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9781782277910, $15.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: "Hotel Splendide" is a charming and uproariously funny hotel memoir in which Ludwig Bemelmans uncovers the fabulous world of the Hotel Splendide (the thinly disguised stand-in for the Ritz) a luxury New York hotel where he worked as a waiter in the 1920s. With equal parts affection and barbed wit, he uncovers the everyday chaos that reigns behind the smooth facades of the gilded dining room and banquet halls.
In hilarious detail, Bemelmans sketches the hierarchy of hotel life and its strange and fascinating inhabitants: from the ruthlessly authoritarian maitre d'hotel Monsieur Victor to the kindly waiter Mespoulets to Frizl the homesick busboy. Illustrated with his own charming line drawings, Bemelmans' tales of a bygone era of extravagance are as charming as they are riotously entertaining.
Critique: Originally published in 1941 and now brought back into print by Puskin Press for a new general of appreciative readers, "Hotel Splendide" by the late Ludwig Bemelmans is a fun read from first page to last. While highly recommended, especially for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hotel Splendide" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.57).
Editorial Note: Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) was an Austrian-born American writer and illustrator of books for children and adults. He travelled to American in 1914, at the age of sixteen, and worked for three years in the dining halls of what he called, in his autobiographical works, the Hotel Splendide. In 1926, he quit working in hotels to become a full-time cartoonist and made frequent contributions to the New Yorker, Vogue and Town and Country. He is also the author of the beloved Madeline books. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Bemelmans)
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
On Writing and Failure
9781771965163, $12.95, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: Failure is a topic discussed in every creative writing department in the world, but "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer" by seasoned writer Stephen Marche is the book every beginning writer should have on their shelf to prepare them for rejections from the publishing industry.
Less an instruction guide on writing and more a 'how-to' manual on what you need to continue existing as a writer, "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer" aptly describes the defining role played by rejection in literary endeavors and contemplates failure as the essence of the writer's life.
Along with his own history of rejection, Marche offers stories from the history of writerly failure, from Ovid's exile and Dostoevsky's mock execution to James Baldwin's advice just to endure, where living with the struggle and the pointlessness of writing is the point.
Critique: Simply put, "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer" must be considered essential reading for anyone seeking to write for a living, be it as a novelist, essayist, poet, columnist, or any other writing genre. Itself exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "On Writing and Failure" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections. It should be noted that "On Writing and Failure" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.79).
Editorial Note: Stephen Marche (http://www.stephenmarche.com) is a novelist, essayist and cultural commentator. He is also the author of half a dozen books, and has written opinion pieces and essays for the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Esquire, The Walrus and many others.
How to Write Erotica
Rachel Kramer Russel
101 Hudson Street, Suite 3705, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
9781627783194, $18.95, PB, 222pp
Synopsis: Have you had intimate fantasies or simmering plotlines you've wanted to write but weren't sure how or where to start? With the publication of "How to Write Erotica", renowned erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel shows the aspiring writer how to turn those fragments into fully fleshed out erotic stories, novellas and novels.
An indispensable nonfiction DIY craft guide to writing erotic short stories and novels, Bussel draws upon her 20+ years of experience in the genre and walks writers through the ins and outs of erotic writing. Whether you want to see your work on the shelves of bookstores, pen sexy stories or letters for a partner or simply explore your creativity, "How to Write Erotica" is a thorough instructional guide and 'how to' manual.
Having taught erotic writing workshops at universities, conferences and sex toy stores across the world and online, Bussel knows how to make even those who blush at the word "sex" feel comfortable putting pen to paper. Her easy-to-follow method to penning erotica is broken down utilizing helpful tactics that include: Practical examples from her own writing process; Illustrative erotica excerpts; Interviews with over a dozen successful erotica authors; Numerous writing tips and prompts.
Aspiring erotic authors of all genders will learn everything they need to know about gaining inspiration from their everyday surroundings, breaking into publishing, promoting their work and making a name for themselves. From pseudonyms to BDSM, overcoming writer's block and crafting sultry, believable characters, Bussel's advice will have you seeing erotic possibilities everywhere. You don't need an advanced degree, previous writing experience or sexual experience to write good erotica. All you need is a keen imagination and a willingness to follow your lusty mind wherever it takes you.
Critique: A seminal, unique, and expertly written writer's guide to a specific genre that has always been a lucrative market, "How To Write Erotica" is particularly recommended for aspiring writers working in both erotic and romantic fiction. While unreservedly recommended for personal and professional Writer Instructional Reference collections, it should be noted that "How To Write Erotica" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).
Editorial Note: Rachel Kramer Bussel (https://rachelkramerbussel.com) is the editor of over 70 anthologies featuring over 700 authors, including The Big Book of Orgasms and the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture, and has contributed to over 100 erotica anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006. She teaches erotica writing workshops online and in person and consults with authors via EroticaWriting101.com. She can be followed on Twitter @raquelita. Her books have won the IPPY (Independent Publisher) Award for Erotica and the Samois Anthology Award from the National Leather Association-International and she is also the winner of the Living in Leather John Preston Award.
The Environmental Studies Shelf
Environmental Ethics in the Midwest
Ian A. Smith, editor
Matt Ferkany, editor
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
9781611864427, $44.95, PB, 270pp
Synopsis: The American Midwest is environmentally rich and complex, home to some of the world's largest freshwater lakes and streams as well as cities, prairies, forests, and farmlands. Nevertheless, the unique environmental opportunities and challenges the region presents have been left underappreciated and under-explored by environmental ethicists. The close integration of the natural and built environments of the Midwest prompts interdisciplinary inquiry in a particularly pointed way.
Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Ian A. Smith and Matt Ferkany in order to remedy the lack of scholarly attention to this area, "Environmental Ethics in the Midwest: Interdisciplinary Approaches" attends to the way that the broad concerns of environmental ethics manifest in the region. Comprised of eight original essays, the wide range of topics covered include: agrarian ethics and Stoicism; the Dakota access pipeline and Indigenous women's activism; philosophy of law and species classification; environmental justice and the Flint water crisis; hog farming and antimicrobial drug resistance; science education standards and climate change education; virtue ethics and ecological restoration; environmental pragmatism and the Clean Water Act; and more.
Each accessibly written chapter brings multidisciplinary complexity to bear on this complex region. The contributors include philosophers working in environmental ethics and other subfields of philosophy, and together with scholars in fields such as environmental sociology, American Indian studies, and environmental studies. Collectively they provide a fresh and necessary perspective on various environmental issues germane to the American Midwest.
Critique: Featuring a complete listing of the contributors and their credentials, "Environmental Ethics in the Midwest: Interdisciplinary Approaches" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Environmental and Conservation Ethics collections and supplemental curriculum studies. It should be noted for students, academia, environmental activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Environmental Ethics in the Midwest: Interdisciplinary Approaches" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $42.70).
Editorial Note #1: Ian A. Smith (https://www.washburn.edu/our-faculty/ian-smith) is associate professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Washburn University, where he primarily teaches ethics and logic classes.
Editorial Note #2: Matt Ferkany (https://people.cal.msu.edu/ferkany) is associate professor in philosophy and affiliated faculty of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University. His work concerns virtue, environmental ethics, and moral education.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Stethoscope: The Making of a Medical Icon
Anna Harris, author
Tom Rice, author
c/o University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
9781789146332, $27.50, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Stethoscope: The Making of a Medical Icon", co-authors Anna Harris and Tom Rice explores the colorful past, present, and future of an iconic medical instrument that is, quite literally, close to our hearts. The stethoscope has become the symbol of medicine itself -- how did this come to be? What makes the stethoscope such a familiar yet charismatic object?
Drawing from a range of fields including history, anthropology, science, technology, and sound studies, "Stethoscope: The Making of a Medical Icon" illustrates the variety of roles the stethoscope has played over time. It shows that the stethoscope is not, and has never been, a single entity. It is used to a variety of ends, serves several purposes, and is open to many interpretations. This variability is the key to the stethoscope's enduring presence in the medical and popular imagination.
Critique: A unique and impressively informative history of a universally recognized medical instrument and symbol, "Stethoscope: The Making of a Medical Icon" is an exceptional study and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Medical History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Stethoscope: The Making of a Medical Icon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.12).
Editorial Note #1: Anna Harris (https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/a.harris) is an associate professor of the social study of medicine in the Department of Society Studies at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Her previous books include A Sensory Education.
Editorial Note #2: Tom Rice (https://sociology.exeter.ac.uk/staff/tomrice/) is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Exeter, specializing in sound and auditory culture. He is the author of Hearing and the Hospital: Sound, Listening, Knowledge and Experience.
The Cookbook Shelf
Taste Of Home: Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook
Taste of Home
c/o Enthusiast Brand / Trusted Media Brand
PO Box 5294, Harlan, IA 51593-0794
9781621458326, $26.99, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: Whether you live in the countryside or simply long to due so, with the publication of "Taste Of Home: Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook" you can now share your love of farmhouse foods with everyone on your invite list.
From down-home Thanksgiving dinners and heartwarming Christmas gatherings to old-fashioned Easter menus and finger-licking barbecues perfect for Independence Day, "Taste Of Home: Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook" is an ideal source for planning menus, buffets and party-pleasers for any and all celebratory occasions.
There are also a culinary wealth of recipes for appropriate for Sunday dinners, chili cook-offs and other casual gatherings -- with each dish offering a very special touch of farmhouse appeal.
Of special note are the easy ideas for party decor, tables toppers and more, making "Taste Of Home: Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook" desirable as an instructive resource for today's hosts.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, "Taste Of Home: Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook" is a superbly organized and presented compendium of palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, home cook friendly recipes for creating truly memorable dining occasions with that 'Farm Fresh' feel. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Taste Of Home: Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook" is an excellent and recommended choice for family, personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Very Good Salads
Louisa Allan, author
Shuki Rosenboim, author
Smith Street Books
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9781922417862,$29.95, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: "Very Good Salads: Middle-Eastern Salads and Plates for Sharing" is a compendium of 52 elegant salad recipes, compiled and showcased by Shuki Rosenboim and Louisa Allan, the owners of Very Good Falafel, a small falafel bar in Melbourne, Australia. Their focus is on vegan salads, exceptional dips, soft pita and, of course, very good falafel -- all made from local in-season ingredients.
Of special note is that "Very Good Salads" shares Shuki and Louisa's original, much-lauded falafel recipe for the first time, along with their popular salads that change with the seasons. Making the very best of fresh produce, recipes include Iraqi Jewish and Middle Eastern-focused salads that are as good on their own as they are stuffed into bread with a side of tahini.
Each salad makes use of the whole vegetable, with classic and less-expected pairings such as watermelon salad with za'atar, radish and fried pita; peaches, basil, and hazelnut; and grilled leek with pomegranate, walnuts, spring onion, mint, dill, and lemon zest; as well as larger offerings such as silverbeet rice cake and stuffed tomatoes with saffron rice and dried mint. In addition, the book shares recipes for traditional dips and the ultimate pita recipe that produces flawless bread to stuff or served alongside share
Critique: A beautifully illustrated compendium of authentic, palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes showcasing Middle-Eastern cuisines, "Very Good Salads: Middle-Eastern Salads and Plates for Sharing" is a welcome and highly recommended contribution to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: After years selling homemade dips, sauces, and falafels at farmers' markets around Victoria, Louisa Allan and Shuki Rosenboim grew so popular that they set up a permanent shop on Melbourne's vibrant Sydney Road -- and they've never looked back. Their small falafel bar has become a Melbourne institution. With a cult following and legendary falafel status, Louisa and Shuki are two of the city's most popular food creators.
LEON Big Salads
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840918250, $24.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: LEON was founded on the twin principles that food can both taste good and do you good. "LEON: Big Salads" is the first book in their brand-new cookbook series by cookbook author and food journalist Rebecca Seal. "LEON: Big Salads" is comprised of more than 100 novel ideas for hearty, healthy salads, ideal for any occasion.
From portable salads to bring to work to salad platters for leisurely weekend lunches, "LEON: Big Salads" is a brand-new recipe collection from the brand behind the hugely successful LEON Happy Salads and proves that there can be so much more to a salad than a few damp lettuce leaves.
The recipes range from: LEON Aioli Chicken Salad; Thai Crispy Duck and Pineapple Salad; and Honey and Harissa Roots and Grains; to Halloumi Fries with Pomegranate and Fennel; Crab Cake Salad; Chipotle Seared Steak Salad; LEON Rainbow Salad -- and so many more!
Critique: Each salad showcased in "LEON: Big Salads" is accompanied by a full page, full color photograph, a succinct introductory commentary, prep time, ingredients, and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' instructions. The result is a culinary reference that is ideal for menu planning and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "LEON: Big Salads" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Rebecca Seal (https://www.rebeccaseal.co.uk) has written about food and drink for the Financial Times, Evening Standard, the Observer, the Guardian, Red and The Sunday Times. Her cookbooks include Istanbul: Recipes from the heart of Turkey and Lisbon: Recipes from the heart of Portugal, as well as co-authoring LEON Happy Soups, LEON Happy One-pot Cooking, LEON Fast Vegan, LEON Happy Curries and LEON Happy Fast Food and LEON Happy Guts with John Vincent.
Taste Of Home: 5 Ingredient Dinners
Taste of Home
c/o Enthusiast Brand / Trusted Media Brand
PO Box 5294, Harlan, IA 51593-0794
9781621458852, $17.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Today's home cooks are looking to make the most of their grocery budget and their time in the kitchen. Now, with the publication of "Taste Of Home 5 Ingredient Dinners: Save Money & Time on Dinner" it is easier than ever for the family cook to create palate pleasing, appetite satisfying dishes that everyone will appreciate -- and without having to spend of money on a lot on expensive ingredients -- or spending hours on meal prep!
Comprised of 250 main-course recipes perfect for weeknight meals and weekend get-togethers alike, "5 Ingredient Dinners" (the one of the newest 'kitchen cook friendly" cookbooks from Taste of Home) offers recipes for such classics such as meat loaf, lasagna and barbecue. Of special note are the meal-in-one staples made on a sheet pan, in a Dutch oven or simmered in a slow cooker.
Each of these one-dish dinners calls for 5 ingredients of fewer! There is even a clip-&-keep list of pantry staples, as well as a 30-day meal planner that answers the popular "what's for dinner?" question. The bonus "Breakfast for Dinner" chapter is sure to shake up mealtime routines!
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, "Taste Of Home 5 Ingredient Dinners: Save Money & Time on Dinner" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. For the time-stressed and budget-limited, it should be noted that "Taste Of Home 5 Ingredient Dinners: Save Money & Time on Dinner" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Taste Of Home: Recipe Makeovers
Taste of Home
c/o Enthusiast Brand / Trusted Media Brand
PO Box 5294, Harlan, IA 51593-0794
9781621458265, $17.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Cutting back on fat, calories and carbs doesn't mean sacrificing flavor! With the publication of "Taste Of Home: Recipe Makeovers" it is now easier than ever to enjoy piping-hot lasagnas, juicy burgers, lip-smacking mac & cheese, hearty stews, finger-licking fried chicken and even mom's meatloaf -- all while keeping healthy-eating goals in check.
In these pages, the culinary professionals at the Taste of Home Test Kitchen have trimmed down all-time classic comfort foods, turning them into heart-smart choices you'll be excited to serve. They also cut back the sugar and butter from cakes, pies, brownies and other crowd-pleasing desserts. They have even created Bonus Chapters of satisfying and simply delicious gluten-free and vegan dishes.
You will also find tips for lightening up your own recipes and step-by-step photos demonstrating insider cooking techniques sure to lead you to success. Lose weight, get healthy and eat great! It's a snap with the light but hearty family-favorites found in this all-new cookbook.
Critique: Profusely illustrated with full color food photography throughout, "Taste of Home Recipe Makeovers: Relish your favorite comfort foods with fewer carbs and calories and less fat and salt" is a pleasure to plan palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, budget-friendly, 'Waste Not, Want Not' meals for the family. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "Taste of Home Recipe Makeovers" is certain to be a popular contribution to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Taste of Home (www.tasteofhome.com) is the leading multi-platform producer of information on food, cooking, baking and entertaining, serving home cooks engaging media that capture the joy and comfort received from food made with love. Taste of Home magazine has a circulation of 1.5 million and publishes top-selling cookbooks, bookazines and newsstand specials.
Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!
Tristan Hogg, author
Jan Simon, illustrator
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781804190630, $26.99, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: "Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!: Ethical & Sustainable Pie-Making" is a compendium of delicious pie recipes from the award-winning Pieminister brand, including meat, fish, vegan and plant-based options. From unbeatable classics like Chicken & Ham or Steak & Ale, to uniquely flavorful combinations such as Jackfruit Steak & Black Pepper, Tofu, Leek & Smoked Garlic or Paneer, Potato & Chilli, "Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!" is a com-pie-lation that has something for everyone.
"Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!" begins with easy-to-follow pastry recipes, including vegan and gluten-free options. Then follow the pies themselves, each organized by type ranging from megapies to feed the family to indulgent personal pies, and from simple traybakes to showstopping free-standing pies.
As well as sharing delicious pie recipes, "Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!" demystifies sustainable food, making it easy and attainable. From fighting waste and finding truly deforestation-free fats for pastry-making to getting to grips with truly sustainable packaging, "Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!" reveals all of the wisdom gained over the last ten years at Pieminister.
Critique: A unique culinary compendium devoted the home baked pie in all its variations, "Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!: Ethical & Sustainable Pie-Making" is useful, inspirational, and a pie lover's delight to simply browse through and plan menus with. A welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to family, personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Pieminister Live & Eat Pie!: Ethical & Sustainable Pie-Making" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Pieminister (www.pieminister.co.uk) is a sustainable pie making business from Bristol, UK. Their award-winning range includes plenty of plant-based and gluten-free recipes, and their business puts a major emphasis on animal welfare and sustainably sourced ingredients. Pieminister was founded in 2003 by brothers-in-law Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon, when they set up their shop in Bristol. Tristan made the pies and Jon ran the shop. Their exceptional pies meant the brand grew swiftly, and now employs 300 people and runs 16 restaurants across the UK. However, the company retains its family values and still makes all its pies in its Bristol shop. Instagram: @pieminister
The Complete Quinoa Cookbook
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
9781578268832, $20.00, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth, and originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America. It was first used to feed livestock 5,200 - 7,000 years ago, and for human consumption 3,000 - 4,000 years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia. (Wikipedia)
Is there anything quinoa can't do? Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, and from appetizer to the dessert tray, this versatile plant-based superfood truly does it all. Completely vegan, packed with protein, rich in fiber and perfect for any kind of diet, quinoa is as easy to work into your day-to-day dining as it is to prepare.
Specifically designed to help family cooks to add this incredible grain to their home kitchen menus, "The Complete Quinoa Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes - Perfect for Vegan & Plant-Based Diets" features such delicious dishes as: Chocolate Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl; Quinoa Pancakes; Tangy Three Bean & Quinoa Salad; and Loaded Quinoa Nachos, to Quinoa Beet & "Feta" Flatbread; Quinoa Baked Ziti Casserole; Quinoa Curry; Quinoa Pecan Pie, Apple Quinoa Strudel, and so many more!
"The Complete Quinoa Cookbook" is an ideal culinary resource for anyone looking to eat healthier, live happier, and cook easier. Requiring minimal prep for maximum enjoyment, the path to a better diet was never more clear.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, "The Complete Quinoa Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes - Perfect for Vegan & Plant-Based Diets" is a unique and specialized cookbook that will have a very special appeal to vegetarians, vegans, and anyone else wanting to eat health with palate-pleasing, appetite-satisfying, and memorable meals. Highly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "The Complete Quinoa Cookbook" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Catherine Gill (https://www.thedirtyvegan.com) is a writer, blogger, and holistic vegan chef who specializes in natural and health foods. She studied and found her passion in writing, literature, and social science in college. She runs the popular blog The Dirty Vegan since 2010, focusing on comfort-food-style vegan recipes that are fun, accessible, and healthy. She also ran Dirty Vegan Foods, a vegan bakery specializing in veganized versions of classic desserts. She has an active social media presence with over 19K followers on twitter (@TheDirtyVegan).
Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day
c/o Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781784885168, $40.00, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day" by Kate Reid is the debut cookbook from Lune Croissanterie (a world-renowned croissant bakery in Australia).
What makes "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day" special and unique is how Kate Reid elevates croissant pastry from a classic breakfast staple to a refined vehicle for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
With step-by-step techniques for rolling and shaping croissants, followed by recipes for every hour of the day, plus what to do with leftovers and how to make a croissant a special occasion, "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day" is the ultimate guide to baking the world's best-loved pastry.
Editorial Note: A magnificently illustrated coffee-table style volume (8.8 x 1.2 x 11.45 inches, 1.15 pounds), "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day" is a appetite arousing, mouth-watering delight to browse through one inspiring page at a time. A very special and one-of-a-kind collection of culinary masterpieces based on the croissant, "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for Pacific Rim and Pastry Baking enthusiasts that "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Kate Reid, found her culinary niche in pastry. After working in the cafes and bakeries of Melbourne and a stint in the boulangeries of Paris, she knew that she wanted to create something perennially popular, and take her skills to a new level, and so, Lune Croissanterie was born. Since opening Lune in 2012, it has amassed a cult, global following, with celebrity devotees (see below) and an Instagram following of 177k. It's gone from a two-person team (Kate and her brother Cameron) to a two-site bakery with queues around the block from dawn and the 'Lune Lab', where Kate and her 70-strong team develop daily changing recipes for everything from takeaway breakfasts to evening tasting menus of croissants.
The Biography Shelf
My Three Dads: Patriarchy on the Great Plains
University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
9780226820101, $19.00, PB, 236pp
Synopsis: For many Americans, Kansas represents a vision of Midwestern life that is good and wholesome and evokes the American ideals of god, home, and country. But for those like Jessa Crispin who have grown up in Kansas, the realities are much harsher. She argues that the Midwestern values we cling to cover up a long history of oppression and control over Native Americans, women, and the economically disadvantaged.
Blending personal narrative with social commentary, with the publication of "My Three Dads: Patriarchy on the Great Plains" Crispin meditates on why the American Midwest still enjoys an esteemed position in our country's mythic self-image. Ranging from The Wizard of Oz to race, from chastity to rape, from radical militias and recent terrorist plots to Utopian communities, "My Three Dads" opens on a comic scene in a Kansas rent house the author shares with a (masculine) ghost. This prompts Crispin to think about her intellectual fathers, her spiritual fathers, and her literal fathers. She is curious to understand what she has learned from them and what she needs to unlearn about how a person should be in a family, as a citizen, and as a child of god -- ideals, Crispin argues, that have been established and reproduced in service to hierarchy, oppression, and wealth.
Written in Crispin's well-honed voice (smart, assured, comfortable with darkness) "My Three Dads" offers a kind of bleak redemption, the insight that no matter where you go, no matter how far from home you roam, the place you came from is always with you, "like it or not."
Critique: A fascinating and compelling memoir laced throughout with keen social commentary and thought-provoking analysis, "My Three Dads: Patriarchy on the Great Plains" is an extraordinary and memorable read that is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary American Biography/Memoir collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Three Dads: Patriarchy on the Great Plains" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.05).
Editorial Note: Jessa Crispin (http://www.jessacrispin.com) is also the author of Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto and The Dead Ladies Project, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press. She has written for the New York Times, Guardian, and Spectator, among other publications.
Frank & Marilyn
Edward Z. Epstein
Post Hill Press
9781637585863, $30.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, with the publication of "Frank & Marilyn: The Lives, the Loves, and the Fascinating Relationship of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe", celebrity biographer Edward Z. Epstein brings together for the first time these two all-American icons. Their friendship and on-and-off intimate relationship, kept secret because of powerful others in their lives, spanned seven tumultuous years. At one point, he even proposed marriage.
"Frank & Marilyn" follows Sinatra and Monroe from one explosive relationship to another, their marriages and love affairs eventually leading to a tangled relationship with each other, sparking a nasty rivalry between Frank and Marilyn's ex-husband (and one-time friend of Frank), Joe DiMaggio.
Frank and Marilyn's ultimately disastrous relationship with John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, and their often ruthless family was a fatal move for Marilyn. Her death remains a controversial topic to the present day.
Dedicated biographer and entertainment world insider Edward Z. Epstein has spoken with many people who were familiar with the pair, all of whom talked about the Frank and Marilyn they knew -- and the dangers they faced. This is a fascinating, largely untold story that's usually glossed over -- but not with "Frank & Marilyn: The Lives, the Loves, and the Fascinating Relationship of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe".
Critique: Exhaustively researched, exceptionally well written, impressively informative, organized and presented, "Frank & Marilyn: The Lives, the Loves, and the Fascinating Relationship of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe" is a fully compelling and inherently fascinating read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library biography collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe fans that "Frank & Marily" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).
Editorial Note: Edward Z. Epstein (https://www.edwardzepstein.com) was formerly a long-time media contact for MCA/Universal Pictures in New York. He is the author or co-author of nineteen books, most recently Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden, currently under option for a film. Other books include Paul and Joanne, a biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and the original full-scale biography of Clara Bow, The "It" Girl: The Incredible Story of Clara Bow. Mia, his biography of Mia Farrow, was the basis for a two-part Fox miniseries. He has written articles on Ava Gardner and Natalie Wood for Cosmopolitan magazine, and, a former figure skating champion, he writes regularly for The ITNY (Ice Theatre of New York) Benefit Journal, and is a recipient of the organization's Ice Angel Award.
Playing the Long Game: A Memoir
Christine Sinclair, author
Stephen Brunt, author
Random House Canada
9781039004603, $25.00, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: Christine Sinclair is one of the world's most respected and admired athletes. Not only is she the player who has scored the most goals on the international soccer stage, male or female, but more than two decades into her career, she is the heart of any team she plays on, the captain of both Canada's national team and the top-ranked Portland Thorns FC in the National Women's Soccer League.
Working with sportswriter Stephen Brunt (who has followed her career for decades), with the publication of "Playing the Long Game: A Memoir", the intensely private Sinclair shares her reflections on the significant moments and turning points in her life and career, the big wins and losses survived, not only on the pitch. Her extraordinary journey, combined with her candour, commitment and decency, will inspire and empower her fans and admirers, and girls and women everywhere.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Playing the Long Game: A Memoir" is an extraordinary memoir that will prove of immense interest to her legions of ans and anyone else on the subject of soccer. While available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "Playing the Long Game: A Memoir" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Sports Biography/Memoir collections.
Editorial Note: Stephen Brunt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Brunt) is an award-winning writer and broadcaster with Rogers Sportsnet and the author of many bestselling books including Facing Ali, Searching for Bobby Orr and Gretzky's Tears. Two of his most recent books are Jordin Tootoo's All the Way and the hockey memoir from Brian Burke, Burke's Law, which became a #1 bestseller. He is the co-founder and artistic director of the Writers at Woody Point festival.
The General Fiction Shelf
The Sweet Spot
Emily Bestler Books
c/o Atria Books
1230 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY 10020
9781982176464, $27.99, HC, 400pp
Synopsis: In the heart of Greenwich Village, three women form an accidental sorority when a baby (belonging to exactly none of them) lands on their collective doorstep.
Lauren and her family have been granted the use of a spectacular brownstone, teeming with history and dizzyingly unattractive 70s wallpaper. Adding to the home's bohemian, grungy splendor is the bar occupying the basement, a (mostly) beloved dive called The Sweet Spot. Within days of moving in, Lauren discovers that she has already made an enemy in the neighborhood by inadvertently sparking the divorce of a couple she has never actually met.
Melinda's husband of thirty years has dumped her for a young celebrity entrepreneur named Felicity, and, to Melinda's horror, the lovebirds are soon to become parents. In her incandescent rage, Melinda wreaks havoc wherever she can, including in Felicity's Soho boutique, where she has a fit of epic proportions, which happens to be caught on film.
Olivia (an industrious twenty-something behind the counter, who has big dreams and bigger debts) gets caught in the crossfire. In an effort to diffuse Melinda's temper, Olivia has a tantrum of her own and gets unceremoniously canned, thanks to TikTok.
When Melinda's ex follows his lover across the country, leaving their squalling baby behind, the three women rise to the occasion in order to forgive, to forget, to Ferberize, and to track down the wayward parents. But can their little village find a way toward the happily ever afters they all desire? Welcome to The Sweet Spot!
Critique: A fun, original and impressively well crafted novel by a writer with an exceptional flair for creating memorable characters and inherently fascinating plots, "The Sweet Spot" by novelist Amy Poeppel is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. With a special appeal to readers with an interest in novels about women's friendships, domestic life, and odd-ball families, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sweet Spot" is also available in a paperback edition (9781982176457, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Amy Poeppel (www.AmyPoeppel.com) is the author of the novels Musical Chairs, Limelight, and Small Admissions. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, and Working Mother. She can be followed on Twitter or Instagram: @AmyPoeppel
The Historical Fiction Shelf
In the Shadow of a Queen
Heather B. Moore
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781639930500, $26.99, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Princess Louise's life is upended after her father's untimely death. Captive to the queen's overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother's tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother -- the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.
Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen's wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day's political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.
Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria, but finding a match for the princess is no easy feat. Protocols are broken, and Louise exerts her own will as she tries to find an open-minded husband who will support her free spirit.
"In the Shadow of a Queen" is the story of a battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown's reputation unsullied no matter the cost.
Critique: While a deftly crafted work of fiction, it should be noted that "In the Shadow of a Queen" is based upon real people and true historical events. An inherently fascination and fully engaging read with fully realized characters and unexpected plot twists, "In the Shadow of a Queen" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. For the personal reading lists of those with an interest in the Queen Victoria era, it should be noted that "In the Shadow of a Queen" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212014359, $31.95, CD).
Editorial Note: Heather B. Moore (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_B._Moore) is the author of more than seventy publications, including The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. She has lived on both the East and West Coasts of the United States, as well as Hawaii, and attended school abroad at the Cairo American Collage in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.
9781639101535, $17.95, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Phaedra has been cast to the side all her life: daughter of an adulteress, sister of a monster, and now unwilling bride to the much-older, power-hungry Theseus. Young, naive, and idealistic, she has accepted her lot in life, resigned to existing under the sinister weight of Theseus's control and the constant watchful eye of her handsome stepson Hippolytus.
When supposedly pious Hippolytus assaults her, Phaedra's world is darkened in the face of untouchable, prideful power. In the face of injustice, Phaedra refuses to remain quiet any longer: such an awful truth demands to be brought to light. When Phaedra publicly accuses Hippolytus of rape, she sparks an overdue reckoning.
The men of Athens gather to determine the truth. Meanwhile, the women of the city, who have no vote, are gathering in the shadows. The women know truth is a slippery thing in the hands of men. There are two sides to every story, and theirs has gone unheard. -- Until now.
Timely, unflinching, and transportive, Laura Shepperson's novel "Phaedra" carves open long-accepted wounds to give voice to one of the most maligned figures of mythology and offers a stunning story of how truth bends under the weight of patriarchy but can be broken open by the force of one woman's bravery.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "Phaedra" is author Laura Shepperson's debut as a novelist, this historical work of exceptional fiction will have a special appeal to readers with an interest in Greek folklore, legends and myths. A fascinating, entertaining, and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, "Phaedra" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Ancient History based fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Phaedra" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Laura Shepperson (https://laurashepperson.com/aboutme.html) has been fascinated by myths and myth retellings since studying Classical Studies at university, and her current novel updates the story of Phaedra, sister of the Minotaur. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Prize for Fiction. Laura holds a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge.
The Mitford Affair
c/o Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781728229362, $27.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: Between the two World Wars, the six Mitford sisters (each more beautiful, brilliant, and eccentric than the next) dominate the English political, literary, and social scenes. Though they've weathered scandals before, the family falls into disarray when Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and Unity follows her sister's lead all the way to Munich, inciting rumors that she's become Hitler's mistress.
As the Nazis rise in power, novelist Nancy Mitford grows suspicious of her sisters' constant visits to Germany and the high-ranking fascist company they keep. When she overhears alarming conversations and uncovers disquieting documents, Nancy must make excruciating choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany.
Probing the torrid political climate in the lead-up to World War II and the ways that seemingly sensible people can be sucked into radical action, "The Mitford Affair" follows Nancy's valiant efforts to stop the Nazis from taking over Great Britain, and the complicated choices she must make between the personal and the political.
Critique: A fun and absorbing read from cover to cover, "The Mitford Affair" showcases author Marie Benedict's genuine and impressive flair for originality, memorably crafted characters, and the kind of narrative storytelling style that keeps her readers total and rapt attention from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mitford Affair" is also available in a paperback edition (9781728282091, $16.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.54).
Editorial Note: Marie Benedict (https://www.authormariebenedict.com) is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in history and art history and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. Marie, the author of The Other Einstein, Carnegie's Maid, The Only Woman in the Room, and Lady Clementine, views herself as an archaeologist of sorts, telling the untold stories of women.
A Woman of Valor
Addison & Highsmith Publishers
c/o Histria Books
9781592111435, $34.99, HC, 650pp
Synopsis: "A Woman of Valor" by Fred Skolnik is a monumental family saga that is in effect a history of the Jews in the twentieth century.
"A Woman of Valor" centers around a heroine who grows up in Bialystok, survives the Holocaust fighting in the Underground, and rebuilds her family in Israel. This is a unique and profoundly moving story.
Rarely has ordinary family life been depicted with such verisimilitude, and certainly not in the shadow of an horrendous war of Jewish extermination. The triumph of the Lefkovitzes is not only the triumph of a family. It is also the triumph of a nation.
Critique: A massive, detailed, and engaging saga of a novel, "A Woman Of Valor" by author Fred Skolnik is a deftly crafted and extensive work of literary fiction that will be of special interest to readers with an appreciation of complex, compelling, and narrative driven storytelling. While a valued and recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted that "A Woman Of Valor" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
Editorial Note: Fred Skolnik (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Skolnik) was born in New York City and lives in Israel. He attended the City College of New York and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working over the years as an editor and translator and at various times operating a farm, managing a hotel, and serving as financial comptroller of a textile firm. He is the author of six previous novels.
The Sound of Light
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800742591, $29.99, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden.
American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research -- her life's dream. While printing resistance newspapers, she hears stories of the movement's legendary Havmand (the merman) and wonders if the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse has something to hide.
When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech -- or in silence.
Critique. With the publication of "The Sound of Light", Sarah Sundin (Bestselling author of more than a dozen WWII novels) offers pens still another riveting story of ordinary people responding to extraordinary circumstances with faith, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future. Highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library World War II fiction and Historical Christian Romance collections, it should be noted that "The Sound of Light" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800736385, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Sarah Sundin (https://www.sarahsundin.com) is the author of When Twilight Breaks, Until Leaves Fall in Paris, and the popular WWII series Sunrise at Normandy, among others. She is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award winner, and her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and have appeared on Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years".
The Literary Fiction Shelf
What We Don't Talk About
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299340049, $17.95, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: Orville, Illinois, is bucolic, charming, and almost Norman Rockwellesque -- if you're white. But like many midwestern cities in the 1960s, it is a "sundown" town, a place where Black Americans are prohibited from entering or remaining after dark.
The town's most adventurous woman, Cassie Zeul, is an outcast because she has no husband and takes an occasional lover. Her son, Gus, guided by Sister Damien, aspires to be a priest, but he is increasingly overwhelmed by his infatuation with Pat Lemkey -- who is herself drawn to Jenny Biel, considered by many to be the most beautiful girl in town.
Gus's best friend, Fenza Ryzchik Jr., a somewhat notorious bully desperate for his father's attention, hates "colored people," doesn't think he knows any, and is certain he can convince Jenny to marry him one day -- without realizing that her devout mother has been passing for white her entire life. Events come to a head when a visiting nun from the South brings an African American friend with her to Midnight Mass one Christmas Eve.
Critique: With its theme of prejudice, privilege and power in Midwest America, "What We Don't Talk About" by James Janko is a timely (given the present and pressing social issues of being Black in America) and a deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for revealing the dramatic in the mundane. With a special appeal to readers with an interest in small town based race relations historical fiction, "What We Don't Talk About" is one of those thought-provoking works of literary fiction that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "What We Don't Talk About" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.050.
Editorial Note: James Janko (https://jamesjanko.com) is also the author of Buffalo Boy and Geronimo and The Clubhouse Thief. His short stories have been published in The Sun, Massachusetts Review, and Eureka Literary Magazine, among others.
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Roseanna M. White
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764241338, $29.99, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same -- until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the SS officer he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.
Decades earlier, in 1914, an Englishman, Remington Culbreth, arrived at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, never expecting to fall in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. But when war breaks out in Europe, their relationship is put in jeopardy and may not survive what lies ahead for them.
As the ripples from the Great War rock Evie and Sterling's lives in World War II, it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.
Critique: An elegant and original historical Christian romance novel by an author who is a complete master of the genre, "Yesterday's Tides" by Roseanna M. White will prove to be a welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to community library Romance Fiction collections and the personal reading lists of dedicated romance fans. It should be noted that "Yesterday's Tides" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780764240010, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Roseanna M. White (www.roseannamwhite.com) is a Christy Award-nominated author of numerous novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British series.
Breaking All The Rules
c/o Entangled Publishing
9781682815632, $16.99, PB, 368pp
Synopsis: Beatrice Archer has always done everything she's supposed to -- worked her ass off, ignored her non-existent personal life, and kept her mouth shut. Now she's over it. The rat race, respectability, the underwire bras. She's taking her life back. Starting with moving to Nowhere, Colorado to live life on her own terms.
Now Bea gives exactly zero forks. Beer for breakfast. Sugar for everything else. Baggy sweats and soft cotton undies FTW. Then a much younger and delightfully attractive cop is called to deal with her flagrant disregard for appropriate clothing outside the local diner (some folks just don't appreciate bunny slippers) and Bea realizes there's something missing from her little decathlon of decadence -- and he might be the guy to help her out.
When it comes to breaking rules, Officer Austin Cooper is surprisingly eager to assist. He's charming, a little bit cowboy, and a whole lot sexy. But Bea's about to discover that breaking the rules has consequences. And all of the cherry pies in Colorado can't save her from what's coming!
Critique: An inherently riveting and fun read from first page to last, "Breaking All The Rules" by novelist Amy Andrews is delightfully original and will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Women's Fiction and Romantic Comedy. While highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Breaking All The Rules" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Amy Andrews (www.amyandrews.com.au) is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She's sold two million books and been translated into over a dozen languages.
Hearts of Steel
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764241307, $29.99, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: When successful businesswoman Maggie Molinaro offends a corrupt banker, she unwittingly sets off a series of calamities that threaten to destroy her life's work. She teams up with charismatic steel magnate Liam Blackstone, but what begins as a practical alliance soon evolves into a romance between two wounded people determined to beat the odds!
Critique: A fun run from cover to cover, "Hearts of Steel" by Elizabeth Camden is especially recommended reading for anyone with an interest in Historical Christian Romance novels. The novel in the author's 'The Blackstone Legacy' series, "Hearts of Steel" is highly recommended as a popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hearts of Steel" is also available in a paperback edition (9780764238451, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Elizabeth Camden (www.elizabethcamden.com) is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered story lines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won Christy, Carol, and RITA Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list.
Love Through The Seasons
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781636094748, $16.99, PB, 448pp
Synopsis: "Love Through The Seasons" by Tracie Peterson is comprised of four short contemporary romances, each of which take her readers to the author's native state of Kansas.
In "Love Through the Seasons", a single mother is braced for spring tornadoes and Stormy Weather when she encounters her son's scout troop leader. A student finds her King of Hearts while participating in a summer Renaissance festival, but she may lack queenly confidence. Autumn isn't just about the changing of the trees for a widow living with her mother and aunts on the family farm, it's all about Falling for Love. A wife faces Silent Nights during winter as her marriage begins to crumble at Christmastime.
Critique: Judging by the body of her work over the past 30 years, novelist Tracie Peterson is quite arguably the "Queen of Historical Christian Fiction". Her four short stories comprising "Love Through The Seasons" from Barbour Publishing will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Christian Romance Fiction. While also available in both a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666631340, $24.99, CD), "Love Through The Seasons" is an especially recommended addition to community library Romance Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Tracie Peterson (https://traciepetersonbooks.com) is the author of over 120 books -- most of which are historical novels. Her work in historical fiction earned her the Life Time Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2011 and the Career Achievement Award in 2007 from Romantic Times, as well as multiple best book awards. Throughout her career, Tracie has also worked as a managing editor, speaker of various events and teacher of writing workshops. She was a co-founding member of the American Christian Fiction Writer's organization and has worked throughout her career to encourage new authors.
Her Unexpected Match
9781649373502, $8.99, PB, 352pp
Synopsis: Travel writer Allie Sparks has one goal: to find the story that will save her career. So here she is, visiting her bestie on picturesque Crescent Island -- with sun-warmed beaches, the briny smell of the ocean, and rumors of a secret astrologer-matchmaker who guarantees love. Of course, Allie doesn't believe in any of that stuff. If anything, she'll prove it's a total scam.
Ryan Parker believes in love -- just not right now. He's focused on expanding his family's barbeque business, finding investors, and keeping his too-big Great Dane puppy from jumping on everyone, including his sister's pretty, whiskey-eyed best friend. Besides, falling for a tourist is definitely not in his astrological forecast.
Allie is doing everything she can to resist the charm of the town and its beauty, not to mention her attraction to Ryan. But there's a lot more happening on Crescent Island than anyone knows -- and when her story goes to print, this tiny, close-knit town might never be the same.
Critique: A fun read from first page to last, "Her Unexpected Match" showcases author Lacey Baker's genuine flair for deftly crafting clean, wholesome, entertaining, contemporary and original romance novels. While also available for the personal reading lists of dedicated romance fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), this paperback edition from Entangled Amara publishing is unreservedly recommended as an enduringly popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Lacey Baker (https://acarthur.com/faq/who-is-lacey-baker) is a Maryland native who lives with her husband and three children in what most would call Suburban America, a townhouse development where everybody knows each other and each other's kids. Family cook-outs, reunion vacations, and growing up in church have all inspired Lacey to work towards her dreams and to write about the endurance of family. She is also the author of the novel "Homecoming".
The Sisters of Sea View
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764234279, $26.99, HC, 448pp
Synopsis: When their father's death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters fear they will be forced to sell the house and separate to earn livelihoods as governesses or companions. Determined to stay together, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect to receive, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is soon torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family.
Viola Summers wears a veil to cover her scar. When forced to choose between helping in her family's new guest house and earning money to hire a maid to do her share, she chooses the latter. She reluctantly agrees to read to some of Sidmouth's many invalids, preferring the company of a few elders with failing eyesight to the fashionable guests staying in their home. But when her first client turns out to be a wounded officer in his thirties, Viola soon wishes she had chosen differently. Her new situation exposes her scars (both visible and those hidden deep within) and her cloistered heart will never be the same.
Critique: Historical Christian romance at its very best, in "The Sisters of Sea View" by Julie Klassen takes her readers along as the Summers sisters on the Devonshire coast as they discover 'the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings'. A deftly scripted story of faith, intrigue, sibling bonds, "The Sisters of Sea View" debuts a new Regency era romance series set along the Devonshire coastline and will leave the reader looking forward to the next Julie Klassen novel! While highly recommended for community library Historical Romance collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sisters of Sea View" is also available in a paperback edition (9780764234262, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.00).
Editorial Note: Julie Klassen (www.julieklassen.com) is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's Best Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The Tears of the Buddha
E. A. Allen
Addison & Highsmith Publishers
c/o Histria Books
9781592111756, $24.99, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: Marie-Claire Bernard was the widow of a national hero and the daughter of a wealthy, politically powerful family and her murder threatened domestic consequences for the French Government.
Eager to avoid uproar in the press, the Minister of Justice summons Gerard de Montclaire (the most renowned detective of the era) to assume a familiar role. Examining Magistrate, with sweeping powers to find and prosecute the killer.
Montclaire soon learns that Marie-Claire was in possession of three rare and priceless porcelain bowls of the Tang Dynasty. The legendary bowls (called The Tears of Buddha) are now missing. Are they the motive for the murder?
Critique: A brilliantly written novel that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in historical murder mysteries, "The Tears of the Buddha" by E. A. Alen is a deftly crafted crime thriller that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "The Tears of the Buddha" is also readily for mystery buffs that "The Tears of the Buddha" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).
Editorial Note: E. A. Allen (https://histriabooks.com/project/e-a-allen) is a History Professor, cattle farmer, and retired CIA intelligence officer. When he's not out chasing staying cows that have no respect for fences, or tracking-down undergraduates who have no respect for assignment deadlines, he's at his desk, writing mysteries in the great tradition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers.
Murder at an Irish Castle
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639102587, $18.99, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: Rodeo Drive bridalwear designer Rayne McGrath expected her thirtieth birthday to start with a power lunch and end with champagne, lobster, and a diamond engagement ring from her fiance. Instead, flat-broke and busted, she's on a plane to Ireland where she discovers that she's inherited a run-down family castle.
But her Uncle Nevin's will contains a few caveats -- for example, if Rayne doesn't turn McGrath Castle around within a year, the entire village will be financially destroyed.
With the fate of the town in her hands, and rumors that Rayne's uncle's death wasn't actually an accident, she can't possibly go back to her old life in L.A. As the devastating truth about her uncle dawns on Rayne, it's not just her reputation that's on the line, it's her life.
Critique: Featuring a sharp and endearing protagonist, a colorful and quirky locale, and replete with twists and turns befitting an old Irish village, "Murder at an Irish Castle" is the first in author Ellie Brannigan's new Irish Castle Mystery series and transports the reader to a milieu as romantic as it is deadly. Unreservedly recommended to the attention of dedicated Cozy Mystery fans, "Murder at an Irish Castle" is a fun read from cover to cover. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13..99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666628593, $22.99, CD), "Murder at an Irish Castle" is a highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: Ellie Brannigan (https://crookedlanebooks.com/ellie-brannigan) is the author of the Irish Castle Mystery series. When she's not creating new fictional worlds, she reads and travels. She has lived in South Florida for the last twenty years.
Murder Served Neat
Michelle Hillen Klump
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639102341, $29.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Reporter-turned-mixologist Samantha Warren has already thwarted one murder (A Dash of Death). Now, her world is shaken (definitely not stirred) once again as another killing throws her world into chaos.
Samantha is mixing up traditional cocktails at the German Texan Lodge's Fourth of July festival -- a gig she was roped into by her mother. But amidst the bratwurst and brass bands, trouble is brewing. Lodge loyalties are divided over a proposal to build a private, country-club-style tennis center on the lodge grounds. Her mom's best friend Patty Davis is vehemently opposed to the plan. Society matron Angela Clawson is all for it. At the festival, they're seen in a heated argument -- and hours later, Angela is found dead, killed by one of the ceremonial shovels intended for the groundbreaking.
Samantha's mother begs her to help clear her best friend's name, but can she handle another murder case or will the whole investigation go bottoms up?
Critique: The second superbly crafted cozy mystery in author Michelle Hillen Klump's 'A Cocktails and Catering Mystery' series, "Murder Served Neat" has everything fans of the genre look forward to -- an amateur female sleuth and a plot with more twists and turns than a Coney Island Roller Coaster. A fun and masterfully crafted novel from first page to last, "Murder Served Neat" is recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Murder Served Neat" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Michelle Hillen Klump (https://michelleklump.com) is a former newspaper reporter who covered government, courts and crime throughout Arkansas and Central Texas. Still a working journalist, she is also a member of Sisters in Crime. Her short fiction has appeared in Crimson Streets and Tales of Texas, Volume II (a Houston short story anthology).
A Good Day to Pie
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639102327, $28.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Daisy bakes a little murder into every pie she creates, and she (and her dog, Zoe) delivers them to the town's worst cads. Now, Daisy has entered a televised, elimination-style competition and has a shot at $100k in prize money -- but she still has a murder pie to deliver between filming.
In a completely unexpected turn of events, she discovers that her intended victim is one of the competition judges, and he turns up dead before the pie even arrives. Now, Daisy has to solve the murder (even if it means working a bit of magic) before someone calls foul play and exposes her murderous secret.
Critique: For anyone who's ever fantasized about the world of competitive baking à la the Great British Bake Off (or has ever dreamed of getting back at that guy who wronged them years ago) Misha Popp's culinary cozy mystery novel takes the idea of "a dessert to die for" to a whole new level. Featuring a unique and memorable amateur female sleuth, "A Good Day To Pie" is a fun and riveting read from cover to cover. While highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated cozy mystery fans that "A Good Day To Pie" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Misha Popp (https://crookedlanebooks.com/misha-popp) enjoys writing about murdery women and over-the-top baked goods. She lives in rural Massachusetts where she bakes entirely too many pies and sculpts things out of chocolate. Ideal inspiration for her 'Pies Before Guys' mystery series.
G. P. Putnam's Sons
c/o Penguin Group
9780593540213, $27.00, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: After reckless behavior costs NYPD detective Leigh O'Donnell her job and her marriage, she returns with her four-year-old daughter to her beautiful hometown of Copper Falls, Ohio. Leigh had stayed away for more than a decade (even though her brother and a trio of loving uncles still call it home) because, while the town may seem idyllic, something rotten lies at its core. Three men in town have drowned in what Leigh suspects to be a triple homicide. She hopes that by finding out who killed them, she just might get her life back on course.
Headstrong and intuitive, Leigh isn't afraid to face a killer, but she has to do more than that to discover the truth about what happened to those men. She must unravel a web of secrets going back generations, and, in doing so, plumb the darkness within herself.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Hunter" is author Jennifer Herrera debut as a novelist, this impressively crafted suspense thriller of a read also provides a haunting look at how the search for truth often leads back to the most unlikely of places! With its roster of deftly crafted and memorable characters -- and a plot with more twists and turns than a Disneyland Roller Coaster, "The Hunter" is available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: Jennifer Herrera (https://www.jenniferherrerabooks.com) is a former philosophy grad student turned literary agent, who is fascinated by the stories we tell ourselves to live and the lies we cling to that sabotage our chances at a good life.
G. P. Putnam's Sons
c/o Penguin Group
9780593540183, $29.00, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: Colleagues-turned-spouses Dr. Laurie Montgomery and Dr. Jack Stapleton already have their plates full with demanding forensic pathology work and family pressures. The last thing they need is the sudden death of a colleague. Yet when Laurie's apparently vital and healthy longtime friend Dr. Sue Passero dies mysteriously in the hospital parking garage, an autopsy is required, and it falls uncomfortably under Laurie's purview as the chief medical examiner. So when Laurie asks Jack to take special care with the case, he can hardly refuse.
With his curiosity sparked by an inconclusive autopsy, the indefatigable Jack is compelled to resolve the case at hand, and sets out to investigate on-site at Manhattan Memorial Hospital, even though it means blatantly defying the Office of Chief Medical Examiner's rules. What started out as an inquiry into Sue's tragic passing soon turns into a deadly and dangerous chess game between Jack and the clever and deranged killer, who might just administer another lethal blow if Jack isn't careful.
Critique: Another beautifully crafted medical thriller by a seasoned master of the genre, "Night Shift" by Robin Cook will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the legions of Robin Cook fans that "Night Shift" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Penguin Audio, 9780593629888, $40.00, CD).
Editorial Note: The literary career of Robin Cook (https://robincook.com) began with his first novel, The Year of the Intern, which he wrote underwater while on board the nuclear submarine, Kamehameha. It was written to illustrate the less than salubrious psychological impact of graduate medical education on the psyche of young physicians. It was followed 5 years later in 1977 with Coma, which had been written at night while he was a senior ophthalmology resident and which was published while Dr. Cook was a student at the Kennedy School of Government. This novel created the genre of the medical mystery-thriller, and changed the public's perception as well as the media's portrayal of medicine. Prior to Coma, medicine was on the proverbial pedestal (e.g. Dr. Ben Casey and Marcus Welby, M.D.); post-Coma, there were questions, meaning bad doctors and bad hospitals exist and should be avoided. To date Robin Cook has written a total of thirty-seven worldwide bestsellers.
The Twyford Code
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY 10020
9781668003220, $27.00, 336pp
Synopsis: Forty years ago, Steven "Smithy" Smith found a copy of a famous children's book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. When he showed it to his remedial English teacher Miss Iles, she believed that it was part of a secret code that ran through all of Twyford's novels. And when she disappeared on a class field trip, Smithy became convinced that she had been right.
Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Smithy decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. In a series of voice recordings on an old iPhone from his estranged son, Smithy alternates between visiting the people of his childhood and looking back on the events that later landed him in prison.
But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn't just a writer of forgotten children's stories. The Twyford Code holds a great secret, and Smithy may just have the key!
Critique: A deftly crafted novel from cover to cover, with the publication of "The Twyford Code", author Janice Hallett rivals Agatha Christy as a novelist able to construct fiendishly clever, maddeningly original crime novels that will have a very special appeal to lovers of word games, puzzles, and to those who enjoy stories of redemption. A fun and fascinating read from first page to last, "The Twyford Code" is a truly exceptional and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated crime novel fans that "The Twyford Code" is also available in a paperback edition (9781788165334, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Janice Hallett (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Hallett) is a former magazine editor, award-winning journalist and government communications writer. She wrote articles and speeches for, among others, the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department for International Development. A playwright and screenwriter, she penned the feminist Shakespearean stage comedy NetherBard and co-wrote the feature film Retreat, a psychological thriller starring Cillian Murphy, Thandiwe Newton and Jamie Bell. The Appeal is her first novel, and The Twyford Code her second.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781636094519, $14.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Inquisitive, detail-oriented, Veterinarian Kristin Keller prides herself on winning over any dog. But has this self-proclaimed dog whisperer finally met her match in a Sheltie named Remington who has just won the Texas state agility course competition?
The champion pooch is acting out of sorts -- almost as if he is not the same dog. Has he, by chance, been switched out with another dog just before the next big competition? Kristin and the other Lone Star employees will do anything to help the Atkinson family figure out this mystery surrounding their beloved Remington.
Critique: Cosy mystery fans everywhere will want to grab a puppy to snuggle and unwind with "Barking Up The Wrong Tree", a delightfully fun small-town mystery that is book 3 of author Janice Thompson's 'Gone to the Dogs' series. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Barking Up The Wrong Tree" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: Janice Thompson (https://janiceathompson.com) writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage.
The Mysterious Press
9781613163832, $27.95, HC, 420pp
Synopsis: When a sudden crime wave hits several small midwestern towns, the U.S. Attorney for the region calls on Harry Duncan to investigate. An ex-cop known for his unorthodox methods, Duncan is reluctant to go up against a widespread criminal organization -- but the attorney in question is Ellen Leicester, the wife who left him fifteen years earlier, and to her, he can't say no.
Initially brought in as a consultant to determine if the racketeering is severe enough to require an all-out investigation by the FBI, Duncan quickly finds himself in conflict with a syndicate far more violent than first suspected. As the investigation develops, he begins compiling a "murder book", the notebook in which a detective keeps records, interviews, photos -- everything he needs to build his case. But his scrutiny of the gang soon makes Duncan a target. And Ellen, too.
Critique: A thrilling and suspenseful tour of crime-addled midwestern towns, "Murder Book" is signature Thomas Perry police procedural suspense thriller of a read with memorable characters, crisply-described action sequences, and breathlessly tense plotting. A 'must' for the growing legions of Thomas Perry fans, "Murder Book" is a compelling and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. For personal reading lists in should be noted that "Murder Book" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: Thomas Perry (https://www.thomasperryauthor.com) is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, The Old Man, and The Butcher's Boy, which won the Edgar Award.
The Girl Who Took What She Wanted
The Mysterious Press
9781613163849, $26.95, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag hasn't written any fiction since his debut novel rocked the literary world of the 1980s and then left him with a paralyzing case of writer's block. Since then, he's been reduced to ghostwriting celebrity memoirs. But his newest project could have him diving back into the world of fiction in a way he never imagined.
Nikki Dymtryk is Hollywood's hottest reality TV star, known for her wild party lifestyle and prolific sexual conquests across the music, film, and sports industries. But when the ratings for her show Being Nikki begin to drop, the Dymtryk family engineers a new plan to keep Nikki in the limelight: reinventing the young star as a bestselling author. Nikki's team hires Hoagy to ghostwrite a steamy romance novel showcasing the glitz and glamor of the Hollywood elite.
Reluctantly, Hoagy flies out to L.A. with his trusty basset hound Lulu to see what he's gotten himself into with Nikki. But when he finally meets the starlet, she's nothing like the aimless, airhead image she presents to the media. This project may just be the key to getting Hoagy's creative juices flowing again -- and staying in L.A. might also give him a chance at getting back together with his actress ex-wife, Merilee.
But spending time with Nikki isn't all parties and poolside lounging. As Hoagy gets closer to the young woman, he begins to uncover the Dymtryk family's dark secrets. Secrets that are worth killing for.
Critique: Another deftly crafted mystery novel by an author with a true mastery of the genre, "The Girl Who Took What She Wanted" is David Handler's newest edition to his Stewart Hoag Mystery series. With a special appeal to fans of the cozy mystery/amateur sleuth novel, "The Girl Who Took What She Wanted" is available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.49) and will prove to be a popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: David Handler (https://davidhandlerbooks.com) is the Edgar Award-winning and critically acclaimed author of several bestselling mystery series. He began his career as a New York City reporter, and wrote his first two novels Kiddo (1987) and Boss (1988) about his Los Angeles childhood. In 1988 he published The Man Who Died Laughing, the first of his long-running series of mysteries starring ghostwriter Stuart Hoag and his faithful basset hound Lulu.
Blooming with Murder
6524 NE 181st Street, STE #2, Kenmore, WA 98028
9781684920679, $16.95, PB, 220pp
Synopsis: Spring is blooming in Sierra Pines, and everyone's busy preparing for the annual Spring Fling Festival. Ali Winston takes her B&B guests for a tour, and their first stop is the face painting booth. Local school board president, Melvin Renville, is there to honor a bet he lost to the student body by having his face painted. However, things turn tragic when he has an allergic reaction and ends up dead. No one is more surprised than Ali's best friend and art teacher, Lyla Lane, when it's discovered her face paint contains peanut oil, an ingredient Renville was highly allergic to. Lyla insists she'd never use store-bought paint, only homemade because in teaching elementary school, she's aware many kids have food allergies.
Ali suspects someone wanted Renville dead and cleverly framed Lyla for the crime. The question is who had motive and the opportunity to pull off such a daring deed? Of course, rumors spread, and fingers point at Lyla when word gets out that Renville had notified her, merely hours before his death, that the art program and her job would be cut next year. Talk about a motive to kill. With Sheriff Sterling painting Lyla as his prime suspect, Ali is determined to help her friend by discovering the true killer and to keep spring blooming in Sierra Pines.
Critique: A superbly crafted cozy mystery that will have immense appeal to readers with an interest in amateur women sleuths and a plot with more twists and turns than a Disneyland rollercoaster, "Blooming with Murder" is a fun read from cover to cover and will send its readers looking for more stories from novelist Kathryn Long. While highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated cozy mystery buffs that "Blooming with Murder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
Editorial Note: Kathryn Long (https://kathrynlongauthor.com) is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She's a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. She is also actively involved in the writing and publishing worlds and stays up to date on her social media platforms.
The Photo Thief
J. L. Delozier
9780744307221, $23.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Still grieving his toddler's death, Detective Dan Brennan of the Philadelphia P.D. returns to the force and is assigned to investigate a socialite's fatal fall down her mansion's staircase. But the open-and-shut case is turned on its head when the victim's epileptic daughter alleges her mother was murdered. Her evidence? The dead. Vintage crime-scene photographs displayed on the mansion's walls have told her so.
Compelled by the reclusive teen's pleas, Brennan investigates her mother's death and the disturbing secrets hidden in plain sight on the mansion's walls. He soon discovers the vintage photographs are tied to a quartet of cold cases with a disturbing commonality.
As the wealthy family's long, sordid history threatens to bury him, Brennan's forced to make a choice: save his career, or risk it all for the chance to hear his daughter's voice again.
Critique: A riveting read from first page to last, "The Photo Thief" by novelist J. L. Delozier will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in murder mysteries with a ghost thriller theme. While available for personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, it should be noted that "The Photo Thief" is available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99). While community libraries are advised to acquire "The Photo Thief" for their Mystery/Suspense collections, librarians should be aware that it is also readily available in a large print edition (9780744307290, $19.99, PB, 424pp) from CamCat Publishing.
Editorial Note: J. L. Delozier (https://www.jldelozier.com) draws inspiration from science that exists on the edge of reality -- bizarre medical anomalies, new genetic discoveries, and anything that seems too weird to be true. Her debut thriller was nominated for a "Best First Novel" award by the International Thriller Writers organization; her fourth novel won a Silver Falchion Award. Her short fiction has won an Omega Award and appeared in Artemis Journal, The Pittsburger, Thriller Magazine, Retreats from Oblivion, and the anthologies, Noirville: Tales from the Dark Side and Writers Crushing COVID-19. Her day job is being an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Penn State.
Bitter Lemon Press
9781913394776, $15.95, PB, 272pp
Synopsis: Hella has been asked by the police to do a background check on Johannes Heikkinen, a senior member of the Finnish secret services. Heikkinen has a complicated past: a child dead just weeks after birth and a wife who died in the fire that destroyed their house a few years later.
Background checks are not exactly the type of job Hella was hoping for, but she accepts it on the condition that she is given access to the files concerning the roadside death of her father in 1942. Colonel Mauzer, his wife and other family members were killed by a truck in a hit and run incident.
An accident, file closed, they say. But not for Hella, whose unwelcome investigation leads to some who would prefer to see her stopped dead in her tracks.
Critique: The third in the Hella Mauzer mystery series by novelist Katja Ivar, "Trouble" is set in Finland, early summer 1953 and features Hella Mauzer -- the first-ever woman Inspector in the Helsinki Homicide Unit, who has been fired and is now a reluctant private investigator. A simply riveting read from start to finish, "Trouble" will have a very special appeal to readers with a liking for historical thrillers, international mystery novels, and women sleuths. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Trouble" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Katja Ivar (https://www.bitterlemonpress.com/blogs/authors/katja-ivar) was born in Moscow and spent her teenage years in Dallas, Texas. She holds a BA in Linguistics and a Masters in Contemporary History from Sorbonne University; she lives in Paris with her husband and three children and is moving to Washington DC in June 2022. Evil Things was her fiction debut and the first of this three-book series.
Last Chance Chicago
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
9781612942513, $18.99, PB, 310pp
Synopsis: Attorney and recovering cocaine addict Sam DiCiccio didn't think she was ever going to see her ex-wife Amy Igarashi again, much less wind up defending her against felony insider trading charges.
But Amy's been falsely accused, and Sam, who's still in love with her, can't bear to watch her take the fall for a crime she didn't commit. Amy is holding on to resentment from their broken relationship and is hesitant to let Sam back into her life. But that all changes when her assets are frozen by a judge, and Sam is the best and only lawyer she can afford.
As Sam and Amy pull the threads of the alleged crime, they begin to unravel a mysterious corporate conspiracy that runs deep and wide. But as the clock ticks faster each day, the chance to prove Amy's innocence and keep her out of jail begins to slip away.
Sam and Amy keep inching closer to the truth, but each step draws them closer to shadowy enemies and amplifies the heat between them.
Critique: A deftly skilled suspense thriller of a novel, "Last Chance Chicago" by Diana Digangi will have a special appeal to readers with an interest in novels that combine the themes of LGBTQ contemporary romance and women sleuths. While highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated suspense/thriller mystery fans that "Last Chance Chicago" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).
Editorial Note: Diana Digangi (https://www.bywaterbooks.com/diana-digangi) was born and raised in the suburbs outside Washington D.C. She holds both bachelor's and master's in journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she started her journalism career in television news, then returned to the D.C. area to pursue work as an investigative journalist. She now covers the federal government full-time while writing fiction in her spare time.
Greenwich Mean Time
c/o Camel Press
9781684920358, $19.95, PB, 362pp
Synopsis: On assignment for Earth Illustrated magazine in Northern Pakistan, Monica Cross stumbles upon a deadly secret that makes her the target of a dark web outfit known as the Greenwich Global Group.
As this lethal cabal dispatches a team of hired assassins to ensure Monica never makes it home to New York, Ronin Phythian (once considered the most lethal man alive and long presumed dead) emerges from self-exile in his remote African camp and vows to save her life, while taking down the brutal hit squad for good.
At the same time, freelance blogger (and former Washington Post reporter) Carter Logan gets word that the wreckage of the airplane crash that killed his fiance has finally been found, and vows to bring justice for all those who died-and revenge to those who killed her.
Spanning ten time zones, nine countries, and four continents, "Greenwich Mean Time" by novelist Reed Bunzel is a tightly spun thriller that plays out against a violent plot designed to change the course of history forever.
Critique: Original, riveting, and with more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster, "Greenwich Mean Time" is a fun read for anyone with an interest in assassination and conspiracy psychic thriller novels. While particularly and unreservedly recommended for community library Crime Fiction and Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Greenwich Mean Time" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.49).
Editorial Note: Reed Bunzel (https://www.reedbunzel.com/) is the author of a half dozen crime novels and thrillers, as well as several nonfiction books. He also produces BunzelGram, a weekly newsletter that focuses on mysteries and thrillers both in print and on the screen. A former media industry executive, Bunzel was editor-in-chief for United News and Media's San Francisco publishing operations, overseeing the weekly publication of The Gavin Report and Gavin.com. Earlier in his career he was editor-in-chief of Streamline Publishing's Radio Ink and Streaming magazines, as well as an editor at Radio & Records and Broadcasting magazine. Additionally, he served in an executive capacity at both the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau. A graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Bunzel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, cum laude.
The Last Orphan
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250252326, $26.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: As a child, Evan Smoak was plucked out of a group home, raised and trained as an off-the-books assassin for the government as part of the Orphan program. When he broke with the program and went deep underground, he left with a lot of secrets in his head that the government would do anything to make sure never got out.
When he remade himself as The Nowhere Man, dedicated to helping the most desperate in their times of trouble, Evan found himself slowly back on the government's radar. Having eliminated most of the Orphans in the program, the government will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat they see in Evan.
But Orphan X has always been several steps ahead of his pursuers. Until he makes one little mistake!
Now the President has him in her control and offers Evan a deal -- eliminate a rich, powerful man she says is too dangerous to live and, in turn, she'll let Evan survive. But when Evan left the Program he swore to only use his skills against those who really deserve it. Now he has to decide what's more important -- his principles or his life.
Critique: Another riveting novel of suspense that will have special appeal to the legions of fans who are hooked on Gregg Hurwitz 'assassination/adventure' novels in his Orphan X series, "The Last Orphan" has it all as it takes the raptly engaged reader along in a story that has more unexpected twists and turns than a Disney World rollercoaster. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Thriller/Suspense Action collections, it should be noted that "The Last Orphan" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250787903, $39.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Gregg Hurwitz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_Hurwitz) is the author of the Orphan X novels. Critically acclaimed, his novels have been international bestsellers, graced top ten lists, and have been published in thirty-two languages. Additionally, he's sold scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Cosmic Egg Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing
9781803411286, $18.95 PB, 312pp
Synopsis: Set in the year 2052, "Isak AI" by Clark Ownes is the story of Isak, a super-computer who takes over the world and eliminates a fourth of its population as a step toward preventing environmental collapse.
In response, a group of Bay Area truth-seekers create the Church of Isak, worshipping the computer as a god. DeJuan McCholley, an L.A. rap artist, becomes Isak's prophet, and science power couple Kyle and Inga Conners are called on to respond to a glitch in Isak's programming.
Critique: A deftly scripted novel that will have a special interest for readers who appreciated dystopian stories, "Isak AI" offers them a unique blend of satire and speculation with the themes of climate science, artificial intelligence, politics, and religious myth. A believable story of what could be our future as extrapolated from our present, "Isak AI" is highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "Isak AI" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).
The Poetry Shelf
Waiting for Scotland: Poems and Meditations
S. A. Borders-Shoemaker
Belle Isle Books
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781958754023, $15.95, PB, 162pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Waiting for Scotland: Poems and Meditations", S. A. Borders-Shoemaker presents a impressive compendium of poems, meditations, and the occasional black/white photos. The theme of her work is about reconciling the past with hopes for the future.
The poems reflect the direct confrontation between youthful expectations and sobering realities. Born from the labors of deep soul work, it is all at once a comprehensive story and a series of meditations on identity. This exceptional collection of free verse acknowledges what has come before and how the past contends with a very real and powerful present. Borders-Shoemaker's word poems declare a hope for a different future, rooted in honesty and compassion.
Critique: Insightful, thoughtful, thought-provoking, fascinating, memorable, "Waiting for Scotland: Poems and Meditations" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Poets & Poetry collections.
Editorial Note: S.A. Borders-Shoemaker (www.sabordersshoemaker.com) is an author, poet, and PhD in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Some influences on her writing include her work in conflict resolution and suicide prevention, as well as her extensive travels abroad. She has over fifteen publications in both national and international outlets, including Frankenstein & the Phoenix, Rooted in Time, The Conscious Objection, and numerous op-eds and anthology contributions.
The Christian Studies Shelf
The Book of Common Courage
K. J. Ramsey
9780310461333, $19.99, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Book of Common Courage: Prayers and Poems to Find Strength in Small Moments", author and therapist R. J. Ramsey presents a collection of prayers, poems, and blessings to help you find a flicker of strength in the small and hard moments of life. Ramsey invites you to journey word-by-word through Psalm 23 to experience how the Good Shepherd is with you and for you, especially in the valleys of life. When you struggle to find the words to hold your pain or trauma, be encouraged to cultivate the compassion and courage to believe that your story will, in fact, end in joy.
Through K. J.'s lyrical and emotive writing, you are invited to: Surrender your anxiety and your tears to a faithful God; Validate your emotions and embrace them as the gift they are; Slow down and remember that good will come again; Replenish your soul with the life of Christ and the promises of God; Refresh your faith with a peace that lasts; Experience newfound confidence in prayer; Remember that even when pain is not past-tense, God is still present
Courage is a common hope that we can cultivate together. The prayers and poems comprising "The Book of Common Courage: Prayers and Poems to Find Strength in Small Moments" can be read in group settings (among friends, families, and worshipping communities) and are also ideal for personal reflection.
Critique: Of special appeal to readers with an interest in Christian Rites and Ceremonies, Inspirational Poetry and Prayer, and enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of colorful still life and nature photography and a ribbon marker, it should be noted that "The Book of Common Courage: Prayers and Poems to Find Strength in Small Moments" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and is highly recommended for clergy, seminary students, and all members of the Christian community.
Editorial Note: K. J. Ramsey (www.kjramsey.com) is a trauma-informed licensed professional counselor and author whose work offers space to see every part of our souls and stories as sacred. She holds degrees from Covenant College and Denver Seminary and is the author of This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers. K.J. writes at the intersection of theology, psychology, and spiritual formation to guide readers in recovering the rhythm of resilience through nervous system regulation and the wonder of communion with God. She can be followed on social media: @kjramseywrites
Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation
9780310128687, $26.99, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Millions of Christians have read books and listened to sermons by Timothy Keller. But which people and what events shaped his own thinking and spiritual growth? With unfettered access to Keller's personal notes and sermons (as well as exclusive interviews with family members and longtime friends), with the publication of "Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation ", Collin Hansen gives you unprecedented understanding of one of the 21st century's most influential church leaders.
With this informative biography of Timothy Keller, you will learn what he's reading, what he's learning, what he's seeing. The story of Timothy Keller is the story of his spiritual and intellectual influences, from the woman who taught him how to read the Bible to the professor who taught him to preach Jesus from every text to the philosopher who taught him to see beneath society's surface.
For the first time, Hansen introduces readers to Keller's early years: the home where he learned to tell stories from the trees, the church where he learned to care for souls, and the city that lifted him to the international fame he never wanted.
Readers will also discover how to: Understand the principles and practices that allowed Keller to synthesize so many different influences in a coherent ministry; Take the best of Keller's preaching and teaching to meet emerging challenges in the 21st century: Develop their own historical, theological, and cultural perspectives to shape their leadership.
Critique: Revealing the previously untold story of the people, the books, the lectures, and ultimately the God who formed and shaped the life of Timothy Keller, Collin Hansen's biography, "Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation" is especially commended to the attention of Keller's legions of appreciative admirers. While highly recommended for personal, seminary, academic, and church library Christian Church Leadership & Pastoral Biography collections, it should be noted that "Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Collin Hansen (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/profile/collin-hansen) serves as vice president of content and editor in chief for The Gospel Coalition. He hosts the Gospelbound podcast and has written and edited many books. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Apologetics and co-chair of the advisory board at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.
Great American Prophets
997 MacArthur Boulevard, Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809155729, $29.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: Using the examples of the "Great Americans" cited by Pope Francis during his visit to the United States, with the publication of "Great American Prophets: Pope Francis's Models of Christian Life" Daniel Cosacchi discusses how prophecy can be manifested in our own time.
When Pope Francis visited the United States in 2015 and addressed a joint session of Congress, he cited several examples of "Great Americans": Abraham Lincoln, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Merton, and Dorothy Day. "Great American Prophets" draws the line between the prophetic stance of these four (as well as others) and the role of the prophet from the Old Testament to the present day.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful, thought-provoking, "Great American Prophets: Pope Francis's Models of Christian Life" is an extraordinary study and one that will be of special interest to seminary students, parish priests, and all members of the Catholic community. A unique and invaluable contribution, "Great American Prophets" is also highly recommended as church and community library Christian inspirational reading collections and personal reading lists.
Editorial Note: Daniel Cosacchi (https://www.scranton.edu/ministries/about-us.shtml) is vice president for mission and ministry at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Christian ethics from Loyola University of Chicago and has taught at a number of Catholic colleges and universities.
The True Origins of Jesus
Geoff Roberts, author
Colm Holland, editor
c/o John Hunt Publishing
9781789049046, $19.95, PB, 248pp
Synopsis: With all the evidence compiled in "The True Origins of Jesus: The myth behind the man" by Geoff Roberts (including some which has only come to light relatively recently), readers can draw their own conclusions from a story which will look very different to the one they learned at Sunday school. Was Jesus Christ a mythical figure who was never intended by the early founders of the religion to be a walking, talking historical person? By examining the earliest historical sources referred to in "The True Origins of Jesus" with an open mind, readers will be free to decide who Jesus is for them today.
Critique: Of special appeal to readers with an interest in Christology, religious philosophy, and the history of Christianity, "The True Origins of Jesus: The myth behind the man" is an inherently fascinating, informative, and occasionally iconoclastic study that is highly recommended for personal, community, seminary, church, and academic library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, theologians, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The True Origins of Jesus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
Editorial Note #1: The late Geoff Roberts was a respected freelance photographer and columnist from Merseyside, England, who worked in regional press for more than three decades. After spending many years researching the early origins of Christianity, he dedicated the final years of his life to collating his findings to present an honest and unbiased historical perspective. Like many, Geoff was an intelligent, non-academic who wanted to conduct his own research into the evidence available to all of us, regarding the origins of "the greatest story ever told", and to ask the question of whether it can be supported by any historical evidence outside the pages of the Bible.
Editorial Note #2: As an editor Colm Holland (https://www.colmholland.com/) spent twenty-five years working in sales and marketing in the publishing industry. He was a member the Harper Collins team which published Paul Coelho's The Alchemist in 1993. Colm teaches the art of alchemy in everyday life, and he has devoted his life to true empowerment through inner transformation. He lives in Somerset, UK.
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Jewish Women in Time and Torah
Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9789655243659, $24.95, HC, 144pp
Synopsis: Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits (8 September 1908 - 20 August 1992) last book, "Jewish Women in Time and Torah", is a critical examination of the status of women in Halakhah. It offers a coherent theological approach by which the eternal Divine nature of Torah must be upheld, and yet also recognize that the ever-changing status of women, reflected in our sacred texts, is linked to historical and social movements of humanity in the world at large.
Rabbi Berkovits makes several suggestions, based on a thorough examination of halakhic sources, to improve that status. His basic thesis is that the inferior status of women is a vestige of ancient culture. In the course of time, women have gained certain rights. But, Rabbi Berkovits emphasizes, more remains to be done, especially in the spheres of ritual participation and marital rights, areas in which he makes a number of concrete halakhic suggestions. For example, he suggests that adequate halakhic justification exists for women to take upon themselves the mitzvah of donning tefillin or establishing their own prayer groups, as well as women reciting Shabbat kiddush for men or participating in a mixed-gender zimmun for Grace After Meals.
Critique: An invaluable contribution to considerations and discussions of the proper role of women within Jewish life and rabbinic culture, "Jewish Women in Time and Torah" is an erudite, thoughtful and thought-provoking study that is unreservedly recommended for personal, rabbinic, and academic library Judaic Studies collections.
Editorial Note: Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliezer_Berkovits) was born in Transylvania in 1908. He received his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg at the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Berlin in the 1930s. After escaping Germany in December 1938, Berkovits served as a communal rabbi in Leeds, England, Sydney, Australia, and Boston, before assuming the chair of the philosophy department at the Hebrew Theological College in Chicago in 1958. He moved to Jerusalem in 1975, where he lived and worked until his death in 1992.
Tanya V1: Likkutei Amarim 1-32
Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, author
c/o Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645855, $34.95, HC, 815pp
Synopsis: In this groundbreaking commentary on the Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi's classic work, Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz seeks to reveal the author's powerful fire and spirit contained therein. In doing so, he unmasks his own burning spirit, his own love, awe, and closeness to God.
Through vivid explanations and metaphors from our daily lives, along with stories from the lives of hasidim of the past, Rabbi Steinsaltz draws the world of the Tanya into our world, providing a detailed elucidation of foundational concepts in Kabbala and in Judaism in general.
The Tanya is one of the most important books of mussar (ethical instruction) ever written. It provides a complete and comprehensive worldview, penetrating the depths of the spiritual struggles a person will face in life, while offering practical ideas and guidance.
This first section of the Tanya, Likkutei Amarim, comprises fifty-three chapters. In The Steinsaltz Tanya, this section has been divided into two volumes. Volume 1 contains chapters 1-32, and the forthcoming volume 2 comprises chapters 33-53.
This first section of the Tanya, which its author refers to as the "Book of Beinonim", presents a novel human and ethical archetype: the beinoni, or the intermediate-level person. The beinoni is neither righteous nor wicked, but he is not an average person either. The beinoni is a category of its own, which expresses the ideal level that each an every individual, in accordance with his specific capabilities, can and should aspire to achieve.
The Tanya is presented in a format that invites a person to put the ideas presented here into practice, one concept building on another, one leading to the next so that the reader is guided toward attaining the level of beinoni that is the focus of this book. Its ideas are condensed, its words packed with meaning, and the one who studies the Tanya cannot help but appreciate its subtle and beautifully crafted writing style.
The Steinsaltz Tanya includes a vocalized Hebrew Tanya text and a groundbreaking translation of the Tanya alongside Rabbi Steinsaltz's novel commentary. One does not have to come from the world of Hassidism to study the Tanya . Rabbi Steinsaltz's clear, readable elucidation makes this dense, concise work accessible to all.
Critique: With the publication of "The Steinsaltz Tanya V1: Likkutei Amarim 1-32". Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz provides an eloquent, informative, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking study that is an especially and unreservedly recommended contribution personal, professional, synagogue, college, and university library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz z"l (1937-2020) was a teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author. His lifelong work in Jewish education earned him the Israel Prize, his country's highest honor. Rabbi Steinsaltz (https://steinsaltz.org/bio) is internationally regarded as one of the greatest rabbis of this century and of the last.
Editorial Note #2: Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (September 4, 1745 - December 15, 1812) was an influential Lithuanian Jewish rabbi and the founder and first Rebbe of Chabad, a branch of Hasidic Judaism, then based in Liadi in Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the Grodno Governorate of the Russian Empire. He was the author of many works, and is best known for Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Tanya, and his Siddur Torah Or compiled according to the Nusach Ari. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shneur_Zalman_of_Liadi)
The Sages Volume V: The Yeshivot of Babylonia and Israel
Rabbi Binyamin Lau, author
Ilana Kurshan, translator
c/o Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592644025, $24.95, HC, 302pp
Synopsis: 'The Sages: Character, Context & Creativity' is a series by Rabbi Binyamin Lau that brings the world of the Talmud to life by revealing the stories of the people behind its pages. This is fascinating multi-volume series which explores the lives and times of the great Jewish sages (Hazal): their teachers and disciples, their families and professions, the values they cherished and ideologies they opposed, the historical challenges they faced, and the creative wisdom with which they faced them. Highly original and profoundly engaging, The Sages draws readers closer to the world of Hazal while deepening their understanding of our own. "The Yeshivot of Babylonia and Israel" is Volume 5 of The Sages series.
Critique: With the focus on the impact of the Babylonian era on the development of the Israelite Talmud culture, "The Yeshivot of Babylonia and Israel" is a fascinating, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking study organized into three major sections (Southern Babylonia; Northern Babylonia; The Land of Israel). As with the first four volumes of this simply outstanding series, "The Yeshivot of Babylonia and Israel" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, synagogue, college, and university library Judaic Studies and Talmudic Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Yeshivot of Babylonia and Israel" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Rabbi Binyamin Lau (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binyamin_Lau) is an Israeli community leader, educator and social activist. He is the rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem, founder of the Moshe Green Beit Midrash for Women's Leadership at Beit Morasha's Beren College, and a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Rabbi Lau also serves as a consultant for a number of leading organizations and is frequently cited in the media. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat Kibbutz HaDati, and received a PhD in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University.
The American History Shelf
War By Other Means
46 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
9781612199245, $28.99, HC, 384pp
Synopsis: Pacifists who fought against the Second World War faced insurmountable odds -- but their resistance, philosophy, and strategies fostered a tradition of activism that shaped America right up to the present day.
"War By Other Means: The Pacifists of the Greatest Generation Who Revolutionized Resistance" is a provocative and deeply researched work of history in which Daniel Akst takes his readers into the wild, heady, and uncertain times of America on the brink of a world war, following four fascinating resisters who would subsequently become famous political thinkers and activists: David Dellinger, Dorothy Day, Dwight MacDonald, and Bayard Rustin.
The lives of these diverse anti-war advocates (a principled and passionate seminary student, a Catholic anarchist, a high-brow intellectual leftist, and an African-American pacifist and agitator) create the perfect prism through which to see World War II from a new angle, that of the opposition, as well as to show how great and lasting their achievements were.
The resisters did not stop the war, of course, but their impact would be felt for decades. Many of them went on to lead the civil-rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the two most important social stands of the second half of the twentieth century. The various World War II resisters pioneered non-violent protest in America, popularized Gandhian principles, and desegregated the first prison mess halls. Theirs is a story that has never been told -- until now.
Critique: Organized into three main section (Before; During; After), "War By Other Means: The Pacifists of the Greatest Generation Who Revolutionized Resistance" is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of twenty-two pages of Notes and a nineteen page Index. A unique contribution to our understanding of American in World War II, "War By Other Means" is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library World War II history, biography, and social activist collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "War By Other Means" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).
Editorial Note: Daniel Akst (http://akst.com) is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Slate and other leading publications. He has written scores of book reviews over the years and was a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. He has been a Koret Fellow at the University of California (Berkeley) Graduate School of Journalism, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC, and a public policy fellow at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.
The Travel Shelf
Great American Road Trips: Best of 50 States
Reader's Digest Trade Publishing
c/o Trusted Media Brand
9781621458456, $19.99, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Great American Road Trips: Best of 50 States" by the editorial staff of the Reader's Digest, motorists can get the very best of road trip vacations that the United States has to offer.
From small-town pit stops and off-the-beaten-path adventures to renowned historical sites and breathtaking parks, the destinations highlighted in "Great American Road Trips: Best of 50 States" emphasize the unique beauty and history that each state has to offer.
Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or veteran road warrior, the incredible photography in this magnificent volume, along with the included recommendations for nearby attractions, lodging, recreation, and more, will inspire you to get packing. Jump in the car or RV and share these experiences with the ones you love!
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full page color photos accompanying informatively descriptive commentaries, "Great American Road Trips: Best of 50 States" is also comprised of insider trips that will enable the traveler to get the most out of every excursion exploring every state. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), "Great American Road Trips: Best of 50 States" will prove a welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to personal and community library General Travel Guide, Road Travel, and Pictorial State reference collections.
Soul of New York: A Guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences
Tarajia Morrell, author
Abbie Zuidema, illustrator
Liz Barclay, photographer
9782361953911, $14.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: "Soul of New York: A Guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences" is a unique travel guide showcasing: The Lilliputian hotel room, once slept in by sailors, now perfect for the solo traveler; the cinema that restores Golden Age glamor to the movie-going experience; the modern pharmacist who will cure your cold (or hangover) with a tonic; the spot to sip a Manhattan while gazing at pictures by Warhol and Basquiat; the market that offers a true slice of the Lower East Side; the high end burger and the hidden one; the pizza place that created a neighborhood; the surf town a subway away -- and so much more!
"Soul of New York" is written by Tarajia Morrell, journalist and native New Yorker, and produced by Fany Pechiodat, founder of My Little Paris, the influential newsletter-cum-lifestyle brand. To bring this travel guide to life, Tarajia worked along with the talented photographer Liz Barclay & illustrator Abbie Zuidema.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Soul of New York: A Guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences " showcases: The 30 best experiences a city has to offer, Interviews with those who give the city its spirit; Original illustrations that capture the city's soul. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.95), "Soul of New York: A Guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library New York City & State travel guide collections.
Editorial Note: The "Soul of" collection is a new approach to the art of traveling that's all about vagabonding around town, chance encounters, and unforgettable experiences. Guides for those who want to unlock the hidden doors of a city, feel out its heartbeat, plumb every last nook and cranny to uncover its soul. Created by Fany Pechiodat in collaboration with the publisher Thomas Jonglez, the collection will continue to expand with new cities in 2020 and 2021: Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Bali.
The Audiobook Shelf
J. B. Turner, author
Jeffrey Kafer, narrator
9781799798415, $19.99, MP3-CD
Synopsis: Jon Reznick is not a man to cross. A brutally effective black-ops veteran, Reznick has a history of taking the law into his own hands. So when a group of masked men murders his closest friend, he swears to exact vengeance. The now-deceased Bill Eastland had been Reznick's last living tie to his father, leaving him devastated -- and furious. Whether or not the FBI approves, he swears to hunt down whoever issued the hit on his friend.
With the help of hacker Trevelle Williams, Reznick tracks the masked murderers from Maine to Texas to New York, quickly becoming embroiled in the shadowy world of the Aryan Brotherhood and the Mafia. As Reznick's own body count begins to climb, clues lead him to one of the most dangerous crime families in New York, headed by the infamous Paul Moretti. But FBI Assistant Director Martha Meyerstein has just learned a crucial secret that could derail Reznick's quest for revenge -- Moretti is a high-level FBI informant.
Reznick faces a stark choice: take on the FBI and risk severing ties with Martha, or inflict his own form of rigorous justice no matter the possible fallout. How far will he go (and how many government agencies will he undermine) to get retribution for his best friend's death? He might just have to create his own set of rules.
Critique: A riveting novel by author J. B. Turner that will have a strong appeal to fans of Conspiracy Theories and riveting Action-Adventure stories, "Hard Fire" is the stuff of which block-buster movies are made. Deftly and effectively narrated by the vocal storytelling talents of narrator Jeffrey Kafer, "Hard Fire" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly appreciated addition to personal and community library complete and unabridged audio book collections. (7 Hours, 25 Minutes).
Editorial Note #1: J. B. Turner (https://jbturnerauthor.com) is a former journalist and the author of the Jon Reznick series of action thrillers (Hard Road, Hard Kill, Hard Wired, Hard Way, Hard Fall, Hard Hit, Hard Shot, Hard Target, and Hard Vengeance), the American Ghost series of black-ops thrillers (Rogue, Reckoning, and Requiem), and the Deborah Jones political thrillers (Miami Requiem and Dark Waters).
Editorial Note #2: Jeffrey Kafer (https://www.jeffreykafer.com) is an experienced vocal actor who has done commercial voice overs and multiple audio book narrations.
Hidden In Snow
Viveca Sten, author
Marlaine Delargy, translator
Laura Jennings, narrator
9781799784388, $14.99, MP3-CD
Synopsis: On the day Stockholm police officer Hanna Ahlander's personal and professional lives crash, she takes refuge at her sister's lodge in the Swedish ski resort paradise of Are. But it's a brief comfort. The entire village is shaken by the sudden vanishing of a local teenage girl. Hanna can't help but investigate, and while searching for the missing person, she lands a job with the local police department. There she joins forces with Detective Inspector Daniel Lindskog, who has been tasked with finding the girl. Their only lead: a scarf in the snow.
As subzero temperatures drop even further, a treacherous blizzard sweeps toward Are. Hanna and Daniel's investigation is getting more desperate by the hour. Lost or abducted, either way time is running out for the missing girl. Each new clue closes in on something far more sinister than either Hanna or Daniel imagined. In this devious novel by the bestselling author of the Sandhamn Murders series, discover what it will take to solve a case when the truth can be so easily hidden in the coming storm.
Critique: Of special appeal to listeners with an interest in Police Procedural Mysteries and the adventures of Women Sleuths, "Hidden In Snow" by novelist Viveca Sten is masterfully narrated by the impressive storytelling talents of Laura Jennings in this 11 Hour, 6 Minute complete and unabridged audio book edition from Brilliance Audio. A true delight for fans of riveting suspense thriller fiction, "Hidden In Snow" is especially recommended for personal and community library audio book collections.
Editorial Note #1: Viveca Sten (www.vivecasten.com) is the author of the Sandhamn Murders series, which includes Buried in Secret, In Bad Company, In the Name of Truth, In the Shadow of Power, In Harm's Way, In the Heat of the Moment, Tonight You're Dead, Guiltless, Closed Circles, and Still Waters. Since 2008, the series has sold more than seven million copies, establishing her as one of Sweden's most popular authors. Set on the island of Sandhamn, the novels have been adapted into a Swedish-language TV series shot on location and seen by ninety million viewers around the world.
Editorial Note #2: Marlaine Delargy lives in Shropshire in the United Kingdom. She has translated novels by many authors and the nine books in Viveca Sten's Sandhamn Murders series. (https://www.audiobooksnow.com/narrator/Marlaine%20Delargy)
Editorial Note #3: Laura Jennings (https://www.laurajenningsnarrates.com) has narrated titles for major publishers but is just as proud of her work with independent authors. She is also the Coordinator for The Podcast Academy and the Communications Manage for Eljin Productions Inc..
A Light in the Forest
Melissa Payne, author
Kay Eluvian, narrator
9781978694453, $19.99, MP3-CD
Synopsis: Vega Jones escapes an abusive relationship with nothing but her two-month-old baby and the van she grew up in. Her destination is a small Ohio town her late vagabond mother left years ago. It's one full of nobodies, her mother warned. That makes it the ideal refuge for Vega to lie low, feel safe, and maybe learn more about a past her mother never spoke of.
Vega warms to the town and to new acquaintances like Heff, the young deputy and artist who prefers his yard art to actual policing, and empathetic Eve, a local farmer whose near-death experience gave her more than just her life back. But even in this welcoming community, there's an undercurrent of something unsettled, talk of a tragedy that unfolded in the woods years ago, and a mystery connected to Vega in ways she couldn't have anticipated.
As a mother on the run and following a path of mounting risks and illuminating secrets, Vega discovers that even during the darkest of times, there's light in unexpected places.
Critique: A riveting novel by author Melissa Payne that is brought vividly to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience by the narrative storytelling skills of Kay Eluvian, "A Light In The Forest" offers 12 Hours and 11 Minutes of riveting entertainment. This complete and unabridged audio book from Brilliance Audio is a welcome and fully recommended addition to personal and community library audio book collections.
Editorial Note #1: Melissa Payne (www.melissapayneauthor.com) is the author of The Secrets of Lost Stones, Memories in the Drift, and The Night of Many Endings. For as long as she can remember, Melissa has been telling stories in one form or another -- from high school newspaper articles to a graduate thesis to blogging about marriage and motherhood. But she first learned the real importance of storytelling when she worked for a residential and day treatment center for abused and neglected children, where she wrote speeches and letters to raise funds. The truth in those children's stories was piercing and painful, written to invoke a call to action in the reader: to give, to help, and to make a difference. Melissa's love of writing and sharing stories in all forms has endured.
Editorial Note #2: Kay Eluvian (https://www.kayeluvian.com) is a versatile, quirky, funny and friendly British transgender female (woman) voiceover actor / actress (voiceactor) with years of experience working in audiobooks, drama, games and commercials. She is a trained actor with an unusual voice - not quite a girl, not quite a guy and it grabs the listener with a smile. She has a massive vocal range (measured at 3 3/4 octaves!) and plenty of playful attitude.
Leah Vernon, author
Alaska Jackson, Sisi Johnson, Kirby Heyborne, narrators
9781713667766, $14.99, MP3-CD
Synopsis: A thousand years in the future, a Black elite class reigns. The lower classes toil in the fields or scrape by in blighted cities, serving their rulers in a cruel, divided world.
Among the Elites is eighteen-year-old Avi Jore, born to a powerful father and destined to rule. But as she comes of age, Avi cannot help but notice the injustices in her world -- the treatment of enslaved workers, the oppression of the lower classes. Her disillusionment grows when she meets Saige Wilde, a mixed-race enslaved girl whose only goal is escaping beyond the borders of their brutal nation.
When Saige saves Avi from an assassination attempt, their paths become intertwined in ways they never imagined. As Saige plots her path to freedom, Avi tries to enact change from the inside. But it's a complicated endeavor, fraught with danger and malice.
Together, their efforts could spark a revolution -- and underscore the staggering power of friendship.
Critique: This complete and unabridged audio book edition of "The Union" by Leah Vernon is skillfully narrated by the team of Alaska Jackson, Sisi Johnson, and Kirby Heyborne. Carefully crafted science fiction with an underlying social message, "The Union" is certain to be a prized addition to both personal and community library audio book collections. (10 Hours, 43 Minutes)
Editorial Note: Leah Vernon (www.LeahVernon.com) is an author, body-positive activist, and the first international plus-size Hijabi model. During her double master's program, she started a blog about being a fat Black Muslim in Detroit experiencing everything from eating disorders to anti-Blackness. She's been featured in ads from Target to Old Navy and even made it to the New York Times and HuffPost. She currently resides in New York City. She can be followed on Instagram (@lvernon2000).
The Music CD Shelf
MP3, FLAC, $18.00, CD
Synopsis: A new digital album from the Madison, Wisconsin based group Mr. Chair, "Better Days" is comprised of 9 pieces: March; Fuchsia, ft. Buzz Kemper; Better Days; Elegy, ft. Eddie Barbash; Abandoned Cities; Appellation Spring; Britten's Written Rhythm; Fuchsia, ft. Eddie Barbash; and Uncanny Valley.
Critique: The group, Mr. Chair, is comprised is a combination of a jazz combo, string quartet, rock bank. The classically-trained musicians comprising Mr. Chair includes: Ben Farris (bass), Jose Guzman (guitar), Mark Hetzler (trombone), Mike Koszewski (drums), Jason Kutz (keyboard), Eddy Barbash (alto saxophone), and Buzz Kemper (voice and poetry). Deftly produced, "Better Days" is unabashedly recommended for both personal and community library CD Music collections.
MP3, FLAC, $10.00, CD
Synopsis: Trombonist William Carn has emerged as one of Canada's leading contemporary jazz trombonists and composers. As a bandleader, William currently leads several groups; the William Carn Quintet, his quartet Run Stop Run and his co-lead chamber nonet, the Carn Davidson NINE. He has performed and taught internationally as well as throughout Canada. "Choices" brilliantly showcases his creativity and his groups performance skills with the inclusion of seven pieces: Breath In (1:16), The Inertia of Complacency (5:37), Heroylm Slava (3:17), Get Up (6:01), Goodby Old Friend (2:12), The Gift (6:45), and Breathe Out (1:49).
Critique: An acclaimed Rath Trombone artist, William Carn (www.willamcarn.com) is also a faculty member at the University of Toronto Jazz Studies program. "Choices" deftly is brilliantly produced and showcases his work. "Choices" will have a very special appeal to fans of Contemporary Jazz -- making it an excellent and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary CD Music collections.
In the Moment
Ella & Magrus Borges
The Bossa Beat
MP3, FLAC, $18.00, CD
Synopsis: All songs comprising "In the Moment" were written and produced by Ella and Magrus Borges. Brasilian voice artist Ella Borges is possessed of a singular and memorable talent that will linger in the mind and memory of the listener as evidenced by the nine pieces that comprise her album "In The Moment". Those pieces include: Speak from the Heart (4:45); Why (3:53); Dreamer (4:14); O Tempo Traz (4:42); Forever (5:08); Show Me the Way (4:41); Estretas no ceu (4:03); Slipping Away (3:52); and What Happended to Our Love (4:12).
Critique: Beautiful, haunting, exquisite, emotionally moving, "In the Moment" is one of those albums that must be unreservedly recommended for both personal, community, and academic library CD Music collections.
MP3, FLAC, $TBA, CD
"Atlas" is comprised of ten jazz compositions and performances by Matt Greenwood (guitar), and Toronto musicians Joshua Stanberry (piano), PeterHolbrook (piano), Mike Downes (acoustic bass), Matt McCormack (electric bass), Dhaivat Jani (drums/percussion), Mark Kelso (drums), Matt Dicker (drums), James Griffith (alto saxophone), and Steve Carson (tenor saxophone).
Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe and currently residing in Toronto, Canada, Matt explores the crossover between improvisational jazz and experimental production aesthetics in ten pieces: Constellations (0.49), Dehyah (5:46), Wild Angels (4:00), From Sunshine (7:05), Campfire Ghosts (0.58), What's Left of the World (5:01), The First Mourning (4.25), Redemption (6:38), Commitment (3:33), and the title number Atlas (4:05).
Critique: With a very special appeal to sophisticated jazz enthusiasts, "Atlas" is original, inherently fascinating, beautifully recorded, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Jazz collections.
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Hollywood with a Smile
Sandra de Bruin, author
Dean Brierly, author
PO Box 71426, Albany, GA 31708
9798887710297, $35.00, HC, 218pp
Synopsis: With the assistance of Dean Brierly, "Hollywood with a Smile: My Follies and Foibles in the Film Industry" is a simply fascinating memoir by Sandra de Bruin recounting her encounters with numerous Hollywood celebrities and her life and career as a working actress who never made the A list of celebrity status herself but had a successful acting history enabling her to deliver a true 'insider' perspective to what it was like to be a supporting actress in a long term movie and television career.
Critique: With a poem for a Prologue, "Hollywood with a Smile: My Follies and Foibles in the Film Industry" is a personal and fascinating memoir that is deftly organized and presented with chapters and sections devoted to specific Hollywood celebrities ranging from Harry Belafonte, James Garner, Charleton Heston, Cher, Paul Newman, Dolly Parton, and more! Not to be missed in Chapter 18 featuring Sandra de Bruin herself -- including her experiences with auditions, commercials, and 'Off-Center Vignettes. While a treasured addition to personal, community, and academic library Cinematic History collections, it should be noted for individual reading lists that "Hollywood with a Smile" is also available in a paperback edition (9798887710280, $25.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Editorial Note: Sandra de Bruin (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0207632/bio) has appeared in over 200 television shows, several major films, many Los Angeles stage productions, numerous commercials, voice over and looping -- and danced in a production at the Los Angeles Music Center. Her informative and witty articles have appeared in several magazines, and her scripts have been optioned, bought, sold and dropped by major studios and independent producers alike. She created both the "Actor's Audition Log" and the "Performer's Workshop Log" to fulfill the organizational needs of her fellow performers from coast to coast and around the world.
The Business Shelf
Don't Start a Side Hustle!
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
9781400231409, $28.99, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: The promise of entrepreneurship is to create a lifestyle of freedom - but that pursuit often leads to a time bankrupt life. If you're an overworked employee who's done with the 9-to-5, a serial entrepreneur who has yet to realize the American dream, or currently juggling multiple side hustles and tired of the grind, Brian Page wrote "Don't Start a Side Hustle!: Work Less, Earn More, and Live Free" especially for you!
Passive income expert Brian Page will guide you step-by-step through 38 bitesize chapters that will teach you how to ditch the rat race, and instead get you on the path to enjoying the "Passivepreneur" lifestyle.
"Don't Start a Side Hustle", shows how to: Trade working your ass off in exchange for hard-working assets; Create cash flow from products, services, and even properties you don't own; Become an "income producer" instead of an "income earner"; Live a lifestyle of freedom by building a passive income empire; Follow in Brian's footsteps as he quit his job and earned a 7 figure automated income -- in just 47 days.
Critique: Don't trade your 40-hour workweek for an 80-hour a week side hustle. If you aspire to live more, work less, and earn an automatic income for you and your family, "'Don't Start a Side Hustle!: Work Less, Earn More, and Live Free" is an ideal combination of inspirational instruction guide and a real world practical DIY 'how-to' manual. While available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781400243983, $19.99) and a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Don't Start a Side Hustle!" is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Entrepreneurship, Home-Based Business, and Real Estate Investment collections.
Editorial Note: Brian Page (https://brian.page) is an author and speaker focused on passive income creation. Page is best known as the creator of the BNB Formula, the world's #1 bestselling Airbnb(TM) training with over 25,000 students in 47 countries. He is the host of the Digital Titans Podcast and the star of the reality show House Hackers.
Kogan Page Inc.
8 W 38th Street, Ste 902, New York, NY 10018
9781398607354, $105.00, HC, 248pp
Synopsis: The job of marketing is to understand, respond to and connect with consumers. Perhaps more so than any other sector it's essential that it fully embraces the diversity and nuances of society. With the publication of "Inclusive Marketing: Why Representation Matters to Your Customers and Your Brand" global marketing leader Jerry Daykin provides a practical blueprint to embedding true representation across the entire marketing process, from initial insights and briefs to the production process and channels used to launch campaigns. Doing so will not only help drive wider inclusion and positively challenge stereotypes in society but also create competitive advantage and connect you with new customers.
"Inclusive Marketing" combines clear actionable guidance with checklists, key questions and practical and personal insights from senior marketing leaders including Professor Mark Ritson and Sarah Jenkins, the MD of Saatchi & Saatchi. With a foreword by Nicola Mendelsohn (VP at Meta), it also contains examples and perspectives from iconic brands including Guinness, YouTube, Cadbury, Microsoft and Jim Beam. This is an essential resource for those working on both agency and client sides in companies of all sizes looking to unlock the power of inclusion in marketing.
Critique: A complete and comprehensive course on the subject of business branding as a marketing tool, "Inclusive Marketing: Why Representation Matters to Your Customers and Your Brand" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. Unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college, and university library Business Marketing/Branding/Sales collections, it should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and business/marketing managers that "Inclusive Marketing" is also available in a paperback edition (9781398607316, $34.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.99).
Editorial Note: Jerry Daykin is a global marketing leader who has held senior roles at brands including Beam Suntory, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Diageo and Mondelez. Based in London, UK, he is a WFA (World Federation of Advertisers) Diversity Ambassador and co-chair of its Diversity Task Force, where he created its framework for representation and inclusion. He also sits on the diversity and inclusion boards at the Advertising Association and ISBA, as well as on boards at the Conscious Advertising Network and Outvertising. A regular conference speaker, he has written for The Drum, AdWeek, Campaign, Marketing Week and The Guardian.
The Ecosystem Economy
Venkat Atluri, author
Miklos Dietz, author
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119984788, $29.95, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Ecosystem Economy: How to Lead in the New Age of Sectors Without Borders", Venkat Atluri and Miklos Dietz (two McKinsey & Company senior partners) offer an incisive and eye-opening look at the emerging ecosystem economy and what it means for companies used to familiar sector siloes.
"The Ecosystem Economy" deftly explores how the most successful companies in the new economy aren't the ones that have applied old-school best practices but, instead, have adopted entirely new mindsets and approaches for a fundamentally transforming market.
"The Ecosystem Economy" explains: Why it's so important for companies to adopt a new approach in the face of a foundationally changing economy (and what they stand to gain); How the new ecosystem economy will continue to evolve and change, dissolving the borders between the traditional sectors of the economy; A comprehensive ecosystem playbook that can be applied to firms of any size and in any sector.
As the barriers between sectors and disciplines come down, organizations everywhere will need to reshape their thinking about value propositions, competition, partnership, organizational and operating models, and performance management. "The Ecosystem Economy" is your personal roadmap to navigating that new world of global commerce.
Critique: "The Ecosystem Economy: How to Lead in the New Age of Sectors Without Borders" is especially commended to the attention of business managers, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs seeking effective new strategies and practical approaches for markets that bear little resemblance to the predecessors. While an essential and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Business Management, Corporate Leadership, and Entrpreneurial collections, it should be noted for MBA students, academia, business professionals, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Ecosystem Economy: How to Lead in the New Age of Sectors Without Borders" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.00).
Editorial Note #1: Venkat Ailuri (https://www.mckinsey.com/our-people/venkat-atluri) is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he leads the firm's global Technology & Telecommunications Practice. In addition he serves clients in the high-tech, media and telecommunications, advanced industries, and consumer sectors by partnering with management teams and boards to create value through performance transformation, programmatic M&A and new business building. Prior to joining McKinsey, Atluri held leadership roles at General Electric and 3M.
Editorial Note #2: Miklos Dietz (https://www.mckinsey.com/our-people/miklos-dietz) is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company. He leads McKinsey's banking strategy and innovation work globally and is the managing partner of the Vancouver office. He is the founder/chair of the Panorama research group and the Ecosystem Hub, and has served over 450 clients in 40+ countries across multiple industries. Prior to joining McKinsey, he worked at Merrill Lynch and Reuters.
From Start-Up to Grown-Up
Kogan Page Inc.
8 W 38th Street, Ste 902, New York, NY 10018
9781398601406, $98.00, HC, 280pp
Synopsis: Every start-up entrepreneurial founder feels overwhelmed and uncertain at various times. The key to managing the relentless turmoil of a start-up is learning to manage yourself.
With the publication of "From Start-Up to Grown-Up: Grow Your Leadership to Grow Your Business", Alisa Cohn shares all that she has gained from helping companies such as Etsy, Foursquare, InVision and The Wirecutter become headline names. Growth of your company begins with growth within you.
"From Start-Up to Grown-Up" provides you with effective and practical ways of maximizing your strengths, defusing your triggers, controlling your self-doubt and building on your motivators. With these self-management tools, you can then turn your attention to managing your team by ensuring the flow of communication and finding the joy of delegation and the soul in meetings.
Finally, with "From Start-Up to Grown-Up" you will gain practical tools for managing the company and ensuring overall effectiveness of your team and strategy, using specific scripts you need to have delicate or difficult conversations.
Filled with stories drawn from the author's experience, "From Start-Up to Grown-Up" helps you build a company with a set of core values that everybody lives by and where everyone shares a vision of where the company is going and how to get there.
Critique: Whether a newly aspiring entrepreneur launching an enterprise for the first time, or a seasoned and experienced business manager or corporate executive, "From Start-Up to Grown-Up: Grow Your Leadership to Grow Your Business" will prove to be an invaluable, instructive, and inspiring read. Available for personal reading lists in both a paperback edition ( 9781398601383, $29.95) and a digital book format (Kindle, $23.02), "From Start-Up to Grown-Up: Grow Your Leadership to Grow Your Business" will prove to be an immediate and welcome addition to professional, community, corporate, and academic library Business Management & Leadership collections.
Editorial Note: Alisa Cohn (https://www.alisacohn.com) is an executive coach based in New York, NY who helps start-up founders mature into world-class CEOs. She has coached companies such as Etsy, Foursquare, Venmo, InVision, Tory Burch, Mack Weldon and The Wirecutter. She was named the #1 Startup Coach in the world at the 2019 Thinkers50 Marshall Goldsmith Coaching Awards in London and one of the Top 30 Global Gurus for Startups of 2020. She was also name one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers by Inc Magazine, and has spoken at places such as Cela (the largest gathering of tech accelerators in the world), the OpenView CEO Summit, and the IBM Digital Summit. She is also the executive coach for the Runway Accelerator Program at Cornell Tech and serves on the Entrepreneurial Advisory Council of Cornell. She writes regularly for Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Inc.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Source Magic: The Origin of Art, Science, and Culture
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644115015, $22.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Since the dawn of time, magic has been the node around which all human activities and culture revolve. As magic entered the development of science, art, philosophy, religion, myth, and psychology, it still retained its essence: that we have a dynamic connection with all other forms of life.
Exploring the source magic that flows beneath the surface of culture and occulture throughout the ages, with the publication of "Source Magic: The Origin of Art, Science, and Culture", Carl Abrahamsson offers a "magical-anthropological" journey from ancient Norse shamanism to the modern magick of occultists like Genesis P-Orridge. He looks at how human beings relate to and are naturally attracted to magic. He examines in depth the consequences of magical practice and how the attraction to magic can be corrupted by both religious organizations and occult societies. He shows how the positive effects of magic are instinctively grasped by children, who view the world as magical.
"Source Magic" also looks at magic and occulture as they relate to psychedelics, Witchcraft, shamanism, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY), the panic rituals of the Master Musicians of Joujouka in Morocco, psychological individuation processes, literary "magical realism," and the cut-up technique of Beat icons like William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. He explores the similarities in psychology between poet Ezra Pound and magician Austin Osman Spare. He looks at the Scandinavian Fenris Wolf as a mythic force and how personal pilgrimages can greatly enrich our lives. He also examines the philosophy of German author Ernst Jünger, the magical techniques of British filmmaker Derek Jarman, and the quintessential importance of accepting our own mortality.
Sharing his more than 30 years of experiences in the fields of occulture and magical anthropology, Carl Abrahamsson explores ancient and modern magical history to reveal the source magic that connects us all, past and present.
Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented study, "Source Magic: The Origin of Art, Science, and Culture" is certain to have great appeal for students of metaphysics and magic. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99), "Source Magic: The Origin of Art, Science, and Culture" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to professional, community, and academic library Wicca, Magic Studies, and Cultural Anthropology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Carl Abrahamsson (https://www.carlabrahamsson.com) is a writer, publisher, magico-anthropologist, and filmmaker. He is the author of "Occulture, Reasonances", and "Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan", as well as the editor and publisher of the irregular anthology of occulture, The Fenris Wolf. He currently resided in Smaland, Sweden.
The Tales Behind Tarot
Alison Davies, author
Leaping Hare Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9780711280663, $29.00, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Tales Behind Tarot: Discover the stories within your tarot cards", storyteller, tarot reader and teacher, Alison Davie provides a very special introduction to the tarot in the form of 78 unforgettable tales behind all the cards in the modern tarot deck.
Every tarot card has a story to tell and is rich in symbolic meaning. In this gorgeous volume which will be of value to aspiring and experienced tarot readers alike, expert practitioner Alison Davies brings these stories of the cards alive.
With key words and themes to help you understand the meanings of the cards, Tarot enthusiasts and practitioners can utilize this magnificent storybook as a tool to learn the tarot, or take their tarot readings to the next level.
The stories comprising "The Teales Behind Tarot" give us context, context gives us knowledge, and knowledge is empowerment as we learn to understand, decode, and apply the wisdom and meaning of the tarot in our lives through the power of these stories.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "The Tales Behind Tarot: Discover the stories within your tarot cards" is a unique and welcome addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Tarot instructional reference collections in particular.
Editorial Note: Alison Davies (https://www.alysondavies.com/about) lives in Norwich, and runs workshops at universities throughout the UK showing academics, students and early years practitioners how stories and narratives can be used as tools for teaching, healing and learning.
The Karmic Birthday Book
Monte Farber, author
Amy Zerner, illustrator
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
9780760377239, $35.00, PB, 392pp
Synopsis: Drawing on their enchanted psychic abilities, with the publication of "The Karmic Birthday Book: Discover the Meaning and Magic of the Day You Were Born", renowned psychics Amy Zerner and Monte Farber present a fun and easy way to use birth dates to gain insight into our true selves.
For each birthday, Zerner and Farber have included five perceptive entries: PERSONALITY (this identifies, evaluates, and helps you understand the true nature of a person through the patterns revealed in their birth date); DESTINY (this is like a castle being built, stone by stone - it is where the person is heading in this life); LIFE PATH (this is how one achieves destiny, including the lessons they must learn so they can then help and teach others); KARMIC LESSONS (these are what are encountered on the journey along one's life path); SECRETS (offering insights designed to help readers discover hidden talents and character traits based on the day they were born).
Each birthday includes a profound quote with special meaning for those born on that day, as well as a list of famous people who share the birthday and space to add significant people in the your own life who have that birthday. "The Karmic Birthday Book" is an engaging and interactive guide will prove enjoyable, informative, and useful as you navigate your relationships and tune into your true self. Indeed, "The Karmic Birthday Book: will unlock the secret of your birth date and guide you along your true life path, teaching you a karmic lesson and opening the door to your destiny.
Critique: Fun, informative, thought-provoking, insight providing, well organized, accessibly presented, "The Karmic Birthday Book: Discover the Meaning and Magic of the Day You Were Born" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and professional Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted that "The Karmic Birthday Book" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).
Editorial Note: Monte Farber, in partnership with his wife Amy Zerner, are a best-selling husband-and-wife team whose many projects have sold millions of copies worldwide. Their expertise and straightforward but lighthearted approach to oracular wisdom is highly sought after, and Amy's work is in the collections of numerous corporations and prominent individuals like Shirley MacLaine, Oprah, and Martha Stewart. Together they have been guests on morning shows like ABC TV's Eyewitness News Sunday, FOX TV's "Good Day" shows for New York, L.A., Atlanta, and Detroit. Join them at www.theenchantedworld.com.
The Art Shelf
Women Street Artists
Alessandra Mattanza, author
9783791388953, $39.95, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: If street graffiti and mural art is, in itself, an act of rebellion, it is tragically ironic that the genre seems dominated by men. With the publication of "Women Street Artists: 24 Contemporary Graffiti and Mural Artists from around the World" by journalist Alessandra Mattanza takes an important first step in shedding light on the substantial number of women who are gaining fame in the street art world. She brings together the work of 24 artists, through dazzling photographs of their work and intimate portraits of their lives based on her interviews with them.
On walls, sidewalks, prison cells, grain silos and other nontraditional canvases, these are artists who tackle ideas around empowerment, feminism, the pink revolution, body shaming and body imagery, racism, and the climate crisis. From Oklahoma City and Brooklyn, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh makes site specific work that considers how people experience race and gender within their surrounding environments.
South African multidisciplinary artist Faith XLVII imbues her narratives with a longing for a deeper connection to nature, and a resurrection of the divine feminine. Italy's Camilla Falsini incorporates joyful, bold colors and simple shapes to deliver serious messages about the environment. Shamsia Hassani, one of Afghanistan's first female street artists, makes vibrant murals and paintings in which women play musical instruments as a vehicle for self-expression.
Bursting with colorful photographs of works in situ as well as in detail, this thrilling and incisive and massively illustrated volume proves that street art is not only female -- it's the essence of conceptual rebellion itself!
Critique: An impressive coffee-table style (9.38 x 1.1 x 12.13 inches, 3.88 pounds) volume showcasing the work of 24 contemporary female graffiti and mural artists from around the world, "Women Street Artists" is informatively enhanced with a Foreword by Stephanie Utz (founder of the Munich based Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art) and an inherently fascinating study that is a unique, prized, and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Art History and Graffiti/Street Art/Pop Culture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Alessandra Mattanza (https://alessandramattanza.com) is a foreign correspondent, contributor, and editor for several publishers in Italy and Germany. Her previous books are "Street Art: Famous Artists Talk About Their Vision" and "Banksy".
The Gardening Shelf
The Good Garden
2000 M St NW Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
9781642832150, $35.00, PB, 312pp
Synopsis: What makes a garden good? For Chris McLaughlin, it's about growing the healthiest, most scrumptious fruits and veggies possible, but it's also about giving back. How can your little patch of Earth become a sanctuary for threatened wildlife, sequester carbon, and nurture native plants?
With the publication of "The Good Garden: How to Nurture Pollinators, Soil, Native Wildlife, and Healthy Food -- All in Your Own Backyard" McLaughlin gives you all the tricks and tips you need to grow the sustainable garden of your dreams.
Drawing from established traditions, such as permaculture and French intensive gardening, and McLaughlin's hard-earned experience, "The Good Garden" is a joyful guide for gardening newbies and experienced gardeners alike. It will teach you the fundamentals, including how to choose the right plant varieties for your microclimate, and proven methods to fight pests without chemicals. You will also discover the nuances of developing a green thumb, from picking species to attract specific types of pollinators to composting techniques based on time available.
Lovely and instructive four-color photography will show you good gardening in action.
Most importantly, "The Good Garden" will help you foster a sense of meaning in your garden. Maybe the goal is to reduce food miles and plastic waste by growing delicious berries. Maybe it's to meet neighbors who also care about the planet through a seed-swap. Maybe it's a quiet moment patting the bunny whose manure will replace toxic fertilizers in the soil. A good garden offers endless possibilities and "The Good Garden" offers a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.
Critique: Exceptionally and impressively well written, organized, illustrated and presented, "The Good Garden: How to Nurture Pollinators, Soil, Native Wildlife, and Healthy Food -- All in Your Own Backyard" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY instructional guide for gardening in all manner of circumstances -- and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library DIY gardening collections.
Editorial Note: Chris McLaughlin (https://www.treehugger.com/chris-mclaughlin-5202688) has been gardening and studying plants for over thirty-five years. She is the author of eight previous books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables, Hobby Farms: Small-Space Rabbit Keeping, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Small-Space Gardening, Vertical Vegetable Gardening, A Garden to Dye For, Growing Heirloom Flowers, and Raising Animals for Fiber.
Birds and Blooms Backyard Basics
Birds & Blooms, editor
Enthusiast Brands LLC
c/o Trusted Media Brand
9781621458784, $19.99, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: A compendium of more than 300 Q&As about the birds, butterflies and plants in your landscape, "Birds and Blooms Backyard Basics" provides answers to everything you've ever needed to know about the birds, butterflies and plants in your landscape.
With the illustrated pages of "Birds and Blooms Backyard Basics" experts offer simple solutions and professional advice for common dilemmas including: Why do birds hit my windows?; How do I get rid of garlic mustard?; Why won't my wisteria bloom?; Do the same hummingbirds return to my garden each year?
Of special note are the sections in "Birds and Blooms Backyard Basics" that reveal fascinating facts about birds, butterflies, and bees, quick fixes for poor soil, the top 10 plants for fragrance, and much more.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with color photography throughout, and with more than 300 Q&As on topics from bird and plant identification to how to control garden pests, this coffee-table style paperback volume of "Birds and Blooms Backyard Basics" is essential for any backyard and outdoor enthusiast with an interest in the biology of wildlife in general, and the promotion of 'bird friendly' gardening and landscaping. While a critically important and core addition to personal, professional, and community library collections, it should be noted that "Birds and Blooms Backyard Basics" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
The Architecture Shelf
Barns of the St Croix Valley: An Architect's Sketchbook
Jim Lammers, FAIA
9781954081673, $24.95, PB, 136pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Barns of the St Croix Valley: An Architect's Sketchbook", architect Jim Lammers grounds you in the geography, geology and biology of the region and introduces you to its original inhabitants, the Dakota and Ojibwe peoples, European explorers, fur traders and loggers and the settlers that followed them. It is a celebration of regional diversity and architectural expression through a single type of building -- the barn.
Critique: Informatively illustrated with 200 barn sketches, diagrams, and maps, "Barns of the St Croix Valley: An Architect's Sketchbook" is a visual journey showcasing the many and varied barns to be found throughout the Wisconsin/Minnesota St Croix River Valley. A pleasure to browse through one page at a time, "Barns of the St Croix Valley: An Architect's Sketchbook" is recommended for professional and academic library American Architectural History collections -- as well as the personal reading lists of Wisconsin/Minnesota barn enthusiasts.
Editorial Note: Jim Lammers (https://jimsketcher.com) was trained as an architect back when freehand sketching was an integral part of the curriculum. He is a tireless writer and relentless sketcher. Jim has been published in professional journals, and his sketches have been exhibited at fine art venues. His first book, "Capture the Moment: An Architect's Guide to Travel Sketching" has been published by ORO Editions. Jim also teaches sketching at Marine Mills Folk Art School.
Unidentified Flying Object for Contemporary Architecture
Beatrice Lampariello, editor
Andrea Anselmo, editor
Boris Hamzeian, editor
c/o Actar Publishers
440 Park Avenue S, 17th FL, New York, NY 10016
9781638409922, $34.95, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: The contemporary context is defined by a unique conjuncture. On one hand, we witness the revival of the Radical Architecture that from the avant-garde experiments of the origins recovers creative processes and iconographic fragments while nullifying the original ideological and political values. On the other hand, we see social protests in defense of fundamental rights of democracy, as in 1968. With these premises, Architecture is now reinvestigating those ephemeral experiments that have endured half a century as new "stone monuments" capable of indicating new perspectives for both research and design.
Placing UFO group, one of the authors of those still poorly known "monuments", at the core of the contemporary debate means investigating their formal and seductive aspects, but also the ideological, political and social values with which objects, installations and happenings have been innervated, transforming them into devices of an architecture nourished by literature, art and political commitment for the foundation of an eloquent and activist project even more radical than the well-known Superstudio and Archizoom.
The collaboration between Beatrice Lampariello, an architecture historian specialized in the 1960s and 1970s, and False Mirror Office, a group of historians and designers engaged in the rediscovery of UFO group, has led to this monograph which focuses on the UFO's work and an evaluation of their legacy relative to contemporary architecture.
Co-edited by the team of Beatrice Lampariello (Architect and Professor of History of Architecture at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, BE), Anna Rosellini (Professor of History of Architecture at the University of Bologna, IT), and Ecole d'architecture de la ville & des territoires Paris-Est, FR, and False Mirror Office (Andrea Anselmo, Gloria Castellini, Filippo Fanciotti, Giovanni Glorialanza, Boris Hamzeian), design and research group, Genoa, Lausanne, Brussels, IT, CH, BE., "Unidentified Flying Object for Contemporary Architecture: UFO's Experiments Between Political Activism and Artistic Avant-garde" composed of three sections:
1) History, a first-ever study of UFO by False Mirror Office via analysis of all archival and bibliographic sources, as well as a series of interviews with UFO members and a collection of its writings (published and unpublished), for the first time translated into English.
2) Context, composed of essays by historians and architectural theorists (Beatrice Lampariello, Simon Sadler, Anna Rosellini, Giovanni Galli, Jacopo Galimberti) intended to place UFO's work in the context of the avant-garde that influenced its work, from the experience of Florentine Radical Architecture to Umberto Eco's theories on semiotics and the American experiences between Pop Art, Video Art and Happening.
3) Legacy, articulated through graphic contribution and essays by young designers, as False Mirror Office, Parasite 2.0, Point Supreme, Jimenez Lai, Andrew Kovacs, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Traumnovelle, (ab)Normal and Peter Behrbohm, to investigate UFO's legacy relative to the contemporary revival of the most distinguishing creative processes and obsessions that shaped the so-called Radical Architecture.
Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a ten page Bibliography, seven pages of Biographical Notes, and a one page listing of Credits, "Unidentified Flying Object for Contemporary Architecture: UFO's Experiments Between Political Activism and Artistic Avant-garde" is the first monographic publication focused on the Florentine UFO group (1968-1978), that conducts a historical analysis of its work, reveals its close relationship with the contemporary artistic, literary and architectural avant-garde and, finally, investigates its legacy for the contemporary project. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.95), "Unidentified Flying Object for Contemporary Architecture" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, corporate, college, and university library Architectural Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: The contributors to "Unidentified Flying Object for Contemporary Architecture" include: Beatrice Lampariello, Boris Hamzeian and Andrea Anselmo (False Mirror Office), Gloria Castellini (False Mirror Office), Simon Sadler, Anna Rosellini, Giovanni Galli, Jacopo Galimberti, Filippo Fanciotti and Giovanni Glorialanza (False Mirror Office), Parasite 2.0, Point Supreme, Jimenez Lai (Bureau Spectacular), Andrew Kovacs, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Traumnovelle, (ab)Normal, Peter Behrbohm
The Self-Help Shelf
Happy Money Happy Life
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781394171262, $27.95, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Happy Money Happy Life: A Multidimensional Approach to Health, Wealth, and Financial Freedom", writer, speaker, and entrepreneur Jason Vitug delivers an exciting and practical discussion at the intersection of our mental and emotional health and our money.
"Happy Money Happy Life" explores the importance of physical and spiritual wellbeing, the interconnectedness of environmental comfort, meaningful work, and social connections as you learn to live a healthier, wealthier, and happier life. With insightful data from happiness research, you will understand how money weaves itself into every aspect of your life and how you can masterfully use it to choose happiness.
"Happy Money Happy Life" features: Descriptions of the 8 dimensions of wellness and a hands-on framework you can use to achieve your financial and life goals; 4 key principles to living a happier life; A holistic strategy for transforming your relationship with money into one that improves every apect of your wellbeing.
Critique: An indispensable roadmap to mental strength, physical health, financial success, and emotional intelligence, "Happy Money Happy Life: A Multidimensional Approach to Health, Wealth, and Financial Freedom" is an ideal DIY instructional guide for professionals, managers, workers, executives, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers who are ready to explore the possibility that life is about joy and happiness, not merely titles and salaries. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Happy Money Happy Life" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Financial Management collections.
Editorial Note: Jason Vitug (https://www.jasonvitug.com) is an award-winning creator, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and producer. He is also the founder of the personal finance website www.phroogal.com and the creator of the Road to Financial Wellness. Additionally, he is the author of You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.
The Automotive Shelf
Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Accessories
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613257500, $34.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: It is well documented that the Volkswagen Beetle is the best-selling vehicle of all time. In 1972, the 15-millionth Beetle was produced, breaking the record set by the Model T about 40 years earlier. It was a simple design with styling that appealed to the masses. It was affordable, practical, and fun. Because it was such a simple car and so many were sold, many people enjoy customizing their car with many accessories, which has been a large market for these cars dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. There is even a market today for people who collect these accessories without installing them.
In "Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Accessories", which is authored by veteran VW historian Stephan Szantai, a whole range of accessories are covered. Of course, a history of the Beetle is detailed, as well as the companies that formed the accessory aftermarket. Included are accessories for dressing up the exterior of the car, such as vented windows, bumpers and guards, turn-signal technology, add-on lighting, mirrors, etc. Then, interior accessories are examined, such as radios, ashtrays, gloveboxes, gauges, and clocks. No accessories book would be complete without engine accessories, covering both dress-up options and functional performance parts. Travel accessories, such as roof racks, coolers, extended gas tanks, tail racks, and coffee makers are detailed. Wheels are also covered.
A gallery of accessorized Volkswagens of all types are featured, including Type 2 Buses; Type 3 squarebacks, fastbacks, and coupes; Karmen Ghias; and even single- and double-cab pickup bodystyles are included. Join the fun and nostalgic romp through VW accessory history with this new title that features everything cool about customizing your VW.
Critique: With the publication of "Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Accessories", VW expert Stephan Szantai takes a fun and nostalgic look at the world of Volkswagen accessories. Informatively and profusely illustrated throughout, "Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Accessories" is an inspiring delight to simply browse through, one informative page at a time. Expertly written, organized and presented, "Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Accessories" is a 'must' for the legions of VW owners, and a highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Automotive History collections.
Editorial Note: Born and raised in France to a German mother and a Hungarian father, Stephan Szantai (https://www.motortrend.com/staff/stephan-szantai) has had a deep interest in automobiles for longer than he can remember. Regular childhood trips to Germany to visit an aunt who drove a 1971 Beetle sealed his fondness for air-cooled VWs. A fascination for car magazines led to Stephan's first article being published in France's then-new Super VW Magazine in 1987. Five years later, a business opportunity prompted him to move to Southern California, a region with a rich car culture. For more than two decades now, Stephan's writing career has produced 2,500 articles printed in nearly 100 automotive magazines based in 17 countries. Old Volkswagens remain part of his life today thanks to both his involvement with the scene and the 2.3L 1957 Beetle he purchased in 1993.
The Photography Shelf
Venice from the Skies
Riccardo Roiter, photographer
Debora Gusson, photographer
9782361955748, $49.95, HC, 240pp
Synopsis: "Venice from the Sky" is a magnificent full color photographic images by Riccardo Roiter Rigoni and Debora Gusson and the fruit of their five years of regular flying by helicopter over Venice and its Lagoon.
The flights were not confined to the city of Venice, but included all the islands of the splendid Lagoon, from Torcello to Burano, by way of Murano, as well as the wonderful island of San Francesco del Deserto, the military defences in the southern part of the Lagoon, the Lido and Pellestrina, not to mention the many now abandoned islands, large and small, located in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Critique: An impressive compendium of full page, full color, and truly impressive aerial photographs, each of which is accompanied by informative commentaries, "Venice from the Sky" would well serve as a template for similar aerial photography projects showcasing other historic cities and landscapes. A pleasure to simply browse through one page at a time, "Venice from the Sky" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Aerial & Landscape Photography collections.
Editorial Note: Riccardo Roiter Rigoni is a native of Venice, Italy, who has worked as a photographer since 2001. He has been a contributor to a range of books, magazines, and newspapers and is the author of the books, "Venezia Sensation" (2008), and "Venice Timeless Moments" (2012). He shot the world's first photo of a mask over the Venetian sky. "Every photograph is like a bag full of letters with different recipients," Rigoni says. "The photographer is only the postman". (https://craftsmanship.net/contributor/riccardo-roiter-rigoni)
Equivalents: Scott Mead
Scott Mead, photographer
Brad Leithauser, contributor
9783791386553, $50.00, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: In his previous photography book, "Above the Clouds", Scott Mead contemplated the endless horizons outside of a plane's window and the inner and outer journeys they bring about.
Now with the publication of "Equivalents", Mead turns his gaze back to earth, where the view is just as extraordinary.
Inspired by William Eggleston, Mead's former teacher, "Equivalents" is comprised of a series of paired photographs focuses on composition, texture, light, shadows, and color to show how nature and the built world can mirror and contain each other. Although not always immediately obvious, the qualities these images share and the relationships between them help us see the world with a new perspective, with results that are in turn evocative, exhilarating, and lyrical.
Writer and poet Brad Leithauser's thoughtful and reflective introduction sheds additional light on the complex and joyous interaction between the photographs and the emotions they create.
Critique: A fascinating photographic compendium of paired images that is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Photography collections, it should be noted that all royalties from the sale of "Equivalents: Scott Mead" from Prestell Publishing will be donated to the Ukraine Relief Effort.
Editorial Note: Scott Mead (https://scottmeadfineartphotography.com) is an American-born photographer and philanthropist living in London. A photographer for many years before a career in investment banking, he returned to photography over ten years ago after rediscovering boxes in his attic of his large-format negatives and prints, unopened for decades. Numerous exhibitions and group shows have since followed, and his works are held in many private and institutional collections around the world. His previous book is Above the Clouds (by Prestel).
The Sports Shelf
The Swim Prescription
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
9781578268467, $20.00, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: Whether you swim competitively, to get fit, to stay healthy, or just swim for fun, "The Swim Prescription: How Swimming Can Improve Your Mood, Restore Health, Increase Physical Fitness and Revitalize Your Life" is the all-in-one guide to everything this incredible sport has to offer.
"The Swim Prescription" is the authoritative reference on all aspects of swimming for health, including: Detailed explanations of how swimming benefits various health conditions; Step-by-step instructions on how to incorporate swimming into any lifestyle; Helpful tips on swimming equipment - what you should and shouldn't buy; Three full 12-week workout courses designed for any skill level; Key points for advanced topics including nutrition, strength training and more.
Swimming is regenerative, beneficial and one of the easiest and most affordable way to rebuild and maintain your fitness. Perfect for all ages and fitness levels, "The Swim Prescription" unlocks the power of swimming and makes it accessible for everyone.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Swim Prescription: How Swimming Can Improve Your Mood, Restore Health, Increase Physical Fitness and Revitalize Your Life" by Alexander Hutchison is the complete guide to swimming for overall fitness and health. While a unique and very highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Sports Training, Physical Fitness, and Stretching Exercise collections in general, and Swimming Instruction/Exercise personal reading lists in particular, it should be noted that this thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction guide is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Alexander Hutchison, PhD, is a fitness and wellness expert in Dallas, Texas and the owner of The Athlete Company. He is also the Senior Editor for the journal Advanced Biology, and has experience coaching swimming, water polo, triathlon, marathon, and most recently, strength and conditioning. After completing his master's degree in Kinesiology at Texas A&M University, Alexander was named the head swimming coach at Austin College. He received his doctorate in Exercise Physiology and Immunology at the University of Houston. He reviews for several journals in exercise science, nutrition, and immunology, and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. He is also the author of Exercise Ain't Enough: HIIT, Honey, and the Hadza.
The Humor Shelf
Wildlife for Idiots: And Other Animal Cartoons
9781550179323, $16.99, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Wildlife for Idiots: And Other Animal Cartoons", Candian cartoonist Adrian Raeside offers a new collection of wildly funny animal-themed cartoons.
Readers should be prepared to walk on the wild side with 340 full-color Raeside cartoons, now collected for the first time into a single volume. Here is a menagerie of garbage-rummaging bears, squabbling eagles, philosophizing wolves, pre-handbag alligators, artistic elephants, shedding mammoths and many more from the animal kingdom.
Critique: Laugh out loud funny from cover to cover, "Wildlife for Idiots: And Other Animal Cartoons" if a fun (and occasionally thought-provoking) read and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Humor/Cartoon collections.
Editorial Note: Adrian Raeside (https://raesidecartoon.com/adrian-raeside) is the creator of the popular The Other Coast comic strip, which appears in over two hundred newspapers. Besides being an editorial cartoonist for four decades, Raeside is also the author of over twenty books, including The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit to Pet Paradise, Tails Don't Lie 1 & 2 and The World According to Dogs, An Owner's Manual. He currently resides on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
The Music Shelf
Out in L.A.: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1983
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781641608015, $30.00, HC, 336pp
Synopsis: The Red Hot Chili Peppers were going to be a one-time act for a friend's album release party. Forty years later the funk rock band is arguably one of the best known and the longest running in the United States.
Everything that happened in 1983 set the course for the rest of the band's career. The scrappy band quickly rose to scene-wide fame, playing all over Los Angeles and gaining fans and media attention wherever they performed. Before the year was out, they had played approximately thirty shows, put together an early, beloved repertoire, recorded a blistering demo that secured them a recording contract with EMI/Enigma, and lost two of their founding members to a rival band.
With the publication of "Out in L.A.: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1983" by the band's founder, Hamish Duncan reveals exactly what happened during that first year and explores what it was that made the Red Hot Chili Peppers so compelling and so fresh, even as they continue on their musical journey to this very today.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, "Out in L.A.: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1983" is exceptionally informative, impressively insightful, very well written and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library American Popular/Rock Music & Musicians collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Out in L.A.: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1983" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: Currently residing in Sydney, Australia, Hamish Duncan is the founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers Sessions Archive website (www.rhcpsessions.com) and is also the editor of Red Hot Chili Peppers Live Archive (www.rhcplivearchive.com).
The Parenting Shelf
What to Do About Your Troubled Child
Laura J. Stevens, author
Richard W. Walker Jr., author
Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY 11040
9780757005145, $17.95, PB, 256pp
Synopsis: As children grow, there may be times when their behavior seems out of place or troubling. When there is a recurrent pattern of one or more of these types of behavior, something may be wrong. As a parent, if you have noticed something "off" about the way your child has been acting, perhaps it's time to take a closer look at what might actually be going on -- before it gets worse.
"What to Do About Your Troubled Child: A Practical Guide for All Parents at Their Wits' End" by Laura J. Stevens and Richard W. Walker is specifically designed to provide you with the information you need to get to the bottom of the mystery. If a behavioral disorder is caught early enough and treated correctly, it can be greatly lessened or even eliminated. Unfortunately, many behavioral problems in children go undiagnosed for so long that they progress beyond the possibility of improvement.
"What to Do About Your Troubled Child" is divided into two parts. Part One looks at six of the most common behavioral disorders: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Anxiety Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder. Each chapter focuses on one disorder and includes a list of questions intended to determine if your child exhibits enough of the tendencies associated with this disorder to warrant a closer look. It then describes the symptoms and risk factors of the problem, how it may be professionally diagnosed, and traditional means of treatment, which include therapy and medication.
Part Two offers a detailed look at complementary approaches to treatment, such as lifestyle changes, nutrition, beneficial programs, and helpful devices.
Telling yourself that your child is bound to grow out of a certain pattern of behavior may be causing you to ignore the signs of a serious issue -- one that should be addressed. By the time your child reaches adolescence, the disorder may be too far gone. Now is the time for you to understand and do something about it. Now is the time to let "What to Do About Your Troubled Child" be your guide.
Critique: Thoroughly 'parent friendly' in organization and presentation, "What to Do About Your Troubled Child: A Practical Guide for All Parents at Their Wits' End" must be considered essential reading for any parent with a child exhibiting emotional, behavioral, or social problems, including stress and depression. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "What to Do About Your Troubled Child: A Practical Guide for All Parents at Their Wits' End" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, counseling center, and academic library Parenting and Child Psychology collections.
Editorial Note #1: Laura J. Stevens, MSci, received her master's degree in nutrition science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Since graduation, she has worked at Purdue as a researcher, investigating the relationship between diet and health disorders. Apart from her work at Purdue, Laura is the author of eight books on diet, behavior, and allergies. Laura lives with her amazing cats, Bentley and Seis, in Lafayette, Indiana.
Editorial Note #2: Richard W. Walker, Jr., MD, MBA received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and completed his residency at the University of Michigan. He earned his MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute. He has served on the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Center, and is the founder and CEO of Walker Health Care Holdings and TVP-Care, Houston-based national healthcare companies. In addition to being a published writer, Dr. Walker is a highly sought-after speaker.
Holding On While Letting Go
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757324239, $16.95, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Parenting a teenager is not for the faint of heart. It is during these roller-coaster years of adolescence that frustrated parents find themselves at their wits' end, barely even recognizing their offspring as they move through the teen years.
With the publication of "Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence", Carl Pickhardt, a Harvard-trained psychologist and the voice of reason behind Psychology Today's advice column, "Surviving (Your Child's) Adolescence," shares critical insights and practical tools that parents need to know as their children move through the teen years toward independence and adulthood.
There's a reason the road is rocky -- it's supposed to be. Children must pass through "four unfolding freedoms" in order to become competent, independent, and confident adults. How easily parents can navigate these twists and turns with less hand-holding, angst, and hitting the brakes directly correlates to how successful their children will be.
The four unfolding freedoms are: Freedom from rejection of childhood, around the late elementary school years, when they want to stop acting and being treated as children anymore; Freedom of association with peers, around the middle school years, when they want to form a second family of friends; Freedom for older experimentation, around the high school years, when they want to try more grown-up activities; Freedom to claim emancipation, around the college age years, when they decide to become their own ruling authority.
With each successive push for freedom, both parents and teens need to learn how to do less holding on to each other while doing more letting go. Dr. Carl Pickhardt will show them the way with compassion, experience, and time-tested guidance.
Critique: As 'real world practical' as it is informative, insightful, and 'parent friendly' in organization and presentation, "Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Parenting Instructional Reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Carl Pickhardt (www.carlpickhardt.com) is a noted psychologist, speaker, and parenting expert, now retired from private counseling practice. He received his B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the American and Texas Psychological Associations. He writes a popular parenting advice column for Psychology Today and has writtten some of the most practical and helpful books about important parenting issues, including: The Connected Father; Stop the Screaming, The Future of Your Only Child and Why Good Kids Act Cruel. A prolific author, he continues to write three distinct kinds of books: illustrated psychology, of coming of age fiction, and of nonfiction parenting advice.
The Woodworking Shelf
Fine Woodworking Editors
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781641551205, $29.99, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: As a publisher, Fine Woodworking has been producing the best woodworking information for small shop woodworkers since 1975. "Workbenches: Build The Ideal Bench" by their editorial staff is just the latest of their DIY titles for novice and experienced woodworkers.
A good, sturdy workbench is at the heart of any woodshop, and every woodworker needs one to hold and support work for everything from stock preparation to finishing. "Workbenches" is comprised of 'how to' articles from Fine Woodworking magazine and provides woodworkers all the advice they need, whether considering a starter model, a small bench, or a full-scale workbench that will last for decades.
"Workbenches" showcases a classic Shaker bench, a basic bench with built-in storage, and a mini-bench that has all the features of a full-size bench. Besides the bench itself, woodworkers also need accessories to hold workpieces on the benchtop for planing, chiseling, sawing, and many other tasks, using vises and wooden clamps, bench hooks and saw hooks, holdfasts and handscrews.
Of special note are the chapters on tool storage, workbench tips, and techniques at the bench round out the collection for a complete guide to the workbench.
With such a wide range of workbenches and workbench accessories represented, "Workbenches" will appeal to all woodworkers from newbies just setting up shop to veterans looking to upgrade their current workbench.
Critique: Instructively illustrated throughout and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Workbenches: Build The Ideal Bench" is an ideal DIY instruction guide for workbench creation projects and an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, highschool woodshop, and technical college library collections.
The Jobs/Careers Shelf
A Preparation Guide for the Assessment Center Method, third edition
Tina Lewis Rowe
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
9780398093945, $49.95, Spiral Bound PB, 276pp
Synopsis: This newly updated and expanded third edition of "A Preparation Guide for the Assessment Center Method" by Tina Lewis Rowe has the honesty, humor and interesting perspectives that made the previous editions so enjoyable to read and easy to understand.
In addition, every chapter has been refreshed and renewed with tips, techniques and insights that will help candidates use assessment center exercises to demonstrate their readiness for the rank and role they seek. Chapter Three, What Is Your Assessment Center Challenge? and Chapter Six, Three Characteristics of a High Caliber Candidate, are completely new. They reflect decades of observation and analysis and will provide insights and guidance not found in any other training or text.
The entirety of "A Preparation Guide for the Assessment Center Method" is focused on improving the law enforcement profession by helping promotional candidates prepare to be effective in their preparation and testing, then effective on the job as they develop as coaches and leaders.
Critique: Spiral bound to allow it to fold out easily on a desk, comprehensive, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "A Preparation Guide for the Assessment Center Method" is an ideal textbook and essential reading for those who are preparing to engage in assessment center evaluations to further their professional career in law enforcement. "A Preparation Guide for the Assessment Center Method" is a must-have for personal, professional, and academic library collections.
Editorial Note: Tina Lewis Row (www.tinalewisrowe.com) had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement -- first on the Denver Police Department, where she retired as a Captain, then as the Presidential appointed United States Marshal for Colorado. She was a trainer and presenter all of that time and since leaving the public sector has found tremendous satisfaction in teaching, training, public-speaking and writing for a wide variety of criminal justice, government, non-profit and business groups.
The Gaming Shelf
Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds
Luke Cospar Pearson, author
Sandra Youkhana, author
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500024232, $65.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds" architectural designers Luke Caspar Pearson and Sandra Youkhana provide a fascinating and informative examination of modern videogame worlds as seen through an architectural lens, utilizing maps, diagrams, and graphic illustrations to offer new perspectives on the art of virtual world building. "Videogame Atlas" presents a journey through twelve well-known videogame worlds via panoramic maps, intricate exploded diagrams, and detailed illustrations. "Videogame Atlas" also offers a playful new way of seeing these beloved virtual worlds using the practices and academic rigor that underpins real-world architectural theory.
Popular videogame titles such as Minecraft, Assassin's Creed Unity, and Final Fantasy VII are explored in exhaustive detail through over 200 detailed illustrations of the micro and macro, each with supporting commentary and architectural theory. Taking influence from high-end architectural monographs, the book is carefully designed to the smallest of details and its production is intricately executed.
"Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds" is printed in five colors, with neon ink throughout, and the culmination of architectural designers Luke and Sandra's work, which includes founding the Videogame Urbanism studio at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL that promotes the use of game technologies in architectural education.
Critique: A magnificent coffee-table style volume (9.8 x 1.3 x 13.7 inches, 4.94 pounds) and enhanced with some 250 color illustrations, "Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds" is a unique, informative, instructive, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Video Game Art collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note #1: Luke Caspar Pearson (https://www.youandpea.com/about) is an architectural designers who co-runs the studio, You + Pea. His work explores the integration of videogame technologies into architectural design, leading conversations on how games can engage new participants in the design of cities.
Editorial Note #2: Sandra Youkhana is an architectural designer who co-runs the studio, You + Pea. Her work explores the integration of videogame technologies into architectural design, leading conversations on how games can engage new participants in the design of cities. (https://theconversation.com/profiles/sandra-youkhana-1311655)
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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