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The Burnout Epidemic
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781647820367, $30.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: We tend to think of burnout as a problem we can solve with self-care: more yoga, better breathing techniques,
and more resilience. But evidence is mounting that applying personal, Band-Aid style solutions to an epic and rapidly
evolving workplace phenomenon isn't enough -- in fact, it's not even close. If we're going to solve this problem,
organizations must take the lead in developing an anti-burnout strategy that moves beyond apps, wellness programs, and
"The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It" by Jennifer Moss is eye-opening,
paradigm-shifting, and practical guide in which are revealed the real causes of burnout and how organizations can stop the
chronic stress cycle that an alarming number of workers suffer through.
"The Burnout Epidemic" explains: What causes burnout (and what organizations can do to prevent it); Why traditional
wellness initiatives fall short; How companies can build an anti-burnout strategy based on prevention, not perks; How
leaders can measure burnout in their own organizations; What leaders can do to develop a healthier culture that prioritizes
resilience and curiosity.
As the current pandemic has shown, self-care is important, but it's not a cure-all for burnout. Employers need to do more.
With fascinating research, new findings from the pandemic, and interviews with business leaders around the globe, "The
Burnout Epidemic" offers business managers and corporate executives insightful and actionable advice that will empower
them to help themselves (and their employees) feel healthier and happier at work.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of eighteen pages of Notes and a fourteen page Index, "The Burnout Epidemic: The
Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It" will prove to be an invaluable addition to personal, professional,
corporate, community, college, and university library Business Stress and Personal Management instructional reference
collections. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, business management, entrepreneurs,
and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress
and How We Can Fix It" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.90).
Editorial Note: Jennifer Moss is also the author of "Unlocking Happiness at Work", which received the distinguished UK
Business Book of the Year Award. Moss also sits on the Global Happiness Council. To acknowledge her contributions to
business and public service, Moss was named a Canadian Innovator of the Year, an International Female Entrepreneur of
the Year, and recipient of the Public Service Award from the Office of President Obama.
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Book Proposals That Sell
W. Terry Whalin
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781631955105, $16.95, PB, 162pp
Synopsis: Specifically written for the novice and inexperienced writer wanting to become a successfully published author,
and now in a thoroughly revised and updated edition, "Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success" is the
ideal instruction guide and manual that begins with acknowledging that about 80% to 90% of all nonfiction books are sold
from a book proposal. An absolutely essential necessity for becoming a published author, the book proposal contains many
elements that will never appear in a manuscript -- yet these details are critical to publishing executives who make the
decision about publishing or rejecting an author's project. In his DIY "Book Proposals That Sell", W. Terry Whalin reveals
21 secrets to creating a book proposal that every author needs in order to create one that sells.
Critique: Simply stated, if you only have time to read one 'how to' guide to getting published, whether it be traditional
publishing or self-publishing, "Book Proposals That Sell: 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success" is that one DIY instructional
book. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, it can help the aspiring writer to avoid costly and time
consuming mistakes with respect to getting published and having that published book brought to the attention of its
Editorial Note: W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. A former literary agent, Terry has
published in over 50 magazines and written more than 60 books through traditional publishers. Several of Terry's books
have sold over 100,000 copies. He is the creator of www.Right-Writing.com and www.TheWritingLife.ws
The Christmas Shelf
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
Random House Audio Books
9781984818812, $21.00, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: Lindy Carmichael isn't feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for
Christmas. The man she thought was "the one" has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of
creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even Christmas carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up -- but Lindy's
mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that just might lift her daughter's spirits.
Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she'd wished for as a young girl may be
just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen's encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will
encourage her to have faith and believe just as she'd done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in
gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas
magic (especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate) Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly
no place like home for the holidays.
In "Dear Santa", author Debbie Macomber truly celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, both old and new.
Critique: Absolutely perfect for the Christmas season and a simply wonderful and heartwarming read any time of the year,
Debbie Macomber's new novel, "Dear Santa", is especially and unreservedly recommended for any and all community
library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Debbie Macomber fans that "Dear
Santa" is also readily available in a large print paperback edition (9780593505021, $23.00), in a digital book format
(Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Random House Audio, 9780593289723, $30.00,
The Education Shelf
Paying for College, 2022
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
9780525571544, $22.99, PB, 384pp
Synopsis: Financing a college education is a daunting task no matter what the financial circumstances of students and their
families might be. With line-by-line instructions for filling out the FAFSA and consumer-friendly advice to minimize
college costs, "Paying for College, 2022: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" addresses:
Maximizing financial aid eligibility; How COVID-19 and the latest tax laws affect the financing of a college education;
Exploring both long-term and short-term strategies to reduce college costs and avoid expensive mistakes; Complete every
question on the FAFSA and CSS Profile forms to best advantage; Compare aid offers and learn how to appeal them if
necessary; Plan strategically as a separated/divorced parent, blended family, or independent student.
Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Paying for College, 2022: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid
and Afford College" is a 'must have' resource for the families of college bound students, highschool counselors,
community, college, and university library College & University Financial Aid and College & Education Costs reference
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Paying for College, 2022: Everything You Need to Maximize
Financial Aid and Afford College" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
What's Your Leadership Story?
Gretchen Oltman, author
Vicki Bautista, author
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416630395, $39.95, PB, 175pp
Synopsis: When you as an educator can authentically tell your story, your school community will know you, what you
value, and why you make decisions the way you do. You will rediscover a sense of purpose, renewal, and inspiration that
may have slipped away amid the chaos of life -- and you can build a stronger connection with those you lead and work
Leading in a school setting does not mean you need to lose your individual identity. You became a school leader by
following your own unique path. You possess talents that set you apart from others. By working purposefully to share your
personal leadership philosophy, you can create a new expectation of what school leaders should be and counter the
unrealistic assumptions that others may hold. You can be more than your title.
That is the theme and purpose of "What's Your Leadership Story?: A School Leader's Guide to Aligning How You Lead
with Who You Are" by Gretchen Oltman (who is an author, attorney, and associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at
Creighton University, where she leads a program for graduate students pursuing degrees in leadership) and Vicki Bautista
(who is an assistant professor at Creighton University in the department of interdisciplinary studies).
Critique: Exceptional 'reader friendly' in organization and presented, "What's Your Leadership Story?: A School Leader's
Guide to Aligning How You Lead with Who You Are" is essential a DIY instructional guide and manual that would
benefit any educator to become more effective as a leader in whatever their educational setting might be. While especially
and unreservedly recommended for school district, college and university library Teacher Education collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "What's Your Leadership Story?: A School Leader's Guide to
Aligning How You Lead with Who You Are" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format
The Money/Finance Shelf
Retirement Stepping Stones
River Grove Books
c/o Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781632994035, $16.95, PB, 186pp
Synopsis: In 2002, with his business partner, Adam Zuercher, Tony Hixon launched Hixon Zuercher Capital Management
-- a fee-only wealth management and investment firm. Tony wanted to help clients ensure that they wouldn't outlive their
money -- and possibly even have enough saved to accomplish their bucket-list goals. However, after several years of
running a numbers-first business and serving his clients well in their financial lives, a family crisis changed his
Tony's mother retired from her job as the director of a hospice agency, and she quickly fell into a deep depression as she
lost her purpose and fulfillment derived from a lifelong career she had been passionate about. On March 22, 2011, Tony's
mother tragically took her own life. After this life-changing tragedy, Tony made it his goal to help pre-retirees not repeat
the mistakes his mom made as she transitioned from her career into retirement. You need a plan for both your finances and
With the publication of "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy", Tony Hixon
will help ensure that your retirement brings you pleasure, serenity of mind, and the enjoyment of a life well-lived. That
your transition is from success to significance. That you find a newfound hope and a newfound purpose. That retirement
brings you your best years.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with
Purpose, and Leave a Legacy" is essential reading for everyone, but most especially the aging Baby Boomer generation.
Practical, comprehensive, understandable, "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a
Legacy" must be considered an essential addition to community, Senior Citizen Center, college, and university library
Retirement Planning, Financial Risk Management, Wealth Management, and Financial Planning collections. It should be
noted for the personal and professional reading lists that "Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose,
and Leave a Legacy" is also readily available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
The Business Shelf
Lead with We
c/o BenBella Books
9781953295699, $27.00, HC, 368pp
Synopsis: The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown into stark relief how "business as usual" is no longer serving us.
The economic, business, and environmental models of the past do not reflect our current realities. And for our economy
(and for us) to survive, we need nothing less than a seismic shift in the way we do business.
Simon Mainwaring is the founder and CEO of We First. A decade ago, he showed how business leaders and consumers
could use social media to build a better world in We First. Now, after decades of research and field experience at the
vanguard of the world's most successful brand revolutions, he provides in "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That
Will Save Our Future " -- an instructional blueprint for doing business better in today's challenged world.
By leading with "we" (putting the collective above the individual, holding the sum above the parts, and emphasizing the
importance of the role that everyone plays) corporate executives and business managers can not only help solve the
escalating challenges of today but also unlock extraordinary growth for their business, and abundance on our planet.
Timely and compelling, the message of "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future" is simple:
The future of profit is people's purpose, aligned. "Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future" not
only examines why we must all conduct business differently in order to grow in today's market, but provides the how in the
form of concrete steps any reader, wherever they find themselves in the business hierarchy, can take toward success.
Critique: Timely, insightfully informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Lead with We: The Business Revolution
That Will Save Our Future" is impressively well written, organized and presented, making it critically important reading as
our economy struggles to recover the pandemic's deleterious economic impact that is currently compounded by supply
chain issues and the beginnings of an inflationary spiral. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community,
corporate, college, and university library Corporate Leadership Motivation and Business Management collections, it should
be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, corporate board members,
business managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Lead with We: The Business
Revolution That Will Save Our Future" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Grand Central Publishing
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781538736883, $28.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: Jenn Lim has dedicated her career to helping organizations from name-brand industry leaders to innovative
governments build workplace cultures that benefit both their employees and their bottom line, with less employee turnover,
greater engagement, and higher profits. Her culture consultancy, Delivering Happiness, demonstrates the profound impact
happiness can have on businesses' ability to thrive in our ever-changing times.
With the publication of "Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and
Impact" she clearly and concretely shows the way the model works in a hyper-connected fast-paced world, beginning with
each individual defining their sense of values and purpose (the ME), and rippling through the organization ecosystem (the
WE and the COMMUNITY) in waves of impact.
Drawing on a deep understanding of the science of happiness, Jenn also shows how bringing your whole self to work
allows you to do your best work every day -- no matter what role you play at your company or what crisis might come at
you next. She explains how true happiness comes from living your true purpose, and offers case studies to show how
companies can help individuals align their purpose with the company mission. This innovation in organizational design
and company culture is no longer a nice-to-have. It's the future of work, and it's here now. In this life-changing guide,
you'll be empowered to find greater purpose in your own life and career, and to spread that power to others in your
business and beyond.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize
Purpose and People for Growth and Impact" should be brought to the attention of corporate executives, business managers,
entrepreneurs, and Human Resource/Personnel staff. While especially recommended for corporate, community, college,
and university library Business & Workplace Culture collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA
students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Beyond Happiness: How
Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9781538707364, $21.41), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Blackstone Audio, 9781668601310, $40.00, CD).
Editorial Note: Jenn Lim is the CEO of Delivering Happiness, a company she and Tony Hsieh (the late CEO of
Zappos.com) co-founded to create happier company cultures for a more profitable and sustainable approach to business.
Delivering Happiness is a business consultancy and global movement that has impacted and inspired over 400 companies
in more than 110 countries. In 2017, Jenn was selected to be on the Global Happiness Council of Work and Wellbeing
with the charter to scale the impact she's made in even more sustainable ways. In 2020, Delivering Happiness was on Inc.
5000's list of fastest growing companies.
The Christian Studies Shelf
The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths
James K. Hoffmeier
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825445729, $44.99, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: In the illustrated pages of "The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths", Old Testament scholar and
longtime field archaeologist James K. Hoffmeier informatively explores the biblical prophets through their ancient settings
through full-color photos and images of historical and cultural importance, a focus on the geopolitical contexts of the
prophets, clear explanations of the prophets' provoking messages, and discussion questions for Bible students or instructor
These features and photos vividly illustrate the biblical narratives and the prophets' concerns, helping readers better
comprehend each text's message and make informed theological applications.
The biblical prophetic tradition extends far before and far after the Major and Minor Prophets. Yet all biblical prophets
(including recognizable figures like Moses and Elijah), including the lesser-known prophets like Huldah and Micaiah, as
well as the New Testament prophets, ministered in distinctive cultural and historical circumstances. Professor Hoffmeier
draws upon on his extensive knowledge of ancient Near Eastern culture, geography, political realities, and the Old
Testament message to locate the prophets in their worlds. This approach illuminates prophetic messages and ministries
with a theological clarity that basic history and literary interpretation cannot achieve.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photographic images throughout, "The Prophets of Israel:
Walking the Ancient Paths" is ideal as a seminary or college curriculum textbook, as well as a study resource for small
groups or individuals. While an especially recommended addition to personal, church, seminary, community, college and
university library Old Testament and Christian Prophets collections and curriculum studies reading lists, it should be noted
for the personal reading lists of academia, clergy, seminarians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
subject that "The Prophets of Israel: Walking the Ancient Paths" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: James K. Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at
Trinity International University Divinity School, and has extensive field experience as a hands-on archaeologist.
The Year of Grace of the Lord
Moine De L'Eglise D'Orient & D. Cowen
Synopsis: On the basis of worship of the Orthodox Church, The Year of Grace of the Lord takes the reader through the
Sundays and feast days from the beginning of the year in September to the time of its completion after Pentecost. It is a
guide to the scriptural readings and prayers of the calendar year and reveals the spiritual growth in Christ that is opened to
us in them. In the author's words, the liturgical year is 'an abridgement of the history of salvation.' A helpful list of
reference notes, including historical and theological material, is given at the end of each chapter. This book will be of
interest to anyone who wishes to know more about the development and pattern of the Orthodox liturgical year.
Critique: The Year of Grace of the Lord: A Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church
is an in-depth guide to the Orthodox Church's liturgical year, including scriptural readings and prayers, the history of the
development and patterns of the Orthodox liturgical year, theological underpinnings, and much more. Although deeply
spiritual and in-depth, The Year of Grace of the Lord is thoroughly accessible to Christians of all backgrounds, and a
highly recommended for self-study as well as for church library collections.
Editorial Note: A Monk of the Eastern Church (Moine De L'Eglise D'Orient) is the well-known pseudonym for Fr Lev
Gillet (1893-1980), who has authored numerous volumes of biblical and spiritual reflection. United to the Orthodox
Church in 1928, Fr Lev was deeply imbued with Eastern monastic spirituality. In 1948, he was appointed chaplain to the
Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, dedicated to the work of Christian unity.
The Hermits of Big Sur
Paula Huston, author
The Liturgical Press
2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500
Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814685068, $24.95, PB, 248pp
Synopsis: Between World War II and Vatican II, as Italy struggled to rebuild after decades of Mussolini's fascism, an
eleventh-century order of contemplative monks in the Apennines were urged by Thomas Merton to found a daughter house
on the rugged coast of California. A brilliant but world-weary ex-Jesuit, who had recently withdrawn from a high-intensity
public life to go into reclusion at the ancient Sacro Eremo of Camaldoli, was tapped for the job.
Based on notes kept for over sixty years by an early American novice at New Camaldoli Hermitage, "The Hermits of Big
Sur" tells the compelling story of what unfolds within this small and idealistic community when medievalism must finally
come to terms with modernism. It traces the call toward fuga mundi in the young seekers who arrive to try their vocations,
only to discover that the monastic life requires much more of them than a bare desire for solitude.
Also described is the miraculous transformation that sometimes occurs in individual monks after decades of lectio divina,
silent meditation, liturgical faithfulness, and the communal bonds they have formed through the practice of the "privilege
Critique: Informative and fascinating, "The Hermits Of Big Sur" by Paula Huston (a National Endowment of the Arts
Fellow and a longtime oblate of New Camaldoli Hermitage) is a remarkable, unique, and original study that will be of
immense and special interest to anyone who has every contemplated or experienced the monastic life. While very highly
recommended for the Catholic community, it should also be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary
students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Hermits Of Big Sur" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Following the Call
Eberhard Arnold, et al.
Plough Publishing House
151 Bowne Drive, PO Box 398, Walden, NY 12586
9781636080048, $18.00, PB, 396pp
Synopsis: For the last two thousand years, Jesus' most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, has possessed an
irresistible quality. Who hasn't felt stirred and unsettled after reading these words, which get to the root of the human
Comprised of 52 readings, "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is the follow-up to the
acclaimed collection "Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People" and taps into an even broader array of
sources, bringing together prophetic voices from every era and a range of traditions to consider the repercussions of these
More than a commentary or devotional, "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is designed to be
read together with others, to inspire communities of faith to discuss what it might look like to put Jesus' teachings into
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is especially and
unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, and community library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted
for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminarians, and all practicing Christians, regardless of their denominational
affiliations, that "Following the Call: Living the Sermon on the Mount Together" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $8.49).
The Deeply Formed Life
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
9780525654384, $24.00, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: Most members of the Christian community live in the state of "being a Christian" without ever being deeply
formed by Christ. Our pace is too frenetic to be in union with God, and we don't know how to quiet our hearts and minds
to be present. Our emotions are unhealthy and compartmentalized. We feel unable to love well or live differently from the
rest of the world -- to live as people of the good news.
Pastor Rich Villodas says we must restore balance, focus, and meaning for our souls. With the publication of "The Deeply
Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus" he lays out a fresh vision for spiritual
breakthrough following five key values: Contemplative Rhythms Value: slowing down our lives to be with God; Racial
Justice Value: examining a multi-layered approach to pursuing racial justice and reconciliation; Interior Examination
Value: looking beneath the surface of our lives to live free and love well; Sexual Wholeness Value: exploring how our
sexuality connects with our spirituality; Missional Presence Value: living as the presence of Christ in a broken world.
"The Deeply Formed Life" is a kind of instruction manual for living in the richly rooted place we all yearn for: a place of
communion with God, a place where we find our purpose.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus" is
unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community with an interest in Christian Discipleship
& Faith. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, theologians, and practicing
Christians of every denomination that "The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of
Jesus" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780525654407, $16.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large, multiracial church with
more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Prior to becoming lead pastor, he gave oversight to
New Life's small group ministry and served as a preaching pastor. Rich graduated with a BA in pastoral ministry and
theology from Nyack College. He went on to complete his master's of divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He
enjoys reading widely, preaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, justice-related issues, and the art of
Launching a New Worship Community
Paul Nixon, author
Craig Gilbert, author
c/o Upper Room Books
PO Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0003
9780881779554, $17.00, PB, 200pp
Synopsis: For many Christian churches, the call to make disciples comes with a realization that the church's current
worship opportunities do not reach certain groups in their surrounding community. New worship services offer the most
promising strategy for renewing established churches and planting new worship communities. In a post-pandemic world,
churches will be challenged to reach new people with the gospel and to help them meet in a way that is meaningful to
Accessible to ministry professionals and lay leaders, "Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the
2020s" is a comprehensive guide to starting a new worship community -- whether that means an established church
beginning a new worship service or a church startup designing its first worship offering. The authors, Paul Nixon and
Craig Gilbert, writing with the assistance of a team of church planting experts, provide practical advice rooted in solid
academics, theology, and real-world experience. With this guide, readers will have the tools they need to begin and sustain
a new worship community.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide
for the 2020s" is an ideal instructional guide and manual for clergy and parishioners wanting to be effective in developing
churches and church programs relevant to the contemporary needs of their congregations. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Launching a New Worship Community: A Practical Guide for the 2020s" is also available in a digital book format
Editorial Note #1: Paul Nixon is the author of multiple books on church development. His company, Epicenter Group, has
coached hundreds of congregations and their leaders in North America and in Europe, helping many to discover
breakthroughs in the growth and renewal of their ministries. Nixon also serves as director of church multiplication for
Discipleship Ministries. He was codeveloper of the Readiness 360 inventory for churches.
Editorial Note #2: Craig Gilbert is a worship consultant and founder of Purposed Heart Ministries. From Craig's ministry
start in a small congregation to his serving a church with eight distinctive worship communities involving more than 2,000
worshipers, Craig has planned and presented worship in a wide variety of styles at the "every Sunday" level, as well as
designing and leading worship in large conference settings for thousands of people. In every church Craig has served, he
has helped to launch a new worship service. Each time, the services were well received from the start and grew quickly.
Craig continues to consult every day with many congregations on how to strengthen their teams and systems to nourish
great worship communities, including beginning new services.
The Judaic Studies Shelf
The Soul of the Mishna
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645824, $29.95, HC, 436pp
Synopsis: The Mishnah is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah.
It is also the first major work of rabbinic literature. The Mishnah was redacted by Judah ha-Nasi at the beginning of the 3rd
century CE in a time when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the
possibility that the details of the oral traditions of the Pharisees from the Second Temple period (536 BCE - 70 CE) would
be forgotten. Most of the Mishnah is written in Mishnaic Hebrew, but some parts are in Aramaic. (Wikipedia)
As the foundational text of the Oral Torah, the Mishna is analyzed to understand Jewish law and the workings of the
halakhic system. But, there is also an inner spirit to the work that often goes unnoticed, a profundity that provides
important principles and insights for everyday life, such as those relating to God's presence in the world, relationships
between parents and children and between husbands and wives, social justice, the Temple, the Land of Israel, and
"The Soul of the Mishna" by Rabbi Yakov Nagen (Senior Rabbi, Otniel Yeshiva, Israel) looks at over two hundred
mishnayot and identifies the fascinating literary devices used by the Sages to reveal the deeper meaning of the text. To
bring the mishnayot closer to contemporary readers, Rabbi Nagen also interweaves personal reflections throughout his
interpretations. "The Soul of the Mishna" is a profound, eye-opening, and soulful approach that will revolutionize the way
you learn Mishna.
Critique: An impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking study, "The Soul of the Mishna" will be welcomed for
personal Talmud studies, as well as synagogue, community, college, and university library Contemporary Judaic Studies
collections in general, and Talmudic supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students,
academia, rabbis, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Soul of the Mishna" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Prince and the Emperors
Dov S. Zakheim
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645404, $29.95, HC, 344pp
Synopsis: "The Prince and the Emperors: The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince" by Jewish history expert and
lecturer Dov S. Zakheim is a biographical account of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (Rabbi Judah the Prince), who was also
known as Rebbe, as well as the human and historical context that shaped the Mishna and Gemara. Drawing upon both
Jewish and Roman sources, "The Prince and the Emperors" provides a portrait of this important rabbinic sage, as well as
insight into the Jewish encounter with Rome.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, informative, and compelling work of historical research, "The Prince and the
Emperors: The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the Prince" is a truly impressive and extraordinary work of original
scholarship that is an especially recommended addition to synagogue, community, college, and university library Judaic
Studies & History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Prince and the Emperors: The Life and Times of Rabbi Judah the
Prince" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Studies in Spirituality
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645763, $24.95, HC, 318pp
Synopsis: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (8 March 1948 - 7 November 2020) was an internationally respected religious
leader, prolific writer, and the Emeritus Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
"Studies in Spirituality" is a compilation of essays designed by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks as part of a weekly reading study
program on the first five books of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Critique: Enhanced with an informative Foreword by Sivan Rahavmeir, "Studies in Spirituality" (the latest book in the
Koren Publishers Jerusalem 'Covenant & Conversation. series) is an extraordinarily thoughtful and thought-provoking
read. Exceptional and an ideal for DIY study groups, "Studies in Spirituality" is especially and unreservedly recommended
for personal, community, synagogue, college, and university library Judaism and Biblical Studies collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists.
The Islamic Studies Shelf
Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey
9780755636747, $115.00 hc / $82.80 Kindle
Synopsis: Nineteenth-century Istanbul was an intellectual hub of rich discussions about Islam, in which leading reformists
had a significant role. Turkey today appears to be an intellectual vacuum to anyone searching for ongoing critical
engagement with Islam. The main purpose of this book is to adjust this view of Turkey by showcasing the modern Turkish
theologians who challenge mainstream Sunni interpretations of Islam. Labelling these theologians as 'rationalist' rather
than 'reformist', the author reveals that their theology is inherently anti-establishment and thus a religiously-oriented
challenge to the hegemony of the state-sanctioned Islam: for the rationalists, Turkey's problems have their origins in the
Sunni interpretation of Islam.
Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey analyses nine prominent scholars of Islam who provide a religious opposition to
the Sunni revival in Turkey: Huseyin Atay, Yasar Nuri Ozturk, M. Hayri Kirbasoglu, Ilhami Guler, R. Ihsan Eliacik, Omer
Ozsoy, Mustafa Ozturk, Israfil Balci, and Mehmet Azimli. These scholars' writings are almost exclusively published in
Turkish, so this book makes their ideas available in English for the first time. It also examines the scope, methodology and
argumentation of the scholars' theology, categorizing their theological interpretations from 'historicist' to 'universalist' and
from 'empiricist' to 'rationalist'. In identifying a new 'rationalist' school of Turkish theology and outlining its different
manifestations, the book breaks new ground. It fills a significant gap in the literature on Islamic studies and reveals an
understudied dimension of Turkey and Turkish Islam beyond the well-known ideas of the AKP and the Gulenists.
Critique: Professor of Political Science Gokhan Bacik presents Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey: The Religious
Opposition to Sunni Revival, a close examination of nine well-known scholars of Islam who oppose the Sunni Islam
revival in Turkey. A scholarly, studious, and well-reasoned dissection, Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey discusses
how rationalist beliefs question the Sunni Revival's concentration of authority, and the Sunni Revival's refusal to
acknowledge contradictions between their religious contentions and natural law, among other perceived shortcomings.
"...the rationalists maintain that Islamic thought is no longer a game of persuasion; human reason has the authority to go
beyond the religious axioms. Rejecting God's intervention in history as agent, the rationalists now assign to human beings
the role of ultimate actors in history, leaving everything about religion subject to natural law. That done, it is no longer
required to engage with the inconsistent arguments of Sunni theology: It is simply wrong when it is inconsistent with
reason and science." Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey is a seminal and welcome contribution to public and
university library Islamic Studies collections, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey is also available in a Kindle edition ($82.80).
Editorial Note: Gokhan Bacik is Professor of Political Science at Palacky University in the Czech Republic.
The General Fiction Shelf
The Bad Immigrant
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
9781623719050, $27.95, HC, 362pp
Synopsis: In her latest novel, "The Bad Immigrant" (and through the voice of her first male protagonist - Lukmon), author
Sefi Atta peels away nuanced layers to expose the realities of migration from Nigeria to the USA, such as the strains of
adjustment and the stifling pressure to conform without loss of identity.
Covering a wide range of issues, including interracial and intra-racial tensions, and familial strains exacerbated in a new
geographic and cultural environment, "The Bad Immigrant" is a thoroughgoing exposition of the many challenges that
confront a modern migrant as told from the perspective of a protagonist whose sophistication and educational prowess is
no guarantee of success in a country that is prone to valuing conformity over merit.
Lukmon's narrative is grounded in a wide array of cultural and literary allusions that testify to the author Sefi Atta's wit and
sophisticated management of complicated matters in a manner at once erudite and accessible. Furthermore, with "The Bad
Immigrant", Atta deftly drives the narrative forward with repartee that forges deep intimacy with the characters and
engenders sympathy for all of them, even those we find infuriating.
Critique: A timely, entertaining, expertly crafted, thoughtful and thought-provoking novel given our current national
political, cultural, and social controversies over immigration issues, "The Bad Immigrant" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.
The Lost Theory
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781626348844, $25.95, HC, 480pp
Synopsis: Sean McQueen is a staid, middle-aged NYU literature professor leading an uneventful life, until he receives a
cryptic letter from his intellectually and poetically gifted best friend, Dylan Byrne. Following years of extensive research,
Dylan claims that he has discovered "the theory of everything": a revelation that promises to alter man's view of existence
by reconciling science with spirituality. The two men arrange a meeting to discuss the paradigm-shifting theory, but after
Dylan never shows, Sean discovers his friend has died under mysterious circumstances and the theory has gone
Sean teams up with Dylan's scientific collaborator, quantum cosmologist Emily Edens, to find the lost theory. Together
they embark on the adventure of a lifetime -- traveling from the busy streets of New York City to the mystical corners of
Kathmandu where Dylan realized his groundbreaking theory. On their quest, they encounter extraordinary allies and
fearsome adversaries, including a covert government operative code-named "Guru," who is hell-bent on finding the theory
first and preventing Sean and Emily from sharing it with the world.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that this is author Michael Kelley's debut novel, "The Lost Theory" is
an impressively original and expertly crafted blend of mystery, suspense, magical realism and romance. An inherently
fascinating and entertaining read that is also readily available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99), "The
Lost Theory" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction collections.
The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady
Sharon J. Mondragon
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825447020, $15.99, PB, 272pp
Synopsis: Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel
and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch
effort to revive the dwindling congregation.
Uptight Margaret isn't having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she's ever
heard of, and she's heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed
to knit holiness into these shawls if they're constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the
challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret (grumbling the whole way) to the mall with them. She can't
wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.
Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the
people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their
comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they
learn about in the community -- or will the tangle be too much to unravel?
Critique: A unique, original, well crafted, and inherently fascinating work of contemporary fiction that will have a very
special appear to readers within the Christian community, "The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady" is all the more
impressive when considering that it is author Sharon Mondragon's debut as a novelist. Warmly entertaining from cover to
cover, "The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library
General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
The Secret of Snow
9781525899812, $28.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced
by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the
fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny's been avoiding since the day she left for college -- her northern
Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood -- with the added humiliation of moving back
in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the
high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who's now her boss, to, most
keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow.
To distract herself from the memories she's spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering
every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to
spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used
to be and allow her heart to thaw if she's ever going to find a place she can truly call home.
Critique: Viola Shipman is the pen name of author Wade Rouse and with the publication of his latest novel, "The Secret
Of Snow", once again demonstrates his particular and entertaining narrative driven storytelling style. As with this twelve
previous books, there are a literary wealth of surprising plot twists and deftly crafted, memorable characters that
immediately involve the readers total attention from first page to last. While highly recommended for community library
Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be note for personal reading lists that "The Secret Of Snow" is also
readily available in a paperback edition (9781525806445, $16.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781665104340, $39.99, CD).
The Literary Fiction Shelf
How High? -- That High
853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
9781641293068, $25.00, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: The 34 short stories by Diane Williams comprising "How High? -- That High" depict ordinary moments (for
example, a visit to the doctor's office or a married couple's hundredth dance together). With each individual story Williams
delivers a lifetime of insecurities, lusts, rejections, and revelations, making her work equally discomfiting and amusing.
With unmatched wit in every sentence, Williams is able to capture whole universes in a single short story, delivering
visionary insights into what it means to be human.
Critique: A true master of the short story format, "How High? -- That High" showcases author and storyteller Diane
Williams' genuine flair for originality coupled with an unsurpassed literary skill and talent for narrative driven stories and
memorably crafted characters. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university
library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How High? -- That
High" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in New York City, Diane Williams is the founder and editor of the distinguished literary
annual, NOON, the archive of which, as well as Williams' personal literary archive, was acquired in 2014 by the Lilly
Library. She is the author of nine previous volumes of short fiction and the recipient of four Pushcart Prizes.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Death on the Shelf
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643857800, $26.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Clover Ridge librarian Carrie Singleton is thrilled to attend her best friend Angela's wedding, but Angela's
family can be a bit much. Angela's wealthy cousin Donna hosts an extravagant bridal shower at her resplendent home, but
the celebrations turn to gossip as the guests notice Donna's surgeon husband, Aiden, spending a bit too much time with
Donna's cousin Roxy. At the wedding reception, the sweet occasion turns darkly bitter when Aiden topples into the
chocolate fountain -- dead.
The suspect list is as long as the guest list, and as difficult to sort out as the seating chart. A few of the top contenders on
Carrie's suspect list are the flirtatious Roxy, emotionally unstable since her recent divorce; Angela's grouchy brother, who
feels Aiden betrayed him; and Roxy's scorned ex-husband. Even Donna may have had reason to want her husband dead.
And Aiden's gossipy office manager has plenty to say about them all.
Then another member of Angela's family is murdered, making Carrie more determined than ever to find the killer. Can
library ghost Evelyn and library cat Smoky Joe help Carrie solve the murders before she becomes the next of Angela's
wedding guests to head to the grave?
Critique: Another spellbinding 'whodunnit' from the pen of Allison Brook, "Death on the Shelf" is the latest addition to her
simply outstanding 'A Haunted Library Mystery' series. Once again the dedicated mystery buff is treated to a series of
unexpected plot twists and memorable crafted characters. While certain to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition
to any community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Death on the Shelf" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged
audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666522495, $22.99, MP3 CD).
How to Book a Murder
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643858593, $26.99, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: To help save her family's floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted Ph.D. Emma Starrs
agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy, well-connected high school classmate Tabitha Baxter. It's a
delightful evening of cocktails and conjecture until Tabitha's husband, Tip (who is hosting the affair in the guise of Edgar
Allan Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin) winds up murdered!
In a heartbeat, Emma and her aunt Nora, a famous mystery writer, become suspects. Emma is sure the party's over for
Starlit events, until celebrated author Calliope Nightfall, whose gothic sensibilities are intrigued by the circumstances,
implores the bookseller to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome. Throwing a bash to die for while searching
for additional clues is already enough to drive Emma stark raven mad, but another shocking crime soon reveals that
Silvercrest has not yet reached the final chapter of the puzzling case.
Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind, and if Emma cannot outwit the killer, she and her
beloved aunt will land behind bars, to walk free nevermore.
Critique: Another perfectly crafted 'whodunnit' mystery by author Cynthia Kuhn, "How to Book a Murder" is part of her A
Starlit Bookshop Mystery series. A mystery lover's pure delight laced as it is with unexpected plot twists and turns
throughout, "How to Book a Murder" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library
Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs
in general, and the growing legions of Cynthia Kuhn fans in particular, that "How to Book a Murder" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media,
9781666512373, $22.99, CD).
The Dangers of an Ordinary Night
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643858654, $26.99, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: On a chilly fall evening at the prestigious Performing Arts High School of Boston, best friends Tali Carrington
and June Danforth go missing after auditioning for a play. They're last seen in grainy, out-of-focus surveillance footage that
shows them walking away from the school. Two days later in a town south of Boston, Tali is found disoriented and
traumatized by the ocean's edge, while June is pronounced dead at the scene.
Tali's mother, Nell, is so bent on protecting her daughter from further emotional harm that she ignores rumors of her
husband's involvement and enlists the help of Cynthia Rawlins, a reunification therapist with personal insight into the
riptide that hides below the surface of every unsuspecting family. Meanwhile, Detective Fitz Jameson uncovers a criminal
undertow involving the high school's over achieving students, and finally sees an opportunity for personal redemption from
a secret that's haunted him for years.
As Nell, Cynthia, and Fitz confront their own contributions to the scandals that beleaguer them, their lives turn out to be
more deeply intertwined than they'd ever imagined. In the end, they must decide what lengths they're willing to go to
protect the people they love while also saving themselves.
Critique: The kind of mystery suspense thrill that unfolds like a roller coaster gone wild, "The Dangers of an Ordinary
Night" by author Lynne Reeves is a compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover. Original, clever, entertainingly
memorable, "The Dangers of an Ordinary Night" is highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Dangers of an Ordinary Night" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape
Media, 9781666519457, $59.99, CD)
God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
9780440000082, $26.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her
dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude,
there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family,
and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas.
Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a
former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so
Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.
Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now
crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and
when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple
There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in
mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of
the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the
crosshairs of a killer.
Critique: "God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen" is one of Rhys Bowen's 'A Royal Spyness Mystery' novels and, simply stated,
an impressively crafted and thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. With a wealth of unexpected twists and
turns, and also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) as well as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Brilliance Audio, 9781713658504, $24.99, CD), "God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen" is especially recommended for the
personal lists of dedicated mystery buffs and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
The Twelve Jays of Christmas
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250760180, $26.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Meg and Michael's annual holiday celebration is well underway, with a throng of out-of-town relatives staying at
their house. Hosting these festivities is a little harder than usual. They have to relocate all the events normally held in their
library, currently occupied by Roderick Castlemayne, the irascible wildlife artist who's creating twelve paintings of birds to
illustrate Meg's grandfather's latest nature book.
Still, the celebrations continue and the entire family rejoices to learn that Meg's brother Rob and his longtime fiancee
Delaney have finally decided to tie the knot. Unfortunately, they decide to do this in the middle of Meg and Michael's
annual New Year's bash, dashing their mothers' hopes of planning the wedding to end all weddings.
Delaney's mother sneaks into town so she and Meg's mother can secretly plot a way to talk the happy couple into having a
big bash. Hiding her only adds to Meg's holiday stress. It's almost a full-time job fending all the visitors who want to
confront Castlemayne including reporters, bill collectors, process servers, and several ex-wives in search of unpaid
Then someone murders Castlemayne in the middle of a blizzard and sets loose the birds he was painting. Can Meg help the
police crack the case before the killer strikes again? Can she keep Christmas merry in spite of the body in the library? Can
she negotiate a compromise between Rob and Delaney and their disappointed mothers? And can she recapture the twelve
escaped jays before they begin nesting in the Christmas tree?
Critique: An impressively entertaining and original 'whodunnit' by an author with a true mastery of the genre, "The Twelve
Jays of Christmas" by Donna Andrews is a dedicated mystery lover's delight. While certain to be an immediate and
enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the
legions of Donna Andrews fans that "The Twelve Jays of Christmas" is also readily available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250822659, $43.81, CD).
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393881042, $27.95, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall
into a forbidden relationship, which super charges Haddad's recruitment and creates unspeakable danger when they enter
Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.
But the cat and mouse chase for the killer soon leads to a trail of high-profile assassinations and the discovery of a dark
secret at the heart of the Syrian regime, bringing the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad's spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and
his brother Rustum, the head of the feared Republican Guard.
Set against the backdrop of a Syria pulsing with fear and rebellion, "Damascus Station" is a gripping suspense thriller of a
read that offers a textured portrayal of espionage, love, loyalty, and betrayal in one of the most difficult CIA assignments
on the planet. a deftly crafted novel by author David McClaskey (who is a former CIA analyst and consultant at McKinsey
& Company, and while at the CIA, worked in field stations across the Middle East and briefed senior White House
officials and Arab royalty), "Damascus Stations" is an especially recommended addition to community library General
Fiction collections. Of immense interest to fans of political, espionage, and international anti-terrorism action/adventure
fiction, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Damascus Station" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.18).
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781982168896, $26.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: "Grave Reservations" by Cherie Priest is the story of Leda Foley -- a devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and
inconsistent psychic. When Leda, sole proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, impulsively re-books Seattle PD detective
Grady Merritt's flight, her life changes in ways she couldn't have predicted.
After watching his original plane blow up from the safety of the airport, Grady realizes that Leda's special abilities could
help him with a cold case he just can't crack.
Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees for a secret reason: her fiance's murder remains unsolved. Leda's psychic
abilities couldn't help the case several years before, but she's been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite
bar's open-mic nights, where she performs Klairvoyant Karaoke -- singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds
people's personal effects.
Now joined by a rag-tag group of bar patrons and pals alike, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer and learn how the two
cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.
Critique: A deftly crafted blend of mystery, suspense, the occult, and magical realism, "Grave Reservations" is an original
and impressively entertaining read from cover to cover. Showcasing author Cherrie Priest's genuine flair for creating
memorable characters and unexpected plot twists, "Grave Reservations" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly
popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Grave Reservations" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781982168902, $17.00), in a digital book format
(Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797133911, $39.99, CD).
The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden
9781408866924, $26.00, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: In the spring of 1853, private detective Laetitia Rodd receives a delicate request from a retired actor, whose days
on the stage were ended by a theater fire ten years before. His great friend, and the man he rescued from the fire, Thomas
Transome, has decided to leave his wife, who now needs assistance in securing a worthy settlement. Though Mrs. Rodd is
reluctant to get involved with the scandalous world of the theater, she cannot turn away the woman in need. She agrees to
take the case.
But what starts out as a simple matter of negotiation becomes complicated when a body is discovered in the burnt husk of
the old theater. Soon Mrs. Rodd finds herself embroiled in family politics, rivalries that put the Capulets and Montagues to
shame, and betrayals on a Shakespearean scale. Mrs. Rodd will need all her investigatory powers, not to mention her
famous discretion, to solve the case before tragedy strikes once more.
Critique: The third mystery in author Kate Sauncers' outstanding Laetita Rodd historical mysteries series, "The Mystery of
the Sorrowful Maiden" once again presents a deftly crafted, impressively entertaining story featuring an indomitable lady
sleuth that is the equal of Sherlock Holmes or any Agatha Christy detective. While very highly recommended, especially
for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Kate Saunders fans that
"The Mystery of the Sorrowful Maiden" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete
and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666521269, $22.99, CD).
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608094509, $26.95, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Late in the Cold War, a young woman escapes from Communist Hungary, vanishing into the night with a
priceless painting and a baby girl and thereby setting events in motion from a decades-old secret that will change lives for
generations to come.
Many years later, classical pianist Maggie O'Shea is drawn to Cornwall in search of a long-lost Van Gogh and the truth
behind her husband's death. A journal from World War II Paris holds many of the answers, but only two people know
where the Van Gogh is hidden now -- a courageous nun and a man presumed dead.
Set against the backdrop of the international music and art world, Maggie finds herself on a collision course with three
dangerous Russians who threaten all she holds dear -- including her life and the life of the man she has come to love.
Critique: In the pages of "Shadow Music" by Helaine Mario, is deftly crafted, impressively original, and memorably
entertaining blend of loss, courage, love, and revenge. The third book in the author's 'Maggie O'Shea' mystery series, this is
a simply riveting tale of suspense with many an unexpected plot twist and turn, "Shadow Music" will prove to be an
immediate and enduringly welcome addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery fans that "Shadow Music" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $11.49).
Labyrinth of Lies
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800740504, $29.99, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: When the daughter of a high-profile businessman disappears from an exclusive girls' boarding school, police
detective Cate Reilly is tapped for an undercover assignment. It doesn't take her long to realize that beneath the veneer of
polish and wealth, things are not as they seem at Ivy Hill Academy. But the biggest surprise of all? The only man she ever
loved is also working at the school.
Zeke Sloan has never forgotten Cate, but now isn't the best time for their paths to cross again. When their two seemingly
disparate agendas begin to intertwine (and as startling connections emerge among the players) the danger escalates
significantly. But who is the mastermind behind the elaborate ruse? And how far will they go to protect their house of
Critique: Another deftly written and original suspense thriller of a novel by a master of the genre, and underscored with
romance, "Labyrinth Of Lies" by Irene Hannon is the second volume in her outstanding 'Triple Threat' series and will have
particular and special appeal to fans of Christian Mystery Suspense Thrillers . While highly recommended, especially for
community library collections, it should be noted for the growing legions of Irene Hannon fans that "Labyrinth Of Lies" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9780800736187, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover's Mystery
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643857886, $26.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: It's a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil's Beach, FL. Much of
the clientele pours in from Dante's Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn
decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio's owner turns up in a nearby swamp.
Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, Lana Lewis, a reporter-turned-barista, is too
busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana's dreams of getting
back into journalism start to percolate.
Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is
a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the
killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?
But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah's relationship
(and Lana's life!) in very hot coffee!
Critique: A 'whodunnit' mystery enthusiast's delight, "Cold Brew Corpse" by Tara Lush is a deftly crafted and thoroughly
entertaining read from beginning to end. Memorable characters, clever plot twists, and a rousing finale all combine to
make "Cold Brew Corpse" a favorite and prized addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Tara Lush fans that "Cold Brew Corpse" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media,
9781666523928, $26.99, CD).
9781631611537, $14.99, PB, 200pp
Synopsis: Drowning in a meaningless existence flipping burgers, Matthew Davis suddenly collapses from a powerful
psychic connection he shares with his twin brother, Jake. The pain is violent and immediate, and Matt knows exactly what
it means. Hundreds of miles away, Jake has just been viciously killed. But instead of severing their connection, the murder
intensifies it and Matt begins to suffer the agony of Jake's afterlife.
Hell bent on solving Jake's murder in order to break the connection, Matt travels to his troubled hometown of Hatchett,
Nebraska, where an old lover and savage new enemies expose the festering wounds that Jake left behind.
Matt tries atoning for Jake's sins, but when a demon infests the connection between the two brothers, Matt must find a way
to sever their bond before his world, and ours, become engulfed in the flames of hell.
Critique: Original, compelling, and a deftly crafted blend of mystery, suspense, action, and the paranormal, "Our
Trespasses" by author and storyteller Michael Cordell will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to
community library Psychic Thriller Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Our Trespasses"
is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Autobiography of Mr. Spock
Lina McCormack, author
Russell Walks, illustrator
9781785654664, $24.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: In "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock", one of Starfleet's finest officers and the Federation's most celebrated
citizens reveals his life story. Mr Spock explores his difficult childhood on Vulcan with Michael Burnham, his
controversial enrolment at Starfleet Academy, his time on the Enterprise with both Kirk and Pike, and his moves to his
diplomatic and ambassadorial roles, including his clandestine mission to Romulus.
Brand-new details of his life on Vulcan and the Enterprise are revealed, along with never-before-seen insights into Spock's
relationships with the most important figures in his life, including Sarek, Michael Burnham, Christopher Pike, Kirk,
McCoy and more, all told in his own distinctive voice.
Critique: Simply stated, "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock" is absolutely essential reading for the legions of Star Trek
fans. A deftly crafted memoir of a fictional character by author and Star Trek fans Lina McCormack, and featuring a
section of full color artwork by Russell Walks, "The Autobiography of Mr. Spock" will prove to be a massively popular
addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Autobiography of Mr.
Spock" is also readily available from Titan Books in a paperback edition (9781785659416, $14.95) and in a digital book
format (Kindle, $12.99).
Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 2
Timothy Zahn, et al.
9781787737082, $24.99, HC, 148pp
Synopsis: Titan Comics has been publishing the official Star Wars Insider magazine worldwide for over 200 issues. The
second volume in their Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection series, this compendium of five original Star Wars stories by
short story authors Timothy Zahn, James S. A. Corey, Jason Fry, Paul S. Kemp, and John Jackson Miller are beautifully
illustrated by the artwork of Drew Baker, Magali Villeneuve, John Van Flektt, Joe Corroney, and Brian Miller.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Star Wars fans, "Star Wars Insider: Fiction Collection Vol. 2" is published in
a hard cover coffee-table size format (8.17 x 0.55 x 11.16 inches) and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly
popular addition to personal and community library Science Fiction collections in general, and Star Wars reading lists in
The Psychology Shelf
Psychedelics and Psychotherapy
Tim Read, editor
Maria Papaspyrou, editor
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644113325, $24.99, PB, 424pp
Synopsis: Exploring the latest developments in the flourishing field of modern psychedelic psycho-therapy, the articles
comprising "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" (expertly compiled by Tim Read
and Maria Papaspyrou, co-directors of the Institute of Psychedelic Therapy in the UK) shares practical experiences and
insights from both elders and newer research voices in the psychedelic research and clinical communities.
The contributors examine new findings on safe and skillful work with psychedelic and expanded states for therapeutic,
personal, and spiritual growth. They explain the dual process of opening and healing. They explore new approaches for
individual inner work as well as for the healing of ancestral and collective trauma. They examine the power of expanded
states for reparative attachment work and offer insights on the integration process through the lens of Holotropic
Breathwork. The contributors also examine the use of cannabis as a psychedelic tool, spiritual exploration with LSD,
microdosing with Iboga, treating depression with psilocybin, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
Revealing diverse ways of working with psychedelics in terms of set, setting, and type of substance, "Psychedelics and
Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" concludes with discussions of ethics and professional
development for those working in the field as well as explores considerations for training the next generation of
Critique: Expertly compiled and co-edited by Tim Read and Maria Papaspyrou, and with specific attention to the use of
cannabis as a psychedelic tool, spiritual exploration with LSD, micro-dosing with Iboga, and MDMA-assisted
psychotherapy for PTSD, "Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" is a uniquely
informed and informative addition to community, counseling center, college, and university library Psychology, Psychiatry,
and Pharmacology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for psychology students,
academia, therapists, counselors, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Psychedelics and
Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note #1: Currently residing in London, England, Tim Read, M.D. is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with
degrees in neuroscience and medicine. After heading the services for psychiatric emergencies and crisis intervention at the
Royal London Hospital for 20 years, he is now involved in clinical research at King's College and Imperial College,
London University, on the therapeutic use of psychedelics.
Editorial Note #2: Currently residing in Brighton, England, Maria Papaspyrou, MSC, is an integrative psychotherapist,
supervisor, and family constellations facilitator. She has given talks and published articles on the sacramental and healing
properties of entheogens, supporting their reintroduction in psychotherapy. She is also the co-editor of Psychedelic
Mysteries of the Feminine.
The Travel Shelf
Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain
Damian Harper, et al.
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781787015364, $24.99, PB, 324pp
Synopsis: "Lonely Planet's Best of Great Britain" is an illustrated and information packed compendium of the most
relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you when visiting England, Ireland,
and Scotland. With its thoroughly 'user friendly' format, even the most novice of tourists can explore London's museums,
sip whisky in Scotland, and hike in Snowdonia; all with this comprehensive guide as a trusted travel planner.
"Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain" features: Up-to-date information - all businesses were rechecked before publication
to ensure they are still open after 2020's COVID-19 outbreak; Full-color images throughout; Highlights and itineraries help
tailor any trip to personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding
crowds and trouble spots; Essential information including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices;
Honest reviews for all budgets (including eating, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks
miss!); Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, art, food, wine, sport, landscapes,
wildlife; A free, convenient pull-out London map (included in print version), plus easy-to-use colour maps to help you
navigate your destination.
Critique: Lonely Planet travel guides are held to the highest standards of quality content and utility -- and "Lonely Planet
Best of Great Britain" is in full compliance to that requirement. Whether traveling to the UK for business, pleasure, or
both, This compact paperback edition of "Lonely Planet Best of Great Britain" is the ideal trip planning resource for a truly
memorable trip -- making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and
university library Travel Guide collections.
The Interior Design Shelf
Cozy White Cottage Seasons
Liz Marie Galvan
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781400224555, $27.00, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long ", do-it-yourself
interior designer and popular blogger Liz Marie Galvan helps you to create space to snuggle up, stretch out, or kick back at
home so that you can focus on what matters most during the holidays and every day. Following the popularity of "Cozy
White Cottage", Liz Galvan's "Cozy White Cottage Seasons" is a beautiful, full-color photography holiday lifestyle book
packed from cover to cover with easy-to-do, practical tips to make any home a welcome haven from New Year's to spring,
summer, fall, and all the way through Christmas.
"Cozy White Cottage Seasons" covers: Creating cozy celebrations, traditions, and memories indoors and out; Repurposing
furniture and decor for every season; Cultivating your flair for vintage, modern, farmhouse, or a unique style all your own;
Designing a hot cocoa bar --and making other seasonally cozy recipes; Storing and manage holiday clutter. In addition,
"Cozy White Cottage Seasons" is enhanced for the DIY enthusiasts with fun ideas to celebrate and decorate for: Christmas;
Thanksgiving; Halloween; Fourth of July; Father's Day and Mother's Day; Easter; Valentine's Day -- and so much
Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100
Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long" is a delight to simply browse through and an ideal resource for interior re-designing and
holiday decorating ideas. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community
library Home Decorating & Interior Designing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the DIY enthusiast
that "Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: A cozy enthusiast living in an 1800s farmhouse, Liz Marie Gaven's design tips and wisdom have been
featured on the TODAY show, Better Homes and Gardens, and Country Living. With decorating tips, fun family traditions,
and doable ways to make your home inviting in every season, Liz helps you create a beautiful living space and a grateful
heart all year long.
The Comix/Graphic Novels Shelf
Comic Book Artist Bullpen
Jon B. Cooks, author
George Tuska, Jack Kirby, Fred Hernback, artists
Frank Bolie, Terry Beatty, Jack Abel, artists
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605491059, $24.95, PB, 176pp
Synopsis: "Comic Book Artist Bullpen" collects all seven issues of the little-seen labor of love fanzine published in the
early 2000s by Jon B. Cooke (editor of today's Comic Book Creator magazine), just after the original CBA ended its a
TwoMorrows Publishing run. Featured are in-depth interviews with some of comics' major league players, including artists
George Tuska, Jack Kirby, Fred Hernback, artists Frank Bolie, as well as an amazing all-star tribute to Silver Age great
Jack Abel by the Marvel Comics Bullpen and others. That previously unpublished all-comics Abel appreciation
(assembled by Rick Parker) includes strips by Joe Kubert, Walter Simonson, Kyle Baker, Marie Severin, Gray Morrow,
Alan Weiss Sergio Aragones, Mort Todd, Dick Ayers, and many more! Plus a new bonus feature on Jack Kirby's unknown
1960s baseball card art, and a 16-page full-color section, all behind a Jack Kirby cover!
Critique: Profusely illustrated in black-and-white throughout, "Comic Book Artist Bullpen" is prove to be of immense
interest to all comic book bibliophiles. Informative and fun from cover to cover, "Comic Book Artist Bullpen" is a unique
and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, highschool, community, college, and university library
Historical & Biographical Fiction Graphic Novels collections in general, and the personal reading lists of all dedicated
comic book fans 16 to 86!
Doctor Who: Missy
Jody Houser, author
Roberta Ingranata, illustrator
9781787736450, $17.99, PB, 112pp
Synopsis: Missy (the female incarnation of The Master, an arch enemy of Doctor Who) up to her old tricks, but this time
she's not alone! In the company of her earlier incarnation as The Master, Missy goes back along her own timeline with
many a danger from old foes in search of a fragment of the Key to Time. How will the Doctor survive this latest maniacal
plot in this special story celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Master?
Critique: An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Doctor Who fans (and, for that matter, fans of The Master), "Doctor
Who: Missy - The Master Plan" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library
graphic novel collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Doctor Who: Missy - The Master Plan" is
available from Titan Comics in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $11.99).
The Sunless Country: Trent
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183963, $11.95, PB, 48pp
Synopsis: Beyond the Arctic Circle, in the freezing cold and never-ending night, the Mounties do their duty and try to
resist the creeping assaults of madness and depression. One evening, Canadian mounted police officer Trent, alone at his
remote outpost, hears a call for help. He finds a couple of Natives, dead of exposure, along with a very much alive baby!
Reluctantly turned into a polar nurse, the sergeant must leave his shelter (which is unequipped to cater to its new occupant)
in order to find her a new family.
Critique: The sixth volume in the Canadian Mountie Trent series, "The Sunless Country" is a deftly scripted, impressively
illustrated, and thoroughly entertaining graphic novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community
library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sunless Country" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $4.61).
Editorial Note: Brazilian artist Leo is best known for his science-fiction, multi-series saga The Worlds of Aldebaran. He
also created Canadian Mountie Trent as well as Kenya and its second season Namibia, all three with the artist/illustrator
Rodolphe - a teacher, journalist and writer who's penned over 150 graphic novels so far and worked with some of the
greatest names of Bandes Dessinees.
Vincent Brugeas, author
Thomas Legrain, illustrator
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849185943, $15.95, PB, 64pp
Synopsis: Despite the heroic efforts of L Detachment, the unit's victories haven't managed to stop the advance of the
German war machine. Soon, Rommel is at the gates of Egypt, and losses mount among David Stirling and Paddy Mayne's
men -- some crueller than others. In the end, they will have to reinvent themselves and give everything to push back the
Desert Fox and earn their name at last: The Special Air Service!
Critique: The third book in the outstanding graphic novel series 'The True Story of the SAS', "The Regiment" is military
combat storytelling at its finest. A riveting read throughout, "The Regiment" will prove a welcome and enduringly popular
addition to highschool and community library Graphic Nove collections for readers ages 15 to 85. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The Regiment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology,
The Audiobook Shelf
Murder by the Bookend
Laura Gail Black
9781666518801, $22.99, 7 CD, 8 Hours 42 minutes
Synopsis: Hokes Folly, NC, beloved antiquarian bookstore, Twice Upon a Time, is throwing a bash for its grand
reopening. But bookseller Jenna Quinn's peace of mind is shattered when the local library's Director of Antique Books
turns up dead in the parking lot with his head bashed in by a glittering pair of vintage glass bookends that he'd won in the
As they examine the murder scene, Jenna and her police detective boyfriend Keith happen upon the only witness -- Eddie,
the victim's dog, who flees the scene leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind. If only dogs could speak, Jenna might be
able to make quick work of the murder case and get back to stocking her bookcases. Alas, finding the killer won't be so
easy, even though this is not Jenna's first murder investigation (she inherited Twice Upon a Time from her slain uncle).
The suspect list includes the late librarian had not-so-friendly run-ins with numerous guests -- but suspicion eventually
centers on three unsavory individuals who left the party shortly before the victim did.
Now Jenna must edit her inventory of suspects from three names to one before the bloodthirsty bookend-wielder becomes
the author of Jenna's demise.
Critique: The sequel to author Laura Gail Black's mystery novel "For Whom the Book Tolls" which launched her "An
Antique Bookshop Mystery' series, "Murder by the Bookend" is an impressively crafted 'whodunnit' with many an
unexpected plot twist and turn before the unexpected finale! Especially recommended for community library audio book
collections, this complete and unabridged audio book edition is skillfully narrated by Susan Boyce and is an ideal 'theatre
of the mind' experience that will be especially appreciated by Amateur Sleuth fans.
Suburbia Made Me Do It
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9798200714537, $29.95, CD
Synopsis: For over twenty-five years, Rory Davenport had based her life on the ancient, mental code of ethics passed down
from previous generations that she secretly nicknamed The Suburbia Handbook.
High school sweethearts must marry and the wife is to stay at home and raise the children while the husband brings home
the bacon. All married couples must procreate and raise, at a minimum, two and a half children, preferably staggered in
ages by three years. A woman's job as housewife is to maintain a pleasant, always spotless home for her family. Check.
Housewives must service their husband's needs when the man's urges overtake him, no matter how tired, sick, in pain, or
stressed the wife feels.
For over twenty years, Rory adhered to the strict rules -- until a final act of egregious infidelity on the part of her husband
shattered her mental control. This was the culmination of a series of traumatic events the sent her life spiraling out of
control, destroying each and every archaic, foundational rule.
Except Rule Number Eleven: One must defend their family, no matter what. This rule trumps everything else, even if the
defense comes in the form of bodily harm to another.
Critique: An extraordinary, unique, and inherently compelling suspense thriller, this complete and unabridged audio book
edition of "Suburbia Made Me Do It"" is giftedly narrated by the author -- Ashley Fontainne. A simply fascinating story
with incredible plot twists that continue right down to the unsuspected ending, "Suburbia Made Me Do It" is especially and
unreservedly recommended for the dedicated suspense/thriller fans wanting a true 'theatre of the mind' experience, as well
as an enduringly popular addition to community library CD audio book collections.
Best in Snow
David Rosenfelt, author
Grover Gardner, narrator
9781250818058, $29.99, 6 CDs, 7 Hours
Synopsis: Christmas has come early to the town of Paterson, New Jersey, in the form of a snowstorm that left over two feet
of snow on the ground. Lawyer Andy Carpenter likes snow (to a point) but he misses the walks he takes his dogs on every
When the snow starts to melt, and a body is discovered by his dog, Andy ends up in the office of the local newspaper
editor. The murder victim is that of crooked businessman Thomas Lansing, who had an infamous relationship with the
newspaper. Last year a young reporter published an expose, and Lansing had him fired for libel. Now, the young reporter
(and prime suspect) isn't answering his phone -- and everyone is worried.
Andy agrees to take the case, though it's not looking good this holiday season. The snow is piling up -- along with the
Critique: An inherently compelling and fully entertaining Andy Carpenter mystery by veteran mystery/suspense author
David Rosenfelt, this CD recorded edition of "Best In Snow" is deftly narrated by the vocal talents of Grover Gardner. The
result is a true 'theatre of the mind' style audio book, complete and unabridged, that is especially and unreservedly
recommended for the personal lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and will prove an enduringly popular addition to
community library audio book collections.
The Music CD Shelf
My Favorite Holiday!
$TBA CD / $10.89 MP3
My Favorite Holiday! is a Christmas-themed music album of ten original songs and one cover performed by musician,
actress, and award-winning female vocalist Patricia Vonne. Patricia's brightly dulcet voice is pure listening joy! This
festive collection will appeal to all ages, and is highly recommended as a way to spread Christmas cheer. The tracks are
"Santa's On His Way", "Nochebuena", "Alone On Christmas Day", "Las Posadas", "Christmas Without You", "My
Favorite Holiday", "Cumbia Navidad", "Santa's On A Rampage", "Christ Child", "Carol of the Bells", and "Old Man
Suzanne Teng and Gilbert Levy
Autumn Light Productions
$17.92 CD / $8.91 MP3
Award-winning music artists Suzanne Teng and Gilbert Levy present Whisper, a beautiful, emotional, and instrumental
album of original music crafted to soothe the mind and spirit. Light, exotic, and gently relaxing, Whisper is a mellifluous
experience that can be savored on its own, or played to help one calm the mind while engaged in other tasks. Highly
recommended. The tracks are "Whisper", "Sweet Jack", "Birgitte on the Steps", "Watching Us From Other Worlds",
"Winter Prayer", "Genesis", "She Dances With the Sea", "White Buffalo", and "Gammapana".
$17.00 CAD physical / $10.00 CAD digital
Erlebnisse is a solo piano album, titled after a German word for "deeply felt experiences". Each song is improvised,
recorded in a single take, and played in real time. The tracks span a gamut of emotions and trace a mind-expanding journey
brimming with creativity, inspiration, and adventure. An extraordinary soundscape sparking dreams, desires, and passions,
Erlebnisse is highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of the extraordinary.
The DVD Shelf
For the Love of Jason, Season 1
For the Love of Jason, Season 1 is a series about a single, educated, financially stable black man with no children, in
search of true love. Jason has experienced long-term relationships, and years of bachelor life, yet as he grew older he
realized that one by one all of his closest friends were settling down. Feeling the pressure to find someone rather than
spend middle age and beyond alone, he starts a string of awkward dates - fortunately, all of his friends are eager to help
him! For the Love of Jason is witty, heartwarming, at times sassy, and always entertaining, highly recommended. English
language with English subtitles, 2 hours and 31 min.
Kevin Can F Himself, Season 1
Starring Annie Murphy
$39.98 DVD / Blu-ray
Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Kevin Can F Himself, Season 1 is a dark humor series about what lurks
beneath the surface of a seemingly idyllic, sitcom-style marriage. Allison McRoberts is married to her self-centered
husband Kevin, but when she learns that the future she hoped for will never happen, she joins forces with her neighbor
Patty to wrest back control of her own life. Grim wit, human frustration, and emotional fakery abound, in this unforgettable
deconstruction of the ties that bind. English, Spanish and French languages and subtitles, 5 hours 54 min.
The Self-Help Shelf
Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs
Ronald Dwinnells, MD, MBA
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781626348691, $20.95, HC, 264pp
Synopsis: Ron Dwinnells sought leadership skills from early on in his career, and the publication of "Don't Pick Up All the
Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" is the entertaining and informative culmination of that search, offering
insights into how to deal with situations and enhance your life at home and in your career,
"Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs" began serendipitously while Dwinnells was teaching public health and leadership
classes at a local medical school. He advised his students what-not-to-do as a leader through entertaining stories from his
own very unique background, conveying lessons he had learned from failures, adversities, mistakes, and even enemies
from leadership experiences along the way.
The lecture series became so popular with students, it won him accolades and several teaching awards -- and pressure to
write his stories down. Dr. Dwinnells, a pediatrician and certified physician executive, did just that, and generations of
readers will be the beneficiaries of his humor, insight, and wisdom.
Critique: Simply stated, if you only have time for one self-help book, make it "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons
for Life and Leadership" by Dr. Ronald Dwinnells. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, laced through and
through with humor and practical information, "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" is a
DIY course of instruction for improving the quality of your life and the lives of your friends and family. While especially
and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Don't Pick Up All the Dog Hairs: Lessons for Life and Leadership" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Ron Dwinnells is the CEO of ONE Health Ohio, an integrated community health center program serving
the medically uninsured, underinsured, and underserved populations in northeast Ohio. His clinics have served over one
million patients during his 35 years at the helm.
North Atlantic Books
9781623175566, $18.95 pbk / $12.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Are you ready to get Discomfortable? We all know shame: it's that unpleasant feeling that makes us think there
is something wrong with who we are. It's more than just embarrassment or regret - shame can shake us to the core. And
worst of all, it tells us that we need to be, feel, and act differently in order to be seen, loved, and accepted. But is that
Author and shame educator (a.k.a. "Shame Ed" coach) A.J. Bond takes us through his own shame breakthrough, sharing
how he went from "I'd rather die than be gay" to uncovering and reclaiming his inherent wholeness and worth. With
unexpected humor, warmth, and candid personal stories, Bond shines a light on this feeling that doesn't want to be seen
and named-and invites us to bring our own shame into the open to reclaim and reframe our lives in a powerful new
Critique: Discomfortable: What Is Shame and How Can We Break Its Hold? is a self-help guide that critically examines
the concept of shame, and how it can cause lasting harm. Chapters examine how shame works, the difference between
shame and guilt, the cruelty of victim shaming, when shame can actually be healthy, and much more. Discomfortable
emphasizes the crucial importance of breaking through harmful shame, and is a welcome addition to personal and public
library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Discomfortable is also
available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).
Editorial Note: A. J. Bond is a writer, filmmaker, and self-described "shame breakthrusiast," creator of the podcast and
shame education platform Discomfortable. Bond's goal with Discomfortable is to make the subject of shame as ubiquitous,
accessible, and entertaining as possible in the hopes that others can find the same sense of relief, liberation, and purpose
that he experienced through his own "shame breakthrough."
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781592339808, $22.99, PB, 160pp
Synopsis: When it comes to the metaphysical arts of witchcraft, there is nothing wrong with being simple and
straightforward. Easy spells are not less worthy spells. These ideas are central to the practice of the Thrifty Witch. Sick of
not being able to easily source (or afford) what she needed for spells, Wren Maple dedicated herself to collecting and
optimizing spells that could work for all witches -- no matter where they were on their journey and no matter their personal
resources. Now in the pages of "The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells: Potions, Charms, and Incantations for the
Modern Witch", Wren shares her research and brings her collection to the page for the first time.
"The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells" is part primer, part spellbook. It includes: Getting started/witch basics:
Witchcraft as self-care, how to establish a practice, and a handful of super-easy spells to get casting today; Key ingredients
for spells: Starter stones and herbs, how to source, what to buy first, and more questions answered!; Simple spells for every
witch: Just like the spells Wren is known for online, nearly every spell in the book requires five items or fewer, and all
ingredients are easy to source; Specific spells: Organized by purpose (e.g. love spells, protection spells), these spells are
sure to cover what you're looking to cast; Tips and Tricks for Casting: When to cast for best results, where to cast and why
it matters -- making your spells count!
The beauty of these spells is that they are easy enough and affordable enough to practice daily. Since practice and process
are so important, The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells" provides an invaluable resource unlocking the ability to try
new spells and refine casting methods multiple times per week and even daily!
Critique: Inherently fascinating, exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Thrifty Witch's Book of Simple Spells:
Potions, Charms, and Incantations for the Modern Witch" especially recommended for personal, professional, community,
college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections -- is a 'must' for the personal reading lists of all aspiring
Wiccans and metaphysical studies practitioners.
Editorial Note: Wren Maple, aka The Thrifty Witch, is the founder of The Thrifty Coven and @TheThriftyWitch on
Instagram, a popular and fast-growing resource for witches looking for simple-to-source and easy-to-cast spells. Wren has
written about witchcraft and a variety of other topics for pop-culture sites such as Pop Sugar, Teen Vogue, and more.
Previous to her witching career, Wren was an editor and writer, contributing to magazines and websites including Martha
Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, and other lifestyle publications.
Dark Goddess Magick
C. Ara Campbell
Fair Winds Press
c/o The Quarto Group
9780760370957, $24.99 pbk / $11.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Light magick is all well and good, but sometimes you can't just "love and light" your way through challenging
circumstances. The potent shadow goddesses you meet here, however, can guide you through the darkness.
Authored by Ara Campbell of the wildly popular Goddess Circle school and community, each dark goddess entry includes
spells, invocations, and practices to utilize the goddess's magick and wisdom for embodying strength, setting boundaries,
and transforming your life.
Often, it is in the darkest times that we find our strength and reclaim our power.
Someone poaching on your lover, your home, or your business? Call on Kali, The Warrioress, to release your fear and
stand your ground.
Is your world falling apart or are you processing deep trauma or grief? Call on Persephone, The Dark Queen, to help guide
you through your emotional underworld and find a new beginning.
Trying to shake your "nice" girl or people-pleaser tendencies? Call on Lilith, The Rebel Renegade Goddess, to reclaim
Feeling stuck in some life situation that won't move forward? Call upon Morrigan, The Phantom Queen, to shapeshift the
When life gets hard and messy, Dark Goddess Magick gives you spells, practices, and dark goddesses you can call on.
Critique: Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire is a metaphysical guide written
especially for women, offering suggestions for connecting with legendary goddesses, in order to kindle the fire within to
meet life's overbearing challenges. Here are magick and strong-willed mythological role models to aid women in setting
boundaries, being more assertive, and transforming their own lives. Dark Goddess Magick is a thoroughly fascinating
browse, reference, and resource for Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Dark
Goddess Magick is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).
Editorial Note: C. Ara Campbell is a visionary writer, author, and founder of The Goddess Circle. She is a soul guide,
cosmic channel, facilitator of The Inner Priestess Awakening Online Journey and Relationship Empowerment & Sacred
Love Online Journey, and author of The Astro Forecast Publication. She is also a purveyor of rare and high vibration
crystals in her popular Etsy Shop. Ara is a modern day mystic dedicated to the rising feminine, and connecting others with
their gifts and healing using the natural world.
The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760371398, $26.99, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Essentially, psychic ability is the capacity to know the unknowable. We are all born with this gift -- but we need
to know how to access it. In the pages of "The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities: A Practical Guide to Developing Your
Intuition", Karen Frazier shows how to awaken different psychic abilities including: Mediumship (the ability to talk to
Spirits); Precognition (the ability to know events before they occur); ESP (the ability to glean psychic information from
objects); Remote viewing (the ability to see events at a distance); Channeling (the ability glean information from other
people or Spirits); Psychic dreaming (the ability to use dreams to predict the future or know events); Astral projection (the
ability to send your energy and awareness to other locations); Psychokinesis (the ability to affect and move objects with
Readers will also learn how to use their psychic abilities in conjunction with other divinatory tools such as tarot and
astrology. Setting energetic boundaries and protection is also discussed as are strategies for managing psychic information
if the reader is empathic or highly sensitive. Exercises and practices allow anyone to explore and learn at their own pace as
they strengthen and refine your abilities.
Written in an accessible style, The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities is the essential guide for developing your most
Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Ultimate Guide to Psychic Abilities: A
Practical Guide to Developing Your Intuition" is extraordinarily well written and an ideal combination of introduction and
instructional guide to psychic abilities -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Metaphysical Studies collections.
Editorial Note: Karen Frazier is an intuitive energy healer, psychic medium, author, and musician. She has written several
successful books about energy healing, crystals, sound healing, metaphysics, and the paranormal. She is a columnist for
Paranormal Underground Magazine. She currently writes two columns for the magazine: Dreams and Symbols, and
Metaphysics and Energy Healing. Karen also co-hosted Paranormal Underground Radio for more than eight years. She
formerly served as Paranormal Underground's Managing Editor. She also edits and writes for the website
www.LoveToKnow.com about paranormal, horoscopes, tarot, feng shui, and energy healing.
The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding Tarot
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631067730, $18.99, HC, 184pp
Synopsis: The tarot is a tool of divine guidance that allows you to connect with your inner knowing through the spread and
layout of cards. There are 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards that help you tap into your inner source of
awareness, power, and wisdom. The Major Arcana usually concerns itself with life's spiritual lessons while the Minor
Arcana represents what we experience on a day to day basis.
"The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding the Tarot: Your Handbook to Reading and Intuiting Tarot" by Cassie Uhl will
lead you to increase your self-knowledge and enlightenment through the tarot, demonstrated with illustrations of 78
lavishly designed cards. This comprehensive collection will introduce you to the art of tarot and tarot readings. Complete
with actionable exercises and steps that you can easily do at home, you'll be able to add tarot to your magickal arsenal.
You'll learn how to use your intuition to interpret the cards' messages and use the messages to manifest your
Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding the Tarot: Your Handbook to Reading
and Intuiting Tarot" is the ideal DIY introduction to the use of the tarot deck for self-inspection, self-discovery, and self-
motivating. Unreservedly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Metaphysical Studies
Collections, "The Zenned Out Guide to Understanding the Tarot: Your Handbook to Reading and Intuiting Tarot" is
thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, and has a great deal of insight and expertise to offer both the
novice and the experienced tarot user.
Editorial Note: Cassie Uhl is the owner and founder of Zenned Out, a jewelry store brand aimed at normalizing spirituality
in the common marketplace. Zenned Out handcrafts jewelry with meaning and provides a community that inspires a
mindful and spiritual lifestyle. Cassie hopes to give spiritual souls a place to feel at home on her Zenned Out blog and
offers handcrafted jewelry with meaningful symbols, powerful gemstones, and mindful quotes to enable people to wear
jewelry that aligns with their souls' purpose.
The Nautical Shelf
The Boatyard Book
c/o Bloomsbury Press
9781472977106, $35.00, Flexibound, 224pp
Synopsis: A DIY boat owner's guide to yacht maintenance, repair and refitting, "The Boatyard Book" by Simon Jollands is
a practical, comprehensive instructional reference manual that provides sensible, accessible advice for boatowners on
planning and carrying out annual maintenance, repairs, upgrades and refits of sailing yachts and motorboats, up to 20
metres in length.
Beginning with all the information owners will need to care for their boat, including how to budget and plan tasks to be
done through the year, "The Boatyard Book" goes on to help them choose the best boatyard for their needs, then provides
essential how-to reference material and ideas for a comprehensive range of projects large and small to be carried out
There's advice and tips from highly respected boatyard owners, specialists and surveyors, as well as from the author's own
25 years' experience of boat ownership, all fully illustrated with step-by-step photos and illustrations. Topics covered
include: laying up, hull and deck care, mast and rigging, sail care, engines, electrics, maintenance of plumbing and gas
systems. It also covers more complex projects including re-wiring a boat, overhauling an engine, how to treat osmosis, and
how to go about a complete refit.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, "The Boatyard Book" is an ideal and thoroughly
'user friendly' instruction guide and manual to be kept at the yard, or on the boat, because it will be referred to time and
time again by those who are either happy to keep things ticking along with the minimum of effort or by those who want to
get stuck into bigger projects. Simply stated, while very highly recommended for community library nautical and boat
maintenance collections, no owner of a boat or yacht should be without their own copy of "The Boatyard Book". It should
be noted for personal reading lists that "The Boatyard Book" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: A lifelong sailing enthusiast, Simon Jollands has filmed many major sailing events as well as producing
and directing several sea safety films for the RNLI. He is the co-founder of app developer Safe Skipper Apps, which
specializes in producing nautical reference apps, and is author of The Boatyard Book, Safe Skipper, Reeds Lights, Shapes
and Buoyage Handbook and Go Sailing, all published by Adlard Coles
A Race for Real Sailors
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
9781771622677, $32.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: In the summer of 1920, the public following the latest America's Cup series were frustrated to find that every
time the wind got up, the organizers called off the race. There was muttering in the taverns of Halifax and Lunenburg: why
not show these fancy yachtsmen what real sailors can do? A Nova Scotia newspaper donated a trophy and put out a
challenge to their rivals in New England, inviting them to meet the Maritimes' best in a "race for real sailors."
"A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is a vibrant history of the
Fishermen's Cup series, which dominated sporting headlines between the two world wars. The salt spray practically blows
off the page as the author Keith McLaren's arresting style captures the drama of each race and the personalities of the ships
that contested them: the Delawana and the Esperanto, the Columbia and the Gertrude L. Thebaud, and dominating them all
the Bluenose, the big brute from Lunenburg whose image shines on the Canadian dime to this day.
Vying for the spotlight are the boats' larger-than-life skippers, among them Marty Welch, the hard-charging American who
first took the cup; Ben Pine, the Gloucester scrap dealer whose passion kept the races afloat when they seemed destined to
fade away; and the irascible, impossible Angus Walters, master of the Bluenose, who repeatedly broke American hearts but
whose own heart was broken by Canada's refusal to come to the rescue of his beloved vessel.
"A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is a stirring and poignant tale
is that is impressively illustrated with 51 historical photographs and five maps, and rounded out by a glossary of sailing
terms and an appendix of the ever-changing race rules. "A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International
Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is a story that will keep even confirmed landlubbers pegged to their seats, a tale of iron men
and wooden ships whose time will never come again.
Critique: Originally published in 2006 and now available in a new paperback edition for a new generation of appreciative
readers, "A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is an extraordinary
history of an extraordinary event that will be of immense interest and inherent fascination for all nautical racing enthusiasts
and fans. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Sailing Sports
and Nautical History collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose
and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920 - 1938" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Keith McLaren has worked the waters of North America for over thirty-five years, from offshore supply
boats and drill rigs to coast guard ships and deep-sea freighters. He spent two seasons sailing on the Bluenose II, and the
experience inspired him to write his first book, "Bluenose and Bluenose II". He is currently a captain for BC Ferries and
lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
The Art Shelf
Carla Co Chua
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780760373279, $22.99, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion and plasticizers,
silicon oils, defoamers, stabilizers, or metal soaps. While most acrylic paints are water-based, some become water-resistant
when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted with water, or modified with acrylic gels, mediums, or pastes, the
finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor, a gouache, or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not
attainable with other media.
Acrylics are one of the most versatile, affordable, and accessible art mediums, and "Creative Acrylics: A Step-by-Step
Beginner's Guide to Creating with Paint & Mediums - Create Paintings Filled with Color, Texture, Unique Effects &
More!" by Carla Co Chua is an ideal instructional guide with all the tips, tricks, and techniques for blending colors and
building texture, plus excellent instruction on how to paint a range of different subjects.
Confused about which types of paints to use, and how to use them? "Creative Acrylics" cuts through the clutter and offers
clear fundamentals for working with a variety of paints and mediums to produce beautiful results. Acrylic paint is
water-soluble, dries quickly, and is forgiving, making it perfect for those starting out. Begin your acrylic painting journey
with an expert who will guide you through enjoyable techniques and projects as you build confidence and ramp up your
Step-by-step techniques, lessons, and projects cover a wide range of styles and genres, including color mixing, brushwork,
glazing, and how to paint easy florals, still lifes, landscapes, and animals. Take your new skills even further and paint on
different surfaces to create an apron, painted shells, a paintbrush rest, clay pot, and more.
"Creative Acrylics" includes: How to set up your workspace to make painting more enjoyable; A guide to the different
types of acrylic paint; Basic techniques such as understanding color and value, and how to add texture and other effects
using paint and mediums; Lessons and projects that build skills: creating still lifes, florals, landscapes and skies, and
painting on fabric, wood, shells, clay, and more
Critique: An ideal instruction manual and guide for all skill levels, "Creative Acrylics: A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to
Creating with Paint & Mediums - Create Paintings Filled with Color, Texture, Unique Effects & More!" is a fun, practical,
effective, and thoroughly 'art student friendly' approach to learning about and working with the medium of acrylic paints --
making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, art school, college, and
university library collections.
Editorial Note: Carla Co Chua has hosted several public and private art workshops since 2017 and has collaborated with
art supply brands to teach acrylic and watercolor and painting at art events around Metro Manila. Carla continues to inspire
artists with her beautiful artwork that includes florals, animals, portraits, landscapes, and still life. Carla lives in Manila,
Philippines and can be followed on Instagram: @carlacochua
The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing
Julia Claire Weber
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631599354, $26.99, HC, 144pp
Synopsis: A complete introductory course in pottery making utilize a potter's wheel, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel
Throwing" by pottery making expert Julia Claire Weber, will enable novice pottery makers to develop the skills (and
patience) needed to make their first forms. "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" starts at the very beginning of the
process. It also presents a tour through a typical ceramics studio, a discussion of the best clays for throwing, as well as a
variety of centering methods.
Additionally, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" includes: Starter projects like cups, bowls, and plates to hone
your skills; Tutorials on important topics like trimming and handles; A unique decal workshop, unlocking the potential of
Throughout "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing", skill-building is front and center, with tips and tricks to help to
crack the code and make pieces to be proud of. Gallery work from some of today's top artists are sure to inspire potters of
Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" is an ideal DIY
instructional guide and manual for aspiring pottery makers. It would also make a thoroughly user friendly how-to
curriculum text for school pottery making classes. Simply stated, "The Beginner's Guide to Wheel Throwing" is
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, art school, college, and university library Pottery &
Ceramic Art instructional reference collections.
Editorial Note: Julia Claire Weber is a full-time studio artist (Julia Claire Clay) and a part-time gallery manager. An
alumni of the Odyssey Clayworks residency program, Julia was previously studio manager of Clayspace in Erie, PA and is
a graduate of the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania ceramics program. Julia keeps a full teaching schedule at craft and
art centers across the country and her work has been widely featured and displayed, including exhibitions at NCECA,
Pottery Northwest, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Objective Clay, and the Touchstone Center for Crafts. In
print, Julia's work can be seen in Amazing Glaze, Creative Pottery, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramic Arts Daily, and more.
The Needlecraft Shelf
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804854108, $16.99, PB, 80pp
Synopsis: With a contemporary approach to traditional knitting patterns and textures, "Small Knits: Casual & Chic
Japanese Style Accessories" offers a modern Japanese take on classic knitted accessories and brings to life a collection of
stylish necessities for warmth and fashion. From selbu mittens to unisex hats and neckwarmers, each of these featured
pieces work for just about any mood, recipient and wardrobe.
"Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" is comprised of illustrated instructions and photos for 19
charming projects, plus variations, including: Elegant Nordic mittens, handwarmers and a beret; Stylish neckwarmers in
houndstooth and argyle patterns; An unique Fair Isle hat and handwarmers; Comfy, durable socks in herringbone and other
classic stitches; A delicate, lacy shawl -- and much more!
Instructions, diagrams and Japanese-style knitting charts take you through each project from start to finish. A section on
technique shows how to execute the stitches used in this book. These projects are fun and rewarding for experienced
knitters who've enjoyed a taste of the Japanese knitting style or would like to give it a try.
Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" will prove
to be an extraordinary and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library needlecraft
instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Small Knits: Casual & Chic Japanese Style Accessories" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Yoko Hatta is the designer behind the Japanese knitting studio Kazekobo. A prolific artist whose work
spans over thirty years, she has written many knitwear books and stitch dictionaries, and contributed to magazines and
compilations in both Japan and the US. She is a contributor to Brooklyn Tweed and Vogue Knitting, and over a thousand
of her designs can be found on Ravelry.com. Her work is known for adding contemporary flair to classic garments. She is
the author of Japanese Knitting Stitches from Tokyo's Kazekobo Studio and 150 Favorite Crotchet Motifs from Tokyo's
The GMC Group
9781784945848, $24.99, PB, 152pp
Synopsis: "Knitted Shawls: 25 Relaxing Wraps, Cowls and Shawls" is truly comprehensive in that it covers all the
techniques needed before beginning work on any knitted shawl project.
"Knitted Shawls" was created by Christine Boggis drawing upon her years of experience and expertise to take all the
concerns out of the craft, as shawls don't have to fit in a certain way, or even end up in exactly the right shape to work.
"Knitted Shawls" also includes an informed and informative series of articles exploring the health benefits of knitting, how
it can contribute to mindfulness and wellbeing.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions for each individual project, "Knitted Shawls: 25 Relaxing Wraps,
Cowls and Shawls" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community
library contemporary needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Knitted Shawls: 25 Relaxing
Wraps, Cowls and Shawls" is also readily available from the GMC Publications in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Brighton, England, Christine Boggis is the editor of Knitting magazine and the author
of JOMO Knits: 21 Projects to Celebrate the Joy of Missing Out.
The Cookbook Shelf
9781641705653, $29.99, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: Compiled and presented by Ericka Sanchez, "Buen Provecho!: Traditional Mexican Flavors from My Cocina to
Yours" is a beautifully illustrated collection of over 100 authentic Mexican recipes, each with its own unique spin and
delivering the Mexican flavors everyone craves with respect to Mexican cuisine -- but swapping in easy-to-find, healthful
ingredients! From breakfasts and salsas to meatless meals and special recipes for Dia de Los Muertos and other special
occasions, "Buen Provecho!" is the ideal cookbook for anyone looking to expand their cultural culinary palate!
Critique: Fascinating to browse throughout, thoroughly 'user friendly' to plan memorable meals with, "Buen Provecho!:
Traditional Mexican Flavors from My Cocina to Yours" and its palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes is especially and
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Latin Americn and Vegan cookbook
Editorial Note: Ericka Sanchez is a recipe developer, food stylist, and the creator of the award-winning culinary website
nibblesandfeasts.com. Ericka's cooking style is inspired by her life as a bicultural Latina living in California and her
cherished memories in the kitchen with her grandmother and mother in Mexico, where she lived until she was eight years
c/o Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9782702846827, $18.95, HC, 112pp
Synopsis: Sushi is a Japanese culinary art form. Fresh and delicious, sushi is also one of the healthiest foods you can eat, as
it's low in fat and high in essential vitamins and minerals. Aesthetically pleasing, sushi is also surprisingly simple to make.
From traditional hand-rolled sushi to the modern sushi in a bowl, this sushi cookbook will show you how to make these
elegant dishes with ease.
In "Sushi", Japanese culinary expert Ryuichi Yoshii provides step-by-step instructions and photographs showing how to
make a variety of sushi and sashimi. Also included in "Sushi" is information on the history and the health benefits of
Japanese sushi, as well as directions on using sushi-making tools, making perfect sushi rice, how to cut vegetables and
decorations, and selecting fresh fish.
Sushi recipes include: Nigiri; Vegetable Sushi; Sushi in a Bowl; California Rolls; and Thin Rolls.
Critique: All the recipes comprising "Sushi" are very easy to follow and are especially suitable for both beginners and
experienced cooks. Filled from cover to cover with elegant and stylish photographs, "Sushi" will prove to be a prized
addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Ryuichi Yoshii was born in Nagasaki in southern Japan. His father was a traditional Japanese chef who
taught Ryuichi to appreciate fine food. Ryuichi trained to be a sushi chef in Tokyo before moving to Australia in 1993 with
his wife, Virginia. He recently opened his own restaurant in Sydney's Darling Harbour and is well known and respected in
Sydney for his creative sushi and adventurous cooking style.
The Poetry Shelf
Wayne State University Press
9780814348789, $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle
Synopsis: The poems in Gun/Shy deal with the emotional weight of making do. Tinged with both the regrets and wisdom
of aging, Jim Daniels's poems measure the wages of love in a changing world with its vanishing currency. He explores the
effects of family work - putting children to bed, leading parents to their final resting places - and what is lost and gained in
those exertions. Childhood and adolescence are examined, through both looking back on his own childhood and on that of
his children. While his personal death count rises, Daniels reflects on his own mortality. He finds solace in small miracles -
his mother stretching the budget to feed five children with "hamburger surprise" and potato skins, his children collecting
stones and crabapples as if they were gold coins.
Daniels, as he always has, carries the anchor of Detroit with him, the weight both a comfort and a burden. He explores
race, white privilege, and factory work. Eight Mile Road, a fraught border, pulses with division, and the echoes of music,
singing through Detroit's soiled but solid heart, resonate in these poems. His first long poem in many years, "Gun/Shy,"
centers the book. Through the personas of several characters, Daniels dives into America's gun culture and the violent gulf
between the fearful and the feared.
Throughout, he seeks connection in likely and unlikely places: a river rising after spring rain and searchlights crossing the
night sky. Comets and cloudy skies. Cement ponds and the Garden of Eden. Adolescence and death. Wounds physical and
psychic. Disguises and more disguises. These are the myths we memorize to help us sleep at night, those that keep us
awake and trembling. Daniels's accessible language, subtlety, and deftness make this collection one that belongs on every
poetry reader's shelf.
Critique: Gun/Shy is a poetry anthology reflecting upon life in Detroit - cherished memories of family and friends, thorny
problems of race, the reality of white privilege, and the grind of factory work. The titular poem "Gun/Shy" critically
examines America's obsessive gun culture and its horrifying fallout. Candid, accessible, and unforgettable, Gun/Shy is
highly recommended for personal and public library poetry collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
Gun/Shy is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99). "Miracles": I'm sorry for praying to God / to bring a snow plow down
my street. // He knows and I know that I'm not one of his guys, / The Mayor's Hotline wails, busy as a siren. // I confess to
cussing out the neighbor on crutches / who accused me of burying his car in shoveled snow.
Editorial Note: Jim Daniels is the Thomas S. Baker University Professor Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon. His recent books
include Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press, 2017) and The Perp Walk. He also coedited the anthology
RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music.
The Autism Shelf
On the Spectrum
Daniel Bowman Jr.
c/o Baker Publishing Group
9781587435065, $19.99 pbk / $12.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Nearly everyone knows someone on the autism spectrum, whether it's a niece or nephew, a student in their
classroom, a coworker, or a sibling, spouse, or child. One in 54 children has autism, according to the CDC, and autism is
reported across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Yet most of what people think they know about autism is
On the Spectrum debunks myths with a realistic yet hope-filled deep dive into the heart, mind, and life of a Christian.
Daniel Bowman, a novelist, poet, and professor, received an autism diagnosis at age thirty-five after experiencing crises in
his personal and professional life. The diagnosis shed light on his experience in a new, life-giving way. In this captivating
book, Bowman reveals new insights into autism, relationships, faith, and the gift of neurodiversity.
Rather than viewing autism as a deficiency, Bowman teaches readers--through stories of his heartbreaks and
triumphs--authentic ways to love their neighbors as themselves, including their autistic neighbors who are fearfully and
wonderfully, if differently, made.
Critique: On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity discusses autism and neurodiversity from a
Christian perspective, emphasizing the importance of embracing and engaging with God. Author Daniel Bowman, an
associate professor of English who also mentors young people on the spectrum, discusses the ramifications of autism plain
terms, paying heed to both the drawbacks and the potential benefits of being neurodiverse. Interviews and personal stories
from neurodiverse individuals enhance this thoughtful, accessible, and highly recommended testimony.
Editorial Note: Daniel Bowman Jr. (MFA, Seattle Pacific University) is an author, poet, and associate professor of English
at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he codirects the Making Literature Conference. He writes and speaks
regularly on neurodiversity, including for the SBC's Facts & Trends website, The Mighty, Ruminate magazine, and at the
Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Bowman is editor in chief of Relief: A Journal of Art & Faith,
engages in several in-person and online communities addressing neurodiversity and mental health, and mentors young
people on the spectrum.
The Photography Shelf
The Winter Coast of Maine
978099855658, $50.00, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: "The Winter Coast of Maine: The Photographs of Ed Kenney" is the first fine art book dedicated to color
photographs of Maine's coastal landscape made exclusively during the coldest months -- a time of year that most visitors
and summer residents rarely get to see.
The Maine coast is a place of exquisite beauty at all times of year, but especially in winter. The topography of this region
ranges from long sandy beaches in the south to tall granite headlands in the area known as "Down East." Photographer and
Maine resident Ed Kenney has spent the last decade compiling a portfolio of stunning images capturing the essence of a
coast that is at times serene and still, and at other times ferocious, stormy, and bitterly cold.
Critique: Published in a coffee-table style format (12.91 x 0.84 x 10.98 inches), "The Winter Coast of Maine: The
Photographs of Ed Kenney" is an impressive compendium of full color photographic prints that are an inherently
fascinating and memorable browse from cover to cover. Enhanced with an informative introduction by National
Geographic veteran Sam Abell, "The Winter Coast of Maine: The Photographs of Ed Kenney" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary
American Photography collections.
Editorial Note: The photographic skills of Ed Kenney were honed using a succession of film cameras that began with a
Kodak Hawkeye and progressed over the years to an Arca Swiss 4x5. Although the view camera still sees occasional use,
these days almost all capture is digital on high resolution sensors matched with the finest lenses.
The Wisconsin Shelf
The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572843035, $36.00, HC, 216pp
Synopsis: In "The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish", the third in his popular series of
supper club histories. Once again author and supper club authority Ron Faiola invites his readers to enjoy more than a
century of history behind this beloved dining tradition in an illustrated guide that takes his readers from London to
Hollywood, to New York City, and finally to his own home state of Wisconsin.
The journey begins with the world's very first supper clubs, which emerged in London in the mid-1800s. The phenomenon
was adopted by New York's restaurant and saloon owners in the late 1800s, and soon spread to suburban and rural areas.
Across the United States, supper clubs enhanced culinary and dining traditions, and greatly influenced the evolution of live
entertainment such as cabaret, comedy, and jazz, and dance crazes such as "The Charleston," "Turkey Trot," and the
eyebrow-raising "Wiggle Wiggle."
Faiola unfolds the history of Wisconsin's supper clubs with stories of its most iconic establishments, such as Ray
Radigan's, Hoffman House, and Fazio's on Fifth. He reveals the remarkable durability of the supper club tradition as it
withstood WWI, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Prohibition, the Great Depression, WWII, as well as the mid-twentieth
century advent of fast food franchises and casual dining chains. Through their innovation and determination, supper club
owners and their staff have managed not only to survive, but to maintain generations-spanning restaurants that remain
prominent features of their communities to this day.
Profusely illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, newspaper clippings, and first-hand interviews, "The
Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish" offers a hearty buffet of the history of Wisconsin's
most iconic supper clubs and the folks who keep the cocktails poured, the relish trays fresh, and ensure there's always an
open seat at the table.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Wisconsin supper club enthusiasts, "The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An
Illustrated History, with Relish" is an essential, necessary, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to Wisconsin
community, college, and university library Wisconsin History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"The Wisconsin Supper Clubs Story: An Illustrated History, with Relish" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ron Faiola is an author and filmmaker who has produced and directed
numerous critically acclaimed documentaries. He is the president and founder of Push Button Gadget Inc., which has been
specializing in audio visual and business theater production for nearly 20 years. He is also the author of :Wisconsin Supper
Clubs" and "Wisconsin Supper Clubs: Another Round", both of which are published by Agate Midway.
Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People
Lindsay Christians, author
Chris Hynes, photographer
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299333409, $34.95, HC, 264pp
Synopsis: Why do Salvatore's tomato pies have the sauce on the top? Where did chef Tami Lax learn to identify
mushrooms in the woods? How did Morris develop its signature ramen?
Farm-to-table is a cliche, but its roots among the farmers and chefs of south-central Wisconsin are deep, vibrant, and
resilient. From brats and burgers to bibimbap, Madison's food scene looks substantially different than it did just a decade
ago. Though the city has always been ahead of the locavore movement, a restaurant boom in the 2010s radically changed
the dining landscape. Even when individual eateries close or chefs move on, their ideas, connections, and creativity have
lasting power. Much larger cities have been unable to match the culinary variety, innovation, and depth of talent found in
Wisconsin's state capital.
"Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People" by Lindsay Christians (who is the food editor and arts writer at The
Capital Times and co-host of the Corner Table, a podcast about food and drink in Madison, Wisconsin) provides an
in-depth look at nine creative, intense, and dedicated chefs captures the reason why Madison's food culture remains a gem
in America's Upper Midwest.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with the full color photography of Chris Hynes, "Madison Chefs:
Stories of Food, Farms, and People" is an exceptionally well written and informative 'armchair travelers' guide to fine
cuisine -- Madison, Wisconsin style. Informed and informative, and one that could well serve as a template for similar
culinary volumes of other major American cities, "Madison Chefs: Stories of Food, Farms, and People" offers a unique
perspective and will prove to be a welcome addition to personal, professional, and community library Culinary Arts &
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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