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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 17, Number 11 November 2022 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Cookbook Shelf Art Shelf
Biography Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Business Shelf Computer Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Gardening Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Travel Shelf Sports Shelf
Wine Shelf Self-Help Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

The Communist Chasm
Nan Wisherd
Cable Publishing
https://cablepublishing.com
9781934980842, $18.95, PB, 226pp

https://www.amazon.com/Communist-Chasm-Dreams-Terrible-Nightmare/dp/1934980846

Synopsis: By the thousands, they followed a dream, a dream of a better life promised to them by agents of North America's booming industry owners. It was a dream that led many of them into the Upper Midwest's deep, dangerous mines and into fierce labor strikes and ruinous blacklistings. Then years later and deeply disillusioned, they were promised a Worker's Paradise by communist recruiters who sent them to Russia's Karelia, where their fate was sealed by Joseph Stalin.

"The Communist Chasm: How the Dreams of a Better Life became a Terrible Nightmare" by Nan Wisherd is their story told in documented detail.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented piece of informed and informative history that rescues an horrific episode in the American communist experience for uncounted numbers of Finnish emigrants and their families whose high expectations and idealistic hopes were to be cruelly abused by a disillusioning and hostile reality that would lead to their deaths, "The Communist Chasm: How the Dreams of a Better Life became a Terrible Nightmare" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Communist History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Communist Chasm: How the Dreams of a Better Life became a Terrible Nightmare" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Nan Wisherd (https://cablepublishing.com/nan-wisherd), who is currently residing in Brule, Wisconsin, spent her earliest years in northern Wisconsin's Finnish community of Waino where stories of early pioneer life are still vividly recalled.

Don't Count Me Out
Rafael Alvarez
ILR Press
c/o Cornell University Press
512 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
www.cornellpress.cornell.edu
9781501766350, $26.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Count-Out-Baltimore-Miraculous/dp/150176635X

Synopsis: "Don't Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend's Miraculous Recovery" by Rafael Alvarez chronicles the life of Bruce White from the beginning of his drug use in elementary school through criminal acts fueled by his need for drugs, to his miraculous recovery three decades later and involvement in the treatment of addicts, where he is now a leader in the rehabilitation field.

Author and biographer Rafael Alvarez's recounting of White's journey should inspire those dealing with the fallout of addiction. Alvarez, a journalist and screenwriter, allows the reader to get inside the head of an addict who was stealing alcohol from his parents at the age of nine, selling drugs and tripping on LSD and PCP by the time he hit seventh grade, and hooked on morphine before he turned fifteen. "Bruce White? I thought he was dead?" is a response encountered in many of the interviews Alvarez conducted.

"Don't Count Me Out" showcases an improbable and stunning miracle. Though this is just one person's story, the contributing factors of early sexual assault, the role of permissive preoccupied parents, and the need for peer approval, among others, will resonate with many -- especially as the opioid crisis continues to haunt us.

Critique: Of special interest to anyone who has themselves had to deal with the scourge of drug addiction within themselves, a family member, or a friend, "Don't Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend's Miraculous Recovery" is a compelling, informative, thought-provoking, and ultimately inspiring read from first page to last. While highly recommended for community and academic library Drug Dependency/Abuse Recovery collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Don't Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend's Miraculous Recovery" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Rafael Alvarez (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Alvarez) is a former City Desk reporter for the Baltimore Sun and former writer for the HBO drama, The Wire. He is the author of many books of fiction and nonfiction.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Story and Structure: A Complete Guide
Leon Conrad, author
Jason Chuang, illustrator
http://leonconrad.com/writer
The Squeeze Press
9781906069254, $39.95, PB, 528pp

https://www.amazon.com/Story-Structure-Complete-Leon-Conrad/dp/1906069255

Synopsis: With the publication of "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide", published author Leon Conrad reveals the untold story of just how story works. Using just six primary symbols, Conrad outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all optimally solve the problems which give rise to them.

"Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" also demonstrates the much wider application of story, presenting new insights into story as a dynamic force of life, allowing the reader to access more harmony and flow in their life.

Critique: Offering a complete course of instruction for authors, novelists, storytellers, creative writing teachers, folklorists, narrative therapists, anthropologists, poets, and non-specialist general readers and bibliophiles interested in how story works will all find "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" useful and informative as they rethink ideas of story and storytelling. An ideal textbook for Creative Writing courses and workshops, "Story and Structure: A Complete Guide" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note #1: Leon Conrad (http://leonconrad.com/writer) is the author of History Riddles, Odyssey: Dynamic Learning System (with David Pinto), and Aesop the Storyteller. He is a storyteller and story structure consultant, based in London, UK.

Editorial Note #2: Jason Chuang (https://www.jasonchuangart.co.uk) is an illustrator and storyteller based in Taiwan and the UK. His practice focuses on the exploration of human emotions through the creation of symbolic imageries, coating them with elements of the absurd and poetry.


The Education Shelf

Paying for College, 2023
Kalman A. Chany
The Princeton Review
www.PrincetonReview.com
c/o Random House Inc.
http://www.randomhousebooks.com
9780593516492, $25.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Paying-College-2023-Everything-Admissions/dp/0593516494

Synopsis: Financing a college education is a daunting task no matter your circumstances. With line-by-line instructions for filling out the FAFSA and consumer-friendly advice to minimize college costs, this new and fully updated edition of "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" helps aspiring college students and their parents to: Maximize your financial aid eligibility; Prepare for upcoming changes affecting student aid; Explore long- and short-term strategies to reduce college costs and avoid expensive mistakes; Complete every question on the FAFSA and CSS Profile aid applications to your best advantage; Compare aid offers and learn how to appeal them if necessary; Plan strategically as a separated/divorced parent, blended family, or independent student.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, this new edition of "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" is essential reading for anyone student and their families needing to finance a college education given the increasing costs that seem to rise higher and higher with every year. Simply stated, no Highschool Counsler, College Student Parent, or College Student can afford not to give a careful reading to the financially relevant information comprising "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College". While unreservedly recommended for highschool, community library, and college admissions office collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Paying for College, 2023: Everything You Need to Maximize Financial Aid and Afford College" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Kalman A. Chany (http://www.campusconsultants.com/kalchany.html) is the founder and president of Campus Consultants Inc. For over 35 years he has personally helped thousands of clients get the most financial aid possible. He is a frequent information source for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine and is regularly interviewed on CNN and CNBC.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Being Well with Chronic Illness
Kat Hill, author
Nancy Peate, author
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578269471, $17.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Being-Well-Finding-Resilience-Chronic/dp/1578269474

Synopsis: More than 40% of the US population are affected by chronic diseases. "Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis" is a guide book for every single one of those people suffering with chronic illness and wanting to live full lives characterized by joy, resilience, and wellness.

Receiving a diagnosis of terminal illness is a turning point in a person's life where everything they've ever known is suddenly turned on its head. Negative emotions like anxiety, depression, anger and uncertainty are ever-present, while the way forward back to health and wellness seems full of twists and turns. This is because the path to wellness (and away from wellness) is a spiral.

"Being Well with Chronic Illness" introduces the simple, but powerful concept of the Wellness Spiral, an actionable pathway anyone can follow to turn bad life events to opportunities for growth and wellness. The intricacies of the Wellness Spiral lay out a road map to how we respond to life's harshest challenges -- and how we can rise above them.

The message is that you can reclaim wellness through intention and self-discovery as "Being Well with Chronic Illness" charts the course for a journey that supports finding hope and wholeness after an unexpected diagnosis. "Being Well with Chronic Illness" is for anyone who is at a crossroads and wants to find ways to build resilience.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in both organization and presentation, "Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis" will have a very special relevance and value for anyone having to deal with a chronic illness in themselves or a loved one. So many chronic and terminal illness is the result of either genetic predisposition or environmental toxins that "Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis" is especially and unreservedly recommended as a critically important addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum Nervous System Diseases studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note #1: Kat Hill (https://www.kathill.org) has a degree in Public Health, Nursing and Midwifery. She has worked as an educator and nurse, but after her diagnosis of young onset Parkinson's Disease, she has devoted her time as an advocate for persons with chronic illnesses. She is currently an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and sits on the patient advisory committee for the World Parkinson Coalition. She spoke at the World Parkinson's Congress in Kyoto, Japan in 2019. She has a podcast, PD Lemonade, that focuses on wellness and resilience.

Editorial Note #2: Nancy Peate (https://hatherleighcommunity.com/authors/nancy-peate) writes and speaks about wellness and how to live one's best life despite chronic illness. A research librarian by profession, research topics of most interest include resilience and chronic illness, particularly Parkinson's disease. She has participated and volunteered for the Parkinson's Resources of Oregon, the Davis Phinney Foundation, and the World Parkinson Coalition. She spoke at the World Parkinson's Congress in Kyoto, Japan in 2019 and hosts a monthly Parkinson's support group.

The Baby and the Biome
Meenal Lele
Avery
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
https://www.penguin.com/avery-overview
9780593421024, $26.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Biome-Inside-Secret-Health/dp/0593421027

Synopsis: A baby's immune system develops rapidly in the first 1,000 days of life, with the first six months and year being most important. With the publication of "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health", by medical researcher Meenal Lele explains how diet, environmental toxins, antibiotics, and even common parenting practices can damage the delicate balance of our children's microbiomes, thereby increasing the risk for a host of immune diseases, including eczema, asthma, food allergies, IBS, and more.

Lele discovered firsthand how critical our microbiomes are to our overall health when she sought to understand the root causes for her son's food allergies. Drawing on her medical background and through extensive research and interviews with scientists and doctors, Lele discovered the simple, practical steps that all parents and pregnant moms can take to help foster a healthy and protective microbiome in their baby. "The Baby and the Biome" will empower parents to protect and safeguard their children's health for years to come.

Critique: An invaluable and impressively informative guide for parents concerned with their baby's health and well being, "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health" will have a special attraction for parents and caregivers concerned with a child developing food allergies. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health" is unreservedly recommended as an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Pediatrics, Parenting, and Health/Medicine collections. It should be noted for families with food allergy concerns that "The Baby and the Biome: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Meenal Lele (https://shandeeland.com/meenal-lele-52) is the founder and CEO of Lil Mixins, a food allergy prevention solution that is the #1 pediatrician-recommended early-introduction product available. She is the creator of the hit podcast Fixing Sick, which explores the science behind immune disease. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Real Woman magazine, and radio shows across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. She has appeared on Good Day Philadelphia, Great Day Washington, "Health Watch" on Fox 5 DC, "Chasing News" on Fox, and My9 in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. She is a frequent guest on national food allergy and mommy podcasts, including Idea Mix, Blossoming Mom and Baby, and Today We Tried.


The Cookbook Shelf

Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day
Deborah Kaloper, author
Mark Roper, author
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922417916, $19.95, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Mornings-Delicious-Recipes-Start/dp/1922417912

Synopsis: Brunch is often something decadent that should be reserved for lazy weekends. But what if brunch could be an everyday treat without the indulgence? "Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day" is full of delicious options that are as good for you as they are palate pleasing and appetite satisfying.

Featuring gorgeous, simple recipes, the dishes comprising "Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day" are all refined-sugar free, mostly vegetarian, and packed with vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options. With chapters focusing on fruits, vegetables, drinks, baking, eggs, and grains, there's no reason every morning shouldn't be a Good Morning!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full page color photographs of finished dishes, "Good Mornings: 50 Delicious Recipes to Kick Start Your Day", with its recipes ranging from Espresso Chia Pudding with Espresso Cacao Sauce; to Veggie Hash with Fried Eggs & Coriander Salso, to Cherry Goji Berry Smoothie, will prove to be an especially appreciated addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note #1: Deborah Kaloper (https://www.deborahkaloper.com) is a California-raised, Melbourne-based food writer, chef, former pastry chef, and now sought-after food stylist. Deb works daily with the best photographers, chefs, and writers, spending her downtime perfecting her tortillas. She has previously authored Ramen-topia and Taco-topia, both published by Smith Street Books.

Editorial Note #2: Mark Roper (http://markroperphotography.com) is a Melbourne-based lifestyle, travel, food, and interiors photographer. He has collaborated with publications such as Vogue Living, Conde Nast Traveller, Belle, Gourmet Traveller, Delicious, Habitus, and Country Style, while also working with top brands, architects, and restaurants including Aesop, Williams Sonoma, Chobani, Hostplus, and Dinner by Heston.

The Joy of Chocolate
Paul A. Young
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9780857839909, $34.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Chocolate-Recipes-Stories-Wonderful/dp/085783990X

Synopsis: Written and compiled by Paul A. Young, one of the UK's most celebrated master chocolatiers, and a presenter on the BBC2 TV series The Sweet Makers, "The Joy of Chocolate" is an instructive guide showcasing how to make delicious chocolates from scratch in your own kitchen.

This delightfully decadent compendium of recipes and stories is a kind of love letter to chocolate as it presents the very fundamentals of what is chocolate, how to taste and buy chocolate, achieving a world-class shine and blending flavor like a professional. "The Joy of Chocolate" explains everything clearly and with creativity, so that by the end of the book, anyone from a beginning novice to a confident and experience cook will be able to make the very best chocolate recipes.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated with full page color photography, "The Joy of Chocolate" is a dedicated chocolate lover's delight from first page to last. The recipes are 'kitchen cook friendly', the commentaries informative, and "The Joy of Chocolate" covers such diverse and relevant subjects as branding/advertising/packaging; eating/tasting etiquette; festivals/rituals/celebrations. Of special note is the section denoting 21 of the very best chocolate recipes. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), this hardcover volume is an especially recommended for personal and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Paul A Young (https://www.paulayoung.co.uk) is a ground-breaking and inspirational chocolatier who is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene. Trained as a chef before moving into the world of chocolate, Paul's cutting-edge creativity has won him numerous awards and led to him being ranked among the world's best chocolatiers. In 2014, the International Chocolate Awards named Paul Outstanding British Chocolatier. Paul's dedication to his craft, his personality and his experimental creativity shine through in the quality of his chocolates and through the style of his beautiful boutique chocolateries.

The Mediterranean Migraine Diet
Alicia Wolf, author
Shin C. Beh, author
West Margin Press
https://www.westmarginpress.com
9781513134925, $44.49, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-Migraine-Diet-Science-Based-Transform/dp/1513134922

Synopsis: Co-authored by Alica Wolf (the healthy living blogger and creator of TheDizzyCook.com) and neurologist Dr. Shin Beh, "The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" is a unique cookbook and lifestyle guide that provides migraine patients with a dietary roadmap to control attacks and radically transform health. Based on the popular Mediterranean diet, this eating plan goes a step beyond migraine elimination diets to help people living with migraine expand their palette of ingredients.

The co-authors (who are patient and doctor in real life), teamed up to provide not only a cookbook, but a science-based guide to eating well, adapting the heart- and brain-healthy Mediterranean diet specifically for people living with migraine to help control their symptoms. Alicia shares her own journey with vestibular migraine and how she healed herself through the foods she cooked. Dr. Beh adds scientific information to bolster her delicious recipes.

"The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" features: Ten tips for eating a Mediterranean-style diet; Typical migraine food triggers and how to adapt them to the Mediterranean diet; Instructions for curating a migraine-friendly pantry; Information on how to shop for and cook with specific brain-friendly ingredients; More than 70 healthy and delicious recipes organized by food type; Migraine-friendly meal plans and tips for making meals ahead; Tips and tricks for customizing dishes for special diets and personal migraine triggers

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photos of finished dishes, "The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" will prove to be of special interest and value to readers with an interest in dealing with migraine headaches through their diet. Also available in a paperback editon (9781513134918, $27.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49), and comprised of insightful information coupled with palate pleasing and appetite satisfying dishes, "The Mediterranean Migraine Diet: A Science-Based Roadmap to Control Symptoms and Transform Brain Health" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness
Donna Hay
4th Estate
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9781460762875, $40.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fast-Five-Donna-Hay/dp/1460762878

Synopsis: From culinary expert and cookbook author Donna Hay, "The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness" is all about taking your favorite recipes and re-imagining them in faster, more delicious ways.

All-time classics and old stand-bys ranging from lasagne, to pasta, to tacos and more -- are reinvented with midweek twists which focus on cutting down time and upgrading flavor. Weekly go-tos are given a new lease on life, as Donna takes tried-and-tested recipes and gives them a fresh new twist. For example, the weekly taco night moves from straight out-of-the-box ready-made to fresh and delicious fit-for-a-restaurant, with five flavourful variations made inclusive for all tastes and preferences. With fresh salsas and sides, a fully-fledged feast comes fresh to the table in minutes.

Whether looking for ways to improve on on favourites or for a total kitchen refresh, "The Fast Five" showcases new fast new fabulous flavor combinations -- all done without ever straying from any repertoire of go-to menu choices. The culinary compendium that is "The Fast Five" is comprised of fast, delicious recipes for dishes made in ways never before tried.

Critique: Beautifully, prolifically, and deliciously illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness" is an extraordinary and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' source book for menu planning drawing upon a quick and easy approach to cooking meals for any and all dining occasions. Simply stated, "The Fast Five: Shortcuts to Deliciousness": is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, family and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Donna Hay (https://www.donnahay.com.au) is Australia's favorite and most trusted home cook, a household name, and an international food-publishing phenomenon. Donna's 27 books have been translated into 10 different languages, and her television cooking shows have brought her signature style to life for viewers in more than 14 countries. In Australia, her recent books have dominated the bestseller charts, with Fresh and Light (2012), The New Classics (2013), Life in Balance (2015) and Basics to Brilliance (2016). Her food range is stocked in supermarkets nationally.

Listen To Your Vegetables
Sarah Grueneberg, author
Kate Heddings, author
Harvest
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780358647119, $45.00, HC, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Listen-Your-Vegetables-Italian-Inspired-Recipes/dp/0358647118

Synopsis: "Listen To Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season" is incredible exploration of seasonal produce with which James Beard Award - winning and Top Chef finalist chef Sarah Grueneberg offers insights, techniques, and recipes to truly get the best out of your vegetables in terms of how and when to shop for, cook, season, and seamlessly incorporate potatoes, squash, beans, greens, mushrooms, peppers, and more.

Each of the effectively illustrated 15 chapters focuses on a vegetable (or fruit, depending on your definition) so they can take center stage, plus one devoted entirely to pastas, drawing on Sarah's long love affair with Italian cooking and the methods that she uses at her renowned restaurant, Monteverde.

This elemental cookbook celebrating seasonal produce offers more than 180 impressive yet surprisingly achievable recipes, including:

Shaved Mushroom and Celery Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette (#thatsaladtho)
Grilled Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter and Pimenton
Carrot and Lamb Merguez Sausage Lasagna

There is also an indispensable section devoted to tips and techniques, under the heading "Get It Get It" -- an expression Sarah uses in her kitchen when things are coming together perfect. With planned menus drawing from "Listen to Your Vegetables", even the most carnivorous of family chefs will be inspired to 'elevate their vegetable game'.

Critique: Enhanced throughout with useful and interesting commentaries, "Listen To Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season" is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended acquisition for personal, family, professional, and community library Italian Ethnic & Vegetarian/Vegan cookbook collections.

Editorial Note #1: Sarah Grueneberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Grueneberg) is an American chef who is head chef and owner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago. While executive chef at Spiaggia, she held a Michelin star for three years. In 2017, she was named the 2017 Best Chefs in the Great Lakes at the James Beard Foundation Awards. Grueneberg came second in the ninth season of Top Chef; and she also appeared on the first season of Iron Chef Gauntlet.

Editorial Note #2: Kate Heddings (https://www.foodandwine.com/author/kate-heddings) is an experienced food writer and editor with a deep understanding of chefs, restaurants and recipes. She was a food editor at Food & Wine for over 17 years, during which time she got to eat and drink all over the US. She has also authored 3 cookbooks.

Forever Beirut
Barbara Abdeni Massad
Interlink Books
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781623718534, $35.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Forever-Beirut-Recipes-Stories-Lebanon/dp/1623718538

Synopsis: Beirut, once nicknamed "Paris of the East," is the capital of Lebanon. It is arguably the culinary capital of the Arab world, with an unmatched cuisine that has ancient roots and is influenced by a number of civilizations and cooking styles, including Arab, Turkish, and French. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the most cosmopolitan and religiously diverse in the region. Situated on the Mediterranean coast and flanked by the majestic Mount Lebanon, it boasts an abundance of flavorful ingredients and spices, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and seafood.

Compiled by renowned Lebanese chef and award-winning cookbook writer and photographer Barbara Abdeni Massaad, "Forever Beirut: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon" showcases a collection of 100 easy-to-prepare recipes that celebrate Beirut's rich culinary heritage, its resilience, and healing power. Comprised of stories and anecdotes about the customs, food, people, and traditions, along with sections for soups, salads, breads and savory pastries, mezze, kibbeh, grilling, main dishes, pickles and preserves, and sweets, it is Barbara's way of honoring the city of her childhood, her dreams, her Lebanese family kitchen, and the food that roots her.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photographs "Forever Beirut: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Lebanon" is a delight to simply browse through one page at a time. Fun to create menus incorporating authentic Lebanese cuisine, "Forever Beirut" will have a very special appeal for anyone who enjoys healthful and delicious Middle Eastern dishes. Simply stated, "Forever Beirut" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family and community library ethnic cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Barbara Abdeni Massaad is a Lebanese food writer, TV host, and cookbook author. She is the author of Soup for Syria, Man'oushe, and Mouneh, which won the Gourmand Cookbook Award and the International Academy of Gastronomy Award. She is also a founding member of Slow Food Beirut.

Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen
Joudie Kalla
Interlink Books
c/o Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781566560696, $35.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Plate-Memories-Mothers-Kitchen/dp/1566560691

Synopsis: "Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen" is a celebration of genuine Palestinian cuisine, cooked with the ingredients that culinary author Joudie Kalla's mother and grandmother use, and that their grandmothers used before them.

Drawing upon the beautifully showcases recipes comprising, "Plaestine on a Plate, anyone can now experience the wonderful flavors of Palestine through zingy fattet hummus (tangy yoghurt, chickpeas and hummus, served over toasted pita bread and drizzled in buttered pine nuts), satisfyingly spiced makloubeh (an upside down spiced rice dish with lamb neck and fried eggplant), eggplant and zucchini stuffed full with spiced and herbed lamb, and sublimely decadent awameh (honey dumplings) all accompanied by fresh mint tea and white coffee (not actually coffee at all, but a refreshing mix of water, orange blossom water and sugar).

Colorful, stunning photography evoking the vibrancy and romance of the country, along with inherently interesting commentaries on each dish, will bring Palestine cuisine into the home and onto the table for even the most novice of kitchen cooks. Fun to browse through, ideal for menu planning, "Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen" is a particularly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother's Kitchen" is also available in a paperback format (9781623719395, $25.00) and in a Flexibound edition (9780711245280, $39.94 Amazon).

Editorial Note: Joudie Kalla (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joudie_Kalla) is a Palestinian-British chef and food writer. She is also the author of "Baladi: A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea" (2018).

Latin American Street Food
Sandra A. Gutierrez
University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
https://uncpress.org
9781469672564, $25.00, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Latin-American-Street-Food-Argentina/dp/1469672561

Synopsis: From tamales to tacos, food on a stick to ceviches, and empanadas to desserts, with the publication of "Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina" cookbook author Sandra A. Gutierrez takes kitchen cooks on a kind of tasting tour of the most popular and delicious culinary finds of twenty Latin American countries, including Mexico, Cuba, Peru, and Brazil, translating them into 150 easy recipes for the home kitchen. These exciting, delectable, and accessible foods are sure to satisfy everyone.

Sharing fascinating culinary history, fun personal stories, and how-to tips, Gutierrez showcases some of the most recognized and irresistible street foods, such as Mexican Tacos al Pastor, Guatemalan Christmas Tamales, Salvadorian Pupusas, and Cuban Sandwiches. She also presents succulent and unexpected dishes sure to become favorites, such as Costa Rican Tacos Ticos, Brazilian Avocado Ice Cream, and Peruvian Fried Ceviche. Beautifully illustrated, "Latin American Street Food" includes a list of sources for ingredients.

Critique: Fully authentic, this impressive compendium of Latin American street vendor cuisine is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation. A delight to simply browse through and inspiring to plan menus with, "Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina" is a very special and highly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal use that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Sandra A. Gutierrez (https://www.facebook.com/sandralatinista), who grew up in the United States and Guatemala, is a food writer, culinary instructor, and recipe developer. She is also the author of "The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South".

Live Life Keto
Jennifer Banz
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637741528, $28.95, PB, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Life-Keto-Low-Carb-Lifestyle/dp/1637741529

Synopsis: Keto is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet mainly used for weight loss in adults, but can also be a Ketogenic diet -- a special diet for treating epilepsy, mostly in children. The benefits of the keto diet are well established: It's proven to lower insulin levels, increase metabolism, and control hunger. For many of us, though, it can be intimidating to start -- and extremely difficult to stay on plan.

With the publication of "Live Life Keto: 100 Simple Recipes to Live a Low-Carb Lifestyle and Lose the Weight for Good", Jennifer Banz (a certified life coach and the founder of the popular blog Low Carb with Jennifer), reveals that she has not only lost 50 pounds with keto, but has also helped hundreds of people in her private program do the same with her simple 5 "fail-stops" to keto success. "Live Life Keto" shows how to change your mindset so you can stay compliant with keto and reap the rewards -- weight loss, reduced cravings, increased energy, and more.

Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, "Live Life Keto" shares a huge variety of delicious, uncomplicated recipes the whole family can enjoy, including: Energizing breakfasts like Cinnamon Crunch Bread, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, and Blueberry Noatmeal; Hearty soups, stews, and chowders including Steak and Fauxtato Soup, Tikka Masala Soup, and Ground Beef Ramen; Power lunches such as Sloppy Joe-Stuffed Portobellos and Meal-Prep Bang Bang Chicken; and Crowd-pleasing appetizers like Philly Cheesesteak-Loaded Jicama Fries and Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Also featured are: Quick dinners such as Taco Cornbread and Parmesan-Crusted Salmon; Satisfying sides like Coconut Cauliflower Rice and Butter-Roasted Cabbage Steaks; Craveable desserts like Chocolate Chip Protein Bars and White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Cookies; Essential low-carb condiments including sauces, spice rubs, dressings, and jams.

With a focus on ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store, plus tried-and-true advice to help you live keto for life, "Live Life Keto will become an indispensable companion on a journey to optimal health.

Critique: Impressively and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "Live Life Keto: 100 Simple Recipes to Live a Low-Carb Lifestyle and Lose the Weight for Good" is informative enhanced with the inclusion of a one page Metric Conversion chart and a six page Index. With a special appeal to anyone with an interest in low carb diets, law carbohydrate diets, and weight loss/control recipes, "Live Life Keto" is unreservedly recommended as an essential addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Live Life Keto" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Jennifer Banz is a dedicated blogger and lover of keto. She shares her experience with her loyal followers on her Facebook page Low Carb Recipes with Jennifer, on her Youtube channel under the same name, and on her popular recipe blog at www.JenniferBanz.com

The King Arthur Baking School
King Arthur Baking Company
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.countrymanpress.com
9781682686157, $45.00, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Baking-School-Lessons/dp/1682686159

Synopsis: Baking is a culinary craft, one that has been celebrated by King Arthur Baking Company for more than two centuries. Their cookbook, "The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker" reflects a curriculum that has been honed and refined over the years, with instructors who are experts not just at baking, but at teaching baking. The recipes, notes, instructive photographs, and thoughtfully organized chapters here reflect this depth of experience.

From Yeast Breads to Sourdough, Laminated Pastries to Pies and Tarts, Cookies to Cake, readers gain confidence as they play in the kitchen and build new skills. King Arthur's unique approach is friendly and accessible to all levels, focusing on the "how" and "why." So much of the magic of baking is understanding how the ingredients interact, trusting when bread dough is proofed, appreciating how buttercream comes together -- and more!

Critique: Informatively illustrated with the inclusion of 200 color photographs, "The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker" is the next best think to enrolling on-site in their school. An ideal textbook for 'teach yourself baking' personal studies program, "The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation -- making it a particular and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community instructional cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: King Arthur Baking Company (https://www.kingarthurbaking.com) has been a trusted baking resource since 1790, providing expert guidance, inspiration, and premium baking products, along with workshops and classes at its two respected baking schools (Vermont and Washington State).


The Art Shelf

You Can Draw Cute Animals
Yasmine Mattson
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9780760376751, $22.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Draw-Cute-Animals-Step-Step/dp/0760376751

Synopsis: With the publication of "You Can Draw Cute Animals: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing and Coloring Adorable Creatures" artist and illustrator Yasmina Mattson presents easy illustration techniques for turning up the charm on 30 animals that run, fly, swim, slither, and waddle. Discover how to create sparkling eyes, blushing cheeks, joyful smiles, and button noses, transforming even the most ferocious beasts into delightful, appealing characters.

A comprehensive guide to understanding the secrets of cute, "You Can Draw Cute Animals" begins with basic drawing techniques and exercises and a rundown of what factors make things adorable with a unique, easy, three-step drawing method that includes observation, simplification and exaggeration using simple shapes, and refining and adding details.

Those techniques are incorporated in creating a diverse array of animals, including a panda, monkey, kangaroo, tiger, cat, goat, hedgehog, owl, crow, fox, deer, snail, butterfly, seal, duck, flamingo, and more. Even complete beginners will feel confident in their skills to draw any animal in a cute style as they explore ways to add vivid color with watercolor, pencils, and markers, adding even more personality and style.

Critique: Thoroughly 'artist/illustrator' friendly in organization and presentation, "You Can Draw Cute Animals: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing and Coloring Adorable Creatures" is an ideal DIY instructional guide and 'how to' manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Art Instruction collections, as well as school art class supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Yasmina Mattson (www.yasminacreates.com) is a self-taught artist who specializes in drawing, ink, watercolor, and other mixed media. Her style is varied and includes cute and colorful animals, people, and objects, as well as loose and dreamy florals and landscapes. Her life's purpose is to show people they can draw or paint whatever their heart desires. Yasmina believes art should be fun and simple, and that everyone needs creativity in their life. She shares that passion as a top teacher on Skillshare, where she has 24 classes attended by more than 300,000 students. Yasmina can be followed on Instagram: @yasminacreates

Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide
Molly Hashimoto
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680513387, $22.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Trees-West-Artists-Molly-Hashimoto/dp/1680513389

Synopsis: Artist Molly Hashimoto has appreciated trees all her life -- they have shaped her as a hiker, outdoors enthusiast, gardener, traveler, and artist. She pays homage to them through her art, working in many different media, each revealing different aspects of these stalwart companions: crisp lines, imposing silhouettes, and the subtle (or sometimes brilliant) hues of foliage. Hashimoto also delves into the process of creating art, discussing the mediums she used in the featured pieces and the reasons she chose them, as well as sidebars with tips and techniques.

As in her previous and popular art books "Colors of the West" and "Birds of the West", with the publication of "Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide" Hashimoto continues to emphasizes her personal experiences with nature, telling stories about her encounters with trees everywhere from her backyard to national parks and forests throughout the West. She focuses primarily on native trees, rather than cultivars, with a special interest in 46 major species found across the region, ranging from the stately Coast redwoods to the diminutive but distinctive Fishhook Barrel Cactus.

Rooted in place, trees offer endless opportunities for observation, admiration, relaxation, and inspiration. "Trees of the West" invites us to pause and appreciate these sentinels in all their quiet glory.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with art in a variety of mediums (pencil, pen, and wash sketches; block prints; studio watercolors; and intaglio etchings), "Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide" includes a rich natural history and brief ethnobotanical notes for each featured species, as well as featuring poems and quotes from other writers and artists celebrating our connection to trees. "Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Watercolor Painting instructional reference collections and studies lists.

Editorial Note: Molly Hashimoto (www.mollyhashimoto.com) is dedicated to connecting people of all ages to nature through hands-on art experiences. She teaches and leads watercolor workshops around the West, including at the North Cascades Institute, Yellowstone Forever Institute, and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.


The Biography Shelf

The Yank
John Crawley
Melville House
46 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
https://www.mhpbooks.com
9781612199849, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Yank-Story-Former-Marine-Republican/dp/1612199844

Synopsis: The Irish "Troubles" were at a murderous fever pitch when John Crawley volunteered for the IRA. Bloody Friday, Bloody Sunday, the bombing of the British Houses of Parliament, and other deadly incidents had recently unfolded or were about to. Civilian casualties were as common as those of the British soldiers, Republican militants (who wanted the UK out of Northern Ireland), and Unionist police and militants (who wanted to remain in the UK), engaged in seemingly constant gun battles and car bombing throughout Northern Ireland. The death toll numbered over 1,000.

The IRA split over how to react between the old-line IRA, and the new Provisional IRA -- the Provos, mostly impassioned young men who were not hesitant to resort to violence.

With the publication of "The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army", a powerful, brutally honest, no-holds-barred recounting of John Crawley's personal experience, details, first, the grueling challenges of his Marine Corps training, then how he put his hard-earned munitions and demolitions skills to use back in Ireland in service of the Provos.

This memoir is a compelling story that will see him running guns with notorious American mobster (and secret IRA fundraiser) Whitey Bulger; running, under cover of night, from safe house to safe house in the Irish countryside, one step ahead of British troops; being captured, imprisoned, and being part of a mass escape attempt; fending off a recruitment offer from the CIA; and being one of the masterminds behind a campaign to take out London's electrical system.

Along the way, Crawley is blisteringly candid about the memorable people he worked with, including behind-the-scenes portrayals of revered IRA leader Martin McGuinness, and of the psychopathic Whitey Bulger, as well as others in the Boston IRA support network. There are vivid portraits of colleagues and enemies, and Crawley is unflinching in his commentary on IRA leadership and their tactics, both military and political.

Through it all comes the steadfast voice of a man on a mission, providing an evocative, detailed, and passionate recounting of where that mission led him and why -- as well as why, to this day, he remains ready to serve.

Critique: A compelling, compulsive, page turner of a true life memoir that reads with all the drama of finely crafted action/adventure fiction, John Carwley's "The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army" is a certain and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library American Biography/Memoir collections. Of special value to readers with an interest in the history of the IRA, White Bulgar, and Irish- British conflict that the current Brexit departure from the European Union threatens to renew, it should be noted that "The Yank: The True Story of a Former US Marine in the Irish Republican Army" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: John Crawley was born in New York to Irish immigrant parents, and moved to Ireland as a young teenager to attend school. Inspired there by the struggle for Irish freedom against British rule in the North of Ireland, he returned to America to receive military training in an elite, special forces "Recon" unit of the US Marine Corps. Afterwards, he returned to Ireland to volunteer for the IRA and conducted many missions, including gun-running from the US, working with Boston criminal head Whitey Bulger. Crawley would be captured and imprisoned twice, both in Ireland and in England, while on major missions, done in both times by informers. He is now retired and married with a family, and lives in County Monaghan, Ireland. He remains as committed as ever to the ending of British rule in Ireland and the establishment of a united Irish Republic.


The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Team-Up Companion
Michael Eury, author
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491127, $39.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Team-Up-Companion-Michael-Eury/dp/1605491128

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Team-Up Companion", comic book historian, Back Issue and RetroFan editor Michael Eury examines team-up comic books of the Silver and Bronze Ages of Comics -- DC's The Brave and the Bold and DC Comics Presents, Marvel's Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-in-One, plus other team-up titles, treasuries, and treats -- in a lushly illustrated selection of informative essays, special features, and trivia-loaded issue-by-issue indexes.

Comic book fans will be taken behind the scenes of their favorite team-up comic books with specially curated and all-new creator recollections from Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Mike W. Barr, Eliot R. Brown, Nick Cardy, Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, Steven Grant, Bob Haney, Tony Isabella, Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz, Ralph Macchio, Dennis O'Neil, Martin Pasko, Joe Rubinstein, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and many other all-star writers and artists who produced the team-up tales that so captivated readers during the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with classic comic book cover illustrations to enhance the impressively informative and inherently fascinating commentary, "The Team-Up Companion" a fun and information loaded read from cover to cover. A unique and valued contribution to the growing library of Comics & Graphic Novels literature and histories, "The Team-Up Companion" is an important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Comics/Graphic Novels collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Michael "Mike" Eury is an editor and writer of comic books, and of reference works pertaining to comic books and other aspects of pop culture. He has worked for DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Comico Comics, having worked on books including Maze Agency and The Legion of Super-Heroes, originating practices such as the loose leaf format of DC's Who's Who in the DC Universe reference series. In 2002 he began working for TwoMorrows Publishing, and since 2003, has edited the retrospective magazine Back Issue! He is also an advisor for the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and as of 2018, he has written over two dozen books examining aspects of pop culture. (Wikipedia).

The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation
Dan Watters, author
Dev Pramanik, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781787737013, $29.99, HC, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Fell-Earth-Adaptation/dp/1787737012

Synopsis: An all-new, fully-authorised graphic novel adaptation of the cult 1976 movie starring David Bowie and directed by Nicholas Roeg, "The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation" includes a gallery of never-before-seen photos used to illustrate an exclusive feature on the making of the movie. Also included is a bonus section showcasing the development of the book itself.

The film, based on the classic science fiction novel by Walter Trevis, sees an extra-terrestrial called Thomas Jerome Newton (played in the movie by David Bowie) land on Earth in search of water to save his dying home planet. Using his advanced scientific knowledge, Thomas becomes incredibly rich and uses his wealth to search for a way to transport water back to his home planet. But as his mission on Earth drags on, Thomas becomes seduced by the excesses of our world and desperate to return home unaware he has become a target of interest for the U.S. Government and a sinister corporation, eager to exploit him.

This all-new graphic novel also features exclusive bonus material including a 10-page article on the production of the original film illustrated with dozens of rarely seen on-set photographs. As well as cover concepts, character designs, a 'script to art' section chronicling the development of the artwork, and a reproduction of the original movie poster.

Critique: A memorably impressive adaptation of an outstanding film version of a classic science fiction novel, "The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation" by the team of author/storyteller Dan Watters and artist/illustrator Dev Pramanik is an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Science Fiction graphic novel collections. It should be noted that "The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Movie Adaptation" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle/Comixology, $28.49).

Editorial Note #1: Dan Watters )https://www.dc.com/talent/dan-watters) is a UK-based comic-book writer. His first book, "Limbo" was released through Image Comics in 2016. He has since written "The Shadow" for Dynamite Comics, and "Assassin's Creed", "Wolfenstein", and the 2022 smash-hit "Cowboy Bebop" for Titan Comics. Currently he is writing "Arkham City: The Order of the World" for DC Comics, and "Home Sick Pilots" for Image Comics.

Editorial Note #2: Dev Pramanik studied at the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College. His first published work was on Nightbreedbreed #9-11. He went on to work on Vampire: The Masquerade, Paradiso and Firefly as well as working with Ram V on both Grafity's Wall and Black Mumba. He recently finished work on the comic adaptation of the prequel to Dune: House Atreides.

Apple Black 2
Odunze Oguguo
Rockport
c/o Quarto
quarto.com
9780760376911 $13.99 pbk / $10.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Apple-Black-Rockport-Sunny-Saturday/dp/0760376913

Synopsis: Young sorcerer and prophesied savior, Sano, continues his quest by attempting to uncover and protect the secrets behind his father's research on the immense power known as Apple Black.

Many years ago, humans acquired fruits called "Black" from a tree that descended from the skies, which turned humans into sorcerers. Although all of Black is now extinct, humans still have sorcery inherited from their ancestors. Blessed by "Merlin," the god of sorcery, with the Arodihs arm, Sano, a young sorcerer, is raised and trained in isolation and secrecy to be the world's savior known as the Trinity. The savior is believed to be the one who dawns the Infinite Night, an eternal night of chaos.

Sano gets a fiery start after being admitted to Black Bottom Island's guild for young sorcerers with his newfound freedom from isolation. As his fellow gifted allies and sorcerers accompany Sano on his quest, the treachery, betrayal, and evil that have plagued nearly all of Eden emerge again to threaten the world. With his visions offering him a darker path, Sano seeks to find those responsible for his loss and walk a path away from revenge but rather one towards forgiveness to find closure. Ridding Eden of the Infinite Night will require him to uncover the secrets behind his father's research on fully rejuvenating the effects of Black in bloodlines with the immense power known as Apple Black.

Opal Wantmore, another young sorcerer, must find a misplaced tourist amid Black Bottom Island. Unfortunately, it's under attack by a deadly division of rebels from Gideon Banburi's rebellion. These terrorists seek to collect Apple Black research and to leave the country in ruins. But nothing would be better than to capture Sano, the Trinity himself! The siege is led by Prince Ceazar Ashokahn, who has his own motives for wanting to scorch Black Bottom Island off the face of Eden.

Apple Black is rated T for Teen, recommended for ages 13 and up.

Critique: Apple Black 2 is the second volume of a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series by creator Odunze Oguguo, and an all-new relaunch of Oguguo's "Apple Black" high-action-fantasy saga set in a world where the power of sorcery has been inherited among humans for generations. The world is plagued with violence, betrayal, and suffering; Sano, a young sorcerer, is on a quest to learn more about the mysterious power of Apple Black, and perhaps transform society. In addition to Sano's struggles, Volume 2 (subtitled "Sunny Eyes") highlights the brash, sharp-tongued, strong-willed student sorceress Opal Wantmore (pictured on the cover); she is determined to find a misplaced tourist who could be in peril on Black Bottom Island! A thoroughly engaging blend of magic, combat, and shades of dystopia, the Apple Black series is highly recommended. It should be noted that Apple Black is intended for readers who are 13 or older, since there are scenes of violence.


The Audiobook Shelf

Exiles
Ashley & Leslie Saunders, authors
Aida Reluzco, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713659792, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Exiles-Ashley-Saunders/dp/1713659794

Synopsis: It's been twelve years since the 2040 Quake rocked the Golden State, fracturing Los Angeles and the fortunes of millions. It's been six years since tech billionaire Damon Yates founded his elite academy, giving Unfortunates from the wrong side of his hyperloop tracks a new future at Quest Campus, tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains. But an endeavor that sought to bridge a divide only tore eighteen-year-old twin sisters apart.

Jade is a street-savvy adrenaline seeker ruling the city's downtrodden eastside. Crys is an influential socialite ensconced in Yates's westside mansion - every bit her adoptive father's daughter. After the mysterious murder of one of the academy's brightest, Jade sets out with her factious band of exiles to prove there's something sinister going on behind the walls of Yates's exclusive empire. But to expose the earthshaking truth, Jade needs her estranged sister back on her side.

There's a big problem, though: Crys is inexplicably terrified of her own twin's face.

Critique: With an impressive vocal performance by narrator Aida Reluzco, this flawlessly produced complete and unabridged audio book edition of Ashley and Leslie Sauncers science fiction novel "Exiles", combines a a suspense thriller of a mystery with an examination of class difference. This explosive coming-of-age adventure about living in (and doing anything to survive) in the technologically advanced metropolis of the unshakable City of Dreams is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both personal and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections. (8 Hours, 12 Minutes)

Editorial Note #1: Twin sisters Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders are the authors of The Rule of One, The Rule of Many, and The Rule of All in the dystopian series The Rule of One. The duo honed their love of storytelling in film school at the University of Texas at Austin. After just under a decade penning screenplays and directing commercials, the sisters deliberately stumbled into the world of novel writing. They vow to never leave it. The sisters can be found at www.thesaunderssisters.com.

Editorial Note #2: Aida Reluzco (https://www.aidareluzco.com) arrived on the voice-over scene in 2018 as a multidisciplinary artist, bringing with her a background in the performing arts, classical art history, illustration, literature, poetry, and spoken word.

The Hunted
Jeff Wheeler, author
Kate Rudd, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://www.brilliancepublishing.com
9781713663485, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Hunted-Dawning-Muirwood-2/dp/1713663481

Synopsis: Eilean is rising. A foundling raised in an abbey, she was entrusted by its imprisoned druid, Mordaunt, with an ancient tome. Its magical words can change the world. Eilean's first mission: translate it. Her second: rescue a benevolent Aldermaston sentenced to death as a heretic by the High Seer. But wielding power, knowledge, and ambition has now made Eilean the hunted.

In pursuit is Captain Hoel Evnissyen, an inquisitor in service to the High Seer's demands. His objective is to track Eilean and steal Mordaunt's invaluable work. But Hoel's quest soon yields a fascination with the woman he's been ordered to pursue. When an invasion begins and the world erupts in chaos, Eilean and Hoel find themselves bound by their mutual wills to survive and, against all odds, realize they are not each other's enemy.

But now Eilean must decide who is friend and who is foe. Especially when the powerful tome falls into the wrong hands. The closer Eilean and Hoel get, the nearer they are to realizing the part they must play in their kingdom's destiny -- and its ties to Eilean's own mysterious past.

Critique: The second volume in author Jeff Wheeler's 'The Dawning of Muriwood' fantasy series, this superbly produced audio book edition of "The Hunted" is deftly narrated in an impressive vocal performance by Kate Rudd. A true 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener, "The Hunted" is a 'must' for all dedicated action/adventure fantasy fans and this complete and unabridged MP3-C audio book edition from Brilliance Audio is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. (9 Hours, 2 Minutes).

Editorial Note #1: Never one to be short on ideas, Jeff Wheeler (www.jeff-wheeler.com) further perfected his craft through storytelling during games of Dungeons and Dragons during high school. Inventing stories to bring these games alive, Jeff would engross his friends and family members as they played the fantasy game. Now he writes compelling fantasy novels.

Editorial Note #2: Kate Rudd (https://www.kateruddreads.com) is the winner of the 2013 Audie and Odyssey Awards for her narration of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, has been performing audiobooks for nearly a decade. A ten time Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award recipient, Kate's performances have garnered inclusion in Audiofile's Best Audiobooks of the Year 2012/2017/2018 and Best Voices of the Year 2012. She has narrated more than 450 titles across a variety of genres.

They Come at Knight
Yasmin Angoe, author
Tamika Katon-Donegal, narrator
Brilliance Audio
https://www.brilliancepublishing.com
9781713651956, $24.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/They-Come-Knight-Nena/dp/1713651955

Synopsis: For elite assassin Nena Knight, eliminating dangerous players on the world stage is part of the job. The Tribe, a powerful business syndicate in Africa, ensures that she has those opportunities. But for Nena, the Tribe is more than just her employer; it's an organization that supports the African people -- until it turns on itself.

As Nena embarks on a new mission, a violent siege by a paramilitary group throws the Tribe into chaos, and mysterious acts of violence plague the Tribe's territories. As the attacks escalate, Nena suspects a different kind of enemy at play: someone on the inside, determined to undermine the Tribe's leaders.

As this new threat closes in on her own family, Nena enlists a team to root out the danger. But as she gets closer to the truth, she will have to risk everything to protect the future she holds dear -- even if it means facing off with an enemy she never expected.

Critique: Action-adventure at its very best, author Yasmin Angoe's "They Come At Knight" is now available as a complete and unabridged audio book that is magnificently narrated by the vocal performance of Tamika Katon-Donegal. A flawless performance from start to finish, this audio book edition from Brilliance Audio will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library audio book collections.

Editorial Note #1: Yasmin Angoe is the author of the critically acclaimed Her Name Is Knight, first book in the Nena Knight trilogy. She is a first-generation Ghanaian American and the recipient of the 2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color. Her Name Is Knight came in #1 on multiple Amazon Bestseller charts and is an Editor's Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense.

Editorial Note #2: Tamika KatonDonegal is best known for her roles in Veronica Mars (2004) Rocketboy (2006), and Agent Carter (2015). A talented voice over narrator she has a website page at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21310256.Tamika_Katon_Donegal


The Music CD Shelf

Traveling the Blissful Highway
Darlene Koldenhoven
darlenekoldenhoven.com
TimeArt Recordings
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Traveling-Blissful-Highway-Darlene-Koldenhoven/dp/B0BG3G9XF6

GRAMMY award-winning music artist Darlene Koldenhoven presents Traveling the Blissful Highway, an original album that showcases her prowess in synthesizer composing, arranging, production, and engineering. Her beautiful vocals enhance the music, although Traveling the Blissful Highway is primarily an instrumental work. Seamlessly combining new age, ambient, and world music elements, Traveling the Blissful Highway is a choice pick for listeners in need of songs to ease stress, and also makes a wonderful gift year-round. Highly recommended! The tracks are Cheerful Mohana, Time Traveler, Jade Dreams, Gentle Soul, Birds in Paradise, Dot Calm, Tropical Chill, Sweet Peace, Osmium Glow, Native Star, Highland Mist, and Blissful Highway.

Pandemic Piano
Charles Xavier
Happy Note Records
happynoterecords.com
$TBA CD / $11.99 digital

https://charlesxavierjr.bandcamp.com

Producer, composer, electronic musician, and percussionist Charles Xavier presents Pandemic Piano, an ambient neo-jazz album created and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The instrumental music conveys the difficulties of frustration, isolation, hardship, and loss, as well as the serenity gained from understanding that life is transient and there is indescribable value in learning to live in the moment. Pandemic Piano encapsulates turbulent years in its unforgettable music, and is highly recommended. The tracks are You Know, Perfect Mold, Grand Happiness, Swallow, COVID Oddity, Little Portugal, When I Think Of You, Africa, I Sat Outside There, Morning, Evening, Sexual Vibration Chakra, Mary's Pond, Stories New Stories Old, Expectations, Ascended Masters, Profile Rock, St John's Cathedral, and Round Hill.

Tradisyon
Wesli
www.wesliband.com
Cumbancha
www.cumbancha.com
$15.98 CD / $9.99 digital

https://wesli.bandcamp.com/album/tradisyon

Haitian-Canadian songwriter, guitarist, and producer Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) presents Tradisyon, the first part of a two-part music project retelling the saga of Haiti's past and protecting its future. Tradisyon consists of both original compositions and cultural treasures of Haiti's music; lyrics transcend a medley of languages, including Creole and the African languages of Yoruba, Ewe, and Fon. Years of travel and research went into recreating authentically Haitian sound, in this powerful and emotionally charged exploration of Haiti's long history that does not shy from calling out generations of injustice. Tradisyon is a "must have" for international music collections, highly recommended.

Findings
Jim Dedrick
Privately Published
$6.00

https://www.amazon.com/Findings-Jim-Dedrick-CD-2022/dp/B0BHPTV5ZN

Findings is a modern jazz album of original music by double bass player Jim Dedrick (with one joint collaboration track with Tom Reyes), featuring Tom Reyes on piano and Chuck Ferrell on drums. A strong improvisational thread runs through Findings, as the album is intended to represent the development of music as it is played, and all three musicians recorded together in one room. Findings is inspirational, stirring, passionately creative, and highly recommended! The tracks are Kelly, Lugubrious, Spontaneous Blues, Tension, Bullfrog Burp, Demon, and Rough Waters.

Love and the Catalyst
Aimee Allen
www.aimeeallenmusic.com
Azuline Music
$14.65 CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Catalyst-Aimee-Allen/dp/B0BGZNQWT8

Vocalist and songwriter Aimee Allen presents Love and the Catalyst, an emotional jazz album about romance and the grand scheme of the cosmos. Supported by Toru Dodo on piano, Francois Moutin on bass, Kush Abadey on drums, and more, Aimee Allen has created a poignant, memorable listening experience, highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of jazz with dulcet vocals. The tracks are Little Sunflower, Earth is Waiting, Quantum Entanglements, Crystal Silence / 500 Miles High, Star Eyes, Love's Crescendo, Reaction Time, Mortally Immortal (Requiem), The Comet's Tail, Man Ripples Through Time, Hidden Place, and Worlds Collide.

blue
Diana Panton
http://dianapanton.com
Privately Published
$12.98 CD / $11.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/blue-Diana-Panton/dp/B0BDFZB6TJ

Two-time JUNO award winner Diana Panton presents "blue", her tenth album, and the third album in an emotional trilogy that began with the album "pink" and continued with the 2015 JUNO winning album "RED". The trilogy began with "pink" for the blossom of first love, continued with "RED" for the embrace of true love, and now "blue" represents the heartbreak of love lost. A profound, wistful expression of tragedy and reminiscence, "blue" is unforgettable and highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of emotional jazz. The tracks are Medley, Without Your Love, Losing My Mind, This Will Make You Laugh, The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye, I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life, To Say Goodbye, Meaning of the Blues, I'll Only Miss Him When I Think of Him, It's Always 4 a.m., Just Sometimes, How Did He Look?, Nobody's Heart, Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year, and You Are There.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

The Wish List
Michelle Major
HQN
c/o Harlequin Books
https://www.harlequin.com
9781335430649, $9.99, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wish-List-Novel-Carolina-Girls/dp/1335430644

Synopsis: For some families, a Christmas reunion is like a feel-good movie. For Beth Carlyle, it might be more of a disaster epic.

Her ex-husband's new girlfriend is already pregnant. Her self-absorbed, bestselling author mother recently suffered a stroke and has summoned Beth's sisters, Freya and Trinity (neither of whom even seem to like Beth very much) back to Magnolia.

Beth is so lonely and stressed that she spills her guts to a stranger, wondering why the handsome newcomer affects her so deeply.

Reality TV star Freya deliberately forged a career that would upset her mother, who's always been as brilliant as the sun... and just as distant. Now a handsome literary agent is making Freya dream of a different life.

As for Trinity, she just wants to start over after leaving an abusive relationship and make a future for her and her baby.

It'll be a Christmas like no other in Magnolia. But the Carlyle sisters might find they have more in common than their shared past -- and that the holidays are made for second chances.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a bonus holiday novella set in Magnolia, "The Wish List" by Michelle Major is an original, deftly crafted, fun and engaging read that is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for dedicated romance fans that "The Wish List" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9798212154789, $41.99, CD).

Editorial Note: As an author and reader of novels, Michelle Major (www.michellemajor.com) loves stories of new beginnings, second chances and always a happily ever after.

Happily Ever Amish
Shelley Shepard Gray
Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
www.kensingtonbooks.com
9781496739827, $26.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Happily-Ever-Amish-Apple-Creek/dp/1496739825

Synopsis: Addie Byler may be Apple Creek's resident wallflower, but she knows she has a lot to offer -- and much to be grateful for. Raised by her loving grandmother, she lives a life filled with good friends and hard work. Wary of romance, Addie assumes no man will look beyond her glasses and her tendency to talk to her rescue donkey, Snickers -- until the day she finds a note from a secret admirer. A prank, most likely. But then, a second note arrives!

It's not that Daniel Miller doesn't like Addie, he just doesn't want to court her. She's too willful, too chatty, too odd. Yet when he learns she's been teased because she's never had a beau, he decides to send a little note of encouragement. One note leads to another. And when Addie begins replying with thoughtful messages of her own, he's struck by her sweetness and warmth. Soon, what began as a sympathetic gesture becomes something deeper. Daniel fears revealing the truth, but with courage, faith (and a helping hand from their close-knit community) Apple Creek's most unlikely couple may find their path to happiness!

Critique: A classic Amish/Mennonite romance novel by a truly gifted author, "Happily Every Amish" by Shelley Shepard Gray is a thoroughly charming and engaging read from first page to last. While highly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Shelley Shepard Gray fans that "Happily Ever Amish" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781496739858, $16.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.21).

Editorial Note: Shelley Shepard Gray (www.ShelleyShepardGray.com) is the two-time Holt Medallion Award-winning, New York Times and the author of over one hundred novels. Her novels have been translated into multiple languages and highlighted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, NPR and USA Today.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Shadows in the Forest
Jennifer J. Morgan
Secret Staircase Books
c/o Columbine Publishing Group
http://www.columbinepublishinggroup.com/index.html
9781649140890, $13.99, PB, 236pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Forest-Libby-Madsen-Mysteries/dp/1649140894

Synopsis: Libby Madsen, professional massage therapist and co-owner of the luxurious Dharma Inspired Day Spa, has probably heard it all. During what she thinks of as 'tabletop confessions' her clients often talk about way more of their personal lives than she really wants to hear. So when a regular, Maggie Crenshaw, talks about how her daughter went away on a camping trip with friends, it's just so much chatter. But when Maggie says Isobel didn't return home on time, is not answering her phone, and that the young woman is diabetic and really needs her meds. Libby offers to pick up the medications at Maggie's house and deliver them -- she and her Labrador puppy, Shadow, are going camping in the same area and it's no trouble at all.

Except when Libby and Shadow arrive at the campground, Isobel is nowhere to be found, and no one there has seen her or the group of friends she claimed to be traveling with. Libby enlists the help of handsome Forest Ranger Greg Lawson, but even he can't find anyone who has seen the girl. The fact that she's now been without her insulin for several days is worrisome, and Greg initiates a Search and Rescue operation.

Libby and Shadow join Greg and the volunteers to search the adjoining camping areas. Some shady characters and a few clues do turn up. But no Isobel. Libby becomes convinced that something more sinister is going on and she's determined to find out what has happened, little knowing that her own life may be in danger as she gets too close to the truth.

Critique: A fun read from first page to last, "Shadows in the Forest" launches author Jennifer J. Morgan's new three volume 'whodunnit' trilogy 'Libby Madsen Cozy Mysteries' series. An impressively original and deftly crafted read, "Shadows in the Forest" will have a very special appeal for readers with an interest in amateur woman sleuths and their canine companions. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99), "Shadows in the Forest" will leave satisfied mystery buffs looking eagerly toward the next Libby Madsen story. Simply stated, "Shadows in the Forest" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Jennifer J. Morgan (https://jenniferjmorgan.com/index.html) is a gifted cozy mystery writer. Most of her characters in her Libby Madsen Cozy Mystery series are named after beloved pets that have blessed her life over fifty+ years.

Whale Fall
Ann Lambert
Second Story Press
http://secondstorypress.ca
9781772602685, $22.95, PB, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/Whale-Fall-Russell-Leduc-Mystery/dp/177260268X

Synopsis: Marie Russell and Detective Romeo Leduc are finally getting married, but the joyous occasion is overshadowed by the unexpected arrival of Magnus Sorenson, renowned eco-warrior and Marie's first great love. When Magnus' plans for a dramatic environmental protest take a dark turn, Romeo and Marie are forced to abandon their honeymoon in the Laurentians in order to catch a killer, unearthing long-buried secrets along the way.

Critique: A simply riveting novel with a narrative story line the includes love and romance, retaliatory vengeance, and environmental climate justice, "Whale Fall" by Ann Lambert is especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans, as well as community library Contemporary Mystery & Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Ann Lambert (https://www.annlambertbooks.com) has been writing and directing for the stage for thirty-five years. Several of her plays, including The Wall, Parallel Lines, Very Heaven, The Mary Project and Two Short Women have been performed in theatres in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. She has been a teacher of English literature at Dawson College for almost twenty-eight years in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she makes her home.

Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man
Emily J. Edwards
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639101825, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Viviana-Valentine-Gets-Friday-Mystery/dp/1639101829

Synopsis: New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine is Girl Friday to the city's top private investigator, Tommy Fortuna. The clients can be frustrating, and none more maddening than fabulously wealthy Tallmadge Blackstone, who demands Tommy tail his daughter, Tallulah, and find out why she won't marry his business partner, a man forty years her senior.

Sounds like an open-and-shut case for a P.I. known for busting up organized crime -- but the next day, Viviana opens the office to find Tommy missing and a lifeless body on the floor.

The cops swoop in and Detective Jake Lawson issues a warrant for Tommy's arrest. Desperate to clear Tommy's name, Viviana takes on the Blackstone case herself. When she goes out for a night on the town with the heiress, she begins to learn the secrets behind Tallulah's headline-grabbing life. Meanwhile, Lawson is itching to solve his murder case, and continues harassing Viviana for answers -- until she's the victim of a series of violent attacks.

But Tommy's still missing, and Viviana is scared. As she digs into the dirty history of the Blackstone empire, she suddenly realizes the true danger at hand. Now, it's up to her to find her missing boss and make sure he doesn't turn up D.O.A.

Critique: A riveting, pulse-pounding, compulsive page turner of a novel, "Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man" is an impressively well written and entertaining read that will have a very special appeal to anyone with an interest in Women Sleuths and Historical Mysteries. While also available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781639104277, $18.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666620825, $22.99, CD), "Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man" is very highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Emily Edwards (https://www.msemilyedwards.com) earned her degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and took the long road to becoming an author, working for over a decade as a wine and spirits journalist, radio producer, and podcaster.

Devil's Chew Toy
Rob Osler
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781643859439, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Chew-Toy-Rob-Osler/dp/1643859439

Synopsis: Seattle teacher and part-time blogger Hayden McCall wakes sporting one hell of a shiner, with the police knocking at his door. It seems that his new crush, dancer Camilo Rodriguez, has gone missing and they suspect foul play. What happened the night before? And where is Camilo?

Determined to find answers, pint-sized, good-hearted Hayden seeks out two of Camilo's friends (Hollister and Burley) who are both lesbians and both fiercely devoted to their friend. From them, Hayden learns that Camilo is a "Dreamer" whose parents had been deported years earlier, and whose sister, Daniela, is presumed to have returned to Venezuela with them. Convinced that the cops won't take a brown boy's disappearance seriously, the girls join Hayden's hunt for Camilo.

The first clues turn up at Barkingham Palace, a pet store where Camilo had taken a part-time job. The store's owner, Della Rupert, claims ignorance, but Hayden knows something is up. And then there's Camilo's ex-boyfriend, Ryan, who's suddenly grown inexplicably wealthy. When Hayden and Hollister follow Ryan to a secure airport warehouse, they make a shocking connection between him and Della -- and uncover the twisted scheme that's made both of them rich.

The trail of clues leads them to the grounds of a magnificent estate on an island in Puget Sound, where they'll finally learn the truth about Camilo's disappearance -- and the fate of his family.

Critique: A skillfully crafted and impressively original suspense thriller of a read, "Devil's Chew Toy" by novelist Rob Osler will have a particular affinity and attraction for the fans of the Cosy Mystery genre. With its LGBTQ element, "Devil's Chew Toy" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that the "Devil's Chew Toy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666533729, $59.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Rob Osler (https://robosler.com) writes the Hayden & Friends contemporary mystery series featuring a rainbow of memorable characters. With Devil's Chew Toy, Rob coined the term, "Quozy Mystery," giving a unique label to the colorful sub-genre of cozy mysteries featuring LGBTQ+ main characters.

Hands Down
Felix Francis
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
Bolinda Audio Books
https://www.bolinda.com
Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781639102945, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hands-Down-Novel-Felix-Francis/dp/1639102949

Synopsis: Sid Halley, a private investigator, has a new left hand, having had a transplant since his last appearance in Refusal. After receiving death threats, an ex-jockey trainer friend calls Sid to ask for his help, but Sid has his own problems to deal with; like recovering from surgery and saving his crumbling marriage.

When his friend's stable yard is torched, horses killed, and the friend is found dead, Sid can only blame himself for not helping sooner. The police think it's suicide, but Sid is not convinced after his friend's terrified phone calls. Heavy with a guilty heart, Sid starts to investigate and soon finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that cuts to the very heart of the integrity of British horse racing.

Can Sid figure out what happened to his friend, or will he be the next one that the killer targets?

Critique: A compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover, "Hands Down" by novelist Felix Francis is a carefully crafted private eye mystery that delivers a clever 'whodunnit'. Highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, "Hands Down" is the stuff of which block buster novel based movies are made! It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Felix Francis fans that "Hands Down" is also available in a paperback edition (9781639105533, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781038616753, $45.70, Bolinda, CD).

Editorial Note: Felix Francis (http://felixfrancis.com/index.php) was born in Oxford, England, son of the famous mystery author, Dick Francis and his wife, Mary Francis. Felix graduated from London University. His initial career led him into physics, where he was a successful teacher of A Level Physics. But he could not deny that his family's gift of writing had been passed along to him, and he started his second career (as an author) where he found his knowledge of physics was a great advantage.

Dead Men Don't Decorate
Cordy Abbott
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639101252, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Dont-Decorate-Antique-Mystery/dp/163910125X

Synopsis: Roberto Fratelli, proprietor of the antiques store Waited4You, is the meanest man in Marthasville, Virginia. So when he puts the business up for sale, the other merchants in town are overjoyed. And now the business has a prospective buyer: local resident and the newly elected mayor's mom, Camille Benson, who's thrilled at the prospect of getting into the antiques business.

During a celebration in honor of Camille's new venture, her best friend, Opal, tells her about finding a letter, purportedly from Sally Fairfax to George Washington, dated 1756, hidden under a chair in the shop. When they return to retrieve the cache, they find Roberto's lifeless body on the floor and no letter.

Police question Ella Coleman, Roberto's ex-wife, and discover that her current husband supplied Roberto with oh-so-faux Victorian furniture. Did the two cheat the wrong customer? Or could the murder be connected to an earlier theft of rare books from the shop -- a theft Roberto never reported? As Camille prepares to confront these questions and investigate the murder, she knows she might become the latest knock-off.

Critique: Another superbly crafted and original cozy mystery from novelist Cordy Abbott, "Dead Men Don't Decorate" is an extraordinary and fun read from first page to last. A mystery fan's delight, "Dead Men Don't Decorate" is especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Cordy Abbott fans that "Dead Men Don't Decorate" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Cordy Abbott (https://cordyabbott.com) is the author of the Old Town Mystery series. She has a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime.

Death on a Deadline
Joyce St. Anthony
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639101153, $29.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Deadline-Homefront-News-Mystery/dp/1639101152

Synopsis: As World War II rages in Europe and the Pacific, the small town of Progress is doing its part for the soldiers in the field with a war bond drive at the annual county fair. Town gossip Ava Dempsey rumors that Clark Gable will be among the participating stars. Instead of Gable, the headliner is Freddie Harrison, a B-movie star. When Freddie turns up dead in the dunk tank, Irene Ingram, editor-in-chief of The Progress Herald, starts chasing the real headline.

There are plenty of suspects and little evidence. Ava's sister Angel, who was married to the dead actor, is the most obvious. The couple had argued about his affair with the young starlet Belinda Fox, and Angel was the last person to see Freddie alive.

Irene discovers there's more than one person who might have wanted Freddie dead. As Irene draws on her well-honed reporter's instincts to find the killer -- but nothing is what it seems in Progress, and now her own deadline could be right around the corner.

Critique: Cosy mystery writing at its best, "Death on a Deadline" by novelist Joyce St. Anthony is a fund read that will be memorably enjoyed by all dedicated mystery fans. While highly recommended as an immediately popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Death on a Deadline" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: Joyce St. Anthony (https://crookedlanebooks.com/joyce-st-anthony) was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is also the author of the award winning Brewing Trouble mysteries set in Pittsburgh.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Night of Demons and Saints
Menna van Praag
Harpyer Voyager
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062932501, $17.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Night-Demons-Saints-Novel-Sisters/dp/0062932500

Synopsis: After the battle with their demon father ends in a devastating loss, the Grimm sisters are separated. But, now three years later, as their twenty-first birthday approaches, dark fate brings them together once more.

For Goldie, this birthday is overshadowed by sorrow. She cannot forget the outcome of that battle, the devastating tragedy that has wreaked havoc on her already turbulent waking life. While her sisters have thrown themselves into their own endeavors, Goldie has grown distant and inconsolable. Driven by grief, she devises a diabolical plan using a human sacrifice to resurrect what she has lost.

When Liyana unexpectedly discovers what Goldie intends to do, she agrees to help if Goldie will try another way, without sacrificing a life. Returning to Everwhere, they combine their powerful magic to bring back what Goldie has lost. But something goes terribly wrong, and Scarlet is showing signs of being possessed by an evil spirit.

With their lives at stake, the sisters realize they must confront their personal trauma, make amends with the past, and once again prepare for a demonic fight to come. On the night of their birthday, battle ensues and tragedy strikes once more!

Critique: The sequel to author Menna van Praage action/adventure fantasy novel "The Sisters Grimm" (9780062932464, $27.99 HC, $13.49 Kindle, $25.99 Audio CD), "Night of Demons and Saints" is a superbly crafted dark fantasy fiction that will have a very special appeal to fans of the paranormal. While readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799957386, $39.99, CD), "Night of Demons and Saints" is highly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.

Editorial Note: Menna van Praag (https://www.mennavanpraag.com) was born in Cambridge, England, and studied modern history at Oxford University. Her first novella, Men, Money, and Chocolate (an autobiographical tale about a waitress who aspires to be a writer) has been translated into twenty-six languages. Her first work of fiction, The House at the End of Hope Street, was inspired by an idea van Praag had to set up a house for female artists and give them a year to fulfill their artistic ambitions.

Lost In Time
A. G. Riddle
Head of Zeus
https://headofzeus.com/home
9781804541760, $24.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Time-G-Riddle/dp/1804541761

Synopsis: One morning, Dr. Sam Anderson wakes up to find that the woman he loves has been murdered. For Sam, the horror is only beginning.

He and his daughter are accused of the crime. The evidence is ironclad. They will be convicted. And so, to ensure his daughter goes free, Sam does what he must: he confesses. But in the future, murderers aren't sent to prison.

Thanks to a machine Sam helped invent, the world's worst criminals are now sent to the past - approximately 200 million years into the past, to the dawn of the time of the dinosaurs -- where they must live out their lives alone, in exile from the human race.

Sam accepts his fate. But his daughter doesn't! Adeline Anderson has already lost her mother to a deadly, unfair disease. She can't bear to lose her father as well. So she sets out on a quest to prove him innocent. And to get him back. People around her insist that both are impossible tasks.

But Adeline doesn't give up. She only works harder. She soon learns that impossible tasks are her specialty. And that she is made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.

As she peels back the layers of the mystery that tore her father from this world, Adeline finds more questions than answers. Everyone around her is hiding a secret. But which ones are connected to the murder that exiled her father?

That mystery stretches across the past, present, and future -- and leads to a revelation that will change everything.

Critique: The theme of most time travel novels is that if you alter the past you change the present. "Lost In Time" is a riveting saga of a time travel novel that author A. G. Riddle has penned with impressive originality, expert storytelling skills, and an inherent fascination that will hold a very special appeal for science fiction fans. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lost In Time" is also available in a paperback edition (9781804541784, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Editorial Note: A.G. Riddle (www.agriddle.com) spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction.


The Business Shelf

True North
Bill George, author
Zach Clayton, author
John Wiley & Sons
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119886105, $32.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/True-North-Authentically-Workplace-Emerging/dp/1119886104

Synopsis: With the publication of "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition), renowned leadership expert Bill George and Millennial tech entrepreneur Zach Clayton issue the challenge to emerging leaders (from Gen X to Millennials and Gen Z) to lead their organizations authentically through never-ending crises to make this world a better place for everyone.

Emerging leaders do so by discovering their "True North" (who they are) and then finding their "North Star" -- their leadership purpose. To navigate today's complexities, George and Clayton show emerging leaders how to lead with their hearts, not just their heads, with passion, compassion, and moral courage by being true to their values to reach their full potential as they take on great challenges and navigate complex issues.

The Emerging Leader Edition of "True North" is filled with dramatic stories from successful leaders such as Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Merck's Ken Frazier to PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi and General Motors' Mary Barra, and emerging leaders like OneTrust's Kabir Barday and Kanbrick's Tracy Britt Cool of how they overcame great challenges to build highly successful organizations.

Critique: What must be classified as essential reading for anyone seeking to: Becoming an authentic leader, equipped to lead inclusively with moral clarity through challenges and crises;
Cultivating regular introspection to ground yourself with self-awareness, live your values, and use your unique strengths; Integrating all aspects of their lives -- including who you are at home, at work, and in the community; Understand how Millennials are leading more effectively in today's world; In being an inclusive leader prepared to take on fraught issues like stakeholder challenges, racial and sexual equality, and sexual misconduct; Knowing when (and how) leaders should speak out on today's complex public issues.

Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition" is particularly and especially recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management, Leadership & Motivation collections. It should be noted that "True North: Leading Authentically in Today's Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.00).

Editorial Note #1: Bill George (https://www.billgeorge.org) is the former Chair and CEO of Medtronic and Executive Fellow at Harvard Business School (HBS), where he has taught leadership to MBAs and executives since 2004. He is the author of four bestselling books: Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, and 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis. True North has been recognized as one of the 25 Best Leadership Books of All-Time. He has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, Mayo Clinic, ExxonMobil, Novartis, and Target.

Editorial Note #2: Zach Clayton is the founder and CEO of Three Ships, which operates digital marketplace businesses. He leads this fast-growing business with several hundred employees.

Augmented Lean
Natan Linder, author
Trond Arne Undheim, author
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119906001, $26.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Augmented-Lean-Human-Centric-Framework-Operations/dp/1119906008

Synopsis: With the publication of "Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations", serial startup founder Dr. Natan Linder and futurist podcaster Dr. Trond Arne Undheim deliver an urgent and incisive exploration of how to facilitate agile processes amongst a millennial workforce that already lives by many of its tenets.

"Augmented Learn" demonstrates how to abandon legacy industrial technology that is failing modern operations and hindering operational excellence and digital progress. As an executive and leader, you cannot fall prey to hyped-up notions of industry 4.0's factory of the future automation, artificial intelligence, internet of things, sensors, digital twins, and augmented reality fixing every problem. Instead, to truly reduce cognitive load, complexity, and frustrations in the workplace, we must build cyber-physical technologies so that humans remain at the center.

Leaders must ensure that the technology they deploy at an industrial scale has fluid interfaces that demonstrably simplifies work and makes operations more flexible without introducing fear, uncertainty, or doubt -- and "Augmented Lean" will teach them just how they can accomplished these imperatives.

Critique: Timely, informatively, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations" will have a special and practical value to readers with an interest in Corporate Leadership and Industrial Relations. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.00), "Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Business Management instructional reference collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies.

Editorial Note #1: Natan Linder (https://www.linkedin.com/in/linder), is Co-founder and CEO of the frontline operations platform Tulip, and the Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Formlabs, a pioneer in professional desktop 3D printing. He received his doctorate from MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group.

Editorial Note #2: Trond Arne Undheim (https://trondundheim.com), is a futurist, podcaster, venture partner, Co-founder of Yegii, and formerly with MIT, WPP, Oracle, and the EU. He received his doctorate in the Future of Work and Artificial Intelligence from the NTNU's Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

Thriving on Overload
Ross Dawson
McGraw Hill
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781264285402, $28.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thriving-Overload-Success-Exponential-Information/dp/126428540X

Synopsis: "Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information" is a groundbreaking guide that delivers the practical insights and strategies necessary to build a positive relationship with information and excel at work and in any venture.

"Thriving on Overload" author Ross Dawson draws on his work as a leading futurist and 25 years of research into the practices that transform a surplus of information into compelling value. In "Thriving on Overload", he shares simple actionable techniques for staying ahead in an accelerating world. It's all about choosing to thrive on overload -- rather than being overwhelmed by it. Develop the five intertwined powers that enable extraordinary performance in a world of overload:

Readers will discover valuable lessons from some of the world's most extraordinary "information masters" -- the entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and researchers who excel at transforming vast mines of data into the solid gold of insight and effective action.

Packed from cover to cover with clear guidance, useful exercises, engaging stories, and handy resources, "Thriving on Overload" will help to build the capabilities that enable the readers to outperform their peers and prosper as never before in a world defined by excessive information.

Critique: The next best thing to sitting front row center in one of Ross Dawson's workshops, "Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information" is informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a remarkable Introduction (Learning to Thrive), an eight page listing of Resources for Thriving, a four page listing of Acknowledgments, twenty pages of Notes, and a ten page Index. While highly recommended as an addition to community and academic library Entrepreneurship, Information Management, and Self- Help/Decision Making collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Thriving on Overload: The 5 Powers for Success in a World of Exponential Information" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.12)

Editorial Note: Ross Dawson (https://rossdawson.com) is a world-leading futurist, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker. He is Founding Chairman of the Advanced Human Technologies group of companies, with clients including industry leaders, such as Boston Consulting Group, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Google, Interpublic Group, Microsoft, News Limited, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, PwC, Visa, and Walmart. Dawson is in strong demand globally, having delivered keynote speeches and strategy workshops to business and government leaders in over 30 countries. He appears frequently in media, such as ABC TV, BBC, The Guardian, New York Times, and VICE, among many others.


The Computer Shelf

Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems
Suzanne J. Matthews, author
Tia Newhall, author
Kevin C. Webb, author
No Starch Press
www.nostarch.com
9781718501362, $79.99, PB, 816pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dive-Into-Systems-Introduction-Computer/dp/1718501366

Synopsis: "Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems" provides a crash course in the major hardware and software components of a modern computer system. Designed for use in a wide range of introductory-level computer science classes, it guides readers through the vertical slice of a computer so they can develop an understanding of the machine at various layers of abstraction.

Early chapters begin with the basics of the C programming language often used in systems programming. Other topics explore the architecture of modern computers, the inner workings of operating systems, and the assembly languages that translate human-readable instructions into a binary representation that the computer understands.

Later chapters explain how to optimize code for various architectures, how to implement parallel computing with shared memory, and how memory management works in multi-core CPUs. Accessible and easy to follow, the book uses images and hands-on exercise to break down complicated topics, including code examples that can be modified and executed.

Critique: An ideal textbook for introductory computer science curriculums, "Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems" by the team of Suzanne J. Matthews, Tia Newhall, and Kevin C. Webb is comprehensive, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'student friendly' in presentation. Unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Computer Science collections, it should be noted for both students and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Dive Into Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Computer Systems" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $41.99).

Editorial Note #1: Suzanne J. Matthews is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the United States Military Academy, West Point. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. Her research interests are in parallel computing, single board computers, and computer science education.

Editorial Note #2: Tia Newhall is a professor in the computer science department at Swarthmore College. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. Her research interests are in parallel and distributed systems.

Editorial Note #3: Kevin C. Webb is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Swarthmore College. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from UC San Diego. His research interests are in networks, distributed systems, and computer science education.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Pacific Salmon Field Guide
Sean Godwin & Martin Krkosek, authors
Joesph R. Tomelleri, illustrator
Tavish Campbell, photographer
Lone Pine Publishing
https://lonepinebooks.com
9781774511343, $24.95, PB, 60pp

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pacific-salmon-field-guide-sean-godwin/1141846585

Synopsis: Pacific salmon are of immense cultural, ecological and economic importance to the west coast of North America. They are the most commonly seen fish on the western side of North America but identifying among the seven species is difficult for most of their life stages.

Two salmon researchers, Sean Godwin and Martin Krkosek, have worked extensively in the field with this iconic group of fish and have developed "Pacific Salmon Field Guide" the first comprehensive field identification guide for Pacific salmon in a functional format. This guide presents information and identifying characteristics for the seven Pacific salmon species (sockeye, coho, Chinook, pink, chum, steelhead and coastal cutthroat) across five life stages, with strong emphasis on detailed and intuitive illustrations.

This guide is an ideal identification resource that includes natural history, life stage descriptions and conservation status of Pacific salmon and how to observe these fish in the wild. The identification portions are organized into five life stages: fry, smolt, post smolt, ocean adult, and spawner.

The many scientific illustrations for each species are drawn from real specimens representative of their species and life stage. Joseph Tomelleri, who drew all the brilliant illustrations in this book, painstakingly measured every part of each fish, counting every fin ray and row of scales while layering colour upon color. In addition, dozens of photos by Tavish Campell showcase these fish in incredible detail.

Critique: Expertly organized and thoroughly 'user friendly in presentation, "Pacific Salmon Field Guide is impressively comprehensive and detailed -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community and academic library Marine Life instructional reference collections in general, and Salmon research and fishing guides in particular.


The Gardening Shelf

Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity
John J. Grabowski, author
Lauren R. Pacini, photographer
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent OH 44242
http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com
9781606354414, $35.00, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Clevelands-Cultural-Gardens-John-Grabowski/dp/1606354418

Synopsis: From their beginnings as private farmland to their current form as monuments to cultural and ethnic diversity, the unique collection of landscaped, themed gardens that compose Cleveland's Cultural Gardens holds a rich history.

With the publication of "Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity", John J. Grabowski guides readers through this story, using both archival images and Lauren R. Pacini's stunning contemporary photography to illustrate their development and importance. The effect is a comprehensive view of the factors that made the Cultural Gardens possible, from Cleveland's geographical features to international conflicts.

First erected as the Shakespeare Garden in 1916, the land bordering Doan Brook slowly began to incorporate tributes to immigrants, reflecting Cleveland's role as a key location for eastern European immigrants. Through this chronicle of the gardens' changing landscapes, Grabowski shapes a gripping narrative of shifting attitudes toward immigration, both locally and nationally.

Throughout both world wars, the Cold War, and more recent events, the gardens' composition has changed to reflect more diversity, now encompassing 33 individual gardens that honor cultures and countries with connections to Cleveland. Today, each garden features plants native to the corresponding culture, from German to Vietnamese and from Ethiopian to Finnish. This vast cultural inclusivity makes Cleveland's Cultural Gardens a forerunner in the push for greater representation of cultures and people of color in memorials and public spaces.

The gardens also highlight a growing emphasis on collaboration and coexistence among cultures, as symbolized in the Peace Garden of the Nations and its crypt of intermingled soil from historic shrines around the world.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos, "Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity" will be of special and particular interest to landscape field specialists and amateur gardeners alike for bot its excellent illustrations and for its informative discussion of culture, inclusion, and diversity both on a local and a national scale. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Gardening/Landscaping collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cleveland's Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.25).

Editorial Note #1: John J. Grabowski (https://history.case.edu/faculty/john-grabowski) works as the Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor of Applied History at Case Western Reserve University and as the Krieger-Mueller Chief Historian at the Western Reserve Historical Society. He is the editor of the online edition of The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography. He has published numerous books, including The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography, and Sports in Cleveland: An Illustrated History.

Editorial Note #2: Lauren R. Pacini is an author and photographer specializing in black-and-white photography. Also a member of the Western Reserve Historical Society, Pacini focuses much of his work on Cleveland. His writing and photography have been published in numerous books, including Honoring Their Memory and Renaissance on East 9th Street.

Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies
Lauren Camilleri, author
Sophia Kaplan, author
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922417855, $40.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bloom-Flowering-Plants-Indoors-Balconies/dp/1922417858

Synopsis: The fundamental message of "Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies" by the team of Lauren Camilleri andj Sophia Kaplan is that the homeowner or apartment dweller doesn't need a sprawling garden to brighten their lives with flowers. This beautifully designed, illustrated and instruction guide shows how any space, no matter how small, can be transformed into a colorful oasis with flowering plants.

The ultimate guide to beautiful blooms, Lauren and Sophia from Leaf Supply have tips for care, selection, styling, and arrangement. A guide through the seasons, Bloom has everything you need to create flowering gardens indoors or on balconies.

Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Bloom" is a compendium of: Practical information on the best light, soil, and care requirements; Provides details of when to plant and when flowers bloom; Showcases 60+ flowering plant profiles; and includes interviews with plant-lovers who have filled their homes with blooming plants!

Critique: Fun and informative, inspired and inspiring, a flower lover's delight to simply browse through one page at a time, "Bloom: Flowering Plants for Indoors and Balconies" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Urban Gardening collections.

Editorial Noter: Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan are the creative force behind the Sydney-based interior-design nursery Leaf Supply. They have professional backgrounds in interior architecture and advertising, respectively. Together, they have previously authored Leaf Supply, Indoor Jungle, and Plantopedia for Smith Street Books.


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Straight Lady
Chris Enss, author
Howard Kazanjian, author
The Lyons Press
www.lyonspress.com
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437
www.globepequot.com
9781493060405, $30.00, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Straight-Lady-Margaret-Dumont-Brother/dp/1493060406

Synopsis: Margaret Dumont (born Daisy Juliette Baker; October 20, 1882 - March 6, 1965) was a Broadway acting regular by the 1920s. But it was when she started appearing in film with the Marx Brothers that Dumont found lasting fame.

Tall and regal in bearing, her character provided the perfect foil to the wisecracking Groucho Marx in a series of films including A Night at the Opera and Duck Soup. Her character's seemingly obliviousness to insult led to the widespread belief, encouraged by Groucho himself, that Dumont was a humorless person who never got the joke. a belief she contradicted in a 1942 interview. "I'm not a stooge," she said. "I'm a straight lady. There's an art to playing straight. You must build up your man but never top him and never steal the laughs from him.

Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" by the team of authors and cinema historians Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian focuses on the Dumont and her role in the production of the comedy teams' most successful films. Several books have been previously written about the Marx Brothers as a comedy family and about their individual lives, but there haven't been any cinematic histories written about the contribution of Margaret Dumont to their success -- until now!

Critique: Informed and informative, Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" must for the personal reading lists of motion picture enthusiasts, cinematic film historians, and the legions of Marx Brothers' fans. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library 20th Century Cinematic History & Biography collections, it should be noted that "Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.49).

Editorial Note: Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian have written a number of award-winning books including "The Young Duke: The Early Life of John Wayne" and "Cowboys, Creatures and Classics: The Story of Republic Pictures".

Horror Films of 2000-2009
John Kenneth Muir
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476678054, $75.00, HC, 699pp

https://www.amazon.com/Horror-Films-2000s-John-Kenneth/dp/1476678057

Synopsis: Horror films have always reflected their audiences' fears and anxieties. In the United States, the 2000s were a decade full of change in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the contested presidential election of 2000, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These social and political changes, as well as the influences of Japanese horror and New French extremism, had a profound effect on American horror filmmaking during the 2000s.

"Horror Films of 2000-2009" by cinema historian John Kenneth Muir is a filmography that covers more than 300 horror films released in America from 2000 through 2009, including such popular forms as found footage, torture porn, and remakes. Each entry covers a single film and includes credits, a synopsis, and a lengthy critical commentary. The appendices include common horror conventions, a performer hall of fame, and memorable ad lines.

Critique: Featuring black/white illustrations, and organized chronologically by year, "Horror Films of 2000-2009" is a massive coffee-table style volume (8.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches, 4.18 pounds) that is an comprehensive, extraordinary, essential, and critically important addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library 21st Century Cinematic History collections.

Editorial Note: John Kenneth Muir (http://johnkennethmuir.com) is an American literary critic and award-winning author. As of 2022, he has written 30 reference books in the fields of film and television, with a particular focus on the horror and science fiction genres.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Essential Oils and Gemstone Guardians Cards
Margaret Ann Lembo
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644115398, Cards/Booklet, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Oils-Gemstone-Guardians-Cards/dp/1644115395

Synopsis: Just like gemstones, essential oils work on an energetic level to re-balance us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally and offer many physiological benefits.

Bringing aromatherapy into partnership with crystals, "Essential Oils & Gemstone Guardians Cards" by crystal expert and aromatherapist, Margaret Ann Lembo presents a hands-on way to engage with the enhanced powers of allies from the mineral and plant kingdom together. Specifically created to help you establish clear intentions, the 42 two-sided cards each show an essential oil and a vibrationally matching crystal, offering guidance and positive affirmations for your life.

The color-coded cards are divided into six groups: Focus, Grounding, and Protection; Health and Well-Being; Love, Friendship, and Romance; Money, Creativity, and Motivation; Happiness and Self-Confidence; Intuition and Communication -- each helping you to understand yourself better. With an intention or request for clarity or insight in mind, you can either draw just one card or create a card spread by choosing several cards.

The accompanying booklet provides, for each essential oil, the botanical name, fragrance profile, chemical components, therapeutic properties, and safety precautions as well as how the gemstone relates to the use of the essential oil.

As Margaret Ann Lembo explains, the energetic value, or vibration, of an essential oil is stabilized by the devic forces associated with mother plant, flower, root, or bark. The energetic vibration of a gemstone holds records and goals to help you focus on the reality you wish to create. You design your reality and the cards in this deck will help you focus on your intentions and ignite transformation in your life.

Critique: Beautifully designed, "Essential Oils and Gemstone Guardians Cards" is a unique, 'user friendly', and very specially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Aromatherapy, Divination with Crystals, Mental & Spiritual Healing, and Metaphysical collections and studies lists.

PR: Margaret Ann Lembo (https://www.margaretannlembo.com) is a noted and sought after author and speaker with close to 30 years of experience. She is the creator of a line of award-winning Aroma-Energetic Sprays, including Smudge in Spray and the seven Chakra Sprays. She is also a spiritual entrepreneur and practitioner, aromatherapist, and the owner of The Crystal Garden -- a book store, gift store, and spiritual center in southeast Florida.


The Travel Shelf

The Professional Guide's Handbook
Colby Brokvist
Fulcrum Publishing
www.fulcrumbooks.com
9781682753248, $50.00, PB, 359pp

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Guides-Handbook-Adventure-Expeditions/dp/1682753247

Synopsis: Professional guides have a lot of skills to learn and perfect to become successful. With the publication of "The Professional Guide's Handbook: How to Lead Adventure Travel Trips and Expeditions", author and travel guide expert Colby Brokvist covers everything contemporary guides would need to know in order to become successful in their profession in terms of the needed skills for success, consideration of travel guide ethical standards, sustainability issues, leadership, and how to utilize all these skills when on the job.

"The Professional Guide's Handbook" offers insight, wisdom, and real-life anecdotes from the Colby's own worldwide adventures as an expedition leader. Readers will find a thorough and thoughtful text that looks at everything from leadership skills to the importance of stewardship practices in the outdoor industry. They will develop a better understanding of travelers and their expectations to group management frameworks. It will leave readers empowered, enlightened, and ready to lead their next trip with renewed confidence.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Professional Guide's Handbook: How to Lead Adventure Travel Trips and Expeditions" is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual and 'how to' guide for creating and succeeding in a travel guide career. While available in a digital book format (Kindle, $37.04), "The Professional Guide's Handbook: How to Lead Adventure Travel Trips and Expeditions" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Jobs/Careers and General/Adventure Travel Reference collections and reading lists.

Editorial Note: Colby Brokvist (https://www.nathab.com/guides-and-staff/guide-bios/colby-brokvist/is a professional guide who leads worldwide expeditions for some of the most acclaimed companies in adventure travel. He was inspired to pursue guiding as a career during a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail in the summer of 2000. Since then, he has led hundreds of adventure travel departures, ranging from backpacking and trekking adventures to mountaineering and rock-climbing trips, sea kayaking and sailing voyages, and wildlife safaris. His expeditions have taken him to destinations as far-flung as Greenland, Antarctica, Africa, and Patagonia, as well as across the United States and Canada. In addition to fieldwork, Colby assumes a variety of managerial, operational, and consulting roles within the adventure travel sphere. His work centers on guide training, guide team management, and itinerary development. He sits on the board of directors for the Polar Tourism Guides Association and is a certified Senior Polar Guide through the same organization.
(https://www.nathab.com/guides-and-staff/guide-bios/colby-brokvist)

100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime
March Carriker Smothers
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426222641, $40.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/100-Disney-Adventures-Lifetime-Experiences/dp/1426222645

Synopsis: "100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" by Marcy Carriker Smothers is a beautifully illustrated treasury showcasing 100 beloved and little-known Disney adventures ranging from seeing fireworks on a dessert-themed boat ride, to dining with your favorite characters, to a tour of the Galapagos Islands.

"100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" is the next best thing to waking up to the sight of giraffes grazing outside your window; or watching the Disneyland fireworks from the Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge, far away from the crowds; or tasting your way through six continents at EPCOT's International Food & Wine Festival; or going on a family journey to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks with National Geographic.

All of these incredible experiences and more comprising this awe-inspiring collection of 100 not-to-be-missed adventures that bring the magic of Disney to life.

Along with beautiful imagery that will shape the Disney wish list for those planning a visit, this delightfully illuminating guide includes pilgrimages to historic Disney sites, insider stories, and inspiration for planning your next Disney vacation.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography enhancing an informative commentary, "100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" is ideal for the armchair traveler, a planning guide for the aspiring visitor, as well as a welcome and nostalgic remembrance of having visited, explored and enjoyed what Walt Disney had accomplished with the creation of America's most popular theme park. Indeed, "100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime: Magical Experiences From Around the World" is an especially recommended for personal, community, and academic library Theme Park Travel Guide collections in general, and Disneyland and Walt Disney World collections in particular.

Editorial Note: Marcy Carriker Smothers (https://www.marcycarrikersmothers.com) is the author of the fan favorite "Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food". A noted radio personality, she has hosted several programs, including The Food Guy and Marcy Show with the Food Network's Guy Fieri. In celebration of Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, she co-authored Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World. Her love of all things Disney (especially Disneyland) inspired her to write "Walt's Disneyland: A Walk in the Park with Walt Disney".


The Sports Shelf

Colorado Alpine Trail Runs
Annalise Grueter
Colorado Mountain Club
c/o Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781937052768, $24.95, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Alpine-Trail-Annalise-Grueter/dp/1937052761

Synopsis: With the publication of "Colorado Alpine Trail Runs", author Annalise Grueter makes it easy to find great places to run and jog in the Colorado mountains. This essential guidebook introduces you to beautiful, rugged trails and inspiring vistas across Colorado, providing key info, including route access, mileage, directional cues, and difficulty, as well as guidance around responsible outdoor recreation. The guide features 45 spectacular runs that vary in length from 4 miles to nearly 30, with a mix of options from introductory to technical, to suit a variety of skill levels. Every route reaches an elevation over 11,500 feet and includes a high-alpine pass, lake, or summit, allowing for spectacular 360-degree views.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color, "Colorado Alpine Trail Runs" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation and ideal for anyone seeking remote routes or reliable information on a classic trail. Informed and informative, motivationally inspiring, and a simply indispensable DIY guide, "Colorado Alpine Trail Runs" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Mountain Running/Jogging Sports collections.

Editorial Note: Annalise Grueter (https://blog.nols.edu/author/annalise-grueter) has been exploring Colorado trails her entire life. She is a marathoner and ultramarathoner as well as an avid hiker. She has made over 153 summits of Colorado's Fourteeners and stood atop the highest peaks in Mexico, Germany, and Tanzania. A NOLS graduate, she has taught and mentored both children and adults on camping, orienteering, and safe mountain practices. Annalise enjoys exploring mountain ranges around the world, especially through sports such as mountain running and ski mountaineering.

Cyclist - Climb
Cyclist Magazine
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784728090, $40.00, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cyclist-Climb-cycling-ascents-world/dp/1784728098

Synopsis: With the publication of "Cyclist - Climb: The most epic cycling ascents in the world", the cycling experts at Cyclist Magazine showcases thirty-five of the most notorious, grueling cycling climbs the world has to offer.

Comprised of route maps, altitude charts, first-hand ride reports, and incredible imagery from the finest cycling photographers, "Cyclist - Climb" is an amazing tribute to the peaks, hills and ascents that every cyclist should try.

Tracing the routes of the greatest rides across France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, "Cyclist - Climb" is a beautiful coffee-table style volume (9.35 x 1.05 x 11.3 inches) that also includes lesser-known climbs covering northern and eastern Europe and the USA -- with every single ride tried, tested and conquered by the experts at Cyclist magazine.

Critique: Each of the thirty-five international climbs is enhanced with a route map and gorgeous full color photography. Informed and inspiring, "Cyclist - Climb" fully lives up to its subtitle: The most epic cycling ascents in the world! While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Cyclist - Climb" is an inherently fascinating read for amateur and professional cyclists and a highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Sports Cycling collections.

Editorial Note: Cyclist (https://pocketmags.com/us/cyclist-magazine) is the world's biggest road cycling magazine and winner of multiple awards. Combining experienced cycling writers with exclusive images from top photographers, Cyclist showcases the most stunning rides from around the world and gets behind the scenes with the biggest names in the sport.


The Wine Shelf

The Complete Bordeaux, fourth edition
Stephen Brooke
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784727512, $75.00, HC, 736pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Bordeaux-4th-Stephen-Brook/dp/1784727512

Synopsis: The wines of the Bordeaux region of France are universally recognized as being among the finest in the world and in this fully revised and updated fourth edition of his classic study "The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People", renowned wine expert Stephen Brook provides an unrivaled survey of the region and its wines.

The new hardcover edition of "The Complete Bordeaux" offers detailed information on the many communes and appellations of Bordeaux along with descriptions and assessments of all its major properties. As well as incisive portraits of the leading properties and their produce, Stephen Brook provides a detailed look at Bordeaux's lesser-known areas and chateaux.

Of special note is the inclusion of an invaluable vintage guide to the last four decades. Bordeaux encapsulates an incredible 13,000 wineries throughout 54 appellations and this book includes a thorough explanation of Bordeaux's history, terroir and winemaking styles.

More than just a producer-by-producer reference work - "The Complete Bordeaux" provides an analyzes of the information Brooke presents in order to give a clear picture of the current trends in the region. Brooke provides professional assessments of more than 1,000 significant wine producers in Bordeaux, considering its history, viticulture, vinication, wine styles and vintages.

Critique: An impressively informative, expertly organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, this new and expanded fourth edition of "The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People" will be of special value to professional connoisseurs and non-specialist enthusiasts with an interest in wines, the collection of wines, and the Bordeaux wine country of France. Comprehensive, professional, detailed, "The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, The Chateaux, The People" is especially and unreservedly to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Wine/Spirits reference collections.

Editorial Note: Stephen Brook (https://www.decanter.com/author/StephenBrook) is a leading writer on wine and gastronomy. His previous books include Sauternes, The Wines of Germany, and The Wines of California, which won the Prix Lanson, Glenfiddich and Veuve Clicquot awards. He is also the author of Pauillac and Bordeaux: People, Power and Politics, which won the Veuve Clicquot and ICP awards.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Farewell Tour
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, INHC
Viva Editions
2246 Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-2219
http://vivaeditions.com
9781632280756, $18.95, PB, 312pp

https://www.amazon.com/Farewell-Tour-Jessica-Cording-INHC/dp/1632280752

Synopsis: When her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jessica Cording's family turned their lives upside down to care for him during what he coined his "Farewell Tour" -- a nod to his career in the music business. But when your loved ones need you most, who's taking care of the caregivers?

Through the lens of this heartbreaking and intimate journey, with the publication of "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep", Cording offers a funny, heartwarming, and unique approach to end-of-life care or caring for someone with ongoing needs.

Cording seamlessly blends her own expertise as a dietitian and health coach with humor and personal anecdotes while featuring interviews from other wellness professionals, world-renowned musicians, and music industry professionals.

"The Farewell Tour" includes a playlist based off of songs Cording and her father were each listening to during his Farewell Tour, with suggested listening for each chapter. Cording reminds you it's okay to laugh, it's okay to date (if you want to), and it's imperative to take care of yourself along the way.

Whether you're feeling burned out or isolated, whether dealing with terminal illness or ongoing needs, "The Farewell Tour" is an invaluable guide to navigating the burdens of caregiving that often go unspoken.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep" is as inspiring as it is informative, encouraging, and inherently interesting. Unreservedly recommended reading for anyone with a caregiver's responsibility for the terminally ill, "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep" is an ideal addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Stress Management & Motivational Self-Help collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver's Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Jessica Cording (https://jessicacordingnutrition.com) is a registered dietitian, health coach, and author with a passion for helping people simplify their wellness routine and build sustainable healthy habits. Through her writing, consulting, public speaking, and counseling, she works with individuals, corporations, and the media to help make drama-free healthy living approachable and enjoyable. She is also the author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety. Jessica also runs the Drama-Free Healthy Living podcast and has recorded guided meditations for Simple Habit. Additionally, she has created educational content for CARAVAN Wellness. Cording is a part of the mindbodygreen Collective and a frequent contributor to media outlets such as Forbes, SHAPE, and more.


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