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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 5 May 2021 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Parenting Shelf Architecture Shelf
LGBT Studies Shelf Political Science Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Travel Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Art Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Martial Arts Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf Biography Shelf Poetry Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Economic Studies Shelf
Cookbook Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Business Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

They Better Call Me Sugar
Sugar Rodgers
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.akashicbooks.com
9781617759291, $14.95, PB, 191pp

http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/they-better-call-me-sugar-my-journey-from-the-hood-to-the-hardwood

Synopsis: Growing up in dire poverty in Suffolk, Virginia, Sugar (born Ta'Shauna) Rodgers never imagined that she would become an all-star player in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association). Both of her siblings were in and out of prison throughout much of her childhood and shootings in her neighborhood were commonplace. For Sugar this was just a fact of life.

While academics wasn't a high priority for Sugar and many of her friends, athletics always played a prominent role. She mastered her three-point shot on a net her brother put up just outside their home, eventually becoming so good that she could hustle local drug dealers out of money in one-on-one contests.

With the love and support of her family and friends, Sugar's performance on her high school basketball team led to her recruitment by the Georgetown Hoyas, and her eventual draft into the WNBA in 2013 by the Minnesota Lynx (who won the WNBA Finals in Sugar's first year). The first of her family to attend college, Sugar speaks of her struggles both academically and as an athlete with raw honesty.

Sugar's road to a successful career as a professional basketball player is fraught with sadness and death -- including her mother's death when she's fourteen, which leaves Sugar essentially homeless. Throughout it all, Sugar clings to basketball as a way to keep herself focused and sane.

And now in the pages of "They Better Call Me Sugar", she shares her story as a message of hope and inspiration for young girls and boys everywhere, but especially those growing up in economically challenging conditions. Never sugarcoating her life experiences, she delivers a powerful message of discipline, perseverance, and always believing in oneself.

Critique: An inherently compelling memoir, "They Better Call Me Sugar" is a simply fascinating and ultimately inspiring story -- and one that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself is finished and set back upon the shelf. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "They Better Call Me Sugar" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college and university library Contemporary American Biography collections.

Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS
Derek Frost
Watkins Publishing
www.watkinspublishing.com
9781786784964, $16.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Living-Loving-Age-AIDS-memoir/dp/1786784963

Synopsis: "Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS: A Memoir" is the personal story of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short; it's also a love letter.

A distinguished professional designer Derek Frost and his husband Jeremy Norman (who was a pioneering entrepreneur and creator of both The Embassy Club, London's answer to Studio 54, and the iconic Heaven, Europe's largest gay discotheque), met and fell in love in 1977 -- now more than 40 years ago.

Their lives were high-octane, full of adventure, fun and fearless creativity. Suddenly their friends began to get sick and die -- AIDS had arrived in their lives. When they got tested, Jeremy received what was then a death sentence: he was HIV Positive. While the onset of AIDS strengthened stigma and fear globally, they confronted their personal crisis with courage, humour and an indomitable resolve to survive.

Jeremy's battle lasted six long years. Turning to spiritual reflection, yoga, nature (and always to love) Derek describes a transformation of the spirit, how compassion and empathy rose phoenix-like from the flames of sickness and death. Out of this transformation also came Aids Ark, the charity they founded, which helped to save, amongst the world's most marginalised people, more than 1,000 HIV Positive lives.

"Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS: A Memoir" is a story of joy and triumph; about facing universal challenges; about the great rewards that come from giving back. Derek speaks for a generation who lived through a global health crisis that many in society refused even to acknowledge. His is a powerful story chronicling this extraordinary time.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and presented, "Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS: A Memoir" is an extraordinary, informative and thought-provoking read -- and one that is especially and unreservedly commended to the attention of all members of the LGBTQ community. While highly recommended for community, college and university library LBGTQ Contemporary Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Living and Loving in the Age of AIDS: A Memoir" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire
Dr. Andrew Temte, CFA
Kaplan Publishing
c/o Simon & Schuster (dist.)
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781506276649, $24.99, HC, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Balancing-Act-Teach-Mentor-Inspire/dp/1506276644

Synopsis: "Success without balance is often more disastrous than failure with balance." So begins Dr. Andrew Temte's collection of candid observations on the challenges facing business leaders today. From top student to high school dropout, from aspiring rock star to successful business leader, Dr. Temte shares lessons learned on the importance of balance in all aspects of life and work in the pages of "Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire".

"Balancing Act" explores the characteristics required of a new generation of leaders who must find balance between strength and vulnerability; confidence and selflessness; passion and measure; single mindedness and inclusivity; determination and curiosity; and leadership and followership. Dr. Temte stresses that balance is a journey, not a destination.

"Balancing Act, readers" reveals: How to identify and curtail organizational entropy; How leaders can facilitate a culture of trust; How to realize the benefits of a diverse organization by fostering a culture that encourages everyone to bring their 'whole self' to work: How embarking on a continuous improvement journey can result in more balanced individuals, teams and organizations.

We are all seeking opportunity, joy, and purpose. With "Balancing Act", the commitment to "teach, coach, mentor, and inspire," is a contribution we can all make as we seek balance in our workplace and home life.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college and university library Business Leadership, Motivation, and Management collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Balancing Act: Teach Coach Mentor Inspire" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Confessions Of A Bookseller
Shaun Bythell
David R. Godine, Publisher
Fifteen Court Square, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02108-2536
www.godine.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781567926644, $25.95 HC, $12.85 PB, $10.99 Kindle, 324pp

https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Bookseller-Shaun-Bythell/dp/1094178748

Synopsis: Shaun Bythell is the owner of Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop in the rural community of Wigtown. But if you think his days are taken up with sorting through rare and valuable first editions, snoozing by the fire with the latest literary gem, or chatting with interesting, well-informed readers -- think again. Bookselling, Shaun reveals, is far from the idyll you might imagine.

Beset by bizarre requests from customers who appear not to know what a book shop is, locked in an endless struggle with Amazon, the frustrations of computerized online order receiving and fulfilling, the diverse experiences of going out to people's homes for on-site book buys, participation in several annual village events, and exasperated by his bin-diving, poultice-making dramatically opinionated employees, Shaun faithfully records his daily trials and tribulations for a complete year with a sharp eye and an even sharper wit. "Confessions of a Bookseller" is the colorfully inside story of a life lived in books ranging from the pleasures of the unexpected find, to the friendships forged over shared tastes, to the sadness of finishing a really good book -- and a few really good friendships.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and fully engaging read from cover to cover, "Confessions of a Bookseller" is a unique and utterly compelling read. Of special note is that in addition to the daily tallies of Online Orders/Orders Fulfilled, and the daily Total Sales/Total Customers, each individual month is prefaced with an extended bookshop oriented quote from Augustus Muir, 'The Intimate Thoughts of John Baxter, Bookseller (Metheun & Co., London 1942) and an extended commentary by Shaun Bythell on the vagaries, trials and tribulations of owning and operating a bookstore.

Offering a wealth of invaluable insights for authors and publishers into the bookstore business today as it is today, and an absolute 'must read' for all dedicated bibliophiles and anyone who has ever aspired to one day having a used bookstore of their own, this large print edition of "Confessions of a Bookseller" is an essential addition to any and all community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Confessions of a Bookseller" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094178745, $34.95, CD).


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Family Business
Keel Hunt
https://www.keelhunt.com
West Margin Press
https://www.westmarginpress.com
9781513267210, $24.95, HC, 226pp

https://www.amazon.com/Family-Business-Ingram-Transformed-World/dp/1513267213

Synopsis: The history of the Ingram Content Group is one of the most important and remarkable publishing industry stories that almost no one knows. Launched as a favor to a family friend, it started as a local textbook distributor -- one tiny division within a thriving corporation focused on oil, construction supplies, and shipping. From those humble beginnings it grew into the world's largest book wholesaler, then into the most influential and innovative supplier of infrastructure and services to publishers around the world.

Over the past 50 years, from its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, Ingram has played a pivotal role in modernizing the book business. Two members of the founding family have led the way: Bronson Ingram, a tough-minded industrialist who instinctively recognized a golden opportunity to apply modern efficiencies to antiquated logistical systems, and Bronson's son John Ingram, an "intrapreneur" with a keen understanding of both the opportunities and the risks created by the new digital technologies. Led by these two brilliant managers, Ingram has used its unparalleled industry-wide connections to help transform book publishing from a tradition-bound business into a dynamic, global twenty-first century powerhouse.

Now, for the first time, "The Family Business: How Ingram Transformed the World of Books" by Keel Hunt fully captures the whole story. In its pages, readers will learn about: The introduction of the Ingram microfiche reader in 1972 and how it catapulted book retailing into the electronic era; Ingram's network of coast-to-coast distribution centers turning U.S. book publishing into a truly national business for the first time; Ingram using fast-growing video, software, magazine, and international wholesaling operations to create a phenomenal record of expansion, growing from a million-dollar company into a billion-dollar giant in just two decades; Two of book publishing's most powerful organizations (Ingram and Barnes & Noble) almost coming within a hair's breadth of merging, and how the deal fell apart at the eleventh hour.

Also revealed is: Ingram's unparalleled ability to rapidly fulfill product orders empowering Amazon's unique customer service model and enabling its explosive growth; Lightning Source, a technological marvel spawned by Ingram, converting the "long tail" of niche books from a costly headache for publishers and retailers into a steady source of profitable sales; Ingram's transformation of the book supply chain enabling countless booksellers and publishers to survive and even thrive in the disruptive era of Covid-19.

Today, with Ingram's expanding portfolio of service and infrastructure businesses playing an ever-growing role in the world of publishing, the company stands ready to help lead the industry into an era of even more dramatic change.

"The Family Business" is the first publishing industry study to recount the story of this strategic powerhouse that everyone in the publishing industry does business with, and that practically everyone admires -- but that few people really understand.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively comprehensive, meticulously researched, "The Family Business: How Ingram Transformed the World of Books" is essential reading for authors, publishers, book publicists, book sellers, distributors and wholesalers, as well as anyone in the book business and the world of media -- as well as the bibliophile and non-specialist general reader wanting to understand how this vastly influential publishing industry really works, as well as the ways in which today's electronic information technologies are transforming the world. While also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), "The Family Business: How Ingram Transformed the World of Books" is an essential, core addition to community, college and university library Writing/Publishing collections.

Editorial Note: Keel Hunt is the author of two books on Tennessee political history and has been a columnist for the USA Today Tennessee network since 2013. In his early career, he was a journalist and Washington correspondent. He has been an adviser to the Ingram family and Ingram businesses since 1995.


The Education Shelf

From Research to Teaching
Michael Kibbe
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
www.ivpress.com
9780830839186, $20.00, PB, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Research-Teaching-Beginning-Classroom-Career/dp/0830839186

Synopsis: Academically speaking, it is a long way from the research carrel to the classroom. No matter your personality, your prior experience, or the specifics of your situation, the transition from graduate studies to teaching involves a set of challenges for which no one is ever fully prepared.

"From Research to Teaching: A Guide to Beginning Your Classroom Career" is a practical instructional guide by Professor Michael Kibbe, (who is also the author of From Topic to Thesis) that provides a helpful companion for the journey. With plenty of personal examples and tested advice, Kibbe covers preparation for teaching, best practices in the classroom, self-evaluation, and the discovery of your mission and method.

He also reflects on the spiritual lives of professors, including social media practices, Sabbath, and relationships. "From Research to Teaching" is the concise, accessible resource every new and aspiring professor needs.

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "From Research to Teaching: A Guide to Beginning Your Classroom Career" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community, school district, college and university library Teacher Education collections. An absolutely 'must read' instructional guide for anyone aspiring to be a teacher, and having a great deal of informational value for even currently practicing classroom instructors from elementary school to graduate school, "From Research to Teaching: A Guide to Beginning Your Classroom Career" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.00).

Editorial Note: Michael Kibbe (PhD, Wheaton College) is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean of Communication and Theology at Great Northern University in Spokane, Washington. He is also the author of Godly Fear or Ungodly Failure? Hebrews 12 and the Sinai Theophanies and has written for journals such as Biblica, Theology Today, and the Journal of Theological Studies.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Sugarproof
Michael I. Goran & Emily E. Ventura
https://sugarproofkids.com
Avery
c/o Penguin Random House LLC
www.penguinrandomhouse.com
9780525541196, $26.00, HC, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sugarproof-Hidden-Dangers-Putting-Childs/dp/0525541195

Synopsis: It is widely known and acknowledged that sugar can wreak havoc on adult bodies, but few realize how uniquely harmful it is to the growing livers, hearts, and brains of children. And the damage can begin early in life. In his research on the effects of sugar on kids' present and future health, Michael Goran (USC Professor of Pediatrics and Program Director for Diabetes and Obesity at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles) has found that too much sugar doesn't just cause childhood obesity, it can cause health issues in kids who are not overweight too, including fatty liver disease, pre-diabetes, and elevated risk for eventual heart disease. And, it is a likely culprit in the behavioral, emotional, and learning problems that many children struggle with every day.

In a groundbreaking study, Professor Goran's team conducted a detailed analysis of the sugary products that kids love and found that these yogurts, cereals, sodas, and juices often had more sugar than advertised and also contained different types of sugar than were being disclosed. Today's children are not just consuming more sugar than ever, but they are consuming sugars that are particularly harmful to them -- and their parents don't even know it.

The news is dire, but there is also plenty of hope. We can prevent, address, and even in many cases reverse the effects of too much sugar. "Sugarproof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child's Health at Risk and What You Can Do" is an effective guide to "Sugarproof" kids. In this landmark publication Dr. Goran and his co-author Dr. Emily Ventura (an expert in nutrition education and recipe development), bust myths about the various types of sugars and sweeteners, help families identify sneaky sources of sugar in their diets, and suggest realistic, family-based solutions to reduce sugar consumption and therefore protect kids. Their unique "Sugarproof" approach teaches parents to raise informed and empowered kids who can set their own healthy limits without feeling restricted. With a 7- and 28-day challenge to help families right-size sugar in their diets, along with more than 35 recipes all without added sugars, everyone can give their children a healthy new start to life.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Sugarproof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child's Health at Risk and What You Can Do" is an ideal instruction guide and manual for parents who are non-specialist general readers and concerned with insuring their children's health with respect to diet and nutrition issues involving the risks with respect to excessive sugar intakes. While an absolutely essential and core addition to community library Health/Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sugarproof: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child's Health at Risk and What You Can Do" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Feel Great, Lose Weight
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781953295057, $19.95, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Feel-Great-Lose-Weight-Sustainable/dp/1953295053

Synopsis: Drawing on twenty years of experience, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee (a BBC personality and author of "Feel Better in 5") has created a conscious, compassionate, sustainable approach to weight loss that goes far beyond fad diets to find the individual strategies that will work.

Packed with quick and easy interventions, "Feel Great, Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss" will help the reader to: Understand the effects of what, why, when, where and how we eat; Discover the root cause of personal weight gain; Nourish the body to lose weight without crash diets or grueling workouts; Build a toolbox of techniques to help weigh less while living more.

"Feel Great, Lose Weight" offers a new way to look at weight loss-a 360-degree view that goes beyond calories to see the bigger picture, including not just physical but also mental and environmental factors. With Dr. Chatterjee's guidance and encouragement, anyone can turn simple and sustainable lifestyle changes for a more energized, confident, and healthier self.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "Feel Great, Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss" is an expertly written, impressively insightful, inspirationally informative, eloquently presented, and inherently motivating DIY compendium for weight loss and management. While very highly recommended, especially for professional, community, college, and university library Health & Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Feel Great, Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: A practicing GP in the UK for the last two decades and resident BBC Breakfast doctor, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee wants to inspire people to transform their health through making small, sustainable changes to their lifestyles. Leading the charge on how healthcare and medicine is understood in the UK, Dr. Chatterjee most recently co-created a lifestyle medicine course with the Royal College of GPs, which has now been delivered to over 400 GPs and health care professionals. Host of the #1 iTunes podcast, Feel Better, Live More, and presenter of BBC 1's Doctor in the House, Dr. Chatterjee is the author of two Sunday Times bestselling books and his TED talk, "How to Make Diseases Disappear," has now been viewed over 2.6 million times.

My Clothes Fit Again!
Sue Seal
https://suesealwellness.com
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
www.morganjamespublishing.com
9781642799545, $16.95, PB, 174pp

https://www.amazon.com/My-Clothes-Fit-Again-Overworked/dp/1642799548

Synopsis: "My Clothes Fit Again!: The Overworked Women's Guide to Losing Weight" by Sue Seal shows working women how to show up for their life before it is too late by helping them get rid of that spandex and fit into their favorite clothes again.

As a physical therapist, integrative nutritional health coach, and yoga instructor, Sue combines Eastern and Western philosophies to achieve weight loss, health, and functional longevity for an amazing life. She has helped clients gain functionally healthy lives for more than thirty years.

In the pages of "My Clothes Fit Again!", Sue shares her eight-step method that helps women to: Understand how hormones and stress contribute to weight gain; Discover how their digestive tract can cause them to crave bad food; Make lifestyle and dietary choices that support weight loss; Identify the foods that stress their body out and make it gain weight; Eat so they can reduce body fat, fatigue, and joint pain.

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "My Clothes Fit Again!: The Overworked Women's Guide to Losing Weight" is especially and unreservedly recommended to the attention of any woman having to deal with trying to lose weight while continuing to have enough energy to work full time either in their home or at a job site. While certain to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to community, college and university library Weight Management & Health collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Clothes Fit Again!: The Overworked Women's Guide to Losing Weight" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

Editorial Note: Sue Seal is an established physical therapist and an Integrative Nutrition health coach, who integrates her understanding of Eastern and Western practices into her seminars, retreats, and speaking engagements. She is the founder of Balance Beyond the Mat, a women's wellness practice that helps women to lose weight.

Living Cancer
Michael Weiner, MD
Atlantic Publishing Group
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471-0640
www.atlantic-pub.com
9781620237601, $21.95, PB, 310pp

https://www.amazon.com/Living-Cancer-Stories-Oncologist-Survivor/dp/1620237601

Synopsis: Long days, important decisions, difficult conversations. A oncology doctor's work is never truly done.

After working as a pediatric oncologist for 40 years, Dr. Michael Weiner has collected a multitude of stories. From the best case scenarios to the worst, in the pages of "Living Cancer: Stories from an Oncologist, Father, and Survivor", Dr. Weiner has chosen to share some of the most memorable and heartbreaking moments of his career.

Always in close contact with pain and heartbreak, Dr. Weiner's accounts express his willingness to help patients and their families through great times of need. His observations about cancer are further informed when his daughter was diagnosed with cancer as well as his own personal cancer journey.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Living Cancer: Stories from an Oncologist, Father, and Survivor" is especially commended to the attention of anyone having to deal with cancer within themselves or a loved one. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library Health/Medicine collections in general, and Oncology supplemental studies curriculums in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject that "Living Cancer: Stories from an Oncologist, Father, and Survivor" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.95).

Reader's Digest The Essential Guide to CBD
Reader's Digest Editorial Staff
Trusted Media Brands
c/o Reader's Digest Trade Publishing
44 South Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
www.rdtradepublishing.com
9781621455066, $19.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Readers-Digest-Essential-Guide-CBD/dp/1621455068

Synopsis: CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis -- a plant is also known as hemp. CBD has splashed across the nation's headlines, taken the country by storm, and has everyone from Coca-Cola to Starbucks considering adding this new "miracle supplement" to their drinks. But the FDA has only approved it for use in treating epilepsy in children.

What is CBD, anyway? What's the difference between CBD, THC, cannabis, hemp, and marijuana? Can CBD help me lose weight? How much CBD do I need to take to help my condition? What do I look for when buying CBD? Is it better to take CBD oil or gummies or what?

"Reader's Digest The Essential Guide to CBD: Everything You Need to Know About What It Helps, Where to Buy, And How to Take It" will answer all of these questions and so many more, including both first-person anecdotes of real people's experiences with CBD and straightforward reporting about what studies have actually been done and what they show.

Written in part by the experts at Project CBD, "Reader's Digest The Essential Guide to CBD" will separate fact from fiction, hype from reality.

Critique: Fully living up to the promise of its title, "Reader's Digest The Essential Guide to CBD: Everything You Need to Know About What It Helps, Where to Buy, And How to Take It" is an authoritative but thoroughly user-friendly primer on CBD.

Comprehensively informative and deftly organized and presented for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject, "Reader's Digest The Essential Guide to CBD: Everything You Need to Know About What It Helps, Where to Buy, And How to Take It" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, university, and medical school Health & Medicine collections in general, and CBD supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

It should be noted that "Reader's Digest The Essential Guide to CBD: Everything You Need to Know About What It Helps, Where to Buy, And How to Take It" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Parenting Shelf

Love-Centered Parenting
Crystal Paine
https://moneysavingmom.com
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
www.bethanyhouse.com
9780764237225, $22.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Centered-Parenting-No-Fail-Guide-Launching/dp/0764237225

Synopsis: Do you worry that you're messing up your kids? Do you get stressed when you think about their futures? Crystal Paine knows how you feel. A mom of four, Crystal has struggled with anxiety over parenting. She wanted to parent with grace, instead of a system of rules where kids are expected to do all the right things. She wanted to be a safe place for her children, and she definitely didn't want to be remembered as the sort of mom who yelled, wounded her kids with words, or worse, cared more about her reputation than her kids' hearts.

In the pages of "Love-Centered Parenting: The No-Fail Guide to Launching Your Kids", Crystal shares the life-changing lessons that God has been teaching her about raising kids with love and grace. "Love-Centered Parenting": Reveals the no-fail secret to launching your kids; Uncovers the root of why we often feel so frustrated and irritated with our kids; Shares the four most important choices we can make as parents; Gives you the tools to keep going when you want to give up; Helps you get your kids to talk to you.

The underlying message of "Love-Centered Parenting" is that it's possible to parent from a place of freedom and rest, giving your kids what they truly need to thrive in this world.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Love-Centered Parenting: The No-Fail Guide to Launching Your Kids", simply stated, is an inspiring DIY manual for effective parenting and invaluable instructional reference for all parents raising their children in these stressful times. While highly recommended for community library Parenting collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love-Centered Parenting: The No-Fail Guide to Launching Your Kids" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780764237232, $17.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Crystal Paine is the host of The Crystal Paine Show podcast, and author of "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode" and "Money-Making Mom". She is also the founder of the website MoneySavingMom.com

Full Circle Parenting
Jimmy and Kristin Scroggins, with Leslee Bennett
B&H Publishing Group
1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
www.bhpublishinggroup.com
9781087713441, $22.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Full-Circle-Parenting-Crucial-Conversations/dp/1087713447

Synopsis: Parenting isn't for wimps. Parenting is not just the routines, schedules, discipline, and heartaches -- it is also the hard conversations between a parent and a child. One of the greatest challenges of parenting is navigating the crucial conversations that we all must have with our kids.

Jimmy and Kristin Scroggins have been married for more than twenty five years and have eight children. Jimmy pastors a church in South Florida. They've had plenty of crucial conversations in their lives -- not only with their own children, but with parents who are scared and seeking wisdom. They know they have to find a way to have those tough conversations from a biblical perspective and a distinctly Christian worldview, but they don't know how.

Written with the assistance of Leslee Bennett and from a Christian perspective, "Full Circle Parenting: A Guide for Crucial Conversations" employs the 3 Circles gospel tool (God's design; brokenness; gospel), with Jimmy and Kristin providing parents with a "conversation map" to work through any tough conversations with children of any age.

"Full Circle Parenting" covers: Gender, Sexuality, and Marriage; Technology; Alcohol and Substance Abuse; Bitterness, Forgiveness, and Restoration; Friendship and Mean Kids.

Critique: A complete DIY course of instruction in the fine art of parenting, "Full Circle Parenting: A Guide for Crucial Conversations" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Parenting collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Full Circle Parenting: A Guide for Crucial Conversations" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.79).

Editorial Note: Jimmy and Kristin Scroggins have been married for 26 years and have 8 children, and have served at Family Church since Jimmy became the lead pastor in July 2008. Under Jimmy's leadership, Family Church has grown to a network of neighborhood churches in South Florida.


The Architecture Shelf

Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House
Nicholas D. Hayes
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299331801, $29.95, HC, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Lloyd-Wrights-Forgotten-House/dp/0299331806

Synopsis: While the grandiosity of Fallingwater and elegance of Taliesin are recognized universally, Frank Lloyd Wright's first foray into affordable housing is frequently overlooked. Although Wright began work on his American System-Built Homes (ASBH, 1911 - 17) with great energy, the project fell apart following wartime shortages and disputes between the architect and his developer. While continuing to advocate for the design of affordable small homes, Wright never spoke publicly of ASBH. As a result, the heritage of many Wright-designed homes was forgotten.

When Nicholas and Angela Hayes became stewards of the unassuming Elizabeth Murphy House near Milwaukee, they began to unearth evidence that ultimately revealed a one-hundred-year-old fiasco fueled by competing ambitions and conflicting visions of America. The couple's forensic pursuit of the truth untangled the ways Wright's ASBH experiment led to the architect's most productive, creative period.

"Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House" includes a wealth of drawings and photographs, many of which have never been previously published. Historians, architecture buffs, and Wrightophiles alike will be fascinated by this untold history that fills a crucial gap in the architect's oeuvre.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a four page Chronology, twelve pages of Notes, and a six page Index, "Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House: How an Omission Transformed the Architect's Legacy" by Nicholas D. Hayes is an inherently interesting and fully engaging read throughout. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House: How an Omission Transformed the Architect's Legacy" must be considered a high priority addition to community, college and university library Architecture collections in general, and Frank Lloyd Wright supplemental studies curriculums in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, practicing architects, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Frank Lloyd Wright's life and work that "Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten House: How an Omission Transformed the Architect's Legacy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.49).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Shorewood, Wisconsin, Nicholas D. Hayes is a columnist for Sailing Magazine, leads innovation at a water technology company, and is the award-winning author of "Saving Sailing".


The LGBT Studies Shelf

Three Dads and a Baby
Ian Jenkins, MD
Cleis Press
101 Hudson Street, Suite 3705, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
http://cleispress.com
9781627783101, $18.95, PB, 286pp

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Dads-Baby-Adventures-Parenting/dp/1627783105

Synopsis: As a closeted teen, Ian wondered if he would ever be able to live openly with a male partner. Years later, he had not one but two partners in a polyamorous Throuple -- what more could he ask for? But something was still missing.

In the pages of "Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting" readers will join Ian and his two partners, Alan and Jeremy, as they embark on a sometimes hilarious, sometimes tearful quest to become parents. They run the gauntlet: IVF failures, the threat of Zika virus, the urgent hunt for a new doctor, pregnancy-threatening bleeds, costly legal battles and a reluctant superior court judge.

Ultimately it was the grace of women (embryo donors, their egg donor, their surrogate, even a surprise milk donor) that allowed them to complete their family with one perfect girl, and become the first polyamorous family to ever be named as the legal parents of a child.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and thoroughly absorbing read from cover to cover, "Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting" is an extraordinary account and one that is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of any member of the LBGTQ community contemplating or experiencing parenthood with the context of their lives and aspirations. Certain to be a welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to community, college and university library Parenting & LBGTQ collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Three Dads and a Baby: Adventures in Modern Parenting" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).

Men I've Never Been
Michael Sadowski
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299330903, $24.95, HC, 232pp

https://www.amazon.com/Men-Ive-Never-Been-Living/dp/0299330907

Synopsis: An LBGTQ biography, "Men I've Never Been: A Memoir" recounts Michael Sadowski's odyssey as a boy who shuns his own identity (and, ultimately, his sexual orientation) in order to become who he thinks he's supposed to be.

Beginning with the memory of a four-year-old sitting in a dingy dive bar, sounding out newspaper headlines while his boasting father collects drinks from onlookers, each chapter highlights a different image of manhood that Sadowski saw at home, at school, or on television -- from sports heroes, hunters, and game show hosts to his charismatic but hard-drinking father. As he learns not to talk, laugh, cry, or love, he retreats further behind a stoic mask of silence, while outwardly well-functioning but emotionally isolated, sinking under the weight of the past.

Through wrenching tragedy and tense, life-threatening challenges, Sadowski learns to find love, purpose, and healthy self-regard. In coming to understand his identity and his place within his family, he meditates on the power of real human connection and comes to grasp the damage of his troubled upbringing and the traumas caused by toxic masculinity. By turns comic and tragic, this nuanced memoir uncovers the false selves we create to get along in the world and the price we pay to maintain them.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressive candid, remarkably detailed and engaging, "Men I've Never Been: A Memoir" is an inherently interesting and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and LGBTQ supplemental studies curriculums in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Men I've Never Been: A Memoir" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.49).

Editorial Note: An administrator and professor at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York), Michael Sadowski is an award-winning writer and author of several books, including "In a Queer Voice", "Safe Is Not Enough", and "Adolescents at School".


The Political Science Shelf

Of Bears and Ballots
Heather Lende
https://www.heatherlende.com
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
www.algonquin.com
9781616208516, $25.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bears-Ballots-Adventure-Small-Town-Politics/dp/1616208511

Synopsis: In the pages of "Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics", Heather Lende brings us her quirky and compassionate account of holding local political office in a small Alaskan community.

Lende was one of the thousands of women inspired to take a more active role in politics during the past few years. Though her entire campaign for assembly member in Haines, Alaska, cost less than $1,000, she won! But tiny, breathtakingly beautiful community of Haines (a place accessible from the nearest city, Juneau, only by boat or plane) isn't the sleepy town that it appears to be: from a bitter debate about the expansion of the fishing boat harbor to the matter of how to stop bears from rifling through garbage on Main Street to the recall campaign that targeted three assembly members, including Lende, we witness the nitty-gritty of passing legislation, the lofty ideals of our republic, and how the polarizing national politics of our era play out in one small town.

With an entertaining cast of offbeat but relatable characters, "Of Bears and Ballots" is an inspirational tale about what living in a community really means, and what we owe one another.

Critique: A inherently fascinating political history that will be especially appreciated by political science students, practitioners, activists, governmental employees and policy makers for communities large and small, "Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics" is an extraordinary read that is as entertaining as it is informative. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Political Science collections and supplemental studies curriculums, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781643751405, $16.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (HighBridge, 9781696600941, $44.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Heather Lende writes personal essays and columns which have been widely distributed ranging from NPR and Country Living, to the Christian Science Monitor and Woman's Day magazine (where she was a contributing editor for a few years). Lende also writes obituaries for the Chilkat Valley News and an Alaska Dispatch News column. She also maintains an informative website at https://www.heatherlende.com


The Christian Studies Shelf

An Introduction to Christian Mysticism
Jason M. Baxter
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
9781540964397, $44.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Christian-Mysticism-Recovering-Spiritual/dp/1540964396

Synopsis: Christian mysticism refers to mystical practices and theory within Christianity. Mysticism is not so much a doctrine as a method of thought. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic Church (including traditions from both the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches) and Orthodox Christianity (including traditions from both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy).

"An Introduction to Christian Mysticism: Recovering the Wildness of Spiritual Life" by Professor Jason M. Baxter is a brief but accessibly written volume that introduces key figures, texts, and themes of the mystical tradition within Christianity and shows how and why the mystics can speak to the church today.

Jason Baxter, an expert educator and storyteller, explains that the mystical tradition within Christianity historically offers a more robust understanding of God than our current shallow conceptions. Featuring engagement with primary sources and suitable for use in a variety of courses, "An Introduction to Christian Mysticism" argues that the mystics have much to say to contemporary Christians searching for authentic modes of spirituality.

Critique: An impressively informative, inherently fascinating, and ultimately inspiring read, "An Introduction to Christian Mysticism: Recovering the Wildness of Spiritual Life" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary, community, college and university library Christian Theology & History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Mysticism Christian Theology" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781540961228, $22.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Jason M. Baxter (PhD, University of Notre Dame), an expert in medieval Catholic thought, is associate professor of fine arts and humanities at Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming. He speaks at universities across the country and has written several books, including A Beginner's Guide to Dante's "Divine Comedy."

30 Days with Married Saints
Kent Lasnoski & Caitlin Lasnoski
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.pauline.org
9780819875563, $18.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thirty-Days-Married-Saints-Devotional/dp/0819875562

Synopsis: Compiled and written by Kent and Caitlin Lasnoski for the Roman Catholic community, "30 Days with the Married Saints: A Catholic Couples Devotional" will help you to pray with a variety of holy married men and women of the Church from well-known couples like Mary and Joseph to lesser-known couples like Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi (the first couple to be beatified together). Each day contains vivid portraits of heroically virtuous married saints as well as prayers, moving reflections, questions, and practical suggestions to enrich your marriage and inspire you and your spouse on your journey of sanctity.

Critique: A unique and very special compendium of daily and spiritually uplifting readings, "30 Days with Married Saints: A Catholic Couples Devotional" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal, family, church, seminary, community, college and university library Roman Catholic Theology collections.

An Ark For All God's Noahs
Thomas Brooks
Puritan Paperbacks
c/o Banner of Truth
PO Box 621, Carlisle, PA 17013
www.banneroftruth.org
9781848715738, $10.00, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ark-All-Gods-Noahs-Paperbacks/dp/1848715730

Synopsis: We live in difficult days and in trying times. "An Ark For All God's Noahs: In a Gloomy, Stormy Day" by Thomas Brooks (1608 - 1680) points us to the One in whom Christian men and women have always found the strength to persevere come what may.

Taking Lamentations 3:24 as his starting-point - 'The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him,' Brooks expounds the attributes of God with the aim of comforting those who have felt not only the stresses and strains of daily life but also the shearing pain of loss in its various forms. God, he says, 'is a portion that is exactly suited to the condition of the soul in its desires, needs, wants, longings and prayers. All the soul needs is found in God. There is light to enlighten the soul, wisdom to counsel the soul, power to support the soul, goodness to supply the soul, mercy to pardon the soul, beauty to delight the soul, glory to ravish the soul, and fullness to fill the soul.'

Critique: Spiritually inspiring and impressively relevant some 413 years after the death of its author, "An Ark For All God's Noahs: In a Gloomy, Stormy Day" continues to be timely and timeless reading that is unreservedly recommended for all members of the Christian community including clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of Christian spiritual growth.

Editorial Note: Born in 1608, Thomas Brooks entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1625. He was licensed as a preacher of the gospel by 1640 at the latest. Before that date he seems to have spent a number of years at sea, probably as a chaplain with the fleet. After the Civil War, Brooks became minister at Thomas Apostle's, London, and was sufficiently renowned to be chosen as preacher before the House of Commons on 26 December, 1648. Three or four years later he moved to St Margaret's, Fish-street Hill, London, but encountered considerable opposition as he refused baptism and the Lord's Supper to those clearly 'unworthy' of such privileges. The following years were filled with written as well as spoken ministry. In 1662 he fell victim to the notorious Act of Uniformity, but he appears to have remained in his parish and to have preached the Word as opportunity offered. Treatises continued to flow from his agile pen. In 1677 or 1678 he married for the second time, 'she spring-young, he winter-old'. Two years later he went home to his Lord.

The Miracles of Jesus
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780881416695, $42.00, PB, 453pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Christ-His-Life-Teaching/dp/088141669X

Synopsis: Hilarion Alfeyev (born Grigoriy Valerievich Alfeyev, 24 July 1966) is a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. At present he is the titular Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He is also a noted theologian, church historian and composer and has published books on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history as well as numerous compositions for choir and orchestra. (Wikipedia)

"The Miracles of Jesus" by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev is the third volume of the six-volume series, 'Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching'. In this exhaustive theological study, Metropolitan Alfeyev examines the miracles of Jesus in their scriptural and historical context, helping us to understand their deeper meaning and to see how they reveal the true identity of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Miracles of Jesus" is an extraordinary contribution to Christian theology from a Russian Orthodox perspective. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, college and university library Christian Theology collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Miracles of Jesus" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: : Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev has authored numerous works on theology and church history, and is an internationally recognized composer of liturgical music. In the words of Patriarch Alexei II of blessed memory, "His many years of service to the mother church, his rich creative activity, and his broad perspective enable him to present the tradition of the Orthodox Church in all its diversity."

Experiments in Love
Emily Ralph Servant
Pickwick Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781725260054, $41.00, HC, 218pp

https://www.amazon.com/Experiments-American-Society-Missiology-Monograph/dp/1725260050

Synopsis: Could it be that the stories we tell in our churches weaken our efforts to be congregations who take risks in mission for the sake of love?

"Experiments in Love: An Anabaptist Theology of Risk-Taking in Missions" by Emily Ralph Servant is a thoughtful and thought-provoking monograph in which she suggests that the work of today's leaders is to explore new stories, listen to new voices, and open ourselves up to the Spirit's work of transformation.

"Experiments in Love" engages in a three-way dialogue with feminist and liberation theologians, the social and behavioral sciences, and the Anabaptist tradition. Out of this vibrant conversation emerges the story of a God who takes the risk of being radically present to a vulnerable world.

The underlying message of "Experiments in Love" is that because of God's courageous presence with us, we can also take the risk of being vulnerably present to others as God invites us all to participate in God's community of life, love, and flourishing.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Experiments in Love: An Anabaptist Theology of Risk-Taking in Missions" is especially and unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community. While an appropriate addition to church and seminary library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Experiments in Love: An Anabaptist Theology of Risk-Taking in Missions" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781725260047, $26.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Emily Ralph Servant has spent a lifetime serving the church as a worship leader, radio host, pastor, writer, professor, conference minister, and theologian. Dr. Servant is a Leadership Minister for Mosaic Mennonite Conference.

Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
Margaret Carney, OSF
Franciscan Media
https://info.franciscanmedia.org
9781632533708, $16.99, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Light-Assisi-Story-Saint-Clare/dp/1632533707

Synopsis: While weaving together Clare's story and Francis's story in "Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare", Sr. Margaret Carney draws special attention to Clare's significant contribution to the Franciscan world in the many years following Francis's death. Far from merely reflecting Francis's light, Clare had her own charisma, "a gift bestowed by the Spirit of the Lord and given to her in a fullness and forcefulness that was hers alone."

"Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare" will introduce St. Clare of Assisi to those who do not know her and to those who wish to know her better. It leads the reader from Clare's birth to her death. While taking account of modern scholarship, Sr. Margaret Carney tells the story of this medieval woman in a way readers today can understand.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and engaging study, "Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare" is especially and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, and community library Christian Saints and Religious Leader Biography collections. It should be noted for clergy and seminary students in general, and all members of the Roman Catholic community in particular, that "Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Margaret Carney is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Her education in theology and Franciscan studies took place at Duquesne University, the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University and the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome. She served on the commission responsible for the revisions of the Rule of the Third Order Regular in 1982 and completed her research on the Rule of St. Clare in 1988. From 1999-2004 she was the Director of the Franciscan Institute and served as a founding member of the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. Her presidency of St. Bonaventure University began in 2004 and she retired from that post in 2016. She continues to serve as a lecturer and leader for Catholic higher education and Franciscan organizations of the United States.

Singing in the Dark
Ginny Owens
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
https://davidccook.org
9780830781874, $17.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Singing-Dark-Finding-Songs-Scripture/dp/0830781870

Synopsis: Far too often, life's challenges and questions cause people to fight feelings of doubt and despair, as they search endlessly for hope. In the pages of "Singing in the Dark: Finding Hope in the Songs of Scripture", Ginny Owens introduces her readers to powerful ways of drawing closer to God and how the elements of music, prayer, and lament offer rich, vibrant, and joyful communion with Him, especially on the darkest days.

Ginny has gained a unique life perspective, as she has lived without sight since age three. She brings rich, biblical teaching that will encourage readers and compel them to dig deep into the beautiful songs, prayers, and poetry of Scripture -- the same words through which the people of the Bible flourished in impossible circumstances.

Singing in the Dark includes reflection and journaling prompts at the end of each chapter.

Critique: Exceptional, extraordinary, inspired and inspiring, "Singing in the Dark: Finding Hope in the Songs of Scripture" is strongly commended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. While unreservedly recommended for both church and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Singing in the Dark: Finding Hope in the Songs of Scripture" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Ginny Owens, blind since age three, has had an award-winning career that encompasses two decades as a Christian music artist while also a contributor of multiple writing projects and nonprofit initiatives. She is currently a seminary student and continues to inspire others with the truth of the gospel through her personal stories, music, and Bible teaching.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

Shalom Rav
Rabbi Shalom Rosner, author
Marc Lesnick, editor
http://rabbirosner.com
Maggid / The Toby Press
c/o Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
www.tobypress.com
9781592645510, $29.95, HC, 536pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shalom-Rav-Insights-Parasha-Bemidbar/dp/1592645518

Synopsis: Shalom Rav (in English "Abundant Peace") is a blessing that is recited at the end of the evening and afternoon Amidot in the Ashkenazic tradition. There is a different version of this prayer, Sim Shalom for the morning Amidah. In the Sefardic, Chasidic-Sefardic, and Nusach Ari rites, Sim Shalom is said at all prayer services.

"Shalom Rav: Insights on the Weekly Parasha: Vayikra, Bemidbar, Devarim" is a compilation of Rabbi Shalom Rosner's inspiring and thought-provoking ideas on the weekly parasha. Selected and adapted by Marc Lesnick from Rabbi Rosner's hugely popular parasha classes. Drawing on an extraordinarily wide spectrum of sources, these essays offer relevant and refreshing insights for every Jewish home.

Critique: Erudite, inspiring, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Shalom Rav: Insights on the Weekly Parasha: Vayikra, Bemidbar, Devarim" is an invaluable and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, rabbinical, community, college and university library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

Editorial Note: Rabbi Shalom Rosner is the Rav of the Nofei Hashemesh community, located in Bet Shemesh, Israel. He teaches at Yeshivat Reishit and Yeshivat Shaalavim. His shiurim can be enjoyed through websites such as YU.com and OUTorah.org. He also maintains an informative website at http://rabbirosner.com


The Travel Shelf

Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin
Steve Johnson
Falcon Guides
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
www.globepequot.com
9781493046805, $22.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Lake-Hikes-Wisconsin-Greatest/dp/1493046802

Synopsis: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin: A Guide to the State's Greatest Lake and River Hikes" by Steve Johnson includes detailed hike descriptions, maps, and color photos for approximately 100 of the most scenic lake hikes in the area. Hike descriptions also include history, local trivia, and GPS coordinates.

"Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin" is the ideal guide for planning trips through state and national parks, forests, monuments and wilderness areas, as well as from popular city parks to the most remote and secluded corners of the area to view the most spectacular lakes and rivers.

Critique: Enhanced for the trip planner with the inclusion of and informative Introduction, a "How to Use This Guide" instructional, a Trail Finder and Map Legend, "Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin: A Guide to the State's Greatest Lake and River Hikes" is exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Comprehensively informative, "Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin: A Guide to the State's Greatest Lake and River Hikes" is an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Wisconsin Travel & Guide collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Best Lake Hikes Wisconsin: A Guide to the State's Greatest Lake and River Hikes" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.49).

Editorial Note: Steve Johnson is a consummate outdoors recreation expert and enthusiast. A regular contributor to Backpacker and regional magazines across the country, some of Steve's other work include "Minnesota Waterfalls", "Loop Hikes Colorado", and "Bicycling Wisconsin".

Modernist Escapes: An Architectural Travel Guide
Stefi Orazi
Prestel Publishing
www.prestel.com
9783791386348, $40.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Modernist-Escapes-Architectural-Travel-Guide/dp/3791386344

Synopsis: Armchair travelers and dedicated fans of Modernist architecture will want to dive right into the pages of "Modernist Escapes: An Architectural Travel Guide", a profusely illustrated and informative guide to remarkable buildings designed by famous architects from Alvar Aalto to Charlie Zehnder.

Showcasing over 130 unique structures that span the globe, "Modernist Escapes: An Architectural Travel Guide" covers the full spectrum of modernist principles from Bauhaus to Brutalism. Author and designer Stefi Orazi chose buildings that are open to the public -- and with some that are even available for overnight stays!

Full-colour photography of the exterior and interiors highlight incredible details such as the bright red drum fireplace in Giancarlo de Carlo's Ca' Romanino, Urbino, Italy, or the constructivist-like staircase in Renaat Braem's house and studio in Antwerp, Belgium. Each building is accompanied by informative text offering visitor information and insights into its history.

Critique: A unique compendium of simply outstanding examples of original architecture, "Modernist Escapes: An Architectural Travel Guide" provides architectural students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject with a truly global overview of Modernist architecture -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Travel Guide collections in general, and Architectural supplemental studies curriculum lists.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in London, England, Stefi Orzi is a designer and the author of several books on architecture, including "Modernist Estates: The Buildings and the People Who Live in Them" and "The Barbican Estate".

100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die
Tim Trudell & Lisa Trudell
www.thewalkingtourists.com
Reedy Press
PO Box 5131, St. Louis, MO 63139
www.reedypress.com
9781681062488, $18.00, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/100-Things-Nebraska-Before-You/dp/1681062488

Synopsis: The Good Life. The Beef State. The Cornhusker State. All slogans over the years to describe Nebraska. But, The Good Life does seem to sum up how the vast majority of Nebraskans feel about living there. Whether it's Cornhusker football in the fall or canoeing the Niobrara River in the summer, Nebraska is a very special state. And with "100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die" as a travel guide and itinerary resource, the visitor see just what it is people love so much about their state.

"100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die" is a veritable bucket list of places to visit, things to do, and top tips for the best places to eat and sleep. The traveler can explore the birthplaces of Nebraska-centric events and people. From the founding of Arbor Day to the hometown of Johnny Carson, as well as great places to eat and drink, "100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die" explores in depth the diversity and beauty of the country's 16th largest state.

Critique: With the publication of "100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die", local authors and travel bloggers Tim and Lisa Trudell demonstrate that they are expert guides through the diversity and beauty of Nebraska in a new light. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted that "100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Tim and Lisa Trudell are the owners of the travel blog, The Walking Tourists, and live in southwest Omaha. Lisa was a travel professional for over 16 years. Tim Trudell was a journalist with community newspapers for several years and is currently a freelance writer and online content creator, as well as the photographer, editor, and author of the blog. They are the coauthors of 100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die and Unique Eats and Eateries of Omaha. When not traveling, they love to continue to explore their hometown of Omaha, as well as the unique areas of Nebraska. They can be followed at @100ThingsOmaha, and they maintain an informative website at www.thewalkingtourists.com


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Ultimate Guide to Astrology
Tanaaz Chubb
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9781589239876, $26.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Astrology-Guidance-Manifest/dp/1589239873

Synopsis: Astrology can be a complicated subject filled with technical content such as charting, planetary aspects, and transits. For most beginners, these are confusing and dry details that obscure the most magical aspects of astrology. "The Ultimate Guide to Astrology: Use the Guidance of the Planets to Manifest Your Power and Purpose" by astrology expert and practitioner Tanaaz Chubb clearly and succinctly explains these complicated facets, thus enabling you to quickly move onto the bigger picture of using the signs and the planets to understand yourself and your life with deeper clarity.

With "The Ultimate Guide to Astrology" aspiring astrology practitioners will: Learn how to quickly set up an astrological chart; Understand the unique energetic expression of each planet and how it expresses itself in a birth chart; Discover where each sign sits in a chart and how it impacts specific life areas such as career, finances, health, and relationships.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in commentary, content, organization and presentation, and offering a unique and effective approach to practicing astrology, "The Ultimate Guide to Astrology" will enable even the most novice of astrology practitioners to intuitively understand a cosmic blueprint and how to apply it to daily life -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Astrology supplemental studies curriculum lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Tanaaz Chubb is the creator of Forever Conscious (https://foreverconscious.com), one of the most prominent spiritual websites online today. As a gifted intuitive and astrologer, Tanaaz has worked with many different people from all around the world, helping to guide them to understand themselves better through harnessing the power of the stars and spirit.

Living the Faery Life
Kac Young
Mango Publishing
https://mango.bz
9781642500615, $16.95, PB, 182pp

https://www.amazon.com/Faerie-Awakening-Guide-Connecting-Magic/dp/1642500615

Synopsis: Kac Young is a three-doctorate and prolific author who has studied world religions extensively and has worked in television for over thirty years. In writing "Living the Faery Life: A Guide to Connecting with the Magic, Power and Joy of the Enchanted Realm" she draws upon the ancient wisdom of her Celtic roots.

Many of the things we believe about faeries are old wives' tales, made-up myths, and invented stories to satisfy cultural curiosity. In the pages of "Living the Faery Life" you will learn how to separate myth from truth and discover how to create your private faery kingdom.

"Living the Faery Life" reveals the rules of faery life and how reconnect with nature. "Living the Faery Life" also shows how to make a faery garden, what particular trees and plants attract faery folk, and rituals you can perform to connect with the faery realms.

Even if you are not yet a fully-fledged "Faery Believer," a walk in the outdoors will never be the same once you have been touched by the wisdom and enchantment of "Living the Faery Life".

"Living the Faery Life" is a charming and informative guide for everyone be they Tinkerbell fans, faery non-believers, fanatics, Pagan and Wiccan practitioners, as well as metaphysical devotees who enjoy the ritual use of candles and crystals.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Living the Faery Life: A Guide to Connecting with the Magic, Power and Joy of the Enchanted Realm" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone with an interest in Fairies, Ghosts, Hauntings, Supernaturalism, or Pagan Beliefs, that "Living the Faery Life: A Guide to Connecting with the Magic, Power and Joy of the Enchanted Realm" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: The author of 24 books, Kac Young has been a producer, writer and director in the Hollywood television industry for over 25 years. Kac has also earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy. She completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University. Clients come to her for advice on health, nutrition and spiritual well being. Using her third Doctorate degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy, she helps people manage weight control, smoking cessation, behavior modification, stress reduction, past-life regression, and phobia management.

The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care
Stephanie Gailing
Wellfleet Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781577152347, $23.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Astrological-Self-Care-Encyclopedia/dp/1577152344

Synopsis: Astrology is a stellar language that allows us to understand the nuances of who we are and how to live our life with more insight and awareness. While we may look to our zodiac signs to help us navigate our relationships, career, finances, and family matters, astrology can also play quite a pivotal role in helping us optimize our vitality and well-being.

From passionate Aries to sensitive Pisces, and all the signs in between, each astrological profile is associated with a unique temperament and different needs when it comes to nurturing body, mind, and spirit. Knowing these can help you personalize your self-care regimen by incorporating natural remedies and wellness practices more aligned with your signs.

Divided into twelve chapters, one for each zodiac sign, "The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care" by Stephanie Gailing includes an array of modern holistic lifestyle approaches that will help you curate an astrologically aligned self-care regimen. For each sign you'll find dozens of recommendations in categories ranging from Areas of Health Focus, Eating Tips, Wellness Therapies, Relaxation Practices, Natural Remedies, Sleep Tips, and more!

In addition you'll also discover ways to bolster your well-being by connecting to the celestial cycles, featuring topics such as:

Stellar Life Stages: You'll discover a road map (including an array of wellness strategies and journaling questions) to navigate your self-care from your twenties to your eighties based upon astrological invitations that occur at different times in our lives.

The Moons: You'll learn about the twenty-four different New Moons and Full Moons including the opportunities and challenges each one brings. You'll find affirmations you can do on each lunation as well as self-care rituals to undertake and several questions to use as journaling prompts.

Planetary Retrogrades: Get a deeper understanding of the opportunities for awareness that Mercury, Venus and Mars Retrograde yield. You'll discover strategies to sidestep stress, self-care suggestions, ways to work with your dreams, meditation techniques, flower essences, supportive crystals, and journaling questions.

Critique: A complete course of comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction, "The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Astrology supplemental studies curriculums in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of astrology students and practitioners that "The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note; Stephanie Gailing is a wellness consultant and modern mystic with more than 25 years of experience. As the co-host of the "So Divine!" podcast, she is also the resident astrologer at Healers, the onsite dream and astrology expert at Rise and Shine, and the astrologer-in-residence at The Cloud Room in Seattle. Her work on holistic well-being has been featured in Refinery 29, Bustle, Seattle Magazine, City Arts, AstroStyle, MindBodyGreen, The Fold, Huffington Post, King 5 News, Seattle Times, and other outlets.

Wild Soul Runes
Lara Veleda Vesta
Weiser Publishers
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
www.redwheelweiser.com
9781578637393, $16.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Soul-Runes-Reawakening-Ancestral/dp/1578637392

Synopsis: Using inquiry and original translations alongside traditional rune poems and sacred art, "Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine" by Lara Veleda Vesta invites readers to develop their own wisdom connection with the runes through practice. "Wild Soul Runes" is based on the premise that all of us possess the ability to receive divine information through rune practice. Rather than telling the reader what the runes mean, Nordic runes expert Lara Vesta shares an interactive practice for readers to discover the unique ways the runes speak to them.

"Wild Soul Runes" covers the history of the runes, both in myth and through the connection with Old European archaeological findings. This history offers evidence for the idea that the runes have a feminine origin, coming from the well of the Norns, the female triple giantesses who represent the fates in Norse myth.

"Wild Soul Runes" also introduces the concept of the runes as beings rather than simply an alphabet or magical tools. The purpose of "Wild Soul Runes" is to create a relationship with these beings through ancestral connection, personal gnosis, and ritual practice.

Specifically, "Wild Soul Runes" shows how to: Make a rune altar; Develop a daily ritual practice with the runes; Honor the Germanic/Anglo Saxon wheel of the year; Craft a rune set and rune ceremonies for divination.

Critique: An impressively well written, organized and presented combination of instructional manual and introduction to Nordic runes, "Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine" is an inherently fascinating, exceptionally informative, intrinsically absorbing read throughout. While it is especially and unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Nordic Runes supplemental studies curriculums in particular, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Lara Veleda Vesta is an artist, author, storyteller and educator transforming chronic illness into a path of healing and reclaiming. She is the author of The Moon Divas Guidebook, and The Moon Divas Oracle, illustrator of The Moon Divas Oracle Cards and is currently working toward her PhD in Philosophy and Religion while exploring ancestral connection and disability as initiation. She shares her path of myth, folk magic, ancestor lore and ritual practice with her Patreon community and through classes at the Wild Soul School.

The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots
Nigel Pennick
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644112205, $22.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ancestral-Power-Amulets-Talismans-Mascots/dp/1644112205

Synopsis: Offering an illustrated exploration of the origins and history of amulets, lucky charms, talismans, and mascots, including photos of unique and original artifacts from his extensive collection, Nigel Pennick's "The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots: Folk Magic in Witchcraft and Religion" examines these objects from a magical perspective, from ancient Egypt to the present. Pennick examines age-old spiritual principles, folklore, and the esoteric traditions behind their creation, as well as the use of numbers, colors, sigils, geometric emblems, knots, crosses, pentagrams, and other symbols.

Pennick explores magical charms and objects manufactured from bones, teeth, claws, and horns and those that include symbols of the human body. He also discusses religious relics as well as the combining of charms to make more powerful objects, from the bind runes of the Norse and the crowns of ancient Egypt to the Mojo hand and the medicine pouch.

Revealing the lasting power of amulets, talismans, charms, and mascots, Pennick shows that these objects and symbols have retained their magic across the centuries.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots: Folk Magic in Witchcraft and Religion" is an amazingly informative compendium and must be considered an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Rune Divination, Witchcraft, Ancestral Religion, and Folk Magic supplemental studies curriculum lists in particular. It should be noted that "The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots: Folk Magic in Witchcraft and Religion" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Currently residing near Cambridge, England and the founder of the Institute of Geomantic Research and the Library of the European Tradition, Nigel Pennick is an authority on ancient belief systems, traditions, runes, and geomancy and has traveled and lectured extensively in Europe and the United States. He is also the author and illustrator of more than 50 books, including The Pagan Book of Days.

Missing Witches
Risa Dickens, author
Amy Torok, author/illustrator
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623175726, $17.95, PB, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Witches-Recovering-Histories-Feminist/dp/1623175720

Synopsis: When you start looking for witches, you find them everywhere. As contemporary seekers and practitioners reclaim and restore magic to its rightful place among powerful forces for social, personal, and political transformation, more people than ever are claiming the identity of "Witch". But our knowledge of witchcraft and magic has historically been marred by erasure, sensationalism, and sterilization, with the true stories of history's witches being left untold.

Through the meditations, stories, and practices comprising "Missing Witches: Recovering True Histories of Feminist Magic", authors Risa Dickens and Amy Torok offer an intersectional, contemporary lens for uncovering and reconnecting with feminist witch history. Sharing traditions from all over the world ranging from Harlem to Haiti, Oaxaca to Mesopotamia, "Missing Witches" introduces readers to figures like Monica Sjoo, HP Blavatsky, Maria Sabina, and Enheduanna, shedding light on their work and the cultural and sociopolitical contexts that shaped it.

Structured around the 8 sabbats of the Wheel of the Year, each individual chapter includes illustrations by Amy Torok, as well as invocations, rituals, and offerings that incorporate the authors' own wisdom, histories, and journeys of trauma, loss, and empowerment. "Missing Witches" offers an inside look at the vital stories of women who have practiced (and lived) magic.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Missing Witches: Recovering True Histories of Feminist Magic" is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative introduction to feminist magic, it's ancient history and contemporary practice. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in commentary style and detailed content, "Missing Witches: Recovering True Histories of Feminist Magic" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Wicca, Paganism, Feminism, and Witchcraft Magic that "Missing Witches: Recovering True Histories of Feminist Magic" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Risa Dickens and Amy Torok started the Missing Witches podcast in September 2018. Both have a background in creative community building, and ran two different, interdisciplinary monthly arts performance showcases for years in the same town before beginning the podcast.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club
Amy E. Reichert
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780593197776, $16.00, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kindred-Spirits-Supper-Club/dp/0593197771

Synopsis: For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells (the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World) means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina's always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who's much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina's side all through her lonely childhood.

Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He's charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn't have time for romance -- she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she's in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?

When the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time and with Ray in her corner, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is.

Critique: A deftly crafted and immensely entertaining novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality, humor, the introduction of memorable characters, and fully reader engaging plot twists, "The Kindred Spirits Supper Club" by novelist Amy Reichert is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Kindred Spirits Supper Club" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Deciduous
Michael Devendorf
Koehler Books
3705 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781646633418, $29.95, HC, 330pp

https://www.amazon.com/Deciduous-Michael-Devendorf/dp/1646633415

Synopsis: It has been ten months since forest conservationist Sienna lost her daughter in a tragic home accident when she was the only other person around. Kira's death transforms Sienna into an overprotective mother to her son. But then Kai dies under similar circumstances. Desperate to keep from losing her mind, if only to preserve the memories of her children, Sienna climbs into the treehouse where Kai took his last breath.

While meditating to connect with him, terrifying images of a "mother tree," a nurturing hub tree Sienna studied in an isolated meadow near their lake house, corrupt all memories of her kids. No longer a majestic, colorful sentinel, the tree menaces her with its limbs draped in leaves that morph into skeletal hands. As Sienna's thoughts fester, convincing her that her children's deaths were not simple accidents, those around her try to persuade her she must be guilty of harming Kira and Kai, even if she can't remember. Anxious to unveil the terrible truth hiding in her psyche, Sienna instead finds herself in very physical danger as secrets come to light.

Critique: Original, compelling, and an inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "Deciduous" reveals and showcases author Michael Devendorf's impressive flair for the kind of narrative storytelling style that will keep the reader's total and rapt attention from cover to cover. Certain to be especially appealing to fans of Psychological Thriller and Supernatural Mystery Fiction, "Deciduous" is especially recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Deciduous" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781646633395, $19.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

When in Vanuatu
Nicki Chen
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647420345, $16.95, PB, 336

https://www.amazon.com/When-Vanuatu-Novel-Nicki-Chen/dp/1647420342

Synopsis: When Diana quit her job and followed her husband to Manila, she believed the move would work for both of them: Jay would finally have his dream job, and she would take time off from her accounting career to start a family.

Four years later, however, she's still not pregnant. Her fertility doctor advises her to relax -- an undertaking that is easier said than done in one of the noisiest, most crowded cities in the world. Nevertheless, Diana tries. She takes up yoga and meditation. She buys goldfish. Then one day, while Jay is away on business, a violent coup d'etat erupts. The rebels bomb the presidential palace and occupy parts of the city.

Clearly, Diana decides, something needs to change. Determined to have a baby while she's still young enough, she convinces Jay to transfer to the small South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, said to be "the most relaxing place on earth". It isn't long before she realizes that the island's tropical beauty hides dangers and disappointments that will test her courage, her marriage, and her ability to open herself up to new possibilities.

Critique: An inherently absorbing novel that showcases author Nicki Chen's impressive flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling talent and style that will hold the reader's rapt attention from first page to last, "When In Vanuatu" will hold a very special appeal to those with an interest in a woman's struggle to have a child of her own. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "When In Vanuatu" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Settlers Valley
Jerry Apps
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299332143, $19.95, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Settlers-Valley-Jerry-Apps/dp/0299332144

Synopsis: C.J. Anderson wants you to know he's no hero. Broken and reeling from the untimely death of his parents, the young vet with PTSD begins working a small farm plot at the suggestion of his grandfather. As the land yields its first crops, C.J. begins to heal and contacts a few wounded Army friends to join him in Settlers Valley. They build a collective of sustainable farmers who called themselves the Back to the Land Veterans. Their progressive ideas and neighborly spirit are welcome by many in the tight-knit town. But others would much rather things stay exactly the way they were, thank you very much. When a series of tragic events hits the valley, will neighbors come together, or will the town fall apart?

Critique: The author of some forty fiction and non-fiction books, and perhaps best known for his simply outstanding books based upon his personal memories of growing up in Wisconsin, and various aspects of Wisconsin life, history and culture, Jerry Apps once again turns his impressive literary talents to fiction with the publication of "Settlers Valley", newly published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Taking on the themes of small-town problems as revealed through the lives of broken men seeking to heal themselves by helping others, all while dealing with small town prejudices and vested interests in maintaining the status quo, "Settlers Valley" is an inherently absorbing and ultimately thought-provoking read from cover to cover. Simply stated, "Settlers Valley" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

The Restaurant Inspector
Alex Pickett
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299331641, $18.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Restaurant-Inspector-Alex-Pickett/dp/0299331644

Synopsis: A mysterious illness is afflicting the residents of Millsville, Wisconsin -- but that might be the least of their problems. Investigating the situation is Arthur Reilly, the county restaurant inspector who recently relocated from New York City following an unseemly scandal.

When he gets sidetracked and falsely suggests a link between the outbreak and a local Albanian-run diner, the town descends into panic, chaos, and finger pointing. As the situation spirals out of control, county commissioner Janet Vosberg seizes the moment to position herself for higher office and newspaper editor Adam Bender aims to settle a long-simmering score. And what's with the hot dog pushcart that recently appeared by the side of Highway 9?

Critique: "The Restaurant Inspector" by Alex Picket (a writer based in London whose stories have appeared in numerous publications including Southern Humanities Review, Subtropics, Passages North, and Green Mountains Review) is an inherently fascinating portrayal of small-town life, a roster of memorable characters, their relationships and their convoluted, corrupting ambitions. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Restaurant Inspector" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Hope Between the Pages
Pepper Basham
Barbour Publishing
1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
www.barbourbooks.com
9781643528267, $12.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Between-Pages-Doors-Past/dp/1643528262

Synopsis: Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man's identity in her great-great-grandmother's letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Critique: Deftly combining elements of history, romance and mystery, "Hope Between The Pages" by Pepper Basham is an extraordinarily entertaining and inherently fascinating novel and a thoroughly engaging read from first page to last. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hope Between The Pages" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Historical Fiction Shelf

The Crown of Rosemund
Michele Ashman Bell
http://www.micheleashmanbell.com
Covenant Communications
www.covenant-lds.com
9781524414344, $16.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crown-Rosemund-Michele-Ashman-Bell/dp/1524414344

Synopsis: Anduron, 1498, the king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess Rosemund has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents' most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival.

Soldiers are combing the countryside, searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found -- and executed. But Rosemund's strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

Critique: A carefully crafted and inherently fascinating novel by an author with a genuine flair for original and the kind of narrative storytelling style that makes for a truly memorable reading experience, "The Crown Of Rosemund" by Michele Ashman Bell is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library historical fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Crown Of Rosemund" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.39) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781524414351, $27.99, CD).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Refining the Debutante
Anneka R. Walker
Covenant Communications
www.covenant-lds.com
9781524416942, ?$15.99, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Refining-Debutante-Anneka-R-Walker/dp/1524416940

Synopsis: Miss Miranda Bartley is in love with the Honorable Ethan Roderick, their engagement all but official. But as she basks in the success of her London Season, her joy is cut short when Ethan ends their courtship, claiming she is too insensitive. In the wake of her heartbreak, Miranda is dealt yet another blow, one that changes everything. In a harsh twist of fate, she quickly falls from Society darling to servant in her uncle's home.

Believing he will never see Miranda again, Ethan is shocked when he encounters her by accident. Even more surprising is her dramatic change; she is no longer the self-centered young woman he left behind. Her eyes are now open to the plight of poverty surrounding her, and Miranda has become every bit the lady Ethan once imagined her to be. As he helps the woman he once loved, their tattered relationship returns to familiarity. But Ethan is determined to protect his heart and begins a courtship with his neighbor, who is predictable and safe everything Miranda is not.

Forced to perform a delicate dance, Miranda and Ethan must choose follow the rules of Society or the longing of their hearts.

Critique: A classic Regency Romance novel by an author with a genuine mastery of the genre, "Refining The Debutante by Anneka R. Walker is an especially deftly crafted and inherently entertaining read from first page to last. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Regency romance fans that "Refining The Debutante" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.39).

Blackberry Beach
Irene Hannon
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800739683, $29.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Blackberry-Beach-Hope-Harbor-Novels/dp/080073968X

Synopsis: Actress Katherine Parker is on the cusp of achieving the kind of career success she'd always dreamed of. But a visit to Hope Harbor for some much-needed R&R-and an unexpected partnership with a handsome local coffee shop owner-may cause her to rethink her ambitions and open her heart to a new dream!

Critique: "Blackberry Beach" clearly showcases author Irene Hannon's complete mastery of the Christian romance genre with its deftly crafted characters and memorable narrative driven storyline. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated contemporary and Christian romance novel fans that "Blackberry Beach" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780800736156, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Goodbye, Orchid
Carol Van Den Hende
Koehler Books
3705 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781646631902, $29.95, HC, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Orchid-Love-Her-Leave/dp/1646631900

Synopsis: One July morning in Manhattan, handsome athlete and entrepreneur Phoenix Walker accompanies his love, half-Asian beauty Orchid, to the airport. Neither believes today is goodbye.

But after she leaves, disaster strikes. Phoenix wakes in the hospital, broken, forever changed. He longs for Orchid but remembers the tragedy in her past that makes her panic over images of trauma. Now, he's faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why?

Critique; A inherently compelling, impressively original, and deftly crafted novel showcasing author Carol Van Den Hende's distinctive narrative driven storytelling style, "Goodbye, Orchid: To Love Her, He Had To Leave Her" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Multicultural Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Goodbye, Orchid: To Love Her, He Had To Leave Her" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781646631889, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

The Paris Apartment
Kelly Bowen
Forever
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
www.hachettebookgroup.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781538718155, $15.99, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Paris-Apartment-Kelly-Bowen/dp/1538718154

Synopsis: London, 2017: When Aurelia Leclaire inherits an opulent Paris apartment, she is shocked to discover her grandmother's hidden secrets -- including a treasure trove of famous art and couture gowns. One obscure painting leads her to Gabriel Seymour, a highly respected art restorer with his own mysterious past. Together they attempt to uncover the truths concealed within the apartment's walls.

Paris, 1942: The Germans may occupy the City of Lights, but glamorous Estelle Allard flourishes in a world separate from the hardships of war. Yet when the Nazis come for her friends, Estelle doesn't hesitate to help those she holds dear, no matter the cost. As she works against the forces intent on destroying her loved ones, she can't know that her actions will have ramifications for generations to come.

Set seventy-five years apart, against a perilous and a prosperous Paris, both Estelle and Lia must summon hidden courage as they navigate the dangers of a changing world, altering history (and their family's futures) forever.

Critique: A deftly crafted blend of historical and contemporary romance, "The Paris Apartment" by Kelly Bowne is an impressively original and extraordinary novel by an author with a remarkable flair for imaginative and creative storytelling with a distinctive narrative technique that will keep the reader's rapt and compulsive page turning attention from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Paris Apartment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549111211, $40.00, CD).

How To Train Your Earl
Amelia Grey
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250218803, $7.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Train-Your-Earl-First-Comes/dp/1250218802

Synopsis: Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn't much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he's determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There's just one problem: He's already bet he'll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

Critique: A classic and deftly crafted Regency Romance novel by an author with a total mastery of the genre, "How To Train Your Early" by Amelia Grey is pure entertainment from cover to cover. While highly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Regency Romance fans that "How To Train Your Earl" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Had We Never Loved So Blindly
Liz MacRae Shaw
http://lizmacraeshaw.com
Top Hat Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
www.johnhuntpublishing.com
9781789046038, $18.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Had-We-Never-Loved-Blindly/dp/1789046033

Synopsis: It was in 1937 that John Norman, a fisherman's son, first encountered Felicity MacDougall, the daughter of a retired tea planter. But this chance meeting during a London air raid leads to a tentative romance, which becomes a long distance affair when John joins the Navy and Felicity takes a job at the famous, secretive Bletchley Park.

Their relationship falls prey to the timeless obstacles of insecurities, doubts and misunderstandings. Can they overcome the distance between them, and also the war? "Had We Never Loved So Blindly: In Peril On Land And Sea" by Liz MacRae Shwas is timeless love story, forged amid the emotional intensity of WW2.

John and Felicity's relationship has fateful consequences, not only for them, but beyond, into the next generation...

Critique: One of those deftly crafted wartime romances that are the stuff of which BBC movies are made, "Had We Never Loved So Blindly: In Peril On Land And Sea" is an extraordinarily memorable and entertaining reads from cover to cover. While fully and unreservedly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance fans that "Had We Never Loved So Blindly: In Peril On Land And Sea" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

The Indebted Earl
Erica Vetsch
www.ericavetsch.com
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825446191, $15.49, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Indebted-Earl-Serendipity-Secrets/dp/0825446198

Synopsis: Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life -- especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero's dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man's grieving fiancee and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she'll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

Critique: A carefully crafted and inherently engaging novel of an unlikely romance beset by unexpected troubles, "The Indebted Earl" by author Erica Vetsch (www.ericavetsch.com) is the stuff of which BBC period movies are made. While certain to be an immediately popular addition to community library Historical Romance collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance fans that "The Indebted Earl" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Shell Collector
Nancy Naigle
WaterBrook Press
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780593193594, $16.00, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shell-Collector-Novel-Nancy-Naigle/dp/0593193598

Synopsis: Two years after her husband's death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved.

Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he's convinced he's not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning (alone) through his work and role in the community.

Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk's Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.

Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that's bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.

Critique: A deftly crafted novel of friendship and romance, "The Shell Collector" by DNancy Naigle will prove to be an immediately and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. While librarians should note that "The Shell Collector" is available in a large print library binding edition (Thorndyke, 9781432889678, $30.99), it is also readily available for the personal reading list of all dedicated true romance fans in a digital book format as well (Kindle, $11.99).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Stargazer
Anne Hillerman
Harper
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780062908339, $27.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stargazer-Leaphorn-Chee-Manuelito-Novel/dp/0062908332

Synopsis: What begins as a typical day for Officer Bernadette Manuelito (serving a bench warrant, dealing with a herd of cattle obstructing traffic, and stumbling across a crime scene) takes an unexpected twist when she's called to help find an old friend. Years ago, Bernie and Maya were roommates, but time and Maya's struggles with addiction drove them apart. Now Maya's brother asks Bernie to find out what happened to his sister.

Tracing Maya's whereabouts, Bernie learns that her old friend had confessed to the murder of her estranged husband, a prominent astronomer. But the details don't align. Suspicious, Bernie takes a closer look at the case only to find that nothing is as it seems. Uncovering new information about the astronomer's work leads Bernie to a remote spot on the Navajo Nation and a calculating killer.

The investigation causes an unexpected rift with her husband and new acting boss, Jim Chee, who's sure Bernie's headed for trouble. While she's caught between present and past, Chee is at a crossroads of his own. Burdened with new responsibilities he didn't ask for and doesn't want, he must decide what the future holds for him and act accordingly.

Can their mentor Joe Leaphorn (a man also looking at the past for answers to the future) provide the guidance both Bernie and Chee need? And will the Navajo heroes that stud the starry sky help them find justice -- and the truth they seek?

Critique: Another deftly crafted gem of a read from cover to cover, "Stargazer" once again demonstrates author Anne Hillerman's particular and impressive narrative storytelling skills and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections in general, and Anne Hillerman's Police Procedural fans in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stargazer" is also readily available in a mass market paperback edition (9780062908346, $9.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should also note that there is a large print paperback edition (HarperLuxe, 9780063063037, $29.99) available for their collections as well.

Beyond the Headlines
R. G. Belsky
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608094097, $26.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Headlines-Clare-Carlson-Mystery/dp/160809409X

Synopsis: Laurie Bateman was living the American dream. Since her arrival as an infant in the U.S. after the fall of Saigon, the pretty Vietnamese girl had gone on to become a supermodel, a successful actress, and, finally, the wife of one of the country's top corporate deal makers. But that dream has now turned into a nightmare when she is arrested for the murder of her wealthy husband.

New York City TV journalist Clare Carlson does an emotional jailhouse interview in which Bateman proclaims her innocence -- and becomes a cause celebre for women's rights groups around the country.

At first sympathetic, then increasingly suspicious of Laurie Bateman and her story, Clare delves into a baffling mystery which has roots extending back nearly fifty years to the height of the Vietnam War. Soon, there are more murders, more victims, and more questions as Clare struggles against dire evil forces to break the biggest story of her life.

Critique: A complex and deftly written mystery replete with unexpected plot twists and darkly memorable characters, "Beyond The Headlines" by novelist R. G. Belsky is a mystery lovers delight from cover to cover. The stuff of which Hallmark Mystery Channel movies are made, and also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95), "Beyond The Headlines" is an especially recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.

Purrfectly Dead
Dixie Lyle
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
9781250078445, $7.99, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Purrfectly-Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Mystery/dp/125007844X

Synopsis: When zillionairess Zelda Zoransky throws a party, she means business. Assistant extraordinaire, Deidre "Foxtrot" Lancaster knows she's in for a night when anything can (and will) happen. The evening's festivities include a high-stakes game between two escape artists locked in a bitter rivalry.

But the magic turns tragic when one of the escape artists ends up dead. This is no disappearing act -- it's murder. The suspects include a scientist with a 3D printer, a psychedelically-impaired rock star, and a serpent-tongued ghost with ties to the Garden of Eden. Now it's up to Foxtrot, Tango, and Whiskey to figure out which guest committed the crime before they reach they end of this deadly game of Clue. How will this tail end?

Critique: A thoroughly fun read for anyone with an appreciation for a finely crafted and impressively original 'whodunnit' mystery by an author with the kind of narrative storytelling style that will keep the reader's total and compulsive page turning attention from cover to cover, "Purrfectly Dead" is the stuff of which Hallmark Mystery Movies are made. While a fully recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Purrfectly Dead" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Stills
Jess Montgomery
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250623409, $27.99, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Stills-Novel-Kinship-3/dp/1250623405

Synopsis: In 1927, moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, Ohio, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Zebediah Harkins almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and (with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb) she is determined to find out who.

But then, Lily's nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.

As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear -- and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own!

Critique: A crisply written and inherently absorbing suspense thriller of a read, "The Sills" fully showcases author Jess Montgomery's impressive narrative storytelling abilities and particular flair for creating deftly crafted and memorable characters. A literary treat for fans fo historical prohibition era mysteries and female sleuths, "The Stills" is highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Stills" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781250830456, $17.99), a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250789907, $52.99, CD).

Arsenic and Adobo
Mia P. Manansala
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
www.penguin.com
9780593201671, $16.00, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Arsenic-Adobo-Rosies-Kitchen-Mystery/dp/0593201671

Synopsis: When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly becomes a kind of living nightmare.

With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block.

Critique: Deftly written with inherently interesting plot twists and turns, as well as a thoroughly fun read from cover to cover, and one that will hold a very special appeal for dedicated whodunnit mystery fans everywhere, "Arsenic and Adobo" by Mia Manansala is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Arsenic and Adobo" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Not The Real Jupiter
Barbara Wilson
https://www.barbarawilsonmysteries.com
Cedar Street Editions
9780988356764, $16.95, PB, 247pp

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Real-Jupiter-Cassandra-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0926YFSLX

Synopsis: In "Not the Real" Jupiter Cassandra is translating two manuscripts from Spanish. One of them is a collection of stories of speculative fiction by her old friend, the Uruguayan writer Luisa Montiflores. When editorial complications threaten its publication by an independent press in Portland, Cassandra travels from Luisa's apartment in Montevideo to the coast of Oregon to meet the publisher and sort things out. Only to find that those complications now include a body that fell (or was pushed) over the side of a bluff.

Under suspicion herself and ordered not to leave the country, Cassandra heads to Portland to do her own investigation. Here she encounters Latina writers, a well-known children's author, and an attractive librarian in her quest to solve the mystery and get back home to London. Not yet retired (and still game for almost anything) Cassandra finds the trail is more tangled and fraught with family secrets than she ever imagined.

Critique: Dedicated mystery buffs will enjoy joining traveling translator Cassandra Reilly as she solves a new mystery in "Not The Real Jupiter, author Barbara Wilson's new series about the London-based, Irish-American sleuth. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Not The Real Jupiter" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Barbara Wilson's previous Cassandra Reilly mysteries include Gaudí Afternoon (9781580050562, $12.99 PB, $9.89 Kindle) and The Case of the Orphaned Bassoonists (9781580050463, $9.00 PB, $9.99 Kindle).

Mother May I
Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062855343, $27.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mother-May-Novel-Joshilyn-Jackson/dp/0062855344

Synopsis: Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of.

Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window -- an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daughters' private school just minutes before Bree's infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly -- Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It's her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small but critical task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price. Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family -- but what if the cost tears their world apart?

Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Mother May I" by Joshilyn Jackson is a impressively scripted suspense thriller of a novel that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mother May I" is also readily available in a (digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781665033411, $39.99, CD). Librarians note that "Mother May I" is also available in a paperback large print edition (HarperLuxe, 9780063083509, $29.99, 496pp).

Mirrorland
Carole Johnstone
Scribner
c/o Simon & Schuster
https://www.simonandschusterpublishing.com/scribner
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781982136352, $27.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mirrorland-Carole-Johnstone/dp/1982136359

Synopsis: Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone (maybe El?) has left Cat clues in almost every room: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting.

Critique: A twisty, dark, and brilliantly crafted thriller about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, "Mirrorland" is all the more impressive when considering that this is author Carole Johnstone's debut as a novelist. is an inherently riveting and compulsive page-turning suspense thriller about the power of imagination and the price of freedom, "Mirrorland" is a truly exceptional and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mirrorland" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797116808, $39.99, CD).

Her Three Lives
Cate Holahan
Grand Central Publishing
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
www.hachettebookgroup.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781538736340, $15.99, PB, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Her-Three-Lives-Cate-Holahan/dp/1538736349

Synopsis: In her public life Jade Thompson seems to have it all. She's an up-and-coming social media influencer, and she has a beautiful new home and a successful architect for a fiance. But there's trouble behind the scenes. To Greg's children, his divorce from their mother and his new life can only mean a big mid-life crisis. To Jade, his suburban Connecticut upbringing isn't an easy match with her Caribbean roots.

In her private life a savage home invasion leaves Greg house-bound with a traumatic brain injury and glued to the live feeds from his ubiquitous security cameras. As the police investigate the crime and Greg's frustration and rage grows, Jade begins to wonder what he may know about their attackers. And whether they are coming back.

And in her secret life, as Greg watches Jade's comings and goings, he becomes convinced that her behavior is suspicious and that she's hiding a big secret. The more he sees, the more he wonders whether the break-in was really a random burglary. And whether he's worth more to Jade if he were dead than alive.

Critique: A unique and deftly crafted novel of psychological suspense, "Her Three Lives" by Cate Holahan is a compulsively compelling page turner of a read from cover to cover. The stuff of which block-buster movies are made, "Her Three Lives" will prove to be an immediately popular and enduringly appreciated addition to any and all community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Her Three Lives" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549111013, $40.00, CD).

Death on the Homefront
Frances McNamara
https://francesmcnamara.com
Allium Press of Chicago
www.alliumpress.com
9780999698273, $18.99, PB, 244pp

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Homefront-Emily-Cabot-Mysteries/dp/0999698273

Synopsis: With the United States on the verge of entering World War I, tensions run high in Chicago in the Spring of 1917, and the city simmers with anti-German sentiment mixed with virulent patriotism. Shockingly, amateur sleuth Emily Cabot is present when a young Chicago woman, who is about to make a brilliant society marriage, is murdered. Was her death retaliation for her pacifist activities, or was it linked to her romantic entanglements?

Emily has a personal connection to the woman, but she's torn between her determination to solve the murder and her deep need to protect her newly adult children from the realities of a new world. As the country's entry into the war unfolds, Emily watches with trepidation as her sons and daughter make questionable choices about their own futures. Violent worker unrest and the tumultuous arena of automobile racing provide an emotionally charged backdrop for this compelling mystery.

Critique: The eighth volume in novelist Frances McNamara's simply outstanding Emily Cabot Mysteries series published by the Allium Press of Chicago, "Death on the Homefront" is an inherently compelling read and one that will be especially appreciated by mystery buffs partial to women sleuth 'whodunnit' stories. Deftly crafted with many an unexpected plot twist and turn, "Death on the Homefront" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections and readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99) as well.

The Inheritance
R. Franklin James
Camel Press
6524 NE 181st Street, STE #2, Kenmore, WA 98028
www.camelpress.com
9781603817370, $15.95, PB, 210pp

https://www.amazon.com/Inheritance-R-Franklin-James/dp/1603817379

Synopsis: Johanna Hudson is a 30 year-old genealogist who discovers that the intersection of unintended consequences and murder is unavoidable, and her determination to find an heir puts her in the path of a killer who is just as determined to stop her as she is forced to face the pain of her own past while discovering that her talents can be used to solve more than her clients' ancestor family lines -- including blackmail and murder.

Critique: An original and compelling 'whodunnit' style mystery by an author with a genuine mastery of the genre, "The Inheritance" by R. James Franklin is an inherently compelling read from first page to last. While also readily available for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), "The Inheritance" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

The Complete Ivy Frost
Donald Wandrei, author
Stephen Haffner, editor
Haffner Press
www.haffnerpress.com
9781893887619, $50.00, HC, 720pp

http://www.haffnerpress.com/book/the-complete-i-v-frost

Synopsis: It may come as a surprise to some of his legions of fans that the late Donald Wandrei wrote more mysteries than all his horror, fantasy, and science fiction tales combined.

Now published by Haffner Press for a new generation of appreciative readers, "The Complete Ivy Frost" is volume collects all eighteen adventures of Wandrei's ratiocinative detective I.V. (or Ivy) Frost, who is ably assisted by his beautiful and tough female assistant, Jean Moray.

A scientist and inventor, Frost has his own approach to solving mysteries. Rather than following the usual hard-drinking, trench-coated style of many of his contemporaries, Frost's strategy was to mix the logic of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes with the technology of Lester Dent's Doc Savage.

In 2000, D.H. Olson edited a volume published by Fedogan and Bremer collecting the first eight of Frost's adventures. A second volume of the remaining 10 tales was promised but never materialized. Finally with the publication of "The Complete Ivy Frost" all 18 adventures of Ivy Frost are compiled in a single volume.

Critique: Of special note is how the end sheets of this hardcover edition are colorfully decorated with the pulp cover art from each story's original pulp magazine appearance. Additionally, Wandrei biographer D. H. Olson provides an impressively researched and exceptionally informative introduction. A 'must read' anthology for the all Donald Wandrei fans, and offering inherently fascinating and wonderfully entertaining reading from cover to cover, "The Complete Ivy Frost" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, college and university library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Donald Albert Wandrei (April 20, 1908 October 15, 1987) was a science fiction, fantasy and weird fiction writer, poet and editor. He was the older brother of science fiction writer and artist Howard Wandrei. He had fourteen stories in Weird Tales, another sixteen in Astounding Stories, plus a few in other magazines including Esquire. He was also the co-founder (with August Derleth) of the prestigious fantasy/horror publishing house Arkham House.

The Dead Husband
Carter Wilson
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
www.poisonedpenpress.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781728225081, $15.99, PB, 400pp

Synopsis: Twenty years ago an unspeakable tragedy rocked Rose Yates's small, affluent hometown -- and only Rose and her family know the truth about what happened. Haunted by guilt, Rose escaped into a new life. Now she seems to have it all: a marriage, a son, a career.

And then her husband is found dead.

As far as Detective Colin Pearson is concerned, Rose is guilty. Her marriage wasn't as happy as she'd led everyone to believe, and worse, she's connected to a twenty-year-old cold case. She can play the part of the victim, but he won't let her or her family escape justice this time around.

Grieving her husband and struggling to make ends meet, Rose returns home, hoping to finally confront her domineering father and unstable sister. But memories of a horrific crime echo through the house, and Rose soon learns that she can't trust anyone, especially not the people closest to her.

Critique: Especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, "The Dead Husband" is a carefully crafted story of deception, hereditary sin, and what we'll do to protect our own by author Carter Wilson. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated suspense/thriller fans that "The Dead Husband" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662099717, $22.99, CD).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

A River Called Time
Courttia Newland
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.akashicbooks.com
9781617759260, $28.95, HC, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/River-Called-Time-Courttia-Newland/dp/1617759260

Synopsis: The Ark was built to save the lives of the many in the face of global catastrophe, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite with the entrance being closed suddenly and without warning.

Years after the Ark was cut off from the world (a world much like our own, but one in which slavery has never existed) a chance of survival within the Ark's confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.

Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell extinction for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself, and the people he thought he once knew.

Critique: A deftly crafted dystopian science fiction novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling that reaches out and graps the reader's totally engaged and compulsive page turning attention from cover to cover, "A River Called Time" by Courtina Newland is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Dystopian Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A River Called Time" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Bolinda Audio, 9781867518556, $29.99, MP3-CD).


The Art Shelf

I Can Draw
Peng
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500652428, $19.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/I-Can-Draw-Peng/dp/0500652422

Synopsis: Over several decades teaching in schools and art colleges, artist and illustrator Peng has developed expert knowledge of the building blocks of drawing and sketching. As he shows with his step-by-step DIY instruction manual "I Can Draw", creativity can come from anywhere and entire sketches can spring up from the simplest lines or curves.

Peng's easy-to-follow guide inspires confidence and creativity by showing how even complete novices can quickly learn how to draw characters and develop their own individual style. Starting with the basics of figure construction and moving through to expression, storytelling, and animals, the artist conjures up delightful cartoons with wicked humor and a lightness of touch. Simple tips and exercises reveal how anyone and everyone can master the art of drawing.

"I Can Draw" encourages aspiring comics and manga artists to experiment with a variety of techniques executed through brush, pencil, and pen.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of 200 illustrations, "I Can Draw" is thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Art Instruction reference collections.

Drawing and Painting Anime and Manga Faces
Nao Yazawa
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9781631599620, $22.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Painting-Anime-Manga-Faces/dp/1631599623

Synopsis: Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from Japan. The term Manga is used in Japan to refer to both comics and cartooning. "Drawing and Painting Anime and Manga Faces: Step-by-Step Techniques for Creating Authentic Characters and Expressions" by renowned Japanese manga artist and international instructor Nao Yazawa guides the aspiring artist step by step through all phases of drawing and painting anime and manga faces ranging from the basics of creating essential anime and manga characters, to creating dynamic and authentic expressions to coloring and adding special touches.

"Drawing and Painting Anime and Manga Faces" covers: Essential supplies, basic drawing techniques, and a summary of the process from rough sketches to finished drawings; Explores how to draw key anime and manga characters as well as how to depict a range of emotions for each, from delight to sadness to terror; Take Manga and Anime drawings to the next level by adding striking definition, stunning color, and special finishing touches that will give characters just the right note of authenticity.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout and offer a complete course of instruction under one cover, "Drawing and Painting Anime and Manga Faces: Step-by-Step Techniques for Creating Authentic Characters and Expressions" is the ideal and unreservedly recommended DIY instruction guide and manual for any aspiring artist wanting to master the Anime/Manga style of Japanese cartooning and animation. "Drawing and Painting Anime and Manga Faces: Step-by-Step Techniques for Creating Authentic Characters and Expressions" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Art Instruction collections.

Editorial Note: Nao Yazawa is a Japanese manga artist residing in Tokyo, Japan. She is most well known for her manga series Wedding Peach, which was made into an anime series of the same name. Both the manga and anime series were translated into several languages. Since 2008, she has been teaching manga workshops (in English) internationally, in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Canada, and the United States. She teaches in-person workshops at Nakano Manga School, in Nakano-ku, Tokyo, where she also maintains the studio where she hosts her online classes. She is also the author of the instructional guides Manga Drawing Deluxe and Drawing and Painting Anime and Manga Faces.

En Plein Air: Light & Color
Iain Stewart
Walter Foster Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781633228344, $21.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Light-Color-Techniques-Step-step/dp/1633228347

Synopsis: Geared for beginning artists, "En Plein Air: Light & Color" by professional artist Iain Stewart introduces a variety of techniques for on-location watercolor painting for the novice or aspiring artist. Following a brief introduction to the basics of painting en plein air and an overview of the necessary tools and materials, art students will learn how to choose a subject and paint a compelling outdoor composition using the subtleties of watercolor to create beautifully expressive subjects and themes.

Other important topics include perspective, rendering the background and foreground, capturing both urban and pastoral landscapes, mastering color to convey weather and time of day, and much more. From choosing just the right subject to awaiting the perfect time of day, let "En Plein Air: Light & Color" guide you in your artistic travels as you explore this daring and expressive medium.

Painting outdoors is a rewarding, peaceful experience full of joy, adventure, and persistence. Let the En Plein Air Series guide you in your artistic travels as you explore this daring and expressive method of painting, wherever you may be.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "En Plein Air: Light & Color: Expert techniques and step-by-step projects for capturing mood and atmosphere in watercolor" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, art school, college and university library watercolor painting instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Maintaining a studio in Opelika, Alabama, Iain Stewart is a watercolor artist and illustrator and a signature member of both the American and National Watercolor Societies. His work has received numerous awards in international competition and he is a sought after juror and workshop instructor. He is also an architectural illustrator with an international clientele, a business he has run for the last 20 years.


The Self-Help Shelf

Who The Hell Told You That?
Melissa Carver
Atlantic Publishing Group
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471-0640
www.atlantic-pub.com
9781620237922, $21.95, PB, 118pp

https://www.amazon.com/Who-Hell-Told-You-That/dp/162023792X

Synopsis: As children, we are taught right from wrong, good from bad. Our parents and caregivers provide us with tools to get us started on the right path, in hope that we will make the best decisions possible throughout our lives. But what if the advice we've received isn't helping us anymore? Is it possible to relearn life lessons?

In "Who The Hell Told You That?: An Eviction Notice for Indoctrinated Thoughts", Dr. Melissa Carver discusses the important idea of reprogramming the mind in order to be your best self today, in this moment. Though it may be difficult, living your best life may mean stepping out of the comfort zone you've inhabited for so long and releasing the past.

Whether you are facing difficulties in your job, relationships, or personal life, "Who The Hell Told You That?" is full of helpful tips that will ultimately lead to happiness and fulfillment in every area of your life.

Critique: It was Donald Trump who made 'Fake News' a part of our daily lexicon (ironically, because he was an immense source of Fake News -- incorrect and biased information). It's the fake or incorrect news or information that we receive on a daily basis through social media outlets, forums and formats that has take such a tremendous toll on our mental and spiritual well being. Dr. Carver's "Who The Hell Told You That?: An Eviction Notice for Indoctrinated Thoughts" is an effective antidote to the indoctrinated poisons that must now be dealt with every day if we are to restore ourselves to an optimal mental, emotional, and spiritual good health. While very strongly recommended for community, college and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Who The Hell Told You That?: An Eviction Notice for Indoctrinated Thoughts" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Melissa Carver is the founder of the nonprofit organization, Mindset Junkies. This organization focuses on funding programs and scholarships for low income families to learn the power of mindfulness, primarily the families of those in drug or alcohol rehabilitation or US Veterans. Outside of her PhD in Philosophy, Dr. Carver is certified as an Ayurvedic Chopra Instructor, Nirvana Flow Specialist, and has continued post graduate education in Counseling Psychology. Her intention is to help others break out of the perspectives that bind them to negative actions, becoming the best versions of themselves, just a little -- day by day.

No Regrets Living
Harley A. Rotbart, MD
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
www.hcibooks.com
9780757323942, $15.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/No-Regrets-Living-Wonder-Contentment/dp/0757323944

Synopsis: Dr. Harley Rotbart's prescription for a life filled with gratitude for what we have and appreciation for what we have done with our time on earth, "No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment " is a proactive, 7-step plan to help us better appreciate what we have in our lives, and take greater pride in what we've done with our lives -- without spending precious time and energy wishing things had turned out differently.

Of course all of us have had disappointments, lamentable moments. For some, those times have led to lasting unhappiness and a life that feels unfulfilled, even meaningless. Others have found ways to move past the downturns and find better ahead. "No Regrets Living" leads us to see the world through a lens of appreciation for the magnificence around us, which in turn helps us accommodate those not-so-magnificent moments in our lives.

Dr. Rotbart brings his unique perspective as physician, scientist, child of a Holocaust survivor, and heart patient to "No Regrets Living". Part self-help manual, part inspirational road map, part moving memoir, "No Regrets Living" is essential a DIY blueprint for reaching greater satisfaction and fulfillment in life.

Woven into the timely and timeless message of "No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment" are especially timely observations on the COVID-19 pandemic based upon Dr. Rotbart's expert perspective as an infectious diseases physician -- including coping mechanisms and paths for going forward as individuals and as a society.

Critique: Part spiritual/motivational self-help manual, part blueprint for achieving happiness in the face of the ordinary stresses and strains of life during and after this present pandemic, "No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment" is impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Harley Rotbart, MD, is a nationally renowned infectious diseases specialist, pediatrician, parenting expert, speaker, and educator. He is also professor and vice chair emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado. He is the author of numerous medical and scientific publications, and books for lay audiences including No Regrets Parenting, 940 Saturdays, and Miracles We Have Seen. Dr. Rotbart was named to Best Doctors in America for 18 consecutive years.

Winning Words
Ross Hjelseth
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781973693147, $25.00, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Words-Speaking-Influence-Others/dp/1973693143

Synopsis: Whether we are speaking to an audience of one or a gathering of thousands, our words have influence and impact. The question is are they having the influence we want?

In the pages of "Winning Words: Speaking Life to Influence Others", Ross Hjelseth draws on his more than four decades of career experience in athletics and education to create an informative instructional guide to choosing the right words at the right time -- words that inspire, encourage, guide, teach, empathize, and elevate.

Ross shares maxims gleaned from teachers, coaches, and leaders, together with his own observations, to help you: Empower yourself and those you care about; Develop leadership skills and insights to better serve others; Build relationships through listening, speaking, and observing others; Appreciate the importance of practice, hard work, discipline, perseverance, and motivation; Determine when to use positive or negative reinforcement.

Each individual chapter concludes with several inspirational quotes from coaches and leaders, as well as thoughtful questions to help you make a meaningful difference in your life and the lives of others. You can serve people in every context and renew your focus on gratitude, encouragement, and teamwork.

Critique: A complete course of DIY instructions on becoming an effective and influential communicator at any time, with anyone, under any circumstances, "Winning Words: Speaking Life to Influence Others" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college and university library Self-Help/Self- Improvement instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Winning Words: Speaking Life to Influence Others" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781973693154, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

When Crisis Strikes
Jennifer Love, MD & Kjell Tore Hovik, PsyD.
Citadel Press
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9780806540818, $16.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/When-Crisis-Strikes-Chronic-Stress/dp/0806540818

Synopsis: Stress is an unfortunate fact of modern life, and when those stressors are catastrophic (divorce, illness, caregiving, loss) a brain under stress becomes a brain in crisis. "When Crisis Strikes: 5 Steps to Heal Your Brain, Body, and Life from Chronic Stress" is an invaluable guide, by psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Love and neuropsychologist Dr. Kjell Hovik as they explore how to heal the damage that prolonged stress can do to your brain and your health.

In "When Crisis Strikes" you will learn how to prevent these side effects from hijacking your daily life. You will also: Discover how your brain works with your body's natural stress response system; Learn how mental and emotional cues cause physical reactions like muscle tension, pain, lowered sex drive, and more; Practice the five steps to relieve a stressor's toll on your mind and your body; Utilize the tools to deal with any life crisis.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "When Crisis Strikes: 5 Steps to Heal Your Brain, Body, and Life from Chronic Stress" is an ideal and thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY instructional guide and manual for dealing with chronic, debilitating stress. Especially timely given the additional stress brought about by the current pandemic, the economic deterioration, social protests and political violence, "When Crisis Strikes" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted that "When Crisis Strikes" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.88).

Editorial Note #1: Dr. Jennifer Love, MD is board-certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine, and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Love is an award-winning researcher and international speaker, has appeared as a medical expert on The Dr. Phil Show and The Doctors, and has been interviewed for documentaries (including the Broken Brain series by Dr. Mark Hyman), podcasts and vlogs.

Editorial Note #2: Kjell Tore Hovik, PsyD, Ph.d. is a clinical neuropsychologist who has authored and co-authored more than 16 peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters. Dr. Hovik is Editor-in-Chief of Nevropsykologi, which is the peer-reviewed journal of the Norwegian Neuropsychological Society.

Let It Go: How to Stop Your Past Ruining Your Future
David Rahman
Y Lolfa
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781784618308, $14.99, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Let-Go-stop-ruining-future/dp/1784618306

Synopsis: "Let It Go: How to Stop Your Past Ruining Your Future" by David Rahman is a self-help book whose clarion messages is to leave behind negative patterns of thinking and behavior which give rise to unwanted emotions and hold you back in life.

"Let It Go: How to Stop Your Past Ruining Your Future" offers a combination of theory and sound practical strategies, proven time and time again in mind-coach David Rahman's workshops and courses to really show people how to live happier lives.

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Let It Go: How to Stop Your Past Ruining Your Future" offers useable insights that are both timely and timeless, specific and universal. Motivationally inspiring, this DIY instruction guide and manual is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Contemporary Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that 'Let It Go: How to Stop Your Past Ruining Your Future" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: David Rahman is a speaker and mind coach, working with clients to improve self-esteem and confidence and to develop a positive mindset. He is also a facilitator at workshops in this field and a keynote speaker for organizations globally.


The Martial Arts Shelf

Baguazhang
Phillip Starr
Blue Snake Books
c/o North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com/blue-snake-books
9781623175788, $19.95, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Baguazhang-Fundamentals-Applications-Phillip-Starr/dp/162317578X

Synopsis: Baguazhang or Pakua chang is one of the three main Chinese martial arts of the Wudang school, the other two being T'ai chi and Xing Yi Quan. It is more broadly grouped as an internal practice (or neijia quan). Bagua zh ng literally means "eight trigram palm," referring to the trigrams of the I Ching (Yijing), one of the canons of Taoism. (Wikipedia)

One of the most esoteric disciplines in martial arts, baguazhang is based on the eight trigrams (bagua) of the Yi Jing, and emphasizes the importance of maneuverability, evasion, and change to deflect an aggressor's attacks. Unlike martial arts systems that employ overt punches, kicks, and grappling techniques, most of the bodily weapons of the baguazhang arsenal are well concealed, agile, and smooth. Utilizing deceptive forms of footwork and body shifting, the principles and techniques of Baguazhang will help readers develop a firm foundation and build a critical skill set for this unique martial art.

In the pages of "Baguazhang: Fundamentals, Applications, and Footwork", martial arts practitioner and author Phillip Starr introduces aspiring martial artists to the fundamentals of baguazhang, showing how the movements of this enigmatic and widely misunderstood art can be practically applied in self-defense. The student martial artist will learn: Key baguazhang principles; Footholds; Basic stepping techniques, walking exercises, and postures; Proper alignments; "Mother palms," or basic exercises critical to the development of the "bagua body".

Ideal for newcomers to baguazhang, this introduction elucidates the two foundational Single Change and Double Change Palms and offers a refresher for advanced practitioners looking to further explore applications for movements they already know.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with step-by-step instructions, "Baguazhang: Fundamentals, Applications, and Footwork" is a complete and comprehensive DIY course of instruction under one cover. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Baguazhang: Fundamentals, Applications, and Footwork" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Martial Arts collections. It should be noted for martial arts students, practitioners, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Baguazhang: Fundamentals, Applications, and Footwork" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Phillip "Pete" Starr began teaching Chinese martial arts in 1967 at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. After spending several years in law enforcement, he opened his first full-time martial arts school in Ottumwa, Iowa. He entered competition and earned the title of U.S. National Champion five times, the last time when he was sixty-three years old. He was named to the National Rules Committee of the United States Karate Association and became the kung fu chairman. Later, he was named to the list of the Rocky Mountain top ten competitors. Starr went on to train in Arnis, becoming a certified instructor under Tuhon Leo Gaje and Jeet Kune Do.


The Audiobook Shelf

Animal Instinct: A K Team Novel
David Rosenfelt, author
Fred Berman, narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250788238, $29.99, 6 CDs

https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Instinct-Team-Novel-Novels/dp/1250788234

Synopsis: Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, a German shepherd named Simon Garfunkel, are recently retired police officers turned private investigators. Along with fellow former cop Laurie Collins and her investigating partner, Marcus, they call themselves the K Team, in honor of Simon.

The K Team's latest case (a recent and unsolved murder) gives Corey a chance to solve "the one that got away". Corey knew the murder victim from his time on the force, when he was unable to protect her in a domestic dispute. Now, he is convinced the same abusive boyfriend is responsible for her murder. With some help from Laurie's lawyer husband, Andy Carpenter, the K Team is determined to prove what the police could not, no matter the cost. What they uncover is much more sinister than they could have imagined.

Critique: Superbly narrated by Fred Berman, "Animal Instinct" by David Rosenfelt is a complete and unabridged audio book that will prove to be an enduringly welcome and appreciated addition to community library collections and will have a special appeal to fans of deftly crafted 'whodunnit' style mysteries.

Turn a Blind Eye
Jeffrey Archer, author
George Blagden, narrator
Macmillan Audio
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250805744, $39.99, 8 CDs

https://www.amazon.com/Turn-Blind-Eye-Detective-William/dp/B08GF1J46P

Synopsis: Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, William Warwick is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force. Along with detectives Rebecca Pankhurst and Nicky Bailey, his team is focused on following Detective Jerry Summers, a young officer whose lifestyle exceeds his income. But the investigation risks being compromised when Nicky falls for Summers.

Meanwhile, notorious drug baron Assem Rashidi goes on trial, defended by Booth Watson QC, while William's father Sir Julian and sister Grace lead the prosecution case. And William's wife Beth, now a new mother to twins, makes a surprising new friend in Christina Faulkner (the ex-wife of William's former rival, criminal financier Miles) who has not only turned over a new leaf, but also has a new-found source of income when Faulkner dies suddenly of a heart attack and she stands to be sole inheritor of his estate.

As the undercover officers start to draw the threads together, William realizes that the corruption may go deeper still, and more of his colleagues than he first thought might be willing to turn a blind eye.

Critique: Jeffrey Archer at his best, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Turn A Blind Eye" is expertly narrated by George Blagden. The result is a true 'theatre of the mind" experience not to be missed by the legions of Jeffrey Archer fans and one which is very highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections.


The Music CD Shelf

The Great Kat
greatkat.com

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Kat-Beethoven-Reincarnation/dp/B08ZW55V7J

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Kat-Beethoven-Paganini-Shredfest/dp/B08Z2J4C72

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Kat-Katherine-Thomas-Virtuoso/dp/B0915GWYM6

Provocative performer The Great Kat is a Juilliard graduate violin virtuoso, Carnegie Recital Hall violin soloist, and supremely accomplished shred artist. Three CD albums showcase The Great Kat's talent for shredding classical music at phenomenal speeds. All are choice picks to re-experience timeless greatness in a whole new way!

"Beethoven, Beethoven and the Reincarnation of Beethoven" ($9.98, 9 min.) features Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Beethoven's Minuet in G for Guitar and Violin, Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Beethoven's Violin Concerto for Guitar and Violin, Beethoven's Turkish March, Beethoven's Razumovsky String Quartet, and Beethoven's Triple Guitar Concerto in Shred Major. "Rossini, Beethoven, Paganini and Shredfest" ($9.98, 10 min.) features Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony No. 6, Beethoven's Bolero Mosh, Rossini's William Tell Overture, Czardas Gypsy Violin, Beethoven's Eroica Symphony No. 3, Beethoven's Fur Elise For Guitar Violin and Piano, and Paganini's Caprice No. 24. "Katherine Thomas Violin Virtuoso" ($9.98, 10 min.) features Czardas Gypsy Violin, Beethoven's Violin Concerto for Violin and Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven's Minuet in G for Violin and Piano, Beethoven's Turkish March for Violin and Turkish Military Band, Beethoven's Fur Elise Fur Violine and Klavier, Beethoven's Razumovsky String Quartet Opus 59 No. 3, Brindisi Viennese Waltz For Violin And Piano, and Encore.


The Biography Shelf

This One Wild Life
Angie Abdou
ECW Press
www.ecwpress.com
9781770416000, $16.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/This-One-Wild-Life-Mother-Daughter/dp/1770416005

Synopsis: "This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir " is a personal memoir of self-discovery that directly tackles the problems of modern parenting in a digital age

Disillusioned with overly competitive organized sports and concerned about her lively daughter's growing shyness, author Angie Abdou set herself a challenge: to hike a peak a week over the summer holidays with her daughter Katie. They will bond in nature and discover the glories of outdoor activity.

What could go wrong? Well, among other things, it turns out that Angie loves hiking but Katie doesn't. Hilarious, poignant, and deeply felt, "This One Wild Life" deftly explores parenting and marriage in a summer of unexpected outcomes and growth for both mother and daughter.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, absorbing, entertaining, deftly written, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, "This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir" is also readily available in digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Angie Abdou is the author of five novels and a memoir of hockey parenting, Home Ice. Her first novel, The Bone Cage, was a CBC Canada Reads finalist and was awarded the 2011 - 12 MacEwan Book of the Year. Angie is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University.

Little and Often: A Memoir
Trent Preszler
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062976642, $26.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Often-Memoir-Trent-Preszler/dp/0062976648

Synopsis: Trent Preszler thought he was living the life he always wanted, with a job at a winery and a seaside Long Island home, when he was called back to the life he left behind. After years of estrangement, his cancer-stricken father had invited him to South Dakota for Thanksgiving. It would be the last time he saw his father alive.

Preszler's only inheritance was a beat-up wooden toolbox that had belonged to his father, who was a cattle rancher, rodeo champion, and Vietnam War Bronze Star Medal recipient. This family heirloom befuddled Preszler. He did not work with his hands -- but maybe that was the point. In his grief, he wondered if there was still a way to understand his father, and with that came an epiphany: he would make something with his inheritance. Having no experience or training in woodcraft, driven only by blind will, he decided to build a wooden canoe, and he would aim to paddle it on the first anniversary of his father's death.

While Preszler taught himself how to use his father's tools, he confronted unexpected revelations about his father's secret history and his own struggle for self-respect. The grueling challenges of boatbuilding tested his limits, but the canoe became his sole consolation. Gradually, Preszler learned what working with his hands offered: a different perspective on life, and the means to change it.

"Little and Often" is an unflinching account of bereavement and a stirring reflection on the complexities of inheritance. Between his past and his present, and between America's heartland and its coasts, Preszler shows how one can achieve reconciliation through the healing power of creativity.

Critique: A deftly written and deeply personal story of a father and his son, about familial love the grieving of an intimate loss, "Little and Often: A Memoir" by Trent Preszler is both intensely unique and yet ultimately universal. An inherently engaging read from first page to last, "Little and Often: A Memoir" will prove to be a particularly welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to community library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Little and Often: A Memoir" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799953616, $39.99, CD).


The Poetry Shelf

Collected Poems
Eilean Ni Chuilleanain
Wake Forest University Press
PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
www.wfu.edu/wfupress
9781930630963, $19.95, PB, 424pp

https://www.amazon.com/Collected-Poems-Eil%C3%A9an-N%C3%AD-Chuillean%C3%A1in/dp/1930630964

Synopsis: Newly published by the Wake Forest University Press, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain's "Collected Poems" gathers in a single volume nine collections of her poetry, from Acts and Monuments (1972) to The Mother House (2020), as well as new poems and translations. Her poetry is scrupulously controlled but also continuously startling, using the language of history, religion, landscape, and myth.

Travelers, pilgrims, and women (especially the veiled subject of the nun) remind us of our deepest inner sanctum with its litany of spiritual truths, human fears, and needs. These images also catalogue the importance of the ordinary and the domestic as metaphors for human experiences and emotions.

Ni Chuilleanain allows those who have been silenced by history to surface in art as surreal but living presences. It is now unquestionably apparent that she is one the major poets in contemporary Ireland.

Critique: Erudite, literate, cultured, polished, seminal, the poetry showcased in the pages of this anthology impressively showcase the breadth and depth of Eilean Ni Chuilleanain's wordsmith abilities. A book to be browsed through carefully one page and poem at a time, "Collected Works" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library Contemporary Poetry collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Collected Poems" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $29.95).

Editorial Note: Eilean Ni Chuilleanain was born in Cork in 1942. She is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and an emeritus professor of the School of English which she joined in 1966. Her broad academic interests (notably her specialism in Renaissance literature and her interest in translation) are reflected in her poetry. She retired from full-time teaching in 2011 and a selection of her poems are currently on the syllabus for the Leaving Certificate, the final state examination for secondary school students. Ni Chuilleanain is also a member of Aosdana, a founder of the literary magazine Cyphers, alongside Pearse Hutchinson, Macdara Woods and Leland Bardwell. She continues to edit the magazine and has contributed several recitations of her poems, including 'Small' (written after the death of Pearse Hutchinson), to the Irish Poetry Reading Archive.


The Interior Design Shelf

Designer Window Fashions
Charles Randall
Charles Randall International
www.charlesrandall.com
9781890379445, $39.95, HC, 448pp

https://www.amazon.com/Designer-Window-Fashions-Charles-Randall/dp/1890379441

Synopsis: "Designer Window Fashions" is Charles Randall's newest creation based upon his original masterworks: "The Encyclopedia of Window Fashions" and "The Window Decorating Book". This new volume continues the tradition of showcasing classic and contemporary window coverings from some of America's top designers. With more full-color photographs and black & white illustrations than ever before, "Designer Window Fashions" presents and showcases countless combinations of window and bed coverings for any room in the home ranging from a simple rod pocket curtain to a designer masterpiece.

"Designer Window Fashions" features: Extensive window covering ideas in full-color photos and illustrations; Extensive bed covering section with coordinating draperies and top treatments; Hard window coverings coordinated with valances, swags, and cornices; Vital information for designers, workrooms, and window covering professionals; Equal size color and blackline drawings; Extensive yardage calculations; Pros and cons of various window coverings; Solutions for challenging window shapes; Glossaries of decorating and fabric terms

Critique: Absolutely essential reading for aspiring and practicing interior designers, "Designer Window Fashions" is a complete course of instruction in the art and practice of designing window treatments for any architectural setting be it domestic or corporate, personal or professional. Exceptionally well written, illustrated, organized and presented, "Designer Window Fashions" is an especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college and university library Interior Design instructional reference collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Designer Window Fashions" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Since he began in the soft furnishings business in 1976 as a drapery installer, Charles Randall has become a best-selling author and a leading expert on window treatments. After a successful sales career, working for Drapery World in Garden Grove, California, he opened Window Fashions in 1980. Charles has decorated more than 60,000 windows. In 1987, he revolutionized the interior design world, writing "The Encyclopedia of Window Fashions", a comprehensive book on window decorating. He is listed as a leading window decorating expert in Samantha Ettus' book: "The Experts Guide to Everything at Home".


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

A Shape in the Dark
Bjorn Dihle
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680513097, $17.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shape-Dark-Living-Dying-Brown/dp/1680513095

Synopsis: In the pages of "A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears", wilderness guide and lifelong Alaskan Bjorn Dihle weaves personal experience with historical and contemporary accounts to explore the world of brown bears ranging from encounters with the Lewis and Clark Expedition to frightening attacks (including the famed death of Timothy Treadwell), to the controversies related to bear hunting, the animal's place in native cultures, and the impacts on the species from habitat degradation and climate change.

Much more than a just a dry biological and historical study on human-bear interactions, "A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears" is compelling story that intimately explores our relationship with one of the world's most powerful predators. An authentic and thoughtful work, "A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears" deftly blends outdoor adventure, history, and elements of memoir to present a mesmerizing portrait of Alaska's brown bears and grizzlies, informed by the species' larger history and their fragile future.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, and an inherently fascinating read throughout, "A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears" is a unique, extraordinary, and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library Wildlife collections in general, and Ursine Biology supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Writer and wilderness and wildlife film guide, Bjorn Dihle is a contributing editor for Alaska Magazine and Hunt Alaska Magazine and has been published in Outdoor Life, Sierra, High Country News, and Birdwatching, among others. He is the author of two books, Haunted Inside Passage: Ghosts, Mysteries, and Legends of Southeast Alaska and Never Cry Halibut: And Other Alaska Hunting and Fishing Tales. A native of Southeast Alaska, he lives on Douglas Island with his family.


The Economic Studies Shelf

Sacred Economics, revised edition
Charles Eisenstein
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
www.northatlanticbooks.com
9781623175764, $20.99, PB, 520pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Economics-Revised-Society-Transition/dp/1623175763

Synopsis: This newly revised edition of "Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition" by academician and economist Charles Eisenstein traces the history of money, from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, and includes new material on cryptocurrencies and emerging research that has come out since the book's original publication.

Eisenstein shows how capitalism contributes to alienation, competition, and scarcity; destroys community; and necessitates endless growth at the cost of social and environmental devastation. Today, these trends have reached their extreme -- and their collapse presents a golden opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

Eisenstein describes the deeper narratives beneath our economic system, and how we can reimagine it to align with a new story. Applying a broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, he explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local economies, gift economics, cryptocurrencies, and the restoration of the commons.

Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Eisenstein presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.

Critique: Extrapolating from past and current economic trends to present very real near term and long term future economic conditions, this newly revised edition of "Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition" must be considered a seminal work and a unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, government, college and university library Contemporary & International Economics, Money & Monetary Policy, and Political Economy collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, economic policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His writings on the web magazine Reality Sandwich have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator.


The Cookbook Shelf

The Living Table
Abby Turner
www.atabletopaffair.com
DaySpring
www.dayspring.com
9781644548493, $24.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Living-Table-Devotions-Everyday-Get-Togethers/dp/1644548496

Synopsis: "The Living Table: Recipes and Devotions for Everyday Get-Togethers" by Abby Turner is a beautifully illustrated combination of devotional, hospitality book and cookbook that will enable even the most intimidated hostess to succeed with respect to any dining occasion.

The underlying message of "The Living Table" is that hosting doesn't require food that takes all day to prepare. It's also not about being perfect; it's about offering care to one another and building community.

In "The Living Table", Abby shares easy-to-recreate recipes and fun, DIY projects that take 15 minutes or less. Each section starts with a first-hand account of the miraculous ways God has showed up at Abby's table-how deep conversations have led to deep spiritual growth, how a new friend has become a forever friend, and how tears and laughs and mishaps have become treasured memories. With each section focusing on specific tables (dinner table, coffee table, outside table, etc.), you'll discover fast and easy ways to liven up any moment, whether that be Tuesday night home with family or a well-thought-out Thanksgiving.

Critique: From Parmesan Bacon Crackers; Blueberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Spread; Pesto and Chicken Savory Pie; and Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet; to Buffalo Chicken Sliders; Cheesecake Salad; Raspberry Punch; Rib Tips with Sauce; Rugelach Nutella Rolls, and more, "The Living Table: Recipes and Devotions for Everyday Get-Togethers" is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and step-by-step presentation, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Three years ago, Abby Turner started cooking for friends and acquaintances in hopes of building community, and she found that when you bring people around food, community flourishes. While she has never attended culinary school, she admits to watching ''a ton of YouTube videos'' and loves finding ''easy twists'' to store-bought favorites. She encourages people of all ages to open their homes with fun and easy recipes and themed table settings on her popular blog www.atabletopaffair.com, as well as on Pinterest and Instagram.

Leon Happy Guts
Rebecca Seal & John Vincent
Conran
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781840918021, $19.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Leon-Happy-Batch-Cooking-Rebecca/dp/1840918020

Synopsis: LEON was founded on the principle of nourishing the soul with food that nourishes the body - making us happy as a result. With the publication of "Leon Happy Guts: Recipes to help you live better", LEON, the home of healthy fast food, showcases more than 100 simple, colorful, delicious new recipes to recharge your gut and transform your health with .

In this latest culinary compendium in the bestselling LEON Happy series, the LEON team have created more than 100 recipes on eating for a happy, healthy gut. It is not about eating a restrictive diet or depriving yourself of delicious food, but about incorporating gut-friendly ingredients into your daily diet with recipes loaded with natural probiotics, prebiotics and polyphenols.

In addition to recipes, "Leon Happy Gut Cooking" offers the latest advice on improving your gut health, including why we should all use extra-virgin olive oil with abandon and that wine and cheese might actually be good for you.

Critique: Fully living up to that ancient personal health maxim that 'You are what you eat', and with beautifully illustrated recipes ranging from Classic WholeMeal Loaf; Coconut, Jackfruit & Lime Curry; and Miso Butter; to Perfect Pickle; Sourdough Brownies with a Tahini Swirl; Seared Beef & Grain Salad with Chilli, Coriander & Mint; and Home Brewed Ginger Beer, "Leon Happy Gut Cooking" will prove to be a prized and appreciated addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Leon Happy Gut Cooking" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The American History Shelf

The Irish in Illinois
Mathieu W. Billings & Sean Farrell
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901
www.siupress.com
9780809337996, $24.50, PB, 270pp

https://www.amazon.com/Irish-Illinois-Mathieu-W-Billings/dp/0809337991

Synopsis: Today over a million people in Illinois claim Irish ancestry and celebrate their love for Ireland. "The Irish in Illinois" is a concise narrative history by the collaborative team of academicians and historians Mathieu W. Billings and Sean Farrell that brings together both familiar and unheralded stories of the Irish in Illinois, highlighting the critical roles these immigrants and their descendants played in the settlement and the making of the Prairie State.

Comprised of short biographies and twenty-eight photographs vividly illustrating the significance and diversity of Irish contributions to Illinois, "The Irish in Illinois" informs the reader of the countless ways Irish men and women have shaped the history and culture of the state. They fought in the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and two world wars; built the state's infrastructure and worked in its factories; taught Illinois children and served the poor. Irish political leaders helped to draw up the state's first constitution, served in city, county, and state offices, and created a machine that dominated twentieth-century politics in Chicago and the state.

This lively history adds to our understanding of the history of the Irish in the state over the past two hundred fifty years. Illinoisans and Midwesterners celebrating their connections to Ireland will treasure this rich and important account of the state's history.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with maps, figures, a ten page For Further Reading list, eighteen pages of Notes, a sixteen page Bibliography, a four page Surname Index, and a nine page Subject Index, "The Irish in Illinois" is a model of meticulously detailed, informed and informative scholarship. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Irish in Illinois" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library American Immigrant History and Ethnic Demographic Studies collections in general, and Illinois History supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note #1: Mathieu W. Billings is a faculty associate in the history and political science department at the University of Indianapolis.

Editorial Note #2: Sean Farrell is a professor of history at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Rituals and Riots: Sectarian Violence and Political Culture in Ulster, 1784 - 1886 and a co-editor of Shadows of the Gunmen: Violence and Culture in Modern Ireland.


The World History Shelf

The Great Journeys in History
Robin Hanbury-Tenison
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. Expertly 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, we follow Alexander the Great to the Indus and Hannibal across the Alps; in medieval times, we 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.

As an editor Robin Hanbury-Tenison leads an incredible team of fifty-two contributors, including Robert Ballard and Ranulph Fiennes, who relate firsthand experiences with the journeys and places they describe. The result is "The Great Journeys in History" which informatively 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.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of some 114 illustrations, "The Great Journeys in History" is an extraordinary collective history and one that is an especially and unreservedly recommended for highschool, community, college and university library World History Expeditions, Discoveries, and Travel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Great Journeys in History" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.10).

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


The Business Shelf

The Heart of Business
Hubert Joly
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781647820381, $30.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Business-Leadership-Principles-Capitalism/dp/1647820383

Synopsis: In the pages of "The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism", experienced corporate executive and former CEO of Best Buy, Hubert Joly unveils his personal playbook for achieving extraordinary outcomes by putting people and purpose at the heart of business.

In "The Heart of Business", Joly shares the philosophy behind the resurgence of Best Buy under his corporate leadership: pursue a noble purpose, put people at the center of the business, create an environment where every employee can blossom, and treat profit as an outcome, not the goal.

This approach is easy to understand, but putting it into practice is not so easy. It requires radically rethinking how we view work, how we define companies, how we motivate, and how we lead. In this book Joly shares memorable stories, lessons, and practical advice, all drawn from his own personal transformation from a hard-charging McKinsey consultant to a leader who believes in human magic.

Given the economic distress perpetuated and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, "The Heart of Business" is a timely guide for leaders ready to abandon old paradigms and lead with purpose and humanity. It shows how we can reinvent capitalism so that it contributes to a sustainable future.

Critique: Offering a complete seminar in corporate leadership under one cover, "The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism" should be considered essential reading by anyone having a corporate responsibility for successfully establishing and maintaining their business enterprise whether it be local, regional, national, or international in scope. Readers are invited to visit www.TheHeartofBusiness.org to learn more. While highly recommended for community, corporate, college and university library Contemporary Business Management collections in general, and Strategic Retail Industry Planning supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular, it should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Hubert Joly is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy Co., Inc. where he led the company's turnaround and transformed it into an industry leader, consistently rated one of the best places to work for. He is now a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School. He is also a member of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson and Ralph Lauren Corporation, and a vice chairman of the Business Council. He has endowed the Joly Family chair in Purposeful Leadership at HEC Paris where he actively collaborates with the faculty.


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Video Game Careers Demystified
Michael S. Chang
Best Seller Publishing
www.BestSellerPublishing.org
9798735660415 $17.95 pbk / $9.95 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Video-Game-Careers-Demystified-Ecosystem/dp/B09244CMG1

Synopsis: What to know what it's really like to to make and release games?

If you think you've got what it takes to become a game developer, and want to be educated about the skills you need and the steps to take to get started, then this is the right book for you! This reference guide offers you the chance to walk in the shoes of a video game professional.

Learn from the best and find out the humble beginnings of the most hailed names in the industry! Experts behind iconic games like Halo, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield, ABC mouse, and many more share their inspiring words of wisdom.

Kickstart your game developing journey with Michael Chang's Video Game Careers Demystified! This book delves into the incredible journey, tribulations, as well as highs and lows of the exciting video game industry. It explores first-hand accounts, shedding light on numerous processes behind developing, launching, and publishing a successful game.

Thoughtfully written to captivate, enlighten, and inspire readers, this insightful guide seeks to answer the industry's most asked questions: What is it like to create and publish games? Does the industry offer viable opportunities for young people? Should educators and parents foster or cultivate aspirants?

Critique: A thoroughly accessible and information-packed resource for readers of all ages curious about a potential career in the video game industry, Video Game Careers Demystified: The Trifecta of Makers, Athletes, and Ecosystem in a Thriving Industry lives up to its title with profiles and testimonies from professionals in the field. The jobs discussed are classified as "Mage" (jobs directly involved in game development), "Warrior" (playing video games professionally, often competitively) and "Rogue" (careers that revolve around games in a different way - journalism, marketing, analytics publishing, and more). Candid, insightful, and absolutely fascinating to page through whether one is contemplating a profession connected to video games or not, Video Game Careers Demystified is highly recommended.

Editorial Note: Michael S. Chang is an international bestselling author, video game marketer and consultant. He is equipped with more than a decade of working experience in both AAA game development and indie game studios.


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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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