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Volume 30, Number 10 October 2020 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Education Shelf Biography Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf General Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Sports Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Self-Help Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Gaming Shelf Business Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Parenting Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Travel Shelf Woodworking Shelf Art Shelf
Gardening Shelf Automotive Shelf Economic Studies Shelf
Architecture Shelf Science Shelf American History Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Archaeology Shelf Military Shelf
Fashion Shelf Music Shelf Computer Shelf
Technology Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice

Spotting Danger Before It Spots You
Gary Quesenberry
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
www.ymaa.com
9781594397370, $18.95, PB, 172pp

https://www.amazon.com/Spotting-Danger-Before-Spots-You/dp/1594397376

Synopsis: Spotting danger before it happens is an essential survival skill that can be developed and may even save your life. It is a three part process that includes: Understanding the threat; Building situational awareness; Developing personal defenses.

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, there were an estimated 1.25 million violent crimes committed in the United States in 2018. Make no mistake; in a world filled with crime and violence, you are your own last line of defense.

In "Spotting Danger Before It Spots You: Build Situational Awareness To Stay Safe", author Gary Quesenberry breaks down the basic techniques necessary to help you develop good situational awareness and increase your levels of personal safety. Gary calls upon his extensive background as a Federal Air Marshal and defensive tactics instructor to explain these methods in simple terms that will greatly improve your general understanding of how, when and where violence occurs. He will then take the next critical step -- providing you with the tools you need to properly identify and evade danger before it ever has a chance to materialize.

"Spotting Danger Before It Spots You" covers: The common traits of predatory behavior; How to conduct a personal "safety check"; How to develop strong awareness skills; What to do when you spot potential trouble; Staying safe and living life free of worry and fear.

Critique: A thoroughly 'user friendly', DIY instructional guide and manual, "Spotting Danger Before It Spots You: Build Situational Awareness To Stay Safe" is a timely and appropriate acquisition for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Martial Arts and Personal Security collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Spotting Danger Before It Spots You: Build Situational Awareness To Stay Safe" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Gary Quesenberry is a US Army veteran and a career Federal Air Marshal. As a defensive tactics trainer for Federal and civilian services, he has devoted his life to studying the areas of violence and predatory behavior. Gary serves as the CEO of Q-Series LLC and has developed numerous basic and advanced level training courses focused on mental toughness, marksmanship, and defensive tactics. As a competitive pistol shooter, Gary has been featured on the History Channel's hit television series Top Shot - Season 3 and Top Shot All-Stars. He has an extensive background in domestic and foreign counter-terror training and has worked in both the private and corporate sectors to help educate others on the importance of situational awareness, and personal safety.

Pure Space
Elisa Silva
Actar D
c/o Actar Publishers
355 Lexington Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017
http://actar.com
9781948765428, $39.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Space-Expanding-Transformations-Settlements/dp/194876542X

Synopsis: "Pure Space: Expanding the Public Sphere through Public Space Transformations in Latin American Spontaneous Settlements " by Elisa Silva may seem a simple accumulation of twenty-one public space projects in eight Latin American cities. On closer inspection, the presentation of project descriptions, photographs, and annotated drawings reflects a concern to analytically explain the operative aspects at work.

"Pure Space" is not intended to serve only as a catalogue, guide, or manual on how to produce public space in spontaneous settlements. Rather, it goes beyond the aims of an index of best practices. It is intended, instead, as an empirical base for a critical and theoretical engagement with the problematic of development, social inclusion, public investment, (in)formal settlement, civil society and the public sphere.

"Pure Space" achieves its final function at this third level, by providing a compelling argument to expand the agency of architects and urban designers and creatively find ways of justifying, financing, and building public spaces in communities -- spaces that have a catalytic effectiveness in achieving significant urban and social transformation.

Critique: A meticulously presented, informed and informative study, "Pure Space: Expanding the Public Sphere through Public Space Transformations in Latin American Spontaneous Settlements" is a seminal and extraordinary volume that is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, corporate, college and university library Urban Planning Studies & Latin American Architectural Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Elisa Silva is director and founder of Enlace Arquitectura 2007 and Enlace Foundation 2017, established in Caracas, Venezuela. Projects focus on raising awareness of spatial inequality and the urban environment through public space, the integration of informal settlements and community engagement in rural landscapes. Public space interventions in informal settlements through didactic and participatory methodologies are central to the firm s practice and were awarded in the XX Architecture and Urbanism Biennial in Valparaiso, Chile 2017.

The Organ Thieves
Chip Jones
Gallery Books/Jeter Publishing
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781982107529, $28.00, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Organ-Thieves-Shocking-Transplant-Segregated/dp/1982107529

Synopsis: In 1968, Bruce Tucker, a black man, went into Virginia's top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart taken out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman.

Now, in "The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South", journalist Chip Jones exposes the horrifying inequality surrounding Tucker's death and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family's permission or knowledge.

The circumstances surrounding his death reflect the long legacy of mistreating African Americans that began more than a century before with cadaver harvesting and worse. It culminated in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

Featuring years of research and fresh reporting, "The Organ Thieves" is a story that resonates now more than ever, when issues of race and healthcare are the stuff of headlines and horror stories.

Critique: A revelatory piece of investigative journalism, "The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South" exposes the dark underbelly of racism as it is to be found in American medicine -- and why so many members of today's Black American community are hesitant to entrust their health and well-being to the American medical profession -- even in this time of pandemic.

While absolutely and irrevocably recommended for all community and college/university library American Medical History collections in general, and 20th Century African-American History supplemental curriculum studies, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797108322, $44.99, CD).

Flirting with Darkness
Ben Courson
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
www.harvesthousepublishers.com
9780736978903, $16.99, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Defeating-Depression/dp/0736978909

Synopsis: In writing "Flirting with Darkness: Building Hope in the Face of Depression ", author Ben Courson's mission is to inject hope into a generation plagued by anxiety and despair.

"Flirting with Darkness" encourages you to not accept depression as a permanent state, but instead turn to the One who will champion your every struggle. He offers up the tools that helped him cling to God during his darkest moments, helping you discover how to: Shift your focus from your problems to God's promises allows you to recognize your purpose; Find a tribe in friends and family will help you move beyond loneliness; Reveal that counseling and medication can be important parts of God's plan for your deliverance from mental illness

The childlike wonder and biblical insights in "Flirting with Darkness" will allow you to glimpse beyond your current pain to see the light in your own story.

Critique: Insightfully compassionate, informed and informative, but most of all, inspired and inspiring, "Flirting with Darkness: Building Hope in the Face of Depression" is so very much applicable and timely to these dark days of pandemic, economic depression, political polarization, social injustice, and social media fueled despair. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone concerned with the issue of chronic depression and suicide that "Flirting with Darkness: Building Hope in the Face of Depression" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

GET IN THE CAR, JANE!: Adventures in the TV Wasteland
Billy Van Zandt
Van Zandt/Milmore Productions
https://vanzandtmilmore.com
9781734401714, $17.99 Paper, $9.99 Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/GET-CAR-JANE-Adventures-Wasteland/dp/1734401710

GET IN THE CAR, JANE!: Adventures in the TV Wasteland is a memoir of TV experiences from an Emmy-nominated writer and producer who spent years making sitcoms. It blends a sense of whimsy with insider observation to create a compelling read that is unique and educational, all in one.

Van Zandt met and worked with some of the great actors, actresses, and entertainers of his times, from Lucille Ball and Brooke Shields to Alan Arkin and other contemporary artists. These encounters depict experiences that are hilarious, pointed, and filled with Hollywood insights. The anecdotes offer testimony to the powerful, sometimes uncertain, relationships between Hollywood writers and industry professionals.

Descriptions blend this wry humor into stories that are revealing and fun, whether they're talking about people, politics, or methodology : "After six episodes and a weekly firing of perfectly good writers, the writing staff consists of just Jane, Bruce Ferber, and me. We're allowed to go home only when it looks like rain, because our boss doesn't want her dog to get wet."

The nuts and bolts of collaborative writing are also presented in exposes which are filled with not just fun moments, but insights on the process of creative producing. From the realities of struggling to find a decent premise under deadline and handling actors and actresses to editing shows and enjoying the fruits of making them, GET IN THE CAR, JANE! captures the humor and paths of creative Hollywood writing like no other book on the subject.

This blend of nuts-and-bolts Hollywood writing experiences and fun industry observations is especially recommended for aspiring writers who want to get a sense not only of Van Zandt's life and encounters with the famous, but the specifics of Hollywood writing and producer relationships. It's a fun, inviting way of absorbing this atmosphere through the author's personal journals, creates a fine "you are here" series of encounters, and should be required reading for aspiring students who want a realistic flavor of Hollywood behind the scenes, from a writer's point of view.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

27 Essential Principles of Story
Daniel Joshua Rubin
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014-4381
www.workman.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781523507160, $19.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle, $39.99 Audio CD, 374pp

https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Principles-Story-Storytelling-Shakespeare/dp/1664460829

Synopsis: Experienced author Daniel Joshua Rubin unlocks the secrets of what makes a story work and then shows aspiring writers just how to understand and use these principles in their own writing. The result is nothing short of an invaluable and practical writing resource that covers such literary issues as: Escalating risk (with an example from Pulp Fiction); Writing characters to the top of their intelligence (from the Eminem song "Stan"); Earning transformations (draw from Alison Bechdel's Fun Home); Attacking your theme (from The Brothers Karamazov).

Critique: Expertly written and a thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY instructional guide and 'how to' manual, "27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park" is essentially a master class in the art of written down storytelling and should be a part of every aspiring writer's reference shelf. While unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "27 Essential Principles of Story is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781664460829, $39.99, CD).


The Cookbook Shelf

Sustainable Kitchen
Heather Wolfe & Jaynie McCloskey
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
www.heraldpress.com
9781513805818, $32.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sustainable-Kitchen-Heather-Jaynie-McCloskey/dp/1513805819

Synopsis: The collaborative work of Heather Wolfe and Jaynie McCloskey, "Sustainable Kitchen" will substantially aid in cooking more healthfully, eating more sustainably, and living more faithfully.

We all know that daily food choices help or harm our bodies, families, communities, and planet. But its not always easy to find resources that enable us to grow, shop for, prepare, cook, and eat food in ways that connect us to our "Sustainable Kitchen" is the result of years of practical experience in holistic nutrition, health coaching, homesteading, and scratch cooking to this practical guide for home cooks.

Abundant gifts of flavor, nourishment, and community shine through in this culinary handbook for those seeking to prepare plant-based, planet-conscious meals their families will love. Vibrant color photographs and tantalizing step-by- step recipes empower home cooks to: Cook using local, seasonally available foods Find flexibility in recipes Prepare nourishing foods from scratch Decrease food waste and conserve energy Limit processed, refined foods Eat a plant-based diet Reflect on food choices that matter.

Critique: Comprised of nourishing and tasty recipes that range from Split Pea Vegetable Stew; Winter Wheat Berry Bowl with Agrodoce Sauce; Crispy Roasted Chickpeas; and Sprouted Wheat Crust Pizza; to End-of-Summer Quiche; Cruciferous Cranberry Crunch Salad; Chipotle Pumpkin Chili; and Seitan Piccata, "Sustainable Kitchen" will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for the family cook that "Sustainable Kitchen" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Jaynie McCloskey is a freelance graphic designer with a degree from The Ohio State University. She is a self-taught cook and attributes her guidance to the generous food bloggers who shared their skills, knowledge, and photography. Heather Wolfe is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified health coach. Wolfe earned degrees from the University of Vermont and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She has been providing nutritional counseling at Dartmouth-Hitchcock since 2006 and health coaching for their employee wellness program since 2009.

Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Cooking
Rachel Patterson
https://www.rachelpatterson.co.uk
Moon Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
www.johnhuntpublishing.com
9781789043792, $14.95, PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Practically-Pagan-Alternative-Guide-Cooking/dp/1789043794

Synopsis: "Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Cooking" by Rachel Patterson is a culinary collection designed to take its menu planners through all the seasons of the year working with produce when it is at its best with recipes for everyone and providing menu ideas reflecting the energy of each month of the year, it presents family style, no fuss cooking to nourish the body, spirit and soul.

Recipes include; meat main, vegetarian/vegan main, soups, standard and vegan desserts, bread and of course...cake; both standard and vegan options. "Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Cooking" is the first volume in an exciting new lifestyle series from Moon Books, which offers body, mind and planet-friendly alternatives to every-day tasks.

Critique: A delight to browse through and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Cooking" is an ideal resource for menu planning all year round and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Cooking" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

Simply Easy Everyday Dishes
Sabrina Ghayour
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784727031, $34.99 HC, $9.99 Kindle, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Simply-everyday-dishes-bestselling-Persiana/dp/1784727032

Simply Easy Everyday Dishes gathers some 100 dishes that can be enjoyed throughout the week, represents the author's fifth book, and provides Middle Eastern dishes that are quick and easy to put together. From a Yogurt & Spice Roasted Salmon to Spiced Beef Pancakes with Sour Cream and Lamb & Mint Kofte balls, these are deliciously appealing fare that demonstrate that Middle Eastern flavors can be accessible to Western palates and easy to put together. Color photos throughout finish off the appealing cookbook, especially recommended for relative newcomers to Middle Eastern fare who want an easy introduction for family enjoyment.


The Education Shelf

Teacher's Survival Guide: Gifted Education
Julia Link Roberts, author
Julia Roberts Baggess, author
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
www.prufrock.com
9781646320714, $29.95, PB, 250pp

https://www.amazon.com/Teachers-Survival-Guide-First-Year-Introduction/dp/1646320719

Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and expanded second edition "Teacher's Survival Guide: Gifted Education" is packed from cover to cover with practical information, up-to-date resources, tips for success, and advice from experts in the field.

"Teacher's Survival Guide: Gifted Education" is the perfect introduction to gifted education for beginning and early career educators and provides field-tested, proven strategies. "Teacher's Survival Guide: Gifted Education" is specifically designed to help classroom teachers build their understanding of gifted education and gifted learners and covers topics essential to gifted education teachers, including identifying giftedness and encouraging creativity. Of special note is the inclusion of practical tips for providing resources and opportunities to spur talent development.

Each chapter features a key question, making this instructional guide and manual ideal for an engaging in-service curriculum book study, as well as a source of survival tips and a survival toolkit of resources to keep readers on course as they navigate through gifted ed.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation, "Teacher's Survival Guide: Gifted Education" is an extraordinary and impressively useful DIY addition to personal, professional, school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections.

Editorial Note: Julia Link Roberts, Ed.D., and Julia (Julie) Roberts Boggess have worked with gifted students in many roles: elementary teacher, middle school teacher, director of summer camps for gifted kids, librarian, and parent of gifted kids. This mother-daughter team stays current in gifted education through their involvement at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Chasing Aces in Middle-grade Math
Phil Atkinson, author
Pat Bochnak, illustrator
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
www.atlantic-pub.com
9781620237199, $24.95, PB, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Aces-Middle-School-Math/dp/1620237199

Synopsis: For most middle schoolers, math doesn't stand out as their favorite subject. It isn't as active as P.E. and can feel useless in the real world. Included within is a lens of over 65 concepts embedded in 13 lessons to provide optimum cross-curriculum learning, an excellent resource for home schoolers, public schoolers, and private schoolers alike.

The collaborative work of middle school math teacher Phil Atkinson and artist/illustrator Pat Bochnak, "Chasing Aces in Middle-grade Math: A Guide to Teaching Through the Lens of Disc Golf" proves that math can be fun and demonstrates how useful it is throughout our lives. Using the game of disc golf, teachers will discover new ways to incorporate math problems in, and out, of the classroom.

Students will be introduced to math, science, and technology concepts that will require them to think outside the box. By providing innovative exercises for students to attempt, they are given the opportunity to give math a second try.

Critique: Thoroughly kid (and teacher!) friendly in organization and presentation, "Chasing Aces in Middle-grade Math: A Guide to Teaching Through the Lens of Disc Golf" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections in general, and middle school level mathematics curriculums in particular. It should be noted that "Chasing Aces in Middle-grade Math: A Guide to Teaching Through the Lens of Disc Golf" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.95).

College Success for Students With Learning Disabilities
Cynthia Simpson & Vicky Spencer
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
www.prufrock.com
9781646320455, $19.95, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/College-Success-Students-Learning-Disabilities/dp/164632045X

Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and expanded section edition, "College Success for Students With Learning Disabilities: A Planning and Advocacy Guide for Teens With LD, ADHD, ASD, and More" by the team of Cynthia Simpson and Vicky Spancer offers students and their parents the knowledge, guidance, and strategies they need to effectively choose a college, prepare for university life, and make the most of their collegiate experience.

This newly revised edition of "College Success for Students With Learning Disabilities": Outlines the rights and responsibilities of students with learning disabilities; Gives advice on talking to professors and peers, getting involved, and asking for and receiving accommodations; Helps students utilize their strengths to meet and exceed academic standards; Provides additional information on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ADHD; Includes a handy guide to universities with special programs and advice from current college students with disabilities.

Planning for college can be one of the biggest moments in any student's life, but for students with disabilities, the experience can be challenging on many different levels. "College Success for Students With Learning Disabilities" will empower future students and provide them with hope for success.

Synopsis: Expertly written, exceptionally well organized, and accessible presented, "College Success for Students With Learning Disabilities: A Planning and Advocacy Guide for Teens With LD, ADHD, ASD, and More" is especially recommended for personal, professional, highschool counselor, and community library College Placement information resources collections.

Editorial Note: Cynthia G. Simpson, Ph.D., is the former Vice President of Academic Affairs at Houston Baptist University and currently serves as an educational consultant in higher education with a focus on special education and accreditation issues. Vicky G. Spencer, Ph.D., is an associate professor and director of the Graduate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis at Shenandoah University.

Islamophobia in Higher Education
Shafiqa Ahmadi & Darnell Cole
Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781620369746, $125.00, HC, 180pp

https://www.amazon.com/Islamophobia-Higher-Education-Discrimination-Understanding/dp/1620369745

Synopsis: Islamophobia is the fear, hatred of, or prejudice against the Islamic religion or Muslims generally, and especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism.

While Islamophobia was present in our society before 9/11, it has become more pervasive in recent years. This is evidenced by the current social and political climate, hate speech and hate crimes directed at Muslims, and the Supreme Court's upholding of Presidential Proclamation 645 that effectively bans Muslim immigration from coming to the U.S.

What does this mean for Muslim students in college, and indeed for institutions of higher education as they navigate law and policy on the one hand and adhere to their mission of achieving inclusive and equitable educational environments on the other?

Two thirds of Muslims in the U.S. are vexed with current policy, and there has been an alarming increase in reports of bigotry and discrimination against them since the 2016 presidential elections. The fear of Islam, in general, and Muslims, specifically, not only compels non-Muslims to differentially treat Muslims, but also trade some of their own civil rights and civil liberties under the guise of national security.

To address these issues, institutions require a nuanced understanding of laws and policies that institutionalize Islamophobia, and a greater understanding of the diverse college students that identify as Muslim. "Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding" fills what has been a dearth of research that explores the experiences and navigation of Muslim students in colleges and universities, and addresses the even less studied domain of the experiences of Muslim students who hold multiple marginalized identities (such as race, ethnicity, and LGBTQ status) as well as the intersection of those identities that may create multiple burdens of oppression and discrimination.

"Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding" begins by critically engaging with how current laws and policies institutionalize Islamophobia and affect the intersectionality and diversity within the Muslim community. It includes multidisciplinary voices, such as an international human rights attorney, a civil rights attorney, a criminal law attorney, student affairs practitioners, and research faculty whose work on this marginalized student population are traditionally not recognized within academic settings; and brings the voices of female Muslim scholars to the fore. Each chapter includes a critical analysis of the literature, a legal analysis when appropriate, a set of recommendations for policy and practice, and discussion questions.

Critique: A seminal work of documented and expertly presented scholarship, "Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding" is the collaborative editorial work of Shafiqa Ahmadi (an Associate Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School of Education (Rossier) and the Co-Director for the Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice) and Dr. Darnell Cole (Associate Professor of Education with an emphasis in higher education and education psychology) and comprised of eight informative articles by experts in their respective fields. Enhanced for academia with a listing of the contributors and their credentials, along with an eight page index, "Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding" is a critically important, timely, and unreservedly recommended addition to both college and university library Higher Education Administration,
College & University Student Life, and Education Administration collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Islamophobia in Higher Education: Combating Discrimination and Creating Understanding" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781620369753, $29.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).

The Best 386 Colleges, 2021
Robert Franek
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
www.PrincetonReview.com
9780525569725, $24.99, PB, 880pp

https://www.amazon.com/Best-386-Colleges-2021-Depth/dp/0525569723

Synopsis: The premier annual guide for assessing colleges, "The Best 386 Colleges, 2021: In-Depth Profiles & Ranking Lists to Help Find the Right College For You" is specifically designed to help graduating highschool students, their families, and anyone seeking to continue their careers with a college degree select a college that would be particularly suited to their circumstances and needs by showcasing 386 in-depth school profiles based on candid feedback from 143,000 students, covering academics, administration, campus life, financial aid, insights on unique college character, social scene, and more.

"The Best 386 Colleges, 2021" also lists of the top 20 colleges in 62 categories based on students' opinions of academics, campus life, facilities, and much more. It also includes ratings for every school on Financial Aid, Selectivity, and Quality of Life.

Of special note is the "Inside Word" feature on competitive applications, test scores, tuition, and average indebtedness; comprehensive information on selectivity, freshman profiles, and application deadlines at each school; and free access to 2 full-length practice tests online (1 SAT and 1 ACT) to help aspiring students to effectively prep for the important admissions-exams part of your admissions journey.

Critique: Simply stated, "The Best 386 Colleges, 2021: In-Depth Profiles & Ranking Lists to Help Find the Right College For You" should be a part of every highschool counselor's reference shelf, and a part of every community library's education resources reference collection.

Editorial Note: The experts at The Princeton Review have been helping students, parents, and educators achieve the best results at every stage of the education process since 1981. The Princeton Review has helped millions succeed on standardized tests, and provides expert advice and instruction to help parents, teachers, students, and schools navigate the complexities of school admission. In addition to classroom courses in over 40 states and 20 countries, The Princeton Review also offers online and school-based courses, one-to-one and small-group tutoring as well as online services in both admission counseling and academic homework help.


The Biography Shelf

A Champion Cyclist Against the Nazis
Alberto Toscano
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526753397, $34.95, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Champion-Cyclist-Against-Nazis-Incredible/dp/1526753391

Synopsis: Although allied with Hitler, in 1943 Italy there were those who refused to accept the fascist policies of racial discrimination and deportation. Among them was Gino Bartali.

A champion cyclist, he won the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) three times and the Tour de France twice. But these weren't his only achievements. Deeply religious, Bartali never spoke about what he did during those dark years, when he agreed to work with the Resistance and pass messages from one end of the country to the other. Despite the dangers, Bartali used his training as a pretext to crisscross Italy, hiding documents in the handlebars and saddle of his bicycle, all the while hoping that each time he was searched they wouldn't think to disassemble his machine.

As a result of his bravery, 800 Jews (including numerous children) were saved from deportation. He died in Florence in 2000 and was recognized as one of the 'Righteous Among the Nations' in 2013. In the pages of "A Champion Cyclist Against the Nazis: The Incredible Life of Gino Bartali", journalist and biographer Alberto Toscano shares the incredible story of this great sportsman and recalls the dramatic moments in Italy and Europe in the twentieth century.

Critique: An informative testament to the kinds of risks and sacrifices the anti-Nazis in Mussolini's Italy during World War II, "A Champion Cyclist Against the Nazis: The Incredible Life of Gino Bartali" is an extraordinary story of an extraordinary man in extraordinary times. While especially and particularly recommended for both community and college/university library Biography collections and World War II European Theatre supplemental curriculum studies, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Champion Cyclist Against the Nazis: The Incredible Life of Gino Bartali" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Alberto Toscano is an Italian journalist, writer and political scientist. He moved to France in 1986 and has worked with both Italian and French media. Awarded the French National Order of Merit, he was also a researcher at the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), Milan, has served as the president of the Foreign Press Association in France, and is president of the European Press Club, Paris.

Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick
Andrea Friederici Ross
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive, SIUC Mail Code 6806, Carbondale, IL 62901
www.siupress.com
9780809337903, $29.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Edith-Rockefeller-Andrea-Friederici-Ross/dp/0809337908

Synopsis: Edith Rockefeller McCormick (August 31, 1872 - August 25, 1932) was a daughter of America's foremost industrialist, John D. Rockefeller, and her life story involves sex, money, mental illness, and opera divas. A woman who strove for the independence to make her own choices, Edith rejected the limited gender role carved out for her by her father and society, Edith forged her own path, despite objections from her family and her ultimate financial ruin.

Young Edith and her siblings had access to the best educators in the world, but the girls were not taught how to handle the family money; that responsibility was reserved for their younger brother. A parsimonious upbringing did little to prepare Edith for life after marriage to Harold McCormick, son of the Reaper King Cyrus McCormick. The rich young couple spent lavishly. They purchased treasures like the jewels of Catherine the Great, entertained in grand style in a Chicago mansion, and contributed to the city's cultural uplift, founding the Chicago Grand Opera. They supported free health care for the poor, founding and supporting the John R. McCormick Memorial Institute for Infectious Diseases. Later, Edith donated land for what would become Brookfield Zoo.

Though she lived a seemingly enviable life, Edith's disposition was ill-suited for the mores of the time. Societal and personal issues (not least of which were the deaths of two of her five children) caused Edith to experience phobias and panic attacks. Dissatisfied with rest cures, she ignored her father's expectations, moved her family to Zurich, and embarked on a journey of education and self-examination. Edith pursued analysis with then-unknown Carl Jung. Her generosity of spirit led Edith to become Jung's leading patron. She also supported up-and-coming musicians, artists, and writers, including James Joyce as he wrote Ulysses.

While Edith herself became a Jungian analyst, her husband, Harold, pursued an affair with an opera star. After returning to Chicago and divorcing Harold, Edith continued to deplete her fortune. She hoped to create something of lasting value, such as a utopian community and affordable homes for the middle class. Edith's goals caused further difficulties in her relationship with her father and are why he and her brother cut her off from the family funds even after the 1929 stock market crash ruined her. Edith's death from breast cancer three years later was mourned by thousands of Chicagoans.

Respectful and truthful, biographer Andrea Friederici Ross presents the full arc of this amazing woman's life and expertly helps readers understand Edith's generosity, intelligence, and fierce determination to change the world.

Critique: Meticulously researched and featuring a number of black/white historical photos, "Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick" is an inherently fascinating life story of a remarkable woman who lived a wealthy yet unconventional life. While certain to be a welcome addition to community and college/university library American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.17).

Editorial Note: Andrea Friederici Ross is the author of Let the Lions Roar! The Evolution of Brookfield Zoo. A native of the Chicago area and a graduate of Northwestern University, Ross works in a grade school library, where she encourages young readers to develop a lasting love of books.

Bavinck: A Critical Biography
James Eglinton
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
9781540961358, $44.99, HC, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bavinck-Critical-Biography-James-Eglinton/dp/1540961354

Synopsis: Dutch Calvinist theologian Herman Bavinck, (13 December 1854, Hoogeveen, Drenthe - 29 July 1921, Amsterdam) was a significant voice in the development of Protestant theology, and remains relevant many years after his death. His four-volume Reformed Dogmatics is one of the most important theological works of the twentieth century.

His biographer, James Eglinton, is widely considered to be at the forefront of contemporary interest in Bavinck's life and thought. After spending considerable time in the Netherlands researching Bavinck, Eglinton brings to light a wealth of new insights and previously unpublished documents to offer a definitive biography of this renowned Reformed thinker.

"Bavinck: A Critical Biography" follows the course of Bavinck's life in a period of dramatic social change, identifying him as an orthodox Calvinist challenged with finding his feet in late modern culture. Based on extensive archival research, this critical biography presents numerous significant and previously ignored or unknown aspects of Bavinck's person and life story. A black-and-white photo insert is included.

Of special note is that this volume complements other Baker Academic offerings on Bavinck's theology and ethics.

Critique: An exceptionally detailed and documented work of meticulous scholarship, "Bavinck: A Critical Biography" will prove to be a welcome and highly valued addition to community, seminary, and college/university library Calvinist collections in general and Herman Bavinck supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Bavinck: A Critical Biography" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $31.72).

Editorial Note: James P. Eglinton is the Meldrum Senior Lecturer in Reformed Theology at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Trinity and Organism (Bloomsbury, 2012), edited and translated Herman Bavinck on Preaching and Preachers (Hendrickson, 2017), co-edited and co-translated Christian Worldview (Crossway, 2019), and co-edited Neo-Calvinism and the French Revolution (Bloomsbury, 2012). He has written for Christianity Today, The Times, The Herald, The Scotsman, Nederlands Dagblad, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dear Life
Rachel Clarke
Thomas Dunne Books
c/o St. Martin's Press
www.stmartins.com
9781250764515, $28.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Life-Doctors-Story-Love/dp/1250764513

Synopsis: Death was conspicuously absent during Rachel's medical training. Instead, her education focused entirely on learning to save lives, and was left wanting when it came to helping patients and their families face death. She came to specialize in palliative medicine because it is the one specialty in which the quality, not quantity of life truly matters.

In the same year she started to work in a hospice, Rachel was forced to face tragedy in her own life when her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He'd inspired her to become a doctor, and the stories he had told her as a child proved formative when it came to deciding what sort of medicine she would practice. But for all her professional exposure to dying, she remained a grieving daughter.

"Dear Life: A Doctor's Story of Love and Loss" follows how Rachel came to understand (as a child, as a doctor, as a human being) how best to help patients in the final stages of life, and what that might mean in practice.

Critique: As inspiring as it is informative, "Dear Life: A Doctor's Story of Love and Loss" offers truly extraordinary biography-based insights and will be an enduringly appreciated addition to community and college/university library Health & Medicine collections, as well as Contemporary American Biography shelves. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students, academia, medical professionals, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Dear Life: A Doctor's Story of Love and Loss" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Rachel Clarke is a current NHS doctor and former television journalist who cares passionately about standing up for her patients and the NHS. She now works in palliative medicine, believing that helping patients at the end of life experience the best quality life possible is priceless.

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot
Ellen Vaughn
B&H Publishing Group
1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
www.bhpublishinggroup.com
9781535910934, $24.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Elisabeth-Elliot-Ellen-Vaughn/dp/1535910933

Synopsis: Elisabeth Elliot (December 21, 1926 - June 15, 2015) was a young missionary in Ecuador when members of a violent Amazonian tribe savagely speared her husband Jim and his four colleagues. Incredibly, prayerfully, Elisabeth took her toddler daughter, snakebite kit, Bible, and journal -- and lived in the jungle with the Stone-Age people who had killed her husband. Compelled by her friendship and forgiveness, many came to faith in Jesus.

This courageous, no-nonsense Christian woman went on to write dozens of books, host a long-running radio show, and speak at conferences all over the world. She was a pillar of coherent, committed faith; a beloved and sometimes controversial icon. In this authorized biography, "Becoming Elisabeth Elliot", biographer Ellen Vaughn uses Elisabeth's private, unpublished journals, and candid interviews with her family and friends, to paint the adventures and misadventures God used to shape one of the most influential women in modern church history.

"Becoming Elisabeth Elliot" is the story of a hilarious, sensual, brilliant, witty, self-deprecating, sensitive, radical, and surprisingly relatable person utterly submitted to doing God's will, no matter how high the cost. For Elisabeth, the central question was not, "How does this make me feel?" but, simply, "is this true?" If so, then the next question was, "what do I need to do about it to obey God?"

Critique: An impressively detailed and informative life story of Elisabeth Elliot -- a remarkable woman and Christian missionary whose life story was as a dramatic adventure filled as any novel. A remarkable life lived out under remarkable circumstances, biographer Ellen Vaughn does a simply outstanding service to the Christian community in the manner in which she has presented the life and accomplishments to a new generation of appreciative readers. Very highly recommended for both community and college/university library American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Becoming Elisabeth Elliot" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Hay-Wagon: A Memoir
Abigail Olson
https://abigailaliceolson.com
Belle Isle Books
http://www.belleislebooks.com
c/o Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
www.brandylanepublishers.com
9781951565305, $14.95, PB, 184pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hay-Wagon-Abigail-Olson/dp/1951565304

Synopsis: After graduating high school, Abigail Olson achieved her childhood dream of getting her CDL and learning to drive 18-wheelers. That's where she meets a big roadblock: due to federal age restrictions, she's too young to drive trucks across state lines.

Unsure what to do next, she works as a part-time dump truck driver and part-time receptionist. That is, until she quits her job and relationship on the same day and takes the next flight to Mexico, where she lives for the next four months.

In her memoir, "The Hay-Wagon", readers are invited to come along with Abigail on her personal journey to self-respect and self-discovery.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read and deftly written autobiography from first page to last, "The Hay-Wagon: A Memoir " will prove to be a much appreciated addition to community and college/university library American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Hay-Wagon: A Memoir" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Abigail Olson maintains a web site at: https://abigailaliceolson.com

Lithium Jesus: A Memoir of Mania
Charles Monroe-Kane
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
www.brillianceaudio.com
9780299310004, $24.95, HC, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lithium-Jesus-Memoir-Charles-Monroe-Kane/dp/0299310000

Synopsis: Charles Monroe-Kane is a natural raconteur, and it is his life stories are that comprise "Lithium Jesus: A Memoir of Mania".

Born into an eccentric Ohio clan of modern hunter-gatherers, Charles grew up hearing voices in his head. Over a dizzying two decades, he was many things ranging from a teenage faith healer, world traveler, smuggler, liberation theologian, to ladder-maker, squatter, halibut hanger, grifter, environmental warrior, and circus manager -- all the while wrestling with schizophrenia and self-medication.

From Baby Doc's Haiti to the Czech Velvet Revolution, and from sex, drugs, and a stabbing to public humiliation by the leader of the free world, Charles burns through his twenties and several bridges of youthful idealism before finally saying: enough.

In a memoir that blends engaging charm with unflinching frankness, Charles gives his testimony of mental illness, drug abuse, faith, and love.

Critique: An inherently fascinating account of a remarkable life lived out in remarkable circumstances, "Lithium Jesus: A Memoir of Mania" will prove to be a unique and highly prized addition to both community and college/university library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lithium Jesus: A Memoir of Mania" is readily available in a paperback edition (9780299310042, $16.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781536627237, $9.99, MP3 CD).

Character is Destiny
Pehr Gyllenhammar
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
www.morganjamespublishing.com
9781642799736, $26.95, HC, 220pp

https://www.amazon.com/Character-Destiny-Pehr-Gyllenhammar/dp/1642799734

Synopsis: Pehr Gyllenhammar is a Swedish industrialist who served as CEO and Chairman of Volvo for 24 years and founded the European Round Table of Industrialists. He has worked with/served on the board of such institutions as Lazard, Reuters, Rothschild, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Aspen Institute, The Rockefeller University, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His awards and decorations include Sweden's H.M. The King's Medal, France's Commander of the National Order of Merit and Commander of the Legion of Honor, and England's Honorary Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. Pehr is the author of six previous books and currently resides in Canada with his wife, Lee Croll, and their daughter.

"Character is Destiny" provides a window into his friendships with some of the great luminaries of the world. It is a memoir the includes history, politics, and Gyllenhammar's own personal philosophy -- the foundational elements of his life have always been humanism, a fierce commitment to integrity and truth, and a deeply-rooted respect and admiration for the working class.

"Character is Destiny" Gyllenhammar's insightful wisdom as to what people must do if they hope to see a future in which global business and democracy will survive.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Character is Destiny" is a thoughtful, thought- provoking, and ultimately inspiring addition to personal reading lists and will prove to be a valued and enduringly appreciated addition to community, corporate, and college/university library Contemporary Biography, and Business/Economics collections. It should be noted for MBA students, academia, corporate executives, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Character is Destiny" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

John Badham On Directing, second edition
John Badham
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
www.mwp.com
9781615933167, $28.95, PB, 220pp

https://www.amazon.com/John-Badham-Directing-Notes-Saturday/dp/1615933166

Synopsis: John MacDonald Badham (born August 25, 1939) is an English-born American director of film and television, best known for the films Saturday Night Fever (1977), Dracula (1979), Blue Thunder (1983), WarGames (1983), Short Circuit (1986), and Stakeout (1987).

Action and suspense movies have almost always been made by 'seat of the pants' with film makers crafting their cinemas on gut instinct and intuition their innate talent often leads them to exciting results. In "John Badham On Directing", Badham examines and explains the elements of action and suspense that are needed to make a great film. Badham also dissects the elements of any good scene from any genre of film and gives valuable tools that the reader can apply in directing and acting for maximum impact.

This newly updated and expanded second edition features a brand new section: The Director's Survival Guide to Episodic Television and explores the political danger zones faced in the ever expanding world of Streaming, Cable and Network television. Badham has created a much needed First Aid Kit for all directors and the newly expanded list of "14 Must Ask Questions Before Rehearsal" - an absolute essential in any filmmakers toolbox.

Intended for actors, directors, cinematographers, production designers or other creatives, Badham gives you the tools to deconstruct and understand your scenes. Continuing the work begun in Badham's best-selling book "I'll Be In My Trailer" he shares more insights from talented directors on how they work with the difficult actor, rehearsal techniques and getting the best performance from any actor whether novice or pro.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "John Badham On Directing" would make an ideal curriculum textbook for directorial film classes and should be considered essential reading for anyone wanting to successfully craft a movie from a writer's script. While an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, film school, community, and academic library Film/Television/Video/Movie Direction & Production collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of film students, academia, aspiring film directors, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "John Badham On Directing" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.95).

But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct
Ken Kwapis
St. Martin's Griffin
c/o St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781250260123, $19.99, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/But-What-Really-Want-Direct/dp/1250260124

Synopsis: Ken Kwapis is an award-winning director who has moved easily between the worlds of feature filmmaking and television directing. He has directed more than ten feature films and helped launch seven television series, including NBC's The Office. He is among the most respected directors in show business today, but getting there wasn't easy. He struggled just like everyone else. With each triumph came the occasional faceplant. Using his background and inside knowledge, "But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera" tackles Hollywood myths through his highly entertaining experiences. It's a veritable roller coaster of a ride fueled by brawls with the top brass, clashes over budgets, and the passion that makes it all worthwhile.

A humorous and refreshingly personal memoir, "But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera" is packed from cover to cover with inspiring instruction, behind-the-scenes insights -- all presented with an unabashed joy. Essentially, this is a celebration of the director's craft, and what it takes to succeed in show business on your own terms.

Critique: Insightful, funny, informative, thought-provoking, and truly memorable, "But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to both community and college/university library American Biography and Movie/Video Direction & Production collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of film students, academia, aspiring movie makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662037641, $22.99, CD).

Disney Who's Who, revised edition
Disney Book Group
Disney Press
c/o Disney Publishing Worldwide
125 West End Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10023
www.disney.com
9781368057820, $12.99, PB, 432pp

https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Whos-Refresh-Book-Group/dp/1368057829

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised and fully updated edition, "Disney Who's Who: An A to Z of Disney Characters" will enable Disney fans of all ages to get to know more about their favorite Disney and Disney Pixar characters-- and even learn about some they may not already know.

A massively informative compendium, "Disney Who's Who" covers a wealth of questions such as: What is the name of Alice's cat? Who is Gilbert Huph? How many hairs does Elsa have on her head? and more!!

With more than six hundred Disney character bios ranging from the famous to the obscure, and a showcasing a whole host of fun facts, "Disney Who's Who" will enable anyone to become a Disney character expert.

Critique: Fun and informative, as well as profusely illustrated on every page, "Disney Who's Who" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, school, community, and college/university library Theatre/Cinema/TV collections -- and is a 'must' for the legions of dedicated Disney fans of all ages.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

What Birds Eat
Kim Long
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680513004, $24.95, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/What-Birds-Eat-Preserve-Behavior/dp/1680513001

Synopsis: The more than 900 bird species in North America have natural diets ranging from seeds, foliage, nectar, and nuts to fish, insects, crustaceans, carrion, and mammals -- and sometimes other birds!

"What Birds Eat: How to Preserve the Natural Diet and Behavior of North American Birds" by Kim Long explores the senses that birds depend on (sight, sound, odor, taste, and touch) and their food ingestion. Extensive feeding profiles then detail what various species eat naturally and how we can support those diets in backyards and feeders.

"What Birds Eat" enriches our understanding, allowing us to engage more meaningfully with birds along the way.

Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "What Birds Eat: How to Preserve the Natural Diet and Behavior of North American Birds" is a comprehensively informative survey that is impressively organized and throughly 'reader friendly' in presentation. Enhanced for academia and dedicated ornithologists, "What Birds Eat: How to Preserve the Natural Diet and Behavior of North American Birds" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Aviary Wildlife and Bird Field Guide collections.

Editorial Note: Kim Long is a naturalist and the author or co-author of 22 books, including Owls (1998), Hummingbirds (1997), and The Moon Almanac (2018). He also maintains an informative website at: www.WhatBirdsEat.com.

Great Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History
Paul Bannick
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680513356, $18.95, HC, 128pp

Synopsis: The Great Gray Owl (also known as the Phantom of the North, Great, Gray Ghost, and Bearded Owl) is one of the largest owl species and lives in the western mountains and boreal regions of North America.

With "Great Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History", award-winning author and photographer Paul Bannick delves into the natural history of this owl species, including the latest research, providing readers with comprehensive yet accessible looks at their preferred habitat, hunting and feeding behavior, mating and nesting actions, owlets and fledglings, and more.

Bannick's unique and gorgeous full color photographic owl images are enhanced by additional images of the owls' habitats and other species that share the Great Gray ecosystems. Throughout each narrative, his time in the field observing and photographing these enigmatic birds comes to life in evocative, experiential passages.

Critique: Also very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Aviary Wildlife collections is Paul Bannick's companion book, "Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History" (Mountaineers Books, 9781680513158, $18.95, HC, 128pp). "Great Gray Owl" and "Snowy Owl" are two visually spectacular and informatively captioned photographic compendiums that are a pure delight to browse through and a 'must' for the growing legions of birdwatching enthusiasts and ornithologists.

The Reign of Wolf 21
Rick McIntyre
Greystone Books
www.greystonebooks.com
9781771645249, $26.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Reign-Wolf-Yellowstones-Legendary-Yellowstone/dp/1771645245

Synopsis: "The Reign of Wolf 21: The Saga of Yellowstone's Legendary Druid Pack" is the dramatic true story of a remarkable wolf pack leader known as Wolf 21.

In this compelling wildlife study, author Rick McIntyre profiles one of Yellowstone's most revered alpha males, Wolf 21. Leader of the Druid Peak Pack, Wolf 21 was known for his unwavering bravery, his unusual benevolence (unlike other alphas, he never killed defeated rival males), and his fierce commitment to his mate, the formidable Wolf 42.

Wolf 21 and Wolf 42 were attracted to each other the moment they met -- but Wolf 42's jealous sister interfered viciously in their relationship. After an explosive insurrection within the pack, the two wolves came together at last as leaders of the Druid Peak Pack, which dominated the park for more than 10 years.

In "The Reign of Wolf 21", McIntyre deftly recounts the pack's fascinating saga with compassion and a keen eye for detail, drawing on his many years of experience observing Yellowstone wolves in the wild. His outstanding work of science writing offers unparalleled insight into wolf behavior and Yellowstone's famed wolf reintroduction project. "The Reign of Wolf 21" also offers an inherently fascinating and authentic wildlife love story.

Critique: Impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented, "The Reign of Wolf 21: The Saga of Yellowstone's Legendary Druid Pack" is an extraordinary story of an extraordinary wolf pack lead by an extraordinary alpha male -- and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and college/university library Contemporary Wildlife collections.

Editorial Note: Rick McIntyre has spent more than fifty years watching wolves in America's national parks, twenty-five of those years in Yellowstone, where he has accumulated over 100,000 wolf sightings and educated the public about the park's most famous wolves. He has spoken about the Yellowstone wolves with 60 Minutes, NPR, and CBC, and he is profiled extensively in Nate Blakeslee's American Wolf and in international publications.

Second-Chance Cats
Callie Smith Grant, editor
Revell
www.RevellBooks.com
9780800735722 $14.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Chance-Cats-True-Stories-Rescue/dp/0800735722

Synopsis: There's no feeling quite like that of getting a second chance and a fresh start. When we adopt a homeless cat--or that cat decides to adopt us--we're not just giving one of earth's most beautiful and inscrutable creatures a chance at a good life, we're giving ourselves the gift of companionship, solace, and love. And plenty of laughter too!

This heartwarming collection includes more than 30 true, contemporary stories told by a variety of writers, including Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling, and Kristin Billerbeck. Each feel-good story involves cat rescue, some in a typical way and others in surprising--even miraculous--ways. Sometimes the question becomes: Really, who rescued whom?

A thoughtful gift for the cat lover in your life, Second-Chance Cats is the purrfect companion for cozy nights, lazy weekends, and any time you need a pick-me-up.

Critique: Second-Chance Cats is a wonderful anthology of true stories about choosing to share one's life with an animal in desperate need of a home, and the joys of love and companionship obtained in return. Emotional and inspirational, Second-Chance Cats is a must-read for animal lovers, and makes an excellent gift as well. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Second-Chance Cats is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Poppy in the Wild
Teresa J. Rhyne
Pegasus Books
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.pegasusbooks.com
9781643135427, $25.95, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Poppy-Wild-Fifteen-Wilderness-Determination/dp/1643135422

Synopsis: After losing her beloved beagle Daphne to lymphoma, author Teresa Rhyne launches herself into fostering other dogs in need, including Poppy, a small, frightened beagle rescued from the China dog meat trade. The elation of rescue quickly turns to hysteria when Poppy breaks free from a potential adopter during a torrential thunderstorm and disappears into a rugged, mountainous, 1,500 acre wilderness park, bordered by a busy road.

In the quest to find Poppy, Teresa will work with rescue specialists, volunteers, psychics, a Native American who communes with owls, helpful neighbors, decidedly unhelpful strangers, a howling woman, the police, crushing dead ends, glimmers of hope, and her own emotional and physical limits as she sits in the wind and rain in the wilderness park for hours each dusk and dawn with bags of roasted chicken and her dirty socks, the human lure for a terrified beagle and packs of less terrified coyotes.

Meanwhile, Poppy encounters heavy rains, a homeless encampment, the Sheriff and his wife, a series of strangers, speeding traffic, hawks, and, ultimately, a world of people willing to do anything to protect rather than harm her. Through an unexpected late night encounter, Poppy is finally caught. After her time in the wild, a surprisingly transformed Poppy reunites with Teresa. Now newly confident and brave Poppy is ready to be welcomed into her forever home.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and entertainingly engaging story, "Poppy in the Wild: A Lost Dog, Fifteen Hundred Acres of Wilderness, and the Dogged Determination that Brought Her Home" by Teresa Rhyne is a 'must read' for everyone who has a canine companion of their own. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Pets/Wildlife collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Poppy in the Wild" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Teresa Rhyne is an animal advocate and breast cancer survivor. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her beagles and is the author of "The Dog Lived (And So Will I)" and "The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I)".


The General Fiction Shelf

Something Worth Doing
Jane Kirpatrick
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800739249, $29.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Something-Worth-Doing-Jane-Kirkpatrick/dp/0800739248

Synopsis: Although a deftly crafted and riveting work of fiction by Jane Kirpatrick, "Something Worth Doing" is based on the true story of pioneer Abigail Scott who denies herself the joys of a simpler life to achieve her dream of securing rights for women, because running a controversial newspaper and leading suffrage efforts in the Northwest carries a great personal cost.

Critique: An impressively entertaining novel, "Something Worth Doing" carries a relevant underlying message that is appropriate for this present era of the #MeToo movement and the striving of women voters to restore decency and competency to a heretofore male gender dominate society and culture. While especially and unreservedly recommended for any and all community library general fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Something Worth Doing" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780800736118, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Upon This Rock
David Eugene Perry
Pace Press
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
www.woodworkerslibrary.com
9780941936064, $18.95, PB, 404pp

https://www.amazon.com/Upon-This-David-Eugene-Perry/dp/0941936066

Synopsis: San Francisco business executive Lee Maury and his husband Adriano came to Orvieto to soak in the city's beauty and rich history, but Lee became fascinated with a local tragedy -- the suicide one year earlier of Deacon Andrea, a much-loved candidate for the priesthood.

Growing obsessed with learning the truth behind Andrea's death, Lee and Adriano stumble upon a conspiracy of terrorism, human trafficking, and a plot to destroy one of the Church's most sacred shrines -- all somehow linked across 500 years to Renaissance Pope Clement VII, who escaped to Orvieto after the sack of Rome in 1527.

Before they know it, Lee and Adriano's dream vacation becomes a race to save innocent lives -- and not get killed in the process!

Critique: A deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that fully engages and consistently entertains the reader from first page to last, "Upon This Rock" is a riveting read and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Upon This Rock" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Mountain Laurel
Lori Benton
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781496444318, $25.99, HC, 464pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Laurel-Kindred-Lori-Benton/dp/1496444310

Set in North Carolina, 1793, "Mountain Laurel" by Lori Benton is the story of Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, who has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again -- into his planter uncle's heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona -- beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin.

Seona has a secret: she's been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona's in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

Critique: A deftly written historical novel of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family, "Mountain Laurel" is an exceptional literary work by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of narrative driven storytelling that fully entertains and engages her readers from beginning to end. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mountain Laurel" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781496444325, $15.95), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Secret Santa
Andrew Shaffer
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
www.quirkbooks.com
9781683692058, $15.99, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Santa-Andrew-Shaffer/dp/1683692055

Synopsis: Out of work for months, Lussi Meyer is desperate to work anywhere in publishing. Prestigious Blackwood-Patterson isn't the perfect fit, but a bizarre set of circumstances leads to her hire and a firm mandate: Lussi must find the next literary horror superstar to compete with the likes of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Peter Straub. It's the '80s, after all, and horror is the hottest genre.

But as soon as she arrives, Lussi finds herself the target of her co-workers' mean-spirited pranks. The hazing reaches its peak during the company's annual Secret Santa gift exchange, when Lussi receives a demonic-looking object that she recognizes but doesn't understand. Suddenly, her coworkers begin falling victim to a series of horrific accidents akin to a George Romero movie, and Lussi suspects that her gift is involved.

With the help of her former author, the flamboyant Fabien Nightingale, Lussi must track down her anonymous Secret Santa and figure out the true meaning of the cursed object in her possession before it destroys the company -- and her soul!

Critique: A superbly crafted, impressively original, and inherently riveting read from cover to cover, "Secret Santa" by novelist and satirist Andrew Shaffer will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library supernatural thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Secret Santa" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Jubilee
Jennifer Givhan
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781538556771, $25.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Jubilee-Novel-Jennifer-Givhan/dp/1538556774

Synopsis: When Bianca appears late one night at her brother's house in Santa Ana, she is barely conscious, though not alone. Jubilee, wrapped in a fuzzy pink romper, is buckled into a car seat. Jubilee, who Bianca feeds and clothes and bathes and loves. Jubilee, who Bianca could not leave behind. Jubilee, a doll in her arms.

Told in alternating points of view, Jubilee reveals both the haunting power of our lived experiences and the surreal possibility of the present to heal the past.

The first thread, ''Before Jubilee,'' follows Bianca in her girlhood home on the Mexicali border as she struggles with her high school sweetheart, Gabe, and a secret they've shared since she was fifteen.

The second thread, With Jubilee, is told from the point of view of her new love, Joshua, who along with Bianca's family helps her cope with a mysterious trauma by accepting Jubilee as part of the family. As Joshua's love for Bianca grows, he fears that Jubilee has the power to tear his tiny family apart.

Alternating chapters give readers a unique perspective on Bianca's present and on her relationship with Jubilee as her past life with Gabe comes to a catastrophic end.

Jubilee is at once a darkly suspenseful psychological drama and a luminous reflection on how beauty emerges from even the most traumatic of experiences.

Critique: An elegantly crafted novel by an author with an impressive set of narrative driven storytelling skills, Jennifer Givhan's "Jubille" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and college/university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Jubille" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Out of Mesopotamia
Salar Abdoh
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.akashicbooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781617758607, $26.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Out-Mesopotamia-Salar-Abdoh/dp/1617758604

Synopsis: Saleh, the narrator of "Out of Mesopotamia" by Salar Abdoh, is a middle-aged Iranian journalist who moonlights as a writer for one of Iran's most popular TV shows but cannot keep himself away from the front lines in neighboring Iraq and Syria. There, the fight against the Islamic State is a proxy war, an existential battle, a declaration of faith, and, for some, a passing weekend affair.

After weeks spent dodging RPGs, witnessing acts of savagery and stupidity, Saleh returns to civilian life in Tehran but finds it to be an unbearably dislocating experience. Pursued by his official handler from state security, opportunistic colleagues, and the woman who broke his heart, Saleh has reason to again flee from everyday life. Surrounded by men whose willingness to achieve martyrdom both fascinates and appalls him, Saleh struggles to make sense of himself and the turmoil in his midst.

An unprecedented glimpse into "endless war" from a Middle Eastern perspective, "Out of Mesopotamia" follows in the tradition of the Western canon of martial writers but then subverts and expands upon the genre before completely blowing it apart. Drawing from his firsthand experience of being embedded with Shia militias on the ground in Iraq and Syria, author Salar Abdoh gives agency to the voiceless while offering a meditation on war that is moving, humane, darkly funny, and resonantly true.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read that echoes the devastated and devastating real world conditions of so many war torn populations in the Middle East, "Out Of Mesopotamia" by Salar Abdoh is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. An extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and college/university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Out Of Mesopotamia" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662031649, $22.99, CD).

The Glass House
Beatrice Colin
Flatiron Books
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
https://www.flatironbooks.com
9781250152503, $26.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Glass-House-Novel-Beatrice-Colin/dp/125015250X

Synopsis: In 1912 Scotland, Antonia McCulloch's life hasn't gone the way she planned. She and her husband, Malcolm, have drifted apart; her burgeoning art career came to nothing; and when she looks in the mirror, she sees disappointment. But at least she will always have Balmarra, her family's grand Scottish estate, and its exquisite glass house, filled with exotic plants that can take her far away.

When her estranged brother's wife, Cicely Pick, arrives unannounced, with her young daughter and enough trunks to last the summer, Antonia is instantly suspicious. What besides an inheritance dispute could have brought her glamorous sister-in-law all the way from India?

Still, Cicely introduces excitement and intrigue into Antonia's life, and, as they get to know one another, Antonia realizes that Cicely has her own burdens to bear. Slowly, a fragile friendship grows between them. But when the secrets each are keeping become too explosive to conceal, the truth threatens their uneasy balance and the course of their entire lives.

Critique: A deftly crafted and absorbing novel populated with a cast of memorable characters and unexpected plot twists, "The Glass House" by Beatrice Colin is an elegant story by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a consistently entertaining and narrative driven storytelling style. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Glass House" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

A Cerebral Offer
Ken Janjigian
Livingston Press
University of West Alabama
Station 22, Livingston, AL 35470
https://livingstonpress.uwa.edu
9781604892581, $21.95, PB, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cerebral-Offer-Ken-Janjigian/dp/1604892587

Synopsis: Harry Gnostopolos is frantically trying to keep his beloved indie theater afloat while his frustrated girlfriend implores him to let it go along with his other neuroses. Harry's fate suddenly changes with the arrival of an old bohemian friend and an exotic woman who tempt him with a chance to save the theater and his life. All he has to do is join a subversive cabal of thieves, who have planned a heist that will rewrite history!

Critique: Clearly showcasing author Kan Janjigian's natural flair as a novelist for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling, "A Cerebral Offer" is populated with distinctive and memorable characters embedded in an ever evolving plot with many and unexpected twist and turn -- making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and college/university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Finding Cassie
Anna Jacobs
Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444845518, $TBA, HC, Large Print, 354pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781444845518

Synopsis: When the teenage girl who has been hanging around near the house knocks on the door and tells her she's her granddaughter, Cassandra Bennington is shocked rigid. There's only one way this can be true: if Evie is the daughter of the baby Cassie gave away for adoption when she was herself a troubled teenager. Is this a trick?

Or is Evie's tale true? When she discovers why the girl has come to find her, it brings a tangle of other problems that she can't ignore. This was the last thing she expected to be dealing with as she moves into her new home in a leisure village in Wiltshire.

Critique: Anna Jacobs is the author of eighty novels and is addicted to storytelling. She grew up in Lancashire, emigrated to Australia in the 1970s and writes stories set in both countries. With "Finding Cassie", she has once again created a finely crafted novel of romance, family ties, and the human condition. An original and absorbing story, this large print edition of "Finding Cassie" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections.

The Librarian of Boone's Hollow
Kim Vogel Sawyer
WaterBrook Press
c/o WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com
9780525653721, $17.00, PB, 368pp

https://www.amazon.com/Librarian-Boones-Hollow-Novel/dp/0525653724

Synopsis: During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find -- delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.

But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone's Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won't be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.

As Addie also struggles to find her place, she'll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town's library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?

Critique: An elegantly written Great Depression era story of romance and hard times that casts an uncanny precursor to today's pandemic driven economic collapse, "The Librarian of Boone's Hollow" by novelist Kim Vogel Sawyer is an entertaining treat for all dedicated romance fans and will prove to be an immediate and unreservedly welcome addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personalized reading lists that "The Librarians of Boone's Hollow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Gentleman Spy
Erica Vetsch
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825446184, $15.99, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gentleman-Spy-Serendipity-Secrets/dp/082544618X

Synopsis: When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

Critique: An eloquently scripted Christian romance novel by an author with a total mastery of the genre, "The Gentleman Spy" by Erica Vetsch is impressively entertaining from first page to last. While certain to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of all Regency Romance fans that "The Gentleman Spy" is also readily available in a digital book format Kindle, $9.99).

Her Night with the Duke
Diana Quincy
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062986795, $7.99, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Her-Night-Duke-Diana-Quincy/dp/0062986791

Synopsis: When Lady Delilah Chambers finds herself stranded at a country inn on a rain-swept evening, she's forced to fend off a group of ruffians with the help of a handsome gentleman. Irresistibly drawn to each other, Leela and the stranger spend one reckless night in each others' arms -- and then go their separate ways. But the very next day Leela receives the shock of her life when she meets the duke who is set on wedding her beloved stepdaughter.

One night isn't enough with a woman as fierce, fiery, and brilliant as Leela. Elliot Townsend, Duke of Huntington, cannot believe his good fortune when their chance encounter leads to an unforgettable evening of passion. Yet Hunt's luck runs out when he is introduced to his prospective mother-in-law. Dowagers aren't supposed to look like this...

Leela and Hunt are determined to keep each other at arm's length, which should be easy enough for two intelligent adults with reputations to uphold. The problem is all logic is lost when it comes to a passion that refuses to be ignored.

Critique: Another wonderfully engaging and thoroughly entertaining historical romance from a true master of the genre, "Her Night With The Duke" by Diana Quincy is a romance fan's 'must read'. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated historical romance enthusiasts that "Her Night With The Duke" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799942153, $39.99, CD).


The Western Fiction Shelf

Bad Day In Greenville
Alex Frew
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844733, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 24pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781444844733

Synopsis: Sheriff Joe Flint wakes up to just another day in Greenville. But when you live in a border town in New Mexico, every day is different, and this is a bad one. Who is the dead man on the mysterious coach that rides into town, also carrying a badly injured woman and crying child? When Flint tries to investigate, the mystery deepens. He is soon dragged into a fight for his own life -- but with the help of a stranger, Flint learns to fight for the answers he so richly deserves.

Critique: Author Alex Frew is a master of the western novel and this large print edition of "Bad Day In Greenville" from the Linford Western Library collection is a solidly entertaining and original story that combines a deftly scripted mystery with all the western action/adventure that any western buff would ever want. "Bad Day In Greenville" is certain to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Hunting Harker
Greg Mitchell
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844894, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Harker-Greg-Mitchell/dp/144484489X

Synopsis: When Ollie Harker's wagon fails to arrive at Logjam Creek, his employer hires Tom Parry and Durango Finch to find it. It appears that Harker has been killed by hostile Indians, but when a murder in town is linked to him, Harker's mission is revealed to be something more than routine freighting. The trail leads Parry and Finch to an illegal whiskey-running operation in which Logjam Creek's saloon owner is implicated -- and the two hunters find themselves in deep peril when they come up against a ruthless gang of moonshiners.

Critique: Another thrill packed action/adventure western from the pen of Greg Mitchell, "Hunting Harker" is pure entertainment -- western style! An inherently riveting read leading to a dramatic gun fire showdown, this large print paperback edition of "Hunting Harker" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community western fiction collections.

The Adventures Of Hawke Travis
Eli Colter
Sagebrush Lare Print Westerns
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785417016, $30.59, PB, Large Print, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Hawke-Travis-Eli-Colter/dp/1785417010

Synopsis: The life of Hawke Travis began when the West was young. Born in Ohio, he moved West with his family when he was nine years old, where he became a good shot even at that young age. Times were hard, but Hawke dreamed of something better. He was sent to live with an uncle in Iowa, where he gained some education, improved his gunmanship, and met a friend called Joe Towers. In 1877, he and his deadly gun started their journey, and now he drifts from town to town as the law tries to catch up with him - though no one can rightly call him an outlaw. He never double-crosses a friend, a partner, or even a sucker who trusts him, and to abuse a woman or a child is to invite his swift and devastating rage.

Critique: One of the most unusual western novels you will ever read, "Hawk Travis" is actually a series of short stories that are chronologically laid out and reveal a man who has his own code of conduct that compels him to defend women and children, defend the oppressed against an oppressor, yet at the same time cheat at cards, rob banks, steal from mining operations, attempt the holdup of trains, and live a life of one cliffhanger event after another. A simply absorbing read from beginning to end, this large print edition of "The Adventures Of Hawke Travis" is strongly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated western fans and community library Western Fiction Collections.

The Holmbury County Seat War
K. S. Stanley
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844900, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Holmbury-County-Seat-War/dp/1444844903

Synopsis: Who really was involved in the Confederate's brutal massacre of a small village at the start of the American Civil War, and what became of them? In this bitter tale, the truth doesn't finally emerge until 1887, when good men turned bad fight ruthlessly to ensure that their town is elected as the Holmbury county seat.

Critique: With plenty of gun blazing action and a fair amount of detective investigation, "The Holmbury County Seat War by K. S. Stanley has everything a western novel should have -- including a thoroughly unexpected and riveting finale! This large print edition from the Linford Western Library will prove to be a welcome addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated western buffs and an enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Murder at the Manchester Museum
Jim Eldridge
Charnwood Large Print
Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444845501, $TBA, HC, Large Print, 336pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9781444845501

Synopsis; The year is 1895 when former Scotland Yard detective Daniel Wilson (famous for working the notorious Jack the Ripper case), and his archaeologist sidekick Abigail Fenton are summoned to investigate the murder of a young woman at the Manchester Museum.

Though staff remember the woman as a recent and regular visitor, no one appears to know her and she has no possessions from which to identify her.

When the pair arrive, the case turns more deadly when the body of a second woman is discovered hidden in the depths of the museum. Seeking help from a local journalist, Daniel hopes to unravel this mystery, but the journey to the truth is fraught with obstacles and the mistakes of the past will not be forgotten.

Critique: A deftly scripted and thoroughly engaging mystery by a true master of the genre, this large print edition of novelist Jim Eldridge's "Murder at the Manchester Museum" is an extraordinarily entertaining read from first page to last -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery/suspense fans and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

A Deception at Thornecrest
Ashley Weaver
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781250159793, $27.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Deception-Thornecrest-Amory-Ames-Mystery/dp/1250159792

Synopsis: Amory Ames is alone at her country house Thornecrest, enjoying her last few weeks of peace and quiet as she prepares for the imminent arrival of her baby. Her husband, Milo, is in London on business, and Amory is content to catch up on her correspondence, organize the nursery, and avoid the well-meaning if rather overbearing company of the ladies in the village as they prepare for the Springtide Festival. But then a woman appears on her doorstep, claiming to be another Mrs. Ames, Milo's wife.

Amory's marriage has had its ups and downs in the past, but her faith in her husband has been restored, and Milo has been nothing but thrilled about becoming a father. Though the alleged second Mrs. Ames seems earnest, Amory is convinced she must be mistaken, a belief that Milo confirms upon his homecoming. However, when another unexpected visitor arrives at Thornecrest, secret identities and whirlwind romances appear to be becoming par for the course.

It's not until the day of the festival, when Milo's stable hand Bertie is found dead, that the strange characters appearing in town begin to seem more sinister, and Amory is determined to uncover the killer in the crowd.

Critique: A deftly scripted mystery that plays fair with the reader, "A Deception At Thorncrest" is a mystery lover's delight. A compelling and exceptionally entertaining read from beginning to end, "A Deception At Thorncrest" by novelist Ashley Weaver will prove to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs (especially those that appreciate a little romance along with the mayhem) that "A Deception At Thorncrest" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662031922, $22.99, CD).

In a Midnight Wood
Ellen Hart
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250308443, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Wood-Jane-Lawless-Mysteries/dp/1250308445

Synopsis: Minnesota private investigator Jane Lawless is headed on a little getaway. She and her best friend, Cordelia Thorn, plan to visit their old friend Emma in her hometown of Castle Lake, while also participating in the small town's local art festival. Between the festival and an upcoming high school reunion for the class of 1999, no one in Castle Lake is quite sure who will make an appearance.

But back in 1999, Emma's boyfriend and Castle Lake high school senior Sam Romilly went missing. Everyone thought he ran away, though the town rumor mill has always claimed his father murdered him. Today, within a week of his class's 20th reunion, Sam's remains are found in someone else's burial plot. Suddenly the case is warming up fast. People who knew Sam (friends and enemies alike) will be in town for the much anticipated reunion. It's up to Jane to sort the innocent from the guilty, before it's too late.

Critique: The latest novel in author Ellen Hart's 'A Jane Lawless Mystery' series, "In A Midnight Wood" is a true mystery lover's treat from beginning to end. With more plot twists and turns than a Disneyland roller coaster ride, "In A Midnight Wood" continues to showcase Ellen Hart's originality and storytelling style as a novelist and no community library's Mystery/Suspense collection would be complete with it. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "In A Midnight Wood" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

A Death Long Overdue
Eva Gates
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643854588, $26.99, HC, 372pp

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Long-Overdue-Lighthouse-Library/dp/1643854585

Synopsis: It's summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James's college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years.

After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what's scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn't much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she'll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she's left high and dry -- and right in the killer's crosshairs.

Critique: The newest addition to mystery author Eva Gate's satisfyingly entertaining 'A Lighthouse Library Mystery' series, "A Death Long Overdue" is a dedicated mystery buffs delight and will prove to be another of her welcome and enduringly popular additions to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Eva Gates fans that "A Death Long Overdue" is readily available in a paperback edition (9781643856803, $9.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662047978, $24.99, CD).

On Borrowed Crime
Kate Young
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643854625, $26.99, HC, 311pp

https://www.amazon.com/Borrowed-Crime-Jane-Book-Mystery/dp/1643854623

Synopsis: Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle's private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe club members are the friends she's always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a fellow member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, and left at Lyla's front door.

Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol's heart condition, the coroner rules Carol's death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla's best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend's name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club's studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer.

That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer's next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.

Critique: As mystery writers go, Kate Young is consistently one of the best as manifested by her 'A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery' series. The newest attention to this outstanding series is "On Borrowed Crime" and will prove to be and immediate and enduringly welcome addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs, as well as local community and public library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "On Borrowed Crime" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662047985, $24.99, CD).

Nightshade
M. L. Huie
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781643854564, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Nightshade-Livy-Nash-Mystery-MYSTERY/dp/1643854569

Synopsis: British spy Livy Nash has never had many friends. But fellow agent Margot Dupont was the exception to the rule. At least, until she disappeared during one of their missions in World War Two, never to be heard from again. Since then, Livy's made do. Some people, you just can't replace.

But when the British pick up Margot's call sign (NIGHTSHADE) years after the war, Livy can't help the glimmer of hope that she might see her old friend again. But Livy has her doubts: what their enemies are using it to lure out Livy and her team? What if it's all a trick?

Despite her unease, Livy dives headlong into finding Margot, aided by her boss, the charming Ian Fleming. When evidence arises that a handsome Russian spy might have information about Margot, Livy agrees to her most dangerous mission yet: going undercover as a double agent to spy on the infamous "Red Devil".

As Livy is pulled deeper into the shadows of treachery, the possibility of finding Margot alive diminishes as the danger grows. How much will she have to sacrifice to find a friend she thought she'd lost forever?

Critique: A first class and carefully penned suspense thriller of a novel, "Nightshade" by M. L. Huie will engage the reader's rapt and total attention as they are propelled through one unexpected and riveting plot twist after another. The second title in author Huie's 'A Livy Nash Mystery' series, and certain to be an immediately welcome addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated suspense/thriller fans that "Nightshade" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Absolution
John A. Vanek
Coffeetown Press
c/o Camel Press
www.camelpress.com
9781603816236, $15.95, PB, 204pp

https://www.amazon.com/Absolution-John-Vanek/dp/1603816232

Synopsis: Father Jake Austin's alcoholic father suddenly returns to town, decades after deserting him as a young boy. His dad is fleeing a vindictive drug lord and begs him for help. Although Jake detests his old man for abandoning him, he can't allow him to be murdered, so he enlists the help of his friend, Sheriff Tremont Macon. Because of his dad's deteriorating health, he is admitted to the hospital and placed in a room adjacent to an injured drug mule, allowing Macon to station an armed guard outside their rooms for protection.

Despite police security, the gang murders the drug mule and Sheriff Macon decides to place Jake's father into protective custody in jail. There, he learns that Jake's dad has not only stolen uncut cocaine from the drug dealers but has also witnessed the kingpin order a murder. The mob wants the coke back and Austin Sr. dead.

Because the mob cannot get to Jake's father, they unleash their wrath on the people closest to Jake and the violence escalates. Will the sins of the father be visited on his son, as prophesied in the Bible? In a desperate attempt to shut the drug ring down, the FBI asks Jake to be the bait in a sting operation. Will Jake turn his back on the father who deserted him as a child, or will he turn the other cheek and save him from a vengeful drug lord, risking his own life and the lives of those he loves?

Critique: "Absolution" by John Vanek is the very stuff from which hit movies and tv murder mystery shows are made! A simply riveting read from beginning to end and comprised of deftly crafted and memorable characters embedded in a plot of many an unexpected plot twist and surprise, "Absolution" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to all community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Absolution" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.95).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com

Catherine Asaro's The Vanished Seas (9781982124717, $16.00) blends a sci-fi adventure with a murder mystery on another world, creating a riveting story. Bhaajan grew up in the Undercity community hidden beneath a rich city. She enlisted in the military to see the world. Now a Major and a private investigator, she finds her latest case about disappearing elite brings her directly into conflict with her own roots. The action and characterization are well-done and make for compelling reading. D.J. Butler's In the Palace of Shadow and Joy (9781982124700, $16.00) tells of Indrajit and Fix, a bard and rogue who are hired to protect a spoiled opera star from her enemies. They didn't expect to be hunted by killers as a result. Nor did they realize that their familiarity with the hidden places of their land will give them an uncommon advantage that drives their perilous choices and routes through that world. Both are excellent, recommended reads.


The Sports Shelf

Latinos and Latinas in American Sport
Jorge Iber, editor
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
www.ttupress.org
9781682830406, $39.95, PB, 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Latinos-Latinas-American-Sport-Peloteros/dp/1682830403

Synopsis: An anthology comprised of an informative Introduction and Conclusion by the editor, Jorge Iber, and thirteen inherently interesting articles comprised by experts in the field of Latino/Latina sports and athletics, "Latinos and Latinas in American Sport: Stories Beyond Peloteros" expands upon the significance of sport in U.S. Latino communities by looking at sports as diverse as drag racing and community softball, the rise of Latinas in high school athletics -- and their use of sports to protest social injustice.

Critique: A seminal project of meticulous scholarship, "Latinos and Latinas in American Sport: Stories Beyond Peloteros" is an extraordinary series of studies. Of special note is the inclusion of a listing of all the contributors and their credentials. Impressively informative, thought-provoking, and timely, "Latinos and Latinas in American Sport: Stories Beyond Peloteros" is an especially an unreservedly recommended addition to community and college/university library Sociology of Sports collections in general, and History of American Sports supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that 'Latinos and Latinas in American Sport: Stories Beyond Peloteros" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: Jorge Iber is a professor of history and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University. Over the past ten years, he has written and published widely on the role of Latinos/as in the history of US sports.

NBA 75: The Definitive History
Dave Zarum
Firefly Books Ltd.
www.fireflybooks.com
9780228102908, $35.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/NBA-75-Definitive-Dave-Zarum/dp/0228102901

Synopsis: In the pages of "NBA 75: The Definitive History", sportswriter and basketball super fan Dave Zarum tells the story of the National Basketball Association -- all 75 years of its history from their early barnstorming days to the multibillion-dollar sports league it is today.

Basketball fans are treated to all the biggest moments and greatest superstars, with over 75 stories ranging from Jerry West's 33-win streak Lakers, through Jordan's repeat three-peat Bulls, to Steph Curry and the 73-win Warriors and beyond. But this retrospective doesn't shy away from the league's controversies, covering its struggles with racial bigotry, Magic Johnson's HIV diagnosis, Len Bias' tragic draft-night death and the cocaine-fuelled late seventies when the Finals were broadcast on tape delay.

Each story is fully illustrated with iconic photos and accompanied by stat boxes and side stories of some of the Association's more curious and overlooked moments.

Some of the events covered in "NBA 75: The Definitive History" include:

1946: The first professional basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Toronto Huskies
1969: The legendary duels between Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell
1976: The merger of the ABA and NBA
1980: The rivalry of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
1993: Air Jordan and his Bulls dynasty
2006: Kobe Bryant scores 81 points
2010: LeBron James makes his Miami decision
2016: Steph Curry and the Warriors blow a 3-1 lead to lose the NBA Finals.

Critique: The definitive guide to the history of the NBA, and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Sports History collections, this comprehensive coffee table volume (9 x 0.88 x 11 inches) is an ideal instructional reference for all dedicated basketball fans.

Editorial Note: Dave Zarum is a Toronto-born writer and editor who began his journalism career at Toronto Life magazine. In 2011, he was part of the launch of Sportsnet magazine, where he won a National Magazine Award. He is the editor for The Big Book of Sports Lists (and wrote for the television series based on the book), and authored The Greatest Game, an oral history of the 1989 Grey Cup. Zarum is also the former NBA Editor at Sportsnet.


The Christian Studies Shelf

The Church and the Modern Era: 1846 - 2005
David M. Wagner
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781594717871, $17.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Church-Modern-Era-1846-2005-Reclaiming/dp/1594717877

Synopsis: Lourdes and Fatima, war, Vatican I and II, Fulton Sheen, St. John Paul II, and the clerical sex abuse crisis: These are just a few of the people and events that helped define the Catholic Church in the modern era -- the period between 1846 and 2005.

The call to live the fullness of our faith has not changed since the time of the first disciples, but in "The Church and the Modern Era:1846 - 2005", author David Wagner explores how the Catholic Church met the challenges of the industrial age, world wars, the sexual revolution, and technological advancement in an increasingly secular world.

The "modern era" of the Catholic Church began with the election of Blessed Pius IX in 1846 and ends with the death of St. John Paul II in 2005, the last pope to have served as a council father at Vatican II. With monarchies falling, nation-states rising, and industrialization and mass migration underway, the world in which we live changed more during this period than any other, David Wagner contends. While the Church may feel more user-friendly and less formal than ever before, what we believe has been handed down from the beginning.

Wagner will reintroduce you to some of the era's most powerful examples of virtue and faith such as St. John Henry Newman, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Faustina, and St. Maximillian Kolbe. He will also dispel some of the long-held misconceptions about the Church that span the 160-year period.

In The Church and the Modern Era, you will learn: The Catholic Church is the world's most powerful advocate for workers, the poor, and human rights; The Church's social teaching does not endorse any economic or political systems; The Second Vatican Council did not change Catholic teaching on faith or morals; The Church's teaching on human sexuality is the real sexual revolution; The Church has been an advocate for raising the status of women, championing women's rights to education, to work, and to equal pay.

Of special note is that "The Church and the Modern Era: 1846-2005" includes both a map and a chronology.

Critique: An impressively detailed and informative history, "The Church and the Modern Era: 1846-2005" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in both organization and presentation, making it an ideal choice for either individual or small group studies. While very strongly recommended for church, seminary, community, college and university library Catholic Church History collections and supplemental studies reading lists, it should be noted for seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Church and the Modern Era: 1846-2005" is also readily available in a digital book format from Ave Maria Press (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: David M. Wagner is a lawyer and journalist who also works as a research fellow at the National Legal Foundation. He previously served as a law professor at Regent University, a speechwriter for the US Department of Justice, and as deputy counsel for the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. His work has appeared in many publications, including First Things, National Catholic Register, Crisis, National Review, The Weekly Standard, and City Journal. Wagner covered the 1985 Extraordinary Synod on Vatican II for The Washington Times.

The Resilient Leader
Alfred Ells
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
www.davidccook.org
9780830781072, $25.99, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Resilient-Leader-Adversity-Change-Ministry/dp/0830781072

Synopsis: In life and in the church community adversity often comes without warning. Bad news can be shocking. Betrayal is always heartbreaking. It's natural for a church leader to feel defensive and want to fight back. But fear and anger make for poor strategies when it comes to resolving conflict and thriving afterward.

The principle message in "The Resilient Leader: How Adversity Can Change You and Your Ministry for the Better" by ordained minister and leadership consultant Alfred Ells is that it most certainly is as illustrated through stories of congregational leaders who have suffered the traumas of betrayal, conflict, and failure. In the pages of "The Resilient Leader" Ells provides insights, wisdom, and instruction on how to leverage adversity to become a resilient leader skilled at repairing any breach.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Resilient Leader: How Adversity Can Change You and Your Ministry for the Better" is both inspired and inspiring. A timely book of practical instruction and illustrative example, "The Resilient Leader: How Adversity Can Change You and Your Ministry for the Better" is especially recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Church Leadership & Pastoral Counseling collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Resilient Leader: How Adversity Can Change You and Your Ministry for the Better" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.33).

Editorial Note: Alfred Ells is an ordained minister, and the founder/director of Leaders That Last Ministries. As a master coach, counselor, and leadership consultant, he has helped many pastors, executives, and denominational leaders find and fulfill their destiny in Christ. He has also founded or helped establish many Christ-centered treatment programs for individuals, families, and youth including Samaritan Counseling Services.

In Thy Presence
Lev Gillet
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780913836347, $16.00, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thy-Presence-Lev-Gillet/dp/0913836346

Synopsis: "In Thy Presence" by Lev Gillet is comprised of meditations that are written in the form of God speaking to the reader as to His loved and valued child in order to reveal the nature of His love more clearly in its depth, its splendor and its tenderness. Some of them open our minds to the immense energy of Love in the universe. Others reveal the presence of Love in human tribulations and suffering or illuminate the most commonplace actions of daily life. In all of them, tenderness toward each created being touches the real hunger and hope of our lives for a relationship of loving communion with God, for a journey with a transcendent destination.

Critique: As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "In Thy Presence" is highly commended to the attention of all Orthodox Christians and is especially recommended for clergy, seminary and college/university library Orthodox Christianity collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation
A. J. Sherrill
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.brazospress.com
9781587435126, $29.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Enneagram-Spiritual-Formation-Knowing-Ourselves/dp/1587434725

Synopsis: Author AJ Sherrill still remembers the moment when his life was forever changed by a word he didn't even understand at the time: an Enneagram. A personality theory that includes nine different "types," the Enneagram has become a popular tool for self-awareness and improvement.

But in "The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation: How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus", Sherrill goes deeper, exploring with Christians how the Enneagram can be a pathway to profound spiritual transformation. Sherrill reveals the Enneagram as a tool to unlock new ways of viewing identity, personality, discipleship, spiritual practices, evangelism, and the Bible.

Using this fresh approach, Sherrill shows how our true identity is that of a beloved child of God. Recognizing that, we can move confidently into the world expressing this identity through our unique personality.

Through Sherrill's detailed spiritual exploration of each type, readers will emerge viewing the Enneagram as a precious gift to following Jesus more closely.

Critique: An inherently fascination, thoughtful and thought-provoking read, "The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation: How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus" offers a potentially life changing approach toward spiritual growth and is commended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. While highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and college/university library Christian Personal Self-Help & Growth collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Christian Personal Growth" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781587434723, $16.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.09).

Editorial Note: AJ Sherrill (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) has more than twenty years of experience as a pastor, including the role of lead pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he teaches popular courses on transformational preaching and the Enneagram. He receives many speaking requests to lead Enneagram workshops across the country.

A Retreat with Saint Anthony: Finding Our Way
Carol Ann Morrow
Franciscan Media
28 West Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
https://info.franciscanmedia.org
9781632533548, $14.99, PB, 104pp

https://www.amazon.com/Retreat-Saint-Anthony-Finding-Our/dp/1632533545

Synopsis: "A Retreat with Saint Anthony: Finding Our Way" is seven-day retreat in book form where the director is Anthony of Padua, one of the earliest followers of St. Francis of Assisi.

Beyond his reputation as a finder of lost objects, much more can be known about this complex yet simple genius the Catholic Church calls saint and doctor.

Inspired as a young man by the example of the first Franciscan martyrs, Anthony embarked upon a life balanced by preaching and example, learning and love. Through these excerpts from his sermons, he invites readers to search with him to find Jesus and to live the Gospel.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "A Retreat with Saint Anthony: Finding Our Way" is a spiritual treat for the soul and especially recommended reading for clergy, seminary students, and all members of the Roman Catholic community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Retreat with Saint Anthony: Finding Our Way" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Carol Ann Morrow is an Associate of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana. She served in various roles at St. Anthony Messenger Press (now Franciscan Media) for twenty-five years and, in that capacity, traveled to Portugal and Italy in the footsteps of St. Anthony as a pilgrim and a journalist.

Complaints of the Saints
Mary Lea Hill, FSP
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.pauline.org
9780819816832, $14.95, PB, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complaints-Saints-Mary-Lea-Hill/dp/0819816833

Synopsis: "Complaints of the Saints" by Sr. Mary Lea Hill, FSP, shares some of the saints' responses to suffering. The witty anecdotes and wisdom comprising "Complaints of the Saints" are both consoling and relatable, teaching us that the saints experienced the same emotions and feelings we do in the face of hardship. After all, the saints used their human nature, faults, and even complaints, to help them grow closer to God!

Critique: An inherently inspiring read from first page to last, "Complaints of the Saints" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary, community, and college/university library Christian Spirituality collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and lay members of the Roman Catholic community that "Complaints of the Saints" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Sister Mary Lea Hill, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul since 1964, has enjoyed communicating the faith through a variety of apostolic assignments. Her skills as a story teller were honed as director of audiovisual productions when Pauline Books & Media first produced animated features in the early 80s. An editor and author for many years, Sister Mary Lea has written several books, including the best-selling Basic Catechism (co-authored with Sister Susan Helen Wallace).

Write That They May Read
Daniel I. Black et al.
Pickwick Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781725252103, $61.00, PB, 538pp

https://www.amazon.com/Write-That-They-Read-Textualization/dp/1725252104

Synopsis: "Write That They May Read: Studies in Literacy and Textualization in the Ancient Near East and in the Hebrew Scriptures" is a collection of erudite essays written in honor of the editors' mentor, friend, and fellow scholar, Professor Alan R. Millard.

Respectful of his contribution to our understanding of writing and literacy in the ancient biblical world, all the essays deal with some aspect of this issue, ranging in scope from archeological artifacts that need to be "read," to early evidence of writing in Israel's world, to the significance of reading and writing in the Bible, including God's own literacy, to the production of books in the ancient world, and the significance of metaphorical branding of God's people with his name.

The contributors are distributed among Professor Millard's peers and colleagues in a variety of institutions, his own students, and students of his students. They represent a variety of disciplines including biblical archeology, Egyptology, Assyriology, Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic texts, and the literature of the Bible, and reside in North America, Japan, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Germany.

Critique: A seminal collection of impressively informative and exceptionally well presented scholarship by a roster of experts, "Write That They May Read: Studies in Literacy and Textualization in the Ancient Near East and in the Hebrew Scriptures: Essays in Honour of Professor Alan R. Millard" is an extraordinary and valued contribution to Christian Bible History & Culture, Old Testament Bible Study, and Ancient Civilizations studies. While especially and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, and college/university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, seminarians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Write That They May Read: Studies in Literacy and Textualization in the Ancient Near East and in the Hebrew Scriptures: Essays in Honour of Professor Alan R. Millard" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: The editors include: Daniel I. Block (Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College); David C. Deuel (Academic Dean Emeritus, The Master's Academy International); C. John Collins (Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary); and Paul J. N. Lawrence (a translation consultant for SIL International).

Rhythms for Life
Alastair Sterne
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
www.ivpress.com
9780830831975, $16.00, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rhythms-Life-Spiritual-Practices-Made/dp/0830831975

Synopsis: For Christians, spiritual transformation is not a one-size-fits-all journey. Each of us has a particular identity, gifts, values, roles, and purpose. Thus we each need distinct spiritual rhythms that are designed to help us live out that vocation and calling.

"Rhythms for Life: Spiritual Practices for Who God Made You to Be" is a practical book in which Alastair Sterne shows how we can craft a life of more intentionality, becoming Christlike in ways that fit who we are. First we discover who God made us to be, in all our distinctiveness. Then we enter into spiritual practices that flow out of that particular sense of identity, with fourfold rhythms that point us upward to God, inward to self, withward in community, and outward in mission.

Our vocation is our identity uniquely lived out before God, bringing our being and doing together. You can live a life that is more aligned with who you are meant to be. Discover spiritual rhythms that move at the pace of grace, and align you with your unique identity and calling in Christ.

Critique: As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "Rhythms for Life: Spiritual Practices for Who God Made You to Be" is very highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community. It should be noted that "Rhythms for Life: Spiritual Practices for Who God Made You to Be" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Alastair Sterne is the founding and lead pastor of St. Peter's Fireside in Vancouver and serves as canon of church planting for the Anglican Network in Canada. He is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and is currently working on a doctorate in intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He also serves on the board of Always Forward, the church planting initiative of the Anglican Church in North America.

Sex and the Spiritual Life
Patricia Cooney Hathaway, editor
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781594719912, $18.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Spiritual-Life-Reclaiming-Integrity/dp/1594719918

Synopsis: Are sexuality and spirituality opposed to each other? To anyone who has struggled to align their sexual desires with the call to be holy these might seem in opposition, but they don't have to be.

"Sex and the Spiritual Life: Reclaiming Integrity, Wholeness, and Intimacy" by Patricia Hathaway will help you understand that you can experience fulfillment through sexual integrity -- a way of life that affirms the presence of God and the sacred in our sexual feelings and expressions. "Sex and the Spiritual Life" is comprised of a selection of Catholic men and women (married, clergy, religious, and single) whose personal stories will inspire and equip you to reclaim the joy and wholeness of sexual integrity.

Addressing sexuality across a wide range of vocations, challenges, and experiences, each of the contributors to "Sex and the Spiritual Life" reflects upon living out the Church's teachings about human sexuality with integrity as a means to achieving spiritual maturity. All those who want to experience the benefits of sexual integrity will be inspired by their witness, and benefit from their practical advice.

Under the deftly editorship of Patricia Hathaway, the contributors to "Sex and the Spiritual Life" include Patricia Cooney Hathaway; Timothy P. O'Malley; Deacon James Keating; Susan Muto; Eve Tushnet; Fr. John Riccardo; and Sr. Sarah Fairbanks, O.P.; as well as clinical specialists in addictions and marriage and family life.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Sex and the Spiritual Life: Reclaiming Integrity, Wholeness, and Intimacy" is extraordinary and highly recommended reading for all members of the Roman Catholic community. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general readers that "Sex and the Spiritual Life" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Patricia Cooney Hathaway is a professor of spirituality and systematic theology and the chairperson of the licentiate in sacred theology degree committee at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where she has worked since 1987. She is the author of the award-winning book Weaving Faith and Experience. She also serves as the associate editor of Human Development Magazine.

Survive the Day
Ben Young
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
https://davidccook.org
9780781414647, $22.99, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Survive-Day-Thriving-Midst-Storms/dp/0781414644

Synopsis: For the past three decades, pastor Ben Young has worked with families and individuals struggling to cope with the harsh realities of major life crisis. He also knows personally what it's like to endure an ongoing storm. Through his own trials, he has learned not only to survive each dark day, but to live every day in ways that make a person stronger, wiser, and more at peace.

Critique: As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "Survive the Day: Thriving in the Midst of Life's Storms" will be particularly appreciated by those members of the Christian community that are having to deal with the stresses, pressures, and problems during these period of pandemic, economic collapse, social justice reform efforts, political polarization, environmental catastrophes, and so much more. While especially and unreservedly recommended for church, community, and college/university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Survive the Day: Thriving in the Midst of LIfe's Storms" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Ben Young is a writer and pastor at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. He is also an adjunct professor at Houston Theological Seminary and the author of several books, including Room for Doubt, Devotions for Dating Couples, and Why Mike's Not a Christian.

The Non-Prophet's Guide to Spiritual Warfare
Todd Hampson
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
www.harvesthousepublishers.com
9780736977951, $17.99, PB, 223pp

https://www.amazon.com/Non-Prophets-GuideTM-Spiritual-Warfare/dp/0736977953

Synopsis: Even as a Christian, it can be difficult to discern the facts about the supernatural nature of good and evil. How much has pop culture influenced our ideas about angels and demons? Why do we as Christians face spiritual warfare when the Holy Spirit dwells within us? What limits exist on Satan's powers?

In "The Non-Prophet's Guide to Spiritual Warfare", author, illustrator, and Christian, Todd Hampson gets to the heart of common questions about spiritual battles, angels, demons, the nature of evil, and more. With Todd's signature combination of light-hearted illustrations and thoughtful applications of Scripture, this guide is both easy to understand and deeply informative.

"The Non-Prophet's Guide to Spiritual Warfare" will show the reader how to: Discern between cultural myths and biblical facts about the supernatural; Recognize the real threats you face while remaining grounded in God's truth; Understand why being ready to stand against demonic influence is more important now than ever before.

Regardless of their denomination affiliations, "The Non-Prophet's Guide to Spiritual Warfare" will give Christians the resources needed to champion spiritual battles, while inspiring them to dive deeper into God's Word to equip themselves with truth.

Critique: Laced with humor and offering impressive insights, "The Non-Prophet's Guide to Spiritual Warfare" is as entertaining as it is inspiring. While especially and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, and college/university library Christian Angelology & Demonology, Christian Prophecies, and Christian Apologetics collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Non-Prophet's Guide to Spiritual Warfare" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Todd Hampson is a speaker, illustrator, animation producer, and the author/illustrator of The Non-Prophet's Guide" book series. His award-winning animation company, Timbuktoons, has produced content for many well-known ministry organizations.

Manhood is a Mindset
J. Colin Trisler
Resource Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781725262270, $38.00, HC, 196pp

https://www.amazon.com/Manhood-Mindset-J-Colin-Trisler/dp/1725262274

Synopsis: A boy doesn't become a man by accident. The truth is, it takes a special kind of father (or father-figure) to teach his son the practical wisdom he needs to build the mindset of a real man.

In "Manhood Is A Mindset: Fatherly Instruction from the Wisest Man Who Ever Lived", pastor and father J. Colin Trisler points his son to the example of Solomon, and instructs him in the fatherly wisdom Solomon taught his son in Proverbs 1-9. "Manhood Is A Mindset" is a text-driven exposition that follows Solomon's lead and reads as a personalized discourse--as a series of letters from a father to his son.

Trisler wrote these letters to instruct his son in the wisdom he needs to grow into a man who is prepared to go out into the real world and earn a good life for himself. He has now published these letters to support all those other fathers who are working just as hard to mold their inexperienced boys into strong and capable men who are prepared to meet their responsibilities to God, their families, their neighbors, and themselves.

Critique: An invaluable and welcome addition to parenting books from a Christian and Biblical perspective, "Manhood Is A Mindset: Fatherly Instruction from the Wisest Man Who Ever Lived" is impressively informative, inspiring, and ideal, recommended reading for all men seeking to raise a child in today's traumatically troubled times. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Manhood Is A Mindset" is also readily available in a paperback edition (digital book format (9781725262263, $23.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Critique: J. Colin Trisler has more than ten years of ministerial experience as a lead pastor and youth pastor. He holds an MDiv with a concentration in Christian ethics from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, an MMC from Louisiana State University, and a BA in English from Louisiana Tech University.

How to Read Theology for All Its Worth
Karin Spiecker Stetina
Zondervan Academic
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
www.zondervan.com
9780310093824, $16.99, PB, 224p

https://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Theology-All-Worth/dp/0310093821

Synopsis: Too many Christians avoid reading theology for fear they won't understand it or out of a misconception that it's only meant for the academic elite. Similarly, students in introductory theology classes can feel overwhelmed by the concepts and terminology they encounter. Yet theology can be read with enjoyment and discernment.

In "How to Read Theology for All Its Worth: A Guide for Students", Karin Stetina (Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University) introduces students of all ages to the basic skills of intelligent reading, applied especially to theological works. Anyone who'd like to read theology well, whether a formal student or interested layperson, will benefit from the simple steps Stetina outlines.

Those steps include: Identifying genre; Becoming acquainted with the author and the context out of which he or she wrote; Determining a thesis and main arguments.

"How to Read Theology for All Its Worth" will equip readers not only to understand theology but also to insightfully engage theologians ideas. With the basic tools in hand, everyone can read with confidence and enjoy "conversations" with theological works.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "How to Read Theology for All Its Worth: A Guide for Students" is a unique, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking DIY study guide that is unreservedly recommended for all members of the Christian community. It should be noted for students, academia, clergy, seminarians, and non-specialist general readers that "How to Read Theology for All Its Worth: A Guide for Students" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, 9.99).

Into His Presence
Napoleon Burt
Christian Faith Publishing
9781645159711, $22.95, PB, 374pp

https://www.amazon.com/Into-His-Presence-Encountering-Patriarchs/dp/164515971X

Synopsis: For all dedicated Christians, the God of the Bible is not a concept to be studied but a divine person each of us can and should encounter personally. "Into His Presence: Encountering the God of the Patriarchs" by Napoleon Burt uses historically documented experiences of a number of important people with God over thousands of years as the lens through which to help you understand the character of God as a person. In this study the God of the Bible is seen as a divine person encountered by the men and women of the Bible. The approach to the study of the Bible here presented will completely change how we read the Bible and how we will perceive the divine author of the Bible.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informed and informative, thoughtful and thought provoking, inspired and inspiring biblically based study of the Judeo-Christian deity, "Into His Presence: Encountering the God of the Patriarchs" is especially and unreservedly recommended and instructive reading for all members of the Christian community -- regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Into His Presence 1: Encountering the God of the Patriarchs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Embracing the Inconceivable
Ellen Birx
Orbis Books
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
www.orbisbooks.com
9781626983694, $24.00 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Inconceivable-Interspiritual-Practice-Christianity/dp/1626983690

Embracing the Inconceivable: Interspiritual Practice of Zen and Christianity is recommended for collections strong in comparative religious studies and general Buddhist and Christian belief, and describes how the two disciplines compliment one another. While many readers might consider the idea of a form of Zen Christianity to be foreign, this survey blends Ellen Birx's experience and life with discussions of Zen and Christian teachings and the experience of incarnation or embodiment.

As chapters discuss the foundations of an interspiritual practice and contrast meditation and praying, readers on both sides receive keys to better understanding through spiritual paths that embrace and compliment each other. Religious thinkers will find this a powerful survey of new possibilities and new connections.


The Self-Help Shelf

Plan a Happy Life
Stephanie Fleming
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9781400216895, $19.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Plan-Happy-LifeTM-Passion-Creativity/dp/1400216893

Synopsis: Even complicated by a pandemic and an economic meltdown, everyday life doesn't have to be unrelentingly depressed or chaotic! The creators of the Happy Planner know that the secret to living a happy life is all in the planning. But a life simply bursting at the seams with meaning, fun, and work worth doing doesn't just happen -- you have to plan for it.

"Plan a Happy Life: Define Your Passion, Nurture Your Creativity, and Take Hold of Your Dreams" by Stephanie Fleming includes strategies, systems, and methods for permanently getting organized, prioritizing what's most important to you, and living intentionally.

"Plan a Happy Life" is a compendium of imaginative ideas for: Celebrating the ordinary; Discovering new ways to serve others; Finding your happy even on the tougher days; Making the most effective lists; Filling your life with gratitude; Controlling your calendar so you can live each day fully--and colorfully!; And much more happy planning -- seriously, you have to plan fun in your life!

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Plan a Happy Life: Define Your Passion, Nurture Your Creativity, and Take Hold of Your Dreams" is an extraordinary and original instruction guide and manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Plan a Happy Life" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Stephanie Fleming is a creative entrepreneur, speaker, optimist, and wellness seeker. Most notably, she is the co-founder of me & my BIG ideas(R), creators of The Happy Planner(R). The business that began 20 years ago as a tiny, garage-based business is now an industry-leading lifestyle brand that offers a wide variety of products that inspire customers to create a happy life movement by empowering them to take control of their own happiness by embracing planning, positivity, and all things creative!

Resilience: How We Find New Strength At Times of Stress
Frederic Flach, M.D.
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578268627, $16.95, PB, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Resilience-Discovering-Strength-Times-Stress/dp/1578268621

In these troubled times there is no escaping stress for any of us. It appears on our doorstep uninvited in the shattering forms of death, divorce, or job loss. Stress even comes in the pleasant experiences of promotion, marriage, or a long-held wish fulfilled. So why do some people come out of a crisis feeling better than ever, and others never seem to bounce back?

In "Resilience: How We Find New Strength At Times of Stress" by clinical psychatrist Frederic Flach, readers will learn: How to develop the 14 traits that will make you more resilient; Why "falling apart" is often the smartest step to take on the road to resilience; When the five-step plan for creative problem solving can help; What essential steps you can take to strengthen your body's resilience; How to redefine your problem and restructure your pain to create a life you can handle, a life you can learn from and enjoy!

Drawing on more than thirty years of case studies from his own psychiatric practice, Dr. Frederic Flach reveals the remarkable antidote to the destructive qualities of stress -- physical, mental, and emotional resilience.

Critique: Expertly and effectively written, organized and presented, "Resilience: How We Find New Strength At Times of Stress" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections and personal reading lists for anyone having to deal with Mood Disorders; Post-traumatic Stress Disorder; and Anxiety Disorders in this current time of pandemic, economic collapse, and divisive political activism. It should be noted that "Resilience: How We Find New Strength At Times of Stress" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Frederic Francis Flach, (January 25, 1927 - September 26, 2006) was an internationally recognized psychiatrist and author whose highly acclaimed books include Putting the Pieces Together Again; A New Marriage, A New Life; Resilience; Rickie; The Secret Strength of Angels; and Faith, Healing and Miracles. In 1996, he was awarded the Maxine Mason award by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. He appeared on numerous radio and television programs across the country including Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and Good Day New York.

Seek to Be Wise
Chess Britt
https://chessbritt.com
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781626347212, 19.95, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Seek-Be-Wise-Extraordinary-Everyday/dp/1626347212

Synopsis: In "Seek to Be Wise: Finding Extraordinary Wisdom in Everyday Life", author Chess Britt shares a delightful personal collection of down-to-earth maxims with one clear agenda: to inspire us to search for truth and wisdom. If we actively seek wisdom, says Britt, we're bound to live our happiest and most productive lives. The best part is that we don't have to look far. Truth and wisdom are often right under our noses in our everyday lives.

And when we seek wisdom and learn from it, we'll be ready not only to grab life's opportunities, but to meet the challenges we will inevitably face. Britt believes in us and in our ability to carry out the search, and his encouraging words and (often humorous) stories contain an uplifting message about recognizing, embracing, and valuing those searches.

The maxims with titles like ''Live to Love and Love to Live'' and ''It's Going to Be Okay'' explore topics such as making the most of our time with other people, why anger is our enemy, the importance of patience, and even why we shouldn't waste precious time lying in bed when there are things to be done guide with a gentle hand.

Britt's suggestions are offered without judgment and have something to say to people of all ages, from all walks of life. If after reading the maxims, we want to alter our present course, the author offers questions to ponder on how to move forward. Britt's life experiences and faith guide him in this thoughtful and generous life affirming read.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, but above all, inspired and inspiring, "Seek to Be Wise: Finding Extraordinary Wisdom in Everyday Life" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and college/university library Self- Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal motivational reading lists that "Seek to Be Wise: Finding Extraordinary Wisdom in Everyday Life" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Editorial Note: Chess Britt is the former chief marketing officer at Primerica, the largest financial services marketing organization in North America. Since retiring, he has continued his lifelong pursuit of wisdom and sharing that wisdom with people from all walks of life. He is a trusted leader, advisor, and coach, who is known for helping others improve their performance. An avid reader, he enjoys a broad range of topics that focus on improving his life and the life of others.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Complete Grimoire
Lidia Pradas
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781592339709, $22.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Grimoire-Magickal-Practices-Awakening/dp/1592339700

Synopsis: A grimoire is a witch's handbook filled with all the magickal information, rituals, and practices that a witch uses during their lifetime -- basically a key tool of their craft. Written by Lidia Pradas, the creator of the beloved Instagram handle Wiccan Tips, "The Complete Grimoire: Magickal Practices and Spells for Awakening Your Inner Witch" is a magickal beginner's guide to witchcraft practices and knowledge.

Elegantly designed, featuring a gold foil - embossed cover and beautiful illustrations, and written in Wiccan Tips' trademark concise and practical style, "The Complete Grimoire" presents the key pillars of witchcraft, including: Procuring the proper tools and setting up an altar; Harnessing your spells and magick; Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year; How to safely work with deities and spirits.

"The Complete Grimoire" provides instruction for fundamental spells and rituals, such as casting a circle, creating a sigil, and making moon water.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Complete Grimoire" is an ideal instructional guide and DIY manual for the novice and offers a wealth of useful information for even the more experienced wiccan, making it especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Metaphysical Studies Collections in general, and Wiccan Studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Lidia Pradas is the wiccan witch behind the Instagram sensation Wiccan Tips. She comes from a family of witches and teaches and writes about witchcraft and paganism to beginner witches.

Spellcraft
Rock Point Editors
Rock Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781631067334, $16.99, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Spellcraft-Cleansing-Blessing-Everyday-Inspiration/dp/1631067338

Synopsis: In the Wiccan tradition, a spell's power comes from writing about and truly understanding the intention behind it. By blending journal entries with spells that help you manifest the best version of yourself, "Spellcraft: A Guided Journal for Casting, Cleansing, and Blessing " is the perfect living grimoire for a new witch.

Anyone can follow a recipe for a spell, but with "Spellcraft", your practice becomes exclusively yours. Reflect on the purpose of your magic and then learn how to build spells from a host of composite parts on your witch's journey to self-discovery. Tuning in to past events, unconscious biases, and the connections that your own mind casts will help you lay down the groundwork for growth, give yourself hope in trying times, and manifest new opportunities.

White magic spells for 28 cleansing rituals and enchantments are accompanied by 3-5 prompts to encourage personal development. A section on spell building to hone your craft outlines the important aspects (crystals, moon phases, incense, or other magnifying components) of making magic. Learn how to make wishes come true and complete rootwork that will help you grow taller and wiser. Maintain your practice with spells and journal prompts revolving around the Wheel of the Year, a cycle of pagan holidays (such as Yule and Ostara) that follow the seasons and revolve around equinoxes and solstices.

Light up the magic that is already inside of you. Choose happiness and then bring it into the world with the help of "Spellcraft: A Guided Journal for Casting, Cleansing, and Blessing".

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Spellcraft: A Guided Journal for Casting, Cleansing, and Blessing" is an ideal DIY curriculum textbook in the basics of spell casting, making it a particularly recommended addition to community and college/university library Metaphysical Studies Collections in general, and Wiccan Spellcasting supplemental studies reading lists in particular. Simply stated, no personal or professional Wiccan library should be without a copy of "Spellcraft: A Guided Journal for Casting, Cleansing, and Blessing".

Inviting Angels into Your Life
Kathryn Hudson
Findhorn Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644111727, $16.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Inviting-Angels-into-Your-Life/dp/1644111721

Synopsis: Angels come to help us in many ways: through the lyrics of a song we hear, a timely hand on the shoulder, or a book we happen upon. Angels come to our aid to help us feel safe and help our hearts open wide, so our light and our love shine through.

After a powerful visit from an angel helped her transform her fast-paced, chaotic, and addiction-filled Manhattan banker lifestyle, Kathryn Hudson decided to pay it forward and help others discover that each of us is surrounded by angels to help us. Drawing upon her experiences and insights, in "Inviting Angels into Your Life: Assistance and Support from the Angelic Realm", she shows how to safely open the channel to communicate with the angelic realm in order to access the help the angels are so willing to provide.

Kathryn offers her readers simple and practical exercises for connecting with 15 Archangels and shows how each of these Archangels brings specific Divine qualities to assist and support you. She explains when each Archangel becomes active, notes a color and a crystal associated with them, and offers a unique visualization exercise to connect with the essence of the individual angel, inviting this quality into the reader's life. Each angel also provides a powerful message about this turning point in human evolution.

Exploring inner child work, chakra practices, and exercises for purification and harmonization of relationships, Kathryn reveals the importance of releasing the weight of the past in order to open up to angelic guidance about the future. Working with angelic healing, she shows how to handle our energy levels in a chaotic and draining world and maintain a higher vibration. Taking the reader from simple questions and requests to direct experience and actual co-creation with the angelic realm, this guide reveals how to team up with friends in high places to open our hearts, and live out our highest and best version of ourselves in this life.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, informative and inspiring read throughout, "Inviting Angels into Your Life: Assistance and Support from the Angelic Realm" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Metaphysical Studies & Self-Help collections in general, and Angel/Spirit Guide studies in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Inviting Angels into Your Life: Assistance and Support from the Angelic Realm" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Kathryn Hudson is a certified Angel Therapy practitioner and a Reiki teacher/master who offers workshops and talks all over the world on transformation, angels, crystals, soul purpose, elementals, and MANNA initiation. Kathryn lives and teaches in both France and the United States.

The New Witch
Marie D. Jones
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Road, #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
www.visibleinkpress.com
9781578597161, $19.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/New-Witch-Modern-Witchcraft-Potions/dp/1578597161

Synopsis: Embracing the past and honoring the future, "The New Witch: Your Guide to Modern Witchcraft, Wicca, Spells, Potions, Magic, and More" by Marie Jones focuses on the harmony between the "new way" of technology and the "old way" of living. It brings together the brave new world of gadgets and social networks with the wise nature-based traditions of our ancestors by offering ideas on how to combine the old with the new for a more successful, fulfilling practice.

Essentially a DIY manual for Wiccans, "The New Witch: Your Guide to Modern Witchcraft, Wicca, Spells, Potions, Magic, and More" covers: Finding tools and items for spells and rituals
Amplifying the good and dispelling the bad; "High Magic" versus "Low Magic"; Getting grounded, alert, and aware for spell casting; Finding substitutions for items you might not have available; Learning the astrological correspondences of candle colors; Recharging your own energy; Building your intuitive muscles; Adding love in your life; Calming anxiety; Lifting your vibration; Improving sleep; Learning the connection between the Moon's phases and Moon magic; Understanding the benefits (and detriments) of technology -- and so much more!

Of special note is the inclusion of a helpful bibliography and extensive index.

Critique: Expertly written, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The New Witch: Your Guide to Modern Witchcraft, Wicca, Spells, Potions, Magic, and More" is a 'must' for novice and seasoned Wiccans alike. While highly recommended for both community and college/university library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The New Witch: Your Guide to Modern Witchcraft, Wicca, Spells, Potions, Magic, and More" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Art of the Occult
S. Elizabeth
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711248830, $29.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Occult-Visual-Sourcebook-Modern/dp/0711248834

Synopsis: Mystical and metaphysical beliefs and practices have existed for millennia, but even in this modern ages of science why do we still chase the esoteric? From the beginning of human creativity itself, image-makers have been drawn to these unknown spheres and have created curious artworks that transcend time and place -- but what is it that attracts artists to these magical realms?

From theosophy and kabbalah, to the zodiac and alchemy; spiritualism and ceremonial magic, to the elements and sacred geometry, in "The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic" author S. Elizabeth expertly introduces major occult themes and showcases the artists who have been influenced and led by them. Discover the symbolic and mythical images of the Pre-Raphaelites; the automatic drawing of Hilma af Klint and Madge Gill; Leonora Carrington's surrealist interpretation of myth, alchemy and kabbalah; and much more.

Featuring prominent, marginalised and little-known artists, "The Art of the Occult" crosses mystical spheres in a bid to inspire and delight. Divided into thematic chapters (The Cosmos, Higher Beings, Practitioners), this unique volume is essentially an entertaining introduction to the art of mysticism and is enhanced for the reader with informative essays examining each practice and over 175 artworks to discover.

The art of the occult has always existed in the margins but inspired the masses, and "The Art of the Occult" will spark curiosity in all fans of magic, mysticism and the mysterious.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "The Art of the Occult: A Visual Sourcebook for the Modern Mystic" is an extraordinary study and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Metaphysical Studies and Art History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: S. Elizabeth (aka Mlle Ghoul) is a Florida-based writer specializing in art, the macabre and the supernatural. She is a staff writer at Haute Macabre and has written for Coilhouse, Dirge and the blog Death & the Maiden. S. Elizabeth was also the co-creator of The Occult Activity Book (vol 1 and 2) and runs two successful blogs: Ghoul Next Door (www.ghoulnextdoor.tumblr.com) and These Unquiet Things (www.unquietthings.com).

Dragon Wisdom
Christine Arana Fader, author
Anja Kostka, illustrator
Inner Traditions
www.InnerTraditions.com
9781644111086 $19.99 amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Wisdom-43-Card-Oracle-Deck/dp/164411108X

Synopsis: Since the beginning of time, dragons have been the world's wisdom keepers. In times of transition, when power and wisdom are necessary to transform and renew, they are here to assist us, offering spiritual knowledge and genuine love to guide us. They stand by humanity as soul companions, advisers, and friends, giving us freedom, strength, and courage for everyday life.

In this full-color oracle set, Christine Arana Fader offers a hands-on way to deeply connect with the spiritual wisdom of dragons. Each of the 43 cards features beautiful artwork to allow you to experience and activate dragon energies and use them on an intuitive level. The accompanying guidebook details the message of each card and offers meditative journeys into the world of dragons and practical information on how to let dragon energy into your life, including how to meet your personal dragon. The book also explains how, in addition to individual messages, the cards hold an even more valuable treasure: a guide to spiritual perfection, making this not only a deck for divination and guidance but also an effective tool for spiritual development.

Offering a path into the mystical and magical world of dragons, this deck allows each of us to awaken our own inner magic and be enchanted by the truthfulness of open-hearted dragon wisdom and love.

Critique: Dragon Wisdom: 43-Card Oracle Deck and Book is a boxed set featuring exceptionally beautiful and detailed full-color dragon artwork on its cards and mystical guidelines for connecting the timeless wisdom of legends to one's everyday life. A captivating treasure for dragon fans offering a path to spiritual inspiration, Dragon Wisdom is a treasure that also makes an excellent gift. Highly recommended.

The Heart Path Oracle Cards
Nadine Gordon-Taylor
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
www.innertraditions.com
9781591433903, $30.00, Cards, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Path-Oracle-Cards-Miraculous/dp/1591433908

Synopsis: Beautifully illustrated with images of animals, birds, insects, plants, esoteric symbols, and transformative myths from around the world, the 53 full-color cards comprising "The Heart Path Oracle Cards: Miraculous Messages of Love" by Nadine Gordon-Taylor offer a gateway to the invisible and into the path of the heart. Working with the cards, you step through a portal uniting you with your higher consciousness. Immersing yourself in the vivid art on each card ranging from deer, bison, bluebirds, and ladybugs to platypus, ferns, ankhs, and the Tree of Life, that will help you activate and align with loving energies that resonate and confirm your own soul-self.

In the accompanying guidebook, artist Nadine Gordon-Taylor also shares the years of research into animal symbolism and world cultures that laid the foundation for her art. She explores how to use the cards intuitively and explains how the deck was designed to reveal unconscious emotional patterns, shift us from old ways of thinking, and resonate with the vibration of unconditional love. For each card, she offers an explanation of its title and symbolism, a channeled message of love, and an affirmation to implement the message of the card in your life. Cards include Programming Your Highest Intentions, Vision Questing, Karmic Forgiveness, Spiritual DNA, and Melody of Thought.

Designed to be felt rather than intellectually experienced, the symbols on the cards are your mentors and offer profound insights to help you along your path. When you choose a card you are intuitively guided to what is most right for you at the moment. Trust that process and know
that you are held in the heart of Divine love.

Critique: A visually impressive, inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking divination card set, "The Heart Path Oracle Cards: Miraculous Messages of Love" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Metaphysical Studies collections.

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


The Graphic Novel Shelf

Kivu
Simon Van Hamme, author
Christophe Simon, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184939, $15.95, PB, 72pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kivu-Jean-Van-Hamme/dp/1849184933

Synopsis: The province of Kivu in the Congo is rich in rare and precious minerals such as coltan, which is vital to our modern technology. However, that wealth is coveted by so many, within the Congo or abroad, that the entire region is a permanent bloodbath. Francois Daans, a young Belgian engineer working for an unscrupulous corporation, arrives in Kivu. His encounter with a young girl, survivor of the latest massacre, will be an eye-opening experience and force him to pick a side -- and could cost him his life!

Critique: Not for the faint of heart, "Kivu" by the team of author Simon Van Hamme and artist Chriostophe Simon is a stark but historically accurate portrait of the politics of corruption, violence and even genocide that is financed by corporate greed. Simply stated, "Kivu" should be a part of every community and college/university library graphic novel collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kivu" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Jean Van Hammewas born in 1939 in Belgium. His major breakthrough came in 1977, when he created the Viking hero Thorgal for Grzegorz Rosinski. The mix of medieval legends and heroic fantasy soon became a huge success, with major awards following. He is also the creator of the graphic novel series Largo Winchand XIII (published in English by Cinebook). Belgian artist Christophe Simonwas trained in both comic arts and the academic classicism of antiquity. Unsurprisingly, this led himto work on long-running Ancient Rome series Alix, among others, before meeting Jean Van Hamme on a homage episode of Corentin.

Ian: Metanoia
Ralph Meyer, author
Fabien Vehlmann, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849183819, $11.95, PB, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Metanoia-4-Ian-Fabien-Vehlmann/dp/1849183813

Synopsis: A year has passed since the Los Angeles riots, but Ian is still being hunted by the Pentagon. Extremely hostile treatment by the media has also made him a favored target of a majority of American citizens. Tracked down by an ambitious reporter, the android gets in touch with an eccentric billionaire who promises to tell him what the Nome is -- that super-powerful artificial entity with whom he seems to have a mysterious bond. What follows is a merciless cascade of new revelations.

Critique: The fourth and final volume of author/storyteller Ralph Meyer and artist/illustrator Fabien Vehlmann's simply outstanding science fiction graphic novel series "Ian: Metanoia" is a fully entertaining experience and while unreservedly recommended for community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for all dedicated science fiction fans that "Ian: Metanoia" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $5.99).

Distant Worlds: Volume 4
Leo, author
Icar, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849183840, $11.95, PB, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Episode-4-Distant-Worlds-LEO/dp/1849183848

Synopsis: Paul was told that his father died in an accident -- then, a few days later, he's seen him pass by in a car, alive and well! Shaken by the discovery, the young man continues his investigation and eventually manages to track him down. Unfortunately, that merely causes him to share in his father's serious troubles with a couple of crime bosses and bounty hunters. Meanwhile, an increasing number of strange phenomena plague Altair -- and awake the interest of the alien Stepanerks into a strange activity.

Critique: The fourth episode in Leo and Icar's science fiction graphic novel series "Distant Worlds", the action is fast and furious with one cliff hanger event after another that will leave the reader looking eagerly toward's the fifth episode of Paul's adventures and what the Stepanerks are having to deal with!

Gomer, Gofer, Loafe
Franquin
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849185356, $11.95, PB, 48pp

https://www.amazon.com/Gomer-Gofer-Loafer-Goof/dp/1849185352

Synopsis: The disasters Gomer keeps causing at the Spirou office (and in town, and out of town, and for the Army) sometimes drive his neighbors and co-workers to regrettable excesses. They shout at him, lock him up, occasionally try to strangle him a bit! Yet he rarely even resents it. Watch out, though! Gomer is also a friend to all creatures big and small, and anyone going after one of his furry or feathered companions is in for a nasty surprise!

Critique: With each page a separate and laugh-out loud event in the well meaning but disaster prone life of Gomer Goof, "Gomer, Gofer, Loafer" is the sixth volume in artist/storyteller Franquin's graphic novel Gomer Goof series and is a 'must' for his legions of dedicated fans. While highly recommended for community library graphic novel and contemporary humor collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gomer, Gofer, Loafer" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $8.99).

Contacts
Sylvain Runberg, author
Serge Pelle, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
www.cinebook.com
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
www.nbnbooks.com
9781849184977, $13.95, PB, 56pp

https://www.amazon.com/Contacts-8-Orbital-Sylvain-Runberg/dp/1849184976

Synopsis: It's clear now: the Neuronomes are not attacking the Confederation, but rather are the victims of a mysterious aggressor, and they explode when they die. They did, however, take up positions near large population centres, threatening to take thousands of lives with them when they self explode in order to pressure Confederate authorities (who had once massacred them) into helping them. Unsurprisingly, Caleb, Mezoke and Angus are chosen to go to the Neuronomes' home planet and neutralise the unknown threat.

Critique: The eighth and final volume of "Orbital" which is author/storyteller Sylvain Runberg and artist/illustrator Serge Pelle's original science fiction series of graphic novels. A treat for all dedicated science fiction fans, "Contact" (and for that matter, the entire 8 volume series) is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Runberg and Pelle fans that "Contact" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $8.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
Melanie Rehak
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887; Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713525431, $24.99, MP3 CD

https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Sleuth-Nancy-Women-Created/dp/1713525437

Synopsis: The plucky "titian-haired" teenage sleuth now known world wide as Nancy Drew solved her first mystery in 1930 -- and eighty million books later she is still as popular as ever. Nancy Drew has survived the Depression, World War II, and the sixties (when she was taken up with a vengeance by women's libbers) to enter the pantheon of American culture. As beloved by girls today as she was by their grandmothers, Nancy Drew has both inspired and reflected the changes in her readers' lives. Here, in a narrative with all the page-turning pace of Nancy's adventures, Melanie Rehak solves an enduring literary mystery: Who created Nancy Drew? And how did she go from pulp heroine to icon?

Critique: Impressively narrated by author Melanie Rehak, "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community library, and college/university library audio book collections. A 'must hear' for the legions of Nancy Drew fans, "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her" is a flawless recorded audio book in an MP3 CD format (1 Disc, 9 hours 31 minutes) from Brilliance Audio.

The Immortal Words
Jeff Wheeler, author
Emily Woo Zeller, narrator
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887; Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713506737, $14.99, MP3 CD

https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Words-Grave-Kingdom/dp/1713506734

Synopsis: As kingdoms fall, brave young warrior Bingmei fights to fulfill a prophecy and save what's left of the world from the coming darkness. Should she fail, Echion, the diabolical Dragon of Night, and his queen will hold sway over the next thousand years. With Echion comes his unstoppable army of dragons -- powerful, vengeful, and under his control.

Accompanied by her loyal friend Quion, Bingmei journeys toward her last hope. It lies among the savage beasts just beyond the ancient Death Wall - an uninhabited realm from which no one has ever returned alive. Bingmei's mission is to find the phoenix shrine and learn the Immortal Words that will allow her to harness eternal magic. With Echion and his legions in pursuit, Bingmei must choose her words wisely to break Echion's spell and accept her fate.

Bingmei knows what she must do. She must join the ranks of the dead as well. For a fearless and selfless warrior, it's the ultimate sacrifice. But Bingmei is about to discover that even in death, the greatest sacrifices are yet to come.

Critique: Another great action/adventure fantasy novel from the imaginative mind of novelist Jeff Wheeler, "The Immortal Words" is virtually brought to life in a true theatre of the mind experience for the listener by the narrative skills of Emily Woo Zeller in this compact, complete and unabridged MP3 CD edition that is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for personal listening lists and community library fantasy fiction audio book collections. (1 Disc, 11 hours, 20 minutes).

Hunted: An Avalon Novella
Steve McHugh, author
Simon Hattacks, narrator
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887; Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799761761, $9.99, MP3 CD

https://www.amazon.com/Hunted-Avalon-Novella-Chronicles-dp-1799761762/dp/1799761762

Synopsis: Cursed by witches centuries ago, Remy Roax was content with living his long life as a half-man/half-fox. But when he learned he had undiscovered powers, he had no choice but to learn how to use them.

After relocating to North Dakota in order to practice his new-found abilities, he soon finds himself in the targets of Louis Bonne, a man who wants to understand how the curse placed on Remy worked, so that he can use the souls of innocent people to make himself immortal.

Since Remy has no interest in helping, Louis sends a group of murderers intent on convincing him. But Remy isn't some helpless bystander, and these people will soon discover that Remy isn't the kind of fox who runs from a hunt.

Critique: Brilliantly narrated by Simon Hattacks, "Hunted" by Steve McHugh is an exceptionally entertaining fantasy novella that set in the universe of the author's Avalon Chronicles series. This exceptionally entertaining, 'theatre of the mind' audio book is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal listening lists and community library MP3 CD audio book collections. (1 Disc, 2 hours 59 minutes)

Infamous Reign: A Hellequin Novella
Steve McHugh, author
Simon Hattacks, narrator
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887; Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799761747, $9.99, MP3 CD

https://www.amazon.com/Infamous-Reign-Hellequin-Novella-Chronicles/dp/1799761746

Synopsis: In late 15th century England, two young princes are given over by Merlin to the protection of their uncle, King Richard III. They soon vanish from sight, igniting tales of their demise at Richard's hand and breeding unrest throughout the land.

Nathanial Garrett, also known as Hellequin, is sent to London to decipher fact from rumor and uncovers a plot to replace the king. But his investigation quickly becomes personal when he learns that an old nemesis is involved. He soon finds himself racing against time to rescue the boys before their fate, and the fate of all England, is sealed in blood.

Critique: "Infamous Reign" is a novella author Steve McHugh's inherently fascinating Hellequin Chronicles historical fantasy series in a story that deftly combines gritty and action-packed historical fantasy with elements of ancient mythology. The result, as skillfully narrated by Simon Hattacks is a fully entertaining and very highly recommended MP3 CD complete and unabridged audio book addition to personal listening lists and community library audio book collections. (1 Disc, 2 hours, 6 minutes).

Dragula: A Transgender Tale
John Arthur Long
Vellum Publishing
c/o Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781094189314, $24.95, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Dragula-Transgender-John-Arthur-Long/dp/1094189316

Synopsis: Peter, a vulnerable young man, makes the decision to transition, becoming the gender and human being he was meant to be. Unfortunately, Peter's stage persona of the musical entertainer Dragula draws the judgmental ire of the Right Reverend Bobby Swagger. Reverend Swagger is determined to prove by whatever means necessary that Peter's lifestyle and entertainment choices are sinful and wrong. Finally, Peter finds the courage to open up to those around him, and take an uncompromising stand against bigotry, proving that it's all right to be true to yourself, no matter what lifestyle you choose.

Critique: Written and performed by John Arthur Long, "Dragula: A Transgender Tale" is an impressively produced, complete and unabridged audio book that is an impressive combination of personal struggle, raucous humor and musical entertainment that will keep the listener's complete and rapt attention from beginning to end. This original and compellingly entertaining production is especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and college/university library audio book collections and will prove to be of special and immense interest to the LGBTQ community.

Author's Note: "Dragula: A Transgender Tale" conveys a message that is clearly and uncompromisingly stated by the main character: "Bigotry, the inability to tolerate the differences in others, is one of the great flaws of our society!"" Moreover, when presenting entertainment that represents individuals of the LGBTQIA community, I have endeavored to be sensitive to the courage these individuals have shown and empathetic to what they have endured by living in a manner that allows them to be true to themselves.

Cat Me If You Can
Miranda James, author
Erin Bennett, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781977364210, $24.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Cat-You-Can-Stacks-Mystery/dp/1977364217

Synopsis: Charlie and Diesel, along with Charlie's fiancee, Helen Louise Brady, are heading to Asheville, North Carolina, to spend a week at a boutique hotel and participate in a gathering of a mystery reader's club composed of patrons of the Athena Public Library. In addition to seeing the local sights, the members will take turns giving talks on their favorite authors.

The always spry Ducote sisters, friends of the hotel's owners, are helping underwrite the expenses, and they've insisted that Charlie, Helen, and Diesel join them. Anxious to get Helen Louise away from her bistro for a vacation, Charlie readily agrees. While Charlie is looking forward to relaxing with Helen Louise and Diesel, other members of the group have ulterior motives, including a long-standing score to settle.

When an intrusive, uninvited guest turns up dead, only one mystery club member with a connection to the deceased appears to have a motive to kill. But could the answer really be that simple? Charlie and Diesel, along with the detecting Ducote sisters, know that every murder plot has an unexpected twist.

Critique: Expertly narrated by the vocal talents of Erin Bennet, this complete and unabridged CD edition of "Cat Me If You Can" brings author Miranda James latest 'A Cat in the Stacks' whodunnit mystery vividly to life in a true theatre of the mind experience. A 'must' for the growing legions of Miranda James fans, this audio book edition from Tantor Media is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections. (7 Discs, 8 Hours)

War Of The Gods
Erich Von Daniken, author
David Stifel, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781705238394, $24.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/War-Gods-Skulls-Underground-Cities/dp/1705238394

Synopsis: "War of the Gods: Alien Skulls, Underground Cities, and Fire from the Sky" by Erich Von Daniken examines ancient scriptures from India, Siberia, Tahiti, and many other regions of the world independently on reports of battles in the stars. Weapons of unimaginable destructive power were used in these battles. Use of one of these weapons destroyed a planet completely.
Traditions from all over the world depict the gruesome effects of the battle in space. Many ancient stories speak of it raining fire from the sky for years.

The people of the time tried to protect themselves from this, and thus created more testimonies that prove the star war and contact with beings from other planets. With impressive examples von Daniken illustrates some of the numerous cities that were dug underground as safe harbors from the destructive boulders. Miles and miles of underground passageways have been discovered around the world as they made space for villages and entire cities.

To end "War of the Gods", von Daniken presents his newest discoveries of an event that can only be described as shocking: In 2017, he was informed that strange mummified creatures were found near the Peruvian village of Nazca. One of the mummies, apparently several thousand years ago, had been implanted with a metal plate under the skin. Scientists agree: These creatures are not from Earth!

Critique: Ably narrated by David Stifel, this complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of Erich Von Daniken's newest iconoclastic study, "War of the Gods: Alien Skulls, Underground Cities, and Fire from the Sky", will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and college/university library collections. (5 CDs, 6 Hours).

Bullet For A Stranger
William W. Johnston, author
J. A. Johnstone, author
J. Rodney Turner, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781494541484, $12.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Bullet-Stranger-Ryan-William-Johnstone/dp/1494541483

Synopsis: Gold. Silver. Cold hard cash. Stagecoach guard Red Ryan and his driver Buttons Muldoon have ridden shotgun on some pretty valuable cargo in their day. But in "Bullet For A Stranger" they're about to learn-the hard way-that the most dangerous cargo of all is human.

They've been hired to escort a cowardly traitor facing an army court martial in New Orleans. Every hired killer in Texas wants him dead, including gun-handy Hannah Huckabee, a woman with a mysterious past and an agenda of her own. But she's just one of the dangers they'll face along the way. There are cutthroat gangs bent on slaughtering anything on two legs -- and some 700 miles of the deadliest terrain Red Ryan has ever had to shoot his way out of!

Critique: Another deftly crafted action/adventure western by the team of William W. Johnstone and J. A. Johnstone in their 'Red Ryan Western' series, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Bullet For A Stranger" from Tantor Media is effectively and dramatically narrated by the impressive vocal talents of J. Rodney Tuner. The result is a true theatre of the mind experience that is especially recommended for the personal listening lists of all dedicated western novel fans and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any and all community library audio book collections. (8 CDs, 9 Hours).

Inferno
Donna Grant, author
Antony Ferguson, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781618031921, $39.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1618031929

Synopsis: Constantine, the King of Dragon Kings, is driven, ruthless, shrewd because the weight of survival for himself and his brethren has pushed him to set aside his own yearnings -- for now. He's the most powerful of all Dragon Kings, and Con will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who dares to threaten his existence.

For years, Con has hidden his pain and his desperation -- for there is one smoldering beauty that he craves above all else, even if he feels he doesn't deserve her. However, his enemies are at every corner. There is no one left to trust. But none of that matters anymore: There is only one thing that Con wants. With this one woman by his side, he can fight for the freedom of his fellow men-in-arms.

All Con has to do is get her to surrender her heart -- and be his for all time.

Critique: The newest addition to the simply outstanding 'Dark Kings' fantasy series by Donna Grant, "Inferno" is expertly read by Antony Ferguson and is a deftly crafted and thoroughly listener engaging theatre of the mind experience that will be especially appreciated by all dedicated fantasy fiction fans. This flawless produced, complete and unabridged audio book CD edition from Tantory Media is particularly recommended for community library audio book editions and is a 'must' for all Donna Grant fans and dark fantasy fiction buffs. (10 CDs, 12.5 Hours)

A Touch of Stone and Snow
Milla Vane, author
Nicole Poole, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781494545857, $12.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Touch-Stone-Snow-Gathering-Dragons/dp/1494545853

Synopsis: Danger lurks in the western realms. The Destroyer's imminent return has sent the realms into turmoil as desperate citizens seek refuge-but there's no safety to be found when demons and wraiths crawl out from the shadows. Even Koth, a northern island kingdom left untouched by the Destroyer a generation past, is besieged by terrors spawned from corrupt magics.

When Lizzan leads the Kothan army against these terrors, only to see her soldiers massacred and to emerge as the only survivor, she is called a coward and a deserter. Shunned from her home, Lizzan now wanders in solitude as a mercenary for hire, until she encounters a group of warriors seeking new alliances with the northern kingdoms -- a group that includes Aerax, the bastard prince of Koth, and the man who sent her into exile.

Though they were childhood friends, Aerax cannot allow himself to be close to the only woman who might thwart his treacherous plan to save their island realm. But when the demand of a goddess binds them together, Lizzan and Aerax must find a way to overcome their painful pasts.

Or there will be no future for the western realms!

Critique: "A Touch of Stone and Snow" is part of fantasy author Milla Vane's superbly crafted 'A Gathering of Dragons' series and is superbly narrated throughout by the vocal storytelling talents of Nicole Poole. This complete and unabridged CD edition of "A Touch of Stone and Snow" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of all fantasy fiction buffs and will prove to be an immediately popular addition to community library audio book collections. (10 CDs, 12.5 Hours).

A Line in the Sand
Ryk Brown, author
Jeffrey Kafter, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781494569075, $12.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Line-Sand-Frontiers-Saga-Part/dp/1494569078

Synopsis: "A Line in the Sand" by science fiction author Ryk Brown reveals an enemy lashing out in desperation, an alliance poised to expand, a new fleet of ships to help them, and a covert mission to get desperately needed answers before it is too late.

The Dusahn Empire has been contained for the moment. But there is much work to be done in order to keep them from reasserting their dominance over the Pentaurus sector. As much as Captain Scott wants to see the Empire destroyed, he may have no choice but to find a way to coexist with them.

Critique: Ryk Brown is the author of the Frontiers Saga series. Jeffrey Kafer is an avid performer on the stage and in voice-overs. He has narrated over one hundred books spanning all genres, and he won the 2008 Voicey Award for Best New Voice. Together they have created a truly entertaining and memorable science fiction action/adventure experience in the form and format of a complete and unabridged CD audio book and one that is a 'must' for Kafer's 'Frontiers Saga' series fans and will prove to be a popular and prized addition to community library collections. (8 CDs, 9 Hours).

The Empress of Salt and Fortune
Nghi Vo, author
Cindy Kay, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com
9781250750303, $12.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Empress-Fortune-Singing-Hills-Cycle/dp/1705246893

Synopsis: Nghi Vo's novel "The Empress of Salt and Fortune" is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women. It is the story of a young royal from the far north, who is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders.

Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut and Book 1 of author Nghi Vo's 'Singing Hills Cycle' series follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She's a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

Critique: A superbly produced, complete and unabridged audio book in a CD format, "The Empress of Salt and Fortune" is particularly and especially recommended for community library collections and will leave listeners eagerly awaiting the next title in what promises to be a simply outstanding historical fantasy series. (3 CDs, 2 Hours)

Lowcountry Boondoggle
Susan M. Boyer, author
Loretta Rawlins, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
https://tantor.com/new-releases.html
9781515951971, $24.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Lowcountry-Boondoggle-Liz-Talbot-Mystery/dp/1515951979

Synopsis: Private investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews thought they'd put Darius Baker's troubles to rest-then his recently discovered son ropes him into a hemp farm investment with his college buddies. But when a beloved Charleston professor-and potential investor is murdered, Liz and Nate discover Darius keeps the PIs on speed dial.

A shocking number of people had reasons to want the genteel, bowtie wearing, tea-drinking professor dead. Was it one of his many girlfriends or a disgruntled student? Or perhaps Murray was killed because his failure to invest meant the hemp farm trio's dreams were going up in smoke?

Though Liz's long-dead best friend, Colleen, warns her the stakes are far higher than Liz imagines, she is hellbent on finding the no-good killer among the bevy of suspects. But will the price of justice be more than Liz can bear?

Critique: Susan Boyer is a master of the mystery genre and the narrative skills of Loretta Rawlings bring's Boyer's "Lowcountry Boondoggle" vividly to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience making it especially and unreservedly recommended for community library audio book collections and the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs. (7 CDs, 8 Hours).

A Pretty Deceit
Anna Lee Humber, author
Heather Wilds, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
https://tantor.com/new-releases.html
9781494540234, $12.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Pretty-Deceit-Verity-Kent/dp/1494540231

Synopsis: In the aftermath of the Great War, the line between friend and foe may be hard to discern, even for indomitable former Secret Service agent Verity Kent. Peacetime has brought little respite for Verity. Intrigue still abounds, even within her own family.

As a favor to her father, Verity agrees to visit his sister in Wiltshire. Her once prosperous aunt has fallen on difficult times and is considering selling their estate. But there are strange goings-on at the manor, including missing servants, possible heirloom forgeries, and suspicious rumors-all leading to the discovery of a dead body on the grounds.

While Verity and her husband, Sidney, investigate this new mystery, they are also on the trail of an old adversary-the shadowy and lethal Lord Ardmore. At every turn, the suspected traitor seems to be one step ahead of them. And even when their dear friend Max, the Earl of Ryde, stumbles upon a code hidden among his late father's effects that may reveal the truth about Ardmore, Verity wonders if they are really the hunters-or the hunted!

Critique: Superbly brought to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience by the narrative skills of Heather Wise, "A Pretty Deceit" by Anna Lee Auber will have an immense appeal for all dedicated mystery/suspense buffs and in this complete and unabridged audio book edition from Tantor Audio will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library audio book collections. (10 CDs, 11.5 Hours).

Witches and Wedding Cake
Bailey Cates, author
Amy Rubinate, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
https://tantor.com/new-releases.html
9781541441941, $24.99, CD

https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Wedding-Magical-Bakery-Mystery/dp/154144194X

Synopsis: Katie will be marrying firefighter Declan McCarthy in less than a week, and she's still finding time to run the Honeybee Bakery, where she infuses sweets and treats with special spells and cheerful charms. But her hope of getting hitched without a hitch is short-lived.

When Declan's family shows up early to enjoy a few extra days in Savannah, his youngest sister finds an unsavory surprise: her ex-husband, dead in a hotel room hours after they argued. The ex was scam artist with a lot of enemies, but the argument puts Declan's sister under suspicion.

Between dress fittings and dough-kneading, Katie-along with her witchy friends in the spellbook club-will really have to work some magic to figure out who killed the con man -- or there may not be a wedding!

Critique: The latest addition to author Bailey Cate's thoroughly entertaining 'Magical Baker Mystery' series, "Witches And Wedding Cake" is deftly and impressively narrated by Amy Rubinate. With flawless production values, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Witches And Wedding Cake" will prove to be an extraordinary and welcome addition to community library audio book collections for dedicated mystery buffs in general, and Bailey Cate fans in particular! (6 CDs, 7.5 Hours).


The Library CD Shelf

Old Soul
Kelly Lang
kellylang.net
Leopard Entertainment
$10.98 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com

Old Soul is a music album of popular, beloved classics superbly performed by the debonair Kelly Lang. Her smooth-as- silk performance is an audio treasure. Old Soul is highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections, and also makes an excellent gift. The tracks are "Drive", "Let's Stay Together", "I've Got To Use My Imagination", "Me and Mr. Jones", "Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher", "Get Here", "Every Breath You Take", "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", "Quando, Quando, Quando (feat. TG Sheppard)", "Let's Give 'em Something To Talk About", "At This Moment", "Easy", and "All By Myself".

Double Helix
Peter Manning Robinson
Heart Dance Records
$15.98 CD / $18.98 MP3 amazon.com

Double Helix is the debut two-CD music album by award-winning composer and pianist Peter Manning Robinson, showcasing his original songs drawing upon a technique that he terms "Refracted Music". He does not employ prerecorded tracks, triggered samples, external sounds, or MIDI instruments, but rather an acoustic piano that is "refracted" during live performances. The mellifluous results are a wonder to immerse onself in. Highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections. The tracks are "Surfing the Sunrise", "Secret Sauce", "Moon Vines", "Fugitive Heart", "Catch Your Breath", "Dark Moon", "Invisible Highway", and "Emergence" on the first CD, and "Labyrinth of Petals", "Fresh Light", "Enigma", "Swimming With Ghosts", "Undying Spirit", "River of Mirrors", "Sweet Shadows", and "Inside Out" on the second CD.

The Old Side of Town
Alecia Nugent
www.alecianugent.com
Privately Published
$15.00 CD / $8.91 MP3 amazon.com

IBMA and SPBGMA award-winning music artist Alecia Nugent presents The Old Side of Town, an original roots album with a bonus bluegrass track. Alecia's musical creations the reflect sadness and loss of losing loves ones, as well as the heartfelt gratitude for the precious time spent with them. The Old Side of Town is emotional, beautiful, and highly recommended. The tracks are "The Old Side of Town", "I Might Have One Too", "They Don't Make 'em Like My Daddy Anymore", "Way Too Young For Wings", "Tell Fort Worth I Said Hello", "The Other Woman", "Too Bad You're No Good", "Sad Song", "I Thought He'd Never Leave", and "Bonus Track".

Where We're Standing Now
Josh Johnston
www.joshjohnston.com
Shandon Records
$TBA CD / $TBA digital bandcamp.com

Where We're Standing Now is the fifth solo album by Josh Johnston, composed of four solo piano improvisations recorded between 2013 and 2019. Drawing upon elements of jazz, folk, and classical music, the songs are adventurous, free-flowing, and a joy to experience. Highly recommended, especially for solo piano connoisseurs! The tracks are "Green Meditation", "Capital City Dublin 1974-75", "Letting Go", and "Where We're Standing Now".

Motivational Speakeasy
Jordan Tice
Padiddle Records
padiddlerecords.com
$14.98 CD / $7.99 MP3 amazon.com

Motivational Speakeasy is an original American roots, fingerstyle guitar album by Jordan Tice, showcasing his talent with the guitar and his insights into the quirky challenges of life. A touch of humor laces the music, inspired by both events of everyday life and more existential contemplations. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Tell Me Mama", "Matter of Time", "Walkin'", "Creation's Done", "Ghost Story", "Where I'm At", "Bad Little Idea", "Stratford Waltz", "Ready to Go", "Bachelorette Party", and "Goin' on Down".

Imaginary Edges
Mike Clay
Heart Dance Records
$15.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Imaginary Edges is an ambient album of electronic music, crafted to guide the imagination on a voyage beyond planetary bounds. Ideal for meditation or relaxation, the music brings to mind the mysteries of outer space. Imaginary Edges is mystical, beautiful, and highly recommended. The tracks are "Edge of Wonder", "Threshold", "Wave Riders", "Imaginary Journey", "Going Within", "Edge of Darkness", "Among Stars", "Soft Return", "Traveling Lightly", "Moon Dancing", and "Vista of Truth".

Speak to the Sky
James Marienthal
www.jamesmarienthal.com
Silver Wave Records, Inc.
www.silverwave.com
$12.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Speak to the Sky is a beautiful album of original songs created in attunement with nature and spirituality. Gentle, serene, and reverent, Speak to the Sky is a shining treasure and a rapturous listening experience. Highly recommended. The tracks are "First Breath", "Wondering Who", "Speak to the Sky", "Escondida", "Navajo Twilight", "Returning Home", "Silence Seen", and "A Terraplace of Time".

Awake to Dream
Reis Taylor Dixon
www.ReisTaylorDixon.com
Blue Spiral Records
bluespiralrecords.com
$TBA CD / $TBA digital

Available on all major streaming platforms, Awake to Dream is an emotional, instrumental album. The soulful songs capture the dedication and perseverance of pursuing one's most cherished dreams. Awake to Dream is profound, inspiring, and highly recommended. The tracks are "Breathe, The Year is 1991", "The World I Had to Give Was Yours", "Farewell Sisters; Abbie & Rebekka", "Forgiveness, One Day...", "Injongo - Brighter Days Ahead", "Writing My Message to Life", "Ebony and Ivory, The Mark Grieves Collection", "Awake to Dream", "Drifting Through Space", "Epilogue for a White Rose", "A Sense of Belonging", and "Clair de Lune (extracts)".


The Library DVD Shelf

For They Know Not What They Do
A film by Daniel Karslake
First Run Features
$24.95 firstrunfeatures.com

For They Know Not What They Do is a documentary about the backlash against marriage equality and LGBTQ rights in modern America. Showcasing how religious conservatives and politicians have collaborated to undo civil rights gains in the name of "religious freedom", For They Know Not What They Do is especially disturbing when it spotlights threats and incidents of violence against LGBTQ people. Tackling a deadly serious issue head-on, For They Know Not What They Do is a "must-have" especially for public library documentary collections, highly recommended. 91 min.

Hip Hop: The Songs that Shook America
AMC Networks
https://www.amcnetworks.com
$34.97 DVD / $34.97 Blu-ray amazon.com

Available as a 2-disc set on DVD or Blu-ray, Hip Hop: The Songs that Shook America is a documentary series in which each of the six episodes focuses on a different hip-hop song that influenced American music and culture. The spotlighted songs are "Jesus Walks" by Kanye West; "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar; "Rock Box" by Run-DMC; "Elevators" by OutKast; "The Bridge" by Marley Marl and MC Shan; and "Ladies First" by Queen Latifah. Special features include a Barbershop freestyle and bonus interviews with music icons. Hip Hop: The Songs that Shook America lives up to its title as a "must" for fans of the genre and music scholars alike! Highly recommended. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs or 2 Blu-ray discs, 4 hours 12 min., SDH subtitles.

Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile
Starring David Suchet
Acorn
www.acornonline.com
$19.99 DVD / $19.99 Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile is the classic crime drama adaptation of Agatha Christie's mystery novel, featuring the impeccable Poirot (superbly played by David Suchet). While Poirot vacations in Egypt, he encounters a perilous quarrel between a spurned woman and her former friend. Death stalks the cruise, and Poirot must investigate a web of deception and betrayal! Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile is a "must- have" for connoisseurs of British mysteries in general, and Agatha Christie's cherished works in particular. Highly recommended! 102 min., SDH subtitles.

A House Divided, season 2
AMC Networks
https://www.amcnetworks.com
$17.96 DVD

A House Divided, season 2 continues the UMC Original series about a wealthy African-American family navigating the intense struggles to fill the power vacuum of the matriarch's death. Scandals, betrayal, and a plotting mistress make this drama utterly compelling. Highly recommended! 6 episodes on 2 DVDs, 240 min., SDH subtitles

Killing Eve, season 3
AMC Networks
https://www.amcnetworks.com
$34.97 DVD / $35.97 Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Killing Eve season 3 continues the thrilling drama of two women with violent pasts and psychological hooks sunk deep into one another. One is an unemployed assassin; the other is an ex- MI6 operative. A shocking act of violence places them on a collision course with one another once more, and the fallout will be bloody. A host of special features rounds out this intensely riveting collection. 8 episodes on 2 discs, 5 hours 36 min. plus 24 min. of bonus featurettes, SDH subtitles.

Sanctuary
Sundance Now
c/o AMC Networks
https://www.amcnetworks.com
$34.99 DVD

Sanctuary is a dark thriller on DVD about an identical twin, Helena, who visits her estranged sister Siri at an exclusive sanatorium in the Alps. When Siri disappears, everyone at the sanatorium presume Helena as Siri. Suspense mounts as the seemingly idyllic location is revealed as a facility for studying psychopaths, and the director of the facility may be the most manipulative and ruthless monster of all. A chilling saga of survival and desperation, Sanctuary is highly recommended for connoisseurs of suspense. 8 episodes on 2 discs, 379 min., SDH subtitles.


The Gaming Shelf

Winning at Matchpoints
Bill Treble
Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com
9781771400589, $19.95, PB, 232pp

http://masterpointpress.com/pages/bookinfo.php?prod=751&cat=101

Synopsis: Most bridge players would agree that matchpoints are harder than IMPs -- and there is no denying that it is certainly different! Yet many players approach the two forms of scoring in the same way. In the instructive pages of "Winning at Matchpoints", veteran bridge expert Bill Treble explains the differences in approach, the whys and wherefores of the right way to bid, play and defend at matchpoint scoring for optimum results.

Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Winning at Matchpoints" should be considered a 'must read' for all dedicated bridge players seeking to improve their gaming performance. While also readily available in a digital book format ($15.99), "Winning at Matchpoints" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Bridge instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Bill Treble (Winnipeg, Canada) is an expert bridge player and former bronze medalist in the Canadian Teams Championship. He is a two-time winner of the Canadian Open Pairs Championship, in 2000 and 2002.


The Business Shelf

Hyper-Learning
Edward D. Hess
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94612
www.bkconnection.com
9781523089246, $29.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hyper-Learning-How-Adapt-Speed-Change/dp/1523089245

Synopsis: Our new Digital Age raises the question of how we humans can stay relevant in the workplace. To stay relevant, we have to be able to excel cognitively, behaviorally, and emotionally in ways that technology can't.

In "Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change", Professor Ed Hess believes that requires us to become what he calls Hyper-Learners: continuously learning, unlearning, and relearning at the speed of change. To do that, we have to overcome our reflexive ways of being: seeking confirmation of what we believe, emotionally defending our beliefs and our ego, and seeking cohesiveness of our mental models.

Hyper-Learning requires a new way of being and a radical new way of working. In Part 1 of this how-to instructional book, Professor Hess takes a practical workbook approach and helps readers create their Hyper-Learning Mindset, choose and embrace their needed Hyper-Learning Behaviors, and adopt their daily Hyper-Learning Practices. In Part 2, Hess focuses on how to humanize the workplace to optimize Hyper-Learning.

Featuring case studies of three business leaders and two public companies, "Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change" shows how to harness the power of human emotions, choices, and behaviors to enable the highest levels of human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral performance -- individually and organizationally.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change" is especially relevant and critically important reader for entrepreneurs, business managers, and corporate executives if they are to succeed and survive in this new and global digital age. While an exceptional and seminal study that is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.17) for MBA students, academia, those engaged in corporate commerce, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change" is highly recommended for corporate, community, and college/university library Business Management collections.

Editorial Note: Edward D. Hess is a professor of business administration and Batten Faculty Fellow at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. His professional experience includes twenty years as a business executive and eighteen years in academia. His research and thirteen books have a common theme: high individual and organizational performance. His work has been featured in over 400 global media outlets.

Courageous Cultures
Karin Hurt & David Dye
HarperCollins Leadership
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781400219537, $24.99, HC, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Courageous-Cultures-Karin-Hurt/dp/1400219531

Synopsis: Many corporate executives and business managers are convinced they have an open environment that encourages employees to speak up and are shocked when they learn that employees are holding back. Employees have ideas and want to be heard. Leadership wants to hear them. Too often, however, employees and leaders both feel that no one cares about making things better. The disconnect typically only widens over time, with both sides becoming more firmly entrenched in their viewpoints.

Becoming a courageous culture means building teams of microinnovators, problem solvers, and customer advocates working together. A microinnovator is the employee who consistently seeks out small, but powerful, ways to improve the business. A problem solver is the employee who cares about what's not working and wants to make it better. They uncover and speak openly about what's not working and think critically about how to fix it. A customer advocate is the employee who sees through your customers' eyes and speaks up on their behalf. They actively look for ways to improve customers' experience and minimize customer frustrations.

In our world of rapid change, a courageous culture is your competitive advantage. It ensures that your company is "sticky" for both customers and employees. In "Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates" the reader will learn practical tools to uncover, leverage, and scale the best ideas from every level of their organization.

"Courageous Cultures" covers: How the latest research conducted by the authors confirms why organizations struggle when it comes to creating strong cultures where employees are encouraged to contribute their best thinking; Proven models and tools that leaders can apply throughout all levels of the organization, to reengage and motivate employees; Best practices from companies around the world and learn how to apply these strategies and techniques any organization.

Critique: A complete and comprehensive instructional guide and manual, "Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates" should be considered to be mandatory reading for anyone charged with the management and/or supervision of employees for any and all business and/o corporate enterprises. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and college/university library Business Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculums, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781713527213, $24.99, CD).

Ruthless Consistency
Michael Canic
McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781260459814, $27.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ruthless-Consistency-Committed-Implement-Organizations/dp/1260459810

Synopsis: According to Harvard Business Review, "most studies still show a 60-70% failure rate for organizational change projects - a statistic that has stayed constant from the 1970s to the present."

Drawing on his 20+ years of experience as a strategy and execution consultant specializing in midsize companies, Michael Canic helps committed leaders drive the odds in their favor. In "Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win", he identifies the three surprising reasons most strategic change initiatives fail: Leaders unwittingly send mixed messages that demotivate their people and undermine those initiatives; Leaders focus on what they do instead of what their people experience; Leaders are not as committed as they think they are or need to be.

"Ruthless Consistency" then introduces an intuitive yet comprehensive model for success. Simply put, leaders who develop the right focus, create the right environment, and build the right team (consistently) are leaders whose organizations win.

Finally, "Ruthless Consistency" details each element of the model and offers ready-to-apply processes, practices, techniques, and tools to make it happen.

Critique: Expertly written, thought provokingly informative, accessibly organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win" is essential reading for all corporate executives and business managers who wants to implement change successfully within their organization. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and college/university library Business Management collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, entrepreneurs, business owners, corporate executives, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).

Editorial Note: Michael Canic is the president of Making Strategy Happen, which specializes in helping committed leaders of mid-size companies turn ambition into strategy, and strategy into reality. Canic originated his strategy model while working as a corporate leader for FedEx, during which time his district became the most recognized in the Americas for service quality. A Certified Speaking Professional, he has delivered more than 600 presentations on ruthless consistency to audiences on four continents, many through Vistage Worldwide which, with over 23,000 members in 20 countries, is the world's largest organization of CEOs, business owners, and key executives.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Fat Quarter: Accessories
Susie Johns
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945657, $19.95, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fat-Quarter-Accessories-projects-lenths/dp/178494565X

Synopsis: Comprised of 25 projects to make from short lengths of fabric, "Fat Quarter: Accessories" by Susie Johns is the latest title in the successful 'Fat Quarter' series from The GMC Group.

Packed from cover to cover with 25 stash-busting sewing projects, all made from fat quarters or fabric scraps and aimed at beginner to intermediate crafters, of special note is that each individual project has easy-to-follow, step-by-step, illustrated instructions as well as beautiful photographs of the finished pieces.

"Fat Quarter: Accessories" also contains a comprehensive techniques section, as well as showing how to create a wide variety of accessories including brooches and badges, earrings, bracelets, headwear, keyrings and charms.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Fat Quarter: Accessories" will enable even the most novice of needlecrafters to successful make accessories that will be prized additions to their personal collections and make welcome gifts as well. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections, it should be noted that "Fat Quarter: Accessories" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Having studied Fine Art at the Slade School, Susie Johns worked as a magazine and partworks editor for 11 years, specializing in cookery, crafts, childcare and gardening, before going freelance in 1996. Since then, she has written and illustrated books on a variety of creative subjects. She has also worked for Marvel Comics, making most of the models for Art Attack magazine and has written regular features for consumer magazines such as Stitches, Let's Knit, Crafts Beautiful, Quick & Crafty, Beads & Beyond, Needlecraft, Junior, Family Circle, Practical Parenting, Practical Gardening and Embroidery (for the Embroiderers' Guild and Royal School of Needlework).


The Parenting Shelf

What They Don't Teach Teens
Jonathan Cristall
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
www.quilldriverbooks.com
9781610353588, $19.95, PB, 344pp

https://www.amazon.com/What-They-Dont-Teach-Teens/dp/1610353587

Synopsis: Young people coming of age today face new risks, expectations, and laws that didn't exist when their parents were young. "What They Don't Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them" provides teens, tweens, and young adults, and their parents with up-to-date, realistic strategies to protect young people against the pitfalls of modern adolescence.

Author Jonathan Cristall, who was once a troubled teen himself and is now a veteran prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles and a sexual violence prevention instructor, works extensively with teenagers and their families to teach physical, digital, emotional, and legal safety skills. Drawing on Cristall's hands-on experience, "What They Don't Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them" gives parents and other caregivers techniques for talking to their children about these urgent issues.

"What They Don't Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them" is a compendium of sound advice on police interactions and personal safety (your constitutional rights, what to do/not do when stopped by the police while driving, situational awareness, street robberies, gun violence); sexual violence and misconduct (sexual consent, sexual harassment prevention, dating violence, sextortion); and staying safer online (digital footprint and citizenship, cyberbullying, underage sexting, online porn).

"What They Don't Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them" is packed from cover to cover with practical guidance, thoughtful insight, and simple-to-use tips and tactics that will empower young people to make good choices now and into the future.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "What They Don't Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them" is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide and manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library Contemporary Parenting collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of parents, teens, and young adults that "What They Don't Teach Teens: Life Safety Skills for Teens and the Adults Who Care for Them" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome
Terry Katz & Lina Patel
Woodbine House
6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
www.woodbinehouse.com
9781606132951, $22.95, PB, 164pp

https://www.amazon.com/Potty-Time-Kids-Down-Syndrome/dp/1606132954

Synopsis: Whether as a parent just getting started potty training a child having Down syndrome or as one who has been at it for months or years, "Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome: Lose the Diapers, Not Your Patience" offers the specialized guidance needed for both the parent and the Down Syndrom child to be successfully toilet trained.

In "Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome: Lose the Diapers, Not Your Patience", authors Terry Katz and Lina Patel have created a customizable developmental-behavioral model based on a thorough understanding of how the behaviors of children with Down Syndrome are affected by their neurodevelopment.

For instance, the low muscle tone common in children with Down syndrome can affect bladder and bowel control. Or a child may be motivated to continue using a diaper because he enjoys the interaction while being changed. The empathetic and encouraging tone of "Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome: Lose the Diapers, Not Your Patience" is effectively coupled with its positive behavior-based strategies geared specifically to children with Down Syndrome and will help parents to avoid typical challenges encountered with toilet training a Down Syndrome child.

"Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome: Lose the Diapers, Not Your Patience" covers medical & physical issues, behavioral & cognitive challenges, collecting data to inform the training plan, behavioral principles, prepping the bathroom, supports & strategies to increase success, desensitization for children who are anxious, troubleshooting, working with the school team, using public toilets, and much more.

With its effective potty-training strategies, helpful planning and tracking forms, examples of visual supports, and lists of training products and resources, parents will be well prepared to help Down Syndrome children achieve this important milestone toward greater independence.

Critique: Thoroughly 'parent friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation, "Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome: Lose the Diapers, Not Your Patience" should be considered an essential 'must read' DIY instruction guide and manual for all parents of Down Syndrome children having to be toilet trained. "Potty Time for Kids with Down Syndrome: Lose the Diapers, Not Your Patience" is a critically essential addition to personal, family, professional, community, and college/university library Parenting & Down Syndrome collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.

Editorial Note: Terry Katz is a licensed psychologist who has worked with children with developmental disabilities and their families for over thirty years. She co-founded a sleep behavior clinic in 2009 and a toileting clinic in 2011 for children with special needs at Children's Hospital Colorado. She is also a co-author of Solving Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Woodbine House, 2014).

Lina Patel is a licensed psychologist and the Director of Psychology for the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children's Hospital Colorado and has worked with hundreds of children, adolescents, and young adults with Down syndrome. She provides consultation with schools, parent training for management of challenging behaviors, evaluation for dual diagnoses (Down syndrome and autism), toilet training, and desensitization to medical devices.

Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life
Christie Pearce Rampone & Kristine Keane, MD
Grand Central Publishing
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
www.hachettebookgroup.com
9781538751732, $28.00, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Be-All-Raising-Success-Sports/dp/1538751739

Synopsis: Sports offer a vital path for children to get healthy, self-confident, and social. In "Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life", three-time Olympic gold medalist, World Cup Champion, and US team captain Christie Pearce Rampone and sports neuropsychologist and brain health expert Dr. Kristine Keane offer practical, real world advice on how to effectively handle the pressures felt by youth athletes, parents, and coaches today, while providing kids with their best shot at reaching their dreams.

In contrast to outdated adages like "no pain, no gain," the ethos of "be all in" is about being authentically present in everything you do, on and off the field. Through a unique blend of neuroscience, parenting strategies, and wisdom gleaned from the extraordinary experiences of a world-class athlete, "Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life" is transformative as it explains, step-by-step, how to create realistic expectations for kids, help them succeed in all aspects of their life, improve game day performance, and reduce the stress of dealing with their coaches, ambitions, and losses.

With invaluable insight into parenting behaviors that may derail children's performance despite best intentions, and concrete strategies for teaching accountability, confidence, self-efficacy, and resiliency, "Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life" is a fundamental DIY guide has tips to support athletes of any age, sport, or level of competition

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life" will prove to be an invaluable guide for parents, caregivers and coaches with respect to children of any age engaging in an athletic activity of any kind. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Parenting collections, it should be noted that "Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549187995, $90.99, CD).


The Health/Medicine Shelf

A Therapist's Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age
Shauna Frisbie
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393714456, $25.95 PB, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Therapists-Treating-Eating-Disorders-Social/dp/0393714454

Synopsis: All humans need space to think, to be, and to process without constant distraction. This is especially true of adolescents and young adults, for whom identity formation is a consuming task. Social media has generated both a place for the creation of identity and an audience. But constant connection leaves little space without intrusion from others. For those with body dissatisfaction and/or eating disorders, living in today's world can be especially challenging, and viewing images on social media and other online formats can be devastating.

In "A Therapist's Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age", therapist Shauna Frisbie utilizes phototherapy techniques to view client-selected images (whether they be of themselves or others) to help uncover underlying messages that are impacting their relationship to their bodies. Integrating concepts of healing narratives, neuroscience, and phototherapy, "A Therapist's Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age" will be instrumental in helping any therapist promote self-compassion, self-reflection, and healing in their clients in this age of Social Media.

Critique: An ideal instructional guide and manual for both the therapeutic practitioner and the non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "A Therapist's Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age" will prove to be a welcome and valued addition to both community and college/university library Health/Medical collections in general, and Contemporary Psychology & Counseling supplemental studies list in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of therapists, psychology students, and anyone else that "A Therapist's Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.73).

Editorial Note: Shauna Frisbie, Ed.D, is a certified eating disorders specialist who integrates cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and mindfulness-based approaches in her clinical work. She is a professor in the graduate psychology and counseling department of Lubbock Christian University (Lubbock, Texas).

Restart Your Heart
Aseem Desai, MD, FHRS
www.draseemdesai.com
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781626347083, $21.95, HC, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Restart-Your-Heart-Playbook-Thriving/dp/1626347085

Synopsis: Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterized by the rapid and irregular beating of the atrial chambers of the heart. (Wikipedia)

AFib patients, their family, friends, and caregivers are often misinformed about the latest research, advancements, and treatments. "Restart Your Heart: The Playbook for Thriving With AFib" is a life-changing book by renowned cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Aseem Desai and diminishes the worry and confusion that come with an AFib diagnosis by presenting the reader with the latest medical information in a concise and positive way.

Dr. Desai has made it his mission to significantly improve the lives of those diagnosed with AFib and to offer hope and encouragement to patients and their loved ones. Filled with innovative knowledge and vivid illustrations, "Restart Your Heart" will empower and inspire the reader by providing straightforward answers and options to deal with this complex disease.

A comprehensive guide to living the best life possible with AFib, "Restart Your Heart" covers:
What AFib is, why it happens, and simple steps to take after being diagnosed; Dealing with the diagnosis and condition on mental and emotional levels, and creating a toolbox for resilience in challenging times; Gaining crucial knowledge about trigger and risk factor modifications, the latest treatment options, and how to monitor the disease for progression or recurrence.

"Restart Your Heart" delivers cutting-edge information, options, and solutions that will afford you a newfound sense of comfort, confidence, and control.

Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly reader friendly in organization and presentation, "Restart Your Heart: The Playbook for Thriving With AFib" should be considered essential reading for anyone having to deal with this medical condition within themselves or a loved one. While unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library Health & Medicine collections in general, and Cardiac supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for medical professionals and non-specialist general readers alike that "Restart Your Heart: The Playbook for Thriving With AFib" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Aseem Desai is a cardiac electrophysiologist (EP), a physician specializing in heart rhythm disorders. He has been caring for people with atrial fibrillation (AFib) for over seventeen years and currently practices in Orange County, California. Dr. Desai served as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Implantable Device Therapy at the University of Chicago Hospital. As an author of several scientific manuscripts, he has published in peer-reviewed journals such as HeartRhythm Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, American Journal of Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Desai maintains a website at: www.draseemdesai.com

That's Why I'm a Doctor
Mark Bulgutch
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
www.douglas-mcintyre.com
9781771622523, $24.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Thats-Why-Doctor-Physicians-Memorable/dp/1771622520

Synopsis: Doctors hold a pretty special place in our lives. They're often there when we're born, and they're usually there when we die. They're there for a lot of the scary or weird stuff that happens in between, too.

In the pages of "That's Why I'm a Doctor: Physicians Recount Their Most Memorable Moments", journalist Mark Bulgutch brings together forty-six stories drawn from a diverse group of physicians that includes pediatricians, interventional radiologists, general surgeons, psychiatrists, family doctors, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, gynecologists, neurologists and more. Each doctor's individual story describes the moment that left them thinking, "That's why I became a doctor."

"That's Why I'm a Doctor" includes stories of innovation (developing a treatment for cholera); rare and fascinating medical cases (the separation of conjoined twins); the less dramatic but still quietly satisfying times when the doctor was able to have a lasting positive impact on the life of a patient or their family; and, of course, those unexpected moments when the patient taught the doctor an important life lesson that would inform their practice for years to come.

These stories, big and small, are tied together by a sense of caring. It's impossible to read what these doctors have to say and not come away with a new understanding of what goes through the mind of the person on the other end of the stethoscope and how dedicated doctors must be to do what they do.

Critique: Memorably inspired and inspiring, "That's Why I'm a Doctor: Physicians Recount Their Most Memorable Moments" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, medical school, and college/university Health & Medicine collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students, academia, medical practitioners, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "That's Why I'm a Doctor: Physicians Recount Their Most Memorable Moments" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Canadian journalist Mark Bulgutch worked for CBC News for over thirty-five years. He is the recipient of fourteen Gemini awards, four Radio Television News Directors Association awards, the Canadian Journalism Foundation Award of Excellence and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Gold Ribbon Award. His previous book, "That's Why I'm a Journalist" (Douglas & McIntyre), was released in 2015.

Cultivating Your Microbiome
Bridgette Shea, L.Ac., MAcOM
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781620557808, $16.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cultivating-Your-Microbiome-Ayurvedic-Practices/dp/1620557800

Synopsis: In traditional medicine, such as Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, the digestive system and microbiome are recognized as the foundation for good health. Our internal flora influences our immune system, brain function, hormonal balance, cravings, sleep, mood, inflammatory response, digestion, nutrient assimilation, and elimination.

"Cultivating Your Microbiome: Ayurvedic and Chinese Practices for a Healthy Gut and a Clear Mind" by Bridgette Shea is an holistic guide to cultivating a healthy microbiome and managing gut health naturally. Shea knowledgeably explores digestive functioning from the perspectives of both Western science and traditional medicine, including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine principles on digestion and constitution types. She reveals how, in addition to describing what we now call the microbiome, traditional Chinese medicine also has long recognized the importance of an abdominal organ that modern science has only recently acknowledged: the mesentery, the tissues that connect and support the internal organs.

Going beyond probiotics and prebiotics, "Cultivating Your Microbiome" also presents practices from Ayurveda and Chinese medicine to reestablish balance in your internal microbiome, support the mesentery, improve digestion and elimination, and restore a clear mind and strong immune system. Shea explains how to read your symptoms, from brain fog and fatigue to congestion and stool quality, and offers herbal remedies, acupuncture and acupressure techniques, and dietary methods to improve your internal health, including a microbiome dietary reset.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in informational style, organization and presentation, "Cultivating Your Microbiome: Ayurvedic and Chinese Practices for a Healthy Gut and a Clear Mind" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and college/university library Holistic Medicine collections and supplemental curriculum studies. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students, medical practitioners, and non-specialist general readers seeking to improve the physical, emotional, and mental health through improving their personal microbiome system that "Cultivating Your Microbiome: Ayurvedic and Chinese Practices for a Healthy Gut and a Clear Mind" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Bridgette Shea is a licensed acupuncturist and wellness educator who has been practicing traditional healing modalities for more than 20 years. Her private practice is an integration of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, and she enjoys teaching workshops on Eastern wisdom. The is also the author of "Handbook of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda" (Healing Arts Press).

It Takes Grit
Rebecca Louise
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781950665280, $16.95, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Takes-Grit-Go-Life_Strengthen-Energize/dp/1950665283

Synopsis: In "It Takes Grit: The Go-To Guide to Level Up Your Life - Strengthen, Energize, Elevate, and Conquer", fitness expert and mindset coach Rebecca Louise shares a practical no-BS guide to take your workouts, health, and your motivation to the next level -- along with a 30-day challenge to kick-start your results.

Through her ultra-popular YouTube channel and social media, Rebecca Louise has helped millions of people improve their mindset and achieve their wellness goals. The secret behind Rebecca's success isn't just her cheeky British humor or her adorable dog Alphie; people come to Rebecca because she's shared many of the same experiences -- she knows what's it's like to feel lost, unable to find the right career, live broke, go through a divorce, and struggle with a negative relationship with food. It wasn't until she changed her mindset and started to master high-performance habits that she truly found her way to a career she loved and a healthy lifestyle.

Now, in "It Takes Grit", Rebecca shares her tried-and-true tools to lock onto your purpose, uncover your inner grit, and get in the right mindset to go after your goals, including: The 10 healthy habits that changed her life (see: not living in fear of carbs); An action plan to get started no matter where you are right now (emotionally, physically, and mentally); Instructions for how to build an optimal morning routine, fitness schedule, and meal plans that will never go out of style; Tips for staying on track and remaining inspired no matter what life throws at you; Nutrition plans that will fuel your body (and never leave you hungry); A "no excuse" fitness plan that actually fits into your lifestyle.

Rebecca also shares targeted daily workouts to make sure you're never overworking your body, easy-to-follow meal plans that include recipes for every meal, and daily tasks that will help you reset your mindset and get to the next level. It Takes Grit will give you the tools needed to enhance your life and create positive, lasting changes -- all to help you take control of your health and happiness.

Critique: An ideal, practical and effective DIY approach to physical fitness and good mental health, "It Takes Grit: The Go-To Guide to Level Up Your Life - Strengthen, Energize, Elevate, and Conquer" is a particularly timely and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide for these pandemic stressed times. While unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library Self-Help & Physically Fitness collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "It Takes Grit" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).


The Travel Shelf

Mystical Places
Sarah Baxter, author
Amy Grimes, illustrator
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781781319581, $19.99, HC, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Places-Inspired-Traveller-Guides/dp/1781319588

Synopsis: In "Mystical Places", travel writer Sarah Baxter expertly curates the world's most wonder-filled sites where magic is made manifest. Her readers will discover the history and geography for each of twenty-five mystical sites and learn their most significant and spellbinding stories, with suggestions of features to look out for and information on ceremonies.

Filled with beautifully bewitching illustrations, this unique travel guide aims to transport you, in the comfort of your own armchair, to sacred and mystical spots, digging into their legends and evoking their supernatural essence.

Seeking a transcendent travel experience? Take a magical pilgrimage to Alfaborg, the City of Elves; marvel at the otherworldly splendour of Xandadu, the heart of a lost dynasty; and discover the gateway to the afterlife in the Alepotrypa Cave. In the pages of "Mystical Places" we will encounter mythical kings, explore sacred summits and enchanted architecture, and find a cast of giants, ghosts, golems and sea creatures.

Critique: Beautifully enhanced with the mystic artwork of Amy Grimes, "Mystical Places" is a unique and extraordinary travel guide that will have special appeal for students and practitioners of the metaphysical arts. Inherently fascinating and impressively informative, Sarah Baxter's "Mystical Places" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and college/university library collections.

Editorial Note: Sarah Baxter grew up in Norfolk, England and now lives in Bath. Her passion for travel and the great outdoors saw her traverse Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States before settling into a writing career. She was Associate Editor of Wanderlust magazine, the bible for independent-minded travellers, for more than ten years and has also written extensively on travel for a diverse range of other publications, including the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Independent, plus160 newspapers. Sarah has also contributed to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks.

Amy Grimes is an artist and illustrator based in London. Drawing inspiration from nature and the natural world, Amy's work often features bright and bold illustrated motifs, floral icons and leafy landscapes. As well as working on commissioned illustrations, Amy also sells prints, textiles and stationery under the brand of Hello Grimes.

Coastal Trails of the Carolinas
Johnny Molloy
Falcon Press
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
www.falcon.com
9781493041718, $22.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Coastal-Trails-Carolinas-Johnny-Molloy/dp/1493041711

Synopsis: With hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches and barrier islands, the coastline of North and South Carolina is one of the most treasured long distance shorelines in the country. Compiled and presented in an impressively informative and illustrated detail, "Coastal Trails of the Carolinas" celebrates this vibrant region by offering the best hikes along this gorgeous coast. Written by veteran guidebook author Johnny Molloy and including additional information and details on local sights and attractions, "Coastal Trails of the Carolinas" offer everything hikers need to explore this treasured shoreline.

Critique: Profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in format, "Coastal Trails of the Carolinas" is an ideal DIY resource for creating memorable excursions anywhere along the Northern and Southern Carolina ocean front. While unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library Contemporary American Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Coastal Trails of the Carolinas" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.49).

Editorial Note: Johnny Molloy is one of America's most experienced and prolific guidebook authors. He's explored much of the United States, spending over 4,000 nights backpacking, canoe camping, and tent camping throughout the country. He has penned over fifty hiking, paddling, and camping guides covering twenty-six states, from Florida to Texas to Wisconsin to New England.

Germany, Austria & Switzerland's Best Trips
Lonely Planet
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781786575814, $24.99, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Germany-Austria-Switzerlands-Country/dp/1786575817

Synopsis: Lonely Planet's "Germany, Austria & Switzerland's Best Trips" showcases 33 amazing and memorable trips, along with practical and up-to-date advice on the destinations you'll visit along the way, ranging from soaring Alps, to fairytale castles, to world-class wineries!

"Germany, Austria & Switzerland's Best Trips" feature: Lavish color illustrations and gorgeous photography throughout; Itineraries and planning advice to pick the right tailored routes for your needs and interests; Easy-to-read, full-colour route maps, detailed directions; Insider tips to get around like a local, avoid trouble spots and be safe on the road such as local driving rules, parking, and toll roads; Essential info at your fingertips including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, and prices; Honest reviews for all budgets including eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss; Useful features the include Stretch Your Legs, Detours, Link Your Trip.

"Germany, Austria & Switzerland's Best Trips" covers Germany, Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, the Rhine, Romantic Road, Lake Constance, Switzerland, Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva, Zurich, Geneva, Austria, Tyrol, Vienna, Salzburg, and more!

Critique: "Germany, Austria & Switzerland's Best Trips" from Lonely Planet Publications is the ideal choice for planning day trip excursions or lengthy vacation itineraries. While highly recommended for personal, community, and college/university library Contemporary Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for the personal reading and reference lists that "Germany, Austria & Switzerland's Best Trips" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.49).


The Woodworking Shelf

Learn to Carve Gnomes, Trolls, and Mythical Creatures
Sara Barrachlough
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781497101128, $14.95, PB, 104pp

https://www.amazon.com/Learn-Gnomes-Trolls-Mythical-Creatures/dp/1497101123

Synopsis: The perfect source of inspiration for whittlers and carvers alike, "Learn to Carve Gnomes, Trolls, and Mythical Creatures" by wood carving expert Sara Barraclough showcases a menagerie of 15 woodcarving projects appropriate for any skill level! This DIY woodcarving book is devoted to the booming popularity of gnomes and their charismatic features, from their floppy hats to their expressive eyes, as well as other magically charming creatures and objects. From a happy hedgehog and a darling dragon to a forgetful wizard and a whimsical unicorn, Learn to Carve Gnomes, Trolls, and Mythical Creatures is the perfect source of woodcarving inspiration!

Comprised of 15 step-by-step projects that carefully progress in difficulty from easy to more challenging, and can easily be completed with just a few tools. With complete plans and step-by-step instructions and photography, the aspiring wood worker will learn how to carve charismatic characters and objects full of magic, whimsy, and personality, including an owl, a sassy squirrel, a tiny woodsman, a sleepy fox, a troll with a will-o'-the-wisp, an elf, a cheeky toad, and much more! Along with the skill-building projects, you'll also find helpful overviews on materials and tools before getting started, detailed step-by-step photography, and guidance on painting and finishing each completed project.

Critique: Providing a detailed introduction on materials and tools, as well as helpful tips on painting and finishing each piece, "Learn to Carve Gnomes, Trolls, and Mythical Creatures: 15 Simple Step-by-Step Projects" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community library, and highschool woodshop DIY instructional woodworking project collections.

Editorial Note: Sara Barraclough is a master carver and a regular contributor to Woodcarving Illustrated magazine, as well as the author of the incredibly charming Weekend Whittling Projects.


The Art Shelf

Cy Twombly: Making Past Present
Anne Carson, et al.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
www.mfa-publications.org
9780878468744, $65.00, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cy-Twombly-Making-Past-Present/dp/0878468749

Synopsis: Cy Twombly's first visit to Italy as a young man ignited a lifelong passion for classical culture that is everywhere present in his art. Painted canvases, works on paper and small-scale sculptures reveal the historical soul of Twombly's abstract compositions. Taking on myths and heroes as personal guides, he created a psychologically complex dialogue with the visual and literary art of antiquity.

"Cy Twombly: Making Past Present" is sumptuously illustrated publication that flawlessly reproduces a carefully chosen and representative selection of the artist's paintings, drawings and sculptures alongside works of classical antiquity, including a number from his personal collection.

"Cy Twombly: Making Past Present" also features illuminating essays by leading scholars and writers, including Anne Carson, Jennifer R. Gross, Brooke Holmes and Mary Jacobus that collectively explore the often enigmatic engagement of Twombly's art with the world of the past.

Critique: A beautiful reproduced, impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented coffee-table style (9.5 x 1.25 x 11 inches) volume celebrating and showcasing the artwork of this impressively talented artist, "Cy Twombly: Making Past Present" would grace any personal, professional, community, and college/university library Art History collection.

Editorial Note: Cy Twombly (1928-2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia, and lived and worked in New York in the early 1950s and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. After traveling around North Africa, Spain and Italy, he settled in Rome, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Rookwood
Bob Batchelor
Rockport
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781631598630, $45.00, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rookwood-Rediscovery-American-Icon-Illustrated/dp/1631598635

Synopsis: Published to coincide with Rookwood's 140th anniversary, "Rookwood: The Rediscovery and Revival of an American Icon -- An Illustrated History", author and historian Bob Batchelor tells the compelling story of this artisanal ceramics company, still operating in the heart of the Ohio River Valley, from its founding to present day. Filled with behind-the-scenes artist and creator interviews, stories of Rookwood's avid collectors, as well as never-before-seen images and documents from the company's historic archives, pottery enthusiasts will see why Rookwood remains a pillar of true craftsmanship to this very day.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout in full color, "Rookwood: The Rediscovery and Revival of an American Icon -- An Illustrated History" is an extraordinary, informative, and delightful volume to page through. This coffee-table style (10.5 x 0.88 x 11.63 inches) volume would grace any personal, professional, community, or college/university library Ceramic Arts collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

Editorial Note: Bob Batchelor is a critically acclaimed cultural historian and biographer. He has published widely on American culture and literature. His latest book is The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius (Diversion) won the 2020 Independent Press Award for Historical Biography. Bob also wrote Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel (the first full-scale biography of the Marvel Universe legend), as well as books on Bob Dylan, Mad Men, John Updike, and The Great Gatsby, among others.

Painting & Drawing
GMC Editorial Staff
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945862, $29.95, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Painting-Drawing-Techniques-Tutorials-Complete/dp/1784945862

Synopsis: An ideal and comprehensive DIY instructional guide and manual, "Painting & Drawing: Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner" is a collection of profusely illustrated techniques and tutorials, all of which are specifically intended for the novice artist. The aspiring artist can easily explore the many different avenues of creative art available to them. From the relaxing and enjoyable pastime of drawing, to the versatile, vibrant medium of oil painting, each discipline is clearly explained through a series of tutorials that build in complexity. In addition to the tutorials, there is advice on tools, materials and techniques, plus plenty of useful and practical tips throughout.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in community, organization and presentation, "Painting & Drawing: Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner" is an ideal curriculum textbook selection for school beginner level art classes, as well as unreservedly recommended for personal and community DIY art instruction collections. It should be noted that "Painting & Drawing: Techniques and Tutorials for the Complete Beginner" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Kendra Ferreira is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and holds a second signature status (CPX) in exploratory mediums with colored pencil. Kendra is also a Fellow Member of the American Artists' Professional League, artist member of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club and Providence Art Club. Kendra's work has been included in many national and international art exhibitions and she is a recipient of numerous awards for her work. Kendra works out of her studio in Middletown, Rhode Island, USA and has enjoyed teaching adult and teen art classes for over twenty years. Currently she teaches classes and workshops in her studio and various art organizations. Kendra maintains a website at www.kjfdesign.com and is also on Instagram @ kjfdesign.artist, Facebook @ KJF Design Fine Art, and Pinterest @ KJF Design.


The Gardening Shelf

Japanese Style Companion Planting
Toshio Kijima
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
www.tuttlepublishing.com
9784805315491, $16.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Style-Companion-Planting-Techniques/dp/4805315490

Synopsis: Japanese gardeners typically work with small plots and are experts at making the most efficient use of available garden space. They have long understood that when compatible vegetables and fruits are grown together, the result is increased yields, healthier plants, fewer pest problems and better taste. Vegetables from small gardens are the mainstay of Japan's famously healthy cuisine and movement towards farm-to-table dining tradition.

Author Toshio Kijima is head of the Biotechnology Department at Tochigi Agricultural Station in Japan and principal of the Nogyo Daigakko School of Natural Farming. In "Japanese Style Companion Planting: Organic Gardening Techniques for Optimal Growth and Flavor", he provides 88 different plant pairings, including common favorites such as: Tomato with basil; Eggplant with green beans; Carrots with edamame; Iceberg lettuce with broccoli; Strawberries with garlic; Green beans with arugula; Blueberry bushes with mint, and dozens of other pairings that yield tasty, nutritious vegetables and fruits, all grown without the need for pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

"Japanese Style Companion Planting: Organic Gardening Techniques for Optimal Growth and Flavor" also covers excellent combinations for relay planting, such as watermelon followed by spinach, spinach followed by broccoli, broccoli followed by potato, and many more. Clear and precise instructions are given for each combination (from planning and preparing your plot to planting depths and spacing) are all accompanied by detailed color drawings and photographs.

Information on the theory and basics of companion planting will ensure a smooth transition to sustainable gardening techniques that millions of home gardeners are using!

Critique: Profusely and effectively illustrated throughout, "Japanese Style Companion Planting: Organic Gardening Techniques for Optimal Growth and Flavor" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal instructional guide and manual for even the most novice of family gardeners. While especially recommended for community and college/university library Gardening collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Japanese Style Companion Planting: Organic Gardening Techniques for Optimal Growth and Flavor" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Automotive Shelf

Hurst Equipped
Mark Fletcher & Richard Truesdell
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255933, $39.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hurst-Equipped-Revised-Updated-Performance/dp/1613255934

Synopsis: George Hurst was a hot rodder at heart, but he was also a visionary, an innovator, a brilliant promoter, and he was particularly skilled at building alliances. Hurst developed and marketed a high-performance line of shifters that led the industry and became the cornerstone of the company. After forming an alliance with Anco Industries, Hurst marketed and sold more than 100 speed parts that included shifters, heads, wheels, and many other parts. Eventually, the Hurst catalog became the source for high-performance parts in the 1960s and 1970s.

Jack "Doc" Watson joined Hurst and became a pivotal figure within the company, which led to many performance projects with Pontiac. Over the years, Hurst also partnered with Oldsmobile to build special 442s known as the "Hurst" Olds, with AMC to build the wickedly effective SC Rambler, and with Chrysler to create a number of Super Stock cars as well as the 300H. He also helped build one of the most memorable exhibition cars in drag-racing history, the Hemi Under Glass.

No other company or individual had as big of an impact on so many aspects of the automotive industry as George Hurst. His performance parts were some of the best ever, the competition cars won many races, and the muscle cars that bear his name were some of the best of the era. Scores of interviews, in-depth research, and exceptional insight from veteran magazine editor Richard Truesdell and co-author Mark Fletcher is the basis for this newly revised and updated edition of "Hurst Equipped: More than 50 Years of High Performance" and showcases the complete story from the production cars and race cars to the performance parts.

Critique: A profusely illustrated, impressively informative, and absolute 'must read' for the legions of muscle car and race car enthusiasts and fans, "Hurst Equipped: More than 50 Years of High Performance" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library American Automotive History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.


The Economic Studies Shelf

When More Is Not Better
Roger L. Martin
www.rogerlmartin.com
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781647820060, $30.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/When-More-Not-Better-Overcoming/dp/1647820065

Synopsis: For its first two hundred years, the American economy exhibited truly impressive performance. The combination of democratically elected governments and a capitalist system worked, with ever-increasing levels of efficiency spurred by division of labor, international trade, and scientific management of companies. By the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976, the American economy was the envy of the world.

But since then, outcomes have changed dramatically. Growth in the economic prosperity of the average American family has slowed to a crawl, while the wealth of the richest Americans has skyrocketed. This imbalance threatens the American democratic capitalist system and our way of life.

"When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America's Obsession with Economic Efficiency" by Roger L. Martin is bracing yet constructive book in which a world-renowned business thinker starkly outlines the fundamental problem: We have treated the economy as a machine, pursuing ever-greater efficiency as an inherent good. But efficiency has become too much of a good thing. Our obsession with it has inadvertently shifted the shape of our economy, from a large middle class and smaller numbers of rich and poor (think of a bell-shaped curve) to a greater share of benefits accruing to a thin tail of already-rich Americans (a Pareto distribution).

With lucid analysis and engaging anecdotes, Martin argues that we must stop treating the economy as a perfectible machine and shift toward viewing it as a complex adaptive system in which we seek a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience. To achieve this, we need to keep in mind the whole while working on the component parts; pursue improvement, not perfection; and relentlessly tweak instead of attempting to find permanent solutions.

Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, packed from cover to cover with keen economic insight and advice for citizens, executives, policy makers, and educators, "When More Is Not Better" is a timely and must-read guide for saving democratic capitalism -- especially in view of the present economic collapse initiated by the current pandemic. While an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to community and college/university library Contemporary Economics collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, corporate executives, economists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "When More Is Not Better" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.49).

Editorial Note: Roger L. Martin is Professor of Strategic Management, Emeritus, at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, where he served as Dean (1998 - 2013) and as Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute (2013 - 2019). In 2017 Thinkers50 named him the world's #1 management thinker. He has published eleven books, including Creating Great Choices with Jennifer Riel and Playing to Win with A.G. Lafley, as well as many Harvard Business Review articles. Martin is a trusted strategy adviser to the CEOs of many global companies. He maintains a web site at www.rogerlmartin.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/RogerLMartin


The Architecture Shelf

Being the Mountain: Productora
Carlos Bedoya, et al.
Actar D
c/o Actar Publishers
355 Lexington Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017
http://actar.com
9781948765510, $34.95, HC, 96pp

https://www.amazon.com/Being-Mountain-Productora-Carlos-Bedoya/dp/1948765519

Synopsis: Collaboratively published by the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture & Actar Publishers, "Being the Mountain: Productora" casts new light on the relationship between modernism and the ground, calling into question received assumptions and liberating new possibilities for how a building relates to its site.

"Being the Mountain" examines the relationship between architecture and the ground it occupies, an interaction so obvious (a building must touch the ground) that it often remains under-explored. Richly illustrated contributions by Carlos Bedoya, Frank Escher, Wonne Ickx, Veronique Patteeuw, and Jesus Vassallo revisit significant moments in architectural history that cast new light on the techniques and legacies of modernism, especially in settings like Mexico and California, where architects such as Ricardo Legorreta and John Lautner incorporated dramatic natural topography in their agendas. Additional essays investigate the role of the ground in the thought of Kenneth Frampton in the 1980s and Luis Moreno Mansilla in the 1990s, as well as point to important parallels between premodern land practices, twentieth-century art, and today's architecture.

Together, these episodes call into question our received assumptions and present new possibilities for the connection between a building and its site. A portfolio of related projects by Productora concludes the volume, further drawing out the idea of architecture as a form of constructed ground.

Critique: A seminal collection of insightful commentary, "Being the Mountain: Productora" will prove to be a core addition to personal, professional, corporate, college and university library Contemporary Architectural Studies collections and reading lists.

Editorial Note: Productora is a Mexico City - based architectural studio founded in 2006 by Carlos Bedoya (1973, Mexico), Wonne Ickx (1974, Belgium), Victor Jaime (1978, Mexico), and Abel Perles (1972, Argentina). The studio's work is distinguished by an interest in precise geometries, the production of clearly legible projects with limited gestures, and the search for timeless buildings. Productora has been recognized by the Architectural League of New York with the Young Architects Forum (2007) and Emerging Voices (2013) awards. In 2016, they received the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for Emerging Practice from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago for the Pavilion on the Zocalo. In 2018, Productora was recognized with the Oscar Niemeyer Award for Latin American Architecture for the Teopanzolco Cultural Center, a project realized in collaboration with Isaac Broid.

Chateau La Coste: Art and Architecture in Provence
Robert Ivy, author
Alistair Hicks, author
Alan Karchmer, photographer
Merrell Publishers
8755 Lookout Mountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
www.merrellpublishers.com
9781858946818, $70.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ch%C3%A2teau-Coste-Art-Architecture-Provence/dp/1858946816

Synopsis: Chateau La Coste, near Aix-en-Provence, France, is a unique property that combines sculptural artworks by leading contemporary artists alongside works by some of the world's best-known architects, all within the grounds of a working organic vineyard. Since 2004 the estate, which occupies an ancient site, has been transformed into an exceptional plein-air museum, and the number of installations grows every year.

The spreading collection lies within the walk of a spectacular Art Centre, designed by the world-renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. On the reflecting pool in front of the building is one of Louise Bourgeois' giant arachnoid sculptures, Crouching Spider. To the north lies a futuristic winery by Jean Nouvel.

By taking one of several routes to the south or west, the visitor encounters such monumental installations as Sean Scully's sculpture of stacked blocks of limestone, Wall of Light Cubed; Richard Serra's steel sheets, AIX; and Oak Room by Andy Goldsworthy, a cave of interwoven oak branches, integrated into an old stone wall. Installations by Liam Gillick, Kengo Kuma, Paul Matisse, Sophie Calle and many others punctuate the pathways. And by an ancient Roman route, Ai Weiwei has created another new path up the hillside, using paving stones salvaged from the renovated port at Marseilles.

Overlooking the site is a 16th-century chapel restored by Ando and enclosed by a framework of steel and glass. The music and exhibition pavilions, close to the 'village' of buildings at the heart of the property, have been designed by Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano respectively.

"Chateau La Coste: Art and Architecture in Provence" is stunning new collaborative study by Robert Ivy of the American Institute of Architects and the curator Alistair Hicks explore each work of architecture and art installation in depth. Their insightful commentaries are accompanied by specially commissioned photographs by architectural photographer Alan Karchmer.

"Chateau La Coste: Art and Architecture in Provence" is deftly arranged into sections covering all areas of the property, so that the reader is able to experience and discover Chateau La Coste as a visitor would. In the introduction, Ivy relates the conception, creation and further development of Chateau La Coste by its owner, Patrick McKillen; while, to conclude this study, Hicks considers the site's ever-increasing exhibition programme. Throughout the pages, the reader will feel transported to idyllic Provence, to this most remarkable and significant collection of modern and contemporary art and architecture.

Critique: A delightful pleasure to browse through beautifully illustrated and informative page at a time, "Chateau La Coste: Art and Architecture in Provence" is an armchair traveler's delight and an architectural student's inherently fascinating read. Impressively informed and informative, "Chateau La Coste: Art and Architecture in Provence" is the next best thing to an on-site visit and is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and college/university library Architectural Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.


The Science Shelf

The Secret Language of Cells
Jon Lieff, MD
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781948836043, $26.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Language-Cells-Biological-Conversations/dp/1948836041

Synopsis: While cells are commonly considered the building block of living things, it is actually the communication between cells that brings us to life, controlling our bodies and brains, determining whether we are healthy or sick, and directly influencing how we think, feel, and behave.

In "The Secret Language of Cells: What Biological Conversations Tell Us About the Brain-Body Connection, the Future of Medicine, and Life Itself", doctor and neuroscientist Jon Lieff lets us listen in on these conversations, and reveals their significance for everything from mental health to cancer. He explains the surprising science of how very different cells (bacteria and brain cells, blood cells and viruses) all speak the same language. This overarching principle has been long overlooked because scientific journals use impenetrable jargon that makes it hard to be understood across disciplines, much less by the general public.

Dr. Lieff presents a fascinating and accessible look into cellular communication science -- a groundbreaking and comprehensive exploration of this biological phenomenon. In these pages, discover the intriguing lives of cells as they ask questions, get answers, give feedback, gather information, call for each other, and make complex decisions. During infections, immune T-cells tell brain cells that we should "feel sick" and lie down. Cancer cells warn their community about immune and microbe attacks. Gut cells talk with microbes to determine which are friends and which are enemies, and microbes talk with each other and with much more complicated human cells in ways that determine which medicines work and which will fail.

With applications for immunity, chronic pain, weight loss, depression, cancer treatment, and virtually every aspect of health and biology, cellular communication is revolutionizing our understanding not just of disease, but of life itself. "The Secret Language of Cells" is required reading for anyone interested in following the conversation.

Critique: An ideal and comprehensive introduction to the subject for both the non-specialist general reader and members of the medical community alike, "The Secret Language of Cells: What Biological Conversations Tell Us About the Brain-Body Connection, the Future of Medicine, and Life Itself" is extraordinarily informative and impressively presented, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Medical Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and the general public that "The Secret Language of Cells: What Biological Conversations Tell Us About the Brain-Body Connection, the Future of Medicine, and Life Itself" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781721365814, $24.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Dr. Jon Lieff is a nationally recognized neuro-psychiatrist, a former president of a national medical subspecialty organization, founder of a major scientific journal, and was the medical director for 25 years of a large network of psychiatric care for the elderly. He was a pioneer in several medical fields including geriatric psychiatry, brain injury, computer applications in psychiatry, and the integration of medicine, psychiatry, and neurology. Five years ago, he established his acclaimed and popular scientific website, Searching for the Mind, about the topic of cellular communication. With weekly posts, he reviewed and synthesized the latest scientific literature in neuroscience and cell biology.


The American History Shelf

Organized Labor & The Black Worker 1619-1981
Philip S. Foner
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
www.haymarketbooks.org
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781608467877, $22.00, PB, 520pp

https://www.amazon.com/Organized-Labor-Black-Worker-1619-1981-dp-1608467872/dp/1608467872

Synopsis: "Organized Labor & The Black Worker 1619-1981" is classic study by the late historian Philip Foner that traces the radical history of Black workers' contribution to the American labor movement. A contribution too often devalued, under reported, and discounted.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Organized Labor & The Black Worker 1619-1981" is a comprehensive and documented labor history that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of twenty-seven pages of Notes, a four page Select Biography, and a twenty-page Index. A core addition for community and college/university library American Labor History collections in general, and Black Studies supplemental curriculum lists in particular, it should be noted that "Organized Labor & The Black Worker 1619-1981" is also available as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance, 9781713507956, $29.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Philip S. Foner (1910-1994) was an American historian and professor who taught and lectured all over the world. He wrote and edited more than a hundred books, including the ten-volume History of the Labor Movement in the United States and The Black Panthers Speak.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Dark Side of the Ocean
Albert Bates
GroundSwell Books
c/o BPC
https://www.bookpubco.com
https://groundswellag.com/books
9781570673948, $12.95, PB, 158pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Ocean-Destruction-Matters/dp/1570673942

Synopsis: Ocean biodiversity is being decimated on par with the fastest rates of rain forest destruction. More than 80 percent of pollutants in the oceans come from sewage and other land-based runoff (some of it radioactive). The rest is created by waste dumped by commercial and recreational vessels. In many areas and for many fish stocks, there are no conservation or management measures existing or even planned.

In "Dark Side of the Ocean: The Destruction of Our Seas, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do About It", climate author Albert Bates explains how ocean life maintains adequate oxygen levels, prevents erosion from storms, and sustains a vital food source that factory-fishing operations cannot match--and why that should matter to all of us, whether we live near the ocean or not. Bates presents innovative companies and organizations working to change the human impact on marine reserves, improve ocean permaculture, and put the brakes on the ocean heat waves that destroy sea life and imperil human habitation at the ocean's edge.

Along with eye-opening revelations of serious environmental concerns, "The Dark Side of the Ocean" conveys a deep appreciation for the fragile nature of the ocean's majesty and compels us to act now to preserve it. We can make a difference.

Critique: A clarion call to action if the oceans and the marine life it contains and/or supports are to be rescued from the depredations of humans and the impact of climate change, it is critically imporant that "Dark Side of the Ocean: The Destruction of Our Seas, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do About It" have as wide a readership as possible. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community and college/university library Environmental Studies and Oceanic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum lists, it should be noted for students, academia, environmental activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Dark Side of the Ocean: The Destruction of Our Seas, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do About It" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Albert Bates is an influential figure in the intentional community and ecovillage movements and a groundbreaking author on climate change. His 1990 title, "Climate in Crisis" (with a forward by then-senator Al Gore), was one of the first books to sound the clarion call. He is also the author of "Transforming Plastic" (2019) and "Carbon Cascades" (2019).


The Archaeology Shelf

Egyptologists' Notebooks
Chris Naunton
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066768, $40.00, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Egyptologists-Notebooks-Exploration-Pictures-Letters/dp/1606066765

Synopsis: For centuries, the ancient ruins of Egypt have provided an endless source of fascination for explorers, antiquarians, archaeologists, and the public. All, from the very earliest travelers down to the present, were entranced by the beauty of the landscape and the remains of tombs, temples, and cities consumed by drift sand. Many of those early adventurers were gripped by the urge to capture what they saw in writings, sketches, paintings, and photographs.

While it was always the Egyptologists who were in charge, they depended on the assistance of architects, artists, engineers, and photographers. Yet when we read about Flinders Petrie and Norman de Garis Davies, we rarely hear about their wives, Hilda and Nina, or how the work of Amelia Edwards helped to fund their explorations. Only through diaries, letters, and other archival discoveries have we come to realize how important these other partners were. Similarly, the contributions of Egyptians, such as Hassan Effendi Hosni, are only now coming to light.

Compiled with commentary by Chris Naunton, "Egyptologists' Notebooks: The Golden Age of Nile Exploration in Words, Pictures, Plans, and Letters" is a visual celebration of Egypt's ancient past, featuring evocative sketches, paintings, and photographs from pioneering explorers' and archaeologists' journals. Reproduced in their original form, they provide intimate, behind-the-scenes access to the archaeological discovery of Egypt.

Critique: A unique and impressively informative contribution to the growing library of Egyptology, "Egyptologists' Notebooks: The Golden Age of Nile Exploration in Words, Pictures, Plans, and Letters" is gorgeously illustrated throughout, making it an exceptionally and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and college/university library Archaeology collections in general, and Egyptology supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist and the author of Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt (2018). He studied ancient history, archaeology, and Egyptology at the University of Birmingham and Swansea University and has presented many TV programs on Egypt, including The Man Who Discovered Egypt (2012), Ancient Mysteries (2016), King Tut's Treasure (2018), and Egypt's Lost Pyramid (2019). He was director of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2012 to 2016.


The Military Shelf

Battle of Berlin
Martin W. Bowman
Air World
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526786388, $52.95, HC, 362pp

https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Berlin-Bomber-Command-1943-1945/dp/1526786389

Synopsis: "Battle of Berlin: Bomber Command over the Third Reich, 1943 - 1945" by Martin W. Bowman is the story of the bombing of the 'Big City' as it was known to the crews of RAF Bomber Command, and raged from 18 November 1943 to the end of the war in Europe in 1945. It is recalled in this volume of military history both by those in the air over capital of the Third Reich, as well as those who suffered under the bombing onslaught.

At the start of the Battle of Berlin, Sir Arthur Harris had predicted that the 'Big City' would 'cost between 400-500 aircraft', but that it would also 'cost Germany the war'. He was proved wrong on both counts. Berlin was not 'wrecked from end to end', as Harris predicted on 3 November 1943 ('if the USAAF will come in on it') although a considerable part of it was destroyed. And the 'Main Battle of Berlin' did not cost Germany the war; a grinding land campaign had yet to be fought. More than 9,000 bombing sorties were flown during the battle on round trips of about 1,200 miles to Berlin and back.

Berlin was bombed by four Allied air forces between 1940 and 1945. British bombers alone dropped 45,517 tons of bombs, whilst the Americans a further 23,000 tons. By 1944, some 1.2 million people, 790,000 of them women and children, about a quarter of Berlin's population, had been evacuated to rural areas. An effort was made to evacuate all children from Berlin, but this was defeated by parents and many evacuees who soon made their way back to the city. However, by May 1945, 1.7 million people some 40% of the population had fled the city.

"Battle of Berlin: Bomber Command over the Third Reich, 1943 - 1945" is a fitting tribute to those who died in the relentless struggle to knock Berlin (and hopefully Germany), out of the war and resonates with eyewitness accounts and background information which has painstakingly investigated and methodically researched. The result is a hugely fascinating and highly readable narrative containing very real and unique observations by British and Commonwealth aircrew and, equally importantly, the long-suffering citizens of Berlin, and well as the capital's defenders.

Up to the end of March 1945, there had been a total of 314 air raids on Berlin, eighty-five of these in the last twelve months. Estimates of the total number of dead in Berlin from air raids range from 20,000 to 50,000; the relatively low casualty figure in Berlin is partly the result of the city's formidable air defenses and shelters.

The Battle of Berlin was not a defeat in absolute terms, but in the operational sense it was an offensive that Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris and his aircrews could not win. 'Berlin won' concluded Sir Ralph Cochrane, the Air Officer Commanding 5 Group RAF Bomber Command. 'It was just too tough a nut.'

Critique: An impressively informative, deftly written, exceptionally well documented, and expertly organized history, "Battle of Berlin: Bomber Command over the Third Reich, 1943 - 1945" is a seminal work of original scholarship and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library World War II European Theatre collections in general, and WWII aerial warfare supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Battle of Berlin: Bomber Command over the Third Reich, 1943 - 1945" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $32.95).

Editorial Note: Martin Bowman is one of Britain's leading aviation authors and has written a great deal of books focusing on aspects of Second World War aviation history. He is the author of many Pen and Sword Aviation titles, including all releases in the exhaustive Air War D-Day and Air War Market Garden series.

North Vietnam's 1972 Easter Offensive: Hanoi's Gamble
Stephen Emerson
Pen & Sword
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526757128, $22.95, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/North-Vietnams-1972-Easter-Offensive/dp/1526757125

Synopsis: By the end of 1971, in what Hanoi called the American War and at the height of the Cold War, the fighting had dragged on for eight years with neither side gaining a decisive advantage on the battlefield and talks in Paris to the end the war were going nowhere. While the United States was steadily drawing down its ground forces in South Vietnam, Washington was also engaging in a grand effort to build up and strengthen Saigon's armed forces to the point of self-sufficiency. Not only had the ranks of Saigon's forces swelled in recent years, but they were now being equipped and trained to use the latest American military equipment. Perhaps now was the time for Hanoi to take one last gamble before it was too late.

With the rumble of men and mechanized equipment breaking the early morning silence, some 40,000 North Vietnamese troops advanced across the demilitarized zone into South Vietnam on March 30, 1972 in what would become the largest conventional attack of the war. Ill-prepared and poorly led, South Vietnamese troops in the far north were quickly routed in the face of the ensuing onslaught.

Likewise, coordinated attacks across the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon and into the central highlands in the coming weeks gained steam and in due course as many as 200,000 men along with T-54/55 main battle tanks, 130mm towed artillery, ZSU-57 self-propelled ant-aircraft guns, and hundreds of trucks and armored personnel carriers were engaged across three battlefronts.

Soon Saigon's beleaguered forces were being pushed to the brink of defeat in what appeared to be the end for the Thieu government. Ultimately, however, the timely and massive intervention by U.S. and South Vietnamese air power, along with the bravery of some South Vietnamese commanders and their American advisers saved the day. Hanoi's gamble had failed and in its wake lay up to 100,000 dead and South Vietnamese roads littered with the smoldering wrecks of North Vietnamese military equipment. Moreover, it would be another three years before the North had recovered enough to try again.

Critique: A part of the outstanding Pen & Sword 'Cold War 1945-1991' series, "North Vietnam's 1972 Easter Offensive: Hanoi's Gamble" informatively presents an episode of the Vietnam War that has otherwise lapsed into obscurity, crowed out of the history books by North Vietnam's ultimate victory against the U.S. and South Vietnamese military. Illustrated throughout with black/white historical photographs, "North Vietnam's 1972 Easter Offensive: Hanoi's Gamble" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Vietnam War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "North Vietnam's 1972 Easter Offensive: Hanoi's Gamble" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Stephen Emerson worked as intelligence analyst covering political-military affairs in Africa and the Middle East. He served as Security Studies Chair at the National Defense University's Africa Center for Strategic Studies and previously as an associate professor of National Security Decision-making at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. As the author of more than 100 classified and unclassified publications, Steve has written widely on subjects from American national security affairs and political instability to terrorism, African conflicts, and counter-insurgency. Chief among these are his critical assessment of U.S. counter-terrorism policy in Africa, 'The Battle for Africa's Hearts and Minds', and his comprehensive military history of the Mozambican civil war in The Battle for Mozambique.


The Fashion Shelf

Why French Women Wear Vintage
Alois Guinut
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784726690, $19.99 HC, $11.99 Kindle, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Why-French-Women-Wear-Vintage/dp/1784726699

Why French Women Wear Vintage and Other Secrets of Sustainable Style is a fine survey of how to dress more effectively, without as much attention to always-changing styles that continually demand more clothes consumption.

Coach Alois Guinut is based in Paris and imparts the basics of how French women cultivate a sense of style savvy while spending less and mixing vintage styles with modern for best effect. From choosing fabrics that are environmentally friendly to making clothes last, advice ranges from navigating auctions and understanding the formula for 'cost per wear' to tackling online clothes buying and non-returnable snafus.

Why French Women Wear Vintage is a 'must' for style-conscious readers looking for fashion statements that don't break the bank or the environment.


The Music Shelf

The Rolling Stones In the Beginning
Bent Rej
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784727000, $50.00 HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Rolling-Stones-Beginning-Unseen-Images/dp/1784727008

Plenty of books have been written about the Rolling stones, but The Rolling Stones In the Beginning is not a rehash of known images and information, but a fine gathering of original, unseen images by Danish photographer Bent Rej, who was part of their inner circle, accompanying the band on its first European tour, the Satisfaction tour. Rej's full-page images capture all aspect of the Stones, while the photographer's notes about each picture's origins, background, and representation capture the nuances of the tour experience, from stage to backstage. These are outstanding candid shots that, more so than almost any other Stones coverage, capture the subtler nuances and excitement of the Stones tour. It should be considered a 'must' for any avid fan or definitive Rolling Stones or popular music collection.


The Computer Shelf

Programming Fundamentals Using MATLAB
Michael Weeks
Mercury Learning
www.merclearning.com
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781683925552, $59.95 PB, $45.95 Kindle, 550pp

https://www.amazon.com/Programming-Fundamentals-Using-MATLAB-Michael/dp/1683925556

Programming Fundamentals Using MATLAB covers the MATLAB environment in a way that users with very little background in either MATLAB or programming can quickly come up to speed. From example code and programs to debugging and best practices, this book includes companion files with code, 4-color figures, and the tables and mathematical explanations needed to understand different examples, from File I/O to working with callback functions and other elements of graphical user interfaces. Tips for those experiencing trouble and possible outcomes and scenarios link MATLAB functions to practical applications and common scenarios, making for a fundamental guide which is highly recommended for newcomers to MATLAB's many possibilities.

Editorial Note: Michael Weeks, PhD is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgia State University. He has authored numerous research articles with reputed international publishers such as the ACM, Springer, Elsevier, and IEEE.


The Technology Shelf

Location-Based Services in Cellular Networks from FSM to 5G NR
Adrian Cardalda Garcia, et.al.
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781630816346, $149.00 HC, $141.55 Kindle, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Location-Based-Services-Cellular-Networks-Gsm/dp/1630816345

Location-Based Services in Cellular Networks from FSM to 5G NR will appeal to college-level students and professions involved in GNSS technologies and applications, and provides a review of the latest 5G enhancements in cellular networking. From different positioning in satellite and radio to underlying 5G technologies and positioning protocol in LTE, this reference offers theory, math, applied problem-solving, and science involved in past and present communication and networking developments. It's a technical recommendation for anyone with a specific interest in location-based service applications.

Deep Learning for Radar and Communications Automatic Target Recognition
Uttam K. Majumder, et.al.
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781630816377, $179.00 HC, $159.60 Kindle, 290pp

https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Communications-Automatic-Target-Recognition/dp/163081637X

Deep Learning for Radar and Communications Automatic Target Recognition adds to this technical publisher's radar references and tutorials in considering radar data, applications, and examples for SAR/HRR data and analysis. It will appeal to professionals working in the fields of machine learning, radar, AI applications, and more, who receive not just a compendium of the latest ML theory, but related electronics information and research. Chapters survey teaching and learning methods, active learning examples, RL feedback algorithms, classification analysis, and more, detailing strategies and approaches to radar and communications approaches and usage. Technical reference collections strong in radar technology and electronics will find it essential.


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Midwest Book Review
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