spiritual center in southeast Florida.


The Travel Shelf

The Professional Guide's Handbook
Colby Brokvist
Fulcrum Publishing
www.fulcrumbooks.com
9781682753248, $50.00, PB, 359pp

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Guides-Handbook-Adventure-Expeditions/dp/1682753247

Synopsis: Professional guides have a lot of skills to learn and perfect to become successful. With the publication of "The Professional Guide's Handbook: How to Lead Adventure Travel Trips and Expeditions", author and travel guide expert Colby Brokvist covers everything contemporary guides would need to know in order to become successful in their profession in terms of the needed skills for success, consideration of travel guide ethical standards, sustainability issues, leadership, and how to utilize all these skills when on the job.

"The Professional Guide's Handbook" offers insight, wisdom, and real-life anecdotes from the Colby's own worldwide adventures as an expedition leader. Readers will find a thorough and thoughtful text that looks at everything from leadership skills to the importance of stewardship practices in the outdoor industry. They will develop a better understanding of travelers and their expectations to group management frameworks. It will leave readers empowered, enlightened, and ready to lead their next trip with renewed confidence.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Professional Guide's Handbook: How to Lead Adventure Travel Trips and Expeditions" is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual and 'how to' guide for creating and succeeding in a travel guide career. While available in a digital book format (Kindle, $37.04), "The Professional Guide's Handbook: How to Lead Adventure Travel Trips and Expeditions" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Jobs/Careers and General/Adventure Travel Reference collections and reading lists.

Editorial Note: Colby Brokvist (https://www.nathab.com/guides-and-staff/guide-bios/colby-brokvist/is a professional guide who leads worldwide expeditions for some of the most acclaimed companies in adventure travel. He was inspired to pursue guiding as a career during a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail in the summer of 2000. Since then, he has led hundreds of adventure travel departures, ranging from backpacking and trekking adventures to mountaineering and rock-climbing trips, sea kayaking and sailing voyages, and wildlife safaris. His expeditions have taken him to destinations as far-flung as Greenland, Antarctica, Africa, and Patagonia, as well as across the United States and Canada. In addition to fieldwork, Colby assumes a variety of managerial, operational, and consulting roles within the adventure travel sphere. His work centers on guide training, guide team management, and itinerary development. He sits on the board of directors for the Polar Tourism Guides Association and is a certified Senior Polar Guide through the same organization.
(https://www.nathab.com/guides-and-staff/guide-bios/colby-brokvist)

100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime
March Carriker Smothers
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426222641, $40.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/100-Disney-Adventures-Lifetime-Experiences/dp/1426222645

Synopsis: "100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" by Marcy Carriker Smothers is a beautifully illustrated treasury showcasing 100 beloved and little-known Disney adventures ranging from seeing fireworks on a dessert-themed boat ride, to dining with your favorite characters, to a tour of the Galapagos Islands.

"100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" is the next best thing to waking up to the sight of giraffes grazing outside your window; or watching the Disneyland fireworks from the Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge, far away from the crowds; or tasting your way through six continents at EPCOT's International Food & Wine Festival; or going on a family journey to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with National Geographic.

All of these incredible experiences and more comprising this awe-inspiring collection of 100 not-to-be-missed adventures that bring the magic of Disney to life.

Along with beautiful imagery that will shape the Disney wish list for those planning a visit, this delightfully illuminating guide includes pilgrimages to historic Disney sites, insider stories, and inspiration for planning your next Disney vacation.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography enhancing an informative commentary, "100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" is ideal for the armchair traveler, a planning guide for the aspiring visitor, as well as a welcome and nostalgic remembrance of having visited, explored and enjoyed what Walt Disney had accomplished with the creation of America's most popular theme park. Indeed, "100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" is an especially recommended for personal, community, and academic library Theme Park Travel Guide collections in general, and Disneyland and Walt Disney World collections in particular.

Editorial Note: Marcy Carriker Smothers (https://www.marcycarrikersmothers.com) is the author of the fan favorite "Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food". A noted radio personality, she has hosted several programs, including The Food Guy and Marcy Show with the Food Network's Guy Fieri. In celebration of Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, she co-authored Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World. Her love of all things Disney (especially Disneyland) inspired her to write "Walt's Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney".


The Sports Shelf

Colorado Alpine Trail Runs
Annalise Grueter
Colorado Mountain Club
c/o Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781937052768, $24.95, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Alpine-Trail-Annalise-Grueter/dp/1937052761

Synopsis: With the publication of "Colorado Alpine Trail Runs", author Annalise Grueter makes it easy to find great places to run and jog in the Colorado mountains. This essential guidebook introduces you to beautiful, rugged trails and inspiring vistas across Colorado, providing key info, including route access, mileage, directional cues, and difficulty, as well as guidance around responsible outdoor recreation. The guide features 45 spectacular runs that vary in length from 4 miles to nearly 30, with a mix of options from introductory to technical, to suit a variety of skill levels. Every route reaches an elevation over 11,500 feet and includes a high-alpine pass, lake, or summit, allowing for spectacular 360-degree views.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color, "Colorado Alpine Trail Runs" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation and ideal for anyone seeking remote routes or reliable information on a classic trail. Informed and informative, motivationally inspiring, and a simply indispensable DIY guide, "Colorado Alpine Trail Runs" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Mountain Running/Jogging Sports collections.

Editorial Note: Annalise Grueter (https://blog.nols.edu/author/annalise-grueter) has been exploring Colorado trails her entire life. She is a marathoner and ultramarathoner as well as an avid hiker. She has made over 153 summits of Colorado's Fourteeners and stood atop the highest peaks in Mexico, Germany, and Tanzania. A NOLS graduate, she has taught and mentored both children and adults on camping, orienteering, and safe mountain practices. Annalise enjoys exploring mountain ranges around the world, especially through sports such as mountain running and ski mountaineering.

Cyclist - Climb
Cyclist Magazine
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784728090, $40.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cyclist-Climb-cycling-ascents-world/dp/1784728098

Synopsis: With the publication of "Cyclist - Climb: The most epic cycling ascents in the world", the cycling experts at Cyclist Magazine showcases thirty-five of the most notorious, grueling cycling climbs the world has to offer.

Comprised of route maps, altitude charts, first-hand ride reports, and incredible imagery from the finest cycling photographers, "Cyclist - Climb" is an amazing tribute to the peaks, hills and ascents that every cyclist should try.

Tracing the routes of the greatest rides across France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, "Cyclist - Climb" is a beautiful coffee-table style volume (9.35 x 1.05 x 11.3 inches) that also includes lesser-known climbs covering northern and eastern Europe and the USA -- with every single ride tried, tested and conquered by the experts at Cyclist magazine.

Critique: Each of the thirty-five international climbs is enhanced with a route map and gorgeous full color photography. Informed and inspiring, "Cyclist - Climb" fully lives up to its subtitle: The most epic cycling ascents in the world! While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Cyclist - Climb" is an inherently fascinating read for amateur and professional cyclists and a highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Sports Cycling collections.

Editorial Note: Cyclist (https://pocketmags.com/us/cyclist-magazine) is the world's biggest road cycling magazine and winner of multiple awards. Combining experienced cycling writers with exclusive images from top photographers, Cyclist showcases the most stunning rides from around the world and gets behind the scenes with the biggest names in the sport.


The Wine Shelf

The Complete Bordeaux, fourth edition
Stephen Brooke
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784727512, $75.00, HC, 736pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Bordeaux-4th-Stephen-Brook/dp/1784727512

Synopsis: The wines of the Bordeaux region of France are universally recognized as being among the finest in the world and in this fully revised and updated fourth edition of his classic study "The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People", renowned wine expert Stephen Brook provides an unrivaled survey of the region and its wines.

The new hardcover edition of "The Complete Bordeaux" offers detailed information on the many communes and appellations of Bordeaux along with descriptions and assessments of all its major properties. As well as incisive portraits of the leading properties and their produce, Stephen Brook provides a detailed look at Bordeaux's lesser-known areas and chateaux.

Of special note is the inclusion of an invaluable vintage guide to the last four decades. Bordeaux encapsulates an incredible 13,000 wineries throughout 54 appellations and this book includes a thorough explanation of Bordeaux's history, terroir and winemaking styles.

More than just a producer-by-producer reference work - "The Complete Bordeaux" provides an analyzes of the information Brooke presents in order to give a clear picture of the current trends in the region. Brooke provides professional assessments of more than 1,000 significant wine producers in Bordeaux, considering its history, viticulture, vinication, wine styles and vintages.

Critique: An impressively informative, expertly organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, this new and expanded fourth edition of "The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People" will be of special value to professional connoisseurs and non-specialist enthusiasts with an interest in wines, the collection of wines, and the Bordeaux wine country of France. Comprehensive, professional, detailed, "The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People" is especially and unreservedly to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Wine/Spirits reference collections.

Editorial Note: Stephen Brook (https://www.decanter.com/author/StephenBrook) is a leading writer on wine and gastronomy. His previous books include Sauternes, The Wines of Germany, and The Wines of California, which won the Prix Lanson, Glenfiddich and Veuve Clicquot awards. He is also the author of Pauillac and Bordeaux: People, Power and Politics, which won the Veuve Clicquot and ICP awards.


The Literary Studies Shelf

The Stuff of Science Fiction
Gary Westfahl
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476686592, $49.95, PB, 297pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stuff-Science-Fiction-Hardware-Characters/dp/1476686599

Synopsis: While students and general readers typically cannot relate to esoteric definitions of science fiction, they readily understand the genre as a literature that characteristically deals with subjects such as new inventions, space, robot and aliens. With the publication of "The Stuff of Science Fiction: Hardware, Settings, Characters", Professor Gary Westfahl looks at science fiction in precisely this manner, with twenty-one chapters that each deal with a subject that is repeatedly addressed in science fiction of recent centuries.

Based on a packet of original essays that Professor Westfahl had assembled for his classes, "The Stuff of Science Fiction: Hardware, Settings, Characters" could well serve as a supplemental textbook in science fiction classes, but it also contains material of interest to science fiction scholars and others devoted to the genre.

In some cases, chapters offer thorough surveys of numerous works involving certain subjects, such as imagined vehicles, journeys beneath the Earth and undersea adventures, discovering intriguing patterns in the ways that various writers developed their ideas. When comprehensive coverage of ubiquitous topics such as robots, aliens and the planet Mars is impossible, chapters focus on major themes referencing selected texts. A conclusion discusses other science fiction subjects that were omitted for various reasons, and a bibliography lists additional resources for the study of science fiction in general and the topics of each chapter.

Critique: Impressively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an informative Introduction and Conclusion, "The Stuff of Science Fiction: Hardware, Settings, Characters" also features a sixteen page Bibliography and a thirty-four page Index. Comprised of an inherently fascinating and thought-provoking series of articles deftly organized into three major sections, "The Stuff of Science Fiction: Hardware, Settings, Characters" is available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99) and is unreservedly recommended as a significant and fascinating addition to community, college, and university library Literary Studies collections in general, and Science Fiction supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Gary Westfahl (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Westfahl), is a Professor Emeritus at the University of La Verne, California, and has authored, edited, or co-edited 27 books about science fiction and fantasy, as well as hundreds of articles and reviews. In 2003, he received the Science Fiction Research Association's Pilgrim Award for his lifetime contributions to science fiction and fantasy scholarship.

Ovid's "Heroides" and the Augustan Principate
Megan O. Drinkwater
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299337803, $79.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ovids-Heroides-Augustan-Principate-Drinkwater/dp/0299337804

Synopsis: 43 BCE, the year after the assassination of Julius Caesar. While the Roman republic had seen many conflicts, it was this civil war, headed by the vengeful triumvirate of Mark Anthony, Marcus Lepidus, and Octavian, that irrevocably transformed Rome with its upheaval. What followed was years of fighting and the eventual ascendancy of Octavian, who from 27 BCE onwards would be best known as Caesar Augustus, founder of the Roman Principate.

It was in this era of turmoil and transformation that Ovid, the Roman poet best known for Metamorphoses, was born. The Heroides, one of his earliest and most elusive works, is not written from the first-person perspective that so often characterizes the elegiac poetry of that time but from the personae of tragic heroines of classical mythology.

With the publication of "Ovid's "Heroides" and the Augustan Principate", Professor Megan O. Drinkwater illustrates how Ovid used innovations of literary form to articulate an expression of the crisis of civic identity in Rome at a time of extreme and permanent political change. The letters are not divorced from the context of their composition but instead elucidate that context for their readers and expose how Ovid engaged in politics throughout his entire career. Their importance is as much historical as literary.

Professor Drinkwater makes a compelling case for understanding the Heroides as a testament from one of Rome's most eloquent writers to the impact that the dramatic shift from republic to empire had on its intellectual elites.

Critique: A seminal work of outstanding scholarship, "Ovid's "Heroides" and the Augustan Principate" is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an eleven page Coda (Hindsight and the Double Herodes), a ten page bibliographic listing of Works Cited, thirty-two pages of Notes, a six page Index Locorom, and a six page Index. Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented, "Ovid's "Heroides" and the Augustan Principate" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and community library Roman Literature/Culture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Megan O. Drinkwater is a professor and chair of the department of classics at Agnes Scott College. She has previously published several articles on different aspects of Ovid's work and has contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Latin Love Elegy. She has a web page at https://www.agnesscott.edu/directory/faculty/drinkwater-megan.html

Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production
Warren Montag, editor
Audrey Wasser, editor
Northwestern University Press
629 Noyes Street, Evanston, IL 60208
www.nupress.northwestern.edu
9780810145122, $99.95, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pierre-Macherey-Case-Literary-Production/dp/081014512X

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Warren Montage and Audrey Wasser, the contributors to "Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production" show how Pierre Macherey's remarkable (and still provocative) early work can contribute to contemporary discussions about the act of reading and the politics of formal analysis.

Across a series of historically and philosophically contextualized readings, the volume's contributors interrogate Macherey's work on a range of pressing issues, including the development of a theory of reading and criticism, the relationship between the spoken and the unspoken, the labor of poetic determination and of literature's resistance to ideological context, the literary relevance of a Spinozist materialism, the process of racial subjectification and the ontology of Blackness, and a theorization of the textual surface.

"Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production" also includes three new texts by Macherey, presented here in English for the first time: his postface to the revised French edition of A Theory of Literary Production; "Reading Althusser," in which Macherey analyzes the concept of symptomatic reading; and a comprehensive interview in which Macherey reflects on the historical conditions of his early work, the long arc of his career at the intersection of philosophy and literature, and the ongoing importance of Louis Althusser's thought.

Recent translations of Macherey's work into English have introduced new readers to the critic's enduring power and originality. Timely in its questions and teeming with fresh insights, "Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production" demonstrates the depths to which his work resonates, now more than ever.

Critique: Informative enhanced with the inclusion of a fourteen page bibliography listing Works by Pierre Macherey, a two pager listing of the Contributors and their credentials, and a seven page Index, "Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production" is an ideal introduction to the literary work of Pierre Macherey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Macherey). While especially recommended for college and university library Literary Criticism & Theory 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 "Pierre Macherey and the Case of Literary Production" is also available in a paperback edition (9780810145115, $34.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $30.90).


The Archaeology Shelf

Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas
J. Grant Stauffer, et al.
Oxbow Books
https://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781789258448, $39.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Archaeologies-Cosmoscapes-Americas-American-Landscapes/dp/1789258448

Synopsis: "Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas" examines how pre-Columbian societies in the Americas envisioned their cosmos and iteratively modeled it through the creation of particular objects and places. It emphasizes that American societies did this to materialize overarching models and templates for the shape and scope of the cosmos, the working definition of cosmoscape.

Noting a tendency to gloss over the ways in which ancestral Americans envisioned the cosmos as intertwined and animated, the contributors examine how cosmoscapes are manifested archaeologically, in the forms of objects and physically altered landscapes. The chapters comprising "Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas" therefore, offer case studies of cosmoscapes that present themselves as forms of architecture, portable artifacts, and transformed aspects of the natural world. In doing so, it emphasizes that the creation of cosmoscapes offered a means of reconciling peoples experiences of the world with their understandings of them.

Critique: Compiled and co-edited by the team of J. Grant Stauffer (a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis whose doctoral research is on landscape transformations, mound building, and coalescence at the Cahokia site in Illinois;
Bretton T. Giles (Assistant Research Professor in the Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Department at Kansas State University who also serves as KSU supervisory archaeologist at the Fort Riley Army Installation in north-central Kansas); and Shawn P. Lambert (Assistant professor of anthropology and senior research associate with the Cobb Institute of Archaeology at Mississippi State University and who is also a co-editor of the book, New Methods and Theories for Analyzing Mississippian Imagery), "Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas" is illustrated throughout with line drawings and black/white photographs. Comprised of thirteen erudite and informative contributions, "Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas" also includes a three page listing of the contributors and their credentials. An exceptionally well presented collection of scholarly research, "Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Contemporary American Archaeology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

The Road to Kells
Fintan Walsh
Wordwell Books
https://wordwellbooks.com
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781911633266, $30.00, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Road-Kells-Fintan-Walsh/dp/1911633260

Synopsis: "The Road to Kells" is an archaeological study that begins with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, who foraged in a forested, primeval landscape, and left traces of a campsite on a gravel ridge in Cakestown Glebe, by the River Blackwater. It continues, chapter by chapter, over a span of c. 5,000 years, recording the homes, burial grounds, work and worship of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.

The it brings us at last to the threshold of history, in the Iron Age/early medieval transition period, when we meet agricultural workers on tillage land in Kilmainham, stoking the cereal-drying kilns that would secure their surplus grain harvest for the winter. Kells was not yet the seat of a famous monastery at that time but had already become a central place in the region, with a tribal capital at Commons of Lloyd, on the hill that overlooks the town today.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively comprehensive study of prehistoric archaeology of the M3 Navan to Kells and N52 Kells Bypass road project, "The Road To Kells" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to professional, college and university library Archaeology collections. Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, it should be noted for personal and professional reading lists that "The Road To Kells" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Fintan Walsh is a Board Member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. (https://infrastructureandtransport.com/speaker/fintan-walsh-board-member-institute-of-archaeologists-of-ireland)

Aerial Atlas of Ancient Britain
David R. Abram
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500024164, $45.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Aerial-Atlas-Ancient-Britain-David/dp/0500024162

Synopsis: Drawing on years of travel around Britain's most extraordinary prehistoric sites, David Abram's some 200 full color aerial photographs comprising his "Aerial Atlas of Ancient Britain" reveal the ancient wonders hiding in plain sight around the country, from Neolithic tombs on the Wessex chalklands to Iron Age crannogs in Hebridean lochs.

Breathtaking photos reveal Neolithic enclosures, cairns, and stone circles; Bronze Age villages, farmsteads, tombs, and burial mounds; and Iron Age hillforts, all captured in spectacular bird's-eye-view detail. Stone cairns and circles evoke lost rituals and religious ceremonies; Iron Age ramparts hint at former strongholds; and tangible geographical clues reveal the scars of real or mythical battles.

The eye-in-the-sky perspective unveils both the unseen forms of these ancestral monuments as well as their relationship to their wider landscapes, capturing subtle symmetries and forgotten sight lines. Many of Abram's images have an abstract quality that momentarily disrupts one's sense of perspective, allowing the shapes carved thousands of years ago to evoke an emotional resonance -- an experience at once pleasurable and instructive.

"Aerial Atlas of Ancient Britain" is an inspiring way to discover the beauty and history of the British landscape, revealing the visible traces of our ancestors, from such famous monuments as Stonehenge to little-known gems that have never before been seen from the air.

Critique: Deftly organized into four major sections (The Palaeolithic & Mesolithic; Neolithic Britain, The Cooper & Bronze Ages; Iron Age Britain), "Aerial Atlas of Ancient Britain" is further enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a one page Further Reading bibliography; a one page listing of Acknowledgments; a one page listing of Illustration Sources, and a three page Index. Informative, fascinating, unique, "Aerial Atlas of Ancient Britain" is a coffee-table style volume (9.8 x 1.1 x 10.6 inches, 3.76 pounds) that would be a highly prized addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library British Archaeology collections.

Editorial Note: David Abram (http://www.davidabram.co.uk) is a writer and photographer who has traveled the length and breadth of the British Isles, capturing views and researching his findings. He lives in the southwest of England, near some of the oldest sites of human habitation in the British Isles.


The Mythology Shelf

The Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Rome
Philip Matyszak
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500024188, $39.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Goddesses-Greece-Rome/dp/0500024189

Synopsis: Who were the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome? What did they mean to the people who worshipped them? Although their time of widespread worship is long gone, the Greek and Roman gods have fascinated and inspired writers and artists for millennia. From Aphrodite to Apollo, Poseidon to Zeus, these are some of the most recognizable characters in Western culture, yet there is rich, unknown lore behind these famous figures who regularly feature in art and writing.

The Greek and Roman gods are enthralling characters in the enduringly powerful Iliad, Odyssey, and Metamorphoses, as well as in modern retellings like Circe and the Percy Jackson series. They are immortal and powerful, yet also vain, vindictive, and vulnerable. Moreover, as manifestations of death, fertility, love, and war, the gods are also our key to understanding how the Greeks and Romans saw their world.

With the publication of "The Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Rome", Philip Matyszak presents this pantheon in all their complexity, guiding us from Mount Olympus to the depths of Hades. Each chapter focuses on an individual god or goddess, beginning with their "biography" as understood by the Greeks and Romans and exploring the origins of the legends.

Critique: Essential reading for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interested in the mythology and classical civilization of Greece and Rome, "The Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Rome" deftly mixes documented history and legend with vivid re- tellings of the Greco-Roman myths about their gods and goddesses ranging from stories of cosmic creation and universal war, to disastrous weddings and freak discus accidents. A profusely and beautifully illustrated guide to the gods of Greece and Rome, "The Gods and Goddesses of Greece and Rome" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Folklore/Mythology collections and supplemental curriculum Greco-Roman History studies lists.

Editorial Note: Philip Matyszak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Matyszak) is the author of a number of books on classical civilization, including The Greek and Roman Myths, Chronicle of the Roman Republic, The Sons of Caesar, Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day, Ancient Athens on Five Drachmas a Day, Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World.


The Architecture Shelf

Pretty Good House
Dan Kolbert, et al.
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781641551656, $34.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pretty-Good-House-Michael-Maines/dp/1641551658

Synopsis: "Pretty Good House" bu the architectural team of Dan Kolbert, Emily Mottram, Michael Maines, and Christopher Briley provides a framework and set of guidelines for building or renovating a high-performance home that focus on its inhabitants and the environment -- but keeps in mind that few people have pockets deep enough to achieve a "perfect" solution.

The essential idea is for homeowners to work within their financial and practical constraints both to meet their own needs and do as much for the planet as possible. The fundamentals laid out in the pages of "Pretty Good House" include: A house that's as small as possible; Simple and durable, but also well designed; Insulated and air-sealed; Above all, is affordable, healthy, responsible, and resilient.

Critique: Beautifully, informatively, and profusely illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Pretty Good House" will prove to have a special appeal to non-specialist general readers with an interest DIY home renovating, home building, and home rebuilding projects. As informative as it is inspiring, "Pretty Good House" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Residential Architecture, Home Design/Construction, and Residential Sustainability/Greet Design collections.

Editorial Note #1: Michael Maines is a residential designer specializing in energy-efficient homes, sensitive renovations, and custom kitchens. He is a contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Editorial Note #2: Dan Kolbert is a carpenter and contractor, and for the past 10 years has been moderator of the original building science discussion group in Portland, Maine, where the Pretty Good House idea originated.

Editorial Note #3Emily Mottram is the founder and principal of Mottram Architecture, specializing in new homes and renovations that are beautiful, functional, comfortable, healthy, and durable.

Editorial Note #4: Christopher Briley is principal architect at BRIBURN, a firm that designs and creates spaces that are energy efficient, durable, and environmentally friendly and that enhance the lives of their residents.


The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Into the Fairy Hill
Michael S. Newton
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476690025, $39.95, PB, 276pp

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Fairy-Hill-Folktales-Highlands/dp/1476690022

Synopsis: Headstrong heroines and hot-tempered chieftains, loch monsters and hill fairies, cattle raids and clan feuds, wise animals and foolish saints: the Scottish Highlands' folktales date back centuries and preserve the history and beliefs of a people deeply rooted in their land and culture.

Oral traditions connect the modern world with the hearts and minds of Scottish Highlanders across the ages, bringing their world to life in vivid detail. With the publication of "Into the Fairy Hill: Classic Folktales of the Scottish Highlands", Professor Michael S. Newton anthology makes available new and approachable translations of folktales from the Scottish Highlands and Nova Scotia, providing extensive commentary on this rich storytelling tradition.

Each story is annotated with information about its origins and any insights into its meaning. The original Scottish Gaelic texts, collected from a wide variety of rare and obscure sources, are provided in an appendix.

Critique: An impressively work of seminal scholarship that further documents Professor Michael S. Newton as North America's premier expert on Scottish folklore and mythology, "Into the Fairy Hill: Classic Folktales of the Scottish Highlands" also includes four pages of Notes, a four page Bibliography, and a two page Index. A seminal contribution to Scottish Folklore/Mythology literary studies, "Into the Fairy Hill: Classic Folktales of the Scottish Highlands" is unreservedly recommended for professional, community, college, and university library 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 "Into the Fairy Hill: Classic Folktales of the Scottish Highlands" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.99).

Editorial Note: Michael S. Newton (https://independent.academia.edu/MichaelNewton) was an assistant professor in the Celtic Studies department of St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia from 2008 to 2013. He has written a multitude of books and articles about Gaelic culture and history and is a leading authority on Scottish Gaelic heritage in North America.


The Photography Shelf

Wildlife Photography
Paul Willisams
Hubble & Hattie
www.hubbleandhattie.com
9781787114166, $37.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wildlife-Photography-Saving-life-frame/dp/1787114163

Synopsis: "Wildlife Photography: Saving my life one frame at a time" by wildlife photographer Paul Williams is a unique volume on and about wildlife photography -- including the power it has to improve physical and mental well-being.

Designed to appeal to a wide range of individuals, from beginners with very little photographic experience through to those further along on their photographic journey, "Wildlife Photography" offers a wealth of practical help, tips and insights into the life of a working professional photographer who uses photography to help deal with Williams' PTSD and the physical reminders of his various careers as a soldier, physical training instructor, and police officer.

With some general tips and points about equipment, fieldcraft and techniques, "Wildlife Photography" seamlessly aligns photography with creative suggestions around mindfulness, well-being and holism to create a blueprint for anyone experiencing poor mental or physical health, and who would like to express themselves creatively in the natural world. Whether you want to go into your garden to photograph the wildlife there, or head further afield, "Wildlife Photography" will empower you to take the next step towards regaining your sense of well-being, and improve the quality of your life.

Critique: A magnificently beautiful coffee-table style volume (10.45 x 0.86 x 10.56 inches, 3.5 pounds), "Wildlife Photography: Saving my life one frame at a time" is a deep pleasure to simply browse through one memorable full color (and often full page) photograph at a time -- along with the inherently informative and thought-provoking text. While also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.19), "Wildlife Photography" by Paul Williams is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Wildlife Photography collections and supplemental curriculum Photography Studies syllabus.

Editorial Note: Paul Williams (https://www.paulwilliams.photography) is a full time landscape and wildlife photographer, who has won a number of prestigious national and international photographic awards, as well as appearing on national television, and featuring regularly on radio.

Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa
Michael Moushabeck, author
Hiltrud Schulz, photographer
Interlink Books
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781623718282, $30.00, HC, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kilimanjaro-Photographic-Journey-Roof-Africa/dp/1623718287

Synopsis: Mount Kilimanjaro is the African continent's highest mountain and the world's tallest freestanding mountain. It is a geological wonder formed, sculpted, and molded by the natural forces of volcanic fire and glacial ice. At 19,340 feet (5895 meters) high, Kilimanjaro towers above the Great Rift Valley and lies 3 degrees south of the equator, on the northern border of Tanzania, close to southeast Kenya.

Kilimanjaro is an accessible mountain that one can climb without the help of any technical equipment. The ascent starts from the cultivated lower slopes with dry blistering heat, through a lush, wet rainforest jungle, into heath and moorland zones, all the way up to the desolate alpine desert landscape and the steep, exposed arctic summit area, where one will experience breathtaking views of the legendary snows of Kilimanjaro.

Critique: With the publication of "Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa" author Michel Moushabeck and photographer Hiltrud Schulz take their readers along as they explore and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This impressive compendium of commentary and photographer fully capture the essence of this majestic mountain. Featuring more than 200 full-color photographs enhancing an engaging and entertaining narrative that smoothly ties together personal observations with the mountain's history, its people, and its ecology, "Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library African Travel Photography & Photo Essay collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of armchair travelers and photography buffs that "Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa" is also available in a paperback edition (9781566567534, $20.00).

Editorial Note #1: Michel S. Moushabeck is a writer, editor, publisher, and musician. He is the founder of Interlink Publishing, a 25-year-old Massachusetts-based independent publishing house and the author of four books including: Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa (Interlink Books, Northampton, Massachusetts & The Armchair Traveller at the BookHaus, London, 2011) and A Brief Introduction to Arabic Music (Saqi Books, London, 2013). (https://www.arabicfiction.org/en/Michel%20S.%20Moushabeck)

Editorial Note #1: Hiltrud Schulz is also the photographer for "Portugese Home Cooking" by Ana Patuleia Ortins and The Yogurt Cookbook: Recipes from around the World by Arto der Haroutunian (https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Hiltrud-Schulz/188554774)

A World Away
Hunter Barnes
Reel Art Press
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9781909526877, $39.95, HC, 95pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Barnes-World-Away/dp/1909526878

Synopsis: The black-and-white portraits and images of cultures and communities by photographer Hunter Barnes were often ignored by the mainstream but nevertheless are renowned for their stark beauty.

In 2006, Barnes travelled to Sri Lanka, intending to document the devastating aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Instead, he arrived amid rapidly increasing tensions in the civil war and a breakdown of the ceasefire established four years previously. It has taken Barnes more than 15 years to process the experience: "what I lived and felt has been buried far in my mind," he writes, "sealed shut in a box of film and a journal I am just now able to read."

Spending his time in the Eastern Province, Barnes documented the impact of the resurgence of the war on the Tamil people. These portraits are accompanied by his handwritten diary entries from the time and the now published result is "A World Away".

Critique: With the inclusion of informative commentaries throughout, "A World Away" is a remarkable and inherently interesting compendium of black/white photographs showcasing the ordinary people of Sri Lanka. "A World Away" will prove to be of special interest to photograph enthusiasts and recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Documentary Photography collections.

Editorial Note: Hunter Barnes (https://www.hunterbarnes.com) is a documentary photographer whose work captures aspects of culture and communities ignored by the mainstream and often misrepresented in the modern American narrative.


The Military Shelf

Forts and Roman Strategy
Paul Coby
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526772107, $52.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Forts-Roman-Strategy-Approach-Interpretation/dp/1526772108

Synopsis: With the publication of "Forts and Roman Strategy: A New Approach and Interpretation", author Paul Coby here proposes a new system for the recording and mapping of Roman forts and fortifications that integrates all the data, including size, dating and identification of occupying units. Application of these methods allows analysis that brings new insights into the placement of these forts, the units garrisoning them and the strategy of conquest and defense they underpinned.

"Forts and Roman Strategy: A New Approach and Interpretation" presents a new and original contribution to the long-running debate over whether the Roman Empire had a coherent grand strategy or merely reacted piecemeal to emerging needs. Although Paul Coby focuses on several major campaigns in Britain as case studies, he also stresses that his method's are also applicable to elsewhere in the Empire.

Lavishly illustrated with color maps, "Forts and Roman Strategy: A New Approach and Interpretation" is also supported by a website and blogs, encouraging further investigation and discussion.

Critique: Featuring five case studies drawn from Roman military campaigns in Britain, "Forts and Roman Strategy: A New Approach and Interpretation" includes an informative Foreword (M. C. Bishop), and Introduction (The Nature of the Roman Army in the First and Second Centuries AD), two Appendices (Visiting the Sites of the Campaigns; Forts and Roman Strategy), a four page Bibliography, and a thirteen page Index. A new and fascinating approach to the study of Roman military history, "Forts and Roman Strategy: A New Approach and Interpretation" will prove to be a unique and prized addition to personal, community, and academic library collections and supplemental Roman Military History curriculum reading lists. It should be noted that "Forts and Roman Strategy: A New Approach and Interpretation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Editorial Note: Paul Coby believes that his experience in digital technology has enabled him to deploy data analysis and visualisation to the Roman Army's campaign methods and to apply organizational theory to how the Roman military machine thought. He has always been fascinated by the Roman Army and how it succeeded in controlling an empire from the Highlands of Scotland to the deserts of Arabia. He continues to deploy up-to-date data analysis techniques to Roman forts and campaigns to generate new insights into the mind of the Roman military machine, now turning to the Roman Limes in Germany and Romania, as well as the Roman Army's response to Boudica's Revolt and the dense network of forts in Northern England.

On the Eastern Front at Seventeen
Sergey Drobyazko, author
David Foreman, translator
Greenhill Books
https://www.greenhillbooks.com
9781784387419, $32.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Front-Seventeen-Memoirs-1942-1944/dp/178438741X

Synopsis: "On the Eastern Front at Seventeen: The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942 - 1944" by Sergey Drobyazko is the true and autobiographical story of a young Red Army soldier during the Second World War and told in his own words.

Recruited into the army aged just seventeen, Sergei Drobyazko's introduction to battle is a violent one: forced to retreat from his home city of Krasnodar after it is set ablaze by German forces. Later, Drobyazko is captured by the Germans and placed in a concentration camp, where prisoners are reduced to eating scavenged rubbish and bathing battle wounds in urine.

After a daring escape from the camp, he enters Russian military service once more, rising to the rank of sergeant in an infantry regiment. During this time, he witnesses the execution of deserters and the routine ill-treatment of German prisoners of war by vengeful Soviet troops. After surviving an attack that decimates his detachment, Drobyazko is almost court-martialled. Seriously wounded in 1944, he retrains as a radio operator, but he never returns to the war front.

"On the Eastern Front at Seventeen: The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942 - 1944" is gripping memoir in which Drobyazko sets down his eye-witness experience of the war as it unfolded around him. He claims to have consulted no historical sources and to have simply relied on his own memory, making this a deeply personal account. Translated into English for the first time by David Foreman for an American/English readership, this unique account will be especially enjoyed by readers with an interest in World War II history from a Russian perspective.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and riveting read from first page to last, "On the Eastern Front at Seventeen: The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942 - 1944" is a unique and seminal contribution to the growing library of World War II memoirs. While also available to the personal reading lists of dedicated military history buffs in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49), "On the Eastern Front at Seventeen: The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942 - 1944" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Reading Hitler's Mind
Norman Ridley
Frontline Books
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781399086271, $34.95, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Hitlers-Mind-Intelligence-Failure/dp/1399086278

Synopsis: Most strongly associated with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, it is often stated that Britain's policy of appeasement was instituted in the 1930s in the hope of avoiding war with Hitler's Nazi Germany. At the time, appeasement was viewed by many as a popular and seemingly pragmatic policy.

With the publication of "Reading Hitler's Mind: The Intelligence Failure that led to WW2", author Norman Ridley (an Open University Honours graduate and a writer on inter-war intelligence) sets out to show how appeasement was not merely a naive attempt to secure a lasting peace by resolving German grievances, but a means of buying time for rearmament. By the middle of the 1930s, British policy was based on the presumption that the balance of power had already dramatically shifted in Germany's favor. It was felt that Britain, chiefly for economic reasons, was unable to restore the balance, and that extensive concessions to Germany would not satisfy Hitler, whose aggressive policies intensified the already high risk of war.

The only realistic option, and one that was clearly adopted by Neville Chamberlain, was to try to influence the timing of the inevitable military confrontation and, in the meantime, pursue a steady and economically sustainable program of rearmament. Appeasement would 'buy' that time for the British government.

Crucially this strategy required continuously updated and accurate information about the strength, current and future, of the German armed forces, especially the Luftwaffe, and an understanding of their military strategy. Piercing the Nazis' veil of secrecy was vital if the intelligence services were to build up a true picture of the extent of German rearmament and the purposes to which it might be put.

The many agents, codebreakers, and counter-espionage personnel played a vital role in maximizing the benefits that appeasement provided -- even as war clouds continued to gather. These individuals were increasingly handed greater responsibility in a bid to inform British statesmen now scrambling to prepare for a catastrophic confrontation with Germany.

In "Reading Hitler's Mind", Ridley reveals the remarkable efforts made by the tiny, underfunded and often side-lined British intelligence services as they sought to inform those whose role it was to make decisions upon which the wheels of history turned.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, informative, and iconoclastic study, "Reading Hitler's Mind: The Intelligence Failure that led to WW2" is a thoughtful and thought-provoking read. A unique and exceptionally well researched study, "Reading Hitler's Mind: The Intelligence Failure that led to WW2" is a welcome and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library World War II history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and military history buffs that "Reading Hitler's Mind: The Intelligence Failure that led to WW2" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).

Luftwaffe Fighter Ace
Norbert Hannig, author
John Weal, editor and translator
Grubb Street
www.grubstreet.co.uk
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781911667223, $22.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Luftwaffe-Fighter-Ace-Eastern-Homeland/dp/191166722X

"Luftwaffe Fighter Ace: From the Eastern Front to the Defense of the Homeland" by Norbert Hanning (and edited/translated by John Weal) is the personal story of a Frontflieger, or operational pilot who flew in World War II as one of the many rank and file German pilots fighting for their country and not for the F hrer. But his wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the 1939-45 war not often covered in the English language; primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet Union.

Norbert started flying during high school on gliders and joined the German Air Force as volunteer and officer cadet, one of the midwar-generation of Luftwaffe fighter pilots. He began operations with JG54 on the eastern (Leningrad) front in March 1943; initially he flew Messerschmitt Bf 109s before transitioning to the Focke-Wulf FW 190.

After a year's fighting, he was ordered back to Germany as a flight instructor to oppose the bomber streams of the AAF and RAF. Returning to Russia at the end of 1944, he became a Staffel CO and claimed many aircraft shot down. In April 1945 he converted to the first jet fighter, the Me 262, in south Germany, and flew his last missions with this aircraft. Also serving with JV44 (whose CO was Adolf Galland), Norbert Hannig finished the war with 42 victories from more than 200 missions. Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivity.

John Weal's skillful translation ensures that the fluid descriptive style of the author is preserved. Thankfully, also, Norbert was a keen photographer who shot a profusion of images, all previously unpublished, many of which appear in this important book.

Critique: An invaluable and special contribution to the growing library of World War II histories and memoirs, "Luftwaffe Fighter Ace: From the Eastern Front to the Defence of the Homeland" is a fascinating, informative, and recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library collections. Two other additions from this simply outstanding and highly recommended World War II Luftwaffe military aviation series include "Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot: Defending The Reich Against The RAF And USAAF" (97819118667292, $22.95, PB) by Wolfgang Fiescher, and "Luftwaffe Eagle: A WWII German Airman's Story" (9781911667308, $22.95, PB).

The Cactus Air Force
Eric Hammel, author
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, author
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
www.ospreypublishing.com
9781472851079, $30.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cactus-Air-Force-over-Guadalcanal/dp/1472851072

Synopsis: For 40 years from 1961, the late Eric Hammel interviewed more than 150 American participants in the air campaign at Guadalcanal, none of whom are still alive. These interviews are the most comprehensive first-person accounts of the battle assembled by any historian. More importantly, they involved the junior officers and enlisted men whose stories and memories were not part of the official history, thus providing a unique insight.

The battle of Guadalcanal was the first offensive operation undertaken by the US and its allies in the Pacific War. "Cactus," the code name for the island, became a sinkhole for Japanese air and naval power, experienced forces whose losses could never be made good. The three months of air battles between August 20, 1942, when the first Marine air unit arrived on the island, and November 15, when the last enemy attempt to retake the island was defeated, were perhaps the most important of the Pacific War. After November 15, 1942, the US never looked back as its forces moved across the Pacific to the war's inevitable conclusion.

Publishing "The Cactus Air Force: Air War over Guadalcanal" is a joint project between the late Eric Hammel and Pacific War expert Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, and is unlike any other of the many histories of this event that have been published over the years.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader's benefit with maps, a section of black/white historical photos, a two page Glossary, and a nine page Index, "The Cactus Air Force: Air War over Guadalcanal" is an extraordinary an singularly invaluable series of American military eye-witness accounts of one of the major battles in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. While also available for the personal reading lists of dedicated military buffs in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.60), "The Cactus Air Force: Air War over Guadalcanal" is an enduringly important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library World War II collections in general, and 20th Century American Military Aviation History reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note #1: Eric Hammel (June 29, 1946 - August 25, 2020) was one of America's leading military historians with more than 40 well-received books published over a 50-year career. His previous books on the Solomons campaign, Carrier Clash, Carrier Strike, Decision at Sea, and Starvation Island, are among the leading authoritative sources on the subject due to their extensive use of first-person testimony.

Editorial Note #2: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has been a published writer for the past 45 years with his most recent work, Going Downtown (2022), being the latest addition to his best-selling Osprey titles The Frozen Chosen (2016), Pacific Thunder (2017), Tidal Wave (2018), Holding the Line (2019), MiG Alley (2019), and I Will Run Wild (2020). During his 30 years as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he wrote the cult classic The Terror Within and worked as a supervising producer on a number of TV and cable series. He served in the US Navy in Vietnam.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Jesus in Art and Literature
Pierre-Marie Dumont
Distribution General
c/o University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9781639670062, $50.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Art-Literature-Pierre-Marie-Dumont/dp/1639670068

Synopsis: Throughout history, Jesus of Nazareth has unquestionably been an inspirational subject for great works of art and literature. His life and message have strongly permeated Western art of all periods, influencing giants such as Fra Angelico, Picasso, Tolstoy, and Houellebecq.

With the publication of "Jesus in Art and Literature", Pierre-Marie Dumont has chosen nearly one hundred eclectic iconographic works of art, analyzing and comparing them to passages from the Bible and excerpts from great literary texts. Richly illustrated, "Jesus in Art and Literature" offers the reader an extraordinary variety of aesthetic interpretations of the life of Jesus and his teaching, from early Christian to modern art. Through works as diverse as The Hand of God by Auguste Rodin, The Resurrection of Lazarus by Rembrandt, and the "Hidden God" by Blaise Pascal, Mr. Dumont highlights the evocative power of the figure of Jesus, who for Christians is the "Christ of God."

Critique: A simply magnificent and impressively informative coffee-table style volume (9.33 x 11.25, 1.79 pounds), "Jesus in Art and Literature" by Pierre-Marie Dumont is ably translated into English by Michael J. Miller and an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, church, community, and academic library Christian Studies and Art History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Editor and author of many books about art and spirituality, Pierre-Marie Dumontis (https://www.magnificat.net/foundation/about_us.asp) the creator and founding publisher of Magnificat, a monthly Catholic magazine with a readership of 500,000 in the United States and editions in five other languages throughout the world. The preface is by Edwart Vignot, an art historian specializing in 19th-century painting, as well as an author, journalist, visual artist, and videographer. Appointed an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2016, he notably wrote Eugene Delacroix (Place des Victoires, 2017) and L'aquarelle et ses maitres (Place des Victoires, 2018).

New Testament Readings & Devotionals, Volume 3
C.M.H. Koenig (compiler)
C.M.H. Koenig Books (through IngramSpark)
www.cmhkoenigbooks.net
9781956475302, $14.99, PB

https://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Readings-Devotionals-3/dp/1956475303

Like its predecessors, the third volume of New Testament Readings & Devotionals represents an opportunity to better absorb, understand, and study the New Testament with an eye to contemplating and discussing God and Christianity.

It profiles the works of thinkers Robert Hawker, Charles H. Spurgeon, and Octavius Winslow, juxtaposing their reflective writings with Biblical passages and insights designed to both enlighten readers and lead them to think deeper about Biblical passages and their contemporary meaning. Readings from Acts, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1& 2 Timothy, and other books from the New Testament offer reflections from AD 50/60 up to Revelation's end times warnings, creating insights which range from historical settings and background information to analytical and critical explorations that lend particularly well to group discussion and Bible study.

Footnotes (some extensive) provide further cross-references to relevant Biblical sections which expand and augment the three writers' insights, allowing Biblical study groups the food for thought and cross-referenced passages necessary to better understand the Bible's wording, concepts, and presentation.

As in the other books in compiler C.M.H. Koenig's growing reference library, this offers Biblical students a unique opportunity to pair the reflections of three Christian thinkers to the basic tenants of the Bible. The focus on these works in this manner translates to an effective method of applying traditional Biblical events and concepts to contemporary life and thinking, making New Testament Readings & Devotionals another rich tool in the Christian thinker's arsenal of spiritual understanding and reflection.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Farewell Tour
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, INHC
Viva Editions
2246 Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-2219
http://vivaeditions.com
9781632280756, $18.95, PB, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Farewell-Tour-Jessica-Cording-INHC/dp/1632280752

Synopsis: When her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jessica Cording's family turned their lives upside down to care for him during what he coined his "Farewell Tour" -- a nod to his career in the music business. But when your loved ones need you most, who's taking care of the caregivers?

Through the lens of this heartbreaking and intimate journey, with the publication of "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep", Cording offers a funny, heartwarming, and unique approach to end-of-life care or caring for someone with ongoing needs.

Cording seamlessly blends her own expertise as a dietitian and health coach with humor and personal anecdotes while featuring interviews from other wellness professionals, world-renowned musicians, and music industry professionals.

"The Farewell Tour" includes a playlist based off of songs Cording and her father were each listening to during his Farewell Tour, with suggested listening for each chapter. Cording reminds you it's okay to laugh, it's okay to date (if you want to), and it's imperative to take care of yourself along the way.

Whether you're feeling burned out or isolated, whether dealing with terminal illness or ongoing needs, "The Farewell Tour" is an invaluable guide to navigating the burdens of caregiving that often go unspoken.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep" is as inspiring as it is informative, encouraging, and inherently interesting. Unreservedly recommended reading for anyone with a caregiver's responsibility for the terminally ill, "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep" is an ideal addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Stress Management & Motivational Self-Help collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Jessica Cording (https://jessicacordingnutrition.com) is a registered dietitian, health coach, and author with a passion for helping people simplify their wellness routine and build sustainable healthy habits. Through her writing, consulting, public speaking, and counseling, she works with individuals, corporations, and the media to help make drama-free healthy living approachable and enjoyable. She is also the author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety. Jessica also runs the Drama-Free Healthy Living podcast and has recorded guided meditations for Simple Habit. Additionally, she has created educational content for CARAVAN Wellness. Cording is a part of the mindbodygreen Collective and a frequent contributor to media outlets such as Forbes, SHAPE, and more.


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
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