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Lieutenant Sonia Vagliano
Sonia Vagliano Eloy, author
Martha Noel Evans, editor/translator
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
9780813182490, $27.95, HC, 266pp
Synopsis: Following the German occupation of France in 1940, French women moved deftly into the jobs and roles left by their male compatriots -- including the role of a soldier. In "Lieutenant Sonia Vagliano: A Memoir of the World War II Refugee Crisis", Sonia Vagliano provides a gripping and compelling account of how her team of young French women was attached to a US First Army unit that arrived in Normandy two weeks after D-Day. From 1943 to 1945, Vagliano followed her unit from Normandy to Paris, through Belgium, and finally into Germany, where they cared for 41,000 total displaced persons and prisoners of war.
Vagliano not only describes her experiences in rich detail, ranging from caring for thousands of refugees in the worst possible conditions to defusing landmines and being kidnapped, shot at, torpedoed, and bombed, she also recounts the major events of the war in Europe, including the liberation of Paris, the Battle of the Bulge, and finally, the liberation of the concentration camps.
Having spent five weeks at Buchenwald repatriating the 21,000 remaining prisoners, she is a unique witness to the transition period between the camp's liberation and its transferal to Russian oversight in July 1945. She saw firsthand "to what extremes the human imagination can go in its search for the most cruel methods of torture".
Striking a balance between daredevil escapades and the sobering reality of a wartime account, "Lieutenant Sonia Vagliano: A Memoir of the World War II Refugee Crisis" won the Prix Saint Simon for best memoir under its original title, "Les demoiselles de Gaulle".
Critique: With the publication of "Lieutenant Sonia Vagliano: A Memoir of the World War II Refugee Crisis" by the University Press of Kentucky, translator and editor Martha Noel Evans does an excellent job in bringing this invaluable and unique World War II military biography to an American readership. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99), "Lieutenant Sonia Vagliano: A Memoir of the World War II Refugee Crisis" is an invaluable and critically important addition to the growing World War II History and Free French Military Biography/Memoir collections.
Editorial Note #1: Sonia Vagliano Eloy (1922 - 2002) was a lieutenant in the Free French Army during World War II. She received the Bronze Star and the Croix de Guerre and was made an officer of the Legion d'honneur. Her memoir, Les demoiselles de Gaulle, is based on a diary she kept during her service, official documents, and her personal correspondence.
Editorial Note #2: Martha Noel Evans is a retired women's studies and French professor and former director of book publications at the Modern Language Association. She is the author of Fits and Starts: A Genealogy of Hysteria in Modern France and Masks of Tradition: Women and the Politics of Writing in Twentieth-Century France.
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
The Defining Moment
Christopher Riley, author
Kathy Riley, author
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933372, $29.95, PB, 200pp
Synopsis: "The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters" by Christopher and Kathy Riley plumbs the depths of the most memorable characters ever to appear on the screen, the stage or the page. The focuses is on those moments so pivotal in a character's formation that they create a distinct boundary of before and after, moments without which the character couldn't exist and moments through which characters can transform before our eyes.
Aspiring and experience writers, actors and storytellers alike will discover a powerful new key to unlock any character they seek to develop, write or portray. They may even unlock a deeper understanding of themselves.
"The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters" includes: The first in-depth study of the essential principles that will redefine the way storytellers understand their characters and themselves; Essential insights into the forces that create character; Dozens of examples of character-defining moments from film, television, theater and literature; An exploration of pivotal moments: birth, death, discovery, decision-making, injury and healing; An examination of how writers and actors employ defining moments in their deepest and most unforgettable works; Insights into how directors, editors, cinematographers and composers dramatize key moments.
Also featured are: Practical exercises for defining and redefining character; Tips for discovering the moments that matter most; Deeply personal stories from the authors' lives to illustrate the variety of moments that define us.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters" is an extraordinary DIY instructional guide and 'how to' manual specifically designed for every storyteller in every medium. Redefining the way they understand their characters and themselves, and also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.64), "The Defining Moment: How Writers and Actors Build Characters" is a critically important and enduringly valued addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing and Theatrical Acting collections.
Editorial Note #1: Christopher Riley is a professional screenwriter who co-wrote with his wife Kathy Riley the award-winning German language courtroom thriller After the Truth. The Rileys have written scripts for Disney's Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Television Pictures, the late Sean Connery's Fountainbridge Films and Robert Cort Productions. Christopher produced the independent action-thriller Red Line and executive produced the web series Bump+. He is the author of the classic screenplay format guide The Hollywood Standard, now in its third edition, and teaches screenwriting at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Editorial Note #2: Kathy Riley co-wrote the award-winning feature film After the Truth. In addition to her work as a writer for Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Mandalay Television Pictures, Fountainbridge Films and Robert Cort Productions, Kathy holds a master's degree in public health and has worked extensively on behalf of families of children diagnosed with brain tumors. She also holds a certification of professional achievement in narrative medicine from Columbia University.
The Social Issues Shelf
Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System
M. Chris Fabricant
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781636140308, $29.95, HC, 368pp
Synopsis: From CSI to Forensic Files to the celebrated reputation of the FBI crime lab, forensic scientists have long been mythologized in American popular culture as infallible crime solvers. Juries put their faith in "expert witnesses" and innocent people have been executed as a result.
Innocent people are still on death row today, condemned by junk science.
In 2012, the Innocence Project began searching for prisoners convicted by junk science, and three men, each convicted of capital murder, became M. Chris Fabricant's clients. With the publication of "Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System", Chris Fabricant chronicles the fights to overturn their wrongful convictions and to end the use of the "science" that destroyed their lives. Weaving together courtroom battles from Mississippi to Texas to New York City and beyond, Fabricant takes the reader on a journey into the heart of a broken, racist system of justice and the role forensic science plays in maintaining the status quo.
At turns gripping, enraging, illuminating, and moving, "Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System" is a meticulously researched insider's perspective of the American criminal justice system. Previously untold stories of wrongful executions, corrupt prosecutors, and quackery masquerading as science animate Fabricant's true crime narrative.
Critique: Inherently fascinating and impressively written, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System" is a singularly informative, thought-provoking, and critically important addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Criminology collections and a supplemental curriculum studies syllabus. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of law students, academia, courtroom attorneys, political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: Graduating from George Washington University Law School in 1997, M. Chris Fabricant is the Innocence Project's Director of Strategic Litigation and one of the nation's leading experts on forensic sciences and the criminal justice system. Fabricant is featured in the Netflix documentary The Innocence Files and his public commentary has been published in virtually every major media outlet. A former public defender and clinical law professor, Fabricant brings to his writing over two decades of experience ranging from litigating death penalty cases in the Deep South to misdemeanors in the South Bronx.
Blacks and Jews in America
Terrence L. Johnson, author
Jacques Berlinerblau, author
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781647121402, $26.95, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: "Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue" is a uniquely structured conversational work, win which two scholars - one of African American politics and religion (Professor Terrence L. Johnson), and one of contemporary American Jewish culture (Professor Jacques Berlinerblau) - explore a mystery: Why aren't Blacks and Jews presently united in their efforts to combat white supremacy? As alt-right rhetoric becomes increasingly normalized in public life, the time seems right for these one-time allies to rekindle the fires of the civil rights movement.
"Blacks and Jews in America" investigates why these two groups do not presently see each other as sharing a common enemy, let alone a political alliance. Considered are a number of angles, including the disintegration of the "Grand Alliance" between Blacks and Jews during the civil rights era, the perspective of Black and Jewish millennials, the debate over Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Ultimately, "Blacks and Jews in America" shows how the deep roots of the Black-Jewish relationship began long before the mid-twentieth century, changing a narrative dominated by the Grand Alliance and its subsequent fracturing. By engaging this history from our country's origins to its present moment, this dialogue models the honest and searching conversation needed for Blacks and Jews to forge a new understanding.
Critique: Especially timely in this current era where racial discrimination is on the rise as evidence by voter suppression legislation and the Black Lives Matter movement, "Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue" is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a two page listing of Interviewees, a sixteen page Bibliography, and an eight page Index. A masterpiece of outstanding scholarship in organization and presentation, "Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Contemporary Social Issues and Political Science/Race Relations collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, governmental policy makers, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.49).
Editorial Note #1: Terrence L. Johnson is an associate professor of religion and politics in the Department of Government and a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. He is an affiliate member of the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. He is also the author of Tragic Soul-Life: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Moral Crisis Facing American Democracy.
Editorial Note #2: Jacques Berlinerblau is a professor of Jewish civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He has published on a wide variety of issues ranging from secularism, to religion and politics, to Jewish American fiction, and higher education. He is the author of ten books, including "Heresy in the University: The Black Athena Controversy and the Responsibilities of American Intellectuals", "How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom", "The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously", "Secularism: The Basics", and "The Philip Roth We Don't Know: Sex, Race, and Autobiography".
The Environmental Studies Shelf
Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism
David Tindall, editor
Mark C. J. Stoddart, editor
Riley E. Dunlap, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781839100215, $295.00, HC, 512pp
Synopsis: The "Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism" is a thought-provoking compilation of twenty-three impressively informative articles by experts in the subject of resistance to environmental protection laws and findings that collectively provide a theoretical overview of the wide variety of anti-environmentalisms and offers an integrative research agenda for future research on the topic. Probing the ways in which groups have organized to oppose environmental movements and pro-environmental policies in recent decades, it examines those involved in these countermovements and studies their motivations and support systems.
International contributors investigate the ways in which anti-environmentalism differs across regions and by the nature of the issue, alongside unique coverage of the critiques of environmental movements coming from sources that are not anti-environmental. "Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism" explores core topics in the field, including contestation over climate change, wind power, mining, forestry, food sovereignty, oil and gas pipelines and population issues. Chapters also analyze our understanding of countermovements, the effect of public opinion on environmental policy, and original empirical case studies from North America, Oceania, Europe and Asia.
Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the "Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism" will be a key resource for scholars and students of environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, environmental governance and social movements.
Critique: Given the purposeful suppression of science-based information on climate change and the well-funded opposition to the laws and steps that are necessary if global catastrophe is to be avoided, "Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism" is an incredibly timely and 'time-is-running-out' urgent contribution to our national and international discussions on the continuing and growing impacts for climate change based environmental impacts. Also available in a digital book format ($65.00), "Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism" is a singularly unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, governmental, college, and university library Contemporary Environmental Issues collections and supplemental curriculum reading list.
Editorial Note: "Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism" is collaboratively compiled and edited by the team of David Tindall (Professor, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia, Canada); Mark C.J. Stoddart (Professor, Department of Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada); and Riley E. Dunlap (Dresser Professor and Regents Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Oklahoma State University).
2000 M St NW Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
9781642832457, $45.00, PB, 280pp
Synopsis: For most people, "conservation" conjures the notion of minimizing human presence on wildlands to avoid harmful impacts. But too often, this defensive approach has pitted local communities against conservationists, wasting opportunities for collaboration and setting the stage for ongoing conflict. One conservation approach turns that paradigm on its head, and instead connects conservation with the well-being of human communities, setting both up for success. Called "Full Nature," this approach (pioneered by conservationist Ignacio Jimenez) seeks to promote fully functional natural landscapes that are tied to the basic needs of the communities in their midst. They become a self-sustaining cycle, where nature and people are integrated ecologically, socially, and politically.
"Effective Conservation: Parks, Rewilding, and Local Development" is based on Jimenez's experience managing conservation projects on three continents over thirty years. Jimenez offers a pragmatic approach to conservation that puts the focus on working with people (neighbors, governments, politicians, businesses, media) to ensure they have a long-term stake in protecting and restoring parks and wildlife. Jimenez guides readers through the practical considerations of designing, analyzing, and managing effective conservation programs.
The chapters comprising "Effective Conservation" explore intelligence gathering, communication, planning, conflict management, and evaluation techniques, and include numerous text boxes showcasing examples of successful conservation projects from all continents. A companion website (www.islandpress.org/effective-conservation) includes additional case studies, expanded texts, and links to additional resources.
Now newly translated into English after successful Spanish and Portuguese editions, "Effective Conservation" is a highly readable manual that provides a groundbreaking and time-proven formula for successful conservation projects around the world that bring together parks, people, and nature.
Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Effective Conservation: Parks, Rewilding, and Local Development" is an ideal and practical combination of instructional guide and 'how to' manual that is highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Environmental & Conservation collections, and for a supplemental curriculum studies syllabus. It should be noted for students, academia, environmentalists, conservationists, political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Effective Conservation: Parks, Rewilding, and Local Development" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $42.75).
Editorial Note: Ignacio Jimenez has extensive international experience in conservation. He has coordinated research and management projects in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Madagascar, and El Salvador, and coordinated a national assessment of the Spanish experience in endangered species recovery. He worked for CLT/Tompkins Conservation in Argentina between 2005 and 2018, where he managed the largest reintroduction program in the Americas. He spent 2016 in South Africa to learn about how public and private organizations in Africa manage and integrate nature reserves, rewilding, and ecotourism. In 2018 he collaborated with Brazilian organizations to establish two large conservation landscapes in the Atlantic Forest and the Pantanal.
Climate Politics on the Border
The University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380
9780817321116, $49.95, HC, 216pp
Synopsis: As a borderland city with generations of slow violence and extreme weather events like flash flooding and intense heat waves, San Antonio, Texas, speaks directly to global issues in climate politics. With the publication of "Climate Politics on the Border: Environmental Justice Rhetorics", Professor Kenneth Walker takes a place-based approach to his study of San Antonio to explore how extreme weather events and responses to them shape local places, publics, and politics, with an eye toward a future characterized by severe climate breakdown.
Attending to the local histories and micropolitics of San Antonio, Professor Walker examines the effects of extreme weather events as they are experienced across radically inequitable social categories. These local histories serve as a guide, not just for future climates, which stand to be unprecedented, but for the necessary public and political responses to them. He shows how extreme weather events in the past have reinforced colonial social orders that weaken democratic goals of pluralism and equity. Conversely, he also shows how diverse coalitions have resisted and responded to these forces.
Professor Walker also examines the ethics of Latinx and Anglo relations within state-sponsored productions of racial inequity and environmental degradation, the coalitional capacities of environmental activists and second-wave Chicana/o organizations to protect clean water and transform local political representation, the obligations of place-keeping in Latinx urban design and ecological restoration, and the need to foster pluriversal worlds in city-level climate action and adaptation plans. Collectively these chapters rethink tropes of adaptation, resilience, and coalition as rhetorical and ecological capacities for public and political responses to extractivism.
Based on years of archival work and fieldwork, "Climate Politics on the Border" demonstrates vividly why ecological and anticolonial approaches to rhetoric are essential for grappling with climate politics. Overall, this is a timely study of how environmental degradation, pollution, and climate change are disputed and negotiated at the local political level in a borderland community.
Critique: Enhanced for the reader's benefit with the inclusion of a fourteen page Bibliography, twenty pages of Notes, and a three page Index, "Climate Politics on the Border: Environmental Justice Rhetorics" is an original work of meticulous scholarship, impressively organized and presented, and an exceptionally informative, critically important addition to professional, community, college, and university library Environmental Policy & Communication Studies collections. It should be noted for students, academia, environmental activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Climate Politics on the Border: Environmental Justice Rhetorics" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $47.45).
Editorial Note: Kenneth Walker is assistant professor of rhetoric in the Department of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His work has been published in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, POROI, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Environmental Humanities.
The Science Shelf
The Universe: A Biography
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500024645, $34.95, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Everyone knows astronomers use telescopes to peer into distant space. But did you know that they also use them as time machines to look back into the past? "The Universe: A Biography" is a fascinating and original study with which renowned astronomer and academician Paul Murdin lays out the entire history of the Universe from here on Earth into the distance, leading us step by step through the history of time and space.
Our knowledge of the Universe is greater than ever thanks to cutting- edge scientific research, as well as a new age of space exploration and discovery, and Professor Murdin has been at the forefront of this inquiry -- in fact, he was the first person to identify a black hole in our galaxy.
With the publication of "The Universe: A Biography", Professor Murdin draws upon his expertise in the field to explain difficult concepts such as black holes, nebulae, and dark matter and relates them to the most important characters and events in the history of our Universe: powerful explosions, the largest planets, galaxies, and celestial bodies. Structured in a clear, accessible fashion as a "biography" of our Universe, this history begins at the Big Bang and proceeds stage by stage through the story of our cosmos.
Full of fascinating details about our own existence, for instance that two-thirds of the atoms in our body are hydrogen atoms formed in the first few minutes of the Big Bang, and that we are a by-product of the manufacture of galaxies and stars, "The Universe: A Biography" is comprehensively informative volume that offers a glimpse into the future of our Universe and what it means to us all.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of a section of color astronomical photographs, a seven page Glossary, and a seven page Index, "The Universe: A Biography" is exceptionally informative, very nicely organized, and throughly 'reader friendly' in presentation. While an exceptional and unreservedly recommended acquisition selection for community, college, and university library Astrophysics and Space Science collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "The Universe: A Biography" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).
Editorial Note: Paul Murdin is a professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. Since 1963, he has been a research scientist studying supernovae, black holes, and neutron stars; an observatory administrator; and a science policy maker for the British government and the United Kingdom's Royal Astronomical Society. In a parallel career, he is a broadcaster and commentator for the BBC and CNN and is identified as the co-discoverer of the first stellar black hole found in our Galaxy, Cygnus X-1.
The Cosmos Explained
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780711252745 $24.99 hc / $14.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Starting with the moment of the Big Bang (at exactly one ten-millionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second), and going on to provide a history of the universe from its beginning to today and beyond, "The Cosmos Explained" charts a history of space and time all the way through the evolution of our solar system, the birth of stars and the formation of life on Earth, to the future of our galaxy and beyond.
With deeply insightful and fascinating text by Hayden Planetarium Associate Professor Charles Liu (who also hosts the immensely popular StarTalk podcast), "The Cosmos Explained" offers an accessible and enthralling gateway into the mysteries of space, time and the universe.
You can pinpoint exactly where you are in space and time using the timeline at the bottom of every page, and explore the history of the cosmos and the science behind it through beautiful telescope images and striking illustrations. While packaged in a unique retro design that reflects the 1960s cosmonaut era but still feels modern and relevant today, "The Cosmos Explained" is as rich with information as it is with stunning visualizations of the concepts and bodies detailed within.
Critique: An ideal gift for anyone interested in space or curious about the cosmos, "The Cosmos Explained" is a uniquely informative, profusely illustrated, and fully entertaining timeline of life, the universe, and everything! Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "The Cosmos Explained" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Cosmology/Astrophysics, and Astronomy collections.
Editorial Note: Charles Liu is a Professor of Astrophysics at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, an Associate with the Hayden Planetarium, and of the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is a regular co-host on the famous StarTalk show, and received the 2001 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for his book "One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos".
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Understanding the Heart
Dr. Stephen Hussey, MS, DC
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781645021308, $24.95, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Heart disease is the number-one killer in the world. Despite ever-advancing medical procedures and more and more powerful pharmaceutical drugs, the rate of heart disease continues to rise. According to Dr. Stephen Hussey, this is due in part to misunderstandings about how the heart really functions and how to keep it healthy. These misunderstandings result in improper medical approaches and off-target intervention therapies.
As a type 1 diabetic, Dr. Hussey has always known that he was at two to four times greater risk of developing heart disease. As a result, he has dedicated his entire adult life to understanding the heart, to prevent himself from becoming a statistic. And then his worst nightmare came true. Dr. Hussey suffered a "STEMI," a blockage in the left anterior descending artery of his heart. STEMIs are typically so fatal that they are known as "widowmakers." Only 12 percent of those who experience them outside of a hospital setting survive.
Dr. Hussey was among the lucky 12 percent, but faced a difficult decision during his recovery: follow the standard of care laid out for him by the attending cardiologist, or politely decline and apply everything he'd learned about the heart to a recovery protocol that would look massively different than what the doctors were recommending.
With the publication of "Understanding the Heart: Surprising Insights into the Evolutionary Origins of Heart Disease - and Why It Matters", Dr. Hussey shares the information that guided him through the highest-stakes decision of his life, including: A large body of research suggesting that the heart is not the main mover of blood in the body, and what that means for your overall health; The evolutionary origins of the nervous system, and how these manifest today in rampant rates of heart disease; Deep analysis of the widely accepted idea that saturated fat and cholesterol will clog your arteries: The importance of reducing oxidative stress for a heart healthy lifestyle.
Also, in the pages of "Understanding the Heart", Dr. Hussey lays bare everything he has learned in his deep investigation into the heart, and guides you on a path to prevent disease in the context of a highly diseased modern world in order to enjoy lifelong good health.
Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an Appendix (Resources for a Heart Health Lifestyle), a one page bibliography of Recommended Reading, forty-eight pages of Notes, and a twenty page Index, "Understanding the Heart: Surprising Insights into the Evolutionary Origins of Heart Disease - and Why It Matters" is exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, making this an ideal and highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections. Informative and iconoclastic, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students, academia, cardiologists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Understanding the Heart: Surprising Insights into the Evolutionary Origins of Heart Disease - and Why It Matters" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).
Editorial Note: Dr. Stephen Hussey is a board-certified chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner. He has a bachelor's degree in health and wellness promotion from the University of North Carolina Asheville as well as a doctorate of chiropractic and master's in human nutrition and functional medicine from the University of Western States. In addition to working as a chiropractor in clinical practice, Dr. Hussey has worked with people all over the world, coaching them back to health; he sees the power of food, lifestyle change, and personal environment modification change lives every day. He can be found on his website, www.resourceyourhealth.com, or on social media @drstephenhussey. He is also the author of "The Health Evolution: Why Understanding Evolution is the Key to Vibrant Health".
The Education Shelf
High Needs, Monumental Successes
7404 S. Mason Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638
G-10350, 9781622775965, $25.95, PB, 335pp
Synopsis: Every student deserves an excellent teacher, a fair chance at success, and the opportunity to participate in a school music program. With considerable depth and care (and wonderfully practical suggestions) "High Needs, Monumental Successes" by Don Stinson addresses the nuanced but critically important topic of teaching music to low-income and high-needs students.
Drawing from the latest scholarship, his own life experience, and years as a music educator, author Don Stinson presents clear strategies and ideas for teaching, supporting, and advocating for these students as "High Needs, Monumental Successes" covers a range of relevant topics including: attendance, classroom expectations, grading policies, mental health, motivation, programming, securing funds, time management, and locating financial resources for students, among many others. Especially helpful are the example scenarios and questions for teachers scattered throughout "High Needs, Monumental Successes", as well as sample responses for each.
While teaching music in a low-income and high-needs area has its challenges, the rewards and impact for students, teachers, and the community are life-giving and everlasting. "High Needs, Monumental Successes" keeps the best interest of the students at its core, equipping teachers with the tools they need to better understand and serve all members of their band, orchestra, choir, and general music programs.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "High Needs, Monumental Successes" is a thoroughly 'educator friendly' compendium of information, insights, guidelines, and instructions for music teachers when providing individual and/or classroom instruction. An ideal curriculum textbook in the field of music education, "High Needs, Monumental Successes" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, school district, college, and university library Music education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Don Stinson is the director of bands at Joliet Central High School in Illinois, only the fifth director in the band's 110-year history. He holds degrees in music education from Joliet Junior College, VanderCook College of Music, Northern Illinois University, and a master's degree in education administration from the University of St. Francis.
Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness
Arlette Ingram Willis, et al.
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807766996, $142.48 (Amazon), HC, 208pp
Synopsis: Drawing on the authors' experiences as Black parents, researchers, teachers, and teacher educators, "Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" is a timely presentation of a multipronged approach to affirming Black lives and literacies. The authors believe change is needed (not within Black children) in the way they are perceived and educated, particularly in reading, writing, and critical thinking across grade levels.
To inform literacy teachers and school leaders, "Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" provide a conceptual framework for reimagining literacy instruction based on Black philosophical and theoretical foundations, historical background, literacy research, and authentic experiences of Black students.
"Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" also includes counter-narratives about the lives of Black learners, research conducted by Black scholars among Black students, examples of approaches to literacy with Black children that are making a difference, conversations among literacy researchers that move beyond academia; and a model for engaging all students in literacy.
"Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" advocates for adopting a standard of care that will improve and support literacy achievement among today's Black students by rejecting deficit presumptions and embracing the fullness of these students' strengths.
"Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" features: A counternarrative of Black literacy history, lives, and learners; Narrative examples of Black literacy scholarship, by Black scholars who embrace their faith-walk as an integral part of their holistic approach to literacy teaching and learning; Discussion questions to spur conversations among school administrators, parents/caregivers, politicians, reading researchers, teacher educators, and classroom teachers; An array of extant Black scholarship that should inform literacy praxis and research: A conceptual framework, CARE, that is applicable for all learners with a focus on Black literacy learners.
Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Black Studies and Contemporary Educational Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of student teachers, academia, classroom teachers, school board and governmental policy makers, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Affirming Black Students' Lives and Literacies: Bearing Witness" is also available in a paperback edition (9780807766989, $47.21) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $36.95).
A Head Full of Ethos
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781785835872, $27.95, PB, 200pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "A Head Full of Ethos", and drawing upon his years of experience and expertise as an educator, Armando Di-Finizio provides an holistic guide to developing and sustaining a positive school culture. With "A Head Full of Ethos", Armando lays out an engaging account of how to go about developing a shared vision and threading it through the school's strategic direction and day-to-day operations.
When one or more aspects of a school's provision or curriculum breaks down, all too often the leadership team will jump from one idea to another in a bid to remedy the problem. This, however, can lead to blurred vision and possible confusion. Leaders may then wonder why the remedies aren't working and are likely to scramble for more, hopefully better, ideas.
Armando, however, believes that the key to success lies in the school's ethos and in the daily manifestation of its underpinning principles.
"A Head Full of Ethos" deftly weaves Armando's experiences and lessons learned from his 30-plus years of school leadership into an engaging illustration of the principles which have supported him in developing new ideas, as well as adopting and adapting the ideas of others, in his varied settings. In doing so, Armando explores the elements that help contribute to nurturing a positive school ethos and how to go about securing buy-in from staff in cultivating a positive teaching and learning environment for pupils and staff alike.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "A Head Full of Ethos" offers a wealth of 'real world' practical insights and tips to both creating and maintaining a positive and effective learning climate adaptable to any grade level of any public (or private!) school and with children from any social, economic, or cultural background. While also available to educators in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.90), "A Head Full of Ethos" is unreservedly recommended as an invaluable addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and for inclusion to supplemental curriculum studies syllabus.
Editorial Note: Armando Di-Finizio began teaching in 1987 and has since taught in seven schools in deprived areas of London, Bristol and Cardiff. With a guiding conviction that every child can go on to flourish in life, Armando has successfully led three schools from being among the lowest performing and highest excluding schools in the country to achieving outcomes above expectations for similar schools and zero exclusions. Armando's innovative practices have been successfully applied in the many schools he has worked with and supported over the years.
The American History Shelf
Alexander Hamilton's Public Administration
Richard T. Green
The University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380
9780817320164, $49.95, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: American public administration inherited from Alexander Hamilton a distinct republican framework through which we derive many of our modern governing standards and practices. His administrative theory flowed from his republican vision, prescribing not only the how of administration but also what should be done and why. Administration and policy merged seamlessly in his mind, each conditioning the other. His Anti-Federalist detractors clearly saw this and fought against his vision tooth and nail.
That conflict endures to this day because Americans still have not settled on just one vision of the American republic. That is why, with the publication of "Alexander Hamilton's Public Administration", Professor Richard Green argues that Hamilton is a pivotal figure in our current reckoning. If we want to more fully understand ourselves and our ways of governing today, we must start by understanding Hamilton, and we cannot do that without exploring his administrative theory and practice in depth.
"Alexander Hamilton's Public Administration" considers Hamilton both as a founder of the American republic, steeped in the currents of political philosophy and science of his day, and as its chief administrative theorist and craftsman, deeply involved in establishing the early institutions and policies that would bring his interpretation of the written Constitution to life. Accordingly, this scholarly study deftly addresses the complex mix of classical and modern ideas that informed his vision of a modern commercial and administrative republic; the administrative ideas, institutions, and practices that flowed from that vision; and the substantive policies he deemed essential to its realization.
Professor Green's analysis grows out of an immersion in Hamilton's extant papers, including reports, letters, pamphlets, and essays. Readers will find a comprehensive explanation of his theoretical contributions and a richly detailed account of his ideas and practices in historical context.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative Introduction, as well as a thought-provoking Conclusion (The Hamilton Legacy), a two page list of Abbreviations, thirty-four pages of Notes, a ten page Bibliography, and a nine page Index, "Alexander Hamilton's Public Administration" is an impressively well written, meticulously researched, deftly organized and eloquently presented study that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American History, Political Science, Public Governmental Affairs/Administration collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Alexander Hamilton's Public Administration" is also available in a paperback edition (9780817360320, $29.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).
Editorial Note: Richard T. Green is professor of political science and public administration at University of Utah. He is also the coauthor of "Foundations of Public Service".
Donald B. Armstrong
Dorrance Publishing Company
585 Alpha Drive, Suite 103, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
9781638670704, $51.00, HC, 254pp
Synopsis; With the publication of "The Journey: From Shackles and Chains to the White House", author Donald B. Armstrong offers the reader a comprehensive and thorough account of the Black experience in America from the early 1600s to the present time.
From the journey endured by kidnapped Africans to what their offspring are still enduring today in the various forms of racism and discrimination, "The Journey" deftly highlights factual occurrences that are not found in the history books of America's grade schools. African American children are growing up with little or no education about their ancestors' plight and some children are raised without any knowledge of the actions their ancestors played in simply surviving as a member of a suppressed and persecuted minority in this country.
With access to "The Journey: From Shackles and Chains to the White House", readers of all ages will gain knowledge that will change their outlook toward other races. If we are to live together, we honestly have to remember our past.
Critique: Incredible time in face of the current political efforts across the country to ban public schools from teaching children about the history of slavery in America, the segregation of the American South, the struggle for emancipation, the struggle against racial discrimination in its many forms throughout the United States ranging from voter suppression laws to the increasing awareness of the shootings of unarmed black citizens by white police, "The Journey: From Shackles and Chains to the White House" should be a part of every highschool, community, college, and university library American History collections in general, and African American Studies curriculums in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, civil rights political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Journey: From Shackles and Chains to the White House" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $46.00).
Editorial Note: Donald B. Armstrong is an African-American and a retired military veteran who witnessed several things early in his career which left him with questions about equality. It was then he realized what parents meant when they stated, "Whatever you do, you have to be better".
The World History Shelf
Antiochus The Great
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781399085243, $26.95, PB, 208pp
Synopsis: A teenage king in 223 BC, Antiochus III inherited an empire in shambles, ravaged by civil strife and eroded by territorial secessions. He proved himself a true heir of Alexander: he defeated rebel armies and embarked on a campaign of conquest and reunification.
Although he was repulsed by Ptolemy IV at the Battle of Raphia, his eastern campaigns reaffirmed Seleucid hegemony as far as modern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Returning westward, he defeated Ptolemy V at Panion (200 BC) and succeeded in adding Koile Syria to the Seleucid realm.
At the height of his powers, he challenged growing Roman power, unimpressed by their recent successes against Carthage and Macedon. His expeditionary force was crushed at Thermopylae and evacuated. Refusing to bow before Roman demands, Antiochus energetically mobilized against Roman invasion, but was again decisively defeated at the epic battle of Magnesia.
Despite the loss of territory and prestige enshrined in the subsequent Peace of Apamea, Antiochus III left the Seleucid Empire in far better condition than he found it. Although sometimes presented as a failure against the unstoppable might of Rome, Antiochus III must rank as one of the most energetic and effective rulers of the Ancient world.
In addition to discussing the career of Antiochus III, "Antiochus The Great, historian, academician and author Michael Taylor also examines Seleucid military organization and royal administration.
Critique: Enhanced for academia and the non-specialist general reader with a section of black/white photographs, sixteen pages of Notes, a four page Selected Bibliography, and a two page Index, "Antiochus The Great" is an exceptionally well written and presented biography that is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Ancient Greek History & Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Antiochus The Great" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
Editorial Note: Michael J. Taylor is an assistant professor in the history department at the University at Albany and holds a PhD in Greek and Roman history from the University of California, Berkeley.
Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland
c/o Pen & Sword Books
9781780276892, $18.95, PB, 368pp
Synopsis: Few aspects of Scottish history inspire as fervent an interest as the wars with England. The exploits of not one, but two, national heroes (William Wallace and Robert Bruce) have excited the attention of a host of novelists, filmmakers, artists and songwriters, as well as historians. But few have ventured to examine it in depth from an English perspective. Yet there could have been no Wallace or Bruce, no Stirling Bridge or Bannockburn, without the English kings' efforts to subjugate their northern neighbour.
"Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland" by Fiona Watson (a lecturer in the Department of History, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland) explores how Edward I attempted to bring the Scottish kingdom under his control during the last years of the thirteenth and early years of the fourteenth centuries. Despite England's overwhelming military might, victory was by no means inevitable, and Scotland's leaders proved able to create a successful front to repel a far more powerful enemy. Packed with detail, description and analysis, "Under the Hammer" paints a vivid picture of a key period in the history of both nations.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland" is an impressively informative, deftly crafted, and exceptionally well presented historical study that is simply and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Scottish & British History collections and for inclusion to a supplemental curriculum studies syllabus. Originally published in 1998, this new paperback edition of "Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99) for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
Aedan of the Gaels: King of the Scots
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781526794901, $34.95, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: "Aedan of the Gaels: King of the Scots" by historian Keith Coleman is the first full-length work specifically devoted to Aedan mac Gabrain, who was the 6th century king of Dal Riata in Scotland. An associate of the famous St. Columba, he was the first recorded king to be ordained in the British Isles and was the most powerful ruler in his generation.
His astonishing military reach took him from Orkney, Pictland, Ireland, Northumbria and the Isle of Man. "Aedan of the Gaels: King of the Scots" details his dominant career, which came to a shattering end after decades of warfare at the Battle of Degsaston in AD 603. Beyond the record of warfare, there is a unique and tantalizing accumulation of legend concerning Aedan, from stories about his birth, to tales of him in battle with Irish heroes. English sources mention him and he is one of the few Gaelic kings to feature prominently in Welsh tradition, where he is remembered as a uniquely powerful player in the north of Britain.
Modern writers highlight Aedan as the father of a prince named Arthur, which has led to his place in Arthurian studies. Aedan's prominence in his era qualifies him as a fascinating figure, whose life and legend are accessibly explored in this exciting account of this unique ruler.
Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of maps, and informative introduction, an Appendix (Aedan mac Gabrdin in Legend), a one page 'A Word about Names and Places', a two page Chronology, fourteen pages of Notes, a seven page Bibliography, and a four page Index, "Aedan of the Gaels: King of the Scots" is a seminal work of meticulous historical scholarship and a welcome contribution to personal, community, college, and university library Medieval Biography collections and a supplemental curriculum studies Medieval History syllabus.
Editorial Note: Keith Coleman has a degree in History and an MA in Celto-Roman Studies from the University of Wales, Newport. He has been researching the history of Aedan over the past five years, a continuation of his long-term study of the legend and history of the Scottish kings. He is also the author of 'The Afterlife of Kings James IV, Otherworld Legends of A Scottish King' (Chronos Books, 2019) and maintain several blogs about the legends and history of Scotland and its kings. He is currently working on a biography of King James I to be published by Pen & Sword.
Exodus and Its Aftermath
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299334505, $79.95, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: During World War II, some two million Jewish refugees relocated from the western regions of the USSR to the Soviet interior. Citizens in the Central Asian territories were at best indifferent (and at worst openly hostile) toward these migrants. Unpopular policies dictated that residents house refugees and share their limited food and essentials with these unwelcome strangers.
When the local population began targeting the newcomers, Soviet authorities saw the antisemitic violence as discontentment with the political system itself and came down hard against it. Local authorities, however, were less concerned with the discrimination, focusing instead on absorbing large numbers of displaced people while also managing regional resentment during the most difficult years of the war. Despite the lack of harmonious integration, party officials spread the myth that they had successfully assimilated over ten million evacuees.
With the publication of "Exodus and Its Aftermath: Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Interior", historian Albert Kaganovitch reconstructs the conditions that gave rise to this upsurge in antisemitic sentiment and provides new statistical data on the number of Jewish refugees who lived in the Urals, Siberia, and Middle Volga areas. Of special note are the historical insights presented with respect to the regional distribution and concentration of these emigres, offering a behind-the-scenes look at one of the largest and most intensive Jewish migrations in history.
Critique: Enhanced for academia and the general reader with Illustrations, Tables, a Transliteration Notes, Names, and Places, fifty-eight pages of Notes, a twelve-page Selected Bibliography, and a four page Index, "Exodus and Its Aftermath: Jewish Refugees in the Wartime Soviet Interior" is a welcome and informative addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Jewish/Russian/World War II history collections and for a supplemental curriculum studies syllabus.
Editorial Note: Albert Kaganovitch is an independent scholar based in Winnipeg, Canada. He is the author of The Mashhadi Jews (Djedids) in Central Asia and The Long Life and Swift Death of Rechitsa: A Community in Belarus, 1625 - 2000.
Convicts: A Global History
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
9781108840729, $99.00, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Convicts: A Global History", Clare Anderson (Professor of History at the University of Leicester) provides a radical new reading of histories of empire and nation, showing that the history of punishment is not connected solely to the emergence of prisons and penitentiaries, but to histories of governance, occupation, and global connections across the world.
Exploring punitive mobility to islands, colonies, and remote inland and border regions over a period of five centuries, Professor Anderson proposes a close and enduring connection between punishment, governance, repression, as well as nation and empire building, revealing how states, imperial powers, and trading companies used convicts to satisfy various geo-political and social ambitions.
Punitive mobility became intertwined with other forms of labor bondage, including enslavement, with convicts a key source of unfree labour that could be used to occupy territories. Far from passive subjects, however, convicts manifested their agency in various forms, including the extension of political ideology and cultural transfer, and vital contributions to contemporary knowledge production.
Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of numerous Figures, Maps and Tables, "Convicts: A Global History" also includes two Appendices (Principle and Selected Imperial and Latin; Sites of Punitive Relocation), an eight page Bibliography, eight pages of Archives, and a ten page Index. An impressively informative work of original and meticulously presented scholarship, "Convicts: A Global History" is a seminal work that is an exceptional and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Criminology and Penology History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Convicts: A Global History" is also available in a paperback edition (9781108814942, $34.99, Amazon) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.49).
The Civil War Shelf
The Carnage was Fearful
Michael E. Block
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611214406, $16.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: In early August 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson took to the field with his Army of the Valley for one last fight -- one that would also turn out to be his last independent command.
Near the base of Cedar Mountain, in the midst of a blistering heat wave, outnumbered Federal infantry under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks attacked Jackson's army as it marched toward Culpeper Court House. A violent three-hour battle erupted, yielding more than 3,600 casualties. "The carnage was fearful," one observer wrote.
The unexpected Federal aggressiveness nearly won the day. Jackson, attempting to rally his men, drew his sword -- only to find it so rusted, it would not come unsheathed. "Jackson is with you!" he cried, brandishing the sword still in its scabbard. The tide of battle turned -- and the resulting victory added to Stonewall's mystique.
Civil War history typically breezes by the battle of Cedar Mountain, moving quickly from the Seven Days' Battles into the Second Bull Run Campaign, but the stand-alone battle at Cedar Mountain had major implications. It saw the emergence of the Federal cavalry as an effective intelligence collector and screening force.
It also provided Confederate Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill's first opportunity to save the day -- and his first opportunity to raise Jackson's ire. Within the Federal Army, the aftermath of the battle escalated the in-fighting among generals and led to recriminations and finger-pointing over why the battle was even fought. -- Some called it outright murder.
Most importantly, the Federal defeat at Cedar Mountain halted an advance into central Virginia and provided the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, Gen. Robert E. Lee, an opportunity to take the fight away from Richmond and toward Washington.
For years, author and Civil War historian Michael Block has been deeply involved in developing interpretation for the Cedar Mountain battlefield. "The Carnage was Fearful: The Battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862" presents the battle with the full boots-on-the-ground insight Block has earned while walking the ground and bringing its story to life.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white historical photos, "The Carnage was Fearful: The Battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862" is an extraordinary and detailed account of a major battle that is often overlooked and under appreciated by Civil War historians. An inherently fascinating, exceptionally informative, and deftly crafted student that is particularly impressive in organization and presentation, "The Carnage was Fearful: The Battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862" is an especially recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Civil War History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. For students, academia, and Civil War history buffs, it should be noted that "The Carnage was Fearful: The Battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
Editorial Note: A life-long student of the Civil War, Michael Block moved to Fauquier County, Virginia, in 2004 and developed a deep appreciation of the war's impact on Culpeper County. As a public historian, he gives battlefield tours and lectures, focusing on the stirring wartime events in Culpeper, including at Cedar Mountain. Mike is the vice-president of the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield.
The Great "What Ifs" of the American Civil War
Chris Mackowski, editor
Brian Matthew Jordan, editor
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611215731, $29.95, HC, 312pp
Synopsis: Every Civil War armchair general asks the question "What if...?". Possibilities unfold. Disappointments vanish. Imaginations soar. More questions arise. "What if..." can be more than an exercise in wistful fantasy. A serious inquiry sparks rigorous exploration, demands critical thinking, and unlocks important insights.
With the publication of "The Great "What Ifs" of the American Civil War: Historians Tackle the Conflict's Most Intriguing Possibilities", academia and Civil War buffs are presented with a collection of fourteen essays by the historians at Emerging Civil War -- including a Foreword by acclaimed alternate history writer Peter G. Tsouras.
Each entry focuses on one of the most important events of the war and unpacks the options of the moment. To understand what happened, we must look with a clear and objective eye at what could have happened, with the full multitude of choices before us. "What if " is a tool for illumination. These essays also explode the assumptions people make when they ask "what if " and then jump to wishful conclusions.
This collection of thoughtful essays offers not alternate histories or counterfactual scenarios, but an invitation to ask, to learn, and to wonder, "What if...?"
Critique: Of immense and fascinating attraction and value for Civil War scholars, historians, and dedicated military history fans, "The Great "What Ifs" of the American Civil War: Historians Tackle the Conflict's Most Intriguing Possibilities" (collaborative compiled and co-edited by Chris Mackowski and Brian Matthew Jordan) is a unique and welcome addition to professional, community, college, and university library American Civil War History collections. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Great "What Ifs" of the American Civil War: Historians Tackle the Conflict's Most Intriguing Possibilities" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).
Editorial Note: Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the online resource Emerging Civil War. A writing professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, Chris is also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. The series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, he has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in major Civil War magazines.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Elephants: Up Close and Personal
Ellen Greene Stewart
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476687797, $19.99, PB, 228pp
Synopsis: Elephants are a keystone species upon which a whole host of other species rely on for their survival -- and have been a part of the magic of the thickly forested land of South Africa for millennia. With the publication of "Elephants: Up Close and Personal", author Ellen Greene Stewart focuses on the history and work of Knysna Elephant Park, a leading South African elephant research facility that has been home to more than 40 elephants in 25 years.
Unfortunately, all the mystique of the Knysna elephant has been reduced to a single elephant left alive. Exploring a wide range of topics, "Elephants: Up Close and Personal" covers the impact of elephants' interactions with tourists, how they recover from trauma and even their relevance in human healthcare.
Renowned elephant researchers explain the majesty of the elephant brain, which has the largest temporal lobe devoted to communication, language, spatial memory and cognition. To this effect, "Elephants: Up Close and Personal" emphasizes the threat of poaching to these gentle giants, which has now forced them to the brink of extinction in the wild. If we humans pay attention to how elephants symbolize our relationship with nature, we can learn important lessons about humanity itself.
Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos, "Elephants: Up Close and Personal" is impressively informative, exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. Unreservedly recommended reading for elephant enthusiasts and the simply curious, "Elephants: Up Close and Personal" is an extraordinary and recommended addition to community and academic library Wildlife Collections in general, and Elephant Studies reading lists in particular. In addiction to a trade paperback edition, "Elephants: Up Close and Personal" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Ellen Greene Stewart is the author of three previous non-fiction books and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has also volunteered at the Knysna Elephant Park several times and is completely passionate about elephants and their welfare.
Mammals of Ohio
John D. Harder, author
Guy N. Cameron, author
Ohio University Press
215 Columbus Road, Suite 101, Athens, OH 45701
9780821424636, $39.95, PB, 456pp
Synopsis: "Mammals of Ohio" is a comprehensive reference that illustrates how fifty-five species drawn from each of the seven orders of mammals in Ohio share modes of reproduction, locomotion, and nutrition, providing a framework for understanding the fascinating world of mammalian biology. Presentations of natural history in each account of the various species are enhanced with descriptions of intriguing adaptations for avoiding demise from predators, food shortages, and the frigid conditions of Ohio winters. "Mammals of Ohio" is richly illustrated with range maps, exquisite skull drawings, beautiful photography, and engaging artwork.
Challenges to wildlife conservation are considerable in Ohio, with its vast industrialized urban centers distributed across a largely agricultural landscape. With frequent citations of scientific reports and conservation efforts of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and of other public and private entities, this book instills an appreciation for the rich mammalian fauna of Ohio, as well as knowledge on how to join efforts to protect it.
Covering all of the state's mammals, from tiny, obscure shrews to the magnificent white-tailed deer, "Mammals of Ohio" is a definitive resource for professional biologists and students. The narrative style throughout this compendium of mammalian wildlife is fully accessible, providing the general reader with an appreciation for the full scope of the rich mammalian diversity in the state.
Critique: Enhanced with the pen-and-ink artwork of Suellen Jacob and maps by Anthony Mosinski, "Mammals of Ohio" is the impressive work of Professors and Ohio wildlife experts John D. Harder and Guy N. Cameron. Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, "Mammals of Ohio" was created with the cooperation of the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. A sterling study of meticulous scholarship, "Mammals of Ohio" could well serve as a template for similar studies in other states and is unreservedly recommended for Ohio's community, college, and university library Wildlife Studies collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist readers with an interest in the subject that "Mammals of Ohio" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $36.45).
Editorial Note #1: John D. Harder is associate professor emeritus in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology at The Ohio State University, where he taught upper-division courses in mammalogy and conservation biology. His research on the reproductive biology and ecology of mammals has focused on marsupials and involved field studies in Ohio, Venezuela, and Amazonian Peru.
Editorial Note #2: Guy N. Cameron is professor emeritus and former head of biological sciences at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught courses in ecology, population biology, and ecological techniques. He is the former president of the American Society of Mammalogists and the Texas Mammal Society. His research focuses on rodents in the US and Mexico, but he also studies invasive plants, the impact of tornados on forests, and nutritional ecology.
The Library Science Shelf
The Special Collections Handbook, third edition
9781783305384, $170.21 (Amazon), PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Now in an updated and expanded third edition, "The Special Collections Handbook", by Alison Cullingford is a comprehensive desk reference providing the essential principles, skills, and knowledge to manage special collections in any setting and covering all aspects of special collections work: preservation; developing collections; understanding objects; emergency planning; security; legal and ethical concerns; cataloguing; digitilisation; marketing; outreach; teaching; impact; advocacy, and fundraising.
This new third edition has been revised and expanded to incorporate the many developments in the field, reflecting the growth and dynamism of the sector and the complexity of the environment in which we operate.
These include: Enriched and updated guidance on decolonising collections management and all other elements of special collections work; Working towards zero-carbon buildings, preservation, and other aspects of special collections work; Lessons/impact of Covid-19: managing remote access by staff and users, emergency planning, health and safety, risk assessments; New legislation affecting special collections, notably in the UK the Data Protection Act 2018; New and revised standards, such as the new British Standards relating to collections care, BS EN 16893 and BS 4971, which replace PD5454; New and emerging technologies in collections discovery, digitisation, digital resource and digital libraries, and how to manage them and build capacity.
Particular attention will be paid to the implications of the 'digital shift' and the place of special collections in online and hybrid learning.
Comprehensive and written in a highly accessible manner, "The Special Collections Handbook" continues to be an essential resource for staff working with special collections in a wide range of settings, including academia, public libraries, religious organizations, museums, and at scales from solo librarians to 'nationals'.
Critique: "The Special Collections Handbook, third edition" by experienced special collections librarian Alison Cullingford is an ideal and unreservedly recommended textbook for college and university Library Science curriculums and instructional reference collections, as well as an essential instructional resource for the personal and professional reading lists of both novice and experienced librarians, including special collection custodians and stewards.
Editorial Note: Alison Cullingford is Head of Library and Collections at Durham Cathedral, where she leads the team responsible for stewardship of the Cathedral's collections of medieval manuscripts, early printed books, archives, and objects. Previously she was Special Collections Librarian at the University of Bradford, where she was responsible for over 100 collections of modern archives and rare books and also managed the Unique and Distinctive Collections project for Research Libraries UK. An active member of the CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group and many other sector groups, Alison regularly presents at conferences, blogs and tweets on the importance of the special collections librarian.
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Manga Classics: Othello (Modern English Edition)
Written by William Shakespeare
Art by Julien Choy
Story Adaptation by Crystal S. Chan
Modern English Adaptation by Michael Barltrop
Synopsis: A brilliant general in the service of Venice, Othello is also the new husband of the adoring - and young - Desdemona, whose innocent hero-worship has blossomed into love. But can a beautiful girl, so much younger than her husband, truly be faithful? Othello's trusted ensign Iago seems to think not. Can Othello trust him? Can Othello trust anyone? Manga Classics presents Shakespeare's classic story of love, hate, vengeance, and betrayal, with FULL ADAPTED MODERN ENGLISH text for easy reading.
Critique: Manga Classics: Othello adapts Shakespeare's classic tragedy of love, jealousy, treachery, and revenge to black-and-white graphic novel format, in the beautiful and expressive style of Japanese manga. Although the emotional impact of Shakespeare's work transcends generations, merely reading his plays can make their nuance difficult to grasp; the dynamic, detailed, and expressive art of Manga Classics: Othello remedies the limitations of experiencing Shakespeare's work as text alone. The Modern English Edition of Manga Classics: Othello (9781947808256 $19.99) replaces the original script of the play with plain-terms English writing that accurately conveys the meaning of Shakespeare's flowery turns of phrase. Manga Classics: Othello is also available in a "full original text edition" (9781947808140, $19.99) which showcases the entire script of the original play verbatim. Either or both versions of Manga Classics: Othello are worthy of the highest recommendation for school and public library graphic novel collections, as a new and exciting way to experience great art. Graphic novel and literary connoisseurs are also enthusiastically encouraged to add either version of Manga Classics: Othello to their personal collections.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Synopsis: Is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all?
From a boxcar bound for a Nazi concentration camp to a dystopian future where humans are persecuted by their own clones, Apollo's Song reaches Olympian heights of tragedy as it explores the meaning of love and the consequences of its absence. Salty, romantic, and at times profoundly erotic, the ambiguities of its poetic justice will plumb new depths of the heart with each rereading.
Critique: Apollo's Song is an omnibus black-and-white graphic novel by Osamu Tezuka, the legendary godfather of modern Japanese manga. The artwork has been mirrored from left-to-right, in order to be more accessible to Western comic book readers. The saga begins with a contemporary young man who seems unable to feel or comprehend the concept of love, and branches into separate stories set in diverse eras of history, even the far-flung future. In each tale, a young man and a young woman meet, but hardships befall their blossoming love. Why is humankind unable to allow true love the opportunity to flourish? Why is humankind endlessly savaged by its own cruelty? Profound, emotional, philosophical, and captivating to the very last page, Apollo's Song is highly recommended especially for public library collections, and the personal reading lists of manga connoisseurs.
The Audiobook Shelf
The Oedipus Plays
9781713527091, $9.99, MP3-CD
Synopsis. In "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, a plague is ravaging the city of Thebes. Oedipus learns that the polluting curse was triggered by the murder of his predecessor, Laius. Determined to find the killer and end the threat to his people, Oedipus rages toward the truth and confronts an oracle's haunting prophecy.
Oedipus at Colonus finds the king of Thebes now a blinded beggar banished for his sins. But he also holds a certain power -- and with it a foretelling of further tragedy for his family.
In Antigone, the battle for control over Thebes has left two mourning sisters to face a more personal and devastating war with a new ruler who defies the laws of gods and men.
Inspired by the mythic house of Thebes, Sophocles's defining Greek tragedies follow the fates that befall three doomed generations.
Critique: Brilliantly performed by the actors of The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, this one disc, complete and unabridged, 4 hour 39 minute, MP3-CD audio book edition from Brilliance Audio of the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Ancient Greek Classical Literature audio book collections.
Editorial Note: Sophocles (c. 497/6 - winter 406/5 BC) is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than, or contemporary with, those of Aeschylus; and earlier than, or contemporary with, those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost fifty years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens which took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in thirty competitions, won twenty-four, and was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won thirteen competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles; Euripides won four. (Wikipedia)
The Christie Affair
Nina de Gramont, author
Lucy Scott, narrator
9781250836687, $39.99, CD
Synopsis: In 1925, Miss Nan O'Dea infiltrated the wealthy, rarefied world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. In every way, she became a part of their life -- first, both Christies. Then, just Archie. Soon, Nan became Archie's mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife, desperate to marry him. Nan's plot didn't begin the day she met Archie and Agatha.
It began decades before, in Ireland, when Nan was a young girl. She and the man she loved were a star-crossed couple who were destined to be together -- until the Great War, a pandemic, and shameful secrets tore them apart. Then acts of unspeakable cruelty kept them separated.
What drives someone to murder? What will someone do in the name of love? What kind of crime can someone never forgive? These are the themes and questions so memorably and dramatically addressed in Nina de Gramont's "The Christie Affair".
Critique: Brilliantly narrated by talented actress Lucy Scott, this complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of Nina de Gramont's "The Christie Affair" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. Even though a work of fiction, "The Christie Affair" will prove to be of particular and special interest to the legions of Agatha Christie fans and is a thoroughly entertaining audio experience from start to finish.
Alexander's Legacy: An Empty Throne
Robert Fabbri, author
Peter Kenny, narrator
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781399122313, $TBA, CD
Synopsis: The third installment in a huge, bloody, and brutal new series from author Robert Fabbri, "Alexander's Legacy: An Empty Throne" set after the death of Alexander the Great. Who will win the fight to control the largest empire the world has ever seen? Let the battles begin!
The cause of Alexander the Great's sudden and unexpected death is no longer in doubt -- it was murder. But by whom? As his former followers struggle for power, the bonds of family, friendship, and political loyalties are tested to the limit.
As is the strength of the formidable empire that Alexander had wrought. Never before has the Western world seen such turmoil, such a threat to civilization. As battles rage, armies, cities, and thousands of lives are destroyed by the ruthless scheming of those who would be King. Or Queen. Could a marriage be the one thing to bring the broken strands of the empire back together, preventing years of further warfare? Will a woman succeed where no man can?
Critique: Superbly performed by the narrative storytelling skills of Peter Kenny, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of Robert Fabbri's "Alexander's Legacy: An Empty Throne" is the dramatic conclusion to an impressive historical saga. A complete and fully entertaining novel within itself, this deftly produced audio book is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library audio book collections where it will be an enduringly appreciated and popular addition. It should be noted that "Alexander's Legacy: An Empty Throne" is also available from Isis Audio in an MP3-CD audio book format (9781399122320, $TBA).
Editorial Note #1: Robert Fabbri studied Drama and Theatre at London University and has worked in film and TV for 25 years as an assistant director. He has worked on productions such as Hornblower, Hellraiser, Patriot Games, and Billy Elliot. His life-long passion for ancient history inspired him to write the Vespasian series.
Editorial Note #2: Peter Kenny is a voice-over artist actor, singer and designer living in South West London. Raised on Merseyside he gained a BA(Hons) in Drama from the University of Hull (Kingston upon Hull, England).
The Library CD Shelf
Optimistic Flamingo Music
$15.09 CD / $9.49 MP3
Unraveling is a new age solo piano album that expresses composer and performer Pam Asberry's personal experiences relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The skillfully woven music expresses moments of sadness, solitude, hope, and the aspiration to transform. Unraveling is poignant, powerful, and highly recommended especially for solo piano connoisseurs. The tracks are Storm Clouds Gather, Unraveling, Bluebird, Tattered Lace, Dark Places, Labyrinth, Saudade, Polaris, This Time with You, and Metamorphosis.
$15.00 CD / $9.00 digital
Pilgrimage is a new age, ambient-orchestral album created to evoke impressions of dreams, aspirations, and seeking the path of life's journey. Extraordinarily beautiful, inquisitive, and yearning, Pilgrimage is ideal for meditation, reflection, and emotional support while undertaking creative endeavors. Pilgrimage is highly recommended for public library collections, and also makes an excellent gift for fanciers of instrumental new age music. The tracks are Ancient Paths, Cave of Secrets, Cloudburst Over a Parched Land, Mountains Reaching for Stars, Luminous Garden of Repose, and Source of Enduring Light.
$14.98 CD with download card
Created in collaboration with the Music Maker Foundation, Blues Cafe is a music CD compilation of classic blues songs, each performed by a different music artist. The physical CD also includes a digital download card and short biographical portrayals of each musician showcased. Blues Cafe lives up to its title as a treasury of unforgettable blues performances, and is highly recommended for both personal and public library music CD collections. The tracks are Found My Baby Crying, Good Morning Love, Walk On, In The Wee Hours, Blues In My Soul, Somebody Got To Go, Comin' Home To You, The Blues Never Die, and Going Down The Road Feeling Bad.
The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford: Paul's Scene
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos of America (dist.)
$16.99 CD / $8.99 MP3
The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford: Paul's Scene is an album showcasing tenor sax virtuoso Ricky Ford (with contributions by Jerome Harris on La Bella strings and Tom Ribbecke on Bobby Vega model bass guitar) in recordings ranging from bebop to traditional jazz. Some of the songs and all of the arrangements are the creation of Ricky Ford himself, in this captivating recording from the summer of 2021. The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford: Paul's Scene is a "must" for jazz connoisseurs, highly recommended. The tracks are Ricky's Bossa, Fer, The Wonder, That Red Clay, The Essence of You, The Stockholm Stomp, Angel Face, Paris Fringe, I Can't Wait to See You, Paul's Scene, Frustration, and Mabulala.
The Library DVD Shelf
Discoveries... Costa Rica: Ecotourism
9781604903034 $24.95 DVD / $9.95 download
Synopsis: Costa Rica is the world's "Poster Child" when it comes to ecotourism. Although relatively small in land surface, less than 1% of the entire planet, over 5% of global biodiversity can be found here in Costa Rica. Remarkably, a quarter of its area is made up of protected land with dozens of National Parks, Public and Private Wildlife Refuges and Reserves. There are more than 500,000 animal and plant species in Costa Rica making the nation one of the 20 most biodiverse countries in the world.
Visiting Costa Rica is all about enjoying the outdoors... hiking, bird watching, wildlife, photography, flora, fauna, cloud forests, coastal areas, dry forests, volcanoes, national parks and private reserves. If you're looking for adrenaline-laced activities there's also zip-lining, white water rafting, mountain biking, mountain climbing, parasailing, water skiing, just to name a few of the many environmentally friendly activities you can enjoy.
Bottom line... You can have a fantastic time in Costa Rica with socially responsible travel, personal growth and environmental sustainability.
Critique: Discoveries... Costa Rica: Ecotourism is a stunningly beautiful, high-definition video essay about ecologically sustainable tourism in the wondrously biodiverse Central American nation of Costa Rica. Shot on-location at different lodges, wildlife refuges, and national parks, Discoveries... Costa Rica: Ecotourism is the next best thing to personally birdwatching, hiking, ziplining, or dining on freshly-farmed food in Costa Rica. A joy for nature lovers, and an excellent inspiration for anyone planning an international vacation, Discoveries... Costa Rica: Ecotourism is highly recommended for both personal and public library DVD collections. It should be noted that Discoveries... Costa Rica: Ecotourism is also available as a digital download ($9.95). 83 min.
The General Fiction Shelf
Villa Of Second Chances
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781804150597, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 340pp
Synopsis: Run by sisters Rebecca and Delphine, Villa Sesame is a popular venue for small intimate weddings on the sparkling French Riviera. Beautiful terraces and a horizon pool all over look the Mediterranean setting the scene to make memorable days and dreams come true.
When recently widowed Delphine unexpectedly announces her desire to retire and live a different life, Rebecca feels her own life could be slipping into free fall. How can she possibly carry on with the business without her sister at her side? Could this be the beginning of the end for Villa Sesame and Rebecca's life as she knows it?
As the guests gather for the June wedding of Freya and Marcus, Freya's two childhood friends bring their own problems to the villa and cousin Verity has her own agenda. But it's the arrival of a certain guest who throws Rebecca's whole world into turmoil and she finds herself asking the question, where do I go from here?
Critique: An inherently absorbing and fun read from beginning to end, this large print paperback edition of "Villa of Second Chances" by accomplished novelist Jennifer Bohnet will prove to be an especially and unreservedly appreciated addition to the personal reading lists of sibling fiction fans and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted by librarians and Jennifer Bohnet fans that "Villa of Second Chances" is also available in two different and unabridged audio book formats (CD Audio, 9781801622677, 7 CDs) and (MP3-CD, 9781801622684, 1 Disc).
The Literary Fiction Shelf
Fedele and Fortunio: The Two Italian Gentlemen
William Percy, author
William Shakespeare, author
Anna Faktorovich, translator
Anaphora Literary Press
9798750091614, $27.00, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: Ably translated with commentary by Anna Faktorovich, "Fedele and Fortunio, the Two Italian Gentlemen: Modernization of the Inaccessible British Renaissance" is an exercise in adapting Luigi Pasqualigo's Italian Il Fedele: Comedia del Clarissimo (1576) into an idealized version of British cultural purity.
Pasqualigo had rebelled against preceding tropes of Italian comedy by showcasing murderous and wildly promiscuous and unfaithful ladies and gentlemen, and rebellious servants. Perhaps because William Percy (1567-1648) was desperate in his youth to create extremely proper content that would lead to him being invited to officially write for court revels, Percy re-wrote Pasqualigo's innovations back into what this comedic plot was initially designed to be.
In Percy's version, a couple of virginal gentlemen and a couple of virginal ladies exchange love-interests as they realize they cannot attain their initial desires. Their eventual marriages are attained with mischievous help from a pretense-captain Crack-Stone, a spying Pedant who fakes being in love to appear manly, and the scientific and psychologically-manipulating magic of enchantress Medusa.
Percy avoided repeating these standard comedic tropes across the rest of his literary career, as he instead explored extremes of tragic infidelity in plays such as Hamlet, or extreme promiscuity in Cuck-Queans'. The structural simplicity of Fedele and Fortunio convinced Percy he had to constantly search for new formulas, vocabularies and foreign cultures to showcase. The introduction explains why the staging of this play is minimalistic to fit with the budgetary and spatial restraints of the accessible London stages.
A precise explanation is also offered of how scholars have come to the false conclusion that the "M. A."/ "A. M." initials indicate this play was written by "Anthony Monday", and why the Percy attribution is accurate. To show the original divergences of Percy's Fedele, original and translated excerpts are included from Pasqualigo's Italian, France's Latin, and Larivey's French versions; the plots, characters and linguistics of these versions are compared and analyzed.
Critique: A deftly presented, informative, and inherently interesting study, "Fedele and Fortunio, the Two Italian Gentlemen: Modernization of the Inaccessible British Renaissance" will prove to be a much appreciated and valued addition to college and university library English Drama and Literary Studies collections in general, and William Percy supplemental studies lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Anna Faktorovich is the Director and Founder of the Anaphora Literary Press. She published two academic books with McFarland: Rebellion as Genre in the Novels of Scott, Dickens and Stevenson (2013) and The Formulas of Popular Fiction: Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels (2014). She has also published two fantasy novellas with Grim's Labyrinth Publishing: The Great Love of Queen Margaret, the Vampire (2014) and The Campaigns against the Olden: Kingdoms of Laruta (2014).
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Love Blooms At Mermaids Point
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781838899615, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 452pp
Synopsis: Even though he is a bestselling author, Alex Nelson is slowly coming apart at the seams after a failed marriage and an abrupt change in career leave him at a crossroads in life. When an unexpected opportunity arises to escape to the idyllic village of Mermaids Point, he's hot on the heels of his brother, Tom, who has recently moved there.
Buying a rundown bookshop might be just his latest harebrained scheme, but Alex has never been one to do things by halves. After spending her early years caring for her mother, Ivy Fisher is finally ready to start living her own life. But when the impossibly charming, impossibly good-looking Alex Nelson swoops in and snatches her dream out from under her nose, it really is the last straw.
Forced by circumstances to spend more time with him, Ivy finally gets a peak of the real man beneath the confident exterior, and she likes what she sees. But just when things are starting to come together for them, Ivy is reminded why men can never be trusted. Is Alex who he says he is, or is he using Mermaids Point as nothing more than research fodder for his next bestseller?
Critique: A truly fun read for all dedicated romance novel fans (which is somewhat surprising given its elements of dysfunctional relationships, marriage and divorce), this large print paperback edition of "Love Blooms At Mermaids Point" by author Sarah Bennett showcases her genuine flair for imaginative and engaging storytelling. Simply stated, "Love Blooms At Mermaids Point" is a superbly crafted and fully entertaining addition to personal and community library Romance Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Sarah Bennett is the author of the Butterfly Cove, Lavender Bay, and Bluebell Castle trilogies, as well as the Mermaids Point series. Sarah can be followed on twitter @Sarahlouwrites, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SarahBennettAuthor.
The Captain's Bride
Lindford Romance Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848212, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Orphan Tabitha, running away from her scheming grandmother, naively encounters problems which land her in gaol. Transportation follows, and the harsh conditions onboard the convict ship are lessened when she impresses the captain. Jacob contacts his friend in Australia, asking if he and his wife can offer Tabitha a job. Their mutual attraction develops. After their marriage, the captain decides to abandon seafaring and open a school, helped by his young bride. Will Tabitha's harsh beginning have a happy ending?
Critique: "The Captain's Bride" by veteran novelist Jill Barry is a thoroughly entertaining and memorable read from first page to last. Carefully crafted and memorable characters combined with unexpect plot twists, turns and surprises, this large print paperback edition from the Linford Romance Library series will prove to be a simply outstanding addition to personal reading lists and community library Historical Romance collections.
Editorial Note: Author and novelist Jill Barry maintains a website of special interest to her fans at https://www.jillbarry.com
The Western Fiction Shelf
The Iliad of Geronimo: A Song of Blood and Fire
W. Michael Farmer
Five Star Books
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432888060, $25.95, HC, 403pp
Synopsis: The story of the last ten years of Geronimo's wars mirrors the rage, battles, and deception told in Homer's Iliad, the story of the ten-year Greek and Trojan War. "The Iliad of Geronimo: A Song of Blood and Fire" begins in 1877 ten years before Geronimo's surrender with him being hauled four hundred miles in chains to the San Carlos Reservation Guardhouse, there to await hanging in Tucson. Almost miraculously, Geronimo escaped hanging and lived peacefully for a time on the San Carlos Reservation.
Geronimo and his followers escaped reservations three times during the nearly ten years of Geronimo's Iliad. After leaving the reservations, the Apaches raided and made war from their great Troy-like fortress, the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico. Chiricahua Apache heroes, like their Greek and Trojan counterparts, were great warriors, their names filling the Americans and Mexicans with terror: Naiche, Loco, Chihuahua, Nana, Jelikinne, Ulzana, Kaytennae, Chato, and the most feared if them all -- Geronimo.
Critique: A work of historical western fiction that plays close attention to historical fact, "The Iliad of Geronimo: A Song of Blood and Fire" by veteran western novelist W. Michael Farmer is a simply riveting read from cover to cover -- and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated western novel fans and community library Western Fiction collections.
The Horse Soldier
Ethan J. Wolfe
Five Star Books
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432871116, $25.95, HC, 229pp
Synopsis: Before he can retire to work his Montana ranch full-time, U.S. Marshall Tillman has one more important task to perform. A junior marshal who Tillman had appointed in Laramie, Wyoming, a few years earlier has taken a wrong path and now Tillman must remove him from office. Tillman leaves his two grown sons and his sister, Alice, on the ranch and sets out for Wyoming by railroad. Along the way, Tillman makes a few detours and stops to visit old friends and colleagues. As he travels south to Laramie, Tillman relives his life in flashbacks. From the Big Woods of Wisconsin, where he was born and met his wife, Tillman's life in fully is exposed.
Critique: A fascinating combination of fictional biography and western action, "The Horse Soldier" by veteran author Ethan J. Wolfe is a fascinating and entertaining read from beginning to end. A highly recommended novel for Ethan Wolfe fans in general, and dedicated western novel enthusiasts in particular, "The Horse Soldier" will prove to be a much appreciated addition to community library Western Fiction collections.
Too Proud to Run
Five Star Books
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
9781432831943, $25.95, HC, 419pp
Synopsis: U.S. Deputy Marshal Morgan Clyde has worn a tin star long enough to leave a .45-caliber mark on the Indian Territory, but the years and miles are wearing on him. For every enemy he's laid low, he's made more in the process, which isn't a good thing with the territory running wilder than ever and the Hanging Judge in Fort Smith determined to bring it to heel. And it just got worse when a rich man's family is kidnaped by as bloody a gang of outlaws as anyone has ever seen.
Morgan's going to need all the allies he can get, but who'll ride with him? The family he once had hates him, and fallible friends and the women in his life may prove more deadly than any adversary. If he's going to survive, he'll have to be quicker on the trigger than any man ever born, and he'll have to watch his back. For the bullet that eventually gets you is usually the one you don't expect -- especially for those too proud to run!
Critique: Another Morgan Clyde western novel by Brett Cogurn, "Too Proud To Run" is western action/adventure at its very best. Replete with cliff hanger style plot twists and turns, "To Proud To Run" is especially recommended for personal reading lists of all dedicated western fans -- and certain to be a highly prized addition to community library Western Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: An award-winning author, Brett Cogburn, whether setting his novels in the Old West or the Twenty-First Century, focuses on characters, both the real and the eccentric. His list of novels include Panhandle, The Texans, Forty Loads, Destiny, Texas, Two-Dollar Pistol, and Widowmaker Jones.
William Colt MacDonald
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781785419652, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 432pp
Synopsis: Gregory Quist is a railroad detective orders to set off for Quivira City to clear up the murder of one Whitney Clayton (a man who had no mourners at his funeral) and a contested plot of land the railroad needs to lay its tracks.
There's no lack of suspects as both Clayton's widow and her brother (children of the powerful cattle baron Grizzly Baldridge) readily confess to the killing. Add the reappearance of a hoard of lost gold, plus the presence of killer Cobra Macaw, and other unsavory characters, and Quist realizes he's in for a pile of gun trouble.
Critique: The late William Colt MacDonald (1891-1968) was an accomplished and prolific author of western novels. "Destination Danger" was one of his best and originally published in 1955. This new large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library will aptly serve to introduce MacDonald to an appreciative new generation of western action/adventure fans -- and is an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Western Fiction collections. It is interesting to note that a complete chronological listing of all 64 novels by MacDonald is available at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0531971
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Poison at the Village Show
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781804150597, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 340pp
Synopsis: Westleham Village 1947. With the war finally over the residents of Westleham village are trying to reclaim a sense of normality and the upcoming village show is proving to be a popular event!
Newcomer, Martha Miller, has high hopes for the village show. Since her husband Stan left for work one day and never returned, some of the villagers have treated Martha with suspicion - why would a good man like Stan simply up and leave? Was it something Martha did? All Martha knows is that she's hoping that she can win people over and hopefully they'll buy her delicious homemade plum gin, too and she'll be able to make ends meet. But as glasses of Martha's gin are passed around, disaster strikes.
Alice Warren, Chairwoman of the village show slumps to the ground after taking a sip. It's clear she's been poisoned! Martha is shocked, but not surprised, when fingers of suspicion once again point her way. Determined to prove her innocence, Martha sets about trying to find the real culprit. But who would kill Alice and why? Ably helped by the new vicar, Luke Walker, Martha quickly tries to get to the bottom of this mystery. But with the villagers closing ranks it quickly becomes apparent that the only person with a motive is Martha herself... Will Luke and Martha discover who is behind the poisoning before it's too late?
Critique: With her 'whodunnit' literary skills at the level of an Agatha Christie or a G. K. Chesterton, novelist Cathrerine Coles's "Poison at the Village Show" has all the qualities expected of an English mystery. This large print paperback edition of "Poison at the Village" is pure mystery buff entertainment and is recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: Catherine writes cosy mysteries that take place in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie mysteries are set in 1920s North Yorkshire. Her new series, the Martha Miller cosy mysteries, are set in the years following the Second World War in Berkshire. She maintains a website at www.catherinecoles.com
The Cold Killer
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781800484733, $TBA, PB, 538pp
Synopsis: When a tired old inmate is found dead in his cell, the prison is obligated to investigate and so DI Barton attends. The men he interviews have been convicted of some of the worst things a human being can do, but it appears likely that the death was due to natural causes.
When the house of the dead man is burgled and that crime is followed by a suspicious fire, Barton desperately needs to speak to his widow, but she's nowhere to be found. In the space of twenty-four hours, everyone he wants to talk to has vanished. Then he receives some post which makes him believe he could be the next to disappear.
In just a few days, Barton's investigation goes full circle, through a series of brutal murders, back to the prison. There's a shocking development which even he could never have imagined, and all signs are pointing to the fact that he's made a terrible mistake. There's a violent killer on the loose, who wants everyone to learn that it's hard to live when you deserve to die.
Critique: Combing a 'whodunnity' with a killer thriller of a suspense novel, the large print paperback edition of novelist Ross Greenwood's "The Cold Killer" is a riveting great read, a 'must' for all dedicated prison fiction fans, and especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense fiction collections.
Murder at the Abbey
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781800480544, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 396pp
Synopsis; An unsolved murder echoes down the corridors of Cleeve Abbey for years. The Exham-on-Sea's History Society's annual summer picnic comes to an abrupt end when human bones are discovered in Washford River, beside historic Cleeve Abbey. Thrilled to find evidence of a possible centuries-old murder mystery, the members of the society organise a ghost-hunting night in the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, despite amateur sleuth Libby Forest's reservations.
Libby is a woman of many talents, a baker, chocolatier, even a reluctant sleuth, but she's no fan of the supernatural and her doubts are justified when a friend is attacked under cover of darkness at the ghost-hunt. Distressed and angry, Libby sets out with her new husband Max and their two dogs Bear and Shipley to uncover the connection between the murder of a sixteenth century monk and a present-day attack in picturesque Somerset.
With friends and neighbours as suspects, Libby and Max close in on the culprit only to find that others are still in danger. There's no time to lose as the sins of the past threaten lives in the community.
Critique: An Exham-On-Sea murder mystery by veteran novelist Frances Evesham, "Murder at the Abbey" another of her deftly crafted 'whodunnit' style mysteries for her growing legions of fans. This large print paperback edition from Boldwood Books is particularly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections -- and a 'must' for dedicated mystery buffs in general, and the growing legions of Frances Evesham fans in particular.
Surfeit of Suspects
Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444848939, $TBA, Large Print, PB, 234pp
Synopsis: Following a mysterious explosion, the offices of the Excelsior Joinery Company are no more: three directors are killed, and the peace of a quiet town in Surrey lies in ruins. When the supposed cause of a faulty gas-main is dismissed, and evidence of dynamite revealed, Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard is summoned to the scene. But beneath the sleepy veneer of Evingden lies a hotbed of deep-seated grievances. Confounding Littlejohn's investigation is an impressive cast of suspicious persons, each concealing their own axe to grind.
Critique: A true mystery lover's delight with its roster of memorable characters and a plot that has more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, this large print paperback edition of "Surfeit of Suspects" by George Bellairs is a truly fun puzzle of a read right down to the unexpected climax. The stuff of which BBC mystery movies are made, "Surfeit of Suspects" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections and the personal reading lists of dedicated British Detective & English Mystery fans.
Editorial Note: George Bellairs was the pseudonym of Harold Blundell (1902-1982). He was, by day, a Manchester bank manager with close connections to the University of Manchester. He is often referred to as the English Simenon, as his detective stories combine wicked crimes and classic police procedurals, set in small British communities. There is a George Bellairs website at https://www.georgebellairs.com
The Shop on Royal Street
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
9780593334584, $27.00, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: After a difficult detour on her road to adulthood, Nola Trenholm is looking to begin anew in New Orleans, and what better way to start her future than with her first house? But the historic fixer-upper she buys comes with even more work than she anticipated when the house's previous occupants don't seem to be ready to depart.
Although she can't communicate with ghosts like her stepmother can, luckily Nola knows someone in New Orleans who is able to -- even if he's the last person on earth she wants anything to do with ever again. Beau Ryan comes with his own dark past (a past that involves the disappearance of his sister and parents during Hurricane Katrina) and he's connected to the unsolved murder of a woman who once lived in the old Creole cottage Nola is determined to make her own -- whether the resident restless spirits agree or not!
Critique: Clever, original, entertaining, "The Shop On Royal Street" is a cosy mystery fans pure delight from cover to cover. A deftly crafted blend of mystery, romance, and the metaphysical, "The Shop On Royal Street" is a fun read from cover to cover and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Shop On Royal Street" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). It should be noted by librarians that there is also a large print paperback edition of "The Shop On Royal Street" available (Random House Large Print, 9780593556382, $29.00, 544pp).
Editorial Note: An established author, Karen White maintains an informative website at www.karen-white.com and can be connect with on social media at: Facebook: Facebook.com/karenwhiteauthor, Twitter: @KarenWhiteWrite, Instagram: @KarenWhiteWrite and Pinterest: KarenWhiteBooks
Packard Island Publishing
9798985359305, $28.00, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: A mysterious explosion destroys the bayfront home of investigative reporter Emerson Moore's Aunt Anne in Put-in-Bay. His aunt has vanished. Was she kidnapped? Is there a connection to the nefarious activities by Russians running London-style taxis on Lake Erie's South Bass Island and in Key West? Is her apparent abduction part of a vendetta against Moore?
Moore initially enlists island entertainer Mike "Mad Dog" Adams to help uncover the clues to finding his aunt. Their search takes them from a major scuffle in Detroit with drug lord Ruslan Zharkov to Key West where they recruit a team of easily sidetracked and hilarious reprobates led by local mischief-maker Chuck Meier.
As the tension mounts and the net tightens, Moore has the unsettling feeling that the worst has befallen his aunt. Along the way, Moore uncovers a shocking surprise as to who was behind her disappearance -- it was indeed someone who has a score to settle with Moore. With the clock ticking, the stakes are stacked against successfully finding her alive. As Moore struggles emotionally just to get through each day with little progress, he finds himself on a collision course with the cunning Zharkov.
Critique: With the publication of "Sunset Blues", was again author and novelist Bob Adamov demonstrates that he is a master of the fast-paced, action-packed, mystery adventure, complete with ambushes, deadly shootouts, betrayal, cruelty and cast of truly memorable characters. Simply stated, "Sunset Blues" is especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of action-adventure mystery buffs and a welcome addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: More information about Bob Adamov and his Emerson Moore mystery adventure series can be found on his personal website at www.BobAdamov.com
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Hope, a History of the Future
G. G. Kellner
9781684631230, $16.95, 336pp
Synopsis: One quiet afternoon in 2037, Joyce Denzell hears a thud in her family's home library and finds a book lying in the middle of the room, seemingly waiting for her -- a book whose copyright page says it was published in the year 2200. Over the next twenty-four hours, each of the Denzell family members discovers and reads from this mystical history book from the future, nudged along by their cat, Plato.
As the various family members take turns reading, they gradually uncover the story of Gabe, Mia, and Ruth. It is a saga of adventure, endurance, romance, mystery, and hope that touches them all deeply. Along the way, the Denzells all begin to believe that this book that has seemingly fallen out of time and space and into their midst might actually be from the future -- and that it might have something vitally important to teach them.
Engaging, playful, and thought-provoking, "Hope, a History of the Future" by G. G. Kellner is a seven-generation-spanning vision of the future as it could be and based on scientific projections, as well as historical and legal precedence.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, deftly written, thought-provoking, and fully entertaining blend of fantasy, the paranormal, and science fiction "Hope, a History of the Future" will leave readers grappling with questions of destiny, responsibility, and the possibility for hope in a future world some two centuries from now. A fun and original read, "Hope, a History of the Future" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hope, a History of the Future" by G. G. Kellner is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).
Editorial Note: G. G. Kellner is a writer, artist, poet, and former educator. She is also a weekly guest on the community radio program The Brown Briefly, offering a humorous look at politics and culture. She maintains a personal and professional website at at www.gaylekellner.com.
The Political Science Shelf
American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice
Steven F. Pittz, editor
Joseph Postell, editor
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806175393, $95.00, HC, 324pp
Synopsis: Questions at the very heart of the American experiment (about what the nation is and who its people are) have over the past decade assumed a new, even violent urgency as exemplified by the January 6, 2021 assault on congress and the nation's capital.
As the most fundamental aspects of American citizenship and constitutionalism come under ever more powerful pressure, and as the nation's politics increasingly give way to divisive, partisan extremes, "American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice" (collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Professors Steven F. Pittz and Joseph Postell) thirteen contributors collectively respond to the critical political challenge of our time: the need to return to some conception of shared principles as a basis for citizenship and a foundation for orderly governance. In various ways and from various perspectives, this volume's contributors locate these principles in the American practice of citizenship and constitutionalism.
Chapters in the first part of "American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice" address critical questions about the nature of U.S. citizenship; subsequent essays propose a rethinking of traditional notions of citizenship in light of the new challenges facing the country.
With historical and theoretical insights drawn from a variety of sources ranging from Montesquieu, John Adams, and Henry Clay to the transcendentalists, Cherokee freedmen, and modern identitarians, "American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice" makes the case that American constitutionalism, as shaped by several centuries of experience, can ground a shared notion of American citizenship. To achieve widespread agreement in our fractured polity, this notion may have to be based on "thin" political principles, the authors concede; yet this does not rule out the possibility of political community.
By articulating notions of citizenship and constitutionalism that are both achievable and capable of fostering solidarity and a common sense of purpose, this timely volume drafts a blueprint for the building of a genuinely shared political future.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative Introduction (Finding Common Ground as Citizens in the Practice of American Constitutionalism), a four page listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a thirteen page Index, "American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice" is a timely and critically important addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections in general, and a Constitutional Law supplemental curriculum studies syllabus in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of political science students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "American Citizenship and Constitutionalism in Principle and Practice" is also available in a paperback edition (9780806175386, $29.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).
Editorial Note #1: Steven F. Pittz is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and is also the author of "Recovering the Liberal Spirit: Nietzsche, Individuality, and Spiritual Freedom".
Editorial Note #2: Joseph Postell is Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. He is also the author of "Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State's Challenge to Constitutional Government" and co-editor of "Rediscovering Political Economy and Toward an American Conservatism: Constitutional Conservatism during the Progressive Era".
Beyond The Boomerang
Christopher L. Pallas, editor
Elizabeth A. Bloodgood, editor
The University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380
9780817321147, $59.95, HC, 264pp
Synopsis: Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink introduced the boomerang theory in their 1998 book, "Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics". It remains one of the first broadly applicable theories for why groups of NGOs and interested individuals form transnational advocacy networks.
Since its publication, however, the empirical conditions that prompted their theory have changed. The types of actors involved in transnational advocacy have diversified. Northern NGOs have lost power and influence and have been restricted in their access to southern states. Southern NGOs have developed the capacity to undertake advocacy on their own and often built closer relationships with their own governments. The architecture of global governance has likewise changed, providing new avenues of access and influence for southern voices.
With the publication of "Beyond the Boomerang: From Transnational Advocacy Networks to Transcalar Advocacy in International Politics", co-editors Christopher L. Pallas and Elizabeth A. Bloodgood offer cutting-edge scholarship that synthesizes a new theoretical framework to develop a coherent, integrated picture of the current dynamics in global advocacy. This new theory of transcalar advocacy focuses on advocacy activities and policy impacts that transcend different levels or scales of political action.
In transcalar advocacy, all NGOs (northern and southern) are treated as strategic actors, choosing the targets, scales of advocacy, and partnerships that best suit their capacities and goals. The case studies in this volume develop the empirical grounding of this theory using data from Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia, with several chapters featuring cross-national comparison.
The chapters highlight the wide variety of actors involved in advocacy work, including NGOs, social movements, international institutions, governments, and businesses. Contributors use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and bring to bear insights from political science, international relations, and sociology. The case studies also include diverse issue areas, from women's rights to environmental protection, sustainable agriculture, health policy, and democracy promotion.
Critique: Each contributor to "Beyond the Boomerang: From Transnational Advocacy Networks to Transcalar Advocacy in International Politics" is an expert in their field and, collectively, provide thoughtful and thought-provoking information that will be of immense value to readers with a particular interest in non-governmental organization (NGO) policies and policy development, contemporary international relations, and the politics of globalization. "Beyond the Boomerang" is a critically important acquisition selection for professional, college and university library NGO related collections. It should be noted that "Beyond the Boomerang" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $56.95).
Public Affairs and Democratic Ideals
State University of New York Press
State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246-0001
9781438481258, $97.80 (Amazon), HC, 288pp
Synopsis: We currently live in an era where many American citizens feel increasingly uncertain about their futures, having to deal with stagnant wages, globalization, and wealth and income inequality, while, at the same time, policymakers appear unable or unwilling to reach any viable policy consensus on a wide range of major issues.
With the publication of "Public Affairs and Democratic Ideals: Critical Perspectives in an Era of Political and Economic Uncertainty", Curtis Ventriss ( Professor Emeritus of Public Policy at the University of Vermont) addresses these vexing conditions and the challenge they pose for public management and administration. Professor Ventriss argues for reordering intellectual and policy priorities with a focus on publicness and the role of critical democratic thought in public affairs.
Too often, the assumptions that underlie the prevailing theory and practice of addressing major political and economic problems remain unquestioned, with economic and political conflicts displaced into issues of administration and leadership. Professor Ventriss calls for a reinvigorated notion of publicness based, in part, on a public social science, civic experimentation, and policies designed and tailored to the unique needs of various publics.
As a way to move forward, "Public Affairs and Democratic Ideals" offers ideas for redefining professionalism, promoting civic initiatives, and rethinking professional education for public service.
Critique: A timely contribution toward resolving our current national distress and political chaos, and protecting/restoring our American democracy from the damage done by the political schisms which created the first insurrectionist attempt on January 6, 2021 to overthrow the federal government since the American Civil War, "Public Affairs and Democratic Ideals: Critical Perspectives in an Era of Political and Economic Uncertainty" needs to be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collection and curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, political activists, governmental policy maker, and non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "Public Affairs and Democratic Ideals: Critical Perspectives in an Era of Political and Economic Uncertainty" is also available in a paperback edition (9781438481241, $32.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.30).
The Cookbook Shelf
Salads Are More Than Leaves
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780600637424, $24.99, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: For too long salads have languished on the side-lines of dining tables, reduced to mere accompaniments or starters, but what if we gave salads the limelight they deserve? A beautifully and profusely illustrated culinary compendium "Salads Are More Than Leaves" by Elena Silcock brings salads center stage, showcasing dishes that are big on flavor, texture and impact. With "Salads Are More Than Leaves" you will never see salads in the same way again.
Featuring sections on building a salad, maximising flavor and plating a salad to impress, "Salads Are More Than Leaves" showcases more than 80 recipes for truly memorable salads. Each recipe includes substitutions for vegan and vegetarian variations, suggestions for pairing salads and ways to get ahead when you're short on time.
The included recipes range from: Pea, celery, mint and feta salad (tossed with shredded lettuce and scattered with lemon croutons); Roasted nectarine and mozzarella salad (served from the roasting tin after whisking the juices from the nectarines to make a dressing); and Miso rice noodle salad (with finely chopped, raw tenderstem broccoli and whole sugar snap peas, topped with a miso dressing and roasted peanuts); to Raw and roasted cauliflower salad (finely chopped raw cauliflower tossed with chickpeas, parsley and lemon juice, topped with wedges of roasted cauliflower and drizzled with a tahini dressing); and Ultimate tomato salad (with roasted tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, along with cucumber and herbs).
Critique: Palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly, each and every one of the proffered salad creations would make any meal a truly memorable dining event. Of special value for cooks wanting to help their carnivore companions and family members to eat more healthily that our typical American preferences, "Salads Are More Than Leaves" will prove to be an exceptional and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. Ideal for menu planning ideals, it must also be noted that "Salads Are More Than Leaves" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Elena Silcock is a food writer, chef and food stylist. She has worked for various magazines and brands, including BBC Good Food, Co-op magazine, Nando's, Kellogg's and Flora. She runs her own supper clubs and is the creator of the Feed Them Pasta e-book as well as the online recipe and social platform You Bring the Wine. She is also the author of One Pan, One Meal.
Zen Vegan Food
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805316610, $16.99, HC, 96pp
Synopsis: The 73 recipes showcased in "Zen Vegan Food: Delicious Plant-based Recipes from a Zen Buddhist Monk" are incredibly beautiful and tasty, while also being nutritious, sustainable and ethically responsible. Color photos show the finished dishes, while comprehensive information on Japanese ingredients like seaweed, miso and tofu helps home cooks with shopping and preparation.
"Zen Vegan Food: Delicious Plant-based Recipes from a Zen Buddhist Monk" is comprised of: 28 recipes for vegan congee (a traditional Asian rice porridge dish) that includes Congee with Eggplant and Ginger, Soymilk Congee and Congee with Saffron and Chestnuts.
There is also a chapter on Japanese-Italian dishes with recipes such as Grilled Turnips with Mustard and Olive Sauce, Spaghetti with Pesto and Shiitake and Mushroom Risotto with Nori Seaweed -- as well as delicious condiments and starters to brighten up any meal, such as Mushroom Miso Paste and Crunchy Kombu Chips
For vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else with an interest in sustainable, plant-based eating, "Zen Vegan Food: Delicious Plant-based Recipes from a Zen Buddhist Monk" will be a revelation with its new ways to prepare delicious meals the whole family will enjoy!
Critique: A beautifully organized, and illustrated culinary compendium of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, elegant, and truly memorable dishes, "Zen Vegan Food: Delicious Plant-based Recipes from a Zen Buddhist Monk" will be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library Vegan, Vegetarian, and Asian Cuisine collections. It should be noted that "Zen Vegan Food: Delicious Plant-based Recipes from a Zen Buddhist Monk" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).
Editorial Note: Koyu Iinuma is the deputy chief priest of Fukushoji, a Tendai Buddhist temple in Yokohama, Japan. He was ordained as a monk at the famous Enryakuji monastery in Kyoto when only 19 years old. While studying at Taisho University in Tokyo, he decided to spread the word of Buddhism through food. After graduating, he trained at several restaurants in Tokyo and obtained a professional chef's license. He currently conducts shojin ryori (vegetarian Buddhist) cooking workshops at various temples in the Kanagawa area to people of all ages, pursuing his mission to teach an understanding of Buddhism through mindful and ethically responsible eating.
Hardie Grant Books
c/o Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781784884833, $19.99, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Bringing together classic dishes and fresh recipe ideas, "One-Pot Vegan: Easy Vegan Meals in Just One Pot" by Sabrina Fauda-Role shows just how to cook over 80 vegan meals in just one pot.
From weeknight essentials to gatherings and celebrations, there's something for every occasion. Start your day with Banana and Almond Pancakes, try your hand at a speedy Gnocchi and Spinach Pasta, ready in just 15 minutes, and cook up a rather impressive Dried Tomato Risotto. Filled with inspiration for simple, healthy, delicious vegan meals, "One-Pot Vegan" contains a wide variety of ingenious recipes, perfect for any night of the week.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "One-Pot Vegan: Easy Vegan Meals in Just One Pot" is especially ideal and particularly recommended for vegan and vegetarian kitchen cooks who are time-stressed, seeking to expand their culinary creations, or simply want to avoid washing anymore dishes, pots and pans than absolutely necessary! While very strongly recommended as a popular addition to personal, professional, and community library vegan themed cookbook collections, it should be noted that "One-Pot Vegan: Easy Vegan Meals in Just One Pot" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Sabrina Fauda-Role is an author and a food stylist. She is also the author of "Cookies in a Pan", "Crumbles", "One-Pot Pasta", and "One-Pot Vegetarian".
The Vegan Cake Bible
Smith Street Books
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9781922417572, $35.00, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Vegan Cake Bible: Bake, Build and Decorate Spectacular Vegan Cakes", vegan cake baking expert Sara Kidd teaches everything needed a vegan and/or vegetarian cook needs to know about making incredible plant-based cakes.
"The Vegan Cake Bible" is a compendium of easy-to-follow recipes guaranteed to be to make foolproof creations every time by even the most novice of home bakers. With step-by-step tutorials for frosting and decorating, mix and match ideas, and recipes for gluten-free cakes that actually work, "The Vegan Cake Bible" teaches the aspiring baker all about the ingredients, the tools, and the tips to master the art of vegan baking.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, and offering an impressive range of incredible, palate pleasing, appetite satisfying cakes for any and every occasion, "The Vegan Cake Bible: Bake, Build and Decorate Spectacular Vegan Cakes" is a unique, extraordinary, and very special addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Sara Kidd is a food writer for Vegan Food & Living (UK) and Nourish Mag (AU). She's previously written Bake Vegan Stuff, Easy Recipes for Kids (and Adults too!) and runs a new vegan baking show, Vegan Around the World, in addition to monthly online professional vegan baking workshops.
The Art Shelf
Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity
Heather Ecker, et al.
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue. New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500024799, $70.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Louis Cartier (1875 - 1942), the grandson of Cartier founder Louis-Francois, was an impassioned collector and patron of the arts. He was particularly entranced by Islamic arts, especially Persian book arts: their geometric shapes, color combinations, and motifs are apparent in Cartier jewelry to this day.
Louis's younger brother Jacques (an expert in precious stones) traveled to India and the Persian Gulf in 1911 and 1912 to experience the culture and bring home treasures of the Middle East: natural pearls. This was the pivotal moment when the dialogue between these two worlds opened up, eventually blossoming into a beautiful relationship that has lasted for decades.
Published to accompany a major exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and the Dallas Museum of Art, "Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity" is a collective project that delves into the Cartier archives to trace the story of Louis Cartier's love of Islamic art and the ways in which he incorporated the Islamic world's stylized motifs into Cartier's jewelry. Dazzling photographs are accompanied by in-depth texts from a raft of distinguished scholars of both Islam and the decorative arts.
Critique: A visual feast presented in a profusion of full color photographs, "Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity" is immensely informative and a most impressive coffee-table style volume (9.4 x 1.2 x 11.8 inches, 4.41 pounds) that would be a prized pick for any personal or professional Art History collections. Community, college, and university librarians should note that "Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity" is an ideal selection choice for their Memorial Fund acquisition lists.
Editorial Note: Comprised of ten informative contributions by experts in their fields, "Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity" is the collaborative editorial work of Heather Ecker (The Marguerite S. Hoffman and Thomas W. Lentz Curator of Islamic and Medieval Art at the Dallas Museum of Art); Judith Henon-Reynaud (Curator and Assistant to the Director of the Department of Islamic Arts at the Louvre); Evelyn Posseme (Chief Curator at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in the Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and antique and modern jewelry department); Sarah Schleuning (Interim Chief Curator and the Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art); and Pierre Rainero (who is the image, style, and heritage director of Cartier).
The Military Shelf
The Battle of Halbe, 1945
Eberhard Baumgart, author
Eva Burke, translator
c/o Pen & Sword Books
9781784387112, $29.95, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: In April 1945, German troops withdrawing from the Seelow Heights were encircled by the Soviet Army near the small town of Halbe, south-east of Berlin. Rather than surrender, their orders were to attempt to break out, westward, and join up with the German 12th Army. A brutal battle ensued, with an estimated 30,000 German and 20,000 Russian soldiers killed, along with thousands of civilians.
Compiled and presented by Eberhard Baumgart (who served with th German forces fighting to escape from ther Halbe Pocket in 1945), "The Battle of Halbe, 1945: Eyewitness Accounts from Hell's Cauldron" is collection of first-hand accounts telling the story of the battle and its aftermath from the German perspective. It is an eclectic mix, containing the recollections of ordinary soldiers, SS-men and men of the Panzer Divisions, as well as civilians caught up in the battle as they attempted to flee ahead of the advancing armies. It brings to life the grim realities of this one-sided engagement, revealing the brutal vengeance of the Soviets and the desperation of the Germans to escape the slaughter.
Critique: Ably translated into English for the first time by Eva Burke, "The Battle of Halbe, 1945: Eyewitness Accounts from Hell's Cauldron" provides important and informative insights into this devastating and little-known aspect of World War II history. An inherently fascinating and memorable read, "The Battle of Halbe, 1945: Eyewitness Accounts from Hell's Cauldron" must be regarded as an essential and valued addition to community, college, and university library World War II histories. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, dedicated military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Battle of Halbe, 1945: Eyewitness Accounts from Hell's Cauldron" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars
John L. Plaster
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781636240848, $49.95, HC, 456pp
Synopsis: In 1972 the U.S. military destroyed all known photos of the top-secret Studies and Observations Group, with the intention that details could never be made public. But unknown to those in charge, SOG veterans had brought back with them hundreds of photographs of SOG in action and would keep them secret for more than three decades.
In this new edition of "SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars" by John L. Plaster, more than 700 irreplaceable photos bring to life the stories of SOG legends Larry Thorne, Bob Howard, Dick Meadows, George Sisler, "Q" and others, and document what really happened deep inside enemy territory: Operation Tailwind, the Son Tay raid, SOG's defense of Khe Sanh, Hatchet Force operations, Bright Light rescues, HALO insertions, string extractions, SOG's darkest programs and much more.
Critique: With the publication of this new edition of "SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars" in a large coffee-table style volume (8 x 10 inches), military historians, military history buffs, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Viet Nam war are given an informative and memorable access to information sought to be suppressed from the American public by military brass and the Johnson administration. Profusely illustrated with both color and black/white photography in support of an impressively informative commentary, "SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars" must be considered a high priority and essential addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library pictorial 20th Century American Military History collections in general, and Vietnam War archives and supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Major John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.), served three 1-year tours in Southeast Asia with the top secret Special Forces covert operations unit, MACV-SOG. Qualified as a paratrooper and a Green Beret weapons and communications NCO, he led intelligence-gathering recon teams deep behind enemy lines in Laos and Cambodia on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Leaving Vietnam as a staff sergeant, due to his extensive combat experience he received a direct commission as a reserve officer. Under the GI Bill he attended the University of Minnesota, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. In 1983 he co-founded the National Guard Sniper School which quickly became a major national training program, instructing hundreds of students from all military services and many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the U.S. Customs Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Spanish Foreign Legion. After retirement he continued to instruct for police agencies. He twice served as the Chief of Competition for the U.S. and European Military and Police Sniping Championships, personally designing the targets and running the matches. In addition to guest lecturing at various Special Operations schools and the U.S. Army's Command & General Staff College, he has authored a number of books.
The Architecture Shelf
Architecture's New Strangeness
31 Commerical Blvd., Suite F, Novato, CA 94949
9781951541729, $25.00, PB, 150pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Architecture's New Strangeness: A 21st Century Cult of Peculiarity", architect and design director Kenneth Moffett presents a compilation of numerous critiques of individual architectural projects, all with hand-drawn illustrations, and presented under main headings of Obscuration, Fragmentation, Deformation, and Degradation.
"Architecture's New Strangeness: A 21st Century Cult of Peculiarity" takes a somewhat acerbic tone, to distance the narrative from the rather serious and high-minded approach to written material that the subject seems prey to.
Critique: With an inherently fascinating and iconoclastic perspective and commentary, "Architecture's New Strangeness: A 21st Century Cult of Peculiarity" is a unique contribution to Contemporary Architectural Studies collections and will prove to be a highly prized and appreciated addition to personal, professional, college, and university library collections and for a supplemental curriculum architectural studies syllabus.
Editorial Note: Following a year abroad as a Paris Prize recipient and interning with The Architects Collaborative, Kenneth Moffett co-founded of the award-winning Tennessee architecture firm BullockSmith, where he has spent a career as Design Director.
The Mythology Shelf
The Japanese Myths
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500252314, $24.95, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: While people around the world love Japan's cultural exports from manga and anime to Zen, not everyone is familiar with Japan's unique mythology that shapes these interests, which is enriched by Shinto, Buddhism, and regional folklore. Compiled by Joshua Frydman, "The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes and Spirits" is a smart and succinct guide to the rich tradition of Japanese mythology, from the earliest recorded legends of Izanagi and Izanami with their divine offspring and the creation of Japan, to medieval tales of vengeful ghosts, through to the modern-day reincarnation of ancient deities as the heroes of mecha anime.
Mythology remains a living, evolving part of Japanese society. The ways in which the people of Japan understand their myths are very different today even from a century ago, let alone over a millennium into the past. "The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes and Spirits" not only retells these ancient stories but also considers their place within the patterns of Japanese religions, culture, and history, helping readers understand the deep links between past and present in Japan, and the ways these myths live and grow.
With the publication of "The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes and Spirits ", author Joshua Frydman takes the very earliest written myths in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki as his starting point, and from there traces Japan's mythology through to post-war State Shinto, the rise of the manga industry in the 1960s, J-horror, and modern-day myths. Frydman ties in the reinventions and retellings of myths that are present across all genres of contemporary Japanese culture, from its auteur cinema to renowned video games such as Okami. "The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes and Spirits" is for anyone interested in Japan and Japanese exports, as knowing its myths allows readers to understand and appreciate its culture in a new light.
Critique: Joshua Frydman (an Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of Oklahoma and an expert in ancient Japanese literature) draws upon his academic expertise in cultural research to provide a comprehensive volume that will be of particular and acute interest to students of Japanese culture, history and religion -- making "The Japanese Myths: A Guide to Gods, Heroes and Spirits" and valued and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Folklore & Mythology collections.
The Great Book of King Arthur
John Matthews, author
John Howe, illustrator
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, NY, 10007
9780063243125, $32.50, HC, 512pp
Synopsis: The stories of King Arthur and Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere, Galahad, Gawain, Tristan and the rest of the Knights of the Roundtable, and the search for the Holy Grail have been beloved for centuries and are the inspiration of many modern fantasy novels, films, and shows. These legends began when an obscure Celtic hero named Arthur stepped on to the stage of history sometime in the sixth century, generating a host of oral tales that would be inscribed some 900 years later by Thomas Malory in his classic Morte D'Arthur (The Death of Arthur).
"The Great Book of King Arthur: and His Knights of the Round Table" brings these legends into the modern age, using accessible prose for contemporary readers for the first time. In addition to the stories in Morte D'Arthur, author and storyteller John Matthews includes many tales of Arthur and his knights either unknown to Malory or written in other languages, such as the story of Avenable, the girl brought up as a boy who becomes a famous knight; Morien, whose adventures are as fantastic and exciting as any found in Malory's work; and a retelling of the life of Round Table favorite Gawain, from his strange birth to his upbringing among the poor to his ascension to the highest position -- Emperor of Rome.
In addition, there are some of the earliest tales of Arthur, deriving from the tradition of Celtic storytelling. The epic hero is represented in such powerful stories as "The Adventures of Eagle-boy" and "The Coming of Merlin," which is based on the early medieval text Vita Merlini and tells a completely new version of the great enchanter's story.
Critique: Enhanced for the reader's enjoyment, "The Great Book of King Arthur: and His Knights of the Round Table" features 15 full-color paintings and 25 pencil drawings by artist/illustrator John Howe. The result is a fun and informative volume that will prove to be an especially prized and appreciated addition to community, college, and university library Folklore & Mythology collections. An absolute 'must read' for the legions of King Arthur fans, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Great Book of King Arthur: and His Knights of the Round Table" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9798200969715, $57.99, CD).
A Jewish Bestiary, updated and expanded edition
Penn State University Press
820 North University Drive, University Park, PA 16802-1003
9780271091730, $14.95, 88pp
Synopsis: "Ask the beast and it will teach thee, and the birds of heaven and they will tell thee." Job 12:7
In the Middle Ages, the bestiary achieved a popularity second only to that of the Bible. In addition to being a kind of encyclopedia of the animal kingdom, the bestiary also served as a book of moral and religious instruction, teaching human virtues through a portrayal of an animal's true or imagined behavior. With the publication of "A Jewish Bestiary: Fabulous Creatures from Hebraic Legend and Lore", Mark Podwal revisits animals, both real and mythical, that have captured the Jewish imagination through the centuries.
Originally published in 1984 and called "broad in learning and deep in subtle humor" by the New York Times, this newly updated and expanded edition of "A Jewish Bestiary" features new full-color renderings of thirty-five creatures from Hebraic legend and lore. The illustrations are accompanied by entertaining and instructive tales drawn from biblical, talmudic, midrashic, and kabbalistic sources.
Throughout "A Jewish Bestiary", Podwal combines traditional Jewish themes with his own distinctive style. The resulting juxtaposition of art with history results in a delightful and enlightening bestiary for the twenty-first century. From the ant to the ziz, herein are the creatures that exert a special force on the Jewish fancy.
Critique: A fascinating and informative pleasure to simply browse through one page at a time, this new and impressively illustrated edition of "A Jewish Bestiary: Fabulous Creatures from Hebraic Legend and Lore" is enhanced for academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject with a two page Selected Bibliography. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59), "A Jewish Bestiary: Fabulous Creatures from Hebraic Legend and Lore" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, synagogue, college, and university library Judaism and Folklore/Mythology collections
Editorial Note: Mark Podwal achieved early recognition for his drawings on the New York Times Op-Ed page. His art is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Israel Museum, and the Jewish Museums in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and New York, among other venues. He is the illustrator of a number of books, including Hebrew Melodies, also published by Penn State University Press.
The Archaeology Shelf
Coilin O. Drisceoff, author
Aidan Walsh, author
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781916291270, $35.00, HC, 232pp
Synopsis: Focusing on the archaeology of the Black Pig's Dyke, Co. Monaghan, Ireland, "Materialising Power" by the team of Coilin O. Drisceoff and Aidan Walsh is a richly illustrated volume that offers a fresh perspective on linear earthworks, perhaps the most enigmatic and neglected of all of Ireland's prehistoric field monuments.
Focusing on one of the best-preserved and largest examples of the monument type in Europe, the renowned Black Pig's Dyke in County Monaghan (named from a folk-tale that describes how the earthworks were torn into the landscape by the angry marauding of a giant mythical schoolteacher-turned-pig) "Materialising Power" integrate the results of excavations undertaken by Aidan Walsh in 1982 with new surveys and scientific dating to present a radical reassessment of the chronological and physical development of the monument and its environmental and archaeological setting.
Critique: Of immense and particular interest to student and practicing archeologists, "Materialising Power" is an impressively informative and exceptionally well organized and presented study that is enhanced for the reader with a wealth of illustrations, tables, a list of abbreviations, a listing of contributors and their credentials, two appendices (Possible additional prehistoric linear earthworks in Ireland & Stratigraphy at Aghareagh West), a twenty-page bibliography, and a thirteen page index. Uncommonly informative, "Materialising Power" is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to professional, college, and university library Archaeology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: Coilin O Drisceoil is the director of the Black Pig's Dyke Regional Project and the managing director of Kilkenny Archaeology, archaeological consultants. He is co-editor of the book William Marshal and Ireland (Four Courts Press, 2017).
Editorial Note #2: Aidan Walsh, curator and archaeologist, was the formative curator of the award-winning Monaghan County Museum. He directed the excavation on the Black Pig's Dyke at Aghareagh West (1982) which forms the core of this monograph.
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Karl Freund: The Life and Films
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476678894, $39.95, PB, 232pp
Synopsis: Karl W. Freund, A.S.C. (January 16, 1890 - May 3, 1969) was an Austrian cinematographer and film director best known for photographing Metropolis (1927), Dracula (1931), and television's I Love Lucy (1951-1957). Freund was an innovator in the field of cinematography and is credited with the invention of the unchained camera technique.
He is also the most important film pioneer most cinema fans have never heard of. From the silent film era to the rise of the American sitcom, Freund was there at every turn. Countless camera techniques can be traced back to his "unchained camera." His lighting setup for filming I Love Lucy live remains standard to this day.
He was also the man behind the lens for many influential and award-winning films, from Metropolis to The Good Earth to Key Largo. "Karl Freund: The Life and Films" by film historian Gavin Schmitt is the first book-length biography of the life and work of one of the world's greatest cameramen.
"Karl Freund: The Life and Films" details the events of his early life, his entrance into the world of film, his work in both Germany and America, and his legacy, while also putting his life and films into the historical context of the 20th century. Biographer Gavin Schmitt gives particular attention to Freund's role in the early horror films Der Golem, Dracula, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mummy, and Mad Love.
Critique: Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.99), "Karl Freund: The Life and Films" is impressively enhanced for academia and cinema history fans with the inclusion of twelve pages of Notes, a ten page Bibliography, and a nine page Index. A comprehensive and detailed history of the life and cinematic accomplishments of pioneering film maker Karl Freund, this outstanding addition to film history is a unique and very highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Film History and Film Maker Biography collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Gavin Schmitt is a local historian working in northeast Wisconsin. He has previously written on Milwaukee organized crime, the Menominee tribe, as well as various film topics for Horrorhound magazine.
The Automotive Shelf
The Ultimate Off-Road Driver's Guide
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613256992, $36.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: When you take a four-wheel-drive (4WD) truck or sport utility vehicle (SUV) off-road, there is a whole new world to see and experience. The off-road community is huge and welcoming, and there are lifestyle shows to attend and trail-driving events to experience.
With seat time and practice, your technical skills will improve. However, do you really want to head into the forest blindfolded? Driving off-road requires much more attention, skill, discipline, and preparation than merely driving around obstacles. Being fully prepared with information regarding the most updated techniques is critical for today's motorized off-road driving enthusiast.
With the publication of "The Ultimate Off-Road Driver's Guide", off-road driving expert Dave Logan covers topics about what to bring along for a trail ride and how to interact with other trail users. "The Ultimate Off-Road Driver's Guide" also covers the various 4WD systems and how they work, how to drive on various terrain (mud, sand, snow, and rocks), and what to do when encountering each of those elements.
Of special note is an entire chapter devoted to the subject of how to get unstuck. Covered also are ways to communicate when you lose cellular phone coverage as well as navigation options so that you don't end up lost and on the local news channel.
Simply stated, "The Ultimate Off-Road Driver's Guide" must be considered as mandatory preparation for your off-road toolbox!
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Ultimate Off-Road Driver's Guide" is inherently interesting, exceptionally informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. An absolute 'must' for aspiring (and even experienced) off-road drivers to insure a safe and entertaining experience, "The Ultimate Off-Road Driver's Guide" by Dave Logan is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Automotive Recreation collections.
Editorial Note: In 1963, Dave Logan went for his first ride in an off-road vehicle, his grandfather's old Jeep. In 1993, he bought his first Jeep and has never looked back. As an avid 4WD explorer, he has traveled on dirt roads and trails across the United States. In 2007, he became a certified International 4WD Trainer and opened 4WD School. He began working internationally shortly after that. Dave is also a member of the Tread Lightly! board of directors.
The Business Shelf
Research Handbook of Women's Entrepreneurship and Value Creation
Shumaila Yousafzai, et al.
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781789901368, $220.00, HC, 392pp
Synopsis: "Research Handbook of Women's Entrepreneurship and Value Creation" is a compendium of twenty-one erudite and informative articles that collective highlight the importance of women as agents of change, acknowledging women entrepreneurs' efforts and supporting their value-creation activities. With important implications for policymaking, contributing authors direct attention to and provide evidence for the positive contribution of women entrepreneurs to the economy, regardless of their businesses' size and formal status.
Challenging the under performance hypothesis associated with women entrepreneurs, chapters present evidence that women do not underperform in their businesses, but that they add value even in constrained environments. This intends to shift the focus of research from questions like 'what do entrepreneurs do?' to 'how do they do it?', focusing on the unique ways in which each woman entrepreneur creates value, and 'for whom do they do it?', looking at the multiple value outcomes women entrepreneurs create and the beneficiaries of that value.
With a global perspective on women's entrepreneurship and their value creation, "Research Handbook of Women's Entrepreneurship and Value Creation" must be consider vital reading for researchers of entrepreneurship, as well as government agencies and policymakers interested in promoting entrepreneurial activity.
Critique: Enhanced for academia and the reader with the inclusion of a listing of the contributors and their credentials, as well as a nine-page Index, the articles comprising "Research Handbook of Women's Entrepreneurship and Value Creation" are organized into four major sections: Value Creation at the Individual Level; Value Creation at the Business Level; Value Creation at the Household and Family Level; and Value Creation at the Societal Level. An ideal textbook for Entrepreneurial curriculums, "Research Handbook of Women's Entrepreneurship and Value Creation" is especially recommended for corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economics collections.
Editorial Note: Shumaila Yousafzai (Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan); Colette Henry (Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland), Monique Boddington (University of Cambridge), Shandana Sheikh (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, UK); and Alain Fayolle (Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Activities, University of Cagliari, Italy).
April J. Spivack, author
Alexander McKelvie, author
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781788974516, $98.90, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Entrepreneurship Addiction: Exploring Patterns of Engagement with Venturing Activities", coauthors April J. Spivack (Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, Department of Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation, Hanken School of Economics, Finland) and Alexander McKelvie (Professor of Entrepreneurship, Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University) present the development of the concept of entrepreneurship addiction, contributing to wider discussions of the 'dark side' of entrepreneurship. Focusing attention on mental health issues and neurodiversity among entrepreneurs, it offers insights into conflicting findings regarding entrepreneurial well-being.
This study incorporates contemporary multifaceted lenses that consider cognitive, emotional, biological and physiological dimensions of experience, highlighting the complex interplay between entrepreneurs and their ventures. It distinguishes entrepreneurship addiction from other behavioural addictions to develop a robust and distinct empirical measure of psychological and physiological health of entrepreneurs. Describing recent contributions to this rapidly developing field of study, Professors Spivack and McKelvie supply key research tools and map out a research agenda for further investigation.
Offering operational methodologies for the study of entrepreneurial addiction, "Entrepreneurship Addiction" is crucial reading for scholars of entrepreneurship interested in the psychological and behavioural impacts of entrepreneurial endeavours. It will also benefit career-driven entrepreneurs, their partners, family members, and others looking for personal insights into entrepreneurial behaviour, as well as mental health workers and practitioners.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of thematically appropriate figures and tables, as well as a ten page Index, "Entrepreneurship Addiction: Exploring Patterns of Engagement with Venturing Activities" is comprised of five sections: Why We Should Study Entrepreneurship; Habitual Entrepreneurs; Illuminating Entrepreneurship Addiction As A Dark Side Work Behavior Pattern; Measuring Addiction To Entrepreneurship; and An Agenda For Research And Action In Entrepreneurship Addiction Work. A ground breaking study, "Entrepreneurship Addiction: Exploring Patterns of Engagement with Venturing Activities" is a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Business/Entrepreneurship collections and supplemental curriculum studies syllabus lists.
The Needlecraft Shelf
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804854740, $16.99, HC, 104pp
Synopsis: Mending your favorite fabric items ranging from jeans to sweaters to sofa covers, becomes a true art form in "Creative Mending: Beautiful Darning, Patching and Stitching Techniques" by mending guru Hikaru Noguchi who reveals her entire range of valuable techniques from embroidery and patching to darning and felting.
Noguchi's basic rules of mending are that the repair should suit the fabric and its user, and that there are lots of creative ways to create beautifully customized repairs -- some subtle, others making a statement.
She also provides 13 techniques that show you how to: Apply creative repairs to both knitted and woven fabrics; Use yarn, floss, ribbon, and fabric to reinvent well-loved garments; Make understated repairs that add just a touch of contrast, color, or texture; Use visible mending techniques for bold repairs; Darn with felt to add body and dimension to a repaired item; Match your repairs to the damage, the fabric, and the wearer; Maneuver through tricky places like inseams and underarms -- and more!
The 13 illustrated lessons and over 300 color photos comprising "Creative Mending: Beautiful Darning, Patching and Stitching Techniques" provide detailed examples for all the basic techniques. Lots of variations plus plenty of tips and examples (67 in all) provide all the guidance needed to rethink and repair beautifully.
Critique: A unique and exceptionally impressive instructional guide and how-to manual, "Creative Mending: Beautiful Darning, Patching and Stitching Techniques" is thoroughly needlecrafter-friendly in presentation. An inspiring compendium of ideas and DIY possibilities for even the most novice of needlecrafters, "Creative Mending: Beautiful Darning, Patching and Stitching Techniques" is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft and Fashion collections. It should be noted that "Creative Mending: Beautiful Darning, Patching and Stitching Techniques" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.14).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in London, England, Hikaru Noguchi is a graphic artist and knitted textile designer. Her passion for fabric has led her to become one of the world's leading experts in darning, with the aim to creatively fix rather than discard. Her darning books, including "Darning: Repair, Make, Mend" and her textiles have been widely exhibited and are sold in boutiques worldwide. She has a website at www.hikarunoguchi.com and can be followed on Twitter at @hikaru_noguchi_design
The Autism Shelf
Reaching the Child with Autism Through Art
Future Horizons, Inc.
107 W. Randol Mill Road, Suite 100, Arlington, TX 76011
9781885477231, $19.95, PB, 100pp
Synopsis: It is well known among education professionals that the arts are often underestimated when it comes to education. But author and educator Toni Flowers knows that art encourages communication, positive self-image, concept development, spatial relationships, fine-motor skills, and many more facets of healthy child development.
With the publication of "Reaching the Child with Autism Through Art", Flowers provides dozens of artistic activities (called "experiences") that will delight children with autism. Notes on each activity page offer helpful dos and don'ts, along with many real-life experiences she has encountered over the years she has worked with children on each activity.
"Reaching the Child with Autism Through Art" will enable teachers, parents and care givers to provide autistic children in with fun opportunities to express themselves!
Critique: Of special note are the sections specifically devoted to an autistic child experiencing the creation of a collage, painting, playing, and sculpture. Comprised of easy to follow lessons plans that include Objectives, Choices, Implements, Surfaces, Suggested Directions, and helpful Notes, "Reaching the Child with Autism Through Art" is especially recommended for classroom educator, school district, college, and university library Autism Education collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists.
Editorial Note: Toni Flowers was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Autism Society of America in 1989. She has more than 25 years of experience working with individuals with Autism. She is currently a special education administrator in southern Indiana.
The Technology Shelf
Research Companion to Building Information Modeling
Weisheng Lu, editor
Chimay J. Anumba, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781839105517, $380.00, HC, 768pp
Synopsis: Offering critical insights to the state-of-the-art in Building Information Modeling (BIM) research and development, "Research Companion to Building Information Modeling" outlines the prospects and challenges for the field in this era of digital revolution. Analysing the contributions of BIM across the construction industry, it provides a comprehensive survey of global BIM practices.
Accessible and thorough, the chapters comprising "Research Companion to Building Information Modeling" explore the theory behind and facilitators of BIM, covering knowledge management around BIM, the development of ontologies and language in the area, holistic implementations, and BIM ecosystems. This comprehensive volume also further discusses the technological developments of BIM, including scan-to-BIM, 3D digital reconstruction and AI and robotics techniques. Critical analysis of BIM-enabled construction and engineering management innovations are also examined, highlighting prospects and challenges in the area.
"Research Companion to Building Information Modeling" is critically important reading for engineering, construction management and architecture students looking for a comprehensive study of BIM. It will also be beneficial to practitioners working in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner & Operation (AECOO) industry wanting a better understanding of the benefits and future developments of BIM.
Critique: Knowledgeably compiled and deftly co-edited by Weisheng Lu (Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR) and Chimay J. Anumba (Professor and Dean, College of Design, Construction, and Planning, University of Florida), "Research Companion to Building Information Modeling" is comprised of thirty-five informative articles by experts in the field and must be considered an essential curriculum textbook for professional, college and university level Engineering Project Management, Technical Project Management, and Civil Engineering curriculums.
The Music Shelf
Hell of a Hat: The Rise of '90s Ska and Swing
Penn State University Press
820 North University Drive, University Park, PA 16802-1003
9780271090382, $24.95, HC, 280pp
Synopsis: In the late '90s, third-wave Ska broke across the American alternative music scene like a tsunami. In sweaty clubs across the nation, kids danced themselves dehydrated to the peppy rhythms and punchy horns of bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish. As Ska caught fire, a swing revival brought even more sharp-dressed, brass-packing bands to national attention.
"Hell of a Hat: The Rise of '90s Ska and Swing" by Kenneth Partridge dives deep into this unique musical moment.
Prior to invading the Billboard charts and MTV, Ska thrived from Orange County, California, to NYC, where Moon Ska Records had eager rude girls and boys snapping up every release. On the swing tip, retro pioneers like Royal Crown Revue had fans doing the jump, jive, and wail long before The Brian Setzer Orchestra resurrected the Louis Prima joint.
Drawing on interviews with heavyweights like the Bosstones, Sublime, Less Than Jake, and Cherry Poppin' Daddies (as well as underground heroes like Mustard Plug, The Slackers, Hepcat, and The New Morty Show) Partridge argues that the relative economic prosperity and general optimism of the late '90s created the perfect environment for fast, danceable music that (with some notable exceptions) tended to avoid political commentary.
An homage to a time when plaids and skankin' were king and doing the jitterbug in your best suit was so money, "Hell of a Hat" offers an inside look at '90s Ska, Swing, and the loud noises of an era when America was dreaming and didn't even know it.
Critique: As inherently fascinating as it is rock solid informative, "Hell of a Hat: The Rise of '90s Ska and Swing" is an ideal introduction to a decade of American Music History that is just now beginning to be appreciated by academia and for the now aging generation for which it is musical nostalgia of their youth. A ground breaking work of original and meticulous scholarship that is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Hell of a Hat: The Rise of '90s Ska and Swing" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library 20th Century American Music History collections.
Editorial Note: Kenneth Partridge is a music and pop-culture journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. He has written for publications such as Billboard, The AV Club, Pitchfork, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, and Genius, where he is a managing editor.
The Photography Shelf
The Dusseldorf School of Photography
9783791387802, $60.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Inspired and guided by Bernd and Hiller Becher, themselves pioneers in the area of documentary photography, the artists of Germany's Dusseldorf School not only pushed the boundaries of their teachers' practice, but also ushered in three generations of technical and compositional achievement that is rivaled in importance only by the arrival of color photography.
This new edition of "The Dusseldorf School of Photography" by Stefan Gronert (curator for photography at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany) introduces readers to the historic, cultural, and scientific environments in which the Bechers' practice thrived. It explores the teaching philosophies with which they encouraged their students, and considers the qualities that highlight the Dusseldorf School: intricate detail, large scale, painterly distance combined with an immersive quality.
The plate section, organized by artist, features 160 beautifully reproduced images by Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Candida Hofer, Axel Hutte, Laurenz Berges, Elger Esser, Simone Nieweg, Jorg Sasse, and Petra Wunderlich.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and absorbing volume to be enjoyed one captioned and illustrated page at a time, "The Dusseldorf School of Photography" is a photography enthusiast's delight from cover to cover. With its publication in a coffee-table style volume (10.63 x 1.25 x 12.31 inches), "The Dusseldorf School of Photography" is an ideal, thematically appropriate, and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Photography collections.
The Criminology Shelf
The Beatle Bandit
The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
9781459748101, $18.99, PB, 216pp
Synopsis: The intelligent but troubled son of a businessman and mentally ill mother, twenty-four-year-old Matthew Kerry Smith was a navy veteran with a young Indigenous wife and a hazy plan for violent revolution. On July 24, 1964, Smith disguised himself with a mask and a Beatle wig, hoisted a semi-automatic rifle, then held up a bank in North York, Ontario.
Outside the bank, Smith was confronted by Jack Blanc, a former member of the Canadian and Israeli armies, who brandished a revolver. During a wild shootout, Blanc was killed, and Smith escaped -- only to become the object of the largest manhunt in the history of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force.
Dubbed "The Beatle Bandit," Smith was eventually captured, tried, and sentenced to hang. His murderous rampage had tragic consequences for multiple families and fueled a national debate about the death penalty, gun control, and the insanity defense.
Critique: An absorbing true life story that reads with all the drama of a fiction novel, "The Beatle Bandit: A Serial Bank Robber's Deadly Heist, a Cross-Country Manhunt, and the Insanity Plea that Shook the Nation" by journalist and author Nate Hendley is a compelling and informative read from cover to cover. Of special interest to readers with an interest in True Crime, "The Beatle Bandit" is an especially recommended addition to community, college, and university library Criminology collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Beatle Bandit" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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