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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 6 June 2021 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Business Shelf General Fiction Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf
Literary Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Biography Shelf Travel Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Woodworking Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf Art Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Sports Shelf Interior Design Shelf Automotive Shelf
Gardening Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Martial Arts Shelf Photography Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Music CD Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Poetry Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice

Writing Wild
John Luthens
Cable Publishing
www.cablepublishing.com
9781934980491, $17.95, PB, 243 pp.

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Wild-Wisconsin-Outdoor-Journalist/dp/1934980498

Synopsis: Outdoor enthusiasts are well advised to take a deep breath, hitch up their backpack, and in the pages of "Writing Wild: The Tales and Trails of a Wisconsin Outdoor Journalist", follow author and journalist John Luthens into some of the wildest Wisconsin country imaginable.

The armchair traveler will delight in this travelogue guide through the trout streams and remembered glades of Barron County. Riding a canoe over roaring rapids and painting a colored portrait in northwestern Wisconsin's Brule Country wilderness, where legends and lore conspire together and capture one's soul.

Then there is the adventurous tour down the Road of Dreams!

Critique: Deftly showcasing the adventurous tales and inherently fascinating trails of a Wisconsin outdoor journalist, "Writing Wild: The Tales and Trails of a Wisconsin Outdoor Journalist" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college and university library Travel & Travelogue collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated travelers and outdoors enthusiasts in general, and Wisconsinites in particular that "Writing Wild: The Tales and Trails of a Wisconsin Outdoor Journalist" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: John Luthens is a free lance writer who rambles along backroads, exploring country and writing of his travels for various publications. He is also the author of "Taconite Creek: A Novel" (Cable Publishing, 9781934980507, $14.95 PB, $9.95 Kindle, 230pp).

Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know
Candace Rose Rardon
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
www.quirkbooks.com
9781683692522, $9.99, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stuff-Every-Coffee-Lover-Should/dp/1683692527

Synopsis: Most people in America start every day with a hot cup of joe. But beyond your steaming morning mug, there's a whole world waiting to be discovered ranging from roast varieties, to brewing methods, to the traditions, ceremonies, and customs of cultures from around the globe.

Within the pages of "Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know" by Candace Rose Rardon, coffee lovers of all levels will find it to be a compendium of useful information, helpful how-tos, and fascinating trivia about their beloved beverage, including: Highlights from Coffee History; Anatomy of the Coffee Cherry; Freshness in Coffee; Caffeine Content 101; Popular Espresso Drinks; Coffee Cocktails.

"Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know" will reveal the world's best coffee-growing regions, how to host a coffee cupping like a pro, along with tips for buying ethically sourced beans, and so much more!

Critique: A pocket-sized compact little volume (3.77 x 0.68 x 6.04 inches), "Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know" is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative collection of and about all things coffee. While very highly recommended for personal, community, college and university library collections, it should be noted that "Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know" is also readily available for curious coffee lovers in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Editorial Note: Candace Rose Rardon is a travel writer, illustrator, and avid coffee and tea drinker. Also the author of "Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know", her work has appeared on Longreads, National Geographic, BBC Travel, and the Calm meditation app, among others. Originally from the East Coast, she has spent the past decade traveling through more than fifty countries and falling in love with the fascinating beverage traditions found across the world.

Amazing Ashville
Bob Hines
Reedy Press
PO Box 5131, St. Louis, MO 63139
www.reedypress.com
9781681062525, $20.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Ashville-Bob-Hines/dp/1681062526

Synopsis: In the heart of Ohio, the Buckeye State, and nestled amongst the corn and soy bean fields lies Ashville, one of the most colorful rural communities in the United States. In the pages of "Amazing Ashville" by local author Bob Hines will be found an informative guide to all the weird and wonderful aspects of this Ohio community, a town like unlike any other and dedicated to helping the visitor to unearth its uncounted mysteries.

"Amazing Ashville" features true tales of small town lore, like the dog who voted Republican, the rooster that paid for his own meals, the egg laid by an artistic goose, and the coin collector who was served in a soup. This rural community is also the home of the first automated highway tests, the world's largest woman, and the original Spiderman.

"Amazing Ashville" takes you on a fascinating tour of the community Bob Hines is proud to call home. You may not have ever experienced Ashville's unusual traffic light that has found its way into Guinness World Records, but with "Amazing Ashville" to lead you, you will want to stop by for much longer than it takes the light to change.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout with black and white images, "Amazing Ashville" is exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal itinerary planner for getting the most out of a trip to Ashville, Ohio. While very highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted that "Amazing Ashville" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Bob Hines is a ground-breaking urban planner and rural sociologist as well as an accomplished artist and researcher. He pioneered the concept of local history reclamation as a precept to community involvement and development. Travel writers have noted the displays he created for Ohio's Small Town Museum have helped it earn the title of Best Small Town Museum in America.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?
Bella Mahaya Carter
www.BellaMahayaCarter.com
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647420659, $16.95, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Do-You-Hang-Your-Hammock/dp/1647420652

Synopsis: In the pages of "Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?: Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book", seasoned creative writing coach and author Bella Mahaya Carter shows aspiring writers how to use their present circumstances as stepping-stones to a successful and meaningful writing life by navigated from the inside out. Bella encourages writers and authors to rethink their ambitions (which may be fueled by the tyrannical demands of the ego) and trust in their heartfelt purpose and values in the journey to becoming, or continuing on, as authors.

Many writers believe their self-sabotaging thoughts are trustworthy and true. They take rejection personally. They surmise that if they don't achieve their goals they have failed, and lose sight of who they are and what matters most.

This instructive guide and DIY manual is for writers looking for inspiration and for authors daunted by the publishing process, who might lack the requisite author platform to get published the way they dreamed, or whose careers may not be unfolding as expected. It aims to be the friend and trusted expert writers turn to when hijacked by their own thinking. Ultimately, it reminds authors that they are infinite creators.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, informed and informative, erudite and eloquent, practical and useful, detailed and comprehensive, "Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?: Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation making it an ideal DIY 'how to' manual for being a successfully published author in today's volatile and competitive publishing industry. While strongly recommended, especially for community, college and university library Writing/Publishing reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone seeking to establish themselves in a successful writing career that "Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?: Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Bella Mahaya Carter is a creative writing teacher, empowerment coach, speaker, and author of an award-winning memoir, Raw: My Journey from Anxiety to Joy, and Secrets of My Sex, a collection of narrative poems. She has worked with hundreds of writers over the past eleven years and has degrees in literature, film production, and spiritual psychology. Her poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, articles, and interviews have appeared in Mind, Body, Green; The Sun; Lilith; Fearless Soul; Writer's Bone; Women Writers, Women's Books; Chic Vegan; Bad Yogi Magazine; Jane Friedman's Blog; Pick The Brain; Spiritual Medial Blog; Literary Mama; several anthologies, and elsewhere. She lives in Studio City, California. Visit her online: www.BellaMahayaCarter.com

Tracking Changes
Ramona Richards
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 830711, Birmingham, AL 35283-0711
www.newhopepublishers.com
9781563094163, $9.99, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tracking-Changes-Editors-Inspirational-Fiction/dp/1563094169

Synopsis: More than just another instructive book about how to write, "Tracking Changes: One Editor's Advice to Inspirational Fiction Authors" by veteran editor and publisher Ramona Richards is about how to be a writer for God in an ever-changing publishing industry that can challenge even the most determined writer.

Comprised of a series of 46 essays, "Tracking Changes" looks at what it means to be a working writer in today's market. Some of the topics covered include: What an editor looks for in the first pages of a manuscript; How manuscripts are chosen for publication; Why manuscripts get rejected; What editors look for in a writer; How to work with a publisher after acceptance; The stages of a thorough production process -- and the edits involved; The benefits of networking, social media, and writers conferences.

A writer's journey toward publication can be a struggle. Drawing on her 40 years of work in Christian publishing, Ramona offers encouragement and advice to help make that path a little easier.

Critique: With the underlying messages that 'Our ability to skillfully string words together is a gift from God one we should use to the best of our ability to honor Him', Ramona Richards' DIY instructional guide and manual for aspiring writers seeking to become published authors is especially and unreservedly recommended. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, and also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), "Tracking Changes: One Editor's Advice to Inspirational Fiction Authors" should be considered an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Writing/Publishing collections.

Editorial Note: Ramona Richards has been an editor for 40 years and a writer for even longer. The author of 11 books, she has worked on staff with Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Rutledge Hill Press, and Ideals magazine. She is now the associate publisher for Iron Stream Media, the parent company of New Hope Publishers, New Hope Kidz, Iron Stream Books, Ascender Books, and LPC Books.

Word for Word: A Writer's Life
Laurie Lisle
https://www.laurielisle.com
Artemis Editions
9781735980119, $28.95, HC, 290pp

https://www.amazon.com/Word-Writers-Life-Laurie-Lisle/dp/1735980110

Synopsis: Raised in a traditional 1950s New England family, Laurie Lisle rejected the boundaries of her upbringing and followed her drive to write. Coming of age during the women's liberation movement, she joined Newsweek shortly after it was sued for sexism, hoping to find new opportunities for women writers -- but she had to fight for every step forward.

"Word for Word: A Writer's Life" is the dramatic story of Lisle's determination to become a published author, from her early days in journalism to writing her groundbreaking biographies of legendary artists Georgia O'Keeffe and Louise Nevelson. Lisle discusses the demands of writing honestly about others and herself while unflinchingly sharing successes, stumbling blocks, and relationships that threatened to silence her written voice.

In this frank memoir, Lisle asks what a writer-or anyone devoted to self-expression in the arts-needs to flourish and find fulfillment in work and life. She shares insights from artists and other authors and reflects on the way nature nurtures a literary life. Throughout, she examines how the private and professional parts of a writer's life intertwine, explores what enables words to flow and what stops them, and shows where the writing life can ultimately lead.

Critique: An inherently fascinating memoir, deftly crafted, impressively informative, thoughtful, thought provoking, truly memorable, and especially recommended reading for any and all aspiring writers, "Word for Word: A Writer's Life" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community, college and university library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Journalism/Authorship writing/publishing supplemental studies curriculums in particular.

Editorial Note: Laurie Lisle writes about the lives of American women, including her own. Her first biography was "Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe", which was followed by "Louise Nevelson: A Passionate Life". She has also written about being child free in "Without Child: Challenging the Stigma of Childlessness" and about gardening in the hills of northwestern Connecticut in "Four Tenths of an Acre: Reflections on a Gardening Life". Her fifth book is about her girls' high school, "Westover: Giving Girls a Place of Their Own".


The Cookbook Shelf

Cooking with Truffles: A Chef's Guide
Susi Gott Seguret, author
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268184, $20.00, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Truffles-Susi-Gott-S%C3%A9guret/dp/1578268184

Synopsis: A truffle is the fruiting body of a subterranean ascomycete fungus, predominantly one of the many species of the genus Tuber. Truffles are ectomycorrhizal fungi, so are usually found in close association with tree roots. Spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores, animals that eat fungi. These fungi have significant ecological roles in nutrient cycling and drought tolerance. (Wikipedia)

An ingredient with magical properties which brings a new dimension to countless dishes, the truffle is nature's most lauded culinary treasure. In the pages of "Cooking with Truffles: A Chef's Guide", Chef Susi Gott Seguret demystifies the truffle for the professional chef and the home cook alike with over 150 unique and tantalizing recipes to suit every palate and dining occasion.

"Cooking with Truffles" also includes an introduction to truffle history (both at home and abroad) as well as truffle science and geography, and notes on taste profiles and seasonality. Anecdotes and photos throughout bring to life a cookbook that's a true feast for the senses.

Critique: Combining a complete course of culinary instruction with the nature and history of the truffle, "Cooking with Truffles: A Chef's Guide" is a profusely and beautifully illustrated culinary compendium that will prove to be a uniquely prized and appreciated addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal use that "Cooking with Truffles: A Chef's Guide" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Susi Gott Seguret honed her culinary expertise during a 20-year trek around Europe, obtaining a diploma in gastronomy from the Cordon Bleu and the Universite de Reims. Founder and director of the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts, she is passionate about taste and how it extends from our palate into our daily lives. In the twelve years since its inception, she has employed over 60 chefs, beverage experts and growers to share their intimate knowledge of the ingredients they use to tickle the palate. Editor of 7 cookbooks, and contributor to several others, Susi has written extensively on a variety of culinary ventures for diverse publications. She is also the author of "Appalachian Appetite" and "Child of the Woods".

Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat
Jeff Phillips
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
www.fitzhenry.ca
9781770503267,$29.95, PB, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Wood-Fire-Advanced-Smoking/dp/1770503269

Synopsis: Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" includes detailed information on modern and legacy smoking techniques that range from cold smoking to getting the smoke just right in cold climates.

"Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" also provides in-depth insight and instruction on getting the most out of smokers and cookers, plus tools and accessories available to backyard smokers. It delves into the many woods, charcoals and pellets, the various smokers, brands and how to season them -- even stovetop smokers.

"Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" includes the best use and choice of dehydrators, spice grinders, thermometers, knives and tongs, as well as expert advice on injectors, water pans, spray bottles, foil pans and cleaning techniques. And of course, temperature control methods for perfect timing and results. "Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" even covers wrapping, resting, handling, safety and much more.

Also features in "Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" are recipes for innovative fare including dehydrating your own peppers for that perfect rub to a complete step by step instruction (with pictures) for making American style "streaky" bacon using a 100+ year-old brine recipe.

Critique: A profusely illustrated throughout, "Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" is a complete course of DIY instruction that will enable even the most novice of cooks to turn out professional quality smoked meats and the meals that feature them. Simply stated, "Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat" is an invaluable and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library culinary cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Jeff Phillips is also the author of "Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Barbeque" and the creator of the smokin' hot website www.smoking-meat.com -- the highest ranked smoking meat blog in America.

Crafting Seitan
Skye Michael Conroy
BPC
www.bookpubco.com
9781570673962, $24.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crafting-Seitan-Creating-Homemade-Plant-Based/dp/1570673969

Synopsis: Many vegans desire foods they can sink their teeth into-a bite with substance that leaves them feeling satisfied. Others miss the flavor of the animal-based dishes they grew up with or that were part of their cultural tradition. Those cravings can now be put to rest as they experience a new dimension of possibilities thanks to chef Skye Conroy's culinary masterpiece "Crafting Seitan: Creating Homemade Plant-Based Meats".

The term seitan is now widely used in vegetarian, vegan, whole food and macrobiotic circles for wheat gluten based dishes. With detailed instructions and mouthwatering food photography throughout, "Crafting Seitan: Creating Homemade Plant-Based Meats" is a welcome introduction to cooking seitan and showcasing its versatility.

Juicy roasts, tender cutlets, toothsome steaks, as well as hard salami, hand-rolled sausages, and pepperoni, now can be part of any vegan menu. Country-style Ribz, Tandoori Chikun, Sweet-and-Smoky Bacun, and Classic Pot Roast are among the 100+ recipes. Of special note is a section on seasoning blends, rubs, gravies, sauces and glazes that will help you add the perfect finishing touch.

Homemade also means more budget-friendly meals and the ability to monitor the amount of salt and oil that is used. These plant-based meat analogues deliver the appearance, texture, and flavors that will convince family and friends of all dietary persuasions that a vegan diet has plenty to offer and nothing to lose

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Crafting Seitan: Creating Homemade Plant-Based Meats" is an impressive compendium of recipes that will please any palate, enhance any meal, and satisfy any appetite. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Crafting Seitan: Creating Homemade Plant-Based Meats" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library Vegan & Vegetarian cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Skye-Michael Conroy began his journey as a vegan chef as a hobby but began to study the culinary arts in depth, and in 2014 received the plant-based professional certificate of completion from Rouxbe Cooking School taught by world-famous chef Chad Sarno. He is dedicated to helping people break their reliance on commercially prepared and processed vegan foods and maintains an informative website at: www.The GentleChef.com

Sicilia: A love letter to the food of Sicily
Ben Tish
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781472982759, $35.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sicilia-love-letter-food-Sicily/dp/1472982754

Synopsis: Sicily is a frugal peasant land endowed with a simple cuisine, and yet full of ornate glamour and extravagance. In the beautifully illustrated pages of "Sicilia: A love letter to the food of Sicily", Ben Tish unlocks the secrets of Sicily's culture and food, diving into its diverse tapestry of cultural influences.

Sitting at the heart of the Mediterranean, between east and west, Europe and North Africa, the food of Sicily is full of citrus, almonds and a plethora of spices, mixing harmoniously with the simple indigenous olives, vines and wheat. Although there will be found the most delicious, fresh seafood on the coast and mouth-watering meat in land -- the two rarely mix.

The authentic food of Sicily is effectively showcased with recipes ranging from delicious morsels and fritters to big couscous, rice and pasta dishes and an abundance of granitas, ice creams and desserts, all stunningly photographed. Among the recipes included are: smoky artichokes with lemon and garlic, roasted pork belly with fennel and sticky quinces, bitter chocolate torte, and Limoncello semifredo.

Critique: Throughout 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "Sicilia: A love letter to the food of Sicily" will allow even the most novice of family chefs to produce palate pleasing, appetite satisfying Sicilian dishes fit for any and all dining occasions. While very highly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Sicilia: A love letter to the food of Sicily" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.46).

Editorial Note: Ben Tish is the Culinary Director of the Stafford London in St James's, where he oversees the food offering throughout the hotel including the Game Bird restaurant, the American bar and private dining. In September 2019 Ben opened Norma, a Sicilian-Moorish influenced restaurant. The restaurant features a bespoke raw bar serving Sicilian-style crudos and a first-floor bar serving seasonal, understated cocktails and a selection of Marsala served by the glass. Ben appears regularly on TV including Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch, and Masterchef and writes for Delicious, Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Noble Rot, Restaurant magazine, Chef magazine, and other publications.

One-Beer Grilling
Mike Lang
Castle Point Books
http://www.castlepointbooks.com
c/o St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250275288, $21.99, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/One-Beer-Grilling-Formulas-Grilled-Before/dp/1250275288

Synopsis: Summer time and any time grilling just got better with the publication of "One-Beer Grilling: Fast, Easy, and Fresh Recipes for Great Grilled Meals You Can Make Before You Finish Your First Cold One" by beer enthusiast and grilling expert Mike Lang.

Now with the recipes comprising "One-Beer Grilling", even the most novice of outdoor cooking fans can create that awesome, smoke-infused meal before finishing off their first brew.

"One-Beer Grilling" showcases over 75 mouthwatering dishes with friends and family, including: Planked Portobellos; Chipotle Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos; Grilled Rib-eye with Herb Compound Butter; Beer-Can Chicken; Carolina Pork Sliders with Coleslaw; Spicy Rum Shrimp Skewers; Smoked Macaroni and Cheese; BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with mouth-watering photos of completed dishes, every recipe comprising this unique culinary collections includes the perfect beer pairing to make mealtime even more enjoyable. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should also be noted that "One-Beer Grilling: Fast, Easy, and Fresh Recipes for Great Grilled Meals You Can Make Before You Finish Your First Cold One" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Fuel Your Body
Angie Asche
Agate Publishing
www.agatepublishing.com
9781572842960, $26.00, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fuel-Your-Body-Performance-Nutritious/dp/1572842962

Synopsis: Expertly compiled and presented, "Fuel Your Body: How to Cook and Eat for Peak Performance: 77 Simple, Nutritious, Whole-Food Recipes for Every Athlete" is comprised of nourishing vegetarian recipes that are not only quick to prepare and simple enough for beginner home cooks, but don't sacrifice flavor in the process.

Whether you are an athlete at the elite level or a weekend warrior, the foods you put in your body have a direct impact on your overall health, performance, and recovery. In addition to recipes, "Fuel Your Body" features useful guidelines to sports nutrition and the professional expertise of Angie Asche, a certified specialist in sports dietetics and founder of Eleat Nutrition, and can be used to help everyone reach their fitness goals through a whole-food and anti-inflammatory approach.

Whether you are a recreational half marathoner, the parent of a teenage athlete, or competing at a high level in your chosen sport, "Fuel Your Body" has recipes and meal plans to help you reach your full potential. This is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to educate themselves on both the nutrition necessary for optimal athletic performance and the simple recipes you can use to get there.

Critique: This new and beautifully illustrated cookbook will prove to be an enduringly welcome and indispensable culinary resource for athletes of all ages and experience levels. While very highly recommended for personal, professional, family and community library vegetarian and high protein diet cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Fuel Your Body: How to Cook and Eat for Peak Performance: 77 Simple, Nutritious, Whole-Food Recipes for Every Athlete" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD, is a sports dietitian and nationally recognized food and nutrition expert. She owns and operates Eleat Sports Nutrition, which provides nutrition coaching and counseling to athletes nationwide, and is based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Since founding her company in 2014, she has worked with hundreds of high school, college, and professional athletes nationwide in the MLB, NHL and NFL. Angie has also worked as the nutrition consultant to the University of Nebraska volleyball team. She is a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) and a certified exercise physiologist (ACSM-EP). Her expertise and recipes have been featured in national publications including Men's Journal, Muscle & Fitness, Food Network, Shape Magazine, Runner's World, and NBC News.


The Business Shelf

Greater Fortune
Marie Cosgrove
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781950665389, $27.95, HC, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Greater-Fortune-Essential-Lessons-Entrepreneur/dp/1950665380

Synopsis: Whether it's everyday problems or seemingly insurmountable challenges, we all face hardships in our personal and professional lives. In "Greater Fortune: Essential Lessons from the Entrepreneur Who Bought the Company That Fired Her", business mastermind and motivational speaker Marie Cosgrove guides you in discovering how to use these hardships to propel you forward.

Born into poverty, Cosgrove persevered through a tumultuous upbringing and an abusive marriage; throughout it all, she raised four children on her own while struggling to make her way in the business world. Not only did she survive, she turned the lessons of adversity into advantage, becoming a multi-millionaire entrepreneur and innovator in the competitive field of medical devices. Now in the pages of "Greater Fortune" she shares what she has learned (from both her successes and failures) with you.

Cosgrove provides key lessons include valuable insights, tools, and techniques for: Walking away without guilt from whatever might be holding you back and focusing on the future; Overcoming fears and responding to disappointment in a constructive way; Preparing for success and building upon it; Preparing for failure and learning from it; Stepping up your game by being bold and taking calculated risks after setbacks; Jumping on opportunities whenever they arise (especially in challenging times); Dealing with toxic people, cutthroat competition, and bias in the business world; Embracing the future and giving back to others to cultivate continuous growth.

Just as we all have disadvantages, we all have talents and resources we can tap. In "Greater Fortune", you will uncover your unique opportunities for greater accomplishment and fulfilment, as well as learn how to wield your perceived weaknesses as strengths and use them to achieve success. Both an inspirational story and a road map to a better life of your own, "Greater Fortune" is filled from cover to cover with hard-won wisdom and practical strategies that will help you make the most of the greatness that is within you already.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Greater Fortune: Essential Lessons from the Entrepreneur Who Bought the Company That Fired Her" is an extraordinary and invaluable read for aspiring entrepreneurs, business managers, and anyone having to deal with the general public as a part of their work day. While unreservedly and especially recommended for community, corporate, college and university library Entrepreneurial and Business Management instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Greater Fortune: Essential Lessons from the Entrepreneur Who Bought the Company That Fired Her" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99).

Better, Simpler Strategy
Felix Oberholzer-Gee
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781633699694, $30.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Better-Simpler-Strategy-Value-Based-Exceptional/dp/1633699692

Synopsis: In nearly every business segment and corner of the world economy, the most successful companies dramatically outperform their rivals. What is their secret? In the pages of "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance", professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee (Harvard Business School) shows how these companies achieve more by doing less. At a time when rapid technological change and global competition conspire to upend traditional ways of doing business, these companies pursue radically simplified strategies. At a time when many managers struggle not to drown in vast seas of projects and initiatives, these businesses follow simple rules that help them select the few ideas that truly make a difference.

"Better, Simpler Strategy" provides readers with a simple tool, the value stick, which every organization can use to make its strategy more effective and easier to execute. Based on proven financial mechanics, the value stick helps executives decide where to focus their attention and how to deepen the competitive advantage of their business.

With many useful visuals and examples across industries and geographies, "Better, Simpler Strategy" explains how two key measures enable firms to gauge and improve their strategies and operations. Based on Professor Oberholzer-Gee's sought-after strategy course, "Better, Simpler Strategy" is a 'must-have' guide for making better strategic decisions.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance" is an ideal business administration textbook and unreservedly recommended reading for entrepreneurs, business managers, and corporate executives. While recommended for community, corporate, college and university library Strategic Business Planning & Organizational Learning collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.19).

Editorial Note: Felix Oberholzer-Gee is the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. An award-winning instructor, his academic work has been published in the very best peer-reviewed journals of his profession. He currently teaches competitive strategy in executive education programs such as the Harvard General Management Program. He also serves as faculty chair of the Senior Executive Leadership Program for China and the Driving Digital Strategy program. He is a co-host of the popular HBR Presents podcast After Hours. he can be found at: hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=251462

Choose Your Customer
Jonathan L. S. Byrnes, author
John S. Wass, author
McGraw Hill
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781264257096, $30.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Choose-Your-Customer-Compete-Against/dp/1264257090

Synopsis: Every year, managers at companies large and small are finding it harder to compete with the likes of Google and Amazon, who are muscling into their businesses, stealing their customers, and cornering every conceivable market and service. There is, however, a way for companies to survive and win -- even in this era of digital behemoths. "Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive" by the team of experience corporate executives Jonathan L. S. Byrnes and John S. Wass is a powerful, customer-targeted guide that can help managers level the playing field against their biggest competitors.

Jonathan Byrnes is the legendary MIT-based expert on profits, pricing, and strategy, and John Wass, is a key member of the team that made Staples a major national brand, in the pages of "Choose Your Customer" they show how to: Identify the customers who are the most profitable -- and focus on them; Provide services and experiences that can't be replicated by the tech giants, no matter how much data they have or how much automation they use; Support a chosen customers' diverse and rapidly evolving needs to accelerate profitability and growth; Focus on the real profit core and build dominance in any specifically targeted market.

These customer-focused strategies will enable even the most novice of entrepreneurs and company managers to build a uniquely targeted business that the digital giants just can't match. From unbeatable customer service to superior pricing and product selection, "Choose Your Customer" provides detailed and actionable advice on how to compete successfully with the aggressive giants, grow your customer base, and increase your profits for lasting success.

Critique: Absolutely essential reading for anyone one wanting their company to not only survive but flourish when competing against the mega corporations in today's digitally dominated marketplace. Exceptionally written, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive" must be a part of every community, corporate, college and university library Business Management, Customer Relations, and Marketing Strategy collection. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of entrepreneurs, marketers, managers, MBA students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Choose Your Customer" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.99).

Work Smart Now
Richard Polak
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781510759824, $17.99, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Work-Smart-Now-More-Done/dp/1510759824

Synopsis: Whether it's in corporate America or in our own living rooms, people are wasting time. From the minute we wake up and check our Facebook page or emails (before we even crawl out of bed) to late at night when we stay up longer than we should, watching our favorite show.

There's a precise moment that falls between working enough hours to be productive and working too many hours, yielding a diminishing marginal return. The difference between the person able to master this and most Americans that fail miserably at it is quality of life! If one continues to work past this moment, a negative return will ensue, and that negative return produces guilt. It lowers the amount of time for recreational activities and spending time with family. We've siloed productivity to our work life, however; the impact on our personal life is often loss.

An alarming 39% of workers in high-tech companies believe they are depressed, as reported by PC Magazine in December 2018. 72% of people who have daily stress and anxiety say it interferes with their lives -- anxiety and stress alone have reduced productivity by 56%. More than 80% of people have experienced some form of anxiety, stress, or depression in the workplace. People are spending more time at work than at home or with their loved ones; or, if they are at home, they are working. They are always "on." As a result of this disparity, people are not fully living their lives. And the "work-life balance" marketed by some HR consulting firms and employers simply does not work. It's all work and no life! Studies have also proven that when people are unhappy in their personal lives or careers, their productivity goes down and everything and everyone around them suffers. This causes a domino effect, which trickles into every area of their lives.

Previous generations used to say, "Work harder," but we've now learned we must "work smarter." Drawing upon his years of experience and expertise in "Work Smart Now: How to Jump Start Productivity, Empower Employees, and Achieve More", Richard Polak has practiced and tested his methods in hundreds of opportunities and has been paid millions by the largest corporations in the world to share these tools. He feels that every individual and business should have these tools, and will share them with us here.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in commentary style, organization and presentation, "Work Smart Now: How to Jump Start Productivity, Empower Employees, and Achieve More" is especially recommended to the attention of business managers and corporate executives charged with the responsibility of inspiring and aiding employees (and themselves) to be as efficient and productive as possible. A welcome addition to community, corporate, college and university library Business Mentoring, Management, Coaching, and Workplace Culture collections and supplemental studies curriculums, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Work Smart Now: How to Jump Start Productivity, Empower Employees, and Achieve More" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Richard Polak is a thirty-five year HR veteran, congressional advisor, and a world leader in creating compassionate strategies to increase employee productivity. In 2012, he merged his company, IBIS Advisors, and his IBIS Academy conference with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co (AJG), which saw him take over as executive vice president and area president of the Multinational Benefits & HR Consulting Department, a position he spearheaded for six years before deciding to reenter the entrepreneurial space. Today, Richard is a "serialpreneur" with several successful companies.

Own Your Authority
Marisa Santoro
McGraw Hill
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781264258161, $28.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Own-Your-Authority-Confidence-Communicate/dp/126425816X

Synopsis: Too often with respect to our work and professional responsibilities, we get stuck in our heads, focus on the negative, and paralyze ourselves with fear. And, like clockwork, we fail to achieve our goals. The only way to become an effective leader and enjoy career success is by silencing the self-sabotaging thought patterns and learn to trust yourselves. Once we have established a trusted connection with yourself, are clear on who we are and what motivates us, career opportunities will follow.

That is the underlying message in "Own Your Authority: Follow Your Instincts, Radiate Confidence, and Communicate as a Leader People Trust" by former Wall Street executive Marisa Santoro, a woman who spent years navigating trading floors in an abrasive male-dominated industry and field, where she learned from experience that the key to leadership success is self-trust. Now, in "Own Your Authority", she shares her hard-won secrets to being a resilient leader. "Own Your Authority" lays out a step-by-step blueprint for building the confidence you need at any stage of your career, whether you are an executive, a mid-career senior professional, an emerging leader, or consultant.

"Own Your Authority" is instructive on: Being clear on how you're perceived and how you relate with others; Being willing to act on instinct in the face of fear; Being aware of the instinctive yellow alerts flagging your indecision (they are there for a reason and will help you make the best decision); Trusting your "intuitive gut gene," an instinct that helps you make gutsy moves; Speaking out and openly express yourself without apology, restriction, or worry about the opinions of others.

Self-confidence is a universal prerequisite for being an effective leader. The good news is you're not born with it -- you develop it. With "Own Your Authority", you will learn to master your mindset, give yourself permission to break through the walls that have held you back, and deliver positive impact to yourself, your team, and your business.

Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Own Your Authority: Follow Your Instincts, Radiate Confidence, and Communicate as a Leader People Trust" is an ideal, comprehensive, motivationally inspiring and especially recommended DIY course in effective business management. While very strongly recommended as a core addition to community, corporate, college and university library Business Motivation & Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Own Your Authority" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.94).

Editorial Note: Marisa Santoro is a former Wall Street IT executive and the founder of the career platform In Our Shoes. She is also a popular career coach, motivational speaker, and leadership, diversity, and inclusion trainer. The curriculum of her Gutsy Leadership Academy is based on the principles in "Own Your Authority: Follow Your Instincts, Radiate Confidence, and Communicate as a Leader People Trust".

Big Little Breakthroughs
Josh Linkner
Post Hill Press
https://posthillpress.com
9781642936773, $26.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Little-Breakthroughs-Innovations-Oversized/dp/1642936774

Synopsis: In the entrepreneurial and corporate world the pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often freeze up.

Instead of shooting for a $10-billion payday or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus on what author and corporate CEO Josh Linkner calls 'Big Little Breakthroughs' -- small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By cultivating daily micro-innovations, individuals and organizations are better equipped to tackle tough challenges and seize transformational opportunities.

How did a convicted drug dealer launch and scale a massively successful fitness company? What core mindset drove LEGO to become the largest toy company in the world? How did a Pakistani couple challenge the global athletic shoe industry? What simple habits led Lady Gaga, Banksy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda to their remarkable success? "Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results" isn't just for propeller-head inventors, fancy-pants CEOs, or hoodie-donning tech billionaires. Rather, it's a surpassingly simple system to help everyday people become everyday innovators.

Critique: Especially 'reader friendly' in narrative style, organization and presentation, "Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results" is ideally suited for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in venture capitalism, business decision making, and entrepreneurial creativity -- and a 'must' for all business managers and corporate executives charged with the success of their company and/or business venture. While very highly recommended for community, corporate, college and university library Contemporary Business Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Josh Linkner has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which he sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He is also the author of four books including the "Disciplined Dreaming" and "The Road to Reinvention". He has helped launch over a hundred startups and was the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners.

Anxiety at Work
Adrian Gostick, author
Chester Elton, author
Anthony Gostick, author
Harper Business
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780063046153, $29.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Anxiety-Work-Strategies-Resilience-Uncertainty/dp/0063046156

Synopsis: If you're a company manager, how do you keep up with the demands of your business while creating a stress-free work atmosphere for yourself and your employees? How can you spot rising anxiety levels in your people? If your employees feel overwhelmed or worried about the future, what can you do to ease their concerns? How do you engage in productive conversations about emotions in uncertain times?

"Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done" by the team of Chester Elton, Adrian and Anthony Gostick builds on the authors' decades of knowledge and professional experience working with the leadership teams of some of the world's most successful organizations to offer effective strategies that can make any workplace better, helping supervisors and their employees to: Weather uncertainty; Balance overload; Beat perfectionism; Build confidence; Create and sustain an environment that fosters resilience; Strengthen strong social bonds.

In today's volatile, fast-paced, and ever-changing global climate, organizations and their employees are under more pressure than ever to perform. "Anxiety at Work" shows how everyone at all levels can work together to build an environment that fosters camaraderie, productivity, and calm.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done" is a complete course of instruction in a single volume and is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, college and university library Business Management & Leadership instructional reference collections. An effective DIY course of practical how-to instruction, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, business managers, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781665076463, $29.99, CD).

Activate Brand Purpose
Scott Goodson, author
Chip Walker, author
Kogan Page
www.koganpage.com
9781789668261, $80.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Activate-Brand-Purpose-Movements-Transform/dp/1789668263

Synopsis: Corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and business managers live in an age of activism where the conscious consumer is more socially aware than ever before, and this is reflected in their buying habits. Yet, activism on behalf of brands is lagging. While many claim to be 'purpose driven', far too often this purpose is relegated to a plaque above the CEO's desk, and never goes any further. Or, worse, the 'purpose' is transparently used as a marketing ploy, but never acted upon in any real way.

"Activate Brand Purpose: How to Harness the Power of Movements to Transform Your Company" by the team of Scott Goodson and Chip Walker shows how to transform a brand's purpose into meaningful action by sparking a company wide cultural movement, beginning internally and permeating externally.

Regardless of whether the purpose is lofty and socially conscious, or all business and bottom-lined, focus on galvanizing people, and they will respond if you can prove that you care about that purpose, and that you're working to realize it, rather than simply chasing the next dollar. "Activate Brand Purpose: How to Harness the Power of Movements to Transform Your Company" contains a clearly explained, proven framework that will make this happen.

Critique: A complete course of practical, effective, workplace proven tips, tricks and techniques for corporate brand promotion, "Activate Brand Purpose: How to Harness the Power of Movements to Transform Your Company" should be considered essential reading and a core addition to community, corporate, college and university library Strategic Business Planning and Corporate Management collections and as a supplemental studies curriculum textbook. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Activate Brand Purpose: How to Harness the Power of Movements to Transform Your Company" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781789668247, $25.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.65).


The General Fiction Shelf

The Essence of Nathan Biddle
J. William Lewis
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781626348462, $27.95, HC, 440pp

https://www.amazon.com/Essence-Nathan-Biddle-William-Lewis/dp/1626348464

Synopsis: Kit Biddle is a rising prep school senior who finds himself tangled in a web of spiritual quandaries and intellectual absurdities. Kit's angst is compounded by a unique psychological burden he is forced to carry: his intelligent but unstable Uncle Nat has committed an unspeakable act on what, according to the Uncle's deranged account, were direct orders from God.

The tragedy haunting his family follows Kit like a dark and foreboding cloud, exacerbating his already compulsive struggle with existential questions about the meaning of his life. When the brilliant, perhaps phantasmic, Anna dismisses him, Kit quickly spirals into despair and self-destruction. But when his irrational decision to steal a maintenance truck and speed aimlessly down the highway ends in a horrific accident and months of both physical and emotional convalescence, Kit is forced to examine his perceptions of his life and his version of reality.

Calamity leads to fresh perspectives and new perceptions: it focuses Kit's mind and forces him to confront the issues that plague him. Readers will empathize (and celebrate) as the darkness lifts and Kit comes to terms with the necessity of engagement with life's pain, pleasure and absurdity.

Critique: A deftly crafted and eloquently original novel that showcases author J. William Lewis's impressively entertaining and narrative driven storytelling talents. "The Essence of Nathan Biddle" is one of those coming of age tales that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.

Diamond Hill
Kit Fan
World Editions
www.worldeditions.org
9781642860887, $16.99, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Hill-Kit-Fan/dp/1642860883

Synopsis: Britain signed the Joint Declaration with the communist Chinese agreeing to hand over its last colony, Hong Kong, to them in 1997. With that declaration comes the promise that the city will remain unchanged for fifty years. But upheaval is already happening in an area called Diamond Hill.

Once the 'Hollywood of the Orient,' it is now a shanty town and an eyesore right in the middle of a glitzy financial hub. Buddha, a recovering heroin addict, returns home to find the shabby neighborhood being bulldozed to make room for gleaming towers. Buddhist nuns, drug gangs, property developers, the government and foreign powers each have itchy palms, and all want a piece of Diamond Hill.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "Diamond Hill" is author Kit Fan's literary debut as a novelist. This compelling, deftly crafted, and inherently entertaining story of a on powerlessness, religion, memory, and displacement, and the demise of a city is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Diamond Hill" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Youngest Boy: Stories
Jim Heynan, author
Tom Pohrt, illustrator
Holy Cow! Press
www.holycowpress.org
9781513645599, $16.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Youngest-Boy-Stories-Jim-Heynen/dp/1513645595

Synopsis: "The Youngest Boy" is comprised of Jim Heynen's short stories (and occasional illustrations by Tom Pohrt) about unnamed farm boys that first debuted many years ago with the publication of 'The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap'. Several collections of Heynen's boy stories have been published since then and have been models in the short-short or prose poem form now used by many other writers. "The Youngest Boy: Stories" is the first collection to focus on the youngest boy, a character who can be a dreamer one minute, a trouble-maker the next, and a problem-solver the next. The youngest boy's charm is in his unpredictability.

Critique: This edition of "The Youngest Boy: Stories" from Holy Cow! Press is enhanced for the reader's enjoyment with an informative Preface by David Pichaske (Professor of English at Southwest Minnesota State University). Collectively providing an erudite entertainment from beginning to end, each carefully crafted story is a true literary treat and will be of special attraction to readers with an interest in small town and rural life -- making "The Youngest Boy: Stories" highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, college and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Jim Heynen grew up on an Iowa farm in one of the last areas in the state to get electricity. He attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated from eighth grade at age 12 before going on to college and then graduate school at the University of Iowa -- and again at the University of Oregon. For many years he was writer in residence at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He has been awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in both poetry and fiction.

The Audacity of Sara Grayson
Joani Elliott
Post Hill Press
https://posthillpress.com
9781642937824, $27.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Audacity-Sara-Grayson-Novel/dp/1642937827

Synopsis: Sara Grayson is a thirty-two-year-old greeting card writer about to land the toughest assignment of her life. Three weeks after the death of her mother--a world-famous suspense novelist -- Sara learns that her mother's dying wish is for her to write the final book in her bestselling series.

Sara has lived alone with her dog, Gatsby, ever since her husband walked out with their Pro Double Waffle Maker and her last shred of confidence. She can't fathom writing a book for thirty million fans -- not when last week's big win was resetting the microwave clock.

But in a bold move that surprises even herself, Sara takes it on. Against an impossible deadline and a publisher intent on sabotaging her every move, Sara discovers that stepping into her mother's shoes means stumbling on family secrets she was never meant to find -- secrets that threaten her mother's legacy and the very book she's trying to create.

Critique: A deftly penned novel about mothers, children, and inevitable travails of holding a career in the face of a demanding domestic life, in the pages of "The Audacity of Sara Grayson" author Joani Elliott writes with wit and originality, the result is an inherently entertaining read from cover to cover and one that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Audacity of Sara Grayson" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Pale
Edward A. Farmer
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781982673864, $26.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pale-Novel-Edward-Farmer/dp/1982673869

Synopsis: The summer of 1966 burned hot across America but nowhere hotter than the cotton fields of Mississippi. Finding herself in a precarious position as a black woman living alone, Bernice accepts her brother Floyd's invitation to join him as a servant for a white family and she enters the web of hostility and deception that is the Kern plantation household.

The secrets of the house are plentiful yet the silence that has encompassed it for so many years suddenly breaks with the arrival of the harvest and the appearance of Jesse and Fletcher to the plantation as cotton pickers. These two brothers, the sons of the house servant Silva, awaken a vengeful seed within the Missus of the house as she plots to punish not only her husband but Silva's family as well. When the Missus starts flirting with Jesse, she sets into motion a dangerous game that could get Jesse killed and destroy the lives of the rest of the servants.

Bernice walks the fine line between emissary and accomplice, as she tries her best to draw secrets from the Missus's heart, while using their closeness to protect the lives of the people around her. Once the Missus's plans are complete, families will be severed, loyalties will be shattered, and no one will come out unscathed.

With a dazzling voice and rich emotional tension, Pale explores the ties that bind and how quickly humanity can fade and return us to primal ways.

Critique: A superbly crafted story of racism, family secrets, compulsive revenge, and the legacy of patriarchy, "Pale" also showcases the impressively literary talents of novelist Edward A. Farmer and his genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling that creates memorably distinctive characters and a compelling page-turner of a read from cover to cover. While highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for persona reading lists that "Pale" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781799956440, $16.99) and in a digital boo format (Kindle, $9.99).

A Season Unknown
Keith Cohen
K+P Press
https://www.kandppress.com
9781735934600, $16.99, PB, 318pp

https://www.amazon.com/Season-Keith-Cohen/dp/1735934607

Synopsis: From the time he is a small child, Malach reveals unique and unexplained connections with the animals that inhabit the wilderness surrounding him. As Malach grows, so too does his knowledge of the workings and mysteries of the natural world. His mother, Judith, fearful for him and struggling to understand the gift her son possesses, is determined to protect him at all costs. While grappling with the uncertainty of where Malach's future will lead, Judith must confront her own painful and secretive past.

Approaching adulthood, joined by his brilliant and fiery girlfriend, Ginny, Malach brings a profound awareness of the earth to a world facing a precariously changing climate and existential perils. Together they begin to deliver a message of transformation, sacrifice, and even revolution in how we live our lives. Their story of love, and triumph over loss, is at the heart of "A Season Unknown", an urgent coming-of-age story by Keith Cohen where time is no longer a luxury.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "A Season Unknown" is the debut effort of clinical child and adolescent psychologist Keith Cohen as a novelist. Inherently interesting, clever and unique, "A Season Unknown" showcases Cohen's genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that creates memorable characters and an engagingly entertaining read from beginning to end. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Season Unknown" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Historical Fiction Shelf

Darkness Over Cannae
J. N. Dolfen
Zmok Books
c/o Winged Hussar Publishing
www.wingedhussarpublishing.com
9781950423095, $25.00, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Darkness-over-Cannae-J-N-Dolfen/dp/1950423093

Synopsis: The year is 216 BC. As Rome and Carthage vie for supremacy, the Mediterranean is shaken by a conflict that will go down in history as the Second Punic War. Two years ago, Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, took Rome completely by surprise by leading an army of African, Spanish, and Celtic soldiers across the Alps to attack Rome on her own soil. Rome has suffered three defeats at his hands already, and spent the last year licking her wounds and avoiding another battle. Now, the senate in Rome feels the time has come to take the initiative again. With an army of an unprecedented eight legions, led by both consuls and two proconsuls, they are determined to put Hannibal in his place once and for all.

Critique: "Darkness Over Cannae" by author and graphic artist Jennifer Dolphin is immensely enhanced for the reader's informed entertainment with accurately researched historical details on an ancient and decisive battle between the military forces of Rome and Carthage including what led up to it and its aftermath. Nicely illustrated and enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a glossary of terms, "Darkness Over Cannae is a great introduction to third century Roman military. "Darkness Over Cannae" is an inherently fascinating novel from first page to last -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated historical fiction fans, as well as a welcome and enduringly popular addition to middle school, highschool, and community library Historical Fiction collections.

Lady Be Good
Pamela Hamilton
Koehler Books
3705 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781646632725, $29.95, HC, 298pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Be-Good-Times-Dorothy/dp/1646632729

Synopsis: "Lady Be Good: The Life and Times of Dorothy Hale" by Pamela Hamilton transports the reader to the glittering, sumptuous era of 1920s New York to follow the life of aspiring actress Dorothy Hale as she comes of age. Breaking societal rules imposed on women, "Peck's Bad Girl of Pittsburgh Society" leaves behind her privileged world for the bright lights of Broadway to chase her dream. From convent school debutante runaway to Ziegfeld showgirl to Hollywood star, Hale transforms herself into one of the most adored figures in the highest echelons of society. Yet behind the public facade the darling of the press contends with heart-rending loss, gossip and betrayal, and a tempestuous friendship with Luce.

Surrounded by her fabulous circle of friends which included Gertrude Stein, Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, James Roosevelt, Elsa Maxwell, as well as other iconic figures -- Dorothy finds her way to the other side of heartbreak and prepares for a White House wedding. Then, suddenly, at age thirty-three, at the height of happiness and peak of her fame, she falls to her death. Her life story is revised and written into history by the tabloids and the famed and feted-leading to this novel's stunning conclusion.

Critique: Her debut as a novelist, former NBC producer Pamela Hamilton turns to her journalism skills upon discovering the facts about Dorothy Hale's story, then spins them with color and life into breathtaking revelations about the irresistible and misunderstood glamour girl whose legend has endured for more than half a century in "Lady Be Good: The Life and Times of Dorothy Hale".

An inherently fascinating and exceptionally well written, organized and presented work of historical fiction based on the life and times of Dorothy Hale (January 11, 1905 - October 21, 1938), "Lady Be Good" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lady Be Good" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781646632701, $18.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

Bride of the Buddha
Barbara McHugh
Monkfish Book Publishing Company
www.monkfishpublishing.com
9781948626231, $17.95, PB, 360pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bride-Buddha-Barbara-McHugh-PhD/dp/1948626233

Synopsis: "Bride of the Buddha" by novelist Barbara McHugh is the story of Yasodhara, the abandoned wife of the Buddha. Facing society's challenges, she transforms her rage into devotion to the path of liberation. "Bride of the Buddha" is about a woman's struggle in an unapologetic religious patriarchy and offers a penetrating perspective on the milieu of the Buddha.

Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively memorable novel that showcases author Barbara McHugh's impressive flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style and skills that keep her readers riveted from first page to last, "Bride of the Buddha" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library historical fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bride of the Buddha" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).


The Literary Fiction Shelf

The Blondes of Wisconsin: Stories
Anthony Bukoski
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299331146, $16.95, PB, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Blondes-Wisconsin-1-Anthony-Bukoski/dp/0299331148

Synopsis: "The Blondes of Wisconsin: Stories" is comprised of sixteen moving, intimate short stories by Anthony Bukoski that illuminate how devotion and degeneration ripple through a working-class Polish American community in the post- industrial Midwest.

At the heart of this collection is Eddie "The Bronko" Bronkowski, a boxer with a losing record whose reputation as a human punching bag precedes him. In each of Anthony Bukoski's rich stories, tough yet sympathetic characters (the second cook on a Great Lakes freighter, a World War II veteran, the emcee of a female boxing troupe) take all that life throws at them, protecting those around them as best they can.

In Bukoski's interconnected tales, the heart seeks its due despite familial conflict, the challenges of maritime work, and the slow yet inexorable decline of dementia. Beautiful vignettes express transformative moments: tenderness that can turn a cardboard crown into gold and the faint ghosts of memories long forgotten. The individual stories collectively comprising "The Blondes of Wisconsin" reveals what love is -- and what it means to lose it.

Critique: Eloquent, erudite, original, entertaining, compelling, thoughtful and thought-provoking, Anthony Bukoski's "The Blondes of Wisconsin: Stories" will prove to be an enduringly welcome addition to community, college and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Blondes of Wisconsin: Stories" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.10).

Editorial Note: Anthony Bukoski is an award-winning writer and a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. A member of the Polish American Historical Association, he is also the author of the short story collections "Time Between Trains", "Children of Strangers", and "Polonaise".


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Until Vienna
Heather B. Moore
Covenant Communications
http://www.covenant-lds.com
9781524415426, $12.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Until-Vienna-Romance-Orient-Express/dp/1524415421

Synopsis: Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister's wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena requests that Gigi accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt.

Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group's tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker.

Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena's antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life?

Critique: A classic and impressively entertaining work of romance at its very best, "Until Vienna: Romance on the Orient Express" is a wonderfully original novel by author Heather B. Moore. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance fans that "Until Vienna" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

An Uncommon Earl
Sian Ann Bessey
Covenant Communications
http://www.covenant-lds.com
9781524414719, $16.99, PB, 254pp

https://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Earl-Sian-Ann-Bessey/dp/1524414719

Synopsis: Alexander Allerton, the Earl of Bloxley's, greatest desire is to alleviate the suffering of the poor and less fortunate of England. So when his hackney carriage is involved in an accident that results in the death of one of those he is determined to help, he is devastated. Alexander vows to keep the promise he makes to the injured woman as she takes her final breaths: he will not rest until he finds her young son.

After a crippling accident years ago, Jane Hadford is accustomed to being largely ignored at social events. But being overlooked has allowed her to hone her observational skills and she quickly perceives that all is not well with the handsome Lord Bloxley. When an unexpected opportunity arises to talk to the earl, he surprises them both by sharing with her his fruitless search for the child. Touched by Lord Bloxley's story and by his desire to make things right, Jane determines to help him fulfill his promise.

What she cannot anticipate, however, is that the quest she has chosen to undertake will bring into her life a small boy who will steal her heart and a gentleman who might well do the same.

Critique: An eloquently scripted historical romance novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven and entertaining storytelling that will fully engage the reader from cover to cover, "An Uncommon Earl" by Sian Ann Bessey is an uncommon, extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Historical Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance fans that "An Uncommon Earl" is also readily available from Covenant Communications in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781524414726, $32.99, CD).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Sterile Justice
Gene Rontal
Camel Press
6524 NE 181st Street, STE #2, Kenmore, WA 98028
www.camelpress.com
9781603817875, $15.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sterile-Justice-Gene-Rontal/dp/1603817875

Synopsis: The past comes back to haunt Dr. Ben Dailey when a former colleague dies, and he's accused of the death. In order for Dailey to restore his name, he must go into his past to find the cause of a heinous crime and expose those who are now trying to kill him.

Critique: "Sterile Justice" is that newest addition to author Gene Rontal's simply outstanding 'Detective Ben Dailey, MD' mystery series and continues to showcase his complete master of the genre. While especially and unreservedly recommended for all community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Sterile Justice" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

The Measure of Time
Gianrico Carofiglio, author
Howard Curtis, translator
Bitter Lemon Press
www.bitterlemonpress.com
9781913394486, $15.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Measure-Time-Guido-Guerrieri/dp/1913394484

Synopsis: One spring afternoon, defense attorney Guerrieri is confronted with an unexpected specter from his past. In her youth, Lorenza had been a beautiful and unpredictable girl with dazzling charm. But a changed woman faces him in his office that day. The ensuing years have ravaged her appearance and embittered her mind. As if that weren't enough, her son Jacopo, a small-time delinquent, stands convicted of the first-degree murder of a local drug dealer.

Her trial lawyer has died, so, for the appeal, she turns to Guerrieri as her last hope. Guido is not convinced of the innocence of Lorenza's son, nor does he have fond memories of the way their relationship ended two decades earlier. Nevertheless, he accepts the case; perhaps to pay a melancholy homage to the ghosts of his youth.

His old friend Carmelo Tancredi, a retired police inspector, and his girlfriend, the charming investigator Annapaola Doria are once again by his side.

Critique: A masterful, compassionate novel that is ably translated into English by Howard Curtis, author Gianrico Carofiglio's "The Measure of Time" deftly strike a balance between a straightforward trial story and the sad notes of time as it passes and exhausts itself upon ourselves and our memories. A deftly crafted psychological suspense thriller of a read from first page to last, "The Measure of Time" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Measure of Time" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Match: A Medical Murder Mystery
Amy S. Peele
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647420185, $16.95, PB, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Match-Medical-Amy-S-Peele/dp/1647420180

Synopsis: Sarah Golden and Jackie Larsen, best friends since nursing school, could never have imagined that they'd end up as amateur sleuths searching to find a killer -- for the second time!

Jackie, a stay-at-home mom with marriage troubles, is racing the clock to get her young son, Wyatt, a living kidney donor to avoid the ravages of dialysis. Sarah, who has been living her career in the fast-paced world of organ transplantation, is helping expedite Wyatt's kidney transplant.

Then a much-despised hospital colleague turns up dead of an opiate overdose -- despite the fact that she'd never used drugs. Sarah smells foul play. Her curiosity and tenacity pull Jackie, once again, into a life-and-death adventure that neither woman could have expected.

Armed with smarts, tenacity, big hearts, and their raucous senses of humor, the pair gets the help of a few colorful friends to pursue the killer and take on the mission in the only style they both know how: straight on and arm-in-arm as the friends they've always been.

Critique: A cleverly crafted and exceptionally entertaining medical suspense thriller of a read from first page to last, "Match" by Amy S. Peele is an inherently riveting read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for dedicated fans of amateur female sleuths that "Match" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

The Silver Shadow
Liz Tolsma
Barbour Publishing
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
www.barbourbooks.com
9781643528342, $12.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Shadow-11-True-Colors/dp/1643528343

Synopsis: Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that's going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly's ideas of a serial criminal -- until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Critique: A deftly crafted historical novel by an author with a genuine master of the mystery suspense genre, "The Silver Shadow" by Liz Tolsma, with its unexpected plot twists and turns, is an inherently riveting read from beginning to end. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated crime novel buffs that "The Silver Shadow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Jungle Up
Nick Pirog
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781982673895, $14.99 PB / $6.29 Kindle, 450pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jungle-Up-Thomas-Prescott-Book-ebook/dp/B08M964B42

Synopsis: Two years ago, Dr. Gina Brady broke Thomas Prescott's heart, but now her panic-stricken satellite phone call starts it beating again with a fury. Thugs kidnapped the good doctor from the remote jungle village where she was working, and now the retired homicide detective's expert skills are desperately needed to save her.

Led by a colorful, but perhaps untrustworthy local guide, Prescott journeys deep into the Bolivian Amazon, plunging into a world where the only thing more dangerous than the gun-toting drug traffickers and the ruthless tribesmen, is the jungle itself.

When Gina's trail leads to a chance encounter with an archaeological expedition, the search for the missing doctor takes on even deadlier consequences. But Prescott will not relent in this punishing quest until, once again, he holds Gina in his arms.

Critique: The newest addition to the riveting 'Thomas Prescott' series by accomplished mystery/suspense author Nick Pirog, "Jungle Up" is a thriller of a read from first page to last and will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated suspense/thriller fans and community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Jungle Up" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.29) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, B08GFPWX3T, 9 Hours, 52 minutes).

Del Rio
Jane Rosenthal
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647420550, $16.95, PB, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Del-Rio-Novel-Jane-Rosenthal/dp/1647420555

Synopsis: Del Rio, California, a once-thriving Central Valley farm town, is now filled with run-down Dollar Stores, llanterias, carnicerias, and shabby mini-marts that sell one-way bus tickets straight to Tijuana on the Flecha Amarilla line. It's a place you drive through with windows up and doors locked, especially at night -- a place the locals call Cartel Country.

For local District Attorney Callie McCall, her dying hometown of Del Rio is the perfect place to launch a political career and try to make a difference.

But when the dismembered body of a migrant teen is found in one of Del Rio's surrounding citrus groves, Callie faces a career make-or-break case that takes her on a dangerous journey down the violent west coast of Mexico, to a tropical paradise hiding a terrible secret, and finally back home again, where her determination to find the killer pits her against the wealthiest, most politically connected, most ruthless farming family in California: her own.

Critique: Showcasing author Jane Rosenthal's exceptionally impressive flair for originality and complete mastery of the crime thriller genre, "Del Rio" is a well crafted mystery replete with unexpected plot twists right down to the finish. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of female sleuth fans that "Del Rio" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Murder On Mustique
Anne Glenconner
Hodder & Stoughton
https://www.hodder.co.uk
9781529336344, $26.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mustique-Lady-Anne-Glenconnor/dp/1529336341

Synopsis: The island of Mustique is in a state of breathless calm as tropical storm Cristobal edges towards it across the Atlantic. Most villa owners have escaped the island but a few young socialites remain, unwilling to let summer's partying end. American heiress Amanda Fortini is one such thrill-seeker -- until she heads out for a morning swim and doesn't return.

Detective Sergeant Solomon Nile is just 28 years old and the island's only fully trained police officer. He quickly realizes he needs to contact Lord and Lady Blake, who bought the island decades ago and have invested time, money and love creating a paradise. Jasper is in St Lucia designing a new village of luxury villas but Lady Veronica (Vee to her friends) catches a plane immediately. Her beloved god-daughter, Lily, is on the island and this disappearance has alarming echoes of what happened to Lily's mother many years ago. Lady Vee would never desert a friend in need, and she can keep a cool head in a crisis.

When Amanda's body is found, a murder investigation begins. Nile knows the killer must be an islander because flights and ferry crossings have stopped due to the storm warning, but the local community.

Critique: A deftly crafted 'whodunnit' style story, "Murder On Mustique" by Anne Glenconner is a mystery lover's delight with expertly written plot twists and turns. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Murder On Mustique" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Basel Killings
Hansjorg Schneider, author
Mitchell Mike, translator
Bitter Lemon Press
www.bitterlemonpress.com
9781913394547, $15.95, PB, 268pp

https://www.amazon.com/Basel-Killings-Inspector-Hunkeler/dp/1913394549

Synopsis: It is the end of October, the city of Basel is grey and wet. It could be December. It is just after midnight when Police Inspector Peter Hunkeler, on his way home and slightly worse for wear, spots old man Hardy sitting on a bench under a street light. He wants to smoke a cigarette with him, but the usually very loquacious Hardy is silent because his throat a gaping wound.

Turns out he was first strangled, then his left earlobe slit, his diamond stud stolen. The media and the police come quickly to the same conclusion: Hardy's murder was the work of a gang of Albanian drug smugglers. But for Hunkeler that seems too obvious. Hardy's murder has much in common with the case of Barbara Amsler, a prostitute also found killed, with an ear slit and pearl stud missing.

He follows his own intuition and the trail leads him deep into an edgy world of bars, bordellos and strip clubs, but also into the corrupt core of some of Basel's political and industrial elite. More ominously, he will soon discover the consequences of certain events in recent Swiss history that those in power would prefer to keep far from the public eye.

Critique: Ably translated into English for an American readership by Mitchell Mike, "The Basel Killings" is a deftly crafted novel that showcases author Hansjorg Schneider's impressive and narrative driven storytelling skills and total mastery of the suspense/thriller mystery genre. While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Basel Killings" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

What Doesn't Kill Us
David Housewright
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250756992, $26.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/What-Doesnt-Kill-Us-McKenzie/dp/1250756995

Synopsis: Rushmore McKenzie, a former St. Paul police detective and unexpected millionaire, does the occasional, unofficial private detective work -- mostly favors for friends. He's faced kidnappers, domestic terrorists, art thieves, among others, and had a hand in solving some of the most perplexing mysteries of the Twin Cities. But this time, his prodigious luck and intuition may have finally failed him: He was shot in the back by an unknown assailant and lies in a coma.

His childhood friend, Lt. Bobby Dunston of the St. Paul Police Department, assigns his best detective to the case while other figures (on both sides of the law) pursue the truth. What was McKenzie investigating, what did he learn that so threatened someone that they tried to kill him? What do a sketchy bar in the wrong part of town, the area's prominent tech millionaire family, drug dealers, investment bankers, and a mysterious woman who left an unknown package for McKenzie all have in common? As time slowly begins to run out, the answer to those questions might be what stands between life and death.

Critique: Another deftly crafted 'whodunnit' mystery novel by David Housewright (a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America who has won the Edgar Award and is the three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for his crime fiction), "What Doesn't Kill Us" is an inherently riveting read from cover to cover. While certain to be an immediately and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "What Doesn't Kill Us" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Gumshoe in the Dark
Rob Leininger
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608094332, $26.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gumshoe-Dark-5-Mortimer-Angel/dp/1608094332

Synopsis: Nevada's attorney general is missing. At dusk on a deserted Nevada highway in a thunderstorm, ex-IRS agent and PI-in-training Mortimer Angel comes across a pretty, scantily-clad girl named Harper Leland. She's cold and alone, thirty miles from the nearest town.

When Mort offers her a ride, she orders him out of his truck at gunpoint. She tries to take off, but he cuts the valve stem on the rear tire. Realizing she's in trouble, he wants to help, but with no spare tire, he devises a creative way to get them out of the hills -- slowly, precariously balanced on three tires. On their way down, a rough-looking man stops and asks Mort if he has "seen anyone up in the hills." Mort realizes the guy is after Harper, who is hiding in the truck.

Thus begins a cat-and-mouse chase in northeast Nevada that continues even after Mort finds the attorney general (Harper's mother) dead in the trunk of a car. In time, Mort's wife, Lucy, is also pulled into the case, which becomes the deadliest of Mort's career.

Critique: The fifth novel in author Rob Leininger's simply outstanding 'Mortimer Angel' mystery and suspense series, "Gumshoe in the Dark" is a carefully crafted and riveting read from cover to cover. While especially recommended for both the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted that "Gumshoe in the Dark" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

Editorial Note: While all of the novels in the Mortimer Angel Gumshoe Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is: Gumshoe; Gumshoe for Two; Gumshoe on the Loose; Gumshoe Rock; Gumshoe in the Dark.

The Three Locks
Bonnie Macbird
HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780008380830, $26.99, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Locks-Sherlock-Holmes-Adventure/dp/000838083X

Synopsis: In Whitechapel, a renowned Italian escape artist dies spectacularly on stage during a performance -- immolated in a gleaming copper cauldron of his wife's design. In Cambridge, the runaway daughter of a famous don drowns, her long blonde hair tangled in the Jesus Lock on the River Cam. And in Baker Street, a malevolent locksmith exacts an unusual price to open a small silver box sent to Watson.

From the glow of the London stage to the buzzing Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, where physicists explore the edges of new science of electricity, Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion John Watson race between the two cities to solve the murders, encountering prevaricating prestidigitators, philandering physicists and murderous mentalists, all the while unlocking secrets which may be best left undisclosed. And one, in particular, lands very close to home.

Critique: "The Three Locks" by Bonnie Macbird is a welcome addition to the ever growing canon of Sherlock Holmes stories. A deftly crafted and inherently fascinating read, "The Three Locks" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to all community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Sherlock Holmes fans that "The Three Locks" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Reserved for Murder
Victoria Gilbert
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643855905, $26.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reserved-Murder-Book-Lovers-Mystery/dp/1643855905

Synopsis: Beaufort, North Carolina, is home to Chapters Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed. This historic 18th-century inn draws in voracious readers from far and wide with its lovingly curated special events celebrating a host of genres and authors.

On this sunny July weekend, a visit by one of the biggest names in romantic fantasy attracts throngs of admirers to the quaint coastal village. That's not ideal, as the author retreated to Chapters to get away from it all for a while. No matter -- she'll appease her fans with a "Tea and Talk" meet-and-greet at the B&B celebrating her bestselling series (starring a devilishly dashing, time-traveling pirate), follow that up with a quick book signing at Bookwaves, the hip indie bookstore across town, and spend the remainder of the weekend in delightful repose.

But when the president of the reclusive writer's fan club is found dead in the harbor by the Beaufort docks (done in by a blunt-force blow to the head) it's up to Charlotte Reed, her neighbor Ellen, and Ellen's trusty Yorkshire terrier to sniff out the killer. Because if they can't, a spectacularly successful book series (and its author) may come to a sudden, lethal conclusion.

Critique: A true master of the 'whodunnit' style of mystery, "Reserved for Murder" continues to showcase author Victoria Gilbert's total master of the cosy mystery genre. The stuff of which successful Hallmark Channel TV movies are made, "Reserved for Murder" will prove to be a popular and appreciated addition to any and all community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Reserved for Murder" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662095016, $22.95, CD).

Deadly Delights
Laura Jensen Walker
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643855929, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Delights-Bookish-Baker-Mystery/dp/1643855921

Synopsis: August in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, always means one thing: the annual baking contest. Picture The Great British Baking Show, writ Midwestern. It's a huge draw for the upper crust of Wisconsin pastry aficionados. And, of course, bon vivant baker-turned-mystery writer Teddie St. John has a pie in the ring. The white vinyl baking tent boasts an array of folding tables housing each entrant's daily baked good. And at one of those tables sits the corpse of the head judge, his face half-buried in a delectable coconut cream pie.

The body in question belonged to notorious Les Morris. Les may have been getting on in years, but he hadn't outgrown his well-earned reputation for lechery. Now, Les is no more. But unfortunately, by his side lies Teddie's distinctive embossed rolling pin...covered with blood.

It's out of the baking pan, into the oven. A life sentence behind a lattice of prison bars and a tangle of rhu-barbed wire will never do, and Teddie's quick wit and bohemian charm won't save her from the long spatula of the law. So, with the help of her friends, she'll concoct a recipe to clear her name -- if the real killer doesn't ice her first

Critique: Another deftly penned murder mystery by author Laura Jensen Walker, "Deadly Delights" is part of her 'A Bookish Baker Mystery' series and can best be described as a compelling fun read from cover to cover. Replete with unexpected plot twists and turns that guarantee the reader's rapt attention from cover to cover, "Deadly Delights" is very highly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections and is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662095023, $22.99, CD).

Deadly Ever After
Eva Gates
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643855882, $26.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Ever-After-Lighthouse-Library/dp/1643855883

Synopsis: When Lucy Richardson and Connor McNeil announced their engagement their friends throw a party for the happy couple at Coquina Beach -- close to Lucy's beloved Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.

As they're packing up the presents and the (few) leftovers from Josie's Cozy Bakery, who should arrive but Richard Eric Lewiston III -- Lucy's former almost-fiance and his overbearing mother Evangeline. Push comes to love when Evangeline makes no secret of why she's here: to get Lucy and Ricky back together.

Lucy isn't tempted in the least, and Ricky is nothing but embarrassed at his mother's desperate ploy. Before returning to Boston Evangeline throws a dinner party at Jake's Seafood Bar for a reluctant Lucy and her family. Lucy hopes to get the dinner over with and see Evangeline and Ricky returning to Boson. But when a body is found at the restaurant's kitchen door, Lucy is again forced to unwillingly put on her detective's hat and do what she can to save her family and her engagement.

Meanwhile, the classic novel reading club is reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, and open war breaks out in the Lighthouse Library when Lucy agrees to temporarily take care of a dog named Fluffy, but Charles the library cat has other ideas!

Critique: Another wonderfully entertaining and cleverly written 'whodunnit' from the mind and imagination of novelist Eva Gates. The newest addition to her simply outstanding 'Lighthouse Library Mystery' series, "Deadly Ever After" is an exceptional and highly recommended addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Deadly Ever After" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662096303, $22.99, CD).

Peaches and Schemes
Anna Gerard
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643855844, $26.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Peaches-Schemes-Georgia-Anna-Gerard/dp/1643855840

Synopsis: Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she's savvy enough to know that Cymbeline's tourists aren't enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town's two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixty-something owner of Virgie's Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina's new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo's fashion show, when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.

Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina's statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle -- but he's not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.

Certain that Virgie's only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna's now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others beside Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she's putting her own life at danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can't find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.

Critique: Yet another deftly crafted murder mystery in author Anna Gerard's 'Georgia B&B Mystery' series, "Peaches and Schemes" is an inherently riveting 'whodunnit' novel that plays fair with the reader with every plot twist and turn. A fully entertaining read from cover to cover, "Peaches and Schemes" is recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections and is readily available for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662090592, $19.99, CD).

Never Miss
Melissa Koslin
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800740030, $29.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Never-Miss-Melissa-Koslin/dp/0800740033

Synopsis: Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him -- and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust -- except perhaps each other!

Critique: A superbly crafted and inherently riveting suspense thriller of a read from the mind and imagination of author Melissa Koslin, "Never Miss" is the stuff of which block-buster movies are made. Certain to be a welcome addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Never Miss" is also readily available in paperback edition (9780800738396, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Paris Betrayal
James R. Hannibal
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800740054, $29.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Paris-Betrayal-James-R-Hannibal/dp/080074005X

Synopsis: After a rough mission in Rome involving the discovery of a devastating bioweapon, Company spy Ben Calix returns to Paris to find his perfectly ordered world has collapsed. A sniper attack. An ambush. A call for help that brings French SWAT forces down on his head. Ben is out. This is a form of severance that is reserved for incompetents and traitors.

Searching for answers and anticipating a coming attack, Ben and a woman swept up in his misfortunes must travel across Europe to find the sniper who tried to kill him, the medic who saved his life, the schoolmaster who trained him, and an upstart hacker from his former team. More than that, Ben must come to grips with his own insignificance as the Company's plan to stop Leviathan from unleashing the bioweapon at any cost moves forward without him -- and he struggles against the infection that is swiftly claiming territory within his own body.

Critique: A unique suspense thriller of a read, "The Paris Betrayal" showcases author James R. Hannibal's particular style of narrative driven storytelling. The result is pure entertainment replete with unexpected plot twists and turns for the reader's enjoyment. Certain to be a particularly welcome addition to personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted that "The Paris Betrayal" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800738501, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.39).

Ruby Red Herring
Tracy Gardner
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643856599, $26.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Red-Herring-Antique-Mystery/dp/1643856596

Synopsis: After her parents' deaths, Avery Ayers takes over the family business, Antiquities & Artifacts Appraised, from the home office in Lilac Grove and a branch in Manhattan. Now living back at home with her younger sister Tilly and their newly moved-in, eccentric Aunt Midge and her Afghan hound, Avery's life is filled with jewels, tapestries, paintings, and rare finds. But their world is rocked when Avery learns that the theft of a priceless ruby may be connected to her parents' demise.

The trouble starts when the Museum of Antiquities hires Avery to appraise a rare, resplendent ruby. It bears a striking similarity to a solitary stone in the museum's prized Xiang Dynasty bejeweled dragon medallion exhibit, which has long been missing one of its ruby eyes. Now, Avery and her colleagues (ostentatious Sir Robert Lane and fatherly Micah Abbott) suspect they may have the missing gem. But facets of the case remain cloudy. Security guard Art Smith is always underfoot but is not what he appears. Another body turns up connected to the appraisal. And Avery receives mysterious notes that begin to put her life in danger.

Avery enlists possible ally Art's help in cutting the list of suspects who might have polished off her parents and swiped the jewel. Was it art collector Oliver Renell? Curator Nate Brennan? Acquisitions Liaison Francesca Giolitti? Actor Tyler Chadwick? Was the crime impersonal or perpetrated by someone all too close to Avery? If she can't find the culprit, lovely Lilac Grove may be the setting for Avery's own death!

Critique: A superbly crafted 'whodunnit' style mystery, "Ruby Red Herring" showcases author Tracy Gardner's impressive mastery of the genre. A mystery lover's delight from first page to last, "Ruby Red Herring" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Ruby Red Herring" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662099571, $22.99, CD).

Runner
Tracy Clark
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9781496732019, $26.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Runner-Chicago-Mystery-Tracy-Clark/dp/1496732014

Synopsis: Chicago in the dead of winter can be brutal, especially when you're scouring the frigid streets for a missing girl. Fifteen-year-old Ramona Titus has run away from her foster home. Her biological mother, Leesa Evans, is a recovering addict who admits she failed Ramona often in the past. But now she's clean. And she's determined to make up for her mistakes -- if detective Cassandra Raines can only help her find her daughter.

Cass visits Ramona's foster mother, Deloris Poole, who is also desperate to bring the girl home. Ramona came to Deloris six months ago, angry and distrustful, but was slowly opening up. The police are on the search, but Cass has sources closer to the streets, and a network of savvy allies. Yet it seems Ramona doesn't want to be found. And Cass soon begins to understand why.

Ramona is holding secrets dark enough to kill for, and anyone who helps her may be fair game. And if Ramona can't run fast enough and hide well enough to keep the truth safe, she and Cass may both be out of time.

Critique: Showcasing author Tracy Clark's genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling style that creates a riveting suspense thriller of a read from first page to last, "Runner" is another of her 'Chicago Mystery' series and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Runner" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (HighBridge Audio, 9781696603669, $29.99, CD).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Apocalypse Troll
David Weber
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982125127, $15.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Troll-David-Weber/dp/1982125128

Synopsis: Richard Ashton was in his sailboat in the middle of the Atlantic, all alone and loving it. Well, there was a US Navy carrier group on his southern horizon, but Richard was a Navy guy himself, so he didn't mind.

Then came the UFOs, hurtling in from the Outer Black to overfly the carriers at Mach 17. Their impossible aerobatics were bad enough -- but then they started shooting at each other. And at the Navy. With nukes. Little ones at first, but winding up with a 500 megatonner at 90 miles that fried every piece of electronics within line of sight.

Ashton thought he was just a ringside observer to these now over-the-horizon events. But when a crippled alien lifeboat came drifting down and homed in on his sailboat, he suddenly found his hands full of an unconscious, critically wounded, and impossibly human alien warrior who also happened to be a gorgeous female. -- That's when things got interesting!

Critique: David Weber is one of the most successful and popular science fiction writers working today. Making "The Apocalypse Troll" a simply 'must read' novel for his legions of fans and followers. Replete with his legendary wit and reader engaging narrative storytelling style, "The Apocalypse Troll" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Apocalypse Troll" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, 6.99).


The Biography Shelf

Beyond The Marriage Bed
Hellen Murray Sipala, author
Bruce E. Mowday and Simsun Greco, editors
Regent Press
2747 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705
www.regentpress.net
9781587905599, $29.95, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/BEYOND-MARRIAGE-Friend-Confidante-Andrew/dp/1587905590

Synopsis: For two decades famed artist Andrew Wyeth forged a special relationship with neighbors Helen and George Sipala. The couple was a special part of Andrew's world and their home, Painter's Folly, became a home-away-from-home refuge for Andrew and also a studio.

Andrew included the couple in many of his special events, from art openings in New York City to a movie preview with Charlton Heston. Helen and George hosted Christmas parties for Andrew and Andrew invited the couple to spend time with him in Maine during summers.

Besides being a friend, hostess and model for Andrew, Helen was a confident of the painter. Helen and Andrew spent many hours discussing painting, family, religion and other sensitive subjects.

Andrew suggested that Helen keep a diary of their meetings and talks. He hoped Helen "was writing all this down." If Helen was to share their relationship, Andrew wanted her to not make his stories "sweet" but to "put an edge to it."

Critique: Deftly edited by Bruce Mowday and Simsun Greco, and an absolute 'must read' for the legions of Andrew Wyeth fans, "Beyond the Marriage Bed: My Years as Friend, Model and Confidante of Andrew Wyeth" by Helen Murray Sipala is inherently fascinating chronicle of the relationship among Andrew Wyeth and Helen and George Sipala. Enhanced with the inclusion of a section dedicated to black-and-white photographs, "Beyond the Marriage Bed" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college and university library American Biography collections in general, and Andrew Wyeth supplemental studies curriculum reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: An author and newspaper reporter, Bruce E. Mowday has read a number of books on Andrew Wyeth, N. C. Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth and the rest of the Wyeth clan. He spent many hours at the Brandywine River Museum of Art looking at the wonderful collection of Wyeth art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The Wyeth paintings became like old and treasured friends. Having covered the case as a newspaper reporter, Mowday authored the book "Stealing Wyeth", about the theft of 15 paintings from the Andrew and Betsy Wyeth estate. He also maintains an informative website at www.mowday.com

The Birdman of Koshkonong
Martha Bergland
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
www.wisconsinhistory.org
9780870209529, $20.00, PB, 328pp

https://www.amazon.com/Birdman-Koshkonong-Naturalist-Thure-Kumlien/dp/0870209523

Synopsis: Thure Kumlien (November 9, 1819 - August 5, 1888) was one of Wisconsin's earliest Swedish settlers and an accomplished ornithologist, botanist, and naturalist in the mid-1800s, though his name has since faded into obscurity. He settled on the shore of Lake Koshkonong in 1843 and soon began sending bird specimens to museums and collectors in Europe and the eastern United States, including the Smithsonian. Later, he prepared natural history exhibits for the newly established University of Wisconsin and became the first curator and third employee of the new Milwaukee Public Museum.

For all of his achievements, Kumlien never gained the widespread notoriety of Wisconsin naturalists John Muir, Increase Lapham, or Aldo Leopold. Thure Kumlien did his work behind the scenes, content to spend his days in the marshes and swamps rather than in the public eye. He once wrote that he was not "cut out for pretensions and show in the world." Yet, his detailed observations of Wisconsin's natural world (including the impact of early agriculture on the environment) were hugely important to the fields of ornithology and botany.

"The Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien" by Martha Bergland is a this carefully researched and lovingly rendered biography that proves, this pioneering ornithologist deserves to be remembered as one of Wisconsin's most influential naturalists.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative biography based on a seminal study of meticulous and simply outstanding scholarship, "The Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien" is an especially recommended addition to community, college and university library American Biography collections in general, and Wisconsin History, Ornithology, and Environmentalist/Naturalist Biographies supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted that ""The Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Glendale, Wisconsin, and having taught for many years at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Martha Bergland is also the co-author, along with Paul Hayes, of "Studying Wisconsin", a Wisconsin Historical Society Press biography on famed Wisconsin naturalist Increase Lapham, which won the Milwaukee County Historical Society's Gambrinus Prize.

October Child
Linda Bostrom Knausgard, author
Saskia Vogel, translator
World Editions
https://www.worldeditions.org
9781642860894, $16.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/October-Child-Linda-Bostr%C3%B6m-Knausg%C3%A5rd/dp/1642860891

Synopsis: From 2013 to 2017, Linda Bostrom Knausgard was periodically interned in a psychiatric ward where she was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy. As the treatments at this "factory" progressed, the writer's memories began to disappear. What good is a writer without her memory?

A compelling memoir, "October Child" is based on Linda's personal experiences, and is an eloquent and profound attempt to hold on to the past, to create a story, to make sense, and to keep alive ties to family, friends, and even oneself. Moments from childhood, youth, marriage, parenting, and divorce flicker across the pages of "October Child".

"October Child" is the story of one woman's struggle against mental illness and isolation. It is a raw testimony of how writing can preserve and heal.

Critique: A deftly written, emotionally candid, insightfully informative, and inherently fascinating account, "October's Child" is expertly translated into English for an American readership by Saskia Vogel and highly recommended for community, college and university library Contemporary Biography & Memoir collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "October's Child" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Food For Thought
Robert A. Miller, Dr.P.H.
Regent Press
2747 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705
www.regentpress.net
9781587905643, $20.00, PB, 268pp

http://www.regentpress.net/food-for-thought.html

Synopsis: "Food For Thought: 50 Years of Public Health Work, Play and Fishing Around the World" by Robert A. Miller is comprised of short stories and reminiscences from 11 of the 32 countries in which he worked in public health in a career which lasted more than 50 years.

Besides his work and the personalities, challenges, solutions, food and fishing experiences he described there are life lessons too. The countries which are represented in the stories and snippets include Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Burma, Kenya, Vietnam, Madagascar, Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Guyana and Lebanon.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, informative and entertaining account of an unusual life life out in unusual circumstances, "Food For Thought: 50 Years of Public Health Work, Play and Fishing Around the World" is an extraordinary memoir and highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, college and university library Contemporary Biography collections.

Black Sheep
Ray 'Ben' Studevent
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
www.hcibooks.com
9780757323812, $15.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Sheep-Abandonment-Belonging-Redemption/dp/0757323812

Synopsis: "Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and Redemption" is an unforgettable memoir that opens with a middle-aged Ray Studevent returning to Washington, D.C., to his "momma," Lemell Studevent.

She didn't give birth to him, but she is the woman who raised him. She is the woman who stood by him through thick and thin. She is the woman who saved his life. But now in her late 80s, Lemell is lost to her Alzheimer's disease. On most days, she has no idea who she is, no recollection of the remarkable life she has lived. Every once in a while, she remembers small fragments of people, places, and things but she doesn't know how all of these pieces fit together. At night, she is often haunted by nightmares of growing up in the segregated South, of evil men with blue eyes peering through slits in their hooded robes.

Frightened by Ray, this stranger, this white man with his piercing blue eyes, she threatens to shoot him. Trying not to get swept up in his own buried, decades-old feelings of abandonment, Ray knows he must work to regain her trust as he thinks back to how far they both have come.

Ray Studevent grew up between two worlds. Born to a white, heroin-addicted mother and black, violently alcoholic father, the odds were stacked against him from day one. When his parents abandoned him at the age of five, after living in a world no child should experience, he was saved from the foster-care system by his father's uncle Calvin, who offered him stability and a loving home. When Calvin tragically died two years later, it was up to his widow Lemell to raise Ray. But this was no easy task. Lemell grew up in the brutality of segregated Mississippi, emotionally scarred and justifiably resenting white people. Now, she must confront these demons as she raises a mixed-race child (white on the outside, black on the inside) on the eastern side of the Anacostia River, the blackest part of the blackest city in America.

This is a time of heightened racial tension, not long after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the D.C. race riots. There are guidelines if you are black, different rules if you are white, but only mixed messages for mixed-race children who must fight for acceptance as they struggle to find their identity.

As Dr. My Haley, the widow of Roots author Alex Haley, wrote in the Foreword for Black Sheep, "Ray's pathway to manhood came not through the people who taught him what to do, but through the woman who taught him how to be, even as she learned for herself how to be." At a time when we are all reexamining the complex issues of race, identity, disenfranchisement, and belonging, this compelling true story shows us what is possible when we trust our hearts and follow the path of love.

Critique: A timely and exceptionally memoir of a biracial boy growing up in Washington, D.C., abandoned by his birth parents, and lovingly raised by a woman with deep emotional scars from her upbringing in the segregated South, "Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and Redemption" is an extraordinary read and one that speaks out to the cruelty of discrimination and the ultimate resilience of the human spirit. An individual memoir that has a universal relevance in this time striving for racial equity and social justice, "Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and Redemption" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Black Studies supplemental reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and Redemption" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Psychiana Man
Brandon R. Schrand
Washington State University Press
PO Box 645910, Pullman, WA 99164-5910
www.wsupress.wsu.edu
9780874224047, $24.95, HC, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Psychiana-Man-Mail-Order-Prophet-Followers/dp/0874224047

Synopsis: Six weeks after the 1929 stock market crash, Frank Bruce Robinson (1886 - 19 October 1948) created a self-help religion he called Psychiana. An ingenious mass-marketing pioneer, he sold a correspondence course promising health, wealth, and happiness to those who believed in the "God Power." In the midst of the Great Depression, his mail-order religion with a money-back guarantee swept the United States and spread to some sixty-seven countries (or so its founder claimed) to become one of the most successful twentieth century New Thought religions.

Facing charges of passport fraud in May 1936, an immaculately dressed Robinson arrived at the federal building in rural Moscow, Idaho. A person of considerable local and regional significance, he was Latah County's largest private employer. Throngs lined the streets and sidewalks waiting for him. He exited his sleek green Duesenberg, waved to the crowd, and smiled for pictures. His son later wrote that the charismatic leader possessed "an insatiable appetite for publicity". Central to the investigation was Robinson's true identity. He was not all he claimed to be, and his small-town trial captivated the country and made national headlines.

"Psychiana Man: A Mail-Order Prophet, His Followers, and the Power of Belief in Hard Times" by Brandon R. Schrand is a full-length biography of Robinson combined with an in-depth historical examination of Psychiana, as it traces the improbable rise and fall of a master charlatan while also giving voice to his unwavering followers (from a dust bowl farmer to a former heavyweight boxing champion) who clung to their beliefs despite ongoing financial and emotional costs. Their stories reveal how adversity can galvanize faith in a false prophet, and paint an intriguing, intimate portrait of a nation challenged by a brutal depression and war.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "Psychiana Man: A Mail-Order Prophet, His Followers, and the Power of Belief in Hard Times" is an extraordinary biography that clearly reflects impressively meticulous, thorough, and comprehensive research combined with a distinctive and effective narrative driven storytelling style -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college and university library 20th Century American Biography collections.

Editorial Note: Brandon R. Schrand is also the author of "The Enders Hotel: A Memoir", and "Works Cited: An Alphabetical Odyssey of Mayhem and Misbehavior". His nonfiction has appeared in Sports Illustrated, The Utne Reader, North American Review, and numerous other publications. He holds an MFA in creative writing, nonfiction, and an MS in American studies.

Presidential Archivist: A Memoir
David E. Alsobrook
Mercer University Press
1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207-0001
www.mupress.org
9780881467635, $29.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Presidential-Archivist-Memoir-David-Alsobrook/dp/0881467634

Synopsis: Like many young historians in the 1970s, David Alsobrook fell victim to the PhD glut and the shrinking number of vacancies in traditional academic jobs. His completion of the Auburn University Archival Training Program in 1975 provided him with an alternative beyond teaching.

"Presidential Archivist" is a memoir that focuses on Alsobrook's archival career at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and three Presidential libraries. Based on his contemporaneous personal journals, correspondence, and notes, "Presidential Archivist" includes details about academic and practical training and the revolutionary impact of computerization upon the archival profession.

During his National Archives career, Alsobrook had the unique opportunity to know Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, George H. W. and Barbara Bush, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. In "Presidential Archivist" Alsobrook also reveals that public perceptions of Presidents and First Ladies often are quite different from the actual occupants of the White House.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Presidential Archivist" is an inherently fascinating, extraordinarily unique, and impressively informative account that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists for academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in late 20th Century Presidential couples, as well as community, college and university library 20th Century American Biography collections.

Little Ricky's Circle of Trust
Eric Franz Evenhuis, D.Min
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781664204706, $28.95, HC, 134pp

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Rickys-Circle-Trust-Evenhuis/dp/1664204709

Synopsis: Pastor Eric Evenhuis' wife Nancy is a retired oncology nurse and worked over 30 years at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Nancy told her husband that he needed to learn more about his birth father and about any risk factors for his health based on his genetic background.

As a result of this dynamic research and investigation "Little Ricky's Circle of Trust: The Life and Times of Eric Evenhuis" became a story of a life with many intriguing twists and turns. Many secrets were brought to the light through oral tradition, genetic testing, and Eric's intuitive and inquisitive nature. This memoir has been percolating in Eric's mind for a long time. Now that he is semi-retired, he felt it was time to give birth to a rather wonderful story.

"Little Ricky's Circle of Trust: The Life and Times of Eric Evenhuis" is Eric's testimony to God's sovereign grace and providential care. Read this personal story of Eric's adventuresome life we can gain a new appreciation for the value of every single person who was ever conceived.

Critique: Fascinating, inspiring, and exceptional, "Little Ricky's Circle of Trust: The Life and Times of Eric Evenhuis" is the amazing story of an amazing life told from a Christian perspective. While very highly recommended for Christian biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Little Ricky's Circle of Trust: The Life and Times of Eric Evenhuis" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781664204683, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Editorial Note: Dr Eric Evenhuis is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Eric grew up in a small town of Pease, Minnesota (pop. 191) where his father Rev. Robert Evenhuis was the pastor. Eric graduated from Calvin College and Seminary. Eric received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary at Pasadena, California in 1974. Eric's career focused on psychiatric hospital chaplaincy. In addition Eric had a Pastoral counseling practice.

Watermarks
Lenka Janiurek
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785419751, $35.50, PB, Large Print, 402pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781785419751

Synopsis: Lenka Janiurek first encounters tragedy with the death of her mother when she is just nine. Involving a chaotic family, early success as a playwright, disastrous relationships, motherhood, and brushes with both extreme wealth and poverty, Janiurek's rich and remarkable memoir, "Watermarks" is about her search for a kind of freedom, found in the comforting solace of swimming.

Haunted by the despair, rage and addiction of the men Lenka has known best, she nevertheless explores and celebrates the beauty and pain of living life to the full. "Watermarks" is a stunning evocation of identity and alienation, and the restorative power of the natural world.

Critique: This large print edition of "Watermarks" is a memorably compelling, impressively candid and exceptionally well written personal life story that is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Biography & Memoir collections.

Shiny Pennies And Grubby Pinafores
Winifred Foley
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785418396, $35.50, PB, Large Print, 348pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781785418396

Synopsis: After her years in domestic service, Winifred Foley married and started a family. But while scraping a living as a charwoman in a rundown north London tenement, she continued to long for her home in the Forest of Dean and the cherished relatives she left behind. "Shiny Pennies And Grubby Pinafores" is the autobiographical story of how Winifred was determined to give their children the rural upbringing she enjoyed amongst the woods and streams.

The young couple moved to an isolated, crumbling cottage not far from the Forest. But even in the 1950s, they lacked heating or running water, and money was tight. Food was begged, borrowed or home-grown, and their clothes were hand-me-downs. It was a primitive life of hard work on the land, struggling to make ends meet, and finding warmth and strength in the embrace of a loving family.

Critique: This large print edition of "Shiny Pennies And Grubby Pinafores" by Winifred Foley is an inherently fascinating and deeply personal memoir that is both engaging and entertaining throughout. Exceptionally well written, "Shiny Pennies And Grubby Pinafores" will prove to be an especially welcome addition to community, college and university library Biography & Memoir collections.


The Travel Shelf

100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas
Joe Yogerst
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426220104, $29.99, PB, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/100-Parks-000-Ideas-Where/dp/1426220103

Synopsis: "100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" by Joe Yogerst and National Geographic showcases the United States' and Canada's most pristine and adventure-filled national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation.

Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each individual entry in this impressively comprehensive and 'user friendly' guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring.

From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades' Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page comprising "100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" will fuel your wanderlust. Plus, enable you to explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York's Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors.

Of special note are the Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. "100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" is comprehensive travel guide that provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit -- and make it a truly memorable one.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, "100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" is expertly organized and presented, making it an ideal reference resource for travel itinerary planning. Also available in a spiral-bound format (ASIN: 1974807711, $35.02), "100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do" is very highly recommended, especially for personal, professional, community, college and university library Travel Guide & Park Recreation collections.

Editorial Note: During three decades as an editor, writer, photographer and speaker, Joe Yogerst has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. His writing has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, CNN Travel, Islands magazine, the International Herald Tribune in Paris, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, and 37 National Geographic books including the best-selling "50 States, 5000 Ideas".

Lonely Planet's Best of Hawaii
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781787013865, $24.99, PB, 324pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Best-Hawaii-Country/dp/1787013863

Synopsis: "Lonely Planet's Best of Hawaii" is an illustrated compendium of relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await the savvy traveler. With the guidance of "Lonely Planet's Best of Hawaii", visitors can explore downtown Honolulu, hang out in hip-again Waikiki, or hike the verdant Kalalau Trail; and so much more!

"Lonely Planet's Best of Hawaii" includes: Up-to-date information - all businesses were rechecked before publication to ensure they are still open after 2020's COVID-19 outbreak; Color maps and images throughout; Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots; Essential info at your fingertips, including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices; Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss; Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, people, music, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, politics.

"Lonely Planet's Best of Hawaii" covers Honolulu, Waikiki, Na Pali Coast Wilderness State Park, Hanalei Bay, Waimea Canyon, Moloka'i, Road to Hana, Wailea, Haleakala National Park, Waipio Valley, Mauna Kea, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and more

Critique: The ideal itinerary planning guide, "Lonely Planet's Best of Hawaii" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Travel Guide collections in general, and Hawaii- bound vacationers and travelers in particular.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Crossroads
Jodie Niznik
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825446733, $16.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-Esther-Boldly-Responding-People/dp/0825446732

Synopsis: At first glance, the Old Testament figures of Esther and Jonah don't seem to have much in common. Esther is an orphan girl, out of place in royal courts, who nonetheless becomes queen and saves her beloved Jewish people. Jonah is a reluctant prophet who ran as hard as he could from God. And when he finally gave in and his efforts eventually saved his enemies, he did nothing but complain.

While Esther and Jonah endured wildly different circumstances and had distinctly singular callings, they were both appointed by God. They were placed in a certain time and space in history. God carried them through unique experiences and gave them specific gifts. Despite their opposite attitudes of willingness, their lives are proof of the great things we can accomplish when we follow God's call.

"Crossroads: A Study of Esther and Jonah for Boldly Responding to Your Call" is nine-week inductive Bible study in which Pastor Jodie Niznik invites you to learn that you too are uniquely equipped and called by God for a particular assignment in a specific time and place. Now you stand at a crossroads, and the choice is yours. Will you choose to boldly respond like Esther or will you fight your calling like Jonah? With thoughtful questions and practical exercises, Niznik will gently help you examine your life through the lens of Scripture and take brave, bold steps forward into the life you long for!

Critique: Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Crossroads: A Study of Esther and Jonah for Boldly Responding to Your Call" is an extraordinary and faith-building study that is especially appropriate and recommended for both individual biblical studies and as a small group curriculum textbook. While readily available for church and community library Biblical Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Crossroads: A Study of Esther and Jonah for Boldly Responding to Your Call" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.19).

Editorial Note: Jodie Niznik is Adult Ministries Pastor at Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas. She holds a master's degree in Christian education with an emphasis in women's ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary and has served in various pastoral roles in the church. Jodie is the author of "Choose: A Study of Moses for a Life That Matters", and co-author with Sue Edwards of "Galatians: Discovering Freedom in Christ Through Daily Practice".

A Place To Belong
Corynne Staresinic, editor
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.pauline.org
9780819808707, $29.95, HC, 223pp

https://www.amazon.com/Place-Belong-Letters-Catholic-Women/dp/0819808709

Synopsis: Expertly compiled and deftly edited by Corynne Staresinic, "A Place to Belong: Letters from Catholic Women" is a truly impressive anthology of deeply personal letters, wisdom from women saints, inspiring quotes, reflection questions, art, photography, and prayers that explores what it means to be a woman of Christian faith in today's secular world.

Twenty-five women from a various backgrounds, interests, and states in life including mothers, religious sisters, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, and authors informative and inspirationally explore the many ways women live out their unique attentiveness to the human person in the family, in the Church, and in the world. Women readers will be inspired to reflect on how God is calling them to live their femininity along their own unique life path as the find (and provide for others) a place in which to belong.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "A Place to Belong: Letters from Catholic Women" is a unique and very special anthology that is especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all Christian women, clergy, and seminary students.

Editorial Note: Having converted from Evangelicalism to Catholicism, Corynne Staresinic is the founder and director of The Catholic Woman, a nonprofit multimedia platform dedicated to fostering a sense of belonging among Catholic women.

Fear Not!: Unleash the Conqueror Within
Ami Thomson
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781664202375, $30.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Not-Unleash-Conqueror-Within/dp/1664202374

Synopsis: If someone had told Ami Thomson a few years ago she'd be sharing a battle strategy of victory over fear and hope for a God-blessed future, she'd never have believed it. Ami had lived gripped by fear from earliest childhood. Fear of an angry father. Fear of an angry divine Judge. Despite a successful career, marriage, and young family, by adulthood Ami found herself in a death-trap spiral of panic attacks, grueling pain, and hopelessness. No self-help books, therapy, or anti-depressants made a difference. A message of God's grace, mercy, and love seemed too good to be true.

In desperation, Ami turned for answers to the ultimate source, God's Word. There she discovered the healing truth that a loving heavenly Father doesn't want His children crippled by a spirit of fear but to be more-than-conquerors through the power of God's Holy Spirit.

"Fear Not! Unleash the Conqueror Within" was written by Ami for every person struggling with fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, addiction, or hopelessness. Intended as a working journal, it offers a step-by-step action plan to defeat fear and become more-than-conquerors in Jesus Christ. With personal anecdote, practical help, and biblical principles, Ami shares from her own experience how to rise up, stand firm, kick fear back into its corner, knock it right out of the ring, and keep it defeated forever.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Fear Not! Unleash the Conqueror Within" is an extraordinary testament and unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, congregational members, and anyone seeking to achieve spiritual growth and appreciate God's grace in their troubled lives, that "Fear Not! Unleash the Conqueror Within" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781664202351, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Reawakened
Glen Guyton
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513807645, $29.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reawakened-Congregation-Spark-Lasting-Change/dp/1513807641

Synopsis: Does your church have gummed-up gears? Or are you activated for ministry?

Are you relevant in the community in which you serve? More and more people are moving away from the church -- not because they lack faith in God, but because the church is no longer relevant to their lives. The church, not God, is the problem.

There are eight keys to unlocking the power of relevance in your ministry. In the pages of "Reawakened: How Your Congregation Can Spark Lasting Change", Glen Guyton (the Executive Director of a Mennonite denomination), explores those keys and gives practical suggestions to churches for reaching out. Offering a biblical scaffold for the idea of the activated church and sharing stories from successful ministries that are actively engaging their communities, Reawakened helps Christians ask the big questions about God's work in the world.

Critique: Inspiring, erudite, compelling, informed and informative, "Reawakened: How Your Congregation Can Spark Lasting Change" should be considered essential reading by clergy, seminary students, and all members of a Christian congregation concerned with evangelism, Christian living in a secular world, as well as the growth and stability of their church. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Reawakened: How Your Congregation Can Spark Lasting Change" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781513808079, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Glen Guyton is executive director of Mennonite Church USA. Guyton has spoken to thousands of youth and adults throughout the United States, Jamaica, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Ghana. Guyton is a certified project management professional who holds a degree in management from the United States Air Force Academy and a master of education degree from Regent University. Additionally, Guyton has training in anti-racism and creating safe workplace environments.

The Parables: Jesus's Friendly Subversive Speech
Douglas D. Webster
Kregel Academic
c/o Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
978082544690, $22.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Parables-Jesuss-Friendly-Subversive-Speech/dp/0825446902

Synopsis: Jesus' parables used familiar situations to convey deep spiritual truths in ways that are provocative and subversive of the status quo. Prayerfulness was pictured by a persistent widow. The joy of salvation in the homecoming of a lost son. Love of neighbor by a marginalized Samaritan. If we're not careful, we can easily miss details in the parables that reveal their subtle meanings as well as their contemporary relevance.

Drawing on scholarship on the parables as well as theological, pastoral, and practical insights, Professor Douglas Webster guides the reader through each of Jesus' parables, pointing out the important nuances that allow us to understand them and be transformed by them. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter can be used for personal or group study, and an appendix for pastors provides guidance for preaching the parables. Pastors, Bible teachers, and serious students of Scripture will find this tour through Jesus' parabolic teaching to be a feast for both the mind and the soul.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "The Parables: Jesus's Friendly Subversive Speech" is highly recommended and spiritually worthwhile reading by all members of the Christian community and would well serve as a textbook for personal and group study classes in Jesus and the New Testament gospels. It should be noted for clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Parables: Jesus's Friendly Subversive Speech" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.47).

Editorial Note: Douglas D. Webster (Ph.D., University of St. Michael's College) is the Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University. He has also served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Diego for fourteen years as well as churches in New York City, Denver, and Toronto. His other books include, Follow the Lamb: A Pastoral Approach to The Revelation and Preaching Hebrews: The End of Religion and Faithfulness to the End.

The Diary of Jesus Christ
Bill Cain, SJ
Orbis Books
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
www.orbisbooks.com
9781626984073, $20.00, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Diary-Jesus-Christ-Bill-Cain/dp/1626984077

Synopsis: While obviously not really the diary of Jesus Christ, "The Diary of Jesus Christ" by Jesuit priest and playwright Bill Cain is a first-person account of the life of Jesus in a format of a diary that places us inside Jesus's consciousness, where the spirit of discovery, surprise, learning, doubt, failure and growth is in sharp contrast to the canonical gospels where Jesus seems, from the start, self-assured and even predestined to fulfill his role.

"The Diary of Jesus Christ" is a boldly unique attempt to understand Jesus Christ, the person whom more than two billion people claim as their messiah and savior.

Critique: Novel, effective, inspired and inspiring, "The Diary of Jesus Christ" is very highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community, including the clergy and seminary students. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Diary of Jesus Christ" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

40 Days of Intentional Living
Ink & Willow
WaterBrook Press
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780593231777, $15.00, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Days-Intentional-Living-Challenge-Journaling/dp/0593231775

Synopsis: The practice of developing intentional faith habits is not a natural tendency. It requires focus, discipline, prayer, and persistence to grow in our walk with God. We may have great intentions, but often the busyness and chaos of everyday life force our spiritual growth to take a back seat. Fortunately, "40 Days of Intentional Living" from Ink & Willow offers both a practical guide and an inspiring resource to deepening of Christian faith.

Divided into eight themes central to the Christian faith (including hope, joy, surrender, and rest) the 40 devotions comprising "40 Days of Intentional Living" draw from the writings of a number of beloved authors of faith, including C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King Jr., Louie Giglio, Jennie Allen, Mark Batterson, Brennan Manning, Randy Alcorn, and more.

Partnered with daily Scripture reading, thought-provoking journal prompts, and practical action steps to encourage you toward a more intentional faith lifestyle, this 40-day resource is the ideal companion for walking through the seasons of Lent and Advent, as well as for use in personal or group study.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "40 Days of Intentional Living" is inspired and inspiring -- making it especially and unreservedly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations.

Editorial Note: The Ink & Willow line infuses contemplation and inspiration into the regular spiritual practice of creative-minded Christians, wherever they are in their faith journey. Each thoughtfully curated gift product is based in biblical truth and sparks a reminder of how God reveals beauty in the midst of our ordinary.

Patriarch Daniel: Rebuilding Orthodoxy in Romania
Patriarch Daniel, author
Chad Hatfield, editor
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780881416855, $23.00, PB, 278pp

https://www.amazon.com/Patriarch-Daniel-Rebuilding-Orthodoxy-Romania/dp/0881416851

Synopsis: Few in the West realize that the second-largest Orthodox Church in the world is in Romania, and fewer still know the remarkable story of her recent past. After suffering the horrors of Communist persecution, the life of the Church is once again flourishing. But many complexities and difficulties had to be overcome in order to reestablish and strengthen Church life -- not only in outward building projects, but in fostering the inward spiritual growth of the faithful.

At the center of all these important tasks we find Patriarch Daniel. With the publication of "Patriarch Daniel: Rebuilding Orthodoxy in Romania" (and for the first time in English), readers can learn more about his life, and encounter him in his own words as he addresses the challenges and the opportunities that face us today.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, deftly organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Patriarch Daniel: Rebuilding Orthodoxy in Romania" is impressively informative and inspiring contribution to Orthodox Christianity history collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and members of the Orthodox Christian community that "Patriarch Daniel: Rebuilding Orthodoxy in Romania" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: The Orthodox Christian Profiles Series published by SVS Press acquaints the reader on an intimate level with Orthodox figures that have shaped the direction of the Orthodox Church in areas of mission, ascetical and liturgical theology, scholarly and pastoral endeavors, and various other professional disciplines. The people featured in the series are mostly our contemporaries and most remain active in shaping the life of the Church today. A few will have fallen asleep in the Lord, but their influence remains strong and worthy of historical record. The mission of this series is to introduce inspirational Orthodox Christian leaders in various ministries and callings that build up the Body of Christ.

Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus
Rachel Pieh Jones
www.djiboutijones.com
Plough Publishing House
www.plough.com
9781636080062, $17.99, PB, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pillars-Muslim-Friends-Closer-Jesus/dp/1636080065

Synopsis: When Rachel Pieh Jones moved from Minnesota to rural Somalia with her husband and twin toddlers eighteen years ago, she was secure in a faith that defined who was right and who was wrong, who was saved and who needed saving. She had been taught that Islam was evil, full of lies and darkness, and that the world would be better without it.

Luckily, locals show compassion for this blundering outsider who can't keep her headscarf on or her toddlers from tripping over AK-47s. After the murder of several foreigners forces them to evacuate, the Joneses resettle in nearby Djibouti.

In her memoir, "Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus", Jones recounts, often entertainingly, the personal encounters and growing friendships that gradually dismantle her unspoken fears and prejudices and deepen her appreciation for Islam. Unexpectedly, along the way she also gains a far richer understanding of her own Christian faith. Grouping her stories around the five pillars of Islam (creed, prayer, fasting, giving, and pilgrimage) Jones shows how her Muslim friends' devotion to these pillars leads her to rediscover ancient Christian practices her own religious tradition has lost or neglected.

Jones brings the reader along as she reexamines her assumptions about faith and God through the lens of Islam and Somali culture. Are God and Allah the same? What happens when one's ideas about God and the Bible crumble and the only people around are Muslims? What happens is that she discovers that Jesus is more generous, daring, and loving than she ever imagined.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, informative and inspiring read from cover to cover, "Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus" is an extraordinary life story and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. While highly recommended for community, church, college and university library Evangelism and Christian Biography collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Editorial Note: Rachel Pieh Jones writes about life at the crossroads of faith and culture. Her work is influenced by living as a foreigner in the Horn of Africa, raising three Third Culture Kids, and adventurous exploration of the natural world. She has written for the New York Times, Runners World, Deadspin, the Big Roundtable, and more. She maintains an informative website at www.djiboutijones.com


The Judaic Studies Shelf

How to Measure a World?
Martin Shuster
Indiana University Press
https://iupress.org
9780253054531, $80.00, HC, 258pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Measure-World-Philosophy-Judaism/dp/0253054532

Synopsis: What does it mean to wonder in awe or terror about the world? How do you philosophically understand Judaism? In "How to Measure a World?: A Philosophy of Judaism", Professor Martin Shuster provides answers to these questions and more.

Emmanuel Levinas suggested that Judaism is best understood as an anachronism. Professor Shuster attempts to make sense of this claim by alternatively considering questions of the inscrutability of ultimate reality, of the pain and commonness of human suffering, and of the ways in which Judaism is entangled with the world. Drawing on phenomenology and Jewish thought, Professor Shuster offers novel readings of some of the classic figures of Jewish philosophy while inserting other voices into the tradition, from Moses Maimonides to Theodor W. Adorno to Walter Benjamin to Stanley Cavell.

"How to Measure a World?" also examines elements of the Jewish philosophical record to get at the full intellectual scope and range of Levinas's proposal. Professor Shuster's view of anachronism thereby provokes an assessment of the world and our place in it. A particular understanding of Jewish philosophy emerges, not only through the traditions it encompasses, but also through an understanding of the relationship between humans and their world. In the end, Levinas's suggestion is examined theoretically as much as practically, revealing what's at stake for Judaism as much as for the world.

Critique: An introductory study that will have enormous appeal for both students and non-specialist general readers, "How to Measure a World?: A Philosophy of Judaism" is as informative as it is thought-provoking, and very highly recommended for personal, synagogue, community, college and university library Contemporary Judaic Theology & Philosophy Studies collections. It should be noted that "How to Measure a World?: A Philosophy of Judaism" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780253054548, $25.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.74).

Editorial Note: Martin Shuster is Associate Professor of Philosophy and holds the Professorship of Judaic Studies and Justice at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, where he previously directed the Judaic studies program and where he currently directs the Center for Geographies of Justice. In addition to many articles and book chapters across a range of topics, he is the author of Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity and New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre and the coeditor of Logics of Genocide: The Structures of Violence and the Contemporary World.


The Woodworking Shelf

Let's Carve!
Robin Edward Trudel
Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
www.woodworkerslibrary.com
9780941936361, $21.95, PB, 114pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Carve-Safe-Woodcarving-Projects/dp/0941936368

Synopsis: Any child's eyes will light up when they see what they can make with the beautiful and fun projects in "Let's Carve!: Safe and Fun Woodcarving Projects for Kids", a safe and easy introduction to the art of woodcarving for kids age 4 and up from experienced woodcarver Robin Edward Trudel. Requiring only a few tools, inspiration and adult supervision, each of the individual projects comprising "Let's Carve!" are guaranteed kid-safe and specifically designed for beginners, but it should be noted that children will be able to complete these age-appropriate designs all by themselves.

Learning the simple and beautiful art of coaxing shapes and figures from wood will fill a child with the joy of accomplishment, while teaching life-long skills that children will cherish forever. From simple clothespin chompers to string puppets to a waddling push penguin, each of the 16 core projects in "Let's Carve!" includes a basic version and an advanced version for kids who want more of a challenge. Many of the projects also provide alternate ideas that can be applied to new projects.

With its quick results and cumulative skill-building, "Let's Carve!" will awaken the creative spirit in your child, foster hand-eye coordination, and build confidence as your young carvers turn out unique handicrafts. "Let's Carve!" will give your child an experience they'll treasure and foster a life-long love of creativity.

Critique: Profusely illustrated on every page with clear and 'user friendly' step-by-step instructions, "Let's Carve!: Safe and Fun Woodcarving Projects for Kids" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, middle school, and community library woodworking instructional reference collections for kids ages 4-12. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Let's Carve!: Safe and Fun Woodcarving Projects for Kids" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

The Ex-Offender's New Job Finding and Survival Guide, second edition
Ronald L. Krannich
Impact Publications
14 Cotesworth Place, Savnnah, GA 31411
www.impactpublications.com
9781570233623, $19.95, PB, 244pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ex-Offenders-New-Finding-Survival-Guide/dp/1570233624

Synopsis: "The Ex-Offender's New Job Finding and Survival Guide" by Ronald Krannich offers sound re-entry employment advice for those with ex-offender red flags in their backgrounds and those who may therefore appear unemployable. Indeed, finding a good job is the number one challenge facing thousands of ex-offenders entering the free world each day. In fact, the United States is the world's most "arrested society" -- 707 of every 100,000 people are locked up; nearly 12 million people circulate in and out of prisons, jails, and detention centers each year; 2.2 million are incarcerated in state and local prisons; 5.5 million are on parole or probation; and 70 million have an arrest or conviction that may appear as a red flag in their background.

While many employers may not want to hire someone with a criminal record, others are willing to give ex-offenders a second chance and help them get back on their feet and move ahead with their lives. In fact, we live in a society that both admires and supports people who can pick themselves up, transform their lives, and go on to achieve their dreams.

But what should ex-offenders do in order to land a good job? Where should they go to find a job they do well and enjoy doing? What strategies work best for them? "The Ex-Offender's New Job Finding and Survival Guide" provides important answers to many re-entry questions facing ex-offenders. Beginning with an examination of 20 myths/realities and 22 principles for success, one of America's leading employment and re-entry experts reveals 10 steps to job and career success: Examine and change your attitudes; Seek assistance and become proactive; Select appropriate job search approaches; Assess your skills and identify your motivational pattern; State a powerful objective; Conduct research on jobs and communities; Write effective resumes and letters; Network for information, advice, and referrals; Develop winning job interview skills; Negotiate salary and benefits like a pro.

This edition of "The Ex-Offender's New Job Finding and Survival Guide" includes two special chapters - (1) how to survive and prosper on the job as well advance your career, and (2) how to best navigate the electronic world (increasingly an important life skill) after spending so much time behind a prison firewall!

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, the second edition of "The Ex-Offender's New Job Finding and Survival Guide" is an essential, invaluable, and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Jobs/Careers collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Ex-Offender's New Job Finding and Survival Guide" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.19).

Editorial Note: Ronald L. Krannich, Ph.D., is one of America's leading career and travel writers who has authored more than 100 books, including several bestsellers for ex-offenders: Best Resumes and Letters for Ex-Offenders, The Ex-Offender's Job Interview Guide, Best Jobs for Ex-Offenders, The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Success Guide, The Ex-Offender's Quick Job Hunting Guide, The Ex-Offender's 30/30 Job Solution, The Re-Entry Start-Up Pocket Guide, and The Re-Entry Employment and Life Skills Pocket Guide.


The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

How to Be a Vodka Snob
Brittany Jacques
Red Lightning Books
c/o Indiana University Press
https://iupress.org
9781684351282, $24.00, HC, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Vodka-Snob-Brittany-Jacques/dp/1684351286

Synopsis: "How to Be a Vodka Snob is the perfect read for drinking novices as well as connoisseurs, beginning with vodka's humble history as a medicinal liquor and accompanying it on its rise to stardom with high-end vodka appreciators and mixologists.

Pairing fascinating stories, tidbits, and recipes with a DIY step-by-step guide to becoming a vodka snob, in "How to Be a Vodka Snob" author and vodka connoisseur Brittany Jacques offers a beginner's guide to proper glassware, equipment needed for the home bar, and the all-important vodka lingo. Ever wanted to order a filthy martini, stirred, extra wet? Don't know a Moscow Mule from a White Russian? A Stoli from a Belvedere? Micron filtering from charcoal filtering? "How to Be a Vodka Snob" is the perfect introduction for all things vodka for you.

"How to be a Vodka Snob" features more than 50 recipes with everything from James Bond's favorite Martini to Dwight's Beets Over Rocks from The Office, as well as accompanying nibbles and side dishes. With Brittany Jacques as your guide, your journey to becoming a vodka snob starts here.

Critique: Nicely illustrated, impressively informative, exceptionally well written and presented, "How to be a Vodka Snob" will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Alcohol Beverage collections. It should be noted that "How to be a Vodka Snob" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.39).


The Art Shelf

Drawing Is for Everyone
Kateri Ewing
www.kateriewing.com
Quarry
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760370667, $22.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Everyone-Creative-Practice-Possibilities/dp/0760370664

Synopsis: In "Drawing Is for Everyone: Simple Lessons to Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit - Explore Infinite Creative Possibilities in Graphite, Colored Pencil, and Ink", artist Kateri Ewing guides you through a series of simple creative drawing projects using a soulful, meditative, and reflective process. Whether you're drawing for the first time or are an experienced artist, you'll discover and deepen your creative potential through these exercises, because everyone can make art. Each lesson includes two art pieces, one to keep, and then a smaller one, such as a postcard or mini painting, to share or send out into the world, to spread their color, creativity, and joy in new places.

With "Drawing Is for Everyone", you can learn how to build a daily drawing practice and how to set intentions and create, even if you have just 10 minutes a day. The projects draw inspiration from poetry, music, literature, and the natural world, and invite experimentation with a variety of sources. You'll pursue your personal passions through accessible projects as you build your drawing skills, confidence, and creativity.

Critique: A thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY instruction guide and manual for even the most novice of aspiring artists and illustrators, "Drawing Is for Everyone: Simple Lessons to Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit - Explore Infinite Creative Possibilities in Graphite, Colored Pencil, and Ink" is profusely illustrated and an excellent beginning artwork 'how to' textbook that offers a complete course of step-by-step instruction in a single volume. Fully living up to its title, "Drawing Is for Everyone" is immanently suitable to and highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Pen/Ink/Pencil art instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: The author of Look Closer, Draw Better, Watercolor Is for Everyone, and Drawing Is for Everyone, Kateri Ewing is an artist in residence and teacher at the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora, New York. For her artistic and writing endeavors, she was honored with the 2012 Mary and Gil Stott Award at Roycroft. Her artwork has also won numerous awards in both local and national exhibitions. She uses her Patreon virtual classroom to interact with her students, worldwide, daily. She lives in Western New York. Her informative website is www.kateriewing.com

Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective
Yayoi Kusama, author
Stephanie Rosenthal, editor
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791378824, $60.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Yayoi-Kusama-Retrospective/dp/3791378821

Synopsis: Yayoi Kusama (born 22 March, 1929) is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. Her work is based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. At the present age of 92 she has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan.

The companion to the groundbreaking new retrospective at the Gropius Bau, and deftly edited by Stephanie Rosenthal (Director of the Gropius Bau in Berlin), "Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective" examines Kusama's life and work through wholly original insights by leading experts, tracing the development of Kusama's creative output from her early paintings and accumulative sculptures to her immersive environments, as well exploring her lesser-known artistic activity in Europe and Germany in particular.

"Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective" also illuminates Kusama's commitment to political and social issues in Europe, the US and Japan. A diverse selection of images and archival documents feature alongside texts by authors from different theoretical backgrounds. The included essays discuss Kusama's accomplishments in the worlds of fashion, film, art marketing and publishing. They focus on her engagement with different artistic spheres and offer genre-specific observations about her performances, installations and painting series. As panoramic and fascinating as its subject, this monumental retrospective guides viewers interested in Kusama towards a deeper understanding of her creative trajectory and of the breadth of her extraordinary career.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, "Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective" is a complete and comprehensive introduction to a remarkable artist and an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Art History collections in general, and Yayoi Kusama supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty
Eleanor Nairne, et al.
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791359793, $50.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Dubuffet-Brutal-Eleanor-Nairne/dp/3791359797

Synopsis: Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet (31 July 1901 - 12 May 1985) was a French painter and sculptor who is perhaps best known for founding the art movement art brut, and for the collection of works (Collection de l'art brut) that this movement spawned. Dubuffet enjoyed a prolific art career, both in France and in America, and was featured in many exhibitions throughout his lifetime.

It was in 1940s Nazi occupied Paris that Dubuffet began to champion his progressive vision for art; one that rejected classical notions of beauty in favor of a more visceral aesthetic. Taking a pioneering approach to materiality and technique, the artist variously blended paint with sand, glass, tar, coal dust, and string.

At the same time, he began to assemble a collection of Art Brut (work that was made outside the academic tradition of fine art) even visiting psychiatric wards from 1945 to collect work by patients.

"Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty" includes texts and commentaries from leading scholars and is accompanied by images that illuminate Dubuffet's attempts to move beyond the artistic expectations of his time. The works are grouped into six thematic sections that focus on specific series, from his graffiti-inspired "Walls" and his notorious portrait series, "People are Much More Beautiful Than They Think" to the "Corps de dames," a controversial series of "female" landscapes, and his anthropomorphic sculptures, "Little Statues of Precarious Life." Exquisitely produced, this celebration of Dubuffet's work embraces his world view that art is for everyone, not just the elite.

Critique: Presenting a complete and comprehensive showcase of artist Jean Dubuffet's approach to art and art appreciation, "Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty" is an impressively informative and profusely illustrated coffee-table sized volume (9.69 x 1.16 x 11.31 inches) that must be considered an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Surrealist Art and Art Criticism collections in general, and Jean Dubuffet supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Eleanor Nairne is the Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, where her recent exhibitions include Lee Krasner: Living Colour and Basquiat: Boom for Real. She is also a contributor to publications including the London Review of Books and Frieze.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Terpenes for Well-Being
Andrew Freeman
Mango Publishing
https://mangopublishinggroup.com
9781642505528, $18.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Terpenes-Well-Being-Comprehensive-Emotional-Physical/dp/1642505528

Synopsis: Herbal remedies to feel better outside and inside. In recent years, cannabis has taken the natural medicine community by storm, with terpenes as the number one conversation starter. To Andrw 'The Cannabis Sommelier' Freedman, terpenes have a depth of complexity, whether it's helping to set your intention, creating the mood, and now -- fusing it with cocktails, cooking, and aromatherapy.

With engaging text, informative charts, and recipes for both edible and non-edible terpene consumption, "Terpenes for Well-Being: A Comprehensive Guide to Botanical Aromas for Emotional and Physical Self-Care Natural Herbal Remedies Aromatherapy" provides both a botanical breakdown and comprehensive drug guide to aromatherapy-related techniques for relaxation, natural stress relief, and anti-anxiety treatment.

"Terpenes for Well-Being" offers terpene-infused food and cocktail recipes to promote well-being. With information on the distinct characteristics of different terpenes, this exciting self-care instructional guide offers a hands-on, DIY approach to terpene-infused lotions, potions, foods and beverages. Of special note are the recipes for: Bath Salts, Cocktails, Food Pairings, and more!

Critique: Impressively and comprehensively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Terpenes for Well-Being: A Comprehensive Guide to Botanical Aromas for Emotional and Physical Self-Care Natural Herbal Remedies Aromatherapy"is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Alternative Health & Medicine collections in general, and Cannabis supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Teprenes for Well-Being" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Editorial Note #1: Terpenes are a class of natural products consisting of compounds with the formula (C5H8)n. Comprising more than 30,000 compounds, these unsaturated hydrocarbons are produced predominantly by plants, particularly conifers. Terpenes are further classified by the number of carbons: monoterpenes (C10), sesquiterpenes (C15), diterpenes (C20), etc. A well known monoterpene is alpha-pinene, a major component of turpentine. (Wikipedia)

Editorial Note #2: Andrew Freedman has over a decade of experience in the cannabis industry. Working as a buyer, commercial grower, and extractor, he has also created CBD products for self-care ranging from suppositories for menstrual cramps to bath bombs and lotions. His blog, The Cannabis Sommelier works alongside chefs to create delicious terpene food and cocktail recipes. He is an active participant in weed legalization and a frequent speaker at events. He currently teaches seminars about cannabis and wine pairing, cannabis cocktails and cannabis dining and hosts and presents at cannabis dining events across North America. Andrew has been featured in various international publications as well as The Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, Hightimes, The Globe & Mail and more.

Restoring Your Intestinal Flora
Christopher Vasey, N.D.
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644110935, $14.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Your-Intestinal-Flora-Digestive/dp/1644110938

Synopsis: Our intestinal flora perform a large number of duties -- far more than just aiding digestion. Recent research has revealed that our intestinal flora help fight off infections by killing microbes and viruses, increase our resistance to allergens and inflammation, cleanse our internal systems by neutralizing toxins, and even support our moods and energy levels by interacting with hormones and neurotransmitters.

"Restoring Your Intestinal Flora: The Key to Digestive Wellness" is an easy-to-follow guide, Christopher Vasey explains how to restore balance to your microbiome. He examines the many functions of intestinal flora and their role in a healthy immune system, including their anti-inflammatory effects and role in the creation of lymphocytes. He explores the major causes of weakened flora, especially the overuse of antibiotics and the overconsumption of refined, low-fiber foods, and he outlines the ailments and diseases that can result, such as bloating, food intolerance, mood swings, fungal infections, and greater susceptibility to colds and flu.

Offering step-by-step methods, Vasey explains how to restore the flora after taking medications such as antibiotics, how to support your flora with the ingestion of prebiotics: high-fiber foods that provide essential nutrients for good gut health, and how to strengthen your flora with probiotics: foods or supplements that facilitate the regeneration of healthy intestinal flora. The author explores simple changes you can make in your eating and drinking habits to support your microbiome as well as practices to keep the flora of the colon out of the intestinal environment where they can wreak havoc. He also details the steps of the healing process, including the cleansing reactions you may experience as your intestinal flora rebalances.

Providing everything you need to know for optimum digestive wellness, "Restoring Your Intestinal Flora: The Key to Digestive Wellness" shows that repairing the balance of your intestinal flora is simple and accessible to anyone.

Critique: An ideal and unreservedly recommended informational resource for the non-specialist general reader, as well as of instructional value for medical students and health care practitioners, "Restoring Your Intestinal Flora: The Key to Digestive Wellness" of a complete course of instruction in the value, purpose, and care of intestinal flora for good health. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Restoring Your Intestinal Flora: The Key to Digestive Wellness" is a core and essential addition to community, college and university library Health/Medicine collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Restoring Your Intestinal Flora: The Key to Digestive Wellness" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Residing near Montreux, Switzerland, Christopher Vasey, N.D., is a naturopath specializing in detoxification and rejuvenation. He is the author of several books, including The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, Natural Remedies for Inflammation, Liver Detox, Natural Antibiotics and Antivirals, and Good Sugar, Bad Sugar.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Alchemical Tantric Astrology
Frederick Hamilton Baker
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644112809, $18.99, PB, 242pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alchemical-Tantric-Astrology-Planets-Chakras/dp/1644112809

Synopsis: Demonstrating the connections between astrology, alchemy, and yoga, in the pages of "Alchemical Tantric Astrology: The Hidden Order of Seven Metals, Seven Planets, and Seven Chakras", Frederick Baker reveals how he discovered their correspondences by rotating the natural order of the zodiac, placing Aquarius and Capricorn at the bottom and Cancer and Leo at the top, to reflect the alchemical order of metals from lead to gold. This "Alchemical Tantric Arrangement" then revealed a corresponding alchemical order of the seven traditional planets from Saturn (lead) to Sun (gold), and also aligned with the seven chakras and the three major energy channels (nadis) of the Tantric yoga system, including the channel through which Kundalini energy rises from root chakra to crown chakra.

Baker uses these rediscovered correspondences to expand the meaning of each astrological sign based on their association with the chakras, the alchemical transmutation cycle from lead to gold, and the wisdom of ancient myth. He also offers expanded meanings for each chakra in association with the twelve signs of the zodiac and their ruling planets as well as new insights into the influence of Chiron and Eris.

Baker also provides a complete analysis of his own birth chart as well as Alchemical Tantric Astrology insights into significant events over the past few decades, including the intense changes of 2020.

Baker's revolutionary new take on our individual spiritual journeys shows how the astrological cycle around the signs of the zodiac represents the alchemical and Tantric transformation of consciousness and the natural path of spiritual unfolding.

Critique: An inherently interesting, thought-provoking, insightfully informative, and thoroughly engaging read throughout, "Alchemical Tantric Astrology: The Hidden Order of Seven Metals, Seven Planets, and Seven Chakras" is a unique and especially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical and Astrological Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Alchemical Tantric Astrology: The Hidden Order of Seven Metals, Seven Planets, and Seven Chakras" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Frederick Hamilton Baker holds an A.A. degree in Biological Science; a B.A. in Psychology; an M.A. in Archetypal Psychology; advanced studies in Counseling Psychology and School Counseling. He has a long history of study, professional experience, and teaching in the fields of astrology and yoga.

Animal Love Oracle Cards
Nadine Gordon-Taylor
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781591434047, $30.00, Card Deck, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Love-Oracle-Cards-Compassion/dp/1591434041

Synopsis: Beautifully illustrated with images of animals from around the world, including bears, cats, dragonflies, lions, manatees, otters, puffins, turtles, and zebras, the 52 full-color cards of this animal-centered deck were designed to resonate with the wisdom of the animals and universal love. The animals that appear on each card are your mentors and will guide you with profound insights to help accelerate your journey and align you with the energies of the heart. As you work with the cards, you step through an opening uniting you with your higher consciousness and new loving energies that will inspire, empower, and heal. The deck includes 50 animal cards as well as 2 "wild cards" featuring mythological creatures: the mermaid and the unicorn.

In the accompanying guidebook, artist Nadine Gordon-Taylor explains how to intuitively use the deck. For each card, she offers a detailed message, an explanation of its animal symbols, and three affirmations to help you embody the wisdom of the animal mentors shown on the card and transform limiting thoughts and patterns. The messages of the cards are not predictive. They were channeled to gently guide you and help you discover that you have all the wisdom and knowledge you need within yourself. Let this deck give you a loving nudge in the direction of your dreams. Know animals are holding you in the heart of Divine Love.

Critique: Beautifully designed and unique among oracle card decks, "Animal Love Oracle Cards: Advice, Compassion, and Wisdom from Our Animal Mentors" is especially an unreservedly recommended for personal and professional metaphysical studies in general, and Tarot/Spirit Guide students and practitioners in particular.

Editorial Note: Nadine Gordon-Taylor, MFA, EdD, is a classically trained artist who focuses on the animal kingdom and its symbolic connection to humans. She received her master of fine arts in painting from Long Island University and her doctorate in art education from Columbia University. She has taught for more than 30 years, including giving lectures and workshops across the country, and her drawings, prints, and paintings have been exhibited and are in collections around the world. The creator of The Heart Path Oracle Cards, she also runs a gallery, Third Eye Arts, in the town of Peekskill, New York.

Body Healing Cards
Ewald Kliegel, author
Anne Heng, illustrator
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644112557,$30.00, Card Deck, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Healing-Cards-Ewald-Kliegel/dp/1644112558

Synopsis: In a healthy body, all our organs and body systems work harmoniously together, like musicians in an orchestra. When an organ becomes "out of tune" by showing symptoms of disease or dysfunction, we attempt to restore it to full function by focusing on it alone. However, every organ is interconnected within the whole body. Only when we look at the "in-between," at what happens in the connections between the organs, do we get a fuller picture of health and illness and of the path to healing.

Based on Ewald Kliegel's more than 40 years of hands-on healing work, "Body Healing Cards" offers an opportunity to intuitively investigate the essence of the individual organs, explore their interconnectedness within the body, and discover their physical, soul, and spiritual layers. Anne Heng's beautiful full-color intuitive artwork carries information that addresses the unconscious levels of the organs, opening up buried senses of the soul and enabling us to become aware not only of the pure function of the organs but also of their emotional, soul, and spiritual levels.

The corresponding channeled messages in the accompanying booklet help you develop strategies for resolving stressful situations around your health as well as offering a tool for prevention by pointing toward latent dysfunctions even before illness manifests in the body. The booklet explains how to use the 56-card deck, including the two Male and Female principle cards, and details 7 different card spreads, including the Health Spiral, the Organ Constellation, the Organ Clock Spread, and the complex Health Matrix, which embraces the four dimensions of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well as the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.

Opening up an entirely new dimension of body awareness, "Body Healing Cards" offers a holistic approach to health for both self-healing and wellness practitioners.

Critique: A unique combination of a 56 card deck and an informative DIY guidebook, "Body Healing Cards" will prove to be an enduringly popular, useful, and unique resource for practitioners and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Alternative Medicine and Metaphysical Studies.

Editorial Note: Ewald Kliegel has been a practicing massage therapist, naturopath, and reflexologist for more than 40 years. The author of many books, including Holistic Reflexology and Let Your Body Speak, he teaches seminars around the world. Illustrator Anne Heng is an awareness facilitator and painter with exhibitions worldwide.

Mindful Astrology
Monte Farber, author
Amy Zerner, author
Rock Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631067471, $19.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mindful-Astrology-Finding-According-Rising/dp/1631067478

Synopsis: Ever wonder what's behind the simple question of "What's your sign?" While most people are aware of their sun sign, beginning to understand the combination of your sun, moon, and rising signs (also known as your "celestial trilogy") can give you a deeper perspective on your personality and those of your loved ones. Your sun sign represents your purpose in life, your moon sign rules your emotional intelligence, and your rising sign indicates how you appear to others.

Explored together, your celestial trilogy gives you meaningful insights into: Love and relationships; Work and career; Wealth and success; Wellness and mindfulness.

Our purpose is to grow, love, and bring ourselves into balance. The mindful practice of astrology can help you achieve self-awareness, learning to truly see yourself and others. With the insights you'll gain from "Mindful Astrology: Finding Peace of Mind According to Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign", you can create a more mindful life filled with self-knowledge, peace, and meaning.

Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in commentary style, organization and presentation, "Mindful Astrology: Finding Peace of Mind According to Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign" by the team of Monte Farber and Amy Zerner will enable even the most novice of beginning practitioners to successfully engage in the practice of astrology. An ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Astrology supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular, it should be noted that "Mindful Astrology: Finding Peace of Mind According to Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Miller's Collectibles Handbook & Price Guide 2021-2022
Judith Miller
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784726706, $29.99, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Millers-Collectibles-Handbook-Price-2021-2022/dp/1784726702

Synopsis: "Miller's Collectibles Handbook & Price Guide 2021-2022" is the fully up-to-date guide to the collectibles market that no dealer, collector or auctioneer can or should be without. Featuring more than 4,000 objects in full color, each with a detailed description and price range, the book also shows you how to spot that rare example that may be worth twenty times more than another piece.

In-depth features explain why one piece is worth more than another, show how to value an item and teach you to be your own expert when appraising everything from 20th-century glass to costume jewelry. Comprehensive sections cover a wide range of objects, with additional pages on pencils, toys, vintage handbags, trunks and costume jewelry for this edition.

Every image is changed for every edition to keep the book up-to-date with collecting and buying trends. "Miller's Collectibles Handbook & Price Guide 2021-2022" is the only full-color, fully-illustrated collectibles price guide in the world.

Critique: Simply put, "Miller's Collectibles Handbook & Price Guide 2021-2022" by Judith Miller is the 'bible' of the antique/collectibles market. Beautifully and profusely illustrated on every page, "Miller's Collectibles Handbook & Price Guide 2021-2022" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an essential and core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Antiques/Collectibles reference collections.

Editorial Note: Judith Miller began collecting in the 1960s while a student at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has since extended and reinforced her knowledge of antiques through international research, becoming one of the world's leading experts in the field. In 1979 she co-founded the international best-seller Miller's Antiques Price Guide and has since written more than 100 books which are held in high regard by collectors and dealers. She is an expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow and has co-hosted the popular BBC series The House Detectives, ITV's Antiques Trail, and Discovery's It's Your Bid. She is a regular lecturer and contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, BBC Homes & Antiques and House & Garden. She has also lectured extensively, including at the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington.


The Sports Shelf

The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow
William L. Bike
Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
www.arcadiapublishing.com
9781467149082, $21.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-1970-Chicago-Cubs-Sports/dp/146714908X

Synopsis: Chicago Cubs fans always will remember the beloved 1969 team. Yet the 1970 Cubs are, in many ways, more interesting. The Cubs added fascinating characters like Joe Pepitone and Milt Pappas to the legendary nucleus of Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks. The team came closer than in any year between 1945 and 1984 -- finishing only five games out of first place in one of baseball's hottest pennant races. Offering a fast-paced look at the season month by month, "The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow" by William S. Bike moves beyond wins, losses and statistics to relive Ernie Banks's 500th home run, the addition of "the basket" to the outfield walls and other iconic moments from a landmark year at Wrigley Field.

Critique: An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Chicago Cubs fans, "The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow" is impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college and university library Baseball Sports History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Forgotten 1970 Chicago Cubs: Go and Glow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Associate editor of the newspaper Gazette Chicago, William S. Bike also works as a freelance writer. Formerly, he worked in communications for Loyola University Chicago, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Bike has earned more than fifty awards in journalism, publications, media relations and alumni relations, including three Peter Lisagor Awards, the top honor in Chicago journalism. He also wrote the books "Streets of the Near West Side", "Winning Political Campaigns", "Celebrating a Proud Past" and edited the book "Essays on Earl Renfroe: A Man of Firsts".


The Interior Design Shelf

Kelly Hoppen's Essential Style Solutions for Every Home
Kelly Hoppen
Francis Lincoln
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711262300, $19.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Hoppens-Essential-Style-Solutions/dp/0711262306

Synopsis: With over 200 images, carefully selected and curated by a world-renowned design guru with over 40 years' experience, "Kelly Hoppen's Essential Style Solutions for Every Home" gives you: Clear and easy-to-follow advice on the first principles of style including tones and colour, texture, light and finishing touches; The lowdown on practicalities, budgeting and prioritizing from Kelly's expert perspective; Tried-and-tested tricks of the trade that show you how to use color and tones that will make your rooms feel bigger and brighter; Tips on how to dress and accessorise rooms for maximum impact.

Room-by-room case studies focus on the main spaces in the home as well as dead space such as corridors, addressing the feeling you are aiming to create, and setting out the core elements and top styling tips to allow you to achieve this.

Where applicable, Kelly makes cost-cutting suggestions for saving money by choosing less-expensive materials, advising what it's worth splashing out on and where you can afford to spend less, as well as ideas for making quick-and-easy seasonal updates to inexpensively refresh your rooms on a regular basis.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Kelly Hoppen's Essential Style Solutions for Every Home" is a complete course of ideas and techniques for DIY interior designs that even the most modest of homeowners can successfully apply -- making this design compendium and instruction guide ideal for personal, professional, community, college and university library Contemporary Interior Design collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted that "Kelly Hoppen's Essential Style Solutions for Every Home" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Kelly Hoppen MBE is one of the world's most influential interior designers. Her unique design aesthetic combines luxury with simplicity and has won her international acclaim and a huge following. Her celebrated interior design studio, Kelly Hoppen Interiors, has completed international schemes for residential and commercial properties, yachts and private jets, as well as the interiors for British Airways' first-class cabins. She also runs her own successful design school, where she shares her design secrets and offers advice to home decorators. Her first TV series, Superior Interiors, in which she helped transform domestic homes, was aired on Channel 5 in Autumn 2011. Receiving an MBE in 2009 for services to interior design marked the pinnacle of her design career to date. Kelly adds her MBE to numerous awards which include Andrew Martin International Designer of the Year Award, EWAA Woman of Achievement Award, GRAZIA Designer of the Year, plus awards from Elle Decoration and Homes & Garden, and many more. Kelly's previous books include Kelly Hoppen Home, Kelly Hoppen Style and Kelly Hoppen Ideas.


The Automotive Shelf

Drag Racing's Warren "The Professor" Johnson
Kelly Wade
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255704, $36.95, PB, 176pp

https://www.cartechbooks.com/collections/new-releases/products/drag-racings-warren-quot-the-professor-quot-johnson-th e-cars-people-amp-wins-behind-his-pro-stock-success-1

https://www.amazon.com/Drag-Racings-Warren-Professor-Johnson/dp/1613255705

Synopsis: Warren Johnson navigated the world of factory hot rods for more than 45 years, devoting himself to full-time racing in 1975 and relentlessly pursuing horsepower and victory from the driver's seat and the engine room. Johnson's devotion to research and development opened the door to a long-standing relationship with Oldsmobile and GM Performance, beginning with the birth of the Drag Racing Competition Engine (DRCE) that is still used by every competitive team in the class.

He excelled when it came to outthinking the competition and was outspoken on matters that he deemed vital. Johnson embraced thinking outside the box and pushed boundaries to affect change in terms of both safety and the advancement of the class, but he also knew when it was appropriate and necessary to put on a good show for the fans.

Through his tireless efforts and with the support of a small crew that included his wife, Arlene, and son, Kurt, Johnson claimed two IHRA championships and six NHRA world titles, along with an astounding 97 national event wins that placed him in the position of being the most-winning driver of all time in the Pro Stock category.

"Drag Racing's Warren "The Professor" Johnson: The Cars, People & Wins Behind His Pro Stock Success" by Kelly Wade features photos from the family archive and striking professional images of Johnson's many race cars, dives into it all, beginning with his childhood and early days of match racing when he developed the stern frugality and fierce resourcefulness that was the foundation of a tremendously successful, though sometimes controversial, career.

Critique: A 'must' for the legions of Kurt Johnson fans, "Drag Racing's Warren "The Professor" Johnson: The Cars, People & Wins Behind His Pro Stock Success" is an inherently fascinating and informative read from cover to cover and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Stock Car Racing collections.

Oldsmobile W-Powered Muscle Cars
David Newhardt
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255407, $42.95, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Oldsmobile-W-Powered-Muscle-David-Newhardt/dp/1613255403

Synopsis: Oldsmobile's foray into the developing muscle car wars of the 1960s came as little surprise to most in the automotive industry. What was surprising was that it wasn't the first to develop it! Oldsmobile's Rocket 88 has been viewed by some as the beginning of performance offerings from automobile manufacturers. The 4-4-2 was Oldsmobile's volley back at the Pontiac GTO, and in 1966, Olds attempted to spike the ball home with its all-new W-30 high-performance drag racing package.

During the course of the next pair of decades, Oldsmobile offered the W-code on a host of platforms (the Cutlass, F-85, 4-4-2, Toronado, and Delta 88) with an assortment of engine packages (400, 455, and 350). As muscle cars fell by the wayside during the struggling 1970s, Oldsmobile continued to carry its flagship W-30 all the way through the 1980 model year.

Critique: In the pages of "Oldsmobile W-Powered Muscle Cars" by muscle car historian and automotive photographer David Newhardt revisits and celebrates Oldsmobile's legendary W-optioned performance machines. Profusely and beautifully illustrated with full color photography from cover to cover, "Oldsmobile W-Powered Muscle Cars" is a unique, informative, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library American Automotive History collections and supplemental curriculums studies reading lists.

Editorial Note:David Newhardt was a staff photographer/features editor at Motor Trend magazine, had been a freelancer for many years, and has written 18 books on automotive subjects, contributing photography to more than 50 books and magazines. He is currently the chief photographer for Mecum Auctions.


The Gardening Shelf

Rhapsody In Green
Charlotte Mendelson
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9780857833105, $49.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rhapsody-Green-Novelist-Obsession-Laughably/dp/0857833103

Synopsis: Gardening can be viewed as a largely pointless hobby, but the evangelical zeal and camaraderie it generates is unique. Charlotte Mendelson is perhaps unusually passionate about it. For despite her superficially normal existence, despite the fact that she has only six square metres of grotty urban soil and a few pots, she has a secret life. She is an extreme gardener, an obsessive, an addict. And like all addicts, she wants to spread the joy.

Her garden may look like a nasty drunk old man's mini-allotment, chaotic, virtually flowerless, with weird recycling and nowhere to sit. When honored friends are shown it, they tend to laugh. However, it is actually a tiny jungle, a minuscule farm, a wildly uneconomical experiment in intensive edible cultivation, on which she grows a taste of perhaps a hundred kinds of delicious fruits and odd vegetables. It is a source of infinite happiness and deep peace. It looks completely bonkers. Arguably, it's the most expensive, time-consuming, undecorative and self-indulgent way to grow a salad ever invented, but when tired or sad or cross it never fails to delight.

"Rhapsody in Green: A novelist, an obsession, a laughably small excuse for a vegetable garden" is the story of her obsession and her garden.

Critique: Inherently fascinating and well exceptionally written, "Rhapsody in Green" will have a very special appeal to anyone who has gotten themselves involved with gardening and the horticultural arts. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library Gardening/Horticultural collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Rhapsody in Green" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780857839473, $12.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Needlecraft Shelf

Felt & Fur: 20 Simple Makes To Sew
Emma Herian
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945954, $24.99, PB, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Felt-Fur-Emma-Herian/dp/1784945951

Synopsis: Featuring an on-trend avocado, woodland toadstool, cool cacti and not-so-scary spider, "Felt & Fur: 20 Simple Makes To Sew" by needlecraft expert Emma Herian is comprised of furry and felted projects that are suitable for beginners and require very few tools -- an ideal combination for some enjoyable and relaxing crafting time! Each individual project is made using a fun selection of readily available and affordable ultra-cozy fabrics. A detailed tools and materials section, plus techniques and templates, will cover all the basics necessary to completing these cuddly designs.

Critique: Also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Felt & Fur: 20 Simple Makes To Sew" will prove to be an enduringly popular and fun addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Emma Herian has been creative ever since she learned to knit on two pencils at school. Emma's needle felting work evolved when she was asked to teach the craft at a workshop. Emma has written features for Making magazine, and her work was featured on Channel 4's Kirstie's Handmade Christmas.

Stitch: Embroidery Makes for Your Home and Wardrobe
Amy Burt
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945879, $14.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stitch-Embroidery-Makes-Your-Wardrobe/dp/1784945870

Synopsis: The needlecrafting magic of embroidery is that it can transform something ordinary into something extraordinary. Armed with just a needle and thread (and a little imagination), with needlecraft expert Amy Burt's "Stitch: Embroidery Makes for Your Home and Wardrobe" there is no limit to the fun you can have transforming clothes, accessories and homewares. These inspiring designs can be applied to just about anything and cover a range of ability levels. Each project is clearly explained with step-by-step text, photographs and templates. All the necessary information on tools, materials and techniques is included too. So it's easy and fun to give your home and wardrobe a quirky and stylish boost.

Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Stitch: Embroidery Makes for Your Home and Wardrobe" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections. Especially ideal for the novice beginner, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stitch: Embroidery Makes for Your Home and Wardrobe" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in East London, Amy Burt is a full-time embroiderer who teaches at the Royal School of Needlework. In 2018, Amy's embroidery of 'The Young Stevie Nicks' was chosen from over 20,000 entries to be displayed in London during the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts 250th Summer Exhibition curated by Grayson Perry RA. Amy also works as a freelance embroiderer in the fashion industry. She is a senior embroiderer at the British Haute Couture fashion house Ralph & Russo.

Crocheted Animal Rugs
Vanessa Mooncie
www.vanessamooncie.com
GMC Publications
c/o The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945855, $24.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crocheted-Animal-Rugs-Vanessa-Mooncie/dp/1784945854

Synopsis: "Crocheted Animal Rugs" by Vanessa Mooncie is comprised of ten fun DIY needlecrafting projects in the form of crocheted animal rugs. Each individual project includes detailed patterns, stunning photographs and helpful hand-drawn charts. There is also an extensive techniques section explaining all the stitches and techniques you'll need to make your flat friend.
These beautiful crochet rugs make wonderful gifts and stylish additions to any home.

Critique: Expertly crafted step-by-step instructions are supported by illustrations along with full color photos of the finished projects. Enhanced with the inclusion of a list of suppliers and a useful index, "Crocheted Animal Rugs" is an ideal DIY instruction guide and manual that would grace any personal, professional or community library Needlecraft collections. It should be noted for personal use that "Crocheted Animal Rugs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Vanessa Mooncie first learned to knit and crochet from her mother and grandmother. She went on to study fashion and textile design and became a children's wear designer, illustrator and interior designer. Vanessa now specializes in silkscreen work (www.vanessamooncie.com) and designing crochet jewelry through her company Kissy Suzuki (www.kissysuzuki.com). Vanessa has written many successful books for GMC Publications, including "Animal Hats", "Crocheted Wild Animals", "Sew Adorable", "And Sew to Bed" and "Crocheted Sea Creatures". She is also a regular contributor to other craft books and magazines.

Cute Crocheted Woodland Creatures
Emma Varnam
GMC Publications
c/o The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946036, $19.95, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cute-Crocheted-Woodland-Creatures-Varnam/dp/1784946036

Synopsis: "Cute Crocheted Woodland Creatures" by Emma Varnam features 10 charming animals to make -- one so charming and 'needlecrafter friendly' that it's something of a delightful quandary as to which to make first! From a mischievous raccoon to a friendly fox and a wise owl, these completed crocheting projects will make ideal gifts and also include crocheted accessories that can be shared between the woodland friends. A comprehensive techniques section, accompanied by detailed patterns will provide all the information required. Of special note is the stylish photography inspires even the most novice of needlecrafters to create their own woodland menagerie!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Cute Crocheted Woodland Creatures" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation - making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecrafting collections. It should be noted that "Cute Crocheted Woodland Creatures" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Drawing upon her years of experience and expertise, Emma Varnam has written a number of popular crochet books including "Granny Squares Home", "Crocheted Keyrings & Charms", "Cute Crocheted Animals" and "How to Crochet" -- all of which are published by GMC Publications.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Full Spirit Workout
Kate Eckman
https://www.kateeckman.tv
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608687213, $16.95, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Full-Spirit-Workout-Self-Doubt-Strengthen/dp/160868721X

Synopsis: There are many resources that teach the basics of physical fitness, as well as mindfulness, business skills, and entrepreneurial chutzpah. But often undermining these goals are less-tangible roadblocks such as mental and emotional baggage, deep-seated insecurity, self-judgment, and overwhelming stress and anxiety.

In "The Full Spirit Workout: A Ten-Step System to Shed Your Self-Doubt, Strengthen Your Spiritual Core, and Create a Fun and Fulfilling Life", Kate Eckman draws from her multifaceted training as an athlete, executive leadership coach, and meditation teacher, to present a DIY program that will empower you to break through these blocks and accomplish your goals. It's a rewarding workout comprised of daily mind-body-spirit exercises and neuroscience-based practices that bolster resilience and inner strength. Best of all, Eckman builds in creativity, flexibility, and delight so that each "rep" feels less like work and more like play.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Full Spirit Workout: A Ten-Step System to Shed Your Self-Doubt, Strengthen Your Spiritual Core, and Create a Fun and Fulfilling Life" is a life-changing, life-enhancing, life-enriching, life-celebrating DIY program for achieving spiritual and emotional well-being in every aspect of your personal life. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted that "The Full Spirit Workout: A Ten-Step System to Shed Your Self-Doubt, Strengthen Your Spiritual Core, and Create a Fun and Fulfilling Life" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Kate Eckman is a Columbia University certified executive coach who works with leaders in business and sports. An expert in communications, performance, and mindfulness, she is a TV personality, accomplished entrepreneur, and former elite athlete. She is also a meditation teacher and course creator for Insight Timer and maintains an informative website at https://www.kateeckman.tv

The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders
Daniel Harkavy
Baker Books
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
9781540900029, $26.99, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Perspectives-Effective-Leaders-Framework-Increasing/dp/1540900029

Synopsis: According to CEO and executive coach Daniel Harkavy, effective leadership boils down to just two things: your decisions and influence. Good decisions lead to strong results, which in turn increase your influence. If you get these two things right, your leadership effectiveness improves.

But as all leaders know, it's not that easy, especially in today's fast-paced, complex, and connected environment. To make the best decisions and have maximum impact, you need to see your business from seven perspectives: Current reality; Long-term vision; Strategic bets; The team; The customer; Your role; The outsider.

Drawing upon his 25 years of experience as a successful CEO and executive coach, and including conversations and thinking from more than 20 well-known business and organizational leaders, in the pages of "The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders: A Proven Framework for Improving Decisions and Increasing Your Influence", Harkavy unpacks a proven framework you can implement for immediate results in your organization's culture and performance.

Critique: Especially recommended to the attention of anyone seeking to improve and enhance their leadership skills, "The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders: A Proven Framework for Improving Decisions and Increasing Your Influence" is a complete DIY course of instruction and insight will provide an effective and 'user friendly' framework for accomplishing their leadership goals and responsibilities. While very highly recommended for community, corporate, college and university library Leadership/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders: A Proven Framework for Improving Decisions and Increasing Your Influence" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781540901095, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.58), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Mission Audio, 9798200531097, $15.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Daniel Harkavy founded executive coaching firm Building Champions, Inc., more than two decades ago. He and his team have coached thousands of leaders in firms like Daimler, Nike, Kaiser Permanente, Chick-fil-A, John Deere, and Steelcase, to mention a few.

The Charisma Factor
Leesa Rowland
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268979, PB, $15.95, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Charisma-Factor-Magnetic-Personal-Influence/dp/1578268974

Synopsis: Charisma is compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. This unique combination of confidence, natural ability and personal magnetism exists within each and every one of us, just waiting to be unlocked. But while everyone is born with the capacity for charisma, few ever take full advantage of this amazing personal gift.

More than a just another DIY guide to becoming popular or charming, "The Charisma Factor: Unlock the Secrets of Magnetic Charm and Personal Influence in Your Life" by Leesa Rowland is part mentor, part roadmap to embracing your individuality, and will significantly assist in the discovery of your authenticity and empowerment of yourself. By determining what we really want in life, we ignite the drive necessary to reach new heights and become our best possible self. This is the "it" (or charismatic) factor that separates leaders from followers, students from teachers, and dreamers from doers.

With The Charisma Factor, you will discover: The key characteristics of charismatic people; How to find (and enhance) your unique charisma factor; Effective strategies for being more charismatic in personal and professional settings; Daily tools and techniques for developing charisma; The secrets to turning charisma into authentic influence.

Critique: A life-changing, life-enhancing, self-esteem generating, inspirationally motivating, and thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY self-improvement instruction guide and manual, "The Charisma Factor: Unlock the Secrets of Magnetic Charm and Personal Influence in Your Life" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal, community, college and university library Leadership & Self-Help collections. It should be noted that "The Charisma Factor" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Leesa Rowland's charisma has led her to success as an author, actress, and animal advocate. She is founder and president of the nonprofit organization, Animal Ashram, an animal welfare group located in New York City. Leesa is also a predominate figure on the New York City and Hamptons charity circuit and is supportive of children, victims of domestic violence, and animal causes.


The Martial Arts Shelf

Suparinpei: The Last Kata of Goju-Ryu Karate
Giles Hopkins
Blue Snake Books
c/o North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623175580, $21.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Suparinpei-Last-Kata-Goju-Ryu-Karate/dp/1623175585

Synopsis: Suparinpei, or Pechurin, is the highest and most difficult kata in the Goju-ryu system of Okinawan karate. Its performance has long been reserved for high-level practitioners, its history and applications obscured by misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Fully illustrated throughout, "Suparinpei: The Last Kata of Goju-Ryu Karate" is indispensable DIY manual for martial arts students and practitioners that was created by experienced master Giles Hopkins so that his readers will learn the skills, techniques, and bunkai of this little-understood kata, step by step.

Suparinpei explores the initial receiving, bridging, controlling, and lethal finishing techniques in sequence, and offers illustrations of both the applications and movements of Suparinpei. Hopkins questions conventional interpretations of kata movements, suggesting instead that there is only one originally intended application for each move in kata, and that each is to be understood in sequence and not as isolated components.

This strict interpretation of kata movements reveals not only realistic self-defense executions, but also potentially the original intent of kata.

Critique: An impressively illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' step-by-step guide to the structure, themes, and techniques of Suparinpei (the last kata of Goju-ryu) this outstanding manual is especially and unreservedly recommended for dojo, community, college and university library Martial Arts instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of martial arts students and practitioners that "Suparinpei: The Last Kata of Goju-Ryu Karate" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Giles Hopkins is a karate instructor and the author of The Kata and Bunkai of Goju-Ryu Karate, a number of articles for the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, and blog posts and essays on the subject of Okinawan Goju-ryu and kobudo. Practicing martial arts since 1973, he holds black belt rankings in a number of styles, as well as sixth-degree rankings and a teacher's certificate in Okinawan Goju-ryu and Matayoshi kobudo, from the Zen Okinawa Kobudo Renmei and the Okinawa Kodokan.


The Photography Shelf

Lonely Planet's Beautiful World
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781838694678, $19.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planets-Beautiful-World-mini/dp/1838694676

Synopsis: Armchair travelers will enjoy visually journeying to the planet's most magnificent places with "Lonely Planet's Beautiful World", a thought-provoking portrait of our world as told through full color photographs. See it as you've never seen it before and renew your relationship with the place we call home.

The images comprising "Lonely Planet's Beautiful World" will take the reader to places far and wide, the kinds of places that might never be visited in person, but that can perhaps be put on that "If " list we all have tucked away in our daydreams of global travel. These places are surprising, remarkable, remote, familiar and demonstrate the undeniable fact that it is a beautiful world.

The photography in "Lonely Planet's Beautiful World" is divided into ten themes: Origins; Nourish; Untamed; Community; Celebration; Transformation; Space; Harmony; Monumental; Eternal.

Critique: A simply magnificent compilation of outstanding photographic images, "Lonely Planet's Beautiful World" is a unique and especially recommended addition to community, college and university library Travel Photography collections. It should be noted for personal Pictorial Travel lists that "Lonely Planet's Beautiful World" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781743607879, $29.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Life is Strange: Partners In Time: Tracks
Emma Vieceli, author
Claudia Leonardi, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787734739, $16.99, PB, 112pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Strange-2-1-Emma-Viecieli/dp/1787734730

Synopsis: How far would you go, to get back to the person you love? As Max Caulfield embarks on a road trip across America after coming so close to returning to her own timeline, across the transect Tristan and Chloe follow the same path. But, both Max and Tristan struggle to control their powers and it looks like Max and Chloe may never get their happy ending - unless they can find something, or someone, to help them.

Critique: This graphic novel edition of "Life is Strange: Partners in Time - Tracks" collects issues #13 - #16 of the hit comic series by author/storyteller Emma Vieceli and artist/illustrator Claudia Leonardi -- and will be of special interest to members of the LGTBQ community. While highly recommended, especially for community library Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Life is Strange: Partners in Time - Tracks" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Emma Vieceli is a comics artist and writer who has worked on a variety of projects by esteemed publishers, including Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Jem and the Holograms and Manga Shakespeare. She has also illustrated popular graphic novel adaptations of Vampire Academy and Alex Rider. Claudia Leonardi is an up and coming artist based in Italy. the "Life is Strange" series is her breakthrough into the world of comic books, with many more projects to come.

Rivers Of London: Body Work
Ben Aaronovitch, author
Andrew Cartmel, author
Lee Sullivan, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787736252, $29.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rivers-London-Vol-Deluxe-Writers/dp/1787736253

Synopsis: Grant is part of a very special London police unit. Full-time cop and part time wizard he works on rather unusual crimes - those that involve magic and the general weirdness that permeates London's dark underbelly. His latest case begins with a perfectly innocent car on a homicidal killing spree - without a driver. But, before you know it, there's a Bosnian refugee, the Most Haunted Car in England, a bunch of teenagers loaded on Ketamine and seemingly-harmless wooden bench with the darkest of pasts.

Critique: In a unique format, "Rivers Of London: Body Work" by the team of author/storytellers Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, and artist/illustrator Lee Sullivan lays out on the left hand page the script of panels and captions, and on the right hand page the artwork. The result is an inherently fascinating graphic novel that combines elements of magic with an action/adventure oriented mystery. While unreservedly recommended for community library Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Rivers Of London: Body Work" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $28.49).

Editorial Note: Ben Aaronovitch has written for TV, his credits including Doctor Who and Casualty; his Rivers of London novels have been international bestsellers and he has finally fulfilled his dream of adding a comic to the series; in this he has been joined by fellow writer and regular Doctor Who contributor Andrew Cartmel. The series is drawn by yet another Doctor Who creator, Matthew Dow Smith, who has also illustrated the likes of Hellboy, Supernatural: Origins and Sandman Mystery Theatre.

The Knights of Heliopolis
Alejandro Jodorowski, author
Jeremy, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787736085, $39.99, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Knights-Heliopolis-Alejandro-Jodorowsky/dp/1787736083

Synopsis: In a monastery in the North of Spain hides the sacred temple of the Knights of Heliopolis: an assembly of immortal alchemists cut off from the world. As disciple Seventeen prepares to complete his training and integrate order, his master Fulcanelli reveals to the other knights the terrible secret of his origins - Seventeen is actually the hidden son of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette! Will the young heir claim the throne or remain in the shadows, faithful to the millennial precepts of Alchemy?

Critique: The 18th century and based on one of the greatest myths in the history of France, a romantic destiny that author Alejandro Jodorowsky brilliantly rewrites as a grand esoteric fable. Stunningly illustrated throughout with the artwork of Jeremy, "The Knights of Heliopolis" is historical action adventure graphic novel storytelling at its very best. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Graphic Novel collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Knights of Heliopolis" is also readily available from Titan Comics in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $20.42).

Editorial Note #1: Alejandro Jodorowsky is a French-Chilean film-maker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and spiritual guru. He is best known for his controversial avant-garde films - including his first feature, Fando y Lis, which was banned in Mexico, and El Topo in 1970, often regarded as the first ever classic midnight cult movie. He has established himself as a notable comic writer with The Incal, the seminal work of the comic book medium, created in conjunction with the late Moebius, often cited as the greatest comic ever written.

Editorial Note #2: Jeremy started alongside Philippe Delaby as a colorist at just 17 years old. While working on coloring projects, he took the time to produce a comic strip about pirates, Barracuda, written by Jean Dufaux. On the death of Delaby, Jeremy agreed to complete the 21 remaining plates from volume 4 of the second cycle of La Complainte des landes perdus. After completing the Barracuda series with a sixth volume, he began Knights of Heliopolis, with Alejandro Jodorowsky writing the script.

Wika
Thomas Day, author
Olivier Ledroit, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787735927, $39.99, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wika-Thomas-Day/dp/1787735923

Synopsis: After narrowly escaping an uprising that claims the lives of her parents, Wika, the last of a royal line of fairies, must evade the assassins on her trail long enough to discover the secret of her lineage. A dark tale of magic and mystery, with fairies, dwarves, goblins and elves, and a stunning epic fantasy world brought vividly to life by the beautiful illustrations of Olivier Ledroit, "Wika" is an extraordinary and compelling example of the storytelling power of a graphic novel.

Critique: With its museum quality artwork combined with and supporting an inherently engaging and impressively original fantasy, "Wika" by the team of Thomas Day and Olivier Ledroit is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Graphic Novel collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wika" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology, $29.40).

Editorial Note #1: Thomas Day has published fifteen novels since 2002. His novel Way of the Sword was adapted as a comic strip by French publisher Glenat (soon to be released in English by Titan Comics' Statix Press line), and received the Julia Verlanger Prize in 2003. He frequently mixes fantastic elements within his stories, which are characterized by a vast imagination and striking writing. When he is not writing, he works as a collection director in a large publishing house.

Editorial Note #2: Olivier Ledroit is a French comic book artist who studied for two years at the Duperre School of Applied Arts in Paris. He is best known for his work on The Black Moon Chronicles and In June 1997, he adapted the new Deadly Enemies by Philip K. Dick. He has teamed with comics auteur Pat Mills on two occasions: Sha and Requiem: Vampire Knights, for which he won the Favorite European Comics Eagle Award in 2007. Ledroit draws each of his boards directly in color, playing with the effects of materials and evoking his gorgeous eye for detail and luscious settings.


The Music CD Shelf

Friends in High Places
Turner Cody and The Soldiers of Love
www.turnercody.com
Capitane Records
www.capitane-records.net
$TBA CD / $TBA digital

https://turnercody.bandcamp.com/album/friends-in-high-places

Friends in High Places is a country-folk album with inspiration from French indie-pop by poet and music artist Turner Cody. Along with his backing band The Soldiers of Love, Cody weaves a wistful modern reflection of love, loneliness, regrets, and storytelling. Friends in High Places is emotional, captivating, and highly recommended. The tracks are "Boozing and Losing", "The Four Thousand Dollar Days", "Lonely Days in Hollywood", "The Beginning", "Mr. Wrong", "Telling Stories", "Friends in High Places", "What I Tell You", "Love in Vain", "Nothing but Regrets", and "Drink a Toast in Heaven".

Rogue Island
Curt Ramm
Produced by Ray Gennari with Curt Ramm
https://www.curtramm.com
Rocktorium Records
https://rocktoriumrecords.com
$25.00 CD / $15.00 digital

https://www.curtramm.com/buy-music

Rogue Island is an album of original songs, created to promote a positive, morale-boosting message. Created amid the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rogue Island was produced with the incorporation of remotely recorded performances, and long-distance cooperation. A vivacious, collaborative fusion, Rogue Island embodies the essence of an island paradise in songs that draw inspiration from reggae, yet also involve a wide range of instrumentation from horn to piano, accordion, guitar, and saxophone. The tracks are "Smugglers Cove", "Full Boat", "Ripped", "Sandown", "Pontchartrain", "Surfer's End", "Blue Wave", "Dancehall Dreams", "Everyday Beach", "Limetree", and "From the Baseline".

Remember Our Creator
Reggae Angels
www.reggaeangels.com
Privately Published
$20.00 CD

https://reggaeangels.com/product/reggae-angels-remember-our-creator

Remember Our Creator is a double-disc reggae CD featuring one disc of vocal versions and one disc of dub versions of spiritual songs by Reggae Angels. The lyrics speak to remembering God, and cherishing the virtues of love, gratitude, patience, and contentment. Remember Our Creator is an enlightening experience, highly recommended. The disc 1 tracks are "Contentment", "One Heart", "Positive Way", "Gratitude", "Look to the Good", "Love and Mercy", "Goodness", "It Is Possible", "Remember Our Creator", "God Fearing", "Tribulations", and "Strive", and the disc 2 tracks are dub renditions of all the disc 1 tracks.

Only Love Will Stay
Rale Micic
Whaling City Sound
www.whalingcitysound.com
$17.82 CD / $7.92 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Only-Love-Will-Stay-Micic/dp/B08ZQ7RXT6

Only Love Will Stay is an original, acoustic jazz guitar album by Serbian music artist Rale Micic. The fluid, harmonious rhythms are sure to please aficionados of the genre. Only Love Will Stay is poignant, captivating, and highly recommended. The tracks are "Only Love Will Stay", "Even Steven", "How Deep is the Ocean", "Better Days Ahead", "January", "Savas", "Riverdale" and "Lpe Cvatu (Linden Trees are in Bloom)".

Couleur
Dobet Gnahore
Cumbancha
www.cumbancha.com
$15.98 CD / $TBA digital

https://dobet.bandcamp.com/releases

2010 Grammy award-winning African vocalist, dancer, and superstar Dobet Gnahore presents Couleur, an Afropop album created to spread a message of positivity, women's rights, and hope during the modern pandemic. Passionate, energetic, and exciting, Couleur is a welcome addition to international and Afropop dance music collections. The tracks are "Desert", "Leve-toi", "Jalouse", "Yakane", "Redemption", "Wazii", "Woman", "Vis ta Vie", "Zaliguehi", "Ma Maison", "Mon Epoque", and "Mi Pradjo".


The American History Shelf

The Sower and the Seer
Joseph Hogan, et al.
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
www.wisconsinhistory.org
9780870209482, $24.95, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sower-Seer-Perspectives-Intellectual-American/dp/0870209485

Synopsis: Expertly compiled and edited by a team of five historians and academicians, "The Sower and the Seer: Perspectives on the Intellectual History of the American Midwest", a collection of twenty-two essays and a product of recent revivals of interest in both Midwestern history and intellectual history, showcasing the contributions of interior thinkers and ideas in forming an American identity.

The Midwest has been characterized as a fertile seedbed for the germination of great thinkers, but a wasteland for their further growth. "The Sower and the Seer" reveals that representation to be false. In fact, the region has sustained many innovative minds and been the locus of extraordinary intellectualism. It has also been the site of shifting interpretations -- to some a frontier, to others a colonized space, a breadbasket, a crossroads, a heartland. As agrarian reformed (and Michigander) Liberty Hyde Bailey expressed in his 1916 poem "Sower and Seer", the Midwestern landscape has given rise to significant visionaries, just as their knowledge has nourished and shaped the region.

The essays gathered for this simply outstanding collection deftly examine individual thinkers, writers, and leaders, as well as movements and ideas that shaped the Midwest, including rural school consolidation, women's literary societies, Progressive-era urban planning, and Midwestern radical liberalism. While disparate in subject and style, these essays taken together establish the irrefutable significance of the intellectual history of the American Midwest.

Critique: A seminal collection of erudite and informative commentaries, "The Sower and the Seer: Perspectives on the Intellectual History of the American Midwest" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to community, highschool, college and university library American History collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Sower and the Seer: Perspectives on the Intellectual History of the American Midwest" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Joseph Hogan is the director of fact-checking at Retro Report. Jon K. Lauck is a professor of history and political science at the University of South Dakota and the editor-in-chief of the Middle West Review. Paul Murphy is a professor of history at Grand Valley State University. Andrew Seal is a lecturer in the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Gleaves Whitney is the director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University.

Lighthouses of the Georgia Coast
William Rawlings
Mercer University Press
1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207-0001
www.mupress.org
9780881467758, $29.00, HC, 190pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lighthouses-Georgia-Coast-William-Rawlings/dp/0881467758

Synopsis: Once an essential part of nautical navigation and commerce, the world's lighthouses have become historical relics of days past, their primary function now replaced by modern technology. Yet these magnificent structures continue to fascinate us, not only for their intrinsic beauty, but also as monuments to our shared history, and as symbols of hope and salvation to those cast adrift on the stormy seas of life.

From the mid-eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, the waterways of coastal Georgia from the St. Marys River in the south to the Savannah River in the north were an integral part of the state's economy. Georgia's barrier islands are today the site of five existing lighthouses, each with its own unique style, history, and role in events over the past decades and centuries. Richly illustrated with both contemporary and historical photos, "Lighthouses of the Georgia Coast" is a fitting memorial to this aspect of American history.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, and expertly presented, "Lighthouses of the Georgia Coast" is a 'must' for the legions of lighthouse enthusiasts and will prove to be an enduringly welcome addition to personal, community, college and university library American History collections in general, and Historical Lighthouse supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: A prolific author of "Southern stories",William Rawlings was born, raised, and lives in Sandersville, Georgia, home to his family for more than two centuries. He was educated at Emory, Tulane, and Johns Hopkins Universities.


The World History Shelf

The Great Journeys in History
Robin Hanbury Tenison, editor
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500287033, $16.95, PB, 408pp

https://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Journeys-in-History/dp/0500287031

Synopsis: Ferdinand Magellan, Genghis Khan, Thor Heyerdahl, Amelia Earhart, and Neil Armstrong: these are some of the greatest travelers of all time. Compiled and edited by Robin Hanbury-Tenison "The Great Journeys in History" chronicles their stories and many more, describing epic voyages, ranging from early trips through the great port city of Alexandria to the latest journeys into space.

In antiquity, "The Great Journeys in History" follows Alexander the Great to the Indus and Hannibal across the Alps; in medieval times, there is a trek beside Genghis Khan and Ibn Battuta. The Renaissance eventually led to Columbus visiting the Americas and to the circumnavigation of the world. In the following centuries, global maps are filled in by Abel Tasman, Vitus Bering, and James Cook. Journeys specifically made for scientific discoveries, most famously by Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin, begin. In modern times, the ends of the earth were reached -- including both poles and the world's highest mountain.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of 114 illustrations, "The Great Journeys in History" is comprised by incredible team of fifty-two contributors, including Robert Ballard and Ranulph Fiennes, who relate their firsthand experiences with the journeys and places they describe. This outstanding anthology chronicles the stories of bold, early travelers who explored the unexplored and who set out into the unknown, bringing alive the romance and thrill of adventure -- making it an unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library Adventure Travel & Expedition History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Great Journeys in History" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.10).

Editorial Note: Robin Hanbury-Tenison is a well-known explorer, author, filmmaker, conservationist, and campaigner. A veteran of over forty expeditions, he is a leading member of the Royal Geographical Society and Survival International. His books include "The Great Explorers" and "The Modern Explorers".


The Poetry Shelf

Bone Rosary: New and Selected Poems
Thomas Lynch
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
www.godine.com
9781567927016, $25.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bone-Rosary-New-Selected-Poems/dp/1567927017

Synopsis: In the tradition of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams, Thomas Lynch is a contemporary poet who writes about real things with language rooted in the everyday yet masterfully infused with power:

I have steady work, a circle of friends
and lunch on Thursdays with the Rotary.
I have a wife, unspeakably beautiful,
a daughter and three sons, a cat, a car,
good credit, taxes, and mortgage payments
and certain duties here. Notably,
when folks get horizontal, breathless, still:
life in Milford ends. They call. I send a car.

Lynch spent his career as an undertaker in Midwest America -- and in his off-hours became a writer of exceptional insight. Publishers Weekly calls him, "A poet with something to say and something worth listening to." "Bone Rosary" is collection that showcases 140 of his greatest poems drawn from his previous books, "Skating with Heather Grace", "Still Life in Milford", "Grimalkin", "The Sin-Eater", and "Walking Papers".

Critique: Simply stated, "Bone Rosary" is a compilation of memorably crafted verse that will be enjoyed and reflected upon by anyone who thoughtfully engage in all aspects of our existence, both individually and as part of a larger whole. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library Contemporary American Poetry collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bone Rosary" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Editorial Note: Thomas Lynch's stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Granta, The Atlantic, Harper's, the Times (of London, New York, Ireland, and Los Angeles), and elsewhere. "The Undertaking" was a finalist for the National Book Award; he is also the author of "Still Life in Milford," "Booking Passage," "Apparition & Late Fictions" and "Walking Papers." Lynch lives in Milford, Michigan, and West Clare, Ireland.


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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