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Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476691312, $39.95, PB, 201pp
Synopsis: Slavery was at the heart of the South's agrarian economy before and during the Civil War. Antebellum agriculture
(both North and South) provided products essential to the war effort ranging from dietary rations, to antimalarial drugs, to
raw materials for military uniforms, and engineering.
With the publication of "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" by botanist Judith Summers draws on a range of
primary sources. This unique Civil War history examines the botany and ethnobotany of America's defining conflict. "Plants
in the Civil War" also describes the diverse roles of cash crops, herbal medicine, subsistence agriculture and the diet and
cookery of enslaved people.
Critique: Occasionally illustrated with black/white images, "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" is a unique and
seminal contribution to the growing library of Civil War History & Literature. An inherently fascinating and impressively
informative read, "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended
addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, Civil War buffs, botanists, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Plants in the Civil War: A Botanical History" is also available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $23.99).
Editorial Note: Judith Sumner (https://www.judithsumner.com) is a botanist and an author with particular interest in the
historical uses of plants. She is a frequent lecturer for audiences of all kinds and has taught for many years at colleges and
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing
Thomas A. Williams
c/o William & Company Book Publishers
9781878853882, $18.95, PB, 262pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing", Tom Williams completely and authoritatively
answers the questions posed almost daily by first-time and even more experienced self--publishers.
A compendium of fact and how-to information, The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" is arranged in encyclopedic format
for easy use, the personal and anecdotal style of this book, growing out of the author's own 30-year experience, invites
browsing into unfamiliar areas that many readers may not even know enough to ask about.
Of special note are the lengthy entries on secondary profit centers that can spell the difference between success and failure in
home-based, entrepreneurial publishing. This discussion is unique to "The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing".
Of particular value are the entries on specialty book projects with fast turnaround and very high potential for substantial,
quick profit and the discussion of the profitability of advertising-based periodicals well within the capabilities of
"The Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" targets not only those readers who want to publish a single book but those who want
to convert their publishing enterprise into a sustainable, income-producing, home-based business
Critique: Impressively comprehensive and exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Encyclopedia of
Self-Publishing" will go a long way in enhancing the chances for a financially successful self-publishing venture. -- Then
there are all those priceless quotes regarding self-publication, such as: 'First you're an unknown. Then you write one book
and you move up to obscurity.' -- Martin Myers. A combination of instructional reference and 'how-to' manual, "The
Encyclopedia of Self-Publishing" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections -- and ideal as a DIY textbook on self-
Editorial Note: Thomas A. Williams is the author of a series of books in the writing/publishing field, including Get Paid to
Write!, Poet Power: The Practical Poet's Guide to Publication, and How to Publish Your Own Magazine, Guidebook or
Weekly Newspaper, now in its fifth edition and the standard in its field. He has owned and edited his own weekly
newspaper, regional magazines, and guidebooks. He now directs his own publishing company, Williams & Company,
How to Promote Your Book
Dr. Jan Yager
Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY 11040
9780757004742, $17.95, PB, 288pp
Synopsis: Whether your book is being released through a commercial publisher or an academic press, or you are
self-publishing it, as the author, you can, should, and must play a crucial role in getting your book seen, talked about, and
While you may watch dozens of authors pitch their books on TV, in social media, and in bookstores, they represent only a
fraction of the writers who come out with new books each year. What do they know that you don't? They know what to do
to get attention for themselves and, more important, for their books -- and as you will discover with "How to Promote Your
Book: A Practical Guide to Publicizing Your Own Title" by publishing veteran Jan Yager that you can, too.
"How to Promote Your Book" is divided into three sections.
Part One begins with a look at promotion basics. These include knowing what your book's marketplaces are, who your
audience is, how the media is divided, the elements involved in publicity, and how to create an effective promotional
Once you understand the basics, Part Two focuses on the ways to package and market yourself to the various book and
media outlets. It discusses putting together professional looking press releases and media kits. It also explains how to obtain
endorsements and reviews, as well as how to generate speaking engagements and interviews with journalists; bloggers; and
radio, TV, and podcast hopes.
Part Three provides a plan that covers the first three months of an author's publicity program -- from the day the book is
formally released through all the media events that have been lined up. Throughout the book, you will find insets that
answer important questions such as, "What are the real costs involved?" and "Should I promote myself or hire a publicists?"
Just as important, the author includes a valuable resource guide that provides the names, addresses, and links to many of the
key places covered in the book.
Critique: As a self-published author you have 100% of the responsibility for promoting your book. As a mid-list author you
have 98% of the responsibility for promoting your book.
Jan Yager has enjoyed an impressive and successful career as both a best-selling author and as a publisher. She has been
interviewed by many of the top shows on TV and radio. In the pages of "How to Promote Your Book: A Practical Guide to
Publicizing Your Own Title", she provides informative examples what she has done (both for herself and for her authors) to
create effective DIY publicity, promotion, and marketing campaigns.
This is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented 'how to' manual for marketing a book will enable even the
most novice of authors to successful utilize speaking engagement, social media, book signings, radio/tv/cable, mailings,
book fairs, podcasts, conferences/conventions, reviews, and more.
While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library
Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How to Promote Your Book: A Practical
Guide to Publicizing Your Own Title" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).
Editorial Note: Jan Yager (https://www.drjanyager.com) is a sociologist, freelance writer, coach, speaker, artist, and Adjunct
Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.
She also teaches at Baruch College and William Paterson University. Her 50+ award-winning books, translated into 35
The Education Shelf
Losing the Precious Few
Richard A. Tapia
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558859425, $24.95, PB, 323pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and
Engineering", Professor Richard A. Tapia, an academician who has created minority STEM programs, examines issues that
contribute to the lack of certain minority groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, particularly
Latinos and African Americans, including racism, immigration practices, educational preparation, college admissions and
affirmative action, insecurity, undergraduate competitiveness, faculty role models, graduate school aspects, faculty hiring
and promotion, and the lack of leadership at the national level, and solutions to these issues.
Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two Appendices (MIT Resignation Letter; List of
Students that Dr. Tapia Directed), twelve pages of Notes, a twenty-two page bibliography of Works Cited, and a ten page
Index, "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and Engineering" is an expose
that will be of immense interest to readers on the subject of STEM Education at the college/university level. Articulate,
thought-provoking, timely, "Losing the Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and
Engineering" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college, and university library
Contemporary Educational Issues collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted that "Losing the
Precious Few: How America Fails to Educate Its Minorities in Science and Engineering" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Richard A. Tapia (https://tapiacenter.rice.edu/who-professor-richard-atapia) is a mathematician and
professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He is
internationally known for his research in the computational and mathematical sciences and is a national leader in education
and outreach. Tapia's current Rice positions are University Professor (only the sixth individual afforded this title in the
100-year history of Rice University), Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering, Director of the Center for Excellence and
Equity in Education, and Director of the Rice Graduate Education for Minorities and Empowering Leadership Alliance
Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History Since Reagan
Kimber M. Quinney, editor
Amy L. Sayward, editor
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299339500, $39.95, HC, 28pp
Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Kimber M. Quinney and Amy L. Saward, "Understanding and
Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is specifically designed for classroom teachers looking for new
perspectives on teaching the recent past -- which is the period of US history most often given the least attention in classroom
Unlike a traditional textbook, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is comprised of a
diversity of voices and approaches to teaching a field that, by its very nature, invites vigorous debate and puts generational
differences in stark relief. Older history is likely to feel removed from the lived experiences of both teachers and students,
allowing for a certain dispassion of perspective. By contrast, contemporary history creates unique challenges, as individual
teachers and students may think they know "what really happened" by virtue of their personal experiences.
The contributors to "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" collectively addresses a wide
swath of topics ranging from social movements around identity and representation to the Supreme Court, to law
enforcement, migration, climate change, and international relations.
Emphasizing critical thinking and primary-source analysis, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since
Reagan" will aid teachers in creating an invigorating and democratizing classroom experience. Intended for use in both
secondary and postsecondary classrooms, the structure of "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since
Reagan" allows for a variety of applications and invites a broad audience.
Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since
Reagan" is comprised of fifteen erudite contributions deftly organized into two main sections: Within the Borders of the
United States & Beyond the Borders of the United States. Informative enhanced with the additional inclusion of an
informative introduction (Teaching Contemporary History since Reagan), a complete listing of the contributors and their
credentials, and a thirteen page Index, "Understanding and Teaching Contemporary US History since Reagan" is an ideal
and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American History collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: Kimber M. Quinney is an assistant professor of history at California State University, San Marcos.
Specializing in the convergence of ethnicity, immigration, and domestic politics in the making of US foreign policy. she is
also an advisor to aspiring history-social science teachers.
Editorial Note #2: Amy L. Sayward (https://www.mtsu.edu/faculty/amy-l-sayward) is a professor of history at Middle
Tennessee State University. She is also the author, coauthor, or editor of several books, including The United Nations in
International History and Tennessee Histories.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Textbook of Zoonoses
Jasbir Sing Bedi, et al.
9781119809517, $160.00, PB, 416pp
Synopsis: Zoonoses are the diseases which can spread from animals to humans. With the publication of "Textbook of
Zoonoses", co-authors Jasbir Singh Bedi, Deepthi Vijay, and Pankaj Dhaka covers all important zoonoses that are prevalent
in today's world.
As a modern learning resource, "Textbook of Zoonoses" incorporates recent scientific developments and concepts to give
readers a complete overview of each zoonoses and includes: Bacterial, viral, parasitic, rickettsial, fungal, prion, and foodborne zoonoses; Aetiology and epidemiology of each zoonotic
disease; Clinical symptoms and diagnosis in animals and humans; Treatment options, plus prevention and control strategies;
CDC classification of zoonotic agents and the WHO's list of 'neglected zoonoses'.
Critique: Specifically written as a curriculum textbook for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying veterinary
public health and epidemiology, "Textbook of Zoonoses" is also a helpful resource for other veterinary and medical
professionals interested in public health and epidemiology. While a critically important and unreservedly recommended
addition to personal, professional, community, veterinary school, college, and university library Infectious Diseases,
Epidemiology, and Veterinary Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that
"Textbook of Zoonoses" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $128.00).
Editorial Note #1: Dr Jasbir Singh Bedi, Professor, Centre for One Health, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev
Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Punjab, India.
Editorial Note #2: Dr Deepthi Vijay, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Kerala Veterinary and
Animal Sciences University, Kerala, India.
Editorial Note #1: Dr Pankaj Dhaka, Assistant Professor, Centre for One Health, College of Veterinary Science, Guru
Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Punjab, India.
The American History Shelf
Peter Charles Hoffer
Cornell University Press
512 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781501767333, $39.95, HC, 210pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Seward's Law: Country Lawyering, Relational Rights, and Slavery", Professor Peter
Charles Hoffer argues that William H. Seward's legal practice in Auburn, New York, informed his theory of relational rights
-- a theory that demonstrated how the country could end slavery and establish a practical form of justice.
This theory, Professor Hoffer demonstrates, had ties to Seward's career as a country lawyer. Despite his rise to prominence,
and indeed preeminence, as a US secretary of state, Seward's country-lawyer mentality endured throughout his life, as
evinced in his personal attitudes and professional conduct.
Relational rights, identified and termed here for the first time by Hoffer, are communal and reciprocal, what everyone owed
to every other member of their community. Such rights are at the center of a jurisprudential outlook that arises directly from
living in a village.
Though Seward was limited by the Victorian mores and the racialist presumptions of his day, the concept of relational rights
that animated him was the natural antithesis to the theories and practices of slavery. In the legal regime underpinning the
institution, masters owed nothing to their bondmen and women, while those enslaved unconditionally owed life and labor to
The irrepressible conflict was, for Seward, jurisprudential as well as moral and political. Hoffer's leading assumption in
Seward's Law is that a lifetime spent as a lawyer influences how a person responds to everyday challenges. Seward
remained a country lawyer at heart, and that fact defined the course of his political career.
Critique: "Seward's Law: Country Lawyering, Relational Rights, and Slavery" by Professor Peter Charles Hoffer is an
impressive and meticulous biography and historical analysis of William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 - October 10, 1872)
in terms of 19th Century American politics, including his impact on the issue of slavery expanding beyond the Southern
states. An active and articulate opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, Seward
was a prominent figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was effective in his work on behalf of the Union
as Secretary of State during the Civil War. He is also noted for having negotiated the treaty for the United States to purchase
the Alaskan Territory from Russia. While also readily available for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in 19th Century American History & Politics in a digital book format (Kindle,
$20.49), "Seward's Law: Country Lawyering, Relational Rights, and Slavery" is an especially recommended addition to
community and academic library 19th Century American History/Biography collections, as well as American Anti-Slavery
History supplemental curriculum studies list.
Editorial Note: The author, coauthor, or editor of several works, Peter Charles Hoffer
(https://history.uga.edu/directory/people/peter-charles-hoffer) is the Distinguished Research Professor of History at the
University of Georgia.
The World History Shelf
A History and Guide to Scottish Castles
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781399016131, $36.95, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: At one time, Scotland was home to more than 4,000 castles. It's an extraordinary number for such a small country
and today, around 3,000 still stand. Some are world famous, others have inspired great works of literature, while others have
lit up the silver screen. There are grand, ticketed visitor attractions but there are others which are unassuming structures so
tucked away that only the locals seem to know about them.
From the triangular-shaped Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries and Galloway to the imposing New Slains Castle in
Aberdeenshire, and from the magnificent fortress that dominates the Edinburgh skyline to the haunting battlements that
stand on the banks of Loch Ness, each tower tells a story, every turret holds a secret and, together, they span centuries of
fascinating Scottish history.
With the publication of "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles", jounalist Jenna Maxwell explores the history,
architecture, and legends of some of these fascinating fortresses and looks at why they are so appealing to visitors
Sharing amazing facts and her own unique experiences, Maxwell takes her readers on an unforgettable tour of some of
Scotland's most amazing castles which she has documented on her journey on her Instagram page @queenofthecastles
Critique: Illustrated throughout with numerous black-and-white photos of Scottish castles, "A History and Guide to Scottish
Castles" will have a special appeal and value for readers with an interest in Scotland's history, landmarks and monuments --
and of course, its castles. Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization
and presentation, "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles" is a particularly recommended contribution to personal,
professional, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted that "A History and Guide to Scottish Castles"
is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.00).
Editorial Note: Jenna Maxwell (https://muckrack.com/jenna-maxwell) is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist from
Edinburgh. Over the years, she has written extensively about the country of her birth and a lifelong fascination with its
castles, legends and ghost stories has led to this - her first book. She has written for publications including The Telegraph,
Buzzfeed, Closer Magazine, The Sun, The Daily Record, Scotland Magazine, and Scottish Field.
Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781399097314, $34.95, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: Partly as a result of poor commanders and partly because the Romans had an innate and misguided belief in the
invincibility of their legions, the first battles against the Cimbri were a series of Roman military disasters. These culminated
in the Battle of Arausio in 105 BC when two Roman armies were utterly destroyed.
Rome finally realized that their republic faced an existential threat, and made the necessary painful political and military
changes that were needed to face that threat. Rome also found a commander who could take on the Cimbri. While Caius
Marius was a deeply flawed man -- scheming, cautious to the point of cowardice, and quick to claim credit for the
achievements of others. Nevertheless, he was also a massive improvement on the leaders who had preceded him.
The reshaped Roman army eventually worked out how to weather the savage onrush of the initial barbarian assault.
Thereafter, the grim discipline of the legions was enough to wear down the opposition. It helped that Marius never fought
unless the situation favored him, and as a result his army gradually became accustomed to victory.
Had the Cimbri overwhelmed Rome, as at one time it seemed inevitable that they would, then European history would have
been very different.
Critique: A fascinating and informative study, "Invasion! Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC" by Philip Matyszak is a
critically accomplished and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Roman
History collections in general, and Roman Military Studies supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be
noted for the benefit of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Invasion!
Rome Against the Cimbri, 113-101 BC" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Philip 'Maty' Matyszak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Matyszak) holds a doctorate in Ancient History
from St John's College, Oxford University, and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for over twenty years.
He specializes in the history of Classical Greece and of the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods of Rome. Maty has
personal military experience both as a conscript in Rhodesia and with the Territorial Army in Britain. He currently splits his
time between writing in his home in Canada's Monashee Mountains and providing e-learning courses for Cambridge
University's Institute of Continuing Education.
The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781399082044, $42.95, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: The medieval mounted knight was a fearsome weapon of war, captivating and horrifying in equal measure, they
are a continuing source of fascination. They have been both held up as a paragon of chivalry, whilst often being condemned
as oppressive and violent.
Occupying a unique place in history, knights on their warhorses are an enigma hidden behind their metal armor, and
seemingly unreachable on their steeds. "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" by Clive Hart seeks to understand the
world of the medieval knight by studying their origins, their accomplishments and their eventual decline.
Forged in the death throes of the Roman Empire, the mounted knight found a place in a harsh and dangerous world where
their skills and mentality carved them into history. From the First Crusade to the fields of Scotland, knights could be found,
and in this historical study their human side is examined to see how these men came to both rule Europe, and ride into
The challenges facing the mounted knight were vast and deadly, from increasingly professional and competent infantry
forces to gunpowder, the rise of political unity and the crunch of finance. The factors which forced the knight into the past
help to define who and what they were, as well as the legacy that they have left indelibly imprinted on the world.
The standout feature of "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" is the focus on the equine half of the partnership, from
an author who practices the arts of horsemanship on a daily basis, including combat with sword and lance. The psychology
of the horse, refined by the experience of actually training warhorses, has helped the author to add to the body of academic
work on the subject. This insight opens up the world of the mounted knight, and importantly and uniquely, challenges the
perception of what he and his horse could really do.
Critique: Featuring an informative Introduction, twenty-four pages of Notes, a fourteen page Bibliography, and a four page
Index, "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
community, college, and university library Medieval Warfare History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
With its unusual emphasis on the role of the horse in armored medieval combat, it should be noted for students, academia,
and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Rise and Fall of the Mounted Knight" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).
The Battles That Created England 793-1100
Arthur C. Wright
c/o Casemate Publishers
9781399087988, $42.95, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: In popular imagination the warfare of the Early Middle Ages is often obscure, unstructured, and unimaginative,
lost between two military machines, the 'Romans' and the 'Normans', which saw England invaded and partitioned. In point
of fact, we have a considerable amount of information at our fingertips and the picture that should emerge is one of English
ability in the face of sometimes overwhelming pressures on society, and a resilience that eventually drew the older
kingdoms together in new external responses which united the 'English' in a common sense of purpose.
With the publication of "The Battles That Created England 793-1100: How Alfred and his Successors Defeated the Vikings
to Unite the Kingdoms", Arthur C. Wright presents the story of how the Saxon kingdoms, which had maintained their
independence for generations, were compelled to unite their forces to resist the external threat of the Viking incursions. The
kingdoms of East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Wessex were gradually welded into one as
Wessex grew in strength to become the dominant Saxon kingdom.
From the weak AEthelred to the strong Alfred, rightly deserving the epithet 'Great', to the strong, but equally unfortunate,
Harold, this era witnessed brutal hand-to-hand battles in congested melees, which are normally portrayed as unsophisticated
but deadly brawls. In reality, the warriors of the era were experienced fighters often displaying sophisticated strategies and
deploying complex tactics.
Our principal source, replete with reasonably reliable reportage, are the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, comprehensive in
collation though subject to oral distortion and mythological excursions. The narrative of these does not appear to flow
continuously, leaving too much to imagination but, by creating a complementary matrix of landscapes, topography and
communications it is possible to provide convincing scenery into which we can fit other archaeological and philological
evidence to show how the English nation was formed in the bloody slaughter of battle.
Critique: A fascinating and informative study that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic
library Medieval Studies collections in general, and British, Norwegian, and Danish History supplemental curriculum
studies lists in particular, "The Battles That Created England 793-1100: How Alfred and his Successors Defeated the
Vikings to Unite the Kingdoms" must be considered a core and invaluable acquisition. It should be noted for students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Battles That Created England
793-1100: How Alfred and his Successors Defeated the Vikings to Unite the Kingdoms" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $18.99).
Editorial Note: Arthur Wright (https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Arthur-C-Wright/a/3487) was for thirty years a museum
curator, ultimately responsible for four museums. A military historian by training, the scope of his professional
responsibilities encouraged him to focus on social history. Two of the museum buildings being medieval, he was drawn into
this period and then developed a forty-year obsession with the Domesday Book, finding that there was no mathematically
demonstrable solution to its cryptic statistics in any published work. Wrestling with the logic and arithmetic he deduced it
was possible to decode its contents, eventually publishing his research. He is also a 'living history' educator and craftsman
with a wide range of manual and traditional skills.
Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There
Ian Knight, author
Lee Stevenson, author
Gary Bayhnam-Jones, author
c/o Pen & Sword Books
9781784388317, $34.95, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: On 22 January 1879, during the final hour of the Battle of iSandlwana (one of the greatest disasters ever to befall
British troops during the Victorian era) a very different story was about to unfold a few miles away at the mission station of
Rorke's Drift. When a Zulu force of more than 3,000 warriors turned their attention to the small outpost, defended by around
150 British and Imperial troops, the odds of the British surviving were staggeringly low. The British victory that ensued,
therefore, would go down as one of the most heroic actions of all time, and has enraptured military history enthusiasts for
Featuring a wide range of first-hand accounts and testimonies from those present during the Battle of Rorke's Drift, Rorke's
Drift By Those Who Were There is a remarkable work of Anglo-Zulu military history by those who know the topic best,
Lee Stevenson and Ian Knight. This updated edition of the classic work of the same name includes even more first-person
accounts from the combatants on both the British and Zulu sides.
Providing personal, microscopic accounts of events, while at the same time presenting a clear overview of the battle in its
entirety, readers will gain an impressive, unique breadth of knowledge about one of the most awe-inspiring battles in British
Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a six page Bibliography, three pages of Notes, and a
seven page Index, "Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There" by co-authors Ian Knight, Lee Stevenson, and Gary
Bayhnam-Jones is a seminal contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library 19th Century British
Military History collections in general, and the Southern African Anglo-Zulu War in particular. Ideal for supplemental
curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
subject that "Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
Editorial Note #1: Ian Knight (https://ianknightzulugallery.com) is an authority on the Anglo-Zulu War. As well as lecturing
and writing articles on the subject for journals and magazines, he has compile museum catalogues and acted as a consultant
for television documentaries produced by the BBC and the History Channel. His many books include Brave Men's Blood:
The Anatomy of the Zulu Army, The National Army Museum Book of the Zulu War and a biography of the Prince Imperial.
He is also vice-president of the Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society.
Editorial Note #2: Lee Stevenson has a long-standing fascination with the Defence of Rorke's Drift thanks to his late father,
Ray, who sparked his interest with a gift of a book about the Anglo-Zulu war when Lee was fourteen. Forty years later he is
still researching the lives of the men who fought and has written numerous articles for magazines and regimental journals.
In 2003, along with his friend and fellow Rorke's Drift enthusiast Alan Baynham-Jones, he published their joint collection
of first-hand accounts and stories written by the defenders, Rorke's Drift - By Those Who Were There. This is an expanded
and updated version of that book.
The Biography Shelf
The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora
c/o Casemate Publishers
9781399096584, $36.95, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: When the Japanese samurai warlord and respected castle architect Todo Takatora died in 1630, the funeral
attendants responsible for preparing his body were shocked to note that there was not a single part of his body not scarred or
disfigured by sword, spear, glaive or matchlock gun wound.
Todo Takatora lived a life that unfolds like a drama. Born to a small landholding samurai family, the maverick youth
worked his way to the top, becoming one of the most successful of daimyo warlords. He had served on the front lines of
some of the most violent of battles, turning points that forged the nation. In a land and time in which loyalty was held dear,
he changed his allegiances a record seven times, serving a record ten lords, more than any other samurai in history. Because
of this, he has long been held in contempt by the Japanese.
Standing 6 feet tall in a time when the average Japanese man stood between 5 and 5 1/2 feet, Todo Takatora was a giant
among men. He died aged 74, when the normal life span was around 50. He was also the finest, most innovative of castle
architects, responsible for the design and construction of over 30 of the strongest, most innovative Japanese castles and
structures, and influencing samurai castle construction across Japan.
In explaining his life, his reasons for having served so many lords, his achievements in battle and in castle design, his
political and personal ideals and how these attributes were shaped during the course of his adventurous life, "The Samurai
Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" by Chris Glenn will reveal the man, and show why Takatora deserves the epithet of
In this fascinating biography (the first ever published in the English language), "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo
Takatora" deftly explores Todo Takatora's remarkable, and influential, life, the battles he fought in, the political intrigues he
was part of, as well as detailing the magnificent castles he built.
Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a number of Plates, an eight page Glossary, a two page
Select Bibliography, and a nine page Index, "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" is a meticulously
researched and superb study that is especially relevant and recommended for personal, professional, community, and
academic library Japanese History/Biography collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora" is also available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).
Editorial Note: Chris Glenn first visited Japan as a Rotary Exchange Student in 1985, spending a year in Sapporo, returning
to Japan in 1992. A researcher of samurai history and culture, he is a member of the Japan Armor and Weapons Research
and Preservation Society, and the Japan Castle Research Society. He was apprenticed to a traditional samurai armour
craftsman from 1994, and is a collector of samurai arms and armour. Chris holds Shodan rank in Kendo, and studied Owari
Yagyu Shinkage and Enmei Ryu kobudo, traditional combat techniques. A resident of Nagoya, Japan since 1993, he serves
as the Sekigahara Tourism Ambassador, the Nagoya Tourism, Cultural and Exchange Special Ambassador, and the Omi
Tourism Ambassador. He has had numerous books on Japanese castles and battles published in both Japanese and English.
Called upon by various local and national government agencies as an advisor and committee member, he remains active in
researching and promoting Japanese history and culture.
The Economic Studies Shelf
Adam Smith's America
Glory M. Liu
Princeton University Press
41 William Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
9780691203812, $35.00, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Originally published in 1776, Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" was lauded by America's founders as a
landmark work of Enlightenment thinking about national wealth, statecraft, and moral virtue. Today, Smith is one of the
most influential icons of economic thought in America.
With the publication of "Adam Smith's America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism",
academician Glory Liu traces how generations of Americans have read, reinterpreted, and weaponized Smith's ideas,
revealing how his popular image as a champion of American-style capitalism and free markets is an historical
Drawing on a trove of illuminating archival materials, Liu tells the story of how an unassuming Scottish philosopher
captured the American imagination and played a leading role in shaping American economic and political ideas. She shows
how Smith became known as the father of political economy in the nineteenth century and was firmly associated with free
trade, and how, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, the Chicago School of Economics transformed him into the
preeminent theorist of self-interest and the miracle of free markets. Liu also explores how a new generation of political
theorists and public intellectuals has sought to recover Smith's original intentions and restore his reputation as a moral
Charting the enduring fascination that this humble philosopher from Scotland has held for American readers over more than
two centuries, "Adam Smith's America" shows how Smith continues to be a vehicle for articulating perennial moral and
political anxieties about modern capitalism.
Critique: An exceptional work of seminal and meticulous scholarship, "Adam Smith's America: How a Scottish Philosopher
Became an Icon of American Capitalism" is an inherently fascinating and iconoclastic study that is unreservedly
recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Economic Theory & History
collections. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an informative Introduction, a sixteen page
Epilogue, a twenty-six page listing of References, and a nine page Index, "Adam Smith's America" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.25) for students, academia, economists, and non-specialist general readers with an
interest in the subject.
Editorial Note: Glory M. Liu (https://www.gloryliu.com/about) is a college fellow in social studies at Harvard University.
Her work has appeared in publications such as Modern Intellectual History, the Washington Post, and Aeon.
The Future Economy
9781955884006, $24.99, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: Even as it has planted a flag in the economic currency mainstream, blockchain technology remains minimally
understood by the public, and its true potential to improve every aspect of our lives is only just emerging.
With the publication of "The Future Economy: A Crypto Insider's Guide To The Tech Dismantling Traditional Banking",
crypto currency expert Brandon Zemp (who hosts the popular BlockHash podcast and is a professional crypto-based
entrepreneur), looks past the hype to examine the exhilarating real-world impact of this technology.
Zemp explains the major tokens and platforms in crypto and demystifies the little-known yet potentially revolutionary use
cases of a technology that promises to alter the very way we think about money, banking, and life itself -- both online and
Critique: Given the volatile performance of crypto currencies over the past few years (especially with the collapse of one of
the most popular of them in 2022), "The Future Economy: A Crypto Insider's Guide To The Tech Dismantling Traditional
Banking" must be considered essential reading for anyone involved or considering involvement with a crypto currency.
Informed and informative, "The Future Economy" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community,
college, and university library Contemporary Economics & Crypto Currency collections and supplemental curriculum
studies lists. It should be noted that "The Future Economy" is also currently available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$0.99) from Amazon.
Editorial Note: Brandon Zemp is an entrepreneur, investor, trader, and host of the popular BlockHash podcast. He graduated
from Pitzer College in 2017 with a BA in neuroscience before making a name for himself in the fast-growing world of
cryptocurrency as CEO and founder of BlockHash, LLC, a consulting, coaching, and education company, and as head of
Blocolombia, a Colombia-based crypto consultancy and one of the first of its kind in Latin America.
The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies
William N. Brown
981197280X, $59.99, HC, 137pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives",
Professor William N. Brown presents the findings of his three decades of studying China's evolving anti-poverty
Professor Brown argues that much of the billions that nations spend yearly on economic aid is used inefficiently or to treat
the symptoms but not the root causes of poverty. China, however, has evolved an effective sustainable alternative by
providing the means for self-reliance to not only relieve economic poverty but also poverty of spirit. As a result, the success
of China's historic war on poverty has been due not only to top-down visionary leadership but also to the bottom-up
initiatives of an empowered populace unswervingly united in ending poverty.
From 1993 to 2019, Professor Brown drove over 200,000 km around China and interviewed hundreds of people from all
walks of life as he explored the evolution of China's anti-poverty strategies from simplistic aid and redistribution, which
often engendered dependency and poverty of spirit.
Over time, the philosophy shifted to empowerment by fostering self-reliance -- or as the Chinese put it, "blood production
rather than blood transfusion". The primary method of empowerment was to provide modern infrastructure, "Roads first,
then riches," so rural dwellers in remote Inner Mongolia or the Himalayan heights of Tibet had the same access to markets,
jobs and internet for e-commerce as their urban counterparts. People who seized the opportunities and prospered first then
used their newfound wealth and experience to help others.
The stories comprising "The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives" includes a
Tibetan entrepreneur whose family was impoverished in spite of 300 years of service to the Panchen Lama, and the farm girl
with 4 years of education who now has several international schools, as well as a biotechnology company, poverty
alleviation projects across China, as well as the photographer who walked 40,000 km through deserts to chronicle the threat
Their tales underscore how diverse people across China helped make possible China's success in alleviating absolute
poverty and why Chinese are now confident in achieving a "moderately prosperous society".
Critique: Of special value to readers with an interest in China's economic policies, Professor William Brown's "The
Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives" is critically important reading and an
essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college, university, and governmental library International
Economics and Contemporary China Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: William N. Brown (https://www.cambridgerivers.com/who-is-william-brown) has been on the faculty of
Xiamen University since 1988. He is OneMBA Academic Director and Professor of Leadership and Strategy. Fujian's first
foreign PR, he has driven over 200,000 km around China exploring its development, co-written and hosted over 400 TV
episodes, and consulted with cities on urban and rural development. Honors have included China's "Friendship Award,"
"Honorary Citizen of Fujian" from then-governor Xi Jinping, "Top Ten Educator 1954-2014," and "CCTV's Moving China
2019" award. He published "Chasing the Chinese Dream" with Springer in 2021.
The Cookbook Shelf
Smith Street Books
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9781922754134, $40.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: "Plantbased: 80 nourishing, umami-rich recipes from the kitchen of a passionate chef" by Alexander Gershberg a
complete culinary guide to creating a rich vegan diet. Family cooks and vegan/vegetarians will discover how to cook
delicious and simple meals, ferment at home, and get the most from your grains, legumes, and vegetables.
Alexander Gershberg "Plantbased" is a fascinating introduction to the versatility of plant-based cooking, enhanced by
Japanese and Israeli techniques. His cookbook makes extensive use of vegetables like parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, Jerusalem
artichoke, and others that are often overlooked, with recipes that don't require complicated methods or equipment.
The recipes comprising "Plantbased" are easy to follow and focus on ingredients that build a healthy diet and a delicious
dish. The recipes are divided into eight chapters by ingredients: Whole grains; Legumes; Root vegetables; Sweet vegetables;
Sea vegetables; Greens. With two chapters dedicated to: Preserving & fermenting; Fruit & desserts.
By focusing on simple and affordable products, Plantbased's recipes create beautiful food that's delicious and
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full page, full color photographs of finished dishes, "Plantbased: 80
nourishing, umami-rich recipes from the kitchen of a passionate chef" is a delight to browse and inspiring to plan menus
from. This coffee-table style (7.9 x 1.21 x 11 inches, 3.3 pounds) volume is a welcome and recommended addition to
personal, family, professional, and community library Vegan/Vegetarian cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Alexander Gershberg (https://alexandergershberg.com) is a vegan chef, cooking teacher, and writer. He was
raised in Israel and moved to Amsterdam in 2006. Over the past ten years, he has set up various creative and innovative
culinary projects that have received international acclaim. His cooking style is rich, creative, dynamic, and full of flavor.
"Plantbased" is his third cookbook.
The Slimming Foodie in Minutes
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781783254989, $26.99, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Slimming Foodie in Minutes: 100+ quick-cook recipes under 600 calories", culinary
and dieting expert Pip Payne is back with speedy recipes that prove fast food doesn't have to be unhealthy.
One of the biggest barriers to healthy eating is time -- after a long day's work it can be tempting to cave into a high-calorie
takeout. However, the Slimming Foodie's new cookbook showcases 100 new delicious recipes, all under 600 calories, that
can be prepped or cooked in 30 minutes or less!
Critique: With mouth-watering, low calorie food this fast, "The Slimming Foodie in Minutes" will ensure cooking for the
family can be accomplished by even the most time stressed family cook! Of special note is that each individual dish is
accompanied by a full page, full color photograph making this culinary compendium of palate-pleasing, appetite satisfying,
diet-friendly recipes is an ideal resource for menu planning. A pleasure to simply browse through, "The Slimming Foodie in
Minutes" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook
Editorial Note: Pip Payne (https://www.theslimmingfoodie.com) is behind the award-winning blog The Slimming Foodie.
Keeping a love of food at the fore, Pip's approach is about bringing back convenient home cooking by making healthy
recipes that are accessible to a new wave of home cooks. Creating great tasting meals that are cooked from scratch and cut
down on fat and sugar while following science-led nutrition advice.
Smith Street Books
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9781922754141, $27.50, HC, 160pp
Synopsis: Rather than relying on gluten or harmful sugars, "Natural Bakes" is a compendium of everyday gluten-free,
sugar-free baking recipes that uses fruits and vegetables, as well as other natural ingredients including vanilla, nut-based
flours, and spices, to create all manner of incredibly delicious - and guilt-free baked goods.
With "Natural Bakes" even the most novice of kitchen cooks can now whip up a tray of almond, mandarin, and orange
blossom madeleines, finish a meal with a warming crumble, or wow the family with a chocolate layer cake with peanut
Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with full page, full color pictures of finished baked goods, "Natural Bakes"
showcases more than seventy recipes, each of which is a palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, dessert inspiring masterpiece of
the baker's art. A delight to simply browse through and plan menus with, "Natural Bakes" is a fine and recommended
addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Caroline Griffiths (https://www.sbs.com.au/food/person/caroline-griffiths) is an author, home economist,
cook, food writer, and food stylist with a keen interest in nutrition. She is a passionate food expert with over twenty years of
food industry experience, having worked in several of Australia's best-known test kitchens. She has authored four books and
has contributed to many cookbooks, food magazines, and websites. Griffiths passion is to create flavorful, wholesome,
creative, and achievable recipes.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa, third edition
Penguin Random House South Africa
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781775847472, $30.00, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Newly updated and revised, this third edition of "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" continues
to be a fully comprehensive guide to more than 150 dangerous and common harmless snakes in the region.
Detailed species accounts, covering identification, behavior, reproduction and snake venom, are accompanied by full-color
photographs, distribution maps, and information boxes highlighting diagnostic features. "A Complete Guide to the Snakes
of Southern Africa" also introduces the reader to snake biology and behaviour; gives guidelines for keeping snakes in
captivity; and provides information on the prevention and treatment of snakebite. New information based on recent
discoveries and research data has been included, and the taxonomy has been brought in line with recent changes in the
classification of species and subspecies.
Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'user -friendly' reference and guide, "A
Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" will prove to be an invaluable resource for herpetologists, snake
collectors, students, campers, hikers and gardeners, or non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photographic illustrations of the various snakes profiled, "A Complete Guide
to the Snakes of Southern Africa" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community, college, and community library Wildlife collections and supplemental Herpetology curriculum studies lists. It
should be noted that "A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa" is also available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Johan Marais, a leading reptile expert in Africa, is a conservationist, photographer and author of many books
and scientific articles on the subject. He is also the CEO of the African Snakebite Institute
(https://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/about) and advises hospitals and clinics throughout Africa on snakes and
snakebite and provides a variety of snake awareness and handling courses.
The Agriculture Shelf
Diseases of Field Crops
Clayton A. Hollier, et al.
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
97808905-6697, $$229.00, HC, 405pp
Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Clayton A. Hollier, G. Boyd Padgett, and Martin A. Draper, "Diseases
of Field Crops" covers diseases of 22 major field crops in one comprehensive volume. "Diseases of Field Crops" describes
disease symptoms in the context of environmental conditions that influence disease development. "Diseases of Field Crops"
features more than 800 color images of disease symptoms and uses up-to-date pathogen nomenclature.
Critique: In addition to alphabetically covering field crop diseases ranging from Alfalfa to Wild Rice, "Diseases of Field
Crops" is informatively enhanced with a beginning chapter on 'Integrated Plant Disease Mangement', a two page listing of
the contributors and their credentials, a two page Glossary, and a twenty page Index. Expertly organized and presented,
"Diseases of Field Crops" is an ideal textbook and field guide reference -- making it unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, and academic library Agricultural Studies collections and curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: Clayton A. Hollier (https://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/chollier) is Professor Emeritus: Plant
Pathology and Crop Physiology Department, LSU Agriculture Center.
Editorial Note #2: G. Boyd Pagett is a Professor for the LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture.
Editorial Note #3: Martin A. Draper is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate programs for the College of
Agriculture at the Kansas State University.
The Washington Apple
Amanda L. Van Lanen
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806190662, $34.95, HC, 298pp
Synopsis: In the nineteenth century, most American farms had a small orchard or at least a few fruit-bearing trees. People
grew their own apple trees or purchased apples grown within a few hundred miles of their homes. Nowadays, in contrast,
Americans buy mass-produced fruit in supermarkets, and roughly 70 percent of apples come from Washington State. So
how did Washington become the leading producer of America's most popular fruit?
With the publication of "The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture", Professor
Amanda L. Van Lanen offers a comprehensive response to this question by tracing the origins, evolution, and environmental
consequences of the state's apple industry.
Washington's success in producing apples was not a happy accident of nature, according to Professor Van Lanen. Apples are
not native to Washington, any more than potatoes are to Idaho or peaches to Georgia. In fact, Washington apple farmers
were late to the game, lagging their eastern competitors. Professor Van Lanen deftly outlines the numerous challenges early
Washington entrepreneurs faced in such areas as irrigation, transportation, and labor. Eventually, with crucial help from
railroads, Washington farmers transformed themselves into "growers" by embracing new technologies and marketing
strategies. By the 1920s, the state's growers managed not only to innovate the industry but to dominate it.
Industrial agriculture has its fair share of problems involving the environment, consumers, and growers themselves. In the
quest to create the perfect apple, early growers did not question the long-term environmental effects of chemical sprays.
Since the late twentieth century, consumers have increasingly questioned the environmental safety of industrial apple
production. Today, as "The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture" reveals, the apple
industry continues to evolve in response to shifting consumer demands and accelerating climate change. Yet, through it all,
the Washington apple maintains its iconic status as Washington's most valuable agricultural crop.
Critique: A fascinating and informative history of one of the state of Washington's primary crops, "The Washington Apple:
Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a twelve page
Bibliography, thirty-six pages of Notes, and a seven page Index. A seminal study and highly recommended for personal,
professional, community, and academic library American Agricultural History collections and supplemental curriculum
studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture" is also available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Amanda L. Van Lanen (https://www.oupress.com/author/amanda-l-van-lanen) is Associate Professor of
History at Lewis-Clark State College. She has published articles in Agricultural History and Journal of the West.
The Business Shelf
The Power of Remote
Cynthia Watson, author
Shane Spraggs, author
9781955884440, $24.99, HC, 316pp
Synopsis: Arising from the Covid-19 pandemic's impact upon the business community resulting in an increased demand for
hybrid and fully remote work styles, most firms understand that some form of distance work is here to stay -- and they have
put some remote protocols in place.
But are they the right ones? Do they reflect best practices when it comes to the hiring, training, and onboarding of new
remote hires? Are policies and workflows in place that enable remote workers to be as productive as possible? Does
management know how to keep remote teams engaged while keeping an eye out for burnout and other wellness issues?
Often, the answer is "we're not quite there yet." Many companies either see the shift to remote work as a threat to their
culture and management style, or they just don't know how to make the transition.
With the publication of "The Power of Remote: Building High-Performing Organizations That Thrive in the Virtual
Workplace", co-authors Cynthia Watson and Shane Spraggs show just how to take advantage of the many opportunities
remote work presents.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Power of Remote: Building High-Performing
Organizations That Thrive in the Virtual Workplace" is expertly divided into five major sections: Remote Steps into the
Spotlight; Building a Remote Team; Optimal Remote Performance; Effective Virtual Leadership; Tackling Remote
Business Projects. A critically important informational and instructional resource, "The Power of Remote" is available for
personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and should be considered an essential, core addition to
professional, community, corporate, and academic library Business Organizational Management and Telecommunications
collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: Cynthia Watson (https://virtira.com/team/cynthia-watson) understood remote work long before it was
hip. She wrote her 1993 master's thesis on telecommuting, then went on to build a career around the concept - running and
advising a variety of companies while traveling the world. Today, as Executive Chair at Virtira, she continues to research
remote best practices and develop training to make sure that everyone, whether working a few days from home or full time
across the world, is thriving and productive.
Editorial Note #2: Shane Spraggs (https://virtira.com/meet-shane-spraggs-ceo-of-virtira) is Virtira's CEO and an industry
leader in implementing project-based solutions that ensure sustainable success. He has brought his insights to a variety of
Fortune500 firms and top media and software startups. Shane leads a team of consultants who implement remote
productivity services, reporting and workflows so companies can drive performance and revenue.
The Great Digital Transformation
9781955884457, $24.99, HC, 195pp
Synopsis: Creating a website and digitizing processes may have seemed cutting edge at one time; but technologies have
continued to advance, and retailers simply must keep up if they are to succeed in today's volatile marketplace.
Gerard Szatvanyi, an entrepreneur and founder of OSF Digital, a leading Salesforce partner, knows firsthand what it takes to
remain on top (and not become obsolete) in today's connected retail world. Global brands and companies of all sizes have
turned to him, time and again, to help them through their own digital transformation journeys. Thanks to the expertise of
Szatvanyi and his team, these retailers have been able to avoid the red. Better yet, they have built systems that support
customer interactions and enable an integrated, experience-driven path forward.
What does it take to digitally transform? Szatvanyi is aware of the obstacles, and he doesn't shy away from tough topics in
the retail space, including the challenges surrounding stores and misunderstandings about remote work. Rather, with the
publication of "The Great Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Customer Interactions" and in an approachable
conversational style, he extends his hand and invites readers to sit back with him and dream.
After all, with the technologies available today, the possibilities are nearly endless. Szatvanyi points out that the starting line
is not a budget review or the development of a to-do list. Rather, it's a thinking exercise; a conversation, if you will, about
what could be.
In his pragmatic way, Szatvanyi turns the complicated topic of digital transformation into easy-to-digest segments. What
other strategy allows you to play video games for a few hours and try on headsets? Yet that's exactly what Szatvanyi
advises. Doing so can help readers understand the potential of these technologies. After engaging in up-and-coming
channels, it's often easier to imagine ways to use them to interact with customers. With personal examples and case studies
sprinkled throughout, readers shift from thinking about new ways to live and work to seeing them in action.
"The Great Digital Transformation" covers: What digital transformation is; How to be customer-centric; Ways to create
mobile experiences; The purpose of on-the-ground stores; How to engage in video; Guidelines to give employees
meaningful tasks; Ways to reimagine remote work; What to know about headless commerce; How to target a niche market;
Why building a community matters; How to capture data the right way; Best practices for setting up teams and systems.
Szatvanyi also shares practical guidelines to weigh the costs and benefits of new implementations. "The Great Digital
Transformation" maintains a focus on revenue generation and improved profit margins. In every chapter, Szatvanyi lists
questions to help readers re-think their current practices and re-imagine their business. These takeaways make it easy for
organizations, regardless of their available resources or budgets, to take steps forward. Readers will be inspired to start their
own digital transformation journeys and lead their brands toward a bright, profitable future.
Critique: Given the dramatic impact that the digital world has had on everything from politics to commerce, from consumer
behavior to supply chain dynamics, "The Great Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Future of Customer Interactions"
must be considered as an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, and academic library
Business Online Marketing and E-Commerce collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for
MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and business marketing directors that "The Great Digital
Transformation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Gerard Szatvanyi (https://gerardszatvanyi.com) is the founder, president, and CEO of OSF Digital, a leading
global commerce solutions company which specializes in digital transformation. OSF Digital is a certified and
award-winning Salesforce partner and has successfully led global retailers through their digital journeys. As an entrepreneur
and executive, Szatvanyi has more than twenty years of experience in managing start-ups and medium-sized IT businesses
and leading them to reach top performance. Clients from around the world have sought his expertise in enterprise
applications, IT services, and consultancy. With his long list of international connections, Szatvanyi is pioneering the way
into a new form of global entrepreneurship. In addition to his role at OSF Digital, he holds management and board positions
for other tech-enabled businesses.
Behavioral Economics for Leaders
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119982975, $29.00, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Every leader should know the surprising research and strange conclusions of behavioral economics -- for fairness,
teamwork and productivity. But you and your colleagues don't always make rational decisions. Sometimes that's a problem
that leaders must address, and and sometimes that can be a good thing -- when employees put their colleagues interests
ahead of their own.
With the publication of "Behavioral Economics for Leaders: Research-Based Insights on the Weird, Irrational, and
Wonderful Ways Humans Navigate the Workplace", Dr. Matthias Sutter (a leading economist from Germany's
world-renowned Max Planck Institute) explains the latest surprising insights based on behavioral economics research. The
book explains how people tick, how they react to incentives (monetary or non-monetary in nature) and what that means for
working together (or against each other) at work.
Dr. Sutter summarizes new and classic behavorial science research that applies the everyday business world, so leaders can
improve teams and organizations, the research-based way. Find out which factors are important for professional success,
from career entry to senior management.
He covers: Starting your career on the right footing, advance quicker, and strategize how to meet your goals; Understanding
what's holding your colleagues back from productivity and implement evidence-based changes; Identifying hidden biases in
yourself and others to overcome inequalities and inefficiencies; Becoming a better leader and decision-maker by learning to
interpret people's actions
Individuals, organizations, and teams will benefit from the often-counterintuitive wisdom in this eloquent study. Based on
the author's 20 years of research (plus the findings of the world's top behavioral economists) "Behavioral Economics for
Leaders" can help you get your team and your organization where you want to lead it.
Critique: Truly exceptional in organization and presentation, "Behavioral Economics for Leaders: Research-Based Insights
on the Weird, Irrational, and Wonderful Ways Humans Navigate the Workplace" is an extraordinary, invaluable, and
essential addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, college, and university library Business
Leadership/Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Behaviroal
Economics for Leaders" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.00) as well.
Editorial Note: Matthias Sutter (https://www.coll.mpg.de/matthias-sutter) is a behavioral economist. He has been the
Director of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn since 2017. He is also Professor of
Experimental Economic Research at the Universities of Cologne and Innsbruck.
The Historical Fiction Shelf
Irene Bennett Brown
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432895433, $25.95, HC, 217pp
Synopsis: Jocelyn Pladson buys the livery stable in Skiddy to aid the widow of the previous owner. Citified newcomers with
shady pasts and newly invented motorcars, Maretta Rudd and J. L. Cochran intend to replace the livery with a motorcar
business. Fools, who ignore too soon the need for horses and mules in transportation and farm work.
Maretta preaches the livery is smelly, antiquated. J.L. aims for a seat on town council to bolster their plan. While Jocelyn
persuades others to not vote for him, he arranges a 4th of July celebration to win votes. A mad dog running through the
frightened crowd ends the festivities early.
When a horse race J.L. bet a fortune on is canceled. Rom, the teenage boy Jocelyn took in and raised, offers a race between
his mule and J.L.'s Oldsmobile. The winner?
J.L., furious, hires hoodlums to demolish Jocelyn's livery, expecting blame to land on them alone. No dice. Prison for J.L.
looms, and Maretta leaves town. Jocelyn plans to keep the Skiddy property, the land, for a promising future.
Critique: A fun read from cover to cover, "Somebody's Business" showcases author Irene Bennett Brown's impressive and
narrative driven storytelling skills. Original, entertaining, this Five Star Publishing edition of "Somebody's Business" is
unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be
noted by librarians that "Somebody's Business" is also available in a large print paperback edition (Wheeler Publishing
Large Print, 9781432895440, $$26.99).
Editorial Note: Irene Bennett Brown Brown (http://www.irenebennettbrown.net) is a longtime member of Western Writers
of America and is a founding member of Women Writing the West.
The Literary Fiction Shelf
Charles Portis: Collected Works
Jay Jennings, editor
The Library of America
9781598537468, $45.00, HC, 1216pp
Synopsis: The late Charles Portis (December 28, 1933 - February 17, 2020) is the author of five novels, a handful of short
stories, a play, and several essays, along with journalism written early in his career. His debut novel, Norwood, was
published in 1966 and was made into a movie in 1970. His second and best-known novel, True Grit, has been twice adapted
for the screen, most recently by the Coen brothers in 2010; in 2013 it was named a National Endowment for the Arts Big
Read Library Selection.
An example of the quality of his fiction -- Twice adapted as a film, first in a version starring John Wayne and then by the
Coen Brothers, his novel "True Grit" is a wonder of literary perfection, told in the unforgettable voice of 14-year-old Mattie
Ross as she sets out to avenge her murdered father in a quest that brings her out of her native Arkansas and into the wilds of
the Choctaw Nation of the 1870s.
Critique: Under the deft editorship of Jay Jennings, "Charles Portis: Collected Works: Norwood / True Grit / The Dog of the
South / Masters of Atlantis / Gringos / Stories & Other Writings" is a magnificent compendium of his fiction, as well as a
gathering of his nonfiction that collectively reveal his impressive skills as a reporter, including his coverage of the Civil
Rights Movement; his appreciation of Arkansas history and landscape, as in "The Forgotten River"; and his poignancy as a
family memoirist, on display in his recollection "Combinations of Jacksons". This edition of "Charles Portis: Collected
Works" from The Library of America, is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community,
college, and university library American Literary Studies collections
Someone Speaks Your Name
Luis Garcia Montero, author
Katie King, translator
Swan Isle Press
c/o University of Chicago Press
9781736189344, $28.00, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: It's the summer of 1963 and Leon Egea, a cocky nineteen-year-old student and aspiring author, has just finished
his first year studying literature at the University of Granada and is starting a summer job as an encyclopedia salesman.
Leon, infuriated by the injustices in Spanish society under the Franco dictatorship, comes to find that literature can speak the
truth when the reality is clouded. Leon discovers that, under the repressive Franco dictatorship, people, places, and events
are not always what they seem. But literature, words, and names can open paths to discovery, both personal and
"Someone Speaks Your Name" deftly explores literature as a foundation for understanding human relationships, national
character, discrete differences between right and wrong, and for pursuing the path forward. As Leon's professor tells him:
"Learning to write is learning to see."
Critique: Very ably translated into English by Katie King, "Someone Speaks Your Name" is coming-of-age novel by
renowned Spanish writer Luis Garcia Montero that will have immense appeal to readers with an interest in literary fiction
with political and historical themes. Featuring a memorably lyrical, exceptionally eloquent, and compelling narrative driven
storytelling style, "Someone Speaks Your Name" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and
community/academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections,
Editorial Note #1: Luis Garcia Montero is a Spanish writer whose work includes poetry, novels, essays, song lyrics, and
literary scholarship. He spearheaded a literary movement in Spain known as the Poetry of Experience and is head of Spain's
Instituto Cervantes. He has an informative page on Wikipedia at:
Editorial Note #2: Katie King (https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/translator/katie-king) is a journalist, media executive,
literary translator, and translation scholar. She has collaborated with Garcia Montero for more than a decade.
The Western Fiction Shelf
Kinsman of the Gun
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848670, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 276pp
Synopsis: Cheyenne, 1888. Ezra McPherson is a gunfighter who cannot escape the past, and Luke Tisdale is a young doctor
whose brother has been murdered. Marcus Stokesbury and Eloise Endicott are journalists who are intrigued by the mystery
surrounding Ezra. Then there's Richard Swearingen, a cattle baron who seeks to establish a kingdom in Wyoming; and
Andrew Swearingen, a man who has killed -- but who is now willing to take extraordinary steps to prevent bloodshed.
Together, they will all become embroiled in a story of love, greed, betrayal, and sacrifice.
Critique: A riveting western with more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller-coaster, "Kinsman of the Gun" by
Walton Young is a fun read and especially recommended for dedicated fans of western action/adventure novels. It is also a
valued addition to community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Dr. Walton Young, senior professor of English at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, GA, teaches
creative writing (fiction), American literature survey courses, twentieth-century American literature, Georgia literature, and
The Gallows at Gila Bend
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444850079, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 232pp
Synopsis: A vacancy has appeared in the riverside settlement of Gila Bend, Arizona. When the incumbent marshal, Bill
Owen, is killed by a drunk, the English aristocrat Born Gallant steps in to fill the void. Little does he know that his spell as
this town's badge-bearer will be far more eventful than he predicted. He won't have to handle the danger alone, though. With
the help of some old companions, he must bring peace to a town under the shadow of murder, a bank robbery and
Critique: A fun read that will especially appeal to western fiction fans who appreciated originality and a fully engaging
storyline, this large print paperback edition from the Linden Western Library "The Gallows of Gila Bend" by Paxton Jones
is unreservedly recommended for their personal reading lists. "The Gallows of Gila Bend" will also prove to be an
enduringly popular addition community library collection of western novels.
Editorial Note: Born in Liverpool in 1936, and raised in North Wales during the war years Paxton Johns began writing short
stories whilst in the army in the 1960s. He worked for ten years as a freelance writer and photographer for two North Wales
newspaper groups and has had published some sixty non fiction books and novels. Now a widower, he is still writing and
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444850062, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 218pp
Synopsis: No matter where he went, the man known as Drifter always came back to Santa Rosa, New Mexico -- the nearest
thing he had to a home. When trouble brewed outside town, though, Drifter wanted no part of it, but fate had other ideas.
Against his better judgment he signed on to help a sodbuster named Albright, and when the time came, he took Albright's
side against Stillman, the cattle baron determined to claim Albright's land. Drifter should have saddled up and made dust,
but that wasn't his way. Besides, there was Albright's wife, Hannah, and her daughter to think about. And though he tried to
resist his feelings, they still stole his heart. So he loaded his guns and stepped out to challenge Stillman's rawhiders.
Critique: A inherently riveting novel in which you can almost smell the gunsmoke, this large print paperback edition of
"Drifter's Revenge" perfectly showcases author Steve Hayes impressive master of the action/adventure western genre.
Highly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated western enthusiasts, this edition from the Linford
Western Library series is solidly recommended for community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: There is a listing of the published novels by Steve Hayes on the Goodreads website at:
North of the Line
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848885, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 240pp
Synopsis: Deputy United States Marshal Jesse Bronson is sent north of the line into Canada, to assist with the capture of two
highly dangerous American outlaws -- Brin Carson and Vern Hatcher. The two of them have joined up with a gang of
ruthless Metis led by Gabriel Dumont. Their joint aim is to target the Canadian Pacific Railroad, as yet untouched by train
robberies. To his surprise, Bronson discovers that he is to be partnered with Samuel Bairstow of the Northwest Mounted
Police. But, thanks to Dumont's brutality, Bairstow has a personal score to settle that could jeopardize the whole
Critique: This direct sequel to "The Lawmen", this is one of those westerns with more plot twists, turns and surprises than a
Disneyland roller-coaster. "North of the Line" by Paul Bedford is a fully engaging read from first page to last. This large
print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is certain to be a popular addition to community library
Western Fiction collections -- and is unreservedly recommended to the attention of all dedicated action/adventure western
fans that appreciated the pairing of an American Deputy Marshall with a Canadian Mounted Police going up against a
violent and ruthless company of killers.
Editorial Note: Paul Bedford (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4575218.Paul_Bedford) has a strong interest in the
history of the American frontier. He tries to make his western novels as factually accurate and realistic as possible.
The Other Madden
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848816, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 215pp
Synopsis: There is oil on Madden land and Bren Deavers means to have it. But when Joe Madden is killed and sent home
wrapped in barbed wire, things heat up. For the Maddens are fighters and Elmira and Emily are going to do just that. But Joe
also had a brother. One nobody talked about. The dangerous one. They just referred to him as -- the other Madden!
Critique: Here is everything a western novel needs to have -- villains, heroes, maidens in distress, and pulse pounding gun
fights! Brent Towns is a master of the western genre and once again proves it with his riveting novel, "The Other Madden".
This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is highly recommended for both personal reading
lists and community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: A complete (and impressive) list of western novels by Brent Towns is at:
Trail of Lead
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848854, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 243pp
Synopsis: After the Baxter Springs bank is robbed, a bloody shootout between the thieves and the town's lawmen leaves
only one bandit alive - Charlie Weston, who escapes with the stolen money. Marshal Pete Baker and Deputy Joe Flaherty,
already under threat of losing their badges, strike a bargain with Mayor Dell: they will track down Weston and the money
within two months. If they fail, they'll resign. As Weston falls in with a wagon train heading west, the pursuit begins.
Critique: Western action/adventure at its very best, "Trail of Lead" by Mike Deane is the quintessential manhunt novel
featuring many an unexpected plot twist and turn. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library
series is certain to be a welcome addition to personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: An impressively extensive listing of books by Mike Dean is readily available at
Last Chance Saloon
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848687, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 252pp
Synopsis: Former gunfighter Brett Cassidy now leads a peaceful life as a trapper. Then he receives a letter from Lonesome
Valley, begging him to consider coming out of retirement to help the homesteaders there in their fight against a greedy
rancher. Though Cassidy has hung up his twin Colts, the letter is written by Harmony McBeath, the widow of a man who
once saved Cassidy's life. He owes her something for that. So he straps on his Peacemakers and heads out.
Critique: "Last Chance Saloon" by Cole Shelton is the kind of gunfighter novel that they used to make block-buster films
from in the Golden Age of western movies and TV shows. A riveting read with more unexpected plot twists and turns than a
Disneyland roller-coaster, this large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series is a 'must read'
selection for personal reading lists and an enduringly popular choice for community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Cole Shelton is a veteran writer of action packed western novels. An impressive listing of them can be found
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848632, $24.50, Large Print, PB, 221pp
Synopsis: After his last indiscretion, Bass sends Josh Ford to Texas. Let him be someone else's headache for a while. The
marshal there is an old friend and welcomes the badge-toting hellraiser with open arms and a whole wagon load of trouble.
Then word comes that Bass is missing and Ford swears he'll walk through the fires of Hell itself to find out what has
happened to his father. In the end, he does just that. Shoulder to shoulder with a marshal called Willis and a fast gun named
Critique: A truly gripping and inherently engaging read that will appeal to readers with an interest in action/adventure,
gunplay packed western novels, "Hellraiser!" by Sam Clancy fully lives up to the promise f its title! With many a fascinating
twist and turn, and highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections,
"Hellraiser!" is one of those stories that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been
finished and set back upon the shelf.
Editorial Note: An extensive listing of the novels by Sam Clancy is readily available at
Ethan J. Wolfe
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432895648, $25.95, HC, 248pp
Synopsis: Book 7 of Ethan Wolfe's 'The Regulator' series, "Murphy's Revenge" finds Murphy living a quiet life of
semi-retirement with his wife, Kai, and their newly adopted baby in their home outside Fort Smith, Arkansas. Kai (part
Navajo) teaches on the reservation in the Indian Nation in the Ozarks.
Murphy is called back into service when William Burke, special advisor to President Arthur, shows up in Fort Smith with
an assignment. New York Governor Grover Cleveland is running for president and Arthur wants Murphy to head up
Cleveland's security detail for a six-week tour. Murphy has no choice but to accept the assignment.
While Murphy travels to New York, Kai visits Murphy's parents at their farm in Tennessee. They grow corn and use it to
make bourbon whiskey that is sold to a bottling company. After one hundred barrels are sold to the bottling company, two
of the men hired to do labor in the warehouse, Tom Holland and John Moats, enter the house and demand money from
Murphy's father. He gives them twenty thousand dollars, but before they leave, Moats has ideas about Kai. Murphy's father
intercepts Moats and is shot and killed.
It's time for Murphy to do what he does best.
Critique: A riveting read from cover to cover, "Murphy's Revenge" is still another solid western that deftly combines
historical mystery with gunplay action/adventure. Simply stated, "Murphy's Revenge" is especially recommended for
community library Western Fiction collections -- and an absolute 'must read' selections for the legions of Ethan Wolfe
Editorial Note: An extensive listing of novels by Ethan J. Wolfe can be found on the GoodReads website at
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432899103, $25.95, HC, 243pp
Synopsis: In 1879, the notorious horse thief Doc Middleton rules the Niobrara rough country west of Holt County,
Nebraska, with a loose affiliation of young outlaws, dubbed the Pony Boys. Albert "Kid" Wade, August John, Windy
Barnes, Boots Harper, and a dozen other amoral roughnecks spent their days stealing horses, raising hell, and generally
having the time of their lives.
But nothing lasts forever, and the unorganized territories west are succumbing to complaints from settlers and the Indian
agencies alike. What happens to the Pony Boys when law and order lands hard-and ruthless-at the end of a rope? As Doc
struggles with change, and Kid Wade fights white-knuckled against it, young Augustus "Gus" John faces the most important
challenge of his life. A challenge that is certain to tear at the fabrics of loyalty and friendship, rending the Pony Boys apart
Critique: A fictionalized account of Doc Middleton and the Pony Boys' decline during the historical summer of 1879, with
the publication "Pony Boys", western author Richard Prosch has deftly crafted the kind of gun-blazing western that will
have immense appeal for dedicated western action/adventure fans. Simply stated, "Pony Boys" is a fun read and
recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Richard Prosch (http://www.richardprosch.com) has had his stories appear in numerous novels, short story
collections, Wild West, True West, and Down & Out magazines and online at ToughCrime.com and Boys' Life. He won the
Western Writers of America Spur Award and took home a Will Rogers Medallion for short fiction. His Dan Spalding crime
novels capture his love for classic vinyl and martial arts. He writes at SubStack.com about crime fiction, growing up in the
West, and jazz music.
Mud, Blood, and Beer
L. J. Martin
Five Star Publishing
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432897871, $25.95, HC, 223pp
Synopsis: "Mud, Blood, and Beer: A Collection of Western Stories" is comprised of nine short stories by western author L.
J. Martin. These include: Part-Time Lawman; Brothers, Undr the Skin; Maybe Dead Ain't So Bad?; Glory Be; Dreaming a
Way; Gospel of the Gun; No Irish Need Apply; Glory Hole; Eye for Eye.
Critique: Featuring everything a dedicated fan of western action/adventure stories could want, the sort stories of veteran
author L. J. Martin which were selected, collected, and published in "Mud, Blood, and Beer" are fun reads and highly
recommended to the attention of western fans and community library Western Fiction collections. For those to whom this
anthology is their first introduction to the work of L. J. Martin it should be noted that she has an extesnive website at
https://ljmartin.com/my-fiction that lists her work.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Orders To Kill
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9780749027810, $41.00, Large Print, PB, 339pp
Synopsis: December, 1917. Ada Hobbes arrives on a frosty morning to clean the house owned by Dr Tindall, a surgeon at
the Edmonton Military Hospital. She is shocked to find the blood covered body of her employer who has been hacked to
A horrific scene awaits Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy. Someone clearly enjoyed killing the
doctor. Their investigation takes them far out of London and on the trail of a very different Dr Tindall, one who was not the
respectable local GP everyone thought he was.
Marmion and Keedy will need to sift through a number of likely suspects to find the killer behind this gruesome
Critique: A fun read that will have a special appeal to fans of historical 'whodunnit' mysteries, "Orders To Kill" is part of
author Edward Marston's 'The Home Front Detective Series'. Originally published by Allison & Busby and now available in
a large print edition from Isis and Ulverscroft, "Orders To Kill" is enthusiastically recommended for the personal reading
lists of dedicated mystery fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: Edward Marston (the pseudonym of Keith Miles) has written well over a hundred books, including some
non-fiction. He is best known for his hugely successful Railway Detective series and he also writes the Bow Street Rivals
series featuring twin detectives set during the Regency; the Home Front Detective novels set during the First World War;
and the Ocean Liner mysteries. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Miles)
Mystery In White
J. Jefferson Farjeon
Charonwood Large Print / Thorpe
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848915, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 248pp
Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take
shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea -- but no one is at home. Trapped
together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their
Critique: "Mystery In White" by the late J. Jefferson Farjeon (4 June 1883 - 6 June 1955) is a classic Christmas mystery
thriller that is now republished for the first time since the 1930s in a large print paperback edition from Thorpe/Charnwood
Large Print and featuring an informative introduction by award-winning crime writer Martin Edwards. Complete and
unabridged, "Mystery In White" is a true 'time-lost' classic that will be fully appreciated by a new general of readers and has
the highest recommendation for both the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans and community library
Editorial Note: J. Jefferson Farjeon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Jefferson_Farjeon) was an English crime and
mystery novelist, playwright and screenwriter. His "Ben" novels were reissued in 2015 and 2016.
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
9780063279025, $30.00, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Ernest Cunningham claims that everyone in his family has killed someone. Some of his killer relations are the
high achievers, having killed more than once. His is not trying to be dramatic, but is telling the truth. Some of his family
members are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate. Call him Ern or Ernie -- and now he wishes he would have
killed whoever decided our family reunion should be at a ski resort -- but things are a little more complicated than that. --
Has he killed someone? Why, yes he has. Who was it? -- Well let us get started.
Critique: One of the most unusual, entertainingly quirky, deftly crafted, and simply riveting murder thrillers featuring an
impressive roster of untraditional characters, "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" by author Benjamin Stevenson
is a terrific read from first page to last. While an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library
Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Everyone
in My Family Has Killed Someone" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should
note that there is a large print paperback edition of "Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone" (Harper Large Print,
9780063297197, $34.00, 528pp), as well as being available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9798212200752, $41.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Benjamin Stevenson (https://benjaminstevensonauthor.com) is an award-winning stand-up comedian and
author. Off-stage, Benjamin has worked for publishing houses and literary agencies in Australia and the USA. He currently
works with some of Australia's best-loved authors at Curtis Brown Australia. He is also the author of Greenlight (shortlisted
for the Ned Kelly First Fiction Award) and Either Side of Midnight.
Murder in Postscript
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
9780593548769, $17.00, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: Amelia Amesbury (widow, mother, and countess) has a secret. Amelia writes for a London penny paper, doling
out advice on fashion, relationships, and manners under the pen name Lady Agony. But when a lady's maid writes Amelia to
ask for advice when she believes her mistress has been murdered (and then ends up a victim herself) Amelia is determined
to solve the case.
With the help of her best friend and a handsome marquis, Amelia begins to piece together the puzzle, but as each new thread
of inquiry ends with a different suspect, the investigation grows ever more daunting. From London's docks and ballrooms to
grand country houses, Amelia tracks a killer, putting her reputation and her life on the line!
Critique: A very special and original Victorian era cozy mystery set in 1860, "Murder in Postscript" by Mary Winters is a
highly recommended and fun read for all dedicated mystery fans. Featuring an unusual woman sleuth, numerous and
expected plot twists on down to the final page, "Murder in Postscript" is unreservedly recommended for community library
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated cozy mystery fans that
"Murder in Postscript" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Mary Winters (https://marywintersauthor.com) is the author of the Lady Agony mystery series. A longtime
reader of historical fiction and an author of two other mystery series, Mary set her latest work in Victorian England after
being inspired by a trip to London.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Keeper's Six
c/o Tor/Forge Books
9781250769077, $19.99, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: It's been a year since Esther set foot in the Beyond, the alien landscape stretching between worlds, crossing
boundaries of space and time. She and her magical traveling party (her Hex) haven't spoken since the Concilium banned
them from the Beyond for a decade. But when she wakes in the middle of the night to her grown son's cry for help, the
members of her Hex are the only ones she can trust to help her bring him back from wherever he has been taken.
There are terrors that dwell in the space between worlds and Esther will have to risk everything to find him. Undercover and
hidden from the Concilium, she and her Hex will be tested by false dragon lords, a darkness so dense it can suffocate, and
the bones of an old crime come back to haunt her.
Critique: Simply stated, "The Keeper's Six" by Kate Elliott is a riveting read that will have a very special appeal to fans of
action/adventure fantasy novels. Adding "The Keeper's Six" to the author's long list of Kate Elliott's consistently original
and entertaining novels, it should be noted for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, as well as the
personal reading lists of her legions of fans that this latest book is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Kate Elliott (http://kateelliott.com) has been writing science fiction and fantasy for 30 years, after bursting
onto the scene with Jaran. She is best known for her Crown of Stars epic fantasy series and the New York Times bestselling
YA fantasy Court of Fives. Elliott's particular focus is immersive world-building & centering women in epic stories of
adventure, amidst transformative cultural change.
The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
A Companion to Experimental Cinema
Federico Windhausen, editor
9781119107903, $195.00, HC, 480pp
Synopsis: Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Federico Windhausen, "A Companion to Experimental Cinema" is
a collection of original essays organized around both theoretical and historical issues of concern to film scholars,
programmers, filmmakers, and viewers. Newly-commissioned essays written by specialists in the field, along with dialogues
conducted with a diverse range of practitioners, focus on core subjects to present an international array of overlapping and
contrasting perspectives. This unique volume not only provides detailed accounts of particular films and filmmakers, but
also discusses new approaches of understanding, characterizing, and shaping experimental cinema.
"A Companion to Experimental Cinema" offers film students and fans an accessible point of entry to the material while
seeking to contribute to scholarly debates. The featured essays explore a wide range of topics within the realm of
experimental film, including the shift from traditional biography to broader contexts, the increased attention afforded to
local and transnational circuits of exchange, and the deepening of theoretical considerations regarding cultural identity and
cinematic aesthetics. Key themes and concepts are inter-woven throughout the text, offering fresh perspectives on
experimental cinema's dialogues with other modes and practices of film and video, its interactions with the non-cinematic
arts, its responses to changing technological landscapes, and more.
"A Companion to Experimental Cinema": Balances introductory summaries and scholarly dialogue with existing literature;
Explores how the study of experimental cinema can benefit from scholarship in other disciplines; Includes numerous
analyses of films that are readily available to view via digital media; Discusses both canonical and obscure or neglected
works; Examines the effects of the growing diversification of experimental film scholarship.
Critique: "A Companion to Experimental Cinema" is a seminal and valued resource for scholars of film studies and
cinematic art history, curators and programmers, critics and bloggers, filmmakers and artists, and nonspecialist general
readers interested in exploring experimental or avant-garde cinema. While available for personal reading lists in a digital
book format, "A Companion to Experimental Cinema" is unreservedly recommended as a major addition to professional,
community, and academic library Cinematic History & Movie Theory/Criticism collections.
Editorial Note: Federico Windhausen is a film historian and curator. His scholarly articles have been published in journals
such as October, MIRAJ, Hitchcock Annual, Grey Room, and The Moving Image. He has programmed for the International
Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Ambulante, the London Film Festival, L' ge d'Or Festival, and various other venues.
A Companion to Indian Cinema
Neepa Majumdar, editor
Ranjani Mazumdar, editor
9781119048190, $185.00, HC, 624pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "A Companion to Indian Cinema", film scholars and co-editors Neepa Majumdar and
Ranjani Mazumdar (long with 25 established and emerging scholars), deliver new research on contemporary and historical
questions on Indian cinema. The collection considers Indian cinema's widespread presence both within and outside the
country, and pays particular attention to regional cinemas such as Bhojpuri, Bengali, Malayalam, Manipuri, and Marathi.
The volume also reflects on the changing dimensions of technology, aesthetics, and the archival impulse of film. The editors
have included scholarship that discusses a range of films and film experiences that include commercial cinema, art cinema,
and non-fiction film.
Even as scholarship on earlier decades of Indian cinema is challenged by the absence of documentation and films, the
innovative archival and field work in ""A Companion to Indian Cinema" extends from cinema in early twentieth century
India to a historicized engagement with new technologies and contemporary cinematic practices. There is a focus on
production cultures and circulation, material cultures, media aesthetics, censorship, stardom, non-fiction practices, new
technologies, and the transnational networks relevant to Indian cinema.
Critique: It may be a surprise to learn that Bollywood produces more movies each year than Hollywood. An impressively
informative compendium of erudite and insightful commentaries that will be a highly valued resource for undergraduate and
graduate students of film and media studies, South Asian studies, and cinematic history, "A Companion to Indian Cinema"
is also an important new resource for scholars with an interest in the context and theoretical framework for the study of
India's moving image cultures. While especially recommended as a seminal and critically important addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Cinematic History & Film Criticism collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of film students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A
Companion to Indian Cinema" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $148.00).
Editorial Note #1: Neepa Majumdar (https://www.filmandmedia.pitt.edu/people/neepa-majumdar is Associate Professor of
Film & Media Studies in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Wanted Cultured
Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s to 1950s (University of Illinois Press, 2009). Her research
interests include film sound, star studies, South Asian early cinema, and documentary film. She is co-editor of the journals
[In]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies and Music, Sound, and the Moving Image.
Editorial Note #2: Ranjani Mazumdar (https://www.jnu.ac.in/Faculty/rmazumdar) is Professor of Cinema Studies at the
School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She is the author of Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the
City (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and guest editor of a special issue of Bioscope on cinema and techno materiality
(2013). Her current research interests include globalization and film culture, intermedial encounters, and the intersection of
technology, travel, design, and color in 1960s Bombay Cinema.
China's Millennial Digital Generation
Long River Press
c/o China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
360 Swift Avenue, Suite #48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
9781592652488, $28.95, PB, 260pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "China's Millennial Digital Generation: Conversations with Balinghou (Post-1980s) Indie
Filmmakers", Karen Ma presents a collection of creative and inspiring interviews with 7 young Chinese film directors,
revealing new trends that are not fully acknowledged in Western scholarship.
Many balinghou (born in post-1980s) filmmakers are grassroots artists from smaller towns or in rural China not formally
trained at film academies. In addition, these younger directors are among the first generation to have benefitted hugely from
new technology, including affordable digital video cameras, cell phones, and the internet, which significantly lowered the
barriers for artists entering the industry, allowing them to turn their passion into a profession.
More importantly, most of their stories can be traced to their rural hometowns, bringing a fresh repertoire to Chinese
independent film. While rural themes are hardly new in Chinese film history, these tended in the past to be told mostly from
a top-down, urban-elite perspective. The rural narratives of balinghou filmmakers, on the other hand, tend to be based on
people from their neighborhoods, revealing a sense of social and cultural intimacy not often encountered before.
Critique: Featuring black/white photographic illustrations, "China's Millennial Digital Generation: Conversations with
Balinghou (Post-1980s) Indie Filmmakers" is unique, seminal and ground introduction to a vital aspect of the Chinese
cinematic industry in the form of the independent film makers with access to new technologies that 19th and 20th century
Chinese film makers did not have. Inherently fascinating, exceptionally informative, and with a deftly organized
presentation, "China's Millennial Digital Generation" is an critically important and recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Chinese Cinematic History collections and supplemental curriculum studies
Editorial Note: Karen Ma (https://theworld.org/people/karen-ma) is also the author of "The Modern Madame Butterfly" and
"Excess Baggage, A Novel".
Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299340209, $79.95, HC, 360pp
Synopsis: Following the Japanese invasion of northeast China in 1931, the occupying authorities established the Manchuria
Film Association to promote film production efficiency and serve Japan's propaganda needs. The Manchuria Film
Association had two tasks: to make "national policy films" as part of a cultural mission of educating Chinese in Manchukuo
(the puppet state created in 1932) on the special relationship between Japan and the region, and to block the exhibition of
Chinese films from Shanghai that contained anti-Japanese messages.
The corporation relied on Japanese capital, technology, and film expertise, but it also employed many Chinese filmmakers.
After the withdrawal of Japanese forces in 1945, many of these individuals were portrayed as either exploited victims or
traitorous collaborators. With the publication of "Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life: Workers of the Manchuria Film
Association" Professor Yuxin Ma seeks to move the conversation beyond such simplistic and inaccurate depictions.
By focusing on the daily challenges and experiences of the Chinese workers at the corporation, Professor Ma examines how
life was actually lived by people navigating between practical and ideological concerns. She illustrates how the inhabitants
of Manchukuo navigated social opportunities, economic depression, educational reforms, fascist rule, commercial interests,
practical daily needs, and more -- revealing ways in which these conflicting preoccupations sometimes manifested as tension
and ambiguity on screen.
In the battle between repression and expression, these Chinese actors, directors, writers, and technicians adopted defensive
and opportunistic tactics. They did so in colonial spaces, often rejecting modernist representations of Manchukuo in favor of
venerating traditional Chinese culture and values. The expertise, skills, and professional networks they developed extended
well beyond the occupation into the postwar period, and may individuals reestablished themselves as cinema professionals
in the socialist era.
Critique: A unique and seminal study of meticulous scholarship, "Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life: Workers of the
Manchuria Film Association" by Professor Yuxin Ma is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of two
Appendices (Sketches of Key Figures & Filmography with Synopsis), forty-four pages of Notes, a fourteen page
Bibliography, and a fifteen page Index. Expertly organized and presented, "Colonial Tactics and Everyday Life: Workers of
the Manchuria Film Association" is highly recommended as a core addition to professional, community, and academic
library Chinese Cinematic History collections and supplemental Cinematic History curriculum study lists.
Editorial Note: Yuxin Ma (https://louisville.edu/history/our-people/faculty/yuxin-ma) is an associate professor of history at
the University of Louisville and the author of "Women Journalists and Feminism in China, 1898 - 1937".
The Library Science Shelf
The Social Future of Academic Libraries
Tim Schlak, et al.
9781783304714, $85.99, 360pp
Synopsis: The current focus in higher education institutions on student engagement, partnership formation, community
development and social relations requires a significant mind-shift in academic libraries and librarians if they are to regain
their place at the heart of the academic enterprise.
Academic libraries need to move beyond incremental and peripheral development of services, spaces and structures to a
more fundamental and radical rethinking of their core mission and service philosophy to realign their resources, processes
and practices to contemporary demands. Academic librarians have seen the need for change in response to the social turn in
the academy and society, and have been exploring concepts such as converged and shared services, partnership and
relationship management, blended and engaged librarians, embedded and participatory librarianship, and inside-out and
But such work has generally been limited to small parts of the organization, and has not usually resulted in the large scale
change in strategy and culture needed for libraries to operate effectively as dynamic social organizations in the connected
digital world. New ways of working are not enough; they must be informed by new ways of thinking that empower
librarians to look at all areas of their practice in a unified holistic way through a social lens. Concepts and theories of
intellectual and social capital can give practitioners new perspectives on their work and provide a framework for the hard
reset needed for academic libraries to remain relevant in the 21st century.
"The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement" by co-edited by
Tim Schlak, Sheila Corrall, and Paul J. Bracke introduces readers to these ideas and uses case studies from real-world
experience to show how intellectual and social capital perspectives and social network theory can strengthen strategic
development, collaborative relationships and professional leadership across all areas of library activity.
Of special note are the examples of application areas that include academic liaison, collection development, data services,
information literacy, library fundraising, service design, space utilization, and student success.
Critique: An ideal textbook that especially recommended addition to Library Science curriculum studies lists and in-service
training programs, "The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and
Engagement" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. It should be noted for the
personal, professional, community, and academic library collections that "The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New
Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement" is also available in a hardcover edition (9781783304721,
$148.40, 200pp, Amazon) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $62.19).
Editorial Note #1: Tim Schlak (https://alastore.ala.org/content/tim-schlak) is Dean of the University Library at Robert
Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. As Library Dean, he advocates on the Library's behalf and positions it as an integral
partner in the learning and scholarly processes of the University. Prior to joining Robert Morris, he was Library Director at
Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, where he spearheaded the DeWitt Learning Commons project. He has authored a
number of publications about the changing social context of libraries with particular emphasis on social capital and
Editorial Note #2: Sheila Corrall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Corrall) is Professor of Library and Information
Science in the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, where she is
lead faculty for academic information services. Her research interests include evolving roles in academic libraries, reflective
practice in information work, and the application of business management concepts and models to information
Editorial Note #3: Paul Bracke (www.gonzaga.edu/academics/faculty-listing/detail/bracke) is Dean of Library Services at
Gonzaga University. In this role, he provides leadership and oversight for Library Services, the Office of Sponsored
Research and Programs, and the Academic Technology Applications Support unit. He has published and presented on the
social relations of librarians and emerging roles for librarians, particularly in relation to research.
Academic Librarian Burnout: Causes and Responses
Christina Holm, et al.
ACRL Books (Association of College & Research Libraries)
c/o American Library Association
225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601-7616
9780838948569, $98.00, PB, 398pp
Synopsis: Since the 1800s being a librarian has traditionally been conceptualized as a vocation or calling rather than a
profession. Within this historical context, librarians are encouraged to think of ourselves as possessing a natural disposition
to showing perpetual engagement, enthusiasm, and self-regulation in pursuit of our shared vocation. These assumptions
about the profession can sometimes shield us from introspective criticism, but they can also prevent us from recognizing
and managing the systemic occupational issues that afflict us.
Co-edited by the team of Christina Holm, Ana Guimaraes, and Nashieli Marcano, "Academic Librarian Burnout:: Causes
and Responses" can help librarians develop the agency to challenge the assumptions and practices that have led to so much
In five thorough parts (Reframing Burnout; Conditions that Promote Burnout; Lived Experiences, Individual Responses to
Burnout; Organizational Responses to Burnout) this seminal study offers ways to discuss burnout in our work environments,
studies burnout's nature and causes, and provides preventative intervention and mitigation strategies:
The individual chapters comprising "Burnout: Causes and Responses" explore the relationship of burnout in academic
libraries and illness, intersectionality, workload, managerial approaches, and more, while offering real-life stories and ways
for both individuals and organizations to address the symptoms and causes of burnout. The emotional, physical, and mental
investment we require of librarianship (to go above and beyond to serve the ever-evolving needs of our patrons while
perennially justifying our existence to library stakeholders) can come at the expense of our well-being.
"Burnout: Causes and Responses" specifically addresses unsustainable work environments and the preservation and
celebration of the unique contributions of librarians.
Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Burnout: Causes and Responses" is an ideal Library Science
curriculum textbook for classroom or in-service training programs. Especially recommended reading for aspiring and
seasoned librarians (especially library supervisor staff members and library board members), "Burnout: Causes and
Responses" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.
Editorial Note #1: Christina Holm (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-holm-3849a759) is the Teaching & Learning
Team Lead, Instruction Coordinator, and a Librarian Associate Professor at Kennesaw State University. With over 9 years
of professional experience working in academic libraries and public services, she is passionate about information access,
library service design, and advocating for critical reflections into professional practices.
Editorial Note #2: Ana Guimaraes (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ana-Guimaraes-29) is the former Director of
Collection Development at Kennesaw State University and currently an Engagement Librarian with SAGE Publishing, Inc.
A librarian with over 15 years of public services and collection development experience in academic libraries, including
public archives and university special collections, she is passionate about library collections, project management and
process improvement, and advocating for staff development and the needs of library employees.
Editorial Note #3: Nashieli Marcano (https://www.furman.edu/people/nashieli-marcano) is Archivist for Digital Collections
at Furman University. Her 14 years of experience in academia has encompassed library research support, instruction,
collection development, and project management. Her current work and interests involves digital curation; diversity, equity,
and inclusion efforts; exploring issues in academic librarianship; and digital scholarship. She holds a doctorate degree in
Latin American Languages, Literatures, and Cultures from the University of Pittsburgh.
The Journalism Shelf
Beacons in the Darkness
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572843165, $18.99, PB, 298pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Beacons in the Darkness: Hope and Transformation Among America's Community
Newspapers", professional journalist Dave Hoekstra interviews the people trying to keep the lights on at community
newspapers across the country amid buyouts, declining revenues, fake news, and a pandemic. But "Beacons in the
Darkness" is not just another account of the death of local journalism -- but rather a celebration of the community ties,
perseverance, and empathy that's demonstrated in community newsrooms from Hillsboro, Illinois, to Charleston, South
Carolina, to Marfa, Texas.
Hoekstra recounts the sometimes-scandalous but always-industrious stories of the families who built these newspapers and
passed them down through generations. Modern publishers and owners describe in their own words their struggles and
experiments to stay alive in the digital age, not just for their businesses and their families but also for the communities they
serve and the neighbors whose stories they tell in their reporting.
Of special note is that "Beacons in the Darkness" provides an intimate view inside the organizations that still publish photos
of the local bowling league and the outlandishly large mushrooms on the edge of town, leaving you with a rekindled
fondness for your own community paper and a renewed appreciation of what we all stand to lose without one.
Critique: Simply stated, anyone who aspires to be a journalist or who recognizes the role local journalism plays as a
supporting pillar of our democracy on a community basis, must read "Beacons in the Darkness: Hope and Transformation
Among America's Community Newspapers". Exceptionally well written, organized and presented (as expected by a
journalist of Dave Hoekstra's experience and expertise), "Beacons in the Darkness" is a vital and unreservedly recommended
addition to community and academic library American Journalism collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It
should be noted for journalism students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Beacons in the Darkness" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Dave Hoekstra (https://www.davehoekstra.com/about-me) is a Chicago author-journalist. From 1985
through 2014, he was a columnist-critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he won the 2013 Studs Terkel Community Media
Award. He has contributed pieces to Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader, New City, and Raw Vision. He has written
several books, including The Supper Club Book (A Celebration of a Midwest Tradition), The People's Place (Soul Food
Restaurants and Reminiscences from The Civil Rights Era to Today), and The Camper Book (Celebration of a Moveable
Finding Fang Dazeng
Xuesong Feng, author
Long River Press
c/o China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
360 Swift Avenue, Suite #48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
9781592652471, $24.95, PB, 314pp
Synopsis: By the mid 1930s, photographer and journalist Fang Dazeng was well known within Chinese press circles. Born
in 1912, he was considered by many to be the "Robert Capa of China" for his pioneering work in photojournalism. Fang was
also one of the most active correspondents in the early stage of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese
His reports and photographs were published in Shun Pao, Young Companion, World Pictorial, and Ta Kung Pao in China,
and in Time in the U.S. and the Illustrated London News in the United Kingdom, among others. After witnessing and
reporting on the Marco Polo Bridge Incident (Lugouqiao) on the outskirts of Beijing in July, 1937, which led to full scale
invasion by Japan into China, Fang continued to send dispatches from the main areas of conflict within until he vanished
without a trace in September, 1937.
Fang never returned home and his fate remains unknown to this day. But his story was far from finished. In 1999, author and
editor for CCTV, Feng Xuesong, began work on a comprehensive series of documentaries on Fang Dazeng. His discoveries
led to meetings with Fang's surviving family members and a cache of Fang's personal belongings including numerous rolls
of undeveloped film taken before his disappearance.
As a result of Feng Xuesong's tireless work to reappraise and treasure Fang Dazeng's contribution to modern Chinese
history, as well as Fang's own selfless actions and perhaps his making the ultimate sacrifice, Fang Dazeng is now widely
considered to be the forefather of photojournalism in China. These remarkable series of discoveries form the core of this
book, featuring many of Fang's photographs being published for the first time. Fang Dazeng's contribution to our better
understanding of modern Chinese history is of inestimable value to future scholars and those interested in some of China's
most tumultuous years.
Critique: "Finding Fang Dazeng: A War Correspondent's Stories" by Xuesong Feng is a large sized (8.25 x 0.79 x 10.25
inches, 1.81 pounds) paperback compendium of historic black/white captioned photographs that provide a kind of 'window
through time' to pictorially reveal China in a time of war. This English language edition from Long River Press and
distributed by China Books & Periodicals is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, and academic library 19th Century Journalism, Photography, and Chinese History collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists.
The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Tales of Korea
Im Bang, author
Yi Ryuk, author
James S. Gale, translator
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804855495, $18.99, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: "Tales of Korea: 53 Enchanting Stories of Ghosts, Goblins, Princes, Fairies and More!" is an impressive
compendium of Korea's best-known folktales. Collected and written down by Yi Ryuk and Im Bang over three centuries
ago, these 53 legendary tales explore fantasy worlds filled with enchanted animals, fairies, goblins, ghosts, princesses and
The among the Korean stories comprising this unique volume are:
"The Home of the Fairies" --A young man happens upon a magical fairy town where he stays for several years before
returning home to an uncertain future.
"Charan"-- A beautiful dancing girl befriends a governor's son. As their friendship blossoms into love, their lives take an
unexpected and agonizing turn!
"Ten Thousand Devils"-- A prince welcomes a distant relative for a visit only to discover that the guest controls thousands
of evil creatures that converge on the prince's home.
"An Encounter with a Hobgoblin"-- A man experiences horrifying visitations in his home and fears that he is living with a
"The Snake's Revenge"-- After a soldier kills a snake, the reptile is reborn as the man's son and seeks revenge in a gruesome
Critique: Featuring an informative Foreword by author, translator, educator, and folklorist Heinz Insu Fenkl, "Tales of
Korea: 53 Enchanting Stories of Ghosts, Goblins, Princes, Fairies and More!" by co-authors by Im Bang and Yi Ryuk, and
ably translated into English by James S. Gale is an extraordinary collection of Korean fables, fantasies, folklore and
fairytales. Also featured are thirty full-color minhwa paintings (Korean folkart) to bring the magic and mystery of Korean
folklore to life. With a very special appeal for readers with an interest in mythology and folklore, "Tales of Korea" is a very
special and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Folklore/Mythology/Fantasy
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tales of Korea" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note #1: Im Bang, born in 1640, was a disciple of Song Si-yol, one of Korea's foremost writers. In 1719, at the
remarkable age of seventy-nine, he became governor of Seoul and simultaneously held office as secretary of the cabinet. His
writings have long been revered in Korea, and his reputation as a great scholar has endured for centuries.
Editorial Note #2: Yi Ryuk, who lived during the reign of King Sejo in the mid-15th century, was no less a scholar than Im
Bang. The Kuk-cho Inmul-chi (Korea's Record of Famous Men) speaks of him as "a man of many offices and many
distinctions in the way of literary excellence."
Editorial Note #3: James S. Gale (1863-1937) was a Presbyterian minister who arrived in Korea in 1888 to teach English
and help translate the Bible into Korean. He founded two middle schools in Seoul, and was a professor at Pyongyang
Theological Seminary. His books include History of the Korean People and a translation of The Cloud Dream of the Nine,
the first work of Korean literature to be translated into English.
The Military Shelf
Sign Here for Sacrifice
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781472849427, $30.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: "Sign Here for Sacrifice: The Untold Story of the Third Battalion, 506th Airborne, Vietnam 1968" draws on
interviews with veterans, many of whom have never gone on the record before. Author Ian Gardner follows up his epic
trilogy about the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II with the story of the unit's reactivation at the height of
the Vietnam War. This is the dramatic history of a band of brothers who served together in Vietnam and who against the
odds lived up to the reputation of their World War II forefathers.
Brigadier General Salve Matheson's idea was to create an 800-strong battalion of airborne volunteers in the same legendary
"Currahee" spirit that had defined the volunteers of 1942. The man he chose to lead them was John Geraci, who would mold
this young brotherhood into a highly cohesive and motivated force.
In December 1967, the battalion was sent into the Central Highlands of Lam Dong Province. Geraci and his men began their
Search and Destroy patrols, which coincided with the North Vietnamese build-up to the Tet Offensive and was a brutal
introduction to the reality of a dirty, bloody war. Gardner reveals how it was here that the tenacious volunteers made their
mark, just like their predecessors had done in Normandy, and the battalion was ultimately awarded a Valorous Unit Citation.
"Sign Her for Sacrifice" shows how and why this unit was deserving of that award, recounting their daily sanguinary
struggle in the face of a hostile environment and a determined enemy.
Through countless interviews and rare personal photographs, "Sign Here for Sacrifice" is a story of battlefield action,
leadership, humor and bravery as displayed by these airborne warriors.
Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a two page Bibliography and an eight page Index,
"Sign Here for Sacrifice: The Untold Story of the Third Battalion, 506th Airborne, Vietnam 1968" is a welcome
contribution to personal, professional, community, and academic library Vietnam War History collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists. Exceptionally informative, well written, organized and presented, "Sign Here for Sacrifice" is also
available for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject in a
digital book format (Kindle, $20.49).
Editorial Note: Ian Gardner (https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/507891.Ian_Gardner) served for five years in Support
Company, 10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. After a visit to Normandy in 2000 he decided to focus on the 3rd
Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which led to the critically acclaimed trilogy Tonight We Die As Men,
Deliver Us From Darkness and No Victory in Valhalla. He is also the author of Airborne: The Combat Biography of Ed
Shames of Easy Company.
The Audiobook Shelf
The Writer's Room Survival Guide
Niceole Levy, author/reader
1417 Timberwolf Drive, Holland, Ohio, 43528
9781666626704, $22.99, CD (8 Hours, 26 Minutes)
Synopsis: Writers' rooms for television shows or film projects can be a heaven or hell, depending on a few things. The best
rooms foster inclusive and productive creative flow. The worst create a toxic stew of bad feelings and doubt. Both kinds,
and all the ones in between, require basic knowledge of how the room works. These fundamentals are best learned before
you go in.
What Niceole Levy provides in her complete and unabridged audio book "The Writer's Room Survival Guide: Don't Screw
Up the Lunch Order and Other Keys to a Happy Writers' Room" is a true insider's insightful account of how to make it as a
screenwriter working with others in close and confining quarters.
Critique: Professional screenwriter Niceole Levy's ably narrated and impressively informative, complete and unabridged
audio book edition of "The Writer's Room Survival Guide: Don't Screw Up the Lunch Order and Other Keys to a Happy
Writers' Room" from Dreamscape Media must be considered essential and invaluable for anyone one aspiring to or hoping
for a career of writing scripts from television, the movies, or the stage. It should be noted that "The Writer's Room Survival Guide" is also available in a print edition from publisher Michael Wiese Productions (9781615933464, $29.95).
Editorial Note: Niceole Levy (https://niceolelevy.com/about) completed the NBC Writers on the Verge program in 2012 and
the CBS Writer's Mentoring Program in 2011. She is also a 2-time graduate of the University of Southern California. A
devotee of television, she wrote her first solo original pilot, "Thin Air" during the CBS program. She was a staff writer on
NBC's "Ironside" in 2013 and is currently working on two new pilots. In addition, Niceole has completed a variety of
projects, including pilots, specs, original plays, and original short stories.
Murder in Chianti
T. A. Williams, author
Simon Mattacks, narrator
Boldwood Books, Ltd.
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781804832332, $87.95, MP3-CD (6 Hours, 45 Minutes)
Synopsis: It's a clear case of murder being carried out in broad daylight when millionaire magnate Rex Hunter is found with
his head bashed in on the eighth hole of his prestigious golf and country club in beautiful Chianti.
Hunter was rich and successful and the envy of many, so retired DCI Dan Armstrong thinks the case will be a hole in one to
solve. But as Dan and his trusty canine sidekick Oscar begin to dig deeper into Hunter's lifestyle, they discover a man
despised by many. A renowned womaniser, ruthless boss and heartless family man, it seems no one is particularly sorry to
see Hunter dead. And the list of possible suspects is endless.
Despite the murderer covering their tracks, Dan is determined to catch this clever killer, but it seems every new lead brings
another dead end. Will this be one case Dan and his canine companion won't solve?
Critique: Brought vividly to life with the exceptional storytelling talents of narrator Simon Mattacks, "Murder in Chianti",
the latest 'whoodunit' mystery by accomplished novelist T. A. Williams is a fun 'theatre of the mind' experience and
unreservedly recommended for both personal and community library Mystery/Suspens audio book collections.
Editorial Note #1: An extended listing of books by T. A. Williams can be found on a website dedicated to his work at
Editorial Note: Simon Mattacks (https://www.simonmattacks.com) has been doing voice over and narrator work for
advertisements, cartoons, corporate videos, video games, and audio books for more than 30 years.
The Trophy Wife
Valerie Keogh, author
Elliot Fitzpatrick, narrator
Boldwood Books Ltd
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781804835616, $103.00, MP3-CD (10 Hours, 40 Minutes)
Synopsis: His prized possession or his greatest mistake? From the moment I saw Anne, I knew she was perfect for me. Her
beauty and her social connections would make my miserable life so much better. It didn't matter that I didn't love her. I
would give her the lifestyle she craved, and she would give me the life I deserved. But soon my marriage vows were a noose
around my neck. I longed to escape my beautiful, horrible wife. And then I saw her and I knew there was only one way
Critique: A genuine suspense thriller of a novel by the impressively talented author Valerie Keogh, "The Trophy Wife" is
flawlessly narrated by the exceptional storytelling talents of narrator Elliot Fitzpatrick. The result is a truly memorable
experience that will enthrall the listener, this complete and unabridged edition from Boldwood Books is especially
recommended for both personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.
Editorial Note #2: Valerie Keogh (https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/contributor/valerie-keogh) lives in Wiltshire with her
husband and a huge black cat, Fatty Arbuckle. She grew up reading Agatha Christie and initially wrote crime novels -- she
now writes psychological thrillers.
Editorial Note #2: Elliot Fitzpatrick (https://tantor.com/narrator/elliot-fitzpatrick.html) studied acting at the Royal
Birmingham Conservatoire before going on to appear in theater in London's West End, at Shakespeare's Globe, and with the
Rose Theatre Kingston, as well as in international tours across Asia. As an audiobook narrator he has read over fifty titles,
including books by Bear Grylls and mountain-climber Nims Purja, and in 2021 was nominated for an Audie for his work on
the mystery thriller The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell.
The Marriage Season
Boldwood Books Ltd
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781804835296, $108.95, MP3-CD (9 Hours, 40 Minutes)
Synopsis: In Regency England, marriage is everything. For young widow Sybella Lovatt, the time has come to find a
suitable husband for her sister and ward Lucie. Male suitors are scarce near their Wiltshire estate, so the sisters resolve to
head to London in time for the Season to begin.
Once ensconced at the Mayfair home of Lady Godley, Lucie's godmother, the whirl of balls, parties and promenades can
begin. But the job of finding a husband is fraught with rules and tradition. Jostling for attention are the two lords - the
charming and irresistible Freddie Lynwood and the preternaturally handsome Valentine Ravenell, their enigmatic neighbour
from Shotten Hall, Mr Brabazon, and the dangerous libertine Lord Rockliffe, with whom the brooding Brabazon is locked
in deadly rivalry.
Against the backdrop of glamorous Regency England, Sybella must settle Lucie's future, protect her own reputation, and
resist the disreputable rakes determined to seduce the beautiful widow. As the Season ends, will the sisters have found the
rarest of things -- a suitable marriage with a love story to match?
Critique: As a author, Jane Dunn is a true master of the Regency Romance genre as documented by her novel "The Marriage
Season". Now from Boldwood Books this outstanding example of Regency Romance is now available as a complete and
unabridged audio book edition deftly narrated by the vocal storytelling talents of Ruth Redman. A fun 'theatre of the mind'
experience from start to finish, "The Marriage Season" is a welcome and recommended addition to personal lists and
community library Romance audio book collections.
Editorial Note #1: Jane Dunn *https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/contributor/jane-dunn) is an historian and biographer and
the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters and the Sunday Times and NYT
bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She came to Boldwood Books with her first fiction outing with a
trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which is "The Marriage Season",
Editorial Note #2: Ruth Redman (https://erggo.us/en/account/you/RuthRedman) has voice a that is light and warm with a
sympathetic tone that is both approachable and calm. She conveys authority and quiet confidence and has an excellent ear
for accents. She is also a qualified and experienced actress who works in VoiceOver, Theatre, Film and Television. She
even has her own Home studio.
The Library CD Shelf
Love and Learn
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3
Love and Learn is a music album featuring classic performances by American singer and actress Rosemary Clooney (1928-
2002), along with Buddy Cole on keyboards, and orchestrations by John Forbes. These timeless tracks showcase an
unforgettable star in her prime. Love and Learn is highly recommended especially for public library collections as a
preserved piece of American musical heritage, and also makes an excellent gift! The tracks are Harbor Lights, I Get A Kick
Out Of You, Love And Learn, Always Together, When I Sing, Goodbye Blues, It Just Happened To Happen To Me,
Mountain Greenery, Anyone For Love?, Witchcraft, Time For Love, You Got, I Love You (My Every Thought Is You), and
You Ol' Son Of A Gun.
Losing My Mind
$15.09 CD / $9.49 MP3
Losing My Mind is the second solo project of vocalist, saxophonist, arranger, and composer Darmon Meader. The songs are
primarily beloved classics from the "Great American Songbook", Stephen Sondheim, Ivan Lins, and "old-school" pop tunes,
although there are also a couple of original compositions. Losing My Mind is a treasure for saxophone connoisseurs, highly
recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are It Could Happen To You; Losing My Mind;
Last Call; Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise; Gaia's Lament; I Hear Muisc; Lembra de Mim; The Last Thing On My Mind;
Lovely Day; East of the Sun (West of the Moon); All My Loving; and The Song Is You.
Avi Granite 6
$TBA CD / $7.00 digital
New York City based improviser, composer, and guitarist Avi Granite presents Operator, an original music album created
with Jim Lewis on trumpet, Peter Lutek on tenor and soprano saxophones, Tom Richards on trombone, Neal Davis on Bass,
and Ted Warren on drums. All songs are the original compositions of Avi Granite. Creative and lively, Operator explores
the transformative powers of connections and communications between people, and is a welcome addition to modern jazz
collections. Highly recommended. The tracks are Crushing Beans, Voracious, My Sunken Ship, Ubiquitous Miles, The
Long Tomorrow, Good Deal, Misanthropic Vindaloo, and Many Bowls.
The Money/Finance Shelf
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572843196, $19.95, PB, 280pp
Synopsis: Even before the pandemic, a large share of households by Americans over age 50 faced the threat that their living
standards would decline sharply in retirement. In the wake of COVID-19, these numbers will surely worsen. With the
publication of "Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track", finance writer and
regular New York Times retirement contributor Mark Miller offers practical strategies for the millions of older Americans
to improve their retirement prospects after the calamitous years of the COVID-19 shutdown of the American economy..
If you're nearing retirement age and worry you haven't saved enough, "Retirement Reboot" will walk you through the core
decisions to make now to improve your retirement outcomes -- even if retirement is just a few years away. You will learn
how to make a plan, think through the timing of retirement, optimize Social Security, navigate Medicare, build savings, and
tap home equity. You'll also explore ongoing strategies, such as careful budgeting, generating income from work even after
retirement, planning for long-term care, and leveraging special assistance aimed at low-income workers.
Of special note is that if you have low savings, or none at all, Miller's simple steps outlined in "Retirement Reboot" can help
you make the most of your remaining working years and restart the retirement you were always toward or had finally
Critique: Exceptionally well written, and impressively organized and presented for the non-specialist general reader,
"Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track" is an ideal combination of instructional
guide and 'how-to' manual that is particularly and specifically commended to the attention of readers who are either
approaching or already dealing with financing their retirement. While available for personal reading lists in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99), "Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track" is a critically
important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, senior citizen, college, and
university library Money Management and Financial Planning collections.
Editorial Note: Mark Miller (www.RetirementRevised.com) is a journalist, author, and podcaster with a national reputation
as a top expert on retirement and aging -- and at age 68, he is asking many of the same questions facing millions of other
older Americans. Mark has more than 15 years of experience covering the field. He contributes regularly to the New York
Times "Retiring" column, which appears in the Sunday edition, where his articles are among the best-read personal finance
stories in the paper. He also writes monthly national columns on retirement for Reuters, Morningstar, and Wealth
Management magazine. Mark publishes a newsletter and has a pod-cast that features interviews with authoritative experts in
the field of retirement.
The Architecture Shelf
Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our Present
31 Commerical Blvd., Suite F, Novato, CA 94949
9781954081901, $34.95, PB, 200pp
Synopsis: The theme of "modernity" was the launching pad for architecture in the 20th century, to the point of completely
revolutionizing our way of life. By causing in its development absolutizations and misunderstandings, actual motives linked
to the profound desire to improve everyone's life were reconsidered.
Against the theory that the 20th century connected the objective of modernity to that of the Modern Movement, with the
publication of "Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our Present", Professor Patrizia Mello deals with
the theme of a present continuity by revealing those "open visions" that characterized modernity at the end of the 19th
Professor Mellow critically reviews the main stages of architectural developments over time (as well as the intense debates
of architectural historians, architects, and contemporary scholars) through the thesis of modernity as tradition, research, and
criticism, a concept of contradiction is supported. Further echoed by that of "architecture tout court," enhancing the present
environment in its current fragility of views -- even more so today with the appearance of a virus capable of undermining
our way of living. These are "contemporary modernisms" aimed at recovering the essence of a recent past to project it into
the present, restoring to architecture that long-neglected role of critical construction and formation of society in an era,
ultimately defined as "of Rembrandt beauty."
Critique: Featuring numerous illustrations and a Bibliography, "Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past,
Our Present" will have a very special appeal and value to readers with an interest in Architectural History & Criticism.
Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Twentieth-Century Architecture and Modernity: Our Past, Our
Present" must be considered an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library
Architectural Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Patrizia Mello (https://www.unive.it/data/people/21830983) is interested in history, theory, and criticism of
contemporary design, topics on which she carries out in teaching and research for her books, numerous essays, and articles.
She currently teaches Contemporary Architecture II at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
The Music Shelf
Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory
Larisa P. Jackson
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
9781574418606, $29.95, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory: Practical Manual of Harmony, Its Sources,
History, and Traditions", Professor Larisa P. Jackson presents the first comprehensive study of this legendary Russian
composer's concept of harmony that also traces the history of tonal relationships.
Professor Jackson describes and examines Rimsky-Korsakov's distinctive harmonic theory using his Practical Manual of
Harmony as a basis, and places it in historical context of nineteenth-century music theory. She also explores in great detail a
concept of tonal relationships, fundamental to Rimsky-Korsakov's view of harmony, and relates this to ideas by German
theorists of the period and the Russian theoretical tradition.
Professor Jackson deftly examines the concept of modulation and of the relationship of keys and presents a model of his
tonal space/map extrapolated from his harmonic system. Additionaly, she identifies specific treatises that help to trace ties
between German theoretical ideas and Rimsky-Korsakov's work.
Critique: An impressive work of original scholarship and enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of seven Appendices,
thirty-four pages of Notes, a fourteen page Bibliography, and a nine page Index, "Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory:
Practical Manual of Harmony, Its Sources, History, and Traditions" is a seminal study that will have a very special value for
anyone interested in Russian/German Music History & Criticism. While a unique and highly recommended addition to
personal, professional, community, and academic library Music History collections, it should be noted for students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the life and work of Rimsky-Korsakov that
"Rimsky-Korsakov's Harmonic Theory" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.96).
Editorial Note: Larisa P. Jackson (https://untpress.unt.edu/authors/jackson-larisa) studied at Mussorgsky Music College in
St. Petersburg, Russia, and completed her M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York City under
eminent music theorist Ian Bent. She has taught at the University of Houston since 2001.
The African-American Studies Shelf
The State of Black America
W. B. Allen, editor
900 Broadway, Suite 601, New York, NY 10003
9781641772662, $31.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: In a nation that is tearing itself apart over race, trying to speak honestly about the state of black America is a
perilous task. Candor and thoughtfulness are often drowned by hysteria, expediency, and sentimentalism. With the
publication of "The State of Black America: Progress, Pitfalls, and the Promise of the Republic", compiled and edited by
Professor W. B. Allen, seeks to restore these sorely needed virtues to the present discourse, assembling a company of
scholars who confront our nation's troubled racial history even as they bear witness to the promise the American heritage
contains for blacks.
Collectively, the eight erudite essays comprising "The State of Black America" bring clarity to the murky darkness of
America's race debates, reviewing and building upon the latest scholarship on the character, shape, and tendencies of life for
black Americans. Together, they tell a story of black America's astounding success in integrating into mainstream American
culture and propose that black patriotism is the key to overcoming what problems remain.
Featuring contributions from W. B. Allen, Mikael Rose Good, Edward J. Erler, Robert D. Bland, Glenn C. Loury, Ian V.
Rowe, Precious D. Hall, Daphne Cooper, Star Parker, and Robert Borens each of whome were drawn from a variety of
disciplines, including history, economics, social science, and political philosophy, "The State of Black America" offers to
the world a kind of "toolbox" of intellectual resources to aid careful and sound thinking on one of the most fraught issues of
Critique: A timely and significant contribution to our present national dialogue concerning race relations in contemporary
America, "The State of Black America: Progress, Pitfalls, and the Promise of the Republic" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Political and Race Relations
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activist, governmental policy
makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The State of Black America: Progress,
Pitfalls, and the Promise of the Republic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: William B. Allen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_B._Allen) is a resident scholar and the former
chief operating officer of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education in Washington, D.C. He is also an Emeritus
Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science and an Emeritus Dean of James Madison College at
Michigan State University. In 2018 - 20 he was senior scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder. He served
previously on the United States National Council for the Humanities and as chairman and member of the United States
Commission on Civil Rights. Recognized for excellence in liberal education on the 1997 Templeton Honor Roll
(individually and institutionally), he also has been a Kellogg National Fellow, received the international Prix Montesquieu,
and was the 2014 Salvatori Award winner. He has published extensively, including George Washington: A Collection
(Liberty Fund, Inc.), Rethinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of H. B. Stowe (Lexington Books), and George
Washington: America's First Progressive (Peter Lang, Inc.).
The Native American Studies Shelf
Lakhota: An Indigenous History
Rani-Henrik Andersson, author
David C. Posthumus, author
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806190754, $34.95, HC, 440pp
Synopsis: The Lakhota are arguably among the best-known Native American peoples. In popular culture and even many
scholarly works, they were once lumped together with others and called the Sioux. "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" tells
the full story of Lakhota culture and society, from their origins to the twenty-first century, drawing on Lakhota voices and
In Lakhota culture, "listening" is a cardinal virtue, connoting respect, and here co-authors Rani-Henrik Andersson and David
C. Posthumus listen to the Lakhota, both past and present. The history of culture unfolds in this narrative as the people lived
Fittingly, "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" opens with an origin story, that of White Buffalo Calf Woman (Ptesanwin) and
her gift of the sacred pipe to the Lakhota people. Drawing on winter counts, oral traditions and histories, and Lakhota letters
and speeches, the narrative proceeds through such periods and events as early Lakhota trading, the creation of the Great
Sioux Reservation, Christian missionization, the Plains Indian Wars, the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee (1890), the
Indian New Deal, and self-determination, as well as recent challenges like the #NoDAPL movement and management of
Covid-19 on reservations.
"Lakhota: An Indigenous History" centers Lakhota experience, as when it shifts the focus of the Battle of Little Bighorn
from Custer to fifteen-year-old Black Elk, or puts American Horse at the heart of the negotiations with the Crook
Commission, or explains the Lakhota agenda in negotiating the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1851.
The picture that emerges (of continuity and change in Lakhota culture from its distant beginnings to issues in our day) is as
sweeping and intimate, and as deeply complex, as the lived history it encompasses.
Critique: Enhanced for the reader with numerous illustrations, a fourteen page Glossary, fifty-six pages of Notes, a twenty-
six page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" is a definitive history that will have a
very special appeal to students of Native American history and culture. Also available for personal reading lists in a digital
book format (Kindle, $22.49), "Lakhota: An Indigenous History" is an especially and unreservedly recommended for
community, college, and university library Native American History collections in general, and supplemental curriculum
Lakhota History/Culture studies in particular.
Editorial Note #1: Rani-Henrik Andersson holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Tampere in Finland. He has
served as the McDonnell Douglas Chair, Professor of American Studies at the University of Helsinki and is currently
working as a Core Fellow at the University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He has published a number of
scholarly articles about topics in Native American history, and has held a position as a visiting research fellow at Indiana
University where he worked with Lakota experts Ray DeMallie and Doug Parks. Andersson is also the author of The Lakota
Ghost Dance of 1890 (University of Nebraska Press, 2008).
Editorial Note #2: David C. Posthumus holds a PhD in Anthropology and is the author of All My Relatives: Exploring
Lakota Ontology, Belief, and Ritual and the novel The Legend of the Dogman.
The Mythology Shelf
The Chinese Myths
Tao Tao Liu
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500252383, $25.95, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Chinese Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Legends", Professor Tao Tao Liu provides
the reader with a concise and entertaining guide to the complex tradition of Chinese mythology. While many around the
world are familiar with some aspects of Chinese myth (through Chinese New Year festivities or the classic adventures of the
Monkey King in Journey to the West) not everyone understands the richness of Chinese mythology, especially as influenced
by Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
Offering more than a simple overview of Chinese mythology, "The Chinese Myths" not only retells the ancient stories but
also considers their place within the patterns of Chinese religions, culture, and history. An expert on the subject, Professor
Tao Tao Liu introduces an intriguing cast of gods, goddesses, dragons, and monks, including the ancient hero Yi the Archer,
who shot suns out of the sky to save humanity from a drought; Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, to whom
there are temples dedicated all over East Asia; and Madame White Snake, a water snake spirit in the guise of a mysterious
widow, her story adapted into countless films and operas.
Critique: Exquisitely illustrated with blue/white images throughout, "The Chinese Myths: A Guide to the Gods and
Legends" is very special volume is for anyone interested in China or mythology, as knowing China's myths allows readers to
understand and appreciate its culture in a new light. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Chinese
Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Legends" is especially and particularly recommended as a core addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Myth/Folklore collections in general, and supplemental curriculum Chinese
Mythology studies lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Tao Tao Liu (https://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/people/taotao-liu) is a retired senior lecturer in Chinese literature
in the faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.
The Travel Shelf
National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks
Michael Joseph Oswald
Stone Road Press
9781621280781, $20.00, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Explorers and travelers have relied on maps since the creation of paper. National Parks are some of the most
popular destinations for modern-day exploration. With the publication of "National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S.
National Parks", Michael Joseph Oswald unites explorers with large, legible maps of their national parks before having the
privilege to step foot in them.
"National Park Maps: An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks" provides: National Park Service maps for all 63 National Parks;
Driving distances between popular sites (and parks); Reasons to visit each park; Favorite sites and hikes from the author;
Basic "need to know" information; Activity suggestions for limited park time.
Critique: Exceptionally informative and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "National Park Maps:
An Atlas of the U.S. National Parks" is a coffee-table style (10.75 x 0.38 x 13.5 inches, 1.6 pounds) paperback volume from
Stone Road Press. Of special value to anyone with an interest in national parks and campgrounds, "National Park Maps: An
Atlas of the U.S. National Parks" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and
academic library American Travel Guide & Map collections.
Editorial Note: Michael Joseph Oswald is an award-winning American travel writer who's spent more than a decade
exploring America's most scenic treasures, its National Parks. He's learned much over the course of hundreds of trips and
thousands of miles hiking, biking, and paddling across these one-of-a-kind wilderness areas. There's much to see and do in
our parklands and his goal is to help readers make the most of their National Park adventures. His home base is in
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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